Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Italian Market 2015 #madeinitalyfestival



In the beginning of June, I took my parents to the Italian Market to have a browse around and see what they had to offer this time. Thank you to my friend who gave me these tickets who works for Gusella. If you're interested in luxury Italian children's clothing please do check out Gusella (Click Here). In Hong Kong, there is a shop in Lee Gardens Two on the 2nd floor. Their clothing is so adorable, I secretly wished they had some adult sizes. 

This year, it was held in Cyberport's The Arcade. 
Our first impression was that it was a lot smaller than we expected, however, it's better than having none at all right? So on this glorious day, we went in to find ourselves surrounded by Italians supporting this event and authentic Italian food and products all around Hong Kong. 

Buonissimo Ltd in action
 Click HERE for more information 
You cant think of Italian food without pizza right? 




Whilst walking around the area itself, its hard not to go by Pizza Pala and not have one. Now, after having a quick spot of lunch at Cyberport, I couldn't resist trying. I opted for the Mushroom and Truffle oil since it was just freshly out the oven, that was the best choice for me at least! 


SHOPPING!!! 
Grocery shopping, stocking up on some good old linguine!! I'm craving for some vongole linguine now.. Just thinking about it is mouth watering. Shame there weren't any of the large olives we were looking for. 

Some hand made jewellery pieces to choose from 
COFFEE! Italian Coffee !
Espresso anyone? 
Mia Madre and myself chilling outside with some Ducati vehicles under the sun


Ended up getting these goodies at the market. 

The Caffe Aloia box caught my attention since it is compatible with Nespresso Citiz, Pixie and Essence coffee models. Since we do have a Nespresso Citiz, and some good coffee lovers in the house, I'm gona give this a try soon to see if I would prefer this or the Nespresso own brands more.

Linguine!! Got to get me some pasta for nights in added with some vongole (clams) or even some  julienned vegetables, pancetta and a little chilli flake for that kick. 

We were alsogiven some Ferrero Rocher which I practically gobbled up within seconds and some miniature bottles of olive oil. Looks like this Sunday could be a pasta night in with a nice glass of red. 


Shop:
Gusella




Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Kyoto | Nishiki Market



Within the Termachi and the Shin Kyogoku Shopping Arcade are packed with trendy young shops, restaurants and selling nik-nacks, is the Nishiki Market. It's actually a normal market any locals would really go and shop for their day to day foods but for us tourists, it's a colorful but narrow market street filled with delicious delights. That's why it's known as "Kyoto's Kitchen". 

Tsukemono 
One of the stable diet items which is found in the Japanese diet is "Tsukemono" preserved vegetables; once upon a time, there was a period when each household did have their own home picklings and preserved foods at home. It's also one of those 'must have' items during a meal along with rice and miso soup. Just looking at the variety of colourful vegetables can be refreshing, just wait till you have it. If you're not a fan of vinegar, I wouldn't suggest having it though... Most tsukemono you get in Kyoto or in Japan in general will depend on the season. Since we were there over the spring time, you'd see alot more sakura (cherry blossoms) as an ingredient and mizuna which is a thin leaf vegetable. 

TASTING TIME!! 



One of the longest markets I've ever been to! It seems endless...

Aritsugu
I couldn't resist going into this knife shop, Aritsugu, packed with chefs, cooking enthusiasts and locals. They carry an incredible selection of blades and cooking utensils which is normally found in a Japanese household. After having being a chef once myself, I felt like a kid in a candy store again. Let alone being in Nishiki Market itself.

When I captured this old man sharpening the newly bought knife by a customer who was also waiting for her new set of knives with her name carved onto, I thought he looked like he was having the best time of his life. This is what I love about people in Japan in general. Whatever they do as a career or hobby, they will pour their hearts out into it. It's very much of an inspiration for me at all times! 


ICE CREAM TIME!!! 

Chestnuts! Get your piping hot chestnuts here! 



Mouth watering food all over the place just makes you even more hungry !

Mainly Dried Goods

Spicy Dried Shrimp



I just had to have a cheeky snack before dinner

We didn't really know where we should go to have dinner, so we headed up at Daimaru Department store for a quick and one of the cheapest dinners we had during the entire trip. I think I ate my way through the Nishiki Market a little too much, even this dinner made me feel that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. 

