Tiffin Afternoon Tea – Langham Hotel, Hong Kong

It’s no secret that I love high teas :) So if you’re a fan like me, you’ll have to make a trip to Hong Kong because so many places offer it and I find them to be relatively cheaper than the high teas we have in Melbourne ~ I’ve visited the Langham Hotel in Hong Kong before and dined at a couple of their restaurants and would recommend the Main St Deli for their burgers. I’ve also had drinks at the Palm Court before but wasn’t aware that they offered high tea there.

Palm Court, Langham Hotel HK

Palm Court, Langham Hotel HK

I was definitely surprised and slightly overwhelmed when I received an email from the Langham hotel in HK inviting me to try their afternoon tea set. I was also asked to bring a friend so I invited Win Win because she loves high tea as much as I do :) Because we couldn’t find a baby sitter we decided to bring my little nephew Aden with us, thankfully the staff at Palm Court were very understanding and made us feel so welcomed.

Smile Aden!

Smile Aden!

Here’s my naughty but nice nephew Aden :) I’m sure regular readers would recognise him, he’s grown up quite a bit and I can’t believe he’s actually turning 4 this year! Time honestly flies by without you knowing! Perhaps because he was so well behaved he was also given his own mini afternoon tea set for only $98HKD ($14AUD) which is basically a smaller version of the one you’re going to see in this post ~

Win Win and I really like the ambience of the Palm Court it’s got the traditional Victorian feeling to it, with light music playing in the background and I really liked the silver that they used it was super shiny giving that regal feeling ~ I can imagine sitting here all afternoon chatting to my girlfriends.

Starting with some champagne

Starting with some champagne

Another surprise from Langham, they organised for our afternoon tea with some champagne and not only that it was Veuve Clicquot which I absolutely adore. I use to really like Moet and Chandon but lately, I’m starting to find that I enjoy the Veuve Clicquot more ~

 

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Of course Aden is a little bit too young to start drinking! So they offered him a hot chocolate which he kindly accepted. We had to keep telling him to slow down and not scull the drink! For blogging purposes :P I took a sip of his hot chocolate, and was warm milk lightly flavoured with chocolate, I personally would have preferred it with a richer chocolate flavour. However, this is probably great for little kids as it’s not too sweet.

Tiffan Afternoon Tea $428HKD ($62AUD) for two +10% Service Charge

Tiffan Afternoon Tea $428HKD ($62AUD) for two +10% Service Charge

Now that we’ve settled in having a drink, staff then came to explain that they offer two afternoon tea sets – Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and The Beast. The first being more fruit based and the latter has more chocolate and sweeter desserts. Both sets come with the same savoury items as you can see on the bottom layer with selection of sandwiches such as slow cooked chicken and foie gras warp and smoked salmon with horseradish cream. I’m a simple person and enjoyed the sandwich with the egg perhaps quail egg the most ~

Moving onto Sweets!

They were very attentive and decided to split the afternoon tea set and to allow me try both sets. From the Sleeping Beauty desserts (on the left) there is mango coconut tartlet, raspberry brioche, passionfruit fruit quark cheesecake. I was particularly impressed with the crisp profiterole with green apple even though the filling was a little sour the pastry was done very well. On the right is the desserts from Beauty and The Beast with hazelnut and chocolate chip cupcake, Opera cake and bitter chocolate and vanilla cream tartlet. Hard to pick my favourite but it’s probably the little tarlet because the flavours complimented each other so well.

More sweets!

More sweets!

Then there were more treats on the top layer, definitely my type of high tea. With three types of chocolate bark in the shot glass on the left, followed by the lemon ‘marshmallow’ macaron, panna cotta and the last was a chocolate mousse with a berry jelly filling topped with fresh cream.

Scones with clotted cream and preserves

Scones with clotted cream and preserves

I was so naive and thought that because we already had too much food, we won’t get scones hahaha but that’s not true we got some scones to share which came with clotted cream and strawberry jam and I think it was rose preserves (please correct me if I’m wrong).

