Monday, January 5, 2015

My Birthday Lunch at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Initially, I wanted to go for their afternoon tea (thanks to seeing 1,093,947 pictures of it on instagram), but they were booked all the way to end of the year.
Gahhh... never mind, lunch it is then.

Judging from this R5-D4 (or R15-D10???) poking out of our bread basket, yep, we were checking if this place is naughty-kid friendly.
Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Bread's not bad.
Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Starters.
Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
I wouldn't have ordered this. I generally don't order anything "chicken breast", but SC made a wise decision that a basic salad is necessary to feed our naughty monster. This salad might look unfancy (I know, it is not a word), but it's absolutely delicious! Tangy, tasty, crisp fresh veggies, tender juicy chicken, etc etc etc. YUM.

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
I had the foie-gras pate (yes, I can't not order anything foie). Lovely. It's a little on the sweet side but the crispy toast that came with it gave it the savory balance.

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Nyammmmm.

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Lobster jelly. Creamy, tasty, sweet-seafoody, delicious!

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Chestnut veloute. Rich, creamy... I love.

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
French onion soup. Not bad la...

The mains..
Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
I ordered this prawn with venere rice (I called it udang with ketan hitam heheheh) - thanks for the recommendation, Dan! It's TASTY!

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Chicken breast stuffed with foie. Whoa... I don't order chicken breast and must order foie... what to do when faced with a dish like this? Hmm... get others to order it so I could have a (lotsa) taste(s). Heheheheh. It's good!

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Most of us favorited the "special main of the day", the beef cheek. So tender but not mushy, and very flavorful. Perfect.

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
SC had the camembert. Hmm... I prefer the dessert.

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Chocolate ganache and raspberry marmalade. I love anything dark chocolate.

Birthday Lunch 2014 at Seasons by Olivier Elzer, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
I had the white chocolate fruity dessert. Fruity and refreshing, and OB stole most of it.

In case you were wondering why there was no "happy birthday" anything, well... it's not that I said "oh, no need, no need" because I was shy (are you kidding? I love birthday commotions in restaurants and for photo purposes - I am shallow and childish like that), but thanks to SC who forgot to say it's a birthday celebration, we didn't have one.

Never mind. SC paid for the meal - that is more important than anything else hehehheee.
Thanks, SC!

A special mention to service - it's slow and clumsy, servers don't explain much of anything (but to be fair, we didn't ask also ), servers don't know who ordered what, we had to follow up for the cheese platter- which then came much later than the desserts, and the server (and manager?) looked a bit too annoyed by naughty OB (but why not have no-kid policy then?).

Anyway, I love the food, and I'd go back for it - and I won't bring OB ^_^'
Lunch prices: 288 for 3 course, 368 for 4 course, 448 for 5 course.

Seasons by Olivier Elzer
They have online reservation (yay!), simply click here.
Or phone +85225056228.

Shop 308, 3/F, Lee Gardens Two.
28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay.
Hong Kong.
Near Causeway Bay MTR Exit F.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Easy BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs Recipe

In a true Hong Kong C9 manner, nothing excites me more than things going ON SALE!
So, you can imagine the happiness and joy when I saw packs of baby back pork ribs at HK$56.90 each in frozen meat section of Wellcome supermarket (Wellcome doesn't pay me to say this).

Now what do I do with this baby? 
Oh! The boots and down feather jackets are out in the streets of Hong Kong?
Time to get the oven going then.
BBQ baby back pork ribs, baby!
Smoky, sweet, sticky, savory, tender & juicy finger licking ribs - very easy to make too!
Recipe
(best if to be made the day before serving)
Meat
1 rack of baby back ribs - peel thin layer of silver/white skin off the back.

The day before - Dry rub
2 cloves garlic
2 shallot
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
white pepper
Mash garlic and shallot into a paste.
Rub ribs well and let it marinate overnight in the fridge.

The day you're serving, preheat oven to 175C. 
Place ribs onto casserole with wire rack (lots of fat will render), cover with foil.
Grill for 1 - 1.5 hours (until tender).

Sauce
HP Sauce
Ketchup
Sugar
Add each ingredient bit by bit & mix until you achieve balance between sweet, tangy and savory.
Yes, you may complain about how this "recipe" has no quantity and ratio.
#Sorrynotsorry #ooooops

Crank up the oven to 250C. Slather sauce onto ribs, broil on top rack of the oven - or charcoal grill if you're having BBQ outside - (back first and then front) until beautifully caramelized.
Slather more sauce on them ribs, and serve.

Don't use utensils, get ready to lick fingers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Culinary Jewelry Dinner - Damiani’s 90th Anniversary Celebration, Tosca, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Hong Kong

Fine food and fine jewelry! Oh, hello... come to mama! 
I was really intrigued when I heard about this Culinary Jewelry Dinner inspired by Damiani's 90th Anniversary Celebration. Food inspired by some serious bling? How would that go? Let's give it a go!

