Monday, January 23, 2006

Taj Lounge

This weekend I went to Taj Lounge with friends and my roommate to celebrate her 30th birthday. Taj is this lounge restaurant / bar that creates interesting indian fusion plates. The decor of this lounge is beautiful. Lots of couches and loungy sitting areas. We were seated upstairs, in this private dining area, which was great, because we could look down to the main floor. I was curious to know how they translated Indian fusion. I ordered the stripped bass. It was cooked to perfection, moist, not dry, with just the right amount of spices. The side of vegetables weren't as good, it had too much salt. I ordered the mango chutney as a side, and was slightly disappointed. The chutney was more of a salsa and sweet. I like my chutneys hot and spicy normally. My roommate ordered the mushroom tarte. It was delicious. The curry fries were also fantastic. Just the right spice and crispiness. The bar served up some great mojitos. Mojitos are always hit or miss. You either get a really good one, or a really bad one. This one had just the right amount of sour, mint, sugar and rum. YUM. The down side is that the drinks were ridiculously expensive at $12 a pop. Ouch.

The only bad thing about Taj, wasn't the food, but rather the service and pretentious patrons. Our waiter tried so hard to finish us up, so he could kick us out of the table. He had another party waiting for our seats. We finally paid our bill and proceeded downstairs where the scene turned frat ugly. Half naked woman were dancing and bumping into us. And cheesey guys were dancing like monkeys and knocked my roommates wine all down her shirt. Jerks. I hate sweaty gross people dancing close to me. Not to mention the bimbo women next to us who kept knocking her big purse against our backs. People suck.

Friday, January 13, 2006

my dad, the original foodie

My dad has been a professional chef for over 30 years, and is the reason why I am so interested in food and cooking. At an early age, he taught me to appreciate the art of fine cooking and to appreciate the food, flavors, artful plating and presentation. He never let me forget the importance of presentation, and the way food is plated. It has to look as good as it tastes. When I was young, he introduced me to different types of food, and as a result, now as an adult, I love to experiment and taste new cuisines. I'm so grateful that he taught me to try different foods, otherwise, I can't imagine how many things I'd be missing out on. So many people I know, hate seafood, because of the texture and taste. Some don't even want to try it, even though they never even tasted it.

Cooking to him is an artform, and a love. He rarely cooks at home, because at work he spends endless hours in the kitchen, cooking for other people. But when he does cook at home, it's a culinary feast. He reserves cooking only for special occasions. Holidays, birthdays, reunions, anniversaries. And he doesn't like to share the kitchen on these occasions. He does, however, love to entertain. He loves to tell you stories, demonstrate his cooking techniques, and show his mastery in the kitchen. His expertise is cooking in the cantonese style. Which usually means that he will create 7 or more dishes for a sit down meal. Nothing makes him happier than cooking a feast for his family, that we can sit down to and enjoy.

Here he is proudly showing off his version of roast duck last Christmas. Cook it on a raised rack, he walks says, to let the fatty juices flow out.