Winter fruit


Hi Tony,

Living in the tropics certainly has its benefits. Something I’ve always envied. Though we don’t get it so bad here either.

Apple season has just finished, but there are still some good late season varieties around. The demand for tropical fruit here is pretty high too. We’re especially lucky, as you know the Vietnamese community is significant here. The demand for tropical fruit and vegetables is high. Though it does seem a little odd when the temperature outside barely reaches double figures.

Still some mangos around, as well as some mangosteens. Most are coming from Northern Territory.

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One of my neighbours grows a lot of his own food, which in itself is a feat in inner city. Only a couple of weeks ago Mo gave us a bag of tamarillos. Fabulous little bundles of sweet and tart goodies. If you’ve never had one, they are a little like passionfruit, but with some flesh. I’m a big fan of them.


Just down the road from us are a host of grocers, butchers and fish mongers. Buying fresh ingredients every day is the way it’s done. If only I didn’t work full time, I could do the same!

We’re off to the snow this weekend. Finally there is some snow. The natural tendency is to cook huge amounts of high carb food, pasta, etc. but it simply doesn’t get cold enough here to burn that many calories.

Balancing a good warming, hearty meal without too many calories is the trick. I’ll let you know how that goes. Either that or I’ll have to ski a bit harder.

Time to find some of our thermals.



Mango Mania


Being on a health kick of late, there’s a lot of fruit on the menu. I’m pretty good with that as a concept, particularly because we have so much good fruit available. Forget the sad cut fruit on your hotel’s breakfast buffet – there’s a world of fantastic fruit available in Thailand.

I don’t know about you, but mangos are pretty much at the top of my list. I know things have changed in Australia, where mangoes were once only a special Christmastime treat, but Thailand takes that extended season further, and we have them pretty much year-round. Thailand apparently produces more than two million tons of mangoes annually, and I’m doing my best to keep that number up.

You’d think that’d make me sick of them, but I am genuinely happy to eat mango every day. There’s a little market in the mornings on the Lumpini corner where our local restaurant sets up for the evenings, and a vendor there usually has two choices of mango – a sweet one, probably the local Nam Dok Mai variety, and a green one for salads.

The supermarket often has a wider choice of the local elongated varieties, some of them more than a kilo each! A smaller one that’s in season now is a hybrid between a Sunset and a local Thai variety that goes by Maha Chanok. They smell so sweet that it is like having a bouquet of flowers in the house, and worth it for that alone, which is good, because the better half reckons the taste is not that great and they’re a little stringy.

Another one with a super sweet aroma led me through the market by my nose to what looked like a Bowen mango, but instead one that goes by the rather romantic name R2E2. You could assume it was cultivated by a Star Wars fan, but apparently it was from Row 2 Experiment 2 at the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Bowen research station.

It’s one of those rounded plump mangoes, with non-stringy, sweet and flavourful flesh. Amazing the difference from the slightly tarter local varieties. When I found a grafted R2E2 tree at a market in Samui last year I snapped it up.

My R2D2. Years before it fruits though…

And there’s another reason to love mangoes: while everything else in the garden is shriveling up after a month without rain, the mangoes are powering ahead. They seriously look as though they’re dormant for most of the year, and then when the conditions get hot and dry, shazam: loads of fresh growth. Love it.

I’m obviously a few years away from picking my own fruit, and am experimenting with sprouting some other seeds in the meantime, but hopefully one day in the near future I’ll have a nice extended home-grown mango season. In the meantime, it’s not as though I’m starving.

More convicts


G’day Tony,

I’m back!

Ducked away to Port Lincoln in South Australia for a few days for Sascha’s birthday. I opted to not go swimming with the great whites. Just a little too much for me.

Back to our Hobart trip. After the day at MONA, we got back to eating!

Dinner was at Franklin ( No, a different place from the previous night. Wood fired oven, open kitchen, quirky wine list (too quirky for my mind). Food was great, highlight being the octopus. Very funky place though. Very Frank Lloyd Wright feel to the building.


Mixed it up the next day for brekkie and went to a laundromat. Machine Coin Laundry is in Salamanca, but tucked out of the way. Clearly a haunt for locals though. A warning, their coffee wasn’t really crash hot. But you can get a maxi latte which has to be at least 500mls. But, bigger doesn’t make it better. The food was nice though. A few small change ups to standard fare gave it a fresh slant and it was well put together. You can do your clothes while you wait. Handy.


