Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rum Bar, Lobby Lounge, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel - Largest Collection of Rum in the World!

Rum Bar, most rum in the world, hong kong
Rum Bar, Lobby Lounge, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotels

Largest Collection of Rum in the World!Rum Bar, Lobby Lounge, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel

Holding the Guinness World Record for “Bar with the World’s Largest Selection of Commercially Available Rums,” the Lobby Lounge’s Rum Bar is of high interest!

rum in hong kong
Lobby Lounge, Rum Bar
A seat at the bar in the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel is the only place for a snifter of rum or rum based cocktail: conversation with the bartender is essential for getting the best tips and tales in town.

rum bar, marco polo hotel hongkong
Bartender at the Rum Bar
“Known as the drink for pirates, smugglers, inn-keepers, painters, writers, (The Yum List) and Rastas,” over 100 kinds of rum line the shelves, making selection challenging. Overwhelmed by choice, the Connoisseurs Sampler ($298HK) eases our decision presenting four aged rums: Havana Club 7 Years; Pussers 15 years; Rockley Still 12 years; and hubby is ever so proud to see a Venezuelan drop – Santa Teresa 1796, 15 years. The quartet arrives on a tasting placemat describing the characteristics of each. Starting from the mildest right up to the finest, we’re left with a lovely syrupy viscosity in the mouth from the Venezuelan magic.

Rum Bar, most rum in the world, hong kong
Connoisseurs Sampler
While sensible minds might stop at a tasting of four, there’s nothing rational about us with the refined taste of distilled sugar-cane on our lips. Testing my allegiance to Venezuelan gold, is the Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 years from Guatemala ($398). It’s wonderfully aromatic and glides over our tongues all too easily. Hubby claims to remain strong in his fidelity to his motherland, but I can see from the upturned corners of his lips that he’s not 100% sure.

Rum Bar, most rum in the world, hong kong
Ron Zacapa 23 Years
Quickly changing the subject, we move onto a rum based cocktail. Our bartender recommends the Hurricane ($108HK) featuring silver and dark rum, passionfruit and orange juices, lime and Grenadine. We’re happy to see it’s made with fresh fruit and the citrus dominance complements the caramel notes in the spirit.

Rum Bar, most rum in the world, hong kong
Rum Cocktail - The Hurricane
Without a doubt we could spend a good few hours here, but dinner calls and we depart with pleasant thoughts of return.

Reasons to visit: World’s Largest Selection of Commercially Available Rums; Connoisseurs Sampler.

Rum Bar, Lobby Lounge
Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel
Harbour City
Hong Kong
+ 852 2113 0088
+ 852 2113 0808

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Interview with George Diakomichalis, Kalymnos Pastries, Adelaide

chef interview, greek
George Diakomichalis, Kalymnos Pastries, Adelaide

Interview with George Diakomichalis, Kalymnos Pastries, Adelaide

What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I’m a fourth generation pastry chef who has followed the family tradition that my great great grandfather started in 1918 on the island of Kalymnos, Greece.

I have a genuine passion also for cooking savoury traditional Greek dishes. I love to teach people how to prepare and cook both sweet and savoury dishes in order to ensure our traditional Greek cultural dishes stay alive!

What’s the wildest/ craziest / scariest/ funniest most outrageous thing you’ve seen behind the scenes?
Well all I can say here is is… "What happens at Kalymnos Pastries stays in Kalymnos pastries!" LOL

What is the best/ worst part of your job?
The best thing about what I do is that I am in a position to do what I genuinely love and have a passion for. It makes me so happy to give people food that they love to eat and for that moment they can forget their troubles.
To me it’s not a job, it’s not ‘work’ it’s a real passion and I’m making a living by doing what I love to do!

What’s your personal favourite treat at Kalymnos Pastries?
That’s like asking a mother who their favourite child is! I have no favourites: I love them all!

