I was surprised that the SCMP gave Brickhouse just a fair-to-middling review. I was there for the second time last night. My gf was super anxious to try it after my first visit there so we arranged to meet at 6:30. Actually I got there at 6 with a friend who was killing some time before he had to go meet a friend at Mr. Taco Truck. I’d wanted to work my way through more of the menu but ended up ordering pretty much the same stuff I’d had the previous visit so that my gf could try these – ribeye taco, pork taco, beef short ribs. (The SCMP singled out the short ribs as one of the dishes they didn’t like. Also their ratings of the 5 tacos were exactly the opposite of mine.) I found these dishes just as good, if not even better, than the previous visit. We also noted that every other person there was probably half my age. Not sure what this indicates.
I was also surprised to see a very negative review of Pizzeria Pubblico from Hong Kong Hustle. I felt the place was much better on my second and third visits there. In part that’s because of the high prices there (understandable) and because when they asked for a slice with extra cheese, they were asked what kind of cheese they wanted (geez, cut them a little slack, eh?).
Even more bizarre is this list of the top 5 places for pizza in Hong Kong from About.com. ”In no particular order” they list Paisano, Duecento Otto 208, Pizzeria Pubblico, Ziti’s and …. Pepperoni’s. This is bizarre because first the writer says that these are the best 5 pizzas in all of Hong Kong and then goes on to say that Papa John’s and Domino’s both have better pizza than Pepperoni’s. So why include it on the list? There’s a grudging nod to Pizza Express, which probably does deserve a place on the list. But Pepperoni’s? (A few years back I was a regular at the original branch of Pepperoni’s in Sai Kung but that was because I had a thing for one of the waitresses there. After she turned me down several times, I had no further reason to pretend to like their food. But the chain is a hit with locals, who seem to like their crappy crust and too-sweet sauce.)
Speaking of pizza … if you go to Wanchai you might have noticed a spot called Big Pizza or something like that next to Ebeneezers on Luard. For the longest time this was a branch of Cul de Sac, which was reasonably okay for a quick bite. Then it became something called Uncle Hiro’s (owned by the Ebeneezers folks). I went there once and it was godawful. Now it’s Big Pizza – and I suspect it’s the same owners. Sunday night I was out with the gf and some friends and after a lot of booze we wanted a bite before heading home and I got a couple of slices of pepperoni pizza from Big Pizza. Let me put it this way: If Uncle Hiro’s was godawful, Big Pizza is an abomination. Pepperoni’s has better pizza. Pizza Hut has better pizza. McDonald’s would have better pizza, if they made pizza.
The only thing worse than Big Pizza? The other day I had an appointment to meet a friend and he wanted to meet at Queen Victoria Bar in Wanchai. It was 3 PM, I hadn’t eaten yet, and figured I’d get something there. I thought a BLT would be safe. First of all, they made it a double decker – who needs three slices of bread for a BLT sandwich? They didn’t put any mayo on it. And the bacon seemed to be made out of rubber.
Now that I’m not working, I go with my gf to the supermarket every week. This is great because I finally get a chance to see what’s really available in the supermarkets near our house and to buy some stuff that she’d never know to pick up on her own. Tonight one of those purchases was a small package of Norwegian smoked salmon. By the time we got home, it was after 8 PM and too late to cook anything substantial. Believe it or not, my gf had never had smoked salmon before. She asked me if I was going to fry it up in a pan or just heat it up in a microwave. We already had some frozen bagels and Philly cream cheese in the house. I defrosted and toasted the bagels (terrible but still better than most of the sad excuses for bagels I’ve found in HK)(hey, by the way, I’d kill for a bialy), chopped up some onion, drizzled on a bit of lemon juice – sadly we had no capers. If I’d thought about it, maybe a bit of rosemary or some other herb, but I didn’t think about it till it was too late. After she had the first bite, she practically inhaled the rest. I’m gonna make a Jew out of her yet!
And, well, oh yeah, there’s this new iPad only photo magazine called Bokeh that just came out. I’ve got some pictures and an article in the first issue so please check it out.
You can find it on iTunes here.
Otherwise, pretty much same old same old with me. Still job hunting. I’ve picked up a few small consulting gigs that help to keep me busy and also help keep my bank account from getting depleted too rapidly. I’m out almost every day and almost every time I go out I’m carrying my new MacBook Pro with Retina Display (what a mouthful, jeez) with me. Despite the weight, I love the screen and love the speed and I find that I’m more productive during the day with that as opposed to my iPad. I’m really glad I got it.