Message from Hyatt President

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

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The intrepid and indomitable Travelling Gourmet TM is happy to receive a…

MESSAGE from the president of Hyatt.

World of Hyatt

Dear Michael,

I am reaching out on behalf of the entire Hyatt family to assure you that in times of uncertainty surrounding travel, your safety and wellbeing remain our highest priority.

We understand that you may be experiencing stress given the rapidly changing information on travel restrictions and cancelled or postponed public events. We want you to know that we are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely, keeping those who are affected in our hearts, and are listening carefully to the questions and concerns we receive from guests such as yourself.

Inspired by Hyatt’s purpose – we care for people so they can be their best – I would like to share a few updates that might help as you consider your next visit.

Confident in our care

Providing safe and clean environments for our guests and colleagues is always a top priority for Hyatt hotels globally – even more so today. We remain committed to upholding the highest standards of cleanliness, and want you to feel at ease when you visit Hyatt hotels, knowing you’ll experience the quality you expect from the Hyatt brand.

The below precautionary and response measures are helping us continue to provide a safe and clean environment:

    • Comprehensive COVID-19 guidance is in place at Hyatt hotels globally, detailing how to protect against transmission of the virus (including implementing hand sanitizer stations and frequent cleaning of high-touch areas), and procedures in case there is a suspected or confirmed case among our guests or colleagues

 

  • Cross-functional, global response teams, including infectious diseases and occupational health experts, provide guidance to our hotels and help address specific needs and situations when needed

We will continue monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) updates, and will respond based on the advice of governments, public health authorities, and medical professionals.

Flexible in your travel plans

We believe in responsible and safe travel while staying vigilant and following the recommended procedures and protocols by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local authorities.

Hyatt hotels continue to welcome business and leisure travelers with our established operational excellence and commitment to care.

As a reminder, to provide additional flexibility to our guests with travel plans in countries with severe travel restrictions, Hyatt is waiving cancellation fees for stays through March 31, 2020 for the following:

    • Guests residing in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Italy with reservations at Hyatt hotels globally

 

  • Guests with reservations at Hyatt hotels in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Italy

Guests who booked via online travel agents or other third parties are advised to contact their booking provider for information on their policies and for assistance.

We understand the need for increased flexibility with travel planning right now. To help guests, World of Hyatt is now extending special exceptions for all Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Hyatt on or before March 8, 2020 for travel through June 2020. If interested, guests holding these fully prepaid reservations who have decided not to travel may opt to receive 10,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points compensation in lieu of their stay to use toward future travel at any of our 900+ hotels across 17 brands globally. For full details and to make arrangements, guests can call one of our Global Contact Centers or email us at worldofhyatt@hyatt.com. Guests must contact us at least 48 hours before their stay to elect this (World of Hyatt Explorists and Globalists must contact us at least 24 hours before their stay dates to elect this). For interested non-members, colleagues will be able to quickly assist with enrolling the guest into World of Hyatt and creating a World of Hyatt account to deposit the points.

Committed to inclusion and respect

While travel – our shared passion – may temporarily be challenged, at Hyatt we believe in its enduring power to connect us and move us closer to our vision: a world of understanding and care. At all times, we remain grounded in our purpose and focused on our values of inclusion and respect. COVID-19 does not distinguish between nationality, race or geographic origin, and Hyatt’s steadfast commitment to inclusion and care guides our actions, at our properties and in our communities.

Thank you for your support and your loyalty. We will keep you updated through this dynamic situation and can’t wait to welcome you at one of our hotels soon.

 
My best,

World of Hyatt

MARK HOPLAMAZIAN
President & CE

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Marriott’s Marvellous Buffet

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

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The irrepressible and positive Travelling Gourmet M savours a marvellous Internatonal Buffet at…

MARRIOTT Singapore in Marriott Cafe. I began with the Seafood on Ice which boasted sweet and juicy Snow Crab Legs, Mussels and lots of Crayfish which tastes like Lobster and big Prawns. Yummie! Try with Spicy Sauce and Mignonette.

 

Crayfish, Baked Oyster au Gratin, Snow Crab Leg and Poached Prawns!

