Grubhub Seeks Arbitration in Restaurants' Proposed Class Action

Grubhub Seeks Arbitration in Restaurants’ Proposed Class Action

News Grubhub Seeks Arbitration in Restaurants’ Proposed Class Action The filing argued that Tiffin Indian Cuisine restaurants, which filed the proposed class action late last year, agreed to arbitrate disputes on a non-class basis before the American Arbitration Association when it agreed to the terms and conditions on Grubhub’s website. By Max Mitchell | March 07, 2019 at 02:29 PM X Your Credit: BestStockFoto/Shutterstock.com
The online ordering website Grubhub has asked a federal court to send a proposed class action alleging the popular digital service collects undeserved commissions to arbitration.
Grubhub filed a motion to compel arbitration with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Wednesday. The filing in Tiffin EPS v. Grubhub argued that Tiffin Indian Cuisine restaurants, which filed the proposed class action late last year, agreed to arbitrate disputes on a non-class basis before the American Arbitration Association when it agreed to the terms and conditions on Grubhub’s website.
The 27-page motion, filed by Jones Day attorney Rebekah Kcehowski, said not only that the terms of service were clearly outlined on the company’s website but also that Tiffin was not an unsophisticated user, and the restaurant chain, which regularly used the online ordering service, included similar terms and conditions notifications on its own website.
“Tiffin—just like Grubhub—also imposes a limitation of liability provision on all of its users through these terms and conditions,” Grubhub said in the filing. “But, notably, the Tiffin ‘[r]elease’ can be found and reviewed only after the customer reads half-way through the terms and conditions and past the heading, ‘You’re Going To Need Some Food To Get Through The Rest Of The Jargon. Go Ahead And Order… We’ll Wait,’ which encourages customers to participate in and use the sites before reading the terms in full.”
Tiffin Indian Cuisine restaurants filed a proposed class action lawsuit in the Eastern District in December, contending that Grubhub was withholding millions from restaurants across the country because it charged commissions on “sham” phone calls that did not result in takeout orders. The complaint alleged that Grubhub’s practices had deprived “tens of millions” of dollars in revenue from more than 80,000 restaurants.
According to the complaint, the online ordering company charged commissions on phone calls, regardless of whether they resulted in an order being placed for takeout. The complaint said the company did this by issuing new phone numbers for restaurants that appear on Grubhub’s sites, and, when dialed, the company redirected the call to the intended restaurant and recorded the calls.
The complaint alleges that the company failed to disclose these practices, misrepresented how it charges commissions, and failed to undertake, or disclose, any of the methods by which it analyzes the calls to determine which result in orders. Grubhub is a Chicago company, so Tiffin also alleged violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, which allows for treble damages.
“Grubhub’s actions, and failure to act when required, have caused plaintiffs and tens of thousands of other restaurants across the country to suffer harm, including but not limited to lost profits in the tens of millions of dollars over the past seven years,” Tiffin said in the complaint.
Grubhub in January asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing, among other things, that it had disclosed the commission to Tiffin in monthly statements, online ledgers, public disclosures and in its contract with one of the restaurants.
In its most recent motion, Grubhub contended that, on several occasions, it provided notice to its users about its terms and conditions, with banners on its web page announcing updates and “timed pop-up” notifications forcing users to acknowledge updates. Notice of the terms, the company argued, was “unavoidable.”
“Plaintiffs, accordingly, accessed the Grubhub platforms repeatedly and continuously to check their microsites and receive notice of the Grubhub.com terms of use,” Grubhub said. “Therefore, plaintiffs here accepted the Grubhub.com terms of use as they were updated by Grubhub, and, as such, they have agreed to be bound by those terms of use, including the provision compelling individual arbitration of any dispute.”
Neither Kcehowski nor Dilworth Paxson attorney Catherine Pratsinakis returned a call seeking comment. Continue Reading This Article share on twitter Max Mitchell
Max Mitchell is a reporter with The Legal Intelligencer, focusing on litigation in Pennsylvania with a specific emphasis on Philadelphia courts. Follow him on Twitter @MMitchellTLI.

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Review: Indya by Vineet

By Laura Coughlin Indian food from a multi-awarding-winning chef. Indya by Vineet must be good, right? The name Vineet Bhatia needs little introduction, but indulge us for the next 50 words. Having opened in excess of 25 – highly celebrated, multi-award-winning – restaurants across three continents, he’s one of the world’s most decorated culinary legends, famous for bringing the cuisine of the subcontinent bang up to date, with spectacularly successful results. Now the Indian native has opened his second restaurant in Dubai (his first is the What’s On Award-winning Indigo at Grosvenor House Hotel) – Indya by Vineet at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa. The colour–splashed dining area is balanced by the rattan chairs and stone-bricked walls, with The Omnipresent Ganesha, the deity icon from Vineet’s birth town of Mumbai, serving as a glorious focal point for the main dining room. The eclectic menu comprises more than 70 unique dishes designed for sharing, with many serving as nods to Vineet’s past. For example, there’s Daulat Aunty’s Mutton Dhansak, Aunty Braganza’s prawn stew and Monty’s egg fried rice. The menu itself is divided into seven concise categories, each with their own very competitive price bracket: From the chaat trolley (all Dhs55); From the earth (veggie; Dhs55 each); From the land (meat; Dhs65 each), From the sea (fish; Dhs75 each), plus rice, breads and raitas. So far, so great. We start at the chaat trolley with some puri and dahi chaat, the delicate pastry cups filled with chickpea curry, chaat masala, chopped raw onions and other delicious spices. Indya’s versions are wonderfully colourful with purple and charcoal puffs. These have to go in your month all in one, regardless of whether that’s your thing or not. It’s a whoosh of crunch, chilli and sweetness. From the list of small plates comes a delightful tandoori cauliflower roast, lathered in tahini sauce – a surprise hit at the table. Who knew a once-bland root veg could be so flavourful? Bigger dishes are just as playful. A Jenga-style tower of lightly battered paneer koliwada tastes sweetly traditional and Indian despite looking anything but, while the Southern Indian buttermilk fried chicken – wonderfully labelled as KFC (Keralan Fried Chicken) – demands to be taken seriously. Here come crispy coated bits of bird, served with a tangy sweet sauce. The playfulness extends to the innovative cocktails list – one arrives with a chai-flavoured iced lolly, while another actually infuses oud into the mix. It’s all very merry, innovative, and, above all, incredibly delicious fare – but with Vineet at the helm, should we really be surprised? Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, daily 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3165550. indya-dubai.com

