THE PAPER | A China Wins Twice Proposition: The Belt and Road Initiative

THE PAPER | A China Wins Twice Proposition: The Belt and Road Initiative

By Dr. James M. Dorsey Cover Image Attribute: Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Map / Source: The World Bank Abstract China’s dazzling infrastructure and energy driven Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) , a $1 trillion investment across Eurasia and beyond, has lost its shine. Increasingly, China’s leveraging of the initiative is being perceived by recipients and critics alike as a geopolitical power play, a tool to shape a new world order populated by autocrats and authoritarians, and characterized by intrusive surveillance, a potential debt trap, and a self-serving way to address domestic overcapacity. China’s dazzling infrastructure and energy-driven Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) , a US$1 trillion investment across Eurasia and beyond, has lost its shine. Increasingly, China’s leveraging of the initiative is being perceived by a growing number of recipients and critics alike as a geopolitical power play, a tool to shape a new world order partly populated by autocrats and authoritarians, and progressively characterized by intrusive surveillance, potential debt traps, and perceived as a self-serving way to address domestic overcapacity.[i] As a result, China’s most immediate problem is a growing perception that its principle of win-win economic cooperation often amounts to little more than China wins twice, both economically and geopolitically. It is forcing China to focus in the short-term less on the Great Game—the rivalry with the United States and its allies for dominance in a swath of land stretching from the China Sea to Europe’s Atlantic coast—and more on ensuring that it does not lose hard-won ground. Ironically, China’s immediate allies, as well as rivals in efforts to maintain its status, are not exclusively the United States, India or Japan, but also its newly assertive, geopolitically ambitious friends in the Gulf: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran. Nowhere is this truer than in Pakistan, which — with its Prime Minister Imran Khan and together with Malaysia[ii] and Myanmar[iii] — is leading the charge in resisting China’s approach to the Belt and Road and seeking to change its focus. A $45 billion-plus crown jewel of the Belt and Road, Pakistan is insisting that Chinese investment—in what both countries have dubbed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) —a shift from infrastructure and energy to agriculture, job creation, and the enabling of third-party investment, primarily from countries of the Gulf.[iv] Fuelling Chinese concern, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have exploited Chinese irritation with Pakistan’s demands, as well as initial criticism of the crackdown on Turkic Muslims in the north-western province of Xinjiang, to their advantage. Massive aid and investment, to the tune of $30 billion in balance of payment support, deferred oil import payments and investment in the troubled Pakistani province of Balochistan, which borders Iran, has helped the Khan government to avoid approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cap in hand to bail it out of an imminent financial crisis.[v] It also shielded China—which refrained from rushing to Pakistan’s financial aid—from potentially embarrassing disclosures of the financial terms of CPEC-related projects that the IMF was demanding as part of any bailout.[vi] Media reports said that Pakistan had told the IMF about having to pay China $40 billion over 20 years for $26.5 billion in Chinese funding of CPEC-related projects.[vii] The official disclosures would have likely reinforced notions that the Belt and Road Initiative is less benign than China asserts. China worried, however, that greater Saudi and UAE influence in a restive region on Iran’s border—which could serve as a launchpad for possible efforts to destabilize the Islamic Republic—may complicate the security of its massive investment and suck the People’s Republic into the escalating maelstrom of Saudi-UAE-Iranian rivalry.[viii] China and Saudi Arabia were careful not to raise the issue of Pakistan during Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent visit to Beijing that was designed to put on display ever closer cooperation and shore up Prince Mohammed’s image tarnished by the Yemen war and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.[ix] Bolstered by Gulf support, Pakistan has put its money where its mouth is. In January, Pakistan asked China to shelve a joint $2 billion coal power project because of its expense. Pakistan planning and development minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar advised his Chinese counterpart that the 1,320-megawatt Rahim Yar Khan project was not a priority. The government was reportedly planning to slash hundreds of more CPEC-related projects.[x] Two Chinese companies that drafted a master plan to turn the strategic Baloch port of Gwadar into a smart city, meanwhile, complained to the government about delays in the project’s approval.[xi] Pakistan was just the last, albeit most crucial, node on the Belt and Road to challenge China’s commercial and geopolitical approach. Malaysia has suspended or canceled $26 billion in Chinese-funded projects.[xii] Speaking during a visit to Beijing, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad warned the Chinese: “you don’t want a situation where there’s a new version of colonialism happening because poor countries are unable to compete with rich countries in terms of just open, free trade.” Mahathir was echoing his earlier assertion that “we gain nothing” from Chinese investment and risk selling off the country to foreigners.[xiii] At about the same time, Myanmar was negotiating a significant scaling back of a Chinese-funded port project on the Bay of Bengal from one that would cost $ 7.3 billion to a more modest development that would cost $1.3 billion, in a bid to avoid shouldering an unsustainable debt. Myanmar feared that the debt burden would ultimately force it to follow in Sri Lanka’s footsteps, with debt having left Sri Lanka with no choice but to hand over its strategically located Hambantota port to the Asian giant.[xiv] China was also pressuring Myanmar to revive the suspended $3.6 billion Myitsone dam project, which if built as previously designed would flood 600 square kilometers of forestland in northern Kachin state and export 90 percent of the power produced to China. In return, China reportedly offered to support Myanmar, which has been condemned by the United Nations, Western countries, and some Muslim nations for its repressive campaign against the Rohingya, some 700,000 of whom fled to Bangladesh last year.[xv] Similarly, recent protests against the forced resettlement of eight Nepali villages persuaded China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) , a subsidiary of China Three Gorges, to consider pulling out of a 750-megawatt hydropower project. CWE said it was looking at canceling the project because it was “financially unfeasible.” [xvi] The Soup Barometer Ambivalence toward China and its signature Belt and Road is perhaps most complex in Central Asia, where a heavy soup made of pulled noodles, meat, and vegetables symbolizes the region’s close cultural and ethnic ties with the People’s Republic’s repressed Turkic and Hui Muslims also explains growing Central Asian unease with China’s re-education campaign in Xinjiang and the Belt and Road. Named Ashlan Fu and introduced to Kyrgyzstan in the late nineteenth century by Dungans, exiled Chinese Hui Muslims who fled over the Tien Shan Mountains after a failed rebellion in 1877, the soup has become a staple of Kyrgyz cuisine.[xvii] Members of Kyrgyzstan’s far right Kyrk Choro (Forty Nights) group protested in December and January outside the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek against the inclusion of ethnic Kyrgyz in the up to one million Muslims detained in re-education camps in Xinjiang as part of the Chinese crackdown. In a sign of the times, Kyrk Choro, a nationalist group that has gained popularity and is believed to have the support of the Kyrgyz ministries of interior and labor, migration, and youth, and the National Security Committee (GKNB), focused its protest exclusively on ethnic Kyrgyz in Chinese detention.[xviii] Acting as vigilantes, Kyrk Choro raided clubs in Bishkek four years ago in a campaign against prostitution, accusing Chinese nationals of promoting vice. In a video of an attack on a karaoke club, a Kyrk Choro leader showed a receipt that featured a girl as one of the consumed iteYet, while standing up for the rights of ethnic Kyrgyz and Kyrgyz nationals, Kyrk Choro has also called for Uighurs, the Turkic Muslims that populate Xinjiang, to be booted out of Bishkek’s most popular clothing bazaar and replaced by ethnic Kyrgyz.[xix] Kyrk Choro further demanded the expulsion of illegal Chinese migrants. It insisted that the government check the documents of migrants, including those who had obtained Kyrgyz citizenship over the last decade, among them 268 Chinese nationals who in the majority were of Kyrgyz descent. Kyrk Choro’s contradictory demands and claims reflect not only a global trend towards ethnic and religious nationalism with undertones of xenophobia, but also concern that Belt and Road-related projects serve Chinese rather than Kyrgyz and Central Asian interests. The Kyrgyz government recently reported that 35,215 Chinese citizens had arrived in the country in 2018, many of them as construction workers on Chinese-funded projects.[xx] Political scientist Colleen Wood noted that social media activists were linking criticism of Chinese commercial practices with China’s crackdown in Xinjiang. “One widely-shared image, which declares “Don’t let anyone take your land,” depicts a strong fist—adorned with a Kyrgyz flag—stopping a spindly hand—marked by a Chinese flag—from snatching factories and a field,” Wood wrote in The Diplomat. Wood said that some activists compared Chinese practice to the 2002 demarcation of the Chinese-Kyrgyz border during which the Central Asian nation handed over 1,250 square kilometers of land to China. Another Facebook page, Kytai baskynchylygyna karshybyz, which roughly translates to “we’re against Chinese aggression,” posted articles about Chinese mining companies operating in Kyrgyzstan, which are a target of Kyrgyz protesters, alongside articles depicting the intrusiveness of the crackdown in Xinjiang, according to Wood.[xxi] The Kyrgyz government, much like the vast majority of Muslim countries, has so far avoided taking China to task on its crackdown for fear of jeopardizing its relations with the People’s Republic. Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov insisted that “the ethnic Kyrgyz of China are citizens of China, who obey the laws of their country. How can we intervene in their domestic matters? We can’t.” [xxii] If Kazakhstan—where the issue of ethnic Kazakhs detained in China has flared up—is anything to go by, the Kyrgyz government is walking a tightrope. Kyrgyz national Asyla Alymkulova recently established the Committee to Protect the Kyrgyz People in China after her husband, Shairbek Doolotkhan, a Chinese-born Muslim, vanished in October during a business trip to Xinjiang. Doolotkhan’s company subsequently advised Alymkulova that her husband had been “sent away to study” in a camp. Short of a reunion with her husband, there is little that is likely to convince Alymkulova,[xxiii] or the relatives of thousands of other Central Asians, including up to 7,500 Kazakhs, that Chinese policy towards Muslims is benign and benefiting the community and the region’s progress. That, in turn, will not make things easier for the Kyrgyz and other Muslim governments at a time when ethnic and cultural identities in a nationalistic and at times xenophobic environment are becoming prevalent. Kyrgyz attitudes towards Ashlan Fu may be the barometer. Anti-Chinese sentiment in Central Asia simmers at the surface, with Tajikistan having become the first Central Asian nation to be trapped in debt. As a result, Tajikistan was forced to cede control of some 1,158 square kilometers of disputed territory in exchange for having an undisclosed amount of Chinese debt written off.[xxiv] Scholars of international relations Robert Daly and Matthew Rojanski noted on a recent trip to Russia, Kazakhstan, and China that was intended to gauge responses to the Belt and Road that Eurasian nations were eager to benefit from Chinese investment, but wary of Beijing’s intentions. “We found an eagerness to participate in projects that support national development, but deep resistance to any westward or northward expansion of China’s practices, ideas, or population […] Neither (Russia or Kazakhstan) hope that China’s power will increase with its investments,” the scholars said.[xxv] Matching Words with Deeds Debt has been a focal point of criticism of the Belt and Road. It has allowed China to fly under the radar on other controversial issues, such as its support for the kind of dirty-power projects in Central and South Asia and Africa, which the People’s Republic has banned at home because of the increased cost of carbon pricing and air pollution regulations associated with coal-fired power plants. “BRI has the potential to transform economies in China’s partner countries. Yet it could also tip the world into catastrophic climate change,” warned China environment expert Isabel Hilton, noting that coal-driven power was long at the heart of China’s economic development. “The more than 70 countries that are signed up to BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) have an average GDP of around one-third of that of China. If they adopt China’s development model, which resulted in a doubling of China’s greenhouse gas emissions in the first decade of the century, it would make the emissions targets in the Paris Agreement impossible,” added climate change scholar Nicholas Stern.[xxvi] Chinese President Xi Jinping has capitalized on the American withdrawal from the Paris Agreement—the landmark United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance—by projecting China as a leader in environmental good governance. In 2016, Xi called for a “green, healthy, intelligent, and peaceful” Belt and Road.[xxvii] He urged participating countries to “deepen cooperation in environmental protection, intensify ecological preservation and build a green Silk Road.” On paper, Chinese environmental good governance looks good. The problem is that the government’s guidelines are non-binding and often ignored. As a result, Xi has yet to back up words with deeds. China is developing some 240 coal projects with a total generating capacity of 251 gigawatts in 25 countries that include developments in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, and is also funding new coal capacity in Egypt, Tanzania, and Zambia. Many of those projects do not incorporate carbon capture technology that would align them with global efforts to control climate change.[xxviii] Chinese financial institutions are the world’s largest financier of overseas coal plants, investing $15 billion in coal projects from 2013 to 2016 through international development funds, with another $13 billion in proposed funding […] Chinese firms are involved in the construction, ownership, or financing of at least 16 percent of all coal-fired power stations under development outside China, according to a report published by environmental advocacy groups CoalSwarm, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace.[xxix] Huang Wei, a climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, warned that Chinese banks’ and companies’ investments in coal abroad are a cause of major concern because of their potential to lock in more climate-warming emissions in our carbon-constrained world […] If China wants to enhance its leadership on climate and ‘ecological civilization,’ Chinese companies’ and banks’ investment must steer away from coal towards renewable alternatives, such as wind and solar.”[xxx] Hilton notes that the heavy price China paid for its coal addiction in water scarcity, acid rain, and air pollution, coupled with the country’s gradual shift from an industry to a services-based economy, has forced it to create ecological safeguards and emphasize clean, green energy. The problem, Hilton said, is that “while China is making commendable efforts to clean up at home and reduce its carbon emissions, the Belt and Road Initiative threatens to lock China’s partners into the same high-emission development that China is now trying to exit.” Symptomatic of the China-centric focus of the Belt and Road, China’s push for dirty energy beyond its own borders is a bid to support its coal and energy companies that faced a bleak future because of reform at home that emphasized renewable energy instead of coal.