Coco Asian Bistro, Fort Lauderdale


Coco Asian Bistro is not what one would expect from a Lauderdale shopping complex. Driving into the location, this restaurant stands out in flames, literally. An outside patio and fire torches, invites customers to dine al-fresco or inside, where the atmosphere is equally unique. Adorned with a combination of individual booths, draped with linen curtains, high-tops for two, and large group tables, the dimply lit Bistro can accommodate almost every kind of customer.

Well known for its sushi and signature cocktails, this restaurant packs up on the weekend. I started with the Tuna Tataki and Vietnamese Summer Rolls, nicely combined with traditional hot sake, to sip alongside. Mango, tuna, and avocado are piled high on a plate for the tataki starter, and the shrimp spring rolls were flavorful yet light on palate.

As for entrees, Mike’s Roll and the Lobster Roll are both unmistakable hits. The bistro prides itself on the unique use of black sticky rice in Mikes Roll, which combines tuna, spinach, avocado and the unusual nutty rice….pushing the boundaries of conventional mainstream sushi.

The Lobster Roll came out elaborate, wrapped and decorated as if an Asian piece of artwork.  A 6oz tempura tail, asparagus, avocado, and cucumber was is topped with imitation crab and served with fruit brimming from a martini glass.

Once the taste buds had settled, it was time to try a lychee martini (not on the menu, but a habit left over from my Buddha Bar days) which was exquisitely presented with two lychees soaked in vodka; a desert to match them all, and a great way to seal the deal. Coco Asian Bistro might be a littel out of the infamous Los Olas mix of bars and restaurants, but they get my vote.



Palm Sugar, West Palm Beach


Palm Sugar really does do it all…. You only have to ask Sang and his family, the creators of this bizarre and unique fusion fantastical food. Take Asian street food, mix it with the notion of mexican tapas, combine with exquisite comfort rice and noodle bowls, top with sweet little deserts and you have Palm Sugar.

The joy of this atmospheric West Palm Beach joint is its ability to combine almost every flavor and every kind of cuisine. Savory, sweet, small or substantial, Palm Sugar satisfies and ignites the pallate. The concept is derived threefold – from its location in Palm Beach, to its use of the ‘DR OZ approved’ ingredient of actual palm produced sugar, to its ability to combine the savory and sweet. Aesthetically pleasing, the warm wooden ambience of the resturant brings flocks from all over South Florida to taste its great Sake inspired cocktails and fantastic happy hour.

The menu itself ranges from doughy hot pork buns to asian slaw fish tacos and crispy bock choi drizzled in miso glaze. For lunch, try the comfort bowls, ranging from udon noodle dishes such as Yaki Udon Noodles or rice bowls such as Mongolian Beef over steamed brown rice. At tea time, a must is the ‘Bubble Tea’ accompanied by one of their freshly baked cupcakes, such as Grapefuit with Lavender Icing or Carrot with Key Lime Buttercream. Come take a stool at the saki bar for dinner and graze on Asian style barbeque with a tangy sake mojito. Finish with a freshly brewed jasmine tea accompanied by a molten lava and green tea chocolate desert, and your set -to- jet around the East and back. Palm Sugar is an expression of some of the world’s best flavours whipped into a trendy, yet warm and funky environment. Fresh, and all made on the spot, with the greatest care, you cannot go wrong at Palm Sugar.

Top 5 Hangover Cures, South Beach, Miami

South Beach is known for many things, but perhaps best for its nightlife. Yet when the sun rises and the disco lights shut down, most of us are left with a stonking great hangover and stomach gurgling for some good grub. So where should one venture on the beach to fulfill that morning-after void? After thorough research (and few nights on the town) we have discovered the top five hangover cures in SoBe.


1. Tofu scramble and sweet potato hash at Thrive Cafe

Take vegan and turn it on its head. Boring, cardboard-tasting food? Think again. This delicious hangover brunch trates best forbeing both fully flavorful and extremely nutritious, thus curing your hangover from the inside out. The tofu scramble puts any classic egg dish to shame, jumbled amongst fresh veggies and herbs. Accompanied by a delicious sweet potato and a bed of fresh garden salad, it’s both fulfilling and fresh enough to wake you from seeing double the morning after without leading you back into a calorific food comma. $13


2. Veggie omelet with home fries (and peach bellini) at Oliver’s Bistro

Busy for brunch, Oliver’s attracts locals on West Ave over the weekends to the curbside restaurant. It might seem easy enough to make a good breakfast omelet, but few places succeed. Oliver’s, however, is by far the best we’ve tasted in Miami; filled to the brim with fresh tomatoes, asparagus, spinach and more. The home fries with hot sauce are the best part of this hangover cure, and accompanied with a fresh peach nectar bellini to take off the ‘night before’ edge, one is left with a perfect way to face the next day.$9.95/ $8.50 cocktail


