Saturday 17 November 2018

Kerridge's Bar and Grill

Tom Kerridge's pub food in London

Loin of Ramsbury Estate Venison with “Hand & Flowers” Carrot

Tom Kerridge is perhaps the most talked about chef in the UK right now, beside the 2 Michelin stars status he has earned for many years, he has been active on TV with serval high profile shows. Along with his cookbooks, he has now become a household name and pushed him to a status that is not too far from the likes of Jamie Oliver and Marcus Wareing. His new restaurant in London created a massive media buzz, located inside the luxury Corinthia Hotel. The menu appears to be mostly dishes from his two pubs back in Marlow, with some mirror twists.

Hakkasan Hanway Place

The benchmark of Chinese fine dining in London

Classic 8 selection

The name Hakkasan shouldn't be a stranger to any foodies or even any Londoners. When Hakkasan was first launched in 2001 by Alan Yau, it was the talk of the town and created a serious buzz. It has uplifted Chinese cuisine at a high-end level for the first time, and totally modernized it. These days, the restaurant has expanded into a multinational restaurant empire, with restaurants across USA, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. The very first Hakkasan in Hanway Place is where it all started, with a Michelin star to its name for more than 10 years. Headed up by the group executive chef Tong Chee Hwee, the restaurant is all about using top quality ingredients and cooked in traditional Chinese methods with a touch of European elegance.

Duck and Rice

Chinese gastropub

Cantonese Roast Duck

Located in the busy district of Soho, created by the legendary restaurateur Alan Yau. Duck and Rice is a modern Chinese restaurant, but with a truly unique concept. The restaurant is a heaven for beer lovers, with beer tanks imported from the Czech Republic and plenty of fresh beer on draughts. Food wise is mostly Cantonese based, with a small selection of dim sums, wok dishes and of course, the house special: Cantonese roasted duck. To stick to the pub concept, Duck and Rice host regular events such as live music and quiz nights, offering something different to other regular Chinese restaurants in London.


Cantonese casual dining in the City 

Iberico Pork Char Sui

Andrew Wong is easily the most famous Chinese chef in London right now, since his first restaurant: A Wong, was awarded a Michelin star, his profile has skyrocketed to a new high status. He recently just opened his 2nd restaurant Kym's, located in the city and market it as a much more laid back, Cantonese style restaurant. The menu is fairly short for a Chinese restaurant, with only about 20 dishes to pick from if not including side dishes. The big focus here is the Cantonese meat dishes, the classic soy poached chicken, roasted pork belly and BBQ honey pork.

Sunday 11 November 2018

VEA Restaurant & Lounge

Chinese fusion cuisine in style

Roasted sea cucumber, flowery crab, egg white, 22yrs hua diao wine

Fusion is not easy to get it right, there are so many fusion restaurants out there but few managed to lay down a marker and become truly a household name. VEA is somewhat a success story, the 1 Michelin starred restaurant in Hong Kong is renown for its creative approach in fusion Chinese and French cooking, located on the top floor of a skyscraper in Central with an open kitchen. Chef-owner Vicky trained in some of the very best kitchens in the world, including the then 3 Michelin starred Daniel in The USA. At VEA, using his western fine dining experience, Vicky has come up with a unique concept of making Chinese dishes with an innovative western refinement, aiming to create a special dining experience with a storytelling factor about Chinese food.

China Tang Landmark

Top-level Chinese fine dining in Hong Kong

Steamed crab claw with rice wine

Not to get mixed up with the China Tang in London inside the Dorchester hotel, China Tang Landmark is a fine dining Chinese restaurant located in the busy business hub in Central, Hong Kong. The interior of the venue really stands apart with its art deco design by Sir David Tang, China Tang Landmark is all about modern Chinese cooking, using the very best ingredients from around the world. Headed up by chef Albert Au, who is the youngest ever Chinese chef to gained 3 Michelin stars when he was at The Eighth restaurant in Macau. Albert now is the group executive chef for Chinese cuisine at Lai Sun Dining, a respected restaurant business with a selection of high-end restaurant brands such as the 3 starred 81⁄2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana and China Tang.

Jardin de Jade

Refined Shanghainese cuisine in Hong Kong

Stemmed crab sticky rice, wrapped in lotus leaf

I rarely return to a restaurant in Hong Kong as I have limited time and there are so many restaurants on my wish list, so unless it is amazing value for money or exceptional in taste, I would not bother. Jardin de Jade, the 1 Michelin starred Shanghainese restaurant fits the bill for me, I got nothing but love for Shanghainese food, and I really enjoyed my first encounter at Jardin de Jade, not to mention the price is not all that expensive for a high-end restaurant in one of the most prestige districts in Hong Kong. For my second visit, I went in a large group and had the chance to sample most of its signature dishes on the menu.

Peking Garden

Fine Beijing cuisine in Hong Kong

Peking Garden

I am a massive fan of Beijing cuisine, besides the famous Peking Duck, there are plenty more exciting dishes from the capital of China. Beijing cuisine is all about rich taste with the use of top fresh ingredients, as it has greatly influenced by the Chinese imperial cuisine; the empire's kitchen for the royal family, which was also based in Beijing. Peking Garden was open in 1978, renown for its popular Peking duck and is now a household name in Hong Kong, loved by the locals and many rated as one of the best restaurants in Hong Kong. It has since expanded into a mini-chain, the flagship store in Central is located within the luxury Alexandra House shopping mall, and it has been awarded a Michelin star for 3 years since 2016.

