Follow Me on Pinterest

Rambutan Chutney, Villas, Seaside Lunches, Tea Plantations and More!


5 Things to See, Do and Eat in Xi’An – Ready Chubby Hubby

For any traveller 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 ...


Video – What is the Best Tool For Opening Wine?

Do you need to have an expensive device or tool to open wine? A lot of people invest in the Rabbit or the wall mounted hinge openers. While these devices are visually impressive, are they really worth the money? Maybe not… What do the experts use? Watch “Wine Time” with Joanna Hutchins and find out. Like this:Like ...


A Magical Visit to Inle Lake, Myanmar (Burma)

Inle Lake might be one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the opportunity to visit in Asia. Like Thailand 50 years ago, it is yet unscathed by hordes of tourists and shows a glimpse of what life in Myanmar may have been like for recent generations.  Inle Lake is a fresh water lake, ...


Video – Why do we Swirl Wine to Give it Air?

  Ever wondered why people swirl wine to incorporate oxygen or let it “breathe”? Is it some pretentious maneuver to separate wine experts from novices? In fact, there is a very real reason we need to give wine air and allow it to breathe. Watch the latest in Accidental Epicurean’s Wine Time series of wine education ...


Accidental Funnies – Ironic and Fabulously Ridiculous Foodie T-shirts

I love it when humor and food collide. So, when I saw this funny collection of foodie T’s in an article on Food & Wine, I could not resist sharing. I am tempted to order 1 or 2 (or 6!). My personal favourites are…   For the monthly “Taco Sunday” me and my friends do in Shanghai   For a ...


Video – What You Might be Doing Wrong with Sparkling Wine

 Just pop the cork and pour, right? Well… not exactly. There are some things you can do to make your sparkling wine drinking experience even better. In my new video series of wine tips, called Wine Time, you can learn some  some tips on how to preserve those lovely bubbles and how to make sure every ...


Learn About Wine – A Series of Videos to Demystify Wine

Ever feel like wine can take on a slightly snobby air? Meaning if you don’t do something right or don’t know the exact terminology or pronunciation of a wine vocabulary word that you might be judged? I think a lot of people feel this way and sometimes this is what holds people back from experimenting ...


The 50 Best Bars in the World – Cheers to the Winners in Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong

In our travels around the world we have had some pretty amazing drinking experiences – from drinking Vietnamese Bia Hoi on the street with locals, to some outlandish, molecular gastronomy-inspired cocktails. There’s definitely no shortage of ways to explore the world through it’s drinks! Thus, we are happy to share with you the recently published list ...


Hidden Tokyo – Bar Piano in Shibuya is Quirky, Cool Tokyo at it’s Best

Is the oft visited Bar Piano in Tokyo’s Shibuya district worth the the trip? I think so… I am sure if you have done any research on “cool” things to do in Tokyo, you have seen Bar Piano mentioned at least once. Featured in Anthony Bourdain’s TV show, Bar Piano is a teeny tiny little ...


The Easiest Sorbet Recipe You Will Ever Make – Only 1 Ingredient!

I relish the tastes of summer – BBQ, cold beer on a hot day and delicious fruity desserts like sorbet. One of summer’s rituals is a trip to the ice cream shop, but if you are like me, maybe you prefer to chill at home (directly under the air con) on those sweltering days. Well, in ...


Best Yakitori in Tokyo? – Yakitori Hachibei Restaurant, Roppongi

Since are so many choices when dining in Tokyo, why do I keep coming back to something so simple like Yakitori? Yakitori is ostensibly the most basic of foods – meats and vegetables, grilled on a stick. Many cultures have something similar like Thai moo ping (grilled pork on a stick) or Turkish kofte (grilled lamb kebabs) but ...


Accidental Funnies – the Quintessential Trendy Restaurant Menu

We all know the place that has this menu… it’s likely called a gastropub, and it probably has some minimalist, urban chic decor going on – think exposed brick, industrial lighting and poured concrete floors with an epoxy glaze on top. The food isn’t bad, in fact they may even have 1 or 2 dishes you ...


Photo Trek – in Basque country in San Sebastian, Spain

The most common thing said about San Sebastian is that it is impossible not to fall in love with this coastal town on the northern corner of Spain’s Basque Country, only 12 miles from neighboring France. Situated on the Bay of Biscay, a bay formed by the mountainous Cantabrian coastline, San Sebastian (or also known by ...


AE Nominated as 10 Best Food Blogs by USA Today – PLEASE VOTE!!!! in the next 6 days

Accidental Epicurean has been nominated as one of the top 10 Best Food Blogs by USA Today. For those of you who might not be familiar with USA Today, it is the #1 national newspaper in the US. There are some well deserved nominees there including myself, Joanna Hutchins. But of course, I would like you ...


3 Refreshing Champagne Cocktail Recipes for Summer – Read Chubby Hubby

Somehow with all the trends in food and drink like artisanal crafting, molecular gastronomy and mixologists, simply pouring a glass of champagne or sparkling wine can seem boring and perhaps even….gasp!…lazy.  In cases like these, I am a big fan of the champagne cocktail. Now, I personally wouldn’t do this with a bottle of Krug, for ...


Farming of the Future at the World’s Largest Indoor Farm – in Japan, where else?

Leave it to the Japanese to once again bring ingenuity and technology to bear on an age old problem. Inconsistencies in climate conditions have plagued farmers for centuries  across countries, rendering crop variances that dramatically impact not only their individual livelihoods but also the supply to their consumer. Not anymore, saya Shigeharu Shimamura. Shimamura-san, a ...


Accidental Funnies – Eliminating “burger face shame” in Japan

Freshness Burger, a well known burger restaurant chain in Japan, had a business problem – their biggest and most iconic burger was bought mostly by men. Why? Consumer research revealed that women did not buy it because they were deeply concerned about “burger face shame.” Snarfing a massive hamburger the size of one’s head is certainly not ...


Best Sushi in Bangkok? Isao Sushi – Read about it on Chubby Hubby

I miss living in Bangkok, Thailand. I miss the Thai food, the Thai massages and the beaches. But one of the things I miss most is Isao Sushi. Sushi???? As one of the most missed things from Bangkok? Yes, indeed! Read more about the best sushi in Bangkok – Isao Sushi in the Sukhumvit area of ...


Recipe for Summer Cocktails – Vodka Slushies or Vodka Punch Southern-style

Growing up in the Southern US, punch was a “thing.” By that I mean, it is a special category of beverages that is served on special occasions and in social gatherings, often with sweet treats like cake or cookies. It even had its own special bowl and serving ladle with matching cups. Every Southern lady ...


Insider’s Guide to Singapore’s Chinatown – Restaurants, Shopping, Temples and More…

I lived in the Chinatown section of Singapore more than 2 years. Away from the glitz and glamour of the Louis Vuitton and Prada littered area of Orchard Road, I was hoping to find an authentic and more local living experience. So I rented a shophouse on well-preserved historic Mosque Street, in the center of ...


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 ...


Michelin-starred Dim Sum in Hong Kong – Tin Lung Heen, read on Chubby Hubby

I don’t know when it happened exactly, but Asian food has become my comfort food. When I had a bad day and want to soothe frazzled nerves, it’s no longer ice cream or a burger indulgence, I want noodles in broth. Maybe udon, maybe ramen, or beef noodle pho. When I am hungover or tired ...


5 Things to Know When Buying Organic or Biodynamic Wines – Read Chubby Hubby

You may have been hearing more and more about organic and biodynamic wines. And you might be wondering, like many, what is the difference? Is it worth the premium? How many chemicals are really in regular wine anyway? Is this just a marketing gimmick? Some studies have shown that there can be up to 250 different ...


Photo Trek – Guide to Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market

One of Bangkok’s most famous “must do” things for tourists and residents alike is to visit Chatuchak Weekend Market. Also known as JJ market, if you cannot find it here, I am guessing you don’t really need it! When I lived in Bangkok this was a regular stop for me, and now when I go back ...


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 ...


Best Tonkatsu in Tokyo – Maisen, Read Chubby Hubby for More…

If you are a regular reader of Accidental Epicurean, you will be familiar with my affinity for all things Japanese, especially Japanese food. A lot of people will wax poetic about the sushi and sashimi, but my big love when it comes to Japanese food is Tonkatsu. For me there is nothing more satisfying than ...


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 ...


Five quirky and cool must-dos when in Tokyo, read Chubby Hubby

Tokyo might be my favorite city in the world. It’s got an amazing mix of world class food, an incredible culture, a rich history and well…lots of quirky and cool things to see and do. Of course when you go to Tokyo, you should go to Shibuya and see the famous crossing, have yakitori and ...


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, ...


Learn More About Me… if You are Interested… On Hotels Cheap Website

I was flattered when the travel website Hotels Cheap contacted me to be featured in an interview series on successful bloggers. I thought I would share with you so you can understand a bit more about who I am, why I do what I do and my point of view on travel. Here is an excerpt ...


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 ...


Rules of Etiquette When in Thailand – Read Chubby Hubby

I lived in Thailand for 2 years. It isn’t a very long time, but I developed a great affinity for the country and I go back at least 4-5x a year now – often to Bangkok to visit old friends, or sometimes to the beach for a long weekend. And although my Thai language has ...


Photo Trek – Chiang Rai, Thailand

Chiang Rai is like the younger, less popular sister of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. It doesn’t get as much attention as a destination as Chiang Mai does, but in a way this is good for the intrepid traveler as it means fewer crowds and a more authentic experience. And it’s the perfect base from ...


A Guide to Shopping in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

There’s lots to do in Cambodia – from experimenting with the local food to exploring the French cuisine that is a hold over from the days of French occupation. Then of course there are the historical sites that should not be missed from the darker days of Cambodia’s history, like the Killing Fields and the ...


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 ...


Japanese Cuisine, Washoku, Makes Unesco World Heritage List

Japanese cuisine joins French cuisine on the UNESCO World Heritage list as a world’s priceless cultural heritage. And rightly so. Japanese food, in Japanese called “washoku”, is known for it’s unique precision and detail in preparing, cooking and presenting food. Even sometimes eating comes with very carefully prescribed rules as well, e.g. sushi etiquette. So what ...


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 ...


3 Asian Chili Paste Recipes – Never Buy in the Supermarket Again – read Chubby Hubby

Never buy in the supermarket again, because…you can make them better at home. I am a big fan of making my own condiments. Fresh ingredients, no preservatives, and in most cases, significant cost savings are what motivate me. You may have seen my article on Western condiments like Creme Friache and Mayonnaise. Now I bring you easy ...


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 ...


Pollen Restaurant by Jason Atherton – Singapore

Of all the cities I travel to, I think Singapore has done an amazing job of combining culinary destinations with sight seeing destinations. What do I mean? You know when you go to a restaurant in a city…the one with the amazing view….and the food is entirely average? I hate that and I bet you ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Mpemba Effect – Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold Water

The Mpemba Effect is the verified scientific principle that hot water freezes faster than cold water. Perhaps if you were into science in school, you heard of this. Since I avoided science classes like the plague, I had a “no way!” reaction when I recently learned of this. So much for getting the water as ...


Accidental Funnies – Butcher Cleaver Knife Ring, Just in Time for Halloween!

I don’t know if you have seen this clever cleaver ring making the rounds on the interwebs. Developed by Brazilian jewelry designer Raul Souza, it’s just in time for Halloween. Or if you are a foodie, it could be an ironic jewelry statement year round.  Either way, it made me chuckle and thought it ...


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 things you should never buy at the supermarket, because…. – Read Chubby Hubby

Even if you like to eat more than you enjoy cooking, there are some really simple items and condiments you really shouldn’t buy at the supermarket. Why? Because you can make it better at home! Really??? Yes, really. Items like salad dressing, creme fraiche, yogurt cheese, mayonnaise and more are MUCH, MUCH better when you make ...


3 Lychee Cocktail Recipes

One of the things I love about living in Asia is the tropical fruit. Some of them I had never even heard of until I came to live in this part of the world – now mangosteen, mango, passion fruit and lychee are regular items on my shopping list. And it just so happens that ...


10 Signs You Might Just Be a Travel Addict

Are you like me? Do you crave to be home, because you are always on the road…only to get jumpy after a week or so and book a trip for a getaway?  I can’t get enough – there’s always something new to experience, a new local dish to eat, a market or bazaar to shop ...


20 Words / Terms that Every Food & Wine Lover Should Know

I am a  foodie / epicurean nerd.  There, I said it! I often don’t realize that as I sit in my world of food and wine magazines, favourite food websites, obsessive recipe reading etc. It’s just so innate in my character that I forget other people are not the same – and that maybe the ...


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 ...


Easy Thai Recipe – Pad See Ew Gai – Broad Noodles Stir-fried with Chicken and Egg

This is one of my favourite Thai dishes – definitely in the top 5. In fact, I cannot visit Bangkok without having this dish of chewy noodles, chicken, scrambled egg and kailan stir-fried in black soy sauce. Along with any other items on my agenda like shopping or spa or hanging out with old friends, ...


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 ...


Simple but Cool Infographic on Wine

Wine is complicated. There’s no getting around it. I have been studying wine formally now for 2 years and have about 2 years left before I earn my degree. I really had no idea I would learn as much about farming and agriculture as I would learn about the wine itself. But it’s only because ...


A Guide to the Best Restaurants in Hong Kong

When I am in Hong Kong, I make a point to plan my dining in advance. Not only because most of the better known places must be booked well in advance, but also because there are just so many outstanding choices of where to eat – from Michelin starred restaurants to street-side noodle stands. And ...


A Cheeky Homage to Mooncake Festival – Hong Kong, Goods of Desire (G.O.D)

There’s a store I love to visit every time I am in Hong Kong – Goods of Desire, otherwise known around town as G.O.D. They have an amazing plethora of cool, quirky funky items – perfect for oneself or as a gift to someone else. Things like eyemasks for travel with panda faces, photo frames, ...


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 ...


5 Surprising Facts About Salt – Read Chubby Hubby

I have an obsession with salt. Not that I like my food to be particularly more salty than the next guy- it’s just that I am fascinated with all the kinds, and uses and tastes of salt. It’s an infinite universe, the universe of salt… and what you don’t know, it might just surprise you. ...


Best Tempura in Tokyo? Ten Ichi, Ginza

                    Ten Ichi is regarded by foodies, international and local, as some of the best tempura in Tokyo. Located in the heart of the Ginza shopping / nightlife district, its been serving up the most famous tempura in Tokyo for over 80 years. It’s and elegant and tranquil setting where dignitaries and government officials (Clinton and ...


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 ...


