My two favorite people, both my clients or bosses treated me to a great dinner at Ruth Chris. They said Ruth Chris made the best steak in the world. There was a special set menu but we just ordered ala carte’ due to my tiny apetite we imagined we could share everything together.
Hot bread, soft center and yummy butter. This was always the gateway to a delicious meal, if a restaurant doesn’t care about their bread, what can you really expect with their other courses?
Course 1: Caesar Salad – Rather yummy well it was a caesar salad but i like the parmesan chip that came with it, ok fine, i was actually just filling myself with the bread. You can’t stop, hot bread and butter…
Their motto was all their steaks was seared and backed in butter and well the dishes looked a bit messy but the butter and the steaks smelt divine. This is what we had,
Laura – Ribeye (Medium Rare) – I only finished like half, i loved the buttery perfectly cooked steak. I hate steak that’s not well prepred, however one warning, please finish your steak fast or all the butter will get cold and you know what i mean. The beef had a nice flavour to it, i like my steaks fatty, which is why i wanted the T-Bone but i knew i would never finish it.
Rick – (My Boss) The fillet, probably booked medium. It was a huge hunk of meat as you can see in the picture! It’s like the size of my head!
Doyce – He had the fillet with jumbo shrimp. It was served in half with the shrimp on top, for me i think the shrimp may have been a tad over cooked but i wasn’t sure.
The sides were delish – Fatty, creamy, fatty, creamy….. We had the mashed potatoes and the scalloped potatoes in cheese. Yum, yum yum!!! Count your calories! And then… the dessert trolley came with four choices for you to pick and i think it looked really nice…
Dessert 1 – Chocolate lave cake with caramel / butterscotch and a vanilla ice cream, i thought the cake was a bit floury but maybe a 7 on my scale.
Dessert 2 – I’m actually not sure, i didn’t eat any since i was full but i think it should have been an apple crumble with an ice cream on top. All in all, it was nice experience and this is a dinner you will leave feeling full, service was warm nice and top notch. The food wasn’t a surprise but well prepared, Ruth’s Chris really is an All American Steak House.
Being Thai, i have never really felt an affection to “Touristy” Thai food. See the thing is, i never felt like i needed to pay astronomical amounts of money for a dish that i can pick up on the street for i dunno a few bucks and cooked by a nice old granny but ok.. My mother was watching tv and this restaurant was featured on a show so of course off we went. This little restaurant is actually a herbal upscale spa, with a little 10 table restaurant on the side. Palm Herbal Cuisine is the choice for Japanese expats and housewife’s judging from the Japanese menus available. Each dish was beautifully presented i must admit, although the taste was still rather authentic i preferred a more spicy intense taste. The only thing that will prevent me from returning to this place is purely pricing. Thai and Chinese people do not eat food separately, we usually do a sharing thing. Most of the time we order a plethora of appetizers, entrees or fruits which is placed in the middle of the table. If we are in a very formal setting the younger ones wait for the older persons to help themselves first, but luckily our family is very informal.
Tamarind Chilli paste with fried gourami fish and served with fresh veggies.
If you look closes, that’s morning glory thats like tied in a bundle, the white stuff i think is galangal, and the little big berries you se on top are different types of eggplants. The zig zaggy thing on top is thai winged beans, crunchy and tastes kinda like our string beans but alot milder. Tamarind is extremely sour and this now rather hard to find, it’s part royal cuisine and really traditional thai food.
This is really a family favorite, it’s fish cakes, it’s made from pounded fish mean and red curry paste with bits of string bean for color. Usually they serve it in big patties but at this restaurant they really made it dainty and pretty. Its usually eaten with a sweet chilli sauce with fresh cucumbers. For presentation they fried either basil or kale leaves on top for a crunchy veggie taste. The fishcakes taste rather mild, like fish balls with a more savory curry paste taste of all the herby roots in the paste. It’s fishy, spicy, chewy taste is a good contrast to the sweet and crunchy dip and eaten with hot rice it’s yummies!
