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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, 2 February 2016

Korean lunch @ First Korean (Discovery Bay), Hong Kong

We flew my parents to Hong Kong a couple of months ago as a 70th present for my dad. He is very fond of HK and had often talked about retiring here. Unfortunately his health took a sharp decline in the past few years, and we are very aware that he is not young. We want the kids to spend more time with their grandparents, and they did just that for two weeks! The 2-year-old still speaks about "gong-gong" and "ma-ma" (how the kids call them) even now, and it's really sweet. Hopefully it will not be long before the kids can see their grandparents again. I brought my parents to Discovery Bay just for a day trip. Due to my dad's limited mobility, we couldn't explore DB much, but we did enjoy a delicious Korean lunch at First Korean Restaurant. This is one of the many restaurants on D'Deck, which is conveniently close to the ferry pier. I thought that the dishes tasted authentic, and the parents enjoyed the food, so it's a thumbs up from us.

The main dining room, with a row of a few tables partitioned off on the right:

The view towards the main entrance, as seen from our table in the partitioned off section mentioned above:

I always enjoy banchan at Korean restaurants:

Samgyetang, Korean ginseng chicken soup. Deliciously herbal and healthful:

One of our favourite Korean dishes to order, Japchae - stirfried sweet potato noodles. Parents hadn't tried it before, and they liked it:

Another one that the parents hadn't tried before, but one of our Korean faves - Haemul Pajeon (seafood pancake). Also tasty, but a bit plain tasting on its own and definitely needed the soy sauce dip (and this is coming from someone who is sodium-intolerant!):

First Korean Restaurant
Shop 102B, 1/F, D'Deck,
Discovery Bay Rd
Discovery Bay
Tel. +85 2 2987 9123

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Simple American classics @ Savoury's Restaurant, Mariposa (California)

After an amazing day at the awe-inspiring Yosemite, we headed back to the town we were staying at, and arrived in Mariposa in time for dinner. Our Airbnb hosts had given us a few dining recommendations in town, and although Savoury's wasn't the first place we tried (the first restaurant we arrived at was closed on Mondays!), it turned out to be a very good choice. We were warmly greeted upon arrival, and we were grateful for the warmth and comfort of the restaurant. The kids were given some toys and crayons, which entertained the 6-year-old for much longer than they did for the 1-year-old. Service was warm and friendly, and staff were patient with our kids, particularly the 1-year-old who had a penchant for throwing everything within reach (including said toys and crayons) onto the floor. The menu had a good range of appetisers, meats, seafood, poultry, pastas and salads that were reasonably priced. Portions were generous, the style was rustic and homely, and we all enjoyed the food.

Cosy and warm atmosphere:

Warm and crusty bread:

All the dinners were served with soup or salad. Soup that night was a tomato soup:

Salad:

The Chicken Strips from the kid's menu was homemade with actual chicken breast fillets, and quite delicious:

Lamb Shank braised with Casto Oaks Cabernet with creamy polenta:

Oven-roasted Duck Breast with cranberry chutney:

As usual, hubby couldn't go without dessert, and this chocolate tart was delicious:

Savoury's Restaurant
5034 CA-140
Mariposa, CA 95338
United States
Tel. +1 209 966 7677

Savoury's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

ZUMA experience menu @ Zuma, Hong Kong

Last month, hubby had to go to New York for a work trip for two weeks, which was a long period of separation for us. The last time we were separated for a lengthy period was almost nine years ago, when we had to work in two different parts of Japan for two months. This particular trip would have meant three weekends without going out on a date as a couple without kids (weekly dates are very important for married couples with kids - take it from someone married for more than a decade!). On the Friday before his trip, we went out for a dinner date to Zuma, which had launched a new izakaya-style tasting menu called the ZUMA experience (HK$490 per person). Any excuse to return to Zuma again! Although we've been to Zuma twice before, this was our first time in the lounge upstairs from the restaurant dining area. The lounge had a different atmosphere to the dining area below, one that is decidedly more for grown-ups - great for after-work drinks, friends meet-ups and dates (i.e. no kids!). It was nice to connect with my husband after a long week, and before a long separation. And the food was delicious!

Zuma lounge:

Seared beef with yuzu kosho-ponzu. Quite nice with the zesty and slightly spicy citrus sauce:

Seared salmon with lime shiso and soy sauce - I loved the little crunchy balls that gave a lovely textural contrast to the creamy salmon flesh:

Tokusen nigiri sushi and hamachi (yellowtail) roll - sushi and sashimi are exceptional at Zuma, and these were of excellent quality:

Asparagus with wafu dressing and sesame:

Australian spicy beef tenderloin, sesame and sweet soy sauce:

Black cod wrapped in hoba leaf - this was no doubt hubby's favourite course (black cod is his favourite fish). Succulent and fresh cod with a lovely soy sauce-based marinade:

Matcha banana cake with coconut ice cream and peanut toffee sauce:

Vanilla pudding with Japanese clementine, pomelo and rice cracker:

Zuma has yet to disappoint. We'll no doubt be back!

[The price quoted above does not include the 10% service charge.]

Zuma
Level 5 & 6
The Landmark
15 Queen's Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel. +852 3657 6388

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Malaysian @ PappaRich [Chatswood], Sydney

In October, we went to Sydney to meet my younger sister's firstborn baby. It was really good to see my sisters and their respective families again, and for our first meet-up, we chose a reliable Malaysian restaurant chain, PappaRich. To date, we've only had three experiences with PappaRich, and each has been in a different city. Our first PappaRich experience a few years ago was in Melbourne, newly opened at the time as the brand's very first international franchise. We tried PappaRich again, this time in its homeland, Malaysia. It was expensive by Malaysia's standards, but still a lot more affordable than its Australian counterparts. PappaRich is popping up in more locations around Australia (including three branches in Perth!), and it is proving popular with Malaysian expats and the local population alike. After trying PappaRich in yet another city, I'm pleased to say that the food quality is rather consistent, even on different continents. Now I just want PappaRich to expand to Hong Kong so that we can enjoy reliable good Malaysian cuisine on a regular basis!

Nice clean interior at PappaRich Chatswood:

There is even an outdoor dining area:

And an indoor play room for the young ones to run amok as they please:

Pappa Wat Tan Hor (or what we know as Hor Fun) - wok-fried thick rice noodles with prawns, fish cakes, chicken slices, choy sum and fried shallots in egg gravy. This was delicious, but not the best hor fun we've had:

Pappa Char Kuey Teow - wok-fried flat noodles with prawns, fish cakes, egg, bean sprouts and chives. CKT is hubby's favourite Malaysian dish, and we almost always order it at Malaysian restaurants when available. This plate could do with more egg, but it was seasoned nicely and the fresh ingredients used made it a worthwhile order:

Younger sister ordered Curry Laksa - Hokkien noodles in spicy coconut curry soup with chicken slices, tofu puffs, foo chok (beancurd skin), bean sprouts, eggplants and fish cake. I had a little taste, and it was yum:

A combination of Chicken and Beef Satay - cannot go wrong with satay at PappaRich, especially with a large group:

Roti Canai with Beef Rendang - the PappaRich roti range are good, and roti canai with beef rendang a good choice:

We could not resist ordering Ais Kacang. A delicious ice treat:

All the young cousins playing in the play area:

I like the facilities at this PappaRich the best out of the three PappaRich restaurants I've been to. Very kid-friendly with delicious Malaysian food.

PappaRich [Chatswood]
63A Archer St
Chatswood NSW 2067
Australia
Tel. +61 2 9411 3207

PappaRich Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato