PEr FYI

October 14, 2017

Gu Yi Wan, Shanghai…comforting, delicious and cheap

Shanghai’s Chinese food scene is a diverse beast. This tiny Gu Yi Wan does a lot of things well but I’m all over it just for its modest braise in soy sauce beef noodle. It is rich and restorative in texture and taste, a kind of mental health food. Apart of that, other worthy mentions are their wantons, shaomai and shaobing

The restaurant is both the simplest and most marvelous of discoveries in a city that is filled with gastronomic delights. Trust me: you need to try it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 8, 2017

Gordhan Thal, Ahmedabad…. U.N.L.I.M.I.T.E.D. .T.H.A.L.I

Gujarati thali, a vegetarian assortment native to the western state of Gujarat, is a round tray covered with dishes. The dishes’ names thrillingly alien to me and half the time I’ve no idea what they are. Jainism in Gujarat means that the state is mostly vegetarian. If you are a meat lover don’t let the evil veg word scare you as the dishes are incredibly flavourful.

The flavours were compelling and unfamiliar. Some of them, on first bite, seemed a bit blah: and your taste buds need to acclimatize.

I got the very real sense that I am enjoying the hospitality of talented Gujarati home cooks, without needing to be invited into actual Gujarati homes. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 7, 2017

Au Bon Pain, Boston…nothing to be impressed about. The end.

All the epicurean comforts we crave on frigid days: steaming soups, mac and cheese, hot paninis, and more.

2 eggs & cheddar on plain bagel, with hard-wood smoked bacon was adequate and decent. To go with that, I had the morning blend coffee, medium roast, smooth flavored blend of Costa Rican beans. 100% Arabica. The person who took my order looked really angry at the world. Dining area looks pretty clean and there’s also a nice patio.

Nothing to be impressed about. The end. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 1, 2017

ChaTraMue, Bangkok…Thailicious tea

Who said non-alcoholic drinks are safe? It’s 2:00pm in Bangkok and I’m sucking down Thai tea without regard for the diabetic onslaught that will follow. May my blood sugar levels be damned.

Thai iced tea is one of the first things people fall in love with when dining at a typical Thai restaurant. This tea is bright orange. It will look like you took a handful of carrots and threw them in a blender with some water. Cha TraMue has outlets and kiosks all over Bangkok. An array of flavours, they also have the option of adding tapioca pearls…just like bubble tea. The tea flavours really stand out and not as sweet as most other Thai tea.

So delicious and sooooooooo worth it! #Addicted #ThaiTea. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 30, 2017

The Coconut Club, Singapore…terrible waste of time and money

As you may make out of the title of this post, The Coconut Club isn´t good – or rather a terrible waste of money and everybody´s time. They’ve put effort into the décor. Obviously you know it’s going to be nose-bleedingly expensive. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be good.

A plate of nasi lemak with coconut rice, chicken leg, ikan bilis, peanuts, cucumber, fried egg and sambal set me back SGD12.80. And this was before adding on the otak-otak which was another SGD10.50. Sorely lacking were the things that make nasi lemak great: the flavour and fragrance. This is a restaurant predicated on one idea: that a single really expensive ingredient – specially brought in from Malaysia – will make your life better.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it won’t. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 23, 2017

EN Washoku-sake, Tokyo…pork is the thing

Tonkatsu is one of the most popular meat dishes in Japan although a dish like deep-fried pork may not seem to fit the Japanese reputation for clean, healthful foods.

Mugifuji-pork cutlet dish which comes with three kinds of small dishes, salad, rice, pickles and miso soup. The cutlet is crispy, incredibly light, not oily and absolutely appetising

There might be better examples of classic pork katsu around town.  But if you want to experience the bustling intimacy of a populist Tokyo meal, then this is the place for you. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 16, 2017

Fa So La Tax free Akihabara, Tokyo…top stop to shop for Japanese specialties

Few globetrotters set off for an overseas trip without a shopping list either for themselves or usually for friends, family and work colleagues.

Tokyo Banana is probably the most common snack most people will buy back from Japan. Choose either the banana caramel or strawberry cake. Royce, Kit Kats, Matcha cookies, the lot. Let’s not forget Calbee Jaga Pokkuru, the combination of french fries and potato chips, but much much better!

But where to buy?

Many frequent flyers to Tokyo will agree with me that Fa So La Tax free Akihabara remains one of the favourite airport shops when it comes to sheer availability of all the Japanese specialties under one roof. Moreover, with the short expiry dates on those Tokyo Bananas, it’s best to grab them last minute at the airport on the way out of the country.

stop by if you didn’t have a chance to stop by the electronics area, Akihabara in Tokyo or if you’re looking for TOKYO BANANA! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 10, 2017

All Day Fresh Kitchen, Seoul… exceptional panoramas but food fairly forgettable

The view from All Day Fresh Kitchen is mesmerising. That’s if you get a window table, of course; diners within the restaurant’s interior will see little but open sky.

As for the menu, it’s  competent rather than exciting. I had the Han-U Sirloin Steak – sirloin steak, eggplant, baby carrot, garlic, sunchoke, shitake mushroom. I thought the food fairly forgettable; more safe than interesting

However, one caveat is that with terrific view, this place doesn’t offer tremendous value for money. 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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September 2, 2017

Machida Shoten, Singapore…this ramen is a joke

No one ever makes good decisions on an empty stomach, which explains why a lot about my dinner here. If Machida Shoten has something actually worth eating, I’d honestly like to know what it is. I’m sorry to report that the ramen here was absolutely dreadful.

The soup was exceptionally bland, it might as well have been boiled water. The soft, limp noodles, forgettable egg and a light scattering of spring onions did little to cheer me up. You’d have to be a very drunk clubber to even consider eating this bowl of meh. I didn’t want to waste my money by refusing to eat it. In retrospect, I wish I had.

Nevertheless, I hope this restaurant stays open long enough to be featured on the next series of Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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