Is Jason Atherton Taking Over Asia? – 22 Ships in Hong Kong

He might just be! For those of you who might not know (if you have been hiding under a rock), Jason Atherton is one of the hottest global celebrity chefs these days with restaurants from London to Shanghai. His first restaurant was actually in Shanghai, China at the Waterhouse Hotel in 2010, called Table No. ...


Read Chubby Hubby – 10 Rules of Etiquette Every Traveler to Japan Should Know

                        I travel often to Japan – it’s foodie paradise, I personally love the culture and I cannot get enough of this amazing country with its varied landscapes and experiences. That said, its nickname as “Planet Japan” is earned for a reason…it is one of the culturally most unique and distinct places in the world. It ...


Recipe from Jean Georges Vongerichten – Carrot and Avocado Salad with Crunchy Seeds

                        Ever since I met Jean Georges last year in Shanghai, I have been cooking furiously from his Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes cookbook. Especially the vegetable dishes. I find while I can be completely creative with proteins and pastas and such, when it comes to salad and veggies, I need a little ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Kaiseki, Japanese Multi-Course, Haute Cuisine

                    Kaiseki is the name for a formal, traditional Japanese meal consisting of multiple courses (as many as 14), presented in a certain order and almost always with a seasonal theme. As it is considered the top level of dining in Japan, it can be quite expensive at $150-400USD per person….similar in complexity and cost to ...


Read Chubby Hubby – Recipe for Thai Krapow Gai (Chicken with Holy Basil & Chilies)

                      There’s only one thing to say about this recipe – it is the closest I have ever come to replicating my favourite dish from when I lived in Bangkok, Thailand. I used to eat at a local restaurant in my neighborhood called P. Kitchen on Sukhumvit Soi 18. I really knew it was good when ...


Quirky, Cool and Unusual Shopping in Tokyo, Japan – Ranking Ran Queen by Tokyu Department Stores

                    Among all of the other quirky cool places to shop like Tokyu Hands or Don Quixote in Tokyo, another shop not to be missed is Ranking Ran Queen. Even if you are not interested to buy anything, it’s a fascinating dive into what the Japanese fancy and what is popular. Why? Because Ranking Ran Queen ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Better than Kobe, Matsusaka Japanese Wagyu Beef

                              If you are like me and you love that marbled fatty goodness of Japanese beef (the kind that melts in your mouth) you will want to know about Matsusaka beef. It is, in fact, a grade higher than Kobe. Beef in Japan is graded on its marbled fat content, so to have a higher grade, ...


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! ...


Read Chubby Hubby – for the Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, My Mother’s!

                      I recently wrote an article on unusual Champagne and food pairings for Chubby Hubby. In the piece I had suggested Macaroni & Cheese and Champagne (or Prosecco) as an amazing pairing because of the creamy buttery dish being nicely complemented by the crisp acidity and freshness of bubbles. And just thinking about Macaroni & Cheese ...


Accidental Funnies – Japan and Kawaii Strikes Again – Cute Kitty Cappucino

                                  I am always amazed at the Japanese inventiveness around kawaii. In case the idea of kawaii is new to you, kawaii (pronounced like Hawaii) means “cute.” And Japan is obsessed with kawaii, so much so it seems nothing is untouched – see related articles link below on past kawaii topics.  The latest to be kawaii-ified? ...


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” ...


Tim’s Kitchen in Hong Kong – Michelin-starred Cantonese

Hong Kong has no shortage of incredible dining experiences and Michelin-starred restaurants. But there are a relative few that are down-to-earth, affordable and as generally approachable as Tim’s Kitchen. Chef Yau-Tim Lai opened Tim’s Kitchen in 2000 in a surprisingly un-flashy part of town. In the Sheung Wan area, before it was up and coming, ...


Read Chubby Hubby – for Surprising Champagne and Casual Food Pairings

                    I am studying to get my degree as a sommelier…did I mention that? Perhaps not. One of the aspects of this training I enjoy most is food and wine pairing And being a self professed lover of bubbles, I was very happy to legitimately take Champagne (Cava or Prosecco) out of the “special occasion” category ...


Best Sushi in Bangkok? Isao Sushi

I miss living in Bangkok. I miss the Thai food, the Thai massages and the beaches. But one of the things I miss most is Isao Sushi. Sushi???? As one of the most missed things from Bangkok? Yes, indeed! Quietly tucked away 150 meters down on Sukhumvit Soi 31, Isao has developed a massive following almost ...


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 ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Espuma for making foam

Surely you have noticed that in recent years foam is all the rage in the restaurant world. Except perhaps on a traditional Italian menu or at a burger joint, foam seems ubiquitous on today’s modern menu. And it’s no wonder why…foam has an ethereal taste profile that one simply cannot achieve with a heavier sauce. ...


On Our Bookshelf – The Longest Way Home & Honeymoon with My Brother

As much as I enjoy writing about travel, I also enjoy reading about it. Here are two of my favourite books in which the authors go on journey’s that are both physical and emotional. I, like these authors, have discovered the most authentic versions of myself by finding myself completely out of my element in ...


Read Chubby Hubby – Sushi Etiquette, What You Don’t Know Might Surprise You

Many of you know I write for Chubby Hubby, the Singapore based food / lifestyle blog. I have written about a variety of topics for CH, including Michelin-starred chef interviews, recipes, about contemporary artists in China, etc. But apparently my MOST popular article to date is an article on sushi etiquette. It seems perhaps there are ...


Best Eggs Benedict in Singapore? Choupinette

Singapore is brunch heaven for brunch lovers. Aside from dim sum, brunch isn’t really an Asia “thing.” But like many things in Singapore, the brunch culture has risen from the intersection of East and West that this country is so well known for. And in Singapore, while the elaborate champagne brunches are de rigueur, there ...


A Night out at Fullerton Bay, Singapore – Catalunya Restaurant and Lantern Bar

While I no longer live in Singapore, I do get there about 6-8 times a year. There are so many cool and new restaurants that have opened in the last year, I find it hard to keep up. Every time I go, I am torn between old favourites and newcomers. But being a foodie, I ...


Easy Recipe for Thai Iced Tea

When I moved to Thailand some years back, I eyed Thai Iced Tea suspiciously for several weeks before I decided to try it. It was probably the strange orange color, bordering on nuclear in appearance. But once I actually tried it, there was no turning back. The creamy sweet concoction tasted like milky heaven, and ...


Accidental Funnies – More Japanese Kawaii, Purr-fect Kitty Sushi

The longer I am in Asia, the more I enjoy the Japanese sense of humour. It is often quirky, a little left of center…but yet also always a bit cute and kawaii. What is kawaii, you ask? Kawaii is the Japanese word for sweet, cute, adorable (pronounced like the US state of Hawaii). And the Japanese ...


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 ...


Adorable Hotel Lobby Pets (Cats, Dogs and even Fish!) from Conde Nast Traveler

I was delighted by this recent series on the Conde Nast Traveler website. It’s all about pets that live in hotels…all over the world – where they live, a bit about them, their “job” at the hotel and photos. It seems Fairmont hotels is the most progressive with pet ambassadors across their properties worldwide. I ...


Read Chubby Hubby – Best Burger in Los Angeles? Father’s Office in Santa Monica

I get back to the US about 1 -2 times per year. And I always make a point to spend some time in California.  The food is amazing there. I think a large part of it is due to the fact that a great deal of it is grown locally, so you are not eating ...


Accidental Funnies – Japanese “Cooking with Dog” is Campy, Quirky Fun

OK, it’s not what you think. It’s not about cooking dishes with dog as an ingredient. It is a TV show, called “Cooking with Dog,”that you can watch on You Tube – a Japanese woman demonstrates how to cook authentic, homey Japanese meals while the show is entirely narrated by her dog, Francis. Francis speaks charmingly ...


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 ...


Meet the Chef – Paul Lau of Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong

  Chef Paul Lau has been cooking all his life…well, since age 14 when he started learning Cantonese cooking. His decades of study have served him well.  Today he is a chef at the Michelin starred Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong. And if you are looking for world class Cantonese, particularly ...


Nishiki Market for Kitchen and Souvenir Shopping in Kyoto, Japan

Nishiki Market is a must do if you are in Kyoto and are a food lovers like we are here at Accidental Epicurean. Nishiki has been around for centuries in Kyoto and as such, many of the vendors have been operating their stalls for generations. In fact, today it is where denizens of Kyoto still ...


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 ...


Best Cookbooks of 2012 on Chubby Hubby

There are a few things I cannot stop buying when I travel ….perfume, quirky ceramics and cookbooks! I swore to myself that this year I would buy none of the aforementioned items. I managed to resist the ceramics – or does lacquerware from Myanmar count? I managed to restrain myself on the perfume. But on ...


Champagne Cocktail Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Sure, you could drink champagne on Valentine’s day or for any other special occasion. But somehow with all the trends in food and drink like artsinal crafting, molecular gastronomy and mixologists, simply pouring a glass of champagne or sparkling wine seems boring and perhaps even….gasp!…lazy.   I am a big fan of the champagne cocktail in cases ...


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 ...


Jason Atherton’s Esquina Restaurant – Singapore

Esquina in Singapore, even though its been open about a year now, is still one of the toughest seats in town to secure. With no reservations it is nearly impossible to get a seat in this small, narrow, galley-style tapas bar. So it was a good thing that I went with fellow Singapore foodie and ...


Accidental Funnies – Bacon Decision Tree Chart

Why is it lately that all the foodie humor I find somehow involves bacon? The latest is this cheeky chart that helps you to decide, “should you eat that bacon?” Seems the answer is always yes Like this:Like Loading...


Everyone Loves Dumplings! A Guide to Dumplings Around the World

The more I travel the more I notice similarities across cultures rather than differences between them. For example, I have yet to visit a place that doesn’t have fried chicken as a dish in some shape or form. Same with dumplings…I was surprised to notice they are everywhere! Everyone loves dumplings! And what’s not to ...


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 – For My Mother-in-Law’s Turkish Kofte Recipe

I used to be married….not anymore. And while  I still keep in touch with my ex-husband and in-laws, I do miss learning Turkish cooking in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. That said, I have taken away some wonderful recipes and memories. Read about my favourite recipe for Turkisk Kofte (meatballs) here on Chubby Hubby. Like this:Like Loading...


Warning! Highly Addictive – Sift Cupcakes, Hong Kong

When I was living in New York about 10 years ago, there was a hot cupcake trend – ostensibly kicked off with fervor by a Sex in the City episode where the SITC girls stand in line to get cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. Actually the cupcake trend is still alive and well in New York ...


Accidental Funnies – Bacon Scarf

I cannot decide if I find this funny or gross….probably both. But being a food geek, and a worshipper of bacon, I could not help but giggle when I saw this scarf made to resemble bacon. I only wish I had seen this BEFORE Christmas as I know people for who this would have made ...


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. Like this:Like Loading...


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 ...


Travel Diary from Vienna, Part #2

After getting my bearings in this small and lovely city I set out sample more of Vienna’s culinary delights. At the recommendation of an Austrian friend, I make my way to Cafe Central for breakfast. It’s an amazing space, grand in every way with amazingly high ceilings and gorgeous chandeliers  Opened in 1876, it has been ...


Something New – Travel Diary from Vienna, Part #1

I usually don’t write about things I don’t feel confident to make an expert recommendation on. Thus, even though I travel extensively outside of Asia, I don’t feel qualified to make recommendations in London, Buenos Aires, Paris, etc…. But it occurred to me today as I was wandering the streets of Vienna, that’s not really ...


101 Holidays Highlighted Accidental Epicurean as a Best Travel Blog to Follow in 2013

I am always so humbled when people appreciate and recommend the “labor of love” that I call  Accidental Epicurean. On the days it feels more like a labor (read: when I don’t feel editing the thousands of photos on my camera), it is things like this that make me more inspired to do so. So ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Barding

Seems there is a word for everything – like “barding.” Barding means wrapping a substantial piece of meat in other fatty strips of meat. So that bacon wrapped piece of goodness? Yes, that’s barding. Barding keeps a lean cut of meat moist and keeps it from overcooking when being roasted, while also imparting flavor. Usually pork ...


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 ...


Are You Really Eating Kobe Beef – Or is it Wagyu??? And Why Should You Care?

I have been to a great many restaurants around the world claiming Kobe beef on the menu – from $50USD hamburgers in New York City to Kobe shabu shabu in Paris to Kobe beef steak in Singapore. But as it turns out it probably wasn’t Kobe beef? Why? Because Kobe beef is NOT imported outside ...


Michelin Starred Dim Sum at Tin Lung Heen, Ritz Carlton Hong Kong

When I go to Hong Kong I cannot get enough of dim sum. With the tradition of dim sum originating in Southern China, there may be no better place in the world than Hong Kong to experience this classic Cantonese weekend “brunch” ritual. And while I do have a few “go to” favourite spots for ...


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 ...


Read Chubby Hubby – 3 Recipes for Hearty Main Course Salads

As you all know, I often write for Chubby Hubby….one of my latest pieces is about 3 recipes for hearty main course salads for fall. There’s something about fall and winter that makes roasted veggie salads as much comfort food for me as roasted chicken and creamed potatoes. Check it out. Like this:Like Loading...


Best Yakitori in Tokyo? – Yakitori Hachibei Restaurant, Roppongi

There are so many choices when dining in Tokyo, so why do I keep coming back to something so simple like Yakitori? Yakitori is ostensibly the most basic of foods – meats and vegetables, grilled on a stick. Many cultures have something similar like Thai moo ping (grilled pork on a stick) or Turkish kofte ...


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 ...


Guest Blog, The Road to Being in the Moment – the Camino de Santiago

I’ve always enjoyed Joanna’s passion for experiencing and eating. We have much in common: cities to which we’ve traveled, experiences ranging from 5-star hotels to budget inns, places in which we’ve lived (she moved North then East, I moved West then South). When Joanna asked me about the Camino de Santiago, I was thrilled that she ...


Easy Dessert Recipe – 1 Ingredient Sorbet

As summer comes to a close, I am relishing its last tastes….BBQ, cold beer on a hot day and delicious fruity desserts like sorbet. Actually, I don’t indulge in desserts much. It’s not that I don’t have a hearty sweet tooth (I do), I am just very careful about calories and frankly I would rather spend them on ...


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.     Like this:Like Loading...


Japan Kawaii Nonstop! – Cute Simmered Stew

In Japan they are relentless with kawaii (cute). Nothing escapes their reach! Even the classic Japanese simmered stews are kawaii-ified. Check it out….the rice people look like they are enjoying a meaty onsen. Made me smile, hope it does you as well. Like this:Like Loading...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Dashi

For some of you dashi may be a new concept, you may have had it and not even realized it. For others who are steeped in Japanese food, you might know it well, but did you know how it was made? Basically dashi is like a stock or broth that forms the basis of many ...


