Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wishing it was in my Neighborhood

Daily Meat - Roast Chicken at Neighborhood
Neighborhood is the newish restaurant helmed by chef David Lai of On Lot 10 fame. On Lot 10 closed a few months ago, and just before it did, Neighborhood opened.

As the name suggests, the format is that of a neighbourhood bistro, and is the kind of ideal bistro I wish I had within walking distance of my house. (I'll even excuse the American spelling). Neighborhood can be summed up thus: A menu that changes weekly, ingredients that are sourced thoughtfully, well priced, with small surprises here and there, but mostly it's about well-executed favourites.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Boundary Espresso, Melbourne - Up North

Turkish Breakfast at Boundary Espresso
As a member of a stereotypical Asian family in Australia, we never ventured far from our home in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Preston, where Boundary Espresso is, was to me just a name on the road sign on the way to the airport.

Working on a project in Melbourne for the past two months has allowed me to be reacquainted with my city, especially the northern suburbs, which my relatives would have told me was a "danger zone" (plus other marginally racist comments people say behind closed doors that I won't repeat here). In short, as a little girl in Melbourne, we basically never ventured north of Fitzroy.

Friday, January 30, 2015

National Geographic Instagram Takeover @natgeopeopleasia

Follow @natgeopeopleasia for my posts this week!
I first came across National Geographic's "Future of Food" campaign about a year or so ago, as I've become more interested in food issues. Sustainability, hunger, industrial and small-scale farming are huge issues and it does take a while to get your head around it all. It affects us all, rich or poor, wherever you are in the world and I'd encourage you all to learn more about it.

Various fun and helpful food shows are becoming available to Hong Kong and Asia Pacific on the NatGeo channel, and I'll be helping to spread the word mostly via their Instagram @natgeopeopleasia.

I'll be posting "food things" like I already do on my own Instagram account @e_ting, and as I'm currently travelling, you'll see (hopefully) yummy, fun and thought-provoking things from both Hong Kong and Australia.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Moon Under Water - Best Meals of 2014

Moon Under Water, at Builders Arms Hotel
I get really excited every time I go back to Melbourne. Don't get me wrong, I love Hong Kong, but Melbourne is home too, and after all, it's where I learned to love food after a childhood/adolescence of indifference.

And pretty much as I was getting ready to leave Melbourne, the name Andrew McConnell started popping up everywhere, initially in relation to Cumulus Inc, which I didn't visit until I returned to the city on a work trip. I was blown away - to me, McConnell's restaurants - Cumulus Inc, Cumulus Up, Moon Under Water, in particular* - are the very definition of the hard-to-define (some say problematic) genre called Modern Australian.

Friday, December 05, 2014

25 Plus Plus: Sun Wah Cafe

Egg tart at Sun Wah Cafe
If you want to know what 25 Plus Plus is about, click here.

I don't get out to Cheung Sha Wan much, but if I needed a reason, Sun Wah Cafe 新華茶餐廳 would be a good one. Their egg tart is one of the best flaky ones I've had in Hong Kong. Baked in-house, the trays sell out almost as soon as they reach the front of the shop, so you're almost always assured of a warm one.

Friday, November 21, 2014

25 Plus Plus: Cheung Hing Coffee Shop

As you might know, I've been writing a column called 25+ for the South China Morning Post's 48 Hours Magazine for a while now. The column features one restaurant a week that's over 25 years old. Basically I go in and ask old-timers (where possible), or second, third generation operators about the past, present and maybe future of the restaurant.

The column is pretty short, and sometimes I get really interesting stories and details from the interviewees that won't all fit into the column, so I thought I'd share my notes here, instead of having them sit in my notebook as illegible scribbles... Hope you enjoy them as much I enjoy speaking to these folks. I'm filing these posts under 25 Plus Plus.

This is an extension of the 25+ column about Cheung Hing Coffee Shop.

The lovely refurbished Cheung Hing Coffee Shop, on the ground floor of a beautiful building built in 1950; expensive car illegally parked outside. So Hong Kong.
Just a couple of years ago, Cheung Hing Coffee Shop 祥興咖啡室 was a rundown cha chaan teng that people wanted to love but just couldn't, because the food was awful and the place was falling apart. When I called to schedule an interview, the lady in charge wanted to make sure I knew it was under new ownership now - indeed I did, and I was desperate to know the story. Some of my favourite stories for 25+ have been small businesses taken over by people with a vision - it's heartening to know that Hong Kong's heritage will not die out completely in my lifetime.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Don't Trust Food Blog Reviews (and Reviews in general)

Oh hey, look, a sensationalist title. (Edit 21/11/2014: If you read it and went, "oh yeah, of course, I agree" and can't be bothered to read the rest of this post, shame on you for not realising the obvious issue in my use of the title (ie. you are reading a food blog) and I beg of you, save yourself some embarrassment and jump to "media literacy" issues below).

Let's take a step back from that title - I don't mean all media and all bloggers - I just needed your attention*.

If you're reading this post, I'm guessing you spend some time on the internet. Perhaps you read blogs, follow some folks on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. No? Well, at least you Google right?

Some websites/blogs/magazines are now "reviewing" almost exclusively about free meals. I have a problem with that. In Buzzfeed/Huffingpost/2014 internet style, let me make a listicle. (Yes, a rant is coming. Reader beware.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NUR - More Than Bearable Lightness of Being

Oyster - NUR Feast menu, June 2014
(Sorry about the punny title. I couldn't help it... #notsorry)

This is going to be another one of those posts with photos collated from several meals at NUR, which I currently have a restaurant crush on.

NUR is completely different to anything that's available in HK. It's not solely "organic" for the sake of it, and although often touted as "new Nordic", it's not a wholesale import, or carbon copy (thank goodness) of nouveau Scandinavian/Noma-esque cuisine.