My Top 10 Dishes of 2015

Updated — all photos are now working correctly and opens to large format if clicked!

I’ve decided to also do a special “best dishes of 2015” list — but with a caveat. I’ve decided to purposely *NOT* include anything from the “Best Meals of 2015” list. It’s hard to leave out some of the amazing stuff, such as the wagyu cheeks at Sanda or the crudo at Palazzo Petrucci, or Ichi‘s beef or Den‘s amazing salad, but this is to highlight the best single items that would otherwise not qualify in that other list. So bear with me…

Here are the “Top 10” dishes of the year, in alphabetical order by restaurant name — and no bearings to which is better…


Sweetbreads: Álbora, Madrid, España (11 April 2015) — There were some fantastic dishes at this place in Madrid, such as the cod tripe and monkfish liver. In fact, the food at this restaurant is one of the best I’ve had this year or any other year. But the complete, utter ineptitude of the service staff utterly ruined what could have been a glorious night of dining. NO ONE I KNOW has had decent service here, ever. But the food, wow. And the star was the sweetbreads. Even as a offal fanatic, sweetbreads is usually not one of my faves. But this was one of the best sweetbreads I’ve ever had, just melted in my mouth… Shame about the service tho…


Kimu-buta-o Tonkatsu: Butagumi, Tokyo, Japan (18 January 2015) — Oh…this is the “Golden Pig King” at the shrine for pork lovers. Butagumi is somewhere people make pilgrimages to, and I know so many people who have become devotees of this amazing and humble eatery. The choice of pork changes by day, but they always have something in the “super rich” category for people like me. This pork was just dreamy, just melts in your mouth like some divine candy. It’s one of those places I will return to every time I am in Japan, a place I drool just thinking about… No better pork in the world. Don’t be surprised to see the world’s top chefs eating in a corner…


Katsuo: Harutaka, Tokyo, Japan (20 November 2015) — I knew something special was up when Chef Harutaka brought out this smoked fish. Wow. The aroma was just amazing, the smoke was fantastic for this bonito. The flavour was just amazing. Was one of the perfect morsels of food I’ve ever had… Now this is what sushi in Tokyo can do to you…


“Birthday Surprise”: Park, Montréal, Québec (17 September 2015) — I was at Park ready to mark my birthday at the end of the night, but I didn’t expect this as a surprise at the *END* of my meal. Yeah, it’s like…wow… I was totally blown away by this… What can I even say or write about this? Chef Antonio Park wasn’t there that day, so his team did him very proud — and just floored me. Again, I’m speechless…

the works

“The Works”: The Pig and the Lady, Honolulu, Hawai’i (1 September 2015) — This may be *THE* dish of the year, which they call “The Works” to no one’s surprise. It was a new item when I visited this much-loved place in Honolulu’s Chinatown, a gorgeous amalgamation of escargots and bone marrow. But goodness, look at that bone… The marrow worked super well with the escargots, but there was just so much to eat after the beautiful snails were done. The marrow was still there, as were some leftover tendon. I almost cried eating this dish, like it was some amazing dream… This, my friends, is what makes me smile. My goodness, look how big that bone is… :)))


St Louis Ribs: Roper’s Ribs, St Louis, Missouri (3 March 2015) — Always listed as one of the best rib joints in the country, just up the road from the troubled town of Ferguson, this was a trek every rib lover has to make. I got the last order of the day (despite it being lunch-time) to the disappointment of those behind me. I’m usually a dry-rub person, but this sauce worked perfectly with some amazing quality ribs. It’s the best ribs I’ve ever had, to be honest, and it’s one of few places I happily enjoy the sauce. Oh, what joy…


Matsusaka Beef: Satou, Tokyo, Japan (16 January 2015) — The most amazing steak I’ve ever had. This special Matsusaka beef just melts in your mouth. Look at the marbling! This was so good I actually ended up ordering a *SECOND* steak that night in January. It was a total tour-de-force of beef. Don’t be tricked by “wagyu” elsewhere. This is the real thing. Of course when I went back in December it blew up in my face and sucked super badly, so…


Nodoguro Tempura: Tenko Honten, Hiroshima, Japan (20 January 2015) — I cannot have tempura outside of Japan again. I’ve had some fabulous ones, but the night at this Hiroshima 2-Michelin eatery was just fantastic. The fugu shirako was amazing as were all the seasonal rare vegetables, but it was the nodoguro (black-throat perch) that won me over. It’s probably the *OILIEST* fish you’ll ever eat and it’s borderline orgasmic. And the way this was done, lightly in tempura style, was beyond amazing…

crab - 02

Ganjang Gejang: Ttungi-ne Pro Ganjang Gejang, Seoul, South Korea (27 November 2015) — One of the things I will not eat outside of South Korea, this was just amazing… These are soy-marinated raw crabs. Super rich, especially the roe. You mix some rice in it and wow…it is just borderline orgasmic. Eating this is messy, but sucking out the meat in each of the limbs is part of the delicious fun. I tell myself I can only eat this once every few years, and I got my fix finally… A total must.

insalata di trippa

Insalata di Trippa: Le Zendraglie, Napoli, Italia (14 April 2015) — As an offal fan I was drawn to Italy for so many reasons, and one of the places for us to find the best was this small place in the older part of Naples. With the various tripes hanging in the window, they make this “salad” very quickly…and it is just a dreamy dish for those who love trip. With a nice sprinkling of snout too, adding even more texture, this is really something amazing for you offal lovers. My goodness, it was really awesome…


But to be honest, 2015, with all my travels, has so many “honourable mentions” I had to share more with you… This is the so-called “honourable mentions” list — 13 of them, to be precise. The 13th is for good luck… Enjoy!


Arroz de LampreiaAdega Til Matilde, Lisboa, Portugal (6 April 2015)

basashi-mane fat

Horse Mane FatAoyagi, Kumamoto, Japan (22 November 2015)


Duck BreastCity Grocery, Oxford, Mississippi (27 June 2015)


Rabbit RisottoDovetail, Macon, Georgia (6 November 2015)


Pork ChopForequarter, Madison, Wisconsin (17 July 2015)


Eel TailKabuto, Tokyo, Japan (23 January 2015)


Stuffed MirlitonKitchen on George, Mobile, Alabama (4 November 2015)


Chilean Sea BassMatthew’s, Jacksonville, Florida (23 March 2015)


“Beef Stew and Rice”MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawai’i (21 August 2015)


OctopusNicole, İstanbul, Türkiye (23 December 2015)

frog legs

Frog LegsRoux, Seattle, Washington (4 June 2015)

sims bbq tips 26 june

Rib TipsSims Bar-B-Que, Little Rock, Arkansas (26 June 2015)


Meatery BoardToups’ Meatery, New Orleans, Louisiana (5 November 2015)

Well, here they are. Hope you enjoyed this trip down 2015 memory lane with my stomach. May 2016 be as good as this!!!!! Happy Eating!!!!!

2 thoughts on “My Top 10 Dishes of 2015

  1. Pingback: My 10 Best Meals of 2015 | melhuang1972

  2. Pingback: Review #3: Kiriko | melhuang1972

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