The Perfect Roast Chicken Search Continues

Posted in Food Bites with tags , , , on November 28, 2009 by amulgandhi

Continuing with my theme of the perfect roasted chicken I recently came across Heston Blumenthal’s research on how to create the perfect roasted chicken on his BBC series In Search of Perfection. Blumenthal uses his expertise with molecular gastronomy to roast a chicken that sustains its moisture, while providing a crispy skin.  He conducts a lab to find the best chicken, which leads him to Lyon, France and goes through the various steps that need to be taken in order to create the perfect roasted chicken.

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A Ranking of Poulet Rotis in Paris Part Deux

Posted in Food Bites with tags , , , , on November 23, 2009 by amulgandhi

One of my recent posts questioned the quality of poulet roti at the famous Chez L’ami Louis, which once had high praise from a handful of food critics.  Alexander Lobrano has recently created an updated list of the best roasted chicken in Paris and he has kept Chez L’ami Louis off the list.  He has listed L’AOC as the best poulet roti in Paris, which was ranked 17th overall on Le Figaro’s list. Lobrano had the following to say about the poulet roti at L’AOC:

This inviting auberge spins on the axis of a winning formula—serve only products with an official Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. The poulet aux pattes noire de M. Barreau comes with crunchy sautéed potatoes, and it’s a beauty. Don’t miss the ewe’s milk cheese made by Benedictine monks at the Abbaye de Belloc in the Basque Country. 14 Rue des Fossés St Bernard, 5th

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Gourmet Burgers Newest Trend in Toronto

Posted in Food Bites with tags , , , on November 19, 2009 by amulgandhi

Gourmet Burger shops have been popping up all around Toronto for the last few months with promises of providing customers with gourmet toppings such as rosemary mayo, avocado and caramelized onions with an expanded meat options that include organic beef, lamb and turkey for an affordable price.  Gourmet burgers in Toronto is not a new thing as Mark McEwan has been serving gourmet burgers at the Bymark restaurant for years, but for the hefty price of $37.

Today, the Toronto Star’s Amy Pataki wrote an article Ranking Toronto’s gourmet burger joints with Oh Boy Burger taking the reign as Toronto’s best gourmet burger.  She goes on to say about Oh Boy Burger:

Open Since: Nov. 12, 2009
Beef: Premade Leavoy Rowe patties developed by chef Paul Boehmer from AAA and Prime ground chuck
Price: $7.50 for 8-oz Oh Boy Burger, $3.25 for onion rings
Atmosphere: Haute barn with open kitchen, exposed lightbulbs, loud Michael Jackson and friendly counter service
Licensed: Pending
Minutes to order: 13
Served on: Square wooden plate
Burger: Squirtingly juicy, as tender as the finest filet mignon, well-timed on grill and nestled with picture-perfect garnishes into soft, eggy Ace Bakery sesame bun — only a missing dash of salt keeps this burger from perfection
Onion rings: Frozen McCain Beefeater thick-cut rings emerge from deep fryer blessedly greaseless and fantastically crisp, with melting sweet Spanish onions inside
Signature burger: Oh Boy Classic, $7.50, is a basic burger with roasted garlic mayo
Overall score (out of 4): 3.5

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A ranking of Poulet Rotis in Paris

Posted in Food Bites with tags , , , on November 15, 2009 by amulgandhi

After looking at the Observer’s 50 Best things to Eat, I decided to focus on one aspect which is the Poulet Rôtis (Roasted Chicken), which is a staple in many Paris restaurants.  Le Figaro, a French publication wrote a piece on the top spots where Poulet Rôtis is served.  This article is dated back to 2007, but it is interesting to see if these establishments have lived up to the fame they received from this article.

Outside of the famous Chez L'ami Louis

The top place for Poulets Rôtis according to this article and also the Observer’s 50 Best things to Eat is Chez L’Ami Louis, which will run you approximately 80€, but will definitely leave you stuffed as they give you the whole chicken in two servings.

Although the chicken was once the glory of this bistro, it seems that their International publicity has gotten the best of them with recent reviews claiming subpar service and underwhelming food. Julot, a french native and a foodie that often posts on Chowhound has broken down what makes a good “roasted chicken” and why L’Ami Louis has it right, but the question is have they lost their magic?  More on this in the next post.

The Boneless Wings Phenomena

Posted in Food Bites with tags , , , on November 1, 2009 by amulgandhi

William Neuman of the New York Times recently wrote an article regarding the phenomena of “boneless wings” that have been popping up in many fast food establishments such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Wendy’s. Although these establishments may be pushing this new “trend” to offer consumers with a new take on the classic chicken wing the reality is the cost of chicken wings has been skyrocketing. Below is what Neuman had to say:

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Observer’s 50 Best Things to Eat in the World

Posted in Food Bites with tags , , on September 24, 2009 by amulgandhi

Recently Killian Fox of The Observer, has compiled a list of the 50 best things to eat in the world and where to eat them.  Not surprising, no Canadian restaurant has made the list with the majority of the places listed being located in Europe or the US.  Here are some of the “best things to eat in the world” according to Killian Fox:

1. Best place to eat: Oysters.
Strangfor Lough, Northern Ireland

Oysters over ice Richard Corrigan reckons Strangford Lough oysters are the world’s best.

“If I were to die tomorrow, I’d walk to Strangford, get a couple of bottles of really cold Chablis, and eat as many Strangford Lough oysters as I could. Then I’d die very happily indeed. There are very few places you can get Strangford Lough oysters now. Last time, we bought some from a company called Cuan and went to a beautiful local pub and opened them ourselves. The speed of the tidal movement, and the huge nutrient richness of the water, is what makes them so good. The only accompaniment you need is lemon juice and black pepper: you’d never ever use vinegar and shallots or Tabasco.”

Cuan Oysters, Sketrick Island, Killinchy, Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland, 02897 541461, Continue reading

Coquine Restaurant

Posted in French, Italian, Reviews with tags , on August 31, 2009 by amulgandhi
A Euro-inspired Bistro in the heart of Yonge and Eglinton

A Euro-inspired Bistro in the heart of Yonge and Eglinton

2075 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON

Coquine has created quite a buzz within North Toronto with their nouveau European-inspired bistro that emphasizes French cuisine.  I arrived at the restaurant at about 6:30 and there were only a handful of guests, meanwhile the staff were finishing last minute preparations for that nights dinner service.  As the night went on the restaurant filled up quickly and I could see why the restaurant has become a neighbourhood favourite as the bustling chatter of friends and family–some even speaking French really transforms this place from another Toronto restaurant into a pseudo-Parisian experience.

Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chop with Dijon Mustard

Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chop with Dijon Mustard

We were first presented with some pre-cut slices of bread with a garlic spread which tasted very similar to hummus.  I only had one slice, as I was eager to try out the real food.  For the Hors D’Oeuvres I ordered the Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chop which is prepared with rosemary and roasted garlic ($6/chop), the chop comes with dijon mustard.  The chop was prepared to perfection as the meat had a succulent center.

For the entree, I selected the Wild Mushroom-filled Ravioli ($16), which is described as sauteed mushrooms and cherry tomatoes tossed in herbed truffle butter sauce topped with shaved parmesan cheese.  The pasta was cooked properly and the butter sauce complimented the pasta quite well but as the dish progressed, I felt the butter sauce overpowered the rest of the dish. Continue reading