PEr FYI

April 30, 2011

Citygate Outlets, Hong Kong…I have never left empty handed.

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April 24, 2011

La Sqala Restaurant Cafe Maure, Casablanca…seafood and salad in a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere

La Sqala is a lovely indoor-outdoor restaurant built in the gardens within the old city wall in front of the port. The shaded leafy outdoor section is where you want to be –lovely lush water-filled garden,  colourful mosaic tables, wrought-iron chairs, large linen umbrellas, and plenty of shade under a large trellis covered with bougainvillea. Amidst that flower-draped trellises, you’ll truly enjoy the wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.

 The English-speaking staff were very friendly and attentive. The menu favours seafood and salads, although meat dishes are also available, and the exotic fruit juices are simply sublime. This is the true truth  and I say it as it is…

April 23, 2011

Restoran Ka Hoe, Johor Baru…”kway teow kia”. A MUST HAVE piggy orgy

If you have never eaten kway teow kia before, it is similar to the kuey chap in singapore…piggy organs and spareparts.  The difference is instead of the squarish “kway teow” that is used in kuey chap, kway teow kia uses ultra thin, ultra smooth, ultra satiny flat kuey teow (flat noodle). It is served in a bowl of delicious herbal-like soy-base soup. Personally, I prefer this kway teow kia to the kway chap – it feels like silk in the mouth. The accompanying mixed plate of braised goodies – portions of hard boiled egg, pig intestines, stomach and innards, tau pok and pig skin were delicious. It’s an omnivore’s delight.

They are closed on alternate Tuesdays. Opening hours are 7am till 12.30pm. This is my favourite joint for piggy orgy. Still, I reckon they should serve 2 Crestor or Lipitors (cholesterol-lowering statins) with every bowl. This is still  the true truth because I still say it as it is…

April 22, 2011

Lotus Blanc, Phnom Penh…go there not for the food but because you are doing something good for the disadvantaged young people who works there.

This reataurant is a training centre for aspiring young cambodian restaurant workers from poor families.

The food is nothing to shout about. We  had the deep fried prawn with tamarind sauce, glass noodle with seafood and seafood amok. The amok here tasted more like rendang –  a quintessential malay dish with Indonesian origins consisting of beef or chicken stewed in coconut milk and spices. The duck confit must have been the duck’s grandma – hard and tough meat. The fried snapper fish with creamy ginger sauce was not hot. Shame as it would have been a lovely dish if it was served piping hot.

Having said all that, I have to qualify that the service was very friendly.If you go to Lotus Blanc, go because you are doing something good for the disadvantaged young people…not for the food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

April 16, 2011

The Mindcafe, Singapore…play board games over a drink or meal. We could sit there for hours

What I love about Mindcafe is that at most cafes, you finish your coffee and cake you leave after a few minutes but at Mindcafe you can play board games and stay longer.  It’s such a fun place where you can just hang with your friends for hours playing board games or chat over a drink and cake – a healthy and more social pastime instead of an internet cafe.

Mindcafe is a tiny establishment with comfy couches, lines of tables and multiple shelves stocking hundreds of games to cater to every taste everything from Taboo and Monopoly to obscure titles such as I’m the Boss, Labyrinth and Ubongo.

I went there a few times with my family (and once we brought my son’s friend along), ordered our mandatory drinks and also played a few board games. There were 3 of us sitting in a couple of long sofas.  The wait staff double up as well-informed instructors to explain the rules as many games are hard to understand. And when we couldn’t decide on which game to play first he took the initiative to recommend us a game which is suitable for our group

This is my son’s favourite hang-out in the city! The food is alright, the drinks are great and the staff are always friendly and enthusiastic. I’d give this place a 8 for ambience, except there are some times it’s loud and rowdy (in the excitement of their game) which is annoying. Not too heavy on the wallet, huge selection of board games , we could sit here for hours. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

April 13, 2011

Oh Calcutta, New Delhi…interesting and good bengali delicacies

They serve a buffet lunch here but being the gluttons that we were, we opted to create our own personalised buffet by choosing from the ala carte menu.