This is called Plaaa Goong, usually when a dish is called a plaaa, it’s served not so cooked. Like a ceviche, usually this dish uses small prawns or shrimps to make it with a sweet red chilli paste (totally different from the ones used to make curry) with lemon grass, shallots and winged beans, but they used a giant river prawn (hence the price tag). The perfectly (Mattoom eggs) Boiled duck eggs with a runny yolk, the giant prawn was a perfect medium rare. Eaten with the blanced eggplant it was a nice balance of all the flavors. This shop has amazing presentation!
Kapi is a thai shrimp paste which is the basis for many of the thai chilli pastes that are used to accompany the dips eaten at the table. Not the paste for cooking the curries. Every household would have their own receipe of pounding the paste which would be the pride of the lady of the house. It is served with both fresh vegetables and veggies fried in an omelet style. It was always made luxurious with the addition of mackerel fish and mackerel fish only because the flavours complemented each other perfectly. Now at Palm Cuisine, it was nice but served in a central thai taste, more sweet. I prefer the fiery taste of the south, so it’s really a perception and preference but all in all it was a homey yummy dish.
Kaeng Kiew Waan Neua – Sweet green beef curry, eat it quick before the beef over cooks! Flavored with pea sized eggplants, which explodes in a bittery mouthful if you bite into it. This is was wonderful, creamy, spicy with a coconuty hit with the beef, yummy over hot hot rice. It is everyone’s dish which is always offered on the streets to thai haute cuisine. You can not miss this dish!
This is really just a dish that screams luxury. Chunks of crab stir fried with egg and spring onions, nothing else, just let the crab shine. And wow does the dish shine!!!
The whole world knows Tom Yam Goong, well this is a traditional recipe. One that uses tamerind instead of lime so it’s flavor and a more in depth dimensional taste to it, made with free range farm chickens, the only addition to it that scared me were unborn eggs. See the yolk? Yeah scary. I didn’t eat it , just tasted the soup which was WOW btw….
They had a choice of desserts in their cake care, so we chose 2. Notice how i like my strawberry and cream! Imagine sinking in one of those chairs. So comfy and cutesy!
Imagine, a ripe mango a delicate balance of sweet and sour. Delicious sticky rick and a freezing coconut cream ice cream. Wouldn’t you just sigh when you look at it? OMG right???
It was a beautiful meal, if you were going to spend a bunch of money on fancy poncy thai cuisine, i’d say come here, they do serve great traditional thai food. Service was excellent and chairs comfy and homey. I would recommend getting a reservation though!
Stumbling in San Francisco with a reservation to Fleur De Lys was one of the highlights of my trip here. Watching Top Chef in Thailand on cable made me gush, admire and crave to try his food or food inspired by him. What to expect? You choose between a 3, 4, 5 course tasting menu which choose from – Appetizers, Meat, Fish, Cheese and Dessert. Thais dont eat cheese, well i do, and my companion didn’t so i skipped it. Thais regard cheese slices and the stringy thing on pizza as cheese. Well that’s another story. This is what you get.. (Trust me it’s as good as it gets) Perfectly cooked food. That’s all i can say. Perfectly cooked food that tastes… well… perfect. The pictures aren’t so clear due to the lighting in the restaurant is rather dim for that romantic feel but look at the pics and try to imagine the ultimate meal!
Get the Olive Bread and Baguette. Try not to fill up on the bread. It’s that good.
Canape – Artichoke Soup with speck and carrot salad on pea puree. The soup was sourish, light on the tongue. The tangy salad was cold, fresh, yummy, and the hit of saltiness from the speck was just right. I wished it was on the menu. Definite 10
A great example of Hubert Keller’s Genius – Petrale Sole with sea urchin, caviar olive oil potato puree, dugeness crab served with a bacon brioche… What you get? Perfectly cooked fish with exploding salty caviar, combined with creamy sea urchin… Oh my God… The Bacon Brioche….. DIE DIE DIE
My friend got the Duck ham with mozzarella slider with faux liver mousse,chicken pate, asparagus, french potato salad with white anchovy. I might not be quoting the menu exactly but you get the idea… The pate was a bit too sour but everything else… Get this, my friend hates duck. Loathes it with a vengeance He can’t take duck, he says it smells. Why did he choose duck? He wanted to see how genius cooks. He gobbled it up. He took back his words…
Swordfish Loin with spicy aioli, almonds and romesco sauce and alot of other stuff. The spicy aioli complemented the swordfish well, since it was a meaty fish it was a firm texture like a soft steak. We dont have firm fish in Thailand so it was a bit strange at first since we are used to soft flaky fish usually served whole and steamed usually but it was yummy. Interestingly yummy.
