Michelin Star

[NYC] Eleven Madison Park | Three Michelin Star Dinner | World's 50 Best

Categories: Fine Dining, Michelin Star, New American
Date Visited: September 2018
Address: 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Price:  $$$$
Reservations: Yes, must reserve ahead of time! Reservations can be booked here.

Verdict: Check out my newest Youtube video (link below) to take a look at my experience at Eleven Madison Park!

What's it like to eat at one of the world's best restaurant? Eleven Madison Park (EMP) was earned the name of BEST in the world by World's 50 Best Restaurants in 2017 and No.4 in 2018. It has Michelin 3 Stars and has won numerous James Beard Awards.
 Happy eating my caviar!

Happy eating my caviar!

[NYC] 15 East - Disappointing Michelin Star Omakase Dinner

15 East

Categories: Japanese, Sushi, Omakase
Address: 15 E 15th St, New York, NY 10003
Date Visited: Jan 2018
Price: ~$320-400 for two ($65-140 for omakase sets)
Hours: Thurs-Sat 5:30pm-12:30am, Sun-Wed 5:30pm-11:30pm
Reservations Needed?: Yes

15-east-omakase-sushi

Thoughts: Disappointed. Given their price point and newly "Michelin" one star status, I expected quality on par with some of the other better omakase places around the city. Unfortunately, while ambiance was on point (slightly casual but nice), food was a letdown. Certainly not what you'd expect from one of Manhattan's "best sushi" spots.

We ordered a 15 piece sushi omakase set ($115) and a 15 piece sashimi omakase set ($115). While nothing was "bad," the omakase experience was very boring. There wasn't a single standout dish; nothing on either the sashimi omakase set or sushi omakase set that made me go, "wow, that was amazing. I want it again." Portion sizes were unreasonably TINY and we both left still hungry. For $115 per set, the omakase we got (especially the sashimi - refer to photos below) were underwhelming. 

The fish was not particularly fresh. Both the quality and creativity of here pales in comparison to the other high-end sushi restaurants I've been to in the city (Sushi of Gari, Nakazawa, Gaijin, Sushi Seki, etc.) Honestly, I would've gotten MUCH better sushi and double portions at Tomoe Sushi at 1/3 of the price. 

Just not worth it. Michelin, what were you thinking?

Recommended? No.

THE FOOD

[NYC] Tori Shin - One Michelin Star Yakitori Restaurant 

Categories: Japanese, Yakitori, Omakase
Address: 362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
Date Visited: Nov 2017
Price: ~$100-140/per person ($70 for chef's choice omakase set)
Hours: Thurs-Sat 5:30pm-12:30am, Sun-Wed 5:30pm-11:30pm
Reservations Needed?: Yes

Summary: A sophisticated Tokyo-style yakitori restaurant. Owner Chef Shu Ikeda uses Kishu “Binchotan” charcoal to grill all its organically-sourced meats and vegetables to make them crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. The restaurant has earned one Michelin Star for 7 consecutive years (2012-2017)! Definitely recommended!

Tori Shin is perfect for chicken-lovers and for those who want something other than sushi for a special occasion or to splurge a little on a decadent Japanese meal. You have the option to order a la carte, but omakase is generally the way to go. There are a few omakase options, though the whole table has to order the same thing. I recommend the Chef's Omakase Set ($70), which is the best deal for value and allows you to try all their delicious varieties. The Chef's Omakase Set comes with pickled vegetables, daikon radish, two types of seasonal dishes, 6 meat skewers (chef's pick), 2 vegetable skewers, a rice dish (a choice between oyako don, soboro don, or chazuke), and a dessert (ice cream or seasonal dessert). 

Appetizers (NOT Omakase):

  • Sea urchin with gold flakes: This was NOT part of the omakase course. Must be ordered separately. I'm usually a huge sea urchin fan, but I thought this was just okay. The uni came out cold and not too sweet.

