This February, luxury boutique hotel group 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts will add a new flavour to the city’s culinary calendar with the launch of the 137 Pillars Organic Gourmet Festival (POGF), a gourmet food and drink extravaganza. The event boasts a stellar lineup of Michelin-starred chefs, who will put the spotlight on Asian cuisine through a series of exclusive gala dinners, after parties with renowned international and local mixologists and an Organic Farmers’ Market, showcasing the finest in local sustainable produce. Sponsored by Thai Airways, the POGF event will run over the last weekend of February (27-1 March) and the first weekend of March (5-8 March), and a part of the proceeds will go to support the Autistic Thai Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit organisation that runs 20 centres to strengthen autistic children’s skills to learn, improve and be able to take care of themselves. “I have always been a firm believer of nature and the wealth that it has to offer. Given the changes in our society, it is now more important than ever to share, celebrate and acknowledge the persistent initiations being made to highlight the importance of being in tune with nature and being innovative in its offerings. Our previous organic festivals have proved extremely popular in Chiang Mai and in Bangkok, and we hope this edition will encourage our guests and diners to closely examine the way the food they eat is produced and hopefully support the efforts made by farmers and companies to bring ingredients that are organic and sustainable to the table,” said Christopher E. Stafford, Chief Operating Officer at 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts. Kicking of this gastronomic journey on 27 February is the Organic Farmers’ Market from 4-10 p.m. on the hotel lawns. Participating vendors include Royal Project Foundation, Butcher shop by Arno’s, Le Cordon Bleu, Kad Kokoa and Captain Hook's Smokehouse. The market will also run on 28 and 29 February, and on 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 March. The first gala dinner on 28 February features renowned Australian chef and Ambassador of Thai cuisine David Thompson, founder of the Aylmer Aaharn restaurant group, whose first restaurant in Hong Kong, Aaharn, was recently awarded its first Michelin star. The meal is followed by an after party with top mixologist Mel Chavez from Tippling Club, Singapore. Chef Thaninthorn Chatrawan of the one Michelin-starred Chim by Siam Wisdom presides over the kitchen on the 29 February with a fantastic menu of classic dishes that include centuries-old recipes prepared using modern techniques gained from his overseas experiences. Later Niks Anuman of Teens of Thailand/Asia Today fame wows diners with his mixology skills. On 6 March, Chef Malcom Lee brings a piece of Candlenut, the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, to Thailand. He promises to take diners on an epicurean journey of refined Peranakan cuisine that preserves the essence and complexities of traditional food, with astute twists that lift it to a different level. Teaming up with him for the after party is Kris Du of Shanghai’s best-known
Amsterdam is a lively city with a central downtown district that does not find time to rest. Here, remnants of the city’s maritime past are interwoven with elements of contemporary life that include bars, shops, cafés and vices with a broad spectrum of appeal. The liberal Dutch society tolerates cannabis usage and prostitution, much to the delight of those from neighbouring countries who travel here to celebrate buck’s parties or inquisitive tourists hailing from countries that are more conservative. While the legality of cannabis is hazy, this raunchy side of Amsterdam appeals to some while most are simply inquisitive and curious onlookers. When most travellers think of Holland and its largest city Amsterdam (The Hague is the capital), images of windmills, wooden shoes called clogs, wheels of Gouda cheese and fields of multicoloured tulips spring to mind. However, the reality is that the closest encounter most visitors will have with these Dutch icons is the endless rows of souvenirs displayed in tourist precincts like Bloemenmarkt, a floating flower market. However, visitors will definitely encounter bikes, dykes and lights while exploring the sights of this lively, multicultural and cosmopolitan city of just 800,000 residents. CENTRAL AMSTERDAM Holland has always intrigued me and even more so, when I realised that a quarter of the country is below sea level with its gateway Schiphol Airport situated on a former lake, several metres below sea level. As my KLM plane approached Schiphol, I checked beneath the seat for the lifejacket, just in case. Of course, planes do not land on water thanks to Holland’s ingenious network of ancient dykes and polders that