Thursday, May 15, 2014

Innovative Ice Cream

Entrance to Lab Made Ice Cream
(the "fog" indicates the making of ice cream)

The "Chinese Beancurd Dessert" flavor ice cream

The "HK Crispy Toast" flavor ice cream

Restaurant Name : Lab Made Ice Cream
Location : 6 Brown Street, Tai Hang, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Rating : 3 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around HK $45 / serving

Summary : The experience of witnessing my ice cream being made-to-order was pretty neat; the flavors of the ice cream was unique and innovative, while the taste is sort of hit-or-miss...  

After our dinner at The Glasshouse, Annalala suggested that we have dessert at Lab Made Ice Cream in Tai Hang.  Since I've not yet ventured to the culinary hot spot of Tai Hang, I was eager to check out this dessert place, along with the neighborhood.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of small, quaint food joints dotted around the few streets

Hong Kong - Glasshouse

Potato croquettes with sea weed and 
scallop with sweet & sour mango sauce

Lime tempura smelt fish with spicy kimchi mayonnaise

Black cod baked in banana leave with green curry and pilaf rice

Organic whole wheat spaghetti with clam

Restaurant Name : The Glasshouse
Location : Shop 4009, Level 4, IFC Mall

Rating : 3 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around HK $300 (with alcoholic drink)

Summary : The outstanding factors of The Glasshouse was the ambience and the view of HK's Victoria Harbor.  The food was above average but did not have any "wow" factor.  

While browsing through articles related to Art Basel, I came across an article featuring a "Special Event" where the entire ICC building would become an art installation...  It sounded interesting enough, so I asked Annalala if she was interested in checking it out with me.

Since it had been raining quite heavily in HK during the week, Annalala and I decided that it was better to find a restaurant at the IFC that had indoor seating facing the harbor.  So, given these criteria, Annalala recommended The Glasshouse as an ideal location.  

The setting at The Glasshouse is quite inviting, with a BIG open space that is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows (hence the name...), and Annalala and I basically had the only 2 seats facing the Victoria Harbor ^_^  So, the view for watching the ICC art installation was perfect, although given the music inside The Glasshouse, we were not able to truly participate in the audio portion of the art installation... oh well...

Here is a picture of the ICC turning into a "light house" pulsating its beam throughout the entire HK...


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Taipei - Amazing night market noodles!!!

Side-walk entrance to the noodle shop

The AMAZINGLY delicious noodle!

Along with the SUPER delicious tofu!

Restaurant Name : 台南意麵
Location : 台北市大安區通化街夜市 (Taipei Tong-Hwa Street Night Market)

Rating : 4 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : around US$ 2 / person 

Summary :  This combo is a MUST-TRY!!!  The noodle is cooked to perfection and topped with just enough meat sauce and vegetable.  The tofu is also cooked to perfection, with a slightly fried layer of skin, while the inside is soft and silky.  Super Yum!  

Every time I am in Taipei, and have the chance to visit the vicinity of the Tong-Hwa Street Night Market, I will ALWAYS make a point to go to this shop and order the noodle and tofu combination!  

This is the ultimate comfort food!  

Even though I am now on a low-carb diet, where I basically avoid eating carb/starch in the evening (unless its carbs that's worth it!), I would break my own rule for a bowl of the amazingly delicious noodle!  Because this is DEFINITELY carbs that's totally worth it!!!  

The quality and taste of the noodle and tofu are so consistent that the taste has stayed the same since 2000, when I started frequenting this shop!

I love this place so much that I would recommend all my overseas friends who are visiting Taipei to go there and try it for themselves ^_^

Super YUM!!!

