PEr FYI

October 13, 2018

Legal Sea Foods Restaurant, Boston…seafood at a new level of deliciousness

Boston has a huge amount to offer when it comes to seafood. With a tagline that screams “If it isn’t fresh, it isn’t legal”, Legal specializes in one type of fare: seafood. The name of the game here is all things ocean.

The New England clam chowder is rich and creamy and shockingly delicious, with just the right amount of potatoes. There’s a lot of joy to be had in the lobster roll warm butter poached or traditional with mayo. The lobster meat, served chilled, has a firm bite and a tender follow through. It puts many of its competitors to shame in terms of pure taste and texture so it deserves a place in your belly. Legal’s signature crab cake – simply put – jumbo lump crab, mustard sauce, seasonal salad is one of the great classics of Legal Seafoods Restaurant. There is a simple genius about it, the crispness and creaminess and intrinsic sweetness of the moist and intensely crab-flavoured cakes.

There’s one thing you’re sure to find at Legal Sea Foods Restaurant- an excellent meal. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 23, 2018

Pappas Crabcakes, Washington DC…Well, this was a letdown

Oprah Winfrey named Pappas Crabcakes as one of her #FavoriteThings2015.

Pappas built its reputation on chunky with lump crab, filler-light, and only lightly spiced with crab seasoning, allowing for the full expression of crabby flavor. I ordered the snack plate – 2 fried blue crab balls, old bay seasoning French fries, coleslaw, tomato, lemon, choice of sauce. Sadly the jumbo lumps here at the MGM National Harbor tasted as if they’d spent more time in a freezer than in the Chesapeake Bay.

Obviously Oprah didn’t eat at the Pappas outpost here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 12, 2018

Ping’s, Bangkok…Never go here. Ever.

No one ever makes good decisions on an empty stomach, which explains a lot why I tragically made the worst restaurant choice I can make in Bangkok. Ping’s.

Ping’s is a sad restaurant nestled in Pathumwan Princess Hotel. You won’t find anything near good authentic Chinese food, and you’ll pay full on tourist prices.

Braised fish maw with crabmeat in claypot, Baked crab with vermicelli in claypot, Fried oyster omelette on sizzling hotplate and Stir fried kale with garlic aren’t worth the money — and a couple are total rip-offs!

Head to just anywhere that’s not Ping’s. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 20, 2017

Kruvit Raft, Phuket…plentiful fresh and cheap seafood on a floating restaurant

This place is spectacular! Not once did I feel like a tourist, just a Singaporean walking on water.

Kruvit Raft is modest, unassuming, endearingly awkward; its ugliness and limitations only make it the more likeable. Built on wooden pontoons and having floating wood and net fish enclosures, it is only accessible by longtail boats off the coast of Phuket. Part of the fun is walking around and peering into the different nets to see what’s on offer.   You get to pick the exact fish, crab or lobster that you want for the meal. The plates are affordable here, so the only guilt you’ll feel after scarfing down all those prawns, crabs, fish and lobsters is over your waistline.

If you can’t get Venice organised… have your date night here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 6, 2017

Lee Noodle, Bangkok…cheap (and astonishing) duck noodle

Between cafés, street food stalls and lesser-known restaurant deals, Bangkok has a host of bargain bites that don’t cut back on flavour or finesse.

Lee Noodle, on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor BTS station) is a budget-friendly hole in the wall guaranteed to whet your appetite without leaving a gaping hole in your wallet. Small and simple, this coffee-shop may be tiny but its purse-friendly homemade noodles which can be accompanied by moist succulent duck or crispy roasted pork belly or crab or charsiew or wanton (or all of it for 80 baht) is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Dangerously good, and it won’t cost you much more than 100 baht for the biggest, most delicious bowl of noodle you’ve ever tasted. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 13, 2017

Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, Seoul…there’s a world of crustaceans in here

Whoever invented the fish market with attached restaurant was a genius. Because what better way to entice customers into consuming a highly perishable food than offering to cook it right then and there?

Here’s a fish market with the luscious lobster, springy calamari and plump shrimp I want on my lunch plate or dinner table tonight. This Seoul destination also functions as a eatery, complete with floor seating and table service on the upper level. What you’re buying here may or may not be, but it’s high quality and a worthy splurge.

The most remarkable part of the market is its expansive selection of whole fish as well as live seafood, including eels, crabs, lobsters and sea urchin. Browsing the colorful, enticing sea creatures is irreplaceable. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 30, 2017

Chin Huat Live Seafood, Singapore…pumpkin crab is definitely something to savor.

There’s a lot to love about the not-so-humble crab. Singaporeans will travel to great lengths searching for the perfect plate.

You know the fish is fresh when you can spy it all glistening in the cases up front. At Chin Huat, bountiful seafood tanks packed with live produce tempts you on arrival. The menu extends to a full carte with lobster, elephant clam, bamboo clam, Dungeness crab, prawns, shell items. The pumpkin crab features the sweet and refined earthy flavor of pumpkin all umami thick, and orangey-yellow creamy, accented with tender crab meat. Second best is the stir fried crab with salted egg where the salted egg creates a lovely golden crust  – crisp and rich.

Whether you’re craving a simple clam  or an ornate plate of crabs, this is one of the better seafood restaurants in Singapore. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 23, 2016

Restoran Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur…huge disappointment

Restoran Stadium Negara was originally situated near the national stadium – hence its name, but has since relocated to its present location in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

Though famous for its steamboat, I wanted to try their other offerings and ended up having my appreciation of Tze Char food being dulled by this  “average” eatery serving culinary disasters. The hokkien style noodle is not hokkien mee without lard. Only then did I find out that this is a halal restaurant. The sweet sour crab was bursting with the flavour of wam Kuala Lumpur tap water. It was neither sweet nor sour  and the accompanying buns were too hard and not hot. The BBQ chicken wing and BBQ sotong were pretty ordinary.The steam prawns turns out to be among the only edible charm at this place.

I really do not like Restoran Stadium Negara. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 11, 2016

Tsunami Village, Penang…Nothing on the menu would drag me in again

Dining out at a waterfront restaurant is all about simple pleasures. But not just any table will do — the food, after all, has to live up to the setting.

Here, the baked lobster with cheese, crab salted egg and prawn wine are more like upscale pub grub. It is good in the way seafood is good – but it lacks complexity, sophistication and the wow ­factor. The others are a mixed bag. The clam kam heong’s sambal was nice but the clams were so small, they might as well serve a couple of magnifying glass with the dish. The fried chai tak with garlic was so-so while the fried mix ho fun and mee hoon was the only well-executed dish.

Nothing on the menu at Tsunami Village would drag me in again to pay with my own money. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 13, 2016

Addiction Aquatic Development, Taipei…not pilgrimage-worthy

Is the experience is actually worth the money? It’s questionable. If you are looking for fresh and good quality rather than value for money, go for it.

The restaurant makes it a point to emphasize the freshness of the seafood. That’s the good news.

The bad news is I had a less-than-stellar experience at the bizzarely-named Addiciton Aquatic Development. Despite its very passionate reviews, the seafood tends to fall somewhere between bland and unremarkable.  None of this freshness matters much. The final bill was hefty and I was still hungry and highly disappointed. Frankly, I have trouble understanding what the fuss is all about.

Sometimes, the chorus of public opinion isn’t a good thing. I was unimpressed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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