A stroll through the somewhat disturbing Salamanca market followed. I can see how it was once a nice market. Now it is full of nasty, albeit Tasmanian made, touristy trinkets. Julia did pick up a really cool cycling/travel/clothes bag from a local developer who I think will make it big one day. Very clever design (

Just because we needed the walk, we headed up to Battery Point and found an awesome bakery, Jackman & McRoss. The place is evil good. Go hungry and make sure your insulin levels are up. I thought for a few minutes I was going to have to call for an ambulance for Julia.


Ok, wine. It’s Tassie and they do some absolutely cracking good cool growth stuff. Pinot Noir and Grigio, Rieslings, Chardonnay and bubbles. Oh my, the bubbles. If you find yourself staring at a glass from the House of Arras, don’t offer to share it!

So we headed out in the piece of crap to Coal River Valley. If it wasn’t for the football (apparently), we would have been in Richmond in about 20 mins. Even in the rental. 10 mins in a capable car. I’ve got a thing for Pinot Noir from Tolpuddle, but they don’t have a cellar door, so we stopped in at Frogmore Creek. Settled down with a glass of their passable pinot and a cheese platter. What’s not to like?


We headed back for a nap and then a pre-dinner cocktail at The Long Bar in Constitution Dock, which isn’t very long. But it part of the Henry Art Hotel so is supposed to be the place. *yawn*

Dinner was at Ethos ( No menu, degustation only and matching wines. Chef sources local produce from less than 100kms away daily, then designs the menu. Every day is a different experience. The super young, but thoroughly capable sommelier matched the wines, again all local, brilliantly. This was an outstanding experience, but at circa $200/per, I guess you’d want it to be. We were pretty much last sitting, so had a good chat with the staff, including the young chef at the end of the evening. We are fans.

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Despite my misgivings about the coffee, we were back at the laundromat the next morning before the tediously drive to Port Arthur. Only made tedious by my change from gentle coaxing to yelling at the rental. Nothing helped. The drive is otherwise quite pleasant.

Port Arthur was very cool though. We’ll go back there to see more of it.


We stopped at a bottle shop in Hobart on our way back and grabbed a Pooley Riesling and a Josef Chromy Pinot and headed to the waterfront for some food-truck food with a difference. They’ve got 3 or 4 floating “caravans” which serve take away seafood. Some locals worded us up on Mako, and who were we to argue. It was good and pretty cheap too.

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Creatures of habit and we went back to Smolt again. Better coffee and some quirky dishes, which I like (ham hock on bed of puy lentils with poached egg and sour dough toast). Then off down the Huon River valley for a look at the salmon farms. If only there was something resembling a pub or restaurant anywhere…but no, nothing.


We’re planning a return, as it is quick and easy to get there, but looking for an AirB n’B place we can stock up on market fresh goodies and come more local pinots! I’ll let you know when we’re planning. I think you’d love it.

Let me know if you want to head down to Tassie. Pretty sure I can convince Julia to head back.




Convicts, whisky and gin


Hi Tony

I spent a few months in Launceston (Tasmania) back in 2005.

Can’t say it was the greatest fun I’ve ever had, but that was probably because I was running a woollen mill for my boss, the Receiver. Needless to say I wasn’t the most popular person in town. Strange, because I ended up saving 92 people’s jobs?!

Anyways, back then there seemed to be little scuttlebutt about Tassie, except for a few wineries and loads of logging/woodchipping. There was (is) a restaurant in Launie, Stillwater, which had a great rep, but that was about it. When I got there I discovered that there was a lot of hype about the local produce. It didn’t take long to figure out there is some pretty great wine and some tasty morsels to be found.

I’d been thinking about a return for a while, but this time to Hobart. A few people had worded us to up that we should visit Garagistes, but that ship sailed. It closed down a couple of months ago. Never mind, there were plenty of options for us to choose as alternates.

This was a trip for Julia’s birthday, so was intended to be a surprise, but technology let the cat out of the bag (thanks Qantas!).

I found a cool 1 bedroom apartment right on the water, half way between Salamanca and Constitution Dock. So far, so good. I even reserved a rental car to make sure we could get to where ever we wanted. Pity that was a piece of crap (thanks Budget), which topped out at 90 if there was even a hint of an incline.


