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AST & KSK
This is AST & KSK living in Hung Hom. I work in Central. I like to hang out in Central, Causeway Bay, Hung Hom. Japanese, Italian, French are my favorite cuisines. .
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Bon Innovative! Smile Oct 09, 2011   
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Categories : International | Western Restaurant

It all started some 3 years ago when the first HK Michelin Guide was released and I spotted this Michelin 2 stars restaurant right on! Molecular gastronomy was pretty new at that time and attracted much attention worldwide. I was really curious about this restaurant and wanted to try it so much. However, I reckon this is a fine dining and interesting experience that I really want to share with someone special who appreciates fine food and dining experience as much as I do. I was lucky enough to able to meet this someone and finally we had a delightful dinner here last night.

Bo Innovation is not like some other fine dining places which are notorious for being very difficult to book (e.g. Macau Robuchon, Tosca etc). We called to make a booking a few days ago and still managed to get a table at the prime dining time on a saturday night.

We ordered the tasting menu as this is the only set that comes with the Japanese wagyu beef which we would love to try. Important to mention is that their specialists explain each dish to us (how it was made and what it is made of) to enhance the experience.

The first appetizer is HK style pancake~ I have always had a special fondness for kai dan jai since I was a child. However, this kai dan jai is salty with bits of beacons inside. I think it's interesting although I would say HK style pancake is better sweet than salty. However, this is good enough as a supplement for bread.

The second appetizer is Tomato cooked in three ways - cherry tomato slow-cooked with pak chun sweet vinegar, crispy tomato with lam kok puree and tomato mashamellow with chinese parsley oil. The best is the cherry tomato, it was really fresh and when you bite it, the fresh tomato juice mixed with the sweet vinegar burst out and fill your mouth with freshness and sweetness with a hint of sourness. REally refreshing. the mashamellow is interesting... however the texture is actually more like a thick foam instead of the texture of the real candy mashamellow. it has weak tomato taste and strong parsley oil taste.

 
The third one is Iberico 36 - italian boar ham preserved for 36 months, wrapping Korean vermicelli cooked in morel sauce. There is some foam on top of the whole thing but I forgot what it was made of. This is one of my favorite dish because the ham was really good. The saltiness and fatness is just right. And I liked that it is not very thin cut (unlike parma ham), so a bite size of the whole thing is already very satisfying. The vermicelli has mild morel (fungus) taste that compliments the saltiness of the ham. Very good!

 
And then follows by Foie Gras - a must have in all fine dining menus and my all time favorite! The foie gras was cooked in the hk style bbq pork way with caramel in replacement of the bbq sauce. There is a mui choy (chinese preserved vegetables) ice-cream as side. I think the dish is great and daring. It is daring to mix mui choy with foie gras, who could have thought the two so remotely related food can mix together? I think the effect is good. We would not say foie gras goes better with mui choy than caramelised apple (which is typical side for foie gras in french cuisine). But I think the tastes of mui choy and foie gras do compliment each other. And of course the fact that the mui choy is ice cream helps to dilute the grease of the foie gras. For the foie gras, I do not think it tastes much different from pan fried foie gras. But the texture is quite "firm" - you can cut it into pieces without some tiny pieces lingering between (which normally happens for pan fried - as the sides are cooked but the interior are not as cooked). I like it!

 
The fifth one is the Cod fish. I think this one is the least impressive. There is some fried seaweed on top, some edible flowers and some jelly (which I forgot the flavor) as sides. But the cod fish still taste like cod fish. It is tender, but I guess that's it. The presentation is lovely though.

 
Then the Molecular (Xiao Long Bao) - they extracted essence from xiao long bao ingredients (pork, soup and pak choy) and wrapped the essence inside a transparent thin skin made from edible chemical. The pink thing on the top is a slice of ginger soaked in vinegar. It is of course interesting and is one of their most famous award winning dish. I must say xiao long bao's taste itself is not very distinctive (just think, a lot of shanghainese buns and dumplings actually have ingredients that taste like those of xiao long bao). So, if they do not specify the dish is related ot xiao long bao, I would not have associated the two things together. But with their introduction in mind, the "dumpling" does taste like xiao long bao made in an innovative dumpling skin. I appreciate the idea much. Again, its all about the idea. I bet a lot of people would find crystal jade's xiao long bao taste much better than this dish as xiao long bao. But I guess the point is not to make the most delicious xiao long bao. Also, the content inside the skin cannot be too hot such that the chemical skin would not burst. So cant really expect this dish to taste like a delicious xiao long bao with hot pork juice bursting out.

