Zest Quest Asia champs win trip to the Philippines

Zest Quest Asia champs win trip to the Philippines

Zest Quest Asia champs win trip to the Philippines Zest Quest Asia champs win trip to the Philippines By Embassy of PH in London Published on February 16, 2019 Twitter
LONDON, Feb. 16 — A team from the University of West London bagged the coveted 2019 Zest Quest Asiachampionships and are bound for the Philippines to learn more about the country’s rich culinary traditions. This is the second year in a row that the University of West London has won the UK-wide culinary competition and a much-awaited visit to the Philippines for the team’s Filipino member, Mika Narciso. Team UWL mentor Tarik Ramjaum (row 1, 3rd from left) and the UWL chefs Bhumika Rai (row 1, 4th from left), Mika Narciso (row 1, 5th from left), and Marian Tandy (row 1, 6th from left) beam with pride after they are hailed the 2019 Zest Quest Asia Grand Champions. Also in the photo are Crystal Travel’s Peps Villanueva (row 1, 1st from left), Vice Consul Stacy Danika Alcantara-Garcia (row 1, 2nd from left), and Cyrus Cyrus Todiwala OBE, DL (row 2, 4th from left). Photo by Jade Nina Sarkel
Narciso and her teammates Marian Tandy, Bhumika Rai and their mentor Tarik Ramjaun were hailed the champions of London’s prestigious culinary tilt during the Zest Quest Asia Gala Dinner and Awards Night at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 (Hilton T5) on 08 February, beating contenders from Colchester Institute, North Hertfordshire College, New City College, Farnborough College of Technology and Westminster Kingsway College. The team also won two other prizes: Display of Sustainability and Best Wine Pairing, sponsored by Loch Duart and Castelnau/Patriarch Pere et Fils, respectively. Around 300 leaders and representatives of the UK culinary education, food and drink, and equipment sectors attended the event.
During the seven-day trip to the Philippines, the team will visit Manila and Pampanga to learn more about Philippine cuisine. They will also enjoy a stage at the posh Fairmont Makati hotel’s kitchens and will cook at a fundraising dinner for Zest Quest Asia and a local Philippine educational charity sponsored by Romulo Café Makati. They will cap their trip with a cooking session at the residence of British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce.
Judges were unanimously impressed by the team’s South Indian / Goan menu: a starter of South Indian Ukindu Vasai with Jerusalem Artichoke; a main course of British Partridge Goan Cafreal made with fresh mint and coriander; and a dessert of Bibinca and Parsnip Serradura. The winning dish won the hearts and stomachs of Zest Quest Asia’s prestigious panel of judges. Photo by Jade Nina Sarkel.
“This year’s Zest Quest Asia champions are surely in for an exciting journey given the rich Philippine culinary heritage that they will be exposed to,” said Philippine Ambassador to the UK Antonio M. Lagdameo. “By providing opportunities for British chefs to interact with Filipino chefs and to learn more about our cuisine, we are creating opportunities for the UK and the world to have a deeper understanding and sense of appreciation for our culinary tradition.”
Now in its sixth year, Zest Quest Asia was founded in 2013 by Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala, with the support of The Master Chefs of Great Britain, to help address Britain’s skills and knowledge gaps in Asian cuisine. The competition also aims to be a catalyst for the inclusion of traditional Asian cookery in the curriculum, and is open to full-time students who are British passport holders or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
“Every year Zest Quest Asia enjoys the great support of friends and colleagues from industry and beyond. But this year, our sixth, we are extremely grateful for how we’ve been able to move to an entirely new level. You see it in the passion of everyone involved in creating a positive buzz around the competition, and the talent of the finalists. I am sure that Marian, Mika and Bhumika will have a great learning experience in Manila, where a wonderful itinerary has been planned,” said Cyrus Todiwala OBE, DL, who for the first time will be joining the winning team on their trip.
Leading the judging panel was the National Chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs Andrew Bennett MBE. Fellow judges wereCyrus and Pervin Todiwala of Café Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, Steve Munkley of the Royal Garden Hotel, Clive Roberts of Master Chefs of Great Britain, and Murray Chapman of Passion to Inspire.
The Zest Quest Asia Awards Gala
The Zest Quest Asia Awards Gala was hosted by Nigel Bardeen, the BBC broadcaster, food and drink journalist, and chef. Special guest speakers were American chef, author and TV presenter, Ken Hom OBE and Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL, chairman of Cobra Beer. In his speech, the legendary chef noted the rising importance of Asian food in Britain and around the world, while Lord Bilimoria, picking up on Zest Quest Asia’s ethos to ‘aim high’, shared his own life’s lesson: ‘Work as hard as you can, then go that extra bit further.’
Vice Consul Stacy Danika Alcantara-Garcia, the Philippine Embassy’s Cultural Diplomacy Officer represented the Embassy during the event and presented the short film on Manila.
“In the Philippines, food isn’t just about nourishing the body but it is also about nourishing relationships,” said Vice Consul Alcantara-Garcia during her introduction. “The diversity in our regional cuisines and culinary traditions show how our food is all about bringing different people and cultures together in a memorable feast.”
Together with Vice Consul Alcantara-Garcia, other Filipinos who attended the gala included Ronnie del Barrio and Ysobel Ortega from the Philippine Department of Tourism in London, Peps Villanueva of Crystal Travel, restaurateurs Rowena Romulo, Chris Joseph and Jeremy Villanueva of Romulo Café London, and Gina Consing McAdam, a member of the Zest Quest Asia board. (Embassy of PH in London) Sign up for the monthly news, bulletins, and events. Subscribe Philippine Information Agency
The Philippine Information Agency is the official public information arm of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. It is an attached unit of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). The PIA works with the Office of the President through PCOO, national government agencies, and other public sector entities in communicating their programs, projects, and services to the Filipino people. The agency has a regional office in all 16 regions and has an information center in 79 provinces across the Philippines. Pages

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Fantastic holiday once again!

My husband and I have just returned from our fourth consecutive visit to Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and it did disappoint. Once again the Hotel has surpassed itself and we couldn’t fault a thing from the minute we arrived to the minute we left. It was lovely to be greeted by so many of the staff who we remembered and who remembered us. This is a palatial, truly Arabian style hotel and the entrance is truly spectacular. We visited the Hotel for 14 nights and wish it had been longer, given the fact that the weather in Scotland is cold on January, the temperature in Dubai is perfect for us. We were on half board and were happy to hear that the Rib Room and Sultan’s Lounge has been included this year. The dine around option is available to guests within the Jumeirah Hotel group but we have found from previous experience that the food in our own Hotel- ZS was outstanding and dined there every evening except one. The Rib Room – Alexandro and his team were welcoming, super efficient and attentive – the food choice and presentation excellent. The Amala – we love Indian cuisine – terrific menu choice, freshness and attentiveness of all the staff – amazing. Vikram and his team were excellent and made our dining experience extra special. The Sultan’s Lounge – Tuwam and his team were welcoming. attentive and this restaurant has a terrific selection of International cuisine, eg, Italian, Chinese, Gourmet Burgers and so much more. Al Narfoorah – our first time at this Lebanese restaurant did not disappoint. The helpful Michael and other staff offered advice on menu selections. Imperium – breakfast selections unbeatable. Most days we we looked after by Shijo who was extremely polite and helpful. Our room steward, Liven and his team a big thank you for our room being so clean and tidy, twice a day. Beach/pool area – a huge thank you to Regie, Denis, John, Peter, Ragu for always being so helpful, friendly and attentive. This was a huge part of our holiday and we thank you very much for making us feel special. Security staff – we have travelled many places in the world and say without doubt that the security staff at ZS are the best – always friendly,smiling , helpful in an unassuming manner without detracting from doing their job. Talise Spa – this spa and spa pool area is out of this world and no wonder it has received so many awards. The cleanliness and attention to detail is fantastic and being a resident of the hotel I used the spa pool every day. Front of house staff – asst Guest Relations Manager Kamilia and her team were always extremely helpful, patient with our many questions and always with a smile, as was Karolina (Concierge). This Hotel is like a palace and all staff are superb, friendly and with excellent interpersonal skills which contributes hugely on our holiday and that is why we intend to return annually. Keep up the good work. Barbara and Stuart Ramsay

