Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back in Kushigin


Kushigin has always been pretty respectable for kushiyaki. The experience here has always been along the lines of 'not bad' rather than 'wow!'. Unlike Kazu which just does a better grill and has a larger variety on a menu that seems more interesting. Food at Kazu also tastes like it's a little bit more on the edge and they give the feel that they're a couple of steps up ahead of Kushigin. That applies even to the bill you're expected to pay at the end.

This place as I perceive it, has always been second fiddle. Little brother to the best. Which reminds me, it's been more than 2 years since I've visited big brother. Time to make plans soon.

Kushigin, otoshi

Kushigin, cuttlefish tentacles
deep fried cuttlefish legs

Kushigin, asparagus pork belly
pork wrapped asparagus

Kushigin, kurobuta shimeiji
kurobuta wrapped shimeiji

Kushigin, ankimo

Kushigin, reba
chicken livers

Kushigin, bacon oysters
bacon wrapped oysters

Kushigin, mentaiko cabbage
cabbages stir fried with mentaiko

Kushigin, yakitori
chicken skin and chicken gizzard 

 Kushigin, wagyu 
grilled wagyu

Friday, April 20, 2012

Crispy chicken breakfast from McD

This wasn't half as bad as I had thought, being a mass produced breakfast and all. There seemed to be a lot more of the liquid scrambled egg and this breakfast packed a lot more carbs with both muffins and hotcakes. The crispy chicken was unexpectedly juicy and didn't have an overly thick batter which would have really killed it. I guess if I ever had to choose between this and their Big Breakfast, this would definitely be it.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gerry's Grill, Cuppage Road

Get a load of those murals of aromatic char, scorched along the sides of the squid. These alone made it worth the wait at Gerry's Grill (Ground floor, StarHub Centre, 51 Cuppage Road, tel : +65 8348 7431). Dare I say that Gerry's here has one of the bigger and better tasting grilled squids in town. It's actually kind of sad for this country that attempts to compete for best aviation services and seaport logistics, while claiming to be first world and yet, created an socioeconomic climate where a affordable and delicious grill squid is a rarity. No need to go figure.

I would come back just to have these mouthfuls of sweet, char grilled and chewy goodness.

Their garlic rice was pretty decent. The flavors of the spice was not over the top and the rice was both light and moist.

Gerry's grilled pork belly was another one of those that shouldn't be passed up on. This was the porky and soy savory take of offerings from their char grills. The meat texture was hearty, doused with smokey flavors and fat on the belly that was slightly chewy. Nothing of those melt in your mouth nonsense here to be found in their down to earth grills.

Yes, these chicharron (deep fried pork rinds) were very good indeed. For something that was deep fried, it certainly tasted neither overly greasy nor heavy even without the vinegar dips. Each mouthful was full of crisp and fragrant porkiness. Needless to say, these would make excellent bar food.

As much as I like San Miguel Light for a light thirst quenching make believe that helps to wash off all that excess cholesterol, the green mango shake here was really a much better option. It was certainly also sweeter than the one at 7107, a place which also charged a lot more for food.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lau Dai Hua Minced Pork Noodles, Food Opera @ ION Orchard

I wonder if this has any relations with Tai Hwa down at Crawford Lane. The names sound almost alike and the noodles that both stalls used are remarkably similar in appearances. But then again, Tai Hwa still does claim that they do not have any other branches, don't they?

I think latter place has better texture for the noodles and there was vinegar going on where this one simply presented vinegar as an option you could help yourself with. This bowl wasn't cheap as ba chor mee goes, but it tasted pretty good and the larger sized orders are pretty generous. I liked the bits of dried sole they added to the wantons. And yes, soup with bits of minced meat on the side that I actually do bother to drink.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Re-visiting Pizzeria Mozza

I remember being quite impressed with Pizzeria Mozza from the first visit so here's a second one to reinforce that thought.

Their fried squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta were very good. While I had some idea how they might have tasted, I still ended up pretty impressed. Especially by the savoury and piping hot ricotta cheese. One has to be careful not to pop these things into your mouth too early.

Damn, these oven roasted calamari were fragrant. We picked them today because we remembered their smell from the last visit and they tasted as good as we had expected. Especially the charred bits. I'll be hard pressed not to want to order them again the next time.

I'm not complaining but I thought that the oven roasted bone marrow was quite heavy on the oils. Oil from the unctuous bone marrow and the butter soaked toast that they provided for accompaniment. Great stuff which I loved that had robust flavours. But I dread what it is doing to my arteries.

What drew me to Pizzeria Mozza's bianca with fontina, mozzarella, sottocenere & sage for me was mostly just the sottocenere. I hadn't known what to expect out of it but the truffle flavour from the cheese was a little too mild. The sage broke monotony, While it was a pretty decent pie, it was also quite a bit of nothing for what they were charging.

I was as impressed with the desserts this time round as the previous time. What I thought was great were the rich flavours from the dark chocolate sauce, fragrant caramel with almond brittle and the nice crumble base that was all caught up in the light banana gelato. What really left an impression were the quality of those flavours and the fact that amidst all of that, it was never at any point overly sweet.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

An obligatory shot of Tai Cheong's egg tart

Tai Cheong egg tart
The last time I had these was a couple of years or so ago when I had the luxury of having a friend waking up early to buy them for us for breakfast after a late night of drinks. This time round, we stumbled upon the bakery (35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, tel : +852 544 3475 ) whilst wandering a long Central. While this wasn't as amazing as many people have over hyped, it was a very very decent egg tart. It just didn't seem right that we would just walk past and not get one "for the road".