Smoked Salmon and tasty Proscuitto freshly sliced is always delightful. You can pair it with Honeydew Melon in the Italian Style. I liked too the Soy Marinated Salmon and Orange Marinated Salmon with Capers and Dill Mustard Dressing.

I also my a very nice Salad for myself from the Salad Bar which has Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Rocket, Green Frisee, Pumpkin Seeds, Chia Seeds and lots more. The Extra Virgin Olive Oils infused with Basil and Thyme plus the Vinegar Selection is very good.

Middle Eastern dishes like Hummus, Labneh and Baba Ganoush made from Eggplant are healthy choices with Pita Bread. Also cute Rice wrapped in Vine Leaves.

 

The Hot Carvery with Beech Oven is excellent. There was Roast Pork with crunchy Crackling, a whole large Salmon and Roast Prime Rib of Beef. A BIG choice of sauces like Red Wine, BBQ, Mushroom, Apple, Rosemary, Black Pepper Jus, Garlic Jus, Teriyaki, White Wine Sauce, Thyme, Cranberry and more. Enjoy with Roasted Vegtables like Pumpkin, Carrots and Squash A good choice of Mustards too including my favourite Pommery Whole Grain Mustard.

Marriott Beef20200217_105700_resized

The Travelling Gourmet TM says: I love a great, big juicy steak!

Indian Yummies offer Paneer Cheese Curry, Chicken Masala, Crispy Poppadoms, Egg Curry with Curry Leaves and more!

I also relished the Laksa made to order, plus delicious Cantonese Style Wan Hao Roast Chicken and Cantonese Style Roast Duck. Many different noodles like Mee Pok, Yello Egg Noodles and Vermicelli are available, and you can have your noodles with Chicken or Pork Broth too.

A good selection of Freshly Baked Breads and Cheeses like Emmental and Port Salut wre to my liking. I especially liked to Caramelized Walnuts and Almonds that go well with the Cheeses plus Cranberries.

 

Desserts including  a Chocolate Fountain is mind blowing. Sticky Date Pudding with creamy Custard and Chocolate Sauce, Bread and Butter Pudding. Cakes galore like Strawberry Mousse and Nyonya Kueh plus Ice Creams like Mango, Strawberry and Vanilla. Many condiments like Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate crunchy Balls and colourful Sprinkles are for you to add as you like.

Sticky Date Pudding, Chocolate Mousse and more…

Unlike other buffets there is also a free flow of Tea and Coffee included. I like a nice Cappuccino at the end of a good meal. Bon appetit! The Travelling Gourmet TM always says: Keep calm and carry on eating!

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
320 Orchard Road
Singapore 238865

Phone: (65) 6735 5800

International Buffet daily from 6.30pm to 10pm

Dinner Buffet
Sunday to Thursday
Adult: $78++
Child: $38++

Friday & Saturday
Adult: $88++
Child: $40++

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Pete’s Place in Grand Hyatt Singapore has closed!

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

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The irrepressible and peerless Travelling Gourmet TM tells you about one of…

MY favourites in Grand Hyatt Singapore.

Since 1973,  Pete’s Place at the Grand Hyatt Singapore has been one of Singapore’s oldest and best loved Italian restaurants. ALAS! Pete’s Place has closed as of 9 February 2020. One of my favourites for Italian cusine that used to always have an Italian Chef de Cuisine, I loved the DIY Salad and Freshly baked Bread Buffet. Breads are superb due of course to my dear freind, Gottfried Schutzenberger, the talented Regional Executive Pastry Chef. The Salad Buffet was complimentary if you dined before 7pm. Due to the challenging business environment since the Wuhan Corona Virus outbreak, the restaurant has closed for the time being.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/10/super-spreader-brought-coronavirus-from-singapore-to-sussex-via-france

 

 

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VINEXPO 2020 Paris

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lm The Travelling GOurmet TM

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The suave and debonair Travelling Gourmet reports on the…

MOST cutting edge trends at  the…

IWSR / WINE INTELLIGENCE CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Paris, 10 February 2020 – Vinexpo Paris inaugural conference of the new show reveals spirits premiumisation on upward trend and continuing success story of rosé growth – and shifting perception of wine in younger generation drinkers is a warning light for the wine trade.  

