5 great cities, 5 incredible restaurants

 

When you visit a city, where do you want to go – a good restaurant, or the best restaurant? The best of course, is going to be subject to opinion and taste, but often locals and travellers alike will reach consensus on a city’s best restaurant. I admit it’s risky, and maybe controversial, but I have carefully hand-picked what are likely to be the top luxury restaurants, in 5 of my favourite cities. So let’s dig in!

Bistrotters, Paris

It’s natural to expect greatness when dining in Paris. French cuisine is known around the world, so when the world comes to Paris, restaurants have much to live up to. To get it out of the way – this restaurant is not near the Eiffel Tower, Pont Neuf or The Louvre; so if you’re after that romantic image then maybe don’t read on.

Bistrotter does however serve gorgeous looking, delicious tasting food, in a classic and relaxing Paris Bistro style environment. There is a great range of food and wine available and the staff will help you pair your meal with a delicious bottle. The food is not cheap, but it’s fantastic value – and for a restaurant that services sophisticated food and drink, the casual atmosphere means you can relax and focus on the flavours.

Aioli, Malé

While the Maldives is a very popular holiday destination, this capital city of the Maldives is actually not the most likely place that tourists would go. Most head for island resorts which by their ‘all inclusive’ nature, means you don’t get to tour and explore restaurants. However if you are heading to the Maldives I would recommend spending a day on this capital city island.

It’s a unique experience in general but also has a true gem of a restaurant, near Jetty number 5 on the north of the Island. Aioli is a small but perfectly formed restaurant and offers delicious local food at incredible value. The staff are attentive and polite, and the service is quick. The seating area offers a wonderful second story outdoor feel, and the menu has quite a wide variety of meal options. There is no alcohol sold on the island, but the fresh fruit juices are extremely delicious. The only warning I would give is that they generally make curries much spicier than you might expect, so if you want something mild make sure to mention it, and the staff will accommodate your request.

Hazara @ Face, Bangkok

Face is a fantastic restaurant in Bangkok offering Thai, Indian and Japanese cuisines.  The building was designed by an Englishman but is expertly crafted to resemble a traditional Thai house and offers an excellent mix of intimacy and atmosphere.

Hazara is the Indian section of their restaurant and is most definitely worth a visit offering the best Indian food I have ever tasted anywhere in the world.  They offer authentic Northern Indian cuisine that has exceptional flavour without floating in oil which can often be the case with many Indian Restaurants.  The food is reasonably priced and cooked to perfection, you will not be disappointed with anything on the menu.  They also have a cocktail bar (Face Bar) and make the best Lychee martini in the area.  The restaurant can be a little difficult to find so make sure you know where you are going before you set off as most taxi drivers will not be able to find the place without instructions!

Scoma’s Restaurant, San Francisco

Sometimes you find a restaurant that has it all, and Scoma’s is nearly it. The location is fantastic; it’s poised in the harbour of Fisherman’s Wharf, meaning the fresh catches don’t travel far before reaching your plate. The wine list, which has won a Wine Spectator ‘award of excellence’ 2 years in a row, features a broad range by the glass and bottle, including several fantastic locally produced varieties. The mouth-watering food features a fair range of well portioned meals for slightly, but not much higher than average prices.

The only real downsides to the restaurant are it’s a short walk from the main drag, which makes it hard to find – but good food is worth a wander. It’s also a seafood restaurant, which is only a downside if you don’t like fish, though there are some Italian options and steaks on the menu.

Yuatcha, London

Yuatcha is a Michelin star Dim Sum Restaurant / Tea-house that opened in 2004.  It is founded by Alan Yau who also created Wagamama, Busaba Eatthai and Hakkasan.  It is set on 2 floors with each having a completely different atmosphere.  Upstairs is more like a tea house which is well lit and although quite a small area it is always “buzzing”. Downstairs however is more intimate with the starry sky lights in the black ceiling, candles filling crevices in the walls and a tropical fish tank that runs the length of the bar. I would recommend getting a seat downstairs as it would be a shame to miss out on the beauty of this.

The menu is extensive and can be overwhelming for a novice dim sum eater however the staff are more than willing to offer advice.  I would highly recommend the venison puffs which are simply amazing and worth a visit just to try these alone!  The roasted duck pumpkin puff is also spectacular not only in taste but in presentation too.  The dim sum dishes are reasonably priced for a Michelin starred restaurant and much more fun than having a single main course (which they also offer and is still delicious).  Save room for desert as their sweets are works of art which you can see displayed upstairs alongside their extensive range of macaroons (which are also worth a try if you wanted to take a box home for later).  All in all this is a fantastic restaurant that is a lot of fun and well worth a visit.

Sean Thompson is Online Marketing Manager at Pure Holiday Homes.

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