January 25, 2015

Jonker 88 (Museum Café) , Melaka…think twice about ever waiting on this queue

At any given moment in Melaka, you’ll find locals and tourists waiting in line outside Jonker 88. It’s a tourist’s rite of passage to stand on that line. Peranakan style food – Baba Laksa (a cross between curry mee and laksa) and chendol – as well as home-made kuih are among the delicacies served in this habitually packed little café. But the lines and the hype aren’t fully warranted.

Part cafe and part museum, it’s still fun to have a bite in there, however, the blending of the coconut with the gula Melaka which is what makes cendol so good, disappointingly, was anaemic and lacked fragrance here. Chendol-loving purists are left with one reality: The chendol at Jonker88 is overrated.

I’m not saying that the chendol or food at this place are bad by any means, just overexposed and maybe a bit overhyped. You should think twice about ever waiting on this Jonker 88 line. This is the true truth as I say it as it is… jonker88

January 24, 2015

Johnny Rockets, Jersey Gardens, New Jersey…..Whatever

I give this restaurant a lot for its theme of 50s rock ‘n roll from the cute jukebox at each table, to the dress of the waiters and waitresses to the awesome music blaring.

But the food in this Johnny Rockets in Jersey Gardens, was on the low side of average. Imagine a McDonald’s hamburger run through the dishwasher and you would be spot on for the Johnny Rockets Big Double. The bun was soggy, lettuce limp, and meat like chewing bicycle tires.

The wait staff looked like they didn’t want to even be at work. 0 smiles on the employees faces, just very awkward stares from people who seem like they hate their job and it shows in the way they treat their customers. The service they give you is almost as if they are daring you to not leave a tip. 

I  had previously been to a Johnny Rockets in LA three years ago – I still remember how good the hamburger and milkshake were! Maybe that was a fluke because now I am unimpressed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

johnny rocket nj

January 18, 2015

Klinik & Surgeri Semabok Perdana, Melaka…..if clowns had a GP clinic, this is it.

Filed under: Clinic, Malaysia, Medical — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 8:10 pm

In old movies, bad doctors are easy to identify – they work out of seedy offices and have a furtive, unkempt look. In real life, it’s not so obvious, except here in Klinik & Surgeri Semabok Perdana. The doctor here was terrible… terrible and terrible.

What I learned in this process is valuable and should be known by all before you go. Find out the credentials of the person you see. Be prepared to NOT receive the same attention or care you would by your own physician. Be prepared for a wimpy assessment and erroneous information placed in your record! I should have trusted my instincts and gone with my gut reaction. If you don’t feel good about a physician, go somewhere else.

Here are the signs I can tell that the doctor here is a bad doctor……he had an indifferent and uncaring attitude. I know I was looking for medical care, not a new friend – so a sparkling personality probably isn’t a priority but the doctor here was cold and patronizing. He also lacked knowledge. He didn’t put a finger on me , no physical check up , nothing and he was kind of nervous. His appearance was awful. He looked dishevelled, abysmal, unkempt and dirty. His fingernails were long and dirty and that is a big no-no in the doctor grooming handbook.

The next day, I sought out a 2nd opinion because I don’t trust this guy.

THE WORST DOCTOR I’VE EVER MET OR SEEN IN MY WHOLE LIFE !!!!  Don’t say no one warned you. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…


January 17, 2015

Ngoc Hieu, Hanoi…great no-frills Vietnamese beefsteak

Ngoc Hieu was packed with locals the night I dined there — a good sign for any Hanoi restaurant. This steakhouse offers a different and interesting variation on steak and eggs. The food quality is good, the portions fair and for the price, what you get is a great deal.

The Original Steak is Hanoi beef steak with omelette, beef sausage ball, French fries, green onion, tomatoes served in oil spitting sizzle plates. Best to sit away from the table and wait a minute or two before lifting the lid on the mini-eruption. I see the local diners around me getting their bread to soak up any grease that may have accidentally slipped off their fried meat or fried eggs or fried fries or something. The healthy bit of the meal were the accompanying plate of cucumber pickle and the tomato on top of the meat. The beef pate was minced beef with eggs and original sauces. There’s also French fries, salad mix with ranch and thousand island dressing to accompany. In both plates, the beef was well marinated and somewhat tasty.

Beware — wear shoes that have plenty of traction, as the greasy floors here double as skating rinks. Overall, the workers and cooks are very clean and hygienic (all the cooks wear gloves). The waitstaff are efficient (although very little English) but the menu is in English and Vietnamese so pointing works quite well.

