Blue Valentine at Shanghai Blue 1920 – Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Jakarta restaurant Shanghai Blue 1920 takes old-school romantics back to a livelier, jazzier time – back to the days of the original Shanghai Tea House, a warung-turned-full-scale-restaurant. With jazz music courtesy of the Shanghai Jazz Band and Nita Aartsen Project, Shanghai Blue 1920 harks back to its storied predecessor on Sunda Kelapa, a bustling tea house and restaurant run by a Shanghainese immigrant and his Indonesian wife. The Blue Valentine special will be served on February 14: lovers who attend My Blue Valentine will enjoy a four-course dinner and a glass of sparkling wine, for IDR 498,000 (US$53) per couple. Shanghai Blue 1920 preserves the memory of the Shanghai Tea House with original pieces of the restaurant on site, the lively jazz stylings of its … [...]

New Restaurant Review, and Southeast Asia Serving Sizes.

Ole’s Steak Palomillo. The steak is hidden under the ensalada of parsley and onions. Image © Mike Aquino, licensed to When I was in the U.S. a few years ago, I happened upon a Filipino restaurant that had this sign in the window: SERVES 2-3 AMERICANS (4-5 FILIPINOS) Maybe you Yanks don’t realize this, but we have smaller servings of food in Southeast Asia. One cup of rice and about a handful of meat or vegetables is what you’ll usually get in most places around here, whether you’re at a hawker’s stall in Singapore or a pho stand in Vietnam. So this puts me in a bind when I write restaurant reviews: do I say that a certain serving size is adequate, when it’s enough for a meal plus takeout for the locals? I still haven’t really decided. In any case, my latest restaurant review for … [...]

A Weekend at the Rock: Corregidor, Philippines.

Image © Mike Aquino, licensed to Manila walking tour artist Carlos Celdran is, once again, teaming up with Sun Cruises to re-introduce the island fortress of Corregidor to travelers with a weekend to spare. I ventured forth myself a while back (check out our Corregidor tour for images of how it went down) and loved it. The World War II Japanese invasion and the American reconquest may have wiped the tight-knit Corregidor community from the face of the earth, but the buildings remain to remind us of the world this island once knew, and lost. Is it all … [...]

Conrad Centennial’s Chinese New Year Lucky Feasts.

For this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations, the Conrad Centennial Singapore ‘s Golden Peony restaurant promises no less than the apogee of Chinese cuisine: contemporary Cantonese dishes and inventive dim sum creations prepared by the finest Hong Kong chefs. Between February 1 and 28, the Golden Peony’s chefs recommend a few specialty dishes come the Lunar New Year: house specialty Prosperity Claypot or Poon Choy (S$288 for 4 persons), combines shark’s fin, abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, dried oyster, black Chinese mushroom, black moss and Chinese cabbage under a toothsome abalone sauce. If you care for a bit more adventure, try the Monkfish and Snow Fungus steamed in Chinese Herbal Broth (S$18 per… [...]

Valentine’s/New Year’s Treat from Maya Ubud Resort & Spa.

Image © Maya Ubud Resort & Spa, used with permission. Chinese New Year this year falls on Valentine’s Day, February 14. To celebrate this rare conjunction of prosperity and romance, Maya Ubud Resort and Spa in Bali, Indonesia offers a unique package for guests for the whole month of February – whether they’re in town for Chinese New Year or for a Valentine’s getaway. Ask for the Ubud February Celebration package, which gets you and your lucky companion the following: Accommodations, transportation: 3 days – 2 nights accommodation Private airport transfer service Free shuttle service to Central Ubud from 9am to 5pm Welcome drink and fragrant chilled towel upon arrival Dining and drinking: Daily buffet breakfast Fresh fruit selection and Balinese flower arrangement in room Complimentary… [...]