Hubert Burda Media


For the second year running, CHRISTINA KO stalks 100 chefs, high flyers, Prestige contributors and food lovers to name the best dish they consumed in the year 2014

JUST ADD UNI. That’s the advice I’d give any chef looking to create a crowd-pleasing dish. This year’s Foodie 100 list showed overwhelming support for sea-urchin-laden dishes, with respondents from Pierre Gagnaire to our own contributor and Master of Wine Ned Goodwin naming superlative creations shaped around the spiny echinoderm. We’re deep in the thick of white truffle season, too, so naturally four choices revolved around the culinary world’s favourite fragrant fungus, whether a truffle-laden pasta served in an ancient Florentine venue or a paper-thin-crust pizza merely drizzled with a bit of infused oil just a couple of districts away in Tai Hang.
Although more respondents chose dishes consumed overseas (the holiday mindset – or an unlimited work-trip per-diem budget – perhaps creates the best gastronomic memories), local restaurants made a strong showing. Opened mid-last year, Ronin swung in with four best-of-2013 dishes, and still managed to score two entries in 2014, both from chefs who’ve worked in Michelin-starred establishments. New kid on the block Sepa Bacaro Veneziano performed equally well.
Cantonese comfort food and Asian street food were hugely popular, particularly with local chefs, but to some, the ultimate culinary cuddle came from their own kitchens – Tom Aikens modestly suggested his own home-made sourdough was his favourite food, while Hotel Icon’s pastry chef Danny Ho was floored by his wife’s abalone (though admittedly more because she had cooked at all in the first place).

Perhaps the most surprising trend was the veggie movement, led by two entries plated by the kitchen at Alain Passard’s L’Arpège. I challenge you not to salivate over Punch Detox founder Angela Cheng-Matsuzawa’s description of a homemade guac from the Rosewood Mayakoba, or at Frederic Fekkai’s narrative on a simple vegetable gratin made by his home cook.
Just one last warning, before you dig in: do not read this list before lunch. Wait till after, and then consume, with abandon.

1. At chi Spacca in LA, everything is cured and prepared in-house and the fact that some of the charcuterie actually outdates the restaurant made the whole thing feel really committed. The giant pork chop with fennel pollen was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. – Matt Abergel, co-owner, Yardbird, Ronin and Sunday’s Grocery
2. I’d say that’s the sourdough I made at home. with treacle and stout beer. I’ve always loved bread, and the smell of homemade bread is something you can’t beat! – Tom Aikens, culinary director, The Pawn
3. When I was in California, I tried the tasting menu at Aubergine. Their chef, Justin Cogley, is just amazing and I tried an abalone dish. The taste was extraordinary and the dish was highly creative. – Yannick Alléno, chef
4. Although it was almost nine months ago, that mean bowl (OK, several bowls) of Teochew chendul is still so fresh in my mind. That perfect combination of ice, gula melaka, coconut milk and pandan from a pushcart on Lebuh Keng Kwee, Penang has changed desserts for me forever. – Victor Arminjon, coowner, Foxtail & Broomcorn
5. Duck-fat noodles with a double duck stock, wild mushrooms and herbs from Ollie Dabbous at Dabbous in London. It was a clever twist on an Asian classic, bringing in a little twist but not losing the original thought process. I loved every slurp! – Jason Atherton, chef
6. The vegetable burger by Alain Passard. The taste was really surprising because he worked on the sour touch of the dish in a very remarkable way. – Akrame Benallal, chef
7. A Chinese-style beef-brisket stew. – Umberto Bombana, chef-owner, 8½ Otto e Mezzo
8. This amazing truffle and butter pasta I have to have at Paoli every time I go to Florence. – Alexa Bui, make-up artist and blogger at Cashmere and Candy
9. Undoubtedly the barbecue pork at China Tang in Hong Kong. Hands down, the best Chinese restaurant in the world. – Mario Carbone, chef/partner, Major Food Group
