I returned yesterday from a business trip to Tokyo. In my current job, I’ve travelled there frequently, enough to call it home away from home. With all things food, Tokyo is my paradise city. London and New York may claim greater diversity of world cuisines under their roofs, but for sheer quality, Tokyo is supreme. … Continue reading For relaxing times, make it Suntory time
It is not uncommon logic for one country’s cuisine to reinvent itself while setting up shop in another country. Eateries create menus likeliest to make sense to local eating sensibilities. Techniques, ingredients and presentation are all fine-tuned to furnish a midpoint experience between authentic and approachable. Emigrant Chinese restaurateurs took this approach to its very … Continue reading International Dateline Hotel
It might seem a time-worn cliché to open Italy with a mafia theme, but The Godfather is not your average cliché. A compound tapestry of gangster psychology, immigrant experience and family values, the book and later the films transcended their commercial success. They influenced popular culture in significant and sometimes unforeseen ways. In a case … Continue reading No cappuccino after 11 a.m.
Mikhail Gorbachev was in and out of my life in the 80s. The newspaper introduced us. Chernenko dead. Gorbachev the new General Secretary. Next year, he came to India on a state visit. The Soviet Cultural Centre in Madras held an art competition for school students, themed “Portrait of Mikhail Gorbachev”. I submitted a drawing. … Continue reading Katerina, Lyudmila, Antonina
Summer officially ends on September 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet the London September summer is only in name, unmasked by the tell-tale signs that emerge this time of year. No more endless twilights. T-Shirts out, light jackets in. Sniffles and coughs reverberate around the tube. There is the usual hand-wringing about whether it is … Continue reading I feeling to lime
The winner of the Carbuncle Cup for 2017 was announced earlier this week. I first heard of this award during my Syria blog, even got a roadside viewing of a past nominee. This year, the winner is Nova Victoria, another one of London’s very own. The Carbuncle Cup, an unsought and undesirable accolade, is given … Continue reading Grandfather Crocodile
The Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge is home to a rather unusual resident. Five years ago, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks sought asylum here, fleeing from charges brought against him by three different countries. Since then, he has not stepped outside the building. The entire affair has drawn attention from an eclectic set – politicians baying for … Continue reading Panama Hat