Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 132

A TOUCH OF TRADITIONAL BALINESE WARM HOSPITALITY COMBINED WITH REFINED SERVICE

IS THE KEY TO A SERENE GETAWAY. PAMPER YOURSELF IN OUR LUXURY PRIVATE VILLAS WITH
24 HOUR BUTLER SERVICE AND COMPLETE ACCESS TO THE VILLA LOUNGE
AND NIKKO CLUB LOUNGE. WE'LL MAKE YOUR HOLIDAY UNFORGETTABLE...
For further information and reservations, please contact:
Grand Nikko Bali
Jalan Raya Nusa Dua Selatan, PO BOX 18, Nusa Dua 80363, Bali - Indonesia
Tel: +62-361-773-377 Fax: +62-361-773-388
E-mail: sales@grandnikkobali.com URL: http://www.grandnikkobali.com

Check out our new and improved look at

TravelandLeisureAsia.com

Volume 08 / Issue 04

Contents

April 2014
Features

Special
64

Asian Libations This


region is aoat in new
bars, new breweries and
creative mixologists that
are adding a little stardust
to the moonshine.
Whether its eccentric
speakeasies in Hong Kong,
organic cocktails in
Bangkok, or blending with
bravado in Singapore, our
team of writers tells you
where and how to best get
your drink on. EDITED BY

SONNY THAKUR

M ER R IT T GU R LE Y

78

84

Chicken by the Sea The


island of Hainan birthed
one of Chinas most iconic
dishes: Hainanese
chicken. J EFF CH U and his
mother search out the
backstory of this family
favorite, learning how to
raise the birds, cook the
dish, and connect over a
not-so-simple plate of rice.
GU IDE A N D R ECIPE PAGE 83
95 Places to Eat Like
a Local For the second
edition of our global eating
guide, we asked our

far-ung correspondents,
favorite chefs, critics and
resident food experts to
share their beloved insider
spotsplaces that so
dene their locale, they
couldnt be anywhere else.
94

Take Root For millennia,


ginger has been the
omnipresent worker bee of
Asian cuisine, fortifying
weak terrines and
tummies. ST EPH A N IE
ZU BIR I tracks the plants
pep around the continent.
GU IDE PAGE 101

102 Eating L.A. The


always-voracious GA RY
SHT E Y NGA RT takes on all of
Los Angeles, high and low,
farm to table, tacos to rice
bowls, bucatini carbonara
to coconut creamthe best
food in the city right now.
PHOTOGR A PHED BY MISH A
GR AV ENOR . GU IDE PAGE

111

Stir-fried pork
and ginger at
Tsukiji, Manila,
page 94.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

Contents

Meals on Wheels The


hottest new restaurant in
town just drove past you!
BY K ATE WHITEHEAD

30

Kitchen Aids Why does a


cooking tool make a great
souvenir? Because every
time you use it, you relive
your trip. BY JENNIFER
Gourmet Guides If your
travels are focused on the
worlds best bites, then
consider enlisting the help
of these victual virtuosos.

Trip Doctor
50

The Fix How, what and


when to eat to stave off
jetlag.

54

Strategies The best


airport and airline food
around the world.

BY DIANA HUBBELL

34

Spicing Up Samui
Locavore chef Alex Gares
shows JENINNE LEE - ST .
JOHN how to nd the bona
de homegrown avors of
this Thai island.

Hidden Indian Follow


MARCO FERRARESE s quick
guide to Penangs Little
India to eat like a local and
hunt down the best dishes
among a smorgasbord of
excellent food choices.
Plus The reinvigoration of
Hong Kongs Sai Ying Pun
neighborhood; eating your
way around Hoi An;
confessions of a roomservice waiter; and more.

FLOWERS

32

10

60

Tech New apps and


websites for foodies with
wanderlust.

62

Deals A spa treatmentlled trip to the Maldives;


Hong Kong with a side of
Disney; a grand opening
offer in Nanjing; and more.
Decoder

Departments
12
14 I N B O X 16

E D I T O R S N O T E

CONTR IBU TORS

40

Radar
26

DEST I NAT IONS

On the Cover
Joseph Boroski mixes cocktails at
Bangkoks Bar & Hospitality
School. Photographed by Pornsak
Na Nakorn.

112 Melbourne A Victorianthrowback beach-ringed


beauty, Australias second
city is trending casual in its
dining scene, and going
global in music and wine,
while keeping its laid-back,
cool-kid vibe. RICHARD
MCLEISH guides us around
his hometown foodie,
fashionista and footballer
heaven. PHOTOGRAPHED BY
PAUL PHILIPSON

Last Look
118

LUKE DUGGLEBY takes us

through the life cycle of


edible laphet tea, in
Namshan, Burma.

PAU L P H IL IP SO N

Century-old bathing
boxes stand in
colorful contrast to
the Melbourne
skyline, page 112.

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Destinations

April 2014

102

LOS A N G E LES
HAINAN

21

78
28

KOH SA M U I

H O N G KON G

HOI A N

34

M E LBOU R N E

112

DESTINATION

PAGE

WHEN TO GO

WHAT US$5 BUYS

WHO TO FOLLOW

Hainan

78

November to early March is most temperate.

A meal at Xinsheng Wenchang


Chicken Rice Restaurant.

@visitisland

Hoi An

28

In May, June and July, the crowds thin and its


perfect beach weather.

Five banh mi from Tiem Banh Mi


Phuonglunch for the whole
family.

@hoiantravel01

Hong Kong

21

November and December are lovely and cool.


Avoid the sweltering, humid summer if at all
possible.

A four-day pass for the Hong


Kong Tramways.

@timeouthk

Koh Samui

34

January through April has the least rain; May


and June are slightly cooler before the wet
season really kicks in.

Two beers at 4 Monkeys Coffee


Bar.

@SamuiNightlife

Los Angeles

102

Whenever. Temperatures vary little yearround, with highs hovering between 20 and
28 degrees Celsius.

A glass of Canadas Berg water,


from glaciers o western
Greenland, at Rays & Stark bar.

@LATimes

Melbourne

112

In the austral summer of December through


March.

Starting price for a childs


ticket to an Australian Football
League game at the Melbourne
Cricket Ground.

@OnlyMelbourne

Long Weekend

10

A P R I L 2 014

Beach

Active

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Food+Drink

Shopping

Arts+Culture

ge
fique Voya
My Magni

DUA
NUSA
BALI
FITEL

SO

RT

O
H RES

BEAC

ESCAPE
ANTING
CHARM
AN ENCH
LINESE
EETS BA
M
CE
N
TREAT
EGA
RE
EL
T
N
CH
O
FREN
ACHFR
VISH BE
DUA,
IN A LA

SA
T N5, NU
BTDC, LO
9 2889
361 84
WISATA
L: (+62)
AN PARI
TE
AS
W
A
KA
NESI
.COM
UA
DO
IN
AD
3
US
36
IN
BALI 80
FITELBAL
INFO@SO

a t n ig h t
Th e L obby

Luxury room with pool access

g p oo l
Swim m in

A taste of tropical luxury on the magical island of Bali


BOASTING MAGNIFICENT VIEWS OF THE SHIMMERING SEA, SOFITEL BALI NUSA DUA BEACH RESORTS
SPACIOUS ROOMS AND SUITES OFFER SOPHISTICATED STYLE AND EXQUISITE COMFORT. REVEL IN
A WORLD OF REJUVENATION WITH A SAVANT MIX OF WORLD-CLASS FACILITIES, FRENCH COSMETOLOGY
AND TRANQUIL SURROUNDS. DISCOVER ALL OUR MAGNIFIQUE ADDRESSES ON

www.sofitel.com

If, like me, your mobile phone is overloaded


with food pictures, I think you have a problem.
Or, at least a fun obsession. Whether youre in
Singapore, Bali or Manila, in a restaurant, a
street-side food stall or even an airport,
snapping photos of your next meal is the norm
these days. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Your
friends, family and a long list of others know
what youre eating before youve even had a
taste. Our food has become art, our
electronically shared meals the galleries. This
is particularly true in Asia, where the diversity
of dishes, flavors and palates knows no
bounds, a sentiment that bubbles to the top in this, our annual food issue.
In 95 Places to Eat Like a Local (page 84), youll find Mumbai and Marrakesh,
Shanghai and San Francisco, Hong Kong and Hoi An. With this extensive inside
take on where to eat around the world, you will be hard-pressed to get through the
list without making a few long-distance reservations.
If you fear that your own appetite is overly ravenous, remember that there are
other diners with even more searing culinary preoccupations. This month, in
Chicken by the Sea (page 78), Jeff Chu embarks on a quest for the best Hainanese
chicken rice on that Chinese island, while Stephanie Zubiri traverses the region,
and thousands of years, to, yes, root out how ginger has made its way in to every
Asian cuisine (Take Root, page 94).
We make a splash this month with cocktails in a special section (Asian
Libations, page 64) that also includes Asias best craft beers, tells you how to make
the most of minibars and a helps you determine what kind of watering hole sates
your own thirst best.
Drinkingfrom fine wines to flat whitesand dining are deeply woven into the
cultural fabric of Melbourne, one of the worlds best foodie stops. This months
Decoder (page 112) highlights the best of whats new in the city and will have you
veering down unlikely alleyways for dinner when youre not heading out to the
Yarra Valley wineries. Best of all, when vineyard-hopping there are designated
drivers, so you can devote your journey to some great meals. Just dont forget your
phone.C H R I S T O P H E R K U C WAY

Where to find me
chrisk@mediatransasia.com
@CKucway on Twitter

Our Next
Stops

Penang
Istanbul
Hong Kong
Papua New
Guinea

The T+L Code Travel + Leisure editors, writers and photographers are the industrys most reliable sources.
While on assignment, they travel incognito whenever possible and do not take press trips or accept free travel of any kind.
12

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

N A P AT R A V E E W AT

Editors Note

Richard
Mcleish

Jeff
Chu

Stephanie
Zubiri

Writer
Find Your Bar Style and
Decoder: Melbourne
(pages 64 and 112).

Writer
Chicken by the Sea
(page 78).

Writer
Take Root
(page 94).

why is melbourne
such a foodie town? A
big variety of inuences is
readily absorbed by the
locals who are wellinformed and open-minded.
biggest new trends
there Gelati sweetened
the city this summer, with
ramen in the works for the
winter months. im
arriving saturday
morning. what are we
doing for the next 30
hours? First, brunch at
Galleon Caf in St. Kilda.
Then its into the city for a
game of footy at the MCG.
With a thirst developed,
next up is the nearby
Carlton Club before a pasta
at Pellegrinis Espresso Bar
and some laneway bar
hopping. Finish the night
off paryting in Brunswick
before dashing to the
airport. your bar style?
Late, lively and ludicrous.

the best hainanese


chicken rice Is
denitely in Hainan.
taking a mother-son
trip as an adult
feels... Weird. One of the
secrets to our success on
this trip was that we agreed
to leave our stresses behind.
We committed to not talking
about family stuff and
focused on enjoying every
new sight and every new
taste. did you disagree
at meals? As I get older, I
nd that I cant eat as much.
My mom still eats heroically
at a buffet. I standwell,
mostly I sitin awe. where
are you eating next?
Los Angeles. On the menu:
sushi and Mexican food,
two things that are vastly
inferior in New York, where
I live. I expect to return
home with tubs of salsa and
stacks of freshly made corn
tortillas.

howd you come up


with the idea for a
story about ginger? I
love learning more about
the stories behind strong
and bold ingredients. Where
theyve traveled, how they
grow, anecdotes and folk
tales... I was originally
looking at lemongrass or
basil but then it dawned on
me that everywhere I went
in Asia, ginger was always
there, present and earnest.
most surprising
ginger-filled dish It
would have to be chicken
kormaWho knew ginger
and tomatoes would go so
well together? ginger is
best Fresh, raw, grated
straight into a hot pan of
sizzling onions and garlic.
Frying out the rawness
tempers its potency. It is a
strange alchemythe spice
mellows out yet intensies
in aroma at the same time.

As I get older, I find that I cant


eat as much. My mom still eats
heroically at a buffet. I stand
well, mostly I sitin awe.
JEFF CHU

F R O M L E F T: C O U R T E S Y O F R I C H A R D M C L E I S H ; C O U R T E S Y O F J E F F C H U ; C O U R T E S Y O F S T E P H A N I E Z U B I R I

Contributors

H[RWLF LG\OOLFUHWUHDW

Inbox

XIFSFMJGFJTBQSJWBUFDFMFCSBUJPO

A Bright, Sunshiny Day


Lovely cover photo in February... vibrant, wholesome
and sophisticated. Great style!
f

6DQXU,8EXG,1XVD'XD,-LPEDUDQ

Lies Sol

PHUKET

Flashpacking 2.0

Reading the Leaves

Hostels (A Hostel Environment,


June 2013) are a big market
nowadays because there are lots of
young people traveling who have
enough disposable income to enjoy
some creature comforts. But there is
one major difference in walking into
a hostel now and walking into one
20 years ago. In my backpacker days,
everyone would sit around and
drink beer and swap stories. Now,
everyone is staring at their laptop
or mobile device, and off in their
own world. Shamebecause being
disconnected was one of the great
benets of taking time off to travel.
f Greg Hill

For your Street Eats story (Last


Look, September 2013), perhaps a
photo in Burma showing a plate
of the traditional laphet thote
(pickled green tea leaf salad) could
be considered, as it would provide
an image of a dish available from the
street vendor stalls that is uniquely
Burmese.
f Scott McIntire

3)
(H[SHULHQFH#ND\XPDQLVFRP

CONTACT
INFO

CALIFORNIA

Editors note: Great idea, Scott! Please


turn to page 118 for a close-up look at
laphet. If theres anything else you
readers would like to see in the pages
of Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia,
e-mail, tweet us, or visit our Facebook
page.

tleditor@mediatransasia.com,
travelandleisureasia.com, f facebook.com/
TravelLeisureAsia or @TravLeisureAsia.

Got something to say? Tell us at

Comments may be edited for clarity and space.

ZZZWKHJDQJVDFRP

ZZZND\XPDQLVFRP

EDITORINCHIEF
ART DIRECTOR
FEATURES EDITORS
DESIGNER

Christopher Kucway
Wannapha Nawayon
Merritt Gurley
Jeninne Lee-St. John
Chotika Sopitarchasak

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS / PHOTOGRAPHERS


Cedric Arnold, Jeff Chu, Helen Dalley, Robyn Eckhardt, Philipp Engelhorn,
David Hagerman, Lauryn Ishak, Mark Lean, Melanie Lee, Naomi Lindt, Brent T. Madison,
Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Aaron Joel Santos, Adam Skolnick, Darren Soh, Stephanie Zubiri

CHAIRMAN
PRESIDENT
PUBLISHING DIRECTOR

PUBLISHER
DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER
SALES DIRECTOR
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGERS
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
PRODUCTION MANAGER
PRODUCTION
GROUP CIRCULATION MANAGER
CIRCULATION ASSISTANT

J.S. Uberoi
Egasith Chotpakditrakul
Rasina Uberoi-Bajaj

Robert Fernhout
Pichayanee Kitsanayothin
Joey Kukielka
Domenica Agostino
Justin Williams
Gaurav Kumar
Kanda Thanakornwongskul
Supalak Krewsasaen
Porames Sirivejabandhu
Yupadee Saebea

AMERICAN EXPRESS PUBLISHING CORPORATION


PRESIDENT/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
EXECUTIVE EDITOR, INTERNATIONAL
PUBLISHING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL

Ed Kelly
Mark V. Stanich
Paul B. Francis
Nancy Novogrod
Mark Orwoll
Thomas D. Storms

TRAVEL+LEISURE SOUTHEAST ASIA


VOL. 8, ISSUE 4
Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia is published monthly by Media Transasia Limited, Room 1205-06, 12/F, Hollywood
Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2851-6963; Fax: +852 2851-1933; under license
from American Express Publishing Corporation, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, United States
of America. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in
writing from the Publisher. Produced and distributed by Media Transasia Thailand Ltd., 14th Floor, Ocean Tower II, 75/8
Soi Sukhumvit 19, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoeynue, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand. Tel: +66 2 204-2370. Printed
by Comform Co., Ltd. (+66 2 368-29427). Color separation by Classic Scan Co., Ltd.
(+66 2 291-7575). While the editors do their utmost to verify information published, they do not
accept responsibility for its absolute accuracy.

This edition is published by permission of


AMERICAN EXPRESS PUBLISHING CORPORATION
1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036 United States of America
Tel. +1 212 382 5600 Online: www.amexpub.com
Reproduction in whole or in part without the consent of the copyright owner is prohibited.

SUBSCRIPTIONS
Subscription enquiries: www.travelandleisuresea.com/subscribe
ADVERTISING
Advertising enquiries: e-mail advertising@mediatransasia.com

On Our

Radar
News. Finds. Opinions. Obsessions.

A late bite at
One Stop.

on the map

C H R I S T O P H E R K U C W AY

SIZZLING SAI
YING PUN
This old Chinese neighborhood in Hong
Kongs Western District is changing fast.
A new escalator and the promise of an
MTR station later this year are ushering in
a fresh crop of bars and restaurants worth
checking out. By Kate Whitehead
T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

21

Radar

THIRD STREET

1
H IG H STRE E T

1 Metropolitan Bistro de
Paris The signage mimics

the Parisian Metro and


snails are on the menu at
this very French affair
offering home-style cooking
with a Provenale touch. Get
a table on the terrace to
watch the world go by. GF 46
High St.; 852/6271-6102;
french-creations.com; dinner
for two HK$400.
2 High Street Grill

One of the newest kids on


the block, the menu is
Australian fusion so expect
Asian favorites as well as
plenty of pasta and pizza
crowd-pleasers. Come on a
Sunday for a great brunch in
a calming atmosphere. 48-88
High St.; 852/2559-2638;
casteloconcepts.com; dinner
for two HK$700.
3 One Stop Ristorante &

Clockwise from top left:


High Street Grills salmon
salad; picnic favorites at
Pata Negra; the sweet side
of Corner Caf; outside
Metropolitain Bistro de
Paris; Grassroots Pantry.

Bar This is the sister


business of One Stop Food
Supply, a small store across
the road that specializes in
sustainable meats and
gourmet ingredients. The
enterprising owner of the
provisions shop has taken
advantage of the supply of
fresh produce to open this
very affordable restaurant.
The dcor is simple with
bold art works and tables
out front for dining alfresco.
52 High St.; 852/2858-1018;
dinner for two HK$300.
4 Fuku Robatayaki &

Kaki Although this Japanese


joint isnt much to look at,
the vibe is warm and the
food is consistently great. As
youd expect, robatayaki
features on the vast menu as
well sushi, sashimi, noodles
and rice. Its great food and
reasonable prices draw a
crowd, so make a
reservation to ensure a
table. 69 High St.; 852/25489961; dinner for two HK$400

22

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

5 Grassroots Pantry

Hong Kong doesnt have


many Western vegetarian
restaurants, so this homey
spot with a staff dedicated
to wholesome food and
green living was an instant
hit. The ingredients are
mostly organic and locally
sourced and the interior has
a vintage vibe. Cooking
classes are also offered. 12
Fuk Sau Ln.; 852/2873-3353;
grassrootspantry.com;
dinner for two HK$600.
6 Corner Caf This
pint-sized caf with
tempting treats is ideal for a
quick lunch or coffee. The
cakes and savory treats are
all homemadethe quiche is
especially good. Coffee is
imported from Italy and
Australia. 56 Centre St.;
852/3480-8436; dinner for
two HK$200.
7 Pata Negra House

This Spanish deli


specializing in the nations
much-loved Iberian ham is a
meat-lovers paradise. For
the less carnivorously
inclined, there are plenty of
cheeses, olives and wine
everything you need to put
together a great picnic. Shop
E, Tung Cheung Bldg., 1
Second St.; 852/2527-5181.
8 Taco Chaca Most agree
that the best tacos in town
are served at this Southern
Californian-style taqueria.
The menu is big on avor
with Mexican favorites such
as burritos, quesadillas and
enchiladas, along with a
bevy of spicy sauces. There
are only a few tables within,
so if its busy you may get
stuck outside, but at these
prices you cant complain.
Shop F, Tung Cheung Bldg, 1
Second St.; 852/2559-9519;
tacochaca.com; dinner for
two HK$200. 

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T: C O U R T E S Y O F H I G H S T R E E T G R I L L ; C H R I S T O P H E R K U C W AY 2 ; C O U R T E S Y O F M E T R O P O L I TA I N ; C O U R T E S Y O F G R A S S R O O T S P A N T R Y

C E NTRE STRE ET

W ESTE RN STRE E T

E AS TE RN ST RE
ET

7 8

S ECON D STR E E T

Radar
cruising

SEA FARE
Shipboard cuisine is
going beyond the
buffet.
1
Crystal Serenityfresh from
a US$17 million makeoveris
bringing foods of the world
(Alsatian tarte; lamb
dumplings from North Africa)
to its Tastes restaurant. The
living walls planted in the
alfresco Trident Grill provide
the herbs (crystalcruises.com).

Chef Bo delicately
composes a plate.

Bo on Bangkok
Diana Hubbell talks to Duangporn Bo Songvisava, one of the head chefs and
founders of Bangkoks Bo.lan restaurant, about the changing scene in Thailand.
Q: What does it take to do Thai food well?
A: Its not that easy to do Thai food by hand,

when youre not shortcutting anything. Its


like the difference between ParmigianoReggiano and grated Kraft.
Q: Has there been a shift in Bangkoks Thai
restaurants?
A: Five years ago it was very hard to nd a
good Thai restaurant that cared about
sourcing the ingredients. If you had asked
me then, I wouldve said that the dining
scene was stagnant. Im quite happy with
whats happening with Thai food now, and
in a ne dining context as well. And that
people are doing different things. Its cool.

Confessions
of a RoomService Waiter
This server at a
luxury hotel in Boston
delivers the dish.

24

A P R I L 2 014

Its crazy what


you run across in
the wee hourslike
guests eating
off the trays others
have left outside
their rooms.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Q: What inspired you to start the citys rst

farmers markets?
A: We tried to get organic products and it
was super difficult to nd any. So we started
working directly with the farmers. At rst it
was just to get organic veggies for Bo.lan, but
to make it sustainable, they had to be able to
sell to other people. So wed give them a free
space to sell at the restaurant once a week, as
long as the goods were ethical and
sustainable. With the farmers market we
tried to make people aware that everything
we choose to eat impacts the environment.
Bo.lan 42 Pichai Ronnarong, Sukhumvit Soi

26; bolan.co.th; set menu from Bt1,980.

A famous author
lived in our hotel for a
few months, and ordered
room service every single
mealfor her Yorkies! She
demanded we use French
serviceplating the
food at the table.

Befitting its home port of


Miami, the new Norwegian
Getaway has cooked up the
Tropicana Room, a retro dinner
club with a decidedly Latino
vibe. To order: ceviche and
churrasco steak
(ncl.com).
3
New guest lecturers aboard
Holland America Line
ships include New York Times
food columnist Mark Bittman
and Jehangir Mehta,
a former protg of JeanGeorges Vongerichten
(hollandamerica.com).
4
Oceanias Riviera and Marina
are now offering food-themed
excursions and courses, such
as a tour of the Mercado
Central in Valencia, Spain,
followed by an onboard paella
class (oceaniacruises.com).
jane wooldridge

The worst
people are the ones
who forget to take down
their Do Not Disturb signs
or those who answer the
door naked. That
happens more than
youd think!

COURTESY OF BO.L AN

q& a

Try the iHealth


menu at Harbourside
InterContinental.

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P : C O U R T E S Y O F I N T E R C O N T I N E N TA L ; C O U R T E S Y O F F I V E L E M E N T S ; C O U R T E S Y O F W E S T I N S I N G A P O R E

Food synergy at
Westin Singapore.

Fresh wraps at
Fivelements.

wellness

Green on the Go
Bypass the buffet in favor of these new healthy dining options being
offered at major hotels across the region. By Melanie Lee
Its tempting to pig out when you are on
vacation, but a few hotels are rolling
out super food menus to help combat
the urge to splurge. The SuperFoodsRx
dishes in the restaurants at the new
Westin Singapore (65/6922-6888;
starwoodhotels.com) give diners the
option of forgoing the usual buffet in
favor of a long list of healthy food
options packed with antioxidants. A
key concept of this menu is food
synergy, the theory that the
combinations of certain foods are even
more nutritious than if they are eaten
separately. Thus, at their signature
restaurant, Seasonal Tastes (meal for
two S$70), the Bircher Muesli comes
with cinnamon, because it works
together with whole grains to control
blood-sugar levels; and the organic
fennel salad is topped with crushed

walnuts, because combined they help


you burn fat.
Also catering to the food-conscious
is InterContinental Hong Kong. Their
all-day caf, Harbourside (852/23132323; meal for two HK$1,000), has
collaborated with Hong Kong
Adventist Hospital dieticians to come
up with an iHealth menu that uses
ingredients that are known to prevent
heart disease, diabetes and
hypertension. Expect nourishing
dishes such as beetroot gnocchi.
Meanwhile, the Sakti Dining Room
(meal for two Rp750,000) in Balis
Fivelements (62/361-469-260;
velements.org) healing and wellness
resort offers epicurean vegan dishes
such as home-baked eggplant, which is
stuffed with ve spice-marinated tofu
and rambutan blossoms.

Radar

trending

Meals on Wheels
The hottest new restaurant in town just drove past you! By Kate Whitehead
The food truck phenomenon took off
in the U.S. when out-of-work chefs set
up restaurants on wheels. These
creative cooks, following in the tire
tracks of the ice cream vans that paved
the way starting with their original
incarnation as 19th-century horsedrawn wagons, dole out easy-to-eat,
tastyand often gourmetfare at,
thanks to the low overhead, reasonable
prices. The appetite for these mobile
munchies just keeps growing, spilling
past borders and taking the AsiaPacic region by storm.
AUSTRALIA

Melbourne prides itself on being a


foodie city, so its no surprise the place
was quick to embrace the food-truck
craze. The rst in the city was Beatbox
Kitchen (beatboxkitchen.com; meal for
two A$25) in 2009 and ve years on its
still serving classic burgers and fries,
with a few variations like the vegfriendly Shroom Burger. It was such as
26

A P R I L 2 014

hit that the owner followed it up with a


taco truck and before long there were
dozens of trucks milling about
Melbourne. Soon Chingon (chingon.
com.au) joined the scene with its own
brand of Mexican favorites, creating
competition. Luckily Melbourne has
enough hungry customers to keep
everyone in business.
Try to catch White Guy Cooks
Thai (whiteguycooksthai.com.au; meal
for two A$25), a ashy ride that hit the
streets in 2012. Simon Williams is the
white guy, but his menu isnt strictly
Thai. Alongside the red and green
curries and Thai-style corn fritters, he
serves up Vietnamese rolls, teriyaki
salmon and Korean beef bulgogi.
Today there are about 50 trucks in
Melbourne, targeting mostly the inner
suburbs, and its easy to nd them
thanks to Facebook and Twitter. In
fact, it safely can be said that without
social networking sites this food fad
could never have grown so big so fast.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Get the Where The Truck (app.


wherethetruck.at) app for a fairly
comprehensive directory of Australias
food trucks.
JAPAN

Japans food trucks are smaller than


those in the U.S. and Australia and
zoning regulations mean that public
open space cant be used for kitchens.
A few quick-thinking entrepreneurs
have found a loophole though and have
set up companies that match trucks
with building owners. In Tokyo, trucks
often congregate in one area at lunch,
giving office workers plenty of choice
and creating a buzz downtown.
Look out for: Tofu Tofu (facebook.
com/tofutofu.cafe; meal for two US$20)
for a fun vegetarian bite. The brightly
painted VW minivan works magic
with tofu, packing in plenty of avor.
But if youre craving some meat, then
Rodeio Grill (rodeiogrill.jp; meal for
two US$30) should hit the spot.

F R O M T O P L E F T: T R A C Y M O N S O D / C O U R T E S Y O F S H A W A R M A B R O S ; C O U R T E S Y O F F L A M I N G W H E E L S 2 ; C O U R T E S Y O F S H A W A R M A B R O S

From left:
Heaping plates
of goodness at
Shawarma
Bros; Flaming
Wheels cooks
up hot wings
and chili beef
nachos.

Clockwise from top left: Pizza-Aroys


mobile wood-fired oven; White Guy
Cooks Thai; Wheres the beef? At
Daniel Thaiger; piping hot Pizza-Aroy.

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T: C O U R T E S Y O F W I L LY Z ;
C O U R T E S Y O F W H I T E G U Y C O O K S T H A I ; C O U R T E S Y O F M A R K F A K I O N I ; C O U R T E S Y O F W I L LY Z

MALAYSIA

Street-side snacks served from mobile


kitchens are nothing new in Malaysia,
but last year Kuala Lumpur welcomed
a new breed of vehicle: the super-shiny
modern food truck sporting all the
bells and whistles. Flaming Wheels
(myamingwheels.com; meal for two
US$30) belongs to a Malaysian
restaurateur who was inspired by the
U.S. food trucks and invested a good
chunk of capital into a very ash
looking vehiclethink Hot Wheels.
The menu has plenty of local and
international bistro favorites, such as
chili beef nachos, goulash and
Singapore noodles. Its made such a
splash in Kuala Lumpur that the
Malaysian prime minister even
stopped by for a bite in January.

market in downtown Makati, offering


a new breed of alfresco dining, quite
unlike the illegal street vendors for
whom mobility was all about being
able to make a quick exit when the cops
showed up. The original market closed
but a new edition is in the works.
Check the Food Truck Park Facebook
site for news on its next location.
Shawarma Bros (shawarmabros.
com; meal for two about US$10),
however, endured. It opened in
December 2012 and was so popular it
sold out of shawarma for the rst three
days and went on to pick up an award
for best food truck.Shawarma Bros is
still going strong and recently opened
a brick and mortar restaurant on
Raymundo Avenue, Pasig City.
THAILAND

PHILIPPINES

Manila caught the food truck bug so


thoroughly that in December 2012 it
created the countrys rst food truck

In Bangkok, most mobile food carts are


attached to motorcycles. This makes
good sense given the citys notoriously
terrible traffic, but it hasnt stopped

conrmed foodies doing their bit to


boost the legit food truck movement.
First came a couple of Korean Taco
trucks called Kenji. They made a splash
and lasted a year before disappearing
from the scene. Demonstrating more
enduring success has been Bangkoks
rst gourmet burger truck, Daniel
Thaiger (facebook.com/DanielThaiger;
burgers for two Bt280). Opened last
September, its the brainchild of
Californian Mark Falcioni and his
Thai wife, Honey. Named after their
young son, this Sukhumvit-area
pitstop has been a huge hit; its Mr.
Steve burger uses organic beef.
The prize for one of the quirkiest
trucks goes to Pizza-Aroy (pizza-aroy.
com; pizza for two Bt500) for its mobile
wood-red pizza oven. Its actually a
utility pick-up truck, and the oven
complete with chimney is mounted on
the back. It serves piping hot pies on
the moveor will tool over to your
house for a portable pizza party. 

