Australian Wine Exports to China drop!

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International Travel now

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The indomitable and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM gives an update international travel in a…

MORE complex world because of the china virus.

International travel is very complicated right now. The vaccines against the vile china virus are a very good start to defeat the virus that  vile china deliberately spread worldwide. However, many countries are still closed to travel. They include Australia and Canada, and popular Asian destinations like Thailand, India and Japan, even as Japan prepares for Tokyo 2020

In January 2021, Seychelles became the first country to open its doors to vaccinated travellers from all over the world, including no quarantine requirements. This marked a reassuring milestone for international travel and paved the way for ‘vaccine passports’, which could be the golden ticket to a true spring or summer vacation this year.

*Subject to travel restrictions in your country of origin

What's happening in travel now?

You can go to Hungary if you have recovered from the china virus or you have a negative china virus test. You can also travel to the Maldives, the Caribbean Islands and the Mediterranean Islands as long as you have a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction).

You can also have adventures at home and do staycations and explore parks and beaches.

Finally we realize that these problems began with vile china wilfully spreading the virus worldwide as more and more proof of their culpability emerge.

The world’s best airline, Singapore Airlines has also been badly hit by the vile china virus.

Singapore Airlines posts S$142 million loss in Q3 2020 as passenger numbers plunge 97.6% !

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Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The indomitable and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about…

MARVELLOUS Singapore Airlines, the world’s best airline!

The Diamond rating is the highest level
attainable in the APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying audit of global airlines.

The audit was jointly conducted by industry body Airline Passe
Experience Association (APEX) and aviation strategy firm SimpliFlying. A rigourous
quantitative 58-point checklist covered 10 categories. These included testing,
tracing, on-the-ground procedures, in-flight measures and partnerships to further
enhance safety integrity.
The diamond rating marks at least 200 points above the minimum gold standard determined by APEX and SimpliFlying for passenger safety and well-being. Standards are based on independently verified,validated, and certified airline passenger health safety measures.

Yeoh Phee Teik, Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Singapore Airlines,
remarked: “Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, we undertook a comprehensive review of
our health and safety measures together with our partners and regulators, in
consultation with medical experts, and by taking on board customer feedback.
“Our teams deep-dived into many check points along the end-to-end customer
journey. We reinforced existing procedures where necessary, enhanced some of
them, introduced new measures to supplement them, and used digital technologies
to complement them and support a more seamless travel experience. Singapore Airlines is renowned for our industry-leading product and service, and we will continue to ensure that world-class health and safety standards remain an integral part of our brand promise.”

CEO of APEX, Dr. Joe Leader explained: “Singapore Airlines’ commitment to customer
well-being shines via a contactless journey management bolstered by best-in-class
onboard hygiene. As a Diamond health safety certified airline, Singapore Airlines
has gone a step beyond investing in their passengers’ wellness by implementing
the latest advances in testing and health passport technology.”

Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying, added: “Singapore Airlines has raised the bar
for health safety standards in the industry with initiatives such as near-touch checkin kiosks, mobile notifications for baggage delays and digitisation of in-flight menus
and magazines. Taking hospital-grade measures in ensuring health safety will help
bolster trust among travellers.”

10 ways passengers can help make S'pore Airlines stewardesses' job on board  SQ flights easier | New Nation

Back when no masks were necessary and we could admire their beauty…

Health and safety when travelling with Singapore Airlines

SIA has introduced comprehensive health and safety measures to ensure the wellbeing of our customers and staff members. Pre-departure measures include basic passenger health assessments, as well as contactless services such as mobile check-in and digital in-flight menus.
SIA regularly applies anti-microbial coating on high-touch surfaces including areas
in the lounges, as well as various sections of the aircraft cabin including the
lavatories. On selected aircraft, electrostatic spraying machines containing a
disinfecting agent are used to sanitise the cabin.

