Capital Cafe (華星冰室)

Breakfast for dinner! Yum! The ever reliable Normal Set (常餐) is available and upon asking the wait staff, they recommended the Corned Beef and Egg with Nissin Instant Noodles (鹹牛肉蛋餅出前一丁). Sounds great!

Normal Set – scrambled eggs and ham . buttered toast . char siu with macaroni . coffee/tea
You can choose any style of eggs you want and the macaroni can be changed to spaghetti with either char siu, beef or ham. In my opinion, the most important part of the normal set are the eggs. In places like bing suts, I like my eggs scrambled and here they make them nice and runny! The toast is just standard and the macaroni perhaps a bit bland, but the char siu is nice and tender. The milk tea here though is great!

scrambled eggs and ham . buttered toast
char siu with macaroni

Corned Beef and Egg with Nissan Instant Noodles
It came out pretty much to be a corned beef omelet. Maybe I’m biased as I love corned beef and I love egg, so there is just no way that this could turn out bad. The instant noodles was also cooked ‘hard/raw’ which in my opinion is perfect. There are just too many places that overcook instant noodles such that they become soft and soggy which is just wrong.

Corned Beef and Egg with Nissan Instant Noodles

I will absolutely continue to love breakfast for dinner and they have great eggs and instant noodles here.

Recommended:

  • Normal Set (for the eggs) – scrambled eggs and ham . buttered toast . char siu with macaroni . coffee/tea
  • Corned Beef and Egg with Nissan Instant Noodles
  • Milk Tea

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Capital Cafe
Shop B1, G/F, 6 Heard Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
2666 7766

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Nahm

While I like Thai food and Vietnamese food, I’m not a big fan of restaurants serving different cuisines as I’m a firm believer that they should specialize. Having said that, Nahm does offer a very filling and reasonably priced set lunch which includes a salad and a main for under $100. Admittedly though, there are better Thai and Vietnamese restaurants around.

Green papaya and green mango salad
Enjoyed this cool and refreshing salad. The papaya and mango were fresh and went well with the herbs and acidity.

Green papaya and green mango salad

Lemongrass Thai egg noodle with grilled porkneck and basil salad
When I first saw this, it looked pretty interesting for a salad and the portion was huge. The porkneck was cooked pretty nicely, but the egg noodles and rest of the salad was only ok.

Lemongrass Thai egg noodle with grilled porkneck and basil salad

Pan-fried fillet of Sole in yellow curry with jasmine rice
If you didn’t know already, I love my fish and even more so with curry. Happily, this one did not disappoint either! The dish itself looks pretty plain (in fact, pretty sloppy too), but taste wise, the Sole was cooked nicely and remained juicy. The curry and fish also complemented the rice well.

Pan-fried fillet of Sole in yellow curry with jasmine rice

Pad Thai noodles with prawn and squid
First thing is that it has squid so clearly, I did not order this. I hate squid. But I’m not being biased when I say that this was a below average Pad Thai. It was lacking in egg and also the peanut crunch, and just didn’t taste all that good. EVEN without the squid!

Pad Thai noodles with prawn and squid

Overall, the food is good for a lunch set, but I doubt I would eat here for dinner when there are other better Thai and Vietnamese options.

Recommended:

  • Pan-fried fillet of Sole in yellow curry with jasmine rice

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Nahm
Shop 1044-45, 1/F, 1 Austin Road West, Elements Mall, Kowloon Station, Kowloon
2810 7575

FINDS Restaurant and Bar

FINDS is a Scandinavian restaurant, and in case you didn’t know, stands for Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Having moved from LKF in Central, it is now located in TST at the nice boutique hotel, The Luxe Manor.

atmosphere . menu . bread
The tables have a nice design and the restaurant itself was very spacious. We came by during lunch on a weekend and there wasn’t many people around despite the fact that the 3-course lunch set seemed like a good deal. I’m not sure even half the restaurant was filled. Service was up to par, but nothing special. The bread was served warm with a choice of butter, olive oil and cream cheese as a spread.

restaurant/bar area . nice table
Menu
Bread with butter, olive oil and cream cheese spread

Roasted Pork Loin with Caramelized Apple – cucumber . pea sprouts . extra virgin olive oil
I had a taste of this only since it wasn’t me who ordered this, and I thought that it was super sweet. The caramelized apple and pork obviously go together, but this was too sweet for me. In addition, the clear jello like thing on the side was just a bit weird as it was kind of tasteless.

Roasted Pork Loin with Caramelized Apple

Green Pea Soup – crushed black bread . basil cream
I ordered the green pea soup since I really wanted to compare it to the ones I had at Amber and Caprice. Personally, I hate peas. But I have to say the super excellent pea soups I’ve tried at Amber and Caprice have allowed me to try the pea soups at other restaurants too. The result? The soup was creamy and slightly lumpy to give it some texture and overall, it wasn’t bad, but at the same time, it wasn’t nearly as good as the others I’ve tried.

Green Pea Soup

Forest Mushroom Risotto – baby carrots . onions . sauteed mushrooms . cherry tomato
I did not get the opportunity to try the risotto, but it looked pretty good albeit vegetarian.

Forest Mushroom Risotto

Pan-fried Barramundi Fillet – braised lentils . rocket . red chard . fennel sauce
The barramundi was nice and cooked perfectly. However, I didn’t really care for the lentils that accompanied it as they were just bland.