The bread. I absolutely adore the squid ink one. Hot from the oven, crusty outside, fluffy inside & really tasty!

Cured salmon with beluga and snail caviar, porcini mushroom and creamed risotto. How pretty is this dish! Inspired by black and white diamonds. I could see where the inspiration's from, it's a treat for my eyes and my taste buds. Love it. 

The dish was paired with this lovely Pinot Grigio. Look at its copper tinge. Gorgeous and delicious!

Next, we had squid ink fettucelle pasta with scallops, lobster, zucchini and tomato. This gorgeous plate is inspired by a black ribbon necklace. Love the sauce and the seafood! I just wish the pasta was a bit more firm.

For the next course, some of us chose the crispy monkfish served with chickpeas cream sauce and fried sage. I didn't try it (I wish I stole a bite off my neighbor's plate. Regrets....), but it certainly looked gorgeous.

This is my weakness. I always have to go for rich, meaty dish, so I went for the stewed oxtail served on potato with foie gras, with balsamic mushroom sauce.

The dish looked gorgeous. It's very luxurious and decadent. Just like the earrings it was inspired by.

The meat dish was paired with this lovely Barolo. I don't drink much, I only think that when the wine tasted good with the food, then it's a good pairing. They were great together :)

On to dessert! Pain d'epice parfait with chocolate ring hazelnuts and five spices sauce. Looks very impressive, especially looking at the bracelet that was the inspiration. When we had this, I think most of us think of Christmas gingerbread cookies :)

 
All of us went "oohhh" and "aahhhh" when this petit four plate arrived. Jewels on fluffy cloud! 
What's not to love? 

We enjoyed eating (and taking photos of) the fluffy cotton candy, and I especially love the chocolates.

Look at these gorgeous chocolate "pendants"

Absolutely gorgeous, and they're delicious too :)

I had a great time appreciating how modern Italian fine dining could be when inspired by fine jewelry. Thanks for having me, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong!

Damiani's 90th Anniversary Limited Edition Collection menu by Chef Pino Lavarra will be available at Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong's Tosca  until 30 November 2014.

Tosca
102/F Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong
尖沙咀柯士甸道西1號環球貿易廣場(ICC)香港麗思卡爾頓酒店102樓
Tel: +852 2263 2270

Also, check out what Gary of Joie de Vivre think about this dinner.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Double Chocolate Banana Bread


Thanks to Harold, who sent us a picture of a double chocolate banana bread one day,
I could not get double chocolate banana bread out of my mind.

Double chocolate banana bread.

Double chocolate banana bread.

I tried other things, I went to 7-11 and bought dreyers triple chocolate ice cream.



Double chocolate banana bread.

I ate a packet of Indomie,

Double chocolate banana bread.

I watched endless cute kittens and cute Kpop idols on youtube...

Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread.Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread.Double chocolate banana bread.Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread. Double chocolate banana bread.

ARGGHHHHH!
This must be how it feels like being in Stephen King's movies.
Luckily, this obsession is easy to solve.

I just had to google recipes for double chocolate banana bread and make the first one I encounter.
It's Smitten Kitchen's Double Chocolate Banana Bread.


Recipe
My slight adaptation:
I reduced the sugar from 3/4 to 1/2 and I used the sugar I have at home (caster sugar).
I tried to follow the baking time 'til the end but my toothpick came out clean after only about 30 minutes of baking - so I had to take it out way earlier than 55-65 minutes. I recommend frequent testing after 30 minutes.

- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter pan. Mash bananas, Whisk in melter butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla. Mix baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa (I didn't sift as instructed by original recipe - sorry, too lazy) in another mixing bowl. Mix wet and dry ingredients until just combined (actually OB helped me mixing the batter, so I am sure it was overmixed), add chocolate chips. Pour into pan and bake until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack.

The cooling process was very hard for me as SC and OB's grabby hands could not stay away from the cake. Warning: very very chocolatey.
WE LOVE IT, and I can finally stop obsessing with DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD... well, until my next craving, or whenever Harold posted another picture of double chocolata banana bread :)

Please check out the original recipe here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

SC's Birthday Dinner at the Principal, Hong Kong


SC's birthday is our annual splurge.
(Wow, that's in August!!! That's one hell of a blogpostcrastination, you lazy bum!
Please excuse me. I rant to myself a lot here)
And this one's worth every penny. Thank you for the recommendation, e_ting!
Naturally, I don't remember what these are, but I remember that we love almost everything, including the concrete sofa in front of the restaurant.
No need to thank me for this non-review. 
I really should not call myself a blogger.
#SorryNotSorry.
Heheheh.

We had quite an expedition that night. The birthday boy was really pleased. Phew!























Another thing that I love: I didn't have to make a phone call for booking (I HATE voice calls with a passion). Click here to book online.