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Get a taste of heritage, Food

While foodies in Singapore are ever hungry for the next new eatery, there are plenty of culinary institutions here that regulars flock to.
While new restaurants barely survive a year in the competitive dining scene here, some legends have endured multiple generations.
The upcoming epicurean extravaganza Asian Masters showcases some of these old-school establishments, such as 90-year-old Chinese restaurant Spring Court and 50-year-old Teochew Restaurant Huat Kee.
Diners can also look forward to British-Hainanese dishes at Violet Oon Singapore in Ion Orchard and fine Malay cuisine by chefconsultant Aziza Ali, who pioneered Malay fine dining in Singapore.
These culinary doyennes are featured alongside interesting additions such as a supper event at JB Ah Meng in Geylang; a home-dining experience by make-up artist Tinoq Russell Goh; and Burmese dishes by cookbook author Bryan Koh of cake company Chalk Farm.
While the main dining events run from March 1 to April 3, the year-long festival runs till Feb 29 next year and includes dining and cocktail promotions.
On April 1, the dining festivities culminate at the invite-only The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao Best Asian Restaurants Awards at Grand Hyatt Singapore.
The seventh edition of the annual Asian Masters, presented by Citibank Singapore, is jointly organised by Sphere Exhibits, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, and F&B consultancy firm Poulose Associates.
Also paying tribute to culinary heritage is the newly launched Delicious Heirlooms book, which features 10 well-known family-run restaurants in Singapore. It is priced at $30 and published by Straits Times Press.
Some of the establishments include Islamic Restaurant in North Bridge Road and Chinese restaurant Fatty Weng in Smith Street.
The author, lawyer Ow Kim Kit, 43, tells the stories of how the families preserved their food legacies and stayed in business for decades.
The Sunday Times speaks to three of the stalwart eateries featured – Ka-Soh (Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House); nasi padang specialist Sabar Menanti; and Peranakan restaurant Guan Hoe Soon – about how they have kept going all these years.
Highlights at the Asian Masters LIANHE ZAOBAO PRESENTS THE GLENDRONACH DINNER AT TEOCHEW RESTAURANT HUAT KEE
Signature braised caramelised sea cucumber and 30-head abalone PHOTOS: TEO CHEW RESTAURANT HUAT KEE
What: Join Lianhe Zaobao food correspondent Ng Yimin as she hosts this dinner in celebration of Teochew Restaurant Huat Kee’s 50th anniversary. The six-course feast – specially curated by Huat Kee’s mother-and-son team of Madam Loh Hock Eng and Mr Lee Chiang Howe – features dishes such as pomfret soup with taro; signature braised caramelised sea cucumber and 30-head abalone; and glazed pork belly with glutinous rice and mashed taro. The dishes are paired with whiskies from Scottish whisky distillery GlenDronach.
Where: Teochew Restaurant Huat Kee, 02-01 RELC Building, 30 Orange Grove Road
When: March 7, 7pm Price: $270++ and $216++ (Citibank cards)
THE STRAITS TIMES PRESENTS A CELEBRATION DINNER AT SPRING COURT WITH HANDPICKED WINES
Roasted whole boneless chicken stuffed with minced prawn. PHOTOS: SPRING COURT
What: Hosted by The Straits Times senior food correspondent Wong Ah Yoke, this eight-course dinner at Chinese restaurant Spring Court features highlights such as traditional double-boiled bird’s nest in whole chicken; crispy crabmeat roll with chicken liver and salted egg yolk with spicy salt fried button mushroom; barbecued whole boneless suckling pig with fermented bean paste; and roasted whole boneless chicken stuffed with minced prawn. The dinner is paired with wines from Australian wine company Handpicked Wines.
Where: Spring Court, 52-56 Upper Cross Street
When: March 12, 7pm Price: $213++ and $170.40++ (Citibank cards)
A TASTE OF EXQUISITE MALAY CUISINE WITH AZIZA
Aziza Ali. PHOTOS: ST FILE
What: Savour the finest of Malay cuisine by culinary doyenne Aziza Ali, known for her eponymous fine-dining restaurant on Emerald Hill, which ran for 24 years from 1979. Her menu at Grand Hyatt Singapore includes ayam panggang bersantan istimewa (grilled chicken breast sandwiched in grilled eggplant and coconut gravy); makthoum podina (tender lamb cooked in onions, tomatoes and mixed spices sauce with toasted almonds and mint leaves); and sambal kesum tasek (barramundi cooked in tamarind chilli spices, kesum leaves and topped with scallop).
Where: Grand Salon, Level 2 Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road
When: March 19, 7pm Price: $118++ and $94.40++ (Citibank cards)
AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR BRYAN KOH PRESENTS “0451MB: AN EVENING OF FOOD FROM HIS BOOKS”, ACCOMPANIED BY WOODFORD RESERVE COCKTAILS
Bryan Koh. PHOTOS: ST FILE
What: Cookbook author and cake business Chalk Farm co-founder Bryan Koh’s books come alive through his menu of Burmese food – made with recipes accumulated during his time in Myanmar. The menu features Mondti (Rakhine fish noodle soup with pounded green chilli sauce); Humba (pork belly with soya, vinegar and Saba bananas); Manuk Piaparen (Maranao chicken curry); and Champurrado (black rice and chocolate pudding with deep-fried mermaid fish).
Where: Auntie’s Wok and Steam, Andaz Singapore, 5 Fraser Street
When: March 21, 7pm Price: $128++ and $102.40++ (Citibank cards)
AN EVENING AT PERAMAKAN WITH VERAMONTE WINES
Nonya ayam buah keluak; nasi ulam (mixed herb rice). PHOTOS: PERAMAKAN
What: Savour a variety of classic Nonya dishes crafted by PeraMakan’s fourth-generation chef Kathryn Ho. Highlights include bakwan kepiting soup (minced pork and crab meatball soup); babi tohay (braised pork belly in red rice yeast); Nonya ayam buah keluak; nasi ulam (mixed herb rice); and Golden Coin Beef Rendang. The dishes are paired with Veramonte wines from Chile.
Where: PeraMakan, Level 3 Keppel Club, 10 Bukit Chermin Road
When: March 5, 7pm Price: $118++ and $94.40++ (Citibank cards)
INFINITI PRESENTS A WORLD OF SPICE WITH JACK DANIEL’S AND WOODFORD RESERVE WHISKIES AT THE SONG OF INDIA
Chilli cheese khari stick; and Seafood Festa Art Palate PHOTOS: THE SONG OF INDIA
What: One-Michelin-starred fine-dining Indian restaurant The Song Of India pairs its dishes with premium bourbon from Woodford Reserve, Kentucky, as well as Jack Daniel’s from Tennessee. Menu items include lobster porcini shorba (soup) served with chilli cheese khari stick; and Seafood Festa Art Palate, which includes Chettina prawn, Malvani mussels, Goan fish and crispy okra.
Where: The Song of India, 33 Scotts Road
When: March 6, 7pm Price: $108++ and $86.40++ (Citibank cards)
Old eateries and their heirloom dishes KA-SOH (SWEE KEE FISH HEAD NOODLE HOUSE) Heirloom dish: Fish head with black bean sauce ($24)
Where: Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House, 96 Amoy Street, open: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30 to 10pm daily, tel: 6224-9920; Ka-Soh, Alumni Medical Centre, 2 College Road; open: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30 to 9.30pm daily, tel: 6473-6686
Info: ka-soh.com.sg
Ka-Soh owner Tang Tat Cheong and his son Cedric with its signature dish of fish head with black bean sauce. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
No shortcuts are taken when it comes to maintaining the quality of food at Ka-Soh and Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House.
Second-generation owner Tang Tat Cheong, 65, insists care is the key to the survival of the family business started by his father at Great World Amusement Park in 1939.
When it moved to a shophouse in Chin Chew Street in the mid-1950s, the Swee Kee brand was established. By then, it was already known for its fish head noodles using snakehead fish as well as zi char dishes. It moved to its current premises in Amoy Street in 1997, when the Ka-Soh brand – named after Cantonese waitress Ka Soh Por, who used to work with the family – was established.
Its sister outlet Ka-Soh, moved around several locations before settling 10 years ago at Singapore General Hospital’s Alumni Medical Centre in College Road.
Swee Kee Fish Head Noodle House is best known for its signature sliced fish noodle soup (from $7.50), prawn paste chicken (from $8) and pork ribs (from $9.50). Its new outlet at Jewel Changi Airport will feature “a spin” on fish soup with the addition of prawn and crab, says Mr Tang’s son Cedric, 34, Ka-Soh’s marketing director. He has three siblings, aged 21 to 37, who also help out in the business.
Called Faai Di by Ka-Soh, the quick-service mini restaurant will be part of the Food Junction foodcourt and have its own seating area. The name is Cantonese for “hurry up”. The menu is still in the works and the younger Mr Tang is focused on making sure the traditional flavours are retained.
On the brand’s secret to longevity, the senior Mr Tang says: “Don’t cheat and always use good quality ingredients. We also evolve and follow trends as people’s dining patterns and taste buds are changing.”

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A must stay!

First trip for the year 2019 and we as a family of three were super excited for our first trip to Dubai. Anyone planning their trip to Dubai, please make sure you check in advance what all would you like to cover. It’s a man-made miracle of a city which offers a lot to almost all age groups. Post booking our flights we regretted our short trip of 6 nights and 7 days. If I could go back, my itinerary would be for atleast 15 days if not more. So please do your due diligence. Per usual, loaded with my 10 days of rigorous R&D on Dubai for the 6 nights 7-day trip – we decided we needed two hotels to cover atleast the major attractions the city has to offer. Therefore, our nights were split as follows – 4 nights in Double Tree Hilton Al Barsha and 2 Nights at Palm Atlantis. Few tips for fellow travelers: 1. The touristy spots are more accessible via metro, bus, tram or cabs if you stay in areas such as AlBarsha, Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai. Also they are much closer in terms of distance so you save on time 2.Palm Atlantis is on crescent road which is a bit cutoff from the other touristy spots such Burj Khalifa, Global Village, Miracle Garden etc. Also it will take you a fair bit of time to travel, so I suggest check google map and plan you travel well 3. Palm Atlantis is a huge property with a lot to offer and frankly in my opinion you need atleast 5-6(if not more) days to enjoy the property and the various offerings it has 4. Be mindful of the check-in at Palm Atlantis. The reception area of the hotel looks like a shopping mall meaning its very busy at any point of time and there are always queues for check-in and check-out. Now on to the main review: We booked the hotel via their website and also had their club membership which gave us a 10% discount on the room rates, early check-in privilege, complimentary access to the Aquaventure water park and Lost Chambers Aquarium, 40 AED vouchers for their restaurant Wavehouse and free selfie with a sea lion. We had also booked the dolphin encounter in advance and the reservation lady Judith was super helpful and gave us a good deal on the booking (in-room guests get preferential rates). Our room was on the 14th floor with fantastic view of the pool deck, beach and the sea. The room itself was luxurious with two queen-size beds, nice bath/shower area and separate toilette. The In-Room Dining Menu is impressive (pricey too) and food that we ordered was really good. Note that you pay immediately as soon as the food is delivered to your room. So basically they don’t wait for you to pay the bill at checkout (guess it makes checkout easier for them). There were times I ordered milk for my daughter and it was given complimentary which I thought was sweet of them The television has decent channels (kids channels) In the two days that followed we covered, Dolphin Bay encounter, Aquaventure Waterworld, Selfie with SeaLion, Lost Chambers Aquarium, Shopping Avenues (too pricey and really not that many shops). Our vouchers for Wavehouse turned out to be of no use since there was private event happening in the restaurant and the whole area was closed off. Breakfast needs a separate mention, there are two restaurants who serve breakfast – Saffron (west tower) and Kaleidoscope (east tower). The layout is massive and there is something for everyone. It has a great variety of continental, Indian and Asian Cuisine which was really impressive. There is a candies counter for kids, my daughter loved it! One of the best breakfast spreads I have seen so far based on my experiences. I regret not being able to do the following for lack of time, so make note if you are interested in any of these activities – Kayaking, Beach Shacks, Zipline, HeliDubai, Water Sports, Yacht/Sailing, Kids Zone/Kids Club, lazing around at pool deck 🙁 (I am sure I am missing some more) Kids Area has certain time slots when its complimentary for kids to play, the other times 80AED per hour needs to be paid to leave your kids. This I thought was a bit weird. On our last day, we had dinner at their Lebanese restaurant Aymana. The food was okay, but we enjoyed the live performances (belly dancing, singing), lebanese wine and sheesha. Overall, It was a great 2 day stay and I wished we could have have stayed for more days. I think that’s the greatest compliment I can give this hotel.

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Where no one goes hungry | #AsiaNewsNetwork

Where no one goes hungry | #AsiaNewsNetwork Where no one goes hungry | #AsiaNewsNetwork Entertainment Published 16 February 2019 Khetsirin Pholdhampalit (The Nation/ANN) – Packed with temptation, Iconsiam’s restaurant zone Alangkarn in Bangkok quite literally spoils diners for choice
Alangkarn – means “splendour” – is a new dining zone in the Iconsiam mega-mall offering diverse cuisine including Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and French at more than 30 restaurants and cafes spread across the sixth floor.
The interior design is based on the concept of Thai rice, considered the heart of Thai food. The focal point is a tall waterfall playing with a kaleidoscope of lights. Rice paddies and rice barns as well as trees and water plants lend natural accents.
When it comes to spicy and tasty Isaan classics and fresh seafood, look no further than Lay Lao, whose first outlet on Soi Ari has been awarded the Michelin Guide Bangkok’s Bib Gourmand, representing value-for-money, for two consecutive years.
20190206204015328_no_1.jpg
Hailing from the seaside getaway of Hua Hin, owner Panawat Chinwit knows how to find the best seafood around his hometown. Shrimp, squid and sea bass are freshly delivered from Hua Hin and Pranburi, while blue crab comes mainly from Surat Thani.
“My family loves cooking food with a pungent kick,” Panawat says. “People loved our family recipes and they urged us to open an eatery in Bangkok. We cook and serve it exactly the same way we do at home. The Ari outlet is four years old and has continuously received positive feedback, so now we’re ready to open a second branch at the mall.”
Panawat and his team personally buy vegetables and fruit at Bangkok’s Talad Thai market, rather than relying on food suppliers, to make sure they get the freshest produce.
“Many of our dishes are seasoned with aromatic palm sugar from Phetchaburi, which gives a pleasantly well-balanced flavour because it’s traditionally charcoal-simmered. We have to order a year in advance because they only produce a small quantity. The crab comes from a ‘crab bank’ project in Pranburi initiated by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol as a sustainable fishery.”
The menu at the 55-seat eatery offers 200-plus items, some exclusive to Iconsiam. A gluten-free selection is also available.
Deep-fried Squid with Secret Sauce (Bt265-Bt525) involves critters caught at sea and kept free of the oxidising bleach sometimes used to make it look fresh.
“We fry the squid stuffed with squid roe once and then again with sweet-and-sour sauce seasoned with palm sugar and lemon juice,” says Panawat. “It’s served with spicy seafood sauce that’s made fresh every day.”
20190206204018256_no_3.jpg Green Mango Salad with Raw Black Crab
The irresistible Green Mango Salad with Raw Black Crab (Bt480) features shredded, raw and tangy nam dok mai mango cooked with raw black crab and its roe from Surat Thani. It’s seasoned with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and palm sugar and fired up with chillies.
Sweet Corn Salad with Grilled River Prawn (Bt550) is a large prawn perfectly grilled over smokeless charcoal to retain its juiciness and tenderness. It comes with spicy corn salad mixed with green apple, tomato and avocado.
A Hua Hin dish, Gaeng Som Prik Sod (Spicy and Sour Soup with Fresh Chilli, Bt235) cooked with sea bass and holy basil leaves has just the right combination of sweet, sour and spicy flavours. The chilli paste is seasoned with shrimp paste and palm sugar and the tartness comes from tamarind and lemon juice.
The resulting flavour is somewhere between gaeng run juan (hot and spicy soup seasoned with shrimp paste) and tom som (sweet-and-sour tamarind soup).
Lovers of Cantonese food will be pleased to find a third outlet of Grand Palace, one of Bangkok’s famed Chinese restaurants. The 33-year-old original on Mahesak Road is renowned for its dim sum and Peking duck.
20190206205249809_no_2.jpg Dim Sum Basket
At Iconsiam there’s a wonderful variety in the Dim Sum Basket (Bt235) – five mouth-watering choices. You get har gau (shrimp dumpling), steamed sumai with shrimp and crabmeat, fried dumpling stuffed with minced pork and shrimp and a rainbow bun with alternating layers of cream custard and salted egg cream.
Ideal for both the solo diner and couples is the small size of Peking Duck (Bt450). The crispy skin is cut into seven pieces and served with steamed pancakes and sticks of cucumber and spring onion. Varying from the usual sweet bean sauce condiment, Grand Palace opts for black sweet soy sauce.
Hungry diners should try the Steamed Rice with Crabmeat in Curry Powder (Bt270). It’ a large bowl of rice topped with well-seasoned crabmeat and more steamed crabmeat on top of that.
Thai dessert cafes are gaining popularity against Western and Japanese-style treats. The compact Waan Phor Dee, which literally means “properly sweet”, is one such choice offering a range of traditional Thai desserts with exquisite preparation and authentic taste.
Nuttinee Wongchalermtarn and her partner opened the first Waan Phor Dee in Chiang Mai and it quickly became so successful that they were invited to open another at Iconsiam.
So far there are 10 tasty items on the menu at prices Bt30 to Bt40 higher than what you pay in Chiang Mai.
“The recipes are based on centuries of collective wisdom,” says Nuttinee. “It’s a risky business because of the very short shelf-life of Thai sweets – because coconut cream and coconut flesh do not keep – and the attention to detail in preparation, but we want to serve Thai desserts like Grandma used to make.”
no_2.jpg Pailin Siam
Pailin Siam (Bt85) has small water-chestnut “jewels” coated with tapioca flour in the appealing shade of blue sapphire, sitting in flavoured coconut milk with colourful, sweet, thin noodles and topped with frozen coconut cream.
Served warm is Khao Fang Piak Lamyai (Bt85). Millet seeds from Chiang Mai are boiled in water flavoured with pandan leaves and seasoned with sugar, salt and longan flesh and juice.
A separate shot of coconut milk is presented for customers to adjust the flavour, and a skewer of cubed coconut flesh makes a chewy side snack.
Puak Chuem (Taro in Syrup), Guay Chuem (Candied Banana Topped With Coconut Milk), Sago Piak Lamyai (Sago and Longan with Flavoured Coconut Milk) and Krong Krang (Caramelised Crisps in Coconut Milk) go for Bt85 a pop, while Khao Niew Mamuang (Mango with Sticky Rice) costs Bt250.
MORNING TO EVENING
Alangkarn is at Iconsiam on the Thon Buri side of Bangkok and open daily from 10 to 10.
Visit www.IconSiam.com .
Learn more about Lay Lao, Grand Palace and Waan Phor Dee on their Facebook pages sharing their names.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/tasty/30364225
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Back to the OP: As has been mentioned on here many times, the choice of restaurants in Liverpool is massive, with cuisine ranging from Chinese to Lebanese, Indian to Turkish, Mexican to French, etc etc etc. Give us a clue what food you like and also how many are in your group because you might be limited as to where you can go. There are two main areas for bars and clubs in the city centre – Mathew Street and the surrounding streets, and Concert Square and the Ropewalks area. There’s a few bars and restaurants down at the ALbert Dock too. Also, when are you visiting? If it’s from April onwards you could go on one of the special Mersey Ferry cruises with live music and entertainment. https:/…default.aspx

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10 Perfect Places To Experience The Best Of Kenyan Culture (Photos)

10 Perfect Places To Experience The Best Of Kenyan Culture (Photos) by February 15, 2019, 1:12 pm 112 Subscribe With 42 different tribes, a myriad of migrant and expat workers, inter-marriages and western influences, Kenya is a melting pot of different cultures just waiting for the right person to experience it all. No matter where you go in the magical country, you will find more than just the indigenous culture of the given area at play. Of course, there are some areas that are more…’metropolitan’ that others, just as there are some areas that are quite literally not fully Kenyan.
Regardless of your destination within the country, you have a chance to experience a great number of different cultures that will mesmerise you and maybe, tempt you into assimilation. If you want to learn about the culture and traditions of the Kenyans, here are 10 perfect places to experience the best Kenyan culture: 1. Lamu
Lamu is like the pretty little bow that wraps up an entire Muslim region. This semi-remote location has seen very little impact from the outside world and cultures. A traditionally Muslim town, Lamu is as beautiful as it is authentic. As an ‘outsider’ you will be surprised to find that Dhows and donkeys are the only mode of transportation here. Spend your time walking through the narrow streets, mingle with the locals and when you get tired of that, take a dhow to some of the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches on nearby islands such as Kiwayu that make up the Lamu Archipelago. You can also swim with the dolphins in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean (learn a little about life as a dolphin from these intelligent creatures). 2. The Bomas of Kenya
If you are in a hurry and you want to experience a cross-section of all the cultures that Kenya has to offer, you simply must visit the Bomas of Kenya on Lang’ata Road in Nairobi. You will get to see almost everything that the different Kenyan cultures and traditions are made of. From mud thatched houses, to traditional cooking stoves and beautiful dances. The Bomas of Kenya is like the entire country bundled into one lovely compound. Visit: Bomas of Kenya 3. Loita Plains, Narok
The Maasai are world-renowned for simply refusing to let their culture be eroded by western influences and beliefs. And we love them for it! If you want to experience the best of this majestic, yet adorably head-strong culture, you should take a trip to Narok. Taking a guided tour in the Loita Plains will give you an insight on how traditional Maasai live (Manyattas, spears and fearless warriors who do not flinch at the sight of a lion and a nomadic lifestyle). 4. Nyanza Province
Before the new constitution came into effect, Kenya was divided into 8 Provinces, one of which was Nyanza Province. This is a predominantly Luo region. It is home to attractions such as Kit Mikayi, Kisumu City and Lake Victoria among many others. Taking a trip to this region will give you a clear insight on how traditional Luo’s live. Although Kisumu City is slowly becoming metropolitan, it is still predominantly Luo. You will experience the heat, take a cruise on Lake Victoria, and see traditional fishermen go about their business and all around soak in some Luo culture. 5. Lake Turkana
When you venture up North, you will stumble upon an arid region known as Turkana. Lake Turkana is the biggest attraction in this vast area. This alkaline water body is the life line of a region that is mostly populated by the nomadic Turkana people. Another interesting fact is that Lake Turkana is home to the endangered El Molo people. A tribe that is quiet literally disappearing before our very eyes. There is almost nowhere else in Kenya that you can experience the Turkana and El Molo culture as you can at Lake Turkana. 6. National Museums of Kenya & The National Archives
Right in the city of Nairobi, these two destinations act as a collection point for everything that Kenya has to offer. At the National Archives, you will find records on all the tribes, traditions and Kenyan ways conceivable. At the National Museums of Kenya, you will get to see some of the best art and show of culture from various local tribes and artists. Visiting these two places is like taking a ‘crash-course’ in ‘Kenyan’! 7. Mombasa & The Kenyan Coast
Of course, Mombasa is an authentic cultural destination. Our national language is Swahili, so in a way, you can say that we all have some Swahili culture in us. Where else would you get a chance to experience authentic Swahili ways than where it is spoken at best? As an added bonus, Mombasa is absolutely stunning. The beaches, the weather, the people and quite simply the way of life here is adorable. By the way, you have NOT experienced Swahili until you have a conversation with someone born and raised in Mombasa. They just have a way of making the language sound so….sexy! 8. Machakos
One of the most outspoken tribes in Kenya is the Kamba people. If you go to Machakos town, you will experience something quite different. Thanks to the new Governor, this region has become a major local attraction. With a new park and a host of other developments, this predominantly Kamba region has so much more to offer the world now. If you want a look into how traditional Kambas live and party, take a trip to Machakos. 9. Theme Nights at The Carnivore
The Carnivore restaurant is successfully trying out and implementing an exemplary tradition. They regularly organize theme nights for different tribes within the Country. From Luo Night, to Luhya Night, Kamba Night, Kalenjin, Kikuyu and a host of other tribe themed nights. This initiative has proven very successful and actually good for the peace within the country. On specific theme nights, anyone is welcome, but you will find nothing else other than traditional foods, brews, dances and music of the specific tribe honoured with the particular theme night. It is one of the best ways to experience various Kenyan tribes and cultures while having fun and dancing the night away. 10. Gigiri, Nairobi
Gigiri is quite literally ‘foreign Kenya’. It is home to numerous consulates and expats. This is where Kenya meets the rest of the world. The most interesting thing about this region is that almost everyone who lives here has blended a number of cultures into their way of life. There is a little of Kenya with a dash of everything else. You really have to visit this area to appreciate this. Go to The Village Market, have some delicious meals at the food court, which serves international cuisines by the way, and mingle with locals who will leave you unsure as to which culture you are experiencing.
As mentioned earlier, Kenya has 42 different tribes and they all have their own traditions and culture. Travel through the country and experience as many as you can. One thing all these tribes have in common is that they are friendly and rather welcoming. Loading…

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Practical Travel Tips: Sri Lanka

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We went to Sri Lanka in 2016. Worth the visit.
Preethi Chandrasekhar of The Eager Traveler , who last wrote last wrote about Bogota, Colombia , Medellin, Colombia , Carmel, California , Portugal , Austria , Czech Republic , Anguilla and Dominican Republic , recently went and here are her tips to Sri Lanka should you visit.
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Sri Lanka has never really been on my bucket list of countries to see. However, I was recently invited to a destination wedding in this country and decided to take the opportunity to discover the island and what it has to offer. Sri Lanka truly has something for everyone, from its laid-back beach towns, spectacular train journeys, to historical ruins, to tea estates to hiking up mountain peaks. Voted top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet, go before the tourism surge. Here is why I recommend Sri Lanka. Train journey from Ella to Nuwara Eliya – Photo: (c) 2019 – Preethi Chandrasekhar of The Eager Traveler
GETTING IN
Sri Lanka’s main international airport is Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake, 30km north of Colombo. The airport is small and cute and I noticed there are several money-changing facilities as well as ATMs, taxi services etc. Uber is widely available and recommended and I had no trouble calling one from the airport to my hotel in Colombo. A recent increase in air service from Europe, Middle East and Asia has helped make Sri Lanka a popular destination in the last few years. From San Francisco, airlines like China Eastern provide service, while I actually flew Emirates to India and then booked a round trip via SriLankan Airlines from India.
VISAS:
See http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/ for more info. U.S. citizens do need a visa and can apply online and it literally takes only a few minutes to obtain one. The official language spoken is Sinhala, Tamil and English and the currency is the Sri Lankan rupee.
GETTING AROUND
Buses and trains are a great way to get around SriLanka, as both are cheap. However, note that trains can be crowded, with standing room only, although reservations on first class are also a possibility. I recommend renting a car and driver and road tripping through this island country in comfort! Depending on the season you travel to Sri Lanka the heat can be stifling and there’s nothing like an AC car to provide relief. Train travel within Sri Lanka is a must from Ella to Kandy or Ella to Nuwara Eliya or vice versa. Even if it’s standing room only, you’ll mostly want to hang out by the compartment doorways (which are open in these trains) to get some of the best views of the countryside. First class reservations are possible, which ensures a seat but even otherwise if it’s not crowded, seats are available in second and third class as well! I highly recommend working with Golden Isle Travels for a comprehensive itinerary, hotel suggestions/bookings, and car with driver. They are a small boutique agency in Colombo run by Paddy Paul, and I loved the attention to detail I received when working with Shamila , a tenacious young lady who helped shape my trip. The hotels were carefully curated and honestly enhanced my enjoyment of the trip that much more. My driver was a wonderful man called Sampath, who regaled us with stories of Sri Lanka, his own life and kept us constantly smiling at his generosity, cheerfulness and kindness.
ACCOMMODATIONS
SriLanka has some of the most beautiful accommodations I have seen! This country truly has something for everyone’s budget needs. For example, you can stay in a homestay for as less as $10 a night to a villa with a private pool for $500 per night. Listed below are some of my favorite recommendations, take a look: Wildcoast Tented Lodge – Luxury tent accommodations adjacent to the famous Yala National Park, makes it convenient for safari game drives! The lodge comes with 28 tents that take on the shape and color of the rocks and boulders nearby. The tents offer air-conditioning, a free-standing copper bath tub for soaking, a separate shower stall and toilet, a seating area and a desk as well as a bar. The lodge also boasts a private beach, restaurant and a watering hole in front of each tent where guests can possibly encounter wildlife. Elephants are also a possibility on the grounds at night and as such you are not allowed to walk alone after dark – a lodge escort will be happy to accompany you for a walk or to the restaurant for dinner and back. Some of the tents are equipped with a private pool, but if you don’t want this option, you always have the main pool that faces the beach and is just gorgeous. Family rooms are also available with a separate unit for kids or an extra adult. Prices range from $600-$900 depending on the room type and do include one safari. This is a stunning lodge for honeymooners, couples, and other discerning travelers who want to experience a safari in luxury. Wild Coast Tented Lodge – Photo: (c) 2019 – Preethi Chandrasekhar of The Eager Traveler Aarunya Nature Resort – Aarunya is another exquisite property located near Kandy, and is a great jumping off point to see cultural sites such as Dambulla Caves and Sigiriya. This resort features exquisite villas amidst a lush green 7-acre mixed plantation and tea estate, on top of a mountain peak with views of Knuckles mountain. Sunrise and sunset at the main lobby area is spectacular thanks to the open views of the greenery as well as a magnificent infinity pool that adds to the beauty of the place. This is the perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing and you can’t help but relax your mind, body, and spirit in such a beautiful location. The resort is equipped with a spa if you wanted to try a treatment, and some of the villas also come with a lovely outdoor hot tub which is simply amazing for a soak, surrounded by nature and its magical sounds. A 60sqm private villa with an outdoor hot tub, and sweeping views of the mountains, and paddy fields can start around $190 per night. This place is ideal for travelers looking for a calm and tranquil environment. Movenpick Hotel Colombo – This hotel is a 24-storey luxury five-star hotel in the cultural heart of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city. An ocean view room and the spacious rooftop with pool is just what you need when you want to retreat away from the bustling city sounds. What I liked about this hotel was the full panoramic views from most of the rooms. Who doesn’t want to look out at a beautiful sunset, or a gorgeous blue sea when they first wake up? The hotel also has a spa that I did not avail of. A fitness centre and beauty salon provide all the pampering you may need without ever leaving the hotel grounds. Breakfast is a delicious buffet of Sri Lankan and Western cuisine. The rooftop pool is perhaps their best feature – with a lovely infinity pool facing the city buildings on one side, and the ocean on the other. Fun fact: languages spoken at the hotel include German, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Hindi, Sinhala and Tamil. A double room with ocean view can start around $146. Oliphant Bungalow – This ultra-charming and quaint English style bungalow is located in Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka’s highest elevated village – Shanthipura. The bungalow’s features include the stunning gardens that surround the building and a lovely inner courtyard within the building itself. The two sitting rooms are perfect for lounging and the formal dining is available for meals in case it’s too chilly to eat outside in the gardens. The bungalow is what I would call a boutique property. It simply feels like home with just seven rooms, each with a four-poster king sized bed and in-room fireplace. The bathrooms are attached, spacious and clean. Meal plans include a la carte to full board basis but management will make you whatever you desire. What I loved about staying here was the calm surroundings, the views of the tea estates, and the lovely people in charge of this hotel. They made us feel comfortable, and welcome to the point that we didn’t want to leave. A double room for a night can cost around $200. 98 Acres Resort – 98 Acres Resort is one of those places you must experience once in your life. It is worth splurging for a private villa with pool for the views will leave you breathless. This property located on 98 acres of tea gardens. This resort is nestled in the very picturesque town of Ella and overlooks little Adam’s Peak. This of this resort as the type of place you would go to for a retreat. Imagine waking up to this incredible view below: (The private villas with pool can start at $500 depending on the season). The Secret Ella – Sister property of the 98 Acres Resort, it’s clean, quiet and away from the town of Ella. The hotel is charming and small with individual cottage like housing. From the garden you can actually see the nine arches bridge. Views from the rooms are of the surrounding mountains and absolutely breathtaking. I had some of the best food here – especially the chicken curry and it’s 4-5 side dishes with rice was simply superb. This isn’t a typical 5-6 storey hotel, it’s again more of a chalet with a lovely infinity pool that overlooks the lush, green mountains. Rooms can start at $180.
FOOD
SriLankan cuisine has become one of my favorite types of foods primarily because of the flavors and spice levels! Born in India to a traditional Indian family, I grew up eating spicy and flavorful food so the SriLankan dishes definitely cater to my palette. Traditional dishes like the Kottu is Sri Lanka’s hamburger – fast, greasy and fun! It’s made with a type of roti known as godamba and served with a spicy sauce. Fish ambul thiyal (sour fish curry), is a dry curry fish and is best eaten with rice. The famous hoppers are delicious for breakfast and typically eaten with a coconut-based curry. Kiribath with lunu miris is not to be missed and it’s a special type of rice, cooked with thick coconut milk and served in mostly auspicious occasions although you can find it at any hotel. Pol Sambol (coconut relish), is one of my favorites and a blend of grated coconut, chillies, lime juice, salt and red onions and it’s a garnish for rice, roti or hoppers.