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

27

Radar
food

Six Dishes: Hoi An


Our abridged meal-by-meal guide to where to eat now. By Lara Dunston

breakfast
My quang
(yellow noodles and pork)
at Hai

morning snack
Hoanh thanh chien
(fried wontons)
at Ms. Ly Caf

lunch
Com ga
(chicken and rice)
at Com Ga Ba Buoi

Mr. Hai makes the most rened


rendition of this popular breakfast
noodle dish. Succulent char siu pork
slices, fresh prawns and a quail egg
rest atop silky turmeric rice noodles in
a spiced pork broth. 6A Truong Minh
Luong St.; VND30,000 a bowl.

In the kitchen of her centuries-old


family home, Chef Ly produces the
prettiest version of these at fried
shrimp wontons, which she tops with
her made-to-order sweet and sour
tomato salsa. 22 Nguyen Hue St.;
84-510/386-1603; VND90,000 per dish.

Hoi Ans take on Asias ubiquitous


chicken and rice is distinguished by
uffy yellow turmeric-tinted rice,
shredded chicken, slivers of onion,
black pepper and Vietnamese mint,
with chicken broth on the side. 22 Phan
Chu Trinh St.; VND15,000 per plate.

dessert
Tau hu nuoc duong
(silky tofu in ginger sauce)
at Nguyen Thai Hoc Street

evening snack
Cao lau
(Hoi An noodles and pork)
at Ty Cao Lau

dinner
Banh uot thit nuong
(barbecued pork skewer rolls)
at Mai Fish

Dessert is eaten following lunch or as


an afternoon snack rather than with
dinner in Hoi An and youll nd the
best vendors a block from the Japanese
Bridge. The silky tofu with a syrupy
ginger sauce is the most sublime.
Nguyen Thai Hoc St., where it meets
Bach Dang St.; VND5,000 a dish.

As Mr. Ty sets up at 4:30 p.m., his plastic


tables ll with customers waiting for a
bowl of his coarse handmade noodles
and roasted char siu pork drizzled with
luxuriant broth and sprinkled with
deep-fried dough. Corner of lane off
Phan Chu Trinh St., one block west Le
Loi St.; VND20,000 a bowl.

The best lemongrass pork rolls in town


are served riverfront at Mai Fish
restaurant where you can leisurely roll
your own pork (or beef or seafood) in
soft rice paper sheets with pungent
peanut sauce and fragrant herbs.
45 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St.; 84-510/
392-5545; VND90,000 a platter.

28

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Photographed by Terence Carter

Radar
1

2
4

6
quiz

Kitchen Aids
8

30

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

1. If youre a nonna making potato dumplings in this boot-shaped


nation, you might employ a macchinetta per gnocchi to create the
signature indentations. 2. In the Land of Smiles, sticky rice
steamers are used to achieve that tender-yet-chewy goodness; serve
the rice with khao soi curry. 3. A must-have tool in an island nation
obsessed with green tea? The chasen, or bamboo whisk, for blending
the powdered matcha into hot water. 4. A molinillo whips hot
chocolatean Aztec drink invented here 2,000 years agoto frothy
perfection. 5. Clay tagines are the secret behind tender lamb stews
and fluffy couscous in this North African nation; the pretty one shown
here is intended for serving. 6. In this country, coffee is traditionally
made by boiling the grounds in a cezve; enjoy a cup after a Bosporusside meal of kebabs and meze. 7. For Mid-Autumn Festival, locals
break out wooden yue bing mo molds to make moon cakes and
cookies filled with lotus seed and red bean paste. 8. The small but
sturdy pohaku kui ai turns taro roots into creamy poi, a staple in
these Pacific islands. 9. You may know this South American country
for its coffee, but equally delicious are its hearty bean and rice dishes,
made in porous La Chamba pots. jennifer flowers

A N S W E R S 1 I TA LY 2 T H A I L A N D 3 J A P A N 4 M E X I C O 5 M O R O C C O 6 T U R K E Y 7 C H I N A 8 H A W A I I 9 C O L O M B I A

Why does a cooking tool make a great souvenir?


Because every time you use it, you relive your trip.
Try to guess each items place of origin.

YA S U + J U N K O

Radar
experts

Gourmet Guides
If your travels are focused on following the worlds best bites, then
consider enlisting the help of these victual virtuosos. By Diana Hubbell
Intrepid foodies these days venture
beyond the obvious to search for more
authentic local cuisine. Leading the
way are bloggers and fellow
gourmands who offer private, bespoke
tours that veer well off the beaten
culinary path.

Clockwise from top: Mark


Wienss skillet doublewhammy; food fever at
Bangkoks Chinatown;
flavorful khao kluk kapi.

32

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P : C O U R T E S Y O F M A R K W I E N S ; K O R AT M E M B E R / D R E A M S T I M E . C O M ; C O U R T E S Y O F M A R K W I E N S

MARK WIENS, BANGKOK

Co-founder of the popular blog


eatingthaifood.com, Mark Wiens
specializes in steering visitors away
from tourist traps and towards some of
the citys most interesting eats.
where to go Surrounding fresh
markets and on the outskirts of
hospitals, universities or
transportation hubsthese are often
great areas for stumbling into
delicious street food. Petchaburi Soi
5 is an entire street that is jam-packed
with vendors in the evening. Wang
Lang Market is great in the middle of
the day, and throughout the maze of
Chinatowns back alleys are a few
areas I especially enjoy.
must-try A dish known as khao kluk
kapi begins with rice thats stir-fried
with a hint of shrimp paste. Assembled
on top of the rice are pieces of sweet
pork, salty Chinese sausage, dry
shrimp, omelette, sour green mango,
diced shallots, Thai chilies and, nally,
cucumbers and long beans. Practically
the entire scale of what your mouth is
capable of tasting is represented on a
single plate. Khao Kluk Kapi Niyngow
[66-84/696-8797; Bt40], a small
lunchtime stall located surprisingly
close to Khao San Road, makes it
very well.
stay away from A food cart that
has a big handwritten sign for GREEN
PAPAYA SALAD or PAD THAI is probably a
cart you want to avoid, unless of course
you want tame Thai food. Contact
Mark at migrationology@gmail.com;
private half-day group food tours from
US$70 to US$80 per person.

JENNY GAO, CHENGDU

Like any good Chengduren, Jenny


Gaos been a foodie since she could
hold her chopsticks. In addition to
writing for her blog, jingtheory.com,
and appearing on the BBC, Gao leads
visitors through the citys tea houses
and snack stalls, or to her own house
for a home-cooked Sichuan meal.
where to go You couldnt avoid
good food in Chengdu, even if you
tried. There are small, family-owned
restaurants that have been around for
years. If theres a line snaking out the
door, thats usually a good sign. Take a
cue from whats on other peoples
tables and you cant go wrong.
must-try dish A classic Sichuan
street snack, tianshuimian, which
translates to sweet water noodles. The
best version is served up at Zhang
Liangfen [39 Wenshuyuan Jie; RMB5],
an age-old hole-in-the-wall across
from Wenshu Temple in the center of
town. You get a bowl of thick, chewy,
hand-pulled noodles with an
incredible elixir of sweet, savory and
spicy sauces ladled on top.
on the horizon There is a new
trend in cultural preservation

Clockwise from right:


Food blogger Jenny
Gao; packed food stalls
in Chengdu; sweet
water noodles.

spawned by popular food


documentaries in recent years such as
CCTVs A Bite of China, which is
reviving interest among a younger
generation in their cultural heritage.
This spells a positive change that
hopefully leads to more efforts to
preserve, as well as push forward,
Sichuans rich culinary identity.
Contact Jenny at jing@jingtheory.com;
tours priced upon request.

CLOCK WISE FROM TOP: COURTESY OF JENNY GAO; JACKQ/DRE AMSTIME.COM; DARREN SOH;
COURTESY OF VICTORIA MIL N ER 2 ; COURTESY OF JEN N Y GAO

VICTORIA MILNER, SINGAPORE

Though well-versed in the Lion Citys


ne dining scene, the author of
singaporefoodie.com is just as
comfortable frequenting a hawker
center for a humble plate of Hainan
chicken rice.
where to go My favorite place to
take visitors is Tiong Bahruits a
little enclave not far from the city but
full of historical charm. You can visit
the wet market to buy fresh produce,
pop into a French bakery for croissant

Clockwise from top left: Victoria


Milner at work; at Maxwell Road
hawker center; a bowl of fish soup.

and then sample local pau [buns], all in


the one wonderful little village. It is
hard to choose, but my favorite hawker
center is Maxwell Road.
must-try A sh soup at a particular
hawker stall in the city called Han Kee
Fish Soup [Amoy Street Food
Centre, Cnr. Telok Ayer St. and Amoy
St., #02-129, 069111; S$6]. Youll know it
when you see it because the queue will
weave around the center. Go before
11:30 a.m. on a weekday to avoid the
afternoon lunch lines.
memorable meal Sitting down for a
meal in Pulau Ubin, a little island just
off the coast of Singapore is an
unforgettable experience. Its not
fancy. In fact, you feel transported
back a century as you eat wonderfully
prepared noodles from a simple
restaurant in a kampong that feels
untouched by time and the scars of
modern life. Contact Victoria at
victoria@singaporefoodie.com; private
half-day group tours from S$50 per
person, including all food. 
T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

33

Radar

Spicing Up Samui
Locavore chef Alex Gares shows Jeninne Lee-St.
John how to find the bona fide homegrown flavors
of this Thai island.
Chef Alex Gares
heats up Four
Seasons Koh Samui.

The rst thing you need to know


about southern Thai food: Its
spicy, says Alex Gares. And if
they tell you its spicy, do not even
taste it. This coming from the
executive chef who put pork
trotters boiled with sea anemone,
and frog stir-fried with turmeric,
garlic and cilantro on the menu at
KOH, the new cliff-hanging,
tree-straddling restaurant in the
clouds at Four Seasons Koh
Samui (219 Moo 5, Angthong;
66-77/243-000; fourseasons.com;
doubles from Bt25,600). Gares is
all about going local with a menu
thats a greatest-hits
compendium of dishes that were
his staff members favorites
growing up, such as the
melt-in-your-mouth pork belly
kra pow. Were not tweaking or
Westernizing the dishes, he says.
Were bringing real Thai food to
our visitors that want to try to it.
Here the el Bulli-trained
Barcelona native shares his
island itinerary for the real
McCoy Koh Samui experience.
Eat I like to sit on the pillows in
the bamboo huts on the beach at
Haad Bang Po [Moo 6, 4169 Ring
Rd., Bang Po; 66-8/1788-8936;

4 Monkeys
Coffee Bar.

Stir-fried frog legs


at KOH restaurant.
Wade in and catch
your lunch.

Gorge on local
oysters.

34

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

dinner for two Bt600] where a


grandmother and daughter team
cooks southern food and fresh
seafood like steamed sea bass.
+ For real Thai food, go to
Ranong [Moo 2, Chumchon
Chaweng Yai Soi 4, Chaweng;
dinner for two Bt450]. They make
great local soups. Get the pork
spare ribs with hot basil and
kaffir lime.
+ I dont really go out for
Western food that often, but
when I do, I quite like The
Larder [9/144 Moo 2, Chaweng;
66-77/601-259; dinner for two
Bt1,500] and Barracuda [Soi 4,
Maenam; 66-77/921-663; dinner for
two Bt1,500].
Do On Baan Bangmakham
and Bang Po beaches, wait for
low tide and youll get 50 meters
of beach. Walk out onto the rocks
and pick oysters. My six-yearold daughter and I eat them fresh
right there. I have to tell her to
stop after shes eaten 20.
+ Also at low tide, I go to catch
crabs with my daughterblue,
white, sand, any kind. She was so
proud, she cooked them up
herself. Just last week, we also
caught seven nice prawns. You
might try taking [your catches] to
a local chef to cook for you.
+ Ordinations are family
celebrations, like weddings and
funerals, and are very
welcoming. I was once in a temple
with 200 people. Everyone was
looking at me, not the new monk,
because I was the only foreigner.
But it was great. I was eating real,
deep Thai home cooking the
grandma was making.
Drink 4 Monkeys Coee Bar
[Moo 6, 4169 Ring Rd., Bang Po,
Maenam] is just a few pieces of
bamboo, really. Its a cute little
wooden shack on the beach with
a retro feel: vintage portraits of
the King and Queen on the wall,
old Thai furniture and cool
artifacts. The best time of day is
around sunset for sundowners,
when theres a nice cool breeze.
Try their banoffee pieamazing.
+ Two other nice local bars are
Sawasdee Cup [Baan
Bangmakham; 66-8/1956-2669],
reasonably priced with good
mojitos, and Blue Marlin [Bang
Por beach]. Three minutes from
the hotel, its a nice place to spend
a relaxing few hours on the beach
to drink and eat. 

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P : C O U R T E S Y O F F O U R S E A S O N S 4 ; C O U R T E S Y O F 4 M O N K E Y S C O F F E E B A R

m y tow n

Radar
1

6
7

st yle

Caff Culture
Three reasons wed rather be in Florence right now: aky cornetti, bracingly strong espresso
and that inimitable Italian sensibility. Here, how to t inplus a few places to get your x.
the look 1 Leather handbag by Salvatore Ferragamo. 2 Cashmere-and-silk scarf, Loro
Piana. 3 Leather iPad case, Etro. 4 Cat-eye sunglasses, Persol. 5 Calfskin wallet, Bulgari.
6 Lipstick in Scarlett, Dolce & Gabbana. 7 Nine-karat rose-gold ring, Pomellato.
the locations Take in the scene at Chiaroscuro (chiaroscurofirenze.it), home to 30-minute
coffee-tasting classes; the wood-paneled Caff Cibro (edizioniteatrodelsalecibreofirenze.it),
where Isidoro Vodola has been perfecting his drinks for 25 years; and Caff Florian
(caffeflorian.com), which recently added an airy art gallery. VALERIE WATERHOUSE
36

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Photographed by James Wojcik

S T Y L E D B Y M I M I L O M B A R D O . P R O P S T Y L I S T: C H R I S T Y P I T R E . M A R K E T E D I T O R : C O U R T N E Y K E N E F I C K

Radar
c u lt u r e

Art for Us All


The Affordable Art Fair in Singapore is returning next
month, helping make original works of contemporary art
accessible to a wider audience. This event brings together
pieces of varying styles from more than 75 local, regional
and international galleries, spanning the mediums of paint,
sculpture and photography. Prices range from S$100 to
S$10,000 and everything is clearly labeled so you can just
browse within your own budget. Plus 75 percent of the
works are under S$7,500, so there are lots of options for
those who are loath to cross the ve-gure mark. And if you
fall in love with a piece thats beyond your means, dont
despairsome of the items are part of the Own Art scheme,
which allows you to arrange payment in installments
instead of one daunting chunk.
The fair also gives up-and-comers a chance to shine
through the Young Talent program, supporting artists ages
18 to 35 years, who are born or reside in Southeast Asia and
do not have gallery representation. This gives enthusiasts
the opportunity to take home art from some of the regions
most exciting budding talents.
If all the browsing feels daunting, there are workshops to
help guide you and plenty of experts to turn to for advice. So
spend the afternoon exploring, meeting artists, sipping
wine and munching on snacksthe experience itself may
feel like a creative journey. May 23-25; 1F Pit Building, 1
Republic Blvd., Singapore; affordableartfair.com/Singapore;
general admission S$15.

From top: An
oil on canvas
by Nguyen
The Hung; a
pigment print
by Ric Tse.

t u to r i a l

HOW TO DRINK MAT


The tealike beverage is a favorite Argentinean tradition (even Pope Francis loves it), but it comes with a set of
unwritten rules. Juan Carlos Cremona, owner of La Martina de Areco (54-23/2645-5011), a caf in San Antonio
de Areco, outside Buenos Aires, explains the ritual.

1. In groups, a cebador
(leader) is chosen
to serve everyone.
He or she heats water to
just below the boiling
point, then pours it
into a flask.

38

A P R I L 2 014

2. The gourda dried


squash or a wood-lined
metal gobletholds
the ground yerba
mat leaves. Purists
use a sieve to remove
twigs.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

3. The cebador moistens


the grounds to release
the flavor, inserts a
bombilla (straw), adds
more water, and passes
the gourd to the first
drinker.

4. On your turn, sip with


gusto. Some add sugar
or honey, but real
gauchos take it amargo
bitter. When done,
say gracias and
pass it along.

5. Hungry? Locals
often enjoy their
mat with galletas
dulces (sweet pastries).
colin barraclough

T R AV E L E S E Lav rats (n.) People who mill about the back of the plane blocking
access to the restrooms. Cmon, gang, move along.

F R O M T O P : C O U R T E S Y O F A F F O R D A B L E A R T F A I R S I N G A P O R E 2 ; I L L U S T R AT I O N B Y L D O P A

Next months exhibition in Singapore will give artlovers the chance to buy fabulous pieces without
breaking the bank. By David Ngo

dining

TASTES OF
TOMORROW

F R O M TO P : C O U R T E S Y O F DAV I D T H O M P S O N ; C O U R T E S Y O F A N D R C H I A N G ; C O U R T E S Y O F L O H L I K P E N G ;
B F G I M A G E S / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; C O U R T E S Y O F T H E W I T S A R T M U S U E M ; C O U R T E S Y O F 3 3 M E LV I L L E R O A D ; C O U R T E S Y O F D O K T E R & M I S S E S

The Future of Food forum at the


Asias 50 Best Restaurant Awards
earlier this year had the regions
best chefs playing Nostradamus
of noshes. T+L asks three of the
finest to share their
prognostications.

David Thompson
Author and chef; Nahm, Bangkok
Cooks are now more aware of
the politics of food. They now
understand the importance of
judicious consideration when
sourcing and selecting ingredients
and are aware of its
environmental impact. More
cooks are realizing that their
industry is partially responsible for
the depletion of world stocks. I
think that will be increasingly
important in the operation of
restaurants and food.

Clockwise from above:


Johannesburg city center;
a Nigerian headdress at
the Wits Art Museum;
sitting area at 33 Melville
Road; ceramics at Dokter
& Misses.

why go

Joburgs Jam
Dont think of it as just a stopover: todays Johannesburg deserves
some serious exploration of its own.
Because downtown is back. For ages,

visitors have sought refuge in the gated


suburbs north of town, but inner-city
crime rates are dropping and young
urbanites are moving in. Walk down lively
Juta Street in gritty-but-safe
Braamfontein, where Dokter & Misses
(dokterandmisses.com) sells hand-cast
ceramics and Afro-Deco furniture, then
join the crowd for retro cocktails at the
108-year-old Kitcheners Carvery Bar
(27-11/403-0166).
Because few cities have better street
fashion. Joburg is full of irrepressibly natty

locals wearing sharply tailored jackets,


riotously colored tees, and patterned
eyewear. In Maboneng, a warehouse
district turned artists hub, the sidewalks
are like runways, as are the quirky galleries

and rooftop cafs of Arts on Main


(artsonmain.co.za).
Because the culture scene has a
fitting new home. Make that two new
homes: In 2012 the Wits Art Museum

(wits.ac.za) unveiled its genre-jumping


collection of traditional and contemporary
African art. And this past fall, the
continents first design museumthe
Museum of African Design (moadjhb.
com)opened in Maboneng.
Because you can have an elegant
mansion all to yourself. The sleepy

burbs are still good for sleeping. In quiet


Hyde Park, the rambling villa at
33 Melville Road (33melvilleroad.co.za)
has three roomy suites and a garden where
a jacaranda tree bursts into bright purple
in spring. PETER JON LINDBERG

Loh Lik Peng


Hotelier and restaurateur;
The Unlisted Collection, Singapore,
London and Shanghai
A growing consciousness about
not just ingredients and
techniques but towards niche
speciality dining. I think we are
going to see more extreme ways
of dining.

Andr Chiang
Patron chef; Restaurant Andr,
Singapore
Chinese cuisine is going to
undergo an evolution. Its just
waiting for someone, or
something, to a give it a whole
new lease on life.
stephanie zubiri

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

39

Radar

Outside Restoran
Kapitan.

Sri Ananda Bahwan


kebabs and tandoori.

Banana leaf dishes


at Top One Caf.

Tongue-ticklers at
Madras New Woodlands.

r e s tau r a n t s

Hidden Indian
Follow Marco Ferrareses quick guide to Penangs Little India, to eat like a local and hunt
down the best dishes among a smorgasbord of excellent food choices.
TANDOORI
CHICKEN

DOSAS

Its hard to top the


quality of this North
Indian staple dish on
offer at Restoran
Kapitan (93 Lebuh
Chulia, George Town;
60-4/264-1191; meal for
two from RM25).
Perfectly baked
tandoori chicken
chops are served atop
warm naan with a
side of mixed curries.
Check out the street
view from the
veranda or head
upstairs for air-con
and a more intimate
dining experience.
40

A P R I L 2 014

The best South Indian


entrees in town are
grilled to order
outside the entrance
of Veloo Vilas (22
Lebuh Penang, George
Town; 60-4/262-4369;
dinner for two RM10),
an Indian Tamilowned restaurant
that makes up for its
bare-bones ambience
with an array of
delicious snacks. The
rawa dosaa crispier
version of the South
Indian crpeis
delectable, but come
early before it is all
gobbled up.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

BANANA LEAF
DISHES

VEGETARIAN
SETS

MEATY MAINS

Set at the northern


edge of the Little
India cluster, Top
One Caf (67 Lebuh
Pantai, George Town;
60-4/264-3405; dinner
for two RM18) looks
ordinary, but in fact
their kitchen cooks
up outstanding
traditional South
Indian banana leaf
meals. Try their daily
choice of vegetarian
set menus with white
rice and crispy
papadum, or spice it
up by adding chicken
and mutton curries.

Few dare to dispute


the mouth-watering
goodness of Madras
New Woodlands (60
Lebu Penang, George
Town; 60-4/263-9764;
dinner for two RM22),
a cozy vegetarian
restaurant with
reasonable prices. Its
series of selfproclaimed tongue
tickler dishes
includes all the most
beloved North Indian
specialties. Savor the
creamy curries, like
aloo mutter, over
crunchy naan.

A plum in the center


of Little India, Sri
Ananda Bahwan (55
Lebuh Penang, George
Town; srianan
dabahwan.com;
dinner for two RM18)
serves up a ngerlicking-good veggies,
but its the meaty
North Indian menu
that truly shines.
Their mutton or
chicken korma, tikka
masala and tandoori
barbecue meals sing
with spice blends so
fragrant your nose
may get jealous of
your mouth. 

Photographed by Kit Chan

subscribe now!
Every month, more than 5 million people
worldwide read Travel + Leisure, the worlds
leading travel magazine.
Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia is the
most widely distributed international
edition of the magazine, offering readers
around the region a chance to experience
the world. Timely and trusted advice on

where to go now, need-to-know travel


tips and service details we all need, and a
bold new look are what sets the magazine
apart today.
Its your indispensable guide to
Southeast Asia and the world beyond, a
must-read for todays cosmopolitan and
sophisticated traveler.

For more information e-mail travelandleisure@mediatransasia.com. Contact us at Circulation Depar tment,


Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Media Transasia (Thailand) Ltd., 14th Floor, Ocean Tower II, 75/8 Soi Sukhumvit 19,
Klong Toey Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

SUBSCRIBE NOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A TWONIGHT STAY IN A ONEBEDROOM


POOL VILLA, INCLUDING ROUNDTRIP TRANSFERS FROM KRABI AIRPORT TO PIMALAI
RESORT & SPA *The prize is valid for 1 year with a black-out period of December 21, 2014 to February 28, 2015.

MEETING IS FATE. MARRIAGE IS CHOICE. BUT FALLING IN LOVE


HAPPENS IN A MOMENT BEYOND YOUR CONTROL
LIVE AN ETERNAL MOMENT
Create your own memorable romantic getaway.
Surrounded by an endless ocean, lush forests
and beautiful hills, Pimalai is your own private
tropical paradise. Spend the day relaxing at
the hidden innity pool or explore an
underwater divers playground on a romantic
cruise to Koh Haa. Choose to unwind with a

To subscribe, visit

soothing Thai couple massage before enjoying a


romantic candle-lit dinner for two on the beach. Book
today and create your own eternal moment.
PIMAL AI RESORT & SPA
99 Moo 5, Ba Kan Tiang Beach, Koh Lanta
Krabi, 81150, Thailand
Email : reser vation@pimalai.com
Website : w w w.pimalai.com
Tel : 66 0 2 320 5500, Fax : 66 0 2 320 5503

www.TravelandLeisureAsia.com

Radar
t+l p i c ks

Movable Feasts

Five culinary adventures that put a new spin on the traditional food tour.
Saigon
See (and taste)
Saigon from the back
of a vintage scooter
with Vietnam
Vespa Adventures.
Kicking off at
sundown, the
four-hour drive digs
into the citys nest
street food, from
chili-rubbed crab to
sizzling banh xeo
pancakes. vietnam
vespaadventures.com.

Mendoza, Argentina
The best way to take in
Argentinas stunning
wine country?
On horseback. The
itinerary with
Mendoza Holidays:
an equestrian trek
through 8 hectares of
grapevines and olive
groves, followed by a
traditional meal of
empanadas and
Malbec at a picturesque
winery. mendoza
holidays.com.

Paris
Unravel the mysteries
of Paris la Inspector
Clouseau in a
chauffeured Citron
2CV. Your retro ride,
courtesy of
Experience Paris,
will whisk you away
on a tour of iconic
patisseries to sample
pains au chocolat and
brioches au sucre.
manstouch.com.

Bangkok
Got a case of the
midnight munchies?
Dig into the Thai
capitals culinary
secrets with
Bangkok Food
Tourss midnight
tuk-tuk crawl. Snack
on after-hour
favorites like pad
thai while zipping
through the citys
vibrant nightscape.
bangkokfoodtours.
com

Copenhagen
Lifelong local Mike
Sommerville of Bike
Copenhagen with
Mike steers guests to
the trendiest tables
in this cycling-mad
city. Youll taste
Danish hot dogs at
the new Copenhagen
Street Food market,
and imperial oatmeal
stout at microbrewery Mikkeller.
bikecopenhagen
withmike.dk.
MELANIE LIEBERMAN

Stopping for
local seafood in
Saigons District 4
on Vietnam Vespa
Adventures
street-food tour.

28
44

M
A PORNI T
L H2 014
2 01 2 T R
TR
AV
AV
EL
EA
L+
NLDELIESIUSRUER E A S I A . C O M

Photographed by Olivier Laude

Radar
street smart

Carmel Market, Tel Aviv


How to taste your way through Israels capital of cool? We asked the habitus of this
historic quarter of food stalls and cafs for their picks. By Lindsey Olander

1
Naeel Husein
Produce vendor
I eat at Miznon
almost every day.
Near Carmel Market,
it stuffs pitas with
grilled vegetables
and meats. 30 King
George St.; 972-3/
631-7688; NIS70 for
two.

46

A P R I L 2 014

2
Meirav Ameo
High-tech product
designer
Friday afternoons
find me snacking on
fresh bread and
olives at Porto, one
of the citys best
wine boutiques.
6 Tchernichovsky;
972-3/620-6610.

3
Barak David
Mizrahi
Graphic designer
Caf Italia is a
simple place that
lives by the maxim
less is more. Great
seafood, dessert. 6
Kreminitzki; cafe
italia.rest-e.co.il;
NIS200 for two.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

4
Ifat Schlezinger
Creative director
After ordering a
mix of greens
apple, celery, ginger
and cucumber
from the Tikva
juice stand, I feel
like Superwoman.
HaShomer St.;
no phone.

5
Rotem Bar Or
(left) with friend
Ross Belfer Singer
Theres always
something going on
at Hoodna Bar,
be it an art exhibition
or surprise jazz
session. 13
Abarbanel; 972-3/
518-4558.

6
Shiri Gafni
Criminal prosecutor
Georgian restaurant
and bar Nanuchka
is cheerful. I always
get the sorrel soup
and cheese-filled
khinkali dumplings.
30 Lilienblum;
972-3/516-2254;
NIS150 for two.

Photographed by Sivan Askayo

INTERNATIONAL
LUXURY TRAVEL
MARKET

ASIAS LEADING LUXURY TRAVEL EVENT


ILTM ASIA IS AN INVITATION-ONLY EVENT, WHERE THE VERY BEST
TRAVEL AGENTS AND ADVISORS FROM ACROSS ASIA MEET THE
WORLDS VERY BEST LUXURY TRAVEL EXPERIENCES.
IF YOU ARE AN INTERNATIONAL LUXURY SUPPLIER OR A BUYER
OPERATING IN THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION, REGISTER YOUR
INTEREST AT WWW.ILTM.COM/ASIA

your travel dilemmas solved  E A T I N G R I G H T , A N D O T H E R T I P S T O


A I R L I N E S F O R F O O D 54 ... T H E B E S T A P P S F O R C U L I N A R Y A D V E N T U R E S 60

F IGH T J E T L AG

50

THE TOP A IR PORTS A N D

Trip Doctor

by Amy Farley

SPECIAL REPORT

AIRPORT +
AIRLINE FOOD

Havanna
Alfajores cookies
LAN
(on Argentina flights)

PAGE 54

Nongshim
shrimp crackers
Korean Air

Terra Blues
potato chips
JetBlue

Milk chocolate
Swiss International
Air Lines
Turkish delight
Turkish Airlines

Achiras del
Huila biscuits
Avianca
(Colombia)

Biscoff cookies
Delta Air Lines

MOVE
OVER,
PEANUTS
Cherry Ripe
chocolate bars
Virgin Australia

Arare rice
crackers snack mix
Japan Airlines

Photographed by Levi Brown

Sweet potato &


taro chips
Hawaiian Airlines

The best in-flight


snacks deliver
a sense of place
and express an
airlines personality.
From hyper-local
delicacies (Korean
shrimp crackers)
to iconic sweets
(Turkish delight),
these are a few
of our favorites.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

49

The Fix
By Amy Farley

WILL HELP ME FIGHT JET LAG?

george frank, brooklyn, n.y.

