Sunday, June 26, 2011

Din Tae Fung

Finally; Din Tae Fung opens in Bangkok. It was suppose to open several months ago but due to the Red Shirts burning down Central World shopping mall, Din Tae Fung postponed its grand opening.

Din Tae Fung started in Taiwan. It has been so popular and successful there that it has expanded all over Asia....Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea and even Australia. Din Tae Fung is considered one of the 'best' dumpling restaurant around.

It has been a huge success since day one of its opening in Bangkok! There is always a queue once the doors open at 12 noon. No matter what time you arrive at Din Tae Fung; you have to wait atleast 20 minutes. However; they have clever system to make things go faster. Once you get your number; you are also given the menu and an order form and you can fill out your order.

Once your number is called; you give your order form to the waitress and she leads you to your table. The food arrives fairly quickly.

You are able to see and decide what types of dumplings are available.

Here is the most amazing thing about Din Tae Fung. All the dumplings are hand made on premise. Here is the woman rolling out the dough for the dumplings.

Here are the men who are steaming the dumplings.

Every dumpling is lovingly rolled out, stuffed and folded precisely before our eyes.

Din Tae Fung is enormous and there are so many service staff running around. For sure you will not complain that the service is slow.

We started with hand made noodles with a spicy sauce.

The Pork dumplings.

The Vegetable dumplings.

The Shrimp dumplings.

The Crab dumplings.

The Chinese Vegetables.

Overall; fantastic! The dumplings were so so good. The skin of the dumpling were thin yet strong to hold in the juices and the stuffing. The filling; either the pork, shrimp or crab, were all fresh and tasted very good. The dumplings were steaming hot, moist and juicy. The service is quick and friendly. I don't think Din Tae Fung needs to try very hard to convince people in Bangkok to try their food; there is always a huge following and I am one of them.

CentralWorld Shopping Centre
Level 7,
Rajdamri Road, Patumwan,
Bangkok 10330

Thursday, June 09, 2011

La Régalade (Paris, France)

This is our last evening in Paris and we met our Thai friends for dinner. We wanted to take them to one of the best bistros in town...La Régalade. Anyone who is a foodie will know and have been to La Régalade. It is an institution for foodies and is one of the pioneering bistros that brought us 'bistronomiques'.

The bistro is very small so it is highly recommended to reserve a table a month in advance (I am not joking). The decor is made up of wooden chairs & tables, tiled floors and photos on the walls. The main colour scheme was browns, beiges & yellows. It is always busy but always has a comfortable feel about the place.

We all took the La Régalade menu at 32 euros which included a starter, main dish and a dessert.

This is the most dangerous part of eating at La Régalade; their Pâté de campagne ‘La Régalade’ et cornichons. They put this terrine on the table after you order your food. It was so good that we had to control ourselves because we knew a big dinner was coming.

One of the starters was Royale de fois gras de canard, bouillon crémeux d'asperge vertes ou cresson.

The other starter was D'asperges blanc (which was in season and 5 euros extra).

The other starter was Paleron de boeuf braisé longuement au vin rouge de Touraine, carrottes fondantes et petite oignons comme un Bourguignon.

One of the main dish was Paleron de boeuf braisé longuement au vin rouge de Touraine, carrottes fondantes et petite oignons comme un Bourguignon.

The other main dish was a Entrecôte de boeuf persillé à souhait juste rôtie, servie uniquement soignante d'environ 450g. pour une personne (12 euros extra).

The other main dish was Veau de Corrèze cuite au soutoir et beurre demi-sel, cuisine de petite pois à la française (10 euros extra).

One of the dessert was a Reblochon, A.O.P. affiné par les soins de Madame Dubois.

The other dessert was Fraîcheur de rhubarbe, fraises guariguette, fromage blanc battu à la vanille.

The other dessert was Soufflé chaud au Grand-Marnier.

Chef Doucet truly does amazing things with food but keeps it simple. Every time we go to La Régalade we are never disappointed and always want to come back for more. The atmosphere is always fun & lively, the service is always spot on & friendly and the food is simply delicious.

49 avenue Jean-Moulin, Paris 75014
tel: 0033 1 45 45 68 58

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

La Fête du Vin (Montpeyroux, France)

We main reason we went back to Montpeyroux was because it was La Fête du Vin. This special occasion only happens every two years. So we for sure could not miss it. There are 18 wine producers in Montpeyroux; the concept of La Fête du Vin is that all the wine producers of the area open up their caves for free tastings for the public.

People buy a wine glass for 6 euros and with this wine glass they can take it to all the wine makers and try all their wines. The whole village participates in this event; there are musicians, food stalls, clowns and wine fairies.

The map of Montpeyroux town and where all the wine makers are located.

The main road of Montpeyroux heading to the place central.

The first open cave was Mas d'Amiel.

The second stop was Domain of the best wine makers of the area.

Many people enjoying tasting wines.

The wines of Alain Chabanon; L'Esprit de Font Caude, Campredon and Trelans.

