Obrigado

Within the first few hours of my arrival, I was reminded of the friendliness and hospitality of the Portugese people. And this would be the case for my whole 10-day visit. Obrigado – Thank you! Upon arrival in Lisbon, I went straight to the Oriente train station to catch the high speed three hour Alfa Pendular train to Porto Campanha station. I only had one night to spend in Porto and I stayed at the Intercontinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas. The hotel is well located (beside the famous São Bento Station) and service was very friendly and professional. An…

Chillax

Tofino is definitely a great place for a much needed “chill + relax”. From Vancouver Harbour, I took a one hour scenic seaplane flight to Tofino Harbour. Do note that the seaplane flights are very weather dependent (particularly fog), so be prepared to adjust your schedules. From the dock, it is a short 6 minute drive to The Wickannish Inn. Fondly called The Wick by locals, this Relais & Chateux hotel lives up to all the hype and accolades it has been getting. Located on a rocky edge at the northern cape of Chesterman Beach, the hotel is casually rustic…

Maʿal-salāmah مَع السَلامة

“With Peace” in Arabic and a formal expression of goodbye. I say goodbye – it has definitely been one incredible and breathtaking experience to visit Egypt. Manial Palace, a former royal residence. was built for Prince Mohammed Ali Tawfiq, a descendant of Egypt’s famed ruler Mohammed Ali, and the uncle of King Farouk. It was constructed between 1899 and 1929. During this trip, I stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence. Though the hotel (there are two Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo) may have been built nearly 20 years ago, it maintains a timeless appeal and…

Doviđenja, Montenegro

“Thank you, Montenegro“ Montenegro did not disappoint. It had a very scenic coastline studded with charming villages. More importantly, I was able to get my much needed R&R. The food on the coast of Montenegro is similar to Dalmatian cuisine – lots of grilled seafood, garlic, olive oil and Italian-style dishes. The restaurants below are notable not only for their food – but most also provided great scenery to go with your meals. My first hotel stay was in the town of Perast at the Iberostar Heritage Grand Perast. Originally built in the 18th century as the largest palace in…

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…

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…

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…

AMS Eats

On my third trip to this beautiful city, I went back to a few of the memorable eats I had five years ago and at the same time, tried out a couple of new ones.       My first stop was the The Cafe at the Rijksmuseum. A few notable items on the menu are by Chef Joris Bijdendijk of the RIJKS restaurant.     I recall a few of my favourites during my one-month stay in this city five years ago. Pancakes Amsterdam has several locations (I go to the one on Negen Straatjes) and is my favourite…