PEr FYI

June 17, 2017

No Idea Café Gastropub, Bangkok…. pub with something special on the menu

Pubs only used to care about serving up the perfect pint, but now a good number of them are creating gourmet menus that go above and beyond your basic pub grub.

No Idea Café presents modern and inventive takes on traditional European fare. There’s the tasting board – salami, parma ham, cheese, chorizo, caper berries, olives, baguette, roasted garlic aioli which is comforting and satisfying. The twice cooked pork belly – fennel apple slaw, braised red cabbage- worked surprisingly well. Although parts of the meat was a little tough and the dish would have benefited from a little balanced cooking. The atmosphere is casual and the beer flows fast. Naturally, as a gastropub, most of No Idea’s interesting drinks are alcoholic.

This is not a trendy spot. Rather, it’s inviting and unpretentious. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

no idea bkk4

no idea bkk1

no idea bkk2

January 21, 2017

Dragon-I, Hong Kong…cream of Hong Kong’s club scene

Whether you’re looking to meet someone new, dance to the biggest DJs in the world or just want to have the kind of legendary night you’ll keep secret until the day you die, you’ll find it all in Hong Kong.

Dragon-I is an amazing uber-chic club with a stunning setting. A dining area known as Red Room, a dance floor and bar space with New York-style booth seating called Playground. It doubles as a modern restaurant and the food is surprisingly good. The crowd is those that know and those that want to find out.

Dragon-I is the cream of Hong Kong’s club scene ensuring a great night out in style. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

dragon-1-hk2

dragon-1-hk

January 17, 2016

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Los Angeles…looks like it’s come out of a Gucci bag

LA is a city with what feels like an infinite amount of steakhouses. So what differentiates one steakhouse from the other?

First off, I really like the scene of this spot. Elegant ambience of rich, welcoming environment of wood, leather, and subdued lighting. It is so important for me for the wait staff to be pleasant so that I can enjoy my food and evening. EVERYONE was actually nice in this place. Definitely wins points from me.

So much exciting food… so little space to write about it. The certified Angus beef porterhouse for two was cooked to perfection and absolutely divine. If it ain’t obvious to you already, I like meat. I deal with it a lot. It’s tasty. I’m good at it. It was an amazing piece of steak but so damaging to the waistline!! Whatever, we only live once, right? Having steaks and don’t know what to order for the sides?  Asparagus is a no-brainer. The grilled high country asparagus taste as awesome as MacGyver was cool.

Fleming’s holds up against the top tier steak houses in LA, which says a lot. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

fleming's 2 nla

fleming's8 la

December 12, 2015

Jimmy’s American Grill & Bar, New York City…epically twisted dining experience

I’ve eaten in a lot of bad restaurants, but I can’t recall an experience as epically twisted dining in Jimmy’s American Grill & Bar. This place is a complete joke. The food is atrocious…lots of leftovers that would make me feel guilty even giving to my dogs. Service is just as bad!

This is what “good” American food tasted like 20-30 years ago, in the days of Sizzler’s and TGIF’s.The overcooked sirloin steak with mashed potato and vegetable was a travesty. We requested for medium rare and instead was  served a piece which was very strong, dry and hard to chew. The kitchen should show a little respect to the animal: don’t cook it so that it has the texture of shoe leather. The seafood pasta with salmon, grilled shrimp, mussel, clams and grilled calamari served with garlic sauce was bland, tasteless.

Mostly we were frustrated by the unbelievably atrocious service. A drinking straw was shockingly thrown to us. Request for a spoon went by forgotten the entire evening. Even several requests for the bill went unheeded. It was just very poor service.

I’m surprised this place is still open. I can’t imagine this gross place will be in business much longer. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

jimmy's nyc

October 25, 2015

Bill’s Bar & Burger, New York City…it’s non monumental, lacks a wow-factor

Given the limited choices for food within a short walk on a cold, windy and rainy New York winter night, this place was okay. Not something I can rave about. It’s not bad, but it was pretty average.

I got the “famous” CNN-rated Fat-Cat burger (2013 CNN top 10 burger award) – caramelised onion, American cheese, English muffin, LTP. Thought it was tasty, it lacked a wow-factor. It definitely should not have made anyone’s top burger list. The buffalo chicken wrap – lettuce and tomato, blue cheese, spinach, tortilla – was an okay wrap. It was tasty and the ingredients were well seasoned and it was a decent sized portion. While their new England clam chowder has a nice stick-to-your-stomach creaminess about it, it was a tad thin when compared to your typical chowder.

Certainly did not surpass Smashburger or In-N-Out. It’s non monumental. It’s fine for what it is. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

bill's bar ny

October 17, 2015

Sevva, Hong Kong…I rather get cheaper, better food down on the street

Rooftops on Hong Kong island are prime real-estate. To me, this place is not the best place for being scenic, but sit under the illuminated canopy at twilight and you can drink in unparalleled views across Hong Kong along with your cocktail, bourbon or bottled beer.

Generally, the wait staff were very friendly and attentive. I just wasn’t Wowed by the creativity or the taste of their dishes. Don’t get me wrong, the food is good but not great. I was expecting flavors I haven’t tried before but it was all the same to me.

