a). Singapore - Not Impossible
- Will the future be meatless? Decide for yourself in Singapore, where you'll find Impossible Foods' plant-based "meat" products served at eight partner restaurants, including Park Bench Deli, Bread Street Kitchen and Price Orchard. What makes this different from your genetic soy burger patties is the magic ingredient, "hemes" - a combination of soy protein and a genetically engineered yeast that makes it look and feel like meat. Each partner restaurant will use the Impossible Meat patty as a meat substitute in a variety of dishes. At Park Bench Deli, you'll find it in the Impossible Patty Melt, while at Potato Head Singapore and Three Buns Quayside, you'll find it in the Orchard, it's used to make the Lucy Impossible Meatball Spaghetti and Impossible Satay Sliders. Celebrity restaurants aren't missing out on this trend, with Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen serving it on the Impossible Flatbread pizza; Wolfgang Puck's Cut using it for the Impossible Slider, and Adrift by David Myers rolling it up in the Impossible Sausage Roll.
b). Malaysia - Pizza With A Twist
- The guys who started the gourmet burger trend in Kuala Lumpur with myBurgerLab have another hit on their hands with myPizzaLab. Found in Petaling Jaya's Sea Park neighbourhood, the pizza joint serves more than the usual quattro formaggio and margheritas-so pizza purists will do well to stay away. But for the rest, there is a range of electric 10-inch pizza selections that include Huat The Duck (smoked duck, torched mandarin oranges, onion jam); Popeye The Sailorman (creamed spinach, blue cheese, pepper mayo, roasted garlic paste and lemon juice) and Cempedak Boba Pizza (boba balls, Cempedak paste and mozzarella). The menu changes from time to time, so check in often. Pre-ordering and opting for delivery services are highly recommended, unless you love a long queue.
c). Japan - More Than Just Coffee
- You might not think of Starbucks as a travel destination unless you're talking about their newest flagship store in Tokyo. Found in Nakameguro by the cherry blossom-lined Meguro River, this monument to coffee houses 1,200 square metres of space over four floors and is the biggest Starbucks in the world. On the first floor is Milanese Bakery Prince, serving up cronuts and focaccia pizza, while on the second is the Teavana Tea Room, serving more than 20 brew varieties. The third floor houses the Arriviamo cocktail bar, which serves speciality cocktails like the Nakameguro Espresso Martini (chestnut liqueur, creme de cacao and espresso) and Coffee Crusta (brandy, citrus, coffee and cherry liqueur). AMU Inspiration Lounge, a community space that will occasionally host workshops featuring "change-makers" and creative thinkers from Japan, is on the top floor. The roasters is set to offer more than 100 coffee and tea options, so know what you want before getting stuck at the order counter. Expect the balcony seats to be filled during Sakura season, so make sure you get there early.
d). United Kingdom - Pop-Up Bar Fun
- PS150, the once-discreet cocktail bar on Kuala Lumpur's Petaling Street, is taking its cocktail-making expertise outside Malaysia through PS150x YTL Hotels, a series of pop-up events in collaboration with YTL's properties in Malaysia, Japan and the United Kingdom. Following appearances in The Majestic Malacca and Niseko Village, the pop-up bar is due to appear in Threadneedles Hotel, London on 7-8 May, and The Alchemy Bar at The Academy, London on 9 May. Each pop-up will feature speciality drinks and cocktails created by PS150, such as Malt & Juniper, a concoction made with sweet vermouth and dry spice syrup; the Salty Chinaman, a PS150 classic made with vodka, preserved orange, lime, lemonade and bitters; and Lychee No 3, the bar's take on the lychee martini, made with gin, torch ginger and lime.
e). Malaysia - Delicious Dim Sum
- It is typically difficult to find good halal dim sum anywhere, but for a limited time only, find it at One World Hotel's Tuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant in Petaling Jaya. Chef Jordan Chin and his team have tapped into their culinary creativity to craft interesting new dim sum creations that still hit the mark when it comes to taste. In addition to core dim sum items such as the Crystal Shrimp Dumpling (has got) and Pan-Fried Shanghai Dumpling (duo tie), unique combinations such as the Oven Baked Cheese Tart with Salmon are must-try items. Also available is Egg Noodles with Fresh Water Prawn, Ginger and Spring Onion, an aesthetic take on Sang her been with the crispy noodles shaped like a bird's nest. The dim sum promotion is available until the end of this month, with seven-course set menus priced from RM88 nett to RM128 nett.
f). Malaysia - Foodies Feast
- Malaysia's gastronomic paradise gets busy in April with the return of the Penang International Food Festival (PIFF), an annual event that highlights the best of the island' street food and restaurant scene. Taking place on 13-28 April, this third edition of the annual festival is expected to draw over 400,000 visitors to various events across Penang, such as the Street Food Festival (13-14 April) on Lebuh Pantai, which gathers the best of Penang's hawker fare; Taste of Penang (27-28 April), where Malaysia's biggest outlet mall, Design Village, will host a feast for seafood lovers cooked up by dozens of chefs. Other pocket events include mini festivals, food walks, dining experiences and a food photography contest.
g). Malaysia - A Match Made In Heaven
- Niko Neko Match's concept store in Bangsar's Lorong Maarof is Kuala Lumpur's new haven for green tea lovers. The calm and cosy-looking space - complete with white walls, minimalist wood decor and an adorable white kitten in Niko The Odd - is the ideal spot to discover more about the local brand that specialises in high-grade artisanal Japanese matcha. Not sure where to start? Ask the store attendant to take you through the range of high-end to affordable matcha, or have one of the refreshing cocktails, like the Le Black Matcha Cocktail (green tea with Muscat White Grape, Lemon, Sparkling Water and Thyme), the Pisang Hijau (A Banana Matcha Latte made With Peanut Crumbs, Adzuki Sauce and Keeper Pisang), or The Champagne Supernova, A Sparkling Cold-Brewed Houjicha Drink. If you can spare the calories, have the matcha sourdough croissant or the signature Cruch Cubes (green tea fudge brownies coated with rice crisps).
h). Australia - In Praise Of Adelaide
- Discover the gastronomic side of Adelaide at this 10-days food festival, which takes place on 5-14 April across the Australian city and its surrounding region. Start with the festival's main hub in Adelaide's Victoria Square, where you'll find the region's producers and winemakers showcasing their best products, while star-studded chefs like DOM's Alex Atala, Quay Restaurant's Peter Gilmore and Long Chim's David Thompson prepare world-class meals at Glasshouse Kitchen. Ticketed events include A Taste of Arkaroola (5-14 April), which take you through a historical journey of Australian fare at the Tower Hotel in Magill; and A Taste of South Australia (12 April), where a three-course dinner cooked up by head Chef Darren Greenwood awaits at The Promenade Restaurant.
ALWAYS WITH TRAVEL CONCIERGE
@ Jackie San