November 27, 2011

Kembang Goela, Jakarta…only for those who don’t mind paying a little extra for upscale dining atmosphere

Beautiful, old world ambience, colonial style decor, mixed between dutch and indonesian influence., this place is a cozy place to have a long lunch or dinner.

It’s a good idea to ask the waiter beforehand whether the food is fiery. A lot of the recipes that use lots of chilies can be altered to make them less spicy. We ordered the popular dish of Soto betawi  (a kind of Indonesian creamey beef soup). If New york has its cheesecake, Jakarta has its beef soup. The one here has tasty beef broth enriched with coconut milk and a combination of herbs and spices. Though the soto betawi was a winner, the sate daging sapi wagyu and dendeng lombok legi (beef jerkey) were not memorable.

Having said all that, Kembang Goela is recommended for those who don’t mind paying a little extra to get a more upscale dining atmosphere. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

November 20, 2011

Washington Monument, Washington DC…a good one to do simply just because it’s been in lots of movies

The monument in honour of the 1st President, George Washington is actually a large obelisk (555 feet high). Construction took 36 years to be completed. During the Civil War, construction was halted. When it resumed, the quarry no longer had rock of the same exact shade; so a lighter one had to be used. You’ll notice the difference in colour on your way up.

Tickets are free, and they are distributed at 8:30am. I arrived at 8.25am and waited for 45 minutes in the spiralling queue.  Although you received tickets at 8:30am, your tour time may not be until 11:30am, or later.

It’s fun to say you’ve been there, but that’s about all I got out of it. Not the best thing you could do in DC but it is still a good one to do simply just because it has been in lots of movies. This is the true truth as i say it as it is…

November 13, 2011

Thanying Restaurant, Bangkok…this place is a joke.

The place is sleek . That said, sleek is a word I’ve never applied to a Thai restaurant I like. Food was on par with what you would expect at a cheap buffet , but gazillion times the price.

I had a feeling we were being served left-overs from lunch when we ordered the neung ma nao (sea bass steamed with lime, lemon grass and chilli) because the fish did not seem fresh. Authentic tom yam goong tasted more like mineral water – dilute, no kick, no oomph. Whatever it was, it should not have been called “tom yam”. If a Thai restaurant in Thailand cannot get their staple food – the tom yam goong – right, what hope is there for the rest of the stuff on their menu?

None of the following was any memorable: Gra Tong Thong (minced shrimp and green peas with sweet corn in crispy cup and curried chicken with potatoes in crispy cup), tod man pla gra-ai (deep fried curried fish patties), yam pla dook foo (crispy fluffy catfish, spicy and tangy salad with slices of green mangoes), chicken in green curry with egg plant and sweet basil, neur poo pad phong ga hree (crab meat, steamed with sauce of curry powder, egg, milk, roasted chilli, oil and celery)

By far the worst Thai place I’ve been to in a long time. This place is a joke. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

November 7, 2011

Oc Oanh, Ho Chi Minh City…street side meal to inlcude in your culinary tour of HCMC.

One of the best things about Ho Chi Minh City is the abundance of cheap, fresh, and delicious street food. When I say street food, I really mean sidewalk food.
Eating on the streets of HCMC is a truly rewarding experience. Your taste buds be jumping with joy. Sit down at Oc Oanh and you will be met with delicious food and friendly smiles.
Any way you slice it, dice it, chop it, or segment it with scissors, Oc Oanh at – 534 vinh khanh street, District 4 – is worth paying a visit to on your culinary tour of Ho Chi Minh City .  Low plastic tables and chairs are placed along the side of the street, motorbikes screaming by the whole time. A dazzling array of clams, mussels, cockles, oysters, snails, and many other things I can’t recognize the entire stretch of the stalls.
Now I know, if you want to eat authentic Vietnamese, you must eat the street food. A restaurant lacks the full authenticity — while the flavors of the food may be right, the atmosphere is not. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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