Archive for the ‘Bar’ Category

Cafe Gray Deluxe, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Café Gray at The Upper House is well known for its views and is located at the Upper House on the 49th floor of the hotel. I have been to Café Gray at night for drinks but have never eaten here. The view on a clear night is stunning, even during the day if it’s a clear blue sky it’s beautiful.


I have heard wonderful things about the high tea, but we were for lunch and diners have the option of a set lunch or a la carte. 2 courses is around HKD355 and 3 courses is HKD395. We started with some bread – which was warm and fresh.


We all ordered the 2 course meal – entrée and main or main and dessert. Mixed roast vegetables topped with coriander and satay sauce (which I opt as it has nuts) was light and tasty.


W had the chicken wontons – very upmarket and facny. The skin I thought was a little too thick, it was nice but nothing special I thought. I do prefer pork wontons though.


The charred sea bass with green olive vinaigrette was a little weird. The sauce was slightly cold – not room temperature but cold which I thought was weird. The fish was also a little dry which was a little disappointing.


Most of us had the Shepherd’s pie which was served in a ceramic bowl. I was looking forward to some crust and pastry, alas, no. However, the pie had lots of creamy mashed potatoes with minced beef, it was good but seriously heavy – perfect winter comfort food.


For dessert, C opt for no entrée and ordered the apple tart which was served with ice cream. This was good but after the pie, I was over the edge and fell in a food coma!


The set lunch came with tea and coffee as well as some milk / dark chocolate.


I have to admit, lunch was OK – it wasn’t out of the world fantastic. The pie we all enjoyed but the fish was a little bit weird. For me, I prefer coming here for drinks and views. Not sure about the high tea though, but will definitely try it.

Hope you have a good weekend filled with food!

GA’s ratings: 6.5 /10

Café Gray Deluxe

L49 The Upper House,

Pacific Place, 88 Queensway,

Admiralty, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 3968 1106

Juttutupa, Helsinki, Finland

Juttutupa is a laid back restaurant which can be found behind Scandic Paasi Hotel which we stayed on the 2nd leg of our trip in Helsinki. It was quite a funky hotel but a bit out of the city centre. We ate here on our second last night in Helsinki, and Juttutupa serves good hearty food, a wide range of beers and other drinks.


There is no table service, you pay at the bar, and then food will be delivered to your table. ‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the Juttutupa’s classic hamburger served with domestic quality beef (18,90€) – 200g beef patty of domestic quality beef, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, salt-pickled cucumber, chili mayonnaise, marinated red onion between house bun. Not to mention also served with French fries. It was quite a big burger, and it looked absolutely sensational and yes it did taste as good as it looked!


I couldn’t go past the grandma’s meatballs (16,90€) – creamy brandy sauce, beetroot, salt-pickled cucumber, mashed potatoes. I was craving beef, and the meatballs were surprisingly tender. The sauce I wasn’t a fan off but the mashed potatoes were creamy and I loved the salt-pickled cucumber.


They even had a kids menu and Dragon had the chicken breast with salad. Unfortunately, it was uber dry and Dragon did not eat much of it. She ate more of my meatballs and ‘The Mother’s’ chips than her own dish!


We were stuffed so did not have any dessert. Service was minimal but food came relatively quickly and we all did enjoy the meal. Definitely great having this restaurant behind the hotel, there aren’t a lot of restaurants near the hotel which is a shame.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10


Säästöpankinranta 6, 00530 Helsinki

Ph: +358 20 7424 240

The Duck Inn Pub and Kitchen, Chippendale

I remember going to Duck Inn a while ago, before its major face lift, I thought it was a very dodgy, blokey, seedy pub. However, the new renovations has that B&B or homey feel to it which I like. I love the rustic but yet modern furniture especially the bookcase wall paper – I had originally thought they were actually bookcases!

The Duck Inn can be found on Rose Street in Chippendale. The chef behind this pub is Chef Mitch Davis (ex-Blue Gum Hotel) and he has created a menu that is up-market pub grub which changes seasonally.

I was fortunate enough to visit the Duck Inn with Chloe Chun from PEPR Publicity.

Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, I couldn’t decide what I wanted but the deconstructed beef mushroom and ale pie with creamy mash, pea puree and puff pastry ($22) had my name on it.

The beef extremely tender and the puff pastry extremely flaky and crunchy!

I loved the creamy mash and pea puree – it was a hearty dish and perfect for winter.

Chloe couldn’t go past the beetroot ravioli with blue cheese ($19). I have never had beetroot ravioli and oh my, the colour of the ravioli was just beautiful. The blue cheese was subtle and complemented the beetroot ravioli – I was totally and utterly impressed. It was light and absolutely divine.

We also shared the roast pumpkin salad with rocket, goats cheese, toffee walnuts and honey balsamic ($16) – very colourful and incredibly tasty.

Unfortunately, I was too full for dessert, however, the sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and double cream sounds excellent. So does the chocolate and raspberry brulee – yum!

There is a beer garden at the back which is lovely for summer or spring when the weather is warmer. They have trivia on Monday nights, Uno on Tuesday nights from memory. It’s a great little pub in Chippendale, definitely worth checking out. No doubt we will be back for the food and trivia of course.

