Posts tagged “Curry

Indian Lunch Buffets – 7.5 to chose from HK side.

Reviews:

The Curry lunch buffets of Hong Kong Island, in some kind of order of preference.

1) The Conrad (see here for full review)

Every weekday is curry lunch day at the Conrad Hotel.  The reason this is my favourite buffet is that they have a chef on continual duty making dosas.

They have a good mix of veggie and meat curries and it’s top notch food. Plus if you like dessert there is a choice of about 10.

As ever in a top hotel like The Conrad the service is very good, the only slight bother is the low tables which means that you can end up with indigestion unless you remember to sit up properly!

Price: HK$250 + 10%. Expensive but worth it.

Location: Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong. Tel: 852-2521-3838

2) Khana Khazana (see here for full review)

KK does a very reasonable buffet lunch, totally veggie and usually have dosa as part of the deal. If it’s not dosa then it’s either idlis or some kind of puri. Either way, it’s nice to have something a bit different.

Price: HK$88. Super reasonable, and very tasty.

Location: 1F, Dannies House, 20 Luard Road, Wanchai. Entrance is on Jaffe Road though. Tel: 2520 5308

3) Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

Wednesday is curry lunch at the Yacht Club. If you can find someone with a membership then this is very good value (ha, of course it is, the member has to pay!). Always bustling on this day and the spread is very comprehensive, although they don’t have dosa. The Yacht Club is one of the most unstuffy clubs in Hong Kong and has a lovely restaurant and terrace. Service is very good too.

Price: HK$105.  Good value for the quality, service and environment.

Location: Kellet Island, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2832 2817

4) IRC - Indian Recreation Club (rather odd website…)

Most people probably know the IRC best as the location of The Tent at the Rugby Sevens. You don’t have to be a member to have lunch, you can buy vouchers at the reception on the way in.

Whilst not a buffet, I’ve included it here as it’s cheap and cheerful for lunch. If the weather isn’t too hot then sitting outside on the patio, gazing out across the grass pitches in this haven of quiet in Causeway Bay is a great way to break up a hectic day in the office. They also do a mean samosa.

Price: Lunch costs between HK$50 and $100 a head.

Location: 63 Caroline Hill Road, So Kon Po (opposite Hong Kong Stadium). Tel 2576 1673

5) Jashan

Jashan is a bit hit and miss, but when I’ve been for lunch it’s been very good. It’s been a couple of evening meals where I’ve had some snags (uncooked meat in curries type of issues). Any Indian restaurant that doesn’t serve dosa every day immediately slips off my favourites list, but if I was in Central I’d give definitely go to Jashan for lunch once in a while. It has a wide variety of dishes, and serves various puris every day. If I didn’t have to eat in Central then I would go to one of the restaurants above.

Price: HK$98.

Location: 1F, 23 Hollywood Road, Central. Tel: 3105 5300

6) Tandoor.

I more often go to Tandoor for supper than lunch, and even then not very often. I’m not a fan of Central’s curry houses, preferring Wanchai and of course my fave – Southern India Club Mess in Chungking Mansions. The food is good here, I’m just not a big fan of the venue as it has too many tables for the space, especially when the customers are shuttling too and fro to the buffet.

Price: HK$118

Location: 1F Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. Tel: 3105 5300

7) Curry Pot

In the lunch buffet rankings, Curry Pot doesn’t stack up against the restaurants above. I find the Curry Pot’s fare more akin to British curry restaurants, i.e. a bit heavy handed.

Price: HK$88.

Location: 1/F., 68-70 Lockhart Road, Wanchai. Tel: 2865 6099

As I haven’t been to Viceroy in Wanchi since it morphed into Duetto, I can’t include it here.  If the chefs and the concept is the same though, it’s definitely worth a look-see, and at $88 is again very reasonable.

Curry Buffet Lunch – Conrad takes top marks for food.

Review:

There are many options for curry buffet lunch on Hong Kong Island, I must have tried at least 10, but there are old favourites that I go back to time and again.

After a truly good meal yesterday at the Conrad my trusty companion, and long-time Indian restaurant guide (originally from Bangalore), and I have decided that it’s hands down the best for food.

conrad lobby hk

Phot from the Conrad's website (at night...)

Food: Winning factor numero un, is that they have a dosa chef at the head of the buffet constantly primed to take your order.

Winning factor numero deux, is that the head chef at the moment is from Kerala, so the food has a definite southern India bent, but this also means that the dishes are generally lighter in texture than those made by North Indian chefs, so you feel more than able to continue your work day afterwards.