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W&M’s student-run hackathon returns March 22-14 with a new name

2019 W&M’s student-run hackathon returns March 22-14 with a new name 36 hours of coding: Alex Fantine ’21 talks about plans for Cypher V in Swem Library, the venue for the annual hackathon. It’s set for March 22-24. Open to all college students, coding experience is not at all necessary. Photo by Joseph McClain Photo – of – Richard Bland College by Joseph McClain | March 7, 2019
William & Mary’s student-run hackathon returns to Swem Library with a new name, but bearing the same commitment to providing a welcoming, inclusive and sleep-free creative session.
Cypher V will be held over 36 hours from March 22 to 24. It’s a free event and open to all college students. The schedule of events is evolving and will be updated on the event’s website .
Alex Fantine ’21 is the lead organizer for Cypher V. He began by explaining the name change for the event formerly known as TribeHacks.
“In part, it’s in honor of the William & Mary cypher,” Fantine said. “And also, cyphers mean coding.”
Hackathons are loosely organized creative marathons that center on coding. Fantine is quick to state what a hackathon does not involve: “‘Hack’ doesn’t mean like, hack into a mainframe,” he said. “It’s more like ‘hacking something together.’”
Activities at a hackathon include, but are not limited to, the creation and alteration of apps and other software. Drones, 3-D printers, virtual-reality headsets and other hardware are available for hacking at Cypher V.
The hackathon ethos values collaboration — hackers are encouraged to both seek and give assistance. Hackathons are also competitive events — hacks are judged and prized awarded. Fantine is a computer science major, but he says anyone can benefit from Cypher V.
“Part of the name change is to stress that anyone can attend this — and be successful — regardless of their experience level or skill level in computer science,” he said. “One of our goals is to have an event where anyone who comes can create something cool, even if they’ve never touched a computer before.”
Accordingly, Fantine and his committee have established a set of beginner-oriented workshops near the start of the event. “They’ll kind of evolve,” he said, “so if you attend all of the workshops, you’ll get like one big lesson.”
Another set of changes for 2019 centers around the restructuring of how prizes are awarded for demonstrated hackathon excellence and achievement. They’ve abandoned the traditional first, second, third-place paradigm in favor of a system that recognizes the different varieties of creative achievement that can arise from 36 sleepless hours of coding.
“We’re having more-general categories, such as Most Ingenuity or Most Entrepreneurial, for a project with the most potential to grow into a full business,” Fantine said. “So if a student is not experienced with coding, but might be incredibly experienced in finance or writing up a business proposal, they have a chance at winning a specific category.”
He stressed that hackathon organization is not a one-person operation and the other members of the Cypher V team come from the William & Mary student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery. The team behind the university’s fifth hackathon is Meg Anderson ’20, Wils McCreight ’20, Ben Ryan ’21, Emily Wydra ’21, Jade Chen ’21, Scott Saas ’21, Alex Harris ’21, Sophia Armitano ’21, Samuel Dawson ’22, AJ Marra ’20, Liz Weech ’20 and Conrad Gehrki ’19. The team’s web developer is Adam An ’20, and the PR chair is Kayla Shirley ’19.
Fantine said the William & Mary hackathons enjoy a good reputation, adding that events here are known to be sensitive to food preferences and allergies of prospective hackers.
“We tend to give out big prizes for a small hackathon,” he added. “And we tend to be well sponsored.”
Cypher V is assembling an impressive slate of sponsors, including the info-tech firm CGI, Capital One, William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business, Agile Software, Ferguson, and Aplaud, a music-oriented app that is a startup by Sophia Serghi, professor of music at William & Mary.
Securing sponsor support is one of the top priorities for a hackathon committee. Sponsor involvement goes beyond monetary contributions. Sponsors send representatives and hardware to the event. Face time between students and sponsor reps is one of the primary benefits of a hackathon. Many reps show up with a project from their company that a team of hackers might take on.
Cypher V is sanctioned by Major League Hacking (MLH), as were the four previous William & Mary Hackathons.
“NLH is the NFL of hackathons,” Fantine said, “and it’s literally like the NFL, because they give every school a score, depending on how many people they send to hackathons and stuff like that. William & Mary has a score, and we’re doing really great this year. We’ve sent about 50 people to different hackathons across the Eastern Seaboard.”
Fantine is a veteran of a few hackathons, starting out on the committee at last year’s TribeHacks event. He and a teammate won a prize at HoyaHacks, the Georgetown event. The Cypher V committee believe they understand what makes a good hackathon.
“First of all, the food,” Fantine said. “I’m just kidding. Oh, I mean I’m not kidding. You’re sitting at your computer for hours and you’re reading and working and coding and talking to people. You’re not sleeping. ”
The food is important, he said, and Cypher V will serve six full meals scheduled during the event. Energy slumps are to be expected during the 32-hour brain sessions, and food breaks serve to revitalize the hackers. Last year at TribeHacks, the planners decided to forego a full dinner and just get a pizza order. The order arrived, and Fantine said he thought it was proper for him, as coordinator of volunteers, to let the hackers and volunteers have first crack at the hot pizza.
He showed up six minutes after the pizza’s arrival, to find only a ravaged scattering of warm, greasy cardboard. Lesson learned. Cypher V will offer dinner on Friday; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday; and breakfast and lunch on Sunday.
“A lot of food,” Fantine said, noting that the meals will come from some of the favorite local eateries of William & Mary students. “Our caterers this year are going to be Mellow Mushroom, Nawab Indian Cuisine, Zoë’s Kitchen, Panera Bread, Emily’s Donuts and Wawa.”
Fantine said that once the food plan is settled, the most important component of a good hackathon is the event’s facility to foster a sense of community and encourage interaction among participants. He said that a great deal of the community feeling comes from the architecture of the venue.
“That’s why we’re really glad to have Swem,” he said. “The Read & Relax area is a huge open space for people to work in. You see everyone around you. You get to interact with the other people.”
The organizers are expecting 200 to 250 hackers at Cypher V. Fantine says people from as far off as Boston have registered, but most of the attendees will likely be from the home institution. “William & Mary tends to attract very thoughtful, kind and cooperative hackers, as opposed to some events that are kinda hyper-competitive,” he said.
“My goal is for people to come out of the event feeling like this is something they can do,” he said. “This is a problem I’ve noticed in the computer science department. Students sometimes struggle with believing in themselves when it comes to doing something or making something. Because it’s hard. It’s super intimidating. There’s so much stuff out there already that you’re like, ‘Oh, what am I going to add to it?’”
Fantine said the best advice he has for people intimidated by the coding world is to “just do something — anything. “Cypher V is going to be a fantastic place for people to just do something,” he said. “And have a good time.”

