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Condiments

Today for lunch the Mrs. and I went out for Japanese noodles.  She’s a big fan of ramen so while we were wondering aimlessly with empty stomachs and I saw the restaurant I knew it was supposed to be.  Well, at least once we got inside…and I saw the menu…because let’s be honest, I didn’t even push the floor on the elevator, it just happened to stop there.

 

ANYWAY!!!  This place had some pretty good noodles.  Of course I didn’t get a card so I have no idea what it was called but they were tasty.  The point of this story however would be my fascination with the condiments that they provided.  They had some of the typical things, chilis, soy sauce, and garlic…but this was no standard overly roasted/fried garlic crumbs stuff.  This was grade A raw garlic with a press so you could add super fresh garlic to you noodles at your will.

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Perhaps even more impressive than the garlic press, was the sesame seed dispenser.  They had toasted sesame seeds in this container.  And you could hold it over your bowl, and spin the wheel thingy…aaaaaaannnnd PRESTO!!!Image

A twist on the magical wheel would send cracked pepper sized toasted sesame seed powder clouds floating onto your ramen. Not only was it super cool but it actually added a great depth to the broth.

Somebody please find one of these things and send it to me asap! I’ll be adding it to everything!

What’s your favorite condiment?

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in food, Photography, Uncategorized

 

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My Favorites: Scallops

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Last night we celebrated my mother and grandmother in-law’s birthdays.  Eating with my mother in-law is always a real treat as my father in-law is a HUGE seafood lover.  I happen to enjoy it as well and can appreciate that every meal must have some seafood component.

The entire meal was fantastic.  We went to our favorite neighborhood haunt 張記 Cheung Kei which you can read more about here.  One of my new favorite things about this restaurant is that they will let you bring in your own food and they will cook it for you.  We do this mostly with fish that my father in-law catches but this time it was my brother in-law who brought the goodies.  He brought 2 fish which were smooth and delicious but the star of the evening was the scallops.

My favorite way to have scallops is steamed in their shells with garlic, some rice noodles, and a dusting of cilantro.  YUMMY!

Any other preparation of scallop that I MUST try?

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Dinner, food, My Favorites, Photography

 

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My Favorites: Chinese Bread

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While western bakeries are busy pumping out flakey croissants and crusty baguettes that take hours and sometimes days to make, Chinese bakeries here in Hong Kong are making a single dough into every shape imaginable. They then stuff it with meats and cheeses and turn them into tasty soft bready goodnesses. My favorite Chinese Bread is the one pictured above. It’s filled with corned beef and cheese and topped with a crunch that I really have no idea what it is. Do you have a favorite baked good?

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in food, My Favorites, Photography, Snacks

 

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My Favorites: Morning Indulgence

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As many of you may know, I am a bean head.  This refers not to the shape of my cranium but my love of coffee and espresso based beverages.  I’m sure this has something to do with years of conditioning from my mother who every morning at her first sip of java with announce with glee, “COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE”.  Yes, it is five times in a row….every time.

My father then took the liberty of turning me into a I must have a cappuccino after a nice meal kind of guy.

Then comes university with late night cramming where coffee and straight espresso got me through many finals.

I’m a rather frugal feller when it comes to spending on myself so a triple tall caramel macchiato and a sausage roll from Starbucks is a real treat and my favorite morning indulgence.

Are you a bean head?  What’s your favorite morning indulgence?

 

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My Favorites: Potato Chips

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Walkers Salt & Vinegar.

Lay’s, I’m sorry but you’ve met your match, for now.

Walkers seems to make a slightly thicker chip that doesn’t shatter once bitten.  It also seems to be covered in a better vinegar as now when I taste Lay’s it tastes a little chemically.

I’d like to be all American on this one but looks like the Brits win the chip battle…for now.

What’s your favorite chip flavor/brand?

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in food, My Favorites, Photography, Snacks

 

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Amy’s Snacks – Cheese Pizza

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When the word “organic” appears on a frozen junk food item I instantly become skeptical.  It seems to me that the powers that be would like to decimate the term organic so they can continue pumping chemicals onto our foods and creating a bigger profit for themselves.

