Sugared & Spiced

paris, pâtissier in training

Archive for the ‘fine dining’ tag

[LONDON] The Ledbury

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The Ledbury

Add: 127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ
Tel: 020 7792 9090
Hours: [Mon] 6:30~10:15pm [Tue-Sat] 12~2pm, 6:30~10:15pm [Sun] 12~2:30pm, 7~10pm
Website: www.theledbury.com
Price: [lunch] £45/5 courses, £85/8 Courses [dinner] £90/8 Courses
Visited on: Jan 2013

Let’s start with the accolades. 2 Michelin stars, #14 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2012, London Restaurant of the Year 2012 by Food and Travel Magazine, and UK’s best restaurant for the third year in a row by National Restaurant Awards. I was lucky enough to snatch one of its highly coveted tables due to a last-minute cancellation on January 1, so this was where my first meal of 2013 took place. Elegant decor, refined service, and most importantly, dishes with delicate and layered flavors that are imaginative but not overly radical.

What a meal to start the new year.

Amuse bouche: Poppy Seed Tartlet with Gruyere Cream. Crispy, creamy, with a hint of cumin.

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Written by sugarednspiced

January 17th, 2013 at 5:01 am

[SYDNEY] Quay

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Quay

Add: Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney 2000
Tel: (61 2) 9251 5600
Hours: [lunch] Tue-Fri 12~2:30pm [dinner] Mon-Sun 6~10pm
Website: www.quay.com.au
Price: [lunch] 125~220 AUD/set [dinner] 165~220 AUD/set
Visited on: 2012-04

I was so mesmerized by the dishes at Quay that at the end of our three-hour lunch, all I wanted was to have the whole thing start over again. Peter Gilmore has the enviable ability to coax the elegance and beauty out of the best ingredients, then orchestrate them on the plate to form a harmonious balance – so ethereal that everything seem held together by not much more than a wish!

The restaurant is set so close to Sydney Opera House that I could almost grab it with my hand. Unfortunately the weather was not shining for us that day, and we could only enjoy the view through heavy curtains of rain. On a sunny day, the pearlescent white of the Opera House against the blue of the sky and ocean would be a most stunning backdrop.

We started with a glass of 2010 Krinklewood Chardonnay from Hunter Valley (17 AUD) and a 2011 Thistle Hill Riesling from Mudgee (18 AUD).

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Written by sugarednspiced

August 12th, 2012 at 11:14 am

[SHANGHAI] Issimo Re-Opening Party

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Issimo

Address: 2/F, 931 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Taixing Lu / 南京西路931号2楼, 近泰兴路
Tel: 3302-4997
Hours: [breakfast] 7:00~10:30am [lunch] 12:00~2:30pm [dinner] 6:30~10:30pm
Websitewww.jiashanghai.com/web/RoomsAndRestaurants/detail/Restaurant/eng/
Price: [lunch] 118~148 RMB/set [dinner] 300~400 RMB/person [brunch] 288 RMB/person
Visited on:  2012-02-22

Just came back from Issimo‘s re-opening party, an absolutely raucous event filled with people having a very good time. The 12-meter-long olive-wood counter was covered in a sumptuous spread of focaccia, grissini, mozzarella, parmigiano-reggiano, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled olives, ham and salami of all sorts, not to mention the cohort of waiters waltzing around with plates after plates of hors d’oeuvres…

I’m still buzzed from the overdose on cheese and wine.

“More mozzarella? Some olive oil and pepper? Tomatoes! How about some olives? Bread, ah yes more bread!” The friendly chefs behind the counter served with such passion, I couldn’t resist anything they put on my plate. Not complaining.

Champagne, refilled a little too promptly for my own good.

