PEr FYI

February 26, 2017

Restoran Ming Huat, Melaka …mee kahwin is a mash-up you don’t want to miss

Mee kahwin, crudely translated is married noodles. It is – excuse me while I use the f-word – a fusion dish. The dish may sound frighteningly exotic and confused, but the marriage of mee rebus and Indian rojak has innate cohesion.

The mee kahwin here at one of the stalls at Restaurant Ming Huat is well executed, inventive Malay cooking served with sweet, sour, salty, spicy and peanuty flavour combinations. Yellow noodles are topped with taukua (fried beancurd), hard-boiled egg, potato cubes, fresh bean sprouts, crunchy cucur udang (prawn fritters), and cut green chillies, bathed in generous ladles the lip-smacking gravy.

It’s a mash-up you don’t want to miss. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 13, 2017

Shang hai la mian Xiao long bao, Singapore…pan fried dumplings are like xiao long bao on steroids

If xiao long bao are the Rolls Royce of the dumpling world, the Toyota must be the pan fried dumplings here in Alexandra Village Food Centre. They’re usually the reason for massive queues.

Sporting a thicker, chewier wheat dough, these little vibrant bullets of pleasure with their generous filling of succulent pork, come with a healthy slick of grease from their crispy, irresistible bottoms. The filling LITERALLY explodes with pork juices, but the sturdier wrapper holds up to some serious pan-frying. Best appreciated with chilli and vinegar, they’re cheap and by default, cheerful.

Dig into these babies as soon as they arrive — it’ll be well worth the scorched tongue.This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

av-gyoza-sin

March 6, 2016

Chocolat N’Spice, Singapore…A wonderful way to start the day!

Honestly, I’m not a big muffin fan.  I don’t hate muffins, but I don’t love them either.

These coffee walnut, mocha and chocolate chip muffins at Chocolat N’Spice are rich and tender, high-rising, and deep coffee and chocolate colour respectively. Bursting with flavours with a light, airy and cakey crumb, these really are amazing.Very enjoyable with just the right amount of sweetness without being overbearing. Again, great size and not at all dry!

As it turns out, I do enjoy muffins.  Fresh Chocolat N’Spice Muffins. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

muffin sin

March 5, 2016

Eathai, Bangkok…Thai food theme park

The Marche experience awaits diners at Eathai. Chart your own course, select your meals, watch a cook prepare your food, get your card stamped, and then relax in an upscale setting.The never-ending variety of regional dishes are offered from stalls and carts so it has elements of the culture and camaraderie of street food stalls.

The noodle soup with yentafo sauce is a deep pink-orange noodle dish with an assortment of tasty toppings – chunks of pork, fish balls, fried tofu, rectangles of coagulated blood, and a big crispy chip. Yentafo sure is something different. It’s all sweet, all pink, like Hello Kitty.

I like to refer to it as a food theme park. If you are looking for a place with a nice ambience, this place is a good bet! For food that is unforgettable – this will not be the place. It was nice, but definitely not a place, where you will go on and on about the food to your friends. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 10, 2016

New Lane hawker centre, Penang…avoid this place like a leech-infested swamp

People usually don’t have high expectations from hawker centres. Hot and delicious will do.

New Lane used to be a street food paradise with concentrations of about 50 street side food vendors. USED TO BE!! By all that is holy and good in the world, I say unto you, eat anywhere else in Penang, except at New Lane. For nostalgia reason, I went there recently, and, oh my, I paid the price. The food is, simply, diabolical. It is probably the worst, most overpriced and inedible food I’ve endured in all my visits to Penang since my first trip twenty eight years ago.

The good: the congee with pigs innards was decent. But lest we get lulled into complacency, the texture of the congee was more like porridge than congee.

The bad: The char kway teow was perversely bad, chewy and insipid and completely devoid of “wok hei”- the flavour imparted by a flaming wok.

The bladdy horrible: The gummy or chien (oyster omelette) contained a lot of starch but hardly any egg and very few oysters. One spoonful of it and you realise it was probably not intended for human consumption. The viciously overcooked ikan bakar (chargrilled fish) was dry and totally inedible that I took one bite and then leave untouched.

I have to stop writing this review, my blood pressure is thru the roof just thinking about that pathetic place. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

new lane pg

 

December 31, 2015

Chipotle, Orlando…a blast of spice

I usually avoid places like Chipotle, but seeing how this fast-casual Mexican restaurant has torn like wildfire across the United States and beyond with over 1,800 locations and beyond, while McDonald’s – which sold off Chipotle – is battling declining sales and traffic, I decided to find out for myself, what the buzz is all about.