It’s so addicting I wanted to buy some more to go!  This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

ngoc hieu hanoi

ngoc hieu hanoi2



January 13, 2015

Mr Green Laundry, New York City…..just 2 blocks away from Times Square

Laundry, laundry, laundry. A chore and obligation that could cost a bomb when you are on holiday in NYC for two weeks. Mr. Green Laundry offers customers the choice of doing their own laundry  in the self service area(change for the machines and soap / bleach / fabric softener available at the counter)  or dropping their clothes off (wash / dry / fold) to be completed by one of the attendants. I’m so happy to have found them. They are like godsend. T

I was staying in Times Square and needed the closest one I could find. It turned out to be just 2 blocks away and the prices are really fair for Hell’s Kitchen. Mr Green Laundry is well lit, bright, with plenty of space to walk between washers and well-distributed folding tables. It has new looking and clean washers (no mold in the cracks!). The dryers are similarly clean and also come in two sizes. The only bummer is that the last wash is at 8.20pm.

The pastries in the cafe next door is amazing too. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

laundromat hell's kitchen ny

laundromat 2 hell's kitchen ny

January 11, 2015

Lei Garden, Hong Kong…for anyone after refined food and scrupulous service

Chopsticks at the ready! If you would like to have a fine Chinese or seafood meal at at a Michelin-starred restaurant, yet pay middle to low prices in Hong Kong, you can go to the Michelin-starred Lei Gardens restaurants. Offering superbly executed Cantonese dishes Lei Garden also stands out for warm service. As soon as you are escorted to your white-clothed table you will be doted over by the staff.

For the most part, though, the real pleasure at Lei Garden is in seeing familiar dishes done right. The pan fried steak and salad was unbelievably good. The king prawns were truly regal – big, flavoursome fellas. And then there’s Lei Garden’s not-so-secret weapon. Two pages of the menu are dedicated to seasonal double-boiled tonic soups along with their supposed health benefits. Pork shank soup with chinese grass was a rich, hearty, savory broth with lots of flavour but without a lot of heaviness. The pan fried crispy noodles with seafood was a cracking example of a classic dish – robust, fully rounded with just the right level of crispiness without being too oily.

This is the world’s epicentre for double-boiled soup. They are as comforting and delicious as they are exotic. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

lwi garden 2 hk

lei garden hk

January 4, 2015

Otto Ristorante, Singapore…you are guaranteed to walk – or waddle – out satisfied

Smallish but tastefully and stylishly furnished dining space, the intimate Otto has a modern, upscale feel. The top notch service was every bit as thorough and professional without being overbearing, a cut above many other places of the same calibre.

The authentic Italian food was so good you’ll want to lick your plate clean and one of the better Italian places I’ve tried recently period. Complimentary bread is served upon arrival. Be sure to try the freshly baked warm, soft, moist and crumbly foccacia with onion. The herb crusted New Zealand lamb cutlet with red pepper passata is run-to-the-hills-singing-hallelujah-to-the-Almighty astonishing.  It’s a simpler-than-usual treatment for the gorgeous meat but one that will make you wonder why everyone doesn’t do it this way. The Atlantic cod tagliata – “taggia”olives crust with sweet garlic is unassumingly satisfying. The magnificent hunk of grain fed beef tenderloin with bone marrow sauce and porchini mushroom is good, it is very, very good.

The simple-but-elegant Otto is very much a special, date-night destination, where the art of classic, Italian fare is elevated. The staff are friendly and you are guaranteed to walk – or waddle – out satisfied. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…


January 3, 2015

Statue of Liberty, New York City…it is imperative you plan ahead

Who has never seen the Statue of Liberty on television or in photographs?  Nothing is better than viewing the grand lady than in person!! If you do want to take the tour—and I recommend it—it’s extremely important to order timed tickets in advance online. If you want to visit the crown inside the statue, be sure to get your tix very early as they are limited and sell out fast!!! 354 steps to get to the top, and the bit up the pedestal is fine, but the narrow, spiral staircase to the crown is a lot tougher. Views from the top aren’t really any better than from the top of the pedestal, but it’s one of these things it’s nice to say you’ve done.

There is tight “airport style” security to go through prior to proceeding to the ferry that transports you to the Island. The ferry ride is relatively quick and painless. I highly recommend getting one of their audioguides when you get off of the ferry at the Statue of Liberty because you can learn so much about the history as you walk around the island. There is a museum to wander round to pass the time, though it’s not that big.

Go at least once in your lifetime. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

liberty ny

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