Cream first? Jam first?

Cream first? Jam first?

I always have this argument with my friends, is it cream first or jam first? I’m definitely a cream first sort of girl but decided to conform and do it the ‘right’ way according to my friends hehe ~ No matter which way you eat them, scones are always good and these did not disappoint with a slight crust and still slightly warm inside.

English Breakfast Tea

English Breakfast Tea

To finish up and help with digestion, I got an English Breakfast tea :) Can’t help but thank Langham Hotel for their generosity Win Win and I had a wonderful time at Palm Court and really enjoyed the high tea. Would definitely recommend it for other high tea addicts out there, and don’t forget the Langham Hotel is in a great location. Right off Canton Rd in Tsim Sha Tsui, trust me it’s every girls dream there! They have literally all the brands you can imagine ~

Daisy and WinWin@Nevertoosweet dined at as guests of Palm Court, Langham Hotel HK 

 

My Perfect Weekend – In Perth

Australia is a big country, and even though I’ve lived here all my life, there are still so many places I have yet to visit. One of these places is Perth :) I’ve visited along the coast such Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Brisbane. But somehow I’ve never made it to Western Australia. But now I may have a chance! I was recently contacted by Digitaslbi to participate in a competition to write my perfect weekend in Perth staying at the Pan Pacific Perth hotel. If my post is interesting enough and I win the competition, I will win a free trip for two to go to Perth!!!

Photo Credit: Colliers

Photo Credit: Colliers

There are no rules or limitations and I can be as extravagant as I want so I’m really trying to make it as interesting as possible! So a weekend isn’t a very long time, so I’m going to pack as much as I can into 2 days! First we would arrive in Perth and because we’re travelling in style, I would love to picked up by a limousine :P

Photo Credit: Limohire

Photo Credit: Limohire

We would then be taken to the Pan Pacific Perth hotel and check into our River Suite with complimentary breakfast, access to the lounge, free WIFI and most importantly a massive room with our own ensuite bathroom and amazing view.

After checking in, I’d like probably to get a drink and just relax in our hotel room for a while. Before we head out to check out what Perth has to offer ~ I would like to pick up a rental car because I like the freedom of being able to drive and explore an area as I please.

Photo Credit: Hertz

Photo Credit: Hertz

 

I’m really into culture and history so I’d like to visit the Pensioner Guard to see the cottages there and be transported back in time to see how people use to live. Next would be to visit the Rail Heritage Museum because Mr Bao likes trains and will appreciate learning about the history of them.

Photo Credit: Railway Heritage

Photo Credit: Railway Heritage

After some sight seeing you know I’ll be hungry so it’s time for dinner and I’d love to visit Restaurant Amuse one of the top fine dining restaurants in Perth. I have done my research and it looks and sounds amazing! All the dishes look so intricate and interesting :) But will need to book in advance because I’ve heard it can get quite busy.

Photo Credit: Amuse

Photo Credit: Restaurant Amuse

I think after a degustation menu at Restaurant Amuse we will be too full to eat anything else. So we will head back to our hotel and relax and have an early night in. And prepare for the next day of more eating :D

Photo Credit: Pan Pacific

Photo Credit: Pan Pacific Perth 

With the River Suite will get complimentary breakfast, so we will head down to the Monterey’s Restaurant for a buffet breakfast. After that I’d like to head over to the Crown Casino in Perth to check it out to see how it differs from the one in Melbourne :)

Photo Credit: Crown Perth

Photo Credit: Crown Perth

I will gamble a little and hopefully win some money and have enough to pay for lunch, next stop will be Jamie’s Italian. I know they’ve opened up in Sydney for a couple of years now, I still haven’t tried so I think it will be a great opportunity to try them out in Perth.

Photo Credit: Jamie's Italian

Photo Credit: Jamie’s Italian

Taking into account that we are only staying for the weekend, we will probably have to leave at around 7pm so after lunch, I will visit Mary Street Bakery and get a range of cakes and pastries to try. It all looks so delicious but I particularly want to try the lemon merengue tart!

