Causeway Bay

Where:
Warung Malang
2/F, Dragon Rise, 9-11 Pennington Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

FYN Hot Tip:  You have to walk up the stairs to the second floor.  If you’re catching the MTR and if you really want to up your Causeway Bay game and reduce time in the hell hole that is Causeway Bay Station, make sure to catch Car 2, Door 2 if you’re coming in from the Central direction and take Exit F (Hysan Plaza).  FYN HOMIES, RULES FOR LIFE – DO NOT TAKE EXIT A (TIMES SQUARE).  NEVER TAKE EXIT A.

Phone:
+852 2915 7859 (I don’t think it’s a booking kind of place though).

Price:
We got out at around HKD175 a person but this was for a DISGRACEFUL amount of food.  A random old lady actually stopped us halfway through our meal, mouth agog to comment on how much food we’d ordered.  I was so fucking full that I thought I might actually explode into a million pieces and my natural breathing was impeded for hours after this meal.  I estimate that most normal people (or even a very greedy cunt) in a group of 4+ could probably spend around HKD100 and still be really fucking satisfied.

The deal:
So after seven months from the horror that was Afrinoms at Chungking Mansions, Mr Judgmental convinced me that it was time to climb back aboard the Ghetto Eats train and to track down some fuck yeah Indonoms. With some apprehension pounding in my cholesterol ridden heart, we walked up some grim stairs past some non-descript doors and found Warung Malang.  With one wall lined with Muslim literature and the other with a small assortment of Indonesian snacks, we suss out the eating deal to the blare of an Indonesian drama playing on a TV.  There’s a number of Indonesian helpers in the restaurant which we only take as a fuck yeah indicator that there should be some good Indonoms on offer.  However, I gotta sound the warning if you’re the type of sensitive homie who can’t deal with greasy floors and very basic, gritty old restaurants this is not gonna be your thing at all.

At Warung Malang, you place your order at the counter and they’ll call the dishes out as they’re ready for collection.  Mr Judgmental and I absolutely went for it and after surveying the menu, we declared almost every dish a must have and as we placed our order for a shit tonne of food we resolutely assured ourselves that “WE CAN HAVE IT ALL”.

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To make sure we were truly ready for Indo-nomageddon, we got our pre-game on with some room temperature pre-fried snacks which are chilling out in the open, on the counter.  I know a lot of my Western homies get all skeeved out by room temperature food but the Indos have got the lock on this pre-cooked food game so calm your farm, cause I promise that this room temperature shiz is gonna be ok.  Warung Malang provides a number of different chilli sambals on the table and that spicy shit is just so fucking righteous, rendering our fried tofu and corn fritter snacks to being mere carriers for a fucktonne of glorious sambal oelek (garlic, ginger, lemongrass, sugar and chilli) and sambal kecap (kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), chillies and shallots).

Our first dish arrives and it’s the Nasi Tempeh Penyet (HKD40).  Tempeh is generally favoured by vegan hippies, consisting of a steamed block of fermented partially cooked soybeans, with hardcore tempeh created through incubating that soybean shiz under a white fungus known as mycelia.  This process gives it a slightly sour, fermented flavour profile and for Nasi Tempeh Penyet purposes it’s then fried to crisp it up, served with more glorious fuck yeah chilli sauce and a serve of rice.  I dunno how to spin this fermented soybean mycelia shebangabang to you but trust me, it’s rad as fuck and you should most def get involved.

The dish I was the most excited about was the Nasi Soto Ayam (HKD45).  Soto Ayam is a slightly spicy, just sour enough soup with shredded chicken breast and clear mung bean vermicelli, the soup coloured yellow by turmeric.  Warung Malang’s Soto Ayam is one of the best I’ve had outside of Indonesia with a kick ass balance of sour and spice from a fuck yeahhh balanced mix of garlic, lime juice, Chinese celery, fried shallots, tamarind and lemongrass.  It was so fucking incredible that I even dared to go back to the fuck no maelstrom that is Causeway Bay on the weekend so I could get another bowl of this fucking glorious soto ayam.

It’s at this point we realise that we’ve made a schoolboy error by ordering everything with rice / nasi.  No shit, because you’ve probably realised that everything we ordered was prefaced by nasi.  The Beef Nasi Campur (HKD50) and the Nasi Goreng Spesial (HKD50) certainly didn’t let our carb laden hearts down and were both really fucking kick ass.  I fucking love a good fried rice and after all the posh HKD128+ fried rices I’ve been eating at trendy Thai restaurants with fake retro vintage ads for Thai soap, the Nasi Goreng Spesial was most def bringing me some spesial fuck yeah feelings with its well fried, shrimp filled rice  The only bummer was the overcooked fried egg sitting by the side which meant I couldn’t bring the really fucking spesial off the hook times by getting yolky with my fuck yeah nasi goreng.

On the satay front we went for the Sate Ayam (HKD110) and Sate Lamb (HKD140).  There’s a good char on both with the Sate Ayam kicking more goals than the Sate Lamb, given that the lamb satay is a little dry.  The satay sauce is also a solid fuck yeah, with a touch of kecap manis to give it a little bit of sweetness. I enjoyed the satay but I don’t think I’d order these again.

The only nasi misstep is the Nasi Ayam Goreng (HKD45).  It’s always gotta be one of the saddest times in my gourmand greedy guts fat fuck life when fried chicken lets me down.  Unfortunately, Warung Malang’s fried chicken is dried out, over fried and largely flavourless, with not even the chilli sauce of the gods being able to save this from fuck no territory.  We also ordered the Empek Empek Palambang (HKD50), which is not my jam at all because it’s giving me rojak feels.  I just have never gotten behind that rojak combination of cucumber, pineapple, belacan/shrimp paste, palm sugar and peanuts in that salty, sweet red hot mess.  The Empek Empek Palambang feels essentially like rojak poured onto instant noodles and it’s sweet, it’s pineappley and more importantly, just not my thing at all.

As six rice dishes wasn’t quite enough carbohydrates in my life, I rounded off my meal with some Indonesian dessert, a Kue Lupis (HKD7).  Kue Lupis is made with sticky glutinous rice coated with shredded coconut and with palm sugar syrup, with a touch of salt to bring some contrast.  It’s plain and straightforward but a fucking delicious way to end off one hell of a fuck yeah, successful Indonoms ghetto adventure.

