Hong Kong Air Ticket, Hotel & Transport Planning 2-6Jun2015

fried carrot cake at asia treasure T2

fried carrot cake at asia treasure T2

jetstar had a SG50 promotion. it was like S$50 to HK & about S$100pax including fees & taxes. it seems lame to go hong kong just because of cheap air tickets, but i like hong kong, it’s a place i like to go for eating & hiking anyway. i can live in hong kong actually just for the colder months. haha!^^

i wanted to go in nov. actually but sis is busy after oct, and i was already travelling with wife to cornwall 7-18may2015.

so i am back hong kong 2-6jun2015. our 2pax jetstar return singapore to hong kong was S$210.^^

even though it was just 2 months after my last hong kong trip with wife & son on 3-6Apr2015.

asia treasure T2 lounge

asia treasure T2 lounge

jetstar check in was at terminal 1. it was quite convenient that departure gate was next to the sky train to T2. so it was no hassle to get to asia treasure lounge at T2.

asia treasure T2 nasi lemak

asia treasure T2 nasi lemak

no food provided on jetstar, or rather good money for not so good food. so grab what we could at the lounge.

asia treasure T2 nasi lemak

asia treasure T2 nasi lemak

the nasi lemak was pretty good. egg, otah, perkedel, rice all good. for me though, nasi lemak is first ikan kuning, second chicken wing. 🙂

congee at asia treasure T2

congee at asia treasure T2

congee was ok, good.

roti prata at asia treasure T2

roti prata at asia treasure T2

prata was freshly prepared, crispy, hot, dough was tasty.

roti prata curry at asia treasure T2

roti prata curry at asia treasure T2

curry too was good.

fried carrot cake & roti prata at asia treasure T2

fried carrot cake & roti prata at asia treasure T2

fried carrot cake was for me the best! & prata was next. 🙂

hong kong airport tower

hong kong airport tower

low cost carrier mostly remote bay (using bus ferry to plane) for both departure from changi & arrival at hong kong. though it was using aerobridge for both departure from hong kong & arrival at singapore.

jetstar passenger disembarking at hong kong airport

jetstar passenger disembarking at hong kong airport

jetstar passenger (meaning us) deplaning at hong kong airport.

remote bay bus ferry at hong kong airport

remote bay bus ferry at hong kong airport

aircrafts taxiing.

remote bay bus ferry at hong kong airport

remote bay bus ferry at hong kong airport

our bus ferry waiting for aircrafts to taxi past.

hong kong airport terminal towards bus bay

hong kong airport terminal towards bus bay

there was a MTR counter after customs & even before getting out to the arrival hall, which had almost no queue so i got 2 octopus cards (HK$50 deposit & HK$100 stored-value) within minutes.

we walked out of the arrival terminal & towards bus bay.

queue for A41 airport bus

queue for A41 airport bus

i booked 4 nights at royal park hotel at shatin. so it was really very convenient commuting from the airport.

hong kong airport bus A41 goes direct from airport to shatin and stopped right in front of royal park hotel, which was only the second stop after shatin bus interchange.

flight was late so we arrived 2.15pm & was at the A41 bus bay around 2.50pm.

A41 airport bus to royal park hotel

A41 airport bus to royal park hotel

journey took 50minutes & just HK$22.30 using the octopus card. it’s fixed one fare only so you only required to tap once with octopus card when boarding the bus. 🙂

it’s double-decker. there was a luggage rack both in the lower & upper deck. i always took the upper deck & put on seat belt. strangely though on return from hotel to airport, the bus we took did not have safety belt!

hong kong mtr map

shatin is in new territory so a bit far from action (well depends on what action you are looking for). when i travel with wife, we would stay at tsimsahtsui & not shatin.

while royal park is “in theory” next to shatin station (& shatin bus interchange for that matter), it was a 5-10minutes walk from hotel through newtown plaza to the station, covered & aircon-ed of course.

