Sunday, January 12, 2014

Eating in 2013

Happy new year!  Yes, I have been tardy.  Yes, I have been MIA since October 2013.  Career wise, it was an unusually crazy 4th quarter.  It usually is anyway in the run up to the holiday season, but this time the craziness spilled right into it.  So no repeat of a vacation away but instead, a staycation in Singapore parked close to the work laptop had to do.

Fat Ma of Kwong Wah Store - picture credit to an unknown artist
It is probably appropriate to bid a proper goodbye to the following, some of whom we will miss badly.  I will miss Fat Ma of Kwong Wah Store most.  Almost an institution in the Tai Hang area before the advent of other more trendy eateries, Fat Ma finally threw in the towel ironically on my birthday and will no longer deal with rising rents, a systemic issue nowadays.  I will miss her cutting wit delivered in her loud booming voice and her home-style dishes which I had fondly grown to love eating at least once a week.  It was by no means gourmet but it was a slice of home.  Properly boiled soups which had been on the fire for hours, scrambled eggs with sea prawns, perfectly steamed fish and honeyed chicken wings.  I hope to someday have the privilege of eating your food again, Fat Ma.  In the meantime, have a restful retirement.

We also said goodbye to:
- Manor and its signature cholesterol sandwiches of liver and fat, which foodies affectionately coined
- Harlan Goldstein's Strip House now replaced by his new concept Comfort
I thought I saw a tweet that suggested that The Drawing Room will close too but wasn't able to verify it.

Joo Heng's steamed Soon Hock with bean paste and lard
In Singapore, we said goodbye Mr. Soon Ah Chai, the patriarch of Joo Heng Restaurant.  I will miss his awkward smile, one that I had been accustomed to seeing since I started patronizing the place in the late 90s.  Fortunately, his family is still carrying on the roaring business, and it is still possible to have Soon Hock fish steamed the old fashioned way with piquant bean paste and lard pieces liberally sprinkled over.

And on that note, here are my lists by city.  Please note that these are places I did patronize so if your favorite did not make my list, it probably just means I didn't make it there in 2013 and will hope to this coming year.

Hong Kong

Chinese - Ming Court, Tin Lung Heen
Japanese - Sushi Sase, Gin Sai, Ronin, Sushi Toku, Butao Ramen, Hana Sakazuki
Spanish - 22 Ships
Modern European - On Lot 10
South East Asian - Fatty Crab , Cafe Malacca
Private Kitchen - Ta Pantry
Pastries and then some - Beef pie from the Mandarin Cake Shop, macarons from Pierre Herme, Eric Kayser
Down & Dirty - Yuet Wah Wui, Keung Kee, Man Fatt, Kong Hing, Sing Fatt, Yummy Vietnamese
Coffee - Kitamura, 18 Grams

Ronin's Kagoshima Beef, Maitake, Egg Yolk

Cafe Malacca's Sago Gula Melaka


Chinese - Cheng Hoo Tian, Chao Shan Cuisine, Jing Hua Restaurant
Italian - Valentino, Bruno's, Sopra
Japanese - Ikyu, Sushi Mitsuya, Wahiro , Hakata Ikkuosha
Mexican - Lower East Side
Peranakan - Candlenut, Daisy's Dream Kitchen
Spanish - Catalunya
Modern European - Bacchanalia, Toots Brasserie
Down & Dirty - Joo Heng Restaurant , Penang Seafood Restaurant, Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow
Pastries and then some - Eric Kayser, Tiong Bahru Bakery, B.A.O.
Coffee - Nylon, Penny University, Liberty Coffee, Jewel Cafe & Bar

Sushi Mitsuya

Dong Ji Fried Kway Teow


Thai - Sra BuaIssaya Siamese Club, Supanniga Eating Room
Italian - Enoteca Italiano
Bistro - Little Beast

Issaya Siamese Club

Chinese vegetarian - King's Joy
Modern European - Sureno

King's Joy


French bistro - La Queue du Chiot
Vegetarian bistro - Green Vege Cafe
Chinese bistro - Yun Se

Yun Se's mountain yam with blueberries

French - Robuchon au Dome
Possibly my best meal of the year in terms of food and service.

Robuchon's mussels - just perfect
Thanks for staying tuned to EdEats and while there is no certainty that I will be blogging that often in 2014 either, I will continue to be active on Twitter @edenalow and Instagram edenalow so I hope you  can join me there also.  May 2014 be everything you wish for it to be.