We would then head back to the hotel, pick up our luggage and be sent to the airport and make our way back home to Melbourne. That will concludes my perfect weekend to Perth! I have really enjoyed writing this post, because it feels like I have already gone to these places hahaha This is only a rough itinerary because I’m sure when I get there or have more time to plan, I will be able to squeeze a few catch up with friends in Perth and also find more DESSERT cafes :)

Photo Credit: Visit Perth City

Photo Credit: Visit Perth City

I hope my perfect weekend is interesting enough to win the competition and we will have the chance to visit Perth sometime this year!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet was not sponsored to write this post, however, is part of a competition run by Digitaslbi and Pan Pacific Perth Hotel. 

Bacon Steak – Ora Cafe

Bacon steak is definitely the new BACON :) So many cafes are now doing it and I’m so glad they are! Because there is so much more flavour with thick cut bacon. Ora Cafe in Kew is one of these cafes that do a great bacon steak dish. I’ve actually visited a few times but never got around to blogging about it ~

Ora Cafe, Kew

Ora Cafe, Kew

Ora Cafe is one of the few cafes close enough to where we live that serve interesting dishes and most importantly good coffee. It rarely happens but I actually visited them twice a week a while ago, first visit was with Steph a Uni friend. We’ve been keeping in touch with Facebook and email but haven’t had the chance to meet up, so after what feels like 3 years we finally caught up :)

Iced latte $5

Iced latte $5

It was quite warm so I started with an iced latte which is a shot of coffee with some milk and ice. I really enjoyed it because it was essentially an espresso topped with cold milk and ice. The coffee wasn’t diluted and was strong enough which is how I like it ~

Yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit $14

Yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit $14

Steph got the yoghurt panna cotta with honey tulle biscuit, I was so jealous because it sounded amazing and tasted even better! It was like a legit dessert for breakfast, the fruit compote cut through some of the sweetness of the yoghurt panna gotta if anyone was worried. But what got my attention was that crunchy honey biscuit on top! Highly recommend this!

Bacon Steak, BBQ beans, apple cider scone and fried egg $19

Bacon Steak, BBQ beans, apple cider scone and fried egg $19

I know it’s a surprise for all that I didn’t go for a sweet option for breakfast, for once I was really craving bacon! And when I saw ‘bacon steak’, I simply had to order and try it! It didn’t disappoint, the bacon steak was full of flavour and the BBQ bean was slightly caramelised and sweet. I found the apple cider scones a little dry though but was great for scooping up the sauce left behind.

Chocolate beetroot brownie

Chocolate beetroot brownie $4

Who was I trying to kid, of course I needed something sweet :P Steph was too full, so I got something small for myself. The friendly waitress suggested the chocolate beetroot brownie, a great choice! It was so moist and moreish, it actually resembled more like a fudge.

Awkward looking Mr Bao

Awkward looking Mr Bao

Then a couple of days later on Valentine’s Day, Mr Bao and I went back to Ora for brunch, because he also wanted to try the bacon steak. I was one lucky girl because Mr Bao got me a new camera for Valentine’s day YAY!!! So I used my snazzy new camera to take a very awkward photo of him hehe

Canon 100D

I had been eyeing the new Canon 100D that was recently released, it claims to be one of the smallest DSLR cameras on the market, and to make a comparison it’s smaller than my iPhone 5! Mr Bao also got me a new lens the 40mm which Fatboo (Let’s Get Fat Together) recommended :) I’m totally in love with both the camera and the lens! Hopefully my photos will improve and you will also like my photos!

Magic $4.20

Magic $4.20

Moving onto the food and drinks, Mr Bao got his usual Magic, he commented it had a light floral flavour with some nutty undertones. He really enjoyed the coffee and went on to order another flat white after our brunch ~

Latte $4.2

Latte $4.2

I got a latte using the same coffee and agree it was quite floral but I really liked the nutty aftertaste that comes a few seconds after you’ve taken a sip. The coffee was at a good temperature too not too hot or lukewarm.

