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Vooon

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  1. It sounds like a cliche but watching the first Paris episode of No Reservations changed my life. I watched it in summer 2010, just after staying six months doing a language course in Paris, and nearly five months travelling in India prior to that. After checking out more of the show I quickly realized how much I had been missing in both places, that this was the way to travel, not through the eyes of Lonely Planet's guidebook. When I travel today the most important part is to find out, beforehand, where do the locals eat and drink and how do I get there. I always carry a list of places wherever I go, but also keep my eyes open to exciting experiences which may pop up along the way. I will often check out the places he visited if we happen to cross paths. The second life changing moment was the episode Techniques Specials. I finally learnt how to cut a frigging onion properly, and how to roast a chicken, that browing the meat properly was a good idea, that using cheap Yugoslavian red wine in cooking works fine. The pasta sauce recipe has become one of my staples, I can do it blindfolded and it tastes amazing every time. I started buying his books and trying out his recipes. His influence snowballed into me checking out other cook books, Joel Robuchon massive brick for instance, I started making aioli in a mortar and pestle, I make my own pasta and chili oil, I spend ages baking sour dough bread. I know how to boil a freaking egg. I had pieds et paquet at that same restaurant in Paris, I had lamb brains in Beirut, last autumn I prepared and ate sheep testicles at our yearly smoked sheep head feast (Smalahove, not too different from that awesome Iceland episode). None of this would have happened without Tony. It still hurts that he's gone and that he left so suddenly. It was like losing a mentor, or an older brother you could turn to for advice. Even though I never met him. However... his influence will still be there. When I try to find the best recipe for Dan dan noodles I think of @bourdain and type "the best f***ing authentic dan dan mien recipe" into google. Sometimes I hit a home run with that technique.
  2. For future reference to anyone going to Oslo this autumn or winter here's a few restaurants which might be worth checking out. I'm not able to check out the fine dining of Oslo because of the outrageous price level. St. Lars, close to Bislet stadium, which is a place everyone seems to be raving about these days (and for a while). I was here myself a few months after they opened and wasn't very impressed, my entrecote resembled an overcooked shoe sole, and the service was far from satisfying. I have however heard a lot of good things from friends recently, and I know the menu is very interesting (seasonal French dishes I think), so it's probably worth a try. Håndverkerstuene, one block north of the main street Karl Johan and the parliament building, I've never been disappointed here. The concept is (microbrewed) beer with and in food, and they serve mostly seasonal dishes ranging from fish, seafood and meat. The home made sausages are affordable and good for instance. For a quick snack there's a very small hole in the wall at Aleksander Kiellands Plass which serves proper Francfurters. The owner makes his own meat stock every day where he cooks the sausages which are special made from a local butcher. Very popular place.
  3. This season has been amazing so far, I've enjoyed all the episodes immensly, the Mozambique episode might be one of the best they've made since the start. Looking forward to Finland next week.
  4. Getting better and better I'd say. The last couple of episodes have been interesting, Anthony definitely not high on pot in Amsterdam, and Anthony definitely very drunk in San Francisco. Amusing in it self, but the shows have been stuffed with good stuff as well, I especially enjoyed the Hong Kong episode.
  5. It was over all very good, the dinner was the best we had during our week long stay in Paris. Although we could choose from all their menus we both went for the Xmas menu, on my part because I wanted to try oysters for the first time. If not I would have gone for their huge steak, a guy at the neighbor table went for it, and I had the impression it was excellent. For starters we got an aperitif which we believe was champagne mixed with cherry liqueur, the (surprise) starter was a magnificent shot of celery soup, I had oysters for second starter, and the pot au feu as main dish, for dessert we could choose chocolate or mascparone yule log (can't remember the french spelling). My wife had salmon with eggs, mushrooms and pink potato puree for starter, and stuffed turkey for main, both excellent. At last home made cookies with the bill, we were too full to try more than a little taste of them. Oysters was a bit of a gamble on my part, since I'd never tried before (but was determined to during our trip), and found the experience both interesting and challenging, ended up enjoying the plain ones best after trying with lemon juice or some kinda garlic/chili oil mix. I think the final bill landed on 130-140 euros incl a glass of wine each, tips included. The service was excellent. I'm glad we checked out the place, and didn't go for eg. Les Cocottes, their Xmas menu was very disappointing (although we had great meals here before and after the Xmas weekend).
  6. Yeah, I am aware of the possible problems with tripadvisor, I've checked out four-five other sources and my impression is that this is a good place, even if it doesn't figure on the lists of Paris by Mouth and such. I am pretty sure it's going to be a nice meal. I'll write a report after being there, if it was good or not. Oh, yes, I am aware that it's not related to other ateliers. Hehe. Thanks.
  7. Ditto. I also enjoyed the NYC episode more than Singapore, I think they might have toned down all the additional information a little. The first one felt like reading a academic text filled with more footnotes than actual text.
  8. Yes, due to a very bad summer with too much rain (the cows don't produce as much milk under those circumstances apparently), and a very high demand. It has been sold 1000 tonnes more butter so far this year compared to last year, partly it's because of a Low Carb High Fat hysteria which has been going on this year, as well as an increased interest in cooking from scratch.
  9. Thanks, I might just have a go at that one later on... there's a butter shortage in Norway these days, so maybe I'll wait with butter chicken.
  10. Thanks for that list, it will be studied for the other days we spend in Paris, and thanks for the advise in Le Procope. I think I might have had a drink there once, and remember the service was quite hostile. We have settled for L'Atelier du Parc which looks promising, it has extremely good ratings on tripadvisor, which I guess is a good sign unless they have spent a lot of energy on faking 200+ ratings. I've also noticed that they offer all their menus on Christmas Eve, not just a set special menu, which I understand is a very rare thing. I also got a confirmation email from Les Cocottes earlier today, but we'd rather check it out some other day since we've been there before.
  11. I had the brilliant Christmas special N'Ice Chouffe the other day, from Brasserie d’Achouffe, Belgium.
  12. Vooon

