December 31, 2023

The best dishes I had in 2023

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Another year of eating pretty well, now that we've been released from the shackles of the pandemic and resumed travel around the world. Revenge travel, it is called, and I've made no less than 6 trips to Taiwan just to see the Parental Units. Of course, there were other trips, too... and I finally made it outside of Asia towards the end of the year.

Once again I have compiled a list of dishes I've enjoyed during the year which drew the most emotional reactions from me. I've had many, many delicious dishes over hundreds of meals, and as always it is no easy task to pare the list down to a manageable number. The dishes were tasted in Hong Kong unless otherwise indicated.

Golden roast pigs from New Territories Farms (新界農場大金豬), from Red Seasons Aroma Restaurant (季季紅風味餐廳) - it had been four years since I was last able to taste this roast pork... where the pigs were roasted in underground ovens and the very crunchy crackling come with that beautiful smoky flavor. Just so, so happy to be able to enjoy this with friends again.

December 30, 2023

Last dance for Steve

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I got pinged by Giona a couple of weeks ago, asking if we were interested in joining dinner at Hansik Goo tonight. Chef Steve Lee is leaving the restaurant for greener pastures, and tonight would be his last "regular" service. Foursheets and I haven't been back at the restaurant since receiving terrible service at our last meal, and I figured we could join the gang for another taste. The restaurant was right to put us in the big private room at the back, since we would be pretty loud.

The menu said "Steve's Last Dance", which is reminiscent of the documentary elBulliLastWaltz...

December 25, 2023

Dry aged in Taipei

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It's Christmas day and once again, the Parental Units are at my place for dinner. While we pandered to mom's tastes last night, tonight we are firming aiming to make dad happy. And that is easily achieved with a piece of good steak. On the advice of Big Mac, we went to Taylor Butchery (泰勒肉鋪) and picked up a nice, big piece of dry-aged côte de bœuf. And Foursheets built a nice dinner around this hunk of meat.

December 24, 2023

A 4kg Christmas

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It's been four years since I last spent Christmas with the Parental Units, and this time we decided to cook dinner for them. More specifically, Foursheets will be doing the cooking so that mom doesn't have to. We decided early on that the main theme for Christmas Eve would be an Alaskan king crab, and we spent some time doing our homework in terms of sourcing our crustacean. In the end, we ended up picking up a live one from Addiction Aquatic Development (上引水產).

The crab I chose weighed in at over 4kg, and while it had been out of the water for 9 hours by the time Foursheets stabbed its heart with a knife, it was still alive enough to wiggle its legs while we posed for pictures with it.

December 23, 2023

Good beef, meh broth

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Foursheets always wants to have beef noodle soup whenever she's in Taiwan, and tonight she's decided that she wouldn't hit her favorite Lin Dong Fang Beef Noodles (林東芳牛肉麵). Instead, we decided to return to Noodle Cuisine (天下三絕麵食館) as we liked the beef there.

Cold eggplant (千張茄子)

Beef chuck rib noodle soup (牛肩胛小排麵) - I've always liked this place for the amount of good quality beef they serve, and this bowl was no exception. Three delicious ribs. Tender and flavorful. The broth, though, was pretty middle-of-the-road. It's neither really rich and intense like what you'd get at Beef Father Beef Noodles (牛爸爸牛肉麵), nor light and herbal like Lin Dong Fang. It's a very decent bowl, but nothing more.

I guess we could do some more exploring to find other options in the future.

Deep-fried before Christmas

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I wanted to have one nice meal while we were in Taiwan this week, and once again I was leaning on Little Rabbit for some suggestions. It was, of course, an impossible task to find seats on short notice at most of the well-known restaurants in Taipei... and I wasn't the least bit surprised when all the answers came back negative.

Well, I decided to randomly check on a few restaurants myself, to see if I could find some place that might, on the off chance, have seats available. Imagine my surprise when I saw from the booking website that Mudan Tempura (牡丹 • 極上 天ぷら) had an opening for lunch today. And at both locations, too! And this just 10 days ahead during the busy Christmas season. That was really unexpected. So I invited the Compatriot to come along, too... even though he had just spent about 10 days in Japan and only returned yesterday.

I hate being late to a restaurant, and being late to Japanese restaurants is a cardinal sin. Many sushi and tempura restaurants prep and serve all guests at the same time, so late arrivals end up delaying service for other guests. Well... unfortunately I was the late one today and arrived about 15 minutes after the appointed time, so I apologized to the chefs and the staff.