It’s easy to go veggie or carnivorous, there are lots of salads and fresh made pickles and chutneys and you get the added bonus of the Conrad’s pastry chefs whipping up dessert.

Yesterday, amongst other things including 2 dosa, I had the most mouth-watering lemon pilau rice flavoured with kaffir lime leaves, and a beautiful dhal, which on the face of it you would think is easy to master, but the flavours and textures were perfect. It’s not often that simple dishes of rice and lentils make you actually stop eating and discuss the food.

Drinks: What you’d predict at a 5* hotel, plus they do really good chai.

Service:  5* Conrad, so exactly what you’d expect from such an establishment.

Ambience: The buffet takes place in the Lobby Lounge which is a very pleasant, light-filled environment. Mind-bogglingly, the buffet is rarely very busy, so it’s a very good place to go for business lunch, especially as the tables are wide apart.

Only marginal inconvenience for me is eating from coffee table height. Not being able to get your legs under the table makes for slightly uncomfortable dining for girls as you can’t really sit there legs akimbo, so you are always twisting slightly to eat.

Price: $250 +10% service.  Now, this is a good deal more expensive than a lot of the other curry lunches in town, but it is well worth treating yourself once in a while.

Location: Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong. Tel: 852-2521-3838

Suan Thip – great way to spend a few hours in Bangkok

Review:

Follow these instructions carefully and you will have a great half day in Bangkok, and one of the best Thai meals in the capital.

suan thip caustic candy

1) Get your lifestyle manager (I have mine through my Vertu mobile phone ) or your hotel concierge to organise a longtail boat for half a day’s river trip.  We paid Bht5000 for 5 hours (no doubt you can get it cheaper, but I like to spread my money into the economy).

2) Set off around 10:30am and go on an explore around the Klongs for an hour or so.  Well worth it to see the wildlife, the temples and businesses along the canals.

3) After an hour or so head upriver to Suan Thip, it takes around 60mins and it’s just fascinating seeing all the action on the river.  The barges, the military installations, the temples, the timber yards, the houses etc.  It’s a lovely way to spend an hour relaxing whilst watching the world go by.

suan thip river bangkok caustic candy

4) Stuff face at Suan Thip which is a lovely old complex comprising a restaurant/cooking school/banquet hall and a beautiful garden. (If you are there in the daytime then ask to sit in a sala by the river.  At night I’m not sure how horrific the mozzies might be, so consider carefully whether you want inside or out for dinner).

5) Roll back in your boat and digest the huge amount of food you are likely to have eaten whilst you whizz back to BKK, in time for a shopping spree and a massage before dinner.

Suan Thip is very popular at night, and I’m sure it would be all sorts of romantik in the garden but you would miss seeing all the life along the river if you went in the dark. Lunch wasn’t very busy so it was super relaxing.

Food: Surprisingly it’s Thai… They have a huge menu, and they do pride themselves on showcasing the country’s cuisine, and it’s really very good.  We particularly like the more jungle style soups and curries, whose flavours were incredibly delicate yet still lovely and hot, certainly not your bog standard fare.

If you like your Thai food proper Thai-hot then do impress this on your waiter as they automatically tone it down for foreigners.  The other great thing is that all the dishes come in small or large portions, so if you are a couple you can let rip and order lots of different things – very smart thinking that restauranteur.

Ambience: Just lovely in the salas in the garden. Insects chirupping, the occasional roar of boat engines, surrounded by palms and pot-plants. There was a massive tour group in the main restaurant when we went and I was glad to be out in the garden.  As I say – if you go for dinner make sure you have the mozzie repellant.

Service:  Very good service.  Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable about the food.

Price: Incredibly reasonably priced for the quality of the food and the venue.  Delightful meal, around US$20-30 a head – good value.

Location: 17 Soknai,Wat Koo Road, Pakkret. Tel: +66-2583-3748

You can also get here by going to Mo Chit Skytrain station and then it’s a 10km taxi ride – but why would you bother when the river trip is so much part of the experience.

Open: Daily from 11am to 11pm, with last orders at 10pm.

Note: If you’re not a regular to BKK then take the advice and make sure you send a lunch-box down to your boatman at the restaurant and if you buy food and drinks on the canals then share with him too. Sometimes when you are enjoying yourself these things slip your mind.

Cafe de Laos, Bangkok – Bring me my sossidge.

