Food Porn: Yoyogi Sushi & Sake Bar at the GrandStand

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It is a truism to say that Singapore is not short of Japanese restaurants but Yoyogi Sushi and Sake Bar, stands out for its blend of quality and hospitality. Continue Reading →

New bistro with French and Modern Australian accents: Cafe Boheme Sydney

Cafe BohemeFrench bistros have a certain charm that lets them exist in a league of their own.  Perhaps it is the embrace of a local restaurant, the assurance of some classical flavours, the moderate prices, or the use of established techniques that stands the test of time.  Great bistros have beautiful pastries, fresh charcuterie, great wine lists.  Café Boheme is one such place.  It is a Sydney newcomer, but it’s quickly becoming a favourite among locals. Continue Reading →

Studio at the Standard. A star in the making.

torsten vildgaard at studio

Studio at the Standard Copenhagen, is an exciting debutante in the vibrant Copenhagen culinary scene. Created by Noma co-owner Claus Meyer and Noma alum Torsten Vilgaard, Studio aims to reach for the lofty heights of Michelin Stars. And they have chosen a beautiful historic building – the old Custom House in Copenhagen – as a wonderful launching pad. After negotiating the stairs and a short walk along a beautiful hallway of the old Custom House, my wife and I found a warmly lit, open-concept restaurant with a beautiful view of the harbour. The vibe was great, everyone looked relaxed and determined to enjoy a great evening. Patrick, the affable restaurant manager and sommelier, promptly greeted us, and sat us in front of the open-concept kitchen. They were the best seats in the house, as we marvelled  at the creativity and energy that makes this 40-seater work. Chef and co-owner Torsten Vildgaard was right in the thick of the action— tasting, plating and directing. Continue Reading →

My first love – Sushi Bar Yasuda in Tokyo

Sushi Bar Yasuda saba

Naomichi Yasuda is the best sushi chef in the universe, and if you disagree with me, I feel sorry for you and your sad, bleak, existence. He is, quite simply put, the master, the sensei, the honey badger of sushi. Sushi Yasuda, the restaurant he co-founded in Manhattan and which he ran until 2010, is my favourite restaurant, period. To paraphrase one Anthony M. Bourdain, if a person doesn’t like Sushi Yasuda, we can’t be friends. When I moved back to Singapore in 2011, there was a nigiri-shaped hole in my heart; but now that Yasuda-san has opened his own restaurant in Tokyo, which I visited on my latest holiday, my life is once again complete.
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Rushcutters: a fresh new restaurant and a deli in Sydney’s inner east

rushcutters saladSydney is going through a restaurant resurgence; there seems to be a refresh and revival in the dining scene. The vibe, one that’s more casual, more relaxed, flexible. Increasingly, more inviting establishments are propelling well-known chefs to take different risks and reinvent themselves. One such place, led by executive chef Martin Boetz (previously from Sydney and Melbourne’s famed Longrain Thai restaurants) alongside head chef Kasper Christensen, is Rushcutters. Continue Reading →

Assembly Coffee. Amazing brews. Great vibes.

Latte Art

If you love artisanal coffee and are in the Bukit Timah area, do visit Assembly Coffee. Nestled  in the leafy grounds of Evans Lodge, the entrance to this  delightful brew meister is marked by an artfully designed three-dimensional logo. Continue Reading →

The Gustu experience, and getting dizzy in La Paz, Bolivia

hibiscus papalisa salad

(Credits: Ed Stocker)

More backpacker tales: my South American adventures led me across the Peruvian border to Bolivia, where C and I sought out Gustu, tucked in the high altiplano of La Paz. We arrived in La Paz, giddy with altitude sickness, running on a tight schedule to explore La Paz; We made it to Gustu on a quiet weekday afternoon, a building with simple gray aesthetics, tucked in the residential district of Calacoto. Continue Reading →

Beppe DeVito opens &Sons bacaro in Singapore

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Before I begin this little profile, I will admit that Beppe DeVito, owner and chef of &Sons, the chic, big bacaro that opened in China Square in mid-December 2013, is a very close friend. His wife and mine are also business partners, which pretty much makes us family. None of this, however, colours my opinion that &Sons might just be Beppe’s smartest concept to date. Continue Reading →

Oldie but goodie: Nanbantei

nanbantei skewers

My family and I are big fans of kushiyaki. Skewers of meat, seafood, veg and even rice, glazed with soy marinade and grilled over charcoal fire. Wash it all down with some sake or ice-cold beer, and it’s one of the most relaxing meals money can buy. My kids ask to go for “Japanese satay” pretty often, and Nanbantei is our regular haunt. As testament to how how great it is, it celebrated its 30th anniversary just a few months ago, beating the odds and thriving in Singapore’s uber competitive food scene. Continue Reading →

P. Bistro: Great pastry and good, simple, real food at proper prices in Singapore

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Far too often, new restaurants and cafes in Singapore disappoint me. Most often, I leave upset because I’ve been overcharged for mediocre food that may look okay but usually lacks flavour. I also leave perplexed because so many of these places are able to fill their seats, night after night, with (young) customers whose expectations must simply be lower than mine. So, I was thrilled recently to discover a new place (in my own neighbourhood no less) that offers simple, tasty, well-cooked dishes and pretty awesome pastry at sensible prices. Continue Reading →