During the flight, SIA requires all customers and staff members to wear masks unless
they are eating or drinking. Cabin crew are also required to wear goggles, as well
as gloves when necessary, while interacting with our customers. They are also
required to be in protective gowns on flights from certain sectors.
While all physical newspapers and magazines have been removed, SIA offers
customers a free e-Library via their personal tablets and mobile devices that
provides access to more than 1,000 global publications. Meal services have been
simplified to reduce contact, but SIA has managed to reintroduce favourites such as
its satay and garlic bread for premium classes within one tray.

All SIA aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which
remove more than 99.9% of particles including airborne viruses and bacteria in the
cabin. The cabin air is refreshed every two to three minutes throughout the flight.
This is a very important point because I well remember that in the days before the horrid china virus wilfully spread by China worldwide, when you went on a long flight to London or Paris of 12 to 13 hours, and there were some people coughing away in the cabin,,,when you arrived you would come down with a cough and cold too! This happened to me and my family a few times, until we started using a virucidal gargle before and during and after the flight. Then all was well!

Post-flight, headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, bedsheets and blankets are
replaced. Linens are washed at high temperatures to disinfect them after every use.

The Travelling Gourmet TM says: Keep calm and carry on flying with SIA!

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Croatian wine for Biden’s Inauguration

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM reveals that a…

MOST unusual wine frrom Craotia will be served at the Inauguration of President Elect Biden,

The new American President and his team will enjoy a touch of Croatia beacuse wines from the Pelješac peninsular vineyards will be served. A fascinating story is that the Croatian wine in question is a wine that covers both sides on the Atlantic. The vineyards are based in Croatia they are owned by an American family.

At Joe Biden’s inauguration wines from the Dingač and Benmosche Family Zinfandel at 15% alcohol will be served. A great moment for Croatian wines, and Pelješac wines, as the world’s media zooms in on the Inauguration of the 78 year old Biden.


The vineyards in question were started by Robert H. Benmosche. He was the former head of the world’s largest insurance group, AIG, and was also a former advisor to President Barack Obama. Benmosche, who was a passionate lover of Dalmatian wines, planted the vines in 2006 on the terraced slopes of Dingač. Benmosche passed away in 2015, but his family continued working on the vineyards. The famous winemaker, Marija Mrgudić, who Benmosche referred to as his “boss” when he arrived in Pelješac carried on wine making. Benmosche fell in love with the area so much that he bought a luxurious sea-front villa in Dubrovnik before his demise.

The late Ben Benmosche

The question is why was an American Zinfandel from California not chosen??? Zinfandels from the Napa Valley are very famous. They are known as Primitivo in Puglia, Italy. The variety is actually from Croatia called Crljenak Kastelanski that was identified in 2002 by UC Davis.

The Travelling Gourmet TM says: Keep calm and carry on drinking wine!

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Whiskey from Israel!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The indomitable and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about…

MILK and Honey Whiskey Distillery from Tel Aviv in Israel.

This is now a new Whiskey from Israel the land of milk and honey. Hence the name of M & H Whiskey Distillery. Only Whisky from Scotland is spelled WHISKY. Others are spelled Whiskey. I am actually partial to classic Scotch Whisky from Scotland like Glenfiddich and Glenlivet. However it is a good thing that there is now this new whiskey from Israel.

Unlike Scotland which is usually very cold in winter, this whiskey has HOT CLIMATE MATURATION.

Israel has 300 sunny days in an average year! The Mediterranean climate allows hot climate maturation so that the whisky ages rapidly, yet gracefully.

The warmer weather takes gives a specific terroir which yields unique flavours that differ from their Old-World counterparts. Our methods, technique and equipment follow centuries-old knowledge. The tradition of minimum three years of aging is also maintained. The casks used include ex- bourbon casks, ex-red wine casks and STR casks plus unusual casks like pomegranate wine, kosher sherry and rum casks. Ceratinly something very different from the Old World. STR means Shaving, Toasting and Recharring when applied to casks.

The Classic Single Malt Whisky is made using the finest casks that used to contain bourbon and special red-wine STR casks. At 46% alcohol it has a light and balanced character. A vanilla nose and on the palate, vanilla, honey and caramel. Presented in a 700ml bottle.