The seventh appetizer is the Scallop with lime leaf sauce (bitter), grape jelly (sweet), passionfruit juice (sour) and shichimi potato (spicy). The dish has the cheesy meaning of presenting the flavors of life (sweet sour bitter spicy). The scallop is very well cooked, the sides are crispy and the interior is still raw like sahimi. I certainly loved the grape jelly as I like sweet things. The lime leaf sauce is not bitter enough, but it is very refreshing. The presentation is alos very good with all the colours.

 
This one is Century Egg - a very playful dish. We were forewarned that this dish is just for fun and not for taste. Haha basically there is nothing you could chew or drink. The bottom part is sauce made from preserved egg and ginger soaked in vinegar, they then put some dry ice into it such that bubbles formed from the carbon dioxide with the taste of the sauce - all you do is to spoon the bubbles and taste them. The bubbles kept forming and bursting - a very dynamic dish. And unlike the xiao long bao, preserved egg and vinegarised ginger do have a distinctive taste so I could easily recognise that even just taste the bubbles. It's fun!

 
Finally, after eight dishes of appetizers, here comes the main. We chose the Saga-gyu Beef (the Japanese wagyu beef, grade 4) (HKD500 supplement) and the pigeon (HKD150 supplement). The beef is quite pricey but I do not think it is outrageous. The beef is very tender and soft (because of all the fat it has!) The beef itself is very good, so I do not think it is difficult to make a good dish from it. It comes with cheung fun (chinese vermicelli roll) in black truffle sauce. Yea cheung fun is nice. haha but the beef does trigger us to look for some fries after the dinner... Pigeon is nice, they chop it into sever pieces and bones removed. Again, pigeon is itself tasty, so not very difficult to make a good dish from it.

But yea both are very satisfying choices of main.

 

 
The dessert is pineapple crust (the pineapple crust you can find in pineapple bun, but this one is much more crispy), with butter cream ice cream and three pieces of pineapples with different spices., and pineapple puree. It's delightful! but the most impressive thing is the yuen yeung drink (mix of milk tea and coffee) - they managed to keep the coffee cold on one side and the milk tea hot on the other, together in the cup! It's the best yuen yeung I have ever tried!!! We are so curious how this could be done (how the two liquids would not mix together) but of course it's trade secret!

Another dessert is banana ma lai go and some homemade chocolates and macroons and some traditional hk candies and biscuits. IT's interesting. Although I cant finish all, but I did take away the bak to candy (Big rabbit candy)... hehe remind me so much of my childhood!

In summary, it's a great experience that I would recommend anyone who is into dining to try. They use fine ingredients, cook well, in innovative ways and adopt a lot of hk style cuisine elements in designing the dish. This idea is good to local like me as it reminds me of my childhood and the hk cuisine elements they adopt are those a lof of hk people love. It is also good to foreigners, visitors as they could experience hk cuisine and molecular gastronomy - one stone 2 birds!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Hot and cold yuen yeung (milk tea and coffee)! Iberico 36,Saga-gyu Beef,Pigeon
 
Date of Visit: Oct 08, 2011 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$1400

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

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A warm celebration Smile Feb 09, 2011   
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Categories : Japanese | Hotel Restaurant | Teppanyaki | Sushi/Sashimi | Fine Dining | Business Dining


Nadaman has always been my favourite japanese fine dining place in HK. The first time I had dinner here was a year ago on my birthday as a treat by my boyfriend. I was so impresed by the food and have been missing the 'clay pot boiled rice' that I had last time since then. This time I and my boyfriend decided to go back for dinner to celebrate my promotion.