Bacon steak with BBQ beans, apple cider scones and fried egg $19

Bacon steak with BBQ beans, apple cider scones and fried egg $19

Mr Bao got the same dish as I did last time, the bacon steak and he was also blown away by the flavour of the bacon. His only compliant was he wanted servings to be a little bigger because he wanted more bacon haha

Swimmer crab hash with salad $18

Crab corn and fritters with salad $18

I decided to get something on the specials board, the crab and corn fritters with salad. The fritters were quite fluffy and reminded me more of potato hash with crab mixed through it because it’s quite fluffy. I really enjoyed the sauce beneath it which was like a spicy hollandaise/mayonnaise.

Crab corn fritter

And because it was Valentine’s day they had a little something special on their sweets cabinet hehe and I’m a sucker for cute things. So that’s how we came about ordering this heart shaped macaron with a chocolate. The macaron shell was a little soft but I really liked the chocolate filling and its so perfect for Valentine’s day! It will put a face on any girls face :D

Heart shaped macaron with chocolate filling $4.5

Heart shaped macaron with chocolate filling $4.5

Always a pleasure to visit Ora cafe, it’s close to home, service is friendly and efficient but most importantly it is still the dishes they make and the bacon steak!

Ora Cafe on Urbanspoon

Hazelnut Crunch Bars – Taylor’s Wines + Giveaway *Winners Announced*

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe on the blog so I’m super excited to share this recipe with you today :) I was recently sent a couple bottles of Taylor’s wine to review, create a recipe to go with it and most importantly do a giveaway for my amazing readers!

Gewürztraminer 2012, Taylor's Wine

Gewürztraminer 2012, Taylor’s Wine

I was sent the Gewürztraminer 2012 from their white wine range, its a dry crisp wine with lime and lychee flavours. I think it would go quite well with a seafood dish such as rissoto, Michelle (The Bakernista) paired it with a Thai Red Curry prawn which I thought sounded great.

Taylor Wines

But you know me, I’m no good with making anything savoury, so decided to make something sweet (so predictable :P). I had so many ideas going through my head – apple pie, cheesecake and pudding. Eventually, decided to make something a little richer because I think the dryness of the white wine will cut through the sweetness.

Hazelnut Crunch Bars

Hazelnut Crunch Bars

I came across this Hazelnut Crunch Bar recipe and thought it was the perfect thing to make because it used two of favourite ingredients feuilletine (thin crepe crisps) and Hazelnut Praline Paste. If you haven’t used this praline paste before, think Nutella but without the chocolate flavour and but has intense hazelnut flavour.

Hazelnut Crunch Bar

This is also ridiculously easy to make, no baking required just some chopping and melting. The end result is a crispy chocolate layer topped with a hazelnut chocolate ganache filling. Mr Bao tried it and said it reminded him very much like the Bueno chocolate bar made by Ferrero :)

Just like Bueno!

I’m quite happy with how these hazelnut crunch bars turned out but found the chocolate ganache was quite soft, so maybe next time, I will add less creme to make it a more solid filling so it doesn’t melt in your hands as soon as you touch them :) If you like Nutella, Bueno and hazelnuts – you will LOVE this! It’s not always easy or cheap to buy feuilletine or hazelnut praline paste, but trust me it really makes a huge difference and you won’t be disappointed!

Now going to share the recipe with you, but don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom for the giveaway!

Recipe – Hazelnut Crunch Bars adapted from The Kitchn 

Yield – 8×12 inch tray (approximately 20 bars) 

Ingredients 
For the base:
170g dark chocolate, melted (microwave or bain marie)
285g (1 cup) hazelnut praline paste or Nutella
140g (2 cups) feuilletine

For the filling:
160g milk or dark chocolate, finely chopped (depends on your preference) 
60g dark chocolate, finely chopped
225g (1 cup) thickened cream
57g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Optional to garnish
Toasted hazelnuts
Feuilletine

image 4

Method
1) Spray the pan 8 x 11inch pan with oil and line it with baking paper, allowing it to hang over the sides.
2) In a large bowl, mix the melted chocolate and hazelnut praline paste together until well combined. Gently fold in the feuilletine trying not to crush them until combined.

feuilletine

3) Pour mixture into prepared tray and flatten using the back of a spoon.

