Izakaya Yumi
Izakaya Yumi Restaurant

Our Cambodia Correspondent, Darren gall, finds himself well at home in a Izakaya, if not somewhat culturally anomalous to Cambodia…

Phnom Penh’s uber-in-style Japanese restaurant Yumi is modeled on the traditional ‘Izakaya’ restaurants found all over Japan.  The word Izakaya is a compound word, loosely translated as ‘a shop to sit and drink sake’. Izakaya restaurants are typically small spaces with a long bar and a handful of tables that serve what could be described as Japanese ‘tapas’ style cuisine to go with the core purpose of their being, which is of course drinking!

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Neudorf crew toast Tim and Judy’s 30 vintage
Neudorf Vintage Team

Congratulations to Tim and Judy Finn and their team in reaching this significant milestone.

Thirty years is a lifetimes work and when you have started a vineyard from scratch in a region that has had no viticultural history, realizing the vision takes an unyielding resolve to overcome the many challenges of nature and human-nature in an uncharted path of discovery and evolution. Tim Finn says it was about 1991 that they started to realise the full potential of the Neudorf vineyard which in some ways you could attribute to vine age and selection (that is the right grapes for the site) although I suspect considerable hands-on experience was starting to really show results.

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Phnom Penh by the Glass
phnom-penh-metro

I tend to navigate my way around Phnom Penh by my favourite glasses of wine -not a simple matter of where I can get a decent glass at a reasonable price mind you- but places where I can take refuge from the chaos.

These establishments have to be places that have a certain atmosphere, an ambiance that I warm to, places that make me thank the gods that I am alive and well and living in Cambodia, where the food is as good as the food choices and the wines are plentiful and generally inexpensive.

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Nellies Bubbles
Nellies Bubbles by Mark Schaller

Dame Nellie Melba, was the renowned Australian opera singer  (1861 - 1931) and became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century due to the purity of her lyrical voice and the brilliance of her technique. Taking her stage name from Melbourne, Melba was the first Australian to achieve international recognition as a classical musician.

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Stephanie Toole, Mount Horrocks
Stephanie Toole

A remarkable evolution has created one of the most modern and stylish producers in the Clare Valley.

Stephanie Toole’s commitment is apparent in everything she does: in winemaking she is uncompromising and intuitive, in business she is dedicated and conscientious. In the 14 years since buying Mount Horrocks, Toole has cultivated improvement after improvement. Where there was once just a label, there is a now a winery, cellar door and, more recently, her own vineyards. Over time, her resolution has provided Mount Horrocks with a reputation as one of the most modern and stylish producers in the Clare Valley.

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All in a day’s fishing off White Island
Fishing off white island

My stepmother, Trish Marsh, hauled in this huge Bass earlier this year.

So impressed by Trish’s catch, I decided to share her remarkable feat with you. As you can well imagine, Trish is not the sort of person to be messed with, having that certain fortitude and resolve entrenched in New Zealanders.

I am also seizing on the opportunity to enlighten those who have no idea where White Island or Ohope Beach is; my folk’s Shangri-La. Perhaps I am also feeling a little nostalgic and craving a bit of New Zealand.

Dealing with White Island first, or Whakaari Island as it is known indigenously, it is located 48 km offshore from Ohope Beach, on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island, in the Bay of Plenty.

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Misha’s Vineyard Gewürztraminer 2008 Central Otago, New Zealand
Misha Gewurztraminer 2008

The Wandering Palate predicts a renewed enthusiasm for the wine worlds must unfashionable white grape, particularly in the Asian market – only with an antipodean accent.

Gewürztraminer has unquestionably been the most maligned and misunderstood white grape amongst wine consumers over the last decade, even amongst wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs, it has been and arguably still is, out of favor.

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5 Quick & Effective Barbecue Ideas from Ruth Pretty
Ruth Pretty

1. Everyone loves toast but toast is not necessarily a breakfast dish. Store sourdough bread in the freezer for unplanned barbecues, particularly to serve with drinks before the main event. If you wish slice sourdough before you freeze.

Brush bread slices with extra virgin olive oil and over a char grill or on a flat grill plate, heated to medium , toast bread slices till golden brown on both sides. Place side bowls of flaky salt, roasted garlic pulp, sliced tomatoes or finely grated Parmesan close by to barbecue for guests to slather or sprinkle on to the bruschetta.

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French Irony
Frangipani Restaurant

Driving back to Singapore from our Chinese New Year pilgrimage to Ipoh, we decided to stay overnight in Kuala Lumpur.

Contrary to both locals and Singaporean’s who treat the motorways in Malaysia as a Nascar training ground, it is prudent to be wary of inane reckless drivers, taking one’s time and splitting up the trip. Incidentally, in the midst of a deluge of rain, we encountered an accident scene where no less than 18 cars were in nose to tail pileup!

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