目前日期文章:200506 (15)

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Dreading the crowds at Stanley for dragon boat racing, we decided to stay in town for a leisurely lunch on Dragon's Boat Festival. The Folks comes highly recommended by my friend, who just went there the past weekend and was raving non-stop about it.



The Folks occupies the top floor of Coda Plaza, which has now become a quasi shopping mall for the nearby expats with a number of restaurants, facial salons, and food deli moving in (il Bel Paese, Hitakacho, Lulu, Cotton House etc to name a few). Tastefully decorated with Chinese dark wood furniture, The Folks has a panaromic view overlooking the nearby Hong Kong Park and Victoria Harbour. Even though we arrived at two, the place was still bustling with both local and expat patrons.

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A couple of people have been recommending Café O to me as an alternative to The Flying Pan, but I have been hesitant to visit every time I walked past its Arbuthnot Road outlet. Somehow, I just couldn’t associate a relaxed brunch with the high, uncomfortable stools I see inside the shop. Finally decided to try it out one lazy Saturday afternoon when my friend mentioned Café O has opened a new branch in Sheung Wan.



This Café O occupies the ground and first floor of a hip service apartment block close to the Sheung Wan MTR station – settling in comfortably amongst the surrounding mom and pop stores 

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After our recent Sai Kung outing (see the Chuen Kee entry by HKFoodie) in the pouring rain, a few of us had been craving for good seafood ever since. So I did some rummaging online, and unearthed this gem in Causeway Bay – Yuet Wah Hui Seafood Restaurant. And I'm happy to say, we all came out of the restaurant satisfied and eager for the next visit.




On the outside, the restaurant looked plain and annoymous, the same could be said for the inside - there were only around ten tables and decoration was simple and bare. Arriving on a rainy Wednesday night, we were surpirsed the place was already filled up and glad that I decided to make a booking in the end. Was slightly worried, by the looks of the place and the clientele, that the food may turn out to be so-so, but doubts were quickly put off when my friends raved about the small complimentary dish of honeyed walnuts with seasame seeds, which they quickly cleaned out saying it's very fresh and crunchy tasting. (I don't like walnuts so didn't try it). While they were pigging out, I did the ordering, rattling off a list of signature food items I collected from reading other people's food reviews.

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It was pouring cats and dogs today when I woke up, so I called up the stables to check on the conditions in Fan Ling... as it turned out, lessons were still on, as it will be in the covered home paddock. So i forced myself out of bed, hurriedly packed everything and lugged my backpack off to Fan Ling for my riding lesson... 

When I signed in, I noticed that instead of Speedster, which my instructor loves to put me on and that I always have a hard time controlling, I was on the Star Warrior (A271 星運猛將) today... was actually rather excited about trying a new horse...  here's a pic of the horse on his last race before retiring... very handsome looking and striking! (yes am talking about the horse NOT the jockey)



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While I could probably go on and on about the fabulous food we had in Korea, decided to splash all the remainder out in this one entry, in case people get bored of this endless Seoul series. 





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Plusses:
- Comfy and huge rooms (and slippers)
- Spectacular view from the bathroom
- Service impeccable, and concierge knowledgeable and more importantly helpful. My friend once, in his rushed travelling, got them to get two bottles of kaya spread, one each from Killiney's and Ah Yun, on very short notice! (PS Thanks, that was very kind of you~)

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My colleague passed me this brightly colored leaflet the other day introducing a new soup delivery service in Central called Soup Sense. This came at just the right time as I was on the verge of collapsing from an overdose on Canteen (try 3 meals a day at least 5 times a week). Checked out their website (http://www.soupsense.com/eng/index.aspx), and was tempted by the selection of colorful and wholesome looking soup choices on offer. The emphasis was on hearty, home-cooking style and nutritional lunch with no MSG (yah!)

    Choice of soup         +       Steamed rice    OR       Italian bread      +    Fruit cup            = HK$68
   +      OR      +    


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Ever since Eating Plus was forced out of IFC from the high rent, we have been eagerly awaiting for its replacement - Union Bar and Grille of the Dan Ryan's Group - to begin operations. Was disappointed on my recent visits (both lunch & dinner) - and to summarise as my friend appropriately put it - a total replica of Dan Ryan's, coupled with a lack of character and much reduced menu. Because there wasn't much to try out, this is just a brief quickie review...

While Dan Ryan's takes its inspiration from a 1940's Chicago bar and Grille, with lots of memorabilia reminiscent of the "vintage Chicago night life (whatever that is), we couldn't really decipher what Union is meant to depict - The Union Square? Apparently - it's trying to recreate the MPD of New York - yup, the Meat Packing District! I could never have guessed in a million years~ although I do adore the candle lamps hanging low from the ceiling and the comfy leather chairs.



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It is notoriously difficult to get a booking for Lei Garden's IFC branch- weekdays weekend lunch or dinner. I know someone who actually block-booked a table for lunch for a whole week two months in advance in order to secure seats. In spite of the complaints that one hear about the place - saying the service was rude, the quality fluctuates tremendously day by day, and that it always run out of food listed on the menu (Once I went for dinner and of the 10 boiled soup, only 1 was available) - the masses just keep revisiting. Went there recently for lunch (two days in a row actually~ see how thorough we are!!!) to check it out to see if it is worth all the fuss.




