Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sinful Desserts

Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch at Singapore's Conrad HotelMichael Krondl, in his brilliantly engrossing book Sweet Invention, notes that desserts were never a human necessity.  Unlike the rest of our food, desserts were purely a craving that reflected our culture and still do. Having traveled a good part of the world, I can see he is right.  The exquisitely crafted creme brûlée, pot de crème, and tarts are as much a reflection of the elaborate and formal French as apple pies, sonkers and s'mores are for the casual, easy-going Americans.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tim Ho Wan

BBQ Pork Buns at Tim Ho WanYou know you are near Tim Ho Wan, the dim sum specialists in Hong Kong, when you see the large crowds outside. Names are called, people settled into closely packed tables, and orders are rapidly taken - with nary a smile or small talk. That don't seem like a place to attract attention from the high and mighty Michelin guides, does it?  That it did is testimony to the deliciousness they dish out daily to a growing number of patrons.  When it received its single star in 2009, Tim Ho Wan became the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world!


Sunday, September 07, 2014

Gourmet Seattle

Sockeye Salmon at Elliott's Oyster House in SeattleI have decided to nominate Seattle as the city with the most quirkily named restaurants! Where else can you find eating places such as The Whale Wins, The Walrus & the Carpenter, or the delightful Brimmer & Hilltap that opened its doors only recently.  Some research quickly yielded the fact that the creativity of their owners did not end at the names alone.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Meandering Through Seattle

Hokkaido Ramen, BellevueThe rains welcomed me as I landed in Seattle, but that wasn't unusual in itself. Rains are a given in this lovely sea-facing city on America's north-west coast. The Emerald City is known for its Mediterranean climate, rains and lush green surroundings as it is for its hi-tech companies. However, much has changed from the last time I was here in the early 90s. People then knew the city for its two iconic companies, Boeing and Microsoft.  Now the big boys here are Amazon and Starbucks, both of whom are making big moves into India right now. Seattle has continued to grow rapidly; I was not surprised to learn that this city is the fast growing major city in the USA.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse Cafe BerkleyAlice Waters is probably among the most influential figures in American food and cooking in recent times. She moved into Berkeley California in the early 60s as a young, single woman with a talent for cooking and much less else.  Over the next 40 years, she would go on to open and run one of the most famous restaurants in the country and in the process redefine what American cuisine was about.  Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971 and over the years this restaurant has won several awards and together with its famous owner spearheaded the movement towards locally sourced and organic food.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yan Ting at the St. Regis Singapore

Yang Ting at St. Regis SingaporeYang Ting at the St. Regis in Singapore promises to dish out innovative interpretations of Cantonese classics.  Inspired by culinary masterpieces from the Ming dynasty, this elegant restaurant showcases a fine-dining experience that is best savored over a long and lazy Sunday afternoon lunch. Which is why the Weekend Dim Sum is such a great opportunity to show up here if you don't mind the families and resulting higher decibel levels.