Little Rabbit reminded me to tell the restaurant about not wanting to have shark's fin, so I made sure to advise them of the dietary preferences for Foursheets and myself. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that Little Rabbit also had dietary preferences of her own...

We were shown today's ingredients at the start of the meal, and sure enough, shark's fin was prominently displayed on a tray.

December 22, 2023

Gumabi with no gubami

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We're back in Taiwan for the holidays, and took this chance to meet up with a few friends. I can't believe I haven't seen Ms. Tiffany in a decade... but so glad to have caught up with her today. Unfortunately, our lunch was completely underwhelming and a real disappointment.

Gubami Social is a casual establishment run by Lanshu Chen (陳嵐舒), whose former restaurant Le Moût arguably served the best French cuisine in Taiwan for a while. Naturally, any place that bears her signature these days have the benefit of halo effect. I wasn't exactly dying to try out the place, but since we were denied entry a few months ago when we tried to casually walk in, Foursheets decided that she would like to give it a try. So here we are.

The name Gubami is a transliteration of the Hokkien pronunciation of 牛肉麵 - beef noodle soup - and was the initial focus of Lanshu's first venture after closing down Le Moût. Ms. Tiffany decided that, as it was her first visit, she would like to have the signature beef noodle soup that the restaurant is named after.

Well... The restaurant was about 60% full for a weekday lunch, and we were told that two of the dishes we wanted to order - including the "signature" beef noodle - had already been sold out. WTF?!

Scallion pita: fried scallion pita with sauce trio (手作蔥餅配三種Social招牌蘸醬: 口袋香蔥餅) - OK, so these weren't your standard Chinese scallion pancakes (蔥油餅) but pita made in a similar way... which explains why it didn't taste as good to me as the original stuff...

December 14, 2023

Rayas without Lord Rayas

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I don't show up at wine dinners often, as I've had some bad experiences with sitting next to horrible strangers. I'm also a cheapskate who prefers to drink my own wines, as I've got plenty. But when Hairy Legs pings me and suggests that maybe I should come to one of these dinners, I figured it would be wise to take his advice. So here I am, back at Caprice, and with no bottle of wine in hand. A rare occasion, indeed.

The restaurant has partnered up with ThinkWine to present a lineup of wines from Famille Reynaud of Château Rayas fame. Over the last few years, wines from this producer has seen a big increase in interest from wine lovers, and as a result the prices have experienced a massive surge... even down to the humble vin de pays and Côtes-du-Rhône. While the price of dinner was not low, Hairy Legs felt it was reasonably-priced... and I kinda agreed with him.

We had a small group tonight which included a Vaucluse native who represents the producer. I also met Lord Rayas' niece for the first time. More than 20 years after I first met and starting drinking with Lord Rayas - well-known for his love for Château Rayas but who, undoubtedly, relegates Château de Fonsalette to something he gargles with - I am now drinking with his niece. I wish someone had recorded my facial expressions the moment I was told of her relationship to my friend.

Well, we started with an aperitif while waiting for everyone to arrive:

December 7, 2023

Excursion to Takao: fly high, butterfly

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The upside of spending a night in Kaohsiung on this short excursion is that I get to have dinner in a city I barely know. Thanks to spending most of my life outside Taiwan, I really don't know places outside of Greater Taipei very well. And given that this trip was a last-minute idea, I wasn't surprised that a few of the places I had wanted to try in Kaohsiung didn't have availability with one-day notice... Fortunately, I could still grab us a table at Papillon at the TAi Urban Resort (承億酒店).

Chef Xavier Boyer and I barely know each other, but the Parental Units and I first met him 10 years ago when he was running the kitchen at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Taipei. I had a couple of visits to Gaddi's at the Peninsula Hong Kong when he moved back to Asia, but haven't had much contact with him in the last 6 or 7 years. So... tonight was a good opportunity to see what he's up to these days.

We were seated at the bar area first for our welcome drink, which was a cup of vin froid aux épicé. As the weather was pretty warm today, it made sense that the kitchen prepared a chilled version instead of the traditional vin chaud.

Excursion to Takao: crabby afternoon

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The Parental Units and I are taking a trip down south, so we hopped on the Taiwan High Speed Rail this morning and took the (relatively) slow train to Kaohsiung. After getting off at Zuoying Station (左營站), I decided that I should lead the two elderly folks on a 1 km walk to lunch...

