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Sunday, 16 November 2014

My Favourite Macaron

Not all macarons are created equal. That is why I always want mine from the best, Pierre Herme, the current undisputed master of macarons.
There is something magical about them. The medley of texture is like wonderful music playing in my mouth. My first taste of a macaron was at the Laduree salon in Harrods. From that very first bite, I developed a growing obsession. I thought Laduree was the be all and end all of all things macarons. I was wrong, there were many out there. I ventured and from then on I have been on a quest to find the best macaron.
A macaron is made with egg whites, sugar and almond flour. Early macarons were just made of one cookie but Laduree introduced the two cookie macaron with ganache or filling between them. This is the macaron that we know and love today.
Aside from Laduree and Pierre Herme, I have tried Angelina’s in Paris, PAUL in London, TWG in Singapore, Bouchon in New York, Pierre Marcolini, Marks and Spencer’s and more recently, from Joel Robuchon's 2 Michelin star restaurant in London. Any macaron can give me my macaron fix but only Pierre Herme macarons can fully satisfy my craving.

Pierre Herme macaron. Perfect!

Enjoying Pierre Herme in Paris, Summer 2014

For me, a perfect macaron starts with a perfectly shaped smooth dome with perfectly even ruffled edges, also known as feet.  When you bite into it, there is a little bit of crunch but should not crumble and not chewy either. The filling should not be too little or too much. Lastly, it should not be too sweet.  I have to say, Pierre Herme macarons have all that, the perfect balance of texture and taste. 

 And while I am still on this quest,  I am more than happy to call Pierre Herme my favourite for now.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Lunch At Gordon Ramsay's Maze

A while ago in early May of this year,  I had the pleasure of spending time with my friends over lunch at Gordon Ramsay's One Michelin star restaurant, Maze. Located in the posh area of Mayfair in London, the restaurant is being overseen by recently promoted head chef Alex Thiebaut. You cannot really expect less when it comes to Gordon Ramsay, who currently holds 14 Michelin stars in total. So we ventured into the threshold of Maze, preparing to be aMazed.

We waited at the bar for the rest of the group to arrive. My friend recommended that I try Peach Bellini. For someone who is not a lover of anything alcoholic, I was blown away by this one. I love that the Prosecco was not too strong for me. The sweetness of the peach makes up for the alcohol so I was fine. Later on I learned that Prosecco is actually low in alcohol at only 11 percent. 

There was unlimited bread basket being served while we were waiting for our orders to arrive. To say that the food was amazing would be an understatement.

 There were two that really stood out for me. Steamed Sea bream, enoki mushroom, dashi. This boneless fillet of fish was cooked to perfection. It was well infused with spices that worked well with the bed of mushrooms that accentuates its flavour.

Lamb belly with cauliflower and spice lentils. This was one of the best, if not the best on this meal. For someone who is not fond of lamb, this made me into a convert. The well seasoned meat was very tender and full of flavour. It was also very well presented and well garnished, the kind that teases and excites your palate way before the food lands in your mouth.

It was a four course meal. They were all delicious although I was on the fence with the duck and foie gras terrine (above). It was the  kind of taste that you would either love or hate. With me, it was the latter.

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