The view from Södermalm
I recently returned from an Arctic Adventure to Swedish and Finnish Lapland with Photo Enrichment Adventures. My first stop was Stockholm, Sweden, where I spent a few days getting over jet lag and exploring the “Capital of Scandinavia.”
Love locks- they’re not just for Paris
Some of my favorite things about Stockholm were exploring the Nobel Museum in Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town. I enjoyed the charming cafes and interesting old streets in the area.
Swedish still life in Södermalm
Södermalm was my favorite area of Stockholm, with it’s trendy restaurants, cafes and creative vibe.
Taking a boat tour is a classic way to see Stockholm
If you’re into boats, don’t miss the Vasa Museum, one of the best experiences you’ll ever have with a sunken ship. I did not get to visit the Abba Museum, but I’m big on saving something for the next trip.
Swedish Zen at the Miss Clara Hotel
I stayed at the Miss Clara Hotel the first few nights. Located in a gorgeous 1910 Art Nouveau building that used to house a girls school, the vibe was modern and quiet, and had a lovely sauna in the basement.
Window shopping in Gamla Stan (old town)
Stockholm is chilly in the spring, with it’s waterfront location bringing winds off the Baltic sea.
A cute Stockholm native
a Swedish Frenchie in old town
Salmon, salmon and more salmon
I got to try a traditional Swedish smörgåsbord with all the trimmings at the Grand Hotel. Lingonberry jam, smoked fish, and the house 1874 Grand Aquavit to wash it down.
Skål! I’m a fan of the Aquavit
Flavored with caraway, anise and fennel, the aquavit reminded me of the Brennivín I tasted in Iceland.
Stockholm at night
I did some night shooting in Stockholm in preparation for heading to Lapland and chasing the Aurora Borealis. I was colder during the night shoot in Stockholm than anytime during the lapland part of my trip, due to winds. But I do like I the images I got of the city at night.
I couldn’t resist taking a selfie in gorgeous Stockholm window light
The light in Stockholm was beautiful at times and flat at others. But the window light was so delicious I couldn’t resist taking a selfie on my iPhone 6s.
The house special: pork and asparagus wontons
Sydney is one of my favorite cities to visit and I always enjoy checking out the food scene when I’m there. But unlike New York or LA where reservations are essential if you want to dine a hot foodie spot, many of Sydney’s of-the-moment restaurants don’t take reservations at dinner. The last thing I want to do when I’m traveling is wait in a line for over an hour for a meal.
Solo diners can eat at the counter at Mr. Wong
Fortunately, Jonathan Fambart, the amazing concierge at the Park Hyatt Sydney, pointed out that many of these same restaurants do take reservations for lunch. So my husband and I switched our plans to make lunch the primary meal of the day. Jonathan got us a table at Mr. Wong, the contemporary Chinese restaurant run by the Merivale group.
Craft cocktails at Mr. Wong focus on Shochu and fresh ingredients
While we had a table reserved, we opted to eat at the bar downstairs because it was slightly quieter. This is not a restaurant for serious conversation, as the brick walls and loft-like space make it rather loud. I started with a Yin martini made with shochu, vodke, Aperol, apricot brandy and fresh peach. It was not overly sweet and not Mad Men-strong, making it a nice choice for lunch.
Dim sum being prepared in the kitchen at Mr. Wong
Dim sum is only available at lunch, and we ordered a few different things to share. I very much enjoyed the pork and prawn shumai (AUS $12). The duck spring rolls (AUS $12) were also a nice alternative to an entire Peking Duck.
The oysters at Mr. Wong go for AUS $4 per piece
My husband very much enjoyed his rock oysters served drizzled with a ginger rice wine vinaigrette.
Duck Spring Rolls at Mr. Wong
There are also a wide variety of roast meats and live seafood on the menu at Mr. Wong, should you be in the mood for mud crab, rock lobster or a whole roast duck.
The Yin Martini at Mr. Wong
The atmosphere is stylish and the Central Business District location make Mr. Wong a popular spot for business lunches as well as dinners.
The decor is Cantonese contemporary chic
The standout dish of the meal was the special pork and asparagus wontons (I can’t remember the price). They were exceptional and had the right amount of smokiness and heat. I was expecting the duck to the highlight of the meal but I can’t stop thinking about those wontons!
The downstairs dining room and bar at Mr. Wong
Mr. Wong exterior tucked away on Bridge Lane
If you don’t want to wait for a table for dinner, head to Mr. Wong for lunch. The pork & asparagus wontons are not to be missed.
Address: 3 Bridge Lane, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Phone:+61 2 9240 3000
LUNCH Mon – Sun 12:00pm – 3:00pm
DINNER Mon – Wed 5:30pm – 11:00pm
Thurs – Sat 5:30pm – 12:00am
Sun 5:30pm – 10:00pm
YUM CHA Sat – Sun 10:30am – 12:00pm
Caprese di bufala (€ 12,00)
It’s not hard to eat well while in Italy. But when I heard that Alla Cucina delle Langhe is one of Tom Ford’s preferred lunch spots when in Milan, I decided to make a point to eat there.
