2011 had been a whirlwind year for me with lots of travels and personal changes in my life. I can’t look back on the last 12 months and not say that it hasn’t been full-on and jam packed!
There had been loads of highs and lows whether it was in terms of work or health and everything in-between.
After some much needed reflection and re-prioritisation in the year, the future looks promising and I look forward in anticipation of what 2012 brings.
Before that, I though it would be great to compile some of the key highlights that 2011 brought.
It all started with meeting the wonderful Jen@HungryTigerThirstyDragon in January this year (although it feels much longer than that). With only a rough picture of how she looks like, I entered Harwood Arms slightly nervous and hoping that I’d recognise her. We never looked back from then and have since solidified our friendship (I hope!) with many culinary experiences and good times.
January was also when I had the most amazing dessert at Tom Aikens, that chocolate Dacquoise now permanently entrenched in my ‘Culinary Hall of Stars’ list.
A few firsts for me - I started using the kitchen more and made Bak Kwa and headed to France and learnt to ski.
With news of snowstorms and delayed flights, I manage to make it to the US where I spent a few days in New York, Boston and Washington.
I couldn’t wait to be reacquainted with the super bouncy and QQ tofu noodles from Yummy Sushi. The extremely more-ish crack pie from Momofuku and Gua Bao from Baohaus. Not forgetting the frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity either.
Boston was amazing and you can’t leave without having lobsters in any of its forms: fresh, chowder, soup!
I came back from the US and managed to get a booking at the much coveted and highly anticipated new opening by Heston, Dinner. Another entry into the ‘Culinary Hall of Stars’ with the meatfruit & Early Grey Ganache but everything else did not have that X factor.
Chinese New Year was also celebrated a little differently this year with a unique twist by having Poon Choi or Big Bowl Feast.
March arrived with everyone looking forward to flowers blooming and sunnier days. I went back to chilly weather by going skiing for the second time.
I got around to setting a Facebook Page and moving to a new home for the blog.
I sampled one-Michelin star Kai of Mayfair and was wonderfully surprised with their interpretation of Chinese cuisine tailored for the Michelin standard.
It was another gastronomic moment with the Hawksmoor Burger when the hype died down a little and I was finally able to make it there to eat at a decent time. The Hawksmoor Burger still is my benchmark.
Yashin was another place that opened to much fanfare but I mourned the expensive prices.
Kimchee opened and though the food was not the most authentic and wonderful, it was a special moment as I started hanging out with a group of wonderful ladies and we became 'The Eating Girls’ though we’ve ventured out to more than that with many crazy moments and perhaps some photos which belongs to ‘whatever happens in xxx stays in xxx’.
I met a few more bloggers over steamy hotpot at Little Lamb and read about TheGrubworm’s many many months of travels on his blog since he came back with a mix of relish and envy organised by Wen@Goingwithmygut & @EdibleExperiences.
How could we forget the Royal Wedding of Kate and Will? I trotted off to Sicily and Napoli and Neapolitan pizza totally changed my perception of pizza. Sicily was crazy fantastic and I finally found my best tiramisu there.
It was another bloggers gathering where I finally met my go-to-guy Mr. Noodles, bubbly Gourmet Chick, sweet AmericaninLondon and awesome as always TamarindandThyme over spring rolls and pho!
I tried my hands at Guacamole and burritos for the first time at Tortilla thank to the lovely Jackie@IamaFeeder.
The Russell Norman empire continues with Da Polpo in Covent Garden this time.
June was when I discovered another much needed Asian desserts with MADD Café though they only focus mainly on mangoes.
2011 was proving to be an explosion of new restaurants with Spuntino and THAT peanut butter & jelly dessert.