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Food & Drink


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Food & Drink


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’Tis the Season


Overwhelmed by the glut of dining choices for Christmas? Here are a few intriguing picks worth checking out

’Tis the Season


Overwhelmed by the glut of dining choices for Christmas? Here are a few intriguing picks worth checking out

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

’Tis the Season

December 1, 2017 / by Jon Braun

Image above: Rhoda

Tri

Tri

Frites

Frites

Frites

At all Frites locations on December 24 and 25, dig into a hearty menu with corn chowder mussels, Turkey ballotine or 1855 USDA black angus roast beef, as well as Christmas brioche pudding. For an additional charge, enjoy two hours of unlimited draught beers, prosecco, house wine and other drinks. Kids also get a Christmas gift and candies from Santa!

All locations including G/F, Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay; +852 2250 5188 (frites.hk)

The Garage Bar

Enjoy a heart-warming Christmas at the Cordis, Hong Kong with barbecue buffets at the hotel’s outdoor “food truck bar” on December 24 and 25. Among the offerings are rib-eye steak, charcoal-grilled lamb chops, fresh oysters, Canadian snow crab, turkey burgers and more – and the feast isn’t complete without a dessert of baked Alaska and craft beer stout ice cream.

4/F, 555 Shanghai St, Mong Kok; +852 3552 3028 (cordishotels.com)

The Garage Bar

The Garage Bar

El Mercado

The Peruvian-Nikkei restaurant wishes you Feliz Navidad with a festive menu proffering the classics such as roast turkey and Christmas pudding alongside less traditional fare including beef heart anticucho, ceviche and tuna tataki.

21/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai; +852 2388 8009 (elmercado.hk)

Rhoda

Get down with chef Nate Green’s festive menu for The Whole Hog, boasting a whole roast pig, venison tartare, roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots, and a slew of other dishes – as well as 2.5 hours of free-flow sparkling, red and white wine, and HK Yau beer. If you’re able to walk out of here on your own two feet, then colour us impressed.

G/F, Upton, 345 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Wan; +852 2177 5050 (rhoda.hk)

Tri

It’s Christmas dinner, Indonesian style on December 24, 25 and 26, with a prix fixe menu featuring sambal udang jimbaran (langoustine and coconut sticky rice), bebek kuah putih (smoked foie gras balado and sweet potato in a coconut curry sauce), tongseng kambing (grilled lamb rack) and more. Your taste buds will be whisked away to the tropics.

Central L2, Shop 206, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay; +852 2515 0577 (tri.hk)

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Pierre’s Picks


Get ready for a gourmet Christmas with renowned French chef Pierre Gagnaire, who shares his fond memories of an unusual family favourite that remains synonymous with the joys of the holiday – and an easy recipe for you to try  

Pierre’s Picks


Get ready for a gourmet Christmas with renowned French chef Pierre Gagnaire, who shares his fond memories of an unusual family favourite that remains synonymous with the joys of the holiday – and an easy recipe for you to try  

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Pierre’s Picks

December 1, 2017 / by Philippe Dova

What food do you most associate with Christmas dinner? 

Oysters, as they come, with boiled rice and warm sausage. 

That’s unusual – is it something you remember from your childhood? 

My parents had a restaurant in Saint-Priest-en-Jarez, a village near Saint Étienne. My father was a chef, but he was also a peasant; every year he slaughtered a pig and made sausages. He covered them in wood ash and dried them in the attic at home, with the air circulating around them.

I’ve never eaten such a delicious sausage since. They were aged at least three years, so they were very dry. My father boiled the sausage a first time, and then a second time for about two hours, then cut it into very thin slices. The taste was very woodsy and smoky, with a bit of a hazelnut flavour. We ate it with plain boiled rice and oysters. This was the meal that we would have after returning home from midnight mass.

My father would already be asleep – he was very tired because he was so busy at the restaurant at that time of year. He never closed, not even on Christmas Eve. My mother did her best to make everyone happy. Santa Claus was very generous. We weren’t rolling in money, we didn’t go mad with the presents, but there was always a bicycle, shirts, pyjamas, a football and books – no computers! It was a happy time but a little sad as well, because it represented the angst of seeing one’s father so exhausted by work. 

What will be on your own menu this Christmas?

I’ll be spending Christmas in France with my family. It will be quite a simple menu, with some excellent things that we can enjoy together. For example, we’ll start with oysters from Yvon Madec. As a main course, we’ll have roast goose or roast capon with sautéed potatoes – which I adore – and some truffles, chestnuts, salsify and a lamb’s lettuce salad. Next, we’ll have some good bread and a beautiful cheese platter with a Fourme de Montbrison – that’s the cheese we had at Christmas when I was a child. It’s a little drier and crumblier than the famous Fourme d’Ambert, but I’m very fond of it. To end, a Bûche de Noël – a light version, made with tropical fruits. 

Could you share a festive recipe with our readers? 

Potato croquettes with black truffles and pine nuts – it’s a very simple recipe to make, and it goes marvellously with a fine piece of poultry or roast beef.

Recipe

Potato Croquettes with Black Truffles and Pine Nuts

 
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Truffle base:

125g water

60g flour

50g minced truffle

40g butter 

Salt, pepper and nutmeg

Potato mixture:

500g potatoes

180g of the truffle base

50g egg

Pine nuts

 


  • Wash the potatoes and place them on some coarse salt. 
  • Place in a 180°C oven. 
  • When the potatoes are cooked, put them through a sieve. 
  • Heat the water, butter and minced truffle. 
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly. 
  • Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. 
  • Use the flat beater of an electric mixer to mix the truffle base and the sieved potato.
  • Add the eggs, then adjust the seasoning. 
  • Form this mixture into balls of equal size and roll them in pine nuts. 
  • Chill in the freezer until firm. 
  • Fry the potato balls in oil heated to 180°C.
  • Drain and sprinkle lightly with salt. 

