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Category Archives: Hong Kong

HONG KONG: the shopping loot

Cole Haan ‘Air Bria’ Wedge
Love the slight heel, and the sole is Nike air technology so I can walk for ages in them!

Shopping loot from Hong Kong

So most of the shopping in Hong Kong included makeup and cosmetics shopping, as well as those Cole Haan ‘Air Bria’ Wedge shoes I bought (up yonder in 1st photo). And since a lot of you love beauty reviews….. here ya go :)

La Roche Posay Physiological Soothing Toner – I was after a toner that was light, contained NO fragrance and alcohol, and that I could swipe over my face after washing (I like it because it gets the last bit of grime off your skin). This one had loads of stellar reviews online, and I can see why. It’s gentle, does the job, and makes my skin feel pleasant, clean and moist. I use my serums afterwards and they soak in beautifully.

Christian Dior Lip Glow – this is packaged in a lipstick tube and is a soft balm that swipes on my lips easily. It’s thick and creamy but doesn’t feel too heavy on the lips, and isn’t sticky at all (bonus!). Moisturizing and lasts for a decent amount of time, with no scent. Best part? It turns into a pretty pink shade on the lips.. so you’re moisturizing your lips AND looking freshly-kissed at the same time :P Downside? It’s exorbitantly priced at over US$30 for the small tube.

Kiehl’s epidermal re-texturizing microdermbrasion – the best physical scrub I’ve tried. The particles are the finest I’ve ever used (try it and you’ll see what I mean) and it really polishes the skin on my face well. I just went through a horrific break-out (10 or so zits merrily adored my face) so this is much needed to smooth my skin and lighten those scars. I rub it in with a few drops of water for a minute or so, and rinse off to really clear, glowy skin.

Kiehl’s fruit oil nourishing conditioner – a sample sachet from the sullen salesperson (seriously, why are so many sales staff in Hong Kong so snotty-faced?) after I forced it out of her. Nice and moisturizing but I wouldn’t purchase because Kieh’s is mad expensive here in China. I still like my Kerastase Oleo masque the best anyway.

Kose Perfect Cleansing Oil – I bought this mini because I wanted a small makeup remover for travel. This one had great reviews and I liked that it had herbal extracts. You massage the oil into your skin and then add water, then splash it all away. Great for removing makeup and doesn’t leave an oily residue at all.

Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation – love the portable size of this GWP! A nice, silky foundation that doesn’t make my skin oily later in the day, and with medium coverage. Not as amazing as my favourite Covermark but it’s still pretty good with a lovely texture.

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush – adorable lil tube that is small, but will last for yonks because the blush is SO pigmented. Rich and creamy, it blends really easily so it can even be used on top of powder foundation. I like how it’s buildable, I use 2 layers to get the blush to last longer, and it actually does a pretty good job of staying put. It lasts til around 4PM for me whereas almost all blushes last until noon on my cheeks.

Givenchy Printed Lips – ADORE THIS!!!! A fat marker pen that you draw onto your lips to colour them in. The colour is better than other lip pen stains, and doesn’t settle into spots as much. It truly does an amazing job of sticking onto the lips, and is perfect for when you’re out and don’t want to keep re-appying lip colour. I use the Christian Dior lip glow ontop to keep my lips moisturized and to give it some shine.

That’s it. Hope the reviews helped you in some way.. well, assuming you’re female and into this sort of thing :P

And so that was my little beauty loot from Hong Kong. I was pretty proud that I exercised some restraint and didn’t try and buy all the products from all the beauty counters ;) Was fairly well behaved in my spending habits, if I do say so myself!

Well…. that is……….. except for a leeeeeeeetle something when I popped into the Balenciaga boutique……………………..

