07 August 2008

Under Bridge Spicy Crab

Name: Under Bridge Spicy Crab
City: Hong Kong
Shop C, G/F., Wah Fat Mansion, 405-149 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
& Shop 6-9, G/F., 429 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (site reviewed)

Website: http://www.underspicycrab.com/

Cuisine: Seafood, Chinese (Cantonese)

I had some friends from the U.S. visiting and they wanted some seafood. I asked around to find a good spot that would offer them local flavor, but that wouldn't scare them out of the building. We ended up at Under Bridge Spicy Crab, which turned out to be a great recommendation. First, I must warn you that there are at least a half-dozen other restaurants with the same or a similar name. I am sorry I forgot to take a shot of the exterior of the restaurant, but I will try to add it later. This one is located between Lockhart and Jaffe right under the Percival Street Bridge (hence the name). The original location is a few doors down, but the newer restaurant has better decor and more seating.

The restaurant is probably most known for two dishes: chili crab and mantis prawns. We opted for one and passed on the other. We ordered a garlic and chili crab (you get the whole crab, covered in garlic, spring onions and chilis), lobster & noodles in cheese sauce (the lobster is cut up, but still in the shell) and beef & zucchini stir fry. The meal also came with fried, salted peanuts as an appetizer and watermelon slices and a warm soy milk/taro/tapioca concoction for dessert.
The lobster & noodle dish was a bit like lobster alfredo, but with an Asian flair. The lobster was great, the sauce was good and so were the noodles. My only complaint was I would have liked the shell removed from the meat so it would be easier to eat, but this is Hong Kong and that's the way the Chinese serve most of their meat. Another tip is to eat this while it is hot because the cheese sauce will congeal as it sits out.
I was fortunate enough to get a crab claw, which was quite large. The meat was delicious and had a nice kick to it (we ordered medium spicy).
The beef & zucchini stir fry was good, nothing special, but a safe back up for less adventurous diners.
The watermelon was red and pretty tasty and the peanuts were okay, but a bit too salty.
Overall, it was a good meal and our guests had no complaint and really seemed to enjoy both the experience and the meal.

The menu was in Chinese and English and had photos for some dishes which was nice. Out waitress was from the Mainland and was very friendly, despite not speaking English. She hooked us up with some extra peanuts and brought our watermelon out a little early so we would get some before it ran out.

Our bill was just under $1200 HK ($152 USD) without tip which is a little expensive in Asian, but not too bad for Hong Kong considering we had crab AND lobster, dessert and two large adult beverages.

I would definitely recommend this Under Bridge Spicy Crab to people for a special occasion or special meal. It is a bit pricey for a regular dining spot, but the food and service were both good for locals and foreigners.

Rating: 4 Fries

24 July 2008


Name: Caramba!
City: Hong Kong
Address: Soho, 26-30 Elgin Street & Discovery Bay, Discovery Bay Plaza (on the waterfront)

Website: http://www.caramba.com.hk

Cuisine: Mexican

Critique: I have eaten here twice and both times were mostly good experiences. The fact is that if you are looking for an Mexican experience in Asia like you would have in America, you are going to be disappointed. It just doesn't happen.

The first time I had the chicken quesadillas. They tasted fine, but were a bit thin and left me wanting more. More recently, I went with 3 other people and I got the beef tacos. One person ordered fish fajitas, another got chicken or beef fajitas and another person also ordered tacos. We also had a queso (cheese) dip.

The chips were okay, not the seasoned stuff that Rick had at the other Mexican place in Soho. They weren't the best chips I have had, but they were solid. I really liked the queso, but it was more of a rotelle (rotel?) dip than the white cheese queso you get in the States.

The tacos were more like taco supremes because they come standard with refried beans, guacamole and sour cream in the tacos and you get a side of rice and black beans. I told the waitress, as did the other person ordering tacos, "no beans." She got it half right, there weren't any black beans, but there were refried beans in the tacos. Honestly, I forgot to tell her no guac and sour cream, so I ended up scrapping quite a bit of the taco. The tacos were okay, but I probably won't order them again because it is too much of a hassle to make sure I don't get all the stuff I don't want.

The waitress did mess up the fish fajitas and brought chicken the first time, which meant we had to wait while they cooked up some fish and brought the right stuff. She enjoyed the fajitas once the right ones came (see below).

And she even returned the later that week to take some guests from out-of-town there.

As I noted the service wasn't top notch, but part of that was my fault. However, it could be improved. On the weekends, the small, thin restaurant fills up quick.

I was treated on both occasions, so I don't recall the exact prices, but I think the quesadillas were around $70 HKD (about $9 US) and the tacos were around $120 HKD (around $15 US). However, we went on a Monday night and there were people from Asiaxpat.com passing out discount cards. I believe you got a second entree for 1/2 off, so try to go on Monday.

Comments/Recommendations: As I said, it is nearly impossible to have the type of Mexican food you had in the States anywhere in Asia, but Caramba! is a decent choice in Hong Kong. And for people who have been in Asia a while, especially the remote areas, it will be a treat. Keep expectations reasonable and have a nice meal.

Rating: Three fries

17 April 2008

Triple O's by Whitespot

Name: Triple O's by Whitespot
City: Bangkok
Address: Central World Plaza

Website: http://whitespot.com/tripleos/tripleohome.htm

Cuisine: American Fast Food

Critique: The first time I had Triple O's was when I was visiting friends in Hong Kong. What I remember most from there is the Blueberry Milkshake that my daughter guzzled down just as fast as I did. So, when I happened upon Triple O's in Bangkok, I was EXCITED! This time I had the Original Burger, which was fabulous. Sara and Keely shared the chicken fingers, and enjoyed them as well. Another plus is free wifi, but you have to purchase something from them and obtain the daily code to get on. The food was great, atmosphere great, and I'll be going back!

