November 2017


At the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, as the good Asian food lovers we are, we love discovering new cooking techniques. Today we are travelling to Japan to tell you about the famous teppanyaki. Are you joining us?

Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan, which means iron plate, and yaki, which means grilled. While the cook prepares the dishes, the guests place themselves around the griddle.

In countries such as the United States or Spain, where the number of Japanese food lovers is increasing, the cooks who perform this technique are usually Japanese. A Teppanyaki lunch or dinner is a real show for all those who experience it.

From the very first moment the cook starts cooking, there aren´t any pauses between the dishes. While diners enjoy the first dish, the next ones are already being prepared.

Typical ingredients used for teppanyaki are: beef, chicken, vegetables (especially onion, aubergine and courgette), seafood (prawns and scallops) and noodles and rice; all of them cooked with soy sauce.

These stainless steel plates let cooks prepare low-fat recipes. Eating meat, fish or vegetables cooked on these iron griddles is very healthy and light.

The authentic teppanyaki, besides offering a tasty and healthy menu, is a fun alternative for a special lunch or dinner. People witness how their food is prepared.

The cook, who is dressed up with a characteristic kerchief on his head, cooks all the ingredients showing his acrobatic skills with the cooking tools. He cuts the fish or meat by doing fast rhythmic movements with the spatula.

Teppanyaki is a relatively modern invention in Japanese cuisine. The Japanese restaurant chain Misono was the first to introduce the concept of cooking food on a teppan in 1945. Their objective was to catch the attention and interest of tourists showing the authentic “show-cooking” of the best Japanese chefs. Foreigners enjoyed both watching the skilled manoeuvres of the chefs preparing the food as well as the cuisine itself. Throughout the years, t heir success increased to the point of opening many teppanyaki-style restaurants worldwide.

If you are thinking about visiting our 5 stars resort in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, during your stay you can´t miss our program of activities, courtesy of the hotel. Our suggestion: the Asian Cookshow, which will let you learn the different cooking techniques in Asia.

Wat Phra Singh

One more week, at the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we keep travelling around the Asian continent. Today, we are taking you to Thailand to discover the Wat Phra Singh Temple.

Wat Phra Singh, also known as Temple of the Lion Buddha, is Chiang Mai´s most important temple and one of its main tourist attractions. It is also one of the most famous temples in Thailand. King Ananda Mahidol bestowed on it the status of Royal Temple of the first grade in 1935.

This is a Buddhist complex built up by several buildings and stupas. Its origin dates back to the 14th century, it was built in 1345. The resulting complex was named Wat Lichiang Phra until the statue of Phra Buddha Singh, which gives its current name to the temples, was brought in 1367. Since it was built, Wat Phra Singh has been restored in several occasions.

The temple was restored by King Kawila, when he assumed the throne as King of Chiang Mau in 1782. He had the ubosot (ordination hall) built and the chedi enlarged. Later successors restored the Wihan Lai Kham, the main attraction of the temple, which contains the statue of Phra Buddha Singh and the temple library.

The origins of the statue of Phra Buddha Singh are unknown, but according to the legend this is a lost statue, which anciently was located in Mahabodhi Temple in BadhGaya, India. The statue was brought across Ceylan (now Sri Lanka) and Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai. People say there are another two statues of Phra Singh in Thailand, and each one of them supports being the original one. These two other statues are located in Nakhon Si Thammarat and at Bangkok National Museum.

Regardless Phra Buddha Singh is the original one or a copy, it is one the most important statues of Buddha in Northern Thailand. Every year, during Songkram Festival, the statue of Phra Buddha Singh is carried across Chiang Mai streets while locals worship it and sprinkle sacred water over it.

Wat Phra Singh is an excellent example of Lanna Thai Style architecture. Inside the building we find different sanctuaries with other Buddha statues, a tall stupa, a small garden and a monastery.

If you visit the 5 stars resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, enjoy discovering the different Buddha statues spread over different spots of the hotel, one of the icons of our Asian paradise in the Mediterranean.

