Having left booking to the last minute (for a change... ahem), I was lucky to find a table at a reasonably early hour at the IFC branch of Cuisine Cuisine (Podium 3, Central, HK). The branch at the Mira hotel had been on my radar for a while, but I settled for the IFC one as I did not really feel confortable asking my jet-lagged guest to trek over to the Dark Side on her own. After a quite painful phone conversation with the bookings gal trying to confirm the said booking (do "confirm" and "cancel" sound the same or is my English really that bad dammit !?!), I proceeded to pick up my guest at her hotel and walked into the place with carefully managed expectations. If the booking is already that painful, I thought, what on earth is the service going to be like... I was wrong - random element, she was, this one... All of her colleagues at the restaurant were professional and efficient, and the service was attentive and friendly without being intrusive. As for the food, it was just delicious, and as we (very slightly...) over-ordered, I ended up with a lot of goodies to take home. I will definitely consider returning and/or trying the Mira branch.
|Traditional braised assorted snake soup|
I was tipped-off by a fellow foodie that the Chef at Cuisine Cuisine used to be running the corporate kitchen at Hang Seng bank headquarters, which is reputed around town for excellent food (I can confirm this first- hand), and particularly for "house specialties", like snake soup and Buddha-jumps-over-the-wall. The Cuisine Cuisine version above was absolutely delicious, possibly even better than the one I had at Tim's Kitchen a few weeks ago, as it was a lot meatier in taste and thicker in texture. Obviously this was served with the usual condiments (chopped coriander leaves, chrysanthemum petals, fried crackers and thinly shredded kaffir lime leaves). The soup is served only in portions for 4 people, so I luckily ended up with a lot of take-away :-)
|Honey-glazed barbecued pork|
oh-my-gawd... one of the best char siu I have had (recently or ever, possibly). The meat was tender and moist, with a nice fatty bits and collagen, and very tasty (very high-quality meat, obviously, enhanced by caramelised barbecue flavours), and the honey glaze was delish. The balance between meat and fat was perfect. I think this was possibly even better than the one I had at The Golden Leaf back in July, and which had already set the bar pretty high. Wow...
|Poached fillet of garoupa and bean curd with fish broth in casserole|
Slices of excellent fish, poached, skin-on, mixed with creamy tofu cubes and plenty of mushrooms and greens in a very fragrant and tasty, milky fish broth. Very good.