The Tasmanians are getting a reputation for making good whisky. We found the Nant ( bar in Salamanca. Julia isn’t a fan of whisky, but I do enjoy a wee taste. I looked at a tasting board and when I got to the sherry cask I was reaching for my credit card, but at $165/bottle (500ml) I erred. What is interesting is that every man and his dog is making gin as well. Maybe because it doesn’t need to be bonded as long as whisky it is a way to earn some return on the spend on equipment? Some of it is really good too.


Have you been to Hobart? No? Do it, its fab.

To make sure we had somewhere to eat I booked the Friday and Saturday nights. Arrival at 9pm on a Thursday was an issue though. Who would have thought a city would be basically closed? Well, it was. We eventually found Frank ( Tapas style food and some ripper Pinot from barrel made things ok. Turns out it was a good thing I waved off the 3 course meal on the Qantas puddle hopper.

So, a fresh start and plans to head to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) for the day. Brekkie…Smolt ( in Salamanca. Sister restaurant to Frank from the night before. Interesting menu, good coffee. Winning!

MONA is stunning. Even the ferry ride over is fun. I’m not really an art enthusiast and some of the installations were a little…ah…challenging. The 52 plaster cast moulds of vaginas was one. The “poo machine” another. But some were just flipping cool! You have to go to understand, but the building itself is worth seeing.


It was 4 day get away, so more to come.




Bad air

Hi Tony.

Happy World Gin Day!

I know. It really should be World Gin Day every day.


Sounds like Portugal and Spain were pretty special. Breakfast beer snacks? I think you’re onto something. But I think they should stick to their beer and maybe wine. Gin & Tonics in Spain? Maybe it’s better than some of the overpriced, rather simple versions you are subject to in SE Asia?

Winter is upon us, but we live in constant fear of those pesky (possibly) disease carrying mossies. Luckily there haven’t been any reported cases of malaria in some time, but I put that down to herd immunity. My efforts alone should be enough to protect vast swathes of the community. It’s my little bit for the greater good.

There has been a surge in the interest in gin here. So much so I would put some of the local gins up against most any others. My personal favourite is from Yarra Valley, Four Pillars (, though the newer Melbourne Gin Company ( from right here is also more than acceptable. While the “standard” fare have beautifully balanced botanicals, the Four Pillars Barrel Aged has a little vanilla toastiness that makes it perfectly fine to sip over some ice…no tonic needed.



I was lucky enough to be treated to some very special gin from Scotland the other day courtesy of Alex & Amanda. Sipped over some ice, the Caorunn packed a juniper punch that almost gave you “cat’s bum” perse. Smooth as a well-worn…sporran! The NB was a little rougher around the edges. Good, but not as good.Caorunn


So much for the gin. Let’s get to the tonic. No, I don’t mean overpriced, genuine imitation quinine and sugar filled soda water. I mean the real McCoy! Tonic syrups have been a revelation for me over the last 12 months. They all have their own quirks, it’s worth having a few in the fridge ready to go.


Made with actual quinine, a bunch of botanicals and unrefined sugars, these things pack a healthy bitter punch. Want more bite, merely add a dash more. Oh, having a Soda Stream or the like is ideal. Then there isn’t even a need to buy soda water for the spritz.

What I find strange is that many of these are made in the US. Not somewhere I normally associate with G&T’s.


My favourite syrup at the moment is C & B’s. My preference is a 1:4:1 mix with soda water and gin.

Only Bitters in Melbourne ( carries a pretty good range.

It’s a cool day today and I’ve picked up some awful lurgy on public transport, so I am forced to be a philistine and not have a gin. I feel bad not being able to celebrate gin on this auspicious day.

Need to keep moving. Slow braised beef is nearly ready to put a pastry top on it and throw it back in the oven. Might even light a fire tonight…to keep the mossies away of course.



Beer snacks part 2

Hey Dan,

Spain and Portugal

Of course we do

Beer snacks you say? After two weeks in Portugal and Spain I think I can say these guys have a handle on beer snacks – especially the Spanish.

Okay, there’s some cheating here – tapas goes with beer just as well as with wine, and eating tapas (or pintxos, the tapas on a spike usually served on bread) is something of a national sport.

