Restaurant Week Part Two: La Parole

Restaurant Week: Round Two!

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This time, we had a weekday lunch at La Parole. The bread was rather chunky and required quite a bit of force to tear apart, while the amuse-bouche was a nice touch.

STARTER

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Fried Calamari with Crispy Zucchini. While this isn’t what I would associate with French cuisine, it was done very well. Nicely crispy without being overly greasy.

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Crabmeat Mango Salsa. Two of my favourite foods (mango and avocado) + one of Edwin’s favourite (crab) = a sure win.

SOUP

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Mushroom and Black Truffle Soup. I enjoyed this very much.

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Fish soup. They were nice enough to let us try two different soups (the menu stated only one type of soup) since Edwin has a mushroom allergy.

MAIN COURSE

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Pan-fried Salmon with Spinach, Hot Vinaigrette Sauce. I love cooked spinach. It’s one of the few leafy greens that I really enjoy. The salmon wasn’t bad either, but where was the crispy skin? It just seemed a little incomplete.

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Pan-fried Prime Angus Ribeye Beef with New Potato and Green Salad. Oh gosh this thing was MASSIVE. The potato looked positively puny next to it. Overall, it tasted fine, but it could have done with more searing on the outside, as it was a bit too soft and there wasn’t much contrast in the textures.

DESSERT

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Fresh Mango Cream Cake and Lychee Delight. The cake was on the dry side, but combined with everything else in the same mouthful, it was alright. While Edwin didn’t care for the lychee dessert at all, I really liked it. I suppose as with all dining experiences, it really just boils down to individual taste.

VERDICT

As with La Locanda, the starters and desserts fared better than the main course. Something worth pointing out is that the service at La Parole is one of the best that I’ve encountered anywhere. They’ve done a superb job at training all their servers, that’s for sure. In fact, I’ve been so impressed that I would want to head back there in the future to try their usual menu.

Now, I hate to say it, but Restaurant Week’s been really underwhelming for us so far. Nothing’s been horrible, but there haven’t been any “wow” moments either. We’ll be headed for Round Three tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

La Parole
3/F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2436 4099

http://www.laparole.com.hk/

Restaurant Week Part One: La Locanda

It doesn’t take a genius or a clairvoyant to know that I LOVE FOOD. So when news of Restaurant Week came about, I immediately snapped into action and made not one, but three bookings! *happy dance*

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We started off with dinner at La Locanda last Sunday. We arrived on the dot and were seated promptly. The ambiance and decor were lovely, and listening to the staff converse in Italian, one could pretend that we were on holiday somewhere in Italy, even if that fantasy only lasted the duration of a meal!

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Complimentary cheese sticks and bread basket, served warm. A promising start!

ANTIPASTI

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Crema di Pomodoro, Mozzarella e Basilico // Tomato Soup, Mozzarella and Basil. I didn’t think much of humble ol’ tomato soup at first, but boy, this one took me by surprise! The consistency was thicker than expected (not a bad thing, just an observation), and what I thought was cream in the middle was actually the mozzarella, which could be stirred into the soup. Cheesy and satisfying.

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Carpaccio di Manzo, Crema di Melazane, Caprino e Ravanelli // Beef Carpaccio, Caprino cheese, Eggplant cream and Tomato Confit. This was my very first experience with beef carpaccio, and I’m glad I went ahead and tried it. With all the accompanying flavours and textures (there are some salad leaves hidden beneath the raw meat), it made for an interesting starter!

SECONDI

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Pollo alla Cacciatora // Grilled Chicken, Tomatoes, Olives and Mushrooms. First of all, it was generously portioned – a lot bigger than I expected, and I ended up giving half my main course to Edwin, which was just as well (you’ll see why later). Taste-wise, the chicken was well-cooked, but I didn’t really care for the vegetables below, as the olives were overpowering.

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Spaghetti Aglio Olio, Pepperoncino e Vongole // Spaghetti, Garlic, Oil, Chilli and Clams. Well, in contrast to the chicken, this just seemed paltry. Edwin was complaining that the few clams that actually made it onto the plate were full of sand.

