Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Celebrity Chef Greg Malouf returns to Olive with a michelin star from late May!

if you are looking for restaurant that offers Modern Greek and Middle Eastern flavours in Hong Kong, People can seldom come up with a name, if any. And thankfully celebrity Michelin star chef Greg Malouf is bringing these exciting elements into the menu at Olive, in the midst of the exiting Elgin Street dining experience.

Knowing that Olive is ready to launch an exciting menu of Greg’s latest contemporary dishes in late May, we have a good reason to stay at Elgin street. We start our dinner with a couple of starter, complemented with a glass of fruity and light white wine. 
We all love the Olive’s almond falafel with lentil tabbouleh salad and tahini yogurt ($108). It’s a great journey of texture , going through the crusty ( a bit hard though- because of the fully occupied almond crust on the outside); and then a tender and soft inside. The meat ball has a good kick from the chili that surprise us when the hot sensation pops up at our tastebud after few second. Spiciness is always a temptation which you say- oh it’s too hot but then u want for one more bite; and one more.

 Another snacks that fits a Friday chat would goes to Golden spiced calamari and whitebait with taramasalata dip($128). Bouncy calamari indicates freshness and perfect timing of cooking.

We all adored the Turkish style Kofta with baked Eggs, Spinach, chilli and yogurt ($118). If you are lucky enough, you might witness the oozing egg yolk at this sizzling clay pot.

If you want to go exotic on this Friday night, suggested is the chicken liver kalamarki- crumbed , skewered and served wit feta mayonnaise($118). Liver was so creamy and melt immediately in the mouth with lingering exotic aftertaste that forms a contrast with the crunchy crumbs outside.

And our table’s favourite goes to Cypriot haloumy and fontina cheese fondue with sumac, thyme, lemon peel and toasted milk bread. ($118) All those cheesy jam clinging on each other, making us craving for more! Squeezing refreshing and light lemon juice on cheese has  added complexity to the dish, setting a contrast against the creamy comforting cheese.

Once we’ve had enough for starter, we move on to mains. We opted for Quail in pistachio, sumac, sesame crumbs on potato salad with peas & Persian spices. ($238)Quail was char grilled to a perfection, lots of umami juices oozing out, with a perfect pink. 

And if you are a fish person, recommended is the Pomfret in thrice cooked chips, cumin salt, griddled brocolini with almonds and harissa butter ($208) wth thin and crispy saffron-yeast batter. Potato as a condiment was a highlight too!  Given that the potatoes was firstly steamed, then stir fried and back to be deep fried, potato was rich and smooth like mashed one but with a stronger texture.

We end our night with a light and refreshing option for desert,  lemon posset with orange blossom and honey camel wafers ($68), and a comforting one,  Pavlova with chocolate mousse,  and strawberry salad. They all looked great and had great quality ingredients but were lacking a bit of creativity, and the wowing combinations that I was looking for in Belon.

Friday, May 27, 2016

New fine dining hotpot amidst Elgin Street- French rooted yet locally influenced cuisine

Fusing elements of French and Asian cultures, Belon is a new fine dining hotspot in soho that shows no signs of slowing down. We all adored the menu choke full of interesting oriental ingredients. 

To start, staff recommended a glass of cocktail, Alpin Mule ($128) with Lemongrass-infused gin, ginger beer and green chartreuse. We wish everything could show a stronger character than the gin itself. If you prefer something tropical, and refreshing, suggested is the Hendrick's Plum ($138), which sounds like an advanced version of mojito, with a hint of lime but one more secret ingredient- we guess it's ginger that soothingly warm our throat!

Welcome snacks has set our high expectation to the whole meal of the night: hearty savoury puff oozing out piping hot cheese filling. We continue the excitement by sampling a couple of signature one bite snacks and entree. 

Hokkaido sea urchin on a bed of refreshing tomato jelly that woke up our taste buds with its sharp yet refreshing sourness ($78/piece).

Belon has a great selection of fresh fish. This Shima Aji dish was a bright and summer option, served with burnt citrus Vinaigrette perfectly balanced by bottaga, adding briny yet elegant savouriness to the dish. 

Love Smoked eel and black radish on top of Pain Perdu that mopped up with roasted chicken sauce ($58/piece). A very rich and deeply joyous starter.
Hokkaido scallop with seaweed butter ($138) with a subtle hint of lemon grass allows the seafood to shine through.

Akaroa king salmon with horseradish and walnuts ($198) was our table's great triumph. Crispy skin and moist meats that melts instantly with its umami juices has given us a great contrast in texture, complemented with choking horseradish and walnut that surprisingly matched so well when it comes to fish dish. 

Pate en croute ($198) -Rich duck and pork ( we cant tell exactly what combination of meat is that- but it's a good mix of meats which was smoky and rich) sealed in golden flaky pastry which certainly makes an over-the-moon creation!

