Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dacha, Hollywood Road, Central

Yes we had Eastern European food in Hong Kong. Possibly the one and only Eastern European restaurant/bar in the country. Dacha's (G/F, 38-40 Hollywood Road, Central, tel : +852 2420 3555) menu as the hostess asserted, has a little from Ukrainian, Russian, Georgian, Polish and Romanian cuisine.

We were served some dark rye bread with lard.

And sipped kvas while waiting for the food. This kvas was actually very good drinking. I dare say that it was as good or even more enjoyable than the one from Beerfest. At least it was for me that got another bottle.

The first cold starter was shuba, or also known as "herring under a fur coat". This was layered pickled herring, beetroot, carrot and potatoes with chopped eggs. Flavoured with a bit of dill and what appeared to be salmon roe. This was quite delicious.

Then came the killer khachapuri - a Georgian dish of cheese filled bread in the shape of a boat. Killer because it was very tasty and it also killed us with the portions. As a warm starter item, it could have easily fed four. According to our favourite crowdsourced internet encyclopedia, this was an Adjarian variety served with a pat of butter and raw egg. The bread appeared fresh out of the oven, was piping hot, soft and had a nice crust.

We had an order of gołąbki. It was okay. I'm not getting a defining texture from the stuffings. The rice and the meat weren't separately identifiable and the a bit of salt was in order. I thought that the one from After The Tears were tastier.

Then came what I guessed to be an Uzbekistan lamb plov - a pilaf like dish with what the menu described as "Caucasian spices". No idea what those were. The flavours were Indian/Middle Eastern-ish. Rice was a little sticky but not as much as the glutinous variety. There were delicious little chunks of charred lamb in the rice. This plate was on hindsight, a shocking kind of tasty. We were already pretty stuffed at this point and I found myself spooning mouthful after mouthful till the plate was empty. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

A quick lunch at 連和燒味餐廳

As said, a quick lunch shortly after checking into the hotel. We've bought some roasted pork from this shop (222 Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Prince Edward, tel : +852 2390 3218) before and remembered them being pretty good. As much as I would prefer not to compare, this wasn't Yat Lok. They were also not as expensive. It was decent and delicious enough though for a quick fix of roasted goose and pork with rice. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Revisiting Nalan Restaurant

We were in the vicinity and Indian vegetarian sounded good. Sounded like it would be a happy meal so Nalan it was.

This was their South Indian meal. Same but different from the other South Indian meals because it's a similar configuration with slightly different dishes. We got accompanying sambar, rasam, curd, some tomato based thingy and kheer. Their vegetable dishes on the side were delicious. I'll leave the description as that because it's never easy nor accurate with the usual array of adjectives. There are simply too many flavours going on.

Here's a tip. Mash some of the curd into the rice. Swipe in a small amount of the achar and mix before eating. The curd mellows the sharpness from the pickles and the pickles enhances the curd.

We had an order of dal pancharatan. A dal curry/stew made with five types of lentils. There was even finely slice bits of green chilli in there. I thought the taste was good. The only thing I disliked were the bits of coriander in the dal. But it wasn't excessive so I could overlook them.

Some cheese naan to mop up the dal. These were not bad. The cheese stuffing was oozy and salty.

Here's a serving of their carrot halwa for sweets. It was served piping hot. Like most of the other Indian desserts that's made with ghee, milk and sugar - it had a very familiar flavour profile. The buttery milky sweet profile. That and the scent of cardamom with the bit of tart sweetness from raisins. Yes, it's called carrot halwa because it is made with mostly carrots. This stuff was soaked with ghee.

Because we already had gheer and the halwa, some sugarless masala tea was in order to wash the meal down.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Clearly, these are tea

I first found out about these Premium Morning Tea a few months ago from a couple of friends who had posted pictures of them. I was curious but never actively sought them out figuring that I'll probably stumble upon them someday. True enough, I came across them by chance at Fairprice Finest and decided to see if they were any good. They tasted exactly like what their labels said. Bottled milk tea and lemon tea. 

Suntory has spilled the beans on how these were made and as I had suspected, there would be elements of the flavours missing through the process they had used to make these transparent drinks - be it from the milk or the tea. I don't drink these enough for that to be an issue though. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Moc Quan, UE Square

We've seen Moc Quan (#01-23 UE Square, 81 Clemenceau Avenue, tel : +65 6736 0123) around almost every single time we're in the vicinity for quite a bit. While I've been curious, we never got around to visiting until today. If I had to describe it in a few words, it's luxed up Vietnamese street food. There you go.

Sipped on what the menu called ya ua. Tasted like the sữa hột gà. Contained yoghurt, lime and condensed milk. Sounded fun but the drink was quite diluted. I was hoping that it would be richer.

The goi cuon was for comparison and we generally liked them anyway. These were thicker and larger than previous summer rolls we've had. 

That's their goi du du with beef jerky. I didn't really like this much because of the dressing they had used. I don't know what those flavours were and there was even some Sriracha drizzled over the top. Very much preferred the cleaner tasting rendition that Mrs Pho had.

Being luxed up also meant that they had a com tam with grilled Kurobuta pork. The meat had a good char and the sweet sauce on them was delicious.

In our opinion, their pho gau was pretty good. The beefy broth was mostly savoury with a light hint of sweetness. Briskets were fatty and tender.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pastaria Abate, Craig Road

Perbacco has closed. #sad. It seems that in return, Craig Road has been left with a recently opened Pastaria Abate (43 Craig Road, tel : +65 6909 0672); a frills free family run Italian restaurant where prices are kept low and much pasta is fresh and made in house. There is no table service; one helps themselves to the necessary cutlery and condiments and food is likewise self collected when the buzzer goes off.

According to the owners, wine drunk at Italian homes is normally in drinking glasses and not wine glasses. So wine is served in drinking glasses here. Part of their home/casual dining theme that's the style they're going for. I thought this was a smart way to keep cost and labour down as well.

We had a half portioned cold cut board. Salami, coppa and prosciutto that came with some obligatory salad and dry crispy bread. I could have sworn tasting nutmeg in their salami.

There's fried mozzarella on the menu. They're served with a strawberry sauce. Ask for more sauce.

One of the pasta specials was tagliatelle with porcini and white truffle. It's less than $19 so no, none of that shaven stuff here. What form did that white truffle come in you might wonder? The answer is in the first picture in the post. But importantly, this pasta was pretty good. I'm encouraged to come back and try the others.

There was something called Martini grilled pork on menu as well. I loved this. That Martini sauce they used made this remind me of ba kwa, char siew or even a Barolo wine reduction. Yes, it would be one of those caramel-y sweet flavour profile which works with meat. I'd eat this again.