Tokyo’s Butagumi – For Pork Cutlet Lovers, This Place Takes the Bacon

Butagumi pork cutlet

A friend just asked me for some restaurant recommendations in Tokyo and although there are numerous great places to eat, I always make a point of going to tonkatsu (pork cutlet) specialist Butagumi. This is seriously gourmet tonkatsu where you get to choose the type of pork you want. Butagumi describes the taste of the various kinds of pork in their menu (light, rich, flavourful, etc.), with cuts that come from all over Japan as well as overseas, including Berkshire, Iberico and Bigorre....

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Melbourne’s The Kettle Black – Good Design and Brunch

A good reason to go back to The Kettle Black

Melbourne seems to be awash with a number of good breakfast/brunch cafes currently and one-year old The Kettle Black has great decor, service, and food. I came here after an overnight flight from Singapore so it was just nice to be out walking and with a good cup of coffee. But what instantly struck me about The Kettle Black is its welcoming interior design - fresh white walls and muted citrus tones and lots of natural light - and helpful staff.

Located not far from the CBD near the...

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Lake Garda’s Ristorante Beati – Meal with a View

Ristorante Beati sits overlooking Lake Garda

We swung by Lake Garda for dinner at Ristorante Beati, a pretty romantic restaurant with nice views, while en route back to Verona from the Alto Adige. The restaurant has a nice setting, overlooking Lake Garda and serves a seafood favored menu. We chose the restaurant due in part to positive reviews but also because it wasn't all the way in town so access to the A22 expressway to Verona was quicker.

The restaurant was much swankier than we anticipated but the staff were very...

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Alto Adige – Italy’s Austrian Wines and Scenery to Boot

A church among the vines in the Alto Adige

Alto Adige or Sudterrol (to the local Tyrolleans) is a piece of Austria in northern Italy complete with alpine landscapes and crisp white wines such as the Gewürztraminer. This was the second last stop in our April wine tour of Italy. Our trip had taken us from the well known Tuscan wines to the heel of Italy on Mt. Etna and refined Amarones around Verona, but this is an area with its own lingo and culture.

We drove to St. Paul's winery in the Alto Adige from Verona, around...

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Verona – Amarone Tasting and a Twilight Walk

Restaurants by the Verona Arena

I knew nothing about Amarone so our visit to winemaker Nicolis this past April was a most enjoyable education particularly when accompanied by copious amounts of food and wine at dinner and a twilight walk in Verona. The tasting of good Amarone also debunked my view that this wine tends to be sweet. It was, in fact, one of the nicer red wines we tried on our wine tour of Italy.

After the rugged scenery of Sicily, we were back in the rolling hills and sculpted gardens of northern...

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