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Au Revoir Singapore; Bonjour Hong Kong




The view from my hotel room







The transition from one country to another creates a doorway that closes when one arrives in a new destination, thus Singapore already feels more than a couple of days away. Travelling on the MTR - Hong Kong's underground system - with its open carriages down which one has a tunnel-like view that rises and falls and sways from side to side with the curves and dips and rises of the track like the slowly twitching tail of a gargantuan chrome lizard, similar journeys by the Singapore version - its MRT - feel to have occurred in some very "other" place.

I like Singapore and it was a very useful trip. I visited a number of friends and clients in their homes, there finding great hospitality and many good wines. One evening was watered with a rain of delicious white burgundy - the 2006 Chassagne-Montrachet from Philippe Colin - and cellar-aged Louis Roederer Brut Premier (the bottles stored for 7 years and absolutely delicious). On another occasion at one of those splendid old black-and-white houses, I hosted a relaxed tasting, showing Old and New World versions of Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz/Syrah, at least one of the bottles showing that Singapore stigmata, having been cooked at some stage during its lifetime.

Other days included a further excellent lunch at Mag's Kitchen and an evening meal of that fine East Coast chilli crab, followed by a pudding of Eton mess and 2002 Doisy-Vedrines in my hosts' appartment, the wine medium-sweet with a burnt edge and very satisfying. My last night I enjoyed some of the finest Indian food I've ever had in Singapore - very cheap, very delicious - somewhere up the Bukit Timah Road.

Hong Kong has been showing itself off. The air has been wonderfully clear, the views long and the sun bouncing around the harbour like a pinball. I am, of course, eating extremely well and drinking wines that have, thus far, majored on the vineyards of Italy.

Sleeping patterns still not normalised. Enjoying Stieg Larsson. If you haven't read them, do.
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