As the glutinous rice from my kue lupis started to swell in my stomach, I took a moment to reflect upon just how fucking happy I was post this meal.  Taking in that fuck yeahhh feeling when you’ve just smashed something into your face which has been cooked with a fuck tonne of feeling.  It’s here that I reminisce on all the shitty, overhyped meals that I’ve eaten in some overdesigned faux-industrial space, just so I can be HKD1,000+ poorer and be part of a “Have you tried….” new bullshit restaurant conversation the next day. But fuck the pricetags, the hype and all that trendy bullshit, sometimes you just want to eat something that hits you in your soul and when the next day rolls around, you still smile and fucking feel it deep in your goddamn heart.

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Verdict:
FUCK YEAHHHHH! Wonderful Indonesia – I am most def into your delicious and well priced eats in CWB. TERIMA KASIH MY INDONOM HOMIES, I got dem soto ayam dreams running through my head.

Where:
Papparich Hong Kong
4/F, The L. Square
459-461 Lockhart Road
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2414 7188.  

FYN Fun Fact:  You can also fax Papparich HK on +852 2696 4224.  FUCK ME DEAD HK, Y U SO OBSESSED WITH FAXES STILL? WHAT FUCKING YEAR IS IT??

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Price:
We got out at HKD210 a person and ate a very decent amount of food.

The deal:
I always maintain that Malaysian food is some of the most fuck yeahhhhh flavourful and downright fucking delicious food in the whole goddamn world.  There’s just no way that it could be anything other than off the charts epic if you consider that it’s the result of taking indigenous Malay cuisine and then smashing it together with the fuck yeah influences of Chinese, Indonesian and Indian cuisine with a few tiny shout outs to British, Dutch and Thai cuisine.  However, finding super authentic Malaysian food in Hong Kong has always been a bit of a struggle and while there’s a few places I think are fine, it’s always in the coddled context of ‘Malaysian food IN Hong Kong‘, because let’s be real, these mother fuckers would get eaten alive if they were serving the same shit in Malaysia Truly Asia.  So when I hear that Papparich, a Malaysian chain, has hit Hong Kong, I’m super pumped to try it because fuck yeahhh Malaysian food but I’ve played this game before and had my expectations burnt to a crisp, so I keep a lid on any expectations that my Malaysia Truly Asia roti and laksa dreams are about to be fulfilled in Hong Kong.

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Papparich Hong Kong is not meant to be anything fancy and it’s a simple, small dining room which probably seats around 30 people.  When we arrive on a weeknight, it’s almost at capacity and the distinct patois of Malaysia Truly Asia homies rings out around us (la), no doubt because Malaysia Truly Asia homies are always desperate for a good Malaysian makkan. We sit down and decide on what we’re going to order and the Papparich waiters are totally on their shit and efficiently sort us out, which is impressive for a fairly new restaurant which is at capacity.  Mr Vegetables makes a case for the Ipoh Kway Teow soup sounding interesting but he’s instantly slammed down by a group movement to stick to the Big Guns of Malaysian Cuisine cause fuck, if I’m gonna assess a Malaysian restaurant you need to be checking out the Malaysian Food Superstars such as satay, nasi lemak, laksa, char kuey teow and roti and not some soggy ass rice noodles in a clear soup.

We get started with the roti canai with curry chicken drumstick (HKD38 + 10% service charge).  Papprich HK are most def into their semantics because it is literally a singular roti sitting there on the plate.  Unfortunately, our roti is not that flakey and doesn’t have an iota of puff about it and while it’s crispy, it’s also high on fuck no disappointment. The chicken curry is tasty but not earth shatteringly good, which means that the sad roti has my full attention as a crucial warning indicator as to what this meal might entail because would any decent Malaysian kitchen let such a fuck no roti out of the kitchen?  While I contemplate this, our chicken and beef satay arrive (HKD68 + 10% service charge for 6 sticks of chicken satay and HKD78 + 10% service charge for 6 sticks of beef satay) and it’s accompanied by some unremarkable cubes of cucumber, chunks of onion and two small pieces of bread. Out of duty to carbs, I try the naan-like bread and it’s dried out and pointless.   The satay themselves are fine, the beef being the stronger of the two except for it being quite fatty in parts.  But most importantly, the satay sauce is a fuck no because it doesn’t really taste of peanuts or much of anything at all, which seems unusual given that it at least appears to be full of peanut chunks and it’s not fucking hard to make bangin’ satay sauce.

Next up is the Char Kway Teow (HKD78 + 10% service charge) which is the first solid fuck yeah of the night, sparking a small amount of optimism within me for the rest of the meal that is yet to come.  A good amount of char on the flat rice noodles means that it captures that necessary taste of the wok, with a decent mix of fish cake, bean sprouts and prawns to balance out the noodles. A serve of the kangkung (HKD68 + 10% service charge, also known as water spinach or morning glory – yeah titter away you immature assholes) is also excellent, stir fried with garlic and belacan (shrimp paste).

The Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken and Sambal Prawns (HKD78 + 10% service charge) was absolutely down the line fine.  I was a bit bored by it because the curry chicken that it’s served with was exactly the same curry chicken that we’d already had with the roti canai.  This means I was given two opportunities to eat the same curry chicken which was neither terrible nor fucking amazing. Shit Papparich HK, Y U no show me some curry related thrills?

