We are all looking forward to the days when temperature checks, hand sanitiser and mandatory face masks are a thing of the past. 2020 has taken so much from everyone, and that includes the joy and privilege of travel. While there are plenty of pressing things to think about during a pandemic, it is a comfort to dream of the different places and foods that await us once the borders open back up. We asked our team where their first post-COVID trip will be and what they will eat when they get there.
Christopher Mark, Founder Black Sheep Restaurants
Having been lucky enough to travel all over the world for food, this is a very difficult question to answer. However, one place that springs to mind is brunch at The River Cafe in London, a regional Italian restaurant on the banks of the Thames. On a sunny day, this place is bustling with its bright interiors and fabulous open kitchen. It is a cracking example of simple Italian food done perfectly with amazing seasonal ingredients wrapped in great hospitality.
Chef Palash Mitra, New Punjab Club
At the first possible chance, I want to jump on a plane and fly to Old Delhi. There is a restaurant called Moti Mahal Deluxe in Daryaganj and I want to try the Butter Chicken there. Butter Chicken is a dish that is very close to my heart. It is the one dish where I order it whenever I see it on a menu because everyone makes it just a little bit differently. Plus, it brings me back to my childhood and the first time I ate meat after growing up in a vegetarian region of India. This particular one has been on my radar for a while, so I am definitely excited for the day when I can check it off the list.
Marc Hofmann, Head of Guest Experience
I cannot get enough Japanese food and culture so my first trip will definitely be Kyoto. Whenever I travel, one of the things I look forward to most is taking my time with breakfast. During previous trips to Japan, I discovered the Kissaten, which is a Japanese-style tearoom and coffee shop. Smart Coffee is a retro shop from the 1930s that has so much history as well as fantastic breakfast options so my first meal will be coffee and pancakes! Everything is made a la minute right in front of you, so you really get to appreciate the moment, the produce and the people you are with.
Chef Billy Otis, Taqueria Super Macho
Once things begin to take a turn back to normal I want to go on a BBQ crawl of the USA. In Hong Kong, it is nearly impossible to get good American BBQ, unless you make it yourself. In the South, they are known for a whole hog BBQ, pulled pork and pork ribs with tangy Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce. In the Midwest, dry-spiced baby back ribs, BBQ spare ribs, chicken and brisket are on the menu. Then off to the king of BBQ: Texas. They really have the best of everything when it comes to BBQ. No matter what you are looking for, you will surely find it in Texas! How can you choose one place to eat when there are so many good ones?
Chef Karys Logue, Butter
When travel opens back up, I will be in a hurry to get to Bali, where things slow down a bit. First of many stops on my hit list would be to visit Room 4 Dessert, to experience Chef Will Goldfarb’s newest creations. I love the local inspirations and story behind his collections!
As a coffee lover, Indonesia has so many hand-crafted, locally sourced offerings at arms-reach. Beyond the coffee, there are also heaps of ingredients to delight any pastry chef. I would love to see cocoa farms and explore the unique spices produced there before finishing off each day exploring the immense natural beauty of the region, by hiking, visiting temples and countless hours of yoga.
Amy Stott, SoHo Service Director
Back in February, I was lucky enough to squeeze in a trip to Thailand with my family. We visited the islands in the South but sadly never made it up to my favourite place, Chiang Mai. Khao Soi is by far the most well-known dish of the old Northern capital. A slow-cooked curry coconut ensemble, usually with chicken – sometimes with beef – over soft egg noodles and crunchy fried noodles on the top and finished with fresh diced shallots, coriander and a squeeze of lime. My favourite place to enjoy Khao Soi has to be Khao Soi Prince in Chiang Mai, a recommendation from Chef Andy Ricker himself. I ate there every day on my holiday because I just could not get enough. It is a family place that has been around for over 70 years and I am just dreaming of the day I can devour another bowl.
Before you step aboard your next flight, avoid the less-than-spectacular plane food and take inspiration from our chefs’ guide to airport dining. Looking for a new adventure? Check out our travel guides for Chengdu and Colombo.