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“Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you who you are” – Brillat-Savarin

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Brunch date @ Brunch Club & Supper, Hong Kong

I never envisioned myself to pick up such a strong coffee habit. In fact I used to dislike the stuff, but I began drinking the stuff after my son was weaned from breastfeeding, to deal with the seemingly never-ending sleep deprivation. What started out as necessity eventually grew into appreciation as I discovered that I actually do enjoy drinking a well-brewed coffee from good beans. Hubby indulged me with a Nespresso machine for my birthday a few months ago, which means I get to enjoy a good cuppa every morning! What does coffee have to do with this blog post? Well, this post features three types of coffees from one visit. Before we went on our trip to California, hubby and I snuck in another brunch date, this time at the Brunch Club & Supper in Causeway Bay. Again, we met after my BJJ class and after hubby had dropped our 6-year-old off in his two back-to-back lessons - Lego Robotics and Space Kids - and we enjoyed a little more than one hour brunching and chatting. We have been to the Brunch Club in Central a few times before, so it was good to finally try out the Causeway Bay branch. The interior was spacious with a grungy urban style that was strangely cosy and comfortable. I thought the service was a notch better than at the Central branch, and staff was friendly and cheerful. The brunch menu was the same, and I would say that the quality of the food and coffee was also quite similar. This is a popular joint, so expect a wait during peak meal periods on weekends. The following photos were taken with my phone camera (I don't pack my camera to the gym!), and fortunately the quality is not too shabby!

The urban loft design of Brunch Club & Supper:

This brunch club has a bar too:

Hubby's cappuccino and my mocha:

Hubby had a Mix Grill (HK$105) which included two eggs any style (scrambled), choice of bread (walnut & raisin), bacon, chicken breast, gammon ham, pork sausage, fried onions, grilled tomato, baked beans and hash brown. This is certainly not for those on a weight-loss diet!

I ordered a Two Eggs & Two Toppings on Toast (HK$72), and chose poached eggs and English muffin with avocado and smoked salmon. Essentially an eggs benedict with my favourite extras but without the hollandaise, which I don't like anyway. The yolks were a lovely bright orange, and runny - yay!

Hubby and I shared the Iced Mocha (which we agreed didn't taste as nice as the hot version - I think coffee is best drunk hot):

We also indulged in a stack of pancakes with berries and chocolate Movenpick ice cream:

We enjoyed our brunch at the Brunch Club & Supper, and will probably be back again for future brunch dates!

[The prices above do not include the 10% service charge.]

Brunch Club & Supper
1st Floor
13 Leighton Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2890 2125

Monday, 13 April 2015

Hawaiian poke @ The Big Daddy Shack; and burrito @ The Flyin' Jalapeno, Venice Beach (LA, California)

I am back from California, and what a trip that was! It was a combination of exhilarating and exhausting, as it is never easy travelling across so many timezones with youngsters. Indeed, it was an experience I won't forget any time soon, and I have many photos to share in the weeks/months to come. Our first stop on the trip was Los Angeles, and we stayed in a rental house near Venice Beach. I tasked hubby with the job of doing up the itinerary of our two days in LA, and he did a fab job of it! We spent our first morning in LA at the beach, then we headed over to Big Daddy Shack for lunch. This was our first time eating Hawaiian poke, a raw fish salad heavily influenced by the Japanese cuisine. Big Daddy Shack is a small eatery mainly catering for take-away orders, though there were a handful of seats and some tables for the option to dine in. The girl serving at the counter was very sweet, friendly and helpful, and I loved her purple micro braids! The staff in general were lovely and amicable, so this place gets the thumbs ups for good service.

The Big Daddy Shack's shopfront:

The order counter and kitchen:

The front page of the take-out menu:

The menu was a pictorial instruction on how to build/design your poke bowl: choose a size (Lil Daddy for US$9 that comes with one topping of your choice, and Big Daddy for US$12 that includes two toppings), pick white or brown rice, decide between ahi tuna or salmon, and finally select one sauce. For those who don't fancy raw fish, there are a few seared and grilled options to choose from, and even a grilled chicken bowl for non-fish eaters. Also available were hand rolls, salads and fruit smoothies. Hubby and I are big fans of the poke bowls. The combination of flavours, textures aromas were excellent, and I liked how nutritious these poke bowls were.

