Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Solstice Teppanyaki Dinner

Few people celebrate Summer Solstice. It so happened that we did it last night.  Two of our team members, including myself, have our birthday in June (16 & 25), our boss took us to a Teppanyaki dinner, which was also to celebrate her promotion.  So one dinner, trio purposes.  We were amazed by the wonderful view when we arrived.  It was already 7.30 pm, but we still managed to take this photo.  See our lovely longest day light on Jun 21, 2016 - Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

Teppanyaki is usually expensive. Going through the menu, almost all sets go beyond HK$500.  However we managed to find some cheaper sets, which were half or even 1/3 the price.  Reason being cheap is that we had to DIY.  It was fun anyway.  So we ordered 2 sets of cheap ones and 2 sets with service.  As the restaurant is a crab restaurant, they have already crabs in most of the sets.  We order 2 sets of cheap seafood and 2 sets of beef (thin/thick).  

Although teppanyaki is cooking on hot boards, the DIY version is with a little stove. We were given the utensils such as scissors, forks, tongues etc. to do our own cooking.

The thin beef came with vegetables.  Quite healthy.
Japanese food generally come with various kind of sauces.  But I would say the foods themselves were very delicious, we didn't really need those sauces.

Thick beef also came with vegetables and deep fried garlic slices.

Each of the sets came with salad and tofu. And you see, there were crab roes and crab meat on these dishes.

Tempura Soba is from a la carte.  My favourite deep fried chicken nuggets were sold out. We wanted to try some desserts, but there were only 5 choices on the menu.  When we came to order, there were only 2 options available.  Very unacceptable.

We also had foie gras toast, fried rice and miso soup, but forgot what food came from which set.  Anyway we were happy playing around cooking and eating.

The Crab Restaurant's Menu
If you don't like crabs, this may not be a good place for you, as they have crabs in most of the dishes.  On the other hand, if you love crabs, then this place is heaven.  Together with the wonderful harbour view, crab lovers must love this place.

DIY Seafood Set - HK$188
Beef Set - forgot price
Total bill - don't know (boss paid)

Kani-Ya Crab & Teppanyaki
9/F World Trade Centre
280 Gloucester Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Food Blog - Summer Solstice Teppanyaki Dinner

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Photogenic Banquet

The International Gourmet Master Chefs Association holds competitions every year globally and regionally.  The banquet here our family went for Dragon Boat Festival was said to have won the Best Photogenic Award.  Frankly we would say only one dish among all would deserve the award.  Regarding taste, we were only happy with a few, and some were even disaster.

Peking Duck K
I would give it a pass.  Not bad, but can be better.  The bread to wrap the duck all stuck together.  We end up had lumps of bread instead of sheets.

Abalone and Pomelo Peel L
This was an absolute disaster.  The entire dish was cold.  Listen, cold, not even cool - out of temperature at all.  Seemed like it was cooked last night.  But definitely this was not a cold cut dish.

Baked Lobster in Golden Sauce K
Well, I can't say this was bad, but talking about photogenic award, it was way out of the way!

Cross-Bridge Pearl Clam J
We were wondering why our menu had no soup.  In fact this was the one. Not bad, with lots of bean sprout inside, not oily.  I've given this a pass.

Duck Wrap in Lettuce J
We had duck at the beginning, rest of the duck meat was turned into this associated dish.  It was quite good in taste.  But I didn't like the head and leg.  May be they wanted to proof that this was a duck. After all, I gave this a pass as well.

Stir Fried Waygu with Mushroom and Walnut K
The mushroom and walnut were far better than the waygu.  Although we didn't expect the waygu to be dissolved in the mouth, but they were so tough and were difficult to eat.  After all we had lumps of cannot-be-eaten leftover waygu cubes on our plates.

Giant Grouper with Mushroom L
This was another disaster of the night.  First, about 75% were fish bones.  We could hardly found meat in it.  Second, there were plenty of black burns near the bottom of the hot pot.  By accident I got some of the burns and made my utensils all dirty and messy.  Totally unacceptable!

