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18 Grams Smile Sep 04, 2013   
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Categories : Western | Coffee & Tea Shop

The place is teeny-tiny and I was lucky I only had to wait 5 minutes to get a table. The customers who arrived after me had to wait much longer for theirs.

Orders are taken (and paid) at the little counter on the store-front. I had no idea that this was how it's done here but for the friendliness and great customer service of one of the servers. Thank you, unnamed server, for letting me know and for being so accommodating.

I've been craving for Eggs Benedict but ended up with Eggs Hemingway instead (smoked salmon instead of ham; a much healthier but just as yummy option, in my opinion). I also ordered a glass of iced hazelnut latte to help chase the rich, runny goodness of poached eggs down.
 
 
Awesome Breakfast Food During Dinner
Awesome Breakfast Food During Dinner
 
This was my first visit to 18 Grams and I loved it. I loved how the muffins edges were toasted, I loved the creamy runiness of the poached eggs, and the Hollandaise sauce was perfect, too. I would most definitely like to come back and try their other Eggs Benedict variants.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Eggs Hemingway
 
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Aug 26, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$128(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Hygiene
 4  |  
Value for Money
 4

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Restaurant Week: The Salted Pig Smile Aug 12, 2013   
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Categories : Western | Western Restaurant

Away from the hustle and bustle of Lan Kwai Fong and Soho, The Salted Pig is located on the 2/F of posh L Place along Queen's Road.

As we were ushered to our table, I couldn't help but smile at the über jovial attitude of the staff assigned to us. When we told him that we were there to celebrate a birthday, he immediately told our birhtday celebrant that she gets a glass of wine on the house for her birthday. Good job at winning us over with excellent service!

The ambiance was a toss between casual chic and intimate - the decors and lighting suggested intimacy but the music and loud chatter between tables suggested otherwise. The place looks great for a relaxing chit chat with friends, but maybe not for a date (unless, I suppose, if you get one of those slightly secluded booths they have on the quieter side of the restaurant).

They have a bottle of Porkus wine on every table. No idea if this is any good as we didn't try ours but I just find it cute to have a bottle of wine with a picture of a pig in a pork-themed restaurant.
Porkus
Porkus
 
We had the 3-course restaurant week dinner set.
Restaurant Week Menu
Restaurant Week Menu
 
We started with:

Soup in a bread bowl - very filling with mild garlicky tones and an amazing pot pourri of textures in your mouth with every spoonful. (The bread bowl itself was pretty yummy, too!)

Brioche toast with mushroom spread - the toast was delicious with a slightly sticky top and crumbly bottom, but the mushroom spread had a weird aftertaste and took some getting used to. We didn't finish this one.

Scallops wrapped in bacon - this was awesome. I can't imagine anybody going wrong with anything wrapped in bacon.
Starters
Starters
 
For mains we had:

Crispy pork knuckle - this was good for two people and was just amazing. It was cooked to a beautiful pink-red colour that was oozing with flavour and meat so tender they were almost melting in your mouth. The skin was crispy and the tendon in between so chewy. The portion was more than adequate and came with fried potatoes, sweet potatoes and sauerkraut.
Awesome Cripy Pork Knuckle
Awesome Cripy Pork Knuckle
 
Chopped Cripy Pork Knuckle
Chopped Cripy Pork Knuckle
 
Fish and chips - this was okay. It might even have been good had we not had the cripy pork knuckle along with it.
Catch of the Day
Catch of the Day
 
And finally for dessert, we had both the strawberry custard and the chocolate sundae.

I don't know how the strawberry custard was because I didn't try it but the chocolate sundae was just delightful.
Dessert
Dessert
 
Would I ever go back? Yes, definitely, there's still so much pork dishes to try.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Crispy pork knuckle
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Aug 07, 2013 

Occasion:  Birthday 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$360(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Hygiene
 4  |  
Value for Money
 4

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Munch Just OK Mar 25, 2013   
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Categories : Western | Western Restaurant | Special Occasion Dining

It was late when we went so we didn't need a reservation to get a table at Munch. Although they have set dinners (appetizer + main + dessert + coffee/tea), we opted to order a la carte.

