Okay, as promised here’s the top 10 dishes of 2016. This list does not consider what was listed previously as part of the 10 best meals of 2016. I’m not gonna rank it, so this is just alphabetical by restaurant name. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this list!
Veal Tongue: Bibliotēka №1, Rīga, Latvia (16 June 2016) — The best dish of an excellent tasting menu, came close to getting into the 10 best meal list. I love tongue, and when done right it’s amazing…and this was perfect, cooked slowly in butter. Oh my, the flavour… Best restaurant in Latvia, hands down!
Grilled Tongue: Black Market, Indianapolis, Indiana (17 November 2016) — Hard to pin one dish down as everything I’ve eaten at this place in my 2 visits this year have been amazing. The tongue on the 2nd trip was just a tad better. I don’t want to have one place listed multiple times on this list, so this will have to do! Best restaurant in the Midwest! Awesome food, awesome drinks, awesome staff!
Smoked Sturgeon: Cobble Hill, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (23 July 2016) — Another of my favourite fish done in a wonderful way. Light smoke for this meaty and tasty fish, the best dish of an evening of excellent dishes in Iowa. Worth a trip, probably the 2nd best restaurant in the Midwest!
Steamed Mekong Fish: Doi Ka Noi, Vientiane, Laos (19 December 2016) — A simple yet incredibly flavourful dish, this wonderful informal restaurant on the outskirts of this quiet capital city gave me the best dish of that entire trip. Cooked perfectly, the fish and sauce complements the organic purple sticky rice just perfectly. Bliss. Sometimes simplicity is the best, but don’t let this dish fool you — it’s full of flavour.
Smoked Black Cod: La Fia, Wilmington, Delaware (5 November 2016) — Lovely smoke flavour for this lovely fish. Too often this fish is cooked in some pan-Asian style, so it’s refreshing to get a new take on it. Awesome fish, awesome prep, excellent, underrated kitchen, worth stopping in Wilmington just for it! Skip Philly, this is far better!
Beef Cheek: Lucky Belly, Honolulu, Hawai’i (29 August 2016) — One of the best cheek dishes I’ve ever had in my life… Lovely texture and flavour, with some excellent local root vegetables too. Fabulous! And throw in some excellent cocktails and you have a sure winner here! A dream destination for kama’aina for sure!
Chinese Roasted Meats: Lung King Heen***, Hong Kong (12 December 2016) — What happens when you have a 3-Michelin restaurant do traditional Chinese roasts? This. Wow…amazing stuff. The crispy roast pork was divine, with the skin just perfect. The roasted goose was juicy and delicious. And the barbeque pork was lovely. Best part of a wonderful meal! Best in Hong Kong!
Middlewhite Chop: Noble Rot, London, England (28 September 2016) — This much-hyped restaurant lived up to its billings, a rarity in London these days. Fabulous meal, but this Middlewhite pork chop is just stunning. Rich and uncompromising, this is about as drool-inducing as any other dish this year!
Mackerel: Oaxen Slip, Stockholm, Sweden (20 June 2016) — One of my favourite fish done in a simple yet wonderful way. A serve-yourself thing with beets and asparagus, adding butter to an already oily fish made this a rich treat for a lovely summer lunch! Again, sometimes simplicity is the best — let the ingredients speak for themselves. Some chefs just can’t resist, but here it is a mantra!
Poulet Rouge: Rx, Wilmington, North Carolina (17 February 2017) — So easy to mess up chicken, heritage stuff or not. But this was a perfect execution of a wonderful bird. Juicy, fabulous texture, with no dryness whatsoever. A wonderful dish for a wonderful night of dining in a town few visit for the food — hopefully this excellent eatery changes that! A surprise find for sure!
And, like last year, here’s the lucky 13 extra dishes that are “honourable mentions” for 2016! Too many good dishes all over the world!
Well, here you go, this is 2016. During the year I managed to travel to 23 US states and 19 countries on 4 different continents, eating all all of them. I hope you enjoyed this little trip through the past year with me, and hope you enjoy my travels so far in 2017 and those forthcoming!
Thank you all!