Dining in Gaggan

We were introduced to Gaggan from watching Netflix Chef’s Table in 2016.  The series was introducing up and coming chefs from around the world.  The unique thing about the series is the fact that the chefs did not have any Michelin star (I think). 

So when it was confirmed we’re going to Bangkok for our holiday, it suddenly become a possibility for us to try Indian fusion food in Gaggan.  The only challenge was to get a reservation.  Based on online forums, a lot of people seem to struggle to either get a response from online booking or getting through the phone. 

I guess I was very lucky as I received an email confirming my reservation approx 1 month after submitting a booking request online.  The challenge came when I realised I have to provide my credit card details to confirm the reservation.  Clearly the restaurant management didn’t care much for online security as they requested for my credit card details to be sent via email.  The only workaround was to provide the details via phone.  It took me 4 attempts before I got through. 

On the day of the reservation, the restaurant called and requested for us to arrive earlier.  They also reminded us that it’s Friday & traffic will be bad.  They were not wrong.  It took us twice as long to get there due to the Bangkok traffic.  The exact location is also quite hidden therefore planning to arrive earlier is recommended. 

Our luck strike again when we were told we’ll be seated at “The Lab”.  Apparently it’s a new sitting arrangement / concept where you get to see how the food is being prepared and the chef will explain each dish as it is being served.  There’s also a menu which consists of an icon or emoji to describe each dish.  At the end of the 25 course meal, the chef reveals the name of each dish. 

The whole experience was pleasant, especially the food.  However we felt that the wine pairing by the sommelier was not great especially when he didn’t follow our specific request to pace our drinks throughout the meal. 

Overall I would recommend this restaurant if you get a chance but don’t try wine pairing.  Especially now that Gaggan has announced the restaurant will close in 2020 as he wants to focus on Japanese food. 

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Discovering Croatia

After almost 5 years of not having to do business travel, this year will be quite different.  In addition to the routine work trip to Bucharest, I’m glad that I’ve finally visited a new country AND learning new part of the business.

Recently I went to Croatia twice in the period of 4 weeks.  The first trip was to Zagreb and stayed for 3 days to close an Audit.  That means I didn’t get to see the city much except trying out some local food in the city centre.  So it’s quite uneventful.

For my second trip, I had to travel 2 hours by car to a small town named Virovitica.  The town is quite near to the Hungarian border, in the middle of no where.  The “hotel” is an old castle, 10 mins drive from office and only serve breakfast.  Luckily we had a rented car which means we were able to spend weekend in other parts of the country.

We managed to spend the weekend in Plitviče Lakes National Park, known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon.  The park was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979.  It was an amazing site and due to ‘winter’ timing, we only managed to visit part of the lakes.

Breathtaking beauty.  Highly recommended.  #waterfall #croatia #unescoheritagesite
Great view of the terraced lakes

Big waterfall #croatia #unescoheritage #waterfall Big waterfall

There’s lots of walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes.  There’s also bus service that brings you to different parts of the lakes if you’re not keen to hike.

Besides the National Parks, Croatia is also famous for it’s Adriatic coasts and not forgetting Dubrovnik (GoT – Kings Landing).  A few locals recommended a road trip along the coast to enjoy the beach and lagoons.

I will definitely go back with David to discover the country.

 

Feb Favourite 2017

anna

I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered Anna Faris podcast – Anna Faris is Unqualified.  It is freaking hilarious!!

I’ve always been a fan of Chris Pratt and thus have been following him on Instagram.  I got curious when I saw on his timeline his wife presenting a podcast.

Anna invites her celebrity friends to join her in the podcast and it gets hilarious when her guests (quite a few comedians) answers her ridiculous questions and participates in an improv.  Then they take calls from stranger and try to give their ‘unqualified’ advice (hence the name of the podcast).

The podcast came in handy especially when I’m on business trip.  It really keeps me entertained while waiting to board the plane and getting to my destination.