However, it’s my firm opinion that the best benchmark to measure any Malaysian restaurant boils down to whether their laksa is a fuck yeah or fuck no.  So the star of the masterpiece arrives and at first glance, Papparich HK’s Seafood Curry Laksa (HKD98 + 10% service charge) looks fucking great – stuffed with promise, large prawns, deep fried beancurd skin, mussels and squid.  It’s also scoring points for using my preferred mix of thick yellow egg noodles and white rice vermicelli.  But there’s disappointment all around once we get started on the soup because Papparich HK’s laksa soup lacks any sort of depth or complexity, tasting like Papparich HK merely mixed some sort of curry powder with plain water. It’s just too fucking sad when a laksa lacks a good stock base underneath it and Papparich HK definitely need to get back to the kitchen and start boiling some prawn shells or chicken carcasses down to make some kick ass stock to lift their laksa game.  To provide some additional insult to laksa-related injury, I take one of the impressive looking large prawns and suck at its head to get a mouthful of funky fuck no bad times and after de-shelling it to eat some of the prawn, it’s a slimy and mushy mess.  You know shit ain’t good when you think “I better not eat this because I could be throwing this fucker up in the next 24 hours”.  Which really, seals the deal on Papparich HK because  this is my feeling about Malaysian restaurants that punch out sub-standard laksas with mushy-ass prawns:

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At this point we’re all pretty well fed on a range of largely average dishes but I can’t resist the icy cool lure of Cendol (HKD48 + 10% service charge) for dessert.  Cendol is a Malaysian / Singaporean dessert which is made by combining shaved ice and red bean, before adding a number of different liquids to flavour the ice such as evaporated milk, gula melaka (brown coconut sugar syrup) and other ingredients for textural purposes (such as palm seeds or peanuts).  The signature ingredient of any cendol is the green noodles which should be flavoured with pandan and made from tapioca and green mung bean flour.  Papparich’s cendol is probably the best thing I ate on the night and fuck yeahhhh, I thoroughly enjoyed this well-balanced cendol shaved ice dessert.  Sure, I could nitpick and say that the cendol noodles needed more pandan or were a little floury, but overall, it was fuck yeah dessert times and after a meal with a lot of average moments, this was a fuck yeah way to finish off the meal.

Verdict:
Fuck no – I mean, It wasn’t terrible but it ain’t authentic enough for me to recommend it. Malaysia Truly Asia, the hunt remains on for deep love, honest and true in Hong Kong.

Fuck me, it’s already the end of 2015 and it’s time for me to get all reflective and shit on this year.  I gotta level with you, I didn’t smash through as many new restaurants in 2015 because I got a bit burned out on the idea of going to new places and spending all the ca$h and receiving big serves of fuck no disappointment.  I also swore to avoid ALL Korean Fusion restaurants which means that I couldn’t go to 97% of all new HK restaurants in 2015.  So when I’m rounding up my 2015 HK eating highlights, I’m not going to keep my wrap up just for the new  2015 shit but for the most memorable fuck yeahhhhh 2015 experiences.  But fuck, I know you assholes fucking love it when I get my FUCK NO shiz on so let’s kick this end of year wrap up with the second year of FYN’s ‘THIS IS BULLSHIT’ Awards.

FYN’S 2015 ‘THIS IS BULLSHIT’ AWARDS

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Nominee #1:  El Mercado

I know Mr Judgmental was already all up in my grill as soon as I said that I wanted to try El Mercado with their Peruvian-Japanese Nikkei cuisine, declaring resolutely “It’s Peruvian Japanese? It’s 2015 and Nobu already did it in 1987.  Surely we can move on no?”.  El Mercado didn’t have to worry too much about punching out some dated Nobu-esque food though because they were too fucking busy punching out lack lustre dishes with the added bonus of it being tiny ass food for ants serving sizes.  I can only blame myself for ordering a fancy named Aveganado sushi which was essentially just a slice of watermelon on rice, but while other dishes sounded interesting on their menu in reality it was just unappetising looking grey squid omelettes with rubbery pieces of octopus (the Aeropuerto) or a few miniscule bites of roast pork with some mealy edamame mash (Cochinillo Con Tacu Tacu).  However, what I will never forgive El Mercado for is  that they are in the reason for the fact that in 2015, I handed over over HKD308 (+10% service charge) for a tiny ass bowl of broccoli and beef stir fry with rice.  Fuck me with something pointy, I know that HK’s prices are totally fucking crazy but the line most definitely has to be drawn at sticker price madness of USD40+ for a tiny, drab as fuck, too salty portion of stir fried broccoli and beef rice.

FYN FUN FACT:  If you read any “Best New HK Restaurants in 2015” list and it has El Mercado or Le Garcon Saigon on it, WRITE THAT FUCKING LIST OFF AS TOTAL FUCKING BULLSHIT.

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Nominee #2:  Mott 32

While Mott 32 was definitely more of a a so hot right now 2014 bitch, people still continue to rave about how fucking great Mott 32 is in 2015.  I feel that Mott 32 is a perfect example of a restaurant that allows you to assess whether someone can be trusted to provide a restaurant recommendation because if you’re a more chaff than wheat kinda homie where all it takes for you to recommend a place is a fancy as fuck interior and the feeling that you’re somewhere trendy, you will definitely be trotting this one out to anyone who asks you where to get Chinese food in HK. Fuck no my interior blinded chaff filled homies, just remember that you can’t eat a Joyce Wang interior design.  Mott 32’s Peking Duck is meant to be its crowning accomplishment and so many fuck knuckle food bloggers have swallowed the #byinvitation Kool-aid fully and without doubt and are all “OH MY GOD GUYS, THIS IS LIKE THE BEST PEKING DUCK EVER”.  But who really give a fuck about apple wood roasting and custom drying fridges, if your Peking Duck is a greasy poorly rendered mess with weird-ass puffy skin, gallingly served with a heavy handed side of “I don’t give a flying fuck” service.  Just when I thought I’d built a massive FUCK NO bridge and gotten over Mott 32,  I read some bullshit over at Lifestyle Asia which was musing about whether the Michelin Guide in HK is still relevant (FYN spoiler alert: it’s not) and all my emotions regarding this exxy hypebeast bubbled to the surface once the article stated that Mott 32 not getting a Michelin star was, quote, “astounding“. OH FUCK NO LIFESTYLE ASIA, Y U SMOKE THE CRACK? PUT DOWN THE PIPE YO.

