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Cocktail Culture, Gazpacho Soup, Organic Farms, Mr. & Mrs. Bund, Tea Primers… and more!


Accidental Funnies – Hello Kitty Themed Plane by EVA

A couple of months ago, when it was still winter-ish in Shanghai, I made a quick jaunt to Taipei for the weekend for some nice sunny weather and good food. If you aren’t aware, EVA is the national airline of Taiwan. I have flown them before to Taipei, but this was the first time I found ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Entomophagy, or Eating Insects

Do you think that eating insects only happens in the dark corners of Southeast Asia like rural Cambodia or Vietnam? Well, this is simply not the case. Entomophagy, the eating of insects, is a hugely spreading global trend. From NY to Mexico City and from London to Capetown, this is a hot topic not only in the ...


Accidental Epicurean is Named in Top 25 Culinary Travel Blog Award by Flipkey

Accidental Epicurean was named by Flipkey, a vacation rental site from Trip Advisor, on a list of top-25 Culinary Travel Blogs to Watch in 2014. We find ourselves in good company on the list with lots of fantastic blogs from the very focused blog about a guide to food carts in the USA to very international writers ...


Accidental Funnies – Summer is Coming Soon to China… Kids Wearing Watermelons

It will soon be summer in China. Spring is over in a flash… there seems to be only about 2-3 weeks where one can hang up the winter coat and before the sweltering heat starts. I was on a business trip one year for 3 weeks and missed Spring entirely. No joke. But summer comes ...


Accidental Funnies – Country Flags Made From Iconic National Foods

The interwebs is indeed limitless in its ability to entertain, but it is not always kittens and puppies that are amusing. Check out these country flags made up of iconic and traditional ingredients from each nation. For example, Italy as seen above is basil, tomatoes and pasta. Click here to see other fun  examples from Korea, ...


Accidental Funnies – Swimming Pigs in China? Yep!

You may be familiar with the expression “when pigs fly” as an expression of incredulity. It might as well be stated as “when pigs swim” because these are certainly things that pigs don’t do. Right? Well, not in China. In Baoding, Hebei Province within China there are pig farmers that exercise their pigs 2 times a ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Yusheng, a Chinese New Year Culinary Tradition

Yusheng, also known as the “Prosperity Toss,” is a Chinese New Year culinary tradition. “Yusheng” literally translates to raw fish, but like many things in Chinese, the sound of the words phonetically can also mean wealth and prosperity. Yusheng is a holiday dish, unique to CNY – in essence, it is a raw fish salad ...


Accidental Epicurean named in Viator’s Top 25 Travel Blogs for 2014

It is always wonderful to be recognized. After all, this is a hobby for me. It’s out of the pure love I have for travel, new experiences and my passion for food. I truly believe any culture – it’s history, tradition and future – can be understood through food. So, I was indeed honoured when Viator ...


Best of Accidental Epicurean in 2013 – Asian eats, travels and favourite recipes

Reflecting back on 2013, I did partake in some amazing meals, travels and learn some new favourite recipes. Along with that Accidental Epicurean won some awards, namely the blog to watch by the UK site 101 Holidays, and Accidental Epicurean also reached #49 rank worldwide for all food blogs, and it was nominated for some blogging ...


Top Things to Do, See & Eat in Xi’An, China – Terracotta Warriors, Dumplings, Muslim Quarter and more…

For any traveler to China, Xi ‘An is a must. But there’s more than just being on the Silk Road and the Terracotta Warriors to get excited about. In this 3,000 year old city, historic sites abound and live in juxtaposition with today’s modern city of 8 million residents. Modern Xi’An consists of one of China’s ...


Rules for Tipping in US, China, Thailand, Europe, UK, Brazil and More…

If you are like me, one of the things I always look up before I go to a new country is the rules of tipping or tipping etiquette. Being American, I come from a country where we tip for everything. If someone raises a hand to help you in any way, you are supposed to ...


Shanghai’s 7 Best Wine Bars

You have probably read about China’s obsession with wine. If you are interested in the intersection of wine and China, you should definitely watch the documentary Red Obsession – narrated by Russell Crowe, this documentary details the relationship between China and Bordeaux and how Chinese demand artificially inflated Bordeaux market values which later crashed. And so ...


