目前日期文章:200601 (7)

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Looking forward to:

- fabulously delicious Japanese delicacies
- 5 days on the slopes honing my ski skills & overcoming my fear of "black"
- outdoor onsen relaxing

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For our little NY gathering we decided against Chinese or Western food, and opted to revisit Chitose in the Lee Gardens shopping mall for its Japanese cuisine. The original Chitose was situated in the Sogo complex and specialised in very high-end teppanyaki cuisine for the Japanese. Was probably one of the most expensive Japanese restuarants within the Causeway Bay area, and was popular for corporate entertainment. This one is a bit more affordably priced.





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Have you noticed that the food scene is constantly evolving with structural shifts? A long while back Jap-style conveyor belt sushi was all the rave and such shops started popping up all over the place. Then came the Koraen influx with the introduction of the many kalbi restaurants. More recently have noticed an increasing number of Malay/Sing places in town, and HKF has been a diligent visitor to many of these shops. Recently I tried out another new one called Old Bazar in Tin Hau. In Chinese, the name actually translates to Lau Pat Sa, identical to the famous hawker center in Singapore. This is a relatively new restaurant that replaces One One Nam, another SE Asian restaurant located in the same spot previously. Not sure if they are connected though.



We came here for a quick lunch, and were handed a reduced lunch menu containing a large number of sets, which included a mains and a tea or coffee. Prices are extremely reasonable at only HK$35-45, and students would get a further discount. I opted for the seafood Laksa, and chose the "Cham Cham" combination, a mix of vermicelli and egg noodle. A opted for the fried noodles with pork's neck in Belacan sauce. We also ordered the vegetable fried in belacan sauce which was very reasonably priced at HK$10 only.

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Have always liked the concept of hotpot, where a group of people gather round a steaming centerpiece and share in the food and conversation. Yes there's the hygiene issue but these days most hotpot places already supply two pairs of chopsticks for everyone, one pair for public and one pair for personal use. For our recent office gathering, we headed to Chong Long Ting in Sai Wan (further away from Central than Sheung Wan) for its hotpot offering.



Of those that joined in the fun, half could not take spicy food in any kind while the other half totally dig the Sichuan-style "ma la" spicy hotpot (麻辣火鍋 ). As you can see from the hotpot picture above, this  "ma la" hotpot is already hot and fiery by appearance. Originating from Chongqing in Sichuan, "ma la" spicy hotpot uses a spcial spice known as huajiao (花椒), also known as flower pepper. This is the ingredient that dulls your sense of taste and gives you that added numb sensation in your tongue in addition to the spicy hot flavour. It is rather unique and is best explained by trying it in person. Because some of our friends did not like this, we opted for the mixed pot variety.

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Before our day trip to Disneyland, I did lots of research and asked around for lunch venue recommendations. The general consensus was that the fast food was only so-so, and for the better restaurants one had to queue for a very long time. Almost everyone's immeidate suggestion was Plaza Inn - the only dim sum restaurant within the park and run by Maxim's - so we decided to give it a try. Some also recommended going to the two Disney hotels for lunch, but it would take 15 min to get there from the park and we decided to save the hassle.



We got to the park at around 10 in the morning, and in addition to hurrying to get fast passes, we also made our way to Plaza Inn to make a booking for lunch, as everyone told us that the queues would be long. It seemed that it was our lucky day. You see, Disneyland Hong Kong experienced its first ever full house only two days before our visit (because of the WTO Ministerial Conference a lot of the schools were on holiday that day), and this was widely reported by the media. I guess people decided to avoid the park that whole week, which meant that we only had to queue for a very short time for most of the rides. When we arrived at Plaza Inn at 12:30 there were still a large number of empty tables for walk-ins too. While the outside of Plaza Inn, located at the corner between Main Street and Fantasyland, looked very Western and fairytale like, the inside was totally Chinese inspired. There were no Disney memorabilia at all.

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My aunt visited us from Taiwan in December, and wanted to try some good Cantonese food. We headed for Zen in Pacific Place for our little dinner gathering. Zen was picked because it was conveniently located in the shopping mall, allowing the ladies plenty of time to shop before the meal.



Haven't visited Zen for a while, as I do not go to PP that often, and there are plenty of Cantonese restaurants that I haven't tried out on the island. Immediately catching my eye when walking into the restaurant is the signature lighpiece that spreads across almost half the restaurant. The place has thoughtfully incorporated some Christmas decoration to the decoration, bringing some festivity and warmth to the place.

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This was a November dinner - we couldn't decide on where to go for dinner (ahem... doesn't this seem like a recurring theme?!), and ended up going to one of Y's favourite Japanese restaurant - Sushi Hiro, for a pre-movie dinner. Sushi Hiro has established itself as one of the premier Japanese restaurants in HK where the emphasis is on the sushi. In fact, think it was probably one of the few that started the trend to open restaurants in office buildings hidden away from the general public. It is situated in Henry House (next to the BMW dealer), and became so popular that the owner opened another restaurant a floor below Sushi Hiro that specialised in tempura dishes. Back then, the two restaurants operated separately and were extremely specialised - it was difficult to get sushi when eating at the tempura restaurant and vice versa. These days it is much more relaxed and one can actually enjoy set meals that offer the best of the two restaurants combined.



Most people going to Sushi Hiro choose to order from the many sets. Being a regular, Y decided to go a la carte and asked the manager to order for us. This suited me well, as I was so knackered that any activity requiring the use of my brain would be considered excessive.

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