Tomer Goren the Head Distiller also has Apex White Wine Cask, Apex Pomegranate Cask and Apex Cognac Cask. Apex Pomegranate has a nose of ripe pomegranate with a palate of figs. Cognac Cask has aromas of cloves, star anise and thyme with a palate of nutmeg and tart red berries.

Apex Cognac Cask
Apex White Wine Cask

L’chaim! {Cheers in Hebrew}

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SIA delivers 1st shipment of china virus vaccines to Singapore


21 December 2020 –World’s best airline, Singapore Airlines (SIA), delivered the first shipment of PfizerBioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore earlier this evening on board one of its Boeing 747-400 freighters. This was also the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipmentto be delivered to a country in Asia.

The precious vaccines were carried on board SQ7979, a scheduled freighter service from
Brussels, Belgium, to Singapore. The flight departed on 20 December 2020 and
arrived in Singapore on 21 December 2020 at approximately 1955 hours.
The shipment was prioritised for loading into the aircraft in Brussels and was given
similar precedence during unloading in Singapore. It was then transported to SATS’s
cold-chain facility, Coolport, for subsequent storage and ground transportation.
Prior to today’s delivery flight, SIA conducted a successful shipment trial on 19
December 2020 on the same freighter flight route. Besides ensuring the smooth
and safe delivery of the thermal shippers, also known as the cool boxes, used for
the trial, the internal temperature of each box was actively tracked on an end-to end basis. The sublimation rate of the dry ice in the cool boxes was also measured.
Mr Chin Yau Seng, Senior Vice President Cargo, SIA, said: “The delivery of this first
batch of Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore is an important milestone in the fight
against Covid-19, and we are honoured to be able to play a part in this. It also
served to demonstrate SIA’s and the Singapore air hub’s readiness for the very
important job of transporting and distributing Covid-19 vaccines internationally.”

Due to the horrid china virus wilfully spread by vile china, SIA lost some 3.5 billion Singapore dollars in 2020. I am confident SIA will bounce back! Keep calm and carry on flying!

The Airline interview | Ziyi Kuek / Skat3rgalz

Back when no masks were needed…

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120 year old CHOCOLATE!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet is flabbergasted by the…

MEMORABLE discovery of very OLD chocolate by the National Library of Australia. It is old, very old…120 years old to be exact!

Conservators at the NLA found the sweet treats from the personal collection of the famous Australian poet Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson. Banjo Paterson wrote ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘The Man from Snowy River’. The precious tin of chocolates was found among the poet’s collection of diaries, newspaper clippings and poetry.

The chocolate bar was found in a souvenir chocolate tin (pictured) that was provided to soldiers by Queen Victoria during the Boer War

The chocolate was found in a souvenir chocolate tin that was given to soldiers by Queen Victoria during the Boer War. Six bars of Cadbury’s chocolate in their original wrapping were found still in very good condition.

According to conservator Jennifer Todd, ”There was quite an interesting smell when they were unwrapped, an old tin of chocolates, belonging to Banjo, with the chocolates still wrapped in the box.” AMAZING! The chocolate bar still had the old packaging made of straw and the silver foil wrapping still around the chocolate.

The 120 year old chocolate (pictured) was discovered in the Banjo Paterson's personal collection of papers by the National Library of Australia

HM Queen Victoria personally commissioned the tins of chocolate to boost the morale of the Boer War troops during their battles, with ‘South Africa, 1900’ and ‘I wish you a happy New Year, Victoria RI’ inscribed on the tin with the Royal Emblem. The Second Boer War (11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902) was fought between the British Empire and two independent Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, over the Empire’s influence in South Africa.

Banjo Paterson (pictured) was believed to have bought the chocolate off soldiers during his stint as a war correspondent in South Africa

Banjo Paterson (pictured) was believed to have bought the chocolate off soldiers during his  daring stint as a war correspondent in South Africa. Cadbury UK created the historical chocolates for British troops when Buckingham Palace placed an order for 70,000 to 80,000 pound tins of cocoa that was to be paid out directly from the Queen’s own purse.