Luxury Hotels in Asia are Tops on the Conde Nast Traveler’s Best 100 Hotel & Resorts in the World

Every year Conde Nast Traveler publishes a list of the 100 best hotel and resorts in the world. This year there are 15 of the 100 from Asia, and 1 in the top 10 here in Shanghai. I have had the good fortune to be able to stay at a few of these and wholeheartedly ...


5 Best Weekend Brunches in Shanghai, China – Read Chubby Hubby

Brunch is a tradition in my friend group. Maybe it is because we all like our wine and tend to sleep in on the weekends But also, I think it is just a perfect time to relax with friends and catch up. Especially when you live in a large, busy city like Shanghai where ...


7 Rules of Etiquette When Eating and Traveling in China – Read Chubby Hubby

You might think there are no rules in China, that anything goes. Actually, this is not true. There are very clear rules of Chinese etiquette – they are just different than many other places in the world. So slurping soup and spitting in public is totally acceptable – whereas digging around in your dish to ...


Visit the World’s Largest Buddha in Leshan, China

About 2 hours outside of Chengdu, in Leshan, is the world’s largest sitting Buddha, taking residence on the river in Sichuan Province. Having lived in SE Asia for 5 years, I felt as if I might be Buddha’ed out and I wasn’t entirely convinced it would be worth the 4 hours in the car. But ...


Meet the Brewmaster – Leon Mickelson from The Brew in the Kerry Hotel, Shanghai

                (Leon Mickelson and his team above) The craft beer trend has made it even to Shanghai, China. In a country where beer is fairly commoditized with low priced local brands dominating the market, it might be surprising that craft beer is hugely growing in popularity in China. Kiwi Leon Mickelson at The Brew, at the Kerry ...


Our Top 10 Favourite / Best Restaurants in Shanghai, China

  It’s been almost 3 years in Shanghai now, and I finally feel comfortable enough to share  my list of favourite and best Shanghai restaurants. Why so long, you ask? Well, Shanghai is an enormous city, population of 23 million people to be exact – this is a larger population than the entire continent of Australia! ...


Photo Trek – Visit Jinli Street in Chengdu, China

                                      Jinli Street in Chengdu is a place admittedly designed for tourists. But that doesn’t mean you should skip it when visiting Chengdu. There’s loads of local colour, snack foods to buy and shopping to be done. It’s great if you want to buy a few souvenirs to take home and see a bit of “ancient” ...


Visit Chengdu People’s Park – for People Watching, Marriage Market, Tea Houses, Ear Massage and More…

Actually, outside of Shanghai, I think Chengdu might be  my favorite city in China so far. I love the spicy Sichuan cuisine from chili oil hot pot to the addictive dan dan mian (spicy pork noodles). But I think most of all I loved the people watching. And there is no place better to go ...


Photo Trek – Visiting the Pandas in Chengdu, China

I remember when I was about 10 years old and visited the National Zoo in Washington D.C. and saw the pandas very kindly sent to the US by China. I never could have dreamed at that age I would later live in China and get to personally visit the pandas in their native home of ...


The 3 Best Japanese Cocktail Bars in Shanghai, China

  I used to think the whole Japanese cocktail thing would be a fad. I mean “Ginza-style” cocktails – what does that mean anyway? That is until I started drinking them. So what are “Ginza-style” cocktails? In a word, they are perfection. Much like all else the Japanese do, no detail is spared in perfecting the ...


Sichuan Chicken – Gong Bao Chicken Recipe, from Fuchsia Dunlop

If you love Sichuan food, no doubt you have had the famous dish of Spicy Chicken with Peanuts, also known as Gong Bao Chicken. This is one of China’s more famous exports to the West…although I will say when prepared in the original Sichuan style it packs a punch that I have never experienced in ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Ma La, Sichuan Mouth-Numbing Peppercorns

Sichuan, a regional cuisine from the Sichuan province of China, is not for the faint of heart. It is known as one of the spiciest foods in the world, thanks to the regional Sichuan peppercorn which are actually the dried seed husks of the prickly ash tree. Sichuan peppercorns are called huājiāo in Mandarin which literally ...


