Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Beauty's Luncheonette - Montreal

Quebec is in the Timing
Once upon, I spent six months working in Montreal.  It was in the thick of winter so forgive my recollection of dull grey skies and depressing cold.   The buildings along rue St Jacques had salt shadows taller than me and my daily jaunt to the office could have been made on ice skates.  Our recent road trip, perfectly timed to the height of Montreal's two week summer, erased all my frigid memories.  Beauty's Luncheonette did a fair share of the erasing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Absinthe Cafe - Paris

AKA the "Grandma/Grandpa" Spot
Since leaving Paris many have asked what I miss most about it.  The list of what I don't miss is longer and easier to compile. I admit though, after three years I started to love the place a bit.  During a recent layover in Charles de Gaulle, on a slow crawl from Singapore to NY, I observed myself from afar. What would I do with my six hours in Paris?  I zipped by metro into the city on autopilot and walked into my "local", Absinthe Cafe.  It was like I never left - there were Grandma and Grandpa welcoming me to breakfast, all warmth and smiles.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cheok Kee Braised Duck Rice - Singapore

Laziness, Personified
I recently quit my job, pulled stakes in Paris and settled in Singapore.  I tell myself I'm in early retirement and will repeat it like a mantra until my money runs out.  With little to worry about I anticipated a blog creativity burst that never arrived. Rather, I've become lazier.  I can easily pass a day without doing a whole lot.  For hours I ponder deep questions such as "should I swim before dinner or after?"   Then I stumbled into Cheok Kee, where they take the bones out of the duck for you.  These are the types of incremental improvements that can jolt a listless retiree back into the blogosphere.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Emperor Chops (君悅排骨) - Taipei

There's Nowhere like Home
The Taiwanese diaspora try in vein to replicate the pork chops from home.  Those I've sampled in NY are but the distant cousins of the Taipei originals.  I don't blame them for trying, something this good should be shared.  The 君悅排骨 version were juicy planks of pork kept warm in a crispy, deep-fried coat.  They'd no doubt been dunked in a soy sauce, white whine and garlic bath and then dusted with corn flour, sugar and five spice, the most important of the five being the szechuan black pepper. This was a quiet, blind meal, each of us happily chewing with our eyes closed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Coffee Alley - Taipei

Interesting Coffee Choices
On my first visit to Taipei I took note of the coffee fanaticism. It looked to have recently blasted off and dropped the boosters.  Just thirteen months later it's arrived at the outer rings of Jupiter, at least at Coffee Alley. Ordering a "tiramisu latte" seemed like a good idea.  My logic was something like this: I like tiramisu and I like latte.  She was a skin deep beauty, so pretty for her picture, but lacked depth and charm.  The powdery topping lodged in my lungs like asbestos and I nearly coughed up the bland espresso.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Street Noodles - Taipei

Back to the Streets for Eats
Bouncing around the globe, trailing crumbs in my wake, I land in Taipei with the cutesie on my arm.  I feel confident, worldly, hungry.  We take down a batch of street noodles like two pros, she with the order, me with the mouth.  Well, ok, she with her big mouth too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Panini Durini - Milan

Pork Belly Perfection
When I moved to Brooklyn, nearby Carroll Gardens was still rough and tumble.  I used to tiptoe over for an Italian sandwich once in a while.  I sported a sidewalk gaze and acted humble, hoping to pop in and out without any static.  The sandwiches were worth the risk but their equivalents in Italy might tempt you to greater feats of daring.  Whole other level of tasty!  At Panini Durini I chomped down on a memory-rending combo of pancetta tesa, caciotta dolce and peperoncini, aka black-peppered pork belly, sweet cheese and peppers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Van Bol & Feste - Milan

Full Stomach Revenge, Cont'd
I don't eat a lot.  Matter of fact, for a food blogger I'm a disgrace.  In Milan, however, I flipped it.  Maximum jealousy potential, remember?  Van Bol e Feste fit the bill - just the kind of schwank-a-billy place the fancy-Dodo likes.  Counting Sugar, I was two-fer-two.

Antica Focacceria San Francesco - Milan

Going South on Sunday
Like Paris, Milan is a bit sleepy on Sundays.  You take what you can get and are glad for it.  I was looking for a typical Milanese lunch, but settled for Sicilian instead.  It was educational, because other than "rigatoni", I didn't recognize one word on the menu.  They must speak a special kind of Italian in Sicily.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sugar - Milan

Pasticceria as Revenge
"If you go to Hong Kong without me, I'll go somewhere too" I threatened.  I was due in Paris the next day and she was hinting about going to a meeting in one of my favorite places.  By the time I boarded the plane in Singapore, she was booking her flight.  A few days later, she was gloating about dim sum.  I immediately plotted my response: Milan.  Yes, I'm vengeful.  At Sugar, I ordered based on maximum jealousy potential.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Breakfast Toasts - Kuala Lumpur

In Malaysia, they're Simply Better
I get down from time to time.  At its worst, the world seems dark and meaningless and I can barely drag myself out of bed.  As bad as it gets, I am always excited for breakfast.  I absolutely love the first meal, no other comes close.  If you were to plot my day on a graph, starting with breakfast on the left, the line would slant steeply downward, past lunch, going negative near dinner.  While I'm still eating my morning meal I often ask the Dodo "what's for breakfast tomorrow?"  She usually rolls her eyes.