Images: Marco Strullu; ©Jacques Gavard (portrait); Pierre Gagnaire (potato croquettes)

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Best of Both Worlds


Four months in Italy in 1986 led Manila-based chef extraordinaire Margarita Forés on a lifetime culinary journey that’s culminated in a shared love of Italian and Filipino cuisines

Best of Both Worlds


Four months in Italy in 1986 led Manila-based chef extraordinaire Margarita Forés on a lifetime culinary journey that’s culminated in a shared love of Italian and Filipino cuisines

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Best of Both Worlds

December 1, 2017 / by Kitty Go

In 2016, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants named Margarita Forés Asia’s Best Female Chef. This came as no surprise to the many fans of her culinary skills and the followers of her road to restaurant success in the Philippines. Royalty from Prince Andrew to the King and Queen of Spain have enjoyed her cooking, and Forés has represented her country at prestigious culinary events in Berlin, Torino and Madrid. Descended from a Basque family that came to the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period, Forés honed her cooking skills in Italy, but credits early-’80s Hong Kong as the place where she began her appreciation of food “regardless of cuisine”. 

Her restaurant Cibo is named for the Italian word for “food”, but the idea was more than that, Forés explains. “I wanted something basic and it sounded like chi-bog – local Filipino slang that means ‘to eat’.” The chef observed an emerging working middle-class in Manila who could be open to more sophisticated Italian cuisine beyond the “American-style sweet spaghetti.” Aiming for casual, reasonably priced and authentic Italian cuisine, Cibo simply took off. 

The restaurant proved so successful that in 2000, a group of local Chinese businessmen approached her to open a branch in Shanghai’s Xintiandi. Although she has no regrets and still remains cautious about expanding outside the Philippines, Forés recalls: “At that time, China was not in my sphere of things. Now, I realise if we did it, we would have had our foot in the door early.” 

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Of course, Forés is a woman who’s always been a bit of a visionary – and her refusal to compromise or settle for second-best has reaped all sorts of rewards in a competitive, challenging industry. With Cibo, she refused to
substitute ingredients or flavours to suit local tastes (in fact, there was a sign indicating exactly that on every table) as she aimed to educate the market on real Italian cuisine. 

Her tart-flavoured pasta and the organic squash soup, both using local ingredients, have become two of Cibo’s iconic dishes. “I had to fight for this with my family and partners, because it drove the food costs up,” she recalls, on the restaurant’s 20th anniversary this year. “One really needs to take a position. Not everything on the bottom line can be measured with money.”

Economic progress in the Philippines has been relatively slow compared to many other Asian economies. But instead of mourning the country’s lack of industrialisation, Forés celebrates it. “Slow food and the farm-to-table trend caught up with us!” she exclaims with a smile. “We hardly industrialised and were so behind that way, but now we are ahead because we were behind.” 

Agriculturally, the country now produces a variety of tomatoes in the south (which has a similar terroir to Italy), local cheeses, healthy rice substitutes such as Job’s tears (adlay), and heirloom rice in an array of colours from black to red. Souring agents and vinegars are created from local citrus fruits, pineapple, palm leaves and cane sugar. Wood sorrel, popularised by the globally lauded Copenhagen restaurant Noma, is a weed that literally grows “like a weed” in the Philippines. 

“We have the first fusion cuisine,” claims Forés proudly, when asked why Filipino food has taken so long to be internationally accepted, “We have Chinese, Malay and Mexican cuisine via the Spanish galleon trade – then add to that 45 years of burgers and Coke. This diversity is hard to identify and put in a box. We have to realise this – and to single it out is a big mistake.” 

With its open-minded mix of global influences, Filipino cuisine seems to be in the early stages of discovery by the rest of the world. Forés is a leading educator on her country’s food – and from her decades of experience in Manila, New York, Hong Kong and Italy, we can’t wait to see what she cooks up next.

Image: Margarita Forés

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On Gourd


One of the season’s most flexible delicacies, explore two of the myriad ways in which to prepare the humble squash

On Gourd


One of the season’s most flexible delicacies, explore two of the myriad ways in which to prepare the humble squash

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

On Gourd

December 1, 2017 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

 

Acorn Squash with Bacon-Chive Crumbs

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized acorn squash (peeled, cut into slices and deseeded)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 slices bacon
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, snipped

Add the acorn squash slices, garlic and thyme in a slow cooker. Next, pour in the cider, broth and brown sugar. Leave on low-heat mode for 3 to 6 hours. Near the end of that process, fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp; drain the grease, then finely crumble it and set aside. Cook the panko in the same skillet until golden. Mix the crumbled bacon, panko and chives in a separate bowl. To serve, sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the cooked acorn squash, which should be moved to a separate platter after cooking.

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Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash (cubed, cut into slices and deseeded)
  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped 
  • 2 potatoes, cubed 
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste) 

Roast the squash on high heat until deeply browned. Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the olive oil, onion, carrot, potatoes and roasted squash and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer the mixture until the vegetables are tender. Season the soup with the chillies, salt and pepper to taste. 

