dim sum @ Lung King Heen
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Lung King Heen (Hong Kong) [2]

Lung King Heen is a three Michelin starred restaurant in Hong Kong. It was the first Chinese restaurant to be awarded that distinction in 2009 and is still one of the most notable Cantonese fine dining establishments in the city. I’ve been here once for dim sum and had a good meal; this would be my first dinner visit.

While a tasting menu is available, we opted for a la carte focusing mostly on items noted as a ‘chef’s recommendation’ on the menu.

ha gow & yan toh heen
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Yan Toh Heen (Hong Kong)

Yan Toh Heen is a two Michelin star restaurant inside Hong Kong’s Intercontinental Hotel. The restaurant serves upscale Chinese cuisine featuring dim sum for lunch. I’ve had two upscale dim sum lunches in Hong Kong in a prior visit (Lung King Heen and T’ang Court), but this would be my first time here. The restaurant is located on the ground level of the hotel featuring plenty of harbor views.

koji short rib @ mume
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Mume (Taipei, Taiwan)

Mume, opened in 2014, is part of a wave of western-influenced restaurants to open in Taipei. The three chefs behind the restaurant have global backgrounds, having worked at Noma (Copenhagen), Quay (Sydney) and Per Se (New York) between them. They blend these techniques and influences with local Taiwanese ingredients to create an altogether different type of cuisine.

The menu is a la carte, divided into a few sections. Snacks are about $10, small plates range $16-20 and larger plates are $30-40. To create a meal for two, we ordered a handful of items from across each section.

fried chicken @ bouchon
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Bouchon (Beverly Hills, CA)

Bouchon’s Beverly Hills location closed at the end of last year after eight years. I came here for one last meal, coinciding with the restaurant’s last Ad Hoc fried chicken Monday. The restaurant holds a special place with this blog. My two visits during the restaurant’s opening weekend was the first post on this blog, ever, and it’s also the place that I sat next to Thomas Keller for dinner.

short rib at mourad
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Mourad (San Francisco, CA)

Mourad opened at the beginning of 2015, Mourad Lahlou’s follow up to Michelin-starred Aziza. Like Aziza, Mourad has also garnered a Michelin star for its Moroccan cuisine albeit in much more glamorous digs. The SoMa location features a large, open dining room and very high celings – it’s a beautiful space.

The impetus for this dinner was my grandmother’s birthday. An eight course tasting menu is available ($155) but we went the a la carte route for our party of six. Ordering a la carte allowed us to order a couple of the large format family-style plates that the restaurant has become known for.

Truffled langoustine ravioli in a foie gras sauce with simmered green cabbage
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Joel Robuchon (Las Vegas, NV) [2]

I’ve been to Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas a number of times over the years, but my last visit was all the way back in 2011. I was in Los Vegas for the weekend thanks to a spontaneous trip, and was able to squeeze in a late Friday night reservation here.

The restaurant still serves an extravagant, marathon degustation tasting menu ($445, 16+ courses) but does offer more abbreviated menus with selections for each course. We went with the third of four tiers available, six courses (plus extras) priced at $198 before supplements.

beef roast

Christmas 2017

My family’s Christmas tradition of two meals, one on each side of the family, has spanned many years – I’ve lost count. This year was no different with lunch being spent on my mom’s side and dinner spent on my dad’s side. It’s certainly one of the most gluttonous days of the year for my family and I (along with Thanksgiving).