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The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A quick lunch date @ LE SALON DE THÉ de Joël Robuchon (Elements), Hong Kong

This was a quickie at 's LE SALON DE THÉ in the mall downstairs, which is where we usually choose for a lunch date if we want something special but close by. This gorgeous restaurant needs no introduction on my blog, as we've been here for both
afternoon tea and lunch two times each previously. There is a set lunch menu available, but we both decided to try the sandwiches instead, because Robuchon's baked goods are always so delicious. And we weren't disappointed. Our choices of sandwich were priced at around HK$200 each, but there were much cheaper and less decadent options available. I would love to try one of the baguette sandwiches one day.

Hubby's Salmon Burger was an excellent choice with moist perfectly cooked salmon fillet, and the wasabi mayonnaise and the black sesame burger bun lent a decidedly Asian flavour:

I indulged in the Lobster Sandwich which contained succulent chunks of lobster meat that was paired with crisp tart green apple slices and sweet juicy mango pieces. The thin slices of turnip complimented the sandwich with its slight peppery flavour:

We shared the Mixed Berries Sundae, which was extremely sweet:

LE SALON DE THÉ de Joël Robuchon
Shop 1020B,
1st Floor Elements
1 Austin Road West
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2351 6678

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Hiking in Sai Kung: Hoi Ha loop

When I was about 5 months pregnant with #3, hubby and his buddy planned to go on a hike somewhere in the countryside of Hong Kong. I love hiking, so when hubby's friend asked our 7-year-old son and myself to join, I jumped at the chance. Since I would be the limiting factor on the difficulty of the hiking trail, I took it upon myself to find an easy but still fairly rewarding route. I read about the Hoi Ha loop at Hike Hong Kong's blog, which gave detailed information about the trail complete with a map and several photos. The loop is within the Sai Kung West Country Park, and access is by minibus or taxi into the area. Our friend drove and parked outside the park, and the four of us took a taxi to Hoi Ha Village to tackle the trail. The 7-year-old did brilliantly as he's always had good stamina (he fared better than me as a 4-year-old when we tackled the tough 3km hiking trail between Monterosso and Vernazza of Italy's Cinque Terre). The Hoi Ha loop took about 2 hours to complete and was fairly flat with beautiful views.

Some houses in Hoi Ha Village at the start/end of the loop:

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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Pies, dogs and pasties @ Harry's Cafe de Wheels [Haymarket], Sydney

When we were in Sydney last October, I was craving the Tiger Curry Pie from Harry's Cafe de Wheels. It had been years since we had last been to the pie cart in Sydney CBD, and the lack of readily available hot meat pies in Hong Kong made the craving all the more stronger. This time we had more mouths to feed, so we ordered a couple more items to share for our mid-morning snack. The kids loved them!

Harry's Cafe de Wheels pie cart in Haymarket:

The boy wanted Harry's Cheese Dog, and this was perfect for him as the hot dog bun had no sesame seeds which he is severely allergic to:

The Curry Tiger Pie was as delicious and enjoyable as we remembered it:

We also got a Chicken Pastie, which was tasty:

Harry's Cafe de Wheels [Haymarket]
Hay Street (near crn of George)
Outside entrance of Capitol Square Shopping Centre, next to Paddy Maguires Pub
Haymarket, NSW 2000
Tel. +61 2 9281 6292
Email haymarket@harryscafedewheels.com.au

Harry's Cafe de Wheels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Meat and potatoes @ Atelier Vivanda, Hong Kong

This visit to Atelier Vivanda took place a few months ago, the week before I gave birth to #3. We went on a double date with friends who was expecting their second child, and since the other pregnant mother had huge cravings for meat, Atelier Vivanda was quite the appropriate choice. Atelier Vivanda is the brainchild of Michelin Two-Star French Chef Akrame Benallal, who already has three outlets in Paris. It is located next door to Benallal's eponymous restaurant, and the menu is all about meat and potatoes (and delicious desserts too). I personally am not a steak person, but that might be because I've never had a good steak! If there was a place to convert me to be a steak-lover, then Atelier Vivanda would be the place. Service was friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere was relaxed and casual. Atelier Vivanda offers a set-course menu: a choice of entrée, meat main, and dessert with bottomless potatoes and salad for HK$448. Excellent food quality, lovely presentation and great flavours. We all enjoyed the potatoes, and our favourites were the pommes dauphine, gratin dauphinois and mashed potatoes. The desserts were really good! All-in-all, the four of us enjoyed the meal and the company, and I felt sad when it was time to go home.

A view into the kitchen from our table, where young and good-looking chefs are working their magic:

The dining space:

Guy friend ordered the signature duck terrine wrapped with cabbage for his entrée, which looked great:

Hubby got the potato soup with smoked haddock and old comte - a great warming soup for the cold winter night. Can't go wrong with ham-and-cheese combination:

Girl friend and I got the soft boiled egg with cottage cheese mayonnaise & woods perfume. I loved the presentation, and the woodsy earthy flavours of the mushrooms complemented the egg very well:

Egg yolk food porn:

The Black Angus Persille, which the other three selected as their meat course. Well-marbled with a smoother mouth-feel than my flank, this is a good choice for beef-lovers wanting to indulge in a fattier cut with a beefier flavour:

My Black Angus Flank, the leaner cut that was succulent and tender:

The potatoes sides - sauteed potatoes, gratin dauphinois, mashed potatoes, pommes dauphine and pommes darphin. I may have indulged too much in the pommes dauphine - I could not get enough of the crispy fried potato globes:

Four desserts were on the menu, so we ordered all four to share. They were all good, and I cannot pick just one that was my favourite.

Crème brûlée - fantastic hard caramel contrast with the creamy smooth custard:

Traditional French custard with vanilla ice cream - the texture of the custard was more cake-like than silky smooth, which is not a bad thing, and I liked that it wasn't too sweet like custard tarts can be. Loved the ice cream:

The caramel profitoclaire with chocolate tonka dessert was innovative and very well executed. The light choux pastry was with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel and a sprinkle of hazelnuts:

The 100% chocolate moelleux with green citrus went down very easy, and a quarter portion was not quite enough! A good choice for chocolate-lovers:

I loved our experience at Atelier Vivanda, and I hope for the opportunity to revisit.

[Price quoted above does not include 10% service charge.]

Atelier Vivanda
9A Ship St
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2109 1768