October 29, 2012

I'm engaged!

I'm engaged!!! I'm typing these words and I still can't believe this is true. It's not like it happened yesterday, it was already two weeks ago, but my excitement hasn't gone down by a bit. I've been busy these couple of weeks sharing the news with my family and best friends and, I must confess, I was really looking forward to share these HUGE news on my blog!
J proposed to me on Sunday the 14th of October. It was a traditional and private marriage proposal, 100% my style. J always says he knows me better than anyone, even better than myself, and I'm starting to believe he has a point!

It was Sunday afternoon and we were getting ready to attend J's cousin's wedding. He was ready and waiting for me in the living room while I was still finishing my makeup in the room. When I finally step out of the room, saying that I was ready to go, he suddendly held me very tight (nothing weird until this point because he does so very often), and then... He got down on one knee!!!! I genuinely thought he was kidding because it came totally unexpected and we were already late for his cousin's wedding. So I just said: You're kidding, right? Well, he certainly wasn't!!! He pulled out a dark red velvet box from his pocket, opened it and asked me to marry him. I couldn't believe my eyes, nor my ears, nor anything, everything seemed so surreal! I was so in shock I couldn't even take a good look at the diamond ring in the box, I just new it was big and shiny. I started saying: Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God!!!! My brain was having trouble processing all the information, and I was getting all emotional. I finally said: Yes, yes, yes! And just like that threw myself at his arms. Then both of us stood up and, shaking, he took my left hand and slid the engagement diamond ring on my ring finger. I could tell he was really nervous, and so was I! Tears of happiness came down like a cascade and ruined the makeup I had prepared for the wedding we were attending. But I didn't care, at that moment there was no one in this world other than J and I. It was all about us, a moment filled with love that we shall never forget, for it signifies a deep promise from the bottom of our hearts: that of marrying and therefore being together for the rest of our life.
J and I a couple of hours after the proposal
Now a year full of preparations and excitement for our big day is waiting for us. I'm sure it's going to be an unforgettable year!

October 25, 2012

Robuchon au Dôme - Macau

Robuchon au Dôme is the only 3 Michelin starred restaurant in Macau, and I had decided I wanted to celebrate my birthday in this restaurant several months ago. To be sure we got a reservation, I booked a table for two for lunch two months in advance.
Robuchon au Dôme offers 3 different lunch sets at $458, $558 and $688 (the prices are in Macau dollars, but the exchange is almost 1 to 1 with the Hong Kong dollar, and about 10 Macau dollars per 1 euro). The menu at $458 includes an appetizer or a soup; fish or meat; and cheese or dessert. The second one at $558 includes both an appetizer and a soup while the rest remain the same as the first menu. The last one at $688 includes an appetizer, a soup, fish, meat, and cheese or dessert. We decided to go for the second option at $558 since the first seemed a bit poor and the third a bit too much.
The meal started off with a selection of French bread, including plain baguette, cheese bread, bacon baguette, raisin bread and apricot bread among others. All of this was accompanied by salted and unsalted butter flown in from Northern France, which was brought to our table on a butter trolley where the two mountains of butter stood and were then spooned off for us. I enjoyed the plain baguette with salted butter the most: delish!

Bread trolley
Butter trolley

 Then came the amuse bouche. It was a sherry gazpacho with pistachio and ricotta cheese, and did I enjoy it!!! It totally fulfilled the purpose of an amuse bouche, it left me craving for all the dishes to come!

Amuse bouche
Soon after that the lunch set started. First with the appetizers, then the soups and finally the main dish, for which we chose two meats.

For appetizers we chose the French mussels "marinieres" with touch of cream and leek fondant perfumed with saffron; and Slightly smoked foie gras and top of marinated mushroom with virgin olive oil. Both were great but the mussels were spectacular. The soups were Sellfish bisque spiced with Espelette pepper with scallop quenelle and crispy head; and Light Corn veloute under delicate sweet onion foam, foie gras and smoked bacon. I loved both of them, maybe the bisque a bit better, but the one mind-blowing thing about the corn soup, which was the pieces of foie gras it came with. They exploded in your mouth with a rich foie gras taste that left both J and I agog in pleasant bewilderement. For the main dishes, we had the Crispy boneless veal head with aromatic garnish "ravigote" and black truffle sauce; and the Roasted lamb rump with spice and vegetable medley in Navarin style. The lamb may look just as in any other restaurant but it was definitely not, it melted in your mouth! I also really enjoyed the mashed potatoes they served with it. We didn't fancy the veal that much; while the meat was of outstanding quality, the jelly around it looked and tasted more like fat rather than anything else.

Then the dessert trolley, a.k.a. eye candy, came to our table for us to choose two desserts per person. They were good but not remarkable. Too bad I forgot to take a picture of the cheese trolley because... whoa did those cheeses look good!!!

Dessert trolley
And finally a tea or coffee of our choice, served along with petit-fours, all of which was included in the lunch set as well.

I was deeply impressed by everything at Robuchon au Dôme. I guess it is no wonder, it was my first time in a 3 Michelin stars restaurant! I enjoyed the first part of the lunch the most, that is the French bread, the amuse bouche, the appetizers and the soups. I just couldn't recommend Robuchon au Dôme enough! I could stay staring at the interior decor of this restaurant for ages, it is that pretty! Not to mention the 360° views of Macau.

After our lunch we spent the day visiting Macau and betting in the casinos. What is there to say other than this has been the best birthday of my life? :)

Visited on: 21 October, 2012
Overall quality: 5*
Price: $558 + 10% service charge per head for the Lunch Set
Value for money: 5*
Would I recommend it? It would be impossible in Europe to find a 3 Michelin starred restaurant with these attractive prices. A must-try!

