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Pirata Hong Kong- Restaurant Week

August 4, 2017

The Flagship restaurant of the Pirata Group, Pirata didn’t leave much of an impression on me the first time I tried. In fact, it was placed in the “whatever” pile of Italian restaurants I may not ever visit again based on the fact that I didn’t remember much of anything that I tried.

This time around, Restaurant Week popped up and we decided to take another chance on it and give it a go. When we arrived at Pirata, we were 15 minutes early for our booking so they made me climb 2 flights up in 4 inch heels to sit at the bar that was outdoor with one fan, not a great start considering it was 35 degrees out.

Finally when they called us back down via an elevator (Why didn’t we just take it up?) we sat down and got greeted by an incredibly friendly waiter (shocking in Hong Kong) and he took us through our menu.

Before I get into my favourites, let me just say that Pirata was EXTREMELY generous with their Restaurant Week menu with each portion coming as full sized including the starters so it was technically a 7 course meal.

My standout dishes were the Mamma’s Meatballs, the Burrata Cheese Salad, The Parmesan Ravioli (I asked them for no beef) and the Orrecchiette with Sausage and N’duja. The desserts were alright nothing we haven’t tasted before and the mains were average as well but really worth it for the price of 398 per person. I went home in a #foodcoma but definitely had a #foodgasm.  I would suggest the next time around to go for the pastas plainly because this group has launched Pasta legends PICI and know their pastas pretty well.

Butter sage ravioli with goats cheese filling and shaved truffle. Endless courses at @piratahk my opinion has certainly changed of this fabulous place now one of my favourites. The things they can do to pasta baffles me, not to mention MAMA’S MEATBALLS.

PIATTI PICCOLI

Burrata Cheese (v)

Tomato, basil, rocket

And

M.M.M. (My Mamma’s Meatballs)

Pork, beef, egg, tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil

And

Arancini (v)

Acquerello rice, saffron, D.O.P Fontina cheese

PASTA

Orecchiette with Sausage and N’duja

Home made orecchiette, Italian sausage, spicy n’duja, cherry tomato

And

“Liquid” Parmesan Ravioloni with Truffle

Beef ragu, shaved truffle, parmesan cheese, butter, sage

PIATTI GRANDI (Please choose one of the below per person)

The Butchers’ Cut

Flank steak tagliata, rocket, cherry tomatoes

Or

Giant Tiger Prawns (2 Pieces)

Grilled prawns, salsa verde, garlic, parsley

Or

Eggplant Parmigiana (v)

Deep fried eggplant, tomatoes, D.O.P buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce, parmesan

DOLCI

Tiramisu

Traditional style with coffee, mascarpone, Marsala wine

Or

Panna Cotta

Home made raspberry coulis, fresh raspberry

 

Pirata: 239 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai

Spoon Rate:P8301YELP8301YELP8301YELP8301YEL/5

Dining Scene, Featured

Review: The Cheesecake Factory Hong Kong

May 12, 2017

Come on now, unless your living under a rock you would have heard that the Cheesecake Factory has opened it’s doors in Hong Kong, Harbour City. Rumour has it, it’s not doing so well in USA that it’s finally decided to expand into Asia (next stop Taipei!). Well good thing, the Cheesecake Factory corporates thought so because Asia is a whole new market… (just remember to bring stretchy pants.)

Continue Reading…

Dining Scene, Featured

My Spoon: Mother’s Day Guide 2017

May 11, 2017

It’s the day for mama’s to relax, unwind and get the daddies/kiddos to plan a whole day dedicated to how great you are. So mama’s it’s about time to start dropping hints where you want to go this Sunday, here’s my roundup for 2017:

 

1.  Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour Afternoon Tea

Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour is launching the Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea set for $498HKD (for 2 peeps) and rumour has it there’s a caricature artist that will be there to draw a portrait of you and your loved ones. Also momma’s you get a free upgrade to a gin & tonic if you feel like knocking back an afternoon tipple instead of tea. Tuck into the White Rabbit Cheesecake, Queen of Tarts and much more…

Book now by calling +852 2111 9449

Facebook event :https://www.facebook.com/events/117628968795681/ 

Shop B31A, First Basement Floor, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road, Central

2. Spasso

Mommas it’s time to saddle up your brunching gear and head over for a feast at Spasso this Sunday as the special “Mom-scato” cocktail is served! Special additions are added to the Spasso brunch for only $398HKD and you can opt for a free-flow option if you wish for only $168HKD. For those who want special mementos, there will be polaroid cameras for you to snap away and take home memories of your special day! 

Book now by calling +852 2730 8027 

www.divinogroup.com/restaurants/spasso/about-us/

Empire Centre, 68 Mody Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui East

3. The Kinnet

Healthy moms this one’s for you! The Kinnet is the ideal location for a healthy lunch or dinner with rejuvenated dishes bang on with flavours! Foodies and weight-watchers can refuel their body with the holistic wellness Kinnet provides. FYI each person who order’s the Mother’s Day menu receives a complimentary group class.

Book now by calling +852 3968 7600 

http://www.thekinnet.com

Hillier Building, 33 Hillier St, Sheung Wan

4. Seafood Room

Brunch with a view? Check! Seafood Room is launching an exclusive Momma’s Day brunch on May 13th & 14th from 12pm-3:30pm starting at $448 per person. Each mom will get a pink flower and a polaroid snap- not to mention bubbles that you can choose from three packages. Delicious! 

Book now by calling +852 3708 9668

26/F, Tower 535, 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

5. Mercato

The epitome of family-style meal is Mercato. On the 13th & 14th of May, Mercato will feature hearty Italian sharing plates for the entire family to dig into. With the classic Black Truffle Pizza and new sashimi & spring pea salad, mother’s day is bound to be a success. By the way, a little bird told me there’s going to be epic dessert selections… Brunch at 650HKD + 10%

Book now +852 3706 8567

www.mercato-international.com/

 8/F, California Tower, No.32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong
Dining Scene, Featured

Calling all Gin Fiends- Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour

April 21, 2017

Calling all the gin fiends to this incredible gin library called Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour with over 250 gins… if you’re smart enough to find it.

Ming Fat House (MFH) was established in 2014 by three young co-founders Jonathan, Shakib & Eric bringing the speakeasy concepts of Foxglove & Mrs Pound to Hong Kong and executing it the right way. Now the latest to the fictional love story, Dr Robben Fern’s Gin Parlour or Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour taking over the basement of the Landmark. You’ll see two doors on the right, one marked ‘Waiting Room’ and the other marked ‘Consulting Room’, I am not going to tell you how to get in- that’s a feat you have to face!

The concept is a fun speakeasy with Dr Fern who is an expert in botanicals prescribes gin and caffeine for ‘stress related symptoms!’Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour staff wear white coats and ask if you have an appointment which is super quirky!

 

Which door? Ill go sit in the waiting room. @drfernshk #ginparlour have you been yet?

The drinks: On the menu are Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour classic G&T’s however, you can choose from the mirror board near the bar for their daily cocktails that constantly change based on what the Doctor decides to pick up from the local farms for the day. My absolute favourite is the oriental cup- it’s a surprise in a tea cup!

The Food & Coffee: Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour provides plates of cheeses, charcuteries and cream cheese platters are available for snacking and their new afternoon tea is about to launch. There is a small selection of premium house spirits and wine if you are accompanying a friend who loves gin but you aren’t a fan. During daytime hours, Dr. Fern’s is great for a cuppa and a cake – so definitely drop by for your weekly appointments!

 Spoon Rate: 5/5
Dining Scene, Featured

Tokyolima: Peruvian Japanese

April 12, 2017
Those of you who have been to Pirata & the Optimist would have heard that the new shiny toy on the block is the newly opened izakaya, Tokyolima. 

This Peruvian-Japanese menu also can be called Nikkei, which is based on the marriage of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. Did you know the chef is from Chicha? Chef Arturo Melendez. So naturally, my expectations sky-rocketed when I found this out. Sadly, my experience was such a disappointment.

 


I am a frequent fan of Kyoto Joes, Wasabi Warriors, Monster Sushi so naturally I couldn’t wait to add another Japanese favourite to my list. In comparison, Tokyolima is the brand-new go to place with absolutely no substance.
The food was tasteless, the vegetarian sushi was just pickled raw veggies, the tuna sushi was bland and the idea of asking for wasabi 3 times to make the taste slightly bearable really tested my patience.
The chicken karaage was the only dish that saved the meal, as the meat was tender, soft and quite delicious. The cod was boring, been there and done that.
At $350 per person I’d say even that wasn’t worth that much. Sad times.

