Stella-Maria (smtfhw) wrote in ljgourmet,
Stella-Maria
smtfhw
ljgourmet

Hong Kong and Macau Dining

On our first day in Hong Kong recently, we went for dinner to Aqua Roma where Lynne's colleague Cheryl, who has been based in Hong Kong for the last two years, had organised us a good table overlooking the harbour for dinner. The food was impressive, as was the view, though I don't think the harbour lightshow is all it's made out to be.

In fact you could almost miss it to start with. The first trick was getting to Peking Road, because it seems Hong Kong is full of roadworks at the moment, and the second trick was finding the door of 1 Peking Road, because it isn't actually on Peking Road, it's round the corner. Once we'd found it, it was well worth the effort, with charming staff, and raspberry caipirinhas to kill for!



The scallops with foie gras were pretty good too:



And Lynne enjoyed her penne with pumpkin:



While I had the prawn and scallop risotto with peas:



And then a crazed waiter set fire to a strawberry brulee...



On Day 2 we spent some time at the hotel having afternoon tea:



After which it was time to shower, change, and stop off for the cocktail hour in the Ambassador Club, before we headed out to Central to meet Cheryl and her boyfriend Ed for a trip on the Star Ferry and then dinner. After a trip on the Star Ferry from Hong Kong to Kowloon we were whisked off for dinner at a Chinese restaurant that Cheryl knew. The food was superb, the wine considerably less so, and the service was mostly well-meaning but baffled - and to Westerners baffling - as we tried to persuade the staff that a) we had a booking, and b) we would like something to drink. That aside the mutton was delicious, the sizzling beef excellent, the sweet and sour fish light and crispy, and the prawns with chillis so good that I went on eating them long after I should have stopped!









From Hong Kong we headed to Macau for work, but there were also a number of very good dinners (as you would expect if you know Macau at all)… Day 3 was, therefore, a travelling day, with breakfast in the lounge, before catching the ferry from Kowloon to Macau.



That evening, to make Glyn happy (though not solely for him), we went to the restaurant Espaco Lisboa for dinner, where, as ever, the decision as to what to eat was hard to make. It was also oddly cold with a chill wind blowing, so sitting on the balcony was not an option this year...

We all had different starters, including a flambeed chorizo for Glyn:


Casquinha (crab) for Lynne:



And for me - perhaps inevitably because I love them so much - the pasteis de bacalhau (salt cod croquettes):



After that - even though I don't normally go for pork - I had the pork and clams. It was delicious, though seemingly never ending. I didn't even try to finish it:



The other two ate steak, although to call it steak may be understating the case:



Puddings were also needed (though how we managed that I'm still not sure):







And from there we caught a taxi back to the hotel and opted to sleep...

Days 4-7 were largely work, but there were still meals!

On Wednesday we managed to fit some shopping in, before we decided that we needed iced coffee and for that we needed to visit the Singing Bean Cafe, a somewhat eccentric establishment where they claim that playing Mozart to the coffee beans makes for a smoother coffee (!).



They also serve the scariest cake portions I have ever seen, and in fact two year's after the event Glyn was still spooked by the sight of the cake display. Instead we settled for an iced coffee and a custard tart each.



I love the iced coffee you get in Macau, served with a jug of very creamy milk and a jug of sugar syrup, it's just the thing on a hot, sweaty morning.

After work we dined at the Convention Tower that evening for the buffet dinner and the fireworks display being held to celebrate the start of the Grand Prix.

The buffet spread was much the same as in previous years, concentrating on sections of Chinese food (and why is there NEVER any crab left), Indian food, Portuguese food, and a seafood counter as well as sushi and sashimi freshly cut for you by the chef.



Glyn was suffering his usual affliction when it came to dessert and his bits of fruit kept accidentally falling into the chocolate fondue - but what can you do...



I had a variety of cute little sweets and then, as they were closing up, we left for a night’s sleep.

