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Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category

One of the greatest dishes in the history of food

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Have been to Hong Kong and Macau on two prior occasions, and visited Shanghai and Taipei previously, yet never in any of those instances was there the opportunity to sit down and enjoy the glory that is Peking Duck. On this most recent occasion, it was a priority to sit down and enjoy the ever-revered dish. And, contrary to popular belief, this is a much different entrée than the typical roasted ducks everybody sees hanging in the windows of many Chinese restaurants – still delicious, but Peking Duck is an entirely different beast.

It was on the day of arrival in Hong Kong that the dinner was already planned. Flew into Hong Kong International Airport aboard Cathay Pacific around 3:00 p.m. and made a beeline for the train heading downtown.

Staying in the Tin Hau district, it was a quick ride on the Hong Kong MTR to Central Station and, even before heading above ground, there it was – Peking Garden in Alexandra House, a one-Michelin star establishment.

Even though reservations are required, arrived a bit before the dinner crowd and was asked if it was possible to finish the meal before 6:30 p.m., it was around 5:15 p.m. – said it can be done and was seated right away.

Immediately, was served tea from a very ornate tea set and snacks of pickled vegetables and bean curd; opened the menu and dug around for the Peking Duck.

Putting in the order, the duck came out very quickly – assuming the place expects nearly every table to order at least one – and it was marvelous. The first server came and asked if there were a preference to separate the skin or not, went with keeping skin and meat together, he then left to carve the duck on the other side of the room. Another server arrived with plates of vegetables, sweet sauce, and steamed rice pancakes.

The duck spread across two gorgeous plates.

Before anything, had to try one piece on its own, to savor the dish that everybody and their mother raves about, and it was magnificent. Juicy and flavorful meat and crispy skin, a travel show on Korean network TVN called the taste unforgettable, it’s also indescribable. Started putting together little rolls of the duck and all the add-ons wrapped in the rice pancakes and it was nothing short of heavenly.

Doubt there will ever be another trip to Hong Kong without at least one night sitting down to a plate of sumptuous Peking Duck.

Peking Garden has several restaurants across Hong Kong, the Central location is in the basement of Alexandra House, at exit H of the Central MTR station.

Peking Garden has several restaurants across Hong Kong, the Central location is in the basement of Alexandra House, at exit H of the Central MTR station.

Could get used to this breakfast

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Having lived in New Jersey, while working in New York City, had the first encounter with a Paris Baguette at their Edison, NJ location. An incredible array of pastries and goodies, a fusion between French and Korean flavors, that ended up in something delicious no matter what was selected. Found another location soon after in Koreatown, in midtown Manhattan, and it made the day – and living, in general – all the better.

Vacationing in Seoul, found out there were three Paris Baguette locations within walking distance of the hotel; a veritable heaven. Upon finding all the locations, it was, just about, a daily pilgrimage to find something to snack on or bring back to the hotel. After finding the first one, had to have breakfast there and it was something that could be enjoyed every day is possible.

Picked up a bulgogi sandwich and ordered an iced green tea latte – their green tea lattes were also a huge favorite in NYC.

Had a view of a new city to explore, a warm and delicious sandwich, and, still, some of the greatest takeaway cups known to man. There was nothing that could bring down the day – even confusion on the subway was relieved after thinking back to the amazing start.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

ParisBaguette1

Could eat gimbap every day

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Have been fan of gimbap, or kimbap, for years and have yet to have one that was not absolutely delicious. On the last trip to Seoul, had it on several occasions, in a restaurant as a side dish, grabbed some for takeout, and had some off a food cart in Myeongdong.

A longtime fan of sushi, gimbap is a completely different beast. Yes, they have similar looks but the taste couldn’t be more of a contrast and can literally have it nonstop for days – and thinking back, it feels like it may have happened whilst wandering Seoul.

Mostly enjoyed the ones filled with shredded vegetables and delicious bulgogi – probably one of the greatest preparation methods for beef. The ones from the street cart, literally threw those back like they were chips.

Enjoyed gimbap nearly every day in Seoul, it looks so simple, yet it is loaded with delicious flavor.

Enjoyed gimbap nearly every day in Seoul, it looks so simple, yet it is loaded with delicious flavor.