PEr FYI

December 10, 2017

El Nacional, Barcelona…ambience and garlic prawns alone makes the visit worthwhile

Tapas is undoubtedly the best kind of food. You get to sample loads of dishes and share the experience with friends.

Once a car park, El Nacional is now an open-concept, gorgeous space ” restaurant emporium” that houses four restaurants and three bars. A unique atmosphere, the setting alone makes the visit worthwhile. Needless to say, we tried La Taperia, the tapas restaurant.

The small plates here are boldly flavored and actually portioned to share. Paletilla Iberica de Bellota (Acorn-fed Iberian shoulder ham) was top notch. Even better was Calamares a la Andaluza (Squids Andalusian-style). Navajas a la Donostiarra (razor clams, San Sebastian style) is another mouth-watering dish. Heuvos estrellados con jamon Iberico (fried eggs with Iberian ham) was executed with flair. An ordinary-sounding offering of Gambitas de Huelva fritas (Fried little shrimps from Huelva) was an unexpected success. Other great dishes to try are Pan de coca con tomate, aceite y sal (flat bread with tomato, oil and salt), Bomba de la Barceloneta (Barceloneta bomb), Croquetas de jamon Iberico (Iberian ham croquettes), The classic Spanish tapas dish – Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic prawns) was the dish of the meal. Pink, deliciously plump prawns covered in glossy garlic oil. We order a second plate immediately.

Those who live locally are lucky, others should be willing to travel. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 9, 2017

Bebek Tepi Sawah, Bali…Anything to avoid? walking in to start with.

I probably won’t make any friends saying so but I’m struggling to think of a reason why anyone would want to eat here.

Bebek Tepi Sawah is decent enough if you’re high or 12 years old. The whole menu here is almost entirely centred around the humble duck. The duck which was supposed to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside was anything but. The soup was as plain as plain water can be. Just not worth it.

Psst…tourists: You can get better dish in Bali elsewhere. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 3, 2017

Coffee Beans by Dao, Bangkok…you’re in the right place

Okay people. You know how you’re always asking about trendy places to eat? You know who you are. Well, Coffee Beans by Dao is for you.

The scene in the restaurant could have been choreographed by Vogue. They do a delicious fried noodle shrimp + crab meat in yellow curry egg sauce. Don’t make the mistake I did…leaving without trying their dessert. This place built its reputation on its extensive desserts…..from their supposedly delicious cheesecakes to doughnuts.

Pull up a chair and people watch – an afternoon well-spent. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 26, 2017

Hefu Noodles, Shanghai…you just have to turn up and slurp

There’s nothing finer for a light lunch than a bowl of noodles and delicious broth. Paired with a cold glass of flavored tea, you simply can’t go wrong.

If you’re looking for flavorful and tender beef noodles, look no further than Hefu noodles. Opt for the rich flavor and creamy textured Hefu noodles with crab oil & cattle rib. Wash it down with an incredible cup of delightful blend peach flower and fruit tea.

You just have to turn up and slurp. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 25, 2017

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, Singapore…A solid “C”

It continues to amaze me how upscale Changi Airport has become. The Austrian-born Wolfgang Puck is probably one of the most famous chef in world.  Wolfgang’s name carries a lot of weight so I went into The Kitchen in Terminal 3 with high expectations.

Nothing was really terrible about the food, but nothing too great. I would recommend the pizza!  But that’s about it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 19, 2017

Nasi Lemak Bumbung, Petaling Jaya… it’s never short of utterly delicious

If you’re food-obsessed but don’t have the disposable income for Kuala Lumpur’s top end restaurants, you want to pay nasi lemak bumbung a mealtime visit. It is truly a cheap eat of an exceptional standard. You can tell, with every mouthful.

Nasi Lemak Bumbung is an odd name because the stall does not have a roof (bumbung) over it. It is hidden in a narrow alley.

The combination of coconut rice, crispy anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, egg and spiced fried chicken (ayam goreng berempah) hits all the right spots of flavour and texture. These were doused in an incredibly shrimpy sambal that I couldn’t get enough of—the funkiest, most powerful flavors of the meal. And all for less than ten ringgit.

