Yat Lok 一樂燒鵝 – Finally a Michelin star for a Roast Goose Specialty Restaurant

Yat Lok 一樂燒鵝

28 Stanley Street, Central Hong Kong (Near Central MTR)

DSC_0398It is my first time having roast goose but could already perhaps be one of the best roasts that I have ever tried. Rarely can we get hold of this in Sg, most Singaporeans would usually have them on their wishlist!

DSC_0396And we must have heard an umpteenth time about Michelin Wanton noodles, dim sum etc (restaurants that really only sell a limited menu) but this may be the first Roasted Goose restaurant in HK that is awarded the coveted Michelin star.  Continue reading

One Dim sum 一點心 – Maybe better than Tim Ho Wan

One Dim Sum 一點心

Near Prince Edward MTR station

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They might have lost their one Michelin star, but it definitely is not second to Tim Ho Wan in my opinion (in fact I would rate it even better). No signatures like the four heavenly kings in Tim Ho Wan but everything that we ordered at Yat Dim Sum was spot on, which is why we were all impressed! Priced below S$4 for almost everything, you could just freely order whatever you fancy without having any qualms about overspending!

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A bountiful amount of fillings jampacked in the translucent, glossy skin, the gorgeous steamed spinach dumplings over here shouldn’t be missed! Continue reading

Tin Lung Heen 天龍軒

Tin Lung Heen

Ritz Carlton Hong Kong @ International Commerce Centre

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Glamour and Glister – That’s the first impression when I stepped into this luxurious hotel and restaurant. Located on the 102nd floor, the view at Tin Lung Heen is definitely unrivaled! This restaurant has just recently been promoted to two michelin stars and I thought it’s a must visit when I am in Hong Kong. Definitely, I kept comparing it to Lung King Heen and although I felt that LKH food might have been slightly better, this is a restaurant that has secured a place in my heart. It is one that I will definitely return to when I am back in Hong Kong. A really great view and atmosphere to immerse yourself in and tbh, it’s the second dim sum restaurant that beats those in Singapore. Indeed, it was very worth the visit and actually exceeded my expectation. We ordered slightly more than 10 dishes and everything was a hit except for one.

IMG_6208 The view from my seat. Very breathtaking isn’t it.

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IMG_6207 The interior of the restaurant which looks really lavish!

IMG_6237 My other view. It would be a much better view if air was not that hazy.

IMG_6243The glitter that sparkles everywhere in the restaurant. Really makes this restaurant very opulent.

IMG_6212The prawn har gao that we started with was the miss! It may look really exciting with the gold leaf there and everything looks rotund and symmetrical. But, skin is really thick and it gets super sticky after a while. As this was my first dim sum, I thought that it is a restaurant that only has outer beauty but my hopes were quickly restored after having subsequent dim sum! HKD $86.

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IMG_6216Slithery char siew cheung fen. Char siew is sweet and savoury while cheung fen is thin and slithery. This cheung fen differs from other restaurants as they don’t wrap diced char siew in it. Instead they put big chunks of char siew in it which makes the filling more substantial. I like the way this is prepared and also presentation is upped one level by 2 asparagus. HKD $98.

IMG_6219Like how Lung King Heen has their signature siu mai, Tin Lung Heen also has theirs. Scallop and large prawn siu mai. We got two baskets of this to share and each siu mai is huge! I can’t finish it in one mouth which I usually do for siu mai. Scallop and prawn are both really fresh and succulent while skin is of the right thickness and the meat in it is very substantial. Yums! HKD $96 per basket.

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IMG_6226Yes, it’s the snow skin char siew bao again that has been raved all over HK and Sg. Though it may look similar to the one in Tim Ho Wan, it is actually quite different. The crust is not as sweet but fluffier while the one at tim ho wan has a much sweeter and thinner crust. I like both renditions but somehow I prefer the one over here though some bloggers may not like it. It really depends on what kind of crust that will make your day. Char siew is of the right sweetness for me and I love it. yums. HKD $86.

IMG_6221Abalone zhen ju gai. Super delicious zhen ju gai here. Every grain of rotund rice is uniformly fragrant, very fragrant actually while abalone is springy – love the texture. There’s also tender chicken and egg yolk in the rice. Very delicious! HKD $98.

IMG_6223Turnip cake which was interestingly plated. The cake is quite smooth but not gooey while the condiments on top of it makes it really fragrant. Don’t really know what the condiments are actually but it makes this turnip cake quite unique. HKD $86.

 

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IMG_6225If you still remember, I also had this abalone puff in Lung King Heen. While the one in Lung King Heen has diced chicken in the pastry, Tin Lung Heen uses roast goose which makes it SUPER heavenly. The roast goose has a slight pepper taste which makes it super fragrant and definitely tastes different from chicken. The abalone sauce is also rich and soothing while abalone is thick and has a super good texture. Puff was also very fragrant. I really don’t mind having two of this. HKD $174.

