NEW AND NOTED
From Tokyo to Saigon
Can’t decide if you love udon or pho more? Have a taste of both in the upcoming collaboration between chef Peter Cuong Franklin of Viet Kitchen (G/F, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Rd., Central, 2806-2068) and chef Norihisa Maeda of Shiki Zen (29/F, Midtown Plaza II, Causeway Bay, 2970-3218), available from Mar 1-31. Five specially created dishes will fuse the best of both countries, highlighting the fresh herbs of Vietnam and the stunning seafood of Japan. Saigon-style beef udon ($168) and Hanoi-style chicken udon ($138) feature Shiki Zen’s wonderful handmade udon noodles in classic chicken and beef pho broths, while wagyu beef carpaccio ($168) and caramel miso black cod ($198) have Japanese roots with a Vietnamese-style twist on seasonings—think fragrant lemongrass, kaffir limes and star anise. Dessert ties the meal together with influences from both countries: banana Nutella gyoza topped with peanuts, condensed milk and strawberries ($68).
Super Bowl Monday
Whether you’re a Panthers or Broncos fan, the Super Bowl is always a great excuse to gorge on nachos and wings (and brunch food to fuel the 7:30am start in Hong Kong). No need to call in sick this year—Super Bowl 50 falls on CNY so you can relax, put on your jersey and game face, and head to one of these sports bars that do Super Bowl in style: Grappa’s Cellar (Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, 2521-2322) fills up every year for the big game, offering a hearty American breakfast buffet for $148. A packed house means you won’t be the only lone wolf cheering, while plenty of screens allow for decent views from any seat in the house. Alternatively, head to Stone Nullah Tavern (49 Elgin St., Central, 2387-6338) which offers a spread of nachos, chili con carne, scrambled eggs, sausage, mini mac balls and chicken poppers for $228 per person. Grab free-flow beers, prosecco and mimosas for $108 extra. Let’s just hope it’s more of a fair fight than the last few Panthers games.
Planking Around Town
Move over, truffles: There’s a new ingredient in town that’s packing an even bigger umami punch. Isono Eatery & Bar (6/F Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St., Central, 2156-0688) has brought over an unusual yet surprisingly delicious ingredient: marine plankton. Despite an unsexy name, plankton has been gaining popularity around the world for its intense oceanic flavor, imparting the briny essence of the sea into any dish it touches. At Isono, chef Luca Marinelli uses it beautifully in three specials available until the end of March: plankton seafood paella ($318), carbonara di mare ($328) and ravioli with burrata, bottarga and plankton emulsion ($328). Far from your typical carbonara, the pasta was frankly one of the best we’ve had in awhile, with the creamy plankton sauce tasting straight of the sea. The paella is also a musttry, with a crispy burnt-rice soccarat crust and fresh seafood dressed in a bright green plankton alioli.
Udon x pho at the Viet-Shiki collaboration
Go green with Isono’s plankton