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Saturday, May 20, 2023

Hong Kong Weekend Updates

This weekend I tried out the pool on the rooftop and found it to be really nice.  It's completely outside so open based on the weather, thankfully Saturday was free from rain.  I swam for an hour and enjoyed some time reading on the lounges but it started to get really hot, in the mid-80's and Maryland is still in the low 70's so I'm not used to the heat yet.  After the pool I found the ladies locker room and it was so amazing, they have an experience shower where you can choose rainfall, tropical, etc.  I picked tropical and the shower nozzle is located super high so it really feels like you are standing under a water fall.  It was so cool. 

I had lunch at Spasso where I had a fairly boring piece of Salmon, but the dessert was amazing.  The menu mentioned a 15 wait and with nothing pressing to do, I didn't mind waiting.  It was a mini chocolate lava cake, with a scoop of Espresso 26 ice cream, one scoop of chocolate pudding, and a few raspberries for decoration.  I'll upload a photo when I get back, for some reason I can't seem to transfer any right now.

After lunch I got a coffee and walked around a bit but didn't really find anything interesting and it was too hot to go far.  I probably should have gone somewhere as I got quite bored in my room and tired from the morning swim and previous day arm workout.

For supper I went to Outback Steakhouse for Toowoomba pasta.  It was a bitter disappointment.  I got this dish as far back as when my husband and I lived in California in 2002-03.  It's supposed to have little crawfish and be spicy.  After awhile, I could only find this dish in HK as they stopped selling it in the US so I'd look forward to it when coming here.  It was basically plain fettuccini alfredo with five shrimp.  Very boring, not at all what I've remembered and gotten in HK many times.  The brown bread was also not the right taste.  I barely ate any of it and it gave me indigestion.  

Friday, May 19, 2023

Pablo - A Hong Kong Mexican Restaurant

Pablo, a Mexican restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui building.  On Google maps there is no star rating, is it because it’s too new?  Or because Google is showing 4* and higher options and this is no 4 star establishment.

The d├ęcor is nice, the service deplorable. 

I came with my creative team and we decided to order from the set menu.  The first dish was either salad, pumpkin soup or something I didn’t recognize, and since I didn’t want soup or salad I went with the surprise.  It had raw fish over a spicy mix of something purporting to be salsa and bits of avocado.  I wasn’t in the mood for raw fish, or I’d have gone with a sushi restaurant which might be more trustworthy since in the their business of keeping raw fish fresh.  The waiter didn’t even ask what was wrong, he simply scooped up our first course without comment.  

After the first course was cleared, the waiter came back to clarify that I'd asked for grilled chicken with my bowl.  He obviously hadn't put my order in yet, or correctly, because he came out a moment later with the my two colleague's meals, something my boss always says is terrible etiquette for a restaurant to bring meals out separately.

The second course for me was green rice, black beans, avocado, and grilled chicken.  I thought it was pretty good and made up for the bizarre first course.  Unfortunately, my colleague was disappointed in his three tiny tacos and left hungry.

No chips were served.  Complementary chips and salsa are so part of the Mexican restaurant culture that this stood out as a very odd thing.  In Texas, both are even served with breakfast!

I ran out of water mid-meal, it was low when the second course was served but no one bothered to refill.  I desperately tried to signal our waiter, he looked right at me and ran away!  Even my co-worker was puzzled, why did that guy run off.  Much later we see him come out with a birthday item for the table near us, he’s so caught up in the celebration that he couldn’t be bothered with our needs.  I waved at him every time he bobbed into view and he finally sent a co-worker to see what we needed who promptly refilled our waters.

Dessert was served, one churro.  Just one!  Earlier my colleague had suggested we split dessert, so I casually broke it in half and ate 4 inches of churro.  What an epic failure of a restaurant.

Just in case I was too harsh, I went back the next day, by myself, and got the soup, same bowl but with pork and one churro.  I couldn’t eat the soup, it was weird.  This time a different waiter expressed concern.  The bowl was disappointing because it wasn’t grilled pork, it was fried pork fat!  Ewwww.  So I ate the beans, rice and avocado, then had my one churro. 


Thursday, May 18, 2023

Ruth Chris Steakhouse - how many ways can I say I love you

If you are feeling a tiny bit homesick for traditional American cooking and want the servers to make a huge fuss over you, go to Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Kowloon, HK.  I've been there two times this week and I can't wait to go back.

The first time was my first evening here, and I was quite tired.  I only ordered a spinach salad and crab cakes, I told them upfront I was only getting salad and appetizer.  They didn't care, they still fussed over me and made sure I had everything I needed.

The 2nd time I went I was feeling better so I had mac and cheese as an appetizer (comfort food) and the ahi tuna stack. Too be honest, the tuna stack was not as good as I've had it before, but they are so sweet and nice that it really didn't bother me.  

I really can't say enough good things about the service, they are genuinely nice people and take the best care of you no matter what you are ordering.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Back to Hong Kong

It has been 4 years and 3 months since my last trip - the longest stretch in between trips in my entire 23 years of coming here.  Last trip was January 2019, that year rioters took over HK streets fighting for human rights.  Then at the end of 2019 Covid spread and shut down HK for almost 3 years to visitors.  My bosses first trip back was October 2022 when they still had the mask mandates and required testing in place.  I'm thankful those have been lifted.

So much has changed.  The war between Russia and Ukraine means we can no longer fly over Russia.  Instead we fly from the east coast to west and leave out of San Francisco, this adds several hours to an already long trip.

The hotel where I've stayed at for 15 years, has dropped many of it's luxuries.  No mini bar, no free cell phone to walk around with, and no ordering breakfast for dine in room service (I'm still confused by this one and it was one of my favorites), seating throughout the hotel has been removed to discourage people from sitting around and presumably spreading germs.  They've removed the night time menu dining options and I feel like the menu has been severely reduced to limit requests for room service.  I don't believe they do downturn service anymore.  

At least Ruth Chris Steak house is still here!  

Thursday, May 04, 2023

May the Fourth Be With You!

Star Wars day was pretty epic this year.  The kids got really involved and helped set up the toy display along with making some of the foods.

This year it fell on a Thursday, which is challenging because we had gymnastics, but at least there was no school the next day so kids could stay up late and watch a show.  Currently we're watching Obi Wan Kenobi.

A few days prior to the holiday, the kids made tie fighter cookies.  They've gotten really good at making these.

While they were in school I made Han Solo in carbonate.  Next year I think I'll use purple jello in the same pan.

While we were at Gymnastics, Charlotte who was feeling under the weather, helped make Droid Balls (popcorn with m&m's which the kids helped sort by color earlier in the week).

Earlier in the week I made Chewie Chews (Ginger Cookies).

Dad made this awesome Death Star pizza (I photographed it the wrong so sorry for the oddly flipped photo).

We also made light saber mozzarella sticks, and the most ultimate drink ever - Darth Maul Soda 

Finally, here is our collection of Star Wars toys, many of which I've had a hand in developing for Galaxy's Edge, along with legos, Pez dispensers, and a few roto head Grogu's that belong to the girls - one who is getting into the "fish eggs", and a handmade Ewok in a plant made by Violette!