A: Even more than foreign-transaction


fees and data-roaming charges, jet lag
is the bane of international travelers.
Resetting your internal clock to a new
time zone can be a days-long process.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease
yourself onto a new scheduleand what
you eat and drink can play a key role.
First and foremost, say
nutritionists and dietitians, is
the matter of hydration. When
youre dehydrated, you are
irritable, tired and weak, says
Bonnie Taub-Dix, a New York
based registered dietitian and
author of Read It Before You Eat
It. To avoid compounding the
effects of crossing time zones,
drink plenty of water, 100
percent fruit juice or herbal tea
while youre in transitand
50

A P R I L 2 014

even before you depart.


Taub-Dix advises travelers to
plan ahead, avoiding salty food
(in favor of water-rich fruits
and vegetables) and drinking
water well in advance of a
ight. Caffeine and alcohol
(sadly) are also inadvisable
while ying. Both are
dehydrating and can disrupt
sleepeven alcohol, which acts
as a stimulant a few hours after
you consume it. Studies show

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

by the numbers

hours
The minimum block
of anchor sleep that your
bodys internal clock
needs to begin adjusting to
the new time zone.

WHATS YOUR
PROBLEM?

AVOIDING FOOD
POISONING
WHILE EATING
ADVENTUROUSLY
Do...

Take cues from


locals. Long lines

are a good sign, and


high turnover means
that food doesnt sit
out and spoil.

Snoop.

Inspect prep stations


for cleanliness. Raw
foods should be
stored separately;
cold foods should be
on ice.

Dont...

Leave unprepared.

Get a prescription
for an antibiotic
such as Zithromax,
which can help
with severe food
poisoning.

Forget about the


water. Even ice

cubes may be
suspect. Look for
bottled water with
the seal intact.

I L L U S T R AT I O N S , F R O M L E F T: J A V I E R J A N ; B E N W I S E M A N 4

Q: ARE THERE ANY FOODS THAT

that although it may initially


help put you to sleep, the
quality of your rest will be
poor. The same is true for
heavy, high-fat meals, TaubDix says. Theyre difficult to
digest and may lead to a
restless night.
Once youve arrived,
its equally important to be
mindful of your meals,
especially if you nd yourself
dragging, according to Angela
Lemond, a registered dietitian
nutritionist and spokesperson
for the Academy of Nutrition
and Dietetics. Sleep
deprivation messes up your
feelings of hunger and satiety.
So youre more at risk to
compensate by overeating, she
says. This will only exacerbate
the problem, however. To keep
your energy levels steady, opt
for lighter meals with a good
balance of protein, complex
carbohydrates and plenty of
plant-based foods. And make
sure to have protein-rich
snacks on hand, especially if
youre traveling to areas where
such foods are hard to nd:
nuts, peanut or almond butter
with whole-grain bread or
crackers, cheese, yogurt
or easy-to-pack protein bars.
But in many ways,
overcoming jet lag is as much %

A place where you can lose yourself,


RUQG\RXUVHOI:KHUHHYHU\WKLQJLVFORVH
EXWQRWWRRFORVH$QGZKHUH\RXURZQSHDFHRIPLQG
EHFRPHVWKHWUXHVWPHDVXUHRIVXFFHVV
&RPHKRPHWR3DQWDL,QGDK
%LQWDQVUVWVHDVLGHUHVLGHQWLDOHVWDWH

For more information please contact


Bintan Resorts International Pte Ltd
991A Alexandra Road, #02-06
For ready-made opportunities Call :: +65 6389 3276 / +65 6389 3717
Email :: Villas@lagoibaybintan.com Website :: http://www.pantai-indah.com

The Fix

about when you eat as what you


consume. Studies suggest that
the bodys natural circadian
rhythm is tuned to light and,
crucially, food. Theres even
some evidence that our
food-based circadian clock can
actually override the more
widely recognized light-based
one. A recent experiment
involving mice at Bostons Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical
Center revealed, in rodents at
least, the presence of a foodrelated clock that can be
manipulated with fasts. In this
study, a 16-hour fast was
enough to throw off the
animals light-based cycles and
turn them into night owls.

by the numbers

16
times

The decrease in jet lag


reported by eastbound
travelers who followed
the Argonne diet,
according to a 2002 study
in Military Medicine.

Have a question for T+Ls


Trip Doctor? Contact
tleditor@mediatransasia.com.
Follow @TravLeisureAsia on Twitter.

For those of us unwilling to


go to such extremes, theres the
Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag Diet,
developed in the late 1970s by
biologist Charles Ehret, who
worked at the Department of
Energys Argonne National
Laboratory in Illinois. Ehret
prescribed a four-day cycle of
feasting and fasting to help
break the bodys circadian
rhythm before landing in a new
time zone. His ideas caught on
and, by the 80s, the diets
adherents included members
of the military, athletes,
professional musicians and
even Ronald Reagan. Ehret
later collaborated with Bill
Ashton to create Stop Jet Lag
(stopjetlag.com), a service that
provides customized plans for
travelers that regulate light,
sleep and meals. Most of these
plans begin with a modied,
less draconian version of
Ehrets feast-fast cycle,
counseling large- and lightmeal days instead.
Stop Jet Lags plans vary
according to traveler and
itinerary, but Ashton says there
are a few general rules when it
comes to meals. The most
important is to think about
your diet at least 12 hours in

advance of what will be your


rst morning in the new time
zone (which could be on the
plane). Plan to have a light meal
around that time and then let
your blood-sugar levels steadily
drop, more or less mimicking
what happens during sleep. On
an overnight ight from
Bangkok to Perth, for example,
this would mean skipping the
in-ight dinner thats served at
about midnight, Perth time.
Better to focus on rest. Follow
up with a protein-heavy
breakfast according to your
new time zone, which will
signal your body that youre
now on a different schedule.
This may mean breakfasting
while the rest of the plane is
sleeping. Ashton advises
packing your own food, or
asking the ight attendant to
set aside a meal for you, even if
its not what youd traditionally
associate with breakfast.
Though there havent been
enough studies to say
denitively if this plan works,
the basic principles resonate.
Mealtime is a natural
synchronizer, Lemond says.
The more you can mimic
where youre going before you
leave, the better off youll be.

Q:
HOW LONG
IS TOO
LONG TO
LINGER AT
A TABLE?

A: Most high-end
restaurants in
this region expect
to turn over a table
two to three
times each
nightthat means
they anticipate
a party of two will
stay for about
an hour and 45
minutes (four-tops
are usually allotted
two hours). So
once youve paid
your bill, try not
to spend the next
hour nursing your
final sip of wine.
Internationally,
diners enjoy a more
leisurely pace. In
Italy, for instance,
experts say its
virtually impossible
to overstay your
welcome. In
countries from
Australia and China
to Argentina,
meals typically
run a full two to
three hours. If you
dont know the
protocol, look to
the waitstaff
for cues. Theyll
let you know when
your times up.

the final say

Q: CAN I PACK DUTYFREE ALCOHOL IN MY CARRYON?


A: As a general rule, yes, as long as you keep your items in the sealed plastic
bag from Duty Free. Some countries (South Africa and Argentina included) will
confiscate liquids over 3.4 ounces in secondary, at-gate security checks; dutyfree items, however, should be exempt. Until recently, if you had a connecting
flight in the European Union or the U.S., you would have to either stow your
purchases in your checked bag as you switched planes or toss them. But the
introduction of new liquid scanners in the EU and the relaxing of such rules in
the States (thank you, TSA) mean that you can now carry these items on board.
52

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Strategies

AIRPORT+
AIRLINE FOOD

Uptown Brasserie
from chef Marcus
Samuelsson,
at the new Delta
terminal at JFK.

by emily saladino, with additional reporting by brooke porter katz, melanie lieberman and seth porges.
54

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

GABI PORTER

Gate-side dining used to


mean nothing more than
ketchup-scented food courts
and generic, mediocre bars. But these days, airports are luring internationally recognized
chefs, whose hometown successes are being spun off on concourses from coast to
coast. Here are some of the airports that are getting it right. PLUS Airport lounges with
serious food cred, international terminals worth a culinary detour and the best airlines for
food according to Travel + Leisures annual Worlds Best Awards survey.

A 24/7 ESCAPE. TRANQUIL BY DAY. ELECTRIC BY


NIGHT. SITUATED BETWEEN MAENAM AND
BO PHUT, IT HAS THE FINEST AND MOST
PRISTINE BEACH LOCATION IN THAILAND, OVERLOOKING STUNNING BEACHES AND LUSH FORESTS,
W RETREAT KOH SAMUI AWAKENS AS THE SUN
GOES DOWN, IGNITING THE UNEXPECTED.
ILLUMINATING.. ENVIRONS. TAKE IT EASY.
SURROUNDED BY VERDANT FOLIAGE, EACH OF OUR
74 PRIVATE-POOL RETREATS BOASTS A PRIVATE
OUTDOOR POOL AND INFINITE ISLAND VIEWS.
INSIDE, PREMIER TECHNOLOGY MEETS
W SIGNATURE BED, BLISS SPA AMENITIES AND
WHATEVER/WHENEVER SERVICE.
W RETREAT KOH SAMUI
T 66 77 915 999 / F 66 77 915 998
EXPLORE WHATS NEW / NEXT
WRETREATKOHSAMUI.COM
WHOTELS.COM/KOHSAMUI

Strategies

The Turkish
Airlines
departures
lounge at
Istanbul
Atatrk
Airport.

LOUNGE
ACTS

Where food takes center stage.

HOW TO
GET IN

THE
SPACE

THE
FOOD

GREAT
DISH

TURKISH
AIRLINES

Istanbul
Atatrk,
Departures

Star Alliance first or


business international
ticket, or Gold status.

Ottoman chic,
with dramatic
arched
entryways.

35 stations with meze


(tabbouleh; zucchini salad),
flatbreads, house-made
pastries and wine.

Spicy menemen
(Turkish
scrambled eggs).

QANTAS

Singapore
Changi, T1

Oneworld or Emirates first


or business international
ticket; Oneworld Emerald
or Sapphire status.

Bamboo and
Peranakan
tiles are among
local touches.

Hawker stations (noodle


bowls; salt-and-pepper
calamari) and sit-down fare by
Aussie celebrity chef Neil Perry.

Grilled salmon
with cucumbermint salsa.

PLAZA
PREMIUM

Hong Kong
International,
T1

A two-hour stay will set


you back HK$400.

Beige leather
chairs and soft
lighting create
a serene vibe.

Cantonese dim sum and


noodle soups at Market Place,
plus la carte international
dishes at the Hub.

Himalayansalt-crusted
rack of lamb.

LAN
VIP

Bogot
El Dorado
International,
T1, Colombia

LAN premium economy or


business ticket; TAM first
or business; Oneworld
Emerald or Sapphire.

Mad Men en
espaol (marble
bathrooms; Midcentury chaises).

Latin favorites such as sweet


panelitas de leche, top wines
from Chile and Argentina, and
Juan Valdez coffee.

Almojbanas
(cheesy Colombian
pastries).

CENTURION

Dallas-Fort
Worth
International,
TD

American Express
Platinum or Centurion
cardholder; US$50 with
any other Amex.

Its a mod,
mod world:
pops of color;
sleek loungers.

Dean Fearings Tex-Mex


favorites, local craft beers,
and cocktails by PDTs
Jim Meehan.

Smoked brisket
tacos paired with
the rum-based
Corn n Oil cocktail.

AIR NEW
ZEALAND/
STAR ALLIANCE

LAX, Tom
Bradley
International
Terminal

Star Alliance first or


business international
ticket, or Gold status.

Classic L.A.: the


patio has a fire
pit and views
of Hollywood.

A California-centric wine wall


and international buffet,
including a noodle bar.

Japanese curry
with tofu and
vegetables.

56

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

COURTESY OF TURKISH AIRLINES

AIRPORT/
TERMINAL

THE
LOUNGE

Have a go-to airport snack?


Share with @TravLeisureAsia and include
#TLAsia for a chance
to be featured in the magazine.

MUNICH

TOKYO

DUBAI

GVA

SIN

MUC

NRT

DXB

Check out Terminal


3s 24Hr Food
Gallery for the
Hainanese chicken
rice, nasi padang
(steamed rice
with meat and
veggies), and snacks
from cult chain
Killiney Kopitiam.
Past security,
theres Terminal 1s
Ambassador
Transit Hotel,
where you can sip
cocktails at a
rooftop bar with
panoramic
runway views.

Catch a local band


at Airbru, the
open-air beer
garden and on-site
brewery on MAC
Forums Level 3.
Its where locals go
for the best-priced
craft brews in town
(come summer,
a JumboTron airs
soccer matches
for sprawling
crowds). Looking
for epicurean
souvenirs?
Gourmet shop
Leysieffer has
you covered.

Sushiden sources
its nigiri and
sashimi from the
legendary Tsukiji
Fish Market, while
nearby noodle bar
Sojibou makes
its soba by hand
in an open kitchen.
And thats just
the start. Indulge
your sweet
tooth at candy
emporium Okashi
Greenport; then
stop at Fukujuen,
a branch of
Japans oldest
tea shop.

F R O M L E F T: S . P E L L E G R I N O ; C O U R T E S Y O F D E LTA A I R L I N E S ; C O U R T E S Y O F L A N ; C O U R T E S Y
O F A I R F R A N C E ; C O U R T E S Y O F V I R G I N A U S T R A L I A . I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y H O L LY W A L E S

I am a health nut, so I am all about


Starbucks oatmeal and a bag of almonds.
If push comes to shove I will go for a
California Pizza Kitchen blowout.

LINTON HOPKINS
SEIJI YAMAMOTO
of Tokyos S. Pellegrinowinning RyuGin
JAPAN AIRLINES
Wagyu filet with foie gras,
caramelized apples and
Prigueux sauce.

HIGH%FLYING
CHEFS
Many airlines have
called in the pros to
develop and consult
on their menus.
Here are a few top
toques and a taste of
what theyre adding
to in-flight dining.

of Atlantas
Restaurant Eugene
and Holeman & Finch
DELTA AIR LINES
Slow-cooked
beef brisket with
heirloom grits
and kale slaw.

At Dubais Terminal
3A, fine wine
purveyor Le Clos
has opened its new
flagship, complete
with hard-to-find
varietals that span
from 1895 to the
present and a
bottle-your-ownwhiskey station.
Theres also
Jacks Bar & Grill,
the worlds first
Jack Daniels
themed bar,
offering top-end
Select distillations
by the glass.

CEO, HOTEL
TONIGHT

WHATS YOUR
GUILTY%PLEASURE
AIRPORT SNACK?

CREATIVE
AMBASSADOR,
BARNEYS NY

In the Departures
Public Zone, order
the foie gras with
roasted scallops at
Altitude, which
overlooks the Jura
Mountains; the
menu is courtesy
of distinguished
Relais & Chteaux
chefs Gilles Dupont
and Thomas Byrne.
Want to burn off
that last bite of
mille-feuille? Head
to Les Jardins de
Genve, where
local DJs spin on
the outdoor terrace.

SAM
SHANK

SINGAPORE

SIMON
DOONAN

FIVE
TERMINALS
WORTH
GOING
EARLY
FOR

GENEVA

A double
americano and
a chocolatechip cookie.

HECTOR VERGARA
Latin Americas only
Master Sommelier

THIBAUT RUGGERI

LAN

of Pariss Lentre;
2013 Bocuse dOr winner

Top wines from Valle


del Maipo, Chile, and
Mendoza, Argentina.

AIR FRANCE
Sauted shrimp with
mushrooms and potatoes.

LUKE MANGAN
Chef, restaurateur
and author
VIRGIN
AUSTRALIA
Barramundi fillet
with bok choy,
ginger, soy and
sesame dressing.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

57

Strategies

WORLDS BEST
AIRLINES FOR FOOD

The winners, according to our annual reader poll.


INTERNATIONAL

1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES 93.33


2 EMIRATES 89.73
3 CATHAY PACIFIC 86.83

Flourless
chocolate
torte

A box of Jujubes. If I
can, McDonalds for
a diet Coke. Fountain
sodas taste better.

BY THE
NUMBERS
Its not easy
getting all
those meals
up in the
air. A look
at what it
takes.

500+
10,
500 k i l o s
Reindeer meat
served last
fall on Finnair.

Dishes
sampled to
create each
new menu
on Virgin
Atlantic.

CHEF/
RESTAURATEUR

the front of the plane, healthy menus are available


without advance notice. + Cathay Pacific partners
with Michelin-starred restaurants in Hong Kong
and uses specially designed onboard equipment
(rice cookers; toasters; skillets) to carry out its vision.
But the airlines most popular item? Hagen-Dazs
chocolate ice cream.
MARIO
BATALI

FOUNDER,
DYLANS
CANDY BAR

WHATS YOUR
GUILTY%PLEASURE
AIRPORT SNACK?

DYLAN
LAUREN

Many long-haul carriers stake their reputations in


part on their dining programs. That explains Singapore
Airlines investment in a pressurized tasting room to
simulate the in-flight experience of eating and drinking.
Also noteworthy: the Givenchy china in first and
business class. + Emirates always offers Middle
Easterninflected dishes (Arabic meze; lamb stew); at

2.36

million
Eggs used annually
for breakfast
omelettes
aboard LAN.

I do not eat at airports


ever, except for
Rick Baylesss place
in Chicagos OHare.

1.94 MILLION

Bottles of wine
consumed
in Swisss economy
class in 2012.

Hungry? Download this: GateGuru Yelp-like reviews (courtesy of your fellow travelers) indicate which spots are worth the trek. Dont have time
to sprint? A nifty feature helps you choose among the closest options. Free; Android, iOS, Windows. + iFly Pro Detailed maps offer birds-eye views of
your terminal, making it easy to pinpoint the location of your preflight provisionsas well as nearby ATMs, restrooms and the best duty-free shops.
Free; Android, iOS. + LoungeBuddy Dig up the details on individual airport lounges (including which ones charge for their chow). Free; Android, iOS.

58

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

C O U R T E S Y O F S I N G A P O R E A I R L I N E S . I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y H O L LY W A L E S . I N F O G R A P H I C S , F R O M L E F T: P H I L I P G L E N N ; I R E N E H O F F M A N ; J U A N C A R L O S E G A S ;
A L L F R O M T H E N O U N P R O J E C T. C O M . C O M P L E T E P O L L M E T H O D O L O G Y C A N B E F O U N D AT T R A V E L A N D L E I S U R E . C O M / W O R L D S B E S T/2 01 3

SINGAPORE
AIRLINES

do business
your way
leave the rest to us

SM

It is said a good work-life balance is important. Thats where we come in. All across Asia,
our comfortable accommodations, full range of amenities and warm hospitality provide
everything you need to unwind and rejuvenate, so you can perform at your best when
it matters.
We make your well-being our business so you can focus on yours.

ramada.com/apac

2014 Ramada Worldwide Inc. All rights reserved. All Ramada hotels are independently owned and operated except for certain international Ramada hotels which
are managed through a joint venture partner.

Tech
Want to share a travel app or
ask a tech question? Tell us at
tleditor@mediatransasia.com.

EPICUREAN EXPERIENCES
AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Looking to book a Shanghai street-food tour or a Provenal cooking class?
Let these new apps and sites take care of the legwork. By Tom Samiljan
BEST FOR TAILORED
RECOMMENDATIONS

BEST FOR
MULTIDAY TOURS

BEST
FOR DEALS

BEST
INTERNATIONAL

PEEK

TRIP FEAST

VIATOR

GET YOUR GUIDE

(Free; iOS)
Like an OpenTable for guided
activities and food crawls, Peek
provides direct booking service
straight from the app or website.
Its real strength lies in its
carefully curated contentall
outings are vetted by Peek staff
or trusted tastemakers. Take a
quick personality quiz for
customized suggestions.

(Free; Web only)


Great for travelers looking for an
immersive culinary experience,
Web-only Trip Feast helps pair
intrepid foodies with famous
local chefs for cooking lessons.
Currently available in six
countries across Southeast Asia,
tours include stops to taste the
best bites each city has to offer,
with some sightseeing woven in.

Why foodies love it Unique


offeringsa dinner cruise on the
Thames in London; a coffee
plantation visit in Mauiare the
rule, not the exception.

Why foodies love it The


chance to explore farmers
markets, eat home-cooked
meals and experience the cuisine
like a local.

(Free; Android, iOS)


The pioneer of online excursion
booking, Viator delivers more
than 1,300 food and drink
itineraries around the world:
many are offered as exclusive
deals, and all have low-price
guarantees. Among its smartest
features? Sorting options by
proximity to your hotel, and
booking confirmations that sync
with iPhones Passbook.

(Free; Android, iOS)


Though its most comprehensive
in Europe (tapas-bar hopping
in Madrid; pizza tasting in Rome),
Get Your Guide has standout
day trips the world over. Thanks
to a fun tool that lets you browse
globally, it doubles as a source
for ideas even before airfare
is bookedespecially great for
travelers who like to (literally)
follow their gut.

Why foodies love it Should


Viator not have what youre
looking for, it lets you create a
custom experience.

Why foodies love it


With 1,500-plus culinary
adventures, theres no
shortage of inspiration here.

60

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Illustrated by Ben Wiseman

Clockwise from top left: The spectacular panorama that is Phang Nga Bay;
inside the calm Spa Naka; at Z Bar; looking out from a seaview pool villa.

SPONSORE D SE RIES
GUIDE
Getting There
Bangkok Airways
(bangkokair.com),
Nok Air (nokair.
com) and AirAsia
(airasia.com) and
Thai Airways
(thaiairways.com) y
directly to Phuket
from Bangkok daily.
Stay
The Naka
Island, A Luxury
Collection Resort
& Spa, Phuket
32 Moo 5, Tambol
Paklok, Naka Yai
Island, Phuket;
nakaislandphuket.
com.

Naka, Naturally
When arriving on Naka
Island, honor the dragon. I
was led to a giant gong and
struck it twice, made a wish
and paid my respects to the
mythical Thai serpent for
which the island is named.
The gongs baritone song was
a tting welcome to this tiny
islet, majestic and
resoundingly calm. Just ve
minutes from Phukets Ao Po
Grand Marina, this intimate
retreat is an entirely different
animal than the busy beaches
of Patong. You are away from
it, but it is right there, says
David Sayer, guest experience
manager at Naka Island, a
Luxury Collection Resort.
After making my silent
wish for perfect weather,
which was granted, I was
escorted by buggy through
the resort, which takes up a
third of the island, to my

private pool villa. After an


hour of lazing and swimming,
I ducked into Spa Naka for an
Indigenous Massage
treatmentan hour of hot
herbal ball therapy paired
with a tension-melting oil rub
down. As night fell, I found
my way to Z bar, on the
islands western edge.
Reclining on the bars
beachfront beds and sipping
an icy cocktail, I took a
mental freeze frame of the
view stretching across to
Phang Nga Bay.
The next morning I hoisted
a kayak out to sea and paddled
my way around the island.
The 6-kilometer journey took
two hours and I savored every
minute. There were stretches
of the journey where I was the
only person in sight, amid the
limestone karsts of the
endless Andaman.

Stopping to rest wherever


a beach looked inviting
Naka Island boasts broad
sweeps of bisque sand shaded
by towering palms. The local
population is only 100 strong,
made up of shermen who
reside in a little village on the
coast. So, feast on fresh
seafood to your hearts
content at My Grill at Naka
Island Resort. After an active
day in the sun, a heaping plate
of oceanic bounty was just the
ticket for dinner. I ordered a
gorgeous cut of grilled tuna
with a zesty Thai chili sauce
on the side. The sun set just as
they brought out desserta
warm chocolate fondant with
a side of white chocolate ice
cream. I took a bite out of its
gooey center, watched the sky
burn orange in the dying
light, closed my eyes and
thanked the dragon.

Eat
My Grill, Tonsai
and Z Bar at Naka
Island Resort
A blend of Western
staples and Thai
favorites. Tables
are limited at My
Grill so reserve in
advance.
Tenta Nakara
Simple Thai food
on the beach.
66-81/398-6515;
tentanakara.com.
Do
Kayak. Paddle
around Naka for
stunning views of
other islands.
Bike to Tab Po
Beach. The beach
itself is average,
but the water is
great for swimming,
and the bike ride
and hike through
the jungle to get
there is a fun little
adventure.
Snorkel. Arrange
a day trip to
nearby islands for
snorkeling or diving.
Pearls of the
Andaman. Check
out the pearl farm
on nearby Naka Noi.

Deals

Anantara Riverside
Resort Bangkok.

T+L READER EXCLUSIVES

City
CHINA Suite Special at Four
Seasons Hotel Guangzhou
(fourseasons.com/guangzhou).
The Deal A stay in a suite
located between the 74th and
98th floors. The Highlights
Chauffeur-driven Mercedes Benz
limousine round-trip transfer
between the hotel and the
airport; exclusive access to
Executive Lounge located on
99th floor; complimentary buffet
breakfast; all day refreshments
and drinks; evening cocktails;
unlimited garment pressing

62

A P R I L 2 014

service; 25 percent discount on


any soothing 90-minute spa
treatment (except Spa Ritual) at
Hua Spa. Cost From RMB7,760,
double (RMB3,880 per night),
through April 30. Savings Up to
16 percent.
THAILAND Weekend City
Escape at Anantara Bangkok
Riverside Resort & Spa (bangkokriverside.anantara.com). The
Deal A stay in a Deluxe room on
a weekend night. The
Highlights Complimentary
breakfast at The Market and a

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

romantic buffet dinner


accompanied by Thai dance
performances at the Riverside
Terrace. Cost From Bt4,900,
double, through the end of the
year. Savings 37 percent.
HONG KONG Elevate Your
Experience at Sheraton Hong
Kong Hotel & Towers (sheraton.
com/hongkong). The Deal A stay
in a Tower Executive Suite.
The Highlights Tea, coffee and
evening cocktails with open bar
and hors doeuvres at Towers
Lounge; breakfast at Oyster &

Wine Bar; 10 percent discount


on all onsite food and beverage;
two-hour free use of the
boardroom. Cost From
HK$4,400, double, through
December 31. Savings Up to
25 percent.
SINGAPORE Super Saver
Deal at Hotel Fort Canning
(hfcsingapore.com). The Deal A
stay in a Garden Deluxe room.
The Highlights Free Wi-Fi and
complimentary aperitifs from
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the
Private Lounge every evening.

C O U R T E S Y O F A N A N TA R A B A N G K O K R I V E R S I D E R E S O R T & S P A

WANT TO EAT BREAKFAST WITH SHREK IN


MACAU OR SEE TANAH LOT TEMPLE IN BALI?
THIS MONTHS DEALS HAVE YOU COVERED.

Cost From S$266, double,


through May 31. Savings Up to
20 percent.

Family
SINGAPORE Urban Adventure
Package at Shangri-La Hotel
(shangri-la.com). The Deal A
stay in a Tower Wing room.
The Highlights Two
complimentary tickets to
Universal Studios Singapore, at
Resorts World Sentosa; buffet
breakfast for two; shuttle service
to Universal Studios Singapore;
and late check-out until 4 p.m.
Cost From S$455, double,
through December. Savings
20 percent.
HONG KONG Disneyland Magic
Deal at Ovolo Hotel 256 Tung
Chau Street (ovolohotels.com).
The Deal A stay in a Deluxe
Studio room. The Highlights
Two complimentary tickets to
Hong Kong Disneyland; free
breakfast, access to the mini-bar,
all-day coffee and snacks, and
daily happy hour; flexible
check-out. Cost From HK$1,580,
double, through April 30.
Savings Up to 30 percent.

THAILAND Bay Suite Hot Offer


at Regent Phuket Cape Panwa
(regenthotels.com). The Deal A
stay in a Bay Suite. The
Highlights Daily breakfast for
two at The Restaurant,
complimentary use of iPad and
Wi-Fi, selected non-alcoholic
items from the mini bar, four
pieces of laundry daily, and
shuttle service to Phuket Town.
Cost Bt7500, double, until April
30. Savings Up to 20 percent.
INDONESIA Launch Experience
at huu Villas Seminyak
(huuvillasbali.com). The Deal A
stay in a One Bedroom Loft. The
Highlights Deluxe breakfast for
two and free Wi-Fi throughout
the property. Cost US$269,
double, through June 1. Savings
Up to 25 percent.

Romance
INDONESIA Precious Romantic
Hideaway Package at Ametis Villa
Bali (ametisvilla.com). The Deal
A stay in a Premiere villa.

The Highlights One two-hour


spa treatment at Ruby Spa, one
dinner by candlelight served in
your villa, one two-hour sunset
excursion to Tanah Lot Temple,
and a welcome cocktail. Cost
US$1,619 (US$540 a night),
double, through July 31.
Savings Up to 35 percent.
THAILAND Staycation Package
at The Siam (thesiamhotel.com).
Opening
CHINA
Grand Opening Offer at
Fairmont Nanjing (fairmont.
com/Nanjing). The Deal A
stay in a Deluxe City View
room. The Highlights
Complimentary buffet
breakfast for two and 30
percent off at all of the
hotels food and beverage
outlets. Cost From
RMB888, double, through
April 30. Savings 40
percent.

The Deal A stay in a Pool villa.


