This issue of Architecture Asia is not meant to be a snapshot of this exciting field, for there are just to far too many new works to be featured. Instead, it serves to showcase a small selection of interesting recent examples in the region. From the superb Isola Bar in Hong Kong to Indonesia's changing restaurant landscape, all the eating places featured here exude that social sophistication I talk about albeit to varying degrees. But in my view, a place like TjANTeK cafe (our cover) in the sleepy Malaysian town of Kuantan on the shores of the South China Sea, and created by an 'owner-with-a-vision'. is the quintessential eating place', its charm is iridescent, its walls are on exhibition, its decor condenses sensory contrasts through materials and authenticity, it has buzz to make it socially attractive and above all, its food is great. My fave place is however, Baraka Cafe in a backend street of bourgeois Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts: its delectable Morrocan fare served from a visible kitchen to just 18 diners in a pretty much cramped but oh so cozy quarters, where the lighting is just bright enough to see the food but dim enough for private dialogue, an where ethnic beats in the background keep the reverberations together, is my epitome of social sophistication. It just cannot get any better. So, if I may ask : have you been to a good restaurant lately?
C h i e f E d i t o r
A n a n d K r i s h n a n