Get your Chino on: Japanese-Mexican Eats

Hong Kong has a fabulous food scene. Because of the international community here, pretty much every taste is catered to. Traditional local eateries abound with cheap and cheerful food. But the places I love have fresh takes on food, and give you something unexpected, but delicious.

One of these places is Chino, Mexican dishes made with Japanese ingredients. I love the building it is in—a recently modernized tong lau block. The curved picture windows and the clean lines give me a happy shiver. I definitely have a thing for nice windows.chino building

chinooutside

Chino sits on the ground floor like a nordic-chic fish tank. From the inside you get a quintessentially HK view. A little traffic, some construction barriers and sand bags, and a passerby on the phone watching us watch her.

chinoview

Whatchoo lookin’ at Wilson?

The food is all lovely, bright flavours, many ingredients sourced from Japan. This is yellowtail ceviche in yuzu sauce. Seriously, yuzu is totes amazeballs. Find some. Use it instead of lime, or lemon. Stick in sake, or with vodka for a zingy cocktail. Mix it into salsa, or soy sauce, or make yourself a refreshing spritzer with some sparkling water and yuzu. Zest it, make some yuzu creme brulee. Or yuzu scented jelly. Oh, yuzu jelly shots! Alright, I’ll stop now. I think you get the gist. 😉chinoceviche

Fresh oysters with a tomatillo sauce, though, I have to admit I’m a purist when it comes to oysters. A squeeze of lemon and a dash of tabasco is my preferred accompaniment. Even so, these went down a treat and I wouldn’t say no to them if offered again. oysters

They do a variety of salsas, and you can order all six as a taster platter, but my favourite has to be their tomato and shiso salsa. I couldn’t figure out what vinegar they use… something fruity but mild. More lactic acid than acetic. But the combination of shiso with vinegar and tomatoes and bits of onion was like a party on my tastebuds replete with joyous cries of olé! Or should it be ichiban?chinochips

This dish was definitely the highlight. Maybe it’s the crunchy tostada that lend themselves so well to creamy toppings. And what could be creamier than fresh uni? Sliced nori, uni, scallops and a drizzle of lime. Totally amazing.

chinouni

Chino doesn’t do desserts, so we hopped across the street to Kinsale, another favourite inspired by the Irish seaside town for which it’s named. Sadly their blackforest gateau parfait was off the menu so we contented ourselves with a pavlova instead.

kinsale

kinsaleinside

Cozy Kinsale interior

When I got home, our dog Obi, still a puppy really at a year and half, was on the bed, doing this:

whatisobidoing obibaby

He’s not yawning, and he’s awake. He was holding his mouth open and had his paws over his eyes for quite some time, then moved them to look at himself in the mirror. He seemed a bit embarrassed when he saw me taking photos. Do your pets do this?

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