[xxxi] Quoting energy and environmental scholar Kelly Sims Gallagher, Hilton said that more than half of 50 Chinese-financed, coal-fired power plants constructed overseas between 2001 and 2016 used low-efficiency, sub-critical coal technology. Together, the plants were expected to release nearly 600 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, equivalent to 11 percent of total American emissions in 2015. Hilton said that by building new coal plants along the Belt and Road, “China is creating […] risks for the countries that host these projects, risk most of them can ill afford. If these new coal plants continue to operate, they will they make it much more difficult for poor countries to meet their climate goals under the Paris Agreement, and, far from offering a cheap energy option, they will become a financial burden either to the governments or consumers, even as these plants lock out cheaper and cleaner alternatives.” [xxxii] On the Defensive A series of reports by Western think-tanks, coupled with official American warnings of the pitfalls of the Belt and Road, have added to China’s woes, contributed to the People’s Republic being put on the defensive. They have added to the domestic debate in China itself. Xi’s pledge last year of US$60 billion in new loans to Africa triggered a wave of grumbling in a sign of mounting popular hostility to his international ambitions, and to the tightening of political controls at home. One blogger asserted that the money would be sufficient to fund China’s cash-strapped education ministry for three years. The critical comments on social media were quickly deleted.[xxxiii] All of this has not stopped the drumbeat of criticism from outside of China. China “is not in it to help countries out, they’re in it to grab their assets,” warned Ray Washburne, president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an intergovernmental agency that channels American private capital into overseas development projects. He accused China of intentionally plunging recipient countries into debt, then going after “their rare earths and minerals and things like that as collateral for their loans.” [xxxiv] That view persuaded Greenland, helped along by US pressure, to select a Danish rather than a Chinese company to build and upgrade three airports. “The big fear is that even a small Chinese investment will amount to a large part of Greenland’s GDP, giving China an outsized influence that can be used for other purposes,” said Danish foreign and defense policy scholar Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen.[xxxv] A study by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) argued that the Belt and Road was driven by “interest groups within and outside China (that) are skewing President Xi’s signature foreign policy vision.” The study asserted that the positioning of the initiative persuaded Chinese local and regional authorities, as well as companies, to brand their activities as Belt and Road-related in order to gain economic and political advantage.[xxxvi] The similarly Washington-based Center for Global Development warned that 23 of 68 countries benefiting from Belt and Road investments were “significantly or highly vulnerable to debt distress.” The center said eight of 23 vulnerable countries—Pakistan, Tajikistan, Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, and Montenegro—were particularly at risk. Djibouti already owes 82 percent of its foreign debt to China, while China is expected to account for 71 percent of Kyrgyz debt as Belt and Road-related projects are implemented. “There is […] concern that debt problems will create an unfavorable degree of dependency on China as a creditor. Increasing debt and China’s role in managing bilateral debt problems have already exacerbated internal and bilateral tensions in some BRI countries,” the report said.[xxxvii] Rex Tillerson, a former American secretary of state, echoed the center’s concerns during a visit to Africa while still in office in March 2018. China “encourages dependency using opaque contracts, predatory loan practices, and corrupt deals that mire nations in debt and undercut their sovereignty, denying them their long-term, self-sustaining growth. Chinese investment does have the potential to address Africa’s infrastructure gap, but its approach has led to mounting debt and few, if any, jobs in most countries,” Tillerson said.[xxxviii] Raising the Stakes The Belt and Road’s geopolitics is a double-edged sword. Geopolitics is what many believe is its driver. Yet, geopolitics is also its potential Achilles Heel. The arrival in mid-December of the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier group in the Gulf had on the surface nothing to do with the Belt and Road and everything to do with American efforts to increase pressure on Iran.[xxxix] Yet, Pakistan’s mounting dependence on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, coupled with the American campaign intended to curb Iran’s regional projection, increasingly raises the stakes for China beyond the Trump administration’s efforts to force China and others to comply with its tough economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.[xl] The carrier group’s presence in the Gulf, the first by an American aircraft carrier in eight months, raised the spectre of a potential military conflagration on Balochistan’s doorstep. It coincided with a suicide attack on an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps headquarters in the Indian-backed Iranian port city of Chabahar,[xli] a mere 70 kilometers up the coast from the Chinese-backed port of Gwadar, which killed two people and left 40 wounded. The attack raised the spectre of Saudi and/or American covert support for militants in Iran, a key node in the Belt and Road’s land link to Europe. Saudi and Iranian media reported that Ansar al-Furqan—a shadowy Iranian Sunni jihadi group which Iran asserts is supported by Saudi Arabia, along with the United States and Israel—had claimed responsibility for the attack. Saudi-based pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat suggested that the attack “reflects the anger harboured by the (city’s Baloch) minority against the government.” The paper said the Iranian government had expelled thousands of Baloch families from Chabahar and replaced them with Persians, in a bid to change the city’s demography. It asserted that Iran was granting nationality to Afghan Shiites who had fought in Syria and Iraq and was moving them to Chabahar. The paper went on to say that “anti-regime Baloch movements have recently intensified their operations against Tehran in an attempt to deter it from carrying out its plan to expel and marginalize the Baloch from their ancestral regions.”[xlii] The Saudi media reports stroked with staunch Saudi support for Washington’s confrontational approach toward Iran. Pakistani militants say the kingdom has pumped large amounts of money into a militant, ultraconservative Sunni Muslim, anti-Shiite, and anti-Iranian religious seminaries along the border separating Balochistan from the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan, which is home to Chabahar. The funding was designed to create the building blocks for a potential covert effort to destabilize Iran by stirring unrest among its ethnic minorities.[xliii] Moreover, Saudi think-tank the Arabian Gulf Centre for Iranian Studies (AGCIS) , renamed the International Institute of Iranian Studies and believed to be backed by Prince Mohammed, argued in a study that Chabahar posed “a direct threat to the Arab Gulf states” that called for “immediate countermeasures.” Written by Mohammed Hassan Husseinbor, identified as an Iranian political researcher, the study warned that Chabahar posed a threat because it would enable Iran to increase its market share in India for its oil exports at the expense of Saudi Arabia, raise foreign investment in the Islamic republic, increase government revenues, and allow Iran to project power in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Noting the vast expanses of Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province, Husseinbor went on to say that “it would be a formidable challenge, if not impossible, for the Iranian government to protect such long distances and secure Chabahar in the face of widespread Baluch opposition, particularly if this opposition is supported by Iran’s regional adversaries and world powers.”[xliv] Neo-Colonialism in the Twenty-First Century The Pakistani government’s insistence on refocusing CPEC amounts to far more than a commercial and economic reorientation of Chinese investment. It challenges the core of the Belt and Road, at least as it relates to Pakistan, in terms of what some critics have termed a neo-colonial approach. It also casts a shadow over China’s hope that economic development in Xinjiang fuelled by linking the province to its neighbors will help it achieve the sinicizing of Turkic Muslims. A leaked plan for CPEC[xlv] detailed not only benefits that China would derive from its investment in Pakistan, but the way Pakistan would be turned, even more than it already is, into a surveillance state in which freedoms of expression and media are manipulated. It also suggested the degree to which the Belt and Road was designed to establish China as Eurasia’s dominant power based on economics, as well as the adoption of measures that undermine democracy or inhibit political transition in autocracies. The plan appeared to position Pakistan as a raw materials supplier for China, an export market for Chinese products and labor, and an experimental ground for the export of the surveillance state China is rolling out in Xinjiang. It envisioned Chinese state-owned companies leasing thousands of hectares of agricultural land to set up “demonstration projects” in areas ranging from seed varieties to irrigation technology. Chinese agricultural companies would be offered “free capital and loans” from various Chinese ministries, as well as the China Development Bank. It projected that the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps would introduce mechanization and new technologies to Pakistani livestock breeding, development of hybrid varieties, and precision irrigation. Pakistan would effectively become a raw materials supplier rather than an added-value producer, a prerequisite for a sustainable textiles industry. The plan further saw the Pakistani textile sector as a supplier of materials like yarn and coarse cloth to textile manufacturers in Xinjiang. “China can make the most of the Pakistani market in cheap raw materials to develop the textiles and garments industry and help soak up surplus labor forces in (Xinjiang’s) Kashgar,” the plan said. Chinese companies would be offered preferential treatment with regard to “land, tax, logistics, and services,” as well as “enterprise income tax, tariff reduction, and exemption and sales tax rate” incentives. In other economic sectors, such as household appliances, telecommunications, and mining, Chinese companies would exploit their presence to expand market share. In areas like cement, building materials, fertilizer and agricultural technologies, the plan called for the building of infrastructure and the developing of a policy environment to facilitate the entry of Chinese companies. A full system of monitoring and surveillance would be built in Pakistani cities to ensure law and order. The system would involve the deployment of explosive detectors and scanners to “cover major roads, case-prone areas and crowded places […] in urban areas to conduct real-time monitoring and 24-hour video recording.” A national fiber optic backbone would be built for internet traffic, as well as the terrestrial distribution of broadcast media that would cooperate with their Chinese counterparts in the “dissemination of Chinese culture.” The plan described the backbone as a “cultural transmission carrier” that would serve to “further enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples and the traditional friendship between the two countries.” The plan identified as risks to CPEC “Pakistani politics, such as competing parties, religion, tribes, terrorists, and Western intervention,” as well as security. “The security situation is the worst in recent years,” the plan said. Its solution is stepped up surveillance rather than policies targeting root causes and appears to question the vibrancy of a system in which competition between parties and interest groups is the name of the game. The risks have been driven home in attacks on Chinese targets and rejection of CPEC by Baloch nationalists who have seen little benefit to resource-rich, sparsely populated Balochistan itself, and fear that Chinese economic dominance will render the achievement of their rights even more difficult. “This conspiratorial plan (CPEC) is not acceptable to the Baloch people under any circumstances. Baloch independence movements have made it clear several times that they will not abandon their people’s future in the name of development projects or even democracy,” said Baloch Liberation Army spokesman Jeander Baloch.[xlvi] In the latest incident, in November 2018, three Baloch Liberation Army suicide bombers launched a brazen assault on the Chinese consulate in Karachi.[xlvii] According to Financial Times columnist Jamil Anderlini: “China is at risk of inadvertently embarking on its own colonial adventure in Pakistan—the biggest recipient of Belt and Road investment and once the East India Company’s old stamping ground… Pakistan is now virtually a client state of China. Many within the country worry openly that its reliance on Beijing is already turning it into a colony of its huge neighbor. The risks that the relationship could turn problematic are greatly increased by Beijing’s ignorance of how China is perceived abroad and its reluctance to study history through a non-ideological lens […] It is easy to envisage a scenario in which militant attacks on Chinese projects overwhelm the Pakistani military and China decides to openly deploy the People’s Liberation Army to protect its people and assets. That is how ‘win-win’ investment projects can quickly become the foundations of empire.” [xlviii] History Repeats Itself In an ironic twist, China’s taking control of critical national infrastructure in countries trapped by Chinese debt amounts to the People’s Republic adopting the same approach that it feels lies at the core of its humiliation in the nineteenth century. “China is replicating the practices used against it in the European-colonial period, which began with the 1839-1860 Opium Wars and ended with the 1949 communist takeover—a period that China bitterly refers to as its ‘century of humiliation,’” said Indian strategist Brahma Chellaney.[xlix] Chellaney argues that, just as European imperial powers employed gunboat diplomacy to open new markets and colonial outposts, “China uses sovereign debt to bend other states to its will, without having to fire a single shot. Like the opium the British exported to China, the easy loans China offers are addictive. And, because China chooses its projects according to their long-term strategic value, they may yield short-term returns that are insufficient for countries to repay their debts. This gives China added leverage, which it can use, say, to force borrowers to swap debt for equity, thereby expanding China’s global footprint by trapping a growing number of countries in debt servitude.” The Indian strategist noted that the terms for a 99-year lease of the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota, which the government was forced to accept as part of a restructuring of its debt, resemble those European powers imposed for the lease of Chinese ports like Hong Kong, or its lease of Australia’s deep-water port of Darwin. Kenya’s crushing debt to China threatens to turn its busy port of Mombasa—the gateway to East Africa—into another Hambantota. Chellaney said that “these experiences should serve as a warning that the Belt and Road is essentially an imperial project that aims to bring to fruition the mythical Middle Kingdom. States caught in debt bondage to China risk losing both their most valuable natural assets and their very sovereignty. The new imperial giant’s velvet glove cloaks an iron fist—one with the strength to squeeze the vitality out of smaller countries.” Tone Deaf China’s supposed obliviousness to the potential impact on recipients, and the standing of its own economic, commercial, and geopolitical approach appears to be rooted in President Xi Jinping’s rewriting of history and reality spin that threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Launching the Belt and Road Initiative in a speech in Kazakhstan in September 2013, Xi suggested that the initiative constituted a revival of China’s centuries-old relationship with Eurasia.