Exotic Asian Fare in Glamorous Monte Carlo

The tiny Principality of Monte Carlo, which is located on the French Riviera, is known for being a place where millionaires lavishly enjoy their exotic tastes. The gourmand in Monte Carlo is assured that his palate will be tantalized. Monte Carlo chefs specialize in ethnic and the regional French cuisine and even what is viewed as the Monegasque national dish, socca, a sort of thin, unleavened pancake or crêpe made from chickpea flour which can be enhanced with herbs, broccoli, cheeses or colorful peppers.

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Known for its unadulterated extravagance and conspicuous glamour, Monte Carlo is home to fantastic restaurants and exclusive nightclubs that further enhance this tiny state’s  beauty. There is an appetite and certainly the means for Monte Carlo’s uber-wealthy to sample the gourmet food offerings from restaurants. With a definite Mediterranean influence on the fare available, a trend of Asian food is emerging. The aim of the restaurants is to produce authentic Asian cuisine, whether it is Thai, Japanese, Chinese, or Southeast Asia, etc., and each gourmet chef has his own personal twist on what he considers fine dining.  

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Whether mild or hot and spicy, by expertly using Asian herbs and spices, local cuisine is enhanced beyond the flavors novel to Western palates. However, these flavors and fragrances are reduced to nothing if the ambience of the restaurant has been overlooked. Attentive service matched by a great Asian-inspired décor cocooned in a tranquil environment completes the diner’s experience. At the Maya Bay, for example, clientele can even buy clothes and bags at the restaurant, reminiscent of what occurs in Thailand. Food lovers are literally presented with countless variations of Asian creations on a platter and are very appreciative of the complex cooking talents that these chefs possess. The countless favorable reviews can attest to this. An unsatisfied customer is hardly ever complaining about the taste as it is usually the price that some may balk at, but this is Monaco, the playground for the wealthy!

When one thinks of exotic Asian fare, the first thing that comes to mind is the unusual foods sold by street vendors, very bizarre in appearance, but popular mainly because they are considered aphrodisiacs, like balut and scorpions. However, Asian haute cuisine, characterized by refined and elaborate presentations of quite rich meals, is what trendy restaurants in Monte Carlo are offering to their clientele. 

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The elaborate preparations of attractive presentations offer several contrasting tastes from different countries like the Chile puff pastry with Korean sauce from the Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo. Patrons in Monte Carlo are also sampling the perfect Asian-inspired cocktails, too, not just the ordinary glass of sake. 

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The Raspberry Saketini is one such delicious concoction, also from the Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo, made using the following recipe:


3 raspberries
3 cl pineapple juice
1 cl crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
4 cl sake
2 cl vodka

Crush the raspberries and add the pineapple juice, crème de cassis, sake, and vodka in a shaker. Shake and pour in a cocktail glass after filtering twice. Garnish with a pineapple slice and serve.

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The higher-end restaurants are by no means cheap, but in a country full of millionaires, there are very few complaints. And with new trends in food always on the horizon, it is clear to see why Monte Carlo never disappoints.