Hyde and Co : Cup of tea for you, Madame?

Stumbled upon this newish cafe Hyde and Co at North Bridge Road (opposite Kampong Glam) and instantly loved the place. I like the contemporary and stylish decor which reminds me of cosmopolitan cities like London and New York, none of the retro stuff anymore if you please. The other great thing about Hyde and Co is that they serve English Afternoon tea! Well it’s not exactly the full range, merely tea served in quaint pots and cups plus scones. But precious few cafes do this, so for now, Hyde and Co is high up on my list of must re-visit again cafes!

Hyde and Co (15)

Cup of tea to go along with the Earl Grey scones, madame?

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Dim Sum at Wan Hao, Marriott Hotel

From 9 to 22 March, Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant will be serving diners a scrumptious ensemble of dim sum creations, masterfully handcrafted by guest chefs Chow Shing Yip and Liu Wai Hung from JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong.

Chef Chow has more than 30 years culinary experience, and prior to joining JW Marriott Hong Kong in 2011, Chef Chow was with the oldest and most famous Cantonese restaurant in Japan – the Heichinrou Restaurant, creating one of the finest Dim Sum cuisine. In 2007, Chef Chow was the top Dim Sum chef in The China Club, which was recognized as “World’s Top 10 Power Dining Spots 2007” by Forbes.com.

JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong Guest Chefs - Chef Chow and Chef Liu

With more than 15 years’ culinary experience, Chef Liu had worked in numerous renowned restaurants including Fook Lum Restaurant, Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel and China Club. Chef Liu believes in mastering the art of Dim Sum making, and is constantly straddling the line between sticking to classic Cantonese cooking and coming up with novel, innovative creations to satisfy the discerning demands of diners.

Here are some of the delightful and exquisite morsels of dim sum that will be served up until 22 March 2015. Make your reservations for dim sum quickly before seats run out!

Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant - Abalone and Taro Puff

Abalone and Taro Puff

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Dinner at Zafferano

Although I’ve visited Zafferano a couple of times prior to this media tasting session, I couldn’t resist the opportunity when it presented itself again. I had a good experience on both occasions:  the beautifully presented and tasty food, the service, the ambience, and of course the views. And surprisingly, the menu is not as expensive as you would think. Glad to report that Zafferano has maintained its consistency, and still deserves the positive review after my 3rd visit.

The experience begins once you step into the elevator that will take you up 240 metres above ground to the top floor of Ocean Financial Centre. You have to walk past the open plan kitchen showcasing chefs hard at work before you reach the dining area that boasts an eye-catching central bar counter. We snagged the booth seats at the corner this time round, which cocooned us comfortably from the rest of the world. Zafferano’s head chef Marco Guccio is renowned for creating dishes incorporating elements from both Southern and Northern Italian food cultures, and we were there to sample his unique style of cooking.

Zafferano - Bread Basket

First up, some champagne and complimentary bread to set the mood.

Marinated Scottish Salmon

Marinated Scottish salmon, green asparagus, red radish, trout roe

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Chijmes revamped!

After our lunch at Chijmes, we decided to take a walk around the grounds. Some renovations are still on-going, mainly at the cathedral area only, so most of the restaurants and cafes have already been open for business for quite some time. Not much has changed, and rightly so because this is a historic building, but yet Chijmes feels refreshingly different from before. There are a number of new restaurants, as well as a number of old ones.

I would say the courtyard areas are more manicured with lush trees and foliage strategically placed such that you feel as if you are taking a walk in a garden. It kinda feels as if you are taking a stroll in some European park! Also, the single file restaurants have had roofs extended over their outdoor dining areas so rain or scorching sun is less of a worry now.

Prive at Chijmes (5)

I love seeing kids run around outdoors (as opposed to in the malls). This is such a pretty picture, and even after a full meal at Lei Garden next door, I wish I had space to enjoy a drink or something at Prive just so as to be able to relax in this greenery. Thumbs up for how Prive has managed to incorporate nature into their design elements, from the green roof, to the creeping plants surrounding the outdoor area. And of course the large shady trees all around add to the atmosphere. Prive seems to have a knack for choosing “picturesque” locations… you will remember they have another outlet at Keppel Island facing the marina.

Prive at Chijmes (3)

The shady trees I was talking about that make you feel as if you are walking in a park.

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Lei Garden Dim Sum

Years back when I was working in the City Hall area, I used to frequent Lei Garden around once a month, and in particular on birthdays or new joiner celebrations. The big boss was from Hong Kong, and he deemed Lei Garden to be the go to place for good dim sum and double-boiled soups. So I’ve always had a rather good impression of Lei Garden, the food, the ambience, service and decor. There used to be a Lei Garden in Orchard too, but that has since closed down several years ago.

I hadn’t planned on having dim sum as one of my birthday meals, but after the exemplary dim sum tasting portion served at Anti:Dote’s afternoon tea, I just had such an intense craving for dim sum that I had to go the very next day. And since it’s a birthday, it couldn’t be just any old dim sum place, it had to be a good one.

Lei Garden Restaurant at Chijmes

Lei Garden is located in Chijmes, and situated near the courtyard area.

Lei Garden Dim Sum (10)

Are you like me? I absolutely have to order Har Gow and Siew mai whenever I go for Dim Sum. Those are the de-facto, and it just doesn’t seem complete without these 2 stalwarts. Good siew mai should not have too much pork and pork fat, and Lei Garden passed the test here.

Lei Garden Dim Sum (6)

Another must order would be the Char Siew Bao. The baos we tried were so good! So fluffy, with the char siew meat moist, tender and enveloped in the deliciously rich sweet char siew sauce. If only the baos were bigger!

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