Thursday night (Day 5) we opted to eat at the Institute for Tourism’s restaurant, which is always a good experience gastronomically and simply an experience where the service is concerned. Because it's not long after the start of term most of the students are very new, and are therefore hovered over by the tutors and the maitre d' to make sure they don't commit any truly awful errors. It's got to be tricky because what the restaurant is aiming for is fine dining, European-style, with students who come from a very different tradition. It can lead to the odd misunderstanding but it would take a very hard heart to hold it against the students; they're willing, keen and incredibly attentive. And the food is something special too...

We started with a glass of white port each as an aperitif, then moved on to Bacalhau Risotto with Wild Mushrooms for me:



Seared Scallops with Portuguese Black Pudding and Pomelo Confiture for Glyn:



Lynne had the Terrine of Foie Gras with Verjus Jelly, Red Onion and Quince Jam:



I followed this with Pan Fried Venison Fillet with Truffle Spätzle and Port Wine Sauce, as did Lynne:



Glyn ordered the Beef Tenderloin with a Gratin of Wild Mushrooms and Cream Potatoes:



Dessert was a Blueberry and Rhubarb Crumble with Créme Brûee Ice Cream which, to this Yorkshirewoman, needed to be more crumb and less crust, but which was still delicious.



There was also Red Berries Créme Brûee with Egg Tart for Lynne:



It was just a shame they couldn't do the tasting menu for three people, it was only available in multiples of two.

Day 6 didn’t involve a lot of eating, as I’d gone down with an upset stomach by the evening. I did manage lunch though at Fisherman's Wharf and the Talay Thai restaurant overlooking the water and the ferry terminals. We decided lunch might be a good idea at this point (and I wasn't sure I could face the porklion sandwiches in the media lounge - whatever a porklion really is; I'm assuming porkloin, but prefer the mental images the misprint conjures up). We ordered iced tea, iced coffee, prawns in a red curry sauce and a seafood hotpot:





Days 6 and 7 I was still feeling pretty rough, especially on the Saturday morning, so breakfast was a slice of white toast, two immodium tablets and a very milky coffee. Despite that I did manage to go to the Grand Prix Club party, at the Taipa House Museum as always. It's changed a bit, at least in terms of the view. The first year we came we were faced with a lagoon and marshes full of wading birds and frogs, but now, although the lagoon is still there, the skyline is now dominated by The Venetian, and there's yet more construction going on around it. This year the food didn't seem to be as good as in previous years, with a change of caterers. It's always been the Lisboa till now, but this year the Tower was the supplier of choice. Of course it could just have been that I wasn't feeling too bright, but there certainly didn't seem to be the range of choice this time out. The same applied to the drinks with beer or red wine offered and white wine proving very hard to come by yet again. I realise it's a cultural thing, but given the number of Westerners, it seemed a little short-sighted. From there we decided to go on to the Mandarin Oriental (and persuaded the organisers to divert one of the buses there specially) for a nightcap - which turned out to be a not very good but very expensive caipirinha... The place was almost deserted so we didn’t stay long.

Day 8 we were back over to Kowloon and the Intercontinental Grand Stanford for one last night. That evening we went back to Aqua, intending to hit the Japanese menu this time, though we were briefly tempted by the set menu, till we realised just how much food it would entail and we bottled out. Once again we started with a pair of raspberry caipirinhas, and then branched out with a plate of sushi between us.



It was all extremely good except for the foie gras sushi, which, needless to say, just didn't work in any way, shape or form. After that we moved on to crab rice with crab terriyaki, which was delicious:



So too was the plate of Wagyu beef.



We couldn't finish the rice though. Tiredness had finally and irrevocably caught up and we could eat no more.

Macau non-food photos are here while the Hong Kong photos are here. Pictures from the Intercontinental Grand Stanford are here.

Work (motor racing) photos are here, here, here and here. Additionally, anyone interested in what happened during the race can go here or here for reports.

If you’re interested in other details of the trip, then my LiveJournal has full reports.
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