The Royal Touch Bakery Café by Carolyn Robb @ Ocean Terminal, Hong Kong

Date of Visit:  July 19 2015

I had a good Sunday lunch today – which was a surprise – considering, it’s a small unassuming ‘restaurant’ (if you can call it that) in a mall, with a prominent display case of cakes and pastries!  It’s tiny with only 30 seats!  (Psst… here’s its digits for reservations: +852 3188 8086 ☺️)

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The Royal Touch is a brand created by Carolyn Robb, former executive chef to Prince Charles and Lady Diana, so without doubt, this cafe features some royal dishes! Those following the Royal Family will know that Ms Robb is also famous for being  the creator of Prince William’s Chocolate Biscuit Groom’s Cake!

Without further ado…

We had the Set Lunch Menu – simple British fare but really special!

APPETISER

Seasonal Fresh Fruit Salad with Raspberry & Passion Fruit Dressing

or 

Avocado & Papaya Salad with Papaya Dressing

I had the Avocado Papaya Salad which was very different to the salads I have had.  The combination is unusual – papaya and avocado (?), but very flavourful – slightly tart and not overly sweet.

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Avocado & Papaya Salad with Papaya Dressing

SOUP

Asparagus and New Potato Soup

or

Soup of the Day

I opted for Carrot Cream Soup was the Soup of The Day.  Normally, soups featuring carrots in Hong Kong is sweet, Ms Robb’s carrot soup is creamy and savoury.

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Carrot Cream Soup

MAINS

We decided on different items for our Mains.  The price of the Set Lunch is dependent on the Main course one chooses:

My bro got Corned Beef Potato Cake with Black Truffle Scrambled Eggs (HK$218).  The creamy eggs with truffles were highly recommended.

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Corned Beef Potato Cake with Black Truffle Scrambled Eggs

I had the Slow Cooked UK Dingley Dell Pork Collar with Wild Berry Jam (HK$288).  I ordered it medium, but parts of it was a little bit undercooked, but nevertheless not bloody and tasted good. What I especially liked was the cute Romanesco Brocoli or Buzzy Broc, the potato mash with truffles was divine!

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Slow Cooked UK Dingley Dell Pork Collar with Wild Berry Jam

My mom had the Royal Classic Cod Fish Pie (HK$228).  it arrived piping hot, but not enough fish she said…😏

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Royal Classic Cod Fish Pie

The mains are heavy in potatoes and all used campari tomatoes as garnish.

DESSERT

Dessert was chocolate cupcake with different butter cream frosting – I had the Earl Grey frosting, the others were Blueberry and Pistachio…

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Chocolate Cupcake

COFFEE OR TEA

I also have to mention that the coffee (included in the Set Lunch) is very good – strong, not bitter – definitly better than those from the speciality coffee bars around… seriously!

A look at their menu says that we shall be back for their afternoon tea set!  The waiters are very polite and attentive, and the price very reasonable, so pinkies up, everybody! ☕️👌🏻 Next time, Royal Afternoon Tea!
Where is The Royal Touch Bakery Café by Carolyn Robb?

Shop G02, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

A Perfect Summer’s Day @Tin Hau Temple, Joss House Bay

Tin Hau Temple at Joss House Bay is the oldest and largest Tin Hau Temple in Hong Kong, built in 1266.

There are many Tin Hau Temples in Hong Kong because Hong Kong was originally a fishing village, and Tin Hau is the patron saint of the fishermen.

Who is Tin Hau? She is the Goddess of the Sea or Queen of Heaven.  She was taught by a Taoist priest at 13 to predict the future and help those who were sick and weak.  Legends had it that she travelled about the sea on a raft made of reed to save people from drowning in the sea.  Hence, she was revered as the ‘Goddess for safety in the sea‘.

How We Got There:  We boarded the private ferry at Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter (Exit A from Sai Wan Ho MTR, then walked to the Grand Promenande). The boat service is a round-trip service between Shau Kei Wan and Tung Lung Chau, only available during Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.  We had made a separate alternative arrangement with the boat company for a drop-off and pick-up at Joss House Bay. (Handy info: info@boatpeople.com.hk; call +852 2337 6568 or call the captain directly: +852 5114 676)

Shau Kei Wan Typhoon Shelter

Leaving the metropolis

Tung Lung Chau has 2 drop-off points on the island:  Nam Tong Pier and Fat Tong Mun Pier

Fisheries in Tung Lung Chau

Fishing pontoons

Fishing pontoons

Tung Lung Chau is a pristine unspoilt island east of Hong Kong with beautiful scenery.  It has an area of 2.42 sq km with only 100 inhabitants.  As we travelled on the boat, we could see waves crashing into the rocks, steep cliffs and evergreen vegetation on rolling hills, which makes a very secluded place for camping hideaway.

