DIRECTOR OF SALES
EDITORIAL LIAISON MANAGER
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
Italy – The Gastronomic Giant 12
La Fata Ignorante 16
Norway Food Blogger 18
Portugal – Europe’s Best Kept Secret 20
Panorama Guincho 26
Capon Tree Town House 30
Culinary Road Trip 34
Three Courses Down Under 42
Africa & Middle East46
Kenyan Cuisine – The One To Watch 48
The Tanzanian Top Three 52
Alexander’s Hotel 54
Zaffran Dining Experience56
Mexican Street Food 60
Le Chique 64
Top Five Food Challenges In The USA 66
Excellence in Service is an important category, as customer
service can often responsible for repeat diners. We look
for restaurants where staff go out of their way to please
their guests, those that provide a personal level of service
and take the time to get to know each visitor so that they
might anticipate their every need. This can be something
as simple as a friendly conversation, a manager who offers
a personal greeting or a chef who is happy to adjust
based on dietary needs – but whatever it is, we are always
pleased when we encounter staff that have been trained in
the art of customer satisfaction.
It is no question that style and design is key factor in
selecting our award winners. A guest will form an opinion
about a restaurant as soon as they arrive, so it is important
to us that all our winners make those first impressions
count. We’re certainly not partial to a specific period of
architecture – but whether we’re judging a gothic castle or
an environmentally friendly lodge, the criteria remains the
same. We consider factors such as architectural features,
use of materials, creation of spaces, décor and the overall
feel. We love it when we find a restaurant that tells a
story though its interior and exterior features or offers a
design that is sympathetic to the natural surroundings of
STYLE & DESIGN
While the ambience and services of a restaurant are
important, what really defines it is its menu and the dishes
in it. We pay special attention to the courses that are
available in the menu and even look into how it’s set up.
Balance of the menu is especially important. A restaurant
that serves multiple dishes that balance each other out to
give the customers a perfect meal experience is seen as an
authority. The cuisine options are taken into consideration
too; be it a local cuisine or an international one. The
sourcing of the ingredients is an important factor as well.
Image by: Patrick Schneider
MENU & DISHES
In today’s modern age, a restaurant cannot rely on word of
mouth to get their message out into the world. As social
media has become a vital part of everyday life, we like to
see companies that go the extra mile to engage with their
customers, both past and future. Attractive and informative
websites and engaging and honest content are what we
look for when judging a company’s use of marketing;
how well they display their services, how up-to-date their
content is, how well they get their brand message across,
and, most importantly, how well their marketing can tempt
us to go and see what they have to offer for ourselves.
Location is one of the most important factors, but also
one of the most subjective, as the ‘ideal’ is very much
determined by the type of visitor and the type of restaurant
itself. However, there are a few factors we take into
consideration when determining the winners of locationbased
awards. The first is convenience; that is, restaurants
that are easy to travel to. Many of our winners in this
category are in convenient locations, such as adjacent
to popular attractions, close to beaches or found in the
heart of easy-to-navigate cities. We’re always excited to
come across a restaurant that is, to use a familiar phrase,
off-the-beaten-track. A restaurant that can offer something
a little different, in terms of natural surroundings, can make
the difference between a good dining experience and an
Diversity is one important aspect that needs to be taken
into consideration when in the travel and hospitality
industry. It is essential to have staff that has varying diversity
to ensure that the organization can properly connect with
their guests. Diversity is taken into account in terms of
gender, nationality as well as languages spoken among
other factors. Not only do we take the diversity of the staff
into account but even that of the facilities and services
offered; a hotel or tour operator providing a better range
of services is preferred over those that do not.
What better way is there to know about an organization
than by getting first hand reviews? Customers are the best
judges of any service as they are the ones who experience
them and can assess whether they were up to the mark or
not. Considering reviews from hundreds of customers over
a set period gives us a fair idea about the general pros
and cons of any organization while also giving us valuable
inputs for the other criteria as well.
The approach taken by the restaurant whether it be
Innovative, traditional or anything else are considered
when deciding winners. Values and approach illustrate
the dedication of the restaurant to deliver a specific type
of experience for their diners. This is evident in the food,
source menu, presentation, the staff and
Image by: Jakub Kapusnak
ITALY – THE GASTRONOMIC GIANT
It is virtually impossible not to have a love affair with Italy, its people and, of course,
Italian food. It fills our hearts, our stomachs and leaves us feeling quite emotional
when the flavours are as they should be. The fact that the food is simple, from the fields of
Tuscany to the plates of the UK, the ingredients sourced and combined to create delicious
sauces and toppings.
Nevertheless, how did Italy manage
world domination with its food? Many
parts of the world had done reasonably
ok without focaccia, olive oil, parmesan,
and prosciutto. Economic hardship and
both the first and second world wars
created migration and diasporas, with
Italians reaching the far corners of the
world including the USA, Australia, the UK,
Switzerland, Libya, Africa and Asia.
Italian neighbourhoods emerged and with
these came the delis, the produce sellers,
wholesalers, all offering a taste of Italy, from
frothy coffees to unusual vegetables never
seen before such as broccoli, zucchini and
It may be something an Italian will take for granted, but the rest of the world loves to
find reasons to indulge in this wonderful culinary experience. Hence the celebrating
worldwide, not just pizza and pasta, but the famous Prosciutto ham, the nutty and heady
smells of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, rich Bolognese sauce, ring-shaped tortellini,
traditional Balsamic condiment from Modena, and many more.
