As restaurant booking app OpenTable announces a new function to make global reservations, we discover the food trends that even the most adventurous business traveller may yet to order
With planes, packing and pitches to consider, the preparation for overseas business meetings can be painful enough without the added pressure of booking somewhere suitable to eat. Fortunately, the stress of confirming a dining reservation in a different timezone and foreign language could be about to disappear.
Restaurant booking platform OpenTable has announced Global Dining Passport, a new function that will allow customers to search, discover and make table reservations across the globe in their local language.
The fast-growing company, which launched in San Francisco in 1998, has since expanded across the US and into markets including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and Mexico as well as the UK and Ireland.
“For almost 20 years we have been helping diners to discover and make restaurant reservations in their home country,” says chief executive Christa Quarles. “This evolution in how we engineer our current country sites and apps means we can now power great restaurant experiences across multiple cities, in multiple languages.”
The company’s research shows that 97 per cent of its customers eat out at least once a day when travelling. But we’re willing to bet even the most regular travellers among you haven’t sampled these hot food trends yet…
Hong Kong: Unicorn toasties (pictured, above)
It looks like the kind of psychedelic snack a hippy might have reached for back in 1967 but these rainbow-hued toasties, named after the mythical beast, are all the rage at the Kala Toast café that created it. Lavender, basil and tomato make up the flavours melted into its kaleidoscopic gruyère goo. Read more on what to eat, where to go and where to stay in Hong Kong
When the cronut (croissant-doughnut hybrid) appeared in New York in 2013, the city’s foodie cognoscenti recoiled. Since then the ‘mash-up’ vogue has invaded the US with taco dumplings, crab BLTs, doughnut sandwiches and, somewhat inexplicably, ‘pizza pizza’ (cheese pizza mashed up with itself) clogging arteries across the country.
France: Spiced insects
Forget pints of pistachios. Cumin mealworms, paprika crickets and grasshoppers are all now de rigueur Parisian bar snacks, courtesy of French brand Jimini’s (see what they did there?), which also uses cricket flour for its energy bars. Cricket farms are becoming so popular Mark Zuckerberg’s sister has reportedly invested in them too.
Gruel can’t be so bad. Oliver Twist famously wanted more of the cereal-based broth and it’s become a bona fide food trend in the Antipodes. Bondi brunchers are adding bee pollen, fermented tree-nut cheese, hemp seeds and coconut butter to their porridge slop. There’s even a gluten-free version available, naturally.