Two Weeks in Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, and Japan

In the second half of October I traveled Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, and Japan giving seminars and some wine dinners along the way. It was my first visit to each of the island nations and I had a lot of fun meeting people along the way and tasting local foods. Following is the collection of photos I shared to Instagram while traveling.

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Breakfast, Hong Kong – the close of my perfect breakfast, noodle and dumpling soup, and a double espresso. Lovely to be in Hong Kong. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 16, 2019 at 5:16pm PDT

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Wan Chai Fish Market – enthralled by the diversity and vigor of the public fish market in the old town Wan Chai area of Hong Kong. It‘s a revolving selection of seafood all fresh caught, seasonal, filleted or cut to go, much of it kept alive in pools of water until selected for purchase, and sold by people who move boxes, handle and cut fish, and work a chopping block like it‘s second nature. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 16, 2019 at 8:09pm PDT

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Produce, Wan Chai Market – incredibly vibrant produce at the public produce market in old town Wan Chai area of Hong Kong. It ‘s adjacent to the fish market. This is part of what I love about traveling this part of the world – so much of the food relies on the ingredients visible in these two photos: fresh, seasonal, greens, mushrooms, roots, and other vegetables. Public markets like this are such a feast for the eyes and social imagination. There is so much to absorb about a place by silently taking in how people buy their daily food from the local market. (Also, these prices are pennies compared to what we see in the US.) #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 16, 2019 at 8:20pm PDT

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Wan Chai, Hong Kong – colorfully painted residential buildings in the old Wan Chai area of Hong Kong. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 16, 2019 at 8:26pm PDT

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Spring Deer Peking Duck – dinner at a locals’ favorite, Spring Deer, in Tsim Sha Tsui of Kowloon. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 17, 2019 at 6:04pm PDT

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Star Ferry, Hong Kong – crossing Victoria Harbour to Kowloon on the Star Ferry, looking back at Wan Chai, Hong Kong. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 17, 2019 at 4:51pm PDT

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California Chardonnay Seminar, Hong Kong – dude. My name is giant. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 17, 2019 at 7:22pm PDT

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A History of California in 8 Wines: A New Look at Chardonnay, Hong Kong – my enormous gratitude to the incredible job the team here in Hong Kong did at putting together a California wine event and hosting me for the seminar. It was an honor to speak to Hong Kong’s wine trade and media, to present such an incredible line up of wines, and to learn more about the interests and enthusiasms of the people here. It was so much fun to speak with attendees after. My deep thanks to Stony Hill, Hanzell, Ramey, Clendenen Family, DuMOL, Matthiasson, Sandhi, Ceritas for letting me take your wine across the Pacific to tell this story. It was an incredible set of wines to taste side-by-side and a unique opportunity to share them with the people here in Hong Kong. Thank you. Wines: Stony Hill 2011, Hanzell 2014, Ramey 2016 Hyde, Clendenen Family 2015 Le Bon Climat, DuMOL 2016 Estate, Matthiasson 2014 Michael Mara, Sandhi 2015 Sanford & Benedict, Ceritas 2017 Charles Heintz. #californiawine #hongkong #wine @california.wines @calhkwine @stonyhillvineyard @hanzellfarm @rameywinecellars @jimclendenen @dumolwinery @matthiasson_wine @sandhiwines @rajatparr @sashimoorman @jraytek

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 18, 2019 at 2:16pm PDT

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Morning Pastries, Hong Kong – this is my undoing: in many ways I care far less about eating than I do about tasting and trying things. So this morning while going for a croissant to eat with my coffee I had to also grab the sweet potato bun (front left) and the corned beef bun (front right) because what on earth do those taste like?! The sweet potato bun I still can’t quite solve but liked. It is hollow on the inside (surprising) and very mild in flavor (common to the morning buns here) while just a hint sweet on the inside (also slightly surprising). The entire inside also was fuzzy-red just like you see on the outside and how on earth did they accomplish that?! My best guess currently is that it is made of potato flour, slightly sweet, and shaped like a sweet potato, rather than that it is made of sweet potato. The corned beef bun was exactly what you’d expect: a fluffy glazed bun with corned beef inside. So, you know, yum. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 18, 2019 at 5:02pm PDT

