Tuscany – Iconic Views, Good Food and Stay (and sheep) at La Bandita

Tuscany in the Spring

I've long been obsessed with getting photos of the idyllic Tuscan countryside - you know, the ones with the rolling hills and cypress tress. So last year in May, 14 of us friends and family stayed in La Bandita, a converted farmhouse on a hill between Pienza and Chianchiano Terme. Although the drive up and down the hill to La Bandita took a bit of getting used to, the place was really well located to explore central Tuscany. And best of all, the food at La Bandita, cooked on the spot by a...

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Singapore – Ashino at Chijmes has Best Sushi

Red sea urchin sushi

Ashino is the latest in high-end specialty sushi restaurants in Singapore but is unique as some of its fish is cured leaving it tender but tasty. Much like counterparts in Japan, this restaurant only seats ten diners around a sushi master. While I also like the other sushi places in town, I think that Ashino ranks highest for me in terms of the quality of its sushi.

Sushi chef Taku Ashino, who was formerly at Marina Bay Sands' Hide Yamamoto, now has full rein to unleash his sushi in a...

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Singapore – Jubilee Celebration

Singapore's Marina Bay

Faced with a dilemma on whether I should face the crowds to take some photos of a once in a lifetime celebration or watch the whole thing on TV, I actually trooped down to Marina Bay to catch the SG50 celebration. While on hindsight I'm glad that I made the effort, I definitely will not do this again. I sat there from 1pm until 8:30pm (in the hot sun!) along with mostly other foreigners. My treat to myself after this was a good gin cocktail, U.S. ribeye steak and lamb chops at The Cut....

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Singapore’s Golden Jubilee Fireworks Rehearsal

Not many countries rehearse their national day celebrations down to the fireworks, but Singapore does…which makes for great viewing prior to the actual event. This year is even grander because it’s the Golden Jubilee. Thousands of people thronged the waterfront, of which I was one, to view the fireworks. I didn’t have the best location for photos but this is an idea of what the real event may look like on August 9.

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Melbourne – Estelle by Scott Pickett Worth a Try, Good Food Offsets Opening Day Quirks

Estelle by Scott Pickett ("ESP") is a fine dining, omakase-only new eatery by the guy behind the popular St. Crispin and Estelle Bistro. While the fine modern-Australian cuisine was good, we came on opening night on July 17 when the service was less than stellar and they had a quirky exhaust system. I believe they should be able to resolve these teething problems but if not, be in for a slightly longer evening than expected and wear clothes you don't mind smelling of food. Overall, I think...

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