‘Litti Kewkacha’ Chairman of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant (SEA) organizes a virtual award ceremony.
Mar 26. 2021
By THE NATION
Even the situation of COVID-19 pandemic has come back in waves, causing effect to all circles but could not stop the excitement of the prestigious awards ceremony. This year 2021, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, the award ceremony was held to rate the best restaurant in Asia in Virtual (online). Famous chefs in each country are gathered together to win the ranks.
‘Litti Kewkacha’, chairman of the judge panel for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of Southeast Asia said that “I am delight and proud that Thailand has 6 restaurants in the top of fifty and also 15 restaurants in top of hundred, which make Thailand being in a top rank of Asia. Thailand has expert chefs and so many great restaurants. Because of covid-19 causing people unable to travel aboard, Thais turn to support more restaurant in Thailand and also the best quality in each restaurant that causing food critics to vote more for Thai restaurant and won many awards in return. I want to congratulation to all restaurants for the award you have received. I believed in the following year, there will be more Thai restaurant added to list. Finally, I hope that Thai food and Thai restaurants will receive support from all food critics around the world.
‘Litti Kewkacha’, chairman of the judge panel for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of Southeast Asia
For Thailand, chefs and food critics are looking forward for this award and as expected, 6 famous restaurants which are known from all over the world has been rank in list of 50.
LeDu, the restaurant is representing Thailand which reached in rank fourth, the highest rank of all restaurant in Thailand and also winning the best restaurant in Thailand award for the first time.
Chef Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn, the owner of LeDu said with pleasure “Thank you to all the judges and to all the votes who appreciate our values and determination. LeDu feels so proud to be the first Thai restaurant that get this high ranked. We will continue to improving, in order to meet the award that we have received. We will do our best to make Thai food famous to all over the World and congratulation to all for this award. Moreover, LeDu would like to inspired to all restaurants to keep improving and creating a good food in Thailand for all food critics from all over the world to taste”
Chef Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn, the owner of LeDu
Gaggan Anand, another Thai restaurant in Thailand followed in fifth place and won the Highest New Entry Sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles. Sühring in number 6. Followed by the famous Thai Southern food restaurant “Sorn” in number 11. The restaurant, Nusara, comes in as New Entry in No. 20 and Gaa restaurant in No. 46.
In addition, the famous street food “Jay Fai” also won the ICON AWARD. This year, Hong Kong’s restaurant “The Chairman” won first place, followed by Odette (Singapore) and Den (Japan) in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
‘Essence’ of Asian cuisine captured in latest list of 50 best restaurants
Mar 17. 2021Photo credit: 50 Best
By The Nation
This year’s list of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” includes the “Essence of Asia” – an unranked collection of restaurants that aims to represent the spirit of Asian gastronomy.
“This collection presents travellers and gourmets guidance to some of Asia’s most authentic and diverse dining experiences. Reflecting the breadth of the region’s gastronomic scene, the range of establishments spans street vendors, time-honoured institutions, philanthropic businesses and pioneering newcomers,” said William Drew, director of content for the annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
The collection comprises eateries in 49 eateries across 20 countries and territories – stretching from Pakistan across Japan. These restaurants honour culinary traditions, reinvent indigenous cuisines, and revive centuries-old recipes, all while playing a pivotal role within their communities.
Six restaurants in Thailand made the list this year, ranging from chef’s tables to local specialities. They are:
100 Mahaseth, Bangkok
Chef Chalee Kader’s root-to-fruit, nose-to-tail, farm-to-table approach to dining had already won plaudits. But his 100 Smile Meals initiative to help farmers and suppliers during the pandemic deserves special mention. Instead of simply handing out food, Chalee sought cash donations, which were then used to buy products from farmers and suppliers, thereby providing a living to overlooked partners in the restaurant ecosystem.
Barefood Bangkok, Bangkok
Started in 2016 by chef Edoardo Bonavolta and partner Taksina Nuangsri to produce cultured vegan cheeses, Barefood Bangkok has grown into a destination for plant-based foods. Their cashew cheeses, ranging from ricotta to herb and Thai chilli cheese, remain at Barefood’s core. Customers have reportedly been unable to distinguish the cheeses from the dairy versions in blind tastings.