Hazelnut Crunch 1

4) For the ganache filling, place chocolate (finely chopped) into a glass/steel bowl. Place thickened cream into a saucepan and over medium heat until it simmers and bubbles start to form. Pour over chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes. Add diced butter into chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth and shiny.

Hazelnut Crunch Bar2

5) Pour ganache over the feuilletine crust base and smooth with a flat spatula. Place into the refrigerator to set and firm approximately 1-2 hours or over night. Slice into thin bars and ganache with toasted hazelnuts or feuilletine if you like :)

Giveaway

IMG_2555

One lucky reader will win two bottles of Taylor’s wine!

To enter this giveaway
- Leave a comment and tell me what do you like to eat when you drink white wine?
- For more entries please ‘Like’ me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter ~ If you’ve already done that please let me now! Thank you!
- Giveaway ends on the 24th March (Monday) 
- You may reenter daily, one entry a day
- Winners will be chosen by me personally and announced on this blog and notified via email on the 23rd March (Sunday) 
- Open only to all Australian residents (Sorry International Readers!)

Winner Announced

Congratulations Nicole! I will be in contact with you soon!

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.28.31 pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.25.49 pm

 

Daisy@Nevertoosweet tried and reviewed Taylor’s wine as a gift, all opinions are true and honest. 

My favourite Matcha Softserve – Via Tokyo, Hong Kong

My Dearest Readers! I’m back :) I arrived back home in Melbourne on Monday morning. And even though it’s great to be home, I’m already starting to miss my family, friends and one of the best matcha soft serve I’ve had! I don’t use these words lightly, but I honestly liked the matcha soft serve so much from Via Tokyo, I visited 3 times in during my short stay.

Via Tokyo in Causeway bay

Via Tokyo in Causeway bay

Via Tokyo is one of Kosei Kamatani many ventures in Melbourne, he’s also the owner and operator of Ramen Jo which is just a stores down from Via Tokyo and believe it or not he also owns a Shisha bar. A lot of my foodie friends in Hong Kong are friends with Kosei so I was lucky enough to meet him in person. He was surprisingly young, friendly and very dedicated to his businesses, I’ve visited both Ramen Jo and Via Tokyo and they’re both brilliant, will have to try the Shisha bar as well next time :)

Via Tokyo Menu

*Warning* Via Tokyo is definitely designed for matchaholics! More than half of their menu is matcha based and the rest is focused on soft serve made from Hokkaido milk and a range of coffees. My first visit was on my 3rd night in town and I dragged my friend Mary to come with me. We arrived at around 8pm and there was already a queue outside. We were told to stand line up and given the menu to look at, I couldn’t decide I just wanted it all!

Matcha Azuki Parfait $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

Matcha Azuki Parfait $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

We were both quite full from dinner so we only ordered two things, the first was the Match Azuki Parfait, the base is a matcha soft serve, Azuki beans puree, mochi (glutinous balls), sliced banana and rice puffs. I didn’t even pay much attention to the toppings and just dived straight into the matcha soft serve, and it was everything I expected but more! It had the smoothest texture but what really impressed me was the strong matcha flavour. That is the main issue I have when I go to most places for matcha soft serve, it always look green in colour but usually the matcha flavour is really light and merely tastes like green vanilla ice-cream. But here at Via Tokyo the matcha flavour is not only strong enough but it doesn’t have that bitter aftertaste :D

Sample Set $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

Sample Set $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

We then got the sample set with mochis azuki beans, matcha soft serve and a soft jelly served with a brown sugar syrup. Once again I had my eyes and mind set on the matcha soft serve, which was just as nice but the other two sides was also nice and shouldn’t be ignored especially the mochi which was chewy on the outside but still soft in the middle. That concludes my first visit to Via Tokyo and I can only describe it as ‘impressive’.

