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Stephanie is a contributing writer to “The Hudsucker.” By day, she is a teaching assistant at Kumon, attempting to convince young children that 36 is indeed less than 37, but by night, she turns into an intrepid Instagram food photographer.

The Canadian Foodie Takes Asia: Part Two

Chirashi Don from The Sushi Bar. Photo credit to Stephanie Mau.

Time for the second (and last) installation of The Canadian Foodie Takes Asia! I’m as disappointed as you are that our culinary exploration of Asia was so short-lived, but unfortunately there is only so much you can eat in three short weeks of vacation.

Now, let me preface my reviews by saying that both Hong Kong and Singapore are well-known for their distinctive styles of cuisine, and both cities are such major foodie cities that you would be hard-pressed to find bad Cantonese food or less-than-satisfactory Hainanese chicken anywhere. In fact, it may be due to the plethora of delicious Chinese food in both cities that, when it came time to choose my favourite restaurant from each city, I ended up choosing ones that specialized in Italian and Japanese cuisine instead. Oops.

HONG KONG

Tagliatelle with pancetta bacon, egg yolk and cheese sauce. Photo credit to Stephanie Mau.

Tagliatelle with pancetta bacon, egg yolk and cheese sauce. Photo credit to Stephanie Mau.

Bene Italian – One thing you should probably know about me is that I have a huge weakness for Italian food. Mainly pasta. So when I found out that there was an Italian eatery in one of my favourite Hong Kong malls, I immediately dragged my family with me to try it out. To this day, I’m super grateful that my family forwent Cantonese food that one time, because Bene Italian remains my favourite Italian restaurant of all time. (If this sounds sacrilegious to any Italian foodies, I will admit that I’ve never had the good fortune to visit Italy and eat real Italian pasta, so that title can still be contested.)

Tagliatelle with classic bolognese sauce. Photo credit to Stephanie Mau

I haven’t had the chance to try any of Bene’s pizzas yet so I can’t comment on how good they are, but I can definitely attest to the fact that their various tagliatelle dishes are top notch. So far I’ve tried their tagliatelle with classic bolognese sauce, tagliatelle with smoked salmon with light tomato cream sauce, and tagliatelle with pancetta bacon, egg yolk and cheese sauce. I’m usually a sucker for a good bolognese sauce, but the latter two dishes are far superior. Both dishes have a delectable creamy sauce that really complements their tagliatelle pasta, and the smoked salmon and pancetta bacon are both so yummy that I’m still having a hard time deciding which one was better. Bene Italian is located on the first floor of New Town Plaza Phase 1 in Sha Tin, Hong Kong.

SINGAPORE

Salmon aburi roll. Photo credit to Stephanie Mau.

The Sushi Bar – I checked out The Sushi Bar at the recommendation of a friend, who had warned me that while it’s definitely a no-frills type of place, it’s popular enough that you should call ahead for a reservation. Always erring on the side of caution, I heeded her advice and booked a table on the phone before I headed over. Once I arrived at the restaurant with my mother and grandmother in tow, my grandmother immediately voiced what we were all thinking: “You called ahead to get a table at this place?”

The Sushi Bar really doesn’t look like much at first. It’s tucked in the corner of a low-end mall that mainly sells knockoffs and is very much the embodiment of no-frills with six tables at the most and cheap-looking stools for seating. But once you get over the physical appearance of the place and taste the food, you’ll feel like you’re sitting in the ritziest, most high-end sushi restaurant there is. From the addicting scallop mentaiyaki appetizer to the simple but irresistible salmon aburi roll to the surprisingly wonderful sirloin steak, The Sushi Bar is well worth the trip. (And don’t worry, my grandmother ended up eating her words. And a whole lot of yummy sashimi.) The Sushi Bar is located on the 3rd floor of Far East Plaza, Singapore.

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