Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Magnolia ♥ ♥ ♥


Wanna feel loved? Come to Magnolia and let the food take care of you.

I still remember my first time in this Cajun-Creole private kitchen. It was 2 years ago and I was on a date. We arrived a bit late and took the only 2 seats left at the long communal dining table. Seated across from each other, we smiled apologetically at one another the whole evening, getting our messages across through hand gestures and sign language. And then more exasperated smiles. No, my date was not mute nor deaf, but he might as well be as we couldn’t hear each other over the noise even if we shouted. And the food took forever to arrive. Dinner started at 9pm and ended just before midnight. That was a bad date.

With good food.

And so I come back. But with my girlfriends this time. And we arrive early.

In the sitting room, cocktails and canapés welcome us.


IMG_00238:03pm. Cheese and Crackers

This is so good that if I am not saving precious stomach space for more great food that I know will come, dinner will start and end here, in this block of cheese, tomato and pesto. Believe me, it takes every ounce of self control to not finish the whole thing. Behave, Jin, behave. 

The other canapés are good, too, but I still can’t get over how great the block of cheese is to take more notice of each one of them. Sorry, sometimes I play favorites. 


IMG_00288:15pm. Crab Claws with Honey Mustard-Horseradish Dip


IMG_00368:27pm. Fried Potato Balls, Squished


IMG_00388:31pm. Parmesan Crisps with Olive Paste


IMG_00348:35pm. A crowd is starting to form at the cocktail area.


IMG_00408:38pm. Passing through the open kitchen on the way up.


IMG_0042 8:40pm. The Dining Area


IMG_00508:42pm. Chef Lori giving us a teaser of what is to come.  


And finally, at 8:55pm, the food arrives.

IMG_0062a8:56pm.  New Orleans Seafood Gumbo

The first course and I already feel Chef Lori’s love. A soup rich in flavor and ingredients, the kind that is only possible when made with TLC. Crab claws, shrimps, fish, sausages and rice, it is already a meal in itself.


IMG_0073 9:19pm. Prawn Salad and Fried Green Tomatoes in Capers Vinaigrette


The following are served family style, meaning a lot of graceful elbow pushing elbow rubbing with fellow hungry diners.


IMG_007710:04pm. Smothered Okra, Tomato and Corn


IMG_007810:05pm. Mashed Sweet Potato

A dish so simple but oh so sweet, smooth and creamy. Awww Chef Lori, you make me feel all mushy inside!


IMG_007910:06pm. Chicken Something


IMG_008110:07pm. Jambalaya

One of my favorite words... Jam-bah-lah-yah. Isn’t it so much fun to say? This is paella, Cajun style - tasty rice cooked with sausages, chicken, little pieces of vegetables and a lot of southern Louisiana flavor. Everyone say it altogether now, JAMBALAYA!!!


IMG_008310:09pm.  Cajun Barbecue Ribs

Okay, you can put down that knife now. This is fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Smokey, sweet, a bit tangy, and did I say tender? I taste the love Chef Lori cooked it with.


IMG_008410:10pm. Shrimp Étouffée


IMG_008810:12pm. Cornbread with Honey Butter

Excuse me, I have to smile that dumb blonde smile now. This cornbread is so good it tickles me senseless! I smother it with honey butter and take another bite. My smile instantly turns into a giggle (still in dumb blonde mode). Tell me, Chef Lori, did you sprinkle some magic into this butter because I just can’t stop giggling. Your cornbread and butter make me so happy!


IMG_009011:09pm. Louisiana Honey Pecan Pie

Now this puts all other pecan pies to shame. Rich, moist, loaded with nuts, and very caramel-y sweet. And for all the sugar wuss out there, there’s a dollop of cream to your rescue. This warm honey pecan pie feels like a blanket in the cold. It feels like a bear hug to my stomach. Gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside. That feeling so familiar to all of us.

That feeling of love.

Really, who needs a date when there is Magnolia?


IMG_0047With my girlfriends, Elisa and Sherylou


Magnolia: Shop 5, G/F, 17 Po Yan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: +852-2530-9880

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