What’s in the bag? :D

 
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Posted by on 12 April 2010 (Mon) in Fashion, Holidays, Hong Kong, Shopping, Uncategorized

 

HONG KONG: Swiss fondue at Chesa


Chesa
1/F, Peninsula Hotel
19-21 Nathan Road
Hong Kong

PRICE: $$$$$
RATING:

Because we’re not rich enough (or maybe we’re just too stingy) to stay at the most expensive hotel in Hong Kong – The Peninsula – we decided to have lunch there instead! The restaurant of choice was Chesa… a romantic Swiss chalet with dark wood beams and a cozy setting amidst subdued lighting. It’s famous for authentic Swiss fondue so that’s precisely what we were after.

Their service is just incredible. The manager, a beaming Hong Kong man, was fluent in English and made the effort to meet-and-greet every single table, and again to check how we enjoyed the food. He was accomodating, friendly, and a real pleasure. All the food came out smoothly and swiftly, and the rest of the staff were discreet and polite. It was really enjoyable since service is generally sub-par in Hong Kong, but I guess it’s what you pay for here!

I adore the assorted bread basket which comes with different rolls nestled warm and snug in a white linen blanket and tucked into a wood bucket. Having a warm roll (or 4) slathered with creamy butter is one of life’s greatest pleasures, don’t you think? But we pace ourselves and are careful not to polish off the entire bucket (as we’re often known to) because we know we have to save our stomachs for all the bread coming up with the fondue ;)

The Farmer-style poached salted pork knuckle on sauerkraut, buttered chive fingerling potatoes was completely different to what I was expecting. It was my fault though, I was imagining a German-style pork knuckle with crispy crackling skin. But this was actually a Swiss version, which means the pork knuckle is salted and then poached gently. It’s actually rather scary when it comes out (have I mentioned I get quite scared by weird-looking food?) because it is a HUNK of a pork knuckle with the fat and skin strung around it, glistening and wobbly. I let Chris do the cutting because it creeps me out too much, but when the pork itself is plonked in chunks on my plate, it looks just fine (whew!). The pork is really tender and falls apart easily, and has the salted flavour through and through. I find it too salty for my taste because it’s hard to taste the pure flavour of the pork, but again, that’s the whole point of a salted dish ;) Chris likes it though, and I know this is cooked beautifully, so people that like poached salted pork knuckle will adore this.

And of course, our Emmental cheese and Gruyere cheese fondue with cep and morel brunoise mushrooms. It comes in a squat pot on top of a burning flame, to keep the cheese bubbling hot. It’s an astonishingly flavourful mix of cheeses, and the blue cheese smell really comes out. It’s LUSCIOUS. Rich and creamy, the morsels of mushrooms floating inside make for a fun fishing experience. The cheese is mopped up with chunks of rye bread, which we stick on skewers and dunk merrily into the hot cheese. We finish the ENTIRE bucket of bread. And the whole pot of cheese. Really, what else would you expect? :P

It’s a staggeringly filling meal and we’re stuffed with cheese and bread. What fabulous comfort food!

The almost hidden entrance of Chesa

Anyone know what this says?

The warm, cozy interior

Simple one-page menu

White wine and Czech beer

A whole basket of various breads!!! Hallelujah!!!

Farmer-style poached salted pork knuckle on sauerkraut, buttered chive fingerling potatoes

Super soft..

Emmental cheese and Gruyere cheese fondue with cep and morel brunoise mushrooms

Petit fours. All were awesome.. especially the chocolate eggs on the right.
I told the manager, and he promptly got us 2 more to eat. Yay!

Mucho pleased!

 
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Posted by on 11 April 2010 (Sun) in Food, Food reviews, Holidays, Hong Kong, Uncategorized

 

HONG KONG: Tsui Wah Restaurant


Tsui Wah Restaurant
15-19 Wellington St
Central
Hong Kong

PRICE: $$
RATING:

I’m always at Tsui Wah whenever I’m in Hong Kong. It’s on Wellington Street right in Central, so it’s really easy to pop in for breakfast, or morning tea, or lunch, or afternoon tea, or dinner, or a post-pubbing snack. Heck, it’s open 24 hours so you can just go whenever ;) They serve up fantastic Hong Kong home-style comfort food – cheap and quick. They actually now have a Tsui Way branch in Shanghai, but the ones in Hong Kong are still the best IMHO.

