Thursday, February 5, 2009

Da Ping Ho: Private Kitchen of HK

Brian and I have been fascinated by the whole private kitchen phenomenon here in Hong Kong. One of our first tastes of this sensation was Yellow Door Kitchen.

Most private kitchens are small -- about 10 tables or less -- and feature a set menu for the evening. All you have to do is make a reservation and then show up and eat. Love it! No food envy when you all get the same meal.

Da Ping Ho is more artsy than Yellow Door. It is run by a husband/wife team. The husband is an artist who has outfitted the restaurant space in his own paintings. He also does most of the hosting, helping you pick your wines and shuttling the spicy concoctions to the table. Did I mention that this restaurant is Schezuan? The wife is the cook, but her talents don't stop in the kitchen. She is also a former opera singer, and after dinner she emerges from the kitchen to serenade the evening's diners. Dinner, entertainment and artsy digs - I'll be back.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jam Session at Peel Fresco

My brother-in-law, David, has mad skills on the drums. He was visiting us in Hong Kong and wanted to check out the local music scene. So we took him to Peel Fresco's open-jam night. They played everything from jazz to rock. Multiple musicians got up playing sax, piano, trumpet, guitar, bass and drums. It was a friendly crowd, as one would expect, and people were spilling out into the streets to get some breathing room as the room started to swing and sway as the night drew on and the tunes got louder and wilder.

P.S. - I've checked out this spot on weekends, as well, and the music is always top notch. My favorite jazz bar to date!

A night in the Sahara

Middle Eastern is what we were craving, so we made our way to Sahara, a small oasis of a spot on Elgin. More lounge than restaurant, this dark little spot still takes its cuisine quite seriously.

With just three of us dining, we decided to make it a true family affair and ordered some platters for sharing. We started with the Mezze platter, a large platter with all the usual suspects on it: hummus, baba, Moroccan cigars, feta and spanakopita. With little room leftover, our main courses arrived, a mega platter of perfectly grilled shish kebab meats and a piping hot and aromatic lamb tagine.

The main courses came with a heaping bowl of fluffy couscous and lightly spiced steamed vegetables.

Price to portion, Sahara can't be beat. We ended up with a bag full of leftovers and actually toted them around town with us -- they were too good to leave behind!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Chapel

The Chapel is a great pub that serves a mean curry. I'm happy that it's a stone's throw from my home, too.

Brian and I must come here once a week to get our fix of tandoori and daal. Mmmmm.

Bonus: They have a great quiz night on Thursdays. Be armed with your smartest mates, though: it's difficult!