Pan Seared Tenderloin with Pasta

IMG_6250
Cooled & Sliced – Perfect Medium & Medium Rare Parts

Another rough day at work and wishing for a sumptuous dinner.  Sister says want beef the night before.  Nice beef tenderloin defrosting whilst at work.  Everyone arrives home and demand to be fed.

45 Mins Dinner Challenge:

  1. 1 Beef Tenderloin – Rubbed with Olive Oil and Smashed garlic with salt into a puree
  2. Package of Pasta from Italy
  3. Home Made Tomato Puree (Roasted Tomatoes and crushed)
  4. Home Grown Basil from Garden
  5. Salt & Pepper

Heat Pan to HIGH.  Use non burning oil, I used Rice bran.  Sear Beef on all sides – 3 Mins on each side, lower and cover pan for 5 mins.  Reheat to high and sear again on all sides (pouring off juices to make gravy)  Cover and set aside.

At the same time I have boiled a medium salted water and threw in the dried pasta.  This type takes around 9 mins to cook on the pack. I turned of the heat at 6.  And took pot of stove.  In another pan, heated the tomato sauce, threw in the beef drippings and flavored with salt, pepper and a touch of sugar to help balance the acid.

Drain pasta and mix with sauce.  I find that if you time pasta correctly you can turn it off the heat before cooking time is over but this takes experience and lots of mistakes on my part.  I find that you dont need to add any more pasta water as the pasta has water in them.

Slice beef and place on pasta, sprinkle basil to each person’s liking and serve.  Usually i serve with thin slices but Sister said she was hungry.

Guaranteed it was soft and tender.  Was hoping for leftovers but everyone devoured it.  Completely.  Happy Tummy, Happy Family.

IMG_6254
Dinner in 45 mins

Upscale Homey Cooking – Chef’s Table

IMG_2161
Comfy Leather seating

In the relatively suburban area of Pattanakarn – Bangkok Thailand, amids the plethora of street food and cheap eats stood a new restaurant called Chef’s Table.  Located on the 2nd floor of the Oasis Building it’s sophisticated interior stands out so we popped over one day for dinner just to see how it tastes..

Sophisticated yet homey feel to it...
Sophisticated yet homey feel to it…

Pricing is of course a bit fancy for your average dinner but consider it a special treat…  We started off with Onion Soup, which came piping hot, the consomme was rich with butter soft onions which was delish with the bread and hot cheese.  Not too strong and not too mild.  Good Start to the meal..  The Lobster Bisque was ok, but i felt it wasn’t rich enough, it was too thin for my liking.  Not bad, but just fell a bit short..

Melty Cheese on a crunchy baguette
Melty Cheese on a crunchy baguette
Not boozy, and creamy enough for my liking..
Not boozy, and creamy enough for my liking..

The salads wasn’t too impressive, it was ok for a salad stand point but then again it’s really hard to make salad into something that is fantastic..  The veggies were fresh and crispy but compared with the soup made them unremarkable.

Pricey...
Pricey…
so so...
so so…

When is a pasta dish not an ordinary pasta dish.. This spaghetti vongole was one of the best i have ever tasted, really, it was so amazing everyone fought for it and made up our minds to come back just for the pasta.  The noodles was cooked just right with a nice bite to it, but someone it seemed to have soaked up all the sauce.  It was so flavorful, light, clamy with a hint of white wine.  it was so good.

Mindblowing...
Mindblowing…

The other main courses weren’t as impressive, i felt although the lamb was cooked perfectly it seemed a bit naked, if you look at the plate you’d feel the same way.  Mashed potatoes tasted great but both arrived warm.  It is a pet peeve of mine i like my food piping hot, like it should be hot.  The steak was better, nice medium rare, the foie gras had a crunchy and buttery insides.  Redeemed the final course.  It was a nice meaty contrast with the pear, i’d say this place is worth coming back to just for the soup and vongole.  Overall a nice family meal…

a bit cold...
a bit cold…
Foie Gras.....
Foie Gras…..

Homey French Birthday Dinner at JP French Restaurant (Bangkok)

Specialties of the Day!
Specialties of the Day!

Reservations at Gaggans proved to be a difficult task since they were completely full, maybe due to the fact they ranked 3rd place in the Top 50 resetaurants of Asia.  Which to my prior experience there, Chef Gaggan Anand deserves every accolade there is, but without any regret I had the chance to suggest a French Bistro in its stead.  JP French was talked about by many groups of people being homey comfort food at acceptable pricing.  I felt it came along the lines of Chez Pape (one of my favorites located in Soi 11) simple ingredients cooked well.  Ok this is what we ate;

  1. Complimentary Amuse Bouche, one with parma ham and one with a pate.  I liked both, the pate was very dense and intense flavoured but not over powering.  Good Job!

    Duo of Amuse Bouche
    Duo of Amuse Bouche
  2. Lobster Bisque – A bit flat but tastes were fine, i preferred a creamier or a heavier bisque.  Mushroom soup is as is, mushroom.  Cream and a intense intense mushroom taste, very earthy and a great comfort food.