Na Café at Bangkok 1899, Bangkok
Art, design, food and social betterment come together at Bangkok 1899, a female-led cultural and civic hub with a café that promotes positive change through food and beverage. Drinks are made in-house using local ingredients, as is the food, which changes according to the chef in residence (currently Peruvian), though a Thai menu is always available. The café runs a zero-waste programme, which includes turning old juices and drinks into clothes dye. Training programmes for at-risk youth and refugees are also provided.
Wattana Panich, Bangkok
Nattapong Kaweeantawong has a legacy to preserve, both physical and metaphorical. The physical is a master stock that’s been bubbling away for more than 40 years, and the metaphorical is his family restaurant’s legacy. The stock is the secret sauce that has brought the family’s beef noodle soup such acclaim, with meat that’s been simmered for hours in a giant pan and is heady with a viscous blend of star anise, garlic, black pepper, coriander root and other mystery spices.
Locus Native Food Lab, Chiang Rai
The lush, mountainous terrain of the North is home to several hill tribes, each culturally distinct but with close ties to the land. It is their food that chef Kongwuth Chaiwongkachon interprets, albeit through a fine-dining lens. The multi-course tasting menu takes a twist at the end when the contemporary version of every dish eaten is presented once again, but this time in all its rustic glory.
Samuay & Sons, Udon Thani
In the far Northeast, near the Laos border, chef Weerawat “Num” Triyasenawat is cooking food unlike anywhere else. Weerawat forages and fossicks for all manner of local and indigenous ingredients, working closely with local farmers, suppliers and artisans to create contemporary Isaan cuisine. He also hosts education and training workshops to help farmers promote their work and preserve indigenous wisdom and traditions.
The Essence of Asia collection was created based on recommendations from chefs of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2020 and 2021, as well as 50 judges and trusted gourmets in the region.
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Lunar New Year – A Uniquely Asian Celebration
Feb 15. 2021
By THE NATION
Lunar New Year is undoubtedly Asia’s most famous cultural tradition. A number of fascinating opportunities exist to show how countries celebrate it, through unique destinations and cultural differences.
Note: Any pitch needs to make clear that trips should only be undertaken by strictly adhering to government and local rules and regulations on reasons to travel, quarantine, distancing and more.
1. Food, glorious food:
While Lunar New Year is not all about the food, it’s definitely a critical part of celebrations! Across the region, our properties show different takes on dishes which reflect local culture and history. Together they make for a really interesting story showing Asia’s cultural diversity.
Lunar New Year in Korea is called Seollal and food is critical. JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul offers ‘to-go’ sets comprising dishes such as Bulgogi, galbijjim, Borigulbi, japchae, assorted Korean pancakes, parboiled octopus and three colours of namuls – the beloved spinach-based side dishes. They make for the perfect way to enjoy premium Korean traditional cuisine and ritual food offerings without the stress of preparation.
W Kuala Lumpur serves up ‘ox-traordinary’ special feasts as Yen Cantonese Restaurant also offers home delivery for those who prefer to stay indoors this year. For the all-important ‘prosperity toss’ dish known as Yee sang or Yusheng, the W offer multiple versions including a decadent one with caviar, gold flakes, truffle oil and abalone! Otherwise steamed Shanghai fortune dumplings and a treasure-filled hotpot dish called poon choy are also popular local treats.
At JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Executive Chef Jayson Tang at the newly MICHELIN starred Man Ho serves up auspicious specialities that bring for blessings of good luck such as Yusheng Abalone (symbolising prosperity), braised dried oysters with black moss (representing good wealth and fortune), braised oxtail in sweet and sour sauce (representing luck) and pan-fried Hokkaido scallop with sea urchin in lobster sauce (expressing auspiciousness).
Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queens Park Hotel offers “Golden Duck”, Executive Chinese Chef, Oscar Pun’s exclusive take on Peking duck that is stuffed with abalone rice and “eight treasures”. Then for dessert, diners can enjoy two flavors of “Nian Gao”, the traditional Chinese New Year cake: chilled mango pudding or herbal black jelly.