keep the seawater at bay. I checked a map of Amsterdam to appreciate that the city and surrounding areas are indeed a network of canals, lakes, rivers and dykes holding back the waters of the North Sea. Amsterdam’s famous dykes are not so obvious but without retaining walls and floodgates to keep out the seawater, there would not be much to see of Amsterdam as basically it, and much of Holland, has been reclaimed from the sea. This reclamation has been ongoing for centuries and explains why the Dutch are such great hydrological engineers. I also discovered that one of the functions of windmills in days gone by was to pump water from the land out to sea to keep the seawater in check. Canals are one of the main attractions and a canal cruise is the best way to admire just how important these were for Amsterdam’s original settlers. While the River IJ divides Amsterdam, most visitors do not appreciate it as the main tourist attractions are in central Amsterdam just to the south of the river. From an elevated vantage point at the rear of the main railway station, I appreciated that the River IJ waterfront divides central Amsterdam and Amsterdam Noord. Both parts of the city are visible from the Centraal Station located in a lively port precinct where large ocean-going cruise ships moor at the nearby docks. Visitors emerge from the city side of Centraal Station on
FOR SOME PEOPLE, MYANMAR IS A SECRET COUNTRY THAT CUTS THEM OFF FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD. IN FACT, THERE ARE LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL TREASURES FOR ALL TRAVELLERS TO EXPLORE. AFTER YOUR FIRST TIME TRAVELLING IN THIS GOLDEN LAND, YOU WOULD PLAN FOR MORE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS NOW EASIER TO ACCESS AND MORE CONVENIENT FOR ANY STYLES OF JOURNEY. I took the morning boutique flight of Bangkok Airways from Bangkok to Yangon. After one hour and 20 minutes, I landed at Yangon International Airport where I could see the construction of the new terminal to welcome more visitors in the future. Later on, I was greeted by the limo chauffeur who passed me the Wi-Fi password on board and showed me around with his fluent English. From the airport to downtown, I think Yangon has changed a lot in terms of development, such as public bus service instead of the local mini-trucks, the young generations wearing more pants not just Sarong and Longyi. By the way, the buildings from the British colonial period and the faces of people are still beautiful to me as always. Only 45 minutes from the airport, I saw Sule Pagoda majestically standing in a distance. It meant that we were now arriving at the heart of Yangon. A few minutes later, our limo arrived at Pullman Yangon Centrepoint, the brand new hotel located nearby Sule Pagoda and more attractions in Yangon. In my opinion, this hotel is situated in a perfect location for all travellers who love to walk around the neighbourhood area like me. I could see the Maha Bandula Public Park and the City Hall on the opposite site, surrounded by the wonderful colonial style buildings, while my heart was beating faster when I entered my room and saw the perfect scenery of Yangon river through the window. But it is not enough, the hotel staff told me that the Bogyoke Market and the railway station is located a few blocks from here. That would be my itinerary for tomorrow because this afternoon we had to start our journey off with a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar. This Buddhist sanctuary is where the local people and overseas visitors come here to pray and make an offering. From Pullman Yangon Centrepoint, we can see apparently it was built with tons of gold and it is true! Religion is important to the people in Myanmar. Although, the technology tries to conquer the world but people still come here to pay homage to the Buddha, mediate and donate; that’s why Shwedagon Pagoda is the tallest pagoda in this country. After spending a couple hours for worship, we returned to the hotel for dinner at E’cucina Italian Restaurant. It is highly recommended for anyone who wants to enjoy the original Italian taste in Yangon. As I mentioned before, I wanted to visit the neighbourhood area so I went to bed early and fall asleep so quickly in the softened bed of Pullman standard. The next day, I woke