IMG_6228E fu noodle with crab meat. Though it looks bland and unappealing, it actually is very delicious. This dish is meant to be light but together with it, the noodles were actually surprisingly fragrant. Crab meat is smooth and noodles are uniformly quoted with the fragrant sauce. Very special way of preparing e fu noodles and it is the first time I taste such a rendition. Yums. HKD $248.

IMG_6229And then we came to dessert. The egg tart is nice but just the usual egg tarts that we can get from other places. Crust is thin while the custard is very buttery. Good. HKD $78.

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IMG_6234I believe most people wouldn’t have guessed what’s in the sesame ball before biting it. Yes, it’s the super fragrant lao sha! Very delicious fragrant runny salty egg custard in this sesame ball. This is my first time eating this and I like it! It should be quite easy to imagine the taste for such a combination. HKD $68.

IMG_6230Never would I have thought that I would order a bowl of mango puree with pomelo as it is something that is easy to make but this was highly recommended by the waiter and I like it. The special ingredient added was the aloe vera actually and it’s high quality pomelo. Creamy puree with all the fresh ingredients tasted really refreshing and is a cut above most mango puree. Yums. HKD $88.

IMG_6233And then they gave us the complementary gui fa gou and cookie. Gui fa gou wasn’t overly sweet and tasted slightly fragrant too.

So after saying so much, I guess the verdict of this restaurant is apparent – a MUST go! Creativity can be seen in some of the dim sum dishes, if not they are cooked to perfection. Service here is also very attentive as they will keep refilling your cup of tea and the waiter who kept serving us has tvb charisma and is quite knowledgeable. His recommendations were good and it was like a cantonese chit chat when we asked what the far away islands are. They also gave brochures to us about their CNY menu but I would be in Singapore already regrettably. Very good service indeed! Given the service, ambience and quality of food, I must say that this restaurant is one to look out for. I am really impressed by the way Hong Kong manages to make their traditional food so upmarket and opulent really! This is by far, the best overall dim sum experience. And yes, Merry Christmas from Hong Kong!!

Verdict: An excellent restaurant!

 

Amber

Amber

The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel

IMG_6137While being ranked as 36th in the whole world, I guess it should be the top restaurant in Hong Kong. As it is two spots above my favourite Andre from Singapore (ranked 38th), I was really looking forward to it. As the saying goes, the higher your expectation, the greater your disappointment and indeed I was pretty disappointed by the standard of the food. Lets take a look at the set lunch over here. You can choose either or 3 or 4 course lunch and it costs slightly less than HKD $550 for the 3 course while the 4 course costs slightly more than HKD $700. As there were three of us, we could taste most of the food already with just each of us getting a 3 course.

IMG_6143Lollipop looking foie gras balls. These were quite good initially I felt. I think it tasted a bit fruity and then quickly, the foie gras taste kicks in. It would have been good if it stopped there but the tastes went further and became super heavy iron tasting. I really felt like I was eating iron.

IMG_6144This was the other pre starter but I wasn’t sure what was in it. Not very memorable too.

IMG_6145This fried ball has some cheesy liquid in it. Didn’t like this pre starter either.

The thing that I didn’t like was that service was quite rushed over here albeit still good. Before we could even finish the pre starters, the starters arrived. Luckily this didn’t happen for the mains.

IMG_6146I got the ‘saba’ mackeral for the starters. It’s just sashimi and the sauce is a bit zesty. The first slice that I had had a slight fishy taste I felt but as I had more slices, they were not as fishy. Maybe cos I’ve gotten used to the taste. Wasn’t a good sashimi starter and Singapore’s Shinji would do  MUCH better job than them.

IMG_6147Corn fed chicken with foie gras pate. The pata was very dense but I don’t know, felt that it was just an O.K. starter. Very normal and predictable.

IMG_6148The oyster salad was the best starter out of the best I guess. I am very sensitive to the fishy taste of oyster even when given really fresh ones but these oysters don’t even have that fishy taste. It must be fresh and well prepared. But there was a stalk of vegetable that I didn’t like, it has the earthy taste similar to that of bean sprouts and I had to gulp down my water to wash the taste off.

IMG_6150So for mains. I got the Pollock fish. Fish was well cooked and flesh was really smooth and moist. There were some potatoes at the side. To put it crudely, it’s just fish with potatoes. Taste again is very predictable and I feel that I can find this kinda dish easily in Singapore.

IMG_6151The seabass with carrot. Carrot was well boiled and caramelised. Slightly sweet and I like that. Fish was soft and moist too but I don’t really understand why do we need to pay an extra HKD $98 for sea bass as I thought it is a pretty cheap fish. hmmm… Still quite a normal dish.

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IMG_6154And the ‘highlight’ of the day is this foie gras wrapped pigeon. Pigeon is hidden in the brown thing (foie gras) in the first picture. It actually looks like du*g. Sorry for being crude but that is what it really looks like. Pushing the presentation aside, I thought the taste might still be acceptable but we scraped off the foie gras crust and finished the pigeon meat which tasted O.K. The foie gras crust tasted like iron again and it was really powdery. It has the texture of pig liver boiled in water for way too long. I’m not too sure if the pigeon should taste so iron-like though it’s red meat as the pigeon I had in my college in Cambridge was yummy, moist and there wasn’t such a strong Fe (iron) after taste. The strip of sides beside this brown thing was actually better. It has nice tender chicken meat.

