Ho Hung Kee
Hysan Place 12/F
500 Hennessy Road
Dining date: 3/10/16
While staying in the Causeway Bay neighborhood of Hong Kong, we were looking for casual restaurants to try on our first night in town. My dad stumbled upon this wonton shop just a few blocks from the hotel – a Michelin-starred wonton shop! With so many wonton noodle shops around town it was hard to narrow down options. I’m not exactly sure how Michelin inspectors rate these type of places, but we felt this spot was worth a try.
The price was right – the restaurant’s wonton noodles was USD $7 (for the large size). People like to call Hong Kong’s dim sum spot Tim Ho Wan the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, but this has to be pretty darn close.
Kam’s Roast Goose
G/F Po Wah Commercial Center
226 Hennessy Rd
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Dining date: 3/9/16
There are many foods Hong Kong is known for – dim sum, wonton noodles, and Chinese BBQ meats are just a few. Roast goose falls into that latter category, somewhat unique outside of America. I’ve come across roasted (Peking) duck many times but don’t think I’ve had roast goose.
Located in the Causeway Bay neighborhood, Kam’s is one of the most notable roast goose shops in town. It looks like a pretty typical Chinese BBQ meat shop, but it did garner a star in the latest Michelin guide.
665 Townsend St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Dining date: 12/27/15
San Francisco has seen a lot of growth in its sushi scene in recent years, particularly in the high end segment. Michelin-starred sushi restaurants Maruya, Kusakabe, and Wako opened in 2013-2014; Omakase opened in 2015 joining that group with a Michelin star of its own. I’ve yet to go to one of those other restaurants, but was able to squeeze in Omakase as my last dinner in San Francisco over the Christmas holiday.
Two fixed menus are available each evening, one at the $150 level and one at $200. From what I could tell, the higher level offered a couple more pieces of sushi and a beef course towards the end of the meal (at least on this evening). We went for the $200 level.
55 Cyril Magnin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 12/23/15
Kin Khao is blogger Pim Techamuanvivit’s first restaurant, opened in early 2014. Here, Techamuanvivit shares the flavors of her Thai homeland with a slightly modernized take. The restaurant has received generally positive reviews including a Michelin star in the 2015 guide.
Kin Khao is certainly a bit ‘expensive’ for Thai cuisine, but I stopped in for a spontaneous weekday lunch to try a few items. The pricing is slightly more approachable at lunch, however the menu offers significantly less options.
1701 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94109
Dining date: 11/28/15
Octavia is Melissa Perello’s second restaurant following the success of Michelin-starred Frances. Frances has been consistently popular since opening in 2009, so it was no surprise to hear Perello would open this sequel six years later. Opened in April, Octavia’s garnered mostly positive reviews including its very own Michelin star this year.
I stopped in for a late, rather spontaneous dinner over the Thanksgiving holiday. Pictures were taken with my phone for this post.
60 E 65th St.
New York, NY 10065
Dining date: 9/10/15
Daniel Boulud is one of America’s most notable chef/restaurateurs with 16 restaurants in 4 countries around the world. I’ve tried a few of his restaurants with mixed thoughts, feeling like he’s spread himself fairly thin. However, I’ve always wanted to try Restaurant Daniel – Boulud’s flagship restaurant in New York City.
Since opening in 1993, Daniel has been regarded as one of the top restaurants in the city. Recently, the restaurant has lost some of its top accolades. It started in 2013 with a downgrade in the NY Times from four stars to three. Food critic Pete Wells cited very different dining experiences between the restaurant’s regulars/VIPs and other customers. Last year, Michelin dropped Daniel from the three-star ranks to two, something it re-affirmed in the latest 2015 guide. Michelin referred to inconsistency and a decline in food quality. Less importantly, the restaurant also dropped for the fifth straight year in the world’s best restaurants list, a precipitous drop of 40 spots down to #80 in 2015.
I was very indecisive on whether to invest a meal at Daniel. Would I be trying a restaurant on the downhill? Or a restaurant with a renewed focus on its food and service?