Why I travel: for the food, but also for the unexpected

My rickshaw driver keeps pace with taxis as he peddles me through Hanoi’s Old Quarter. The cool wind against my face brings relief from Vietnam’s stifling summer heat. Just as I’m about to relax, I smell smoke. It’s not the ubiquitous smog of unregulated motorbike exhausts. I immediately recognize this aroma as barbecue, like pork …

Photo of the week: Shanghai hairy crab soup

Shanghai is famous for its hairy crabs, which are in season in the fall. It was a sweltering day in October when I tasted this hairy crab bisque at Ye Shanghai, one of the city’s most elegant Chinese restaurants. On such a hot day, a hot bowl of soup was the furthest thing from my mind…

Quick Look: Pangkor Laut, Malaysia

There is no airport on the island of Pangkor Laut. There is merely a helipad and a dock. Getting there is half the fun. Here’s a quick look at this luxury private island resort off the coast of Malaysia. The resort’s helicopter met me at the Kuala Lumpur airport. I returned to the mainland by the resort’s private yacht.

Photo of the week: Bangkok, Thailand

I shot this photo from Vertigo, the rooftop restaurant and bar atop the Banyan Tree hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. The city has an incredible rooftop bar scene, with outdoor bars on rooftops of skyscrapers all over the city. Vertigo was one of the first. Now there are dozens. The park in the foreground is Lumphini …

20 Best Things I ate in 2015

As usual, I ate a lot of amazing food this year. I eat in restaurants almost daily – sometimes twice or even three times a day. Not everything ends up being delicious, sadly. But in the end, I always find more good than bad, or else I wouldn’t have continued doing this for the past …

Quick Review: The Pottinger Hong Kong

The 22-story, 68-room Pottinger opened last year in the heart of Central, the city’s epicenter of shopping and dining. The hotel sits on the steep hillside between Queen’s Road and Stanley Street, adjacent to the pedestrian-only Pottinger Street, one of the island’s oldest vertical pathways. The rooms are spacious and lavish, outfitted with fine linens, …

Where to eat now: Hong Kong

The dining scene in Hong Kong – like the city itself – is the ultimate expression of East meets West. Driven by homegrown chefs and European-trained expats alike, restaurants here combine a potent mix of old and new, of roasted goose and barbecue pork, dry-aged steak and crab fried rice. The epicenter of all this …

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Koh Samui

My love affair with Four Seasons runs deep. I’ve been fortunate enough in my travels to stay at 26 different Four Seasons hotels and resorts, the latest being the beachfront/hillside resort on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand, which I visited earlier this year.

Quick Look: The Butchers Club Deli, Hong Kong

The Butchers Club Deli opened last year in Tin Wan, an up-and-coming neighborhood on Hong Kong’s industrial Southside. If you can find it, you’re in for an amazing steak. They open for dinner somewhat randomly, serving prix fixe meals that revolve around a certain cut of meat, with different days devoted to specific cuts. Dinner …

Hotel Review: Ovolo Southside, Hong Kong

Overview: A former high-rise warehouse turned 162-room boutique hotel, the Ovolo Southside is the first serious hotel to set up shop in the emerging Southside neighborhood of Tin Wan. The Location: The industrial Southside neighborhood of Tin Wan, adjacent to better-known Aberdeen, is a congested jungle of vertical warehouses and high-rise factories that has become …