Ahh, Laksa! – Part One

There are times when the only thing that can save you from a gruesome day is a steaming bowl of soup.  Plus points for you, of course, if the said bowl of soup also has noodles and all sorts of good things.  While traditional soups such as the Western chicken noodle, the Filipino tinola and nilaga, and Japanese miso-shiru provide a great deal of comfort on bad days, the really rough times demand a more exotic twist to revive flagging spirits and awaken the tastebuds.  During such times, I would heartily recommend that amazing bowl of goodness from the Malay Peninsula: laksa.

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A Meal Fit for a Khan

I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like Mongolian rice bowls.  Seriously: this is the sort of thing that has something for everybody.  You just grab a bowl and head for the bar where they have everything lined up: carbs, veg, meat, and a variety of condiments.  Once you’ve made your selections, you hand the bowl over to the staff who will apply a judicious amount of heat and transform your raw material into a satisfying meal.

I honestly can’t think of anything simpler… 

Finally: A Plate of Char Kway Teow

I don’t know if any of you foodies remember Ten Noodles, a restaurant with a ten-dish menu featuring noodle dishes from different parts of Asia. I remember the pad Thai, the Vietnamese spring rolls with vermicelli, and the samosas with the sweet-sour tamarind dip. More than anything, however, I was seriously addicted to the char kway teow.

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Pierre Hermé’s Émotion Délicieuse

French patissier Pierre Hermé has long been known for his unusual cakes, pastries, chocolate confections and Émotions – those gorgeous parfait-style desserts where different ingredients with contrasting colors, textures, and flavors are layered in clear glasses.  (I especially loved his Ispahan – that heavenly combination of almonds, roses, lychees, and raspberries!)  Just when we all thought M. Hermé couldn’t dazzle us any further, he comes up with a striking, incredibly revolutionary, and totally unusual new dessert.

Et voila: Pierre Hermé’s Émotion Délicieuse!

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