The best martini in town – Blue Bar’s Apple Martini

I know it’s a bold statement, but I think this may be the best martini in this little town called Hong Kong, and certainly one of my favorites. In fact, the rest of the drinks menu may as well not exist at The Four Season’s Blue Bar. Every time the bring over the menu, I politely wave it away, give the server a big smile and very proudly say “I know what I want….”

The Apple Martini at the Blue Bar is perfectly balanced, sweet (but I like it that way), flavourful, and fresh. It’s not too strong, which actually works in your favour, because it’s so morish you want to have at least 3 of them if you can. Made with vodka and fresh apple puree, then topped with a very thin slice of dehydrated apple, one could almost deem it healthy! The puree gives it dimension, and I almost feel like I’m having a snack at the same time!

And for one more special touch, it’s served on a barman’s tray, together with the cocktail shaker. They pour it into the glass at your table, then leave the shaker with you, which contains almost another full glass of the martini mixture. Talk about two for the price of one!

Please, do me a favour, go have one, and tell me you love it just as much as I do!

P.S. I apologise for the poor quality photo. I forgot my camera at home, and the Iphone 3 picture quality leaves much to be desired!

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Oufti! Ca c’etait un bon weekend!

I was at a birthday barbeque on Saturday night and had some great conversations with new and interesting group of people. After half an hour of being there, I’d already explained my background and how I grew up in Hong Kong.  Then the follow up questions came:

Q: Do you know TST very well?
A: Um…no.

Q: New Territories?
A: Well, we went to Tung Chung today to go wakeboarding!

Q: Isn’t that in Lantau?
A: Um…yes you’re completely right. Sorry, I thought you said Lantau (….)

Q: Have you been to the Thousand Buddhas Monastery?”
A: You mean the Big Buddha? Of course I have! (internal monologue: YESSSS! Thank goodness, I won’t embarrass myself with this answer!)

Q: No….the thousand buddhas in Shatin…
A: Oh….um…ah…no.

I am a Hong Kong girl, but I should really stop telling adventurous expatriates that I grew up here! It’s like the Parisian who has never been to the Louvre, or the New Yorker who has never been to the Empire State Building – it’s not going anywhere, so we can always check it out one day.

The Dark Side is too much of an effort, and on days where I’m actually inspired to cross the harbour, I consider myself an intrepid adventurer. As for Lantau and the New Territories, as a child I went with my parents to the places of their choosing, with what I consider is essential to really explore – a car.Now, most would think I’m a ditz for saying that – “Come on JK, you don’t need a car to get places – you just need to get off your lazy a@@”. And it’s true – I am lazy. I don’t want to spend $300 to get a taxi to Saikung, and I really can’t be bothered to taxi-MTR-bus-taxi-boat-hike my way to Dailongwan. Now that I can actually drive a car, the first 4 parts of that process can be avoided. Plus, I can ride as a passenger on P’s bike (oh how I love that bike!), it makes getting around infinitely easier. Continue reading

Roastalicious! Leg of Lamb with roast potatoes and garlic beans.

There is a Sufi proverb that says that food eaten in anger turns to poison.  So surely that means that food eaten in a state of happiness turns to love! 🙂 There is nothing better than inviting good friends to your home for a catch up over a meal cooked with lots of love. That’s why I’m a big fan of roasts – they are simple and easy to prepare, you just bung it in the oven and leave it until it’s done. It’s a meal that allows you to go out and talk to guests instead of having to constantly run in to check the stove.

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My Online Shopping Spree

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a couple of weeks, and as a result have gone a bit crazy with shopping online. And before you make any assumptions, no I have not been splashing the cash on Net-a-Porter. Being able to try clothes on, having the satisfaction of walking out of the store with my shopping bag, and rushing home to try things on straight away again are all an integral and important part of the process for me.

But food shopping is a different thing. There are so many seafood and meat items that you simply cannot buy in supermarkets here, unless you want to pay an arm and a leg for them. With a little bit of forward planning, you can have choice cuts on your dinner plate at a fraction of the cost. So yes! I have been a very good customer of online food purveyors this week.

Holding onto the summer by a strawberry…

Coco Blanc at Les Halles Market in Avignon

In our modern age of unlimited variety and choice, a stroll around the supermarket allows us to buy whatever we want, whenever we want. Peaches in the winter? Sure! Butternut squash and brussel sprouts in the summer? No problem! Even though choice is convenient, it’s nice to be encouraged by the seasonality, to use different ingredients and like a wardrobe switch from light and airy to warm and comforting.  Hong Kong local supermarkets (not the City Super variety) do tend to follow seasonal availability to a certain extent – I for one am waiting with eager anticipation for Wellcome to start stocking pomegranates again!

But yesterday, after a typhoon and with the air starting to get cooler, I wanted to fool myself that it was still summer. I stepped into my local Wellcome to buy punnets of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for a summer berry meringue, but there were no raspberries or blueberries anymore! Alas, there’s no denying it – this signals the end of the summer, and the start of pumpkin soups and beef stews. Continue reading