The USA saw the most significant influx
and with it quickly grew the gastronomic
tradition of the Italian panino, a sandwich
made from traditional Italian ciabatta bread,
served warm with Italian ham or salami and
the beautiful Italian cheese, mozzarella.
The Italian food revolution took place
during the 1980s when the delights of
pasta and tomato sauce, Italian olives and
canned tomatoes were in high demand.
Cooking programmes helped to generate
this storm of romantic Italian dining, and
award-winning restaurants opening to
offer complicated dishes such as spaghetti
alla carbonara or lasagne, a firm favourite
with layers of pasta, a ragu of meat in
classic tomato sauce, topped with a mix of
béchamel sauce and hard Italian cheese.
Alternatively, the famous dish from Milan,
Ossobuco alla Milanese, veal shanks and
vegetables cooked in white wine resulting
in a hearty broth, perfectly seasoned and
full of the flavours of Italy. Italian fish dishes
include pasta pescatore or freshly made
cioppino with its intricate and delicate fish
flavours served with crusty Italian bread.
Iconic, tasteful, filling, formerly
food for peasants, an afterthought
by the baker on how to deal with
leftover dough, the classic Italian
Pizza will never go out of fashion.
Big chains joined the cause with
the first Pizza Hut and Pizza Land
arriving in the UK in the 1980s
closely followed by Dominos, all
hailing from the USA when the first
American pizza offered in New
York in 1905.
The pizza craze spread throughout
the world with different toppings
to suit individual tastes, from
Milan and Hawaii style toppings,
Greek and Mexican, to New York
pizza, all having a unique take
on what constitutes the perfect
pizza topping. Legend has it that
the name Pizza Margherita hailed
from the Queen of Italy who took
a shine to the toppings tomato,
mozzarella and basil.
No Italian banquet would be
complete without the obligatory
gelato. Nobody knows where ice
cream originated, but the Italians
certainly perfected it and even
have a museum dedicated to the
Italian art of creating perfect gelato
and world tours and competitions
to celebrate the masters of gelato
Due to its dominant standing in
the world of gastronomy, it is safe
to say that Italian food is famous,
not because of any exoticness,
but rather the simplicity and the
perfect fusing of core ingredients
to create wonderful aromatic
Via Giuseppe Giulietti, 5, 00154 Roma RM, Italy ♦ Tel +39 06 9436 6835 ♦ lafataignorante.it
Sørenga 146, 0194 Oslo, Norway ♦ Tel +47 400 89 182 ♦ hakkaiza.no
La Fata Ignorante literally translates to The Ignorant Fairy. To tell the truth, this
restaurant is far from ignorant for your gastronomic requirements; They pay so
much attention to it and each dish here is a delight to have. The walls of the restaurant
are adorned with copies of paintings of different artists: Tamara de Lempicka, Hopper
and Magritte. The Ignorant Fairy is a painting by Magritte. Lighting makes the entire
ambience perfect for an indulgent gastronomic experience. Situated in the heart of Rome,
the restaurant has taken it upon itself to bring to you the finest of Italian dishes. Fish, meat
and vegetarian options; From spaghetti “ajo e ojo” with clams and chiodini mushrooms,
to squid curls with pecorino cheese, peas cream and cesanese wine reduction, passing
through the veal tongue and the traditional oxtail ragu with pine nuts, tomato sauce and
bitter cocoa. They have a plethora of dishes for you to try. They even have a wide range
of wines in their bar from which you can pick up some of the finest wines available in Italy
and sip them along with your meal for a complete dining experience.
Hidden in the heart of Oslo, in a new township of Sørenga, is an Asian restaurant
which is a gateway from Norway into the flavourful wonderland of Asian cuisine
– Hakkaiza. This place provides for some of the most lip smacking Asian food in all of
Norway. The restaurant sets the tone for your welcome with its picturesque ambience
and location. The ambience is chic and upmarket, which would make you want to visit the
place again and again. The location makes the ambience disappear into the background,
with a view of the sea to savour, while you eat. The food, then, takes you on a journey
to Asia. You can try out the delicious Dim-Sums from China or some Sake from Japan,
or how about some Crispy Duck, straight from Beijing. Hakkaiza also serves some of the
best Korean Fried Chicken there is. If your mouth has started to salivate, go ahead and
reserve a table today!
Norway Food Blogger
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Anders Husa and I run the
largest restaurant- and travel blog in the
Nordics. I visit the best restaurants in our
region and share my top recommendations
with my followers.
What made you decide to set up a food
A long-time passion for food and travel,
combined with marketing studies
specialized in social media, eventually led
me to combine the two into a hobby, which
over the years turned into a full-time job.
In the beginning, I only did research and
made lists of the best restaurants for myself.
However, more and more people started
asking me for recommendations, and I
realized I had to systemize and publish it
What would you say is a traditional
Norwegian dish? How is it made?
For me, one of the most traditional
Norwegian dishes is potato dumplings.
They go by different names, depending on
the region, but the most common ones are
“komle,” “klubb,” and “raspeball.” Made
from a mix of raw and cooked potatoes that
are grated and mixed with salt and flour
before they are cooked in a lamb broth,
the potato dumplings are typically served
with salty lamb, sausages, rutabaga mash,
and bacon fat. In some regions, they also
make it with a piece of bacon inside. My
grandmother always used to make them
for me when I was a kid, and back then, I
could eat ten of them. Today, as an adult, I
can hardly finish two of these rich and heavy
A common misconception about
Norwegian food is that it’s “bland”, do
you find this to be the case and where do
you think this reputation comes from?