[l] More than 2,100 years ago […] (Chinese) imperial envoy Zhang Qian was sent to Central Asia twice to open the door to friendly contacts between China and Central Asian countries, as well as the transcontinental Silk Road linking East and West,” Xi told his audience. In Indonesia a month later, Xi reminded the country’s parliament that “Southeast Asia has since ancient times been an important hub along the ancient Maritime Silk Road.” [li] Scholars Daly and Rojanski noted that the historic Silk Road was never centered on China and that it served both commercial and military purposes. “The term ‘Silk Road’ was coined in 1877 by a German geographer to connote the historic phenomenon of Eurasian trade rather than a particular route,” the scholars said. They suggested that Eurasian nations had not forgotten that historically Chinese expansion westwards had often been violent,” a fact that Xi chose to overlook in his projection of the Belt and Road. It was, moreover, not immediately clear “that China’s branding, cash, and ambition can overcome the uneven development, political and cultural diversity, age-old hatreds, and daunting geography” of the Belt and Road, Daly and Rojansky said.[lii] Xi’s projection of a China-centric world is reflected in the country’s media, which position the Belt and Road as a vehicle to cement China’s place in the world, as well as that of Communist Party rule, despite paying lip service to the principle of a win-win proposition. Chinese ambitions are further evident in its efforts to internationalize its currency, the renminbi,[liii] as well as the inclusion of elements of the Chinese surveillance state and the propagation of Chinese culture through local media in investment-target countries.[liv] They are also apparent in the creation of special Chinese courts to adjudicate Belt and Road disputes.[lv] Moreover, China announced the establishment of a new agency to coordinate its foreign aid program in 2018. The agency is part of an effort to project China’s global influence more effectively, and to increase Communist Party control.[lvi] Taking issue with the Chinese approach, the Center for Global Development suggested that China and recipients of Beijing’s largess would be better served if the People’s Republic adopted a multilateral approach to Belt and Road-related funding rather than insisting on doing it alone.[lvii] Scott Morris, a former U.S. Treasury official and co-author of the center’s report, said: “the way forward demands a clear policy framework aligned with global standards, something that has been absent from China’s lending practices to date. Whether Chinese officials have the will to pursue this approach will be critical in determining the ultimate success or failure” of the Belt and Road.[lviii] A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud , Itunes , Spotify , Stitcher , TuneIn , and Tumblr . About the Author: Dr. James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies , co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and co-host of the New Books in Middle Eastern Studies podcast . James is the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog , a book with the same title as well as Comparative Political Transitions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa , co-authored with Dr. Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario, Shifting Sands, Essays on Sports and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa , and the forthcoming China and the Middle East: Venturing into the Maelstrom . Cite this Article: Dorsey, James M., “A China Wins Twice Proposition: The Belt and Road Initiative” (February 5, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3329619 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3329619 References: [i] James Kynge, China’s Belt and Road projects drive overseas debt fears, Financial Times, 8 August 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/e7a08b54-9554-11e8-b747-fb1e803ee64e [ii] Kirsty Needham, Malaysia cancels Belt and Road projects with China over bankruptcy fears, The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 August 2018, https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/china-malaysia-agree-to-mutual-respect-amid-belt-and-road-tensions-20180820-p4zyo3.html [iii] Jon Emont and Myo Myo, Chinese-Funded Port Gives Myanmar a Sinking Feeling, The Wall Street Journal, 15 August 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-funded-port-gives-myanmar-a-sinking-feeling-1534325404 [iv] Syed Irfan Raza, CPEC focus must be on job creation, agriculture: Imran, Dawn, 9 October 2018, https://www.dawn.com/news/1437770/cpec-focus-must-be-on-job-creation-agriculture-imran [v] Saeed Shah, Pakistan Turns to Gulf Countries to Keep Economy Afloat, The Wall Street Journal, 22 January 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-turns-to-gulf-countries-to-keep-economy-afloat-11548160203 [vi] Mehreen Zahra-Malik, ‘No urgency’ for Pakistan to enter IMF program: Finance minister, Arab News, 14 December 2018, http://www.arabnews.com/node/1420756/world [vii] Ali Salman Andani, All-weather friend? Pakistan falls into China’s debt trap, Asia Times, 11 January 2019, V http://www.atimes.com/all-weather-friend-pakistan-falls-into-chinas-debt-trap/?utm_source=The+Daily+Report&utm_campaign=3759569bec-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_11_01_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f8bca137f-3759569bec-31513393 [viii] Adnan Aamir, Saudi investment in Pakistan stokes tensions with China, Asia Nikkei, 28 January 2019, https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-Relations/Saudi-investment-in-Pakistan-stokes-tensions-with-China [ix] James M. Dorsey, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman must walk geopolitical tightrope during Asian tour, South China Morning Post, 18 February 2019, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/2186570/saudi-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman-must-walk-geopolitical [x] Haroon Janjua, Cash-strapped Pakistan asks China to shelve US$2 billion coal plant, South China Morning Post, 16 January 2019, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2182326/cash-strapped-pakistan-asks-china-shelve-us2-billion-coal [xi] Behram Baloch, Chinese firms concerned over Gwadar Master Plan approval delay, Dawn, 21 January 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1458803/chinese-firms-concerned-over-gwadar-master-plan-approval-delay [xii] Hannah Beech, ‘ We Cannot Afford This ’: Malaysia Pushes Back Against China’s Vision, The New York Times, 20 August 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/20/world/asia/china-malaysia.html [xiii] Bloomberg, Mahathir Warns Against New ‘Colonialism’ During Visit to China, 20 August 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-20/mahathir-warns-against-new-colonialism-during-visit-to-china [xiv] Gordon Fairclough and Uditha Jayasinghe, Sri Lanka to Sell 80% Stake in Strategically Placed Harbor to Chinese, The Wall Street Journal, 30 August 2016, https://www.wsj.com/articles/sri-lanka-to-sell-80-stake-in-strategically-placed-harbor-to-chinese-1481226344?mod=article_inline [xv] Ibid. Emont and Myo, Chinese-Funded Port Gives Myanmar a Sinking Feeling [xvi] Yubaraj Ghimre, China Eyes Exit, Nepal’s West Seti Hydropower Project in Jeopardy, South China Morning Post, 30 August 2018, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2161968/nepals-west-seti-hydropower-project-jeopardy-china-eyes-exit [xvii] Richard Collett, How Muslim-Chinese Food Became a Culinary Star in Kyrgyzstan, Gastro Obscura, 18 December 2018, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-to-eat-kyrgyzstan [xviii] Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Bishkek Protesters Rally Outside Chinese Embassy Against ‘Reeducation Camps,’ 20 December 2018, https://www.rferl.org/a/bishkek-protesters-rally-outside-chinese-embassy-against-reeducation-camps-/29667706.html [xix] Anna Lelik, Kyrgyzstan: Nationalist Vice Squad Stirs Controversy, eurasianet, 10 February 2015, https://eurasianet.org/kyrgyzstan-nationalist-vice-squad-stirs-controversy [xx] Radio Azattik, Government: From 2010 to 2018, more than 260 Chinese citizens acquired Kyrgyz citizenship (Правительство: С 2010 по 2018 год гражданство Кыргызстана получили более 260 жителей Китая), 18 December 2018, https://rus.azattyk.org/a/29662156.html [xxi] Colleen Wood, Why Did Kyrgyz Stage a Protest Outside the Chinese Embassy? The Diplomat, 29 December 2018, https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/why-did-kyrgyz-stage-a-protest-outside-the-chinese-embassy/ [xxii] Radio Azattik, Jeenbekov on Chinese Kyrgyz: These are Chinese citizens, we cannot interfere (Жээнбеков о китайских кыргызах: Это граждане Китая, мы не можем вмешиваться), 19 December 2018, https://rus.azattyk.org/a/29664421.html [xxiii] AsiaNews.it, Kyrgyz and Kazakhs detained with Uyghurs in Xinjiang, activists say, 19 December 2018, http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Kyrgyz-and-Kazakhs-detained-with-Uyghurs-in-Xinjiang,-activists-say-45787.html [xxiv] Bakhtiyor Atovulloev, Takiistan is turning into the new province of China, Eurasia News, 30 December 2016, https://tajikopposition.com/2016/12/30/tajikistan-is-turning-into-the-new-province-of-china-eurasianews/ [xxv] Robert Daly and Matthew Rojanski, China’s Global Dreams Give Its Neighbors Nightmares, Foreign Policy, 12 March 2018, https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/12/chinas-global-dreams-are-giving-its-neighbors-nightmares/ [xxvi] Isabel Hilton, How China’s Big Overseas Initiative Threatens Global Climate Progress, Yale Environment 360, 3 January 2019, https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-chinas-big-overseas-initiative-threatens-climate-progress [xxvii] China Daily, Xi calls for building ‘green, healthy, intelligent and peaceful’ Silk Road, 22 June 2016, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2016xivisitee/2016-06/22/content_25812410.htm [xxviii] Feng Hao, China’s Belt and Road Initiative still pushing coal, chinadialogue, 12 May 2017, https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/9785-China-s-Belt-and-Road-Initiative-still-pushing-coal [xxix] Christine Shearer, Neha Mathew-Shah, Lauri Myllyvirta, Aiqun Yu, and Ted Nace, Boom and Bust 2018, Tracking the Global Coal Plant Pipeline, Coalswarm, Sierra Club and Greenpeace, March 2018, https://endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/BoomAndBust_2018_r4.pdf [xxx] Huileng Tan, China is massively betting on coal outside its borders — even as investment falls globally, CNBC, 6 April 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/06/china-is-massively-betting-on-coal-outside-its-shores–even-as-investment-falls-globally.html [xxxi] Ibid. Hilton [xxxii] Ibid. Hilton [xxxiii] Robyn Dixon, China has spent billions in Africa, but some critics at home question why, Los Angeles Times, 3 September 2018, https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-china-africa-20180903-story.html [xxxiv] Owen Churchill, China hasn’t changed belt and road’s ‘predatory overseas investment model’, US official says, South China Morning Post, 13 September 2018, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2163972/china-hasnt-changed-belt-and-roads-predatory-overseas [xxxv] Aaron Mehta, How a potential Chinese-built airport in Greenland could be risky for a vital US Air Force base, Defense News, 7 September 2018, https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/09/07/how-a-potential-chinese-built-airport-in-greenland-could-be-risky-for-a-vital-us-air-force-base/ [xxxvi] Jonathan Hillman, China’s Belt and Road Is Full of Holes, CSIS Briefs, September 2018, https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/publication/180905_Hillman_ChinasBelt_FINAL.pdf?uhtZC7Pbw2UjbwtitdOXmexJDWjVWfyr [xxxvii] John Hurley, Scott Morris, and Gailyn Portelance, Examining the Debt Implications of the Belt and Road Initiative from a Policy Perspective, Center for Global Development, March 2018, https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/examining-debt-implications-belt-and-road-initiative-policy-perspective.pdf [xxxviii] U.S. Embassy in Senegal, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson Remarks – U.S.-Africa Relations: A New Framework, George Mason University March 6, 2018, 6 March 2018, https://sn.usembassy.gov/secretary-state-rex-w-tillerson-remarks-george-mason-university-march-6-2018/ [xxxix] Nancy A. Youssef, U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier to Persian Gulf in Show of Force Against Iran, The Wall Street Journal, 3 December 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-sends-aircraft-carrier-to-persian-gulf-in-show-of-force-against-iran-1543871934 [xl] Bourse& Bazaar, When the Sun Sets in the EastNew Dynamics in China-Iran Trade Under Sanctions, January 2019, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54db7b69e4b00a5e4b11038c/t/5c4ad5ffc74c505f6368f1a8/1548408321766/B%26B_Special_Report_China_Iran_Trade_v2.pdf [xli] The New Arab, an hints at Saudi role in deadly suicide bombing, 6 December 2018, https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/12/6/iran-hints-at-saudi-role-in-deadly-suicide-bombing [xlii] Jamal Ismail, Ansar Al-Furqan Group Claims Attack against IRGC HQ in Iran, Asharq Al-Awsat, 8 December 2018, https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1495831/ansar-al-furqan-group-claims-attack-against-irgc-hq-iran [xliii] James M. Dorsey, Pakistan caught in the middle as China’s OBOR becomes Saudi-Iranian-Indian battleground, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 5 May 2017, https://mideastsoccer.blogspot.com/2017/05/pakistan-caught-in-middle-as-chinas.html [xliv] Mohammed Hassan Husseinbor, Chabahar and Gwadar Agreements and Rivalry among Competitors in Baluchistan Region, Journal of Iranian Studies, Year 1, Issue 1, December 2016, https://rasanah-iiis.org/english/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/05/Chabahar-and-Gwadar-Agreements-and-Rivalry-among-Competitors-in-Baluchistan-Region.pdf [xlv] Khurram Hussain, Exclusive: CPEC master plan revealed, Dawn, 21 June 2017, https://www.dawn.com/news/1333101 [xlvi] Al Jazeera, Gunmen kill 10 labourers in Balochistan’s Gwadar, 13 May 2017, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/gunmen-kill-10-labourers-balochistan-gwadar-170513111330168.html [xlvii] Asad Hashim, Gunmen attack Chinese consulate in Karachi, Al Jazeera, 23 November 2018, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/shots-heard-china-consulate-pakistan-karachi-181123051817209.html [xlviii] Jamil Anderlini, China is at risk of becoming a colonialist power, Financial Times, 9 September 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/186743b8-bb25-11e8-94b2-17176fbf93f5 [xlix] Brahma Chellaney, China’s creditor imperialism, The Strategist, 21 December 2017, https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/chinas-creditor-imperialism/ [l] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, President Xi Jinping Delivers Important Speech and Proposes to Build a Silk Road Economic Belt with Central Asian Countries, 7 September 2013, https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/topics_665678/xjpfwzysiesgjtfhshzzfh_665686/t1076334.shtml [li] Asean China Center, Speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Indonesian Parliament, 3 October 2013, http://www.asean­china­center.org/english/2013­10/03/c_133062675.htm [lii] Ibid. Daly and Rojanski [liii] Saori N. Katada, Can China Internationalize the RMB? Foreign Affairs, 1 January 2018, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2018-01-01/can-china-internationalize-rmb [liv] Louisa Lim and Julia Bergin, Inside China’s audacious global propaganda campaign, The Guardian, 7 December 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/dec/07/china-plan-for-global-media-dominance-propaganda-xi-jinping [lv] Nicolas Groffman, Meet the 8 Chinese Judges Who’ll Sit on Belt and Road Cases, South China Morning Post, 25 September 2018, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/economics/article/2165567/meet-8-chinese-judges-wholl-sit-belt-and-road-cases [lvi] Chinese Embassy in Mongolia, The Official Website of China International Development Cooperation Agency Has Been Released, 20 September 2018, http://mn.china-embassy.org/eng/zmgx/t1597178.htm [lvii] Ibid. Hurley, Morris, and Portelance [lviii] Scott Morris, China Needs to Avoid ‘Belt and Road’ Debt Problems, Inter Press Service, 14 May, 2018, http://www.ipsnews.net/2018/03/china-needs-avoid-belt-road-debt-problems/ DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this insight piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the IndraStra Global.

