Re-understanding SALAD

June is always my favourite month. It represents fun and vibrant time to me as it is my birthday month. Haha! Although I am out of town for 1/3 days in this month, I still had the chance to try some exciting new food in Hong Kong. One of the more interesting events is “Reinventing Salad”, a battle of the finest and freshest salad in town, taken part by seven restaurants, The Restaurant by The Kinnet, Linguini Fini, Beef & Liberty, Lily & Bloom, Fresca, Viet Kitchen & Bar and Common Room. 

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The seven contestants

All the participants are asked to rate the salad dish in terms of five aspects: 1) Presentation, 2) Flavour, 3) Colour, 4) Freshness and 5) Overall impression.  Here are the official results and my own favourites:

Official Results:

My own favourites:

1.Viet Kitchen

1. Viet Kitchen
2.Kinnet Cafe

2.Lily and Bloom


3. Kinnet Cafe

Chef Peter Cuong Franklin of Viet Kitchen & Bar

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Vietnamese Steak Salad with grilled sirloin, greens, cabbage, mango, avocado, tomato and Vietnamese herbs

The winning dish is also my personal favourite of the night! Chef Peter truly demonstrates the perfect way to reinvent salad! The salad is incredibly flavourful, seasoned with herbs, finely chopped ginger, garlic; it is also full of textures, with a mix of crunchiness from green papaya and peanuts, and creaminess from the avocado and mango. Best of all, the beef is also incredibly tender and delicious which acts as a big bonus! This is an excellent salad, please put it on the regular menu.

Chef Billy Otis of Lily & Bloom

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Grilled Summer Peach Salad with maple bourbon dressing, coconut puree, swiss chard, sorrel, green papaya, toasted macadamia nut

I rated full point on the presentation, and it is also one of my top three salads. Love the unique salad dressing (using bourbon whisky!) and the coconut puree on the side. Would love to have more of it!

Chef Sing Lau of The Restaurant by The Kinnet

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Green Goddess Kale Salad with roasted organic chicken, avocado, sweet corn, eggplant, vin tomato, boiled egg, cilantro and feta

I love the presentation of the plate of colourful fresh greens! Even better, the ingredients taste fresh, especially their avocado and avocado-green yogurt dressing (haha yes you know me, big fan of good avocado :P) Well deserved a 1st-runner up in the competition!

Chef Ivy Chow of Fresca

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Mixed Salad with roasted potato, string beans, country delight, quinoa, stuffed dates, yam and Sichuen mix

This is the mix-and-match of everything in season! I was a bit skeptical at first because I haven’t tried ‘salad’ with Sichuan mix (tofu and beans), but interestingly it tastes nice! The date (紅棗) and Vietnamese yam (沙葛) also surprise me. 😛

Chef Neil Tomes of Beef & Liberty

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Haloumi and Persimmon alad with tri-quinoa crusted haloumi, lentil, spelt, persimmon, mint, spring onion, caramelised onion, carrot, beetroot, nuts and sweet sherry dressing

This is such a filling salad with all the crunchy ingredients, it interestingly tastes like a meaty dish which I think is so consistent with their beef and liberty culture.

Lastly we have Grilled Tiger Shrimp Salad by Chef Tez Pun of Common Room on the left, and Seared Scallop Salad by Chef Vinny Lauria of Linguini Fini, Stone Nullah Tavern & Posto Pubblico.

The tiger shrimp is my least favourite item of the night, it is almost tasteless, I suggest they should check with the grilling process. The Mexican salad at the bottom is actually acceptable because of the mix of textures from avocado, sweetcorn and tortilla chips. Still, the lack of seasoning is the major problem.

Chef Vinny always brings in promising quality food. Adding seared scallop and sea urchin to salad is definitely a wow-factor, but the rest of the ingredients are rather average and rather oily.

*These creative salads are available in the seven restaurants from 29 June to 31 Juy.  They will keep track of the number of salad sold, and final champion will be announcement in August! We can all participate and support our favourite one.

**by invitation

***Photos all rights reserved to @shell_we_eat

****Check out the amazing video for this event on my Instagram @shell_we_eat filmed by Jonathan





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