On August 9, 2010 our first dog, Sascha, passed away. We were in Sri Lanka for a wedding at the time and received the news just as we checked onto our flight home. Her departure was sudden. I can still remember my disbelief. After all, she had been full of energy and vitality. As we left for the airport just days earlier, she had gazed down at us from the top of the stairs with that mix of imperious aloofness and doleful sweetness that made her special in our eyes. She was 11, but had not shown any signs of slowing down.
In Shanghai, there has been a sudden and recent explosion of “boutique” beer bars and microbreweries. It appears that for both locals and foreigners alike, the current drinking trend is beer. However, this is not just your average easy drinking beer like Tsingtao or a local pilsner. Everyone is mad for premium, imported brews–the harder to find and more unusual the better. While the classic Paulaner beer gardens of Shanghai remain respectably busy, the places that are really packing them in are exactly these “boutique” beer bars and microbreweries.
Independence Day… what do those words conjure up in your mind? A whoop ass Hollywood movie? Or a day to celebrate the signing of the Declaration that pronounced freedom, opportunity and equality for all?
Some things in life are a necessary indulgence. Shinji by Kanesaka (of famed two-Michelin starred chef Shinji Kanesaka) which exemplifies the best of Edomae-style sushi, essentially falls into this category. In particular, when one is bestowed the privilege of having Master Chef Koichiro Oshino cut for you. The evening was made even more special as some friends brought along some rare wine gems for us to pair with the sushi.
It’s no secret that Gunther’s, affiliated with Roberto Galetti’s Garibaldi group, is one of the best restaurants in town. The Miele Guide 2011/2012 ranked it the 14th best in Asia, and The Peak magazine recently gave it a nod for Outstanding Service. Five years after the restaurant first opened its doors—and five years after it was featured on this very website—people still rave about chef Gunther Hubrechsen’s flair, and the depth of his cuisine. My entire family swears by his cold angel-hair pasta with Oscietra caviar.