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10 Restaurants In Taipei, Taiwan With The Best Unobstructed High Rise Views

10 Restaurants In Taipei, Taiwan With The Best Unobstructed High Rise Views 8 (1686 words) 26 8 (1686 words) Restaurants in Taipei with best city views
Image credit: @sunchiaying
If you’ve been to Taiwan before, you’ll know that our local pasar malams are no match to the street food stores that line Xi Men Ding or Shihlin Night Market. But when you’ve exhausted all the XXL Fried Chicken Cutlets or bowls of steaming Mee Sua , these high-rise restaurants might give you a healthy break from that.
At the same time, you’ll also be treated with beautiful city views, making each bite just a little bit tastier.
Conversion rates are at NT$1 = $0.044, correct at the time of writing.
Read our other Taipei articles here: 1. The Top (屋頂上) – beach villa vibes on a mountain
Image credit: The top/屋頂上
The Top is a restaurant located at the top of Yang Ming Shan, giving a panoramic view of the city. If you look closely enough, you might even be able to spot Taipei 101 and Shin Kong Life Tower. The atmosphere of this restaurant is similar to that of a beach villa – minus the sand – and their comfy couch seats add that extra chill factor.
Image credit: @cnoldwoman
Food-wise, they have mini BBQ grills along with a wide array of meats for you to choose from, such as Angus Beef NT$480 ($21.10) and A-Class Sirloin NT$480 ($21.10) .
Night view from The Top
Although the restaurant might be on the pricier side with different seating areas differing in price, the view from the top is totally worth it.
Address: Kaixuan Shihlin District No. 33, Lane 61, Alley 4, Taipei City, Taiwan 111 Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 5PM-3AM | Sat: 12AM-3AM | Sun: 12AM-3AM Telephone: +886 2 2862 2255 2. Yen Taipei – Chinese food with a modern twist
Image credits: @claire_h_diary
Located on the 31st floor of W Hotel , Yen Taipei boasts a modern and luxurious ambience. With the spacious restaurant offering the view of Taipei 101, you sure won’t be catching your family members using their phones at the dinner table.
Image credit: @wtaipei
Singaporeans love their dim sum, and we have those long dragon lines outside Tim Ho Wan and Din Tai Fung to prove it. Here, you’ll be able to feast on an assortment of dim sum like Siew Mai NT$200 ($8.80) . The Penghu Tiger Prawn Seared in Chardonnay sauce NT$680 ($29.80) and Cantonese Style Seared Crispy Cod Fillet NT$680 ($29.80) are also worth a try.
Image credit: @wtaipei
Yen Restaurant Taipei also has a bar, where you can relax at for a few hours before getting on with your itinerary again, Sip on a cocktail and take in the beautiful view of Taipei’s skyscrapers while snacking on traditional desserts like the Suncake .
Address: W Hotel Level 31, 10 Zhongxiao East Road, Sec.5 Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan YEN Restaurant Opening hours: Daily, 11.30AM-2.30PM, 6PM-10PM YEN Bar Opening hours: Sun-Tue: 2PM-12AM | Wed-Sat: 2PM-1AM | Daily: 2.30PM-5.30PM (Afternoon Tea) Telephone: +886 2 7703 8887 3. La Vie Revee Des Anges (天使热爱的生活咖啡馆) – overlooking Tamsui River
Image credit: @amaury125
We Singaporeans love cafe-hopping and are constantly on the lookout for unique little coffee and brunch spots even when overseas. Well, good news, La Vie Revee Des Angus is a cafe with an old-timey atmosphere that lets you munch while overlooking the Tamsui River. It’s also a great spot for catching the sunset.
Address: Number 233-1 Zhongzheng Road, Tamsui District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 251 Opening hours: Daily, 2PM-1AM Telephone: +886 2 8631 2928 4. SAFFRON 46 – Indian cuisine on the 46th floor
Image credit: @saffron46taipei
Located on the 46th floor, Saffron 46 has tall windows that give a clear view of Taipei 101, and you’ll feel as though you can touch it because of the two buildings’ close proximity.
Image credit: @yurex3
Here, you’ll get gourmet Indian fusion dishes including Vegetarian options as well. So whatever your diet preferences are, they will be surely have something to satisfy you.
Some dishes include the Kiln Grilled Spice Fish Fillet NT$520 ($22.77) which is cooked in a traditional clay oven, as well as the Spice Yog NT$370 ($16.20) which are Vegetarian Samosas.
Image credit: @uptowngirlabb
Wash down your meal with their wide selection of drinks made by award-winning bartenders, and pair them with Indian-inspired bar snacks.
Address: Breeze Nan Shan 46F, No.17 SongZhi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei Opening hours: Daily, 11AM-2.30PM (Lunch), 2.30PM-4.30PM (Afternoon Tea), 5PM-7PM (Happy hour), 5PM-10.30PM (Dinner), 10.30PM-1AM (Late Night Drinks and Bar Snacks) Telephone: +886 2 2722 5151 5. Villa Sugar – dine with a backdrop of the sea
Image credit: @vennesa25
Decked with resort-style furniture, Villa Sugar will give you a good view of the sea, offering a break from Taipei’s bustling street markets.
Seafood Pizza Image credit: @cian_1105
Since you’ll be on holiday, go ahead and treat yourself to some cheat day food. Here, you can pick from a wide array of comfort food like pizza and fried finger food platters – complete with Boomerang-worthy cheese-pulls.
Address: No.54-16 Tudi Gongkang, Sanzi District, New Taipei, Taiwan (Sanzhi / Shimen District) Opening hours: Daily, 11AM-9PM 6. Yao Yue Tea house – second oldest teahouse in Maokong
Image credit: @boushers_ya
Yao Yue Tea House is regarded as one of the best tea houses in the Maokong region, and also the second oldest in the area.
Image credit: @sirithip
From the tea house, you can enjoy the vast scenery of the tea plantations below which contributes to zen ambience. Their tea selection includes different oolong tea blends like the floral Wenshan Baozhong Tea , priced at NT$280 ($12.26) .
Image credit: Website
They also serve Taiwanese dishes like Steamed Guan Yin Tang Bao (soup dumpling infused with traditional Maokong tea) NT$558 ($24.50) and Zhen Zhu Wan (fluffy rice balls filled with pork) NT$90 ($3.95) .
Address: No.6, Ln. 40, Sec. 3, Zhinan Rd., Wenshan Dist., Taipei City 116, Taiwan Opening hours: 24 hours, all year round Telephone: +886 2 2939 2025 7. Smith and Wollensky Taipei – meat lover’s heaven
Image credit: @innocence1110
Smith and Wollensky has franchises all over the world and the outlet in Taipei definitely doesn’t disappoint – especially with its view from the 47th floor.
Adapted from: @melody780715
Their specialities range from prime cuts of beef like the 26 oz. USDA Prime T-Bone NT$4280 ($187.93) to their Mac & Cheese that comes in 2 flavours, Truffle NT$480 ($21.10) and Lobster NT$1180 ($51.81) .
Address: Level 47, Breeze Nanshan, No.17, Songzhi Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City 110, Taiwan Opening hours: Sun-Thu: 11.30AM-10PM (Dinner), 11.30AM-1AM (Happy hour, not available on Sun) | Fri-Sat: 11.30AM-11PM, 11.30AM-2AM (Happy hour) Telephone: +886 2 2345 5647 8. Lazy Point Restaurant and Bar – earthy-themed restaurant with a rooftop bar
Image credit: @lazy_point
Aside from the atmosphere of the place, the food here is equally satisfying, with a large variety of cuisines from classic Western to Italian and French. Some of the best sellers include the Roasted Vegetable dish that is as tasty as it looks.
Outdoor rooftop bar
The open-air rooftop bar looks like a mini-garden, with grass-lined floors and quirky mismatched furniture.
Address: No. 68, Zhouzi Street, Neihu District, Taipei City, Taiwan 114 Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 11.30AM-12AM, 5.30PM-7.30PM (Happy hour) Telephone: +886 2 8751 5509 9. Zest35 (甜橙風味休閒景觀餐廳) – hotpot at the top of Yang Ming Shan
Image credit: @sunchiaying
Zest35 is another restaurant that sits on the top of Yang Ming Shan, with both an indoor bar with transparent slidable doors and an outdoor patio. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy city views of Taipei no matter where you sit.
Image credit: @wu_gina0902
The restaurant also has live music performances. If you are a fan of hotpot then you’re in for a treat because Zest35 lets you cook your own mini hotpot, something you can opt for instead of their stir-fry dishes.
Address: No. 33, Alley 4, Lane 61, KaiXian Road, Shilin District, Taipei City Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 12PM-3AM | Fri: 12PM-5AM | Sat: 11AM-5AM | Sun: 11AM-3AM Telephone: +886 2 2862 2255 10. Morton’s the Steakhouse – classy steak restaurant
Image credit: Morton’s The Steakhouse – Taipei 台北莫爾頓牛排館
We have Morton’s The Steakhouse in Singapore, on the 4th floor of Mandarin Oriental, but the one in Taipei is way up high on the 45th floor. Here, you’ll be able to see the full spectrum of Taiwan’s city lights, a great accompaniment to a hearty meal.
Image credit: @miu_fun_food
Besides their prime steaks and chops, they also serve Bacon and Onion Macaroni and Cheese made with a special four cheese blend.
Address: Level 45, Breeze Xinyi, Number 68, Section 5, Zhongxiao East Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City 11071 Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 11.30AM-10PM | Fri-Sat: 11.30AM-11PM | Sun: 11.30AM-10PM Telephone: +886 2 2723 3699

