Best 10 Bites of 2018

Happy 2019! I can't believe the new year is here already and we're already 1 week into 2019. I thought I'd start off my first blog post of the year by recapping the 10 Best Bites of 2018. This list was incredibly hard to come up with because 10 isn't enough, but I wanted to get this up here and share with you all. This is not limited to one location, so there are a few here from my travels. You'll also notice that is no ice cream here as that would likely require its own list! Note that these will be chronological order, so without further ado, let's get to it!

Uni dishes at Miyabi Uni

First up on my list is a set of items from Miyabi Uni. Honestly, there wasn't one particular dish I'm picking for this one because almost everything on the menu I ordered was a favorite! Uni is part of the restaurant name, so the fact that this restaurant specializes in sea urchin was already a favorite! I had the Uni Onsen Tamago, Uni and Kobe Beef roll, and the Uni and Foie Gras risotto and they were all amazing! You might be seeing a pattern here at what my favorites were... =P

Kaiseki at Wa'z

Not just one particular dish, but the whole experience at Wa'z was amazing, especially for Kaiseki style food in Seattle. I loved the seasonality of Kaiseki style food because they use what is fresh. It is definitely one where you take your time and enjoy the complete dining experience, especially if you get a seat to observe the kitchen! Everything from the precise plating, to the beautiful decor in each dish is an experience in itself. Highly recommend going here if you are in Seattle.

Amaebi from Mashiko

I absolutely love amaebi aka sweet shrimp, especially when they serve it with the deep friend head! I've had it at many places, but the best is definitely at Mashiko in West Seattle. Their other omakase (try the Honkaku) is great too, but is a bit pricey for what you get, so if you just want to stop there for amazing sushi, and amaebi at that, then you must go here.

Stone Clams at Neptune Oyster

This last June was the very first time I ever went to Boston. I know Boston has tons of amazing Seafood that we don't get or often find here in the PNW so I had to take advantage and try as much as possible. A must go (recommended by almost everyone when you tell them you're going to Boston) is Neptune Oyster. I know I already love oysters and we have an amazing selection here, but what I never had before were raw Cherrystone Clams! It was something new that I had never seen before so I had to order a few, and that was one of the best things I've had in Boston and this entire year. They were incredibly fresh with succulent meat and a nice sweet briney flavor! Literally would go back to Boston just to eat those. 

Tasting Experience at Quince

Another amazing experience that consisted of many dishes was flying to San Francisco to eat at Quince for their tasting menu. It was a decadent evening with amazing service and food, but the one dish that really stuck with me even to this day was their caviar tasting - this inevitably started my obsession with excellent quality caviar. I've had different kinds of caviar before and they were all fine, nothing mindblowing, but it wasn't until I experienced high quality caviar in this tasting that I got hooked. Yes, it is expensive, but sometimes, you just have to treat yourself!

Durian in Malaysia

This post wouldn't be complete without giving the fruits in Malaysia a mention. I had amazing pineapple, passionfruit, mangosteen, and so much more, but the star of the trip was definitely, Durian! The King of Fruit that can be stinky to some, but delicious to others, is found in abundance in Kota Kinabalu (where my family lives). We had it multiple times during my stay and each time, there was always too much to eat! You get so tired of eating it when you're there because there is just so much of it, but when I left, I instantly craved it! There are tons of varieties of Durian with different scents, flavors, and textures, and I can't wait to eat more when I go back this year!

Foie Gras at Teppansou in Kyoto

One of the first meals in Kyoto was probably the best meal of the entire trip, or better yet, the entire year. Teppansou is a teppanyaki (grill/cook in front of you) dining experience that had amazing dishes included wagyu beef, abalone, shrimp, and the dish above, foie gras. We were served a generous portion and it was cooked absolutely perfectly with the best tasting reduction paired with it. Foie gras is a favorite dish of mine and this was the best I've had this whole year.

Fluffy pancakes at Cafe & Dining Fleur in Kyoto

On my bucket list of foods while in Japan last year as definitely trying the infamous fluffy pancakes. This souffle style pancake has been popular for awhile and takes at least 20 minutes to cook/prepare which causes long wait times at different restaurants. Fleur was located by Kyoto Station and we waited around 30 minutes for a seat. We ordered a set of the pancakes in addition to an egg omlette dish (also amazing btw), so we could eat something while we waited for the pancakes to be ordered. Let me tell you how excited and happy I was to eat these fluffy piles of goodness! They were light and soft to the touch, airy and cooked perfectly. What makes these so good is just the texture and how it is a unique breakfast experience becaues of how fluffy these pancakes were. This is a must when yo go to Japan.

Fresh Warabi Mochi in Arashiyama

Another and final dish from Kyoto that was the best of the year is this Fresh Warabi Mochi set from Hourando Togetsukyo Honten located in Arashiyama, also right next to the Ryokan we stayed at. Warabi mochi, I believe, is a Kyoto specialty, or maybe more so in Arashiyama as it seemd like there were many shops that carried this particular mochi. What makes this one so differnt than what most people are used to is the soft, jelly like texture that stays like that only for a short time (very perishable). This particular set came with three different flavors, kinako (soybean pownder), matcha (green tea powder), and kuro goma (black sesame) along with a cup of warm matcha. The warabi mochi is sweet in itself, but come swith a brown sugar syrup on the side to enhance and add even more sweetness. They had other items there too that we tried as well, but this dish in particular was so amazing, we actually came here twice in one day!

Uni from Japan

Here's another photo of uni/sea urchin that made the list and I had to give this a shout out in general. While in Japan, I had uni multiple times, trying to find the best and honestly had a few great experiences, especially while I was in Tokyo. You can always tend to find Hokkaido Uni which are these smaller ones you see above, and they are always so delicious: sweet, creamy, with a light sea flavor. Uni is probably top 3 on my all-time favorite food items, and Japan has the best uni, hands down!

That's it for my Best Bites of 2018! I hope you had an amazing food-filled year. I can't wait to try all the foods this upcoming year!


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