Rail travel & wine routes of France

Just as I was beginning to look into planning an adventure for a semi big birthday next year I received an invitation to a wine tasting event hosted by Voyages-SNCF (previously Rail Europe).  Located in Piccadilly, Voyages-SNCF is the rail expert in European train travel.  For the event they brought in wine experts, Taste of the Grape, to run a no fuss, educational session on European wines.  It was perhaps the best cheese & wine pairing  I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting, my favorite being a sharp goat’s cheese with a depth that was heightened by the level of acidity of the sauvignon. Continue reading

London ramen chronicles: Tonkotsu in Soho

When it comes to ramen it’s best to pull your hair back, tilt forward and start slurping… loudly.  Even better, go solo to avoid awkwardness about breaking the western protocol for good table manners or make polite conversation mid slurp.

I recently made my way to Dean Street in SoHo, perhaps one of my favorite streets in London, where I know something utterly satisfying is just around the corner.  It was my 5th visit to Tonkotsu and my 3rd visit going alone.  I read somewhere, probably in one of the two ramen books I just finished reading: The Ramen King & I and Ivan Ramen, that in Japan many people enjoy their ramen in silence so as to take it in as quickly as possible (it’s best while still piping hot) and many eat on their own.

Pan-fried shiitake and bamboo shoots gyoza

Pan-fried shiitake and bamboo shoots gyoza

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Florence sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo

Top 5 Tuscany travel tips

Samuel Johnson has said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”  This is more or less how I feel about Italy.

My 30th birthday was spent on a hike through Cinque Terre, with splendid views of the Italian Riviera, to work up the nerve to tell my friends and family I’ll be moving to London.  My mother and sister then came to visit me, shortly after my move, and we proceeded to Florence and ate our way through the city.  The Brit led me to Rome for an emergency holiday, just last year, when stress took its toll on me.  More recently, we celebrated our wedding surrounded by our close friends & family and the lush green Luccan landscape – then escaped to Venice for our mini-moon.  Tuscany_destination_wedding_Alison_Chang_Photography

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Whitstable Oyster Company 2014 festival

An afternoon at the Whitstable Oyster Festival

We ventured to Whitstable, the English seaside town in Kent, on Sunday to partake in the annual week-long Whitstable Oyster Festival.  I visited Whitstable a few years back and loved spending a quiet afternoon by the sea with the Brit.  This time around we were joined by three friends to experience the delicacies and charms of Whitstable.


Whitstable harbour

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On food & travel: Aptece food tour of Portugal competition

This post is an entry to the Aptece Food Tour of Portugal competition: “How is food your main reason for traveling and what are your expectations for the food tour?

My curious belly holds a lot of sway when it comes time to decide on a new travel destination.  Research into the country in question typically starts with what the local specialties are and how it is emblematic of its native land.  Truth be told, I’m not sure what one can’t learn about a country from its food.  You can glean a bit about the history, culture, traditions and its people from one bite – though I always recommend taking many more, just to be sure :) Continue reading

culinary travels in London & around the world