The highlights of Nadaman should be:

- their menu changes from time to time to make sure only food that is of the season is featured in the menu

- it goes without saying that the food is perfectly done. I can tell the chef has invested effort in choosing the way to cook each dish

- their kaseki is very delicate, uses only the best food of the season and always manages to give me a warm and touching feeling.

We tried their newly designed February kaseki set dinner. I think Kaseki is so attractive because they only have one or two pieces of each food such that you always feel like you have not had enough of it.

 
The first course was this tofu with sea urchin on top. The sea urchin was of course very fresh, very sweet with very meaty texture. Great! The tofu was not a simple tofu. It tasted much more chewy than plain tofu so we suspected that the chef mixed japanese rice cake with tofu to make this chewy yummy thing.

 
These three dishes were very refreshing. The one on the right top corner is some wasabi-made sauce mixed vegetables. I do not eat wasabi at all (I do not even add wasabi to soy sauce dip for sashimi) but i loved this dish because it had a very fresh hint of wasabi that was just enough to start our appetitide w/o giving out the strong choking taste of wasabi that I hate

 
Sashimi! None of the fish was the usual sashimi that we normally found in other Jap restaurants in hk... I believe the chef especially chose these three types because they were of the right season now! Very fresh and sweet taste~ yummy!

 
Hot pot seafood soup! The miso soup base was very clear and sweet! they have fish, shrimp, crab meat and fish sperm in this dish (one piece each). The best was the fish sperm thing - how should I describe it? imagine eating fish tummy (kua jia), just that this fish sperm thing was much more smooth and much more tasty. I just loved it so much! After I had a first bite, I couldnt help asking a waitress what that was. She nicely told us that it's the sperm of a type of fish and was only available in early spring . According to her, Japanese family loves to cook this as part of the new year feast.

 
Grilled japenses beef. ho yummy r~ each slice was very thin and had the right amount of fat such that when we put the meat inside our mouth, it just slided down our throat without much chewing effort. It gave a great beefy after taste and still not oily at all. I believe I had this same dish one year ago as well. I think this is going to be another dish that I will always miss~

 
Clay pot boiled rice! My all-time-favourite! I still remember last time I had this dish, right after I put the first bit of rice into my mouth, I was so impressed and felt so warm! The only difference was that the rice last time was cooked with small clam meat and this time it's cooked with bamboo shoots. Well both were great! The rice was very warm and had the right amount of moisture that each piece of rice was kind of stick to each other but nevertheless they were not clummed together - you could still taste each piece of rice but the texture was so soft!

 
Red bean soup with rice cake ball. The red bean soup was the sweetest red bean soup I had ever tasted. After having this spledid Japanese red bean sweet soup, I felt like all those Chinese red bean sweet soup that we had are not red bean soup at all! but anyway it's also a bit too sweet and too thick that I could not finish the whole thing.

Anyway the whole night was very delightful, as perfect as I expected. I believe, in terms of food quality and service, Nadaman is definitely a fine dining place. However, one thing that is not at all satisfactory is the table arrangement. I must say the tables are too close to each other such that I could easily hear what the persons behind me are talking. This is probably something that is not acceptable for a 'fine dining place'. I think it could be a good idea if Nadaman can consider having a more spacious arrangement of tables to offer a more comfortable dining place for the customers.

But we will definitely come back for another special occassion! and in the meantime, I will be missing the clay pot boiled rice and the grilled jap beef~

 
Recommended Dish(es):  beef; clay pot rice; red bean sweet soup
 
Date of Visit: Jan 30, 2011 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$900(Dinner)

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

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A delightful NYE dinner Smile Jan 02, 2011   
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Categories : French | Western Restaurant

My boyfriend and I have been talking about writing reviews here for a lot, a lot of times on the various restaurants that we have been, but everytime we just ended up couldnt be bothered to write something. It is until this time, after we had a very delicious NYE dinner at Chez Moi and seeing that other reviews on this restaurant so far have not been great, we feel obliged to write something here to do justice for Chez Moi.
I have had a couple of meals at Chez Moi throughout the past years at the old venue. I have always been impressed by their pan-seared goose liver so I suggested this place for our NYE dinner together with my friend and her boyfriend. I am very happy that all of us are very pleased with the quality of the food that night.

