DisneyBound Outfits: Beauty and the Beast

Mesdames et Messieurs, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the dressing room proudly presents – your outfits!”

Belle

Three outfits? She’s the star, so pourqoui pas?

The Beast

The tie actually has little Beast faces printed all over! I’m obsessed.

Gaston

My, what a guy!

LeFou

Suddenly craving cider in a mug.

Lumiere

“We tell jokes! I do tricks with my fellow candlesticks, and it’s all in perfect taste that you can bet!”

Cogsworth

“If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it.” (chuckles to self)

Mrs Potts

In terms of aesthetics, I love the original Mrs Potts so much more. There’s just something especially endearing about her design and colour scheme.

Plumette

In other versions, the feather duster is called Babette or Fifi, but I like Plumette best. Similarly, this is one of my favourite outfits of the lot. Those lashes are lush.

C’est tout! I hope that you’ve enjoyed everything – which outfit was your favourite? I haven’t watched the live-action remake yet, so no spoilers (if any). My Disney soulmate Natasha will be coming up to Hong Kong next week, so we’ll be watching it together then. And yes, it’s going to be magical, so you can expect some of that Disney magic to feature on the blog in the near future!

Brunch at Chez Dré, Melbourne

This post is going to be mostly pictures as I really can’t call it a review. Because I’d been procrastinating, this post is more than one and a half years overdue. So… just enjoy the photos.

Some of the best coffee can be found in Melbourne! I’m usually all about tea, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do (or in this case the Aussies), and drink copious amounts of coffee.

Ratatouille baked eggs with chorizo, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, onion, and toasted baguette

Eggs Royale with Tasmanian smoked salmon, poached eggs, tobiko, yuzu-miso hollandaise, and toasted sourdough

Smashed sweet potato, goat’s cheese, poached eggs, truffled honey roasted nuts and toasted country loaf

Confit pork belly, poached eggs, pumpkin puree, rainbow chard, crispy prosciutto, pain d’epices crumb and toasted baguette

NYX Haul & Review: The Go-to Palette, Retractable Eye Liner, and Butter Gloss

An alternative title is “I have no idea what I’m doing”.

Today is the day I pretend to be a beauty blogger and y’all humour me, alright?

Purchased from FACESSS at Harbour City.
Palette: HK$175
Eye Liner: HK$55
Lip Gloss: free with purchase of two or more items 🙂

PHOTOS

The palette that I got is GTP02 Bon Voyage. There could be others, but this was the only eye + cheek palette that I saw in the store that day. I bought this with the intention of using it as a travel palette, seeing that it’s got just about everything I’d need: neutral/bold eyeshadow colours, highlight, blush, and bronzer.

SWATCHES

From top to bottom: Shades 1 to 6

From top to bottom: Shades 7 to 9

From the top: Shade 4, Urban Decay Virgin, Shade 3, Urban Decay Smog

Shade 4 from the NYX palette is slightly darker, warmer, and more matte when compared to Virgin. Shade 3 is lighter and warmer than Smog, with slightly less of a sheen.

There are a multitude of reasons why I can’t be a beauty blogger. One of them is that I simply don’t own that many beauty products, and I have no intention to. My ONLY other makeup palette is the Urban Decay NAKED palette, so I don’t have many other eyeshadow colours for the purpose of comparison.

Also, getting all the swatches was a painstakingly long process. A lot of tape was harmed in the making of this blog post.

Left: Kanebo eyeliner pencil in BR-26
Right: NYX Retractable Eye Liner in MPE06 Gold

As you can see from the photo, the Kanebo eyeliner is just a teensy bit darker with visible glitter, but they’re really similar otherwise.

Left: Gucci Lip Vibrant Demi-Glaze Lip Lacquer in 200 Dark Romance
Right: NYX Butter Gloss in BLGM22 Devil’s Food Cake

When I swatched these, I was surprised by how alike they were. On the back of my hand, they were practically identical. On the lips, the NYX gloss was a bit sheerer, but that’s about it.

So while I don’t have much makeup, what I do have is similar to each other. Hmm…

OUT AND ABOUT

Both photos were taken on the same day under drastically different lighting. Neither picture shows it, but the blush and bronzer were a bit much on my skin. I’m super pale and occasionally get mistaken for a vampire, plus I have zero contouring skills, so the bronzer ended up looking muddy on me.

In the pictures I was wearing shades 3, 4, and 6 over a primer (the Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original). I’ve since worn the other eyeshadow shades over the same primer with minimal issues.

On one occasion, I wore shades 3, 4, and 6 without a primer underneath and there was some creasing and fading by the six hour mark. By the ten hour mark I had a raccoon eye going on. Luckily I was already home by then!