from shatin, one needs to change train twice to get to shamshuipo, tsimshatsui, & to central. so it’s slightly inconvenient.

also shatin station is actually not underground line but the east rail line 东铁线that goes to罗湖 for entering into shenzhen深圳. & so the inter-change at 九龙塘that connects the MTR to the rail is a rather long walk.

taking the east rail line 东铁线 at shatin going to shamshuipo

taking the east rail line 东铁线 at shatin going to shamshuipo

we checked into royal park hotel about 4pm. nice hotel. i stayed here once before 5 years back. quite happy with it now as then. 🙂

we decided we could not miss timhowan, so went to the usual shamshuipo outlet after checking in to the hotel, & got there about 4.40pm, zero queue.

since we had a very late dimsum at 5pm. we decided to go much later in the evening for dinner, which we did at keung kee chicken porridge 强记鸡粥 my usual daipaidong 大排档 past 9pm.

c.h.e.f andy

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Another Wonderful Dinner @ The Greek Larder on 8May2015

aperitif cucumber, apple, ouzo

aperitif cucumber, apple, ouzo

went back to the greek larder for 2pax dinner with wife this evening on 8.5.2015.^^ guess it was a bit lame as i was here with son & had a scrumptious dinner only yesterday. anyhow, wife arrived this morning & wanted this place, and we were taking the midnight 8-hr sleeper train to penzance this evening so not really interested to venture far just for dinner. transport in london is kind of tedious & tedium. 🙂

oysters £2ea

oysters £2ea

oysters £2ea

oysters £2ea

the photos this evening were a bit brighter & sharper as we were seated at a table by the window with good lighting & at 6pm earlier time than yesterday.

aperitif cucumber, apple, ouzo

aperitif cucumber, apple, ouzo

the aperitif was very light & interesting flavours that i also ordered 1 for myself after tasting what my wife ordered. ouzo interesting thing, anise flavoured, but needed distillation so not quite something we can replicate at home. Ouzo can be described to have a similar taste to absinthe which is liquorice-like, but smoother.

italian white

italian white – £7.95 250ml

the italian white was fruity & nice. 🙂

aegean prawns & calamari fritters

aegean prawns & calamari fritters

aegean prawns & calamari fritters

aegean prawns & calamari fritters

one new dish we ordered this evening was aegean prawns & calamari (squid) fritters. 🙂 very nice as expected (though we could have been more adventurous & ordered more greek specialities) since we knew the salt cod in batter was very good.

octopus with fava -split pea puree

octopus with fava -split pea puree

octopus with fava -split pea puree

octopus with fava -split pea puree

salt cod with soft boiled eggs

salt cod with soft boiled eggs

salt cod with soft boiled eggs

salt cod with soft boiled eggs

the other 2 items were same as what we ordered yesterday, namely the salt cod & the octopus. again we were provided with complimentary bread that was wonderful with the hummus. lacking in new adventures but well compensated by excellent taste, convenience (just short distance down the road from the apartment). 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Andy’s Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Milan Grand Tour Tasting Menu on 2Jul2014

grand tour tasting menu

coming back from a wonderful trip to amsterdam, lake como, cinque terre, and milan, i was much motivated to recreate some of the delectable dishes we had. 🙂

may calendar was crowded as i had the 11pax RI friends “fine” chinese dinner on 5.5.2014 & also the 27pax G20 RI friends dinner on 28.5.2014. some friends were away in june, so the dinner was fixed on 2.7.2014. 🙂

1 of the (dining) highlights of our cinque terre tour was the flamed pasta seafood risotto at miky restaurant in monterosso on 18.4.2014 (the lobster, langoustine cold platter was likewise excellent). it was so good we went back again 20.4.2014 to enjoy one more time before leaving for milan the next day. we also had very good pasta at manarola, levanto & milan, both pesto & tomota sauce based; & excellent grilled octopus in tremezzo, bellagio, monterosso, manarola, levanto & milan.

