As we start a new year, here is an ode to the oldies, the favourites and some restaurants that feel like home. Our readers from across the world share the foodie places that give them comfort and joy
BY RUKMA SALUJA
A compilation of favourites, suggestions that may help you discover something wonderful on your travels, domestic or international. Some are favourites for comfort, others because they are cosy, some for great drinks, some are loved for the hospitality and ambience and some, of course, for great food.
Amazonico / Mayfair Gardens, London
Rub shoulders with celebs at Amazonico at Mayfair Gardens in London. A mixed menu offering Asian, Mediterranean and Brazilian food in a jungle setting.
Hai Di Lao / Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
For a Chinese hotpot when in Singapore head to Hai Di Lao. With 18 outlets, one in the buzzing Clarke Quay area, you’re spoiled for choice. Here’s where you get to sample traditional Sichuan style hotpot in a contemporary ambience in a grand pairing of the old and the new. Always a good idea to try the house specials. Established in 1994, the group is experienced and finds a place in a whopping 786 outlets including foodie cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Los Angeles.
Din Tai Fung / Bayfront Avenue, Singapore From the cooking oil business to a successful foray into the food business, Din Tai Fung remains a popular hangout for the current generation, continuing its successful stint from its humble origins with homemade steamed pork dumplings back in 1972. Word of mouth contributed to its success and spread so that it continues to hold sway over diners across generations. Needless to say, you will find steamed pork dumplings and steamed chicken soup on the menu. Its 161 outlets are spread over several countries, largely in Asia but also Australia, the UK and the US.
Neni Stadionplein, Amsterdam
Neni offers a sophisticated night out. Food prepared by lovers of cooking and sharing dishes translates to a relaxed evening. Enjoy Eastern Mediterranean fare in a warm ambience and warm hospitality.
Inspired by all things Tokyo, at the Duke of Tokyo, a popular bar, you can liven up your night out by taking to the stage and singing your heart out in private karaoke rooms.
Browerij ’t IJ / Funenkade, Amsterdam
Browerij ’t IJ, a little brewery next to an old bathhouse in a 300-yearold windmill, is where you get to gorge on authentic Dutch food and guzzle a slew of Dutch beers. For beer lovers this is a heaven where you can taste a slew of craft beers made here.
Van Stapele / Heisteeg, Amsterdam
If you have the patience to stand in a queue that stretches miles, you can check out why it’s worth the wait to sample the chocolate cookies at Van Stapele. You must really love cookies and chocolate because that’s what you’ll get after your long wait—chocolate cookies. Also keep in mind, there’s barely enough standing space for t wo.
Market 33 / Zuidas District, Amsterdam
If you’d like to see how the Dutch unwind after work, go to Market 33 where all of Zuid (the corporate district) descends for a drink after work. A food court, it serves food made by the local food enthusiasts.
NHO Saigon / BKC
For a slice of Vietnam, it must be NHO Saigon at BKC. This is where you can sample classic Vietnamese fare along with French influenced bastardised versions of it that evolved into a new culinary sub-cuisine after the French war in that country. A mead taproom allows you to check out that sweet wine-like drink you didn’t even know you wanted to try.
Bayroute / Juhu
How about getting Egypt, Turkey, Morroco, Lebanon and Greece on your plate? Bayroute in Juhu offers delights from these countries in a casual setting.
Toro Toro / Baga Arpora Creek Road
There’s Asian, continental, and Goan (but of course!) food here. It’s pet-friendly so watch out, non-pet lovers! It goes without saying that you can dance the night away and watch the sun rise over the Naga river before stumbling back home.
Pisco by the Beach / Anjuna Beach
While you can get a taste of dishes from around the world here, it would be a shame not to sample every single Goan item on the menu. From the braised chicken caffreal to the various pork dishes on offer, here’s where you can dig in and chill out.
The best pancakes in town. They are super light and super scrumptious.
A ramen chain, and so of course, here’s where you can get all sorts of ramen. Do check out kara Tonkotsu. It beats what you get at any ramen joint anywhere.
For a cosy place for gup shup over cakes and coffee.
When you want the comfort of something familiar. You know the old favourites in Indian-Chinese food you want are going to taste just as you remembered them.
Memories of China at the Taj
This is where you could go for great ambience in five-star surroundings, and also for some great dimsums.
Demi Lune / Geneva
From tapas to Moroccan tagine, there’s something to satisfy every palate with a glass (or many) of wine or an interesting cocktail. Beware, though, you might end up spending more time here than you intended. More than the food, perhaps, it’s the lovely environs that are seductive.
Mulligan’s Irish Pub / Geneva
Music and endless pints of beer. What else would you need in your downtime?
Elsie’s wine and Champagne Bar / Zermatt
Wine lovers, this is the place for you. An impressive wine list makes you spoilt for choice. That’s not to say you won’t find a good selection of local beers.