top eat of 2016

8:39 PM sians 0 Comments

i opened up the calendar on my notebook.


"shucks! a month plus delayed!"

being hectic at work has left me a little behind in my annual ritual of picking out the #bestof2016 from my collection of food photos from the previous year. twentysixteen was filled with an assortment of good food (although i've had my share of not so great ones too) but i've got to admit that there were some food experiences that stood out more memorably than others, evoking pleasant tasting memories that leaves me with a bittersweet feeling of transient but strong cravings for another bite once more.  

// the grilled scallops by cheongsapo suminine {수민이네}

the epitome of simplicity executed perfectly, highlighting the natural sweetness of the freshest seafood you could get from the coasts of south korea's second largest city, busan. 

this was easily one of the most memorable meals of 2016 where fresh shellfish on the half shell, lightly seasoned with salt & pepper, complemented by the sweetness of sliced onions, chopped garlic and straw mushrooms - placed over an open fire grill, in a bowl. cooked to perfection, the heavenly broth from the scallop's were sweet and intensely packed with an umami punch that i had a quiet desire to lick the bowl. 

so.very. delicious. period. 

and yes, i'd be going back for seconds if i return to busan for another visit.   

p.s. i have been craving to share my busan travelogues since i've returned in october 2016 but i just haven't had the time. it will, however, be written in the very near future. 

// the otoro sashimi by sou omakase

at the mere mention of "o-toro" itself, pupils dilated in excitement, an unconscious smile on the face and the mouth watering unexpectedly may be the few involuntary reactions in response. 

this piece of otoro left a lasting impression - fresh without a pang of fishiness, served at the right temperature. fatty but with an underlying familiar tuna flavor, a meltingly tender texture, moist and luscious as it enters the mouth. it was so yummy that my face was illuminated with a smile almost immediately with my eyes closed momentarily as i savored every bite, only to be surprised by my reaction seconds later. 

no doubt, the best piece of otoro i've had, thus far. 

// the hokkaido scallop sushi by sushi oribe

lightly smoky grilled flavors that gradually transitions into a citrus-y umami of the yuzu to finish off with the natural sweetness of the fresh scallop. a distinction from the torched exterior, lightly cooked - possessing a different texture than its raw interior. this fresh shellfish was accentuated further by the perfectly cooked sushi rice, still slightly warm. the beauty of the fish was that it almost seemed every chew held its own tasting experience.

// the canalé by yellow spoon pastry

a seemingly basic and simple french petite pastry in the form of a canalé.


with a desire to imitate as the best form of flattery, i've done some research to only realize how extremely fickle and delicate this french classic was to get just right. meticulous precision and mastery is vital in achieving the ideal contrasting textures with just the right amount of sweet nuances.

while this was only my second canalé that i've had, (my first time was also during the same trip to bangkok but much more forgettable) it was one that i thought embodied the qualities of an excellent canalé. with the textures resembling that of a perfectly cooked sweet french toast, the soft and tender custard interior encased in a dark, caramelized, crisp shell - baked to an almost bittersweet flavor profile to contrast the sweetness from within. 

// the cherry ripe by rosie patisserie

a petite, endearing french cafe in bangkok, serving impressive desserts mimicking its namesake.  masterfully created, the delicate combination of flavors with just the right level of sweetness and a deliberate play in the texture. the thoughtfulness were reflected in this dessert with combinations of flavor that worked beautifully together, boasting flavors of fresh cherry concentrated in the compote against the chocolate richness and creamy mousse.

"the bib gourmand list"
// of the ones who just missed the top list but deserve an honorable mention

// the iced houjicha latte by tealily cafe

besides being able to play with the very adorable #mochithecat, the depth of flavor in the iced houjicha latte is reason enough for frequent visits to this bangkok cafe, specializing in green tea. a resounding flavors of forceful roasted fragrance, lightly scorching the tips of the floral notes of the roasted green tea, rounded by the creaminess and sweetness of the milk. it was intricate as it was lovely. 

// the hanjuku cheese tart by tokyo secret


molten cheese, delicate but rich oozing slightly from the shortbread cookie buttery crush with a pleasant fragrance, striking a lovely balance of sweetness and cheesiness. the hanjyuku cheese tart assumes different alter egos after spending different periods of time in the fridge or freezer, a three-in-one cheese tart.

// the pork soup with rice in busan, south korea

a bespoke delicacy of busan in south korea where you're in control of the flavor profile of the pork soup served with condiments to be added to your preferred taste, picking from a combination of gochujang paste, fermented shrimp sauce, kimchi, bean paste, sliced green onions, garlic, etc. 

in fact, it is a dish where every bowl may taste different. 

starting out with a clean and mild flavor of the pork bone soup, containing very tender pork slices. the broth starts building character gradually with the addition of the sauces/sides, with a hope that the end product is one that is hearty and delicious. 

// the ipoh bean sprout chicken with flat rice noodle by ah loi restaurant

an old-school coffee shop specializing in a popular classic of my mom's hometown is a mandatory pit stop whenever i visit ipoh. smooth and perfectly cooked flat rice noodles in flavorful, clean broth were slurp-tastic, paired with plump bean sprouts with a fresh crunch and tender, moist chicken  albeit a bit greasy tossed in fragrant garlic oil with slightly sweetened soy sauce. the trio is a wonderful combination that brings warmth to my soul and yummy to my tummy. 

twentysixteen eats were a collection of a few hits, some averages and several misses but what was most important, it brought a few first times in my food experiences has had me on the edge of my seat and left me wanting more in twentyseventeen. here's to another 365 days of yumminess :)

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and tastebuds may vary for others.