PEr FYI

February 19, 2018

Oink, Edinburgh…Insanely cheap and lip-smackingly delicious

If pork is not your meal of choice, then Oink is not for you. If you are a “gourmet”, go for these hog roasts. And if you simply like good food, run to Oink and buy a couple of pulled pork roast rolls! Oink, as its name suggests serves only one thing and that’s pork.

There is only two choices on the menu – a roll stuffed with slow roast pork with / without crackling ! These tasty treats come in three sizes : Piglet (80 gms of meat), Oink (160 gms of meat) and Grunter (250 gms of meat). Oink size was just right for me. The pig is salted and tray-roasted, to retain its juices, and then shredded and served on bread rolls and customers can add a selection of toppings including sage and onion stuffing, apple sauce and chilli relish. The bread rolls are cheap, flimsy things, but you get a generous mound of quite majestic meat.

Simplicity itself, this. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 18, 2018

La Petite, Singapore…a laid-back neighborhood gem

La Petite is Singapore’s affordable, approachable, laid-back French restaurant.

The sauce in the escargots (6 pcs) with croissant and salad is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves.

In this age of Intagram, it might come as a surprise, then, that the most brilliant dish at La Petite is also the downright ugliest. To roll out a cliché: Looks aren’t everything. I had the Confit de canard w/gratin potato. Damn, it’s a good dish, both thrillingly new and comfortingly traditional.

La Petite doesn’t blow you away in in the same way that other spots like Les Amis do, nor does it intend to. It’s an assured, steady-handed restaurant. Tres bon, La Petite, tres, tres bon. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 17, 2018

Agua, Barcelona…seafood lover’s dream

Thanks to the city’s proximity to open waters, seafood has always been an important part of the Catalonian diet.

Situated directly along the boardwalk, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, not too far and a beautiful stroll along the sea with the W Hotel. The menu covers the Mediterranean basics with fresh, eclectic seafood being the specialty.

Let’s start with the one bad dish. The paella was very salty. Everything else was great. It’s as if the best of the Catalan market has been brought to your plate. Even my friend in the group, a notorious seafoodie, was overwhelmed. The sangria de cava was the star. Drinking it was smooth, light, refreshing and exhilarating. Back off, mojito!

Agua is a fantastic choice for Mediterranean seafood. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 10, 2018

Whiski Bar & Restaurant, Edinburgh…as Scottish as ye can get

Situated close to Edinburgh Castle, on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, Whiski Bar has a warm, relaxed atmosphere, with shabby chic décor and mood lighting creating the perfect environment to sample a ‘wee dram’.

The excellent food offering concentrates on the Scottish classics. Arguably, Scotland’s national food is haggis, neeps and tatties, which consists of sheep’s or calf’s offal with suet, oatmeal, and seasoning. Whiski Bar’s haggis stack with delicious whiski sauce is the best to try it for the first time. The Scottish Atlantic salmon, mash potato & lemon cream sauce is amazing and if you liked salmon you will love this.

A whisky bar for the true devotee. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 4, 2018

Restoran Siam House, Johor Bahru…Seriously delicious Thai food in a classy setting

‘Authentic’ is overused on Malaysia’s restaurant scene but Siam House in Johor Bahru has managed to do the word justice. The space is stylish and cosy with comfortable tables not too close to one another.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a while now since I last had a good Thai meal in JB. But all that has changed as I’ve discovered Siam House. The only one real struggle with Thai cuisine is that you always want to eat just about everything. Everything was so well-cooked and everything was packed with flavour. True to tradition the food is served spicy by default, so give the waiter a heads up if you want to tone down the chilli. It’s reasonably priced and the staff made it a welcoming place too, which always helps when choosing a new favourite restaurant!

It was great to finally find a quality Thai restaurant in JB that offers a little finesse and fine dining atmosphere for any occasion. Good food and excellent value for money – there’s more than one reason why I and you should be visiting Siam House very soon in the future. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 3, 2018

Wagamama, London…Just not worth it.

While Wagamama is a semi-intriguing name, the interest can stop there. This is clearly Japanese food tailored to a Western palate. Everyone love Japanese food, but the Japanese food here is really mediocre as far as I’m concerned.

And the Shirodashi ramen?  (slow cooked, seasoned pork belly on top of noodles on a rich chicken broth with dashi and miso. Topped with pea shoots, menma, spring onions, wakame and half a tea-stained egg) Well, that left much to be desired.

What to avoid: The poorly made Wagamama ramen (grilled chicken, seasoned pork, chikuwa, shell-on prawns and mussels on top of noodles in a rich chicken broth with dashi and miso. Topped with half a tea-stained egg, menma, spring onions, wakame and pea shoots) was objectively terrible. It was barely Japanese at all. And for a Japanese restaurant, what an achievement!

Why settle for middle of the road when there are other options? Just sayin’. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 28, 2018

Modern Pastry Shop, Boston…the local favourite

Want to get off the tourist trail and enjoy Boston like a local? Then do Boston like a real Bostonian.

What Modern Pastry Shop does, it does expertly. This fabulous, family-owned Italian bakery is filled with delicious sweets and treats. I was a bit overwhelmed with the choices. They have everything for everyone but the Italian pastries are the best. There was a sizable line was out the door but it does move relatively quickly so you can be in and out within 15 minutes if you head in knowing what you want. Service could be better, though.

Please note the word “Favourite”. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 20, 2018

Ko Dang Talay, Bangkok…True to traditional flavors

Many people sweat in response to eating chillies; I make like I’ve just been hosed down by the Singapore fire brigade. For the sake of doubt this is a positive review. Ko Dang Talay serves good Thai food.

The menu is home to the classic favorites. Whether you’re after mellow green curry or fiery fare, it’s all avaibale at this no-nonsense restaurant. Service can be a little matter of fact, but staff are unfailingly friendly.

Ko Dang Talay stays true to traditional flavors. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 14, 2018

Brunch & Cake, Barcelona…some of Barcelona’s prettiest dishes

Barcelona may not yet specialise in the lavish, unlimited-champagne brunches so common in places like Hong Kong and Dubai, but an increasing number of restaurants are offering innovative and intriguing brunch menus. The inventive and affordable menu at Brunch & Cake came groaning with dishes so tempting I didn’t know where to start. And crucially, the food is tongue-tinglingly delicious.

Can’t stomach another eggs Benedict? Their take on egg benedict: shrimp, poached eggs, lobster hollandaise and salad on house made black bun is an altogether more exotic experience. Spoil yourself with the house made nutella pancake, sugar free cocoa sauce, choc chip cookie and grilled banana, or for a healthier option, go for banana matcha pancakes, poached pear, banana/cacao “nicecrem”, pistachio and vegan strawberry sauce (no sugars, baked)

They’re all so enticingly and beautifully presented that choosing just one can prove unexpectedly time-consuming. 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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