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 →

Thai Krapow Gai (minced chicken with holy basil)

I lived in Thailand for two years and in that short time, I learned a lot about Thai food and Thai cooking. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing chefs and learned to cook some Thai staple dishes in their kitchens. I started with curries and green papaya salad – in fact, these were the first dishes I tasted in Thailand. And then I decided I needed to master the iconic Thai soups like tom kha (coconut milk soup) and tom yum goong (sweet and sour soup with shrimp). 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 →

A fun and happy meal: coconut buns with hoisin mushrooms and vegetables

Coconut buns, hoisin mushroom and vegetablesAs a home cook who cooks almost every day, thinking about what to prepare for lunch or dinner can sometimes be a tiresome affair. Though I have a mini repertoire of dishes that I have on rotation, I know that sooner or later, I will get bored, frustrated and give up cooking (okay, maybe not that serious). Continue Reading →

Kamalaya Koh Samui – a holistic wellness retreat beyond compare

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Often, I find myself needing some time off. Time off from the world, from long work days followed by longer dinners, from my computer(s), from my cell phone, from happy hour cocktails, and just from the world… I was seeking a break where I could nourish my body and empty my mind. So I did a lot of research and asked around, considering various options from yoga ashram in India to a Chinese medicine retreat in Northern Thailand. In the end I discovered the best of both worlds in Kamalaya in Koh Samui, Thailand. Continue Reading →

One-pot wonder: cauliflower and red lentil soup

chunky cauliflower soup

The hubby and I are hoping to lose a few, seeing as we basically haven’t stopped eating since the Christmas season last year. Soups have been our go-to lunches since the amount of liquid in them deceive us into thinking we are full just after one big bowl. To my surprise one day, the hubby requested for cauliflower soup. Some time back, I cooked a roasted garlic and cauliflower dish with cheddar cheese melted over. It got him loving the veg, and he has since been on kind of a cauliflower bender. Continue Reading →

Kappo dining in Kyoto at Jiki Miyazawa

DSC02933Squinting through the wet, side window of the Miyako Taxi, I could just about see the bamboo clad façade of Jiki Miyasawa as we crawled to a stop. I quickly handed over the correct mix of metal and paper yen and made a beeline for the well-known Kappo restaurant. I was 20 minutes late for my lunch appointment! Continue Reading →

Sublime sushi at Kanesaka in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

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I was very fortunate to be in Tokyo recently, at the height of the sakura season. But the highlight of my visit was not the blossoming sakura but the simply sublime sushi at Kanesaka in Ginza. You may know that the well-known Shinji at Raffles Hotel in Singapore is actually a branch of Kanesaka in Ginza.  I thought I should go straight to the mother restaurant  in Ginza to check out the Kanesaka experience. Continue Reading →

Bun thit – cold Vietnamese vermicelli noodles

bun thit

Like most people who love eating, I also love reading about eating. And sometimes, a particular chapter from a book or an article would trigger a very specific craving, one that begs to be scratched. So when I came across this article last year about bun thit – cold Vietnamese rice noodles – it became the immediate trigger for more research into this healthy and delicious recipe that can be easily adapted to whatever meat, seafood or veggie option you happen to have in your fridge.

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