Photo Trek – Visit Hefei Lu for an Authentic Old Shanghai Experience

  If you go to Shanghai and hit the “usual” spots like Nanjing Xi Lu, People’s Park or the Bund, you might think Shanghai is all Louis Vuitton’s and Gucci’s. Starbucks, in fact, seems more prolific in Shanghai than even in Seattle and you simply cannot get away from all things Apple. That said, there are ...


M1NT Restaurant – Not Just a Nightclub, Also a Top Dining Experience in Shanghai

Many people think of M1NT as an exclusive nightclub in Shanghai, China. This is true. But what you might not know is that it is among the best restaurants in Shanghai. I was certainly surprised and blown away by Chef Grant Brunsden’s menu of culinary hits. M1NT is a place I often take guests out for ...


Read Chubby Hubby – And Learn Why I Love Xiao Long Bao Chinese Soup Dumplings

I have a small obsession – xiao long bao, also known as Chinese soup dumplings. I simply cannot get enough. Read about it on Chubby Hubby and pick up my recommendations on where to eat these juicy morsels of goodness in Singapore, Hong Kong and of course Shanghai.


Chef Paul Pairet’s Multi-Sensory Restaurant in Shanghai – Ultraviolet

I interviewed Chef Paul a little more than 2 years ago about his new Mr. & Mrs. Bund Restaurant, which was and remains to be, one of my the best restaurants in Shanghai and one of my personal favourites. At this time he mentioned a new concept called “Ultraviolet.” He described it very simply – ...


My latest post on Chubby Hubby – ‘Tis the Season for Hairy Crab in Shanghai

It is that time of year again…when Shanghai, and in fact most of China, is crazy for hairy crab. It is one of the most anticipated seasonal delicacies of the year. In my latest article on Chubby Hubby, I talk about why these prickly little beasts are so prized and which restaurants to eat them ...


Read about it on Chubby Hubby – My Interview with Paul Pairet on his new mad dining experience, Ultraviolet

As you know, I continue to write for the well-known Chubby Hubby food blog, and this is one of the pieces I have recently written that I am most excited about. I have been following Chef Paul’s career for some time now with mouth-watering admiration. He has recently opened, Ultraviolet, an experiemental multi-sensory dining experience ...


Naked Stables Retreats Green Eco Resort in Moganshan, China

Only 2.5 hours West of Shanghai, is a charming mountain area called Moganshan. This mountain outpost once served as a hiding place for Shanghai’s most notorious gansters, but today is the place that has become the quick weekend getaway of choice for many denizens of Shanghai, local and expat alike, who are seeking a bit ...


Accidental Funnies – Lady Selling Birds, Bunnies and Crickets off a Bicycle in Shanghai

You see all manner of things being carted on bicycles in Shanghai – from refrigerators, to families of four, to furniture… But this was a first for me – a lady selling birds, bunnies and crickets from a bicycle in the streets of Shanghai. Seems she had stopped for lunch and I was lucky enough ...


Beer Festival in Shanghai – Kerry Beer Fest 22 September 2012

If you haven’t been to The Brew at the Kerry Hotel in Shanghai, you should beat a path there. I’ll be honest – I don’t make it out to the Pudong area of Shanghai much but this is one place that is worth the schlepp from Puxi. You may have read about Leon Mickelson in my ...


Read Chubby Hubby – Meet Yousi, The China Painter That Paints Without a Brush

I recently met You Si, one of China’s top contemporary artists today. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview You Si in his home in Shanghai and write about it for Chubby Hubby. Click the link and have a look.    


Pulau Ketam – Singaporean Chili Crab and Pepper Crab in Shanghai

When I heard about a new Singaporean crab restaurant in Shanghai, Pulau Ketam, I nearly fell out of my chair. Singaporean chili crab in Shanghai was a first! I had tried the Shanghai crab during hairy crab season, while tasty, those are a bit small and a lot of work to eat. But were we ...


Shanghai Surprise – Boxing is Big!

