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Friday, August 10, 2007

Top 7 List

~ dad arrived early in the morning today. mom was able to meet up with him and go shopping. they headed straight to Sogo before the weekend rush. met mom later for her dress fitting.

~ ed surprised visited me today at the office. good thing since i was about to head off to help mom go to TST (Tsim Sha Tsui) to have her dress fitted. i'm mom's translator. hahahaha!

~ in the evening, ed and i went to Kumatei for some all-you-can-eat japanese course. plus ed got to meet KW and WW who I hang out with most recently. It was massive (but tamed) eating. I love their green tea ice cream (no refillable...only one per person). Everything is by the piece when you order it. This resto times you since they only have a 2 hour sitting to eat as much as you can/want.

Kumatei Japanese Restaurant
2/F, Jade Centre,
98-102 Wellington Street
Tel: 852.3579.2481
Cuisine: Japanese
Specialty/Highlight(s): eel fried rice, chicken soft bone in skewers, fried oysters, shrimp tempura (though the shrimps are so tiny!), beef with bone, ox tongue, salmon sashimi, sweet shrimp, green tea ice cream

~ had lunch with my brother, SIL, May & Wins at The Square for dimsum, which was great! I do miss this place. We booked an earlier time since my brother and SIL will be in the area early and can't check-in to their hotel till later in the afternoon. We ordered quite a spread - fried tofu coated with salted egg yellow power (very crispy and yummy - cook was in a good mood today - resto specialty), stir frieds rice roll (perfectly done, not soggy), "enhanced" garlic chicken wings (HK's chicken is known to be fat and juicybut this one is just enormous for the wing section only!), sticky glutinous rice with pork filling, vegetable dumplings, shrimp rice roll, radish cake with chili XO sauce, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves (perfectly cute size), almond soup, sago & grapefruit on mango soup, mango pudding, coffee jelly.

The Square
4/F, Exchange Square Phase 2,
8 Connaught Place,
Tel: 852.2525.1163
Cuisine: Cantonese / Dimsum
Specialty/Highlight(s): salted egg on fried tofu, chicken wings, rice roll

~Ed and i went to get our rings ordered up. We chose different styles since we want each to love their own ring without having to like the other partner's style. It will be on our ring finger for the rest of our lives so have to make sure we like seeing it everyday and won't go tired of it. It was something that required a bit of thinking.
**Some background for my ring: It required a bit of canvasing, researching and web-surfing early early on this year. I found a few designs and bounced ideas with a friend's jeweler, David, in HK. He gave me the pro's and con's of the three designs I chose and told me to think about it. Even before our meeting ended, I sort of already know what I wante but instead, didn't immediately ordered the ring since I wanted to make sure that Ed's okay with it and the design to sink in for a few months - to be very sure. So by the time Ed and I were ready to order our rings, I already know what and where to get it.
First was Ed's ring since he already knows from the very start what he wanted and know where to get it. We went to J's duets to got his "off-the-rack". Ed already did his research and the only dilemma for his ring was which ring size would be best. Since either big or small, his has to be specially ordered. The lady at the store said that Ed's choice is a very popular style thus mold is already part of the jeweler's in-demand style. Ed's ring will take about three weeks while mine might take a while since it's all customized. I'm excited to see the finish product...three weeks to go!
In my ring's case, I decided to just go with my friend's jeweler for my ring - a vintage/antique-like style as what I was informed. The jeweler was quite helpful and accommodating. I showed him what i wanted, he made a copy of the photo and told me that the ring's mold will be done in about 10 days. He would give me a call to give the ring size a try and see if the craftsmanship is fine then later place the stones. He told me that if there are any problems, we can always melt the metal and start over.
After placing our ring orders, Ed and I, both, were happy and contented with our choices. It was a good fulfilling day indeed. :D

