"After years of continuous eating,'A Girl has to Eat', a self-confessed food lover and eat-aholic, has been spurred on to create her own food guide & blog. Read about her fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) culinary adventures in her restaurant reviews. This and more!"

Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao – Phou Savanh Restaurant

Posted on Saturday, 8th August 2015


Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao is a beautiful luxury resort and spa located in Luang Prabang, Laos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The resort is located on Phou Vao hill, about two kilometres from the centre of Luang Prabang, and is set within three hectares of lush gardens and greenery. Its hill top location means that guests are afforded with views of the surrounding hills and Mount Phou Si, Luang Prabang’s sacred hill upon where there is a Buddhist Temple. Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao combines a French colonial style with Laotian touches to create the ultimate sense of classical luxury and comfort. It’s a gorgeous part of the world and incredibly intimate and tranquil, making for a very romantic setting for dinner.

Phou Savanh is the restaurant at Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao and is wonderfully comfortably and spacious. It has high ceilings and open doorways that give it an airy feel. Executive Chef Walter Andreini hails from Brussels but also spent 14 years running his own restaurant in Koh Samui. Consequently, the restaurant is a blend of east meets west, with both an Asian and a more classical French menu. The Asian menu itself is a fusion of inspirations, drawing on dishes from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, all cooked with a European touch.

There is both indoor and outdoor seating at Phou Savanh, and adjacent to the restaurant is the Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao’s Champa Bar. Both the restaurant and the bar look out onto the resort’s infinity pool, which in turn merges with a view of Luang Prabang’s beautiful green treetops and Mount Phou Si. It made for a spectacular spot to knock back some cocktails which we duly did. We tried the Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao’s signature cocktail of ‘Simply Laos’ which consisted of Lao-Lao (a Laotian rice whisky), hibiscus flower, honey and lime (USD$9.50), and a Laojito (USD$9.50) with Lao-Lao, lemongrass, mint, lime and sugar over crushed ice. Both were really delicious and refreshing.

La Résidence Phou Vao - London Food Blog - Cocktails

La Résidence Phou Vao – Cocktails

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JW Marriott Bangkok

Posted on Thursday, 6th August 2015

In Bangkok I stayed at the JW Marriott Hotel, a 5-star hotel aimed at both family and business travellers. Located at 4 Sukhumvit Road, JW Marriott Bangkok provides easy access to the bars and restaurants in the Sukhumvit area and the shopping areas of MBK Shopping Mall and Siam Paragon Shopping Centre. The hotel is well situated within the transport network and is just a short walk from its closest BTS station (Ploenchit).

JW Marriott Bangkok resonates with charm and has a strong Thai theme running through its décor, especially in the large and elegant lounge bar and lobby areas. As for the rooms, my deluxe room was smart and comfortably furnished with dark wood furniture, a flat-screen TV, mod-cons and soundproof walls.

JW Marriott Bangkok - London Food Blog - Deluxe Room

JW Marriott Bangkok – Deluxe Room

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Mandarin Oriental Bangkok – The China House

Posted on Tuesday, 4th August 2015


The China House is the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s in-house Cantonese Chinese restaurant. The design is inspired by Shanghai’s art deco period and is decorated in an opulent old-world style with dark wood furnishings and atmospheric low lighting. It’s a classy restaurant and features dim sum as well as a series of Cantonese dishes interpreted in a contemporary style.

On Tuesdays to Saturdays The China House offers an unlimited all you-can-eat dim sum menu (1,080THB net – £20). What was a surprise was that there was not only dim sum, but that you could choose from a buffet counter as well as order off an a la carte menu. This all-you-can eat brunch menu at The China House was fabulous and incredibly good value as well.

We headed for the buffet first and I thought the buffet dishes were excellent. We tried a selection of goodies including drunken chicken, fresh prawns, jellyfish, all of which were delicious. Also fabulous was the Chinese roast pork belly. This really was sensational, with the crackling being superbly crunchy. It was a little fatty but the fat was what made it so tasty. There was also some roast duck, but we didn’t try this as the pork looked better.

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok - London Food Blog - Buffet selection

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok – Buffet selection

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok - London Food Blog - Roast pork

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok – Roast pork

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The Siam Hotel, Bangkok – Chon Thai Restaurant

Posted on Sunday, 2nd August 2015


During our visit to Bangkok we had dinner at the Chon Thai Restaurant at The Siam Hotel one night, a luxurious, super-stylish, uber-romantic riverside retreat located right on the Chao Phraya River. It had been our intention to take the free shuttle boats provided by the hotel to get to The Siam Hotel. What a way that would have been to arrive! Sadly and despite the fact we were in a taxi, we weren’t able to make the pier on time to catch the shuttle. Bangkok traffic is notorious for being horrific during peak hours and we managed to experience this first hand.

So we took a taxi directly to the hotel instead. But if the downside was missing the shuttle, the upside was that we arrived at the front entrance of the hotel instead. This allowed us the opportunity of walking our way through the incredibly glamorous Siam Hotel, gaping at all the elegant antiques and artworks, before finally making our way to the Chon Restaurant which is located on the pier at the back of the hotel. The Siam Hotel is one classy oasis, sumptuously decorated in a jazzy art deco style. It oozes with refinement and makes for a seductive escape from the craziness that is Bangkok. If I wanted a place to stay for a romantic getaway, The Siam Hotel would be it.

We began our evening sitting on the pier, looking out onto the river as the sunset. Here we enjoyed a glass of champagne and some lovely small bites from the bar menu such as salt and pepper squid (330THB – £6), satay chicken (350TBH – £3.50) and minced pork fritters (300THB – £5.50). All were delicious with the squid being tender and with a light crunchy batter. The chicken came with a scrumptious peanut sauce and the pork fritters were flavoursome, with a squeeze of lime providing the right touch of acidity.

The Siam Hotel - London Food Blog - River views

The Siam Hotel – River views

Moving into the restaurant, we started with a tom yum goong soup (450TBH – £8.40) which was delicious with a sweet intoxicating flavour. The soup was well balanced, with just the right amount of heat and spice. It was also sweet, but not too sweet, and simply put, was perfectly done.

The Siam Hotel – London Food Blog - Tom yum goong

The Siam Hotel – Tom yum goong

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Penang Top Eats – Penang Road Famous Cendol & Sisters Curry Mee

Posted on Friday, 31st July 2015


Being the foodie capital of Malaysia, Penang resonates with many special signature dishes such as char kway teow, wok fried noodles with prawns; hokkien mee, a prawn noodle dish in a prawn broth; and assam laksa, a tangy and spicy fish broth noodle soup, but to name a few.

You need months to try the best that Penang has to offer, but if there are two things everyone must try at a minimum, then in my opinion these are the following:

1.Penang Road Famous Cendol

This cendol is legendary in Penang. All my research pointed to this being the best in Penang and every local I spoke to also agreed it was the best. Made with coconut milk, pandan jelly noodles, shaved ice, palm sugar and red beans, this was a deliciously refreshing, creamy and not too sweet. It was so delicious I kept going back for more. At MYR2.50 (about £0.42), I also thought it was great value (by Western standards).

Penang Road Famous Cendol - London Food Blog

Penang Road Famous Cendol

Penang Road Famous Cendol - London Food Blog - Cendol

Penang Road Famous Cendol – Cendol

Note that there is another cendol stall across Penang Road Famous Cendol, but just head to the one with the queues. You really can’t miss it.

Penang Road Famous Cendol - London Food Blog - The queues

Penang Road Famous Cendol – The queues

Penang Road Famous Cendol - London Food Blog - Locals eating cendol

Penang Road Famous Cendol – Locals eating cendol

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Lone Pine Hotel – Penang, Malaysia

Posted on Wednesday, 29th July 2015


After our stay at The Eastern & Oriental Hotel we ventured up to the beaches at Batu Ferringhi, which is located on the northern coastline of Penang Island and about a half an hour drive from George Town. There, we stayed at The Lone Pine Hotel, the sister hotel to The Eastern & Oriental Hotel. The hotel first opened in 1948 and was the first hotel to be established on the beaches of Batu Ferringhi. Lone Pine is a beach resort boasting of a quintessential seaside character and is very comfortable with a relaxed, laid-back energy. It caters well for those looking for a well-equipped four-star standard beachside hotel versus high-end luxury. The hotel boasts of a full range of contemporary comforts with a swimming pool, a wellness spa, a fully-equipped gymnasium, a business centre as well as meeting rooms. There is also a games room, two restaurants and a bar. There is complimentary wifi throughout the hotel, although this worked better in the lobby and not so well in our room.

Lone Pine Hotel - London food blog

Lone Pine Hotel

Lone Pine Hotel - London Food Blog

Lone Pine Hotel

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Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang, Malaysia

Posted on Monday, 27th July 2015


Penang is known as both the foodie capital of Malaysia and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So it was with much anticipation that we visited this vibrant island, to both sample its food diversity and relish its many cultural and historical offerings. In Penang we first stayed at the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Hotel. Located in Penang’s old town, George Town, the hotel is minutes away from Penang’s food and shopping strips, the financial district and all of Penang’s main cultural destinations.

In its early days when Penang served as an outpost of the East India Company, the island drew in a variety of travellers ranging from merchants to missionaries that made the arduous route from London to Singapore, a journey that generally took about four long months. But it was not until the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 that travel to Asia took on another dimension, with writers, actors and the rich from Europe and America all making the trip to Asia to see what the oriental world had to offer. And with this new breed of affluent travellers, the demand for luxury hotels flourished.

And so The Eastern & Oriental Hotel was founded in 1885 by the Sarkies Brothers, the same brothers who were also instrumental in the construction of the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The Eastern & Oriental is a tale of two halves. There are two wings to the hotel, first, the traditional Heritage Wing, and the second, the ultra modern Victory Annex. The Heritage Wing evokes a sense of tradition, one that is filled with old, colonial charm. The Heritage Wing maintains many of its original features such as the spacious domed lobby and a grand marbled floor corridor. It’s where many old time traditions have been kept such as the doorman in khaki shorts, knee-high socks and pith-helmets, and the gentlemen at reception with their bow ties and slicked back hair. The Eastern & Oriental Hotel is a popular spot for weddings, and the Heritage Wing truly makes for the perfect backdrop for that all-important wedding photo.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel - London Food Blog

Eastern & Oriental Hotel

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Four Seasons Langkawi, Malaysia

Posted on Friday, 24th July 2015


Four Seasons Langkawi - London Food Blog - Welcome drink

Four Seasons Langkawi – Welcome drink

During my recent trip to Langkawi, I also visited The Four Seasons Langkawi, one of the most preeminent luxury resorts on the island. The Four Seasons is located on one of Langkawi’s most spectacular beaches in the North Eastern corner, right on the Andaman Sea, and is a breathtaking study in nature. The resort is set within a rainforest and is surrounded by lush greenery and cliffs that give it a wonderful eco tropical island feel. The Four Seasons Langkawi integrates beautifully with its natural surroundings by making use of features such as reflecting ponds and secluded thatched-roof pavilions. The resort also stays true to its Malay origins as it follows the layout of a traditional Malay village. To get around the resort you can use the bikes supplied by the resort, walk or call for a buggy.

Four Seasons Langkawi - London Food Blog - Greeting area

Four Seasons Langkawi – Greeting area

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