Here`s a few of my more memorable food treats throughout 2016. Hopefully next year will be equally as good.
A Xmas trip to my favourite city of Bangkok. 44 visits and it just keeps getting better and better. Late night Chicken noodle Soup on the street for 50 Baht ( £1 )
Another Thai classic that always tastes better at 3am on the street. Pad Thai Talay ( seafood noodles ) for 60 Baht (£1.20) on Sukhumvit road. Traditional accompaniments always come with this dish – Ground Peanuts , Sugar , Limes , Dried Chilli flakes , Fish sauce so the 5 flavours of Thai food can be balanced perfectly ( Salty , Sweet , Sour, Spicy, Bitter )
Pad Thai once again but this time in one of Bangkoks top restaurants , Osha. It was still an amazing price – Pad Thai “Chai Ya” – Chantaburi Rice Noodles , River King Prawns , Pork rind , “Chai Ya” salted Egg , Peanuts with Banana blossom 450 Baht (£8.60 ) Chefs interpretation of this national dish of Thailand….Loved it.
Up to the mountains and jungles of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand for this traditional speciality of the area , “Laap” or Larb. Chopped up Pork Liver , Skin , Heart , Neck , Blood , combined with lots of herbs and spices. It doesn`t sound too appetising but it really is amazing when it`s cooked in the traditional way in a family restaurant.
My number one restaurant in the UK , The Ritz . A trip to London would never be the same if I didn`t pop in for lunch. Amazing service and classic food cooked to perfection in one of the worlds most stunning fine dining restaurants. Artichoke Royale with Autumn vegetables and Walnuts.
Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand and this is my reason for visiting the city. To find the best Khao Soi Noodles in Thailand. I found them here and visited towards the end of the day when the stock is at its best. That`s also when the locals come to eat it. Definitely worth the effort to find it and I will be back again in 2017 for more.
I also watched carefully , got the ingredients and made it myself . Didn`t taste quite the same but was the best of a bad job when I couldn`t have the real thing.
Castle Terrace restaurant in Edinburgh and a stunning Langoustine a la plancha cooked by chef Dominic Jack , what an amazing guy.
Best Bread selection at Hotel Le Bristol , 3 Michelin star in Paris.
Best UK Bread …and Butter was at Forest side in Grasmere . Newly opened and just got their first star. Congrats Kevin tickle and the team. Check out that Butter , Garden herb flavour….do you eat it or hang it on the wall ?
Forest side Bread is created using the wild Yeasts from Lake district Damson skins. Chef was kind enough to give me a batch of starter culture to have a go myself at home …..The result was a miserable failure weighing the same as a small house Brick. The example below is how it should be.
My “Kick in the balls” restaurant for 2016 was L`Ami Louis in Paris. Unreal prices for extremely bad service and terrible food. Greasy Duck was 51 Euros , unbelievable prices in the most overrated Bistro in the whole of Paris.
3 Michelin starred Ledoyen in Paris. – Spanish Sea Urchins on a Grapefruit Granite and if I remember correctly then I`m sure the little dark pieces were Caramelised Urchin. Fresh , Creamy Sweet and Sour and one of the highlight dishes of the year.
Same restaurant , Ledoyen in Paris and a prime example of what not to order. This feeble kitchen effort dish is actually 84 Euros (£66) as a main course . Spinach , Cod flakes , Paris mushroom. A very disappointing part of a 3 star set lunch. Proof that you always need to be cautious when you choose a set lunch. They never reflect the true potential of a restaurant.
This starter was the highlight of a Paris trip with a fellow foodie “finediningexplorer”. Gratinated Onions contemporary Parisian style – Onion balls which were actually filled with a hot Onion broth. Black Truffle , Thyme and crispy Parmesan accompanied the dish along with an extremely robust Onion jus made this our Number one best plate of food over the whole Paris weekend. We both agreed that we would return to Paris just to eat this again. I`ll go as far to say that this one is part of my ultimate menu of the `best dishes of a lifetime`. A perfect example of Chef Le Squer and his new approach to the reinterpretation of the conventional codes of Gastronomy.70 on the ALC menu and worth every Euro. It was paired with an aged Madeira so if anyone is heading to Le Cinq to eat then please ask for this pairing. You`ll be stunned into silence.
Scorched Pear , Malt , Ginger Beer. – This was delectable and my favourite dish on the Forest side menu. I closed my eyes on each mouthful and let the flavours flood my senses with delight. The burnt Pear , The sheet of Ginger ale jelly and the Malt cream…Ohhh WOW. This course was paired with a little glass of Chefs Ginger Ale and my star dish from Forest side in Grasmere.
One to watch for 2017 . Head chef Chef Nick Edgar has joined the Samling in Ambleside , Cumbria after 15 years working for superchef Raymond Blanc. Already gaining a Michelin star within months of his arrival. Keep an eye out for big things here next year,
Thanks to everyone who made this year so special for me. An extra huge thank you to my special lady for taking on the enormous handful of actually saying yes and not leaving me standing at the altar. Here`s to an amazing fun and foodie filled 2017. Happy new year.