Archive for the ‘drinks’ Category

The fun begins at 5pm.  $1 for every glass of alcohol, price doubles every 20 minutes until 7pm.  There’s only one beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon; it stops being a problem after you suck back 3 of them within the first 20 mins for $3.  After which you spend the next 1 hour and 40 minutes on cruise control and drinking at a more reasonable pace.

It’s the best happy hour in HK and beats drinking on plastic stools in the wet markets in the afternoon.  After 7pm, head to the local joints for $20 bottles of Tsing Taos.



Posted: August 26, 2015 in drinks
Tags: , , ,
Sake, 14 years old and $5k

Sake, 14 years old and $5k

Lan Fong Yuen is famous for their milk teas and there is always a large line up of people waiting outside.  Walk further down Gage street to Fresco Cafe, it’s a bakery serving cold drinks.  You will get to venture through the hustle and bustle of the Gage street wet market.  Fresco’s milk tea is good.

the best milk tea in Central, exactly as advertised.

the best milk tea in Central, exactly as advertised.

The cold milk tea is exactly as advertised.  I promise the milk tea won’t turn you into a blue blood.  It’s a nice refreshing drink on a hot day without the long line ups and premium price tag of Lan Fong Yuen.

My favorite bakery in Central.

My favorite bakery in Central.

Bars are the quintessential meet spot to catch up with friends, it’s also a great way to be surrounded by other guys.  The last thing I want is to be in a drunk sausage party and eating bad food.  One thing I miss about Beijing is the abundance of BBQ skewers and cheap beer; thus, on the prowl for a BBQ joint to curb both cravings at once.  Japanese Yakitori joints have delicious skewers but it also comes with the giant price tag.  I love drinking and eating on the cheap.  I found ON ON BBQ with a giant line around 8pm.  I went back at 9pm in the hopes of grabbing a table.  I love HK hospitality:  table for 2, you can’t sit at our empty table as it’s for 4 people.  Let’s forget about the fact it’s getting late and you will not seat anymore walk in customers but we will let those waiting for a smaller table continue to wait.  The only saving grace was cold beer.

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ON ON BBQ in Mong Kok

This BBQ restaurant has both Hoegaarden and Kronenbourg Blancs on tap for $65.  I stick to my Tsing Tao bottles for $16.  Skol is $11.  There’s a beer challenge with the Hoegaardens, drinking X amount in under 10 minutes will net you a free meal.  The staff could not be bothered to tell me more, scared.

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corn, meatballs and chicken cartilage

BBQ corn, I like corn on the cob rolled in butter better.  The meatballs were nothing special but it did have a nice sprinkling of cumin.  The cartilage was good.

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beef skewer

The beef was tender and moist, drenched in sauce.

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bbq chicken wings

The chicken wings were cooked well with the inside still moist.  It didn’t have too much taste but the wings were big.

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bbq eggplant

The BBQ eggplant was good.  BBQ’ed on one side with cumin and hot peppers on the others.

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bbq mushrooms

Mushrooms were alright.  Nothing spectacular.

One thing to note, do not order BBQ fruits.  Why?  You have lost all the succulent juice that makes the fruit healthy!  Many of the menu items were quite innovative but I stuck to the originals.  I don’t need everything covered in ‘white’ sauce.

All things considered, this was a cheap meal with 4 bottles of Tsing Taos for $250.  I would go again if I happen to be in the area but would probably seek out other BBQ options.  If you go later at night (after 9pm) it is 15% off.  With the lack of space for a BBQ at home, it’s best to enjoy this at the restaurants.  Next time I may check out the BBQ pits by the beach.  I may never step foot into another bar going forward as I get better quality food for the same price without the need to drink myself into a coma.