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Nominee #3: La Paloma

I eat out a fuck tonne in HK which means when I’m casting my mind back over 2015 for major FUCK NO dishes I have to search a relatively large memory bank of wasted bucks and fuck no disappointment. But sometimes you get served a dish which is so monumentally fucked up that months later you can still remember every food related atrocity that you suffered through. The paella that I ate at La Paloma takes out the title of the saltiest dish I’ve ever had the displeasure of being served in a restaurant in my entire life.  While La Paloma is cute as fuck and definitely feels like a place that you would want to hang out with all your insufferably hip Sai Ying Pun homies, the searing memory of every single cell in my body desperately trying to keep its cellular walls intact under the relentless sodium chloride attack of La Paloma’s salt bomb of a paella has been burned deep into my psyche. You know that shit must have been monumentally heinous when you dedicate at least an hour when you get home to messaging everyone you know who gives even the slightest fuck about food with the message “SO SALTY” over and over again. Check out this live action shot of La Paloma cooking paella:

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Nominee #4: The Cupping Room – Central

Like a Facebook status, this one is complicated. When The Cupping Room Central opened up, I got a hot tip from Gregoire Michaud from Bread Elements that they were supplying them with pastries and that I needed to get involved with the Kouign Amann (pronounced ‘Queen Ah-mahn’).

For those that don’t know what a Kouign Amann is, it’s a Breton cake which translates to CAKE BUTTER and is traditionally a mixture of dough (40%), butter (30%) and sugar (30%), which is the sort of maths that I can get behind. I heard that Bread Elements’ use more like 40% fuck yeah butter and it results in it being kinda like a souped up croissant on steroids – a caramelised sugary crust, flaky butter stuffed pastry which has enough salt to cut through the fat. When I got my first one, all I wanted to do was eat six more of these FUCK YEAH buttery bad boys, just for dem fuck yeah outside layers. Post Kouign Amann I’m soon overcome by caramelised sugar feelings and I spend the next few weeks telling everyone I fucking knew that they needed to get involved with the KWEEEEEN. My Facebook filled up with rapturous fuck yeah feedback from my FYN homies about their deep love for the KWEEN.  I even made KWEEN related tributes for my Facebook:

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However, there’s only so many times you can stumble into The Cupping Room Central and confront an empty glass case and when you ask when there will be more available you get some vague as fuck answer like “in the afternoon”. Like I’ve got nothing better to do all day then just wait outside for the next batch of kweens.  So I gotta love myself Cupping Room Central and regarding the kween – I love you with every beat of my heart but I can’t bear your flakey ass ways anymore.  Of course, there’s no better way for us to call it quits than to publicly declare so via a FB review:

Cupping Room Review

Of course, all of my FY Noms homies (yo, that’s my FB account, in case you ever wanted a random Internet homie to pop up on your FB page to give you a random FUCK YEAH for shit you might be getting involved with) have taken it upon themselves to constantly post pictures of the KWEEN on my FB wall whenever they’re there and I feel the wistful pang of when you gaze upon a girl that you’re still in love with but remains just out of reach. You’re a bunch of fucking assholes. Dedicated FYN assholes who are in the possession of delicious as fuck buttery pastry.

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Nominee #5:  Holy Crab

If you read the review for Holy Crab, you could probably guess where it was going once you read the “Price” section which stated plainly “HKD1,100 A PERSON.  FOR A NO BOOZE MEAL IN A CASUAL RESTAURANT IN LKF”.  It all sounded great in theory, pick your live seafood and Holy Crab would cook that shit up for you on the spot in a low country boil style.  Fuck yeahhhh seafood boil in HK – that sounds like some good shit that I definitely want to get involved with.  I rounded up Ms Two Serves and together we endured a fucking abysmal meal which was a fuck no cavalcade from the wilted, limp ass okra salad, the cloying greasy corn fritters with butter sauce and then the watery, flavourless $eafood boil.  With all of this unfathomable misery setting us back the fucking ridiculous amount of HKD1,100 per person, I could barely sign the receipt as the paper was wet with my tears of unadulterated regret and shattered expectations.

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Nominee #6:  Cóm Bánh Mì

A late contender for FYN’s 2015 “THIS IS BULLSHIT” Awards and while I gave the banh mi at Com Banh Mi a fuck yeah, it’s mind blowing that a HK restaurant in 2015 still thinks that it’s ok to make racist “joke” menus by claiming that your Chef ‘s name is “Phuc Dat Bich”, titling your drinks section “SUCKY SUCKY” and the sides menu goes for racist gold medal glory by laying down “SIDE JOBS – Evelyting forty dorrah” (all the sic in the world ever).  Nothing like trying to find humour and publicity for your restaurant by deriding a non-Native English speaker’s inability to speak English perfectly or stereotypes involving South East Asian sex workers.

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THE WINNER OF FYN’S 2015 ‘THIS IS BULLSHIT’ AWARDS: Holy Crab

I suffered through any number of bullshit meals in 2015 but my meal at Holy Crab was so spectacularly bad that I spent the month afterwards hate-reading all the other HK media and food blogs (most of who obviously got their non-declared invitation on) to see how these fuckers tried to write politely about the horror that is Holy Crab.  Surprisingly, this restaurant still appears to be in business and from time to time early on a Saturday morning, I see the head chef from Holy Crab despondently sucking down cigarettes outside of California Tower in Lan Kwai Fong while a street cleaner hoses down the vomit laden excesses from the night before along with what I must imagine are his hopes and dreams. I want to feel sorry for him until I remember how much those asshole Holy Crab dickwads stung me for that godawful fucking disgraceful meal.

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FYN’S 2015 STAND OUT HK EATS

These are the meals or dishes which I fucking dreamed about afterwards and aren’t necessarily from a new restaurant. I actually think that 2015 was a relatively flat year for solid fuck yeah new restaurants in HK which is why very few appears in the list below.  So in no particular order – here come the fuck yeah 2015 memories:

STAND OUT EAT #1:  MyHouse – Oxtail Ragu / Beef Short Rib

When I read about MyHouse and its claims that it was “a symbiotic relationship with music and hospitality“, I thought it was gonna be a massive wank off.  However, I was most definitely being a judgmental asshole because MyHouse is absolutely and without doubt my FUCK YEAH favourite new restaurant of 2015.  Despite only opening in late October, I’ve already been back four fucking times and have made it my prerogative to tell anyone I know who gives a fuck about food that they need to fucking go.

