Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Yung Kee Restaurant @ Wellington Street, Hong Kong

Life is full of drama and Yung Kee family feud goes like this - The founder Mr. Kam Shui Fai who passed away in 2007, left his restaurant business to his 3 children, with the eldest son Kam Kin Sing and second son Kam Kwan Lai receiving 45% stake each. The remaining 10% was given to his daughter Kam Mei Ling, which she eventually sold to her second brother. In July 2010, the older son filed a wind up petition in Hong Kong court, threatened to close the business unless his younger brother buys out his 45% stake for a whopping HK$1.51bn. The court case is still on going and lucky for me, Yung Kee is still open for business. 
Preserved egg and pickled ginger - This dish may not be everyone's cup of tea but it was definitely mine. The preserved egg was bouncy and has a jelly like feel.
Roasted Goose - Supposedly the best in town, Yung Kee's goose was succulent, juicy and tender. 
Barbecued Suckling Pig - The BBQ suckling pig was another crowd pleaser. With a proprietary blend of spices, each piece was heavenly.
Omelet with Bitter Gourd - Fluffy omelet dances away with the crunchy bitter gourd. 
Homemade Clay Pot Tofu - The clay pot was filled with freshly made bean curd, luxuriating between the mushroom sauce.
Seafood Vegetables - The scallions and carrots were embraced by the fresh squids, adding bright notes to the pale seafood. 
Yeung Chow Fried Rice - The prawns and roasted pork were tossed into the rice with some eggs and scallions, for what could consider a stand alone meal.

VERDICT: SOMEWHAT SMITTEN


Smitten Dishes:
Preserved egg and pickled ginger
Roasted Goose
Yeung Chow Fried Rice

Yung Kee Restaurant
Address: 32-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Telephone: 852 2522 1624
Operating Hours: 11am -11.30pm (open daily)


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fat Boy's Burger @ Publika

If you are a burger fanatic who feels restrained by options, Fat Boy's Burger will taste like freedom. The menu is extensive with savory, spicy, sweet, umami burgers, dictated by your choice of meat, sauce, bun and toppings. You can have as many permutations as you want. If you are out of ideas, don't fret, just choose one of the popular burgers available on the menu.
Wimpy (RM19) - He maybe wimpy but he sure knows how to clam the sandwich well. The juicy Beef Patty was cushioned on a Sesame Bun, paired with Cheddar Cheese and Fried Egg. It was further coated with some homemade Fatboy's Sauce. 
Sky is the limit when you create your own. While the Big Fat Bastard burger was on every other table, I have decided to create my own version - hearty Honey Oat Bun pillowing the sultry Beef Patty topped with Guacamole and Curry Remoulade. The result? Soul satisfying! 

VERDICT: TOTALLY SMITTEN
Fat Boys Big Badge

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lei Garden Restaurant 利苑酒家 @ West Kowloon, Hong Kong

Success doesn't always come easy, at least for the founder of Lei Garden, Mr. Chan Shu Kit. The once financially loss making restaurant has successfully transformed itself to become one of Hong Kong most reputable fine dining restaurant, with 10 branches all over Hong Kong, 2 in China, 1 in Macau and 2 in Singapore. We came here with high expectations and we were not disappointed. 
The combination of great service, elegant table setting and delicious cooking are the reasons why Lei Garden is still in business after 39 years. Its Mong Kok outlet was recently awarded two Michelin Stars, with the other 9 outlets being awarded 1 Michelin Star each. That's a whopping 11 Michelin Stars! 
Crispy Roasted Pork - Save the Char Siu for another day, Lei Garden is all about Siu Yok. This dish itself is worth a star. 
Steamed Beef Balls - Once you have properly stoked your appetite, dig into the beef balls, a platoon of delightfully fresh minced beef coupled with some fragrant scallions.
Pan Fried Turnip Cakes - Swipe these lovely square shaped turnip cakes with some chili sauce to take it up a few notches. 
Stir Fry Kailan - Simple hearty vegetables dotted with some shallots.
Braised Garoupa with Ginger and Scallions - Continue your parade with some piping hot Garoupa fish imbued with rich flavors.
Steamed Shanghai Xiao Long Pao - These packages were juicy, filled with lean pork meat. The soup was absolutely delicious!
Steamed flour rolls with green onions -  Meet the silky Chee Cheong Fun, it's so smooth that it might just slip through your chopsticks!
Lobster Broth Hand Made Noodles Soup - Pile of noodles flooded with a rich lobster broth. Just when we think it couldn't get any better. 
Crystal Dumplings - Steaming hot packets filled with diced vegetables, herbs and meat.
Salted Egg Custard Buns - A deceptively simple dish of sweet and savory.
Baked Mini Egg Tarts - These egg tarts were much eggier and less creamy than the English tarts.
Custard Layer Cake - Gallop away with some exceptionally flavorful warm custard layer cakes.  

