issue 75 | october 2015 www.afoodieworld.com
The Foods of Fall Autumn promises a new crop to feast your eyes on
Craving Comfort Recipes to nourish the soul
CEO Lily Ng CTO Derek Kean Editor-in-Chief Alicia Walker Editor-at-Large Celia Hu Digital Editor Keshia Hannam Creative Director Helen Griffiths Designer Robert Li
“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” That Emily Bronte sure knows how to colour her words with the sentiments of many. That burnt orange hue that hides for so many seasons, comes out in full force in foods this month and sets our eyes alight leading to a rumbling hunger in our bellies at the thoughts of the pumpkin, sweet potato, persimmons and pomelos that are now coming into season. We have an autumnal feast for the senses this issue, with all those fall-flavoured foods dotting our pages from start to finish. To end with another apt quotation from Samuel Butler (and because I couldn’t choose between the two) “What we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” Exactly.
Foodie Club & Events Manager Hannah Chung
Head of Sales & Marketing Joseph Kwok Client Engagement Manager Kathryn Riley Developer Dale Foo
Alicia Walker Editor-in-Chief email@example.com
Photographer Sophie Jin
Food-loving folk who’ve helped us this month:
Published by Foodie Group, Suite 1401, 14/F, Wah Hing Commercial Building, 283 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, HK www.afoodieworld.com Printed by Teams Printing Co., Ltd.
Foodie is published monthly, 12 times a year. The contents of the magazine are fully protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted without permission. The publisher and editors accept no responsibility in respect to any products, goods or services that may be advertised or referred to in this issue or for any errors, omissions or mistakes in any such advertisements or references. Foodie and the Foodie magazine logo are trademarks of Foodie Group Limited. All rights reserved.
This comfort cooking extraordinaire shows us how to recreate her gorgeous recipes p.24
Our Foodie explorer missions to Helsinki for a taste of the Finnish capital p.32
Our kitchen experimenter wraps our taste buds up in a nice big pho p.48
Love food? Join the Foodie community!
www.afoodieworld.com //october 2015
If you’d like us to help you to promote your brand, please contact Joseph Kwok at firstname.lastname@example.org, 3791 2565
C onte nt s 20 FOOD WAR
It’s a contest of the kimchis. These are a few of the supermarket’s finest; we try so you can buy
Foodie Quote of the Month “The [Five Second Rule] has many variations, including The Three Second Rule, The Seven Second Rule, and the extremely handy and versatile The However Long It Takes Me to Pick Up This Food Rule.” — Neil Pasricha
22 CHEWIN’ THE FAT… with Buddy Valastro, the cake boss made famous from his reality tv show chats about his recent stint in Asia
24 THE FOODS OF FALL The autumnal harvest holds a colourful crop to entice your taste buds
26 MASTERCHEF ASIA The famed reality show heads east
Cover story 40 CRAVING COMFORT From cottage pie and chicken tikka to rosemary chicken and good ole apple pie, these recipes from My Little Hong Kong Kitchen will soothe the soul
28 THE RISE OF CASUAL ITALIAN
34 FOODIE FORAYS Keshia Hannam hits up Helsinki and sinks her teeth into the foods of Finland
In his first column, Yalun Tu suggests the ideal first date food
48 CHINEASY Kelly Yau stirs up a tasty and easy pho
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
A new breed of all-day dining from the pastamakers of Europe is making an overdue appearance on our shores
36 THE EVENT
This month’s hottest news bites
If you’re looking for a ghoulishly good way to celebrate this year’s All Hallows’ Eve, we’ve got three fiendishly foodie-filled evenings planned with full sit down suppers and free flow wine on October 29th, 30th and 31st. The location is top secret and promises to be full of thrills and delicious grub. Sign up to foodie club to gain access to these spectre-tacular nights or you’ll be haunted with regret.
If you’re itching to take a trip across the water to Hong Kong’s glitzy neighbour, it’s worth noting that the Ritz-Carlton Macau is now fully operational and celebrating their 100th day in Asia’s sin city. Among the delights to behold are The Ritz-Carlton Cafe, iconic Chinese dining at Man Ho and Lai Heen and the multitudinous delights of Urban Kitchen. www.ritzcarlton.com
THE BENEFITS OF BIRCH
The latest superdrink to hit the Hong Kong scene takes the form of a beautifully bottled sap of the birch tree. Sibberi Birch Water is extra special as it can only be harvested for two weeks each year; its pleasantly interesting and acquired natural flavour is said to be so good for you it’ll flush out toxins, fix up a hangover, reduce cellulite and is a natural diuretic. Completely unsweetened, loaded with electrolytes, potassium and vitamins B and C, and only 15 calories per bottle, it just might be worth the $40 price tag. Available online at www.berrytime.com, www.lifeproject.hk and in-store at Food for Life or Cabinet Organic. www.sibberi.com
GOING GREEN Customised snack boxes full of healthy, wholesome, organic snacks, superfoods and beverages are now available here in the 852. It can be tricky to find great eats in between meals from the local supermarkets that aren’t loaded with salts and sugars, and that’s exactly what Greenberry aim to provide. The monthly subscription service curates carefully personalised goods for adults and children to munch on throughout the day. They currently have two boxes available, one for kids, and one for adults that you can add to lunch boxes, keep in your desk drawer, or stash in the cupboard at home for when the hunger pangs strike. As self-confessed frequent snackers, they’ve got our attention! www.greenberry.com
THE AMBER NECTAR
If you’ve gotten into the coconut oil craze with all its multi-faceted benefits and uses, you’ll be thrilled to discover Coconut Matter, a Hong Kong-based company that creates 100 per cent organic coconut products from fair trade farms harvested from coconut trees in the Solomon Islands. As well as the now popular oils, other coconut products on their site include such goodies as chocolate coconut jam (yes there is such a thing!), coconut sugar, shredded and creamed coconut and coconut flour.
It’s that month of the year when hops and suds start to cloud our minds as lagers and ales are celebrated for their cool and foamy goodness. The annual Beertopia is Hong Kong’s favourite way to fully appreciate beer in its many forms, and this year the festival is from October 9-10th and takes place down at Central Harbourfront. Featuring over 500 different beers from all over the globe, plenty of hot food vendors, live music and a new games area this year to entertain the whole fam. Tickets start at $280, including beer tokens, and are available from
Order online from www.coconutmatter.com
twitter.com/foodiehk // october 2015
the best of the bloggers
Q. Mooncakes: love em’ or hate em’? Michelle Ng www.chopstixfix.wordpress.com
Ale Wilkinson www.thedimsumdiaries.com I’m neither here nor there about mooncakes. I’ll occasionally have a bite of one to be polite or because I want to see if I like it more than I did the year before, but I generally find them overly sweet and heavy, so I can never manage more than a quarter of one. Plus, they are apparently seriously high in calories - calories that aren’t even worth eating!
Sharon Maloney www.jasmine-ginger.com I am a BIG mooncake lover. Never met one I didn’t like. I even like the old-skool ones with the salted duck’s egg yolk in! I welcome all flavours and styles, snowy, ice-cream-filled, Starbucks coffee monstronsities and traditional. Send ‘em my way! That said, a very little goes a long way. I certainly couldn’t eat my weight in them or else I’d be waddling by now.
Love them! My absolute favs are the white lotus seed with double egg yolk- the best is when you’re having mooncakes with someone who doesn’t like the yolks, which means I get them all! My least favourite are the custard ones, as they don’t epitomize Mid-Autumn Festival in the same way for me as the traditional egg yolk versions.
Stephanie Ko www.stephs852diary.com I have usually found traditional mooncakes a tad too filling for me, but the contemporary mooncakes in recent years have turned out to be really exciting! There are chocolate mooncakes produced by top chocolate brands, ice cream mooncakes as well as mooncakes in all sorts of interesting flavours, such as durian and taro. My mum and I have also tried making snow skin mooncakes at home, which have a glutinous rice wrapper and do not need to be baked, and we are happy with the results!
Cheuk Fung is a contributor on afoodieworld.com who lives by the foodie philosophy, ‘you gotta risk it to get the biscuit’. Here’s a snippet from his article on 5 iconic Hong Kong buns: From the ubiquitous bakeries on every corner to thousands of people gathering annually at Cheung Chau to watch competitors risk their lives to climb up a mountain made of buns, Hong Kong’s intimate relationship with buns is unquestionable and perhaps even obsessive. The pineapple bun is named so despite containing no pineapple but because its sugary, egg yolk-coated top crust is cooked into a golden brown checkered pattern which resembles the appearance of a pineapple. In cha chaan tengs, the pineapple bun is often served with a big slice of butter stuffed in the middle and while this translates to sky high fat and cholesterols, it is still a much celebrated comfort food... Read the rest here: www.afoodieworld.com/cheukfung 06
the social foodie
Tempting Foodie-grams and funny food tweets we giggled over this month
The de Blasio sandwich at Posto Pubblico
Similar to yawning, when you see one coworker make a coffee, you automatically feel compelled to make a coffee. It’s science.
“I eat cake because it’s someone’s birthday somewhere.” — Lana Del Rey
I try to live with no regrets but then sugar cookies get into the mix and it goes to hell. Cinnamon roll from Copenhagen’s Lagkagehuset bakery
‘Google wants me to accept its cookies. Not whilst I’m fasting mate’.
If you don’t eat the rind, you don’t deserve the brie.
Get Involved! Join the Foodie community
www.afoodieworld.com // october 2015
Photo credit: Daniel Wong
Last Month at... Soi 7 Our latest Foodie Club event brought us to a new contemporary Thai restaurant just a stone’s throw away from LKF on Wyndham Street. Soi 7 adds an inventive twist to traditional Thai dishes and uses only the freshest products that they import directly from markets in Ayutthaya, Bangkok. We were impressed with their edgy décor and particularly liked the stunning geometric scene created by the bold murals across the restaurant and retro-style movie posters reminiscent of 70’s movie theatres. We started our set meal with an array of appetisers including spicy chicken wings, prawns and satay skewers and one that certainly stood out, the tuna tartare wonton “tacos”, which was an extraordinarily refreshing fusion dish comprising elements of three different cultures. The heat of the chilli lime sauce paired perfectly against the cool of the finely chopped, smooth raw tuna. The shell made of wonton skin was incredibly thin and stayed crispy, despite its juicy
fillings. There were two winners among the main courses we tried. The first was the aptly named ‘laughing bull’, a creative twist from the timehonoured traditional Thai dish “crying tiger”. Cooked sous-vide for 12 hours, the pieces of meat were outrageously tender and the side of Nam-Jim-Jeaw dressing brought out the deep flavours of the Australian beef. The second winner was the Kaprow burger. It was certainly the most substantial dish out of our nine-course menu and after marveling at its pure size and aesthetically pleasing structure, we attempted a bite and were surprised with every component. The red-hued toasted brioche bun is flavoured with red pepper and ours encased a perfectly cooked Wagyu beef patty, fried egg and spicy Krapow sauce. With their friendly service, chic yet homey ambience and rigid standards for quality and authenticity of ingredients, our foodies definitely found Soi 7 is top of the line.
Soi 7 57 Wyndham Street, Central, 2840 0041 www.soi7.com.hk/
PASSIONE Ristorante Italiano This new Italian vows to bring a perfect blend of traditional and modern recipes prepared with only the freshest of ingredients. With rustic wooden panelled walls, warm lighting and a combination of brown and beige furniture, the décor at PASSIONE is minimalistic yet elegant, and creates a perfectly cosy environment well suited for long conversations. If you don’t already know, our First Bites events are for foodies eager to get ahead of the curve and try the newest restaurants in town. We were offered a five-course tasting menu last week that allowed us to taste the best that PASSIONE had to offer. We started with a unique dish of smoked swordfish and onion gelato, and while this combination seems odd, the light, savoury touch of the thinly sliced swordfish had a particular affinity with the gelato, it was soft, silky, and refreshing as an appetiser. Next up was the Parma ham ravioli in a butter sage and green asparagus sauce. These delicate pasta pillows were packed with flavour and richness.
We watched Chef Marco demonstrate how to make our next course of risotto with caperberries and dots of caviar that really brightened up the deep flavours of the coffee risotto and complemented the salted cod. The next course of sea bream was served acqua pazza style, which was light and fresh with the natural flavours of the fish shining through. Certainly one of the highlights of the evening was the grilled Iberico pork with leeks, tomatoes and celeriac purée served with apple and fig Mostarda. We couldn’t resist the allure of the chocolate salami, which made for a perfect ending. While Italian eateries are fairly ubiquitous in Hong Kong, there aren’t that many that excel at both contemporary recipes and dishes that stick close to their Italian roots. PASSIONE is commendable because it caters to both those that want to be adventurous and also those looking for some good old fashion Italian comfort food. Written by CF Ng
PASSIONE Ristorante Italiano 3/F, Jardine Centre, 50 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay, 3523 1955
www.afoodieworld.com // october 2015
Photo credit: Daniel Wong
iPick Insider: Kennedy Town Food Tour Last month we tasted our way around five of iPick’s restaurants in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Kennedy Town. iPick is your new food and beverage social app to help you discover the best eats in town through friends and trusted sources. As well as plenty of food there were also prizes up for grabs for the best reviewers on iPick that evening, so our foodies were snapping their way around to find the ultimate food shot. We kick started the tour at Kinsale with some fantastic tuna crudo, beef short rib and lump crab cakes served with a refreshing summer beer. Our second stop was only few metres down the road at Fish & Chick where we tried their signature eponymous dishes and super soft croquettes. Their quality chicken is marinated for 6 hours before being cooked on the rotisserie for that flavourful crispy skin. Next we moved on to candle-lit Bistro du Vin, where owner Randy served perfect locally sourced pigeon and seasonal figs; rustic, quality food that our
iPick reviewers just couldn’t get enough of. The undoubted show stopper certainly was their madeleines, served hot out of the oven. We waddled over to Sunday’s Grocery, to find their epic chicken katsu sandos ready and waiting. Phones were out instantly as ultimately everything looks cool in this alchohol-oriented sandwich shop. The best quote from a reviewer was that this is simply ‘a man cave heaven’. You can’t go wrong with whiskey and sandwiches. Deliriously high on food at this point, we rocked up at Shoreditch, a recent addition to the neighbourhood serving traditional British food, to try their succulent pork with crispy skin and sticky toffee pudding - a big warm hug to end the marathon tour. Ending at Catch Next Door for an after-party, we grabbed a nightcap and tried not to doze off into a week-long food coma. If you missed the event, download iPick, start reviewing and stay tuned. They will be dishing out more iPick Insider events for active users and influencers.
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tried & tasted
New! Mr & Mrs Fox 29 Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay, 2697 8500 鰂魚涌糖廠街29號地下
24 lucky guests. Executive Chef Joey Sergentakis, the former Chef de Cuisine of Cafe Gray Deluxe commands the kitchen. Mentored by culinary greats the likes of Gray Kunz and Daniel Boulud, Chef Joey’s menu is rustic yet with an undercurrent of sophistication. Family-style rustic affair: We commenced the evening with sumptuous tiered shellfish platters ($975) accented with sweet tender snow crab legs and ruby red spot prawns from Vancouver, Canada. A refreshing, zesty Hokkaido scallop ceviche ($135) followed, alongside a charcuterie board stacked with creamy foie gras, rillettes, and cold cuts. The crab and apple salad ($90), bejewelled with grapes, radishes and walnut granola, was a delicious balance of sweet and savoury notes, and a perfect palate cleanser following the rich cold cuts. A feast for the taste buds as well as for the eyes, the barbeque duck consomme with foie gras ($75) arrived on a tray complete with a French press filled with the flavourful soup. Poured tableside, the delicate smoky soup balanced the richness of the duck and poached cubes of buttery foie gras. Tiny slices of raw parsnip added unexpected pops of sweetness while fresh basil added intoxicating perfume. With much fanfare, the salt-baked snapper ($495) arrived encased in an intricately molded pastry crust that harkened back to the elaborate dishes of a medieval kitchen.
www.afoodieworld.com //october 2015
What did the fox say?: Sorry, we just couldn’t resist, but before we get the song stuck in your head, let’s talk about the newest addition to Swire Group’s restaurant portfolio. The whimsically named Mr & Mrs Fox was inspired by the characters of a children’s book. The three-storey venue, which occupies a corner of Taikoo Place Apartments in Quarry Bay, is filled with plenty of playful touches. On the ground floor is the laid-back domain of Mrs Fox, where a selection of quirky cocktails as well as craft brews and wines are on offer alongside casual bites and seafood platters. Climb the stairs and you arrive at Mr Fox’s cozy dining room, where a menu filled with sustainable and organic produce entices diners while interactive trolleys groaning with cheese, desserts and made-to-order martinis weave through the plush dining room. The top floor is decked with full-length bookcases toppling with antique books and other curios such as an old rifle that would have looked right at home in the hands of a Confederate soldier. A gentle push of the book shelves reveals the hidden “fox den”, an intimate yet spacious private dining space and outdoor terrace with capacity to accommodate
Dry-aged wagyu striploin
tried & tasted
However, the snapper could have been more tender, although we adored the herby gribiche sauce that gave the fish incredible flavour. As the exclusive importer in Hong Kong of “Black Market” Rangers Valley beef from Australia, the restaurant has designed a special ageing station for this M5+ grade Black Angus beef. The 16 ounce sirloins ($285) we tasted were a bit gamey for our preference, and came alongside addictively sweet roasted garlic and a trio of sauces ranging from classic bearnaise, green peppercorn and cognac, to chimichurri. To cap off the soft opening launch, we indulged our sweet tooth in the fluffy, 72 per cent Araguani chocolate souffle ($80) alongside spoonfuls of tart passion fruit sauce. The banana baked Alaska ($155) was flame-broiled tableside to give the marshmallow crust a beautiful caramel sheen. The nostalgic 80s dessert was a dream filled with peanut butter and chocolate ice cream, banana, cookies and rice krispies. Verdict: A beautiful, whimsical venue with an eclectic, creative menu. Some of the dishes during the soft opening shined more than others, but the menu is still very much a work in progress. We’re confident it will get there, so you should head over soon to play house with Mr & Mrs Fox.