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 ...


Accidental Funnies – 10 Types of Foodies from the Huffington Post

  From time to time I see something on another website that I think AE readers would enjoy, this article from the Huffington Post being one of them. Meet the “10 Types of Foodies” – ranging from the “One-upper” to the “Bacon Lover” to the “Blogging Food Pornographer.” Check it out for a quick foodie chuckle ...


Why detox? A talk with Karina Stewart of Kamalaya Koh Samui

I have done a detox program a few times. I always feel so great afterwards I think I will never go back to my old ways. Unfortunately, it’s typically a matter of days not weeks before I slip back into the same old same old. And so I wondered, what is it that makes a ...


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 ...


Accidental Funnies – Catherine Tate Show on Gazpacho

We were all sitting around the other night in a restaurant in Shanghai discussing food that is popular in China but repulsive to most Westerners. Things like chicken feet, sea cucumber, shark’s fin, etc. It’s not that we are a bunch of fussy expats that stick to Western meals…not at all! But there are some ...


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 ...


Leave it to the Japanese to Invent a “Cooler” Beer – Kirin Frozen Beer

I am consistently surprised by the Japanese culture of innovation. From having the world’s most advanced public transport system decades ahead of others -to- cell phones so advanced you can use them (not cash) to purchase a soda at a vending machine, the Japanese always seem to be ahead of the curve. They even found a ...


Accidental Epicurean Recognized as Best Travel Food Blog

  It’s always nice to be recognized, isn’t it? Accidental Epicurean was recently featured as Best Travel Food Blog by My Life Scoop. Check it out Like this:Like Loading...


Recipe for Creme Fraiche – Make It Easily at Home

I remember the first time I tasted Creme Fraiche. It was my first trip to Paris…too many years ago to mention or else it will easily date me. First it was served alongside a berry tart in a cafe. Then later that week it was drizzled over a soup. The slightly sour, yet somehow slightly ...


Dream Trips 2012 – Places and Things to See and do in 2012

In this post I am not going to tell you the hottest new resort or the area that just opened up for tourism due to a change in government. It’s simply MY list. Dream trips that I have either always wanted to do or feel newly inspired to do. Every year in January, probably much ...


Accidental Funnies – from NYT, Dumpling Tales from Wall Street

  It’s nice to see something about Wall Street that’s funny, for a change. A banker friend sent me this article and I couldn’t resist to share. It’s a Kevin Roose piece from the NYT where he interviews a dumpling cart vendor who goes to work at Goldman Sachs cafeteria for a short stint. In a ...


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 ...


What It’s Really Like to Open a Hotel on a Tropical Island? – the New Dusit Maldives

I am always interested in the way things work – from ordinary kitchen appliances to operations more complex. I find all the moving parts that come together and make something truly amazing. And when I think about varying levels of complexity , one of the more complex operations has got to be opening a resort ...


‘Tis the Season to Eat Reindeer – Reindeer Sashimi at Mathias Dahlgren

  Yes, that’s right – reindeer. I suppose it depends on where you live, but in some parts of the world it is not strange at all to eat reindeer, say Norway, Sweden or Finland. Even if you have never been to those places, you may have even eaten reindeer and not known it – in ...


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 ...


‘Tis the Season for Christmas Bread – Swedish Vörtbröd Recipe

You might wonder why I am writing about Swedish bread on my mostly Asian focused website. Well I recently attended a traditional Swedish smörgåsbord dinner organized by a good friend from Bangkok. One of the nice things about living internationally is the exposure to many different people from many different cultures. As a result, I ...


Miele Guide 2011 – The Top 20 Restaurants in Asia are Announced

It’s that time of year again. The time when the Miele Guide, The Miele Guide,  issues its new annual edition. Foodies in the region await eagerly for the pronouncement of the top 20 restaurants in Asia. I continue to think that Japan gets a bit ignored by the Miele Guide, but I cannot disagree with ...


Shop like a Bangkok Local – MBK Mall for DVD’s, Fake goods, Thai products & more

For many people, Bangkok is a shopping destination. There are so many expansive and extensive malls like Emporium, Siam Paragon, Gaysorn and CentralWorld selling everything from high street, mainstream brands to Prada, Gucci, LV and the usual suspects among luxury brands. People travel from all over the region to find brands not available in their country or ...


Halloween Means Cats and Dogs in Food Themed Costumes ;)

I am softie when it comes to animals. My usual polished composure melts when I see a cool cat or a cute dog. And now is the time of year for animals in Halloween costumes. It’s like cute squared!  Dogs take to it better than cats (which tend to either resist or take on a resigned pitiful ...


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 Like this:Like Loading...


Meet the Chef – Thailand’s Own Celebrity Chef, Chef McDang

There is nothing ordinary about Chef McDang and his rise to become one of the world experts on Thai cooking. Born into the Thai royal family, Chef McDang followed in the family tradition to go overseas to boarding school at 12 years old. Later he enrolled at Georgetown University, with a plan to realize the ...


How to Peel a Whole Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 seconds and Without a Knife!

We have our heads more or less wrapped around nuclear physics and string theory and surgical miracles these days….but nothing has blown my mind like this recent video demo and article by Saveur on how to peel garlic! You can peel a whole head of garlic in 10 seconds (or less) – without a knife – without ...


Never Buy Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing Again! Make Homemade in Minutes

I started making my own salad dressing years ago after an aunt taught me. I felt foolish. All those years I had been buying vinaigrette that was either too sweet or too bland, and I could whip up my own in about a minute. Cue a few years later I am talking to a French ...


These Library Lounge – Try the Late Night, Offbeat, Insider Tokyo Cocktail Bar Scene

Just steps down from my favourite “insider” izakaya, Teyandei, is another “insider” spot for cocktails…the These Library Lounge. Near the (in)famous Roppongi area, These is so subtly marked that it is easy to miss. It’s quirky, cool crowd likes it that way – it’s the kind of place that is known mostly through word of ...


The Great Debate – Sweet Potato vs. Yam

  So just what is the difference between these two oft-confused vegetables? It all started with a signature yam dish at an izakaya in Tokyo.  There was a debate about sweet potato vs. yams – are they actually different types of potato? Or are the names simply interchangeable for the same orange fleshed tuber? Bets were placed and ...


Teyandei Izakaya – Tokyo, Japan

A Tokyo insider izakaya – well now the secret is out! I find that I am always lucky when I am in Tokyo. There is something special about that crazy city – each time I go I am amazed at the intensity of the food culture and the drive for perfection. One might think that this ...


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 ...


Unforgettable Omakase Sushi in Tokyo – Hashida Sushi

An unforgettable omakase sushi experience in Tokyo Through random coincidence I recently met someone who had lived in Tokyo for 20 years. Being a Japan-o-phile, of course I picked his brain about an upcoming trip to Tokyo. I wanted to get off the beaten track and have more authentic dining experiences. I still remember an ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Koshu Japanese Wine

No, this is not some new form of sake or plum wine. We are talking about a wine made from grapes that has been produced since 1877 when Masanari Takano and Tatsunori Tsuchiya returned from France after studying winemaking. But now for the first time it is approaching the mainstream. In June 2011, a Koshu ...


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 ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Truffle Oil

Truffle oil seems to be ubiquitous these days. Drizzled over pastas and risottos, used to make truffled french fries, whipped into mashed potatoes, commonly used with elegant egg preparations, and as an ingredient in decadent vinaigrettes. It’s used to add an earthy and rich flavour profile and is becoming more and more common in modern ...


Epicurean Gear – High Tech Professional Kitchen Equipment for the Home

Can one achieve professional results in a home kitchen these days? I remember the first specialized kitchen tool I used. It was an apple core-er, and I was probably about 8 years old. My favorite thing to make was apple crisp and the biggest part of that dish is cutting up the apples – it ...


Kawaii and How Japan is Kicking the World’s Ass on Cuteness

      What is kawaii and why is everything in Japan so cute? “Kawaii” is the Japanese term for “cute.” And if you know anything about Japan you know kawaii reigns. The love of all things cute is found throughout Asia, but it is heightened to an art form in Japan. When I first moved to ...


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 ...


The 4 Stages of Cooking from Lifehacker and Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman of How to Cook Everything talks to Lifehacker about the 4 progressive stages of learning to cook I started cooking around age 8, by age 10 I was making advanced constructions like Chicken Cordon Bleu and Rolled Cakes with Cream. So, according to Mark Bittman’s theory on the stages of cooking recently published on ...


A Guide to Koh Lanta, Thailand – What to Do and Where to Eat, Sleep and Drink

A guide to one of the most relaxing and chill islands in Thailand If you are looking for an island in Thailand where you can enjoy some of the best of the Thai beach scene, here’s why Koh Lanta should be on the short list. Lesser known than its other neighbors on the Andaman Sea like ...


Biking in the Bangkok Jungle

I never go on group tours, I hate having others show me around, and I can’t stand being spoon-fed culture. So what am I doing perched atop a borrowed bike with a group of European tourist zipping along the busy streets of Bangkok? It all started with a conversation with my friend Patricia who works at ...


The Best (or at Least Our Favourite) Food Apps for the iPad

If you have an iPad and are a foodie, you must check these out Here at Accidental Epicurean, we not only eat, we also cook. While I have an enormous collection of cookbooks, lately I find myself using my iPad to source new menu and recipe ideas. Plus, I find it super convenient to carry the ...


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 ...


Environmental Sustainability in Asia – From Food to Architecture to Manufacturing

The environment is finally on the agenda in Asia – from jewelry to architecture to food sourcing. I moved to Asia in 2007 – first to Bangkok, known for its pollution and traffic jams. People in Bangkok will drive their car 5 miles across town and it will take 1 hour – I think people ...


Kappabashi Dori – Kitchen Street – Tokyo, Japan

An endless array of kitchen stuffs for the commercial and home chef alike If you have even a passing interest in cooking as a home chef, you will want to make a special trip to Kappabashi Dori. You can buy everything here from plastic fake sushi for window displays to bulk ingredients and spices to glassware ...


The Chairman – A Must Try Cantonese Meal in Hong Kong

Chinese food. Of all the foods of the world I’ve tasted, I have to admit that Chinese was the one I’ve enjoyed least. I ate plenty of it growing up… but what we shovel onto plates at 5$ buffets in Abilene, TX is worlds away from anything authentic and should hardly be counted. In my ...


Ramen – From Tokyo and Beyond, This is No Ordinary Noodle Dish

From cheap US college student food to a serious culinary tradition in Japan Let it be known I never ate ramen in college. My drunken snack of choice when out was a fried chicken place called Time Out where we would get a bucket of bones – the leftovers remaining on the chicken bones after ...


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 ...


Exclusive and Fantastic Travel Deals at Jetsetter

When a friend told us about this fantastic discount website, we were hooked! I know not everyone is addicted to travel as we are. But I don’t know anyone who doesn’t get that little buzz from getting a deal, especially on travel. My friend Tracy (who’s also a travel fanatic) told me about the site ...


72 hours Prague – Shopping, Sightseeing, Eating & Drinking

An old friend gives me the insider scoop on Prague gems over a recent visit I was visiting an old friend of mine in Prague, Jason. Jason and his partner have been living in Prague now for 7 years and are clearly authorities on this charming and picturesque European city. Not only was I excited 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 ...


Breakfast Burritos from My Favorite Hometown Spot – La Popular in Abilene, Texas

Hey Yall, Thought I’d write about something a bit different for ya today. Was resting up this Sunday thinking about my upcoming Christmas visit to see my family in the Texas. I only have around a week, which for my town is actually perfect…. there’s not much going on But I do have some foods ...


Great Chart Visually Guides You Through the Various Styles of Beer

Wow, I want this poster. If I had a pub, drinking room, pool room, or any room at all that regularly featuring drinking I’d have this up. Not only is it a beautiful design, but I love the breakdowns and quick visually summaries of the different families and styles of beer. I love the various ...


Many in Singapore’s Favorite Burger – Bar Bar Black Sheep

A while back I did a prelude to a full fledged, Singapore-wide burger review long-promised but woefully still in the “research” stages (my excuse to continue eating tons and tons of burgers). I opened it up in comments and in questions to my friends, and was overwhelmed by the recommendations for the simple burgers at ...


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 ...


Raw Kitchen Bar – The Best Casual Fine Dining Restaurant in Singapore?

I’ve held off writing about this place for a while now. One reason is that I lost the notes from my first visit detailing the names of dishes The other reason is that as much as I think this place deserves customers, money and a slight bit of fame… I want it to stay ...


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 ...


Coast at 1 Twenty Six a Different East Coast Park Dining Experience

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to venture out for a meal in East Coast Park. Maybe it’s because an area with a “skate through” McDonalds (that’s right there’s actually a separate line for roller bladers here) just doesn’t seem like my kind of place. East Coast Park, however, does have a ...


Guide to Fantastic Boutique Shopping in the Soho / Central area of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is my favourite city for boutique fashion shopping in Asia Shopping in Asia is legendary and nowhere more so than in Hong Kong, where Asians and expats alike make pilgrimages to the wonderous twice annual sale periods to stock up on designer fashion. Hong Kong is packed to the gills with epic shopping ...


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 ...


SPACE, Prada Outlet!!!!!!!!!, Hong Kong

Don’t miss the Prada Outlet in the Aberdeen area of Hong Kong I’ll keep this short and sweet. There is a SPACE outlet by the Prada company…gasp…in Hong Kong. Just a 20-30 min taxi ride outside of the Central area in Aberdeen sits an assortment of Prada and Miu Miu ripe for the picking. As Prada ...


An All Day Lovely Breakfast – Wild Honey Singapore

I love breakfast and brunch. Some of my favorite foods of all times are breakfast dishes (or at least feature an egg somewhere). I’ve often dreamed of finishing culinary school and opening up a breakfast place… the only thing holding me back being a strong desire to sleep in and the raw talent required ...


Banyan Tree Spa at the Westin Hotel Shanghai

A luxurious spa experience in Shanghai It may seem that I do little else but spa when I am in Shanghai. This is not entirely true… but I tend to spend a great deal of time there for business, which can be stressful, so I like to make unwinding a regular part of my Shanghai routine. ...


The Great Berry Debate – Funny Things About Life in Asia

It’s always an adventure ordering food in Asia, even in 5-star hotels I am in Jakarta at the moment, staying at the posh Ritz Carlton hotel and I just couldn’t resist sharing with you an admittedly mundane but seriously amusing experience I had this morning when ordering room service. Room Service: Good morning, Ms. Hutchins, how may ...


A Video Lesson from Our Favorite Healthy Chef – Kai Mueller of Kamalaya

Hey all, It’s no secret that we love Kamalaya here – a wonderful combo of relaxing space, great doctors, and inventive food. We’ve previously featured our personal experiences cooking with Kai, but now thanks to the internet you can have a virtual class with Kai yourself. In the video (hopefully more will soon follow) Kai teaches ...


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 ...


Truly Local Dim Sum in Hong Kong – Super Star Seafood Dim Sum

If you want to go where the locals go for weekend dim sum, read on… (photos by Joanna) I have a special affinity for Hong Kong. Between the city’s relentless energy, vibrant nightlife, limitless shopping and local cultural scene, what’s not to love? But perhaps more than anything I love Cantonese food – in particular the weekend ...


Epicurean Gear – New West Knife Works

Knives are personal things for chefs. Not only do we (I’m just a few months into cooking school and saying we LOL) use them a lot (for me third only to the wooden spoon and little metal tasting spoon), but knives also kind of give us our personality in the kitchen. With so many things ...


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, ...


Indian European Fusion Cuisine at Krish, Singapore

South Asian meets European at this Rochester Park Hideaway We’d kept hearing about Krish, the newest dining experience in Rochester Park. There had been a lot of buzz about the South Asian / Indian fusion cuisine. We didn’t actually know anyone who had tried it yet but after the 3rd person asked for our opinion and ...


Cakes, Burgers, Eggs, and More – Brunch at Spruce Singapore

We really liked out dinner at Spruce. So we were excited to see they offer brunch… and not just your normal “let’s try and do a brunch to drum up sales/get rid of old product” brunch. The menu at Spruce looked to be a proper, well-thought out brunch. All the favorites, with a slight twist… ...


Charming Little Steak Frites Restaurant on Club Street – Les Bouchons Singapore

It’s safe to say there’s a bit of animosity in Texas towards the French. I have no idea why or how it started, but some folks, particularly Texas males, find the whole concept of France… too French. Thankfully I’ve left home and experienced the wonderful culinary traditions of France and no longer share in my ...


Authentic Italian Thin Crust Pizza & Pasta in Bangkok at Limoncello

My favourite thin-crust pizza in Bangkok The first week I was in Bangkok a friend took me to Limoncello. Having just moved from New York, I was impressed by the authenticity of the thin crust pizza being served. I hadn’t expected to find this in Bangkok and frankly at the time, I thought, well I guess ...


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 ...


Hakone Ryokan and Onsen Hot Springs, near Mt Fuji, Japan

An amazing retreat only 1.5 hours outside of Tokyo   Just West of Tokyo, lies Hakone – a picturesque Japanese town famous for its views of Mt Fuji, ryokans and onsen (natural Japanese volcanic hot springs). While one can go year round, undoubtedly the most popular time of year is summer. Hakone itself is very easy to get ...


Filipino Roast Pork and Chicken at Mang Kiko’s Lechon, Singapore

Tasty and cheap – Filipino Street Food in Singapore Our Filipino friends, Monica and Lyan, are often part of our dining and brunch crew here in Singapore. We also lived in Bangkok together, have eaten countless meals together in Spore, traveled to Vietnam and so suffice it to say, we have similar tastes in food and ...


Guide to Shopping in Hanoi – the Nha Tho Area in the Hoan Kiem Lake District

What to buy and where to buy it in Hanoi I travel a lot and I am tempted by so many stunning Asian goods and textiles. When in a country which has a famous good, e.g. Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tea, Chinese Silks, Thai teak, etc. it is a wonderful reminder of the trip to bring something ...


Thai Cooking Course in Bangkok – Bai Pai Cooking School

A wonderful little cooking course in a Thai-style outdoor kitchen Thai food has become one of my favourite international cuisines. And unlike French or Italian where there are many competent executions in various cities around the world, I find Thai food a bit lackluster when not in Thailand. Don’t get me wrong, some places outside of ...


If You Haven’t Yet, Go for Drinks at the Tippling Club at Dempsey Hill, Singapore

I’m not yet ready to add my voice to the heated online debate being waged over Tippling Club here in Singapore. I’ll do a full-on food review soon, but for now I’d like to focus on the drinks… because one, I don’t think we have enough drink coverage on the site and I’d like to ...


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 Weekend Trip from Singapore – Banyan Tree Bintan, Indonesia

A luxe weekend getaway just a couple of hours from Singapore (pictures from Banyan Tree Website) Singapore is a convenient hub – parts of Indonesia and Malaysia are next door neighbors and as such provide great options for short weekend trips vs. the slighty longer destinations of Thailand, Bali and Hong Kong (2 – 4 hour flights). ...


Best Burger in Singapore – 3 Mouth-Watering Options

Hey all, As I get closer to writing up my full Singapore burger round up, I thought I’d do a quick post with some of my favorites to date. I’m still welcoming suggestions for out of the way / smaller / not in the city center burger locations to have the full guide be as comprehensive ...


Why I Love Asia, But Still Miss the West Sometimes

My exotic Asian life vs. Life in the West I have been living now in SE Asia for 3+ years. First I spent roughly 2 years in Bangkok and have now been in Singapore for 1 ½ years. In this time, I explored a part of the world I never imagined I would know, much less ...


Accidental Funnies – Signs

Hey all, As some of you may be aware, we’ve started putting up some of the funny things we see when traveling out and about in Asia. I was recently looking through my iPhone pictures and realized I had a lot of funny pictures from signs and thought I’d throw a few of them up for ...


Learn from the Chef – Bastian Mantey, Executive Chef of Alila Villas Hadahaa

It’s easy to envy Chef Bastian Mantey. He gets to live, play, and practice his passion in one of the most beautiful parts of the world – as head chef at the Alila Villas Hadahaa, Maldives. How many people get to work in a on a luxurious tropical island that attracts visitors from all over ...


Trekking from Kathmandu to Nagarkot and Club Himalaya, Nepal

A 2 day trekking trip from Kathmandu to Nagarkot We were only in Nepal for a short time and so didn’t have option to do a typical 2-3 week trekking excursion. But we also didn’t want to miss out on getting a taste of the quintessential Nepal trekking experience and so we managed to find a ...


50 Best Restaurants in the World 2010 Announced – Good News for Singapore

Hey all, The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2010 results are in and it’s good news for Singapore. My personal favorite, Iggy’s, climbs up 17 spots to number 28! The meal I had there was truly something special (so much so I’m now attending Iggy’s alma mater, SHATEC)… and while it’s not for everyone, I don’t think ...


Traveling to Kathmandu, Nepal

Urban chaos and pollution juxtaposed with some of the world’s most famous sights Photos by Joanna Wedged in the Himalayas in a valley, even landing in Kathmandu feels perilous as the plane is batted about by wind gusts and spirals onto the tarmac. And then, nothing really prepares you for what you will experience when you leave ...


Paradise in the Maldives, Alila Villas Hadahaa

I have spent a lot of my life and a great many holidays at the beach. In the US I travelled to Hawaii, North Carolina, Florida, Martha’s Vineyard and California to see the most beautiful beaches in America. I have been to the white washed beaches of the Caribbean on several occasions. I spent every ...


Stay at the Hotel Shangrila, Lazimpat, Kathmandu, Nepal

A charming hotel in the Lazimpat area of Kathmandu (photos from Hotel Shangrila Website) Kathmandu is a backpacker town mostly…a staging ground where people land and spend a few days before heading off on their treks. It’s this context which explains a distinct lack of “proper” hotels in the city. This is why when I visited Kathmandu ...


Learn from the Chef – Hong Kong Chef Liu Ching Hai

Any chef that can have me actually dreaming of eating crocodile again is a chef of note in my book. Hong Kong Chef Liu Ching Hai of Summer Palace in the Regent Hotel is that chef. You might remember our recent review of Summer Palace. We were treated to a special Sunday lunch of traditional ...


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 ...


Spruce – A Model for Smart Casual Dining in Singapore

Many Singapore food folks in the know were already aware of chef Travis from his days at Wine Garage. The burger he served up at that trendy Clark Quay location was many people’s favorite in Singapore. Unfortunately we moved to Singapore after that time. So we only know Chef / Owener Travis’ food from Spruce. ...


Sample and Buy Tea and Spices at Sagarmatha Tea House, Kathmandu, Nepal

Friendly and knowledgeable family-run tea, spice and honey purveyors I have gotten into tea since moving to Asia. No longer a die hard coffee drinker, I enjoy herbal teas, black teas…hot or iced. Something about it feels lighter to me in this climate. And when I travel, I am fascinated by the various tea cultures ...


A Michelin Starred Teppanyaki Experience – Sazanka in the Roppongi Area of Tokyo, Japan

With Japanese cuisine, most people hear of sushi first. It’s shocking and stands out. I remember as a kid thinking, “raw fish, yuck” (who’d of thought I’d grow up and eat raw horse heart?). But the first “Japanese” meal most people will actually eat will be teppanyaki. Every tiny town in America has one of ...


Are You Wasting Money on Vitamins and Dietary Supplements?

Do you take vitamins or dietary supplements? Sure they’re working? Information is Beautiful has a wonderful chart that shows graphically the effectiveness of various dietary supplements. The chart shows me two major things: first, there’s way too much money spent on ineffective supplements and second, our diets are way out of whack if we’re needing ...


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 ...


Best Cantonese Food in Singapore? Summer Palace, Regent Hotel

An outstanding Cantonese meal with impeccable service I have a great fondness for Chinese cuisine. And at the top of my list are both Sichuan and Cantonese. Living in Chinatown in Singapore one might expect the best Chinese dining to be here…and while this is not entirely incorrect, we were recently blown away by a lunch ...


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 ...


Be Sure to Check Out Singapore’s Restaurant Week

Hey all, A favorite time of year for NYC food lovers is Restaurant Week, a yearly chance to sample some of NYC’s finest at lower than average prices. It was only a matter of time before Singapore, being as food focused as it is, did a restaurant week of it’s own. If you haven’t already booked, ...


Bootcamp Workouts in Asia – Our weekend at Asia’s Biggest Bootcamp

We got on a plane and flew to get our ass kicked military style. Was it worth it? You bet! I used to do a bootcamp workout when I lived in Bangkok through Fit Corp Asia. A friend at work told me about it…in retrospect I am not even sure why I was interested….she told me ...


Highlights from Accidental Epicurean

Hey all, We’re noticing a lot of new visitors to the site thanks to our nomination for Best Culinary Travel Blog from Saveur magazine. I thought I’d do a quick post to say hey, give you a short run down of what we’re about, and a sampling of some of our articles. So if you’re visiting ...


Honored to be Nominated for Best Culinary Travel Blog in Saveur’s 1st Annual Best Food Blog Awards

Hey all, I woke up Tuesday morning and began my normal routine… Facebook, email, check the site’s traffic for the previous day. Thought to myself it was odd there was so much traffic coming from Saveur magazine. I wondered if they linked to an article of ours? Clicked through and was shocked to see us nominated ...


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 ...


Laid Back Outdoor Dining at Dempsey Hill – Contemporary Melting Pot and Bar, Singapore

It’s safe to say I’m not the biggest fan of Dempsey Hill. On my better meals at the former army barracks location I’ve simply been underwhelmed… on others I’ve felt outright ripped off. What was once an unique escape in Singapore has become a “destination”… meaning the now crazy high rent prices result in overpriced ...


Great Cheap Thai Dining Near Pantip Plaza – Mama’s, Bangkok

If you ever find yourself shopping for bootlegs computer accessories at Pantip Plaza in Bangkok, do yourself a favor and skip out on the foreigner friendly fast food chains and S&P (I’m not knocking S&P) found on the ground level. Instead walk across the street to Soi Som Prason 4. A short walk up the ...


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 ...


Mussels, Belgian Beers and All You Can Eat “Frites” on the Quay – Brussels Sprouts Singapore

I’d walked past Brussels Sprouts many times on my way to Epicurious or other places on the Quay in Singapore. I thought it was possibly a vegetarian restaurant. It always seemed busy, a good sign in Singapore, but for some reason I never visited. Thankfully some friends of ours invited us to join them for ...


Enjoying Life on the Streets of Vietnam – Fresh Bia Hoi and Smoking with Locals

Ah Bia Hoi. No trip to Northern Vietnam is complete without at least a couple glasses of the stuff. Forget Saigon, 333, or any of the other local beers. Look instead for a small, street-side shop selling locally brewed versions of this light drink. Bia Hoi means simply “fresh beer”. It’s unpasteurized beer made daily in ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Locavore

I first heard this term sometime last year when visiting New York. Come to find out the term had been in use for quite some time in the Western world, but had not yet migrated to Asia. But the idea of locavore fascinated me – basically it is someone who eats locally within a certain ...


On the Hunt for Best Burger in Singapore – Relish by Wild Rocket

It would be an understatement to say that I was excited to try Relish. I’ve been on an epic odyssey a search for my favorite burger in Singapore since arriving. Here was a whole restaurant devoted solely to the glorious hamburger in all its incarnations… not only that, but the burgers are individually paired with Belgian ...


Thin Crust Pizza in Singapore – Da Paolo Pizza, Chip Bee Gardens

How does Da Paolo Pizza measure up to this NYers discerning palate for pizza? As it turns out pizza is all over Asia. Asians and Westerners alike love the food and so no matter where you go, it is not hard to find. In Singapore there are many options, one of the more popular being ...


The Alternative Medicine of Ayurveda

An Indian medical tradition dating back to the 1st century B.C. As part of the Health & Wellness 2010 Series Ayurveda always seemed to me to be to be a bit like horoscopes – you have your doshas (type of person). And your dosha describes your body type, temperament, personality, sleeping habits, what you should eat, etc….and ...


Romantic 3-Course Italian Meal for Valentines Day

“Fa cosi caldo qui o e la tua presenza?” For those of you who don’t know, I’ll be entering a full-time culinary diploma program starting in April. I’m using my remaining months to continue to eat at great restaurants, travel, and take all the short-term cooking courses I can find. One of the more exciting courses ...


The Church Hotel, Hanoi Vietnam

A good value hotel located in the heart of Hanoi’s Lake District Everyone agrees the Sofitel Metropole Hotel in Hanoi is the nicest, most luxe hotel in the city. But it is also $200-300 USD a night. So it is a bit of a splurge in a city where one can stay elsewhere for $30 ...


Great Vietnamese Food in Hanoi, Quan Com Pho Restaurant

Something for everyone at this well-priced Vietnamese restaurant We are always tempted to eat a lot of French food in Vietnam – all the amazing baguettes and well-priced wines and cheeses. These are not easy to find in other places in SE Asia and when you live abroad for a while it is hard to say ...


