Monday, December 31, 2012

My top 20 dishes of 2012

Baked char siu buns at Lung King Heen, Four Seasons Hong Kong
As I'm picking my Top 20, I realise I haven't travelled very much at all this year, and you probably already know why. It's funny, because I used to have to leave Hong Kong every few months, else I'd feel claustrophobic or just generally be itching to go away. This year has been so jam-packed with hugely fun things, I guess claustrophobia just got pushed out of the way.

I'm also cheating when I titled this post "top 20 dishes", because while some were individual dishes, others were full meals.

Anyway, without further ado, and in no particular order:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Guide to Coffee in Hong Kong - Where to Drink, Buy and Read about Coffee

Cafe Deadend's "Dirty Double"
Hong Kong is no longer the coffee desert I came back to 6 years ago. It has gotten to the stage where I can get a good to excellent beverage whichever district I might be in - well, almost - there are none near my home in Tseung Kwan O, which is why I've also decided to list where you can also buy coffee beans and equipment to brew at home.

(Edit Oct 2013: Just so you know, this was written in Dec 2012. Since then, good coffee places have continued to open. I guess I'll start a 'living' list one of these days, but for the time being, please keep in mind that this is now old).

Friday, December 07, 2012

Grassroots Pantry - Feel-Good Food

Dessert at Grassroots Pantry - fig napoleon with pistachio and cashew cream
Eating well has been something of a challenge recently. It seems particularly ironic because I have access to fresh organic local vegetables every Sunday, however there is no irony in it at all when you realise that the time spent making sure that there are vegetables at Island East Markets every Sunday is exactly why I haven't been eating them.

The first time I went to Grassroots Pantry, it was with Table for Two, for our very fun food crawl. The second time, it was to invite them to come set up a stall at Island East Markets. This time, the third time, I was finally able to go in for a proper meal (after having seen the lovely GP girls almost weekly at the market! Needless to say, they knew I was going in for dinner - end disclaimer).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shiraz heaven - Fox Creek McLaren Vale Reserve Shiraz 2004

I'm one of those lucky people who has quite a few wine lovers around her, who, seeing how miserable she looks without a drink, hand her a carefully-chosen bottle now and then.

This Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz is one such bottle. The thing is, I'm not usually a fan of Aussie Shiraz. Too much of the time it's got too much vanilla, it's jammy and stewed in an overripe way, and almost too luscious, so full-bodied it's just like thick, raisiny lead on your tongue. Or it goes the other extreme of being way too fickle, spicy and peppery.

I don't know what the Fox Creek was like younger, but after 8 years, this 2004 is beautiful. (Ok, come on Aussies, let's say it together: BEE-YOU-DE-FOOL!). It's got everything on the Shiraz spectrum, and it comes through in layers. On the nose it's pretty typical - dark red fruits, chocolate. On the palate, you get a bit of vanilla, but it's quickly offset by some green herbs - rosemary, perhaps - and a fruity freshness, like fresh cranberry juice. That freshness and seemingly lighter body is what I love most about this (but it manages to be 14.5%, I guess the fresh fruit is what does it). There's a teeny bit of black pepper too, and yes, some raisins but not too much, and lots of dark chocolate, especially if you're having meat with it. And such a long, velvety finish. Mmm...

If only all Aussie Shirazes were as sophisticated as this, then they wouldn't have such a dodgy reputation!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Interview: Fuchsia Dunlop at Hong Kong Literary Festival

Fuchsia Dunlop
I was fortunate enough to get a last-minute press pass to one of the talks that Fuchsia Dunlop was giving at this year's Hong Kong International Literary Festival.

Entitled Hot and Sour, it was a Q&A session about Fuchsia's (mostly food) experiences in China, mostly related to her memoir, Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper (which, by the way, has been translated into Traditional Chinese, and perhaps soon into simplified for the Mainland Chinese market, a prospect that Fuchsia looked forward to with "trepidation").

Fuchsia Dunlop at "Hot and Sour", moderated by Chengdu native, Jennifer Zhu-Scott
After a bit of a wait (that's what you get for being last-minute) I caught Fuchsia for a zippy 10-minute interview in the all-emerald Centurion lounge of the Kee Club, and I shivered all the way through, because the aircon was worthy of a mortuary, and I was so nervous and thrilled to be meeting the only non-Chinese author I trust to talk about Chinese food. I have an enormous amount of respect for Fuchsia's efforts in understanding China, its culture and its food. If I could achieve a fraction of what she's done in "communicating" China to the West, I'd be very proud of myself!

Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed recording it, and many thanks, Fuchsia, HK Lit Fest and CatchOn.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Sang Kee, all things battered, fried and delicious

Deep-fried squid
When we think of Cantonese food, we often think about subtly-flavoured dishes like steamed fish, lotus leaf rice and the like, and for a split second it may seem like everything we eat is super mellow. But given our love for lard and pre-deep-frying things (走油) that wouldn't be further from the truth. And if you want to talk "dirty" Cantonese food, Sang Kee is the place. (By "dirty" I don't mean hygiene, I mean how guilty-good you feel after eating it.)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Cook For Family - Leftover Peking duck

It's no secret that I love to eat, and on the blog it appears that I love to eat out more than in. In real life though, I eat at home quite a bit and I do cook, albeit super simple things that can be done in a few minutes - such are the demands of modern life (or that's my excuse...).

When I got an email from Razlan about Daniel's #CookForFamily initiative, I jumped right in. Rather than paraphrase, here's what it's about in Daniel's own words:
The #CookForFamily is a bloggers-for-bloggers initiative. No competition, sponsors, or hidden agenda involved. It is created with a simple objective of getting more bloggers, and hopefully their fans and followers, to start cooking and bonding with their families.
You'll see that most participants are Singaporean food bloggers, but hey, food knows no boundaries, and certainly the internet doesn't.

Peking duck slices
But then came the challenge of what to cook. I was surprised by Daniel's blog post about bloggers telling him that they don't have time to cook or don't know how to. So instead of conjuring up a fancy menu, I thought I'd come clean and just tell you all how lazy I can be, and hopefully communicate that it really isn't hard to cook for your family, even if cooking means getting a little help from leftovers.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Germans can make Champagne (if your name is Krug)

Food and wine writers and sub-editors will know very well that only the sparkling wine from Champagne, the region in France, can be called champagne - everything else is "sparkling wine", or Prosecco, Cava etc. Even amongst Europeans, who all have their own legislation and certification with regards to regional/cultural produce, the French are known to be particularly picky about their appellations. You'd think then, that they were pretty xenophobic, but truth is, like most people, they just like nice things, wherever they're from.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A Char Siu Wine - Eddie McDougall's Little Pig Rose

Eddie McDougall's Little Pig Rose 2010
Wines with non-European cuisines have always been a challenge. I've talked about natural pairings in the world's cuisines before, say, soy sauce and rice, clams and pork - these foods appear in close geographical proximity, and through time, people have found ways to make nature's bounty work with each other. China doesn't really have a history of wines made from grapes, and only with globalisation has Chinese food and grape wines started to come together. Nowadays - well in Hong Kong anyway - there's been a lot of talk about pairing wine with Asian food - I'd say it's still in its infancy, but hey, what do I know, I'm just a drinker.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Table for Two - Vegetarian Food Crawl in Central, Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun

Black bean veggie burger at Light Radiant Food
In the developed world, we hear about health problems that stem from overabundant diets - from obesity to gout, yet in the developing world, the health problems come from malnutrition, the direct opposite. Policymakers and activists around the world are trying to remedy this, and one social enterprise hitting both these birds with one stone is Table for Two.

Founded in 2008 in Japan, Table for Two has been helping feed children in poverty-stricken parts of Africa and China through donations made from restaurants in more developed nations. The consumption of healthy meals in restaurants, offered through partnerships between Table For Two and restaurants, raises money for the children's meals.

Healthy Summer Dining Experience map via Table for Two
Table for Two was brought to Hong Kong late last year, and the team here have devised a great "Healthy Summer Dining Experience" in August (starting August 1st). Buy the designated "Table For Two" meal (or drink) at their partner outlets, a portion of proceeds will go to charity, and by snapping a picture of your meal, there are prizes to be won too.