The Highlights A romantic
candle-lit dinner for two; one
breakfast and one lunch set for
two; a 60-minute aroma journey
treatment at Opium Spa by
Sodashi for two; a drawn bath
with rose petals for two; and
butler service. Cost From
Bt37,400, double, through
December 15. Savings Up to
30 percent.
MALDIVES Shine Spa
Experience at Sheraton Maldives
(sheraton.com/maldives).
The Deal A stay in a Beach Front
Deluxe room. The Highlights
The Essence of Maldives
110-minute massage package
for two people; 15 percent
discount off the 80-minute
Deep Ocean, Aromatic Sea or
Wave Away massages; and daily
breakfast for two at Feast.
Cost US$1,500 (US$500
a night), double, through
December 25. Savings Up to
30 percent. 

MACAU DreamWorks Package


at Holiday Inn Macao Cotai
Central (ihg.com). The Deal A
stay in a King Superior room. The
Highlight Shrekfast with the
DreamWorks gang, including a
colorful cast of your favorite
DreamWorks cartoon characters,
for two. Cost HK$1,448, double,
through May 31. Savings Up to
15 percent.

C O U R T E S Y O F H U U V I L L A S S E M I N YA K

Island
PHILIPPINES Holiday Bliss
at The District Boracay
(thedistrictboracay.com).
The Deal A stay in a Deluxe
room. The Highlights Roundtrip
airport transfers from Caticlan,
daily buffet breakfast, paraw
sailing near the resort, grill-toorder dinner and a one-hour
massage. Cost P19,780 (P9,890
per night), double, through to the
end of April. Savings Up to 30
percent.

huu Villas
Seminyak.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

63

vietnam
The cool kids head to
Yoko bar in Saigon.

thailand
Sip the Siam Sunray
at the Grand Hyatt
Erawan, Bangkok.

ASIAN

LIBATIONS

hong kong
Quench your thirst
with a Hong Kong
Star at Catalunya.

cambodia
Phnom Penhs The
Oyster Restaurant and
Bar pairs local
Himawari microbrews
with its seafood and
Khmer menu.

singapore
Tour the town with
master mixologist
Michael Callahan.

THIS REGION IS AFLOAT IN NEW BARS, NEW BREWERIES AND CREATIVE MIXOLOGISTS
THAT ARE ADDING A LITTLE STARDUST TO THE MOONSHINE. FROM BANGKOKS
ROOFTOPS TO HONG KONG'S SIDE STREETS, OUR WRITERS TELL YOU WHERE
AND HOW TO GET YOUR DRINK ON. . E DI T E D BY M E R RI T T G U R L E Y.

KORWIT K R A JAIPHOT

laos
The iconic Beerlao is
a perfect marriage of
locally grown rice and
German malts.

philippines
Stock up on
boutique beers at
the Global Beer
Exchange, Manila.

indonesia
Kickstart the
afternoon party with
a wasabi-fueled PH
Bloody Mary at
Potato Head Beach
Club, in Bali.

A map of Southeast
Asia constructed out
of colorful shots on
ice at Spasso, at the
Grand Hyatt Erawan,
Bangkok.
*Prices throughout this section are approximate rates for
one round of drinks for two, unless otherwise noted.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

65

Asian Libations

Want to knock back a cold one with a side of hot wings? Or are
you simply aching for a coffee-and-cocoa-infused vodka martini,
dahling? Either way, Richard Mcleish has you covered.

Bar type:
HIPSTER
HANG OUT
the scene Once a
rarity, the Hipster
Bar has finally
flooded the region
with full selfconscious style and
pose. Mingle like it
aint no thang as
you watch the
crowd watching
you watch them.
the crowd

Secretly well-off
design students

Bar type: DIVE BAR


.the scene A global urban
phenomenon, the Dive Bar
is where the flotsam and
jetsam of a city wash up at
the end of any given night.
Its where the drinkers go
to drink, great ideas are
had and then forgotten,
and hope goes to die.

Bar type:
EXPAT PUB
the scene Every
city in the world
has an Irish bar,
but in Asia these
refugee camps are
as bastions of
hominess for
long-term expats,
and prime
people-watching
venues for locals.
the crowd

Jaded expats,
foreign-educated
locals, NGO staff.

66

A P R I L 2 014

blend in

Open-door
fashion policy.
Mind the grump
in the corner and
take in the game
on TV.
order A pint of
lager.
go to Paddy
Rice Irish
Sports Bar,
Phnom Penh;
paddyrice.net;
US$3.00. Draft,
Manila; 63-2/846
9725; PHP500.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

the crowd Journalists,


guitarists and singles.
.blend in Under-dress to
impress.
order Cheap local beer.
go to Cs, Shanghai;
86-21/6294-0547; RMB30.
Maos Red Lounge,
Hanoi; 84-4/3926-3104;
VND100,000.

Bar type: ROOFTOP


LOUNGE
the scene The Rooftop
Bar, literally reaching for
the stars, has an elevated
status among venue
choices in the region. Rub
shoulders with the
upwardly aspirational as
you survey the city.
the crowd Well-heeled

Bar type: LIVE


MUSIC JOINT
the scene

Usually a little
scruffy around the
edges, the Live
Music bar is a
magnet for
musicians,
groupies and
music nerds alike.
Its a great place to
meet the creative
fringe of a city.
the crowd

Long-haired
guitarists and

and aspiring
coolios.
blend in Don
gender-neutral
clothing and an air
of apathy.
order The
seasonal small
batch craft beer.
go to Open Door
Policy,
Singapore;
odpsingapore.com;
S$16. Yoko,
Saigon; 84-8/
3933-0577;
VND35,000.

locals, dates and


jetsetters.
blend in Glam it up in
downtown style.
order From the top
shelf, preferably a bottle.
go to Ku De Ta,
Singapore; kudeta.com/
Singapore; S$40. Ozone,
Hong Kong; ritzcarlton.
com; HK$190.

their indie
friends.
blend in Slide
into black jeans
and a band T-shirt
and heavy up on
your rock n roll
attitude.
order A whisky
on the rocks.
go to Mao Live
House, Beijing;
mao-music.com;
RMB30. Jaya
Pub, Jakarta;
62-21/3192-7508;
Rp70,000.

I L L U S T R A I O N S B Y W A S I N N E C H A N TA K O R N

WHATS YOUR
BAR STYLE?

CRAFT COCKTAILS

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T: C O U R T E S Y O F C ATA L U N Y 2 ; C O U R T S Y O F D I N G D O N G 2 ;
C O U R T S Y O F H YAT T; K O R W I T K R A J A I P H O T; C O U R T E S Y O F F I N D E R S K E E P E R S 2 ; C O U R T E S Y O F W AT E R C R E S S M A L A M

Cocktails can tell you as much about a culture as the cuisine. Stephanie Zubiri turns
alcoholic anthropologist, testing potent concoctions that brim with local flavor.

HONG KONG

SINGAPORE

BANGKOK

Set within warm, inviting wooden interiors,


Catalunya has garnered just as many
accolades for its bar as its kitchens, with
award winning mixologist Dario Nocentini
at the helm, moving beyond the
Mediterranean in flavor and inspiration.
T+L TIP In honor of its city of residence,
indulge yourself in a Hong Kong Stara
frothy sweet and sour splendor of pineapple,
Frangelico, Belvedere vodka, lime, honey and
the ubiquitous star anise. GF Guardian
House, Morrison Hill, 32 Oi Kwan Rd., Wan
Chai; 852/2866-7900; catalunya.hk; HK$170.

Ryan Clift of the Tippling Club transforms


familiar local Southeast Asian flavors with
his signature modernist flare and
imagination at Ding Dong, where he packs
his cocktails with bold spices and herbs
normally reserved for the woklike
galangal. T+L TIP Ask for the Pirates of
Malacca, an icy rum-based cocktail with a
refreshing blend of calamansi, pineapple,
falernum sweet syrup and gula melaka, the
local palm sugar. 23 Ann Siang Rd.; 65/65570189; dingdong.com.sg; S$32.

Mood lighting, wooden paneling and arched


ceilings at Spasso set the perfect loungey
atmosphere for nursing a well-earned
after-work drink. The cocktail menu is
peppered with local spices like Thai holy
basil and lemon grass, and even the
dangerous Mekong whisky makes a few
appearances. T+L TIP Sip the Siam Sunray
to enjoy the zesty bite of fresh ginger, lemon
juice and kaffir lime leaves, offset by sweet
Malibu rum and charged with a shot of
Smirnoff vodka. 1F Grand Hyatt Erawan, 494
Rajdamri Rd.; 66-2/254-1234; Bt600.

BALI

MANILA

The brainchild of Pablo


Fourcard and Josh Davies,
Watercress Malam is a
welcome addition to Balis
nightlife. Opened just this
January, the cocktail menu is
inspired by the lush tropical
climate and fertile volcanic soil
of the island. T+L TIP Order the
After Dark Iced Tea, a large
glass filled with mango,
pineapple and dragonfruit,
mixed with Tanqueray gin, bitter
Campari and Cointreau, and
topped with a tea infusion and
lots of crushed ice. This sultry
libation will keep you cool as you
melt languidly into the evening.
21a Jl. Batubelig ; watercressbali.
com; US$20.

Tucked away in a quiet nondescript area of Makati City,


Finders Keepers is a hard-tofind hipster bar often packed
with the young, the beautiful
and the edgy bobbing about to
some rock or electro beats. The
mohawked barmen whip up a
selection of cocktails using local
Don Papa Rum from the
Philippiness historic sugar
producing region. T+L TIP Try
the Strawberry Don, a mix of
fresh strawberries, Don Papa
rum and limes, the perfect taste
of Manilaa little bit of west, a
little bit of east. Warehouse 5, La
Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Don Chino
Roces Ave., Makati; 63-917/8219761; P500.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

67

Asian Libations

MINIBAR MAYHEM

The most fun drinks in Bali are invented by a molecular-specialist who uses travel as his
muse. Dre Masso tells Jeninne Lee-St. John how to get crafty with the minibar.
inspire me in some
way. So do the people
he meets on his
journeys: Ive had the
pleasure of Bill
Murrays company a
few times. Hes always
respectful to our
industry, polite,
charming, very funny,
generous and, best of
all, he loves cocktails
and making them,
Masso recounts. The
first time I met him he
bought a bottle of XO
cognac and ros
champagne. He
grabbed sugar cubes
and Angostura bitters
from the bar and made
all the staff and other
guests champagne
cocktails. For the
entire night.
Masso and I agree
that one of his best

creations is the
wasabi-fueled PH
Bloody Mary, though
Im also partial to the
dramatic smoky,
orangey, earl grey tea
cola, tri-liquored
Prohibition Iced
Tea and the secretly
potent cinnamon,
starfruit, ginger and
bourbon Twinkle. But
you dont need an Iron
Chefs kitchen to
concoct your own
delish drinkseven
while traveling. See,
Masso let me in on a
secret: great cocktails
are often born of
simplicity. As proof, he
gave me three you can
make with just the
contents of your
minibar and other
hotel-room amenities.
Now, get mixing.

Espresso Martini

St Clements

ingredients

ingredients

ingredients

Espresso or string coffee; vodka; 1 sachet of sugar;


a chocolate bar.
Brew a strong coffee and pour half a cup. Add
sugar and vodka. If you have a shaker (or jam jar),
add all ingredients and give a good shake, then
strain into chilled cocktail glass. If not, simply
pour over lots of ice in a tall glass. Garnish with
smashed chocolate from the fridge.

Gin, tonic and orange juice


(fresh is best).
Pour the gin over ice with equal
parts tonic and orange juice.

Soft fruit; 1 sachet of sugar; champagne.


Crush whatever soft fruit you have on the fruit
platter with a sachet of sugar in a jug, bowl or
large glass. (Watermelon, raspberries or
strawberries are going to work best; dragonfruit
and mangoes are happily ubiquitous in Asian
hotels.) Add champagne and stir well. Pour into
champagne or wine glass, and jump in the hot tub!

68

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Hotel Bellini

NIKOL A KOSTIC

Master mixologist
and nice-guy
extraordinaireDre
Masso says globehopping is key to the
success hes had
helping open more
than 20 bars in the past
two decades. These
days, if youre lucky,
you can find him
overseeing the
barkeeps at Potato
Head Beach Club
(Jln. Petitenget 51B,
Seminyak; 62-361/4737979; ptthead.com;
Rp240,000) in Bali, but
hes often on the move.
Travel is a colossal
inspiration. I love
markets, he says.
Food, theatricality,
new discoveries,
simplicity, music,
tradition, culture,
momentsthese all

Boozy
Bangkok
Bars in Bangkok are
multiplying like rabbits.
Richard Mcleish finds
the picks of the litter.

U.N.C.L.E.
Secreted above the new
Lady Brett restaurant is
this enclave of style and
indulgence that pours
premium spirits to a
well-heeled crowd.
ladybrett.com; Bt980.

F R O M T O P L E F T: P O R N S A K N A N A K O R N 2 ; C O U R T E S Y O F U . N . C . L . E . ; C O U R T E S Y O F K U D E TA ; C E D R I C A R N O L D

BLEND IT LIKE
BOROSKI
In the past few years,
Bangkoks nightlife
has seen a shift from
standard whisky-soda
watering holes to sleek
bars pouring
sophisticated
cocktails. Joseph
Boroski has been a
driving force in the
movement, as well as
the man behind the
menus of some of the
citys most successful
speakeasiesMaggie
Choos, Iron Fairies,
Clouds, among many
others. After eight
years of seeing the
citys thirst for
complex, balanced
libations rise, hes
opened Bar &
Hospitality School
(125/13 Sukhumvit Soi
55, between Thonglor
sois 5 and 7; 66-2/7126025; josephboroski.

Le Bar by Le
Beaulieu
This gastro lounge
repackages fine dining
into a walk-up affair.
le-beaulieu.com; Bt930.

Joseph Boroski, the mastermind behind


some of Bangkoks hottest bars, talks
to Diana Hubbell about nightlife and
his new Bar School and tasting lab.

com), a training
ground for aspiring
mixologists by day and
an avant-garde tasting
laboratory by night.
The venue doesnt
look much like a
school. A barely
marked door opens to
reveal a brooding
interior decorated
with preserved insects
and a taxidermied
peacock. The
constantly changing
nocturnal menu veers
equally eccentric and
draws heavily on local
produce. There are
ingredients here I have
never seen anywhere
else, he says. So,
patrons might expect a
tequila-laced
concoction topped
with blow-torched
pomelo and Thai-chili
salt, or a shockingly

blue lemongrassbutterfly pea martini.


In his effort to make
the most of the regions
vast resources, hes
shaken up just about
everything. I tried a
durian cocktail when I
first got here, he says
with a laugh. I dont
know that Ill recreate
that one.
These days, he and
other rising stars are
shooting for more
agreeable, but still
local, ingredients,
sometimes even in
their own backyards.
If I need produce, I
head to one of the wet
markets. Im also
happy to grow my
ownIm planning to
have a garden on the
roof. Other
ingredients are all
around, he says.

Butterfly pea flowers


grow wild in the city.
Call it farm to glass.
He also anticipates
Bangkoks bartenders
will experiment more
with niche trends.
Mixologists are
trying fat-washing, a
technique that lets you
add ingredients like
meats to flavor a
spirit, he says. It
emulsifies the alcohol
with tiny particles of
fat that coat your
mouth and change the
way it tastes. You can
have a Manhattan
with bacon-infused
bourbon, or a dirty
martini laced with
olive oil.
Bold drinkers are
clamoring to see what
wild tipples Boroski
comes up with next. If
they can find his door.

Ku De Ta
The party brand arrived
ambitiously with two
restaurants and the
sweeping Ku Bar. kude
ta.com/Bangkok; Bt840.

Maggie Choos
A cavernous den of old
Shanghai (concubines
on swings, crooners on
stage) makes some of
the best cocktails in the
city. facebook.com/
maggiechoos; Bt800.
The Roof @38th Bar
This latest protrusion
into the skyline offers
360-degree views. mode
sathorn.com; Bt780.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

69

Long has the hangover


plagued humanity!
Luckily, no matter where
you are in the world,
theres an age-old cure.
Stephanie Zubiri plays
local nursemaid.

INDIA
Replenish your
electrolytes with some
fresh coconut water.

HONG KONG
Gulp gallons of ginseng
tea to help purge the
excess of hot energy (or
yang) in your body.

THAILAND
Shovel down some pad
kee mao or drunken
noodles. The spice helps
you sweat out the toxins.

KOREA
Ladle yourself an ox
blood and cabbage-filled
bowl of haejangguk,
which literally translates
to soup for hangover.

JAPAN
Shock your tastebuds
with the Japanese
remedy of umeboshi
pickled salt plums
guaranteed to pucker
your mouth and distract
your senses.

70

A P R I L 2 014

HONG KONGS
HIDEAWAYS

Stockton joins the growing trend of


clandestine cocktail lounges popping up
in Hong Kong. Great finds, if you know
where to look. By Madeline Gressel

One dangling bulb is


the only hint that a
fabulous cocktail bar
lies at the end of a dark
alleyway on Wyndham
Street. Follow the
ickering light to
Stockton, a portal to
another eranot the
illicit glitz of
American Prohibition
like your standard
speakeasy, but the
wood-paneled, muted
opulence of 1890s
London. A heavy door
leads into a long and
low wooden den, all
leather sofas, candles,
dusty tomes and
taxidermied penguins.
Of course, youll
nd a familiar
highbrow emphasis on
nely tuned, original
cocktails. Mixologist
Suraj Gurung spent
three months
perfecting the menu
with the Stockton
team. Every cocktail
is there for a reason,
he tells us. Youre not
just drinking a
cocktail, youre
drinking a part of
history. Pause, relax,

look back. Thats what


we are doing. Like
many speakeasies,
Stockton limits its
menu to historically
appropriate liquors:
rum, gin and whisky
(though they keep
vodka behind the bar
for insistent patrons).
But here youll also
nd a sense of humor.
Each cocktail
carries a legacyfrom
lime sours like the
Brass Monkey
(White Horse HM
King, maca, lucuma,
chuncho bitters),
invented by British
sailors to keep scurvy
at bay, to the Athole
Brose (blended
whisky, honey,
oatmeal, drambuie,
Luxardo Amaretto di
Saschira), which dates
all the way back to 1475,
when the Scottish Earl
of Athole allegedly
lled a whole well with
it to incapacitate a
rebel clan. Who doesnt
like their libations
with a side of lore? 32
Wyndham St.; 853/
2565-5268; HK$260.

From East to West


Heres a full nights itinerary of Hong Kongs new additions and best-kept secrets, from the
gastronomically decadent Wan Chai to the hipster haven of Sai Ying Pun.
8:00 p.m. Behind Yenn Wong
and Jason Athertons Ham &
Sherry is a bar so secret it hasnt
even a name. Spanish tapas
complement campy cocktails and
the longest sherry menu in Asia
(including bottles from the
now-defunct elBulli cellar). 1-7
Ship St.; 852/2555-0628; HK$200.
10:00 p.m. The Graham Street
wet market isnt where youd
expect to nd top-shelf Japanese

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

whisky and jazz, but there they


are at 001. Ring the antique bell
at the unmarked black door. 97
Wellington St.; 852/2810-6969;
drinks for two HK$250.
Reservations are essential.
11:30 p.m. Housed on three
oors of a walk-up, Sense 99 is
more party than bar, with a full set
of instruments for anyone to use.
With a vibe like friends basement,
it makes sense this chill, art-lled

spot is members-only. Its a fee of


HK$200 a year to join the club. 99
Wellington St.; 852/9466-4695;
HK$100; weekend nights only.
1:00 a.m. After midnight, ocks
of hipsters y to XXX, a funky
underground club where visiting
DJs spin real music, from
drumnbass to hip-hop to sixties
throwbacks until the wee hours.
B/F, 353-363 Des Voeux Rd. West;
HK$100; weekend nights only.

I L L U S T R AT I O N S I N T H I S S P R E A D B Y W A S I N N E C H A N TA K O R N ; C O U R T E S Y O F S T O C K T O N 2

Hangover
Helpers

Asian Libations

SINGAPOURS

Mixologist Michael Callahan from Singapores cult bar 28


HongKong Street takes Mark Lean on a tour of his favorite
neighborhood spots for cool cocktails, and more.

C O U R T E SY O F 28 H O N G KO N G S T R E E T 3

+ New to the
scene, LAiglon [69
Neil Rd.; 65/6220-0369;
barlaiglon.com; drinks
for two S$50] has
bartender Louis Tan
mixing balanced and
approachable drinks
made with high
quality ingredients
like the refreshing
Screaming Tomato,
the bars version of the
classic Bloody Mary.
+ Ryan Clift and his
team at the Tippling
Club [38 Tanjong
Pagar Rd.; 65/ 64752217; tipplingclub.com;
dinner for two S$200]
are world-famous for
their food. Try the
smoked eel omelet. But
its Australian
Zachary Degits drink
list, including hits like
the gin-steeped Jolly
Green, and gomme and
fruit-spirit cocktail
Purple Drank, that
make it a night to
remember.
+ I have always loved
coming to Jigger &
Pony [101, Amoy St.;
65/6223-9101;
jiggerandpony.com;
drinks for two S$50].
With Aki Eguchis

attention to details, I
would keep close
watch on the junior
staff. One day they will
be running great bars
of their own.
+ Ive waited a long
time to enjoy 28
HongKong Street
[28 HongKong St.;
65/6533- 2001; 28hks.
com; drinks for two
S$50] as a guest. I love
it even more now. With
a revolving door of
world-class bartenders
pulling guest shifts
here, you never know
what surprises await.
+ As Im from the
U.S., I have a soft spot
for that lingering
savory char taste. The
food at Burnt Ends
[20, Teck Lim Rd.;
65/ 6224-3933;
burntends.com.sg;
dinner for two S$250]
cooked in apple- and
almond-wood burning
machines and grills, is
complemented by an
ambitious barrel-aged
cocktail program. So
grab a menu, close
your eyes and point.
You cant go wrong.
+ Izy [27, Club St.;
65/6220-3327; izy.com.

sg; drinks for two S$50]


serves ultra-hip
Japanese fare in small
plates. After work, the
overly plush seats out
front are wondrous
vantage points to
watch the masses
wander to the pubs of
Club Street to unwind.
At Cache, the stylish
bar hidden behind a
mirrored wall inside,
bartender Kley
Dhillon creates tasty
drinks, making this
joint a place for dinner
and cocktails.
+ This high-energy
taqueira is a lively
canvas on which the
culinary expertise of
Chef Mario Malvaez,
from Mexico City, is
displayed. At Lucha
Loco [15 Duxton Hill;
65/6226-3938;
luchaloco.com; dinner
for two S$150], if you
stare at the ribs hard
enough the meat will
just fall off the bone
while top-notch agave
spirit offerings from
bar man Ash Jahari
and the team equate to
plain, good fun.
+ If you had a long
night at the bars order

some grub here: Ronin


[17, HongKong Street;
brunch for two S$50]
has the best eggs I have
had in Singapore. Go
for the Portobello
mushrooms and
avocado with eggs
plate and copious cups
of coffee! The guys
here are hip,
remarkably lovable
and known for their
deft, precise pulls of
properly roasted
beans.

Cocktails with Callahan


Follow Michael Callahans eight golden rules for serving up dynamite drinks, and youll soon be the life of the party.

Invest in home molds to


make very cold and hard
ice. Or order a block from
a reputable supplier. Make
sure you request food
grade. If having a party,
procure way
more ice than
you could

possibly use as running


out of ice will ruin the
event, full stop.

Keep it simple but


diverse. Stick to three
drinks representing three
different cocktail styles:
stirred, shaken and built.

Presentation is
key. Source proper
glassware or vintage
glassware from a
thrift store.

Use a jigger to ensure


consistency.
Professionals always
measure.

Take a short course


from a local craft bar or
just watch the movements
of a good barman. They
are precise, calculated and
entertaining.

If expecting many
friends, consider
making drinks in batches,

or just go with a punch. No


one wants to wait all night.

Be mindful of the
dilution of the drink. Its
the secret variable that
most dont think about.

Work the crowd,


have fun and smile!

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

71

Asian Libations

HOPPY HAPPENINGS

As the thirst for flavorful craft beers rises to a near unquenchable level, new microbreweries and
tap-happy bars are flooding the market with a wave of beautiful brews. By Cole Pennington

breweries Great
Leap Brewing
(Doujiao Hutong #6
Beijing; 86- 10/57171399; greatleapbrewing.
com; RMB60), has
undergone a
renovationthink
age-worn wood and

antique furnishings
and emerged as one
of the trendiest places
in town to grab brews
inspired by Chinas
rich history and using
local ingredients. The
fledgling Kerry Hotel
(1388 Hua Mu Rd.,
Shanghai; 86-21/61698888; shangri-la.com/

shanghai/kerryhotel
pudong; RMB60) brews
its core lineup right on
the premises. In
September, beer geeks
attend The Kerry Hotel
Craft Beer Festival,
with more than 50 craft
beers to sample.
T+L TIP Last year,
Beijings Slow Boat

Brewery (slowboat
brewery.com)
enthusiasts could only
fill up a growler from
the tap, but now they
can buy at certain
outlets as well. Pop
into El Gran Bocado
Taqueria (1F, 55-6
Xingfucun Zhong lu
Jiezuo Daxia,

Chaoyang Dist.,
Beijing; 86-10/64161715) for some
authentic Mexican
street food and bring
home a few bottles of
the First Immortal
Double India Pale
Ale or the smooth,
strong Zombie
Pirate Pale Ale.

Slow Boat Brewery


Taproom, Beijing.

72

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

C O U R T E S Y O F S L O W B O AT B E W E R Y

CHINA

CAMBODIA

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T: P O R N S A K N A N A K O R N ; C O U R T E S Y O F C R A F T P O I N T B R E W I N G C O ; C O U R T E S Y O F G R E AT L E A P B R E W I N G ; C O U R T E S Y O F K AT I P U N A N

brewery Newcomer
Kingdom Brewery
(kingdombreweries.
com) is churning out
Cambodias rst and
only craft beer.
beer Kouprey Dark
Lager is particularly
tasty, with strong
smoky and sweet notes
thanks to imported
German malts.
bars In Phnom
Penh, swig a bottle
while taking in the
view of the Tonle Sap
River at the Foreign
Correspondents
Club (Preah Sisowath

Quay; 855-23/210-142;
fcccambodia.com;
US$8). For an up-close
look at the operation,
ag down the
Kingdoms doubledecker bus for a free
lift to The Taproom
(1748 National Rd. 5;
885-23/430-180), their
very own pour house.
T+L TIP Swing by
Kingdoms Taproom
on a Friday for their
TGIF dealpay US$10
to enjoy endless draft
brews and burgers
from Mikes Burger
House, a small eatery
bringing juicy burgers
to the capital.

JAPAN
brewery What
started as a foray into
craft beer during an
English teachers stay
in 1989 is now
Numazus Baird
Brewing, one of
Japans most exciting
young breweries.
beer Wabi-Sabi
Japan Pale Ale, a
new release, promises
hyper-local Japanese
herbs like wasabi and
Green tea leaves to give
it an unfamiliar
dimension of zest.
bar Baird Harajuku
Taproom (No-

surrender Bldg.
2F,1-20-13, Jingumae,
Shibuya-ku; 81-3/64380450; bairdbeer.com;
750) serves the firey
Wabi-Sabi on tap.
T+L TIP Check out
Baird Brewery
Gardens Shuzenji,
opening in the spring.
They plan to maintain
an orchard on the
premises that will
provide spices and
ingredients for the
many new brews
debuting in 2014, like
the small-batch
Destination Ale that
uses Japanese sweet
plums called sumomo.

Brews to
Bites
Some cuisines simply
beg to be washed down
with an icy beer. Here
are a few restaurants
answering that call.
ja pa n

Wachi Kunsei
delicately partners a
selection of smoked
tapas with their
40-some types of
bottled beers and five
draught brews, which
rotate local labels. 571
Obiya-cho, Nishiki
Takakura Sagaru,
Nakagyoku, Kyoto;
81-75/212-6342; 3,000.
thailand

Craftpoint
Brewing Co.

Thirty taps flow


at Mikkeller Bar.

Thailands Leo beer


might seem flavorless to
seasoned craft drinkers,
but the folks at Jham
Jun Phranakorn have
found the perfect use
for it: a key ingredient in
a special stir-fry sauce
used in their signature
Leo chicken dish.
Jhamjun, 5F, Fortville
Guesthouse, Phra
Sumen, Bangkok.
singa p or e

Katipunan is starting
a beer revolution.

PHILIPPINES
brewery Katipunan
(facebook.com/
KatipunanCraftAles)
may be producing only
about 2,000 bottles a
month, but the young
brewery is looking to
start a revolution by
bringing craft beer to
the masses in Manila.
beer Ditching the
ubiquitous pilsner and
lager styles, Katipunan
(named after a Filipino
revolutionary-era
secret society) chooses
to focus on the de
riguer style of craft
beer: pale ale. Try the
winning combination
of Indio Pale Ale

Great Leap
Brewing.

with a burger at B&B


Burgers and
Brewskies (Unit E,
Forbes Town Center,
Burgos Circle, BGC;
dinner for two P1,300)
buy Bring home a
bottle from organic
grocer Ritual (Unit A,
The Collective, 7274
Malugay St., San
Antonio, 1203 Makati;
ritual.ph).
T+L TIP Try the Night
and Day drafts by
Craftpoint Brewing
Co. (facebook.com/
CraftpointBrew), a set
of twin beers
released this spring
that use coffee beans
supplied by coffee
specialist The Curator.