Drinking ‘less but better’ continues to be the key driver in spirits premiumisation and sets the outlook for vodka and national spirits towards 2023, both the IWSR and Wine Intelligence reported in a joint conference at Vinexpo Paris, the first to be held in the Vinexpo Academy’s programme of conference and events at the inaugural Paris show.

Thorsten Hartmann, Director of Consulting at IWSR said that superior volume growth in the standard-and-above brackets is a feature of most spirits sub-categories, with the exception of India-produced whisky. The growth of the Premium-and-above spirits market is forecast at 4.7% CAGR 2018–23, compared to 0.4% for standard-and-below spirits for the same period.

Global Forecast Volume 2018–23 shows a growth edge of spirits over wine, with spirits growth forecast at 0.6% (includes local products such as baiju) over wine at 0.2%.

In contrast to the premiumisation growth driver in spirits, for still and sparkling wine it is the standard-and-above segments that will drive overall growth for sparkling wine, but this will not be enough to counter a slight overall decline for still wines. Sparkling wine growth will be driven mainly by the US, Italy and Russia markets.

Rosé continues its success story with Wine Intelligence’s data 2007–19 showing an uptake in consumption across UK, Canada and the US of 50%, 41% and 36% respectively. According to Richard Halstead, COO of Wine Intelligence, rosé’s continuing growth is being driven by women and younger people and an increase in men drinking more of what was formerly regarded as an exclusively female drink.

Wine Intelligence’s (WI) Richard Halstead also highlighted a number of trends highlighting that wine’s position as the beverage of choice for 30–64 yr olds can no longer be taken for granted. These included the key trend that consumers appear to want to learn more about wine as a part of their lives, but (according to WI surveys) their level of knowledge of wine has fallen. How bottles appear and appeal to the consumer is also becoming more important to the consumer who is concerned with what the product says about them, visually, when viewed on Instagram for example.

“What the consumer, especially the younger consumer, seems to be saying,” Richard Halstead said, “is, paradoxically – ‘I want to learn more, but know less’ ”.    

Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris take place from 10 to 12 February 2020

at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles

Vinexpo

 

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Fortnum and Mason’s celebrates Chinese New Year of the Rat!

Wow! Fortnum and Mason The Queen’s grocer celebrates Chinese New Year!

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

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The resourceful and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM is astonished by HM The Queen’s grocer celebrating the…

MERRY Chinese Lunar New Year of the Golden Rat! Fortnum and Mason has been around since 1707. I always go there when I am in London…One of my most favourite places.

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There is the FU Dai Hamper! Fu Dai which translates as “Fortune Bag” and is packed with Fortnum’s favourites including Champagne, tea, biscuits, chocolates and honey, The Fu Dai Hamper is now available at Fortnum & Mason’s store in Piccadilly, London at 168 pounds.

Or how about the Plum Blossom and Eau de Nil Gift Box at 50 pounds with “Fire in the Hive Chocolate!

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From L to R
Lunar New Year Musical Piccadilly Biscuit Tin £5.00
 
Lunar New Year Milk Chocolate Gold Coins £14.95

Auspicious Lunar New Year Glacé Clementine’s in Wooden Box £30

Fortnum and Mason

since 1707  and where HM The Queen buys her food!

181 Piccadilly London W1A 1ER

UK

Tel:+44 (0) 20 7734 8040.

The nearest Tube station is Green Park, a short stroll away past the Ritz.

 

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Be Square! Novotel Clarke Quay CNY Prosperity Buffet

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

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The indomitable and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM finds it is yummie to be square at…

MOUTHWATERING The Square’s Prosperity Chinese New Year Buffet in Novotel Clarke Quay…The Square is on the 7th floor with a chic and hip ambience and decor. I confess that I love buffets, but the most hazardous part of buffets is over-indulging. C’est la vie as the French always say, n’est pas. Chinese New Year is coming and the first day of the Lunar Chinese New Year of the Rat is on 25 January 2020!

