It’s time again for my list of memorable dishes from the past year and I must admit this year has been the hardest ever. I try to limit myself to calling out ten dishes a year (with a cheeky extra one to indulge myself – after all it is the holiday season) but this time I’ve upped it to 15 (plus one) for no other reason than that I’ve eaten so much good stuff there was no other option. If you’re interested, last year’s list is here.
This isn’t a list of the best dishes in the world, nor really is it a list of the best things I ate all year (although most of them certainly are). They are just the dishes that stuck in my mind.
There was a dish created specifically for me and my wife by two-Michelin-starred chef Yasunori Okada using ingredients sourced from our respective home towns. There was Hida beef rump rolled in ash, made by grilling Japanese leeks over oak charcoal for two days by Asia’s No. 1 chef, Yoshihiro Narisawa. There was a family Christmas feast hastily thrown together after a series of serious medical emergencies almost crushed us (don’t worry, everyone’s fine now *phew*), and even frog leg porridge cooked with Marmite and loads of fiery chillies (seriously) from Kuala Lumpur.
Eating each one of these dishes was a special moment for me this year. Thanks so much for letting me share them with you.
So here they are, in no particular order:
- Grilled Nagoya cochin chicken with yuzu kosho – Toriyoshi, Nagoya
- Pumpkin cooked in mead with white rice ice cream – Sixpenny, Sydney
- Babi guling – Pak Malen, Bali
- Sumi 2009 – Narisawa, Tokyo
- 25-year aged kombu stock – Takashi Okuda, Fukui
- Cheeseburger and root beer float – Gordie’s, Okinawa
- Marmite spicy frog porridge – Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur
- Daiginjo sake soufflé and salt soft serve – Ryugin, Tokyo
- Hairy crab and sea urchin nori roll with orange ankake – Kappo Okada, Sapporo
- Yang rou chuan – Roadside stall, Beijing
- Noto beef jibuni – Tsuruko, Ishikawa
- Kumara scones – Mavis Suckling, Dargaville, New Zealand
- Tea ceremony (Azaleas with their roots in a stone) – Kimura Soshin, Kyoto
- XO Sea – Quay, Sydney
- Eel spine kara-age – Kawatatsu, Kyoto
- 2013 Christmas lunch – At home, Sydney