THAILAND
bars The recently
opened Mikkeller Bar
(Ekkamai 10, Yaek 2;
66-2/381-9891;
mikkellerbangkok.com;
Bt500) has 30 taps and
loads of bottles of their
own and other special
brews. Set in an airy
house with a lovely
garden, its destined to
dominate Bangkoks
burgeoning beer scene.
Meanwhile, Evil Twin
Brewings (eviltwin.
dk) esoteric one-off
batches are exclusively
at Beerosophy (66-91/
085-4876; facebook.
com/beerosophy;
Bt550).

importers Pacific
B&B is bringing in
Italian ales; share a
750ml bottle like wine
among friends at
Bellino (Thonglor Soi
13, M Place Mall;
66-2/712-5446; dinner
and drinks for two
Bt1800). Beervana
(seekbeervana.com),
the American ale
importers, will add
American-Japanese
brewer Baird
(bairdbeer.com) to its
lineup.
T+L TIP Pour a pint of
Bairds from a custom
draft wall, a first for
Thailand, at SWAY
(Thonglor Soi 10, Arena
10, Bangkok; Bt500).

At RedDot, the pork


and beef ribs are both
done in house-made
beer marinade, while
the beer brats (as you
may have guessed) are
sausages cooked in beer
broth. 33/34 Boat Quay,
Singapore; 65/64750500; reddotbrewhouse.
com.sg.
ca m bodi a

The Oyster
Restaurant and Bar
taps local Himawari
Microbrewery for
delicate beers to bring
out the flavors of the
raw oysters while
heartier ales like
Oatmeal stout offset the
spicy palate of the
Cambodian dishes on
the menu. 313 Sisowath
Quay, Phnom Penh;
855-23/214-555;
himawarihotel.com.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

73

ASIAS BEST BEERS


BEER

FLAVOR

BAR

Beerlao,
Laos

This Laotian lager owes its unique taste to locally


grown rice and imported German malts.

Inhale a frosty glass of lager with a view of the mighty


Mekong River at local spot Bor Pen Yang. Fah Ngum
Quay, Ban Wat Cham, Vientiane.

Japan Hitachino
Nest Japanese
Classic Ale, Japan

Matured in sake barrels made from cedar, it


follows an original recipe that was first brought to
Japan in the 19th century, resulting in superbly dry
pale ale.

Sample this crisp, nutmeggy white right as it comes


out of the maturation casks at Kiuchi Brewery. 1257
Kounosu, Naka-shi, Ibaraki; kodawari.cc.

Lion Stout,
Sri Lanka

Lions principal product is a bland lager, but the


stout is another story; its toasty, malty, and pairs
exceptionally well with Sri Lankan coconut-based
curries.

Sip a pint in a lounge-like atmosphere at The


Brewery by O! No. 10, Dutch Hospital Precinct,
Colombo; thebrewerybyo.com.

Le Ble dOr Sweet Lager,


Taiwan

Using Taiwanese honey from Yunlin county, this


sweet lager is perfect for an afternoon tipple
during Taiwans hot summers.

Head to Le Ble dOr Xinyi for fresh frothy brew.


Songgao Rd., No. 11, B1, Taipei; lebledor.com.tw.

Minoh Yuzu White Ale,


Japan

This unusual winter offering packs a puckering


punch with an infusion of zesty local yuzu fruit.

Female brewers Mayuko and Kaori Ohshita are


shaking up the beer scene with in-your-face recipes
on offer at Minoh Tap Room. 3-19-11 Makiochi
Minoh-Osaka; minoh-beer.jp/brewery/access.

Boxing Cat Donkey


Punch Porter,
China

See what happens when chocolate and ancho


peppers get cozy in a stout. Spoiler alertits
delicious.

Try it at its birthplace, Boxing


Cat Brewery. 519-521 Fuxing
Middle Rd., Huangpu, Shanghai;
boxingcatbrewery.com.

Est. 33
Black Brew,
Thailand

The Thai conglomerate behind Singha produces


this microbrew, but its an entirely different
animalmade with local black glutinous sticky
rice that lends a slightly sweet taste and fullbodied mouthfeel.

EST. 33 is the perfect escape


from the Bangkok hustle. Bldg.
E, Crystal Design Center, 1420/1
Praditmanoontham Rd., Bangkok; est-33.com.

Fat Paulys RASTAFA-RYE


Rogenbier, Philippines

German rye flavors collide with gingery island


vibes in this seriously esoteric brew.

Global Beer Exchange bottle shop and tap room


is always stocked with this hard-to-find rogenbier.
Unit 103 Tritan Ventures Bldg., Paseo de Magallanes
1200, Makati, Manila; globalbeerexchange.com.ph.

Craftworks Jirisan Moon


Bear India Pale Ale,
Korea

An overload of three types of hops come together


to make this citrus explosion, one of the first true
IPAs in Korea.

Down a cold one at the Craftworks Tap Room.


Myeongsan Building, Yongsan-gu, Itaewon 2-dong
651, Seoul; craftworkstaphouse.com.

Brewerkz Hopback Ale,


Singapore

Using a variety of three English hops and skipping


the pasteurizing process, Hopback Ale is brewed
in the spirit of a proper pint from Great Britain.

Brewerkz has six locations throughout Singapore,


but the original riverside bar is best. 30 Merchant
Rd., #01-05/06 Riverside Point; brewerkz.com.

74

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P : C O U R T E S Y O F S L O W B O AT B E W E R Y 2 ; J O H N B O Y E R ; C O U R T E S Y O F J I B I R U C R A F T B E E R B A R

A mix of new standouts and old favorites, here are our 10 favorite
regional beers, in no particular order. By Cole Pennington

A MODERN TRADITION OF ASIAN HOSPITALITY


Designed in the style of a traditional Malay village, Meritus Pelangis 355 guestrooms and
suites are housed in wooden chalets that are spread across 35 acres of lush landscaped
gardens along a stretch of white sandy shores. Be ushered into a world of ethnic charm
and tropical tranquility at this award-winning resort!
LEISURE FACILITIES
Relax with refreshing and rejuvenating beauty and massage therapies at exclusive
Pelangi Spa, or pick from land or sea excursions and water sports activities readily
arranged for you. You wont be able to resist taking a dip or simply lazing around
[OLYLZVY[ZV\[KVVYMYLLMVYTZ^PTTPUNWVVSZ^P[O^H[LYJHZJHKLZ-VY[OL[ULZZ
enthusiast, rev up at the gym equipped with steam and sauna. The resort also offers
squash, tennis, archery, mini golf and bicycles, amongst a smorgasbord of fun
activities!

Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia T (60 4) 952 8888 I F (60 4) 952 8899
E pelangi@meritushotels.com I Room Reservation (60 4) 955 1866 I E resvn.pelangi@meritushotels.com
Enjoy Best Rate Promise at www.meritushotels.com

April 2014

In This Issue

M I S H A G R AV E N O R

78 Hainan
84 95 Places to
Eat Like Local
94 Ginger
102 Los Angeles
Chef Jason Neroni
(center) and staff at
Superba Snack Bar,
in Los Angeles,
page 102.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

77

The chicken rice at


Raffles Hainan is
served with three
dipping sauces.

78

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

CHICKEN
BY THE SEA

COURTESY OF R AFFLES HAINAN

The island of Hainan birthed one of


Chinese cuisines most iconic dishes:
Hainanese chicken. Jeff Chu and his
mother search out the roots of this
family favorite, learning how to raise
the birds, cook the dish, and connect
over a not-so-simple plate of rice.

F R O M T O P L E F T: S O N N Y T H A K U R ; P H I L I P P E N G E L H O R N ;
P ORNSA K N A N A KORN 2

Chef Carl Chen


stresses the need
for patience when
cooking Hainanese
chicken rice.

In the cuisine of the Chinese diaspora, few dishes seem more


elementary than Hainanese chicken rice. How hard could it be to
poach chicken, then steam rice in the poaching liquid? At its best, the
slightly fatty chicken skin pairs harmoniously with the juicy meat.
Each uff of rice, infused with chickeny avor, sings of a happy
marriage of basic ingredients.
I grew up eating Hainanese chicken rice every chance I got. Its a
mainstay of Chinese-Malaysian cooking and a litmus test; Ive used it
to pass judgment on restaurants in London, New York and Hong Kong.
Before my rst visit to Singapore, which offers some of the worlds
best chicken rice, I scoured page after page of vigorous online debate
about which hawker stall sells the nest version. Then I happily ate
my way across town.
Yet theres a reason its Hainanese chicken rice, not Singaporean. It
was born on the Chinese island of Hainan. When waves of emigrants
in the 19th century left for colonial Malaya to labor on plantations and
in service, they took this recipe with them. It tasted like home.
I wanted to nd the roots of this beloved dish, and meals are
always best enjoyed in good companyso I decided to bring my
mother. The best cook in our big, food-loving family, I thought shed
enjoy both the eating and the expedition. She also loves to travel, but
she spends all her vacation time on her family, never on herself. This
was a chance to help sate her unfullled wanderlust.
Along the way, we hoped to grasp how Hainan is changing and
juxtapose a taste of history with a glimpse of the future. This fastblossoming subtropical island has become a popular destination,
especially among Chinese snowbirds. Its now often called the
Hawaii of China, though one acquaintance was quick to note that,
This is said by people who have never been to Hawaii.

lovely mountains rise in its heart. Its fertile


coastal plains abound with maize, beans and
greens. Even in the rapidly developing city of
Sanya, where the chief cash crop seems to be
condos, youll notice rice paddies alongside
still-sprouting high-rises clad in old-school
bamboo scaffolding.
Being a backwater has its benets. Traffics
not terrible. Its clean waters produce abundant
seafood. Hainan enjoys Chinas bluest skies.
When locals say that the forecast calls for fog, its
the real thing, not the yellow-gray smog that
smothers much of the mainland.
Other than the emerald necklace of golf
courses along Hainans coast, the tourist
infrastructure is still immature. One morning,
we visited the Yetian Cultural Village, which
highlights two indigenous Hainanese
minorities, the Li and the Miao. Most displays
are only in Chinese, in which Im nearly
illiterate, so my mother read the factoids aloud:
The tribes worship a god with 33 incarnations,
each of which removes a different kind of
suffering. They have a curious custom of
honoring the dead by burying cut ngernails in
small wooden boxes. They eat mostly seafood
and game hunted with bow and arrowraccoon,
snake, bear. No mention of chicken.
Afterward, we bumped down a country lane,
past locals untangling shing nets by the
roadside, until we arrived at a restaurant called
Shi Hai Ren (people who harvest things from
the sea). Everything here is wild-caught,
affirmed the proprietor, Miss Chan, who said she
was born on the sea and told us, What comes
from the wild tastes different from what is
farmedmuch better.
Beneath a canopy overlooking Haitang Bay,
we feasted alfresco on a superbly fresh green
wrasse, steamed and crowned with ginger and
scallions; shell-on, wok-fried prawns; orangeand-white cockles with meat that looked like
miniature, melting creamsicles and tasted of the
ocean. As my mother picked at the wrasses bony
remnants, she wondered how we might be able to
take a live sh or two back to Hong Kong. Your
grandmother would like this, she said. Forgive
the pun, but we were happy as clams.
Yet I also couldnt help but feel that the siren
call of the seaor really, the seafoodwas
diverting us from our mission: to eat chicken.

If Chinas provinces were sisters in a sprawling family,

On Hainan, Hainanese chicken isnt called

prosperous Guangdong would be the ambitious one who never found


a ladder she didnt want to climb, while Hunan, an agricultural
heartland boasting ery cuisine, would be the earthy hothead.
Hainan, Chinas smallest province, would be the pretty little one
that everyone forgot. En route to nowhere, it has little coal or oil. But

Hainanese chicken. Its Wenchang chicken, after


the city that supplies the islands nest poultry.
Wenchang was also the port of departure for the
emigrants to Southeast Asia, who took live
chickens with them.

Any chef can tell


you that THE
SIMPLEST recipes
often prove the
MOST DIFFICULT

COURTESY OF R AFFLES HAINAN

to perfect.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

81

Our rst taste came in Sanya. Carl Chen, a


chef at the Raffles Hainan, where we were
staying, had recommended an unpretentious
eatery specializing in the dish. The chicken
RMB42 for half a plump birdlanded on our
plastic table with bowls of dipping saucesoy
spiked with vinegar, garlic, ginger and cilantro.
The meat had a pleasant chew; these werent
unnaturally tender corn-fed, factory-farmed
birds. The rice shone with chicken fat, and the
kitchen dished up wok-fried winged beans as
an accompaniment.
Most Hainanese agree that Wenchang
chicken must be made from chickens born and
raised in Wenchang. The waiter bragged that the
chefs here slaughtered their own birds. Where
were they? He gestured at a closet door; squawks
emerged from withina hidden avian death row.
A couple of days later, we drove to the
outskirts of Wenchang, past rubber and mango
plantations, to a chicken farm. Another point of
agreement: Wenchang chickens must spend part
of their lives ranging and foraging freely. Chef
Chen had told us he prefers three-month-old
birds, but the farm manager, Mr. Zhang, said that
chickens were best slaughtered after six. For four
months, they roam. For their last two, they
plump up in open-air, palm-shaded longhouses,
on a diet that includes oats and coconut.
From the farm, we went into central
Wenchang. If Hainan can be the Hawaii of
China, then some opportunistic bureaucrat will
soon try to rebrand Wenchang as the Paris of
Hainan. Bridges arc across the laconic
Wenchang River. A bustling street market lls
the banks. At cafs around the main square, old
men sip tea, mostly an herbaceous local variety
colloquially called lo ba cha (fathers tea).
Under a gazebo, others play Chinese chess.
Historically, Wenchang has been Hainans
cultural capital, but little ancient architecture
remains. A surviving landmark, the Confucius
Temple, built during the 11th century, has been
extensively rebuilt. Most intriguing: a gallery
used as a local military hall of fame; strikingly,
most of the honored heroes were Kuomintang
and had to ee to Taiwan after the Communist
victory in 1949facts noted without prejudice.
We strolled Old Street, a curvaceous
thoroughfare lined by 19th-century, Europeanstyle buildings with Victorian Gothic arches.
Renovated within the past ve years, the elegant
colonnaded buildings are almost all done in
shades of gray. It appeared as if the restorers had
only black-and-white postcards for inspiration.
Of course we wanted to try Wenchang chicken
in Wenchang itself. We passed a couple of
restaurants with sad-looking cooked chickens
82

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

languishing under heat lamps. Finally, on our way to the train


station, we found the grandly named Yanhe Chicken Rice Palace.
Too grandly, we learned. A waitress in heels tottered into the
glassed-in kitchen to prepare our order. I watched her giggle as she
ailed at a chicken with the cleaver, barely making a dent. Finally, a
cook, pitying her, took over.
It wasnt worth the effort. Not good, my mom said, after tasting
the chicken. The skin, thick with fat, hadnt been properly rendered.
The meat was bland, the rice greasy. I mourned for this bird. It had
given its life in vain.

What caused this tragedy? To nd out, we needed to learn to


cook. One afternoon, we met Chef Chen in the Raffles kitchen. Wed
been told to reserve three hours for the lessonit seemed like a lot of
time to poach chicken and steam rice. When youre cooking
Hainanese chicken rice, you cant be impatient, he explained. You
have to cook slowly.
He took us to the walk-in refrigerators. First, two (already dead)
young chickens, no more than 1.5 kilograms each. Then he piled our
trays high with lemongrass, shallots, ginger, cilantro, scallions, leeks.
Into the stock went large pieces of ginger, 20 crushed garlic cloves,
stalks of lemongrass, areca owers, two green onions, one choppedup leek, and some cilantroall for two chickens! We began to realize
just how complex the creation of culinary simplicity can be.
The next couple of hours were a whirl of mincing, smashing,
crushing, pureeing, sauting, poaching and steaming. Chef Chen
guided us through the prep of the chickens; a clay pot of rice steamed
not only with stock but also chicken fat, shallots, pandan leaves,
garlic, ginger, lemongrass and scallions; and a trio of dipping sauces.
The sauces provided the best metaphor for this dishs chameleonic
character. The rst, a bold local favorite balancing tart and savory,
blends calamansi juice with hot oil, ginger and garlic, cilantro and
Maggi sauce. The second, popular among the Cantonese, is subtler
no citrus, just ginger, garlic, scallion, oil and salt. The third, we tasted
only at the Raffles. Bright in color and avor, it suggested room to
play. It built on that calamansi-and-garlic base, adding minced red
pepper, a splash of sh sauce and a sprinkle of sugar.
This was all so much work that I questioned how it could possibly
be worthwhile. Even when I thought the chicken was ready, it wasnt;
you have to let the chicken rest at least half an hour before carving
it, Chef Chen said. By the time we sat to eat, my legs ached, my head
throbbed with hunger, and my stomach grumbled too.
But oh, this chicken. It was a revelation, exploding with avor. So
too the rice. Each sauce stood outthe Hainanese one sharp and
citrusy, the Cantonese one mellower, the pepper-based one vegetal.
This chicken rice, paired with these sauces, was not one dish but
three, each with different depth and dimension. Could I cook it
myself? I dont know if Id dare. Being in the kitchen with Chef Chen
taught me new respect not only for a dish Ive long loved but also for
the craft.
The other revelation of the cooking lesson? My mother. Im a
decent home cooknothing near as good as she isbut I realized that
Im a terrible cooking reporter. As we spoke with Chef Chen, who
conducted the lesson in Cantonese, I had no idea what to ask or how.
But it didnt matter, because my mom, an accountant by training,
blossomed into a journalist in the heat of the kitchen. Where I stood
back, she moved forward, peering into steaming pots and hovering
over cutting boards. When I was silent, she had question after perfect

question, clipboard and pen in hand: How much ginger? That much
garlic? How much calamansi juice?
I brought her to Hainan because I thought it would be good for her.
Really, it ended up being good for me. I remembered a moment years
ago, when I complained about how she treated me like a child; she
gazed at me evenly and said, You will always be my child. In the
Raffles kitchen, that was true in the best of waysshe knew what I
needed without me saying a thing.
Throughout the trip, from our hotel balcony and on walks along
the splendid beach, Id been contemplating the sea. Wenchang-born
emigrants, with their Wenchang-born chickens, had sailed these
waters two centuries ago. If youd told them to use lemongrass or
pandan leaf, they might have laughed. Three sauces? What would
have been absurd to them was awesome to me.
Places change. Tastes too. Some versions of chicken rice that we ate
on Hainan were like the worst of the development that we saw
slapdash, forgettable, meh. Chef Chens reimagined, rened chicken
rice was a welcome reminder that good things can evolve, but in the
right hands, retain and even elevate their essence. One hopes that
Hainan, still largely raw in its remarkable beauty, can do the same.
As my mother and I ate the fowl of our labor in the Raffles kitchen,
I looked at her and my heart felt as full as my stomach. She is usually a
woman of simple words, but her mouth now held none at allonly
more chicken and more rice. She looked back at me, nodded her head
slowly, and grinned. 

T L Guide
STAY
Raes Hainan
Clearwater Bay Avenue,
Yingzhou, Lingshui;
86-898/8338-9888;
raes.com/hainan;
doubles from RMB1,800
per night.

86-898/3161-8999;
dinner for two RMB300.
Bai Wei at the Raes
Hainan Clearwater Bay
Avenue, Yingzhou,
Lingshui; 86-898/
8338-9888; raes.com/
hainan/dining/bai-wei/;
dinner for two RMB700.

EAT
Xinsheng Wenchang
Chicken Rice
Restaurant 15 Xiangrui
Lu, Sanya; 86-138/76861812; dinner for two
RMB70.
Shi Hai Ren Seafood
Restaurant Wanghai Lu,
Chiling Scenic Area,
Yingzhou, Lingshui;
86-898/8347-5122;
dinner for two RMB350.
Longquan Township
Park Leisure Resort
Restaurant 300m from
the Dazhipo exit, Haiwen
Highway, Wenchang;

SEE+DO
Yetian Cultural Village
Yingzhou Village, Yingzhou,
Lingshui; 86-898/83470995; yetianguzhai.com;
RMB50.
Confucius Temple 77
Wendong Lu, Wenchang;
86-898/6322-7482;
RMB30.
Clearwater Bay Golf
Club Clearwater Bay
Avenue, Yingzhou,
Lingshui; 86-898/83358888; hncwb.com;
RMB2,560 for round of golf
for two.

RECIPE
Hainanese Chicken Rice (serves four)

Hainanese sauce

Adapted from Chef Carl Chens recipes

c garlic, nely minced


c ginger, nely minced
1 c hot vegetable oil
1/3 c calamansi (or lime) juice
2 T cilantro
t Maggi seasoning sauce

1 young chicken, preferably about 1.5 kg


2 T salt
Chicken broth (enough just to cover the chicken)
1 stalk of lemongrass, trimmed and crushed
1 leek
1 large piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
Cilantro (optional)
Rub salt all over the chicken, inside and out.
In a large pot, bring the broth to a rolling boil and add all additional ingredients. Skim
any froth o the top. Dip the chicken in and out of the broth eight times, then set the
chicken aside and bring the broth back to the boil.
Reduce heat to lowenough to maintain a simmer. Put the chicken into the pot,
cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the juices run clear. Remove the chicken
from the broth and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before carving.
1 c jasmine rice
2 c chicken broth
3 T of chicken fat (or vegetable oil)
8 shallots, crushed
8 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 thick slices of fresh ginger
1 stalk of lemongrass, trimmed, quartered and crushed
1 pandan leaf, roughly chopped
2 scallions
2 t salt
In a Dutch oven or clay pot, saut the garlic and shallots in the fat over low heat,
stirring constantly10-15 minutes. When the shallots are golden and beginning to
fall apart, add the lemongrass, the pandan leaf, and the rice. Stir well. Add chicken
broth, salt and scallions. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover tightly, and
cook until all liquid is absorbed and rice is uyabout 18-20 minutes. Pick out
ginger, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, pandan leaf and scallions before serving.

Mix garlic, ginger and hot oil well. Then add


calamansi juice, cilantro and Maggi sauce.
Stir well.
Cantonese sauce
1 c ginger, cut into chunks
5 cloves garlic
1 c plus 2 T hot vegetable oil
t salt
t chicken bouillon powder (optional)
1 T nely chopped scallion
Puree ginger and garlic in a food processor
until creamy. Add 2 T of oil, mixing well. Then
press the mixture through a ne-mesh
strainer to remove any large pieces of ginger
and garlic. Add remaining oil, salt, chicken
bouillon powder (if using) and scallion.
Chef Chens special sauce
2 cloves garlic, nely minced
1 c red pepper, nely minced
c calamansi (or lime) juice
2 T sh sauce
white sugar
Mix all ingredients together well.

VENICE
Osteria Bancogiro Request a Grand Canalfacing table and order
gnocchi with scallops and porcini. For more restaurants with spectacular
vantages, turn to page 91. 122 San Polo; osteriabancogiro.it. $$

S I M O N W AT S O N

For the second edition of our global eating guide, we asked our
far-flung correspondents, favorite chefs, critics and resident food experts to
share their beloved insider spotsplaces that so define their locale, they
couldnt be anywhere else. From roadside chicken rice in Ubud to the finest pho joint in
Las Vegas, this is it: your food-lovers map of the world.

From far left: Istanbuls


Van Kahvalti Evi; Carmels Breakfast House,
in Phoenix; Lauras Bakery, in Copenhagen.

Six indulgent reasons to get out of the hotel early.


culinary mecca that is
Torvehallerne Market.
17 Linnesgade; lauras
bakery.com. $

C L O C K W I S E F R O M L E F T: D A V I D H A G E R M A N ; C O U R T E S Y O F C A R M E L' S ; C O U R T E S Y O F L A U R A S B A K E R Y; B I G P H O T O / D R E A M S T I M E . C O M

AMSTERDAM
Pancake Bakery
Bacon-, cheese- or appletopped pannenkoeken
(larger and thinner than
American apjacks) are
the items to order at this
intimate canal-side space.
191 Prinsengracht;
pancake.nl. $$

PHOENIX
Carmels
Breakfast House
This neighborhood coffee
joint, dreamed up by a local
weatherman in search of a
good cuppa, has morphed
into a full-blown daytime
hangout, with panini,
tartines and brown-butter
scones made daily.
4233 E. Camelback Rd.;
carmelsbreakfast.com. $

ISTANBUL
Van Kahvalti Evi
At this cozy spot in
the Cihangir district,
breakfast spreads come
loaded with sesame
bread, white clouds of
kaymak (clotted cream)
and briny, herb-ecked
cheese. Add a skillet
of sizzling soujuk
sausage, and youre set
until dinner.
52A Defterdar Yokuu;
90-212/293-6437. $

COPENHAGEN
Lauras Bakery
In a land obsessed with
morning pastries (Danish,
anyone?), Lauras takes
the cake. Expect rows of
kanelsnegle (intensely
spiced cinnamon rolls)
and Pop-Tart-like
hindbrsnitters, all in the

TORONTO
Rose & Sons
Torontonians are serious
about their diner
breakfasts, and chef
Anthony Rose has given
them cause to remain true.

Eggs with schmaltz hash;


pastrami lox; wildblueberry bread pudding
this is no typical greasy
spoon. 176 Dupont St.;
roseandsons.ca. $$
VIENNA
Orlando di Castello
Whats drawing
creative types to this
eye-catching, white-onwhite caf? Perfect
poached eggs on dense
walnut toast and
beautifully served
Viennese Melanges
(espressos with milk)
some of the citys best.
1 Freyung; orlandodi
castello.com. $$

TOKYO: TWO MEALS WORTH YOUR TIME


RESTAURANT

ROKURINSHA

rokurinsha.com;
$$

the
queue
120
minutes

DURATION
orders
taken
90 minutes

Cult ramen
haunt in Tokyo
Station.

NARISAWA

Wed endure
the epic line all
over again for
another slurp
of that umamirich tsukemen
ramen.

best
course
(carbonized
steak)
02h18

first
course
(bread)
00h15

narisawayoshihiro.com;
$$$$

PAYOFF

eating
time
12
minutes

16th
course
(dessert
trolley)
03h15

Food-nerd
nirvana in the
Aoyama
neighborhood.

0 hours

Youll need to
book a month
ahead for chef
Narisawas
tasting menu,
but youll savor
every second of
this mind-altering
marathon.

4 hours

ROTISSERIE
CHICKEN
The seductive aroma
of spit-roasted chicken
has three food capitals
in a spin. On
Manhattans Upper
East Side, at the new
Rtisserie Georgette
(rotisserieg.com),
the juicy poulet rti is
matched with sublimely
crunchy potatoes
and ame-kissed leeks.
Heirloom chickens
and game birds
are the specialty at
Le Coq Rico (lecoq
rico.com), in Pariss
boho Abbesses quarter.
And in London, two
young chefs have turned
a 2006 Ford Transit
van into the roving
rotisserie Spit &
Roast (spitandroast.
com), whose free-range
Suffolk chickens are
now a cult sensation.

BEST EXCUSE TO GET OVER YOURSELF AND EAT SCRAPPLE: BRAD SPENCES FUNKYPORKY RENDITION AT PHILADELPHIAS AMIS AMISPHILLY.COM.
restaurants $ Less than $25 $$ $25 to $75 $$$ $75 to $150 $$$$ More than $150
Prices throughout are in U.S. dollars and represent approximate prices for a three-course dinner for two, excluding drinks.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

85

We know what youre craving.


And we know where to find it.
The Fried
Chicken
LIT TLE SKILLET

Cayenne-and-paprika spiced
fried chicken served
with maple syrup and
waffles dusted in powdered
sugar. 360 Ritch St.;
1-415/777-2777. $$

The Dessert
The Burger

ICE CREAM BAR

4505 MEATS

Gruyre-topped patty of
dry-aged California beef in a
sesame-scallion bun.
1 Ferry Bldg.; 4505meats.com. $

Wild-cherry phosphate
float, flavored with tart
cherry juice and garnished
with shards of bittersweet
chocolate. 815 Cole St.;
theicecreambarsf.com. $

The Okonomiyaki
NAMU GAJI

Oyster-infused scallion
pancake with bonito
flakes, tonkatsu sauce
and mayo. 499 Dolores
St.; namusf.com. $$$

The Coffee
SIGHTGL ASS

The Sandwich
BAR TARTINE

Rainbow trout smrrebrd


with trout roe and
quark cheese. 561 Valencia
St.; bartartine.com. $$

The Salad
BOULI BAR

Eastern Mediterranean salad


with purslane, freekeh (green
wheat), ricotta salata and a
pomegranate reduction. 1 Ferry
Bldg.; bouletteslarder.com. $$

DAV I D A L E X A N D E R A R N O L D

Classic cappuccino
made with small-batch,
single-origin beans.
270 Seventh St.;
sightglasscoffee.com. $

FOOD HOOD: LAS VEGAS

Along Spring Mountain Roada.k.a.


Chinatownare scores of authentic Asian
restaurants. Here, six highlights.
PHO 87
Purists flock to
this unassuming
storefront for
super-fresh goi cuon
(summer rolls) and
fragrant oxtail pho.
3620 S. Jones Blvd.;
1-702/233-8787. $

CHINA MAMA
Order the signature soup
dumplingshere called
steamed juicy pork bunsand
dont overlook the lamb with
cumin or the crispy beef.
3420 S. Jones Blvd.;
1-702/873-1977. $

SP RI NG

C L O C K W I S E F R O M L E F T: TA I P O W E R S E E F F ;
T H E P O W E R O F F O R E V E R P H O T O G R A P H Y/ G E T T Y I M A G E S ; B L U E H A N D/ D R E A M S T I M E . C O M

N RD .

Brittania & Co.,


in Mumbai.

M OU NTAI

ZEN
JAPANESE
CURRY
Pick your protein
(pork tonkatsu, say)
and itll be served
over rice with thick,
house-made garam
masala gravy.
5020 Spring Mountain
Rd.; 1-702/985-1192. $

HONEY PIG
Korean DIY heaven:
sizzle your beef, pork
or seafood to
caramelized perfection
on your own domed
grill. 4725 Spring
Mountain Rd.;
1-702/876-8308. $$

$$

BEVERLY HILLS
Fountain Coffee
Room
The luncheonette at the
Beverly Hills Hotel has

served local starlets


and studio heads since
1949. While the
banana-leaf wallpaper
remains, there are nods
to todays tastes:
cold-pressed juices and
a decadent caramel
pumpkin pie named
for Mary J. Blige.
9641 Sunset Blvd.;
thebeverlyhillshotel.com.
$$$

MELBOURNE
Pellegrinis
Espresso Bar
Melbournes reputation
as a coffee capital began
here, where the citys
first-ever espresso was

made in 1954. The look


is pretty much
unchanged, as is our
order: a short black.
66 Bourke St.;
61-3/9662-1885. $
MUMBAI
Brittania & Co.
The Irani cafs of Old
Bombay may be in
decline, but youd never
know it at this
sepia-toned relic. Parsi
families pack the
wobbly tables for berry
pulau (basmati rice with
fried onions, shaved
almonds and tart
barberries). 11 Sprott Rd.;
91-22/2261-5264. $

NAKAMURALYA
Wafuu pasuta
(Japanese-style pasta)
is a rare find outside
the motherland. Try
the uni-and-tomatocream spaghettiand
thank us later.
5040 Spring Mountain
Rd.; 1-702/251-0022. $

LIONFISH

Where every order comes with a side of history.


