The barbecued oyster and other food delights from the San Francisco Bay Area

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Northern California is one of my favourite destinations in the world, and nothing makes me happier than spending a week (or two or twenty) exploring the countless gustatory delights, interspersed with some fun activities and fab shopping of course. Continue Reading →

Cooking demonstration with Chef Renu, and a few special guests

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During my stay at Angsana, Bintan, I had the opportunity to participate in a cooking demonstration with Chef Renu Homsombat, Banyan Tree’s Corporate Chef at Saffron. The dishes that I was learning were from the four course dégustation meal that I had at Saffron. I was very excited to uncover the secrets behind Chef Renu’s delicious food. Continue Reading →

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 →

Colours of Thailand at Angsana, Bintan

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A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to Angsana Bintan for a quick weekend getaway, and also to experience their quarterly weekend event, The Colours of Thailand. Among the activities lined up, it included feasting on a selection of Thai cuisine that was thoughtfully prepared by Chef Renu Homsombat, Banyan Tree’s Corporate Chef at Saffron, who had specially flown in from Bangkok for the event. Continue Reading →

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 →