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What is your Fav Indian Restaurant?

I assume you are referring to House of India in Bermuda. If so, then you will probably enjoy Moti Mahal or Red Fort. Mint Leaf is also OK. all three are in London (Soho/West End area) and MM is certainly the best of the 3. Lots of other options, but these are similar in style/taste/price to HoI in Bda. Tamarind is excellent, but considerably more $$. Good luck.

Sep 06, 2014
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland


Anything special worth trying?

Sep 09, 2013
StayThirsty in Europe

Copenhagen Airport

Suggestions for casual setting with good food at or near Copenhagen airport

Sep 09, 2013
StayThirsty in Europe

Singapore/Hong Kong - Regular visitor looking for something new & different

I'm heading over to HK and Sing. on business next month. I travel to the region often, but find myself craving something different. I'm not sure exactly what, but anything new, off the beaten track, truly special or just fun / casual will probably do the trick. I miss the Singapore of old...before the arrival of celebrity chefs and all of the pretention. I'm much more interested in a superb/unique food experience rather than ticking a box on the latest list of "must visit" or fashionable places to see and be seen. I'm less familiar with HK. Thanks in advance for your replies.

ISO: Wahoo

Although not the same, mahi mahi makes a good substitute and if you're in a real pinch, try grouper. BTW, did your co-worker say where he/she ate the "best ever" taco in Bermuda?

Itinerary Questions from a Visitor [London]

Your itinerary sounds terrific, but if you are flexible I would suggest changing your tea to another day and booking Pollen Street Social for lunch on Saturday. It is prix fixe/set menu (with some options) and perhaps the best value in Central London. Roganic will be closed by the time you arrive, so I might suggest you revisit the Rules option mentioned in your original post. Moti Mahal is a good choice for Indian. I have never been knocked out by Master's Superfish and would probably just pass on the F&C. Finally, you asked about food markets. Make sure to visit Borough Market (it makes the St. Lawrence Market look a bit sad)... but avoid Saturday as it is too crowded. Thursday or Friday morning are much more managable. Late breakfast/brunch at St. John is also good.

May 28, 2013
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

London dinner

Tea at Cocomaya is fun and the atmosphere is certainly funky. You may also want to go for drinks at the Crazy Coqs (part of the Brasserie Zedel "complex"). It is a sort of throw back to the cabaret/supper clubs of a by-gone era and if the person performing suits your interests, it can be a highly entertaining few hours. Although somewhat predictable, the Wolesely still offers great atmosphere. I wouldn't bother with Balthazar as you're from NYC, but you might just pop your head in if you're feeling homesick...they have replicated the interior almost exactly and it is sort of weird to look around. The Bull and Last is a great "pub" with great food, but you may not want to venture out that far. Indian in London is far superior to anything you will find in NYC and you can also find several asian options in Central London unlike home where you need to visit Queens. For Sunday lunch, Brawn is very good as is my regular suggestion...Hawksmoor in Seven Dials. Re seafood, I prefer Scotts over J. Sheekey, but you cannot really go wrong at either venue. Quality is comparable, but Scotts is perhaps more elegant whereas I prefer Sheekey pre/post theatre. I'm not sure what the rock and roll music point is, but for an environment somewhat different you should head out to the east end and explore Spitalfields, Redchurch street etc. Lots of indpendent boutiques and restos worth visiting.

May 22, 2013
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

Best non-Hawker asian restaurants close to Raffles hotel

Yes, you do..but luckily there are some fantastic people on this site that can help you wade through all the choices. I also started visiting Asia regularly in the mid-80's. You are going to notice an unbelievable degree of change in Singapore since your last visit (although I experience the same senstation every six months!!)...and also in terms of the difference from Bangkok. Again, there are some terrific resources on the web and elsewhere which will make your research and time there a blast. As you refine your search, just post any questions and I'll offer whatever assistance I can...I'm sure you will also get plenty of feedback from Sing based members and other frequent visitors. I would approach the task by cuisine type (i.e. Indian, Chinese, Malay Peranikan (Malay/Indonesian) and western) and then decide on your desired price point to make some selections. As you wil soon is almost impossible to have a bad meal in Singapore. Just make sure you have an extra hole or two in your belt for the flight home!!

