Vielen Dank, Wien

“Thank you very much, Vienna“ It was a short visit, but sweet, as they say, to what many refer to as “The City of Dreams” (because it was home to the world’s first psycho-analyst Sigmund Freud). There is no shortage of excellent eateries and coffee houses in Vienna. Cafe Museum is a traditional Viennese cafe that opened in 1899 and designed by the famous Adolf Loos. It is also here that the famous Thonet chairs can be found. Erich was named the best restaurant in Vienna by Time Out Magazine. Located in a subterranean bar-restaurant, they serve breakfast, lunch and…

The Belvedere

The Belvedere was built by Prince Eugene of Savoy upon his arrival at the Habsburg court from Paris at the age of nineteen as a summer home. It consists of two palatial buildings, the Unteres Belvedere (Lower Belvedere) built in 1714 to 1716 and Oberes Belvedere (Upper Belvedere) built between 1721 and 1723. During the reign of Maria Theresa, the Upper Belvedere was used for the first time as a picture gallery to feature works from the imperial collection. Masterpieces by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele can be found in the Gallery.

Vienna

Fifteen years have past since I last visited the majestic city of Vienna. There are plenty of reasons to fall for this Imperial city – as it charms from the first time and simply intensifies each time I come back. Consistently ranked as offering one of the highest quality of life in the world, Vienna entices with magnificent architecture, museums, fabulous eateries — all in a very walkable environment. Museums Quartier is Vienna’s art complex that is home to several renowned museums, including Leopold Museum (with its numerous works by Schiele and Klimt, momok, Az W Architekturzentrum Wien (Architecture museum),…

Cheerio

Or goodbye, as they say. Another whirlwind of a break, in London this time, for a long weekend. Back to the trusty Michelin Guide for restaurants to try out. A Michelin Bib Gourmand rated casual spot is Polpetto, serving Italian fare. A neighbourhood restaurant serving British dishes is Hereford Road. Located in a converted butcher’s shop, this restaurant serves first rate tasty dishes. I would have not gone for Taiwanese food while in London, but obtaining a Bib Gourmand rating made me want to try out Bao. And I am glad I did! A friend who lives in London recommended…

Hvala Vam

“Thank you” in Croatian. Goodbye to the magnificent city of Dubrovnik, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lunch at LAJK Restaurant was very pleasant serving good family style local food. Not to mention the nice view of a church down the street. Located right at the foot of the Jesuit stairs is Konoba Kolosseum, serving both local and international food. The first Michelin Plate restaurant I tried was Restoran Dubrovnik. Located on a rooftop with a very polished service, the dishes were delightful. They serve both tasting and ala carte menus. The best meal I had was at another Michelin…

Dubrovnik

The loveliest old city in Croatia, many say, is Dubrovnik. Located in south of the country fronting the Adriatic Sea and in the middle of the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik is a place that is medieval, mythical and occasionally, magical. The walled-off Old City has parts which date from the 11th century. If it weren’t for the hundreds of other tourists like me, wandering the Old City’s steep cobblestoned streets would feel like time travel. Although this country has existed as Croatia for only 28  years, more than two million tourists descended on Dubrovnik last year. That is undoubtedly helped along by…

Mabuhay

“It’s always more Fun in the Philippines” as the travel ads say – and indeed it is! It has been five years since I last step foot in the bustling city of Manila. Far too many travelers arrive in this city only to jump on a plane to Boracay or Palawan – it’s their loss as the capital has plenty to offer.           There came a point in my visit that I simply had to stop myself from eating – as it seems that the only activity I did during the five days I was here was to…

Sawadee

สวัสดี (Welcome)! My last visit to the Land of Thousand Smiles was in 2013 for a day – as a transit stop on my way to Bhutan. I am back in the city for a reunion with old University friends. Bangkok is an exhilarating attack on the senses – the intense humidity, fast moving tuk-tuks, aromatic spices, gleaming skyscrapers, and the seemingly peaceful boats gliding along the Chao Phraya River.                         Be it street Food or Michelin restaurants, Bangkok has a lot to offer. Bombyx is one of the…

Antipasto, Primo, Secondo

Dining in Italy can be a drawn out affair, especially during dinners. Staring with the Antipasto (appetizer), followed by Primo (first course), Secondo (main course), and a Dolce (dessert). Be it in a Ristorante, a Trattoria, an Osteria, a Tavola Calda or a Pizza Rustica (selling pizza by the slice), there are tons of eating choices. Rome is famous for its thin-crust pizzas and Emma is both an excellent pizzeria and restaurant that serves classic dishes like carbonara, amatriciana and cacio e pepe.   When I was in Rome three years ago, a friend from back home recommended Roscioli Salumeria…

Venice

Ciao Venice! I can’t believe that my last time to this enchanting city was in 2003 – fifteen years ago! I must admit that part of my hesitation to return to Venice is the several news accounts of daunting crowds of tourists outnumbering locals by two to one. I keep reminding myself that one is never more than a bridge or alley away to a more quiet campi (square) or neighbourhood. Venice continues to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.                                …