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4 Reasons to Travel in July


From a restaurant in Macau with no menu to a new culinary hub in Yangon, these are the reasons to travel in July.

Published on Jun 18, 2019

This Macau restaurant has no menu, and that’s exactly why you should go.


Fried tilefish with egg whites and crab “coral,” just one creation from Yi.

When Macau’s shiny new Zaha Hadid–designed Morpheus hotel opened last year to great fanfare, Yi restaurant (cityofdreamsmacau.com; mains from MOP168) sidled into the property’s 21st-floor, glass-walled skybridge, quietly but confidently positioning itself as one of the most innovative Chinese fine-diners in the city. Led by acclaimed chef de cuisine Angelo Wong (he also opened Howard’s Gourmet in Beijing), the restaurant has a “non-menu” omakase-style concept, with daily-changing tasting menus that combine regional Chinese cooking techniques and super-fresh, whatever-is-in-season produce (the restaurant doesn’t have a freezer, it’s ingredients are that green). Daily plates have included succulent roast pigeon smoked with lemongrass, or a fried tilefish on a bed of crab “coral” made recently for a six-hands dinner with the head chef of Hong Kong’s Tate Dining Room, Vicky Lau. Based on the classic Chinese philosophy of Yi (a belief that nourishment leads to wellness and good fortune), the thoughtful menu by Wong and executive chef Wilson Fam is one to remember… just don’t expect it to be regular. — ELOISE BASUKI

 

A heritage row in the former Burmese capital gives us food envy.

Lined with crumbling fin-de-siècle buildings, Rangoon’s Pansodan Road transports visitors back to the former capital’s colonial yesteryears. But now, on-trend restaurants are breathing new life into the heritage edifices that once housed government offices and banks. Take a stroll down the avenue’s imperfect pavement, where you’ll also pass by stalls selling secondhand books and women carrying baskets of fruit on their heads, to these spots that have made Pansodan the city’s celebrated culinary hub. — VERONICA INVEEN

1. THE PANSODAN


At stylish The Pansodan.

From its chevron marble flooring to the glimmering gold leaf–capped ceiling, this new buzz-worthy restaurant is a journey to a bygone age. Dressed as an old colonial brasserie, The Pansodan serves traditional Burmese dishes with a European flair—think mutton bone marrow and Burmese pâté. Some of Rangoon’s most creative culinary minds are behind the menu: the place was founded by Pun + Projects, the same team responsible for cool haunts like drinking house Port Autonomy (portautonomy.com; mains from K14,000) and pub-grub eatery 50th Street (50thstreetyangon.com; mains from K10,000). thepansodan.com; mains from K11,000.

2. CAFE DEJA BREW

This humble little shop only uses Burmese coffee beans, which is increasingly rare around the city. Here, you can count on a solid latte, but don’t be afraid to opt for specialties like the Sunkist-presso, a refreshing concoction with fresh orange juice and espresso. fb.com/cafedejabrew.mm.

3. GEKKO


Cocktail hour at Gekko.

In Japanese, gekko means “moonshine,” but don’t fret, the drink menu at this Nippon focused diner sticks to high-end bottles of sake and Japanese whisky, plus cocktail recipes from the mixologists at Singapore’s 28 HongKong Street. It all pairs well with charcoal-fired yakitori or crunchy bites of gyoza, but the restaurant, which is housed in a grandiose building built in 1906, also offers a few worthy Korean and Vietnamese dishes. gekkoyangon.com; mains from K12,000.

4. RANGOON TEA HOUSE


A pour at Rangoon Tea House. 

A hipster spin-off of a traditional Burmese teahouse, this eatery draws as many locals as expats. With a white-tiled coffee bar, leather couches, and walls that feature black-and-white photos from Rangoon’s past, the upscale-cozy surrounds complement a diverse menu spanning Burmese favorites like mohinga noodle soup and lahpet thoke (tea leaf salad), and fancified bao bun sandwiches and chicken-tandoori wraps. fb.com/rangoonteahouse; mains from K9,500.

5. SOFEAR AND CO


Chicken roti at Sofaer and Co.

The cobalt-blue façade of this hip spot is hard to miss, but go for the eclectic Southeast Asian bites. Here, burgers range from soft-shell crab with papaya salad to chicken katsu with morning glory. More traditional plates include Vietnamese bun cha and Burmese banana blossom salad. fb.com/sofaerandco; mains from K9,500.

This five-star Vietnamese retreat makes dinnertime a family affair.


Courtesy of The Anam.

They may have no Michelin stars, they might not rank on any best restaurant lists, and, well, they’re not even trained as chefs, but the cooks who infiltrate the kitchen twice weekly at The Anam Cam Ranh have something even more special to offer: a heaping portion of motherly love. Armed with their centuries-old Vietnamese recipes, three moms of members of The Anam’s full-time staff take over the cooking station at the resort’s Lang Viet restaurant every Wednesday and Friday for “Mama’s Cooking.”


Vietnamese menus made by mamas.

Take in the outdoor, tropical vibe as you watch the skilled matriarchs Nguyen Thi Phuong, Nguyen Thi Nhiem and Vo Thi Xuan Huu cook traditional bo nuong la lot (grilled beef in betel leaf), bun bo Hue and banh xeo. And with new twobedroom spa villas adding a decadent draw to the Long Beach property, you’ll have no choice but to make yourself at home. theanam.com; Mama’s Cooking VND780,000 per person; two-bedroom spa villas from VND17,200,000 for up to four guests, including daily spa treatments. — E.B.

Twenty years in the making, this Singaporean caviar brand has finally hit consumer shelves.


Courtesy of Cavier Colony.

Utilizing the fresh springwater that flows from the hills of Yunnan province and Chinese sturgeon from the Amur River that borders Russia’s far east, Singaporean Benjamin Goh’s caviar is now ready for your aperitivo hour. Swimming in 800 hectares of farmland in Yunnan that Goh invested in four years ago, his sturgeon are fed an organic, antibiotic-free blend of traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, salmon oil, deep sea shrimp, fish and nutritional supplements, and should be harvested at a minimum of 10 years old before they can yield the best-quality caviar. All the long-game nurturing is finally paying off. Five species of sturgeon create Caviar Colony’s range, including the buttery and briny Amur; the Kaluga, the most expensive at S$110 per 10 grams; and the AI -developed Russian Hybrid, which offer bursts of fruity sweetness. You can buy the caviar online later this year and soon at Singaporean restaurants Alma, Meta, Nouri, Pollen and 28 Wilkie. — E.B

 

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