Saturday, December 30, 2017

20 best dishes of 2017 - Hong Kong

One of the best things I ate in Hong Kong in 2017
It's that time of year again when I scroll through my Google photos and am reminded of the ridiculous amounts of food I eat, and how fortunate I am to call it my job. I did a lot of travel this year, including pretty epic trips to Chicago and San Sebastián, and there are still a few new restaurants I've been wanting to go to but haven't. This isn't a list of new places, although I have tried to stop myself from falling back on the classics (Seventh Son's suckling pig and The Chairman's steamed crab still haven't been beat though). Here's my list of 2017's best bites in Hong Kong in alphabetical order:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Perfecting minimalist travel - How I Pack Light

Stop agonising over packing and you'll be this happy. That's a fact.
In both daily life and travel, I pretty much try and keep a capsule wardrobe - I create uniforms for myself so I don't have to agonise over what to wear every day, and it's usually super simple stuff. For travel, everything just fits on a carry-on - then there's no waiting around for luggage, it doesn't get lost on tight connections, and if you're getting out of the airport on a train or metro etc., it's just less of a hassle lugging it around (I have painful childhood memories of lugging bags up/down/around the subway/train in Tokyo).

I didn't think it was anything special - after all, if you like to (or have to) travel, you want to be on your way quickly and efficiently as possible, right? - but I realised I might have nerded out a bit more than usual when even frequent travellers started saying I was an efficient packer.

So, to spread the ultralight gospel further, I thought I'd share some of the travel essentials that help me pack light. (I could go on forever, I love nerding out on this stuff).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Piazza Duomo in Alba is special, especially during White Truffle Season

Montblanc topped with white truffle at Piazza Duomo, Alba
You may have read the previous post about the White Truffle Festival in Alba - if not, follow that link and read it first to see how the visit to the restaurant fit into that day. This meal at Piazza Duomo was a crucial part, and probably one of the best food-related trips I've ever done.

Alba White Truffle Festival - An Essential Road Trip

A stall at the Fiera del Tartufo, the white truffle festival in Alba
If you live to eat like I do, the white truffle festival in Alba is a trip you must add to your bucket list.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The Great American Eclipse - how we found the perfect spot to see the total solar eclipse 2017

Most of the travel I do is in search of food. However - and I may have mentioned this before - my husband is the very opposite of a foodie, so when we travel together, I throw all my expectations of food out the window. It helps that usually we're going somewhere super interesting, and this time it was to see the total eclipse.

The Great American Eclipse, as it was called, was indeed pretty great for the US, because it basically crossed the entire country, west to east, and it's rare for totality to be seen on land (as 70% of the earth is water, a lot of times total eclipses happen over the sea and it's hard to catch them), let alone a country that is so relatively accessible by roads.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Solo dining in Macau - Lai Heen

Chaolian Roast Goose at Lai Heen, Macau
I could probably survive on rice and pickles, especially if it was the sweet mui choi and rice at Lai Heen, the Chinese restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in Macau.

Actually, I probably couldn't, because I would also want the Chaolian-style roast goose too.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

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.

Saturday, March 04, 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.

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.

Saturday, February 25, 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.