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 →

You must try Violet Oon’s dry laksa

dry-laksa

This is a public service announcement. If you are a noodle lover, if you are a local food addict, if you like spice, or hell, just like food in general, do yourself a favour and go check out Violet Oon’s Kitchen and order her Dry Laksa. Continue Reading →

Oldie but goodie: Tony Roma’s

tony roma's 1

Every which way you turn in Singapore nowadays, there are cooler, edgier, fancier restaurants springing up. Although it is fun and thrilling to explore new flavours, marvel at their striking decor, or even try a new cuisine, I oftentimes just yearn for something tried and tested, especially when it came to special occasions. For my hubby’s birthday recently, I planned a series of meals in restaurants that originated from way back when. Nostalgic favourites that still stand strong today, unfazed by the new kids on the block. The first oldie but goodie on the cards was Tony Roma’s. Continue Reading →

Comforting yet modern east-west cuisine at Pidgin Kitchen & Bar in Singapore

pidgin-fig

I’m always quite excited when I hear that a chef is trying to take on the very interesting challenge of producing “Modern Singaporean” cuisine. Combining our traditional flavors with modern cooking techniques, plating styles from different cultures, and ingredients from all over the world is something that I both enjoy playing with at home and eating when done deftly by a skilled chef. Chefs that do this well include Willin Low, Jeremy Nguee and Malcolm Lee. And, from what I’ve tasted during a recent trip to Pidgin Kitchen & Bar, Chef Adrian Ling. Continue Reading →

Trying the vegetarian menu at Lolla in Singapore

Lolla leek fondant

“Didn’t we go to school together?” is not a question I’m usually asked by chefs. And yet, it seems par for the course in Lolla, a one year-old modern establishment that has become one of the hottest tables in the town, but which refuses to forget its convivial, clandestine origins. I’ve had two vegetarian meals at this sparkling supper-club-turned-restaurant (with my herbivore girlfriend K); the experience was eclectic, serendipitous, and sensational.
Continue Reading →