Once a highly prosperous capital city of the country, today Sukhothai welcomes visitors to get up close to the glory of the bygone era – packed with traces of ancient history, as well as verdant scenery. In one fell swoop, Sukhothai features plentiful charming spots to experience and unwind. And here is the recommended checklist that is tested and tried. ● SUKHOTHAI HISTORICAL PARK The remaining structure depicts the glory of the Sukhothai era and how Buddhism flourished during the period. Inside the majestic 70 sq km area of Sukhothai Historical Park sit the significant vestiges, which are recognised as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Noen Prasat is the remains of the former royal palace, and small-sized Wat Sa Si appeals to visitors with its graceful and unique beauty. The washed-out remains of Wat Mahatat still look grandiose and serene. ● KING RAMKHAMHAENG MONUMENT At the heart of the Sukhothai Historical Park is the bronze statue of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great, who is regarded as a benevolent ruler in Sukhothai era and as the “Father of the Thai Language”, as his major achievement was the compilation of a system of writing and a new set of Thai alphabet which he adapted from the various forms of Khmer script that were previously used. His invention is still being used in the present. The Monument is grandly done and you are welcome to pay homage to the late king and to ring the solid bell as a gesture of respect. ● WAT SI CHUM Actually part of the Sukhothai Historical Park but situated about two kilometres away from the central compound, and requiring a new entrance ticket (THB 20 for Thais), Wat Si Chum is the notable ancient temple with gigantic sacred Buddha Statue which is housed in the fitted chapel. Local Thais and tourists alike come here to worship with flowers, incense and candles. This is one of the most photogenic temples in Sukhothai, thus don’t forget to get a snap with respect to the place. ● RAMKHAMHAENG NATIONAL MUSEUM Situated right opposite the ticket office to the historical park, the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum is unfortunately often neglected, which is a real pity as it houses numerous valuable ancient objects that were found within the compound and from nearby archaeological sites. In addition, to present a linear development of cultures in Thai territory and the link between the regions in the past featuring objects from archaeological sites of other regions are also displayed. The exhibition is divided into five zones; the Graphic Exhibition in Lai Sue Thai Memorial Building, The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum Building where antiquity gallery took place, Stucco Sculpture Gallery, Wooden Pavilion and the Museum’s Yard with replica of Sangkhalok kiln, elephant at the base of chedis. The entrance fee is THB 30 for Thais and THB 150 for foreigners. The Museum opens daily from 9am-4pm. ● MAI KLANG KRUNG RESTAURANT A very local eatery where you can savour the true taste of Sukhothai, while imbuing the artifacts decorated within the restaurant compound which make perfect Instagrammable shots. A choice of food
The spirit of old Hanoi will sweep through the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi this month, as the hotel celebrates Tet with a traditional Old Quarter-style market from Jan. 17-19. The festivities continue with special culinary offerings beginning Jan. 24. At the Tet market, food vendors on the hotel’s patio will sell authentic Vietnamese favourites, while children will be given traditional toys known as to he, edible figurines made from glutinous rice powder shaped to look like flowers and animals. Market-goers can also learn the art of classic Vietnamese calligraphy. Wine, craft beer and other refreshments will also be on offer, as will souvenirs that visitors can take home as memories of the Vietnamese lunar new year. Traditional-style Vietnamese houses will also be erected in the hotel’s walkway outside La Boutique du Metropole, adding to the “Old Quarter” ambiance. The Tet market at Metropole Hanoi is open to the public daily, and kicks off Friday, Jan. 17 at 4pm with an opening ceremony featuring a traditional dragon dance. The market continues on Jan. 18 and 19 from 11am to 8pm. More than 15 vendors will take part in this year’s bazaar. Special Metropole Tet hampers with luxury and gourmet items will be available for sale at the market and at L’Epicerie du Metropole from Jan. 6 onwards. The hotel will host a cooking competition at the market at 5pm each day. On Jan. 17, contestants will vie to see who can create the most delicious “Chung cake” (a traditional Vietnamese rice cake) while Jan. 18 will witness a battle of banh cuon, and Jan. 19 will determine who is able to produce the tastiest spring rolls. Winners will receive a voucher for a complimentary homemade cake from L’Epicerie du Metropole. A Vietnamese floral specialist from local boutique Liti Florist will host a flower workshop from 2pm to 4pm on Jan. 18. An exclusive six-course Tet 2020 Gala Dinner at Spices Garden will be served on Jan. 24 featuring grilled oysters with shallots and roasted peanuts; blue prawn in a mild coconut soup; fresh yellow bamboo and beef salad; braised chinh fish with green banana; grilled pigeon and foie gras; and banana fritter, traditional Tet candied fruits and vanilla ice cream. The gala dinner is priced at 2.5 million VND.