VERDICT: TOTALLY SMITTEN

Smitten Dishes:
Crispy Roasted Pork
Steamed Shanghai Xiao Long Pao
Lobster Broth Hand Made Noodles Soup

Lei Garden Restaurant @ West Kowloon
Address: Shop Nos 2068-70, 2nd Level, Elements, No. 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Telephone: 852 2196 8133
Operating Hours: Mon to Sun - 1130am - 3pm, 6pm - 1130pm

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kame Sushi @ Sri Hartamas

At Kame Sushi, there is no a la carte menu and Chef Selection is the name of the game. Opt for the sushi kaiseki (RM80) if you are not feeling too hungry. But if you up for a big feast, choose the kaiseki, which ranges from RM150 to RM200. Nab a spot at the bar if you can because it is the best perch for watching raw dishes being prepared. 
Baby anchovy served with grated white radish was the perfect dish to kick off our meal.
Like most diners, we have a deep love for sashimi. All the fish were fresh, with a burst of sea flavor. 
Grill what everyone's craving for - Tender, Juicy Pork. 
Pop one of these squid's egg in your mouth and experience it melting with just a few bites. 
The shishamo emerged from the chef's kitchen shriveled and stunning. However, the texture was rather soggy, perhaps it was left at the chef's table for a tad too long. 
 Fresh, buttery grilled cod fish that will sleep deep in your belly
To wake up, put your tender heart with some fresh Japanese tomatoes. 
The sushi platter was mediocre, with classic flavors shipped to our table.
Ice cream waffles took center stage on a blue plate. 
 The Yuzu sorbet was fresh and creamy, packed with flavor, but light enough to leave you wanting more.

VERDICT: SOMEWHAT SMITTEN

Kame Sushi @ Sri Hartamas Big Badge

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Square @ Central, Hong Kong

The Square at Central is always packed for lunch and dinner. It is one of Hong Kong's most popular Chinese restaurant, with one Michelin star under its belt. 

The restaurant was spacious and the service was quick and casual.
Marinated suckling pig knuckles (HK$48) - Chinese people love their pig knuckles, nothing can come between them, well, except for the secret chef's seasoning sauce. =)
Pan fried turnip cakes with X.O. chili sauce (HK$45) - Turnip cakes are an integral part of dim sum. These square shaped turnip cakes had a light charred, with a melting soft texture. 
Steamed flour rolls with barbecued pork (HK$32) - These freshly steamed flour rolls a.k.a Chee Cheong Fun were smooth, thin and soft with the right amount of elasticity. 

Stir Fried flour roll with X.O. Chilli sauce (HK$45) - Steamed Chee Cheong Fun can be rather monotonous. But when fried Chee Cheong Fun comes into picture, our view becomes better. These stir fried chee cheong fun were extremely aromatic, thanks to the well absorbed X.O. chili sauce.
Assortment of Cantonese BBQ specialties (HK$128) - The BBQ pork had a perfect fat to meat ratio, while the chicken was creamy accompanied by the crispy skin.
Siu Yok - The cracker thin crust of the pork skin was glorious!
Citrus Deep Fried Prawns -  A surprising combo of crunchy prawns and zesty sauce. 
Sauteed mushroom with green house sprouts (HK$80) - The vegetables were fresh and crunchy, topped with tender sauteed mushroom and abalone sauce.
Fried noodles with shredded pork and bean sprouts (HK$108) - The noodles were thin and crispy, drizzled with the right amount of tasty gravy and bean sprouts.
Baked Egg Tarts (HK$20) - The crumbly, soft and moist egg tarts were heavenly.
Bean curd pudding in wooden bucket (HK$58) - The made to order bean curd was the highlight of my meal. The bean curd was smooth and creamy, while the crystallized sugar added a different dimension to this sweet delight.

Verdict : TOTALLY SMITTEN

Smitten Dishes:
Pan fried turnip cakes with X.O. chilli sauce
Baked Egg Tarts
Bean curd pudding in wooden bucket

The Square @ Central
Address: Shop 410, 4/F Exchange Square Podium, Central
Phone: +852 2525 1163
Website: www.maximschinese.com.hk

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Urbano e Fresco @ Publika, K.L.

We got another new kid on the block. He is Italian and you can call him Urbano e Fresco. You might get charmed by his Italian accent with all the pizza, salad, panini and pasta. 
The decor was clean and stylish. 
This is such a creative idea
Chili Chili 
The meal started off with some bread served with extra virgin oil and balsamic vinegar. Both condiments were glossy and rich.
Imported balsamic vinegar and extra virgin oil from Italy. 
Cabo San Lucas Salad (RM17.90) - Romaine lettuce tossed with prawn, avocado, cheery tomatoes, roasted onions, tomato salsa and dressed with balsamic vinegar. The prawns were huge and fresh, adding a nice crunch to the salad. 
Bruschetta (RM9.90) - Toasted baguette bread with extra virgin olive oil, fresh tomatoes, onions and basil leaves. The diced tomatoes were extremely juicy and sweet, surrounded by quality ingredients.
Acapulco Pizza (RM26.90) - Hand tossed pizza topped with chicken pepperoni, fresh chillies, jalapeños, marinated chicken breast, red onion and mixed capsicum. The edges of the crust were nice and crunchy, with a little bit of charring. 

Verdict: SOMEWHAT SMITTEN

Urbano e Fresco Big Badge