Pan-fried Barramundi Fillet

Grilled Lamb Tenderloin – parsnip puree . sauteed edamame . mushrooms . fingerling potatoes . red wine sauce
The lamb was also cooked nicely. However, again, like the fish, the accompanying foods were just bland. The potatoes and mushrooms just didn’t taste any good even when mixed with the parsnip puree.

Grilled Lamb Tenderloin

Dark Chocolate Tart – orange sorbet
Clearly chocolate and orange flavours usually go well together. But in this case, you need to eat the chocolate tart and the orange sorbet separately. When mixed together, the flavours just didn’t stick and kind of viciously fighting with each other. Separately though, the chocolate tart tasted really good especially with the crunch at the bottom and I don’t enjoy chocolate all that much! The orange sorbet was also a nice way to end the meal.

Dark Chocolate Tart

Overall, I think the lunch here is a good deal. I’m not sure if the blandness in some of the accompaniment was just today, but the atmosphere was nice and relaxing such that I am willing to overlook that at least one more time and give it another try.

Recommended:

  • Pan-fried Barramundi Fillet (w/o the lentils or at least them season them!!)
  • Dark Chocolate Tart (separate from the orange sorbet)

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FINDS Restaurant and Bar
1/F, 39 Kimberley Road, The Luxe Manor, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
2522 9318

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (山頭火)

Dropped by this ramen place for lunch. I suppose it has the unfortunate circumstance of having to be compared to my latest great review on Butao Ramen. But having said that, I think that even if I did not try Butao recently, I would have something to complain about here.

Ordered the scallop and ramen set with the ramen in the original “shio” (salty) creamy pork broth. The menu mentioned that we could ask for the noodles to be softer or harder according to our preference; so I ordered my noodles to be harder. The set arrived and I think I would have preferred it if the egg was only half cooked and the yolk runny (溏心蛋).

Scallop and Ramen set

Tried the ramen first, and unfortunately the pork was tough. I don’t think that it was just overcooked, but the slice of pork given just wasn’t that good. The noodles itself though was pretty good. I asked for harder noodles and that is what they gave me. The broth was also decent albeit a bit oily and unlike at Butao, I did not feel like finishing the broth.

"Shio" Ramen

Scallops and butter certainly go together, but in this case, it was not as good as I hoped for. As far as the scallops go, they were fine. But perhaps there was way too much butter? At the bottom of the rice bowl, there was a collection of melted butter that was being absorbed by the rice. I like butter, but this was just too much.

Scallop and Butter with rice

While not the best ramen place around, there are other dishes that I would like to try here such as the 日式撈麵… (sorry, need to figure out what 撈麵 is in English) and so I cannot write this place off yet.

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Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (山頭火)
6/F, Shop 608, 63 Nathan Road, iSquare, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
2721 1298

Butao Ramen (豚王)

Is it really that good? Why is there always a long line outside this place? In the end, I just had to try this place out for myself. They only serve 200 bowls of noodles a day, so decided to go early. Picked a day with typhoon signal no.3 and looking like it might rain, and I arrived with my friend outside this place at around 10:10am (it opens at 11am). We were 2nd and 3rd in line. Luckily the staff had already lined up stools for about 10-15 people to sit on as we waited in line for the place to open. So we watched and waited as the staff set up to open the restaurant.

Butao
Preparing to open

Throughout the wait, the staff was excellent and courteous. We were offered fans to keep cool. Then when the sun came out for a brief moment, we were offered umbrellas to stay in the shade. We were also offered a glass of cold water as we waited. A few minutes before opening, we were handed menus and a checkbox order form to fill in. On this form you could choose the soup base, how strong you want the soup to taste, amount of oil, amount of garlic, whether you want roast pork or green onions, and how hard (raw) or soft you want your noodles. You can also add additional ingredients such as extra noodles, seaweed, pork or green onions. And remember to order the specials of the free smile and Japanese lessons!

Since it was my first time eating here. I went with the Butao King soup base with everything else normal other than having hard (raw) noodles and adding extra green onions.

Menu - note the free smiles and Japanese lessons!
Soup base explanation
Checkbox order form

Finally, the restaurant opened, and we were able to sit at the bar table right in front of the chefs preparing the ramen. The restaurant itself seemed to sit about only 16 and is pretty cramped. Free condiments and water lined the tables. As we had already ordered earlier, all we had to do was wait for the food.

Chef's at work
Condiments with garlic press!
Butao!

The food finally arrived and smelt great. The soup was nice and thick, and the roast pork was tender and absolutely tasty. The noodles came out really nice and it wasn’t hard to finish all the soup. So, yes, the ramen here is absolutely tasty and excellent. But having said that, it is just ramen and I don’t think that I can really wait more than 30 minutes for a bowl of ramen no matter how good it is!

Butao King! Yum!!
Extra roast pork
All done! Including soup!!

Also, having tried it for the first time now, I can tweak the choices a bit to my satisfaction. This includes adding less oil, more garlic and also ordering super hard (raw) noodles next time. Also, I would like to try the Green King which is basically a basil and parmesan soup base.

Overall, yes the ramen here is good and I would recommend people to eat here but only if you don’t have to wait more than 30 minutes. The other thing is that there are a few other ramen places I would like to try first so that I can compare. I know I labeled this economical. It is under $100 per person. But note that this $100 is just for a bowl of ramen, so perhaps a bit misleading? But I will be back!

Recommended:

  • Butao King

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Butao Ramen (豚王)
G/F, 8-13 Wo On Lane, Central, Hong Kong
2530 0600

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