Restaurant Review: Lasai in Rio 74th Best in World, one Michelin star, too relaxed, excellent wine service, Tasting Menu lacks story!

Whilst visiting Rio de Janeiro at the end of August, I booked a table to eat at Lasai, the 74th Best Restaurant in the World, and one Michelin star rated. The name of the restaurant is Basque-Spanish, meaning relaxed or informal. It was too relaxed to my liking, preferring the 100th ranked Oteque in the same city. Continue reading →

Getting a taste of Chilean wines in Casablanca and Santiago in Chile!

Through a stroke of luck I was invited to visit Santiago in Chile for four days, and in this time I was able to drink some Chilean wines. I also visited Casablanca, a wine region outside Santiago, with my friends Guy and Pia, who live near Casablanca. Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Oteque (100th Best, one Michelin Star) Restaurant in Rio de Janeiro offers uncomplex Tasting Menu, with excellent wines!

On my recent trip through a number of South American countries, I booked to eat at each of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants operating in the cities I visited, and at which I was able to make a booking. Oteque in Rio de Janeiro was the final restaurant I ate at a day before my departure back to Cape Town. Oteque is number 100 on this eminent restaurant ranking list, and has a Michelin star, both achievements acquired within 18 months of the restaurant opening in Rio de Janeiro, its owner and Chef Alberto Landgraf having previously owned a restaurant in São Paulo.  I found it to be far better than Lasai restaurant, also in Rio de Janeiro, which is ranked 74th Best on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant, at which I had eaten two days prior. 
 

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Returning home to Cape Town after three months on the (European and South American) road as a Solo traveler !

My post below comes from Facebook, a post I wrote in the last few days of my journey through eight countries, walking and dancing 1,2 million steps and just under 1000 km in three months. It was a tongue in cheek story about my journey, motivated in writing my third SwitchBitch Book, but also to share with my Blog readers the World’s 50 Best Restaurants I ate at in Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago in Chile, Rio de Janeiro, and a Michelin star restaurant in Lisbon, with other great and not so great restaurants, and the interesting Mendoza wine region in Argentina, synonymous with Malbec and the largest in the country. I will be posting stories as soon as I have settled in again and got over the jet lag. Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award goes to Blaque handbag shop; Sour Service Award goes to Uber Rio De Janeiro!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Blaque handbag shop in Alto Palermo in Buenos Aires, and the staff member who spoke good English when I shopped for handbags there, as well as another staff member who served me on a subsequent visit, exchanging one of the bags with a new one when the zip was not working properly. Continue reading →

South African wineries rub shoulders with other international wine estates, in inaugural 2019 Best Vineyard in the World Awards!

It was a Google search on Mendoza Winery Zuccardi through which I discovered a brand new Winery Award, the World’s Best Vineyards 2019, presented by the same publisher William Reed Business Media as the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List, which I have been using to eat my way through South American countries. The Zuccardi winery in Uco Valley in Mendoza in Argentina was named the Best Vineyard in the World in the inaugural ranking of a Top 50 List.  I was delighted to see that a number of our country’s Wineries feature on the list too. Continue reading →

Zuccardi Piedra Infinita in Mendoza Uco Valley Best restaurant in Argentina!

On my third winetasting day in Mendoza in Argentina, I was lucky that my Park Hyatt hotel concierge Charlie had managed to book a visit for me at Zuccardi Winery Piedra Infinita in the Uco Valley, the second and newer winery of this successful family wine producer. Of all the top restaurants which I evaluated in Argentina, this winery restaurant was by far the best I ate at in the country. I learnt while writing this article that this winery was awarded the honour of Best Vineyard in the world earlier this year!  Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award goes to the Park Hyatt Mendoza; Sour Service Award goes to Uber Mendoza!


The Sweet Service Award goes to the Park Hyatt Hotel Mendoza and its GM Miguel Ángel Bermejo, for his excellent service recovery after a shaky start when I checked in at the hotel a week ago. He had been traveling and away from the hotel for a few days, yet made time on the day of his arrival to meet with me for a tea/coffee, so that I could share the service incident with him. Before meeting with him, he had already sent three bottles of wine to my room, as well as a vase of flowers for my bathroom. What blew me away was that he had the South African flag hoisted outside the hotel during my stay, an amazing touch. During our meeting he recommended top restaurants in Santiago in Chile, he organised a room for me for an extra night, had top lady clothing shop names sent to my room, had a table reserved for me at a local restaurant he recommended highly, as being the best in Mendoza, and invited me to try their Bistro. He is an excellent listener, and had done his homework on me. He is honest, and not defensive about the feedback. A day later I asked him a question via a concierge, and he came to reception, to say hello personally. Unbelievable service! Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Don Julio Parrilla in Buenos Aires earns its 34th World Best Restaurant ranking with exceptional service!

Whilst visiting Buenos Aires, I was very fortunate to be able to reserve a table each at Tegui (86th Best) and at Don Julio Parrilla (34th Best) on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant List. The two Argentinian restaurants swopped rankings this year, Don Julio having previously played second fiddle to Tegui, and the steak specialist restaurant jumped an incredible twenty one places to make it into the World’s 50 Best List, whilst Tegui dropped 31 places. My Tegui Review is on my Blog, and explains why the restaurant lost its standing this year. Continue reading →