I was wondering what hounds hold to be their benchmarks when trying the same dish at different places.
For example, every Ice cream sundae I have ever eaten gets compared (somewhat unconsciously) to the Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae I had at Nirula's in India.
Similarly, all steaks are up against the Porterohuse at Des Nivel in Buenos Aires (this changed a lot initially)
The dishes that have never been bested are:
- Chiken Tikka from the orginal Saleem Dhaba in New Delhi (even their new incarnation fails)
- String Hoppers from Hopper Hut in Toronto
- Thai Chicken that my mom makes
- The Vegetable Tower Pintxo from Pintxo in Montreal
- Mussels from a Moulierie in the old town of Nantes, France
I'm not as well traveled as you, but regardless of where I am eating, I compare all porterhouse steaks to Peter Luger.
It's funny, because while I enjoy eating out and do so quite frequently, I will always compare almost every dish to my mother's. I have yet to have anything in a restaurant that she also made that didn't have me wondering why she wasn't the one in the kitchen. I know everyone praises Mom's cooking, but she was exceptional (so much so that others urged her to try a catering business. She declined, which was good for us.
Generally speaking I usually rate everything based upon whether or not I could have made it better at home.
The only specific dish I can think of is that I now compare all tuna dishes to the Yellowfin Tartar at Volt. I occasionally wake up in a raging sweat over that one.
- Carbonara from Lupa.
- Porterhouse from Keens.
- Cassoulet from Central Michel Richard.
- Chinese style fried chicken from South China Garden.
- Korean style fried chicken from Bon Chon.
- Tapas from Casa Mono.
- Mac and cheese from Patti La Belle (online recipe).
- Buche de noel from Payard.
- Chocolate cake from Soutine Bakery.
- Macarons from La Maison du Chocolat.
- Hot chocolate from Jacques Torres.