Top 10 Best Places to Eat in Saigon

Top 10 Best Places to Eat in Saigon

Top 10 Best Places to Eat in Saigon By Modoho Tweet
Ho Chi Minh, one of the most modern cities of Vietnam, has a abundant mix of food all around Vietnam as well as worldwide menus such as French, Chinese, Indian, etc. It is the confluence of Vietnamese food cultures that makes our country shine out around the world. As a results, many visitors flocking in Saigon to sample the unique food of many fabulous restaurants. While snack stalls and street food are also an inextricable part of Vietnamese dining experience, sometimes you need a exceptional restaurant that combines expertly prepared dishes with a pleasant ambiance, breath-taking views and dedicated service.
Here are the top 10 list of the best restaurants in Ho Chi Minh city that has all what I have mentioned and will fill your taste without a doubt
1. Quan An Ngon
A beautiful design scheme like something out of an exotic fairytale and a range of cooking stations preparing specialities from all over Vietnam keep Quan An Ngon packed out every evening with foreigners and well dressed locals. This is the perfect place to try legendary Vietnamese dishes such as fresh spring rolls, Hue noodles and black pepper crab. Occupying a prime location next door to The Reunification Palace, this restaurant is situated inside a refurbished mansion where guests can dine amid intricately carved teak furniture, lotus ponds and serving staff in classic satin dresses.
Opening Hours: 11:00–23:00 Address: 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1 Tel: +84 8 3827 9666
2. The Deck Saigon
The Deck Saigon sits beside the Saigon River in a delightful al fresco setting 15 minutes taxi ride from downtown Ho Chi Minh City . The romance of this restaurant is unparalleled and the pan-Asian fusion type dishes are very well prepared. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant has excellent set lunch offerings. Come dinnertime, a la carte dishes run from soft shell crab tempura to char grilled shrimp and rib eye steak. Most of the meat is imported meaning it isn’t the cheapest but quality is assured.
Opening Hours: Daily 09:00–24:00 Address: 38 Nguyen U Di, District 2. Tel: +84 8 3744 6632
3. The Refinery Bar and Restaurant
The Refinery Bar and Restaurant brings a touch of French charm to downtown Ho Chi Minh with a menu of French bistro favourites such as steak frites and creative salads. As a former opium factory, The Refinery is replete with genuine colonial fixtures and has a charming garden terrace that offers the perfect spot for soaking up the cosmopolitan ambiance over a couple of wines. This is popular restaurant is enclosed in a fashionable courtyard next to the Park Hyatt Hotel on Hai Ba Trung Street.
Opening Hours: 11:00 till late Address: 74 Hai Ba Trung, District 1 Tel: +84 8 3823 0509
4. Tram’s Cookery Restaurant & Bar
Tram’s Cookery Restaurant & Bar is an upscale place, set next to the Saigon River, where you can enjoy traditional Vietnamese and western cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere or just have some drinks in tranquillity. It is part of the beautiful An Lam Riverside resort and a favourite of Saigon’s ‘elite’ community and expats living in Vietnam. Either by speedboat or taxi it will respectively take roughly 20 or 35 minutes to get there from the city centre.
Opening Hours: Orders until 21:30 and the bar stays open as long as the guests stay Address: 21/4 Khu Pho Trung, Vinh Phu Ward, Thuan An District, Binh Duong, Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: +84 650 378 5555
5. La Cuisine
La Cuisine is unashamedly classic French cuisine, serving many traditional dishes such as steak tartare, foie gras with Provence figs, and pan seared duck with Béarnaise sauce. Plating and execution is stylish and modern, just like the white-washed, bare brick walls, and chunky wooden tables. The owner and head chef is French and has worked all over the world before settling in Ho Chi Minh to open La Cuisine. Look out for the set lunch menu which offers two or three courses for significantly reduced rates for a taste of something fancy at a great value price.
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 22:00 (Close on Sunday) Address: 48 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1. Tel: +84 8 222 98 882
6. The Temple Club
The Temple Club is a chic bar and restaurant that is on the itineraries of visiting stars and globetrotters. Located in a converted Chinese Temple in a small alleyway off Pasteur Street, it’s easiest to find by using Saigon Centre Shopping Mall as a landmark, and those that do make the effort will be rewarded with a richly decorated dining room serving Vietnamese fusion dishes and a cocktail lounge with skilled bartenders and tapas style accompaniments. For pure sophistication, The Temple Club is hard to beat.
Opening Hours: Daily 12:00–24:00 Address: 29–31 Ton That Thiep St, District 1. Tel: +84 8 3829 9244
7. Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a fine dining restaurant located in a narrow shophouse in District 1. Serving delectable Vietnamese dishes presented with French flair and providing guests with diligent service, this three floor restaurant is certainly one of Ho Chi Minh’s top restaurants. Choose from the sizeable range of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes on the a la carte menu or trust the chef and choose one of four set menus available at Lemongrass. Soft candlelight adds a touch of romance to proceedings, enhanced by the live music playing in the background.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00–22:30 Address: 4 Nguyen Thiep St., District 1. Tel: +84 8 3822 4005
8. Nha Hang Ngon
Nha Hang Ngon is an endearingly popular restaurant serving a complete rundown of Vietnamese dishes in a restored colonial mansion. The menu is as big as a cookbook but all dishes are explained in English. Some might feel the restaurant lacks authenticity, but this is a great option for large groups who want to sample a wide range of Vietnamese food in pleasant surrounds. While this isn’t fine dining, the prices are such good value it is accessible for almost everyone.
Opening Hours: Daily 12:00–24:00 Address: 160 Pasteur St, District 1 Tel: +84 8 3827 7131
9. 4Ps Pizza Saigon
This Japanese owned and operated pizza and pasta restaurant serves some of the best pizzas east of Napoli. 4Ps Pizza Saigon is an institution with Ho Chi Minh’s expat community serving stone-baked pizzas with inventive toppings that run from flower petals to teriyaki chicken. Despite the hard to find location down an alleyway behind The Sushi Bar on Le Thanh Ton Street, it gets packed on weekends and reservations are highly recommended.
Opening Hours: Daily 07:00–23:00 Address: 8/15 Le Thanh Ton, Dist.1 Tel: Tel: +84 120 789 4444
10. Camargue
Camargue is a refined French restaurant set in the courtyard of an old colonial-era opium factory. While not exactly fine-dining, the ambiance is sophisticated and the cuisine available is clearly French with a slight Vietnamese touch. Highlights include seabass and squid served with sweet chard, roast lamb with polenta enriched with Phu Puoc pepper, and crispy pork leg marinated in a slight spice and caramelised artichoke. An excellent wine list is available with several options by the glass.
Opening Hours: Daily 12:00–24:00 Address: 74/7D Hai Ba Trung, District 1. Tel: +84 8 3520 4888 Author’s Bio:
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The Search for the Hidden Pancit Malabon in Malanday, Valenzuela City

Thursday, March 28, 2019 The Search for the Hidden Pancit Malabon in Malanday, Valenzuela City There are food spots which are somewhat tricky to look for but are worth the effort and time to search for. One Valenzuela found herself looking for a humble pansitan in one of the streets of Barangay Malanday, Valenzuela City. The blog has recently received several messages regarding this pansitan, mentioning that this family-owned kainan cooks really good Pancit Malabon. This street leads us towards the hidden pansitan in Malanday, Valenzuela City The eatery is named after their well-loved grandmother, Aling Norma. This humble place serves authentic Pancit Malabon which many Valenzuelanos have already raved about since it opened. By meeting the Valdez family, One Valenzuela learned that Pancit Malabon was among the favorites of Aling Norma, who was a long time fruit seller just across Malanday Market. She also cooks well – a talent which she was able to pass to her children. Aling Norma’s Pancit Malabon Feast on some pansit palabok! Aling Norma during her younger days. Papa Arnel Valdez also recounted that their house was transferred from Malabon to Valenzuela in 1962. ” Nilipat yung bahay kubo namin mula sa Malabon papuntang Malanday, Valenzuela. Nagkaroon ng bayanihan noon ,” Sir Arnel remembered. Papa Arnel Valdez, her eldest son, now cooks Aling Norma’s favorite meal. ” Nineteen years old palang ako, sumasakay na ako ng barko, ” Papa Arnel mentioned. He has been a ship cook for 37 years already. From there, he accumulated a rich cooking experience and exposure to a wide variety of cuisines. Papa Arnel Valdez of Aling Norma’s Pancit Malabon. One Valenzuela saw the dedication and perseverance. A Valenzuelano worth emulating. Artworks adorn the walls of the eatery. Another amazing painting on the wall. This reminded One Valenzuela of the fishes in the park. Authentic Pancit Malabon. Sir Arnel gets their pansit’s ingredients from Malabon. You can have a plate of pansit at Php50.00 each. It is very filling and flavorful. You may also order this in packs. One plate will lead to another plate… and another…and another… What’s different about Aling Norma’s Pancit Malabon? It has strips of caramelized onion on top which gives it a richer taste. Of course, it has those big shrimp slices, pork strips, egg chunks, chicharon, and crisp veggies as well. Aling Norma’s Pancit Malabon also serves lutong ulam every Friday. Some of the dishes that you have to try are the following: Dinuguang Malabon, Fish Burger / Bidbid, Tortang Alimasag, Japanese Pork Teriyaki, Burger Steak with Mushroom Sauce, Korean Hot Pork, Lumpiang Hubad, Mexican Fish Fillet, Indian Tandoori Chicken, Ginisang Tahong, Stuffed Bell Pepper, Sweet Chicken Wings, Camaron Rebusado, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Bola-bola, etc. The menu varies and may also include more Japanese, Korean, Indian, and European dishes. Photo Credit: Aling Norma’s Pancit Malabon A big heap of Pancit Malabon for Php300. This bilao can serve six people. Aling Norma’s Pancit Malabon has a variety of bilao sizes which will fit your needs. Pansit na di tinipid. One of the reviewers on Facebook mentions that it is the best palabok in town. Finally finding Aling Norma’s Pancirt Malabon at A. Duque Street in Malanday was like finding a piece of Malabon, one of our neighbor city, in Valenzuela. Another food spot uncovered for more people, especially Valenzuelanos, to enjoy. —

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The Udupi Approach

serves all cuisines to cater to every guest but loses its core of serving the udupicuisine . Therefore, I jokingly call a ‘go wide’ approach of an early stage founding team as the ‘ udupi restaurant approach’ as this approach is harmful whether you are in food-tech or not.
Let’s be honest, sales matter. But when you have limited resources in an increasingly noisy world, the quality of sales matter even more. Therefore, it is important to build a niche and own that space in your target segment. That will make your customers your best salespeople i.e. they will recommend you to their network which will bring in tons of new customers. For example, when I randomly asked people in my network for the best place for South Indian food in South Mumbai the answer was Muthuswamy, for people in Central Mumbai it was Madras Café, in Bangalore it was MTR and in Hyderabad it was Chutneys. These people were willing to advocate why their recommendation was the best.
However, when I asked the same audience for the ‘best food place’s in their vicinity, – they were stumped. They almost immediately questioned me about what my preferred cuisine is, whether I was looking for a family restaurant or a date place, what my budget was etc. They did not know how to answer the question until they had some clearer direction. Can you imagine (now) what happens when your start-up does everything? Even your best and loyal customers will not know what to recommend you for!
What is dangerous is that they could be recommending you for something that isn’t even the path you planned. More dangerously, the customer who is promoting your product may not even be in your target segment. And most dangerously, they may not be promoting you to people who fall under your target segment. Such a sale is more toxic than beneficial!
I understand that it is scary to be focussed but there is a lot of value in doing so. Customer feedback focussed on a concentrated product line will indicate whether you should pivot or accelerate your build-out. However, when there are multiple product lines catering to several audiences it pollutes the feedback, creating a lot of noise, making it hard for you to tune out the disturbance and assess what’s important in order to drive decisions – much like choosing what to eat at a Udupi restaurant at mealtime!
36/2019

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These are the 50 best restaurants in Asia

(Bloomberg) After four consecutive years topping the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Bangkok’s Gaggan has finally been dethroned.
Odette in Singapore managed to wrestle the title from the iconic Indian-fusion restaurant, famed for its emoji-filled menu. Chef Julien Royer, who named the place after his maternal grandmother, steered Odette to first place from ninth when it made its debut on the list in 2017. Its menu consists of multiple-course French fare that has included delights such as “seared foie gras, miso caramel, lemon quinoa and Japanese strawberries.”
Gaggan landed in second place, still retaining the title of Thailand’s best—a bittersweet end for a restaurant that is due to close in 2020 as chef-owner Gaggan Anand plans new ventures in Japan.
Tokyo kaiseki eatery Den; German restaurant Sühring, run by twin brothers in Bangkok; and French-inspired Florilège in Tokyo rounded out the top five of Asia’s Best. Den Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa, who also won the chef’s choice award, said he had introduced Japanese truffles to his dishes over the past year, paired with soup and fish.
Surprise additions to the 50 Best list include Dewakan in Kuala Lumpur, which becomes the first-ever restaurant in Malaysia to win a spot, and Manila’s Toyo Eatery, helmed by chef Jordy Navarra, which is the first Philippine restaurant on the list since 2017. “In the past year we just changed the menu,” said Navarra. “One of the fun things that we’ve been playing around with is making our own banana ketchup—it’s super Filipino. I think it’s one part of what we are.”
Once again, Greater China sealed its place as Asia’s prime food destination, with 13 entries on the list, including nine in Hong Kong. Hot on its heels is Japan with 12 (with 10 from Tokyo), Thailand with eight entries and Singapore with seven.
French haute cuisine restaurant Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental—Hong Kong’s top-placed restaurant for the past five years—tumbled 14 places to No. 21, making Cantonese restaurant The Chairman the city’s highest-placed on the list, at No. 11. Amber has been closed for renovations since December 2018 and is due to reopen this spring with a revamped menu.
Chef and culinary director Richard Ekkebus has spent the downtime traversing the world with his team, finding new ingredients and learning new cooking techniques. “We’re still testing new ingredients and dishes so details of the new menu will be revealed closer to the opening. What guests can expect, though, is the same purity of flavors and classic techniques,” he said.
For the handful of restaurants that have consistently ranked among the top 50, innovation is key to staying relevant, their chefs say.
Tetsuya Wakuda, chef of Waku Ghin at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore which now ranks No. 40, said he experimented last year with a new ingredient—the muscle of a fresh pearl oyster. “It is meaty, boasts sweet and delicious flavors and has a unique texture, unlike abalone or scallops,” he said. It’s the star in the dish “poached pearl’s meat with confit of chicken and mushroom,” which has taken a place on the menu alongside house signatures such as “marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and caviar.”
In Hong Kong, chef Hideaki Sato of Ta Vie, which came in at No. 50, said he liked to tweak the flavor of his dishes at the last minute to suit what diners are drinking. He’s been exploring ingredients such as Chinese yellow wine, roselle (a species of hibiscus), dried persimmon and lotus. In New Delhi, chef Manish Mehrotra said he experimented with sorrel leaves, amaranth seeds and fresh mangoes at Indian Accent, which at No. 17 is India’s best restaurant.
Since taking over gourmet Thai restaurant Nahm (No. 22) in Bangkok last year, chef Pim Techamuanvivit, one of four female chefs on this year’s list, said she had designed a new menu, “refocusing on amazing ingredients produced in Thailand.” Fellow Bangkok restaurateur, Chef Garima Arora, won the “Elit Vodka Asia’s best female chef” award for her modern Indian cuisine at Gaa, which debuted at No. 16.
And executive chef Chan Yan Tak at Hong Kong’s Lung King Heen, ranked No. 38, found unlikely inspiration for one of his latest creations: airplane food. On a flight to Singapore he peeled back the foil cover of his meal and found “long grains that are quite chewy.” He said: “I later learned that it is an Italian pasta called puntalette, so I tried to cook it in the Chinese way and this new twist to fried rice has become very popular at Lung King Heen.”
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is selected and voted on by a panel of 318 food writers, critics, chefs, restaurateurs and foodies across Asia. The awards are held and published each year since 2013 by William Reed Business Media.
Here’s the full list for 2019:
1 Odette – Singapore
2 Gaggan – Bangkok, Thailand
3 Den – Tokyo, Japan
4 Sühring – Bangkok, Thailand
5 Florilège – Tokyo, Japan
6 Ultraviolet – Shanghai, China
7 Mume – Taipei, Taiwan
8 Narisawa – Tokyo, Japan
9 Nihonryori Ryugin – Tokyo, Japan
10 Burnt Ends – Singapore
11 The Chairman – Hong Kong
12 Otto e Mezzo – Hong Kong
13 Mingles – Seoul, South Korea
14 La Cime – Osaka, Japan
15 Belon – Hong Kong
16 Gaa – Bangkok, Thailand
17 Indian Accent – New Delhi, India
18 Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin – Tokyo, Japan
19 Bo.Lan – Bangkok, Thailand
20 Le Du – Bangkok, Thailand
21 Amber – Hong Kong
22 Nahm – Bangkok, Thailand
23 Sazenka – Tokyo
24 La Maison de la Naure Goh – Fukuoka, Japan
25 Sushi Saito – Tokyo, Japan
26 L’Effervescence – Tokyo, Japan
27 Jade Dragon – Macau, China
28 Paste – Bangkok, Thailand
29 Fu He Hui – Shanghai, China
30 Raw – Taipei, Taiwan
31 Shoun RyuGin – Taipei, Taiwan
32 Jaan – Singapore
33 Les Amis – Singapore
34 Vea – Hong Kong
35 Ministry of Crab – Sri Lanka
36 Wing Lei Palace – Macau
37 Neighborhood – Hong Kong
38 Lung King Heen – Hong Kong
39 Nouri – Singapore
40 Waku Ghin – Singapore
41 Toc Toc – Seoul, South Korea
42 Locavore – Bali, Indonesia
43 Toyo Eatery – Manila, Philippines
44 Seventh Son – Hong Kong
45 Quintessence – Tokyo, Japan
46 Dewakan – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
47 Sugalabo – Tokyo, Japan
48 Sorn – Bangkok, Thailand
49 Corner House – Singapore
50 Ta Vie – Hong Kong
Source: Kristine Servando , Bloomberg News

