Browsing: Food & Travel

London House – Gordon Ramsay, Hong Kong

September22

When I heard that a friend of ours had recently dined at one of ordon Ramsay’s restaurants (in Hong Kong, no less) I asked if he could be a guest blogger in this space. He and his wife include their favourite restaurant suggestions in their annual Christmas letter, so I was pretty sure that he was up to the task. He apologised for his photos as he didn’t know about my request at the time he dined. I thought that it would be fun for you to get a glimpse inside hell’s kitchen.

 

London House is located in the trendy area near the Shangri-La in Kowloon, not far from the ferry terminals and Nathan Rd.

I was an accidental diner in Mr. Ramsay’s restaurant. The previous night, a German supplier, friend and myself had gone to Brotziet, a German pub style restaurant to watch the seemingly unlucky Stuttgart Football club out play and out chance a Schalke club that made the most of its chances and defeat the home team by a score of 1-0. A discouraged group we were, but having only had beer that night and having seen much of the food that came out of the kitchen, I endeavored to eat a meal there, perhaps to make up for the lack of success the previous day.

Mody Rd. is lined with two storied restaurants, where the main floors typically have walk out patio style eating areas. As a result, you can walk down the sidewalk and feel as though you are walking through each restaurant as you go. This favours the first few restaurants on the road as most of the foot traffic arrives from the subway and the Shangri-La Hotel. I happened to pick-up the menu for the London House as I walked past, not even realizing that it was Mr. Ramsay’s, and it looked interesting (my general rule is to not eat twice in the same place while in Hong Kong – so this fit), so I decided to make a quick change of plans and sit down.

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The menu in the bar where I ate was rather uncomplicated. The appetizer list included what you would find in many pubs today, with a few seafood options, wings and some tapas style items. I ordered the Onion and Cider soup with Gruyere cheese. This is not something I typically order, but I certainly didn’t regret it. I quite like these types of soup and the cheese and cider flavor was excellent.

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For my main course, I ordered what seemed like the right thing to order for a London style pub in the harbor of a former British colony – fish and chips. It came with three large pieces of battered fish, a large portion of crispy French fries, homemade tarter sauce, and a homemade crushed pea side. The fish was quite tender and not too heavily battered. As with the soup, the portion size left little doubt that you were only going to need to eat in one place in order to have a full stomach. To those of us in Canada, this may seem somewhat redundant, but be assured this is not always the case in Hong Kong. The rest of the menu featured a few sandwich options, salads and a several mains consisting of a variety of meats.

For a beverage, I ordered an Orchard Cider, something that added a nice compliment to my meal and dessert for after it.

Overall I quite enjoyed the experience. The meal was pricey by Canadian Standards – about $90CDN – but in line with most of restaurants in this area. I was fortunate to get a seat at the bar as reservations are needed to get a table (the lounge/patio is first come first serve, but quite busy).

One final thought. This restaurant is located about a 5 min cab ride from the Ozone, the highest bar in the world. It is at the top of the Ritz Carlton. On a clear night, I would highly recommend this open air rooftop patio on the top of the tallest building in Hong Kong. 116 stories up.

Kath’s quote: “I don’t like looking back. I’m always constantly looking forward. I’m not the one to sort of sit and cry over spilt milk. I’m too busy looking for the next cow.”-Gordon Ramsay

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Isla Mujeres 2015-Day 2

September15

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We had a wonderful sleep and set up our chairs to watch our favourite show-“Sunrise on Isla”.

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As much as we love every moment of every day spent on Isla, our quiet mornings, sitting shoulder to shoulder with our coffee mugs are magical.

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The reflected light on our “neighbour’s” house.

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The sea was golden on this morning.

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I could just sit in this place all day long but D loves to get on with his day and I know that these chairs are always waiting at home for me.

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We set off to Centro via the seawall for breakfast at Alexia & Geovanny’s . At fist we met our friend Jean who walks the seawall and then airport strip daily. Passing the Roca Mar we ran into V & D (our Grandbaby’s “other” Grandparents) at the Roca Mar as well as friends Jan & Bruce, Doris &, Vince and we were introduced to John & Faith whom I had heard about for a number of years. They were dining at La Cazuela M & Js along with owner Julie. The latter is also the originator and curator of Isla Mujeres.net the very first Isla website I ever visited, chatting on the former message board and meeting many of my Isla friends. I love having breakfast at La Cazuela M & J’s and would dine there more often if we stayed in Centro.

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Our first stop after breakfast was to the local market (right next door to the Loncherias) for limes and cilantro. For some reason the Super Mercado next to the square didn’t have either but we were happy to have the excuse to enjoy the beautiful produce displayed there. I am sure that you, like us has a favourite market stall. This is ours and it always has everything we need. We particularly enjoy his freshly squeezed juices.

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The morning was warm and we had done a lot of walking, so we headed down to Playa Norte for a dip. No wonder this beach is ranked one of the best in the world. We can’t believe that we are blessed to continue to return to it each and every year.

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We walked through Centro and along Hidalgo to see who and what had changed since our previous visit. We stopped for coconut & lime popsicles at our favourite liquado place before we hopped a cab home with our groceries.

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D didn’t stay put for long. He was anxious to check out the condition of the tennis courts in Colonias as he had brought along his racquet. I was excited to check out my prized beach combing spots so I grabbed my sturdy waterproof sandals and scrambled down over the coral and rocks. Pictured above was my first day’s haul.

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When I climbed back home, D was already settled into our hammock.

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Later that day, we once again made the walk into town, picking up V & D en route and then to fetch Brother #3 and his wife.  Both couples have been loving their time on Isla, almost as long as D and I. Our 1st stop was the 2nd floor of Jax for sunset and a bucket of Caronas. Our 2nd stop was to Restaurant Abuelos for garlic fish and coconut shrimp. Unfortunately D was still not feeling well and needed air even before he had taken a single bite. We packaged supper up and grabbed a cab home.

Spending the rest of the evening back at Luna D’Miel was not a hardship in the least. We spent our time under the stars by the crashing ocean and I indulged in a glass of wine. We were optimistic that D would soon be feeling better.

Kath’s quote: Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” –Confucius

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

Loncheria Alexia y Geovanny, Isla Mujeres

September10

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The loncherias are well known in Centro as delicious and affordable places to get breakfast and lunch. Over the years we have enjoyed exceptional and economical fare at all four of the kiosks (there are many references to them on this blog-here is just one: http://foodmusings.ca/isla-mujeres/isla-mujeres-day-10/) but we return most often to Alexia & Geovanny’s (Av. Guerrero) which is the first stall on the west end, directly across from Las Palmas Hotel.

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D chose the Eggs Ranchero. He enjoys the rich yolks of Mexican eggs offset by the slightly spicy ranchero sauce. He likes to scoop up his breakfast with a freshly made tortilla.  We are always surprised to see that the eggs on Isla Mujeres do not require refrigeration. Have you encountered this in Mexico too?

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I selected Geovanny’s Omelet with mushrooms and cheese. Although I am accustomed to enjoying my eggs with hash browns and toast, the taste and texture with salsa and rice was perfect and less filling than the traditional manner.

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I am always impressed that so much amazing food comes out of these simple loncheria kitchens. When I asked if I could take their picture, they quickly agreed and posed with pride. I love the hard-working islanders. They have from scratch cooking down to an art.

We can also highly recommend their garlic fish, natural fried fish and breaded fish. Everything is affordably priced.

Kath’s quote: “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”  –Ruth Reichl

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

Isla Mujeres 2015-Arrival Day

September8

A successful arrival in Cancun means navigating through the airport, meeting the shuttle and being dropped of at the ferry terminal as soon as possible. On this day we touched down at 11:20 and caught the 1 pm ferry.

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Although tired and pretty pasty looking, we were happy travelers. The ferry ride over is always the most exciting time of the journey for me.

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I love the comings and goings of the Isla ferries. Sometimes I make the crossing, just because.

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It is this particular sight that I am enthralled with-the impossible turquoise of the sea.

Although we have made the trek down the airport strip dragging our luggage on previous occasions, on this day we grabbed a cab and dropped off our bags at Luna d’ Miel. As always, everything was in perfect order in anticipation of our arrival. Isabel has trained her small staff well and the little hotel is always a pleasure to stay at.

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We then headed right back into Centro to purchase boneless ribs from Tino’s (Blog post), milk for coffee, manchego cheese, lime mayo, cervesas and wine. We considered ourselves all set. It was busy in Centro.

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But the lovely islanders were not too busy to welcome us back to their paradise.

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One of the many things that I love about staying at Luna D’ Miel is our vantage for sunset. We wondered if it might possibly be a nice evening for one.

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We were not disappointed! The sunset was spectacular and we were reminded anew of the beauty of the island.

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D had brought a very bad head cold with him, so we intentionally laid low that first evening. Our cozy bedroom invited us home.

I have recently been in touch with Isabel the owner and manager of Luna d’ Miel. She still has openings for the 2015-2016 season. Contact her at this address infolunadmiel@yahoo.com.mx.

Kath’s quote: “She would be half a planet away, floating in a turquoise sea, dancing by moonlight to flamenco guitar.” -Janet Fitch

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Tino’s aka “The Rib Man”, Isla Mujeres

September4

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September is upon us and although it does not feel as if summer is not coming to an end any time soon (there was a heat warning today), I am settling into a new routine. I am so excited to begin my numerous posts about the restaurants of Isla Mujeres, commencing with this long time favourite of ours, which happened to be the first place we got food during our most last jaunt in spring of 2015.

Over the years we have enjoyed Tino’s on numerous occasions and I even have a blog post entitled: “Pigging Out in Isla Mujeres” http://foodmusings.ca/isla-mujeres/pigging-out-in-isla-mujeres/ written by Sister#3.

We were barely off the ferry, when we hightailed it to Tino’s for a mess of ribs. Actually we now order the boneless pork slabs that Tino barbeques on an open flame each weekend. When you see this smiling oinker above and the fence below, you know that you’ve arrived at the right place.

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Travellers, gringos and locals alike line up for a half or full kilo of ribs-bone in or out and grilled chicken.

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Here is the man himself: cheerfully and methodically portioning out the orders and taking care of the grill himself. He’s been known to sing and dance back there on occasion too. And oh my goodness, can he cook up some good ribs!

Kath’s quote: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” ― George Bernard Shaw

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

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