Japanese food is third favourite for travellers
A new survey has found that Japanese fare is closing in on traditionally favored cuisines like Italian and French among globetrotters, with sushi the most sought after food within the Japanese culinary repertoire.
Among 27,000 respondents surveyed by online accommodation site Hotels.com, 18 percent of respondents said they crave Japanese food when traveling, compared to 32 percent who named Italian cuisine, and 24 percent who named French fare.
The Japanese dish most craved? Sushi came out on top, at 74 percent, followed by tempura, popular among 57 percent of respondents.
Meanwhile, ramen — bowls of noodles in a fish or meat-based broth — are also popular Japanese dishes. Here are the top Japanese food cravings among respondents in the Hotels.com survey.
1. Sushi 74%
2. Tempura 57%
3. Ramen 33%
4. Japanese soba 31% (thin noodles made with buckwheat flour)
5. Okonomiyaki 27% (known as Japanese pancakes or pizzas)
6. Shabu shabu 24% (the Japanese version of hot pot)
7. Japanese curry 14% (served over rice)
8. Yakiniku 9% (the Japanese version of Korean barbecue)
9. Natto 7% (fermented, sticky soybeans)
10. Fugu 6% (pufferfish)
Chefs reveal eating secrets of world leaders
Barack Obama can’t stand beetroot, artichokes are off the menu at France’s presidential palace and Vladimir Putin does not take any chances with dishes that emerge from the Kremlin kitchens.
Those were just a few of the culinary titbits to emerge from the latest reunion of the select club of chefs who ply their trade on behalf of some of the most powerful men and women on the planet.
The “club des chefs des chefs”, which now counts some 20 members, was formed 35 years ago by Gilles Bragard, who revealed that Putin continues the tradition of medieval monarchs who, for fear of poisoning, were reluctant to eat anything that had not been tried first by someone else.
“Tasters still exist but only in the Kremlin, where a doctor checks every dish with the chef,” Bragard told reporters this week ahead of a reception for the chefs hosted by new French President Francois Hollande.
Bragard’s comments were confirmed by Putin’s head chef, Vakhtang Abushidi, and it seems he is not the only modern day leader who harbours a fear of what they may find on the plates put in front of them.
Anton Mosimann, a regular cook for the British royal family, recalled that a visit by a former US president resulted in him being “constantly followed around by two FBI guys who wanted to taste absolutely everything I was proposing to cook.”
More recent interference in the palace kitchen has come from Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William, who asked the Swiss chef to lighten one of his sauces.
Mosimann also revealed that, long after her retirement, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher harboured warm memories of the quality of the beef that was served during her time in Downing Street.
Typically, the grocer’s daughter could also remember just how much it cost. “It was delicious, but, oh, it was expensive!” Mosimann recalled the Iron Lady exclaiming.
Bernard Vaussion, who has cooked for French Presidents and their guests for 40 years, confirmed that his new boss Hollande would gladly give artichokes a wide berth.
But he is delighted that cheese is back on the Elysee menu after being banished from the table during the term of Hollande’s chocaholic predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.
Cristeta Comerford, the head chef at the White House, would not be drawn on US President Obama’s aversion to beetroot (also revealed by Bragard), perhaps anxious not to undermine Michelle Obama’s drive to get American kids to eat more fruit and vegetables.
By way of example, the first lady has established a vegetable plot and an orchard in the White House grounds.
Monaco’s Prince Albert II — a “fine gourmet” according to his chef Christian Garcia — is another fan of home-grown cuisine, with much of what he eats drawn from his organic kitchen garden.
Offal is the only no-go area for Garcia, who has recently added the South African speciality bobotie — a spiced minced meat dish baked with an egg-based topping — to his repertoire of recipes following Albert’s marriage to Princess Charlene.
Top 10 Most Expensive Dishes In The World
From food app dishpal comes an infographic detailing some of the most expensive foods in the world, among which are gold-lined, truffle-laced and wine soaked foods!
The most expensive dish is a $16,000 meat pie sold at the Fence Gate Inn in Lancashire. Filled with 6 lbs of Kobe beef, each slice will set you back $2,000.
What does that princely sum buy you? A meat pie marinated in two bottles of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, filled with truffles and Matsusake mushrooms, and edible 23-carat gold for garnish.
At New York’s Westin hotel at Times Square, chef Frank Tujague created a limited time $1,000 bagel stuffed with white truffle cream cheese and goji berry-infused Riesling jelly with gold leaves (pictured above).
And from BrewDog in Scotland comes an $800 to $1,100 pint of Belgian ale that comes in a dead, squirrel carcass.
Other expensive foods on the graphic include a $12,000 pizza topped with lobster, caviar, eight different cheeses and hand-picked Australian river salt from Italy.