DOLCI

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Gelato & Sorbetto // Daily Homemade Ice-cream and Sorbet. Can’t go wrong with a classic pairing of pear and chocolate!

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Tiramisu // Soft Mascarpone Cream, Espresso Coffee and Chocolate. While it didn’t have the boozy kick I was hoping for, the rich coffee and chocolate flavours made up for it. I really hate it when tiramisu is really dry or overly creamy, but thankfully this wasn’t one of those times.

VERDICT

Pasta dish aside, our meal at La Locanda was fairly pleasant. However, should we be craving for Italian cuisine in the future, we’d probably just head to the pizzeria near our place, where the spaghetti comes loaded with clams and they make a boozy tiramisu to boot.

In any case, the point of Restaurant Week was to try out new restaurants, so no regrets. Two down (check out my next post coming real soon), one to go!

La Locanda
Shop 402, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2785 9600

P.S. I know I’m sharing this a little late, but Restaurant Week is still ongoing, and believe it or not, there are still vacancies, so click here if you love dining as much as I do!

Vanimal: Meatless and Merry

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Vanimal is a restaurant that has been around for less than a year, and already it’s gotten rave reviews from vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Part of their manifesto is “No meat, still lots of fun!” and I found that to be true when I headed there with a co-worker last month.

FOOD

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Their “catch of the day” isn’t seafood, but a selection of fresh vegetables, purified with ozone water, and served homemade infused oil, pickle juice, and premium sea salt. How could you not feel healthier just from reading it off the menu?

The freshness of the salad was just as impressive as its size. Moreover, the many layers and textures put it a step above most salads. My only complaint? Not enough avocado. In my opinion, every salad needs more avocado.

Bonus: the little bottles of salad dressing were the cutest. We had so much fun dispensing the dressing over our plates in little drops!

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Grilled Vakitori. This for me was the highlight. I had the black and white garlic, eggplant with yuzu miso, and sweet potato with mustard oil. The garlic was especially delectable with a subtle sweetness. This alone would be worth a return visit.

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Butternut squash and apple soup with chestnut and topped with cinnamon foam. The flavours complemented one another, but I was hoping for a slightly thicker consistency. A solid dish nonetheless.

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The only letdown in the meal was the fried potato dual with paprika aioli, which was simply regular potato and sweet potato wedges. It wasn’t a bad dish, but maybe because we’d already had our fill of potato from the skewers, it just didn’t have enough “punchy” flavours to lift all that starch.

DRINKS

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Leeches Blood, comprising of vodka, beetroot juice, lime juice, fresh pomegranate fruit and liqueur, and kaffir leaf. Can something be boozy and healthy? Apparently so.

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Rum & Tea, comprising of chamomile and lemongrass-infused rum, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, chamomile syrup, and fresh thyme. It tasted exactly as described – rum and tea, in the yummiest way possible.

There were several other specialty cocktails on the menu, and I’d love to try those another time, along with their desserts. We didn’t get to try them this time, but the table next to ours ordered this chocolate-y concoction that looked amazing!

VERDICT

While I probably won’t give up meat entirely, I’ve been opting for meatless meals more often in the last couple of years. At Vanimal, I didn’t find myself hungry or craving for meat, which is sometimes the case. And with a fun and creative menu, I’d definitely head back to see what else they have to offer!

Vanimal
Shop 1, Cadogan, 150 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, Western District
西環堅尼地城卑路乍街150號加多近山1號舖
Tel: 2872 8880

http://www.vanimal.com

LEX Coffee Kennedy Town

Just a super quick post while waiting for my hair to dry… I was out at a party earlier this evening, where we played games like “Fibbage”, “Bidiot”, and “Quiplash”. “Fibbage” was my favourite of the lot, with “Quiplash” a close second. So much fun, and a barrel of laughs all around!

Tonight I just want to share a couple of pics taken a month ago. I’ve actually been to LEX Coffee a few times already – you can read about the first time here. So anyway, last month I grabbed a solo dinner there, and decided to indulge a little (okay, maybe more than a little).

