Why don’t corporate websites publish their opening hours?
This morning rogue #1 requested clementines. She said: “I like the ones that are easy to peel and without seeds. Can you go to Marks and Spencer to buy them.”
Geez. Ok so rather than disappoint a four year old, I checked that the local fruit shops didn’t have anything similar (ok they had the Japanese Mikan version at twice the price) and hopped on a bus to the nearest M&S food hall.
I recalled that opening hours were later on Sundays and public holidays than the rest of the week but I couldn’t remember if it was 8am instead of 9am or 10am instead of 9am.
I looked up their website only to find this.
Hmm. Ok address yes but no opening hours. Urgh. Am I going to wait around for an hour or get there just on time?
It was 8.45am on a Sunday morning and I waited 17 minutes. The auto glass doors rolled open for me at 9.02am and two other waiting women (who arrived just after I did).
I picked up 3 packs of easy peelers and 1 pack of Satsumas at 49 HKD each. Three freshly baked croissants at 13 HKD each.
The clementines were a hit with the kids on our hike, I distributed them at the summit and the wonderful perfumed scent of small citrus fruits filled the air.
So now you know when the opening hours are for M&S in Queens Road East..!
After promising to have lunch together for at least 4 months, my friend PB and I finally agreed on a date.
“What are we having?” asked PB, “I can have anything.”
Since we went to Samsen on our last date, I thought we should try something new.
“A few options… new Thai place, new Japanese place, burger joint, fish n chip joint…”….”Pick one”.
Japanese it was. Full disclosure to her that I’d never been and was curious to check it out.
It’s one of these hole in the wall restaurants that does not make any effort to welcome you. The window panes are frosted so you can’t peer in, the menus are written in chinese (only an issue if you can’t read it) -and most of it is sushi or skewer based- but the restaurant goes through the effort of having an English name printed on the signboard. It’s called Silver House Japanese Restaurant (首庫居日本料理).
I remember seeing it on the launch day when a row of flowers lined the street in front of the restaurant and people stood on the pavement looking in. I thought it was all a bit odd as staff and presumably owners brought in large plastic bags of packed food and they sort of stood around consuming it. Shouldn’t a launch party have a bit more organisation to it than that? Anyway.
We got there promptly at noon when the restaurant had just opened and was completely empty. The waitress presented us with a lunch menu consisting of about 8 different sets and told us that the a -la-carte sushi and skewers wee only available for dinner.
We settled on sharing a quick seared salmon sushi bowl and an eel bowl.
First came the salad, a small but tasty portion, I forgot to take a photo.
Next came a simple miso soup.
Then the eel bowl arrived.
The eel tasted fine with the teriyaki sauce but the texture was a tad soft.
This salmon bowl was nicely done. I could definitely have this again.
Dessert finals, a small fruit palate cleanser. The melon was ripe, succulent and sweet. The grapes weren’t bad, but they definitely weren’t japanese 😉
The salmon set was $128 and the eel bowl was $88, very reasonable lunchtime prices.
The restaurant was full to maximum capacity when we left. Some fashionable types, some office types and some singles looking to tuck in alongside their mobile phone.
5 Nov 2017: I was amazed to see that after a whole year of non starting, the vegetarian place Soul Food was getting a new signboard put up today. Apparently the vegetarian concept was not going to work (taste the veg place round the corner, it’s not very good in my opinion) and the management has now decided on New Life- Thai cuisine instead. Hmm.
I think this wall needs NEW PAINT.
The guy was still in process of taping the NEW SIGN on the corner.
Let’s see whether 2018 will be a time for them to finally launch and if the New Managers can make it a success.
Read this post to see what it was supposed to be.
Update 13th November: Looks like this sign was not up to standard and taken down again…
It was Friday night and we didn’t want to head out for dinner. My in-laws were here and we couldn’t decide what to eat. No surprise when #1 jumped and whooped for joy when pizza was put forward as a suggestion.
Pizza Express, unsurprisingly, was full. The table availability only started at 9pm. Perfect! A chance to try something new.