My favourite guests so far are:

  • Russell Peters – Always been a fan of Russell.  In this episode he really open up about his sex ‘adventures’ and relationship experiences.
  • Jeremy Renner – Although he may came across as harsh when giving advice, you know deep down those are honest advice and sometimes the truth hurts a little.
  • Ken Jeong – This episode just made me laugh non-stop from the beginning.  Even the hosts were laughing non-stop.
  • Courtney Love – She sounds like she’s perpetually high.  But you can tell she’s genuine.

Yes, Madam Secretary

I’ve always wanted to Madam Secretary when I saw the trailer last year BUT we didn’t have any cable TV so it was quite difficult to get hold of it.  Not until now…..

Last week, miraculously I saw Season 1 box set available in Sky!  Instantly I downloaded it and started watching.  Then last weekend, I literally binge watch the whole season 1. lol

The things that got me hooked are:

  • Strong female character – The lead character (US Secretary of State) is independent and strong when required.  At the same time she’s vulnerable and honest just like any human being.  The writer didn’t make her a ‘superwomen’ which is refreshing to watch.  The biggest plus point for me is her character is not annoying like Olivia Pope in Scandal (cant decide) or Carrie in Homeland (cant stop crying).
  • Insight into US politics and inner workings in White House – Now this is not the first TV series to portray the inner workings of White House.  I used to love West Wings and recently there’s also been House of Cards.  Somehow the story line is modern and linked to the latest political situations of the world.
  • Tim Daly is a hot daddy!

Season 2 is starting this week in Sky Living.

No Impact Man: The Documentary

Can you live with sustainable zero impact on the environment for one year?  Well a New York based family of three did.

Watching this one the first day of 2013 does provide some perspective on our lifestyle.  While I cannot imagine living without going on holiday or buying things which will make me happy, I do think it is necessary to review our lifestyle to ensure we are not wasteful.

I highly recommend everyone to watch this documentary and reflect.

We’re in love with American BBQ

We had BBQ three times within 1.5 months!

Dav first discovered Pitt Cue Co last year summer time while reading about a review in Time Out.  The eatery started with a caravan in Southbank (We visited once), has now setup a restaurant in Soho.  We managed to visit the restaurant for the first time with a short waiting time and once again savour it’s famous pulled pork.

They dont take booking and the restaurant can only sit a maximum of 30 people.  So waiting is to be expected.  The menu consists of a handful of food (all meat of course) but they do it very well.  Besides the meat, one has to try their famous Pickleback (a shot of whiskey follow by a shot of pickle brine).  The draught, named “Whatever” is also very good.

Because we love it so much, we actually went back yesterday night for dinner with a friend after movie.  We had to wait for about an hour before we got a table.  Luckily the hour was spent by the bar drinking.

As usual we ordered too much food and had to takeaway the leftovers which was translated into today’s lunch. 🙂

We would highly recommend everyone to visit this place.

p.s: They serve beef as well Ms. AA.

My favourite, pulled pork with bone marrow mash. Its THE perfect combination.

Special of the day, pork loin with chipotle slaw.

Starter, pork ribs.

Pork scratchings, goes well with Pickleback and beer.

Lavender Cupcake

I’ve always love the lavender smell. Even our home’s odour spray is lavender. Then when I saw there’s a recipe for lavender cupcake in the Hummingbird Bakery book, I was keen to try baking it. To make this cupcake I need dry lavender to be infused with milk. It was quite tough to locate lavender in London. I gave up after a few months of looking and then totally forgot about it.

Then last bank holiday, I actually found lavender suitable for cooking and baking in Cotswold. Of all places! I didnt waste anytime trying to decide whether to buy it or not.

Finally last weekend I baked it. It was quite refreshing. I quite like it. The lavender smell was not too strong that overtook the taste of the cupcake. So that’s good. Dav and I brought some to work for our colleagues to try. Here’s some feedback I received:

  • Dav’s colleague: Tell Steph thank you for me. So delicious!
  • My colleague: Wah.. so sedap… very special (distinguished), taste and icing excellent but texture still anateur… good attempt!