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View of Hong Kong from the Peak Trail, 1400 ft / 427 m – traveling to Hong Kong has been a dream of mine since my teens so being here now feels like a genuine privilege. I didn’t expect how incredibly green the city is. There truly is no other city in the world simultaneously so urban and so verdant. The skyscrapers of Hong Kong are surrounded by wild green mountain forests – hiking through the mountain park eventually you turn the corner and there is only mountain forest (as shown in photo 3 here) – and then between the island of Hong Kong and Kowloon there is the water. The haze in these photos is early morning weather, not smog. The city and landscape a feast for the eyes. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:38pm PDT

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Plant Life, the Peak Trail, Hong Kong – everywhere the cliffsides are covered in plant life. Here, one beautiful little example growing a host of small, petal-shaped leaves over the rock. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:46pm PDT

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The Peak Tram, Hong Kong – riding the incredibly steep Peak Tram back down the mountain into Hong Kong. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 18, 2019 at 10:01pm PDT

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So kind. Thank you! It was lovely to meet you and so nice to speak with so many attendees afterwards. Thank you for having me in beautiful Hong Kong! ? #repost: @kalai804… A History of California in 8 Wines: A new look at Chardonnay ?? What a privilege to attend such an informative masterclass. Elaine Chukan Brown speaks with poise, in-depth knowledge, focus, and humor, taking us on a journey of California’s wine industry from the early pioneers of post-Prohibition, to adapting Burgundian winemaking techniques, to understanding its unique terroir and different micro-climates. The 8 wines presented were so different, and the one that really made an impression on me was the Sandhi Sanford & Benedict 2015. The reductive nose, sharp acidity, salinity, and “minerality” definitely does not fit the typical California Chardonnay profile. And it’s refreshing to know that winemakers are doing what they feel are right, instead of following the same formula that’s worked in the market for years. Thank you to all the wineries that gave their wines for us to taste. ????????? #winelover? #californiawines #californiawine #wineeducator #winegeek @hawk_wakawaka @calhkwine @california.wines @sandhiwines @rajatparr @sashimoorman

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 18, 2019 at 10:51pm PDT

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So very glad you found the seminar insightful and approachable. Such a privilege to be here! Thank you for having me! #repost: @jimethk… Fantastic masterclass of California Chardonnay for the Asia Tour of the California Wine Institute guided by Elaine Brown #masterclass #winetasting @california.wines @calhkwine @hawk_wakawaka Elaine made it so easy to follow and understand the history and evolution of styles of Chardonnay from @stonyhillvineyard to @rameywinecellars to @sandhiwines so different style, such beautiful wines #winelover #mywinelife #hk #hkwine

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 18, 2019 at 11:12pm PDT

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Shady Acres, Hong Kong – Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Sainte Anne, Shady Acres, and a wine list I helped illustrate . Couldn’t be happier. #hongkong @theshadyacres

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 19, 2019 at 12:44am PDT

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The Shady Acres, Hong Kong – what an absolute pleasure! Phenomenal wine list (I could have happily enjoyed any glass, any bottle), smart and snappy food menu, absurdly photogenic spot in a really cool part of town, and genuinely nice plus cool folks leading the charge. Thank you for being so kind with me spontaneously dropping in. I am very excited about what you’re up to! Thanks to Christopher Beros for the pics! #hongkong @theshadyacres

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 19, 2019 at 3:25am PDT

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Four Seasons Hot Pot, Hong Kong – fantastic food, local tradition. Hot pot three ways, with one pot split in two sections (here in the pot in the front of the photo, so impressed by that). Each section or pot has its own broth type but then you also order the kinds of ingredients you want to cook in those broths – specific vegetables or roots, meat types, tofu, and mushrooms – and you cook them yourself on your cook-table to eat not as soup exactly but as cooked meats, vegetables, roots, or mushrooms flavored by the broths you’ve chosen but then flavored even more by your own personally made dipping sauce. The food cooked in hot pot is cooked in broth, then served to your individual plate and once you receive it, you choose how to eat it. You can have it as is from hot pot or, more likely, dipped into your own individual concoction of soy sauce flavored with garlic, green onion, sesame, peanut, hot chile as you like. When you go out for hot pot and order you are first handed the ingredients and utensils to make your own dipping sauce. Then later you are given your hot pot with broth and ingredients to cook. Every personal dipping sauce is unique. Enormous thanks for including me in hot pot (and not making me cook any of it). The food was delicious, and you were right. My dipping sauce just kept getting better as the meal went on. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 19, 2019 at 6:08am PDT