I remember seeing this little pizza place with funky lettering called Jacomax on the junction of Hennessy and Luard, a very bold location. The exterior was sort of dark and it didn’t look that welcoming but I had a look at the menu when it first opened and it looked like a very traditional pizza parlour with all the conventions.
So off we went to order pizza!
Some photos of the quirky interior decor .
Small person was mesmerised by this Star Wars infused painting. “What’s the stormtrooper doing?” This painting which looks rather grand scenic style was quite unexpected and a nice touch. I asked the lady waitress where they got it but all she knew was that her boss chose it.
We left with 3 pizzas. A 13″ magherita for small person, a 13″ Hawaiian and tuna half half and a large 20″ pizza salami and mushroom half half.
We lugged the boxes home and ate with so much relish that I forgot to take a photo of them. Well, my hands were full of pizza. 🙂
Click here for Jacomax branches, opening hours, telephone numbers and location.
Derek chose a beautiful autumn afternoon to launch his newly renovated shop selling imported meats and a few new accompanying products. He’s retained the same brand name Foodies Gourmet.
The space is a little smaller but he’s somehow managed to pack more into the fridges.
He had a wonderful spread of canapés which included German sausages, some caviar on a small vol-Au-vent, roast suckling pig, steamed chicken, smoked salmon on crackers and figs with various deli hams. Fresh juices quenched the thirst and made all the canapés taste better. Thanks for the delicious snacks Derek!
Derek is moving towards a delicatessen style of shop, he’s got the dried goods and some nice meats in cans and jars. The shop has a false wall behind it where their back kitchen sits. It’s too bad that we can’t see the sink and cutting table anymore, I rather enjoyed watching the sushi master (Derek) prep the salmon and wash his knife and boards… just gives you confidence in the cleanliness. Oh well.
I forgot to take photos of the canapés, but here are the meats and accompaniments he sells in his shop.
On the right as you enter are the dried goods.
On the left, he’s filled it wall to wall with freezers.
Then he’s got a small chest type freezer for the carbs.
And of course the chilled meats section where you can buy top grade Japanese beef, New Zealand lamb and Norwegian salmon.
Derek is super helpful and will marinade your meat for you with advanced notice, so that all you have to do is bung it in the oven or pan fry it to perfection.
He’s taking orders for his specialty, baby turkey for thanksgiving or Christmas. It takes 10 days advanced notice for best results. He’ll defrost it thoroughly and marinade it with his special seasoning and heat seal it all in a bag for you to take home.
I bought one last year, it fed 5 people and was perfect in the oven with Derek’s instructions. Tasty, tender and thoroughly recommended.
This Thai casual style eatery is NOT kid friendly. Do not bring your toddlers or babies, there are no high chairs (bar chairs), no kiddy utensils and no kids menu. So you gotta go alone or on a date!
Note: it’s open Mon-Sat lunch 12 noon to about 2.30pm then dinner 6-10pm. Shut on Sundays.
We have done takeaway from Samsen several times, all delightful eating even out of cardboard boxes. The only dishes Samsen doesn’t allow takeout for are their noodle soups or “boat noodles”.
One day last week, I found myself liberated and alone for lunch. I gleefully took myself to Samsen at 12 noon and promptly got seated at the bar counter. Perfect.
There are hooks thoughtfully placed beneath the counter to hang your bag (love restaurants that do this) and I had a great view of the working kitchen which always helps to manage time and expectations.
It was a boiling hot day. The Thai iced tea was perfectly shaved and sweetened with just the right kick of lime acidity. It was a pleasure I sought to extend by drinking it very slowly.
My Wagyu beef boat noodles arrived. Oooh first….inhale the aromas. Then follow up with a taste of the soup. Be careful not to slurp it all down. The Wagyu beef was super tender and the beef balls chewy. The noodles were done just right, smooth texture with a good touch of elasticity.
The bowl looked small but by the time I got to the end of the broth I felt strangely satiated.
No dessert for me today but definitely next time.
Samsen requires no introduction given its high profile chef and nightly queues for dinner. It’s a thumbs up from me, a welcome addition to the Wanchai dining scene.
I’m already craving the next visit.
Digging beneath the dirt… To find the good and the gritty