目前日期文章:200507 (11)

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Somehow I always assumed that Tapas Bar would be situated on the top floor of Kowloon Shangri-la, as people keep mentioning its gorgeous night view. Imagine my surprise when I realised it was located close to the lobby on the ground floor. The place had a chic, modern feel to it, with wine bottles filing up one side of the wall, the open-style kitchen at one end, and the bar at the other end. For those in search of a view you would not be disappointed by the full-length glass windows which give you an unobstructed panaromic view of the georgeous Victoria Harbour. 

Tapas Bar specialises in New World wines and what else, tapas - we had a special treat the night of our visit, as it was doing a promotion on Aussie oysters and wine for the month of June. We took on the waitress' expert advice and ordered a few different oysters to try out with our refreshing white wine.

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That fateful morning, we were heading for the DMZ tour all the way at the border - our dear friend YS decided to swing by to give us a ride to the meeting point @ Lotte Hotel across the river, in spite of him having only landed in Incheon two hours earlier from his week-long US business trip.

Because we were out till late (or early morn could be more appropriate) the day before, everyone was totally knackered and took longer than one should in getting ready. This meant we only had 20 min to get to a place on a car journey that normally takes 45 min. Knowing that we had each forked out US$65 for the trip, YS decided to risk it all and was driving, should we say, in a similar manner to what you see in the latest canto-movie, Initial-D.

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Craving for some pho the other night, we decided to have Vietnamese for dinner last Friday. Since we were catching a late night movie at IFC, our restaurant choice was restricted to the Central area. The options as we realised were extremely limited- with Song being too far away and Na Trang not suited for a long relaxing dinner, we settled on an old fave- Indochine in California Tower.

It's been a while since my last visit, my first impression when walking in was that while it looked broadly the same as before, the place was a bit worn down. It was also unnecessarily ill lit up (reason for the horrible and few pics here) ... Sorry but the rattan chairs really did not evoke a romantic feeling, if that'hs what was intended. Another discomforting sign was that the place was swamped with Westerners... Makes one wonder whether the cuisine was authenic or not.

While waiting for my friends, I nibbled on the prawn crackers, which were crispy and fresh, alleviating some of my concern.

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My friend has been raving about this little gem in SoHo for a while, but only managed a visit recently when looking for a quick bite before movie the other night. Tuk-Tuk Thai is located close to the Central wet market, and is a stone’s throw from Mizu, with little signage, it is easy to miss.

We warmed to the place immediately when we entered, with simple and rustic furniture and sparsely decorated, the place was welcoming and cosy like a friend’s apartment. The waitresses were all Thai-looking, which is always a positive, although the clientele was predominantly foreigners, which was a tiny warning signal to us. We were skeptical to the notice that said "No MSG!" on the front window, but settled in quickly.

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While a freshly prepared and cooked dinner waiting at home upon your return from work sounds enticing, more often then not, eating out is a more practical alternative for most people these days. However, good and affordable restaurants are in general hard to find, and while I adore the street vendors one sees in abundance on the streets in Taipei, sometimes I do prefer a proper sit-down meal in an air-conditioned environment. Found a street that specializes in this type of restaurants on my recent visit to Taipei.

One is greeted with an enormous selection of dishes upon entering 小李子 "Little Lee" (Direct English translation). Every dish is on display, and when you see something to your fancy, you can order with the waiter standing right behind the counter and collect your dish from him immediately.

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Here's an entry from the previous food blog that HKFoodie and I started... glimpsed through it and seems most of the suggestions remain appropriate for this summer. Take advantage of the fantabulous weather that has re-emerged recently!

@ the beach... in HK August 23, 2004

With summer flying by and gloom weather abound... here's a selection of restaurant/ food suggestions for when your stomach starts grumbling while lazing around various beaches in HK...

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Enjoying a budget dinner in Central sounds like an oxymoron - especially around the IFC/ LKF area. Am determined to seek out all the resonably priced restaurants that serve good food within the Central region for our late night dining purposes. Am happy to say HKUAA proves to be one of the rare few that's left standing. HKUAA stands for Hong Kong University Alumni Association, and is meant to serve as a meeting place and gathering point for the alumni of HKU. This place has been in existence for the longest time, but never gathered momentum until last year, when it managed to poach the second-in-command of Luk Yu Tea House over as its head chef. Since, it has been serving the latter's signature dish at a discount, and was an instant success overnight. Even the real alumni couldn't manage a reservation. Rumour has it that earlier this year, that chef left and the standard plummeted, so it is much easier to get a place now. Given I am a fan of Luk Yu, I decided to try it out for a recent friends' gathering to compare the two.