Left: Rigatoni pomodoro e basilico (€ 11,00) Right: Tagliolini al burro fuso con grattata di tartufo “Bianchetto” (€ 26,00)
Located on the Corso Como, Alla Cucina della Langhe isn’t a tourist spot, but is popular with locals as a business lunch spot. Be sure to book ahead if you want a table. The menu focuses on foods from the Piemonte and Lombardia regions.
Filet alla griglia (€ 24,00)
The atmosphere was sedate and business-y and the service was top notch. The best dishes were the pastas, with the standout dish being the truffle-laden Tagliolini al burro fuso con grattata di tartufo Bianchetto (€ 26,00). It wasn’t particularly photogenic but it was delicious.
My husband and I split the grilled filet, which was served rarer than the medium we ordered…. because Europe.
The restaurant’s wine list is extensive, with a few “by the glass” options and a lot of different price points. We ordered a bottle of the 1998 Sugarille Brunello Di Montalcino, which unfortunately was corked when our server attempted to open it. The server handled the situation appropriately- seeking the manager and quickly and replacing the bottle with another.
That being said, I can’t recommend the 1998 Sugarille. Go for another Brunello Di Montalcino.
Alla Cucina della Langhe exterior
Alla Cucina delle Langhe
Address: Corso Como, 6, 20124 Milano, Italy
Phone:+39 02 655 4279
Closed on Sundays and the month of August
Hamachi tacos at Morimoto Maui
If you’re looking for a great restaurant in Wailea, I highly recommend checking out Morimoto Maui located at the Andaz Maui Resort. This Hawaiian outpost of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s eponymous restaurant is great for advanced foodies and sushi novices alike.
Left: Ishi Yaka Buri Bop Right: Ramen soup (Morimoto chicken soup)
Morimoto Maui’s menu had so many dishes that I wanted to try, that I ate at this restaurant four times during my recent trip. I also craved it as soon as I left.
Sushi and pickled ginger at Morimoto Maui
The menu focuses on a mix of Western and Japanese dishes, using the freshest local Hawaiian ingredients. The whole vibe is upscale yet casual, and the setting is modern, laid back and Aloha chic.
Patio at Morimoto Maui
The restaurant is has a small outdoor bar, a covered outdoor patio, sushi bar, and indoor seating options.
Tempura calamari salad served with quinoa and white miso dressing ($19)
Morimoto Maui is a great choice for foodies and beach bums alike– the vibe is mellow and you can totally cruise in for lunch in your cover-up and flip flops.
Ishi yaki buri bop: yellowtail on rice bowl prepared table side in a hot stone bowl ($30)
Open for both lunch and dinner, Morimoto Maui has innovative and classic dishes. I loved the hamachi tacos made with yellowtail, avocado, and creamy nuoc cham ($16) so much I ordered them every visit. Despite the hot and humid tropical environment, the ramen soup with chicken ($16) is also a standout and big enough to share. I noticed it on a lot of tables.
The yellowtail on rice after being prepared tableside
Sushi and sashimi is top notch. The Ishi Yaki Buri Bop ($39)– a rice bowl made with yellowtail cooked at your table in a hot stone bowl was inspired, delicious and satisfying. It’s also fun to order.
Sunset Yuzu Drop ($15) cocktail at Morimoto Maui
The restaurant has an inspired and witty cocktail list (Mai Chai or Sibiscus Hazerac, anyone?) as well as an extensive list of sakes and wines.
Morimoto Maui’s Aloha Chic Bar
The service is as impressive as the food. I’d suggest making a reservation if you’re planning on coming for dinner, particularly if you have a seating preference. Reservations can be booked through the restaurant or via Opentable.
3550 Wailea Alanui Drive
Wailea, Hawaii 96753
808 573 1234
Lunch: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM, daily
Dinner: 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Light, crispy and delicious Frutti di Mare at Il Giardino dell’Eden
On my last visit to Rome, I stayed at the Hotel Eden, which is one of my all time favorite properties in Italy’s Eternal City. I arrived prior to check in time and my room was not yet ready, so I headed up the the Eden’s rooftop bar and restaurant, Il Giardino dell’Eden for lunch.
The gorgeous view from the Giardino dell’Eden
I ordered the calamari, which I thought was steeply priced at €30. After tasting it, I decided it was worth every euro cent. The portion was large enough to share, and the calamari was so lightly crispy and delicious, especially when squeezed with fresh lemon. It was a hot summer day in Rome, so I also ordered an Aperol Spritz, my favorite Italian cocktail.
Aperol Spritz at Giardino dell’Eden
I can also recommend he zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta and taleggio cheese (€20). Both the spaghetti cacio e pepe (€18) and the mezzi rigatoni all’amatriciana (€20) are excellent if you’re in the mood for one of the famous pastas Rome is known for.
The menu at Il Giardino dell’Eden
Il Giardino is not cheap, but the spectacular view, great service, and delicious food make it well worth the price of admission.
NOTE: I’ve written about this restaurant before because I consider it one of the Great Rooftop Bars of Rome.
Il Giardino dell’Eden
Hotel Eden Rome
Via Ludovisi 49, Rome 00187, Italy
Telephone: +39 0647812761
Lunch 12:00 pm- 3:00 pm
Dinner 7:30 pm -11:00 pm