Hutong, Hong Kong

It’s really difficult to find a restaurant you can rave about honestly and sincerely, but once you do hit the jackpot, it’s kind of hard to shut up about it.

Since trying out Hutong in Hong Kong, Francis and I have sung nothing but praises about their food and amazing, amazing view. And we just can’t help ourselves.

We ate there with good friends Winston and Olive, and they were equally impressed.

Hutong has been dubbed by the Asian Legal Business as one of the top five restaurants in the Asia Pacific. The Miele Guide 2008-2009 has ranked Hutong 9th in Asia’s Top 20 restaurants, describing a certain dish as “absolutely delicious.”

In fact, the International Herald Tribune even considered it as the restaurant’s best dish: “No contest here,” the writer said.

That, my friends, is none other than Hutong’s Crispy De-Boned Lamb Ribs!!!Image

If you have to order just one thing in this restaurant, let it be this. You won’t regret it. We promise!

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I’m not a fan of lamb, but I’m a sucker for this. Just look at it! I don’t know how they managed to get that skin so crispy. And the lamb is cooked to perfection!

Francis and I agree that we’d go back for this. De-Boned Crispy Lamb Ribs, you haven’t seen the last of us!ImageOur next favorite has got to be the Red Lantern, a basket full of soft shell crabs bathed in an abundance of Sichuan dried chili.

You wouldn’t even care how hot the dish is. It’s so yummy that you just brave the heat, gulp down lots and lots of water, wipe the sweat off your brow, then take another bite.

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Another winner is this dish called Double Happiness. What else can I say about it? The name speaks for itself.

ImageWe also ordered their Spicy Minced Pork with String Beans, also one of Hutong’s signature dishes. Quite good but nothing spectacular.

ImageWe also couldn’t resist ordering their Ma La Chili Prawns, another spicy and Hutong signature dish.

Much like the Red Lantern, the heat of the dish stings, but you like it anyway.

ImageFrancis was craving for noodles so we ordered their Dan Dan Noodles, served with minced pork and peanut sauce in chili soup.

Others thought it was a simple dish, nothing to write home about. But I personally liked it.

So there. I’ve raved about the food, so now it’s time to talk about the ambiance.

ImageWe ate during dinner time, so as best to appreciate the lights that drape the Hong Kong skyline.

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Hutong definitely has an old world vibe. Just check out their furniture.

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ImageImageThe rickshaw is their signature accent, so of course we couldn’t resist taking a picture on it before leaving… (Not this itty bitty one, heaven forbid!)

Winston and Olive

Winston and Olive

Francis and I

Francis and I

The money tree looks really really lovely! A very nice touch. People can actually write down their wishes and pin it on the tree.

Give Hutong a try when you’re in Hong Kong. It’s perfect for dates and business meetings. I could tell you again that you’ll definitely be blown away by the food and the view, but then I would just be repeating myself.

P.S. Please order the Crispy De-Boned Lamb Ribs!!

Reservations are required.

 

Hutong is located at the 28/F, One Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

Telephone: +852-3428 8342

E-mail: hutong@aqua.hk

Ebeneezer’s Kebabs and Pizzeria, Hong Kong

A friend of mine once declared that Ebeneezer’s in Hong Kong has the best kebabs ever.

Of course, after hearing that statement, there was no way in hell that I would miss trying out their kebabs and see what the hype is all about during our next Hong Kong trip.

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It was already past midnight when we arrived, but Ebeneezer’s was thankfully open until the wee hours of the morning. The street might be quiet and dark, but inside the small restaurant, life was still abuzz.

Since it was already late, we promised ourselves we would only grab a small bite to eat.

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There are so many things to choose from in their menu, and if it had been lunch or dinner, we would have definitely ordered salads and curries. But for this meal, we chose…

ImageThe Chicken Tikka with Chips! The tikka sauce is overly addictive, and we soon found ourselves left with too many fries and not enough sauce. The chicken was a bit dry, though the chips (french fries!) are plump and crunchy!

ImageFirst dibs! He he he! They gave us forks to eat with, but I prefer to use my hands. Francis, as always, opted with the forks!

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This is their Lamb Kebab. It’s hard to live up to hype, let me tell you, but this did. For one, we don’t normally like the scent and taste of lamb. But Ebeneezer’s Lamb Kebab is cooked so amazingly well that there’s no gamey scent or taste which are often associated with lamb. Add to that some tasty sauce and vegetables, and you’ve got yourself one perfect kebab!

ImageFrancis here givin’ the Lamb Kebab a whole lot of appreciatin’!

ImageWe downed everything with a cup of Sweetened Lassi, which was too thick for my liking.

Almost all of the customers ordered their Lamb Kebab, paired with beer. It’s really that good.

Hopefully the next time we come here, we would be bringing bigger appetites. Bring on the curries and second servings of kebab!!

 

This particular Ebeneezer’s is located at Shop No. 1C, G/F, Astoria Bldg., 24-38 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

They are open from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. every Sunday to Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. from Friday to Saturday.

For other branches, please visit their website: http://www.ebeneezers.com/index.php?thispage=webpage&webpage=locator

 

 

 

 

Tsui Wah, Hong Kong

People line up for good food in Hong Kong. So if ever you’re in doubt where to eat, just look for a place with tons of people hovering about.

Tsui Wah is one such restaurant. They have several branches in Hong Kong, and we tried the one in Mongkok. It was already a couple of minutes past 12 that day, so there was already quite a line of people waiting to get in. Fortunately for us, it only took around 15 minutes to get a table for four.

What’s great about Tsui Wah is that their menu has pictures and comes in english!! A total lifesaver for Mandarin-challenged foreigners like us.

We just pointed that we wanted to order this and that and this and that, and waited for the food to arrive.

The first dish to arrive is hands down everybody’s favorite.

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It doesn’t look like much, but by golly, this Malaysian Beef Curry with rice packs such a wallop of flavor! The beef is so tender, and the curry sauce has just the right amount of spice. Even Onat and Marie, who are from Singapore, can’t help but rave about this.

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I forgot what this noodle soup is called, but it’s also another winner in our table. Not as much loved as the curry, though.

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Their Crispy Bun with Condensed Milk is one of their bestsellers. It was really delicious, but in my opinion, the ones in Macau Restaurant are way better!

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Onat was craving for baked rice so we ordered the Baked Seafood Rice. It was hot and cheesy and it satisfied his craving well enough.

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The biggest downer was this Truffle Pasta with Mushrooms. You could taste the truffle flavor, yes, but it was simply not good enough. I think they have a lot to improve in their pasta department.

Tsui Wah offers a variety of dishes, but I suggest you go for their bestsellers if you want a truly satisfying meal. Wish we had ordered their Hainanese Chicken Rice, King Prawns, and Swiss Chicken Wings too!

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After Tsui Wah, the four of us were ready to walk and shop again!

 

Tsui Wah is located at G/F, 36-38 Argyle Street, Mongkok.

For more branches, check out their website: http://www.tsuiwah.com/en/business/restaurant/branches/#menu_0_hkg_hong-kong-island

 

 

Monster Sushi, Hong Kong

I don’t know what it is about food in Hong Kong that it always tastes incredibly delicious. And I also don’t know what it is about people in Hong Kong that they manage to maintain their slim figures, despite their amazing food.

If I lived there, I’d weigh a ton, no doubt about it.

One of our greatest discoveries in Hong Kong this year is this sushi joint called Monster Sushi. It’s located at the iSquare mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, very easy to find.

ImageAs you can see, their trademark logo features a large mouth with its tongue sticking out. I’m thinking maybe the logo signifies monstrous appetites?

Usually, there’s a long long line for good restaurants in HK, but we had dinner at an off time: 4:30 p.m. So we got seated immediately! They gave us the menus and served us hot tea.

However, as far as speedy service is involved, it stops here. Monster Sushi takes FOREVER to take and prepare your orders, even if there’s just a handful of customers inside. I shudder to think how service will be like during their peak hours.

So a word of caution to those who want to try this place out: Be prepared to wait!

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The first dish that came was the Eel Sushi. We love it in an instant! The eel was cooked perfectly, and tasted a bit sweet. We’re enjoying ourselves too much that we forgot how long we waited for this dish to arrive.

ImageNext came their Monster Sushi, which I guess is their signature dish. What makes it spectacular is its presentation and crunchy outer layer. Another winner!

ImageWe haven’t finished with our first two dishes when the Fried Kagoshima Black Pork arrived. Since Francis was the faster eater, he took one piece then decided: “Too fatty.”