Hen Hill, Tung Lung Chau

Beacon at the northern most tip of Tung Lung Chau

We arrived at Tin Hau Temple, Joss House Bay which is opposite to Tung Lung Chau after about 45minutes.

While not a fengshui expert, I can tell that Tin Hau Temple sits on a good fengshui spot at the foothills of the peaks.  (Shall I also divulge that I was taught geomancy in uni by an Australian lady?  How’s that for learning ‘sha chi‘ and ‘chi‘, from a foreigner? 😛)

Great Feng Shui spot: Tin Hau Temple

Why was the Temple built?  Historical records noted that the Temple was built by 2 brothers from Fujian Province in the salt trading business.  Whilst at sea one day, they were hit by strong winds and were swept from their boat.  Struggling in the sea and desperate, they shouted to Tin Hau for help.  They later drifted  safety ashore to Joss House Bay.  From then on, they built a temple in honour of Her.

Hong Kong’s biggest and oldest Tin Hau Temple, built 1266. Also called ‘the Big Temple’

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External worship altar

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Incinerator for burning offerings to Tin Hau

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A second, smaller incinerator

Let’s take a tour inside the temple…

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Main Entrance to the Temple

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Elaborately craved Tin Hau’s vessel in front of the Main Portico

Hanging coiled incense

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A model of Tin Hau’s boat which is taken out for procession every year

I didn’t take pictures of the Gods and Goddesses out of respect.  I believe that they should have their privacy and moreover, it’s disrespectful to delete their pictures or misplace them… 😇

Interesting stuffs inside the temple:  Joss sticks, incense sticks, cocks, wind mills… everything auspicious!  

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I made a donation to the temple and prayed for good health for my family

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I wonder why the cocks are considered auspicious 😏

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Wind mills for Good Luck

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Offerings to the Goddess

Ahem… I did take a picture of the Laughing Buddha…His altar is outside of the Main Temple, in the enclosure to the right.  I certainly hope He’s OK with it!😊

Matreya Buddha (Laughing Buddha): Located on the left side hall

The temple also houses Lady Golden Flower (Patron of Pregnant Women) where pregnant women or women who want to fall pregnant comes worship.

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Lady Golden Flower (Patron of Pregnant Women)

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Guardians of the Temple

Architectural motifs made from Shiwan porcelains (Shiwan is now an extinct art)

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Shiwan Tiger

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Shiwan Fish

Carvings

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Lunch was a seafood fest at Po Toi O village.  The restaurant was a very basic timber structure but it was packed with people, speaking volume of its food!

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View from the restaurant

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One of the biggest fish ever! 😛

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Dried seafood for sell

It was a perfect summer day out, away from the scorching heat and humidity in the city!

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Contrast between fishing village and high-rises

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Typical trawler

Alternate way to get there on weekdays:  MTR Po Lam Station Exit A, take the green minibus route 16 (Po Lam to Po Toi O), get off at the Clearwater Bay golf & Country Club, walk for about 10 minutes down the steps nearby.

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A Quickie @ Jamie’s Italian, Harbour City TST, Hong Kong

Date of Visit:  July 2015

Lunch today was at Jamie’s Italian in Harbour City.  Since it’s summer, the best thing to do is to hit the mall for free air-conditioning! The normally busy mall with trolley totting tourists is surprisingly quiet… I guess they are all queuing at LV and Channel at Champs-Élysées! 😜

I have been to Jamie’s Kitchen once when it first opened.  There was a huge queue so I was surprised that my mom had scored a table without a reservation.  As I was doing an errand, my mom and brother bombed me with texts urging me to drop everything as the wait time for guests is only 15mins and we can only have the table for 1.5hours max!

I’m no stranger to Jamie’s Italian as I’ve been to their Sydney branch many times – so it’s good to do a comparison between Sydney and Hong Kong…

My 1st experience with Jamie’s Italian in Hong Kong…was their Superfood Salad.  A mouth-wateringly tart plate of avocado, shaved fennel, candied beets, pulses, Italian sprouting broccoli, creamy cottage cheese, pomegranate, smashed nuts & seeds and served with a fennel blossom Sicilian harissa.  I had also added beetroot-cured salmon.  Lots of stuffs, but still not very filling.😁

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SUPERFOOD SALAD WITH BEET-ROOT CURED SALMON Instagram:https://instagram.com/outforalonglunch/

Today we ordered…

Burger Italiano:  Chargrilled beef burger with melted fontina cheese, sweet tomato salsa, schiacciata piccante, pickles, chilli, crispy fried onions & chips.  The burger was good, but the chips was a tiny bit disappointing as I don’t think it’s been double-fried, hence did not retain the crunch.