And the answer to your most obvious question is no, you do not need to be an alumni or to have a membership card to dine here. In fact, no one ever asked me for any details when I made the reservation.

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After a deeply satisfying local dinner, my aunt recommended heading over to the nearby Raoho Street night market for an after meal stroll. If it were't for the fact that we were totally stuffed from dinner, I'd probably be able to give you a more personal view of the vast variety of local snacks on offer at the night market. Now, there's only a pictorial account, which I still find highly fascinating~ (hope you do too)

Located behind Sungshan Train Station, Raoho Street Night Market is one of the more famous ones located in Taipei, and is home to over 700 street vendors. We arrived at around nine, and even thought it was a Monday night, the place was still bustling with people. I used to think that night market visits are only for tourists, but the locals outnumbered the foreigners this particular weeknight. We were totally awed by the interesting food stuff on offer - although I have no clue what half of the dishes are! Will add in random comments here and there~

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Since my going to Taipei was a bit of a late notice, Sherwood cramped me in one of the smaller corner rooms this time round.... normally the rooms are more spacious than what you see.

+ Centrally located

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Was in Taipei recently for work, and when we heard how awful the catering was at the hotel, we decided to sneak out for lunch in between the all day meetings. Knowing how much my overseas colleagues love wonton and dumpling, we hailed a taxi for Din Tai Fung.

With its immense success with both locals and foreigners, Din Tai Fung has expanded to two branches within Taipei, and many more overseas, including Singapore, HK, and Japan. Having only ever visited the original store, we headed for the new one on the busy Zhongxiao East Road. Arriving at twelve thirty on a weekday, we saw a queue of office workers forming outside the place already. There were more than fifteen tables ahead of us, but because of the quick turnaround, the hostess mentioned the wait would only be twenty minutes. We began ordering while waiting, making efficient use of our time.

As promised after 15 minutes, it was finally our turn. Upon entering the restaurant, one is greeted by the amazing sight of thirty-odd people cladded all in white busy making Din Tai Fung's renowned dumplings behind a huge glass window. Some were in charge of rolling out the dough, while others were busy filling up the steamers. Personally I prefer the original store where one actually walk directly pass the kitchen area, brushing shoulders with the chefs busy at work, with an up close and personal view of the whole process, before heading upstairs to the seat down area. Guess this is the less hygienic version.

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One late Friday evening with no particular destination in mind, we drove aimlessly past the cross harbour tunnel in search of dinner. Being a bit more adventurous, we headed all the way to Sha Tin for Lung Wah and its famous pigeons. (see my friend with her flying pigeon below!)

Those that are from HK will most likely have been to Lung Hwa at least once in their lives, likely when they were young as kids ( if you were my age). Back then, as the traffic system wasn't as well developed as now, we always got very excited with this big outing all the way into nowhere. Catering to crowds like ourselves, Lung Wah, perched on the side of a hill, built a small playground out front, raising peacocks and pigeons (what else!) in cages and also incorporating an outdoor mah jong area for the adults. Our revisit this time round sees these facilities sadly either have been boarded up or poorly maintained. After going past the long and empty corridor, we were greeted by a bustling dining hall, our appetite kept growing as we saw the endless plates of pigeon being brought in while we waited for a table.

In addtion to the normal roasted pigeons and pigeons braised in soy sauce, it was amusing to see that Lung Hwa had been creative and now includes variations such as Korean-style spicy pigeons. We played safe and ordered the trustworthy roasted pigeons. While there is only a HK$5 difference between the regular and large size pigeons, we opted for the regular, as the younger version normally is more tasty with a more tender texture. (I know this sounds cruel and heartless but the same applies for many other meat that you eat right?)

Wonder if it were Sha Tin pricing but the beer was outrageously cheap at HK$18 a large bottle we couldn't resist not ordering it. The dishes are priced affordably at HK$50-80, which is hard on HK Island. Cheers & the obligatory victory sign!

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