10. I was in Koh Samui and a chef friend took me to a shack on the beach, the kind of place I would never have found on my own and probably wouldn’t have thought to go into even if I had. But then we ate this red curry crab, with the sound of the sea beside us, washed down with local Thai beer, and I haven’t been able to get that dish out of my head. – Paolo Casagrande, executive chef, Vasco and Isono
11. The most luxurious salad, and the most spontaneous: a mix of freshly cut young arugula, butter lettuce, green onions, sweet-potato leaves, radishes, and basil – all grown and picked straight from my terrace. My mother lightly dressed it with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, anchovy filets, mãnuka honey, a hint of garlic, sea salt and cracked black pepper, and topped it with toasted sunflower seeds. It tasted vibrant and full of life. – Ann Cha, co-founder, Punch Detox
12. One night in Spain, I had the best dish at Restaurant Botín in Madrid. It was not only a meal in the Guinness-record-holding world’s oldest restaurant (since 1725), but the Iberico ham and garlic shrimp they served were more than delicious. – Dennis Chan, chairman and creative director, Qeelin
13. I had a sumptuous, authentic and yet contemporary meal of Thai food at Bo.lan in Bangkok. The whole set was impressive but it was the green curry there that made me finish two bowls of rice! – Jeff Chan, managing director, Alchemy Asia
14. On an island off Pattaya called Koh Lan, I had a platter of seafood caught by ourselves and the fisherman. The seafood was rubbed with sea salt, splashed with lime juice and grilled, then served with a Thai green chilli dripping sauce. – Justin Chan, executive chef, Naked Gurume Gyarari
15. I had an amazing raw seeds and nuts “tuna” pâté served with sprouted bread from The Farm at San Benito, Philippines. It was incredible and tasted just like tuna mayo. The Farm is built on a coconut plantation and its only restaurant, Alive!, serves over 80 percent raw and 100 percent vegan dishes. – Peggy Chan, chef-owner, Grassroots Pantry and Prune Organic Deli & Workshop
16. Probably a lamb soup I had in Dalian, hearty and delicious with a strong fragrance of Chinese herbs, perfectly matched with the original flavour of lamb bones and the superb quality of meat. A warm and nourishing comfort, ideal for Dalian’s cold and dry winter. – Chan Yan-tak, executive Chinese chef, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
17. My meal at Pollen Street Social, which included pine-smoked quail “brunch”, cereals, toast and tea; and a one-kilo côte de boeuf for sharing, with duckfat chips and a green salad. – Brandon Chau, chairman and managing director, Noblesse Lifestyle Group
18. I discovered Pärlans Konfektyr’s soft and chewy artisan caramels when I was in Stockholm over the summer. I was roaming around the hipster neighbourhood Södermalm and was drawn by the vintage storefront and retro apron-wearing ladies of this little caramel store. With flavours like peppermint and polka, coconut and lime, passion fruit or sea salt, they’re definitely my best discovery of the year. – Charlotte Chen, co-founder, Spottly
19. Summer 2014 spoiled me with an incredible daily afternoon snack on a private beach looking onto Cozumel at Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico: fresh guacamole from the land of the Aztecs. Made from locally grown jalapeño chillies, coriander, onions and Mexican avocados using a traditional molcajete (mortar and pestle), topped with a dash of fresh lemon juice, coarse sea salt and pepper, and served on fresh homemade tortilla chips – clean, healthy and fresh. Margarita optional. – Angela Cheng-Matsuzawa, co-founder, Punch Detox
20. Steamed sea urchin with lobster-broth jelly and flyingfish roe served by a Kyototrained three-Michelin-starred chef who’s quite a character, at Azabu Yukimura in Tokyo. – Ainslie Cheung, publicrelations consultant
21. So many great restaurants in Vancouver, and I love the farm-totable concept. A fantastic restaurant is L’Abattoir in Gastown, where we had the most delicious fillet of Pacific ling cod with sesame crust on a bed of Dungeness crab, celeriac remoulade, pear and buttermilk sauce. – Peter Cheung, regional marketing and communications director, Van Cleef & Arpels