I was lucky enough to have been brought along on a little food crawl with the lovely ladies of Table For Two to get a sneak peek on some of the fab food and drink on offer. It was lovely to see so many great names on the list of participating restaurants (and bar). We didn't cover all of them on the crawl, so do check out the map (above) for the full list.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shinya Shokudo - Food Manga Du Jour

Shinya Shokudo
Shinya Shokudo book 1, via official website
Sweeping the Asian food manga (comic) circles in the past year or so is Shinya Shokudo (深夜食堂 or Shinya Shokudou, and seemingly called Midnight Dining in English), a Japanese comic about a late night diner in the notorious nightlife district of Kabukicho, Tokyo. I'm not a comic obsessive, but since Les Gouttes de Dieu, this is the second food or wine-related comic I've been stuck into. In fact, it's the second comics series I've gotten stuck into in at least 5 years, full stop.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coffee in Hong Kong - Knockbox hand-drip class

Last weekend, I went to Knockbox Coffee Company, one of the newer third-wave coffee shops in Hong Kong for their hand-drip (aka pour-over) workshop. You may remember that I went to another newish coffee shop, Rabbithole, to attend their coffee class not too long ago too. The Rabbithole class I attended was more of an overview of methods (they do a hand-drip class too), and I started to get curious about the different philosophies and theories baristas had about making coffee. (Plus, there was a lot of feedback and debate, on that blog post and off, about the different methods and the rationale behind them).

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dadong - Duck down, Beijing

Peking duck at Da Dong
According to my dad - back in 2010 or so - when in Beijing, we should skip the "classic" Quan Ju De and go to Dadong instead. That's a rule we (and I, when I've gone to BJ without him) have followed. This time, because I needed a baseline with which to compare Made in China, we found ourselves in Dadong again. Only this time, Dadong wasn't how we remembered it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Housekeeping - All in a Hong Kong Second

I've always been a slow blogger, but recently the eagle eyed might have discovered a little more slowness than usual. There are two big things going on right now that are keeping me busier than ever (eating and writing already get pretty busy, I'll have you believe) so I thought I'd let you know and hopefully my tardiness will be somewhat excused.

A) Island East Markets.

Words cannot describe how excited I am about this one. On September 30, I'll be opening a farmers market!!!!! 

It'll be 40-plus stalls of local (Hong Kong) organic farmers, arts and crafts, delicious food and drink, jams, honey, snacks, eco-friendly homewares, plus bands, cooking demos... everything great about farmers markets in every other great city in the world is coming to Hong Kong. It's about time we had one, dontchyathink? 

We've been getting so much help from everyone, from finding the right organic farmers to cool vendors and more, and it's still a work in progress, so if you think you can help, please get in touch!

Meanwhile, we're on Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, Vimeo, and have a blog, newsletter and website - come say hi!

B) A wedding

My wedding, to be precise. I've been looking at fabulous places, table settings, and enough white floaty fabric to wrap around the globe 5 times. 

Nothing, aside from the Chinese banquet location, has been settled. An extremely messy affair this is, I tell you. Just look at all the places I've already been to to check out as potential venues!

Chapel at Bethanie Hall. Nope, not religious and certainly no drinks allowed here!

Suites at the InterContinental, sadly not enough space for everyone and layout not ideal

Cowshed - love the cow, the boy doesn't because he grew up on a farm

Peninsula - fabulous deck but closed for renovations first 6 months of 2013 at least

Yee Tung Heen for Chinese banquets - not big enough for our gigantic family

American Club - decent deck, but the indoor part (coffeeshop) looks very tired
And of course, I might have gone just a little crazy at pinning white dresses on Pinterest...

So, please excuse me if I'm a little slower than usual at blogging!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Peking Duck, Made in China - Beijing

Carving Peking duck. Argh, gloves.
Not long ago, I wrote that the best Peking duck I've ever had was at Kowloon Tang, in Hong Kong. With that memory fresh in my mind, I set off to Beijing to try the "real" thing. It's my 4th or 5th time in Beijing now, and we've had our favourites (see: my dad's Beijing tips), one of which has been Da Dong. I revisited DD this time as well - more in a future post - but we also went to Made in China, which has always been highly regarded for its pan-Chinese cuisine cooked before your eyes in their glassed-in kitchens, but also for its Peking duck.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Robuchon's backyard, Hong Kong

Amuse bouche - duck consomme jelly (gelee, I soup-pose?!) at the front
Le Jardin de Joel Robuchon is the formal dining room behind the iconic raspberry-red bar tables of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. The menus are essentially the same; I think L'Atelier offers a smaller set dinner and smaller set lunch on top of what Le Jardin offers.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Slow Down - Teakha, Hong Kong

Masala tea and roselle scone
Since I last counted, no less than three major international publications have written about Sheung Wan's Tai Ping Shan Street as the city's coolest enclave. And it is, dotted with art galleries, studios, cafes and independent boutiques among air-conditioning repair shops and tiny temples. It just makes me wish I bought an apartment here four years ago when I started wandering the area at lunchtime. (Mom, are you reading this? Remember you said no?!)

