Now, what good would an end-of-year article be without some sort of look back at the year gone by? Yes folks, it's time for a clichéd top-ten list! Without further ado, I bring you my ten best restaurant dishes of 2010. Drum roll please.
In reverse order, these are:
10. Caviar with Crab and Shellfish Jelly – Joël Robuchon, Monte-Carlo
9. Yose Tofu – Yashin, London
8. Tartaleta de Chocolate con Cajeta – Topolobampo, Chicago
7. Mascarpone Cream, Sponge Pudding, Almond Foam, White Truffle from Alba – Hélène Darroze, London
6. O-toro nigiri – Sushi Dai, Tokyo
Tsukiji Fish Market. Pristine tuna (bought a few hours before) had a beautiful spider's web of rich marbling. Eating it was such a sensual experience; the cool flesh of the tuna juxtaposed by the perfectly al dente and lukewarm rice. I hardly needed to chew, the buttery tuna just melted on my tongue. Epic.
5. White Truffle Risotto – Launceston Place, London
4. Guinea Fowl – Oscarsgate, Oslo
3. Flame Grilled Mackerel with Cucumber, Celtic Mustard and Shiso – The Ledbury, London
2. Langoustine with Oyster, Parsley and Seawater Emulsion, and Rye Crumbs – Noma, Copenhagen
And the winner of the Nordic Nibbler best restaurant dish of 2010 award is ... *opens envelope* ....
1. Black Truffle Explosion, Romaine, Parmesan – Alinea, Chicago
This exercise was actually a lot harder than I imagined. The highlight of the year for me was undoubtedly my meal at Alinea, and at least half of the list could easily have been dishes from the newly crowned three-Michelin star Chicago restaurant. But there were lots of other incredible highlights, and looking back I feel very lucky to have been able to sample such wonderful food. I'll be honest, part of me can't wait to see the back of 2010, it's been that sort of year, but looking back at some of the happy memories, maybe it hasn't been so bad after all?
So, what have been the standout dishes of the year for you? What is your top-ten food list of 2010?
Finally, here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!