Kam's Roast Goose

King of Cantonese roasted meat

Kam's Roast Goose

Whenever I visit Hong Kong, Cantonese style roasted meat has always been high on my agenda to try. While there are plenty of Chinese restaurants in the UK that also offer Cantonese roasted meat, the quality is just not the same. Also, the really special roasted meat, which is the goose, it is just not possible to get hold of it in the UK. So what is the big deal about Kam's Roast Goose? It is one of the most popular roasted meat joint in Hong Kong, you will see a long queue every day no matter if it is a Monday or a Saturday, it is also one of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants in the world, with a meal can cost less than £10. It is a very casual restaurant with a no booking policy, and you would be expected to pay up and leave as soon as you are done eating.

Saturday 10 November 2018

8 great Hong Kong cheap eat spots

For a taste of authentic Chinese food, Hong Kong is one of the best cities. Hong Kong is full of great classic restaurants and many are very affordable. Below are some of the best casual dining spots that would cost you less than £10 per visit.

Kam Wah Cafe & Bakery
Pineapple buns and egg tarts at Kam Wah Cafe

A classic Hong Kong tea house located in the busy district of Prince Edward, Kam Wah Cafe is a fast-paced casual dining joint that brings you the true taste of the city. This place is all about its legendary milk tea and its finely baked pastries. They have some of the best egg tarts in Hong Kong, and the classic "pineapple bun", a baked bread roll that topped with honey and sugar for the extra crispness and sweetness. This is the perfect spot for breakfast or afternoon tea.

Average cost without drinks and services:

47 Bute St, Prince Edward, Hong Kong 

Tim Ho Wan
Chiu Chow dumpling at Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan as a business really has grown from strength to strength, now 5 stores strong in Hong Kong with also oversea joints in the USA and South East Asia. The popularity has a lot to do with its Michelin star status that is has won from its Sham Shui Po branch. I personally enjoy dining at the Central branch as it is less busy than the others. The must-try item is the baked bun with BBQ pork, it has a lovely crispy pastry texture with a mouthwatering filling of sweet Canton style BBQ pork. All the dim sum here are made fresh on site to ensure high-quality standard.

Average cost without drinks and services:

Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station Podium Level 1, IFC Mall, Central. Hong Kong

Hung's Delicacies
Goose in Lo mei sauce

Another restaurant gained success after it was awarded a Michelin star at its flagship branch (which is now closed). The Hung's Delicacies branch inside the Hong Kong airport is well worth a visit for anyone who is a fan of classic Cantonese "lo mei", a slow cooking style using a sauce that contains spices and soy sauces. The most popular lo mei has to be the goose, with all the lovely spices aroma blended inside the meat in harmony. If you are feeling brave and willing to explore, try the cuttlefish, duck feet or pork intestines.

Average cost without drinks and services:

1 Sky Plaza Rd, Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong

Mak's Noodle
Wonton at Mak's Noodles

Wonton noodles is a must try item if you visit Hong Kong, and not many places can do it as good as Mak's Noodle which is now 7 branches strong. Loved by both locals and tourists, this casual noodle house is renowned for its shrimp wontons in a light but flavorsome fish-stock. The wontons are smooth in texture with an umami bomb of filling containing whole shrimp and pork. Be prepared to queue as it could get very busy in the evening, best to visit in the afternoon if you can afford to do so.

Average cost without drinks and services:

37 Leighton Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Crystal Jade
Aubergine in a soy and vinegar dressing at Crystal Jade

A multinational chain from Singapore that has over 10 branches across Hong Kong. Xiao long bao here is the signature dish of Crystal Jade, a steamed dumpling that filled with pork and a rich tasting pork stock. The Crystal Jade version stick to the traditional style and are freshly made each day. Other items worth trying are the pan fried dumpling and cold aubergines in a soy and vinegar dressing. The one located in Hong Kong airport is especially ideal for travelers who are in a rush but seek good quality Chinese food.

Average cost without drinks and services:

Level 5 Arrival Hall, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport, Chek Lap Kok

Ho Hung Kee
Wok fried beef noodles at Ho Hung Kee

Along with Tim Ho Wan, Ho Hung Kee is the cheapest restaurant in Hong Kong with a Michelin star. Ho Hung Kee is all about good old-fashioned Cantonese cuisine with not a great deal of refinement and is fairly rustic. Noodle is the hero item on the menu, the wok-fried soy noodles with beef is a must try if you ever visit the restaurant, the beautiful wok aroma, together with the richness from the soy sauce, result in some of the finest wok noodle dishes you find in Hong Kong. Canton style congee is also another popular choice, especially for the locals at breakfast time.

Average cost without drinks and services:

Causeway Bay, Hennessy Rd, Hong Kong

Chrisly Cafe
Hong Kong milk tea and canteen breakfast at Chrisly Cafe

When you ask a local to suggest a classic Hong Kong cafe, Chrisly Cafe would usually be the first choice. It is one of those old-school Hong Kong cafes that are loved by the locals but might be off-putting to some tourists thanks to its super fast pace style. The waiters would expect you to know what you would like to order as soon as you sit down and pay up and leave as soon as you have finished the meal. Put that issue aside, Chrisly Cafe serves some of the finest scramble eggs and Hong Kong style milk tea. The intense tea aroma and the silkiness of the milk tea are what makes this place so special and still going strong after so many years.

Average cost without drinks and services:

Kwong Sang Hong Building, 6 Heard St, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Yee Shun Milk Company
Milk puddings at Yee Shun Milk Company

There are many great Hong Kong desserts, but the best dessert for me has to be the hot steamed milk pudding. Yee Shun is a milk pudding specialist and is also renown for its creative take of the dessert with innovation such as ginger milk pudding and coffee milk pudding. For me, the original is still the best, creamy but not heavy with a fine taste of milkiness and softness, this is what comfort food is all about. Best visit in a group of friends to ensure you get a chance to try out another style of milk puddings.

Average cost without drinks and services:

506 Lockhart Rd, Causeway Bay

Click here for more Hong Kong restaurant reviews