Cornerstone: Solid, first class offerings despite the razzmatazz (9.0)

Cornerstone's brainchild Shane Osborn is the chef behind the better known Arcane. You might also recognize him from Netflix's The Final Table, where he made it to the finals. Arcane has one Michelin star, and Cornerstone also made it to Michelin's Bib Gourmand guide. Michelin stars are hardly a foolproof guide to consistent, first-rate fare,… Continue reading Cornerstone: Solid, first class offerings despite the razzmatazz (9.0)

Bedu: Great vibes and hospitality (7.8)

I miss a good shish, partly because my brain associates it as a comfort food, whether as a late night snack or after a boozy episode in the earlier years, but mostly still because spiced meat is delicious in itself. Despite having spent some time in parts of the Middle East, given how culturally diverse… Continue reading Bedu: Great vibes and hospitality (7.8)

Ganguya: Otaku-style izakaya (7.3)

Ganguya literally means "toy store", and the storefront looks exactly like one, with a life-sized ultraman and lots of anime figurines lining the cupboard on display. But once you open the door, you are led down to a basement restaurant that's decorated more like a home than an izakaya. The main dining room is centered… Continue reading Ganguya: Otaku-style izakaya (7.3)

Ishiyama: A guardian of the past (7.0)

Ishiyama used to be a hangout for Japanese expatriates in Hong Kong, and its chef owner has been running the izakaya for over a decade in an old residential building just across Sogo on Lockhart Road. The entrance says "Members Only" but you just book like it was any restaurant and get in. How long… Continue reading Ishiyama: A guardian of the past (7.0)

Mr Brown: Casual smoking and grilling action (7.9)

Mr Brown is a lively restaurant run by the founders behind Francis and continues the concept of a sleek menu with only a handful of dishes to ensure quality and maximum economies of scale. Brown refers to browning from grilling, and as you may have correctly guessed from the title, Mr Brown specializes in just… Continue reading Mr Brown: Casual smoking and grilling action (7.9)

Iwate-Kin: Mom-and-pop izakaya (7.5)

I saw news about Iwate Kin's opening in a Japanese magazine. It's operated by a local chef who has quite some experience as a chef in Japanese kitchens and who I suppose had just decided to venture to open a shop of his own. I tend to feel that sometimes people who do that are… Continue reading Iwate-Kin: Mom-and-pop izakaya (7.5)

Taylor Shellfish: Great All-around (8.5)

Taylor Shellfish Farms is a company that has been in the shellfish farming industry for five generations and when I found out that their focus is very specialized, I felt optimistic about giving them a shot. If you do visit, you will see that amenities and décor are fairly basic at their restaurants and that… Continue reading Taylor Shellfish: Great All-around (8.5)

Chaiwala: Good hospitality, OK food (7.2)

Chaiwala takes up the space that previously housed Zafran, a huge Spanish tapas restaurant with a nice bar and great ambience, and the area still feels more or less the same despite some décor tweaks and change in furniture. I get the sense that the mainstream view is that Chaiwala is a great, hip place… Continue reading Chaiwala: Good hospitality, OK food (7.2)

Sara: A Real Gem (9.0)

9.0 is an extremely high rating from me. But Sara deserves it. A review on the restaurant is long overdue, as we have been visiting this restaurant a dozen times since summer began. Sometimes I tend to leave out restaurants that become our canteen, not only so that we can keep the good place to… Continue reading Sara: A Real Gem (9.0)

Louise: Undertrained staff ruins it all (6.8)

Readers who follow my writings know that hospitality and professionalism are taken as seriously by me as food quality. Being hosted by someone who cares about and knows what they are doing can salvage an imperfectly prepared meal, but even the most exquisitely prepared dish could not remedy a server that upsets you whether out… Continue reading Louise: Undertrained staff ruins it all (6.8)