Pork with whole-grain mustard
Comptoir 42 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, 2453 9873 西環科士街42號地舖 What is it? Tapas with French wine, what’s not to love? We are always looking for a great place to meet our friends, have a few snacks, catch up over a great bottle of wine, while keeping it easy on our wallets and we’ve found just the spot. Comptoir, which in French means, “central bar”, is one of the newest additions to a buzzing Kennedy Town bar and restaurant scene. This new concept, brought to you by the people at French Creations (responsible for spots like F.A.B and Pastis), focuses around the owners’ love of fine French wine and Chef Jerome Abraham’s French twist on traditional Spanish tapas. The place: Just a five-minute walk from the Kennedy Town MTR station, Comptoir has a fresh, modern feel, highlighted by clean white subway tiles and marble countertops. What’s special about this location is their wine cellar and private room upstairs.
Mr & Mrs Fox: chocolate souffle
The food and the wine: We launched into our evening with a crisp, fruity rosé, the 2014 Domaine la Rouillère ($65), paired deliciously with our appetisers: cheese croquettes, tuna tartare and the artichoke and bacon “barigoule.” The tuna tartare ($95) was fresh, bright, and well-seasoned with a soy sauce and coriander dressing. The cheese croquettes
tried & tasted
Burgundy ($90) and our last dish, the Mangalica pork, served on a bed of garlic spinach and piquillo. We couldn’t have been any happier with the way our meal ended; the pork was perfectly done, and presented beautifully on a granite stone, accompanied with whole-grain mustard. In the end: Doubling as a wine shop / importer (if you buy wine to take home, they give you $100 off), Comptoir was a culinary surprise that we enjoyed from start to finish. We think their concept of bringing tapas-style plates, delicious, affordable wine, and a comfortable space where friends can get together for an evening rendezvous is a winning combination. Written by Mac Ling
www.afoodieworld.com //october 2015
($40) were lightly fried for a crunchy pankocovered outside, and a gooey, warm, cheesy middle. However, it was the imported French artichokes ($48), accompanied with a fragrant herb pesto, lightly touched with bacon, that was our favorite appetiser. For those of you who are not specifically gifted with food and wine pairing abilities (like many of us), Comptoir offers wine pairing recommendations for each dish on the menu and takes the guesswork out of this sometimes difficult task. As we concluded the first course, we decided to move to a glass of white wine, and were recommended to try the 2013 Cuvée des Conti, a blend of 70% semillon, 20% sauvignon blanc, and 10% muscat. Although this white was a bit sweeter than we had hoped (because of the addition of muscat), it paired very well with our next two dishes. We started the next course with the scrumptious Ravioli de Rogans ($68), which was a huge winner. We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love these mini raviolis stuffed with comte cheese and then covered in a peppery, cheesy, creamy tarragon sauce. From a presentation standpoint, nothing beat the next dish, a pan-seared scallop ($88), topped with a seafood and mushroom bechamel sauce, baked on its shell, with a crispy panko topping. After taking a breather, we continued our meal with a delightful 2012 Pinot noir from Maison Chanzy in
tried & tasted
New! Grassroots Pantry 108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2873 3353 香港上環荷李活道108號 Where to start? There is so much goodness packed into Peggy Chan’s new location, it’s hard to know where to begin. Whether it’s with her philosophy – ‘to make food do good’, her comfortable but cool restaurant design, or her delicious vegetarian dishes, it seems to us that she is a true role model on the culinary catwalk. The place: Charmingly mismatched chairs, wooden tables and floors and romantic lighting works well with the stark concrete and makes it feel both current and homey at the same time. Expanding from their sweet Sai Ying Pun location into this large space could easily have fallen flat but instead Grassroots looks like it belongs in its new home. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this all comes with a team that’s as sweet and knowledgable about the menu as the boss lady herself. The menu: For some, raw vegan (which much of the menu is) is offputting. Peggy sees this as a challenge - to get the meat-eaters to enjoy her cuisine, which she does, frequently. We hearty meat-eaters savoured her creamy and spicy ‘tuna’ handrolls with their tangy homemade seven-day fermented sriracha, moreish almond butter, cucumber, avocado, jicama cauliflower rice and scallions. They were scrumptious. We devoured her made on-site sourdough bread 14
The new Grassroots Pantry
and gorgeous cashew butter and wolfed down the healthful chickpea and quinoa falafel. A real surprise was her kelp noodles that look and taste like a pasta but are really kelp. Yes, really. A succulent and tender hedgehog mushroom has such a meat-like similarity in texture and flavour that any carniverous cravings are satisfied with this simply delicious fungi. The brown rice risotto comes topped with a “parm cheese” made from sunflower seeds and lemon juice and is quite the feat of engineering. It has a light, nutty flavour that emulates parm quite effectively. A flight of cold pressed juices feels a bit medicinal, and it is, really. The Liveraid is a combination of green apple, spinach, cucumber, burdock, lemongrass, pineapple and lemon, The Glow contains carrots,
Sprouted chickpea quinoa falafel
tried & tasted
beetroot, ginger, lemon and tumeric and the A.M. Elixir is fresh coconut water, chia seeds and pink Himalayan salt. A shot of each of these will get everything working and powering up for the days ahead. And as for dessert, you can go ahead and dig in to that affogato, made from Happy Cow coffee ice cream, espresso and a biscotti crumble, it’s guilt free! Or there is the blueberry cheesecake that’s really made from coconut cheese. Peggy Chan really makes one wonder at the marvel of vegetables when they are contorted and transposed into such unique, appetizing and all round marvelous creations. Her unprocessed, organic, sustainable ingredients read like a playlist of what every restaurant should be aspiring towards. She’s a game changer this one, and makes one feel like they could change their own game too. To sum up: We weren’t overstuffed at the end of our plentiful and luscious meal and felt positively pious about what we had put into our bodies without sacrificing one iota on flavour. With all the best ingredients and skillful preparation swimming around in our stomachs, we certainly weren’t thinking about meat. We were thinking about our next visit to the GRP.
New! Twenty Six by Liberty 26/F, Stanley 11 Stanley Street, Central, 5186 3282 中環士丹利街11號26樓 The space: This spacious but intimate 26-seater showroom of a restaurant is located on the 26th floor and boasts floor to ceiling windows that broadcast a view of Hong Kong’s urban landscape. The central show kitchen is surrounded by bar-style seating that creates an intimate dinner party-like vibe with entertainment from the cooks in the center, whipping up your delights for the evening. The chef: You may know Michelin-starred Chef Bjoern Alexander previously from his eccentric concoctions over at Whisk. The German-born cook has a love of adding heavy textural elements to his dishes that add an extra dimension for the diner. His Taoist philosophy is also featured here at Twenty Six with a menu based on the ‘Life of Tree’ with his unique flavour combinations representing the sprouts, the branches and the roots. twitter.com/foodiehk // october 2015
Breakfast at Grassroots Pantry
The cuisine: The ten-course tasting menu is $900 per head and begins with manioc and South American mushroom served with a sweetcorn purée and dusting of black truffle. A South African oyster, served in the shell surrounded by green seaweed and jelly that delights the eyes as well as the palate with its mineral-tinged juices and creamy, salty flavour
tried & tasted
that coincided wonderfully with the peaty tang of the crunchy seaweed. An undressed octopus allowed for the pure taste of the mollusc to shine through but then a taste of the accompanying spicy pineapple was a pleasant shock to the taste buds. These were served with a William Fèvre, Chablis that is simple but with a sharp edge that perfectly accented the flavours of the experimental dishes. His German potato recipe with caviar were like fluffy balls of airy goodness topped with sour cream. His avocado dish was an overload for the senses with barbecued avocado with coriander, salmon roe and viola that started with a sweetness and crunchiness that led to a pop of roe and ended with a subtle undercurrent of peach; there were so many layers of flavours to consider in this tiny dish that was decorated with a baked avocado skin for a fanciful flourish. The langoustines come from the shores of Mozambique and are served with rosemary and anise blossom (with its potent flavour on the side so guests can add or remove at their pleasure). A black and white dish full of yin and yang and plenty of texture was delivered containing Iberico suckling pig, black garlic and a pig’s ear that was delicious, even for us that have never acquired much of an appreciation for the ear of the pig. A Bordeaux was a complement to the Kobe cheek that had been cooked for two days and then topped with beetroot and a zingy jalapeno puree. 16
The sweets: This chef loves his elaborate dishes and one comes in the form of his green apple finisher that is skinned, soaked in a limestone powder for two days so it grows a new skin, and then cooked in a sugar water and served with marshmallows, raspberries and ginger powder for an impressive ending to an intricate and skillful meal. Coming up: A fast and furious lunch service is on the cards for the future and Chef Bjoern will be changing the menu seasonally every couple of months to mix things up and keep his diners coming back to try his latest “tree”.
tried & tasted
Cochinillo con tacu tacu
El Mercado 21/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, 2388 8009 灣仔軒尼詩道239號21樓 Que? Spanish for ‘the market’, El Mercado serves Nikkei cuisine, which is a relatively new concept emerging out of an influx of Japanese immigrants that arrived in Peru in the early twentieth century. As the first generation of Japanese chefs started to cook using Peruvian ingredients and their popularity gained, the locals started to adopt Japanese techniques and flavours, resulting in a hybrid of the two. You’ll find flavours such as soy and sweet potato mixed in with big hits of lime, chilli and raw onion.