I also fucking love that while MyHouse is brand new they are just DOIN’ IT while other new restaurants with their wonky ass shit continue to make soft opening excuses for months.  Once you get to MyHouse, the absolute must eats are the “Ox-tail, orange and sage ragu over crusty bread” and the “Porcini rubbed short-rib with aged balsamic”.  While the ox-tail ragu is simple in concept, it’s fucking unbelievable with its superior fuck yeah depth of flavour coming from the gentle orange peel overtones and underlying sage.  This is all served on some toasted Bread Elements foccacia loaf which has been bathed in fuck yeah butter.  FYN pro tips include demanding even more foccacia loaf, slathering it with shit tonnes of butter and then scraping every last bit of that ragu into your rapidly improving life.  Back that shit up with MyHouse’s slow cooked short rib and as a homie I took to MyHouse exclaimed, “Fuck, I think I’m at the Vatican because I just saw GOD”.

MyHouse is doing something unique in Hong Kong and there’s so much passion and thought that’s been poured into this place that it’s super fucking personal and full of fuck yeah sincerity. It’s not often that I can hand out a SEVEN WAY FUCK YEAH slam of interiors, concept, food, music, drinks, service and price point and if you haven’t been already, get yo ass down to MyHouse ASAP to get involved because fuck yeahhhhh, MyHouse is just so fucking right.

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STAND OUT EAT #2: Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein (RIP) – Dessert Platter

Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein was one of my fuck yeah favourites of 2015, I think I racked up over five visits and I recommended it to anyone who was looking for a date night or special occasion location that wasn’t too stuffy.  Until there was a falling out between and Harlan and his business partners and now this restaurant goes by “Penthouse” and it’s without the big, bombastic Harlan G at the helm, Executive Chef Joe in the kitchen and the fuck yeah kitchen team / waiter homies.  It’s all TOO FUCKING SAD and I don’t dare go back in case I tarnish all my fuck yeah Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein memories.  My 2015 fuck yeah highlight is without doubt the Harlan’s Surprise Dessert Platter and anyone that I recommended Penthouse to was made to promise on threat of death that they’d most definitely leave sufficient room to power through this FUCK YEAH dessert option.  This mixed platter of fuck yeah desserts was a magnificient as fuck show stopper with a liquid nitrogen sorbet of varying flavours, which had been snap frozen to give it a meringue like appearance which melted as soon as it came in contact with body heat.  Then to keep shit interesting and interactive, there were puddles and spoonfuls of different sauces and flavours such as powdered dusts, chocolate mousse, banana tiramisu, gelato and white chocolate lava cake.  Fuck.  I’m emotional as fuck just thinking about it now.  It was one of the most memorable desserts I’ve ever had and writing about it right now while knowing that it’s no longer available, is hitting me right in the feels.  It was just the fucking best and Harlan’s Surprise Dessert Platter please know that even though we can’t be together anymore, know that I think of you every step of the way because IiiiIIiiiiiiIiiIIIII WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU.

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STAND OUT EAT #3:  Posto Pubblico – Veal Milanese / Veal and Lobster Bolo

I’ll confess that I get swept up in all that new trendy restaurant razzle dazzle bullshit and  before I know it I’m looking down dazed and confused at a dark charcoal slate covered in viola blossoms, a piece of hamachi sprinkled with dehydrated shisito pepper powder and a small shrimp wearing a miniature top hat in a shoe for HKD568 + 10% service charge under the dim light of a stripped down industrial style chandelier made from HK egg waffle cast iron moulds from 1956. The IHM Group is probably one of the most consistent restaurant groups in HK and while I was all up in Stone Nullah Tavern‘s grill in 2014 and Linguini Fini opened their new premises in 2015, for me my best memory of 2015 was rekindling a torrid though honest love affair with Posto. Sometimes old and familiar love is the best sort of love and when Posto added new dishes in September to mark their sixth year anniversary, this old and familiar love starting to become all sorts of next level fuck yeah feelings.  Whenever I tell anyone to go to Posto they are given a super fucking specific set of instructions and here it is, the FYN pedantic as fuck guide to ensuring that you have the optimal FUCK YEAH experience at Posto that you deserve.

  1. Round up at least three to four homies because if you go as a couple you won’t be able to try enough fuck yeahhhh dishes because the Veal Milanese chop on its own is gonna take down two people easy.
  2. Make a booking.  When you do this, pre-order the Veal Milanese chop, the moon of my life, my sun and stars, my everything. Life’s gonna be too fucking sad if you roll up for dinner and that shit’s sold out.
  3. Once you get there, start shit off with one or three Negronis.  You could go probably also go a Manhattan if you’re not into Campari.  Or maybe you should just force yourself to drink your Negroni medicine until you fucking get it.  Fuck yeahhh, dem bitter herbaceous feels.
  4. For around three to four people, you gotta get the meatballs to start because I’m making the claim that Posto has THE BEST fucking meatballs in HK.  For your pasta, don’t mess around with anything else except the Spicy Veal and Lobster Bolo which is my first, my last, my pasta everything.  Get the Veal Milanese that you’ve pre-ordered and while some people claim that the Veal Saltimbocca or Veal Parmigiana is better, don’t be swayed because I firmly believe that the Milanese topped with fresh homemade mozzarella, sweet as fuck organic cherry tomatoes and basil is the Supreme Ruler of all that is Veal.  If you need a side of vegetables, get whatever is seasonal and recommended by the best waiter homies at Posto.
  5. If there’s more than four people get an extra serve of the homemade burrata and maybe the deep fried calamari. Add a pizza fritta which is a pan fried pizza served in an iron skillet so it’s all fuck yeahh crispy bottom times.  My FYN recommendation would be the Bronx Bomber with crumbled sausage, pepperoni and oregano.  YASSSSSS.
  6. Try and keep your shit together while you smash back an essentially flawless fuck yeah meal.  Reflect upon the fact that right at this moment, life is fucking glorious.

