Thursday, 10 September 2009

Secret Recipe for Cooking an Omelette

I found this very interesting ingredient which is a secret recipe for cooking the perfect Omelette. Check it out and let me know what you think. Will try this weekend and let you all know my thoughts!! Happy Cooking! Ciao Geoff

Food Journey #17 - Swiss Cafe (瑞士咖啡室)

Had a request on twitter and one of my followers of Geoff's Twitchen asked me to review what I normally eat for lunch in Hong Kong. Swiss Cafe, which is located underneath our office building is one of my usual spot as it is quick, good food and the food is relatively simple as it is a Cha Chang Tang (Chinese Fast Food Cafe) similar to the infamous Tsui Wah!
My regular orders in this place are the Beef or Barbecued Pork with Omelette with 2 slices of toast + a traditional Chinese Style Iced Coffee which is a lot better than that junk you get from other commercial chains around town. Other specialties include scrambled eggs with toast, Kaya (咖央) with toast, Chinese Style Milk Tea (奶茶) etc. Kaya (rich coconut egg jam) is a traditional Malaysia and Singapore food spread made from coconut milk, eggs which are flavoured by pandan leaf and sweetened with sugar. It has a seet and creamy texture, golden brown in appearance and is often used to spread on toast and enjoyed in the early mornings or as afternoon snack.
The restaurant itself is decorated in a very traditional Chinese style, very similar to a traditional (冰室) which is a traditional 60's Hong Kong style cafe. Very spacious and can fit in over 100 pax at once which is very unusual in Central aside from Tsui Wah.
What's not good about this place -- the food quality can be very inconsistent at time and what's worse, the food presentation is very inconsistent. Tuesday's omelette for some strange reason had ketchup in it and today's omelette did not have any ketchup, I wonder why as I am v puzzled. However, if you want something simple, hearty and good flavoured, check out Swiss Cafe during lunch hour. Be sure to arrive early as the queue can get ridiculously long.
Happy Eating!
Address: 12 Li Yuen West Street, Central 中環利源西街12號地下
Tel: 2111 0841 / 2111 0849
Food Quality (5* the highest): ***
Price comparison to regular Chinese Cafe (5$ = very expensive): $$$

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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Food Journey #16 --Kan Pai Yakiniku Restaurant (乾杯燒肉店)

First of all, my apologies that I am still blogging about my trip to Taipei as I finally have the time to retrieve below photos of a truly great venue which you must ALL visit when you are in Taipei. Note this posting is not all about the quality of food, but more on the overall vibe, atmosphere of the restaurant. Yakiniku (焼き肉 or 焼肉), means "grilled meat", is a Japanese term which, in its broadest sense, refers to grilled meat dishes. In a yakiniku restaurant in Japan, diners order several types of prepared raw ingredients (either individually or as a set) which are brought to the table. The ingredients are cooked by the diners on a grill built into the table throughout the duration of the meal, several pieces at a time. The most common sauce is made of Japanese Soy Saucemixed with sake, mirrin, sugar, garlic and sesame and sometimes yakiniku is eaten seasoned only with salt. This was my 2nd visit to Kan Pai located conveniently in Dunhua South Road in the heart of Taipei and please book a table prior your visit as the waiting list is normally 1 month long. It is simply a restaurant whereby guys & girls all gathering around to drink beer & eat grilled meat -- what a perfect combination for sure. I wouldnt go into any details of signature dishes as tastes & flavour do not really matter when you are downing your beers with sake-bomb! The restaurant itself is extremely noisy, full of drunkards and is now becoming a tourist hotspot for some authentic Taiwanese dining. Highlight of the evening will be at 8pm whereby staff of the restaurant will go around each table to select couples of whom will have to "snog" or "french-kiss" in front of the whole restaurant for 10 secs. Not difficult for sure after a few beverages and each group of contestant's table will recieve a plate of free Korean Beef and free pints on the house! Resolution of the photo is not very good as below but the restaurant is decorated with polaroids of couples doing it! Another highlight at 8pm is that everybody in the restaurant will have to stand up and do a Kan Pai (meaning CHEERS) and the beers will be automatically refilled by this good looking fella as below. He (His name is Ah Shun) will come around to each table with a backpack, like a portable beer barrel and refills with all your beers with a pipe. Now, that is COOL! Overall experience of the restaurant is that it is a very fun place, not your usual place to hang out but if you want something to kick start a good night, Kan Pai is the place for you 100%. Absolutely love that place! Happy Eating!!! Ciao Geoff
If you want more details on Kan Pai, please visit
Address: No 17, Lane 236, Dunhua S Road, Section 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段 236 巷 17 號)
Tel No: 02-2776-3460
Food Quality (5* the highest): ****
Price for lunch (5$ = very expensive): $$$

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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Food Journey #15 -- Sù Yán Tiān Shǐ: (清亭‧燕萍越南菜館)