With the opening of Age, Anantara Layan Phuket aspires to accommodate the best grill restaurant in Phuket, if not Thailand. Serving up dishes both proven and experimental, Age is nothing short of a gastronomic sanctuary guarded by the hands of time. Age takes you on a culinary journey along the most exquisite meats and the finest locally caught seafood, paired with the very best wines from around the world. To dine here is to commemorate life’s defining moments. And as every era and milestone has its own unique tastes, a night out at Age is catered entirely to your wishes. Hand pick from the finest cuts of meat. Choose from one of sixty premium vintage and new world wines or entrust our award-winning sommelier to tailor your selection. If it’s a view of the spectacular Phuket sunset sinking into the Andaman Sea that you’re after, you’re more than welcome to take a seat on the Age terrace boasting panoramic scenery and sample our extensive menu of classic and contemporary craft cocktails made from the most astonishing mix of ingredients. The boldness of Age’s cuisine is matched only by its interior. Dominated by dark woods, rusted steel and raw leather, its industrial look is more akin to a warehouse restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side than a tropical island location. Situated on Phuket’s serene northwest coast and surrounded by national park forest, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort features 30 guest rooms and suites and 47 one- and two-bedroom pool villas. In this luxurious hideaway, both resort guests and day visitors can enjoy the timeless taste of authentic quality. For more information or to make a reservation visit https://www.agerestaurant.com/ .
The recently refurbished Grand Shanghai is proud to announce their exclusive collaboration with two-Michelin-starred restaurant Canton 8 from Shanghai. Diners can experience three extravagant nights of gastronomical heaven from 24 – 26 December with an eight- course menu comprising of Shanghainese and Cantonese inspired culinary delights priced at $148++ per person. Masterchef Kan Chit Ming of Canton 8 will helm the kitchen of Grand Shanghai as a part of this exclusive collaboration. The unique dinner menu will be a combined reflection of both the restaurant’s signature cooking style and star creations. While the Grand Shanghai team are celebrated for their distinct talent of using innovative new techniques to tease out authentic Shanghainese flavours, Canton 8 offers one of the best Cantonese cuisines in Shanghai with a focus on the original mix of flavours. The three-night special menu curated by the two restaurants, promises an unforgettable gastronomical Michelin-star dining experience to the diners. A definite feast for senses, the sumptuous eight-course menu features a bevy of premium ingredients from around the world. The highlights from the extensive multi-course menu include Chef Kan’s Signature Fried Rice, Boston lobster claw dipped in Chinese wine and served with steamed egg white, and slow-cooked wagyu beef rib in black pepper. For a full list of set menu available, refer to the appendix. For reservations, please visit www.grandshanghai.com.sg or call 6836 6866 .Reservations made before 19 December can avail the early bird discount of 15%. Grand Shanghai 390 Havelock Rd, Level 1 King's Centre, Singapore Tuesday to Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm for lunch 6:00pm - 10:00pm for dinner Saturday & Sunday 11:00am - 2:30pm for lunch 6:00pm - 10.00pm for dinner
Savour the flavours of the holiday season with a line-up of epicurean celebrations at Silavadee Pool Spa Resort Koh Samui. Starting with the opening ceremony on December 20th to the New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner on December 31st there will be activities for each taste and age available to not miss the festive spirit . CHRISTMAS LIGHT-UP CELEBRATION AND COCKTIAL RECEPTION Resident Guests at Silavadee are invited to open the festive season on December 20th from 06:00 pm onwards with a complimentary Cocktail Reception, live music and a joined “lighting ceremony” to set the mood for this year’s festive season. MOET CHANDON CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON TEA Enjoy a slow Afternoon over our Christmas inspired three-tiered Afternoon Tea presented with a glass of Moet Chandon Champagne. Silavadee’ s Pastry Chef will have some wonderful sweet, festive treats prepared along with delicate, classic tea Sandwiches. A signature Tea with a blend of aromas and spices will add the extra touch to bring back memories of cinnamon, cardamom and Vanilla which are all reminiscent of the Christmas season. Afternoon Tea is available daily starting on December 21st between 2:00-05:00 pm at Moon or Sun Lounge and is priced at 1899 THB net per set for two guest including one glass of Moet Chandon per person and at 899 THB net per set without Champagne. ONCE IN A LIFETIME DOM PERIGNON EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE DINNER The festive season is a perfect opportunity to create special, lifetime