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Alleys of Central, Hong Kong – walking tight little, sometimes hidden, alleyways of the Central district of Hong Kong. So much gorgeous, urban detail here. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 19, 2019 at 6:33am PDT

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Breakfast, Hong Kong – last breakfast soup in Hong Kong (this visit). #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 19, 2019 at 4:28pm PDT

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Sweet Buns, Hong Kong – OHMYGOD I LOVE THESE. One of the things I love about traveling is finding new treats to try. Here in Hong Kong even the sweet buns are not too sweet, which works so well for me. I love these. In the front here is the lotus seed bun – all puffed dense bun on the outside with only just slightly sweet lotus seed paste on the inside. Do not try to cut this. It is for biting. On top is the sesame bun. The inside is filled with a sesame seed paste slightly sweeter than the lotus seed paste but here surrounded by a crisp, savory, toasted sesame outside that moves your mouth from crunch to squish and all through yummy. These are awesome. I love how aware of texture food culture is here. #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 19, 2019 at 4:34pm PDT

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So very glad you enjoyed the seminar and the wines! Thank you for your thoughts and insights on the seminar. #repost: @openwines.hk… A History of California in 8 wines: A new look at Chardonnay by Elaine Chukan Brown ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????California Wines???Elaine Chukan Brown???????????????????????????Chardonnay????????????????????????Chardonnay????????????????????????????????????????????????Burgundy???????? Brown??????????????Chardonnay???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Chardonnay???????Chardonnay???????????????????Brown?????????????????????????????????????????Flowers???Chardonnay??????????????????????Chardonnay???????????? #californiawineshongkong #masterclass #chardonnay @calhkwine @california.wines

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 19, 2019 at 10:16pm PDT

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So great to see you and hang out in the Shady Acres! #repost: @theshadyacres Thank you @hawk_wakawaka Elaine, our friend and artist behind the gorgeous artwork in the shady wine bible for visiting Shady! We are in your debt. ?

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 20, 2019 at 12:29am PDT

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Alaska King Crab, Hong Kong – yes! Nice job, @alaskaseafood ! Alaska King Crab in the Hong Kong airport. Love seeing that! #hongkong

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 20, 2019 at 1:01am PDT

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Thank you! So glad you could attend and enjoyed it ! #repost: @minestovines… Thank you @hawk_wakawaka for the best Masterclass ever! Informative, amusing, thought-provoking, interesting historical perspective. #wine #winetasting #californiawine #chardonnay @calhkwine @california.wines

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 20, 2019 at 2:07am PDT

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Outdoor Houseplant Market, Manila – a huge square full of houseplant vendors, open only after dark. #manila

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 20, 2019 at 6:17am PDT

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Breakfast Sweet Cakes, Manila – Treats local to the Philippines to try! from top: Sapin Sapin, Biko Pandin, Cassava Cake. These are small bite, only very slightly sweet treats to finish a meal. The texture varies between them but they do all tend towards sticky-squishy. The Cassava Cake is of course ground cassava root, which I quite like as it has been a good option for me when my diet is restricted from grains. There is just a slightly granular texture here. The Biko Sanpin I believe is tapioca. It is the stickiest-smoothest of the three and obviously colorful. The Sapin Sapin I believe is cooked and shaped sweet rice. It is the sweetest of the three, though still only slightly, and is also the most granular texture. Pleasant across the board. I love trying these local foods. Yay! #manila

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 20, 2019 at 5:54pm PDT

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Orchids around Manila #manila

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 21, 2019 at 6:42pm PDT

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Pacific Grouper, Manila – an incredible dish of Pacific Grouper served with greens and broth. The flavors here were delicate, subtle, and incredibly elegant. This dish was nothing but a pleasure. It was deboned, then portioned table side. As my bowl was handed to me our server explained the fish cheeks (I was raised to recognize fish cheeks as the best part) are offered to the woman at the table in recognition of her beauty, and because it is believed the fish cheeks also enhance her beauty. What I have seen of Manila culture has been quite charming. The people here are so kind, and I would say even loving in their simple, everyday interactions. It has been disarming and refreshing to receive. Thank you. #manila