22. The most memorable dish I’ve had all year is the heart of Chinese mustard greens, gai choy dam, cooked in a young chrysanthemum broth, a modest dish that stood out in an 18-course Chinese feast. – Jennifer Chung, director, The Popsy Room
23. The summer black-truffle pasta served at my wedding, in the south of France. Prepared in front of the guests, the penne pasta, piping hot, was tossed in a giant Parmigiano wheel, then topped generously with shaved black truffle. Such a simple dish, but unforgettable. – Julia Cordier, general manager Hong Kong, Pierre Hermé Paris
24. My meal at Burnt Ends in Singapore. I was blown away by the smoked quail egg with caviar and the roast leek with hazelnuts. The burger was also amazing. – Ben Cross, executive chef, Mejekawi by Ku De Ta
25. A banh mi from the street in Saigon. Crusty warm French baguette stuffed with pork pâté, roast pork, steamed pork, pickled daikon, sliced cucumber and fresh herbs, some chillies for heat. All for about $10. Enjoyed with a cold Saigon beer on a small blue plastic stool while watching the local life and the afternoon pass by. – Peter Cuong Franklin, chef-owner, Chôm Chôm
26. My finest dishes are always enjoyed during the depths of my travels, when my taste buds have more brain space: the stone-baked veggie pizza from the street vendor in Taiwan’s Kenting National Park on my birthday; the endless spicy eggplant casseroles whilst cycling in Guilin; the sought-after (especially by seagulls) fish and chips served during my family hols in St Ives; to the sexiest mozzarella known to mankind dished up during my romantic wedding anniversary trip to Portofino. – Christina Dean, founder and CEO, Redress
27. “Johnny’s Pizza” at No.5 Italian in Tai Hang. Incredible thin and perfectly cooked crust topped with flavour-filled tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parma ham and rocket. And topped with white truffle oil. Perfection. – Stephanie de Kantzow, press, marketing and events consultant, Prestige Hong Kong
28. A tomato and mozzarella salad made by my mother. It’s my comfort food that I enjoy during family dinner every Saturday, a simple yet delicious dish. – Olivier Elzer, executive chef, Seasons by Olivier E.
29. A tian aux légumes (vegetable gratin) prepared by our cook this summer in Provence. It consists of sliced zucchinis, eggplants, tomatoes and sweet onions baked in a large rectangular clay pot with olive oil and a few cloves of garlic, basil leaves, thyme, parsley and shaved parmesan. Simply delicious and healthy. Of course, a dish like a tian is always fantastic with a great glass of red wine from Provence! – Frederic Fekkai, celebrity hairstylist
30. My love of carbs is not always recognised as a legitimate form of foodie-ism, but good pasta is something to be appreciated because something so basic is not always easy to do. That said, I really enjoyed the rigatoni vodka at Carbone, which is the perfect balance of tasty and comforting, like a good hug. – Karen Fong, contributing writer, Prestige Hong Kong
31. I love red prawns, udon and shiso, so when the three were combined in a dish at Town in Causeway Bay, it was a pretty special moment. Picking up the fat prawn head and squeezing its copious juices over the squid-ink udon is one of my happiest dining memories of 2014. – Lynn Fung, managing director, Liang Yi Museum and blogger at Fungry and Fabulous
32. Tomato jelly with sea urchin at Gérald Passédat’s restaurant in Marseille. It was a very refreshing dish and all the flavours just matched perfectly. I was so impressed with the stunning presentation of the dish as well. – Pierre Gagnaire, chef
33. Outside of London, Edinburgh has the best restaurants in the UK. My favourite is Michael Neave, which uses only seasonal Scottish produce and this summer served the most delicious venison saddle wrapped in bacon. As the Scots would say: och, aye, that was scrummy scran! – Oliver Giles, staff writer at Prestige Hong Kong
34. The wings at Stone Nullah Tavern are fantastic. That sticky, sweet, spicy sauce is quite something. Vinny [Lauria] is an excellent chef and we frequently hang out there after a shift at The Butchers Club Burger and vice versa, as we share a lot of the same ideas and values. – Jonathan Glover, founder, The Butchers Club