I know this isn’t food or travel per se, but occasionally I like to write about what’s happening on the scene of various cities. And in Shanghai, I recently had the opportunity to attend the White Collar Boxing event . If you haven’t heard of White Collar Boxing, this is where average “white collar” guys ...


Read Chubby Hubby – A Beer Lover’s Guide to Shanghai

Chubby Hubby was long one of my favorite “go to” food blogs. The founder of Chubby Hubby, Singapore-based Aun Koh, is known worldwide for his award winning food blog and I even remember seeing him on an episode of Top Chef when it visited Singapore.  (yes, I am a self-professed food geek). So I was delighted ...


My Interview with Jean Georges Vongerichten in Shanghai, China

I have a sneaking suspicion if I was a food writer in NYC I wouldn’t be able to get an interview with the legendary, celebrity chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. But in Shanghai where we epicurean writers are a rare breed, I was invited to interview Jean Georges on one of his recent visits to Shanghai ...


Malaysian Food in Shanghai at Cafe Sambal, Jianshan Market, Shanghai

I miss SE Asian food. Since I moved to Shanghai, my palate misses the spices, the sheer heat of bird chili as well as lemongrass and sambal. That was until I discovered Cafe Sambal in Jiashan Market. Cho Chong Gee, the owner, hails from Malaysia and delivers authentic Malaysian food daily at Cafe Sambal. Whether ...


Secret Eating Habits of Shanghai Chefs – from CNNgo

Thought you might like to read my latest article on CNNgo. Have you ever wondered where chefs eat when they are not cooking? Then read my interview with some top Shanghai chefs about where they chow down when they are not in the kitchen. In the article you will meet: Willy Trullas Moreno from his ...


Craft Beers and Microbrews in Shanghai at Cheers-In

One of my many laments of living in Asia has been the lack of access to craft beers, otherwise known as microbrews – the other laments are silly things like missing multigrain breads, the price of wine, and truly high-speed internet, but I guess this is a relatively small price to pay for having such a rich life ...


5 Best Tasting Menus in Shanghai – from CNNgo

  Hi folks – So I started writing for CNN and CNNgo as well and I thought you might want to check out my first article. Have a look. In this piece I talk about the 5 best tasting menus in Shanghai, including: – M1NT – Stiller’s – Maison Pourcel – Chicha Lounge – Jean Georges Enjoy


El Coctel, Shanghai – Cocktail Culture at its Finest

  Cocktail culture is sweeping Shanghai and there is no finer example of a proper cocktail bar / lounge than El Coctel. Seemingly hidden in speakeasy style, El Coctel is located up an unmarked narrow staircase in the French Concession district of Shanghai. The soft spoken Japenese bartender Munne-san makes cocktails in the traditional Ginza style. In ...


Learn from the Chef – Willy Trullas Moreno & his Gazpacho Soup Recipe

Meet Willy, the impish chef  behind the sensational El Willy in Shanghai If you live in Shanghai, or have visited often, there is no doubt you have heard of Willy and his popular Spanish tapas restaurant El Willy. Located in the French Concession in an old villa, is a warm and welcoming place (just like Willy) that ...


Let’s go Farming, China Style – Organic Farms and CSA’s in Shanghai

  Who knew there was such a plethora of organic farming in Shanghai?!? Underneath the Hermes scarf and the Italian driving loafers, I must confess…I have an inner hippie. She lurks beneath the surface and pops out occasionally. I think it has something to do with growing up in the South and spending time on a family ...


Reasons why Shanghai, China is one of the coolest cities in the world

Why Shanghai is one of the most exciting cities in the world right now! I have been coming to Shanghai now for 4 years. For those who came in the 80’s and 90’s and saw a wholly different China this will no doubt seem very recent. My Shanghai experiences have always been rich and exciting, but ...


Gastronomic Experience at La Table at Maison Pourcel

A culinary experience that is like teleporting to the South of France Shanghai has no shortage of wonderful French restaurants, but La Table at  Maison Pourcel might just be one of the most memorable French meals we have had in Shanghai…and in fact one of the most memorable meals of the last few years for us at ...