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Suckling pig with pineapple. Not bad, just slightly under-seasoned. The pineapple was actually a sauce, and the flavours were rather refreshing for the summer.

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Waffles with chocolate sauce. You can’t see it, but there’s a scoop of ice-cream behind the stack of waffles. The ice-cream was probably melon-flavoured, but I’m not sure – I just tasted some obscure fruit flavour. I wish they had just gone with a more classic chocolate or vanilla ice-cream.

In any case, I’d come to the conclusion that LEX Coffee is rather hit-and-miss, and meanwhile I shall be on the lookout for other cafes. Given that I’m in Hong Kong, that wouldn’t be hard at all.

Alrighty, that’s all for tonight. Like I said, this is a super quick post, something that will hopefully get me back in the habit of blogging regularly. Think of it as an appetizer. Or snack.

Now I’m hungry. And it’s 1:15AM. Hmm.

LEX Coffee
G/F, 100 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town, Western District
西環堅尼地城卑路乍街100號地舖
Tel: 2149 9633

Day to Night Outfits

Although I have to work on Saturdays, I do like the idea of Friday nights – relaxing after a long week of work and letting one’s hair down, literally and otherwise. And now Friday nights make me want to sing this song:

Anyway, I’ve been invited by Megan of Betabrand.com to show how I would transition in and out of different environments with the same pair of pants (or trousers, if you speak the Queen’s English). Here are five outfits with the same pair of black straight-leg pants, with changes from day to night – so essentially ten outfits.😄

Bohemian (Day)

D2N Bohemian Day

Just can’t do this series without a bohemian outfit! Been really into wood-toned accessories lately.

Bohemian (Night)

D2N Bohemian Night

Most of the outfits feature the same tried-and-true formula: remove outerwear, change into fancier shoes, load on the accessories, and amp up the eye makeup.

Mascara TDWP

Nautical Whimsy (Day)

D2N Nautical Whimsy Day

Another go-to look of mine. That fish-shaped bag is too cute!

Nautical Whimsy (Night)

D2N Nautical Whimsy Night

This ship-shaped clutch is cuter still. *swoon*

Romantic (Day)

D2N Romantic Day

The power of pastels (whatever that means).

Romantic (Night)

D2N Romantic Night

Perfect for a girls’ night out.

Sporty Luxe (Day)

D2N Sporty Luxe Day

This is the furthest removed from my personal style, but that’s what Polyvore is for – to experiment with different styles.

Sporty Luxe (Night)

D2N Sporty Luxe Night

Keeping the backpack because it’s so pretty – why wouldn’t it work for evenings?

Working Girl (Day)

D2N Working Girl Day

More rose gold accessories, because I’m crazy about them.

Working Girl (Night)

D2N Working Girl Night

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: classic doesn’t have to mean boring. There are so many ways to inject your personality into every outfit to make it truly your own personal look.

How would YOU style a pair of pants/trousers to bring you from AM to PM? I’m always searching for fashion inspiration on various sites and blogs. If you love Polyvore as much as I do, then I’d definitely want to check out your page! (FYI, you can find me there by typing in “michellexueyi”.)

Meanwhile, do check out the women’s pants available on Betabrand.com. Their yoga/dress pants and jeans are great for making the transition from day to night!

Alright, that’s all from me for tonight. I’ve got to turn in soon – another busy day at work tomorrow! Bonne nuit, mes cheries.

Star Wars Tomorrowland Takeover at Hong Kong Disneyland

 

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Two weeks ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we got a little taste of the Disney summer event “Star Wars: Tomorrowland Takeover”, taking place in Hong Kong Disneyland till 31st August 2016! Luckily for us, this particular galaxy was only an MTR ride away.

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Fans of the film franchise will appreciate the details in the Star Wars-themed decor strewn around Tomorrowland. Or maybe complain that there isn’t enough. Depends on how big a fan you are.

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Can the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy” beat the speed at which my ice-cream is melting?

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With R2-D2 at the Command Post!

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Chewieeeee!!!