Friday, June 08, 2012

Strip House - More than Steak, Hong Kong

Porterhouse for two
My review for Harlan's steakhouse came out in Time Out. The photos I'm putting up are actually from two meals. The first one I had there was for the review, and the second was an invitation from the big man himself. One thing to note that, like I said in my old blog post of the now-closed Tuscany by H, Harlan is the man (or should we say da man!) when it comes to consistency. When I went in for the review, I'm 100% sure he didn't notice me (he walked right past me a number of times) and needless to say I didn't make myself known. I noted my experience and then went back for the invited dinner the next week, and we had a few of the same dishes - guess what - they were exactly the same.

Wynn Macau - Cafe Encore, the Stay and the Spa

The Suite life at Wynn Macau's Encore Tower
In this final post on the couple of days I spent at Wynn Macau (to see why I was there, head here), I'm covering our ace room, breakfast at Cafe Encore, and for the first time on this blog, a spa, because it was truly lovely (no, I'm not just saying that).

This was our room, which was in Encore Tower, the newer wing at Wynn where all rooms are suites. All the rooms are facing Taipa, so you get an open view, and there are villas that are by invitation only - I guess I'll never be enough of a high-roller to know!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spring in Beijing - Itinerary

One of my best-est friends, let's call her W, has finally moved back to Asia. One of her last stops before Hong Kong was Beijing, and she was there for a conference in Beida (Peking University), so we decided to go and crash at her hotel. That's the story. Here's just a quick itinerary of what we did - it's partially for myself, so I don't forget. I'll be writing up some of the more interesting meals soon. Over six days, we had 2 Peking ducks, two mala meals, a lot of coffee and a fair bit of drinking, with some Yunnanese thrown into the mix. We were trying to avoid Sanlitun but gave in on our last day...

Stars for peanuts - Wing Lei, Wynn Macau

Wing Lei
We got to Macau at around lunchtime, and our first meal was here, at Wing Lei. (The second meal was dinner at Golden Flower, which I posted just before. Please see that post for an intro to why this trip was made). Wing Lei is the romanised pronunciation of Wynn's Cantonese name, and fittingly, it serves Cantonese food. If you're the star-chasing kind, you might also like to note that Wing Lei has 2 Michelin stars in the 2012 guide.

United Tastes of China - Golden Flower, Wynn Macau

Tea with tall "smelling" cup
I was lucky enough to have been invited* to Wynn Macau to try out a few of their restaurants, and agreed after I was assured that the chefs would be kept in the dark about my visits, and that I reserve the right to my opinion. I also had to go for work anyway, for which I needed to interview a chef at Golden Flower (coming later) and that happened after I ate there. I don't know about you, but I think it worked out quite well - work and play, easily combined - that's why I went freelance, folks! (I highly recommend it, haha).

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day - Hong Kong is in on it!

This Saturday, May 19th!

Have you heard Jamie Oliver's TED Prize speech from back in 2010? This was soon after he finished "Food Revolution", his TV series in the United States, where he went to a town named Huntington in West Virginia, apparently the town with most people classified as "obese" in the US.

If you don't have 20 minutes to watch the whole thing, don't worry, I'm going to highlight a few key things for you, but please see those bits at least.

At the beginning of this video (around 02:22) he shows some stats - everyone reads so much and is so freaked out about homicide, but that's the last thing on the list that's killing people. The first few are largely preventable through diet - heart disease, diabetes, stroke.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to season a new wok - Things mom taught (and things I learned)

A new ceramic-coated 15" "haak gum gong" wok
From all the literature I've been reading about the science behind seasoning a wok, I'm pretty sure the "traditional" method of seasoning a wok that I was taught, with fatty pork and chives, is scientifically unsound, but I'm going to tell you the rationale behind my purchase and what I've learned anyway, for reference and in the interests of covering the different schools of thought out there.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shugetsu, more ramen in Hong Kong

I wrote a review for Time Out Hong Kong on another new-ish ramen place in town, Shugetsu. They make their noodles on site, and are known for their "dry" ramens (as opposed to soup). I tried the abura ramen and tsukemen. I won't repeat my thoughts about them here - simply go to the Time Out piece.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Cooking class with the lan in Bo.lan - Part 2: Chicken relish and Eggnets

Chicken relish (rear) with fried fish
After the panang curry, we moved on to the other two dishes on the agenda - chicken relish and egg net rolls. I didn't properly transcribe Dylan's recipe or ingredients list, but hopefully the pics will give you a fair idea of what was going on.

