Siem Reap is home to hundreds of temples including the majestic Angkor Wat and Bayon. It also boasts of scrumptious Khmer cuisine that is as awe-inspiring as these world heritage monuments. Almost wiped out by the ruthless Khmer Rouge regime, Khmer cuisine has a long and varied history encompassing elements of Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, French and of course Chinese. However, it has its own more nuanced touch that is evident in the soups, curries and marinades. And rice lovers will love the long grain presented to them with every dish – so fragrant and well-cooked.
The perpetual hipster label may make proper foodies fairly skeptical of the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, but there’s at least one restaurant worth visiting. Owned by Tippling Club’s award-winning chef Ryan Clift, Open Door Policy was one of the first establishments to shake up sleepy Yong Siak Street. The two-year-old restaurant is still constantly full, with guests returning for its rustic bistro classics with a contemporary twist. I chat with Head Chef Daniele Sperindio, who dishes on being a chef in Singapore and why camera-welding patrons don’t bother him – at least, not anymore.
Having sampled some amazing modern tapas restaurants in Spain, Japan and Singapore over the years, I confess that I am rather partial to this genre. Tapas is a celebration of life with its cacophony of colours and tastes – all enjoyed in a casual and energetic setting. BAM! on Tras Street met all these key benchmarks and then some. With such an explosive name, my expectations were, ahem, loaded.
Since are so many choices when dining in Tokyo, why do I keep coming back to something so simple like Yakitori? Yakitori is ostensibly the most basic of foods – meats and vegetables, grilled on a stick. Many cultures have something similar like Thai moo ping (grilled pork on a stick) or Turkish kofte (grilled lamb kebabs) but I would argue that the Japanese version of a meal on a stick is by far the best. The Japanese obsession with detail elevates even the simplest of dishes and yakitori is no exception. As such, whenever I am in Tokyo I am perpetually on the hunt for a new yakitori place to try.
It’s no secret that my wife and I are big fans of Chef Willin Low and the Modern Singaporean food he’s been pioneering for the past 9 years through his restaurant Wild Rocket. Fans of Willin’s, including us, were rather distraught last year when he announced he was closing down this flagship eatery in search of a new location. After a few months of looking around, however, he decided that his original location on Mount Emily Hill was better than anything he’d seen. And so, instead of moving, he renovated the old space, re-opening with a brand new look last week, and with the very notable addition of a dining bar, at which Willin has begun to serve a new 8 course degustation menu.
There are some friends who you simply trust explicitly when it comes to food recommendations. My friend L is one such person. So when she raved about the best steamboat meal she’d ever had, and added the caveat that she had been introduced to this gastronomic revelation by none other than Wong Ah Yoke, chief food critic of The Straits Times, the main English newspaper here in Singapore, I knew it was something I had to try for myself. And soon.
While it’s easy to find great food in Tokyo’s Ginza, Akasaka belt, hunting down those gems pretty much unknown to foreigners is that much more fun. Kenzan is one such jewel. Nestled in the prime residential district of Shoto, Kenzan offers its unique blend of Japanese fine dining with a delightful twist.
Prawns – Courtesy of Urbane Restaurant
There has been a flourishing in South East Queensland food scene. Gorgeous, bountiful local produce, which there’s never been a shortage of, is making its ways to the creative, able hands of extraordinary chefs, and to the tables of some tremendous restaurants.