“Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simple or luxurious. Then you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions.” – Julia Child
Today, August 15, would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. If you have any interest in cooking, it’s hard to deny the magnetic pull of this woman, her legendary story, and her joyful love of food.
It wasn’t overtly French, or particularly in keeping with Julia’s style, but here in Bangkok, there was great food. And good wine. And strong cocktails.
We just returned home from a night out at one of Bangkok’s newest restaurants, Quince. The place is so trendy that, though Frank and I felt instantly at home in the linen casual-meets-schoolhouse electric decor, the servers were still trying to find peace with their khakis and Chuck Taylors. Unlike so many other dinner spots in town, the team at Quince had a lot to offer beyond the style projected when we first arrived. They were so appropriately restrained about the timing of dinner and service that a 6:30 reservation pleasantly became a 9:15 departure with little interruption besides a call from London (Nav – how did that pizza Bianca turn out?).
Still too new for a full-on review, it’s easy to see how Quince might become a favorite. The food had a latin twist, but creativity seemed to win out over any particular regional leanings. We shared a few dishes, but all of my favorites were vegetable-based. In particular, I was drawn to this tomato and “buffalo curd” that was doused in fresh herbs and a fragrant olive oil into which we dredged our bread before allowing them to take the plate away.
Of all the dishes we tried, these roast carrots with poppyseed, shallot, and honey were the most unexpected and unforgettable. I immediately wanted to attempt this perfect combination at home. They were subtly sweet with tons of poppyseed crunch.
And finally, though not quite to poppyseed-carrot level, both Frank and I loved the texture of these fluffy ricotta gnocchi with zucchini, mint, and chilli.
I’ve been so excited to visit Quince, and it did not disappoint.
Tonight, we toasted to Julia, to her love of food and wine, and to the love between her and her husband that allowed her passion for cooking to flourish.
Happy Birthday, Julia.