35. At Sydney’s Moon Park there’s a uni dish composed of a toasted biscuit made with white sesame seeds, flax seeds and shiso seeds. The seeds are bound with potato starch, rolled out into thin sheets and then dehydrated overnight. The next day, one is able to break the thin cracker sheets into bite sized crackers before topping them with rice cream, black garlic and sea urchin. The urchin is brushed with sesame oil and lightly torched. Normally the cracker is also garnished with nasturtium leaf and flower, and its play on textures and flavours is spellbinding, especially with the restaurant’s riveting wine list. – Ned Goodwin, MW, contributing writer, Prestige Hong Kong
36. One of the best dishes I’ve eaten this year is the Sake No Teriyaki from Zuma, because they grill the salmon in charcoal and serve it with teriyaki sauce and pickled cucumber. The combination is exceptional. – Kumar Gurung, head bartender, Rummin’ Tings
37. The best restaurant was Carbone, and the best dish the octopus pizzaiolo with roasted peppers, fingerling potatoes and crispy garlic. – Christina Hellmann, founder, Joshua Hellmann Foundation for Orphan Diseases
38. Mega meat fest of the year has to be the Gaucho Tasting Plate at cool new Argentine steak house Gaucho. You get no less than three big juicy steaks on a large wooden slab, one piece each of chorizo (sirloin), ancho (ribeye) and cuadril (rump), adding up to a whopping 450g of prime beef. Wash it down with a bottle or two of their smooth rich Malbecs from what I guess is Hong Kong’s first Argentina-only wine list. – Paul Hicks, CEO, GHC Asia
39. Abalone the size of my fist that my wife braised for me. Not because I like abalone particularly, but because it was the first time she had ever cooked for me. – Danny Ho, executive pastry chef, Hotel Icon
40. The shaved ice mountain (a pile of shaved ice heaped with fresh mango, red beans, fruit juice and sweet condensed milk) eaten at a roadside stall in Taitung, Taiwan. A group of us from Youth Diabetes Action were cycling around the island to raise awareness and funds for children with diabetes, and this was the perfect reward on a hot day. – Joanna Hotung, founder and managing director, KG Group
41. Guisados in Echo Park, LA has super-legit Mexican food: simple, delicious and all homemade. If you closed your eyes while eating the freshly made puffy corn tortillas, you could imagine yourself at a street stall in Mexico. – Lindsay Jang, co-owner, Yardbird, Ronin and Sunday’s Grocery
42. I had just come off a fast, and deeply desired a big hot slab of juicy steak. We did it the old-school way at Lawry’s. We noshed on their famous prime rib, just slightly charred around the edges and dripping with jus. – Janice Jann, director of communications, Privé Group
43. By far the best this year was an omakase dinner at Rozan. A ridiculously creamy, amazingly sweet and generous piece of sea urchin over a bundle of delicious rice stole my heart that night. It was so good, we ordered two more pieces. – Jessica Jann, model, actress and food blogger at Eat with Jess
44. I’ve always believed that good food is nothing without heart – but I never meant it literally until I got to Fergus Henderson’s St John and ordered the ox heart and chips. The judicious use of ingredients, consummate technique (those fries!) and restrained plating exemplified what all restaurant dishes should be. This heart had heart, in spades. – Christina Ko, deputy editor, Prestige Hong Kong
45. An unassuming bowl of chilled somen noodles dipped in a light broth at the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. We sat outside, caught up in the history and the lush green views, and with the Otowa falls splashing behind us. It was one of those rare moments when the simple food and the atmosphere were complementary to each other, but ask my kids and they’d say the shaved strawberry ice that followed was their foodie highlight. – Elle Kwan, contributing writer, Prestige Hong Kong
46. The mille crêpes cake at Lady M Confections in New York City. So many patisseries try to master this cake but nothing comes remotely close. This fluffy melts-in-yourmouth crêpe cake is my all-time fave, and I’d last had it seven years ago, so this time it was extra memorable. – Denise Kwok, PR & marketing manager, Rupert Sanderson
