Marco Polo HK @ Harbour City 3-6Apr2015

view from marco polo hotel room

view from marco polo hotel room

we stayed at marco polo hong kong hotel (located at harbour city kowloon) during this trip 3-6apr2015.

there are 3 hotels at harbour city belonging to the marco polo group. there is prince hotel nearer to kowloon park & haiphong road (where we stayed last time), gateway hotel in the middle & marco polo hong kong nearer star ferry terminal.

this time son was travelling with us. singapore airlines return airfare from london to hong kong was like £50 more than return to singapore, and the timing coincided with our trip to hk, which was bad really as we would have preferred to stay in singapore with our son, but anyway we made the best of it. 🙂

hotel room

hotel room

hotel room

hotel room

we stayed at the continental club floor, which is kind of expensive for me, but it has its privileges.^^

at the other hotels, room are small & do not accept 3pax so you end up paying for 2 rooms. here we have a 500sq ft room at the 17th floor, which is very spacious even with the extra bed.^^

and view was great. we were directly overlooking 1881, which was formerly the navy police headquarters. and the victoria harbour. 🙂

tray of nuts

tray of nuts

& the food was amazing. there was complimentary daily breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktail with hors d’oeuvres.

i stayed on many a club floors in my time working for various companies. the best food i had was a family staycation at ritz carlton in singapore like 20yrs ago. the food, wine & cheese were just incredible. i cannot really remember now except that it was very good, but this marco polo club floor food, wine & cheese were just as great!^^

(3)dinner time at club lounge 5.30pm

wine & coffee

you can order coffee (flat white, cappuccino etc) but i am now taken by nespresso so i had a restricto (10) with creamer after many a cuppa with my good friend after our weekly 10km runs. a real enjoyment, this. 🙂

there were white & red wines. i liked the chateau los boldos, a chilean red, but the australian red was just as good. 🙂

dinner time at club lounge 5.30pm

cheese, a chive dumpling, pressed foie gras cone, another cheese

the cheese were excellent! the chinese dumpling was very good. i took a second, and the chinese dimsum next morning was great too.

(2)dinner time at club lounge 5.30pm

mushroom vegetable skewer

the skewer was very good.

(6)dinner time at club lounge 5.30pm

classy spicy dumpling 抄手

and what a classy way to present a spicy dumpling 抄手. ^^

(5)dinner time at club lounge 5.30pm

fruits, fish, goat cheese cherry tomatoes skewer, spicy dumpling etc

(7)dinner time at club lounge 5.30pm

goat cheese cherry tomatoes skewer

mango scallop

mango scallop

vegetable skewer

vegetable skewer

(10)dinner time at club lounge 5.30pm

fruits

the magnificent hors d’oeuvres started at 5.30pm. made life difficult for us as we had to plan around it, after all we wanted to eat out in hong kong. haha!^^

on the first day 3.4.2015, it was quite perfect though.

we arrived 12.30pm at the airport, took the airport express to elements & the complimentary bus to marco polo & checked in at the club floor. so our plan was to have dimsum at timhowan at shamshuipo at 3pm.

so the 5.30pm hors d’oeuvres came in nicely as our next was a late night dinner at budaoweng at 9.30pm. ^^

breakfast

smoked salmon & parma ham

breakfast2

smoked salmon & parma ham

breakfast3

smoked salmon & parma ham

breakfast was equally scrumptious.

steak for breakfast

steak breakfast

there was a breakfast menu which include steak, egg omelette, wanton noodles etc.

on the second day we were having a heavy weekend brunch at amber so i had a light breakfast. on the last day 6.4.2015, i ordered the steak. it was good, not like super super, but good.

c.h.e.f andy

Zaanse Schans Windmill Country on 13Apr2014

10154992_10152322766529494_5972594795960691374_n

when i think of netherland 2 things came to mind – tulips & windmills! maybe milkmaids?

zaanse schans is the beautiful windmill country. the train station at koog-zaandijk is just 4 stops 17minutes from amsterdam central, & then a 15mins walk to zaanse schans village.

the zaan region used to be 1 of western europe’s oldest industrial area and boasted some 600 active windmills & factories powered by wind in the heydays in 18th & 19th century. it was also the centre of shipbuilding in the 17th century during the dutch golden age.

now there are some 10 working windmills in zaanse schans. though the windmills were relocated here piece by piece, today zaanse schans is a living & working community, with clog- and cheese-making, shops, boutiques, stunning buildings & meadow landscape.

read more about zaanse schans here.

10151232_10152322766799494_5246590538714103131_n 10151336_10152322766939494_7863278132538297429_n 10253896_10152322766999494_2892787340597417816_n 10257382_10152322767094494_5271313283940225230_o 964232_10152322767234494_7574517096297015157_o 1544378_10152322767294494_4558087477816582997_n 10153632_10152322767384494_4397902922724659252_n

we had planned to cycle at zaanse schans. there is what appears to be a good cycling guide and cycle routes/map. it indicated that one could rent a bicycle at zaandam station. i arrived amsterdam on a sunday & we took the train from amsterdam central to zaandam but was unable to locate the bike rental. we asked around in the station & some staff said the rental shop was closed on sunday, which was odd since it should really be catering to the tourist crowd so why closed on sunday?

anyhow we did not have much time as we had only 2 more days in amsterdam & we had purchased the holland pass & would be using the pass for keukenhoff gardens & the museums & canal cruise & also planning to cycle to waterland. so we decided to just take a bus from zaandam station to zaanse schans & skip the cycling.

