Foodie Fan: Training Table Trauma?

An excerpt from BW, which I find quite amusing. The amount of food consumed at an NFL team’s training camp can probably feed a family in rural China for years. Kinda reminded of the time when news broke out during the BJ Olympics that Phelps consumes some 12,000 calories a day or sth like that, single-handedly taking the phrase “get in my belly” to a whole new level.


Last week, the Chargers’ Antonio Cromartie was fined $2,500 for using Twitter to complain about the food at training camp. But the cornerback didn’t go into detail about what on his plate was so “nasty.”

It wasn’t likely lasagna, as lunch reportedly came from the Brigantine (seafood) and Peohe’s (tropical seafood), two of San Diego’s more popular restaurants. So maybe Cromartie doesn’t like fish. Whatever his non-beef, there was plenty of it. The Atlanta Constitution claims that 4,800 pounds of chicken will be eaten during the Falcons’ training camp meals; the team is also expected to consume “600 pounds of bacon, 1,300 pounds of fish, and 500 gallons of milk.” In 2000 the Denver Broncos allegedly consumed 5,150 pounds of vegetables during training camp—and went on to win 11 games.

Athletes and food go hand to mouth. The Bills’ Terrell Owens’ new cereal, “TO’s,” was officially unveiled in late July; New York grocery store chain Tops Markets sold over 11,000 boxes in the first week. Ben Roethlisberger sells beef jerky in Pittsburgh, and Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia markets his own salsa in Boston. IHOP just signed a short-term sponsorship deal with the NFL and has added “NFL Stuffed French Toast” and the “QB Scramble” to its menu. Even top chef Emeril Lagasse is jumping on the sports chuckwagon—he plans to open a sports-themed restaurant called Lagasse’s Stadium this fall at the Palazzo in Las Vegas.

Aside from Cromartie’s revelations, the gastronomic shocker of the week comes from the Dallas Cowboys, who are charging luxury suite patrons $60 for a plain cheese pizza. Let’s just hope it’s Texas-sized.


Rick Horrow is a leading expert in the business of sports. As CEO of Horrow Sports Ventures, he has been the architect of 103 deals worth more than $13 billion in sports and other urban infrastructure projects. He is also the sports business analyst for CNN, Fox Sports, and the Fox Business Channel.


Tea is of the EssenSe!

A bit late to be writing up about this since the Tea Fair (and the Hong Kong Food Expo) has already ended. Although I wasn’t there to witness the Milk Tea Challenge live on Sunday, I was there on Friday and Saturday and every time I walked past the milk tea booth, I was quite tempted to try those thick, smooth and aromatic milk tea that has become as iconic a Hong Kong symbol as the Bauhinia blakeana … umm, perhaps even more so.

Milk Tea Challenge at the Tea Fair

Milk Tea Challenge at the Tea Fair

How’s this for the Hong Kong flag? The MTSAR.

The Special Administrative Region of Milk Tea

The Special Administrative Region of Milk Tea

Anyway, here’s the recipient of the respective awards for the Milk Tea Challenge:

Gold: 大發餐厅
Silver: 太興燒味餐廳
Bronze: 鄭記士多 (These lunatics here serve HK$68 glass of milk tea. Nutcase. I will try it though … once.)
Runner-ups: 魚菜消費合作社, 扒王之王, 锦城餐厅

So what happened to Lan Fong Yuen (蘭芳園)?! Some say they’ve already proved themselves and they see no need for this kind of promotion. Others say the folks at Lan Fong Yuen can’t handle the pressure of coming in second place or lower. Or maybe the whole things rigged, although I do stand by the decision with 太興燒味餐廳 – they really do serve some pretty damn smooth milk tea. Well, regardless of it all … I think its a great marketing gimmick and its good for the Hong Kong-Milk Tea image and business.

Anyway, moving swiftly on to real Chinese tea. Not far from where all the action was, gathered another pocket of traders, retailers and visitors curious to learn more about an up-and-coming tea brand: Essense Tea.

