The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Ukrainian brunch (and flavoured vodka!) @ Dacha, Hong Kong

Not long ago, HK DiningCity held a brunch special involving a selection of participating restaurants during which time we could buy one meal, get the second meal for 50% off. Ever the bargain-hunter, I couldn't resist having a look for a family brunch out on a Sunday. There were some really good well-known and reputable restaurants on the list! Unfortunately the popular ones were the first ones to be fully booked out on Sunday brunch. Out of the remaining available restaurants, Dacha caught my eye because East European cuisine is not very common here. Dacha is a Russian term for a holiday home, and the food here has a rustic, homely style. There was one poor young guy managing the whole dining floor, and though he was apologetic, I thought he did a brilliant job. He was very friendly, and even gave me a generous taste of one of the flavoured vodka that was on the counter (a great marketing strategy on his part, because we ended up getting two shots to try the two flavours on the counter!). He told us that the owner's father distills his own vodka at a distillery somewhere, and there were many flavours for us to try out on a night out without kids. And we did make our way back there for our date night out the following Saturday, and had the Vodka Set of 12 different flavoured vodka. We were perhaps a tad ambitious sharing 12 shots between the two of us over a 1.5 hour period (we didn't want to keep the nanny up too late), but we managed to walk and take the MTR home without any incident! That was such a fun night out!

Cheery and homely interior at Dacha:

Siberian Pelmeni (HK$95) - delicious Russian meat dumplings, and the baby ate almost all of it:

Hubby got the Dacha Breakfast (HK$128), featuring bacon, eggs and pierogi. It was delicious and filling:

The Ukrainian Breakfast (HK$125), ordered for the boy who loves sausages. Scrambled was his choice of eggs, and though he did not touch the tomato or the arugula leaves, he polished off the rest of the plate:

My Avocado Burger (HK$128) surpassed my expectations. I thought it would be a burger with bread buns with a slice of avocado, but instead I got a full avocado! Smoked salmon, avocado and sour cream is always a winning combo, and the tomato salsa with the corn chips gave the dish a Mexican flair:

The Broken Flowerpot (HK$125), a delicious chocolate dessert that was fun to look at and eat:

Hubby and I enjoyed the Very Berry (HK$98) dessert on our date night out, which had a sweet pierogi with berry filling:

The Vodka Set (HK$825) of 12 flavoured vodkas. Just don't ask me to remember all the flavours! The sweet ones were delicious:

[The above prices do not include the 10% service charge.]

Dacha Restaurant & Bar
Ground Floor, Wing On Building
38-40 Hollywood Rd
Central, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2420 3555

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The best pineapple cakes in Taipei @ SunnyHills, Taipei

The most popular edible souvenir in Taiwan is the pineapple cake. There are so many shops selling pineapple cake, and truly one can make a free (albeit unhealthy) meal out of sampling pineapple cakes. We visited two of most popular bakeries in Taipei: Chia Te (where I discovered their delicious egg tarts, and SunnyHills. I'd also bought pineapple cakes from a few other shops for comparison's sake. I'm only reviewing SunnyHills here because their pineapple cake was unanimously voted by my household to be better than Chia Te's pineapple cakes. That's not to say that Chia Te's pineapple cakes are inferior - the quality and range of products and the variety of pineapple cakes offered by Chia Te is incomparable. SunnyHills specialises only in pineapple cakes, hence it should follow that theirs would trump over others. SunnyHills was a bit of a trek from the nearest MRT station, but we were welcomed with a cup of tea and a small pineapple cake. I certainly wasn't expecting that, so it was a pleasant surprise. They even gave a cake and a cup of water each for our little ones. This is a brilliant marketing idea, as I was able to sample a full piece of cake, and not just a tiny morsel of mostly crust or filling, which ensured that I bought something before leaving the store.

The simple entrance:

Our complimentary cakes and tea waiting for us while we sorted out our babies and strollers:

The products offered by SunnyHills - two different boxed quantities of pineapple cakes (10 or 15), oolong tea and 100%
pineapple juice

A cup of tea and cake for me, and water and cake for baby:

Delicious. I love the crust, and the not-too-sweet not-too-tart filling that actually resembles pineapple fruit:

Sunny Hills
No. 1, Alley 4, Lane 36, Section 5
Minsheng East Road
Songshan District, Taipei City
Taiwan 105
Tel. +886 2 2760 0508

Friday, 16 June 2017

Great coffee and brunch @ Why50, Hong Kong

Hubby and I recently had a brunch date at Why50, which I'd found through a google search for new breakfast spots in Hong Kong. Why50 is an independent cafe in a tiny little space, and you'd miss it easily if you weren't looking for it. The stairs make the cafe difficult to access for wheels, and the cramped space and limited seating means that it's not ideal for children, but it was just perfect for an impromptu brunch date! The staff was friendly and the food was delicious. I got to try something off-the-menu that was to be introduced in the new menu the following month, and it was fantastic. I would definitely revisit Why50 again!

The cute and simple decor:

Hubby's cappuccino:

Piccolo latte:

Brioche Attack (HK$90) - brioche toast with bacon, scrambled eggs and mushrooms:

Smoked salmon, avocado and cream cheese in a bagel - so good!

Mrs French Toast (HK$94) - brioche with peach creme fraiche and fruit. This was a meal on its own!

[Prices quoted above do not include the 10% service charge.]

Shop E, Ground Floor
Fu Fai Commercial Centre
27 Hillier St
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 6532 4161

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Vote for me at Mr. DC Food Blog Award

Hey guys, just a short break from my usual blogging to tell you guys about a discount coupon website that was brought to my attention when I received an email from their Junior Project Manager requesting my participation in their food blog award. A website to help us save money? Yes, please! I'll be bookmarking it for my personal use. Mr Discount Code is active in several countries, so check the website to see if your country is on the list. Please click on the banner below, and vote for me! My blog was added pretty late in the game compared to the others, but better late than never :)

Mr. DC Food Blog Award 2017

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Average Malaysian food @ PappaRich [The L. Place], Hong Kong

Having been happy with the PappaRich franchise in five branches in three different cities across Australia and one in Malaysia, I was pretty happy to find out that PappaRich was finally in Hong Kong! For such a big and culturally diverse city like Hong Kong, good decent Malaysian food is hard to find here. I had high hopes for PappaRich, because it represented Malaysian food so well in Australia, showcasing the robust and delicious flavours of Malaysian cuisine in all its glory. While the food we had at the PappaRich restaurant at The L. Place was enjoyable, I will be honest and say that the flavours were a bit flat. I understand that the franchise would have had to adapt to the local tastebuds, and judging by the rave reviews on the local restaurant guide website, PappaRich have succeeded in winning over the local crowd. PappaRich remains a reliable place to try Malaysian food in HK. But I'm still in search for good authentic Malaysian food in HK.

My Teh Tarik (HK$25), the taste was right but it was not frothy:

Chicken Rice (HK$88), always a hit with the kids:

Char Kuey Teow (HK$98), which was tasty but lacked the charry wok hei flavour:

Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken and Beef Rendang (HK$90). The sambal was neither spicy nor pungent, though the fried chicken was good and the rendang passed in the flavours test:

The Ssatay sticks (6 chicken, HK$68; 6 beef, HK$128) were good. The meat was tender, and the sauce tasty:

[The above prices do not include the 10% service charge.]

PappaRich [The L. Place]
Shop A, UG/F, The L. Place
139 Queen's Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2114 1689