Assorted Vegetables J
This was the only dish that all of us had our thumbs up.  Not only it deserved a photogenic award, we were happy with the variation of vegetables in it.  And we also liked the light taste of savory.  A very good looking and yet healthy dish.

Fried Rice K
It didn't say what kind of fried rice on the menu.  It only said 'end of order fried rice'.  We thought this was a photogenic award dinner, shouldn't be something bad.  Well, it was rice fried rice indeed, we could hardly find anything in it, except some finely chopped ham.

Chinese Birthday Buns J
We had 3 people in our family having birthdays in June, so we paid extra for these buns.  Talking about photogenic award, I would name this No.1 of the night.  Each of the buns was larger than the size of my fist.  And inside there was an entire egg yolk with lotus paste.  They were really amazing!

The only bad thing was it came at the end of the banquet when all of us were mostly full.  Some of us decided to take them home.

The banquet also included some sweeties and fruits at the end.  So we all went home with full stomachs although not too happy with some of the dishes.

Sportful Garden Restaurant
8 Fleming Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Banquet Price for 12 people
Original price: HK$4,680 (US$600)
Special price: HK$2,980 (US$320) + 10% service charge

Birthday Bun: HK$18@ (US$2.3@)

Hong Kong Food Blog

Thursday, April 7, 2016

French Dinner

My friend took me to a French dinner last night.  It was my first time having French food in Hong Kong.  I only know couple of very expensive Michelin Star French Restaurants within 5-star hotels, but never been there. The one we went last night was situated within a service apartment in Wanchai. The place was relatively small with low ceiling, so I felt it was quite noisy, although the restaurant generally looks nice.

Both of us don't read French, so we had to rely on the English description of the foods.

Mussels in White Wine
Although I never had French food, but I do know this is a very famous French dish.  I personally don't enjoy shell foods and I thought the meats were really tiny.  However my friend like it.  And it was served with chips.  

La Piano (HK$118)
Spinach, smoked salmon, egg, cream, salad, lemon.  This was my main course.  Well for someone who doesn't eat much, this is just the right portion.  And it is indeed healthy and delicious.

Le Four (HK$138)
Duck confit, emmental cheese, bell peppers, piment d'espelette jelly, salad.  This was my friend's main course.  I shared a tiny bite and it was nice too.  When we observes the main courses of ours and the other guests', it seems they all had the same presentation - wrapped inside a thin layer of soft pancake.  Not sure if it is that restaurant's specialty or a general French presentation.

Ice Cream Crepes (HK$98)

Coffee Ice Cream with pineapple, raisin and rum.  We were a bit excited about the flame when the rum was added.  Again the pineapples were wrapped with pancake.  My friend was not happy with the canned pineapple.  Indeed for the price they charge, it would worth using fresh pineapple.  I trust that's going to be far more fragrant.

Including my friend's daily soup, we ended up paying around HK$610 including service charge. Quite affordable, I must say.

La Creperie
1/F, 100 Queen's Road East
Hong Kong

Hong Kong Food Blog - French Dinner in Hong Kong

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Seafood Buffet

My Easter Seafood Buffet is free.  In fact I haven't had buffet for sometime, due to my eating problem.  However I won some free coupon by luck draw, so I have this free buffet dinner.

Coupons usually have blackout dates, but I was lucky that hotel allowed me to book on Good Friday. The seafood buffet dinner is only served on Fri, Sat and Sun.  At the Garden Cafe of Conrad Hotel Hong Kong, the place is really nice.

There were I think at least four types of mini lobsters together with some crab claws.  Very fresh, but need to eat with hands and fingers.  But our table was pre-set with tongs, scissors and moist towel, everything we need to deal with the prawns and crabs.

Prawns and clams, but where are my beloved oysters?

Sashimi - well I'd love to have more choices.  So as the sushi rolls.

After all, these are my seafood collections.

It seems all the seafood were cold cuts.  Hot dishes were limited to pan fried Barramundi and a steamed Mandarin fish.  The stir fired mini lobsters were nightmare - the meat was somehow decayed! I wasn't able to find some hot vegetables, so I went on making my own Caesar salad.  Not bad at all, at least having some balance of diet.

