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Travel the World

Go Fish Vancouver

As seen on Snapchat: 1 piece Halibut and Salted Chips ($13) + 1 piece Salmon ($6.50) + Wasabi Mayo ($0.50) + Extra Tartar Sauce ($0.50) + Tangy “Asian-Style” Coleslaw + Ketchup + Malt Vinegar = $22.00 including tips and tax

VERY VERY SATISFIED. 😇

Also: check out a more detailed post about Go Fish here from 2015 ūüôā

Ma Dang Goul Vancouver

Beef Jabchae: stir-fried glass noodles with beef and vegetables | $15.95 | 8/10

MDG and I have a relationship that spans a decade. We’ve been through a lot together. A lot of cravings together, that is. 😅

I usually order the Beef Jabchae and Yangnyum Chicken, though I like to order their Galbitang (beef short ribs, radish, green onions, glass noodle and egg in rich beef broth $12.95) from time to time.

Expect to wait in line if you go during dinner. Prices have increased year after year, but if you’re treating yourself than you might as well give MDG a go. 😘

Ma Dang Goul Vancouver

Yangnyum Chicken: deep-fried chicken marinated in sweet Korean chili sauce | $19.95 | 7.8/10

Salt Dubai

I remember when SALT was just¬†a small “airstream kiosk” and you had to regularly check their twitter account to know if they were open for business that day.¬†This was¬†before they became a permanent fixture¬†at Kite Beach. And my, oh my! They’ve certainly come a long, long way mashaAllah¬†ūüôā I’m proud of the two founders, they pursued their dreams and found great success.

Sadly, their Wagyu Cheeseburgers and Cheetos Chicken Cheeseburgers failed to sweep me off my feet. I appreciate that their beef patties are freshly ground and hand-formed, and that their chicken patties are coated in crushed Cheetos, but honestly all I could taste was…well, salt. (Oh, the irony.) Like when you accidentally swallow a big gulp of sea¬†water, or when you accidentally spoon¬†salt instead of sugar into your cup of coffee. Quite unpleasant.

Luckily, its one saving grace is¬†Lotus. That is, their Lotus Soft Serve and Lotus Milkshake! OMGGGG. Every time I visit Dubai, I have to get my Lotus fix at Salt at least once or¬†I’ll¬†kick myself in the shin!

My foodie senses are tingling, and its telling me you’ll fall head over heels in love with them too. ūüėČ

Salt Dubai

Fantastic decor, guys!

Salt Dubai

Can’t get enough of their design.

Salt Dubai

X2 Wagyu Beef Cheeseburger (Singles) for AED 25 + X2 Cheetos Chicken Cheeseburgers for AED 40

Salt Dubai Lotus Ice Cream

Lotus Soft Serve baby!!!! Heck yeah!!!

Salt Dubai Lotus

1 is never enough. But I guess we can always come again tomorrow. LOL

Salt Dubai Lotus Milkshake

Glorious Lotus Milkshake. Oh baby,¬†how I adore you ‚ôę

Cheeseburger 100

The two most important bites of any meal for me are the very first and the very last. (You too??)¬†So any dish that makes me remember the first bite, the last bite, and every bite in between is a clear winner. And let me tell you, there aren’t many meals like that around. So when it happens, I give them a¬†The Best Damn Thing I Ever Ate Award and try to tell as many people about it as possible.

Okay, technically there are no fancy crystal plaques with gold embedded text to hand out…but, the idea — the SPIRIT¬†— of the award exists. In our hearts! …Or erm, in my heart. So¬†we’re sticking to it.

Every week I’ll pick a few holy-cow-what-am-I-eating-and-where-has-it-BEEN-my-entire-LIFE!??!! dishes/meals to¬†add to this list in no particular order. If you see extra hearts, it just means it’s extra extra loved. Anything listed can get knocked off at any time so don’t be shocked. Tune in weekly, add them to YOUR list, and pass it on. Enjoy! 😎¬†😙

LAST UPDATED: JULY 5, 2017

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

1. Tortilla de Patatas “New Way” from The Bazaar Beverly Hills¬†2016 Summer/2017 Spring

This deconstructed version of the Spanish Omelette features potato foam, egg cooked at a holding temperature of 63¬įC, and caramelized onion puffs. WOW! Talk about¬†a jaw-dropping experience.

