Sunday, April 16, 2017

What happened when I quit coffee

Strong latte (ie. what we call double shot lattes in Melbourne) at White Mojo in Balwyn, suburban Melbourne
I'm a caffeine addict. I had known this for some time. When I say this, people think I drank a lot of coffee. I didn't. I consistently had one a day, two max. The problem was the duration - I'd done this for about 15 years.

I first detected a problem when I would wake up in the middle of the night, usually in the early hours of Monday morning, after a weekend of not drinking coffee.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Tallinn - An Overview, and Restaurants Not To Miss

Tallinn Old Town in winter
But first, allow me to explain why we were in Tallinn.

I'd hardly heard of Estonia until they introduced the relatively avant-garde concept of an e-Residency. (read more here). It kind of sounds like setting up a company on the Cayman Islands, except the residency is for you, personally, for instance, you can open a bank account like a local and even start a medical record and get prescriptions. Almost any generally law-abiding person from almost anywhere in the world can get one, giving you the right to operate out of Estonia without even having set foot in the country. I decided that at some point, I wanted to visit a country that thinks so out-of-the-box.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Beyond Old Town - An afternoon in Telliskivi, Tallinn

On the way to Telliskivi Creative City, we passed Depoo, a temporary Soviet Market in an old train depot
Most people head to Tallinn on a day trip from Helsinki - for Finns, it's for the cheap alcohol, bachelorettes and whatnot, and for tourists in the area, it's to see Old Town, Tallinn's UNESCO-listed Medieval town (more about that here). Old Town is very pretty - not that there isn't good stuff there - a lot of the town's best restaurants, important historical features and views are there, but it felt too well-preserved, and too tourist-ready (in that way, it reminded me of Venice). It was a good sign that we should go explore other areas.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Where to find proper coffee around Brisbane's Bayside (southside) suburbs

I'm always looking for a good coffee in the Bayside suburbs or Redlands - you'd want a good coffee with this view, right?
When I'm in Brisbane, which has been about a month a year in the past few years, I tend to hang out in the bayside suburbs, as we have family in the area, and I love the chilled out, waterside village feel here. Admittedly, it isn't an area regular tourists would necessarily visit, but because I don't see too much written about the area, I thought I'd add my two cents. As a bit of background, my general stomping grounds range from around Wakerley to Cleveland. Do note that all of them tend to close by lunchtime - early bird gets the coffee! (Queenslanders all seem to be morning people). If you know any more good ones, comment away - I would love to check them out, and I'm sure that with time, there'll be more good cafes - the atmosphere in this area is kind of perfect for chilled weekend brunching and places to refuel after those early morning runs.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

10 best food things in 2016 - International edition

One of the many gorgeous Georgian supra (banquets) we had
I did an uncharacteristic amount of travel this year, and as a result, had some amazing food-related experiences I couldn't fit on my normal year-end list (which was already packed). I don't know that I'll ever blog about these places individually, so here are my top picks, which you probably already know about if you follow me on Instagram, but hey, a round-up never hurt anybody.

25 best food things in 2016 - Hong Kong edition

Oyster tartare at Belon

I started with 31 and tried really hard to cut back to 20 as I normally do, but this year, I've included some things that I think are worth noting that aren't specifically dishes, but definitely worth talking about, so cut me some slack! Promise I won't go over 25 next year! 
  1. Belon, especially the bread and oyster tartare
  2. Serge et Le Phoque
  3. Kin's Kitchen, especially the Yi O collboration
  4. Godenya
  5. Gaddi's Chef's Table
  6. Yardbird's rice cakes, and new cocktails from the Okinawa collab
  7. One Harbour Road's steamed toothfish with preserved vegetables
  8. Beef Bar
  9. Samsen, especially the Son In Law eggs
  10. The Bottle Shop Central's pandan pancakes
  11. Second Draft's flower crab noodles
  12. Cobo House's desserts
  13. Caprice bar, especially Nicolas Lambert's desserts
  14. CRFT-PIT's pecan pie
  15. Kaum
  16. Pak Loh Chiu Chow's mooncakes
  17. Cookieboy peanut butter cookies
  18. Grom
  19. Redback Peel Street Espresso Bar
  20. Seafood Room rooftop bar, my top pick for visitors these days 
  21. Buenos Aires Polo Club's sidecar
  22. Camp cooking on wood fires
  23. Green Common's amazing expansion
  24. Online shopping: Cork Culture, Coffee & Tales, Ztore, HKTV Mall, Sunday's Grocery
  25. Pop-up culture: The Landmark Mandarin Oriental's pop-ups, The Mandarin Oriental's Cafe Central collaboration, Birds and Bubbles' fried chicken and biscuits, Filipino feast by Cross Cultures, Roca brothers' visit to Hong Kong, Test Kitchen
Addendum: Hong Kong restaurants and bars I have been to more than once in 2016.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kin's Kitchen - Is this the future of Hong Kong's Cantonese food?

Deep-fried pigeon with Chinese leeks at Kin's Kitchen
There's a bit of a backstory to this post, which I won't get into, but suffice it to say that I was thinking about restaurants I go to more than once a year. Yes, once a year. I eat out a lot, and go to different restaurants because it's a big part of my job to eat at as many restaurants as possible, in order to find good stories, to be on the ball, to... just do my job.

Kin's Kitchen, I have been to about 6 times this year - that's almost once a month (that's more often than I write on this blog, #burn). I take out-of-towners there, I go there for my own dinners with friends and family, I go with the hyper-discerning Little Adventures crew, I go for fun. And dining out for fun does not happen for me as much as it might seem (have pity on me, LOL!).

Friday, June 10, 2016

The best rice I've ever had - Warakuen, Ureshino Onsen, Saga

Warakuen 和楽園 in Ureshino, Japan, decked out for the New Year
Months after our road trip in Kyushu (the western-ish side: Fukuoka - Nagasaki - Ureshino - Saga - Fukuoka), there is only one thing that keeps coming up in conversation - the rice we had at our ryokan in Ureshino.