~ ed was formally introduced to my hkg relatives through a wonderful banquet at West Villa. we had quite a few dishes since we ordered the set banquet menu to avoid having to worry about not having enough food. The menus have basically varying price levels. Each one of the dishes were good but Michelle
We got the following...
1: the appetizers: garlic beef cubes, roast pork (specialty), mushrooms wrapped in crispy tofu skin, sauteed mixed mushrooms
2: suckling pig
3: crab meat and shark's fin in crab roe soup
4: braised abalon and goose feet (very nice for both of them...especially for someone who doesn't eat goose feet)
5: lobster balls fried with black bean sauce (not that saucey...super nice though!)
6: steamed spotted garoupa in soy sauce
7: crispy fried chicken
8: lobsters with e-fu noodles in soup
9: steamed abalon rice wrapped in lotus leaves (very lovely)
10: fresh fruit platter
11: almond tea soup with egg white
12: sago with lotus paste filling
**unlimited soft drinks and orange juice for both tables

all of the dishes were really and except for the crispy chicken since it wasn't crispy anymore. my parents were all happy with the choices that we end up getting. it was a tedious task of reviewing all the dishes in chinese but thanks to Michelle (see credit below), it all turned out well and good!
not a lot drank soft was more of orange juice, which Michelle informed them early on so we didn't have any problems with the drinks.

i have to give credit to Michelle (MW) in helping me plan and choose the superb dishes. i'm eternally grateful for this woman/lady's help. :)

**NOTE: the resto's staff are friendly and great in recommending dishes to me BUT hardly anyone speaks one word of English so if you want to eat here, you have to either: (a) bring a local; (b) have someone who can speak the dialect to translate for you; or (c) be ready to test your Mandarin conversational skills.

West Villa Seafood Restaurant
1/F Lee Gardens Two,
28 Yun Ping Road
Causeway Bay
Tel: 852.2882.2110
Cuisine: CantoneseSpecialty/Highlight(s): suckling pig and roast pork (asado/cha xiu), stewed abalon with goose feet, almond tea with egg white for dessert

~ ed and i had lunch with his extended relatives here in hkg at Peking Garden, Central. we occupied only one table...of 16 people! food was all restaurants in HK but my fav is still the peking duck. location is quite important since i have gone to the Peking Garden in Tai Koo Shing and the taste is not the same. i still love the Central branch most of all. we had some appetizers (lamb pate cold cuts, stir fried veggies), deep fried prawns in sweet-sour shili sauce, shark's fin soup, peking duck (two ways: 1-the typical wrap for the skin and 2-with lettuce wrap for the meat), two steam spotted garoupa, two types of friend rice, grapefruit in mango soup.

Peking Garden
Basement Level, Alexandra House
16-20 Chater Road
Tel: 852.2526.6456
Cuisine: Northern China
Specialty/Highlight(s): peking duck, deep-fried prawns in sweet-sour chili sauce, lamb pate cold cuts

ed and i had dinner at a really nice French resto at Landmark called L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. it came highly highly recommended by Ali and Swong. The former told me that she can take me anywhere in HK that I wanted but this resto is reserved for extra extra special occasions...that she can't take me.
note that this place is expensive but worth every cent. there's the nice sit down couches or you can take the bar, where you can check out the chiefs at work. i was told to go for the "small portions menu" than going for the main so we can try as much as we can.

Our course went...
- freshly baked breads of all kinds: sweet, salty, etc...we had so many refills since the sizes are small and gives you more options to try as much as you want; no idea what the official names are to some; we got soft rolls, hard rolls, bacon bread, croissants, hazlenut breat, filo, was all delicious and we haven't started yet?
- "Iberian Bellota" ham served with toasted breat & tomato: recommended by Ali; i love this ham...cannot go wrong
- sea urchin in lobster jelly, topped with cauliflower cream: recommended by Ali; different and unique; need to try once only since it would shoot up anyone's uric acid count
- crispy langoustine papillote with basil: recommended by the server; langoustine was very fresh and the wrap was so light and crispy; simply delightful(!)
- delicate Amadai filet on crispy skin and aromatic champagne nectar: recommended by Swong; very crispy skin...unique
- free-range quail with foie gras (one of the tiny legs is stuff with this), served with mashed potatos and two thin slices of truffles on the sides!
- beef and foie gras burgers with lightly caramelized bell peppers;
- Grand Marnier souffle with rich dark chocolate ice cream: home-made dark choco ice cream that pleased ed; i love the lightness of the souffle...special light spoons for it too...locley...not burnt like the last souffle that I had at the Mandarin's (Manila's) Tivoli
Staff is wonderful...

