fuck yeah noms

Where:
Berliner (but of course, HK style – this website doesn’t actually have a menu.  Try the Cafe Deco group website for that – seriously HK webmasters, how fucking hard is it to put a menu on your website???)
4/F, W Square,
314-324 Hennessy Road,
Wanchai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2891 8689

The deal:
Mains around HKD150 – 180 (excluding 10% service charge)  Pork wank, I get it – pork can be pretty fucking awesome  It can also be pretty fucking basic (see also:  The Salted Pig).  Stumbling out here for a Good Friday lunch nom (perhaps not the most appropriate venue, a German eatery filled with red meat – although we did recall that pork advertisement in Australia that called it ‘the other white meat’) and we skipped passed a fairly average salad bar / lunch set combo (admittedly though, very cheap) and went straight to A La Carte.  Husband got the Sausage Platter (with a side of the requisite ‘Who ordered the sausage party?’ jokes), I got the pork knuckle and my friends got the schnitzels (Melbourne people – so requisite comments about parma).  Let’s not push this out to be too much longer than it has to be, I pretty much ate a pork leg and it was covered with bad ass crackling.  Everyone else was happy with their meals.  Please note, not for a delicate eater, I didn’t have dinner on Friday (unless you count the three mojitos I had at Lotus).  Who says that I don’t have any restraint?

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhhh!

Where
Ba Sushi
Shop 1-3, 14 Burrows St.
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2893-2282
However, Don’t really bother with making a booking – we tried and they took it but couldn’t guarantee that they’d be a table at that time (which doesn’t really sound like a booking at all).

The deal:
This is a small sushi and sashimi place in Wan Chai which is completely unassuming and very average looking. However, it’s some of the best value and freshest sushi / sashimi I’ve had in Hong Kong. Not to say that I make a habit of trying that much cheap sashimi in HK. HKD70 for a very generous serve of salmon sashimi – no three tiny slices here. The hand rolls are also excellent – except for maybe the crispy salmon skin one which didn’t set my world on fire. Get your fill of the non-fish sashimi types (Scallops, prawns, conch, squid, sea urchin) but don’t forget their sushi too (absolutely cannot miss the spicy tuna and the deep fried zucchini rolls). Take your friends here if you want to be one of those food wankers who knows a “hidden gem”. Yeah of course you fucking know a place. Eat your fill at around HKD170 each.

Verdict:
Fuck yeahhhhhhhhh.

Where:
Chica
26 Peel St
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2561 3336

The deal:
Chica is a fairly new entrant to the HK scene and it’s already a dining favourite in HK. Ask most expats in HK who like food and most of them will say “Chica? Oh, I LOOOOVE Chica”(ok, maybe only girls really talk like that). So Chica’s deal is that it does Peruvian food which means it can churn out tacos (which seem to be the hot thing in HK at the moment) and the food is pretty tasty. But my biggest problem with Chica is that it suffers a bit from ‘food for ants’ syndrome (ie. tiny portions) and the prices aren’t really proportionate to that. Call me conservative and stingy, but should 4 below average size tacos cost HKD200? It’s a group dining affair too, so by the time you add in drink costs (which you will be probably drinking more of as the ‘food for ants’ means that you aren’t that busy eating) the bill is pretty hefty by the end. Last time I went, it was about HKD700 a head for an average amount of food and some pretty mid-range wine. And don’t be fooled too heavily by the big proclamation on your bill that ‘NO SERVICE CHARGE, PLEASE TIP ACCORDINGLY’ because what they really meant to write was ‘5% SERVICE CHARGE INSTEAD OF THE NORMAL 10%. PLEASE TIP ACCORDINGLY’. Chica, check your maths before you wreck yourself – 0% doesn’t equal 5%. Maybe I’m just too old for this trendy hipster shit.

Verdict:
Fuck no. However, at about 20% cheaper, I’d put Chica back into ‘Fuck Yeah’ territory.

Where:
The Salted Pig (Just checked it again – as said before, HK websites, YU even exist??)
2/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central

Phone:
+852 2870 2323

The deal:
So, I’ve already been to The Salted Pig and gave it FYN’s first ‘Jury’s out’ rating.  My friend emailed me asking me if it was any good and I replied with the link and qualified that perhaps it wasn’t fair to judge without the lack of crackling and suggested they try the pork knuckle.  My friend reported back that it was ‘so disappointing’ and the pork knuckle was COLD.  Credit where credit is due, she also noted that the Bloody Mary cocktail was ‘sensational (came with bacon)’ and the entree of scallops wrapped in bacon was good (but a bit ‘food for ants’/small).  But in the killer blow, ‘pork knuckle was shit and the ribs were shit.  FUCK NO’ is what her email declared to me the next day.  Yes, I’m already outsourcing my reviews to other people – but this friend of mine is a solid nommer who recognises mediocrity in HK.  So, I’ll keep my HKD500 for another place and finalise the verdict as below.

The verdict:
FUCK NO.

Where:
La Badiane
10 Nam Ngu Street
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam

Phone:
+84 (4) 39 42 45 09 – I couldn’t get an answer from their website booking form but had good success with their email labadianehanoi@yahoo.fr

The deal:
Degustation was USD65 (excl 15% tax) and when you order 2, you get a half bottle of decent champagne.  We had been given some pretty rave reviews about this place before we went and if you check Tripadvisor, everyone seemed pretty impressed.  For whatever that is worth.  It seems like everyone on Tripadvisor is always impressed with whatever hotel / restaurant they are going to.  Nice going fake reviewers, I will surely consider your hotel in future.  Considering the cost of food in Vietnam, this was a pretty expensive meal and whenever I order a degustation, I have big expectations because it should be what a chef feels is his showpiece.  The meal was enjoyable enough but there were enough things that didn’t hit it out of the park to justify giving it a FYN. Refer below:

  • Foie gras with mango and coffee syrup.  Honestly, why is sweet fruit + savoury things even a thing anymore?  This was complete with a drizzlefest of coffee syrup on my plate.  However, the foie gras was much better on its own.  Like the Coco Chanel saying “When accessorizing always take off the last thing you put on”, Mr Badiane, take that damn mango and mess off my plate.
  • Bread came out plain.  No butter / oil / vinegar / salt / pepper.  I understand that bread condiments are a personal preference but did they really think most people wanted to eat a plain roll?
  • Dessert – chef’s selection.  Maybe I just watch too much Top Chef and think I’m channelling my Tom Colicchio when I say things like ‘I was just bored by this course.  Everything was the same note, the same texture’.  The palate cleanser before it was a tangerine sorbet (too sweet and too big).  The dessert was then 3 different creamy, cold things – a vanilla ice-cream + apple, a green tea and vanilla mousse and a sickly sweet chocolate semi-freddo thing.  Too sweet, too soft, too one-note boring.  This isn’t an old people’s home.

Verdict:
Fuck no.

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