And there is a Samundari Khazana Seafood Curry at $3,000, ironically released to coincide with the film Slumdog Millionaire….
Double Happiness: He Jiang, Hong Kong
The succulent fires of Sichuan meet the vivacious sweetness of Huaiyang in He Jiang’s kitchen. The results are mouthwatering
Sliced pork served in a garlic and chilli sauce
Quite unusually, He Jiang – with its tagline of ‘A Tale of Two Rivers’ – presents a 50/50 mix of Sichuan fare from western China and Huaiyang cuisine from Jiangsu province in the east. Historically Hejiang, at the confluence of the Yangtze and Chishui rivers, was a commercial hub linking Chengdu (in Sichuan) and Yangzhou (Jiangsu). At this smart new restaurant the food of the former, known for the chilies and peppercorns that sometimes render it mouth-numbingly fiery, is represented by flavorsome but not overwhelming dishes which can be enjoyed side by side with the more vinegary and sweet tones of Huaiyang listings.
Before we get to the main course, so to speak, here’s a quick note about the ambience. The decor at He Jiang falls neatly between smart casual and formal modern cozy. Crisp cloths add a sense of occasion. Private rooms are more stripped down, allowing original contemporary paintings on canvas to shine.
Braised crab with homemade Sichuan sauce
In terms of representative dishes, the Sichuan-Huaiyang dichotomy is well demonstrated by trying one of the most robust Sichuan signatures: braised crab with homemade Sichuan sauce. Sweet local crab blends well with a soup-like sauce laced with domestic-style pickled vegetables, chilies and a few unnamed inclusions in this secret recipe. A small bowl of noodles was suggested as an accompaniment to mop up the sauce. We enjoyed it with a Huiyang main: braised pork with mushroom and hardboiled pigeon egg.
Slow-cooked, the meat was soft, the fungus still crunchy, the sauce mildly sweet – and all flavors were still perceptible after the potent crab. Starters at He Jiang deserve special mention for their refinement. Sliced pork served in a garlic and chili sauce is light on spice and rich in flavor, with the crunchy and refreshing cucumber slices an enjoyable contrast to the fattiness of the meat. Chicken in spicy Sichuan sauce allows the very fresh poached fowl flavor to shine through a deep red multi-layered sauce. For something simpler, try bean curd and conpoy soup with fat choi fungus.
The decor at He Jiang falls neatly between smart casual and formal modern cosy
Hands On in the Kitchen with Chef Andre
As articulate as he is, Andre Chiang prefers to let his food do the talking. Listen to his story but watch his hands as he puts together a creation called Pure
Chef Andre strikes a contemplative pose at his eponymous restaurant, Andre
The man is good with his hands.
In his atelier, situated on the top floor of Restaurant Andre, is a line of squids flying haphazardly across a wall; on a floor-to-ceiling shelf, heavy tomes share space with tumbling artichokes, heirloom tomatoes and asparagus; beside them are organically shaped, wafer-thin flatware. These curious objects fashioned out of clay, all pure white and delicate, are all hand-made by Andre Chiang.
He is undoubtedly gifted. Not only has he a natural flair for art, the quad-lingual Taiwanese also has a flair for language. And these gifts are not just complementary to his culinary talent – they are integral in making him the chef he is today. His food, like an artist’s painting or a photographer’s print, is not just an interpretation of ingredients but a little piece of himself.
“While working with other chefs (he spent 14 years in France training under the likes of Gagnaire, Robuchon, Troisgros and the Pourcel brothers) in the early days of my career, I didn’t try to emulate their techniques. Instead I tried to understand why they were doing what they were doing. I tried to understand what the chef is trying to say through the dish. Because the person behind the food is what adds an interesting touch to everything you eat.
“Now, I feel my diners have enough trust in me. You have to have gained a lot of trust from your diners for them to come for an experience where they just have to go with the flow.”
One of the courses in the degustation, PURE is an unseasoned medley of ingredients, “a combination of flavors put together to intensify and highlight purity”
This particular rendition of PURE presents itself in the form of a baby zucchini gazpacho accompanied by a scattering of Spring ingredients
Hinting at the delicate and transient nature of Spring are blooms of cucumber, chive, rosemary, green turnip and mizuna. Other elements include diced cucumber infused with apple juice, green radish infused with dashi, shallots infused with champagne vinegar and zucchini infused with clam jus – all passed through a vacuum process that allows the juices to penetrate the ingredients in just five seconds, allowing intense flavors yet retaining the natural texture of the vegetables.
On the plate is also an amaebi from Hokkaido
and mussels infused with the fragrance of smoked hay for 30 to 40 minutes, for just a kiss of that smoky flavor.