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Top restaurants in Laois announced at Irish Restaurant Awards

Top restaurants in Laois announced at Irish Restaurant Awards By tweet
The best places to eat and drink in Laois were chosen at an awards ceremony in the Killashee Hotel, Kildare.
Establishments in Portlaoise, Portarlington, Emo, Ballyfin, Rathdowney, Stradbally and The Heath received awards in a range of different categories.
Batonis of Emo and Ballyfin Demense in Ballyfin were the big winners on the night as they scooped three awards each.
Batoni’s was named Best Restaurant, Jeremiah Grant in Portlaoise was crowned Pub of the Year while The Pantry in Portlaoise is the Best Cafe.
Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Kids Size Me Menu, Local Food Hero, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine and Best Newcomer.
Speaking at the awards early this evening Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, said: “Now in their 11th year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the incredible food that is on offer in the cafes, pubs and restaurants of Ireland, as well as recognising the teams behind these establishments and the hard work and dedication that they put in.
“With well over 90,000 nominations received from the public this year, the standard for the judging process was higher than ever.
“Ireland may be a small country but it boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the comfort of traditional Irish food to exploring the world though exotic world cuisine, the Irish restaurant industry has much to offer.
“We have an appreciation for what we eat and where our food comes from, as well as the dedication of those working in the food industry.”
All of the winners now go forward to the All Ireland Awards in The Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road on May 13.
Best Restaurant: Batoni’s (Emo) Pub of the Year: Jeremiah Grant (Portlaoise) Best Gastro Pub: The Bog Road (Portlaoise) Best Cafe: Pantry Cafe and Walled Garden (Portlaoise) Best Casual Dining: Midlands Park Hotel (Portlaoise) Best Emerging Irish Cuisine: O’Dea’s Bar and Bistro (Portarlington) Best Kids Size Me: Treacy’s Bar and Restaurant (The Heath) Best Free From: Stradbally Fayre (Stradbally) Best World Cusine: Batoni’s (Emo) Best Wine Experience: Ballyfin Demense (Ballyfin) Best Customer Service: Mayur Indian Restaurant (Portlaoise) Best Restuarant Manager: Adrian Rusan (Batoni’s) (Emo) Best Hotel and Guesthouse: Ballyfin Demense (Ballyfin) Best Newcomer: The Willow Tree (Rathdowney) Best Chef: Sam Moody (Ballyfin Demense) (Ballyfin) Local Food Hero: Blathnaid Bergin of Business of Food Batoni’s

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5 Local Female Chefs We’re Celebrating for International Women’s Day

