Saturday, October 27, 2012


yes, i know... I KNOW!! it's back to back buzo entries going on here. but i just couldn't help it. i hands down love the spot. not because it offers a refreshing portion of decent customer service. not because you can close your eyes, point at something on the menu and have a 99% chance of enjoying it (the 1% is for if you hate mushrooms and you pick a mushroom dish for example. nobody can help that). not even because they have italian beer to enhance the experience. the real selling point for me is knowing that everything is being made from scratch. they make their own olive oil. of course all the pastas on the menu are hand made. a lot of the jellies, sauces and reductions for desserts are made in house. i call that value for money. on this last visit, they  cemented that for me. chef cristian presented us with this:

buzo pepper sauce. i could only imagine. they already have buzo olive oil available for purchase i heard. never really inquired further. i'll find out more about it next time i hit the spot. but buzo pepper sauce is already in theory something i would want to keep around. if it comes with half the quality of that melanzane e prosciutto pizza i had this time around, i want it. i'll have to find out the details like "is it for sale?" i wasn't in blog mode, so i forgot to ask. i'll also come back and give the most important piece of info... the taste. but first, i have to find something worth putting it on. so you can either wait, or head down to buzo and check it out yuhself!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


 if you haven't heard, lisa johnstone throws the bomb events at kitchen studio, featuring innovative chefs creating sublime dishes. and as is the case with both lisa and kitchen studio on the whole, great wine pairings to sweeten the deal.

so now that you're kinda up to speed, here's the thing about this particular event. chefs brandon soverall and abhay nair (left to right above), two young chefs who were very active on the kitchen studio calendar are leaving on culinary adventures in the good old US of A. of course kitchen studio fans want to be selfish and keep all that goodness to ourselves, but we have to be glad and supportive of the great opportunity these deserving talents have right now. and thus the reason for this entry. lisa planned a grand "see you later" featuring the creations of brandon and abhay.

without a doubt, these guys came out to impress on what would be their last performance at FKS for a little while. more or less something for us to remember them by. and boy did they pull out the stops.

so while the chefs got to bubblin', we got to take in the ambiance that is kitchen studio, complimented by stunning settings by LOTUS.

nice stuff.

and did i mention great wine by HADCO, BRYDENS, VINTAGE and AMCO? well, i'll mention it here just in case.

great drinks and great discussion made the prep time fly and in no time we were enjoying what these two brilliant chefs had to offer.

brandon dropped some gems. it was my first time sampling his dishes, so it was kinda bitter sweet as it would be my last for quite some time.

one of my show stoppers, a shrimp sausage topped with apple, watercress and a caviar. real bess!

three cheese, zucchini cannelloni, served with a tasty fig balsamic. simple, but i thought this was very innovative.

i'm a sucker for seafood, so the tuna tartare was my friend. accompanied by creme fraiche, ink and olive oil.

i never thought about combining watermelon and shrimp, so this watermelon, shrimp ceviche with citron, mint and lemon notes was interesting. it worked.

to top it off, brandon presented a deconstructed black pepper cheese cake. again a first for me, but a good first, hopefully not the last. come back brandon... come back!

well i met abhay before at kitchen studio, so i was well aware of the kinda treats he would have in store.

 and that was confirmed when i saw these come out of the pot. i was trippin' already.

a tasty seafood accra topped with a tamarind gastrique. big chunks of seafood... shrimp, mussels and bessness. i had to exercise constraint with these.

more seafood on the menu with this salmon chow made with fresh pears and herbs. 

out came the blow torch for this spiced beef loin. perfectly cooked and topped with a feta cheese, thyme crumble and a tangy garlic jam.

and yes, that is a tile it's plated on. the presentation was wicked. 

now if you know abhay, you would know about his award winning curry ice cream. it gets the same remarks every time: "CURRY... ICE CREAM???!!!" i had it once before topped with pop rocks, which made it fun. but this time he went for more flavor and sprinkled it with a masala, mint tuffy. aye! doh knock it 'til yuh try it. it works.

abhay also presented a corn soup chowder with a coconut chandon beni foam, but i think i was either snap happy or in some sort of flavor overload mode and i missed it. i'm sure it was great though.

with that level of food and drink, the event ran way longer than expected. it's always hard to leave a good time. so when we were called outside for "a surprise", i thought it was a trick. it wasn't. well... not really. brandon had these cool kongming lanterns that he shared.