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February 22nd, 2012 at 10:57 pm

[TAIPEI] L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

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L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Address: 5/F Bella Vita, 28 Song Ren Rd, Hsin Yi District, Taipei / 台北市信義區松仁路28號Bella Vita 5樓
Tel: (02) 8729 2628
Hours: 11:30am~2:30pm, 6:00pm~10:00pm
Website: www.joel-robuchon.net
Price: [lunch] 1,280~2,880 NTD/set, [dinner] 3,000~6,000 NTD/person
Visited on: 2012-01-26

The dramatic black and red decor, with a sleek dining bar surrounding a central open kitchen. Yes, you are at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Like the rest of the workshops around the world, L’Atelier in Taipei fosters an interactive atmosphere between diners and the kitchen, separated merely by a counter. A vibrant and convivial vibe permeates the air as chefs experiment and create while diners witness the preparation of dishes right before them. Everyone is part of the action.

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon 

Bar seats

Open kitchen 

Table setting

If you have groups of 3 or more you can also choose regular tables for easier conversations, but that’s not nearly as fun as sitting at the bar.

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January 29th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

[HONG KONG] 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA

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8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA

Address: Shop 202, 2/F, Alexandra House, Central, Hong Kong / 中環德輔道中5-17號歷山大廈2樓202號舖
Tel: (852) 2537 8859
Hours: 12:00pm~2:30pm, 6:30pm~10:30pm
Website: www.ottoemezzobombana.com
Price: [lunch] 330 HKD/set (a la carte also available), [dinner] 800 HKD+
Visited on: 2011-12-23

I won’t be able to describe my dinner at 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA in much detail. It was one of those charming experiences filled with constant oohs and ahhs that in retrospect, everything is a blur – the copious amount of wine consumed that evening certainly contributed to the buzz. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but here’s something you need to know about the restaurant: 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA is the first and only Three Michelin Stars Italian restaurant outside of Italy. Now that’s something to talk about.


8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA

We were lucky to get one of the C-shaped booths in the corners, which provided a great vantage point from which to survey the entire dining room: a comfortable interior in a warm palette of bronze and cream, made festive by Christmas decorations here and there. The faceted mirror ceiling is a nice touch.


Interior


Bread

Corkage fee at Otto e Mezzo is charged not by the bottle, but by the number of people at the table (100 HKD per person), and in total we only paid 400 HKD of corkage fee for all three bottles we brought that evening (instead of 500 HKD/bottle charged by other high-end restaurants). It all started with a bottle of bubbly Egly Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru (thank you J & C :)


Egly Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru

The amuse bouche may look like a chocolate truffle, but it’s actually a cube of chocolate foie gras.


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January 3rd, 2012 at 8:43 pm

[SHANGHAI] Fu 1015 福 1015

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Fu 1015 福 1015

Address: 1015 Yuyuan Lu / 愚园路1015号
Tel: 5237 9778
Hours: 11:30am~3:00pm, 5:30~10:00pm
Price: minimum spend 800 RMB/person

If you’ve read my previous entry on Fu 1039, you know that the Fu restaurants have established a solid reputation for serving refined Shanghainese dishes in nostalgic old villas. The newest and priciest addition to the series, Fu 1015, promises to be more extravagant in all aspects. So is it really that different from its siblings? Let’s find out.

Fu 1015 private room

Orchids

To fulfill the minimum spend of 800 RMB/person, Fu 1015 pre-arranges menus for all guests. Ours started with an Old Shanghai Smoked Fish 老上海熏魚 (58 RMB). Served hot, crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside, flavors all there. Well done.

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Written by sugarednspiced

October 25th, 2011 at 12:24 am

[TAIPEI] Justin’s Signatures 饕客食坊

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Justin’s Signatures 饕客食坊

Address: 17, Ln 265, Dunhua S Rd Sec 2, Taipei City / 台北市敦化南路二段265巷17號
Tel: (02) 2736-8000
Hours: 12:00~3:00pm, 6:00~10:00pm
Website: www.justinquek.com
Price: [lunch] 1280~2080 NTD + 10%, [dinner] 2980~4280 NTD + 10%

I wasn’t planning on trying any fine dining restaurants in Taipei, a city that is more known for its street food and chic cafes. Somehow I still ended up making a dinner reservation at Justin’s Signatures, an upscale French restaurant by Singaporean celebrity chef Justin Quek, after it’s been recommended to me by a few friends. The meal, unfortunately, turned out to be a fusillade of culinary fireworks that left me dazed but not amazed. It’s true that each dish was beautifully orchestrated with extravagant ingredients, but somehow the end results fell short of expectations. I won’t elaborate on the details, here are the pictures.