There are a few ‘standard’ items on a tapas menu like olives, anchovies, and calamari that are obviously good beer snacks, though hardly only available in Spain. The fact that it’s available on every corner means they do it with good ingredients though.

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Olives and anchovy fillets; yeah, that works

Oh, and beer – well, the available almost everywhere on tap local Estrella Damm or (why is this everywhere?) Heineken – is cheap at somewhere between 1.30 and 1.50 Euros a glass. I must say I don’t mind the Estrella for a mass-produced beer. It’s a pilsner, so pretty easy drinking, and has a very fine, creamy head. Apparently the bottled stuff is nowhere near as good.

Also what’s interesting is that the whole microbrewery thing doesn’t seem so big here. One reason may be the pricing – when the majors are so cheap, competing is not going to be easy. That said, I did find a few nice, hoppy ales – Espiga Garage IPA and a Cervesa del Montseny – in a hipster bar in central Barcelona called B-Rita.

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What is hot right now – hotter than Hansel in Zoolander – is gin and tonic. Traditionally the Spanish make it in a large goblet full of ice, which makes for nicer presentation than the usual tumbler. The bar at the Hotel Urban in Madrid had literally pages of gins and tonics from which to choose, though at around 15 Euros I can see why they’re keener on serving these than beers.

At Carmelitas in Barcelona, the G&T selection was more limited, but at 7.50 Euros better value – and the bartender had a very heavy pouring hand.

But back to the beer snacks.

Jamon is like a religion in Spain, and when you get the proper jamon Iberico belotta (made from black Iberian pigs fed on acorns), resistance is useless. I’m a convert. It was on my breakfast plate, almost always a component of lunch, and on the pre-dinner tapas menu too.

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Do you have any jamon? Just another store in Madrid

Some Spanish friends tell me that their vegetarian friends eat the stuff. It is that good. With its strong flavour and saltiness, it is the perfect beer snack.

But deep fried – anything deep fried – is almost always something that goes with beer, and croquettes are the ultimate.

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Portugese style croquettes: Good, but there’s better

You get croquettes in different flavours, and bacalao, or salt cod, is pretty common. I had some in Portugal – though these were made with potato, rather than béchamel, which is the preferred Spanish method. The former were a bit dry and chewy, whereas the latter almost always yields a hot, creamy, salty, fishy mouthful. I’m hungry just thinking about it.

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Forget the flavoured croquets; I’ll have the jamon

But when croquetas are made with jamon, that’s a combination made in heaven. The ultimate beer snack? I think so.



World’s best beer snacks

Hi Tony,

It doesn’t seem to matter what country you visit, ok with a few exceptions, but a chilled frothy ale or lager can be found AND usually combined with some form of tasty, salted snack ultimately making you want more and another beer as well.

Japan is no different. No, not salted nuts, but rather boiled and salted soy beans. Edamame. For a moment you can even convince yourself of their nutritional worth. After all, they are merely boiled soy beans, right? If it wasn’t for the lashings of salt, I think you’d be safe.


I know you introduced me to tasty fried seaweed snacks from Korea, but we’ve tracked down ones with tempura on one side. So much fried, salty seaweed goodness. Makes me want another ice cold micro brew.

What about the age old fav? Simple, I know, but done well fries and some aoli is pretty hard to go past. Hot, crispy, salty potato goodness.


Perhaps it is because it was cold when we were in Japan and autumn is very much upon us here, but the edamame or fries for me as both are warm or hot in the case of the fries. When the weather warms up again, maybe I’ll err back towards the seaweed snacks?!

What have you found in your travels which you’d say make the world’s best beer snack?







Hi Tony.

Am currently sitting on an Asama 625 super-express Shinkanzen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Nagano. I’ve never been on one before, but can highly recommended it. Smooth is an understatement. All the while cruising at a lazy 325km/h. This is one of the older, slower trains. As you would understand, the red Shinkanzen is the really fast one.

We’ve just finished our stint in Tokyo. Off to the snow for some downtime.

Tokyo really did turn it on for us. Not only did we get thoroughly spoilt by our local friends, but we also happened to arrive just before cherry blossoms. There is a reason the Japanese celebrate this so passionately. While we had the pleasure of sharing the cherry blossoms with a few others in Ueno, we unfortunately missed the spectacle that is the Imperial Gardens. Next time perhaps.