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Strange Bedfellows


Here’s something you might not expect to be a remarkable pairing: vintage sardines and Loupiac wine

Strange Bedfellows


Here’s something you might not expect to be a remarkable pairing: vintage sardines and Loupiac wine

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Strange Bedfellows

December 1, 2017

Bordeaux’s sweet wines are known for their affinity with foie gras, dark chocolate and blue cheeses such as Roquefort. For most people, however, the pairing of Loupiac wine and oil-packed sardines is uncharted territory. But for Michel Boyer, owner of the Château du Cros winery, this noble sweet wine goes delightfully with vintage sardines. He shares this simple recipe:

“You need to choose sardines that are packed in olive oil and aged in the tin for at least two years. Like a good wine, oil-packed sardines get better with age; the longer they’re cellared, the more delicious they’ll be. Open the tin and drain away the oil. Then just blend the sardines in a food processor with lightly salted butter, using 100 grams of butter per 100 grams of sardines. Spread the mixture on thin slices of toasted bread and enjoy with a chilled glass of Loupiac – as an aperitif or any time. It’s a real treat!”

Images: Patrick de Talance (sardines); Philippe Dova (portrait)

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Destination Cocoa


Cuvée Bali chocolate, launched in 2016 by Valrhona, has elevated the quality level of Balinese cocoa beans

Destination Cocoa


Cuvée Bali chocolate, launched in 2016 by Valrhona, has elevated the quality level of Balinese cocoa beans

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Destination Cocoa

October 27, 2017 / by Albert Pommier

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Although Indonesia is the world’s third-largest cocoa producer after the Ivory Coast and Ghana, its beans have not traditionally been known for their quality. Bali, which harvests some 5,000 tonnes a year (about 3% of Indonesia’s total production), was no exception – that is, until recently, when the Cuvée Bali chocolate by French brand Valrhona helped raise the bar. 

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Far from the island’s idyllic beaches and tattooed surfers, the Jembrana region produces 50% of Bali’s cocoa. Until recently, the beans were sold raw, at low prices to middlemen working with agri-food and cosmetics industry giants. But five years ago, Agung Widiastuti, the chairwoman of non-governmental organisation Kalimajari, and the 500 cocoa farmers of the Kerta Semaya Samaniya (KSS) cooperative decided to take up the quality challenge. 

“When you talk about quality, you’re talking about the process of fermenting the beans,” says Widiastuti. “In 2012, I started helping the farmers of this cooperative to improve their production in order to find more upscale buyers.” At the time, Valrhona was looking to create an Asian chocolate to address growing demand from its clients in the region. The company entered into a partnership with the cooperative and in 2016 bought its first container-load of the fermented, sun-dried, hand-sorted beans, paying double the usual market price. Valrhona then shipped the beans to France – and Cuvée Bali was soon launched.

“With a 68% cocoa-content chocolate and a good chocolate-to-acid balance, it’s definitely going to appeal to lots of consumers and pastry chefs,” says Pierre Tabarié, chief representative and area manager for Valrhona Asia Pacific. 

Jean-Marc Gaucher, the executive pastry chef at The Mira Hong Kong, is also impressed – he makes it a point of principle to use quality local products such as organic honey from Hong Kong, and uses Cuvée Bali in a number of the desserts served at the hotel’s Café Gourmand afternoon coffee hour. “I’m not going to say it’s got this or it’s got that, or that I can sense the sea breeze when I bite into it – that’s not it,” he says. “But it really has a character and a sophistication that I like.” 

With these developments, Bali can expect to raise its standing in the world market for quality cocoa. The outlook is positive: KSS fermented 100 tonnes of beans in 2017, doubling its annual production levels. Consumers will have to wait for Cuvée Bali to join the Valrhona Grands Crus collection in retail stores – but according to the company, this will happen soon. How sweet it is!

Images: Hugo De Piccoli/A Different Story

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Count the Stars


The 2018 Michelin Guide Shanghai awarded three stars to Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet; he joins an elite club in the region that also features Alvin Leung’s Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. These two wildly atypical chefs sit down for an exclusive chat with CDLP 

Count the Stars


The 2018 Michelin Guide Shanghai awarded three stars to Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet; he joins an elite club in the region that also features Alvin Leung’s Bo Innovation in Hong Kong. These two wildly atypical chefs sit down for an exclusive chat with CDLP 

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Count the Stars

October 27, 2017 / by Philippe Dova

Alvin, what was your reaction to Paul Pairet entering the very exclusive three-star club?

Alvin Leung: I know Paul very well; he’s been in Shanghai for many years. I recently dined at Ultraviolet and it’s an incredible experience – not just in terms of the cuisine, but on every level. I was considered the only slightly “crazy” chef in the three-star club – and now there are two of us! Having chefs like us is very good for the profession and for cooking.

Do you agree with the “slightly crazy” bit, Paul?

Paul Pairet: I agree with it for Alvin! [laughs] I really like his personality, his perceptiveness, and his ability to combine Chinese flavours and Western techniques. It’s true that there’s a parallel in that we’re both a bit different. Three stars is always a consecration. What’s interesting in our case is that we obtained them in a specific, extremely personal context that’s totally different from that of other three-starred chefs. It proves that when the cuisine is up to the mark, Michelin doesn’t hesitate to award three stars. You can be different, it’s just excellence in another format – and that’s all the better for us.

What dishes do you like most in each other’s restaurants?

PP: I haven’t been to Hong Kong in a long time. I remember the harmony of the meal, from the first dish to the last. You can really sense the chef’s personality – and that’s what defines a great meal. This same spirit and tradition can of course be found at Bo Shanghai, which opened a few months ago.