Moving on; we headed towards place central to see what was happening.

The place where people can rest and eat some food.

A beautiful day in Montpeyroux.

The wine fairies arriving to do the festive wine dance.

I had to start spitting by the fifth cave we stopped at. I did not want to get drunk and make a fool of myself.

La Fête du Vin of Montpeyroux is lovely and easy going event. We got to meet our neighbors and meet the really great wine makers of the area. The ambiance, the weather and of course the wines made it such a great day.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Boqueria (Barcelona, Spain)

We were leaving Barcelona but before we left we wanted to have breakfast at the Boqueria. Anyone who has been in Barcelona knows where the Boqueria is; it is just one of the best markets anywhere. You can find the most freshest and amazing produce that the area has to offer. But one reason why we always go there is because of one specific place...Kiosko Universal.

For all the times we have eaten in Barcelona; Kiosk Universal is still one of our favourites. It is for sure not 'fine dinning' but oh my oh my is the food fresh and good.

The ambiance is the hussle & bussle of the Boqueria market; everyone knows each other and everyone either stops by for food, a coffee or something alcoholic. But the place has a very homey and friendly feel.

We love sitting on the counter to see all the fresh seasonal food that is available.

BUT; what caught our eye for breakfast was the amazingly beautiful display of different mushrooms of the season. It was an amazing sight to behold. Our mouths just watered looking at it.

The idea is that you choose either from the chalkboard menu or just point at something you are interested in to eat. The cooks will cook the dish in front of you.

The first dish was Fried seasonal mushrooms in a herbed olive oil. The mushrooms had amazing textures from the different types of mushrooms, as well as different tastes. Cooked so simple but the flavours of the mushrooms, olive oil, herbs and salt was a lovely combination.

The next dish was a Spinach omelette. The omelette was cooked to perfection; still runny in the middle. Again; so simple yet so so good.

The mushroom & omelette dishes was all we needed to start our day. Of course the coffee was really good as well. The total bill came to 12 euros. The quality and price ratio is absolutely outstanding.

After breakfast; we took a tour of the market to see what was new or interesting to take back to France. The seafood always looks so fresh, colourful and beautiful.

More wonderful seafood.

The bountiful seasonal fruits. But; what caught our eyes were the Morel mushrooms. These mushrooms cost so much in France so we were stunned how affordable they were in of course we bought a big bunch.

The abundance of wonderful fruits.

One of the main reasons why anyone goes to Spain...Jamón ibérico, Iberian ham, also called pata negra. This stuff is so so good; but, also so so expensive. We wanted to buy some but decided not too because we were being too cheap. Next time!

The ham experts; slicing by hand the jam for customers.

We truly love eating and walking around the Boqueria. It was as usual; a great trip to Barcelona. It was time to drive back to France.

C/ LA Rambla, 91
08002 Barcelona, Spain
Tel.: 933 182 584

Monday, June 06, 2011

Coure (Barcelona, Spain)

We drove down to Barcelona to meet some Thai friends who were in Spain for their vacation. We only had time to spend one night in Barcelona so we wanted to try a new restaurant. We heard from a friend who is a specialist about Barcelona that the restaurant of the moment was called Coure. Of course we reserved a table several days in advance because we knew how difficult it is to get a table at the best restaurants in Barcelona.

This basement restaurant just off the Diagonal is sedate in the best possible sense. A discreet entrance leads downstairs into a soothing space with white-painted panelled walls and antique cabinets. Chef Albert Ventura doesn't really advertise himself, and Coure has remained just under the tourist radar. Since this is the case; the menu was only in Spanish so thank goodness the waitress knew some English to help us understand some of the dishes. However; in the end, we decided to take the big special dinner menu at 60 euros...a huge bargain!

I have to apologise now...since our Spanish was soooo awful, I am going to try my best to explain all the dishes, but I cannot go into details of what each consist of. Just believe me that they were all very yummy.

The first dish was Squid with cucumber emulsion.

The next dish was Couteau (razor clam).

The next dish was Cod fish with eggplant caviar & spinach.

The next dish was Scallops with baby peas.

The next dish was Sea bass with artichoke heart.

The main dish was Pan fried duck with morel mushrooms.

The pre-dessert was Vanilla & honey foam with red season fruit compote.

The dessert was a Pear & almond cake with vanilla ice cream & chocolate mousse.

Overall; the blank canvas of Coure's surroundings ceded center stage to chef Albert Ventura's exceptionally good—and unexpectedly seductive—combinations in his cooking. He is a master at using the freshest & in-season ingredients and making them come alive in the dishes. All the dishes looked so simple yet stood on their own in terms of smell, colours and tastes. No wonder Chef Albert is the talk of the town right now...he truly knows what he is doing.

On top of this; the service was excellent. The young woman who was taking care of our table knew that we were did not understand the menu and she took her time explaining the dishes. She had a good sense of humor and was a delight. The total experience was a great experience.

20 Passatge Marimon
Barcelona, Spain 08021
Tel: 34 93 200 75 32