I had never heard of Hei Bonn Gōrudohausu (平凡五金行) until a couple of days ago. A journalist had just posted about his visit to this gourmet food store and mentioned that they had Shanghaiese hairy crabs (大閘蟹) for sale, and also the fact that there's a kitchen upstairs which would cook them for customers free of charge. I know that mom's always up for having these crabs, and she readily agreed to come check the place out.

I had called yesterday to check whether they still had the crabs, and the store clerk suggested that I reserve some because they only had a limited number of them. I chose not to do this, and figured we'll just see what is available on the spot. Well, someone had got to the crab station literally seconds before us and bought a few. By the time the previous customer was done, they only had one crab weighing around 5 taels and 6 crabs weighing 7 taels. We originally just wanted to buy 4 crabs, but the clerk suggested that we take advantage of their "buy 5 get 1 free" deal, so we took all 6 of the bigger crabs.

We went upstairs and got the staff to steam the crabs for us. They were very friendly and helpful, and agreed to steam them in 2 batches based on our instructions.

The three of us each took a crab to start.

Lovers of these crabs adore them for their roe, and at this point in the season, the male crabs had plenty of it.

Actually, these male crabs also had plenty of translucent sperm, too, in addition to the "roe".

While walking around downstairs, I came across this daily quiche, and this came with a couple of prawns on top along with some mayo. Pretty satisfying, but I wish I had gotten around to eat it before my crab came.

Mom took a second crab and it was better than her first, so she was happy. And that, of course, was all that mattered.

December 6, 2023

Taiwanese fatty pork

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As I'm spending a few days back in Taiwan, Imma use this chance to eat some of my favorite local food. As it turned out, I was really missing some fatty pork!

I landed a few days ago and didn't have lunch on the plane, so I decided to check out a place near home that I hadn't had a chance to try for the last few years. Jin Da Braised Pork Rice (今大魯肉飯) is apparently pretty famous, and when I showed up at 2:30 p.m. on a Saturday, there was still a line waiting to place orders. Thankfully I didn't have to wait too long, since I don't have much patience to line up for food.

Braised pork rice with soy egg (魯肉飯加魯蛋) - pretty good. This is my kind of braised pork (滷肉), which is to say that it is made entirely of skin and the fat below the skin. No lean meat whatsover, so the texture is extremely soft and satisfying.

December 3, 2023

Yilan in Taipei

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A friend from Hong Kong is in town and visiting Taipei for the first time, and since I'm also back home for a few days, I arranged to meet up with him and his traveling companion. Taking into account of the street food and simple eats they have already experienced, I asked them to join me for lunch at Lu Sang (呂桑), an old favorite of mine serving simple fare from Yilan (宜蘭).

Given that this would be my only chance to introduce my friend to some local Taiwanese fare, it wasn't surprising that we ended up over-ordering... and ended up with a combination of what they wanted to try as well as what I thought are "must order" specialties...

Stir-fried white water snowflake (炒水蓮) - white water snowflake (水蓮) is a very local vegetable, and while I have found this imported to Hong Kong, it's not widely available. I love this crunchy veg, and here they've cooked it with some finely-shredded pork and a little wood ear fungus.

November 30, 2023

White truffle wagyu

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It's white truffle season again, and somehow I haven't been as enthusiastic this year as I have been in years past. I have, in fact, only tasted it once this season at a dinner in Paris. So when someone asked if we wanted to join a dinner with white truffle at Nikushou, I was happy to go along.

Japanese snow crab with ponzu jelly and Shizuoka tomato - starting a meal here with Japanese snow crab (松葉蟹) seasoned with ponzu (ポン酢) jelly is always a good idea.

Let's live a little

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It's been far, far too long since I last saw my friend, which was some time last year while trying out a nice pizza joint. When he suggested that we meet for lunch at One Harbour Road (港灣壹號) in Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, I was happy to oblige. It's a restaurant that is somehow off my map, so I relished the rare opportunity when someone actually suggests that we dine there.

I thought the two of us would just have some casual dim sum, but my friend saw a tasting menu with Champagne pairing and wanted to "live a little"... so we ended up doing a long lunch with plenty of food - on a day when I was due to have a big dinner. Things got taken up a notch when Billy saw me and decided to upgrade our Champagne selection... I am ever so grateful for the kindness of friends.

Crispy suckling pig, foie gras mousse, caviar (鵝肝魚子醬脆皮乳豬件) - this was an interesting combination... we've got a nice piece of deep-fried toast at the bottom, on which sits a slab of foie gras mousse, and a little sauce for suckling pig, then a wafer-thin piece of crackling from the roast suckling pig, and finally topped with some caviar. Very rich and sinful for a first bite.

