PEr FYI

July 5, 2020

Sky Premium, Singapore…It will be tough to eat other melons after having tasted a Crown Melon, believe me!

Believe it or not, there are celebrities who have the heart of gold. Bless Allan Wu and his big heart. He has done a lot of nice things for his fans but sending me a Harvest of the Season Fruits from Sky Premium during the Great Lockdown was a crazy sweet gesture. Although he definitely didn’t have to, this act of kindness, compassion and generosity was adorable.

The box was stuffed with exotic treats and taste sensations. It’s a relief to be presented with a hamper full of goodies that aren’t bad for you. If you rate quality over quantity, then this fruits-only bundle is spot on. The crown muskmelon from Shizuoka and the small water melon from Gunma were my favourites. The crown melon is definitely different from other melon, from the scent of it to the texture of it. The flesh of the crown melon was just perfect with a fine smooth grain, juices bursting out but with just the perfect firmness!

It will be tough to eat other melons after having tasted a Crown Melon, believe me! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 4, 2020

Putu Piring Melaka…it’s darn good, but the queue is ridiculous

I’d never seen anything like it. This place is a takeaway, but the queue it attracts is impressive by any standards. The queue stretched out of this compact shop door but this queue is for a good reason.

Putu piring for the unacquainted is steamed rice cakes with melted palm sugar or gula melaka and topped with coconut shavings. Portions of gula Melaka are very generous, and there’s no lovelier sight than a table piled high these putu pirings. Fluffily soft, packed with flavour and super-yummy, it’s no surprise that this Tengkera venue draws a crowd.

OK, the the putu piring is pretty darn good, but the queue is ridiculous. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 21, 2020

Le Petit Chef, Singapore…Eating out just got a futuristic makeover

Eating out just got a futuristic makeover.

Diners take their place with a blank book is placed in front of them. Though nothing is written there, we follow the adventures of a tiny chef – an augmented reality thumbsize Frenchman character – as he embarks on a journey from Marseilles to Arabia, India, the Himalayas and China. Of all the dishes, only dessert sees the Frenchman ‘preparing the meal’. He pulls up all the spices and ingredients to whip up one final sweet treat. He does expense all effort, laboriously hauling the weight of stirring-spoons and the ingredients.

Is the experience worth it? It’s not cheap and with the food was a mix of hits and misses, so it would have been worth it only if you’re deep-pocketed enough and the entire meal was as fun to watch as the dessert. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 20, 2020

Ho Kow Hainam Kopitiam, Kuala Lumpur…classic old-school

Once inside it’s impossible not to smile – especially for a diner of a certain age. This joint  feels – not only right at home in its Chinatown neighbourhood but it even evokes warm nostalgia for the era of Charlie’s Angels and disco.

Have you, erm, heard of half boiled egg curry banjir toast? No? The entire toast crowned with the soft-boiled egg is flooded with curry. If your toast and egg obsession is level 99, this will be the most exciting thing you’ve for a long, long time. The only question is this: how much exercise are you willing to do after consuming this?

Even though I will never become a “regular”, I’ll definitely return. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 14, 2020

Merci Marcel, Singapore…look good but needs to taste better

Merci Marcel brings a bit of Paris to this corner of Singapore. The space is light and airy; plants give it a ‘conservatory’ feel. Staff are on point, but equally laid back; diners are immediately disarmed and relaxed.

When it comes to eating, though, the French toast fails to excite with its plain and dry slices of brioche. There is none of the France-iness of real French toast. Still, I’m having a good time. The eggs benedict is thankfully a saving grace.

Style clearly reigns over substance. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 13, 2020

Seri Erra Roti John, Melaka…If you’re going to get one thing in Melaka, get this

Seri Erra isn’t doing anything extreme with their omelette sandwiches, they’re just doing them extremely well.

The best way to describe Seri Erra’s Roti John Special is to say that they are main courses between bread. Imagine sardine, onion, lettuce in egg batter seasoned with Nyonya spices topped with thousand Island dressing on a plate. Looks beautiful right? Now put it between two slices of crispy-crusted bun, lift it up, and shove it in your mouth. It tastes amazing. If you’re looking to change it up, try Roti John Special Cheese as well. Remember the first time you used an iPhone and you were all like “wow this thing has changed the game”. This is like that with this Roti John.

See that photo below that title and tell me you don’t want to try one. That’s what I thought. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 6, 2020

Tropique, Johor Bahru…Don’t thank me, just don’t go there

I’m often a little nervous when visiting fashionable restaurants, but Tropique didn’t disappoint. The whole lunch was a complete fiasco. Which is why it’s my job, no, it’s my duty, to tell you this is where you shouldn’t be wasting your money or special occasion on.

You’d better have something in the fridge at home, because the likelihood of your food not being served at all is very high. Of our three orders, only two were served. To compound our annoyance, none of the staff were apologetic about it. The less said about the food, the better. Without labouring about price, it was extortionate.

Don’t thank me, just don’t go there. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 30, 2020

Kinotoya Bake, Sapporo…what’s not to like?

Kinotoya Bake cheese tarts ranks among Hokkaido’s most iconic foods, on par with Sapporo Beer, soup curry and milk and ice cream.

Kinotoya Bake cheese tart is what makes it “Hokkaido-style,” specifically, instead of, any one of the thousands of cheese tarts eaten all over the world. The tried-and-true recipe calls for a firm, crunchy, buttery tart shell to nestle the sweet, salty, cheese mousse-like cream cheese core. It  tastes more like an angel food than a traditional cheese tart (despite its use of cream cheese). Nevertheless, it’s one of the better dessert options in Hokkaido.

And — if you eat too much of it — it’s a pretty satisfying way to get a tummy ache. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 24, 2020

Flying wanton mee, Petaling Jaya…hawker or showman?

Since the emergence of hawkers in the 19th century, the role of the cook has not changed. For the most part they toiled entirely comfortable in their anonymity. Today however, successful hawkers are entrepreneurs, budding scientists and showman.

A humble plate of wanton noodle is deemed too plain and unsurprising to command a place here in Seapark and so the hawker makes simplicity shine – the gravity-defying bundle of noodles tossed two storeys high and deftly caught it in his sieve. He then transferred the noodles to a bowl, ladled a good helping of lard and shallot oil as well as dark sauce over the springy strands, and gave them a good mix. Apparently, the science behind it is the higher you toss, the more hot water gets dispersed. So when you mix the noodles into the gravy, they absorb better, the overall taste doesn’t feel watered down.

The definition is flying noodles is no longer those they serve you on board a flight anymore. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 23, 2020

Gram café and pancake, Singapore…the wait can be compared to purgatory

Who doesn’t love a pancake?

Gram’s Japanese soufflé pancakes are a fast-growing food trend on Instagram. In addition to their attractive, springy texture and sweet toppings, there seems to be a third factor in their social media success: a long line. If purgatory for foodies exists, then this is what it feels like. The food-obsessed want to taste what’s at the end of it, and posting a photo of the experience is proof that they did. It’s easy to see why: the buttermilk beauties served here are light and lovely, yet satisfyingly eggy. In short: flipping perfect.

And be warned: whether you have waited hours, weeks or months to try these pancakes, they  are unlikely to stay on your plate for more than a minute. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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