March 17, 2018

Lucky Famous, Melaka…affordable and forgettable

Most of the food at Lucky Famous is affordable and forgettable

The menu talks a good game and then, inevitably I suppose, the food arrives and blows it. They all tasted OK, but was too one-note, totally lacking special-something. The dishes were sometimes good and sometimes not, like playing mouthful roulette.

I won’t be compelled to revisit again and again. Only will drop in if I am around the area with nothing else more inspiring to eat. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 13, 2018

Restoran Tapai Tang, Johor Bahru…tastes better than it looks

Johor Bahru food was once considered Malaysia’s poor culinary relation, but there are hidden gems in the city. Restoran Tapai Tang is one of the few old-school JB dining institutions where the quality has actually improved in recent years.

Their famed salt baked chicken is so tender, you won’t be able to stop eating it. wat tan hor (rice noodles in egg gravy) is perfectly fried with the lustrous eggy gravy over the wok fragrance flat noodles is just as good. On the minus side, all this good food is simply plonked on to the plate willy-nilly. This may be ugly-ass food – even the photo (below) doesn’t look very appetizing– at least not to me! But, I swear, the dishes were delicious.

This is a time your dinner tasted better than it looked. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 3, 2017

Coffee Beans by Dao, Bangkok…you’re in the right place

Okay people. You know how you’re always asking about trendy places to eat? You know who you are. Well, Coffee Beans by Dao is for you.

The scene in the restaurant could have been choreographed by Vogue. They do a delicious fried noodle shrimp + crab meat in yellow curry egg sauce. Don’t make the mistake I did…leaving without trying their dessert. This place built its reputation on its extensive desserts…..from their supposedly delicious cheesecakes to doughnuts.

Pull up a chair and people watch – an afternoon well-spent. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 28, 2017

Thip Samai, Bangkok…decent but not world-beating

The most famous Thai dish anywhere! For all Pad Thai newbies, you’ve missed out on stir-fried noodles with egg, tofu, and loads of toppings

Superb padthai  (small prawns) – padthai with shrimp oil, fresh deep sea prawns and wrapped with egg. There was a clear lack of grease and their texture which was neither too soft nor too firm. The noodles themselves were zesty and a had bold, stocky seafood taste to them. The one wrapped with egg, there’s only goodness inside. Even if you’re feeling extravagant, don’t bother upgrading to a Padthai song-kreung. Although it’s a generous dish – padthai with shrimp oil, fresh deep sea prawns, crabmeat, sliced squid and sliced mango, it stumbles badly though. It’s awfully dry and mellow.

The predominance of Thai customers is a reliably good sign. There’s no reservations so prepare to queue. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 19, 2017

Jia Jia Tang Bao, Shanghai…spurter of broth and burner of mouths

This steamed, soup-filled xioalongbao is, perhaps, the dumpling world’s favourite son.

Jia Jia Tang Bao is the place to go if you’re into this Shanghai speciality, otherwise known as a soup dumpling… a basket of steamed bite-size pouches of goodness usually filled with pork and broth. This is a true blue cramped hole-in-the-wall and you get a down-to-earth local experience. Sharing tables with strangers is the norm here, as chairs are precious.

Freshly made every day, what the they may lack in elegance, they more than make up for in flavor, the thinness of the skin and the quality of the soup inside. Expect a thinner-than-average skin and a pronounced porky filling boasting a hint of sweetness. Be careful — you need to put them in your mouth whole if you don’t want the soup to spill everywhere.

An insider’s tip? Just be careful to let them cool sufficiently before attempting to eat them, whole, or your next stop could be Shanghai International Hospital A & E. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 24, 2017

Korean Country Food, Seoul…Comfortable no frills atmosphere and large portions

This restaurant in Myeongdong is a good option when you want to eat authentic Korean food. The interior is simple but comfortable – the no-frills Korean atmosphere seems to exude authenticity. The service is curt and fast.

Boneless Jjimdak (boneless deep stir chicken with special medium sweet soy sauce). It was basically a stew of slowly cooked chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots, green onions, cabbage, all swimming in a delicately balanced rich soy and oyster sauce that was sweetened with rice syrup and brown sugar. Sweet.  Spicy.  Rich.  And HUGE! The three of us could not even finish a plate.

Prepare to leave stuffed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 28, 2017

Peter’s Pork Noodle, Restoran One Sentral, Kuala Lumpur…it’s the place to go if you want to try KL’s best pork noodles

If you ask someone where to go to get pork noodle (chee yoke fun) in KL, most people will say you HAVE to go to Peter’s Pork.

This one has three (three!!) kinds of pork: minced pork, pork slices and pork liver, which I don’t ask questions about. Lots of people go straight for the soup version (also great), but the sleeper hit for me is the dry version. The kway teow noodles themselves are kinda slippery, really chewy and the ideal canvas for this pork situation. The bowl of broth is also spectacular. There’s invariably a mad search for vacant tables and the coffee waiters can be brusque. But it’s all worth it for the pork noodles.

For ME (haters please sit down), this is the best pork noodle in the city. Oh god, I am so hungry. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 21, 2017

Va Fung, Macau…it’s surprisingly affordable and lip-tinglingly good

Dim Sum is arguably one of Cantonese cuisine’s finest contributions to the world. It’s one of the few types of foods I can eat repeatedly without tiring of it, because of its endless variety.

Don’t be put off by the nondescript appearance of Va Fung, this Macau number prepares Cantonese- food fit for a banquet and it’s surprisingly affordable. If you have a big group, this is the place to come. All the classics are done very well here — prawn dumplings (ha gau), siew mai and Cheong Fun with shrimps and char siu – and quite a number of the items are really lip-tinglingly good.

What more could you need? This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 7, 2017

Restoran Sun Huat Kee, Kuala Lumpur…pork ball noodle is good but not gold standard

Inexpensive and reassuringly tasty, pork ball noodle stand tall as a personal favourite.

Sun Huat Kee is a well-ventilated kopitiam which has an array of food stalls: Steven’s fried kuey teow, curry mee, wantan mee and of course, pork ball noodle (or chu yoke fun).  A bowl of kway teow (flat rice noodles) drizzled with lard and dark soy sauce, topped with a generous heap of fried mince pork and slices of BBQ sausages or siew cheong. Though called pork balls, these are rectangular and flat-shaped pork balls instead of round ones. The round bodied broth is robustly savoury and slightly sweet and though delicious, doesn’t match up to the one in a different kopitiam a few doors away.

Not gold standard. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 15, 2017

Donald & Lily Nyonya Food, Melaka…overrated 100 times

If nobody’s told you yet, it’s average food and unjustifiably pricey. Save yourself the wait and the drive.

And the food is not even that good! The food looked good from a distance but on closer inspection turned out to be rather unappetizing. I had nasi ketuk ayam rendang and taukua rojak. Neither dish was as good as their equivalents in any food court. Both were decent and edible, but as has been mentioned, was ordinary at best.

Honestly, there are many other underrated, inexpensive places to grab nyonya food in Melaka– just take my word for it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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