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Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

perhaps, but the french butters were bought at grande epicerie in paris (minus 'le president')...

the only reason i can think of is that the quality suffered during the plane ride, and/or the two-week storage?

i did buy the local butters immediately after i arrived back in singapore so as to rule out freshness issues (although i must admit to not closely matching the various use-by dates)

anyway, in singapore, everything melts very fast, be it chocolate or butter. haha!

Dec 18, 2014
akated in France

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

In fact, we did do a taste test for salted butters too!

My notes for that part of the taste test:

"Salted butters tested: Lurpak, President, Anchor, SCS (bought in SG), Echire (bought in Paris). My favorite was Lurpak. Moderate saltiness, but still with the sweetness of the cream. President was salty and metallic - everyone on the table did not like it. SCS was definitely palatable, and was similar to Echire. Anchor was a bit on the blah side, but still tons better than President."

Both Anchor and SCS are Australian butters, readily available in any supermarket here in Singapore.

(I cannot recall why I did not bring back Bordier demi-sel, so it didn't form part of the taste test)

So it seems like the determining factor for a good "butter taste" is the salt used rather than the (unsalted) butter? At least for table use I guess...

(p.s. It's quite common here in Singapore for unsalted butter to be served in restaurants without any accompanying salt!)

(p.p.s. They have started selling Echire butter here in Singapore... at S$4 for 100g; that's around €2.50. ouch...)

Dec 17, 2014
akated in France

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

I may get a lot of flack for this, but here goes...

I lugged back unsalted bordier / echire / isigny from Paris to Singapore in November 2011, and my friends and I had a butter taste-test about two weeks later (butters were tightly wrapped and stored in the freezer for those two weeks).

We double-blind tested:

1. Lurpak (Denmark, bought in Singapore)
2. President (French, but bought in Singapore)
3. Isigny
4. Bordier
5. Echire

Turns out that there was not much difference amongst the various butters, besides Bordier (one of my friends does have a very sensitive palette, so I do usually trust him). The unsalted Bordier had a vaguely olive-oil-y taste; the rest tasted pretty much the same to us. (And turns out most of us preferred Lurpak, but only by a whisker!)

Perhaps the butters will fare differently when used in baked goods, but I haven't had the chance to do a similar test...

Dec 17, 2014
akated in France

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

Hmmm. On tabelog:

taruhei - 3.69
ajikura - 3.62
shunan - 3.51

etc..

Personally, I won't call these scores terrible. Anyway, it's all subjective; I've had many meals with so-so scores that were very memorable indeed.

Besides, no matter what, you will still need to eat when in takayama, no? Unless of course you are willing to change itinerary - in which case you may want to consider staying at kanazawa instead. 

Dec 16, 2014
akated in Japan

Reco on michelin star/quality resto for lunch in Tokyo

seconding the recommendation.

it's a pity "asia's 50 best restaurants" found it - i didn't want it to be so exposed for my own selfish reasons. lol!

Dec 16, 2014
akated in Japan

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

I never knew BRICsters is a term. Heh.

Dec 16, 2014
akated in Japan

Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

Takayama - did you mean you couldn't find any high-end restaurants on tabelog, or you couldn't find any good restaurants on tabelog?

It's a small town, so I guess there won't be any high-end restaurants there actually... but some of the izakaya-ish places look pretty good, at least on tabelog

(I'll be there in two weeks' time, so hopefully I'll manage to get into and try some of them).

Dec 16, 2014
akated in Japan

Servers who pick up dishes but not flatware between courses: was I rude to bring this up?

I don't think I've ever seen any Japanese / Chinese / Korean restaurant change chopsticks between courses, be it disposable (Japanese) or non-disposable (Chinese or Korean).

(speaking with reference to restaurants in Singapore, China, and Japan)

However, for Chinese and Korean restaurants, there are always side plates and/or chopstick rests provided as part of the table setting (since dishes are shared; I'm not referring to individual one-dish meals since then the issue is moot); and for Japanese restaurants, there are always chopstick rests provided for a multi-course meal.