for my menu planning, i added lobster pasta, and since i reckoned the reason miky’s risotto was so very tasty was mostly because of the stock & i used prawn shells & heads for the stock, i added lobster bisque which made use of the same stock plus the lobster shells. i had wanted to do a pesto pasta like what we had at fresco in duomo, milan which was very good too, but it was easier to do squidink.

i wanted also to recreate the grilled octopus tentacles (alle darsene at bellagio, miky at monterosso & at manarola) but i could not find any octopus in singapore, the only ones at meidi-ya liang court were the sashimi variety selling at astronomical price.

a popular appetiser in lake como (alle darsene at bellagio, al darsena at tremezzo & miky at monterosso) was 5 or 7 different preparation of fish. i couldn’t do that but i could play with different preparation of seafood.

both the lobster bisque & risotto already included lots of vegetables, so the easiest way was to round up with rockets & mesclun salad to accompany teriyaki cod & pan-seared scallops & bring balance to the seafood tapas. 🙂

teriyaki cod

#1 teriyaki cod

pan seared hokkaido scallops

#2 pan seared hokkaido scallops

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rockets + mesclun salad

squid ala plancha

#3 squid ala plancha

pan seared teriyaki cod, hokkaido scallops, mesclun salad

pan seared teriyaki cod, hokkaido scallops, mesclun salad

pan seared teriyaki cod, squid, hokkaido scallops, mesclun salad

pan seared teriyaki cod, squid, hokkaido scallops, mesclun salad

steamed oysters

#4 steamed oysters

we started with a seafood tapas medley.

#1 teriyaki cod & #2 pan-seared scallop were accompanied with a rockets + mesclun salad. my friends loved the teriyaki cod (marinated 3 day with self-made teriyaki sauce, well infused & very flavourful).

#3 squid ala plancha (teppanyaki) came about as i could not get octopus. as squid cooked very fast & curled every time, i did not use the crockpot or sous vide method. to create flavours i used the same sichuan slight spicy sauce i used for 蒜泥白肉 and marinated 2days. taste was good.

#4 the steamed oysters were a crowd favourite. i just added 2 teaspoon light soy sauce & 2 tablespoon olive oil, some sliced ginger & chilli padi to 9 large oysters of the IQF (individual quick frozen) variety from sheng shiong which i bought for a very inexpensive S$11.95 for 1 kg. i do good orh luah (oyster omelette) with them too. 🙂

the key was the timing. i did 1.5minutes steaming & left it for another 1 minute or so poaching with fire off. the result was a delectable, plump, tasty oyster. 🙂

cured salmon

#5 cured salmon

#5 the cured salmon was another very simple new dish, following chef john of foodwishes.com recipe. i bought a very fresh salmon fillet from sheng shiong, cut like sashimi as in the video, then cured in salt & sugar but for a much longer time like 3-4hrs. the salmon was very tasty, looked great & had firmer texture than sashimi. this was great stand-in dish. i had wanted to do a razor clam ala plancha but there were no razor clams at sheng shiong that morning.

2 live lobsters from sheng shiong

2 live lobsters from sheng shiong

lobster bisque

#6 lobster bisque

lobster angel hair pasta

#7 lobster angel hair pasta

#6 lobster bisque was the another crowd favourite. everyone found it to be very intense & flavourful & smooth, like XO. indeed i had added otard. 🙂 the key to a good shellfish bisque is (1) the stock made from prawn heads & shells with the lobster heads & shells added later (2) a good vegetable base (chopped leek, celery, onions, carrots) to combine the vege sweetness with shellfish sweetness & to give the bisque “body” when blended smooth with hand blender, then adding some heavy cream & brandy ( i used otard).

#7 lobster pasta was a popular dish at restuarant miky monterosso. i did not take it during the recent trip as we already ordered the lobster platter. I bought 2 live lobsters from sheng shiong, grilled the lobsters on very hot pan & flamed with otard, then scooped out the meat & tomalley (the creamy lobster liver & pancreas in the head), and throw the heads & shells into the prawn stock for the lobster bisque & also the stock of the seafood risotto. when tossing the angel hair pasta for serving i scooped back the tomalley to the lobster heads.

