Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Ultimate Bday Indulgence

The meal we've been saving for, long for, wore elastic waistband for and didn't eat the whole....afternoon for (as if we could stand not eating the whole day), our ultimate indulgence...a scrumptious, decadent buffet dinner at Mr. Steak Buffet a la Minute! Woohooo!!! Dig in!

Hors D'Oeuvres

Silky smooth tofu with soy and pork floss. Light and refreshing...and I love the huge gingerbread town decorating the buffet spread!

Bits of thinly sliced ham on sweet chunks of melon got me ready into the next food adventure...

A vast array of seafood...I am not a big fan of cold seafood, but I managed to down a crab head full of roe. Yum! Hello cholesterol....

I used to hate sashimi. Blegh! Ew! Yuck!....but now I start to be able to enjoy a slice of buttery salmon...and I grew to love succulent and sweet scallop and shrimp sashimi. Ohhhh this beginning stage of love...always excites, yet scares me. *Shudder*

The sushi section. I love them so much, but I can't eat more than 1-2 pieces, sorry babies, I need to save some space for more good stuff...I still love you, although not equally (I am a firm believer of favoritism).

The Hot Stuff

The Shanghai Xiao Long Bao were tasty and juicy...and the skin was delightfully thin and chewy (unlike mine, which is thick and start to get a lil' droopy)

Sausages, sausages, no, size does not matter. The smaller the better *wink*

Nothing beats the sound of Kobe beef strips sizzling on the's like music to my ears! Ladida dida! Come and dance on my plate...

Wagyu steak, grilled to perfection...was I drunk from the beef scent...was it just me? or does the uncle who's in charge of slicing the beef really start to look very very hot?

All kinds of delicious prime steaks on my plate...this place really deserves the title of "Mr.Steak"

*Rubbing my eyes?* I couldn't believe what I saw....are those....FOIE GRAS???!!!!! Oh my.....forget salad, forget sushi, forget seafood! ME WANT FOIE GRAS!!!! (This explain the bizzare plate below)

Oh yeah! Eerrrrr.....foie gras on toasts....with ehm...tofu? crab? and oysters? Are you MAD???!!! Sorry guys and gals, I just had to have them. Then and there. They were rich, velvety...the ultimate decadence.

Oh My Goodness Gracious! Sweetnesses!!!

Not a big fan of gelee, especially in winter...but these fuji apple jelly topped with fresh raspberries were just perfect! Sweet and refreshing.

Pecan pie, chocolate mousse cake, tiramisu, pomelo and mango dessert...I wish I had multiple stomachs

Can I wash my face in your fountain of chocolatey goodness?

The crepe suzette station, made to order, just for you, by a young-hot-hunky chef...I'd like one with extra everything, please...and your phone number...errr for my friend, you're single, are you?

The place's great, the food's fan-freaking-tastic, the service staff were friendly, funny even...except when I walked around taking pictures and got in their way...and the HK$360 per pax price tag for Sunday dinner is totally worth it! I will definitely go back there again. Now I am exercising my stomach to be able to eat more in my next visit ^_^.

A million thanks to my sweet girls and sc for the amazing dinner, the presents...and most importantly...for eating as much as me most of the time, I can't imagine having closest friends who don't eat. *Grin*

Mr. Steak buffet a la minute
3/F, Hang Lung Centre, 2-20 Paterson Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Phone: 2881 5756 / 2881 5757

Check out which elastic waistband I wore for this dinner here.
PS. Why start your diet today, if you can postpone it 'til tomorrow?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bday Dinner at Domon Sapporo Ramen

On my birthdays, normally we'd go for something extreme. It's either something really fancy, such as last year's French private dining feast at Allez Allez...or something extremely crappy and cheap. Such as my bday junk food medley of KFC, McD, and Pizza Hut, which I had the year before, with no make up, uncombed hair, in my PJs, at home, thus weren't photographed (Dang! I should've taken some pics).

This year, I just want something in between. Something normal. Wait-a-minute! Doesn't a girl always want to be special? Doesn't a birthday mean anything anymore? Yes it does. I means I am getting older, wiser, smarter (oh, shut up!) and I should know better than to eat two huge & pricey meals back to back. Hehe. I have a huge buffet with the girls scheduled the next day. So, on the day itself, I just wanted to eat something ordinary.