Hong Kong is one region where they sell more luxury time instruments than the whole US combined. You pay for a premium for limited production, brand name and exclusivity. How is it exclusive when everyone has one? It becomes to norm. For the price of a high end watch, you can pay a artisan to create your own special time piece, a one-off with zero production except for you. No one else will have a identical time piece. Yet HK people are too stupid to realize that it makes more sense to cater to the luxury marketplace than to be a client of luxury. Please tell me which position is more enviable – to cater to this market or to be its end user.  Luxury brands can sell out here.  I would never line up for the opportunity to give someone business but in HK, the overlords have conditioned the general public to que up to purchase their product.  Do they wonder why their customers would rather to go purchase abroad rather than locally?

Wines and high end spirits are the same thing. I can only learn to appreciate some production high end wines if I spend time drinking crap wines. I can go to school and attain many certificates showing you I am capable to discern wines and liquors but the certificates can’t buy the one thing that makes it enviable. Appreciation of the liquids that can only come with time and copious consumption.  I have no qualms with buying liquor but some of the HK pricing can only lead to shaking of the head.  HK is known to be capitalism at it’s finest, at a certain price point it really makes a business case to make your own liquor.  Never realize Jack Daniels was so expensive.  I can’t drink whiskey anymore, it’s too popular.  I might as well drink the old man drink of choice, rotten grapes via Brandy.

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I remember paying $20 for Jack, HK pricing dictates it’s now $40+ USD.  I can get french oak barrels from bankrupt wineries to barrel age my moonshine.  Whiskies have now entered the cost prohibitive range.  Every Whiskey distillery is releasing limited editions.  The initial trend started with vodkas and Grey Goose.  Now we have artisan vodka, gin and whiskey.  Rum and Brandy have yet to go through this renaissance period.  Another thing that shocks me is liquor that leaves the residue inside.  Case in point, Choya.  Great marketing gimmick as any other producer caught with residue traces in the end product would have their customers in uproar.  Would wineries leave grapes in the bottle for their customers?

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Suits and accessories are a prime example.  You can walk into Zegna and Canali to pay $20k for off the rack suit or go to a custom suit maker and they can do the exact same suit with the branded Zegna cloth for half the price, made to your specifications.  The cheapest tailor in HK one will ever find is located in Central.  Cheung Hing Tailors.  Their office is 79 Queens Road Central, 4th floor beside the CTS building.  $1500HKD for a ‘custom made’ suit.  I use that term loosely as a custom made suit for a tad over $200 USD is probably too good to be true.  You go to Cheung Hing because you’re on a budget and have no plans to visit other ASEAN countries.  I remember paying $50 USD for a custom made suit in Thailand’s famous tourist rip off central – Khaosan Road in Bangkok.  A $50 suit is not meant for everyday wear and tear so you practically toss the pants leaving only the blazer for function.

My last custom made suit was purchased at Bonham Strand tailors.  They use the business to provide training for ex-criminals and jobs for retired tailors to transfer their skills.  You are supporting a just and noble cause.  WSJ did an article on them which is why I commissioned three suits there –, $3500HKD.  One thing to note which the custom suit makers in HK, most will send out your specifications to their factories in China to do the heavy lifting.  The suits arrive in HK where the HK side does the fine tuning.  You will need to find the tailors that do everything in house.  My first HK custom made suit was done at Tai Pan Row in IFC.  They gave me the education on China manufacturing etc.  $7000 was a fun learning experience but never again.

Enjoy HK and the industries for fine detail work.  Custom made anything is cheaper here.  If you’re on the hunt for things that stand out to which only you will have, stay away from the luxury products.  For the same price as luxury, you can commission real one-off luxury products without the label.  If you are dead set on the label, the cobbler can paint the heel red to give you the Laboutin feel.

This time last year I bought a slow juicer as I got caught up with the juicing fad – the ability to get all my vitamins and nutrients from fruit and vegetables early in the morning in one cup of special elixir.  In my juice I had all the fruits and vegetables I eat on a regular basis – orange, carrots, ginger, celery, beets and anything else I could pop into the mix.  This went on for two weeks before I realize more time was spent cleaning the slow juicer than anything else.  In the process of cutting everything into bite size bits, it would be easier to just ingest everything.  You go from ingesting only the juice to putting the fibre back into the body.  The actual juice is terrible and a lot of fine tuning is required to get the proportions to taste right, especially when you add ginger to the mix.