Appetizers include the Assorted Chinese BBQ Platter which had Chicken Bak Kwa which I dislike but the slippery Marinated Tangy Jelly Fish and and Baby Octopus was to my liking. Healthy Salad Bar with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamico is something I always have in a buffet. I love salads and vegetables. The Charcuterie of Salami and Ham, as well as Smoked Salmon and Japanese Sashimi of Salmon was good. Singaporeans actually put lots of Wasabi in the Soy Sauce for their Sashimi BUT in Japan, the natives put very little Sashimi because it would cover the natural flavours of the fish. At the Seafood on Ice there was also Gong Gong or Sea Whelk, Mussels, and Oysters which I relished with some freshly squeezed Lemon Juice and Mignonette Sauce. One observation, the chopped onions in the Mignonette were too big. They were paysanne instead of brunoise!

 

Salmon Sashimi and more!

I spied the hard working Head Chef Kishen busily chopping the Roast Pork, Roast Duck and Roast Chicken…all looked very delectable. I decided to try all three, and I must say the Roast Pork Chnese Style was outstanding. No regrets! Juicy, tender with an ueber-crispy crunchy crackling to shoot terrorists for. Never ever say ‘to die for’ because when you are dead you cannot eat or taste anything, Right! I drank to that with my Pina Colada cocktail!

Scrumptious Roast Pork, Roast Duck, Roast Chicken, Scallop Tim Sum…

Head Chef Kishen

Affable Head Chef Kishen told me, “I am from Johor..nearby. For the Prosperity Buffet we try to have the auspicious foods for Chinese New Year like pineapple and pomelo.”

The Travelling Gourmet TM & Head Chef Kishen

My next degustation was home made Romano Tomato and Fava Beans Soup with a slice of wholemeal bread and butter.

I liked the Square Signature Chilli Crab with cute little golden Man Tou buns to dip in the spicy and sexy sauce which is full of flamboyant flavours of sweet, spicy and sour. The crabs are good with very firm and sweet meat, although they are not the big Sri Lanka crabs. Messy but fun to eat! You must use your hands. My Chef friends always say, “Food tastes better when you eat with your hands!” I liked the small sign explaining the history of Chilli Crab. It mentioned the mother of my good friend, Roland. Roland’s restaurant in Marine Parade is where I go for the Original Chilli Crab. Roland’s mother, Cher Yam Tian was the creator of the Chilli Crab dish with some input from his father in the 1950s. His father was the Security Officer (bodyguard} to Deputy Prime MInister Dr. Goh Keng Swee many years ago.

Chilli Crab and ManTou!

I could not help but laugh when I saw a very horizontally-challenged (fat) Chinese lady eating a huge and unbelievable amount of Chilli Crab the whole dinner! It was scary!

My tummie was getting full but I managed to try the Laksa cooked to order a la minute with many Quail’s eggs that I adore. When I was a boy, my beloved Mum gave me lots of yummie Quail’s eggs to make me brainy. The spicy soup was delightful. I like to sprinkle a lot of finely chopped Daun Kesum or Laksa leaves on top before I tuck in!

There is also a Pasta station but I was getting full, and so I just tried some tasty pink-in- the-middle Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce and Red Wine Sauce.

Keep calm and say CHEESE!

Assorted Cheeses like Brie and Petit Reblochon from the Thônes region of Haute-Savoie in France and powerful Goat Cheese. Walnuts, Cranberries, Honey, Apricots go well with cheese. There are also caramelized walnuts and almonds and raisins.


No meal is complete without delicious Desserts!

Pandan Egg Tart, Mandarin Orange Cake, I found the Cute dome shaped Pomelo Pudding very yummie and also the Pineapple Crumble with Pineapple Chunks inside. Taro Butter Cake, Pineapple MOusse Cake, Pan-Fried Nian Gao are other tempting treats.

Top right is Pomelo Pudding and next to it is Bak Kwa Swiss Roll


I approached the Bak Kwa Chicken Floss Swiss Roll with trepidation as it was such a wierd combo…but it was actually yummie…with a salty aftertaste. I could not resist my favourite The Square Signature Durian Pengat made from the noble Durian, the King of Fruits. I put some Coconut and Thai Milk Tea Ice Cream on top! I must mention the Robot Pancake Maker. Two small boys from Australia about 10 years old, had lots of fun making their own pancakes with the robot. Coffee and Tea is DIY.