AL: We chefs like simple things. So when I tasted Paul’s “truffle bread”, I found the taste extraordinary. It’s a simple dish, but I could eat it every day and never get tired of it.

What are your plans for the future?

PP: This is a bit of a scoop! When we saw each other at the Michelin party in Shanghai, we again discussed the idea of opening a restaurant together – something that no one would expect from either of us. We’d really like to do it. I don’t know if it will happen, but I’ve already got the marketing campaign for the restaurant all planned in my head.

AL: We’ve been talking about this joint project for a long time. Each of us would bring his own precision to it. It would be a tremendous experience.

Images: Scott Wright of Limelight Studio (Paul Pairet); Bo Shanghai (Alvin Leung)

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Fun Guy


French-based woodland mushroom company Borde was founded in 1920 – Alain Bordes, who represents the third generation of the family-run concern, shares his vast knowledge of fungi

Fun Guy


French-based woodland mushroom company Borde was founded in 1920 – Alain Bordes, who represents the third generation of the family-run concern, shares his vast knowledge of fungi

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Fun Guy

October 27, 2017 / by Pierre Godeau

What are the most popular types of mushrooms and what’s the best season to gather them? 

The most emblematic are porcini, chanterelle and morel. In France, morels start to grow in the spring, chanterelles from mid-June and porcini in the autumn. Depending on the country, the mushroom season ranges from spring until late autumn. In China, summer is porcini season, whereas in the Balkans you get them in late spring. 

Where do they grow best? 

You can never be sure. For mushrooms to grow, you need a humid climate with some temperature variation, you need woodlands or prairies, and you need elevation. In the woodlands, there have to be particular species of trees. Some require deciduous trees like oak, ash and hazel to develop, while others prefer resinous species such as pine and spruce. Porcinis grow in most regions of France, in the Balkans, in Yunnan and in Mongolia. You get lots of morels in India, Pakistan, China and Turkey, and large quantities of chanterelles in the Balkans. Everywhere, growth increases when the phase of the moon changes.

How are wild mushrooms different from cultivated ones? 

The former grow naturally in forests, without any human intervention, and are gathered by hand. Quantities vary greatly from one season to the next – and from one location to the next. It’s impossible to predict what the harvest will be. 

While there’s no difference between a wild mushroom and one cultivated from the same mycelium, most wild mushrooms such as porcini, chanterelles and black trumpets remain impossible to cultivate. The Chinese cultivate certain types, such as morels, and experiments are being done in France. However, there are so many factors that need to be controlled – temperature, moisture, proper mycelium development – that growing them is still a very uncertain and not necessarily economically worthwhile venture.

What’s the best way to preserve a mushroom after picking it? 

The best “technology” to use depends on the type. Morels are best dried, chanterelles should be preserved in glass jars and freezing is best for porcinis. 

What’s the best way to cook them and what are some ideal wine pairings? 

Mushrooms can be cooked very simply by pan-frying them with garlic and parsley, or can be prepared in more sophisticated ways. Although recipes reflect a country’s gastronomic traditions and culture, some are very similar from one to another. For example, in Yunnan, mushrooms are cooked with herbs and the recipes are very similar to French ones. 

As for pairings, a chicken cooked in cream with morels is delicious when served with a Jura yellow wine. And you can’t go wrong with a Bordeaux, especially the Pomerols, with their woodsy notes recalling the scent of mushrooms. A white Burgundy like chardonnay or a young Rhône such as a Condrieu goes marvellously well with sautéed chanterelles.

Images: Eric Soudan/Borde

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Chocolate, Artfully


Sinfully delicious, Instagrammable and mesmerising: this chocolate has it all

Chocolate, Artfully


Sinfully delicious, Instagrammable and mesmerising: this chocolate has it all

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


Chocolate, Artfully

October 27, 2017 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Los Angeles-based Compartés Chocolatier is a true star. With roots dating to 1950, its clientele back then included Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys. After the shop changed hands about a decade ago, the traditional chocolatier was reinvigorated with modern colours and an artful style. With more than 200 different, often quirky flavours today, it continues to attract a who’s who of Hollywood stars.

In 2008, Compartés was bought by a local family who was passionate about chocolate. Their then-15-year-old son, Jonathan Grahm, eventually took over the business, bringing with him a new vision of “chocolate as art”. Often choosing the classic dark chocolate as a base, Grahm adds a plethora of unconventional flavours to the shop’s wildly creative menu – think cactus, avocado, French toast and the popular American campfire treat s’mores. If you love your chocolate with a bit of a kick, you may also be curious to try out the Moët & Chandon champagne, sangria, apple cider and wine flavours.

The design of Compartés chocolate is often inspired by the city of Los Angeles and its inhabitants, from the uniquely hand-sprayed “art graffiti bar” to a collaboration with LA-based interior and lifestyle designer Kelly Wearstler. In the latter collection, the charming-looking chocolate bars are decorated generously with edible 24-karat gold leaves, miniature multicoloured sugar crystals and ice cream sprinkles. In addition to good cacao, it seems good style is also a key ingredient in the recipe.

Images: Compartés

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What’s in a Label?


Mind spinning when you try to decipher the information on wines from the old and new worlds? You’re not alone

What’s in a Label?


Mind spinning when you try to decipher the information on wines from the old and new worlds? You’re not alone

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


What’s in a Label?

October 27, 2017 / by Demetri Walters, MW

Intriguingly, wine labels are a somewhat recent innovation that came into use around the middle of the 19th century. Today, all wines must be sold with a main label, whether they come in bottles, cardboard casks or Tetra Paks. Labelling requirements vary from region to region and are constantly being updated. So, as well as providing consumers with the information they require on the wine within, they also show what’s required by law.

