STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill

Steaking A Claim

STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill

After a quarter of a century, the Steak House has finally undergone a transformation. And, as its advertising slogan tells us, the management thinks it’s a job “well done”. On initial inspection they do indeed seem to have upgraded significantly. The wine bar is unrecognisably different and far less stuffy and anonymous than the previous version. Less marked in its changes is the adjacent dining room.

It is perhaps the overall setting that gives off the whiff of revolution. From the near immaculate service and the stylish staff uniforms, to the clean and to-the-point menu, Steak House offers exactly what you’d expect it to. Given that the hotel where the restaurant is housed caters for vast quantities of Americans (a tad less than half its guests), it seems only obvious that this outlet should represent a ‘home-from-home’ scenario. The only thing that differs is perhaps the lack of American beef, but that is hardly the fault of the menu designer.

A mandatory trip to the gargantuan salad bar will get the juices flowing. And then it’s serious decision time. Ribeyes join quality t-bone, prime rib, striploins, filets, wagyu and chateaubriand, hailing from Argentina, Canada and Australia. Different sizes and style are on offer, and can be complemented with more mustards, sauces and condiments than you could ever hope to try. The chef then does his magic over Hong Kong’s only charcoal grill.

If you’re not up to the task at hand, there are also the “Apart from Beef” and “From the Sea” departments to consider. Your preferences aren’t quite over until you’ve selected a knife from an impressive array of weaponry.

There’s no other way of explaining the desserts other than to say that they are over the top but great. If by any strange quirk of fate you still have some room to spare and you have the quickest metabolism in Kowloon, there are on offer the largest cakes, puddings and pies this side of the Pacific. Heads WILL turn and faces WILL stare at you in disbelief. Requests for doggy bags are always granted.

 “Wines from Hungry” was the curious item on offer as feeling hungry isn’t a typical sensation after a meal here. Portion sizes should carry a warning label without flinching to much on the price tag!

STEAK HOUSE winebar + grill, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
(Male singlets strictly forbidden)
Tel: (+852) 2721-1211

Written by James Moore

Azienda Vitivinicola

The starting point for the production of a fine wine is the use of materials of the highest quality. Here at San Lorenzo we know the care taken in the cultivation of the land by the hands of knowledgeable men who have collaborated with us for years.

We utilise the most technologically advanced systems on our estate to press the grapes, ferment the juice and to control the temperature at each phase.It is for this reason that our wines are of optimum quality.

The path towards the production of a high quality wine is a difficult one to follow especially where the investment required to further improve the quality is sometimes very high. However the persistence, patience and dedication of our family allows us to achieve notable results.

We put great faith in Abruzzesi wines and have a great deal of love that emerge from our estate.
Enzo Galasso

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Classification: DOC. Type Of Wine: Red Grape Varieties: 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Prod. Area: ABRUZZO; Tenuta Casa Bianca in Castilenti –Te- Altitude: 250/300 metres above the sea level Y per Hectare: 8 tonnes Training Sys.: Spur pruned cordon Planting Dens.: 5.000 vines/hectare Harvest Period: October Vinification: The grapes are destemmed and crushed; pre-fermentation at low temperature, maceration on the skins for 14-20 days. Sensory char.: Persistent nose, intensely fruity; Full and fruity structure. It is a gentle and spontaneous wine, whose tannins, not aggressive, are sweet and velvety; great aroma tic persistence. Temperature: 18 – 20° C




Bianco dolce

Classification: IGT Type Of Wine: Sweet white Grape Varieties: Sauvignon Prod. Area: Tenuta Casa Bianca in Castilenti -Te- Harvest Period: First decade of November Vinification: The morning fog encourages the development of Botrytis Cinerea (noble mold) that reduces the water content in the grapes, causing a bigger concentration of sugars and aromas. After a soft pressing , the must ferments in barrique and aor 14 months.ges f Sharpening: Bottles in special climatized areas Sensory char.: the noble mold reduces the content of water in the grapes and it concentrates the sugars and the aromas, giving the Muffato San Lorenzo a harmonic and unmistakeable taste. A light gold colour with an aroma that recalls peaches and honey. A dessert wine, well structured and very harmonic

For more information, please visit:

Bodegas Felix Callejo

Bodegas Félix Callejo
is located in Sotillo de la Ribera (Spain), at the heart of the “Ribera del Duero” Denomination of Origin. From its birth in 1989 as an answer to a long family tradition, the venture has thrived thanks to the enthusiasm and drive which the Callejo family has dedicated to it.

