2016 best dishes – the year’s highlights
Greedy Girl writes very few listicles but, reflecting on a stellar year of dining out, she was moved to nominate her 2016 best dishes. So, here, without further ado, are her top five plates of perfection from her travels this year.
#1: Caviar eggs benedict at Eleven Madison Park, NYC
We were given the recipe for this as we departed from yet another world-class meal. The various elements within literally take days to prepare. It’s essentially a runny quail egg, sitting below dried egg yolk and caviar and a delectable ham and spring onion mix, with a dollop of a heavenly Hollandaise on top. The little tin of deliciousness is served with four tiny home made English muffins. Not a skerrick of this remained. Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm has assembled a crack team both back and front of house in this New York City fine dining establishment and continues to push the boundaries in hospitality.
#2: Salmagundy at Dinner by Heston, Melbourne
This extraordinary dish (pictured at the top of this post) is the most glamorous salad you’ll ever eat, consisting of chicken oysters, salsify, marrowbone and horseradish cream and pickled walnuts. The recipe dates from around 1720, where it was created to take advantage of whatever’s left in the fridge and dress it with oil and vinegar. Chicken oysters, if you’ve never had them before, are a much-neglected part of the bird. Looking at a typical roasting chicken, they’re on the bottom, either side of the bone, between the thighs. This version is full of flavour and brilliantly balanced.
#3: Scotch olives, the NoMad, NYC
We’ve eaten several times at the NoMad, the ‘little sister’ restaurant from the same team as Eleven Madison Park. It’s hard to go past the roast chicken there but we were quite taken by the idea of a new snack on the menu – scotch olives. These golden orbs are essentially green Sicilian olives stuffed with sheep’s curd, surrounded by a lamb sausage and then breaded and deep-fried crispy. Be warned – the curd gets extremely hot and can burst out when you take a bite. They are, however, simply sensational and a great accompaniment to a chilled glass of wine or a good beer.
#4: Spicy miso ramen, Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC
There are a great many dishes at any of chef David Chang’s NYC eateries that will make you go “mmmm”. Having gorged ourselves on his signature buns, we decided to have a zen moment and try his spicy miso ramen. OMG. We find ramen to be a marvellously restorative dish and this is no exception, but has an incredible depth of flavour. The broth has to be tasted to be believed. Head there – immediately, if not sooner …
#5: Chocolate dessert at Hawksworth, Vancouver
One of Vancouver’s bastions of fine dining, Hawksworth is in the Rosewood Hotel and is the full deal – a dark and atmospheric dining room, plush seating, knowledgeable wait staff and some interesting food. It’s rated one of the most romantic restaurants in the city and if you get the right table, it seems to deserve that epithet. Helmed by chef David Hawksworth, the desserts are by pastry chef Wayne Kozinko and worth saving room for. This is a dark chocolate, peppermint and cocoa nib confection. The peppermint sorbet or ice-cream is light and airy and the perfect foil for the richness of the chocolate and crunchiness of the cocoa nibs. Delish.