Ignorant Yank Invades Toronto

Thanks...I did not know. Where in the downtown core do you suggest for dim sum nowadays...Is Pink Pearl down at Q's Quay still OK???

Best non-Hawker asian restaurants close to Raffles hotel

Is this your first time in Singapore or have you been before? I only ask because if it is your first time, then I might suggest someplace like Straits Kitchen over at the Hyatt hotel as a nice place to sample a wide range of regional cuisine in a non-hawker style setting (well... sort of!). If you have been to Bangkok and you are not a newbie to Asia, I also suggest you try the Betel Box food tour. It is a bit awkward to get details via the internet, but if you start with the Betel Box hostel web-site you should find a link. Essentially, it is a 5-6 hour evening tour in and around the Joo Chiat neighbourhood. In addition to the food, your guide will tell you everything you ever wanted to know (and perhaps a few things you probably didn't) about life in Singapore. Regarding the recent spate of marquis restaurants opened by celebrity chef's in Singapore...I find the trend somewhat depressing. I understand the need for high end dining options for business travellers, wealthy tourists or food enthusiasts in general...but in my opinon, they are all a bit sterile and often prove disappointingly similar to what is on offer elsewhere. I always try to seek out the truly unique or special experiences in my travel destinations and this is especially true in Asia. If you are interested in Indian, and don't want to venture far from Raffles, then you will enjoy the buffet lunch in the Raffles lobby. Personally, I would head over to Racecourse Rd in little India and hit Banana Leaf Apolo or Samy's Curry in Dempsey Rd. Yantra on Tanglin Rd is also good value. In my opinion the only reason to venture anywhere near the Marina Bay Sands is to take in the view from the rooftop bar...otherwise, I suspect you will realise your fears re the quintessential Vegas experience. That being said, Jason Atherton's Pollen is a nice spot. If you like dim sum, then be sure to hit Jade at the Fullerton Hotel (the old post office building...not the "Fullerton Bay" property). The Majestic also does a nice job. If you are staying at Raffles, and you are feeling peckish, walk across the street and head to the lower level of the Raffles City shopping mall. There is a branch of Din Tai Fung there and you can enjoy the signature xiao long baos. Lastly, you should buy a copy of Leslie Tay's book when you arrive (and check out his web-site before you get there) as it has a wealth of useful info on everything "Hawker" in Singapore. Makansutra guide is also helpful, but in my opinion not nearly as user-friendly. Have fun.

Ignorant Yank Invades Toronto

Hmmm, where to start. Toronto is a melting pot so as you suspect, you will certainly be able to find a bit of everything (except of course truly unique regional specialities such as southern BBQ, Cajun/Creole etc.). As is NYC, San Francisco etc. the cultural/ethnic communities are often concentrated in heighbourhoods such as Chinatown, Little Italy etc. You will have no problem finding very good Indian, Chinese, Greek, Portugese, Italian cuisine etc. US funds are widely accepted but you will get gouged on the exchange rate. Most ATM's will be connected to the major bank and credit card networks, so I would probably suggest withdrawing cash as and when needed. If you are there on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, try to go to the St. Lawrence Market. It is a typical farmers market but has a good selection of local produce, meat and artisanal products. If you do go to the market, most locals will tell you to get the iconic "bacon on a bun" sandwich from Carousel bakery (it is very good!). As far as any "Ontarian" experiences or cuisine, aside from the stereotypical Canadian bacon or maple syrup, any local chains are slop (you may be tempted to go to a Tim Horton's Donut shop or Harvey's Hamburgers...don't bother. Think Dunkin Donuts and Big Boy). Rodneys is good, Li Wah Heen for dim sum, Libretto for Pizza and maybe Black Camel for a basic sandwich....otherwise, it's pretty much just like any other mid-to-large size N. American city. Oh, one more thing...Torontonian's typically only want what they have to line up for. The herd mentalility prevails. They also suffer from a major inferiority complex relative to their neighbours from south of the border (witness the inevitable flurry of posts here boasting of "world class" this and that...blah, blah, blah). At the end of the day, Toronto is a pleasant city, with friendly people and its fair share of nice (albeit pretentious) restaurants. In other words, not much different than what you are probably used to at home. I hope this helps. Have fun.

