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 →

Glorious crab roe rice cakes – my idea of heaven on a plate

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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 →

Ten Rules of etiquette for every traveler to Japan

sushi and chopsticks

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 →

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 →

Appia Alta in Tokyo, scrumptious Italian appetisers and more

A slight squeeze of lemon is all it took to release the flavours...

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 →

The taco rice I cooked and served at the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival

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Regular readers will know that I’m uber-passionate about the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival, a super-fun, four day gourmet extravaganza held in a lovely little beach town on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. I attended the festival both last year (covering it for this site) and this year. This time, though, I was invited to be a participant. One of the activities I was asked to be part of was the festival’s annual Food Critics Cooking Competition. Continue Reading →

Tips for a terrific family road trip

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School’s out and I’m guessing that many of our readers will be hitting the road with their families for the holidays, so I thought a quick list of useful things I discovered on our first family road trip with our two-year-old in tow might be a helpful thing to share.
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Mario Batali’s one-star Michelin Del Posto in New York City

Located in the hip meatpacking district of New York City, Del Posto is one of those restaurants that, when you enter its premises. simply takes your breath away. To the left, there is a classically designed dark wood bar and in the middle, a grand staircase that leads up to the second floor of the restaurant and brings you a little closer to the huge sparkling crystal chandelier. Continue Reading →

Highlights from Portland and the Oregon coast

I often take the best things in my life for granted, such as my wonderful hubby J who manages to squeeze time out from his non-stop work schedule to take me to my favourite country for a quick break. This time, we decided on Portland and the Oregon coast, road-tripping all the way. We flew into San Francisco airport, did a quick overnighter and then drove out bright and early the next day up towards Portland, stopping by Ashland, spent a few days in Portland, and back down by the spectacular Oregon coast. Continue Reading →