Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Everything Else Cooking: drooling over French food in Japanese Drama

There's certainly been a lot more tv series and movies centered around cooking and restaurants, such as Ratatouille, No Reservations, and the show that only made it to the 1st season, Kitchen Confidential.

While this is really great, let's not forget that there has been a lot of entertainment materials centered around cooking from other countries. For example, the Japanese has put out a lot of films, tv drama, and anime about chefs. One that I have recently watched is My Little Chef:About the daughter of a once famous chef, her half sister, and other friends, they attempt to operate a high class French restaurant who serves a small number of guests each night, preparing dishes that are meant just for those guests.

As with other J-dramas, there are a lot of cheesiness in all the episodes, but the dishes sure look good! :D This is one of the better cooking dramas out there, unlike certain ones that are way too cheesy even for food lovers. My Little Chef still has a good story line and executed within acceptable bounds of reality :>

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

World's Best Truffles. Seriously.

Had an awesome friend who sent me a big box of Teuscher champagne truffles for my birthday. Although he told me not to post these photos of the tastiness that he can't get his hands on in Australia, I just had to anyway :PIn my humble opinion, Teuscher's champagne truffles are the best truffles I've ever tasted. For one thing I much prefer this type of truffles compared to the American truffles (hard chocolate case, like Godiva).
This and the dark chocolate champagne truffles are the only ones worth getting at Teuscher (the other chocolates are good, but how can you not opt for these instead??!).
Just look at that creamy creamy center! I think I don't have to mention that the quality of the chocolate is top notch.

Teuscher has stores in Beverly Hills, San Fransisco, New York, Chicago, and I'm sure other places.
Their chocolates are flown in from Zurich, and should be eaten within 10 days. Less, really, to get the best taste out of them.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Testing Fearing's - Living Up to Its Name?

I've been hearing a lot of hype about the new kid in town, Fearing's at the Ritz Carlton, so I decided to give it a try one night. I came with high expectation due to all the good things I've heard about it.

Our server was very courteous, knowledgeable and had recommendations for us, which was good. Throughout the night I noticed the service there (at least from our server) was impeccable. Although I did hear someone else dropping some silverware at the other end of the restaurant, so maybe the other servers are not as good ...

The amuse bouche was very interesting- something I've never had before. Langoustine with Quinoa -- with what? This was the first time I've heard of Quinoa, which apparently is a crop grown in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
My appetizer was a thoroughly amazing dish. Foie gras with caramelized pear on the left. It happens to be one of the best foie gras dishes I've had. The caramelized pear adds an outstanding touch and really brought the dish to a whole different level. The scallop was very well prepared, fresh plump and juicy, and the papaya salad adds a unique flavor.
The other appetizer we got was the Tsukiji market yellowtail, which was good and was definitely good fish but we thought the preparation was nothing special. And the portion is small for the price. The foie gras was a much better deal.
For the main course I ordered the prime rib:The piece of meat itself was very high quality. Better than Lawry's I must say. I had asked for medium rare, and while this was just fine for me, it was a little on the cold side and my companion called our server. We stated that the meat was too rare and cold and it should normally be served on a warm plate to keep the meat warm while we're eating. Our server took it back and heated it up, and gave it back to us warm.

Oh, I should mention, the croquette was outstanding!

The other main entree was the steak and chicken-fried-lobster.

So at the end, they let us order two desserts on the house, as an apology for the cold prime rib, which was nice of them. I will not hesitate to say that the service we received was excellent.

The pecan pie was good. Also had the pear cinnamon cake, which tasted good but was a bit dry.

Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
2121 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone: 214-922-4848

Fearing's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Secrets I Won't Keep

When I was in Dallas last time, we decided to stop by this place called "Chocolate Secrets" as we were passing it by on the way home after dinner. The place looked cute and interesting and we were in need of dessert.

Upon entering you see that the place is actually pretty big, with cafe-type seating on your left, chocolate case in the center, and a wine cellar to your right. The nooks and corners are filled with cases displaying jewelries and other things.

The loose chocolate pieces on display were:1) some local chocolates (made in Dallas) mainly American style truffles, nuts clusters, etc 2) some Fauchon chocolates, and 3) Michel Cluizel chocolates and truffles.
They also had some super cute cakes and cupcakes, and they also serve crepes, which we didn't try this time.

We opted for a cup of hot chocolate, fresh fruit fondue, and a few chocolate pieces. I also bought the 99% Noir Infini Chocolate by Michel Cluizel as a christmas present :)

The fresh fruit fondue was a plate of fresh strawberries, and the melted chocolate was very good! They were using high quality chocolate (probably the local Dallas one?).

Same with the cup of European style hot Chocolate, which was made with real milk. Very good indeed, it was chocolatey enough for my taste (can't beat Angelina's, but who can?).

The local dallas made chocolates were actually very good. I especially enjoyed the walnut clusters. We got a dark chocolate Fauchon piece, and a dark chocolate Michel Cluizel. I think we both preferred the Michel Cluizel one ...

This place was such an awesome find! I really loved it and would definitely come back, for dessert, to buy chocolates, or have a nice sit-down conversation with a cup of hot cocoa. Makes me want to open my own in LA ...

Chocolate Secrets
3926 Oak Lawn Ave
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 252-9801

Chocolate Secrets on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Bread Winner

Review in progress

At the table, the Bread Winners Cafe & Bakery serves you an assortment of their freshly baked bread. The ones we had included apricot, cheese, ginger spice. It was a great way to both please the customers and induce them into taking home a loaf on the way out :)
Although I got a bit full even before my order arrived ...

Had the smoked salmon benedict, which was good, although nothing terribly special. The eggs, hollandaise sauce, and english muffins were good, but I was expecting/wanting smoked salmon that was cold smoked. Also, I didn't like how they put the fruit garnish right on top of the potatoes. I always eat the oranges, and this made it warm, which was kinda disgusting.

For dessert we ordered the "Meep Meep Souffle" from the special menu (apparently they were honoring some employee's that is leaving Dallas." Not really a souffle, but it was an amazing amazing dessert. They are after all a bakery, and the dessert is much much more notable than their entrees. More like a bread pudding, surrounded by blueberry compote. It isn't too sweet like some bread pudding may be, yet decadent and you just can't stop eating it. It has the perfect moistness and richness.
Bread Winners Cafe and Bakery
3301 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX

Bread Winners Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon