PEr FYI

February 26, 2017

Restoran Ming Huat, Melaka …mee kahwin is a mash-up you don’t want to miss

Mee kahwin, crudely translated is married noodles. It is – excuse me while I use the f-word – a fusion dish. The dish may sound frighteningly exotic and confused, but the marriage of mee rebus and Indian rojak has innate cohesion.

The mee kahwin here at one of the stalls at Restaurant Ming Huat is well executed, inventive Malay cooking served with sweet, sour, salty, spicy and peanuty flavour combinations. Yellow noodles are topped with taukua (fried beancurd), hard-boiled egg, potato cubes, fresh bean sprouts, crunchy cucur udang (prawn fritters), and cut green chillies, bathed in generous ladles the lip-smacking gravy.

It’s a mash-up you don’t want to miss. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 25, 2017

Petit Jardin, Shanghai…check your expectations at the door

Petit Jardin is a younger version of the famous Jardin de Jade. Unlike the parent restaurant that serves authentic Shanghai -style cuisines, Petit Jardin offers modern Cantonese cuisine and it appears to be trying to walk a somewhat precarious tightrope.

They say the menu is, in fact, a window into a restaurant’s soul. Amusing enough, this must be the Mills and Boon of menus with ludicrously sounding dishes like “crouching cow and hidden hen jumping on the grill together”.

The trouble is we’re eating a spruced up, dumbed-down, nouvelle-cuisine version that tastes nothing like the original. The crispy black BBQ bun had nice filling but was practically hollow and a tad dry.

Petit Jardin’s not going to blow your mind or anything. Check your expectations at the door. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 19, 2017

Myeongdong Kyoja, Seoul…a good cheap eat in Seoul

Myeongdong Kyoja is great for a fuss-free, on-the-go dinner in town. This is where to fill up without emptying your wallet.

The greatest part of this restaurant is that they only serve 4 items on their menu. This makes ordering an easy task. It is known for kalguksu, which literally means knife-cut noodles in Korean. Its other speciality is mandu, or steamed pork dumplings. And rest assured, those big, plump, juicy dumplings will fill you up

It’s a good cheap eat in Seoul. When to go? Only the seriously hungry need apply. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 18, 2017

Asia Tour MICE and Leisure Co, Bangkok…fixer – par excellence

The popularity of escorted tours is on the rise.

Asia Tour MICE and Leisure Co, led by Panyawat Peter Tongprasert (CEO – Chief Entertainment Officer) has proven itself to my evident satisfaction. Its portfolio is wide-ranging: from Fototastic Challenges and party vehicles to team building activities and golf tournaments and police escort services. They customize sophisticated itineraries which cater for every type of traveler. With excellent planning, good contacts on the ground and close attention to detail, they set extremely high standards of customer service and his staff have consistently delivered.

If you are looking to book anywhere in Thailand – either a detailed itinerary or a fairly straightforward trip – you won’t do better than to get quotes from Peter and Asia Tour MICE. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 13, 2017

Shang hai la mian Xiao long bao, Singapore…pan fried dumplings are like xiao long bao on steroids

If xiao long bao are the Rolls Royce of the dumpling world, the Toyota must be the pan fried dumplings here in Alexandra Village Food Centre. They’re usually the reason for massive queues.

Sporting a thicker, chewier wheat dough, these little vibrant bullets of pleasure with their generous filling of succulent pork, come with a healthy slick of grease from their crispy, irresistible bottoms. The filling LITERALLY explodes with pork juices, but the sturdier wrapper holds up to some serious pan-frying. Best appreciated with chilli and vinegar, they’re cheap and by default, cheerful.

Dig into these babies as soon as they arrive — it’ll be well worth the scorched tongue.This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 12, 2017

Putu Bambu Juriah, Ayer Hitam, Johor…the putu bambu goes down easy

The first thing you need to know about is that putu bamboo is a traditional Malay delicacy…rice flour filled with gula Melaka (palm sugar), steamed in hollow bamboo casings (word bambu is a Malay word of bamboo) to form a cylindrical shape. It is served with grated coconut.

Eaten hot, the mouth-watering putu bamboo at juriah will satisfy those mid-day munchies, with its soft, fluffy and cottony texture and appealing aroma and sweetness. It is undoubtedly the neatest thing to eat in Ayer Hitam, the border town famous for ceramic crafts between Batu Pahat and Kluang district in Johor.

By the time you’ve munched on Juriah’s putu bamboo, you’ll be entranced. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 11, 2017

Chamsootgol, Seoul…the bibimbap is a big hit

Bibimbap is a traditional Korean rice dish served in a hot stone bowl with an amalgam of chopped vegetables and meat, and runny egg yolks to bind it all together.

The bibimbap in Chamsootgol is a big hit. There were bags of textures and flavours in there and it’s a great value dish. The real binder to the whole dish is the exquisitely crisped rice that pulls away from the bowl—the holy grail of any bibimbap. It’s all very tasty, very clean, and I never have to acknowledge the existence of kimchi.

A big thumbs up to the bibimbap. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 5, 2017

Sarsa Kitchen & Bar, Manila…crispy buko pie is the best of the best

To most, Filipino cuisine is surprising unfamiliar as it lacks a mainstream following. While Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants can be found in any respectable-sized city it’s just not the case with Filipino food. One challenge is, it’s very hard to describe.

The food at Sarsa is a generous blend of savoury richness and fresh flavours.  The riot of Filipino dishes, both classic and new-school are stir fried French beans (+ ginamos, SARSA XO sauce, tinapa flakes and crispy dilis), grilled blue marlin (+ crab sauce and squid ink) and sizzling kansi (+batwan gravy). The standout course is the crispy buko pie a la mode (+ pandan sauce and ice cream) which is the perfect ending to a meal at Sarsa. Buko pie is a traditional Filipino pastry made with young coconut meat.

There’s something about the simplicity of this Sarsa version of buko pie that makes it so appealing. It’s the best of the best. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 4, 2017

4DX Theatre, Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok…the next generation in movie watching

4DX theaters come with the technology providing environmental effects synced with the movie. Imagine seeing a movie in 3D (glasses and all) but with added physical sensations like wind, rain, and a moving seat.

I tested the technology for the first time through Disney’s new release, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” I have to admit that at times watching the audience seems more compelling than the movie I was viewing. Perhaps, thankfully too, I could not detect any smells during the movie. I am not sure whether a malfunctioning system, a programming error or my sinus allergies were to blame. Whenever someone was firing bullets, compressed air was fired at my head. The flashing lights on the side of the auditorium that were supposed to represent lightning and timid sprays of water whenever the action got near bodies of liquid. Whenever punches are thrown, your chair pokes you in the back, like an airport massage lounger gone berserk

The short of it? 4DX is unlike anything I’ve felt in a movie theater before, and it was just cool enough that I would recommended splurging on a great movie. However, movie selection is key. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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