We picked bengali delicacies like Koshan Mangsho – pot roasted mutton with traditional spices in traditional style of calcutta. It was nice. The meat was slightly spicy and the very thick red gravy went well with the naan we were having. The mochar chop (banana flower croquettes) was also up to the mark. Daab Chingri (prawns cooked in tender coconut cream) featured large, succulent shrimps so fresh they almost seem to be swimming in the tender green coconut in which they are served. Magnificent. The (deshelled) crabmeat cooked in mango flavoured mustard gravy with young ginger is a good and memorable choice. What about the classical railway mutton curry? Well, the meat was nice but the curry was not flavourful enough. Must try my personal favourite, fish fry (fried fish calcutta style).

On the whole the restaurant has a good ambience and the food is good not great, but those who want Bengali cuisines would find it interesting. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

April 10, 2011

Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant, Singapore…sum lor hor fun with nice “wok hei”

Their signature dish is the Sum lor hor fun (fresh fish slices stir-fried with rice noodles). The delicious fish slices were very fresh and tasty and blended very well with the beansprouts and hor fun which was smooth with nice wok hei (cantonese for “wok aroma” : the charred taste of something stir fried) aroma. 

The other dish which was very good was a mix of two of my favourite things – coffee and barbeque ribs – into one.  The dark coffee sauce tastes bittersweet and fragrant and goes remarkably well with the meat.  The chunks of pork ribs are so very tender and the strong coffee aroma accompanied every bite I took.

This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

April 9, 2011

Lim Dental Surgery, Johor Baru…I entrust my smile to him

Dr. Roland Lim is a genius – an exceptional dentist with an acidic sense of humor. Even more importantly, he is dedicated and thorough. Dr. Lim clearly takes great pride in his work, as well as responsibility for a successful outcome for his patients. I always felt that I could trust Dr. Lim, and that I would get an honest answer from him.

He explained every procedure step by step, clearly and honestly and relieved any anxiety I might have experienced considering the traumatic primitivity of my youthful encounters with dentists. He did the delicate crowning and root canal procedures with the skill of a sharpshooter.

Dr. Roland Lim is, in my opinion, the complete real deal for all things dental and I would recommend him to anyone who wants the absolute best. If you go for one appointment, you’ll stay for years. I did. This is still the true truth because I still say it as it is…

April 4, 2011

Heart Springs Spa, Singapore…I left feeling like a new person

Nothing can beat the tiredness of a hard’s day’s work more than a massage that will soothe your muscles and relax your body. This spa in City Square Mall appears nice. It is a clean and comfortable no frills setting.

Siew Wei,  the therapist was super friendly,personable and addressed my particular problem areas.  Her strong strokes relieved the pressure on the middle of my lower back and shoulders in particular. The massage was great! The therapeutic was pretty intense and painful, but she was able to release a ton of the tension and knots. I left feeling like a new person.

Considering the value for money I would say this place is ok.  Afterwards I felt completely calm and all I wanted to do was get home asap so I could fall sleep! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

April 3, 2011

Reliance Optical Centre, Kuala Lumpur…I love the selection and the price of the eyewear. I’m a customer for life!

Buying a pair of glasses is all is all about the helpful service with reasonable price. Reliance Optical  is a warm, friendly family business and the people here are friendly, reliable, efficient and fast. Larry the owner has always been really helpful in picking out a few styles that suited my face shape and style. He actually knew how the size of the bridge and all that jazz affects the fit, which is refreshing when I compare it to my experience at other optical shops, where all you hear is, “Oh, that looks great on you!”, when I KNOW it doesn’t because I look like some bug-eyed fly walking down the street on a sunny afternoon.

They have great stocks. Unique selections…not cap ayam or no-name brands. If you’re serious about investing in a great pair of shades that will a) not cost you an arm and a leg and b) be a pair you’ll love and cherish for MANY years to come, this is your place. Everything here is on the reasonable side, with brands like Oakley, Tag Heuer, Armani, Ray Bans, Prada, Gucci, CK, etc., but here, you do tend to find a much bigger and unique selection than at most other places, so I think it’s worth a visit

One downside: it’s a hell of a job getting a car park in Bangsar. So it’s quite common to see cars double-parked along the entire stretch of the road.

This is a fantastic optical shop.  He’s got a great selection of frames at a very competitive price point. I’ve been going there several years now and I’ve only received excellent service there and they haven’t let me down. I’m a customer for life! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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