By Tanji Leave a Comment 5 Local Female Chefs We’re Celebrating for International Women’s Day
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a day meant for celebrating the achievements of women all over the world. Not only are more women holding positions of power than ever before, but they also are inspiring their peers and future generations of women to strive to be more and to do more. At Goodtaste with Tanji, we are so proud to have the opportunity to showcase some of the strong female chefs around Texas. Read on to find out more about these amazing local chefs and the recipes that help fuel their success. Blanca Aldaco – Aldaco’s Mexican Cuisine
At Aldaco’s in San Antonio, festive Mexican food wouldn’t be complete without family or the “art of the table”! La Maesta Blanca Aldaco makes it all with lots of love — as she says “amor is sabor and sabor is amor” or “love is flavor and flavor is love.” You’ll taste love and flavor in everything from her mean margarita to famous dishes like Pastel Tres Leches , which was first introduced to San Antonio by Blanca Aldaco in 1989. Since then, you can find it at numerous places across town, but Aldaco’s still serves the best to be found. Sylvia Casares – Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen
Photo Credit: Eater
The “Enchilada Queen” will give your taste buds the royal treatment at her restaurant, Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen in Houston. Six years ago, her ex-boyfriend shot her and left her for dead. She put the whole event behind her, so she could move on. From then on, she has been a powerhouse. She opened a second and third location of her restaurant and scored a cookbook deal with a New York publishing company. Her book, The Enchilada Queen Cookbook, has been praised by Publishers Weekly and Texas Monthly. She shared her recipe to the classic Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy with us here. It’s a Tex-Mex staple that Sylvia has perfected. Anita Jaisinghani – Pondicheri
Photo Credit: Mayra Beltran
James Beard Award-nominated chef, Anita Jaisinghani, owner of Pondicheri , had culinary fortune and fame in Houston with her unique style of Indian street food like the Fenugreek Fish . She decided to take on the daunting task of opening a second Pondicheri in New York City, a city with some of the fiercest restaurant competition and food critics in the country. A stressful year and a half later, the doors opened, and Anita took a bad fall where she broke her right wrist and injured her shoulder. Despite her fall and setbacks from her injuries, she still managed to keep the restaurant open, and she received glowing reviews from NYC food critics in publications like New York Magazine and the New York Times. Heather Nañez – Bohanan’s
Photo Credit: San Antonio Cocktail Conference
Heather Nañez, Head Chef of Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, originally came to San Antonio for college to study radio, television and film but, like many students, ended up in a different career path. Starting at Bohanan’s 16 years ago as the only female in the kitchen, Nañez began as a saute chef and has since proven herself to be a dedicated culinary master. She was trusted in creating wine dinners, opening a bar featuring drinks like Bohanan’s Fu Manchu and was asked to be involved in chef Mark Bohanan’s other ventures. She helped in establishing the San Antonio Cocktail Conference and had a great hand in developing the menu at Peggy’s on the Green . Catherine Rodriguez – The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa
Photo Credit: Visit Houston
Catherine Rodriguez has been tackling the pastry world since the age of 18. She started her culinary career at the Institut Villa Pierrefeu in Gilon, Switzerland. Later, she traveled back to the U.S. to improve and develop her pastry and dessert skills in California at The Kitchen for Exploring Foods and the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. To further her education, she took courses in L’Ecole de Grand Chocolat at the Valrhona Chocolate Factory in France to better understand chocolate and plated pastries. In 2004, she settled down in Houston, and in 2006 she joined The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa where she makes creations like the Chestnut Cake with Chocolate Glaze . Similar Recipes:

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A taste of Sri Lanka

March 07, 2019 21:56 IST Updated: March 07, 2019 21:56 IST more-in The city is flooded with culinary delights from everyone’s favourite holiday destination, says Aatish Nath
When rattling off a list of ingredients that he had carried to Mumbai from Sri Lanka, chef Gayan Tharanga Hettiarachchi ended by saying, “…and some Sri Lankan elephant.” The misunderstanding was rapidly cleared up, when I tentatively asked, “elephant meat?”. Hettiarachchi, a native of the emerald island clarified that the aforementioned pachyderms were for display and to add local colour during the ongoing ten-day food festival at Sofitel Mumbai BKC’s Pondichery Café. As a chef at Mövenpick Hotel Colombo, Hettiarachchi is used to cooking for Indian travellers and was looking forward to learning some local techniques.
It’s an excitement that seems to be mirrored by the large number of Indians who have discovered the emerald isle in the last couple of years, making frequent trips to explore its varied topography. As a result, Sri Lankan cuisine — already similar to south Indian cooking — is being introduced by local chefs and now, in a spate of pop-ups in the city. Also in town this weekend is Chef Amila Shirantha, from Galle’s boutique hotel, The Owl and the Pussycat, who will be plating dinner and teaching a workshop at Magazine Street Kitchen. Excitingly familiar
Hettiarachchi and Shirantha aren’t the first Sri Lankan chefs to bring the island’s most famous export, hoppers, to Mumbai though. Hoppers (or as we know them appams) are loved for crunchy, lace-like edges and their central fillings — which can range from a simple fried egg to curries. Hoppumm, was started by siblings Sahil and Jay Wadhwa and chef Lakshit Shetty first as a pop-up at events like the Stylecracker Borough, before opening their own space in Bandra in November 2018. “[We saw] the need of not wanting to do South Indian but trying to do stuff which was similar in terms of flavour. And something that people could find comfort with is what took us to Sri Lanka,” explains Sahil. It’s exactly this notion of familiarity and comfort that makes restaurateurs excited about introducing distinctive Lankan flavours.
For the weekend pop-up, Shirantha will be serving curries, Jaffna lamb and even kithul — the much-loved smoky palm syrup that you’ll often find carried back in the luggage of frequent travellers. Hettiarachchi’s list of ingredients includes some that are used to whip up the island’s legendary sweets, aasmi and watalappam (coconut custard pudding). Among other equipment and food goodies, he’s carried include hopper makers, pandan leaves and Lankan pepper. When asked if the recipes have been tweaked he simply states,” Our people like the curry flavour, and lots of spicy food,” all of which appeals to the Indian stomach too. Culinary variety
Hettiarachchi’s spread for Mumbaikars includes a mutton red curry that makes use of pandan leaves, but otherwise features ingredients like bay leaves, cardamom etc all of which are familiar to the local palate. Also on offer is a tart green mango curry, cutlets and local drinks like ranawara, an herbal tea made with dried bael (Bengal quince) flowers. Shirantha’s meal is more like a family-style dinner and will showcase banana blossom salad, Jaffna lamb, assorted sambols and prawns simmered in coconut broth among other options. The next day, eager home cooks can learn how to make hoppers, pol roti (the breakfast staple that includes coconut) and kiri bhaat with curry among others.
Gauri Devidayal, co-founder Magazine Street Kitchen and The Table says, “Sri Lankan food is delicious and it’s not widely available in the city, that’s why we decided to host this.” Her thought is echoed by Sahil, who says after his first trip to Sri Lanka, “[Just] knowing that three of us complete foodies were flipping out on the food, convinced us [to launch an eatery].”
The Sri Lankan pop-up is ongoing at Pondichery Café until March 10, for both lunch and dinner; For details on Magazine Street Kitchen’s dinner on March 9 and the cooking workshop on March 10 see insider.in. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY NEWSLETTER Submit