Traditionally, Norwegian food was
constructed for the peasants. It wasn’t
supposed to be good-looking or very
balanced, but rarther filling and packed
with energy. When they are well-made,
however, a lot of the dishes can be really
good. But heavy and rich food doesn’t go
well in a modern restaurant, so few places
do really good traditional food.
What is currently the most popular
culinary trend in Norway?
The general trend of quite casual restaurants
continues. Barriers to entry are low. I’m also
happy to see a trend of restaurants focusing
more and more on sustainability – choosing
local, organic products, and working to
Akevitt is extremely popular, what advice
would you give to a traveller looking for
authentic Akevitt in Norway?
Most bars in Norway will have a good
selection of aquavit, but Himkok in Oslo
takes it one step further. They distill their
own aquavit and make several cocktails
based on the spirit. In fact, their entire
menu is based around local and seasonal
Part of what you do is produce popular
foodie guides & maps but have you ever
thought about setting up your own food
tour, showing travellers, the best spots
in the city?
Actually, I have done this already. In April
this year, I invited 14 of my readers to
Copenhagen where we dined at Noma,
Geranium, Barr, and Sanchez to name a few.
The plan is to host more of these food tours!
Favourite place to grab a coffee?
Tim Wendelboe in Oslo is two blocks from
where I live, and possibly the best coffee
shop in the world.
Other than Norway, what destination
would you recommend to a foodie?
I’m currently quite obsessed with Asian
cuisine and just had an amazing trip
to Hong Kong and Singapore. Highly
What does the future hold for Anders
The project I am most excited about in
2019 is the 360 Eat Guide where I am
chairman and responsible for Norway. It’s a
completely new way to evaluate restaurants
and the first restaurant guide in the world
ranking both gastronomy and sustainability
1: Arnold Lan; 3: Hedda Kaupang; 5: Anne Valeur
PORTUGAL – EUROPE’S BEST KEPT SECRET
From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, Portugal has a lot to offer in culinary terms,
more than the blatantly obvious tourist food bait of sardines and custard tarts
washed down with the obligatory glass of Port, although perfectly acceptable behaviour
if you look to sit with locals and pay reasonable prices!
Fresh fish and shellfish are a staple diet of Portugal, with cod being the most popular and
diverse, cooked in many ways from fish stew to croquettes. Look out for lobster, oysters,
shrimp and crabs cooked in the most creative ways following the traditions of Portuguese
grandmothers. These are dishes craved by true connoisseurs of good food, food created
from humble origins taking full advantage of the seasonal ingredients.
Add to the plate the sun-ripened vegetables and fruits, and the wild acorn-eating pigs
cured to create hams to rival those of any Spanish, the free-range lamb and beef raised
on traditional Portuguese farms add flavour equal if not superior to that of its neighbours.
Until very recently, it has remained in the shadows of neighbouring gastronomy
powerhouses, with traditional Portuguese cuisine not promoted or defended to the extent
of that as Spain and France. However, the world is waking up and becoming captivated by
the feasts offered by the wealth of this Country’s top chefs who deserve a lot more credit
for their roles in influencing world gastronomy.
Even Spanish chefs admit that the best seafood comes from the Portuguese Atlantic
waters. Local markets will have a daily catch on display from tiny cuttlefish to enormous
tuna. Heavenly fresh seabass caught locally and served up simply with a hint of garlic,
a dash of lemon and a generous drizzle of award-winning Portuguese liquid gold,
i.e.olive oil. Discover the best seafood restaurants serving up the morning catch in
Lagos, Alvor or Madeira Island.
Cod rules in Portugal with claims that there exist 365 different ways of cooking this
magnificent fish. Popular is Bacalhau a Bras, originally from a Lisbon neighbourhood
region. Bacalhau a Bras constitutes a salted cod, shredded and combined with
scrambled egg, served with olives and potato fries. Different regions will have their
unique take on the Bacalhau a Bras. Coimbra crumbles cornbread into the mix,
Porto’s unique take adapted from one of its finest chefs, Bacalhau a Ze do Pipo, who
added the flavour of mayonnaise, pickles and mashed potato, while the iconic city
of Lisbon adds their Bacalhau a Bras to a salad of chickpeas and chopped onion.
Whichever way you take your Bacalhau a Bras, it will imprint some Portuguese flavour
forever to your soul.
Rice with seafood is a traditional dish, with the Portuguese’s take on seafood rice
dishes in the form of a sumptuous Arroz de Marisco. A family favourite for generations,
infused with cilantro (coriander), garlic, fresh tomato sauce and loaded with shellfish
favourites caught that morning, such as lobster, clams, shrimp, crab. Top versions are
on offer at many of the seaside resorts such as Praia da Vieira, Cascais, or the Algarve
North Portugal’s food traditions extend to the mountains and the islands where
traditionally big family lunches are very important. One dish that continues throughout
the country is Cozido a Portuguesa, a type of one-pot stew. The stew features a range
of meats including beef, pork and Portuguese paprika spiced sausage known as
Chourico and blood pudding. Added to the stew are vegetables from the farmyard
kitchen including potatoes, cabbage, carrots and turnip. The island of Furnas on Sao
Miguel, set in the Azores, is famed for cooking this hearty soup for six or seven hours
in a “fumarole” a hole in the ground of a dormant volcano. Served alongside the
delicious fresh cheeses made from the milk of local dairy farms that are abundant in
this area and locally made quince jam and fresh crusty bread.
