Sep 14, 2006|
Chief Wiggins to Homer Simpson, upon being challenged over the hotness of his chili at the annual cookoff: “So you think you’re the Pope of chili town, eh Simpson?” In a famous episode of The Simpson’s, Homer goes on a psychotropic journey after eating the world’s hottest chili. I’m not promising the same, but if you’re a chili fan, get ready for this, a semi-secret word-of-mouth-only event that I have been permitted to leak: I’m going to be the judge/jury/executioner at the fourth annual invite-only “Hong Kong Chili Spank Off – Fire in the Hole,” Sep 23 (Sat) at 6pm at the Indian Recreation Club, Sookunpoo Valley opposite Hong Kong Stadium. Hint: email “firstname.lastname@example.org” for directions or take your chances and just show up. My credentials as a former chef and background in Texas have got me in alongside some of the city’s best-known chefs/foodies/celebs/restaurateurs to sample 40 or so entries from both restaurants and enthusiasts to determine the city’s best-tasting chili. It’s $400 for all the chili and booze you can drink and a free T-shirt, with Sol beer as the main sponsor.
Kebab fans, there’s a new spot called Meze Café (yup, one "z") on Staunton Street in SoHo that also does falafal, mezze platters, shish kebab and plenty of other Middle Eastern favorites. Strangely, they also serve beef lasagna and “homemade USA potato chips.”
It’s still Mexican September and now’s the time to try the tequila-infused dishes at Caramba Mexican Cantina. Meanwhile, sister spot Coyote Bar and Grill are offering a special “cooking with Cuervo” menu. It’s not just for body-shots folks, this spirit actually has a long history and many grades of ageing and pureness, and should be savored like a cognac. No, seriously. Check out the salads or the chicken breast, maybe a massive 10-oz drunken pork chop marinated in Cuervo Gold Tequila and finish it off with a chocolate and tequila bread pudding baked with Cuervo Blanco Tequila, Kahlua and chocolate and served with a tequila vanilla sauce. Don’t forget the range of margaritas by the glass or pitcher – yum. Caramba: 26-30 Elgin St., SoHo, 2530-9963; Coyote: 114-120 Lockhart Rd., Wan Chai, 2861-2221.
I had this awesome salmon appetizer at the Peak Café & Bar last week, part of some new dishes that my fellow Canadian chef Tony Hong is serving up. And did you know they serve barbecued ribs for under $200? It's a huge rack that had my coworkers fighting to the death for my doggie bag. 9-13 Shelly St., SoHo, 2140-6877.
There are chefs, and then there are people you meet that remind you that food is love. And this chef epitomizes this; his Italian is better than it is in Italy. I'm talking about Kowloon Hotel’s new executive chef, Giancarlo Zoccoletto, a Venice native with 30 years of cooking experience, his own restaurant in Canada and a passion for food that is obsessive even for a chef. You've got to sample his work. The Pizzeria, Kowloon Hotel, 19-21 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2734-3803.
With twenty-one years of service to the city and still going strong, Wu Kong Shanghai has decided to revamp its Times Square outlet with individual booths for privacy and all the classic Shanghainese dishes with some pretty potent Shanoxing wine, er fuo tou (sorghum), mai tais and western wines from old and new worlds. 12/F, Food Forum, Times Square, 1 Matheson St., Causeway Bay, 2506-1018.