Black truffles at Sage - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dinner - Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I think that Sage and its sister restaurant Cilantro are probably at the top of the fine-dining scene in Malaysia. While we've visited the latter numerous times, this was our first visit to Sage - it is overseen by Chef Daniel, the former right hand of Cilantro's Chef Takashi Kimura.

Although they function autonomously, both chefs confer on menu planning to minimize overlap between the two restaurants (though this seems hardly necessary, as both have quite different styles). In comparison to Cilantro, the food at Sage is much simpler, with minimal fuss and very straightforward flavour combinations. Since 'tis the season, we decided to indulge in their black truffle menu this evening.

Amber - Central, Hong Kong

Lunch - Monday, December 19, 2011

One cannot visit Hong Kong these days without acknowledging its burgeoning Western dining scene - from the McRobuchons and established spots like Bo Innovation, to smaller scale affairs like Liberty Private Works. Although this trip was primarily focused on Cantonese and Teochew cuisine, we resolved to visit one European restaurant.

We selected Richard Ekkebus' Amber in the Landmark Mandarin Oriental based on a smashing write-up by the folks over at QLI, as well as nods from a few knowledgable friends. We were not disappointed - this was one of the best classically-inflected meal we've had in some years, and the service was absolutely phenomenal (there's definitely something to be said for Asian obsequiousness). To top it all of, the degustation menu ran only $240 each inclusive of beverages and tip (no tax in Hong Kong) - quite a bargain for food at this level.

糖朝 (The Sweet Dynasty) - Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

Lunch - Sunday, December 18, 2011

One thing that constantly disappoints me about Chinese cuisine in the USA is the dearth of places offering Cantonese-style desserts (especially 糖水 - sweet soups). Thus, it wasn't surprising that immediately after landing and making ourselves (somewhat) presentable, we set out to sate ourselves on said food. Our host-companions suggested a popular spot in Tsim Sha Tsui, and we happily agreed to be spirited there. The Sweet Dynasty is like scores of other little snack shops in Hong Kong, but they are famous for their 豆腐花 (tofu pudding), a personal favourite of ours and a must-have on any trip to this city. Of course, we had to order a number of additional items as well to shake off the post-airplane food trauma...

TBL3 at Georges California Modern - La Jolla, CA

Dinner - Thursday, December 1, 2011

Given the resounding success of our previous TBL3 meal under Trey Foshee's care, we were eager to revisit as the seasons turned from the sunny warmth of the summer months to the chill of December (relatively speaking, of course - we do live in San Diego, after all). This time, we returned with another couple to share the experience with them. For their opinion on this dinner, follow this link.

One thing I miss about dining at Georges in the summer is watching the sun set over the water during dinner, hunting for the elusive green flash in between bites. However, with no external distractions this time around, we trained our attention completely on the table and the 14 stunning courses that were unobtrusively placed, removed and replaced in admirable clockwork fashion over four magical hours.