Essense Tea at the Tea Fair

Essense Tea at the Tea Fair

The booth did extremely well throughout the 3 days of the exhibition and generated A LOT of buzz, more so even than Ying Kee Tea House (英記茶莊) just opposite. Chua Lam (蔡瀾), famous local food critic and wine & tea connoisseur was amongst one of many such celebrities to drop to say hello.

So what’s so special about this Essense Tea? Think: the best bag of tea your grandparents saved for some grand occasion, placed inside a state-of-the-art tea bag (produced in Japan), sealed with nitrogen gas to preserve the freshness of the tea leaves (packaged in Hong Kong) … and all of this began with a passion, philosophy and principle that tea should be shared. This whole tea-drinking culture might just really pick up amongst young 20-40 year-olds.

As of right now, only 3 types of teas are offered. They are:

  • Baiyaqilan Oolong Tea
    Golden Tip Red Tea
    Hubei Steamed Green Tea
  • Baiyaqilan Oolong Tea
  • Golden Tip Red Tea
  • Hubei Steamed Green Tea

And Essense Tea is keeping a tight-lip as to what other exotic tea flavours they’ll be offering soon. It certainly won’t be the more common names you find in the Lipton collection. Stay tuned for more on their website.

Enjoying a Cup of Top Quality Baiyaqilan from Essense Tea

Enjoying a Cup of Top Quality Baiyaqilan from Essense Tea

About Essense

Essense was founded on the principle that tea is a gift to be shared, so we strive to offer fine teas to please every palette. We feel that a variety of savory teas should be accessible to everyone, not just the privileged few.

To that end we are always scouring the world for teas, both traditional and exotic, for all occasions; from weddings to Sunday afternoons, as presents or for personal enjoyment.

As we share the gift of tea with you, we hope you share Essense with your friends and family.

Their Philosophy

Our pleasure and passion are sharing the joy and serenity found in a good cup of tea.

We are committed to offering a variety of delectable teas from around the world, a blend of class and culture.

To achieve this goal, we have teamed up our tea connoisseurs with world-class suppliers to deliver a sensation to savor; each cup, every cup.

Note: Photos taken with a BlackBerry Curve 8900

Disclaimer: Essense Tea was founded and owned by a dear friend of the writer at

Credit: Special thanks to Go Public for creating the flag for use in this article.

The Siuyeh Photo of the Month

The Siuyeh Photo of the Month – August 2009
Where amateur photography meets luck

Coffee Shop sign at the food court at Siam Paragon

Coffee Shop sign at the food court at Siam Paragon

Photo taken at a coffee shop inside the food court within Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand.

Note: Photo taken with Nikon D60 … kit lens 😦

Marouche Grill on Elgin Street

So I had dinner at Marouche Grill, a new Lebanese restaurants on Elgin Street in Soho.

If you’re looking for a review on the food there, then I’m sorry to disappoint because I wasn’t really paying attention to the food so much as I was the company, which consisted of a small group of local foodies sharing experiences and stories about all things food. There was this one memorable dish that I would recommend though and it was the Mouhamara (its a little spicy .. just to give you a heads-up).

Anyway, the dinner was organized by Dorothy So from HK Magazine as she’s writing a piece on local food bloggers. Some stories will and should probably stay within the group (sorry!) but she’ll likely share some of the other more media-friendly stories with you in the August 28th (edit) late September publication. I’m not going to be the one to spoil the fun, so pick up a copy then.

If you’re looking for a write-up on Marouche Grill, you’ll probably find a better piece (not to mention better photos) written by much more experienced local food bloggers whom I had dined with. Check out Peter’s blog at 吃喝玩樂, Elvina’s blog here, or KC’s blog here.

(Note: At the time of writing this post, only Peter has written about Marouche Grill).

Thanks for organizing Dorothy and good luck with the article!

Another Random Search

Edit: I got schooled. “Sweating” is a cooking technique and according to Wikipedia, is the gentle heating of coarsely cut vegetables in a little oil or butter, with frequent stirring and turning to insure that any emitted liquid will evaporate. Sweating usually results in tender, sometimes translucent, pieces. Sweating is often a preliminary to further cooking in liquid; onions, in particular, are often sweated before including in a stew. This differs from sautéing in that sweating is done over a much lower heat, sometimes with salt added to help draw moisture away, and making sure that little or no browning takes place. I owe an apology to the person who searched that.

