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!

Chocolate Fantasia @ Gallery By the Harbour

“With the artist’s fantasy of chocolate and his crazy imagination, Gallery by the Harbour will be transformed into an amazing illusionary space, leading the audience to enter the artist’s fantasy world.”  

And a fantasia it was!  A dizzying psychedelic world bursting of colours and butterflies to mesmerise the audiences!

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View of Gallery: Wall-to-floor covered in abject art. Crossing the boundary from 2-D to 3-D, leading the audience to enter the artist’s fantasy world.

This is a solo exhibition by renowned Korean contemporary artist Jang Seung Hyo who conjured up a surreal chocolate world in conjunction with the annual Chocolate Trail 2014 in Harbour City.  His  created a chocolate fantasia through collages by juxtaposing  images of chocolates and sweets.   Thus, transforming the 2-D photographic images into 3-D art pieces.

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3-D Butterfly on canvas on-top of the collaged wall, make it a bursting array of psychedelic colours

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Chupa Chups!

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Detail of collage: Random photos from the artist’s archives

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A 3-D sculpture

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A tiger out on a prowl in a Hong Kong

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I see Guylian chocolates Smarties and Jelly Beans, do you?

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Hard to see in the snapshot, but try if you can, this is a 3-D butterfly

Try as I did, it was hard to photograph with my iPhone because it was very colourful and I’m at loss at which angles, details and how to capture the artworks as they were all too beautiful!  If you are in Kowloon, grab your camera and do me a better job!

Where and When?
Chocolate Fantasia @ Gallery By the Harbour
Date: Now – Feb 16, 2014
Shop 202, Level 2, Ocean Centre (Near Jean-Paul Hevin)

Super-Quick Lunch @ Lucques Tavern, Ocean Terminal, TST, Hong Kong

Date of Visit: December 9 2013

People in Hong Kong are always on-the-go, therefore, food must be served fast. Here is an example of a super-fast lunch service – my entire lunch set was served in 10 minutes from the moment I sat down! I could have finished the meal and be out of the restaurant in under 20 minutes if I had not paced myself but of course I took my own sweet time!

Lucques Tavern occupies where the ex-Dan Ryan (on 2/F of Ocean Terminal) used to be, popular for its unlimited refillable bread basket especially the walnut muffins – sadly the quality and quantity deteriorated with time and along it the food, so it was bye-bye Dan Ryan…

I had the option of being seated in the main dining room or at the bar area with high chairs. Since I find high chairs more comfortable, I requested for the latter. Service was very swift, as soon as I was seated my water tumbler was quickly filled and my complimentary bread arrived.

The ciabatta bread and its accompaniments of olives and almonds added a very nice touch, but the bread was over-night bread simply ‘rejuvenated’ by being toasted. I noted in amusement the use of rock salt for the bread (?) 😄

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Ciabatta bread with olives and almonds, butter and salt

I was given 3 menus to order from – drinks, á la carte and set lunch. It wasn’t too difficult since I only wanted a salad. I chose a Baby Spinach Salad with fresh pear, feta , candied walnuts and bacon. The lunch set (HK$98 ++) comes with a choice of soup (either a lobster bisque or vegetable) and tea or coffee. Within 10 minutes, all my order had arrived, making a pretty cramped table!

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Bread, Soup and Drinks

The vegetable soup was a very bland consommé, but on a brighter note, the vegetables were rather fresh, so I finished the vegs.

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Vegetable Soup

The Baby Spinach Salad was very mediocre, leaving room for much improvement – stingy pinch of feta cheese, lots of crushed candies with the walnuts nowhere to be seen. I forgot to ask for my dressing to be on-the-side, so got a very well-dressed salad, where each leaf of the baby spinach was well-massaged with some garlicky balsamic dressing.  (Honestly, any cafe in Sydney can do better – but after conversion at A$14 for the lunch set, well…)

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Baby Spinach Salad

Overall the service was good and attentive, and I appreciated the complimentary olives and nuts.

Interior-wise, it was bright with walls painted in white; dark timber and beige vinyl upholstery for the furnishings. I like the idea of ‘rivets’ on the beams and pillars of the restaurant, giving it a very ‘inside the hull of a ship’, mariner-feel. The bar area was also opened up to make it more central to the restaurant with a view out to see the harbour, (that is if there is no ocean liner parked there).

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View out to the harbour

Lighting-wise, I found the globe lightings in the bar area and the wall lights with adjustable arms slightly mismatched – then again, this is only my personal opinion.

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Bar area

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View into the main dining room room from where I was sitting

It’s Christmas time!  Naturally all the malls are decked out in the festive cheer!  So, watch this space as I bring you mall-hopping around Hong Kong!  😄

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A ToyStory Christmas Tree in the atrium of Ocean Terminal Mall

Window Display: Model Kits @ Harvey Nichols Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Date:  August 2013

In the midst of the Hong Kong summer, straddling between the glaring sunlight and buckets of typhoon rainfalls,  where else can the Chica go to avoid melting make-ups and ruined shoes?  Why, to the shopping malls of course!  She is after all in The Kong aka shopping paradise.

Never mind that the end of summer is nigh.   Summer Sale is over and the Fall/Winter 2013 is just debuting.  In a word – nothing wearable to buy just yet, so let’s go window shopping!   

In this post I show you the photos I took from the Harvey Nichols windows at Pacific Place. The theme changes each season – pictures from earlier this year here.  This season’s theme is  based on toy model kits, and I am especially familiar with Tamiya Military Model Kits that my Bro was so fanatic about, spending hours in his boyhood days glueing pieces of plastics together.

Now, each window has a different theme and I had a fantastic time checking out the little accessories that made these windows very interesting – collection wise, the clothes did not attract me .  Nevertheless, let’s enjoy the creativity of visual merchandising team shall we?

To kick off… and of course,  the central window is that of the Knightsbridge Underground Station, where the Harvey Nichols London is.

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Knightsbridge Underground Station near where the original Harvey Nichols started in London

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Knightsbridge Underground Station

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Knightsbridge Underground Station

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Knightsbridge Underground Station

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Knightsbridge Underground Station

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Automobiles

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Automobiles

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Automobiles

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Airplanes

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Navy

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Military

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Military

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Ladies’ Fashion

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Ladies’ Fashion

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Ladies’ Fashion

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Home Furnishings

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Home Furnishings

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2 windows side-by-side

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Music

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Luggages

My favourite among the windows is the boudoir.  I can just imagine myself in the pink floating chiffon number surrounded by bubbles and bottles of sweet smelling scents,  getting ready for a relaxing soak in in the huge marble bathtub with gold tapwares.  A perfect way to end a summer’s day, agree?

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Boudoir

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Boudoir

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Boudoir