Meet the Chef – Paul Pairet of Mr. & Mrs. Bund, Shanghai

The clever genius behind Mr. & Mrs. Bund’s lively yet serious menu (two recipes at end of article) Meet Paul Pairet – the Executive Chef of Mr. & Mrs. Bund Shanghai – a clever and experimental molecular gastronomist from Jade on 36 (in its heyday) who has brought his own irreverent take on French cuisine to ...


Meet me for Drinks at Cotton’s in Shanghai’s French Concession

Chill cocktails by the fire in this cozy Shanghai bar / lounge We met a friend for drinks on a wintry Sunday afternoon in Shanghai. While it was cold and rainy and altogether unpleasant outside, we were comfy and cozy next to the fireplace at Cotton’s in the French Concession. As Wilco and other cool indie ...


Learning Chinese Tea Basics from Wayne Huang of Cha Mi Living, Shanghai

A primer on teas from Shanghai-based Chinese Tea Expert Wayne Huang Meet Wayne Huang – a co-owner of Cha Mi Living tea shop in the Tianzi Fang arts and shopping district. Wayne has recently opened Cha Mi with his wife after both spending years studying and researching Chinese tea. Ever since I moved to Asia, bit ...


Meet the Chef – Stefan Stiller from Stiller’s Shanghai

A chef focused on bringing seasonal and modern European cuisine to Shanghai Stefan Stiller tells me that when he got the job offer in Shanghai 6 years ago he had to look at the map to see exactly where in China Shanghai was located. Given Stefan’s integral position in the Shanghai culinary scene, it’s actually hard ...


Hunan Cuisine at Di Shui Dong, French Concession, Shanghai

Amazing Hunan food and among the best spareribs in Shanghai It seems like often when we go to Shanghai we tend to gravitate to high-end Western dining. While certainly I never get bored of sky high Bund dining and glamorous cocktails, on this particular evening I had a hankering for something a bit more local. So ...


Chill Out with Cocktails & Comfort Food at Blue Frog, Shanghai

Watch the game, meet friends and hang out at Blur Frog (Photos by Joanna) From the folks who brought you Kabb comes Blue Frog bar and grill. Another super chill place to hang out with friends, watch the game on the big screen, meet up for happy hour after work, etc. while enjoying classic American comfort food. ...


A Roaring Good Time at Mr & Mrs Bund, Shanghai

Say hello to my new favourite restaurant in Shanghai! (Photos by Joanna) I had been meaning to try Mr. & Mrs. Bund for a while. It’s close to the Westin Hotel where I always stay when in Shanghai. It has a bit of buzz. And the chef was the notable Paul Pairet from former fame at Jade ...


Fantastic and Great Value Massages at Dragonfly and Green Massage in Shanghai

My favourite places to go for massage when in Shanghai Massage has been a part of my self care ritual for years now. And as much as I travel and sit on planes, it’s not infrequently that I am suffering from some sort of neck pain or other such traveler’s ailment. When I am in Shanghai, ...


Market for Designer Fake Goods in Shanghai

Faux designer bags, jewelry, clothes and more   On West Nanjing Road, the side of Nanjing with the more local stores, lies 580 West Nanjing Road. An emporium for fake bag, jewelry, clothing and more. Here you will find everything from Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Marc Jacobs bags and wallets….to Tiffany sterling silver…to Paul Smith men’s ...


Tianzi Fang at Taikang Lu in Shanghai – A Destination for Shopping, Galleries, Food and Drink

A wonderful way to spend a weekend afternoon in Shanghai I love a lazy weekend afternoon in Shanghai. Unlike Singapore where the steamy weather often forces me into taxi cabs with air con, in Shanghai I love to spend the day walking the city and exploring various neighborhoods. One favourite for whiling away a Sunday is ...


A Guide for a Walking Tour of Bazaars and Markets in Shanghai

Spend an afternoon strolling Shanghai while taking in the bizarre and bazaars I miss antique markets and flea markets. I suppose it is mostly a Western thing – you see them in Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles. My personal favourite being a NYer was the Chelsea Weekend Flea Market. These are the kind of places ...