3. French toast with fresh fruit and maple syrup at The Front Porch Cafe

The Front Porch Cafe, takes the softest challah bread, lightly batters it, dusts it with icing sugar and brings it to hungry hangovers everywhere. This dish fulfills that need for post boozing carbs, whilst delighting in your sweet tooth; warm, doughy and delicious, you simply cant go wrong. Accompany with colorful fruit and some maple syrup, this basic but well done classic is sure to satisfy ‘french toasties’ everywhere. $11.95


4. Acai berry bowl with fresh fruit and granola at Pura Vida

Unconventional but popular; the acai bowl at Pura Vida is one of the most ordered breakfast items on the beach. The superfood of the century, acai berry is both the best hangover antioxidant and delicious. After the mixture is thrown in a blender with frozen banana, the result is a gourmet smoothie in a bowl, topped with low fat granola and succulent fresh fruit. The recipe stems back to a Brazilian tradition, and is crammed with energy giving vitamins. This is sure to bring you back to life the day after the night before. It might sound bizarre, but this is one hangover cure that actually works.$10.55


5. Oven-baked pizza at Nikki Beach

The pizza at Nikki Beach might not have as much mention as it should, purely because it’s brick pizza oven is nestled out of view. However, whatever hour you happen to be drinking out on the town, you will find someone kneading dough and serving into a blazing fire to create genuinely the best Neapolitan, custom-made pizzas available at 3 a.m. It might not ‘cure’ your hangover but it will definitely feed your late night munchies, and thus warn off a stomach full of booze the next day.$10




This year the GW Magazine Team, flocked with all the other foodies to The South Beach Food and Wine Festival; a bedazzlement of the worlds best chefs, cuisine and beverages. Commencing the weekend, we attanded the Fontainbleau’s ‘Best of the Best,’ where Wine Spectator Magazine pulled together the largest selection of vinos and bites from around the globe. Glamorously laid out, kiosks of wine and tantalizing tasters lined the hotel’s ballroom, while guests took their complimentary wine glasses to sip and savor the delights of the festival. Our top choice was the Due Uve white mix from Bertani and of course the Laurent- Perrier Champagne. The desert table, dripping with chocolate delights matched delightfullly with a Lavazza Coffee to sweeten the deal and end the evening. Saturday’s event on the beach, Wholefood’s Market Grand Tasting, perhaps drew the largest crowd to the sundrenched South Beach area. Marquis on the beach featured celebrity chefs from Paula Deen to Martha Stewart. Kiosks supplying tasters of the best food in SOBE and NYC laced the beach, intermixed with an endless variety of new liquors and wines to sample. This truly was a foodie’s paradise. Editor’s favorites here included the Viola ‘Light’ Vodkas; in pina colada and orange flavors, these could do no wrong on the tastebuds nor the hips. Tod Erikson’s chorizo paella bites and Nobu’s tasty gyoza also had heads spinning. Not to miss, was the Cruzon Rum Marquee, Carribean in theme and bursting with cucumber & lime mojitos. Cruzon even supplied live reggae to match, where, adorning a straw fedora, guests took to the sand to dance the afternoon away. Sensatioal food, sensational drinks and arguably one of the most sensational beaches in the world….what more could you ask for mid February. If you have a passion for ‘food-fashion’ and want an escape from dreary winter weather, book in early for next year! See for more details.

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The Collection, South Kensington, London


What a surprise..back in the day, I remember Collection as the prime teenage international haunt of South Kensington, and a bit rough around the edges. What I found, post refurbishment, and with new management, could not have been further from my  earlier experiences. Gone were the dusty sofas and strippers in cages, to behold an impeccably gleaming and sophisticated bar – the longest in London. Styled by Tom Dickson, a classy modern urban environment has been created, and one that hardly lacks atmosphere. Mix the low key buzz of a great DJ, with a superb team of well trained staff, and guests are lulled into the perfect hedonistic heaven. Combine the latter with exquisite dining, and you have hit the mark on city pleasures. Chef Alex Fanzola, blends Mediterranean cooking with an eclectic variety of flavors from around the world, and does so with such care that each mouthful is mesmerizingly memorable. The cocktails aren’t half bad either…just be sure to ask the manager Romain Pottier for his recommendations! A hot spot to hit for the future… we are all excited to see where this one goes.