I had the Halibut which was perfectly cooked but i thought the sauce was a bit too sweet for my liking. I prefer to separate my sweet with savory so it was again.. Interestingly good.
And…. Finally the meats!!!
I got the Fillet Mignon with the Lobster Mac and Cheese (en brioche) which was sooo famous on top chef. You had to add 16 usd i think but yummy yummy. The Mac and Cheese did NOT taste like a kraft, it was light, cheesy without being overpowering. The macaroni was cooked perfectly, not too al dente and not too soft. AND THE BRIOCHE… WOW can they bake at Fleurs!!! Very very rich dish, but sigh sigh sigh.
My Friend got the Kobe Beef Cheeks. It was soft and melt in the mouth. Yet it was able to stand up on the plate. How did they do it? The presentation was not too much like at some places. All the garnishes tasted delicious.
Now, on to desserts:
Chocolate souffle and amaretto ice cream… How do you describe perfection? Crunchy sides, soft middle, rich chocolaty warm souffle with the ice cold ice cream. Sigh….
Complimentary petit fours from the chef…
Please make a reservation and enjoy one of the best meals of your life here. Herbert Keller, from an admiring fan, now i’m groupie! I bought his cookbook just to hold back home in Bangkok!!
Last year I stopped over at Pujol in Mexico City. It was rated as one of the 50 best restaurants in the world, apprently the hype was the chef took local dishes and produce and created something new, and uplifted the traditional cuisines on a global level… let’s see… I forgot to take a picture of the restaurant but their service was fantastic i remember. They paid attention to every detail, bringing me a thingy to hang up my coats and handbag. Our tasting menu started with some weird drink. I read later it was a corn tea but still it felt like a savoury water but no real taste to determine what direction it was taking.
Our first course was served in this gigantic bowls, i’m now sure if it was made from coconut shells or not but it was huge. I loved this course, it was corn in a smokey creamy sauce. It was roasted with the husk on and i could have eaten the whole meal with only that corn. The corn is a 10 10 10 10 10!!!
Now this is interesting:
I’ve been wondering how they managed to slice 2 big discs of avocado, what do they do with the rest of the avocado? How many nie big discs can you slice of an avocado? Weird it’s just avocado with sesame seeds, and a chilli on top. I like guacamole, so this is like eating soft and crunchy and back to nature thing..
If you ate this in one bite, you get the goats cheese, tomato salsa and the roasted chilli bursting all flavours in your mouth simultaneously. The bread was light airy which was a nice contrast with the heavy flavours it was a 9 in my book…
My favorite dish!
The green chilli made the raw beef yummier reminds me of a thai seafood sauce (leaf was a bit weird tasting), however i wish there was more actually. The thin, crispy corn tortilla was a perfect match however i wished there was more of the beef to go around…. YUM YUM YUM
Now to the next genius dish of the night which was every bit yummy as it was pretty:
I thought this was great, combining ceviche and fish tacos together and there you have it. The refried beans (forgive my ignorance if i explained it wrongly) gave it a creamy contrast with the sharp flavours. I give it a 9, the only thing i didn’t like was the leaf underneath which was a bit over powering but made it look cool. The fresh ceviche with the creamy beans was broughtt ogether with the kick of the chillies. So YUM YUM YUM!
I do not eat frog, so my partner ate it but i tasted every other component tho..
Eeeewwww frog…. I’m still a bit squemish… They said it was a pumpkin seed and cauliflower sauce (i think it’s pumpkin seed since it was green), however no high notes here, tasted flat even though it was really beautifully presented.
Now this next dish i think in my mind was some interpretation of a national dish with veggies and some weird cheese but not liking at all. Again a beautiful dish, but not our kinda yummy, or our palate just wasnt ready for this type of taste.
