Saturday, 29 October 2011


JD and I often walk past Polpo whenever we are in town and always make a mental note to pop in there one day to grab a bite to eat. I suppose one of the things that has put us off in the past is that they don't take reservations and we don't particularly like waiting for food ;)

Bearing all this in mind, we chanced our luck and rocked up on Saturday for a late lunch around half 2 and got seated, yay! Polpo is supposed to be a bacaro, aka. Venetian wine bar where one eats, drinks and generally is merry, I guess? Am not sure myself what a bacaro is supposed to look like but the decor of Polpo definitely reminds me of Spuntino, also owned by the same folk. I have to say that on the whole, the food at Polpo trumps Spuntino plus there is a lot more stuff on the menu that I would happily go back and try out. Polpo's website says they are open for lunch and dinner with a break in between but on our visit, we were told that they had recently started opening all day on Saturdays so good news for anyone looking to try out their grub!
Main dining room, we were seated to the side of the bar area (see below) 

 Arancini - deep fried cheesy risotto balls. I liked them but JD found the thyme a little overpowering.

 Fritto misto - my favourite dish of the afternoon. So simple but so so yummy......and the batter was so light, wow! 

 JD's favourite dish - mackerel tartar with horseradish and pane carasau. Really wish everyone served their pane carasau like Sardo (ie. brushed with olive oil and salt and lightly toasted).

 White pizza with cheese, thyme and red onion - good, but not Princi good!

Roast spuds with garlic and rosemary - am a sucker for the simple things in life! :)

Flank steak with rocket and porcini cream - lovely and the portion was super-generous!

 The one disappointing dish of our meal - purple spouting broccoli with anchovy dressing. Broccoli was overcooked and dressing was bland - frankly, overcooking veg is taking the piss a bit.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sunday lunch

Calorie fest for me, JD and my friend from Uni, T :)
 Truffle mac and cheese with porcini and herby crust

 Rib of beef - yum!

 The full works with some roasted carrots

Baked cheesecake, anyone?

Monday, 10 October 2011


Early finish at work so I thought I would mosey into town and have a goo around the shops for some new winter woolies. No such luck with the woolies but seeing as I was in town, I decided to head to Tsuru for a spot of dinner. This Japanese casual dining place had received a raving review from Marina O'Loughlin about its katsu curry with its curry sauce having been cooked for some 8 hours so obviously, I had to try it out!!

It was a pretty decent katsu curry - my only gripe was there were no pickles!!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Crash course in Danish cakes!!

A good friend who is thinking of setting up her own cake business landed a stall at the Scandinavian Show at Earls Court this weekend. I had previously promised her that I would help her with decorating some cakes for the event but she hadn't anticipated how much she would sell so I was roped in late Saturday to make, bake and decorate her cakes since she was that low on stock! Here were the results:
Made 5 of these bad boys followed by another 5 which were missing the cream on the side plus fruit on friend ended up selling all but 2 - not bad, huh???!!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Buen Ayre

Following last month's anniversary dinner at Goodman City, JD and I continued our quest for the best steak resto in town. This month, we finally decided to make the trek out East to famed Argentinian steak resto, Buen Ayre.  

We had paid a lunchtime visit earlier in the year when we were visiting Broadway Market but this time, we arrived hungry and promptly ordered the parillada deluxe to share - yum!
 View from our table - pretty cosy, neighbourhood resto

Open parilla behind us - all fired up and ready for action! 

 My obligatory pre-dinner drink - when available! Quilmes - ¡Qué bueno!

 Bread and blue cheese butter - JD was a big fan of the latter.....and he doesn't even like blue cheese? Yep, its THAT good!

 Starters of various empanadas - having polished off one, we were then approached by one of the waiters who advised that in Argentina, one eats empanadas with one's hands, as opposed to knife and fork......when in BA, huh? ;)

 This was my attempt to get a pic of the chef, John Rattagan (an Argentinian of Irish descent) but just as I pressed my shutter, he disappeared right behind the waiter pictured, char!!! You can take a look at the Buen Ayre website to see what he looks like! :)

 Parillada deluxe of sirloin, ribeye, blood pudding, chorizo and provolone cheese 

 Sirloin - looks the business but sadly, was unexpectedly tough :(

Ribeye - this really hit the spot and is probably what I would order by itself on my next visit :)

 Dulce de leche pancakes - too stuffed so ordered 1 pud to share

A lovely meal and am sure that JD and I will be back to visit another time - ¡buen provecho! :)

Local eat - Charlotte's Bistro

1st week back at work done and dusted which included a late enough Friday finish, poo! After collecting JD  from the tube station, we decided to head out for dinner down the road at Charlotte's Bistro - quite surprised we could get a walk-in table on a Friday night? Of course, we didn't complain and despite walking in at the stroke of 7pm, we were also offered the early bird offer of 3 courses from the a la carte menu plus an aperitif for 26 squid, pretty good offer!! Naturally, we opted for the early bird and were pretty pleased with the overall standard of cooking. Bon app :)
 Complimentary bread with offers of replenishment!

 Starter of marinated violet artichokes and leek hearts with truffle emulsion - a very tasty dish but could've done with some more trimming of the artichokes which still had some woody bits attached - not that keen on the extra fibre!

 Main of confit duck leg

 Dessert of vanilla cheesecake - pleasantly surprised by its creaminess but JD didn't like it :(

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Extra hours in HK - Tonkichi and Zoë

Early Friday I receive a text from BA informing me that my flight back to Blighty had been delayed for 9 hours (am assuming that it was probably due to the typhoon blowing through the area). Later on in the day, I get a phonecall from the airline checking to see if I was "OK" with the delay - a weird question if there ever was one which prompted my response of, "well, do I have a choice here"? The upshot of it all meant that I had a few extra hours in HK so decided to hang out for an afternoon with my good friend D. 

We sneaked in a cheeky last minute lunch at Tonkichi - a resto in Causeway Bay specialising in tonkatsu. Great views of the harbour if you can bag one of the window seats plus some pretty good tonkatsu, ESP. the oysters!!! (am not even a fan usually!)
Funky dipping sauce for tonkatsu which involves grinding your sesame seeds before adding sauce!!

One of Ma Chan's friends recommended that I head to Zoë for their cakes since it was her favourite cakeshop in HK and any time she was in Causeway Bay, she would ALWAYS pop in for a treat. The shop is very bijoux with a small seating area done up like a French salon du thé. We waited a little while for a table and then shared 3 cakes between the 2 of us - Mango Cheesecake, Opéra and Zoë (cake tasting like a Kinder Bueno). The cakes were pretty small and pricey too, at over 30HKD a pop! Normally, I don't mind forking out if the product is good but am sad to say, the product was pretty (piss) poor! :(
 Opéra - mega-stodgy, lacked the finesse and lightness of the real thing. The flavour was a bit bland with a hint of bitterness and not in a good "coffee" kind of way. It tasted so bad that I stopped eating after a couple of mouthfuls.

 Mango cheesecake - nicely presented but tasted uneventful and non-unctuous, a shame for cheesecake

Signature cake, Zoë - cute but thats it

Despite my gross disappointment with the cakes at Zoë (have turned into an Über pastry snob now that I've trained and worked in the field), it was still lovely to hang out with my friend D - big hugs and see you very soon!!