BURGER ITALIANO

Mom ordered the Sausage Pappardelle:  Braised fennel sausage ragù with incredible Chianti, Parmesan & crunchy, herby breadcrumbs.  The sausage ragu were akin to minced meats…so it might be ‘deconstructed’ sausage!

SAUSAGE PAPPARDELLE

…and the pappardelle looks like instant noodles!  Not the large, broad flat pasta noodles that we are accustomed to but ‘reengineered’ pappardelle! 😇

PAPPARDELLE = MAGGIE MEE 😶

I ordered the Fish in A Bag:  Fish of the day with clams, mussels, fennel, chilli, anchovies & cracked wheat, topped with fiery arrabbiata sauce.  It’s very simple dish that I can cook at home – all the seafood packed in butter-paper and foil! What I don’t like about my order is that it’s too tart?  I like fresh lemon juices over my food, but not slices of lemon cooked with my food – and I don’t like an overkill of tomato sauce!

FISH IN A BAG

I guess Jamie’s recipes must have been tweaked to the local Hong Kong taste, as I find them quite ‘powerful’.  Also, this is the first time that a customer is obligated to choose to tip their server 10%, 12.5% or 15% – pre-calculated on their docket!

Nevertheless as with any celebrity chef’s franchise it will surely be a tourist must-visit resto!

CX’s First Class Meal Inspired by Mandarin Oriental

Date: June – July 2015

I had just returned from my exhausting but extremely rewarding trip to Europe encompassing 6 cities – Milan, Venice, Zurich, Basel, London and Paris – courtesy of my brother! Surprisingly, I did not experience much jet lag at all while in Europe, it was only when I returned to Hong Kong that the lack of sleep and fatigue struck!  Let’s see how long I shall remain in European time! 😁

Everyone knows the perks of travelling First and Business Classes – the use of lounge service!  Needless to say, the lounge was jammed-packed with people.  After checking in and going through customs and immigration, I gladly headed left into the First Class Lounge.

Relaxing lounge not, this is akin to a cafeteria in peak hours!

… Whatever, I finally found a seat, settled down and relaxed with free-flow Billecart Salmon Brut Rose with some nuts. 😁

Some tidbits…

As our flight is taking off at 1am – I sampled some dessert from the buffet.  A sugar hit is the perfect way to counter any hangover.

Pralines, Pear Tart and a modern-take on the Chinese mango pudding. The egg yolk look (mango puree on mango pudding) and in a boat-shaped bowl topped with pistachio bits was the reason I chose this dessert. 😋

On-board the flight before take-off, I was served a chilled scallop. It’s nice to have something tangy and zesty to chew.  I was nearly asleep but wanted to stay up for the dinner menu especially created for First Class passengers on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Milan, aptly called “Inspired by Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong“.

Chilled scallop ceviche with pomelo, lime and lavash

Here’s the dishes created by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Uwe Opocensky.

First Class Meal from Hong Kong to Milan

Starter:  A very fresh summer salad of prociutto ham and vegetable salad served in olive oil and lemon juice.

Vegetable a la Grecque

Soup: The lumpy soup was very heavy and extremely filling

Courgette Soup with Ricotta Tortellini

Main:  A REALLY lovely piece of fish, perfectly cooked and rival that in restaurants on-land! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Line-caught Seabass, crushed potato, summer vegetable, caviar

Dessert:  Would be a Chocolate Dome, mousse, rapsberry, sauce… but I skipped that as I was too tired and stuffed…

The next morning, I had…

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Coffee with biscotti – very Italian! 👅

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Chocolates that I missed last night!

Breakfast…

Fruits and muffins

After the highlights to Milan, on my return leg from Paris to Hong Kong, the inflight meal was very anti-climax. 😓  (Aside: I noticed that most of the lady passengers have in their arms, new Channel bags! 😍)

Business Class Meal from Paris to Hong Kong

Starter:

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Foie Gras, Brioche, Peach and Peach Chutney

The accompanying toasted brioche for foie gras was soggy so I got a piece of bread which was the highlight of the meal!

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Warm Damper

Salad:  Wilted Salad leaves did not fare well either…

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Salad

Main:  I wanted to have beef but seeing unappetizing gravy drenched on top of the beef on the lunch trolley, I opted for lamb instead.  There are 2 pieces of lambs, edible with side of soggy onions and potatoes.

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Lamb

Dessert: Cheese

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Cheese Plate with glass of Penfold’s Port

So the ‘moral’ of the story is, if there’s any, First Class meals rocks!😄