What is Dim Sum – Eating Dum Sum in Hong Kong

What is Dim Sum – Eating Dum Sum in Hong Kong

I remember the first time I ever ate dim sum. For the longest time I really had no idea what dim sum was. I remember a reference to dim sum in the movie Sleepless in Seattle, but really had no clue what those two tasty words meant. Now, I feel like an expert on dim sum in Hong Kong, a mecca for the perfect meal of dumplings. But, for those uninitiated in this world, here we answer the question: What is dim sum? That first time we had dim sum in Chinatown in Washington, DC, back in 2002, we had no idea how to eat dim sum. I merely just looked for dim sum near me, without thinking about what was the best dim sum, or traditional dim sum. We exited the Chinatown Metro, and followed the crowds to a dim sum restaurant. We looked around as carts wheeled by, pointing to some things that did not look scary (like the chicken feet, we avoided those), and we ordered a few dishes. Having no idea how much a plate of dumplings cost, we ordered maybe four dishes and called it a day. Without a dim sum menu, I had no idea if a plate was $3 or $30. It was confusing, but tasty, and kind of exciting. Learn more about what is dim sum: The Dim Sum Field Guide The Dim Sum Field Guide: A Taxonomy of Dumplings, Buns, Meats, Sweets, and Other Specialties of the Chinese Teahouse List Price: $14.99 Price: $12.61 You Save: $2.38 Price Disclaimer What is Dim Sum? Dim sum is a way of eating Chinese...
The Famous Macau Pork Chop Bun

The Famous Macau Pork Chop Bun

My obsession with pork is by definition probably an unhealthy one. But when so many cultures around the world prepare pork in a variety of tasty ways, what’s one to do? Well, one goes on a pork pilgrimage to track down the famous Macau pork chop bun. Fortunately we are usually located in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, and Italy throughout the year. These are all great countries able to satisfy our need for all things pork. Ribs, pork belly, jamon, prosciutto. The list goes on and on. One item on this porktastic list is also one of the most illusive: the famous Macau pork chop bun. What is the Macau Pork Chop Bun? Picture if you can, an oversized bone-in pork chop, marinated to perfection in a combination of five spice powder, garlic, sugar, salt, soy, white and black pepper. Fried to a golden brown and severed on a warm, buttered Portuguese bun. Hungry yet? Want one?  We have only ever seen the Macanese pork chop bun in Macau and Kuala Lumpur. The most famous restaurant, in fact, I believe they are credited with “inventing” the Macanese pork chop bun is Tai Lei Loi Kei Macau. Serving up these tasty pork sandwiches since 1968, visiting them in Macau was a personal “pork pilgrimage” that I needed to accomplish. Like many of our food pilgrimages, we were inspired to visit Tai Lei Loi Kei after watching Anthony Bourdain, a fellow porkafile. We watched him dive into a his own pork chop bun while mocking fictitious vegetarians who secretly want to eat one of their own. Having only eaten at the Tai Lei...
The Bloody Mary – My Newish Obsession

The Bloody Mary – My Newish Obsession

Eric doesn’t like tomatoes. He will eat pizza, and tomato sauce. But any tomato that still holds some resemblance to its original shape he avoids like the plague. When I force him to try a tomato in a way I think he is going to like, he scrunches up his face, shakes his head, and generally responds with yuck. This is even the case with a Bloody Mary. It’s sacrilege. How I Lost Interest in the Bloody Mary I’ve always loved Bloody Mary cocktails. My favorite memories of when I used to be a golfer involve a Bloody Mary, made on the course, by a girl in a cocktail cart. When we lived in Chicago, I would go gaga over make your own Bloody Mary brunches. In recent years, though, I’ve almost given up my Bloody Mary habit. It’s unfortunate indeed. Some of that is because we spend most of our time in Asia. We don’t frequent brunches like we used to. We also generally don’t start drinking in the morning anymore. Well, not frequently. Maybe it is because we don’t hang out at places I trust enough to make a quality Bloody Mary. But, really, I blame Eric. If he and I could enjoy our Bloody Marys together, I would probably enjoy them more often. If he didn’t make that gag me face when I drink a Bloody Mary, I would probably enjoy them more. Mostly, though, I just blame The Husband for everything. It’s just easier that way. How I Regained My Interest in the Bloody Mary During our most recent visit to the Renaissance Hong Kong, we...
Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge – The Pier

Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge – The Pier

The battle between international airlines to win over premium passengers isn’t just reserved for the inflight experience. On our recent trip from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, we had the pleasure of experiencing a revolutionary new design and passenger experience at the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge at their home in Hong Kong International Airport. Dubbed “The Pier,” this one of a kind airport lounge provides first class passengers with a wide range of services all set in a simple yet contemporary setting. Cathay maintains over a half dozen lounges at Hong Kong Airport, spread throughout Terminal 1. With names like “The Wing,” “The Bridge,” and “The Pier,” each lounge offers premium passengers a space to unwind before their flight. For me, it’s another time to make the most of our business class or first class flights. Unfortunately, our Cathay Pacific First Class flight to Frankfurt was scheduled to leave Hong Kong just after midnight. Fortunately, because we came from Macau by ferry, we had about 7 hours to fill before our flight. The Design of the Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge First opened in 2001, The Pier experienced a complete makeover in 2014. For the #AvGeeks out there, Studioilse, a London firm, designed the lounge. They aimed to capture the look and feel of a contemporary apartment. Or, an apartment that happens to seat 231 passengers. Flying out on a Sunday night, The Pier was nowhere near capacity. I’d love to return to The Pier at a peak travel time to see if the design maintains a sense of being at home. As soon as we walked inside, The...
Unique Foods – What We’ve Eaten in 2016

Unique Foods – What We’ve Eaten in 2016

There are loads of blog posts out there talking about unique food challenges. In fact, I wrote one before we left the US almost 4 years ago. I should mention, we’ve eaten virtually none of those unique foods. Where once we wanted to seek out these dishes, now, we are more interested in continuing to eat the foods that we love around the world. Many people limit the foods they eat because they are picky and don’t like a lot of foods. For us, that’s not the case. We like loads of different foods, so we have a lot of variety to choose from. The thing is, when we are in Hong Kong for 4 nights, I want BBQ pork and wanton mee. When I’m in Hanoi for 3 nights, I want pho bo and bun cha. I want the dishes that I’ve come to consider as comfort foods in those countries. What Are These Unique Foods? That said, in the last few months, we’ve eaten some unique foods, even without seeking them out ourselves. Now, this isn’t scorpion on a stick unique food. Instead, they are just foods that are a little strange, and ones we would not order ourselves. So, how did we end up eating these unique foods? Many times when we travel, we are at the mercy of tasting menus or chefs who put all sorts of foods in front of us. We oblige. Most we end up loving. Some, we end up tolerating. Some, we eat to be polite. What are some of the unique foods we’ve eaten so far this year? Liver in...
Cathay Pacific First Class Review – 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific First Class Review – 777-300ER

Cathay Pacific consistently ranks as one of the best airlines in the world. A young modern fleet of mainly Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A330-300s. A focused dedication to the passenger experience both on the ground and in the air. They are known for exceptional inflight service. We previously experienced Cathay Pacific Business Class flying from Chicago to Hong Kong. Amber and I were eager to experience Cathay Pacific First Class as we set off to Germany to attend the ITB Travel Expo. Booking Cathay Pacific First Class   We wanted to use our American Airlines miles for our flight to Europe. Our initial goal was to fly from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, in Cathay Pacific Business Class. Because it’s hard to book Asia routings using miles on American’s website, we called American Airlines Reservations. We knew it would cost each of us approximately 52,000 American miles for a one way Business Class ticket. We were pleasantly surprised that for an additional 18,000 miles each, we would be able to experience Cathay Pacific First Class. This was music to our ears. With the average price for this ticket at $17,000 a person, what’s an additional 18,000 miles? Tickets booked, my inner #AvGeek, couldn’t wait to this flight. By the way, American Airlines recently devalued it’s miles, so it costs a lot more to book Cathay Pacific with American Miles. I’m glad we booked our flight when we did. Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Cathay Pacific has coined #LifeWellTravelled as their company hashtag. To paraphrase from their marketing materials, when you travel well, your trip becomes memorable. From the moment we arrived at Hong Kong International...