Omakase

  1. Cabbage wrapped turkey and duck on daikon radish with white miso/fish broth

  2. Chawanmushi with Burgundy Truffle, gingko nuts and chicken breast

  3. Chicken heart & ribs skewers

  4. Chicken heart skewers

  5. Chicken rib skewers

  6. Pork belly skewers

  7. Chicken tendon skewers

  8. Chicken breast skewers

  9. Chicken meatball skewers

  10. Oyakodon

  11. Dessert (Ice cream & crème brûlée in 3 flavors)

 Non-Omakase appetizer:  Sea urchin with gold flakes

Non-Omakase appetizer: Sea urchin with gold flakes

 (1) Cabbage wrapped turkey and duck on daikon radish with white miso/fish broth

(1) Cabbage wrapped turkey and duck on daikon radish with white miso/fish broth

 (2) Chawanmushi with Burgundy Truffle, gingko nuts and chicken breast

(2) Chawanmushi with Burgundy Truffle, gingko nuts and chicken breast

 (3) Chicken heart skewers

(3) Chicken heart skewers

 Chicken rib skewers

Chicken rib skewers

 Chicken tendon skewers! One of my favorites!

Chicken tendon skewers! One of my favorites!

 Pork Belly Skewer - SO SO GOOD. Fatty and delicious. One of my all-time favorites!

Pork Belly Skewer - SO SO GOOD. Fatty and delicious. One of my all-time favorites!

 Chicken meatball skewers!

Chicken meatball skewers!

 Chicken Breast Skewers

Chicken Breast Skewers

 Oyakodon (chicken & egg over rice!)

Oyakodon (chicken & egg over rice!)

 Torishin Omakase Dessert Menu

Torishin Omakase Dessert Menu

 Hojicha (roasted green tea) ice cream

Hojicha (roasted green tea) ice cream

 Crème brûlée in 3 flavors: Green Tea - Black Sesame - Roasted Hojicha Tea

Crème brûlée in 3 flavors: Green Tea - Black Sesame - Roasted Hojicha Tea

[Shanghai] Fu He Hui 福和慧 - Autumn Tasting Menu (One Michelin Star)

Awards: Michelin One Star (2016, 2017), Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2016
Date Visited: November 2016
Categories: Vegetarian, Fine Dining, Chinese
Address: 1037 Yuyuan Lu, near Jiangsu Lu, Changning District, Shanghai
上海市长宁区愚园路1037号, 近江苏路
Price:  Tasting menu only, 880RMB per set, without drinks
Verdict: YES for refined & innovative vegetarian dishes. Great for dates, business dinners, and special celebrations. Forget about what you think you know about Chinese vegetarian food. Be prepared for a good mix of traditional vs experimental offerings and displays, eg. Shanghainese-style stir fry gluntinous cakes with shaved black truffles to smokey porcini on sticks in a jar. Spectacular services, environment and presentation.
Hours: Mon-Sun (11am-10pm)

   "Matsutake" (松茸) ; with taro, crisp rice & snow pea

"Matsutake" (松茸); with taro, crisp rice & snow pea

fuhehui-mushrooms
  "Truffle" (   松露 ) glutinous rice cakes;   garden greens, bamboo shoots and BLACK TRUFFLES

"Truffle" (松露) glutinous rice cakes; garden greens, bamboo shoots and BLACK TRUFFLES

fuhehui-champagne
 "Bean Curd" (豆腐); organic tofu, gingko, peach gum, soy - super silky and smooth tofu covered with a gelatinous jelly-like topping

"Bean Curd" (豆腐); organic tofu, gingko, peach gum, soy - super silky and smooth tofu covered with a gelatinous jelly-like topping

  "Lotus Fungus" (荷仙菇) soup;     baby corn, white fungus, black medlar, vegetarian consumme -   immaculately pure without losing taste - not oily or greasy at all!

"Lotus Fungus" (荷仙菇) soup; baby corn, white fungus, black medlar, vegetarian consumme - immaculately pure without losing taste - not oily or greasy at all!