G/F, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace,
Central, Hong Kong

Tel: (+852) 2811 1152
E-Mail:
info@tokyolima.hk

SPOON RATE: P8301YEL/5

 

What did you think of Tokyolima? Tell me below! 

Dining Scene, Featured

Hakkasan – Shanghai

March 29, 2017

As a ‘half vegetarian’ / don’t eat shellfish- I never get to the dim sum that really counts. But, on our one year anniversary when we made our way to Shanghai and celebrated at Hakkasan, the dimsum gods were looking out for me.

 

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Hakkasan is a Chinese chain that has made a home in Shanghai via London. This is the latest branch of the chain which also is located in New York, Miami, Sanfran, Vegas, UAE and even Mumbai. The heart of the menu is Cantonese and features a fusion of Western ingredients such as pepper steak stir-fried with merlot. The space is so striking, it’s beautifully decorated with dim lights, intricate wood screens that create little nests and it’s a great venue for a late night vibe.

With the vegetarian dim sum platter, I tucked into morel crystal dumpling, steamed dumpling with autumn truffle, truffle pumpkin puff and cheese croquette. My favourite suprisingly was the truffle pumpkin puff- it was crunchy, sweet and dipped into chili soy hit all four check marks (salty, sweet, chili and tangy!).

Next up, the Hot and sour soup with chicken and shiitake which was just as filling and delicious- we chose this dish because it was like 4 degrees outside! Finally, the Crispy prawn with dried chilli and cashew nuts that K absolutely loved & Stir-fry Chilean seabass with Sichuan pepper sweet basil and spring onion. The Chilean seabass I enjoyed, thought it could have done with a bit more chili and a spice kick.

Hakkasan is housed in the beautiful Bund 18 building, i’d recommend a drink at Mrs & Mrs Bund and then head up to Hakkasan for a truly unique experience. (Try the Saketini for a cocktail at Hakkasan btw- I ended up having 3!).

 

Spoon Rate: P8301YELP8301YELP8301YELP8301YEL/5

Hakkasan Menu

Hakkasan Shanghai
Bund 18, 5/F 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu Shanghai 200002

Reservations
+86 21 6321 5888reservationsh@hakkasan.com

Brunch, Dining Scene, Drinks, Featured, Hong Kong

Ladies who Brunch: Beef & Liberty Brunch LKF

December 12, 2016

Hip, hip, hooray! There’s a new brunch game in town and i’m telling you what it’s all about as part of my ‘Ladies who Brunch’ series or aka LWB!

Three fistpumps for the meal not denting my wallet. Beef & Liberty has the best hamburgers in Hong Kong. Don’t try to dispute it or they will whip out their 3 year streak for being Michelin-recommended in your face.
Alongside with Mandarin Oriental award-winning Group Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky taking the lead in the kitchen, Beef & Liberty has enhanced their menu to a whole other level of deliciousness. (*cough* bring back the CHICKEN)

Beef & Liberty offers an ala carte brunch at their newest space in Lan Kwai Fong California Tower. If you feel like you need a glass of bubbly or three with a side of a strong bloody mary’s, yes you girls that need champagne- simply top up your free-flow options (2 hours) for an additional $178 which includes free flow beer, prosecco, bloody mary & wines.

We (K, Manisha & myself) kicked off our brunch at Beef & Liberty on a Saturday arvo with the infamous Eggs & Soldiers ($48). Now, when I say ‘infamous’ I say that because if you are an ‘instagrammer’ and don’t live in the dark ages… you would see photos of this dish floating around all the foodporn hashtags. The Eggs & Soldiers, is one of Chef Uwe’s specialities served in an egg crate with maple bacon, two crispy eggs and maldon sea salt with buttered bread. The bread is to dip into the crispy egg yolky centre, it’s a fun experience (and a great boomerang viddy) it’s frigging legendary.

The Beef & Liberty Avocado & Ricotta Toast ($78) with smashed avocado, homemade ricotta, parsley, extra virgin olive oil and toasted sourdough is an option for our vegetarian fiends/herbivores who crave a healthier option on a Saturday morning to wash down with prosecco. I absolutely loved this dish (blame the aussie in me), as soon as it arrived I squealed ‘AVO ON TOAST!’

 

The Beans & Liberty ($78) is a quirky dish served in a bean/soup Campbell’s CAN which is customised HtoT with Beef & Liberty branding. Therefore, it included instructions on how to tuck into it whole heartedly with steps 1-4. The dish consists of braised white beans, slow roasted pork shoulder, pork crackling served with a soft poached egg that needs to be mixed in before taking a spoonful.

If you aren’t counting calories, (calling all my Mac N Cheese lovers and skinny mamiis!) The Mac N’ Cheese Sandwich ($68) elbow pasta, Isle of Mull cheddar, Parmesan, chives, tomato, creme fraiche and bacon jam is a must. A twist on the classic Mac N’Cheese dish, Beef & Liberty takes it up on a notch with the crispy Parmesan crust that just gives you a foodgasm in the best kinda’ way.

Beef & Liberty
3/F, California Tower
30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central
Tel: +852 2450 5778
http://www.beef-liberty.com/hk/

Spoon Rate: P8301YELP8301YELP8301YELP8301YEL/5

Dining Scene, Featured

Iberico & Co – SoHo

December 7, 2016
I have passed Iberico & Co. many a time on my way home and yet, I have never really paid attention to it. It’s usually buzzing with expats spilling out into the streets sipping on beers & having a puff here and there. My hubby’s cousin was visiting and we were racking our brains as to where to take her that was reasonable yet, new & fresh. Finally, he said let’s hit up Iberico as we’ve always seen it but we’ve never been. And so, we landed up in SoHo at Iberico & Co, Kitchen and Bar as part of the Enoteca group.
iberico3

The space was massive (by HK standards) once you explore inside. Obviously I had no idea previously as I only ever peered inside…

The appointment of Consultant Chef David Tamlyn, who trained under Marco Pierre White (gasp!) was working in Michelin starred restaurants such as The Square in London. Trust me, Iberico & Co. is not just another Spanish restaurant, we stumbled upon a gold mine of the best Mediterranean/Spanish cuisines in the city.

I definitely recommend trying their selection of Sangria, available in 12 different flavours and combinations it’s not to be missed. We loved the Triple cooked patatas bravas with garlic aoili & ham dust ($79) & the signature Pan Fried Spicy Chorizo ($97). We skipped the starters/salads and went straight for the small plates similar to the sizes they serve at Enoteca & Cicada. My highlights of the night was the Ceviche of Tuna, Chili, Lime, Coriander in apple wood smoke served in a mason jar ($98) along with the Iberico & Co Paella Spicy Chorizo & Chicken ($294).

iberico1

Not one dish made us regret our choice and I wish we had more space to try more, unfortunately we were beyond full. I’ll definitely be back to try more of their incredible menu.. this place is underrated and deserves a gold star!

http://www.enotecagroup.com/iberico-soho/

Iberico & Co. G/F, 18 Shelley’s Street, Central

2752 8811

Spoon Rate: P8301YELP8301YELP8301YELP8301YELP8301YEL/5
Dining Scene, Featured

Harlan Goldstein’s Ee Da Le- Review

October 27, 2016

As many of you must have heard thanks to SCMP, Harlan Goldstein has bailed on his hyped up four venue venture citing ‘health reasons’. I don’t buy it, something doesn’t seem right. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of some of his concepts..just his departure seemed shady. Hence, my weariness when my best friend’s boyfriend suggested we go to Ee Da Le to surprise her for her birthday. I love V, therefore her birthday needs to be perfect (me & my bestie are both big birthday people!).

Ee Da Le

The first of the four openings is Ee Da Le, which is also the Canto pronunciation of Italy. The restaurant serves up a rustic Italian cuisine with a funky setting made up of over-bright mediterranean style tiles and opera inspired lampshades. I didn’t really prefer the ambiance to be honest, so already panic set in as I was eagerly waiting for V to walk into the restaurant and yell ‘ SURPRISE! ‘

Ee Da Le

When she did enter, and all the grinning and ‘OMG seriously?’ was over, we were absolutely starving. We tucked into the Caprese burrata, which I quite liked and it’s also V’s favourite thing to order at any place we dine at. The Caprese ($148) creamy mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes were ordinary but the wholegrain mustard on top of the burrata was the winner for me – a quaint little twist to make ordinary into vibrant.

