Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hong Kong - Checking In.. Q1 2014

Time has ruled me in 2014 contrary to new year's resolutions... oh well, they never worked anyway.  Good news is I've still been eating.  And what's clear is that Time has dictated that I can't really do this weekly so a quarterly check in ensures folks know I'm still alive and kicking.

Here's what I've been up to in Hong Kong, when I wasn't on the road.  
Lee House
Lee House offered up some of the best sweet and sour pork I've ever had, a light crisp batter coating very good cuts of pork which were finely balanced in its ratio of fat to meat, made more dramatic when served up on ice pebbles on a huge platter.  It's not any healthier than the traditional serving method but eating it cool somehow did make it all cool ie. less guilt even if not guilt free.  They seem to do deep fried dishes very well like the eggplant in a sweet chili sauce, which was not at all greasy on the lips.  Overall, good quality for the money you pay and they do have a menu that is a little more progressive than the "usual Chinese places" in Hong Kong.

Eel and Liver Sausage Claypot Rice from Choi's Kitchen
Since Fat Ma of Kwong Wah Store decided to close last November, the winter months have seen me going to Choi's Kitchen (私房蔡) a lot more, largely to enjoy a decent quality claypot rice.  Given the place, it's not cheap by any means but they do use good ingredients.  Dishes can be on the saltier side but otherwise enjoyable.  The claypot rice is well done, and tasty enough to not require the usual condiment of soy on the side.  Rice is good and if you are patient and let it sit for a while before serving, the rice crispies are always well formed and excellent when served with a little tea over the top at the end of the meal, not unlike an ochazuke.  

Hana Sakazuki
This was my last meal at Hana Sakazuki before they shut for renovations earlier this month.  Always a good bet for freshest sashimi in town and almost a default for me for omakase dinners in terms of the range and quality.  

Sushi Mori
For sushi however, I chanced upon the new outlet of Sushi Mori and was pleased to have had that at the back of a long session at the hospital earlier in the morning.  What a welcome treat.  Very small and non-descript, I had walked past without even noticing the entrance, then literally walked backwards when I saw the word "Mori" on the wall that was after the heavy door.  So the chef did confirm that they do very very few walk-ins.  The sushi set for lunch is not cheap by any means (12 pieces for $480) but it was good value and both seafood and rice quality were superb.  I also like this style where they already the season the seafood so you only need to put it in your mouth.  I did ask the chef to go easier on the amount of wasabi he used after piece no. 2 since I felt it detracted from the good seafood he used.  Only real complaint is that they don't do anything else, not even a coffee so I had to scour for a post meal caffeine fix somewhere else.

Oshaberi Izakaya
Continuing on the Japanese theme, Oshaberi Izakaya in Tai Hang, although new, seemed to be working it just fine with a very decent crowd even on a Monday night.  It's a pretty simple menu overall but all things were well executed and a nice hangout after a long day whether by yourself or with mates.  The pricing was a little imbalanced - goya champeru was about the same as the sea urchin tempura, go figure.  But no complaints with food quality.  For those who don't consume alcohol, the choices are a little limiting though.

My final entry in the Japanese category is Dining Kitchen Vegi, a cool little space in a commercial building in Causeway Bay, and yes there are a lot of these.  This was an open kitchen with bleached wood and a patio, quite a clever use of space.  Interestingly, the chef here has a heavier focus on vegetables which probably explains the odd name of the place.  I didn't know that my tempura lunch set was exactly as they described it - shrimp and vegetables.  So I got only 2 very fresh shrimps and then pumpkin, sweet potato, french bean, shishito pepper, mushroom and carrot.  All were surprisingly fresh and sweet by Hong Kong standards.  The accompanying rice with anchovies and avocado was simple yet satisfying.  Coffee they get from Tsit Wing made for a smooth finish.

I finally got to try CIAK- in the Kitchen after hearing all the buzz (some noise) about it.  Loved the concept and while I enjoyed sitting at the pasta kitchen, I didn't enjoy smelling like it after I left but I took what I could get on a Friday night.  The casual vibe was great and with WiFi, it does mean you don't have to talk to anyone!  I liked the carpaccio of beef tongue with tuna sauce (which I have a weakness for anyway), and pizzas were good too.  Duck fat fries were also very well done.  The pasta itself was good but I didn't enjoy their rendition of Carbonara and will be sure to try something else next time.  Dessert of apple tart was underwhelming although the ice cream was good.  I would go again just by virtue of the location and for a little casual Italian menu in that part of Central.

So there were some bright spots, Hong Kong.  Hopefully I get to see a little more of you rest of year.

Lee House Restaurant 李公館
2/F, Cre Building, 303 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai 
Tel: +852-2821 3368

Choi's Kitchen 私房蔡
Shop A1, G/F, 9-11 Shepherd Street, Tai Hang

Tel: +852-3485 0501

Hana Sakazuki Japanese Restaurant 花盃日本料理 
2/F, China Tai Ping Tower, Phase II, 8 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay

Tel:+852-2577 9799

Sushi Mori 鮨森日本料理
1 Caroline Hill Road加路連山道1號地下+852 3462 2728
Oshaberi Izakaya おしゃべり居酒屋

ShopA, G/F., Ming Sun Building, 96 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang

Tel: +852-2570 0280

Dining Kitchen Vegi
3/F, L'Hart, 487-489 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay

Tel: +852-2576 6161 / 2576 6262

CIAK - in the Kitchen
Shop 327-333, 3/F., The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road, Central

Tel: +852-2522 8869


  1. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to
    say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I amm hoping you write once more soon!

    Feel free to surf to my weblog ... desconto netshoes;,

  2. Gottta try that sweetnsour pork. My cosy fave!