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Hahaha he looks like he’s reluctantly giving a high five.

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I was hoping to get accosted by Captain Phasma and the stormtroopers while wearing my “Resistance” pin, but alas, no such luck.

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Rebel X-wing starfighter, located outside Space Mountain (now Hyperspace Mountain for the time being).

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Structurally, Hyperspace Mountain is the same as Space Mountain, but with an added narrative and a much, much cooler soundtrack. There were some sound effects that caught me by surprise, so overall it was really entertaining!

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Looks like I found my ride home!

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When I first watched Jedi Training at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I was like, “Ohmydkgjhgeiaufgwsh it’s so cute!” I’m so glad that it’s here in Hong Kong as well. There can never be too many mini Jedi knights.

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Kylo Ren also makes an appearance.

Now on to the food, which was pretty much my objective.😄

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For lunch, we had the Darth Vader burger, which is just a regular cheeseburger with Vader’s mug printed on a steamed bun. We also had fried chicken, which made its way into our bellies before it could be photographed.

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Average, but it’ll do for theme park food.

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Found this Star Wars cookie at a stall on Main Street, but it looked like nothing more than an ordinary cookie, so I didn’t try it. Honestly, there are better things I can spend HK$35 on, such as…

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… a lightsaber churro stick! Yes, HK$35 is also rather expensive for churros, but in my experience Disney churros are better than most, and for the experience of holding an edible lightsaber, I’d say it’s worth it.

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Must… resist… buying… another…

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Ah well, screw the diet. We’re in Disneyland, after all! Anyway, I requested for Darth Vader, but they were out, so I got a Stormtrooper instead. The chocolate soft-serve ice-cream was way too creamy, and not particularly chocolate-y. I guess I’ve been spoiled by my usual Haagen-Dazs.😡

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After the churro and ice-cream, I was up to my eyeballs in sweet stuff, otherwise I’d have gotten a cotton candy. At HK$55, it’s steep, but you get to keep the light-up wand.

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From the bakery on Main Street : hot chocolate and latte, with themed chocolate thingies at the end of the stirrer.

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Would anyone like to take a bite out of the Millennium Falcon?

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We stayed at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, and had a breakfast buffet the next morning, where I got to enjoy my favourite Mickey-shaped waffles!

If you can look past the chocolate syrup, you’ll see that there’s also a Darth Vader waffle. A larger version can be purchased on Main Street, but if you love waffles as much as I do, consider going for their breakfast buffet at one of the hotels – free flow waffles for the win!

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I hadn’t noticed before, but there were these coin machines located throughout the park. I know some people collect them (the coins not the machines), and they do make good souvenirs!

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Special map and guide for the summer.

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A few days ago, I went again and picked up new copies of the map and guide! Yes, you read that right – I went to Disneyland yet again! We have purchased the Annual Pass (known here as Magic Access), so that means I get to skip off to the Happiest Place on Earth as often as my heart desires!

I’ve got more posts lined up, Disney-related and otherwise, so stay tuned. I’ll try to put them up soon – assuming I’m not traipsing off to you-know-where again!

5 Ways to Style a Little Black Dress

I love a good little black dress (LBD), and I’m definitely not alone. It doesn’t matter how you perceive your style (classic, bohemian, rocker, minimalist, romantic, etc), there’s an LBD out there for you. What with hemlines, necklines, materials, silhouettes… the possibilities are endless!

My favourite kind of LBD is a simple fit and flare. No frills, no fuss. The look I crave depends on the hour of the day, and the dress makes a perfect canvas to have fun with accessories. Lots of fun.

Inspired by Alice in Wonderland

LBD Alice in Wonderland

In case you ever wanted to attend a tea party in a black dress.

Bohemian

LBD Bohemian

Lots of colours, but the overall look is still pretty sedate. And those earrings (and shoes!) are on my lust list.

Romantic

LBD Romantic

Is my love for rose gold that obvious?

Tropical Summer

LBD Tropical Summer

I need a holiday. (Don’t we all?)

Classic

LBD Work

Work. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Perfect.