May 22, 2011

KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital, Johor Baru… lackadaisical counter staff but if I am in need of reasonable quality, value for money, non-life threatening medical services, I know I’ll be right back in here

Johor Specialist Hospital (JSH) is the first private hospital in Johor. I went there for my health screening which included a medical check up by consultant physician – in my case, it was Dr Abraham – inclusive of report, chest x-ray, treadmill stress test, blood screening profile, Urine FEME, Upper & Lower Abdominal Ultrasound. All these for RM560.00. I got them to include an echo-cardiogram for an additional RM280.00.

First impression was not too great. The doctor hasn’t arrived in the hospital yet, although it’s 20 minutes past the appointed time. So we went ahead with the other tests without even meeting the doctor.

The main draw back, however,  is the support staff (mainly the counter people) are just insensitive and disinterested. I had to wait 40mins just to get my blood drawn for the blood test. In any other hospitals, one of the first things they do is to draw the blood, thus allowing us to go eat something as we would have fasted overnight. I understand that they are hardened by watching patients sit around them all day waiting for their numbers to flash up on the board, but surely, a bit of empathy, politeness and sensitivity is not too much to ask for. I’m quite disappointed in how lackadaisical they were.  Still on the topic of counter staff, the staff doing my registration asked for private information and echoed my answers aloud as if announcing my ID number, date of birth and home address to all the other patients who were lounging around in the room. So much for confidentiality and privacy.

Dr Abraham, when I eventually met him after all the tests,  was pleasant and did a good job explaining my reports to me.

Alright , so I harbour a few resentments, but overall it is a nice clean place. A place I hate to go, but if I am in need of reasonable quality, value for money, non-life threatening medical services, I know I’ll be right back in here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

May 21, 2011

Rumah Makan Minang, Singapore…my go-to place for reliable and always delicious Indonesian nasi padang

The cooking at Rumah Makan Minang represents the best of original halal Indonesian (sumatran) nasi padang food (rice with a variety of dishes). There’s so many nice things to say about this place, but I’ll will keep it simple.

Sitting outdoors you get to look at the Sultan Mosque. Alternatively, sit upstairs in the air-conditioned dining room. Must taste dishes are sayor lodeh and bergedil (fried potato cutlet). The star dish is the beef rendang -the meat was really tender and the gravy is thick, sweet and spicy. It’s awesome. I just can’t get enough of it. This is my absolute favourite. Last but not least, tahu telor (tofu omelette) was another of my favourite dish, so soft and nice you will just sit there flabbergasted.

Service was quick… no complaints. The prices are also reasonable, although a bit on the high side, although it is worth it to eat such good food.

This is my go-to place for reliable and always delicious Indonesian nasi padang. I’m a fan. I’m definitely a fan. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

May 19, 2011

Mak’s Noodle, Hong Kong… the shrimp roe noodles misses the mark

Anthony Bourdain had raved about it. It  was featured in Times magazine for being “one of the top 3 best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Hong Kong. There’s Lonely Planet write-ups of this restaurant on every table. Michelin recommended restaurant 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The wanton were not bad but not brilliant as claimed by many. The soup and noodles are only just so-so. The noodles were not crunchy nor springy enough. I tried the supposedly famous prawn roe with dry noodles. Each shrimp roe was obviously quite small granularly, but I failed to detect how it add any flavour. The noodles are too firm and dry. No “wow”.

 Overall, it was an interesting dish but it misses the mark. More suited for the western palette, most likely. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

May 17, 2011

Wong Kok Char Chan Teng, Johor Baru…don’t waste your time and $. Terrible, disgusting, gross, bad, pathetic, awful

I have always been a person that will give someone or some company the benefit of the doubt. However after repeated failures to impress me I finally must come to the conclusion that some companies just STINK! This is where I would put Wong Kok Char Chan Teng in Holiday Plaza Johor Baru. I have eaten there three times and the food never gets better. Its AWFUL!!

Tea cafes, or cha chan teng as they are known in Cantonese, have mushroomed up everywhere. At Wong Kok Char Chan teng, there is a very large menu with multitudes of choices. The clowns in the kitchen did not let us down. The food is disgusting.  I took two mouthful of my noodle and couldn’t eat anymore. Felicia’s hor fun was bland and gross too. The service wasn’t great either. The food was so awful I felt compelled to save others from wasting their money.

This was one of the worst restaurant I have ever been to. Never try it. Don’t ever waste your time going to Wong Kok Char Chan Teng. Terrible, lazy, bad, pathetic, awful. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

May 16, 2011

Restaurant MariscCo, Barcelona…my best fish and seafood meal in Barcelona. Ever.

Restaurant MarisCo is a delicious and good value-for-money seafood restaurant in Barcelona – most unique due to its seafood’s freshness and informal “fish market” atmosphere.