November 28, 2023


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This is the year of collaborations, and I have long ago lost count of them. Ricardo has been doing a whole bunch of them this year, and I figured I should join one occasionally. When it was announced that Kawate-san from Florilège would be cooking at MONO tonight, I figured this should be one of those times. As always, I'm grateful to be able to have a seat at the table.

I'm always happy to see Ricardo, but also very happy to see Mauricio, too! As promised on my last visit to the restaurant, I brought along a special treat for the F1 fan in the house. I think he was pretty happy...

Ka-Kawate - this was a play on words, as the dish was made with peanuts, which is cacahuate in Spanish. The peanut flavors were quite strong in the foam, which was also made with basmati rice.

November 21, 2023

Krug Studio 2023

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For quite a few years now, Champagne Krug has been creating pairings between their annual releases and certain music pieces. This pairing with music, in fact, had its beginnings in Hong Kong of all places. I myself only got to experience it for the first time some 6 years ago with the launch of all the wines created in 2004.

Together with the launch of Krug Grande Cuvée 170ème Édition last year, I received a personalized Krug Studio "box set" which included a pair of Devialet Gemini earbuds. I opened up the Krug app on my phone, looked up the music pairings for the wine, and slowly sipped while the music played through my earbuds.

November 17, 2023

Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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Since early 2007, I have been wanting to gear my future travels towards visiting more locations which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are so many amazing places around the world to see!

Here is the list that I have already visited so far. Click on the links to see pictures from my Google albums.

Total count: 79 sites in 21 countries

Greater Blue Mountains Area - 1976
Sydney Opera House - 1976

The Architectural Works of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement - 2018
Belfries of Belgium and France - 2018
Historic Centre of Brugge - 2018
La Grand-Place, Brussels - 2018
Major Townhouses of the Architect Victor Horta - 2018
Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex - 2018
Stoclet House - 2018

Angkor - 2001

The French triangle day 8: from Ministers to McDo

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I woke up to clearer skies this morning, which put me in a good mood. It's my third and last day in Paris, and I really wanted to see some blue skies before I left France. Once again I stuck around in my hotel room and didn't get myself any breakfast, because I had been sternly warned that the portions at lunch today would be humongous.

And blue sky it was! I didn't have a ton of time before lunch to walk around, but I did stroll to the river bank to catch a glimpse of the Assemblée Nationale as well as the Pont de la Concorde.

Café des Ministères came highly recommended by two friends, one of whom would join me today. The name is appropriate, I suppose, as it's located right smack in the middle of a number of government ministries. Jean and Roxane Sevegnes run the well-regarded restaurant, and I'm lucky to be able to visit on such short notice.

November 16, 2023

The French triangle day 7: a Table in Paris

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As I was planning this trip, arguably the first meal I actually booked was tonight's dinner. The name of Bruno Verjus has been known to me for quite a few years as we have a number of mutual friends, and I've heard praise of his cooking for the last few years. Then two of my close chef friends put on four-hands dinners with him this year, and that put Table at the top of my list for Paris. The added bonus was that, unlike another restaurant which has been on top of my hit list, they accept bookings from single diners.

The restaurant is a short walk from my hotel, passing the viaduct along the way. I arrived a few minutes before the restaurant officially opened at 7:30 p.m. so I waited patiently to be seated. Once through the door, I was surprised to find Bruno seated just inside, greeting all the guests as they came in. He inquired where I came from, and we had a short but friendly exchange.

From what I could see, most of the seats in the restaurant consisted of counter seating, and I was led to my seat in front of the open kitchen. From there I could see all the ingredients before and during the cooking process. While I'm normally nonplussed about getting a view of the kitchen, this turned out to be very nice when one is dining alone.

I was asked whether I had any interest in taking the white truffle menu in lieu of the "regular", and some of the dishes would have white truffle shaved on top. As it's in season and I am much closer to the source than I normally would be, I agreed to the premium and wondered why the extra 300 Euros on top of the 400 I have already paid would get me.

The French triangle day 7: miserable rain

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It's raining in Paris today. After the blue skies yesterday, it's now miserable. So much so that I didn't want to leave my hotel room this morning to even get some breakfast.

I met up with a pair of Parisien foodies for lunch today, and they suggested I try Tanguy, a crèperie in their neighborhood. While we do have some decent places in Hong Kong for galettes and crèpes Breton, it's been more than 10 years since I actually tasted them in France.

