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Food Travel

TICKETS, BARCELONA – Olive spheres

October 18, 2013

Tickets is the only place you can taste Ferran Adria’s original olive sphere after El Bulli closed shop a few years ago. The olive sphere is like a raviolo with thin delicate skin and olive liquid filling. Put the whole thing in your mouth and it will explode. Very strong olive taste and a wonderful experience for your taste buds.

Food Travel

Le Soufflé, Paris

October 6, 2013

For people who watched enough shows from Gordon Ramsay, you would know how difficult to make a perfect soufflé. Since we were in France and found a restaurant that specialized in soufflé, it would be silly of us not to order their famous three course menu of soufflé, right!? WRONG… so wrong…

You see… eating three big bowls of soufflé in one seating is really difficult… soufflé is just a big bowl of egg yolks and egg whites mixture. You can add different ingredients or favours to it but they pretty much taste the same.  A whole meal without texture, without one single bite is… is… an experience.

Le Souffle, Paris

Food Travel

Les Gastropodes, Paris

October 5, 2013

Marche aux Puces Saint-Ouen de Clignancourt is Paris’ most famous flea market. You can find everything from junk to treasure there. It is definitely a must-see for antique lover.

Inside Marche Dauphine (one of the indoor flea market building), all the way at the back, there is a small cafe bistro called Les Gastropodes.  It looks like an ordinary cafe but they served the most amazing fig pie.

Juicy and sweet figs + fresh cream + crunchy pastry base. I love it.

Food Travel

Septime, Paris

October 2, 2013

Septime — ranked at no. 49 of the World Best restaurant list in 2013 — is my last meal in Paris.

What I love:

  • Cosy atmosphere
  • Amazing and friendly service. Love how they explain each dish with passion.
  • 50 Euro for a six-course tasting menu
  • Best dish: blue fin tuna cooked in fish broth

Room for improvement:

  • Presentation. Their plating style is rustic and simple but I want it to be a little bit more sophisticated.
  • Only one dish that is memorable from the whole meal. All the dishes are very average.






Septime
Website: http://septime-charonne.fr/
Address: 80, rue de charonne – Paris 11

Food

Momofuku Milk Bar in Toronto

August 13, 2013

Christina Tosi at Milk Bar Toronto
Momofuku opened its first international Milk Bar in Toronto.  We have the Noodle Bar, Daisho (family style meal), Shoto (tasting menu) and Nikai (cocktail bar) for close to a year now.  Setting up Milk Bar (a dessert shop) makes a lot of sense to complete the Momofuku empire in Toronto.

I was lucky enough to participate in a cooking demo + cookbook signing hosted by Christina Tosi, the genius behind Milk Bar.  Christina talked about her dessert philosophy and demonstrated how to make one of her best seller, b’day truffles.  Her compelling personality really captured the hearts of everyone there.  She was funny, witty, genuine and really passionate about the art of pastry.

Christina Tosi cooking demo at Milk Bar Toronto
Oh, she also signed my book with a personalized message.  Totally awesome.
Momofuku Milk cookbook by Christina Tosi

Food

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

May 7, 2013

Learn how to make gourmet prosciutto and arugula pizza in less than 30 minutes.

Pizza dough:
1 sachet pizza yeast (8g) (Use Fleischmann’s Pizza Yeast to save time on rising)
2/3 cup warm water
2 cups all purpose white flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 250C
2) Combine 1 cup flor, yeast, sugar and salt.  Add water and oil.  Mix for 1 minute.  Form the mixture in a ball.
3) Flour the work surface. Knead the dough.  Add more flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface.
4) After 5 minute of kneading,  roll the dough onto two 6 inch pizza pans.

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza
4 slices of proscuitto (tear into strips)
2 handful of baby arugula
1 garlic clove (minced)
2 tbsp of olive oil
60g mozzarella cheese (roughly sliced)

Directions:
1) Sprinkle a little olive oil and minced garlic onto the pizza dough base
2) Evenly distribute the cheeses and proscuitto over the base
3) Place the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted.
4) Remove from oven and scatter arugula over the top.

Food

Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto

January 6, 2013

Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto is the best Kaiseki restaurant in Toronto and it is also the most expensive restaurant as well.

Kaiseki is a traditional Japanese tasting menu.  The menu is created everyday based on the freshest seasonal ingredients. Every meal is different and full of surprises.  The meal is divided into 8 courses at Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto.  Each dish is served in small portions prepared masterfully and they are in perfect balance with taste and appearance.  You are not only eating with your mouth but with your eyes at Hashimoto.  The knife skill, the plates chosen to serve the food on, the garnishes, the color, the design and plating, everything is aim to improve the dining experience.

Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto Toronto

Here is the menu on Dec 29, 2012:

1. Onjyakuzen: Red bean cooked with sweet rice, Saikyo-miso (white miso) with egg tofu, Sesame Tofu deep fried with sweet rice
2. Mukozuke: Fresh line caught Madai fish from Kyu-shu
Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto Toronto
3. Wanmono: Grated turnip soup with Kinmedai fish wrapped with thin layer of Kyo-ninjin carrot and Turnip tied off with Daikon. Gobo burdock with canola vegetable and Yuzu citrus
Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto Toronto
4. Yakimono: Grilled Chikame-kintoki fish, Bamboo topped with sweet miso with the skin of bamboo shoot, Grated Koshin-Daikon with ponzu sauce, lily bulb with sour plum
Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto Toronto
5. Takiawase: Stewed pork, carved turnip with hot mustard
Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto Toronto
6. Shiizakana: Grilled A5 tenderloin Wagyu beef from Gunma prefecture, lotus root chip, taro potato, strained yam potato with rice cracker, gooseberry, signature carved daikon crane
Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto Toronto
7. Tomezen: Rice cooked with Madai fish, gingko nut tofu deep fried with sweet rice with Ankake-sauce, pickled daikon with sesame seeds, turnip and turnip leaf, pickled red turnip
Kaiseki Yu-zen Hashimoto
8. Kanmi: Homemade vanilla and green tea ice cream, strawberry jelly made with agar agar topped off with peach jelly
Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto Toronto
At the end of the meal, we were invited to experience the traditional tea ceremony in the tatami tea room.

Overall…

Eating at Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto is all about the perfect dining experience.  It is not just a meal that fills your belly.  You are dining in a beautifully decorated and cosy environment.  Each table has their individual private room but you will still feel comfortable with the surrounding.  All the food are coming from the best ingredients with perfect yet subtle seasoning.  You can truly taste the food you are eating. The plating presentation is what taken my breath away.  Everything is a work of art.

On the night we were dinging at Hashimoto, we were the only customers there.  We had the whole restaurant to ourselves. The host and hostess were very attentive and friendly.  They explained each dish to us in detail added with interesting back stories.  They cared about every single detail.  For example, each time they refilled our tea, they did not just top it off. They actually poured out the old tea and replaced it with a new cup of tea to ensure your tea was hot and fresh.  I’m a person who cares about attention to detail and gesture like that really shows how much people at Hashimoto cared about their customer’s experience.

On the downside, a Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto dinner costs $300 per person (excluding drink, tax and tips) and it is the one of the most expensive restaurant in Toronto.  Is it worth it? To me, yes, it is totally worth it.

Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto
Meal: 8 course meal
Price: $300 per person (excluding drinks, tax and gratuity)
Reservation: Required (1 week in advance)
Address: 6 Garamond Court, Toronto ON
Website: http://www.kaiseki.ca/