If you do decide on buying the preserved vegetables, I would suggest buying them the day before you leave the country, as most of them are packaged and need to be refrigerated. If you're taking a short haul flight, take a cooler bag or even buy one in Japan! Plenty of choices to choose from and comes in handy when you don't want your ice cream to melt in the hot summer's heat! 


Shop:

Aritsugu
(Knife Shop) 
219 Kajiya-cho 
Nishikikoji-dori
Gokomachi nishi iru
Nakagyo-ku

Opening hours: 9.00am - 5.30pm 

NOTE: They don't have their own website, but if you walk through the Nishiki Market, you'll definitely stumble upon this little shop. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Happy Father's Day @ Frites (Central)


As for Father's Day Sunday, we came to this new place called Frites in Central. Just at the end of Wellington Street lies this little Beer Hall at The Wellington. You can see it just off of Queens Road Central when you look up to the balcony. 

I actually got off to a bad impression of the restaurant, it started when I made the booking through their website and had receive an email back stating that I will shortly get a reply by a call or a text message about my booking. Either way, I didn't get any calls nor messages from them, so I eventually had to call in for an answer myself. Because its going to be a Sunday and on top of that, it's Father's Day too, not getting a respond from the restaurant itself just keeps one questioning. 

In the email, they also stated that once my booking is confirmed, the table will be held for 15 minutes after the actual booking time. However, I didn't get the confirmation until the morning of the actual event itself about an hour before we were an hour from dinning. Which was the day of Father's Day. Surely, it would not have been hard to call the customer at least the a day or two before? And when I called into the restaurant to see whether they have received a booking, the one who picked up the phone sounded as if I was insane why I would even bother call to ask. 

I really do believe that my old job haunts me sometimes in the world of hospitality....
Ranting over!!!

On to the main event itself. 

After taking the lift up to the First Floor to the restaurant and out of the lift, the first impression would be a Belgian beer hall as they have also named it. It makes me miss the times I was travelling in Europe too! Oh, there's also a Great Dane (I believe) sitting at the end of the bar top too! 


View from the balcony 

With a good selection of beers off their Beer Bible, there's something for everyone. Since it was Father's Day too, they also did a promotion for the fathers who are having the beer and practically turned it bottomless. Shame they only had one choice of beer to choose from which was Stella Artois Draught at the price of $70 for bottomless flow.

*This offer was only for the day*

1 KG Mussel Pot (Hoegaarden) | $375
The mussels are from Australia at the moment, so they will tend to be a little bigger. Personally, the Hoegaarden sauce went nicely with the mussels, it was really refreshing with the lemon zest and fennel too.

Roasted Pork Knuckle | $235
If you come here, I would recommend trying the 750 Gram Pork Knuckle. Crispy skin, not too salty, the meat itself was not dry at all. A little, sauce with the vegetables, you can't complain. It's definitely more for a sharing porting, even I would struggle on my own having a starter itself. 

Belgium Waffle! | $60
There's no doubt you have to end the meal with some good old Belgium Waffles either right? 

I would definitely return for some more beer and pork knuckle too. 

Cheers to all!
Happy Father's Day
Hope you all had a wonderful one too!


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Kyoto | Junsei


When in Kyoto, you have to try this restaurant. It's one of those, you can't get a walk in table so easily ever at all. The Junsei Restaurant by Nanzenji. Just a little rainy morning walk from the Subway off the Tozai Line lies this little gem. 



We were seated at the Western Style Room and it was quite the view seeing the weather changing from rainy to slightly sunny and back to cloudy again.

When we were booking this restaurant through the hotel again, we were asked to make our menu choices in advance! Kina weird when we first did that but we when we arrived to the restaurant, you can have the choice to choose. Though, I guess they just prefer customers having made their mind up for easier preparation too.

We all decided on having the Yuba Kaiseki with some starters and other dishes to go along with it too. Yuba which you may have read through in previous posts. It's basically, what they call tofu skin or for us Chinese, we know it as bean curd skin. It forms when heating up soy milk and letting the top layer form after a little while and that's basically what you really get. You get that from heating up milk too if you leave it too long. 




Yuba ! 
Grilled Tofu with Miso Paste | Grilled Vegetables 

Some Baby Squids for starter 
Finishing the meal off with some rice, preserved vegetables and miso soup

Tofu delight 
Menu
all in Japanese, so I have no idea what was coming next




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