Casual American-style Food at Kabb Bar & Grill, Xintiandi, Shanghai

American Comfort Food in the Historic Xintiandi District It’s been a while since I have seen the words “bar and grill” attached to a restaurant name. It took me a while to realize why it sounded both so odd and yet so familiar. And then I remembered…”bar and grill” are typical American-style restaurants. The kind you ...


Relaxed Vibe and Outstanding Food at Makoto Japanese Izakaya, Shanghai

A gem of an Izakaya in Shanghai’s central  Jing’an District After a trip to Japan, we became totally addicted to Japanese food, amiyaki, teppanyaki, yakitori, sushi…. you name it. I think the reason why I like it so much is that most Japanese food is thoughtful and intentional with the of goal of culinary perfection in ...


Stylish Cantonese and Shanghainese Dim Sum at Lynn, Shanghai near Nanjing Lu

Unlimited dim sum at this stylish art-deco Shanghai gem Paul and I are hopelessly addicted to dim sum. For me it started when I lived in New York. My half Chinese cousin and I used to head down to Chinatown on Sundays where she schooled me on the leisurely lunchtime tradition of rolling food carts ...


Local Shanghai Cuisine at Liu Yuan Restaurant, Shanghai

Classic Shanghainese cuisine in this traditional restaurant near Huahai Lu Paul and I spent a great deal of time in Shanghai this winter. We traipsed about enjoying top-end international food at places like Stiller’s, Jean Georges, Laris, M on the Bund, T8 and more. So when we were speaking to a Shanghainese friend and she asked ...


Laris Shanghai – Deserving of 8th Best Restaurant in Asia?

PLEASE NOTE – LARIS IS NOW CLOSED Joanna and I are attempting to eat at as many of the Miele Guide Top 20 Restaurants in Asia as we can this year. Don’t really know how we decided to pursue that… I think accidentally when we realized that we had dined at a few and were about ...


Tea Ceremony at Old Shanghai Teahouse, Fangbang Road Shanghai

Experience a Chinese tea ceremony in this eclectic old teahouse In the heart of historic Old Town in Shanghai and in close proximity to the famous Yuyuan Gardens lies the Old Shanghai Teahouse. In fact, Old Town was the first area of Shanghai to be settled – originally, a place for locals only and where ...


Exceptional Modern European Dining at Stiller’s, Shanghai

When traveling I will eat out more frequently and choose larger meals than I might normally. I don’t know if it’s because of the website or some silly notion I have that because I’m traveling I have to pack in all I can on every trip instead of slowing down and relaxing. Sometimes pushing myself ...


Gastronomic French Tasting Menu with City Views, Jade on 36 in Shanghai

A birds eye view on the Bund and fine French dining from the 36th Floor of the Shangri La Hotel I think we might be addicted to multi-course degustation menus. You might think this is lazy, to let the chef pick for you. But in reality it is the diner’s best opportunity to see what ...


Luxury Spa in Shanghai, Evian Spa at Three on the Bund

A minimalist urban sanctuary on the Bund I had read about the Evian Spa several times over the last couple of years, but somehow never found the time to visit. I often go to Shanghai for work, but it is all rushing around to meetings and work dinners…so while I have often had the opportunity to ...


T8, Xintiandi – Best International Restaurant in Shanghai?

When traveling in Shanghai, it can be easy to stay with the tried, true… and close by. The Bund is a safety area for foreigners. Everyone knows where it is and how to get there. Even the name is easy to pronounce. Much more exotic sounding, yet just as foreigner friendly (if not more so) ...


Nougatine by Jean Georges – Casual Fine Dining on the Bund, Shanghai

Fine dining has some how become synonymous with epic, bank account reducing gastronomic menus. While these are great (and sometimes life changing) you’re probably not going to want them every night of the week. Most nights you just want great food, reasonably priced and if there is great service, all the better. In Shanghai, that’s ...


Fine Dining and a Bund View at M on the Bund, Shanghai

Spectacular dining and views to match at this Shanghai gem Lately I have been getting to Shanghai more often for work. M on the Bund is right around the corner from the Westin Bund Center where I usually stay. Convenience is certainly a plus, but what really keeps me coming back is the fantastic menu and ...