This was an eggplant roasted with a beefy meaty sauce, the white stuffy was a piped pureed onion sauce with pineapple hidden somewhere. I felt that stinging sensation on my tongue which i didn’t like, not really sure what that crispy sheet was on top but it made the dish interesting. Pretty dish but…. i dont eat pineapple because my tongue seems to be sensitive, but without the pineapple, i could have done a bowl of the sauce with a loaf of bread.
This next dish really shined i loved it…
This roast pork belly was melt in the mouth with a crispy crackling, the pickled cauliflower was a nice contrast, the 3 sauces that dotted the plate was almonds, tamarind and a black pepper. I thought the pork belly was lovely on its own with the cauliflower. 9 Points out of 10!
Our first dessert!
I tasted banana but couldn’t place the shavings that instantly melted upon contact with my tongue. It felt like some sci fi dessert. Interesting!
The next dessert was a parsnip ice cream with tomatillo (a cousin to the gooseberry but not a green tomato), lettuce leaves and amaranth seeds covering the ice cream. Flavours was cold, salty i think more suited as a salad dish or as a precursor to the meal.
The next beautiful dessert may make some people’s skin crawl – Lemon Pie interpretation with a maggot tequila ice cream. I didn’t dare tell my companion what it was… hahahaha i convieniently left out the word maggot….
The last dessert was my favorite maybe because it was more traditional….. Chocolate pot with liqueur and orange creme. Dark, citrus flavours worked out really nice.
I thought that Pujol really tried to elevate the local cuisine and the interesting combinations of flavours. I felt the service was attentive and there was a beautiful thought to every detail. Hats off to the chef! Surprisingly i would come again if i’m ever back to Mexico which i actually want to again!
When we were in New York & following the hype at Neta, i made reservations to try out their famous fusion sushi. Thank you google map, otherwise i would never have found the shop. You will miss it, look carefully! Personally i loved the open kitchen, however i understand how chefs have their buddy buddy system but it kinda sucks when you feel like a second class citizen. With a chefs tasting menu especially with a gazzilion people blogging and you see people eating dishes that you didn’t get especially when you’ve flown half way around the world to eat there could make you feel a bit bad. We tried the Omakase menu at 135 bucks a head which just included 1 additional dish which was the toro with caviar served with thick toast. Not impressive, yummy but i felt that the caviar over powered the toro and isn’t that what the 40 bucks was for? Let’s get on with it, i started with their champagne cocktail with elderflower, girly, sweet, bubbly and makes you feel like a princess drink.
1st – Dungeness Crab Salad with cucumber and a sharp ponzu, lemon skin shaved vinaigrette that tasted a bit tangy like those tempura with daikon dressing and a hint of ginger. I loved the tanginess without overpowering the fresh ingredients and the crunchiness of the cucumber was nice. However the chef, or assistant chef or trainee that was in charge of the salad must be bored because that’s all he does. I guess it would be sometime before he touches the sushi!!!
2nd – Toro Tartare with Caviar and thick toast, i liked the overall feel to it. It was extravagant but when you think about it, toro is so delicate, caviar is really strong and maybe this marriage feels right but is so wrong for many reasons. And when it’s 40 bucks extra you think about it too.
3rd – Its a spanish mackerel with bonito soy sauce and shiso leaf, maybe needed a stronger soy presence, maybe in asia we eat rather strong tasting dishes so maybe our tongues were used to it. Overall i think the shiso is a really strong leaf which kinda over powers alot of the flavors.
4th – Grilled scallops on half shell with ui and garlic butter sauce with a side of lime. I dont prefer the lime, i think the flavors work well already, the lime seemed out of place paired with the delicious buttery garlicky sauce. Everyone loves butter and garlic together no doubt it was lovely. The uni i must say was not perfect maybe its because i just ate a live sea urchin at SF at the Swan Oyster Bar.. I’ll post next time about it next time. Still it deserved an 8 /10. The smell…. Indescribable…. Delish!
5th – At first glance it looked like a teriyaki stirfry at those cheap Japanese joints, but appearances are totally deceiving It was salty, sweet, peppery and just delicious, the shrimp was so crunchy you could chew it all up. It was a lovely spicy taste which the tofu and onions just soaked it all up. I wish i had a bowl of rice to eat it with. Lovely lovely dish.