The perfect day off would be…
My perfect day off would be enjoying the company of my family and closest friends around a table of good food and drink in the great outdoors.

A day in the life of a chef is...
... exciting, exhilarating, challenging, satisfying, controlled chaos - all wrapped up in one!

What’s something you would like guests to know about Kalymnos Pastries?
Kalymnos Pastries is where four generations of traditional Greek pastries are made fresh daily. Walking into the shop is like you are visiting one of your close family or friends. We genuinely pride ourselves on our customer service and we treat all our customers like they are one of the family.

What is your favourite food and wine pairing?
All rustic traditional Greek food and a good home made red wine is a great pairing.
As for the sweet pastries, a great white wine goes down well.

What is your view on the Adelaide food scene?
The population in Adelaide is over 1.2 million and our food can live up to all fine food worldwide. There is a restaurant or café to suit all here, and I feel we are truly blessed to have such a range of multicultural great quality food.

What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
I am heading into a busy first half of 2015! I will be filming more episodes in January and February for the television cooking show Out Of The Blue and It’s All Greek To Me. I’ll be heading back to Malaysia for my collaboration with the Prince Hotel to do another greek food festival there. In June of 2015 I’ll be heading to Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia for their Greek Festival to do some more cooking demonstrations. And of course June/ July of 2015 for another Kalymnos Pastries Food and Hospitality Tour in the Greek Islands!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Azure Restaurant Slash Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Azure Restaurant Slash Bar

Azure Restaurant Slash Bar, Rooftop Bar in Lan Kwai Fong

Positioned on a rooftop at the top of the happening party district of Lan Kwai Fong, Azure Restaurant Slash Bar renders a fashionable place to dine in the evenings, and a hip spot to linger longer into the night soaking up the cityscape views and bopping to the cool hip hop and R&B sounds of the DJ.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Bar and Stairway Leading to Azure
Sunset hosts a crowd from 5:30pm to 8pm for specially discounted drinks, with some of the stream dispersing and others staying onto dine, and yet more arriving for the later night club feel.  Around 10pm tables are shifted aside, DJ console fires up and the dance floor is revealed.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Outdoor Patio
Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Rooftop Bar
Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
View from Azure Restaurant and Bar
The top floors of Hotel LKF by Rhombus house the stylish restaurant slash bar. Glass walls frame glittery vistas, and outdoor patios encourage guests to immerse themselves in the cooler evening air. The restaurant seats approximately 70 people, and is an intimate space rousing an elegant gentleman’s club feel. Masculine leather lounges and metallic shades of bronze and copper, lead up to the centerpiece, the bar. Backed by a towering wall of shiny bottles and lustrous design pieces, the bar acts as a grand stage and hub of activity.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
The largest selection of rose wine in LKF district, and two whole pages of original signature cocktails(HK$130) are the must tries on the drink list.

We kick off the night with a Crystal Jade and Hong Kong Mule. Grey Goose vodka, ginger liquor, blue Curacao, mint, mango juice and a dash of lemon, make a refreshing burst in the mouth, almost equivalent to that of a breath freshener. This is the one to down before chatting up that handsome guy at the end of the bar. The latter, has a dark rum base of both Myers and Havana Bay labels. Fresh strawberries are blended with ginger, crème de fraise and lemon juice. Topped up with ginger ale, it too is a thirst-quenching concoction.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Signature Cocktails
A breadbasket, holding soft rolls and grissini sticks, arrives while we’re considering the menu. Tiny rolls of garlic, sun-dried tomato and mushroom butters are for the spreading.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Warm Bread
Executive chef Joe Chu has put together an internationally themed menu with some favourites unable to be removed from the list, but there’s a monthly changing menu too. November celebrates men’s health, while December will have a chocolate motif.