Our food adventures continue, with breakfast being the only thing to disappoint. I just don’t get the infatuation with the worst that the US can offer. Bad, and I mean bad, coffee matched with an ultra-sweet donut. Try as we may, the best we got was a bakery for a croissant or one better, an almond croissant. Nice, but just not breakfast.


Dining at railway stations is a Japanese pastime. You wouldn’t do it in Australia, maybe Thailand? The choice of food types and quality on offer at Japanese railway stations is extra-ordinary. Cheap, fast, and chock full of stuff. Much of it I wasn’t able to identify, but it tasted damned fine.

Ok, on downside. I don’t get the Japanese fixation with smoking. You cant do it on the street, so they do it in restaurants instead. I’ve never wolfed down a bowl of piping hot udon as fast as when the table next to us lit up. Sometimes you find a restaurant with a smoking section. This is often neatly divided from non-smoking by a bamboo blind (or similar). I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it is simply shit at keeping smoke out.

Speaking of hungry. I’ve been told there is a snack trolley on the train. Yeah, no sign of that happening. Might put this on hold and explore the train a little.

no food trolley

Back. Hungry, bordering on hangry (hungry angry). The people across from us had a picnic they bought on the station platform. Smells great.

Ok, quick snack in Nagano station from 7-Eleven. They have sushi fresh daily and often find Japanese grabbing their lunch from 7-Eleven, Lawson or Family Mart. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It actually works quite well.

An hour in a taxi to Hakuba, because we were too late for bus. Hakuba is a hot little snow town. We are staying in Happo One (pronounced “on-e”). Unfortunately it is very late in the season and a lot of bars and restaurants are closed. Despite that, we found and onsen in our hotel and there are a multitude of restaurants on the mountain where you can get ramen, katsu (fried pork fillet), ramen, curry, fried chicken, ramen, pasta or ramen. While a good katsu-don (fried pork fillet with egg on a bowl of rice) or katsu-curry (you get the picture), the ramen is often the way to go. Salty stock flavoured with miso or soy, some noodles, bamboo shoots, spring onions, seaweed and an egg, with optional slice of roast pork, tempura or similar. $6-10/bowl and you are good for the afternoon, even with some skis strapped on and lots of vertical feet to cover. Did I mention it is good washed down with an icy cold Kirin or Sapporo? If you are lucky they might even have some Suntory Malted, which is just that little bit more special than the standard lager.


Breakfast continues to disappoint us. Miso soup and trimmings is nice from time to time, but the Japanese appear to have determined that the US has the best breakfast offerings going. Sure, a stack of French toast with fresh fruit and maple syrup, with a side of crispy bacon is a nice treat, but even that is hard to find. Pale, limp bacon, scrambled “eggs” (not sure they are made from egg), pan fried potatoes and plump little pork sausages. Ok the sausages are good, but I can’t only have those.

We are off shortly to Japanese BBQ. It’s derived from Korean BBQ, but with some Japanese flare. Perhaps I should say “Japanese improvement”? I don’t want to be unfair to Koreans. We are planning a trip to Seoul next year and I am excited about that visit.

Better fly. Getting that hangry feeling again.

We’ve got another day here before Tokyo and home. Still plenty of time to eat. 







Hi Tony,

Sitting in hotel room looking over a building site to Ginza. Before I even talk about food, there is the Japanese way of doing things. It is a fascinating thing watching the site. Everything is immaculate, right down to the guys hosing the tyres of the trucks as they leave, in case they were to drop dirt on the road. I’m now wondering if the building will be finished at a certain time on a certain date. Reckon I could set my watch to it.

If only I could bring these guys over to build our place?! Maybe even entice them to a tropical island to build something for you?

I had most of a day to fill in before Julia arrives, so I headed up to Kappabashi on the advice of a well researched, passionate knife collector colleague of mine, Justin. He armed me with just enough information to ensure I bought something pretty good, but avoid the exquisite ¥50,000+ works of art. So, I’ve ended up with a 210mm wa gyuto aogami with a kasumi finish. In short, I bought a very nice kitchen knife. Pic to follow (the thing is wrapped so carefully, I can’t open it until I get home).


We’re delighting in the Japanese food, as per usual. Alright, breakfast isn’t on our list of special cuisine, but the rest is just sublime.

