FiftyThree is at best a mid-tier european restaurant masquerading as modernist cuisine. The decor is a pleasant spartan rustic; the service is generally good, and the dishes are nicely plated. The failure however is in the taste of the food. One can’t help but feel that so much time was spent in planning on how to “wow” patrons visually, that the chef in the process neglected to “wow” gastronomically. Back when this place opened in 2008, there wasn’t much to compare against, but now with the likes of Novus and especially Restaurant André, there’s really a sense of fatigue to this former must-go destination for molecular gastronomy.
The last time we dined at the space that is now Brasserie Les Saveurs, it was still the trés upscale dinner buffet at the St. Regis. Now, this former all-you-can eat shrine for gastronomes has been reinvented as a classic French restaurant. While not the most exciting culinarily-wise, it’s a solid choice for a date night or a special occasion. This particular evening, it was S & L’s anniversary, and they invited a group of us along to help celebrate. Overall the food was not too bad, with the highlights being a made-to-order steak tartare, dessert, and the Michael Buble-esque lounge singer that kept us well-crooned all evening.
Every once in a while, it’s nice to be able to sit down to something that’s less science experiment and more… well, comfort food. Alton Brown’s curry chicken pot pie is one such dish. Back in the States, G and I would buy a Costco roast chicken just so that we could have breast meat to use for this recipe. Since there isn’t exactly a plethora of Costco’s or cheap (western) roast chicken, I haven’t had a chance to make pot pie until recently when I was “gifted” 4 kg of turkey breast. But that’s a story for another day.
Introducing Cayden, the newest member of the family, who was delivered after 22 hours of induced labor followed by an emergency Caesarean. Both mommy and baby are recovering nicely, though the lack of operating instructions has daddy perplexed. Thankfully, the nice nurses have been patiently educating us on what to do…
It should be of little surprise that G and I would choose Japanese for our “last date night meal in the foreseeable future.” While we have never tried Goto, recommendations from a few trusted sources convinced us that this might be the closest to dining in Japan that we would experience locally. Other convincing factors include: the chef/owner, Goto Hisao, is the former chef of the Japanese Ambassador, and as a geek, how could I possibly pass on a restaurant named thusly. Skipping to the conclusion: we were very impressed. While dinner here is not cheap, if you’re in the mood for high class kaiseki- this is the place to visit.
Ramen. It wasn’t really until our trip last year to Kyushu that G and I truly understood what the craze was all about. There is a local favorite, Taiho, that serves up a slightly greasy and salty tonkotsu ramen with pork rinds… mmm. Craving some noodles at home, I decided to learn just how difficult it would be to create a bowl from (mostly) scratch. Since I lack the patience to fry up rinds, I went with the next best thing- bacon. As luck would have it, the Momofuku ramen recipe happens to include this tasty internet meme as a key ingredient. In total, this dish took 3 days to make, but that was only because I also wanted sous vide crispy roast pork as well.
I’ve been humming Changes these past few days. Time may change me, but I can’t trace time… 8 months have already flown by, and G is ready to pop at any time. May simply vanished as my one-month notice was too short to take care of last minute to-do’s. And now it’s June and we’re poised to see a host of changes, personally and professionally. The two biggest are the arrival of Junior and my new job. These were also the impetus for our dining and cooking rampage of the past few months. G and I both knew that there would never be the same freedom to go out on a whim (at least for the next few years), and so we celebrated the end of just the two of us.
We’re looking forward to family life and all of the changes that come with it. I still have a backlog of food-related posts to write-up (someday), but updates in all likelihood will be less frequent between parenting and work (I actually have to wear pants everyday).
Some random updates:
- Thanks Mom and Dad for shipping the baby care package from the States! We love the
adorablemanly one-piece outfits for Jr.
- We’re in the market for a baby/mommy photographer. Food ≠ Baby. Any recommendations?
- We have a shiny new addition to the family to keep me company and help process all of the baby photos.
- I also have a new kitchen appliance – a Philips steamer/blender that I can’t wait to try out once Jr is old enough for baby food
Wild Honey is reminiscent of a local hipster coffee shop replete with deep sofa-chairs and the latest trendy design magazines for your perusal. Their specialty is serving breakfast items from around the world all-day. While the food may not be mind-blowing fantastic or truly “authentic”, the dishes that we’ve tried so far have mostly been satisfying. The one big drawback is due to the cafe’s relative size, it gets packed early. By 10am on the weekends, expect at least a 20 min wait.