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 21, 2019 at 6:53pm PDT

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Bird’s Nest Almond Soup, Manila – this was a wonderful dessert with very little sweetness. A coconut is filled with ground almond-coconut juice then served with bowls of different types of tapioca, and also with the crucial bird’s nest component, which is believed to provide both long life and beauty. Our bird’s nest was also accented by gold leaf. The tapioca and bird’s nest is mixed into the almond soup and all served together. It was very much about the hearty almond flavor with just a hint of sweetness. #manila

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 21, 2019 at 8:42pm PDT

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Walnut Soup with Gelatinous Rice Ball filled with Toasted Sesame, Manila – when you cut into the rice ball black sesame oozes into the walnut soup. The combination of flavors with deft textural elements is so compelling. My favorite dessert tasted in Manila. There is very little sweetness here, just a kiss of it in the rice. What an enjoyable experience. #manila

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 21, 2019 at 8:51pm PDT

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Ensaymadas from Mary Grace, Manila – a couple from the seminar I gave in Manila were excited by my interest in local foods so sent me to a locals’ favorite bakery, Mary Grace, to get a classic local pastry, Ensaymada. It is crazy. The pastry itself is a fluffy sweet egg-heavy bun, that is then topped with buttercream and sometimes sprinkled with sugar as well. Then a mountain of cheese is grated on top. This version I believe was covered in Edam. The final result is a slightly sweet, intensely savory, pretty dense squish puff. Apparently the original comes from Spain then made its way to this version in the Philippines. Thank you for the recommendation! #manila

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 21, 2019 at 9:30pm PDT

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Comte 2005 Blanc de Blancs and Mayer 2017 Syrah (Yarra Valley), Manila – drinking wines in Manila that feel like flying across the Pacific to find old friends (which I also, so gratefully, got to do as friends of mine from Montreal now live in Southeast Asia). A perfect night drinking two beloved wines. #manila @champagnetaittinger @vintagemarkdavo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 21, 2019 at 9:38pm PDT

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Night palms of Manila #manila

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 22, 2019 at 12:25am PDT

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Welcome to Singapore (this is all live flowers). #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 22, 2019 at 3:23am PDT

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Singapore Botanical Garden at night in the rain … this plant is bigger than a bus. It ‘s huge, and so gorgeous. I just don’t know what it is. (The tree visible in the background is a Rain Tree, one of Singapore’s signature plants.) #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 22, 2019 at 8:33am PDT

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The Corner House, UNESCO World Heritage Site and Restaurant, Singapore Botanic Garden – quite special, intricate, lovely meal focused on fresh seasonal ingredients, especially flowers and local plants, at The Corner House restaurant in the middle of the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens. The Corner House building itself is over 100 years old and has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 22, 2019 at 9:09am PDT

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Both Christmas and Valentine’s Day in Singapore #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 22, 2019 at 9:01pm PDT

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Good to see you, Richard! I am glad the timing worked out for us to share a visit and for you to attend the class too. Thank you for being here. #repost: @richardhemming… Comprehensive masterclass of @california.wines with @hawk_wakawaka in #singapore – featuring a neighbour of yours, @twowolveswine? @california.wines

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 1:25am PDT

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Kad Kokoa Salted Tamarind Dark Chocolate – gorgeous, zesty dark chocolate grown bean to bar in Chang Mai, Thailand. Such a thoughtful gift and so much fun to try. It is both delicious and interesting to try. Thank you! #singapore @kadkokoa_chocolate

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 2:46am PDT

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Yam Pau, Singapore – my tour of the buns of Asia is almost complete. Here, a yam paste squish bun. Beautiful. #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 3:18am PDT

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Bilancia 2017 Syrah, Hawke’s Bay – wine and friendships across the Pacific. What a gift to find dear friends and one of my favorites from New Zealand, Bilancia, so very far from home. Sending my love to so many friends in New Zealand. #singapore @bilancianz @lacollinanz

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 3:32am PDT

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Cantonese Food, California Wine, Alaska King Crab – three of my worlds smashing together in Singapore. #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 4:28am PDT

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An Evening of Cantonese Delights at Summer Pavilion with California Wines – incredible Cantonese dinner at the Ritz Carlton paired with California wines. Beautiful food. #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 7:29am PDT

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Ferrari Dinner, Ritz-Carlton, Singapore. #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 7:35am PDT

