+ The Grove Auckland Review

The Grove – Auckland, New Zealand

The Grove is every bit a legend on the Auckland scene. Not only has it consistently been at the pointy end of every list in town for as many years as I can remember, but it’s also been New Zealand’s Noma or El Bulli of sorts – in that it’s been the training ground that has spawned many of New Zealand’s most renown chefs…. Read More

+ Fine Dining Myths Debunked by Zoe Bowker

Fine Dining Myths Debunked

The term ‘fine dining’ has come under a lot of fire lately. Everyone seems to be scrambling to define their restaurant as anything but. Why are restaurants now scared of being labelled ‘fine dining’? Is it because the general population are intimidated by the old school notion of fine dining, without realising what it really means today? In my eyes, it’s a term to… Read More

+ Nobu Matsuhisa and Zoe Bowker

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Interview

The Nobu brand is a globally recognisable name, conjuring up images of sophisticated sushi and celebrity endorsements – starting with it’s co-owner, Robert de Niro. Behind all the glitz and glamour, the restaurants, the hotels and sake lines, lies a fascinating story of triumph over adversity. I’m almost surprised they haven’t made a movie of Chef Nobu’s life yet, but then this blockbuster script is still… Read More

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Nerua * – Guggenheim, Bilbao

A must visit not just because of it’s world famous museum, Bilbao is fast developing a foodie reputation to rival it’s big brother in the culinary stakes, San Sebastian. Just an hour or so away from the famed Basque cuisine capital, Nerua is one of the establishments leading the way in Bilbao’s fine food scene. Housed inside the Guggenheim, Nerua clearly gets a big… Read More

+ Armani Deli Dubai Review

Armani/Deli – Armani Hotel, Dubai

Housed in the world’s tallest building, the Armani Hotel and it’s chic dining establishments are the epitome of Dubai indulgence. Armani/Deli is the first of the four dining concepts I’ve experienced – the more casual, traditional Italian offering and the only one of the restaurants open for lunch. Sure, it goes without saying that I love Italian fare – but there’s something else that brings me back… Read More

+ The Rib Room Review Jumeirah Emirates Towers DIFC Dubai

The Rib Room – Emirates Towers, Dubai

Coming from a steak saturated country, the home of beef and lamb (New Zealand, in case you were wondering), I’ll admit I’ve skirted around Dubai’s top steakhouses in my 18 months of living in the desert. I know a great steak, I can cook a great steak, so it’s often neglected in my dining calendar – but the good things I’d heard about The Rib Room were… Read More

Namaaz Dining – Jakarta, Indonesia

I’ve pondered long and hard how to start this review off. How to convey to you how much I loved this dining experience. How to explain in words how special this restaurant is, how special this chef is. How to make you want to travel to Jakarta (not exactly the world’s most hospitable city just FYI) just to taste the molecular Indonesian cuisine I’m… Read More

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Vanitas – Palazzo Versace, Dubai

When a name like Versace arrives in town, people sit up and take notice – especially in the luxury-loving locale that is Dubai. A palatial property designed under the guidance of one of Italy’s finest design houses, Palazzo Versace’s dining establishments have rather large shoes (or should that be stilettos?) to fill. Enigma seems to be growing into it’s role as Dubai’s premium fine… Read More

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Rhodes W1 – Grosvenor House, Dubai

Ahh Grosvenor house….full of so many of my favourite eateries, yet so hard to pronounce. My love for GH brought me here to test out a dining venue that was new to me yet not new to Dubai….Rhodes W1. Short on time? Read a summary review here… One of Gary Rhodes’ eponymous restaurants, this is a Dubai establishment that has celeb chef cred attached… Read More

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Babbo * – New York

On an extremely (and suddenly) wet and blustery New York day, stepping into Babbo was perhaps the most heavenly respite a hungry foodie could ask for. View the conciso version of my review here  Having had my newly purchased $5 umbrella turn itself inside out mere minutes after purchase enroute, I learned that walking isn’t always the best option for your wellbeing (and that you… Read More

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Enigma – Journey of a Nordic Chef – Palazzo Versace, Dubai

Having experienced the first incantation of Enigma, the seasonally changing fine dining concept at Palazzo Versace that welcomes a new chef’s vision each three months or so, I was eagerly counting down the days to experience the next chapter. Chef Bjorn Frantzen, of the eponymous Stockholm restaurant currently voted no. 31 on the World’s Best Restaurants list, has been chosen as Dubai’s new gourmet golden boy…. Read More

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Gaucho – DIFC, Dubai

From the moment you arrive at the all-black valet entrance to this DIFC institution, first impressions suggest you’re in for a classier-than-average experience. An extremely classy one in fact. Given that Gaucho’s popularity extends to 15 locations in the UK plus three international outposts – Dubai, Hong Kong and Buenos Aries, there’s got to be something very special about the Argentinian cuisine they’re serving… Read More

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The French Cafe – Auckland, New Zealand

One of Auckland’s most iconic restaurants, The French Cafe has been stamping it’s mark on the Auckland fine dining for over ten years. Hidden away in a corner of the Auckland outer CBD where one would not expect to find such a high end establishment, the blacked out windows give little indication of what lies inside. Winner of Best Fine Dining, Best Chef and… Read More

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Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin – Bangkok, Thailand

It was a bit of a toss up as to whether we were going to make Sra Bua a stop on our crowded Bangkok dining itinerary. Having made the Asia’s 50 Best list in 2014 but not appearing since, we took a leap of faith and booked in dinner as I’d read their specialty is molecular Thai – something I’d never seen done anywhere… Read More

+ 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana Shanghai

8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana – Shanghai, China

The sister restaurant of the three Michelin starred Hong Kong venue of the same name, Otto e Mezzo kept popping up on my Shanghai to do list. As I’d skipped the HK version on my last visit, I was eager to take the opportunity to try the Shanghai incarnation – so I snuck in a visit enroute to my flight home to Dubai. This meant… Read More

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Mint Leaf of London – DIFC, Dubai

A London import, Mint Leaf occupies a large space in Emirates Financial towers, with a multiple spaces including a restaurant, bar, terrace and lounge, all with some interesting views. We visited for their Friday brunch eager to see what Indian delicacies they had on offer. Firstly, it’s a plated brunch – a big tick for me straight away. The first thing we notice is the… Read More

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Enigma – Palazzo Versace, Dubai

Enigma – a new seasonal restaurant concept at Palazzo Versace that will change chefs and menu every three months. The current chef is Quique Dacosta of the three Michelin starred restaurant of the same name in Denia, Spain. We got wind of this impending arrival late last year and had been thinking about booking since – the hope of legitimate innovative Michelin star style… Read More