Andy's "Monterosso Miky" seafood risotto

#8 Andy’s “Monterosso Miky” seafood risotto

Andy's "Monterosso Miky" seafood risotto

#8 Andy’s “Monterosso Miky” seafood risotto

Andy's "Monterosso Miky" seafood risotto

#8 Andy’s “Monterosso Miky” seafood risotto

#8 i was quite proud of my “Andy’s “Monterosso Miky” seafood risotto“. 🙂 while miky’s risotto has no peers & i was not able to do the flamed pasta which was very good too, my risotto was very tasty & flavourful, infused with sweetness from the prawn stock & also the same vegetable base as the lobster bisque. 🙂

squidink spaghetti

#9 squidink spaghetti

#9 squid ink spaghetti was another late replacement. it was quite good, tasty, just a touch more salty.

i thought of doing a pesto pasta at first. pesto is a good vegetarian pasta, though you can also add prawns & chicken. the vegetables (grilled sliced egg plants, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes etc) actually required more effort. squid ink was a bit easier to do. it was basically alio olio method with white wine & squid ink.

tofu cheese cake

#10 tofu cheese cake

#10 tofu cheese cake was a popular dessert as i only lately discovered. the lime juice & yogurt provided the very mild sour taste, enhanced by the mild sweetness, and a very smooth & light cream cheese & tofu texture. an excellent ending. 2 friends brought very nice rambutans & also the usual strawberries. 🙂

a friend took the very nice photos. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Wonderful Japanese Food @ Mikuni on 31Mar2014

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truffle kampachi

had another wonderful 4pax dinner – great food & company – with my wife & 2 close friends at mikuni on 31.3.2014. 🙂

i ordered the usual “Andy’s kaiseki” items per the mikuni 24.3.2013 blogpost…lol.. with some new additions, namely lobster teppanyaki & teriyaki cod.

#1 we started as usual with the truffle kampachi. this fusion sashimi dish never failed to impress, both presentation and taste, a perfect start to the evening meal.

#2 next up were 2 maki – mikuni maki topped with unagi (eel) & a salmon belly maki. they were ok but not as good as the UN futomaki & the spider maki. i did not take photos.

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#3 next was the botanebi. as usual we had the excellent sashimi (these were large prawns larger than aka ebi & >4x  size of amaebi) & had the prawn heads deep-fried – you could eat up everything basically, it was that good! 🙂 there were 3 prawns per serving @ S$45, so i asked them to make it 4 prawns @ S$60

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tako sous vide

#4 after that we had the sous vide octopus tempura served with a wasabi mayo which we sprinkled with the red chilli powder. this was again very good, the sous vide meat was tender not tough & totally consistent, and contrasting texture with the lightly battered surface.

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lobster teppanyaki

#5 then we had 2 lobster teppanyaki to share among 4pax. 🙂 the preparation was varied somewhat from the last time – instead of uniyaki i.e. with uni (sea urchin) sauce, it was a melted cheese mayo. this was excellent. the cheese could make it “jelak” = easily satiated, otherwise it was just perfect. i ate up everything! 🙂

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teriyaki cod

#6 we ordered the teriyaki cod as well. this was one place where i took my inspiration for my own teriyaki cod, which by my kindly friends acclaims was almost there but i guess the one here was still somewhat better. 🙂

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kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe

#7 lastly, we had 2 orders of kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe to share among 4pax. the beef looked different, more marbled & slightly thinner. taste-wise it was par excellence, as were the ones previously.

with 50% FAR (feed at raffles) discounts for food & 25% on liquor, the bill for 4pax including a S$50 sake was S$284 nett=S$60pax++ after discounts. and for such an excellent meal. no wonders that we keep going back. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy