PEr FYI

December 31, 2015

Chipotle, Orlando…a blast of spice

I usually avoid places like Chipotle, but seeing how this fast-casual Mexican restaurant has torn like wildfire across the United States and beyond with over 1,800 locations and beyond, while McDonald’s – which sold off Chipotle – is battling declining sales and traffic, I decided to find out for myself, what the buzz is all about.

Perhaps Mexican food just isn’t one of the world’s great cuisines. I am not actually partial to burritos. The huge portion and the number of ingredients slapped together, too often irrationally, make most burritos hard slogging. This place is a mecca for those want to eat healthy because the food is cooked fresh and there are a whole bunch of vegetables! About the only thing wrong with the burrito was the firm, rubbery flour tortilla, which posed a sturdy shield. One thing I learned here is that if I ever needed to test myself to prove my masculinity, I’ll take up boxing. Definitely no obliterating hot sauces packed with naga and habaneros for me in the future.

Well, now I can say I’ve tried the fad for Mexican, but on this evidence I won’t be revising my opinion of it. Thankfully, I was spared the dreaded “Chipotle stomach.” This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

chipotle orlando

chipotle2 orlando

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December 30, 2015

Four Seasons Roast Duck, Singapore…if you don’t like it, there’s something wrong with your mouth

Although it shares the name, the restaurant has no connection with the Four Seasons hotel chain, which could be confusing; while the food is excellent, the decor is functional.

Here they serve brilliant Cantonese duck (and other roasted meats) lovely enough to pose for a poultry portrait and what many believe to be the best roast duck in the world . Both the meat and the skin were excellent. The meat was slightly too salty but have a certain amount of fat on them, and the skin was fine and crisp, well above average.

Yes, you pay rather a lot, but if you can afford it, that expense is rewarded. For lovers of roast duck, this is a duck worth trying. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

four seasons singapore

December 27, 2015

Let’s Relax Spa, Bangkok…disappointing at best

Facing another day of marathon shopping, BTS trains, traffic jams, food and more food, your family and/or friends may have reached the point where a mutiny is being whispered around the breakfast table. We’ve all been there. Fortunately, Bangkok offers plenty of diverse choices to sooth your body, recharge your batteries and to reconnect with yourself.

Let’s Relax is a luxurious day spa which offers a wide variety of spa packages such as Thai-style massages, herbal body wraps, foot and hand reflexology, and facial relaxation treatments. This place is more expensive than every where else I have been so far in Thailand. But I don’t mind paying to get a good massage.  This was a MEH massage. This place is HORRIBLY overpriced for a Thai traditional massage and the masseur does not work on my problem areas.

To put it bluntly this was not my scene. The lemongrass drink before the massage, the mango sticky rice after the massage–the whole thing was not my jam. Maybe it’s yours? If so, enjoy the THB900 Thai massage that is strong but lack technique. I’ll be elsewhere.This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

let's relax bkk

December 26, 2015

Cheesecake Factory, Orlando…insanely popular

Anywhere you go in America, the insanely popular Cheesecake Factory has 45 minute-plus waits. Usually an ever-present line, packed dining area, and palpable levels of excitement are reliable indications of great food, but I’ve never had a truly outstanding dish….until now.

The dishes are all American size, meaning quite large, so you certainly won’t leave the restaurant hungry. I have had herb crusted fillet of salmon, garlic noodles- Spaghetinni, fresh asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, oven-roasted tomatoes in a delicious garlic sauce with shrimps, grilled monterey squid, Black eye peas, oven tapen. The light crab bites at the Mall of Millenia, Orlando was the standout. This is amazing! I thought. this has got to be the tastiest thing I had at a Cheesecake factory.

Their cheesecake is world-renowned and comes in many flavors that is sure to satisfy anyone and everyone.

Opening the menu at The Cheesecake Factory is like opening an encyclopedia the large menu gives you different things to try each time. So check it out. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

cheesecake2 orlando

 

 

 

December 25, 2015

Dragon-i, Kuala Lumpur…made me want to roll my eyes

Perhaps her mum doted on her too much as a child, or she got picked on in high school, whatever the reason, the manager of this Dragon-I in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur is infatuated with her position. The hole in her ego is so big, nothing can fill it. Megalomania is tragedy. She was just too important to take orders of hungry customers when all her front line staff are occupied for the longest time.

And when you have a head with such attitude it is no surprise that the radish cake we ordered was forgotten. And the food that was served was quite frankly ridiculously overrated and made me want to roll my eyes.

And let’s be real, if you’re going to shell out the big bucks on chinese food and get treated like a number, it might as well be at some other restaurants that serve something actually really tasty, am I right? This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

dragon 1 kl

December 23, 2015

The Grandma’s, Hangzhou…Hangbang cai – subtle and milder in taste

Unlike dishes from northern China, the lesser known Hangzhou cuisine is heavy on steaming, boiling and roasting. Specializing in local dishes, The Grandma’s is a good place to get acquainted with Hangzhou cuisine. Hangbang cai – as Hangzhou cuisine is known – is also more subtle and milder in taste than Shanghai cuisine.