With the microclimates
offering up probably one
of the best geographical
locations in the world
to produce the most
excellent dairy products,
it remains a mystery why
Portuguese cheeses are
not more widely known,
even though many have
won awards: the herby
infused goat and sheep
Nor forgetting the vast
variety of wines, again from
such a small country with
enviable microclimates a
great many of the finest
wines produced in the
world come from Portugal.
In addition to the wellknown
and Madeiras, partake
in the summery vinho
verdes from the lush green
northwest, full-bodied reds
and fruity whites from the
Avarino grape that grows
alongside the Douro and
Tagus rivers and sparkling
offers from the Bairrada
and sweet honey muscatel
wines from Setubal.
Arguably the best food in
the world and a significant
influence on the quiet
(Japan has Portugal to
thank for tempura and the
UK for its “traditional fish
Guincho, 2750-640 Cascais, Portugal ♦ Tel +351 910 926 327 ♦ panorama-guincho.com
Panorama Guincho -- Portugal’s top-rated seafood restaurant attains excellence in what it
does as a result of the perfect combination of quality services, fresh ingredients in food
and highly-experienced cooking. The restaurant gives out a positive vibe, owing to its renewed
space which fills the decor with a brand-new contemporary style of sitting. The elegant interiors
and delectable spread of food coupled with the magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and
Sintra Hills in the background is what your ideal weekend should look like and the restaurant
prides itself at delivering just that. The ambience of the restaurant is inspired by the Village of
The place also accommodates an
articulated interior terrace. The
discreet and friendly service at the
restaurant is what ensures that the
guests keep returning for more. The
meals at the restaurant are cooked
with the mixture of Portuguese
gastronomy’s everlasting flavours
but in a traditional manner. Some of
the most recommended food items
include stuffed crabs and the blue
lobster ‘Lavagante.’ Their big plate
of tasty shrimps ‘Carabineiros’ is just
as amazing. Their crunchy ‘Bread
Crust Fish’ is an absolute delight for
all seafood lovers out there! Pair their
exquisite dishes with the wide range
of wine options they have to further
enhance your dining experience.
The meals are prepared by top-rated
chefs right in front of the guests. The
team comprises of some of the most
popular chefs in Portugal, including
Pedro Carapinha (the head chef),
Paulo - who is in charge of the room
staff and Sérgio who plays a key part
in the Panorama-Guincho team by
delivering the best experiences to
The restaurant is also an ideal space for parties and private functions. The food is prepared
while keeping your requirements in mind - be it group lunches or dinners. The restaurant
also hosts company lunches, birthday parties, Christenings or even wedding ceremonies.
224 Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, London ♦ Tel +44 0 2079301459 ♦ ristorantegranaio.co.uk
Creating traditional and regional Italian cuisine is an essential core value of Ristorante
Granaio Caffe e Cucina.
To accomplish this, we sought advice from the most globally valued cooking expert…
Because when it comes to food and choices at the dinner table, we all appreciate the classic
recipes of tradition steeped in history and taste: Grandmother’s cooking.
WHAT IS THE PERFECT MENU?
Without doubt, it includes classic Italian
favorites: lasagna, risotto, Parmigianino
and meat dishes. All adapted within
different regions, our dishes replicate
the passion put into home cooking and
Our mission is to make you feel right at
home, to help you recollect treasured
memories and flavours from your
From the pastries to the dishes on the
menu, everything is prepared respecting
tradition and craftsmanship, using natural
ingredients, sourced and selected carefully
to ensure the highest quality.
Together, they represent our brand values
and what we do.
Our values are also reflected within the
interior style of our restaurants, from the
elements of the table to furniture, all of
which are natural and elegant, rustic and
stylish. This carefully conveys the sense of
a lived past, in a chic and elegant setting.
Enjoy a taste of home cooking with
Ristorante Granaio every time!
61 High St, Jedburgh TD8 6DQ, UK ♦ Tel +01835 869 596 ♦ thecapontree.com
The Capon Tree is situated in Jedburgh, in the traditional and historic county
town of Roxburghshire, in the Scottish Borders. Husband and wife team Alasdair
and Ashley Wilkie are hands-on proprietors; their passion and ambition are reflected
throughout the entire team. Alasdair together with head chef Iain Barr use only the best
local and seasonal British ingredients meticulously prepared with heart and passion from
small suppliers that live and breathe quality. Alasdair & Iain have a deep understanding of
classic French cooking techniques which continue to be the backbone of their style. They
have an unrivalled reputation and passion for creating flavoursome and innovative dishes,
which shows with the diverse menu & delicately decorated food on offer. Ashley & our
Sommelier Elena Gargani hand select our wine menu which has inspiration from both old
and new world wines. Working closely with the Chefs’ selected ingredients, Elena pairs
each dish with one of our chosen wines to create a matching combination. All elements
of the dining experience are well thought out to ensure a memorable experience at The
Image by: Juli Vo
Image by: Sharon Chen
CULINARY ROAD TRIP
If you want to take a culinary road trip, Southeast Asia can offer such a fantastic range of
unique dishes in countries such as China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Experiencing the local food is a key part of any trip where you can experience a countries
culture and cuisine. There is so much that can be learned about their history and its
culture, simply from their local dishes. Southeast Asia has many influences throughout
history, which can be seen in their cuisine where local dishes can vary from simple, to
exceptionally spicy and complex offerings.
Trying local food and drink is such as an important part of travel and your road trip. With
such a range of options in this part of the world, its essential to try as many dishes as
possible, be adventurous!
Some of the most popular dishes which should not be overlooked are listed below, during
your Southeast Asia road trip.