Little did I know....that from something ordinary, we could expect something extraordinarily...(good/bad?)

As a huge ramen fan, I generally think that almost any bowl of ramen should be delicious. Plus, I've walked past Domon Sapporo Ramen in Tsim Sha Tsui numerous times before...and I've always seen it super crowded...with an endless queue of young and trendy patrons waiting outside. I's gotta be good! I've been wanting to try it since when I saw one outlet in Whampoa, and I saw a poster of a famous Hong Kong food critic, posing with of a bowl of Domon butter ramenwith a big smile plastered all over his face, I immedinately wanted to have my "ordinary" bday dinner there.

However, now I know that...
Japanese Ramen + Crowded + Long Queue + Endorsement by famous food critic =/= Good

The food was really disappointing. I ordered a bowl of butter ramen. The ramen noodle was ok...but the broth wasn't tasty, the Japanese BBQ pork was dry, and the butter was unnecessary. Sous chef ordered Japanese curry rice. The curry was watered down, and it wasn't enough for the rice. We also ordered potato croquettes, which luckily, were decent and seafood stuffed chicken wings, which were rather fishy.

In the end...the disappointing food kinda made the day extraordinary ^_^. At least we learnt something from it. Sous chef blamed me for choosing this place, and I said I was entitled to make this mistake, I am the birthday girl after all. HAHA!

Domon Sapporo Ramen (Fashion World)
Shung King Street Shop G9, G/F
Fashion World Hung Hom

The day ended with blowing (or spitting on) my birthday cake, a slice of rich and yummy chocolate mousse cake from a bakery nearby. What did I wear and what else did I do that day? Check 'em out here.

Thanks for the dinner, the cake and the flowers, SC! Let me think of another crappy place to try next year. Haha!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Boxing Day BBQ

This year, we're not having our yearly BBQ of crap (which I love). Oh yeah! Normally, we would head off to the beach, where we could have all-you-can-eat (oh, this sounds soo me) BBQ, everything prepared, all you need to do is holding your BBQ tongs on top of the fire, stuffing yourself silly from noon til dawn....and trying not to get too drunk and accidentally BBQ your friend's toes or something. In such BBQ places, we'd eat mountains after mountains of processed dogs, various meat/fishballs and dodgy looking marinated meats (which I also love).

However, this year, we're preparing our BBQ from scratch at A & The V's terrace (a terrace which can fit 9 mad eaters, in the middle of the city, is really rare in Hong Kong, so we were thrilled!). Foodaholiv, Sir A and Ah A were kind enough to turn their culinary visions into reality and let us be the guinea pigs...and we happily obliged ^_^

Our seafood chef of the day, Foodaholiv, prepared these skewers of red and green peppers, pineapple chunks, and shrimps wrapped with bacon. Oh my!

...and juicy skewers of eels and fish meat! Fancy!

Our mountain of bread, honey, sauces, and spices...

The boys were working on the macho! We were secretly praying...please don't burn the flat down...

...and we also had fresh shell fish and juicy scallops. No wonder the normal supply of processed food such as hot dogs and balls weren't as popular as before. Hehe

Fireeeeeeeee oh flamin' fire! Well done, boys! Sweet potatoes (orange and purple) and butter rubbed corn with italian herbs are a-roasting too.

People were really hungry. It is noticable from the amount of hot dogs being barbecued. Hot dogs are our quick fix....they made waiting for the good stuff more bearable. Ah A prepared chicken wings with four different marinades: Chinese red fermented beancurd sauce (lam yu), Thai lemongrass and chilli, salt and pepper, and Italian rosemary and lemon. I am proud to announce that I've downed at least 8 pieces of wings...and all tasted brilliant!

Foodaholiv worked the succulent scallops by sprinkling them with garlic and soy sauce...pure genius! The cuttlefish pieces were also grilled to perfection. She did an amazing job running the grill (if it wasn't her, we would just ruin it and might end up having to eat instant noodles hehe).

What happens if we need to refill the charcoal...lift up the grill (with barehands??!!! Yes, Joe the Superman wasn't afraid of such a little heat. But boys and girls, unless you are a superman, please don't try this at home. Hehe) and hold your breath to prevent the boiling hot shellfish juices from drenching your toes, then carefully balance the grill back on fire. It's an art, really.

Sir A created this super creative Japanese sticky rice sticks wrapped with bacon....