GoTmoonofmylife

STAND OUT EAT #4:  Zurriola – Scallop with black pudding and green apple / cheese

Chef Daniel Birkner joined Zurriola this year and rebooted its menu with some of the most precise and beautiful food I ate this year in Hong Kong.  In fact, I had my first meal there in May and even though it was not even half-way through 2015, I boldly made the statement on FYN that Zurriola with its precise, modern though no wanky bullshit food was gonna most definitely feature on my 2015 fuck yeah highlights. AND HERE WE ARE.   Zurriola is in TST which means that it’s a harder pitch because most people can’t be fucked to leave the familiar surrounds of HK Island spanning from Kennedy Town to maybe Wan Chai at a stretch.  But that’s such a bullshit excuse not to go because the meals I had at Zurriola this year were fucking phenomenal and it was the unconventional ingredient pairings which still made sense which set it apart from so many other restaurants in HK.  I will never forget the scallop dish I had at Zurriola which was topped with black pudding, against a crisp green apple sliver and a celeriac mash. Such earthiness.  Much contrast. WOW.

I also recommended Zurriola to anyone who was chasing down a serious fuck yeah cheese experience and Chef Birkner does not fuck about with his selection of French raw milk cheeses and most importantly, serves up a very decent sized serve as well.  No tiny-ass slivers of barely there cheese (hey Epure, imma lookin’ at you).  Despite not normally being down with apricot, Zurriola’s thinly sliced homemade toasted apricot fruit bread combined with the cheese course is fucking perfection and I had no other choice but to unhinge my jaw and devour everything in sight, resulting in a state of pure and unadulterated fuck yeah bliss.  I always say that carb life = best life, but let’s be real, cheese life is pretty fucking rad too.

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STAND OUT EAT #5: Tai Chung Wah Restaurant (大中華飯店) – Bandit Chicken (土匪雞)

I have a draft folder of reviews that I start and then due to a combination of apathy, laziness and bingeing on an entire season of television in one to two days, end up in some sort of food review purgatory and never get finished.  I really should just man up and finish writing up Tai Chung Wah Restaurant in Cheung Sha Wan because that shit was so good that I want you guys to fucking know about it.  I ended up going to Tai Chung Wah twice in one month, despite it being so fucking far away, largely motivated by wanting to eat the glorious fuck yeah Bandit Chicken (土匪雞).  Until I get my lazy ass in gear to write shit up properly, it’s critical for you to know that if you go to Tai Chung Wah, you need to pre-order the Bandit Chicken.  The Tai Chung Wah homies are SUPER assholes about ordering more than one chicken though and even if you have a massive group of homies going (ie. 12), they’ll bitch about it to you on the phone, argue with you about needing two chickens, ask who is going to eat the breast meat (my Cantonese speaking homie assured them that we had plenty of white people with us to take care of that but this wasn’t even sufficient grounds to stop the Bandit Chicken argument) and even when you think you’ve finally got them to agree to pre-ordering two chickens, you’ll rock up on the night and they’ll be like ‘NO.  YOU ONLY ORDERED ONE.  CANNOT GET MORE‘ before these assholes cuss you out some more.

The Bandit Chicken allegedly gets its name from when Hunan bandits used to ransack people’s homes for valuables, which back in the day included spices.  These sneaky fuckers would then celebrate a successful spice raid by holing up and making some cumin spiced chicken which if people smelt would take it as an indication that they should keep their shit on lock down because bandits would be close by.  Tai Chung Wah cook their Bandit Chicken in a clay pot oven, speared on a pole which allows the juices to be kept within the chicken, meaning even the breast meat is juicy as all hell and it’s not a dried out, fuck no bland as fuck mess.  No one is gonna help you out at Tai Chung Wah to carve it so be prepared to go hands on or have a homie with you who can deal with carving up a bird with a pretty shitty knife and their plastic gloved hands.  But oh my yassssssssss this fragrant cumin and salt rubbed roast chicken was just so fucking good.  I even broke my no food photo rule, just so we could all revel in the FUCK YEAH glory that is the Bandit Chicken which I affectionately call Stripper Chicken.  SHE’S WORKING AT THE PYRAMID TONIGHT.

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OK homies, that’s enough FYN 2015 FUCK YEAH and FUCK NO memories for today.  Stay tuned for FYN’s Fuck Yeah 2015! Part #2 – Outside the Kong / #Wandercunt edition and also A Fuck Yeah Noms’ Guide to 2016 New Year’s Resolutions which are gonna be dropping in the next week or so.  Or perhaps it’s time to get all nostalgic for some 2014 memories and check out Fuck Yeah, 2014! – Part #1: Hong Kong or FYN’s Fuck Yeah 2014! Part #2 – Outside the Kong and FYN’s ‘Just Cannot’ List.  MEMORIES, NOT A SOUND ON THE PAVEMENT.

Where:
33 Cafe y Mucho Mas (FB page)
33 Haven Street
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 9636 3371

Price:
We were out at HKD350 a person (before tip, no service charge included) for a shit tonne of food and booze.

The deal:
I have fond fuck yeah memories of arepas, tied largely to being at Caracas Arepas in the East Village of NYC and smashing these gritty grilled and baked corn buns stuffed with fuck yeah fillings such as avocado, chicken, pork, cheese and black beans into my alcohol soaked body before waking up to a sea of self-loathing, plantain chips and aluminium foil.  Once returning to the Kong, dreams of arepas and satisfactory, green creamy avocados were just that – BIG FUCKING DREAMS.  Until, I heard that 33 Cafe y Mucho Mas, run by a Colombian and his Malaysian wife heading up the kitchen, was open in Causeway Bay on Haven Street (near Via Tokyo, the Japanese dessert place on Leighton Road which always has a line full of youths, no matter what the time) serving up Latin/South American food including my love, my fire, my one desire, arepaaaaaas.

With that I rounded up some homies and into the mix was a real bonafide Colombian. Our ColOmbian Supercoach made it clear that a) don’t fuck up spelling Colombian as Columbian and b) 33 Cafe y Mucho Mas is billed as Latin/South American food because it’s not technically pure Colombian food.  33 Cafe y Mucho Mas is tiny, only seating around 20ish people and despite its size, will take phone bookings.  The menu is also similarly compact but no big deal because our ColOmbian Supercoach took the reins and just ordered everything for us.  Fuck yeahhhhh, autonomous expert decisions.  We plowed straight into some Chicharrones (fried pork belly, HKD80) and Patacones (fried plantains / green banana fritters, HKD72) with Suero (a yoghurt based sauce) to warm up and instantly my anticipation levels for the main event were rapidly moving upwards. I know that food blogs are always banging on about “to die for” pork belly but 33 Cafe y Muchos Mas’ Chicharrones were fucking unbelievable, all the good shit that you expect from a fried piece of pork without any of the bad shit that you sometimes get, ie. tiny ass portions, flaccid greasy skin, bankruptcy and disappointment.