Matcha Addicts!

Matcha Addicts!

I went home with a huge smile on my face, and kept bugging my other matcha loving friends (Ivan, Minnie, Winnie, Margaret and Ann) and kept telling them we have to go back together as soon as possible. So about a week later we finally found the time to go, conveniently, we had dinner at Ramen Jo first (blog post to come) then walked over to Via Tokyo. Its a small store and we had 5 of us so we wanted for a good 20 minutes before we got a table. And we went nuts hahaha we ordered a whole table of matcha desserts and drinks!

Matcha Affogato $42HKD ($6AUD)

Matcha Affogato $42HKD ($6AUD)

I’ve heard and seen so much about the Matcha Affogato that I was so excited to try. But note that this isn’t on the menu so if you want to try simply order it at the cashier :) It’s basically a serve of matcha soft serve topped with matcha latte. It’s a genius idea! Because we get the best of both worlds.

Matcha Affogato

Moving on we got the Okome Shiratoma Matcha Soft serve, which is similar to the Azuki Parfait with the matcha soft serve base and I found out the Shiratoma are not really mochi but more sweet rice flour dumplings. I particularly liked the rice puffs which gave the soft serve a little crunchiness.

Okome Shiratoma Matcha Soft Serve $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

Okome Shiratoma Matcha Soft Serve $45HKD ($6.3AUD)

Nope we still weren’t matcha-ed out and Margaret suggested we get a matcha latte, and I was so surprised to see the latte art. It was a very cute Winnie The Pooh face and also the word ‘Pooh’ with a little heart on the side! Definitely one of the prettiest lattes I’ve seen! Didn’t even want to drink and wreck the face! The matcha flavour wasn’t as strong because we’ve been overdosing in matcha but I know if I drank this first it would’ve had enough matcha flavour ~

Matcha Latte $32HKD ($3.5AUD)

Matcha Latte $32HKD ($3.5AUD)

Ok to give you guys a relief from matcha, we also shared a regular Affogato with Hokkaido milk soft serve and a shot of Espresso. I loved this shot! Thanks Ann for being such a great pourer hehe even though it’s not matcha, I still enjoyed this soft serve it has the richest and creamiest texture probably because they use the milk imported from Hokkaido to make all their soft serves.

Affogato $38HKD($5.30AUD)

Affogato $38HKD($5.30AUD)

That’s the second time I visited and I was left thinking about the matcha soft serve again, and I knew I would’ve visited even more often if it was closer to where I lived. So on the last day I was about to leave, we had peking duck with the family for lunch and then we had a couple of hours before I had to fly out … and there was only one place I wanted to visit before I left and that was Via Tokyo for the matcha soft serve yet again :) And I really wanted Win Win (sister) to try because she also likes matcha ice-cream ~

Matcha affogato

Matcha affogato

I got another Matcha Affogato all for myself and no sharing :) I mean it was my last day so I think I had the right to be selfish hehe still just as good! Win Win got a simple cup with the matcha soft serve and she was also impressed with the strong flavour.

Okome Shiratama Soft Serve $38HKD($5.40AUD)

Okome Shiratama Soft Serve $38HKD($5.40AUD)

My nephew Aden isn’t a fan of matcha yet probably because he’s 3 and doesn’t like the slight bitterness which comes with matcha. So got him an Okome Shiratama Soft Serve with ‘milk’ instead and the shiratama again. Aden really liked the soft serve and kept asking for more haha I think soon enough I will be able to train him to like match as much as his Auntie Daisy done :D

And that there sums up my 3 visits to Via Tokyo and trust me when I tell you, I really really like the matcha soft serve here. One of the best I’ve had and if you’re a matchaholic like me or like really rich and creamy soft serves, I highly recommend you trying Via Tokyo! Now I can’t wait till the next time I get to visit :D

Via Tokyo
Shop nos. 1A-1B, G/F., Leishun Court,
106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay
銅鑼灣禮頓道106-126號禮信大廈地下1A-1B號舖
PH: +852 
2895 1116
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/viatokyocafe