It’s always bustling and I’m pleasantly surprised that all the staff are friendly and patient (despite running around like crazy people trying to serve everyone). The food comes out quickly, though my iced Ovaltine takes an eon (despite reminding them 5 times!) until finally we get it in a takeaway cup as we’re ready to leave. Geez. Fortunately, the food is terrific as usual. Just simple, cheap, good food :)~

At our wee table, check out the menu under the glass table-top

A very simple scrambled egg and buttered bun, came as part of the set.

Instant noodles with satay beef. Ahhhh I adored this!

Corn beef and scrambled egg hot dog. HEAVENLY :)~

A very very happy husband

Plus a happy wife!

 
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Posted by on 10 April 2010 (Sat) in Food, Food reviews, Holidays, Hong Kong, Uncategorized

 

HONG KONG: The best claypot rice at Kwun Kee


Kwun Kee Claypot (坤記)
263 Queens Road West
Sai Ying Pun
Hong Kong

PRICE: $$
RATING:

Looks can be deceiving.

In this case it’s a little claypot house called Kwun Kee, on the street side and with tables spilling out onto the road. Filled with locals and with the staff speaking Cantonese, we were lucky took us there for a little treat. It’s chaotic, messy and dare I say.. not so hygenic ;) But it’s all worth it, because sometimes the dodgiest of places really do serve up the best food!

After rinsing off our bowls and chopsticks in the obligatory big bowl (which we pour hot tea into and swish everything around inside to ‘clean’), we settle back and await our food. The one BIG problem of this place? All the dishes come out first… and the actual claypots come much, much later! I honestly can’t see why, because it seems like they put the rice and ingredients into a piping hot claypot and just serve it, so why does it take so long? Anyone know?

Anyway, I adored the clams with spicy gravy. The dish arrived piping hot, a tumble of clams coated in the rich gravy. The clams had a nice bite and no fishy flavour, and went beautifully with the slightly spicy thick gravy. It’s fun digging the little morsels out of their shells, though I wish we’d ordered 2 plates – they were excellent!

Our eggplant dish is interestingly called fish-smelling eggplant, literally translated from Chinese (“yu xiang qie zhi”). Shanghai does this dish too and both countries do it amazingly. I have no idea why, but eggplant is inedible in Australia. I don’t know if it’s the cooking style, or the way it’s grown, but I don’t like the stuff there. But in Asia, it’s flat out amazing! Buttery soft and creamy, and braised in thick gravy. Chris also swears that eggplant’s better in Asia, so with my sample size of two – I’ve declared it a universal truth :P

I’m in love with their sweet and sour fish, which isn’t on their menu but I specially requested it because I love love love sweet & sour fish – it’s easily my favourite Chinese dish, though I know it’s a total “lao wai” (foreigner) dish and isn’t really eaten nor served in China. I really like the thick chunks of soft flakey fish, lightly battered and deep-fried. Oh it is gooooood. FYI, Kingsford Chinese in Australia is still better, but this one is up there!

And of course……. the claypots. The first one is Claypot with preserved meats and pork ribs. I’m a bit startled by the odd, unidentifed meats in there… which is a preserved waxy sausage (“lup cheong”) and a preserved blood (!!!!) sausage. Plus bony pieces of pork ribs (I get scared of bony meat). They all look weird, and freak me out. So I avoid it and eat just the rice. What you do is pour the little bowl of dark gravy over the claypot, and it soaks into the rice and… crispens with rice against the bottom of the claypot (since it’s sizzling hot). Oooooh that part is good! I never thought I’d like burnt rice at the bottom of the pot, but in this case, it’s the best bit ;)

The second claypot is the Claypot with beef with egg and is my favourite dish of the night. Same claypot concept, but with sliced tender chunks of beef and with a raw egg. We stir the egg gently into the rice so that it makes the rice sweet and creamy, and again pour in the dark sauce. The end result is heavenly. Soft beef paired with moist richly-flavoured rice and crispy charcoaled rice. Ohhhhh it is GOOD! Most definitely going back for more next time I’m in Hong Kong – this is a must-visit place for me now.

