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A culinary road trip in S Korea


IF YOU think Japan holds the gold standard when it comes to gourmet food, you're not wrong. But with every second person heading off to Tokyo, Hokkaido and the like, it's time to seek out greener dining pastures elsewhere.

We find it in South Korea, where the fast-growing dining scene is making it one of the most exciting destinations to explore now. Not just in its restaurants but in the sheer, mind-boggling variety of homegrown produce that you rarely see outside of the country.

In this week's issue of Weekend magazine, join us as we follow locavore chef Ryu Tae Hwan on a 3,000 km road trip beyond Seoul to discover what's growing in in the country's backyard. The chef-owner of Gangnam restaurant Ryunique has made it his mission in the past three years to seek out the best artisanal producers - passionate individuals dedicated to their craft - and telling their stories through his cuisine. From prized matsutake mushrooms to cattle fed on medicinal herbs and a farm up in the Jirisan mountains devoted to making Spanish style jamon, it's an eye opening start to what will be a long journey of culinary discovery.

Meanwhile, we chat with Taha Bouqdib, the brains and tastemaker behind TWG Tea who talks about how he's grown the brand into what it is today. We also head out to the Ritz-Carlton Osaka to take part in the hotel brand's Stellar Dining series, where its Michelin-starred chefs come together for specially curated dinners. Design-wise, we spotlight a home which solves the perennial intermediate terrace house dilemma - how to bring in more natural light when you're hemmed in on both sides. Check out also the winners of the watch world's version of the Oscars, and rediscover the appeal of the Polaroid instant camera, which is enjoying a resurgence in this Instagram age.

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