....and topped with TORCHED mozzarella cheese...oh my! Imagine the sticky and chewy rice sticks...with crispy ends...and tasty bacon...and melted and scorched's just so unreal!

After we were stuffed to our eyeballs, we had an intense session of gift exchange and polaroid photo taking. We modified the usual "Secret Santa" to our own game of "The Perfect Gift". We were supposed to give our santa that he/she could get something that we wanted. Most of us ended up telling our santa exactly what we Sir A's extend...going with the santa (me) to the store and just buy the gift then and there.

Many thanks to Ms. A & The V who let us wreck and ransack their beautiful home.

Anyways, it was more than a great was fun-freakin-tastic! Now, tell me about yours ^_^

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Feast at Yeh Lam Kwok Restaurant

After my share of home cooking madness, and sous chef's end of low iodine diet...we were like loose canons...shooting from one restaurant to another...

This Christmas, considering my plummeting stocks....despite the generous one month bonus the company gave out...we didn't pick anything fancy. "Anything fancy" normally requires 6 months advance booking, and it could cost more than my one month's rent (seriously!).

Thus, I picked one of my favorite Hong Kong steak restaurant, Yeh Lam Kwok. The service totally sucks, they consistently screw up our orders, their food is nowhere near "fine dining", but I love love love the place...and you'll see why.

We managed to avoid the dining peak hour, by arriving at around 6.30. See all the empty seats there?...they would all be full by 8.

I love set dinners. At HK$148 (plus 10% service charge), I get lots of stuff. Soup, bread, appetizer, main course, dessert and a drink! In places like this...I am more of a quantity girl more than quality. Hehe.

Rich mushroom and seafood soup. Yes, it is rich with corn starch. This is why I hardly ever order cream based soup in Chinese eateries. I made an exception, and I shouldn't have. The raisin dinner rolls though...were heavenly. Soft, fluffy, and fragrant.

When dining in Hong Kong restaurants...the red soup is your safest bet. It is always rich and tasty.

I mentioned earlier that this place's service sucks and it consistently screwed up orders. In my previous visit, a friend of mine ordered a white soup with a puff pastry topping. She was served red soup with puff pastry topping. She couldn't see what's under the puff pastry, so she poked it with a fork...and told the server that it's not what she ordered.

Then the most amazing thing happened. The lady seated at the next table mentioned that she ordered a red soup with puff pastry topping. Our server looked at the soup in his hand (red, with already poked puff pastry), and we could see how he was contemplating giving the soup to the lady at the next table. My friends and I, and the lady and her companion were all staring at him, thinking "NOOOOO WAYYY"...and he DID! He handed the soup to the lady at the next table...and she looked at him with disbelief and said that she could not accept that.
The something more amazing happened. Our server argued "but it has only been poked, she (my friend), hasn't tasted the soup". The lady's companion said "No!"...and our server argued again "Well, if you won't accept this, then I'll order again and you will just have to wait!". He said "We'll wait". Our server stormed away, clearly not looking very happy about his brilliant idea being shut off. We looked at each other...still couldn't believe what we just experienced, and cracked up.

Will they screw up again this time?

My appetizer - Sliced ham and turkey on top of mashed potatoes and pumpkin with gravy
The ham was great, the gravy was tasty, and the mashed potatoes was smooth and creamy. I have never been crazy about's a bit too dry and chewy for me.

Sous Chef's Main Course - Sirloin Steak with mashed potatoes and pumpkin, roasted vegetable, and tomato rice.
In places like this, when you ordered your steak "medium well"....don't count on it too much. Most probably you won't get it how you ordered it. It's gambling, really...and you might wonder why they serve mashed potatoes with rice? They're trying to get us high on carb, so that we won't notice the screwed up orders. Hehe

My main course - Steak and soft shell crabs on a bed of (another) mashed potatoes and pumpkin and roasted vegetables with black pepper sauce
The soft shell crabs were the star of this dish. They were crispy and deliciousss...and I love drenching them with black pepper sauce all over. YUM!

The dessert - Waffles with peaches and strawberry sauce, with a side of chocolate sauce
It's really too filling after the multiple appearances of mashed potatoes...but what the heck! It was delicious and we wiped the whole thing off the plate.

Sous chef's drink - Hot pear, ginger and tangerine tea
It's nice and refreshing, lightly sweetened, it's the perfect drink to end this heavy meal.