Meeting Nami (JOC) – Hanlai Hotel, Kaohsiung

Big huge hello to all My Dearest Readers! How have you all been? I have been keeping up with most of you through Instagram and other forms of Social Media, but boy I’ve missed blogging. Have been so preoccupied trying to catch up with everyone in HK and also doing some (erm…maybe a LOT) of shopping :D

Hk 2014

Have so so so many new stories, restaurant and cafe to share with you. But the first one would have to be meeting Namiko Chen from Just One Cookbook! If you like Japanese food and have tried to Google for Japanese recipes, I’m sure you would have come across Nami’s amazing blog with easy to follow recipes, step-by-step photos and she has recently added videos for her recipes!

Just One Cookbook

Nami and I have followed each others blog for quite some time now, and we’ve always talked about meeting up one day. Coincidentally, last week Nami posted up on Instagram that she was flying to Kaohsiung, Taiwan to attend her brother-in-law’s wedding. I was ecstatic! Because I too was going to Kaohsiung the next day, so I boldly messaged Nami and asked if she would like and have the time to meet up. So excited she said yes, so we quickly organised to meet on the Tuesday afternoon at the hotel lobby lounge cafe at the Hanlai Hotel.

Hanlai Hotel

Hanlai Hotel

I got out of the taxi and started looking around the cafe when I saw a lady wave at me and I recognised that was Nami and her husband! She was everything I imagined her to be, the sweetest, gentlest and most genuine people you can meet! We had such a good time talking about everything from how she started her blog all the way to how she moved from Japan to the US and the challenges there are. I also shared all the crazy things I get up to down under hehe

Hello Nami!

Hello Nami!

Moving onto the food, we decided to get the tea set which was $299TWD ($12AUD) each including a drink. It was such a generous serving and we simply did not expect so much food, the food was served on a little 2 tier stand with sweets on the top and savoury on the bottom.

Afternoon Tea set $299TWD ($13AUD) + 10% Service Charge

Afternoon Tea set $299TWD ($13AUD) + 10% Service Charge

Starting with the savoury items, there were two tuna sandwiches, a baguette with a piece of ham and a petite serving of pasta prawn with a spicy tomato sauce. I really enjoyed the baguette with the ham as it had good flavour and crunch from the bread. The prawn pasta was a little spicy for Nami but I thought it was quite nice maybe because I like spicy food.

Savoury

Then there were the sweets, we all got a small serving of fruit which I thought was really nice as it’s quite refreshing, a small square sponge cake with vanilla custard which was my absolutely favourite. The sponge cake had the lightest texture. Last but not least we all got a different piece of cake, I got the strawberry shortcake which I knew Mr Bao would’ve loved because this is one of his favourite cakes! There was, however, a little too much cream for me.

Sweets

We were also given an extensive list of drinks to choose from, not just tea or coffee. I ordered the iced coffee latte with coffee jelly and it was lovely with a strong coffee taste but what really impressed me was the coffee jelly which I kept scooping into my mouth~ I also like how most restaurants and cafe have set meals which include a drink, while it doesn’t seem as common in Australia.

Iced coffee latte with coffee jelly

Iced coffee latte with coffee jelly

Would highly recommend anyone going to Kaohsiung to stay or visit the Hanlai Hotel and try the afternoon tea. I think it’s really good value for money, for less than $15AUD you get to enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea with delicious food and drinks. The atmosphere is also really nice for a bunch of girls to get together and chit chat.

Once again would like to thank Nami and Mr JOC (her hubby) for meeting me! It was such a pleasure to finally put a face to a blog and I really admire their dedication to their blog and have become so inspired by them to really put more effort and time into my own little blog! Hope you have a safe flight back to San Francisco and I’m sure we will meet again either :D

Hanlai Hotel
No.266, Cheng-kung 1st Rd
Kaohsiung City 801, Taiwan R.O.C.
高雄市前金區801成功一路266號
PH: 886-2-2751-7527
Website: http://www.grand-hilai.com.tw/english/index.htm

Simple and Traditional – Mr Collins

Hello to my Dearest Readers :) I am writing this post in the plane as I’m going to back to Hong Kong for a couple of weeks to visit family, friends, shop and most importantly EAT! Follow me on Instagram and you’ll know exactly what I get up to. Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago I was invited to Mr Collins in the Docklands for lunch and was asked to bring a friend as well.