Benefits of Yoga as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Yoga is more than just meditation and twisting your self into a pretzel As part of the Health & Wellness 2010 Series (above pictures courtesy of Lyan’lex Bernales – Giveitashot) I got into yoga about 12 years ago in New York. I’ll admit it, I did it because it was trendy…celebs were raving about it and it ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – The Degustation or Tasting Menu

Hey all, These days you can’t enter an aspiring to be or established fine dining restaurant and not run across either a degustation or tasting menu. What are these menus? Why are they popping up all over the place? Should you care? Should you order one? Answers as always after the jump. What are they? Degustation and Tasting ...


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) ...


Learn from the Chef – Healthy Spa Cuisine from Kai Mueller, Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand

Healthy Spa Recipes from our favourite holistic spa As part of our Health & Wellness 2010 Series From the age of 5, Kai had a passion for cooking. He started early with his first job in the kitchen at an Austrian ski resort at the age of 16 and from there moved on to London where he ...


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 ...


6 Course French Tasting Menu at Amantee, Bangkok, Thailand

A very special New Year’s Eve at Amantee We decided to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Thailand this year. It was time to totally chill out and honestly I have yet to find a better place than Thailand for complete relaxation. But we still wanted to do something special for New Year’s Eve in Bangkok ...


Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

An ancient medical practice focused on health and prevention As part of our Health & Wellness 2010 Series “And while TCM can treat illness, say a common cold, it is more about going to the underlying issue, the weakened immune system that allowed you to get the cold.” I experienced insomnia for over a year when I was ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Sushi Etiquette

Hey all, I am a HUGE sushi fan. I’ve made my pilgrimage to the sushi mecca (Tsukiji fish market) and returned a changed man. I’m deeper in love with sushi… to the detriment of my ability to enjoy budget buffet grade sushi. But I recently found out I’ve been eating it all wrong. That’s right, I’ll ...


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 ...


10 Great Kitchen Hacks Courtesy of Lifehacker

Hey all, Thought I’d pass along another link courtesy of life-optimizing site Lifehacker. I don’t know if these are the top-10 Kitchen Hacks of all time, but there are certainly some interesting hacks in the mix. I’m particularly interested in the waffle iron hacks, cast iron skillet pizza, and would actually like to try and froth ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Pimentón (Spanish Paprika)

The Epicurean Concept of the Week is back from holiday vacation This week I was reading a Mark Bittman recipe for tri-tip steak. It called for an ingredient in the sauce I’d never heard of – pimentón. I wondered at first if it was an interesting spelling of pimento or something else entirely. It’s ...


Asian Holistic Therapies at Kamalaya Wellness Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand

An endless array of holistic therapies at this tranquil island spa I generally have a rule of not visiting the same place twice. I prefer to expand my horizons and challenge myself to see and do new things. However, I recently returned to Kamalaya in Koh Samui. Our more dedicated readers may remember I went ...


Thai Spa and Massage in Bangkok, Sivara Spa at Amari Hotel

A modern oasis of calm on bustling Petchaburi Road I have said it before, but will say it again….I believe spa treatments are not a luxury, but rather an integral part of taking care of oneself. Not only do they promote relaxation, but depending on the treatment one has it can stimulate circulation, release knotted muscles, ...


The Best Ice Cream in Singapore?, The Daily Scoop

Hand churned, artisanal ice cream with traditional and creative gourmet flavors OK, so I know we have been talking a lot about health and wellness and taking better care of oneself in the New Year. But this doesn’t mean you have to go without treats and indulgences. How much fun would that be? And if you ...


Health & Wellness 2010, A Series to Inspire and Enlighten on Small Ways to Bring Balance Into Our Lives

A series about small changes we can make daily to keep ourselves healthy and happy What is it about the New Year that makes us all crave change and personal betterment? I for one have quite a lot to “correct”….working 12 -14 hours a day, extensive international travel, living out of hotels and dining out for ...


Learn from the Chef – Arijit Ghosh Executive Chef Cafe 11, Bangkok

Signature dish “Surf & Turf Indiana” recipe after the jump. When working for Lookeast Magazine I had the chance to sit and talk with many Bangkok chefs. One of these was Arijit Ghosh, then new Executive Chef at Café 11. He’s a soft-spoken, gentle chef in an age of increasingly more exaggerated “personality chefs”.  Arijit ...


The Shop Café & Bakery, Phnom Phen, Cambodia

When we are in Phnom Phen, one of our favorite places to pop in for lunch is The Shop Café and Bakery. The Shop is a delightfully cozy café on one of Cambodia’s leafy little shopping streets. Its combination modern yet rustic décor makes it the prefect place to retreat from the hustle and bustle ...


Trader Vic’s Sunday Brunch Spread – Bangkok, Thailand

Like HCMC today, the Bangkok foreigner scene of old thrived close to the river. These days, however, I never really think to set foot down there. It’s the kind of place you visit once, the first time you come to the city… King’s Palace, check. Emerald & Reclining Buddha, check. Either the Oriental or Shangrila ...


Rainforest Hiking in Singapore at MacRitchie Reservoir Park & Tree Top Walk

A leisurely trail hike in the rainforest of Singapore   If you are looking for a day out in nature in Singapore, MacRitchie might be just the ticket. Slightly outside of the city center lies this nature reserve that will help any city dweller retreat the chaos of Orchard Road for an escape into nature. Paul and I ...


Thai Style Grilled Chicken and Som Tam – Hai Somtam Convent, Bangkok

Anyone who’s ever talked to me about dining in Bangkok knows my passion for spreading the word of Soi Polo Chicken. You’d think that’s the only chicken I ever eat in Bangkok. As much as I’d love their beautiful fried garlic encrusted chicken every day of the week… well, that’s not incredibly healthy. Thai’s do ...


Pub Breakfast in Bangkok, The Robinhood Pub on Sukhumvit Road

An unlikely place for breakfast on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road I first discovered The Robinhood Pub when I lived across the street at Emporium Suites. For me it was a go to place for a beer with friends or to watch a game. It’s just your typical unpretentious, down-to-earth English pub. The crowd is varied….expats and Thais ...


Bobby Chinn Fusion Vietnamese Cuisine in Hanoi, Vietnam

Visiting the celebrity chef’s signature restaurant in Hanoi Bobby Chinn is one of the most celebrated chef’s in Asia. If you watch the Travel & Living channel, there is no doubt you have seen his show Bobby Chinn Cooks Asia. Beyond that, he is regularly featured in newspaper and magazine articles, recent Sony handycam commercials and ...


Cruising Halong Bay, Vietnam on a Chinese Junk

  2 days and one night aboard a luxurious boat on Indochina Sails on Halong Bay One of the must do’s if you are visiting Hanoi is a side trip to Halong Bay. I personally have done it twice – once on a bit of a budget and most recently in style on Indochina Sails. Indochina Sails ...


Iggy’s Singapore – Best Restaurant in Singapore?

Iggy’s. 45th Restaurant in the world according to the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2009 (the same list with El Bulli, Fat Duck, Tesuya’s, La Bernardin, and other greats). There are only 3 restaurants from Asia covered in the top 50 and this is one of them. It was 2nd in the Miele Guide ...


High Tea at the Regent Hotel Singapore

The notion most people have of high teas is that they’re precious events… tables covered in doilies & groups of woman gathered round gossiping through the afternoon. Well I’m a tattooed, boot wearing, Texas-born male ( )and I’ll come out and say it – I love high teas! Well maybe there are some doilies… but ...


Champagne and Sparkling Wine Tasting in Singapore

Bubbly wine tasting debunks the ‘has to be expensive’ and ‘has to be French’ myth We were invited to a blind bubbly wine tasting by our friends at The Local Nose.  The idea of the event was to taste both champagnes and sparkling wines of all price points and from various regions to see if one ...


Rooftop Italian in Bangkok, Vicolo 4 in Silom Soi 4

Homestyle, satisfying Italian served alfresco on a cozy Silom rooftop terrace Vicolo 4 opened in 2008…however, unless you know Silom Soi 4 well, it’s not really the kind of place one stumbles upon. It’s tucked away on the second floor over top of a bar with very little signage. But it is so consistent in its ...


A Sunday Brunch on the Water at Prive Bakery & Café, Singapore

A chill seaside locale for brunch in Singapore It was a typical Singapore afternoon….hot, sunny and humid. What better to do than chill by the water over a leisurely brunch with friends? So off we set to Keppel Bay Marina to meet a group of friends at Prive Bakery & Café.  Iced cappuccinos, sunshine, muffins, friendly ...


Our Best French Dinner in Singapore, Gunther’s

Stunning presentation, impeccable service and inventive, modern French cuisine It was Paul’s birthday, so it had to be special…something out of the ordinary and truly impressive. After much consideration I selected Gunther’s, #7 on the Miele Guide’s list for top restaurants in Asia. I think what got me, besides its reputation as one of the best ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – B is for Bread D is for Drinks

Hey All, For this Epicurean Concept we bring you a dining etiquette tip from Joanna’s days at finishing school. No I’m not playing an epic, online version of The Circle Game. This is a visual clue like making a L with your left hand (if you can’t separate your right and left hands… which shouldn’t still ...


Banh My – Vietnamese Doner Kebab Sandwich on the Streets of Hanoi

Bahn My: the darling sandwich & craze of the US foodie movement. If you read food sites such as Serious Eats you’d think there was no food more synonymous with Vietnamese cuisine than Bhan My… more so even than the beloved Pho. Is this hipster sandwich as prevalent in Vietnam as it is stateside? No. ...


Bacon Sunrise is Stunning Food Art

Wow, just wow. That’s all I can say about the new campaign for Oscar Meyer branded bacon. I’m not completely sure about the bacon itself as I’d prefer a locally butchered bacon if I were in the states and had my choice… but this well executed ad campaign makes me reconsider mass market bacon. I love ...


Tokyo Becomes Top Michelin Starred Culinary Capital (For Now)

That sudden gust of air you felt around November 17th was the result of the entire nation of France collectively gasping for air. On that day the press broke the news that Tokyo had topped Paris in the number of the coveted 3-star restaurants. Should we care? Will this have bigger results? Granted Tokyo just barely ...


Comfort Thai Food at P Kitchen Sukhumvit Soi 18 Bangkok

Everyone who lives in Bangkok has a stable of restaurants from which they choose their meals throughout the day. First there’s the fruit stand where one will grab some fresh pineapple or mamuang on the way to the office. Then there’s the street stall near the office where you grab a quick and cheap lunch. ...


Traditional Thai Food at Thanying, Bangkok, Thailand

Royal Thai Cuisine from the recipes of the Sukhothai Palace kitchen Paul had been telling me about this place for ages…the former soap opera star owner and the recipes from the Sukhothai Palace. He raved about the pure and traditional preparation and presentation of Thai food, the gracious service and the elegant host. I really wanted ...


Turkish Food at Alaturka, Singapore

Turkish meze and pide near Arab Street For me Turkish food is comfort food. I spent a good 10+ years learning about Turkish food, traveling to Turkey and being trained by a good number of Turkish home cooks on recipes that were passed down for generations. So, the urge struck on Friday night and Paul, Allexia ...


Rambutan Chutney Recipe from Sri Lanka

While the flavors of Sri Lanka may not yet be as widely known as those from Thailand, Sri Lankan cuisine has a lot to offer the world. Take this Rambutan Chutney Recipe from The Sun House. This recipe takes a fresh, regional ingredient and adapts it to make a wonderful condiment for any meal. For ...


Miele Guide – Asia’s Top 20 Restaurants Announced for 2010

Hey all, I know foodies in NYC would shudder at the thought of trusting a food guide. They like to feel they’ve discovered places on their own and not heard about them from a “trusted source”. In Asia, it’s a bit trickier to locate and find good restaurants… there’s language barriers, clueless taxi drivers, and other ...


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 ...


Best International Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at Kuppa, Bangkok, Thailand

Consistent high quality at this laid-back, Aussie-style Bangkok institution keeps everyone coming back When I lived in Bangkok, I lived on Sukhumvit Soi 16. I moved into a new construction apartment building and so had to wait for the finishing touches to be completed. During my time in temporary housing, when I would tell people that ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week (Texas Edition) – Sweet Tea

Howdy Yall, To commemorate my travels around Texas and the states I’ll be doing a short series of “Texan Epicurean Concepts” over the next few weeks. These concepts will hopefully help you more fully enjoy your next trip to Texas. First up is a childhood favorite of mine – Sweet Tea. Growing up in Abilene, TX, sweet ...


The Chow 13 – Movers and Shakers in the Food Community

Hey all, Found this article from Chow.com the other day and was impressed by the sheer originality in some of what’s going on. The list does seem to be pretty USA centric however with the editors struggling to balance the east and west coast. It’d be nice to see not only more middle states represented in ...


Best Budget Hotel (Granbell Shibuya) and Best High-end Hotel (Grand Hyatt Roppongi) in Tokyo

Our favorite hotels when we are traveling in Tokyo Tokyo can be expensive. And so it depends on how you want to do it…5 star hotel experiences are definitely available. We like the Grand Hyatt Roppongi for a truly luxe hotel experience. But we also discovered you don’t have to spend a fortune on hotels (save ...


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 ...


Classic Thai Dining at Erawan Tea Room, Grand Hyatt, Bangkok, Thailand

Thai food favourites in a lovely and classic Thai setting overlooking the Erawan shrine I discovered the Erawan Tea Room when a Thai friend suggested it. I had been in Thailand about 3 months and was still feeling my way around, everything was new to me. And over the months some places fell away as I ...


It’s Happened to be a Closet – Unique Dining and Shopping in Emporium, Bangkok

Transplanted from the younger, more modern, and hipper Siam Square, It’s Happened to be a Closet brings its kitschy style and cozy cafe environment to the luxury malls of Bangkok. Can something so artsy, design oriented, and in your face work in a mall littered with high-end shops like Prada, Hermes, Gucci, etc? I’d say yes. When ...


Tacos and Salsa – Sukhumvit Road’s Newest Mexican Restaurant

Tacos and Salsa joins Sunrise Tacos and Coyote Sukhumvit on foreigner friendly Sukhumvit road. I’ve only visited once, but already I’m thinking this could be the best (authentic) Mexican food in Bangkok. The restaurant isn’t much to look at. In fact, if you don’t know where to look it’s possible to drive or walk right past ...


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 ...


Obika Mozzarella Bar, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo

Glorious cheese is the star in this Tokyo restaurant As much as I absolutely adore Japanese food, we took a break from our much loved Yakitori and Katsudon to try an interesting concept in casual dining. A restaurant entirely based around creamy, fresh mozzarella flown in daily from the Paestum and the Agro Pontino areas of ...