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

More airport food from Terminal 2, Hong Kong

These were the last meals we had before leaving. The top picture features char siew and siew yoke from the food court in the airport. My take on this is as before, never to knock on them until you've tried them. While it wasn't the best representative of roast meats and rice to be had, it wasn't shabby at all. One can see from looks alone that the fat is ready to dissolve once you popped the meat into the mouth. The crackling was a little below the usual expectations though. The roast goose was missing from the above because the stall had ran out of them for the day.

The below came about in the departure hall where there were more eateries and we were determined to have that last bite of roast goose before we left. This particular twin roast was from 正斗, where we got back the awesomely crispy cracking off the roast pork belly and also crispy fragrant skin from the roasted goose. It was a lot more expensive than the food court, but since it was the last time we'll be having some decent goose, I'm not gonna complain. I hear that they have a restaurant that have made it into the Michelin guide.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Triple-O's by White Spot @ Elements, Hong Kong

Triple-O's by White Spot
I had this out of curiosity. I've never had Triple-O's (Shop G004, G/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong) before so here's a roast beef sandwich which was not too bad for fast food if I might say. The last time I had one of these roast beef sandwich things from a fast food joint was Hardee's, back in probably the 80s?

The meat portions could certainly have been doubled and that would have made it borderline awesome. Still, I was pretty glad that they didn't over do the mayo and mustard on the inside and those buns that they used were pretty soft and airy that the sandwich didn't come across as heavy at all.

Spring Deer Restaurant (鹿鳴春), Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Spring Deer Restaurant, peking duck
This place (1/F, 42 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, tel : + 857 2366 4012 / 2366 5839) served the best Peking duck I've ever had. Bar none. Each morsel of meat was filled with juices from the bird and melted fat beneath the skin. The quality of the duck was hardly surprising since there was always the option of fresh meat supply. The wraps that were used here were like pita instead of the thin slices of skin that I was used to.

I think the pictures would suffice in doing the rest of the talking here.

Spring Deer Restaurant, peking duckSpring Deer Restaurant, peking duckSpring Deer Restaurant, egg white souffle
These deep fried egg white soufflé that they served for desserts were unfortunately somewhat of a bore. They were a little too dense and floury rather than fluffy and light. I recall the menu mentioning that they were suppose to have bananas in them, rather than just red bean paste.

Spring Deer Restaurant, Tsingtao
And possibly for posterity, this was the first time I have ever had Tsingtao. It's actually not to bad after all these years of imagining that it would taste exactly like Tiger.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Kimberley Chinese Restaurant (君怡閣), Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Kimberley Chinese Restaurant, suckling pig
This was a place (M/F, The Kimberley Hotel, 28 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, tel : + 857 2369 8212 / 2723 3888) which is suppose to be pretty well known for their glutinous rice stuffed suckling pig that each of those had to be pre-ordered at least a day before.

The crispy skinned pig laced with fat was pretty good there, but service in this restaurant sucks. There, I've said it.

I guess what was more memorable for me was the novelty of eating tiny slivers of meat peeled from the chopped up cranium. It felt like a barbarically natural act and yet there was also a lace of mildly repulsive fascination since I was really just pulling of skin and bits of flesh off a maimed face.

Kimberley Chinese Restaurant, suckling pig

Kung Woo Bean Products (公和荳品廠), Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

Kung Woo Bean Products (公和荳品廠), Sham Shui Po
In spite of sounding obvious, this place (G/F, 118 Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po) does sell bean based products which one can either purchase for home consumption freshly made and cooked items to be had in the premise of their shop. I hear that this particular stall has been around since the 60s.

Since the interior of the shop had already been filled to the brim, we had to settle for huddling along tables on the sides of the shop in the alley. There was a small plate of pan fried assorted tofu and tau huay and a some smokey scented soya bean drink. Was all pretty good stuff if one was into their bean based flavour. It helped as well that the turn over for food was pretty high judging by the unabating crowd and cooked food. I'm not sure if everyone could relate to this stuff but it was to me a taste of a time gone by. I'm not sure if this kind of quality can ever be found back home.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Wai Kee Noodle Cafe (維記咖啡粉麵 ), Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

Wai Kee Noodle Cafe (維記咖啡粉麵 ), Sham Shui Po
Here's a bowl of salt, cholesterol and fat for lunch in the form of pig liver and noodles with a couple of sliced and pan fried luncheon meat. This particular stall (G/F, 62 & 67 Fuk Wing Street / Shop D, G/F, 165-167 Pei Ho Street , Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, tel : +857 2387 6515) as I understand has been around for decades and is a haunt for locals.

Was there anything particularly mind blowing about it? No, there certainly wasn't. I think it'd be pretty unrealistic to expect any out of this world experience for food like that. The noodles were a little too soft for my liking as well. But it was a bowl of uncomplicated and pretty comforting food. And I did agree with the livers that were not overcooked and still tender. The livery and savory (if not visually too appealing) broth was surprisingly clean and tasty. Luncheon meat only made it better. Definitely would not mind re-visiting.

Wai Kee Noodle Cafe (維記咖啡粉麵 ), Sham Shui Po

Australia Dairy Company, Jordan, Hong Kong

Australia Dairy Company
We hit this place (47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, tel : +852 2730 1356) for a quick breakfast after hearing about their vibrantly sunny and fluffy scrambled eggs which was part of a breakfast set that could be had for HKD26.

Those nicely seasoned scrambled eggs they had were pretty damned good and definitely hit the spot for an morning empty stomach. If not for anything else, they (and the milk tea) were worth the trip. We were pretty fortunate to have arrived just before the queue started getting long. But it seemed that the turn over was pretty fast driven by the efficient floor staff managing orders, servings and seatings.

Australia Dairy Company, Jordan