Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lûmé - Bright young things in South Melbourne

Lambs blood ganache rolled in maple oats, native apple jam and riberry pepper
On Lûmé's website, it says, "Some circumflexes appear for no known reason". Circumflexes are a bit of a leitmotif in the branding, so I take that as the founders keeping things fun and light hearted - pretty clever, as the food is unapologetically high-end.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Jade Dragon, Macau - Oh so fine

Jade Dragon signature fried rice with prawn, Sakura shrimp, conpoy and roasted goose
As part of my junket* in Macau, I got to visit Jade Dragon, City of Dreams Macau's signature Cantonese restaurant. I'd heard lots of great things about it - Tatler Top 20 and Best Dim Sum, Michelin-starred, etc. - so I was excited to try it out myself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Scandinavia - Yes, Fäviken and Frantzén, but so much more

Around Lakselvbukt, near Tromsø, Northern Norway
We had known for a while that our honeymoon was going to feature the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), but when we got to planning the wedding, we knew we wouldn't be able to make it that year (we were married in late March) - whether we went to Alaska or Norway - so we did it almost a year later, over Chinese New Year of 2014.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Shinji by Kanesaka, Macau (and what it feels like to have an anti-foodist husband)

Sushi counter at Shinji by Kanesaka, Macau
I was invited on a junket* by City of Dreams Macau to try out some of their signature restaurants. I'll be writing about all of them in due course, but out of the list I was offered, I was most excited about Shinji by Kanesaka, a sushi restaurant with two Michelin stars at its original branch in Ginza**.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Clever Dripper Is Exactly That. Clever.

The Clever Dripper is an awesome way to make a consistent cup of coffee at home
A lot of people make coffee at home, and as much as I drink it, I have to admit I didn't start brewing at home until a few years ago. Back in Melbourne, it was a no-brainer - I could go out and get a good cup almost wherever. In Hong Kong, somehow I managed by trekking out to different places to find decent coffee. That all changed when "third wave" hit Hong Kong and it became much easier to buy relatively cheap equipment to brew at home, and have access to locally roasted beans, or beans flown in regularly. (Previously, if you wanted to make coffee at home, it was either you buy a home espresso machine (which generally suck unless, well, you spend so much you might as well get a commercial one) and buy stale beans from the supermarket, or get a pod machine, neither of which appealed to me. (Re: pods - reliance on a single brand and company is just too dodgy for my taste, not to mention the environmental impact* of pods...).

As usual, I have a written an intro that's way too long before saying what I really want to say - I think I have found my coffee-at-home utopia. It's the Clever Dripper.

At home, I just want a decent cup that won't be much trouble nor take much skill. Sure, I've learned to do pourovers, but I'll never be as skilled and as well-trained as the baristas who make 50 a day. But I like the clean, expressive flavours that pourovers provide (I like espressos (okay, espressi, whatever, I need a bloody style guide for myself) but I kind of see them as a different drink - I guess an analogy might be juice vs nectar or something).

While away from home this past winter, I brought the current "standard" travel coffee kit with me - Aeropress and Porlex grinder. They're easy to pack and numerous Instagram flatlays have made it look so sexy. I'm not a huge Aeropress fan because of the grit, but I can live with it. But then on the same trip, I moved around a bit and sometimes only packed an overnight bag that wouldn't fit my coffee gear. I arrived at my sister-in-law's house and found something that most households have - a French press. Now, I'd never used a French press before because it'd had such bad, er, press, but I needed coffee so I asked Google god, and it gave me this. (In short: coarse grind, longer brew time, agitation.)

It's an amazing method for the flavours etc. but still, there was the problem of grit. When I got home, I even thought about using a French press then pouring it through a V60 - then I thought - wait a minute, didn't someone invent that already? Yep. It's the Clever Dripper. You get all the cupping-like soaking of the "new" French press method to which I linked above, and none of the grit because it has a paper filter*, thanks to the simple valve at the bottom of the dripper. GENIUUUUUUS.

*Although what would be more genius is if someone could invent a filter as good as paper, but was reusable. I've tried all sorts of metal disks, the ABLE cone etc. but none are as good as paper grit-wise. I'm sorry, world. Please, science, invent something and save me from my daily sinning.

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.