We order from the a la carte list menu: seafood grabbing our attention as a light beginning. Sea Scallops (HK$198) are recommended by our waiter as popular amongst repeat customers. Soft and fleshy scallops are pan seared ‘til golden, and mated with slow cooked pork belly and apple. It gets the table’s approval as an upbeat start.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Sea Scallops

Soup blends Morel Mushrooms (HK$168) into a full-bodied rich thick broth. A wild mushroom relish provides additional intensity of flavour and white truffle oil takes our taste buds to the peak of happiness.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Morel Mushroom Soup
Following the rosé trend, we opt for a Crazy Tropez (HK$98 per glass) from Saint Tropez, France. Resembling a flushed pink dress, it’s dainty in the glass, and slides down our throats all too easily.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Crazy Tropez Rosé
Lobster Linguine (small HK$288) sees al dente strings of pasta tossed in a cream and lobster bisque sauce, and crowned with shaved Parmesan cheese and bitter rocket leaves. A butterflied tail and claw of half a lobster add a lavish ‘garnish.’ While a generous portion, hubby clearly has a fondness for this dish and it seems to disappear before I’ve gone back in for a second forkful.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Lobster Linguine
Speaking of the devil, he insists on a steak (as he’s “worked out today”), so the Wagyu Beef Tenderloin of 8oz (HK$688) is ordered. It’s cooked medium with the edges charred and the middle pink and fleshy. A red wine sauce brings out the flavour of the beef. Roasted Sweet Potato and Grilled Italian Veggies are our side dish choices (steaks come with two sides and one sauce), and validate an excellent decision. Fabulous on all accounts: they’re perfectly cooked and supply mouthfuls of delicious savoury flavour.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Wagyu Beef Tenderloin
I do my best to counteract hubby’s carnivorous tendencies with a vegetarian option. Our waiter’s eyes twinkle when I ask for a recommendation and he suggests Carrot Madness (HK$138). He tells it’s a well-received item and is pretty to boot. Essentially ratatouille is stuffed in a carrot shaped dough and presented with an organic green salad. Chocolate soil bases the two fat long ‘carrots,’ a sticky balsamic vinegar and olive oil provide dipping sauces, and a cheeky terracotta pot of leaves sides the wooden chopping board. The cacao base goes all melty in the mouth lifting the overall profile with a brazenly sweet surprise. Phenomenal! Please order this dish.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Carrot Madness
Not only does the item live up to it’s reputation of being handsome and tasty, but too I read on the menu that the restaurant has partnered with Green Monday to promote healthy and environmentally friendly living by encouraging meat-free diets on Mondays. It’s an effective way to reduce our carbon footprint and slow down global warming, as well as being a more nourishing choice for our bodies. This dish is so good though – it’s worthy of an order any day of the week. Following on with this ‘do-good’ action, all food remaining in the restaurant at the end of each day is packed and distributed around the island to feed the poor. We give Azure Restaurant Slash Bar a thumbs-up for the socially responsible efforts.

Onto dessert… Chocolate Trio (HK$98) is a chef special, showcasing milk chocolate mousse, dark chocolate and Amaretto terrine, and a white chocolate sorbet. It’s a real treat, but our final evening’s indulgence steals the show.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Chocolate Trio
Subzero Liquid Nitro Ice Cream (HK$168) is prepared tableside in swirls of cooling mist. Chef mixes his signature flavour of rosewater and raspberry, certifying a light, yet decadent finish. The ending is gorgeous – light, sweet refreshing and most definitely entertaining.

Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Chef Making Dessert
Azure Restaurant and Bar, Hotel LKF by Rhombus, Hong Kong
Subzero Liquid Nitro Ice Cream
Reasons to visit: city views, stylish and contemporary ambience, large selection of rosé wines by the glass, Wagyu Beef Tenderloin, Carrot Madness (MUST), Subzero Liquid Nitro Ice Cream.

