The Inaugural Sam Khok Awards

These prestigious culinary awards are given to an eclectic selection of restaurants (and or dishes, or regions, at my whim) based on a year in which I ate approximately 1091 restaurant meals in sixteen countries. The criteria? I ate here in 2010 and it was worthy of further mention. Without further ado, the 2010 Sam Khok Awards:

Best crème brûlée: L’Eléphant Restaurant, Luang Prabang, Laos. De noix de coco crème brûlée et de la banane. Or something like that. It was even better than it sounds.

Best Goat: Goat satay at Bogor, Indonesia. Try it anywhere in the city. You won’t go wrong with kambing.

The selection committee is not generally a fan of buffets, but is awarding three special awards recognizing exceptional buffet-style food this year:

  • Best Southern-style buffet: Augusta National Golf Club. April. Dogwoods and pines. Play on my mind, like a song. And so does the food.
  • Best Indian buffet: Whoever catered the wedding reception I went to last Tuesday night in New Dehli.
  • Best airport lounge buffet: Lufthansa Senator Lounge München. Meatloaf. Draft beer. Campari soda. Fine wines. A focused menu, well-prepared, and changing every few hours. I know because I spent most of a day there. 

Best Thai restaurant: Bo.lan restaurant at Bangkok. Exceptional food. Incomparable presentation. Whiskey yaa dong. Repeat.

Best Chippie: Anstruther Fish Bar, Fife. This comes as no surprise, certainly, for this acclaimed restaurant is often lauded as the “Best of Britain”.

Best Kulfi: Willingdon Sports Club, Mumbai. If you don’t believe me, please go to Mumbai and try it. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Best Gelato: I can’t choose just one shop, but I can choose a flavor. Zuppa inglese at Siracusa.

Best Cheese Selection: Wine & Cheese Christmas Party at Manila Polo Club. Walang katulad.

Best plate lunch: Loco moco at Lanai. May I recommend it for breakfast? Auurrite.

Best lechon baboy: I’m a bit sentimental here, but I can’t forget the taste of the lechon baboy at Fairways and Bluewater on the morning of 14 November. It tasted like victory.

Best lager: A tinnie of warm Stella at the cricket in Hampshire. Capital game — smart sport — fine exercise — very.


Best vodka drink: The tom yum martini at Nahm Bangkok. Just try it. And the food at Nahm is superb as well. I prefer Bo.lan for the ambience but the service and dishes at Nahm are saiko.

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