Under the Bridge Spicy Crab, Wan Chai

Continuing our hunt for Hong Kong’s best, we were a told that a meal eating typhoon shelter crab at Under The Bridge Spicy Crab was a must. Originally a hawker store under a bridge in Wan Chai, the operation has expanded to 4 locations – all on the same block. Convenient you may think, but slightly confusing when you are trying to work out which restaurant holds your reservation or where to meet your dining companions for that matter!

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The Typhoon Shelter Crab really is the star of the show here. Available as a small (HKD480) or medium (HKD680?) portion, the crab is deep fried, the wok tossed with a heaping pile of fried garlic and chilli. You also have the option to choose from 5 levels of heat ranging from Super Spicy to Slightly Spicy. Loving heat, we opted for a level 4 – Very Spicy medium sized bad boy, and boy was it spicy!  Continue reading

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Dim Sum heaven @ T’ang Court, Hong Kong

I have died and gone to Hong Kong culinary heaven.

It has been so incredibly long since I have visited Hong Kong, without the pressure of time or family commitments. As I await the application of my Chinese visa, I see no other purpose for me aside from eating in this great metropolis that is HK. Barely in the country a week and already I have eaten yum cha 3 times. Twice at Lei Gardens (Shatin and IFC) and the third, a real treat at the T’ang Court @ The Langham.

Lucky for me, my brother spared me some time on his business trip to HK, and provided me with strict instruction to make a booking at T’ang Court for lunch. Who am I to disagree?

The restaurant is typical of what you would expect from a michelin starred hotel restaurant – dark wood, elegance, white table cloths. The dimsum menu is traditional yet concise with dishes ranging from about HKD40 a plate for a standard dish and up to HKD80 per piece for the more luxurious items. My brother quickly declared that he just wanted to eat these ‘luxurious items’ but I could order some ‘normal’ dishes if I liked. Again I obliged and followed my brothers lead.

Our meal started with an Abalone tart. BOOM.

Abalone tart

The abalone was sweet, tender and braised in a rich, oyster style sauce. The pastry was a rich buttery, almost pâte sucrée in texture and was surprisingly sweet. Hands down the best item we ate.

Continue reading

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A whole heap of excuses …. and Hong Kong delights

I’ve been a bad blogger. My excuse? I got married?!?

Well that’s not really an excuse but its a reasonable one. Getting married is a bad for a person who likes to blog, in particular about food. Aside from the fact that I almost drowned in ‘wedding’, the desire to ‘get fit’ eliminates anything remotely yummy… therefore without an interesting thing to say.

So why pick this up again? After an amazing 4 years in London, it was time for us to move on. Sam and I are making the big move to Shanghai which has motivated me (all over again) to want to discover a whole new city of eating. Now the only problem is how to get through the Great Firewall of China?

In the meantime I am in limbo in Hong Kong, as I commence the tedious task of applying for a China work visa. But I can hardly complain… Hong Kong is far from a culinary wasteland and I intend on eating as much as I can over the next few weeks.

Watch this space!

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Mouth numbing goodness – No 10 Sichuan, Earls Court

With restaurants such as Bar Shu, Empress of Sichuan and Chilli Cool ramping up a strong following amongst London bloggers, it seems like Sichuan food is well aligned to be the next ‘big’ cuisine. Having lived in the south-west of China for a good period, I like to think I am fairly familiar with the flavour profile.

Whilst the addition of hua jiao Sichuan pepper corns is abundant in the cooking, there is a common misconception that all Sichuan food is hot and numbing (ma la). In fact some of my favourite Sichuan dishes such as Zhang ya zi (zhang tea smoked duck) and huo guo rou (double cooked pork) are pretty much mouth-numb free.

One night, after a big whine about how substandard non-southern Chinese food is in London, a mainland Chinese friend had recommended I take a trip to Earls Court to try No. 10 Sichuan. It’s where he gets his ‘fix’ apparently. Determined to seek out good Sichuan food we visited on a cold Sunday evening, arriving early to find the restaurant nearly at capacity. The restaurant is fairly small, fitting no more than 25 in a very tight, dark space. Continue reading

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The Harwood Arms, Fulham

I had my brother stay with me for a few days last week and whilst not his first trip to London, his past experiences have always been as a backpacker during times when the Aussie was substantially weaker to the sterling. Unfortunately his prior opinion of food quality in London reflected this. So it was my aim this time around to prove to him that the city that I now call home may not have a sparkling Sydney harbour, but it still does some good food.

The first stop on our gastronomic tour, The Harwood Arms in Fulham as I figured if I was going to wow him with a gastropub it might as well be a good one.

I have written before how much of a fan I am of Brett Graham, not just because he is a fellow Aussie, but because his food is simple yet brilliant. At his flagship restaurant The Ledbury, his simplistic, yet sophisticated touch lets the produce do the talking and I was very pleased to see this same approach in his more casual (yet Michelin starred) pub.  Continue reading

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Noma Part 2, The Meal

I’ve been a little overwhelmed putting together this two-part post and I really can’t pinpoint the reason. Sam and I have done a fair few 3 Michelin starred restaurants now, but nothing really could have prepared us for Noma. Whilst we walked in with high expectations, there was a part of us that wanted the restaurant to flop. Looking at his background, I walked in thinking his food would be a mad mash-up of French, molecular and Scandinavian. It was none of the above.

Over the course of the actual meal, there was so much going on, so many new berries, flowers, herbs and techniques to digest that it felt as if we were rediscovering food again – I didn’t quite know how to respond to that. It wasn’t until a few days later, after looking at our photos and reading our Noma book that we could truly appreciate what Noma is doing for food.

The restaurant is so far ahead of its time, and I don’t mean this in a molecular gimmicky way. Rene has created a menu that truly highlights his ingredients by treating the produce with the respect that it deserves. His food is so fresh, so vibrant, so alive.

Please read Noma – Part I, the snacks before reading this post… Continue reading

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