47. My birthday was the first week we opened The Envoy. My wife organised a surprise party for me and prepared a strawberry cake – simple, but it just made me very happy, as after many months of work The Envoy was born and I could celebrate with friends and, of course, my wife. – Antonio Lai, Hong Kong mixologist
48. Blue mussels in garlic, white wine, basil and cream broth with crusty bread at Enoteca. Each mussel was generously sized and succulent, served with a broth that was perfect. It was so good, I had to go for a second helping. – Dennis Lai, creative director, Prestige Hong Kong
49. The Chinese restaurant in the Emperor Hotel in Happy Valley, Golden Valley, does the best hot pot, with the largest buffet of condiments for you to mix and match to make your sauce. – Gordon Lam, contributor, Prestige Hong Kong
50. The Japanese love waiting in line, so on most days the queue forming outside Jangara Ramen in Tokyo starts early. In June, I diligently joined the queue and then walked up the narrow stairs of the restaurant to enjoy a bowl of hearty noodles topped with pork, boiled egg and tons of sesame seeds, surrounded by a bunch of Harajuku girls screaming “Oishii!” – Vincenzo La Torre, deputy editor, Prestige Hong Kong
51. Home-made lasagne with extra cheese, extra crème and with good chunks of juicy lamb mince – this, with a glass of Pinot, makes my day. – Michelle Lau, head of communications, China, Swire Hotels
52. Steamed pork knuckle with fermented red-bean curd and peanut from a local restaurant in Tseung Kwan O. The precise balance in taste and texture of the pork meat showcases the chef’s finely honed skills. The tender and enticing pork knuckle is my all-time favourite. – Paul Lau, chef de cuisine, Tin Lung Heen
53. Rico’s spicy pork lechon in Cebu. It was served on banana leaves and we practically ripped it apart and ate it with our bare hands – a very primal way of eating but it was super fun. Skin so thin and crispy, and the meat was so juicy and tasty … pork freakin’ heaven! – Rolando Laudico, executive chef and owner, Chef Laudico Group
54. Ziti pasta with salt cod, cauliflower and ‘Nduja salami cream sauce. I tasted this dish at the two-Michelin-starred Il Pagliaccio by Anthony Genovese in Rome. The authenticity of the southern Italian flavours with an elegant twist makes this a superb creation. – Pino Lavarra, director, Tosca
55. That’s a tough question but the flower crab with uni that I had at Ronin would take some beating. – Rowley Leigh, chef
56. One of the best things I ate this year was served out of a food truck named Pig on the Street in Vancouver. The sandwich wrap was filled with smoked bacon, grilled mushrooms, creamy mild blue cheese, arugula greens, caramelised onion and mayo, all wrapped in a soft tortilla. This piggy was in heaven. – Edmon Leong, contributing photographer, Prestige Hong Kong
57. The Evolve with the Forest menu at Narisawa restaurant in Tokyo was extremely creative, full of surprises and inspiration. Topquality seasonal ingredients from sustainable farmlands across Japan were used. The chef recreates natural scenery on plates and shows deep respect for nature. It was beautifully presented, delicious and meaningful. – Steve Leung, interior designer and restaurateur
58. My dad happens to be an exceptional cook and recently started making an amazing penne arrabiata. It’s a relatively easy pasta to make but very hard to perfect. He uses very fresh chillies, a lot of garlic and fresh passata with generous shavings of aged Parmesan. The leftovers – if any – make the perfect hangover cure … but what would I know about that? – Andrew Li, COO, Privé Group
59. The gratin d’oignon au parmigiano reggiano at L’Arpège – I never thought vegetables could taste this good. – Patrick Li, portfolio manager, Oasis
60. I had the best lahmacun, or Turkish pizza, at Seasons in the Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet hotel. The restaurant is a stone’s throw from Ayasofya, but it’s so tranquil in the courtyard we even saw a hummingbird hawkmoth in the beautiful garden around us. The service is both friendly and charming. – Anne Lim-Chaplain, publisher and managing director, Prestige Hong Kong