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Independent House for sale in Madhapur, Hyderabad

PropertyWala.com Independent House for sale in Madhapur, Hyderabad 1.5 – 2 crores Jai Hind colony, Madhapur, Hyderabad (Telangana) Area: 120 SqYards Rate: 1.58 lakh per SqYard +55% Age Of Construction: 10 Years Description Independent house for re sale in madhapur area which is getting 80k rent also
When you call, please mention that you saw this ad on PropertyWala.com. Location Vijetha supermarket miyapur metro station (<8km), Qulaidi Traders (<8km), Sai Maruthi Kirana Shop (<9km), Anusha Kirana And General Stores (<11km), M Satyanarayana Reddy & Bros (<12km), Pradeep Kirana Store (<12km), J S Wilson Kirana (<12km), Siva Kirana and General Stores (<13km), Om Sai Mata Kirana Store (<13km), Rama Vamshi Kirana (<13km) Dr. Sridhar International Dental Hospital (<8km), International Dental Care (<9km), Dr. Gowds Dental Hospitals (<9km), Lotus Hospitals For Women & Children (<13km), sri sai dental specialities (<7km), Sunshine Dental Centre (<4km), Ankura Hospital for women & children (<4km), Aurobindo Dental Hospital (<8km), Partha Dental Clinic – Ameerpet Hyderabad (<10km), AP Super Speciality Dental Hospitals Banjara (<6km), Brite Smile Dental Hospital (<1km), Lotus Hospitals For Women & Children (<7km), Partha Dental Clinic – Film Nagar Hyderabad (<6km), Dental Care @ Ambicare Clinics (<4km), Vasan Dental Care (<7km), Apollo White Dental Madhapur (<1km), EviDent Dental Care (<10km) Commissioner Of Family Welfare (<10km), A P State Minorities Commission (<13km), Sreenidhi Hilltop (<6km), Kutch Kadva Patidar Samaj Ameerpet (<9km), seminar hall center for economics (<10km), Grampanchayat Function Hall Pragathi Nagar (<11km), A P State Remote Sensing Applications (<12km), Office of Chief Conservator of Forest (<13km), HMT Kalyana Mandapam (<14km) Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Hyderabad Banjara Hills (<9km), Taj Krishna (<10km), Red Fox Hotel Hyderabad (<2km), Taj Banjara (<11km), Ellaa Hotel Gachibowli Hyderabad (<6km), Avasa (<1km), Lemon Tree Premier HITEC City, Hotel Inner Circle (<11km), OYO Townhouse 005 Jubilee Hills (<4km), OYO 840 Apartment Near GVK Mall (<9km) Banks & ATMs State Bank of India (<1km), Dhanalakshmi Bank ATM (<7km), State Bank of India Salarjung Colony (<9km), Citibank ATM (<3km), State Bank of India (<8km), UCO Bank (<10km), Union Bank Of India (<10km), Indian Overseas Bank ATM (<9km) Recreation Cinetown Laxmi 70 mm (<9km), BR Hitech Theatre (<0.5km), INOX GVK One Mall (<10km), SAIRANGA 70MM (<9km), Sri Bhramaramba Cinema Hall (<9km), Happenings24x7 (<7km), CK Entertainments Private Limited (<6km), SVC Ventures Pvt Ltd (<7km), Landmark Advertising (<7km), Trade Wings Institute of Management Hyderabad (<10km), HELIPAD (<3km), The Hyderabad Public School Begumpet (<10km), Meridian School (<9km), BSD DAV Public School (<8km), Maharishi Vidya Mandir School (<5km), Geethanjali Model School (<4km), Philips International School of Music (<3km), D A V Public School (<9km), Govt. Primary School (<11km), Jubilee Hills Public School (<5km), Jamaat – Ul – Muslimeen (<9km), Philips International School of Music (<5km) Religious Places Star Open Bible Church (<9km), St. Alphonsus Church (<10km), Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church (<8km), The Rock Church (<11km), Jesus Christ of Nazareth Ministries (<12km), Adonai Fellowship Centre (<3km), Good Shepherd Evangelical Church (<12km), Grace Tabernacle Ministries Church (<6km), Church at Gachibowli (<3km), Revival Centre AG Church (<10km), Calvary Prayer House (<8km), Swiss Bakery & Patisserie Pvt Ltd (<11km), Keshav Reddy Sweets (<0.5km), Swiss Castle Bakers Ameerpet (<9km), Cake Exotica (<8km), Price Trends Madhapur, Hyderabad Independent Houses for sale in Madhapur, Hyderabad This property is priced approximately 55% over the average for an Independent Houses for sale in Madhapur, Hyderabad (Rs.99629/SqYards) * Disclaimer: Data may be approximate. Locality Reviews Madhapur, Hyderabad One of the hot locality in Hyderabad . It's like cosmopolitan having every culture here. Pros: by Hyderabad Estate (Hyderabad Estate) Madhapur city developed fastly within 10 – 15 years fast growing IT hubs and residential / commercial zones within heart of new city called CYBERABAD with all educated professions settled in this cyberabad city connecting to all major roads and connnecting ORR and entertainments like star hotels, pubs, exhibition centres hitex and marriage halls hifi hospitals schools and colleges any parts of the country can settle here with peaceful and good oxygen here in this area people are healthy, there were no polluted companies, in this area people enjoy like western countries saturday and sunday week holidays people move around inorbit malls, shilpa ramam handicrafts exhibition beside hitec tower food areas like paradis court, kfc, snookers, pubs, star hotels all parts of country people u may find out in future US embassy is going to come near kondapur – gachibowli areas its constliest city in Hyderabad in this area less crime because cctv cameras are more to cover any type of offences so anybody can stay in this zone its free zone and also people can invest their hard earned earnings in this area either to purchase plots,flats independent house row house in gated community all top class people like doctors, lawyers, judges, business men, celebrities are settled in this madhapur area, i love this area very much because within short span of time i have seen this type of city cyberabad has grown fastly other than any other city. Pros: VERY GOOD LOCATION NEARBY ALL FACILITIES SCHOOLS COLLEGES JOBS HOTELS HOSPITALS AND ENTERTAINMENTS Better to be early at home please dont go to lonely areas and new areas developing in some areas no cc tv cameras beware Posted: Jul 7, 2016 by Raj Kumar Madhapur is a part of prime business district of hyderabad . It is a part of the IT Corridor of hitec city. It has a cosmo touch to it with a presence of young IT professionals working here from all parts of India. It is the hub of many startup companies and has rentals ranging from a Rs. 30/- per sqft to Rs. 65./- per sqft for a fully furnished office space. Thus it caters to clients ranging from start up to large mnc's. The place also has variety of restaurants covering most of the indian cuisine. There are ample options for people looking for residential options in and around madhapur. Pros: IT corridor with cosmo culture Excellent connectivity to all modes of transport Flexible rental options suiting all clients ranging from startup to large MNC Cons: Shortage of A grade space Lack of good hospitals Parking challenges in standalone buildings. Posted:

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My Kiss day, 2019 – Hitesh Goel – Medium

