Friends have mentioned it. Magazines and websites have reviewed it. Yet I have never been to Sevva until tonight. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the roof top terrace, the buzz, and the service. Then again, there was the view of Statue Square, the live DJ and saxophonist and the (self) select crowd. Perhaps this is the perfect place for a post-work-hook-up-with-friends place in Central (if you don't mind the inflated bills).
Thursday, 30 July 2009
It was lunch en famille at Pierre today. When we walked in at 12:30 I was the only man: the rest of the restaurant was decorated with ladies-who-lunch. That "man alone" situation was quickly rectified by other business men and my dad arriving just before 13:00.
The lunch menu offered a good variety of dishes. I had the bouillabaise gelly which was rich but just right for this hot climate. My pork loin was topped with peanuts and a jus that was well balanced in taste and texture. The cheese dimsum was a bit strange. The wilted tomatoes and spinach was also tasty. Dessert was old-fashioned marshmallow with a modern twist - pink marshmallows floating on a milky pannacotta with a light strawberry sorbet. Monsieur Gagnaire was en residence and said hello to us (well, actually each and every table).
On the 9th floor of Henry House in Causeway Bay is where one finds this tiny Japanese restaurant TEN YOSHI. At best it could probably sit 30 people. When I got there at 12:30 it was already well populated. The specialty of the restaurant was tempura - deep-fried battered seafood and vegetables. The menu offers the classic tempura - prawns, vegetables, and squashes. But it was the seasonal seafood that were delectable. We had tempura of thinly sliced abalone (a slight crunch and taste of the sea), Hokkaido oysters (supple) and small whole boneless fish (melt-in-the-mouth softness). There was a great variety of texture and taste. We also had amazing sashime delivered from its sister restaurant on the 11th floor. Definitely worth squeezing into this tight space.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Of course, DiDonato was paired with Juan Diego Flórez who delivered one vocal pyrotechnic after another with bounteous youthfulness. Figaro was played by Pietro Spagnoli who gave the role flair and humour. Ferruccio Furlanetto as Dottore Bartolo was a joy to watch. With Antonio Pappano at the helm of the orchestra, sounderous sound came from the pit. All in all, this production brought a memorable finale to this season at the Royal Opera.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Monday, 13 July 2009
Rae Smith's design for this production took on a dark turquise / blue tone for the opening act, the castle scene in the second act was decorated by singers in stylised yet glamorous 30's costumes. Rick Nodine, who directed the movements, brought about the suspended nymphs, rolling Vadnik and free-spirited doe.
Needless to say, the LPO played Dvorák's rich score wonderfully to the direction of Jirí Belohlávek.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Credit must go to Daniele Finzi Pasca for the circus / acrobatic "theatrical landscape" that made the whole production stunning. The lighting, the mime theatre, the dancers and acrobats all added a lot of magic and colours to a work that only had three soloists. The final scene with Jaufré and his alter egos suspended in mid air whilst the chorus held up mirrors to reflect narrow light beams across the auditorium was a fitting end to a dreamy and imaginative evening.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
This is a full-blooded opera with lots of powerful duets. Roberto Aronica's strength was well matched by Angela Marambio (as Amelia): though a bit more tenderness would not go amiss. Dalibor Jenis also gave a find performance of Renato. The chorus sang magnificently throughout. Those who have not seen this production (designed by Sergio Tramonti) were awed by the ball scene in the last act (well, they clapped!) This was a fine Verdi night out.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Joseph Calleja and Thomas Hampson as Alfredo and Giorgio recpectively added fizz to the drama. Pappano was milking every moment of this Verdi score - without wallowing or sentimentality. This La Traviata will stick in my mind for years to come.