I don't normally drink much at lunch, but decided to have a glass of cidre from Coat-Albret.

November 15, 2023

The French triangle day 6: le plus beau restaurant de Paris

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Years ago after during my second trip to Paris, my friend Cathy - whose apartment I was staying in during the trip - gave me a present for Christmas. It was a book entitled Les Plus Beaux Restaurants de Paris, and on the cover was a picture of Le Train Bleu - the historical brasserie inside Gare de Lyon. That was the moment I found out the location of the famous scene in Nikita - the Luc Besson film I had loved so much. I did manage to visit the restaurant for dinner some years ago, but while I was stunned by the beauty of the decor, the food was not enticing enough for a return visit.

As I was planning this trip a few weeks ago, I discovered that there was a 6-hands dinner at the restaurant tonight. Since my visit years ago, the famed restaurant has been under the care of the legendary Michel Rostang, with Samir Balia running the kitchen day-to-day. For tonight only, Jean Sulpice of Auberge du Père Bise has been invited to present some of his dishes along with the host chefs. I quickly moved my original plans to accommodate for this special event.

There's some renovation work being done on the restaurant, but the interior is as grand and stunning as it's ever been. The Belle Epoque decor with its series of paintings and brass fittings never fail to take my breath away.

I'm very grateful that they take bookings for single diners, even for a special event like this. Having walked through the restaurant a few times during dinner, I'm pretty sure I was the only singleton tonight.

The meal started with une coupe de Champagne de bienvenue:

Bollinger Special Cuvée - an easy drinking wine. There's acidity here but the palate is definitely more on the sweet side.

Croq Mégevan, par Michel Rostang - on top of the hazelnut Parmesan tart was a layercake of Tomme de Chèvre and Viande des Grisons.

Mousse des bois, par Jean Sulpice - the vegetable mousse came with a sponge biscuit, sliced mushrooms, and cream. This really does taste like the woodlands as it was green and grassy.

Royale de foie gras, topinambours et anguille fumée, par Michel Rostang - this was all about Jerusalem artichokes, and the flavors from the foam on top were very strong. We've got pickled chunks of Jerusalem artichokes as well as some pink radishes, bringing their acidity to help balance out the richness of the foie gras. The smoked eel were delicious and brought their texture into the mix, and surprisingly they were also a little acidic.

Fera du lac d'Annecy, eau de cresson, par Jean Sulpice - the fera from Lake Annecy has been cured and smoked, and brings a nice, bouncy texture. We have watercress purée as well as watercress juice, which were not too heavy and overpowering. They just helped to add a little something extra to the fera, with a little acidity and green flavors. Very nice and refreshing dish.

Langoustine, cannelloni de brochet, par Michel Rostang - I gotta say... that langoustine jus reduction was just killer!

The langoustine was pretty nicely done.

The pike cannelloni was sooo rich and creamy inside with citrus coulis, and wrapped with linguine. Very tasty.

So the guy who looked like the manager of the restaurant came to introduce the dish to me, instead of the waitstaff who have done the introductions up to this point. He basically repeated the name of the dish and did not elaborate. It was the most unenthusiastic introduction I can remember, as if he felt his time was wasted even speaking to me. I haven't missed attitude like his one bit in the five years I have been away from France.

Agneau du foin des alpes, caillettes et pistaches, par Jean Sulpice - the lamb was obviously cooked the traditional way and not done sous vide, and it was very tender and moist. It was also very smoky after being treated on hay from the Alps. There was a pistachio crust, which made it pretty nice. There was a small pile of spinach that had been put through a blender.

The little mound of minced lamb was fucking amazing, as the flavors of the lamb fat really shone through. I wish I could have a whole bowl of this and just some bread...

Oseille, agrumes et vanille givrée de St Philippe, par Jean Sulpice - a signature of the chef, this vanilla blanc manger came with a vanilla crémeux and some citrus gel, then surrounded by confit of various citrus fruits and finally, sorrel granité and a tuille on top. The acidity of the granité was pretty nice and worked well with the citrus flavors.

Parfait glacé chartreuse, crémeux chocolat Guanaja, par Michel Rostang - the chocolate sauce was really rich and came flavored with chartreuse. The parfait also came with chartreuse. Like the other dessert, this was also very refreshing.

I was in no position to take a bottle on my own but I still wanted to drink somethng with dinner, so I asked for a glass of red that wouldn't break the bank.

