Lokanta Maya is a brilliant bistro in Istanbul, Turkey

lokanta mayaChef Didem Senol has taken Istanbul by storm.  The Turkish native who studied in New York at the French Culinary Institute and worked at Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park, has returned to her hometown to create a new bistro dining experience.  In 2010, she won Time Out Istanbul’s  Best Chef Award.  Not only has she made a name for herself, but she’s also creating a new path for female chefs in her city.  She cooks seasonal and local food with mainly organic produce,  her restaurants are inviting, contemporary, and refreshing. Continue Reading →

Istanbul’s Meze by Lemon Tree serves inspired Turkish cuisine

Atom dessertTurkish restaurants can be divided into three large categories: meyhanes where people drink raki and eat meze, fish restaurants which involve a banquet of cold and hot appetizers followed by a showcase of fish as a main, and meat restaurants, which serve grilled meats, and all sorts of kebabs and skewers charcoal cooked to perfection.  These categories, obviously, are aside from the numerous esnaf lokantasi tradesmen establishments, street foods, snacks, and produce available to grab and go. Continue Reading →

Addiction Aquatic Development – a seafood paradise in Taipei, Taiwan

oystersAddiction Aquatic Development is a seafood paradise in the heart of Taipei.  Referred to by some as a modern fish market, it is, without a doubt, the premium location to buy fresh seafood or enjoy a leisurely meal of oysters, lobster, crab, prawns, sushi and sashimi. Continue Reading →

Making soup dumplings in Taipei

my basket of xiao long bao

A recent trip to Taiwan had me thinking about what constitutes Taiwanese food.  Taipei, despite being smaller than many of its Asian capital city counterparts, is a food-lovers’ destination.  History has made Taipei a hub for fusion.  Taiwanese cuisine can’t really be defined as one particular thing.  It has Chinese influences seen through Sichuan, Shanghainese, and Hokkien food.  It also has the legacy of the Portuguese and Japanese that once controlled the island, as well as adaptations of common Western (fried) foods. Continue Reading →

Sydney’s Farmhouse – an enticing rural escape in the city

christmas dinner spread at farmhouseFarmhouse is the new kid on the block; aside from being cool and chilled out, this new kid has a big, warm heart. Continue Reading →

Brooklyn Hide makes bagels boom in Sydney

Outside of Brooklyn Hide

Sydney’s latest craze for bagels, milkshakes and sloppy joes has seen a number of cafes and restaurants pop up with specialty items.  A standout is Brooklyn Hide. Continue Reading →

Sydney’s Bourke Street Bakery

It’s easy to take a place for granted.  Sometimes you forget to share or celebrate the sheer brilliance of a place because it is part of your regular routine.  I came to that realisation as I walked into Bourke Street Bakery yet again, as I placed my order, looked around, and with a smile on my face thought, “that’s right, this is great.” Continue Reading →

Chef Diego Oka, expanding the Peruvian culinary empire

Diego Oka

Diego Oka is a chef who started his culinary career with direction at a young age, but his trajectory as a chef has been quite different compared to most.  He quickly skyrocketed to roles of high responsibility, travelling the world, managing restaurants in North and South America from the young age of twenty-one.  Diego studied hospitality while working in one of Lima’s oldest traditional Japanese restaurants, Ichiban, where he spent three years learning all the essentials, from dishwasher to working behind the sushi bar. Continue Reading →