If Dogs Run Free – Vienna, Austria

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Wandering down Gumpendorfer on a late, breezy afternoon, we peered into a dim doorway and a monster stared back at us!

What is this place?? Gallery, Attraction, Curiosity Shoppe, kink  Museum ??

Better then – and in its way, including all of the above – we found ourselves in a  very stylish cocktail bar!

Quite beautiful in design, by co-owners Tzou Lubroth Architects, and named after the Bob Dylan song, the bar is quite a relaxing hangout in the afternoon.  Drinks are served with style and taste in crystal vessels, finished and garnished in true mixologist fashion.

Rumor has it on weekends that place can get a bit active.  We have to check out before we comment; but if we judge by the surrounds, it could be quite the happening scene!

Across from fabled Café Sperl;  If Dogs Run Free is a nice part of an afternoon itinerary of moseying down the picturesque local Gumpendorfer Straße!

 
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If Dogs Run Free
(34) 1 – 913 2132
Gumpendorfer Straße 10;  1060 Wien, Austria
www.ifdogsrunfree.com
Open Hours:
18:30 – 2:00    Monday to Thursday
18:30 – 4:00    Friday & Saturday

Mott 32 – Hong Kong

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You enter into the Chartered Bank building – either feeling at ease in a monolithic womb to cash or a sort of annoyance at how much extra money exists to build all this ugly marble 🙂  Then you go down, and down, and down past mirrors and columns and you feel yourself defending into the nether worlds where the real jewels are kept … Mott 32 is a true beauty.  With and extraordinary interior by Joice Wang (winner of the 2014 restaurant interior design award).

We sat at the bar and wandered around taking in the opulence.  Our bar tender  was skilled  and quite charming (we did come back for a 2nd cocktail and tried for the same young man).  Unfortuneatly the rest of the staff bordered on rude, to the extent that they would follow us to the restroom and trying to prevent one on looking around and actually enjoying the space.  It did not make any sense as the restaurant  is so beautiful; and a main reason why anyone was there.

The food menu for us was a bit too traditional with their signature peking duck and mountains of pork (a smell permitted the dining area); therefore, we concentrated on the liquid menu 🙂

Mott’s 32 cocktail menu is fantastic.  As we find in most cities we visit,  the menues seem to be born out of  NY, LA or London.  The menu here was created by an American, who used Asian twists. The flavours are truly local, extensively creative and with a perfect balance.   My Old Fashioned was quite new fashioned, and infinitely drinkable!

 

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Above Photos © Joice Wang
  1. Hanami cocktail is made with Buffalo Trace Whiskey, Tanqueray Gin, Umeshu, Yuzu, Shisho, Ginger Beer and Chrysanthemum.
  2. Plum wine poached Australian pear, candied ginger, cinnamon and Osmanthus flower.
  3. Soy Sauce Ice Cream
  4. Rose Garden – Rose, Rhubarb, Roselle and Ginger.
  5. Passion Cooler is a refreshing alternative for dinner, shaken with Shiso leaf, coconut water, coriander seed and passion fruit.
  6. The On Leong Tea Cocktail is mixed with Denizen Rum, Osmanthus & Oolong Tea, Passion Fruit and Guava
  7. Mott 32’s Milk Tram – a delicate shaken cocktail of Belvedere Vodka, Vanilla Syrup, Almond Milk, Matcha Tea and Cinnamon
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Mott 32 Bar and Restaurant

(852)  2.885.8688
Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Rd Central, Hong Kong
www.mott32.com
Open Hours:
12:00 – 15pm    Daily
18:00 – 23pm    Daily

Aoyama Kawakami-an – Tokyo, Japan

img_food_aoyama03_1above photo © Kawakami-an
(Large shrimp tempura bowl and bite buckwheat)

Aoyama Kawakami-an

(81)  35.411.7171
3 Chome-14-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato,
Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

www.kawakamian.com

Open Hours:
11:00 – 04:30    Monday – Saturdays
11:00 – 17:00    Sundays

We walked by this Soba restaurant on afternoon – and remarked that it looked like quite a nice spot; and though we were hungry, we continued on to our original destination.  The walnut soba stuck in our minds and, fast forwarding a few days later, we wound up being brought to the very same restaurant by a local friend!

She explained that the Kabocha Tempurasoba (pumpkin) and  Iro Soba (walnut) were a specialty of Aoyama Kawakami−an, and it was quite famous for them!

We had quite a lovely lunch – and highly recommend this Soba-Ya for all who are wandering through the Aoyama district.

Aoyama Kawakami-an 003above photo, tamagoyaki with scallions and eggplant
img_food_aoyama04_labove photo © Kawakami-an
img_food_aoyama03_labove photo © Kawakami-an
Aoyama Kawakami-an 002
Aoyama Kawakami-an 001