Posts Tagged ‘central’

$98 HKD for a bowl of Pho.  It’s decent with the right scent and taste but too small.

$98 HKD is $12 USD for a bowl of Pho in HK’s Central district.  They have a 6 course tasting menu for $600 HKD.  Might as well buy a plane ticket and spend the weekend in Vietnam where a similar bowl of pho is $10 HKD.IMG_20160426_183712

I am a sucker for Vietnamese food and it’s always disappointing.  Viet Kitchen is Viet Wrong.  Too expensive and the portions are too small.  I left hungry.

This is real pho.  Loaded with bean sprouts and raw BEEF.  If it doesn’t look like the picture below, run.

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This is a $188 grilled cheese sandwich.

cafe landmark grilled cheese

why is there sandwich ham in my grilled cheese?

I guess they had to put a slice of ham into the grilled cheese so you don’t complain over the fact they may be charging a smidgen too much.  Never again.  This is one cafe restaurant to avoid while shopping in Central.

 

My farts smell better already.  If you cut back on meat, vegetables and fruits bring your stomach back to the happy medium.  Mana is vegan organic slow cooked fast food for the white collar workers hell bent on nutrition.  The line up moves quick, the wait time for food is 30mins after ordering leaving just enough time to run back to the office to eat.  I have been putting off eating here as my roommate had a bad experience and complained it was expensive.  Luckily my GF had coupons.  Portion size is big enough to curb a hungry stomach so long as you get the full order.

I had to use the Entertainer HK coupon – buy one get one free.

Prana – cucumbers, sprouts, mint and roasted sun dried tomatoes for $90.

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brown baguette bag to wrap it all together.

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it’s gift wrapped. I would have loved to see and feel the brown deli style wax paper.

The wrap looked nice, white paper with the sticker is simple enough.  If you change to the brown deli style wax paper, it would make this wrap very nostalgic of home.

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before my first bite

It needs more mint and sprouts in every bite.  The sun dried tomatoes were overpowering but cucumbers were refreshing.  4 items for $90.  I wish they had an option for guacamole.

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half way there

I will go back but only with coupons.  This is a great place to find inspiration for foods to make on your own and pack for lunch.  It’s dead simple to execute.  go Mana.

In an alleyway on Jubilee street is the entrance to Tit Hong Lane.  Giltman’s Bazaar is one alleyway for food serving the office workers inside the Centre, Tit Hong Lane is the other.  The restaurant is solely set up to serve the lunch rush so only order their signature dishes to avoid disappointment.

My meal arrived cold.  I imagine everyone was pre-made in a cafeteria style to deal with the lunch time rush.  I ordered the pepper beef with the red rice.  Red rice is not healthy red kernals nor brown rice but rather white rice fried in a tomato sauce.  Fried rice with tomato sauce would make the dish tasty, except the rice was cold and obviously stored in the refrigerator.  $55 for this signature dish and another $2 to unlock the cold drink option for $57.  This is double the price of my normal lunch meals and 3X the price of a McDonalds extra value meal to which I find troubling.  It’s decent Vietnamese food in a pinch but do not order for take out.  Take out portions are minuscule.  They also lack good pho.

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I like my food cold.  I love the pizza and pasta the day after.  It has much more flavour after sitting in my fridge over night.  I can’t say the same for Asian food as congealed sauce does not sound appetizing.  In light of the inability to find quality Vietnamese, this place fits the bill for the time being.  Lunch time food is generally a good indicator of food quality as the time limits and large crowds tend to show if the restaurant is serious in maintaining quality controls.

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refrigerator rice.

I don’t mind the food.  Luckily, Vietnamese food will also taste good in the cold.  I don’t think I will go back as the pricing makes for better options elsewhere but if I happen to be in the neighborhood with a craving for Vietnamese, there’s no need to sacrifice your stomach as I have already done so.

Gilman’s Bazaar in Central is inbetween Des Voeux Road and Queens Road Central.  You will know it if you work in the Centre.  L Place is a building devoted to dining and Gilman’s Bazaar is beside L Place, offering more affordable fare.  There are multiple dining options available on this street and they all cater to the lunch time crowds.

This is the scrambled egg place.  There is always long line ups to get in.  They serve scrambled egg and meat on rice.  I ordered the egg & shrimp and egg & bbq pork.  It’s good.  $34 but there’s no soup option.  They also serve traditional chinese pastries which will fill up an office worker pretty quickly with lard – curry pastries, chicken pies and everything else one would expect to be flaky.  $18 for a cold milk tea at this restaurant is highway robbery.  Look around at the patrons and one will find no one orders the cold drinks.  Stick to the food.

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scrambled eggs and shrimp

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scrambled eggs and bbq pork

King Laksa is another option on Gilman’s Bazaar.

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I ordered the curry beef brisket and pork chop & egg.

The curry lacks bite.  It did not have the heat one would normally expect nor did it have the strong coconut flavour.  This is a heavy meal which requires soup to wash down.  No soup option.

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curry beef brisket

The Pork Chop dish would be the one to order.  It arrives with 2 over easy eggs and soy sauce.  This is very stereotypical HK lunch time food.  Trucker’s lunch.

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grilled pork chop and 2 eggs over easy

Gilman’s Bazaar provides alternate dining options.  Wellington Street in Central has Cali-Mex, Nha-Trang and a few Michelin stars that are worth a try but the crowds may scare you.  For half the price of Cali-Mex, diners on Gilman’s Bazaar will receive better quality food and larger portions.  Mexican food has always and will always be a miss in HK so it’s best to avoid.  One may as well enjoy local cuisine so avoid disappointment.  The restaurants on Gilman’s Bazaar do a great job of not disappointing and the line ups will speak to this fact.  Most of the restaurants are surprisingly clean which should not be cause for celebration but HK is a haven for cockroaches and food safety may well become a prime focus.