3 days in Miami

If you are going to be in S. Beach during your trip, then by all means hit Joe's, but if by "Westin Hollywood", you mean the Westin Diplomat, then I would not bother with Joe's. It is somewhat pretentious and quite frankly, if you are in Hollywood you are less than a mile from a place called Billy's. It doesn't have the cache of Joe's, but personally I find the Stone Crab to be of comparable quality to Joe's for a better price and with much better service and a friendlier "vibe" from both the staff and other patrons. Unfortunately, from my experience, the location around your hotel is otherwise a bit of a culinary wasteland. There are a few interesting places down around Aventura and in Ft Lauderdale proper...also maybe hit Le Tub near the FLL airport for a burger if you are in the mood.

Looking for the full London food experience for end of August

Hello. For the best overall market experience, Borough Market is probably your best choice although the weekends are somewhat manic. Try to visit on Thursday or Friday to avoid the crowds. The proverbial "must do" vendors include Kappacasein Dairy for a grilled cheese sandwich and Brindisa for the chorizo on a bun. The farmers market behind Festival Hall/Southbank Centre is also fun. On Sunday, venture east and wander Brick Lane/Columbia Road Market/Petticoat Lane for more of a flea market vibe but with many worthwhile food options (Brawn in Columbia Rd is particularly good). You should also wander Marylebone High Street as you can visit the Ginger Pig (butcher) and La Fromagerie (cheese shop) etc. and also hit the Golden Hinde to satisfy your fish & chips fix. Make sure to also go to Neal's Yard Dairy (Borough and Covent Garden/Seven Dials) and Paxton & Whitfield (Jermyn Street) for some more good English cheese. Regarding traditional English dinig experiences, I would highly recommend Sunday lunch (roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and all the fixin's) at either the Bull & Last or Hawksmoor's Seven Dials location. My preference is Hawksmoor as it is in central London and is probably the best deal in London at under 20 pounds. Rather than travel to Bray for the Fat Duck experience, maybe look into Heston Blumenthal's "Dinner" restaurant at the Mandarin hotel. It's very good, but advance reservations are a must. You should also plan on tea somewhere but avoid the hotels as they are expensive and somewhat droll. I would suggest either Cocomaya (assuming you like sweets) or the Wolseley or Delaunay (both are also very good for breakfast...very much like a NYC Balthazar experience...which is also now in London...but you probably want something different). Seafood for me would mean one of either Scott's or J. Sheekey, and for Indian...Moti Mahal, Red Fort, Mint Leaf (?) or Tamarind (depending on your budget). Italian means a visit to Lina stores and I Camisi to shop and probably Bocca di Lupo to eat (go across the street after for the blood orange granita at Gelupo). Finally, if you want a Michelin experience, without the Michelin price go to Pollen Street Social for the prix fix Saturday lunch. Hope this helps. Have fun.

Apr 05, 2013
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

Florence, Tuscany and Rome

Forget Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence and go to Trattoria Sostanza (Il Troia) on Via Porcellana. Not much to look at, but the food is terrific.

Mar 08, 2013
StayThirsty in Italy

One-stop baking supplies store in Scarborough/North York?

Grain Process Enterprises - 105 Commander Blvd., Scarborough, ON Telephone: 416 - 291 3226 will have whatever supplies you need, but not the rolling pins. For those I would suggest Williams Sonoma (if you don't mind paying a premium). That's where I bought mine.