This is not me campaigning for the organic food movement…although I would like less chemicals being sprayed on my food…but simply over stating that healthy almost never equals tasty in the frozen food section.

And then you have Amy’s.

Now…I’ll admit.  They have a long way to go before I stop buying Totino’s Pizza Rolls, but as Totino’s doesn’t wish to sell my favorite microwave snack to me in Hong Kong I may have found myself a fair substitute.

I was scared to go the Pizza Rolls way and just toss them in the microwave due to the above reason’s so I took the box’s directions to heart and put them into a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.  Am I the only one that goes straight for the middle every time there is a variance on the length of suggested cooking time?  That’s right.  13 minutes in the oven.

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Before….and after….Image

Although their crusts could do with a bit more crispyness, and the filling could use a dash of salt, I’m going to call these a winner in my book (temporarily until I can put some in the nuke-box) as a simply snack for a rainy day.

On a side note…I have been notified that today is my 5th anniversary of blogging.  We’ve had our ups and downs (in views) but I’ve got a good feeling this year we’re going to be running on top!

Keep on Eatin’!

 
 

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ANA Oysters and Grill

If you ever find yourself walking around Causeway Bay without a reservation and it’s getting close to meal time, it’s a pretty good idea to just jump into the nearest restaurant before they’re all full for the next several hours.  This past Wednesday little Ms. Cupcake and I were doing just that while birthday shopping for Jr and it occurs to us we’re both starving and places are filling up fast.  We turn the corner onto Lockhart Rd and are both drawn to 2 separate signs across the street.  Oddly enough both were for the same restaurant.  The place looks completely deserted from the outside which would normally make us pass the place  up but for whatever reason we decided to take a chance on this one and jumped into the elevator.

We were quite happy we did and yet a little sad at the same time since we were shopping neither of is had our cameras so we’ll just have to make due with phone photos.

If you know Ms. Cupcake or myself at all then you know there are 2 things we rarely pass up at a restaurant, oysters and tasting menus.  Not only did we have the place to ourselves…I guess everyone else thought it was closed too…which ment exceptional service but we were quickly greeted with a platter of our favorite bi-valves.

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Pacific, Irish rock, Kumumoto, and Namibia.  I was particularly impressed with Namibia.  I’ve never knowingly had an African oyster before and this was a real treat.  They served the oysters with a typical vinegar, and cocktail sauce but then threw me another exciting curve with a Thai style sauce consisting of lime, sugar, fish sauce, and a little mint which complimented the oysters perfectly.  I’ll have to look onto replicating this sauce later.

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The first dish on the tasting menu was a steamed foie gras mousse with white truffle oil and caviar served with a lemon and mint sorbet.  The mousse was a fantastic combination of creamyness and mouth bursting flavor. The first bite of the sorbet was a perfect palate cleansing experience but every bite after becoming more and more overwhelmingly sour that you are glad the portion is so small.

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Next up we indulged a little further with some cherrystone clams before our next tasting course.

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Razor clam with roasted garlic, vermouth, and saffron sauce.  Fantastic sauce but the clam was a bit overcooked.

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Next up a house smoked Japanese pork belly and prawns.  Absolutely delicious.  The pork wad tender and not overly smoked while the prawns were perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor.

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Our fish course was an Australian seabass with crispy skin and tender flesh.

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For our main we had M7 Waygu rump.  I didn’t read “rump roast” when looking at the menu so was initially disappointed until I took a second glance and was instantly impressed how juicy and tender they served their rumps…hahaha food puns.

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The other nice thing about the beef was the assortment of condiments that came with it.  4 different house seasoned sea salts and 2 different mustards made every bite just as exciting as the first.

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Last and absolutely least was the duo of gelato for dessert.  The white chocolate strawberry was ok but too large and then they paired it with the super sour lemon-mint sorbet again…why?

I hope to go back again to sample some of their al a carte items…and of course some more oysters!

 

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