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Shikar & Biryani Food Festival opens at Radisson Blu Hotel

Tribune News Network
Doha
Indian Ambassador to Qatar HE P Kumaran and General Manager of Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha, Gordon Mackenzie led the opening ceremony of the first Shikar & Biryani Food Festival at Chingari, Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha on Tuesday.
The highly anticipated food festival will run daily from 6pm to 11pm until
April 5.
During the early hunting history in India in the nineteenth and early twentieth century of the British Empire, the rulers of India’s princely states along with the British Army Commanders used to hunt in the wild and bring the game or ‘shikar’ to their royal kitchens to be cooked by their master chefs.
On the other hand, biryani is a mix of the native spicy rice dishes of India and the Persian pilaf. The dish, which is believed to have originated in Persia, was brought to India by the Mughals. After the Mughals, this dish was adopted by the royal kitchens. Since then it became a staple all over
the continent.
To celebrate this rich history, Chingari launched its first Shikar and Biryani Food Festival.
During this event, visitors get a chance to experience and taste some of the dishes from the royal kitchens of India. Only farm bred animals are used in the kitchen.
Chingari, which translates as ‘sparkling charcoal’, crackles with authenticity and brings genuine Tandoor cuisine to Doha. Dine in the splendor of the Maharaja as you feast on irresistible meals, marinated to perfection and cooked in traditional clay ovens, while musicians sing melodious ghazels, the sound of India.

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Food Halls Spice Up Mixed-Use Projects – – Shopping Center Business

