Friday 23 February 2024

Noor Cordoba

An Andalusian food journey experience


P4 in style


Located in the historical Spanish city of Cordoba, Noor is a one-of-a-kind place you won't find anywhere else. Chef-owner Paco Morales has tapped into the past of Southern Spanish cuisine history, with inspiration from Roman, Isalm to modern days to create something totally unique. This is a tasting menu-only restaurant with a choice of either a short, medium or long menu. In fact, even the short menu contains about 10 courses so you will for sure be here for a long time. I visited in the summer of 2023 and soon after it was promoted from 2 Michelin stars to 3 stars in the 2024 Michelin Guide.

Tuesday 13 February 2024

Cañabota Seville

Classy seafood bar


Ref prawn and white asparagus


I am a seafood addict so whenever I plan my holiday, I always would run research to see if there are any decent seafood venues where I am heading. Canabota on paper is just the kind of place I know I will enjoy. Fresh seafood, cooked to order in a smart casual bar setting, and indeed I had a great experience back in 2020, which landed a Michelin star not long after I had been. Therefore, when I decided to head back to Seville again, it was an easy decision for me to head back. The restaurant doesn't really have a fixed menu, instead, they provide an ever-changing daily menu based on the catches they get on the day.

La Barra de Cañabota Seville

Casual yet quality seafood joint 


Spiny lobster

I am a seafood addict, whenever I arrange travel, I always look to see if there is a seafood restaurant that has a reputation worth trying. La Barra was an easy decision as back in 2019, I had the chance to visit its older brother Canabota which I very much enjoyed (and it went on to win a Michelin star). So when I discovered it has a more casual seafood offering in the name of La Barra, I booked without needing to think twice. The space is mostly a highchair counter setting, with only a few more traditional sit-down tables at the back of the venue.

El Rinconcillo Seville

The oldest restaurant in Seville 


Iberico pork and cheese 


El Rinconcillo is the oldest restaurant in Seville and one with a reputation that makes it extremely popular. No matter which day of the week, you likely will see a long queue of people waiting before it opens, as the downstairs tapas space is for walk-in only. However, you can book a table for a more formal experience to enjoy big plates alc styles. Since I have been to its tapas space in the past, I decided to go for its restaurant space for some old-school Southern Spanish cuisine.

Park Chinois

Pure class Chinese New Year feast


Lo Hei salad

Whenever Chinese New Year comes around, many Chinese restaurants across London would create a special one-off menu to celebrate the occasion. For Park Chinois, its New Year specials are loaded with interesting dishes with a classic vibe, such as a simple stir fry mustard green topped with aged cured duck. I have to admit I have been to Park Chinois so many times now (This is my 27th) so I always welcome new dishes to try out. This time, I opted for a selection of dim sum as starters before diving into some Chinese New Year special dishes as the main event.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine London

Traditional Chinese New Year vibe


Spinach and mushrooms on tofu


Like many other Chinese restaurants in London, Imperial Treasure would offer a special Chinese New Year menu to celebrate the occasion. For very old school Chinese fine dining, besides China Tang at the Dorchester, I would say Imperial Treasure is the no2 choice. Its 2024 Chinese New Year menu was almost a copy and paste from 2023, as I recall I tried most of the dishes. Not an issue for me as long as it tastes great.

Hakkasan Hanway Place

 The OG London Chinese fine dining den


Smoked Jasmine beef rib


It is fair to say Hakkasan is the OG who started a Chinese fine dining trend in the early 2000s. Back in the day for most people in the UK, Chinese cuisine is all about your local takeaway or traditional Chinese joints in Chinatown. Hakkaasan injected a modern, refined vibe with top-class food, and it is now more of a lifestyle brand instead of a restaurant brand. The last time I dined at Hakkasan was before Covid and I wonder if much has changed since.

Mei Ume

New age Chinese


Peking duck


Located inside the elegant Four Seasons Hotel in Tower Hill London, Mei Ume is an Asian restaurant that offers both Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Somewhat of a strange concept but clearly one that is working as it has been trading since 2018 and I have been told it is the most profitable food and beverage offering within the hotel. I suspect partly has to do with that it is the only fancy Asian restaurant in the Bank/ Aldgate area. This is my 6th visit.

Monday 5 February 2024

Michelin

A list of Michelin starred restaurants I have covered in my blog. By no means, Michelin is the perfect restaurant guide, but still, a decent source when it comes to searching for top-level dining experience and a guide that is respected by top chefs around the world. 




