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 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!

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