My drink - Triple Sec Chocolate
Super rich, creamy, orangey, and chocolatey. My all time favorite from this restaurant. It is so worth the HK$8 extra charge for "special drinks"

They did screw up my order and tried to serve me salmon instead of my steak. But I love being overfed...and with such a value for money, the screw ups won't scare me away from going back to Yeh Lam Kwok.

Yeh Lam Kok Restaurant (Hung Wai Building)
Fa Yuen Street Shop B, 1/F
Hung Wai Building Mong Kok

Holiday snap for the day...

Santa on the loose...spotted in front of Fat Angelo's Restaurant, Soho, Central, Hong Kong.

What did I wear that day? Check it out here...but after this holiday season, I guess I will have to borrow santa's pants. Oh well!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Griddle Cakes, Peanut Butter and Plum Jam: All Homemade!

I've never fancied myself to be so absolutely domestic...pranching around the kitchen (and not tripping) producing home made everything. Nonono. If I could get away with something store-bought, I would.

However, after I started this low-iodine cooking...which require most food to be prepared at home to avoid forbidden ingredients (e.g. iodized salt, dairy products, yolks, soy based products, etc), it got me hooked. At first I couldn't imagine orchestrating 3 meals per day at home. It's just ridiculous and almost impossible to execute with a full time job, hobbies such as blogging and shopping, obligation to exercise regularly, and other addictions such as Top Chef, Jamie's at home, America's Next Top Model, etc.

But once I started...I couldn't stop! It's crack-like addictive! I kept blurting homemade goodies out of my kitchen like how I blurt stuff I should not have said in girls-only gossip night. Hehe! These holiday season, I even ignored my "underground" cupcake supplier, didn't order a thing! I felt that I should be able to make them at home, and not only that, increase the challenge and make them low iodine! HAH!

The recipe book from helped me a lot. Those who had gone through this experience shared that breakfast is the most challenging meal to prepare. Hell yeah! When we think of breakfast...we think milk, cheese, eggs, and all sorts of yummy goods with high iodine. Check out some of my favorite low iodine breakfast treats. Take extra care, it's gonna be a rough ride.

Homemade Peanut Butter

Peeling the skin of the nuts was kinda theurapeutic. It tested our patience and persistence!

The beautiful scent of roasted peanuts made us feel better.

(from, halved
- 2 cups unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
If nuts are not roasted, preheat oven to 180C. Place peanuts in a single layer on baking sheet
and place in oven. Cook until peanuts are toasted, approx. 6-8 minutes. Shake pan a couple of times
for overall browning. Remove pan from oven.
Place roasted peanuts in food processor (they can still be warm from roasting). Add salt and sugar.
Turn on processor and drizzle in oil. Process until smooth.
(Contributed by Kim S. of New Jersey)

This is soo easy to make, absolutely delicious and it multi tasks! It's not only fantastic accompanying home made bread and cakes for breakfasts, it can be turned into muffins, cookies, and sauces!

Homemade Plum Jam

Look at the sparkles of ruby gorgeous!

- 2 cups of plums (remove core, cut into sections)
- 2 cups of caster sugar
Process plum in food processor, pour into a pot, add sugar, cook on low heat until the color goes deep red and it's thickened, transfer into sterilized jars.

A pot of bubbling gorgeousness.

This baby also multi tasks. It's not only perfect with homemade bread, cakes, or paired with home made peanut butter, it's perfect for glazing grilled meat (chicken, pork, beef), as sauce for stir fry dishes, or even dilluted in water or soda as drinks (hot or cold)!

Homemade Griddle Cakes

- 2 egg whites with
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir in:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Then add:
- 1/2 cup water (more as desired for batter
Stir until the batter is the consistency of thick cream. Spoon batter onto hot griddle which has been
greased with a bit of vegetable oil. Excellent hot with homemade jam or real maple syrup. Freeze leftovers and pop in toaster. Also excellent with breakfast sausage recipe.
(Contributed by Susan L)

Phew! It's almost the end of sous chef's low iodine diet, I'll just have to spill all my low iodine beans out ^_^

As for holiday snap of the day...

This was taken in front of Prince's Building, Central, Hong Kong. They have one of my favorite Christmas tree ornaments this year.

Now, I must go and catch up on my last minute Christmas shopping...the list goes longer and longer, as always ^_^