Comments/Recommendations: The original burger, any of the milkshakes, chicken fingers, chicken supreme burger, or probably anything else on the menu.

Rating: 4 Fries

The Hungry Traveler

Rick, the original Hungry Traveler, sent me this picture a while back. I wonder if he ever tried out their food?!?!?

10 April 2008

UCC Vienna Cafe

Name: UCC Vienna Cafe
City: Hong Kong
Address: Fisherman's Wharf near Laguna Verde in Hung Hom, also Harbor City and New World Centre

Website: www.ucc.co.jp

Cuisine: Coffee, desserts, western, breakfast, Japanese

Critique: We opted for this place because of location and variety of food and were not disappointed. Honestly, I was a little befuddled by the menu at first because it is a bit eclectic, but the food is good nonetheless.
I had a snack order of fried chicken and the berry waffle. My girlfriend had seafood pasta with a soy milk white sauce. The chicken was okay- a little greasy and over-battered, but better than quite a bit of the chicken I have had in Hong Kong. I ordered the large berry waffle which was more than an Eggo, but less than a Waffle House waffle. It was topped with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and served with a dollop of whip cream, a shot glass of jelly and a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. The waffle itself was okay, but the berries, cream and ice cream made it tasty. It was nice to have a breakfast option at night. My girlfriend really liked the seafood pasta with a soy milk sauce. The soy milk sauce was similar to a normal white sauce, but thinner and probably a lot healthier as well. She likes soy milk, so it wasn't that odd for her.
UCC is also know for their coffee and unique coffee dispenser that look more like a piece of equipment from a science lab that something from a cafe. They had several omelets on the menu, pasta dishes, sandwiches, curries and breakfast dishes, but most of it had a Japanese twist to it. I never had heard of Japanese people being know for waffles, but I was thankful they were on the menu.
The location was nice and quiet, so you could enjoy a good conversation without yelling. The service was decent, but nothing to write home about. I thought her portion was good and mine was a little bit smallish for a "large" (but I am a fat American and she isn't). And for the two of us it was about 150 HKD (about $20), which is quite reasonable in Hong Kong.

Comments/Recommendations: I definitely would recommend UCC Cafe Vienna, especially if you have a group that can't decide between Western or Asian food. It would also be a nice place to have coffee and dessert if you don't want to follow the heard to Starb---s. You can definitely find better places to eat, but most of them are more expensive.

Rating: 3 Fries

18 March 2008


Name: Pepperonis
City: Hong Kong
Address: 8 Staunton Street, Soho (right off the escalators to the Mid-Levels)

Website: n/a, but to order via phone 2869-1766

Pizza and a little bit of everything else

Critique: I have eaten at Pepperonis twice. Both times I had pepperoni pizza (original, I know) and the second time I had their chicken sampler as an appetizer. The pizza is great, some of the best I have had in Asia. The pepperoni tastes like pepperoni and not ham or some other pork product. My friends had their version of a supreme pizza and enjoyed it. They offer a variety of types of pizza- some are the standbys you would expect in the United States, some are a bit more adventurous or creative in nature. The crust is somewhere in between a thin and thick crust, so if you don't like big thick crust around the edges, you don't have to worry; however, if you do like crust, there is enough to satisfy you.
The chicken sampler came with wings, popcorn chicken, a few small chicken fingers and fries. For the most part, these were all average.
Pepperonis also offers delivery which I would image is limited to the Soho, Mid-Levels and Central area, but I could be wrong.
Prices were fair, I think a large pizza is somewhere between $15-20 US, but don't quote me on that. The service was decent, especially since the place is usually full with a line.

Comments/Recommendations: Basically the pizza is the draw. The rest of the menu is probably hit-and-miss, but don't miss the pizza, because it is better than Pizza Hut.

Rating: 4 Fries (for pizza, 2.5 Fries for other)

MOS Burger

Name: MOS Burger
City: Hong Kong
Address: Langham Place, Mong Kok, Kowloon

Website: http://www.mos.co.jp/english/outline/

Cuisine: Burgers & Fast Food

Critique: A few days after I got to Hong Kong, I was part of a discussion of where to find the best burger in Hong Kong. I remembered a few people said MOS Burger, so when I stumbled upon it in one of the high-rise malls on the Kowloon side, I decided to try it out.
It is a Japanese chain that has spread throughout Asia. They offer a lot of different burgers- cheese, shrimp, chicken, tofu, rice, etc.
I opted for a cheeseburger and fries. The fries were okay- better than Wendy’s, not as good as McDonald’s. The burger was fair. It had an Asian taste to it, which I guess is a way of saying it didn’t taste like a good juicy American burger. It wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t offer me any reason to make a specific trip back to MOS, especially when the Golden Arches are on every corner in Hong Kong.
The price was reasonable, around 33 HK$ ($4+ US).

Comments/Recommendations: As I stated above, the food is okay, but not great enough to warrant a switch from American chains… or a particular Canadian chain, which might offer the best burger in Hong Kong.

Rating: 1 Fry

14 February 2008

Great American Rib Company

Name: Great American Rib Company
City: Pattaya, Thailand
Address: Tepprasit Road

Cuisine: American BBQ

Critique: Given that this restaurant is very close to the hotel we stay at, the location is fabulous. The staff is friendly, and service is very fast, even in groups of 50+. The ribs are great, though not as tender as I would like. They are tender, but I prefer them literally falling of the bone. These took a fork and knife to remove the meat cleanly. The food, however, tastes great.

Comments/Recommendations: The BBQ ribs are great, stick with a half slab, it is plenty. If with a large group, I definitely recommend the family platter. Feeds 6 - 8 easily!

Rating: 4 Fries