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Top 16 Bangkok Shopping Spots (With Halal Eateries Nearby)

Top 16 Bangkok Shopping Spots (With Halal Eateries Nearby)
Iyesha on March 7, 2019 Save
Credit: Giphy
It is the place to be whether you’re looking for luxury goods, thrifty clothes or one-of-a-kind collectibles. Between their interconnecting malls and maze-like markets, there is always something to find when shopping in Bangkok
There are way too many malls for us to list down here but we’ve rounded up the best 8 malls and 8 markets for you to shop till you drop. These malls and markets are a must-visit to make your shopping experience as unique as possible.
Also, we’ve listed a few halal eateries nearby each location because we know even the toughest of shopaholics needs to re-energize for a whole day’s (or week’s) worth of shopping. So shop, eat, and shop again 😆.
P.S.: If you want to check out more halal eateries, check out these Muslim-friendly street food in Bangkok
Before we start, there are three things to know before shopping in Bangkok.
One – Be forewarned that some vendors are not fluent in English. If you don’t have a guide to translate for you, it is best to speak slowly, and use simple words. Better yet, download a translation app on your phone and show the screen to vendors when trying to communicate.
Two – Bargain your way through. You can bargain for better prices at all the markets listed, and at Platinum Mall and MBK Mall. Chances are you’ll get a pretty good deal as they expect some haggling from tourists and are prepared to reduce their prices.
Three – Shopping in Bangkok, even in the premium malls, can be tiring. If you’re planning to shop the whole day, wear comfortable shoes and clothes – this is especially true for markets! Although many of the malls are interconnected or within walking distance, each mall itself is HUGE. So to get from one end of a mall to another end requires a good deal of walking.
We’ve split the categories into 8 malls and 8 markets. Now, let the shopping commence. SHOPPING CENTRES
Credit: Peter Zoon on Flickr
Originally named Mahbookkrong and built in 1985, MBK Centre is one of Asia’s oldest shopping centres. Technically, you will be visiting a ‘historical’ site and a shopping site. Way to kill two birds with one stone 😄.
Credit: MBK Center on Facebook
Consider MBK as an indoor street market with air conditioning. It is not a high-end mall so you won’t get any original Chanels or Pradas here (unless you don’t mind counterfeit ones). Instead, find yourself immersed in low-end and mid-ranged Thai brands and designs – from bags, shoes, accessories, jewellery and knockoff goods, you’ll find it all there.
Credit: Wikipedia Commons
If you’re not into clothes and jewellery, head to the upper floors for techs and gadgets. Find licensed Apple distributors to major camera shops such as Nikon and Canon. You can even find used mobile phones and accessories on the fourth floor.
#HHWT tip: If you’re getting electronics, make sure that the device is set to English. Sometimes it is set to Thai for the locals. But don’t worry, the vendors should be able to change it for you
Credit: MBK Center on Facebook
If you’re looking for Thai souvenirs, head down to the basement floors. Find a whole range of trinkets and souvenirs at bargain price but don’t expect them to be of high quality.
The mall even has its own supermarket! With everything you need in one building across 8 floors, it’s no wonder shoppers swamp the mall on a daily basis.
Nearby halal food: Yana Restaurant (in MBK mall) Cuisine: Thai and International Food Address: MBK Center, 5 th Floor, Tokyu Side, Room No 5A-05, 444 Phayathai Road, WaNGMAI Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand Contact: +66 02 048 4589
The Fifth Food Avenue (in MBK mall) Cuisine: North Indian Address: 444, 5th Floor, Zone A, Tokyu side, Phayathai Rd., Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Contact: +66 2 620 9082 Food status: halal
Credit: Adam Lai on Flickr
A must-visit for any self-declared shopaholic. CentralWorld is the third largest shopping mall in Asia and the sixth largest in the world. There are over 500 stores, and 100 restaurants and cafes spread over 7 floors.
Now, imagine this – the mall is large enough that they have cars and motorbikes on display for sale IN the mall. Yes, that’s right, car dealerships inside a mall. With cars 🚘. It’s tough to one-up that.
There are two department stores at CentralWorld, the Zen and Isetan. Both stores spanning over several floors with many brands to shop from.
Credit: Mark Fisher on Flickr
The mall itself is divided into different shopping categories such as women’s clothes on the second floor, men on the third floor, and so on. So you can easily navigate your way through the mall and search for specific items.
Find a variety of international brands like H&M and Zara, or local Thai designer brands. There are endless shops to browse through!
Feel like pampering yourself instead? Head to one of the hair salons 💆‍♀️, or nail parlours 💅 instead.
And if you’re really itching for something exciting to do, they even have an ice-skating rink on the ground floor! Hop in and show off your ice skating skills or just chill by the rink and watch the skaters strut their skills on the rink ⛸.
For the athletes and fitness junkies, you will love this! Super Sport aka Bangkok’s largest sports spot is in the mall too. Find almost everything you need when it comes to sports apparel and equipment.
Tired of shopping? We doubt it 😝. But if you feel like taking a break, head over to the 7 th floor and catch a movie from their 3D cinemas.
#HHWT tip: In Thai cinemas, the cinema will play Thailand’s national anthem. Moviegoers generally stand up during the national anthem as a sign of respect to the country.
Nearby halal food:
Manhattan Fish Market (in CentralWorld) Address: 999/9 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand Contact: +66 2 646 1834 Food status: halal 3 – Siam Paragon
Just 10 minutes walking distance away from CentralWorld is Siam Paragon.
P/S: Don’t you just love how the malls are walking distance form each other? This destination was definitely designed with the ultimate shopper in mind 😉.
Credit: @ming_natdanai on Instagram
Get your to swipe your credit cards at here! With its large glass entryway and classy décor, the mall exudes an atmosphere that screams luxury 👸. One of the first stores you will see is a Maserati dealership. That’s the kind of lux Siam Paragon is.
Credit: m-louis on Flickr
Find all the luxury goods here such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, and even supercar brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini. There are even more affordable shops around like Massimo Dutti, Miss Sixty, TopShop, H&M and many others.
Credit: Allie Caulfield on Flickr