moments. A team of professionals will create exactly this for only one couple per evening at the resorts most iconic spot “Sundeck”. Meet the Khun Pamon, Executive Chef at Silavadee and Khun Vee, Food and Beverage Manager to customize your Menu, music and set up for a 6 course, crafted menu. A bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne, one of the most prestigious Champagne of the world will await you during dinner time. A private Chef and personal host will cater to your every need during your dinner. This sophisticated dinner is available only with 24 hrs advanced notification between 21st and 30th December and only for one couple per evening and is priced at 25.000THB net per couple including 1 bottle of Dom Perignon. CHRISTMAS EVE BUFFET DINNER Gather friends and family and enjoy a festive Buffet Dinner full of flavors from East and West with a special appearance of Santa Claus and live Christmas Carols by the “Silavadee Elves” Starting at 06:30 pm onwards on December 24th at Moon Restaurant priced at 1,890 THB net including soft drinks. Children aged 4-11 years pay half price. OPERA MEETS POP & CHRISTMAS CAROLS “A 6 COURSE OPERA DINNER UNDER THE STARS” The Highlight at Silavadee and the Highlight on Samui Island for this festive season will be an unforgettable Opera dinner at STAR Rooftop Restaurant. Enhance Christmas Day and be enchanted by “HOMMALI” a Quartet form Bangkok who will perform the finest of seasonal Opera, Pop and Christmas Carols along a six course dinner menu crafted by Chef Pamon and his culinary team. “Hommali”, are four talented and professional Opera Singers who will engage
For those not planning to cook on Christmas Day, here's a list of restaurants to celebrate the festive season. Let's approach the beginning of New Year with a selection of festive treats at one or two of these places with your family and friends. Eat, drink, and be merry!!! 57th Street at Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit Soak in all the jolly vibe with your loved ones. The Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day brunch buffet at 57th Street provide a wide selection of local and international fare. Indulge in luxurious freshest seafood highlights such as king crabs, oysters, and lobsters. Guests may sample exceptional menus from carving stations and many more premium selections from the kitchen. Roasted Turkey is a special highlight for Christmas Eve and Roasted beef is available for Christmas Day. End the perfect meal and spoil yourself with enticing Yule Log cake and mouth-watering Christmas dessert specialties. 24 December 2019 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm THB 2,800 net per person for Christmas Eve dinner buffet THB 3,900 net per person for Christmas Eve dinner buffet with free-flowing wine, local beers and soft drinks 25 December 2019 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm THB 1,950 net per person for Christmas Day lunch buffet Reservation: 02-797-0000 The Allium Bangkok at The Athenee Hotel Chef Roxanne Lange at The Allium Bangkok is preparing an eight-course Modern French degustation menu for an elegant occasion during the evening of both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A choir will stop by and sing traditional Christmas carols, while Santa will also make an appearance with goodie giveaways. 24-25 December 2019 THB 4,988++ per person. Premium free-flow select beverages are available with additional charge. Reservation: 02-650-8800 Mia (Sukhumvit 26) Mia is presenting a special set menu with highlights from the festive season a la carte menu as well as traditional European Christmas foods. Stand-out dishes include Pan-seared scallop with winter roots purée, black pudding, crispy potato and black truffle as well as a Christmas favourite: Roasted turkey with parsnip purée, chestnuts, cranberry gel and pancetta. 24-25 December 2019 THB2,250 ++ per person for minimum two persons. The set is served on 24 December from 6pm until late, and on 25 December from 12-6pm as Mia opens for lunch for the first time. Reservation: firstname.lastname@example.org Yamazato at The Okura Prestige Bangkok Celebrates Christmas with exquisite Japanese Gozen lunch, Kaiseki dinner and Teppanyaki menus. the special dishes include simmered scallop, dried fig, shrimp with cream cheese sauce, seafood soup with eel, salmon, clam and shrimp with hint of pepper, Spanish mackerel and snow crab with white miso Hollandaise sauce, wagyu sukini with eggplant, shitake mushroom, and young Japanese pepper with starchy soy milk sauce and much more created by Master Chef Shigeru Hagiwara. 24 - 25 December 2019 THB 1,700++ per person for Gozen lunch THB 4,700++ per person for Kaiseki dinner Christmas Teppanyaki served at the Teppanyaki counter is THB 7,600++ for 2 persons. Reservation: 02-687-9000 Up & Above at The Okura Prestige Bangkok Enjoy the Sparkling Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet at Up & Above Restaurant with fine food, live music and a visit from Santa Claus with presents for the children. The decadent buffet includes