Thursday, May 24, 2007

More foodtrips

Not happy.

That pretty much sums up how I feel about Harlan's and H One. When Harlan's first opened, hubby and I ate a fantastic Good Friday dinner there. On our next visit, I swore never to return (if I had any choice at all in the matter). Then H One opened amid hype and fanfare so we decided to give it a try, seeing as it was still new and we might get a repeat performance of that first Harlan's dinner. The menu was disappointing- very similar to Harlan's with a few Asian dishes thrown in for good measure- imagine a mishmash of steaks, curries, Thai and Italian. I am very suspicious of restos that try to serve a little bit of everything, never mind if they have a wood-fired oven or a seriously authentic Indian chef. I can get my Indian fix anytime in HK, at any number of wonderful, authentic establishments.

I started my meal with a truffled tea broth that was a bit too bland. I was served a similar starter at Caprice and that was divine. Smooth, silky and decadent, but light on the tummy all at the same time. We tried their pizza, two of them in fact, and both were soggy. Did I love my FAMOUS HG Burger with truffles and gouda? Not really. 'Like' is more the word. The toasty bread was buttery, the burger medium well, as I'd requested, but it didn't taste extraordinarily good, just average. I'm not going to wax poetic over it anytime soon. Nor did I experience the shivers-- which happens whenever I ingest a sublime treat. So the "best burger in town" myth is exactly that, a myth. A friend ordered the Thai roast chicken, and proclaimed it good but a bit too dry. Their lobster pasta was the highlight of my evening. Imagine a richly-flavored lobster bisque tossed with al dente pasta and served with soft and fleshy lobster meat.

We didn't even bother to try their desserts. Good thing they don't charge astronomical prices and their waitstaff are very professional and friendly- Pinoys, in fact. Still, I'm not going to be back in the near future.


I've been in HK for almost 4 years, and while I am aware that there are many professional Pinoys based here, I've only met a few, and hang out with the Thursday Group and some neighbors and that's it. So last week we decided to have a foodtrip Saturday and asked friends to invite other friends until the group grew in number, and 12 of us tried to squeeze into Lin Heung's cramped, chaotic, noisy dining room for a late dimsum lunch. We ate half a roast goose, a huge platter of shredded pork fried noodles, 22 kinds of dimsum, more than half a dozen cups of rice, and paid a mere HKD 55 per person! Talk about cheap! The food was ok, not spectacular, but tasty enough, and with a price tag like that who wants to complain, right? The setting is not for the faint-hearted though. Hygiene-wise I wouldn't recommend it to those with squeamish stomachs or a taste for glamour and luxury.In other words,the place is "pang cowboy". We had fun, though, and transferred to Pacific Coffee afterwards where the atmosphere was more relaxed and conducive to conversation amongst new friends. While it poured outside, our rowdy group chatted, laughed, warmed ourselves with coffee and stories and generally enjoyed being with fellow Pinoys.


Last night was another Pinoy (plus a Chinese-Thai and Swiss) gathering at I Caramba, with some people from the Saturday foodtrip present, and some I'd never met before. Hubby and I were just going to stay for dinner but ended up enjoying ourselves so much we got home way past our curfew :)- midnight, a bit tipsy from the endless glasses of sangria. HK is feeling more and more like Manila now, when I used to go out a couple of times a week and have coffee or drinks with friends. Now there are junk trips, barbeque parties, karaoke parties, beach trips and foodtrips to look forward to. When the Thursday Group ladies and their hubbies start joining these gatherings, it will be even bigger and better. Connecting in HK has never been so much fun. And you find real friends too, those you keep in touch with after settling down elsewhere.

1 comment:

ichabod said...