Holsteins Shakes and Buns - Las Vegas, NV

Lunch - Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holsteins is the Cosmopolitan's take on the ubiquitous burger joint. It stays true to its genre, with various iterations of the standard beef/chicken/vegetable/fish burger. Prices for individual items tend to be in the low-to-mid teens, in line with other "gourmet" burger joints. As is standard, you can also customize each burger by adding various accoutrements.

Sage - Las Vegas, NV

Dinner - Monday, December 27, 2010

Sage is Shawn McClain's (he of Spring, Green Zebra and Custom House fame) Vegas venture in the Aria casino, and represents his first restaurant outside the Windy City. Having eaten at all his Chicago establishments, my general impression is of well-executed food grounded in a Midwestern sensibility - the chef elevates many tried-and-true combinations to the level of fine-dining. However, I never found myself bowled over by his dishes. To me, his restaurants always seemed to lack that certain je ne sais quoi experienced at truly transcendent meals. We had not planned to eat at Sage, but a plethora of positive reviews changed our mind. "Don't judge Sage by Spring or Green Zebra," said one poster on Chowhound, "it seems like Chef McClain ages like a fine wine."

And so it was that we found ourselves here on a Monday night, 2 hours after arriving in Sin City. We were promptly seated in the main dining room, which was about half-full at 7.30 pm. We decided to skip the four-course "Signature" prix fixe (which I should note is quite a steal at $79) and craft our own tasting menu.

Commis - Oakland, CA

Dinner - Sunday, November 14, 2010

Commis is the brainchild of the young James Syhabout, formerly the chef de cuisine at Manresa (the man has also done stints at el Bulli, Mugaritz and The Fat Duck). His background clearly shows itself in the plating and flavour profiles of his dishes (see below).

The space is small - probably no more than 30-35 covers. This allows James and just 3 other chefs to comfortably handle the workload. The menu consists solely of a 4-course tasting menu ($68) that changes continuously. Each course presents two options, for a total of 8 dishes (9 including an optional cheese course) - two dishes are assigned to each chef.

PassionFish - Pacific Grove, CA

Dinner - Saturday, November 13, 2010

As the name suggests, Chef Ted Walter is passionate about the sustainable seafood movement. This ethos is well reflected by his seasonal, organic menu. We dined here the night before running the Big Sur half-marathon, and this is reflected by our menu choices - only two seafood courses ordered, not for fear of upset stomachs, but because we were craving heavy food.

Service was efficient and genial, and our server happily kept the excellent bread basket filled with warm baguettes after hearing about our upcoming race.

Welcome to {Insert Food}

ATTENTION: This site is historical. For posts after January 2015, please visit the new home of this blog, yaowong.com

This blog is an archive of some of our more memorable forays in the world of food. Growing up at opposite ends of the globe (quite literally - Chicago and Kuala Lumpur are longitudinally 172° apart), we're inherently obliged to travel a fair bit, and we use this opportunity to find good food everywhere. Having collectively eaten great meals across the world for 13 years (as of 2014), we finally realized the need for digital organization in late 2010... hence, this online journal.

I hope to let the pictures speak (mostly) for themselves. I try to capture photos that present the food as we experienced it, preserving the ambiance of the dining environment with minimal post-processing. We hope that readers will be able to feast vicariously through our posts. Please join us on our ongoing adventures!

Loin of duck, truffles, iodized complements - Mugaritz, Errenteria, Spain (2009)