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Your Top 3 in Hong Kong

Showing up at noon on a weekday w/o a reservation was our mistake. However, from there things went downhill not due to anything we did - or didn't do. We were informed that the next noon reservation was months away. BUT they could take us at 2PM the next day. Of course we accepted. Then we were read the "dress code" (we are no slouches) and told that the restaurant closes at 3PM but it wouldn't be a problem. When we arrived for lunch the placed was empty except for a some ladies lunching at one table and some power brokers at another. We wondered why we couldn't get in earlier. We ordered the entire dim sum menu (it's pretty small). Items started to come out ok but as things progressed I got the feeling that we were eating the dregs from what was left in the kitchen and warmed in the microwave. Everything was beautifully presented so too bad the quality was so poor. By the time we were 3/4 finished staff started to break down the tables and get ready for the next shift. It was pretty weird since it detracted from the wonderful view and luxe furnishings. We were most happy with the walnut cookies altho we saw them later in a bakery in Mong Kok for pennies. Granted we had a late reservation but I felt that for a place w/ such an exalted reputation we should have been served w/ the attention and food that was given to the first service. Imo restaurants of such caliber really want their guests to have a good experience and if they can't produce they don't squeeze people in the schedule thinking it will be ok. I was really happy to get back to Mong Kok after that!

Your Top 3 in Hong Kong

Lucky you! Outside of my top picks, a few places I would return to are: Jasmine Garden in the Langham Place Mall (but not for the garlic pork chops), the Temple Street Night Market (pick a place that looks good to you), Lau Sum Kee (for the wonton mein and also for the dessert place across the street where I had grass jelly), and Jade Garden in the Star House (the fried chicken with fermented bean curd was a revelation). We didn't go to Ming Court because after an unsatisfactory meal at Lung King Heen we didn't feel like another "fine dining experience" but it is on my list of places to try the next time I'm in the area. Also, they do a good job w/ the breakfast buffet at the Langham Place Hotel if you want to bulk up for a day of exploring. Looking forward to hearing about your eats.

Your Top 3 in Hong Kong

In November I spent 10 days in HK eating as much as I could. I used openrice, chowhound, and searched out restaurants in my neighborhood of Mongkok to plan my meals. My favorite 3 are: Lei Garden (consistent, well prepared soups, seafood, roast meats, and nice service), Tim Ho Wan (the freshest dim sum, ever), and Tung Po (crazy vibe, fun experience, tasty too). Second tier are Yin Yang (for the rare, old house and wholesome ingredients) and Mak An Kee (ranked #1 after many bowls of wonton mein). Here are some photos of the fooda;

Am I the only one reading the Momofuku Cookbook?

I'm trying to cook all the Momofuku recipes and the miso butter was one of the first things I made. Mine was okay but because I'm trying to limit sodium I usually put less salt in everything and thus used less miso. This is true with all the book's recipes; I never add salt because there is already soy sauce, fish sauce, kimchi, etc.

Mar 22, 2010
celestewoo in Home Cooking

Momofuku's Pig Head Torchon

I did make the Momofuku Pig's Head Torchon from the cookbook and it was successful. I think that this is mostly due to the fact that I got the head from Marin Sun Farms, a producer of pasture-based animals. The head was small (a young pig?) and all the pork, including belly, that I get from them is very tender and sweet - never gamey. Served hot, the melting fat was really scrumptious. If you can find a similar source you might want to try the torchon again because for me, the end result was worth all the work. You can see how I did it and photos at my blog:

Mar 03, 2010
celestewoo in Home Cooking

Oaxaca City recommendations needed

I'll be in Oaxaca mid-November and will be looking for some places to eat. Market stands are fine as are full-scale restaurants as long as they prepare local dishes made with real ingredients and aren't outrageously expensive. I am also thinking of attending a cooking class. I'd appreciate any recommendations. Gracias!

Oct 02, 2009
celestewoo in Mexico

West side grad party ideas

We'll be hosting a post-graduation (UCLA) dinner for 12 people near campus in June. Our first thought was to get everyone to make the trek to Chinatown for a banquet but perhaps there are alternatives closer to the school. We aren't stuck on Chinese food but don't want to spend more than $40/person. These are not big drinkers but demand good quality prep and ingredients. Any ideas for something festive and inexpensive?

May 24, 2008
celestewoo in Los Angeles Area

Beijing, one chance

I'll be stopping in Beijing at the end of November for about 8 hours while I wait for my flight back to California. I will have just enough time to get into town, have a fabulous meal, and make my flight out. Any suggestions for a heart stopping feast to end my month in China?

Inner Richmond Chinese

We'll be in the Inner Richmond tomorrow, 9/15, and want to have a Chinese lunch. Anything to recommend. Something out of the ordinary would be nice.

Kunming & beyond restaurants

I'll be in Kunming for 3 weeks in November and wonder if anyone has any restaurants to recommend. We are interested in any and all types of cooking - from neighborhood dives to fancy hotels. Don't know much about Yunnan cuisine but I guess we'll learn. Anyone have any experience with the cooking school in Kunming? Then it's on to Dali and Lijiang so any leads on restaurants in those areas are welcome too.

Shanghai restaurants with vegetarian options

In 2006 I was in Shanghai for 3 weeks and went to Vegetarian Lifestyle (77 Songshan Lu) a few times. It became my place to relax after walking around the city and to eat clean, refreshing food. The decor is tasteful modern and the menu features traditional dishes prepared only with vegetables. It's amazing how the ingredients are made to look like meat. You can also order special medicinal teas.

best med priced Chinese?

Any region. Pretty adventurous eaters so an unusual menu would be nice.

best med priced Chinese?

Big dilemma. My mother is finally coming to visit this weekend and wants to treat us to a Chinese dinner. I have no idea where to go since I'm in Marin and am Chinese food-deprived. We'll go anywhere in the city or within a 20 mile radius. This is a family whose major topic of conversation is food and knows every place in Los Angeles, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, etc. I'd like to show that SF can compete w/ the best of the southland. Any help appreciated.