Friday, July 27, 2012

Utrecht, Netherlands: An unforgettable birthday

HT hubbie always treat me as if everyday is my birthday.  (ok, i'm exaggerating, but he does treat me special each day)

We eat out even without occasion but HT hubbie still made sure that on the eve of my birthday, i will be able to do what I love the most....eating and taking pictures of my food. :)

Hotel Karel V restaurant is the only restaurant who has michelin star in Utrecht.  HT hubbie got the chef's special 4-course menu which includes wine arrangement.

for our amuse-bouche - we got a pickled piece with crystallize tamarind, a small cake with haring eggs (caviar) and a foamy cake (taste like truffle) with a south-american fruit (forgot the name) sorbet. - it amazes me how chefs can do such out-of-this-world pieces on a plate.

haring eggs

*champagne as aperitif

the freshly baked and addictive bread (i think i had 4)

another amuse-bouche pork belly with small shrimps - love the blend of the pork and shrimps.  It's not too fishy and it didn't overpower each other.

starter - iberico meat as a màbre of cheek, liver, fillet and ham with bay leaf jelly covered with solidify fats(i removed it :() and canned red cabbage.  I savored the taste of each piece of meat but eating them together was a delight.  Thumbs up to the chef!

*paired with Spatlese wine - they were not selfish with it, so i had 2 glasses :)

2nd course - Langoustine carpaccio with crispy sweet bread and shiso vinaigrette (there was also a liver pate on the side)

I love  the shiso vinaigrette!  While i was enjoying my ever-first langoustine carpaccio, my throat started itching and my lip started to tighten up.  When i was young, i was allergic to seafood except fish.  But being a foodie, i tried to overcome that allergic reaction by eating what's forbidden.   And so far so good until I had no seafood carpaccio from now on.

Veal in bernàise with steak tartar, kohlrabi and truffle

*paired with bourgogne (burgundy) - we had a light one which complemented the dish

yoghurt with strawberry and tomato confit

When this dessert was being explained, I thought of : "how could a dessert be this healthy?" And when it's healthy, there's a chance that it might not be good.    Surprisingly, it gave me that "kilig" (thrill) factor in every bite.  2 thumps up chef!

*paired with a not so sweet dessert wine - i forgot from where

THE YUMMY eclairs and small bites created by the chef that went along with our coffee (which was pretty good too!)

And the best part of the night?

who needs a limo if you have a bike?

Thanks HT Hubbie for making my bday extra SPECIAL!
*about 100 euros per person ( not too bad for a Michelin-starred restaurant)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Moalboal, Malapascua, Philippines: The Wonders of Underwater (photo diary)

 Mantis shrimp

a beautiful anemone
blue-ringed octopus -  don't touch
crab eating sea urchin
hermit crab
manta ray
pygmy seahorse

the reason why we went to Malapascua - Thresher Shark!  (they're beautiful!)
white-tip reef shark

ornate ghost pipefish
the lovely surrounding of Malapascua
school of juvenile catfish
pink anemone fish
scorpionfish (check out the eyes!)

the serenity of Moalboal