61. Every time I go to Phuket, I always make for my favourite local restaurant, located close to Surin Beach, family run and with only five plastic tables. The best grilled saltcrusted snapper stuffed with lemongrass, coriander, hot chillies, garlic and scallions comes out of its kitchen. The fish is served with fresh chilli, garlic, tamarind, lime and minced coriander fish sauce. A young coconut to accompany and, voila, I’m in heaven. – Celine Lindvall, PR and marketing director, Maximal Concepts
62. The Bouchot mussels at Mano in The L Place. Fresh, extremely flavourful and with a delicate texture. I could not stop eating. – Rüdiger Lurz, executive chef, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong
63. A degustation of street food at Shilin Night Market in Taipei. Everything is freshly made and there is so much choice – you’ve just got to love night markets. – Christopher Mark, co-founder, Black Sheep Restaurants
64. The vegetables selection from the De Simone family garden at Ristorante lo Scoglio in Nerano, and kawahagi (filefish) with a dip of its own liver and ponzu at Umi in Tokyo. Both selected for the sparkling personalities of the hosts as well as for the absolute freshness and taste of raw ingredients. – Giacomo Marzotto, co-founder, Sepa Bacaro Veneziano
65. German white asparagus and pork schnitzel with Frankfurt green sauce at Atschel in Frankfurt. – Marcus Mathyssek, executive chef, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
66. At our 20th-anniversary party at Nobu New York, the meal consisted of assorted dishes: yakisoba, curry rice, okonomiyaki, ramen, etc. – Nobu Matsuhisa, chef
67. The uni with panko cooked in nori butter from Ronin. A very interesting and memorable experience! – Stephen Moore, head chef, Mejekawi by Ku De Ta
68. Blue-crab curry at Point Yamu by Como in Phuket. This was my most memorable dish at the hotel’s Peranakan-Thai restaurant, Nahmyaa. It featured some of my favourite flavours – sweet daily-made coconut cream, betel leaves, young ginger – and the pop of peppercorns. It’s a meal worth travelling for. – Amira Morgan, general manager, Asia, Mr & Mrs Smith
69. The beautifully roasted duck from Da Dong in Beijing. I often go to Beijing to visit my sister who lives there, and of course, before opening Mott 32 we had to pay a visit to Da Dong and taste their famous roasted duck. It didn’t disappoint. – Xuan Mu, managing director, Maximal Concepts
70. My best ever is when I go back to Hawaii: Helena’s Hawaiian Food, simple clean stuff like opihi, kalbi ribs, watercress-salted beef soup and poi. Local food with the family. – Bryan Nagao, chef, Town
71. The rhubarb soufflé with vanilla ice-cream on top at The Ledbury in London. This one had a wonderful crust and the flavour was so complex. It brought the soufflé to a new level. – Caleb Ng, restaurant consultant
72. My best meal in 2014 was when I was working in Gaggan in Bangkok. After a whole day of service, a bowl of chicken tikka masala is the best. – Joshua Ng, restaurant consultant
73. Hands down the mortadella, ricotta cheese and black truffle bomba (aka little pockets of heaven) from Sepa Bacaro Veneziano. The combination of the truffle aroma with the salty taste of the ham and the creaminess of the cheese is out of this world. – Justin Ng, Hong Kong community manager, Uber
74. Roast romaine lettuce root at Noma. The dish had such an amazing texture and taste, and was beautifully presented. If I could pick one more, I would say grilled tuna kama in Fukuoka. It was the collarbone of a tuna but tasted just like braised beef. – Uwe Opocensky, executive chef, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
75. Pierre Gagnaire’s culinary pyrotechnics and the very sensitive execution of Jean Denis Le Bras, his chef de cuisine, make dishes at Pierre an amazing mix of creativity and simplicity. I love the blue lobster aiguillettes, chervil couscous and bisque thickened with grilled piquillos; the lobster coral/fine chicken liver mousse and veil of red bell pepper with Espelette; and the lobster claw rillettes with dry apple leaf and seaweed mayonnaise. – Philippe Orrico, chef and director, Upper Modern Bistro and ON Dining Kitchen and Cocktail Lounge