The verdict: The flavours are fresh and the cuisine is fun. We like that they are not trying to appeal to the purists of either Peruvian or Japanese cuisine, but instead inviting adventurous diners to try their creative mix of the two.
twitter.com/foodiehk // october 2015
El menu: One thing that the two cuisines share is their love for fresh fish and at El Mercado, it’s presented in a selection of ceviche and sushi on the menu. We started with their signature Ostra Acevichada, a lime marinated Japanese oyster with squid ink foam ($58), which was beautifully presented and a fresh starter to the meal. Their Nigiri Del Amazonas of Japanese seared beef on banana confit rice ($68) got us questioning the combo before we tried it, but the sweet banana flavour surprisingly complemented the beef and worked well as a rounded bite of sushi. What we thought shone on their menu was their Ika ceviche ($178) with chunky pieces of fish marinated in tiger’s milk, along with big pieces of sweet potato to balance out the punchy lime.
Served with a side of crispy calamari to add some texture, we kept going back for more. Another dish to look out for is the Cochinillo Con Tacu Tacu ($308) with beautiful pieces of suckling pig on a rustically crushed edamame base.
tried & tasted
New! MOMOJEIN 23/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai 灣仔灣仔皇后大道東202號QRE Plaza 23樓 The lowdown: From K-pop to cosmetics to Korean cuisine, South Korea’s cultural allure is tantalizing and ever-growing. Korean food has especially skyrocketed into the spotlight of the local food scene in recent years. MOMOJEIN is one modern dining experience that’s sure to ride this wave to hit new heights. The place: Concealed on the 23rd floor of QRE plaza, just across Hopewell Centre in Wan Chai, MOMOJEIN introduces traditional Korean dishes with a contemporary and refined take. It also houses Korean celebrity chef Lim Hee Won, an experienced chef who has spent over ten years in the industry and has been crowned one of the top star chefs in Korean cooking shows. Good looks and a down-to-earth nature have earned him a sizable group of enthusiastic supporters back in Korea, and we can’t be more excited to join the fangirl team. Of course, MOMOJEIN has much more to offer than a pretty face alone. The restaurant combines a modern interior design with natural elements. It gleams with natural light thanks to the huge panels of windows across the restaurant. The designer also did a great job in creating a clean, minimalistic yet elegant environment by using a combination of black, white and wood decorations.
The K-eats: To start with, the Kalbi Hotteok ($82/piece) is a must-order. Traditionally, one of the most popular Korean street foods, MOMOJEIN abides by its inventive philosophy and took the usual sugar and cinnamon filled crepe bun and stuffed it with savoury, succulent beef instead. The crepe bun made of glutinous rice was also crispy and chewy. The dish was wonderful just by itself, but the ranch and teriyaki sauce paired with it really served to take it to a whole new level. The beef and poached egg ($78) was delightful too. While the name seems rather unassuming, the dish imparts a strong and wonderful flavour. A runny poached egg is always an aesthetically pleasing sight and the shredded beef was sweet and tender, but the highlight of this dish lies in the white radish.
tried & tasted
Verdict: With wallet-friendly prices, a modern and relaxing décor and most importantly, great traditional Korean dishes revamped with inventive techniques and ingredients, MOMOJEIN is sure to become one of our favourite casual hangout spots. Don’t miss out on the weekday set lunches too. Good quality Korean food with a price averaging $90 is a deal that cannot be matched. Written by CF Ng
Beef and poached egg
www.afoodieworld.com // october 2015
Stewed in a mixture of sugar, soy sauce and thick vegetable broth, the radish absorbed the essence of the dish and was incredibly luscious. Fans of fried chicken will absolutely adore the country fried chicken ($230). Yes, we’ve all been a little worn down by all the craze around Korean fried chicken ever since “My Love from the Star”, but trust us on this and give the perfectly fried juicy protein a try and you might just fall in love with this comfort food all over again. What makes the fried chicken here stand out from the rest is its marinating process. Using a chicken broth made from a handed-down secret recipe and marinated for six hours, the chicken was incredibly tender and overflowed with juices. The Kalbi and coriander salad ($340) was also well executed. US prime ribs marinated in yet another secret recipe barbeque sauce and served with the unusual choice of a coriander salad with its unique scent that surprisingly seemed to have a particular affinity with the soft and aromatic beef.
Kimchi Conflict J’NMI
Available at: Fusion supermarkets
Available at: Fusion supermarkets
Taste: A very yeasty, fermented odour drifted
Taste: This one had the worst of the packaging
from this pot and had the expected reddish hue
as it just didn’t look appealing right from the
one likes in their kimchi. There was a good tang
get go. The smell was quite sweet when the
on the tongue and a solid crunch of cabbage
lid was lifted but also resembled a compost in
that gave it a fresh feel.
odour, so not the best beginning for this kimchi contender.
With pickled shrimps, scallop powder and cactus extract on its ingredient list, one of
This Chinese version owned a very powerful
our tasters thought it not garlicky enough for
flavour that was very spicy right from the start.
her liking, and we all agreed that it wasn’t
There was also a baffling sizzling happening
particularly spicy. But we also all liked it and its
inside each of our mouths that suggested they’d
subtle charm. It tasted young and crisp with a
gone too far down the fermenting process for
bit of a zingy sparkle to it in on the taste buds.
our tastes. It really verged on tasting like beer
Verdict: For earlier in the day, perhaps for breakfast accompanied by a hard boiled egg,
Verdict: If you love sizzle and spice, this one
this one would be a winner.
and it was all a bit too much for us.
In an epic cabbage batttle of the best spicy supermarket kimchis, which brand pickles it best?
Available at: Cityâ€™Super stores
Available at: Fusion supermarkets
Taste: This Korean kimchi came in a nice
Taste: Called Korean kimchi on the tub, but
little jar and contained a pleasant vegetable
when we delved a little deeper we discovered
smell that was sweet and refreshing as
it was a product of Shenzhen so we were quite
it hit our nostrils and unveiled this paler
interested to see how they fared in the kimchi
version of the fermented treat. It was less
contest. Its pungent smell and dull pink colour
saucy in appearance than its counterparts
were possibly due to the shrimp paste that was
and remarkably contained kelp and pear as
listed on the ingredients. Much milder in flavour
ingredients. The flavour seemed much blander
than its hue and bouquet would suggest, this
on first bite but then actually led to several
one was quite wheaty tasting and had a hint of
layers on the tongue with an initial cabbagey
dairy-like creaminess. There was some element
crunch moving on to a pang of anchovy and
of it that was mimicking an aged parmesan
garlic and then a spicy hit at the end. This little
or something similar. Yes, it really did almost
veggie wonder was deeply umami and tasted
take like cheese, which is a strange sensation
like a more mature version of the Jâ€™nmi.
to ascribe to kimchi and we found it somewhat
Verdict: If you have a hankering for a spot of
fermented cabbage later in the day, this is the
Verdict: This was the one no one would take
one we would opt for.
home to claim a spot in their fridge.
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
chewin’ the fat
Chewin’ the fat with...
Buddy Valastro Love having your cake and watching it too? If you’re a Cake Boss addict, or just love a good baking story, we caught up with Buddy Valastro from series seven of the reality tv phenomenon to talk about his baking escapades that have taken the form of everything from garbage trucks and slot machines that really work, to exacting replicas of Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty as well as his first Asian adventure creating the epic Merlion cake for Singapore’s 50th birthday What is important when making a spectacular cake? For me, it’s got to taste good first. The second thing is the more you can do from thematic standpoint and make it look good by, you know, either making a tier cake that impresses people. You know I think that’s an important factor. You’ve got to have the wow factor in the way that it looks. And then, the third is probably in the way you construct it because you can make a great cake and everything else, but if it falls down when you try to move it, then you’re going to have to start over. Do you have instances where your cake is so beautiful you don’t want to destroy it by eating it? Well you know what, I’ve been doing this for so long the sticker shock is over. I like when people see my cakes and they’re beautiful. Then they taste them and see how good it tastes. 22
For me, it’s seeing the reaction of them looking at it and it’s beautiful as one, but when they taste it, then they smile. Absolutely, taste is more important for me. It’s like 60 per cent taste, 40 per cent decoration. Which was your most unforgettable cake creation? The most unforgettable was probably for Oprah Winfrey. When I made the cake for her, she was really so nice off camera as she was on camera. And she was a true model of what I think a celebrity should be. But we’ve made cakes for Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Arianna Grande and you know so many. The cake for Oprah was a big oak tree, which is her favorite tree that she has in her yard and it was her sitting underneath, reading a book because that’s her favorite thing to do. And then the Transformers cake was the most crazy we’ve ever made. That was pretty nuts. It it was 14-foot tall,
eight-foot wide and six-foot long. It weighed about 2,000 pounds. It didn’t move and it didn’t transform, but it was pretty spectacular. What do you enjoy about your work? I love working in the kitchen. Sometimes when I’m off, I go into kitchen and just cook, because it kind of relaxes me. You know it’s intense and it’s a lot of work, but I love what I do when I feel that I’m successful because I do love what I do. It’s my dream job. I feel like when people have their dream job and you go to work, and you’re happy, and you feel good about it, you’ll always excel. And that’s how I feel it has happened for me. What makes a good kitchen to me is cooking with love. That’s the most important thing. You have to believe in what you’re doing whether you’re baking or cooking. You have to try to use good ingredients and fix in a tradition, the way you know how to do it. Tell us about your brief stint here in Asia: Well you know I was in Singapore last year so I’m definitely inspired from being there. I got involved because somebody asked me to make a cake but I didn’t realize that it was the 50th birthday (of Singapore). And it was a very special
So I tell people follow your dream. Follow your heart.