At the dodgy little roadside Claypot place

Clams – these were so tasty in the rich gravy. Mmm..

Eggplant is god-awful in Australia, but is always absolutely amazing in Asia!

Sweet & sour fish. Thick tender chunks of fish encased in thin batter. Ooooooohhhh

Some kinda veggies. I didn’t have any, waste of stomach space :P

Claypot with preserved meats and pork ribs. I didn’t like the meat (too weird)
but the rice was amazzzing with the rich gravy!

Claypot with beef with egg. THE BEST. The egg stirs into the rice and makes
it creamy. I love love love love this dish. Will go back when I’m in HK for sure!

Then we adjourned for dessert at Wagyu’s, an Australian-owned joint. Despite looking posh, the dessert prices are really reasonable (around 60HKD each). I only had a small bite of the others, because mine was the Molten chocolate cake and it was goooood. To be honest, I know these babies are easy and super cheap to make. But I just can’t help myself when I see them on the menu… it’s like I suddenly get tunnel vision and I can only see that on the menu and everything else fades away ;)

Chocolate brownie sundae, very prettily presented

Pavlova with fruit

Molten chocolate cake – this one was MINE, obviously ;)

Very happily fed and fat

 
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Posted by on 9 April 2010 (Fri) in Food, Food reviews, Holidays, Hong Kong, Uncategorized

 

HONG KONG: a stunning meal at Petrus, Shangri-La


Petrus
Shangri-La Hotel (56th floor)
Pacific Place, Supreme Court Rd
Central
Hong Kong

PRICE: $$$$$
RATING:

I couldn’t not give Petrus a full 5 stars, because it nailed every single thing we wanted in a fine-dining meal.

Located on the 56th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, it boasts a spectacular view of Hong Kong city and the river. It was special to me because we had our honeymoon in the Shangri-La in the Maldives, so it was nice to have a dinner at Shangri-La Hong Kong.. though obviously the 2 had nothing in common apart from being the same hotel :P

Decorated like an ornate French castle, Petrus has huge crystal chandeliers from the ceilings, with black marble furnishings and gilded columns and statues. You’d think that it’d be a bit tacky, but since everything was so fine and intricate, they pulled it off and it all gave an atmosphere of total opulence and luxury. I loved the harp in the corner, it made for beautiful music and the lilting notes made you feel like you were up in the air in the clouds. Hurray for escaping from reality!

The service is….. perfect. Really. I normally have a sharp eye for service, but there was not one single thing that wasn’t perfect. The waiters were knowledgeable and polite, everything arrived in perfect timing, and we felt so indulged and looked after by their excellent staff.

It’s a Michelin 2-star restaurant, and it’s pretty obvious why. The food was sublime. Everything we ordered was spot-on and artfully arranged, there was literally nothing to complain about – and I usually find fault in expensive food ‘cos I always think it’s not worth the price ;) In this case, Petrus is incredibly expensive but I STILL think it’s worth the price, because of the way the food was cooked and the quality of the ingredients. Interestingly, they have one of the biggest restaurant wine cellars in the world – as evidenced by their 25+ page wine list (or should I say, book?), with some of the bottles going for US$30,000 and more, yeowch!

A wonderful dinner date and a fabulous way to see the pretty city lights of Hong Kong.

Up on the 56th floor of the Shangri-La

The dining room in Petrus, swiped from their website

They even provide a little bag stool for your precious hand bag!!!! Cute!!!

6 different sea salts from around the world – WOW.
And 3 different kinds of butter for your breads.

Crisp melba toast with white truffles and spinach cream.
It was like a fancy wafer. I loved it.

Crab, sea urchin and… something else. I forgot!
A bit strange and cold for my liking..

Duck liver confit, orange blossom cream and caramelised almonds, peppered tuille.
OMG THIS WAS GOOD. My favourite. Who can say no to foie gras, hrrrmmm!?!?!