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California Wine Dinner, Summer Pavilion, Ritz-Carlton, Singapore – lovely experience getting to know people of Singapore while discussing local foods, local culture and history, and California wines. Thank you for including me! #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 8:17am PDT

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Singapore Breakfast – local breakfast consists of a soft cooked egg, topped here with chives. It is mixed up in the dish, still just lightly soupy, then eaten with a spoon. Toast is eaten afterwards. Delicious. #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 6:09pm PDT

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Chicken and Rice, Singapore – a specialty of Singapore is chicken and rice with the chicken cut up and served beside savory sautéed rice. Here, the rice was served atop the chicken. Chicken and rice is a common dish found throughout both local street food and restaurants as well. Chili crab is Singapore’s other most famous dish and considered a local signature. I’m allergic to shellfish though so was unable to try that specialty. Others assured me it was quite special with high quality fresh crab and a lot of flavor. #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 6:30pm PDT

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Koi Pond, Changi Airport, Singapore – so many beautiful gardens inside the Changi Airport. #singapore

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 23, 2019 at 7:52pm PDT

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Selecting Dinner, Tokyo #tokyo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 4:23am PDT

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Sashimi, Tokyo – incredible. #tokyo @somm_antics @dierberg

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 8:51am PDT

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Fugu Peacock, Tokyo – subtle, surprising. #tokyo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 8:57am PDT

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King Snapper, Tokyo – we named him Hector. And he was good. #tokyo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 9:04am PDT

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Damien Hugot Grand Cru – after dinner we move on to the Champagne bar and drink something wonderful. #tokyo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 9:31am PDT

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Night Walk, Tokyo. #tokyo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 10:29am PDT

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And then, unexpectedly, we are drinking brandy, though not just any brandy, but vintage brandy from Domaine de la Romanee Conti – the 1995 Fine Bourgogne and the 1999 Marc de Bourgogne – and the only thing to say is we were stunned, and they were good. I am very grateful. Thank you! #tokyo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 10:36am PDT

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Midnight Ramen, Tokyo. #tokyo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 5:09pm PDT

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Love Advice: find someone with whom you feel like Matt does about Mouton Rothschild Eau de Vie. #tokyo @somm_antics

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 5:27pm PDT

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Tokyo Station, Train Station. #tokyo

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 24, 2019 at 7:56pm PDT

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Water Canals in old Kamakura filling from intense rains. #kamakura

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 25, 2019 at 1:15am PDT

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Japanese Maple, old Kamakura. #kamakura

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 25, 2019 at 1:17am PDT

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Daibutsu, Great Buddha, Kamakura – cast in 1252, the Daibutsu has lived its centuries in old Kamakura. In the 1400s a storm carried it off its stones and into the sea but the Buddha itself was undamaged and returned to its gardens in Kamakura. Prior to the 15th century it was inside an enormous temple but the same storm that moved it from its post destroyed the old temple buildings. It has remained in open air ever since. The Kamakura Daibutsu is the second tallest giant Buddha in Japan. It stands 11.4 meters high and can be visited within its hollow body as well as outside it. #kamakura

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 25, 2019 at 1:24am PDT

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Kinon, Kamakura – in Kamakura, north of Tokyo, chef Toshikazu Murano serves beautiful and distinctive foods that bring together Japanese flavors, drying techniques, light grilling accents, and local seasonal ingredients. The restaurant sits only 8 people and all food is prepared in the kitchen surrounded by the 8 seats. It ‘s a special experience. Grateful to share it with 7 friends and colleagues here in Japan. #kamakura

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 25, 2019 at 1:40am PDT

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Rice Bowl, Tokyo – departing Tokyo with an extra rice bowl to bring for the flight. I hit some sort of health set back soon after arriving here and have spent two days in bed and three days with full body pain and debilitating abdominal cramps. Gratefully the abdominal pain has eased but I am still mostly unable to eat. The day I spent actually in Japan, rather than just in my hotel room, was full of great stuff to see. So I am grateful for that. Heading home to new fire evacuations throughout Sonoma County. Our house is outside the current evacuation area but the expected winds can change things quickly. Sonoma County is currently undergoing its largest evacuation in history. Stay safe, everyone.

A post shared by Elaine Chukan Brown (@hawk_wakawaka) on Oct 26, 2019 at 9:40pm PDT

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