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Ever since El Bulli was closed, all projects by the Adria brothers have created a lot of excitement. Albert Adria’s pop up restaurant at Hotel Cafe Royal, 50 Days, was quickly booked out. We initially only booked the cocktail menu but luckily managed to get a table through a last minute cancellation. Keeping asking helped!

The meal started with a cocktail at Cafe Royal’s Oscar Wilde Bar, which would look extremely OTT in bright lights but with dimmed lighting, it offered the perfect setting for the cocktails and snacks, which were the ”starters” of the tasting menu. It was followed by the main meal, which was served in the hotel’s restaurant Domino.

Some of Tickets‘s signature bar snacks were on offer to compliment the two cocktails: Elote and Ephimere. Ticket’s Olive beautifully became part of the ornamental decorations. It was a gem,  releasing intense flavour from 6 pressed olives. Read the rest of this entry »

It is so busy at work these days, I decided that unless it is an amazing experience, I would not be bothered writing about it here. Aulis at Fera is certainly one worth spending the time for!

There have been too many chef’s table on offer in London lately and to be honest, I am not particularly excited eating in a busy kitchen. Aulis is different. It is a Chef’s table in a private kitchen within the professional kitchen at Fera at Claridges, a 2 Michelin Star restaurant famous for its creative and natural take on modern British cuisine. The chefs who prepared the meal are from the development team of Fera, and the dishes are yet to be offered in the menu of the restaurant outside. Yes, we are guinea pigs in that sense and what a pair of happy guinea pigs we have been!

Beautiful and glamorous as it is, Claridges always feel a bit too formal and restrained. The journey from its main entrance, through Fera’s reception, dining area hall, via the professional kitchen into the compact private kitchen full of gadgets set the scene to something more playful and experimental.

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The Fat Duck has been closed for 10 months when the team moved to Australia to allow for refurbishment on its restaurant and kitchen in Bray, UK. I was super excited to try out its new tasting menu again, revamped as ”The Itinerary”.

As it is a ”trip”, the ”ticket” needs to be purchased in advance just like one would do when you book a holiday. Yup, paying for the whole meal (£255 a head) in full before you can eat a thing. I do not know of any restaurant would dare to ask diners to do that. But it is Heston Blumenthal afterall- he makes his own rules. And to be fair, he does not ask diners to pay for the service beforehand as in UK, service charge is discretionary. At the time of booking, and 10 days prior to our reservation, we were also asked many questions related to our childhood memories, general and food related. We were curious how this would get incorporated into the food.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a lovely lady outside the entrance and led into a small, dark glass box. It felt futuristic and mysterious. Another lady gave us an ”itinerary” (which was like a map) and a magnifying glass. She then opened a smooth sliding door, revealing the dining area.

Itinerary The Map

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Mid-Autumn Festival is near- time to have moon cakes! Traditionally they are made with lotus seed paste and salted duck egg yolks. However, there are many variations of moon cakes as well as people in Hong Kong get bored easily. The most exclusive ones are allegedly made by Spring Moon 嘉麟樓 at the Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong. It is limited edition which means every year, people queue for hours and it is usually sold out way before the festival. The price has gone up by nearly double this year to HK$485 (GBP40) a box!

So is it really worth the hype? Check here to see the answer >>

Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
After watching China winning  gold in 3m springboard synchronised diving, we were high in spirits when we stumbled upon a curious red and white pavilion. I suddenly recalled a friend telling me about the Coca Cola Beat Box– It has been built!

Unfortunately, the concept drawing looked a lot more interesting than in real life, as the mass of the core in the middle killed what was supposed to be light red and white interlocking panels (which produce special ‘beats’ when the sensors hidden in the panels are triggered). The beats are supposed to resemble that of Olympic disciplines but the narratives are too forced in my opinion. The best part of it is actually not the design of the pavilion, but what is waiting at the top……

Touch pad-Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012

Olympic torch photo opportunity  in the Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Light installation  in the Coca Cola Pavilion, London Olympic Games 2012
Yes, you guessed it right! Check here to see the answer >>

Cradle going down to the centre of the Earth- magma centre of a volcano
Apologies for the lack of posts lately, I have been to the centre of the Earth! I was lucky enough to be among the first 250 tourists to visit the magma chamber of Thrihnukagigur, a volcano that last erupted 4000 years ago.

A bridge across the opening of a volcano

After a 50 minute hike across the lava field, I reached the base camp. Essentially it was a couple of portacabins airlifted there by helicopter. Geared up with a hard hat, headlight and harness, I was ready to walk up to the mouth of the volcano, which until June this year, was not open to the public.

It was first explored in 1974 by a guy who was adventurous enough to explore a hole the locals claimed to be ‘bottomless’. He did so by abseiling down with basic gear but I was luckier- I had a bridge and a cradle, which was set up for the National Geographic Channel to explore last year. Still, it was not for the faint- hearted. To reach the cradle, I needed to use harnesses to ensure safety.

Decending down the opening of a volcano
Click here to see how far down I have gone >>

The Front Row at London Fashion Week 2012
I had my little Anne Wintour moment at London Fashion Week 2012. Oh well, kind of. It was my first time attending a fashion show. I was excited.

Somerset House, London Fashion Week 2012
It was surprising to see how many people bothered to wake up early on a cold winter’s day to go and see the show. I woke up even earlier than I would do in a week day! That is the magic of fashion, I suppose? Continue reading to check out the fashion show >>

We went to see David Hockney‘s latest show ‘A Bigger Picture’ at Royal Academy of Arts on a cold day in mid-winter. It has been a while since I last went to the countryside as it just seems to be dull and cold most of the time.

‘Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006’, 2006. Oil on 6 canvases. 182 x 366 cm. © David Hockney. Photo credit: Richard Schmidt, from RCA website.

This show has been widely anticipated and was said to be likely to be as popular as the National Gallery’s exhibition for Leonardo De Vinci. How was it? Click here to find out >>

The perfect Irish coffee
On a cold day like this, what could be better than having a nice and warm Irish Coffee? I found out how to make a perfect one from Daphne who works for Ballymaloe, the famous culinary destination in Cork, Ireland. Click here to check out the recipe >>

Autumn gold and red
Autumn gold and red Continue to see the beautiful autumn red >>