There’s been a rising trend across Asia with people leaving the corporate world and setting up their own bakeries and cafes, what advice do you have for budding bakers opening their own businesses? That’s a very good question. A lot of people tell me that I inspire that. You know they said they see me and they want to do it and enjoy it. I tell them that just before you go and throw in the towel and leave a good job, make sure you know what you’re getting into. I tell people always work in a bakery or café first rather than going to school. I feel like – make sure that this is the field that you want to go into, just to make sure that you love it. And once you know it, then go to school and learn the science of baking. So I tell people follow your dream. Follow your heart. You just don’t want to quit a really good job going to the baking world, and then a year later, be like, “What the hell did I do?” So I just tell people to do it slowly and cautiously. But if it’s what you want to do, I applaud it.
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
Cutting the Merlion cake in Singapore
experience for me because the food was so great. They really embraced me and you know I’m really inspired from the flavours. We did the pineapple and coconut because we really wanted to get involved with the flavours of the culture. So it was a lot of fun to do the cake. And visually, this was probably one of the best cakes we did all season; it was amazing.
The Foods of Fall
You say potato, I say sweet potato. Although not actually a potato, these roots contain a huge amount of beta-carotene that turn its flesh a rich yellow or orange. High in vitamin C, fibre and considered a low glycamic food, making them ideal for maintaining an even blood sugar. Bake them, boil them, mash them, or living in Hong Kong youâ€™ve got another option, roasted sweet potatoes start arriving on the street stalls this time of year and are baked up in a big iron drum and served completely without adornment for a toasty, healthy and luscious autumn snack.
That brilliant orange colour announces to the vegetable buying world that it is chock full of antioxidants and beta-carotene as well as being loaded with vitamin C. Roasted, pureed up into a rich soup, made into a pie, or grilled and tossed into a salad, youâ€™ve gotta get your fill of this saffron-hued vegetable before it returns to the vines of the pumpkin patch for a new batch of gigantic orbs of goodness. And if youâ€™ve purchased a few of these golden globes specifically for Halloween carving, you can still roast up the seeds which are packed full of protein, omega 3 and zinc.
Also known as nashi pears, these sweet and super juicy brownish yellow fruits have a high water content that makes them best eaten raw and unaltered, although they are used frequently in Chinese medicine for clearing up chesty coughs. These large varieties are high in fibre, low in calories and pretty delicious if your sweet tooth starts acting up.
Native to China, this dark orange tomato-like fruit has a waxy skin with a mushy, pulpy interior. Sweet and tangy when ripe, they make for a lovely and tasty touch to salads, salsas and desserts.
This aptly named bright yellow produce is indeed star shaped, adding an aesthetically interesting addition to any fruit plate. It has a fresh, crunchy texture and tastes both sweet and sour simultaneously. Known in Chinese medicine as both a strength replenisher and thirst quencher, this fruit really is a little star of the wet market aisles.
Although we may not reside in a country where trees lose their leaves in a watercolour swirl of reds and yellows, we have the colourful traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival to bring colour and food worship into our eyes and bellies. Now that the festival is finished, Alicia Walker feasts upon some of the autumnal foods that’ll bring those Hong Kong harvest hues back into our lives and larders
This renowned Cantonese elixir is known to warm up the body by increasing blood circulation, making it ideal for the months when the 852 becomes cool enough to adorn a jacket. Many different snakes are commonly used to make this delicacy, with python, cobra and banded kraits all being popular, among others, and then mixed up with ingredients such as orange peel, ginger and lemon leaves. If you feel like it’s all a bit too adventurous for your taste, you can relax - it tastes like chicken.
Also known as Chinese mitten crab on account of the little furry mitts that coverthe claws of this unique crusctacean. An expensive treat, the crabs are cherished for the gooey orange roe and are traditionally steamed and served with a warm plum wine. Also eaten medicinally for their yin (cooling) effect on the body, therefore they are often prepared with a heating food like ginger to balance things out. So get your mitts on a pair of these if you want to warm yourself up from the inside out.
The notoriously hard-to-peel skin of this gargantuan round, gives way to a citrus fruit that is sweet and crisp and much like a grapefruit without all the messy juices. Best eaten raw but you’ll need to get your chainsaw out to get into these delicious bad boys.
As fun to eat as it is to say, this multitudinous fruit ranges from cherry-sized rounds to a larger, grapefruit size with a skin colour of red, green or white and a marrow that can be yellow, pink or white. The “Pearl Taiwan” guava is a common Hong Kong farm-grown version that has a brilliant green exterior and white flesh. Nutrient-rich, guava is often included on superfood lists and is great fresh, juiced or cooked into jellies and preserves.
These flowers are in full bloom this season so you’ll see plenty of cakes, wines, jellies and desserts are peppered with osmanthus this time of year. Thought to improve the digestive system and relieve coughs, it makes the transition between seasons all the sweeter and more fragrant with a helping of this floral addition.
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
The hit cooking competition hits our shores and screens
The original UK version, which you probably have no memory of, was hosted by sauce-master Loyd Grossman back in 1990 and has spawned versions in major countries around the globe with chef heavyweights like Gordon Ramsay acting as judges, and cute offshoots like MasterChef Junior, which have elevated it into mainstream viewing worldwide. And now for the very first time, Asia has its own season in the sun with this pan-regional search for the next hottest chef on the horizon.
The competitors The 15 home cooks range from a scientist from China, a banker from Malaysia, an engineer from Singapore, a model from Taiwan, and a paralegal from the Phillipines to a marketing manager from India, who will all put their methods to the test in the MasterChef kitchen as well as in overseas challenges to up the ante on their skills. The kitchen itself will closely resemble that in the popular Australian version of the show where contestants will be made to trial through such challenges as to create a dish that reveals who they are through food, another to cook enough for 80 guests, and of course there will also be the famous mystery box challenge where the contestants must make a dish out of the ingredients they are provided with, and another where they are tasked with preparing one of the three main ethnic cuisines of Singapore – Malay, Indian and Chinese. The judges
Much-lauded chef Susur Lee apprenticed in Hong Kong where he learned the epicurean traditions of China, which he now fuses with classical French techniques resulting in a blend of textures and flavours that feature in his dishes. He helms three restaurants in Toronto as well as
French-born Bruno Ménard has culinary blood running through his bones with a chocolatier for a father and a patissier for a grandfather. Ménard gained his stars while working for the L’Osier in Tokyo, which has maintained its three star rating since 2007 under his reign. Since competing on MasterChef Australia, Audra Morrice is publishing her first cookbook later this year and has launched a catering business in Sydney as well as her own cooking show Tasty Conversations. With this combination of judges coupled with the varied cultural backgrounds of the contestants and their different approaches to ingredients in the kitchen, it promises to be an interesting match of kitchen skills that will ultimately result in a final MasterChef Asia winner. MasterChef Asia shows on now TV channel 525. http://www.msn.com/zh-hk/lifestyle/masterchefasia
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
They will be assessed on their culinary and televisual talents in front of the three judges, skilled in both cooking and reality television appearances; these include: Hong Kong-born Susur Lee, three-Michelin starred Bruno Menard and Singapore-born Audra Morrice, a former MasterChef Australic finalist.
the Tung Lok Heen in Singapore, and is a veteran of the reality-cooking scene, appearing on Iron Chef American and Top Chef Masters as well as Chopped Canada.
rise of the italians
The Rise of Casual Italian Hong Kong has seen an influx of our favourite type of Italian – the cheap and cheerful kind Italian food lovers living in Hong Kong, join the chorus of those swept up in the struggle to find decent but casual Italian food in the city. Hasty to be a town that pleases, there has been a recent upswing in these eateries dotted about the island. These three new establishments, two of which combine a grocery/eatery concept, are proving very popular and with good reason; they’re headed by some serious heavyweights in the F&B scene. Here are a few of the new osterias to hit the HK stradas Da Via 14-16, Johnston Road, Wanchai, 3956 9873 Founder of Da Via, Walter Kern is a stalwart of the F&B scene here in Hong Kong. He has ammassed over 40 years in F&B and hospitality with noteworthy forays as the likes of General Manager for Swire catering (Cathay Pacific’s parent company) and has only also just (within the last month) resigned from the title of President of Slow Food Hong Kong. To further bolster the potential of this new Italian outlet, he has partnered with Torino born culinary host Alejandro Vaglietti, a graduate of the University of Gastronomic Studies and a zealot of the Slow Food Movement. What has been created in Da Via is nothing short of marvellous; a gastronomic retreat, drawing on the simplicity of perfectly cooked seasonal ingredients. La Colazione (breakfast), communal dining areas and rustic delights are what to expect from a dining experience here. Crisp freshly-baked breads, slow-cooked Italian-style pasta congee, 28
panini’s filled with the freshest of ingredients, crisp salads, authentic farm-house styled cheeses, and make-your-own piattino antipasti; Da Via is reconnecting the kitchen to the land, all within a supremely urban space in the beating heart of Wanchai. Open from 8am to 11pm to accommodate all those seeking breakfast, lunch, aperitivo and dinner. www.davia.hk
the rise of the casual italian
EAT.it 9 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay, 2489-8822 Part trattoria, part market, EAT.it offers bespoke cooking stations and artisan bread, cheeses, dolci, rotisserie and an abundance more, inundating diners with choices right from the beginning. Eat.it was founded by Gianni Carprioli who is also responsible for the much-loved Isola (2004) in IFC and Giando (2012). His authentic Italian cooking is revered by Italians city wide, as one will substantiate after a brunch at Giandos, which is constantly filled with Italians so that it resembles Connie’s Wedding on a Sunday. The neo-marketplace boasts an arresting selection of meats– salami, prosciutto and mortadella– pizzas that come in under $40, and pasta with many varieties of sauces. The idea is to walk in, and at any time of the day, have the flexibility to choose whatever you feel like eating. A card that is bestowed upon entry is filled out after meandering stations filled with salads and pasta, pizzas and drinks. A great location for a spot of prosecco or gelati, and the caprese pizza is worth a trip in itself.
