Lovely, “Oldish” place to chillax

Haven’t updated my blog for some time, but this place named Oldish in Sheung Wan that I went with my girl friends last Friday has given me motivation in typing!

We booked a table ahead and were seated close to the entrance. It’s a warm, cozy place that serves up international dishes, and these are what we ordered:

Starters / Side Orders –

Thai Minced Pork Salad with Herbs & Glass Noodles (HK$128): Love the freshness of the lettuce. The ground pork tasted kind of light, not as savory as traditional ones from Thailand. Of course you may argue that it’s healthier in such a way.

Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings (HK$85): Deep-fried single bone wings were addictive and easy to eat (thanks for being thoughtful because girls wouldn’t have to worry if they look bizarre when chewing to get the meat off!). The fried garlic pleased me as a huge garlic lover.

Roti (HK$45, photo forgotten): Hot, puffed up and light, a perfect match with Thai Curry (see below).

Thai Style Potato Stir Fry (HK$75): Evenly-cut potato cubes cooked with onion and bell pepper, coated with spicy, sweet and sour sauce that stimulated the appetite. Potato cubes were moist in the inside but the lack of crispness on the outside was what I thought needed improvement.

Garlic Stir Fry Broccoli with Anchovy (HK$75): Simple veggie dish made special with bites of meaty anchovies!

Main –

Smoked Salmon Brown Rice Risotto in Cream Sauce (HK$148): I didn’t have problem with its mild, creamy taste but I found it too dry as in having too little cream sauce, let alone the desirable all’onda consistency.

Thai Style Fried Brown Rice with Minced Pork & Sunshine Egg (HK$148): This wasn’t impressive as it was, like the Minced Pork Salad (above), absent of the rather bold and exotic flavors typical in Southeastern food.

Thai Curry with Lemongrass Cornflakes Chicken (HK$168): Well, the same issue… maybe it’s because Oldish does not focus on just one type of cuisine, Thai curry did taste fine but did not taste Thai… and I suggest that they serve a bigger portion of it to do the Roti justice (after all, without its dip it’s nothing). Cornflake-coated chicken were good – crunchy and tasty.

Baby Pork Shanks with Spicy & Sour Sauce (HK$148): Cooked to just right, the meat was so tender that they came off from the bone effortlessly. The other girls skipped the sauce because they found it too intense, but to me it was fine and could add excitement to the meat.

Dessert –

Oldish Ginger Crème Brûlée (HK$70): This was essentially a Crème Brûlée flambé! After a minute or so when the flame had gone out, with our spoon we tapped to crack the caramel crust to reveal the creamy, decadent custard that wasn’t sickly sweet (thank God). Very satisfying, and we loved it.

Oldish Tiramisu (HK$75): Classic Italian recipe with a twist, making it look like a donut or an inflatable pool ring. It was smooth in the inside, with the sweetness balanced when eaten with a spoonful of black coffee.

Along with a bottle of German Riesling (Pieroth Blue 2013), the dinner cost roughly at HK$1,460, about HK$290 per head.

In all, it’s a rather secluded place to chill. They have warm, welcoming staff, not to mention Norman, one of the owners who passionately recommended dishes, brought us Crème Brûlée and two glasses of bubbly for free and took time to know our thoughts on his restaurant (and photo-bombed us).

Show Us Your Tattoo (ig: @oldishhk); Oldish

P.S. Do not miss the “Show Us Your Tattoo” promo!
(check out their Instagram: @oldishhk)

P.P.S. Wooden stools, tables and other furniture and household items are available at Growth Ring & Supply, if you like them 🙂

Oldish Limited
G/F, 53 Tung Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
T. +852 2697 3313

– Judith


Motorino + Origin = Fulfilling

For those who have followed my posts, you’d know that I’ve left the publishing group and moved on at a new working place. It’s been brilliant fun so far, which within one month of employment they’ve already sent me onto a business trip to Greece! *GEEZ*

I’m pretty lucked out and I’m absolutely happy about it, but of course that’s also when I started getting real busy too and have seemed to leave my blog behind…

Before I talk about what I’ve eaten at Athens and the beautiful Santorini, I’d like to give way to this one first. Exactly two months ago it was my friend’s birthday. We’ve known each other for some eight or nine years and only in 2014 it came to my mind that I’ve never made her a cake.

