as spring springs,

There really isn’t a better combination of elements to a good photography day than blue skies and sunshine. Despite being here in the PNW for a rough two years and a bit, I haven’t quite learnt the ways of Oregonians in embracing the cold and chilly weather. Although I must say, I have built quite the tolerance towards the cold. Regardless, I am still very much attracted to sun, sun, light and more sun.

To do the pretty day we had some justice, I decided to take some photos of little signs of spring around town. DSC_1459 copyDSC_1460 copyDSC_1462 copyDSC_1465 copyDSC_1467 copyDSC_1492 copyDSC_1491 copyDSC_1466 copy

(all photos are untouched apart from the insertion of watermarks)

Dondang Sayangku kepadamu.

well you could say, this is some kind of dondang sayang to my Peranakan heritage. One that I take pride in and am extremely happy to be a part of.

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childhood revisited with an ice cream sandwich.

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dim sum, dim sum, already in my tum tum.
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i cannot bluff about the goodness of this durian puff.

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But of course, durian cendol with gula Melaka. Don’t you dare say “celaka!”

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I’ve done my part in eating these jam tarts.
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As I savoured these jam tarts, my dad told me about my grandaunt and how she’d make them individually by hand without a mold.
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He said that they were twice the size of these tiny ones and one would have to eat them in (at the least) two bites.

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Saison-ed.

Over my time here in San Francisco, I was extremely blessed with the opportunity to dine at Saison. It was not only the food that contributed to this exotic experience but also the craft behind it which made it an inspiring one as well. As I watched each chef present their meal with detail and care, I was left in awe with how much art has in common; be it in music, painting or even cooking. Knowing the effort the chefs put into each dish was an assurance of passion and love for the arts; that it still exists, that it still pushes people to do what they love, that it is still there. The best part of it all was that it just seemed effortless and simple. Every course presented was flawless and perfect. The courses were also beautifully knitted together with a touch of fire, as it has been said. It was a food journey I would’ve never thought of having; altogether a different way of experiencing food. I loved that I could resonate with it artistically too. The creative processes involved, the layers of each course seemed like a symphony and most of all? The joy it brought to its audience. I’m pretty sure I was smiling like a 5 year old who had her favourite ice cream throughout the night. And so, here’s a glimpse of what transpired, I hope I did the chefs and their creations justice.

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a mocktail Anthony made with a sprig of Douglas Fir.
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A colour changing gin + tonic, one of Saison’s signature cocktails. (loveloveloved the touch of violets on this!)
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a box of violets that went into the colour changing gin + tonic.
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Anthony gracefully picking out the flowers.
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some really good caviar… Golden osetra, I believe. My first taste of caviar too!
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the caviar was held in a cup with very intricate and delicate detail.
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the bread roll that came with the caviar coated with smoked pork fat.
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radish and its broth. As simple as it looks, it had much depth and complexity in flavour.
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lightly grilled lobster over the embers on a bed of ice with side of tomatillos and residual greens. The blurry picture in the front is the battle creek trout along with its skin and roe. Apologies.
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my first taste of sea urchin on liquid toast! It was filled with fun textures and flavours, I don’t think good or great would be worthy of describing it!
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It was so good I had to do a double take!
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a perfect radish flower drizzled with clarified butter.
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a symphony of radish!! If I remember correctly, it was an entire radish cooked in five different ways.
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brassica leaves blistered (absolutely love this word) in the fire, along with a broth of cultured vegetables.
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a gin fizz topped with egg white foam and two, borage flowers. yes, I said two.
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last season’s tomatoes with octopus tentacles dried over the fire, and shaved at the table.
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blood orange fizz decorated with citrus marigolds. I love how all the drinks were adorned with flowers.
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grilled sea bream over the embers with sauce made of yogurt and citrus leaves.
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This gem was so photogenic, it deserved a double take. According to chef Chris, the holes on this plate were hand drilled. Hmm.
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barbeque celeriac, it came with a really fun herb bundle along with tools to cut them up.
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tools needed for the celeriac. it was an intense course.
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*snip snip*
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*snip snip snip*
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Wild things. Loved that this dish was savoured with nothing other than fingers.
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the very heart of Saison; fire in the sky beet with bone marrow. The beetroots are cooked in their own juices and hung over the fire to concentrate its flavours.
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Savoury duck liver toffee with layers of milk, bread and beer.
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The beer paired with the toffee.
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Wild pin tailed duck, along with its insides wrapped in a treviso (that sounded like chorizo), finished with a cherry leaf.
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duck broth in a golden bowl. literally. a. golden. bowl.
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ice cream and caramel cooked in the fire. I found this particularly interesting because it was so light. Oh, it was topped with cocoa nibs.
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loved the plate.
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citrus buttermilk ice cream.
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while eating this, i had mini surprise explosions of orange juice in my mouth. it was really fun!
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The middle knife’s a fish knife. I thought it was a fish knife because it resembled a fin. But no. It’s actually used when consuming the fish.
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a salted caramel hazelnut bar with “24k gold leaf” as Thatcher described, for my 21st.

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Over all, I had an amazing night photographing each creation, as well as savouring them. As chef Lucas described and I quote, “An enchanting experience.”

Thank you so much Saison!

much love, the creepy alley girl.

All pictures taken manually with a Nikon D60 and Nikon E 50mm f1.8 lens.