Cooking class with the lan in Bo.lan - Part 1: Panang curry

Thai Panang Curry
I joined the Amateur Gourmet group on Meetup less than a year ago - they're a great bunch of foodies in Hong Kong who meet to go out and try new restaurants, do potlucks, food-oriented holidays and basically anything food-related and fun. The organiser, V, is super on-the-ball with what's on in the food scene, and had the great vision of bringing over Dylan Jones from the highly acclaimed Bangkok restaurant Bo.lan to guest chef for us foodies in Hong Kong. (He's the "lan" in Bo.lan" - Bo is his partner (in life and the restaurant) Duangporn Songvisava, aka "Bo").

Monday, May 07, 2012

Australians all let us rejoice! Cumulus Inc, Melbourne

Kitchen charcuterie selection
What makes you fall in love with a food or beverage outlet? Good food, servers who know your name, or a stool for your handbag? I can't pinpoint exactly what combination of things gets me excited, but I can tell you Cumulus Inc. has it.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Spare ribs, a numbers game, a recipe

I didn't have a wok...
The closest I've come to writing a recipe on this blog is at Margaret Xu's Detour event back in 2010, where she made tofu. I didn't really think I'd ever write about cooking (I'm not a great cook - not being humble - trust me), but since mid-last year, when I moved out of home (again), I found myself in a situation that I hadn't been in for about 6 years - having my own kitchen. And suddenly I've been cooking a lot more - baking, even (which is kind of how this blog started - can you believe it, I was blogging about baking) despite a tiny oven, so I will be documenting more cooking-related bits from now on. Plus, 10 months after moving in, I finally bought a wok today. I've also been joining some cool cooking classes recently, and have had no real outlet to talk about them - but duh, I have a food blog, why can't I post about cooking here?

So that was my very long explanation as to why I'm moving this recipe from my Tumblr blog (that no-one seems to read) to, well, here. I wrote this back in September 2011, you'll know why/what it was for as you read on. It's my mom's recipe - one of the dishes she almost always makes for guests, and which returning guests always ask for. Throughout the Internet, you'll find lots of similar recipes for this dish, which we call "12345 spare ribs" but is also more commonly known as "sugar vinegar spare ribs" / tong cho pai gwut / 糖醋排骨, but for some reason you'll see most of those with a very watery, light sauce. Ours is thick and sticky, like a super-dark toffee, and goes great with rice.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Coffee in Hong Kong - Class at Rabbithole Coffee

Siphoned coffee at Rabbithole
Rabbithole has been one of my favourite coffee shops of late, and I've been dropping by as often as time allows since they opened. One day, I took two of my geekiest (and probably therefore, closest) friends and we tried one bean made three ways, just to see what it'd be like. (You see what I mean by geeky?) As we were watching the staff at Rabbithole make our coffees, we discovered flyers in the shop for coffee classes. Originally I was only interested in the hand drip class (since that's how I make my coffee at home and am desperate to improve my skills) but Mike, the owner, aka "The Java Junkie" per Time Out Hong Kong's description told us that the introductory class would see us playing with all his shiny machines and trying out different methods. We were sold.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Time Out Hong Kong - Special Food Issue!

Time Out Hong Kong Issue 103 - The special food issue
The Food Issue of Time Out Hong Kong comes out today. The theme is 20 People Changing the Way We Eat and Drink, featuring local organic farmers, restaurateurs, charities, and movers and shakers in wine, baking, coffee, retail and more.

It was awesome to see Mike Fung of Rabbithole Coffee, one of my favourite places to get a caffeine hit these days (read Charmaine's excellent write-up and Tom's great guide to the new wave of coffee bars in Hong Kong), as well as Jonathan So, who's bringing Hong Kong's first craft beer festival, Beertopia, to Hong Kong this weekend. I won't spill all the beans, go out and get a copy! I'm told it's available at 7-Eleven and English bookshops in Hong Kong (but not all 7-Elevens - those in districts with more English readers, I suppose). As of this moment, it's not online yet, but I'm pretty sure it will be soon.

Little old me is lucky enough to be inside, as The City's Best Food Blogger along with the hugely popular KC Koo, who blogs in Chinese. Needless to say, I feel totally out of my league. My new project, a super-fun farmers' market called Island East Markets gets its first proper mention in the media too! More on that later.