Stazione Novella 52-56 Staunton Street, SoHo, 2559 0559
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
What to do when pick pocketed and left stranded in the middle of Tuscany? Proceed to turn the traumatic experience into a restaurant. This is precisely what happened to the co-founder of the Black Sheep Group, Chris Mark, who has the scars to prove he was robbed and left for hungry in the Italian countryside. A benevolent soul appeased the misfortunate Mark with the gift of a panini, and a eureka moment has now manifested into just the type of ‘always open and ready for business’ eatery Hong Kong has needed. Fresh Italian coffee and pastries in the morning, crave-worthy coppa ham and mozzarella paninis during the day and a zippy, heat-abating cocktail of lemoncillo, prosecco and lemon sorbet (Sgroppino al Limone) to welcome the night. Add the congested foot-traffic location of west-SoHo and it’s all systems go. The booming Italian radio station provides respite from the dull monotony of more mainstream pop music and a seamless footpath-to-bar open space design spells delicious danger for the easily inveigled.
HONG KONG RESTAURANT INTERIOR DESIGN AWARDS 2015 For the very first time, Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong have honoured establishments around the city for their achievements in creating an exciting dining atmosphere for their patrons
That crucial element To survive in Hong Kong’s competitive dining scene, it’s not just great food and service that’s required, a combination of lighting, furnishings and decoration sets the mood for any meal and can make or break the success of a restaurant, bar or café in the city. As such, Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong decided it was time to sing the praises of those who are excelling at providing just the right setting to excite diners’ taste buds.With a glamorous awards ceremony, the businesses with the best ambiance in the F&B biz, along with their designers, were celebrated in categories from best Hotel, Casual Dining and Fine Dining restaurants to best Café and best Bar. 30
it is decorated with small objects and beautiful Tiffany lamps that will surely catch your eye. What was the inspiration for the design? The entire concept is based on the home of the fictional character, Theodore St. John, a Victorian botanist and explorer. Everything around the design is the imagination of his home with his eclectic collections and his botany findings, which is also part of our food and beverage philosophy. What special detail should guests look out for when they visit? The small barrels by the entrance, which stored our aged cocktail, as well as being part of the decoration; the design of the drink menu was based on an explorer’s notebook that he would take out with him into the field, and also the medicine cabinet at the door.
We spoke to Lois Lam, Marketing Manager for Post 97 about their gold medal win in the Bar category: What do you think sets your bar apart to result in your win for this award? The concept is very well developed for this project as a Victorian-style speakeasy with a focus on botany, and the interior plays an important role to enhance the entire consumer experience. From the moment you walk into Post 97, you will feel you have been transported from the hustle and bustle in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong, to this intimate home of a Victorian explorer.
What do you think people like most about the interiors of your venue? The bar at Post 97 is definitely eye catching. With a beautiful display of bottles and the custombuilt wooden bar right in the middle of the place,
What other venues in Hong Kong, or around the world, do you personally feel have stunning decor? We like Stockton, and PDT (Please Don’t Tell) in New York is also very cool. What does this award mean to your team at Post 97? To get the seal of approval from our peers, in both hospitality and the interior design industry, is a great honour and affirmation on our work. We will continue to keep up the good work and develop other ideas and concept. Post 97
twitter.com/foodiehk // october 2015
What are some unusual features of Post 97? The fact that if you look at the shop front, you are unable to see the happening interior, and as soon as you walk through the heavy curtain, it opens up into this beautiful bar. Pass through another curtain and it will take you to the main dining room with a totally different vibe.
What sort of an environment were you seeking to create with this design? The philosophy of Post 97 is a social dining place, which offers artisanal craft cocktails, so we would like to offer a casual and cosy environment that people can come in and have a good time with their friends.
The Gold medal winner in the Hotel Restaurant category, SILVER ROOM talked about their win: What sets SILVER ROOM apart in terms of design? We think that the designer’s unconventional combination and treatment of materials have created a distinct character to our restaurant, much like a good chef creates his signature dishes with his gastro sensibilities by combining different ingredients and producing unique flavours. We approach every aspect of the restaurant with a similar attitude, whether in the kitchen or in the smallest design details. Here at SILVER ROOM we craft contemporary Italian dishes with Japanese accents. Any interesting facts about the interiors of your establishment? The majority of the interior details and fixtures are custom-designed for our restaurant, including the triangular operable doors, and the flame-retardant plastic wall and ceiling panels (and the supporting frame and clip-on fittings as well). Steel tree sculptures are installed on our solid teak wood cabinets appearing as if they are floating. Their interlacing structure adds rhythm to the neat geometry of the interior. And one should never forget to complete his/her experience by viewing the design of the washroom. The chamber is sure to give you feelings of delight and serenity. What was the inspiration for your restaurant interior? According to our designer, Design Systems Ltd, the restaurant’s spatial design is inspired by mum’s cooking. 32
Because even for the same dish with the same ingredients, each family has their own recipe and cooking method. Mums always have their special techniques to make dishes that are unforgettable, touching, and reminiscent of one’s family style. Nowadays, design can be likened to shopping in a mega-size supermarket full of materials from all over the world, and everyone is choosing from the same pool of materials. So, to create a unique character for our restaurant, the designer had to apply special techniques much like moms cook their home style dishes. What sort of an environment were you seeking to create when you designed your establishment? An open yet intimate atmosphere. With natural light in daytime and illumination in the evening, two different atmospheres can be created to suit the menus for lunch and dinner. This is largely because the semi-transparent wall and ceiling panels give a different feel when front-lit and back-lit. So, during the day, the restaurant looks airy like a minimalist translucent box. And with the steel trees and the upward lighting, the intersecting shadows bring theatrical effect to the space in the evening. What is the best thing about winning this accolade? The award is a recognition of our holistic hospitality approach. In addition to the intricate flavours, refined presentation and wholehearted service, the spatial environment plays a crucial role in the dining experience we try to offer our customers.
A FULL LIST OF THE WINNERS FROM THE NIGHT: Hotel Restaurant
Gold: Silver Room (TUVE) with design by Design Systems
Gold: Post 97 with design by Positive Partnership
Silver: Gradini Ristorante E Bar Italiano (The Pottinger Hong Kong) with design by LCL
Silver: The Envoy with design by Artichaut
Casual Dining Restaurant
Gold: The Coffee Academic The Pulse with design by The Coffee Academics
Gold: Penthouse by Harlan Goldstein with design by Kinney Chan and Associates
Silver: LA STATION with design by Atelier E
Silver: Kinsale with design by Kinney Chan and Associates
Fine Dining Restaurant Gold: Mott32 with design by Wang’s Studio Silver: ÉPURE with design by Yabu Pushelberg The Coffee Academics
The Coffee Academics www.afoodieworld.com // october 2015
Foodie Forays – Helsinki
Keshia Hannam spends a spell exploring the foods of the Finnish capital
Helsinki is a city that balances urban life and nature almost perfectly. The air is crisp, the sky a blazing blue and the islands that one flies over upon approach to HEL airport are the stuff Game of Thrones is made of. Inhabitants are welcoming and innovative, socially concerned but not overstated. It’s a hidden gem that isn’t yet known to be cool and is therefore much cooler than many of it’s neighbouring metropolitans. More understated than Copenhagan, more youthful and energetic than Oslo Helsinki’s food scene is one that thrives in summer and shoulder seasons, drawing from the rich produce found within the nation itself, and further afield to neighbouring terroirs. If you have 48 hours, here are the foodie spots to explore like the vikings that you are.
Arrive: 10am Airport to city centre By car: 35 to 40 € By train: 23 € By bus: HSL Bus 615 costs 5 €
11:30am Settle in to accommodation then catch the tram (Helsinki has one of the largest tram systems in Europe and they operate flawlessly) from Heitalahti to the ‘hipster’ region of Helsinki. Make the first stop Suvanto café, founded by two women–a food journalist and a photographer. After you have been sufficiently caffeinated, wander over to Abbatoir, which was once a meat factory as the astute might gather but is now a compound of spontaneous urban culture, from restaurants to cafés and gardens that serve the surrounding burghals.
