October 23, 2009 He Xing Hotpot (Woosung Street) Jordan, Hong Kong
This is the favorite hotpot place of our family whenever we would go to Hong Kong. They serve one of the best geoduck sashimi/hotpot in town. 10 of us once ate HKD 3,000 worth of food from this restaurant in one sitting.
The last time we were in Hong Kong, we thought this restaurant had closed down but they told us that they were closed for operations once a week in order to cut costs. Hotpots are usually at their peak during the cold seasons so during the summer, this was how they would lower operating expenses.
We just got off the plane and met with one of my dad's oldest friends so we decided to have a light dinner. The ingredients of our hotpot night were as follows:
Biggest (damn) oyster I've ever seen - This was even bigger than the one we had in Tuen Mun! And I thought the oyster we had then was huge. This time, a piece almost occupied half of the plate. Crazy! I wonder if I'd see an even more gigantic oyster the next time I'm back in Hong Kong.
Lamb - Dad doesn't eat beef so he opted for lamb. Equally as good so I can't complain.
Tofu - For (healthy) protein, we decided on the tofu. It was very good with the soup we had. It added a different dimension to the soup which was in itself already flavorful.
Geoduck Sashimi - The geoduck's snout. It can be eaten raw and dipping it in Kikoman (with Wasabi, of course) or it can be ever so slightly blanched in the boiling hotpot. Eating is raw makes you taste all the natural flavor of the geoduck but blanching it in the hotpot makes it cook al dente. Any which way you prefer, it's still one of the best exotic delicacies found in Hong Kong.
Geoduck Hotpot - Innards of the geoduck that can be found inside the shell. This has too be cooked to kill of any bacteria consumed by the creature. It is almost the same in consistency with the roe of the scallop. The meat is sweet and very tender.
Hotpots are always great, not entirely 100% because of the place, but because of good company. And for a foodie like me, good food + good company is always gonna be a good experience that you will never forget.
October 16, 2009 The Frazzled Cook Luna Mencias Street, Mandaluyong City
The 3 words on the title was what Frazzled Cook was all about. From the minds behind Fat Michael's comes this new restaurant just near my own home. So close that perhaps this can also be my second home.
Peruvian Hotpot - I really loved this dish... it reminded me of that great lamb stew (kaldereta) I tasted from my girlfriend's mom. It was definitely the epitome of home cooking and so was this dish. I liked the essence of the whole dish... how the lamb combined with the rich tomato sauce produced a gamy aftertaste which was really not as bad as it sounds. In fact, it gave personality to a simple dish. The tomato sauce was perfectly seasoned and the spices were really noticeable. The lamb meat was pretty tender and marinated properly. This was my favorite dish of the night.
Wagyu Salpicao - The beef was really tender. I am not exaggerating that the meat was like butter. I never really liked wagyu because of it's acquired flavor but I loved the Wagyu Salpicao at Frazzled. The dish was perfect over the rice but I would have preferred for it to have been plain. The viand was delicious enough and plain rice could have sufficed. I felt like a prodigal son to wagyu with this dish. Coming back to it definitely made me question my abstinence from wagyu...
Lengua - The sauce over the lengua cut was really flavorful. Sure, it needed more body to it but I think it actually served its purpose well. The ox tongue on the other hand was a bit tough for me. My sister liked it for it's bite but I personally prefer my lengua really tender. I would have loved it if it would have melted in my mouth like the Wagyu Salpicao instead of me chewing it.
Frazzled Cook reminded me of one thing: Nothing beats a home cooked meal. And the food was not the only thing homey about the restaurant, it has probably the best dining area I've ever seen. The coziness. The ambience. It was just like home. Chef Jude Mancuyas also went out of the kitchen to chat with us about his love for food and life in general. And yes, he was definitely one frazzled cook.