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Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Electronic Kiss Transmission Device?

In Food - HK on May 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Japan has many cool gadgets on the market, but it seems, to me at least, that they can continuously keep coming out with new technologies and ideas.  I believe that this is a first: a kiss transmission device.  There are two parts to the machine, and a rotor will turn according to one person’s kiss and transmit the same action to the other machine.  They are also doing experiments to track and record the pattern of various people’s kissing.  I don’t see much purpose in this, but it is quite an interesting study.

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Lunch at Home: A Light Salad

In Food - HK on May 26, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I had a light lunch at home – a simple salad with fresh greens and tomatoes, baby asparagus, and a few tender pieces of salmon.  Drizzled slightly with a sour, lemon-yoghurt sauce.  Very yummy!

Light Salmon Salad

Light Salmon Salad

Art HK Fair 2011, Convention Center

In Food - HK on May 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm

The 2011 HK Art Fair opened tonight, at the Convention Center in Wanchai. The hall was huge, and in the 2 hours that flied by, we weren’t able to go through the whole exhibition. Here are just a few neat pieces we saw, though I don’t remember the artist of most of the pieces –

By Liu Ye:

By Kusama Yayoi:

Crunch Cake at Home

In Food - HK on May 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Crunch Cake on our new cake stand

Today we made a crunch cake at home!  The crunch cake is a soft eggy sponge cake lathered with whip cream and topped with pieces of “crunch” which is a crunchy sugar-caramel flavored substance.  We used a chiffon cake base, so the cake would be lighter and less dense.

Crunch Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes, and this one has been one of the most successful out of the ones we’ve made.  We also got to use our new glass cake stand.

With a few slices cut out

The middle layer of the cake was made of  a whip cream and crunch mixture.

a slice

Decorated with silver pearl balls, and, of course, the crunch!

Silver Pearl Balls

Crepes at Home

In Food - HK on May 19, 2011 at 8:39 am

I was invited to my friend’s house as I had asked her if I could try her crepes that I had heard about.  They were absolutely scrumptious.  The buckwheat crepe mixture was chewy and moist, and atop there was sauteed mushroom with creme fraiche, ham, gruyere cheese, and a freshly fried egg.  The yolk of the egg would just pour over the ham and the melted cheese with the crepe holding it all together in a roll of flavor.  I loved it so much I had two, but by the time I finished my second I could have no more.

Crepe

Crepe

I also had a yummy borscht-like soup:

Borscht

Lollipop, Anyone?

In Graphics & Assorted Photographs on May 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

Lollipop

A poster I made that cherishes the youth and innocence of candy (specifically the lollipop) and tries to bring back a nostalgic sense of the candy shop.

Dinner at Gitone

In Food - HK on May 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Gitone is a small private kitchen that serves modern Shanghainese and Shunde food (as well as vegetarian and asian courses;  being a private kitchen,  they can tailor the menu to your liking to a certain extent).  It has pottery and painting classes in the afternoon, which is quite interesting.  And as can be expected, the plates that the food is presented on are all unique and interesting.

Pottery

There are 2 parrots there too!

Because of the small size of the restaurant, we were served according to a set menu.  However, we were only a group of four, and because it was difficult to change the portion size of the appetizers, we received 8 dishes of small but relatively large appetizers, which were a bit overwhelming.

We started with a smoked bean curd roll filled with strands of carrot and mushroom, which was pretty traditional Shanghainese and was okay:

Bean Curd Roll

Another traditional dish we started out with is cofu – a gluten ball ripped into irregular pieces with black fungus, mushroom and a salty-sweet sauce.

Cofu

Drunken chicken, one of my favorite dishes.  I like the special taste of the chinese cooking wine used, and the meat was tender.

Drunken Chicken

Cool crispy vegetables with a little bit of dried shrimp, quite refreshing:

Crispy Cut Vegetables

Marinated chilled cucumber with a bean paste-like chili sauce, and sesame seeds:

Marinated Cucumber with Spicy Paste

Eggplant soaked in a sweet soya sauce.  I actually really like this one.  Usually these kind of chilled eggplants are salty and slightly sour, so it was different to be salty and a little sweet.

Eggplant

I didn’t especially like this but others in my party did – a smoked slice of fish, marinated.

Fish

The tofu may have been overly simple, but was cleansing and cooling, with subtle tastes:

Tofu Dish

Now for the main courses: the first few main courses weren’t all that interesting, but things got much better towards the end.  The most disappointing dish of the meal was the crab with sticky rice cakes.  It is a classic Shanghainese dish, with a sticky, slightly sweet sauce poured over the whole thing.  The chewy rice cakes are supposed to be a signature point of the dish, but Gitone’s were hardly chewy.  The crab is supposed to be hairy crab, which is not the type they used.

Crab with Sticky Rice Cakes

The next dish was much more promising – a loosely floured fried garoupa, with a light sweet and sour sauce.  The fish was crispy but not soaked in oil, and the little bit of flour that coated it added a nice texture.  The sweet and sour sauce was not too heavy and was very tasty; it went well with the crispy fish.