Photo taken by: Daniel Hertzell Suvanto Suvantovägen 18, Helsingfors, Finland +358 10 5053400 kahvilasuvanto.wordpress.com
Teurastamo – The Abbattoir Työpajankatu 2, 00580 Helsinki, Finland teurastamo.com/en/teurastamo.html
2pm For lunch, Restaurant Olo is the greatest way to understand the essence of Finnish nature: pureness and the changing of seasons. 4 courses at 49 € and we cannot recommend enough the additional cheese plate with malted bread with an onion fudge and three cheeses for 15,20 €.
Old Market Hall Pohjoisesplanadi 19, 00130 Helsinki, Finland +358 9 31013300 visithelsinki.fi/en/see-and-experience/ shopping/old-market-hal
Ravintola Olo Pohjoisesplanadi 5, 00170 Helsinki, Finland, +358 10 3206250 olo-ravintola.fi/en/
www.afoodieworld.com // october 2015
4pm Given you are probably going to read a walk after the sumptuous lunch, head over to the Old Market Hall, which has served Helsinki since 1889. They sell all manner of produce from cheese to vegetables and shellfish, to cake and coffee. Continue the cultural grocery experience at Kaartin Kotikauppa, which is full of the type of things you could take back as gifts for foodie friends.
7pm Chef & Sommelier is listed on the World’s 50 Best list as one of the ‘to watch’ for in the next generation of dining destinations. The dining room is cosy; filled with wooden tables, which support equally intimate dishes such as tartare of baked beets and red onions with parsley and potato crisps or desserts of almonds, meadowsweet and plum pips. Restaurant Chef & Sommelier Huvilakatu 28, 00150 Helsinki, Finland +358 40 0959440 chefetsommelier.fi 10:30pm Finnish (just because it’s punny) off the night at Brasserie Kamp, or Kamp Bar, which throws together some interesting cocktail combinations like the Rooibos Sazerac (made with an in-house brewed rooibos tea syrup) and the Platinum Cranberry, which makes proper use of Finlandia vodka and Lapponia Polar Cranberry liqueur. Kamp Bar Pohjoisesplanadi 29, Helsinki, Finland Helsinki, +358 9 5840 9530 Brasseriekamp.fi
8:30am Coffee is a good idea now, as you are about to embark on a huge food tour of the city and will need your java juice, so best have it at Sis Deli + Café, which is just around the corner from the meeting point of the food tour. Try ordering an espresso with a side of frothed milk.
SIS. Delicatessen Oy Punavuorenkatu 22, LH 3 00150, Helsinki, Finland, +358 010 422 9300 sisdeli.fi
10am Throw yourself into the local cuisine and culture by signing up to Heather’s Helsinki: this eponymous food tour is of course run by a delightful Australian by the name of Heather, who has spent the last 12 years in Helsinki. She knows all the good spots and will give you an introduction to Finland, as well as some raw food, craft liquor and Finnish pastries as well as much more over the four hour, eight stop, 5.1 km tour. The price is 85 € per person and includes your guide, all tasters and a special gift to take home.
Heather’s Helsinki Food Tours +358 40 823 7446 heathershelsinki.com
2:30pm Spend a couple of hours walking off all the blissful food consumed in the green district. This area also happens to house the National Museum, which we suggest ducking into immediately after the tour and then visiting the artisan roastery Cafetoria. The National Museum of Finland Mannerheimintie 34, 00100 Helsinki, Finland, +358 40 1286469 kansallismuseo.fi
Photo taken by: Daniel Hertzell Restaurant Ask Estnäsgatan 8, 00170 Helsingfors, Finland, +358 40 5818100 restaurantask.com
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
7:30pm For dinner, Ask Restaurant is recommended by all, and to all. An intimate restaurant that seats just 26, produce is all sourced from small farmers and producers. The set menu is 89 € and you can expect to see ingredients like chantarelles, fava beans, butter, red currants and sour milk, all treated with huge respect and incorporated into interesting dishes.
The Event: First Date An eating adventure where Yalun Tu prescribes dining ventures fit for specific occasion. In the first in our series, our intrepid eater takes a first date to Chino in the hopes of scoring a second
What more important event can there be than a first date? Birthdays involve candles and comfort food, boys dinners are all about the steak, and business lunches involve keeping your hands clean and your client impressed. But the first date – that’s a doozy. Do we want fun and casual? Upmarket and impressive? Hole in the wall? There are no rules. So let me give you some: • The first date should be fun and delicious and look like you’re not trying too hard. • There should be atmosphere and a buzz. • You should take your date out of his or her element and into yours. • This is the first chapter for you two, and you’ll decide by the end of the night if you’re writing a blog post, a short story, or a neverending novel. Let’s hope it’s the latter. As dictated in the above rules, we’ve chosen Chino, the buzzy, oft-discussed-but-not-fully-seepedinto-the-foodie-scene restaurant. The food’s great. And it has the right amount of activity for you to people watch if you… you know… don’t like each other. 38
The Setting Chino is located inside a pair of pants. I’m kidding. Chino is located in Kennedy Town complete with a funky vibe I’d term “unpretentious bistro”. You can sit at the counter and mistakenly touch knees or at the table and mistakenly touch hands, just make sure you do some mistaken touching. (Not just a food buff here, also a dating guru.)
Scallops were served with agua chille and pickled jicama
The Summary Fun place, good atmosphere, good food, good conversation. It sets the scene right for you to show off your personality. This will not work if you don’t have one (a personality) but of course you do. Right? The details: Chino, 1B New Praya Kennedy Town, 2606 0588 Price per person: $500
www.afoodieworld.com // october 2015
The Food Untraditional Mexican, or “Mexican Twist” as I call it, conjuring images of an orphan declaring, “por favor, senor, more food”. Small plates. Yums. Our server guided us through the menu, suggesting a few starters, individual tacos (I know, who would be insane enough to split a taco), and an “others” if we were still hungry. Smelling the food I knew I would be. You know how scrambled eggs are the easiest thing to cook but high-end chefs often test each other’s skills by cooking them? Oh, if not, yeah that’s what they do. Guacamole is the same. Make it wrong (or in HK, from a jar) and it sucks. Make it right and it’s creamy and refreshing. They make it right here. The scallops were served with agua chille and pickled jicama, also known as a Mexican turnip. The fish was fresh and tasty and the peppers didn’t overpower the dish but added a nice warming sensation to the tongue. The fish ceviche was served with yuzu, lime and cashews, which I thought were genius. Often ceviches can be too citrusy but the crunch of the cashews gave a wonderful texture to each bite. Despite eating tacos and fresh raw fish dishes, I would say that the mushroom salad was my favourite. We got a mountain of salad with hidden mushrooms throughout as well as burnt jalapenos and mizuna, a Japanese water-green that is (like most things Japanese) a much better version of arugula. Each bite was refreshing and it complemented the other dishes well. After that we got tacos but I’d like to pause to explain the drinks. We skipped the wine and beer and went straight to their cocktails. The La Vida Loca is essentially a smoky margarita that’s
fun and playful enough to sample one another’s, which is an excellent first date move. And the Mezcal Old-Fashioned is a bright take on a classic cocktail that’s become – let’s face it – a bit boring. Make sure on your first date you’re drinking them through the night. Skip the original margarita – it’s fine but you’ll forget about it the moment after you’ve finished. With the chicken tinga tacos, I especially liked the pickled onions, which were warm and not weird, which you may understand if you’ve eaten at other Mexican places in Hong Kong; “this tortilla tastes…weird”. The chicken was soft and melt-in-your-mouth good, but, not as good as the fish tacos. Near and dear to my heart are fish tacos. We got a heaping plate of fish with a nice bit of chipotle kewpie and salsa fresca. This is the type of dish you don’t mess with – just cook it well, don’t overpower it with breadcrumbs, and you’re good to go. Let’s hope your date will be too.
Craving Comfort We stopped in at My Little Hong Kong Kitchen and got Laura Williams to show us her favourite recipes for a delicious dose of nosh to nourish the soul
Find more of Lauraâ€™s recipes at: mylittlehongkongkitchen.blogspot.hk photography by Sophie Jin of www.todaytomorrowphotography.com styling by Jo Lorenz of lamaisondelorenz.com,
SPICED CARROT SOUP WITH ROASTED CHICKPEAS Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 5 mins Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 1 hour
Ingredients: • 600g beef mince • 1 large carrot (peeled and finely diced) • 1 white onion • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme • 2 tbsp tomato puree • 1 tbsp plain flour • 150ml red wine • 500ml beef stock • 5-6 drops of Maggi seasoning • 1 tbsp olive oil • 900g potatoes • 100g butter • 100ml cream Method: 1. Start by softening the onion, carrot and thyme in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the mince to the pan and brown for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree, combine and add the flour. Cook for a further minute and then add the red wine, beef stock and a few drops of maggi seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for 20-30 minutes. 2. Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks and place into cold salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until soft, then drain. Mash the potatoes and add the butter, cream and salt and pepper to taste. 3. Place the mince into the bottom of a casserole dish and top with the mash potatoes. Using a fork, fluff up the mash - this will ensure crispy peaks when you come to bake the pie. Drizzle the top of the pie with a little olive oil and place a sprig of thyme on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 220°C for 30 minutes.
