Archive for August, 2011

Salmonella Contaminated Mexican Papayas Imports Banned – USA

Sunday, August 28th, 2011


small-logo-RDC10Culinary Tidbits . . . The U.S. government has detained all papayas coming from Mexico after testing showed high rates of salmonella contamination, which were linked to more than 100 cases of salmonella poisoning in 23 states earlier this summer. They found a 16% contamination rate in papayas from all over Mexico.

Bars are Sending Hurricane Irene Tweets; As If We Haven’t Made Runs To The Liquor Store – USA

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

small-logo-RDC10Tavern Tipples . . . Saveur’s Helen Rosner knows how to handle a hurricane. She sent this tweet: “Bars are sending hurricane-related drinks specials pitches. As if we haven’t all already made runs on the liquor store

New Found Luxury—Caviar for Shanghai’s Young & Wealthy – China

Saturday, August 27th, 2011


I recall being a guest at a very special dinner given for the anniversary of a Chinese company in Jakarta, Indonesia. As far as  beverages were concerned they offered selections of either tea, soft drinks, beer or cognac. A bottle of Hennessy XO was placed on each large, round table. Along with my two friends, both Scotsmen, we  managed to commandeer unwanted bottles from surrounding tables occupied mostly by ladies who did not drink it. We collected three or four bottles and polished them off  by the end of the evening. With so many courses, and so much food over many hours I soon began to notice that the cognac was becoming more wine-like (it is made from grapes after all) as we paired it with the lavish Chinese food, while vaguely-listening to boring speeches as the evening wore on. This was my first experience to attend a long formal Chinese dinner and consume food accompanied by their favorite beverage cognac. As a Westerner, I was used to drinking cognac in a snifter after dinner, and  I thought at the time, how upset the cognac makers would be if they knew how their prized bottles were being drunk. Not so as it turned out,  after talking to a few knowledgeable cognac distillers,  they said that they rather not know how the end-consumer dealt with their product.

Today, nothing much has changed since that dinner 25 years ago, as far as the Chinese love of cognac is concerned. These days some clever entrepreneurs are trying to introduce caviar to wealthy Chinese, by way of pairing it with their favorite spirit—cognac;  it seems as if  Chinese diners will devour anything if it is accompanied by fine brandy.

In the past and to this day the most extravagant dishes to offer honored guests by Chinese standards are:  abalone, sharks fin, and possibly bird’s nest soup, although these days Shanghai’s wealthy, young crowd are beginning to crave Chinese-branded caviar from Tianxia sturgeon; but don’t tell them it is “Made in China”, as Chinese products have a bad reputation even in China, not to mention the rest of the world!

INEDIT beer Presented by el Bulli & Ferran Adrià “a beer to pair with food” – Spain, Bangkok

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Inedit-beerInedit Beer packaged in a black, type of wine bottle and suggested to be served in a white wine glass has been especially created by el Bulli & Ferran Adrià to be paired with food. It was introduced to Bangkok by Comte de Sibour Limited on August 25, 2011 at Aldo’s Mediterranean Bistro and paired with these dishes: Confit of Smoked Salmon Flavor; Asparagus Espuma with Poached Quail Eggs; Paella Modern Style; Marinated Artichokes with Ham Emulsion; Jelly of Gaspacho Tagliatelle of Squid; Feta Tomato Chips. It is similar in style to a Belgian witbier, and is aimed at the high-end restaurant market where it most likely will carve out a niche of devoted fans. Whether it goes mainstream as a standalone beer is anyone’s guess. Inedit is arguably Spain’s best beer although, I have read comments such as: this is “a beer made by people who clearly don’t like beer”.

Inedit beer at Aldo'sPouring the beer into a white wine glass, you are greeted by a distinct aroma of fresh yeast and the visual appearance is not overly cloudy as some wheat beers tend to be

Inedit by el Bulli

Baan Khanitha “Curries & More …” – Bangkok

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Baan Khanitha

Baan Khanitha

31 Soi Sukhumvit 53, Sukhumvit Rd.
Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Tel. 02259 8530-3, 08 8249 8191, 08 4929 4123

Pleasant and comfortable dining created by famed designer Pierre Maciag. The cooking is fusion so if you like this style you will be pleased. Personally, I prefer to have one cuisine at a time with out mixing it up.

Khanitha 1A more formal dining area and private rooms are located in this building

Khanitha 2The bar, terrace in front and upstairs a dining room with adjoining open air terrace. Baan Khanitha is a fusion of Thai, Italian and Continental dishes.

Khanitha 3The bar with informal dining area

Khanitha 4Outdoor dining area under the Banyan tree

Khanitha 5

Khanitha 6Two glass-enclosed areas serving sweets and coffee

Oskar Bistro & Wine Bar/Exotic Drinks – Bangkok

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Oskar Bar

Oskar Bistro, 24 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Tel. 02-255 3377, Opening hours: 6-11, website:

Oskar Bistro is a large bar with a small bistro attached and a terrace in front overlooking the street, mainly populated by smokers. Oskar has a nice layout with plenty of room around the bar area as it gets packed later in the evening, it attracts mostly European foreigners, and because a few of the partners are French, expect a French crowd. Nirut is the main bartender and you can ask him to help you with the long list of exotic, tall drinks. Ten wines by the glass include (135-265): Lungarotti Pinot Grigio 195 baht, Rose Cinsault 145 baht, Ch. Malbec (Bordeaux) 265 baht. Free Tapas 4:30 – 7:30 pm (counter only).  A few selections from the French influenced menu: Oskar Burger 320 baht, Club Sandwich 240 baht, Croque Monsieur 210 baht, Quiche Lorraine 190 baht, N.Y. Caesar Salad 210 baht, Duck Parmentier 250 baht, Ratatouille 220 baht, wood-oven pizzas (195-325).