Robuchon au Dôme
43F - Grand Lisboa Hotel

October 24, 2012

Ocean Park for free on my birthday!

Hong Kong's major amusement park, Ocean Park, has a free entrance policy on the day of your birthday. Knowing this, I decided to go spend the day there with J, since both of us hadn't been to Ocean Park in years! Besides being an amusement park with several roller coasters and other amusement rides, Ocean Park is also a kind of zoo and aquarium, since it's home to hundreds of species. Located in Southern Hong Kong Island, Ocean Park overlooks Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay, making for breathtaking views...

Besides having free entrance, birthday people get 6 different discount coupons to enjoy at Ocean Park. Discounts on souvenir shops, pictures, restaurants, etc. We decided to go to Tuxedos restaurant for lunch and we got to use my 20% off coupon! The restaurant is really cool, it has a private view to the Penguins pool! Don't expect food to be too good, but pizzas are ok.

Igloo-like waiting area to be seated!

October 23, 2012

Happy Birthday with Tony Wong!

As some of you may know, it was my birthday on the 20th of October! I've been celebrating it non-stop since last Friday and I think celebrations are not over yet! Isn't birthday time one of the best moments of the year?! I've been having lunches and dinners with friends, going to the amusement park, eating at a top-notch 3 star Michelin restaurant, gambling in the casinos in Macau, singing Karaoke... All I can say is thank God today 23rd of October is a public holiday in Hong Kong. All I want to do is sleep!

Let me tell you all about my birthday activities later on. Today I want to share the pictures of my gorgeous birthday cakes from Tony Wong that my friends gave me last night. One was the One Two Tea (Earl-grey tea) cake, while the other was Tony Wong's signature cake: The Rose Cake. Thank you all for an amazing night!

October 20, 2012

A wedding at The Langham Hotel Hong Kong

Last Sunday J's cousin, Simon, and Polly got married. We had been looking forward to this day for a long time, and the wedding certainly didn't disappoint! They chose The Langham Hotel in Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, for their reception, and it's so far the nicest wedding I've attended in Hong Kong!

I unfortunately don't have any good picture with the bride and the groom... This is the best one I've got:

It's customary in Chinese weddings for the bride to change dress during the dinner reception for several times. I wish I had taken a pic when she wore the white dress, I'd say it was the prettiest, but then all of them were! (She wore about 6 different dresses if I remember correctly!)

J with Ho Ho, the son of another of J's cousins. How cool are they?!
The little twins were there too!! Awww!

I got to take a pic with the bride when we were leaving. We all knew Polly is a beautiful girl, but whoa, on her wedding day she looked like a movie star! Stunning! Don't you agree? :)

Overall it was an amazing wedding in a very nice venue. Here are some pics of the lobby of The Langham Hotel. Gorgeous!

Last but not least, a cute pic of J and myself on the stage!

October 16, 2012

Hong Kong's best bar with a view - Cocky Bar

Cocky bar, located in the 18th floor of shopping mall The ONE in Tsim Sha Tsui, was the venue J chose for our first date more than two years ago (Yes, time flies!). Two years later, and after having visited plenty of bars with a view in Hong Kong, I still believe Cocky bar is the best. I love its comfortable seats, its large terrace and the panoramic views thanks to its L shape. 

The first pic was taken with my camera, while I stole the second one from Cocky bar's website, just because a single pic didn't seem to do justice to the beauty of this place!

It's kind of unbelievable how none of the online guides/articles on Hong Kong's bars with the best views, such as Forbes' or CNN's articles, mention Cocky Bar in their lists. It may be because The ONE is a relatively new shopping mall, since it only opened its doors in May 2010. Cocky bar is hands-down my favorite bar with a view, and I love to go every now and then. If you want to drool over Hong Kong's skyline while sipping a drink, this is the place to go.

October 8, 2012

The Library Cafe in Lane Crawford

Every part of my body is feeling sore after attending a crazy fitness class yesterday. My legs got the worst part, they're all wobbly and feel like chewing gum, like they just can't support my weight, going down stairs is so painful! But Monday is back-to-work day so no rest for me! {If you want to know more about what I do for a living you can check out my About Me page.} Saturday was J and I's second anniversary but unfortunately he had to work this weekend. Hence my joining the hard core gym session on Sunday to keep myself occupied! Luckily, on Saturday he got off work soon enough for us to still be able to enjoy a cup of coffee and a cake at The Library Cafe. 

The Library Cafe is part of the Lane Crawford in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui. It's a trendy cafe that makes me think of Initial Cafe, specially since both of them are located inside a fashion store. I had heard the carrot cake was to die for so I ordered a slice. I thought it might as well be because a slice of that cake costed me HK$50! Well, it was divine! I love carrot cake and this one was one to write down on my favorites list. I accompanied this with a Cafe Latte, while J had a Cappuccino.

The Library Cafe is a bit pricey but I wouldn't mind doing it again! They have light lunches/dinners as well, so I might give this a try later on. I loved the light bulbs that covered the whole ceiling, as well as all the colorful tea boxes on the shelves.

According to Lane Crawford's website, the Library Cafe owes its name to it being part of The Shoe Library, Asia's largest shoes and accessories department, at the Canton Road Lane Crawford.

Visited on: 06 October, 2012
Price: Slice of carrot cake: HK$50; Cafe Latte: HK$40; Cappuccino: HK$40
Overall Quality: 4.5*
Value for Money: 4*
Would I recommend it? Yes, don't come here on purpose but do give it a try if you're around.