Bermuda 2

Sure. I like Mad Hatters and as you are going to be here and have not yet been, then by all means check it out. However, in response to your original question (Any new chowhound places to check out?)...I cannot think of anything "new" worth seeking out. As a regular visitor, you are no doubt familar with the Island and its culinary options. Although there are some very nice dining experiences to be had, there is very little which is truly special and even less that is worth the prices charged. I have had mixed experiences at both Bolero and Tribe Road, so hopefully you will visit on an "on" day/night. It pains me to say these things as I used to feel Bermuda was a truly special place to visit. Unfortunately, it seems to have lost much of its appeal in the past few years and the local food scene is no exception.

Bermuda 2


If you could just have ONE meal in Singapore, which one would it be?

I had the exact same reaction as huiray. I "abandoned ship" shortly after arriving at their site. There are far too many good restaurants and other food & beverage venues in Sing to bother with the ones with pretentious web-sites!!

Wiltons or Rules? [London]

Wilton's if you prefer seafood...Rules for game.

Jul 19, 2012
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

Bermuda - third visit, what's new?

Unfortunately, just about everything in Bermuda is becoming more "relaxed". It seems like the majority of Bermudians under the age of 40 want the Island to become just like Jamaica or the Bahamas. Too bad as the unique lifestyle and attitude was what made Bermuda special.

London best Fish & Chips Restaurants

I was not impressed with Masters Superfish. The atmosphere is lousy...but more importantly, so was the food! I was there late in the afternoon and it was quiet, but I thought that would translate to a better prepared meal. Instead, I suspect I was served something which had been sitting under a heat lamp for a couple of hours. It certainly tasted like it. My best F&C experience in Central London was at Livebait (the location at The Cut...the Covent Garden outlet is crap!); but that was 3 years things may have changed. I've never tried Golden Hind, but it is busy every time I go past, which is always a good sign.

Jul 18, 2012
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

Italian food in London

There are several. Depending on your budget, meal time, tastes etc., I suggest one of the following: a) Bocca di Lupo; b) Locanda Locatelli; c) Carluccio's; or d) Little Italy. Bocca is the best of the bunch, but also the most expensive. Reservations are a must, although if you don't mind sitting at the bar (more fun in this instance), they are considerably more flexible. If you go, make sure to hit the Gelato place across the road which is under the same ownership. Locanda is a very close second and is more relaxed and slightly less crowded. Carluccio's is a chain and is fine for basic pasta and sandwickes etc. It's not gourmat by any stretch, but the proce is right and is great if you are dining with small children. Finally, Little Italy is really more of a bakery/coffee bar, but it has a great vibe and is a bit of a Soho institution. If you are in the market for good Italian food products (probably no big deal if as your name implies, you are visiting from TO...then be sure to check out Lina Stores and i Camisa & Son. they are both in the heart of the theatre district about 150 feet from each other. Lot's of other option if you are willing to venture to another neighbourhood, but this should get you started.

Jul 17, 2012
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

London's best eats? Nose-to-tail and everything else

Third vote for Brawn here..particularly if you want to do Sunday lunch and take in the Columbia Rd market vibe.I also agree with mjgaeur regarding St. John. It can be great or just OK. I would endorse one booking to give it a try and as you're staying at the W and only 10 metres from the St John Hotel (which does many of the same dishes), you should not need to worry about a booking as you can drop in at "off hours". I popped into Zedel last week and although the actual dining room is beautiful, the entrance and never ending steps down to it are somewhat off-putting. The lack of "curb-appeal" is no doubt the root cause of the relatively low prices. If you are not fussy about this sort of thing, then go for it...but if you like atmosphere, thern maybe Delaunay or Wolseley by the same owners is a better bet. Excellent list by MIT...only might add Spuntino if Meatliquor is not possible and/or Mishkins if craving salt beef and Brick Lane Beigel Bake is not convenient.

Jul 10, 2012
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

Advice for Marble Arch area? [London]

Re #4 (and #3 I suppose)...head over to Cocomaya on Connaught St. - -
They do a terrific afternoon tea...not really traditional in the crowded room surrounded by tourists sense, but plentiful amounts of artisinal versions of all the usual sandwiches and treats with plenty of chocolate goodies on offer. If tea is not something that is of interest, it is still a wonderful bakery and chocolatier worth visiting. As far as Asian suggestions, if Dim Sum is on your agenda, then Royal China on Bayswater is reliable although I personally find Phoenix Palace in Marylebone (also close by) a better option. I also suggest taking a stroll along Marylebone High Street and stopping in to the Ginger Pig (butcher) and La Fromagerie (cheese and sandwiches) at Moxon Street and perhaps the Golden Hind for fish & chips. Have fun.