Thank you for making it all the way to the end, it’s highly appreciated. Seeing as I’ve basically described most of my stuff in a single post, this might be the last makeup-related post. But hey, never say never. 😉

Restaurant Week Review: SHACK Tapazaka

Japanese tapas, anyone? Personally, I love the concept of tapas-style dining. Sharing dishes means you get to sample from a greater variety, which is always a win.

In any case, Restaurant Week usually means a three course meal, so you don’t have that option. Nevertheless it’s a great way to try out a new place, as I’ve mentioned before.

Anyway, let’s just dive in, shall we?

STARTER

Left: Soft shell crab salad
Right: Chicken karaage

It’s no secret that I adore deep-fried food, and both dishes definitely delivered. The crab was sitting atop the usual suspects: mixed greens and sesame dressing, no surprises there. The chicken karaage was seasoned with some spices that made it slightly more interesting than the average fried chicken.

So far, so good!

MAIN COURSE

Beef short ribs with rice

The beef was juicy and tender – lots of umami goodness!

Iberico pork with rice

It was a bit too charred for my liking, plus it was drowning in terikayi sauce. It wasn’t terrible, just meh.

DESSERT

Left: Matcha ice-cream with red bean mochi
Right: Strawberry 3 ways

Both desserts tasted alright, but they weren’t particularly great or exciting.

VERDICT

The portion sizes were SMALL, for all the courses. There were only three pieces of beef and slightly more than half a bowl of rice for the main course. The strawberry dessert comprised of one frozen strawberry, half a fresh strawberry, and maybe one teaspoonful of puree. I don’t usually have a heavy lunch, so it was okay for me, but I imagine that many people will not find it acceptable.

Also, when we first arrived, we were told that they never received our reservation. After the guy refreshed his app, he then saw it and grudgingly seated us at the bar. I didn’t mind sitting there, but his attitude left much to be desired. It wasn’t our fault that there’s a technical error, and he could’ve been more professional about it. We were later served by another person who was somewhat friendlier. There weren’t that many diners while we were there, so it didn’t seem like they were understaffed and overworked or anything like that.

Just like with Marbling, I left the place with mixed feelings. I really liked the decor and overall vibe of the place. There were some hits and misses for the food, but the service was disappointing.

SHACK Tapazaka
G/F, 1-1A Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay
銅鑼灣耀華街1-1A號地下
Tel: 2555 6058

Restaurant Week Review: Marbling

With about 30, 000 restaurants in this city, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of opportunities to try something new when dining out! It’s also possible to get overwhelmed with so many choices available, so I like how Restaurant Week is a platform of sorts to help me pick out someplace to try. Booking’s a breeze too, which is always a bonus. The spring edition may be over, but given that it takes place twice a year, the next one will be coming by before we know it.

Anyway, Edwin and I had a dinner reservation at Marbling, located at Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay. (What an address, I know right?) Prior to our dinner, the restaurant called to confirm our booking and also allowed us to choose from outdoor seating (smoking area) or indoors (non-smoking). They also double-checked the allergy requests. So far it seemed rather promising.

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The complimentary bread had some olive bits in it. Interesting taste and texture, but unfortunately it was a bit cold.

STARTER

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Smoked Salmon, Avocado and Crab Tian

Both of us picked the same starter as the other one wasn’t particularly appealing. Escargots with mushroom cream sauce? No thanks – drown my baked snails in all the garlic and butter in the kitchen, or no deal. But I digress.

It was a refreshing appetiser that had good balance of flavours. The crispy bits on top (fried wonton skin?) were especially nice. I liked the dish, but I would’ve loved it if the avocado were ripe.

MAIN COURSE

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Dingley Dell Pork Loin

Would you look at the size of that thing? It reminds me of a cartoon slab of meat. It pretty much dwarfed everything else except the plate it’s lying on. Taste-wise, the pork loin was seasoned and cooked well. It’s really easy to overcook pork, so I was relieved to find out that this wasn’t one of those times. It was slightly charred on one end, but still acceptable.

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Aged Premium Black Angus Beef Striploin

Like I mentioned in the last post, we had a lot of steak recently, but none of them were outstanding. While the pork loin was cooked to perfection, the steak was overcooked, unfortunately. We requested medium rare, but it turned out to be almost medium well. It was also incredibly tough, some parts could not be chewed. About one third was left on the plate. I hate to waste food, but those parts were the tendon and whatnot. It was a massive disappointment, given that this place specialises in steak.

DESSERT

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Vanilla Crème Brûlée

I’m usually all about chocolate, but in the spirit of trying new things, I ordered the crème brûlée. It was divine. A classic done right, and the portion size was just right too.