ONE WEEK ITINERARY
Colombo – Galle – Yala National Park – Ella – Nuwara Eliya – Kandy – Colombo
CITY LIFE – I landed in Colombo and felt quite adventurous so I decided to order an Uber. Turned out to be a great decision. My Uber driver was a pleasant man who spoke English and we had a great conversation about Sri Lanka including religion, the economy, lifestyle and infrastructure. I enjoyed Colombo – my hotel was sea facing and evening walks along the beach were a welcome respite from the heat. There were plenty of food vendors that have stalls on the beach and I saw a few localshaving evening snacks and perhaps even dinner at some of these spots. Just grab a chair at one of the tables on the beach near a stall and you’re good to go. Depending on when you visit Sri Lanka, the heat is quite stifling during the day so we chose to have late lunches in the afternoon to take advantage of the AC and stepped out early evenings for sightseeing. I loved the Gangaramaya Temple and Beira Lake. Other attractions include the National Museum, the Independence Memorial Hall, Galle Face Green, Sri Kailawasanathan Swami and the Devasthanam temple.
Gangaramaya Temple – This is a Buddhist temple and one of the loveliest I have seen. The temple is a combination of indoor rooms featuring life size Buddhas and other deities as well as a large Bodhi tree that people walk around with small jugs of water, as they meditate and pray to the tree. There’s also a library, what seems like a museum with statues, wood carvings, and cabinets filled with trinkets. Monks in orange robes stroll around or stand watch. There’s also a smaller temple structure outside which holds another life size white jade Buddha. This is a unique temple, not to be missed. The temple is not just a place of worship but also a place of learning. The temple is involved in welfare work including old peoples’ homes, a vocational school and an orphanage. The Simamalaka Shrine is designed by Geoffrey Bawa, one of the most influential, Asian architects of his generation. At the far end of the courtyard, several Buddha statues (Thai style) have been placed sequentially to greet the skyline.
Beira Lake – Adjacent to the temple is the vast Beira Lake that is green in color but the noteworthy aspect is the small island in the middle that has the Simamalaka Shrine. The lake also connects with other lakes through narrow canals and finally meets the Indian Sea. Historically, the lake was used for transporting goods within the city and interestingly enough the name Beira is actually Portuguese which means border in English. You can also rent swan shaped paddle boats onto the lake or just sit and people watch. Don’t miss the beautiful Buddha statues past the shrine. – Photo: (c) 2019 – Preethi Chandrasekhar of The Eager Traveler
BEACHES – Sri Lanka’s southern coast is filled with nothing but beaches and coconuts. This makes it the ideal location to spend a few days in one of the coastal towns such as Galle, Weligama or Mirissa. This beach has crystal clear warm waters and the north end of the beach is a surfer’s paradise. There’s also plenty of other beach towns such as Bentota, Unawatuna, Dickwella, Hikkaduwa and Arugam Bay. I stayed in Galle for a few days which is a coastal town known for its Galle fort and lighthouse. The city was founded by Portuguese colonists and many of the car-free streets reflect Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture. Some hotels will have private access to the beach and this is perfect for early morning walks. Pick one of the smaller beach towns and spend a few days to really feel the vibe.
Elephant herd at Yala National Park – Photo: (c) 2019 – Preethi Chandrasekhar of The Eager Traveler
WILDLIFE – Sri Lanka is also a haven for wildlife lovers. If you’re interested in whales, whale watching expeditions in the south and north are popular depending on the month you are visiting and the island is teeming with elephants waiting to be discovered at national parks such as Yala and Minneriya. As 13% of the island is conserved as national parks or sanctuaries, the biodiversity is stunning. Sri Lanka has 14 national parks and a wildlife safari through one of these parks is a must. I visited the popular Yala National Park to see the leopard but you can also spot elephants, sloth bears, spotted deer, hog, wild boars, giant squirrels, monkeys, jaguars, civet cats, loris etc. The island is an ornithologist’s paradise as it has over 233 species. Most hotels will help you book a safari or offer it as part of an all-inclusive package where usually one safari game drive per day is included in the overall package. The safari itself is typically contracted through an external company and will include a jeep, driver and a guide who is in constant communication with other guides through the park. This means if one spots a leopard or an elephant herd, most likely they will relay it to the other guides so your own guide will be able to direct the driver to that particular spot for the sighting. I didn’t see too many jeeps at any one given time, but in peak time this park can get really busy. Tip: Check out Wilpattu National Park in the north, it is also known for leopards and is much less touristy than Yala.
TEA – Sri Lanka is known for its tea production. It is in fact the livelihood for thousands of families. The country is the fourth-largest producer of tea and thanks to the humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall in the central highlands, the climate favors the production of high-quality of tea. In lower elevations like Galle with rainfall and warm temperature, the tea produced has a high level of astringent properties. The foundation of tea plantations began with a tea plant brought to Sri Lanka from China, then Assam, and Calcutta in India.
Nuwara Eliya – To visit the tea plantations and really immerse yourself in this area, I highly recommend a stay in a traditional colonial home or on a tea estate, surrounded by plantations in Nuwara Eliya. You can visit tea factories such as Heritance Tea Factory and even take part in picking tea to understand the process and production of tea. Nuwara Eliya is at an elevation and hence the temperature can be chilly so bundle up accordingly. The town itself is quite bustling and I went to a bakery to pick up a lovely marble cake one evening. I passed by a Buddhist temple and many stores on the sidewalk and noticed the similarity to India is startling. The Horton Plains National Park is a great place for an early morning hike and World’s End is a sheer cliff with a 4,000 feet drop off, within this park. The surrounding tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya – Photo: (c) 2019 – Preethi Chandrasekhar of The Eager Traveler
CULTURE AND HISTORY – Sri Lanka boasts a cultural heritage thousands of years old. This small island has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including Galle with its famous fort from the Dutch colonial era, Kandy, Sigiriya and the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, Dambulla cave temple, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and the Central Highlands.
Sigiriya: I enjoyed climbing the UNESCO site of Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress and one of Sri Lanka’s best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning. The extensive water, boulder and terraced gardens are a glimpse into a lavish past and the fortress ruins at the very top of the rock is another glimpse into what could have been. The views from the top are stunning.
The Dambulla Cave Temple: The cave temple is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. 5 separate caves consist about 150 Buddha statues, paintings and religious art. The views around the countryside are lovely and you can even spot Sigiriya in the distance. Views from the top of Sigiriya rock – Photo: (c) 2019 – Preethi Chandrasekhar of The Eager Traveler
ADVENTURE – Sri Lanka boats 1,600 km of coastline and is popular for wind-surfing, water-skiing, surfing, and scuba diving. There are also plenty of opportunities for kayaking and canoeing while the Kelani Ganga near Kitulgala has rapids that are great for white-water rafting. Hiking in the cloud-forests of Horton Plains, Adam’s Peak, the Knuckles, and Hakgala Strict Natural Reserve offer wonderful opportunities to experience nature. Don’t miss the views from the 9 Arches Bridge in Ella. The 9 Arches Bridge – Photo: (c) 2019 – Preethi Chandrasekhar of The Eager Traveler
Ella – Hiking Adam’s Peak and Little Adam’s Peak is not to be missed, especially at sunrise. Little Adam’s Peak is named after Adam’s Peak which is closer to Nuwara Eliya, 2243m high and a challenging hike. The path up to Little Adam’s Peak is right next to the 98 Acres Resort. Me and my friend took our guide/driver Sampath up with us around 4am in the morning and managed the hike with the light from our iphone. This peak is about 1141m and very easy to climb up. The views from the top are really spectacular at sunrise. On your way back down, stop at 98 Acres Resort’s outdoor restaurant for a snack or some Sri Lankan tea. About the Author:
Preethi Chandrasekhar is a freelance travel writer/influencer with a passion for sharing her travel stories to inspire people to explore more of this beautiful world. She’s interested in experiential travel and writes frequently about off the beaten path destinations. Follow her on Instagram and her blog, The Eager Traveler , for more of her travel pics and stories!