 it's considered good luck to release one of these, so brandon gave them to a few people who helped support him and people also embarking on business ventures as his wish of prosperity to them.

a fitting end to an excellent evening. 

as the lanterns disappeared into the night, i too wished brandon and abhay all the best on their adventures. but unlike the lanterns, i look forward to their return. so no goodbyes... but good luck, and see you guys later.

we'll try to keep in touch with them abroad and give updates on their adventures. stay tuned. but meanwhile, check out this new event coming up soon @ fanatic kitchen studio

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


i did a lot of learning this week... and it's only wednesday. for one, i learned that there are some things you just shouldn't wait around to do. like checking out a spot that has been recommended to you countless times. take buzo for example. been hearing how fantastic the italian food is there, but never ventured. so my friend corey who also blogs about tasty treats suggested we do a blate there. (blate = another thing i learned this week. it's when bloggers link up. a blog date kinda. not that you couldn't google that.) 

 it's a really cool spot. nice wines.

great service, including amado who is as good as it gets when it comes to hosting. (didn't get his pic, but big respect to amado. he's a boss. corey got a pic of him over on her blog, check it out.)

and pizza. there's a pizza bar where you can order your pizza to spec and see it pop in and out of this pizza oven. real fresh. 12 inch pizzas cut into 8 slices on a really thin crust. i hear 2 can deal with one comfortably. 

even though pizza was on my mind, executive chef cristian grini had a different idea. he started us off with some portobello fries, served with a truffle and roasted garlic mayo. hear nah! i was ready to write the review one time. 

seafood is my thing, so fritto misto hit the spot. shrimp, calamari and zucchini. the sauce was the winner here.

 next up was this platter of prosciutto (cooked and uncooked), cheese and olives. real salty goodness.

then we got into some pastas, which they make in house by the way. this one here was the torcelli. spicy calabrian sausage and porcini mushrooms in a cream and tomato sauce. a lil grated parmesan over the top for good measure.

hands down the winner of the show. hand made pumpkin tortelli with butter noisette, sage, shiitake mushrooms and parmesan cheese. off the chain! even for corey who doesn't really dig pumpkin that much. no complaints on this one.

by this time, we were full. i mean packed with all that good stuff. no room for main course, which judging from the healthy portions that were coming out, i'm sure would have been proper. we just had to skip through to dessert. i tried this one. forgot the name, but it had a house made blueberry marmalade on top of this milky cream with an interesting texture. i'm not big on desserts, but this was ok.

 this was a show stopper though. vanilla ice cream topped with cream, chocolate and amado skillfully pouring a shot of espresso on it.

warm espresso no doubt, so everything just started to melt and mix.

 the end result, a delicious mess. i just had a little taste of it. if you like coffee, this is fuh you!

all in all, i can't believe i took that long to check it out. great time. thanks to amado, chef cristian and of course corey for saying "what? you've never been to bu... nah! we going!" good call. lesson learnt. i'll be back fuh sure!

Monday, July 30, 2012


LOTUS has some pretty cool stuff. like this simple thing... the corkcicle. basically a one-size fits all cork with a gel stem that you freeze an put inside your wine bottle to keep it chilled. think about the possibilities! i did. so i decided to give it a test. not just a test though... an extreme test.

first off, it was designed to be used with wine. so obviously i got a bottle of rum. the single barrel of course. froze them both. 

plug it in, plug it in. 

 right. ready to roll. just a few beauty shots before we leave. yes... leave. as in leave the cool house. i did say it was extreme.

oh yeah. almost forgot to mention that i had to take a little bit out to compensate. i only needed to take out a little less than a drink, but hey, why go half way right?

sure the corkcicle would work in a nice cool air conditioned house, but what about somewhere outside in the blazing sun? like aranguez savannah for example.

i found a nice spot...

and called in muh boy MICHAEL for some back up. 

more back up. 

 so the rum stayed cold up until this point, which was probably about 1 hour after removing it from the freezer. 

the drinks were just cool now rather than cold. i like my single barrel cold.

 thanks to the friendly neighborhood snowcone man, we kept the party goin beyond the test.

so much so that some cricket ended up in the mix. 

at the end of the day, judging from the extreme conditions, the corkcicle seems to be handy. it wouldn't replace your cooler if you're heading outdoors, but it would keep your wine chilled nicely. and it should be golden inside on a cool sunday. nice find.