With more than 100 hectares of planted vineyards, Callejo is made from the Tempranillo or Tinta Fina variety of grapes. Their vineyards in Sotillo de la Ribera are located at 850 meters altitude on small southerly- oriented slopes. Lime-rich soil of ideal texture, from the Miocene era, together with the characteristically mild climate of the area create the ideal conditions for the growth and development of the vines.

The harvest period, lasting approximately 15 days in October, is the first step in the production of wines. Painstaking care and attention is given to the vines throughout the year, and the harvest is carried out in a similarly meticulous fashion.

There are various steps in the selection process. The first of them is in the vineyard. The grapes are transported to the bodega in boxes after being picked by hand. The second stage of selection takes place in the reception area, where a conveyor belt is used for the selection of bunches. The third and final selection takes place after the grapes have been picked off the raceme, using a vibrating table . From there, they continue to the bodega and to the stainless steel vessels to begin the fermentation process.

Selección de Viñedos
de la Familia

Information on the 2005 vintage

The winter began as the coldest of recent years and with very low rainfall. Good levels of temperatures in spring with occasional spells of rain brought about even shooting of the vines. The summer was dry and very hot, causing early ripening of the grapes. Yields were low due to the small size of the berries, which however contained very high levels of polyphenols. The harvest began at the end of September after a very good month for the phenolic ripening, thanks to low night temperatures. The vines and the grapes were in perfect health.
Production Bottled in April 2007. 19,500 bottles of 0.75l. 350 bottles Magnum of 1.5l.

Gran Reserva 2004
Information on the 2004 vintage

Favourable weather conditions with a cold winter and rainy spring, bringing about a good start to the growing season for the new shoots during May and June. A dry, hot summer with evenly spread rainfall favouring good ripening of the grapes, with no water-deficit stress for the vines. The harvest was begun at the beginning of October with excellent quality grapes and without rain.
Production Bottled in February 2007. 6,030 bottles of 0.75l.

For more information please visit:

Rockpool Sydney

Dinner on the Rocks

There are some restaurants that rely solely on their name to market themselves and some that require back-up from the reputation of their chef or owner. In the case of Rockpool, one of Sydney’s more established fusion eateries at 14 years old, the names Neil Perry and Rockpool are equally well-known and synonymous with good food.

The refurbishment has seen few changes in terms of quality. The restaurant, located on The Rocks, began as a fine-dining restaurant serving high quality Australian produce with an Asian influence, predominantly serving seafood. The style of cooking has remained along the same lines over the years however, the dishes have certainly become more sophisticated with time.

The restaurant continues to win awards and maintain its high standing, which Perry and business partner Trish Richards believe is attributed to their motto: ‘the cornerstone of good cooking is to source the finest produce’ and that they ‘set out to do everything to the best of our ability today, then try even harder tomorrow’.

Current menu favourites are: Stir-fried Lobster and Kangaroo Island Chicken with Shiitake Mushroom, Water Chestnuts, Hand-cut Noodles and Red Curry Sauce; Southern Rock Lobster Tagine with Stuffed Quince and Cous Cous; and Poached Cape Gooseberries with Ricotta Fritters and Ice Cream.

107 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney.
?Tel: (61) 2 9252 1888


La Fourchette

La Fourchette has taken over where La Cité used to be, a revamp we appreciated compared to the earlier outdated dishes from its predecessor. The newcomer meets the present times defined as a ‘modern French bistro’ and is ready to satisfy the urbanites passing through Pacific Place. I am not too sure whether the nationality is very accurate when the French menu is diluted from accommodating international dishes including Vietnamese and Italian specialities. One thing is for sure, you will leave feeling as satisfied as after enjoying a hearty meal in France.