*GA dined as a guest thanks to Chloe Chun from PEPR Publicity. 

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

The Duck Inn Pub and Kitchen

74 Rose Street

Chippendale 2008

Ph: +61 2 9319 4415

The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Freda’s Chippendale

There seems to be a lot of warehouse type restaurant opening up in Sydney, and Freda’s is one of them. Found on the busy street of Regent Street, near Cleveland Street. I was told to ‘look out for a giant red tongue of the PR agency nearby’, an alley way which will lead you to Freda’s.

Opened by Simon Cancio (ex Sean’s Panorama, Onde, Luxe and Bourke Street Bakery), ibrahim Kasif (ex Fish Face) and Marty Campaign. The three has opened this wonderful establishment – it’s very spacious, very cool and very NYC like.

I was catching up with the wonderful S, this was prior to me giving birth, a couple of days to be exact! We walked from Central Station – it wasn’t a long walk, probably about 10 – 15 minutes. Menu is written on the board, and food can vary daily. For dinner, there’s salads, some sort of protein and desserts.

We started with the pickled eggplants – thinly sliced, they were extremely sour but extremely good. It was incredibly tender and had the right amount of tang!

We were also given complimentary bread which was perfect to dip into the tangy sauce of the pickled eggplants.

I couldn’t go past the beef tongue – it was a generously large serving, more like a VERY large tongue which was served with salsa verde, onions and pickles. The salsa verde was a wonderful complement, I loved the pickles and the beef tongue was incredibly tender it just melted in my mouth. It was seriously tasty!

Now what we both wanted – the suckling pork was uber tender that again it fell apart. I was a little disappointed about the crackle though, I was hoping that it would be crunchier but no, it was quite soggy. The meat itself was wonderful, pity about the lack of crackle!

Unfortunately we were both way too full for dessert, they had chocolate cake but we really couldn’t fit anything else. I am keen to try their lunch though, their lunch sounds wonderful – pork, pickle and salsa verde, or even the duck, arugula, beetroot relish, or even meatballs and reggiano – YUM!!!!!

Definitely a cool hangout place, even if its just for drinks! Will be back to try their lunch menu.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10


107-109 Regent Street

Chippendale 2008

Ph: +61 2 8971 7336

Freda's on Urbanspoon

The Bellevue Hotel, Paddington

Thanks to Tammi and the lovely people from both Trish Nichol Agency and the Bellevue Hotel for organising a tasting session at the newly renovated bar of the Bellevue Hotel. It has been many years since my last visit to the restaurant or the bar, and vaguely remember what it looks like, but the newly renovation is quite funky – I love the couches, the open area outside and the private dining room in which we all sat and ate.

For lunch, we thought we would share the meat short board ($35), the mixed short board ($35) and the mixed long board ($45).

The meat short board which consisted of little pig sliders, veal, pork and sage meatballs, lamb cutlets with salsa agresto.

I have heard some wonderful things about these little pig sliders. I have to say, I had high expectations of the little pig sliders and they didn’t live up to it. It was missing something, pickled or caramelised onions, it needed that extra ‘something’. Pork pattie with soft bun, I think it needed a little bit of chili for that ‘kick’.

The veal, pork and sage meatballs I really enjoyed. Tender, succulent meatballs which had a nice spicy kick at the end.

The lamb cutlets I didn’t have, but judging from everyone’s reaction, they seemed to have enjoyed it, it was nicely pink on the inside and had a nice light batter on the outside.

The mixed short board consisted of patata’s bravas, salt cod brandade with anchovies, capers and toasted sourdough and more little pig sliders.

I quite like patata’s bravas, however, this was a little bland. The potatoes were nicely cooked but needed a little bit of salt.

The salt cod brandade with anchovies was a hit amongst the diners. I love brandade, which is ‘an emulsion of salt cod, olive oil’ and eaten with bread was just delightful. I love the creaminess, and the saltiness, it was seriously tasty!

The mixed long board consisted of stuffed mushrooms, veal, pork and sage meatballs, garlic prawns and tomato hot pot and salt and pepper squid with fennel aioli.

The stuffed mushrooms I really enjoyed, large mushroom topped with cheese and bread crumbs.

The salt and pepper squid with fennel aioli was probably my favourite. Lightly battered and crunchy, the squid was tender and the fennel aioli gave it a nice touch.

The garlic prawns and tomato hot pot was good, but it lacked garlic. The prawns were plump but it lacked that strong garlic punch that I expected.

Overall, I thought the food was OK – typical bar food. Some of the dishes I thought lacked flavour, salt mainly, but some were well executed. However, in saying that, if a friend suggested this place for drinks one evening, I would happily share one of the short / long boards with friends over beers and champagne.

Thanks Ian for the hospitality! A great venue for afternoon drinks or even a gathering with friends.

I wouldn’t mind trying their restaurant though, the menu looks pretty damn good!

*GA dined as a guest thanks to both Trish Nichols agency and the Bellevue Hotel

The Bellevue Hotel

159 Hargrave Street

Paddington, NSW 2021

Ph: +61 2 9363 2293

Bellevue Dining Room on Urbanspoon