Azure Restaurant Slash Bar
Hotel LKF by Rhombus
33 Wyndham Street
Lan Kwai Fong
Hong Kong
+ 852 3518 9688

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Shopping Done! Wine Talk - Wine Delivery, Malaysia

Christmas Shopping, Wine Talk, Wine Delivery
Wine Delivery from Wine Talk

Christmas Gifts from Wine Talk

Say goodbye to the woes of Christmas shopping for just the right prezzie, and while you’re at it, throw out the burden of finding, selecting and transporting festive booze for your celebrations too. Wine Talk, Malaysia’s premier online wine delivery service, makes the end of the year much more fun with ready made gift packs and a cheery assortment of drops that are bound to augment your merrymaking.

Liking to plan ahead, The Yum List signed up for a stock of goodies in preparation for our own revelry, and gifts for our beloved family and friends. What we LOVE about Wine Talk shopping is; it’s all online, every wine is preselected and tasted by a professional sommelier, there’s no traffic woes to and from the store, no wondering about the quality of the vintage or how it has been stored, no raised eyebrows at the checkout by the cashier over the load I’m purchasing, no struggling with heavy boxes to and from my car, no trying to pry recommendations from an unwilling shop attendant - basically no fuss!

First step.         I sign into Wine Talk online.
Second step.    I click on what grabs my attention.
Third step.       I confirm payment.

My entire payload arrives in three working days, and all I‘ve had to do is three minutes of clicking online. My end of year gift assignment is complete. Our house will be abundantly stocked for the festive months, and I’ve gotten out of the ‘silly season,’ of ridiculously torturous shopping experiences, unscathed.

Now three days is for regular delivery service and perfect for those, who like me, can think more than a day in advance. For types like hubby however, they fully understand the need for Emergency Wine on occasion, so the Wine Talk crew have teamed up with Room Service to provide a selected range of drops direct to your doorstep in less than an hour! (Available daily between 11am and 11pm).

Besides great prices on bubbly, such as Moet and Chandon at RM170 a bottle, some very fine wine including the Ace of Spades at RM1280 a bottle, and a wide array of affordable and perfectly quaffable wines, we signed up to try a few of the latest arrivals.

Hailing from a winery using sustainable practices we grab an introductory price on the Domaine Maby ‘La Fermade’ Lirac Red (RM92), which has received David’s 5 Star rating.  Known at home as a GMS – Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah- this Rhone blend promises a dense, full palate with stratums of fruit and anis, and a lengthy finish.

Christmas Shopping, Wine Talk, Wine Delivery
Domaine Maby ‘La Fermade’ Lirac Red
Chinon ‘Les Pensees de Pallus’ 2011 (RM100) comes free of delivery charge with a purchase of two or more bottles. One of Wine Club’s favourite wines, this full bodied red, is aged in oak for over 12 months and then another six in tanks, producing a dry wine perfect for partnering with roast beef or a cold-cut and cheese party platter.

Christmas Shopping, Wine Talk, Wine Delivery
Chinon ‘Les Pensees de Pallus’ 2011 
Negroamaro Salento 2013 (RM63) makes a lovely festive drop with its bright pink hue. Full bodied, dry and crisp, with a persisting fruitiness in the finish, this rosé slides down easily on its own, but too plays nicely with salad and oily fish such as salmon.
Christmas Shopping, Wine Talk, Wine Delivery
Negroamaro Salento 2013 
From Mendoza Argentina, a 2011 Tucumen Chardonnay (RM72) smells of a spring garden with white flower and honey aromas. Pasta, chicken, cream sauces and light dressings suit this dry, medium bodied drop.

Christmas Shopping, Wine Talk, Wine Delivery
2011 Tucumen Chardonnay  
Free gift boxes, complimentary delivery and a variety of goodies such as bottle openers are given away throughout the year. We think it’s a fantastic service, and so will you.

Christmas Shopping, Wine Talk, Wine Delivery
Gift Boxes
Reasons to purchase: no fuss gifts that will truly be appreciated; easy shopping for end of year festivities.

Wine Talk with Room Service
1300 88 9788