I’m quite enjoying Bourdain’s latest series for the Travel Channel. The Layover is based around the idea that you’ve got a short stay like 2 days tops in one of the many metropolises around the world and what you can do in that short span of time. It’s a great idea to get a snapshot of a place and I suppose when you only have so little time, you probably gotta get the best bang for your buck. They skip the touristy travel guide type recommendations and try to give a pretty up to date picture of things.

So far, I’ve caught SG, SF, HK and NY. In NY, you get to see him in a bookshop fondling a set of El Bulli books and recommending Harold McGee’s On Food And Cooking. He reveals that Ludwig Bemelmans, the man behind the Madeline series of books wrote pretty much the same book as his own Kitchen Confidential way ahead of him whilst he’s having a drink at the Bemelmans bar. It’s easy to see that yea, he’s a travel show host and occasional book writer but at heart, he used to cook and love doing it and he hasn’t really lost any of that. David Chang also makes an appearance and they share hot dogs at Crif Dogs.

I like SF the best so far, it feels like the one American city that I would actually really want to visit.¬†He hooks up with Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese, goes to a shitload of bars and a shitload of hipstery non profit type food startup/idea joints and shit. It’s so fucking hipster but the one place I really wanna check out is Swan Oyster Depot where you can have raw seafood for breakfast, like urchins and shit and it’s not fucking Japan. Bourdain is also totally obviously drunk off his head as he hits like 3 bars in one night before grabbing a greasy burger late on. Way too many enviro/eco/socio hipstocrats even in the single episode but I am super keen on the general Asian/Latin food abundance, pretentious hipster bullshit notwithstanding. Bowien also squirts mustard on Bourdain in the most homo-ero travel channel scene ever in the most appropriate city ever.

The Singapore one, I’m alright with, mostly because the joints rec’ed aren’t really my joints. KF Seetoh brings him out for brekkie at Tiong Bahru, which is quite a nice hawker center really. He traipses round the Thieves Market. He shits on the Singapore Sling, gets chicken rice at Chin Chin on Purvis, gets a drink at Ku De Ta, Geyland in the wee hours and Nasi Lemak at Changi Village before he flies off…

In HK, he gets some Canto Roasts at Joy Hing, where he says goose is the shiznit. Having actually had roast goose brought home from HK, I concur. It’s awesomesauce and I still haven’t been to HK yet. Had roast goose in SG but that HK stuff is sick. Also, he visits the cheapest ever one michelin star restaurant, Tim Ho Wan for dim sum, Hui Liu Shan for mango drinks and some of the worst macaroni in tomato soup plus spam/fried egg at some dai pai dong. The coolest thing is a visit to Chan Chi Kee where he picks up a duck slicer.

Looking forward to catching Rome, Amsterdam, Miami, London and Montreal.

Update. Montreal looked sick. I would travel to eat at Joe Beef. Amsterdam was weaksauce and nigh foodless. Rome was goodish.

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