Archive for February, 2010
Under Construction: triple-tower Marina Bay Sands Casino, Singapore
The first phase of the Las Vegas Sands Singapore Casino will open earlier than anticipated on April 27, 2010 and is expected to generate $1 billion in annual profits, when fully operational, according to its billionaire CEO, Sheldon Andelson. The restaurant line-up features American restaurateurs: Wolfgang Puck, David Boulud and Mario Batali.
Rival casino Genting Singapore’s Resorts World at Sentosa opened slightly ahead of the Sand’s on February 14th and has had a mixed performance with restaurant and food outlets packed and, hotel rooms fully booked although, the actual count of traffic entering the casino’s doors were lower in comparison to casinos in Macau on their opening days. In addition, the Sand’s location is considered better with its waterfront location nearer to the central business district.
Breaking News . . . Earlier we heard word that Ferran Adria would close his restaurant El Bulli for a two year period from 2011-2013. Now he has announced that he will be closing permanently in December 2011. The restaurant along with his cooking workshop in Barcelona has been losing money at the tune of a half million Euros a year, although as we mentioned in our post on the two-year closure, the cookbooks are generating a large income. Instead of opening a new restaurant he will use any resulting funds to open an academy devoted to the study of molecular and other gastronomic studies; the academy will sponsor scholarships to allow the most talented chefs from around the world to attend.
French Pinot Noir Scandal . . .
Key French wine executives were convicted Wednesday of selling 18 million bottles (13.5 million liters) of falsely labeled wine to the largest producer of wine in the world E&J Gallo at an inflated price. The wine was ultimately sold under E&J’s ubiquitous “Red Bicyclette” Pinot Noir label, which was described as exhibiting “dark fruit aromas and flavors of black cherry and ripe plum”. In handing down the sentences, the French judge said, “the scale of the fraud caused severe damage for the wines of the Languedoc for which the United States is an important outlet.”
A lawyer for two of the defendants argued that there was no harm, since “not a single American consumer complained.” This doesn’t say much for the American consumer’s ability to discern between such different grape varieties, and even less for the professionalism of the buyers from E&J Gallo who could not tell the difference between the radically different flavors of Pinot, Merlot or Shiraz grapes. A lawyer for three other defendants took a different route, arguing that the wines had Pinot Noir characteristics.
In 2001 the Mondavi company of California was forced by local wine producers to abandon a plan to produce a quality wine in the region after local opponents accused it of planning to make “McDonald’s-style” New World Wines there.
The Languedoc and Roussillon wines from the South-west of France have shown tremendous improvement in quality over the past decade, and they remain a great source of high-value wine at reasonable prices.
Contributed by Emi Kagawa
Via Ton Ton
333/4 United Tower, Soi Sukhumvit 55 (Thonglor), Sukhumvit Rd.
Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Credit Cards: Yes
Via Ton Ton has been around a long time with a few locations in Bangkok. They have provided the finest pastries and cakes to the Japanese community and others who appreciate excellent patisserie made with the purest ingredients available, and more importantly, without preservatives. They recommend that you consume bakery goods within 24 hours after purchase. This is their newest outlet on Soi Thonglor.
For more information contact: Tel. 02-266-5333-4
(The Goose at Britwell Salome is Temporarily Closed and Chef Ryan Simpson and some of the former staff are looking for a “New Opportunity”).
Members of the staff are in a dispute with the owner regarding the direction of future operations for the one-time pub. The Goose had lost its one-Michelin star after Matthew Tomkinson left for the Montagu Arms in Beaulieu in the New Forest, The Goose had just recently regained its Michelin star back, due to the hard work of Chef Ryan Simpson and his team. Now Ryan and some of his staff in both the back and front-of-the-house have decided to quit after hearing that the present owner wanted to turn the fine dining restaurant back into a pub.