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Juice is great way to add vitamins and nutrients into the diet.

The one benefit of juicing is recognizing the need to implement change.  The only problem with juicing is the fact it has no lasting effects once you stop.  It is not the same as implementing real change to your diet.  You are not addressing the issue of the fact your diet is horrible but rather using a quick fix.  Obviously you will see results while juicing but once you stop, the results disappear and you go back to looking the same way.  To maintain the effects of juicing, one will need to change their diet and exercise.  Fitness and diet is the only true way to bring about change but don’t tell that to HK girls where the desire to be skinny trumps all.

If you are going to juice, there are real changes once can implement before shelling out $500/day to a company providig juice.  Try skipping supper.  You will go hungry but it allows your kidneys to get to work ridding your body of toxins.  Once you stop ingesting food, the kidneys go back to doing real work.  By skipping dinner, you allow the kidneys more time to do the heavy lifting.  You are forcing a fast.  In the morning, you are breaking the fast (breakfast).  Your weight will decrease.  The human body doesn’t need 3 meals a day at a time when you are no longer growing.  You need 3 big meals in your young adult years but once you stop growing, there is no need to ingest the same amount as if you were growing.  Shrink down to two meals: breakfast and lunch.

The body is a simple machine.  You don’t need juice to detox it, you just need to stop eating to give time for the kidneys to get to work.  The body needs fibre, juicing even slow juicing does not provide fibre.  Juicing also spikes your sugar levels so rather than give the body time to work its magic, ingesting only sugars without the fibre will cause the same problem as drinking coke.  You will get the sugar crash.  The body will clean itself on its own when you give it time.  You are what you eat so you have already shown the inability to actively monitor your diet.  You don’t eat a healthy balanced diet and now you are looking for a quick fix.  At least you recognize the need to change.

They always say, look at how skinny she is.  It is sad that skinny does not equate to being healthy.  Imagine a HK body, no exercise and horrible diet but they juice so they are still skinny.  They are skinny-fat, there’s no muscle on the frame.  I don’t want to imagine the horror beneath the disguise of brand name luxury clothes.  Juicing is the same as fasting.  At least with a fast, your money stays in your wallet.  If you feel the need to pay someone $500/day or week for juice, shoot me an email.  I can put you on a plan for half the cost with a money back guarantee.  Don’t be a sucker.  On another note, I have a slow juicer for sale.

The tea is earthy with a slight charred apple taste and sweet cherry finish.  I happen to meet the proprietors at a tea convention and they stuffed my grab bag with their wares.  I love the name – monkey picked tieguanyin.  I would pay to watch monkeys pick the tea leaves.  Monkeys in tourist areas of Asia are well known and trained to be pick pockets.  Indonesia is famous for this.

I enjoyed the tea and used the traditional steeping method.  I did drink the first pour (some prefer to pour this down the drain as you are cleaning the leaves).   I’m sure it would go well with ice cream sandwiches and cheesecake.  The apple taste reminds me of candy apples so the next time I buy this to enjoy alongside ice cream.  I was able to steep the tea 4 times before it started to lose flavour.  For the majority of chinese teas, a requirement would be to drink in the morning and early afternoon as late afternoon will induce the inability to fall asleep.

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One of biggest barriers to buying tea is the large discrepancy in pricing.  I understand vino culture and the history plays a big part in pricing for the elixir of kings.  For tea leaves, history, experience and self selection will set one apart.  One does not want to purchase tea leaves that go through large amounts of processing or cooking so as to allow time to mellow out the flavours yet at the end of the day, the aging process is solely science.  Chemicals can replace time and tea leaves can be purchased anywhere and everywhere.  Tea makes for a healthy substitute to quench thirst.  I try to buy teas from reputable sellers but at the end of the day I am woefully dependent on the faith of proprietors to stand behind their product.  If the tea proprietor is pushy for the sale, walk away.  It’s their chosen line of work to let you sample the goods before purchase.  If the teas are as good as they hope to represent, it will taste great to you.