Christmas, New York style and a wish come true, dinner at Annisa

When I went to New York I realized that I might never, in my whole life, had made a proper effort for Christmas. Every tree I saw had more lights than I own combined, not to mention the amount of decorations. I don’t own even a candy cane, small or man sized.


The tree lighting at Rockefeller Center was taking place when we were there. I was so excited about our great timing and what could be more Christmassy?! As the day arrived and about three hours beforehand we had a look outside. The Rockefeller Center was a few blocks away and people were already queuing up, it was crazy and I realized that I would not even get close. Cheating, but with full Christmas spirit we went to a bar and watched the whole thing on TV! I was warm and comfy, exploring how well Patron XO Cafe, a tequila blended with pure coffee and orange juice went together and yes they make a great team!

Christmas is everywhere, Saks, the department store, had a spectacular light show.


Little Italy was decorated to the max and we found Santa looking comfortable outside one of the restaurants.


Every restaurant had lots of beautifully lit wreaths of all sizes. I was thinking we might need one.


The night after the tree lightning at the Rockefeller center we headed over there to have a look at the tree. The whole area was beautifully lit up, the trees must have had thousands of little lights each.


The tree was enormous and brightly shining in many colors.


There were still quite a lot of people there and, I am sure even Santa stops by every now and then just to soak up the Christmas atmosphere! There were angels celebrating and they looked impressive.


All this Christmas spirit made me work up an appetite. The restaurant that was on the top of my wishlist was a place called Annisa. It is the restaurant of Anita Lo, I had read some of her recipes and philosophies. The dishes I would describe as world cuisine with an Asian influence. The restaurant is classy but low key. It was fully booked and I was so lucky to have gotten a table!

We started with an amuse bouche served in an edible shell.


I ordered black seabass sashimi with trout roe, yuzu pearls and shiso, this was possibly one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. The seabass was creamy rich and together with the other ingredients I can only describe the dish as luscious. I need to actually use my molecular gastronomy set and try and make yuzu pearls so I can try to re create this dish!


There was another starter, a salad of roasted beets with cashew purée, cocoa nibs and selim pepper


There was another of steak tartare with bulgur, cinnamon and a sesame tofu sauce


For mains I was sure no matter what I would choose it would be delicious but I spotted sable, also known as black cod, one of their signature dishes. Miso marinated sable with crispy silken tofu in a bonito broth.


The fish was beautifully cooked and it was supremely flaky, it was delicious with the tofu and the dish was far richer than it looked. The broth also had roe in it that added great texture.

We also had lamb


Grilled filet of cobia with avocado, mentaiko and pickled bull whip kelp




After a starter and a main course we had no room for a dessert  but we got some delicious sugared ginger and a few other sweets that we loved.


Annisa is a place to come for the food, bring some good company (we did) and it is a great experience and a place to catch up! I am so glad I managed to get a table and the cookbook went to the number one spot on my Christmas wish list and I have a sneaky suspicion that Santa did hear me.

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