K is for Kimchi

I ducked into the nearest branch of Dunkin Donuts in order to escape the onslaught of the ubiquitous kimchi. In Korea’s capital, Seoul, local food traditions are very strong. During the four days of my stay, every meal featured the highly distinctive Korean cuisine. Even at the breakfast buffet at the hotel I stayed in,…

Madrid

You see, that was the day that Chef Ferran Adria announced at a press conference that he was going to close El Bulli for two years. I don’t think I’ll forget the flash of lightning that was almost tangible in the auditorium. The uproar that ensued was like a clap of thunder. The very fact…

Chef Luzinier

When Chef Luzinier lived in his ancestral village near Bergerac in South West France, his grandfather had a particular way of drinking his soup. Every night of the year, bar none, Grandfather Luzinier would eat garlic soup, about which more in a minute, into which stale bread would be crumbled. When he was just short…

Cheesecake

There are as many versions as there are places in Delhi that sell this delectable dessert, but you can classify them into a few broad varieties. The first is the chilled versus baked variety. You have to use gelatine to set a chilled cheesecake and usually need to use eggs in the baked version, but…

Tunisia

We were in the Dar el Jeld, but we could have been in a jewel box for all you knew. The most iconic restaurant in Tunisia filled up an entire mansion, with a plethora of rooms that led out one from another over two floors. Each room had walls that were decorated, in the Tunisian…

Circa 1193

The chattering classes of Delhi are talking about Circa 1193, a restaurant in the shade of the Qutub Minar. It is an unusual venture for several reasons. The first is the location: from the terrace on the second floor you can see no fewer than 26 heritage buildings and structures. The second is that it’s…

Manajsa

How bad can a restaurant actually be? If it is really bad, it could be like Fawlty Towers: hilarious when you’re watching it as a television serial; less so when you are actually in a place like Manajsa in Hauz Khas market where everything that can go wrong does. It was a Friday evening when…

Washington Apples

America’s North West “The best types of salmon are chinook, followed by sockeye and then coho.” These words of wisdom were imparted by Kevin Moffit, President and CEO, Pear Bureau Northwest. A friend and I were at Paley’s Place, a small, intimate restaurant in Moffit’s hometown, Portland, Oregon. Moffit was the host and much as…

No Reservations

We food writers have it much easier than our counterparts on television. We can conjure up images of childhood treats or aspirational exotica with words; those guys use reality, or their version of it. Writers and poets can relegate food to the status of ambrosia or to an irritating drudgery (“the smell of steak in…