DANIA BEACH, FL
Jaxsons Ice Cream
Parlor
Alongside an endless
array of vintage kitsch
(turn-of-the-20thcentury license plates;
displays of retro candy)
are 45-plus flavors of
south Floridas favorite
ice cream, handmade
daily for 58 years.
128 S. Federal Hwy.;
jaxsonsicecream.com.

CHADA THAI
Siamese small plates
(Cornish game hens
with sh sauce; crab
lettuce wraps) and a
killer wine list.
3400 S. Jones Blvd.;
1-702/641-1345. $

The invasive
lionfish, which has
run roughshod
over the Caribbean,
is turning up on
local menus. (For
a spiny, poisonous
predator, its
surprisingly
delicious.) At El
Boliche Cebicheria
(38-17 Calle
Cochera del Hobo)
in Cartagena,
Colombia, lionfish
carpaccio is topped

with a bracing leche


de tigre dressing,
nasturtium petals,
chiles, tomatoes
and sea-bass caviar.
Some 800 kilometers
north, in Jamaica,
Little Ochie
(littleochie.com)
owner Evrol
Blackie Christian
tosses lionfish in his
secret jerk sauce and
sears it on an open
pimento-wood flame
next to the shore.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

87

Your unofficial fourth meal awaits.

P H O T O C R E D I T T E E K AY

CAPE TOWN
CHARLYS BAKERY
Where to find Cape
Towns premier
buttercream-frosted
everythings? Behind
a pastel-pink-and-white

Sticky buns at Flour Bakery,


in Bostons South End.

faade resembling a
giant layer cake, of
course. Our preferred
pairing: the wicked
chocolate cake, topped
with a layer of dark
ganache. 38 Canterbury
St.; charlysbakery.co.za.
KYOTO, JAPAN
GION KINANA
With a taste akin to
peanut butter,
kinako, or roasted
soybean flour, is as
quintessentially
Japanese as matcha.
Its the signature
ingredient at this tiny
ice cream shop, inside a
traditional wooden
merchants house in

the Gion geisha district.


570-119 Gion-machi
Minami-gawa;
kyo-kinana.com.
LIMA, PERU
XOCOLATL
Sumptuous cakes;
spiced bonbons; bars
crowned with fruit
everything in the
pastry cases at this
high-design chocolate
boutique spotlights
cacao from the
Amazonian rain
forest. 111 Calle Manuel
Bonilla; xocolatl.pe.

MARRAKESH
AL JAWDA
Stock up on dried
dates and mountain
honey while nibbling
on a dizzying array
of baked treats, some
filled with figs and nuts
and others infused
with orange-flower
water. 11 Rue de la
Liberte; 212-52/543-3897.
ROME
GELATERIA
MILLENNIUM
Located just outside
the Vatican, this
husband-and-wife
operation is known for
its funky range of

flavors (such as
mascarpone pear and
persimmon).
2/A Piazza Santa Maria
delle Grazie; gelateria
millennium.it.
TEL AVIV
DALLAL
These arent your
bubbys pastries.
Hidden on a charming
Neve Tzedek side
street, Dallal churns
out refined takes on
old-time Jewish
comfort foods, from
rugelach and muffins
to poppy-seed tarts.
7 Kol Israel Haverim;
dallal.co.il.

IAN MACLELL AN

BOSTON
FLOUR BAKERY
Call ahead to reserve
your sticky bunthese
caramel-smothered,
pecan-studded brioche
rolls are among the best
youll ever have. No
wonder they sell out in
mere hours.
1595 Washington St.;
flourbakery.com.

COOL CROWDS

Plug into the scene at one of these stylish spots.


BUDAPEST
Borkonyha Wine
Kitchen
A fashionable bistro
dedicated to Hungarys
woefully underrated
wines. Late nights draw
well-heeled locals
for sauted duck liver
and freshwater trout
with dill. 3 Sas Utca;
borkonyha.hu. $$$

Bar del Fico, in Rome.

BUENOS AIRES
Paraje Arevalo
On the still-boho side of
Palermo Hollywood,

this storefront bistro


attracts a chic clientele
with brilliantly avored
blackboard specials
inuenced by
the chefs stints at
renowned European
restaurants Mugaritz
and the Fat Duck.
1502 Arevalo; parajea
revalo.com. $$$$
MONTREAL
Le Filet
A convivial dining room
at the foot of MontRoyal is the place for

briny Canadian oysters


with yuzu marmalade,
fresh Gasp char, and
gnocchi with lobster.
219 Ave. du Mont-Royal
Ouest; lelet.ca. $$$
PORTLAND, OR
Departure
Restaurant &
Lounge
With a Jetsons-inspired
interior, this Pan-Asian
restaurant on the 15th
oor of the Nines hotel
is redening happy
hour for the citys

trendy set. Try the


crispy squid with spicy
miso. 525 S.W.
Morrison St.; departure
portland.com. $$$
ROME
Bar del Fico
At this modern
restaurant in the
Parione quarter, nattily
dressed Romans
hold court over salumi,
mini-pizzas and
terric cocktails.
26 Piazza del Fico;
bardelco.com. $$

Eight singular neighborhoods, eight great New British haunts.

Islington

Shoreditch

Fitzrovia

Soho

Smokehouse is a modern-day
boozer that happens to serve charred
leeks with duck eggs and a pork
rib eye with pancetta and lardoand
blimey, what treasures on tap!
smokehouseislington.co.uk. $$$

Inside the Shoreditch town hall, the


Clove Club (from rising star Isaac
McHale) goes Noma-esque
with small bites of locavore esoterica,
such as gulls eggs with
lovage. thecloveclub.com. $$$$

At his urban-rustic Newman


Street Tavern, Peter Weeden
dry-ages Galloway beef, butchers
whole Scottish Blackface sheep, and
bakes super-voluptuous onion tarts.
newmanstreettavern.co.uk. $$$

Watch street life from a window


seat at Damson & Co., a homey
deli-caf devoted to strictlyBritish deliciousness: farmhouse
cheeses, goose salami and daily
soused fish (ceviche to you).
damsonandco.com. $$

F R O M T O P : D A N I L O S C A R P AT I ;
C A R O L S A C H S 8

Bermondsey
Tom Sellerss Restaurant
Story snagged a Michelin star
just months after opening.
Prepare yourself for candles
that melt into beef drippings and
smoked eel sandwiched within
squid-ink Storeo cookies.
restaurantstory.co.uk. $$$$

Hackney
Brixton
Notting Hill
With only 14 seats, tiny Marianne
packs outsize flavors into AngloMediterranean dishes such as
sweet Cornish scallops with artichoke
and dusky jamn. marianne
restaurant.com. $$$$

The three-course lunch


at Salona minimalist gem
in the happening Brixton
marketis Londons best bargain
at the moment, at just 15.
salonbrixton.co.uk. $$$

Affordable, soulful and quietly


inventive (anyone for duck
with pickled carrot and hazelnut
pure?), the blond-wood-paneled
Mayfields has quickly become
a neighborhood favorite.
mayfieldswiltonway.co.uk. $$$

BESTKEPT SECRET IN BANGKOK : PASTE PASTEBANGKOK.COM, A WEE TEMPLE TO MODERN THAI FROM CHEFS BONGKOCH SATONGUN AND JASON BAILEY.
T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

89

SEATTLE
This chanterelle, apple and egg dish at Sitka & Spruce
(1531 Melrose Ave.; sitkaandspruce.com; $$) is the ultimate winter brunch.
ARAN GOYOAGA (@CANNELLEVANILLE), FOOD BLOGGER AND STYLIST

LOS ANGELES
Kang Hodong Baekjeong (3465 W. Sixth St.; baekjeong.co.kr; $$) has the
best Korean BBQ in town right now, if youre willing to wait in line.
ZACH BROOKS (@MIDTOWNLUNCHLA), FOUNDER OF THE MIDTOWN LUNCH BLOG

NEW YORK CITY


Harold Dieterle creates delicious Thai-inspired dishes at
Kin Shop (469 Sixth Ave.; kinshopnyc.com; $$$). This house special is braised
cobia sh with sawtooth herb, mini bok choy and rambutan curry.
DANIEL KRIEGER (@DANIELKRIEGER), PHOTOGRAPHER

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA


I love the bnh m and spicy sriracha chicken-fry sandwiches
at Asheville Sandwich Co. (202 State St.; asheville
sandwichco.com; $). They put fries in the sandwich.
TIM ROBISON (@TIMROBISONJR), PHOTOGRAPHER/ILLUSTRATOR

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T: A R A N G O Y O A G A ; Z A C H B R O O K S ; T I M R O B I S O N ; C O U R T E S Y O F K I N S H O P

Food-obsessed Instagrammers share their top local meals of the year.

Balthazar,
in New York.

YES, IT REALLY IS THAT GOOD

Sometimes locals go to
touristy placesbecause
sometimes the tourists are right.

Il Pirata,
on Italys
Amalfi Coast.

C L O C K W I S E F R O M L E F T: S I M O N W AT S O N ; A N G U S O B O R N / G E T T Y I M A G E S ; K E L L I W O N G

Meals with a killer view.


BARBADOS
Cuzs Fish Shack
The sh cutter
sandwich is a Bajan
obsession, and this
decades-old clapboard
hut on Carlisle Bay is
the place to get hooked.
Cuzs kids now run the
show, but the recipe
is the same: pan-fried
blue marlin, lettuce,
tomato, pickles, ery
Scotch bonnet sauce,
and cheddar cheese or
a fried egg on a pillowy
roll. Needhams Point,
Hastings; no phone. $
CUZCO, PERU
Limo
Request a table on the
balcony of Limos
colonial-era hacienda,

overlooking an elegant
plaza. Alpaca
sweetbreads and lomo
saltado (marinated
beef with ery amarillo
peppers) accompany
the best pisco
soursand vistasin
town. 236 Portal de
Carnes; cusco
restaurants.com. $$

Youll nd hearty
plate-lunch staples such
as musubi rice balls,
mac salad and pork
luau stew; the owners
mother runs a shave-ice
stand next door.
46-499 Kamehameha
Hwy. $$

KANEOHE, HAWAII
Heeia Pier General
Store & Deli
Fishermen, paddleboarders, the odd biker
gangeveryone on
Oahus windward
coast stops into this
ramshackle diner/
bait-and-tackle shop
perched on an old pier
over Kaneohe Bay.

Il Pirata

PRAIANO, ITALY
Antonio Sersale,
owner of Positanos
Le Sirenuse hotel,
swears by the seaurchin
linguine at this Amal
Coast idyll, where a
sun-drenched terrace is
built into rocks above a
glittering cove. Via
Terramare; ristorante
ilpirata.net. $$$

NEW ORLEANS
Commanders
Palace
Believe the hype: the
restaurant where
French-Creole
and Cajun first
blended with nouvelle
cuisine four decades ago
still sets standards for
inventiveness
(absinthe-poached
oysters), high-gloss
classics (turtle soup)
and white-glove service.
1403 Washington Ave.;
commanderspalace.com.
$$$

NEW YORK CITY


Balthazar
Given the gorgeous
interior and crazy-sexy
crowd, the food at the
SoHo stalwart is far
better than it needs to
be. Take it from star
chef Eric Ripert: I go as
often as I canthey
have great energy, good
service and fantastic
steak frites. 80 Spring
St.; balthazarny.com.
$$$

PARIS
Angelina
Skip breakfasthell,
skip lunchand save

every calorie for the


decadently thick,
not-too-sweet
hot chocolate at
this ornate
1903 teahouse,
an erstwhile
haunt of Coco
Chanel. 226 Rue de Rivoli;
angelina-paris.fr. $$$
UBUD, BALI

Nasi Ayam
Kedewatan
Since 1964, this
humble roadside spot
has served the finest
chicken rice (nasi
ayam) in town,
garnished with grated
coconut, long beans,
peanuts and fiery
sambal. Jalan
Kedewatan; 62-361/
974-795. $
YOUNTVILLE,
CALIFORNIA

Ad Hoc
Winemakers, farmers
and off-duty cooks make
the scene at Thomas
Kellers convivial
Napa Valley canteen,
where the nightlychanging three-course
dinner costs just US$52.
6476 Washington St.; ad
hocrestaurant.com. $$$

BEST CREATIVE USE OF FISH HEADS : FISHHEAD CURRY AT MUTHUS MUTHUSCURRY.COM, IN SINGAPORECHASE IT WITH A MANGO LASSI.
T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

91

Whatever you call a savory topped flatbreadlahmacun, khachapuri,


manakeesh or simply pizzayoull find every piece of the pie in New York.
Here are our favorite global slices, and where the city does them best.

STAFF MEALS
What hotel
employees
crave during
their shifts.

CHICAGO
Hearty rib-eye sukiyaki
and shoyu ramen from
Cocoro are go-to orders
for the staff at the
Peninsula (peninsula.
com), seven blocks
away. 668 N. Wells St.;
cocorosushi.com. $$

HOI AN, VIETNAM


The bell desk at the
Nam Hai (thenamhai.
com) swears by the
pork-and-pt bnh m
from beloved Hoi An
stallkeeper Phuong,
who recently opened a
brick-and-mortar shop.
2 Phan Chau Trinh St.;
no phone. $

5
4

1. Coca

2. Lahmacun

3. Manakeesh

4. Pissaladire

SPAIN

TURK E Y

LEBANON

FR ANCE

A cross between a pizza


and a tart, coca is a staple
of Catalonia, Valencia
and the Balearic Islands.
Try it here with blue
cheese and roasted
onions. La Vara 268
Clinton St., Brooklyn;
lavarany.com. $$

The ultimate Turkish


street food: supple and
charred from a brief
stint in a kebab oven,
with a spicy, tomatoey
schmear of ground
lamb. Ali Baba
212 E. 34th St.; alibaba
turkishcuisine.com. $$

A breakfast flatbread
glossed with olive oil
and zaatar (a mix of
wild herbs and sesame
seeds). Best when loaded
with mint, tomatoes and
cucumber. Balade
208 First Ave.; balade
restaurants.com. $

Slow-cooked onions
that caramelize into a
jam (with a pungent
zing of olives and
anchovies) top flaky puff
pastry or bread dough.
Tartine 253 W. 11th St.;
tartinecafenyc.com. $$

5. Khachapuri

6. Uttapam

GEORGIA

INDIA

7. Margherita
ITALY

The republics oozy


cheese breads come in
many regional forms,
including the
boat-shaped adjaruli
and, here, the round
imeruli, with extra
sulguni cheese. Oda
House 76 Ave. B;
odahouse.com. $$

The South Indian treat


(actually a griddled
pancake) is made of an
earthy batter of ground
lentils and rice, often
topped with peas, chiles
and tomatoes. Saravana
Bhavan 81 Lexington
Ave.; saravanabhavan.
com. $$

La vera pizza
napolitana is blistered
and puffy with air
bubbles and topped with
mozzarella, tomato
and basilthe tricolore
of the Italian flag.
Kest 271 Bleecker St.;
kestepizzeria.com.
$$

MEXICO CITY
Around the corner
from the Four Seasons
Hotel Mxico, D.F. (four
seasons.com), Tacos
de Fabiruchis lls
fresh-made tortillas
with chorizo in salsa
verde or home-style
chicharrn prensado
(pressed and shredded
pork rinds). Calle
Burdeos; no phone. $
MUMBAI
Just behind the
landmark Taj Mahal
Palace (tajhotels.com)
is the equally iconic
Bademiya, where
Mumbaikars have come
since 1942 for their
late- night smoky, spicy
kebab x. Tulloch Rd.;
91-22/2284-8038. $

F R O M L E F T: C L AY W I L L I A M S 7 ; J O N N Y V A L I A N T

AFTER HOURS

C L O C K W I S E F R O M T O P L E F T: A N D R E W R O W AT; E R I C G R E G O R Y P O W E L L /G E T T Y I M A G E S ; P I C H AYA N E E K I T S A N AY O T H I N ; C O U R T E S Y O F L A S A N D W I C H E R I E ; A D A M F R I E D B E R G ; A N D R E W R O W AT; J E N N I F E R F L O W E R S 2

How do Chinas rival food capitals stack up?

vs.

SHANGHAI

HONG KONG

the noodle joints


WEI XIANG ZHAI

Join a communal table


and order ma jiang mian, thick
wheat noodles covered in a peanutsesame sauce and spiked with chili oil.
14 Yandang Lu; 86-21/5383-9032. $

CHUN

YANG S FRY DUMPLINGS

BARCELONA
Bar Velodromo
The sprawling Art Deco
interior of this 1933
landmark is as inviting
in the madrugada
(late at night) as it is
during the day. Why
wait for breakfast to
order huevos estrellados
(eggs over fries)?
213 Carr. de Muntaner;
34/93-430-6022. $$

AUSTIN, TEXAS
East Side King
James Beard Award
winning chef Paul Qui
is behind this graffitied
food trailer (one of two)
that sets up in the
backyard of East Side
hot spot Liberty Bar
and serves till 1:30 a.m.
Get the piping-hot beet
home fries with Kewpie
mayo and sweet deepfried chicken thighs.
1618 E. Sixth St.;
eskaustin.com. $$

MIAMI BEACH
La Sandwicherie
Swing by this teeny
SoBe sandwich shop
late enough, and youll
see chefs such as Jos
Mendin (of the ragingly
popular PubBelly)
scarng down postshift saucisson-andCamembert baguettes.
229 14th St.;
lasandwicherie.com. $

KAU KEE

AUSTRALIA DAIRY COMPANY

Cha chaan tengs (tea restaurants) are


Hong Kongs version of the breakfastall-day caf: think fluffy scrambled eggs
on buttered white toast, and
oh-so-creamy steamed
milk custard. 47 Parkes St.,
Jordan; 852/2730-1356. $

the beloved local chains


When youve had your fill of xiao
long bao soup dumplings, seek out this
temple to shengjian bao, a breadier
version, pan-fried to a crisp.
97 Huanghe Lu; 86-21/5375-1793. $

ATLANTA
Octopus Bar
In an unmarked room
behind an East Atlanta
pho house, kitchen
workers and industry
minions meet after
work to lick their
wounds and shoot
Fernet. To eat, theres
high-minded Asian
cooking, like monkshliver torchon and
freshwater-eel congee.
560 Gresham Ave. S.E.;
octopusbaratl.com. $$

Beef brisket on noodles (flat, egg, or


vermicelli) in a clear, flavor-packed
broth is the ultimate Cantonese comfort
food. Taste it at this tried-and-true spot.
21 Gough St., Central; 852/2850-5967. $

the iconic holes-in-the-wall


Gruff owner Qu Minglan
serves up homey classics such as
soy-sauce duck and crab with
sticky-rice rolls, then nags you to
finish before it gets cold.
124 Jinxian Lu; 86-21/6256-0301. $$

Where to end a night on the town.

LOS ANGELES
Tatsu Ramen
A stylish strip-mall
noodle bar in Little
Osaka that serves a rich
and savory tonkotsu
ramen as well as a
vegan-friendly version
(this is L.A., after all).
2123 Sawtelle Blvd.;
tatsuramen.com. $$

TIM HO WAN

The Kowloon flagship of this dim sum


franchise is the worlds cheapest
Michelin-starred restaurant. Avoid long
queues by arriving at 8 a.m. 11 Fuk Wing
St., Sham Shui Po; timhowan.com. $

the street snacks


JIAN BING

This popular breakfast crpe is


filled with eggs, fried youtiao crullers,
chili flakes and hoisin sauce.
Get it on Yanqing Road, but hurry:
theyre gone by 10 a.m. Xinle/Donghu
intersection; no phone. $

EGG WAFFLES

This honeycomb-like snack has an


addictive cakelike aroma. Lee Keung
Kee North Point Egg Waffles perfects
the crisp-on-the-outside, tender-onthe-inside formula. 178 Nathan Rd.,
Tsim Sha Tsui; no phone. $

the hotshot expats


PAUL PAIRET

Following successful Mr. & Mrs. Bund


(mmbund.com; $$$$), the French-born
chefs Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet
(uvbypp.cc; $$$$) is a
multisensory experience,
with videos, a musical score
and an avant-garde
22-course dinner.

MATT ABERGEL

The Calgary native earned his cult cred


with Yardbird (33-35 Bridges St., Sheung
Wan; yardbirdrestaurant.com; $$$), a
rambunctious yakitori joint. His
latest, Rnin (8 On Wo Lane, Central;
roninhk.com; $$$$),
is a sexy izakaya with a modern
Japanese menu.

La Sandwicherie,
in Miami Beach.
Edited by Peter Jon Lindberg, Nikki Ekstein, Jennifer
Flowers, Jacqueline Gifford, Brooke Porter Katz.
Reported by Brett Anderson, ChuckEats, John Curtas,
Peter J. Frank, Margie Goldsmith, Aran Goyoagan, David A.
Keeps, Stirling Kelso, Sarah Khan, Daniel Krieger, Heidi
Mitchell, Shane Mitchell, Nilou Motamed, Pat Nourse,
Kathryn OShea-Evans, Sheila Pierce, Tim Robison, Matt
Rodbard, Gail Simmons, Anya von Bremzen.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

93

MORGAN OMMER

Plunge into pink duck breast with ginger nuoc mam (fish sauce) at May Restaurant in Saigon.

94

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Ive done most of my soul searching throughout


the years by experiencing Asian cultures
through the plate. Sitting in Singapore-based
celebrity chef Samia Ahads open kitchen at
Coriander Leaf, it hits me. Watching her fry
spices for a chicken kormathe creamy, braised
dish with its origins in India and Pakistanin a
large skillet, the heady scent of sizzling onions,
garlic, cinnamon, cumin and ginger permeating
my skin, I realize how crucial ginger root is to
cuisines across the continent.
Ancient ayurvedics called it a universal
great medicine and gingers use in cooking is
found in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, which
dates back to the 4th century BC. There is
evidence, actually, that it was cultivated in the
Indian subcontinent as early as the 2nd
millennium BC, spreading to the rest of Asia as
it was integrated into cooking techniques. The
main purpose originally was to perfume food
that was no longer fresh, but necessity
eventually gave rise to innovation. So, history
saw each of the regions going off on its own
culinary tangent while retaining similar uses
96

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

for the plant and beliefs about the roots powers.


Asian cuisine is not the same without ginger,
the root of which is nely chopped or grated,
and together with onion and garlic is the basis
of many a stir-fry or curry, Loukie Werle and
Jill Cox write in their exhaustive culinary
book, Ingredients.
Paradoxically, Id say, most of us overlook
gingers astonishing omnipresence precisely
because it is so common. Being Asian, and
growing up in Manila, I never really gave ginger
a second thought, it sneaking into dishes
ranging from steamed garoupa in the Chinese
restaurant to sushi platters in the Japanese.
Looking back, I cant think of a moment when
ginger was not present on the kitchen counter,
sitting there, like a gnarly mystical icon, the
discreet deity of culinary lore, sometimes
mellow and meek, but most of the time
powerful in its avor and essence. An old
Hindu proverb referring to the ignorant and
unappreciative of the details in life goes, Can
the monkey know the taste of ginger? I
suppose Ive been a bit of a simian all these
years, eating away without giving the spice its
due credit.

F R O M T O P L E F T: S O N N Y T H A K U R 2 ; P O R N S A K N A N A K O R N 2

Chef Toshiro Okajima recommends the buta shoga yaki (stir-fried pork and ginger) at Tsukiji, in Manila.

n unsung hero, ginger is the


supporting character without which
the delicious plots of many a recipe
could not unfold. Its used as an active
ingredientlending re and
adding layers, a mashed-up
member of the party in Thai curries,
and backstroking around Chinese soupsand
as a covert agent: Indians use it to mask the
smell of odorous meats like lamb, Japanese to
cover shiness, and Filipinos to hide any
strong, potentially unappealing scent. It gives
all dishes the fth element of Asian cuisine
without being overpowering, says Thai Tu Tho,
owner of May Restaurant in Saigon, who calls
ginger the third most important ingredient in
Vietnamese food after sh and soy sauces.
Ginger represents the heat of the dish without
being ery.
Ginger is always there in cooking, teas and
all, and that goes for each South Asian country,
says Chef Avanish Kumar Jain, who works at
Spices in The Peninsula Manila but misses the
Muslim quarter in his hometown of New Delhi,
where you can eat nihari, a rich lamb stew
topped with lemons, radishes, coriander leaves
and strips of ginger. Indians use it as a paste

with garlic for tandooris, and, freshly grated,


dried and ground, it is one of the most
important ingredients in curry, sometimes
lending sweetness, other times heat and
providing a certain depth in the harmony of
avors without hogging the limelight, he says.
Without ginger, no curry can be made.
Nor most Japanese food. Almost 80 percent
of Japanese dishes have ginger. [The cuisine]
could not exist without ginger, says chef
Toshiro Okajima of Tsukiji in Manila. We use it
to make broths. We pickle it, make marinades
from the juice, use it fresh to top miso. We
garnish with ginger owers, braise meats with
it and sometimes even use the very young and
fresh ginger for tempura. Okajima could go on,
but his point, I think, is that each dish is crafted
with a careful selection of ingredients that
creates a subtle backdrop on which ginger can
truly shine.
The best quality ginger is found, according to
Chef Kwong Wai Keung of two-Michelinstarred Tang Court in Hong Kongs Langham
Hotel, in Chinas Guangdong province. He

Thai-Chinese Chef Baimonh Tanataveetram of Bangkoks Rock Restaurant and Bar says his favorite
dish is coconut-poached prawns and pineapple topped with fresh young ginger.

recommends the citys famed ginger and


scallion crab dish as an exemplary showcase of
the spice. Unlike in many other Asian
countries, my native Filipino cuisine doesnt
make use of a vast array of fragrant spices and
herbs. Ginger happens to be one of the few truly
exciting ingredients we use. Ginger adds a
peppery zing to any dish, says food writer and
restaurateur Claude Tayag, especially in
making kinilaw, our local ceviche.
The star of much Thai cuisine is blue ginger,
galangal, which is more oral and intense,
giving food a more pungent, piney, mustardlike dimension. But also keep an eye out for
fresh young ginger or its ower in any number
of dishes, say, chopped in stir-fries and
julienned in salads, notes Kanchanaburi-born,
Thai-Chinese Chef Baimonh Tanataveetram of
the new Rock Restaurant and Bar in Bangkok.
My favorite dish is kanom jin sao nahmrice
noodles dressed in coconut, lime, fresh
pineapple, chili and fresh young ginger topped
with dried shrimp, he says. I like using young
ginger, it has a little bit of heat, a good smell and
it heals your stomach.
he beauty of the best food lies in its
inherent quality of being both
pleasurable and nourishing. Thats
ginger incarnate. It is central for stews
as its warmth stays longer in the body
than chili. Historically and traditionally,
it is used to cure all sickness
symptoms, May Restaurants Thai
says. It is also to keep your blood ow
at a good pressure if youre old and to give you
an energy kick when youre younger but
exhausted. Adds Okajima, My grandmother
always told me, eat ginger for good skin!
Theres modernand Westernconsensus
on gingers medicinal abilities. Various recent
studies have shown ginger relieving muscle
pain, improving asthma medications,
managing hypertension, mitigating liver
damage caused by acetaminophen and proving
as effective in treating migraines as the drug
sumatriptan. The use of ginger in oncology is
also becoming more prevalent, from simply
reducing nausea in chemotherapy patients to
possibly helping prevent certain cancers.
Participants in a University of Michigan
Medical School study who were given ginger
root supplements showed reduced

98

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Imagine ancient
merchants braving the
cool, warming their
hands and hearts with
caravan-side brewed
fortifying ginger tea
inammation markers (a precursor to colon
cancer) in their colon within only one month as
compared to the control group, according to a
paper published last autumn in the journal
Cancer Prevention Research.
These scientic ndings only seem to prove
what travelers and traders have known for at
least 2,500 years. Having originated in the
Indian subcontinent, the easily transportable
root likely traveled to China and Southeast Asia
via the Silk Road, beginning even before the
term was coined during the Han Dynasty, back
between 206 BC and 220 AD. Imagine ancient
merchants braving the cool climates of
northern India, crossing the steep mountain
ranges of southern China all the way up to
Chengdu, all the while warming their hands
and hearts with a caravan-side brewed cup of
fortifying ginger tea. Chinese sailors used to
bring potted ginger plants aboard their ships to
combat scurvy and seasickness. (Today, my
friends Chinese grandmothers chew ginger
candies to ward off carsickness.)
The Chinese and Indian civilizations of yore
were important proponents of gingers culinary
integration. Both dietary traditions are
anchored in strong beliefs in food therapy and
were developed around nding inner harmony.
Much of todays Indian cooking is rooted in the
ayurvedic practices of eating specically to
cure and prevent ailments caused by the
disproportion of ones three elemental
substances, or doshas. Likewise, the ancient
Chinese practice of Shiliao believes in the
warming and cooling properties of certain
ingredients that can be used to counteract the
imbalance of heat and cold in ones bodythe
main source of illness and disease. In both
spheres, ginger represents a good source of re,
which is presumed to strengthen the spirit.

DARREN SOH

Ginger butter prawns at Coriander Leaf Restaurant and Cooking Studio, Singapore.

SON N Y T H A K U R 2

Steamed seabass with ginger perfumes the dining


room of Spices, at The Peninsula Manila.

