So, this month our very own Sam Owen celebrated his 30th birthday in style! A special trip for a New York food tour with Elizabeth, tasting some of the best dishes there is. 4 days of feasting, exploring and taking a well-earned break!

Read Sam’s food diary below 😊

New York Food Tour Diary

Day 0

Lizzy organised a limo to pick ourselves up as a final birthday treat, amazing!! And good value too as a cab fare or uber was only $20 cheaper…

We arrived at our modest hotel, it looked like the shining. Well done Lizzy…

We headed out straight after dumping our bags to around the corner where there was a papaya king. This was on my list of things to try and I must say they were amazing.

I had an original, pastrami and pickle and finally a chilli dog washed down with a papaya shake (delicious). Lizzy had sweet potato fries and then we spilt a portion of deep fried Oreos.

Day 1

After a long journey, our first day of the New York food tour is a big one! Naturally starting with amazing New York bagels, followed by a cannele, nougtine cream, 15-year-old Maccallan, beer and a classic salty pretzel!

The afternoon is made up of possibly the best burger I had ever tasted! Packed with cheese and bacon merged together in a delightful potato bun. Then a visit to Wendy’s because why not?? (#wheninrome).

Then onto the main event…

We end the day of sightseeing with a touch of fine dining at Per Se.

This is one of 2 restaurants I wanted to try as it is not only 3* but also in the top 50 in the world and ranked 1st a couple of years ago.

This evening began in a simple form with champagne and a view stunning from the outset.

Restaurants like this do their homework and they knew who we were and why we were there. Being a chef and a good chef at that I find it difficult to be inspired nowadays as I have had the privilege of working, eating and experiencing the best or so I thought…

The classic feeling of booking a place as grand as Per Se is that you are grateful for the chance to go there and that they are doing you a service by allowing you to come. This is not the case anymore and we were welcomed with open arms and a warm smile, knowing we had a company as we do and we know what we are talking about (most of the time…). The openness and fun was going to be apparent from the get go.

We started with two menus; one for me and one veggie for Lizzy. I chose to upgrade a dish on mine as I had to try their signatures.

Then we got started and my God I was in heaven. It brought tears to my eyes the quality, care and attention to detail they have for their passion. (I do not say job as its not a job to people like us)

I am humbled and in awe of the standards they attain, and it was a true life experience – one hopefully to be repeated again.

Despite being a chef, words cannot describe the quality experienced this evening – a truly world class event. This is what we strive to achieve as chefs and I am humbled and infused with a drive to create magical dishes like these that no one can understand and appreciate. See the photos for the menu and food.

Day 2

After a touch of overconsumption, we plan more carefully and start the day with steak and eggs. For lunch a visit to the famous shake shack which turned out to be well worth the hype!

After a full day of exploring, we decide to try something different and test out Candle 79, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the Upper East Side. A shock to those who know me and a swift change after considering buying bacon flavoured rock sticks as souvenirs. Nice food but I don’t think we’ll be going vegan anytime soon 😉

Day 3

On the final day we make sure to visit all the places left on our list to make the most out of the time we had left. We had potato knish, sweet hot tofu and even more hot dogs! Cannoli was a highly anticipated treat although its texture was akin to raw cheesecake.

Breakfast uptown was incredible, and the eggs benedict were cooked to perfection. Sals pizza was amazing and worth the trip, although still not as good as our wood fire!

We had an amazing time on our New York food tour! Now to catch up on sleep…