La Fourchette is divided into three areas that make this venue versatile and varied. One can go to the Bistro Moderne for lunch or dinner, but also to La Cave for a drink after work or to recharge your batteries at La Terrasse after you shopped till you dropped. Each section has its own distinct display and menu depending on your mood or appetite. La Cave proudly exhibits the only ‘enomatic machine’ in Hong Kong; this wonderful piece of engineering allows the serving of wines by the glass inhibiting the oxidation of the open bottles. A mouthwatering spread of sweet and savoury home baked pastries, sandwiches and other exquisite morsels are on the La Terrase. The heart of La Fourchette, though, is in the Bistro Moderne occupying most of this establishment and where we savoured our wholesome meal. Patrice Gabet, the executive chef, came over to share his advice when it was clear the diverse menu was somewhat bewildering. The talkative Frenchman helped us choose what we were about to taste.

His recommendations started with a broad selection of appetizers including Crab cakes, Salmon rillettes and Vietnamese fresh Spring rolls. The small warm cakes were crisply fried and gave way to the subtle fresh crabmeat centre. The salmon rillettes were original and more delicate than the original pork classic. The Vietnamese rolls on the other hand, were less memorable especially the fresh version as the rice wraps weren’t bound tightly and the filling fell apart before I had a chance to take a bite.
The stars of the evening were the mains and each plate that landed on the table was a feast before our eyes. The saffron-infused risotto topped with a fiery red lobster exposed, tantalized our taste buds as it looked like sunshine on a plate. The meat dishes of the neatly arranged duck confit and the seasonal venison were superior than most, especially the latter that was hearty and cooked medium as requested. Drizzled with the tangy berries which complimented the gaminess of the meat, this was a well-balanced combination of tart and rich flavours.

The mouth-watering desserts concluded our meal; the must-have is the mango mousse. A tropical element came through this sweet custard-like serving although it is arguably a fusion effort, surrounded in bath of sweet fruity syrup with Chinese dextrous fungi, a popular remedy in alternative medicine. I must confess I tasted and then ignored the unusual fungi dressing. The dessert assortment included a fruit tart accompanied with a supersweet green tomato jam, as well as an tasty unusual looking black sesame crème brûlé with a perfect texture and familiar yet new flavours.

Worrying about the afternoon ahead after such copious feast we considered two options. One was to head home and enjoy a good healthy siesta, the other one was to have a reviving espresso coffee. I opted for the later and was delighted with my choice. I don’t think I have had a better espresso in Hong Kong than the cup served here: rich, strong and delicate, it was coffee essence at its best. My guest had an innovative hazelnut coffee, which left her sipping happy. The nut was grounded and dispersed in this beverage (not sunken at the bottom) which didn’t just leave a sweet and smoky flavour but a welcome bite to each sip.

Review by AK

La Fourchette Garden Court, Pacific Place, Hong Kong  Tel 852 2252 8830

The Press Club

Sip a martini or two at The Press Club – a modern spin on traditional Hellenic Cuisine

Enter The Press Club and you can smell the aroma of cooking floating through the air from the open theatre kitchen. The ambience is warm and comfortable. I am seated at the head of a long row of white tables looking down the length of the room. At the very far end I can see a man sitting at the opposite head and I feel like a queen hosting her banquet. Greek fare is laid out before us.

Most of us take food for granted. However, this is not the case for George Calombaris who has been dedicated to the kitchen since he was 18. Whilst we were discovering our ripest teenage years, Calombaris barely saw daylight as he slaved under London’s top chefs. But the egocentric competition in the kitchen finally encouraged him to return home to Australia and start his own venture based on strong family values, loyalty, inspiration and most importantly, The Customer. Opening in 2006 The Press Club immediately became one of Melbourne’s most innovative restaurants and the benchmark for fine Greek cuisine.

After dining with The Press Club you will start to understand the meaning of family as it is strongly imbedded into Greek tradition. Calombaris, who is an Australian of Greek/Cypriot origin, takes pride not only in his kitchen but also his staff. Many of The Press Club team have been together from the beginning and you can see this in the way they work the floor. I might have suggested bringing a translation dictionary for the menu had the staff not been so well informed. Not only did they have the background knowledge of each dish but they used the correct pronunciation. I was impressed.

When speaking with Calombaris on the topic of family, I discover that even his mother (who continues to live in Cyprus) has a role in the kitchen making the ‘Soup of Trahana and Mastic’. The base of the soup is made from wheat that his mother dips in sour milk and leaves out to dry. The wheat is then sent back to Australia to be boiled into the stock of Trahana. Oil from the mastic plant found only in Chios is added to the stock along with yoghurt, which is then whipped into a light foamy soup that, in part, resembles Greek lemon chicken soup, but without actually containing any chicken or lemon. The Press Club is a restaurant of passion that brings only the finest ingredients from across the world to delight our tastebuds with a truly Hellenic experience. The soup was accompanied by a soft, dry, and slightly earthy French white from Jura, Jacques Puffeney Arbois 2004.

As consumers we don’t realise the genius that lies behind the development of a great culinary experience. The effort that goes into making a meal – which we simply slosh down in a matter of minutes – is truly amazing.  When you realise this your appreciation of food will change forever. Calombaris’ Calamari Makaronatha with cauliflower cream and shaved avgotaraho is a dish of thought and consideration (avgotaraho is dried fish roe that is rolled flat and shaved to a thin paper). Like a science class full of trial and tribulation before achieving perfection, the dish took time and patience to correct. The calamari has been placed inside a vacuum-sealed bag, and then into a steaming bain-marie where it is left to simmer for 6 hours undisturbed until perfectly tender. Once cooked, the calamari is shaved into thin strips to resemble pasta, otherwise known as macaroni or ‘makaronia’. The accompanying wine was a white from Greece, Skouras Moschofilero 2007.

‘Inspired by mum’ was an interesting dish that offered clean earthy flavours of mountain tea smoked beef matched against the richness of a coddled egg and hand-cut chips fried in olive oil. Perfectly crispy on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside, the chips are a revelation to the world of potatoes. The fun part is that if you’re keen you can dip your chips in the soft yolk of the egg, just like the toast soldiers mum used to make. The wine: Yves  Cuilleron ‘Sybel’ Syrah Rosé 2007, Rhone Valley, France.

Of the main dishes, the Roasted Barramundi was the shining star, accompanied by a glass of Curly Flat Chardonnay 2006, from the Macedon Ranges, in Victoria, Australia. The wine was chosen for it’s fine example of a common Australian drink ‘the chardy’, accompanying a typically Australian fish ‘the Barra’. The flesh of the Barramundi was perfectly tender under a crispy skin. The fillet was drizzled with in a warm olive and cherry tomato vinaigrette. A small jar of fresh taramasalata came as a condiment to the fish. The taramasalata is white in colour as it should be naturally – none of that pink coloured stuff you’ll find on the supermarket selves – and is made using a mix of fish roe and potato as opposed to bread.

The last dish before dessert was a Pikilia of Rabbit, which literally translates to an assortment or inclusion of every part of the rabbit, from the crispy belly, roasted ribs, and tender liver, to the loin – stuffed with ouzo and wrapped in a honeydew jelly. The loin was bursting with a familiar flavour that I was unable to put a hand on. I believe the ouzo had something to do with it. I am fond of dishes cooked in ouzo as the liquor infuses a unique essence that is not exactly aniseed as we think it should be. The ouzo imparts a slight sweetness, it is a flavour that to me still remains indescribable. We drank a delicious Cos “Cerasolo di Vittoria” Nero D’avolo Frappato 2007 with the rabbit, one of my favourite red grape varieties from Italy.

The wine list proved to be excellent, as did both the food and the service. I must add, that if you choose to visit The Press Club only for the dessert I think you will find yourself sufficiently satisfied as a burst of textures and flavours play across your tastebuds. The Chocolate, Tarragon and Raspberry Cloud is a combination of hot and cold, mousse and foam, cake and chocolate, it is all there in correct proportion. The drink: Alvear Soiera 1927 Pedro Ximenez, San Emilio, a dark sherry, which to me had the taste and aroma of a rich Port.

