Saturday, 25 June 2016

Jinjuu - Contemporary Korean and oh-so-tasty


I have to say, I was pretty dubious when the girl suggested that we visit Jinjuu for our monthly lunch date.

After all, our last couple of 'long lunches' had been at Michelin starred restaurants.

I had no real reason to be suspect about the Korean fusion joint, the girl had recently been with workmates and was really keen to get my thoughts about the food.  Now, I'm not saying that I don't trust the girl's judgement when it comes to food, it's just that I couldn't see a place called Jinjuu floating my boat.

Then there was the fact that it was in LKF.

A fact that had me completely confused when I initially tried to find Jinjuu in it's listed address of the California Tower - a spot that I know well.  Jinjuu is 'technically' in the California Tower, but in reality is on street level, just around the corner from the tower's main entrance.

As I walked into the Judy Joo owned restaurant, I was very much reminded of the fact that LKF is Hong Kong's party district.  On one side of the entrance was your typical counter gracing restaurant entrances worldwide, and on the other was a DJ booth, with electronic decks at the ready for the setting of the sun and presumably the transformation of Jinjuu from restaurant to hip bar.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Beefbar - tasty food but small portions for lunch


Worth the wait?  

A good question!

I'd been trying to get into the Beefbar in Central for a while.  I'd ring up to try to make a booking, only to be told that they were completely booked up.  The few times I'd taken the chance of a walk in resulted in an almost comical response from the Beefier 'gate keepers'.

And that's how I'd started to think about the phone booking team, as well as the door staff; gate keepers.  Getting in became insurmountable and I eventually gave up and forgot about trying to get in.

It wasn't until my regular lunch date with a colleague and friend that the prospect of visiting the Beefbar arose again.  When JP suggested visiting, I gave a whimsical 'why not', thinking that it would still be nearly impossible to get into (even six months after opening).  You can imagine my surprise when the reservation was confirmed.

I guess a Monday at lunch might be the perfect time to hit a new(ish) restaurant in this city!

Our lunch date/meeting was at 12 and I'd arrived on time but heard from JP that she'd be a few minutes late after finishing a meeting in head office.  I was cool with that, it gave me the opportunity to 'sticky-beak' around the place once I'd arrived at the eerily familiar front desk (yeah, I'd tried to get in a few times!)

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Mercato - Jean-Georges in Hong Kong


I had to make some serious decisions during my visit to New York, admittedly not life or death decisions, but important to me.

So many restaurants and so little time meant that I had to carefully choose where I would spend my hard earned money.  One of the very last nights left in Manhattan came down to a choice between three star restaurants, Daniel and Jean-Georges.

Daniel won out on the day, but I'd always felt as if I'd missed out on something special.

A couple of years down the track I learned that Jean-Georges was opening an outlet of his slightly more casual Mercato in Hong Kong and I was excited.  I was finally getting to check out the fare of one of the United States' top chefs.  So cool.

Located in California Tower, one of  LKF's funkiest buildings, I'd managed to sneak into Mercato at the right time.  Not yet formally open and running through a soft opening month, I happened to dine on a day where Jean-Georges himself was hosting with some of his crew responsible for designing the restaurant and lighting.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Arcane - not so hidden or mysterious after all


I'm probably biased, but Australian chefs are taking over the world!

It seems that every day, a new Aussie chef is hitting Honkers to open a new restaurant or join part of an established team.

This invasion, of a sort, arguably started when Perth born chef Shane Osborne, moved from the UK to Hong Kong to establish his own take on a simple yet delicious fare.  Having achieved two Michelin Stars at well known London restaurant Pied-a-Terre, Osborne threw it all in to travel for a while, before ending up at HK restaurant St Betties.  Turning the fortunes of the under performing restaurant around, Osborne eventually developed his own restaurant in Central.

Arcane

"Understood by few" and "mysterious and secret"

An interesting name for a restaurant from a Chef that had run one of the world's top restaurants, perhaps hoping for anonymity in Hong Kong?

We arrived for our 7pm reservation and unsurprisingly, we were the first to arrive, seemingly the only couple in Hong Kong that think dining at this hour is normal.  Located near LKF, we had no trouble finding the restaurant and were so early, LKF was actually really, really quiet!  

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