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 →

World domination with a London brunch

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Oscar Wilde once said, “The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world”. I reckon the same goes for brunches. After all, many famous people are known to have been late risers – for instance, Hitler was known to conduct very important meetings from his tub as he took his late morning bath… Ok, bad example. Moving on. Continue Reading →

Sawadee ka! Rules of etiquette When travelling in Thailand

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As far as many Asian countries go for visiting foreigners, Thailand is certainly among the most relaxed with regard to customs and rules. Having been a top destination for tourism for over 60 years, Thailand is known for its warm hospitality and uniquely welcoming ways. However, that is not to say that anything goes. While the Thai customs may not be as fixed or rigid as Japanese or Chinese, there are still some big DO’s and DON’Ts to be mindful of when traveling, greeting and eating in Thailand. Continue Reading →

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

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(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 →

The barbecued oyster and other food delights from the San Francisco Bay Area

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Northern California is one of my favourite destinations in the world, and nothing makes me happier than spending a week (or two or twenty) exploring the countless gustatory delights, interspersed with some fun activities and fab shopping of course. Continue Reading →

Cooking demonstration with Chef Renu, and a few special guests

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During my stay at Angsana, Bintan, I had the opportunity to participate in a cooking demonstration with Chef Renu Homsombat, Banyan Tree’s Corporate Chef at Saffron. The dishes that I was learning were from the four course dégustation meal that I had at Saffron. I was very excited to uncover the secrets behind Chef Renu’s delicious food. 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 →

Colours of Thailand at Angsana, Bintan

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A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to Angsana Bintan for a quick weekend getaway, and also to experience their quarterly weekend event, The Colours of Thailand. Among the activities lined up, it included feasting on a selection of Thai cuisine that was thoughtfully prepared by Chef Renu Homsombat, Banyan Tree’s Corporate Chef at Saffron, who had specially flown in from Bangkok for the event. Continue Reading →

Pisco hopping in Ica, Peru and a recipe

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Pisco is the renowned , celebrated brandy in Peru. I remember it as smooth, slightly smoky, and fragrant with the zing of young grapes. That Chile also lays claims to Peruvians’ beloved national drink as well, adds a political dimension that for the political scientist in me, is irresistible. But what I love about Pisco is how complex an aroma it carries. All at the same time, it manages to be mellow, light, and fragrant. 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 →

Jan Power’s Farmers Markets has a new jewel at the Albion Mill Village. Brisbane, Australia

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Fifteen years ago Brisbanites could only dream of having the kind of access to farm fresh produce that much of Europe and Asia enjoyed for as long as anyone can remember. Roadside stalls with boxes of produce and an honesty box yielded you a hit and miss selection of whatever was in season if you were prepared to hit the hinterland on a weekend but other than that and what you could grow in your backyard, produce buying happened at the local fruiterer and increasingly, at the supermarket. Continue Reading →