May 25, 2012
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

Friend coming for a few days from London, England. What can't she get across the pond that we do well here?

Uggh. I think you may have misinterpreted my original post (or perhaps I just didn't make my point as clearly as I should have). I actually agree with your your point of view. I love pacific salmon, ribs, british chocolate etc. etc. I was merely trying to suggest that given the limited amount of time available, perhaps it would be best to stick with truly unique items rather than the Canadian version of what is available back home. My original comments were actually directed more toward those posts claiming "food" (Notorious B.I.G. etc.) as being better in Canada than the UK etc. etc. I certainly did not intend to come off as judgmental and sincerely apologise for any offense taken.

Friend coming for a few days from London, England. What can't she get across the pond that we do well here?

Well OK...perhaps I was in a particularly irritable mood when I penned my earlier post. I'll give you Soma, but I was really responding to 5secondrule's comment regarding Brits having terrible taste in chocolate. I actually find British chocolate far superior to Canadian (with specialised artisinal producers being the exception). As far as suggested food/restaurant options....I certainly wasn't suggesting your friend survive on maple syrup and bloody caesars (although it might make for a fun weekend!)...merely attempting to say that it might make more sense to expose her to some unique Canadian ingredients/condiments etc. which she can take home and expereince in a variety of ways rather than try to "out do" and/or replicate something she can either find (good bagels/game/salmon) or make herself (BLT) at home. All that being said, I think the other comments made regarding some of the Toronto burger, dim sum (although there are some pretty good places in London) and brunch places are probably checking out. In my experience, the only really "uniqueness" to be found from the Toronto restaurant and dining scene, stems more from the great vibe, friendly character and diversity of the city rather than the actual food on offer or preparation technique etc. In keeping with my ingredient/condiment thought, if your friend is a real foody, take her to the St Lawrence market so she can sample some local produce, baked goods, Quebec cheese and charcuterie etc. etc...especially if you end up doing several home cooked meals as planned. If she enjoys wine, then Ice Wine should also be on your list.

Friend coming for a few days from London, England. What can't she get across the pond that we do well here?

I've been following this thread for the past week and have found many of the posts quite amusing and somewhat embarrasing as a Canadian. It would appear quite a few people have either not visited England in quite some time and seem to think the UK has been frozen in 1973! Granted, once you leave the larger cities, the culinary options become much more provincial, assuming your friend does not live in the middle of nowhere, she probably has access to far better and diverse food options than the typical Canadian. This is especially true for Central London, which in my view is on par with New York, Singapore and Tokyo (and is far better than Paris for example). As far as my thoughts on your original query, I would endorse the Bloody Caesar, Maple Syrup and some of the "snack food" ideas, but would not bother wasting your friends time with pacific salmon (outside of BC), bagels, smoked meat (outside of Montreal) or a BLT as someone from the UK can find comparable offerings in the form of Scottish salmon, Brick Lane Beigel Bake, Mishkins ("salt beef") and just about any Pret a Manger outlet. I also think the game offerings (other than bison) are more plentiful in the UK than in central Ontario. Finally, as far as chocolate is concerned, unless she prefers brown wax to cocoa, I really would not bother introducing her to North American mass produced chocolate. In essence, I would stick with a few unique and special ingredients (maple syrup etc.) and leave it at that.

[London] Late May itinerary critique and specific dish suggestions, please

Ditto re Hawksmoor Seven Dials. Even before I read the very predictable references to B&L and Harwood I was goin g to log on and endorse Hawksmoor. Although not a pub atmosphere, the food is really spectacular and their Sunday lunch is terrific value for money (GBP14.50pp?). FYI, the drinks are also suberb as is the roast bone marrow starter. Regarding St John, I also agree that simple is best...but whatever you do, order the Fois Gras. Another options for Sunday is Brawn...again not a pub, but very good food. Indian shouldn't bea problem as you will be spoilt for choice. As your colleague to check out the other CH threads (or perhaps do so yourself and start dropping hints!). Only other suggestion would be to consider Saturday lunch at Pollen St. social. it's a set menu and a fabulous way to experience a great restaurant at an affordable price.

May 08, 2012
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland

4 day Bermuda Vacation--must visit restaurants

I'm not sure if you have been to Bermuda before, so please forgive me if I tell you anything you may already know. Firstly, there are probably no "must visit" restaurants in Bermuda. The Island is physically beautiful and you are coming at a very pleasant time of year regarding the weather, but in terms of world-class food and beverage options, there isn't really much here anymore that is not done to a higher standard/less expensive/with better service elsewhere. However, that being said, there are some very nice places which you should put on your list. In terms of water views, the Reefs hotel is across the street from your hotel and they have a nice outdoor (covered) restaurant on the beach. Probably best for dinner...and it is a bit pricey for what you get. Another waterfront option is Cafe Lido at the Elbow Beach Hotel. It is a 10-15 taxi ride from your hotel on the way into Hamilton. Again probably best for dinner (I'm not even sure it is open for lunch). Also at the Elbow Beach is Mickeys. It is a more casual venue and it actually constructed on the you cannot get any closer to the water. It is good for lunch as they tend to do more burger/sandwich fare. The only other options with a proper water view are Blu at the Belmont golf course (again 10 min cab ride from your hotel) and Beau Rivage at the Newstead Hotel (maybe 15 min for your hotel). The former is run by the same people as Cafe Lido/Mickeys and tends to specialise in Italian/Meditteranian fare whereas Beau Rivage is French/Continental. In order of preference, I would book Beau Rivage, Lido, Reefs for dinner and then Mickeys for lunch and Blu for Sunday brunch. As far as non-water views, the Blu/Lido/Mickeys people have a very nice Italian place in town called Little Venice. It does not have a view, but they do a nice job with the food (very popular with the business crowd). You can take the hotel ferry to the sister Fairmont property in town (Hamilton Princess) and walk quite easily. FYI, you can also take a water taxi from town over to the Beau Rivage if you happen to be in town before dinner. In terms of more casual options, La Trattoria do a very good job with pizza and Bolero on Front Street has a nice menu. Both are in Hamilton. As far as pub style food, Henry the VIII is just down the street from your hotel and Flannigans and Pickled Onion in Hamilton do a resonable job with burgers etc. However, at the latter two, you will end up paying a premium for the view over Front Street. The Hog Penny Pub in town is also OK, but nothing special. There are a ton of sushi places on the Island, but the only one worth patronising (in my opinion) is Pearl on Front Street above Port o' Call. Finally, there is the House of India. In my opinion, it is the best quality food on the island and certainly best value for your dollar. Unfortunately, it is in probably the worst possible neighbourhood and as a visitor you may not want to go. However, any taxi will take you and collect you so you do not need to worry about your personal safety etc. If you enjoy Indian cuisine and are in town during the day, their lunch buffet is probably the closest I would say to a "must visit" dining experience while here. The only other advice I can give is to be aware that despite being in the middle of the ocean, most of the fish on offer will be from elsewhere. Unless the menu explicitly says "local", it is probably not. Therefore, be sure to confirm with your server etc. Assuming it is available, try the local wahoo and rockfish. Have fun!

Alternative to Sunday Roast at Bull & Last ? [London]

Give Brawn at 49 Columbia Rd a try...or if you don't mind a slightly longer journey, then Roast at Borough Market (Floral Hall) is superb. If you feel like heading into central London (Covent Garden), I would go to Hawksmoor in Seven Dials. In my opinion, it is the best Sunday Roast in the UK...certainly the best (Ginger Pig)) and most (huge portions) food for your money (19.50?). In fact, I'm going next week!!

Mar 01, 2012
StayThirsty in U.K./Ireland