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
Ingredients: • 600g carrots, peeled and grated • 140g split red lentils • 2 tsp cumin seeds • 1 tsp chilli flakes • 1L vegetable stock • 125ml milk • 50g chickpeas (cooked and patted dry) • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp paprika • 3 tbsp olive oil Method: 1. In a large saucepan, dry toast the cumin seeds and chili flakes for a minute until they release their aromas. Take a spoonful of the seeds out of the pan and set aside. 2. To the remaining toasted seeds, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the grated carrot, lentils, stock and milk. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Reduce the temperature to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are cooked through and softened. 3. To make the chickpea garnish, toss chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the ground spices. Season with salt and pepper and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 25-30 minutes or until crisp and toasted. 4. Using a stick blender or food processor, blitz the soup until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper and spoon into bowls. Serve with a swirl of plain yoghurt, a few roasted chickpeas and a sprinkle of the remaining toasted spices.
ROASTED VEGETABLE COUSCOUS SALAD WITH ROSEMARY CHICKEN Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 mins Cooking time: 30 mins
Ingredients: • 2 large chicken fillets • 1 cup dried couscous • 2 tbsp green pesto • 2-3 sprigs rosemary • 1 clove garlic • ½ medium butternut squash (cubed) • 1 medium sweet potato (peeled and cubed) • 1 bunch of baby asparagus • 50g semi-dried tomatoes (chopped) • 1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach • 100g feta cheese • 3 tbsp olive oil Method: 1. Begin by tossing the squash and sweet potato in 2 tablespoons olive oil and add half a crushed clove of garlic, salt and pepper and
the leaves from a sprig of rosemary. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 30-40 minutes or until soft and golden. Chop the baby asparagus in half and add to the baking tray for the last ten minutes of baking. Place a sheet of cling wrap over your chicken fillets and, using a rolling pin, bang the fillets out so that they flatten to the same thickness throughout. Coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the remaining crushed garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper. Place the chicken fillets in a griddle pan for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice thinly and set aside. To the couscous, add 1 cup of boiling water, cover with a tea towel and allow to absorb for a few minutes. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous and add pesto. Season to taste. Add the roasted vegetables, spinach and tomatoes. Tip the salad onto a large serving board and top with the sliced chicken and crumbled feta.
Chicken Tikka Masala with Quick Flatbread 44
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA WITH QUICK FLATBREADS Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 mins Marinate time: 3 hours Cooking time: 30 mins
To make the flat-breads: Combine 250g plain flour, 250g natural yoghurt, half a teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt. Bring together into a dough, cover, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 and roll into thin rounds. Place in a dry frying pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Perfect for mopping up the masala!
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
Ingredients: For the chicken: • 2 large chicken fillets • ½ tsp ground cloves • ½ tsp ground cumin • 1 tsp paprika • 1 tsp turmeric • 1 tsp garam masala • 2 lemons • 2 garlic cloves • thumb sized piece of ginger • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt For the curry: • 1 onion • 2 garlic cloves • 2 red chilies • 1 bunch coriander • 1 tbsp ground coriander • 2 tsp turmeric • 1 tsp paprika • 1 tsp garam masala • 2 tins chopped tomatoes • 1 chicken stock cube • 540ml coconut milk • 1 medium sweet potato • large handful of fresh spinach
Method: 1. Make the marinade for the chicken by combining the cloves, cumin, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and grated ginger with the yoghurt. Dice the chicken into bite size pieces and coat in the marinade. Skewer the chicken, place in a dish and cover in the remaining marinade. Refrigerate the chicken overnight or for a few hours minimum. 2. Peel and cube the sweet potato, toss in a little sunflower oil and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 220°C until soft. Set aside. 3. Begin the sauce by finely chopping and frying the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon sunflower oil until soft and brown. Finely chop the chilies and the stalks from the bunch of coriander and add them to the onions and garlic - cook for 10 minutes taking care not to burn any of the aromatics. Add the spices and ensure the onion mixture is coated well. Now add the tomatoes, stock cube and simmer for a few more minutes. Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. 4. Cook the chicken under the grill or on the barbecue for around 10 minutes ensuring you turn the skewers regularly to get that chargrilled look on the outside of the chicken. Once cooked, add the chicken, sweet potato and spinach to the curry and combine. Serve the curry topped with a swirl of natural yoghurt, coriander and chopped chili.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SAGE RISOTTO Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 30 mins
Ingredients: • 200g risotto rice • ½ white onion (finely diced) • ½ butternut squash (peeled and cubed) • 125ml white wine • 750ml vegetable stock • 30g parmesan cheese (grated) • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp butter • a large handful sage leaves Method: 1. Toss the cubed butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place in a baking tray. Keeping a 46
a few sage leaves aside, chop the rest of the sage and add to the butternut squash. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 35-40 minutes until soft and golden. When cooked, blitz 2/3 of the cooked squash in a food processor and keep the rest for serving. For the risotto, place the remaining oil and butter into the pan with the chopped onion. Allow to soften (but not colour) for 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oils from the pan for a minute or two. Add the wine to the rice and stir constantly on a medium heat until the wine has absorbed and the rice starts to become creamy. Heat the vegetable stock in a separate pan and add to the rice, a ladle at a time, until the rice has completely absorbed the liquid and is al dente. To finish off the risotto, add the pureed squash, parmesan cheese and a twist of black pepper. Serve topped with the whole chunks of squash and some crisp sage leaves.
APPLE PIE AND VANILLA CUSTARD Serves: 8 Prep time: 30 mins Cooking time: 1 hour
When cooled, fill the pastry case with the cooked apples and, creating a lattice, place the strips over the filling, tucking the ends into the pie so there is no overhang. Brush the top of the pastry with egg white and sprinkle the remaining 50g caster sugar over the top. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C and bake the pie for 20-30 minutes until the pie is golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool. For the custard, begin by heating the milk and cream in a saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and corn starch together until you get a smooth yellow mixture. Just before the milk and cream reach a boil, take it off the heat and slowly pour into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously so as not to allow the eggs to scramble. Wipe the pan clean and pour the mixture back in, place over a low heat and stir continuously until the custard thickens. Serve warm or cold over the apple pie.
facebook.com/foodiehk // october 2015
Ingredients: • 450g plain flour • 250g chilled unsalted butter • 260g caster sugar • 2 eggs • 7 granny smith apples For the custard: • 100ml double cream • 350ml whole milk • 1½ tbsp corn starch • 100g caster sugar • 2 egg yolks • 1½ tsps vanilla extract Method: 1. Make the pastry by combining the flour and butter and rubbing together until you have a breadcrumb consistency. Add 60g sugar, beaten eggs and 3-4 tablespoons of cold water to the flour and butter and bring together into a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough in half - wrap one half in cling film and roll the remaining dough out into a round about 3mm thick. Line a fluted tart tin with dough, ensuring there is an overhang in case the pastry shrinks during cooking. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Once chilled, line the case with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake in a preheated oven at 150°C for 12-15 minutes, take out the beans and bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until the pastry is golden and dry. Allow to cool. Using a sharp knife, trim away the excess pastry to neaten the edges. 2. Peel and dice the apples and place into a saucepan with 150g sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes until the apples have released their juices and have softened slightly. Drain and allow to cool. 3. Roll out the second half of the dough in the same way as before and cut into long strips.
Foodie’s kitchen scientist Kelly Yau experiments with recipes in her tiny Hong Kong kitchen
LEFTOVER ROAST CHICKEN PHO
Serves 3 adults or 4 kids Prep time: 2 hours Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
3lb leftover roast shredded chicken
1 large onion, unpeeled
2-3lb chicken bones
1 inch piece of ginger, unpeeled
1 star anise
1lb fresh rice noodles (ho fan)
½ tsp peppercorns
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
2-3 fresh chilies, thinly sliced
2 small pieces rock sugar
1 handful beansprouts
1 pinch sea salt
1 handful Thai basil
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
Method: 1. Char the onion and ginger directly on the hob. I have placed a metal rack over the hob, charring the onion and ginger until blackened and slightly soft (3-5 min). If you do not have a gas stove, grill the onion and garlic (10-15 min). 2. Fill the stock pot with water and add all of the bones, rock sugar, star anise, peppercorn, chili flakes, onion and ginger to the pot. Simmer for 2-3 hours and skim off any fat and impurities that comes to the surface and drain off the bones. If you are not eating right away, you can keep the broth in the fridge. 3. In a separate pot, cook the noodles. If they are fresh ho fun, it will only take 30 seconds for the noodles to soften and separate. Drain the noodles and divide into the bowls. Reheat broth and season it with fish sauce to taste. Warm the chicken meat in the broth and add to the noodles. Spoon the broth into the bowls and serve with the garnish. Slurp loudly and immediately.
KELLY’S TIP: • I save any bones and grisly bits from our Sunday roasts in a ziplock bag in the freezer and I make this dish when the bag is full – about once a month. This is the perfect opportunity to use any vegetables that have been hanging around in your fridge drawer, like the wrinkly carrot, or the stringy leeks and celery. It all goes it to make this broth taste amazing. • If you do not have any leftovers from roast chicken, you can poach a chicken breast or leg in the broth and when it’s cooled you can shred the meat. It helps add flavour to the broth. To see more of Kelly’s fun food experiments, check out bit.ly/KellyYau 48