The cold cut dishes are not bad at all, but I rather prefer more hot items.

There was an outdoor BBQ counter, serving sausages, chicken wings, lamb racks and some spare ribs.  May be this was the best hot items I could find.  I love sausages, so I had a big one.

On Easter holiday, I was expecting the restaurant to be full of people, but it turned the other way.  May be many people went overseas for their holidays.  As there were not many guests, we could get food and eat very relaxingly and of course with very intensive customer services. 

Finally, I manage to find out the cost of the buffet - HKD558 per person on regular days, HKD638 on holidays.  That means the one I had was HKD638 per person and 10% service charge.  I'm happy with everything, except I would want more choices of seafood, especially oysters as well as some more hot dishes.

Easter Seafood Buffet Dinner
Garden Cafe, Conrad Hong Kong

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Chinese New Year Foods 2016

Today is Chinese New Year Eve - Year of the Monkey is approaching in minutes. I have collected some photos of the foods that Hong Kong Chinese usually eat, especially Cantonese.

There are some foods that we eat during Chinese New Year.  I've grouped them into three categories.  

New Year Eve - jiaozi and dumplings.
New Year Dim Sums
2nd Day of New Year - vegetables.  In Cantonese, vegetables sounds like '開齊' which means 'a good start'.  So lunch of the second day of New Year generally has a dish of assorted veggies.  Chickens and fishes are highly popular among Chinese families during New Year.  

Enjoy this Chinese New Year Food video!

Happy New Year of the Monkey - 2016!

Hong Kong Food Blog - Chinese New Year Foods

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Seafood Annual Dinner

Seafood dinner is many Hong Kong people's favourite.  9 out of 10 Hong Kong Cantonese love it, including myself.  As Chinese New Year is approaching, our family decided to go for a seafood annual dinner.  Normally we pick from set menus, but we're tired of them, so this year, we go for a la carte and pick our own favourite seafood. 

Many travel tips advise visitors to go to Aberdeen, Le Yue Mun, Lamma Island...kind of places to eat seafood, but these places are generally far from city, and prices are more or less similar.  There are many seafood restaurant around in the city with fish tanks.  These are the place you can eat fresh seafood.  The one we went for annual dinner was one of those.

Here's our 8-course a la carte seafood dinner.

To start with, we didn't have seafood, we had the Almond Soup with Pig's Lung.  Quite a new combination, I don't know when chefs started to get almond juice into pig's lung soup.  But indeed, very nice.  Each of us had 3 bowls of soup, as well as a big dish of soup ingredients, including pork, ham, chicken feet...and so on.  In fact this is one of the restaurant's signature dishes.

 Almond Soup with Pig's Lung 生磨杏汁猪肺湯

Our first round of seafood started with Pan Fried Tiger Prawns with soy sauce.  Nice color and although on a Chinese dining table, we were served with forks and knives for this dish.

Pan Fried Tiger Prawns 煎老虎蝦

This dish of steamed Razor Clams let us down.  Although it looked nice, but it was cool to cold.  The low temperature critically discounted the taste!

Steamed Razor Clams with Jelly Noodle and Garlic
We were given a private plate for our razor clams.  So the time the waiter took to distribute the plate let the food cool down, I believe, or else it might have been sitting in the kitchen for an hour before some brought them to our table.


American Barrel Oyster, in traditional Cantonese hot pot with ginger and green onion.  Very fragrant and delicious.

Oyster Stew with Ginger and Green Onion 薑沖焗美國桶蠔

This giant garoupa was the second disaster of the night. At the beginning we were very excited about this giant fish.  But because of the thick meat, the fish came to the table not fully cooked.  Some of the fleshes were still sticking to the bone.  If we asked to re-cook, then the whole fish will be destroyed.  So the waiter suggested us to eat those cooked parts and then get the chef to add some hot oil to cook the rest.  We had no choice.  But don't know why, while we ate, the meat gradually got cooked and we finally manage to eat the entire fish without re-cooking.  Even so, we were not happy with it.