Finally Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel presents a treasure trove of Lunar New Year celebratory delicacies specially curated by Executive Chinese Chef Brian Wong. The star of the show is the Wan Hao Eight Treasures Imperial Pot with Bird’s Nest featuring 10-Head Australian Abalone, Fish Maw, Dace Fish, Bean curd, Live Prawns, Pork Tendons, Chicken and Japanese Shiitake Mushroom!
2. Chinatowns are calling:
All Asian capitals have significant Chinatowns, from Bangkok to Singapore to Jakarta. There’s obviously no better place to experience Lunar New Year, with the different traditions and experiences in cities across Asia.
For example, Thailand has the world’s largest overseas Chinese population, with up to 40 percent of the population having Chinese ancestry. Bangkok’s massive Yaowarat Chinatown is home to unique festivities and a vibrant experience for visitors, so Bangkok Marriott The Surawongse are perfectly located to get in on the action.
The St. Regis Singapore is a quick hop from Singapore’s Chinatown where historic temples and hip bars sit side-by-side. A blend of old and new, it reflects Singapore’s multi-ethnic culture and also promises colourful lion dances, firecrackers and other traditional New Year experiences.
Jakarta’s Chinatown is known as Glodok, a place where Chinese merchants first settled hundreds of years ago and today is a vibrant cultural centre – and also one of the city’s best places to go shopping! It sits just a thirty minute drove from JW Marriott Jakarta, a five star luxury property that sits next to The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan.
What matters more than anything at New Year is the coming together of families, in multiple generations. Some of the best ways to get away with your nearest and dearest includes programming made with little ones in mind. Family travel for reunions is easier and more enjoyable than ever with family programming such as Ritz Kids, St. Regis Family Tradition, Family by JW and M Passport for children to have fun alongside their parents and grandparents, for an unforgettable Lunar New Year:
Ritz Kids Night Safari – Bringing the great outdoors inside, Ritz Kids Night Safari lets kids embark on an evening of in-room camping adventure in the comfort of a hotel room or suite. Tapping into a child’s inquisitiveness, creative spirit, and thirst for new adventures, the Ritz Kids Night Safari programme at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong includes a “Fly High Dream High” Junior Aviator Programme featuring flight simulator experience above the clouds for an unforgettable holiday experience.
St. Regis Family Traditions – Celebrating the art of play, this signature program sets the stage for guests to explore their destination and cultivate their passions through engaging activities and thoughtful experiences tailored to younger guests and their families. At The St. Regis Bali, that could mean kids yoga or a Balinese dance to reveal the rich culture and history of Bali.
Family by JW – Whether a child is a budding foodie, an abstract finger painter or just loves to play, JW Marriott offers enriching experiences designed to bring parents and kids together for fun-filled creative adventures. Family by JW at JW Marriott Hotel Seoulincludes a thoughtfully curated tepee tent set up with educational toys such as the hit Magformers Minibots Kitchen set, colouring kit and custom-made JW Marriott Hotel Seoul puzzle to leave the whole family feeling inspired and connected throughout their journey.
M Passport – M Passport is designed to encourage children to explore new destinations, ignite sensory stimulations and broaden perspectives. Kids can enjoy activities on property and receive a stamp in their “M Passport” when completed. Each stamp in the M Passport can then be redeemed for a reward on property! At Hua Hin Marriott Resort and Spa, kids get to put on the white apron and be a chef for a day by joining the Junior Chef Cooking Class. Not only kids can enjoy some brilliant fun activities and experiences, they also feel a sense of achievement after completing the passport and get some healthy and fun rewards!
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Coke’s new canned coffee tastes like a Coke – until it doesn’t
Jan 26. 2021Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar Vanilla. MUST CREDIT: Coca-Cola
By The Washington Post · Emily Heil
America has gone can crazy. We’re drinking so much out of the spherical aluminum tubes that there’s a nationwide shortage of them. And it’s not just soda we’re guzzling, but just about anything in liquid form, including (nonalcoholic) craft beer, premixed cocktails, hard seltzers, fizzy juices, sparkling water, kombucha, iced tea and cold coffees.