Vieng Xai Caves

At the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we still have many places left to discover in the Asian continent. Today we are travelling to Laos to visit the Vieng Xai Caves. Are you coming?

Vieng Xai is the most important tourist destination in Houaphan Province, in Northern Laos. It is located a few metres away from the Vietnam border. It is a village hidden between rice fields and surrounded by limestone cliffs. This is a spectacular scenic beauty ideal to soak up the history of Laos. Here we find the popular Vieng Xai Caves.

Vieng Xai Caves are known as the most attractive spot in Vieng Xai. Its visit may be very interesting due to audio guide recordings. It is a place that allows us to take a close look at Souphanouvong or “The Red Prince”´s life, leader of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, who lived in the caves for almost ten years, the nine years of almost constant bombing from the Americans. Vieng Xai Caves were communist revolutionaries´ headquarters during the Second Indochina War.

Under these 48 caves an underground life was established for over ten years. More than 20,000 people lived, building up cavernous towns with all the necessary equipment: theatre, hospital, schools… Currently, since 1997, a circuit with 18 points of interest is the only one letting people see the seven cave complexes. Khamtay Siphandone´s cave, whose name belongs to one of the presidents of Laos, is one of the caves open to the public.

Travel to Asia without leaving the Mediterranean. Start 2018 in the luxury resort in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa and welcome Hong Kong in the Mediterranean. Are you joining us?

National dishes from Southeast Asia

At the luxury hotel in Alicante Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa we never get tired of discovering new Asian dishes. Today we are travelling around Southeast Asia to get to know its most popular recipes. Are you joining us?

Southeast Asia´s cuisine brings together Chinese and Indian millenary traditions, leading to a wide range of dishes. Let´s go over the main dishes of each country:

Thailand. The most famous Thai dish is Pad Thai. This is a stir-fried noodle dish, including fish sauce, tamarind sauce, red pepper and a mix of soy sprouts. All the ingredients are also seasoned with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime juice.

Cambodia. The most important Cambodian national dish is amok, which is also popular in Laos and Thailand. Its most extended version, and Cambodian people´s favourite one, is the one served in a coconut shell. The recipe also includes coconut cream, vegetables and some spices; which are mixed with chicken, squid or fish.

Vietnam. Vietnamese cuisine is known for offering a huge variety of noodle soups. The most popular one is Pho, which is considered Vietnam´s national dish. It is the traditional meat noodle soup, served with a piece of lime, which is squeezed and added to the soup. It also includes coriander leaves, basil or mint. The most popular Pho recipe is the Pho Bo, Vietnamese beef noodle soup.

Laos. Larb is Laos´ national dish. This is a spicy minced meat salad made with chicken, ox or fish. The recipe includes other ingredients such as coriander, ginger lime juice or citronella.

Indonesia. The most representative Indonesian dish is nasi goreng. This is fried rice prepared with chicken, vegetables, prawns, sweet soy sauce and a fried egg on top.

Philippines. Philippine adobo is one of the most famous dishes and cooking techniques from the Philippines. It involves pork or chicken meat marinated in soy sauce, chicken soup, bay, pepper and vinegar.

Myanmar. Myanmar’s unofficial national dish is mohinga. This type of rice noodles is Burmese people´s favourite one to have for breakfast. It consists of rice noodles served in a thick creamy herbal fish-and shallot-based broth.

Malaysia. Nasi lemak, literally “rice in cream“, is considered Malaysia´s national dish. It consists of rice steamed with coconut cream and served with anchovies, hard boiled egg, sambal (a hot spicy sauce), peanuts and vegetables.

Singapore. Crab in all its varieties is the most traditional dish in Singapore. But the most popular one, due to its flavour and its symbolism is chili crab, which is prepared with a spicy sweet and sour sauce.

If you visit the 5 stars resort Asia Gardens Hotel & Thai Spa, you have a mandatory stop at our Asian restaurant par excellence: Koh Samui. Travel to Southeast Asia for a couple minutes while enjoying the choicest crossover cuisine.

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