Dim Sum Brunch at Hakkasan Dubai

2. Taro and Crab Croquette from Hakkasan Dubai 2015 Spring

Modeled after the classic Cantonese dim sum dish “Woo Kok” or Fried Taro Puff, this halal version unexpectedly swept me off my feet! As you may know, the original version features a minced pork filling. Hakkasan Dubai uses fresh crab meat…and kudos to them for it!

Sushi Sandwich at Isao Bangkok

3. Sushi Sandwich from Isao Bangkok 2015 Summer

Isao fills this rice sandwich with a creamy mixture of mayo, spring onion, and minced salmon and tuna before dipping it in a tempura batter and frying it off. It gets the tobiko treatment just before plating. Seriously, this dish is as good as it looks and sounds. Not one to be missed!

Junoon Dubai - FALOODA

4. “New” Falooda from Junoon Dubai 2015 Spring/2016 Winter

This is an innovative twist to the classic Indian dessert “falooda”. Traditionally it is made from mixing rose syrup, vermicelli, sweet basil seeds, and pieces of jelly with milk, and often topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.¬†Junoon’s version features a chocolate sphere filled with rose rabdi (sweet thickened milk) sitting on a block of almond milk sorbet and blackberry jelly. When you¬†crack the sphere¬†with a spoon, the rabdi lava oozes out to blend with the bed of ingredients. AMAZING!

La Petite Maison Dubai

5. Burrata et Tomates from La Petite Maison Dubai 2015 Spring

Exactly as it is written, this creamy cheese made from¬†mozzarella¬†and cream is highlighted by fresh tomatoes, basil and a generous¬†drizzle of quality olive oil. Until today, I have yet to taste a better burrata than the one at LPM. And trust me, I’ve tried burrata in at least 4 other countries. Mamma mia!¬†I want¬†to eat more!

Hoja Santa Barcelona - CAESAR CHICKEN SKIN

6. Caesar Chicken Skin from Hoja Santa Barcelona 2016 Spring

Are you quickly realizing I have a thing for “deconstructed” dishes? Yup, you caught¬†me. That’s why this dish made it onto the list! A deconstructed chicken caesar salad??? Featuring crispy CHICKEN SKIN??? ¬†Wow wow wow, I’m in!!! Although it’s only a 1-bite experience…let me tell you, the explosion of flavours is unreal. It definitely left a lasting impression. Sadly Hoja Santa no longer¬†offers it¬†on their menu but hey, the¬†award lasts a lifetime.

Hoja Santa Barcelona - CORN, CHOCOLATE, CAJETA

8. Corn, Chocolate, Cajeta from Hoja Santa Barcelona 2016 Spring

Is that a corn? Or is it ice cream? …Actually, it’s both! The geniuses behind Hoja Santa preserved¬†the aesthetic of the corn in this dish but elevated this household staple by combining it with¬†chocolate hazelnut praline and ‚ÄėCajeta‚Äô (a Mexican syrup¬†usually made from¬†sweetened caramelized milk). DELIGHTFUL! FANTASTIC! BRAVO! ūüôā

Barcelona - Santa Gula

8. “Ravioles caseros de setas y gambas con suquet al parmesano”¬†from Santa Gula Barcelona¬†2016 Spring

“Homemade ravioli stuffed with prawns and mushrooms in creamy parmesan sauce”. In other words, Fabulous. The ravioli was chewy, had the perfect thinness, and enveloped a decadent filling of juicy prawns and earthy mushrooms. N and I basically looked up¬†after our first bite, nodded at each other, and continued on. Because good food needs no words. (Lol, oh the irony.)