The latter category has taken off in a big way over the last few years: In 2019, my colleague Maura Judkis declared it was a “golden age” for the product, with everyone from Maxwell House to indie, third-wave coffeehouses churning out cans of brews laced with coconut cream, antioxidants and maple water. And now the trend is official, with Coca-Cola – the undisputed world champion of beverage sales – debuting its own version. The drink comes in three flavors – dark blend, vanilla and caramel, along with sugar-free Coke Zero versions of the dark blend and vanilla – and will appear on grocery shelves this week.
The beverage giant might be fashionably late to the canned-coffee party, and its entrance might feel a bit like when your mom finally bought her first pair of skinny-leg jeans sometime around 2010. But Brandan Strickland, the brand director for Coca-Cola, says the launch timing, after two years of development, is intentional, and that the resulting product will stand out in a crowded field. “We wanted to do it in a way that was true to Coca-Cola,” he says of the drink’s creation. “This is unlike any other option out here in the marketplace.”
As opposed to other canned coffees, the Coke-coffee hybrid is just that. It’s not Coke’s version of canned coffee, it’s actually a mash-up that combines the familiar flavor of the soda you’ve tasted a thousand times and that of your morning coffee. Strickland said that to capture the paired flavors, the company made an advertising tagline from something said by a taster in a focus group: “Sips like a Coke, finishes like a coffee.”
“We found that was a compelling message,” he says. “And it came directly from consumers.”
Upon tasting a sample, I’m inclined to vouch for the slogan. For the first millisecond or so after raising the dark blend can to your lips, you’d think you were drinking a regular soda, with its recognizable caramel notes and almost-stinging effervescence hitting your palate. The taste of coffee kicks in at the back end, offering a dry, powdery jolt that brings to mind a bracing cup of joe at a diner.
“It tastes like a Coke – until it doesn’t,” my husband observed after a few sips.
One quibble is the slight-but-lingering sensation of fake sugar that made my tongue curl after a bit, which I found confusing. This was supposed to be the regular version, right? A close reading of the ingredient list confirmed my suspicions: In addition to the high-fructose corn syrup that sweetens regular Coke, the Coke-and-coffee concoction also contains sucralose. (As a fake-sugar-phobe, I found the no-calorie vanilla version mouth-shrivelingly undrinkable, though I know it might appeal to the legions of diet soda drinkers out there.)
More refreshing than the drink itself might be its straightforward name, “Coca-Cola with Coffee,” a moniker devoid of any cutesy flourishes that smack of a marketing department with too many former English majors on board. (See: Coke’s AHA line.) I like that it lives up to its promise. It’s Coke! With coffee! This is all very easy to understand.
Less clear is exactly when one should drink this. Is it meant to replace my morning cup of coffee? (Fat chance, Mr. Polar Bear.) Or are we supposed to crave it alongside a burger and fries? (Which could be . . . weird.)
Strickland offers the idea that it’s something people will reach for in the dreaded “3 o’clock slump,” that moment in the afternoon, he says, when consumers might debate whether they want a Coke or a coffee. The pick-me-up factor is real; a 12-ounce can contains 69 mg of caffeine, twice that of regular Coke, though still far lower than the 130 mg a similarly size cup of Starbucks offers.
Coca-Cola began working on the new drink well before 2020, but it seems like a beverage tailor-made for our pandemic selves. These days, we’re deprived of barista-poured brews, forever stuck at something-o’clock, badly in need of a jolt and simultaneously craving something both familiar and new. With so many decisions to make – what to binge next on Netflix? Can I wear these sweatpants another day? – at least there’s one less to get stuck on.
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Get your greens and fruit in a glass with this nourishing yogurt smoothie
Jan 01. 2021Green Smoothie With Yogurt, Pear and Ginger. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Scott Suchman for the Washington Post. Photo by: Scott Suchman — For The Washington Post Location: Arlington, United States
By Special To The Washington Post · Ellie Krieger
This green smoothie is not magical. It will not detoxify you (your liver, lungs and digestive system do that just fine) or cleanse you (food doesn’t make you clean or dirty) or fulfill the overblown promises inevitably made about one food or another right after the New Year’s ball drops.
What this smoothie is, however, is a delicious and healthful breakfast or snack which can serve as a mental reset for a fresh start to the year.
Its beautiful celadon hue immediately signals “healthy,” reinforcing that it’s a step toward your best intentions for wellness in 2021. Sipping it is a reminder of how that goal can be achieved with absolute pleasure.
It’s cool, creamy and gently tangy with a base of plain yogurt (providing calcium, protein and probiotics) softly sweetened with whole fruit – a very ripe pear and few dates (adding fiber, vitamin C and minerals) – and with a refreshing zing of ginger root. A handful of almonds adds a layer of texture (plus more protein, fiber and healthy fat), and spinach leaves provide that gorgeous green color and nutritional benefits without any detectable flavor, making this smoothie an ideal way to stealthily incorporate leafy vegetables.
You can play with variations on its basic formula, using Greek or non-dairy yogurt, a ripe banana or chunks of pineapple instead of the pear, a different type of nut or seed, or baby kale instead of spinach, for example, adjusting the thickness and the level of sweetness by adding a little cold water and/or honey to taste.
Now that I think about it, considering this smoothie’s many assets, and given the idea that even the most ordinary things in the world are actually quite miraculous, it might have some magic to it after all.
– – –
Green Smoothie With Yogurt, Pear and Ginger
3/4 cup ice
1 cup lightly packed spinach leaves
2/3 cup plain yogurt (low-fat or whole milk, see NOTE)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 very ripe medium pear (any variety), peeled, cored and cut into chunks
3 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
Honey, to taste (optional)
Place the ice into a blender and process to crush it. Add the spinach, yogurt, almonds, pear, dates and ginger and blend until smooth and frothy, with a little texture remaining from the almonds and dates. Taste, and then blend in a little honey to taste, if desired.
NOTE: This recipe is best with regular yogurt, but 1/2 cup Greek yogurt plus 2 tablespoons cold water may be substituted.
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Elements to celebrate black truffle season from Jan 19
Dec 25. 2020
By The Nation
The season of black winter truffles has arrived at the Michelin-starred Elements restaurant, with chef de cuisine Hans Zahner and his team getting ready to serve up delicacies featuring the richly flavoured “black diamonds”.
Considered to be among the best in the world, these highly-prized are harvested in the mountainous woods of France’s Perigord region.
Dishes featuring the truffles will be served up at the Elements from January 19 to March 31, every Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm to 10.30pm.
The restaurant is located on the 25th floor of the Okura Prestige Bangkok.
Swensen’s reaches out to young crowd with dessert pop-up store
Dec 22. 2020
By The Nation
Swensen’s has carved a niche for itself in the dessert market with the launch of a pop-up store, the first of its kind in Thailand, the company said.
“Sweet Aholic by Swensen’s” offers crafted French butter croissants topped with signature ice cream from Swensen’s. Another highlighted feature of the new pop-up store is its minimalist design that is expected to generate a buzz among café hoppers.
“As we have been serving Thai people for several decades, Swensen’s wants to confirm our leadership in Thailand’s dessert market by targeting an entirely new breed of customers. The launch of Sweet Aholic by Swensen’s truly aligns with this commitment,” said Anupon Nitiyanant, general manager of Swensen’s (Thai) Ltd, a subsidiary of The Minor Food Group Plc.
“This pop-up dessert store is designed especially for younger crowds who are looking for a unique new experience and taste. Its captivating visual appearance and stylish interior also make it an ideal spot for photo capturing and sharing on social media.”
He said the pop-up store looks to satisfy a younger range of consumers with the use of its minimal, yet distinctive and sophisticated brand image.”
Napol Sirimongkolkasem, head of marketing, Swensen’s (Thai) Ltd, said the dessert store concept was driven by a belief that desserts can bring you happiness in all emotional situations.”
A variety of specially designed beverage products are also available.
