Learn the art (and the science) behind the perfect cup of coffee

Despite an unrelenting stream of coffee shop openings over the past year or so, it is still surprisingly difficult to find a decent cup of coffee in Myanmar – unless your idea of decent is three-in-one. Buying beans and grinding them at home is often the safest way – but where do you find a…

The Strand Restaurant: A spellbinding reinvention

I have had the misfortune of meeting many chefs. A lot of them are everything you’d expect them to be: Smug, self-congratulatory types with such a deluded sense of their own fabulousness that they make Donald Trump look like a humble wallflower. Very few, it has to be said, are as likeable as Christian Martena,…

At Mr Jones’ Orphanage, parents’ nightmares come true

Readers of Charles Dickens would be forgiven for thinking orphanages are rather joyless places, but anyone who has visited Mr Jones’ Orphanage in Bangkok will know that they can in fact be splendiferous places of extreme bliss, filled with giant teddy bears, mountains of chocolate lava cake and miniature bottles of strawberry milk. Good news…

An unexpected taste of Sri Lanka in Yangon

Invite me to a dinner party and it won’t be long before I’m boring the ears off anyone who will listen about the wonders of Sri Lankan food. Needless to say, I don’t get invited to dinner parties very often. Given my fondness for the stuff, I don’t need to tell you how delighted I…

Cocktails with a view at Yangon’s hottest rooftop bar

When writing this blog, I often think that I could save myself hours sitting behind a laptop, agonising over adjectives to describe foie gras or synonyms for “moist”, if I could simply write “Great, Go!” or, “Rubbish, avoid!” and leave it at that. Suffice to say, swanky rooftop bar Atlas can definitely be summed up…

Refreshingly unfamiliar Indian cuisine at The Marina

If there’s one problem with Indian restaurant The Marina, it’s surely that it’s an Indian restaurant called The Marina. Admittedly there are worse names for an Indian place (I once got taken on a date to The Swastika) but still, in a game of Guess the Menu, you’re not going to be winning any prizes….

Fine dining without the faff at The Yangon Restaurant

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear: The Yangon Restaurant isn’t cheap. In fact, if the thought of spending over US$100 on dinner makes you choke on your noodle salad, you may as well look away now. It is, however, one of the best dining experiences I’ve had this year, so if you’ve made it this…

South Indian flavours at Mangalam

On a recent visit to India, having gone to great lengths to escape the conversations about yoga and “finding oneself” that inevitably arise in the company of other travellers, I found myself sitting alone one evening in a small South Indian restaurant on the outskirts of Jaipur. As I glanced over the menu, the woman…

Offbeat eats at The Black Hat

To the uninitiated visitor, Yangon restaurants are often said to fall into one of three categories: Not bad; not bad for the price; and downright horrific. We firmly suspected The Black Hat Burmese Tapas Wine Bar and Restaurant would be in the latter group, if only because any restaurant that tries to be so many…

A grape escape on the Strand dinner cruise

Back when I was a young 20-something, with holier-than-thou ideals and second-hand Dr. Martens, I’d have considered a US$140 six-course menu with six wine pairings to be a bit poncy. I mean, who really likes foie gras? As it turns out, I do. I like foie gras. And just abotu everything else aboard the Strand…

Thai food with a side of comedy at Eatfinity

I am unsure at what stage in the course of human evolution we decided that drinking out of light bulbs was cool. Nevertheless, here I find myself, squabbling with a server in newly opened restaurant Eatfinity about whether a light bulb is an appropriate receptacle in which to serve my Thai milk tea. Edison must…

A boutique brunch at the Savoy

Brunch wasn’t a thing when I was growing up — not in the UK, at least. These days, of course, brunch is everywhere, and the weekend wouldn’t be the weekend without a bottomless-booze fest and 237 varieties of cheesecake. I can almost hear my mother’s nose wrinkling up at the voraciousness of it all from across…