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108, Hollywood Road, SOHO, Sheung Wan

And rightly so!  See here: http://www.restaurantweek.hk

Admittedly, I didn’t go to the Press Room for Restaurant Week, but have been quite a few times – including during their Promotion Period (May 27 to August 31, 2013) for 40% off on Tuesdays.  I love their simple yet humbling take on French-European cuisine, and the fact they are a restaurant that stays true to the notion of casual dining.

The portions are anything but pretentious, and their policy of actually taking reservations is a breath of fresh air.  It’s always nice to know when you’re allowed to dig into your dinner, and that you won’t be stuck in a queue like you’re outside Volar wearing Crocs with socks.  It’s also rather nice to know that what you do end up digging into will actually fill you up – you know, like a dinner should.  So snaps for the Press Room for actually sticking to their guns and congratulations on a much-deserved ‘Best Restaurant’ award at Restaurant Week!

I present a few photographs from my latest Press Room foodie trip.  They were taken a few weeks back so I apologies if the details are a little blurry.  I have the memory of a goldfish.  (Which is another reason why I blog.)

ImageThe oyster selection is impressive, with 6 oysters setting you back $186.  The French type at the front here was incredibly creamy, plump and full-flavoured.  If you prefer the brinier options, they also have Tasmanian oysters with high salt characters.  Check the blackboard for their selections.  I’ve still not gotten around to ordering the Plateux de Fruits de Mer ($220 per person; with lobster: $396) but from eyeing up other tables, it’s a whopper.

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My boyfriend’s parents celebrated their 35th anniversary last week.  So, in true filially pious foodie son and daughter fashion, the kids and their significant others planned a dinner worthy of a Michelin-starred table.  Not incredibly romantic when one of the SO’s is caught chewing on the lamb bone in the kitchen (I swear this was not me), but I think this amazing couple had an excellent time.

Having visited Lardo’s and fallen in love with their preemo lamb and beef, A and I went over to TCDeli, their flagship retail outlet – also in Hang Hau Village – to pick up 3kgs of the highest quality Australian lamb.  A special discount for purchases over $500 made this massive Tasmanian grain-fed beauty quite reasonably priced ($470~), and was more than enough for 7 people – contrary to the guy-behind-the-counter’s skepticism.  We opted to keep the bone in for the flavour, but if you’d rather stuff the lamb instead then they also offer butterflied portions.  If one cannot be assed to trek to Hang Hau, then the Meat Market is another option for these kinds of cuts, and more importantly: offers home delivery.  Lazy Hongkies, I know you all too well.

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It must be said, I was never a fan of Macau.  The last time I visited was almost five years ago, before the City of Dreams and Venetian and all that Vegas jazz.  As you might imagine, I was taken aback when we drove down the Cotai Strip (still undergoing some construction in parts) with the palm trees and main road leading up to something reminiscent of a mini-golf version of Vegas, with the sun blinding you through the small cab windows because no silhouette of skyscrapers decided to block its glare.  I managed to catch a glimpse of street corners with pebblestone pavement intermingling with both the glassy fronts and wooden shutters of uneven, period-clashing buildings, with similarly uneven, cobblestone steps gallivanting in the city scape next to modern, glossy escalators.  I’m not sure whether I liked this landscape; I wasn’t sure whether it was simply confused or capriciously eccentric.  But I wasn’t here for the view, unless that view was set upon some tableware, between a knife and fork, some chopsticks, a little white linen napkin… or maybe even just in between my thumb and forefinger.

And so, cue the pork buns (豬扒包).

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No.25-26 Hang Hou Village, Tseung Kwan O

Another trip to Tseung Kwan O!  This time, for lunch: to try out the popular Thai restaurant we saw before we had dinner at Lardos just across the road the night before, and to catch some rays at a nearby beach after.  Let me just say: to hit the beach after a big ass Thai lunch.. yes, this was obviously a day trip planned by a male, the gender who do not think to concern themselves with the issue of bloated bellies post-foodie fest, a bloated belly that would befall my sensitively female body ever so drastically and be exposed to all by the bikini I would later don.  Suffice to say, I did not want to subject the innocent, aesthetically virginal patrons of Clearwater Bay Beach to an overwhelmingly grotesque food baby but I simply had no choice; for one, I could not not nom all the food, for the food was Thai and I love Thai food, and secondly, I was still as white as a char siu bao so a proper tan was absolutely necessary.  In any case, all apologies to those whose sunshine I blocked with my food quadruplets on the beach that day.  That said, would definitely return here if I’m around Tseung Kwan O swinging to the beach – no matter the gluttonous consequences.  This review is about a simple, cheap, yummy Thai joint – with some notable foodie moments, mostly involving their chicken.

