1. Mad Hatter Tea and Mock Turtle Soup
The Fat Duck was the perfect place to kick off my 50 Best decades. Heston Blumenthal’s masterpiece became a highly-respected restaurant in the country at that time. It was a popular choice for first-time diners and is still in demand. The experience was imaginative, delicious, technically brilliant, entertaining, and fun. The 14-course feast was amazing. I could choose almost any dish, but the Mock Turtle Soup is my favourite. It perfectly captures the chef’s flight of fancy. This soup combines Alice in Wonderland storytelling and culinary wizardry with intense veal pickled cucumber, truffle, and pickled cucumber.
2. Pork buns steamed
Both personally and for global culinary shifts, there was early proof that the best restaurant experiences don’t have to be delivered inexpensive dining packages. I walked up to Dave Chang’s humble-looking corner restaurant in the East Village and began to devour the delicious, high-end Asian-American comfort foods at the counter until my stomach was almost full. The most popular (and simplest) lunchtime dish was steamed buns with roast pork belly, cured cucumber and hoisin sauce. It would be best if you did not accept imitations.
3. Foie Gras – Can’t Quit
The presentation of goose liver pate in cigarette format, on an ashtray with cabbage “ash”, may not be appealing to everyone, regardless of your ethical beliefs. It is perfectly executed in Paul Pairet’s capsule restaurant in Shanghai, which seats 10 people. Pairet’s meticulous cooking and conception should not be hidden by the multi-sensory theatre. Ultraviolet’s meal is memorable and full of laughter, thanks to its blurring taste and emotion.
4. King prawn, Fried prawn legs, prawn essence, prawn head
A single beautiful ingredient is cooked in multiple ways, and each one offers a unique and different experience. It is a characteristic of an understated but innovative restaurant. I later took my three sons, then ages 3 and 4, to this restaurant. While they did not enjoy all the dishes, it was a memorable day. Josep, El Celler de Can Roca’s sommelier, is a must-see. Not only are his exquisite pairings exceptional, but so is his passion for particular grape varieties and regions. To learn more, take a tour through his stunning cellar. This restaurant is a beacon of hospitality and defines my decade at 50 best.
5. Plankton risotto
It was a last-minute holiday trip, and it just so happened that there was an extensive sherry tasting. This is the perfect accompaniment to any meal in this part of southwest Spain. Angel Leon’s plankton-laced, the seafood-only menu was a pleasant surprise. Angel Leon first created this dish in its original cramped setting years before it onto the 50 Best List. It is a testament to the chef’s unwavering obsession with the ocean, sustainability, and marine biology.
6. Southern crab curry with kalamansi lemons
Nahm was run by the charismatic Australian-born chef David Thompson. However, I couldn’t visit this iconic Thai restaurant until the ceremony moved from Bangkok a few years later. It was truly eye-opening and sweat-inducing. Through this meal and the masterful cooking of the chef, I was able to appreciate the immense depths, subtleties, and strengths of Thai cuisine. It’s educational to the max.
7. Chorizo, a home-made dish
Bitter Arguinzoniz has been recognized worldwide as a master at grilling over wood. But it’s more than the delicious smoky flavours that make his restaurant in Axpe, Spain’s Basque Country, so special. It’s also the fact that the ingredients are mostly grown and nurtured in-house by the chef on the Asador Etxebarri farm. This artisanal product is simple, but it has a remarkable flavour. Taste and deliciousness win in the end.
8. Corn husk meringue
It may seem unfashionable at this age, but I have a sweet tooth. This is my favourite dessert. Ever. A unique and comforting Mexican dish created by Daniela Soto Innes and Isabel Coss, her trusted pastry chef, is authentic to the chef’s vibrant personality. It’s a great way to make Cosme a top choice for any occasion in NYC, thanks to its buzzing vibes, mezcal cocktails and excellent service.
9. Pastrami short-rib
This simple dish highlights Mishiguene’s fascinating exploration of Jewish food across the globe. Each dish is a story in its own right, and each dish is crafted by Tomas Kalika (chef-owner). Since 2013, when Latin America’s Best Restaurants was launched, I have been exposed to a whole new continent rich in culinary history, innovative chefs, and genuine hospitality. It was my first time visiting Argentina this year. I plan to return.
10. Caviar cream, salt-crusted beetroot
It seemed fitting to end the twenty-teens at the top with a dish from the place currently ranked No.1 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List. Mauro Cogragreco has built a reputation for his exquisite and unique blend of local ingredients with global influences over the past decade. His white beetroot, sourced from his fabled garden, is aged in salt to show the depth and versatility of great vegetables. It’s also paired with a luxurious caviar cream that is unapologetically luxurious. Add charm and great company to a sunny dining room that overlooks the azure Mediterranean for the best effect.