6th – This dish came on an iron plate, i saw the chefs putting the rice on the plate i think to crisp up the rice and later put the spicy salmon, scallions and i think a pickle on the rice. Nice contrast, soft melty cold fish and hot crispy rice. A fun fun dish, lovely presentation!
After all the appetizers the sushi started: Every piece was made by Nick Kim himself, Jimmy Lau was right next to him, probably preparing the ala carte. Nick would make the piece put it on our plate and would tell us about it. However it was hard to hear his soft voice over the hustle and bustle of the place. He would tell us soy or no soy but every time he would brush a paste maybe a light soy glaze on top of the fish. I didn’t dip at all. Just put it in my mouth and chewed.
1st – Toro Sushi – Need i say more?
2nd – Dunno what fish couldn’t hear what nick was saying but it was fine.
3rd – Hamachi (My favorite fish) with ginger a crunchy stuff on top. I loved the spicy fresh kick.
4th – Wild Scottish Salmon with mayo. Fresh & Creamy, the quality of scottish salmon is rather high, although norwegian is still my favorite.
5th – Toro Sinew — My god, i loved it, i had to ask Nick 3 times before i understood what he was saying. It was just like when you ate those chinese beef stews with all the sinews. All soft, creamy, fatty and utter genius. GENIUS!!!
6th – Eel – YUM YUM YUM I love eel.
7th – Uni is well, uni, a bit of soy and wasabi and you’re in 7th heaven.
8th – This is a bit weird, it’s a cold sourish sushi wrapped in shiso leaf. (no pics)
9th – Shitake Mushroom a huge fungus piece i must say, delicious with wasabi and warm rice. The mushroom was so so juicy.
10th – Toro wrapped in seaweed – Die Die Die Die…
11th – They called it a palate cleanser – Some Tempura wrapped in Shiso leaf. Shiso is powerful it’s got that taste that fresh, veggie not mint but tastes like mintyish…
Dessert – (We were supposed to get another one but my partner was eager to go to Times Square) It was a peanut butter ice cream. Coming from Thailand, i couldn’t enjoy it, it was freezing cold at 6 -7 degrees Celsius (44.6 F) and i come from a country of 40 C (104 F) But it was sweet and creamy.
Over all Neta was nice, i would go again not for the tasting menu, but to try other dishes which Chef Nick and Chef Jimmy used their genius and creativity to create.
Clearing out my picture files and i stumbled upon many records that i forgot to write about. Coming from asia where we are surrounded by beautiful beaches and great seafood i never expected to experience one of the best seafood meals in SF. After an hour in que (we were the last ones) we finally got a table. It was a great experience, everyone sat at the counter bar and in front you can look at all the fresh seafood and drool and imagine what you would order when you finally got to sit down. What we ordered:
1) Sea Urchin – I was so lucky it was the last one and me and the last guy shared half of this humongous guy…. It was the best uni i ever tasted in my life… I still dream about it back in Thailand.
2) Crab Salad – It was fresh veggies which is nothing new in a salad but the amount of crab meat stunned my friend into silence. They just grabbed handfuls and placed it on the salad. I mean it’s crab….. It was fresh, sweet, firm chunks! Delish… You cannot imagine…
3) Clam Chowder – Very Rich, creamy and good for dipping in the bread. Bread was cold but oh well we were there for the seafood.
4) Half a Dungeness Crab – This crab was a huge guy, in Asia crabs are big but this guy was probably from giant land. My friend who was a crab lover sat quiet after 2 weeks of complaining about western food finally shut up and just ate and ate.
5) Half a dozen oysters – All mine.. All mine. I forgot what i ordered but they were salty, juicy, and yum.
I dont think you can explain much about how seafood tastes like, i think it’s different from Thailand where everything is cooked and piping hot. Eating cold fresh seafood really is a luxury and i appreciate just basic seafood and undressed. Just enjoy it the way nature intended it. Fresh and yum. PS: They open at 11am and last orders at 4.30pm if i’m not mistaken.