Which is probably why traditional therapies


prescribe eating it as an imperative for
pregnant women and new mothers. I heard a
story about a man who was looking for ginger
for his sick wife who was expecting her rst
born, says Thai Tu Tho. After a lot of prayers,
the man found a ginger root that had a human
face. He brought it back to his wife and after
having it with congee, she immediately felt
better and delivered a beautiful baby boy. And
Kwong Wai Keung has an unforgettable
childhood memory. As I grew up in a poor
family, we were unable to afford pigs trotters,
which is what normally a woman will eat after
giving birth. Therefore, my mum ate duck eggs
with ginger and rice wine after she gave birth to
recuperate her health.
A few weeks back I was taken illpregnant,
bedridden, devoid of energy, depressed. My
husband was away at work and even my dogs
forsook my darkened room. My only friends? A
steaming bowl of arroz caldo and warm cup of
salabat tea. For anyone with a smidgen of
Filipino heritage, arroz caldo, white rice cooked
gently in a broth of chicken, garlic and the
magic ingredientgingerthis soupy, thick,
deliciously satisfying mush seasoned with sh
sauce, fried garlic, spring onions and tangy
calamansi lime is the culinary equivalent of
your mothers embrace. In my childhood home,
the ginger dominated, bits of it oating about,
acting as welcome fragrant bursts of sweet heat,
warming the coldest of chills from inside out.
And, brewed to a sharp intensity, salabat, a
strong spicy ginger tea with lots of honey, was
simultaneously pleasant and disagreeable to a
young child.
Ideas for this article had been percolating in
my brain for weeks. That day, I began to regard
my soup and tea allies a bit differently from
how I had as a girl. With each taste of ginger
came a memorythat bowl of gingered chili
clam soup in Saigon; the black chicken curry at
the foot of Sigiriya Rock in Sri Lanka; the curry
paste I pounded in Chiang Mai Plus the
overwhelming sense of comfort in the universal
belief that throughout Asia, people will
recommend the same cure. Everything good is
found in ginger, says another Indian proverb.
Well, I say a little ginger in everything does
everyone good. 

T L Guide
HONG KONG
Tang Court Order this:
Sliced garoupa with
deer tendons, preserved
vegetables, straw
mushrooms and tomatoes
in gingered sh soup. The
Langham; 8 Peking Rd.,
Tsimshatsui, Kowloon; 852/
2132-7898; hongkong.
langhamhotels.com; set
dinner for two HK$1,000.

PHILIPP ENGEL HORN 2

PHILIPPINES
Downtown Cafe Order
this: Chinilaw-Chicharon
Kinilaw (citrus-washed
tuna ceviche, pork
cracklings, apple and
cucumber kimchi) and Iced
Salabat Tea. The Quad at
Nepo Mart, Angeles City,
Pampanga; 63-917/6761689; dinner for two
P1,000.
Spices Order this:
Steamed seabass with
ginger. The Peninsula
Manila; corner of Ayala and
Makati Avenues, Makati
City, MM; 63-2/887-2888;
peninsula.com/manila;
dinner for two P2,000.
Tsukiji Order this: Buta
shoga yaki (stir-fried pork
and ginger). 900 Arnaiz
Ave., Makati City, MM;

63-2/812-2913; tsukijirestaurant.com; dinner for


two P4,500.
SINGAPORE
Coriander Leaf
Restaurant and
Cooking Studio Order
this: Ginger butter prawns,
or Tandoori chicken. 3A
Merchant Court #02-03,
River Valley Rd., Clarke
Quay; 65/67 32-3354;
corianderleaf.com; dinner
for two SG150.
THAILAND
Rock Restaurant and
Bar Order this: Kaonom jin
(coconut-poached prawns
and pineapples topped
with fresh young ginger).
7/1 Soi Chumnanaaksorn
Paholyothin 9 Rd.,
Bangkok; 66-8/26888200; dinner for two
Bt2,500.
VIETNAM
May Restaurant Order
this: Pink duck breast with
ginger nuoc mam (sh
sauce). 3/5 Hoang Sa, Q1,
Saigon; 84-8/ 3910-1277;
may-cloud.com; dinner for
two VND550,000.

Can a monkey
know the taste
of ginger? I
suppose Ive
been a bit of
simian all these
years, eating
away without
giving the spice
its due credit

Chef Kwong Wai Keung brews sliced garoupa with deer tendons, vegetables
and straw mushrooms in ginger fish soup at Tang Court, Hong Kong.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

101

Tomahawk and
Shigoku oysters at
Connie & Teds,
in West Hollywood.
Opposite: Chegos
Roy Choi.

102

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

EATING L.A.

THE ALWAYSVORACIOUS GARY SHTEYNGART TAKES ON ALL OF


L.A., HIGH AND LOW, FARM TO TABLE, TACOS TO RICE BOWLS,
BUCATINI CARBONARA TO COCONUT CREAM*THE BEST FOOD IN
THE CITY RIGHT NOW. PHOTOGRAPHED BY MISHA GRAVENOR

Clockwise from above:


Cauliflower with cilantro
pesto, fideo with
octopus and kielbasa,
and fried brussels
sprouts at Bar Am, in
Downtown; a chef at
Paiche; the dining room
at Paiche, in Marina del
Rey; Los Angeles, as seen
from Griffith Park; a rum
cocktail at Bar Am.

IM EAST COAST THROUGH AND


THROUGH, BUT IM NOT ASHAMED
TO SAY IT: I LOVE L.A.

My rst encounter with the mega-megalopolis took place


at the advanced age of 30. A college friend of mine had
a cousin who rented a place by the beach. Which particular
beach, I do not recall, but the path to the sands was lined
with giant swaths of bougainvillea, which made me think
for just a brief moment that I was in southern France. That
notion was dispelled when we reached the beach, no mere
Mediterranean. I had never seen the Pacic Ocean before.
Made placid by the better portion of a bottle of California
Chardonnay, I walked into the moonlit water, bent down,
and slapped the waves. Somewhere up (or down) the coast,
an enormous industrial building, a waste-processing plant,
perhaps, smoked its way deep into the night. But I refused to
let go of the moments magic, because that lump of ugliness
amid the grandeur of the Pacic was Southern California
too. I continued to walk into the ocean, the water dark blue
around my legs, the temperature, as always, perfectly set to
20 degrees Celsius, my gaze resolutely drawn toward Asia in
the innite distance. And I thought: Oh, this isnt so bad.

Twenty years ago L.A. was a food desert, says Brad


Johnson, one of the partners behind Willie Jane, a
restaurant in Venice specializing in, of all things, Southern
cuisine. My rst visit to L.A. was only a decade ago and I
remember being wowed by AOC, a restaurant on Third
Street near the depressing bulk of the Beverly Center mall,
which combined the freshest market ingredients with
an easygoing Gallic air. Now that unparalleled freshness
so farm-to-table, so snout-to-tailhas crept into every
cuisine under the always-smiling SoCal sun, including
Willie Janes deviled eggs. They pop right out of the
chickens in the community garden next door, to be lled
with marinated shrimp and deposited upon the froth of
a convincing lemon aioli.
Im here in Los Angeles to write about a dozen or so of
the citys best new restaurants. Brunching on Willie Janes
bright Venice patio, I stare at the charred red Fresno chile
that accompanies a fantastically textured dish of shrimp
grits. I sink into the grapefruit brle, which redeems
this recently maligned fruit with mint and blueberries and
a glaze of brown sugar. Govind Armstrong, the beloved,
dreadlocked chef, comes out to say hi as I nish off a Coal
Miners Daughter, a bourbon drink made beyond delicious
with macerated ginger and lavender honey. It is then
that I notice something unusual about the clientele around
me: unlike the bulk of upscale Angelenos, they are not
uniformly thin and t. The man next to me is positively
buxom. I know this is a Southern restaurant and there
are certain standards to uphold, but still, were in Venice,
with all the beachy buffness that neighborhood entails.
As I digest a round of deviled eggs, my belly happily makes
dolphin greeting sounds with other bellies across the
room. Next door, past the chickens, the Second Community
Baptist Church reverberates with prayer, and a few blocks
down, at a bus stop, a Vietnamese woman holds up an
umbrella against the afternoon sun. There is nothing more
quintessentially West Coast than this.
love L.A., but I can never truly understand it,
because I cannot drive, or at least not well enough to
survive the 405. I decide to test out the Uber app. Uber
allows users to request a nearby car and driver to take
them around the city. And so a motley collection of Alis
and Yakovs shuttle me from meal to meal, commenting
at length on the ArmenianAzerbaijani conict, the cost of
a one-bedroom apartment in Glendale, and the importance
of owning the right car in L.A. If you dont have a Bentley in
T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

105

Clockwise from below: Grilled brine cabbage with miso


custard, horseradish, fennel seed and almonds at Trois Mec,
near Hancock Park; the entrance to Trois Mec, inside
a former pizzeria; the interior of the restaurant. Opposite:
Beverly Hills 90H20 water with crispy farro, pork belly and
poached egg at Rays & Stark Bar, inside lacma.

this town, youre nothing! the Uber owner of a Ford Focus


shouts at me. Nothing! Just then a Bentley swings past us
onto Wilshire Boulevard. We contemplate our station in life.
As a ferocious heat wave descends upon the city, I Uber
my way to L.A.s Chinatown to check out Chego, Roy
Chois new place specializing in rice bowls. Its impossible to
overstate Chois contribution to this citys mobile-food
infrastructure. The Kogi Korean barbecue taco trucks, which
roam the streets of the metropolis and can be snared by
following social media, have helped to make life in this city
of haves and have-nots just a bit more democratic. Or as
Choi himself tells me, I live on the streets, I feed the streets.
Clad in a black L.A. Lakers cap, black shorts and a black
Stssy Yo! MTV Raps T-shirt, Choi is an amiable bear of a
man and a local hero. Half of Chegos customers seem to be
snapping photos of him as he bustles around his newest
store, opposite a coin-operated Winnie-the-Pooh ride. Chois
family owned a string of stores and sold homemade kimchi
and generally embodied the full blast of Korean immigrant
life, SoCal style. The experience shaped not just Chois
attitude toward food, but everything. This is a smart,
sensitive chef who knows exactly what hes talking about
and how he became who he is. Asian kids couldnt show off
our foods, our school lunches growing up, he tells me. You
were opening yourself up for ridicule. We hid our family
food. Cheap Asian rice bowls formed what I really loved. It
was a treat my father would take us to.
106

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

Why did he decide to tackle this genre, a distant,


cosmopolitan relative of Korean bibimbap? Asian kids in
America, if you opened up their refrigerators and threw
everything in a bowl, you would get this mix of life and
culture. As he talks, I dip into the rice bowls in front of me,
occasionally washing down the avors with a mandarin
Jarritos Mexican soda. The sour cream hen house bowl is
an outrageous but intuitive mix of avors, the sour-cream
sambal clearly one of the greatest culinary inventions of this
decade. The slow-cooked chubby pork belly crunches
with pickled radishes. The ooey gooey fries (bring on that
sour-cream sambal!) are like an Asian answer to poutine.
We want to serve delicious, healthy, full-avored food
below ten dollars, Choi says. The clientele? Pretty girls
without makeup. Chois latest project is the boutique Line
hotel, a Korean-avored venture in K-town that opened in
January, for which Choi is providing the food, beverage,
and culture. His dream is a private club for the public
where anyone can walk in and jump in our pool.
fter the streetwise egalitarianism of Roy Choi,
I Uber clear across town to Marina del Rey to
sample Paiche, the newest offering from Ricardo
Zarate. This is the third restaurant from the
Peruvian-born Zarate, whose Mo-Chica and Picca
are beloved by nearly every Angeleno foodie Ive
ever met. A cavernous Peruvian-Japanese izakaya with

IT IS TIME FOR ME TO GO NATIVE AND DRINK


THE LOCAL FAVORITE[WATER. RAYS & STARK BAR AT THE
LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART FEATURES, YES, A
WATER MENU, BOUND IN HANDSOME BLUE LEATHER

Clockwise from top left: Deviled eggs with smoked shrimp, black radish and trout
roe at Venices Willie Jane; outside Superba Snack Bar, in Venice; salad, ooey
gooey fries, and a rice bowl at Chinatowns Chego; diners at Bar Am.

AT BAR AM, THE QUESO DIP


SEEMS AS COMFORTING AND
ODD AS AN EARLY BECK TUNE \I
KEPT HUMMING GET CRAZY
WITH THE CHEEZ WHIZ
WHILE EATING IT]. THE PUFFY
TACO TAKES ME BACK TO THE
COLLEGE DINING HALL, EXCEPT IT
COMES WITH ACTUAL BEEF

lunchtime music imported directly from a Minsk disco,


Paiche is part of a large and sad apartment complex. On the
plus side, there are lots of charming middle-aged Latina
ladies crackling away at their chicharrones de pescado, and
the pisco sour is the happiest of drinks come 1 p.m.,
brimming with Angostura bitters and organic egg whites.
The open kitchen makes you feel positively Hemingwayesque
as you do little more than watch a tall man bravely cutting up
a humongous kampachi.
Speaking of giant sh, the restaurants eponymous
paiche, a native of the Amazon basin, happens to be one
of the largest freshwater sh in the world. It tastes rm
and meaty; I place it in the same textural universe as
abalone. And the honey-slathered uni-shrimp toast here
is completely distinct from any other sea-urchin dish I
have encountered. Its the perfect, if unexpected,
combination of honey and sea, and easily one of my favorite
dishes on this trip. Even Zarates crunchy quinoa, the
ancient grain no one can shut up about these days, is more
than ne by me.
Gorged on oversize Amazonian sh, I head north to
the Superba Snack Bar, on Venices Rose Avenue, the beach
towns burgeoning alternative to the well-established
and often predictable Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Inside this
bright and airy house-made-pasta joint theres a typical
Venice crowd radiating life. Here, every man from age 20
to 70 has a full head of hair and the women look almost
newborn. I drink a chilly El Porto, an homage to white port,
Prosecco and orange peel, while listening to the cheerful
hostess give the English language a workout on the phone:
Well just communicate when you guys get here.
I dig into a salad of roasted white peaches and coconut
burrata, which the server explains is a coconut cream
transformed into a kind of paste thats sort of like burrata.
The dishes are described by the staff, accurately I might
add, as super awesome. The most super awesomest dish
of the day may be a smoked bucatini carbonara. Its the
eggiest, wettest carbonara ever, with pasta slowly turning
the consistency of porridge lost beneath a hailstorm
of black pepper. Its as if an intelligent and unabashed
extraterrestrial species got their hands on a Roman
cookbook and then just turned the dial up to 11. Here you go
my dear, enjoy, a server says as the poached egg is expertly
placed over my dense, delicious mush.
igh-end food is better in New York than in L.A.,
says my friend David, who works in the
entertainment industry and travels to New York a
lot, as we settle down to a Thai meal at the popular
West Hollywood joint Night & Market. He may be
right, but what I wouldnt give to have a Thai place
of this caliber and authenticity open up around the corner
from my apartment in Manhattan. Or, as my friend Nina put
it: If you ask them for Thai spicy, you will get Thai spicy.
We dont ask, but spicy it is. David and I are sitting below the
requisite portraits of young King Bhumibol and his wife and
the requisite offerings to the gods. It looks like a Silver Lake
crowd, David says, as I note the near-ubiquity of facial hair.

To continue the izakaya motif from Paiche, I order a buttery


pig collar with a tallboy of Chang beer, savoring the great
spicy mouthfuls of delicate pork. I follow it up with a
lemongrass-covered and birds-eye-chili-studded moo
sadoong, or startled pig. David, one of the most intrepid
and enthusiastic eaters I know, is grazing on a salt-crusted
branzino and a papaya salad whose chilies explode like
gastric reworks. I just burned my face off, he says, but
doesnt stop eating. This is spicy you can feel in your gums.
Only the Hawaiian sweet bread with ice cream, served for
dessert, can put out the re.
The next night I give L.A.s idea of high-end food a spin.
Ludo Lefebvre, the French-born genius behind the citys
pop-up cult restaurants called LudoBites, has opened Trois
Mec in a strip mall off Melrose. According to one of Ludos
chefs, unspeakable acts are committed in the alley behind
the restaurant, and sometimes inside it. A guy in a
bulletproof vest ran in at 11 p.m. and said, I need to hide!
Ludos crew is very entertaining, their attitude matching
their food word-for-bite. If you sit by the chefs counter,
Ludo himself will shoot the breeze with you and that alone
will be worth the price of admission. So sorry my reach,
he might say with his French accent as he slings a delectable
dish of avocado, sushi rice and salt-cod cream your way.
Sitting this close to the gods also gives you the chance to
admire Ludos epic, elbow-deep tattoos up close.
My dining companion is another David who works
in the entertainment industry. Mirror and marble have
been foisted upon the small space, a former pizzeria
whose exterior is largely intact (the sign out front still
reads RAFFALLOS PIZZA), and the overall effect is that of
a tiny, in-the-know refuge amid a sea of urban blight.
And, oh, the food. An amuse-bouche of buckwheat
popcorn that tastes like postmodern kasha, the buckwheat
immeasurably improved by the rice wine. A delicious
dish of raw beef riding a wave of smoky eggplant, which is
followed by one of Ludos most famous dishesa potato
pulp of extraordinary complexity that Ludo dismisses as
the height of simplicity. I hope you understand what I
sayjust potato and butter. Well, not quite. Theres an
onion soubise, a kind of onion-butter compote, soaking up
the potato hash, and, atop this wondrous starch, a pinch
of bonito akes that takes this dish to a different planet
entirely. Lest you worry about the edginess of the
neighborhood, the tattoos, and the potato abuse, Trois Mec
is also effortlessly high-end. I like how quiet this place is,
David tells me. The amount of food on the set menu, usually
an occasion for American bloat, is also judicious.
The reservation system at Trois Mec is beyond my
comprehension. Apparently you have to wake up at 8 a.m.
on alternating Fridays to buy tickets. But this doesnt
stop obsessive Ludo-heads from swarming the place. I see
people come eight times, Ludo says.
I have my clock set, says the guy next to me, dipping
his truffled grilled cheese into Ludos campre ice cream.
Eating in L.A. is fun. I like being called buddy, dude,
and even dog, as Im served my morning coffee (Here you
go, dog). The attitude at Bar Am, the hybridist chef Josef
T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

109

Centenos new place in Downtown, isnt quite up to dog


levels, but its pleasantly festive and informal. The queso
dip seems as comforting and odd as an early Beck tune (I
kept humming Get crazy with the Cheez Whiz while
eating it). The puffy taco takes me back to something served
at the Oberlin College dining hall, except it is appropriately
spicy and comes with actual beef. Inside, an adult party (cue
the Mexican fried ice cream and the mezcal). Outside,
middle-aged skateboarders sail by in the dusk as downtown
L.A. lives out its strange new gentried existence.
But if you really want serious fun at your dinner
table, nothing can top West Hollywoods new Connie & Teds,
from Michael Cimarusti, the chef whose Providence
is widely lauded. The food comes from that mythical place
Californians call back Eastmore precisely, its a West
Coast homage to the Rhode Island clam shack.
Im out tonight with my friend Nina, who works in lm,
and her husband, John, an architect. This is the most
expensive restaurant thats been recently built, John says
of the cavernous open space, its light xtures twinkling
from within what look like lobster traps. Its very porous
California indoor-outdoor. A loud ships bell sounds to
recognize a gentleman who has ordered a two-pound
lobster. I appreciate the kick and smoke of the linguica
sausage in the Portuguese sh stew, with its hake, mussels
and Manila clams. Theres also a platonic lobster roll,
served hot or cold, and the Shigoku and Kumamoto oysters
simply cannot be refused.
n the previous night at Connie & Teds, I had
helped myself to several glasses of the light and
crisp Noble Ale Works Pistol Whipd Pilsner,
which reminded me of the fact that Nina and John
are the only friends I have in Southern California
who actually still drink booze. It is time for me to
go native and drink the local favoritewater. Rays & Stark
Bar at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art features, yes,
a water menu, bound in handsome blue leather. A menu of
the waters of the world must have a worldly sommelier, and
that person would be Martin Riese, who, in his stylish
glasses and striped suit, looks perfect for the part.
With a delightful German accent, Riese describes to me
his journey from the Danish border to the watery center of
L.A.s food world: My whole life I had the North Sea just in
front of me. I was always addicted to water. In 2005 he
managed Berlin restaurant the First Floor, which featured
one of the worlds rst water menus, and then published a
book called The World of Water. In 2010, he was accredited by
the German Trade Association for Mineral Water. And now,
hes in the perfect placea city where people are perpetually
in recovery. We had the Anonymous Alcoholics come in,
Riese says, fourteen of them, and they said, Thank you.
Now we have something to pair food with.
Intrigued, I allow Riese to do just that. He serves the
restaurants signature dish, a delicious betruffled agnolotti,
with a US$12 bottle of Danish Iskilde, which, according to
Riese, has the same hints of mushroom and earth. Next, he
presents his own water, Beverly Hills 90H20 (US$16), the
110

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

rst sommelier-crafted water, which is paired with a


Stilton, because blue cheese has acidity. The blue-cheese
acidity goes down because this is very smooth water. I
nish off with a racy, salty Vichy Catalan (US$12) and a
Stinking Bishop cheese. I am starting to hydrate in a really
big way. By the end of the meal it becomes painful to hear
the words Would you like some tap water? addressed to a
pair of visiting Beijing tourists at the next table. As for me,
Ill never drink tap in this town again.
But I will drink beer. To counter the effect of all that
healthy Danish water, I Uber down to Koreatowns Beer
Belly, a craft-beer bar that used to serve spectacular
pancakes and beer, but has recently shifted over to duck
territory, as in death by duck, which features duck-fat fries,
duck-skin cracklings, and, for good measure, duck cont.
This is the happiest Ive ever seen Angelenos, a citizenry
thats already not afraid to smile. Theres a mix of K-town
locals and beer fanatics sipping on an insane Craftsman
Triple White Sage from Pasadena, while dipping their
sage-roasted duck breast into a sage jus. There are also strips
of buttermilk fried chicken and a deep-fried smores
Pop-Tart that just may save the world. The parking lot smells
of a substance that is now all but legal in California, giving
you a strong hint of Beer Bellys peaceful vibe.
ts my last six hours in L.A., the temperature is skirting
three digits, and I am giving Uber a workout. I zoom
over to Guisados in Echo Park as my Ukrainian driver
explains everything thats gone wrong with his life thus
far (the rent in the San Gabriel Valley could be cheaper,
for one thing, and women could love him more).
Guisados opens at 10:30 a.m. and theres already a large
Mexican family completely clad in Dodgers attire chowing
down on their morning tacos in the clean, white space,
along Sunset. I taco down. The chicharrones are as dense as
any but with bursts of heavenly fat, the mole is richer than
Croesus, the shrimp are smoky, the chuletas a creamy
journey through the land of pork and bean. The chicken
mole? I better shut up before I embarrass myself about the
chicken mole. I drink a cantaloupe agua fresca thats an
unabashed toast to Californias climate and possibility.
All my trips to L.A. end the same way my rst one did,
when my friend told me of a magical place called In-N-Out,
and I fell in love. Many tell me that L.A. has better, more
pedigreed burgers, but I dont care. When I see an In-N-Out,
I swallow reexively. By now I know to get my fries well
done and my double-double burger Animal Style: mustardcooked, and choked with grilled onions. I stop by the one on
Orange and Sunset on the way to the airport, no longer
confused by the bible verse printed on the soda cup, John
3:16, though I know the verses promise of eternal life is
not compatible with the double meat patties and double
cheese going down my gullet. The man next to me carefully
wipes down his own table after nishing his gargantuan
burger feast. I guess thats the nal strange thing about
In-N-Out. Like Roy Chois Chego, like the temple of the
Ludovites who wake up early to buy tickets to Trois Mec,
like so many other places I visited, this is a community. 

Clockwise from above: The bars water sommelier, Martin Riese; an L.A.
sunset; a Coal Miners Daughter cocktail at Willie Jane; a fish taco, chilies
torreados taco and chuleta en salsa verde taco at Guisados, in Echo Park.

T L Guide
EAT
Bar Am 118 W. Fourth St.,
Downtown; bar-ama.com;
dinner for two US$50.
Beer Belly 532 S. Western
Ave., Koreatown; beerbellyla.
com; dinner for two US$40.
Chego 727 N. Broadway,
#117, Chinatown; eatchego.
com; dinner for two US$25.
Connie & Teds 8171 Santa
Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; connieandteds.com;
dinner for two US$75.
Guisados 1261 W. Sunset
Blvd., Echo Park; guisados.co;
dinner for two US$15.
Night & Market 9043 W.
Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood;
thenightmarket.blogspot.com;
dinner for two US$50.

Paiche 13488 Maxella Ave.,


Marina del Rey; paichela.com;
dinner for two US$55.
Rays & Stark Bar 5905
Wilshire Blvd., Hancock Park;
patinagroup.com; waters
US$4 to $42.
Superba Snack Bar
533 Rose Ave., Venice;
superbasnackbar.com; tasting
menus from $45.
Trois Mec 716 N. Highland
Ave., Hancock Park; troismec.
com; approximately US$75
per ticket.
Willie Jane 1031 Abbot
Kinney Blvd., Venice;
williejane.com; dinner for two
US$85.

A Victorian-throwback
beach-ringed beauty,
Australias second city is
trending contempo-casual in
its dining scene and going
global in music and wine, all the
while maintaining its laid-back,
cool-kid vibe. Richard Mcleish
guides us around his hometown
foodie, fashionista and
footballer heaven.
Photographed by Paul Philipson

A dramatic welcome
at Adelphi Hotel.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

113

MELBOURNE

Room with two


views at The Cullen.
Below: Urban
respite at Adelphis
overhanging pool.

I N DIA N
OC E A N

N
BRUNSWICK

AUSTR A LI A
MELBOURNE

INNER NORTH

CBD

PRAHRAN

2 KM

ST. KILDA

Lay of
the Land
CBD
An overgrown oce by day,
the citys inner laneways
overow at night with locals
ducking past colorful grati
into hidden-entrance bars
and galleries.
Prahran
This colorful borough full of
century-old heritage
buildings is grounded in
Chapel Street, a veritable
walking mall of big and local
labels, and eateries and bars.
Inner North
Fitzroy and Collingwood are
crowded with converted
warehouse apartments, cool
cafs and grungy pubs. A=er
brunch, wander Brunswick
and Gertrude Streets.
St. Kilda
Once a den of sin, this is
now a professionals
playground full of shops,
bars, restaurants and
beach-side activities.
Brunswick
On the city fringe, hip kids
ll cheap-rent warehouses
with band-fueled parties
and art studios. Its still
home to many immigrants:
to which the Mediterraneantinged Sydney Road testies.
Getting around
Buy a Mykki card (A$6) for
the public transport; after
midnight take a taxi.

Like much else here, local-boutiquey is the


best bet. (Though The Langham shines.)
THE CULLEN
Catering to the
design-savvy travel set,
The Cullen is
highlighted by extras
such as a yoga deck,
contemporary artworks
and edgy interiors. Its
self-consciously
located in the colorful
Commercial Road area,
a short stroll from
shop- and bar-laden
Chapel Street as well
as Prahran Market. 164
Commercial Rd.,
Prahran; 61-3/90981555; artserieshotels.
com.au/cullen; $210.
THE PRINCE
Housed in a classy Art
Deco building, The
Prince is popular for its
sleek interiors, great
pool and vibrant
location. Drinking and
dining outlets in the
building range from a
low-key dive bar to
private dining at Circa.
Nearby St. Kilda
promenade is great for
a sundowner and some
people-watching. Right

on a tram line, its only


a short ride away from
the CBD bustle. 2
Acland St., St. Kilda; 613/9536-1111;
theprince.com.au; $160
including breakfast.
LYALL HOTEL
& SPA
Soaked in old-world
aesthetics, the low-rise
Lyall Hotel brags an
understated homey
charm. Its location in
the heart of styleconscious South
Yarraa hub of
shopping, style and
sophisticationmeans
the hotels bicycles
(free for guests) are
great vehicles of
exploration. 16 Murphy
St., South Yarra;
61-3/9868-8222;
thelyall.com; $280.
ADELPHI HOTEL
The sugar-coated new
trajectory of the
recently refurbished
Adelphi is encapsulated
by its in-house Om
Nom Restaurant and

Dessert Bar. It is
conveniently grounded
among the CBDs great
bar- and restaurantlled laneways. Look
out for the iconic
overhanging pool. 187
Flinders Ln., Melbourne;
61-3/8080-8888;
adelphi.com.au; $275.
OVOLO HOTEL
Also holding a stellar
inner-city spot among
the laneways, the
year-old Ovolo caters to
a youthful crowd,
foregoing room service
and in-house dining for
free minibars and Wi-Fi.
Designed with the
mobile in mind is the
grab and go breakfast.
19 Little Bourke St.,
Melbourne; 61-3/86920777; ovolohotels.com/
en; $240 including light
breakfast.

THE LANGHAM
The grandiose
V-shaped Langham
hotel is perched
majestically above the
Yarra River, aording
great views of the CBD
from the 380-plus
rooms as well as the
expansive pool deck on
the 9th oor. The busily
popular shopping and
eating area of
Southbank below is
just an elevator ride
away. Plus, its the only
hotel in Melbourne
included in the T+L
500: Worlds Best
Hotels 2014. 1
Southgate Ave.,
Southbank; 61-3/86968888; melbourne.
langhamhotels.com.au;
$290.

Hotel prices are in Australian dollars and represent


starting rates for double occupancy.

Shop

Six spots to stock up on Aussie


style, sound and supplies.

H O T A I R B A L L O O N : R I C H A R D I 'A N S O N / G E T T Y I M A G E S

CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY
As the citys style-makers le= their
20-something shared-warehouse
ideologies behind, a league of
gentlemen emerged, and places like
Captains of Industry were born.
Oering hearty daytime food, bespoke
footwear and straight-razor shaves,
this all-male triumvirate of industry
would be any discerning captains
perfect lair. Level 1, 2 Somerset Pl.,
Melbourne; 61-3/9670-4405;
captainsondustry.com.au.

