The slow food movement has been picking up speed, and nowhere more so than in Asia. With groups devoted to regional food traditions springing up from Bangkok to Tokyo, restaurateurs and chefs are taking notice. The movement is being absorbed speedily by others in the industry, much like old hands playing poker at http://www.casino.com/ , feeling others’ vibes and upping their game. In Seoul, eateries specializing in centuries-tested specialties like doenjang, or bean paste, are popping up around town: try the doenjang bibimbab at Toenmaru Doenjangyesul (behind the Seoho Art Gallery on the corner of Insa-dong Crossing; 82-2/739-5683; lunch for two KRW12,000). Down south in Bali, restaurateur Pak Adi Kharisma has created a line of products based on ubi, a sweet potato. Sample his ubi juice, ice cream and vacuum-packed ubi paste at his restaurant, Warung Sela Boga (238 Jln. Teuku Umar; 62-361/790-5900; lunch for two Rp40,000). Slow food has long been integral to Japanese cuisine, and there’s been a resurgence of interest; the Yokohama Slow Food Fair, held twice each year, features both artisanal and organic producers. In Beijing, The Orchard (Hegezhuang Village, Cuigezhuang Township, Shunyi district; 86-10/6433-6270; the-orchard.com.cn; lunch for two RMB400) serves upscale, organic comfort food grown on site.
Originally published in the December 2009 issue of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia.