Reviews

The Best Thing They Ate This Week: Food Writers

March 18, 2016

Food writers might just have one of the most enviable professions in the world. Truly excellent meals are often rare, but in the world of culinary writing, these lifestyle journalists often eat at some of the best places in the world, from undiscovered holes-in-the-wall to exclusive restaurants with dishes worth the white tablecloths. With this, we kick off Pepper’s latest column, which takes a peek at what other people have gorged on—and coveted—this week.

1. Nomura’s Hotaru Ika (Japanese Firefly Squid) Sashimi

4 (6)

I had this at Nomura Sushi Restaurant in Taipei. One of my favorite types of Sashimi, served very fresh in all its umami glory. One bite and I experienced all the flavors and textures that relate to the splendor of the sea. Nomura is one of my favorites in Taipei as their produce is always topnotch.—Sanjeeb Gopaldas, Table for Three, Please

2. M Dining Catering’s Strozzapreti Alla Vodka

1 (14)

Strozzapreti pasta is like a larger version of cavatelli that is traditionally handmade, by rolling out pasta dough by hand, then finishing it with a light twist. M Dining’s chef, Alec Santos, coated this addicting version with a delicious, meatless, tomato based cream sauce that was simply finished with liberal amounts of large bread crumbs for added bite.—Cyrene de la Rosa, Interaksyon TV5

3. Chef’s Gallery’s Macanese Burger at Mabuhay Palace

2 (11)

The best thing I ate this week was the Macanese burger at the Chef’s Gallery pop-up at Mabuhay Palace, Manila Hotel: tender pork fillet on a bed of crisp lettuce topped with sweet chili mayo and pork floss, sandwiched between fried mantou. Sounds rich and heavy, but it was actually light and tasty. I would have easily scarfed down another burger except a huge plate of salt and pepper tofu (second best thing I ate this week) was waiting for me.—Jin Perez, Jin Loves to Eat

4. Ikura from Hokkaido

3 (8)

I conducted a food tour of Hokkaido, Japan—an area known for its connection to nature: beautiful produce, some of the best dairy in the world, and an assortment of bountiful seafood. Ikura, or salmon roe, is something the people of Hokkaido clearly take pride in. This heaping bowl—which the server fills in front of you until it overflows—is some of the most balanced I’ve ever tried: salted just right, the individual beads of roe popping like berries in your mouth, and resting on Japanese rice with a spot of wasabi. Simple and delicious—a standout and something worthy of many returns.—JJ Yulo, Just Jonesing

5. The House on Sathorn’s Red Parfait

5 (5)

I really enjoyed my meal at The House on Sathorn. Turkish chef Fatih Tutak was my seatmate at the Asia’s 50 Best talks, and at the awards, he made some really delicious kebabs with sumac-onions served with pide. At his restaurant, the tasting menu was crafted based on his favorite gastronomic memories and travels, wielding both traditional and modernist techniques.

This Red Parfait is foie gras done in parfait style encased in a thin layer of beet root, served with a perfectly toasted brioche and a dollop of sixteen-year-old balsamic from Modena. So we’ve all had foie gras a million times but this was really, really nice and delicate, and no umay factor because he uses 80% goose liver & 20% chicken liver. Perfect!—Cheryl Tiu

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