Cali-Mex is a new restaurant with a slew of locations due to come online in the next few months.  It’s Mexican food, similar to HK’s Little Burro which is trying to mimic Chipotles.  It has a prime location in the heart of the business district at 71 Wellington Street, easy access for the legions of white collar office workers.  The restaurant caters to the grab and go crowd so seating is minimal and you would be best to eat elsewhere as sitting on their tabletops would get in the way of those waiting for their food.

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To get a true feel for the menu items, you order the cheapest things available – if they can do this right then I feel more comfortable with their other offerings.  We ordered the beef burrito ($78) and grilled chicken burrito ($88), both burritos with black beans, salsa and medium spicy.  I did not pay extra for their guacamole as I make this on my own with relative ease.

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On first glance, the burrito has large amount of excess shell which is a bad sign.  Chipotle burritos are generally popping at the seams and require two hands to operate.  This one is the size of a corn dog and readily fits in my hand.  Great lunch option for a petite girl on a diet but a carnivore may need to seek alternate options.

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Let’s crack it open and see.  We have cold ground beef, yellow rice and some remnants of colour in the salsa.  It does not taste better than it looks but I do detect the lack of garlic, tomato, onions, cilantro taste in each bite.  What happen to my salsa?  Why is my beef cold?  Where is the colourful white rice?  Where is the cheese?  What about the sour cream?  Nothing.  Nada.

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The shell is cold, not steamed nor heated and the contents were cold as well.  This is not a good sign for Mexican food as it’s usually pipping hot with the ingredients being fresh.  I can’t guarantee the ingredients are fresh as the whole burrito is basically rice and beef.

Let’s take a look at the grilled chicken burrito.  Uh Oh.  No charring grill marks on my chicken.  How is a customer suppose to ascertain the contents of the order?

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I can confirm the appearance of cilantro in the grilled chicken burrito but notice the taste is not overpowering like similar salsa.

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Just rice, beans and meat.  I notice the skin of the beans breaking apart quite easily which is generally a sign of can beans.  Uh Oh?  I would skip this joint.  Tava and K-Roll make a better lunch option.   Little Burro is in Sheung Wan (10 mins away).  They should rename the restaurant HK-Mex as this is not a proper representation of Americanized Mexican food.  This is Hong Kong style Mexican food.  Line up was long and disorderly.  They should have spent more time testing the menu items and training the staff before releasing the product onto the market with hordes of hungry office workers during the lunch rush.  I won’t be coming back as the next time I am in the mood for Mexican, it’s off to Little Burro.  Chipotles, please come to HK.

Cali-Mex is a good option if you are not in a rush and if you have never been to North America.  If you have eaten at the Mexican restaurants, food trucks in North American or Chipotles, stay away from this place.  They should have made Korean and Mexican food rather than California and Mexico.  It will leave you disappointed.  An expensive waste of stomach space.  I could have put a better tasting burrito together using canned ingredients at parkNshop – beans, meat chili, white rice and tortilla.  Mexican food is nowhere near authentic, exorbitantly expensive and terrible quality.  Cali-Mex is on par with Mr. Food Truck except the portions are smaller.

I was so disappointed with the food I had to make my own burrito bowl using guacolmole, mango salsa, couscous and salmon.

Couscous and red onion

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Guacomole – 2 x$12//avocado, 1/2 red onion at $2, 1 red tomato for $1, 1 hot chilli pepper$1  (beats paying $18 for a small dab)

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Salmon fillet from Ikea’s frozen section, marinate using faijta spice.

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a generous dallop of guac on top of the salmon fillet

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mango salsa on top (mango salsa is 1 $35 spanish mango, 2 $2 tomatoes, $1 chilli pepper, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 shallot and 1/2 of a $2 red onion)

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Enough for 4 people for less than $100.

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Another new craft beer bar in Central.  Craft Beer & Co. is on the corner of Old Bailey and Staunton.  Little Lab on Staunton and Aberdeen finally has competition.  Craft Beer & Co. has a wide assortment of artisanal beverages on tap.  I recognize Young Master Ales, a local HK brewery and a few of their Aussie selections (8wired).  I believe they have a total of 16 taps with 8 taps rotating.  They broadcast all the big sporting events.  For their launch party, they were free flowing Young Master Ale’s Mo Mo Wit.  It was my first time tasting the Mo Mo Wit and I was looking forward to the flavours.  It must be the rain as I could not identify the mandarin orange peels and spices that are suppose to be prevalent in this wheat ale.  I found it very light and refreshing.  Better tasting than the normal big brewery slop.

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This was one party done right.  The guys were inclusive with a small booth set up by the escalators to invite anyone and everyone over.  Free flow beer and german sausages for all.  It’s a far cry from the HK norm of grand openings featuring guards at the door with girls holding clipboards awaiting their VIP guests.  There is a big difference between VIP guests and normal general public.  The VIPs prevalent in HK show up solely for the limelight, to be seen and have their photos taken; they don’t pay.  They will not become repeat customers.  Thank you Craft Beer & Co. for making your grand opening celebration open to everyone.  I hope the guys do well.  I’ll be back tonight for the USA vs. Germany game.  Go USA!!