GUM JENG 御前上茶 – Stronger Matcha Craze in HK

GUM JENG 御前上茶

G/F, 8-10 Cleveland Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay
銅鑼灣Fashion Walk加寧街8-10號地舖

IMG_8957Another instagrammable dessert spotted and just so that we could get our Matcha craving fixed, we specially got to Gum Jeng 御前上茶 after the hearty roast dinner. Do not be mistaken like us (yes, we walked up and down the street thinking that google map got us lost) as a boutique would greet you first before you could get into the cafe adjoined to it. We say, its Matcha is slightly less satisfying that those from Via Tokyo with its watered down Matcha bitterness and probably the higher concentration of air sacs trapped within that makes it a slushier soft serve.

IMG_8952IMG_8954Served with all the familiar accompaniments, this matcha platter scored in the intense matcha jelly that is made even more delicious with its springier consistency. The dango and semi red bean mash were done right but unfortunately the main lead, the Matcha soft serve could have been thicker as it just slightly lacks the punch. With its alluring presentation and pretty good ingredients by the side, this could have otherwise been a perfect matcha dessert. HKD $84. A Hojicha or mixed rendition is also available.

IMG_8955IMG_8956Well, they are much stronger in their mochi-liked dessert we suspect. This mixed matcha and yellow bean mochi were impeccable. Coated evenly with the intense matcha powder (take care not to choke on it), the bitterness was permeated throughout the bouncy jelly while the yellow bean one has a faint savoury twist added to it. Simple, not complicated but perfectly prepared with precision. HKD $48.

IMG_8950This soy bean soft serve reminded us of Mr Bean. Creamy, and resting nicely on the sweeter but crispy ice cream cone, this is a pretty good cone.

The soft serve might not have impressed but the mochi / Jelly like dessert has definitely ticked.

Verdict: An above average – good cafe.

Little Bao – Not sure about the hype

Little Bao

66 Staunton St, Central, Hong Kong

IMG_8970Thinking that Little Bao would be an extraordinary burger place, we were pretty disappointed and quite confused at the end of the meal over its hype (over the net). Filled with mostly expatriates, who might have been intrigued by the slight oriental slant in their burger making, this however did not win us over. Just like its name has suggested, they essentially are bao (steamed chinese buns) turned into burgers; nothing sophisticated but just a change in buns essentially. Not everything was lacklustre though as the truffle fries there was still pretty good.

IMG_8963Truffle fries – Shitake tempeh, truffle mayo, pickled daikon. It might appear heavily priced for a plate of fries at HKD $98 but the huge load of ingredients in it makes it a worthy one. Truffle infused mayo, eaten together with the fragrant fried shallots and perfumed throughout with the shitake aroma, this fungi-inspired themed fries were lip-smacking good!

IMG_8964Sloppy Chan (Vegetarian) – Taiwanese braised shitake tempeh, truffle mayo, sweet pickled daikon, fried shallot. Being vegetarian, this was the only option for the brother. And our confidence took a dip immediately when it was served – there was only an apparent change in the carbs from the fries, definitely befitting its name! I reckon the service crew could have advised us beforehand so that we do not repeat this highly similar dish. HKD $78.

Beef – Grass fed organic beef, tomato jam, roasted onion sesame mayo, shiso, cheddar cheese. Great description given but nothing spectacular as the elements could not be gelled together properly. Hoped to have tasted umaminess in it, which was unfortunately non-existent in the blander patty. Then again, credit has to be given to the painstaking preparation of the bun which has to be freshly steamed first before a final light grill. HKD $88.

IMG_8968LB Ice cream Bao – Green Tea ice cream with condensed milk. We have already wanted to stop at the savoury but ice cream and bun, just like what we have at home, seems to be a tantalising option. Bam! We were just confused after having them. Slotted between the overly fried buns that were dried up in the process, they really didn’t feel compatible. And the matcha flavour seemed to have been undermined by that heavy bun. I reckon the normal steamed white bao could have been a much better combination! HKD$48.

IMG_8969Salt ice cream with caramel. Just like the aforementioned, the buns could have been better. HKD $48.

Well, not sure about the others but we definitely had an underwhelming experience here. Service was casual and friendly actually, but the food just didn’t tick just like how andmorefood felt.

Verdict: A mediocre restaurant.

