Monday, September 2, 2013

Europe trip roundup!

Wow I'm finally back from Europe - specifically, London, San Sebastian and Barcelona. It was a great trip with some of my closest pals which was really nice since it's hard to be able to spend time together. 

And well yeah I had the honour of visiting many of the finest restaurants in those cities - altogether a total of 13 Michelin stars (6 from London; 6 from San Sebastian; and 1 from Barcelona).

There were many wonderful experiences, not least of them being attending a really good and spiritually fulfilling church service at All Souls Church in London; watching the lovely Sound of Music at the Open Air theatre in Regents' Park, London; and visiting San Sebastian which is really a lovely quaint little town which is really so beautiful - I'd highly recommend anyone who loves life to go there for a change.

To be honest - the local food scene in Singapore is just as interesting as those places I visited in Europe and the trick's the same - get good produce and bring out the best in them. As someone once mentioned, you can't get good dishes out of bad produce, and that's probably an area where Europe has an advantage as there's just so much good produce around - high quality stuff - that's able to make its way into the restaurants; whereas in Singapore, we have to import, and of course that raises costs which makes dining out here, at least in the fine dining sense, more expensive.

At most of the top restaurants - there was probably at least 1 standout dish that made me go wow - and hence where a restaurant is able to produce a few stellar dishes that make me go wow all the time, I'd say that's a sign of a first class restaurant. On that front, the restaurant that really made me go wow at almost all of the dishes is Azermundi, located slightly off Bilbao and was given its 3rd star last year (Andy Hayler also rated it a 20/20); and Akelarre was just as good (also a 3 star michelin). I guess that's what separates the exceptional from the excellent.

Here's a run down of my top 10 favourite dishes from the trip, in no particular order. I shall be blogging about the individual restuarants independently, but here's a teaser:

1. Foie Gras with "salt" and "pepper" from Akelarre
2. Oyster dish from Cinc Sentits
3. Pigeon from Cinc Sentits
4. Passionfruit Sorbet from The Ledbury
5. Scallop dish from Hedone
6. Pigeon from Akelarre
7. Lobster from Azermundi
8. Oxtail ravioli from Azermundi
9. Oyster from Hedone
10. Squid and squid ink from Azermundi

Notable highlight: Four seasons duck was always good and I had that twice.

Well have a good Tuesday fellas!

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