Monday, June 26, 2006

Outdoor nibbles

Yesterday was definitely a day for eating outside. One of the hottest days in Hong Kong so far (32 degrees Celsius), it bright, beautiful and sunny with blue skies.

What better way to spend it than eating outside with a friend?

I must admit, the outside brunch bit was a bit accidental. My friend lives in the New Territories and I felt bad for having her always travel to my 'hood so thought I'd venture out of my comfort zone. Only problem is food. I don't know many brunch places in TST (our agreed middle ground). Besides which, it was such a lovely day the thought of being cooped up inside was unbearable.

So we returned to a past favorite. The Pit Stop at Harbour Plaza in Whampoa. It is no longer called the Pit Stop but something else entirely forgettable and innocuous sounding name like Outdoor Restaurant and Bar. In any case, all we wanted was brunch and since it was linked to the hotel, we thought it wouldn't be problem. Well it was.

Not a big one, just no two-egg and sausage type deal but more pizza and burgers.Ah well, I plumped for a pizza with a fried egg on top in order to attempt to get close to the brunch we had wanted while my friend went with the king prawns.

The pizza was thin crust with a good bit of stringy mozza on top (by the way, for the record, the stringyness by which cheese should be judged, according to a friend, should always be referenced to the last scene in the Asterix and Obelix goes to Switzerland book where they are having celebratory fondue).

It was very...filling and definitely needed Tabasco to give it a bit of a kick but did have nice artichoke hearts, ham and pepperoni throughout to make it interesting enough.

That evening was yet filled with more outdoor eating. After having spent the afternoon mostly soaking myself and trying to not throw little kids out of the pool, we had a BBQ at a friend's 18th floor apartment balcony.

Due to the lack of foresight, we had a bag of coals but no starter. Being city folk, many of us (including my boy, a former boy scout) had trouble lighting the fire. There were lots of trips from kitchen to grill carrying pots full of hot coals but no luck was to be had until a quick trip to the shops.

In the meantime, the lazier among us got to the dessert first. First up were the rambutans. These spiky, odd looking cousins to the lychee is not, I must admit, one of my favorites.

I find the skin a bit too similar to hairy spiders and the flesh has a sour tang to that I liken to rotting lychees. Obviously it is just me as these were eating up quickly (it may be swimming hunger though)

The seeds reminded me of unripe almonds, with a similar shape and a furry-esk outer skin. I was almost tempted to bite into it to see what was inside but a taste of the bitterness of the skin deterred me sharpish.

When the grill was eventually lit, we had the usual assortment of BBQ standards such as burgers, hot dogs, and my favorite, chicken wings on the grill, brushed with honey.

Our hostess of the evening had made the patties herself and they were very good with just enough of a burnt tang to remind me of past BBQs washed down with cold thick slices of watermelon, which is exactly what we finished with.

1 comment:

Mumpleweed said...

Ah...I do so love fondue.