Just walk up to the fish & seafood counter upon entering the restaurant and choose your fish and seafood amidst its explosion of colours enhanced by the pure white of the ice that surrounds all kinds of fish, lobsters, crabs, squids, shrimps, prawns and seashells. Once you’ve decided what you’d like to eat (it’s not easy with so much choice!), you go sit down and enjoy your wine or sangria de cava at your table while your delicacies are being cooked (once again, you have a choice as to how you want your food cooked – Andalusia style or grilled). In summary, you decide what and how you would like  – and you only pay for what is selected and weighed. Try their very delicious version of lobster paella.

This is Barcelona’s seafood at its best. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

May 15, 2011

Lufthansa, Frankfurt…cabin crew always had a smile on their faces. They got me to my destination in a good mood.

Having the luxury to fly to different parts of the world means that I get to experience different airlines and their respective services and this particular flight on Lufthansa LH1426 from Frankfurt to Sofia on 3rd March is definitely on my top 3 list!  

I stepped inside a half-empty plane greeted by  smiling, impeccably groomed flight assistants. One thing that really stood out for me was that the flights attendants were extemely friendly, very attentive to getting you whatever you need throughout the flight.  They were a pleasure to have around, they were very helpful and kind and always had a smile on their faces. And, oh yes, they were nice to look at too.

They got me to my destination in a good mood. Danke Schon, Lufthansa!!! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

May 14, 2011

Hui Lau Shan healthy dessert, Hong Kong…if you are a mango lover like me, this place is a must go.

This is a chain restaurant and they’re everywhere – even at the Hong Kong airport arrival hall. Though not spacious, it’s clean and makes a good place for a chat with friends.

They offered a variety of desserts, but I liked the ones with mango best. Mango puree, mango slices, mango dices, mango ice cream – every single possible way of eating mango in a nice and chilled manner, they have it all covered.  My personal favourite is the sago in mango juice with extra mango. It is pure mango with every bite.  Sweet yet not overwhelming, smooth and silky. Obscene amount of mangoes goes into that one dessert.

If you’re a mango fanatic like me,  this place is a must go. It’s mangolicious! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

May 8, 2011

Bar Central “la Boqueria”, Barcelona…Exquisitely fresh seafood. IT IS WELL WORTH IT!!!

On my first trip to Barcelona years ago, I went to Bar Central (which is located in La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous market)  for breakfast every day. Years later, on my third visit to Barcelona, I went there twice for breakfast. I tell you this: IT IS WELL WORTH IT!!! The food was still excellent.

You will be spoilt for choices. There’s the extensive menu written on the board. You can also take a look around and see what’s good on the counter. I tend to look at other people’s plates. If, after all that, you don’t know what to order, just ask them to cook for you. But you must definitely have some of the exquisitely fresh seafood which will be drizzled with garlic and parsley/olive oil.

Go early to get a seat, otherwise you’re just going to have to stand patiently behind the other patrons, waiting for their seats to free up! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

May 7, 2011

Lan Fong Yuen, Hong Kong…pork chop bun. THE THING to eat in Hong Kong.

Lan Fong Yuen is renowed (but unverifiably) as the birthplace of milk tea. Milk tea is a very strong black tea cut with evaporated milk.  The tea is made using pantyhose  as in pantyhose is used to strain and filter the tea leaves. Here at Lan Fong Yuen, the flavour of their so-called silky tea with milk is …like my grandmother’s vomit. Hell Gross!!

However, their Signature pork chop bun (a burger with fried pork cutlet) was simply heavenly.  This is one of those things that can make an addict out of many foodies. The bun itself is a plain hamburger bun, lightly toasted, buttered and mayo-ed.  The pounded ultra thin pieces of well marinated pork chop was tender, juicy and flavourful. I am no stranger to pork chop buns, but here at Lan Fong Yuen, they simply have got the crispness of the bun and juiciness of the pork chop just right. This item, though not life changing, is something I’d definitely eat again if I were in HK.

I also tried the crispy butter and milk toast bun. It was tasteless and for such a simple dish, I am sure there could have at least applied enough condense milk.

So what’s the verdict? I salute to the cook who made the pork chop bun as he had created a wonder of Hong Kong. In my books, it is THE THING to eat in Hong Kong. This is still the true truth as I still say it as it is…

May 3, 2011

Kedai Minuman dan Makanan Tai Soon, Johor Baru…almost perfect penang style prawn noodle

Every sip  of this prawn noodle soup brings me back to the times I was food tripping in Penang. Prawns noodles in this southern state of Malaysia is distinctively different from those up north. So whenever I need my fix of Northern taste, this is where I get a divine bowl of prawn noodle – served with egg. It’s the soup that makes the difference, the sweet prawny essence with a hint of spice packs a kick.

I feel this is quite good. Penang Prawn Mee’s fans or lovers can give this a try. This is the true truth as i say it as it is…

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