Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mid Autumn Festival Seafood Dinner

Mid Autumn Festival is approaching.  Due to various reasons, our family had an early bird festival dinner gathering. Being tired of set menus, we decided to go a la carte.  I suggested the 'star' restaurant that I went few months ago.  Its name is Star and its quality is also star-grade.  Although we shared the bill, I volunteered to sponsor seafoods, which all of us enjoy.

Prawns Baked in Broth 上湯焗海中蝦

Sea Garoupa (dual style) - Stir Fried Meat with Vegetables
大海班(花鬼) 兩味- 西蘭花炒球

This was the giant fish that I sponsored.  It was over 3 kilo costed HK$2,800 (contributing almost half of the entire bill).  In Hong Kong, value of a fish is primarily decided by the type of the fish and whether it is manually feed or free range from the sea.  This one was fresh from the sea and rather a rare breed, hence expensive.  I need to pre-order it.  Restaurant manager showed me a video of the swimming fish on the dinner afternoon for my approval before he actually sent the fish to the kitchen.

Professional eaters can always tell the difference between manually feed and free range sea fishes.  Nevertheless, my fish had everyone's thumb up!

Sea Garoupa (dual style) - Steamed Head and Bone
大海班(花鬼) 兩味- 蒸頭腩

After eating the meat, head and bone were never wasted. They were turned into another dish.  Ohh, the silky smooth fish skin was so yummy and al dente! Although we had to deal with the bones, we all appreciated the authenticity of simplicity.  Both dishes (stir fried and steamed) applied the most simple Cantonese cooking method to the highest standard and fully reflected the freshness of the fish.

Cantonese Old Fire Soup - Almond, Pig's Lung, Fish Maw, Chicken, Pork...
Very rich fragrance of almond.  The soup's main ingredient is pig's lung and almond, accompanied with plenty of delicious ingredients such as chicken, pork, fish maw...and so on.  After the soup was being served, the waiter brought to the table a dish of ingredients like the size of a small hill.  We all enjoyed choosing and picking whatever we loved. After all, the small hill only reduced about 20% in size.  Lucky that I was prepared.  I brought a big plastic box and took some left-over home.  Believe it or not, the 2nd-hand soup that I cooked with these same ingredients were equally yummy as what we had at the restaurant.  Finally I pulled the pork and made into porridge.  Thought next time I should bring two more boxes.

Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple 菠蘿生炒骨

This is a signature dish of the restaurant - almost appears on every table. I generally do not enjoy sweet and sour food, but this one is exception. Very yummy! I like the pineapples in particular.

Lotus Stewed with Pork Belly 蓮藕炆腩仔
It is quite a home-style dish.  It won't appear in any set menu.  It was only because we went on a ala carte that we can enjoy this yummy hot pot.  Although we can make it at home, but the taste here is outstandingly good.

Pan Fried Salty Chicken 輝哥煎咸雞

This recipe is invented by the chef master. There are many ways of cooking chicken, but stir fried is really new and unique.  All of us prefer this to steaming or deep frying.  Again, another signature that appears on almost every table.

Assorted Mushroom with Tofu 珍菌脆豆付
If you tried this dish the first time, you would want it the second time and so on. The restaurant has a quota to sell each night.  If you don't pre-order, there is no chance that you can enjoy this signature dish.  The two tofu in the size of a thick toast is filled with assorted mushrooms, served with delicious gravy.  The manager said due to the complicated cooking procedures, they can only sell six dishes every night.

Steamed Dry and Fresh Vegetable with Minced Pork 梅菜肉鬆蒸菜心

As I said, we were tired of the vegetables on the traditional set menus.  The manager recommended this, quite a fresh combination - dry and fresh vegetables steamed together with minced pork.  The salty dry veggie added extra fragrance and the dish itself was not oily at all, yummy and healthy!

Free Dessert

HK$6,514 (US$835) all inclusive for 16 persons.
We were offered the largest table good for 16 persons and we had a semi private dinning area as well.  All of us were extremely happy with the quality and quantity of the foods. After all, the waiters were friendly and provided very good services. 

Sing Kee Seafood Restaurant
3/F, The Phoenix, 23 Luard Road, Wanchai
Hong Kong
+852 2528-9028

Hong Kong Food Blog - Mid Autumn Seafood Dinner

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