On the cover are Matt Abergel and Lindsay Jang from Yardbird, Bertha Lo-Hofford and Alex Hofford from the Hong Kong Shark Foundation, Eddie McDougall of The Flying Winemaker, Chan Siu-Lun of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, and yes, that is me in the silver gown (and no, sadly it does not belong to me - thank you D!).

Thank you Time Out, and all of you who read my blog - you guys are the ones that make this sort of thing happen, and you're amazing.

(P.S. check out the reviews inside - Dorothy So reviews RyuGin, Charmaine Mok reviews Lupa, and I review Old Street Kobiteh.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Peking Duck, Kowloon Tang

Carving up the duck!
I know, I know, I've said it before, I get a bit annoyed sometimes when people come to Hong Kong asking specifically for Peking duck. It's not because I don't like Peking duck (au contraire) but it's the same kind of feeling I get when people say, "it's my first time in China, and I'm surprised by its efficiency," when their only stop is Hong Kong. Yes, technically, Hong Kong is part of China now, but you have not seen China by coming to Hong Kong. To that end, I feel weird saying that I had the best Peking duck I've ever had in Hong Kong.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dim summing it at Lung King Heen, Hong Kong

Siu mai - pork and shrimp dumplings with crab roe
A good friend from Melbourne was in town last week, and if I ever needed an excuse to pig out, this was it. I called about 5 days ahead to book for a weekday lunch but it wasn't good enough for the only three-Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in the world, so I before I continue, I must disclaim that my booking for this lunch was made through the very kind public relations department, and you may make your own judgement as to how representative this is of an average meal at Lung King Heen (I'd say it pretty much is - oh sorry, what did I say about your own judgement again?!). Needless to say, this is not my usual protocol, and aside from this, we enjoyed and paid for the meal as normal diners would.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Uno Duo Trio, an Italian home to go to in Hong Kong?

Soft-boiled eggs with truffles
I've said most of what I had to say about Uno Duo Trio in my review for Time Out earlier in the year. The time I visited for that review was my second visit; the photos you see here are from my first.

Eater Hong Kong Heatmap - round two!

Eater Hong Kong Heatmap
I was very lucky to have been asked to submit my picks again to Eater for their Hong Kong Heatmap. If you missed the first one from January, it's here.

The main criterion was that they had to be new since the last round. In case you're surprised as to why there wasn't even a single ramen mention, despite there having been so many ramen openings, all I can say is that none of them seemed worthy of an international mention. If you want to contest that - well, that's what the comments box is for!

It's conveniently mapped and all, so get over there and have a look for what's on the list, and thanks for the having me Eater!

So funny that one of the first comments on Eater under that post was why Yardbird wasn't on that list - it was on the first heatmap, silly! Also shows how crazily (and internationally?) popular YB is!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Yarra Valley, a Day Trip

Vines in Yarra Valley
A couple of weeks ago I was back in Melbourne for a few days, playing tour guide and driver to my aunt, who was there partially for work. it was her first time there and I was eager to show her all the things I love about the state I called home for so many years (in many ways, it still is). The weather, being Melbourne, was beautiful one minute and shockingly horrid the next, so when I woke up late one morning (we never adjusted to Melbourne time!) to find that the sky was clear, I called Bella Vedere in Yarra Valley for a table straight away, and off we went.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market - Fresh off the Boat

Salt and pepper squid
This is from a while back - it was a pre-Chinese New Year gathering with friends old and new (mostly new*!) at the Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market. It's has had a lot of buzz recently, as the media has suddenly "uncovered" a "hidden", "secret" eatery that is off-limits to the general public.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Daily Grind - my entry-level Bodum and Hario coffee grinders

When I started freelancing in December last year, one of the first issues I had to resolve was coffee. You see, I'm an addict (the doctor actually told me that), and there was a Nespresso machine in my old office, so it was never a problem. Weekend coffees at home were random - I have a Bialetti stovetop maker, filters for drip/pour-over, and even the lazy Japanese single-serve pour-overs from UCC (don't laugh, they aren't half bad, and have saved my sanity many a time, especially on travels to Mainland China).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hong Kong Disneyland - Food with lots of character(s)

Help! Help! There's cream in my ears!
What does a foodie do at Disneyland? Eat, of course, like they would anywhere else. And, um, also go ker-razy at the new Toy Story Land!!!!!