One of the biggest challenges that consumers face regarding labelling is the confusion around the labels from particular regions. Germany often gets a lot of criticism here. Why use a gothic script? Is it sweet or dry? With wines labelled kabinett, spätlese, auslese or beerenauslese, unless you understand that these are quality levels determined by sweetness of the wine must, it is difficult to understand the style. In this example, these terms guarantee sweetness of varying degrees – and when these terms are absent, the opposite is almost always true. Words like trocken, halbtrocken and feinherb all indicate dry wines, but that’s pretty hard for those of us who don’t speak German.

The question I’m asked the most concerns the wine’s status, particularly in relation to Bordeaux. Grand Cru Classé on the label is a reflection of classed-growth status in the Médoc; it indicates the apogee of production. However, across the river in St Émilion, Grand Cru is the base standard. Just north into Pomerol, there’s no classification to adorn the label at all. (It’s almost easier, isn’t it?) The absence of consistency in classifications extends beyond Bordeaux, where it is the property that is classified, to Burgundy, where it’s the vineyard, and to Champagne, where it’s the village. The new world has none of this hierarchy to interpret. Is this indeed simpler – or does it mean one needs to know even more about the wine in question?

Many old-world labels tell us the vineyard site and its standing. Unlike their new-world counterparts, though, very few tell us what’s actually in the bottle. Australia has been reassuring consumers with stated grape varieties and blends for decades. Aside from notable exceptions such as Alsace, the old world has only recently been advertising grape varieties, and even then it’s primarily for more generic-quality wines. At the top end of the tree, we the consumers are still expected to know what’s in the bottle.

Wine labelling also conveys the vintage, sulphite levels, capacity and even the modus operandi of a producer: certified organic or biodynamic. Perhaps alcohol has concerned consumers more than anything else printed on the label, and purchasing decisions are often made on alcohol-by-volume, rather than on balance and typicity.

All in all, wine labelling tells us much about what we need to know about the liquid in the bottle. Funny, then, that a great many consumers make their selection based primarily on the artwork. But it feeds our emotional side, just as the information satisfies our logic.

Illustration: Berry Bros & Rudd

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Nostalgic Noms: Loi Lo


Hong Kong’s famed retro “soy sauce Western cuisine” gets a modern makeover

Nostalgic Noms: Loi Lo


Hong Kong’s famed retro “soy sauce Western cuisine” gets a modern makeover

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Nostalgic Noms: Loi Lo

September 29, 2017 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

 

For many Hongkongers, there’s a nostalgic attachment when it comes to classic cha chaan teng dishes – the so-called “Swiss-style” sweetened soy sauce chicken wings, soy sauce-marinated steaks with rice and so much more. This unique form of fusion cooking was named “soy sauce Western cuisine” in 1960s Hong Kong and became known for making its Western dishes relevant to local palates at an affordable price.

Loyal Dining is a local restaurant centred on revisiting this nostalgic theme with a modern and sometimes luxurious twist, such as mixing barbecue pork with foie gras and featuring speciality cocktails on the menu. The Cantonese name for Loyal Dining, which reads “Loi Lo”, stems from a local phrase referring to popular imported goods from the West during the colonial era in the 1960s and ’70s.

This July, the six-year-old restaurant upped stakes and moved from bustling Central to Wan Chai. With its interiors a blend of Eastern and Western influences, the reopened two-storey space features a ground-floor lounge bar and a refurbished dining zone upstairs, with a definitive focus on the ambience. Come for a taste of the past – and the future.

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Signature dishes
Soufflé with beef-rib curry rice (HK$148)
Deep-fried fish fingers in sweet corn sauce (HK$138)
Beef Wellington (HK$238)

Signature cocktails (all HK$105)
Loyal Iced Tea
Ovaltine Fizz
The Joy in Childhood


Loyal Dining
1/F, 5 Tonnochy Road, Wan Chai
+852 3125 3000
(
loyaldining.com)

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Say Cheese


Though many aren’t aware, there are some fantastic cheeses being aged in Hong Kong – we get two experts’ picks of what’s perfect to close out the summer

Say Cheese


Though many aren’t aware, there are some fantastic cheeses being aged in Hong Kong – we get two experts’ picks of what’s perfect to close out the summer

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Say Cheese

August 25, 2017 / by Louis-Marie Delmas

 


For several years, a number of French cheesemakers have been taking advantage of an efficient logistics network, exporting their raw milk products to meet the growing demand from restaurants and local consumers. Now, two of these fromagers-affineurs have taken the pioneering step of ripening their cheeses right here in Hong Kong. Jérémy Evrard (of the soon-to-open J’s Bar Bistro at the Royal Garden Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui) and Thierry Rochas Dupérier (La Fromagerie in Central) select cheeses from small-scale European producers, bring them to the city and work their magic to turn them into matured masterpieces. Here, each man tells us what he would put on his ideal cheese platter for six people as summer winds down. 

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“My end-of-summer cheese platter would be like a tour of Europe, with cheeses ranging from the mildest to the strongest, from France and bordering cheesemaking countries. So there would be a hand-ladled raw milk camembert made by Gaslonde, one of the best cheesemakers in Normandy. Then there would be an artisanal raw milk Reblochon and a Rove des Garrigues, which is a fresh goat’s cheese that has a subtle thyme flavour, because the goats roam freely in the Provençal scrublands – it’s a favourite of mine. The famous Tête de Moine from Switzerland has a graphic aspect – the little flower shapes made by the “girolle” cheese-cutter will look beautiful on the platter. And to end this cheese-tasting journey through Europe, an Italian parmesan.”