Barcelona - Carlota Akaneya 1

9. Chargrilled Wagyu A5 Beef and Salted Prawns from Carlota Akaneya Barcelona 2016 Spring

The thing is, when you’ve lived in Japan for as long as N and I have, eating yakiniku outside of Japan just doesn’t cut it. Nor does any other BBQ Meat experience for that matter. However, I’m happy to admit Carlota Akaneya emulates Japanese yakiniku very well. I was utterly impressed by their Kagoshima A5 Beef (A5 is the highest grade¬†given). I was equally impressed by their use of salt for the prawns (they’re grilled over a bed of salt above the charcoal pit). Of course, one must not forget to dip everything in the¬†sauces provided.¬†Itadakimaaaaasu!

SomiSomi Ice Cream in Los Angeles

10. Ah-Boong Creation at SomiSomi Los Angeles 2017 Spring

Who would have thought this would be trending in 2017? A pancake base that boasts a mochi-like texture and embodies the shape of a fish, filled with whatever you like and then topped with soft serve. Let’s not forget the sprinkles and cookie crumbs. Boy, oh boy! My tip? Go for Matcha Soft Serve, Nutella Filling, Rainbow Sprinkles, and…don’t pass on the macaron garnish. ūüėČ Nom nom nom nom.

Lobster Crostino at Bestia LA

11. Lobster Crostino from Bestia Los Angeles 2017 Spring

Fresh juicy lobster tossed with¬†saffron and squid ink aioli, pickled chilies, opal basil, a hint of citrus…sitting on a bed of¬†crunchy grilled bread. One bite and we were done for. An excellent creation indeed. Go for it!

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

12.¬†“Philly Cheesesteak” from¬†The Bazaar Beverly Hills 2017 Spring

Mom and I were seriously impressed by The Bazaar’s culinary take on this American comfort food. Air bread, cheddar foam filling, thin slices of Wagyu beef…$11 a pop and it is worth EVERY penny. I need to hide a stash away for those sad rainy days. Definitely¬†a better alternative to Valium. XD

Urth Caffe Santa Monica Los Angeles

13. Organic Tea Boba (with whip) from Urth Caffe 2014/2016/2017

My first brush with Urth Caffe was back in 2014, when I was living the sleepless life in Tokyo. Everybody went gaga for their waffles whereas -I- melted into a puddle of goo over their organic tea Boba! Thai Red Tea, Earl Grey, Moroccan Mint, Black Tea…love it, love it, love it aaaand yup, love that too. Remember though…you can’t order the boba without adding whip! That would be going against the Boba Code, people.

Giovane Cake Pops

14. Cake on a Stick (Cake Bars) from Giovane Cafe + Market Eatery 2017

These creations take “cake pops” to a whole new level. Scratch that, they take cake pops to an alternate dimension! Pictured above: raspberry krunch¬†featuring dolce white chocolate mousse, raspberry gel√©e, hazelnut krunch, almond cake. And:¬†coconut pineappple featuring¬†coconut mousse, pineapple rhum compote, mango gel√©e, carrot spice cake, mango cremeux, vanilla cookie, lime cream. Lordy, Lordy, Lord Almighty! Bomb dot COM baby! We really hit the jackpot here. I have to find a way to recreate these cake bars, no joke.

Ichiran Ramen Tokyo

15. Spicy Ichiran Ramen from Ichiran Ramen 2012-2015

Basically, this post says it all. Well, and the photo. Don’t believe me? Then take Forbes¬†word for it. 😜

16. Uni Miso Crab Udon from Kingyo 2017

Sooooooo good! Creamy, rich in flavour, huge pile of freshly poached crab meat, garnished with salmon caviar. Dang, dang, DANG!

Red Star Seafood Vancouver

17. Dim Sum Brunch from Red Star Seafood Restaurant 2010-2017

This is a fantastic place if you’re looking for a hearty meal of “Cantonese Tapas”. Of course, “the more the merrier” rings true here but even a group of 3 should satisfy your dim sum cravings! Red Star offers perfectly executed Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice, Shrimp Spring Roll, Rice Noodle Wrapped Fried Donut, and Braised Chicken Feet. Droooooool.

