The herb-stuffed Cornish game hen breast with savory mushroom cream sauce and potato purée that I relished at Schlosshotel Burg Schlitz exemplifies the kind of elevated but unfussy cuisine at which Germany often excels.
Understandably, the menu at The Bridge Room in Sydney never fails to include the restaurant’s award-winning dessert of a whipped black sesame and white chocolate quenelle with puffed black rice, coconut, toasted sesame and melon. I loved its complex flavors and textural interplay.
Nanuku’s well-balanced dessert of creamy papaya bavarois topped with fragrant fresh papaya, refreshing coconut sorbet and tart passion fruit coulis encapsulated Fiji in a stroke. It was at once cheerful, exotic, indulgent and restorative.
One of my favorite dishes at cutting-edge BORAGó, Chile’s answer to noma, was a herbaceous, savory and briny combination of squid ink-infused wafers, samphire and other foraged coastal vegetation such as beach clover. The presentation is a nod to Isla Negra, poet Pablo Neruda’s former home.
At stylish ezard in Melbourne, we had the favorite meal of our Australian trip. Owner/chef Teage Ezard fuses East and West in superb dishes like twice-cooked pork belly with tamarind glaze, black pudding, blood plum and Chinese five-spice salt and pepper. In lesser hands, a dish like this could be an unruly mash up; here, it was masterful.
Tucked away off the main street of Daylesford, a country town northwest of Melbourne, we found a restaurant, Kazuki’s, of admirable style and finesse. Owner/chef Kazuki Tsuya hails from Japan, and Kazuki enlivens his culinary traditions with fresh local produce and a lively sense of experimentation. The highlight of our meal was snapper and scampi with a squid-ink lasagnette and a jamón-inflected sauce Américaine.
Chef Enrico Crippa’s brilliant contemporary Italian cooking makes Piazza Duomo in Alba the best table in Piedmont. Crippa’s “Tradizione e Innovazione” menu offers a cross section of shrewd modern riffs on traditional Piedmontese dishes. We especially enjoyed the cotechino sausage with lentils, porcini mushroom salad and turnips.
Chef Marc Haeberlin, of the famous three-star L’Auberge de l’Ill in Alsace, has created one of the most popular new restaurants in Strasbourg in a beautifully renovated former royal stables building, Brasserie Les Haras. On a cool autumn night, his impeccably made three-meat pâté en croute was a deeply satisfying demonstration of the art of French charcuterie.
After a morning of wine tasting in Barolo, Piedmont, the freshly made egg-enriched pale-yellow tajarin pasta, generously napped with a rich, tangy ragù di carne (meat sauce) made with pork, veal and rabbit, was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.
Owner/chef André Chiang’s eponymous restaurant, Restaurant André, is the best table in Singapore. Chiang was born in Taiwan but worked in France for many years, as well as in Shanghai and the Seychelles. This experience helps to explain a worldly and boldly original dish like grilled Taiwanese baby corn and warm foie gras jelly with black truffle coulis.