The Great Wall of China, Mutianyu Section (near Beijing)

The Great Wall. In my mind it stands as the ultimate irony tourist trap. What was started ages ago to keep foreigners out… is now responsible for bringing millions of foreigners into the country every year. It’s one of those things you just have to see or do… like getting a hot dog / bagel in ...


48 Hours in Beijing – A Guide to Sightseeing and Eating

Highlights of what to see, do and eat in China’s capital city We sometimes worry that a short trip is giving a majestic city like Beijing short shrift, but when all is said and done, wouldn’t you rather have visited a place briefly, than not all at?  That said, you can get a lot done in ...


Rooftop bar with a Beijing city view, Yin Bar at the Emperor Hotel, Beijing China

Enjoy a cocktail at sunset overlooking the former residence of the Chinese Emperor The Yin Bar at the Emperor’s Hotel might just be the best rooftop bar in the city of Beijing. The hotel itself is one of the Design Hotels of the World, a list we often respect when we are hotel hunting in a ...


Stunning Fusion Cuisine at Blu Lobster, Beijing, China

An elaborate tasting menu makes for a decadent fusion dining experience We were delighted to be in Beijing…an unexpected detour on an extended business trip brought us to the former 2008 Olympic city. Immediately Paul, I and a colleague (Andy) set out to find the most distinctive of culinary experiences, and so it was that Blu ...


Peking Duck and Other Northeastern Chinese Food – Made In China (Chang An Yi Hao), Beijing

Sampling traditional, regional Chinese dishes in China can be a bit overwhelming for most travelers. The city is hectic, English is non existent, street stalls seem scary  and unwelcoming to the uninitiated…. the best you can do is point at what others are having and hope for the best. Thankfully, in Beijing, there’s Made in ...


Franck – French Bistro in the French Concession, Shanghai, China

Cote de Boeuf steak for two and other French classics Thoroughly French bistro style… chalkboard, inlaid marble tables, dark interior, temperature controlled wine room and all. Two-year-old Franck presents a French menu with bistro classics like pigeon, roasted chicken, steaks, beef tartare, grilled tuna and more in Shanghai’s French concession. Overall, it is a classic presentation ...


2-Star Michelin Italian Restaurant – Ristorante Sadler Beijing, China

I was in China for a week… first in Shanghai, then on to Beijing. In that time I only ate one proper Chinese meal. It wasn’t that I was scared of the food, it’s just that the western food on offer here is so appealing. Take Ristorante Sadler, an authentic Italian restaurant, in a beautiful ...


Fine Dining on the Bund – Jean Georges, Shanghai

Why is it that Jean Georges seems to define the various culinary chapters of my life? I first became aware of Jean Georges Vongerichten when I was living in New York. I was in advertising…it was the early 1990’s…expense accounts were fat (people in America not just yet;)…and I was just learning what it meant to ...


Pan-Asian Cuisine at Whampoa Club on the Bund, Shanghai China

An oft-recommend restaurant on the Bund…can it live up to the hype? I had been meaning to get to Whampoa Club for a while. It has been recommended several times but somehow in my many trips to Shanghai I often ended up elsewhere. Having had the occasion to try it this time I was excited ...


Cool Cocktails on the Bund at Glamour Bar, Shanghai

Beautiful people and glamourous cocktails and this river-view stunner In the vein of big city bars with a view is The Glamour Bar on the Bund in Shanghai. I tend to have an affinity for Glamour Bar though, over say, the usual bar-with-a-view spots in Asia, e.g. Vertigo in Bangkok, Skybar in Kuala Lumpur or Felix ...


Tea Ceremony in Beijing, Steps From the Forbidden Palace

The relaxing ritual of tea ceremony after a day of sightseeing When you go to a place like Beijing where there are tourist attractions so historically important that they make their way onto the Unesco World Heritage site list, you figure you ought to go see them. The problem is…so does everyone else. Unfortunately this can ...


The Fabric Market, Shanghai, China

Bespoke fashion clothing and suiting for bargain prices No trip to Shanghai would be complete without a trip to the Fabric Market, also known as the Shanghai South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market. For gals and guys alike this expansive, multi-floor market is a paradise for any size, style or type clothing. Larger size expats often shop ...