As there were 8 of us, we ordered a wide variety of dishes from the dim sum sheet, in addition to a rice and a noodle dish to share. In general, we were impressed with the quality, as the food tasted as if it was freshly prepared rather than re-heated. I particularly enjoyed the pan-fried turnip cakes, which not only was fried to perfection, but was full of bits and pieces of fillings, which is becoming a rarity these days.

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Yes I confess, even for games, I somehow manage to steer myself towards those on food... here's two that I have enjoyed tremendously. (Click on the picture to launch the game)



"Cha Chan Tang" - Hong Kong style cafe

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When we first heard Illy opened a restaurant outlet in Lan Kwai Fong Tower, the latest foodie building in Central, we thought this was going to be a styled like a cafe, serving mainly cakes & snacks with coffee, like the ones we have tried abroad.



We quickly realised how wrong the assumption was when stepping into the restaurant for the first time - the place was set out in three distinct zones, a loung area with comfy sofas next to the windows, the sleek bar section with racks of alcohol placed behind it, and an enclaved proper sit-down area. Weather permitting, we were seated in the small balconey that overlooks the busy streets of LKF. Must say that while appreciating the rare outdoor experience in LKF, I'd very much prefer the terrace at FINDS, the Scandinavian restaurant a floor above, which was much more open and comfy. Here, it felt a bit awkward being right on top of the staircase leading down from Wyndham Street.

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Was cleaning up my gmail account when I notice the following email from a "Wu Chong"~ while the name didn't register in my brain, I assumed this was from a real person and started reading it and discovered it was another con email and decided to expose him~ if you are reading this, Wu Chong (I suspect this is not your real name anyway) by chance, I know that I am no longer considered young, but am not old enough to be an aunt, ok? That obviously ticked me off...

I wonder what would happen if I indeed email him asking how I could pay that USD$60~ but really, I couldn't be bothered...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Wu Chong <<a href="mailto:WuC@ocbc.com.sg">WuC@ocbc.com.sg>
Date: May 18, 2005 2:58 PM
Subject: Thank you for the wreaths

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Londoners would remember Vingt-Quartre on Fulham Road, a fave late night haunt esp for those of us who live around the area, as it was opened 24/7 and more importantly, was one of the very few places in London that served Banoffee Pie (and really good one as well)... close to the K bar, many minor celebrities & royalties also frequented the cafe, including Prince Charming Harry. Here in Hong Kong, unless one is up for some Tsui Wah, kebabs and the hot dog stand close to the escalator have always been the only alternatives. Good news is, recently, two 24/7 cafes have opened near LKF, Cafe O close to Backroom, and also The Flying Pan on Old Bailey. I dropped by for a visit this past sunny Sunday to try out their all day breakfast.



Got a bit worried when I saw groups of people gathering round outside the busy diner waiting for tables. Luckily, the hostess quickly seated us at the bar, while the bigger groups had to wait for another ten to twenty minutes, as the whole place could only seat around 50 at most. As one would expect, various combinations of breakfast food items like ham, bacon, eggs, and sausages dominated the menu, in addition to omelettes and steak varieties.

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Samwon Garden @ Decadent livin'


Our kind hosts, the newly wedded couple, brought us to a traditional Korean BBQ restaurant, Samwon Garden, famous for its Kalbi dishes (barbequed short ribs), on the last day of our Seoul trip~ this was probably the most unforgettable meal of our trip.

As it was Parents’ day in Korea (the convenient combination of Mother’s Day & Father’s Day), there was a 25-minute wait before we were seated, in spite of the restaurant being one of the largest of its kind in Korea, with seating capacity of 1,200. Oh an interesting tidbit - the owners of Samwon Garden are parents of Grace Park, the renowned Korean golfer. Whenever she wins a championship, the Parks would give a generous 50% discount for all customers~ so make sure you time your visit right to enjoy this great bargain.


Samwon Garden @ Decadent livin'


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NEWS FLASH~ Update on June 3~ For those interested, I got progressively MAD at the way I was treated by the custsomer services desk, and started calling my friends who have mastered the art of complaining asking for advice. In fact, one claimed he has gotten three free flights and numerous upgrades from this airline in the past by complaining at every single inconvenience. Anyway, to cut a long story short, today when they called me back and told me they're sorry about the incident and that it was very rare that it would occur WITHOUT offering any compensation, I got on the offensive and attacked them for the injustice and how unacceptable it was that someone else who went through exactly the same thing as I did and screamed at them afterwards managed to get an upgrade voucher. Finally they succumbed  and gave me the same thing... although keen to highlight that this is an exceptional situation. Cannot believe these people. Am seriously thinking my efforts at trying to renew my silver membership are really worthless. Am happy nonetheless with the voucher  Just proves that being "mean" has its advantages...



See below for original blog...

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