PIERRE & CHARLOTTE


An unlikely fusion of Japanese and
European inuences, the studio of
Pierre & Charlotte sits unassumingly
on a quiet cobbled street. Melding art,
music and fashion motifs in their
handcra=ed pieces, the couple steers
beyond mass production towards
socially conscious design. 15 Purcell
St., North Melbourne; 61-3/9329-4414;
pierreandcharlotte.com.

AESOP
Mother Nature meets contemporary
design in this walk-in eco-womb. All
11 of the brands stores across the city
oer a unique spread of the high-grade
locally-made unisex products and
fragrances sourced from the countrys
abundant natural resourcesa perfect
gi= from down under for friends up top.
242 Gertrude St., Fitzroy; 61-3/94198356; aesop.com/au.

POLYESTER BOOKS AND


POLYESTER RECORDS
The Polyester pairjust down the
street from one anotherare landmark
retail fringe points of the city, known to
oer boundary-pushing publications
and presses that others are unwilling to
carry. Get some local band or writer tips
from the knowledgeable sta, who may
know the artists personally. Indie-cred
bonus: They take Bitcoins. 330 and 387
Brunswick St., Fitzroy; polyester.com.au
and polyesterrecords.com.

PIECES OF EIGHT
Named a=er a playful take on the
worlds rst currency, this inner-city
treasure trove of creativity has a gaudy
gold entrance thats hard to miss.
Housed safely inside are unique works
by silversmiths and jewelry designers in
what is a telling showcase of the areas
talent pool. 28 Russell Pl., Melbourne;
61-3/9497-8121; piecesofeight.
com.au.

KLOKE
Flashy international fashion labels are
less ubiquitous in Melbourne, where a
swathe of local independent designers
buck the season-to-season production
lines and magazine-generated trends.
Fresh on the scene, this debut store of
Kloke hawks their functional-fashion
gems for which the city (and beyond) is
currently hot. 270 Brunswick St., Fitzroy;
61-3/9078-6600; kloke.com.au.

From top: A treasure


trove of unique
jewelry at Pieces of
Eight; Aesops
eco-womb is full of
Australian products.

See Do
1

Hot-air balloons sail over the


Melbourne skyline at sunrise.

Street Art
Once darkened,
bin-strewn grottoes to
avoid, the CBDs labyrinth of
bluestone-cobbled
alleyways now burst with
color and creativity, thanks
to the citys active artsy
class who has made it a
canvas. Focal points include
works by artists such as HaHa and Miso in Hosier and
Caledonian Lanes. Take a
tour for a close-up look and
the inside word.

Survey the city from the sky, then


immerse in its vibrant arts-scape.

Live-Music Scene
The kicking live-music
scene of the city has
spawned global acts such
as Nick Cave; Hunters &
Collectors; and Gotye. On
any given night, inner-city
pubs such as Cherry Bar
(cherrybar.com.au) in AC/DC
Lane rock with live
performances. Tune into the
scene through public local
station Triple R (rrr.org.au)
or read about upcoming
gigs and news in Beat
Magazine (beat.com.au).

Hot-Air Ballooning
Get the ultimate city
view courtesy of pilot Chris
Shorten of Balloon Flights
over Melbourne, who ies
passengers over town each
morning (weather
permitting) as the sun rises,
before descending into a
champagne breakfast
nearby where you can
compare photos and gush.
balloonovermelbourne.com.
au; $750 for two including
breakfast.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

115

MELBOURNE

Jimmy Grants
serves up fuss-free
Athenian fare. Below:
Market offerings at
Claypots include
fresh-caught prawns.

The food scene in Melbourne is simultaneously chilling out and


spiffing up. Seek out these six hot spots with an empty stomach.
JIMMY GRANTS
Playing on the colloquial name of
immigrantsthe backbone of
Melbournes cultural diversity
Jimmy Grants is the latest
walk-up venue in an increasingly
deformalizing eating scene. Run
by Greek go-to restaurateur
George Calombaris, it packs a
wide-ranging demographic that
gorges fuss-free (read: using their
hands) on Athenian souvlakis. 113
Saint David St., Fitzroy;
jimmygrants.com.au; $40.
CLAYPOTS
With a deep St. Kilda soul,
Claypots is a testament to the
seaside locations unmanufactured
vibehotchpotch interior, live
music roster and stand-out
seafood. On any evening, waiters
seat walk-up diners who then ght
among themselves for chalk
board-listed oerings fresh from
that days market purchases.
Match your catch with meze, or a
namesake clay pot, then stroll
down nearby Acland Street for a
perfect St. Kilda night out. 213
Barkly St., St. Kilda; 61-3/95341282; claypots.com.au; $70.

BUILDERS ARMS HOTEL


Local restaurateur Andrew
McConnell recently waved his
wand over the Builders Arms
Hotel to somehow seamlessly
combine modern public bar
ambience with a chic bistro and
private ne dining room under the
same roof. Start with a microbrew
at the front bar and follow into the
bistro for the coveted gastro fare,
such as rotisserie oerings that
change daily. 211 Gertrude St.,
Fitzroy; 61-3/9417-7700;
buildersarmshotel.com.au; bistro
$100, dining room $150.
ATTICA
Inside what looks like a modest
suburban eatery from the street
hides some of the citys best
creative dining. With head chef
Ben Shewrys signature
consideration and care in every
bite, the eight-course degustation
menu that might include Red
Kangaroo with Herbs Tended by
the Hands of our Cooks would
turn any eater into a food writer.
74 Glen Eira Rd., Ripponlea;
61-3/9530-0111; attica.com.au;
eight-course tasting $190.

TONKA
Hidden down a dark and unlikely
alley, the tenacity and bravery of
Tonka hunters are rewarded once
safely inside this bustling spot
strictly for those in-the-know. In
the kitchen, two tandoor ovens
and a team of well-pedigreed
chefs enliven the traditional Indian
cuisine canonthink: grilled local
asparagus, 63 egg, pomegranate
and makhaniwith freshness and
air. 20 Duckboard Pl., Melbourne;
61-3/9650-3155; tonkarestaurant.
com.au; $100.
HIHOU
Heralding a new sophistication,
Hihou (hidden treasure in
Japanese) is one of the citys
suavest bars. With an extensive
Nihon-tinged menu of drinks and
creative dishes (the Hihou Dog is
a sesame brioche with arabiki pork
sausage and pickled cabbage),
guests can rub shoulders at the
marble communal table or mount
the wall-length black ottoman in
the back and seduce their dates if
the venue hasnt already. 1/F, 1
Flinders Ln., Melbourne; 61-3/
9654-5465; hihou.com.au; $70.

Yarra
Valley
Wine Tour
Flee the rat race for the
grape-growing Yarra
Valley region an hours
drive east of the city.
Drop by the big-name
labels that cater well for
visitors, such as Yering
Station (yering.com),
the states rst winery;
powerhouse Domaine
Chandon (chandon.
com.au); or Innocent
Bystander (innocent
bystander.com.au),
which has a cellar door
and a lively restaurant.
Vinetrekker (vine
trekker.com.au/yarravalley) oers tours, if
you dont want to drive.

Restaurant prices are


listed in Australian dollars
and represent approximate
rates for dinner for two,
unless noted.

From left: Thaitinged Chin Chin;


bookworm heaven
Metropolis; cuttingedge art exhibited at
Utopian Slumps.

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y W A S I N E E C H A N TA K O R N

These natives know where


its at. Follow their lead.
ROBERT F. COLEMAN

DOUG MASKELL

JON BUTT

Editorial
Director, The
Thousands online
magazines in eight
cities

Founder and
Director of Sand Hill
Road, proprietors of
pubs and a film
production house

Artist, curator,
gallerist and current
Director of c3
Contemporary Art
Space

Start in the CBD with a Jungle Juice


(20 Centre Pl., Melbourne) bagel and
coffee, then walk up the road to the
State Librarys Dome Room and have
a game of chess with the old boys. Pick
up a book at Metropolis (252 Swanston
St.) around the corner and head upstairs
for a pint at the Roo_op Bar, waddle
over to the Vic Market (qvm.com.au) for
all things artisanal, from stationary to
sh hooks. Lunch at the Mr. Burger
food truck (93 Therry St.), cross the road
and grab an espresso martini from
dimly-lit Prudence (368 Victoria St.).
Then go south of the river by taxi to the
inexpensive Albany Hotel (1 Millswyn
St., South Yarra) and enjoy a private
swim in their incredible rooftop pool.

Bar Hop

Melbourne must be explored rather


than visited. Flinders Lane, with
Thai-tinged diner Chin Chin
(chinchinrestaurant.com.au) and
gastropub Cumulus Inc (cumulusinc.
com.au), and AC/DC Lane both
capture the quintessential Melbourne
walk-up culinary experience. For
hipster cool it is Smith Street, Fitzroy,
all the way, with Saint Crispin
(saintcripsin.com.au) and Huxtable
(huxtablerestaurant.com.au) as
standouts. And watch what 90,000
football fans do before the game by
heading to Richmonds Swan Street,
which is lined by bars like Richmond
Club Hotel, The Corner Hotel and
Post Oce Bar Pizza.

Melbourne Now at National Gallery of


Victoria (ngv.vic.gov.au) is dominating

the local art scene. Many kick-start their


careers within artist-run initiatives
such as Platform and Kings galleries,
while hybrid spaces like c3 and Slopes
exemplify the changing landscape. For
cutting-edge collectors, go to Neon Parc
or Utopian Slumps. Institutions not to
miss are Centre Contemporary
Photography, Australian Centre for
Contemporary Art and Gertrude
Contemporary. Best inner-city escape:
The Abbotsford Convent (1 St Heliers St.,

Melbourne), a sprawling ex-convent


lled with galleries, studios, dining and
site-responsive art installations within
lush gardens and evocative architecture.

Closets of cool, the plethora of bars in the city brim with life and character,
all distinct from one another. Current favorites include a duo in Richmond:
Bar Americano (baramericano.com) with its super-slick cocktails, and
Bar Economico (bareconomico.com.au), known for its Latina-tinged kitsch.
North of the city, mingle with the fringe at Howler (h-w-l-r.com) in Brunswick
North or meet a local artist at creative perch The Alderman (134 Lygon St.;
61-3/9380-9003) in Brunswick East.

Bar Economico.

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

A P R I L 2 014

117

Last Look

Photographed by
Luke Duggleby

Namshan,
Burma

Handpicked in the hills


Tea pickers from the Palaung ethnic
minority gather tea leaves on the
steep hills surrounding the ridge-top
town of Namshan, deep in Burmas
remote Shan State.

Local leaves
Workers sort tea leaves by hand into
dierent grades. Lower quality
plants are dried, while the best are
pickled for up to six months in large
wooden boxes or even in a simple
hole in the ground.

Tossing the tea


Almost everyone who lives in
Namshan is involved in the tea
business, an industry that produces
thousands of tonnes of tea a year,
mostly for domestic consumption.

A salad like no other


Theres a catch with laphet: unlike
most teas, this variety is meant to
be eaten. The national delicacy
mixed with onions, chilies or garlic is
typically served at the end of a meal.

118

A P R I L 2 014

T R AV E L A N D L E I S U R E A S I A .C O M

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT WITH


T+L SOUTHEAST ASIA APRIL ISSUE

W BEIJING CHANGAN
BELOW LEFT: LIGHTS, CAMERA,
FASHION EXCLUSIVE PARTY
TRANSFORMED THE
EXTREME WOW SUITE
AT W HONG KONG INTO
MASHA MAS STUDIO

I N S I D E R
W HOTELS IS GALLOPING INTO THE YEAR OF THE HORSE
BY REVOLUTIONIZING THE WAY YOU WORK AND PLAY
AT THE GROUND ZERO OF CHINESE HISTORY WITH THE
ELECTRIFYING DEBUT OF W BEIJING CHANGAN IN THE
CITYS DIPLOMATIC CENTER THIS SUMMER. STEPS AWAY
FROM ICONIC LANDMARKS SUCH AS THE FORBIDDEN
CITY AND TIANANMEN SQUARE, MODERN MONOLITHS
LIKE THE CCTV TOWER AND THE AVANT-GARDE WATER
CUBE CONTRIBUTE TO THE EDGY ARCHITECTURAL MAKEUP OF THE THE HOTELS NEIGHBORHOOD. CULTURALLY
CAPTIVATING YET CATEGORICALLY CUTTING EDGE, THE
CAPITALS EPIC HERITAGE AND THIRST FOR INNOVATION
CONTINUES TO DRAW VISIONARIES KEEN TO MAKE THEIR
MARK AND THIS IS EFFORTLESSLY EXEMPLIFIED BY THE
IMMINENT ARRIVAL OF W BEIJING CHANGAN.
ELSEWHERE ACROSS ASIA-PACIFIC, W HOTELS
WORLDWIDE PRESENTED TALENTED CHINESE DESIGNER
MASHA MAS LUXURY DADAISM COLLECTION AT THE HONG
KONG FASHION EXTRAVAGANZA AT HONG KONG FASHION
WEEK.WITH W BEIJING CHANGAN POISED TO MAKE ITS
STYLISH DEBUT, W SHANGHAI THE BUND WILL ADD A
DASH OF GLAM TO ONE OF THE WORLDS MOST STYLISH
STREETS IN 2015. WE CANT WAIT. CAN YOU?

W RETREAT & SPA BALI SEMINYAK

WELCOME

W BANGKOK

PARVENU
Hong Kong (UK Origin)
Music Style New Disco

VONDA7
Berlin, Germany (Polish Origin)
Music Style Very Deep/
Minimal Tech House

WENDY BAILEY
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Music Style Up-Beat House

ONCE THE COCKTAIL HOUR COMMENCES AND THE MINGLING BEGINS, MUSIC
IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF ANY W HOTEL, AND OUR DJS SET THE SCENE WITH
AN ECLECTIC, ALLURING MIX OF TUNES FROM CUTTING EDGE INDIE/ELECTRO
TO PUMPING TECHNO. FOREVER ON THE LOOK OUT FOR MUSICAL TALENT,
THE W HOTELS & BURN DJ LAB PROGRAM UNEARTHED SIX OF THE HOTTEST
NEW DJS AROUND, WHO HAVE SINCE TAKEN THEIR MIXES ALL OVER THE GLOBE.
MEET THE NEW MASTERS OF THE TURNTABLE MIXING IT UP AT W

SEZER UYSAL
Bursa, Turkey
Music Style Deep House
/ Tech House

T.A.T
Mexico City, Mexico
Music Style Deep House

ADAM SHARE
Los Angeles, CA
Music Style New Disco

EXPLORE
WHOTELS.COM

THE LEGENDARY PAUL OAKENFOLD


WAS AMONG THE W HOTELS
& BURN DJ LAB MENTORS
MENTOR AND DJ WHITE
SHADOW MAKES SOME NOISE

FIREWORKS AND DJS:


THE PERFECT COMBO

W HOTELS AND ENERGY DRINK BURN LAUNCHED THEIR


THIRD GLOBAL ONLINE SEARCH FOR TOP TURNTABLING
TALENT AS PART OF THE W HOTELS & BURN DJ LAB IN JULY
SOUNDING SHIP SHAPE
ON THE DJ LAB YACHT

More than 1,400 aspiring DJs/producers uploaded their best


beats in the competitions first-ever online search to clinch one
of six available spots on the weeklong DJ BOOT CAMP at
W RETREAT KOH SAMUI. An expert panel of DJ LAB mentors
that included Global Music Director for W Hotels Worldwide
Michaelangelo LAcqua plus top DJs PAUL OAKENFOLD, JAMES
LAVELLE, ANDY CALDWELL and DJ WHITE SHADOW, judged
the submitted tracks. The six that made the cut were UK duo
Parvenu, Adam Share from the US, Turkeys Sezer Uysal, Mexicos
Tatiana de Leon, aka T.A.T, Berlin-based Sylwia Kubicka, aka
Vonda7, and Seouls Wendy Bailey.Throughout the weeklong
program in Koh Samui, the mentors delivered workshops on
everything from music engineering skills to building a distinct
brand to prime the DJ Lab participants for the global stage.
Post boot camp, the class of 2013 celebrated by mixing it up
alongside three-time Grammy nominated DJ Paul Oakenfold
at W Bangkok before embarking on a global tour. Each DJ also
produced a track for an exclusive W HOTELS AND BURN EP.
As part of the 2013 launch, W Hotels hosted global warm-up
events featuring headline performances from 2012s DJ Lab
winners. Gio Vanhoutte performed at W Seoul, Dogus
enchanted crowds at W Barcelona, Vitor Kurc played W
Santiago, and Possos Vanessa Giovacchini got the party
started at W Los Angeles Westwood.

RECORDING
SESSION
IN ACTION

W HONG KONGS WOOBAR stepped to


the beat as W Hotels Worldwide again
teamed up with Hong Kongs hottest
music festival, CLOCKENFLAP, in
November by bringing the after party
with WOO WEEKEND. Ws hottest DJ
talent also mixed it up at the festival,
as two of the brightest stars from the
W Hotels & burn DJ Lab 2013, T.A.T and
Parvenu, played the Clockenflap Your
Mum stage. To kickstart the WOO
WEEKEND, queens of Beijing rock Nova
Heart ramped up energy levels on the
opening night of the festival back at
WOOBAR, while Parvenu, T.A.T and
Hong Kong indie rockers Chochukmo
commandeered the stage on the second
night. For Clockenflaps official closing
party, AFTER-FLAP, experimental Danish
band Efterklang electrified the party
scene with a mesmerizing DJ set.
The night became hotter as Daft Pink and
W DJs got behind the decks to close the
festival with a beat-filled bang. Many acts
that played Clockenflap rocked up for
WOOBARs official after-party including
the father of Chinese rock Cui Jian and
Brit indie rockers The 1975.

WENDY BAILEY
ON THE DECKS

HONG KONGS COOLEST ROCKED


UP TO ENJOY THE SONIC THRILLS
OF MUSIC FEST CLOCKENFLAP
KITMAN FOR CLOCKENFLAP 2013

W HONG KONGS RESIDENT


DJ ANGUS WONG

THE 1975S LEAD SINGER


MATT HEALY WITH
CLOCKENFLAP REVELER

REVELERSAT THE ENDLESS SUMMER


ZOUKOUT RECHARGE PARTY

W SINGAPORE SENTOSA COVE summoned


revelers to sip, play and flirt at the Endless
Summer ZoukOut Recharge Party in December before they partied till dawn at the citys
ultimate dance festival, ZoukOut. As the
official partner for ZOUKOUT, W Singapore
Sentosa Cove got the party started from 2pm
with bespoke cocktails and beats from Zouks
resident DJs at WET Deck. Zouk resident DJs
Adrian Wee and DJ B shared the decks with
Wendy Bailey of W Seoul and W Singapores
very own Mr. Has.

Music fans donned headphones and zoned out the chat


for W RETREAT & SPA BALI SEMINYAKS SILENT DISCO
in October, which introduced three very different DJs
mixing up three distinctive musical styles at WOOBAR.
Master scratcher DJ Crip bought the hip hop; DJ Kulki
delivered a heady mix of indie/electro while Hugo Marti
got everyone on the dance floor with some uplifting
house. The merrymaking continued with an after party
headlined by W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyaks resident
music director Danny Fry.

ALFRESCO BEATS AT W RETREAT & SPA


BALI SEMINYAKS SILENT DISCO

04
05
EXPLORE
WHOTELS.COM

TROPICAL
ROMANCE

I DO
Water worshippers looking to tie the knot can don
their diving gear and say I do at W Retreat & Spa
Maldives with the Deep Love Underwater Wedding
Package, where green turtles and reef sharks
will be your guests as you swim up the aisle.
Once youve come up for air, sail away on a sunset
cruise or kick back in your own Ocean Haven, our
rustic play hut replete with infinity pool and Jacuzzi
seats, wraparound sundeck and glass paneled
floors perfect for peeking at the lagoon fauna.

A COCOON OF COOL, W RETREAT & SPA MALDIVES ATTRACTIONS LIE


ABOVE AND BELOW THE OCEAN, WITH THE AWAY SPA DELIVERING
OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD OVERWATER MASSAGES WHILE SUBTERRANEAN
PURSUITS INCLUDE SNORKELING THE HOUSE REEF UNDER AN ELECTRIFIED
MOONLIGHT AS CORALS UNCOVER THEIR FLUORESCENT MAGIC.
THIS CHIC RETREAT ON FESDU ISLAND IN THE BLISSED-OUT NORTH ARI
ATOLL ALSO HAS RED-HOT STYLE CREDENTIALS, AND FASHION LOVERS
AT SECURED FRONT ROW SEATS FOR THAI FASHION DESIGNER MILINS
RUNWAY SHOW I THINK SOLD IN OCTOBER AT AN EXCLUSIVE
W HAPPENING FOR GUESTS STAYING AT W RETREAT & SPA MALDIVES.

EXPLORE
WHOTELS.COM

CUT THE
EDGES

KOREAN COOL: NEW SEOUL


TRENDS HIT THE RUNWAY

K -POP BAND BOYS REPUBLIC

UPCOMING DESIGNERS KO
TAEYONG, PARK SEUNGGUN,
KYE HANHEE, YONI P AND STEVE J

W SEOUL teamed up with top


Korean fashion magazine CCI
for its first collaborative fashion
show, CUTTING EDGE FASHION,
to champion promising designers
in Korea throughout 2014 in
November. Selected by a judging
panel of seven fashion editors,
the four that made the cut were
fashion maverick Park Seunggun,
menswear designer Ko Taeyong,
contemporary womenswear
label Steve J & Yoni P and hip
urban designer Kye Hanhee. In
an exclusive catwalk showcase,
the four designers revealed
WHATS NEW/NEXT FOR
KOREAN FASHION with their
Spring/Summer collections for
2014. W DJ Lab artist DJ Gio
and DJ Pascal Dior provided
a celebratory sonic backdrop
at the after party, where more
than 500 VIPs, celebrities and
fashionistas mingled at WOOBAR.

BREAK
THE NORM
The worlds of design and music collided at
W SPACE and W MUSIC BAR@ I.T HYSAN
ONE in one of Hong Kongs most hip
shopping districts, Causeway Bay.
A collaboration between W Hong Kong
and hip local fashion distributor I.T, this
creative pop-up showcased avant garde
designers including Maison Martin Margiela
and Comme Des Garons between June
2013 and January 2014. The backdrop to the
space was suitably captivating, combining
W HONG KONGS signature neon lighting
and the hotels Enchanted Forest design
narrative with sticks made of white wood
wrapped in light tubes for an ethereal,
offbeat feel. Fashionistas cruising for cutting
edge threads also tuned into groundbreaking beats at W MUSIC BAR, with
seven playlists specially curated by W
Hotels Global Music Director Michaelangelo
LAcqua. The Afterdark playlists loud and
energetic tunes delivered a sonic jumpstart,
while the Retreat playlists fun, bumping
sounds acted as a stress-soother. As an
added auditory bonus, all songs and
playlists were available to download.

STREET SNAP AT
W GUANGZHOU

STREET SNAP
TRENDSETTING:
W SPACE IN HONG KONG

W MUSIC BAR

W invited fashion-savvy gals and boys in


China to submit their most stylish poses via
the STREET SNAP campaign in December/
January in collaboration with Chinas Grazia
magazine. With an interactive social media
campaign across Sina Weibo, this stylish
call-to-arms culminated with an award
ceremony at W GUANGZHOU. More than 50
style icons and fashion bloggers were invited
to the EWOW suite, where fashionistas made
their boldest style statements on the catwalk
to compete in one of two categories,
Most W Stylish Talent and Most Popular
Talent, where five winners scooped a twonight stay in W Hotels across Asia-Pacific.
With the hashtag #W STYLISH SHOW, this
red-hot fashion campaign generated more
than 15,000 retweets and attracted more
than 3,000 stylish contenders.

ROOFTOP COOL: A CHARITY


YOGA SESSION AT W TAIPEI

STRETCH
OUT
W Taipei hosted a charity yoga session,
A TIME FOR YOGA with Nike and Space
Yoga in aid of TAIPEI WOMENS RESCUE
FOUNDATION in September at WET
Deck. The charity event included a
90-minute yoga session, healthy brunch
at the WET Bar and a goodie bag with
Space Yoga mat, water bottle and towel
from NIKE, plus a t-shirt and shopping
bag from W TAIPEI. Delivering panoramic
view of Xinyi districts mighty skyline, the
session was led by instructor Shirlyn Shih,
who advised the yummy yoga bunnies
on effective muscle strengthening,
hormonal system & mental balance,
and physical well-being.
Post-yoga session, guests rolled away
their mats and savored a high protein,
low fat and high fiber brunch designed
by executive sous chef Colin Chun, which
included an avocado, asparagus, and
orange salad box, flax and chia seed
English muffins, spinach with smoked
salmon, Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit.
Three energy-boosting smoothies
berry, tofu and flaxseed; honey melon
and kiwi, and a grapefruit & broccoli
detox delivered a delicious, nutritious
accompaniment to the wholesome
brunch.

FLAWLESS FACE
With an A-list following that includes Anne
Hathaway, Juliette Binoche and Frieda Pinto,
TAIWANESE FACIALIST SU-MAN has wowed
the spa world with her trailblazing treatment,
which offers similar results to Botox by
incorporating Shiatsu and Pilates techniques.
The former dancer visited W SINGAPORE
SENTOSA COVE and W RETREAT & SPA BALI
SEMINYAK from London to deliver her
signature therapy to facial fans at both hotels
in October. The celeb-endorsed treatment
begins with an initial skin analysis and shiatsu
massage after which Su-man steam cleanses
the skin then gently extracts and exfoliates.
A nourishing botanical placenta mask is then
applied, while toning and moisturizing deliver
the final flourish to your new fab face.
Su-Man first discovered shiatsu massage
after a major back injury while performing
as a professional dancer with Belgian
dance company, Rosas. She says, I think
the whole body is connected. Your face
shows everything thats happened to you.
Therefore for me a facial cannot just become
a superficial thing, I need to connect the body
and the chakras. When I touch you, we both
make a connection and your body guides me,
telling me where to go, so its very intuitive.

SU-MAN

W RETREAT & SPA BALI SEMINYAK

W SINGAPORE
SENTOSA COVE

EXPLORE
WHOTELS.COM

CUTTING-EDGE ECO BECAME A REALITY AT W TAIPEI WITH THE


TRASH RE-DESIGN PROJECT WHILE W SEOUL WALKERHILL
WOWED THE SEOUL DESIGN FESTIVAL WITH SEUNG YONG
SONGS WORKS, WHICH ALSO TRAVELLED TO W HONG
KONG FOR BUSINESS OF DESIGN WEEK

ECO CHIC
REIMAGINED
TREE-SHAPED JEWELRY
HOLDER BY FANNY KUO

W TAIPEI TRASH REDESIGN


PRESS CONFERENCE

PINBALL GAME
BY WANTING LIAO

A COASTER COMBINING THE


SHAPES OF A LOLLYPOP
AND GRAMOPHONE
RECORD BY YUJUI CHOU

Trash has been stylishly re-imagined at W Taipei, where the TRASH


RE-DESIGN TAIWAN DESIGN CENTER X W TAIPEI project enlisted
local designers to create sensational, sustainable products for the
hotel. During the four-month long design workshop in 2013, designers
repurposed everyday recyclables such as water bottles, bath
amenities and in-room slippers and transformed them into fab yet
functional pieces. Items poised to be purchased by the hotel include
a red tree-shaped jewellery holder by Fanny Kuo, which underlines
the Nature Electrified theme of the hotel, and a sleek purple pinball
game by Wanting Liao that underlines the popularity of the arcade
classic within Taiwans famous night markets. The other eco-friendly

gem that made the cut was a coaster made from recycled PET
bottles that combines the shapes of a gramophone record and
lollypop by Yujui Chou.
A DESIGNERS NIGHT AT W TAIPEI invited the seven winning
designers to WET Bar to mingle with the Taiwanese design
community, while a dedicated Facebook page enabled users
to vote for Yifei Chengs sassy 3 in 1 fashion emergency kit, which
features three pieces of recycled material that can be utilized in
different ways: one makes an equally cool tie, headband, belt or
strap, another is handkerchief, hair accessory or pocket square,
while the final accessory can be worn as a top, shawl or scarf.

SEUNG YONG SONGS FURNITURE WAS


EXHIBITED AT W SEOUL WALKERHILLS
BOOTH AT THE SEOUL DESIGN FESTIVAL

DESIGN
DEMOCRACY
Always on the look-out for the
latest in cutting-edge design,
W SEOUL WALKERHILL
sponsored the up-and-coming
designers award at the SEOUL
DESIGN FESTIVAL in December,
which uncovered 35 of the hottest
new creatives around. During the
festival, W Seoul also showcased
art work by furniture designer
Seung Yong Song, one of
W Hotels Designers of the Future.
RIGHT: THE JUDGING PANEL OF
W SEOUL DESIGN FESTIVALS UPAND-COMING DESIGNERS AWARD
EFFORTLESSLY CHIC: ROCKING CHAIR
AND TABLE BY SEUNG YONG SONG

DESIGN UNCOVERED

ONE OF W HOTELS
DESIGNERS OF THE FUTURE,
SEUNG YONG SONG
PIECES FROM SEUNG YONG
SONGS WHEELJEK COLLECTION

W Hotels Worldwide was selected as the official media hotel of


BUSINESS OF DESIGN WEEK, a must-attend ideas exchange platform
for Asias most innovative thinkers, for the fifth year running in December.
One of the winners of the W HOTELS DESIGNER OF THE FUTURE
AWARDS which is created in collaboration with Design Miami
Koreas Seung Yong Song was invited to exhibit his Wheeljek Collection
at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Created for
W Bangkok, it takes its inspiration from the fluidity and versatility
of the Thai capitals ubiquitous street food carts. To toast this cool
collaboration, W Hong Kong organized a private cocktail party at
its Extreme WOW Suite where Seung Yong Songs piece also put in
an appearance, as did an artist live drawing corner.
W HONG KONG WAS THE OFFICIAL MIEDIA
HOTEL FOR BUSINESS OF DESIGN WEEK

EXPLORE
WHOTELS.COM