Friday, March 28, 2014

View 62 By Paco Roncero, Hong Kong - A Pictorial

Having tried the food of 2 Michelin starred Chef Paco Roncero (protege of the legendary Ferran Adrià of El Bulli) at a special dinner hosted @ Atlantic Dining Room a couple of years ago, we were naturally very excited to try his namesake restaurant in Hong Kong.

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But alas! It was not meant to be. The food wasn't that surprising and faltered quite a bit in the taste department. It tasted and felt nowhere near my previous experience. Service was excellent though and so was the view, which offered us a rotating view of the surroundings as well as Victoria Harbour. But at HKD 6,576 (~ SGD 1080) for 6 pax, it was hardly worth it!

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 8.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 6/10
Value for money: 4/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Address: 62/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai

Contact: 2574 6262

Opening Hours: 1130am - 2am daily


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chan Kan Kee Chiu Chow Restaurant (陳勤記鹵鵝飯店) Part II, Hong Kong

We were early and with a stroke of luck, Chan Kan Kee was empty. However it wasn't the luck we were hoping for as the restaurant was still serving its tea time menu and dinner items on the menu weren't ready. As such, we had to settle for whatever was available, namely their braised items and vegetables.

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Fried Kailan with Dried Sole Fish

Simply done with a nice saltiness from the generous serving of dried sole fish but lacking in wok hei. Decent enough though.

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Braised Goose, Pork, Eggs & Beancurd

The key here was the gravy, which came across as rich with hints of saltiness and sweetness. And it was in this wonderful gravy that the various items were dutifully braised in. Without a doubt, the favourite that evening was the goose, with its slightly coarse flesh locking in the wonderful flavours. Do note that geese tend to have more fat than duck so if you are adverse to the consumption of fat, please keep away from the skin.

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The 6 of us spent HKD 641 (~ SGD 106) which wasn't expensive but I personally would have preferred to have a mixture of dishes (not just braised ones). Nonetheless the braised goose was good enough to warrant a return soon!

Read my first review on Chan Kan Kee Chiu Chow Restaurant here.

Final Verdict:
Food: 7/10 (8/10 for the braised goose)
Value for money: 7/10
Overall: 7/10

Address: 1 Queen's Road West, Sheung Wan (上環皇后大道西11號地下), Hong Kong

Contact: 2858 0033

Opening Hours: Mon.-Sun. 11:00-22:00

Sunday, March 16, 2014

District 10 Bar & Restaurant - An Invite

The kind folks at District 10 extended an invitation to try out a couple of their signature dishes and since I was in town, I appreciatively made my way down to their outlet @ UE Square one weekday evening.

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District 10 is both a bar and a restaurant and offers both indoor and al fresco seating at a rather prominent corner of UE Square. I personally like the wooden interior and high ceilings but the vibe is actually more of a pub than a restaurant. Good for a casual dinner but probably not so much for a romantic date.

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Complimentary Bread

This used to be one of the best complimentary bread in my dictionary (back in 2007 when I first tried Bonta). Unfortunately the bread now is but a shadow of its former self. The bread was burnt which gave it a slightly bitter taste whilst the feta cheese within came across as a tad sour. How the quality has deteriorated!

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Green Asparagus, Fried Egg Sunny Side Up, Sage Butter

I honestly didn't know what to make of this dish. Asparagus, sunny side up and cheese? $18++? Seriously?

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Pan-fried Goose Liver, Wild Berries Sauce & Balsamic Syrup

The foie gras lacked a well seared crust and wasn't as smooth or quivery as I had expected to be. But at least the wild berry sauce did help to cut down a little on the nausea.

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Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, Mustard Dressing, Sauteed Wild Mushrooms

This was a waste of wagyu beef in my humble opinion as it didn't elevate this dish past the average mark. Normal beef would have done the trick. And I personally dislike mustard.

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Homemade Angel Hair Pasta with Lobster, Peperoncino, Basil & Fresh Tomatoes

I was looking forward to this but unfortunately it didn't quite pan out. The angel hair pasta was way too soft and stodgy from all the gravy that it was plain unappetising. Even the crunchy lobster pieces failed to lift this dish out of the mess. ps: the presentation needs working on as well.

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Homemade Foie Gras Ravioli, Light Parmesan Sauce & Scamorza Cheese

This was probably the best dish of the evening in my humble opinion. The ravioli did come across as a tad too thick but the taste of the foie gras was noticeable and not overwhelmed by the light parmesan sauce. Just watch out for the wooziness.

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Crispy Goose Leg Confit, Roasted Garlic, Soft Potato Mousse

Mildly crisp skin but overly salty and dry. Pretty much sums up the goose confit.

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Signature Black Angus Beef Striploin, Fried Eggs & Black Truffle

I appreciated the black truffle but I fail to comprehend the sunny side up. Nonetheless, the beef was done to a nice medium rare but came across as rather bland and a tad tough. Average dish overall.

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Roasted Atlantic Cod Medallion, Spanish Smoked Paprika & Herbs Oil

The cod was decently executed without much fanfare - tender flesh with a hint of sweetness. Lacked the oomph to elevate it past the average mark.

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Cinnamon Apple Fritters with Icing Sugar

And finally, desserts. I found the cinnamon apple fritters a pretty interesting concept except that there was way too much cinnamon powder sprinkled over the fritters that it was unnerving (for me at least). I was expecting a sweet finish but it ended up slightly sourish because of the apple. Can't say I'm a fan.