So here it is, a not-so-nice-looking-but-super-delicious-matcha-cheesecake — once again, I love you and I wish you the best, Samantha.

Of course, it’s more than just a cake! Another night I brought her to Motorino, an Italian place located along the stairs of Soho.

It’s been quite a long time and it didn’t leave a deep impression. As I can slightly recall, the two antipasti — Prosciutto di Parma + Buffalo Mozzarella (HK$138) and Octopus and Potato Salad w/ Capers & Chili Oil (HK$ 138) — weren’t bad. My strongest opinion though, is if you might order Cherry Stone Clams Pizza ($208) like we did, please DO NOT overspend time on taking photos because it can smell and taste awfully fishy once it starts cooling down. I learned that if I must order this again, I must either boost my photo-snapping skills or only order it when I have more than two people to share.

I introduced her to Origin later of the night. Some of you might be aware of a coverage on Spirito diVino Asia about gin (if not, click to read!; thanks to its awesome (and HOT) barmaid Cherry who you’ll find more often at Quinary instead, I’ve developed affection and appreciation towards the world of mixology.
That night we didn’t meet her there, but felt her presence by ordering her award-winning B24 Gimlet (HK$120) chrysanthemum cocktail with a ginseng taste, and also one of the bar’s signature cocktails named KGB (HK$120), likely to be a short form of “Kyoho grapes – Gin – Bubble Bath”. With both its taste and fabulous presentation, you really don’t want to miss out on this.

G/F, 14 Shelley Street, Central, Hong Kong
T. +852 2801 6881

G/F, 48 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong
T. +852 2668 5583

– Judith

SdVA – Delightful press events…

… that preview up-and-coming events, restaurant menus, fine wine products and more.

Over that 1.5 years with Spirito diVino Asia I’d been invited to numerous press events, and in fact quite a number of them are still coming up even I’m only a small potato in the blogging community right now. Thanks for the support and trust!!!
25 May, 2013@ Domani Ristorante
Press lunch for Made in Italy 2013: Quality & Lifestyle
1. Capesante: pan-fried scallops, butter snow peas, orange dressing
2. Crema di Zucca: pumpkin soup, parmesan ice-cream and amaretto reduction
3. Orata: pan-fried seabream, sauteed spinach and clams
(other options — Lasagna: open-faced lasagna, stracchino cheese, bacon, spring onion and fava beans / Stinco d’agnello: lamb shank, spicy carrots in ginger bread)
4. Zuppa al Cioccolato: cold chocolate soup, milk ice-cream, coffee waffle, vanilla oil

7 October, 2013@ Harbour View Ballroom II, Four Seasons Hotel
Press preview of Castiglion del Bosco‘s Year of Horse limited edition of 888 bottles, collaborated with Chinese artist Tian Shuhan
1. Baked Crab Shell Stuffed with Fresh Crab Meat and Black Truffle (with CdBianco 2012)
2. Double-boiled Sea Whelk with Matsutake Mushrooms and Brassica (with Campo del Drago 2007)
3. Roast Chilean Sea Bass Fillet with Sweet Soy Sauce, Braised Australian Wagyu Beef Cheek in Gravy (with Campo del Drago 1999)
4. Caramelised William Pear with Fromage Blanc Creme, Lemon Verbena Gelato (with San Michele 2008)
5. Petits Fours (with Grappa del Drago)
*AMAZING dishes — the William Pear is one of my most-coveted desserts ever*

8 October, 2013@ Mimura Japanese Restaurant
Press preview of Tokushima specialties — “gifts from the beauty of nature”
1. Deep-fried Awaodori Chicken with Italian balsamic vinegar and Shanghai hairy crab roe
2. Soba-gome with Awaodori Chicken
3. Oden (Japanese hotchpotch with Daikon and chicken ball)
4. Awaodori Chicken wing with aged tangerine peel
5. Torikara with Awaodori
6. Simmered Japanese Eggplant by Dried Awa Shrimp
7. Naruto-Tai Okaki Age
8. Tempura Naruto Kintoki Potato
and A LOT more dishes… let’s not forget the sake Dassai 23, by the way!