Fall is the Season for Giant Pumpkins

I will never forget where I was when I heard the story of the third biggest pumpkin in North Carolina Great video for the fall holiday season. Paul Like this:Like Loading...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Apéritif and Digestif

Know the difference between apéritif and digestif? Know which one comes at what point in a meal? Ok, the picture above probably gives away the answer to the second question. Why do we have these drinks? Do they really work? An apéritif is served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Popular apéritifs include, my personal ...


Thai Recipe – Grilled or Baked Fish in Banana Leaf (Plaa Phaow Bai Tong)

This will be the last of my recipes from the Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok, Thailand. This recipe blew me away, and completing this dish gave me new confidence in the kitchen. It seems difficult due to the number of steps and for some reason fish has always seemed harder to me… but the ...


Le Bistrot, French Bistro in Singapore

Creative reinterpretations of French classics alongside the standards There was a lazy weekend stretched ahead of us….for the first time in 9 months, we didn’t have one single appointment on the weekend. This had been planned intentionally. The good thing about running this blog is the wide variety of adventures and experiences we have. The bad ...


No Signboard Seafood, Singapore Chili Crab at Vivocity

The hunt for the best chilli crab in Singapore As you probably already know, one of Singapore’s famous dishes is chilli crab – a dish where Sri Lankan crabs are stir fried with a tomato and chilli based gravy. This is a dish found everywhere from hawker centers to some of the more “famous” places with ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Truffles

Truffles: the elusive, holy grail ingredient known worldwide. If you dine anywhere even pretending to be high end, you’re guaranteed to see it listed somewhere on the menu. So what’s the big deal with them? Are they so special? Do they make everything (macaroons) better? Info after the jump. The wikipedia link above can give you ...


Thai Recipe – Spicy, Sweet and Sour Stir-Fried Prawns (Koong Saam Rod)

Here’s another recipe from the Blue Elephant Cooking School. This is not a dish I was intimately familiar with by name. However, the flavors are instantly recognizable. This dish would be perfect accompanied by an ice-cold beer while sitting out on the beach at sunset . The dish is very simple to prepare and, ...


Bangkok Street Food – Bubble Tea (Pearl Tea)

People are never on the fence about Bubble Tea. They either love it or hate it. Usually those that have a distaste for mixing textures don’t appreciate the gummy tapioca balls surprising them during a sip of Thai tea. For those of us that love bubble tea, there’s no greater sight than seeing your ...


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 ...


Best Burger in Singapore? – Sunshine Cafe

I’ve eaten a lot of burgers in my short time in Singapore. I’ve eaten 100% wagyu burgers (not worth it) in trendy Dempsey Hill restaurants, gourmet cheese topped burgers in fancy 5-star hotels, sliders at wine events, and just about everything in between. Now I can add monstrously large, giant mushroom topped burger from a ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Burrata Cheese

This week’s Epicurean Concept of the week was inspired by our recent trip to the Regent Hotel Brunch in Singapore and by fond memories of a dining experience in Bangkok at Spasso’s. Both meals featured a delight for turophiles – Burrata Cheese. Burrata Cheese is a luxurious version of the more widely known mozzarella cheese. Burrata ...


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 ...


Champagne Brunch Italian-Style at Basilico’s, The Regent Hotel, Singapore

Homemade pastas, a whole room of cheese, chocolate martinis and more, oh my! I must admit I love a champagne brunch. And this one has to be among the best in Singapore. My favorite had been the St Regis Hotel Champagne brunch… and until recently nothing else had really come close. But I think now Basilico’s ...


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 ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Wine Legs

Ever been at a wine tasting, dinner party, or other event featuring wine and some know-it-all (probably with a beard and wearing a sweater) swirls his glass vigorously and then tilts the glass sideways to observe the streaking wine (wine legs)? Don’t feel bad if you believed the explanation that followed explaining that this was ...


48 Hours in Kyoto – A Guide of the Sights, Shopping and Dining

Highlights of what to see and do in the wonderfully traditional city of Kyoto Many folks love Kyoto and consider it the highlight of any trip to Japan. With 17 Unesco World Heritage sites, 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines, Kyoto is rife with ancient culture and Japanese history. And beyond historical sites lies ...


9 Course Japanese Food Tasting Menu in Kyoto – Grotto Restaurant, Kyoto, Japan

A culinary tour of Japan in 9-courses While in Japan, we tried to cover as many foods as possible. My favourite meal may have been Katsudon but in our effort to experience as many food types as possible during our trip, I stretched myself beyond pork perfection Which is why when we were in Kyoto ...


Sunday Brunch on Sentosa Island Singapore – Braise

It was only a matter of time before our Sunday brunch group broke from the main island and ventured over to the Disneyland-like island of Sentosa. I was apprehensive at first. The island is almost too planned and organized, meaning there’s little to be found or discovered. Plus with the cost of rent on the ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Lamb or Mutton

This weeks Epicurean Concept is relatively simple, but one that we were curious about and so thought maybe others were as well. Often at restaurants I’ll see lamb dishes on the menu, but other times mutton dishes. I wondered if there was really a difference or if it was a restaurant’s way of dressing up ...


Almost No Knead Bread Recipe Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated

I first heard of “no knead bread” thanks to the famous NY Times post and bookmarked it for a later attempt. I forgot about it until I saw the Cook’s Illustrated Video (via their free podcast). The video seemed so simple and I knew I could trust these guys to deliver a solid, tasty recipe. ...


A Destination Boutique & Café – The Gallery Café, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Shopping and eating – two of my favourite things! The Gallery Café is an oasis in the busy city of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Situated within the former office of Sri Lanka’s renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa, the Gallery Café is part restaurant, part boutique, part art gallery, part gift shop. For shopping, there is an endless selection ...


Elegant Sri Lankan Style Villas – Kahanda Kanda, Sri Lanka

A gem of a boutique hotel overlooking Lake Koggala A few miles from Galle City Center lies a truly special retreat, Kahanda Kanda. Amid a lush tea plantation, Kahanda Kanda sits on 9.9 acres of tropical tranquility. 5 villas are elegantly and tastefully decorates in that distinctive style of Sri Lanka. Yet somehow George Cooper, the ...


Seaside Seafood Lunch – Wijaya Beach Cottages, Sri Lanka

Chill beachside over heaping plates of seafood, curries and cold beer In between tea plantations and the Galle fort, we needed a spot of lunch. Having heard the Wijaya Beach Cottage was recommended…and on the way to Handunugoda Tea Estate, this seemed like a perfect spot to chill seaside and grab a bite to eat. As promised, ...


Visit a Tea Plantation, Handunugoda Tea Estate, Ahangama, Sri Lanka

A 140-year old white tea plantation, spice and rubber tree farm If you visit Sri Lanka, you will certainly be tempted to visit a tea plantation. And there is probably none more famous than Handunugoda – the legendary tea plantation that used to produce the famous “virgin” white tea for the Chinese Emperor Tsong. Only virgins ...


Latin Wine Night a Wonderful Fiesta Thanks to Guests, El Toro and PengWines

Thanks to everyone who came for making our second Accidental Epicurean Event a great evening. Also a big thank you to our sponsors for the evening. Suresh and the staff of El Toro Restrobar provided a cool, calm, and casual venue for us…just the right Latin vibe we needed for the night. Chris from PengWines ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Offal

This week’s Epicurean Concept is the current “in thing” for hipsters shopping at overpriced delis and cutting edge restaurants… and oddly enough comfort food for the poor and downtrodden – Offal. Definition from the folks at Merriam-Webster: of·fal Pronunciation: ?o?-f?l, ?ä- Function: noun Etymology: Middle English, from of off + fall Date: 14th century 1 : the waste or by-product of a ...


Sri Lankan Curry Recipes Courtesy of the Sun House Kitchen

Hey all, We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Sun House in Galle, Sri Lanka. One highlight of the stay had to be the Sunday Curry Night. Our hosts were gracious enough to not only show us the kitchen during their preparations but also to share a few recipes to pass along to our readers. Fish Curry 4 ...


72 hours in Galle, Sri Lanka – A Guide for What to See and Do

From charming colonial hotels to lovely gift shops Please don’t stay in Colombo if you go to Sri Lanka. Even 3 days is enough to explore historic Galle and the surrounding areas. Here’s our cheat sheet for how to spend 3 days in and around Galle. On the way… We flew in very late at night…due to the ...


The Sun House Hotel, Galle, Sri Lanka

A charming retreat in colonial, seaside Galle We are starting to stretch ourselves a bit. Having already seen a great deal of Asia, we looked at the map to see what would be within a 3-4 hour flight from Singapore. Frankly there is no shortage of options, but we wanted a new adventure…which country had we ...


Innovative Italian Cuisine at Giusto Bangkok

For Italian food in Bangkok, most Bangkok expats have a few options top of mind – L’Opera, Zanotti, Spasso, etc. For some reason Giusto is not necessarily first recalled as an option for most… a shame as this modern Italian restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 23 is not only a good value, but some of the ...


Little Gordon Ramsay Spoofs Big Gordon Ramsay

Hey all, As a watcher of multiple seasons of Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares I found the following clips for Caterer.com incredibly funny. The kid has the hair, the mannerisms, and most importantly the mouth. Two more videos after the jump. Like this:Like Loading...


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 ...


Check out Gizmodo’s Taste Test Week

If you are already a Gizomodo reader you’ve already seen the posts, but I thought their Taste Test Week was worth promoting to our readers. All week they linked to food related stories such as iPhone specific food applications, cooking demonstrations and tips, food gadgets and more. I particularly like the link to partner site ...


Sunday Brunch at Graze Singapore

Our normal breakfast group was a bit thin this week… which was unfortunate for those who couldn’t make it because it was a highly enjoyable meal / experience. Sunday brunch at Graze is something we’ll be returning to enjoy soon. Graze is located way out (for us) in the Rochester Park area of Singapore. The drive ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Amuse-Bouche

We here at Accidental Epicurean are looking at ways of expanding the reach of our site beyond Southeast Asia. As part of that mission we’re going to start doing a weekly series of “epicurean concepts”…these could be words that you’ll find on a fine dining menu, boutique ingredients, dining etiquette, etc. (if there’s something specific ...


Gonpachi in Roppongi, Tokyo (The Kill Bill Restaurant)

Dun Dan Dun! This post should really start with the iconic “Kill Bill Theme” theme song from the movie and play throughout. If you’d like to load it up to play in the background get it here : ) We had just finished watching the Tokyo Giants win the game with a homer in the 9th. The hot dog ...


Dim Sum Brunch in Singapore – Yan Ting at the St Regis

Dim Sum is like Thai food for me… I love it, can’t get enough of it, and find I enjoy it most when it’s served up cheap in some back-alley hole in the wall. I’ve tried Dim Sum in fancier settings, but it always seems to lack the flavor of the more rustic shops. I ...


Thai Recipe – Yellow Chicken Curry Recipe

I just got the OK from Blue Elephant Cooking School to share some recipes with you. This first recipe was a bit of a surprise for me and also my favorite. Before moving to Thailand I had tried numerous incarnations of Penang, Red Curry, and Green Curry in Thai restaurants around the US. Those living ...


Best French Restaurant in Singapore? Club Street’s L’Angelus

(This review has two parts as we’ve dined here twice, the first time unfortunately was just with friends and I didn’t have my camera with me. The second visit covers the weekday dinner set menu) The neon Heineken sign visible from the street coupled with twin oversized yellow umbrellas belied the charming interior and delectable French ...


Tokyo Travel – Why I Love this Crazy City of Tokyo

And left Japan kicking and screaming… The first time I traveled to Hong Kong, I fell in love. I had an inexplicable affinity for the place, and on subsequent trips, discovered many new parts that ultimately led to Hong Kong’s classification as my favorite city in Asia. Now I think Tokyo has equally captivated me, if ...


People Watching on a Typical Sunday at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park

  A Sunday stroll through Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park is unlike a visit to any park anywhere else in the world. Sure you can find couples enjoying the day quietly on blankets, dad’s playing catch with their children, people whipping about frisbees as in many other parks… but there’s so much more on show at Yoyogi Park. I’d ...


Wine Tasting Night a Great Success Thanks to Epicurious, Underground Wines, and Divine MedSpa

Our first event as “Accidental Epicurean Events” went off wonderfully last night. Another big thank you goes out to our event sponsors – Epicurious, Underground Wines, and Divine MedSpa. Helena from Epicurious, Sianne from UW, and Christine from Divine MedSpa were so relaxed, calm, and generally cool and that vibe came through to our guests ...


Horse Sashimi and Sukiyaki at Hidari Uma in Roppongi, Tokyo

I went to a Thai language school in Bangkok that didn’t use any English, forcing students to comprehend the language in situations rather than memorizing from rote. Our class consisted of Koreans, Japanese, Germans, and many other nationalities… most of whom had little or no English language abilities. For the first couple of weeks none ...


Mexican Breakfast in Bangkok at Coyote Sukhumvit

Before the day I discovered Sunrise Tacos, my intake of Mexican food was limited to two places in Bangkok – Coyote (Silom) and Charlie Browns. Both were decent, but a bit higher in price… and none did what I was craving most, the Mexican Breakfast. Then one day I went in for a meal and ...


Learn Thai Cooking at the Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok, Thailand

I realized once I moved to Singapore that I had squandered a great opportunity to learn Thai cooking while living in Thailand. With the prospect of many years living there I lacked the urgency one has on a shorter trip to get out and sample the various experiences Thailand has to offer. On my latest ...


First Accidental Epicurean Sponsored Event

Hey all, In the few months we’ve been running Accidental Epicurean , we’ve taken the website from 1500 readers to over 13,800 last month! We’ve put up over 100 informative posts on food, wine, spas, hotels, and different Asian cities. Now it’s time for another new feature at Accidental Epicurean…the hosted event. “Stumbling upon the good life” ...


Sunrise Tacos Bangkok – Cheap-ish Mexican Food in Bangkok

Sometimes even though you’re surrounded by the freshest ingredients, some very talented cooks, and one of the most interesting cuisines in the world (Thai food) you just need something that reminds you of home. Since I grew up in Texas and New Mexico my comfort foods switch back and forth from BBQ to Mexican food…. ...


Professional Baseball in Japan – Seeing the Tokyo Giants at the Tokyo Dome

Take me out to the ballgame Take me out with the crowd Buy me some yakitori and edamame…. Stepping out of the cab at the base of the massive Tokyo Dome I immediately felt the same frantic pre-game energy I knew from my childhood. It was just like seeing the Rangers or Rockies, men walking excitedly to the ...