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The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Meats and Meat Substitutes – One Green PlanetOne Green Planet

The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Meats and Meat Substitutes 16.6K Views 4 days ago Lead Image Source : Grilled Buffalo Tofu Po’ Boy with Apple Slaw Support OneGreenPlanet Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please support us! Processing . . . Submit Please do not refresh the page and wait while we are processing your payment.
When I decided to give up meat, it was an impulsive decision that was many years in the making. You see, for most of my life I talked about wanting to be a vegetarian (I had not yet learned the term “vegan”) but I loved meat too much. It was what I ate at every meal every day. Then one day I watched a film about the animals that became the meat on my plate and I never ate another bite of any meat. That doesn’t mean, however, that I stopped loving the taste of meat or that I don’t miss it because over six years later, I still do. That’s why I make vegan versions of all my favorite meaty dishes. Because if I can have all dishes I love in a cruelty-free way, why wouldn’t I?
I make lots of veggie-centric dishes too but when I get cravings for something meaty, I turn to vegan foods that I can turn into delicious meaty meat-free dishes. There are lots of packaged vegan meats and meat substitutes you can buy but this guide is about using less processed foods to substitute for meat. I’m proof that it is completely possible to go from being a big meat-eater to a satisfied, happy meatless vegan. Here is the ultimate guide to vegan meats and meat substitutes. Advertisement 1. Tofu
Tofu is a great substitute for meats including pork, chicken, beef, and seafood in recipes. It’s made from soybeans and is high in protein and calcium. Tofu has been a staple of Asian cuisine for ages, but most people think of tofu when they hear the words “vegetarian” and “vegan.” Tofu gets a bad rap as being soft, spongy, bland, and tasteless, but that doesn’t have to be true. Buy extra-firm tofu and press the heck out of it. Or, freeze it and then press it. Tofu can be as firm and chewy as meat. It also has an amazing ability to absorb flavors through spices and marinades , so be liberal with seasoning before cooking it. Read more about 6 Tips that Will Make You Love Tofu , 7 Steps to Make the Perfect Tofu Dish and Tofu: How to Avoid 5 Common Cooking Mistakes and then try these recipes: Crispy Tofu Nuggets , Tofu Pot Pie Casserole , Tofu “Shrimp” Scampi , Grilled Buffalo Tofu Po’ Boy with Apple Slaw , Badass Vegan “Fish” Sandwich , Vegan Tofu “Scallops ,” General Tso’s Tofu and even Vegan “Liverwurst.” You can also learn How to Make Epic Vegan BBQ Tofu Wings and 10 Ways to Cook Tofu with Global Flavors . 2. Tempeh
Tempeh is firmer than tofu and has a more grainy texture. It is made from fermented soybeans and has a nutty flavor. It’s packed with protein as well as fiber, calcium, and vitamins. One of the advantages to cooking with tempeh is that you don’t have to press it. Just slice it, dice it, or grind it up in a food processor. If you find tempeh to be a bit bitter, however, try steaming it for a few minutes before using it. I find tempeh to be the perfect texture to emulate fish in recipes. It also is a great substitute for ground beef in chilies and other dishes. For tips on cooking with tempeh, check out How to Use Tempeh and What it’s Best Paired With and 6 Amazing Ways to Eat Tempeh . Try tempeh in these recipes: Tempeh “Fish” and Chips , Tempeh “Crab” Cakes , Tempeh “Tuna” Salad , Tempeh Piccata , Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs , Vegan and Gluten-Free Tempeh Meatballs , Vegan Tempeh Gyros , Butternut Squash Tacos with Tempeh Chorizo , Balsamic BBQ Tempeh Ribs , Vegan Sloppy Joes , Vegan Tempeh Reuben Sandwiches , and Gingery Maple Glazed Tempeh on Baby Greens Salad . For more ideas, check out 25 Super-Rad Recipes Made with Tempeh . 3. Seitan
If gluten is not an issue for you, turn to seitan for the most meat-like texture. Seitan is processed wheat gluten and it is a great source of protein. Depending on how you flavor it, seitan can be similar to chicken, beef, or pork. Seitan has a dense, chewy texture that can hold up to grilling, frying, braising, or anything else you want to do with it. You can buy it in stores, but don’t be intimidated. It’s not as hard to make seitan as you might think. Read How to Make Perfect Seitan and then try these delicious dishes made with seitan: Seitan Steak with Beurre Blanc Sauce , Seitan Pot Roast , Balsamic BBQ Seitan Ribs , Homemade Seitan Hot Dogs , Homemade Vegan Italian Sausage , Seitan Kebabs with Sangria Tomato Salad , Seitan Portobello Stew , Seitan and Mushroom Bourguignon , Seitan Wellington with Creamy Spinach Sauce , and “Chicken” Green Chili with Hominy Posole. 4. Textured Vegetable Protein Advertisement
TVP or texturized vegetable protein is an inexpensive, easy to use ingredient. It’s dehydrated soy, and once you rehydrate it, you can do just about anything with it. It comes in granules or chunks. You can use it for ground beef dishes, to make cutlets, or delicious burgers and meatloaves. It is also listed sometimes as TSP or texturized soy protein. Get The Low-down on Textured Vegetable Protein (with Product Picks and Recipes!) . Try this delicious vegan Irish “Lamb” Stew , this lovely Chik’n Salad With Cranberries and Pistachios , Tacos Sin Carne and Mini BBQ Soy Curl Taco Bowls With Pickled Onions . 5. Gluten-Free, Vegan Meat Advertisement
When I became gluten-free, I really missed seitan. I searched the web for gluten-free seitan recipes, tried them all and was thoroughly disappointed. So I set out to make my own gluten-free version of seitan. That’s how my baby, V-Meat , was born along with its siblings, V-Chicken , V-Turkey , and V-Sausage. The recipe uses several different flours and proteins to make a vegan meat that has a texture similar to seitan and can be flavored multiple ways for versatility. It can be sliced, rolled, made into cutlets, chunks or links and can be used in lots of recipes. I have used it to make French Dip Sandwiches, vegan “chicken” and “turkey” cutlets, and even Thanksgiving dinner. Read Finally! A Gluten-Free, Plant-based Meat Recipe to learn how to make V-Meat and then check out the recipes for Gluten-Free Vegan Chicken and Gluten-Free Vegan Turkey . 6. Jackfruit Advertisement
Yes, I said a fruit. Jackfruit may be a healthy tropical fruit, but its texture and mild taste make it a wonderful stand-in for meat. If you want the jackfruit to be chewier, just roast it on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Other than a slight sweet taste, almost like pineapple, the jackfruit is pretty much a blank canvas, so you can use whatever spice and flavor panels you like best – Indian, Mexican, Chinese, etc. It can be used to make pulled “pork” or BBQ jackfruit. Learn all about it in Have You Tried Cooking with Jackfruit Yet? Get Started with These Recipes including my recipes for Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches and Jackfruit Ropa Vieja . 7. Mushrooms