Hubby's Big Daddy poke bowl of ahi tuna with brown rice, mango and macadamia nuts, drizzled with house shoyu sauce. Mango gave some sweetness, the nuts gave a crunchy texture, and they both combine well with the sashimi tuna:

My Lil Daddy-sized poke of salmon with white rice, seaweed and avocado, in sriracha aioli sauce. I loved this combination as it was spicy and had two of my favourite ingredients (seaweed and avocado):

We got our something sweet with the Acai Bowl (US$6) with mango juice base, acai pulp, blueberries, kiwi fruit, granola and honey. Eye-poppingly red and delicious too:

We enjoyed our poke bowls, appreciated the good and helpful service (especially after our baby girl tipped half our acai bowl on the floor), and highly recommend this casual eatery for a delicious and nutritious meal in Venice Beach.

The Big Daddy Shack
79 Windward Ave
Venice, CA 90291
United States
+1-310-804-5734

Big Daddy Shack on Urbanspoon

Almost everything on the Big Daddy Shack's menu contained sesame (except for the fruit smoothies and acai bowl, which aren't exactly lunch material for our sesame-allergic boy), so the chick at the counter suggested we headed next door to The Flyin Jalapeno. Hubby went with the 6-year-old to order the boy's lunch, and they came back to the table with a massive Chicken Burrito (US$10). It was hefty, packed with vegetables, beans, chicken and rice, which the boy happily ate. I cannot comment on the service of The Flyin Jalapeno, but I can certainly say that the burrito was delicious!

The Flyin Jalapeno was next door to Big Daddy Shack:

Chicken burrito (:

:

The Flyin' Jalapeno
83 Windward Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90291
United States
Tel. +1-310-392-8900

Flyin' Jalapeno on Urbanspoon

[The prices above do not include taxes and tips.]

Monday, 30 March 2015

Asahiyama Zoo, Ashikawa (Hokkaido, Japan)

Hello from sunny California! Our family is on vacation for the next week or so in the US, so expect blog updates to be scarce until I get back home. I promise to share photos of our California trip, but for now, here are some photos of snowy Japan from our trip last month to Hokkaido. After a few days of skiing and snowboarding in Furano, we headed north to Asahikawa to visit the famous Asahiyama Zoo. This is Japan's northernmost zoo, and it is most well-known for the daily Penguin Walk during the winter season (twice a day from December to February, and once daily during March). We were there to see the arctic animals, and we were quite surprised to see emus (yes, the Aussie birds!) on exhibition out in the snow! They seemed to cope as well as the other winter animals, so it didn't seem cruel (the tropical animals were housed indoors under appropriately warm conditions).

Finally get to see a real live tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog), many years after I first heard about this legendary animal:

Elegant Japanese cranes:

A young doe:

A snowy owl that was very well-camouflaged in the snow, and it did take us awhile to spot it:

The Penguin Walk! It was the main event that most visitors to the zoo wanted to see:

Apparently, the Penguin Walk is a measure to keep obesity at bay during the winter months when the penguins are not so active. Really cute to see them waddle down the pathway out of their enclosure:

One of the polar bears at the zoo:

Family photo fun:

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Brunch date @ Oolaa Petite, Hong Kong

The other Saturday, hubby and I snuck in a brunch date while the 6-year-old was in his Lego and Putonghua classes (conveniently back-to-back) and the baby was being looked after by the nanny during her nap. We chose to meet at Oolaa Petite as it was quite close to where the boy was taking his classes. I went straight from my BJJ class at the MMA gym I recently joined to meet hubby, and I was hungry for my second breakfast. This was my second visit to Oolaa Petite, though this is my first time at this location (the café that took over the original space was also pretty good, offering a similar menu). I liked the layout and the atmosphere of the new location better, and service was also more friendly and attentive. The quality of food was great and reasonably priced, and the coffee was excellent. The following photos were taken with the camera on my phone.

My Mocha (HK$45) which was tasty and not too sweet (unlike some places that do mocha cloyingly sweet). I had taken a sip before realising I meant to take a shot:

Hubby's Cappuccino (HK$45) was also good enough without sugar:

Hubby's Breakfast Bruschetta (HK$100), with diced tomato, avocado, red onion and basil on toasted sour dough, and topped with smoked bacon, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Hearty brunch option that hubby relished:

My Smoked Salmon Rosti Stack (HK$95) - avocado, baby spinach and smoked salmon layered on a lightly fried potato rösti and topped with a poached egg and citrus hollandaise (served on the side as requested). So good, and a nice change from my usual eggs-benedict-with-salmon brunch order:

We indulged in the French Toast (HK$95) which came topped with sliced banana and mixed berries, and the maple syrup and whipped cream were served on the side:

We had a really nice date, and have agreed to make brunch dates happen more often. I have a feeling we will be coming here regularly for brunch dates.

[The prices quoted above do not include the 10% service charge.]

Oolaa Petite
Shop 2 Tower 2 Starcrest
9 Star Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2529 3823