Watering holes of the industry set


Traveling from Mumbai to Bangkok, Beijing to Tokyo and on down to Sydney takes Asian entertainment executives through a potpourri of cultures, languages -- and cuisine.

Starting in Bollywood, the Dome restaurant, with its take on Japanese Teppanyaki grills at the Intercontinental Marine Drive, is the place for a dinner meeting, "where the spectacular view of the Mumbai skyline mesmerizes you," Indiagames CEO Vishal Gondal says.

Across town, China House at the Grand Hyatt, "can match the best Chinese food in Shanghai or Beijing," he adds.

Moving east to Bangkok and the futuristic funkiness of the clubs-cum-restaurants-cum-bars, Bed Supperclub and Longtable are still among the region's bright spots, local writer-director Chookiat Sakveerakul notes.

Heading into Beijing, the Chinese capital is home to Apothecary, in the Sanlitun neighborhood that also houses CAA, Sony, Polybona and Chengtian. Stop in for a range of palatable potions to whet appetites and loosen industry talk late into the evening.

In the Quezon City area of greater Manila, the Mogwai Cafe has film in its heart and soul. Owned by two directors, the down-home space even features a mini theater on its second floor. "It's a kind of center for independent filmmaking culture in the Philippines," says director-writer-producer Adolfo Alix Jr.

With its 160,000-plus eateries, Tokyo offers a spot for all entertainment needs. The Nishi Azabu Leisure Center is the embodiment of classic Tokyo quirkiness: a manga cafe with a ping-pong table and all-you-can-drink champagne menu. The old-school video games also come recommended by producer Mitsuru Uda.

The Keiraku Chinese restaurant in the Yurakucho district of central Tokyo, meanwhile, is still the place for people from Toho, and those who do business with it. "There have been a lot of ideas first thought up in there," Toho producer Genki Kawamura says. "You even get the odd sumo wrestler coming in, too."

Finishing off down south in the Surry Hills neighborhood of Sydney, industryites from Fox Studios and other execs, including Hopscotch's Rachel Okine, can be found popping into the Darlo Bar with colleagues, while local restaurant and wine bar Vini is also "becoming an industry favorite."

Animal Logic's Katrina Peers, meanwhile, recommends Lotus and its "excellent vodka martini for winding down."
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