    Beers to Age: A List

    I have currently one beer on storage, a Dark Horizon Third Edition by the Norwegian brewery Nøgne Ø. (If you speak french it is pronounced Neugné Eu). Their first edition was a gold winner at the World Beer Cup in San Diego in 2008, I remember it went for outragous amounts of money on Ebay due to its popularity. I think they say it can be stored for ten years at least. They also made a Red Horizon and a Sweet Horizon both which I believe can be stored for a long time. Nøgne Ø is supposed to be big in the US, but I don't know where it's available - but I know that the brewery exports a lot more of their beer than they sell in Norway. Some of their beers never even end up in Norwegian stores due to the demand from abroad. I can understand it as it is an excellent brewery.
  13. Nice to see some activity here again. In addition to the stories from Wikipedia I also read (source unknown) that Moti Mahal orginally was a restaurant in Peshawar before the Partition (1947), which moved to Delhi and Dharyaganj where it's found today. I think Butter Chicken was first made before they moved. From wikipedia: I'm not at all skilled when it comes to recognizing all ingredients in food, but the freshnesss of the tomato makes me think the spice mix used at Moti Mahal is quite simple. Is this a logical conclusion? : I have found this video which might be from the kitchen of Moti Mahal, at least I heard the words Dharyaganj, and Moti Mahal in between the Hindi. If anyone speaks Hindi and could translate what he says that would be great. There's also a recipe under which looks quite promising.I could also add that I've had Butter Chicken at another restaurant in Delhi, called Havemore, in Pandara Road Market which tasted very much the same.
  14. I caught the first episode from Monday where he's in Singapore. It is quite similar to No Reservation, but I felt it lacked the same quality. To sum up the concept Mr. Bourdain is still rather foul mouthed and tries to do as much as possible in some 24 to 48 hours. The result was definitely some nice dining, but the concept is also kinda an Achilles heel of the show as well. In my opinion they stuffed way too much information into the 45 minutes it lasts. As well as following Anthony they present dozens of places he recommends or just mentions because of fame or something. This leads to a lot of use of split screen, three-four tiles, bombing you with information and makes you just as exhausted as he obviously is towards the end of the show. If they cut out at least 2/3s of the additional material added and focused on what he actually is doing it would be much better, but I guess this would be just like No Reservations was filmed in 24 hours instead of 3-4 days. I am eager to see what the rest of the series has to offer though, but if it's along the same lines I'd say he should go back to the old concept.
  15. This thread seriously needs to be revived. After having the butter chicken at Moti Mahal in April (2011) I have been on and off obsessed with finding out exactly what they put in their sauce. Previously I have googled around for recipes, but they vary too much, and when I eventually tried one it was very far from what I remembered. I even checked out a Punjabi restaurant in my vicinity which had it on the menu, but it was far far away from the original, it was actually blood red, I don't think they had much, if any, butter or cream in it. To see how they actually make the dish at Moti Mahal check out The Delhi Wallah's Blog (a mostly excellent blog on Delhi btw). His description of the dish is very much how I would describe it myself: It has a very distinct tangy tomato flavor which makes it a little sweet, and quite spicy due to whole green chillies added to the sauce, the butter and cream makes it very heavy, and the finish of cilantro/coriander makes it fresh, it all balanced up perfectly. What I would like to know is what additional spices they may use in the sauce. My guess is, like someone mentioned earlier in this thread that it might be these: ginger, garlic, cardamon, cloves, garam masala, and dried fenugreek leaves. But it might even be more simple than this. So, after eight years, are you guys still here and has anyone come closer to reveiling the secrets of this recipe? Someone said I should check out Moti Mahal: On the Butter Chicken Trail, I haven't ordered it yet, but probably will at a later time.
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