Krispy Kreme In Tokyo, Japan

So maybe all the meals weren’t adventurous while in Tokyo. Sometimes one simply needs junk comfort food… particularly one that’s been missed for over seven years! So yes, we broke down and chowed down at Krispy Kreme in Shibuya, Tokyo Japan. I missed the whole Krispy Kreme movement due to growing up in “rural” Abilene, TX. ...


Stunning Luxury Resort in Nusa Dua, the St Regis Bali

Be pampered within an inch of your life at the St Regis Bali Resort With its opening in early 2009, this all suite hotel on the secluded barrier island of Nusa Dua changed the face of luxury in Bali. Typically I prefer a more modern design hotel…something spare and minimalist. Some of my favorites being The ...


A Great Breakfast in Bangkok – The Dubliner Irish Pub

A couple years back I met with a group of guys every Sunday for breakfast. We’d pick a different spot around town (usually Irish Pubs) every week. After our first visit here, the Dubliner became the standard for all the other Irish breakfasts around town… and soon we quit trying out new places and made ...


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 ...


Abalone, Tuna Jaw, Conch and More – Amiyaki Charcoal Grill in Tokyo, Japan (w/Video)

In celebration of our 100th post we’re going to do something a bit different this time around…first post to feature video content! A word of caution for vegetarians and those who are easily offended, overly squeamish or just fussy…don’t watch the video, you’ve been warned. Growing up in Texas, it’s safe to say that I’m no ...


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 ...


Tsukiji Fish Market and Some of the Freshest Sushi at Daiwa Sushi in Tokyo

Lots of pictures of the market at the end of the article so scroll all the way down Muslims have Mecca, lovers of Trance have the lovely town of Goa, surfers and single, middle-aged women looking for a spiritual awakening have Bali For lovers of sushi the most sacred pilgrimage of all is to ...


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 ...


Udon Noodles in Kyoto, Hinode Udon Noodle Restaurant

My favorite Japanese noodle After a thorough survey of noodles in Japan, I am ready to pronounce udon as my personal favorite. Some people favor buckwheat soba noodles – it is said that to make a soba noodle takes a lifetime to learn and thus it is considered somewhat of an art form in Japanese culinary ...


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 ...


A Brief Guide to the Kichijoji Area of greater Tokyo and Shutters Restaurant

Like Brooklyn is to Manhattan, Kichijoji is to Tokyo – with some damn good spare ribs and octopus! If you want to see real local flavour in an easily accessible Tokyo neighbourhood, take the 15 minute ride to Kichijoji. Kichijoji, in the Western area of Tokyo, is about 5 stops on the express train from Shibuya ...


On Our Bookshelf – Great Cookbooks for Beginners

Lately I’m finding myself more and more interested in cooking. I’m more of an exact amounts kind of guy, so I started with baking. That’s going well…except for the waistlines of everyone around us. I realized one day as I obsessed over the thought of making a cream cheese pound cake, that my baking skills ...


The Wondrous Store (retail experience) Called Muji, Tokyo, Japan

I want to live a Muji life Actually I first encountered Muji in New York. A creative director at the ad agency I worked at was hoarding Muji notebooks that he bought in London. Being a fan of a minimalist aesthetic, Muji suited me perfectly. But while I love spare design, I am not one of ...


Brunch at Epicurious, Singapore Pt 2

Hey all, Our first visit to Time Out’s breakfast of the year, Epicurious, left us feeling slightly frustrated. After a couple months of sampling other breakfast options around town, the timing seemed right to venture back and see if possibly our expectations were too high before, it was a bad day, someone was sick etc… I have ...


Bello Visto Bar in the Cerulean Tower Hotel, Shibuya, Tokyo

Cocktails with a panoramic view of Tokyo Every big city has one – the high-rise hotel with the sweeping, panaromic view of the skyline. In the case of Tokyo, one of our favourites is the Bello Visto Bar on the 40th floor of the Cerulean Tower Hotel in Shibuya. Have a seat at the bar ...


My Trip to the Ghibli Museum – Mitaka, Tokyo

I hate to throw around phrases like “the Walt Disney of Japan”…but that’s the easiest way to describe Studio Ghibli for those not familiar with the Japanese cartoon studio. Ghibli has impacted not only the anime scene of Japan (a commonly held belief is that the name means that the studio was blowing a new ...


Gaya Organic Izakaya, Shibuya, Tokyo

Organic & macrobiotic…not your average Izakaya Eating healthy is important to me…so when I heard that there was a healthy version of an Izakaya, I was eager to try it. To put this in perspective, an Izakaya is basically a pub serving food to complement the drinking…so in its simplest terms, a bar serving bar food. ...


Good Honest Grub for Brunch – Shibuya, Tokyo

A homey Western-style brunch in the heart of Tokyo I may have mentioned before that breakfast is my favourite meal. So it is no surprise then that breakfast or brunch has become a weekend ritual for me – whether at home or abroad. And while I have had the most magnificent Japanese food while travelling in ...


On Our Bookshelf – The Man Who Ate Everything & Kitchen Confidential

As the site grows and readers join us, we realized a need to grow our culinary vocabulary. We felt reading more than just other food blogs would help increase our vocabulary and give us an insight into other foods, trends, chefs, locations, etc. So Joanna picked up a couple older books we’ve heard a lot ...


Yakitori in Shibuya, Tokyo

Tasty grilled meats and veggies on a stick, Japanese-style Seems every culture has its meat on a stick – from Thai moo ping to Turkish shish kabobs, these are always an international favourite. When we were living in Bangkok, it was ubiquitous…grilled chicken, fish balls, and the aforementioned moo ping, grilled pork. But the Japanese raise ...


Neko JaLaLa Cat Café, Akihabara, Tokyo

A café in the heart of Tokyo provides soothing feline therapy When we were looking up wacky and wonderful things to do in Tokyo we learned about the cat cafes. In Tokyo, where flats are more like an American walk-in closet, residents are often not able to keep pets. In fact, the Tokyo lifestyle is such ...


Best Tonkatsu in Tokyo? Maisen in Shibuya-ku

Famous Tonkatsu – or as Paul says, “little fried fluffy pieces of happiness” It’s hard to articulate how excited I am to eat Japanese food in Japan. A lover of it for many years, this is my first opportunity to have super authentic versions prepared by native chefs. The thing I like about Japanese food in ...


Breeze, The Scarlet Hotel, Singapore

Inventive seafood in an intimate rooftop setting overlooking Chinatown From Breeze’s perch atop Ann Siang Hill, one can see Singapore’s low-lying Chinatown area full of conservation shop houses, pagodas and mosques. The view was why we first came, but every time we have been to Breeze, we have been equally impressed by both the view and ...


The Universal, Duxton Hill, Singapore

A quiet little place, with an endless wine list, tucked away on Duxton Hill We were searching, maybe a bit too late at 9pm, on a Friday night for a place on Duxton Hill to have dinner. Walking up and down the cobble-stoned hill lined with conservation shop houses, we were surprised to see that most ...


A Guide to Restaurants and Bars on Emerald Hill, Singapore

Littered with watering holes, this street makes a great stop for drinks I don’t know if it is the charming conservation shophouses on the street or the drink specials that keep us coming…but we often end up in the Emerald Hill area of Singapore for weekday happy hours or a weekend drink to kick off ...


Women’s Custom Tailoring in Singapore, Cayen Custom Fashion Boutique – PART 3

Voila! My new custom made wardrobe PLEASE NOTE – CAYEN IS NOW CLOSED As some of you may remember, I went to Cayen in search of clothes that would fit my 5’10” Western frame (Part 1, Part 2). Having been thoroughly discouraged in each and every shopping mall from Bangkok to Singapore to Hong Kong, I decided ...


Best Vegetarian in Singapore, Original Sin

Best vegetarian in Singapore? It’s hard to answer that question as this is still the only strictly vegetarian restaurant we’ve dined at in Singapore But according to Time Out Singapore, Original Sin was 2008’s Best Vegetarian Restaurant. Original Sin is located in one of our favorite areas of Singapore – Chip Bee Gardens on Jalan Merah ...


Chili Crab at Jumbo Seafood, Singapore

Hey all, At several locations around Singapore, Jumbo serves up Singapore’s number 1 seafood dish – the chili crab. We first saw the location directly on the Quay, with a large shop front with slick decorations and kind of assumed Jumbo was a tourist trap best left for travelers in flip flops and fanny packs (an ...


Dim Sum – City Hall Maxim’s Place, Hong Kong

Hey all, A trip to Hong Kong without Dim Sum is like going to Texas and not getting a steak, Japan and sushi, New York and a bagel/hot dog, and… well you get my point. We knew we needed to find and cover dim sum on our last Hong Kong trip, but which place would be ...


Mrs Jones, Hong Kong

A simple Italian restaurant in a quiet alleyway saves the night! Be careful with printed guidebooks, dear readers. The Luxe guidebooks (they are usuably reliable) led us to a certain area of Hong Kong looking for a particular seafood restaurant. After searching back and forth, back and forth near the alledged location we were finally informed ...


A Guide to Chip Bee Gardens on Jalan Merah Saga, Holland Village, Singapore

Every time we go to the area known as Chip Bee Gardens on Jalan Merah Saga we make a new discovery…With a bevy of lovely little restaurants, gourmet food stores, art galleries, bakeries and cool specialty kitchen / baking supply stores, one can spend a whole afternoon puttering around. And we often do! A destination in ...


Women’s Custom Tailoring in Singapore, Cayen Custom Fashion Boutique – PART 2

PLEASE NOTE – CAYEN IS NOW CLOSED Consultation for bespoke clothing After meeting Carol at Cayen and discovering I could have custom-made clothing that would actual fit my 5’ 10” (177cm) Western frame, I scheduled a consultation. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect after being rushed through tailor stores in Bangkok and asked to pick from ...


Healthy Lunch in Singapore – Lite Bites Cafe

If you’re in the Chinatown, Central Business District, or Quay area in Singapore and are looking for a healthy lunch option be sure to check out Lite Bites Cafe.I discovered this great little cafe…well because it’s really close to where I live . It’s above my gym and a short walk from my house ...


The Benefits of Massage and Kenko Wellness Spa, Singapore

Is investing in regular massage really worth it? For me, massage has been part of my anti-stress and wellness routine for several years now. Rather than an indulgence, I treat it as another tool to take care of myself. After having some shoulder and neck problems for the last 15 years and seeing Chiropractors, Osteopaths, ...


Some Healthy Drink Tips and Info

Hey all, As we move along into healthy week, I thought I’d do a little roundup of drink information for you. A few years back when I was still living in Coppell, Texas I started trying to live a healthier life. I was running to the gym every other day and supplementing meals with smoothies. I ...


Healthy Eating and Recipes for Food Lovers

Are healthy and delicious oxymorons? I imagine I am not alone in my struggle. I love food and eating out. I am always thinking about, planning and strategizing my next meal – it’s part passion…and maybe part obsession. And while I would like to piously assert that I truly love and crave fruit and veggies, ...


Brunch at Mimolette, Singapore

I’ve visited Mimolette late on a Friday night for the split music nightclub and had a great time. The setting was remote, the decorations seemed hip without trying too hard, and the crowd was a nice mix of people. (Of course this was 12:30 a.m. after a 3 hour free flow on Dempsey Hill ...


Elegant Italian Dining at Gaia Ristorante, Hong Kong

For power lunching executives, ladies who lunch…and the rest of us… When I go to Hong Kong it is usually on business and the area I typically find myself in is Central on Queens Road. More often than not, lunch is catered sandwiches around a conference table….blah… But when the schedule is a bit more relaxed ...


Massage at Lavana Spa, Bangkok, Thailand

A well-priced day spa in the heart of Sukhumvit In Bangkok massage spas / salons are like 7 Eleven convenience stores….there’s one (or five) on every street and the offerings are typically inexpensive and fairly consistent. Now of course I am speaking about “proper” massage spas…I personally have a rule about spas in Bangkok – if ...


Northern Chinese Food and Panaromic Views at Hutong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

A sumptuous art-deco Northern Chinese restaurant with panoramic city views I get annoyed with those restaurants with stunning city views and mediocre food. We all know places like this in every major city…the kind of place you always take out of town guests to, scoff at the exorbitant bill in relation to the quality and remember ...


We love the Star Ferry, Hong Kong

A must do! (and coincidentally, maybe the best value in Hong Kong) There is simply no more fun and easy way to see Hong Kong’s dual skylines than to take the iconic Star Ferry across Victoria Harbour. No matter if I am staying in Tsim Sha Tsui or in Central, I make it a point to ...


Cocktails at Salon De Ning, Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

Glam cocktails await in this Kowloon gem Hong Kong has no shortage of trendy bars and watering holes. But if you’re looking for something special…something different than the usual scene in Soho and definitely removed from the Lan Kwai Fong madness…then head to Salon De Ning in the Peninsula Hotel, Kowloon side. A short walk from ...


The White Rabbit – Dempsey Hill, Singapore

Another week, another brunch. After having driven past the building for months, we finally succumbed to siren song of the large converted church – The White Rabbit on Dempsey Hill. Could The White Rabbit possibly live up to the hype of the location, setting, menu, and slightly pretentious website? The White Rabbit is located in the Dempsey ...


The best city in Asia? Hong Kong, SAR China

My favorite city in Asia Everything about Hong Kong is to me is what an international city should be. While I have enjoyed living in Bangkok and Singapore, should Unilever ever open up an office in Hong Kong, I’d be there in a flash! There are some very clear contrasts between the HK, SIN anf BKK… Work environment ...


Women’s Custom Tailoring in Singapore, Cayen Custom Fashion Boutique – PART 1

The luxury of custom made fashion clothes is accessible in Singapore PLEASE NOTE – CAYEN IS NOW CLOSED It’s humbling living in Asia. From Bangkok to Singapore to Hong Kong, when shopping for clothing or shoes the refrain I hear is “No, sorry, you too big. No size for you.” Considering that I am of a ...


Tips for Coffee Lovers

Hey all, Coffee. You either need, love, or can’t stand it. Oddly, I worked for two years as a manager at a Starbucks and never really touched the stuff. I liked the odd French Press of select coffee beans that would come through the store, but generally drank an Iced Chai Tea Latte instead (easy to ...


VINO di Zanotti, Bangkok, Thailand

Don’t miss this Italian gem in Silom On recent visit back to Bangkok, we decided to visit a favorite of many expats, Vino di Zanotti. Located in the junction of Sathorn and Silom, Vino di Zanotti serves up a more casual bistro-style experience than its more formal sister Zanotti right across the street.  Whenever you crave ...


