Dining with a Difference: Unique Culinary Experiences Around Asia
Asia is not short on remarkable dining. With arbiters of fine dining such as Michelin and 50 Best making their presence felt, the region’s gastronomic scene has never been healthier.
DINING WITH A DIFFERENCE:
UNIQUE CULINARY EXPERIENCES AROUND ASIA
Asia is not short on remarkable dining. With arbiters of fine dining such as Michelin and 50 Best making their presence felt, the region’s gastronomic scene has never been healthier. But you don’t need to visit a Michelin star restaurant to be wowed. Indeed, the region has many unique options that justify a “once-in-a-lifetime” epithet.
PRIVATE GEISHA DINNERPrivate dinner with a geiko in Kyoto
One of the defining images of Kyoto is the geisha culture that used to thrive in the streets of the city’s Gion area. Although rarer these days, these skilled female entertainers still exist. Guests can find out more about what it takes to become a geisha and enjoy a delicious kaiseki ryori (traditional multi-course dinner). In a private room, they will be entertained by a three-person troupe typically comprising a geisha, a maiko, and a jikata (shamisen player). Geisha are known for their wit, beauty, and encyclopedic knowledge of traditional arts. They entertain their guests with traditional dances, jovial drinking games, and lighthearted conversation. The performances are masterful: the delicate gestures are minimal and subtle, but incredibly graceful with deliberate precision. The Aman Japan Culinary Journey, in May 2023, includes a private geisha dinner among its many highlights.
DINING UNDERWATERRoom with a view: Ozen Life Maadhoo
With the world’s most exclusive hotel brands competing to attain greater heights of luxury, standards are incredibly high in The Maldives. Indeed, it takes something remarkable to stand out from the competition. Ozen Life Maadhoo has gone underwater to offer a unique culinary experience at its M6m (Minus Six Meters) restaurant. The venue supplies exquisite fine dining with a degustation menu featuring modern seafood cuisine and perfect wine combinations. While the food is as high a standard as anyone could wish for, it can be difficult to focus on the seafood on your plate with the marine critters that popular the turquoise lagoon in which the resort is located swimming around outside the venue windows. Alternatively, Dubai's iconic Burj Al Arab allows you to dine surrounded by marine life without venturing under the sea, in its aquarium restaurant, L’Olivo at Al Mahara.
DINE AMONG THE TREETOPSTreepod Dining, Soneva Kiri, Thailand
Blissfully marooned from the mainland by the cobalt blue sea, Koh Kood is ideally suited to a luxurious castaway experience. Surrounded by palm-fringed hills in a secluded bay, Soneva Kiri is the perfect place to indulge in Robinson Crusoe fantasies and forget the stresses of modern living. Among its many highlights is a Treepod Dining concept. Bamboo pods house two to four people who are hoisted around seven meters up in the air to gaze out at the ocean. The pods are spacious, with a wood-hewn table, cushions, napkins, and cutlery. Dishes, which utilize the resort's organic garden for ingredients, are delivered by khaki-clad waiters that swoop through the foliage on ziplines as part of the service.
YOUR OWN ANGKORPrivate temple dinner at Banteay Samré, Angkor Cambodia’s premier draw is the mind-blowing temples at Angkor. The relics – the remnants of the capital of the once-mighty Khmer Empire that held sway over much of Southeast Asia – are certainly amazing, with buildings such as Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Phrom representing a glorious pinnacle of religious architecture. Exploring the temples is a daytime pursuit for most visitors. However, for a truly different perspective, a temple dining experience sheds delicious new light on the relics. Enjoy a private dinner of gourmet Khmer cuisine on the grounds of Banteay Samré, a stunning Hindu temple likened to Angkor Wat, and often referred to it as the "jewel of Khmer art". Drinks will precede your multi-course meal, and the evening will include a performance of traditional Cambodian dance. The private dinner at Banteay Samré is a popular highlight of the Aman Jet Expeditions that include Siem Reap.
DINING IN A MUSEUMThe Peranakan culture museum in Singapore
Peranakan, or Straits Chinese, cuisine is one of the culinary highlights of Singapore. A tasty mélange of Chinese and Malay flavors, the food style was born when Chinese immigrants to the Straits Settlements began marrying local women. What resulted is an exquisite combination of Chinese wok cooking styles and Hokkien spices with Malay and Indonesian ingredients. A great way to experience the cuisine is via a private dinner with an acclaimed historian of Peranakan culture at his home, which he has converted into a small museum. Here, he has amassed an impressive collection of traditional, authentic Peranakan antiques and artifacts. Savor an 8-course Peranakan dinner, exclusive crafted cocktails created by the host, and live jazz music.
ASIA IS OPENVaccinated travelers can travel to any of these destinations right now. Armenia
Papua New Guinea
UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi)
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