Justin’s Signatures 饕客食坊

We were seated right next to the kitchen, and the constant sliding of the kitchen door was disturbing throughout the meal. It also didn’t help that the table next to us were occupied by an especially rowdy crowd.

Interior

Semi-private table

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Written by sugarednspiced

October 16th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

[SHANGHAI] New Heights

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New Heights

Address: Three on the Bund, 7/F, 17 Guangdong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
.              广东路17号, 外滩三号7楼, 近中山东一路
Tel: 6321 0909
Hours: [Afternoon Tea] 2:00pm~5:00pm
Website: www.threeonthebund.com
Price: [Afternoon Tea] 128 RMB + 10%

A new afternoon tea service at New Heights? Let’s give it a try.

New Heights

New Heights dining room

The afternoon tea set (128 RMB), served in a glass house adjacent to the main dining room, includes two plates of sweet and savory bites, plus a cup of coffee or tea.

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July 18th, 2011 at 7:36 am

[AMSTERDAM] Restaurant De Kas

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Restaurant De Kas

Address: Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3, 1097 DE Amsterdam
Tel: +31 20 462 45 62
Hours: [Lunch] 12:00pm ~2:00pm [Dinner] 6:30pm~10:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
Website: www.restaurantdekas.nl
Price: [Lunch] €37.50 for 2 courses [Dinner] €49.50 for 3 courses

“A kitchen surrounded by fertile soil where vegetables and herbs thrive, where daylight shines in from all sides and where the chefs are free to express their creativity daily using the best the season has to offer.” This, is Restaurant De Kas, a unique dining space serving beautiful dishes of fresh vegetables harvested each morning from their very own herb garden and farm. Love the concept? Read on.

Restaurant De Kas

Restaurant De Kas

It was quite a trek to get to Restaurant De Kas, as it’s located in the outskirts of Amsterdam (approximately 30 minutes by tram from Central Station). Once we arrived, however, I knew it was worth the travel. The 8-metre high glass conservatory provides spectacular views during the day with ample sunlight, and I can only dream about how enchanting it must appear when illuminated at night.

Interior

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Written by sugarednspiced

July 14th, 2011 at 9:59 pm

[SHANGHAI] Jean Georges (2)

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Jean Georges

Add: 4/F, Three on the Bund, 17 Guangdong Lu, near Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu
.             广东路17号, 外滩三号4楼, 近中山东一路
Tel: 6321 7733
Hours: [Lunch] 11:30am~2:30pm, [Dinner] 6pm~11pm
Website: www.threeonthebund.com
Price: [Lunch] 218 RMB + 10%, [Dinner] 500~700 RMB/person

Please note that this is an arranged tasting.

With a likable menu featuring Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s classic lineup and a spectacular vista of the illuminated Lujiazui right outside the window, it’s no wonder that Jean Georges remains one of the most highly regarded restaurants in Shanghai after so many years of opening. But…

Jean Georges

…but I really shouldn’t have eaten so much that evening. 15 dishes, that’s how many dishes I tasted that evening, and that doesn’t even include the amuse bouche and complimentary chocolates and marshmallows at the end. It’s not so much the quantity that troubled me – I’m quite proud of my stomach space – but the thought of having to describe so many dishes in one post became so daunting that in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t stole food off each and every one of my companions’ plates.

View out the window

Booze

Table setting

But what is done is done. Let’s take a look what flowed through our table.

Breads, delicious as always

Amuse Bouche

My 7-course Jean Georges Menu (998 RMB + 10%) began elegantly with Egg Caviar, a signature dish that graces the cover of Jean-Georges’ “Simple to Spectacular” cookbook. A fluffy, lightly scrambled egg topped with whipped cream and a generous dollop of caviar, this was one of my top three favorite dishes of the evening.

Egg Caviar

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