Archives for posts with tag: review

In the UK you can only get 2 types of oysters; the Native, and the Pacific/Gigas (photo below). On our last trip to the Company Shed, we were unable to sample the delights of the Native oyster as it was summer, this year we returned when the Native oysters were in season. After hearing so much about them, and how they were a gourmet delight, I was expecting great things from them.

Pacific oyster

Native oysters are only available when there is an R in the month, whereas Pacific oysters are available all year round. The Natives are nearly twice the price of the Pacifics. However are they worth the price difference? Continue reading >>

French Toast is one my favourite Hong Kong Cafe food. It was inspired by the French pain perdu. The Hong Kong  version is to use a thick slice of white bread, soak it in beaten egg mix for a few minutes until it gets ‘saturated’, and then deep fry it till golden. The finished ‘toast’ is then served with butter and golden syrup. They complement each other very well.

Fench Toast by Cafe in Hong Kong
I know this dish has even more calories than my other favourite, pineapple bun with butter. But it is very tasty!

As a fast moving city where every minute counts, Hong Kong loses a lot of cafe which makes French toast the good old way now. Most cafe ‘cheats’ by putting peanut butter between 2 thin slices of bread Continue reading >>

pineapple bun with butterPineapple bun with butter 菠蘿包 is one of my favourite Hong Kong Cafe foods. Interestingly, pineapple bun 菠蘿油 actually contains no pineapple. It got its name thanks to its distinctive crust, which consists of a thin layer of sweet crumble that ‘dissolves’ in your mouth. They crumble layer on top of the bun is usually in the shape of a little dome. The bun looks like a pineapple, hence its name.

Pineapple bun is yummy on its own. But I simply cannot resist putting a slice of cold butter inside a freshly baked warm pineapple bun. I love having a bite just before the before the butter melts completely. The contrast in texture, taste and temperature is sensational! Continue reading >>

Chinese mochi 糯米糍 
Chinese mochi, aka sticky rice dumpling or 糯米糍, tastes the best when eaten on the day it is made, according to Master Tse, who has over 40 years of mochi making experience in Tai O, a village island on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. This is also one of the secrets why his mochi is better than the others- the unbeatable freshness. He makes a batch of mochi every morning using fresh ingredients. He would only make extra according to demand. He emphasizes the importance of selling only mochi freshly made on the day. Generally speaking, if consumed the next day, the snow-white outer skin of the mochi, which contains mainly sticky rice, will harden and badly affects the eating experience. Master Tse’s mochi has a signature outer skin that is chewy but does not stick to your teeth. (Note: Most mochi tends to stick to the teeth, which makes it less enjoyable to eat)

What is inside a mochi? There are traditionally two different fillings: red bean paste as well as crushed peanuts and shredded coconut. Personally, I like the latter more as it has a more interesting texture in the mouth. On the day I visited Master Tse, he was making a bespoke batch which has both fillings! Here is how he did it:

My grandmother said she used to make her own mochi too though she has given up since as it was hard to handle the hot sticky rice dough. Continue reading >>

I love roast goose. The best roast goose is cooked the Hong Kong way. In London, they replace the goose with its smaller cousin- duck. It is just not the same.

Roast goose

Geese have a crown on their head. There is also a signature net pattern that distinguishes themselves from the ducks. Of course, they are also larger and more meaty. In Hong Kong, the best place to have roast duck is at  Yue Kee in Shum Tseng. Every time I visit Hong Kong, I HAVE TO pay a visit there. There are other roast goose restaurants nearby. Some even have better decorated dining areas but they are just not as good.

crispy skin of roast goose

Every day since 1958, Yue Kee‘s roast geese are ready at 11:45am. Continue reading >>

1000 year old egg

cut 1000 year old eggThousand- year old eggs, aka century eggs, are a Chinese delicacy that puzzle a lot of people. In Chinese, they are called Pei Dan, ie. ‘skin eggs’. They have a pretty coating of husk and ash on the outside. They look just like any other egg when the coating is removed. However, once cut, the pungent smell of ammonia distinguishes themselves from the others. (Some people believe that it was because the process was started by horse urine!) The ‘egg white’ is no longer ‘white’. It is a dark brown substance with the consistency of jelly. The ‘yolk’ is not orange nor yellow like normal eggs. It is dark grey with a hint of green. Who on earth would want to put them in the mouth? Continue reading >>

Good Shanghai Dumplings 上海小籠包 should be freshly made. Some restaurants are so proud of their dumplings that they let their customers watch how their dumplings are made. It is great theatre! The video clip above shows how chefs in Din Tai Fung (Hong Kong, 1 Michelin Star) made their special black truffle dumplings (黑松露小籠包) as a team. The chef closest to the camera made the ‘skin’ (pastry) by rolling a small dough flat. He then passed it to the second chef who put the special meat filling in. Black truffle was added by the third chef and the dumpling was sealed and put in the bamboo steamer by the last chef. The dumpling was weighed twice throughout the process to make sure that the correct amount of special meat filling (first weighing) and black truffle (second weighing) was added. Great precision! Continue reading >>

Chinese birthday cake

Technically speaking, it is not a birthday cake. It is a birthday bun. In Chinese, it is called 壽包(pronounced as ‘sau bao’). 壽 means ‘long life’, 包 is ‘bun’. Traditionally, 壽包 are made in the shape of a Chinese peach as it is held in the hand of the God of Longevity. Continue reading >>

In his TV programme, Heston Blumenthal, chef of Fat Duck, the 3 Michelin starred restaurant, one of the top 3 restaurants in the world, proudly stated that he uses Kombu in his cooking because of Umami. The term Umami became trendy and attractive.

Umami is a Japanese word that means ‘good flavour’. This flavour is generated due to the detection of  glutamate. It was first identified by Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University while researching the strong flavour in seaweed broth.

Recently, I discovered a new product called Taste No. 5 Umami paste. First impression was that it tried to sound like Chanel No. 5, the perfume . It contains tomato puree, garlic, anchovy paste, black olive, balsamic vinegar, porcini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt. Ironically, no seaweed extract which was the original ingredient that inspired the use of the word Umami! Tomatoes, porchini mushrooms, parmesan cheese naturally contain glutamate. I had high hope that this little tube would enhance the flavour of my meal. Continue reading >>

4 stars
I have always been fascinated by the 3 bird roast. Why did anyone come up with the idea of cooking a bird inside a bird inside a bird? In the old days, a multiple bird roast was about showing off the wealth of the host, as not that many people could afford such extravagance. Nowadays, the most common 3 bird roast is Turducken, ie. chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. I am not a turkey fan so I was very keen to try out the one served at the Fountain. It was Goopheaken – chicken cooked inside a pheasant inside a goose.

3 bird roast at the Fountain

I was a little disappointed to see that the waiter did not serve the whole Goopheaken decorated with feathers of the animals, like they did in the old days (according to some old cookbooks) but that was kind of expected. I knew at the back of my head that it would only be in my dreams that the chef would put a chicken through the bottom of a pheasant through the bottom of a goose. In reality, the animals are all deboned and rolled up in layers, with stuffing inside. At the Fountain, it was all done neatly with delicious orange, chestnut and pork stuffing right in the centre.

I was given 4 different choices of condiments- Cumberland sauce (red currants and oranges), game relish (cranberries, red currants, lemon and Fortnum’s port. The waiter told us that it has rabbit fat in it!), cranberry sauce (cranberries, Fortnum’s LBV port and zesty oranges) and red currants savour. I tried all of them (of course!) and found that Continue reading >>