Flashbacks to A Classy First Class — January 24, 2017

Just as a lark I priced first class air on Emirates from New York to Beirut this coming December. Lowest price is US$36,346. That’s for two of us, of course. And includes tax. Still, it’s not happening anytime soon. Or ever.  Which means my one, precious three hour (more or less) first class flight from…

The Halia at the Singapore Botanic Gardens — January 9, 2017

Halia is Malay for ginger and dinner at The Halia is all about that spicy rhizome. There used to be one at Raffles Hotel (although it is apparently closed now) but there is something about enjoying an exotic open-air ginger-themed restaurant steps away from the Ginger Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens that is just too…

Wild Rocket — January 8, 2017

We’ve been off the ship and ensconced in Singapore since yesterday morning. Love this city. It’s gorgeous, fun, delicious, and unsettling. If democracy is supposed to be so great, how come we are all messed up and they aren’t? But this is a food blog, so I’ll stick to what we had for dinner. I…

Morning Glory Hallelujah! — January 4, 2017

I don’t really know why Seabourn has us stopping at Langkawi – on one of 90 tiny islands off the Malay Peninsula. I am sure some people are living normal lives here but mostly it looks like a duty free haven that specializes in selling Corning ware (really?) and a beach resort that caters to…

Date Nights — December 29, 2016

When I was little my great aunt Edna used to send us a tin of cookies every Christmas. They weren’t really kid cookies – no icing, no chocolate chips, no sprinkles, no real fun. I always thought of them as adult cookies. Not too sweet, made from a grainy semolina, covered with a fluff of…

The Heartburn of Karma — December 28, 2016

I have mixed feelings about eating Indian food in a hotel whose 560 rooms go for upward of $1000/night in a city where people are putting their children to bed on the streets. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is a lovely place, to be sure, and it has an amazing history, including being rebuilt to…

A Stellar Keller Christmas at Sea — December 26, 2016

Seabourn made a deal with Thomas Keller that has resulted, among other things, in The Grill by Thomas Keller — essentially a Kelleresque version of a floating steak house. There are other Keller touches around the ship but this is the biggest deal and we had Christmas dinner there last night.  Because Keller really does…

Oman, Oh My

Omani cuisine is new to me. I don’t understand it very well and I had one shot at discovery, but it seems much more like an Indian/Persian/Afghan hybrid than the more familiar food of the Levant we have been eating.  Spent the morning sightseeing — the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is spectacular.  Explored a souk…

Eating Arabic

  I grew up eating, then cooking, Lebanese food made from my grandmother’s recipes. I have never been to Lebanon, probably will never go to Lebanon now, and still, if you ask me what my heritage is, I will tell you I am Lebanese. If you are what you eat, that’s what I am. That…

Traveling with Your Mouth Wide Open

  If you want to learn who other people are, eat what they eat. The intimate act of feeding oneself is so integral to one’s being that once you have shared it you can never completely see people as “the other” again. I can’t, anyway. Eating is my window on the world. That’s why one…

So You Think You Know Indian Food, cont’d

  Indian Accent. New Delhi. If you are planning to be in the neighborhood book it. Weeks in advance. And go.  If you can’t manage the trip to India, try the one in New York, or hope for another pop up in Tel Aviv. But go.  It’s a miniature jewel box of a place, in…

So You Think You Know Indian Food?

I love Indian food, but as a person who never set foot in India until two days ago, I always wondered if I knew what I was talking about. The answer is “sort of.”  The food here is recognizable as the Indian food I’ve eaten in the US or the UK but it isn’t a…