When you want that savory, meaty taste, that umami , mushrooms are the way to go. Their flavor is rich, earthy, and meaty, especially cremini or Portobello mushrooms. They are healthy and filling and can replace meat in any recipe. They can stand in for meat to make Mushroom and Walnut Chopped “Liver” Pate or for sliced meat to make a Mushroom Philly Cheesesteak . Try mushrooms in this Mushroom Stroganoff or as a vegan “Lamb” Burger . You won’t miss the meat in these Portobello Mushroom Burgers , Portobello Wellington , Shitake Bacon , Garlic Portobello Meatless Balls , Mushroom Mutter Masala , and Portobello Mushroom Steaks . For more recipes, see 10 Delicious Ways to Cook with Mushrooms . 8. Lentils Advertisement
Lentils have always been a stand-in for meat since the beginning of veganism. Lentils are hearty and can replace ground beef easily. Lentils come in a variety of colors such as green, red, brown, and black. They cook up quickly, are inexpensive, and a small amount goes a long way. Read 10 Delicious Ways to Eat Lentils and then try Red Lentil Burgers with Kale Pesto , Lentil Meatballs , Double Decker Lentil Tacos , Hearty Lentil and Brown Rice Burgers , BBQ Lentil Meatball Sandwich , Lentil Tacos , Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie and South Indian Lentil Stew . 9. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are inexpensive, healthy, filling, and there are so many to choose from: black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, aduki beans, navy beans, chickpeas, split peas, peanuts and black-eyed peas, to name just a few. Beans make hearty soups, stews, and chilis that will taste meaty without the meat. Read 10 Ways to Cook Beans with Global Flavors and then try Hearty Hoppin’ John Sliders with Lemon Aioli Sauce and Sauteed Greens , Hoisin Black Bean Burgers , Black-Eyed Pea Italian Sausages , Chickpea “Tuna” Salad , Three Bean and Sweet Potato Chili , Black Bean, Corn and Walnut Vegan Burger , Vegan Spicy Italian Sausage , and Kidney Bean Walnut Burgers with Mississippi Comeback Sauce . 10. Other Foods
Other foods that can substitute for meat include eggplant, cauliflower, potatoes, beets and coconut. Eggplant has a rich, meaty taste and it’s very versatile. If you think you’re not a fan of eggplant, read 10 Ways to Cook with Eggplant and then try it in these Eggplant Crunchburgers , Vegan Mozzarella-Stuffed Eggplant Meatballs , crispy Eggplant Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce , and spiralized Eggplant Noodles . Cauliflower is highly underrated even as a vegetable but amazingly, it can also stand-in for meat. Read Do You Really Know How to Cook Cauliflower? Here are 10 Ways and then try Orange Cauliflower , Sweet and Sour Cauliflower , Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Bites , and Cauliflower Piccata . Beets are nature’s candy. They are sweet and delicious and perfect for salads , but they have another side to them. Beets are also earthy and work well in savory dishes that usually have meat. Amaze your guests with a beautiful platter of Beet Carpaccio and then treat them to Roasted Beet Burgers with Cumin-Scented Ketchup. For more recipes, see 10 Ways to Cook with Beets . Potatoes are hearty, satisfying and versatile. You can mash them, fry them, boil them, bake them, or roast them. Turn them into burgers like this Spicy Potato Cauliflower Burger , Sweet Potato and Kale Patties and this Moussaka Burger with Béchamel Cheese Sauce . For more ideas, see 10 Global Ways to Cook with Potatoes and Got Sweet Potatoes? Here are 10 Ways to Cook with Them .
It is totally possible for meat-lovers to eat satisfying, meaty foods without giving up their healthy, compassionate plant-based diet. For even more tips and ideas, see 5 Tips to Make Meatless Food Taste Meaty , 10 Vegetables that Can Substitute for Meat , and 10 Vegetables You Can Make Burgers With . And when someone inevitably asks you why you’re vegan if you want to eat meaty foods, tell them it’s because you can be both compassionate and satisfied at the same time and that’s a win-win. BONUS Recommendation: Download the Food Monster App
If you enjoy articles and recipes like these and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App . For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone . It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.
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Sheffield seafood experience reeled in for new city food hall line-up

Sheffield seafood experience reeled in for new city food hall line-up Christian Szurko, of JH Mann Fishmongers, Sharrow Vale Road, with a scallop and salmon platter. Published: 11:44 Thursday 14 February 2019 Share this article A Sheffield fishmonger which has become a popular lunch spot is the latest trader to be confirmed for a new city food hall.
JH Mann on Sharrow Vale Road offers customers the chance to eat their fresh seafood – selected from their heaving fish counters – and sample wines in the charm of their shop.
Now Kommune, which will be Sheffield’s second food hall for independent street food traders when it takes over the former Castle House close to Castlegate, will be the new home for JH Mann’s second venue.
Expect dishes such as mackerel Scotch eggs, wild bass and squid risotto, smoked salmon breakfasts and more to be on the menu.
Owner Christian Szurko said: “We’ve been looking for a site for ages and then Kommune approached us about six months ago. There will be a lot more scope to do different dishes there.”
There have been several traders confirmed for Kommune since the first announcement was made at the beginning of the year.
Chaat Cart, Fat Hippo and The Depot Bakery are also to join Sheffield favourites Pom Kitchen, Hop Hideout and Shoot The Bull.
Chaat Cart will be providing their South Indian inspired cuisine which has won awards in Manchester whilst Fat Hippo are bringing indulgent burgers from their birthplace, Newcastle. Kelham Island brunch hotspot The Depot Bakery will focus on a new range of patisserie products alongside a few classics. An opening date for Kommune has yet to be confirm ed. If you’re single or have forgotten Valentine’s Day here’s seven lovely things you can do in Sheffield Trending Championship transfer rumours: Sheffield Wednesday snubbed by ex-Celtic star | Sheffield United ace wanted by European trio | £10.5m striker wants Leeds move | Updates on Aston Villa, Norwich, Bristol City Tributes pour in for Sheffield Wednesday fan who died after watching Barcelona to celebrate his 50th birthday #TeamJack teenagers run every single day in January, in memory of their friend This is why Borussia Dortmund fans were all talking about Sheffield United this weekend Sam Hutchinson on Sheffield Wednesday’s chances of reaching playoffs Follow Us On

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