Robuchon au Dôme, A Pompous Dinner

I am a huge fan of Joel Robuchon’s empire. From his Salon de Thé for impeccably presented sweets to his other known branches like L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, his work is all-around spectacular. Even sushi master Jiro has commended Robuchon for his sense of smell and taste. I have always dreamed of going to this specific location each time I’m in Macau, but for some reason, I always fail to make a reservation in advance. I made sure I went this time. With my brother flying in for a few days to meet us in Asia, I thought this would be a great opportunity to celebrate and end my time in Asia on a high note. It is a pricey dinner, roughly 300 CAN per person after the conversion from HKD, yet I’m so thankful for being able to experience it. I only wish my mom and sister could have joined us.

From the service to the endless dishes, I felt as if I were royalty. They really go over and beyond with every detail, even ensuring that your cup is never left empty. The staff are there to spoil you and make your experience well-worth it. Plus, the setting is absolutely astonishing. You don’t feel like you are in Macau anymore, with the sets of elevators you take to arrive at the restaurant. When we were about to leave, we were also gifted with a lemon loaf cake to bring back, which was an incredibly sweet gesture. I’m not too sure if it was because we hit a certain quota to receive it because we had alcohol and the tasting menu, but I thought it was a nice touch. It just makes you smile when little surprises like that happen.

All in all, it was a divine experience and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Purveying the menu…   

Amuse bouche. Aren’t they absolutely beautiful?!

European butter. Have never seen anything like it nor tasted anything like it.

The infamous bread trolley. You get to try ALL of it.

Happiness in a basket. 

First course

L’asperge blanche – White asparagus panna cotta, almond shavings and tomato coulis.

Second Course

Le Caviar Imperial – Salmon tartar with Imperial caviar and shisho flowers  

Third Course

Le Jaunne d’Oeuf – Baby spinach and egg yolk ravioli, morels braised in yellow wine

Fourth Course

Le Black Cod – Caramelized black cod, delicate cauliflower mousse line and sea urchin. 

Fifth Course

Le Canard de Challans – Challans duck breast, foie gras, and seasonal fruits

Sixth Course

Le Punch retour d’un voyage des iles – Dark rum punch, spiced exotic fruit sorbet

 

Seventh Course

La Symphonie des Douceurs – Dessert trolley  

A peek at the chestnut tart. 

The lemon tart.  

I tried the pistachio strawberry cupcake, the chestnut tart, and their house tiramisu. 

A little fruit salad for the table.

The petit fours trolley. Yes, there was more.

Bite-sized chocolate tarts.

Petit fours from canelés to madeleines. I was so full, but I could not resist these…

The architecture I still dream about.

Travel – Hong Kong and Thailand Part 4

This is the last installment on my recent trip to Asia. I really miss it. For the first time, I got to experience the culture more so than before because on the last leg of the trip, I was on my own (sort of). My friend, Rachel, just so happened to be there and it was like half part reunion, half part girls trip for us. No parents, no siblings, just me and her taking on the world. I loved the vibe being there, how I got to actually go to the places I wanted to (more specifically, restaurants), rekindle with old friends, and check out the night life. Also, shopping was much more fun because you have a friend there to give you advice. They also are willing to walk for longer distances… As much as I loved traveling with my dad, it’s honestly not the same. Friends honestly do make your trip worthwhile. During this bit, I felt so independent, so alive. For the first time, I understood what it was like to have a trip that I could look back on because of all the giggles, talks, and incredible l food moments we shared together. I am already looking forward to my next trip back to Hong Kong, as so much more awaits.
Starting the day off with a pineapple bun. Yep, it was necessary to get into the Hong Kong mode. 
Meeting up with Rachel after three years. I still cannot believe it has been that long since we were last together. This was at Au Petit Cafe in Admirality. It has some really nice stuff for a quick lunch. Nice, healthy salads and some fine-looking pastries.  My beautiful friend, Rachel. So happy to have reunited with her! Atum Desserant, best experience you can ask for in Hong Kong. Must, must, must.  

The final product.

Masterpiece shared with my dear friend, Carrie. 
Edible art. 
I love eating this. It’s the coolest looking thing but it’s so soft and fluffy! 
I cannot stop raving about this dish. Tonkitchi, you have a special place in my heart. Fresh, plump as f*^$ oysters that literally burst in juice the second I bit into it. The crisp, breaded exterior paired with the tartar sauce. Oh god. Thank goodness Rachel forced me to go here. Told you, it’s always good to have friends. There suggestions are sometimes even better than your own.  
Oddies Foodies was another on my hit list. To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed. It definitely looked better… The matcha gelato was super creamy and the components like the jelly tasted well together. I just don’t think it all worked.  
Having some “brunch” at Coffee Academics. This was the daily soup consisting of mushrooms. Nothing special! 
Smoothie = hydration = necessary.

Seriously, the Nocturnal drink is killer. With such simple ingredients consisting of steamed milk, vanilla, and honey, I was blown away by how delicious it tasted. 
The bamboo charcoal.  
I have no idea what this is called but I know it had vanilla rice pudding, uni ice cream (drool…), and an apple crisp. I was iffy about the uni but I got to try it first. It was incredible. Since it is a seasonal item, you should definitely try it before they change the menu.
Herbivore’s! Hello cheese again.  
So looking forward to creating this at home. The toasted pine nuts, YES.  
The passion fruit drink was another delicious find. Honestly, you really can’t go wrong with passion fruit though.  
Mana’s! SO happy I stumbled upon this healthy eatery. They really serve some kick-ass stuff. Too bad I never got the chance to go there for lunch cause they serve falafels. Yes please.   

The drunken egg at Sohofama’s. I love a jelly yolk.
Crab with sticky rice, also at Sohofama. Ningtu in Vancouver does a similar version with rice cakes and I think that is much better. 
Xiao long bao with truffle… These were good. Truffle was not too prominent though.  
Sohofama is a farm-to-table restaurant serving modern Chinese food in the PMQ area. Love how the concept has spread to Asia since it’s such an important aspect of food that no one really thinks about. They grow all their vegetables and herbs and you can see them in their outdoor patio! My friend took me here because she knew I would like something like this. 
Urbane Bakery, you must try one of their croissants. They’re so innovative, from molten egg yolk to this peanut butter one! 
A crepe cake that really does not compare to Lady M’s.  
Lemon + honey mojito. Afternoon munch time.  
Cassava fries… the dip was good but Chicha’s has a much better version. Thank god I live in Vancouver.  
Kimchi and cheese toasties. Sounds better than it tastes, let’s just put it to that. 
Toi Toi Kai, my family’s favourite Macau restaurant. We always come here every time we visit because the seafood is so fresh (you choose) and they really have nailed the timing and execution of some of the dishes.  
A must-order.
I love walking in Asia, there’s always so much to see.  
Obviously I had portuguese tarts in Macau. I love these…

So that caps my trip to Asia the past couple of weeks. Stay tuned for a separate post on Robuchon Au Dome. Now that was definitely a highlight of my trip.

Travel – Hong Kong and Thailand Part 3

After a few days in Bangkok, we took a taxi to our next destination: Pattaya. It’s another tourist hotspot and it’s evident once you are in the area; you can spot a White couple every block. I wish I had gone to Hua Hin, Phuket, or Koh Samui though. For example, the coral for scuba diving in Pattaya (from what I’m told) is not even comparable to Phuket because of all the boat traffic in the area. Or, I wish I stayed in Bangkok longer. I felt the hospitality in that area was just so much better… With Pattaya too, things were more spread out and you pretty much needed a taxi to get to the shopping locations. Since it was also the country’s long weekend, the traffic was awful. It took hours just to get from place A to B. Nonetheless, let’s recap my Pattaya trip. After Bangkok, we drove to Pattaya and stayed at the Royal Cliff. This was one of the appetizers at a restaurant there. The view was breathtaking. Yet personally, I wasn’t in them mood to eat anything in the hotel because there’s so much good food out on the streets AND for cheaper. Due to traffic however, my dad was not in the mood to go out exploring. I complied. More sushi. Incomparable to Vancouver of course.   Thai Beef Salad. God, the marinade was finger-licking good and addicting.    Jackfruit trees at the hotel! I loved witnessing the fruit at its roots.  Gazing at the sea from this place was so wonderful. I could have fallen asleep.      Lasagna at the Italian restaurant. House-made pasta, house-made pesto, etc. I guess it was a nice change from all the Thai food…     Pizza! Good ol’ comfort food.    The complimentary bread and breadsticks. This was really good!   Cheese!   Eggplant rolls…meh. Of course, I had an abundance of fresh papaya. They were so ripe, sweet, and incredibly refreshing.    This was one of my favourite desserts I experienced in Thailand. It’s called Khanom Krok and it’s essentially a mini coconut pudding. They have sweet and savoury toppings for it but it just reminded me so much of a bubble waffle with its crisp exteriors.   The night never sleep when you get to gaze at views like this.   A stop for durian is always a yes in my books.   Papaya salad. Yep, you know the drill.  This was bamboo shoot salad, Soop Naw Mai. Soooo spicy but loved the flavour and how it was so braised that it almost melted in my mouth. I don’t know why, even though I went to Chengdu this past Summer and experienced my fair share of spicy food, I found it so difficult to stand the spice levels in Thailand.  Killer broth and a nice way to sooth my burning tongue.   Voila! The magic of Thai food.   Hello! Another piece of durian again.    I loved watching the Thai people cook up food in their floating boats. I know many say it’s not sanitary but I wasn’t that anal about it. If I was in Vancouver however, I probably wouldn’t try anything like that. Since I was on vacation however, I felt more adventurous and in them mood to try the dingiest stuff possible.  Mango trees!   So beautiful.    I thought this was funny. It’s the boat that goes on the river but it has wheels to let it move on land. Deception at its finest.   At night. It was nice knowing you, Pattaya.

Travel – Hong Kong and Thailand Part 2

Such a welcoming country Thailand is; never would I have known that I would experience so much warmth in the short amount of time I stayed there. Honestly, the people have such infectious smiles. I always felt so jubilant, no matter the time, and a strong desire to be a better person just because everyone else around me was. Whenever I was lost, per se trying to find a local market, there would a local willing to guide me. Their kindness is a habit ingrained in their culture because of their faith – they hope to propagate good karma to the world. It’s refreshing to witness it first-hand because it made me realize how grounded religion can make an individual. It allows your whole life to be provided a purpose. Though I can’t say my experience is representative of everyone who visits Thailand, I’m sure it won’t be too far from it. The hospitality I received was something of another kind. I will be back, no doubt.

Here’s to Part 2 – My Visit to Bangkok.

Bangkok from the hotel room. Can you see the traffic congestion? It’s pretty bad there. If possible, try to take the sky train because it will seriously save you so much time and money.

Right after we landed, we went straight to get food. We were encouraged to visit Siam Paragon, where they had a ground floor dedicated to local thai dishes, some other Asian delights, and an extremely gourmet super market. Their food courts are nothing compared to America’s, in fact, they are so much superior. Everything looked extremely delicious and appetizing. This papaya salad, Som Tum, was one of the best I had on the trip and cheapest. I had so much of this on my trip because it was everywhere and so refreshing amongst the hot rays. The coolest aspect I found about their food is everything is from scratch almost. They grind the sauce in front of you, something you wouldn’t witness in a Western food court in a long shot. 

This is Pad Thai, another generic Thai dish. I was craving it. It’s much sweeter than what I’ve had in Vancouver. I will never understand why they have the raw veggies on the side because I rather have it all cooked together…

Thai crepes, also called Kanom Buang. These were quite interesting and pretty yummy snacks.

Sweet and savoury versions of the crepe. I loved the lay-out of the food courts and being able to see all the typical snack foods that are popular in Thailand.   

Depending on what is being served at the stall, they have certain add-ons that can be added to your dish afterwards. Thai people love balancing their flavours of “sweet, salty, sour, and spicy”, so this tray was for making sure it was at the taste of your liking. I’ve seen people add spoonfuls of sugar to their noodles… Yeah, it’s pretty crazy.



I believe this was toddy palm cake, also known as Khanom Tan. It looked really good because it reminded me of Chinese steamed sponge cake, but I just didn’t like the flavour of it unfortunately. 

Loved fruit shopping in Thailand. Just being in the atmosphere, marvelling at the colours, and diversity that is offered, it was incredible. 



Enjoying my first coconut in Thailand. This was $8, but hey, that’s hotel food for you. Best advice is always get food at a local spot, you’ll get a bang for your buck. The best part of the coconuts there is just scrapping the coconut meat. It’s so creamy and an extremely satisfying feeling.  

My first time trying rambutan. Lychees all the way, especially if they’re from Guangdong. You will never go back if you have one from there.

What a sight…  

I loved having a side yogurt in the morning. It was juts fun going nuts with the toppings. I felt like a little kid in the candy aisle. I simply took some greek yogurt, squeezed a few passion fruits in it and added some dried fruits like apple, mango, papaya, and some candied orange and lime peel. Hallelujah, I hit the jackpot on this one. 

Buying some fresh durian to snack on. Yes, I never passed up an opportunity to buy durian. It’s best frozen in my opinion just because the creaminess during the heat is kind of nauseating, but I made do. 

Like I said, I had a punch of papaya salad. At this restaurant, which I totally don’t remember, we tried their special fried papaya salad with corn. Stick with the traditional.   

Loved the night markets, one of my favourite part of Thailand. I was just so willing to eat where the local’s went and I made it a mission to try to go to the places they visited regularly.

The best pastry selection I have ever seen in a buffet. Kudos to the pasty chef there because he is outstanding, rolling out some of the best croissants I have ever had and a mouth-watering array of locally-inspired flavours. Can you see the flakiness? I was impressed everyday, stumped on what to try.  

Muffins ranged from Valrhona 70% Chocolate to Matcha Tea flavoured. God, I was in heaven right at the start of my morning.  So fluffy and moist.

Fresh juice in the morning. Flavoured yogurts in little tins. 

I will come back to the W just for this pastry case.  

Snacking on jackfruit. I tried it but honestly, I really can’t say its a fruit I’m fond of. I like most fruits, but perhaps because of my scuba diving incident, I’m probably going to avoid this from now on…   

Lychee! I love this fruit so much. It’s so refreshing, juicy, and sweet.

Durian stall.  

One of the best meals I had in Soi 38 Market. Grilled salt-crusted fish, referred to as Pla Pao, and barbecue squid. They had some incredible sauces to put on top while you used fresh lettuce as your filling holder. Throw in some rice noodles and thai basil, it was a wrap packed with flavour. Super DIY and bustling atmosphere.

Sticky rice and mangoes. You can’t leave Thailand without trying it despite it not being something mind-blowing. You don’t even need to eat this as a dessert, as most people just have it as a snack or a meal too. 

The W Hotel at night. It looks spooky doesn’t it? On the contrary, it’s home to the nicest staff. 

Good morning breakfast. I definitely racked in the fruits before this plate, but I couldn’t deny myself from eating the pastry chef’s goodies. I felt obliged.   

Another day, the same thing.   

I squirted passion fruit on all of my fruit plates because it was free and in abundance. I love this flavour so much and I wish I could get it for cheaper back home.   

Yum.   

More papaya salad at Nara Thai Cuisine. 

More Pad Thai.

My first time trying the soup, Tom Kha Kung. I cannot say I am a fan…

I had to dine at the Emporium Mall. It had the most elaborate restaurants I have ever witnessed in a mall and went from floor to floor. A rounding staircase, it was continuous and never-ending, torture for a indecisive soul. Victory for the hungry. If you ever visit Bangkok, you have to come to this mall. I’m surprised this one isn’t as recommended as Siam Paragon because I loved here so much more. 

Kyo Roll En, this was impeccable. For a dessert chain, I have to say, I was wowed. The roll was incredibly moist and the matcha soft serve was intense and the most “rich” I have had to date. Every aspect about this dish was something I could find at a fine-dining restaurant (it was in Emporium) and I couldn’t be more pleased. Did I mention that I was sitting on top of a glassed floor with water underneath? Rad, I know. 

The view from Emporium. You can actually see one of the wings from this photo!  

Inside the Gourmet Supermarket. This grocery store has a food lover’s best interest in mind. All types of dried fruits, local delicacies, a raw bar, a salad bar, coconut soft serve, every tropical fruit possible, the list is endless. It is so easy to browse there for a whole day and still not be bored.  

Some goods I found. 

A peak into the grocery store.   

Outside Siam Paragon, a mall that was recommended to me to go. Good place to try local foods. 

Another  night having Thai food. 

Travel – Hong Kong & Thailand Part 1

Oh, how much I wish I could be soaking in the atmosphere of the beautiful cities I visited these past couple of weeks. At the end of my second term of university and before summer school started, I headed over to Asia, visiting both Hong Kong and Thailand for a little rejuvenation. In other words, a pick me up from all the stress that school tends to give someone. I have to say, this trip was something special. Perhaps it was all the good food, or the lovely people, but I had a blast. I honestly couldn’t have asked for more. I’ve decided to split my travels into parts, just because there are just way too many pictures and I don’t feel like one blog post does the trip justice. So here’s to the first part: Hong Kong. I flew there first before flying over to Bangkok; I don’t think I could have done a longer flight without going mental.

I find more appreciation for the bustling city that Hong Kong is each time I return. It wasn’t like this before – I dreaded flying to Asia. I found it dull and boring. Now, I can’t wait to return. It’s so lively and such a dining mecca; left and right I find myself amazed by the selection that sometimes, I place myself in dangerous situations because I’m not looking at where I’m going. You have your cheap street food, your killer hole-in-the-walls, and some of the most respectable chefs in the world all making a name for themselves in the little city that it is. Yet, no matter how much I wander, I feel like there’s always more to see. Always more to eat. It’s a different culture, fast-paced and never sleeping. Being the riveting, chaotic city that it is, I hope this photo gallery prompts you to make a trip to either a familiar destination or somewhere strange.

The fruit market setting up bright and early. I was fascinated by the selection and amazed at the low prices for such good quality produce.

More fruit being displayed.

Tradition Asian desserts never are that appealing to the eye, but I’ve really found myself enjoying them as I’ve gotten older. They just don’t settle in your stomach in an uncomfortable way as most Western desserts. I love red bean, and on this trip to Hong Kong I decided to have as much as I could of it – in all varieties. This one in particular was comprised of coconut milk, tofu, and red bean. Yes please!

I indeed did have a whole durian to myself. I tried to get sick of it by consuming so much of it that I didn’t want it anymore. It was sort of my reasoning so that I didn’t have to buy it in Vancouver when I came back since it’s so expensive for so little.

This was chicken and goji berry congee. It was so nourishing, flavorsome, and dirt cheap.

Century-old egg with house-made broth and rice.  This was another “dai pai dong” that I came across and wanted to try because I saw so many locals lining up for it.

Radish cakes, my love. Too bad this version sucked.  