Fried Fish in a Sweet and Sour Sauce

The next dish was one of my favorites, as it was the most uncommon (while still tasting good).  In the center were rolls of little white mushroom strands wrapped with a thin slice of melon, all sitting in a clear, thickened, soup.  It was very clean and carried strongly the taste of the soup.  The brocolli framing the rolls were all very crunchy without being hard, and along with the sauce were also very good.

Melon Mushroom Wrap with Brocolli

We also enjoyed these very flavorful grilled beans.

Grilled Bean Stalks

The remaining 2 main courses were excellent.  There was a clay pot of vegetable rice, and the vegetable used was very clean tasting.  The rice itself was very flavorful, and had the right moistness to it.

Clay Pot Vegetable Rice

The braised knuckle was the favorite of our party.  The sauce was a little but not overly sweet, and the meat literally fell off the bone.  There was a lot of fat; its melted juices leaked into the tender meat (of course, we did not eat all the fat itself).

Braised Pork Knuckle

For dessert, (and by this time we were all already quite full), we were given 2 sesame tang yuen dumplings in a gui fa (osmanthus) ginger soup.

Tang Yuen in Gui Fa and Ginger Soup

Although the appetizers were a little disappointing, the main courses were delightful.  The whole concept of the mixing of restaurant and art in Gitone is a neat one, making a visit to Gitone one that is worth a try.

Amedei’s Chocolate Drops

In Food - HK on May 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Amedei’s chocolate drops are heaven – they are tiny circles of chocolates that melt in your mouth.  There are 3 types, dark chocolate (65% cocoa), milk chocolate (35% cocoa), and white chocolate.  So far I’ve tried dark chocolate and milk chocolate, and I really love the milk chocolate.  Of course for many chocolate lovers dark chocolate would be the premium choice, but Amedei’s milky chocolate drops are especially milky while still having a distinct chocolate taste (not too diluted with milk).  It paints your mouth with a creamy chocolatey coating, which is very enjoyable.

Amedei's Milk Chocolate Drops/ Buttons

Amedei's Milk Chocolate Drops/ Buttons

A Few Neat Things:

In Graphics & Assorted Photographs, Other on May 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

From Drawn.ca:

I thought this animation short by Matthias Hoegg was pretty neat.  The story is detailed and The animation is clear and inspiring, a job well done!

From Design Milk:

Veuve Clicquots collaboration with designer Mathias van de Wall produced this: an origami, foldable Champagne bucket for Milan Design Week:

Veuve Cliquot's Foldable Champagne Bucket

Something I saw for myself (in a hotel displaying art in Taiwan):

Fred Eerdeken’s play with the shadows to form words.  It’s quite interesting how this seemingly random twirl of metal coil can form words in it’s shadow!

Fred Eerdeken

Fred Eerdeken

From the Cool Hunter:

A unique piece of architecture made of “house prisms” by Herzog and de Meuron, named Vitra Haus.

Vitra Haus

Vitra Haus

Sushi Dokoro Hikari 光

In Food - HK on May 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

As it was the weekend, my friends and I went to a casual lunch at a relatively new restaurant, Hikari.  It was the first time we had eaten Japanese food since the earthquake, and we were longing for Japanese food!

Hikari

One of the dishes we were expecting to try was a negi-toro and uni don with an onsen egg on top (a fatty tuna and sea urchin rice bowl, with a hot spring egg).  However we were met with disappointment when we heard that there was no sea urchin that day, and that the dish had been removed from the menu.  However, upon request we were able to order a negi-toro don with just the onsen egg.  It is one of the best negi-toro rice bowls I have ever eaten – the runny yolk of the onsen egg just dripped down and moistened the negi-toro, which was pretty fresh as well.

Fatty Tuna Rice Bowl with Hot Spring Egg

We also ordered a tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) rice bowl.  The pork they used was called Kinboshi pork 金星豚, and was very tender and tasty.  However, it was not any particularly better than other restaurants such as Ginza Bairin or Tonkichi.

Fried Pork Cutlet with Rice

We also ordered a plate of “Chef’s selection of sashimi”.  The seafood was very fresh – I particularly liked the shrimp sashimi, which was very sweet as well as the seared toro.  There were three slices of toro in total.

Chef's Selection of Sashimi

Each set also came with the classic steamed egg custard and salad:

Salad

Steamed Egg Custard

The Chef’s Selection of Sashimi and the Negitoro rice also came with a small bowl of udon.  Though pretty and tasty, the udon could have been chewier.

Udon

The dish that was really special was one that was given to us with the chef’s compliments: sliced tomato with ice-vegetables.  The ice-vegetables had little crystal-like bumps on it which gave it an interesting crunchy texture.  The tomato was extremely sweet and succulent, and went well with the slightly sour sauce.  These tomatoes, at HKD35 each, are from Kumomoto, Japan.  The tomatoes were so sweet that you wouldn’t know whether it was a fruit or vegetable.  I would definitely recommend trying this dish.

Tomato with Ice-Vegetables

Hikari was a new find for us. And I would love to come back to try omakase at dinner sometime. The current location is in Tin Hau, but they told us that they are opening a branch in Henry House Causeway Bay later this year, which will make it a lot more convenient.