My Kiss day, 2019 Hitesh Goel This isn’t me Taking a bold step today to talk about How I celebrated my kiss day this year. As you all know, Kiss day is celebrated worldwide on 13th February every year under the umbrella of Valentine week.
Valentine week: A set of 7 days specially dedicated, but not limited to couples to embrace the different sectors of each other’s affection. Having given the most obvious general knowledge with you all, let’s move forward to discussing my Kiss Day’s events for which you have especially taken a step to click on the link. Let me run all of you through a background story, which is mostly focusing on How well prepared I was for this day.
So, It all started back in December 2018 where I was having the awesome time of my relationship so far. I used to spend a lot of quality time and used to listen to the other partner diligently. While going through the Youtube videos, I happen to land across a small banner based advertisement hiding in the corner of the page. I was mesmerised and moved by seeing the advertisement, which I had been looking for a good quantity of time. I clicked on the advertisement and followed the steps leading to a beautiful debit entry in my bank account passbook. So now everything was planned, the next thing was to wait for the Kiss day to come and leap directly on the opportunity. January passed by immense love flourishing through the roofs and the cosmos.
Ticking time which is always now ! Now came February with each day ticking past like a year’s time, each hour seemed like a day’s time. Such was the depth of patience I was keeping, such was the excitement I was hiding and such was the love I was having. The program planning stretched to a course of 4 days ending on the most awaited Kiss day. It was the first day, I got the other partner invited to a venue as per the planned program. So, If you all had stuck by now reading this far, I will start unrolling the real-life characters only just for you. It is only you for whom I will reveal who was the other one and what was the planned program.
Can you please keep this secret ? ( https://abracabadra.blogspot.com/2016/02/shhha-secret.html ) So the first revelation is the other partner in this far flourishing love story was “Me” , the second revelation about the Kiss day is “It was my birthday” and the third revelation about the advertisement is it was “ Inner Engineering Total “ .
Hahahahhaha! Now I expect half the audience to drop by after this point, because If I would have titled this article as “My Birthday Celebrations 2019“, 70 per cent of you would have left it in the news feed itself after giving a like. This year I gifted myself a “Kiss of Bliss” with introducing and getting initiated with a powerful kriya(In Kundalini Yoga a kriya is a series of postures, breath, and sound that work toward a specific outcome) known as “Shambhavi Mahamudra” which is taught by the Isha Foundation under the program “ Inner Engineering Total “ which is a meticulously planned 4-day event(comes in other formats as well).
Soundless talking 🙂 I had been inclining and orienting myself with Self transformational content since a couple of months and had been looking to delve deeper into the same space. Now as we(a few readers by now) are on the same page, let’s talk briefly about my experience with the Inner Engineering Total programme and the Birthday.
Starting with Day 1 of the program, it all revolved around the basic know-how of the activities carried out by Isha Foundation under the shadow of Sadhguru Jaggi, the detailed layout of the complete programs and the consent to give a commitment to what was to be taught to us. All agreeing on the commitment in a unison like Salman Khan were ready to take up the next upcoming knowledge. They taught and corrected everyone with powerful energy activating asana called as “ Yoga Namaskar ”.
The second day, like every other day of the event, started out with an invocation prayer to reset each person’s energy in the then present aura. Special mention for the invocation prayer which was recited by me and all Kendriya Vidyalaya students every morning for all my school life. The first day and the second day were of 3–4 Hours each. The second day rotated around the brief history of origination of Yoga, the Yogic sciences, Instructions for the Kriyas and new Asanas, What, Why and How of many subtle things of our current lives. Everything above was delivered to us by the volunteers and the Sadhguru himself in form of small beautiful analogies and practices.
Moving on to the 3rd and the final day i.e the 4th day of the program was a full 10–12 Hours session each which was a deep dive into the Initiation to the mighty “Shambhavi Mahamudra”. I won’t bore you down to sleep telling each and everything about each subsection of all 4 days because the best way to flow this wisdom has to be from an authentic source which is the Isha Foundation. If I start speaking about the asanas, kriya and the Yogic Sciences it will definitely dampen the natural essence of the knowledge and the last possibility is of me being ignored every time by you. So 3rd and 4th day in a nutshell: lots of wisdom, practical analogies , set of practices(asanas and kriyas) under “Shambhavi Mahamudra”, on ground activities, yogic food, lovely chats and so on.
Photo by Al x on Unsplash I would love to focus on Kiss day again, the day when I had a life lasting gift with me. I understood after gifting myself that “ Life is beautifully uncertain, the only certainty is your action, so do your actions mindfully “. On my birthday being in a new country, no one aware of the actual event behind the Kiss day I proposed myself with a commitment to seek awareness in all possible forms and gave myself the “ Kiss of Bliss ” in the most tangible format available to me. The day ended with a 300 ML Beer shot, a splendidly cooked Indian cuisine, and shopping for me and my friends. I hope you are with me so far, on this romantic journey of my Kiss day 2019.
Gratitude to all of you, the universe and Hitesh Goel for being around such marvelous people.
Interested in learning more about the kriya I learned. Please refer the links below(I am in no way benefitted financially by sharing this, but my mission is):
Inner Engineering by Isha Foundation Shambhavi Mahamudra Yoga Namaskar Learn Isha Kriya Online for free

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Manu Smriti: Recipes For Change

The beef ban in India was at its lowest point in India in 2016. Vigilante cow protection groups were in full force, indiscriminately lynching or attacking those who were suspected of being in possession of beef, a meat that has been a staple for Christians, Muslims and Dalits in the country. The ban also prohibited cow slaughter for leather trade.
A Dalit family of leather workers in Una was publicly flogged by gau rakshaks for having skinned a dead cow. Artist Rajyashri Goody, then 25, was in Korea on an art residency that year. Born to a British father and Dalit mother, Goody was only a year into her art practice then, but had always been compelled to write about Dalit history. “The Una protests had just happened. Because Brahmins are vegetarian, and are the most powerful caste who have had the most access to literacy and writing, India is seen as a vegetarian country. Brahmins are not even a majority here. Since I was in a foreign country, I was able to see that even something as basic as food was governed by a power narrative so I started thinking about these stereotypes,” recalls Goody.
Goody also began to notice a pattern in the Dalit literature that she had read. “All the Dalit memoirs I’ve read have so much writing about food. Almost every chapter has so much about food. It shows you that link between discrimination, caste, hunger and experiences of eating. The strongest and deepest traumas of childhood are to do with hunger and not having enough to eat,” says Goody. With a Masters degree in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester, Goody felt that food offered her a powerful tool to study caste history.
“Up until this point I wasn’t sure whether I was just making huge statements about caste and social structure, but I wanted to find my own interest within that, which made it special for me. For me, this was about understanding my own Dalit history,” she adds.
Social worker and Marathi novelist Laxman Gaikwad’s book, Uchalya (The Branded), was the first piece of Dalit literature that Goody picked up to begin her recipe book project. Her recipes read like a poem, written like a set of instructions for a regular recipe, but are in fact, disturbing food memories from Dalit autobiographies. “It took me six months to develop the first book. The recipes are not consumerist, but a complex way of talking about caste struggle and the suffering.
People still don’t understand that Dalit cuisine is not a cuisine. Dalits have a complicated relationship with food because of the lack of it and the shame associated with it,” says Goody.
Here’s a sample from the translated version of Uchalya Make a fire. Roast the rats. Carry the remains home For mother.
The Uchalya community that Gaikwad belongs to was known as the thieving tribe. “His book was super graphic. His community had a hard time because they were traditionally thieves and the police had their names recorded,” says Goody. If anything untoward, particularly a robbery, had happened in the village or town that the Uchalya community lived, the members of the community would be brought into the police station for questioning or worse the police would barge into their homes and thrash their families until they admitted to the crime that they may or may not have committed. “After a point, they (Uchalya) were stealing to get by and as a way of resistance. They weren’t allowed to own land, so stealing was the only way they could get food. Their ingenious ways of letting rats loose in fields to steal wheat was one of the things Gaikwad wrote about. The way he spoke about approaching things like food and hunger was painful, but also had this pride to it,” says Goody, whose recipes were also showcased as part of an exhibition at Harvard University. Part of the exhibition was an installation that included laddoos made from the material that was created after pulping Manusmriti, the Hindu text that justifies caste system. The laddoos were placed on a bhakri made out of ceramic. The image is striking in that it immediately provides context and a contrast in the caste structures in India, again via food. “As an artist, these recipes are not just about trauma either. It’s got humour, which is very important in art,” adds Goody.
Marathi writer Urmila Pawar’s Aaydan: The Weave of My Life, Indian-American author Sujata Gidla’s Ants Among Elephants, Tamil feminist Bama’s Karukku and poet Omprakash Valmiki’s Joothan are among the books that have inspired Goody to write recipes. “Urmila Pawar’s book spoke about women collecting oysters from the beach and how treacherous these journeys were. They had to trek up and down a hill during the low tide to collect oysters. Women would get dragged into the ocean or slip down a hill and die.
The writer describes it to be a feat,” says Goody. Her art would not exist if not for these memoirs, admits Goody. “These experiences have been so well written and well put together in the memoirs. I don’t imagine a scenario — it’s already there. I just change the language in the extract from first person to second,” she says.
There is “no grand agenda of gaining a huge following for her art” through her recipes, explains Goody. “Dalit literature is still not that popular, so I thought I’d put it out in the form of recipes.
It’s a sort of fetishisation that I am playing with. If the recipes brought about even a tiny shift in how the reader perceives food cultures and food politics, that would be the ideal effect. But more importantly, I’d like the recipes to intrigue the reader to go out and buy the book I’ve collected the recipes from, and read more Dalit literature,” says the artist, who grew up in Pune and studied sociology at Fergusson College .
Dalit activist Baby Kamble’s book The Prisons We Broke and We Also Made History: Women in the Ambedkarite Movement by Meenakshi Moon and Urmila Pawar are the latest additions to Goody’s reading list. “I started by reading whatever my parents had at home, which was quite an extensive collection, but now I’m making an active effort to seek out more female Dalit writers, as well as autobiographies from across India, and not just focused on Maharashtra ,” she says.
Goody’s work will be part of Shifting Studios, a group presentation by city-based artists, at TIFA Working Studios today.

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A welcome return to our desi roots- The New Indian Express

Home The Sunday Standard A welcome return to our desi roots
Delhiis one city which keeps on buzzing with events and activities throughout the year. But for foodies it’s the mushrooming of food festivals which the Capital sees in the season. Share Via Email By Express News Service
Delhi is one city which keeps on buzzing with events and activities throughout the year. But for foodies it’s the mushrooming of food festivals which the Capital sees in the season. One change which I have noticed recently in last couple of years is that the hotels are coming forward and curating regional food festivals. There was a time when Italian, Spanish, Mexican food festivals were the favorites but not anymore, it’s changing. Surprisingly, they are replaced by the Assamese, Marwadi, Bengali, Bihari, Rampuri, Goan, Chettinad and the list can go on. I have always believed that Indian regional cuisines are at par with any other International cuisine but it needs a platform to showcase the hidden culinary heritage. Last week, I met Pawan Soni, founder of Indian Food Freak, which is one of the biggest food groups in today’s digital era. In a conversation he told me that IFF as a group is associating with hotels and creating a platform for home chefs by curating regional food festivals across the country. This seems to be a nice step as I firmly believe that nobody cooks better than a lady cooking at home and if these hidden master chefs get a chance to cook in a commercial set up, I have no doubt they will give professional chefs a good competition. The first home chef to be featured by IFF is Abhilasha Jain. She is an expert of Marwari Cuisine and is showcasing the same at The Westin Gurgaon till 25th February. I was lucky enough to taste her food which was a massive spread of home-style dishes. I started with a glass of freshly made chanch/buttermilk and liked it so much that I had it throughout my meal. It was followed by a portion of Kadhi kachori chaat which was really a revelation. Hot kadhi with hand crushed kachori stuffed with dal was a delight and seemed to be the perfect choice to start the wintery evening. Next I had couple of spoons of Bajra khichdi which I topped with pure desi ghee which reminded me of a royal dinner hosted by Raja of Mewar. Apart from the regular Dal Bati Choorma the star dish of the day for me was the kair sangri kofta which is Abhilasha’s home recipe and is paired to perfection with a missi roti. It was a wonderful experience and I am glad that finally these home chefs are being recognised. Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now (Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit ‘Click to Subscribe’ . Follow the instructions after that.) TAGS

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W Kuala Lumpur, Luxury Hotel Kuala Lumpur

