Reviews & Analysis

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  1. The newest kid on the block in Tai Ping Shan in Sheung Wan is Crit Room, an Italian restaurant. What does Crit Room mean? I’ll get to that later.Sleek-looking with shiny black walls and tableware to match, the restaurant is diagonally opposite Nordic restaurant Frantzen’s Kitchen in the historic Sheung Wan neighbourhood towards the western end of Hong Kong Island. The food, at least that which we tried, needs some work, but owner Barrie Ho Chow-lai says he isn’t concerned about making money.The…
  2. The decor is still decades old – for now – at Petrus, but the menu has gone from multi-page to minimalist at the Island Shangri-la hotel’s 56th floor fine-dining restaurant under new executive chef Uwe Opocensky.A single sheet is enough to contain its new lunchtime menu, for example. There are four appetisers (two cold, two warm), two meat and two seafood options for main course, and two desserts.There are no descriptions of the dishes, just a short list of ingredients – reminiscent of the…
  3. If you’re a fan of the avocado, there’s a restaurant in Hong Kong that can fulfil your cravings.The aptly named Avobar, an import from London, it’s in the new K11 Musea mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, in the Food Playground or food court area. Staff wear T-shirts with the words “sex” and “drugs” crossed out and “avocuddles” below. Cute, but how’s the food?We were among the first to be invited to try the Avobar menu – the chef had literally stepped into its newly completed kitchen only that day, and in…
  4. Last week’s announcement that German chef Uwe Opocensky had closed his eponymous restaurant and would leave the group behind the Beef & Liberty restaurants to return to the hotel industry surprised the Hong Kong hospitality industry.So which hotel was he going to work for? We had to find out.Reached on Monday, Opocensky was playfully evasive.“I got an amazing offer. Six or seven months ago different players came to me and I saw the possibility to grow further. It has nothing to do with my…
  5. With Manchester United victorious in all six preseason games including Saturday’s penalties win over AC Milan in Cardiff, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left the Welsh capital in a better frame of mind than five years ago. He was sacked by Cardiff City near the start of the 2014-15 season when his supporters in the dressing room felt other players had taken advantage of his trusting, relaxed nature. “He wanted us to play dominant football which was all he’d known at United and in Norway,” explains full…
  6. Alfresco dining is a bit like Chinese opera. Everyone claims it’s great to encourage and promote it as a part of local culture, but the truth is few people want to endure an entire evening of it. From what I see, the new generation finds eating outside about as appealing as a night of clanking cymbals and shrieking songs. Have you ever tried to digest a meal sitting outdoors at a dai pai dong (street stall) in Hong Kong in the middle of summer? If it’s not the heat, humidity or pollution…
  7. There are many reasons people go on dates: some are after companionship, some are searching for “the one”, while others find dating a source of enjoyment that helps establish self and social confidence.Whatever the reason, dating can often be a fun experience, with the anticipation stirring up butterflies in the stomach. It is a healthy social interaction and can be a learning experience when both sides have a positive attitude to making their date interesting.When we look at things positively,…
  8. Social media is filled with uplifting stories of people who encounter racism and rise above it.People of colour who wade through the mire to embrace or convert their tormentors – or, at least, distinguish themselves in the face of ignorance.They go low, we go high.This is not one of those stories.The facts of my encounter with a real-life racist in Vancouver, your honour, are as follows. On July 10, a random white man called my wife and me “gooks”, an awful thing to do. He followed us and told…
  9. American fast-food chain KFC has just opened a new outlet in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay shopping district, where it is debuting several new dishes.There’s a grilled chicken combo with waffle fries and salad (HK$138/US$17.50), an oven-glazed hot wing platter (HK$88), and a “chizza” – a boneless chicken fillet topped with cheese, corn and pineapple pieces (HK$88).And, just in time for Mid-Autumn Festival on September 13, there’s a “spicy chicken and nuts mooncake”.It sounded so peculiar we had to…
  10. Shake Shack fans in Hong Kong, the wait is over.The American fast food chain’s burger created in a collaboration with fine-dining Chinese restaurant The Chairman was revealed on Wednesday. Called The Chairman Shack (HK$80), the burger features an Angus beef patty topped with 12-hour slow-cooked caramelised onion, griddled ox tongue, pickled radish, Sichuan pepper, fermented bean sauce and butter lettuce.The ox tongue has been braised with five spice powder, and the beef patty is brushed with…