  "Lotus Fungus" (荷仙菇) soup

"Lotus Fungus" (荷仙菇) soup

  "Truffle" (   松露 ) glutinous rice cakes

"Truffle" (松露) glutinous rice cakes

fuhehui-01
fuhehui-banana-dessert-ice-cream

[London] Fera at Claridges (One Michelin Star) - Summer '16 Tasting Menu

Fera - Claridge's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: Claridge’s, 49 Brook St, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR, United Kingdom
Hours: Everyday; 12–2pm, 6:30–10pm
Price: £110 (dinner tasting menu) + 12% service charge per person (without beverages or tip)
Verdict: Worth trying, if you're a fan of fairy food. Every dish and crumble is elegantly and beautifully presented; the tastes fresh and exquisite. A very polished meal (a little ironic since Fera means "wild" in Latin). Don't come for the Michelin star; come if you want to be dazzled by food art and treated like a medieval lord. Both the waiters and dishes are very dressed to impress. 

Reservations necessary. +44 20 7107 8888; reservations@feraatclaridges.co.uk
http://feraatclaridges.co.uk/ 

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 Seaweed cracker, lemon sole, sea herbs

Seaweed cracker, lemon sole, sea herbs

July '16 Dinner Tasting Menu

  • Stewed rabbit with lovage
  • Seaweed cracker, lemon sole, sea herbs
  • Puffed barley, mushroom, celeriac and junipe
  • Pea mousse with cod and calamint
  • Mackerel in coal oil, marinated tomatoes, seaweed and fennel
  • Rose veal tartare, oyster, apple and kohlrabi
  • Leeks with pork jowl, chicory, sunflower, apple marigold
  • Cod with roe sauce, courgette and lemon verbena
  • Goosnargh duck, roasted radish, turnip, rhubarb and oxalil
  • Fig leaf mousse with gooseberry, sorrel ice, almond meringue
  • Meadowsweet cake, cherries, pine and sheep’s yoghurt

I distinctly point out that I came for the July '16 dinner tasting menu because Chef Simon Rogan's food here is heavily influenced by season and climate. "Our menus are inspired by the constant changing of the seasons," says their website. "We only use exceptional, mostly homegrown ingredients that are harvested in their prime. This is why our à la carte and tasting menus change as often as the weather in which our ingredients are grown."

I had a very delightful, refreshing dinner. For 11 courses, the full-flight meal was satisfying without being overbearing. Sauces were light, subtle and precise. I'm impressed because it's difficult to make fine food tasty without putting much burden on your digestive system.

My favorites of the night: pea mousse with cod & calamint, rose veal tartare and the meadowsweet cake (that really isn't cake but more like icy flavored crisps). I'd visit again for the creativity and grace of its presentation. Sure, the restaurant receives criticism for its almost 'too-perfect' glossy feels. It's ornate. Extravagance disguised in hushed rustic tones. But let's not kid ourselves, what were you expecting? Stepping into Mayfair and into one of London's most sophisticated hotels... you knew what you were getting into.  

 Seaweed cracker, lemon sole, sea herbs

Seaweed cracker, lemon sole, sea herbs

  Rose veal tartare, oyster, apple and kohlrabi

Rose veal tartare, oyster, apple and kohlrabi

 Goosnargh duck, roasted radish, turnip, rhubarb and oxalis

Goosnargh duck, roasted radish, turnip, rhubarb and oxalis

 Meadowsweet cake, cherries, pine and sheep’s yoghurt

Meadowsweet cake, cherries, pine and sheep’s yoghurt

  Leeks with pork jowl, chicory, sunflower, apple marigold

Leeks with pork jowl, chicory, sunflower, apple marigold

  Puffed barley, mushroom, celeriac and juniper

Puffed barley, mushroom, celeriac and juniper

 Pea mousse with cod and calamint

Pea mousse with cod and calamint