THIS IS MY KIND OF KITCHEN

We had a delightful experience at Restaurant Sühring in Bangkok where we chased the weekend blues away!

My restaurant and bar reviews are now going to have three categories:
Rock Star Greeting (RSG), WOW Wine Service (WWS), and WOW moments

Rock Star Greeting
Picture this: It’s a rainy Monday night; the crazy taxi driver navigates us successfully through the labyrinth of laneways in central Bangkok.  He halts and turns to us with a cheeky grin and announces “we’re here!”   The taxi door flung open and waiting with a beaming smile and an umbrella was the front of house guy and says “Welcome to Sühring!”  We didn’t wipe the smile off our faces for the rest of the night!

He escorted us to the front door of the restaurant, which is the home of twin brothers, Thomas and Mathias Sühring.  We allowed extra time to arrive due to the weather and the manic Bangkok traffic!  We were greeted by name and told our spot at the kitchen bench was already waiting! Excellent.

So within 5 fives minutes of arriving, we had been treated like rock stars and were warmly welcomed even though we were 20 minutes early!  Our anticipation of a wonderful experience was palpable.

RSG  * * * * *

Often I wonder if trade shows are worth spending the time, money and legwork on but I decided to go to Hong Kong for Vinexpo and it was definitely worth it.

Celebrating its 20th edition this year, Vinexpo Hong Kong is the most renowned trade exhibition for wine and spirits industry professionals in the Asia-Pacific region.   With close to 1500 exhibitors representing 30 countries, it was the perfect time to connect and reconnect with industry folks from around the world – all in one place!

As an extra incentive to attend, Australia was chosen as the “Country Of Honour” this year which, in my opinion, really was an honour!  It was the largest-ever showcase of Australian wineries with 140 exhibitors representing 230 wine brands from over 35 regions.  My heartiest congratulations to Wine Australia for such a well-organised, well attended exhibition.   Not to mention the coolest official networking party I’ve been to for ages.  Complete with five themed bars covering laneways, the harbour, beachside, bbq and the red-centre.  It made me feel very proud to be Australian!

I would like to see a bigger focus on women in the Australian wine industry.  It still is quite lop-sided but let’s keep pushing for action and conversation to continue.

After hiking around the exhibition for a few days, it was well worth spending the weekend to slow down and “relax”.   As a major cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong really is the complete package.  From the local food markets with colourful characters, to the array of wine stores popping up, impressive award-winning restaurants and bars, Melbourne-esque neighbourhoods complete with hidden laneways and bars, street art and of course Hong Kong’s beautiful Victoria harbour with the hillside views beyond.   Hong Kong is a wonderful place to lose yourself in – even for a few days!

Check out my video and let me whet your appetite to visit!  We might even meet you there!

A Consumer’s Guide to the Best Restaurants in Asia

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants
sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna

The 2018 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant was announced recently and made me look back on the restaurants we dined at in 2017.

It’s not just about the Top 10/50/100/1001 Things To Do Before You Die, it’s more about the Top 50 things we’ve already done. Live Life To the Full we always say!

Geographically Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (2017) are located as follows: Singapore and Bangkok have nine restaurants each, Hong Kong and Tokyo eight, Seoul has three, Taipei, Colombo and Macau two. There’s one restaurant each in Bali, Taichung in Taiwan, New Delhi, Osaka, Manila, Mumbai and Shanghai.

We managed to get to fifteen of the 50 restaurants in 2017. And three of those we went twice!  The cost of such experiences is high, but let’s face it, we’re not going down the local for a quick bite!

Experiencing restaurants like these is not just a meal anymore; it’s a fully-fledged global experience that will last you a lifetime, not just until breakfast!

This first review here is about Gaggan in Bangkok (Asia’s number 1 restaurant). Keep an eye out for the rest of my restaurant reviews coming soon.

 

 

ROCK STAR GREETINGWINE SERVICE WOW MOMENTS
Beautifully presented Concierge staff, beaming their famous Thai smilesUniquely crafted wine list sourced from all over the world.
Not just the same-old –same-old
Converted historic colonial white-washed house
Greeted by name and felt as though we’d been friends for a lifetimeCarefully curated to match the Indian/Asian flavoursDown a laneway
Sommelier's knowledge and conversation was passionate and enthusiasticA menu with only emojis
A speaker on our table with the 1983 Kiss song  "Lick It Up"

 

Let travel take your breath away!

“STOP, STOP, STOP I have to take a photo first!” or “WAIT, WAIT, WAIT while I post this!”

When you travel anywhere around the world, these are now regular catchcries – no matter what language it’s spoken in! It drives me crazy.

So many people these days, don’t seem to travel for the moments that take their breath away, they’re travelling for the tick-in-the-box moments and move on. They forget to look beyond their camera or phone lenses to really experience the people and the places they are visiting.

I want to share some travel stories that are more about the time spent being “present” rather than the time spent taking photos and posting to social media! Ok enough of the ranting!

It’s obvious by the rant that I’m not a Millenial!!  My husband and I are “mature” travellers which could be taken two ways: 1) We’re both in our 50s (urgh!) or 2) We’re seasoned travellers and have visited more than 40 countries around the world over the last 30 years.

We recently had a sojourn in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam for the first time in 10 years. It was just as fantastic as I remembered and I want to share our stories of the great people we met and the things we did, ate and drank.

Being based in Singapore, we fly with Scoot a lot. Scoot is the budget airline of Singapore Airlines who also merged with Tiger Air in July 2017. They are a good, inexpensive way to “scoot” around South East Asia. Their fleet is made up of new or relatively new aircraft. Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus 320s.

As with all budget airlines, the advertised fares are pretty cheap but that basically gets you on the plane. You pay for everything else you want, legroom, seat selection, wifi, movies, rug, pillow, food, drinks and credit card fees! But if you go prepared it really is a great way to get more bang for your buck out of your short breaks. We always pay a little extra to get the “Scoot In Silence” area. It’s not that much more but it’s so worth it!