Home Sweet Home

Author: Samanta Pong

After being on vacation for two lovely weeks, I am back to my normal routine, a.k.a. work. Only when there is work does one treasures vacation time. At least that is what I tell myself. When I’m traveling, I have the urge to document every food item I see and every bite I take. If a picture says a thousand words, then I need two pictures for every morsel that passes my lips. It is impossible to write down exactly how everything tastes right there and then so I do it from memory; and since reflecting on a holiday is an extension of the joyful time, every mouthful is a joy in my head.

When my flight landed at HKIA, I thought I would crave for a bowl of wonton noodles or a plate of char siu on rice. Surprisingly, I didn’t. Instead, the first dinner I had after I returned from my vacation was at Litoral Restaurante in Macau. Litoral is a popular dining destination for Hong Konger, along with its neighbour, A Lorcha. Good thing we had booked a table because diners with and without a reservation flooded in from 6pm onwards, and there were people waiting by the entrance at 9:30pm when we left.

What I like about Litoral is that the food is consistent; sometimes that is all I ask for. My favourite dish has always been the clams in white wine and garlic sauce. Maybe I have been lucky but the clams are always fresh – plump, sweet and without sand. After the clams were gone, we all dipped the bread into the broth, which is lethal because it’s hard to stop.

I ended my week with a dim sum lunch at Dragon Seal, situated on the 101/F of ICC. To cut to the chase, it’s very expensive. For two people, a few dim sum would set you back a few hundred dollars. Still, I cannot deny the fact that the steamed vegetable dumplings with black truffle were delicious, juicy and crunchy, the black truffle adding just the right amount of aroma to them. Also the steamed rice rolls with mantis shrimps were much better than regular shrimp rice rolls kicked up a few notches.

I seldom go to what I like to call the “dark side”, i.e. Kowloon, but what brought me over there was a talk by Ferran Adrià. As most food connoisseurs know, he is the man behind El Bulli, the most famous restaurant in the world, and also an important pioneer of the molecular gastronomy movement. After closing the restaurant last month, the chef has been busy building a culinary foundation and gastronomic think tank that is scheduled to open in 2014.

Adrià, an animated and passionate speaker who speaks with his hands, head and shoulder, spoke intensely about his creation and what he hopes to achieve with the foundation. It was not easy to digest everything he said. After two hours, this is what I learnt from the chef himself: the foundation provides chefs, scientists and food fanatics and philosophers a ground to interact and create. But more importantly, without funding the foundation is dead. Very insightful indeed.

Until next week, stay cool and be healthy. Let’s hope the air is cleaner next week!