It was easy to over-order. We had the steamed lotus root stuffed with glutinous rice, sizzling shrimps, grandma’s pork, sichuan spicy tofu and sweet and sour Chinese cabbage. They were all typical traditional homely dishes.

Personally, I’d prefer improving the OK Hangzhou dishes by adding a pinch of this, a tad of that, until it sings. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

grandma hz

December 19, 2015

Hidden Maze Escape Room, Johor Bahru…far and away – the worst experience I have ever had at a room escape

Over the past year, I have been become involved in the growing fad of Escape Games. Escape Rooms’ one-hour games will confront you with plenty of exciting effects to keep you all on your toes. Secret compartments suddenly reveal themselves, locked doors spring into action… and that’s all on top of the riddles, puzzles, codes and clues you have to find and solve to complete your mission.

Hidden Maze in JB was certainly different than any other room escape I had been to in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I never really felt any emotions or excitement in the Trick or Treat room. The puzzles were tedious and illogical and none of them was satisfying, Usually, when a hard challenge is completed, you get a sense of satisfaction and excitement, but Trick or Treat’s uninspired puzzles left us disappointed and let-down. The whole experience felt like someone threw a whole bunch of puzzles and locks in there for you to kill time and a quick profit. The entire place feels very rough, unpolished and unprofessional.

This is far and away – the worst experience I have ever had at a room escape. Please save yourself the money and time by going to another room escape. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

hidden maze escape room jb1

hidden maze escape room jb2

Wow Wow West, Singapore…if you walked away with one regret, it will be that you didn’t experience the pork cheese sausage sooner

This is one of the best Western food hawker stalls I have ever come across in Singapore. You get lots of food for a pretty cheap price here. The food comes out relatively quickly here

We ordered the chicken chop and pork cheese sausages, and liked them both.  We’re too full to even get up from the table. The thick chicken chop, almost jellylike in its tenderness and with homemade coleslaw and French fries sitting politely by the side, looks positively delightful. The uniquely ultra-delicious pork cheese sausages have a smooth and creamy texture. it had that serious punch and kick and you get that cheese also in the same bite and it had a nice snap when you cut into it and bit. Hands down my favorite.

Only catch is, be prepared to queue. If you’re reading this then you’re just one of thousands trying to work out when is the best time to go and how on earth you can avoid that god forsaken queue.

A friend of mine always raved about this place & I finally got around to trying it. Now I  understand what all the hype is about! It’s a worthy stop when you just want a piece of sausage, flawlessly prepared. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

wow wow west sin

December 12, 2015

Jimmy’s American Grill & Bar, New York City…epically twisted dining experience

I’ve eaten in a lot of bad restaurants, but I can’t recall an experience as epically twisted dining in Jimmy’s American Grill & Bar. This place is a complete joke. The food is atrocious…lots of leftovers that would make me feel guilty even giving to my dogs. Service is just as bad!

This is what “good” American food tasted like 20-30 years ago, in the days of Sizzler’s and TGIF’s.The overcooked sirloin steak with mashed potato and vegetable was a travesty. We requested for medium rare and instead was  served a piece which was very strong, dry and hard to chew. The kitchen should show a little respect to the animal: don’t cook it so that it has the texture of shoe leather. The seafood pasta with salmon, grilled shrimp, mussel, clams and grilled calamari served with garlic sauce was bland, tasteless.

Mostly we were frustrated by the unbelievably atrocious service. A drinking straw was shockingly thrown to us. Request for a spoon went by forgotten the entire evening. Even several requests for the bill went unheeded. It was just very poor service.

I’m surprised this place is still open. I can’t imagine this gross place will be in business much longer. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

jimmy's nyc

December 6, 2015

Lot 10 Hutong Food Gallery, The Shore, Melaka…my most expensive food court meal of the year

Lot 10 Hutong Food Gallery is a food court which comprises different well-known food stalls. This Melaka outpost of the famed Kuala Lumpur eatery is a major dud. The prices are unconscionable. They are ludicrous, a poke in the eye from a chopstick dipped in salty Korean chilli sauce.

Here’s the chronicles of a lunch gone very wrong. The “thick and bland” Xiao long bao and har kow which flavour is akin to that of an overcooked McDonald’s chicken nuggets. The cost of the micro-mini siew mai, har kow and Xiao long bao is RM25. Meanwhile the very sour glass of RM10.50 apple juice would be a find…in a vending machine. This very expensive glass of apple juice has the honour of being the worst thing I have put in my mouth since the incident with the washing liquid when I was seven.

This food court is only affordable if you wear underwear lined in baby panda fur on a daily basis. Ultimately, this place is just “terribly, terribly sad”, “wallet-lightening” and a new kill-me-now low. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

lot 10 hutong melaka 1

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