Kos-I — Lyon (6/2016)


Lyon is renowned as the food capital of France.  However, in my short stay in the city, rather than go for traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, I opted to look for the same kind of thing that I always seek.  Kos-I was a place that popped up on a search.  I set up the reservation not too far in advance from their website, as I wanted to make sure it was easily accessible, as it was outside of the central part of Lyon.  In fact, it turned out to be in a business park area, where I had to take a subway to the end of the line and then board a bus for a 7-minute ride.

The restaurant itself is set on the second floor of a large building.  The first floor houses an elaborate race car simulation amusement ride. They serve both lunch and dinner.  For dinner, you can order à la carte or a tasting menu with different numbers of courses.  I went with the full Dégustation tasting menu.

To go with the meal, I had a white Beaujolais, as it was Beaujolais week I was told.

The meal started off with lamb, white asparagus, potatoes and anchovies.  There was some mustard for a little spiciness to this cold dish and some mayonnaise.

For the full write-up, click here.

Secret Location — Vancouver (5/2016)


It was only at the last minute that I found a new restaurant to try on a trip to Vancouver.  A Google search had come up with Secret Location, which has been around for a little while, but didn’t come up in prior searches (I’m guessing due to changes in menu/format). I was able to secure a reservation just a couple of days in advance through OpenTable.com pretty easily.

It bills itself as a retail-food establishment, and there is a small retail shop next door.  The blue bar area is located a step up from the restaurant floor. 

The menu offers both à la carte options and a tasting menu and two levels of wine pairings.  Their wine list was pretty extensive, naturally offering a lot from British Columbia, as well as from the United States.

I just went for a wine-by-the-glass and ordered the local offering of Viognier from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 13th visit — London (5/2016)


Although I had only visited just a couple of months before, there were many menu changes.  I expected that the seasonal changes would bring a variety of ingredients that weren’t available in February. They also changed up their wine list a little, with the addition of a white Rioja, which decided to try (and liked).

The evening started with raw hand-picked diver scallops from Scotland that were placed on top of some sea kelp and garden herbs.  This was dressed with some fresh cream and dill.  It was finished with some fermented, smoked and cured daikon.  The combination was very tasty.

Next up was the potato starch chip with salmon, sour cream chives and brown sugar.

This was followed by the signature crisp chicken skin chip with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam (I guess both may be signature offerings now).

We got a peek at the gull eggs that would be coming up soon in a dish.

For the full write-up, click here.

Momofuku ko — New York City (5/2016)


It was time for the menu to edge into spring a little (but only a little since the weather had been unusually cold for the spring so far). This was a return to lunch, as they started offering a lunch service Thursdays through-Saturdays.  Unlike before though, the menu for lunch is the same as dinner.  There is however, only one seating per position for lunch.  Even though it was lunch, I did order a glass of white Burgundy.

We started off with some puffed snacks.  There was a white cheddar Cheez-it puff, as well as a couple of pomme soufflés filled with sour cream and onion.

The next bite was the familiar lobster roll with the mint sabayon sauce.

The next snack was the deep-fried chicken oyster with honey- mustard powder.  This came with a kimchi granita chaser with white bean and horseradish.

This dish was a slight variation on what I’ve had many times before.  This was black bass tartare (instead of madai) with fish bone consommé gel, finger limes, finger chilies, wild radish flowers, and shiso spray.

For the full write-up, click here.

L’Appart — New York City (5/2016)


L’Appart also showed up on a listing of places to try this spring.  It’s located inside something called Le District, which simulates a small French marketplace (but in a mall). 

The restaurant accepts reservations through the Yelp reservation system.  The system did not let me make a solo diner reservation, so I wrote them via email and they adjusted my reservation without any issue. The chef is from France and the food is seasonal modernist French.

The restaurant is not very big.  There are only a few tables and they are generally spaced far apart.  The overall theme is meant to evoke the feeling of dining in a home-style setting.  As they were seating me, they offered me a drink.  They called it a French martini and it consisted of cold Vermouth and frozen grapes.

There is a tasting menu (only) with the options of selecting one, two, or three entrée-type dishes at increasing pricing of the menu and with portion adjustments, depending how many are selected. I skipped the veal selection and went with the two main-course option and no cheese course.

As one might expect at a French restaurant, there was quite a wine list offered.  Unfortunately, no Meursault wines were offered by the glass.  So I settled on a glass of a Latour white Burgundy.

The meal started off with some snacks.  First up was a cucumber mint gazpacho, garnished with a brioche crouton and Espelette pepper oil.  This was followed by Alaskan King crab on a crispy wonton strip with a Granny Smith apple “cloud.”

For the full write-up, click here.

Teisui — New York City (5/2016)


I heard about Teisui through a digital newsletter that listed new restaurants for the season to try.  Teisui is a tasting-menu only Japanese restaurant serving food ryokan-style – in the manner of meals served at a traditional Japanese inn.  The kaiseki menu attempts to be seasonal with its presentations.  It was easy for me to secure a mid-week reservation using Opentable.com. There are both counter and table seating options.

There weren’t any wines that I really wanted to have (and it was the middle of the work week and I had to each the next day), so I just went with hot tea as my beverage with the meal.

The starter snack was off-menu.  It was a cold chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard) with edamame espuma, foie gras and uni. It was an unexpected way to start, as the custard or egg course usually appears later in these types of menus.

For the full write-up, click here.

momofuku nishi 2nd visit — New York City (5/2016)


I had been a few months since my first visit.  Given it was a Sunday night, I had few options, so nishi was just about an automatic pick.  I also knew that some of the menu items would have changed by then.  Even though there is no tasting menu, the chef and I collaborate to come up with a nice sequence of dishes.

For wine with dinner, I went with the Chardonnay from the Margaret River Region of Australia, which I thought was pretty nice.  I liked it better than most California Chardonnays.

The first dish was not on the evening’s menu.  There were some ingredients left from when it was offered on the menu, but not enough to keep it there, so I was able to have it.  This was fluke crudo with grapefruit and orange segments and some balsamic vinegar.  This was a nice palate starter.

For the full write-up, click here.