Another random search hit Siuyeh tonight. What is this? Can someone fill me in? Sounds delicious.

Sweating Eggplant Experiment

Sweating Eggplant Experiment

First Step to Becoming a Wine Sommelier!

In an attempt to become a wine sommelier, I’ve signed up for seminars at the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute at the Hospitality Industry Training & Development Centre, which is part of the Vocational Training Council (VTC).

Our instructor is Mr. Nelson Chow, the manager (F&B Operations & Training) of the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute at the Hospitality Industry Training & Development Centre, and he’s also the chairman of the Hong Kong Sommelier Association. He’s won numerous accredited awards related to wine and a track record to boast about, but only those “in the know” are aware of it … because he’s so darn humble.

Anyway, he’s a great instructor. VERY knowledgeable, funny and eloquent in his speech. Our class is from 7-9PM, but he usually goes on until late. Very late. On our first lesson last week, the class was from 7:30 to almost 11PM. He’s just really passionate about the subject and you can just stay after class and grill him on everything you want to know about wine.

Wine Tasting Facility at the Hospitality Industry Training & Development Centre in Pokfulam 1

Wine Tasting Facility at the Hospitality Industry Training & Development Centre in Pokfulam 1

Wine Tasting Facility at the Hospitality Industry Training & Development Centre in Pokfulam 2

Wine Tasting Facility at the Hospitality Industry Training & Development Centre in Pokfulam 2

Apparently, this is the 1 and ONLY wine tasting facility for students in HK. Others wanted to copy and follow, but failed. Or so I was told anyway.

2007 Talus Collection Pinot Grigio

2007 Talus Collection Pinot Grigio

2007 Talus Collection Chardonnay

2007 Talus Collection Chardonnay

2005 Marques de Caceres, Rioja

2005 Marques de Caceres, Rioja

Great Lighting Equipments!

Great Lighting Equipments!

Oooo … so fancy 🙂

The Balance Wheel ... OooooOo

The Balance Wheel ... OooooOo

There’s only about 12 students in the class, so its quite cozy. Definitely check it out if you want to learn a thing or two about wine!

SML in Times Square (Part 2)

Here’s what we had at SML at the trial dinner:

There were just too many dishes and our table was a little cramped and busy, so I had forgotten to take photos of the grilled prawns / chilli / garlic, meatballs / spicy tomato sauce. Whoops.

My favorite dish? (MUST GET)

  • classic lasanga al forno
  • meatballs / spicy tomato sauce
  • crostini / anchovy mayonnaise
  • veal escalope / sage-caper butter

My favorite dessert? (MUST GET)

  • citrus panna cotta / pink grapefruit & orange slices
  • caramel profiteroles / butterscotch sauce

Note: Here, “MUST GET” = just get it, I’m not even going to bother explaining. Its that good 🙂

Needs just a little improvement

  • Risotto – the braised ox-tail was terrific, but the risotto was a little too raw (I know its supposed to be little bit hard), a little too liquid and a little lacking in flavour
  • Gnocchi – also lacking a bit in flavour, definitely didn’t taste 4 cheese

House red were Moulin de Gassac Cab and Syrah (2007) and the house white was also a Moulin de Gassac Sauvignon Blanc (2007). But like I said, once they’re officially opened (today actually), I’m sure they’ll have a much more extensive wine list.

We had a LOT of food and wine, so even though the meal was complimentary, we wanted to see what the damage was. It came up to about HK$1,350 for 2, but I reckon we’d be pretty full eating just half the stuff we ordered (i.e. don’t use us as a reference. It isn’t HK$ 700 per head … unless you go completely nuts like we did. I’d say HK$ 400 per head is reasonable?)

So is it worth going to? Definitely! I think there’s still half of the menu I haven’t tried.

Note: Photos taken with BlackBerry Curve 8900

Siu Yeh Rating: 8.5/10

SML Bar / Restaurant / Patio

11/F., Times Square
Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 2577 3444
Email: info (at)