So yes, there is something to rest the cutlery on which will ensure that the tip of the cutlery that enters the mouth doesn't touch the tabletop.

Going back to the OP, I don't need my cutlery changed between courses at restaurants that are somewhat casual (which I assume is what is being discussed here, given mains in the $20-$30 range;), but perhaps it will be good if the Western table setting can evolve to include a cutlery rest, which will serve the same purpose as the chopstick rest? (I do feel somewhat icky when I have to rest cutlery on the tabletop.)

Dec 15, 2014
akated in Not About Food

Singapore - Peranakan Flavours at The Ardennes Hotel

Thank you klyeoh for the recommendation! My partner and I went there for dinner yesterday after reading your review, and we were really impressed by all the dishes we had.

We had the wingbean salad (sweet and spicy - this really whetted our appetites), the ayam buah keluak (the kwa was more sour than usual preparations, I guess the quantity of assam was bumped up; however i felt the rich gravy could stand up to the increased sourness), the chup chye (rich and full of flavour), and the bakwan kepiting (redolent of prawn flavour; wonder how the darker-coloured broth would have tasted!)

Only table there for dinner (7:30 - 8:30). Hopefully they can sustain their business!

Nov 24, 2014
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Top 10 Hong Kong restaurants for regional Chinese cuisine

didn't know putien has expanded to HK - it's now a popular chain here in singapore with multiple locations in various shopping centres.

seconding the stir-fried rice vermicelli!

Oct 14, 2014
akated in China & Southeast Asia

MATSUMOTO & GIFU - Hikariya Nishi + Ishii Miso + Michiya-Zushi Okimuraya + Yamatake-Shōten

I'm not sure if this is timely, but...

I won't beat myself up if I can't get a reservation for Hikariya Nishi. It's not bad food (and generally rather tasty) but not all that memorable; esp since you'd be dining in Tokyo too.

It's the top western restaurant in Matsumoto (at least according to Tabelog when I went 2 years ago), but don't forget that Matsumoto doesn't exactly have a thriving "western food scene". The French / French-inspired meals that I had in Tokyo were much more interesting (in terms of use of ingredients, pairings, etc).

(edit: having said all that, the setting of the restaurant is really quaint though, and as I mentioned, the food's not bad; if I have a few days in Matsumoto I'd keep the reservation if made. But I may pick another place to try if not - some Japanese place specialising in horse meat perhaps?)

Oct 13, 2014
akated in Japan

Singapore - Fabulous Kachchi Biryani and Bengali cuisine at Fakruddin, Desker Road

I'm forever in awe of the depth of knowledge that you have when it comes to food (local or otherwise!)

Oct 27, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Rice...no thank you.

agree with your last paragraph; although I guess with friends, one does get some leeway (since you will know what each person likes / dislikes etc). prob not in front of potential in-laws though. guess it's about the context as well.

Oct 27, 2013
akated in Not About Food

Tonkatsu in Shinjuku

me three for katsukura!

i think tonki is polarising. you either love it or hate it. (i hate it. hehe.)

Oct 21, 2013
akated in Japan

Rice...no thank you.

given that this is a us-centric board, i get that many posters feel it's not a big issue if one person doesn't eat rice, but instead fills up on the mains.

that's fine in the states (and perhaps parts of europe?), but pull this stunt in chinese-speaking parts of the world, and you probably won't get invited to any more dinners. just sayin' (singaporean here).

like many of the posters, i don't eat as much rice as my dining companions. but i make sure i only take my fair share of mains (and not more), even though i'm "not eating rice". to do otherwise would be considered rude. unless of course there's more mains left on the table even after everyone's more or less done with the food.

Alternates to Torishiki

toriki is a lot less "saucy'.

i liked toriyoshi (this was 4-5 years ago though). they had the "lantern" when i ate there. if your japanese is up to it, you can try to reserve the item - they might run out of it.

never had the chance to eat at torishiki, so don't know how it compares. although i've found that a lot of times, descriptions like "pales in comparison" are really just hyperbole.

