What shall we eat? That’s probably the most common question we ask of each other on weekends, or even through the week. Food brings us together in so many ways—we share the day’s experiences over a meal, understand another culture when we try food, experience a new place via its cuisine. And that’s why we set out to understand what makes a city a dining hot spot.
A place becomes a dining destination only when it has diversity, when street-food culture can thrive and be celebrated alongside chef-driven gourmet restaurants that serve global cuisine. Cities such as Bangkok, New York, London, Singapore and Dubai are global food hubs, where people from all over the world come to work, study, travel and live, bringing their food habits with them, and where there’s something to suit every palate. Our cover story examines whether any Indian city could wear this badge.
Delhi, Mumbai and Goa are generally accepted as the hottest dining destinations in India, though Goa may come closest to being a truly diverse dining destination. Restaurateurs, however, say India has just made a start and no city can take the crown as yet because the food scene is largely driven by individual interest. In countries such as Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Singapore, governments view cuisine as an integral aspect of tourism and put money into festivals and contests.
Switching tracks, we have a story on ASMRists, or the people who make videos with repetitive sounds that create an autonomous sensory meridian response to soothe viewers. My favourite is @pichit89 on Instagram, who just brews coffee outdoors with sounds of the wind, water bubbling, and coffee splashing into the cup. For those who have never had trouble falling asleep, ASMR reels of people making repetitive, soothing, ordinary sounds would seem plain bizarre, but these videos have gained a larger following over the past few years. The makers are finding newer sounds with which to soothe and calm their audiences, which is what our story covers. But if ASMR doesn’t work for you, you could relax and enjoy with our wide selection of suggestions on what to watch, read, wear and buy this weekend.
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