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
4th Floor
12-16 Les Voeux Rd, Landmark, Central
Tel: 852.2166.9000
Cuisine: French
Specialty/Highlight(s): "Iberian Bellota" ham; sea urchin in lobster jelly, crispy langoustine papillote, beef and foie gras burgers (of course!), the creamy buttery mash potatos and the souffles

Sharing some of our dishes' photos with you...

Check this out - Top 20 Hong Kong Dishes by
I have check out a few and have some side comments:

#19: Har gau (steamed shrimp dumpling)
...ed's favorite and i picked this so up when i got here...though i'm not verging to more tastier dimsum options like xiu mai. :)

#18: Stinky tofu
...ah...i remember the days when a particular stinky tofu vendor would position himself just outside my MTR stop...he would be there late in the evening and the stinky smell would drift into the first few steps as i get out from the B exit...i believe my dad and brother braved to buy from this guy in the past.

#14: Macaroni in soup with spam and fried egg
...don't diss this until you try wouldn't be a popular dish this long if it wasn't good.

#10: Congee...
...the best i've had is by Yun Hing is what i order everyday - steamed rice rolls with peanut butter & hoissen sauce and soy sauce...congee by this place is just the right consistency...again though - not sure if they can speak english even if they are located in Central since i always ask someone to order for me...aside from the good congee, they have breakfast & lunch sets and serve a mean fried rice combinations (take the special fried rice or abalone & chicken fried rice) plus they deliver!
...i have tried so many Metropole, Mandarin, etc...the consistency is too watery that i feel like i'm drinking soup than "eating" congee.
Yun Hing
37 Gilman Street, Central
Take out #: 852.2545.2219 / 852.2854.2125

#9: Cha Xiu...West Villa, Tai Koo Shing per my testimonial above...the best! i was just told by a lot of the locals here that the Causeway Bay branch is the best among their many branches...not only one or two guys but most of the ones i've spoken to...i'm still remember the cha xiu/roast pork as i type this up!
my mom wanted to order to bring back to Manila but due to time and translation constraints, this will just have to be deferred to her next trip

#8: Beef Brisket Noodles...Kau Kee, Central
...worth it! love it especially on a rainy cold day though be prepared for the long walk and/or the long line's so worth it that i've seen lines form even before the store opens - doesn't matter if it's raining or sunny...everyone here loves their curry!

#7: Lap Mei Fan...Bo Innovation, Central
...still gotta give this guy a try. interesting character from what I have read about him

#5: the Peninsula Hotel, TST
...big fan of hightea but not of Penn's... just go once... still prefer the 4season's one instead - easier and more cozy/comfy
I was tagged by Tiggerlily. Here goes...
Instructions: Each player starts with 7 random habits/facts about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. At the end of your blog, you need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

