Dinner Parties @ Home – my first time cooking a Chinese meal!

What could possibly be better than sharing food, wine and conversation with good friends? Ok, maybe a great many things, but as far as dinner parties go, we and four friends have something pretty fantastic going on.

Auvergne, France

 

Chinese/Indonesian/English

The idea was sprung from a casual plan to have dinner together. I realised that we all come from different places and that trying each of our cuisines would be a great way to not only get to know each other better, but also each others cultures and backgrounds.

Martinique

Korea

Belgium
Alsace, France

Three couples.
Six Foodies.
Six different cuisines.
Lots of good food!

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Cooking the Books: Hollandaise Sauce

La Cuisine – the latest edition

It was Sunday night, and we were chilling on the sofa, watching an episode of French “Top Chef”. The skill is on another level, and shoves Masterchef onto the sidelines. In the episode we were watching, the contestants are given caviar, and need to create a dish around it. One makes a shot of egg yolk, cheese foam and caviar. I was inspired, and even though it was 11pm, I felt the need to get up and make it. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so why not? Continue reading

Cooking the Books: Osso Bucco Milanese & Saffron Risotto

Every time I step into a bookstore I end up buying a cookbook. I collect them, look upon them lovingly and admire how great they all look on my shelf. Whenever I buy a new one, I immediately go through it and post-it the heck out of it. Colour-coded of course, blue for easy, pink for hard, green for desserts…by the time I’m though with them they look a bit ridiculous really…

And then I hardly even cook from them! The other day, I was determined to start doing so, and picked up one of the larger ones on the shelf – The Silver Spoon. I asked for it (and received it) for Christmas 4 years ago, and haven’t used it ONCE.

Considered to be the Bible of authentic Italian home cooking, it has over 2,000 recipes, weighs 1.5kg (I checked it on my scale!), and has nice coloured pictures scattered throughout. Since I had some osso bucco (veal shank) in the freezer, I chose to make a Milanese Osso Bucco (Ossibuchi alla Milanese), and a Tarte Tatin – not an Italian dessert and so a bit out of place, but I’ve always wanted to try it. Continue reading

Brasserie de l’île – quel dommage!

Photo from weekendhk.com

I went to Brasserie de L’île last Friday for lunch with AB. I was panicking because I hadn’t made a reservation and of course all of the lunch favorites were booked. A quick search on some of my go-to sites on my blogroll led me to recall the new French bistro on Arbuthnot Road – one mentioned “the best mussels in Hong Kong so far…”. A bold statement indeed, but was it true?  Continue reading

TBLS – The Best Lasagne, Seriously! (This restaurant is now closed)

Photo courtesy of http://www.luxecityguides.com

There are many a ‘private kitchen’ in Hong Kong, a city that is quite special for it’s abundance of unique, hideaway restaurants which are affordable yet (not always, but many a time) a real culinary experience. It’s like biting into a Cadbury cream egg – looks pretty nondescript from the outside, but when bitten into it oozes sweet,sweet goodness!

TBLS sets itself apart from the “Private Kitchen” moniker, describing itself instead as a “Kitchen Studio” – which really, is pretty spot on. I mean look at it, the kitchen dominates this space, and we 18 people at the tables are spectators (and eaters) of the art that is created.

Many private kitchens were borne from the desires of Hong Kong chefs who wanted to share their culinary vision in their own kitchen but were limited by high rents, lower budgets and stringent licensing. The newer private kitchens are becoming more innovative, more original, more intimate and more international. There is a long list of them that I have been wanting to try for some time now, Ta Pantry, Liberty Private Works, Commune Lab, Zone-D and Yin Yang to name a few.

Last week I was able to cross one off my list. Our friends, The JCs, asked if we wanted to join them for dinner the following evening at TBLS – it was last minute plan as they had in turn been given the reservation by a friend who ended up not being able to make it.  Despite the fact that I had indulged in a degustation menu two days before, and would have another the day after (more on that in posts to come!), TBLS is always booked up for months in advance and it was an invitation that simply couldn’t be refused. Continue reading