Monday, August 25, 2014

Aqaba

Rest : Aqaba
Meal : Lunch 
Loc : Peninsula Business Park 

Aqaba plays a pretty important role in my single fav movie of all time Lawrence of Arabia and that they serve Middle Eastern cuisine, there was little chance that i was not going to go check em out. So i caught up with my buddy Reema Prasanna (@ScrollsNInk) who i hadn't seen in a while. 


The place is largish and has a lovely section by the window which looks on to the garden which thankfully obscures Central Bombay 


now, the official drink of choice. 


the kinda sorta amuse bouche if you will, was a little side of tzatziki with radishes which both of us immensely dislikes 


The mezze platter was going to happen no matter what and it was a pretty decent spread. 


The Muhammarah was kind of disappointing, the weakest item there, more like a salsa then a fine, fiery paste. 


The rest of the dishes were great, the hummus and the labneh were awesome, as was the taztziki. The olives were slightly sweetish, brilliant. 



the greek style salad was huge, fresh to taste but too much food.


the caprese was pretty decent, a little colder would have been good, the cheese was not stale but this wasnt quite farm fresh. 


randomly chose the Veg Kofta which was a haloumi and cottage cheese served on a bed of arabic rice and a side of some seriously delicious sauce. this was just awesome, loved it. sometimes not thinking too much can be a good thing too. 


we shared the dessert which was a rose petal ice cream, which i always tell myself i wont like but end up loving. delicious. the biscotti they were served with were super chewy though. 

Overall, the space is huge, airy and well lit, might be a little too big though. The service is quick and the food is pretty good, there are some things they could work out (muhammrah, the biscotti) but in the end a middle eastern joint, in south bombay which serves good food is gold. lets hope they can keep it that way.

I was, there on invitation but the restaurant is on the expensive side.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Eating Out In Hong Kong & Cebu

I was recently in Hong Kong & Cebu, Philippines and thought i would do a run through of my meals whilst there. It is not a complete list but sort of the greatest hits. 


Shanghai Popo 336,  iSquare, TST, 

This is apparently the best branch of this fairly popular Shanghainese restaurant. Loads of local here which is always a good sign. Its a very attractive place from a design stand point and I loved its bare cemented walls, the decor being harsh and hip, the food the exact opposite. 


the menu like mostly restaurants in HKG is fairly expansive, covering plenty of ground, Noodles, Dim Sum, Vegetables, Sea Food, Meats, etc. 


The hand made noodles in a special Schezwan soup was excellent, spicy but loads of flavour. 


yummy green beans


and even yummier pancakes, freaking delicious. 


the buns were fought over, minced mushroom from what i recall 

Highly recommend a meal here, it was about HK$500 for four without booze. 

Din Tai Fung, Ye Woo Street, Causeway Bay
Have been a fan of Din Tai Fung, every since my friend Sam turned me onto them in Singapore. Every since then i have had atleast one meal a year at one of their restaurants in Singapore or Hong Kong and look forward to these with great relish. 

 

Both the branches of this Taiwanese eatery in Hong Kong have a Michelin star each and deservedly so. The food is delicious, consistent and the service is quick and impeccable. Which is especially important because i have had some less than excellent service in Hong Kong at times. 



the meal starts of with a little pot of Jasmine tea, which goes down very well. very well indeed and this is coming from a not very tea friendly person. 



Noodles with spicy sauce, what can i say, just perfect and actually not as spicy as one would reckon. 


These were the mushroom dim sum which was also muy excellent. One can also get mushrooms in a soy sauce which i didnt end up getting as it would have been too much. Next time perhaps. All in all, excellent meal with great service.
HK$300 for two without drinks. 


Tim Ho Wan Hong Kong Station, Level 1 

I end up in Hong Kong station either when i am in or heading out of HKG and always try and make a go of grabbing a bite at Tim Ho Wan which is still the worlds cheapest michelin star restaurant, although the original branch was in Mong- Kok and has since shuttered. Folks in Singapore can find a bunch of Tim Ho Wan's however. 


i got the turnip cakes this time which i missed out on the last time and everything else was much the same. check was about $90 and the wait was about 20 mins. 

Sorabol, Lee Theatre Plaza, Causeway Bay

Sorabol is a Korean restaurant tucked up on top of the LTP building, its a pain in the arse to get to if you don't take the correct elevator. 


Served up a bunch of varied kim chi while we waited for our meal. Since my mates had been there before they did the ordering. 


the kim chi pan cake was downright delicious, especially when doused with a little hot sauce. 


