Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Krug Room + Mandarin Grill: Pictorial

I've always been a fan of the Mandarin Oriental restaurants. Why? Well, because of the below...

Krug Room: "Meat Fruit"
- Liver pâté disguised as a mini pear (thank you, progressive gastronomy). Served with black truffle brioche.

Krug Room: "'Rain' Flower Pot Salad"
Mix of steamed and raw greens arranged in arugula "soil" purée.

Krug Room: "Bounty Bar"
Coconut and chocolate with pop rocks = :D

Mandarin Grill: Amuse Bouche
Spherical olive + spun sugar sitting on some black sesame situation.

Mandarin Grill: "RAW" ($268)
Kindai, salmon, hamachi, botan shrimp, sake, cucumber.

Mandarin Grill: "Black Cod" ($428)
Cod with coriander, ginger, miso, sesame, praline. And Oyster leaf.

FOOD: 4.5/5

1/F, Mandarin Oriental
5 Connaught Road, Central
2825-4014 // 2825-4004

[TAIWAN] Du Hsiao Yueh: Good Enough

(Tan Tsai Noodles: the one Taiwanese dish that moves me)

Yes yes yes, it's a tourist trap. But I made the pilgramage anyway and hit up Du Hsiao Yueh during my Taiwan trip. One of the oldest AND most authentic Tainan joints in Taipei City, Du Hsiao Yueh does a mean Tan Tsai noodle (NT$50) topped with the traditional works of mince and single shrimp.

Compared to the starchier, thick noodles of Taipei, Tainan Tan Tsai noodles are on the lighter, more slurpable side. Personally, I prefer the latter, even in terms of the broth. And seriously, at NT$50 a pop, it'd be obscene not to lap it all up.

(Open since that long ago)

(Lobster roe roll)

As for the other dishes, it blew hot and cold for me. I guess I just really don't "get" Taiwanese food. Among the many small plates we ordered, only the lobster roe roll (NT$200) stood out for me. Part of me resented its resemblance to an American fusion sushi roll (random vegetables + pickled carrot + lobster roe + dab of mayo --> wrapped in nori --> wrapped in rice paper roll) but it was interesting, at least.

I'll probably never understand Taiwanese food. But at least I'll have the Tan Tsai noodles to fall back on. That's good enough for me.

No. 12, Alley 8, Lane 216, Sec 4 Jhongsiao E Road
Taipei City, Taiwan
(886) 2 2773-1244

[TAIWAN] Sadaharu Aoki: Love Letter

Dear Sadaharu Aoki,

I’ve had a crush on you for over five years. I admit, at first, it was your looks that attracted me – everything about you is beautiful. I fell for your clean, minimalistic white packaging, your rows of chocolate blocks dyed in the Pantone spectrum. But it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with everything else about you too – your substance. The perfect crunch-to-chew ratio of your delicate macarons never cease to wow me. And your creativity (matcha/earl gray jam, anyone?) impresses me to no end.

When I see you, I can’t help but spend all my money on you. It’s not that I think you are exchangeable for mere currency, but I just have an urge to splurge and spoil you. Don’t blame me. It’s only because I love you too much.

Eat Love Write

(Chocolate-encased macarons)

(Chocolates: in all the Pantone shades)

(Macarons: love)

FOOD: 4.75/5
ATMOSPHERE: N/A (it’s a counter)

Shop 11073, B2/F, Bellavita
No.28, Song Ren Road
Taipei City, Taiwan
(886) 2 8729-2759