– Judith

SdVA – exploration of some of the world’s…

… quickly-evolving cuisines — the exciting Spanish and Peruvian! 😀

In fact, the concept of Peruvian cuisine only came to my mind while I was talking to the “Demon Chef” Alvin Leung of BO Innovation (see photos here), who said that it’s something that every gourmand in the world is paying attention to. Thanks, I think I’m really in love with these two right now.

11 April, 2013@ Catalunya
(read 13 July, 2013 full review here)
1. Avocado and Lobster Roll
2. Catalunya Tomato Tartar
3. Bombas de la Barceloneta
4. The Bikini
5. Suckling Pig Tapa
6. Lobster Rice

20 June, 2013@ VIEW62 by Paco Roncero
1. Liquid Nitrogen Mojito
2. Liquid Olive
3. Liquid Iberico Ham
4. Avocado Cream
5. Nitrogen Passion Fruit, Mint, Coffee with something more
6. Lobster with Olive Oil Soup with Green Tea Foam
7. Beef Cheek
8. Green Tea Chocolate
9. EVOO Candy
and A LOT more…

24 February, 2014@ Chicha
1. Ceviche: Corvina, Tuna, Mixto
2. Causa: Aji de Gallina, Squid, Black Cod
3. Lomo Saltado
4. Pisco Sour
5. Pisco Punch
6. Jolly Roger
7. Tacama Don Manuel
8. Tacama Blanco de Blanco

– Judith

SdVA – fine-dining experiences…

… at award-winning restaurants in Hong Kong.

I visited the below places with the magazine. Some were media luncheons, some were tastings during/after interviews, and some were private dinners held with a cause (let’s say, the one at GOLD by Harlan Goldstein, each pax was actually priced at HK$10,000!!). Great food and wine; overall a great experience.

And by the way, I was in fact thinking whether to have BO Innovation in this or in the coming post, but at the end I’ve decided to keep it here since it did fetch some outstanding accolades… Guess what the coming theme of my SdVA post would be?

7 March, 2013@ 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA
3 Michelin-starred
#10 of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014
1. 30-month Culatello di Zibello Ham on Thin-sliced Green Apple
2. Fried Shrimp
3. Homemade Tagliolini with Maguro Tuna and Bottarga
4. Perigord Black Truffle Risotto
5. Tajima Beef Short Rib and Tenderloin with Plum Sauce
6. Montebianco (Mont Blanc Dessert)

20 May, 2013@ GOLD by Harlen Goldstein
1. Mediterranean Fish Soup, Japanese Clam and Garlic Saffron Toast 
2. Hokkaido King Crab, Organic Fruit Tomato, White Asparagus and Ginger Sesame Dressing
3. Wild Seabass Fillet with Octopus
4. Giant Spanish Red Prawn, Linguine, Baby Shrimp Sauce and Bottarga di Muggine
5. 24H Slow-cooked Beef Cheek, Parmesan Mash, Forest Mushrooms and Honey-glazed Brussel Sprouts
6. White Chocolate, Strawberry, Passion Fruit

19 July, 2013@ L’Altro
Michelin-starred (read full review here)

3 January, 2013@ BO Innovation
3 Michelin-starred
#15 of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014
1. Molecular “Xiao Long Bao” (Little Bun)
2. “Lap Mei Fan” (Chinese Waxed Meat Rice)
3. Mulhoe: foie gras, spicy Korean miso, pear, sea urchin, sea bladder, smoked squid, sea bream and yacon
4. Lotus Leaf: chicken, charcoal biscuits, bone marrow, chicken liver, preserved kumquat and lily bulb
5. “Mao Tai” (Calamansi)

– Judith


“WHAT THE F***?!” — This was my colleague’s first and very genuine reaction after looking at my lunchbox today, followed by a chain of laughter.

Well, by being able to catch people’s attention (in the office and on the MTR) and get them to ask questions, WTF!?XXD is at the first step to success by only soft-opening in Central.

I can imagine your furrowed brows now, as I had the exact same look on my face while I first saw the restaurant name. WTF is Wholesome Tasty Food while XXD, rather than being an insane laughing face “XD” (tilt your head to the left), means Xhibiting Xtreme Deliciousness.

In fact, it was last week while someone did a little write-up on Facebook to promote the shop; a friend “Liked” the post, went there, posted a photo along with a short description. The same thing popped up twice on my news feed and I thought to myself, “it’s destiny… let’s give it a go!” So even though It was chilly and drizzling this afternoon, and that I was actually suffering from a cold *sneeze* it didn’t stop me from traveling from Causeway Bay to Central for its soft opening. I’m (the staff are too) surprised by my determination when it comes to food.

Western Bento - Penne with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Salad; WTF!?XXD

They offer croissant, ciabatta, panini, salad, and this Bento: Penne with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Salad (HK$53).

Penne provides a large surface area for the thick, creamy fragrant-infused sauce to cling onto, making the pasta a very appetible and fulfilling one; russet potatoes are nicely seasoned with salt and fresh rosemary(!); while salad is clean and fresh to mark the start of the lunch.

Big thoughts thrive on small space. It’s all about quirky designs and bold colours that cheer you up in a jiffy, and a range of home-cooked food that comes also in muffins, scones and bagel from the West and steamy buns, siu-mai, rice paper rolls and more from the East.

And oh, have I not mentioned that the Bento comes in Chinese style too?

Shop 6, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
tel. +852 2346 8889

– Judith

Cravings in Bangkok! (2)

Continuing with the previous post, below are more cravings Samantha and I had in Bangkok, back in mid-December 2013!

12 DECEMBER, 2013

Basically we gave ourselves a spa break for each of the day in Bangkok, but on the fourth day we’d decided to put it on the very top of our itinerary to kick start the beautiful day 🙂

Don’t panic yet, it’s still a food blog! The reason why I’m mentioning the Center Point Massage in Silom is the cup of Matoom Tea served before and after its heavenly, exceptional spa treatment; and of course, it also happens to be one of the must-goes on my list.

Matoom is essentially bael fruit, and this herbal tea is known for cleansing and keeping your digestive system healthy. What the staff do is as simple as bringing the dried pieces up to a boil and adding sugar to taste. But since I only found powdered ones in Big C Supermarket, that’s what I got for myself 🙂 and I’m excited that it tastes equally good!

Afterwards we had lunch at Samai Seik Chicken Rice. It is not heavily promoted, but a low-profile place along the street with an old facade that has it’s name written in Thai that made it difficult for non-locals like us to find.

I think it deserves to be known by more people as its Chicken Rice is actually also very yummy. Boneless, silky smooth chicken meat and yellow-tinged rice to be eaten with red chili sauce different from that in Kaiton Pathumwan (check my last post for more info). It’s hard to tell which one is more superior for they have given the same dish different personalities. But one thing that I’m sure to tell is, the soup here is a whole lot better.

Later of the day, we walked into the neighborhood of Thonglor to hit up the widely-discussed Water Library (Thonglor) on Sukhumvit 55, one of the streets in Bangkok that is highly concentrated with quality, decent bars and restaurants.

It is urban and stylish; walking into the bar area we’re greeted by Mirko Gardelliano the corporate mixologist, who showed us the outdoor terrace, private dining room and wine cellar.

At the main bar area is a shelf of homemade infusion of which its bartenders use to make the drinks. Mirko brought us two cocktail drinks: Gummy Bear and WOW… Guava!

There are a number of drinks under the Gummy Bear category and for this particular one, drink only the upper part, the gin infusion, because the bottom part in blue was liquid nitrogen that released fog for an exciting visual impact (sadly though, didn’t last long). Remember to squeeze the Gummy Bear pipettes onto the palate first to later give the whole drink a wake-up, while chewing gummy bears in between the sips add a whimsical touch to the taste. It’s in general refreshing, with hints of mango, passion fruit and citrus.

WOW… Guava! is a bittersweet infused gin, where a few good drops of homemade Aphrodisiac Bitter helped enhance the already rich fruity flavor to bring a remarkable after taste.

Mirko says a lot of people visit and return to Water Library for it is a place created for real, decent cocktail appreciation. This is my ideal kind of bars too.

Soon after we left, we headed down to the middle of the street for diVino Food & Bar, where its much cosy and down-to-earth setting welcomes everyone like old friends at Roberto Ferin, the Italian restaurateur’s home.