* Rating as of 2024 guide

UK

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester***





Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal** (5th)

Angler* (1sit visit)

Angler* (2nd visit)

Angler* (3rd visit)

A Wong*

Behind*

Brat* (1st)

Brat* (2nd)

Brat* (3rd)

Core** (1st visit)

Core** (2nd visit)

Core*** (3rd visit)


City Social* (2nd)

Club Gascon* (1st visit)

Club Gascon* (2nd visit)

Claude Bosi at Bibendum* (1st visit)



Da Terra* (1st)


Dinner by Heston Blumenthal** (2nd)

Elystan Street*

Galvin La Chapelle(1st visit)

Galvin La Chapelle(2nd visit)

Galvin La Chapelle(3rd visit)

Galvin La Chapelle(4th visit)


Harwood Arms* (2nd visit)

Harwood Arms* (3rd visit)

Harwood Arms* (4th visit)

Harwood Arms* (5th visit)

Helene Darroze at the Connaught** (3rd visit)


Helene Darroze at the Connaught** (4th visit)

Helene Darroze at the Connaught** (5th visit)

Helene Darroze at the Connaught** (6th visit)

Helene Darroze at the Connaught** (7th visit)



Helene Darroze at the Connaught*** (10th visit)

Humo*

Hide*

Kitchen Table* (1st visit)

Kitchen Table** (2nd visit)

Kitchen Table** (3rd visit)

Kitchen Table** (4th visit)

Kitchen Table** (5th visit)

Kitchen W8(2nd visit)

Kai Mayfair* 1st visit)

Kai Mayfair* (2nd visit)

La Dame de Pic* (1st visit)

La Dame de Pic* (2nd visit)


La Dame de Pic** (3rd visit)

La Trompette* (1st visit)

La Trompette* (2nd visit)

Lyle's* (1st)

Lyle's* (2nd)

Lyle's* (3rd)



Mountain*

Nut Tree Inn* (1st)

Nut Tree Inn* (2nd visit)





Pollen Street Social* (6th visit)

Portland* (1st visit)

Portland* (2nd visit)

Portland* (3rd visit)

Sketch (1st visit)**

Sketch (2nd visit)***

Sketch (3rd visit)***
 
Story*

St John* (1st visit)

St John* (2nd visit)

St Barts*

The Clove Club* (1st visit)

The Clove Club* (2nd visit)

The Clove Club* (3rd visit)

The Clove Club** (4th visit)

Trishna* (2nd visit)


The Ritz* (1st)


The Five Fields* (3rd visit)

The Five Fields* (4th visit)

The Five Fields* (5th visit)

The Coach Marlow*

The Hind Heads*

Waterside Inn*** (2nd visit)

Sabor* (1st visit)

Sabor* (2nd visit)

Sabor* (3rd visit)

Sabor* (4th visit)

Sabor* (5th visit)




The Ledbury** (2nd visit)

The Ledbury** (3rd visit)

The Ledbury** (4th visit)

The Ledbury** (5th visit)

The Ledbury** (6th visit)

The Ledbury** (7th visit)

The Ledbury** (8th visit)

The Ledbury** (9th visit)

The Ledbury** (10th visit)

The Ledbury** (11th visit)

The Ledbury** (12th visit)

The Ledbury** (13th visit)

The Ledbury** (14th visit)

The Ledbury** (15th visit)

The Ledbury** (16th visit)

The Ledbury** (17th visit)

The Ledbury** (18th visit)

The Ledbury** (19th visit)

The Ledbury*** (20th visit)

The Ledbury*** (21st visit)

The Ledbury*** (22nd visit)

The Ledbury*** (23rd visit)


Sadly no longer with us

Greenhouse** (2nd visit)

Greenhouse** (3rd visit)

Greenhouse** (4th visit)

Le Gavroche** (1st)

Le Gavroche** (2nd)

Le Gavroche** (3rd)

Le Gavroche** (4th)


Spain

Azurmendi***

Akelare*** (1st visit)

Akelare*** (2nd visit)

Arzak***

El Celler de Can Roca***

Martín Berasategui*** (1st visit)

Martín Berasategui*** (2nd visit)


ABaC***


Lasarte** (1st visit)

Lasarte*** (2nd visit)

Noor***

Alkimia*







Canabota* (2nd visit)

Dos Palillos*















Sunday 14 January 2024

The Ledbury

Still my no 1 choice in London


Trout, yuzu, orange

By the end of 2023, I have managed to try most of the Michelin-starred restaurants across London, some with multiple visits. Sadly, I found London fine dining has peaked and the quality in fact is going backward, there are not a great deal of new openings that really caught my eye since 2020. So I always end up going back to old joints that I know would keep on delivering the goods, and The Ledbury is the one that I rate as the best in London. For my 23rd visit over lunch, I opted for the long tasting menu as usual.

Monday 1 January 2024

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught

Seasonal Mayfair high end French cuisine


Cauliflower, truffle, sea urchin, langoustine


I am one of those who value food quality over service and decor when picking a restaurant. Having said that, I do have a soft spot for Helen Dorroze at The Connaught despite the fact that there are for sure better restaurants in London elsewhere food quality-wise. A lot has to do with the hospitality element, as the service there is outstanding, with very comfortable seating and a relaxing decor while still retaining that luxury premium feel to it. This is my 10th visit, the French fine dining restaurant within the iconic British hotel is one of the handful of restaurants in London of holding 3 Michelin stars, offering a seasonal tasting menu, and sourcing the best available ingredients around the UK and Europe.