Monday, 30 November 2015

Shadow Wine Bar, Northbridge, Western Australia (Alissa and Don Eat Australia)

With Alissa and I having travelled a lot in the last 6 months, it seems like a long time since the Ministry of Gluttony has had a chance to really focus on our continued coverage of developments in Perth's food scene. With a glut of posts from our Sydney trip spilling over into a glut of posts from Bangkok and Hong Kong, its nice to finally be out from the over east/overseas backlog and be able to shift our focus back to our hometown. The timing is particularly momentous as this month marks two years since our first post as the Ministry of Gluttony, as well as our second wedding anniversary and four years since our first date. To mark the occasion, Alissa and I decided to make a booking at restaurant we've had our eye on for some time - Shadow Wine Bar in Northbridge.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Mott 32, Central, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

In the lead up to our 2015 trip to Hong Kong, I happened to be walking through the local supermarket when I noticed the latest issue of Gourmet Traveller fortuitously featured an article about new restaurants in Hong Kong. The informative article featured a number of restaurants we had heard of and were considering booking tables for, with one in particular catching our eye. Named Mott 32 after the location of New York's first Chinese convenience store, the restaurant's eye popping interior design and the promise of unusual and luxe Dim Sum was enough to convince us to reserve a table for our visit, and it served as our last meal in Hong Kong before catching our flight back home to Australia.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Butao Ramen, Central, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

When making our initial plans for our 2015 Hong Kong trip, our dining options were significantly more fanciful and upmarket, including an ambitious plan to dine at no less than three separate restaurants with 3 Michelin Stars. The serious decline of the Australian dollar over the year really put a damper on those plans, and we realigned our meals to better reflect the changed economic situation. Thankfully, Hong Kong has many excellent restaurants at the more affordable end of the spectrum and we refocused our energies on trying many of the city's best bowls of Tonkotsu Ramen. Having tried Ichiran in 2013 (and revisited it as part of this trip) as well as the equally excellent Kamitora Ramen, Alissa and I decided to visit Butao - the noodle shop often credited as having started Hong Kong's Ramen Craze.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Lung King Heen (Weekday Dim Sum Lunch), IFC, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

During our honeymoon, Alissa and I had the great pleasure of dining at Caprice, the then 3 Michelin Starred restaurant located in the Four Season Hotel in Hong Kong. Almost two years on, our dinner at Caprice remains one of the best meals of our lives, with the excellent standard of cooking equalled by some of the finest service we have ever experienced in a fine dining restaurant. With such fond memories of our meal at the Four Seasons, Alissa and I had often wondered about Lung King Heen - the hotel's 3 Michelin Starred Chinese restaurant - especially since it was the place where Mak Kwai Pui worked as a Dim Sum Chef before going on to open Tim Ho Wan. Particularly keen to try the restaurant's Dim Sum selection, Alissa and I made a lunch reservation at the first Cantonese restaurant to ever be awarded the top star rating.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Chicken Hof & Soju (AKA Lee Family Chicken), Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

Who doesn't love Fried Chicken? It's such a simple dish in a lot of ways, but there is something immensely satisfying about well breaded and fried poultry, with a crispy exterior encasing perfectly juicy meat inside. For many people growing up in most places with a strong American influence on their fast food, the Colonel's Southern-style secret recipe would have been their first taste of Fried Chicken but in the hipster-driven shift away from fast food conglomerates, smaller restaurants serving more idiosyncratic takes on Fried Chicken have come to the fore. Although the ascendency of independent American-style food establishments has seen many a 'craft' take on the Southern Fried style, it is Korean Fried Chicken that I find particularly interesting given the Asian influences on the Fried Chicken format. Having tried versions of Korean Fried Chicken in Australia, Alissa and I were keen to visit a specialist while in Hong Kong, and we decided to check out Chicken Hof & Soju (AKA Lee Family Chicken), a restaurant credited as having started Hong Kong's love for this other KFC.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Oddies Foodies, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

Along with Dim Sum, Wanton Noodles and Roast Goose, the Egg Waffle must rank amongst Hong Kong's most iconic must-try dishes. Shaped as rounded bubbles rather than the gridded waffle shape more common in the west, Alissa and I ran out of time to try them during our last Hong Kong trip in 2013, and as such Alissa wanted to ensure a dessert of Egg Waffles was added to our dining itinerary this time around. Scouring blogs and Instagram feeds, Alissa came upon Oddies Foodies, a Wan Chai hole in the wall serving a particularly food porny take on the Egg Waffle.  Little more than 500m away from our ramen dinner at Kamitora, we decided to pop into Oddies afterwards for dessert.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Kamitora Ramen, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

During our last trip to Hong Kong in 2013, Alissa and I had the great pleasure of dining at Ichiran Ramen. A branch of a well regarded Japanese chain, their Tonkotsu Ramen was the most refined we had ever tried, and it remains our benchmark for the Hakata-style. The only problem with Ichiran is that a bowl of porky goodness comes at a price - you have to earn your bowl by queuing up outside the restaurant for quite a significant amount of time, only to then have to wait in another line inside the building! During our 2013 trip, the wait was made acceptable due to the mild December weather, however we were greeted with uncomfortable humidity during our recent return visit, making the wait not very fun at all. Given Hong Kong's well known addiction to Ramen, Alissa and I were keen to try a few of the city's other Ramen joints of repute to see if we could find a bowl as good as Ichiran without the queues. We decided to check out two places - Butao Ramen (the shop often credited as started Hong Kong's Ramen Craze) and the lesser known Kamitora Ramen in Wan Chai.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Little Bao, Central, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

Although a long time favourite order at Dim Sum restaurants and as a snack throughout Asia, the humble steamed bun or Bao has reached even greater heights of ubiquity in the post-Momofuku culinary world. The Momofuku Pork Bun must be one of the most heavily copied and replicated dishes of modern times, with entire restaurants and menus almost obsessively based around variations on the steamed bun theme, such as Wonderbao in Melbourne. Given its almost viral spread and continuing influence over a decade since the opening of Noodle Bar, it begs the question - have we reached Peak Bao? Not yet, if Little Bao in Hong Kong is anything to go by.