忠記粥品 Zhong Kee Porridge – What a gem at Sheung Wan that has been under the radar

忠記粥品

中环機利文新街32-34號A舖 near Sheung Wan or Central MTR

IMG_8897I’m sorry Hong Kongers, but this porridge gem of yours deserves to be shared widely! Surrounded by only Cantonese from a diverse background, some elderly spotted was clad in their home clothes, while others consist of the average salaryman who was suited up smartly in his jacket; and they were all simply downing a warm comforting bowl of flavourful porridge. Zhong Kee Porridge 忠記粥品 could indeed be the place to visit for a good bowl of local porridge.

IMG_8894Well, extensive menu pasted on the wall, all in Cantonese with no English translation and with no English or Mandarin spoken at all, this could be slightly intimidating to tourists. But that is usually the fun when dining in another country, isn’t it.

IMG_8893Even with my slightly proficient Cantonese, I also made a blunder trying to get this meat ball porridge (no help from the bro here, as I am a better speaker), as one of the characters was continuously read wrongly, till which I had to point it out to the Aunty waitress. Very smooth silky porridge broth over here definitely that is perfumed throughout with a porky aroma while the meatballs were so heavy in its meat taste with a little bit of fats mashed into it. HKD $28.

IMG_8891The equally delicious century egg porridge. HKD $19.

IMG_8896And this is what a typical Cantonese would do at a porridge (Jok) place; that is to dip the crusty fried dough fritters into the savoury porridge. Simple it may seem, but such combination was impeccable as the savoury porridge could lift greatly the fragrance of the dough fritters.

IMG_8892This lightly steamed Turnip Cake was surprisingly simple and delectable too. Lightly steamed to a wobbly, mushy yet substantial consistency, it naturally tasted great already but even better when drizzled with the dark soy sauce. HKD $8.

IMG_8890The overused porridge pot standing out from the picture.

Verdict: An excellent porridge restaurant.

A map for you as it may not be easy to look for it!

 

Yan Toh Heen 欣圖軒 – An absolutely delectable Dim sum affair

Yan Toh Heen 欣圖軒

Intercontinental Hotel near Tsim Sha Tsui station

IMG_8924The moment we were seated, not exactly the harbour view but actually the impressive cutlery set was the most captivating item at Yan Toh Heen 欣圖軒. Largely made from or embellished with the classy Jade, it seems to have set the standard already for this refined Cantonese restaurant, not mentioning its recent upgrade from a star to two.

IMG_8934IMG_8932Yan Toh Heen Superior Dumplings
Steamed Scallop with Black Truffles and Vegetables Dumpling
Steamed Lobster Dumpling with Bird’s Nest and Gold Leaf
Steamed King Crab Leg Dumpling with Green vegetables
Lets just start off with what that impressed us the most first – this dim sum platter trio that is overflowing with so many congruent elements. And my favourites go to the steamed scallop and lobster dumplings that are both prepared to the perfect bouncy consistency, exuding a lasting natural sweetness from within, all complemented beautifully by the clever use of the lightly scented black truffles and bird’s nest! HKD $168.

IMG_8936Steamed seafood dumpling in Soup with King Crab Leg and Bamboo Piths. This bowl was ordered to quell the penchant for Cantonese double boiled soup and indeed it was a memorable one. Lightly herbal initially with a gentle umami aftertaste, the soup was simply impeccable while the plump decadent seafood dumpling is strongly packed with a crustacean aroma. HKD $138. Continue reading

YATA Gudetama cafe by Izumi Curry – Very cute curry rice but rice is tough…

YATA Gudetama cafe by Izumi Curry

YATA, LG/F, apm Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong
Kwun Tong MTR Exit A2

IMG_8917Gudetama is on a roll and has been sweeping across the whole of Hong Kong! Following straight after Dim Sum Icon was opened at The One Shopping Mall, Izumi Curry has decided to ride with the tide, and converted some of its branches into a gudetama themed one.

IMG_8918IMG_8921Not exactly spectacular, the curry broth was decent, just like what you would expect from the sweeter rendition Japanese curry paste. And perhaps due to the snaking queue, the rice prepared was tough that reduced it to just a cute looking art piece. Steak Hamburg with the partially scrambled fried egg over here lashed with a thick coat of chewy cheese.

IMG_8913Another stewed beef dish with rice embedded underneath the omelette, the beef was slightly salty.

IMG_8916Pork katsu with omelette for non-beef goers.

Despite knowing that it might not be a fabulously delicious restaurant to dine in, its endearing cuteness has still managed to attract a huge crowd! An O.K. meal over here, but it might be worth it for some who came specially for gudetama!

Verdict: An above average restaurant.