A Taste of Xi’an
Nestled in the heart of Mayfair in London is Murger HanHan, specialists in cuisines from Xi’an City, home of the Terracotta Warriors. The signature ‘murger’ – stewed meat in crispy bread – is the Chinese version of the Western hamburger and is the favourite of regulars to the restaurant looking for an introduction to cuisine from China’s Shanxi Province. Next, hand-pulled wheat noodles, made fresh every morning, are personalised according to diners’ selection of the sauce, soup and toppings chosen from the menu. Try the braised pork Bian Biang noodles with chilli oil, topped with tomato and egg for its full sweet and spicy flavour. Portions are large and it’s advisable to share. Touted as the only restaurant in Europe to serve beverages from Xi’an City such as the Tsingtao No. 9 beer (named for its strict serving temperature of nine degrees) and a lightly brewed osmanthus-flavoured rice wine, it sees a steady stream of patrons, both Asians and non-Asians, during lunch and after office hours.
Chew On This
One of Kuala Lumpur’s hotspots, Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar in Bukit Bintang just got even better with a new range of cocktails. These four new cocktails use exotic ingredients and flavour combinations that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, starting with the Fogueira, a beach holiday-inspired cocktail that mixes gin, dry vermouth and Bitter Bianco infused with pineapple and coconut, served with a garnish of edible sand and burnt cocoa husks. Another refreshing drink is Jungle God, made from gin and a kombucha mix made from fermented jasmine and rose tea – the perfect antidote to waiting out the city’s jams. Looking for a drink with a kick? Take the Inferno, which is made from Japanese whisky, ginger wine, spiced pomegranate juice, red dates and ginseng liqueur that’s set alight before your eyes. Finally, there’s Celestial 5, a surprisingly pleasant savoury-bitter-sweet cocktail that uses duck fat-washed dark rum with Guinness reduction, orange bitters and a splash of hoisin sauce.
The culinary stars continue to shine bright on Anne-Sophie Pic, the only French female chef with three Michelin stars, as she opens her third La Dame de Pic restaurant at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore. Featuring a menu of refined Valence-style cooking, Pic’s restaurants – which are also found in London and Paris – are known for several signature dishes like Berlingots, a pasta dish served with lightly smoked and creamy Banon goat's cheese, ginger and bergamot-infused cress sauce, white millefeuilles made with light Tahitian vanilla cream, as well as Cornish crab and Brixham Dover sole. The restaurant also features a drinks menu comprising wines, cocktails, whisky, sake, tea, coffee, dashi, broth and consommes.
Fine dining in Resorts World Genting Malaysia just got elevated as The Olive, the resort’s upscale Continental restaurant at Genting Grand, proudly presents Miyazaki wagyu beef on its menu. Winner of Japan’s prestigious Wagyu Olympics for three consecutive tournaments, Miyazaki wagyu – from the Miyazaki prefecture on Kyushu island – is held in higher esteem than the Kobe variant. Genetically predisposed to contain a higher percentage of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and intense marbling, the beef yields an unbelievably delicious flavour and melt-in-the-mouth texture. For a complete three-course meal, opt for an appetiser of quinoa and kale salad with pomegranate, feta cheese and maple dressing, before indulging in the star of the show – the A5 Miyazaki beef with roasted root vegetables, apple and cherry tomato. The beef is seasoned with two types of flavoured salt to bring out the best taste. Pair it with a shot of Chivas Regal Mizunara for the ultimate experience, rounded off on a sweet note with a chocolate fondant with dark cherries and smoked cigar ice cream.
Trendy Modern Dining
Newly open in Auckland’s iconic 125 Queen Street is Queen’s Rise, a new laneway-style dining precinct boasting world-class design, an impressive ambience and worldly cuisine. Expect to find 11 of Auckland’s best independent restaurateurs as they present innovative and authentic dining experiences. There’s Lowbrow, an understated yet quirky establishment serving fresh and seasonal food with an edge, and Grace, a culinary twist on elegant yet affordable dining with clean flavours and locally sourced produce. Another major highlight is the Ottoman Mezze Lounge, a Turkish-inspired concept featuring a laidback lounge, traditional Turkish dishes and an emphasis on shared eating. Also in the mix are Italian cuisine specialists Dante’s Pizzeria, Nourish Pod – the original Acai bowl dealers, potato joint and watering hole Potato & Me, as well as fresh and healthy options at Poke Bar. Complete the experience with dim sum and dumplings at Panda Town, clever takes on donburi from Tokyo Loco Bowl, guilt-free goodness at Jar Story and deli-style sandwiches from Dolly Bird.