Farm rabbit confit with young vegetables, saddle perfumed with earth & sea condiments.
Like very tender chicken. Was amazing and (according to Chris) better
than any other rabbit dish he’s had before.

Rabbit with sea clams and rabbit consomme.
Chris ate all of this and he said it was good ;)

Hokkaido bay scallops, seared duck liver, and Chinese cabbage with squid ink jus.
ARGHHH it was good! Fat juicy scallops, 3 big chunks of foie gras. Luscious.

Looking a bit bleary-eyed from the crazy shopping day.
I had an Australian white wine, Chris had a French red wine.

Coffee granita with cappuccino froth.
Delicate and delicious, this beats a regular coffee any day

Aaannddd… it’s FLAMBE time!

The flambe Crepe Suzette. It was perfect, that’s nothing else to say.

A tray of little cubed fruit, a bowl of chocolate truffles, and another tray of petit fours.

Enjoying the view of Hong Kong

 
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Posted by on 8 April 2010 (Thu) in Food, Food reviews, Holidays, Hong Kong, Uncategorized

 

HONG KONG: shopping and eating and not much else

Our holiday to Hong Kong was a whirlwind of shopping, and eating. And basically nothing else ;) There’s not much to do apart from that in a metropolis like Hong Kong.. at least nothing that we were interested in doing. The itinerary was tightly packed as such:

Breakfast place
Shopping
Lunch place
Shopping
Dinner place
Shopping or drinnks

And that was it! After asking Hong Kongers where the best places to eat were, and doing a bunch of online research, we managed to narrow it all down to the top-most ones we wanted to check out (posts on that later). And then we matched up the restaurants with the various shopping areas so that we knew it’d all be close by. The main shopping areas we went to were:

1) Central streets (Wellington St, Queens St, etc) around Central train station. Lots of fun poking around at the street-side stalls and getting yelled at by crabby rude ‘ol Hong Kong women ;)

2) Pedder Street / Landmark Mall has all the high-end brands, to feast your eyes (or wallet) on.

3) Pacific Place mall is just to the east of Central. Massive mall with all the top-end brands to the fun brands.

4) IFC Mall near the ferry. It’s nice to wander around there before taking the ferry to Tsim Tsa Tsui.

5) Tsim Tsa Tsui area requires at least 1 full day. It boasts many HUGE mega malls and lots of small streets outside to wander around in. If I only had 1 day in Hong Kong (which I often do when I’m there on business), this is the area I hit because it covers ALL your shopping needs.

We walked and walked and walked until we were sore and exhausted at the end of each day. So tired that our legs hurt so much, arrrggghhh. At least it was all worth it, as the shopping was awesome as was the food :)

Wandering around the streets of Central, Hong Kong

At a gorgeous little French patisserie / dessert shop

Eating some famous egg custard tart – it was deeeelish and warm!

Us at a street stall, selling all sorts of weird and wonderful dried food products

At a popular roast meat cafe – all dodgy and no frills, but that all adds to the charm!

Our plate of suckling pig with crispy skin, BBQ duck and BBQ pork… mmmm….

There are so many of these little street vendors around. This one was PACKED!

We got an ice lemon tea and this pork chop bun. Fatty goodness…

After a whirlwind bout of shopping, it was time for a bit of rejuvenation.
AMAZING milkshakes (with ice cream!) and onion rings at Triple O’s

Having lunch/tea at the Mandarin Oriental.
Their fries with tomato sauce + mayonnaise = WIN!!!!!!!

The Temple Street night markets. Fun to poke around, but nothing interesting to purchase.

Lots of food stalls at Temple Street, with lots of Caucasian tourists ;)

The nightclubbing area in Central. Our hotel was right around the corner :D

 
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Posted by on 7 April 2010 (Wed) in Holidays, Hong Kong, Uncategorized

 

OFF TO HONG KONG

We’re flying off for a jaunt in Hong Kong!
Happy Easter everyone :)


 
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Posted by on 2 April 2010 (Fri) in Holidays, Hong Kong, Uncategorized