Food is a (mostly) glorious thing. Every truly awful dish that I’ve eaten has certainly been over-whelming outnumbered by the number of delectable dishes that I have savoured. Some dishes are more memorable than others and I’d like to share with you the dishes that resonate with me as being the most memorable that I’ve eaten.
I’m not trying to discriminate when selecting these dishes but I did notice that almost all of them are from outside of Vancouver. Perhaps it is a coincidence, or perhaps it is because when travelling you eat out more often and your senses are heightened. Regardless of the answer, the following dishes are my response to the question “What would your last meal be?” Well, this is it for me. Add a bottle of bubbles to this and I would die happy. Oh, so happy!
Moulard Duck Foie Gras En Terrine – The French Laundry, Napa Valley
Arguably the whole evening that we spent at The French Laundry was full of memorable dishes but the one dish that I still daydream about and would travel back to Napa for is the Foie Gras Terrine. I can still remember the glossiness of the terrine as I layered it onto the warm brioche and sprinkled it with salt. I have a difficult time trying to find the words to describe how delectable it was but my taste buds remember.
House Curry with Fresh Prawns – L. Maladee, Ko Lanta, Thailand
Easily the best meal that I ate whilst in Thailand. We returned to this casual, little restaurant many times whilst on the island of Ko Lanta and every meal was delicious, but this curry was the one I remember most vividly. Before we ordered, the server presented the HUGE freshly caught prawns to us and recommended that they be served as the House Curry. I was hesitant because I was already completely in love with their Panang Curry but trust I did, and wow. The curry was creamy, perfectly spicy, and full of fat, juicy prawns.
Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi – Minami, Vancouver
The Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi, which is pressed local BC salmon, jalapeño, and miku sauce, is the signature dish at Yaletown’s Minami. With slices of delicate salmon, a slightly smoky flavor, and a hint of spice from the jalapeño, it is heavenly. This dish has changed sushi (for the better) for me.
Sticky Toffee Pudding – Rim Rock Café, Whistler
Prior to my first visit to Rim Rock, I was told that I couldn’t leave without ordering the Sticky Toffee Pudding. I did what I was told. Now, whenever I return to Whistler, I try to eat at Rim Rock and will usually – only once have I not – finish my meal with a serving of this deliciousness. I find it rare to find a dish that manages to live up to its much-hyped reputation but the Sticky Toffee Pudding did. B & I even served this dish at our wedding. Who can pass up a warm tower of date pudding, swimming in gooey, sweet toffee? Not me!
Erik Kayser Baguette and Butter – Paris, France
I would never have believed that I would add a baguette and butter to my “most memorable dishes” list but here it is. When I was in Paris last November, I joined the long snaking queue at Erik Kayser (a well-known artisan bakery) and chose a warm, crispy baguette and bought a slab of salty French butter to accompany it. My brain and taste buds were tingling as I ate it and, whilst drunk on (carb and fat induced) endorphins, I couldn’t help but marvel at its simplicity. It was truly memorable.
Lobster Brioche Sandwich – Burger & Lobster, London
Again words will fail me but let me attempt to explain how good this dish was. Think of warm, buttery brioche that has been toasted until golden and then filled with plump pieces of sweet lobster, creamy Japanese mayo, and chives. It is rich and decadent and the buttery brioche leaves a glistening butter trail around your mouth as you bite into it…I think you get the picture.
Sturgeon Sabayon – Eleven Madison Park, New York
This dish was memorable for two reasons; 1/ The presentation was unexpected, yet interesting and 2/ I would never expect sturgeon (even the name is ugly) to be this tasty. The sabayon was creamy, foamy, dense, all at once. The size of the dish was also perfect – I was left wanting more.
Unknown Pizza Bar, Florence, Italy
As a child, I wasn’t exposed to authentic Italian food. To put it in context, before I travelled to Italy at the age of 19, the only pizza I had eaten was chain-restaurant pizza (Pizza Hut, for example). Imagine my innocent and naive taste bud’s surprise when they tasted a thick, foccacia-like pizza base, covered in slightly cooked fresh summer vegetables and herbs. The taste was memorable. I can vividly remember tasting every herb, every zucchini, every pepper. I had never tasted pizza that had actual individual flavours like that before. Knowing that food could be that different from what I was used to, pushed me to continue to seek out new tastes and foods.
Beef Masaman Curry – Hanuman Restaurant, Darwin, Australia
This will always be the Masaman curry that I measure all other Masaman’s against. The beef falls apart at touch, the sauce is thick and creamy and full of spices. And it reminds me of home.
What are the most memorable dishes that you’ve ever eaten? Do you find food more memorable when you sample it in a different country?