Oskar 2

Oskar 3

Le Midi French Restaurant – Kuala Lumpur

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

By Carole Chung


Le Midi Restaurant Lot T3
3rd Floor Bangsar Shopping Centre
Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya
59000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2094 1318

Jellyfish Aquarium

This is definitely out of my usual loop, but I have really been enjoying KL, as this is only my third visit here. What could be better than to start out with a French/Italian menu, really it is simply Mediterranean and goes with the climate!  A very attractive part of the decor (and I mean that literally) is an amazing jellyfish aquarium, that I could not take my stare away from, as it changes every second. My friends had to keep reminding me to pay more attention to them. I chose a classic soupe de poisson with rouille and croutons that was quite fitting, and followed with a grilled fish topped by an olive tapenade. It is an easy-going restaurant that has a very presentable decor and efficient service. I think that even though things are not 100% perfect, they are working out the kinks, and I would expect an upward curve soon as the staff are friendly, and really good at what they do, which is to try to make people have a good evening.

Bill Clinton is a Full Fledged Vegan – USA

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Former U.S.President Bill CintonFormer President Bill Clinton has turned into a vegan. Due to health scares he has lost twenty pounds and considers himself a vegan.  “I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now.” However, the ex-McDonald’s addict isn’t always such a saint, admitting, “At Thanksgiving, I had one bite of turkey.”

The Two Michelin Starred Ledbury Looted During Dinner; Patrons Robbed! – London

Thursday, August 18th, 2011


Ledbury Restaurant

The  Daily Mail reported that Two Michelin starred restaurant Ledbury came under attack as gangs of youths ran riot through London’s Portabello Road throughout Monday evening. Police advised residents of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Fulham to stay indoors as residents reported seeing men carrying machetes in the road. Chefs and waiters leapt to the defence of members of the public enjoying an evening at The Ledbury, an upmarket two Michelin starred restaurant in Notting Hill, London. Thugs and rioters armed with bats and wearing hooded tops forced their way into the two star restaurant before demanding diners hand over their wallets and wedding rings.
 But staff and others fought back with kitchen tools before leading customers into the wine cellar for protection.
Writing a blog about the incident, a tourist enjoying a celebratory meal, said: “Will and I were going to celebrate with a night out at 2 Michelin star restaurant The Ledbury.
“I had come to terms with the fact that it would be an expensive dinner, but boy, I had no idea how expensive. “Around the fourth dish of the tasting course, there were loud bangs outside. The restaurant staff was yelling at us to get away from the windows. Before I knew it, the front door, a solid piece of glass shattered and people came crashing in with hoods, masks, and random weapons.
“The looters were yelling at us to get down and throwing stuff all over the place. I got down and started taking off my wedding and engagement ring to hide somewhere, but unfortunately wasn’t fast enough.
“One looter came up and demanded my phone. I didn’t have it with me since it was in my purse and it was out of arm reach. I also didn’t want to lead him to my passport, so I said I didn’t have one.
“He told me to take off my rings and grabbed my hand, trying to yank them off. His friend tried to help too, but the rings wouldn’t come off and I just yelled at him that I’d take them off myself.”
After the initial attack, staff at the restaurant provided champagne and whisky to calm the nerves of diners.
But when rumours spread of the looters returning, guests were ushered into toilet cubicles and told to lock the door before being lead down to the wine cellar.
The unknown blogger added: “The kitchen staff at the Ledbury went beyond their call of duty by rushing up from the kitchen with rolling pins, fry baskets, and other dangerous kitchen tools and scared off the looters.
“Then they provided well-needed glasses of alcohol including champagne and whisky. When word came that the looters were coming back a second time, they ushered us into the bathrooms and told us to lock the doors. A few minutes later, they led us into the wine cellar and told us to lock ourselves in there.”

Short Order at the Farmers Market, Umami Burger at Grove – Los Angeles

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Short Order Short Order construction site pictured above at Farmers Market

image credit: pop sugar city

UPDATE: Sadly, Amy Pressman passed away just before Short Order & Short Cake were about to open in Los Angeles.

According to Amy Pressman, she is not concerned about Umami Burger opening a large space next door at the Grove.

Umami burger Grove

Her new venue Short Order is about to open along with partner Nancy Silverton, it is completely different, a seasonal gourmet burger concept and she has said, “If he (Adam Fleischman) wants to be the new Fuddruckers, the new Johnny Rockets.” Short Order is going be a completely different experience and not to be replicated anywhere else. This gets interesting, as The Los Angeles Times quoted Fleischman as saying these two chains were examples of what he is trying to avoid, “I was focused on doing something new and exciting.”
Short Order will be “the reinvention of classic burgers utilizing all types of proteins: beef, pork, lamb, fish and tofu topped with homemade condiments like flavored aïolis, mustards, ketchups, pickles, relishes and spreads, served along side dishes, classic appetizers, salads, desserts baked on the premises, and custard-based milkshakes utilizing local ingredients…as well as artisanal beers and California wines.”

Short Order will also offer an adjacent bakery, which Pressman is naming Short Cake. The bakery will have a huge coffee component (“single origin, like Intelligentsia,” says Pressman) and will provide Short Order with custard milkshakes and other sweets.

Related Link: Amy Pressman Passes Away