For a limited time only, the specially crafted French croissants topped with a choice of delicious ice cream are now available at Sweet Aholic by Swensen’s on the G floor of Samyan Mitrtown, and will be served until December 31.
For more information, contact Swensen’s Public Relations Department at 02 365 6934, alternatively visit
Meet the new Thai stars in Michelin’s latest restaurant guide
Dec 16. 2020The 2021 Michelin Guide Thailand winners
By The Nation
Michelin granted Thailand another four precious stars on Wednesday, as it unveiled its latest guide to the country’s restaurant scene.
Featured in the “Michelin Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2021” are 299 dining establishments – with a total of 6 two-star, 22 one-star, 106 Bib Gourmand, and 165 Michelin Plate eateries.
Chef’s Table, a French contemporary restaurant in Bangkok, is the only eatery promoted from one-star to two-star status.
Three more Bangkok restaurants have been granted one-star status.
Blue by Alain Ducasse is a French contemporary restaurant that “offers diners a chance to savour world-class dishes using top quality ingredients, well executed with classic French cooking techniques”.
Cadence by Dan Bark is an “innovative restaurant that brings together Western and Asian cuisine, plus features Korean arts through modern and innovative dishes”.
Another addition to the one-star list is promoted from the Michelin Plate: “Sushi Masato, a sushi bar serving omakase menu in an intimate chef’s table setting, where a team of inspired chefs use the finest ingredients sourced from Japan.”
Nineteen other establishments retain their one-star rating, bringing the total one-star count to 22.
The Michelin Plate rating (“good cooking”) sees 32 new entrants – 12 in Bangkok surrounding provinces, nine in Chiang Mai, and 11 in Phuket & Phang-Nga – bringing the total to 165 establishments.
Among the newbies are Banrimbung (Nakhon Pathom), serving family-style Thai cuisine with fresh seafood; Kiti Panit (Chiang Mai), serving authentic Lanna food in a traditional setting; and Beach Grill and Bar (Phang-Nga), where Mediterranean fusion cuisine and fresh local seafood are served from the charcoal grill.
PRU, the one-Michelin-star restaurant in Phuket, is also awarded the Michelin Green Star in recognition of its pioneering sustainable gastronomy practices.
The restaurant uses only seasonal ingredients from Thailand, including line-caught seafood and free-range animals. Its research team have even created a seedbank to preserve local agricultural biodiversity.
Meanwhile the Thailand’s first Michelin Guide Young Chef Award goes to Sujira “Aom” Pongmorn at Saawaan (Bangkok).
Sujira was born into a family of cooks before training under Michelin-starred chefs such as Juan Amador and Thomas Keller.
The Michelin Guide Service Award goes to Guillaume Barray, general manager at Chef’s Table (Bangkok) and hailed for his “efficiency, sincerity and passion for good products and traditions to deliver the best experience possible to all guests”.
From left: A representative receives the Michelin Green Star for the one-star PRU restaurant (Phuket); Sujira “Aom” Pongmorn from Saawaan (Bangkok) is awarded the 2021 Michelin Guide Young Chef Award; and Guillaume Barray, general manager at Chef’s Table (Bangkok), holds his Michelin Guide Service Award.
“The Michelin Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Phang-Nga 2021 is available in a Thai/English digital edition at guide.michelin.com/th/en or in print at large bookshops for Bt650 from December 23.
Sizzler marks festive season with minimalist memorabilia, special menu
Dec 16. 2020
By The Nation
Sizzler is collaborating with popular minimalist artist Suntur to launch collectibles in line with its “Festive Season, Joyful Entry to 2021” promotion.
Included in this promotion is a special menu offering delights like grilled grouper steak with salmon salad, prawn cake and salmon sauce, surf and turf with mashed truffle and black pepper sauce, crispy pancetta with mashed truffle etc.
Also on offer is a new festive cookie set, which can make for a perfect gift. The festive goodies will be served until January 24.
Sizzler said that sales in the third quarter had risen by 100 per cent compared to the first half of the year, and expects overall sales in 2021 to grow by 5 to 10 per cent once the economy starts picking up.