I lived in Sydney for 6 months and Bécasse is divine. There's nothing flashy or garish about Bécasse but it will stand out as one of the most memorable dining experiences you'll ever have. The muted, elegant decor is the perfect complement to the superbly created dishes. The decadent degustation menu is seven courses of heaven.
48 Albion St
A hip little collection of cake shops, cafes, restaurants, an Apple Mac shop, and a good supermarket. Grab a coffee and sit and watch Bangkok's finest come and go in their new 4WDs.
Thonglor Soi 15. Get a cab from Thonglor BTS station if you don't want to cab it all the way.
Vlados is simply Australia's best 'meat' dining experience and has been for the past 20+ years. Nowhere else in Australia is the emphasis on meat, meat and not much else. Starters are meat with a mixed grill entree followed by a main course of meat... the steak you choose yourself from the many on display. It's cooked the way you want it and comes with chips (if you want them).
Dessert? Strawberries and icecream or pancakes. The whole thing is aimed at getting the discerning diner simply the best meat meal.
61 Bridge rd
Award-winning curry restaurant in the famous Birmingham Balti Triangle. Widely regarded as the place to go for the best balti in Birmingham. Try the aubergine pakora and any of the house specials. Remember to bring your own beer as its unlicensed.
186 Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, B12 8JS;
Tel: 0121 753 3120; www.alfrash.com
The Mirador restaurant upstairs at Hotel de la Opera is right in the middle of the Candelaria, the romantic colonial section of the city. Sit on the fourth floor and enjoy a candlelit dinner watching the sensational high altitude sunsets and distant mountain lightning that flickers beyond the terracotta rooftops and view of the main plaza.
Calle 10 5-72; www.hotelopera.com.co
Literally the best restaraunt/bar you will find in Tokyo (nay the world), and it's on the 42nd floor atop of the Mori Atago building.
Great atmosphere and the best view of Tokyo you'll get over Lobster (recommend at night).
Atago Green Hills, Kamiyacho
The Naam is quite simply veggie heaven. Choose anything from the menu and you will not be disappointed, my own personal favourite is Naam Dragon Bowl. The Naam is open 24 hours and to make a day of it you can take the aquabus from Granville Island, eat and then take in the sunset from Kitsilano beach (a 5-min walk) and then stroll back downtown along the beaches (a 30-min walk).
The Naam, near the corner of West Fourth and Macdonald in the heart of Kitsilano
A tiny marbled and mirrored jewel of a bar designed by Adolf Loos in 1907. Only seats about 12 people with maybe standing room for another 5 or 6. Stop in at about 5pm for cocktails or Austrian wine, or if your German is good enough reserve a table for the evening. Lovely staff.
Karntner Durchgang 10
The island in the middle of the Lake of Ioannina used to be home to the monastery of Agios Pantelaemon until 17 January 1822, when it gained a permanent place in Greek history and legend.
On that day, Ali Pasha, the legendary Ottoman ruler of Albanian descent was executed, at the monastery, by troops sent by the Sultan, from Constantinople, for the crime of insubordination. Ali Pasha had fled to the island after the defence of Ioannina to the 2-year siege by the Sultan's troops had laid on the city started collapsing.
The Turks promised Ali Pasha amnesty, arrived at the island supposedly to hand him the pardon papers that had arrived from the capital, and killed him. His body was decapitated and later buried next to the Fetihie Mosque, up on the castle of Ioannina. His head was taken to Constantinople, shown to the Sultan and then buried in a local cemetery.
Today, the monastery is a museum that tells the story of that day and of Ali Pasha's Ioannina.
You will also find a restaurant that serves local food, including lake seafood and frog's legs, and various gift shops. Boats leave from the quay in front of the castle every 10 minutes.
The castle of Ioannina was built in its present state by the legendary Ali Pasha, the Albanian-born, Ottoman governor of Epirus in the early 19th century, on the foundations of the old Byzantine fortifications of Ioannina.
The northeast end of the castle includes the madrassa, or islamic religious school, which today houses a lovely Museum of Weaponry, and the Mosque of Aslan Pasha, which today houses the Museum of the City of Ioannina.
The southeast end is the Its Kale, or Inner Castle, and was the main compound of the Ali Pasha administration and living quarters.
The castle of Ioannina is the core from which the city expanded to its present size, and included all the major civic monument and sites of the city, including the synagogue of the once mighty local Jewish community.
Small typical Viennese Beisl in the 9th district. Dunno if it's still on the menu but I used to say I'd choose an endless supply of owner Herbert's Krautsuppe (cabbage soup) as my desert island discs luxury item. Now very popular with the nearby Wirtschaftsuniversität staff as he does an all you can eat buffet. So try and go at the weekend. Classic Viennese cuisine at its best
Reznicekgasse 10, 1090 Vienna, tel.: 0043 1 317 91 40, take the D tram towards Nußdorf and get off at Althanstrasse or Augasse
If you have an afternoon to spare, why not take a walk down to the historic village of Guapulo.
Take a taxi to the Camino de Orellana, just next to the Hotel Quito - five minutes from the Mariscal.
At the top of the winding round down to the village you will find a small bar, Mirador de Guapulo, where you can enjoy a light lunch with typical Ecuadorean platters, whilst looking out over the fabulous view of Guapulo and its historic church.
From here you can either follow the cobbled street down the hill or take the short cut through the small park in front of the bar. Wear good shoes as the road is steep. On the way down you will see a range of interesting old buildings.
The area has a bohemian atmosphere and is home to many artists. At the bottom sits the beautiful Sancturia de Guapulo, Quito's oldest colonial church, facing onto a small square. In front of the church is a statue of Fransisco de Orellana, the Conquistador who sailed the length of the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean in 1542. There is a small taxi rank opposite the church, where you can get a ride back up to the city.
Taxi to Hotel Quito and then by foot.
A little bistro in the 7th district. They have reasonably priced gorgeous meals, attractive and attentive staff who are patient with my poor French skills, nice wines, and a full bar.
I go there every time I'm in Paris, and the service and food are always fabulous. The decor is mostly burgundy and the atmosphere is cozy but young and contemporary.
Just outside of the Ecole Militaire Metro stop. I mean *JUST,* as you emerge from the station.
It's a small, typically Parisian, sidestreet bistro. Small but excellent menu with all the staples and onion soup to die for, checked (plastic) tablecloths, tables spilling out onto the street, always busy, very few tourists and a real dining experience
21 rue de la Collegiale, 75005 Paris, Tel.: 01 43 31 55 57, nearest metro is Les Gobelins
This restaurant is on the very top floor of the Tour de Montparnasse (the Montparnasse Tower) - one of the tallest buildings in Paris - and offers one of the most stunning views of the city possible. You look directly out onto the Eiffel Tower. Go there for an aperitif to enjoy the view or why not treat yourself to dinner - the cuisine's very good. Just been on their website and they say it's 'the highest restaurant in Europe.' They do a three course set menu at £37.27 per person. Not the cheapest place to eat in Paris but the view and the pleasant welcome make it worth it. You won't see a better view than this from a Parisien dinner table.
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