Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some of Hong Kong's most overrated restaurants

Each have their merits, and it doesn't mean these restaurants are bad, but I think their "names precede the truth" (名過於實 | Cantonese: ming gwo yu sut | Mandarin: ming guo yu shi) as we say in Chinese...

Hutong (and Aqua) - all about the view. Hutong's lamb ribs I love, but everything else, um, I don't have polite things to say about...
Xi Yan - there are better private kitchens
Luk Yu - more about the atmos than the food. There's better old school dim sum at Lin Heung
Mak's (Wellington Street) - Ho Hung Kee is just as good (+ many others) for wonton meen
Sang Kee congee - congee is thin, watery and overcooked nowadays (used to be better)
Tonkichi - the waiting list/line is a bit ridiculous for an inconsistent product
Lung King Heen - it's up there with the best, but it's not the holy grail of Cantonese food, so stop saying it is
Ovologue - gwailo (ie. foreigner - equivalent to gaijin in Japan and farang in Thailand) posing to be innovative and 'authentic', whatever that means (and however that matters) - gold leaves and abalone in teeny weeny portions on fancy schmacy crockery with sauces that don't taste or don't match, and sometimes cold (when it's not supposed to be) - it's just not good food

Bo Innovation is also one of the most talked-about places in Hong Kong - especially since it gained its two Michelin-star status, but I haven't tried it yet, so watch this space... [edit: I have now - see here]

These are just some quick notes off the top of my head (and to get off my chest). What have your experiences been like? Any to add/subtract? Bring it on. I'm geared up for hate mail. (Though I should reiterate that each of these restaurants have their merits and obviously exist for a/some reason(s) - some more understandable than others... and that these are of course, my personal, humble opinion.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Growing up sucks

When I was younger, this was one of my family's favourite izakayas. They've now moved up the street and look like a sad Hongkie style Japanese restaurant instead of the rustic/lived in izakaya it once was. The food is still pretty decent, but the service was a bit blunt and their last order is at 11pm - not very izakaya-ish in my books...

Chopped tuna and cucumber roll (6 pieces, but I was too hungry...)
The spring onion was perhaps a little overpowering, but then again, it's sometimes normal at izakayas, where the drinking is just as important - the logic being you need flavourful food to go with the robust beverages.