According to the Cadbury Brothers, ‘the cocoa must be made into a paste and sweetened ready for use under the rough and ready conditions of camp life’ and ‘the tins to be specially made and decorated.’

The collector’s tins became a popular item to trade, with some tins going for five to ten pounds on the front.

Apparently Banjo Paterson bought the chocolate tin from British troops in 1899 when he was a war correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in South Africa. Banjo later sent it back to Australia..

The new home of the 12o year old Chocolate is now the National Library of Australia as part of wider collection of Banjo Patterson’s personal items. Can I try some of the chocolate please???

I love Old Jamaica!

ICadbury is bringing back a classic chocolate bar after a decade off our  shelves - Mirror Online

From the poem ‘The man from Snowy River” by Banjo Paterson

“He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko’s side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
Where a horse’s hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride,
The man that holds his own is good enough.

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NO more self service buffets!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The intrepid and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM explains the…

MONUMENTAL change to the Eat As Much As You Want Self Service Buffet. Do you remember when we could just help ourselves to 6 Oysters au naturel and 6 Lobsters on the half shell??? I do. Well, for the time being those days are gone with the wind. All because of the vile and horrid china virus which china cursed on the world. Cover-ups, lies and wilful spreading of the china virus worldwide by china has led to this.

Best buffets in Singapore: Where to go for a top-notch all-you-can-eat  spread of international bites, seafood delights, and more

Au revoir to self serve buffets because of the vile china virus!

Now diners can enjoy unlimited servings in the à la carte style or they can select from from special curated set menus. However, ordering by ticking off items on a paper menu sheet loses a lot in the visual sense where before you could see the food and dishes before you in chillers or in hot chafing dishes! The style and savoir faire is missing n’est pas… A lot of the fun is missing. I miss too the live cooking stations.

More staff needed but less capacity!

Another vital concern for restauranteurs is that the newly redesigned buffet format means that restaurants need more staff. Switching to an à la carte format has resulted in a 40 percent increase in staffing. Each and every food item has to be served to the diners’ tables, including drinks and condiments. This has led to an increase in operating costs, while sales have dropped by 30 to 40 percent due to spacing constraints due to safe distancing.” A double whammy body blow! C’est tres terrible! IN addition, the staff have to have to work with entirely separated shifts and teams that do not mix or overlap. This of course causes serious rostering issues. Most diners do not realise these issues facing the restaurants.

At a recent Staycation in the 5 Star Grand Hyatt Singapore, I experienced the new a la carte buffet in the Grand Club for breakfast and Cocktails and Canapes. I had to tick off my orders like yummie Smoked Salmon, Prawn Cocktail, Cheese Selection, etc. as well as Wines and Cocktails. It was nice to be served but I still miss the former self serve concept.

Let us hope the new vaccines against the china virus and other measures will put an end to the virus pandemic! The Travelling Gourmet TM says: Keep calm and carry on eating!



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Horrid china virus CRASHES Aviation Industry!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The audacious and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM tells the plain truth about the…

MOST terrible crisis for the aviation industry ever!!

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced a worsening forecast for the airline industry losses in 2020. WHY? POURQUOI? WIESO? It is because of the vile china virus deliberately spread by china around the world.

On November 24, 2020, IATA issued an economic performance report of the airline industry, indicating that losses are set to worsen. The industry body predicted that airlines are set to finish 2020 with $118 billion of losses. In July 2020, IATA indicated that the industry was forecast to lose $84.3 billion in 2020. However, all is not doom-and-gloom, as the association predicted that losses could be cut to $38 billion in 2021.

Passenger traffic dropping significantly, revenues are estimated to fall by 66% in 2020. The LARGEST decline…since the Second World War. Throughout the year an estimated $347 billion will be spent by tourists traveling by air, which is 59% less than in 2019. In 2021, the tourist spending should increase to $559 billion and come back to the levels last seen since  2012.