One of the most popular dishes in
China is the classic Kung Pao chicken,
also known as Gong Bao or Kung Po.
Kung Pao chicken is a spicy chicken dish,
which includes vegetables, peanuts and
chilli peppers as the main ingredients.
Kung Pao is served throughout China,
although there are regional variations,
which can be less spicy for example.
There is a westernised version of Kung
Pao, but this is very different from the
real thing as certain ingredients are
difficult to source outside of China, so
substitutions may be used.
Kung Pao is a “must have” dish when in
China, the only place you can appreciate
the authentic flavours of this famous
Vietnamese food is considered one of
the healthiest foods, with its distinctive
taste from the core ingredients, these
freshly cooked dishes must be tasted, to
be fully appreciated.
A popular dish to consider during a visit
to Vietnam is Pho (pronounced Fu), this
is a noodle dish that is available all over
Vietnam, probably the most common
street food on offer. Typically, Pho dishes
are Pho Bo and Po Ga (Beef and Chicken),
these are served with flat rice noodles
with a broth, and garnished with lime, red
chillies, beansprouts, basil or coriander.
Pho is your essential dish to sample
when in Vietnam, available all day and
everywhere, the true taste of Vietnamese
Continuing the road trip into Cambodia,
another culinary experience awaits. With
many dishes to choose from, each dish
can be completely different in flavour
and spiciness with most contrasting
Why not experience Khmer red curry. This
is a coconut based curry, similar to the
curries of Thailand, but without the same
level of spice, so much milder. The curry
can be served with beef, chicken or fish
with its main ingredients of aubergine,
potatoes, green beans and lemon grass.
Most dishes in Cambodia are served
with rice, but the Khmer red curry is an
exception and server with bread, typically
at special occasions such as weddings. If
you get the opportunity to sample this
dish, make sure you do, you won´t be
And in to Thailand, a country renowned
for flavoursome yet simple food with a
spicy kick to match. There are so many
superb dishes to recommend, but Tom
Yum is a dish that deserves a special
Also known as Tom Yam, originally from
Laos and Thailand, this is a sour and
spicy soup usually with prawns. The soup
has a distinct taste, with fragrant spices
and full flavours in abundance. The broth
is made from fresh ingredients including
lemon grass, galangal, lime leaves,
chillies and fish sauce.
With its popularity, the soup is now
available worldwide, but as with all
the South Asia dishes, the commercial
alternatives are no match for the
authentic real thing.
The final destination of the five country
road trip of Southeast Asia is Malaysia.
The style of cuisine in Malaysia is
complex and diverse, derived from a
combinations of Malay, Indian, Chinese
and Indonesian with other influences
including Thai, Portuguese, Dutch,
There are many exciting dishes worth
considering when in Malaysia, but why
not choose Mee Goreng Mamak, with a
strong Indian influence, and served with
beef or chicken, this flavoursome dish
consists of yellow noodles, soy sauce,
vegetables and eggs, with some extra
chilli added to provide the anticipated
This dish is a great illustration of the
quality dishes that can be enjoyed
in Malaysia. Try to replicate this dish
yourself, but guaranteed to be nowhere
near as good as the real thing.
With the road trip of Southeast Asia
complete, and a wonderful array of
dishes enjoyed, why not take the
return journey back through the same
countries and enjoy other popular
dishes from this region. There are so
many to choose from!
Image by: Caroline Attwood
THREE COURSES DOWN UNDER
Regionally inspired cuisine in Australia is a delight to the sensory palate. Dishes that
belong to Australia include home-grown meat from the kangaroo, buffalo, emu
and lamb. Fish aplenty including John Dory and Barramundi and, of course, the legendary
BBQ staples such as snags (similar to the UK sausages).
Head to Sydney and the top-rated authentic Australian restaurant, aptly named Farmhouse
Kings Cross. Typical French farmhouse style, the cosy restaurant boasts one long shared
The main course would have to be on the fantastic Queen Adelaide restaurant, which is
located …on board a train! However, not just any train, this train is The Ghan, a superb
way in which to view the splendid Australian scenery over three days and four nights. The
journey starts in Darwin, with various excursion stops along the 2,979km journey, taking
the traveller deep into the Australian countryside through Katherine, Alice Springs with
Coober Pedy the penultimate stop before the final destination of Adelaide.
On offer is a five-course meal of fresh
local and organic ingredients with each
course paired carefully with an allocated
wine for that particular dish. The
restaurant owner is a wine expert and
keeps an array of Australian and French
wines in his cellar.
The dining space of Queen
Adelaide is stunningly ornate,
harking back to rail travel
from a bygone luxurious and
The menu changes regularly according to
the seasons. Starters include locally sourced
calamari in a deliciously rich and flavoursome
broth, or a mouth-watering broth made from
spanner crab and roe, with a citrus explosion
provided by native lime. Served with
homemade crusty bread and homemade dip.
Reservations well in advance are necessary
as this restaurant is usually fully booked for
The main course experience
aboard The Ghan promises
to be one of exceptional
dining. With dining booths
situated alongside full-size
picture windows, allowing
the diner to enjoy a view
of the stunning Australian
outback, mountains, deserts
Main courses are of the finest local ingredients, including the most popular, a fillet of
perfectly grilled barramundi from the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory. The
barramundi is prepared on a bed of pannacotta and spinach and served with a delicate
The Queen Adelaide restaurant manager is a trained sommelier and recommends
a pairing of crisp dry Australian white or Sauvignon Blanc. However, the dish is light
enough to pair with a glass of good quality sparkling Shiraz.
