PEr FYI

June 11, 2017

Nam Heong Vintage, Kuala Lumpur…chicken hor fun is amongst the league of legends

As Asians, we’re constantly searching for the newest and hottest restaurants with innovative cuisines and are adorned with the latest, most stylish decor. Yes, being up to date on the restaurant scene is fun – and a Singapore necessity- but at times we forget about the historical gems.

Nam Heong Vintage’s unique and retro feel will transport you back in history and keep you wanting to stop time to cherish their delicious eats.

Order this: The egg tarts make a good start. The filling is delicate and sweet. The shell is crispy, flaky and buttery. The Nam Heong chicken hor fun aka kai see hor fun consisting of super smooth flat rice noodles (kuey teow) and shredded tender poached chicken. The awesomeness lies in the incredibly flavoursome soup with that vivid layer of orange oil that comes from boiling the prawn heads. I downed the bowl in record time; slurping up every strand of the noodles and drinking up every drop of soup.

Don’t order this: signature chicken rice with steamed chicken. Nam Heong used to be famous for its chicken rice, but sadly it’s a dish which should finally be laid to rest here.

You would not want to miss the chicken hor fun, though. It’s way up there amongst the league of legends. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

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June 10, 2017

Gllfarm Eel Restaurant, Paju, Seoul…you have to eat here

Eel is referred to as the one of Korea’s healthiest foods. If you are daring and want to opt for eel, Paju is is a hedonistic eel paradise.

The scene here is serene with a Zen detachment. Everything is good… most of it is exceptional. The seductively grilled eel will be one of the plumpest and softest fish dishes to touch your lips, and is drenched in one of the tastiest and most addictive sauces you’ll ever want to lick clean off your plate. (Don’t though, that would be vile.)

I have always loved Japanese unagi, but Korean eel? That’s right, my friend, someone should have told me about this decades ago…This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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korean restaurant eel2

June 4, 2017

Samy’s Curry, Singapore…curry fish head is not going to blow your mind, but you won’t be disappointed

While Singapore’s Indian food scene is typically associated with a hub of Indian restaurants in Little India area, there are other spots that can hold their own.

What this no-frills eatery in Dempsey lacks in atmosphere it makes up for with cooking. Quite old school in its touches, Samy’s Curry is deservedly popular.

There are the traditional items – chicken masala, etc – but for something different, try the butter chicken and biryanis.  Worth mentioning is the curry fish head with its delightfully delicate meat that only Singapore gourmets and American cats know much about. It’s not going to blow your mind, but you won’t be disappointed while the still-warm freshness of the popadoms and naan breads provides the icing on the cake. Wash it down with an Indian-style thick lassi to balance out the heat.

Some like it hot, some are born to be mild, but everyone loves a decent curry. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 27, 2017

Lord Stow’s Bakery, Macau…the best I’ve ever had, period

Portuguese egg tarts – small flaky tarts filled with creamy, lightly sweet egg custard – are one of my favorite desserts. But they’re not all created equal. Some are just plain bad, most are somewhere in the middle, and only a handful are memorably good.

The egg tart at Lord Stow’s has a wonderfully smooth, wiggly, creamy rich (but not too rich) filling with a slightly burned top  and a good crisp case. The crust is the main deal-breaker. Some egg tarts are simply so weak that they crumbled apart no matter how gently I hold them; some are so thick that they completely overpowered the flavor of the custard. The crust at Lord Stow’s crackles and shatters on first bite, then melts in your mouth. This is what makes them so incomparably good.

Egg tarts don’t get much better than this. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

Lord Stow macau

May 21, 2017

Va Fung, Macau…it’s surprisingly affordable and lip-tinglingly good

Dim Sum is arguably one of Cantonese cuisine’s finest contributions to the world. It’s one of the few types of foods I can eat repeatedly without tiring of it, because of its endless variety.

Don’t be put off by the nondescript appearance of Va Fung, this Macau number prepares Cantonese- food fit for a banquet and it’s surprisingly affordable. If you have a big group, this is the place to come. All the classics are done very well here — prawn dumplings (ha gau), siew mai and Cheong Fun with shrimps and char siu – and quite a number of the items are really lip-tinglingly good.

What more could you need? This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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va fung macau1

 

April 15, 2017

Donald & Lily Nyonya Food, Melaka…overrated 100 times

If nobody’s told you yet, it’s average food and unjustifiably pricey. Save yourself the wait and the drive.

And the food is not even that good! The food looked good from a distance but on closer inspection turned out to be rather unappetizing. I had nasi ketuk ayam rendang and taukua rojak. Neither dish was as good as their equivalents in any food court. Both were decent and edible, but as has been mentioned, was ordinary at best.

Honestly, there are many other underrated, inexpensive places to grab nyonya food in Melaka– just take my word for it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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donald & lily melaka3

April 14, 2017

Yongsusan, Seoul…wholeheartedly traditional

CNN Travel’s 10 best Korean restaurants in Seoul, rated “Good standard” on MICHELIN Guide 2017.  Yongsusan is a restaurant which even Korean food traditionalists would struggle to call anything but authentic.

The wholeheartedly traditional sole set menu include dishes such as napa wraps with stir-fried pork, tofu cake, assorted pan-fried delicacies, casserole in a hot pot, meat and vegetable brochette and so on. The bulgogi too is reliably on the point and compelling.

This is the place to come for home-style Korean cooking. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 11, 2017

Korea Samgyetang, Seoul…not entirely satisfying

There is much more to Korean food than BBQ beef short ribs and kimchi.Samgyetang is the ultimate Korean comfort food. A whole chicken is stuffed with ginseng, sweet sticky rice, mung beans, sweet potato, green onion, garlic, and other goodies in chicken broth with Korean ginseng. A warm bowl of Samgyetang is especially comforting in cold weather, and it warms your heart up instantly.

Named Designated a “Best Korean Restaurant” by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and labeled as the 1st Samgyetang restaurant in Seoul, alas, the chicken itself was a little bland, and the flavours in the broth was not as intense as it should be. For a truly delicious Samgyetang, head to Tosokchon. And their rotisserie chicken has made its way onto my “I would rather go hungry than eat this food again” list.

In short, as a restaurant experience it was more interesting than satisfying. Not that I really mind. Hell, it’s only dinner. It’s not like it’s the end of the world. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 5, 2017

Youyen, Hua Hin…seafood with an unbeatable view

There are few more satisfying experiences than eating good food by the sea. What’s not to love about a seaside view and a cool breeze on a hot day? Absolutely nothing!

But not all beachside views are created equal, and that goes double for what’s on the menu. The food at You Yen (some Thai and some Chinese styled cooking) – Stir fried prawn with garlic, deep fried fish in fish sauce, pan fried oyster with egg, stir fried baby coconut with shrimp, baked rice in pineapple – is honest and pretty average.

The real draw is seafood at bargain prices with an unbeatable view. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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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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