PEr FYI

November 22, 2015

Premium outlet Phuket…I was uber-disappointed!

I write a lot of lists telling shoppers the best outlet malls to visit around the world. But how about where not to go?

Premium Outlet Phuket is supposed to be THE premium outlet mall in Phuket with outlet stores from 300 brand names, Lacoste, Guy Laroche, Hush Puppies, Warner Bros, Levi’s, Nautica, Adidas, Nike and Thai brands, so I was all psyched about what I might find there. I was disappointed with the lack of selection and deals. It was one let down after another. Many of the stores caused me to walk in and out.

Regardless of the downfalls, I did managed to save money – a pair of Geox shoes –  was the only thing that made the trip worthwhile.

I feel for Phuket. It deserves a better outlet mall with real deals. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

premium-outlet-1-easy-branches-phuket[1]

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November 21, 2015

Bunga Raya Popiah, Melaka…moreish pork lard-laden popiah

I was surprised and curious simultaneously when I drove past a monster queue braving the blazing afternoon sun while whizzing down Jalan Bunga Raya. Lo and behold, it was a stall selling Asian burritos – soft skinned spring roll – popiah.

Like all good popiahs, the ones here are packed with generous combination of eggs, bean sprouts, turnips, bean curds, peanuts, crispy and the main ingredient -fragrant pork lards. Every bite is essentially a wonderful mix of flavours and textures — chewy skin, crunchy pork lard together with a sweet sauce and spicy chilli sauce. Simply delicious and moreish.

Monster queue or not…I’ll be back. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

bunga raya popiah melaka

November 15, 2015

Capital Segway City Tour, Washington DC…best way to see any big city

Segway tours are the best way to see any big city. It’s a wonderful feeling – zipping around in the crisp air and the front row seat to the city with tour guides and you don’t have to deal with parking, buses or throngs of tourists. Plus it’s fun!!

The tour stops at all of the highlights you will want to see. As far as the Capitol & the White House. Be advised that you don’t get to go in anything on this tour only learn about the area and see everything from the exterior. There is one stop on the tour where we were able to get off the Segway – at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial.

Having been on many Segway tours, I can knowledgeably say that the difference between one Segway tour to another is the quality of the tour guide. A funny, witty, informative and animated one who gives fun facts along the way would make the tour worth every cent you’ve paid. Our guide was not the best, but he was not the worst either.

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

capital segway city tour dc

November 14, 2015

Under Bridge Spicy Crab, Hong Kong…more a tourists’ stop than a local haunt

This isn’t a fancy restaurant – it’s very Chinese-y with red and gold in its décor.

As the name suggest, this crab specialist is  under a vehicle bridge. You have to order crab if you go to a restaurant with crab in its name, so we did – we got the spicy crab with chilli and garlic, and true to form, the bright red large-clawed crustaceans were buried under a generous mountain of dry mix of fried chilli and nice crunchy deep-fried garlic bits. This dish is believed to be originated from typhoon shelters which are shelters fishing boats during typhoons. I have to admit…for me, the deep fried minced garlic ends up being the star of the show rather than the crab.

I didn’t quite manage to enthuse over all the other dishes – they were just gastronomically illiterate and a little bit desperate. The service too was not the best.

It’s more a tourists’ stop than a local haunt. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

spicy crab hk2

spicy crab hk3

November 10, 2015

Village Park, Petaling Jaya…Muted praise for the nasi lemak

After watching about it on TV, I was determined to try Village Park’s version of the classic dish of coconut rice with a spicy sambal, egg and cucumber that was originally “breakfast” but is now popular throughout the day. It is not a fancy place by all means, but you do not come to this eatery for the décor.

On the whole; the nasi lemak was GOOD. Not extremely outstanding. The coconut rice was pretty good, not overpowered but with a nice hint of coconut. The tender deep-fried chicken thigh had a shatteringly crunchy coating but was lacking flavour. No matter how well you can crisp up a chicken leg, it needs a balanced flavour to make all the difference between good fried chicken and one that’s transcendental. The sweet and creamy, wet and salty beef rending was unfortunately not that great. The beef have obviously been slow cooked and there is absolutely no toughness in the meat. But one of the other key elements in the dish is the gravy and this is where this dish falls flat here. It was definitely not the best Nasi Lemak I have had.

The nasi lemak is good but you do pay a price. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

village park PJ 1

village park PJ2

November 8, 2015

Peet’s Coffee, San Francisco…”must-not-miss” clam chowder

So, I’ll admit it, I’m not a coffee snob. I’m not likely to highbrow with the best of them when it comes to coffee

The must-do thing in San Francisco of course is to have Boudin clam chowder soup which is clam chowder in fresh-baked sourdough bread bowl. In a feat of chowder engineering, the impossibly creamy textured and rich in taste but not overly salty soup, comes loaded with chunky potatoes, and fresh, chewy and tender clams in a huge fresh sourdough bread bowl. This was literally one of the best clam chowders I’ve ever tasted – it doesn’t get much better. If it’s not already obvious enough how much I’m loving this chowder, let me start raving about the best part yet: the sourdough bread. With a crispy outer crust, a soft inner texture, and a slightly sweet and sour taste, this sourdough bread paired with creamy clam chowder is simple perfection. By the end of my meal, I became a happy digger myself, scraping off every little piece of that delicious bread bowl and dipping it into the chowder with every bite.

Peet’s seems to be way more popular than Starbucks over in San Francisco. The service is quick and this coffee is strong.

Give it a try and see what all this sourdough snobbery is all about. To me it tastes like a hug feels. It’s kind of a nice place, so maybe don’t lick the bowl? This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

boudin clam chowder soup n peet's coffee

November 1, 2015

Madame Tussards, Singapore…How much fun did I have? About 15 minutes worth

Since I am obviously not cool enough to have real celebrity friends, I usually like to spend a day at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum everywhere I go and pretend to mingle with the A-listers.  I would take selfies of me shaking hands with President Obama, posing with Angelina Jolie, or fulfilling my dream of doing sit-ups alongside David Beckham!

Madame Tussauds, which considers itself the plus ultra of wax artistry has sunk to the depths with this overpriced and cheesy display in Singapore. The exhibits in Singapore are boring and it’s way too short. The four-minute boat ride called Spirit of Singapore does not add any value to the museum. If you have been to Madame Tussaud’s in London, Los Angeles or New York City you will be extremely disappointment by this museum.

How much fun did I have at Madame Tussards Singapore? About 15 minutes worth. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

tussards sin2tussards sin

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