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Traditional Italian Tiramisu

My absolute favourite Italian dessert. Unfortunately District 10's rendition didn't quite excite. The mascarpone to sponge ratio was a little lopsided in favour of the former whilst the latter came across as a tad dry. Acceptably average.

Thanks for the invite!

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6.5/10
Service: NA
Food: 5.5/10
Value for money: NA
Overall: 6/10

Address: #01-15/16/17 UE Square Shopping Mall

Contact: 6738 4788

Opening Hours:

Monday to Thursdays

11.30am to 11.00pm (Last food order: 10.30pm)

Lunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm
Tea-time menu: 2.30pm to 5.30pm
Dinner: 5.30pm to 11pm


11.30am to 1.00am (Last food order: 12.30am)

Lunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm
Tea-time menu: 2.30pm to 5.30pm
Dinner: 5.30pm to 1.00am


11.00am to 1.00am (Last food order: 12.30am)

Brunch: 11.00am to 3.00pm
Tea-time menu: 3.00pm to 5.30pm
Dinner: 5.30pm to 1.00am


11.00am to 11.00pm (Last food order: 10.30pm)

Brunch: 11.00am to 3.00pm
Tea-time menu: 3.00pm to 5.30pm
Dinner: 5.30pm to 11.00pm


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Prego Part V

Decided to give Prego another chance after a less than desirable lunch a couple of months back. It also helped that there was a 50% reduction in the bill courtesy of the FAR card. 

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The interior hasn't changed much, with the decor revolving around the use of wood. Whilst I like the abundant sunlight peering in from the floor to ceiling windows and the space the place affords, I can't help but compare it to a buffet/mass market restaurant - hardly befitting an Italian outfit in my humble opinion. But I digress.

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Complimentary Bread

This was probably one of the worst complimentary bread I've ever had in an Italian restaurant. 4 trips to Prego in 6 months and I'm still unable to consume more than a mouthful.

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Capesante in Crosta

This sounded really good on paper - Scallops coated with cheese and baked till golden brown and served with a mildly sweet pumpkin puree. Unfortunately the combination didn't quite work out. The scallops were smallish and the fishiness didn't quite jell with the cheesiness of the Parmesan nor the sweetness from the pumpkin. Nauseating to say the least, especially if you consume more than 1 piece. Well, at least the earthy taste from the truffle oil was noticeable.

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The Strozzapreti was akin to a rounder version of the Chinese board noodles (板面); all clumped together with a rather soft texture. Served in a very rich tomato sauce with mushrooms and minced Italian pork sausages. Palatable but probably not something I would order again.

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Risotto Frutti Di Mare

The hands down, best dish of the afternoon - the seafood risotto. Al dente with a nice creamy consistency. Only issue I had was with the seafood, which was quite generous but lacked taste (probably frozen). Prawns were crunchy though.

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After a 50% discount, lunch for the both of us came up to about $58, which isn't exactly value for money, considering how pedestrian the food was. Food quality seems to have dipped over the years and unless it picks up, this will be my 10th (though I only blogged about 5) and last visit.

Final Verdict:

Value for money:6/10


Address: Level 1, Raffles The Plaza, 80 Bras Basah Road

Contact: 64316156

Opening Hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm & 6.30pm to 10.30pm Daily

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Privé Part II

It was a Friday and we were in a jovial mood (duh!) so decided to take a break from work and pop by Privé for a leisurely lunch.

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The Alfresco Sitting Area & Set Lunch Menu

We initially wanted a table indoors but unfortunately there was a huge party going on inside so we decided to brave the afternoon heat to escape the noise. Thankfully the sun was rather merciful that afternoon although the place could really do with more fans, especially with so many tables sharing a few miserly fans. Sitting alfresco has its upside though, offering a view of the sea and the luxurious condominiums surrounding the area.

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Complimentary Bread

Served up warm, the complimentary bread was pretty decent, especially the walnut raisin bread - mildly sweet and fragrant with a nutty aftertaste and texture.

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Sautéed Mushrooms

This dish was suppose to feature truffle oil but sadly, it didn't show up. And a poached egg with a solid yolk? Seriously? Mushrooms were average by the way.

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Grilled Australian Grass Fed Rib Eye

I hate to say this but the rib eye was terrible. For starters, the meat was unevenly cooked with some parts being rarer than others. Also, the texture was rubbery and I had a tough time trying to chomp through it. The salt and pepper seasoning was probably the only thing that was done right. What has happened to the standard of their beef?!!

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Pineapple Tarte Tatin

I held a faint glimmer of hope that desserts would set our lunch right but alas, it failed to do so. The whole thing was a little too burnt with the pastry coming across as a tad too hard. Only redeeming factor was the real vanilla bean ice cream, which was smooth and a joy to consume on a hot day. 

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At $35++/pax for such mediocre food, this was probably the worst value I had ever gotten for a set lunch. I shudder to think how dinner would turn out. Gone are the days of the good old Privé I once knew.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10 (pray for good/cooling weather)
Service: 7/10
Food: 5/10
Value for money: 3/10
Overall: 5.5/10

Address: No. 2 Keppel Bay Vista

Contact: 6776 0777

Opening Hours: 

Mon - Fri: 12:00 - 15:00
Mon - Fri: 19:00 - 22:30
Sat - Eve of PH: 18:30 - 23:30
Closed: Sun & PH