all together, with feeling now, comfort food*, gastronomic gusto

Open Door Policy.

Excited to have Christmas dinner here with good friends – especially after Xiao’s rave review :

(via Open Door Policy)

all together, with feeling now, gastronomic gusto

Hong Kong : Sushi Shin & Yuen Kee.

It might’ve been a 3.5 day trip, but I will always love you long time Hong Kong. Especially while you contain my sister, dear friends, and the best food.

Like Sushi Shin, where the omakase blew my mind in a good way.

When the condiments look this good, it usually is promising.

My first time trying Kinki fish – delicious.

Silky-sweet salmon sashimi. Ooh.

Cute little hotate seaweed sandwich. Tasty, but made my eczema flare up! Blegh.

Salmon roe that burst in your mouth with no fishiness in the least. A tad slimey but so surprisingly good.

Exquisite, delicate fish sushi follow.

Peaches like I’ve never peached before.

Thank you sis for the lovely birthday treat :-)

To continue the epic night, we headed to Yuen Kee in Sheung Wan, one of the oldest tong shui stores in Hong Kong.

The almond, hazelnut, and black sesame pastes are must-haves. One word of advice : avoid the egg sponge-cake. Because my sister says her friend once saw the owner dusting the sponge cakes with a feather duster along with the cabinet they sit in!

The black sesame paste is my fave. Oh, and don’t forget to add extra gingko nuts!


all together, with feeling now, gastronomic gusto, travel

love, brimming.

It was one of those slow-moving, restful weekends.

Thanks to the sudden and unwelcomed appearance of a swollen throat and flu on Friday, for once I didn’t feel the pressure to get out and do something (as I usually feel during weekends); in fact I took pains to do absolutely nothing this weekend except rest and eat. Copious amounts of naps, Din Tai Fung chicken soup, Pamplemousse and then CMPB, sleeping early, breakfast at Chinatown Market, lazing about… ’twas good.

ps. via A Cup of Jo, bawkbawkbawk‘s Cinque Terre vacay pictures are what all holidays need to be made of – grainy close-up memories, sunshine and sea, and good times.

(Also, Florence and Rome.)

gastronomic gusto


M and I both live to eat, and so quite fittingly I bought him lunch at Iggy’s last Friday, for his 28th birthday present :)

I ordered the Table d’Hote lunch with four courses (2 hors de oeuvres, 1 main, 1 dessert), while M requested for the tasting menu. As you may already know, Iggy’s doesn’t serve tasting menus during lunch but they will at special request. Thankfully, they acceded to his request and whipped up a 6 course tasting menu for him.

We requested for seats with a view of the kitchen – when we arrived, nobody else was there for lunch yet. The counter soon filled up though.

I can never resist (free) bread. And that olive oil that came with it… oh my goodness. The best olive oil I’ve ever tasted!

To start things off, we were served a complimentary amuse bouche with ponzu-marinated rice, fatty tuna, and wasabi foam. The flavors of these were just beautiful and a great sign of things to come.

M’s first course of tuna, quail’s egg and some curious olive oil jelly or something.

I didn’t really notice M’s first course because to be honest, I was too busy enjoying my own! From a menu of about 6 different starter options, the Iggy’s salad was 1 of my 2 choices – it felt like I was eating cotton candy clouds… Super light, beautiful flavors, just perfect.

A foies gras terrine, if I didn’t get it wrong (see, I told you I wasn’t really paying a lot of attention!)… this one I didn’t really like because the flavors were very salty and pungent. But M liked it very much.

M’s third course – escalope of sea bass with fennel seed oil and tomatoes.

I finally catched up with M’s 6-course lunch… finally I got to eat again! This course, we both had eggs. His was soft boiled with truffle and surprisingly, crisped chicken skin. Deelish.

My slow-cooked eggs with bacon and croutons in pinot jus arrived in the cutest little pot. The server correctly said this was a hearty dish suitable for the rainy weather that day… super comforting.

Wasn’t the presentation of M’s fifth course stunning? Strip of wagyu beef, topped with horseradish powder that melted on your tongue like snowflakes. So pretty – and tasty.

My main course was confit of duck leg with roasted potatoes. As pleasurable as duck fat is, I wasn’t wowed by this partly because I’m not a huge meat person – I struggled to finish the entire leg, a super generous portion, and ended up giving half of it to M.

The warm pound cake with white sesame ice cream and milk foam was… pure heaven. I’m not a meat fan but I’m a huge butter-cake fan. And butter cake studded with black sesame, with sesame ice cream? YES please. As the milk foam sank into the cake, it tasted just as if I’d dipped the cake in cold milk. Again, super comforting.

M’s dessert was the Black Forest – all things cherry, basically. Cherry sorbet, petit beurre, and dehydrated cherry bits. I didn’t fancy this because it was simply too sour… M lapped it all up happily.

All in all, we had a great meal. I felt 3 items of my 4-course lunch were really memorable, and M enjoyed pretty much everything that was placed in front of him (and he’s a picky eater). As my dear friend Y said, “indulgent” is the word. When Iggy’s moves to The Hilton in September, we’ll have to find another excuse to break the piggy bank and return.

all together, with feeling now, comfort food*, gastronomic gusto


Deelish bread that, when dipped in the fantastic olive oil at the restaurant, was irresistable.

What we had :

Raviolini in chicken stock (shared)

The raviolini were postage-stamp sized, super cute – and fun to eat.

Spinach and ricotta pansotti in butter, sage and parmigiano sauce (for me)

Home-made Tajarin in squid-ink sauce (for M)

Molten lava chocolate souffle (shared)

‘Twas a lovely and much-needed meal. Service was attentive, friendly, and prompt … Osvaldo Forlino came over to our table (he made his rounds), which left me a bit star-struck.

In a way the meal was a walk down memory lane – revisiting the many places we saw together at different points in our lives.

The raviolini in chicken stock took me back to Prague, where we found solace from the biting cold in a restaurant that served up super comforting tortellini in chicken soup for 2 EUR.

And the molten lava souffle brought to mind a similarly delicious version we had at Blue Pumpkin, where we whiled away many a stiflingly-hot Siem Reap afternoon 2 years ago.

Then, the squid-ink pasta M ordered reminded me of a funny Valentine’s Day we celebrated at Friends at Jelita (irony!), where squid-ink pasta was actually offered on the Valentine’s Day special menu. (Not wise, eh?)

And my dear M, of course, ordered that very dish. Never mind the black lips! (Brave soul. That, or very confident of his appeal in black lipstick.)

Only downside to the whole night – Hurt my foot while rushing over from work, and as a result, my left heel / below-ankle area is swollen and throbbing. Oh and my iPhone had its first concussion (therefore no photos of the meal) … thankfully revived after frantic googling at home showed up a solution (press both home and sleep/wake buttons and hold).

What a night!

{ photos from sparklingorstill }