1609770_10152322767454494_8276641769516014816_n 1598027_10152322767519494_7093951691410788578_o 1898821_10152322767774494_5077774461009761213_o 10153688_10152322768074494_2558381583607998812_n 10150593_10152322768149494_5093608505702936470_n 859839_10152322768229494_2869547218983391415_o 10006576_10152322768319494_5044593719053216010_n 1961009_10152322768359494_5967887956511746718_o

zaanse schans village was idyllic as described in the guides & the windmills along the river were magnificent. we had a very pleasant stroll & if we had more time & were able to locate the bike rentals it would be quite fun to cycle in the surrounding meadows.

10153732_10152322768634494_374091804218501940_n 10171125_10152322768724494_1122582107172122114_n1230006_10152322768524494_8260542062472932812_n

we wondered into a cheese shop & factory & the cheese were just fantastic. every cheese we tried were really nice & we bought 3 including a goat cheese. 🙂

we came by the train route (the bus we took from zaandam stopped at near the koog-zaandijk train station as the one that stopped nearer was a 1 hr wait). on the return trip, we took bus 391 which stopped right across the bridge on the other side of the river from the village. it was a 40mins ride back to amsterdam central.

though regrettably we did not get to cycle, it was still quite a wonderful day & we were also looking forward to dinner at beulings (& indeed we had the most wonderful dinner) which we had made prior reservations before the trip. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

grilled cheese sandwich

grilled cheese sandwich

a friend shared an interesting video on Facebook = 24 things you do wrong! 🙂

in it there was a video of how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

i am not normally into sandwiches though i take a slice of buttered bread or toast for lunch if i can i.e. not lunching out with friends.  for this evening, wife & daughter were away & i was feeling “sian” i.e. unmotivated & bored, so i gave this a try for nothing better to do. 🙂

grilled cheese sandwich

grilled cheese sandwich

10013509_10152310919869494_7784042366506009095_n

grilled cheese sandwich

1922465_10152310920089494_4529686991427311164_n

grilled cheese sandwich

video was instructive. i simply followed so there is nothing really to note. 🙂

only cheese i had was a brie so i used that, buttered the wholemeal bread & did the slow heat on a non-stick pan & covered as shown in the video . result was pretty ok. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

The Clan Restaurant @ Bukit Pasoh Singapore on 8Mar2013

had a great lunch with my daughter at The Clan Restaurant at Bukit Pasoh. We had the 5-course set lunch.

This my second time here – I was here with wife 3 weeks back. We both liked the food. The Chef, Ken Teo, was formerly the Executive Chef of Dozo, and we have always liked Dozo’s food. The price of the 5-course lunch, S$42.80 (6-course dinner S$63.80), is slightly higher than Dozo (& w/0 the cooler drink), but I think overall the food quality is better. There are 5 choices of appetizer & dessert, 4 choices of soup & 6 choices of main course.

I suppose the name has got to do with its location at the premises of The Gan Clan Association. Bukit Pasoh locale is home to a good few top restaurants like Majestic, Oso and nearby at Kiong Siak Street – Ember, Nicolas Le & Bistro Soori. The food is I guess nothing “Clanish”, being in the modern european genre similar to Dozo with touch of Japanese fusion – perhaps there is a new “Clan” there slowly in the making. 🙂

just like Dozo, we started with a nice thirst quencher.

The Chef Starter is a trio comprising duck rillette, pan-seared scallop with lots of foam (this is very good & definitely better than Dozo) and a salmon mouche cone (Dozo serves a smoked salmon, tiny pan-seared piece of foie gras & pan-seared scallop).

Image

duck rillette, salmon mouche cone, pan-seared scallope with foam, thirst quencher

Next we had a choice of appetizer. I had the bamboo clam. This was really very good. the clam was very sweet & bouncy fresh, and the ikura (salmon roe) flavour & saltiness combined very well with the shellfish texture indeed. daughter had the deep-fried foie gras, which was not a common preparation. I stole a bite. It was different & quite good, not sure it would become popular enough to be avant garde but unlikely to displace the all-time favourite pan-seared caramelised foie gras anytime soon. In terms of quality, quantity & presentation, both these appetizer choices certainly qualified as appetizers in a 3-course lunch in a fine-dining restaurant, nevermind a 5-course lunch priced at S$35++pax after 15% discount.

Image

bamboo clam with ikura, deepfried foie gras

Next up is the soup. I had the cepes mushroom bisque. It was very good, maybe slightly more quantity-wise but not much different from Dozo. daughter had the crab bisque which came with a prawn twister. I think this had a lot more foam than that served at Dozo & was overall better.

Image

cepes mushroom soup, crab bisque with prawn twister

Next came the 48hr beef short ribs served on hoba leaf on a lava stone. I really, really loved this dish. The quality of the beef was much superior to that at Dozo. The meat was just so sweet & flavourful & the texture was just super.

Image

48hrs beef short ribs

For the dessert choice, daughter had the chocolate lava cake. It was good but daughter thought it was no better than the one I made at home and perhaps my 70% cocoa chocolate flavour was indeed better. I had the 4-cheese platter-good stuff!

Image

chocolate lava cake, 4-cheese platter

Overall, it made for an extremely satisfying meal. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy