lagnaa barefoot dining, little india

a gimmicky, very-expensive indian restaurant in little india – not the traditional indian foodery as you’d expect in this neighborhood. it seems catered toward tourists, tripadvisor (on which it has a fantastic rating) and unknowing diners a like – the gimmick of barefoot dining and variable heat levels (and of course that means there’s a barely-human level up there) saying possibly everything you need to know.

and of course, it could be not a gimmick, but a preference for no-shoes and a care for customers’ varying heat requirements. but I’m just saying – coupled with the high prices and the small portions of supposed-to-be-cheap food, I’m more likely to put this off as a tourist trap than anything else.

but I’m cynical (that’s why you like me, right).

Continue reading

new asia bar, swissotel

upscale-ish, quiet-ish (crowd, not the music) hotel bar at the top of the swissotel (or the fairmont too, seeing as how they share the same compound). I want to stress the hotel bar part, as it rather explains the customers – not the glamorous, highly made-up sort, these are people who want a drink and a place to sit overlooking the city.

and this place does it well. it’s got an honorary dance floor, loud music and colorful moving lights – and on some nights there are actually quite a decent crowd dancing. but on the most part, it gives me what I want: an incredibly good deal on bubbly, or just a glass of something to glide away the weekend on.

a darker, loungier style than level33 – and I certainly don’t know anything about the food. but if you want a good view and a nice place to escape the crowds (and enough loud music to clear the mind) – this is one of my favorites.

New Asia Bar
Level 71, Swissôtel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road
Singapore
tel +65 9177 7307
$$: 20-ish

level33, marina bay financial centre

nice, chill place to hang out with a glass of wine – and have a dessert (or two). this local microbrewery is pretty top-of-its-class, with a view up on its place on the thirty-third floor (the name’s a no-brainer, really), with a good selection of food and drinks, a good mix of standing and sit-down space – and it feels pretty cozy, even with the throngs of people that come here post-work.

I’ve recently taken to a glass of muscato a week (hey, it’s sort of like wine, which is sort of good for you, right?) – and this place serves up a sweet, honeyed glass of loveliness. it’s smooth and mellow, and quite a nice glass to start with – and of course you could go for one of their beers, brewed not a couple steps from you.

but I’d like to talk about their desserts too (a proper meal here is still a pending to-do) – and in particular, this interpretation of a sticky date pudding with triangular block of cake topped with a fig compote and goat’s cheese caramel. it’s a subtly sweet cake that plays up to the sharp savoriness of the goat’s cheese (which isn’t something I usually eat, but this was properly moderated), and the soft vanilla ice cream on the side.

very pretty, very modern, and a well-portioned plate of enough sweet to sate without cloying.

I’ve also tried their fondant previously, and it’s pretty good too – but I’m working my way up to the assiette, which is a two-person platter of dessert. I could really do with one right now.

Continue reading

shangri-la, china

today’s photos will probably explain why shangri-la is so called. taken during our days out at the pudacuo/ potatso national park, as well as at the ganden sumtseling/ songzanlin monastery, the view makes for fantastic snapping.

I’ll leave you to it.

Continue reading

lijiang to shangri-la, china

we traipse outward from lijiang towards shangri-la: and by which I don’t mean the hotel chain (if only), nor paradise.

but then again, this leg of the journey was perhaps the most difficult gastronomically – which made it the most difficult overall in the trip for me (food is a big deal, okay). so one man’s paradise – isn’t quite mine.

but beautiful, beautiful sights – mostly untouched (indigenous locals don’t count) – just bad food (and more biscuits than I ever wanted to eat).

Continue reading

lijiang eats, china

lijiang had the best eating we did in this yunnanese trip – we arrived armed with low-to-no expectations and were met not only with interesting options, but good ones as well. there was a good mix of restaurants and small-store options that helped bridge the gap between meals, and that helped engender this town even more to our affections.

sometimes, it’s good to be a tourist in a touristy town.

Continue reading

lijiang sights, china

lijiang is a picturesque, touristy town – but the best of its class. it is a well-preserved, historical town full of traditional chinese grandeur – but with all the modern amenities you could wish for, and the best food I had in the yunnan region.

we loved this town, and it’s probably the only best one worth returning to in the region (in my opinion of course, but whose else would it be?).

Continue reading

kunming to dali, china

we’re still on the outskirts of kunming – on the way to dali. and we encounter slightly better food here – pretty delicious, but the best thing really is the view.

there’s a beautiful naturalness to everything – the water, the mountains – it’s enough to make a poet out of you. and if au naturel ain’t all it’s cut out to be, then here also I encountered possibly the most beautiful temple I’ve seen (like, we’re talking MOST BEAUTIFUL EVER SEEN).

Continue reading

kunming outskirts, china

part deux of the journey – a rather typical sequence of stops in the yunnan province. if you’re planning a trip there, it’s convenient to fly into kunming, drive to dali and then lijiang, and then drive to shangri-la – before flying back to finish the trip off at kunming.


the drive out of kunming almost definitely takes you to the stone forest, 石林. think a large national park full of stone forests (literally) rising from the ground. it’s full of lakes and greens, and it’s a pretty gorgeous place.

Continue reading