After that little disclaimer, I can now present our big ass Thai lunch.  The whole meal would’ve been more than enough for four people (just shy of $400 for 3 dishes, the appetizer sampler platter and drinks), or two fatties such as Andrew and myself.

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4-B, G/F, Hang Hau Village, Tseung Kwan O

I’m not sure whether an introduction for Lardos is necessary.  This steakhouse has been around for the last 13 years, and I’m sure a ton of reviews have been written with far more gusto than I could ever amass in my dark, loathsome, fatigued lack of a gut, but I will say that if you are a steak lover and you have not trekked at least once to Lardos, you are missing out on a super deal.  And hell, if I can haul my lazy ass over to this village, so can you.  I don’t doubt that whatever Lardos is doing, they’re doing it right – apart from their complimentary salad bowls.  (That, I don’t understand, and I will never be a fan of stale lettuce, sorry.)   In any case, the place always seems to be fully booked for dinner service and you can understand why; when a 38oz Tomahawk steak on the special, grilled to medium rare perfection, comes to but $800 – yes, 38oz for 8hundo hongky hunky dollars… – allow getting swagged up for Soho, allow decking out on dinners where you’re selling your stomach short and where you can hear your wallet wailing and wishing you’d stop pulling and pinching his leather cheeks so damn hard.  Be kind to yourself.  Live, eat, pray… Love..  Eat.. Fuck it, just eat.

My boyfriend and I eat too much.  And when it comes to premium pieces of protein at damn pretty prices, we are so there.  We are there and we don’t care how to get there.  We’re there!  Before we went inside, we had a good look at the signage across the street and already knew this was going to be a hit or miss.  Having checked out openrice reviews, I was optimistic, but still anxious – a gem of a steakhouse tucked between chaan tengs and dai pai dong style eateries in a comparatively remote little village with unpretentious, no-fuss food at incredibly reasonable prices?  That’s like a foodie wet dream.  We walked in, admittedly an hour earlier than we booked because we didn’t know what else to do around there. (Note:  Hang Hau Village is actually quite close to Clearwater Bay Beach, but I’m sure HKUST kids already know this.)

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Been a while – finally back in Hong Kong for summer, after a pretty grueling year in London.  But you don’t want to hear about this.  I come bearing pictures of food, and hope you will forgive me for my absence.

My mama went to Tai Po market (I, admittedly, was still jetlagged and slept in till 3) and picked up some glorious seafood.  Had some razorclams, mussels, prawns and squid.  In Tagalog, you call squid ‘pusit’, which my boyfriend prefers because it sounds naughty, and it makes him giggle when I ask him if he likes pusit.  Yes, we are children.

Despite the lame anecdotes, this post will hopefully be a little more informational than usual, as I feel I’ve learned a thing or two about preparing and cooking seafood that could be useful to you too.  Definitely no ‘master’, but I do feel a little more experienced with my seafood skills.

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Seeing as this is a new blog and your love could go either way, I hope to win the reader’s favour by posting some of my dinner the other week.  Cheap trick, I know, but I’m all for whoring around my food – especially with my Nikon DSLR and amateur photography skills, bow chica wow wow.   I’ve only recently started changing the aperture for my photos so that the food looks a little more professional with the selective focus.  Not that it really matters as I only ever post on Facebook so I have easy access to the album when I need my fix.

The Tai Po Hui Market and Cooked Food Center is banging.  You can get some really fresh fish on the first level for cheaps – this particular fish was HK$60, serving at least 4.  (I apologise, I’ll be more specific about which fish next time; to be honest I was just really desperate to make a Chinese-style steamed fish with this steamer I found in the depths of our kitchen.)

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