2020 Pagodes de Cos - ripe and jammy cassis, definitely pretty oaky with that vanilla, some smoky on the nose, too. I could feel the tannins a little but the wine was already soft enough to be drinkable. Soooo minty and fragrant on the nose, this was a vibrant wine and drinking pretty well.

I wouldn't say this was an amazing dinner, but I did enjoy some of the dishes - in particular ones from Jean Sulpice. The flavors were more "green", lighter, and more refreshing. As I come up against a little jet lag at dinner time, this kind of flavor profile really appealed to me tonight. I'm happy that I came for a taste, and perhaps one day I can make it out to Lake Annecy.

I'm still happy about having an excuse to come back to this beautiful dining room, and I was smiling the whole way as I walked back to my hotel.

The French triangle day 6: Champagne on the island

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It's time to bid farewell to Strasbourg, but not before one last breakfast! I went back to Boulangerie Woerlé for more goodies and brought them back to the apartment to enjoy with this view one last time.

November 14, 2023

The French triangle day 5: Petite France

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I'm exploring Strasbourg on my own today, and I figured I could just check out the sights within walking distance from the apartment where I'm staying. After all, that's the whole reason why I chose to stay here - for its location and convenience.

I wanted a better breakfast than the one I had yesterday, so I stopped by Boulangerie Woerlé nearby. Their goodies looked much better than the ones at Café Stein so I grabbed a couple.

November 13, 2023

The French triangle day 4: picturesque Alsatian town

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Got up for an early start this morning as we're headed out of the city for a tour down south. I needed a quick breakfast, so I hit Café Stein just next to the apartment for a croissant beurre and a bretzel. Neither was anything to write home about, but I didn't want to be doing a wine tasting on an empty stomach...

First stop of the day was Maison Trimbach, which is one of my favorite wineries. I'm so glad I finally made it here, and for a tasting with Jean Trimbach, too! Tasting notes from the visit are here.

November 12, 2023

The French triangle day 3: choucroute in Alsace

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My time at Château d'Yquem is coming to an end, and after another sumptuous breakfast where I decided to have some scrambled eggs in addition to the usual viennoiserie, I went out for a quick walk on the grounds. It's been a wonderful stay and I wanted to have one last chance to enjoy the open landscape.

November 11, 2023

The French triangle day 2: once in a lifetime

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So here we are, the big night at Château d'Yquem. The invitation from the hosts describe this as a celebration of the 20 years that Hairy Legs has spent in Asia, and as Caprice is an ambassade for the château - where they have gone through 100 imperials of Château d'Yquem in about 3 years - a plan was hatched between the restaurant and the château for this special event. A small team from Caprice flew in from Hong Kong and spent a few days working with the kitchen team at the château helmed by Chef Olivier Brulard, who carries with him the title of Meilleur ouvrier de France. Five tables of guests were invited over two nights, and I was privileged to have been among them.

The man of the evening didn't look at all stressed before the guests arrived.

The French triangle day 2: the vineyard and the city

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I had a reasonable amount of sleep last night, and felt somewhat rested this morning. As it's Saturday morning, tradition dictates that whenever I'm in France, I need to watch some music videos on M6. Today, though, I thought the show wasn't as good as another channel on TV.

I went downstairs to join the Caprice team for breakfast. Hairy Legs had finally woken up from his 14-hour slumber and was enjoying the eggs the kitchen had fried up for him. I give them a pass to focus on the viennoiserie, along with some yogurt and fresh orange juice.

It's been so long since my last trip to France that I had forgotten to dip my pain au chocolat into my chocolat chaud until I saw Hairy Legs do it. This simple act is so, so satisfying. I need to make a bigger cup of coffee when I'm at home so that I can do this.

November 10, 2023

The French triangle day 1: a quiet evening at Yquem

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After a long car ride from Saint-Emilion to Sauternes, I finally arrived at Château d'Yquem, which will be my home for 2 nights. I haven't stayed in a French château since my last trip to Bordeaux, and I felt very privileged to be a guest here.

The French triangle, day 1: horses and dragons

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My flight landed in the early hours of the morning, and going through immigration and getting my luggage went without a hitch. I had more than an hour to kill before boarding my train, and I was looking around for breakfast options. Unfortunately I had passed up hitting McDo at Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2, and I didn't like any of the options at the TGV station, so I decided to suck it until lunch.

It was good to be back at Bordeaux Gare Saint-Jean after so many years, and I took a connecting train to Libourne, where I was picked up to join a late lunch (late on account of me...)


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