Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sushicyu & Carnival yakiniku (Bangkok)

We heard that there was new and very good Japanese bbq restaurant on Thonglor. I always liked the idea of cooking the food ourselves and since it is close to the house, we decided to try it.

The restaurant consist of two parts. One part is the Japanese dinning area called Sushicyu where sushi and sashimi is made and the second part is the Japanese bbq area called Carnival yakiniku. The bbq area has tables with built in bbq stoves. The atmosphere consist of clean lines, is modern and is brightly lit. This side of the restaurant is definately not for vegetarians. The menu consist of different cuts of meat for grilling. All the cuts of meat and mixed vegetables come in a thick & rich marinade.

The first plate of meat was Jyo Karubi.

The second plate was Yasai Mori (mixed vegetables).

The third plate was Honetsuki Karubi.

The third plate was Toku-Tan (beef tongue).

The fourth plate was Kamo (duck fillet)

The fifth dish was Eringi (mushrooms).

The sixth plate was Saikoro Karubi (beef fillet cubes).

The seventh plate was Live (no Japanese translation on the menu).

The eigth plate was Buta Karubi.

The staff is putting in the hot charcoal for us to start grilling our food.

My friend starting to be the chef, putting some meats and vegetables on the grill.

Grilling your own food is actually fun. You get the beef the way you want it; either raw or well done. It also gives us time talk and enjoy the wine. All the meats were from a local source and they were all fabulous. Every single meat was tender and tasty. There is no reason why restaurants have to import meat when local measts are this good.

To end our carnivour evening; we decided to have their famous spicy beef soup with egg. A really thick and hearty soup. Full of vegetables, eggs and very tender beef cubes. It was not too spicy even though there was a lot of chili oil.

The final soup was a bit lighter than the first one. Its almost like a miso soup but much more flavour and condiments; such as you can guess...meat. A nice soup to sooth the tummy after eating so much.

We did eat way too much for our good. But, every meat dish looked to good and we could not resist ordering them. I would definately recommend this restaurant for the simple fact of quality and deliciousness.

The service was perfect. The staff always knew when to change the grill because it was gettting too burnt, or knew when to change our dishes, or when to pour the wine. For a small restaurant, I have to say that the staff was well trained.

88 2nd floor, Sukhumvit soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-7138312

Sunday, March 22, 2009

deli shop @ Four Seasons Hotel (Bangkok)

We have the Four Seasons Hotel card which gives us 50% off our food at any of its restaurants. It also includes their deli shop. We decided to have lunch at the Four Seasons deli to take advantage of our card.

The deli is located in the atrium part of the hotel. It has outdoor dinning next to the atrium garden and indoor dinning. We decided to eat indoor because it was so hot. The deli is not only a deli but it is also a pastry shop and wine shop. The deli menu is quite remarkable. The choices of breads, cheeses, meats, toppings and sauces. The combination were endless that it took us a few minutes to decide what sandwich to have.

The first sandwich consisted of: a plain toasted bagel, smoked chicken, rocket salad and mustard. A small salad with vinaigrette. The bagel was fresh and tasty and the condiments were a very nice mix.

The second sandwich consisted of: plain toasted bagel, smoked ham, avocado and melted cheese. Another great combination for a sandwich.

This photo shows the cakes, pastries and candies that are on display.

The small but cosy dinning area for the deli. Basic bistro style wooden chairs and tables. A nice ambiance with large windows allowing in the sunlight.

Four Seasons Hotel; 155 Rajadamri Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Tel. 66 (0) 2 250-1000 Fax. 66 (0) 2 253-9195

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Eric Cellier and Alain Chabanon Wine Dinner @ Déjà Vu - Pullman Hotel

Déjà Vu is a stunning French restaurant in the Pullman Hotel. So, it was the perfect venue to host a famous chef and wine maker from the Languedoc region for a Wine Dinner. The Pullman Hotel sponsored Chef Eric Cellier and wine maker Alain Chabanon for this very special event.

Chef Eric Cellier is the head Chef of the restaurant called "La Maison de la Lozère" at Montpellier, France and he also won the prize, GaultMillau Golden Trophy 2008 with the high score of 16/ 20. The chef describes his cooking style as Gastronomic Terroire Mediterranean like the mountain combining with the sea.