W Kuala Lumpur, Luxury Hotel Kuala Lumpur on February 25, 2019
Monica Tindall
There is nothing ordinary about W Kuala Lumpur. Every interaction within the property, both human and in design, inspires out-of-the-box thinking. While the atmosphere is casual, there is a buzzy vibe causing guests to take a look at the world through another lens. We’ve walked away inspired after every visit to their various food and beverage outlets and now have high hopes for what an entire weekend stay has the potential to do. W Kuala Lumpur – Location
Built right across from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, there is no more convenient location than this. Easily accessed by public transport and walking distance to the major shopping, dining and entertainment districts, W Kuala Lumpur is well-positioned for both business and leisure. On-site parking is complimentary for hotel guests. View from W Kuala Lumpur W Kuala Lumpur – Rooms
Multiple room categories suit a variety of Wants and we find ourselves in a Spectacular Room, so named because of the eye-catching view of the towers seen directly from the floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s a standard room size of 42 square metres but the design is such that there is little symmetry. The lines are at irregular angles seeming to streamline the space and point one’s gaze towards the windows.
Funky splashes of fuchsia brighten the design with artistic lamp shades, colourful cushions and a pixelated splash back in the vanity adding to its vibrancy. Lighting can be chosen to mix up the mood and the push-button controlled black-out blinds ensure we get a good sleep-in (along with the excellent bedding – those W signature beds have a good balance between firm and soft).
The shower is as expected with instant, high-pressure hot water with a choice of hand-held head or rain shower. An enormous bathtub could fit two but we don’t even try it as there is so much happening at the hotel that we don’t actually spend much time in the room. A sliding door closes off the bathroom from the bedroom giving some privacy, although light can still be seen through the semi-transparent wall so it’s not 100% non-disturbing. The small walk-in closet, however, can be sealed off so it’s there that I get dressed early morning for the gym trying not to wake Sleeping Beauty.
Bliss bath products stand out with a foaming face wash offered beyond the usual soap, shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer. They’re good quality too. The eco-gal in me shuns mini-plastic bottles much preferring the refillable containers found in more boutique properties but I find it hard to resist and break my attempts at zero-waste to give these a try.
Being a neat-freak I do like that house-keeping returns in the evenings for turn-down service, closing the blinds, putting slippers by the bed and sprucing up the room once more. Also of note is the simplified phone system with just one button – Whatever/Whenever -bringing you what you need when you need it. Spectacular Room Spectacular Bathroom W Kuala Lumpur – Elite Lounge
Apparently, the hotel has received some criticism from KLites who are used to 5-star hotels offering a club lounge. It’s not part of the W brand but the team at W Kuala Lumpur has navigated this complaint by providing an Elite Lounge Hour nightly at Woobar on Level 8. And, after checking it out, I like this way more! WooBar
Sit in the delightful bar or cushioned lounges lit by an assortment of contemporary lights and enjoy a curated menu of Sips and Nibbles. On the Sips side, there is wine, beer, juice, soft drink and three cocktails. The food menu is a simple choice of five dishes but these recipes are high-calibre. I would much rather this handful of superior choices than a large spread of average food. Organic vegetables with local goats’ cheese, marinated olives with aged Hispanico cheese and chef’s signature kingfish ceviche are very much to my liking. Hubby thinks the skewers of flame-grilled wagyu beef and the foie gras chawanmushi are pretty fine too. My personal opinion is that in the game of quality versus quantity, the former always wins. Kingfish Ceviche
If you want to extend those hours, you can try a few craft cocktails at Woobar. Of note are High Five (Tualang honey and gin), Nut This Time (dark rum and nuts infused Campari in a bird glass) and the smoky Islay Wonderland (whisky and vermouth, smoked before serving). It really would be easy to stay here for an evening but we must press on as it’s time for dinner in Flock. Islay Wonderland at Woobar W Kuala Lumpur – Dining
W Kuala Lumpur’s dining options are fun, unconventional, feature ingredients sourced from local artisans and are downright delicious. From Woobar for craft cocktails or afternoon tea to Yen for fine Cantonese cuisine and WetDeck for some of the most fabulous parties in the city, all are injected with a sense of joy and vivacity that make every guest feel as if they are part of the “in” crowd. (The hippest thing about W Kuala Lumpur though, is that the only restraint regarding what’s considered, “in,” is that you be yourself. Express your personality freely. We all belong. I like that a lot.) Dim Sum at Yen
Flock continues the concept as the brand’s all-day-dining restaurant where breakfast is served buffet style, lunch and dinner a la carte and a phenomenal Sunday brunch is performed every month. You can find more on their dinner and lunch menus here and here and check out why I said the brunch was a “performance” here. Flock, W Kuala Lumpur
What I consider to be the best hotel breakfast in Kuala Lumpur is found at Flock (outside guests are welcome as well at the price of RM100+ per person). The key to success is again a focus on quality rather than quantity. Take, for example, the quintessential breakfast ingredient, the humble egg. Here they are free-range, organic and three times the price of regular eggs. Also, reexamine the fruit. It’s way beyond the sad ubiquitous presence of unripe melon found on even the “top” buffets in the city but a careful selection including seasonal fruits such as red dragon fruit, mango, passion fruit and rambutan. The fabulous local cheese section cannot go without mention either. A local cheesemaker makes the entire stock of what easily competes with any Italian, French or Spanish cheese in KL wholly from local cow’s and goat’s milk. It is an admirable result of dedicated work and so very proudly Malaysian.
And, oh the baked goods! There are creative pastries, pink brioches and custard buns with iced flowers on top that will delight the child at heart. But, for me, the small loaves of rustic grainy bread are all I need. Firm crusts and dense spongy middles, they are good enough to eat on their own but you might want to try the local Tualang honey (indigenous suppliers have climbed some of the tallest trees in the world to get it for you) or honey fresh from the comb. Teh Tarik at Flock W KL
There’s sushi, cold cuts, hot Malay, Chinese, Indian and western dishes along with their chilled counterparts. A fabulous salad bar allows you to pick greens straight from the plant and is sided by a beautiful arrangement of yoghurt, red quinoa parfaits, fruit compotes and Bircher muesli. Juices and smoothies are freshly squeezed and blended and there are even fresh coconuts too along with coffee and tea made to request. Rattle, rattle … the teh tarik tank is on its way! Poured on demand, the local delight of teh tarik is acrobatically streamed to frothy heights. The pulling of the tea is an engaging show and embraces the spirit of participation and exchange the W brand holds so dear. Pick Your Own Greens
Backing up the quality buffet is a tight menu ordered a la carte. Both western and local recipes take centre stage and are presented in small enough portions to allow you to try a few. Waffles, pancakes, oatmeal and any style of eggs hit western hankerings while nasi lemak, roti canai and roti bakar shows some love for local. I’m taken by the Smoked Salmon Egg Benny with a perfectly poached organic free range egg and the most delicious yuzu Hollandaise sauce. As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and here at Flock, brekkie is treated with great significance. Local Breakfast at Flock Western Breakfast at Flock W Kuala Lumpur – Facilities
Providing balance to the scrumptious food options are well-equipped health facilities. FIT, W Kuala Lumpur’s workout room, is a naturally lit and cheery place stocked with towels, iced water and disposable headphones. Technogym cardio machines are top of the line and a range of free weights and strength equipment make for a balanced workout. WET, the outdoor pool with uninterrupted views of the Petronas Twin Towers, is another spot to get some fitness (or relaxation) in and is made extra special with visiting master instructors running classes such as the WeBarre class I participate in on Sunday morning (a combo of ballet, Pilates and yoga). It’s a motivating location for an exercise class: my only dilemma is following the instructor or admiring the view! WeBarre Class at the Wet Deck, W Kuala Lumpur W Kuala Lumpur – AWAY Spa
Lastly, a session at the recently opened AWAY Spa is the ideal way to spend an afternoon, detoxing from the previous evening’s fun and revitalizing before getting ready to do it all over again. Follow this link for an in-depth look at the spa facilities and packages. Reception AWAY Spa W Kuala Lumpur W Kuala Lumpur – Service
The staff at W Kuala Lumpur have no name tags. They’re expected to engage with guests and get to know them so that interactions are fluid and friendly. Tattoos, purple hair: it’s all okay. Each individual’s personality is meant to drive the service. It’s not a standardized machine; it’s much more fluid. There’s a sense of freedom of expression in the staff and with that, you are also encouraged to be all who you are.
Reasons to stay at W Kuala Lumpur: fantastic location right in the city centre of KL just across the road from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and easily accessed by public transport; stunning views; excellent beds; the best hotel breakfast in Kuala Lumpur; delicious food and beverage options; home to one of the hottest bars currently in KL. W Kuala Lumpur

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FOOD SPECIAL ….The Politics Of Food

FOOD SPECIAL ….The Politics Of Food The Politics Of Food Did you know the Mughals only drank Ganga jal? That the Dalai Lama eats meat? That the heroes of Hindu epics were often non-vegetarians? Food is more complex than politicians make out India was never a vegetarian country. The view that ancient Hindus were all vegetarians is nothing but a myth Ancient texts such as The Arthashastra contain many references to meat eating. As you probably know, one of the triggers for the great revolt of 1857 (or the First War of Independence or the Mutiny, depending on your perspective) was a story that spread across India. According to those who claimed to be in the know, the British army had coated cartridges with animal fat. Soldiers had to bite off the covering of the cartridges to use them. This meant that they ended up eating bits of the animal fat. But, or so went the story, the fat came from cows and pigs. So soldiers were now required to consume beef fat and pork fat. This offended both Hindus and Muslims and led to revolts in army units. The British said that no pig or cow fat was used and that the story was just a rumour. But when it comes to the politicisation of food, facts often count for less than perceptions. (And it is entirely possible that the Brits were lying, anyway!) Much of today’s so-called food history tends to be only about perception. Truth seems to matter less and less. In fact, I am beginning to believe that, at no point since 1857, has food been as politicised as it is today. The renewed furore about beef eating is mostly political. The battle between khichri and biryani is really not about rice dishes at all. It is about so-called Hindu foods and Muslim foods. And the debate is prolonged only for political reasons. In the popular imagination, a certain caricature of Indian food habits persists. According to this version, good Hindus were always vegetarians. Meat eating was a great sin. Beef eating was an even greater sin. Then, along came the Mughals. They promoted meat eating. They took their biryanis all over India and contaminated the pure vegetarian Indian tradition. By prosecuting those who eat beef and by honouring vegetarianism, we are told, our country is going back to ancient Indian traditions. We are restoring this great Hindu nation to a time when gods walked the earth and peace ruled the land. The problem with this caricature is that almost every single fact in it is wrong. First of all, India was never a vegetarian country. Whether you went North or South in ancient India, the kings usually ate meat. (So did the gods in our epics.) Ancient Indian rulers did not just eat meat or chicken. They ate tortoises, deer, peacocks and other birds and animals. Even during the Indus Valley Civilisation, one of the world’s oldest urban civilisations dating back to 3,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, animals were raised and slaughtered for food. During the Vedic period, non-vegetarianism was common. Even Ayurveda, which we regard now as a purely Hindu vegetarian phenomenon, advocated remedies based on meat. The popularity of vegetarianism came from the Jain, rather than Hindu, tradition. Even the Buddha (who came after Mahavir and the founding of Jainism) did not insist on vegetarianism. (Indians are always shocked to discover that the Dalai Lama eats meat; he ate beef till his doctors told him to go easy on red meat.) Ancient texts such as The Arthashastra contain many references to meat eating. So, the view that ancient Hindus were all vegetarians is a myth. See page 46 What about the Mughals, the subject of much demonisation these days? Well, almost everything that you will read on many popular Internet sites about the Mughals is wrong. First of all, they did not call themselves the Mughals. That name was given to them centuries later by British historians on the grounds that Babur’s mother may have descended from Genghis Khan. Babur himself would have been horrified to have been called a Mongol or a Mughal. Secondly, the Mughals did not arrive in India, defeat valiant Hindu kings and then establish a beef-eating, tyrannical dynasty. There had been Muslim rulers in India for centuries. Babur defeated the Delhi Sultanate, a Muslim kingdom and not some perfect embodiment of Ram Rajya. Thirdly, the Mughals did not turn a peace-loving, grass grazing, meat-abjuring populace into non-vegetarians. Not only were the Muslim kings before the arrival of the Mughals non-vegetarians, but so were many Hindus. If anything, the Mughals were actually less keen on meat than many Hindu kings had been. Many Mughal Kings and nobles would give up meat before battles. And the Emperor Akbar developed such a distaste for meat that he became virtually vegetarian in later life. Keeping in mind medieval (but not necessarily ancient) Hindu sensitivities about the cow, he actually banned cow slaughter. He drank only Ganga jal. Many of these practices were continued by his son Jahangir and his grandson Shah Jahan, both of whom were vegetarian on certain days of the week and continued to impose Akbar’s ban on cow slaughter. (They also drank Ganga jal.) So yes, the Mughals were non-vegetarians. But then so were many Hindus. And the so-called Mughlai cuisine served in restaurants today does the Mughals a great injustice. Most of the recipes and many of the dishes have nothing to do with the Mughal court. Which brings us to the whole khichri versus biryani debate. In today’s crude popular parlance, khichri is truly Hindu whereas biryani is some Middle-Eastern dish brought to India by the Mughals. This is nonsense. Khichri is Indian but it is not, and never was, purely Hindu. Indians of all religions ate it (Buddhists, Jains and even Muslims). Nor was there only one type of khichri. In medieval India, any dish that combined grain and lentils came to be called khichri. So there were hundreds of variations. Let’s take the example of one variation that delighted the Emperor Humayun and the Shah of Persia. One of Persia’s great claims to fame is that it says it invented an early version of the pulao and sent it around the world. It became pilaf in Turkey, paella in Spain and risotto in Italy. But even the Persians will concede that they borrowed one great rice dish from India. When Humayun lost his throne, he spent 15 years in exile. He spent much of that period in Persia seeking the help of the Shah. During this period, his cooks taught the Shah’s local cooks how to make khichri. This variation used peas and delighted the Shah. When Humayun reclaimed his throne, this North Indian variation of khichri became a staple of the Mughal court until Jahangir (Humayun’s grandson) found a new kind of khichri while travelling through Gujarat. This khichri was made from millets not rice and it soon became the Emperor’s favourite dish (though the court cooks used more ghee than the Gujarati original). And it was cooked in the palace kitchen nearly every day. Why was khichri so popular all over India? Not because of our devotion to vegetarian cuisine. It was a one pot meal that used dal (one of the defining characteristics of Indian cuisine through the ages) and any local grain that was available (not just rice). People ate it mainly because it was cheap and easy to cook. During wars, when soldiers would cook their own food, there would often be hundreds of fires lit before a battle as each solider made his own khichri. Most khichris were vegetarian because even nonvegetarian Indians found meat too expensive. (This was as true of the rest of the world, even England under say, Henry VIII, where the nobles consumed all kinds of animals while the peasantry could not afford much meat.) Which takes us to biryani. Did it descend from the pulao? Probably, but it had to be wetter, more heavily spiced, was usually ‘assembled’ (the meat and rice were first cooked separately in most biryanis, whereas everything was cooked together in a pulao) and it was a main dish, whereas a pulao was a side dish. Opinions vary on when it was invented (one popular version gives the credit to Akbar’s cooks; others say it was created a century before) but there is no doubt that it is an entirely Indian dish. So don’t believe all the currently popular lies about pure vegetarians and evil beef-eating invaders. There is no all-Hindu khichri nor any invader biryani. The history of Indian food is too complex for simple stereotypes. And our cuisine is too great for its history to be twisted to suit the needs of today’s political debates. Politicians will come and go. But India’s many wonderful cuisines will outlast them all. HTBR 20JAN19