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We shared two serves of the Bandejas 33 between our table of six.  The Bandeja 33 is a Latin inspired rice plate which was giving me the nasi lemak feels in the way that its rice served with a fried egg on top except instead of small tiny ikan bilis fried fish, peanuts and chicken it was surrounded by a variety of fuck yeah treats such as home made beans, more chicharones, fried spanish chorizo slices, sliced avocado, grilled corn and arepitas.  In combination this dish took a lot of simple components but did each one well, putting them together into one fuck yeah plate of flavour sensations, with the creamy beans and char grilled corn being a highlight.  This dish worked just fine for dinner but I reckon that the Bandeja 33 would be a fucking star at breakfast / brunch.

With the rice plate done it was time to move into the star attraction, AREPAS RELLENAS YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.  Our table shared several serves of two types of arepas – the slow cooked pulled beef (which has been cooked in coffee with avocado and cheese, HKD85) and the pulled chicken arepa (served with a fuck yeah tamarind sauce, served with cucumber and carrot slaw, HKD75).  If you’re in a sharing scenario, 33 Cafe y Mucho Mas will serve this with four small round arepitas (+HKD20) rather than the single large arepa which is a fuck yeah way of sharing the arepa love. I preferred the beef one to the chicken and while sharing is fun, I actually think the full size arepa creates a better fuck yeah experience than the mini arepitas.  So perhaps it’s time to write off having friends and just fly solo to snack down on 33 Cafe y Mucho Mas’ full sized arepas.

Meanwhile, our ColOmbian Supercoach regales us with stories of how to call something small or chubby is a way of showing affection and that it’d be totally cool to call your boyfriend or girlfriend Chubby as a nickname and I’m thinking ‘Fuck yeahhh, this is a culture I can get behind’ while reflecting on how fucking happy everything is making me right now.  The dense gritty corn bun against the meat, cheese and spicy nuanced sauce is giving me some major fuck yeah feels and as the emotions bubble up inside of me imma all “MR AREPASSSSS, I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE, WHEN I’M WITH YOU.”

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I gotta mention though that one thing I am not so down with is 33 Cafe y Mucho Mas’ fuck no use of small disposable plastic containers to serve all of their sauces and cheese.  33 Cafe y Mucho Mas, Y U no mucho care about the environment??

At this point, we’re all full as fuck.  One of my homies passes on the pro tip that if you lean back in your chair, the backwards lean will put less pressure on your expanding stomach and you won’t feel quite so bad.  Our ColOmbian Supercoach wasn’t letting us off this easy though and ordered us one pastelito de bocadilo each for dessert, telling us with expert bluntness that she definitely wasn’t going to share.  It arrives innocuously enough – a triangle of puff pastry on a swirl of caramelised condensed milk sauce (arequipe).  The pastelito is stuffed with a sweet though tart pink guava paste and in combination with the caramelised and cinnamon arequipe this dessert was off the motherfucking charts.  I understand from our ColOmbian Supercoach that it’s not traditional to put cinnamon into the arequipe sauce but fuck, it was so fragrant and fucking sensational with it.  Our table fell quiet while we reflected on how awesome this pastelito shiz was and contemplated how we’d be able to sneak in licking the plate clean without looking like a bunch of crazy ass savages.

For all the Hong Kong restaurant wank off about chasing something authentic and bringing something new to Hong Kong, it’s often just half-assed fusion food with gimmicky cutesy graffiti laden walls and menus that read better than they actually fucking taste.  So how fucking beautiful is it that the husband and wife team at Cafe 33 y Mucho Mas are just fucking doing it with heartfelt food with a lot of fuck yeah love, rather than having a massive wank off about authenticity or fucking about with their menu just for the sake of being edgy or trendy.  Cafe 33 y Muchas Mas is honest, the flavours are simple and bold, but most importantly this is fuck yeah, unpretentious food that will make you fucking happy.  And after witnessing the 2015 Trainwreck of New Fusion Restaurants in HK, I’m so fucking down with that.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhh, arepas in HK!! I’m imploring all of you to get yo asses down to Cafe 33 y Mucho Mas to feel the South American love too.

Where:
Seasons by Olivier E
Shop 308, 3/F Lee Garden 2
2-38 Yun Ping Rd
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2505 6228

Price:
HKD318 (+10% service charge) for the three course lunch set. I wanted to do four courses (HKD398 + 10% service charge) but due to tardy service, I fucking ran out of time.

The deal:
I’ve wanted to try Seasons by Olivier E because it seemed like they were doing interesting shit or if you would like a more verbose explanation of their restaurant you should check out their website which aside from having functional information like fully expressed menus (GO TEAM WEB SEASONS) also contains the explanation that “Like the passage of time itself, Seasons is in calm but constant transition, refining and redefining itself in a fluid, harmonious evolution. Chef Olivier’s philosophy is one of inclusion, pairing a classical understanding of French cuisine with a modern Asian sensibility and unbridled delight in the finest ingredients, not just from France, but from the world at large.”  Oh, ok if you say so Chef cause like sands through the hourglass, THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

Seasons by Olivier E is within the Lee Garden 2 shopping complex in Causeway Bay.  Every time I go to Lee Garden 2 all I am struck with is who the fuck is so goddamn minted that they not only need to buy their little brats Versace Youth threads and HKD350+ haircuts, but they need two floors providing them a variety of obscenely overpriced children’s goods?? Major sads when I realised that I’ve probably walked past 5yo HK children who are wearing the equivalent of several months of my salary.  Rich brat shops aside, the restaurant itself is meant to have four areas which are each inspired by a season (GEDDIT?) when I was actually there though I guess I just saw it as the ‘shitty seats outside the restaurant in the shopping mall’, ‘seats nearest the kitchen’, ‘back salon for tai tais’ and ‘outdoor bar area which looks rad but is hot as all hell and unusable until October’.