—Thierry Rochas Dupérier

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“As summer draws to an end, cheeses from the mountain pastures appeal to me the most. So I’d select a Brillât-Savarin, a Saint-Nectaire, a Comté, a Manigodine, a farm-produced Époisses and a slice of Fourme d’Ambert.”

—Jérémy Evrard

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Images: Courtesy of Jérémy Evrard and Thierry Rochas Dupérier

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Valley Views


Simon Field, a Master of Wine and a buyer for Berry Bros & Rudd, discusses the Rhône Valley’s excellent 2015 vintage

Valley Views


Simon Field, a Master of Wine and a buyer for Berry Bros & Rudd, discusses the Rhône Valley’s excellent 2015 vintage

Lifestyle > Food & Drink



Valley Views

June 30, 2017 / by Simon Field

above illustration: ©Berry Bros & Rudd

The wines of 2015 are a gold-plated triumph for both ends of the Rhône Valley. Early plaudits favoured the north and reds over whites, but the empirical evidence has underlined a rare uniformity of excellence. The reds perhaps prevailed, but only because of a climate that was almost too benevolent and which, on occasion, undermined acidity levels (in Viognier, for example). This vintage is a rare coincidence of quality and quantity.

Indeed, despite the relatively small berries and impressively thick skins, the superb finesse of the tannins really marks out this vintage. When asked to compare, vignerons in the south cited 2007 and 2010, while in the north, the most common comparisons were 2009 and 2010, with the consensus praising a style somewhere in the middle. 

For the wines of the south, what one needs to avoid is too much of a good thing – too much sun and the danger of desiccated and sunburnt fruit, with alcohol levels creeping over 15 degrees and natural acidity that’s far too low. Such indulgence was avoided in 2015 as a result of two natural phenomena, both of which are often absent: first, the relatively wet spring, which topped up the water table; and, second, the unusually cool nights in the hottest part of the year, which delayed the process just enough to ensure physiological ripeness and sugar levels that weren’t excessive.

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The heat was actually more pronounced earlier in the summer, with late June and early July being particularly scorching, contributing to an average mean temperature over the total growing season that was higher even than 2003. However, the mitigating factors rehearsed above were sufficiently significant to change the profile of the 2015 vintage, thus ensuring a lengthy and – to borrow a word much in currency with the vignerons when describing 2015 – “easy” season.

Easy is as easy does, and few things are, in reality, that simple in modern winemaking. The philosophy of so-called “minimal intervention” is very hard to achieve, after all – like drawing a perfect circle, free-hand. What looked to be a late year was soon revised towards an early picking date and then, with the relatively mild August, a “normal” harvest date. The early whites were picked in the middle of September and the late grapes, significantly mourvèdre, were all brought in by the end of the first week of October.

It’s a good-to-very-good vintage for whites across the piece and an excellent vintage for reds, with Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage particularly successful in the north. The southern vineyards were uniformly impressive, from the higher sites in Gigondas and Vinsobres through to the Crau plateau of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Very few 2015s actually touched 15 degrees, even down here. Harmony and balance, a Socratic ideal – who could wish for more?

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The Joys of Rosé


Consulting oenologist and wine estate owner Michel Rolland crafts wines for more than 150 wineries in 14 countries. This includes France – where he works with Château l’Évangile, Château Figeac, Château La Conseillante and Château Pavie, to name a few – Italy, Spain, the United States (where his clients include Harlan Estate, Staglin and Screaming Eagle), South Africa, Argentina, Chile, India and China.  

In addition to this, the 10 oenologists working in Rolland’s Pomerol laboratory analyse wines for more than 400 French wine estates.  Just in time for summer, the Bordeaux-based “Flying Winemaker” shares the secrets of rosé.

The Joys of Rosé


Consulting oenologist and wine estate owner Michel Rolland crafts wines for more than 150 wineries in 14 countries. This includes France – where he works with Château l’Évangile, Château Figeac, Château La Conseillante and Château Pavie, to name a few – Italy, Spain, the United States (where his clients include Harlan Estate, Staglin and Screaming Eagle), South Africa, Argentina, Chile, India and China.  

In addition to this, the 10 oenologists working in Rolland’s Pomerol laboratory analyse wines for more than 400 French wine estates.  Just in time for summer, the Bordeaux-based “Flying Winemaker” shares the secrets of rosé.

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

The Joys of Rosé

June 30, 2017 / by Pierre Godeau

Is rosé really the wine of summer? 

Definitely. Rosés are wines for the sun-filled weekends and summer holidays. But people are gradually realising that they’re a pleasure to drink all year round.

Are there different types of rosé? Which varietals are most commonly used?

There are numerous types of rosé. In France, Provence is the best-known region, with varietals like cinsault, rolle, grenache and syrah. But there are also rosés made from pinot, cabernet sauvignon and other types of grapes. 

Are there outstanding rosés in the same way that there are for reds and whites? What are the most famous rosé wines?

The quality of the Provence rosés has improved in the past few years, so they’ve acquired a reputation for excellence. In terms of name recognition, they dominate this market today.

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Are rosés good wines for laying down in a cellar? 

I don’t think rosés are made for that. Even so, everyone has come across a bottle that they had more or less forgotten about – and then greatly enjoyed drinking it. 

How do you choose a rosé? How is a quality rosé recognised?

