Luxury Hotels


Never trust a skinny chef? That’s the old-fashioned adage. Girlahead begs to differ. Look at Chong Li, above. He honed his skills at the Park Hyatt hotels in Shanghai and Hangzhou. He then ventured to Mandarin Oriental Hotel Doha and after a spell in The Maldives he’s now in charge of Hong’s Chinese Restaurant & Sky Bar at InterContinental Chiang Mai The Mae Ping. This is the place for tongue-tingling flavours of Sichuan, sophisticated seasonality of Cantonese and finely balanced tastes of Taiwan – his signatures include mapo tofu lobster; sweet and sour squirrel fish with pine nuts; crispy tiger prawns with wasabi, and wagyu beef short ribs  in rich Sichuan sauce.

On from the actors to the items. Today some prefer fat chips and others would head for skinny fries. That’s a matter of taste. The fat chips at Saison in Raffles London at OWO, the Old War Office, are out of this world – as was all the grub Girlahead guzzled during her all-too-short stay – see more, in a couple of days, but suffice to say that the oysters accompanying the Louis Roederer on the breakfast buffet were fat.  As were those on the hors d’oeuvres tables before the final dinner at Private Luxury Copenhagen last week.

On the fat v. non-fat issue, some used to love the fat on a barbecued ribeye, now a no-go from the Food Police. But some Arctic people more or less survive on blubber, which is fat storage. Bacon fat is divine, as is dripping, melted fat, especially when spread on just-made brown toast…….   Fat v. non-fat is obviously ripe for more detailed debate.