Beef Hotpot @ Budaoweng(不倒翁) at iSquare, Tsimshatsui Hong Kong on 9Mar2013

handcut US angus marbled beef (肥牛)

handcut US angus marbled beef (肥牛)

The beef hotpot at Budaoweng(不倒翁) is favourite with my wife Lisa (& with me too!). Everytime she is in Hong Kong. she will go for a late supper (宵夜-there is a 40% discount after 9.30pm during weekdays & after 9.45pm during weekends), sometimes twice during her stay. This time is no exception.

During our recent trip to Hong Kong, we arrived & checked-in to Marco Polo Prince Hotel about 8.15pm, so timing was quite perfect. 不倒翁 was just a short walk to iSquare and there was no need to pre-book. We did this again on the evening of 11.3.2013, before flying back Singapore the next day.

We ordered the usual large portion of specially selected handcut US angus marbled beef (特选手切肥牛)- HK$168 after 40% discount. You can see the marbling, and this is really flavourful & tender, melting in the mouth. I thoroughly enjoyed this even though we ate exactly the same thing the second visit. Both times we were greedy and ordered another small portion of beef  – HK$138 after 40% discount. Our daughter Su Lin was with us, so there were 3 of us. I could just eat the beef & vegetables and nothing else.

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very nice prawn dumplings, each with 3 very fresh big prawns

We also ordered a plate of prawn dumplings – 8 for HK$58. You could also order a 1/2plate – 4 dumplings for HK$30. This was really good too. Each dumpling had 3 very fresh large prawns, the skin was smooth, and it’s super tasty.

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脆鲩鱼骨腩 (grass carp bones & belly)

I also added a 脆鲩鱼骨腩 (grass carp bones & belly) – HK$38. I like fish so I quite enjoyed it, but though 脆 means crunchy, it can mean tough & also several pieces have bones, so not everyone will like. We did not order that the second time we visited.

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prawn paste (虾滑)

Lisa also ordered a prawn paste (虾滑) – HK$58 – which is nice too, though we don’t really need to have that, and we did not order it the second time we visited.

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vegetable basket

We also had the vegetable basket. I cannot remember the price but it should be like HK$88 of HK$108. You must have vegetables for balance for a meat steamboat and Hong Kong vegetables are fresh & nice. On the second visit though we ordered just the Chinese lettuce for HK$48 & that was really quite sufficient.

hotpot soup base (汤底) - we had the HK$88 clear vegetable soup

hotpot soup base (汤底) – we had the HK$88 clear vegetable soup

There was a wide range of hotpot soup base, but since we went there primarily to take the beef, we opted for the cheapest HK$88 clear vegetable soup. There was also a HK$20pax charge for the condiments (调料) – haebeehiam, garlic, spring onions, chilli, chilli oil, wasabi, soy sauce etc (most hotpot restaurants in Hong Kong charged this also).

condiments platter - haebeehiam, chilli, chilli oil, wasabi, spring onions, sesame sauce, garlic etc

condiments platter – haebeehiam, chilli, chilli oil, wasabi, spring onions, sesame sauce, garlic etc

The entire meal, if you were to say order for 2pax 1 plate of beef, 1 plate dumpling & 1 Chinese lettuce + the plain soup base, it will set you back by HK$442 (inclusive of HK$20pax for the condiments & 10% service on top), and if you add a bottle of 350ml sake, that will be another HK$300+, so it is not really that cheap even after 40% discount. But to me the food quality & the enjoyment of it is well worth the price! Service is efficient, and they will bring hot water & ice, which are free (they don’t serve cold water only mineral water, I did not check the price but it should be ok to order it if you need to have mineral water..), we don’t really have any complaint about that.

c.h.e.f andy

Tagliata di Manzo (Italian Sliced Beef) – Gordon Ramsay’s Pan Grill Method

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo (added on 7.11.2014)

I rarely order steak when I dine out these days (unless it is at some famous grill restaurant or fine dining) as I can buy very good meats at a meat grocer (eg mmmm) & cook them at home easily myself! It seems like steak is the easiest thing to cook when you have a good piece of meat & I sometimes wonder how many restaurants can do it so bad – mostly because done at the wrong temperature!

There seems to be very many approaches to cooking steak. For now, I find the GR (Gordon Ramsay) method of a chargrilled steak suits me fine (Heston Blumenthal use a very different method of flipping the meat every 15 seconds! ).

tagliata di manzo (USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5)

tagliata di manzo (USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5)

pan-fried wagyu marbling score 6/7

pan-fried wagyu marbling score 6/7

Basically you need to have the meat at room temperature (means you take it out of the fridge for at least 1/2hr), lightly season with sea salt & coarse black pepper, grease a very hot skillet (I use the fat cut from the striploin or ribeye to grease the pan), and place the steaks on the the skillet w/o crowding, turn once, lightly touch the meat to feel for done-ness, add a small blob of butter to give it a nut brown finish, base the sauce over & let the steak soak in the flavour. You then turn off the fire & lift the steak off the pan to rest on a serving board & rest for 5minutes or longer to let the meat relax & redistribute the juices (please do see Heston Blumenthal’s very entertaining video here on the human press..lol.,to understand why). 🙂

panfried ribeye using GR (Gordon Ramsay) method

panfried ribeye using GR (Gordon Ramsay) method

The ribeye in the top picture (& in the plated tagliata di manzo below) has been aged in the fridge for 48hrs. Aging is supposed to intensify the flavour & also tenderise the steak. There is a lot of literature on this. For now I do not find significant difference whether the meat is aged for 48hrs or not, and I am happy just having the steak w/o aging. My views may change later though if I know more!

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo (added on 7.11.2014)

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo (added on 7.11.2014)

For the tagliata (Italian sliced beef), we just need to plate it nicely with rockets & 1/2 cherry tomatoes lightly tossed with sea salt, extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar on a serving board, like so below.

c.h.e.f andy