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Even though Harlan Goldstein is no longer part Ee Da Le, I have to say, the pastas & meats surprised me – actually more like shocked me.. in a positive way! We dived into the Pappardelle ($188) Wild Forest Mushrooms, Pancetta, Smoked Egg & Grated Pecorino which was memorable along with the Macaroni Air-Dried Pasta ($258) Italian Mac & Cheese, Sausage & Parmigiano Crumbs. This was by far my favourite dish to the point where I refused to share it with the hubby or V. The most forgettable dish was the Black Truffle Risotto ($188) Wild Forest Mushrooms, Black Truffle, Rocket and Cheese. It was bland, boring and slightly watery…not recommended.

hedlf_19jul16_0393-1400-1-752x501

Finally, the boys had to have their usual steaks and shared the 12oz Bistecca Wet-Aged Rib Eye Steak, Salsa Rossa, Arugula and Balsamic ($380). They were ‘oooohing and aaahiing’ at this steak and making noises that frankly- disturbed me. Alas, I gave in (for those who don’t know I am not a beef-eater) and had a bite..then had another.. I got what the fuss was about. I suggest you give it go as dunk it into the sauce and garlic cloves provided.

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The bill for the four of us came to $600HKD each included 2 bottles of wine. Cheaper than Carbone & Mercato but there are a few misses. It’s great to see a good Italian spot come to life in Hong Kong’s heart of Central, drop in & of course next time let me know how the desserts are below.

 

Ee Da Le

MENU HERE

3/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace
Central
Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2896 1838

www.eedale.hk

 

Spoon Rate: P8301YELP8301YELP8301YEL

(Apologies for no original photos, these are taken from the Ee Da Le FB & website.)

Dining Scene, Featured

Taco Chaca Mexican : Sai Ying Pun Hong Kong

October 24, 2016

Taco Chaca is my go-to Mexican laid-back joint, seating is limited at it’s new Sai Ying Pun venue with only a few tables. You may have heard of Taco Chaca from the Taco Cleanse that was all the fad in the beginning of the year.. not really my style though. The atmosphere at Taco Chaca feels like you have found a local Mexican joint in downtown L.A, there’s a bicycle hanging from one of the walls and a neon sign representing Taco Chaca. There’s a shelf next to the cashier laying out all the exciting spicy sauces and condiments for your meal.

taco1

Taco Chaca’s food is vegetarian friendly as well as having the Mexican meats as stars such as Chorizo fillings, beef etc.. my favorite dish to order is the Vegetarian Burrito with romaine lettuce, refried beans, goat’s cheese, sauteed mushrooms & spicy salsa ($68HKD) (stomach growling right about now thanks to my lunch of only oatmeal!).

The other dish the hubby must have is the Chorizo Quesadillas with Chorizo, melted mixed cheese, salsa picante, pico de gallo (68HKD). PS: you can ask for extra spicy if you are into that kinda of picante.. 

The food at Taco Chaca is simple, yet surprisingly flavourful. Fun & cheesy names take over the board to describe the delicious burritos & tacos you could get like ‘Dodger Stadium Taco’ Thin Sliced USDA Rib-Eye Beef, Sauteed Onions, Romaine Lettuce, Chipotle Aoili & Matured Cheddar Taco ($35HKD) or ‘Papa Al Horno Fries’ Bacon Bits, Carmelized Onions, Sour Cream, Melted Mix Cheese, & Sliced Jalapenos ($98HKD).

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Food is chosen from the big board on the wall, then ordered and paid for at the cashier.. I highly recommend The Baja fish tacos, filled with lightly battered chunks of halibut, coriander, shredded cabbage and salsa were also beautifully lip-smacking and tender.

 dodger-stadium-taco_0

FYI, this is by far my favourite Mexican outlet in Hong Kong (there I said it!)

Spoon Rate: P8301YELP8301YELP8301YELP8301YELP8301YEL 

G/F, 119 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

+852 2559 9519

 

https://www.facebook.com/tacochaca/