This posting is a true dedication to the greatness of Vietnamese food and I have had a lot of people asking me via facebook & twitter regarding good, cheap, quick & local places and this is a MUST TRY (dedicated to Sabrina)! Conveniently located in the heart of Causeway Bay (3 mins walk from Times Square), this is one of my favourite weekend joints for a quick hearty, down to earth, unpretentious meal. Vietnamese food is all about fish sauce, soy sauce, herbs, vegetables and all dishes should come with a fresh dipping sauce. Expect plentiful of pork, shrimp, chicken and one can only find beef in PHO which is a traditional Vietnamese noodle with soup. As Anthony Bourdain once wrote, ""You don't have to go looking for great food in Vietnam. Great food finds you. It's everywhere.(...)It's a country filled with proud cooks - and passionate eaters." Few dishes which I must highly recommend you all to order on your visit: a) Vietnamese Style Vermicelli with shredded egg, sliced chicken & Vietnamese sausage (扎肉) served cold -- Wonderful bowl of carbs to start off your meal especially during the heat in summer. Not a fan of dry noodles therefore do ask for fish sauce and flood your bowl of noodles which I regularly do. Stir & toss the noodles until the fish sauce evenly mixes through and it is a very plain, delicious & comfort dish to start off your meal b) Deep Fried Garlic Buttered Chicken Wings -- WARNING -- if you are cautious about your intake of calories or fat content, please look away as this is a potential health hazard. Chicken Wings itself is already a high calorie content food due to all the fat on the chicken skin and add to the fact that the wings are deep fried in butter to give that crispy & flavourful skin. Elvis would have been proud of this dish. The condiments on the side include rock salt + fresh lime which is a perfect pairing with the wings. If you are extremely hungover on Sunday mornings, this is the perfect dish as it is purely greasy, tasty & extremely delicious -- much more effective than what Bloody Mary does! 3) RiceFlour Roll with Stuffed Pork & Vietnamese vegetables -- Another delectable traditional Vietnamese snack which is similar to the regular ricepaper roll you get in Chinese restaurants but the difference is that you eat this with spring onion, dry garlic & fish sauce again. Very refreshing and best served cold. My other highly recommended dishes include the Satay Skewers (Beef, Chicken or Pork), Curry Flavoured Pho Noodles with eels, Beef Curry with Garlic Bread & Traditional Vietnamese Spring rolls served with fresh lettuce as well as the traditional Vietnamese Dripping Coffee That's all for now and Happy Eating! Ciao Geoff
Address: 2/f, 482 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay(銅鑼灣謝斐道482號信諾環球保險中心2樓)
Tel No: 2832 2863 /2833 1075
Food Quality (5* the highest): ****
Price for lunch (5$ = very expensive): $

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Monday, 7 September 2009

Food Journey #14 -- Ku-Su Ya rakuen (古酒家樂宴)

Out for dinner on Saturday evening to the unknown territories of Deng Long Street in Causeway (street behind Times Square) and the street is a well-known local drinking hot spots full of karaoke bars + traditional Hong Kong Style hawker food. Kusuya Rakuen was highly recommended by our friends and is a traditional Okinawa style Japanese cuisine, thus you can expect plentiful of Japanese snacks, beers & fresh seafood jetted in from Japan on a daily basis.
Dishes definitely did not disappoint but however the portion sizes were quite small therefore do not expect a very filling dinner. Some of the highlights of the meal which I want to share with you all:
a) Orion Beer -- traditional Okinawa brewed beer ( which was extremely refreshing in taste but my personal favourite is still Yebisu which you can buy from City Super & Sogo. If you visit this restaurant now, they have a special promotional deal which is $99 for 3 bottles of Orion which is very attractive. If you do visit this place, check out their selection of traditional Okinawa Sake-tinis & cocktails!
**b) Okinawa Style Peanut Tofu -- I had doubts when our friend ordered this Okinawa Style Tofu as I sometime question why people order such dishes when dining out. However, I was wrong!!
This Tofu dish could well be the best Tofu I have ever eaten in my entire life. The texture is similar to a Mozarella and the complement of the Japanese soya was a perfect matching. The texture of the Tofu was so so unique that I have never experienced anything like this. The first bite of the Tofu was full of peanut flavours and it was very fragrant and plus, Tofu is very healthy for one's body & mind therefore we ordered 2 portions of this as it was truly delectable.
c) Sashimi Platter -- A Japanese meal can never be complete without a Sashimi Platter. All the sashimi was extremely fresh and full of fish oil. The wasabi is freshly grinded and very unlike the wasabi paste you get in the conveyor belt Japanese restaurants. The Maguro (Blue Fin Tuna) truly stood out from the rest in the platter. Very refreshing dish & a perfect summer platter for sure.
d) Okinawa Sea Grapes (Umibudou) -- This is a vegetarian must have dish and it is also a very unique dish. Although not from Shizuoka, this Okinawa delicacy regularly appears in supermarkets and in good Japanese restaurants. Although called Sea Grapes (Umibudou) or Green Caviar for their shape, it is a sea-weed variety! It is best to consume this dish raw with soy sauce or rice vinegar mixed with mustard.
e) Japanese Style Fried Chicken -- As I always believe, Japanese style fried chicken is quite possibly the best fried chicken in the world. The batter is not too over oily and the texture of the chicken is simply superb. Pair this with the Japanese style mayonaise with a zip of the Orion Beer, this is the perfect snack for your beer on a hot summer evening.
For the rest of the dishes, I wouldnt go into too much details as I think the above 4 courses simply made my whole evening. The restaurant was packed with Japanese citizens and when you go to a Japanese restaurant full of natives, you are ensured that you are at the right place. Overall experience was very pleasant, food & drinks were all superb. I will definitely return to this restaurant once again for lunch or dinner.
Food Quality (5* the highest): ****
Price (5$ = very expensive): $$$
Address: 12F, Wing Kwong Centre, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣登龍街28號永光中心12樓
Enquiry No : 3580-8858

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