Steamed Giant Garoupa 清蒸沙巴龍躉

Eggs with Prawns is generally not served in banquets, but why here?  Remember we tailored our own menu?  My original choice was deep fried mini white fishes or kau fishes, but restaurant said they did stock those fishes.  So we end up with this egg with prawns, still we have prawns to match our seafood theme.

Stir Fried Prawns with Eggs 滑蛋蝦仁

As a balance of diet, we must need some vegetables.  To match the seafood theme, our original choice was crab roe with bean sprout.  But restaurant said crab season is over, they had no crab roe available, so we changed to crab meat, still something from the sea.

Stir Fried Bean Sprout with Crab Meat 蟹肉豆苗

Cantonese banquets usually are wrapped up with rice, noodle to make sure guests all go home with a full stomach.  Because ours was a seafood dinner, we picked another signature dish of the restaurant - fish meat congee. Pinspotted Spinefoot Fish?? Excuse me, I really don't know the English name of 泥鯭 fish, so I looked it up in the internet.
Pinspotted Spinefoot Fish Meat Congee 果皮泥鯭粥

We got some dates pudding and fresh fruits at the end.  Comparing the normal menus with roast pig and chicken, our seafood dinner menu was relatively light and was just right. 

Kam Dou Kee Restaurant
Wanchai, Hong Kong

Private Room for Two Tables
HK$3,888 per table of 10, plus tea and service charge
Total: HK$4,430 (US$568) per table

Hong Kong Food Blog - Seafood Annual Dinner

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Seafood Dinner Special Price

I've mentioned in my blog that if you want to eat good things at good price, you can play around with date and time. Here's a good example.  The seafood dinner set below costs HK$398 per person Friday to Sunday.  However if you go on Monday through Thursday, it is sold at HK$198 per person.  Fair enough?

Sunday (Jan 17) is my friend's birthday.  She decided to have an early celebration in order to enjoy the special rate.  So we had it on Thursday (Jan 14).

The seafood set was served somewhat western style. i.e. Individual dishes were served to each person.  So we all ate our own dishes.  It was an eight course dinner, and on top we ordered the Chinese birthday buns.  Here's what we had.

Abalone with Mushroom - Al dente!  Ate with knife and fork.  Abalone is generally expensive.  In some cases, only the abalone will cost more than the entire set.  

Pan Fried King Prawn煎老虎蝦 
King Prawn is our favourite.  In the market there are always expensive prawns but not fresh enough.  But this one is very fresh and we all love it.

Soft Shell Crab 炸軟殼蟹

I usually don't eat crabs, because I don't know and don't want to struggle with the hard shell.  But this one is different - soft shell crab.  Something new to me, deep fried, a little spicy.  Well done!

Pan Fried Corn Fish Cake 粟米魚餅

In fact, this corn fish cake was the starter.  Crispy!

Veggie in Congee 粥水油麥菜

This is kind of new combination being invented recently.  Vegetables usually go with soup, but current trend is to go with congee.  We can even find some rice in it.  May be its consistency is slightly thicker than soup, hence creating a new feeling in the mouth.

Signature Fried Rice 招牌炒飯
Each of us had a little bowl of fried rice.  It was called signature fried rice, having egg white, vegetables and some minced meat in it.  Quite healthy.  Nice!

Old Fire Soup 老火湯, 粉葛陵魚

Cantonese is famous for Old Fire Soup.  Let me clarify.  'Old Fire' implies long hour cooking in Cantonese kitchens.  Verses 'quick boil', the soup is believed to be good for health and rich in flavour.  

Sweet Potato Soup 蕃薯糖水

The sweet potato was cooked to totally soft.  Together with some ginger juice in it, this dessert is very good to keep warm in cold weather.  And it is easy for home cooking.  Sometimes we make it at home too.

Birthday Bun 生日桃包

We paid this on top of the dinner set.  I thought it was HK$15 each.  Freshly steamed.  With some slight brush on, making the colour look good for the birthday person.  Very yummy!

Kam Dou Restaurant
Hong Kong
January 14, 2016 (Thursday)
HK$198 per person + tea and 10% service charge

Hong Kong Food Blog
Seafood Dinner Special