A number of years back, when I was in Bangkok on an overnight work trip, a good friend there took me out for a magnificent meal at a restaurant I had (at that time) never heard of. She in turn had first visited there as a guest of our mutual friend Chef David Thompson, who had hosted her along with a celebrity chef visiting from London. In the years since, Krua Apsorn has become one of the most celebrated restaurants in the City of Angels, and yet remains to this day one of its most modest and affordable. Continue Reading →
One of the things I’ve enjoyed most during my days as a freelance consultant is having leisurely breakfasts (and pastries) anywhere and everywhere, toting my trusty companion of a Macbook Air (super light and pain free for running around Hong Kong with) along. I’d choose a new interesting looking spot to try out, or head for a regular cafe, and spend a couple of lovely hours working and munching, or just reading away.
When I was younger, I loved active vacations, the kind in which you’re jaunting all over a city 24-7 in order to squeeze as much action and eating into a day as possible. A weekend away was akin to a scavenger hunt in which I’d rack up imaginary points based on the number of cool shops and great meals I could pack into a 24 or 48 hour window. But these days, now that I’m older, married and have a kid, the perfect weekend away consists of doing as little as possible, in ideally one location.
Of course, greedy guy that I am, that one location has to serve up sensational food. One such spot that I recommend highly is the Metropolitan Bangkok. Bangkok is easy and fast to get to; every single discount airline flies there. While the Met oozes cool, understated luxury, it’s considered by most travelers to be a business hotel, which means that weekend rates are affordable and rooms are relatively easy to book. The spa is wonderful. And the restaurants, Glow, known for healthy food, and Nahm, David Thompson‘s world famous Thai eatery, are simply fabulous. Perfect for a quick 36 hour jaunt to BKK with the tired wife desperately in need of a little pampering. Continue Reading →
I cannot emphasise how much I love fried food. And tempura in Japan just ticks all the right boxes for me. If you are visiting Kyoto, I would heartily recommend Tenyu. Situated near the Sanjyo train station, it’s easily accessible and the quality of food is beyond reproach. Just check out the Uni tempura. Cooked on a sea of bubbling blended oil, the thin layer of seaweed protects the sashimi grade uni (sea urchin) from being overcooked. It beautifully retained all the yummy creaminess despite being gently steamed by the oil. Continue Reading →
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 →
I’m a greedy pig, which basically means I’m greedy for all kinds of food. On the top of my die-die-must-eat list is crab roe Shanghainese rice cakes. Not necessarily easy to hunt down, even in Shanghai itself. So whenever I am in Shanghai and have time to have a meal (lunch or dinner, doesn’t matter) in the city, I would be sure to race down to Xinjishi (I like the Xin Tian Di branch) for the crab roe rice cakes (蟹粉年糕). And Xinjishi always delivers the perfect plate, no matter what season or month it is. Continue Reading →
As cultures go, Japan must be one of the most unique in the world. Sharing very little in common with the rest of Asia and certainly even less with the West, it can be incredibly idiosyncratic. Furthermore, being one of the more formal cultures left in today’s modern world, it can also be intimidating…here, I’d like to share a cheat sheet on the rules and etiquette one should know when in Japan. Continue Reading →
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 →
If you are hankering for some Italian culinary magic in Tokyo, you could do a lot worse than Appia Alta at Nishi Azabu. When our waitress pushed the bountiful appetizer cart over to our table, I resisted the temptation to order everything on display. Here is a selection of what my party of four had. Continue Reading →