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70% Velvet Chocolate & Rum Torte

It’s just a fancy name for a chocolate cake, isn’t it? Well, there really was a velvety texture. I didn’t detect any rum, but the bittersweet chocolate aftertaste was immensely satisfying.

VERDICT

There was a bottle of VOSS water sitting right there on the table when we arrived, so we helped ourselves. I temporarily forgot that there’d be an additional charge for bottled water. (Restaurant trap!) It turned out to be HK$58 (~US$7.50/~S$10.60) before taxes. Oh, the horror… When it hit me, I made a mental note: Savour. Every. Last. Drop.

And then our waitress went to mix it with tap water.

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She was so clueless. She seemed confused with our orders and we had to repeat ourselves more than once. Luckily, the other members of the staff helped to rectify some of the errors. They also offered a complimentary drink or dessert (we could pick anything from the menu) to make up for the bad steak. Also, after the meal, the waitress apologised as we left the restaurant. Ultimately, the service wasn’t bad at all, but of course it can be improved upon.

To be honest, I’ve got mixed feelings about the whole thing right now. I really hope that the steak was just a dud, because if I excluded it from my review, it was actually a pleasant dining experience, and I wouldn’t mind returning. If you’ve dined at Marbling before, let me know how it was, and we can compare notes. 🙂

Marbling
銅鑼灣Fashion Walk食街加寧街5-7號地下C舖
Shop C, G/F, Food Street, 5-7 Cleveland Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2802 1128

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Casa Pennington

I know that lots of people think that dining out on Valentine’s Day is a bit of a rip-off. It’s overpriced and possibly overrated. Besides, what’s so special and romantic about it when thousands of other couples are celebrating it too?

I was probably like that, which is why I don’t remember what we did last year or the year before that. You know what I do remember? Valentine’s Day 2014, because we actually dined out that night. We had moules-frites and Belgian beer in Wanchai. 2009 stands out as well, because that was our first time celebrating it together. Edwin got me a necklace from Mini Bits (is that shop even around anymore?) and we joined his friends for a drink at the SMU bar.

vday2009

Those were the days // 想當年 LOL

Anyway, it seemed about time to do the whole cheesy wine-and-dine thing again. We decided to try Casa Pennington as it wasn’t as ludicrously expensive as some other places. The four course dinner was HK$1188 (~US$153/~S$215.90) for two persons, including coffee or tea. Still rather costly, but we’ll probably stay in for the next two years, seeing that we have a pattern, haha.

STARTER

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Hokkaido Scallop & Avocado Tartar

I’m not sure why the scallop was red. Was it marinated in beetroot juice or something? In any case, it didn’t taste any different from regular scallops. More avocado would always be preferred. The salmon roe and what looked like lavender salt was a nice touch.

Also, you can’t really tell from the photo, but it’s shaped like a heart, so bonus points for cuteness!

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Lobster Strawberry Sabayon

Sabayon is a dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine. A savoury option with seafood seemed intriguing, but I didn’t taste any sabayon at all. It was more like a fruit salad with lobster bits mixed in. To be fair, it wasn’t a bad dish, and they weren’t stingy with the lobster, which was nice.

SOUP

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Cream of Parsnip & Crab Meat

I can’t say that I’ve had parsnip anything before this, but I like most root vegetables, and this was no different. It didn’t hurt that there was a generous dollop of crab meat in there. Also, more hearts!

MAIN COURSE

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Grilled US Prime Rib Eye Steak

We had a lot of steak recently. Before this, it was at Hungry Lobster, and after it was at Marbling (post coming soon). This one was quite nicely done, although the accompanying vegetables were rather bland. The red heart on the corner of the plate was actually a slice of potato covered in ketchup. It didn’t taste good, but I appreciate the effort to stick to the theme.

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French Duck Foie Gras Linguini

There were a lot of mushrooms, four or five varieties at least. So much, in fact, that they should have renamed this dish “Mixed Mushroom Linguini with Foie Gras”. Well, we had fun fishing out stuff and asking each other whether it was a piece of foie gras or mushroom.

DESSERT

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Pear Tarte Tatin

We were stuffed by this point, but it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day unless dessert is involved. This was my favourite dish of the night. It was served with cream, but I didn’t think it was necessary. That baked pear, with the caramel and puff pastry really hit the spot.

VERDICT

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So yes, while sitting elbow-to-elbow with dozens of other couples wasn’t that romantic after all, it was still a lovely (albeit slightly overpriced) dining experience. Most of the dishes were decent, and I’d return for the tarte tatin!

Casa Pennington
3/F, Hotel Pennington by Rhombus, 13-15 Pennington Street, Causeway Bay, H.K
銅鑼灣邊寧頓街13-15號隆堡柏寧頓酒店三樓
Tel: 2806 3311