Chinese New Year Prosperity Dinner Buffet from 6pm to 10pm
Sunday to Thursday except 26th Jan, 2020
Adult – $68++, Child (5 – 12 years old) – $39++, Senior Citizen – $58++

Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay
177A River Valley Road, Singapore,
Singapore 179031
Tel: +65 6338 3333

 

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Michelin Star Chef sues Michelin Guide!

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

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The irascible and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM tale of a disgruntled Chef suing the…

MICHELIN Guide…

31 December 2019

Cheddar, Saffron and Soufflé

A French court on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit brought by star chef Marc Veyrat seeking to force the prestigious Michelin restaurant guide to hand over its reasons for stripping his restaurant of a third star just a year after he won it.

In its verdict, the court in Nanterre, outside Paris, said Marc Veyrat had offered no “proof showing the existence of any damage” caused by the Michelin guide’s demotion of his prestigious restaurant, Maison des Bois, in the Alps to a two-star rating in January 2019.

Image result for michelin chef souffle case


The shock demotion came just 12 months after Veyrat’s remarkable comeback after years of personal struggles, with the furious showman chef accusing the Michelin inspectors of making a “mistake”.

He wanted the court to force Michelin to hand over its judging notes — a ruling that could have upended the world of fine dining by opening the door to lawsuits from other disgruntled chefs.

A saffron – not English Cheddar – yellow  

The case, which came to be called “Cheddar-gate” in France, was sparked when the celebrity chef discovered at the start of this year that he had lost one of his three stars – the maximum number of stars that can be awarded – when the 110th edition of the respected guide was published at the start of this year.


Veyrat claimed the downgrade came after a Michelin inspector mistakenly thought he had adulterated a cheese soufflé with English Cheddar instead of using France’s Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme varieties.

“I put saffron in it, and the gentleman who came thought it was cheddar because it was yellow. That’s what you call knowledge of a place? It’s just crazy,” Veyrat told France Inter radio earlier this year.

No proof of losses, says court

Veyrat, 69, had sought a symbolic one euro in damages, not least over his claimed depression after losing the star, but the court said he had not provided any documented proof of his losses.

The showman chef, known as much for his ubiquitous black Savoyard hat as his “botanical” creations from local herbs and produce, had already said he had no need of any Michelin accolades.

“I really don’t need them,” Veyrat told AFP shortly before the ruling, saying business was up seven percent over the past year.

“Even between Christmas and New Year’s Day, we’re fully booked. We’ve never been this busy,” he added.
“At this rate, I wish they’d take away all my stars!”

Michelin lawyers slam ‘narcissistic diva’

Veyrat’s stunning return to the world’s restaurant firmament in January 18 was hard won, coming nine years after he was forced to stop cooking because of a skiing accident, and three years after his restaurant was destroyed in a fire.

After his demotion, he demanded a meeting with Michelin’s international director Gwendal Poullennec, who had been named just a few months before the 2019 listings.

The chef said he was told a scallop’s texture was “cottony” — Veyrat says it was in fact a dish of local fish — and accused of using English Cheddar cheese in a soufflé.

“I have a lot of respect for Michelin in France… but they made a mistake in my case, and they need to recognise it,” Veyrat told AFP.

Michelin’s lawyers denounced the lawsuit as an abuse of the legal system by a “narcissistic diva” and demanded €30,000 (nearly $34,000) in damages and compensation.

“It’s a question of respecting the freedom of criticism and opinion in our country,” Michelin’s lawyer Richard Malka told AFP last week.

That claim was rejected by Veyrat’s lawyer Emmanuel Ravanas, who said the chef has long since grown accustomed to being judged severely over his pricey creations.

“We’re not here to forbid criticism, we want to check that criteria exist and that they have been applied correctly,” he told the court.

“You don’t have the right to write whatever you want using the excuse of freedom of expression,” he said.
The self-taught Veyrat has spent most of his life cooking in his home village of Manigod, 1,600 metres (5,200 feet) up the Alps near Annecy.

Just days before the November hearing, Veyrat was named one of the 10 immortals of haute cuisine by the rival French Gault & Millau guide, alongside legends like Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy.

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