For an iconic dessert, head to the
Woolloomooloo suburb of Sydney
and the world famous Flour and Stone
bakery, for a slice of traditional Australian
lamington cake. A lamington cake is
a simple affair, consisting of a square
of jam or cream-filled sponge, dipped
in melted chocolate and coated with
shredded coconut. A large chunk of cake
but enough to hold in your hand, the
Australians can claim this dessert as their
For many years, this dessert went out
of fashion and did not find favour
with diners in Australia. There was a
real danger of it dying out altogether.
However, Flour and Stone have gone
to great efforts to ensure the lamington
remains a local and worldwide favourite
by taking the Australian lamington to
an entirely new level, with its signature
The revival has been widespread with
lamingtons on the menu at many of
the fashionable restaurants and trendy
coffee shops and bakeries with various
interpretations of the original.
Match the Lamington dessert with a rich late harvested sweet wine. The Australian
fortified Muscat from northeast Victoria is a sweet, robust, vibrant and delicious wine and
will accompany this Australian symbol of sweetness in perfect harmony.
KENYAN CUISINE – THE ONE TO WATCH
When it comes to food, Kenya has a great deal of external influence both
historically and modern day from slave and spice trading, Arab invasions, and
the critical establishment of trading links. It is impossible to restrict a style of cuisine to
Kenya as there is a certain amount of overlap with cultures and history. However, there
is a strong influence from India through the similar use of rice, maize, bread, marinated
meat and fish.
Ugali is the Kenyan equivalent of Italian pasta served with almost every meal. It is a dish
cooked using cornmeal added to boiling water. A special “ugali stick” helps to mix the
flour and water, continually pushing the mixture up the sides of the pan until it becomes
dense in consistency, to be able to slice through the mixture to serve it.
An excellent example of the Indian
influence is the Samosa, found all
over Kenya but originally an Indian
snack, these small triangular parcels
filled with delicately spiced beef
and vegetables, cherished amongst
the Maasai tribe, the ladies will sit
together, making the dough, creating
the fillings and frying until golden
brown. Served up with wedges of
lime. The Kenyan Samosa is less
spicy than its Indian counterpart
is and today are highly regarded
street food and a favourite snack
in cafes and restaurants. Similarly,
the Chapati, the very typical Indian
round flatbread cooked on a skillet,
served with a variety of dishes as an
Irio is another comfort food
native to central Kenya
comprised of potatoes,
peas, sweetcorn, spinach or
pumpkin leaves combined
together to create a subtle
texture of starchy mash. In
the Kikuyu language, (the
native language of Kenya)
Irio translates as “food” and
is a traditional side dish to
a Kenyan style beef stew or
Kenyan Goat Pilau
Another reflection of Indian cuisine is Pilau. The rice is cooked and infused with an
array of whole spices including cardamom, cumin, cloves and cinnamon. When served
alongside a delectable goat stew, this flavoursome rice is a match made in heaven.
Samaki wa Kupaka
This is a delicious grilled fish coated with a thick and creamy coconut sauce flavoured
with tamarind. A favourite side dish for this Kenyan fish dish, apart from coconut rice,
is Mandazi, originally from the Kenya coast, these sweet or savoury African doughnuts
go well with fish dishes alongside a serving of Sukuma Wiki or spinach.
No culture can escape the invasion of western influence, especially when it comes
to food, and the Burger Hut Nairobi has been a successful penetration into the
Kenya capital for the past 20 years. Achieving consistently excellent reviews, it has
helped Nairobi evolve to a crowd-pleasing burger city with an annual burger festival
taking place for the fourth year in 2019 running for 10 days with over 100 restaurants
This vegetable is similar to Kale
and full of nutrition, it cooks
down well with fried onions and
tomatoes to make a favourite
Kenya side dish. Many Kenyans
living in the countryside easily
grow this staple vegetable, and
serve it with home reared goat,
rabbit or chicken.
Finally, a speciality drink from the town of Kalenjiin. Predominantly a dairy producing
town, it has a speciality drink known as Mursik. A special combination of fermented
goat or cow’s milk and fresh blood from one of these animals. The drink is famous for
nourishing the Kenyan Olympian runners and, when they return from the games with
medals, they are presented with a gourd filled with the milk/blood combination. Not
for the faint hearted, the drink smells and tastes like a strong cheese and can easily
unsettle an unaccustomed stomach!
THE TANZANIAN TOP THREE
Tanzania offers some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, with its highest mountain
and deepest lake, Tanzania has topped the polls in a recent National Geographic
Magazine award for preferred tourist holiday destination.
1. Mshikaki – this is a
local finger food of
marinated cubes of
beef served on skewers.
The smell will have your
mouth watering long
before you even see
them. Grilled or roasted
on the streets as a snack
or a complete meal,
served up hot and full
of flavour using local
2. Ndizi na Nyama – this is a stew
traditionally from the Kilimanjaro
Chagga tribe. Made with beef,
green bananas, coconut milk
and an exciting variety of spices.
A stew served up in large bowls,
poured over a generous portion
of rice traditionally fed to women
who are about to give birth due
to its strength-giving qualities.
Depending on where you stay in Tanzania, local food is a delight, cheap and easy to come
by. Avoid the tourist traps and pizza houses, and go for the local cafes and street food that
is on offer everywhere.