Puerto Rico’s Top 5 Beach Meals


Fried, fried and deeper fried is usually what you think of when visiting Puerto Rico…that is, until now. On a recent visit to the countries coastal Rincon area, I discovered a new territory of flavors sprouting up within restaurants and bars along the beach. Whether filling your post surf cravings or simply tasting the best cooked local produce, here are the top five meals to twist your tongue around while visiting this tropical haven.

1. Mahi Mahi with rice and beans accompanied by their ‘award winning’ Mojito at Tamboo: This steals my number one spot, purely in its simplicity, rich flavor and ability to use all local ingredients. Grilled to perfection in a tomato glaze and served alongside the Puerto Ricon accompanianments, Tamboo has come up with the freshest local dish available. The latter, chased with the crispist mojito in town, is sure to please any tourist.

2. Pad Thia & Pina Colada Martini at Ode to the Elephant: While Thia cuisine might not be the first thing that comes to mind in Puerto Rico, it certainly suits the climate. The location isn’t half bad either; an elegantly decorated beachouse with a starlit terrace by which to enjoy best martinis around. My choice is the pad thia brimming with peanuts, noodles and tangy lime shrimp. Combine your food with the unique Pina Colada martini (standard vacation drink with a twist) and sink into tropical bliss.

3. Trifongo with Mahi Mahi at Red Flamboyant: Triofongo is a standard Puerto Ricon dish; sweet plantains mashed to line a bowl of delciousness and topped with fresh grilled fish. This is not one to miss. Infused with the spices of the area, and sprinkled with hot sauce, find the perfect combination of sweet and savory within a warm clay flask.

4. Starving Starving Roll and Saki at Pools Bar: This close to the ocean fresh fish cant get much better, especially when teamed with avocado, tempura shrimp and crabmeat rolled in a parcel of white rice. Combined with hot saki, this is sure to fill any wave-hunters appetite. Set back in a rainforest setting, dine by a dimly lit poolside lodge and watch silouttes of surfers projected each evening on large screen. This is a meal no surfer should miss in Puerto Rico.

5. Fish Pinchos/Fish Epanadillas & a Mango Strawberry Smoothie at Steps Quick Lunch: The Puerto Rican tradition of ‘pinchos’ or skewers are traditionally meat based, but whether emerging from the ocean or a day at the waterfalls, Pools Bar offers grilled fish literally just caught from the ocean 10 meters away and serves it up from a small surf shack van to a line of hungry locals. Their fish empanadillas aren’t half bad either, with a choice of anything from shark to whitebait nestled in a pastry parcel. In the peak midday heat of Rincon sunshine, grab a pure fruit smoothie to accompany, and take a seat under the shade of the palm to watch the most priceless view of the ocean imaginable.


YOLO Ft Lauderdale


Yolo which stands for ‘you only live once’ connotes precisely the ethos of this trend setting Ft ‘Lickerdale’ haunt. A restaurant, a lounge, a bar and, of course, a nightclub (the fantabulous VIBE) this vibrant hotspot draws in a good crowd on the weekends. ‘Little Miami’ is the nickname, and it is easy to see why. The entrance opens out into a red carpet of luxury Bentleys and Rolls’ alike, while the young business people of Lauderdale flutter socially around the bar. The difference is, unlike Miami, the crowd here are talkers; people getting to know other people.  If you care to join the line, the restaurant itself, which spills into the bar, is perhaps the best part of the establishment. Set under a canopy of fairy lights and lush trees, the restaurant manages to remain quaint yet trendy. The food is terrific, better than anything you could find on a Friday in Miami. Perhaps the greatest reason behind this is that the chefs ARE THE OWNERS. One can literally taste the effort they have put into cooking jalapeno stuffed cornbread, or the snapper on a bed of succotash (n.b. my personal ‘go to’s’ are the calamari and tuna sashimi – mouth watering….) Cocktails are punchy, presentation is on form, and service impeccable, considering how busy the place is. The popularity of YOLO evidently stems from being able to create the atmosphere of a chic Miami evening, but in the span of one building. Thus your night is taken care of….arrive, eat, drink and walk two meters to the nightclub. Then when you’re too intoxicated to drive yourself home, their ‘red cap’ service drives you home in YOUR car – for free. Ummm, sounds like a great Miami night without all the hassle of jumping up and down Ocean Drive. Its catching on fast, and citizens of Ft Lauderdale and Miami alike, know it. Drawing in a more intellectual crowd on regular basis, this is one place I would recommend going if you need a break from BIG Miami and just want to dip your toe in its ‘little’ counterpart. It might be smaller than the haunts of its neighboring city, but there is nothing small about the success of YOLO.