Sep 17, 2013
akated in Japan

Does anyone else consider this rude?

what you've said is exactly what i have read, in an encyclopedia, as a kid: that the "american" way of eating is to cut up all the meat into bite-sized pieces, and then eating them with only a fork; versus the "british" way of eating with a knife and fork at the same time.

quite interesting to see all the (presumably) americans here refuting this (i'm neither american, nor british).

Apr 21, 2013
akated in Not About Food

Please don't comb your hair, apply make-up, blow your nose. or pick your teeth at the table. Especially at a restaurant! Thanks.

i'd be fine with someone picking his/her teeth at a chinese restaurant (discreetly, with one hand covering the act). chinese restaurants routinely provide toothpicks at the table.

i don't think any chinese living in china / (or asia for that matter) will object to the above.

Apr 21, 2013
akated in Not About Food

Sushi Dai?

perhaps it's one of the better places at the market... maybe people just need to brag that they have eaten "fresh" sushi from fish sold that day at the market itself...

i guess many visitors don't realise that good sushi is everywhere in tokyo.

Apr 21, 2013
akated in Japan

Best non-Hawker asian restaurants close to Raffles hotel

seconding thanying (caveat: have not eaten at celadon, so have no idea how thanying compares to it). had a most delicious tom kah gai there two weeks ago. yet con is very famous in singapore, but i have not actually tried it before.

not particularly "singaporean", but the moluccas room at MBS can be considered quite unique (mod-indonesian; can't imagine anything being quite like it in the states). gajalee at its new location at the esplanade serves up excellent indian dishes (they specialise in goan seafood dishes) - the green chili crab is delicious.

for "singaporean food", i guess it's still better to stick to the hawker centres (maxwell is nearest - around a 15-20 min walk from raffles area, and a number of stalls open late if you have any supper cravings). although i must say that i had an excellent mutton murtabak at empire cafe at raffles hotel (although wa-y-y overpriced at 21 dollars - hawker centres typically charge 4-5 dollars for it, but the quality can be middling).

Apr 21, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Lastly!! A compilation of some of Hong Kong's BEST ( and worse? ) Won-Ton Noodles!!

wasn't it not too long ago that some singaporean minister was proudly unveiling a robot that could "fry" char kuay teow?

what we sacrifice in the name of efficiency...

edit: found the link - http://www.spring.gov.sg/NewsEvents/I...

Apr 05, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore Upscale Restaurant Recommendations

hmmm. nothing specific, but i prefer the way julien balances his flavours. admittedly, i haven't been to andre since two years ago, so my views of his current cooking may not be the most up-to-date.

i will admit that i think andre cooked better when he was at jaan. a friend of mine thinks that he's too "pretentious" now; i beg to differ, but i can see how his current cooking (well, his cooking "two years ago") can be interpreted as such.

(then again, i was bowled over more by lunch at a gastropub in SF than dinner at the french laundry three weeks ago. heh.)

Mar 07, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - Just Published

i don't think anyone here likes them too! lol!

welcome to the asia boards!

Mar 07, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - Just Published

"putting off"

Mar 04, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - Just Published

and i'm not against your point of view, which i agree with.

but i fail to see how your previous response is valid in response to my comment. any cuisine will most likely be best represented in its own country. but i wasn't really arguing about that.

Mar 04, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - Just Published

read carefully what I wrote. I certainly wasn't "comparing one cuisine to another".

Mar 04, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore Upscale Restaurant Recommendations

I would rate Jaan (under Julien Royer) over the current Andre.

Mar 04, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore Upscale Restaurant Recommendations

thanks M_Gomez for the info on 53!

Mar 04, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - Just Published

although i must admit that i think one would be hard-pressed to name an asian city that can match the quality of food offered in tokyo.

Mar 04, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - Just Published

my exact sentiments. unfortunately i think they have done such a good job of branding that people don't see it for what it is - overpriced, good-but-not-stunning food that has no place in even a top-10 sgp restaurant list.

narisawa at top spot is interesting to me. i've been putting visiting it due to the somewhat polarizing reviews i've seen. i've had three friends visiting it last year and who were seriously underwhelmed by the food.

Mar 04, 2013
akated in China & Southeast Asia