Wandering the streets, you will need sustenance, and it is easy to come by. On every street
corner, you will find the “chapaati mamas” local women making chapaatis, in addition to
numerous stalls selling fresh local bread and cookies, all served up with cups of refreshing
3. Pilau ya Kuku – pilau rice with
chicken. The pilau rice in the Tanzania
kitchens is unique, with a unique blend
of pilau masala, differentiating this
style of rice from its Indian counterpart.
This delicious, taste bud enticing
plate of rich food has a side dish of
refreshing kachumbari, a relish of
salted tomatoes, red onions, drizzled
with sweet tasting lime juice.
1216 Mary Knoll Ln, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania ♦ Tel +255 754 343 834 ♦ alexanders-tz.com
Alexander’s Hotel in Dar es Salaam is a family-owned boutique hotel that offers you
a lavish stay. However, the one thing that stands out about this hotel is its fantastic
restaurant. The restaurant is neatly tucked away on the terrace of the hotel and has a very
comfortable and contemporary feel to it. Be it day or night, you can sit back and enjoy some of
the finest preparations in Dar es Salaam right here in the open air booths.
You can choose from a wide range of options here which are prepared with the choicest locally
sourced ingredients. The tender beef is sourced from Iringa, the seafood too is freshly sourced
from the surrounding seas. Do try out their wide variety of seafood dishes. The Swahili Prawn
Curry and the Lobster Thermidor are some dishes that you simply cannot miss out on when
visiting Alexander’s Hotel.
They have an extensive collection of
premium and award winning wines, which
is among the best collections in Tanzania.
You can choose from a wide range of
South African wines such as Hoopenburg,
Hartenburg, Delheim or even Mitre’s Edge.
They have a good collection of Single Malt
whisky which is off-the-menu.
The decor of the restaurant deserves a special mention here. The restaurant is extremely
spacious and is open from all sides so that you can dine in the midst of nature and see
lush greenery all around. The environment is extremely peaceful, which takes your dining
experience to the next level.
The Center, Salwa Road, Al Muntazah, Doha ♦ Tel +44110045 ♦ taste.qa
Our goal is that each guest receives prompt, professional, friendly and courteous service.
We ensure that all guests and staff are treated with respect and dignity. By maintaining
these objectives we shall be assured of a fair growth that will allow us to contribute to the
community we serve.
Since its inception, Zaffran
Dining Experience is a
legacy of gastronomic excellence
derived from decades of research
and development in visionary
culinary, dedicating a unique
concept for the very first time in
Qatar since 2015.
In a short span of operation,
Zaffran Dining Experience has
been blessed with many local &
international awards from various
institutes that recognize quality.
At Zaffran Dining Experience we
offer a progressive fine dining
approach with traditional Indian
cuisine, where you explore a new
take on presentation, flavour and
textures of old favorites, in an
ambience that invites and sets
the mood, whether a romantic
dinner for two or a night out in
the town. Located conveniently
in the heart of the city, we cater
to the foodies and connoisseurs,
seeking a culinary experience that
engages the senses of their taste
Zaffran Dining Experience Franchise options are in the pipeline in Europe | USA | South
Africa | Singapore - To find our more write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEXICAN STREET FOOD
What better location to lose
oneself completely in a
foodie adventure than Mexico? Cultural
influences from around the world collide
to create a culinary and gastronomic
Mexico is a country of vibrancy and
mouth-watering famous street snacks
consisting of the famous tacos al pastor
served up by local characters each with
a story to tell, against a backdrop of
emotive history and architecture.
Maize, or corn, has its history from
when Mexico was Meso-America and
farmed by the Toltecs, the Aztecs and
the Mayan civilisations. Today, maize
does not require any processing. Elotes
are grilled corn cobs, served up on a
stick with a variety of mouth-watering
condiments, from a simple squeeze of
lime and a sprinkle of salt to butter and
The Mexican popularity for street food has developed due to a demand for “antojitos”
(snacks or nibbles) and the exciting flavours achieved from the Hispanic ingredients that
play a huge role in the characteristics of Mexican street food.
In Mexico City, a visit to the Barrio de la Merced is the heart of the city’s historical
commercial district where there exist large communities of Jewish and Lebanese all of
which play a part in the influencing of flavours.
From early morning to late at night stalls line the streets serving up tacos cooked on a
comal, a flat griddle used to prepare a variety of foods and filled with local delicacies such
as bull’s eyes, brains and intestines.
Favourite dishes include Caldo de Gallina, cooked fresh daily with herbs and onions,
served up with rice or chickpeas with a variety of condiments to self-serve such as lime,
salsa, finely chopped habanero and onions, and roasted chilli flakes, enabling personal
seasoning preference. A great local trick is to take a tortilla and spread with salsa for
dipping into the soup to give a fantastic heated kick: a massive bowl for less than £2.00,
Another hugely popular and flavoursome street food is the tlacoyo, commonly
referred to in Mexico as the “ancestor of the tortilla”. Typically Mexican, consisting of
a thick oval shaped dough called masa, sometimes blue in colour when prepared with
the natural blue corn, and filled with various ingredients including frijoles (traditional
black beans) and butternut squash blossoms, salsa, onion, chillies.
The tlacoyo is an ancient creation from Olmec, Maya and Aztec cultures and forms
the basis of many creations by merely adding delicious toppings and stuffing. Recent
food festivals in Mexico have given these firm favourites a modern twist by stuffing
with chickpeas and avocado leaves and topping with fried pork skin.
