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Showing posts from January, 2009

Turandot at Covent Garden

It must have been an atmospheric show when the current production was first seen in 1984 in Los Angeles. Nearly a quarter of a century later, this production of Turandot at Covent Garden is looking dated: highly stylised masks, mock pagodas, and a dark shadowy tone. It's definitely time for a change.
Last night's performance was ok. José Cura was supposed to be Calaf, but he got ill and was substituted by Fabio Armiliato whose singing was fine but somewhat wooden on stage. Turandot was Iréne Theorin who added Wagnerian omph to the role. The chorus was dreadful, at best it was a beat late, at times half a bar late. Even the final climatic chorus was shambolic. Surely everyone had good line of sight to the conductor and the beats were clear - so what's the excuse?


What's the fuss about Kau Kee Beef Brisket (九記牛腩) in Hong Kong?

I have known the existence of Kau Kee for a few years. It even has its own entry in Wikipedia. Since it takes lunch and dinner breaks and doesn't open on public holidays, it has been rather difficult to check this place out. Until last night when we were so inclined (or desperate) to eat out there.
The positive thought of seeing it open (see above picture) was quickly countered by its sign (you see, we got there at 7:55pm):I could definitely see some posturing going on here. Anyway, we went up to The Cheese Room on Hollywood Road for a beer and duly returned at 8:30pm. We managed to squeeze our party of 4 sharing with a party of 2 into a round table that could practically accommodate 3. So never mind our close proximity to fellow diners. Given the place was jam packed at 8:35pm, the food had better be good. The menu was short (see below) and straight to the point - braised beef brisket, braised beef brisket with noodles, braised beef brisket with rice noodles, braised beef brisket…