Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My 12 Best Meals of 2011 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section, January 8, 2012


My 2011's 12 Best Meals

Another 365 days have passed, another 25 pounds gained. I look back at 2011 with a big smile on my face. It was a year full of surprises, both wonderful and evil, of new beginnings, of happy endings.

It was intense. I love intense. It was electrifying and nourishing both to my soul and to my belly.

Allow me to indulge again in memories of finger-lickin’ goodness as I share with you my 12 most unforgettable meals in 2011.



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12. Stortorgskallaren, Stockholm

We were on a tour so I expected the usual tourist food trap. Lunch was a three-course meal of salad, entrée and dessert. Honestly, I think someone forgot to pour dressing on the greens. But, like the wise men say, love comes knocking when you least expect it. And true enough, after the major salad boo-boo, true love appeared right before my very eyes, in the form of these rich and flavorful lamb-beef-and-pork meatballs swimming in a gravy so thick and mashed potatoes so creamy. The lingonberries sprinkled on top sealed the deal. The sweet tartness of the red beauties cut through the richness of the dish perfectly. Dessert was a dark and sexy Chocolate Truffle that I devoured wantonly.

Stortorgskallaren is located at Stortorget 7, Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden. Tel: +46 8105533.



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11. Shin Yeh, Taipei

I’ve been eating at this Taiwanese restaurant ever since the day I developed my first set of baby teeth. A few of the older staff still remember me; they watched me grow up… and now they watch me grow big. I make sure every trip to Taipei starts at Shin Yeh. We were a big group this time so I had reason to order almost the whole menu. Whee! I piled high my sweet potato congee with all my favorite dishes – oysters sautéed with scallions, steamed pork topped with salted egg yolk, pan fried egg omelet with preserved turnip, fried small shrimps with peanuts…. I will forever remember how I ate with severe abandon that night, because gaining five pounds in one meal is something you never forget.

Shin Yeh is located at No. 34-1, Shuang Cheng Street, Chung Shan District, Taipei, Taiwan. Tel. +886-2-2596-3255



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10. Café Gray Deluxe, Hong Kong

You will never EVER see me awake at the ungodly hour of seven in the morning, unless you promise to feed me Café Gray’s breakfast, that is. Everything on the menu is simply amazing, like the Strawberry-Nutella Belgian Waffle with the softest, bounciest innards beneath the lightest layer of crunch, the fluffiest Banana-Chocolate Chip Pancakes slathered with maple butter. And then, the plate that brought me down on my knees – Oatmeal and Corn Flakes Crusted Pannetone French Toast. My gulay! I wanted to bury my face in its gloriousness and cover every inch of me in that killer berry compote topped with fresh vanilla whipped cream. Suddenly, mornings are my favorite time of day.

Café Gray is located at the 49th Floor of The Upper House, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong. Tel: +852-39681106.



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9. Wu Kong, Hong Kong

Braised Super Shark’s Fin with Hairy Crab Meat, Hairy Crab Meat and Pork Dumpling, Hairy Crab Meat with Steamed Sticky Rice, Steamed Shanghai Hairy Crab, Steamed Shanghai Hairy Crab and Steamed Shanghai Hairy Crab. Mom and Dad didn’t want theirs, so I had absolutely no choice but to eat all three. I snubbed the legs and devoted my undivided attention and energy to sucking at all that golden fatty goodness and sticky white goo. Ain’t life grand? Let me worry about cholesterol the other 11 months of the year.

Wu Kong is located at 13/F, Food Forum in Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, HongKong. Tel: +852-2506 1018



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8. Wakkoqu, Kobe

When in Kobe, eat Kobe Beef. And that’s exactly what I did on my one-day trip to Japan’s city of beef. And Wakkoqu is WOWkkoqu. I almost fainted with pleasure when the chef brought out the thick pinkish slab of meat. He tortured all my senses as he flipped the baby on the teppanyaki grill, making it sizzle and give off the most wonderful smell in the universe of steak. I put a piece in my mouth and it just melted. I swear I died right there and went to heaven.

Wakkoqu is located at Kobe Chuo-kuNakayamate-dori 1-chome 1-22-13, Hillside Terrace, 1st Floor. Tel: 078-222-0678



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7. Hung Kee Restaurant, Saikung, Hong Kong

Aquariums of live seafood line the strip; we picked our poison and they cooked it fresh for us. We sat facing the bay and attacked with bare hands. The plumpest scallops steamed with garlic and vermicelli, the tastiest salt and pepper mantis shrimps, the juiciest razor clams in black bean sauce, and wait for it, the most succulent Alaskan king crab cooked two ways – deep fried with garlic and chilies, and stir-fried with ginger and scallions. I fall deliriously into a seafood coma.

Hung Kee is located at Shop 9-10, G/F, SiuYat Building, Sai Kung Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung. Tel: +852-2792-1348


Watch out for my Top 6 next Sunday!

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