    Not a bad bisque
    Not a bad bisque
  3. Frogs Legs – Dad ordered it, too adventurous for me actually but they said it was just like in France.

    Looked really yummy and well presented.  Smelt lovely btw....
    Looked really yummy and well presented. Smelt lovely btw….
  4. Escargots – Over baked, it came out dried and chewy.  Sad, i usually have a thing for snails.  The buttery herby topping was under seasoned and the poor snail was well not good. A sad miss.

    Wish it was better...
    Wish it was better…
  5. The JP Chef Salad comes packed with a poached egg, slices of smoked duck breast, parma ham, duck confit and some foi gras pate on toast and of course the salad.  Personally I’m not a fan of the salad dressing, it was a clear but doesn’t really taste French to me (my preference is towards a more mustardy taste), ill admit however with hot baguettes you can turn this into a heavy lunch or a light dinner.

    Well packed with many great ingredients.  Foi Gras... Yum!
    Well packed with many great ingredients. Foi Gras… Yum!
  6. Hot Goats cheese Salad – Same salad but topped with generous goats cheese, again the goats cheese wasn’t as expected, it turned out dry.  Usually it should have been a crispy topping and a melty oozy character, this was dry and brittle.
    A sad miss...
    A sad miss…

    As seen there were a few hits and misses but so far I would rate this dinner going at a strong 6, and a 10 for service and hospitality now on to the main courses:

    1. Duck Confit – Crispy, meaty, moist.  Definite 10 10 10 10 10

      Delish!
      Delish!
    2. Steak Tartar – A hit more mustard, tabasco, salt and less gerkins this dish was also a star.  The meat was of great flavor nd quality you could taste the meat.  It has a presence even over so many of the other ingredients in the dish, alas too much capers and gerkins, i had to pick them out.

      My favorite dish of all time!
      My favorite dish of all time!
    3. Spaghetti with seafood and tomato sauce.  Not bad, but not exactly a dish to reorder.  Too tomatoey and dry.  It’s hard to explain but pasta lovers will understand exactly what i’m saying.  You couldn’t taste the seafood and the pasta was overcooked.

      A tough dish to master... really...
      A tough dish to master… really…
    4. Beef Tenderloin – As you can see in the picture it was a big hunk of meat, nicely seared and perfectly cooked.  A 2 thumbs up.  The beef here is of great quality!

      The tenderloin was huge! Compare it to the gravy boat!
      The tenderloin was huge! Compare it to the gravy boat!

    As mentioned earlier, we said the hospitality was great and it was true!  We had a complimentary creme brulee with candle compliments of the owner, very nice!  The creme brulee was excellent by the way which was why i didn’t eat the other desserts except for a spoonful of the apple tart.  Yum!

    Complimentary Birthday Creme Brulee.. Happy Birthday mommy!
    Complimentary Birthday Creme Brulee.. Happy Birthday mommy!
    Nice desserts!
    Nice desserts!

    All in all it was a more than decent restaurant, stick to the traditional dishes and you wont be disappointed.  Great pricing, great service and some above average dishes!  We will be back!

    My lovely family!!!
    My lovely family!!! (Except me..) I took the picture!

A meaty experience in Singapore — Ruth’s Chris

 

Love bread!
Love bread!

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?

Love the crisp!
Love the crisp!

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.

Look it's ginormous!
Look it’s ginormous!
Plate a bit messy but so buttery....
Plate a bit messy but so buttery….
So well cooked!
So well cooked!

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!

IMG_0596
HUGE FILLET!

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.

Petite fillet is still huge!
Petite fillet is still huge!

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…

Smooth and creamy..
Smooth and creamy..
Oh so Cheesy!
Oh so Cheesy!

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.

Not bad...
Not bad…
Looks yummy doesn't it..
Looks yummy doesn’t it..

 

 

Fleur de lys – San Francisco

Beautiful napkin
Beautiful napkin

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!

My Cocktail...
My Cocktail…
Norwegian water all the way in SF
Norwegian water all the way in SF

Get the Olive Bread and Baguette.  Try not to fill up on the bread.  It’s that good.

Bread was sooooo delish!
Bread was sooooo delish!
Pat of unsalted butter with coarse sea salt on the side
Pat of unsalted butter with coarse sea salt on the side

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

So Yum!
So Yum!

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

See the brioche on the side?
See the brioche on the side?

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…

Can you imagine someone hating duck and devouring this duck slider?
Can you imagine someone hating duck and devouring this duck slider?
Looks so pretty!
Looks so pretty!

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.

Yummy!
Yummy!
Perfect Perfect!
Perfect Perfect!

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.

Beautiful and every bit as yummy!
Beautiful and every bit as yummy!

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.

Just imagine how delicious it smells!
Just imagine how delicious it smells!

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.

Yum Yum
Yum Yum

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….

This is what a REAL souffle tastes and looks like!!!
This is what a REAL souffle tastes and looks like!!!
How can it be this good??
How can it be this good??

Complimentary petit fours from the chef…

So beautiful!
So beautiful!
Yummy brioche!
Yummy brioche!
Beautiful table setting
Beautiful!

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!!

IMG_2660