Mar 22, 2007|
The Bitch is Back
After a bizarre holiday in Shenzhen (of all places), hunting for the best dim sum in town with an 87-year-old erhu player, I'm back. Some of the best? El Chino—InterContinental Shenzhen, 9009 Shennan Rd., Overseas Chinese Town, Shenzhen 518053, +86 (755)-3399-3388.
Now let's rock those woks.
If I told you we'd be drinking an unlimited - yes, unlimited - supply of 10 wines with free snacks from 9pm till midnight in a classy bar for just $198, would you join me? The Middle Row Restaurant and Bar, 2/F, 19-21 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2929-2888.
And cellarmasters.com is having a duty reduction discount sale of up to 50 percent off retail for premium wines from South America, Australia and France. 9/F, World Trust Tower, 50 Stanley St., Central, 2791-6332.
My favorite new restaurant? Bricolage62, from the creator of Tribute restaurant, Frank Sun – restaurateur, anthropologist, architect and lover of European cafes and brasseries. He brings a little South American flair with a menu leaning on that region’s classic dishes. It’s in a lovely old pre-war rice warehouse he’s totally revamped. 62 Hollywood Rd., Central, 2542-1991.
A groovy new Thai restaurant has opened in an unlikely location sure to please Central office workers: Noble House at 73 Wellington St., 2815-2818. I had some of the best Tom Yam Goong of my life there and highly recommend a visit.
Discovery Bay’s Water Margin complex is now home to the splashy new Zaks and Koh Tom Yums, while the latest Flying Pan is due to open there sometime mid-March, probably by the time you read this.
Dining Concepts restaurant group is now officially the King of Elgin Street, thanks to yet another new opening: Cecconis Cantina, an Italian outlet of the famed and multiple award-winning Cecconis from foodie paradise, Melbourne. Look for Mar 25's soft opening. Oh, and it's pronounced "CHEcconis," which I'm sure will delight cab drivers and deliverymen everywhere.
Pickled Pelican Pub on Wyndham Street finally got its liquor license. Nice.
Meanwhile up on Staunton Street, My Place has re-opened after an extensive renovation. It looks great and has been jam-packed.
Oh, while we're here, I have a message for smokers tossed out of the restaurants in SoHo: please stop hanging out in the foyer of my building.
The RIP list
The British gastropub Refectory in SoHo has closed and there’s a sign on the door promising, “Another restaurant opening soon.” Thanks to my super-sleuthing, I found out it’s going to be called Cenacolo ("a candlelit feast"), an Italian restaurant from the Al Dente group, due to open Apr 1.
A Lan Kwai Fong favorite which pretty much everyone but the French mispronounced horribly, D'Apartment, served its last drink Mar 17. In its place will be Fong Underground, coming soonish.
On the temporary RIP list is SoHo Bakery, which is undergoing what must be the slowest renovation ever in a neighborhood famous for its lightning-fast turnovers.
If one more truck nearly kills me as it roars along SoHo or Lan Kwai Fong at fucking breakneck speed with no regard to pedestrians, I might have to start a movement to make SoHo pedestrian-only. Who's with me?
Damn Good Food
Jakko, why are you trying to kill me? The award-winning Finnish chef Jakko Sorsa at FINDS restaurant plied me with Scandinavian Black Death (licorice-infused vodka) mixed with Linio Aquavit to cut the sweetness a bit before a feast I'm sure Vikings would have been honored to finish. A new spring tasting six-course menu for $688 started with an "amuse" of white foamy tomato soup with tomato terrine, salmon five ways, a halibut fillet, a "gin and tonic" jelly/sorbet thingy, and then roasted saddle of lamb and finally a peanut and pistachio parfait. Excellent. 33 Wyndham St., Lan Kwai Fong Tower, 2522-9318.
Dish of the week: Chili chicken in Manglorean style with cashews, coffee, sun-dried spices, tomato and garam masala at Jashan, 1/F, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Rd., Central, 3105-5300.
Chef Jeff Ramsey, voted Sushi Chef of the Year at the first global sushi awards in London last year, is at the Mandarin Grill only until Sat, so hurry! Call 2825-4004 or email email@example.com. In a molecular gastronomy tour-de-force, highlights include Electric Eel and Sea Urchin with Fuji Apple, al dente linguine fashioned from Parmesan cheese, and desserts flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen.
The Consul-General of Argentina will be hosting a very warm pre-game party to the Argentinian National Rugby team Los Pumas (ranked no. 6 on the International Rugby Board) at La Pampa. Traditional Argentinian food “asados” imported directly from Argentina will be sereved, as well as unlimited Argentinian wines all night -though we're sure the team can’t join us in the drinking fest. To party with the boys on Mar 28, call the Viceroy at 2827-7777.
If food is the new fashion, then check out the revamped menu at Armani Restaurant (L/2, Chater House, 11 Chater Rd., Central, 2805-0028). New signature dishes include an Angus beef carpaccio with black truffles, an awesome Minestrone with Naples tomato, zucchini, parmesan and basil pesto. The grilled Italian sea bass with Sicilian lemon, asparagus, parsnip and seasonal greens? Magic. Armani also looks damn cool and is filled with beautiful people, as you might expect.
Foie gras is insanely popular in Hong Kong. But if you haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, check out The Mistral, which is serving up a special grade-A foie gras menu until Mar 31. Beef tenderloin stuffed with foie gras? Decadent dining indeed. B2 InterContinental Grand Stanford, 70 Mody Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui East, 2731-2870.