If you’re done with the shops, head to the basement and visit Southeast Asia’s biggest aquarium, Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World 🐠. There is even a bowling alley and karaoke centre!
The largest bookstore in Bangkok, Kinokuniya, is also in the mall. And if that’s not enough, find 15 large theatres with 4D, 3D and IMAX screens!
And if you seek high quality local Thai products, head to the Exotic Thai store on the fourth floor. Find souvenirs, clothing, and beauty products all by Thai designers. 4 – Pantip Plaza
Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Five floors of electronics and gadgets for tech lovers 💻. From computers, software, cameras and quirky gadgets, you can get them all at there. Even Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne won’t be able to keep up with Pantip Plaza!
Even some retailers from other parts of Thailand get their electronic goods from Pantip Plaza. That’s just how good a deal the place is for electronics.
Credit: @dibyandukumar on Instagram
At first, this noisy mall may seem like a chaotic mess of small stalls, but once you get use to your surroundings it is fun to navigate through the chaos and try out funky gadgets. They even have an official Apple service centre on the 4 th floor.
If you’re more of a fashionista, they even have an entire floor dedicated to mobile phones and mobile phone accessories 📱. Find phone covers to match your daily outfits.
#HHWT tip: Many stores sell the same items. Check out the prices of a few stores first before buying and you might save a handful of money. Remember to bargain too! 5 – Platinum Fashion Mall
Credit: @astie82 on Instagram
Imagine street shopping in an air-conditioned mall. Platinum Fashion mall is often compared to street markets because of the items sold. Similarly, you unlike other shopping malls, you can bargain for the best price here.
Credit: @jarret77 on Instagram
There are over 2000 shops for you to shop from! It’s easy to lose yourself in the maze of clothing and handbag store.
Credit: Kanha Sirisunpundh on Facebook
Find wholesale priced clothes and accessories. Hats, handbags, clothes, cosmetics. Everything a fashionista could dream off (that isn’t high end). You can find fashion from all over Asia such China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and many others. Kpop bands ain’t got nothing on you once you’re done with this place👩‍🎤
Platinum has different sections and floors for each category. Zone 1 and 2 (1 st and 2 nd floor) are for women’s fashion and accessories. Upper floors are bags, leather products, and shoes.
#HHWT tip: If you buy more at least 3 of the same item, you can get a discount to wholesale price! Sometimes, even buying 3 for the price of 1.
Nearby halal food:
Mrs Balbirs at level 6 food court Cuisine: Indian Food status: halal 6 – Terminal 21
It’s not the largest or the most luxurious (unlike CentralWorld and Siam Paragon), but Terminal 21 is definitely a favourite among shoppers because of its unique design. Even if you don’t feel like shopping, this mall is still worth the visit just for its themed floors.
Credit: @furqan_sheikh on Instagram
Each floor is designed to represent a city. Find yourself shopping in London, Istanbul, Paris, Tokyo, Hollywood and other cities depending on which floor you’re at. This makes your shopping a unique experience. Feel like you’re trying on new outfits in Tokyo, or having a good cup of coffee in San Francisco.
Credit: @483282_ny on Instagram
Even your partner who dreads shopping will be in awe with Terminal 21’s unique design. If you’re looking quirky accessories, hop over to Istanbul!
Fun fact: even the toilet interiors are themed according to the city. #bathroomselfies galore 💁‍♀️!
They have mixture of mid-range international brands such as Esprit, Guess, Adidas, H&M, Levis and local Asian brands.
#HHWT tip: Menswear is at London.
Done shopping for the day? Catch a movie at the cinemas on the top floor.
Nearby halal food:
Bawarchi Indian (15 minutes walk) Cuisine: Indian Address: Sukhumvit 4 Alley, Khwaeng Phra Khanong Nuea, Watthana, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand Contact: +66 2 253 2394 Food status: halal
Nefertiti Restaurant (13 minutes walk) Cuisine: Middle eastern Address: 4/8 ซอย สุขุมวิท 3/1 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand Contact: +66 2 655 3043 Food status: halal
Credit: Wikipedia Commons
Launched in 2018, ICONSIAM is a must-visit mall for any Bangkok visitor.
Located by the Chao Phraya River, the mall’s 8 floors boast many attractions that will awe anyone and everyone.
Credit: @geulyiahn on Instagram
Experience an indoor floating market in SookSiam – their ground floor themed to promote arts, culture and food from Thailand’s 77 provinces.
Find a 7-storey Takashimaya Japanese department store with cosmetics, lifestyle products, men and women’s wear, accessories, and much more. Throughout the mall there are designs and artworks by Thai and international artists and designers.
Even Thailand’s first Apple store can be found here. With its trademark floor to ceiling glass walls, it definitely adds a unique detail to the mall. It’s also only the second Apple store in Southeast Asia, after Singapore.
Credit: Wikipedia Commons
On top of that, there is an outdoor river park, where you can see Southeast Asia’s largest water feature with amazing lights and fountain shows!
There’s more! Asia’s largest Adidas Original Store and the first Nike Kicks Lounge in Southeast Asia are also here 😱. Find your latest kicks 👟 to complement your Instagram street shots 📸.
You can also visit their National Heritage Gallery Museum. Find hundreds of statues, paintings, and carvings inspired by their traditional designs.
Oh and the usual endless arrays of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, and restaurants and eateries. You know, no big deal for a mall in Bangkok.
Nearby halal food:
Home cuisine Islamic restaurant (15 minutes walk, including a ferry ride) Address: 186 Charoen Krung 36 Alley, Khwaeng Bang Rak, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand Contact: +66 2 234 7911 Food status: halal
Credit: Wikipedia Commons
One of the artsiest malls in Bangkok City Centre. Siam Discovery is a huge hit with millennial shoppers because of its distinctive shopping experience. This mall is different other malls by one factor – there are no individual stores. All products are on display in an open space for customers to experience multiple brands in one spot. A huge plus! Find lifestyle brands such as Habitat, Replay, Loft, Kenneth Cole and many others.
Credit: @chawa_sam on Instagram
Fun fact: Siam Discovery has won over 6 global awards in 2 years. Most recently for being the most cutting-edge shopping centre in the world bythe International Council of Shopping Centres. Yes, there is such a thing.
Drop by Madame Tussauds on the 6 th floor too if you feel like taking photos with famous people after a good shopping session.
Nearby halal food:

