Year: 2019

Michelin-starred Sichuan Cuisine at Yu Zhi Lan 玉之兰

Shanghai Michelin stars are increasingly more diverse with the types of cuisine they are awarded to. Among them, Yu Zhi Lan stands out with its Sichuan cuisine menu created by Chef Lan Guijun. Yu Zhi Lan is housed in a beautiful villa in downtown Shanghai. In this tranquil setting, Sichuan cuisine is served on dinnerware designed by the master chef Lan and made in Jing De Zhen, the porcelain capital of China. From ‘golden silk noodles’ to braised abalone, each of Chef Lan’s dishes carries a sense of Chinese heritage. I recently visited Yu Zhi Lan with my food partner in crime Cristina. In my previous Sichuan cuisine experiences, Sichuan peppercorn and chili oil consistently create this explosively spicy & salty combination. But at Yu Zhi Lan, we found the flavors varied and delicate. Dinner started with a beautiful box of appetizers which included Chef Lan’s original creation–chicken feet with pickled peppers. This much lauded creation may seem daunting at first, but I promise it’s worth a try! Reservations at Yu Zhi Lan are highly …

Breakfast at the New Sushi Dai in Toyosu Market

Having previously enjoyed Sushi Dai in Tsukiji Market years ago, I decided to go check out the new Toyosu Market and grab an early breakfast there. For those that haven’t been, Toyosu Market 豊洲市場 is the upgraded and sleeker version of the ‘inner’ Tsukji Fish Market. Visitors now look from viewing decks to see the wholesale market and famous tuna auctions. This means less hustle and bustle in Toyosu Market, with visitors directed one way and wholesalers+buyers another way. Toyosu Market may be cleaner and air-conditioned but it is definitely less charming than the beloved Tsukiji Fish Market. That being said, the Market is still home to quite a lot of popular Japanese restaurants that made the move from Tsukiji Market. Keeping to tradition, they open bright and early (5am onwards!). So a fish market tour followed by a hearty breakfast is still a good itinerary for first time visitors. Restaurants are scattered around Toyosu Market but a good place to start is Block 6 Intermediate Seafood Wholesale Market. This is where Sushi Dai and Uogashi …

A Classic Sushi Omakase in Tokyo: Sushi Fujimori 藤森

Tokyo is home to some of Japan’s finest sushi, everything from fish market sushi bars to Michelin star establishments. According to Japanese locals, the key is to find the right spot with the right environment you’re looking for. Previously, I have already raved about Umegaoka Sushi and Sushi Matsue, both sushi bars in Tokyo I frequent. But for a more upscale omakase dinner, I recently discovered Sushi Fujimori–a laidback yet classy spot in Nishi-Azabu. While Sushi Fujimori is more proper than your average sushi bar, the restaurant is cosy with a nice selection of wine and sake for you to unwind with. Chef Fujimori and his wife Noriko-san are attentive and put a lot of effort into making their diners feel at ease. A 10 minute walk from Roppongi Station, Sushi Fujimori offers their dinner omakase menu for 24000 yen (~215 USD). The omakase includes nigiri sushi, seasonal sashimi and a nice assortment of side dishes. A sushi bar to unwind and relax in I visited Sushi Fujimori with my friend Maggie and we started the night off with a sake “well-suited for …

A taste of Tokyo’s original katsu-sando at Bairin Ginza

If you are craving an authentic tonkatsu sandwich in Japan, make your way to Ginza Bairin 銀座梅林 to try Tokyo’s first tonkatsu specialty store. Tonkatsu sandwiches, nicknamed katsu-sando, are fluffy sandwiches stuffed with a juicy cut of fried pork. Different stores drizzle different sauces in the sandwich and at Ginza Bairin, the sauce has a subtle sweetness to it with hints of a tart mustard. Simple is best My friend Maggie & I were shopping in Ginza one day when we decided to grab a light lunch. Having tried Maisen in Omotesando and Tonki in Meguro (both great tonkatsu stores!), we were suddenly craving… a tonktasu sandwich. Founded in 1927, Ginza Bairin is a classic among Japanese locals. The lunch sets are great value for money and the storefront, despite being in the heart of Ginza, is casual and welcoming. We dined with a lot of locals there on their lunch breaks and enjoyed the light chatter around us. I’m a bit picky with my katsu-sando and find that they are often over-powered by their sweet sauces. But …

A Curated Guide to Paris Desserts

When in Paris, there is no better treat than a fresh croissant paired with un café. “Paris is a moveable feast” as Hemingway once said, so the occasional indulgence is almost a must. Last year, I traveled to Paris frequently for work and found myself revisiting many pâtisseries and bistros for French desserts. Some blew me away at first bite and some were simply classics. Here are three spots I personally adored in Paris, alongside some neighbourhood favourites for a post-feast stroll. Du Pain et Des Idées Every time I take a bite of the pistachio-stuffed chocolate escargot at Du Pain et Des Idées I’m reminded of why I love french pastries. Buttery, flakey and decadent–it doesn’t get better than this.  Du Pain et Des Idées is a must-visit in the 10th arrondissement and worthy of a “bread pilgrimage” according to Condé Nast Traveler, Waking up early to arrive, order, and devour a fresh escargot before grabbing an assortment of pastries for my colleagues was a delicious routine of mine. Note that Du Pain et Des Idées …