First we had the scallop salad:
Scallop Salad
Scallop Salad
 
This was so delicious. The scallops were fresh and there's a burst of contrasting texture from the scallops, water chestnut, jelly and avocados.

We also ordered the crab cake, which was also pretty good; unlike the experience of some of the other reviewers, our crab cake didn't have chunks of crab shells mixed in.
Crab Cake
Crab Cake
 
For mains, we had steak and lobster:
Steak and Lobster
Steak and Lobster
 
Although the steak was very tender, it wasn't exceptionally tasty. The lobster was a little too well done making the meat chewier than it should be.

And for dessert, we had the chocolate lava cake (with vanilla ice cream):
Chocolate Lava Cake
Chocolate Lava Cake
 
It was delicious! The chocolate was very thick but not overly sweet so even if you eat a lot, it doesn't make you queasy.

The service was okay - not overly great or memorable, but it wasn't bad at all either. The ambiance was good; there's not much of a view but the interior was designed to be conducive to slow, enjoyable dining.
 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chocolate Lava Cake
 
Date of Visit: Mar 20, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$405(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Hygiene
 4  |  
Value for Money
 3

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Brickhouse Smile Mar 25, 2013   
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Categories : Mexican

Brickhouse is located inside a tiny alley sandwiched between two buildings along D'Aguilar Street. There are no giant neon signs pointing you their way and the only clue that you'll get is the myriad of people hanging around inside a dark alley. Go right in, it's safe.

They don't take reservations and there's a maximum dining time of an hour and half. This place is always jam-packed and unless you're willing to wait two hours for a table, I suggest coming here as soon as they open (which is exactly what we did last Saturday).

In spite of the dining time limit, the ambiance seemed relaxed and people looked chilled out and none seemed to be in any hurry to finish their meals.
 
We ordered four dishes, all of which were delicious.

We had the chips and salsas:
Chips and Salsa
Chips and Salsa
 
and the octopus tostadas - this was my favourite dish of the night. They did not scrimp on the octopus which were also perfectly cooked; it was tasty and very filling:
Octopus Tostada
Octopus Tostada
 
we also took side avocados which were lightly sprinkled with rock salt. We drizzled some fresh lime juice over the avocados before devouring them and they were just perfect:
Side Avocadoes
Side Avocadoes
 
and finally, the taco platter. This consisted of five different taco fillings, all of which were distinctly flavoured so you don't get the feeling of eating the same thing again.
Taco Platter
Taco Platter
 
Perfectly paired with all these dishes is the house margarita:
Brickhouse Margarita
Brickhouse Margarita
 
Gotta love places that have original artwork decorating their walls:
 
 
As busy as the whole place was that night, the staff managed to maintain friendly and accommodating; the service was both fast and efficient. And although we went slightly over the hour and a half dining limit, nobody asked us to leave.

I'll definitely keep coming back to this place (assuming of course that I can keep getting a table).

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Octopus Tostada,Taco Platter
 
Date of Visit: Mar 23, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$350(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 5  |  
Hygiene
 4  |  
Value for Money
 4

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Paisano's Smile Mar 18, 2013   
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Categories : Italian | Western Restaurant | Pizza

Half of the joy in eating a Paisano's pizza is in the size - it's big compared to other pizzas available in Hong Kong, but just regular-sized compared to pizzas in the US.

Although the picture below doesn't show it very well, each pizza slice is 12" long, which is 24" if you order the whole pizza. Pretty cool for dainty Asian eaters, huh?

We had a slice of Paisano's Pizza and The Godfather - both of which were laden with meat toppings and mozarella cheese; and we also ordered a bowl of Paisano's salad with home made vinaigrette dressing.
12" pizzas
12" pizzas
 
And to make this perfect dinner complete, we also ordered a couple of pints of beer.
Stella Artois and Asahi
Stella Artois and Asahi
 
For a delicious and filling meal that won't break your wallet, head on over to Paisano's.
Supplementary Information:
Be forewarned though: this place gets really jam-packed during dinner time. Either come at a later to avoid the dinner time crowd, or get a pizza to go.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pizza
 
Date of Visit: Mar 14, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$80(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Hygiene
 4  |  
Value for Money
 4

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