Friday, October 29, 2010

Time Out Dining Awards 2010

This year, there were 20 categories - Brunch, Burger, Cafe/Coffee shop, Cheap eats, Chinese, Curry, Date, Desserts & Sweets, Dim Sum, Japanese, Pizza, Southeast Asian, Splurge, Star Chef/Creativity, Steak, Vegetarian, View, Wine selection, Best new restaurant, Restaurant of the Year - each with a winner, an "almost famous" award and a peoples' choice.

I was lucky enough to be part of the panel of judges - so whaddya think of the list?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

North Point Markets - Clay Pot Indian and Tung Po

Tandoori Chicken at Clay Pot

We in Hong Kong have recently been talking a lot about heritage and 'collective nostalgia'. In the world of food, that's meant age-old recipes, classic restaurants and possibly above all, dai pai dong. The Wiki link on dai pai dong gives a pretty good overview of what it's all about. They're called "dai pai" (lit. big sign) because, back in the day, they graduated from illegal hawkering to getting a proper licence (a "big sign" that they would display in the stall). Fast forward to 2010, and most of these have disappeared. Even the ones near Graham Street market in Central, which have probably had more press than all the others combined, have temporarily closed for refurbishment - after which they'll probably look like botoxed concrete. No doubt an idea from that bright bunch we call our government. Anyway, I digress (again). What I wanted to get to was, apart from dai pai dongs on the street, many DPDs had, at some stage in the past 30 years, been moved into what we call "Civic Centres". These are municipal buildings that often include a wet market, municipal offices, theatres, a public library (sometimes) and a cooked food centre. The wet market and cooked food centre components were moved into such buildings for better/easier sanitary (and possibly administrative) control. Prior to their moves, they were street markets, and - you guessed it - dai pai dongs. However, as more of these buildings were built, there were simply more spaces for eateries, hence this common, but less-talked-about proliferation of market restaurants. There are tons, and I've blogged about one of the most buzzed about of late, ABC Kitchen, so here are two more - one petite and relatively unknown (Clay Pot Indian), and the other, a market superstar (Tung Po), both in North Point.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Not so shining - Spring Moon

This used to be one of the finest dim sum experiences in HK. Nowadays, the food doesn't seem to be the focus - don't get me wrong, it's still ok, but for the price, I'd go to Fook Lam Moon any day. (If we paired FLM food with Spring Moon service, I'd be in dim sum heaven!)