That’s a difficult question. Rosés aren’t ranked the way grands crus are. You buy a rosé; it’s not that expensive; you drink it and find out if you like it. If you don’t, then you buy a different one next time.

As an oenologist, do you often create rosé wines for the estates you work with? 

Of course – rosés are in fashion, and besides that, I drink them myself. 

What’s special about a Bordeaux rosé and how is it different from a clairet?

Rosés used to be the byproducts of red wine production in Bordeaux. Now rosés are crafted – and they have become very good. Clairet has existed for a long time in Bordeaux – the historical legacy of the English presence in Aquitaine. Clairet de Quinsac is an institution.

Do the Chinese produce rosé? 

They have only just started to; I don’t have any good examples of Chinese rosé. But the varietals and the climate are genuinely favourable to producing rosé. 

What foods does rosé go well with?   

It goes well with almost all cuisines – that’s its great advantage. 

What are your five favourite rosés? 

I’m friends with all of the rosé producers – and I’d rather keep it that way!

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Shake it Up


“I’d like a cheeseburger, large fries and a Cosmo, please”

Shake it Up


“I’d like a cheeseburger, large fries and a Cosmo, please”

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Shake it Up

June 30, 2017 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

In the beloved TV series Sex and the City, protagonist Carrie Bradshaw famously paid tribute to her love of New York City and the Cosmopolitan cocktail. This summer, do her one better and try it yourself – it’s easy to look like a cocktail pro with our picks below. 

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Millefiori Jug, Karma Living

Pour juice or ice water from this pretty jug – it makes your fruit-based cocktails taste that much sweeter. Don’t believe it? Try making a piña colada, blue Hawaiian or mai tai.

Tropical Cocktail Kit, Sunnylife

Bring this colourful cocktail kit to your beach party and you’ll have everything you need to make some festive cocktails for six people: a shaker, six coasters, six watermelon-shaped ice cubes, six umbrellas, six straws, six stirrers and three drink recipes.

Floating Cooler, BigMouth Inc

Wonder how to keep your drinks close-by when you’re in the pool? This pink flamingo floating cooler helps to hold five drinks while you can also store more bottles and cans with ice in the central bucket.

The Shaker, Odeme

Experiment with your recipes using this glossy, gold-toned cocktail shaker – it’ll definitely make your drinks more stylish.

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Cocktail of Choice: The Aviation

2 oz gin liqueur
½ oz Maraschino
½ oz lemon juice
¼ oz crème de violette 

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You Scream, I Scream…
Ice Cream!


Summer is a season many of us love to hate. It’s blisteringly hot and leaves us covered in sweat, but it also lets us indulge our pleasures for the chilly, sweet wonder that is ice cream. Check out some of the coolest spots in town

You Scream, I Scream…
Ice Cream!


Summer is a season many of us love to hate. It’s blisteringly hot and leaves us covered in sweat, but it also lets us indulge our pleasures for the chilly, sweet wonder that is ice cream. Check out some of the coolest spots in town

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

You Scream, I Scream… Ice Cream!

June 30, 2017 / by Wang Yuke

Tezukuri no Mise

Particularly popular with youngsters and with queues a common sight, Tezukuri no Mise is known for its low prices and hefty serving sizes. The scoop is satisfyingly big at no more than HK$20, and the texture and taste are almost as good as premium ice creams, if you aren’t a hyper-critical connoisseur. The Japanese green tea, black sesame and chocolate chip flavours are recommended. You can also venture to try the tofu flavour, which could be an acquired taste for some – but we’d guess you’ll take to this soy milk-like treat. 

Where to eat

Numerous branches, including 11/F, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok


Passion by Gerard Dubois 

You’ll be naturally drawn in by the cabinet display of colourful gelato at Passion by Gerard Dubois. The numerous flavour choices include some rare ones, such as Toblerone chocolate, Snickers candy bar and avocado. For those struggling to choose, the hazelnut and cookie flavours are the go-to options. The former has a strong fragrance of hazelnuts, which tastes natural and not artificial, while the latter will please you with its crunches of Oreo cookie crumbs generously embedded within.  

Where to eat

Numerous branches, including Shop G12, G/F, Lee Garden One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay

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2/3 Dolci

The sea salt caramel ice cream offered by 2/3 Dolci may bring you to the shocking realisation that ice cream can be salty – and that the saltiness makes the ice cream even creamier. The caramel is rich and creamy, while the salty note running through the first bite to the finish intensifies the flavours, making the scoop that much more buttery. You’ll be reminded of lounging on the beach and breathing in the briny air. 

Where to eat

Shop 110, L1, Pacific Place, Admiralty


Yo Mama

If you dread putting extra fat on your waistline but still want a chilly fix, nothing’s better than yoghurt ice cream or frozen yoghurt. You can create your own yoghurt tub by choosing the size, flavours and toppings. Dozens of toppings are available, including fresh fruit slices; colourful embellishments such as gummy bears, fruity poppers and mochi; and crunchy treats such as nuts, candied cereals and chocolate M&Ms. The iced yoghurt is light and refreshing, quenching your thirst as well as your craving for dessert. 

Where to eat

Numerous branches, including Shop 1061, IFC Mall, Podium Level 1, Central


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Detox for Summer


Prepare a detox water bottle according to our tasty recipes – they’re easy to make, deliciously healthy and oh-so photogenic

Detox for Summer


Prepare a detox water bottle according to our tasty recipes – they’re easy to make, deliciously healthy and oh-so photogenic

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Detox for Summer

June 30, 2017 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Instead of drinking plain old water, “detox water” can get you all the good stuff from H2O for your body and a lot more – and it’ll be super-tasty, too. Used as part of your daily regimen or as a method of nutrition replenishment during a detox session, what are you waiting for? But before you jump into it, there’s an unmissable pre-step. Get a beautiful glass bottle or pitcher and you’ll have that much more motivation to stick to your routine. 