Sevva  offers sanctuary away from the Hong Kong Street rush but I rather get cheaper, better food down on the street. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

sevva hk

July 12, 2015

Burger Bar, San Francisco…you need a pre-recession budget but don’t expect to be blown away

There seems to be no food more popular nowadays than the once-humble hamburger, practically every upscale restaurant has a burger these days. Burger Bar offers several different types of beef, in addition to lamb, turkey, seafood and veggie burgers, with a variety of toppings from garden, farm, ocean and more and a variety of breads, all of it to be mixed and matched in endless do-it-yourself variety. Among the beef types is American-style Kobe, or Wagyu beef.

I had the American Kobe beef burger. I don’t really care what you call the beef, as long as it tastes great.  Kobe, the steak-lovers Holy Grail becomes less relevant in a ground burger patty. While the pate is thick and tightly packed, juicy but not dripping and has a very good overall flavour, it has nothing on any other gourmet burgers. I guess the Kobe label is just a marketing tool employed to justify a high price.

Try it, if you have a pre-recession budget but don’t expect to be blown away . This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

burger bar american kobe beef burger

burger bar

July 5, 2015

Bar Celona Tapas & Rice, Macau…the Iberian ham 36 and 45 are almost indescribably mouth-filling and deeply satisfying

For such an acclaimed restaurant it is surprisingly unassuming. Set upstairs in a de-script building on a quiet street in Macau it’s even almost difficult to locate. Inside, there’s a casual and relaxed atmosphere rather than stuffy with decor in dark and earthy colours.

The Iberian ham 36 and 45 (well-aged for 36 and 45 months) were thinly sliced (nearly, but not quite, paper thin) rashers of ham, each slice visibly interlayered with fat and lean. That was certainly a  flavour that is almost indescribably mouth-filling and deeply satisfying. The savoury olive muffins were also a crowd-pleaser. The unique flavor of these little breads is a slight departure from a traditional sweet muffin. The octopus leg gelatin style with potato and olive oil and the baby cuttlefish with artichoke were also pretty good. The former, though not my favourite dish, was an interesting combination that worked. The baby octopus, had stronger, if not more common flavours and was also quite nice. Again, however, both were qualified rather than resounding successes. A taste of the suckling pig is definitely necessary before you walk out those doors. Very different from your traditional Chinese Suckling Pig. My only fuss was that while the meat was amazing, the skin was tough and not exactly crackling with its crisp. The paella topped with generous amount of seafood shone less brightly amongst the rest of the stellar dishes served that night. The crispy egg with bone marrow and truffle is far from a simple egg dish but the crystal bread with olive oil and tomato was somewhat unremarkable.

Is Bar Celona Tapas & Rice a fine dining experience with top notch service? Nope and nope. Is it an satisfying and solid choice in Macau? Sure is. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

barcelona macau

barcelona macau2

February 12, 2015

Pots ‘n Pans, Hanoi…don’t read this on an empty stomach, unless you’re into drooling uncontrollably

Let me just begin by saying that I love this place! Customer Service is great! This restaurant is the merging of traditional Vietnamese flavors and textures in innovative new ways  and beautifully presented in portion sizes that won’t leave you popping out for a late night bowl of pho. On my visit it never got packed, or too loud, or hectic. The pace was slowed down. Which is fine, because debating what you’ll order may take time.

To start, they serve you with crispiest turmeric bread you will ever taste… with the olive oil dip and three levels of spice to add, they are so yummy! The twice cooked pork belly with beetroot puree, apple compote, pickles and Vietnamese herbs ticks all the boxes for pork belly punters like me, with large chunks of meat that is all crispy skin on the top, soft and juicy everywhere else. This, right here, is what dreams are made of. The grilled king prawns with lemongrass, lime leaf, mushroom satay pudding and Vietnamese herbs were beyond succulent; insanely flavorful, awesomely rich. I nearly licked my plate! Well, to keep it classy, I scraped it clean with my fork. And if you have not had the crispy banana spring rolls with chocolate sauce and cinnamon ice cream, get off your computer, get your keys and go… Like right now.

As you may expect, Pots n Pans isn’t cheap but just by these 3 dishes I would recommend this place and come back again. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

pots n pans hanoi2

pots n pans hanoi

September 7, 2014

Waterbar, San Francisco…go for the oysters and the view

Waterbar is a grand restaurant along the Embarcadero with a sweeping view of the Bay Bridge. I opted for the patio and had to be patient but was eventually seated with a gorgeous view of the Western span of the Bay Bridge. The ambience exceeded my expectations and I would return in a heartbeat.

I had the Marin Miyagi oysters (rack and bag grown by marin oyster co; briny, crisp lettuce and bitter herb finish) and Grilled Monterey Squid (green chili harissa, black eyed pea salad). The oysters are beautiful to look at and exquisite to eat. The meats are full and plump, firm and mild flavored. And most importantly, the taste of these oysters cannot be beat. The flavorful squid with its fine texture truly nails it too.

For all my fellow oyster lovers who believe in aphrodisiacs then bring your date here for happy hour and load up for a happy ending! You will leave oyster wasted! Happy shucking! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

waterbar

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.