Chef Olivier Elzer has worked at all the big names, with his bio saying he’s worked at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Pierre Restaurant Hong Kong. I guess that’s kinda in the way that every fucking chef seems to have worked at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Amber or NOMA these days.  Yes, I fucking get it – you’re classically trained in French but you love to forage for some seaweed to get some umami into your dishes while demonstrating your love and appreciation of Asia by throwing in some sea urchin every now and again.  I’m starting to wonder if I can claim that I’ve worked at Amber because I’ve eaten there more than three times.

Seasons by Olivier E is not fucking messing about, with a huge ass open kitchen which looms over the main dining room.  I counted about ten chefs doing their thing and it looked like a tight ship where everyone was hauling some serious ass as I made my way to the Back Salon for Tai Tais section.  I was impressed with the Seasons by Olivier E lunch menu which was filled with fuck yeah sounding choices – there’s nothing worse than when you read a set lunch menu and you’re just trying to choose between what seems the best of two fucking boring options which are trying to cheap out on ingredients.  I snacked down some fuck yeah bread while I made these big decisions, ticking off the bread test and noting that Chef Olivier’s carbs have done his French origins proud.

For my starter, I went with the burrata, olive oil and fresh tomato caviar  (requiring an additional HKD50).  The fresh tomato caviar wasn’t exactly what I expected (I was envisaging some sort of molecular monstrosity) but it was almost a tomato seed reduction of sorts, each piece mimicking the intensity of a sun dried tomato without givine me those late 1990s feels.  While the tomato caviar might have been interesting it all pales in comparison to DAT BURRATA.  I don’t think I know enough adjectives to describe how fucking majestic it was – a barely there solid outer with the liquid cream inside with a drizzle of no doubt, some fancy ass olive oil.  All of the components worked together but while I can appreciate the thought that went into it, I would have been just as happy to have eaten that boss bitch burrata on its own on a little bit of thinly sliced toast before sitting on my hands to ensure I didn’t succumb to my base desires to rub fuck yeah burrata all over my body.

For my second course I got the escargots fricassee with tomato and Pastis sauce. Seasons cooked the snails perfectly, so they didn’t turn into chewy fuckers but this dish was all about the fuck yeah tomato and Pastis sauce.  I’m not normally fucking down with Pastis (cause I don’t get no satisfaction from anise flavored spirits) but in this magical sauce it was mixed with a touch of tarragon and just gave it this fuck yeah depth of flavour that just wouldn’t quit. I scraped the plate clean with a piece of bread, only because I don’t know if the tai tais on all the surrounding tables would have appreciated me licking it clean.

At this stage I was getting relatively full, cause Season’s Portions are very decent in size.  If I did my time again at Seasons, I’d probably only go for two savoury dishes and a dessert.  However, as it was my first time at the Seasons’ rodeo, I’d piled in with ambitions to smash up four courses as I’d envisaged tiny-ass French style portions.  For my final savoury dish, I ordered the beef tenderloin fricassee.  Fuck yeah, the beef was cooked fucking perfectly – juicy, tender and all that good shit.  While I can’t remember much about the salad, I can only assume that it was fresh and beautifully presented because that just seemed par for the course during this meal.  However, I haven’t forgotten the crispy fuck yeah sweet potato fries which were fried in a light tempura-style batter and were a motherfuckin’ carb filled treat.  The only fuck no is that these sweet potato fries came in a delicate appropriate portion vs the indecently sized portion that my fat guts desperately desired. CARB LYFE = BEST LYFE.

I gotta give a fuck yeah mention to Chef Olivier who I spotted ducking into the back dining room a few times to quickly check on how shit was going.  Unfortunately, one thing that let Seasons by Olivier E down was that their staff seemed well intentioned but didn’t seem to have a clear system on exactly who was doing what and in what order.  Or maybe it’s because the clientele at Seasons by Olivier E is dominated by tai tais with their voluminous hair styles, bejewelled clothing and designer handbags so there’s no need for service to be clicking along at the rate of knots cause they’ve got all fucking afternoon to swan about in Lee Gardens 2.  However, I was a bit devastated cause I’d been eyeing off people ordering the camembert in two textures for dessert (the menu claiming these textures to be the real and the creamy one) and I desperately wanted in.  However, after we finished our mains this is when Seasons’ service slowed down hard – it took just a little bit too long for someone to clear our plates.  We waited again for a dessert menu to arrive.  Waiters blew past our table, some clearing plates for other tables and some idly setting up new tables, but no-one came to see if we wanted to order any dessert or get the included coffee or tea in our set lunch.  Finally someone did come to ask but shit was just too fucking late and as a non-tai tai, I had to drag my sorry non-bouffant hairstyled ass away from Lee Gardens 2.  Fuck no Seasons Homies, now I’ll never know the real and the creamy Camembert textures or the other potential for fuck yeah desserts at Seasons by Olivier E.

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Verdict:
Fuck yeah! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a set lunch menu which was filled with fuck yeah choices and even fucking better, each course was a memorable, well executed fuck yeah.  Sure, the tardy service at the end resulted in my fuck no Camembertless experience, but fuck me, at least I’ll always have those fuck yeah burrata memories. Chef Olivier, imma comin’ back for your dinner time eats.

FYN Update:  I went back to Seasons by Olivier E last night for dinner and did the 6-course Carte Blanche Chef’s choice menu for a pricey HKD1,188 but it was fucking incredible.  One of the best meals I’ve had in 2015.  I watched impressive looking steaks sail out of the kitchen in wooden boxes with smoking sprigs of rosemary stuffed inside.  The Carte Blanche menu was thoughtful as fuck, beautiful and fucking delicious.  The chocolate dessert course was a dark chocolate mousse with coconut ice-cream and chocolate salted popcorn and I don’t even go that wild for chocolate but I want to eat it again right the fuck now. FUCK YEAHHHHHH ON PAY DAY, GET INVOLVED HOMIES.

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