Monday, June 29, 2009

Heading Home

I'm heading home to the states for a month. See you in August.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Magnolia: Ongoing report of HK's private kitchens

On Saturday, we went to Magnolia, another restaurant on our private kitchen list. Magnolia is different, first and foremost, because it serves Creole food. I'd be hard-pressed to name another Southern restaurant in Hong Kong. Second, when you walk into the restaurant, you are, quite literally, standing in the owner's kitchen. Lori is the head chef. She's from New Orleans and she knows how to cook up some raging Cajun.

My friends and I were there to wish a couple bon voyage. Magnolia helped us get festive by handing out some fruity cocktails and delicious appetizers. My favorite was the fried goat cheese topped with a small slice of smoked salmon. Other crowd pleasers were the pesto cheese spread and crab legs.

After those teasers, we were ready for the main course. The staff ushered us upstairs into a private dining area. Lori personally came up to tell us about the menu, and ask about any special dietary concerns. With the formalities out of the way, we were ready to get at the food. And what food there was. The meal started with a shrimp gumbo, followed by a soft shell crab served fried to perfection on top of a green salad. Then, it was on to the main course of the juiciest, sweetest ribs I've ever tasted, accompanied with potatoes, collard greens, rice and piping hot corn muffins. All of the food it served family style and there's plenty of it to go around. By the time we got to the pecan pie for dessert, many of us were popping open buttons to make room.

Magnolia is hands down the best Cajun food I've ever had, and, yes, I have been to Louisiana. It's also BYOB, which keeps the prices reasonable. AWESOME!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beaching It!

It's starting to get hot, which means that beach season is back! While there are a lot of beaches both on and off the island, these are the few I frequent on the Hong Kong side for a quick afternoon escape from the heat.

Big Wave Bay

Surfers head to Big Wave to catch the swells, while the girls who love them sun on the beach. Small coast, but it sure is pretty with large cliffs that hug either side. If you get tired of lounging on the beach you can wander up the trail or head to the beach side restaurant for a snack.


Nice, long sandy stretch of beach, but you'll be playing beach-blanket bingo when the weather is nice. Lifeguards are on duty and there are is even a playground for kids. Town shops cater to beach bums who need sunscreen and boogie boards. There also a couple of great restaurants if you stay through the afternoon.

South Bay Beach

A small beach tucked away from it all, this sandy outpost attracts expats in the know. There's a nice laid-back restaurant that's a great place for a snack or a cocktail, but be warned: the staff is as laid back as the vibe. Easy to get to, but hard to head home. You may want to put a taxi driver's number on speed-dial before you head out.