Birria, in Spanish, literally means a disaster or a mess, but the birria served up on
the streets of Mexico is anything but a disaster! Initially, from the Mexican state of
Jalisco and Michoacán, this rustic and spicy stew composed traditionally of goat meat
although may contain a mix of goat, beef and mutton, cooked for many hours until it
is meltingly delicious. Served up with a plate of tortillas on the side, the heat can be as
hot as you can handle, with a variety of condiments and seasoning on offer including
lime juice, fragrantly fried chillies and salsa picante. Ladle onto a fresh tortilla, add
some chopped onion and a little more salsa, wrap and eat. Heavenly and hearty.
Mole, pronounced “molay” is
the name for the many types
of rich, flavoursome sauces
that accompany meat or rice.
Mole comes in differing colours
including yellow, red, black
and green. The sauces typically
come about from the blending
of approximately 30 ingredients
including nuts, fruits and various
seasonings such as chilli. They
can be a filling for tamales or a
topping for enchiladas.
Carretera Cancun-Puerto Morelos km 27.5, Manz 37, Super Manz 12, Riviera Maya, Mexico ♦
Tel +52 998 872 8450 ♦ lechiquerestaurant.com
Located in the exotic Azul
Beach Resort in Riviera Maya,
Le Chique is not just a treat for your
taste buds and nose but for all your
other senses as well. As you enter
the restaurant, you’ll be welcomed
with the classy, seductive decor
of the restaurant along with the
aroma of fresh food. Restaurant Le
Chique takes you on a multi-sensory
dining adventure in its comfortable
ambience with walls covered in
a shade of blue and lamps of
minimalistic design hanging from
They take modern cuisine to the
next level by first deconstructing the
food and then reconstructing it to
resemble something totally different.
Be prepared to get both puzzled
and amazed by the culinary skills of
the chefs for Entrées may appear as
desserts or cocktails may appear as
spheres! What’s even more amusing
about the food is the manner in
which it is served. It is nothing short
of fancy. You can expect your food
to be served inside a hollowed-out
book or even on a string!
Bringing this all to you is Chef Jonatán Gómez Luna, Head Chef Alejandro Villagrana
Pérez and their talented team. All the food is prepared by using the choicest of local
ingredients which are grown through sustainable growing practices. Do not miss out on
their wide collection of wines, which, when paired with their dishes, give you a completely
unique culinary experience unlike none other.
Do try out their Crispy Veal with Sun-Dried
Smoked Chilli and Spider Crab prepared
with Corn and Burned Habanero to give
you a zesty treat! Do not miss out on visiting
their mini wine cellar which is located right
inside the restaurant. Le Chique stands
absolutely true to its name. It provides all its
guests a unique, boutique, chic experience
unlike any other.
TOP FIVE FOOD CHALLENGES IN THE USA
It is only the USA one will find the phenomenon of the “Supersize Food” where the
saying “go big or go home” applies. Restaurants across American continually attempt
to “wow” their foody customers with legendary and extreme eating challenges.
Orochon Ramen Special Spicy Noodle Challenge
Join the ranks of courageous spicy ramen warriors on the Wall of Bravery at Orochon
Ramen. This beautiful ramen restaurant in Little Tokyo downtown Los Angeles offers
differing levels of the famous broth with Special No. 2 being the spiciest and the
subject of their fiery challenge. Finish a large bowl of the ridiculously spicy broth in
half an hour, to win a place on the Wall of Bravery. All levels contain delicious miso,
garlic, green peppers, mushroom and pork and a secret spice mix that is the envy of
other ramen restaurants. With six teaspoons of the incredibly scary spice added to
the fiery Special No. 2, the heat is intense, but the flavour is incredible!
The XXL burger “the Sasquatch
Burger” challenge is a feature
of the Big Foot Lodge American
diner in Memphis Tennessee. The
burger consists of two mammoth
bread buns, a whole tomato, a
whole onion, 7 leaves of lettuce, a
mountain of pickle and eight slices
of American cheese. The redeeming
feature of this supersize burger is
the quality of meat, 80/20 ground
chuck beef, and the equivalent of
eight regular size burger patties.
Anyone who deigns to take on this
task has 60 minutes to finish the
7.5-pound burger. For the winner is
a permanent place on the infamous
hall of fame.
The Acme 15 Dozen Oyster Challenge
The French Quarter, New Orleans’ oldest neighbourhood is home to the battle of
man versus mollusc. With 180 oysters to consume in one hour, this is a crazily tough
challenge with five out six competitors failing. The winner has the glory of their name
on added to the prestigious Acme Oyster House Wall of Fame. The oysters are as
fresh and delicious as can be, almost exclusively from the Louisiana Gulf Coast, and
cooked in a range of ways, raw, grilled or fried, served with the Acme delicious sauce.
Don Juan Breakfast Taco Challenge
A legendary eating challenge in Austin, Texas takes place at Juan in a Million. The
challenge is to break the previous record in one sitting, no time limits, no bathroom
breaks. One taco consists of a whole Idaho potato, bacon, two fresh eggs, salt,
black pepper, paprika and cheese on a 6” traditional Mexican flour tortilla. Prizes for
winning are a free meal, a Don Juan T-shirt and, of course, your face on the coveted
“Juan of Fame”.
The Hellfire Challenge
Win a free T-shirt and a place
on the aptly named Smoke
Eaters hall of fame for this
excruciatingly painful challenge.
San Jose, California, hosts the
hellfire challenge of 12 chicken
wings doused and impregnated
in their signature Hellfire sauce.
With a 10-minute time limit, no
drinks, no napkins, fingers and
plate licked clean. A further five
minutes without any relief (i.e. no
water!) is required.