One suggestion, if you don't like too much MSG (like me), you can ask them to not put MSG in the noodle...  Although, without the MSG, the taste is slightly less tasty ^_*

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hong Kong - Cecconi's

Veal meatballs served on tomato with shaved Parmesan 
and celery heart salad

Spiced ash fried calamari with chili, lemon and aioli 

Fresh buffalo mozzarella with tomato, olive and basil bruschetta

Orecchiette with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe

Sesame and pepper seared tuna with a warm salad of 
scallops, peas and cherry tomatoes

Australian beef tenderloin with whole roasted portbello mushroom, 
crispy pancetta and wilted spinach 

Restaurant Name : Cecconi's 
Location : 43 Elgin Street, Soho, Hong Kong

Rating : 4 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around HKD$500 / person (3-course dinner with wine)

Summary : A cozy place worth visiting for its delicious flavorful dishes 

Taking advantage of a mid-week public holiday, I organized a small birthday celebration dinner for my good friend, Itai, and invited a couple more good friends, Elaine and Juliette.  All four of us are foodies, so the pressure was on for me to find a place that would fit the occasion.  And, we were definitely very satisfied with the overall dining experience at the end of the night.

While the overall dining experience was positive, there were a couple of downsides...  (1) the tables are too close to each other, so much so that it was difficult to get out of my seat...  (2) it was a bit difficult to catch the attention of the wait staff, even though we were waving our arms in the air...

Despite the above downsides, we had a great night catching up while enjoying our delicious food, and had many laughs over the stories shared at the table.

Cecconi's is definitely a place to re-visit, for its good food and relaxing atmosphere.  A suggestion would be to book a table by the sofa section, as there would be more room if you want / need to get out of your seat during dinner...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hong Kong - Shugetsu Ramen

Entrance of Shugetsu

Shugetsu Ramen with Traditional Soup (less oil option)

Restaurant Name : Shugetsu 
Location : Gough Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Rating : 2 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around HK $100

Summary : For a self-proclaimed ramen snob, while Shugetsu ramen is not the best I've ever had, I re-visit this ramen place regularly for its consistency.  The ramen has flavorful soup base (albeit a bit salty), nicely grilled pork, and well-cooked noodles 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Hong Kong - Shelter Lounge

Hanger steak with trio mustard

Restaurant Name : Shelter Lounge
Location : New Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Rating : 2 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around HK$ 300 / person (3 course dinner with non-alcoholic drinks)

Summary : Except for the pork belly, all other dishes were disappointing in terms of flavor and portion size (given that the concept is for sharing...)

After reading about Shelter Lounge, and the dishes on the website, I was looking forward to trying this place.  The first time Anna H. and I wanted to go there, the whole place was booked for a private party, so when Juliette and I finally got a reservation, I was very excited to try it.

When I arrived, the atmosphere was inviting, with a spacious ground floor, highish ceiling...  although the stair way leading to the 2nd floor was a bit confusing, cos it felt like I was going to a different building or something...  While it was comfortable to be sitting on sofa on the 2nd floor, it was kinda weird that we got seated upstairs while the entire 1st floor was empty...  

Anyway, while the dishes sounded delicious on the menu, when they arrived, I was very disappointed by the portion size, and further disappointed by the taste, or lack of...  We ordered 2 vegetable dishes and 2 meat dishes, and except for the pork belly dish, the others do not even deserve mentioning...  Then, we also ordered 2 desserts, and those were also very disappointing...

So, overall, I would not recommend Shelter Lounge...

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hong Kong - Cocotte

Steak Tatare

Diver Scallops

Truffle Spaghetti

L'Entrecote de Boeuf Race Waygu

Restaurant Name : Cocotte
Location : 9 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong

Rating : 3 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around HK $650 / person (3 course dinner with wine)

Summary : The appetizers and the steak were tasty, while the pasta was just OK...  The texture of the spaghetti actually tasted like instant noodles...

In late March 2014, Annalala and I have been thinking of trying out the list of new restaurants announced in the HK Tatlers, and we finally got the chance to try Cocotte in May 2014.

The atmosphere at Cocotte is too cozy (the space between tables are a bit tight...), with a long rectangular dining space that is dimly lit.  The flavour of the food was decent, though there were no real "wow" factors...  on top of that, the serving size for the appertizers were a bit on the smaller side... 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hong Kong - Hooked!

Blue Cod and Blue Nose

Steak and Kidney pie

Restaurant Name : Hooked Fish and Chips
Location : 80 Caine Road, Central, Hong Kong

Rating : 3 Marylicious Stars
Price Range : Around HK$ 70 / person

Summary : An authentic Kiwi fish'n'chips outlet with non-greasy fish fillets.  Recommendation is to get the Blue Cod fish fillet