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Another dozen books I would recommend

Another dozen books I would recommend Thursday, March 07, 2019 I’ve always considered myself an avid reader. As a child I would go through books like wildfire, from one to another, always with one on the go. I loved reading. I have to say that maybe it was during GCSE’s and A-levels and certainly college that reading lapsed into a scarce activity. Studying and juggling everything else just drained so much of my time that books became more of that ‘spare time in holidays’ treat as opposed to daily feed. The last few years have seen me make an active effort to make time for reading and I feel so much the better for it. When choosing books I try to pick from a selection of themes I enjoy; the great outdoors and flowers, historical thrillers, crime, other thrillers, funny books and generally ones which are award winning or popular. I can’t find anything remotely rewarding about chick-lit or lightweight romantic guff. Lets get gritty or give up now. Here’s my second installment of recommendations. I’ll try to provide my rationale for each one to give you an idea but I am not the type of person to write a lengthy review of any read. Some of these date back a while ago, because I haven’t been good at keeping a record of books (I’ve vowed to track better with Goodreads this year) and frankly I forgot about some excellent reads which need a proper shout out. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald – this was an autobiographical book which felt more like a story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It made me think. And makes me look for Goshawks in woodland. Snow Falling On Cedars by David Gutterson – Heavy, gritty and grisly. I loved the depth of the story and characters. It was cold, cold and made for a proper wintry read. The level of racism within the story made for uncomfortable reading at times but was central to the story. The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan – A charming read which reminded me of the Trouble With Goats and Sheep (which was good but not amazing) and A Year of Marvelous Ways. It was sweet. Sepulchre by Kate Mosse -I love her writing and characters. I read The Winter Ghosts (very quick read) and Labyrinthe but Sepulchre was my favourite. Historical meets the past not letting go. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – This wasn’t initially a book I felt comfortable with as it’s not fantastical* as in involves dragons but it’s more trippy dream like so my little mind struggled with this. However, I keep thinking about this book and how interesting (and scary at times) it was which is clearly a good sign and maybe I’ll be a little braver in reading more by this author. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier – a classic. I was struck by how annoyed I became about the datedness of the characters’ relationships with each other but I loved galloping from page to page, desperate to find out what was happening. The Primrose Path by Rebecca Griffiths – A page turner. Sadly not flower-ful as the title may suggest but a read I recommended to Mum and she loved it which made me love it a bit more. The Jackson Lamb series by Mick Herron maybe not one book technically but you must read them in order. I’ve read the first two and they are curious books as the characters which demand your support and backing are all such flawed humans. Yet I’m driven to keep reading. Spying literature at it’s best. The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins – Another book I couldn’t bear to put down. I raced through this, gripped! Film wasn’t as good but they never ever are. The Life of Pi by Yan Martel – I can’t believe I didn’t include this one before. I’d put it on my top 5 ever, it was brilliant. Heart wrenching, scary yet written in a wonderful way. You must read this one. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – I dithered in whether to include this as it’s an enormous book full of turmoil and heart-wrenching sadness. Of course it’s a masterpiece, but it’s definitely not for everyone. If you like your characters deep and detailed this is one for you. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – Another book I became absorbed in. I enjoyed the unorthodox storyline, it kept me reading to reach the conclusion. Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna – Initially I wasn’t going to include this as a good chunk of the storyline was sad but this book was huge and I did find myself immersed in the book. One of those which has lots of food in it and makes me crave Indian cuisine. *Yes, I feel like fantasy as a genre should be clearly defined as ‘this is a book with talking dragons’ (obvious fantasy) and ‘this is a book set in the real world where things just get twisted and creepy like a nightmare where things morph into other possible realities but it makes you a bit scared this could actually happen’ (trippy fantasy) I’ve been buying more books again (oops) and have bought some classics as I feel like I do really want to be able to say I’ve read some of those written in times gone by. Have you read any of these? And yes I know a dozen is 12. Take care,