Old dear friends of mine, Atsushi, and his wife Yumiko took us out to Soregashi in Gotanda. A favourite of theirs. While chicken is the theme and highlighted in many ways, it wasn’t all we ate. There was a healthy chunk of delightfully seared fois gras on a carefully constructed chicken rissole, for example.


Atsushi explained Soregashi over a few glasses of sake, which I will get to shortly. Soregashi is an old samurai word meaning ‘me’, or ‘I’. It is not a word used in today’s language and was really only ever used by a Samurai when speaking with a Lord or Shogun.


Every time we catch up with Atsushi and Yumiko we are treated to superb out of the way places. The sort of place that unless you knew about it…you get my drift. But not only is it a case of finding these gems (I’d never be able to locate it again without help), it’s the food and drink ordering that takes a seasoned expert. I can’t even tell you what we ate, but the chicken sushi, yes raw chicken, was delectable as was the celery sorbet to help close the night off.


What continues to surprise and impress me is the complexity and versatility of sake. Even here Atsushi sought advice of the “sommelier”. We drank a variety of sake, some of which could easily have been mistaken for some slightly obscure white wines.

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The final sake was rich, sweet, but with a clean acidic finish. The sort of thing I would expect and get from a Auslese Riesling from the Rhine or a late harvest Semillon from the Hunter Valley. Which would I chose to finish a night off? Damned if I wouldn’t chose the slightly nutty hint in the sake. The name of it? Just grab it off the handmade paper label below…


After piling into a cab at 1am, not a bad effort given that Julia flew in from New York at 5:30pm and I had been on the go for about 40 hours, we remembered our deep fondness for this city.

We have pretty much opted for ‘fast food’ for lunches, which usually consists of ramen, katsu or ramen. Even better, wander off one of the main streets for 50m and you’ll find somewhere with a menu with pictures and a startlingly good feed for $6-8. Who knows what’s in it, but there is a reason there are a bunch of locals there.

We’ve got another day off tomorrow before we have 3 days of trade show goodness to get stuck into. Not sure what our diet will look like during those days…

Better kick this off to you.



Cocktail Hour(s)

Hey Dan,

Yes, it has been too long. Oops.

The New Year’s Resolution was to put in a bit more effort at meeting people in our adopted hometown, so the plan is to go to the opening of a paper bag if there’s an invite.

As a result we’ve been doing a lot of standing around at cocktail functions, and noticing just how badly they’re done a lot of the time. So, in no particular order, here’s a list of things to consider for your next function from a (slightly pickled) expert:


1 Finger food. Notice the name. It implies food that may be eaten using one’s fingers. Anything much bigger than a Ritz cracker is not really going to work. Roast meat is lovely, but not to be served in giant slices at a stand-up cocktail function. If you expect people to balance a glass, a plate, a knife and fork, expect broken crockery and glassware. If you’re doing it at home here’s the world’s simplest recipe: buy roast duck from your nearest Asian restaurant; cut into pieces and place on plain rice crackers; add half a teaspoon of hoi sin sauce and a little spring onion. Viola! Finger food. How difficult is that?



Martini = no fruit!

2 Drinks. Okay, while it’s called a cocktail function, usually martinis are sadly absent. (When I say martini I mean gin and a waft of vermouth; anything with more fruit than a twist of lemon is not a martini). Why is it a cocktail function, and why must I wear cocktail attire,  if there are no cocktails? Usually you’ll get wine of both colours and beer. If you’re lucky, one of the three will be palatable. Boozy types – yes, we’ve been to a few Austcham Thailand functions – will inevitably gravitate towards the service area. Set up a couple, otherwise those blokes in suits will have the effect of a black hole on light waves – nothing is going to get out. And here’s a hint: if you put the food and booze service areas in the same place in the venue, it’s going to get crowded there.

3 Venues. These types of functions are bread and butter for hotels, and most event organisers don’t have enough imagination to see past them. There are other options. In Hong Kong recently we went to an event at Umami Concepts, which is pretty-much a large two-room apartment with a big semi-commercial open kitchen. Stand-up cocktail party? Check. Cocktails even. Also cooking classes, events like olive oil tastings, and a decent place to film cooking shows, so I expect it’s rather busy. It’s a great idea in Asia, where space is at a premium, and because it was essentially run by the chef, with one waiter doing the clearing duties. Good thinking.

Now if you’ll pardon me – it’s getting close to the  cocktail hour and I need to suit-up.