This was one of the 'stone' rice preparations done in a traditional Korean style, pretty good. We couldn't order to use the grill to cook our own food because we were pretty full by then. all in all a go to Korean place for a lot of people in HKG and rightfully so. 
HK$600 for four without drinks. 


The Flying Pan Old Bailey Street, Central 

One of my fav meals in Hong Kong, this 24 hour diner is super popular with breakfast crowd as well as post drink 4 am party people seeking nourishment. Although small, the place packs a serious punch when it comes to its menu which is pretty wide. Egg, Griddle, Pancakes, Frittatas, Omelets, you name it. they got it. hell they even do cocktails. 


The Rancheros were terrific, eggs sunny side up on on a tortilla with refried beans, jalapenos.  


The eggs benedict were pretty terrific as well, as good as my rancheros were, would be hard pressed to pick between the two. great good, prompt service, must check it out i reckon.
HK$250 for three no booze. 




Teppan 


was walking around on Nathan road and saw this small teppan place, no idea why i went inside, it was a little late around 2.45 and they were about to wrap up but they were kind enough to seat me. i had the porcini mushrooms with a side of veggies, mung beans and rice. the soup i did not like very much but the rest was terrific and only cost HK$75 


Kirin Ichiban 


Frozen beer at the airport by Kirin Ichiban at the airport, pricey at HK$80, tad weird but def worth trying. great for a hot summer day this. again, trust the Japanese to come up with this. 

Maxim's Cakes All across  Hong Kong 


My friend Amit, picked up a few of these to chew on while we hung out at the airport. he also took every opportunity to pick some up every time he could. good stuff this, wont go wrong picking these. 

Royal Krua Thai, SM Mall, Cebu, Philippines 

Cebu is a glorious place to Scuba dive and indulge in water sports, which is why we were there. However its not the best place in the world to eat out. Food was pretty weak across the board and we stuck to mostly bad pizza until our last day there when we decided to try our luck with this Thai joint. The decor of the space was pretty far out as well.



delicious iced tea.



terrific spring rolls. 


tofu in all kinds of hot sauce. 

all in all the food was very good and the service was super quick and friendly. The people o the Philippine have a friendly, musical way about them and can be pretty hospitable, as was our host at the restaurant. meal was 600PHP without drinks for three. 


while walking around the SM mall we came across this small ice cream space. anyway, this is a pair of warm cookies with chocolate ice cream in the middle. need i say more, 100PHP

Also, if you find yourself in Cebu and want to party, head to Mango Square, find JM-Ave and get a private table for 5000PHP. worth it and the place is banging till about 5 am. 





Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Sahib Room

Rest : The Sahib Room
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Palladium 

The Palladium is def one of the more interesting new hotel spaces, having dined at their other restaurants i was happy to accept their invite to check out their new Indian restaurant. 


The space is what you would expect from an upscale fine dine, although they fortunately don't go all native. 


Kim's Game, named after Kipling's great novel, was a little too sweet, a dash of bitters would have perhaps tightened it up. 


i had asked for an old fashioned but they got me a whiskey sour which was just as well because this one was pretty terrific. 



the amuse bouche was a little moong dal bhajiya, which i am not personally a big fan off. 


the lotus stem tikki thing was pretty awesome. i have seen a lot of lotus in asian cooking and only the more courageous or high end Indian cuisine restaurants will bring lotus stems to the fore.


the gucchi ki tikki was brilliant, there was  a really strong after taste of mushroom which was pretty terrific and one doesn't see mushrooms in this form very often.

We got tasting portions of a terrific black dal which was enjoyable. There was a kalonji wala baigan which was in near perfect imitation of a mirchi ka salan . There was a paneer khada masala was spicy and pretty good as was the Jaipuri aloo.

The purvanchal ka saag i didnt like much because i am not a saag guy.

Their selection of breads is also pretty impressive, the garlic naan was terrific and the zaffrani taftan is something i haven't had before. the warqi malai paratha was a little sweet. 


the biryani was pretty decent and went well with the salan and the daal. The burhani raita though was not so great. 



the rabdi was okay but the khubani ka meetha was tops. 

Overall, the food is pretty good, they could do with a slightly wider selection, i find it slightly limited at this point. The dishes over all are not heavy on the gravy or cream but a lot dryer which is a positive change. A comparable meal anywhere else would leave one feeling like a beached whale. 

Although execution is different to your regular North Indian fine dines, I also think that they played it safe with the menu, there are really no Raj era dishes despite the theme which i think is an opportunity lost.

However The Sahib Room stands out in what is a very competitive fine dine space.  
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