Monday, 28 May 2012

Summer craving - naeng myun

After my brief trip to Seoul, I have concluded that naeng myun is one of the best things to eat counteract the heat of a hot summer's day! That is exactly what I went in search of during my lunch break - luckily for me, there is a strip of small Korean restos up the road from where I work but only one of them appeared to be serving naeng myun. Unfortunately for them, I am turning into a bit of a Korean food snob and could not help comparing what I was served with the bowl of naeng myun I had in Seoul. Not a patch on Seoul but it did help with cooling me down from the London mugginess :)

Po Cha
56 St Giles High Street
London WC2H 8LH
Tel; 020 7379 7391

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Taste of summer - Tarte aux fruits d'été

What does one do with extra berries and pâte sucrée that are lying around?

One takes the pâte sucrée and bakes an extra tart shell, quickly whips up another batch of crème patissière et voilà!! Simple and elegant dessert pour le weekend :) 
Knobbly British strawberries :)

Friday, 25 May 2012

B-day cake for 100 people!

Just before my trip to HK, I got an email from someone who had been to my friend's nephew's b-day party, saw the bunny cake I had made and asked if I could make her a cake for her upcoming bash.......for 100 people!!! The brief was quite simple, a cake similar to the bunny one in terms of taste but with lots more buttercream! She already had in mind the kind of decoration she wanted and luckily, it wasn't too time consuming (when she mentioned roses on our phone call, I was shuddering with the thought if having to make tonnes of sugarpaste ones!!!)

The final cake was 2 tiered; one vanilla sponge and the other red velvet. The original plan was to have green roses as decoration but I didn't think green buttercream would look all that great with bright red cake so suggested plain buttercream for the red velvet tier. It was all pretty straightforward to make but the buttercream did give me a few hairy moments and the weather wasn't helping either. Note to self: do not take on cake order with lots of buttercream when it's reaching almost 30C out!!

Luckily, the birthday girl was very happy with her cake (plus the fruit tartlets which she also ordered) which was a relief and even sent me the sweetest thank you note after her big day - a small gesture but it made my day :)

Monday, 14 May 2012

Final postcards from HK

This was definitely an impromptu visit to HK but had a great time all the same. A big thanks to my bro and Jools for letting me crash with them and great being able to catch up with family and old friends (D, Won, Jason) as well as getting the chance to meet new ones (Supercharz) :)

Missing the fragrant harbour already.....

Last supper in HK: BBQ美食店

Even though I was staying in HK with my bro and Jools, we actually had very few opportunities to hang out together but made up for that for my final dinner in town. My bro had mentioned a BBQ place near where they lived that they liked but wasn't sure about bringing my folks there since the resto seating wasn't the most comfortable. As for me, I was sold once he showed me the food pics from their last visit!! :)
Chicken soft bone - one of my favs :)

Short ribs (similar to galbi)

Aubergine with bonito

Chicken wings


Mixed mushrooms - seriously tasty but I'm guessing loaded with butter!

Razor clams

BBQ choi sum (心) - super sweet

Bro and Jools favs (愛) - sausage and corn on the cob

Unethical but oh-so-tasty!!! Abalone

Bit of a letdown - seafood noodles

Giant clams

Shop B, G/F, 129-133 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Western District
Tel: 2548 9880

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Supercharz's 深水埗 recs: Lau Sum Kee Noodles (劉森記麺家) and Kung Wo (公和荳品廠)

I've always trusted Time Out food critic Charmaine Mok's reviews of London restos and thanks to to modern technology, we've conversed now and again via the tweetosphere :)   

Now that she is based out of HK, I was keen to get some recs from her for some quintessential HK fare, namely 雲吞麵 and 豆腐花. She suggested a couple of places in Sham Shui Po (深水埗), Lau Sum Kee Noodles (劉森記麺家) and Kung Wo (公和荳品廠). I had been wanting to try these places out all holidays but for one reason or another, didn't manage to get to them until the last Sunday before I was leaving......better late than never!!

劉森記 have 2 locations in 深水埗; one on Kweilin Street (桂林街)and the other on Fuk Wing Street (褔榮街). I walked passed both since they are close enough to each other and went to the former since there was a massive queue snaking out of the latter. The turnover is fairly quick so I can't imagine having to wait very long. I ended up plumping for 雲吞河 as opposed to 雲吞麵 (cos I couldn't find it on the menu but I guess they are more than happy to make up whatever takes your fancy!!) - 雲吞's were large, more prawn as opposed to fatty pork and very, very yummy! A bargain at HKD25!

I then moved on to 公和 for a bit of dessert in the form of 豆腐花 - good but lacking a bit of "bean" flavour. Despite this, it was nice to visit a 荳品廠 for the first time and sad to think that places like these are dying a slow death in HK. All in all, a great 2-course lunch for the princely sum of around 3 squid!!!

A big thank you to Charmaine for the recs!!! (We actually met in person the following day at Fo Kee (科記) for some HK pork chop (豬扒飯) and chinwag. No pics sadly but a lovely afternoon all the same!)

Lau Sum Kee Noodles (劉森記麺家)
G/F, 48 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po
Tel: 2386 3533

Kung Wo (公和荳品廠)
G/F, 118 Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po
Tel: 2386 6871

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Seafood trip to Po Toi Island - Ming Kee Restaurant (明記海鮮酒家)

My good friend D's sister recently headed back to HK for a 6 week hollier and whilst perusing thru her pics on FB, came across some really mouthwatering seafood ones. I found out through D that her sis had gone on a day trip to Po Toi Island (蒲苔島), part of a group of islands lying to the southeast of HK Island and popular with folk for hiking, birdwatching......and eating seafood! D and I organised to meet on Saturday morning to take the ferry to 蒲苔島 from Aberdeen to try out the food at the only resto on 蒲苔島, Ming Kee Restaurant (明記海鮮酒家). Turns out the resto is owned by the rellies of a friend of D's sis, small world indeed!! The decor and seating are typical of what you might find dining by the beach, nothing much to look at but the food was fresh and super tasty!! Worth the trip.....we would've stayed for longer to walk around the island but decided against it cos 1) it was so hot that I was sweating profusely just standing around and 2) needed to get back for early Mother's Day dinner. A nice day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city :)

Ming Kee Restaurant (明記海鮮酒家)
Po Toi Island
Tel: 2849 7038

Mothers Day dindins - buffet at W

For those of you who don't know,  Mother's Day is a BIG DEAL in much so that most of the good restos in town will be booked up for the whole weekend well ahead of time. This certainly didn't help with my bro's quest to find a place for a buffet dinner with just under a week until the big day. After much ringing around (including having to endure some folk laughing down the phone at his "crazy" request!!), he managed to get us a table on Saturday evening at the new W hotel on Kowloon side next to the ICC Tower. Very nice evening had by all even though we were eating under the dimmest of lighting. Buffet dinner usually means an enormous abundance of food which was the case here......quality was so-so but in this case, it was just nice to share a meal with the family, a rare occasion these days and to be treasured :)
Chef's table? Closest proximity to the spread!!

The side with the lamp - no such luck on our side :(

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Final round!!

Dessert spread - visually impressive but failed on the taste front

Kitchen at W Hong Kong
1 Austin Road West
Kowloon Station
Tel: 3717 2222