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NOLA History: The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

History NOLA History: The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
The first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was held in 1970 at Congo Square with four stages. March 7, 2019 Jazz Fest
This April, thousands of locals and visitors will converge on the Fair Grounds Racecourse for the 50th Annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival . Jazz Fest’s two weekends at the Fair Grounds, along with the week of evening concerts in between, are a far cry from the event’s modest beginnings. Jazz Fest
The late 1960s were a time of grand-scale, big-venue concerts, and the New Orleans Hotel Motel Association wanted to get the city in on the tourism dollars generated from such events. The Association formed a non-profit entity, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation , to oversee the project. To produce a festival in New Orleans, the Foundation went to one of the top producers in the business, George Wein. Wein was already well-known as the producer of the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island. Wein’s company, Festival Productions, Inc., formed a local affiliate, Festival Productions, Inc-New Orleans, to produce the event, under contract from the Foundation.
Wein wanted to get it right in New Orleans, so he reached out to key players in the local jazz community, such as Ellis Marsalis. He also turned to Dick Allen, who was curator of Tulane University’s Hogan Jazz Archives. Allen suggested Wein use Hogan Archive employee Allison Miner, and Hogan intern, Quint Davis (son of well-known local architect Arthur Q. Davis), to identify musicians to play the event. Both Miner and Davis were initially volunteers, working with Wein and his staff. When it became clear that Jazz Fest would continue past that first year, the pair took over day-to-day operations of the production company. Davis is still CEO of Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans; Allison Miner passed away in 1995.
The lineup that Miner and Davis assembled under Wein’s guidance for that 1970 festival was impressive, including Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Duke Ellington, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino, The Meters, and Snooks Eaglin. While not booked to play the fest, Mahalia Jackson heard about the event and came to sing and sit in with other musicians. Mardi Gras Indians paraded around the festival site with brass bands daily in between acts.
George Wein and his local advisers decided to hold that first Jazz Fest in Congo Square , which was known as Beauregard Square at the time. “Place Congo” was sacred ground for local jazz musicians, since the square was the gathering place for enslaved African Americans as far back as the 1700s. The French-Spanish Creoles relieved the enslaved of their duties on Sunday afternoons. During that time, they gathered in Place Congo to make music and dance. Four open-air stages were set up, as well as a “Gospel Tent.”
Wein’s vision for a New Orleans festival involved more than just musical performances. Wein proposed holding a “Heritage Fair.” The festival site would include food booths featuring local cuisine, as well as local arts and crafts. To help increase the financial stake of the festival, he also proposed holding evening concerts with some of the better-known artists. Jazz Fest
That first Jazz Fest was not well-funded, so advertising for the event was minimal. The inaugural Jazz Fest in 1970 began on Wednesday, April 22, with a midnight concert by Pete Fountain on a riverboat, and ran until Sunday, April 26. Only 350 people bought tickets (which cost $3) for the festival days held in Congo Square. This was roughly half the number of musicians and production staff who actually put the festival on.
In spite of the low attendance, that first Jazz Fest was an artistic and critical success. Wein’s professionalism and the hard work put in by Miner and Davis paid off. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation secured more funding, so a second festival could be held in 1971. Working with money from a loan from Quint’s father, Miner and Davis held that second festival in Congo Square, expanding by also using the adjacent Municipal Auditorium.
The 1971 festival was a huge success, attracting much larger crowds. It was clear to Miner and Davis they would need a larger venue for the third festival. Davis negotiated to move Jazz Fest to the infield of the Fair Grounds racetrack, where it has been ever since. Those four stages (some of which didn’t even have microphones in 1970) and one tent have grown to a combined 14 stages and tents, spread out over the Fair Grounds infield and grandstand.
In 1975, Jazz Fest decided to release a limited-edition, silkscreen poster to commemorate the event, a tradition that still continues. Artists hired to produce the poster interpret New Orleans music in their own way, and many of the city’s music legends have been featured on Jazz Fest’s annual poster.
As Jazz Fest continued to grow in popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, one of the biggest challenges facing Davis and his production staff was attracting interesting and diverse artists. While locals occasionally long for the days when “big-name” acts didn’t play Jazz Fest, those acts serve as a draw to enable lesser-known local bands to get an audience. The local flavor and character of the Congo Square festivals remains, however, in the Economy Hall and Jazz Tents as well as the Jazz and Heritage Stage. There’s also the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage, where interviews and panel discussions are held.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation reached out to Royal Dutch Shell to help offset some of the festival production costs, and the oil company became the primary sponsor of Jazz Fest 2006, and every festival since then.
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation owns the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, so all proceeds go to that entity. The most tangible use of those funds can be found in the local radio station, WWOZ, 90.7 FM, the “Guardians of the Groove.” The WWOZ New Orleans radio station is the city’s Jazz and Heritage music station, streaming worldwide on the Internet as well. In addition to the radio station, the Foundation sponsors many educational programs to promote the preservation and growth of Jazz in the city.
George Wein explained why a New Orleans jazz festival would work in 1970: “New Orleans, in the long run, should become bigger than Newport in jazz festivals. Newport was manufactured, but New Orleans is the real thing.”
Jazz Fest and the over 300,000 people who attend have been proving him right for nearly 50 years. Edward Branley @NOLAHistoryGuy Author of five books on the history of New Orleans, Edward Branley is a graduate of Brother Martin High School and the University of New Orleans. Edward writes, teaches, and does speaking engagements on local history to groups in and around New Orleans. His urban fantasy novel, “Hidden Talents,” is available online and in bookstores. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, @NOLAHistoryGuy.

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