Mumm champagne presents gourmet-journeys.com
In keeping with the founders’ taste for adventure, Mumm champagne is launching today a new website with a unique perspective on gastronomy and design.
Gourmet-Journeys.com presents a journey around the globe in some of the world’s most vibrant cities for gourmets: St. Petersburg, Paris, New York, Tokyo and Seville.
French chef Frederick e. Grasser Herme has devised a range of exquisite menus that reveal the world’s culinary variety
and G.H. MUMM’s Cellar Master, Didier Mariotti, pairs each dish in the menu with the appropriate Champagne from the G.H.Mumm stable.
The latest trends in entertaining and furniture design are illustrated in settings to make the most of your gourmet experience.
Menu recipes, music, video-art wallpapers and exclusive shopping tips are all available for download as part of a playfully luxurious tool kit designed by G.H.Mumm.
Like the boutique hotel in which it resides, Issimo in JIA Shanghai has all the trappings of a designer’s showpiece.
The woodsy theme of this Italian restaurant is matched with mirrored staircases, hammered copper walls, antlered-shaped sculptures, Tom Dixon lighting shades and Jaime Hayon lamps.
The posh interiors belie the casual fare that’s served up by the culinary team of Enzo Carbone and William di Nardo – just plain authentic Italian pizzas done the Neapolitan way.
Celebrating its one-year anniversary, Issimo will launch a special set lunch menu targeted at busy diners from March 1 all through to May, starting from 88 RMB. Called the ‘Expressimo’, the menu includes salad, pasta and of course, pizzas, rounded off by Illy coffee – an Italian favorite.
If in the event you can spare a couple more minutes after lunch, make your way to the Anti-Bar area and order one of their signature cocktails. Or you can return with your entire family come weekend for a Sundissimo. That’s the Italian idea of “a long Sunday lunch”.
The phrase “it’s a matter of taste” takes on a whole new meaning and perspective when applied to Gennaro Pelliccia, chief coffee taster in a coffee company based in the UK.
That’s because Pelliccia’s employers, Costa Coffee, have taken out a £10 million insurance policy on his tongue at Lloyd's of London.
Costa Coffee took the unprecedented move after results of a recently published research listed Costa’s cappuccino as the preferred choice among Britons, ahead of Starbucks and Nero, with 7 in 10 coffee lovers surveyed rooting for Costa’s cappuccino.
This effectively makes Pelliccia, Costa’s Italian Master of Coffee, the undisputed “champion taster”, as he is responsible for tasting every single batch of raw coffee beans that leaves the company’s roastery in Lambeth, London. That translates to 108 million cups of Costa Coffee in Britain and around the world each year.
Said Pelliccia: "In my profession, my tastebuds and sensory skills are crucial. My 18 years of experience enable me to distinguish between thousands of flavors. My tastebuds also allow me to distinguish any defects, which enable me to protect and guarantee Costa's unique Mocha Italia blend."
Considering that the average human tongue has about 10,000 taste buds, and Pelliccia probably has more tastebuds than the average person, each taste bud in Pelliccia's tongue is probably worth £1,000.
Inakaya NY is the first overseas outpost of the original Inakaya in Tokyo’s most exclusive address, Roppongi. Their specialty grilled dishes are served with quality ingredients, boasting fresh produce, meats and fish, with their signature dish being the $65 Kinki fish, flown in from Japan’s famed Tsukiji Market everyday.
Delicacies are not the only attractions at Inakaya, for the atmosphere at the restaurant is also unique to its own, featuring raucous staffers and grill chefs who yell out orders and serve doled upon large paddles.
With all that going on in a 19-foot ceiling and 3000 square foot space, Inakaya New York is definitely not a place to enjoy a quiet, romantic evening but a venue priding itself on the authentic, rowdy Japanese robatayaka experience.
Completing this exotic dining experience is their daily mochi-pounding ceremony, where lucky diners would be chosen for this traditional Japanese exercise, where sticky rice are pounded repeatedly into balls on a giant mortar and pestle. Remember to bring a pair of ear-plugs.
Chocolate Easter Egg Academy at The St. Regis Singapore
By JULIET HUANG
This Easter, "enrol" your children at the Chocolate Easter Egg Academy at The St. Regis Singapore.
The classes will run on the weekend of 4 - 5 April and the Easter weekend of 11 - 12 April from 3pm to 5pm. Graduates from the Academy will receive their own chef’s apron and hat and a certificate by the chef at the end of the session. Other delectable Easter treats such as fruitcakes and hot cross buns will also be served to the participants with hot chocolate.
The fee for participation is SGD65++ per Easter Egg per child, and each child can be accompanied by a maximum of two adults to the class. Special Easter brunches are also available at The St. Regis, and parents can leave their children in the playroom with an in-house nanny during their meals.