Pisco hopping in Ica, Peru and a recipe

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Pisco is the renowned , celebrated brandy in Peru. I remember it as smooth, slightly smoky, and fragrant with the zing of young grapes. That Chile also lays claims to Peruvians’ beloved national drink as well, adds a political dimension that for the political scientist in me, is irresistible. But what I love about Pisco is how complex an aroma it carries. All at the same time, it manages to be mellow, light, and fragrant. 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 →

Shopping at Shinola’s flagship in Detroit, Michigan

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Coincidence is a funny thing. The day I walked into the Shinola flagship store in Detroit, Michigan, I was informed by the very cool sales guy helping me that that very night, they were opening a shop-in-shop, their first international outpost in fact, in Singapore. My thoughts raced from, “How cool!” to “What? And I came all the way here?” to “The prices better be better here in Detroit” to “How come neither I nor anyone I know knows about the Singapore store?”, and finally, “So, what product is only available here?” Continue Reading →

Jan Power’s Farmers Markets has a new jewel at the Albion Mill Village. Brisbane, Australia

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Fifteen years ago Brisbanites could only dream of having the kind of access to farm fresh produce that much of Europe and Asia enjoyed for as long as anyone can remember. Roadside stalls with boxes of produce and an honesty box yielded you a hit and miss selection of whatever was in season if you were prepared to hit the hinterland on a weekend but other than that and what you could grow in your backyard, produce buying happened at the local fruiterer and increasingly, at the supermarket. Continue Reading →

Amaz in Lima – Amazonian cuisine

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To those familiar with the cuisine found in the South East Asian jungle, Amazonian cuisine may, or may not come as a surprise. It comprises similar preparation methods and ingredients, including grilled bananas, meats and seafoods. I had just come back from Tarapoto, a city in the San Martin region, and had sampled popular dishes such as tacacho, and patarascha, which involved the grilling of meats and seafoods on heliconia leaves.

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Jocelyn’s Provisions in Brisbane, Australia, continues to shine

ricotta cakeIt’s an institution revered by Brisbanites and many frequent visitors since its opening in 1996. And with progressive management and a keen eye on current trends (as opposed to flashy fads), Jocelyn’s Provisions, located in popular James Street, has maintained its place firmly at the top of the sugar-sprinkled ladder. 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 →

Mistura—Peruvian food galore

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Mistura, did not fall short of the craziness it promised. During the lead up to the famous food festival, almost everyone I met, Peruvians and foreigners alike, had to mention Mistura in our conversations. Continue Reading →

Baishinka Tea House by Higashiya, Tokyo, Japan

Baishinka-kakigori

When I had told my wife S that I was taking her to Tokyo to celebrate our wedding anniversary, she pretty much left the planning to me. The only requests she made were a stop by her favorite designer’s boutique in Omotesando and a visit to Baishinka, the gorgeous new tea room opened by the folks behind Higashiya (which we’ve established in an earlier article that she’s quite obsessed with). Of course, I was happy to accommodate her requests. Continue Reading →

A taste of Asia at Chop Chop Chang’s in Brisbane

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It sits in the loudly beating heart of Brisbane’s West End, just over the river from the CBD and arguably its most culturally diverse (and very cool) precinct.  It is Chop Chop Chang’s and it is as cool, diverse and inclusive as its colourful ‘burb. Continue Reading →