PEr FYI

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…

va fung macau2

va fung macau1

 

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…

myeongdong-kyoja-2

myeongdong-kyoja-1

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…

av-gyoza-sin

October 29, 2016

Tanjong Rhu Pau, Singapore…unequivocally delicious siu mai and near perfect pork bao

Pau or bao are probably the friendliest-looking food on earth. They are like faces made out of marshmallow; little smiley Michelin Men of deliciousness. How could you not want to stuff these little guys into your face?

At Tanjong Rhu Pau, there are plenty of hit offerings such as the tua bao (big pork buns), siu mai (shaomai)  and lo mai kai which are all near perfect. Steamed to perfection, the tua bao’s (big pork buns) fluffy white cloud-like pillowy softness give way, in this case to the flavoursome braised pork. The siu mai are most definitely a standout. These carefully assembled beauties are exceptionally tasty. Heaven.

Pau? Bao? Wow. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

tg-rhu-sin

June 25, 2016

Gyoza-Ya, Singapore…Gyozas softer than your lover’s thighs

Gyozas are the best quintessential comfort food; they are packages of joy in each bite, and generally inexpensive. They are usually a sideshow at most Japanese eateries. But over at Gyoza -Ya, these doughy half-moons have been turned into the main event.

As you would expect from the restaurant’s name, there’s a decent list of gyoza – pork, vegetable, crab, prawn. The pan-fried beauties here are delightfully plump, succulent, and juicy. Their edges seared to crisp filigrees, their seasoned interiors dense and my fav, the pork ones are pork-heavy. Service is swift and super friendly and the menu un-intimidating. Bottom line? Gyoza-Ya doesn’t serve up haute cuisine, but it does make for a pleasant spot in which to indulge in a not so- light lunch or dinner, at wallet pleasing prices.

They are (to borrow a description) “softer than your lover’s thighs” and yet I won’t want to share them with my lover. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

gyoza sin

December 6, 2015

Lot 10 Hutong Food Gallery, The Shore, Melaka…my most expensive food court meal of the year

Lot 10 Hutong Food Gallery is a food court which comprises different well-known food stalls. This Melaka outpost of the famed Kuala Lumpur eatery is a major dud. The prices are unconscionable. They are ludicrous, a poke in the eye from a chopstick dipped in salty Korean chilli sauce.

Here’s the chronicles of a lunch gone very wrong. The “thick and bland” Xiao long bao and har kow which flavour is akin to that of an overcooked McDonald’s chicken nuggets. The cost of the micro-mini siew mai, har kow and Xiao long bao is RM25. Meanwhile the very sour glass of RM10.50 apple juice would be a find…in a vending machine. This very expensive glass of apple juice has the honour of being the worst thing I have put in my mouth since the incident with the washing liquid when I was seven.

This food court is only affordable if you wear underwear lined in baby panda fur on a daily basis. Ultimately, this place is just “terribly, terribly sad”, “wallet-lightening” and a new kill-me-now low. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

lot 10 hutong melaka 1

April 25, 2015

Happy Fortune Chinese Restaurant, New York City…a decent hole in the wall Chinese place

I’ve never tried Chinese food in New York…..until now. The entrance is a bit dingy with poster board notices and doesn’t look very inviting at all but this is a decent hole in the wall Chinese place.

Looking around, I guess hot pot must be a big deal here but we ordered dishes from the ala carte menu. The steamed pork juicy buns (8) siow long bao have plenty of flavourful soup inside and has a soft skin wrapping it. Some places have a thicker skin but this is not the case here. The roast duck with hand pulled noodle was pretty good but the roast duck, which was served in the bowl of noodle soup was soggy. Despite its name the pached seafood (fish, shrimp, squid) in chillli broth was not spicy at all. They gave a generous slick of chilli oil instead of adding chili into the broth. The interestingly named mixed seafood on fried rice turned out to be sweet and sour sauce on one half of the fried rice and hor fun gravy on the other. Gravy is more than just a condiment; it’s liquid comfort and this is in interesting dish.

The kitchen does gets things wrong, but when it’s on song – the food is fairly delicious.  This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

chinese ny

March 1, 2015

Goubuli, Tianjin….not the best dumplings I have tried

Goubuli Baozi (also known as Go Believe) was a hit during the Empress Dowager Cixi era in the Qing Dynasty.  Certainly a good sign when you walk in, a majority of the people eating here are locals. Maybe the buns were exceptional back then but it’s not the best dumplings I have tried although it will satisfy my dumpling craving.

The famous and soft baozi – traditional steamed bun with pork stuffing- which looks like a chrysanthemum (each Goubuli bun has eighteen wrinkles) in bud had good texture and were quite flavourful. The other dishes such as steamed bun with shrimp and fragrant-flowered garlic and braised pork seasoned with soy sauce were a bit flavourful but otherwise average.

The food were a decent portion and I was certainly not hungry afterward. But the truth is, these dumplings were really nothing special. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

goubuli tianjin

October 12, 2014

Yang’s dumpling, Shanghai…Awesome crispy outsides with VERY juicy insides shrimp soup dumplings

The hot, steaming dumplings filled with a juicy soup and shrimp-filled center, complete with a perfectly crunchy wok-seared bottom here are a winner. Spot on every time, even takeaway. 48 hours later, I went back for more. I would have never discovered this little gem if not for Aggie, the front office associate who checked me into JW Marriott Shanghai Tomorrow Square.

My first impression of Yang’s Dumpling (known locally as Xiao Yang Sheng Jian) was how nice and clean this establishment is…no funky odors or dirty smells from unsanitary conditions found in some Chinese restaurants. You get to watch a bloke pan-frying the sheng jian baos in a HUGE pan right in front of you. They come out fresh and piping hot!  The MAIN point of why this type of dumpling is so good is because it has broth inside them. This place fries the outside perfectly and you can see the burnt yumminess on the bottom of the dumpling. I don’t know how they got it so perfect but it’s very crunchy on the bottom, a little crispy on the sides, and soft steamed dumpling goodness on top. Inside is shrimp with soup. It’s amazing. Seriously. In addition to the shrimp dumplings, I had a bowl of mung bean noodle and spare rib soup. The tasty spare rib was so large an chunky you’d think it was Godzilla’s. The noodle was too stretchy and not my kind of thing.

Come back? Hell yeah. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

yang's dumpling shanghai

yang's dumpling shanghai 2

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