Aircraft manufacturers are predicted to complete the delivery of 800 new aircraft before the end of the year. That is approximately half of all planned deliveries at the beginning of 2020. IATA predicts that in 2021, airlines will take delivery of 1302 new aircraft, which is close to the numbers of 2019. Nevertheless, more delivery delays and order cancellations are to be expected as the demand will continue to recover slowly.

IATA estimates that the total employment by airlines will decline to 1.9 million in 2020.

Air cargo is expected to continue showcasing resilience, in part due to the role that it will have in vaccine distribution. Cargo volumes are expected to grow from 54.2 million tons in 2020 to 61.2 million tons in 2021, almost matching the 61.3 million tons carried in 2019.

Strict cost-cutting measures and an increase in demand could lead to the industry being cash-positive as early as Q4 of 2021. A possible vaccine is expected to be a turning point but as its distribution poses challenges, the recovery will take time, according to the association.

Effect on different regions

While the current crisis affected airlines all across the globe, some countries and regions will be affected to a different extent. North America, which boasts a large domestic market, is expected to recover quicker in 2021. The net profit margin will improve to -6.8% from an expected margin of -41.4% in 2020.

Europe, struggling with new lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the second wave of the pandemic, could see a slower recovery. Net losses in the region are estimated to go from $26.9 billion in 2020 to $11.9 billion in 2021.

Asia-Pacific region, despite the fact it was hit by COVID-19 first, should see a quick recovery. Big domestic markets in China and India have already recovered to pre-pandemic levels, according to IATA. Net losses in 2021 are forecast to decline to $7.5 billion, almost one-fourth of the losses in 2020.

Middle Eastern airlines rely on international flights, thereby the recovery in the region could be slower. The industry could see losses rise to $7.1 billion in 2020 and $3.3 billion in 2021.

Latin America’s recovery is also expected to be slow as some airlines were already facing financial difficulties prior to the pandemic. The region is forecast to post a $3.3 billion net loss in 2021, compared to $5 billion in 2020.

Future challenges

To restitute the mobility and freedom of movement, the next big challenge for the aviation industry is the safe re-opening of borders using the rapid antigen testing technology. IATA also emphasized the importance of preparedness for vaccine distribution.

“Borders must be open for distribution, cold-chain logistics facilities need to be available with trained staff, and security measures must be air-tight. On top of that, passenger operations with belly capacity must be scaled-up. This will be the largest and mostcomplex logistical exercise ever,” said the outgoing IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

De Juniac outlined the critical need for financial support for the aviation industry.

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Lab Grown Meat in Singapore!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The indomitable and audacious Travelling Gourmet TM highlights…

MEAT grown in a lab in Singapore! OMG! Would you eat it? ON December 2, 2020, anothet FIRST for sunny Singapore! The company Eat Just revealed that its cultured chicken has been given “first-in-the-world regulatory approval” by Singapore authorities. It will be used as an ingredient in its “chicken bites” or nuggets which the company plans to launch at a later date.

Safety tests found that the cultured chicken had “extremely low and significantly cleaner microbiological content” than traditional chicken.

Cultured or cell-based meat is meat developed in laboratories using animal cells. San Francisco-based Eat Just is known for its plant-based egg substitutes, said no antibiotics were used in its product. Tests showed that the cultured chicken has a high protein content, diversified amino acid composition, is in healthy monounsaturated fats and also has a rich source of minerals.  Other ingredients used in the chicken nuggets include breadcrumbs and mung bean protein, which is also used in their plant-based eggs.  These ingredients are also used in meatless vegan burgers and sausages.

Singapore grants world's first approval to lab-grown meat | Financial Times

The cultured chicken was manufactured at the Food Innovation and Resource Centre, a food research facility co-run by Singapore Polytechnic and Enterprise Singapore.  Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just explained, “Singapore has  long been a leader in innovation of all kinds, from information technology to biologics to now leading the world in building a healthier, safer food system,”

There is also lab grown lobster meat now in the pipeline by Shiok Meats expected to launch in 2022.

For me, I prefer chicken from poultry and lobster from real lobsters!

The Traveling Gourmet TM says: Keep calm and carry on eating! 🙂

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