I have been eating well. Exceptionally well. This seems to be the most important thing on my mind at the moment.
On Monday I went to a friend’s in Sai Kung, and we ate at a tiny cafe near the bus terminus. We went to a place called “Le Bonbon De Paris” (see openrice for details) where the owner claimed there would be fresh croissants in 20 minutes. They also had fresh pasta and a lovely brunch option and delicious coffee. I ordered pasta with tomatoes and spinach and parmesan, and one plain and one chocolate croissant. When the food came it was delivered in a simple bowl, parm shavings over the top of the light dressing and vegetables. It was delightful and fresh. Couldn’t be happier. My friend had the breakfast which included some of the most beautiful roast tomatoes with garlic.
Then the croissants came.
They are without a doubt the best croissants in Hong Kong. The best I have had anyway. They were fresh out of the oven; warm, crisp outside; soft, buttery, flakey middle. They were perfect.
I bought two plain croissants to-go for breakfast the next morning, to share with P and also bought a package of pasta. They sell the fresh pasta raw if you ask, and instructions were: cook it for 3 minutes, be sure the water is boiling. I purchased their spinach pasta, and I cooked the pasta last night–3 minutes in boiling water– and put some olive oil sautéed black garlic, shallots, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and mushrooms over it. We had a baguette from the shop on the side. It was so fresh and delightful and healthy. For people who normally roast a chicken and a pound of vegetables and have it with biscuits and dessert it was a lighter meal, but still satisfying. It was actually heavenly.
We may have eaten while watching the most recent episode of “Newsroom” (which was fortunately the best episode of “Newsroom” yet). It was an ideal evening followed by me reading another 10% of a book. The restaurant gave me 3 excellent meals: lunch, croissant breakfast, and fresh pasta date night. Couldn’t be happier. I will go anytime. It only takes 50 minutes to get there from my house.
I also went out with some friends to a couple other places, one where we should have made a reservation, and one where we did make a necessary and amazing reservation. The first was Stone Nullah Tavern. I had originally thought the location was a Japanese restaurant because it was near my favorite cocktail bar and I resented it for bringing traffic to the area, thereby making my bar more crowded, and I didn’t care to investigate the menu and there was a Japanese sign above it (advertising a different restaurant, I now realize). The food is decidedly European.
Some highlights: roasted artichoke hearts appetizer, excellent beer list (though overpriced, always go for delivery from Americraft, it’s convenient and less expensive), gorgeous vegetable options and an amazing apple dessert. Problems: we didn’t get a reservation and at appetizers at the bar, overpriced drinks and menu, they were out of the Pig’s Head. Other advantages: the head chef, Vinnie, tried to get to know us, gave us free appetizers and a free dessert for our trouble (waiting and no pig head). Excellent service if I may say so. We also realized at the end of the meal that our bar tab wasn’t included on the check, I let them know and it added to our bill, but we got a profuse thanks from Vinnie. A little too much trouble for me overall, but I might go back simply because of the service; if I return I will call a day or two in advance for a nice table.
The other excellent restaurant was Orange Tree. It is a Dutch restaurant, with also an excellent wine list and incredible flavors. J and I both ordered a lamb shank and when it came it fell off the bone when you poked it. It was so good. I will definitely return. They have a nice front room, and a surprise back room with a bit of an overly dark atmosphere. Perhaps better for a private party. And they do Super Mondays, so 2 for 1 appetizers if you have the card.
So that’s my weekly round up of food surprises and awesomeness. Next week maybe I’ll talk about not food!