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A Cross-Cultural Tropical Destination Wedding in Mauritius | Julia & You

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We’re heading to Paradise for today’s wedding!
Imagine two heartfelt, joyous ceremonies on the sandy shores of beautiful Mauritius and a night of dancing under the stars with family and friends? Heavenly right?
Meet Sheila and Vinoy, the lucky couple who got to experience this dream fusion wedding. Sheila has a mix of Scottish and Iranian heritage, and Vinoy of stunning Mauritian heritage.
The two met in London through their jobs in the hotel industry, and in fact, hotels played quite a part in their courtship. They met in one at a conference, Vinoy proposed at one in Mexico, and they chose two of Mauritius’ loveliest resorts for their white wedding and Indian ceremony.
I loved that for the Indian ceremony the couple wanted to make sure everyone felt included in all the Hindu rituals, and understand the meaning of what was taking place, so they included explanations in an order of service that each guest received. It’s a great way to involve your guests in the ceremony and the perfect way to fuse cultures together.
This epic island wedding was planned by Louise Perry Weddings and captured by Julia & You – enjoy these incredible images! How Did You Meet?
We used to work together. I was the training manager and Vinoy was the Regional Sales Manager. I used to train his teams all over the country and would have to stay away in the hotels. The first time I met Vinoy was my second week in the business; it was the summer conference at Kensington Roof Gardens and I was sat at his table for dinner.
We got talking and I thought ‘this guy is trying it on!’ so I made my excuses and left. Then about six months later, I was away training an induction group in a hotel and was really ill. I had the flu and felt like a walking zombie. I hadn’t seen Vinoy since the summer but something had changed. He was very sweet and looked after me, making me honey and hot water every time we had a coffee break. He even offered to take me to Mauritius there and then! We carried on speaking after the training course and the rest, as they say, is history! The Proposal
We had gone to Puerto Vallerta in Mexico for a friend’s wedding. It was our first destination wedding and we decided to stay over there for two weeks. We made a holiday of it and took my twin sister and auntie with us. We had talked about getting married but I didn’t think it would happen for a while. Vinoy waited until the last night of the holiday and asked if I would go to dinner with him on my own. We went to a beautiful clifftop restaurant and had a fantastic traditional meal. In hindsight, he was very quiet, which as most people know is unusual for Vinoy! I was forcing him to drink tequila with me but he was conscious of time and kept telling me we needed to get down to the beach at 8.43pm for sunset (another sign I missed). As we walked down to the beach, the hotel had set out buckets of champagne for guests to help themselves to, so we took a glass and headed down. We found some rocks to sit on, and then Vinoy said he needed to go to the toilet and headed off behind me. When he got back he snuck up and, unbeknownst to me, placed the ring on the rock behind me.
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He then came out in front, got down awkwardly on one knee on the rocks (not that I could tell!) and started talking about our future. He then looked behind me, pointed, and said ‘look at that gecko behind you’. Me being me looked and didn’t click on to the ring until I looked a second time and that was it! I burst into tears and didn’t stop shaking for a good hour. We headed back into the resort and told my sister and auntie, who arranged for a mariachi band to serenade us with a traditional Mexican love song. It was perfect! Coming Together
Our wedding was a fusion of cultures, with the elegance and simplicity of the white wedding and the traditional vibrancy of the Indian wedding. We wanted to create a unique experience for our guests to give them something they may not have seen before, especially with the effort they all made travelling to Mauritius.
Our photographer was Julia & You. They captured all our events perfectly, and are highly recommended!
We worked with Louise Perry Weddings as our planner. They looked after everything for us at every stage.
Another standout was the venues: both the Beachcomber and Sugarbeach Hotels, where we had the white wedding and Indian wedding, respectively. The Beach Wedding
The Dress
For the white wedding, I wore a dress I bought from Wed2B. It was the third shop I went to with my bridesmaids and friend. It was a light dress (perfect for the beach!) with a sweetheart neckline, which suits me best. My best friend bought the veil for me, which was an elbow-length veil with teardrop crystals as a trim.
My mother had passed away two years before and she would have loved everything about the trip. I knew it would be hard without her, but my sisters bought me the most beautiful trinket with a picture of her to attach to my bouquet, along with her bracelet as my something old and something borrowed. It was perfect and I know she walked every step with me!
The Suit
All the men wore stonewash linen trousers and a white shirt. As we knew it would be hot, we wanted everyone to be comfortable. The Ceremony
We wanted to create a classic elegance with a relaxed beach vibe. We had the ceremony in the garden next to the restaurant with our aisle facing the beach. My auntie was the officiant, bringing together a fusion of Christian and non-secular influences. We wrote our vows and ring exchanges and had a reading from each of our sisters. The Reception
For our reception, it was important to us that the details were simple so as not to spoil the natural beauty, so we stuck with simple local flowers that were currently in style. We wanted to create more of an atmosphere with our lighting and actually brought our lights over with us from London. We wrapped fairy lights around the palm trees as we had seen on a Pinterest post months before. The soft lighting outside created a serene ambiance.
It was breathtaking walking into the wedding reception. We felt like we were on a movie set. The cuisine was traditional local food and it was exquisite. In keeping with the relaxed beach vibe, we wanted a buffet for people to try a bit of everything and enjoy the experience. The evening finished off with a party under the stars, which will forever be in our memories.
Our first dance for the white wedding was Endless Love by Luther Vandross. It actually has a story behind it! On our first holiday to Mauritius together in 2014, we went to stay in a hotel in the north of the island.
When we arrived, Vinoy told them we were there for our honeymoon and they upgraded us to the honeymoon section of the hotel. In the evening we headed down to the main bar for dinner and the evening invitation. Vinoy popped outside for a cigarette and was gone for about ten minutes. When he got back he told me he had met a lady outside who was from London and he got talking to her. He said he told her we were here on our honeymoon and she asked what our first dance was. Vinoy panicked and picked the first artist that came into his mind, Luther Vandross. She instantly replied ‘Endless Love’? and to avoid him stumbling he said yes. He told me how bad he felt about lying about it. In the next moment the live singer started and the first announcement was that the song was dedicated to the newlyweds “Sheila and Vinny” and she serenaded us with ‘Endless Love’ while we had to get up centre stage and recreate our first dance with me hiding my ring finger in shame! We couldn’t have had any other song!
We had an open bar all day with unlimited stocks of the local rum. We made the decision not to drink so we would remember every moment, but let’s just say there were a few sore heads the next day. Being the sober ones in a room full of drunk family and friends was quite amusing! The Indian Wedding
The Dress
For the Indian wedding, I bought the fabric a year before on our trip to Mauritius to source venues. I went for the traditional red and had it made into a lehenga and blouse when we arrived in Mauritius for the wedding. They work so quickly and it was ready within three days and made to measure!
The Suit
For the Indian wedding, we relaxed the dress code and told everyone to embrace whichever tradition they wanted. Vinoy wore the traditional outfit and it only took one afternoon of shopping on Green Street! He looked like an Indian prince.
The Ceremony
We had the traditional Hindu ceremony with all the rituals. We wanted our friends and family to be able to understand the meanings of all the rituals and so created an order of service with all the explanations. The priest conducted the service in both Hindi and English and everyone commented on how funny he was and how enjoyable he made the ceremony. Sugarbeach were great and did a seat service for drinks throughout the service.
We tried to keep as many of the traditions as possible whilst still adding our personality and beliefs. For a destination wedding we were able to do some of the traditions like getting ready separately and the bridesmaids got me my something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. For the Indian, Vinoy walked in with doll drummers and we exchanged gifts, gold, and walked round the fire together.
The venue was more accessible by the public so we did attract an audience. Although it was great that people were interested in our wedding, they were wandering in from the beach in their swimwear. We had some protective friends and planners who kindly reminded them it was a religious ceremony!
To be honest, the whole experience was fine – we were lucky enough to have two great wedding planners: Natalie and Louise. They took care of everything and made every aspect of it stress-free and enjoyable. If I had to pick something, it would have been managing the guest list. It was still changing up until the day before the wedding. The culture in Mauritius is completely laid back, so at times I found that hard to cope with, being the super organized Londoner I am!
Top Tip for Other Couples
Use a wedding planner – they are the best money spent for the whole thing. They make it so you can enjoy the build up, the day and the after party. We built a great relationship with them and we will miss our weekly updates emails. Also, enjoy every moment of the day and do what you want to do; don’t let others sway your decisions.

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Vegetarian restaurant in the Maldives lets guests harvest their own food

Monday, February 25, 2019 Vegetarian restaurant in the Maldives lets guests harvest their own food
Way out in the Indian Ocean, guests at a luxury Soneva resort are participating in the ultimate farm-to-table experience — and they even get to harvest the ingredients for their own dinners. The Soneva Fushi just opened Shades of Green, its new vegetarian restaurant at the exclusive Maldives resort.
The seed for the vegetarian restaurant was planted when Copenhagen-based chef Carsten Kyster visited Soneva Fushi as a guest in March 2018. Kyster has worked at the River Café and The Sugar Club in London as well as traveling and working in Southeast Asia over the last 15 years. After eating a lunch made with ingredients from Soneva Fushi’s organic garden, inspiration struck. A year later, the 20-seat Shades of Green welcomes guests for intimate, plant-based dinners.
Related: Peek inside the BIG-designed garden village for one of the world’s best restaurants
Before dining at the new vegetarian restaurant, guests take a guided tour of the garden , learning about the herbs, fruits and vegetables while picking dinner ingredients. They gather around a fire pit for an appetizer, then move to tables set beneath fruit trees to enjoy the remaining six courses. Dinner can last late into the night.
Shades of Green’s menu will change with the seasons and is based around the colors red, green and yellow. Chef Kyster blends Maldivian and other Southeast Asian cuisines with Nordic culinary techniques, such as salting, smoking, pickling and fermenting. The meal is designed to fulfill six categories: cleanse, raw, crispy, grain, fire and sweet. For example, mangosteen kombucha paired with plums, beetroot vinegar powder and shiso leaves is a cleansing dish. A fire dish contains hotter ingredients, such as leeks and pepper sauce.
Soneva Fushi is located within the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve coral reef . Guests in the 61 private villas enjoy amenities like an open-air cinema, a high-tech observatory, a glassblowing studio, private butlers and 500 different wines — and now, a vegetarian restaurant, too.
Photography by Julia Neeson via Shades of Green from DIYS https://ift.tt/2tLgbXv

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