PEr FYI

July 13, 2019

Pink Fish, Singapore…why bother?

Salmon burgers are one of those foods that always seem like they should taste better than they do. This leads to a feeling of disappointment like I had when watching the first few episodes of Netflix’s Iron Fist.

To be straightforward with you, my opinion on the burger is it was boring and it boils down to the salmon. Don’t get me wrong. I love salmon. But in a burger the meat feels so mashed and pressed together to the point that it tasted mushy. It lacks the tight, springy texture of beef patty. Once I got through that, on its own it just tasted boring.

There was nothing delicious or memorable about it, and that’s essential in any burger. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 16, 2019

Habitat by Honestbee, Singapore…the future of dining – for better or for worse

Singapore’s food and beverage scene has entered a new era of hitech gizmos and geekery that’s about to revolutionise dining out. Habitat is a beautiful sight to behold. Menu-wise it’s a moderately predictable but decently executed list of dependable pan-Asian and western dishes. Technology-wise, it’s remarkably unique.

Your entire journey in the restaurant is fully machine-automated. You place your orders through your mobile phones. You will be notified via the app once your food is ready. Then, just collect your food and enjoy!

You’ll find the char siew noodles at Char checks all the boxes (look at it in all its saucy glory). The Tiger Beer Battered Fish & Chips – Haddock is further reasons to be cheerful – delicate golden batter, succulent fish, breaking the surface was like piercing the lid on a perfect crème brûlée. The Little Neck Clams And Bacon Linguine is a very classic one, too. Bacon and pasta, I mean, do I really need to go into it? Let’s just say this little bowl of delicious can make you happy. Poofy Pancakes – a trio of large, fluffy soft, pillowy gluten-free pancakes is a thumbs up. I leave feeling giddy, as if I have spent the afternoon inhaling candyfloss.

In addition to dining, it is also the convenience store of the future. No lines, no cash registers, and no checking out. You just grab what you want, and you … go. It will not be long before the hypermarkets wake up one day and wonder what it in the hell it was that hit them.

It’s probably the future of retail and dining. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 1, 2019

Remboelan, Jakarta…You should order the entire menu

It’s worth noting that the room is packed: with Instagram-happy food tourists, certainly, but also with toddler-towing families and middle-aged midtown couples. Remboelan nails the palm sugar sweets, the clove, ginger and turmeric depths, and the  spice-stoked endorphin highs that make good Indonesian eating.

The ikan gurami sos manga muda nyamleng (deep fried gourami fillet fish topped with shredded young mango, house pickles and house sweet and sour special sauce) is all kinds of brilliant. It is easily the best single Indonesian dish I’ve eaten in over a year. The mie rebus persisiran (house special chicken noodle with special gravy sauce, served with pickles and prawn crackers) is perfectly satisfying all on its own. Even better is the nasi bakar cumi gurih (delicacy from Remboelan. Grilled lemongrass fragrant rice stuffed with “salty baby squid”, stinky bean and chilli). Order many, many portions. Trust me. Then, just when you think the food can’t get any more exciting, along come the soto koya lamongan (shredded chicken, bean sprout, egg and combined in house special chicken with koya powder, “sambal cuka.”

Come with several mates and order pretty much everything. I say pretty much: that’s just like my kind of dinner party. 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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April 29, 2018

Udom Seafood Rama9, Bangkok…a hidden gem

There’s no shortage of great gourmet experiences in Bangkok, but some of the best foodie finds are tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s busiest streets. If you’re looking for a cosy little restaurant which offers tasty local flavors, then head over to Udom Seafood Rama9.

The grilled squids were cooked to perfection. We literally cleaned our plates and no leftovers to take home. The tom yum goong (hot and sour shrimp soup) has that spicy kick and even the humble stir fried cayote shoots with oyster sauce was extremely satisfying. The deep fried fish with garlic was amazingly good and very crispy. It’s a huge hit, even by my picky standards.

I feel like its a hidden gem so don’t tell too many people. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 10, 2018

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London…100% worth a visit

If you are already planning your year end holidays, here’s how you can make your Christmas extra special and magical.

If you fancy some festive atmosphere, Winter Wonderland is an annual event in London’s Hyde park with fairground rides, Christmas stalls, markets and entertainment for all ages. Entry is free. This is truly a wonderful wonderland thanks to the sheer volume of what’s on offer. There are pre-bookable attractions that you can book online.

Wrap up warm for The Magical Ice Kingdom as it’s -8C in there! Last year the Magical Ice Kingdom presents an ‘Deep Sea Adventure’ – an immersive walk through experience filled with ice, snow sculptures and a bubble wall. Bar Ice is next to the Magical Ice Kingdom and this time it’s about -10C. Here, you’ll be given a winter cloak and gloves. That’s because the seats, tables, walls and even your glass are made of ice.

As it gets really dark the whole place seems to shimmer with light and it does indeed feel very festive. The food on offer looked tempting – including the usual bratwurst and German beer, to fish and chips, hog roast, minced pies and mulled wine.

They’ve got every kind of ride imaginable… Christmas coasters, carousels, waltzers and dodgems. They’ve got a Fun House which is four storeys tall! The Haunted Mansion is actually a mansion. Of all the thrill rides, highlight for me was Air Maxx. G’s all the way. My inner adrenalin junkie was truly satiated.

The Grinch would have a real challenge stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 9, 2017

Atlantic Fish Co, Boston…(not) the best in Boston

When it comes to lobsters, Boston leads the way. Now for the hard part.  Who has the best lobster in Boston?

A Boston staple, Atlantic Fish Company is an upscale seafood centric restaurant that focuses on traditional preparations.

No prizes for guessing the main attraction – it’s all about the lobster. I enjoyed the lobster, corn on the cob, potatoes 1/4 lbs and have never felt happier. A well-matched accompaniment is the award winning new England clam chowder cup. Overall, this was a good find. It’s still better than most seafood restaurants I’ve tried in the USA but I don’t think it’s the best in Boston.

The way I see it as a layman, a steamed or boiled lobster is not some fine art of cooking.  Even my seven-year-old niece can cook you up a great steamed lobster.  All you are doing is dropping the poor bastard(s) in a pot of water for about ten minutes and that is it.

Unless it is some crazy lobster pie dish, then it doesn’t really matter where you get it if you just want it steamed or boiled. 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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January 22, 2017

Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, London…unfussy place serving decent seafood

“Seafood shack”. Not “seafood restaurant” nor “seafood café”. And true to their name, it was a simple setting with a village seaside atmosphere right smack in the back streets of the West End.

The food was decent -good ingredients, well cooked – the service warm, if a little slow. The Inverawe oak smoked salmon, crispy capers, horseradish cream, croutons was passable. The whole looe lemon sole almondine, wile Hayle mussels, samphire, capers, almonds was so-so and I find hard to get excited about.

It’s not bad. I had a moderate time. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 3, 2016

Sea Shell of Lisson Grove, London…from legend to myth

London just wouldn’t be London without a helping of fish and chips.

Sadly, I never expect to have an order of cod and chips as sad as the one served to me at Sea Shell of Lisson Grove. Certainly not at this London restaurant dedicated to fish and chips. Many years ago, on my first visit here, the hunk of cod had an unbelievably crispy exterior. The flaky insides are just as moist as you could ever want and the fries were among the best you’ll find. On my recent visit, though, it’s now the overly greasy, chewy gut bombs you’ll find at a lot of beachside eateries. The fries are unspectacular, limp and without life.

Sea Shell of Lisson Grove has just gone from London legend to London myth. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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