After the meal a round of Mastica was sent around the table as a digestive. It took me back to my time spent in Greece sitting around a Taverna table late into the evening after a long boozy lunch. Celebrating life with only the best food and drink. It was tonight that we dined on the Symposium menu. The technical efficiency of the kitchen and quality of produce are exceptional, creating taste sensations worthy of dreams.

Now 30, Calombaris has numerous awards (Best New Restaurant in Victoria 2008, Best New Restaurant, and Chef of the Year) and three restaurants to his name (The Press Club, Maha and the recently opened Hellenic Republic on Melbourne’s Lygon St, Brunswick). This year The Press club was awarded two chefs hats and while we speak Calombaris is on his way to Canberra to claim yet another award. The young chef has become so talked about in such a small space of time that Global Food and Wine Magazine voted him as one of the top 40 chefs of influence in the world. The competency and excellence of the award winning head chef is evident in every dish and I am already planning my return to eat a la carte. Kali Orexi.

Written by Martyn-Zyznikow

The Press Club Restaurant & Bar
72 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia Tel 03 9677 9677

The Mistral

Breathing Easy In TST

A breeze is flowing through Tsim Sha Tsui East. Once cut off from where the more traditional dining areas
position themselves in Kowloon, the MTR subway has injected new life into the neighbourhood. Freestanding restaurants and bars have popped up and even attract a crowd, while hotels – which for years had the place to themselves – have had to get their houses in order to compete. At the forefront of the revolution is The Mistral, a “modern” Italian restaurant appropriately named after a Mediterranean seasonal wind. At the base of the InterContinental Grand Stanford, on the surface not much as changed. Listen a bit closer and there is a new energy about the place.

Gone is the Puccini and Verdi, replaced by music more this century. Chef Claudio, a youthful and exuberant Italian, is another breath of fresh air. “Everything’s changed since I took over a year ago,” he confided, as he presented me with a plate of carpaccio intriguingly stuffed with lobster . Filled with the kind of confidence you might expect from a Sicilian to behave, Claudio patrols his open kitchen like a man who’s happy with these changes. The paste yellow-and-blue fabrics, combined with the
painted plates adorning the restaurant’s walls, do much to cheer up what is effectively a windowless basement cellar. A chef can do little to change that, however.

The kitchen is his terrain and the scampi with prawn- and langoustine moussestuffed tortellini, his wonderfully-colourful statement. When a restaurant attempts to reinvent itself, there’s always a risk that it loses some of the fundamentals. Far from blowing hot air, the menu still promises some old favourites. The rack of Sicilianstyle lamb with a powerful olive tapenade ($340) is deliciously tender and Claudio’s
take on a tried and tested Mediterranean creation.

If you don’t fancy the traditional formality of a five-star hotel Italian, Mistral offers the white-linen tablecloths without the fine-dining pomp. The immaculate service and food are as good as you’ll find for the price in Hong Kong. So you can breathe easy.

Review by James Moore

The Mistral
InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, 70 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel 852 2721 5161

Steak House in Dubai

Dinning at the steak house in the Marriott Hotel Deira Dubai has to be an auspicious event where you will end up being a regular client because the service and food here is just so good.  Before I even knew about this restaurant, a business associate has already informed me to try it out. "You gotta try it out" he said.  When the invite came for me to experience this fine iconic dining establishment, much of it I have already heard but hearing is one thing and experiencing is another.

I was shown to my table, the leather chairs were huge. Attached on tables were silver badges with names of devoted regular clients reiterates the restaurant's position as one of the best steak houses in the world and there were dozens of these silver badges. A charming waitress took my orders and recommended for me to try the Lobster Seafood Bisque soup that is a favorite of mine and follow it up with the  wagyu sirloin.  Whilst waiting I couldn’t help but feel priviledged. Dining at this legendary restaurant that many satisfied customers have walked through the door. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. It was how a steak dinner should be.  My steak came with a host of knives to choose from. Good luck trying to pick the right one.

Reviewed by AK

JW Marriott® Hotel Dubai
Abu Baker Al Siddique Rd, Deira, next to Hamarain Shopping Center,P.O. Box 16590 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone:  971 4 2624444

Hong Kong top buffets covered

I love to indulge at buffets especially the hotel ones and believe me scores of my associates are also in favor of my demeanor. What an avenue of dishes to salivate. It is an eating establishment. Sure you will put on a couple of pounds and good for you to run a couple of Ks to burn it off. On the other hand, an abundance array of health and nutritious items are also catered for where no other eateries could compare.  From various form of salads, veggies, cheese, juices to fruits. A great day’s health intake if you are that kind.  Here are my favorite hotel buffets

Café TOO :: Island Shangri-la Hong Kong
Theme :: Singapore Food Delights
Where :: Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong Phone 852 2877 3838

I enjoyed my food here. Atmosphere was terrific with a good variety of clientele. From families to a romantic lunch for two. On specials was food from the lion city Singapore. It’s a big hit and I believe the hotel will be introducing this specialty on a regular basis. The music was great not that is if you get the chance to listen then its not to fast, not to slow just like café TOO.

The Mistral :: Intercontinental Hotel Kowloon
Theme :: Children under 11 eats for free

Where :: 18 Salisbury Road, Hong Kong Phone 852 2721 1211

The sparkling Sunday brunch buffet here is amazing. Kids under the age of 11 eat for free “ what a bargain” and of course not to mention a heavenly room, which is the children’s, play room for the kids to what else but play, then eat, then play, then eat again. As a parent, it’s a wonderful concept, there should be more. We had time to soak up the atmosphere, had delicious goose liver, oyster & make our own pizzas while qualified personnel looks on. Brunch here is interesting, the entrée is offered in buffet format while main course is a la carte. It’s fantastic; I would for sure bring the kids here again.

The Marriott Café :: JW Marriot 
Theme :: Seafood Galore

Where :: 88 Queensway, Hong Kong Phone 852 2810 8366

OK the variety of food here is average but for some reason it just seems to pack it in even on a Monday night. There is an aura about the Marriott Café, which makes it unique and you feel extremely comfortable that makes you want to indulge more.  I love the good in size Singaporean mud crabs, which was on offer and the extremely tender roasted beef with pepper sauce. It is all about quality not quantity.

Eclipse :: The Langham Hotel TST
Theme :: All about Lobster
Where :: 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong Phone 852 2378 9988

This little gem was a surprised. All and all it fits about 120 guest but what it lacks in size, it sure covers up for a good variety of food that is on offer. From Canadian smoked salmon to Australian oysters and the great American Lobster.  Good value for money as there are a promos, if its your b’day month, you eat for free but you must bring someone along.

The clipper Lounge :: The Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Theme :: Sunday Breakfast

Where :: 5 Connaught Road Phone 852 2522 0111

This has to be one of the best breakfast buffets in Hong Kong. Fantastic service blends with an awesome variety of great food, juices and fruits. I especially enjoyed the seafood porridge and the omelets. For some reason, everything seems very fresh.

If you are planning a breaky, lunch or dinner, buffet is one way to stimulate your senses.

Reviewed by AK


One of the most stunning and chic restaurants ever seen in Hong Kong even though it opened its doors many years ago and it is still a “must visit” for locals and visitors alike. Aqua, one of Hong Kong’s most innovative restaurants in the last few years, moved from Hollywood Road to a 9,000sqft penthouse at One Peking Road. Housed in Tsim Sha Tsui’s designer fashion capital, the new location features jaw-droppingly sleek interiors set against the breathtaking neon lights of Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon through a panoramic 21-feet-tall floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall.

As far as the food goes, the restaurant comprises two distinct cuisine styles: Aqua Roma and Aqua Tokyo, which will highlight the best of Japanese cuisine. Aqua Tokyo also feature a robatayaki grill and an unforgettable sushi bar, where patrons can select jet-fresh seafood from chilled feature displays, while overlooking the flashing neon lights of Nathan Road.

The bar, Aqua Spirit, towers above the restaurant and is set to rival any of the most chic lounges or bars found anywhere in the world’s most happening metropolises. Some of Hong Kong’s best known DJs have already played there giving the city’s clubbers a fresh new dancing spot. As long as they can afford the cocktails that is!

Review by AK

29 & 30/F, One Peking Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Tel:  (852) 3427 2288