PEr FYI

August 26, 2018

Eat., London…budget-saving food

London is not a cheap city, but it does boast a thriving foodie scene with plenty of reasonably priced dining options. Eat. is one of them, serving delicately done British fare in friendly surroundings.

Their very simplest dishes, like the pies, mash & gravy with crispy onions, really are decent. Brie & Truffle mac & Cheese with cranberry sauce and crispy onions is the ultimate comfort food. I must warn you, you might not be able to fit into your pants after eating this, your heart may have some trouble beating from all the cream and cheese, but I promise, it will be worth it. Pigs in blanket hot roll with wholegrain mustard mayo & onion & ale chutney was traditionally made with buttery rolls and warm toasty, savory hot dogs bundled inside.

Eat. is a reasonable and Instagram-worthy “cheap eat” which will give you change for a tenner. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 25, 2018

Restoran Gold Chilli, Petaling Jaya…prepare to have the biggest poultry-induced orgasm of your life

Despite the health food craze sweeping through Kuala Lumpur, buttermilk chicken still has a solid fan base in the capital.

Buttermilk chicken at Restoran Gold Chilli is delicious and totally naughty. Just to tempt you, think nuggets of chicken blitzed in golden crumbs and topped with homemade, drippingly good buttermilk to finish. Prepare to have the biggest poultry-induced orgasm of your life.

Be warned, this place ain’t fancy or Instagram friendly at all. Don’t order the big portion unless you are sharing with someone!

Compose yourself. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 24, 2018

The Halal Guys, New York…great street meat

A food cart under umbrellas in can’t-miss yellow and red serving platters of halal lamb and chicken on 53rd and 6th in the Big Apple with never-ending lines that reeled down the block.

Your options are “chicken,” “lamb,” or “combo”. Lamb, roasted on a rotating spit and chopped to bits before a final crisping on a flat-top grill; chicken, simply grilled; falafel. The juicy lamb is the draw, sharply seasoned, with just enough melting fat. You want that as a sandwich or over rice? I chose sandwich. The secret “white” sauce is a must.

But take that white sauce away, and I don’t really get what the big deal is. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 22, 2018

Jucker Farm, Zurich…honestly fascinating & relaxing

There is one thing that will catch your attention the moment you make your way to Jucker Farm: The magnificent view over the turquoise lake and the rolling hills. In the background, you might even see the snowy Alps.

The food in the canteen style restaurant is not fancy but quite tasty. There are piles of cake, waffles, pancakes… fresh salads, müesli, smoothies… and also, hearty meals like rösti with fried eggs, quiches and on the nostalgic black stove simmer two different types of soup. There are amusement areas for kids – a dwarf goat petting zoo, a rabbit pen (including baby bunnies), and old tractors for the children to explore – including an apple garden – an accessible labyrinth made up of 5,900 apple trees that provide apples for the table and for producing cider.

Juckerhof in Seegraben, located on the picturesque Pfäffikersee is about a 30 minutes drive from Zurich.

Nothing spells relaxation more than having lunch on a table overlooking the tranquil Lake Pfäffikon. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 19, 2018

37th Street, Ho Chi Minh City…satisfy my cravings for authenticity

Walking into 37th Street feels like wandering onto a stage set where lowered wooden tables and benches, the stone pavement, the dessert cart and even the cutlery allude to the street food which influences the menu.

The vast majority of those on the menu we try burst with excitingly vibrant flavours. I had the Pho dak biet pho – pho with rare sliced beef & well done plank and beef meat balls. It was a big bowl. Nevertheless, the bowl was soon empty. It’s deceptively crystalline, belying its lushness. The steaming, perfectly balanced broth is remarkably light and carefully flavoured.

This pho is the drug of choice. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 17, 2018

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Hua Hin…Uber-touristy.

The idea of eating at a tourist hotspot in our hometown is laughable. On holiday we endure plastic croque monsieurs under the Eiffel Tower, misshapen bratwurst by the Berlin Wall and food and fruits on the floating markets in Thailand, like Damnoen Saduak.

Damnoen Saduak has been Thailand’s best known floating market for a very long time but it is also the most touristy one. It’s lively, full of boats selling food and fruits, and it’s colourful. But you can’t turn your head without being sold something. Everything is expensive.

In sum – don’t go here if you hate cliches, and don’t eat here unless you like paying three times more for your food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 12, 2018

The Eagle, Cambridge…a lead hangout

It’s about 400 years old,  full of charm and a Cambridge student feel and it’s where Watson and Crick supposedly discovered the structure of DNA.

Proper food here as well as bar snacks, all the usual pub classics and it’s pretty meat-heavy. Lots of burgers – the Buttermilk fried chicken burger – Ayrshire-dry cured bacon, guacamole & chilli mayo is a winner – and sausages and chicken. Fish & chips – battered cod, crushed peas, tartare sauce, triple-cooked chips was perfectly golden, crisp, firm but flaky and succulent.

For a pub The Eagle does a decent selection of standard cocktails. Everyone cares about their pints. There are plenty of the usual lagers and bitters on offer

It seems to have already cemented itself as a lead hangout in Cambridge. Time to get glugging. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 11, 2018

FIFA World Football Museum, Zurich…I have mixed emotions

This is the brainchild of FIFA’s disgraced former president, Sepp Blatter, who was banned from football after an ethics committee found him guilty of  abusing his position.

It tells the story of “the beautiful game” through artefacts, archival collections and memorabilia. Take a journey through every World Cup in history or learn the origin of FIFA. On the top floor there is an interactive area to kick footballs around and test your skills.  There is a referee game too, to check, if you would be a good referee or not

Not going to tell you whether it’s worth it or not. You can be the judge afterwards. I have mixed emotions. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 5, 2018

979 Nine Seven Nine Kopitiam, Penang…salted vegetable minced pork bihun soup is unmissable.

Penang is replete with high quality dining options that won’t break the bank, it just takes a little local knowledge to sort the wheat from the chaff. NSN is a super cheap local eat where you can stay stuffed without emptying your wallet. It may be a simple, humble little joint, but it’s astoundingly satisfying.

The star of the show?

The real deal comfortingly basic  salted vegetable minced pork bihun soup is remarkably deep, savoury and a wonderful depth of flavour. It is a contender for “best food in Penang” and I was told it regularly attracts long queues of devotees. It succours the old school and the hungry. It is no beauty but a winner. Seriously incredible, now I can NEVER stop craving for it. The deep fried wanton from a nearby stall in the same eatery is equally unmissable. Both are perplexingly cheap and  insanely economical.

Take friends, and order big. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 4, 2018

Fuku+, New York…home of the $8 spicy-fried-chicken sandwich

This little fast-casual restaurant has some unexpected extras, like waiter service and Bob Dylan and  on the playlist to ramp up the energy.

The spicy chicken sandwich is chicken thighs that have been marinated in habanero purée, coated in buttermilk, dredged in a spice blend, and deep-fried into formidably crustiness, then tucked inside a—what else?—potato roll with pickles and butter. The first thing you notice is the lopsided ratio of meat to bread. The chicken spills out of the bun like an oversized bao. The sandwich has been described as “spicy,” but to chilliheads it will seem just barely so. Fuku serves KFC-style steak fries, the world’s worst type of fries, which seem to have been par-baked before being fried, thus giving them an interior texture of instant mashed potatoes. All eyes should be on the sandwich.

And for those who care about prices, that $8 is a bit more than a Shake Shack burger.

So there you go. It’s damn good! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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