So, like what I said. we scraped the Foie gras meat away and it looks like the picture below. The son from a Caucasian family who sat beside us also had the same pigeon mains and he scraped off all the foie gras too. I guess it was unpleasant for them too.

IMG_6155Sorry for the unpleasant picture but this was the wasted foie gras.

So the waitress asked if we are alright and if we wanted a change of mains. We were hesitant and didn’t want to but she kept asking if we are O.K. and that the change in mains would be complementary. Since it’s free, then why not. I don’t pay so much for mediocre food. So, we got the seabass for free but with just an extra fee of HKD $98. I say, this is really good service and I am glad that this 2 Michelin restaurant lives up to its stars (for service at least).

IMG_6156Th pre dessert was coconut ice cream with dark rich chocolate.

IMG_6157The chocolate dessert. Super rich and decadent cake which was very good. On top of it was ice cream and white chocolate. The cake was really dense and I think there’s some caramel in it. My mum loved this.

IMG_6158The poached pear dessert which was refreshing and not too sweet. Pretty good dessert. Pear was also soft and tasted well with the fruity sauce.

IMG_6160The berry berry dessert which was very good. Everything was ice cream and tbh it tasted like the PBJ (peanut butter jelly) I had at Pollen Singapore. Ice cream used were the same. Raspberry sorbet which is very intense, refreshing and zesty. The biscuit roll was sweet, crispy and light too.

IMG_6161Very normal petite four really which didn’t tickle any of our taste buds. It was just sweet, one dimensional and boring.

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Ranked 36th in the world, I’m really not sure if it deserves that. Maybe, the lunch set is just not too good and it earned its 36th from the al carte menu. Even though Andre is 38th in the world, it executes its lunch impeccably. Even lunch in Jaan (not ranked in the world’s best 50 but ranked in Asia’s best 50) beats Amber hands down. Food here is just too simple for the price paid and isn’t intriguing enough. It doesn’t give me the Give-me-more-please desire unlike Andre. Also, the pigeon was a big letdown with a super harsh after taste. It’s like how some people don’t like the after taste of lamb but restaurants like Jaan managed to remove the ‘smelly’ taste in their 5 course menu. I I guess Amber managed to salvage itself slightly when they offer us another complementary main but would I return to this restaurant again? It would be a ‘No’. Service was however, very commendable over here I felt despite it being slightly rushed!

Verdict: A mediocre restaurant.

Le Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon

Le Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon

IFC Mall level 2

This is the third Robuchon that I have been to, with my previous two times in London and Singapore. This one is however, a place for high tea and has recently just opened in IFC. Its first branch is in Landmark near Central station but I guessed it was just too popular that they had to open one more. As I ‘happened’ to be in IFC, I decided to visit this place for a yummy afternoon tea.

They have the afternoon tea set for two but we didn’t get that as I was not in the mood for scones and sandwiches, furthermore the desserts looked really petite. So we decided to get its sliced cakes which are marvellous. The cakes actually all have the same if not similar price – HKD $44 each. The things that are expensive are the drinks which are about HKD $60 each. I got the grapefruit juice which was really fresh and refreshing.

IMG_6117White chocolate passion fruit cake. When you eat this, you first taste the thick decadent white chocolate followed by the sour and zesty passion fruit. Super yummy cake I feel. Doesn’t make you queasy and is actually pretty refreshing. I decided to have this first as the others are heavier in taste.

IMG_6118salted caramel tart. Caramel is hidden in the tart and the top bit is chocolate. Very sinful tart I felt but it was quite small, so that’s fine. Sweet fillings while the tart felt dense. Yums!

IMG_6121I guess this is one of my favourites actually. Apple macaron it is called. Macaron was slightly chewy and not overtly sweet at all while the glazed chunks are actually apple chucks. This macaron is really special I felt, it doesn’t feel like an overdose of sugar as the filling used was apple itself. Very good combination of texture here and we almost wanted to order one more.

IMG_6122Hazelnut cake. To make this super delicious, the chocolate layer has to be fragrant, rich yet not queasy and this cake nailed it. Hazelnuts can be found in the middle layer which added crunchiness to the cake. Very good cake here.

IMG_6125Not getting enough of the white choc passion fruit cake, we ordered the other white choc option which has raspberry in it. Raspberry wasn’t as sour but this cake is really palatable as it didn’t feel too sweet too and you really could taste raspberry in it.

IMG_6120The JR coffee art.

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I guess the success of Joel de Robuchon cakes is that the cakes really tasted like what the name suggests. Ingredients used were definitely of tip top quality and these are one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. I have always been trying to find this kinda cakes in Singapore but have yet to find one. Tried visiting the more high end afternoon tea places but always get disappointed each time. Hopefully, we would one day have Robuchon open a high tea restaurant in Singapore!