Mr Collins at Collins Square

Mr Collins at Collins Square

Since it was in the city, I decided to ask my colleague Yue to come, it would be a great chance for us to catch up before I headed off and was still quite close to our office. In the past couple of months, I’ve heard of so many new cafes/restaurants popping up in the Docklands, which I think is really nice because a lot of my friends work there and use to complain about the lack of eateries ~

Mr Collins

Mr Collins is located inside an office building (not sure which one) and adjacent with a modern food court. I really liked the seating they had outside the restaurant which had a lot of natural light coming through. The concept here at Mr Collins is to serve homemade style Italian dishes and where possible they make all their pastas and sauces from scratch.

White Wine

We started the luncheon with some white wine and prosecco, who said you can’t drink on a work day lunch even though I did turn quite red :P It was then followed by a charcuterie board with a good range of salami, bresaola, various cheeses and brae cheese with pear and honey drizzled over which was my favourite. Great way to start our meal, but I had to pace myself because I knew there was going to be a lot of food coming our way!

Charcuterie board

Charcuterie board

Frank Nesci introduced himself to us and explained that he has been in the hospitality industry since he was 12 years old at his parents restaurant. Before Mr Collins, Frank and his family owned and managed Healthy Habits, Sputino and Fancy Fillings. Many of these outlets can be found in food courts in most shopping centres.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

I know bruschetta sounds like a very simply dish, but this one at Mr Collins was probably one of the best I’ve had for a long time. I’m not sure if it’s the housemade bread or the fresh tomatoes, the flavours just melded without each other very well.

Mains - Squid ink pasta, gnocchi and ravioli

Main – Squid ink pasta, gnocchi and ravioli

There was then a short wait for the mains, which I understand as there were quite a few of us, and normally we wouldn’t have mind, just Yue and I had a meeting so we had to rush back ~ We all got our own plate of pasta with squid ink garlic prawn pasta, gnocchi in a tomato base sauce and ravioli. the prawn pasta was the most flavoursome and the prawner was cooked well. I found the gnocchi to be a little soft while the ravioli was nice with a soft cheese filling, sorry guys forgot what it was exactly.

Pizza - prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, rocket

Pizza – prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, rocket

The food kept coming, we then had two pizzas to share. The first was the proscuito, rocket and mozzarella cheese, my type of pizza. Really liked the topping and the flavour in the dough, not sure if they use a wood fire oven but it sure had that texture. Yue did find the base of the pizza a little wet, but we think it might be because we were at the end of the table and the last to take the pizza.

Pizza - Mozzerella cheese

Pizza – Mozzerella cheese

The second pizza had a drier base and that was the simple tomato base mozzarella pizza. Like the bruschetta it was simple but very tasty.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Would have loved to stayed and chat to everyone, but we had to rush off. Just before we got up, Ashleigh from Harvey PR made my day by bringing over the dessert tiramisu in a tall glass jar. I’m definitely no expert when it comes to tiramisu but I really enjoyed the strong hit of coffee and the creaminess from the mascarpone cheese.

How cool is this loaf of bread?!

How cool is this loaf of bread?!

Overall, I like how Mr Collins focuses on making traditional simple dishes and not overly modernising the dishes. Think Mr Collins is a great addition to the growing number of restaurants in the Docklands providing people more lunch and dinner options. I know they make all their cakes and sweet in house as well, so next time I’m going to have to come back and try some of the cakes :)

Mr Collins Cafe on Urbanspoon

Yue and Daisy@Nevertoosweet dined at Mr Collins as guests of Harvey Publicity 

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