Steps

Step 1 – Select the fruit(s).

Recommendations: 

Strong

Lemon/lime
Orange
Grapefruit
Pineapple
Cucumber

Mild

Watermelon
Strawberry
Kiwi

Step 2 – Select the herbs or other side ingredients to add flavour.

Recommendations: 

Mint leaves
Parsley
Cinnamon sticks
Ginger root
Honey
Himalayan salt

Step 3 – Add the fluid(s).

Water

Other recommendations:

Green tea
Coconut water
Apple cider vinegar (diluted with water)

 

Step 4 – Refrigerate.

Refrigerate your pitcher with all the selected ingredients for anywhere from three hours to overnight, depending on how strong you want the flavours to be.

Our Recipes

Pineapple Lime Detox Water

A bowl of pineapple wedges and a lemon cut into wedges
Juice of 2 whole limes
Some fresh parsley leaves
Water 


Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink

 Juice of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of honey
2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar (diluted in water)


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South Asian Treats


Three Indian-inspired recipes based on yoghurt and spices

South Asian Treats


Three Indian-inspired recipes based on yoghurt and spices

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

South Asian Treats

June 30, 2017 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

A great cooling food for the summer, live yoghurt is extremely nutritious and helps keep your gut bacteria healthy. Recent research from Osteoporosis International has also concluded that the habitual consumption of yoghurt could lead to stronger bones. But if you want to try something besides eating directly out of the container, check out our Indian-inspired recipes for some tasty ideas. 

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Raita

This mint and cucumber raita recipe is a classic. Simply mix all the ingredients together; you can eat it on its own, or serve it with breads and various other dishes. 

1 cup natural yoghurt
½ cup cucumber, grated or chopped
3 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons chopped green onions
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of salt (season to taste)


Lassi

A blended drink of yoghurt, milk, fruit and some light spices, the mango cardamom lassi delivers natural sweetness. Mix all the ingredients with a spoon or in a blender to achieve a smoother texture.

1 cup natural yoghurt
1 cup chopped ripe mango
½ cup milk
Pinch of ground cardamom
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
Some ice (optional) 


Chaas

Also known as “Indian buttermilk”, this masala chaas has a stronger taste with various spices added; it’s also good for digestion due to the addition of kala namak (Himalayan black salt). 

1 cup natural yoghurt
¾ teaspoon kala namak (black salt)
¾ teaspoon chaat masala (spice blend)
3 teaspoons fresh mint leaves
2 cups chilled water
1 small green chilli, chopped (optional)


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Summer Gastronomy


With two Michelin stars under his belt, Fabrice Vulin has just taken over as executive chef at top French restaurant The Tasting Room in Macau. He shares his recipe for a summer favourite

Summer Gastronomy


With two Michelin stars under his belt, Fabrice Vulin has just taken over as executive chef at top French restaurant The Tasting Room in Macau. He shares his recipe for a summer favourite

Lifestyle > Food & Drink


 

Summer Cuisine

May 26, 2017 / by Louis-Marie Delmas

What summer ingredients do you use most? 

Courgettes and tomatoes. You can deep-fry flowering courgettes in batter, bake, sauté, purée, chop them in a salad with mint – so many possible combinations. Likewise, there are so many things you can do with tomatoes: mousses, jellies, cold in a salad or cooked. 

What’s today’s recipe? 

Razor clams and cockles. You can serve this as a light first course or before dinner with drinks – it goes well with a glass of rosé, for example.

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Ingredients

Razor clams and cockles on a leaf of soy-lime jelly

 

For the jelly:

20cl sweet soy sauce, 1 unwaxed lime, 2g agar-agar

For the shellfish topping:

1kg cockles, 1kg razor clams

For assembly and garnish:

1 unwaxed orange, 5cl olive oil, 150g coarse salt, a few sprigs of chervil and Thai basil, dill

 

Recipe

To make the jelly

Put the soy sauce, 5cl of water, the zest of the lime and half of its juice in a saucepan. Add the agar-agar. Bring to a boil over low heat, whisking. Pour the hot jelly onto a tray lined with cling film, spreading it to a thickness of about 2mm. Refrigerate. 

To make the shellfish topping

Clean the cockles in several changes of cold water. Heat a pot (no oil) and arrange the cockles in it. Allow them to open naturally, stirring with a spoon. Spread out on a tray, remove the flesh and refrigerate. Do the same with the razor clams, keeping only the firm white flesh. Save 12 shells after cleaning them to remove all grit and sand. 

To assemble

Cut the soy-lime jelly into strips the same size as the razor clam shells and line each shell with a strip of jelly. On each shell, delicately alternate pieces of razor clam meat and cockle meat, covering the shell completely. Grate the orange zest into the olive oil and garnish each assembled razor clam with a few drops. Decorate each one with the sprigs of chervil and basil, and add a generous grinding of pepper.

Dampen the coarse salt with a little water, add a bit of chopped dill and cut out four little round bases (diameter approximately the length of a razor clam shell). Place three of the assembled razor clams on each base. Chill and serve.

A tip from the chef:

Different types of shellfish can be added according to the season: littleneck clams, cherrystone clams, mussels or scallops.

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