 


Pan-fried Scottish Scallop with Salmon & Cherry Tomato Tartar
This is good. Refreshing enough as a starter.

 


Pan-seared Goose Liver & Sliced Caramel Apple with Port Wine Sauce
Goose liver is always my favourite. I must say I have tried better Goose Liver in elsewhere before (Aspasia - X'mas eve dinner), but Chez Moi's one is also one of the best I have tried. It is very well pan-seared, just the top and bottom thin layers are crispy and the middle part is soft. So when you put a bite in your mouth, you got a good mix of crispy texture for chewing and yet it is soft enough to slide down your throat with a rich goose liver taste. And of course goose liver and apple are always good in pair as the apple can dilute the oily taste of the goose liver. Another plus is the size of the goose liver is generous! I originally thought it might be small, as it is just one of the 4 appetizers in the menu. However, it comes out to be just like what you would expect when you order just goose liver as the only appetizer. As a whole, this is a very good dish I must say.

 


Italian Black Truffle Cappuccino
I like the foam on the top as the soup itself is quite rich. So it's great to drink the soup together with the foam on top. But I must say I cant taste truffle taste... it tastes more like mushroom soup to me though. But given the price, I didnt expect really good truffle, if any, is served.

 


Homemade Sorbet
I think this should be lemon flavour. It is very refreshing, just what we needed most about the rich goose liver to clean our taste buds and prepare for the mains.

 


Charcoal Grilled Australian Wagyu Rib Eye Steak with Red Wine Sauce
This is the main course that I and my friend ordered. I am always a big fan of Wagyu Beef - which I believe is the only beef worth eating. I ordered medium rare and it is exactly medium rare. To me, it is not fatty enough... probably because it is just Rib Eye. Maybe it will be more of my taste if it is a wagyu beef T-bone~ But anyway it is very well cooked, portion is right and my friends love the smashed potatoes as side very much.

 

Charcoal Grilled Spanish Rack of IbericoPork with Golden Chanterelle Sauce
This is what my boyfriend and my friend's boyfriend ordered. I tried some and it is very delicious as pork. It has the right amoung of fat which makes the pork very tender. And the charcoal taste is strong as well. I think it is better done as pork than my wagyu beef as wagyu beef.

 

Valrhona Hot Chocolate Pudding with Ice-cream
It is one of the best hot chocolate lava cake I have ever tasted. The mixture of cold ice-cream and hot lava is just right. A very satisfying conclusion of the dinner.

 

Vacheins of Strawberries with Mango Mascarpone Cream
My boyfriend ordered this and I tried. It is very interesting. The cream is hard but turns into chewy after putting it into the mouth. Interesting.

Oh and I should mention that they have no cockage fee and no 10% service charge. Really a good deal considering the quality of food it offers.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Goose Liver,Hot Chocolate Cake
 
Date of Visit: Dec 31, 2010 

Celebration:  New Year's Eve 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$680

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

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Early Christmas Dinner Smile Dec 23, 2013   
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Categories : Western | Steak House | Western Restaurant | Hotel Restaurant | Fine Dining | Romantic Dining

I have always wanted to try Mandarin Grill but somehow have not got a chance or occasion to. Tonight, we decided to have our early X'mas celebration dinner here before Mr. T is off to ski. Having heard many good things about the restaurant, I have been quite looking forward to tonight since the reservation is made.

It is a very cozy dining hall with around 10 dining tables. To be honest, I think our table is actually too close to the entrance (literally less than three steps from the entrance), too close for a fine dining setting.

We ordered from the a la carte tonight. I took a look a the tasting menu but it was just an arranged set of 3 or 4 courses from the a la carte. Since I can get each of the dish in the tasting menu by ordering from the a la carte and enjoy the flexibility of choosing the dish of each course I want, I do not see the reason to order from their tasting menu. In my view, tasting menu should be a menu of seasonal dish or a set of six + courses, each a relatively smaller portion but made of the restaurant's most proud of dish, to serve the "tasting" purpose.

Anyways, appetizer:

He ordered "Winter" -mushroom, iberico, foie gras, truffle and snow.