For mains, we opted for Pithvier au cervela de lyon ($358) with truffle sauce. Not a huge fans of cervela but grant meats sealed in golden flaky pastry tserved wit truffle sauce is always a winning combination.  

The night would not have been complete without the legendary house made Millefeuille ($118). Layers and layers of pastry and vanilla custard was accompanied with almond syrup that gives a complex kick of sweetness to the dessert!

Another winner goes to whey Granita with miso icecream and lemon. ($108) Lemon foam and meringue on top has lifted up the dessert and our taste bud get calmed down with a scope of savory miso icecream and lavender ice beneath. We love the idea how layers are planned but it seems all the flavours shine brightly at once and probably lost a focus but well, it's worth taking few more seconds to figure out all these complex yet creative combinations of flavours. 

We are looking forward to the next dinner at Belon already!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Recipe: Slow braised pork belly with preserved mustard greens 梅菜扣肉

It's my first ever Chinese dish recipe. Hope you will like it!
Slow braised pork belly with preserved mustard greens (梅菜扣肉) is such a classic favourite that is a great accompaniment with steamed rice for dinner! Soaking up all the preserved greens' essence, the pork is flavourful and tender; while layers of fat will melt in your mouth ( don't worry about cholesterol- most of the fat has been drained away after some tricks that we will be doing at the following steps).

The whole cooking time takes 4 hours (1 hour preparation + 3 hour of steaming). It seems taking longer cooking time compared to many other Chinese dishes) but the steps are actually not that complicated. 

  • 400g pork belly (around $80 of pork belly if you buy at wet market)
  • Dried preserved mustard greens (3-4 bundle)
  • Water
  • Oil (2 tablespoon)
  • Dark soy sauce (6 tablespoon) 
  • Sugar (3 tablespoon)
  • Minced ginger (1 teaspoon)
Preserved greens
1. Soak for 5-6 hours and then drain them to remove sand and dirt.

2. Chopped and mixed with sugar

3. stir fry the preserved greens with chopped garlic and ginger slice

Pork Belly
1. Simmer pork belly in a pot for 35 minutes.
2. Poke the meat with a fork that allows better colouring

3. Add 3 table spoon of dark soy sauce that cover the whole pork.

3. Heat the wok over medium heat and add a spoon of oil. Deep fried the pork until each side turns olden brown. ( around 5mins)

4. Soak the remaining oil with kitchen paper and slice the pork into half inch thick.
5. Place the pork at a shallow bowl
6. Add 300g water and 3 table spoon of dark soy sauce (ready for steaming!)
7.Add the preserved greens (Step 3 for preserved greens) on top of the pork
8.Cover the bowl with a piece of fossil paper
9. Steam it for 3 hours and serve immediately

10. Let's eat!

Cafe Deadend- hidden gem in Sheung Wan

It takes us some effort to walk up hill and cross the streets before we get there but it's all worth it once you sit down and take a sip of coffee. 

Cafe Deadend was separated into two area. 

Front part is the bakery; and the back was the cafe, with both indoor and outdoor sitting. It's quite hot in summer but thanks god they offer a HUGE fan for outdoor patrons. 

Modern and minimalist decor, with my one of my favourite building pieces by Michael Wolf; while french window all along the cafe fills the space with abundant natural light. Great dining place but is it a place for reading and chat? Quite noisy and packed during peak hour ( started from 12) and we just failed to focus on our own work and eventually left. 

It was simply glorious goodness on Friday - Poached eggs with prosciutto $95. Home made toast was so good and fresh. Staff freshly knead and bake it at the bakery next to the cafe. All the egg dishes here were amazing.

Softboil egg danish ($95) was a great surprise to us. Visially entertaining, ingredients that fits together like love with marriage. Egg yolk keeps ozzing out of creamy avocado and pastry with the most heavely fluffy texture. Our taste buds were then wowed by lightness of thees sour fresh berries. What a great morning!

Latte ($45) 

Next to Cafe deadend, there are many interesting tiny stores, selling dog toys, leather making workshop, beer stores, football fields and school. Highly recommend to stay around this area and explore more!
Address: G/F, 72 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan, HK

MEI CAI KOU ROU (Slow braised Pork belly with preserved mustard green PORK BELLY W/ PRESERVED MUSTARD GREENS)

Monday, May 16, 2016


Having this for the second time this month-the sunny side up placed on the bed of fluffy rice and BBQ pork with a touch of soy sauce. Place is too crowded that you cannot get in until all of your friends arrived. 

*Tips: if you order the same dish but were told BBQ pork got sold out, don't be upset- try to ask for #燒肉 (Roasted pork belly) or ham (and better come at 12/12:30pm!- same applies to take away)

 Address: 23 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, HK