PEr FYI

March 31, 2019

Creamery, Singapore…paradise for those with a sweet tooth.

If you love chocolate as much as me, and you’re hungry, then look away now.

These days desserts have been supersized, with enough calories to fuel a family for a month. The Choc a lot is the top seller for a reason – cookie chocolate lava include a scoop of ice cream. Choose your flavour of ice cream – I picked Banoffee (banana, toffee and choco mud pie) – and indulge. Each bite was a perfect ratio of crumbly cake and warm sauce. If you’re feeling extra naughty, order one of their indulgent brownie topped with milo dinosaur ice cream to go with it.

Arrive hungry. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

creamery sin5

creamery sin6

creamery sin1

Advertisements

March 30, 2019

Yu no hana, Otaru, Hokkaido…an antidote to Singapore stress

I am up to my neck in hot water. And it’s wonderful. Around me, naked Japanese men soak contemplatively. I am sitting in an onsen (natural hot spring) bath in Hokkaido’s hot water hotspot, Yu no hana. Utter bliss.

Yu no hana has a bit of everything….indoor and outdoor rotenburo (open-air, natural hot spring pools), massage, even claw and jackpot machines. Falling snow accentuates the charm of the rotenburo. And it is all made particularly easy by the English-speaking information centre at Otaru station and a free shuttle to and from the station. It was reasonably priced and an hour is long enough to take in the setting and to let your body completely relax.

Onsen is a pleasurable experience that will make you want to live in Japan . This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

yunohana otaru1

yunohana otaru2

March 24, 2019

Café Mary Grace, Manila…it isn’t all that earth-quaking

What started out as delighting her children with personally decorated birthday cakes, Mary Grace is now a chain of cafes and kiosks all over Manila.

I had the fairly remarkable looking Mango bene – frozen layers of meringue with custard cream, and fresh mangoes in between. It was sweet-but-not-too-sweet in that dangerous way. There are moments when richness overwhelms but I was disappointed not to find what I came for.

For the record, everything they serve is gorgeous! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

mary grace mnl3

mary grace mnl1

March 23, 2019

Char Casual Dining, Singapore…moved to speechlessness by their char siew

Char is renowned for its roast meats. The char siew and crispy roast pork belly are pure meaty succulence and flavourful intensity. And what flavours! The meats are as good as anything you’ll get in Guangdong and need to be eaten with just some steamed rice to make you feel that life – and food – really doesn’t get much better than this.

The Signature char siew – melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a sublime sauce that is the ultimate blend of salty, sweet and deliciously sticky. The crispy roast pork belly – the crackling that comes from the meat is the main character of a good roast. The meat has been marinated in a blend of Chinese and Western herbs and roasted on high heat. By all means try some salted egg pork – tender pieces of boneless rib meat deep fried for a crispy outside but a tender inside and stir fried in a creamy sauce of salted egg, chilli and curry leaves and, to balance the simplicity of the meats, add in Char’s homemade charcoal beancurd with spinach and wild fungi – homemade silky charcoal beancurd that’s steamed and then deep fried, laid on a bed of poached spinach and topped with wild fungi and a delicious sauce.

The prices border on a blow-out, so order carefully. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

char sin8

char sin7

char sin9

char sin1

March 16, 2019

Low Yong Moh Restaurant, Melaka…a reliable choice

In Hong Kong, dim sum is almost like a religion. If you’re already a devotee, you are likely to have burned your tongue on many a pork bun and dumpling.

Hidden near antique and vintage Jonker street, spot, opened since 1947, knows a thing or two about dim sum. It’s a very traditional coffeeshop and unsurprisingly the menu consists of resolutely traditional Dim Sum. The fried turnip cakes were competently done, if not especially exciting – and free of excess oil. The skins of the siu mai were a little fragile and there was precious little prawn, but the chunky whole pieces of meaty pork made up for it. The lo mai gai (Chinese Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf) was far more impressive.

Most of the basics are done well and  – some of which are surprisingly good. But despite this Low Yong Moh is still one of the better places to have morning dim sum in Melaka. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

lowyongmoh mel3

lowyongmoh mel2

lowyongmoh mel1

March 10, 2019

White Restaurant, Singapore…I brave the queue to get in, but I’ll go elsewhere next time

The white beehoon (rice vermicelli) revolution is already well underway. The small, unshowy White Restaurant now has 5 outlets across Singapore.

Service is friendly, fast and informal. As for the food, I don’t have any negatives to speak of. In addition to the white beehoon, I had the sambal lala and the meat and seafood roll which will complement the dish excellently. There was satisfying freshness to all of the food I tried, an evenness of ­flavours, a happy contrast of ­textures and temperatures.

Was it a transcendent experience? Well, the ­answer is no. It was decent, yet not brilliant. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

white sin4

white sin2

white sin1

March 9, 2019

Pao Xiang Bah Kut Teh, Kuala Lumpur…tapas style bak kut teh

Chopsticks at the ready!

The String-Tied Bah Kut Teh is a method of tying up the meat with a cotton string to keep its shape and texture. The string keeps the meat from falling apart during the boiling process, making it firmer and easier to absorb the essence and flavour of the herbs.

Poh Xiang has gone upscale from a 30-seater stall in Klang to a self-consciously stylish restaurant in Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur. Served tapas style – small individual portions of food that allows a magpie approach and diners can zigzag to check out the mouth-watering choices of typical BKT dishes which are wide and varied.

You will be treated to some big and bod flavours with the pai kut, sum chan bah, ka wan, de tor, hun teng, Kim cham kor and braise egg. It’s hardly surprising that everything tastes so good.

Regardless of how otherworldly these dishes are, the bill is something you’re likely to choke on. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

pao xiang kl4

pao xiang kl5

pao xiang kl6

pao xiang kl1

March 3, 2019

Asahiyama Zoo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido…don’t miss the penguins

What’s cuter than penguins enjoying an afternoon waddle? Their webbed feet were made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do. It’s great to see them outside their habitat and see them walking right beside me. I’ve never been this close to one of these delightful birds.

Asahiyama Zoo is an intimate Hokkaido zoo with a number of fun and interesting exhibits. Look for the adorable polar bears and watch them at feeding time in the polar bear pool.

Asahiyama Zoo may not be as large or extravagant as Ueno Zoo, but it does feature beautiful surrounding scenery and some of the most exotic animals in the world. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

zoo asahikawa2

zoo asahikawa1

zoo asahikawa3

zoo asahikawa6zoo asahikawa9zoo asahikawa8zoo asahikawa7zoo asahikawa5zoo asahikawa4

 

March 2, 2019

Max’s restaurant, Manila…a zero-star rating

The restaurant’s shtick is the fried chicken, with a unique blend of secret spices, talagang sarap to the bones! It is meant to be the golden fried to perfection.

Mr Max, have you eaten at your restaurant? Did you eat the half spring chicken? Did it live up to your expectations? Hey, did you try that Adobo ribs, the one that looks like nuclear waste? How did it, one of the hardest dishes in the Philippines to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable? When you wrote on your website saying, “household name in the Philippines, an institution, and a proud Filipino tradition”, were you just messing with our heads?

Wonder no more. It is not good. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

max mnl4

max mnl1

Blog at WordPress.com.