I was pretty amazed by the presentation. One of the most beautifully presented dish I have ever had. The whole thing looked like a picture of a tree in snowy winter. The white stuff was califlower cream, the white snow is olive oil crystals, the things at the bottom were very thin slice of ibercio, mushroom, foie gras petite. He wished that the dish was a hot dish. I actually think it was perfect. I appreciate that the dish was composed of a lot of ingredients of strong flavour and different textture, and the chef was able to make them come together in the right proportion.

 
I ordered Bacon & Egg - 18 weeks suckling pig, organic duck egg and truffle honey sauce

The presentation is also very good and the suckling pig and duck egg are very tasty. The only drawback is, the "Winter" dish that he is having is just too good to beat, such that relatively speaking, mine seems less interesting and more simple. Glad that he happened to want something hot, so we conveniently swapped our dish and both became very satisfied. The suckling pig was good, but I have tried a few suckling pig of equally good quality in quite a few places in town - hate to say, but Casa Lisboa actually does very good suckling pig dish for just HKD200. Duck egg is also as good as just a good quality of organic egg can be. Also, the honey truffle sauce is not very strong. I recently have fallen in love with honey with truffle - recommend to buy one in italian cheese store, goes well with cheese and parma ham.

 
Main dish:

He ordered Sirlon, medium.

Looks good. My personal preference is medium rare for steak though. It also comes with a delicious truffle mashed potato, yummy~

 
I ordered Lamb, medium rare.

Again, personal preference issue. I like lamb cutlets only for lamb. So, while I finished the lamb cutlet part, I did not enjoy the rest that much. But yes, good presentation.

 
Dessert:

We had our own birthday cake so did not order any desserts from their menu.

Overall, it is a very good restaurant. I will give 100% for presentation and perhaps 90% for taste for the appetizer and 80% for taste for the mains. I noticed that they have only around 5 choices for each appetizer, main and desserts. I believe they should change their menu from time to time so as to get customers to come back.

 

 

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Winter,Bacon & Egg
 
Date of Visit: Dec 22, 2013 

Celebration:  Christmas 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$1000

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

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Categories : Beijing | Chinese Restaurant | Seafood

My boyfriend and I had a wonderful night in Hu Tong.

Our favourite dish of the night was 京城羊肉. It was tender, juicy with right amount of lamb taste (not too "so"), the top layer was very crispy! We would highly recommend this dish! The portion is also very big, each of us had 3 pieces! The lamb also went well with the garic sauceand onion that came with.

 
After the tremendous 京城羊肉. We had 蜜汁火方. It was also the best 蜜汁火方 we had ever tried, the ham was very thick. Also, there were a lot (really a lot) of loctus seed beneath the ham. I love loctus seed very much! And also, at first the dish comes with 4 buns in the shape of butterfly for you to put the ham inside and ate it like a sandwich. However, because there were 6 pieces of ham, so we ran out of bun to eat with the last 2 pieces of ham. My bf shamelessly asked for more buns to come. And the waiter was so nice that he said "sure no problem!" He ordered the kitchen to steam 2 more buns for us, and they did not even charge us for them!

 
We also had 鍋塌豆腐. My bf had this dish in other places before but had never tried one that he's satisfed with. He had high expectation on this dish. It turned out to be one of the best tofu dish he has ever had. I think he ate 6 pieces out of the 8 pieces in the dish. The tofu inside was very smooth, the tofu skin was so chewy. After biting it open, the smoot tofu flow into my mouth! oh splendid! One remark is that the tofu did not absorb enough flavour. We believe the dish coud be modified if the tofu had sightly more flavour of the sauce.

 
The last dish we had is fried egg white with scallop and winter melon. I personally quite like this dish, a bit refreshing and light in flavour when compare with the other more strongly flavoured dish. However, my bf thinks it completely lacks flavour...

 
We arrived early evening and stayed till 8 ish. The sky was very clear that night. So we enjoyed the change of colour of the skyline of victoria harbour ... The view already worth the price. So together wih nice food and good service, Hu Tong is definitely a good chinese fine dining venue.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  京城羊肉
 
Date of Visit: May 07, 2011 

Spending per head: Approximately HK$500

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

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