IKEA Hacker

Hey all, Saw this creative kitteh kitty litter box idea and followed the link through to discover an interesting site full of useful tips and tricks for the home – Ikea Hacker. I thought at first the site was in it’s infant stages because browsing to the bottom I didn’t see a link for previous articles. However ...


Ditch Work for Happy Hour at El Toro Singapore

Hey all, A while back we tried the lunch special at El Toro here in Singapore. If you missed that review check it out here. Just received word they’re starting a new promotion: Happy Hour beers starting at 3 SGD a glass and pitchers of margaritas starting at 28 SGD! Of course the promo starts at 3 ...


Amantee Cafe and Antiques Shop – Bangkok, Thailand

Imagine Jim Thompson house. Now strip away the legend, crappy silk (I’ll give you that it looks good, but Thai silk is the least comfy silk I’ve ever had the displeasure of touching), over inflated prices, and throngs of farangs decked out in sandals and fanny packs. Does such a place exist in Bangkok? Well… ...


Brunch at Minibar Royale – Bangkok, Thailand

When we last visited Thailand, I read a review of a new Bangkok brunch spot for those in the know. With it’s location close to where we were staying, undiscovered vibe, and our intense love of brunches how could we not try it out? Was it worth the hype? Minibar Royale is located in the Citadines ...


Wine Tasting – Nook, Singapore

Hey all, This Saturday we attended another wine tasting event way out on the West Coast at Nook. We randomly received the invite on Facebook and were thinking of letting the offer pass, but I felt like we were stuck in our Orchard/Chinatown/Quay bubble and should venture out. I’m glad we did. Nook is located a bit ...


Breakfast and Brunch Favourite, Crepes & Co – Bangkok, Thailand

On our recent trip back to Bangkok we had to visit an old favorite breakfast spot – Crepes & Co on Sukhumvit Soi 12. They claim to be the best Creperie in Bangkok and who am I to say they’re not… I don’t think I can name a single other Creperie in Bangkok Crepes and ...


Epicurious iPhone Application

Hey all, Great free iPhone and iTouch application for foodies, chefs, or anyone who cooks. Epicurious has released an application that puts over 25,ooo applications wherever you and your phone are. The application features recipes from Bon Appetit, the entire The Gourmet Cookbook, and  many others. This sounds like a great application when on the go…just pull ...


Song of India – Singapore

Our friend Lara visited us recently in Singapore. She asked me to take her someplace nice, someplace I wouldn’t normally think to go for her last lunch in the city. After a bit of internet research we settled on a lunch at Song of India. Song of India, located just a short 5-minute walk from Orchard ...


Astrolabe Wine Tasting at Speakeasy – Singapore

Some exciting and well-priced wines from Astrolabe Winery, New Zealand presented by Rubicon Reserve Wines I have an irrational exuberance for Sauvignon Blanc. Which is strange – because in general I prefer red wine. Big robust, peppery reds..Brunello, Cabernet Sauvugnon, Barolo, Tempranillo, Malbec and Amarone. So it is incongruous that a crisp, minerally Sauvignon Blanc ...


Sunday Brunch at the Ritz – Ritz-Carlton, Singapore

We really don’t do these mega-brunches all the time…really. But when high rolling friends come to town and want to dine in style, who are we to say no? A group of five of us Joanna, Lara, Markus, Ralph and myself decided to try out an old Singapore staple for champagne Sunday brunch – The ...


Barracks Brunch at House, Dempsey Hill – Singapore

Hey all, Our ongoing quest to find the perfect brunch/breakfast/weekend treat location continues this week with House… or is it Barracks. I’m so confused… Located with all the other “i wanna be hip and cool like in other metropolitan cities” restaurants and “boutiques” (Dempsey Hill)… well I don’t even know what to write here. The building is ...


Pondicherry, India – a Guide on Where to Eat, Shop, Sleep

3 days in French colonial India by the sea If any of you have read the Life of Pi, you will remember Pondicherry as the hometown of the main character, Pi, the zookeeper’s son. Well there is no longer a zoo in Pondicherry, there is still plenty to see and do in this quaint French colonial ...


Junk Food Reality Check

Hey all, Saw this on lifehacker and couldn’t resist posting since we’re about quality and value. The lure of McDonalds in Singapore is strong… their lunch value meal at either 4.50 or 5.00 SGD is a great value considering a coke at 7-11 will run you 2 SGD by itself. But is the quality there? Not ...


PS Cafe – Harding Road, Singapore

If you have a bit of time on your hands, PS Cafe is great for breakfast and brunch. Located a bit outside the more populated sections of Dempsey Hill, PS Cafe feels remote in it’s lush natural surroundings. Thankfully the setting is calm and relaxing because our meal there took quite a bit of time. Part of ...


The Moomba Tuckshop – Tea Smoked Chicken – Singapore

This week I was joined by my friend Dave Hogan for my weekly visit to the Moomba Tuckshop. Unfortunately he was swayed by my glowing opinion of the Roast Beef from last week and didn’t add another sandwich to review, so I ordered a half portion salad as well this week to cover more ground. This ...


Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in Singapore? Cafe Le Caire – Arab Street

Friends took us to Cafe Le Caire our first week in Singapore. I don’t know why we waited to so long to return. Walking down Arab Street you could easily miss the restaurant. The signs look a bit dated, the food photography isn’t super clean… it looks like any other budget middle eastern eatery. The front ...


The Moomba Tuckshop – Roast Beef and Veg – Singapore

Hey all, This week Joanna joined me for my weekly Moomba Tuckshop series. Since she joined we were able to cover two sandwiches this week. The problem with running a food blog is sometimes you have to order things you wouldn’t normally… or in this case order separate things for maximum coverage. Both Joanna and I were ...


Chennai, India – a Guide on Where to Eat, Shop, Sleep

Making the most of a stop-over with some charming shopping, chic cocktails and dining like royalty with a luxurious South Indian meal The 4th largest city and India and known as the “Detroit of India,” Chennai itself is not so much a destination as it is a hub which travelers stop-over on their way to something ...


Recipe for Traditional Molasses Cookies

Hey all, These cookies come from Joanna’s mom and are a traditional family recipe. I’m grateful to her for sharing it with me. Recipe and discussion after the jump. Obviously I enjoyed these cookies. Couldn’t even finish the shoot without sneaking a bite – which is a bit of a surprise even to me as I don’t ...


Two Months Till Top Chef Masters!

Hey all, Bravo has announced the lineup for a new Top Chef series – Top Chef Masters. This will be a bit different in that it’s a competition of already established chefs from NYC around the USA. I’ve certainly never eaten any of these chefs and to be honest have only heard of a handful of ...


El Toro Resto Bar Lunch Special – Singapore

In the March 29th issue of the Sunday Times the newspaper laid out Singapore lunch-set specials coming in under 15$. Joanna and I thought we’d pick a different location each week and try it out and do a little write up about here for you guys. The first lunch spot we visited was El Toro. El ...


Hemisphere Home Furnishing – Bangkok, Thailand

Hey all, If stationed in or around Bangkok and tired of faux Balinese teak furniture shops check out Hemisphere Home Furnishing. Formerly part of the Casa Pagoda group in Bangkok, Hemisphere decided to set off on their own path. The store divides their Silom-area 4-floor townhouse in two. The bottom two floors, Twilight, represent darker hues and ...


The Moomba Tuckshop – Wagyu Pastrami Sandwich – Singapore

Hey all, I love sandwiches…a lot. I eat one for breakfast and have since I was about 4 years old. Recently I stumbled across Time Out Magazine’s round up of Singapore’s tops in different categories. Saw The Moomba Tuckshop listed as top sandwich shop. Seeing as The Moomba is just a 15-minute walk from the apartment ...


Best Day of Year – Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Day

I’m so excited! April 21st is fast approaching and for those of you who don’t know, April 21st is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops. Head to any outlet for a free cone! Yup, Ben & Jerry’s + Free Ice Cream = Perfect Day for Paul. My intense love of Ben & Jerry’s ...


Cheap Vodka Just as Good as Expensive Vodka?

Hey all, Any vodka lovers amongst us? A recent NYT essay talks about the decline in the premium vodka industry during recession times. Of extra interest in the article is the mention of blind taste tests where cheaper vodka performs the same as the higher end varieties! From the article: In 2004, Slate magazine crowned a Polish vodka, ...


Breakfast at Epicurious, Singapore

A Singapore favorite strikes this breakfast lover as a little lackluster. Updated experience here Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Not the cereal on-the-go breakfast, but the something eggy, something cheesy, maybe a pancake here or there and endless cups of coffee kind of breakfast. Breakfast for lunch is good. Breakfast for dinner is ...


Baker’s Edge – Edge Brownie Pan for Brownie Lovers

Who doesn’t love brownies? For those of you who fight for those crispy corner brownies – I was browsing amazon.com last night and clicked the baking tab. I sorted by most popular items, just to get a feel for what baking supplies people are shopping for on Amazon. This tray, in the number 1 spot, ...


Unrestrained Indulgence – Sunday Brunch at the St Regis Singapore

If the brunch at the 4 Seasons Bangkok was elegant and indulgent… the Sunday Brunch at Brasserie Les Saveurs at the St Regis, Singapore was a downright decadent and debaucherous feast only one step back from the famed parties of ancient Rome. According to historians, the term orgy didn’t have the sexual connotation it now possesses. ...


Wine Woot – for great deals on wine

Hey all, If you live in the States and are an appreciator of wine and wine deals check out Wine Woot from the Woot company. The Woot group has a few different websites (random stuff, shirts, wine, etc) that sell one item per category at a time. Once it’s gone they move on to something else. ...


Healthy Recipes from Kamalaya Koh Samui

Here are three healthy recipes from Kamalaya, Koh Samui. Chef Kai Mueller, the Executive Chef of Kamalaya, taught Joanna these recipes on her Holiday stay. I’m so thankful, the Maki Roll seems to have opened Joanna’s mind to rolls and sushi – no small feat! Recipes after the jump:   CocoLoco Smoothie 200 mL coconut water 50 mL coconut ...


Relaxing in Kampot & Crabs in Kep, Cambodia

Kampot and Kep are two charming little villages, if not already on your list of to-do’s in Cambodia, certainly should be. Kampot is about a 3 hour drive from Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Phen. This sleepy little village is perfect for a relaxing weekend and in fact, serves as a countryside retreat for those living in ...


A Guide for Phnom Phen, Cambodia – Where to Eat, Shop, Sleep

Deep Historical Roots + Culinary Delights await in this dynamic Cambodian city As many of you will no doubt know, Cambodia was formerly colonized by the French. So in addition to having its own rich history and culture to explore, there is an adopted culture of fine European food, wine and architecture. As such, what will ...


Health & Wellness Spa Retreat, Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand

I needed some time-off. Time off from the world, from long work days followed by longer dinners, from my computer(s), from my cell phone, from happy hour cocktails… I wanted a real break where I could nourish my body and empty my mind. I did a lot of research and asked around….I was thinking maybe ...


Best Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) in SIngapore? – Lan Zhou La Mian, Chinatown

Living in Chinatown has many perks. Close proximity to restaurants like Lan Zhou La Mian is high on that list. Located about halfway down Smith Street (a large collection of Chinatown street food), Lan Zhou La Mian lies quietly hidden behind other stalls and tables. There are no street hawkers accosting passers-by with menus or pictures ...


Long Weekend in Ho Chi Minh City – a Guide on Where to Eat, Shop, Sleep

Four days in Ho Chi Minh City were spectacular. Living in Thailand, the thing that always amazes me is how different Vietnam is even though there are so many superficial similarities…Asian culture whose roots are Chinese, developing nation with a high poverty level, similar cultural customs, etc. But where Vietnam separates itself is with the people. ...


Tom Colicchio on Diet Coke

Hey all, Found this video online of founder and co-owner of Craft Restaurant (NYC, Dallas, LA, & Atlanta), Tom Colicchio (you might also know him from Top Chef). Though I prefer Coke Zero, I like the message of the commercial and feel it fits in with what we’re trying to say on this blog… there’s good ...


Beach Resort and Spa, Anantara Hua Hin, Thailand

A sea-side pampering spa experience (main photo by Joanna, others from Anantara Web Site). I am typically a little suspect about high end spas in Thailand simply because you can go anywhere and get a quality massage for $8USD. However, being a spa junkie I am always open to try both high-end and low-end experiences, as ...


On Our Bookshelf – Leon: Ingredients and Recipes

We stumbled upon Kitchen Confidential, Insider’s Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Allegra McEvedy during a recent visit to Borders in Singapore. The art nouveau style cover caught my eye, but it was the opening ingredients section that coaxed me to add yet another cookbook to our overcrowded bookshelf. Leon is not just another cookbook. ...


PengWine Wine Tasting

Last night Joanna and I were invited to join my new friend, Chris Milliken, to join a wine tasting of four PengWine wines at Asia Wine Network (44 North Canal Road). I was introduced to Chris from across the globe. My chef friend, Joel Trueblood, put me in contact with Chris via Facebook when he heard ...


Recipe for Homemade Granola

Try your hand at homemade granola for a budget friendly, healthy breakfast or snack.The price of granola in Singapore is a bit ludicrous. So we opted to try our hands at making our own. The first attempt went pretty well, but there are some things we can improve for the next batch…. but really anyone ...


Best Fried Chicken in Bangkok? Soi Polo Chicken – Bangkok, Thailand

Soi Polo Chicken is really beyond words, but since I can’t hand you chicken through the monitor I’ll give it a try. Soi Polo Chicken is a northeastern style Thai food restaurant located on “Wireless” Road in Bangkok, Thailand. They serve a variety of regional Thai dishes with an obvious focus on… Chicken. And not just ...


Brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel, Bangkok

I typically favour simpler brunches – something kitchy and cool, with homemade yoghurt and pancakes and endless mugs of coffee. You know the kind of place?…the one with braided rugs and probably a cat sleeping on the window sill, where I can  turn up in some well-worn khaki’s and sandals and pillow-mussed hair. But every ...


Maha Naga Thai Restaurant – Bangkok, Thailand

For a special Thai food experience, Maha Naga will not disappoint. One may wonder why pay more, when you can get Thai dishes on the street for 30-80THB (USD / SGD). But for me, it is the equivalent of a topic of heated debate among most Westerners no matter where one lives – the best burger. ...


CA California Deli & Bakery Artisans, Dempsey Hill, Singapore

It was a sunny Saturday typical of Singapore. Paul, myself and some friends had just finished a 3-hour hike in MacRitchie reservoir and were all craving a hearty sandwich and an ice-cold drink. Without a particular restaurant in mind, we grabbed a cab to Dempsey Hill. Converted from old army barracks, Dempsey Hill, also known ...