The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 7 January 2016

Image: Getty Images

Easy living

CES is in full swing in Las Vegas and alongside endless big-screen, small-frame TVs are home appliances turning heads with innovative solutions to common problems. Take Samsung’s AddWash washing machine: it has a door-within-a-door so when the drum is filling with detergent and you notice an errant sock on the floor, you can open the small upper door and pop the sock in while the wash is paused. LG revealed a refrigerator with a door that, when you knock on it, turns transparent so you can see what’s inside. Even better: when you stand in the right place, the fridge springs open automatically – handy if your arms are full of groceries (or white wine).

Image: Chris Phutully

Moveable feast

Melbourne’s culinary elite continue to step out from the hallowed kitchens of fine-dining restaurants to please palates at a more public level: a number of pop-up concepts have recently been launched by Australia’s leading chefs. Pastry chef extraordinaire Pierre Roelofs, who has whipped up desserts at Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca, starts serving his inspired interpretations of the classic soft serve at Pierre’s Spot in Carlton North this Saturday. “The beauty of this movement is that it puts you in direct contact with the diner, which you don’t get in a fine-dining kitchen,” he says. Another, more transient food affair growing a cult following is Ides. The supper club, helmed by the sous chef of acclaimed restaurant Attica, recently popped up on a tram. While the pop-up trend isn’t new, the finite allure of the temporary seems particularly effective in attracting savvy Melbourne diners, proud to support reputable homegrown talent.

Image: Getty Images

Reel shame

The first auction of the year at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market is always newsworthy but this year’s edition – held earlier this week – was particularly poignant as it was the last to be held at the 80-year-old market. In November, Tsukiji moves to a purpose-built site in Tokyo Bay, a relocation that has not been without controversy. As well as protests about Tsukiji’s historical significance, there is also anxiety that many small businesses that flourish at the edge of the market – selling everything from wellington boots to fish knives – will suffer in the new location away from the centre. Unsurprisingly developers are itching to get their hands on the old market, a piece of prime property on the Sumida River that will be reborn as a park, shopping plaza and ferry terminal.

Image: Getty Images

Ship ahoy!

Any property developer constructing a hotel hopes it will be plain sailing, which means they probably aren’t expecting to find an ancient ship buried in the foundations. But the Hotel Indigo has temporarily run aground due to the discovery of a vessel – thought to date from sometime between the 1770s and 1790s – at its construction site in Alexandria, Virginia. Yet the unearthing hasn’t come as a surprise to the people at Thunderbird Archaeology, an environmental consultancy working with the developers. “There are quite a lot of items of archaeological interest here: this is an early American seaport,” says archaeological manager Boyd Sipe. This isn’t the first time a ship has been discovered in similar circumstances: in 2010 a Revolutionary War boat was found at the World Trade Center site.

From Monocle 24

Interview: Harry Slatkin

American entrepreneur Harry Slatkin shares business lessons from his career in finance, fashion and fragrance.

From Monocle Films

Club scene

We visit the members’ clubs where foreign journalists find a home away from home (and a good supper) in Tokyo, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

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