FUNKY LUNCH

Dean & Deluca opened in Singapore this week, which is very exciting. I am secretly loving all these fabulous new retailers and cafes/restaurants that have branched out to Asia, especially Singapore. It can be hard to find a favourite lunch spot that is consistent and of course delivers on service and a good coffee.

So in 2012, what are the options for a good work lunch that is – fast, reasonably priced, good quality and has a “cool factor” or buzz from the café/outlet. Here are a few that may be of interest when you are next in that city.

Dean & Deluca
Singapore, New York, Tokyo, Dubai, Bangkok (I know there are more)
The Dean & Deluca NYC Soho flagship store is great for a fast work lunch as the choice of food is varied and high quality, and while not as big, Singapore ticks the boxes too (even a cheeky glass of wine is an option).

Wholefoods
Stores all across the USA and Canada. Love the one in Seattle and it’s spot a celebrity in the Malibu location. Has now opened locations in the UK too.
LOVE the range of salads, soups… you name it (I actually feel overwhelmed in them sometimes). If you can’t find something to eat in here you aren’t looking hard enough. And of course it is all pretty fresh and healthy. Fingers crossed they come to Asia soon.

Selfridges
London
One of my all-time favourite food halls. Perfect for a Friday lunchtime treat of oysters and a glass of champagne and you can still be back in the office in under an hour.

Hardware Lane
Melboure
Basically you are spoilt for choice in this funky laneway in the city that is full of individual cafes. Try Hardware Societe for a pre-work breakfast or lunch.

Wagamama
UK, Europe, Middle East, USA, Australia, New Zealand
If you are craving Asian food that is stock standard, then this is perfect. While you won’t get a very authentic experience the food is still good and served fast.

If all else fails and you are stuck at your desk, you can always go old school and pack a sandwich and piece of fruit from home!

Where is your favourite lunch place during the working week?

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Tea Time

More and more tea houses are popping up around the world so if you are meeting a colleague for coffee, why not make it tea for a change.

Here are some of the best tea houses in the world, which will be sure to impress for a business meeting.

Bangkok: The Author’s Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Singapore: Raffles Hotel, TWG Marina Bay Sands
Tokyo: The Peninsula Hotel
Paris: Maison des Trois Thés
Las Vegas: Petrossian Lounge at the Bellagio
Boston: The Bristol at the Four Seasons Hotel
New York: Astor Court at The St. Regis Hotel, Alice’s Tea Cup
London: Orangery at Kensington Palace, The Modern Pantry, The Connaught
Melbourne: Hopetoun Tea Rooms

The most hard to get to tea house in the world may be this one in Anhui Province, China, which is only accessible after rappelling up a mountain (photo in post)

And while you are drinking your tea, here are some talking points to impress your guest.
After water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world. While pure tea may have more caffeine than coffee, once water is added tea contains far less than a cup of coffee.
The UK consumes about 130,000 tonnes of tea a year of which at least 95% is in teabags
On a daily basis, about half of the American population drinks tea, and Americans drink 85 percent of their tea on ice.

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Drinking on the Job!

Stuck on a conference call and no time to get down to Starbucks to grab a coffee. Do not fear, there are some super cool drink accessories on the market – so you won’t ever have to leave your desk (and all for under $20!)

COFFEE DRINKERS – Hamilton Beach Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer – $19.99
A one cup personal coffee brewer using coffee pods

TEA DRINKERS – IngenuiTEA 16oz Teapot – $18.99
After the specified amount of brewing time, just rest the pot over your mug, and the spring-loaded valve empties the tea into your mug, leaving the spent leaves behind.

SODA/SOFT DRINKS – USB LED Fridge Cooler – $19.99
Simply plug in this small single-can beverage cooler into a USB port and chill a can on your desk

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Coffee

Travelling in a foreign country and not sure what the etiquette is on how best to order your morning coffee. Stick to this example and you can’t go wrong globally.

“I would like a medium, nonfat, no whip mocha.”

1. State the number of shots of espresso you would like IF other than the typical amount in the size you are ordering.
2. Size of the cup you would like. Typically there are three sizes of hot drinks.
3. If you would like a flavor added, this would be the time to say so (example: “Vanilla”)
4. Type of milk you would like IF other than the default milk used (which varies by country)
5. If you do not want foam, say “No Foam”
6. If you do not want whip cream, Say “No Whip”
7. If you are ordering something other than a latte, state it now, “Cappuccino” or “Mocha”

Now relax and enjoy!