Review:

If you haven’t been to Laos, then you really should.  It is a beautiful, simple, spiritual place with awesomely hot food, and one particular dish that I will kill for – Laos sausage (the very good ones in Thai Hut in Wanchai, still pale in comparison to the real thing).

Laos

If you need some more convincing then the next time you’re in Bangkok go try the food.  There are a few Laotian/Isaan restaurants in BKK, the most well known one being Vientiane Kitchen.  We were put off this one by the concierge and the fact that they have a band and dancing, which isn’t really my bag, so instead we went for Cafe de Laos.

Cafe de Laos

Food: Very tasty food.  Laos sausage-tastic.  These are rustic, garlicky slightly fermented sausages served with fresh coriander leaves, slices of chili and peanuts.  Bloody love them.  The beer marinated pork neck and  jungle curry were also really good. Quite a lot of interesting dishes with more of a bent towards river fish and shellfish rather than seafood as Laos is landlocked, so flavours are quite delicate.  DO tell them that you eat food hot like they do, otherwise they will tone down on the chillis for sure, thinking that you are a useless nancy farang.

Drinks: They serve Beer Lao which is always a bonus.  They even have a wine list, although I’m not really up for pairing Laos food with wine yet.  Beer is perfect for me!

Ambience: Restaurant is in an old colonial house, and it’s pleasant enough, but the main ground floor room where we ate was rather bright and lacked any vibe at all, which is a shame because the food is very good.  There is also a lot of wood and tiles, so very little material that damps down noise.  You do feel a bit like you are in a National Trust tea-room in the UK.

Service: Service was a little slow, and fortunately for us they actually forgot one dish which was fine as we were stuffed.

Price: Very reasonable, can’t remember exactly, but it was very good value for the quality of food.

Location: In Silom, 16 Silom Road Soi 19. Tel +662 6352 3389

There are a few more Laos and Isaan restaurants in Bangkok which I would try over going back to this restaurant, simply because I believe there must be somewhere with better ambience.  Can’t fault the food though.

Chungking Mansions – The Secret Curry House.

Review

Want to freak out your friends with a really dodgy journey into the abyss that is CKM and then feed them a meal that will blow their socks off?  Take them the wild way into the maze and get thee down to the  Southern India Club Mess.

Most of my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong have some kind of experience to go along with the meal itself.  I like an element of surprise or laughter to treat my friends.

Southern India Club Mess is one such restaurant, mainly because people think I’m leading them into hell on the way there.  It’s super low key, back to basics –  homestyle food for Indian expats and visiting traders in CKM. However, it has the most sublime curry in the whole of Hong Kong – Ginger Chilli Chicken Tikka Marsala, and it serves huge dosas. Bring it on.

Food: We are talking as homestyle southern Indian as it comes. You HAVE to order the Ginger CTM – you may even have to order a portion per person as you just can’t stop yourself. Foot long dosas and lots of veggie dishes, thalis etc

Drinks: It’s a club and therefore doesn’t have a license to sell alcohol. If you have to have beer with your curry then ask nicely if you can go and buy your own.  They have always been really accommodating, even putting us in a separate room when it was Ramadan so that we could still have a beer (they insisted when we said we didn’t need beer, in case you think I’m a complete cultural pig).

Ambience:  Sits a max of 20. Basic (especially since they removed the super kitsch 70s wall photos of alpine meadows and tulip carpeted woodlands), don’t take anyone who’s too precious about their surroundings (unless it’s someone you want to torture), or in fact anyone claustrophobic (unless they really, really like curry and you are using this trip as therapy).

Cost:  Soooopa cheap.  Difficult to spend more than $100 a head.  Frankly, the best value curry in the territory I reckons.

Location: D1, 3/F Chungking Mansions, Nathan Road, TST. Tel: 2366–1834.

Now here comes the tricky bit. I have only been here by what I would call the back way, so bear with me.

Enter Chungking Mansions and immediately turn right, walk to end of corridor and turn left, walk about 20m and you will come to the first fire escape stairs on your right (grey doors), walk to the third floor up the barely lit stairwell covered in bettlenut juice splashings, force your way through the really narrow doors on the 3rd floor and lo and behold Southern Indian club is opposite the Everest Club.

Of course if you don’t want to freak your visitors out, you can always get one of the PRs to take you to the Everest Club and then hop across the corridor (and if you are taking claustrophobic guests, using the terrifyingly tiny lifts will just add to the therapy).

Open: every day, lunch (11:30-15:00) and dinner (6:30-23:00).