76. After spending four days in Hanoi I can’t get enough of this wonderful cuisine. An ice-cold beer with a large bowl of deep-fried spicy baby quail from a street vendor in Hanoi – claws, beak, bones and all. – Shane Osborn, executive chef, Arcane
77. The salted-caramel chocolate banana tart from Grassroots Pantry is unreal and easily the best dessert I have had in my life. This particular tart is made with almonds, dates, raw cacao powder, a layer of salted caramel made with home-made almond-pinenut butter, maple syrup and pink salt, sliced banana and finished with an incredible dark chocolate ganache. So good, and totally good for you. Eating there made me forget about the kilo of dryaged rib-eye I went through earlier in the week! – Aarik Persaud, executive chef, The Butchers Club
78. I love the sea urchin spaghetti with coconut cream and scampi reduction at Sepa Bacaro Veneziano because it tastes great, always comes out al dente and is perfect for when I’m carbo-loading for my training. – Kevin Poon, entrepreneur and man-about-town
79. David Chang’s bo ssäm at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York should just be illegal. Rich slow-roasted pork shoulder that just melts in your mouth, a perfect balance of sweet and salty … cross the street to his Milk Bar after, and get a cereal-milk-flavoured softserve ice-cream to finish. – Jennifer Pratt, marketing and communications manager Asia, Art Basel
80. The peanut butter milkshake at the diner that’s aptly called The Diner has negated my need to find romantic, spiritual and professional fulfillment. All three have disappointed me at some juncture in life, but not this little eatery on Arbuthnot Road. – P. Ramakrishnan, contributing writer, Prestige Hong Kong
81. The yak burger from a tiny shop in the winding cobbled streets of Lijiang’s Old Town. This place did a roaring trade in its single victual: a saucer-sized hunk of bun stuffed to the rafters with succulent, pulled yak meat and nothing else. – Steve Reels, copy editor, Prestige Hong Kong
82. I loved the bombolone from Ciak – In the Kitchen at Landmark, and the xiao long bao at Sohofama. – Francisco Ricafort, PR & marketing manager, Buzz Concepts
83. I went home and tried out a new place called R-Gang Eatery in San Diego, American comfort food at its best. The choice of different mac ’n’ cheeses is awesome! I had the BBQ short-rib mac ’n’ cheese with a meatloaf sandy and spam tater tots. It sounds simple but I thought it was great! – Patrick Shimada, head chef, Grand Hyatt Steakhouse
84. An incredible prosciutto and sparkling wine that I had during one of my trips to Slovenia. This prosciutto was produced by a local owner of a bed-and-breakfast in the valley of Brda; he personally aged each leg in a little cellar. We visited our friend in his vineyard and opened this wonderful leg of ham, cured and aged for 48 months, with an amazing bottle of sparkling wine. The saltiness and fattiness were so well balanced. It was a succulent mix of flavours and the sparkling wine we were drinking made it just wonderful! – Arturo Sims, restaurant manager, Bibo
85. I had a great lunch experience at Bo Innovation. The highlight of the meal was the molecular xiao long bao. – Siu Hin-chi, executive chef, Duddell’s
86. Meat and Bread in Vancouver and its hero, the porchetta sandwich. The crispy, chewy, perfectly air-pocketed ciabatta, met by a generous layer of crunchy crackling and succulent chopped roasted pork, all tied together with salsa verde. It’s orgasm in a bite. – Joleen Soo, marketing & business development director, Buzz Concepts
87. Mott 32’s char siu using organic Spanish Iberico de Bellota pluma pork – it’s inspiring to see more restaurants choosing to use quality ingredients with traditional Chinese cooking methods. – Larry Tang, founder, Sohofama and Locofama
88. Chef Jowett Yu’s roast goose at Ho Lee Fook is awesome. It’s just really creative, nourishing food and so well balanced. I really like his approach and he’s such a lovely guy as well. – Nurdin Topham, head chef, Nur
89. I love to eat when I am home in Melbourne and one of those amazing food experiences was at Shannon Bennett’s Vue de Monde. Having had the degustation menu, I was reminded just how unbelievably fresh Australian seafood is, and each course was something truly special – but as the ultimate antivegetarian, the wagyu beef was sensational. – Nick Troedson, PR director, Asia Pacific, Mr Porter
90. The most delicious “thing” I had in 2014 is dinner at Hajime in Osaka. I know it’s probably cheating, but everything from the 14-course meal was absolutely fantastic; it’s simply impossible to pick just one thing, considering that just one of the dishes featured 110 different vegetables, grains and herbs all beautifully presented on a floral glass plate. Every single bite from each dish was a wonderful symphony of unique flavours and textures, complete with the most beautiful presentation. – Jaclyn Tsang, account director, Karla Otto Asia
91. There was a visiting Italian guest chef, I really can’t tell you his name, at Alto 88, and for the main course he cooked this home-made angel-hair pasta with New Zealand blue lobster – it was really something else. – Joseph Tse, executive chef, Above & Beyond
92. The most memorable dish for me this year would be the tipsy cake at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London. I am not a huge fan of desserts but that tipsy cake was more memorable than the steak that I had for my mains, which says a lot! – Bradley Tsui, restaurant manager, Naked Gurume Gyarari
93. A simple bowl of nasi goreng from a small outdoor beach stand in Bali after a long morning of surfing. Freshly made, it was packed with flavour. We topped it with crushed krupuk (Indonesian crackers), drizzled-on kecap manis (a sweet dark soy sauce) and ate it on wooden picnic benches by the sea. – Payal Uttam, contributing writer, Prestige Hong Kong
94. Definitely Chef Tak’s crispy suckling pig [from Lung King Heen]. I really loved the contrast of the texture between the juicy tender pork meat and the very crispy skin. You rarely find this type of texture in French cuisine and that was what really impressed me. – Fabrice Vulin, chef de cuisine, Caprice, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
95. A very local family dish made by me and enjoyed with my brother when I visited my family in Montreal. I prepared a soup by giving some fresh watercress a chop or two and chucking it into a pot of boiling water, with the final touch of some good-quality beef (seasoned simply with soy sauce and corn starch) from Alberta. My family enjoyed it with some sautéed choy sum and an omelette with luncheon pork. It was warm, hearty and homey – that’s the best. – Peter Woo, marketing director, Edrington Hong Kong
96. My favourite has to be Richard Ekkebus’s foie gras lollipop from Amber. The fact that the amuse bouche is already that damn good sets very high standards for the rest of the meal. It is so good that each time I visit Amber I request two of them! – Geoffrey Wu, co-founder, The Forks & Spoons
97. I am all about comfort food, and the cheung fun (Chinese rice paper rolls) that I had at a food stall in Wanchai called Cheung Fun Wong (king of cheung fun) has my vote. The rolls are curiously soft and silky. Enjoy them with all the traditional condiments, sweet sauce, sesame sauce and plenty of hot sauce. So simple yet so hearty. – Shirley Yeung, regional public relations manager, Asia, Jimmy Choo
98. A piece of yak steak in Lhasa. I was told before the trip that yak is tough as leather and pretty gamey in taste, but this particular piece, prepared for a meal in the presidential suite of The St. Regis Lhasa Resort, tasted unreal. Yes, it was a little beef-like, but it was more tender, juicy and flavourful than any beef I have ever experienced. And to top it all, the view of the Potala Palace. – Douglas Young, co-founder, G.O.D
99. I stumbled upon this place simply named Islam Food earlier this year in Kowloon City. There I experienced the wonder that is the veal goulash, which is actually not a goulash at all, but a pan-fried pastry with a delicious beef filling. You bite in and the soup inside gushes out. This has to be my dish of the year. I mean, how often does $40 change your life? – Jowett Yu, head chef, Ho Lee Fook
100. The pain au chocolat from Les Marquis de Ladurée (the only one in Paris), or the buttermilk pancakes from Chiltern Firehouse in London. – Ariane Zagury, founder, Rue Madame Fashion Group
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