A - Agnes b: big fan of the brand, store and its concepts
B - Bodum: hopping to get one for personal use...small one
C - Carebears: been a big fan for as long as I can remember
D - Drink Preference: currant7 or white wine
E - Eating quality over quantity
F - French Food: I'm getting to love this after my last trip with Ed to Robuchon
G - Grams: miss her...may her soul rest in peace
H - Hightea addict: big big one as per the past blog entries!
I - Infinity G20: the first real car that I mom and I shared this but I get it on was great and I really love that car (including the service that came with it)
J - Jem & The Holograms: I used to have a haircut that's similar to what A-ja side long and one side short...I would have died my hair blue also, if my mom wouldn't kill me for it. :P
K - Kkangaroos: never seen on...only on discovery channel
L - Love...has too many meanings to different people
M - Movies: this movie...2nd place is Love Actually
N - Nephew: yes, one - Jeremy!
O - Oprah: one influencial celebrity
P - Popcorn: salty please
Q - Questions: I ask too much and hardly get a lot of answers to them
R - Rest: yes...need lots of it these days...still recouping from all that partying
S - Scrapping Style: digital as of date since it's easier, given I'm in front of the computer most of the day...easy to slip it in
T - Tea Type (cole or hot): Pu Er; tea taken hot
U - UCC: where Ed proposed to me...well...its parking lot :)
V - Vellum: love 'em but sometimes hard to write on them without the proper pens
W - Wagyu: first time to try...burger style...worth every penny spent :D
X - X's: went through 2 before finding my "soulmate"
Y - Yoga: hoping to pick this up soon
Z - Zodiac Sign: Cancer

7 things about me:
#1 ...indulge on sweets these days.
#2 ...took equestrian lessons when I was a kid.
#3 ...have cooking skills - I believe I can cook a decent pasta dish (tomato based sauce) and chicken fingers. :)
#4 congee and steamed rice roll with three sauces in one (hoissen, peanut butter and soy sauce - don't diss it till you taste it!), especially since moving to HK
#5 everything shabby chic & vintage...the ornate and antique it is, the better!
#6 shopper- I know what I want and if that store doesn't have it, I leave. I shop a lot of stores than stay too long in one.
#7 ...became more critical of teas these days - the stronger, the better

**Tagging: MizzM, Malou, Steph, Hai, Dawn (in skip), Witty and DJ Rick Rude

Big bad rains...Typhoon #8 hoisted as I type this, though I'm still in the office fixing some tradings. Oh well, at least i'm not the only here...most if not all are here especially both my bosses - Ali & KC.
#8 is what employees wish for like how kids wish for a "snow-in" (in North America) or "signal #3" (in Manila) since it's required by law for employers to send their employees home due to strong rains and winds. I guess no one in the office is worried about this. :P Any injury from the storm is not covered by any insurance. It's been three years since the #8 typhoon was hoisted.
Oddly enough, it wasn't bad...the rains that is. The people who are heading home at around 2.30pm after had trouble getting on buses and even on the MTR, where it was reported that people had to wait for more than an hour to get on the trains. It was mass it was best for me to just stay in the office and wait for my trade confirms to come and then head home when no one else is heading home. I believe I'm safer in the big office building than outside in the rain or crowding with the people at the MTR.
By the time I got out it was - eerie calmness ... maybe it's the calm before the storm.
It's going to be a really wet weekend.
Everyone else in HK - be safe!
PS: I heard it's not any different with how people in Manila would react to heavy rains and thunder storm warnings...everyone books a kareoki room or go watch a movie in the evening. :P
Kit Name: Pinky Green
Kit Designer: Mikki Livanos
Program: PS7.0
Font: Brush Script MT
Journaling: What is it that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the words I have read in my life. By Walt Whitman.
Note: Kit is for DST's birthday celebration


MrsG said...

WOW! I love your post. I miss HK! It's great to know more about you. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :) Enjoy the weekend! I'll be visiting your blog often. :) ((o)) Hugs Beth (kewl_jive)

MARYLOU said...

Promise to do the tag once I come back from Hearst castle, I just love reading your blog, cheryl! You are one awesome lady!

valerie @ waw said...

hi cheryl,

thanks for dropping by our site. wow, you have good reviews here.. i am hungry by now after seeing the food photos you have.

happy preps!

Michelle said...

OMG All these food talk is making me hungry!!!!! Off to do your tag...