Time Out Market in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood will feature 16 curated food offerings as well as two bars. Developers turn to unique eateries as ammunition in the ‘amenities arms race.’
By David Cohen
In an effort to inoculate their mixed-use office and multifamily projects against the threat of e-commerce competitors, developers are increasingly incorporating food halls into their properties to attract tenants.
“Food halls are the latest and greatest in the amenities arms race,” says Aaron Jodka, research director at Colliers International in Boston. “While most buildings are able to find ways to add bike storage, a gym, conference spaces or game rooms, not everyone can accommodate a food hall. It’s a unique differentiating factor in the marketplace, and we are starting to see that really expand.”
There isn’t a single accepted definition of a food hall, but most agree that it is a collection of local artisan restaurants and other boutique food-oriented retailers under one roof. Some are large and include 30 or more vendors, others are smaller or specialize in only one type of cuisine. Some food halls are more bar-centric and include a variety of drink offerings, others focus more on the dining aspect.
Above all, a food hall can be differentiated from the traditional mall food court by the uniqueness of culinary offerings. A food court typically includes a number of chain restaurants while a food hall characteristically consists of all local or unique artisan concepts. Trending Up
In 2019, the trend is still going strong, and a number of food halls have sprouted up over the past several years across the nation.
There are currently approximately 180 food halls in existence in the U.S., according to Cushman & Wakefield. The firm predicts that by the end of 2020 that number could reach upwards of 300.
Oftentimes, diners flock to food halls for a vast array of authentic and quality culinary options at a variety of price points. Food halls are also an opportunity for up-and-coming chefs and restaurateurs to build a following in a new market because startup costs are lower than opening a stand-alone concept due to a variety of factors, including common seating areas, smaller square footage and reduced staffing costs. There is also built-in foot traffic.
In urban areas, food halls have become popular with office workers who can get in, grab a quick lunch and get back to the office. Landlords and developers of office and mixed-use space have been quick to respond to the trend by adding food halls to new and existing projects.
“The era of sitting down to a served lunch is behind us,” says Chase Welles, senior broker with SCG Retail in Manhattan. “Today’s workers want super tasty food, and they want it now. Often the lunch hour has become a shorter lunch jaunt. A conveniently located, well-curated food hall can cater to the needs of a group popping out for a quick bite.”
For dinner crowds, the food hall is an experience meant to last a bit longer. The most successful food hall projects overwhelm the senses with appealing visuals, inviting spaces and enticing aromas. Vendors are often trendy and upscale. Culinary options are almost always focused on authenticity and freshness.
According to Cushman & Wakefield, 61 percent of adults say they would prefer to spend money on experiences, including eating out at restaurants, over purchasing an item from a store. Measuring Success
A successful food hall, according to Welles, is located in a high-traffic area and has plentiful seating. A curation of the mix of cuisines is also critical. “You need to have a good cross-section of options, from fresh and healthy to the exotic, from Korean to Mediterranean,” he says.
In order to analyze financial success, a food hall should be judged by the dollars per square foot it generates relative to the rest of the development as well as by the overall impact it has on the greater project, explains Welles. A quality food hall will strengthen the landlord’s ability to lease office and other retail space as well as impact the quality of those leases in terms of tenant creditworthiness and the amount of rent tenants are willing to pay.
“The financial success is still case by case based on the individual food hall operation,” adds David LaPierre, vice chairman at CBRE in New York City. “If they’re successful, they bring traffic to a project. And bringing traffic hopefully leads to more sales, which in turn can translate to better returns. Developers of food halls have learned that things need to be adaptable, authentic and of the highest quality to compete for the customer’s dollar. When it connects right, a food hall can transform a project.”
As an example of the tremendous value that a successful food hall can create, Google recently purchased Chelsea Market in Manhattan for $2.4 billion. Opened in 1997, the nearly 1.2 million-square-foot development was one of the first modern food halls and now features office and retail space in addition to the ground-floor food hall. Overbuilt in Manhattan?
Amid the intensifying demand for food hall offerings, there is also trepidation that the concept is being overbuilt in some markets.
Some of the concern is in New York City, where there are now more than 25 active permanent food halls and an additional 10 under construction or in development, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
But the firm notes that not a single permanent food hall project has failed in New York City to date. In fact, only four food hall projects throughout the United States have closed in the past two years, and one of those was a temporary project. Of the three that did fail, two were in San Francisco and one was in Portland, Oregon.
Notable projects in New York City that will feature a food hall include Brookfield’s highly anticipated Manhattan West mega project, as well as the Essex Crossing development on the Lower East Side. Essex Crossing, a 2 million-square-foot project being developed by Delancey Street Associates, will feature the Essex Street Market and Market Line. When completed, the 150,000-square-foot market and food hall will be the largest market in the city.
Outside Manhattan in Queens, a 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use development is nearing completion that will include a 25,000-square-foot food hall. Named Tangram, after the Chinese puzzle, the project is on track to be completed by 2020. Japan Village, a 20,000-square-foot Japanese food and drink marketplace, celebrated its grand opening in November at the 6 million-square-foot Industry City mixed-use complex in Brooklyn.
Japan Village, a 20,000-square-foot Japanese food and drink marketplace, celebrated its grand opening in November at the 6 million-square-foot Industry City mixed-use complex in Brooklyn.
The food hall, which was curated by owners Tony and Takuya Yoshida, features a specialty Japanese grocer, 11 food stalls and a traditional Japanese pub. It is the only all-Japanese food hall in New York City.
“Having all of these different elements of Japanese cuisine come together under one roof is a truly compelling offering,” says Jim Somoza, director of development for Industry City. “Typically, there will be one place that specializes in ramen, another in tempura, and another still that specializes in soba and udon. At Japan Village, you can find all of that and much more in one place.”
Industry City consists of 16 buildings spread across 35 acres on the waterfront of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The complex is currently home to around 7,500 workers and is projected to grow to more than 20,000 in the next several years.
The ownership group, which includes Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and Angelo Gordon & Co., has invested more than $250 million in infrastructure improvements to the property, including the addition of courtyards, experience-driven dining and retail as well as event programming.
“Having a food hall at Industry City generates traffic for the other retail tenants and helps build community,” says Welles of SCG Retail, which represents Industry City. “It keeps the area active and vibrant, generating the type of environment many companies seek to keep their employees engaged, stimulated and creative.”
Japan Village was designed to make visitors feel as though they have stepped foot inside a traditional Japanese village square.
The food hall will be divided into four sections: Japanese grocery store Sunrise Market; food stalls with a variety of authentic Japanese vendors; Wakuwaku, a traditional Japanese restaurant and cocktail bar; and Kuraichi, a Japanese liquor store.
“Our goal is to share everything we love about Japan with our local community in a fun and authentic way,” says Tony Yoshida of Japan Village. “Working with Industry City allows us to provide a space where anyone can immerse themselves in Japanese culture through traditional foods, interactive seminars, and family-friendly events.” Philly’s Foodie Connection
Philadelphia is home to one of the nation’s oldest food halls, the Reading Terminal Market. Originally opened in 1893, the open-air market has gone through various incarnations over the years. Today the location serves as a popular culinary destination for tourists and locals alike.
Offerings at the Reading Terminal Market include traditional Philly-influenced foods like cheesesteaks, roast pork sandwiches and Amish-style soft pretzels as well as more varied selections like shawarma, pad thai, po’boys, and chicken tikka masala.
“The Reading Terminal Market was the original food hall,” says Michael Barmash, senior managing director at Colliers International in Philadelphia. “It’s one of the top tourist destinations in the city. When visitors come to Philadelphia they want to go there. It has been upgraded and run very successfully over the last 20 years.”
But the City of Brotherly Love has much more to offer than just cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. In recent years, Philadelphia’s burgeoning foodie scene has blossomed.
In 1990, only one out of every 26 people in Philadelphia worked at a restaurant or bar. Today that number is 1 in 13, according to research from CBRE.
“This boom has been going on in Philadelphia for years now,” says Ian Anderson, director of research at CBRE in Philadelphia. “The food and beverage industry has been growing and growing. It’s an indication of a long-term change in people’s eating habits.”
A short stroll away from the Reading Terminal Market, another historic building was recently transformed into a food hall by Washington, D.C.-based developer MRP Realty. Completed in 1895, the 123-year-old Bourse building was the first commodities exchange in the United States as well as one of the first steel-framed buildings ever constructed.
In November, the Bourse Food Hall officially opened with 30 artisanal food and retail vendors. Tenants at the market include Hawaiian-inspired Abunai Poke, Indian street food concept Chaat and Chai, breakfast food purveyor Grubhouse, Chinese fare Pinch Dumplings, and Marino Brother’s Cheesesteaks.
“The thing about food halls is that there has been a shift away from some of the branded, commoditized food offerings,” says Anderson. “It’s beyond people eating healthier. It’s people venturing out to more interesting, innovative and local cuisines as well. You want local flavor, something authentic and something with a variety of foods. That’s what’s driven the success of places like Chelsea Market in Manhattan, and I think that’s what is going to drive the success of the Bourse building too.”
For a taste of local flavor, a number of Philadelphia foodie institutions have set up stalls in the revitalized space, including gourmet grilled cheese outfit Mighty Melt, ice cream shop Scoop DeVille and sticky bun baker Barry’s Buns.
MRP Realty’s $40 million renovation of the Bourse building also includes nine floors of office space above the food hall.
“The group that bought the Bourse had to do something to put it back on the map,” says Barmash. “It’s a key location right in the historical district and now that it’s open they are going to get pretty wide recognition. It’s a home run frankly.” Fenway’s Foodie Paradise
Boston’s first successful large-scale food hall project, Eataly Boston, which opened in 2016 in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood, has led to two more food hall projects set to open this year.
The first, High Street Place in Boston’s financial district, will span more than 18,000 square feet with room for more than 20 food stalls. The project will unite two office buildings at 160 Federal Street and 100 High Street, which are both owned by real estate private equity firm Rockpoint Group.
The second, Time Out Market in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, will feature 16 curated food offerings as well as two bars. The 21,500-square-foot food hall will be housed in the former Landmark Center at 401 Park Drive, an Art Deco designed structure that was built in 1929 as a Sears, Roebuck and Co. warehouse.
The addition of Time Out Market is only part of Boston-based developer Samuels & Associates strategy to expand and renovate 401 Park Drive.
Besides the food hall, the redevelopment project will include more than two acres of publicly accessible open space, including a one-acre open space and a new 14-story, 500,000-square-foot office and lab building with 17,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The building’s existing 978,000-square-foot office and retail component will also be renovated.
“Boston is new to the food hall scene,” says Peter Sougarades, principal at Samuels & Associates. “I think that Time Out is slightly different in that it is a unique brand. It’s really about curating this high level of food service, food quality and not creating a cookie-cutter experience.”
Time Out is a media group that provides entertainment, food and drink recommendations to an international audience. The company currently operates in 108 cities across the world. At each Time Out Market, food editors sample local restaurant offerings and invite restaurant concepts to be part of the market. This results in a uniquely curated dining and entertainment concept.
Time Out Market Boston, which replaces a former Best Buy location at 401 Park Drive, will be the fourth such food hall project Time Out has launched. Time Out Market Lisbon opened in Portugal in 2014 and locations in Miami and New York are both in development. In 2017, more than 3.6 million people visited Time Out Market Lisbon.
Samuels & Associates is particularly active in the Fenway neighborhood with a number of projects under development or recently completed. Some of its notable projects include Pierce Boston, a mixed-use tower built to house 349 residential units and 20,000 square feet of retail space; and the Van Ness, a mixed-use complex that features 172 residential units, office space and more than 200,000 square feet of retail space.
“Samuels has done a phenomenal job bringing the Fenway neighborhood up as a destination for office, retail and residential where historically it’s where you go to see a baseball game,” says Jodka of Colliers. “Adding the food hall to Landmark Center will continue to differentiate it in the neighborhood.”
“The addition of Time Out Market is really going to be a nice transition in the next phase of Fenway’s foodie paradise,” adds Sougarades. “There’s been so much positive change in the neighborhood recently, and Time Out is only going to add to that and usher Fenway into this new phase in terms of what kind of food and experiences that Fenway has to offer.”

