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Cityshop

Tokyo

Japanese fashion retailer Baycrews teamed up with Yuichi Yoshii, owner of popular Tokyo café Pariya, to open Cityshop. The delicatessen in the Aoyama district was conceived by Tokyo-based design firm Jamo Associates, who installed stone tabletops and lined the walls with hardy tiles. The three salads available all year round are boosted by 15 seasonal offerings that make the most of the deli’s range of fresh vegetables, fish and meat. Firm favourites include fruit-and-mint granola, spelt-and-mushroom risotto and roasted salmon in honey and mustard.

One post-prandial pleasure involves perusing the upstairs retail space, where you’ll find plenty of goodies from a variety of Japanese brands, including Hyke. — jt

Épicerie l’Idéal

Marseille

“Instead of writing about produce I wanted to talk to people about the products directly,” says food writer Julia Sammut, who always dreamt of opening a grocery shop. Converted by interior design firm Honoré, Épicerie l’Idéal opened earlier this year and is decked out with finds from flea markets, blue lava-stone tiles and willow lamps beside the granite pantry. The tins and jars that line the shop are filled with sauces and compotes for sale, alongside Tuscan pastas from the Fabri Family. Italian flavours dominate but Sammut has also selected products including Naga-gold rice from Thailand, fresh butter from Savoie and pastrami from Maison David. Chef Aurélien Baron rustles up sandwiches and salads for peckish passers-by.

San Francisco round-up

USA

Expect a clever riff on informal counter-top service at newly opened Little Gem, a 78-cover café in the Hayes Valley district of central San Francisco. Plates (including slow-roasted pork shoulder with beetroot marmalade) could easily grace the tables of a swankier joint but this is all about a laidback approach. Linger for coffee at the sun-drenched wooden tables or pair your food with a woody, Napa-made chardonnay.

Across town The Perennial trades on its charming staff and lively open kitchen. The large dining room is the heart of this homey South of Market haunt, where chefs create northern Californian dishes including a tangy pumpkin-seed bisque with crisped Jerusalem artichoke. The trout fillet with bone-marrow broth is also a winner. For drinks head to Café du Nord, built in 1907 as a Scandinavian hang-out and recently renovated. Its geometric carpets and leather stools nod to the past but the cocktail menu is pleasantly forward-looking; oysters and champagne are served till late.

Three San Francisco picks:

  1. Café du Nord Try the Pioneer Race Course: bourbon, Swedish Punsch, mint and lemon.

  2. Little Gem Don’t miss the house-cured salmon with crispy potato cakes.

  3. The Perennial The Kernza-wheat bread is worth a nibble.

Gelateria Profumo

Genoa

Genoa’s historic centre abounds with Renaissance palazzos but in its labyrinthine alleyways you’ll find treats for the palate too. Gelateria Profumo is staffed by the same family who run Villa-Profumo – one of the city’s best known pastry shops – and its renown has grown steadily since it opened in 2006. Within the appropriately pistachio-hued interior you’ll find flavours such as candied chinotto, made using flakes of the bitter myrtle-leaf oranges from nearby Savona.

Fish School

Hong Kong

Chefs new to Hong Kong often call on David Lai for pointers about the city’s prime seafood or how to net the best from the city’s many wet markets. Now Lai is working with restaurateur Yenn Wong to share his extensive piscatorial knowledge with diners and culinary students at Fish School, a new berth that opened in late 2015 in the Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood.

Live eels swim in tanks behind the open-counter kitchen, while waiters wearing pressed white coats diligently explain the daily menu chalked up on the blackboard. Threadfin, spotted knifejaw and star snapper all feature in a repertoire where the taste does the talking. Plates are fuss free and the catch of the day is always served whole.

Gelateria Profumo

Genoa

Genoa’s historic centre abounds with Renaissance palazzos but in its labyrinthine alleyways you’ll find treats for the palate too. Gelateria Profumo is staffed by the same family who run Villa-Profumo – one of the city’s best known pastry shops – and its renown has grown steadily since it opened in 2006. Within the appropriately pistachio-hued interior you’ll find flavours such as candied chinotto, made using flakes of the bitter myrtle-leaf oranges from nearby Savona.

Onibus Coffee

Tokyo

Former carpenter Atsushi Sakao (pictured) got hooked on the bean while backpacking in Australia and opened his first coffee shop in 2012. Although busy managing multiple cafés he takes a hands-on approach, visiting farmers, roasting beans and preparing brews. Take your coffee outside or head upstairs at this latest opening in the Nakameguro neighbourhood and enjoy the view over the leafy nearby park.

Vinitaly

Verona

April in Verona means Vinitaly, the largest wine fair in the world and backdrop to the deals that make Italy the world’s biggest wine exporter. Wines made in Veneto – amarone, valpolicella and prosecco – accounts for the biggest share of Italy’s exports with 500 million bottles a year, while the likes of Ferrari from Trento are making a splash in the high-quality sector.

The mood at the 50th edition of the fair was boosted by a record 4,100 exhibitors and 130,000 wine professionals, with a third of visitors coming from abroad. Near-perfect growing conditions made 2015 a stand-out year, while 2014 exports were up 5.4 per cent, largely due to US demand. Expansion into unexpected territories also helped, with inroads made into China and even France.

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