Best new food experiences for travellers in 2019
Food travel is a trend that’s only getting hotter, as everyone from gourmands to social-media junkies pack their bags, armed with a list of must-try dining in dreamy destinations. The world is not just your oyster, in 2019 it’s a smorgasbord of delicious discovery.
Mil, Cusco, Peru
Fancy some high-altitude dining with views of Inca ruins in a venue run by one of the World’s 50 Best chefs? This ode to Andean ancestral cuisine opened in February 2018 and is worth the trek to 3568m above sea level for the astounding scenery and eight-course menu of ‘moments’, made using ingredients native to the region. Virgilio Martínez (of the acclaimed Central restaurant in Lima) revives ancient ingredients and techniques with modern magic.
To get here, take the flight from Lima to Cuzco (approximately 1hr), then it’s a 90-min drive.
Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
The reincarnation of René Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant launched with much hype and expectation in February 2018. Feted as one of the world’s best (certainly the most influential in creating New-Nordic cuisine) restaurants, ‘Noma 2.0’ has a highly creative, exclusively seasonal menu: Seafood (February to early summer); Vegetable (early summer to early autumn); Game and Forest (early autumn to January).
Mihara Tofuten, Bangkok, Thailand
The new Japanese-influenced tofu restaurant from chef Gaggan Anand (four-time winner of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for his eponymous Gaggan) is an adventurous, ambitious taste trip. Trading since late-March 2018, Mihara Tofuten brings authentic tofu, omakase-style, to Bangkok. A dessert of soya ice cream with white and dark chocolate, matcha and pistachio-flavoured chilled tofu bites will convert sceptics.
For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The 16-course set menu starts from THB3900 (US$122). Wine/sake pairings are also available on request.
Laura, Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Conceived as a ‘love letter’ to the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, southeast of Melbourne, this sophisticated merging of food, wine and art on Point Leo Estate enjoys phenomenal sunsets from all angles. Named after a 7m-high cast-iron statue by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, Laura offers views across sparkling Western Port Bay and its sculpture park, one of Australia’s largest privately owned collections.
The Mornington Peninsula is best reached by car. Laura is an hour’s drive on the Peninsula Link from Melbourne.
‘Dine in the Dome’, The Summerhouse, Singapore
The Summerhouse has enchanted diners with its outdoor edible garden since 2017, and now you can luxuriate in a stylish, air-conditioned igloo while eating under the stars on steamy Singapore nights. Each of the three domes has a theme – choose Bohemian, Scandinavian or Lounge – and seats up to eight guests. Wafting lemongrass and wild strawberry add to the rustic romance.
Located in Seletar Aerospace Park, The Summerhouse’s ‘Dine in the Dome’ experience can be booked from S$300 (US$225) per couple at thesummerhouse.sg/garden-domes.
Salt at Paul Cluver, Grabouw, South Africa
When it comes to food pairing, this restaurant is next level. At Salt, there are six different types of salt placed on every table and each course is paired not only to a specific wine but a specific salt too. Located in the lush Elgin Valley near Cape Town, the restaurant is housed in the Paul Cluver winery – itself known for producing fine chardonnays, rieslings and pinot noirs. Challenge your senses with chefs (and salt aficionados) Craig Cormack and Beau du Toit at the helm.
Salt is in Grabouw, 65km southeast of Cape Town, and is open for breakfast and lunch, serving a two- (R275; US$22) or three-course (R340; US$28) menu.
The Fishmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
Years in the planning, this new restaurant is a co-creation by Rick Stein’s former head chef, Roy Brett, and Gary Welch from Welch Fishmongers. Open since spring 2018, the premises were built from scratch on the grounds of a former fish market on Newhaven Pier, where merchants and fish sellers would ply their trade in the 19th century. The Fishmarket’s interior design pays homage to its Victorian heritage and makes an idyllic setting in which to enjoy lobster, oysters and champagne, or a more traditional fish-and-chips supper.
Visit The Fishmarket in spring/summer for fish and chips on the deck with uninterrupted views of the Firth of Forth.
Jordan Food Week, Amman, Jordan
Celebrating the history and diversity of Jordan’s food culture, this new festival held in Ras Al Ain, Amman, features 200 producers, including chefs and farmers, showcasing their wares on balmy summer evenings over a week in July. Stroll the stalls, sample home-cooked Jordanian meals from the country’s various cities, watch chef demonstrations, take a cooking class and purchase local artisanal produce, all in something of a carnival atmosphere.
Admission to Jordan Food Week costs 2JOD (US$2.80), with special discounts on Amman’s Careem taxi app. www.jordanfoodweek.com
Moss, Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Already popular with visitors seeking outdoor thermal bathing bliss, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon now offers a hotspot for foodies, Moss Restaurant, within its new luxury Retreat hotel. Since April 2018, diners have been able to enjoy traditional Icelandic dishes (splurge on the seven-course tasting menu at the 10-seat Chef’s Table), views of volcanic landscapes and wine from a unique, multi-hued lava cellar, frozen since 1226.
The Blue Lagoon is handily located between Reykjavík and Keflavík International Airport. There are hourly bus transfers between both.
The Civilisations Supperclub, London
This supper club series, launched in March 2018, is held in various extraordinary venues around London. Expect thematic food, music and stories focused on history and culture, along the lines of ‘An Arabian Feast: 1001 Flavours, Sounds & Stories from Syria’, which was held in Leighton House’s Grand Studio; and ‘13th-century Syrian Feast’, inspired by dinners that were held on the riverbanks of ancient Barada and the Euphrates, which took place at the London Canal Museum.
The supper club is an initiative by Sakbeh, a food catering and events company.