Large scale public architecture is a real hoot. Every city in the world is waking up to the magnetism of a cultural, functional landmark designed by an archtectural super star. Thanks to Zaha Hadid's recent addition, Seoul is right up there on the list.

A couple weeks ago, whilst all of China was celebrating the new year, we snuck off to Korea in a celebration of our own.

We've been to High1 before. By all accounts, it's Korea's best resort. Four hours drive from Seoul, High1 features nice, long, wide runs and famously good snow.

Imagine a secluded retreat nestled in a forest.

Scattered amongst the trees and petite valleys are a dozen houses designed by big-name, award winning architects.

They're each a self-contained home, with distinct character and materials, available for rent for a group getaway. Now invoke this image in China on the outskirts of Nanjing.

Good Japanese Izakayas blend multifaceted cuisine, casual timing and impeccable service. IZA is sorely lacking in a couple of these areas.

There was a time in Shanghai's gastronomic history when the king of dining was the all-you-can-eat buffet. Each weekend, every five star Hotel in the city would flex it's gastronomic prowess by turning their kitchens inside out. Hungry hordes could sit and gorge from a virtually endless supply of global cuisines.

For all their good intentions and comfortable atmosphere, Crazy Oyster House is a little too elementary to be a true contender.

The petite restaurant has been open for a while under a different guise as Crazy Noodle Bar. Recently it reopened to offer seafood and modern European cuisine. They’ve kept the same tidy and simple decor, and added a chalkboard listing their daily selections of oysters and fresh seafood. The printed menu lists rarities like Boston lobster (RMB280/500g) and Devon crabs (RMB165/500g).

Xintiandi is not the first spot that comes to mind for a strong artisanal concept, creative independent partnership and delicious food. It’s almost ironic that as one of Shanghai’s most familiar evening destinations, it might only be the location keeping Bottega from being an excellent restaurant.