Monday, 28 January 2013

house of canton @ festival walk, kowloon tong, hong kong

After a day's shopping at Festival Walk in Hong Kong, we managed to rest our feet and refuel for dinner at the House of Canton. Thankfully it was a restaurant we didn't need to wait or book for and ended up being quite a luxurious affair and well, I can't help but feel a little grown up when friends and I dine out at a Chinese restaurant and order dishes which our parents would usually order.

House of Canton offer daily specials and the special this particular day was their Peking Duck. Paper thin pancakes topped with crispy Peking Duck.

I'm not sure how three of us thought we could eat an entire duck but somehow we managed.

The highlight of the meal was the barbeque pork - the perfect combination of 50% fatty pork and 50% lean pork; something you really only get in Hong Kong. The ones in Sydney tend to be quite lean and use the red colouring for effect.

A particular favourite of mine is the crab with egg white, served with black vinegar.

My friend E thinks that it's not worth it ordering white rice so we ordered the restaurant's recommended special fried rice which had scallops and fish roe.

And to balance out the meal, a nice, big plate of vegies.

Dining at a Chinese restaurant is a little more expensive than most food you can get in Hong Kong but once in a while, it does make for the perfect meal. The bonus of dining at a shopping centre attached to a MTR station is that you can finish dinner and make a quick getaway home - although I think we all waddled off from this particular one; maybe one less dish could've adequately fed the three of us.

Friday, 18 January 2013

tim ho wan @ sham shui po, hong kong

Since coming back from holidays, I've been asked numerous times by numerous people where I went and what I did. Most holidays overseas are usually filled with activities and sightseeing and when you happen to be Hong Kong, eating is actually an activity which you do about 5 times a day. So yes, I did a lot of eating on my holiday.

One of the most noteworthy mentions this trip was my visit to Tim Ho Wan. I've probably joined the Tim Ho Wan bandwagon a little late but to sum it up, BBQ Pork Pineapple Bun - order it!

The original Tim Ho Wan is actually in Mong Kok but to beat the crowds, a friend recommended us to head over to the Sham Shui Po store where the wait is considerably shorter. It helps that the store is a lot bigger and you aren't dealing with the crowds that linger around Mong Kok.

Yum cha staples - Har Gow and Black Bean Chilli Chicken Feet.

Steamed Prawn Rice Rolls.

Steamed Stuffed Eggplant.

Another yum cha must - Siu Mai.

Here's the BBQ Pork Pineapple Bun which you really have to order. A perfect balance of bun to filling; you can make it a meal just eating these. I believe this is also the bun that won them their Michelin star.

Each serve you order comes with 3 buns.

Here's how much it costed us for all the things we ordered - works out to be about $20 AUD for 2 people; you can't complain about that for Michelin star dining.

Hot Taro Sago Soup - taro and sago are two of my favourite ingredients and I think just work perfectly together.

After the BBQ Pork Buns, I'd recommend you try this one which is their Steamed Egg white dessert with Birds Nest. The steamed egg is ever so smooth.

Here's where the shop is. Suggest you actually get off at Shek Kip Mei station rather than Sham Shui Po as it works out being closer by foot from the station.

Never thought I'd actually try a Michelin star restaurant and one that I can actually afford! Did I mention already that you must order the BBQ pork bun? There's actually a lot of items on their menu which warrant a second and even third visit and had I stayed in Hong Kong for a bit longer, I definitely would've gone back. There's a few out there who are a little skeptical of their Michelin accolade but given they're making their dim sums fresh everyday and keeping prices quite reasonable and their pork buns are so tasty; I think they're doing a pretty good job!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

miso eggplant

Last weekend I did one of the dopiest things; hopped along to the Myer one day sale after hearing about the 40% off books, bought myself a book and came home realising that it was already sitting on my shelf. And you know what, that's exactly something my dad would do although dad would just add it to his collection. In my case, I promptly went back to Myer the next day and returned mine; I think the lady behind the counter felt a little sorry for me and offered some reassuring words that publishers these days keep changing those damn covers to make things confusing (which I do agree with!)

Which brings me to this post for Miso Eggplant. The book I have, bought again and then returned is in fact 'Bill's Everyday Asian'. It's been a good while since I've flipped open this book and now that I have, I've been cooking from it everyday. Can't believe I nearly forgot how simple Bill's recipes were!

Not quite as impressive looking as the photo in the cookbook but tastes fantastic!

Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 3 tbsp vegetable oil and when hot, stir-fry 500gm chopped eggplant for 10 minutes. Mix 2 tbsp mirin, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp caster sugar and 1 tbsp white miso paste in a small bowl, add to the work with 4 spring onions (cut into 5cm lengths) and stir fry for 1 minute. If you cover the wok with a lid half way, you should be able to reduce the cooking time by about 3-4 minutes. Just check the eggplant to see that it's reached the level of softness that you're after.

This is a dish that hardly takes any time to make but packed full of vegie goodness. More Bill posts to follow!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

euro taste @ top ryde shopping centre

I've just about tried all the restaurants at Top Ryde Shopping Centre and one that my friends and I keep returning to is Euro Taste; only a small cafe on the top floor but packs a punch in terms of food quality and value.

Take for example this extremely juicy Portugese Chicken Wrap. Yes it may get a little messy with all the juices seeping out as you eat but it beats dry chicken in a dry wrap which leaves you hiccuping for most of your meal (and yes, that does happen to me a lot).

The boys seems to come here for the steaks which are rather good value when you're paying less than $15 for your meal. 

One jolly customer!

The staff are really quite lovely. Food is always served promptly though there may be a wait if you try to get takeaway as one of my friends experienced but always better to dine in if you have the time. Aiming to get through the last of the restaurants which I haven't tried at the shopping centre this year so will let you all know if this place still ends up being the best value!

Monday, 14 January 2013

the rustic pie co. @ top ryde shopping centre

Happy New Year peeps! Hope everyone had a good break. Myself - well I've been eating it up in Hong Kong and Japan for a good 3 weeks and ever so slowly, easing myself back into a more healthy routine. I went for a run the other day and told the boy that my abs were hurting and he just laughed at me; fair enough, there is probably more excess weight than there is ab but still!

So in the usual state of things, plenty of posts to catch up on but I thought I'd start the year with a post on a place I discovered on the weekend in my neck of the woods. I'll start by saying that the owner's passion for his new shop is infectious and the food they're serving up certainly speaks for itself.

Introducing The Rustic Pie Co.; opened up just before Christmas last year at Top Ryde Shopping Centre.

The storefront is the first thing to catch your attention - neatly presented and well, it's just my kind of thing. At the moment, there's a temporary menu up on the wall as you enter which I've been told by the owner, Anthony is shortly to be replaced by a chalkboard in conjunction with a much more extensive menu in the next few months as they find their feet. My lunchtime selection of a Osso Buco Beef & Mushroom pie served with rustic chips and coleslaw.

The boy's Special selection of Osso Buco Beef with red wine, with a side of rustic chips and sweet potato mash. Presentation is stellar and the pies are scrumptious. With the 2 sides, it makes for a more than decent meal.

With our table so close to the menu, I couldn't help but peruse their selection of 'Sweetie Pies'. After some deliberation (the homemade apple pie being the one in contention), I chose the Cherry Pie served with a side of ice cream. And look how lovely the owner was, he gave us some freebie mini chocolate milkshakes (which he assured us was the best accompaniment to their sweetie pies).

There's plenty more pie and side selections on the menu to keep you coming back. Both the savoury and sweet tooth are catered for and well, I'm eager to see what these guys have in store over the next few months as the business takes off.