PEr FYI

March 4, 2017

Tai Cheong Café, Singapore…the Marmite effect: some rave about it, some feel its meh

There are more exciting Chinese cuisines out there these days, but sometimes all you want is a good old-fashioned Hong Kong feed. That’s when you head to Tai Cheong Café. Tucked away in Holland Village, Tai Cheong Cafe is really a cha chaan teng.

Their three coloured silky egg rice are the ones to go for here, with plenty of egg to temper the rich flavours and their egg tarts also always hit the spot. I come here only for this. The others on the menu isn’t as good.

I can’t say Tai Cheong Cafe gets everything right, or that it’s a Hong Kong diner destination, but I’ll stand behind this humble—and quite cheap eatery. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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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…

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January 14, 2017

Tai Cheong Bakery, Singapore…very difficult to limit yourself to just one

This beautiful delicacy has no equal in the world. Only the Hong Kong or Portuguese egg tarts can inspire such passion.

Egg tarts are found on every street corner of Hong Kong and Macau. The ones at Tai Cheong Bakery is reputed to be the best in the country. In Singapore, this flavoursome egg-enriched shortcrust pastry provides textural contrast with the wonderfully smooth, creamy custard. It’s a very eggy treat.

The tarts are at their addictive best when they’ve cooled down slightly but are still warm. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 19, 2016

Bombay Dreams, Hong Kong…I devour everything, and all but lick the plate clean

Reviewing Indian food is particularly tricky: not only are there countless regional variations, but their styles also range widely from dishevelled curry houses to high-end Michelin-starred spots.

Housed on the 4th floor in a building on Wyndham Street, Hong Kong Michelin Gourmand 2017 Bombay Dreams makes an immediate impression. The food has no problem living up to it either; high quality ingredients and intricate spicing lead to elegantly presented dishes that boast pleasantly contrasting flavours and textures.

Among the best choices: sweet potato cheese roll, samosa, chicken with yogurt and cream. The tender melt-in-your-mouth galouti lamb is the greatest hit, so that I devour everything, and all but lick the plate clean.

Be prepared for large prices and less large portions, though. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 22, 2016

Simply life, Hong Kong…God knows it’s worth it

Make your way to Simply Life. Just follow the aroma of fresh bread and cakes to a bunch of tables packed with shoppers and office workers. God knows it’s worth it. There’s no denying that this charming cafe’s celebration of life paraphernalia is on point, with the place being decorated in European country style complete with benches and green turf.

The ample food offeing to fill your bellies is high quality: a handful of sandwiches and a lovely spread of baked goods. Light Bites, Small Plates, Large Plates, yadda, yadda, yadda, and the prices are kind. I had the bacon and beef burger with fried egg and cheddar cheese. My God, it is a tasty eggsplosion.

A steady stream of City slaves keeps this tiny treasure buzzing – and it’s easy to see why. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 12, 2016

Cafe de Hong Kong, Singapore…It can be good, but it’s not going to blow your mind or anything

Cafe de Hong Kong sounds like the name of a char chaan teng and it looks like one, too, with bare functional tables.This is, after all, a zi char place full of Cantonese staples.

From that menu we ordered bonito flavoured spare rib which arrived as something intense and deep and savoury and powerful and, to be more precise, thoroughly yum. As dish descriptions go, braised pan fried prawn and mushroom omelette is never going to win a literary prize. Mind you, it was accurate and tasted compelling. There was another thing to try: garlic flavoured roast chicken. And… oh, you get the idea.

The extensive menu at Cafe de Hong Kong remains unexplored. I’ll leave it for another day. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 21, 2016

Pizza Express, Hong Kong…I’ve never had anything quite like this Peking duck pizza

I love pizza. It can do no wrong. So imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon this Chinese-owned former British restaurant chain in the Hong Kong airport. Pizza Express is the sort of smart-casual pizzeria without breaking the bank. I told them I need to have a quick lunch as I have a flight to catch and I did not have to wait long for my pizza. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Most pizzas are big enough to share; you’d need a huge appetite to get all that food down solo. I had the innovative and exotic Peking duck pizza – Spiced duck, hoisin sauce, chilli, spring onions, cucumber (no tomato) – did taste like a duck pancake, flavoursome – sweet and spicy – which enhances the taste of the soft roasted duck meat. Gourmet pizza it is not but it’s not supposed to be.

This is truly an outstanding Asian twist to pizza.I’ve had a few pizzas in my time, and I’ve never had anything quite like this. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 14, 2015

Under Bridge Spicy Crab, Hong Kong…more a tourists’ stop than a local haunt

This isn’t a fancy restaurant – it’s very Chinese-y with red and gold in its décor.

As the name suggest, this crab specialist is  under a vehicle bridge. You have to order crab if you go to a restaurant with crab in its name, so we did – we got the spicy crab with chilli and garlic, and true to form, the bright red large-clawed crustaceans were buried under a generous mountain of dry mix of fried chilli and nice crunchy deep-fried garlic bits. This dish is believed to be originated from typhoon shelters which are shelters fishing boats during typhoons. I have to admit…for me, the deep fried minced garlic ends up being the star of the show rather than the crab.

I didn’t quite manage to enthuse over all the other dishes – they were just gastronomically illiterate and a little bit desperate. The service too was not the best.

It’s more a tourists’ stop than a local haunt. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

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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…

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September 12, 2015

Sister Wah, Hong Kong…a Hong Kong heavyweight

If you have not eaten beef brisket noodles when in Hong Kong, you have never been to Hong Kong. It’s essentially beef brisket stewed for a helluva long time using Chinese seasonings and spices.

That unctuous broth, those incomparably bouncy, slurp-worthy fresh egg noodles and the rich, oh-so-tender, fall-apart-in-the-mouth beef briskets at Sister Wah is amazing. This bowl of noodle soup was the most easily, inarguably tasty thing I’d had in Hong Kong this recent visit. The Seaweed with three items in soup (squid ball and beef balls) was delightfully interesting too.

Sure, the dive isn’t much to look at but, complete with small round tables and stools for you to share with fellow diners, it’s the kind of joint that locals rave about and cabbies swear by. It’s just a heartbeat away from the Tin Hau MTR station Exit A.

We’re talking about the delicious, tender, slow-cooked-to-lip-smacking-perfection kind of beef brisket here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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