This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of Shopping Center Business magazine. classic-editor-remember:

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Forget Coconut And Pair Your Idli With These Irresistible Chutneys Instead

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If there’s anything that has been a true ‘game changer’ of the way South Indian food is perceived and eaten in India, it’s the humble and versatile idli. Its wonderful taste has earned much love from every corner of the country.
We often eat this delicious South Indian rice cake with piping hot sambar and coconut chutney. How about giving these side dishes a twist and explore all the scrumptious options out there. Ditch the coconut for a while and dip your idlis in one of these unique chutneys.
1. Podi Chutney
Pair your fluffly idlis with South India’s spice hero – gunpowder and wake up your taste buds with the flavourful bursts of spices with a tinge of sourness.
2. Onion Tomato Kurma
This spicy tangy local hero will make you fall in love with it instantly. Dip some steaming idlis and you’re guaranteed a complete and satisfying meal.
3. Chettinad Kozhi Curry
Indulge in this celebration of spices and devour your idlis with one of the most aromatic and spiciest cuisines of India – Chettinad. But honestly, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
4. Coriander Chutney
The green coriander chutney is evergreen for your taste buds. It’s fresh, tart, sweet and spicy and compliments idlis like no other.
5. Curry Leaves Dip
Nothing quite hits the spot when you seek comfort food at midnight, like a creamy, smooth curry leaves dip served with idlis. And it’s also one of the healthiest out there.
6. Ginger Chutney
Let’s raise a toast to the humble ingredient that adds that delicious punch to our meal every single time – ginger. It is the protagonist of the chutney, but its flavour is not overpowering and is perfectly well balanced like always.
7. Carrot Peanut Dip
The bright orange, sweet and spicy dip is the perfect accompaniment to your idli. Serve them to your guests and come out as the star of the party.

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Art Galleries
Z Gallery, Gallery 62, JT Art Gallery, La Matadora, Art Queen, Beatnik Lounge, The Station Joshua Tree
Coffee Shops
Natural Sisters, Joshua Tree Coffee Company, Joshua Tree Park Rock Cafe
Miscellaneous Shops and Other
Joshua Tree Health Food, Sam’s Market, Space CowBoy Books, Joshua Tree Outfitters, Ink and Steel (tatoo), Joshua Tree Rock Shop, Joshua Tree Bicycle Shop, The Integratron (sound bath – call or visit website)
Museums
The World Famous Crochet Museum, Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Museum, Beauty Bubble Salon, Joshua Tree Southern Railroad Museum (by appointment only)
Restaurants
Country’s Kitchen, Natural Sisters Cafe, Pie for the People, Country Kitchen, Sam’s Indian Food and Pizza, Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant, Joshua Tree Saloon, Crossroads, What’s Cluck, Subway Sandwich
Vintage Shops
Ricochet, Moss and Ginger, The Corral, Totally Blown, Coyote Corner, Hi Desert Medical Center Auxiliary Shop, Thrift Shop Unity Home

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India turns election fever into exciting tourist draw, South Asia

Foreign tourists have always been drawn to India’s rich historical tapestry, its diverse landscapes and cultures, and array of cuisines.
An Indian travel agency is now pitching the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections as a tour option, offering visitors a chance to soak in the excitement of the world’s largest democratic exercise.
The package includes the chance to attend rallies, engage with voters in rural and urban areas, and even meet political party candidates.
“The process of electing people’s representatives in the world’s largest democracy is almost like a festival. It’s an experience like nowhere else,” says Mr Manish Sharma, chairman of Akshar Travels, the agency that has launched the tour.
With about 900 million voters, India will elect its next federal government from April 11 to May 19. This drawn-out electoral process transforms the country every five years with campaign material festooned across the country, corner tea shops that come alive with political differences and enrapturing political rallies that attract crowds of hundreds of thousands.
This tourism initiative was started during the December 2012 state elections in Gujarat, drawing in those who visited the state during the peak winter tourist season. It was repeated in the 2014 parliamentary polls, which pulled in around 5,200 tourists.
Most of these visitors included researchers, media professionals, students and political analysts.
Mr Sharma says the number this year is expected to cross 10,000 with “positive inquiries” coming from the United States, France, Germany, Austria and Japan.
UNIQUE TOURIST DRAW
There are many different kinds of tourism across the world… Election tourism is one that is not available anywhere else.
MR MANISH SHARMA, chairman of Akshar Travels, which has launched tour packages focusing on the elections.
The tour has been showcased at major tourism expos in foreign capitals for the last six months.
“A lot of queries have come from people of Indian origin. Many are interested to visit Varanasi, the constituency Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contesting from,” he adds.
Mr Modi has, in the past, supported this idea of converting India’s elections into a tourism draw. Other popular locations include Lucknow, Delhi and Mumbai.
The package, which spans around a week and costs about US$450 (S$611, flights not included), covers different regions a tourist may want to visit. It combines regular sightseeing with popular electoral campaign schedules in and around these zones.
Access to political leaders and their events is not a problem, says Mr Sharma. “In fact, political candidates like the presence of a group of foreigners at the rally as it increases the attraction of the rally,” he says.
Mr Hemesh Patel, a British citizen of Indian origin, joined the 2014 tour. Impressed by the “massive scale” of the election, he particularly remembers the way politics dominated conversations wherever he went and the manner in which party members canvassed support.
“There were some booths where people gathered every day to meet and greet one another and even to share free food,” he tells The Straits Times.
“However, it is best if the tourist has an understanding of the local language or has access to a good translator so that he is able to understand the people’s views better.”
Besides obvious challenges that arise from a lack of good-quality tourism infrastructure across the country, the appeal of the election-tourism package is also confined by the fact that parliamentary elections are usually held in summer, when temperatures can soar close to 45 deg C in many parts of the country.
Security for foreign tourists among a crowd of thousands also poses a challenge for Akshar Travels and its partner agencies.
But Mr Sharma thinks India’s parliamentary elections, which take place every five years, have immense untapped tourism potential. “If the ministries of external affairs and tourism pitch in and help develop this in an organised manner, we can generate at least 20 billion rupees (S$391 million) worth of revenue from election tourism,” he says.
“There are many different kinds of tourism options across the world, whether it is sports, leisure, heritage or others. Election tourism is one that is not available anywhere else. Why don’t we develop it into a business model?”

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Park City, Uncovered

5 Dear Cowgirl, You have come THIS far. Park City, Uncovered Once the snow melts, this ski-resort destination dons a whole other personality, with an abundance of awe-inspiring, shirt-sleeved outdoors activities from dawn through dark. March 27, 2019 Park City, Utah. Photos by Susan L. Ebert. Park City, Utah, has made its bones as a world-class snow sports destination, the home of the Sundance Film Festival, and the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics—and justifiably so, as winter’s when most of its 600,000 annual visitors flock to town. Once a flourishing silver-mining town—its Silver King Mine was considered one of the world’s richest in 1892—Park City turned its focus from mining to skiing, opening the 10,000-acre Treasure Mountain Resort in 1963 on miner-owned land.And although Park City now boasts the largest ski resort in the nation, this historic, small (population 8,378) city offers an abundance of activities and adventures in the summer months—when idyllic daily temperatures in the 70s and 80s and crystalline mountain nights provide a comfortable climate for horseback riding, fly fishing, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, and exploring by day with an array of culinary, cultural, and entertainment options by night. Historic Park City boasts 64 Victorian-era buildings on the National Register of Historic Places—many of them painted in vivid hues.This pigment-rich palette, once signifying wealth in a time when brightly colored paint came at a dear cost, extends to newer structures as well, giving the entire town the feel of a multicolored jewel box tucked into the surrounding mountains.And like a jewel box viewed from afar, Park City beckons the viewer to take a closer look. Hit the Trails Horseback riding opportunities abound, with numerous outfitters and more than 450 miles of trails.Rhodes Valley Outfitters offers both on-ground adventures, such as its Horse Experience, and trail rides.
In its Horse Experience, participants interact with horses under the guidance of an equine facilitated-learning coach.I’ll admit; it was a little “New Age-y” for me at first, but during the hour-long session, Norm the Nibbler transformed me from a stressed-out journalist into a serene Ute Indian princess as he whuffed agreeably into my ear and rested his head atop mine. Three horseback riders enjoy Park City’s beautiful fall scenery. Ride out from High Star Ranch, with more than 800 acres of trails traversing the Uinta foothills.Afterwards, sample the Western-inspired cuisine at the State Road Tavern & Restaurant at High Star Ranch, tucked into the DeJoria Center, brainchild of billionaire philanthropist John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and founder of Patrón spirits. High Star Ranch: (435) 783-3515; highstarranch.com Rhodes Valley Outfitters: (435) 513-1733; rhodesvalleyoutfitters.com Take Me to the River The 13-mile stretch of the Middle Provo River, between the Jordanelle Reservoir and the Deer Creek Reservoir, flows through the scenic Heber Valley and is considered one of the nation’s blue-ribbon trout streams, hosting a prolific population of brown trout in the 16-to-24-inch range.It’s so incredibly beautiful it’s as if you’ve walked into a living postcard. I meet up with the guides from All Seasons Adventures—they guide rafting, mountain biking, dogsledding, and snowshoeing, too—at the quaint-yet-hip Woodland Biscuit Company, housed in an early 20th-century general store that teems with trout bums, mountain bikers, and adventure-seekers. After devouring my grilled chicken tortilla lunch, I jump in with the guides to one of the river’s access points, where I shuck into the provided waders and boots as my guide rigs a flyrod for me. The walk-in is about a mile on well-marked trails, and we step into the river at a U-shaped bend with the promising name of “Cutthroat Corner.” Walking and wading, we cast bounce rigs in thigh-to-waist-deep gin-clear burbling water, and are oft rewarded with strikes by slick brown trout, which we bring to hand, admire, then release. All Seasons Adventures: (435) 649-9619; allseasonsadventures.com Woodland Biscuit Company: (435) 783-4202; woodlandbiscuitcompany.com Let’s Rodeo Take your saddlepals to the PRCA-sanctioned Oakley Rodeo, where rodeo attendees most likely outnumber the 1,657 townsfolk.Held for four days around the Fourth of July, the Oakley Rodeo began in 1930 and maintains its authentic Western vibe with thrills, spills, rodeo food, vendors, and plenty of dazzling fireworks in this scenic Kamas Valley town. Oakley Rodeo: (435) 783-5734; oakleycity.com Whiskeys, Wines, and Mines Tour the High West Distillery on the 3,500-acre Lodge at Blue Sky in nearby Wanship for a peek at its handcrafted 1,600-gallon copper still, a lesson on the distilling process from grain to glass, and a sampling of its signature bourbons and ryes, including the smoky Campfire and the cowgirl-friendly Yippee Ki-Yay, a blend of malted rye, barley, and corn—aged in white oak and finished in French wine barrels. Fox School of Wines’ Mines and Wines tour exceeded every expectation: Led by vivacious Certified Executive Sommelier Kirsten Fox with able assistance from sidekick Hannah Duprey, the three-hour tour kicks off with an overview of mining history, then proceeds by luxury van to historic mining sites such as the Daly West Mine, the Ontario Mine, Miner’s Hospital, the First National Bank on Main Street, Silver King Consolidated Headquarters, and the Red Light District.Fox narrates historical high points with wit and charm, accompanied by thoughtful pairings of wines and light nibbles.History never tasted so good! Fox School of Wines: (435) 655-9463; foxschoolofwine.com High West Distillery: (435) 649-8300; highwest.com On the Town Although Park City bills itself as “Winter’s Favorite Town,” it’s fast becoming summer’s favorite town, to boot.Its spellbinding scenery, range of outdoor activities, and affordability is only exceeded by the friendliness of its townspeople. Stroll the historic downtown, dotted with restaurants, taverns, and shops—and enjoy al fresco dining in the clear mountain air.Tuck into a gourmet picnic basket at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Amphitheater as the Utah Symphony Orchestra plays an enchanting accompaniment to the setting sun.Lift your glass and vow to return. Deer Valley Resort: (435) 649-1000; deervalley.com Park City: (800) 453-1360; visitparkcity.com

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