Perhaps Mexican food just isn’t one of the world’s great cuisines. I am not actually partial to burritos. The huge portion and the number of ingredients slapped together, too often irrationally, make most burritos hard slogging. This place is a mecca for those want to eat healthy because the food is cooked fresh and there are a whole bunch of vegetables! About the only thing wrong with the burrito was the firm, rubbery flour tortilla, which posed a sturdy shield. One thing I learned here is that if I ever needed to test myself to prove my masculinity, I’ll take up boxing. Definitely no obliterating hot sauces packed with naga and habaneros for me in the future.

Well, now I can say I’ve tried the fad for Mexican, but on this evidence I won’t be revising my opinion of it. Thankfully, I was spared the dreaded “Chipotle stomach.” This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 6, 2015

Lot 10 Hutong Food Gallery, The Shore, Melaka…my most expensive food court meal of the year

Lot 10 Hutong Food Gallery is a food court which comprises different well-known food stalls. This Melaka outpost of the famed Kuala Lumpur eatery is a major dud. The prices are unconscionable. They are ludicrous, a poke in the eye from a chopstick dipped in salty Korean chilli sauce.

Here’s the chronicles of a lunch gone very wrong. The “thick and bland” Xiao long bao and har kow which flavour is akin to that of an overcooked McDonald’s chicken nuggets. The cost of the micro-mini siew mai, har kow and Xiao long bao is RM25. Meanwhile the very sour glass of RM10.50 apple juice would be a find…in a vending machine. This very expensive glass of apple juice has the honour of being the worst thing I have put in my mouth since the incident with the washing liquid when I was seven.

This food court is only affordable if you wear underwear lined in baby panda fur on a daily basis. Ultimately, this place is just “terribly, terribly sad”, “wallet-lightening” and a new kill-me-now low. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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Malaysian food street, Singapore…quality has markedly declined

I loved this place when it first opened…not sure if my taste buds matured or the quality has markedly declined?

Despite its name and marketing, nothing about Malaysian Food Street, is Malaysian anymore. Lest anyone think me an unbiased observer, let me dissuade you of that notion. The whole concept of Malaysian Food Street is an affront to me. Malaysia is my country of birth and I’ll admit I’m touchier than most.

Using udon noodle makes the KL hokkien mee no longer brilliant and the Penang Prawn Noodle Soup has absolutely lost its magic. The Penang char koay teow has seen better days.

Those who remember its glory days, though, may be particularly prone to thinking it “doesn’t sparkle” nowadays. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

rws sin

June 19, 2015

Harry Ramsden, London…..the most disappointing legendary

Fish & chips. Britain’s comfort food. These are not two separate food items that happen to share a plate — they are intrinsically linked in a dance of lusty oil and crunchy desires, while a bottle of malt vinegar flirts around the edges.

It states choice of Cod or Haddock. I asked for Cod. It looked as though it had melanoma. It did not taste of Cod it tasted like they need to change the oil! The real star of the fish and chips show is the batter. One’s heart sinks a little. I wasn’t a huge fan of the batter and the chips were limp and pallid.

Harry Ramsden was the uncrowned king, his Fish & Chips were unbeatable, and since then the name has gone on to become a worldwide franchise. Oh! How the mighty has fallen. I think I’m still on the lookout for that perfectly amazing Fish & Chips in the UK. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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harry ramsden london

June 14, 2015

Soi 19, Thai Wanton Mee, Singapore…simple, plain and unassuming

Thai wanton mee is a simple dish: dumplings are made with sweet tasting pork held together by a delicate wrapper and served with springy egg noodles. I have discovered that when done right, Thai wonton mee need not be the cheap appetizer of choice, but a worthy dish unto itself.

Truth be told, there is really nothing extraordinary about Soi 19 in Singapore. These wonton are nice, delicate and lightly crunchy with sweet tasting pork. Those who must have condiments can load up on chilli flakes, sliced chillies and fish sauce, laid out at the stall. Overall, the unadorned bowl which included some extremely thinly, sliced char siu is simple, plain and unassuming. Lunchtime queues attest to the popularity of this place. The stall is low on character, but the crowds of locals and an open kitchen keep things buzzing.

Those who are fans of the Cantonese Hong Kong style of wanton noodles would frown at this but given Singaporeans’ familiarity with Thai street food, this is as good as it gets to the real thing. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

soi19 sin

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