Phnom Penh Chinese Cambodian Restaurant Vancouver

18. Beef Luc Lac with Fried Rice Upgrade from Phnom Penh 2016, 2017

All I will say is: you CANNOT visit Vancouver, live in Vancouver, live NEAR Vancouver, or leave Vancouver WITHOUT trying Phnom Penh at least once (if not twice!). Sure, they’re known for their garlicky fried chicken wings…and yes, the wings are delicious…but not quite an otherworldly experience. The best thing here is the Beef Luc Lac with Fried Rice Upgrade. Tender and incredibly juicy beef atop flavourful fried rice, finished off with a sunny side egg. YEEEEES. #AsianFoodPorn

Hyoga Japanese Restaurant Vancouver

19. Mozzarella Tempura from Hyoga Restaurant 2016, 2017

Lightly battered deep fried cheese…drizzle of teriyaki reduction…dried seaweed and bonito flakes seasoning…Himalayan salt…ooey, gooey, and totally epic. 😋

Miku Restaurant Vancouver

20. Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi from Miku Restaurant 2017

Often imitated, never duplicated…many Japanese food places in Vancouver now offer this utterly delectable flame-torched pressed salmon sushi, but the winner of this award goes to the one who started it all…

(Yui photo here)

21. ? from Yui Japanese Bistro 2017

Often imitated, never duplicated…many Japanese food places in Vancouver now offer this utterly delectable flame-torched pressed salmon sushi, but the winner of this award goes to the one who started it all…

22. Gyukatsu (Japanese Beef Cutlet) from Gyukatsu Motomura Shibuya 2014

Often imitated, never duplicated…many Japanese food places in Vancouver now offer this utterly delectable flame-torched pressed salmon sushi, but the winner of this award goes to the one who started it all…

23. Matcha Obanyaki from Sadaharu Aoki 2014

Often imitated, never duplicated…many Japanese food places in Vancouver now offer this utterly delectable flame-torched pressed salmon sushi, but the winner of this award goes to the one who started it all…

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

Pictured: Cotton Candy Foie Gras ($8)

There is something magical about Spanish tapas…particularly when chefs combine it with molecular gastronomy and¬†other cutting edge¬†culinary techniques. Remember Hoja Santa in Barcelona?

So obviously I had to bring mom to The Bazaar by José Andrés before we left Los Angeles. I just knew she would fall in love with the restaurant as much as I did.

Mom was happy with everything we ordered. In fact, she¬†told our server Terrence (who, by the by, is an excellent server so do ask for him when you’re there!) the next time she visited L.A. it would be¬†with a¬†solitary purpose:¬†to eat her fill¬†at the Bazaar again!

I’m certainly not missing out on that trip. Count me in, Lady!

Highlights: the¬†Tortilla De Patatas “New Way”,¬†Seared Mary’s Farm Chicken,¬†“Philly Cheesesteak”, Chocolate Dream Mousse Cake. Mom also ordered the “LN2 Caipirinha” featuring brazilian cachaca, fresh lime and sugar frozen by using liquid nitrogen¬†(tableside service) $20. She LOVED it!

Overall experience: 9.2/10 (service this time around far surpassed my previous experience here in August 2016! Thanks Terrence and Co!)

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

Tuna Cone ($19 for 2)

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

The¬†Tortilla De Patatas “New Way” featuring potato foam, eggs cooked to 63 degrees, caramelized onions ($16 for 2)

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

Shiso Tempura ($18)

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

Baby Japanese Peaches featuring Di stefano burrata, toasted hazelnuts, crunchy croutons ($18)

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

Seared Mary’s Farm Chicken featuring honey dates, mustard caviar and mustard greens ($16)

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

“Philly Cheesesteak” featuring Air bread, cheddar foam filling, wagyu beef topping ($22 for 2)

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

The inner anatomy of the “Philly Cheesesteak”…so good!

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

Dessert is served: French Pressed Coffee, Chocolate Dream Cake, Little Treats

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

The Chocolate Cake of Your Dreams featuring salted ganache, Peruvian chocolate mousse, cocoa butter ($12)

The Bazaar Beverly Hills Los Angeles

Speculoos-filled Chocolate Bon Bon ($3), Coconut Marshmallow ($1), Pecan Pie Cookie ($1)

*Prices are listed in U.S. Dollars

ūüėé