When it was my turn, I took one mouthful, felt the fatty pork explosion inside my mouth, then smiled. Needless to say, I finished the rest of the pork pieces.

ImageAnother long wait ensued before the Jumbo Scallop Sushi arrived. Francis loved this dish, and said it’s way better than the ones served in his favorite sushi restaurant in Causeway Bay.

ImageThese assorted Gunkan Maki were the last to arrive and just ho-hum, in my opinion. Granted, all the seafood were very fresh, and you could taste it in every bite.

After an extremely satisfying meal, it was a challenge to find a waitress and call her attention for the bill. No wonder most of the reviews I’ve read of this place said service was horrible.

ImageBoth of us were super tired from all the walking, but the amazing food more than made up for it! We spent around 500HKD for the entire meal.

We’d definitely go back during our next HK trip… IF we have more than enough time to spare!

 

Monster Sushi is located at 3/F, iSquare, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Pie

Have you ever given making your own pizza a whirl? It’s fun.

The first time I did that was during a Yellow Cab Pizza event, when they launched the Dear Darla pizza. I topped my personal pizza with lots of green pepper and mushrooms and pepperoni, which I used to spell out a newspaper name (my only romantic love at that time).

Unfortunately, it was just too hard for me, and I decided that spelling the initials will have to do. I never got to taste my special pizza, though. It got lost in our office, after I showed it off to everybody.

Anyway, that excitement of making your own special pie was brought back last night when Francis and I tried out Project Pie in 515 Shaw, Wack Wack. Everyday artisan pizza custom built by you, it says!

This franchise from the United States opened its first Asian branch in the Philippines.

It has only been open for three days, but boy was the place packed!ImageThe vibe of the restaurant is very chill and laid-back. You line up for your pizza, pay for it on the counter, then take it to devour on your seat!

ImageFrancis here is super excited to make his own pizza – with everything on top! Whoo boy.

ImageThe staff are very young and energetic, with super great PR skills. “We’re so glad you decided to dine with us,” she tells us with a smile, then proceeded to explain the Project Pie mechanics.

First you choose if you want to order one of their seven signature pizzas (P245) or if you want to create your own (P285).

If you want to order their pizzas, you’re still free to add whatever toppings you want – no extra charge!

If you want to create your own, you choose if you want red sauce or olive oil. Then go crazy with the toppings!

They prepare the dough then you just tell them what you add. Extra cheese? Check. Extra olives? Check. Definitely no pineapples. Check! And oohh, they even have walnuts! Yum!

Their toppings are pretty extensive – they have different kinds of cheese such as mozzarella, feta, parmesan, ricotta, and gorgonzola. Aside from the regular pepperonis, mushrooms, and sausages, they also have crumbled meatballs, grilled chicken, prosciutto, pesto, and artichoke.

Other toppings include Canadian bacon, rosemary, cilantro, caramelized onions, jalapenos, cilantro… Okay, I don’t want to type everything down.

And did I say they have walnuts?

ImageThis is Francis’ creation. Pizza overload! The pizza really is good for one, since the thin crust pizza only has four slices.

I personally do not want many many toppings, and it seemed Francis did not enjoy this as much either.

ImageThis is their number 5 – mozarella, ricotta, gorgonzola, parmesan, cracked black pepper, olive oil, garlic, and fresh chopped basil in white sauce.

I told them to add black olives and walnuts.

I liked this better simply because of the cheese, and of course the black olives and walnuts.

ImageThis is their number 2 – pepperoni, mozzarella, Italian sausage, garlic, and crumbled meatballs on red sauce.

Of course, I had them add green pepper, black olives, and walnuts.

All the pizzas were just okay for us, except for the number 5, which is my favorite.

We thought some of the toppings were not really cooked since the pizza went inside their oven for maybe less than five minutes. Talk about fast food!

ImageTheir drinks are a bit on the pricey side. Imported beer costs P150 while the Perrier is P100. Guess who had the beer? He he he!

They also serve salads – Classic Ceasar (P165), Mixed Greens (P225), and Pizza Salad (P245).

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This upscale fast food restaurant will be a definite hit with the kids.

Project Pie is located at 515 Shaw, Wack Wack, Mandaluyong.