Alain Chabanon's definition of his wines are; finest, elegance and complexity. He is one of the few who's wines are certified 'organic'. Alain is considered and voted one of the best wine makers of he region now.

The amuse-bouche was mushroom emulsion soup. Its unbelievable that something in a small glass can have such a powerful kick. The flavour of the mushroom exploded in the mouth. The texture was foamy and yet velvety. That for sure was a great way to start the evening.

The first wine was 'Rosé Tremier' 2005, AOC Coteaux du Languedoc. The first dish that accompanied the wine was pan seared duck fois gras with pressed potato, cinnamon and date with smoked milk and herbs.

"A blend of Carignan and Mourvèdre, this Rosé is definately for serving with food. Very classy, thoroughly harmonious with complex savours ; a touch of mineral, flowers, dried fruit and spice..." In : Terre de Vins

I am very un-PC and do like eating fois gras. However; I was sitting with two very close Thai friends who are not big fans of fois gras, so I had to eat their portions. Let's such say, I was fois gras over loaded. Chef Eric cooks fois gras the way I like it; almost crispy on the outside and velvety in the inside. The pressed potato blended with with the flavours of the cinnamon, date and the very unusual but delicious smoked milk & herbs.

The second wine was 'Trélans' 2004, Vin de Pays d'Oc. The second dish that accompanied the wine was pan seared scallops with yeast emulsion, lemon confit and tomato celery jelly.

Another very unique wine from Alain and one of my favourites. The Trélans is actually the only known one of its kind in the world. The Trélans is the only blend of Vermantino and Chenin Blanc. It is a polarising wine; either people hate it or love it. I happen to be on the 'love it' side.

"...The result is magnificent, flamboyant...incredibly complex, full nose...equally splendid, full, rounded, welcoming mouth. It's quite simply bewitching. A great wine..." In: Terre de Vins

The pan seared scallops were fantastic. Great texture, the yeast emulsion, lemon confit and tomato celery jelly were nice accompaning flavours.

The third wine was 'Campredon' 2006, AOC Coteaux du Languedoc. The third dish that accompanied the wine was fillet of sea bass, artichoke and coriander jus steamed combawa lemongrass ravioli.

The Campredon, as always was drinking well. An easy to drink wine and full rounded.

"Crunchy fruit and brilliantly harmonious." In: Revue des Vins de France.

The fillet of sea bass was perfectly cooked. The artichoke and coriander jus steamed combawa lemongrass was amazingly tasty yet it did not overwhelm the sea bass.

The range of wines that we drank with the fantastic meal.

The fourth wine was 'L'Esprit de Font Caude' 2003, AOC Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux. The dish that accompanied the wine was steamed veal fillet served pink, peanut emulsion whole tomato confit, sour lime mousse.

The L'Esprit is one of my favourite wines.

"Here Mourvedre and Syrah are as close as body and soul, a combination giving birth to one of the Languedoc's great wines. Bay, rockrose, cedar...Concentrated with delicate tannins, you can't fault its mouth." In: Vent Sud

The veal fillet served pink was incredible. The meat was tender. The peanut emulsion whole tomato confit, and sour lime mousse added extra texture and flavours.

The fifth wine was 'Merle aux Alouettes' 2004, Vin de Pays d'Oc. The dessert that accompanied the wine was pineapple in rum and vanilla, sparkling rasberry, raw hibiscus meringue, lemon confit Madeleine.

I never tire of this wine. This wine always amazes me when I drink it.

"...This wine is fabulous. Black as ink; tiny hints of liquorice empahisze the delicate, classic oak characteristics. It puts Petrus to shame..." In:

The pineapple in rum and vanilla, sparkling rasberry, raw hibiscus meringue, lemon confit Madeleine was a melange of great flavours. After eating so much, this was a very light and refreshing dessert.

The last and extra dessert was hot chocolate cake with black truffles. I actually liked this dessert. However; my two friends were not particularly fond of this dessert. They were not ready for the surprise of the truffle flavour.

Overall, this was a fantastic dinner. Chef Eric did not disappoint as usual. The wines were wonderful as well and the pairing of food and wine were perfect.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Square One @ Park Hyatt (Saigon)

Staying at the Park Hyatt in Saigon was a great treat. Here is another example why...we got a voucher for a free lunch at Square One.

If anyone who has been to Singapore and stayed at the Grande Hyatt or just have eaten there will know about their great concept restaurant called Mezzanine. Square One's concept is pretty much the same.

Square One has about six open kitchens. Each kitchen specialises in a particular food. For example; the kitchen above was for the steaming and rolling fresh Vietnamese spring rolls.

This kitchen specialised fresh seafood. The seafood tower is not only beautiful but is very delicious.

This kitchen specialised in desserts.

This kitchen specialised in cooking pastas and other foreign foods.

This kitchen specialised in fresh fruits and fruit juices.

I forgot to take a photo of the kitchen that specialised in grilling meats. So, you will have to enjoy another photo of the kitchen that specialises in Asian foods.

Our free lunch started with fresh baked bread accompanied with tomato sauce dip. The bread was the type of bread you always dream of. Steaming hot, crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

The first dish was a green papaya salad with chili and peanuts. A refreshing dish to start the meal. The papaya was crunchy and had a wonderful taste and not too bitter. The mixture of flavours were very nice; sour from the papaya & lemon, salty from the nuoc mam, and sweet from the sugar. Different crunchy textures as well; the peanuts, papayap and carrots.

The next dish is one of the most spectacular dishes I have ever had in Saigon. Actually, its the basic goi-cuon (fresh Vietnamese spring roll) that you can get anywhere in Saigon. However; the Square One's version is so tasty. Instead of using rice paper for the outer cover, they instead use beatle leave, which adds a rich and toasty flavour. The stuffing inside consisted of shrimp, pork and rice noodles. Add a little of the sauce, and this dish is perfect.

The next dish was a vegetable, mushroom and tofu soup. A hearty and rich soup. Hearty because of all the fresh ingriedients in the soup and rich from the fish stock. A nice combination for flavours and textures.

The next dish was pork ribs with yellow curry. The Vietnamese curry is different from the Thai curries; Vietnamese curries normally have more similarities to the Indian version. The pork was tender and the curry was rich and tasty.

The next dish was a simple stir fried morning glory topped with fried garlic.

The last dish was dessert of fresh seasonal fruit. The presentation was marvelous. The fresh sliced fruit sitting in a beautiful bowl full of crushed ice.

This restaurant is one of the most interesting, unique and delicious restaurants I have been to. The concept is amazing. The food is out of this world. We have a Vietnamese friend who is very finicky about Vietnamese food. We went with her several times and she and her husband say that this is some of the finest Vietnamese food in town. To us, that really means something.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quan 94 (Saigon)

When read that there was a very famous restaurant served some of the best crab dishes in Saigon. We decided that we needed to find this place and try some of the food. So, after a huge breakfast at the hotel (a huge mistake because we were not too hungry when we actually found the restaurant).

The restaurant is called Quan 94. We were really happy that we found the place because there were several similar restaurants on the same street. Like most restaurants I like, this one was very simply decorated and open aired. Luckily for us the menu had photos of the food available. On top of that sitting next to us was a lovely and charming Vietnamese elderly couple. They saw that we did not know what to do. The gentleman in perfect french recommended what we should have.

The gentleman recommended that we start with the simple crab noodles. Since, we were not too hungry, we only oredered one dish of crab noodles. After we ordered, the cook started making our order. At the same time, many motorbikes were arriving to order the crab noodles to go. We immediately knew that this was going to be really yummy.

Here is the famous crab noodles dish. Huge fresh crab pieces with glass noodles and some herbs and spices. It smelled and looked wonderful.

Like most foods in Vietnam, we were given a huge platter of fresh vegetables and herbs to eat with the crab noodles. The mixture of taste and textures were amazing. There are herbs and vegetables that we do not get here in Thailand, so eating them is a rare treat.

This is a sad sight, but here is the yummy crabs that they use to get the crab meat. I have to say the Vietnamese crabs are really good. They are all alive, and the cooks take them when they need more crab meat.

If you are ever in Saigon, do have a visit to this amazing restaurant. The next time we are in Saigon, we definately will go back. But this time, we will not eat a big breakfast.