Holiday time is here and Union Square was packed. Campton Place Restaurant at the Taj Campton was equally busy. Upon entrance, we noticed all the tired shoppers and hungry diners. We were greeted by very friendly, properly dressed staff and the dining room had an inviting ambiance and the wreaths brought a touch of holiday cheer. We decided on the Holiday prixe fixe and a few of our dining companions decided on the wine pairing at an additional $34/person. The restaurant serves New American cuisine with hints of Indian and exotic spices. The beginning of our meal kicked off with an amuse bouche complimentary of the kitchen. The airy burst of of arugula, apple and avocado foam was a palate awakener. We are huge fans of green smoothies and this was an elegant and refreshing version. The spiced shrimp with young potatoes, mint reliish, yogurt and mustard greens was one of the most elegantly plated dishes we have ever seen. Our dining companions absolutely loved this salad. The shrimp tender and accoutrements very fresh. We absolutely loved the mustard greens and color.The butternut squash veloute vanilla and coffee was the least unique dish of all the plates and yet it was still warming and very simple. The hint of vanilla and coffee was fragrant, but ultimately something that will not be savored or ordered again.Our favorite dish was the Black Cod Pan Seared with Cauliflowers Composition, Mussels, Red Radish and Coconut Curry. The plate was gorgeous and the curry sauce was flavorful. The black cod was tender and the mussels perfectly cooked. The paper thin radish slices and cauliflower were hints of brightness and offered a bite. The black rice offered great texture and pop. Our dining companion ordered the Liberty Farm Duck “Samosa” Spiced Tomato Butter and Chilled Vegetables. Unfortunately, we did not get the verdict on if he would order it again, but it certainly looked tantalizing.We rushed to the Legion of Honor for Rodin’s The Thinker, Royal Treasure from the Louvre and an afternoon of art and an organ concert. Although it doesn’t compare with visiting Musee Rodin itself or Musee d’Orsay, it was a perfect way to “travel” for an afternoon and absorb some culture.
Back to All Seasons Table. (BMH’s reviews of All Seasons Table- 2 - 3). We finally got the opportunity to sit in the second dining room (which is only open Thursday through the weekend). Clearly, AST’s business is doing swimmingly if they can open up their doors to the second extension of their restaurant. The second dining room is a mirror image of the main room (without the jazz music).
Per usual, we ordered a Roti Canai. The sepicy curry chicken singapore style was unusually luke warm (usually warmer) and served with fresh malaysian bread.
The Lady and Red Maki (another favorite) was ordered along with a sweet potato roll. The soft shell crab tempura maki topped with tuna and tobiko drizzled with balsamic syrup is really good. Our mother loves this roll and has complete loyalty to it when she visits AST.
We enjoyed a bowl of Malysian style Chow Foon with beef stir-fried with wide noodle, chinese broccoli with an egg white sauce. Yum.
The Black Pepper Beef had a nice pepper flavored gravy, sauteed with green peppers and onion. The pepper beef was nice and tender and well cooked.All Seasons Table is a real favorite. We are always happy and never disappointed. Looking forward to our next visit.
The Savory Plate is located on Mass. Ave in Arlington Heights and serves a selection of banh mi’s, wood fire grilled sandwiches and panini’s for lunch we have yet to try. For dinners there is chicken, salmon, beef entrees with all American sides of peas, carrots and potatoes.
The Savory Plate also offers premade foods including American comfort foods like chop suey, quiches and Savory Australian Pies for $5.99 each. They offer fillings including Barbecued pork, Beef, onion & mushroom, Hungarian beef & pepper, Chicken & vegetable, Sausage, pepper & onion and Curried vegetable (vegetarian).
We defrosted a frozen pie and then popped in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes up the Chicken and vegetable as well as a curried vegetable.
The pies were seriously some of the best pot pies we have eaten. Forget Swanson’s. We really loved the buttery pastry crust and the warming fillings.
The chicken and vegetable was really soothing, flavorful and had pops of vegetables and pearl onions.
The curry vegetable really was satisfying, had a nice curry flavor and hue of yellow. The pot pies were unbelievable and we would definitely have to get the other fillings and the chicken and curry ones again.
Smart Cook, Thai Cookery School was an interactive, informative class which we highly suggest to any visitor of Chiang Mai, especially the short express class. Even with an abridged version of the class, we were overly stuffed by all our dishes and sampling our classmates dishes. From papaya salad, pad thai, chicken coconut soup, spring rolls, curry to banana egg rolls.
Our friendly instructor spoke fluent English, was very patient and explained the origins of ingredients and the Thai cooking philosophy. We selected which multi-course dishes we wanted to make and enjoy for lunch and dessert. We prepped all the ingredients from fish sauce, coconut milk to papaya to curry paste, in an outdoor area, before we went to our woks and the outdoor kitchen area.
As we learned about how to make our own dishes, the other classmates dishes were explained so we learned the basics of every dish in the recipe book. This made the experience more fun to see what other items could be made with similar ingredients. Participants receive a recipe book, which was a nice way to practice back home. After experiencing Smart Cook, we realized how fresh and easy it is to prepare Thai dishes and that we shouldn’t be ordering from restaurants when we can make all the delicious food at home.
We can not sing enough praise for Hing Shing Pastry (BMH’s review Hing Shing Pastry), which is located near the Chinatown gate. The yellow and red emblazoned sign can not be missed.
One of Hing Shing’s signatures is a beef curry pie. Ground beef curry filling encased in layers of savory pastry. It is one of our sister’s all time favorites and is just a little over a $1.00.
The cream horns are filled with lightly sweetened whip cream and layer of dough.
The bakery’s almond cookies, sesame savory biscuits and fortune cookies are fresh and prepacked ready for pick up.
Since their warm pork buns and baos were all out , they just had cold ones, we had to pick up a selection of curry pies, puffs and meat turnovers. Hing Shing never dissapoints.