15 Jul 2016

Macau's melting pot of flavours - where and what to eat in Macau

If you're heading to Hong Kong (read my post on where to stay in Hong Kong), Macau is an easy day trip to make. There are regular high-speed ferries connecting the two cities, and you can easily head over there for a bit of gambling. But look beyond the glitz and glamour of casinos and you will find Macau’s unique, hybrid cuisine. 

I had the chance to experience Macanese cuisine last year, and I wrote about it for the Hindu Business Line's weekend supplement, BLink. Here's an unedited version of my article

United flavours of Macau

“Oh, you’re going to Macau! Please bet 100 (HK) dollars on black 13 for me”, said a friend. 

“You must check out the realistic artificial sky at the Venetian”, said another. 

“There’s a fantastic Dragon of Fortune show at the Wynn”, said a third. 

My response to them was, respectively – “what?”, “why?”, and “you mean like in Game of Thrones?”. I have played the odd round of poker with friends, but gambling, in general, is of little interest to me. And the gaudy, over-the-top casinos of Macau left me cold. What did warm the cockles of my heart was the food – a curious combination of Portuguese and Chinese influences, giving rise to an interesting East-meets-West crossbreed.

12 Jul 2016

Here's why you should stay at Ovolo Southside Hotel, Hong Kong

Buzzy, glitzy Hong Kong. A city that never sleeps. A foodie's paradise. A shopper's delight. 

I got a chance a re-visit the city last month, courtesy Ovolo Hotels - a hospitality group that operates hotels across Hong Kong and Australia. Owned by Indian-origin, HK-based entrepreneur Mr. Girish Jhunjhunwala, Ovolo runs 8 hotels and 2 service apartments across three cities - Hong Kong, Sydney, and Melbourne. I stayed at four of their properties (since I visited Sydney & Melbourne too), and I must say these are some of the coolest boutique hotels I have stayed at! 

Here's why I loved my stay at Ovolo Southside Hotel, and why you should stay here when you're in Hong Kong next. 

4 Jul 2016

What to do in Vienna, Austria if you have 48 hours

Planning a trip to Vienna this year? The elegant Austrian capital is consistently rated as one of the top places to live in. 

Of course, I can spend days wandering about the city, dipping in and out of palaces and museums, spending hours writing and sipping coffee in one of the many coffeehouses, or just hanging out in the city's many parks. But if you have limited time, here's my mini-guide on what you can do in 48 hours in Vienna.

27 Jun 2016

Breaking Bread - Celebrating the blog's 4th birthday with a delish giveaway!

Ten days ago on June 17th, Deliciously Directionless turned four years old! While I was living it up in Sydney (more about that coming up on the blog soon), I hadn't forgotten about the annual blogiversary giveaway. So here goes...

Update: This giveaway has ended. Congratulations, Pooja Vir on winning a copy of Crumbs! 

Does the thought of baking bread strike fear in your heart? I know it did for me, even though I managed quite well with baking cakes, cookies, and other baked goodies. I baked my first bread three years ago - it was a focaccia and it turned out beautifully. Of course, I had help - I meticulously followed the recipe on My Jhola - a super blog by food blogger & bread-maker extraordinaire Saee Koranne-Khandekar. Read about my bread adventures (and more recipes) here

Saee has of course gone on to greater heights, and has recently released a gem of a book - Crumbs! Bread Stories and Recipes for the Indian Kitchen.

5 Jun 2016

A Game of Thrones in Girona

If you haven't caught up with Game of Thrones till S6E6, note that this post contains spoilers. 

Do you recognise the place in the video above? If you are a fan of the TV series Game of Thrones, you will know instantly that this is the Great Sept in King's Landing, where Queen Margarey's 'walk of shame' (almost) took place. In the last episode (S6E6) Blood of My Blood aired on May 29, 2016, the High Sparrow was all set to have Margery emulate Cersei's walk of shame down these steps, the very same steps that Jaime Lannister (or rather his stunt double) ascended astride his horse. Incidentally, Cersei's walk from season 5 was shot in Dubrovnik, Croatia. But for season 6, filming shifted to the Spanish city of Girona, located in the north-eastern region of Catalonia.