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

sons_beppe

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

bistro-macarons

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 →

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 →

Tippling Club in Singapore moves to cosier digs. The food remains awesome!

Ryan-in-new-tippling

Singapore’s hardest working chef, Ryan Clift, has moved his ultra-chic bar-cum-fine-diner into 3 shophouses in the heart of Chinatown. With the move, he has also reprogrammed his offers. While the old space offered 42 seats around a “C” shaped counter, the new Tippling Club has separated the drinking area from the dining. The bar, located at the restaurant’s entrance, seats 32 people while the dining room seats just 22. Gone also is the all-counter seat dining configuration for diners. You now have a choice to sit at proper tables or at one of eight bar seats that face the pass (i.e. the area from which food is inspected before being sent out into the dining room) and the main kitchen. 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 →

Know your limits – Dinner and conversation with Xavier Beaudiment at Chefs With Altitude

Chefs with Altitude watercress

In The Five Obstructions, one of the strangest documentaries I’ve ever seen, the notorious filmmaker Lars von Trier challenges the equally controversial Jorgen Leth to remake his most famous short film, The Perfect Human, five times, each with a set of constraints of von Trier’s choosing. The stipulations – the film must be reshot in Cuba; it must be made into a cartoon; Leth himself must play the leading role – are patently ridiculous, as are the remakes, which manage to be even more avant garde than the original. Continue Reading →

Oldie but goodie: Lawry’s, The Prime Rib

lawrys

When I think of prime rib, I think of Lawry’s. I don’t crave red meat often, but when I need to scratch that itch, it’s go big or go home. Glistening slabs of marbled, well-aged, juicy, melt-in-the-mouth, immensely flavourful beef, with proper gravy, hearty mash, artery-clogging Yorkshire pudding, and perhaps creamed spinach as accompaniment, this is meat-and-potatoes Version 2.0. If there ever was a meal my hubby might walk over hot coals for, this would be it. Continue Reading →