A billion times better than plane food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 18, 2017

Som Tam, Bangkok…possibly the best fried chicken wings I’ve ever had in my life

It was named Bangkok’s best som tam restaurant by CNN Travel. That was good enough reason for me to visit.

Of course I had the healthy and low-cost somtam with dried shrimp and peanuts. Papaya salad – or som tam – is a mainstay of Thai cuisine. It was a blend of savory umami, sweet, spicy, and tart. However, like the pork shoulder BBQ and hot and spicy crispy nil fish, there were ordinarily average.

Don’t miss the fried chicken – deep fried chicken wings to be precise – which triumphs over the som tam. Absolutely loved the lightly battered wonderfully crispy and succulent wings showered with a generous heap of fried garlic. They were possibly the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life. To be sure, I devoured a second basketful.

The food may not be worthy of going out of your way to visit, but if you are in the area,  fairly fast service, a basic but cozy décor, reasonable prices and addictive deep fried chicken wings are good reasons to pop in. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 5, 2017

Oyster Bar Restaurant, New York…Manhattan clam chowder hits all the right notes

Grand Central Station isn’t in the greatest food neighborhood, but there’s a spot worthy of mention. The century-old Oyster Bar Restaurant is where you’ll get the best atmosphere, not to mention the best views of oyster after oyster being shucked at impressive speed.

There are dozens of oyster varieties line its epic menu. I picked out the roasted Bluepoint oysters with grilled pineapple-citrus-ginger butter to go with my grilled shrimp with garlic herb butter and coconut rice. The BIG reason, though to go to Oyster Bar Restaurant is for their zesty Manhattan clam chowder. This distinguishable red-colored broth is a great change of pace from the creamy New England version. With its base of stock and tomatoes, it’s lighter, a bit healthier and loaded with flavor. It hits all the right notes.

The service can be downright awful. Want that wedge of lemon you asked for 20 minutes ago? You’ll have better luck flagging a cab during a rush hour rainstorm. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 4, 2017

Old Hong Kong Kitchen, Singapore…deeply unlovable

Old Hong Kong Kitchen owners, have you eaten at your restaurant in Novena Square 2? Did you eat the dim sum? Did it live up to your expectations? When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, voted top 5 dim sum restaurants in Singapore, were you just messing with our heads? How did the rest of the food turn out so deeply unlovable? Does this make it sound as if everything at Old Hong Kong Kitchen is inedible? I didn’t say that, did I?

The siew mai – forget it. The fried stuff were oil-soaked yet not very crispy. I don’t know how this place survives. I don’t care about the decor, I want my food. The prices were too expensive for what it was.

This restaurant has probably the worst dim sum I have ever eaten in Singapore. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 29, 2017

Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub, Seoul…fruit makgeolli madness paired with flavor-bursting food

I’ve read that makgeolli is a growing trend among the youth in Asia and I can see why. This fragrant milky goodness or “rice wine”, is sweet and smooth with a little tang and the right amount of carbonation to make it refreshing.

Neurin Maeul is an urban brew pub in Jongno Center One Building with an in-house brewery that you can examine through its plate-glass walls. A pub run by one of the country’s top brewers, you will find food and drinks for you to “enjoy slowly”.

The pan fried Korean style seafood pancake was incredible. It had a nice crisp all throughout. The seafood was anything but sparse and retained the perfect texture, without being overcooked or rubbery. Spicy seafood tteok-bok-ki with cheese is one of the hardest to spell Korean street foods but if you’re a tteokbokki fan the chewy rice cakes and fiery chili paste here are impossible to put down. The brewery’s pork plate marinated in house makgeolli was stunning. The meat was amazingly tender and seasoned perfectly. The assorted savory fishcake soup was refreshing, tasty and so comforting.

Needless to say, the main draw of Neurin Maeul is that it offers a wide range of makgeollis flavoured with fruits. You can get out of there nicely drunk and feeling very satiated with the good food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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