It is comprised of an outdoor terrace, a dining room made to resemble a stone wine cellar with vaulted ceiling (where we were seated) and an adjacent two-storey building named as diVino Deli Shop for casual dinners and takeaways. Roberto kindly served us with aperitivo, a glass of red and white each, a Mini Artichoke, Ham and Cheese Pizza and also its signature Fresh Tuna Salad.

Offering a wide selection of Italian wines (plus some choices from the New World), Indulging food, great ambience and fantastic hospitality, it well deserves the Reader’s Choice Award under the Best Wine Bars category in Bangkok’s Best Dining 2013.
*Read more about diVino Food & Wine in Spirito diVino Asia #8 February/March 2014 issue*

13 DECEMBER, 2013

If you already know me, you’d agree with me that the last day was just lovely and purrrrrrfect to me. We didn’t have a lot of time so Purr Cat Café Club in the serene neighbourhood of Thonglor was the only place we went before heading to the airport.

There were several steps to follow: took off our shoes outside at the garden, put on slippers, wash our hands, get them sanitized with rubbing alcohol and at last, read the “PURR-RULES” that include “play with them nicely” and “please do not hold cats” (*they fine 1,000 Baht for breaking the rules*). All these are to ensure a nice environment for the beautiful felines to thrive. We don’t just come and go, but be responsible 🙂

The café is divided into three main parts: the reception, the cat-free outer lounge and the inner one that I’d call the “cat paradise” for housing more than 20 cats, with walls painted in pristine white to feel clean and spacious.

My thoughtful friend ordered food from the cake counter while I was busying taking photos and having fun with the 20 something cats. And she’s indeed more than thoughtful as the waitress brought the food over to our table, there’s a slice of cake with HBD to… Judith 2013 written on the plate with melted chocolate!

I must apologize that for shifting focus to the cats (who wouldn’t?) and therefore cannot write much about the food. But from what I recall ever so slightly, Lasagne was not exactly a good choice, Hot Latte was nice and foamy while Strawberry Cake was just ok with too generous amounts of cream.

But anyway, I’m very sure to revisit in my every coming trip to Bangkok 🙂 It’s such a delight spending time with these fluffy animals — the lazy Persians, playful American Shorthairs, gentle (and gigantic) Maine Coon and more — CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!!

/ / / / /
Samai Seik Chicken Rice
209 Silom Road, Bangkok, Thailand (BTS-Sala Daeng / MRT-Si Lom)

Water Library Thonglor
The Grass, Thonglor Soi 12, Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok, Thailand (BTS-Thong Lor)
+66 2 714 9292

diVino Food & Wine
Penny’s Balcony, Thonglor Soi 16, Sukhumvit 55, Bangkok, Thailand (BTS-Thong Lor)
+66 2 714 8723

Purr Cat Café Club
Thonglor Soi 53, Sukhumvit, Bangkok, Thailand (BTS-Thong Lor)
+66 2 108 3604

– Judith

To-do: Meet Italian winemaker

What would you do after having fun on three consecutive days of Mid-Autumn Festival? Yes we all know the standard answer is to drag our unwilling feet back to the office 😦 But hold on a sec — there is something we can do to make Monday a better day! 😎

Meeting with Italian winemaker Marco Fantinel

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Does “Amaroni” only remind you of Amarone?

So it was another dinner for dad on the night of his birthday :). Mom made the choice and it was at Amaroni’s Little Italy at Kowloon Tong. So Amarone is a red wine varietal and is something different, don’t mix them up.

The Italian-American restaurant launched alongside Festival Walk in 1998, no wonder as I think back, I realized I’ve been seeing it even before entering high school (ah, I’m almost revealing my age)! But the strangest thing is I seemed to have never dined there until that evening! 😯

The atmosphere was great — lamps that come in many different designs gave out warm glow; crowded tables sat with happy people, and attentive staff who worked really quite quickly, with taller ones carrying HUGE platters in and out of the kitchen seemingly effortlessly.

Bread Basket; Amaroni's Little Italy

Dinner started off with a basket of Fresh-baked Bread, where the one with moist and airy interior (maybe ciabatta?) was my favourite.

Soft Shell Crab with Lemon-thyme Aioli; Amaroni's Little Italy

Soft Shell Crabs with Lemon-thyme Aioli was appetizing. I love it, I really love it!! Warm and crispy, especially savoury when dipped into the sauce that was well-balanced between garlic and herbs 😛
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