Everyone told me that I had to try Tim Ho Wan’s baked barbeque buns. They were good, don’t get me wrong. Yet, I didn’t find them particular special. I feel like for us who live in Vancouver, we are so spoiled with good Chiense food that this really didn’t make me swoon. Maybe that’s just me though.

All in all, not too impressed with this raved place. The seating was cramped, the food wasn’t made with love, and the dishes and cutlery all reeked of chlorine.

The streets of Hong Kong. I told you, there’s always something to see.    

Pierre Herme, my love for all things pastry. He is the reason why I must make a trip to Paris as soon as possible! 

Via Tokyo, one of Hong Kong’s signature spots for soft serve. I personally loved the milk tea flavour because I’ve never had anything like it before. I didn’t recommend coming here if you happen to be in town.

The morning after. It made me realize that there’s so much that’s hidden and that we can’t take what we see as the whole truth.

Exploring New Places

This post was meant to go up before my travels but obviously I forgot about it… whoops! I guess I was just too excited about my vacation?

I’ve never been to West Vancouver before, so fellow blogger, Akina from This New Era (who I’ve just recently met and love!) decided to show me around. We didn’t have any destinations in mind, just did a bit of wandering here and there as she showed me some good spots for lunch.

We checked out Bhuddi-ful, Anchor Eatery, Two Daughters, and a few others, but after entering Savary Island Pie Company, we knew it was the place. The endless menu of sweet and savoury options, all house-made, was so difficult for my indecisive mind. I was just ogling at the treats showcased in front of me, each one of them ever so tempting. We both settled with veggie sandwiches with side salads, a lemon chess pie, and a chocolate oat cookie to share. It was a glorious spread and one I wouldn’t trade for the world. We chatted about all sorts of topics, while savouring every bite on our plates. Such fluffy bread. We both agreed that the lemon chess pie was something special, a dessert that was new to us both!

After that filling, yet satiating meal, we headed to the seawall and had a nice stroll back towards the bus stop. I love looking at the water, it’s such a calming feeling that brings so much peace and ease – mental clarity. Making this trip over here, I didn’t realize how quick it was. I’ve always brushed off the idea of visiting this area because it seemed like such a long bus ride and honestly, I didn’t think it was worth it. I’m so glad I made the trip over though. There’s so much I haven’t seen of B.C. and so much beauty I have yet to absorb. Being somewhere else also allows you to appreciate everything at a greater level; everything is put in perspective.

I’m incredibly thankful that I got to meet Akina at Kinfolk, as she is someone who I find myself easily connecting with. Talking with her, I felt like we had known each other for so much longer; our conversations were rich and meaningful. We both have driven mindsets and a passion for good food. It’s important to surround yourself with people who can help you grow, who allow you to be the best and most authentic version of yourself. I cannot wait to see her after she is back from Japan where I know we will share more stories with one another and cook up a delicious feast.

The interior   Side Salad with Poppyseed Dressing Lemon Chess Pie Chocolate Oat Cookie   Veggie Sandwiches    The Pastry Counter The bountiful spread   Me and fellow blogger, Akina Walking along the seawall Beautiful British Columbia

Savary Island Pie Company on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Smoothie Bowl

When you feel like getting some greens in but crave something with more substance, this is a great recipe to try out. For me, I love getting creative with the toppings: granola, tropical fruit, coconut shavings, nuts.  It’s a change-up from having the usual oatmeal or yogurt and its so refreshing on a warm day. I love cold breakfasts. The base doesn’t need to be what I used – throwing in some frozen berries would be just as delicious if bananas aren’t your thing. Since it’s so simple and customizable, this could totally make a wicked DIY brunch party! 

Recipe

(Servings: 1)

Smoothie Base:

1 handful of mixed greens

2 frozen bananas

1/4 cup milk of choice

3-4 dates

1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pour into a bowl of choice and start topping. My favourite toppings are cacao nibs, chia seeds, tropical fruits, and homemade granola.

Sometimes, when I’m out of yogurt