Tag Archives: F&B

Heirloom Eatery restaurant review – smores, smores, smores (how do you like it…)

UPDATE: Heirloom Eatery is now known as Corner Kitchen Cafe.

Hong Kong is all about the hype. Be it Hello Kitty toys, Lady Gaga tickets or the latest ‘it-restaurant’, there’s always buzz around something.

One of the coolest, most talked-about restaurants from a while back, is Heirloom Eatery in the also buzzing Sheung Wan side of Hollywood Road. In traditional Rach late to the party style, I didn’t get round to trying it out until a month or so ago – with foodie partner-in-crime Michelle of Chopstixfix and her friend Amy (not a blogger but just as game for taking loads of pics and eating loads of food!).

Heirloom is a quaint little eaterie with lots of quirky design touches. It’s definitely a world away from any of the flashy restaurant group behemoths in Hong Kong and, with its whimsical menus, floral crockery, mismatched furniture and homespun feel, is probably all the better for it. Although the restaurant is on the smaller side, it’s lovely to sit outside watching the world go by on a nice spring day.

The menu is casual and international, with a few key influences – Mexican and Asian (thanks to the heritage of the two founders) – and a few majorly hyped dishes… Dear reader, we tried all of them!

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Brasserie De L’ile restaurant review – frites for my sweet…

UPDATE: Brasserie De L’ile is now closed.

I may have mentioned on just a couple of occasions (like here… and here… and errr… here too) that my boyfriend is a bit of a chip connoisseur. For him, fries are one of the main food groups and golden chip fat probably runs through his veins. So when I heard about a new joint in town, Brasserie de L’ile, that was serving all you can eat fries, I knew it wasn’t a matter of if we would go, but WHEN!

Luckily for Brasserie de L’ile, it is located on Arbuthnot Road – and Central not being one of our frequent hang-outs, I felt slightly less nervous that my boyfriend would manage to put them out of business in just one visit!

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Applegreen restaurant review – these are the salad days…

UPDATE: Sadly, this branch of Applegreen is now closed and there are currently no more locations on HK Island. For the updated list of their restaurants in Hong Kong, see the bottom of this post.

After my post on being a calamari glutton at Grappas, I had a lovely email from a reader demanding (very politely, of course) more posts like that. So hello Kai and may I present another of my regular Hong Kong haunts – Applegreen.

Applegreen’s cuisine is inspired by the café culture of California and its strapline ‘The house of salad’ is the main reason it took me so long to get there! My boyfriend is no particular friend of salad (or anything healthy and non fried potato based) and made disgusted faces every time I attempted to broach a visit to a place boasting salad as its signature dish. Instead, I waited it out until a group dinner with friends, which turned out to be great and where I spotted Cajun Fries (served in a trash can, no less) smiling brightly on the menu. Well, the boyfriend loves Cajun Fries almost as much as he hates salad – and consequently, we have found ourselves there nearly every fortnight ever since!

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Grappa’s restaurant review – the Italian job

I don’t think Grappa’s gets nearly enough love.

Whenever there’s a request for reasonably-priced, good quality pasta or a shout-out for your favourite Italian in Hong Kong, I feel like I’m the only one gunning for Grappa’s! It might not be the newest or hippest Italian restaurant on the block or have a particularly innovative exciting menu, but what it does deliver is efficient service, consistent quality, food that I want to come back for and at prices that don’t make my wallet run away screaming in horror.

For a chain, its branches do vary a lot, both in quality and atmosphere. The one in Central is in a cosy cellar and is one of the best venues for live music from artists that can’t yet sell out arenas but aren’t quite ‘skivy bar in Wan Chai’ material. The one in Quarry Bay has a more business-like vibe and fantastic staff, yet their food tends to range wildly in quality (two years ago, it had a limited menu that barely included any meat; now, they’ve rebranded with a whole new supposedly American-Italian menu). But for me, the one in Pacific Place – a stalwart of the HK dining scene for over 20 years – is where it’s at.

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Red Pepper restaurant review – the spice of life

Ask my boyfriend what his favourite restaurant in Hong Kong is and his answer may well be Red Pepper.

Red Pepper has been a staple of Hong Kong’s dining scene for years. It’s the kind of place that old-timers in HK for flying visits make a point of visiting, the kind of place businessmen take clients for impressive banquets and the kind of place that tourists get told to try. Consequently, some of my local friends shake their heads and complain it’s only for ‘gweilos and expats’, with its Sichuan dishes geared towards Western tastes. Oh well, leave it to the gweilos and expats then, as that means more prawns for us!

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Simplylife Bakery Café restaurant review – a tea set down to a tee

I’m sure you must be sick of posts starting with ‘another thing I love about Hong Kong’ but ANOTHER thing I love about Hong Kong is the humble tea set. Usually served between 2.30-6pm at upscale restaurants and chan chaan dengs alike, they generally consist of a drink and snack-type main that’s a little lighter than the ones available at lunch – and at around half the price! Obviously, this is because most normal people are beavering away at work but for layabouts like me, living the life of leisure and not seeing daylight before 12pm anyway, it’s a perfect brunch-style compromise! And the tea set at Simplylife Bakery Café is one of the best around.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s nicer than both their lunch and dinner menus! I’ve eaten at Simplylife many times and enjoy their laidback casual café style but, despite an emphasis on quality ingredients, generous portion sizes and decent value, the meals themselves tend to be a bit hit-and-miss. Their European-based cuisine sounds great on paper, with healthy-sounding salads and pastas and hearty but modern meat and veg combinations dominating, yet all too often the food itself is slightly bland and underwhelming. However, their tea set is the tops.

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Life Café restaurant review – the perfect place to veg out

UPDATE: Life Café is now closed.

Having just had another one of my increasingly-frequent 1 AM bacon fry-ups, I feel the need to make it up to my cholesterol-addled arteries. So here’s a write-up on what may be the healthiest place I’ve ever eaten at – Life Café Organic Restaurant & Bar.

Given that one of my childhood nicknames was ‘Red Beef Girl’, you can probably work out that a vegetarian and vegan joint would not be my first port of call. However, one of my friends (Ka Ming, known to me as Bob or Yeh Yeh for reasons too long to detail!) has recently converted, hence how I found myself chowing down on a meat-free meal at Life.  And, far from being the joyless experience I might have imagined, it was actually very lovely indeed.

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