Starbucks beer

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On my recent visit to Shanghai, I happened to set foot in the biggest Starbucks in the world. It’s one of those so-called “reserve roaster” places where everything gets a fancy schmancy make-over. They roast their own coffee, have their own bakery and serve alcohol as well.

Now, I’m not a big beer lover, but curiosity got the better of me and so I ordered an “espresso cloud”. This was supposedly a pint of lager with citrus foam served with a citrus infused espresso shot. I poured the coffee into the beer and hey presto you have yourself a beer cocktail. I actually didn’t mind the taste of the beer so much in this one, but with the coffee in the mix it was all a bit too bitter for my liking. I also did not enjoy having large chunks of orange peel stuck in my teeth every other sip.

Fear Factor – 3 / Taste Test – 6

 

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Coca Cola clear

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It’s been a while since my last blog entry. I’m sorry about that, but I do have a good excuse. I was on holiday for the last two weeks. I visit my family in Holland, and went to Iceland where I got a lot of inspiration for my blog. Expect to see things such as whale steak, sheep’s head jelly and fermented shark in the coming weeks.

But first let me finish up on what I came across before my trip. At a FamilyMart in Shanghai, where they often sell Japanese products, I found a bottle of Coca Cola Clear. The name says it all. It’s Coca Cola that looks like normal water. Or at least that’s what I thought.

When I drank it I was expecting a regular cola flavor to wash over me, but instead I got a taste of lemonade. It reminded me much more of Sprite or 7-Up. Now I’m not sure if that’s really what it is, as I can’t read the label, or perhaps it’s my mind playing tricks on me. Either way it was a disappointment, that much IS clear.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 5

Egg yolk stuffed chicken fingers

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On my way to Shanghai last week I was forced to have dinner at the airport, as I didn’t have time to eat before. There are only a handful of options, so I stepped inside the Burger King. Of course I ordered a burger, but I also spotted something new on the menu: Salted egg yolk stuffed chicken fingers.

They came out in a box with only four chicken fingers, but they were giant ones. As I bit into one, I could definitely taste something eggy. It wasn’t exactly runny like an uncooked egg yolk, but more like a custard. It actually tasted quite nice. It was jus a shame that the coating on the outside wasn’t crispy.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 7

Beetroot sorbet

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When it comes to a great dining experience, I can always recommend visiting a restaurant by Jason Atherton. The Gordon Ramsay scholar has set up a chain of restaurants across the globe with an emphasis on sharing plates. I had already had great nights at his restaurants in London and Hong Kong and this week I finally got to visit Commune Social in Shanghai.

I ordered a couple of savory dishes including an amazing venison stew, and a rare beef with dehydrated mushrooms. For dessert picked the beetroot brownie with merengue and beetroot stew. I was expecting a mix of sweet and savory, but I was blown away by how well everything worked together.

The beetroot sorbet on its own definitely tasted of beetroot. It had that characteristic earthiness with just a hint of sweetness. When eating the brownie, sorbet and meringue all together, hat savory note went to the background and the sweetness took over. This was a proper dessert, one that leaves me craving for more beetroot in my desserts.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 9