Inside the Santa Caterina Market, one of the less touristic food market in Barcelona, is Cuines Sta Caterina. Yes, it appears slightly touristic at a glance, but don’t let that keep you away. It is a quality restaurant with real food, outdoor dining and a few different ways to eat; from standard tables to styled dining bars.
When planing our visit to Barcelona, were a bit disheartened to miss the Calçot season (November – April). This is one of the joys of the Catalan countryside. We were very lucky to find the end of the harvest at Cuines Sta Caterina.
Calçots are a type of spring onions unique to Cataluña, and traditionally they are grilled on high fire, wrapped up in news paper and then served on upside down terracotta tiles. One eats them by completely peeling the the outer charred layer and generously dipping the onion in romesco sauce, it gets a bit messy but, my god is it really worth it!
If for nothing else, we will forever be in debt to Cuines Sta Caterina for allowing us this whet our appetite for this amazing culinary experience!
Pure Veggie House is fantastic! Not very easy to find, but one of those gems when you do. I mean, we would NEVER have found this place on our own. A local friend brought us here – which involved a taxi ride up the hill to a nondescript corner; a narrow lobby and elevator up one of the ‘chopstick’ buildings and then we finally spilled out into a vegetarian oasis.
Hong Kong has a verticality that is beyond what I was able to imagine – and this was after we had been to Tokyo – where you routinely head to a 4th floor for retail. Pure Veggie House, may not have been the highest floor we visited (we topped out at the non-blog worthy hotels 110th floor bar) – but considering that it was situated on top of a mountain to begin with – it may have been the highest in overall elevation 🙂
Each dish was lovingly crafted with ingredients cultivated from the restaurants very own ‘Kang Zhi Yuan Ecological Farm’. Sauces, spices, flavors sung. In Hong Kong, we found the few vegetarian spots to be the best, as the food was much less greasy and much more palatable. So grab a taxi and head “up” to the Pure Veggie House 🙂
Hong Kong’s Little Bao is a lunch counter for dinner, pot-heads paradise designed by Sean-Dix.
A Bao is the Chinese version of sandwich and it is one of those yummy cultural joys that has texture to match taste. The soft squishiness of the rice bread combined with the fried crunchiness of the filling is a match that is hard not to crave.
The version at Little Bao is as good as it gets – and for us was a one time pleasure as we try to avoid the deeply fried foods.
Side dishes to delight over included:
Brussel Sprouts with Fish sauce caramel, chili, peanut, lime & fried shallots
Truffle Fries with Shiitake tempeh, truffle mayo and pickled daikon
Sesame Caesar Salad with Indian lettuce, fried dace, black bean & panko
The Truffle fries looked like scrumptious heart-stoppers. We couldn’t go that decadent – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t !
Fish Tempura, tamarind palm sugar glaze, pickled lemongrass fennel salad
Sloppy Chan, braised shiitake tempeh, truffle mayo, sweet pickled daikon, fried shallot – did not photograph well
In the middle of the city, on the edge of the Hong Kong Park, nested inside the Tea Museum sits one of the most accessible, and easily missed, restaurants we found in Hong Kong. We gave it the brush off as a tourist spot several times before a friend invited us and we discovered what we had been un-imaginatively ignoring!
Offering vegetarian dim sum for lunch and dinner you can order freely from the menu without worrying about a pool of grease or wondering what animal part is going to be snuck in – great for selective eaters like ourselves. Service is very curt and reservations are a must, but overall our favorite food in Hong Kong.
Inspired by Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville film, Architect Joyce Wang designed Ammo, a most beautiful restaurant enclosed in a six meter high glass box, tucked away on the lower level of the Asia Society.
On one side, the tall windows face a lush jungle garden at the base of a hill; peering up at the walking bridges above in the gardens.
As you enter yo are impressed by the hanging, deconstructed spiral staircase light fixture and the back drop of copper piping; an embossed pattern covering the wall behind the bar. The elements combine well and create a refined atmosphere with a bit of a steam-punk edge. Once you sit and start to take in the different elements every detail starts gaining importance, from the green velvet banquettes by the window. to the wood choices. Ammo is very well put together.
The menu is designed by chef Roland Schuller is a gentle mix of east and west. A menu that allows you to sample local flavors without pushing you out of a comfort zone. Highly recommended are the Sous Vide Cocktails; quite an interesting take on some classics.
Spiced Old Fashioned Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Orange, Cherry, Anise, Cinnamon Stick, Cloves and Syrup