And just like that, 10 months of my expat wife stint passed by in a flash. I guess we are really grateful to have this experience of living in Geneva. It really was the perfect springboard to many of our adventures around Europe. And the icing on the cake to mark the end of ‘Swiss life’? A dining experience at noma!

noma has been ranked as ‘The World’s Best Restaurant” for 2 years in the running now since 2010. As you would imagine, reservations would be rather difficult to secure. So when E managed to secure reservations for a party of 15 and sent us an invite along for the dinner, the Man said yes without much hesitation.


Continue reading

Table for one, please!

This was what I proudly said to my server when I arrived at Bar Boulud London on a Thursday night. ‘Table for one?‘. Heck, make that dining for one – a concept that would be totally shunned by yours truly years ago.  But something that I’m comfortable with doing now.  Yikes, could this be a function of aging?

The Man was in London for a work trip, I tagged along but couldn’t join him for his work dinner.  So it was either going to be room service or suck it in and enjoy dining in one of the celebrity restaurants at the hotel that we were staying in.

Dining alone?  Would you do it?  As mentioned earlier, it was something I never dreamed I could do.  ‘It was a ‘loser’ kind of thing to do.’ or ‘I’d rather dine at home alone than be seen dining in a restaurant on my own!’, the younger version of me would say.  The ‘mean girl’ version of me could also say ‘Look! That person is pathetic to dine on her own!’

The concept of dining alone became comfortable only when I moved to Tokyo.  The city was vibrant and I noticed that many girls actually dined on their own.  I took baby steps, first, dining in a fast-food joint on my own, then having coffee on my own in a crowded cafe and lastly dining on my own in a nice little restaurant.  I was warming up to this concept and could enjoy a leisurely lunch by myself in this city without inviting stares.

It was a Thursday evening and  Bar Boulud was crowded so I was half-expecting a counter seat.  Instead, I was shown to a table situated rather centrally in the room.  Suddenly, I felt a little conscious.  ‘Could I really do this?’  My server asked again, ‘Are you sure you are dining alone?’  ‘Yes.’ and affirmed further with a nod.  ‘I’ll bring you a paper’, she smiled and cleared the remaining cutlery off the table.  Well, I guess she probably felt sorry for me.

But you know what?  Dinner on my own here in Bar Boulud didn’t turn out all too bad.  I had the paper; I had my iPad (as a back-up; I had my iPhone; I had my camera – I had things that could clearly be my ‘companion’ for a simple meal.  So, I surveyed the menu, picked out a starter and a main for myself.  Then moved on to the wine list and selected 2 glasses of wine – a white and a red – for the meal.  The Cevelas Lyonnais en Brioche as a starter was really yummy.  It was a Lyonnais pork sausage with pistachios and truffle stuffed and baked in a brioche.  I kinda wished that I had someone to share this with for it felt a little too big for me as a starter.

For the mains, was feeling a little greedy and since Bar Boulud is pretty much famous for its burgers, I went with the Piggie burger with BBQ pulled pork, green chili mayonnaise served on a cheddar bun.  Server recommended that I add on sides with the burger, so I chose the fries to accompany the dish.  Was pretty pleased with my choice for the burger along with the pulled pork, it was simply amazing.  The green chili mayonnaise was special too but not too overpowering.

So, there.. my dinner for one on a solo night out about vibrant London.  Didn’t turned out all too bad and people-watching from my side of the table made it a fun and interesting evening for me as well.  🙂

The Man’s ideal weekend getaway..

often involves wine and food.  We had grand plans for another snowboarding trip to the mountains for our second last weekend in Geneva but I got really sick so the Man decided that it should be a weekend filled with good food and wine then.  He booked us a last minute stay at Chateau de Gilly.  Our BEST friends loaned us their car and some 2.5 hours later, we arrived at Burgundy.

I later learned that Château de Gilly is a former residence of 14th-century monks.  It’s location was ideal for it was situated between Dijon and Beaune. The hotel has preserved its authentic 14th and 16th-century character, reflected in its moats, French-style gardens and a dining room with a magnificent vaulted ceiling.

After checking in the hotel, we decided to drive to the nearby Gevrey Chambertin village to do a little wine tasting.  But we were disappointed with the wine offerings.  So off to Nuits-Saint Georges it was to try and buy up some bottles of wine.  The Man was pleased with his haul.  Among his buys, I guess one of the most unique bottles that we purchased was a 1977 bottle of Gevrey Chambertin.  Definitely took a risk with the buy but I’m hoping that it would be memorable when we do get to taste it.  😉

Took a rest in the hotel before heading off to dinner at the Le Clos Prieur, which was conveniently situated within the hotel premises.  Despite feeling extremely sick, I was still pretty excited about the dinner for the Le Clos Prieur restaurant has 3 stars in the Gault & Milau 2010 guide, furthermore, it is set in a former 14th-century wine cellar with an extraordinary architectural design.

We took the degustation (5-course meal) menu.  It was generally pretty good but the below dishes really left a striking impression on my taste-buds.

The foie gras terrain that’s coated with dark hazelnut chocolate.  It sounded a little queer but taste-wise, it was absolutely divine!

The restaurant’s signature dessert – Tirmaisu.  Although I thought it was more of a deconstructed tiramisu.  The Man didn’t really think too highly of the dessert but I loved the crunchy hazelnut biscuit part.  I’m hardly a chocolate or sweets kind of gal but the crunchy bits kinda sealed the deal for me.

I wished I was feeling a lot better to fully enjoy the dinner.  In between the courses, try as I might but I simply couldn’t stop the coughing spell.  It gotten so bad that I thought I was probably a nuisance to the other patrons for the evening.  😦

All in all, it was a relaxing weekend getaway in one of our favourite regions in France.

A great meal in Venice

Traveling with our foodie friend meant only one thing, we were very well-fed during our stay in Venice. While having our pre-dinner drinks, the men chanced upon this bistro and decided to book it the very next day for lunch.

After missing out the private museum tour because it was conducted primarily in French with no translation, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon with a long leisure lunch before dressing up for the gala event.

For starters, I had the scallops served over mashed brocoli with cream of pumpkin and black truffle. As strange as it may sound, it the flavours surprisingly all blended in harmony. For the main, I chose a eel with seaweed pasta. Was really looking forward to the dish but it kinda disappointed. The freshwater eel was rather bland and the seaweed ended up looking like a mess on the plate of pasta. The Man’s duck fillet was a far better choice.

But having said that it still made for a very lovely meal. I guess the wine and company mattered more.

Bistrot de Venise
Address: Calle dei Fabbri, San Marco, 4685, 30124 Venizia
Tel: +39 041 5236651


One of the most striking features about Venice has got to be their mode of transportation – the gondola.

The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat that’s well suited for Venice.  For centuries, gondolas were the  means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice. In modern times,  these iconic boats still play quite an important role in public transport within the city.

Check out the narrow water-ways in Venice, skill is definitely high on the list for gondoliers need to steer their gondolas or boats through this.  If you are lucky, you might just get a gondolier who will serenade to you with his soulful voice.

And after all the hard work of maneuvering and/or singing, you can be sure to find them hard at play too.

Ah well, such is life!  🙂