257 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 7/9/16
Spring opened at the corner of Third and Spring in February after a long, long, wait. The restaurant is from the team behind the Arts District’s Church & State with a fairly similar concept. Whereas Church & State is traditional French bistro, Spring expands its scope to a little more of the Mediterranean.
The space is beautiful essentially a large open atrium with a tree at its center. Plenty of natural light shines through while an expansive open kitchen greets patrons as they walk in.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
15 Queen’s Road Central
Dining date: 3/12/16
I’ve enjoyed dining at Joel Robuchon’s various locations around the world and was happy to make a lunch stop here. Hong Kong’s version of L’Atelier is rated three Michelin stars, the only restaurant in the chain to hold this distinction. This restaurant is actually split into two parts – the signature wraparound bar surrounding the kitchen (L’Atelier) and a more formal dining room with tables (Le Jardin). Same menu, same kitchen, just a different type of atmosphere. We dined at the bar for a view of the action.
Lunch is composed of a 3-5 course prix fixe; between my parents and I ordering the 5-course ($858 HKD), we were able to try quite a bit of the menu.
Robuchon au Dome
Grand Lisboa 43/F
Avenida de Lisboa
Dining date: 3/8/16
While spending a couple of days in Macau, my parents and I decided to stop by three Michelin-starred Robuchon au Dome at the Grand Lisboa Hotel for lunch. The Robuchon name was certainly a draw, but so was the opportunity to dine in the dome atop the hotel, which happens to be the tallest building in Macau.
Much of the restaurant’s 14,000+ bottle wine list is on display at the entrance in a hallway of wines, before taking an elevator up to the dome and restaurant. The elevator opened up to a piano and grand chandelier, surrounded by seating with 360 degree views of Macau. Given some really dense fog on this day though, the view wasn’t quite as spectacular as expected.
Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue, Level 2
Dining date: 3/6/16
Waku Ghin, in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, is regarded as one of the top restaurants in the city. Tetsuya Wakuda is the chef, a Japanese-born chef who established himself working in kitchens in Australia. His restaurant in Sydney, Tetsuya’s, is one of the most highly-acclaimed in Australia for its Japanese cuisine with French accents. He opened this sister restaurant in 2010. It was ranked #70 in the 2015 world’s best restaurants list and one of the top in Asia. When Singapore’s first Michelin guide comes out later this year, Waku Ghin is expected to garner a star, perhaps multiple.
Waku Ghin features multiple ‘private dining rooms,’ each seating 4-6 people. The seating surrounds a griddle very much like a teppanyaki restaurant, offering a front-row view into the food being prepared. The menu here is tasting menu-only, 10-12 courses. My dad dined here in November and enjoyed it so much that a return was in order.
Sky on 57
Marina Bay Sands Hotel
10 Bayfront Ave, Tower 1
Dining date: 3/5/16
Sky on 57 is located on the 57th floor (duh) of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. The food is from Singapore’s own Justin Quek, who has cooked at restaurants around Asian and France, but came home to open this restaurant atop the hotel resort. My dad had wanted to come to the top of the building to check out the views; a ticket up to the observation deck costs S$23, but lunch here is S$50 minimum per person so we figured we might as well make a meal out of it.
Brenda’s French Soul Food
652 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Dining date: 11/30/15
Brenda’s is one of the city’s most popular brunch spots (although it is open for dinner too), serving up a mashup of southern soul food and American brunch standbys. That means gumbo, po’boys and beignets on the menu next to omelettes and French toast.
This was my first time to the restaurant; we were able to squeeze into the last two seats available during a busy Monday lunch rush. Breakfast is served until 3pm while lunch is served from 11am onwards, and we arrived right in that sweet spot where both menu options were available. We tried a couple of items from each.