Another year over. I’m not exactly sure where it went, nor what I did in it, but I’m pretty sure it was a very good year. For one thing, 2011 marked the birth of The Dim Sum Diaries, so one fact of which I am certain is that I must have eaten far too much food (and exercised twice as much to make up for it). I dread to think of the amount of money I threw at Hong Kong’s culinary scene (and at Circuit25 for that matter) since starting this blog, but I hope that it has helped many like-minded foodies out there realise which restaurants are worth rushing to and which to avoid at all costs. I live in hope.
Tasty highlights of last year there are aplenty, but I think I must highlight my Top 10. In no particular order (for it pains me to try and pinpoint my favourite restaurant in Hong Kong) my favourite (reviewed) restaurants of 2011 are:
One-Thirty One: for an escape from the island, beautifully creative food in an idyllic setting.
TBLS Kitchen Studio: I fell in love with those yamamomo berries…. And the rest. If only my bank balance (and the never-ending waiting list) would allow me to go every month…
Heirloom Eatery: home-cooked comfort food at its very, very best.
Comilonas: An unpretentious and delicious private kitchen, and possibly the only place in Hong Kong where you are allowed (and indeed expected) to drink wine from a watering can (of sorts).
Fusion 5th Floor: romantic, elegant and charming, yet down to earth all at once. Ask for a table on the terrace.
AVA restaurant slash bar: for an amazing view and food that makes you wonder where and how the chef got his inspiration. Try the ice cream made à table.
Yardbird: to learn that cauliflower can actually be tasty, as indeed can the parts of a chicken you’d least expect to be so.
Linguini Fini: easy, effortless Italian food with a slight Asian twist and a very decent set lunch menu.
Yue Kee Roasted Goose Restaurant: much better than Yung Kee, and more reasonably priced. Make the trek; you won’t regret it.
FINDS: Hong Kong’s only Scandinavian restaurant, run by a celebrity chef who is incapable of spoiling any dish.
We have also learnt never to set foot in Shakey’s Pizza, nor order frozen yoghurt with oreo from Holly Brown. We have learnt not to trust French-Italian fusion restaurants. At Le Souk we should steer clear of the chicken tagine, but head towards the lamb instead. Mango Tree is not quite on the same level as its Bangkok sibling, though the food doesn’t disappoint. I could go on forever, yet I think I should perhaps give you a sneak preview of what 2012 has in store…
In the pipeline, to name but a few, we have Ta Pantry, a private kitchen which I have been aching to try; Pho Yummee, Cafe Deco’s latest venture on the Peak; Otto e Mezzo, or at least I have been promised to be taken there if I behave, and Liberty Private Works. If anyone hears about a brand new restaurant and wants me to be the guinea pig, I am more than willing to take requests.
The Dim Sum Diaries will also, due to popular request, soon be including ratings. However, not wanting to be like the masses, my ratings will not follow the regular star rating system. As I am a little…different (I am loath to use my brother’s word to describe me), I will be adopting an ‘ooooh’ rating system, where restaurants will be judged by whether they excite me enough for me to say “oooooh” or disappoint me to the extent where the only thing I can think to say is “oh”. A blog post clearly explaining the difference will be coming soon to make sure there is no confusion.
In short, 2011 was a very good year for The Dim Sum Diaries and I expect nothing less for 2012. Please keep reading, whilst I keep eating and hopefully together we can continue to discover more of our fascinating city’s delicious (and not so delicious) treats.