March 18, 2018

Made’s Warung, Bali…the meal falls flat

warung (roadside stall) in Kuta in 1969, to one of Asia’s top 500 finest restaurants by the Miele Guide in 2013, Made’s Warung is the go-to place for decent, reasonably priced local Indonesian food.

Expect an extensive menu filled with traditional dishes from across Indonesia. A comprehensive Indonesian adventure from Made’s burger – burger bun, beef patty, lettuce, onion, tomato mustard, mayonnaise, cheese, beef bacon and chilli dog sauce served with French fries and tomato sauce to Mie goring – fried noodles with shrimp, beef, chicken and vegetables. But is it good? Well, no, not really, as you will discover when you sit down and eat.

It’s been in business for 49 years – so they must be doing something right! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 13, 2018

Restoran Tapai Tang, Johor Bahru…tastes better than it looks

Johor Bahru food was once considered Malaysia’s poor culinary relation, but there are hidden gems in the city. Restoran Tapai Tang is one of the few old-school JB dining institutions where the quality has actually improved in recent years.

Their famed salt baked chicken is so tender, you won’t be able to stop eating it. wat tan hor (rice noodles in egg gravy) is perfectly fried with the lustrous eggy gravy over the wok fragrance flat noodles is just as good. On the minus side, all this good food is simply plonked on to the plate willy-nilly. This may be ugly-ass food – even the photo (below) doesn’t look very appetizing– at least not to me! But, I swear, the dishes were delicious.

This is a time your dinner tasted better than it looked. 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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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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August 6, 2017

Lee Noodle, Bangkok…cheap (and astonishing) duck noodle

Between cafés, street food stalls and lesser-known restaurant deals, Bangkok has a host of bargain bites that don’t cut back on flavour or finesse.

Lee Noodle, on Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor BTS station) is a budget-friendly hole in the wall guaranteed to whet your appetite without leaving a gaping hole in your wallet. Small and simple, this coffee-shop may be tiny but its purse-friendly homemade noodles which can be accompanied by moist succulent duck or crispy roasted pork belly or crab or charsiew or wanton (or all of it for 80 baht) is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Dangerously good, and it won’t cost you much more than 100 baht for the biggest, most delicious bowl of noodle you’ve ever tasted. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 28, 2017

Peter’s Pork Noodle, Restoran One Sentral, Kuala Lumpur…it’s the place to go if you want to try KL’s best pork noodles

If you ask someone where to go to get pork noodle (chee yoke fun) in KL, most people will say you HAVE to go to Peter’s Pork.

This one has three (three!!) kinds of pork: minced pork, pork slices and pork liver, which I don’t ask questions about. Lots of people go straight for the soup version (also great), but the sleeper hit for me is the dry version. The kway teow noodles themselves are kinda slippery, really chewy and the ideal canvas for this pork situation. The bowl of broth is also spectacular. There’s invariably a mad search for vacant tables and the coffee waiters can be brusque. But it’s all worth it for the pork noodles.

For ME (haters please sit down), this is the best pork noodle in the city. Oh god, I am so hungry. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 20, 2017

Tsuta, Singapore…I’ll be honest: this is not worth the wait

Ramen is all the rage at the moment, and it’s easy to see why: there’s nothing finer for a light dinner than a bowl of noodles and delicious homemade broth.

The “world’s first and only Michelin-starred ramen joint” doesn’t sell ramen. It sells only soba…made primarily (but not exclusively) of buckwheat (soba), which gives it a different, stronger flavor.

A queue of ramen-lovers is normally snaking down the street waiting patiently for their noodle fix. The setting of Tsuta is low key. Ordering and payment is made at a touch-screen machine. The broth is enhanced by the richness of an infusion of truffle oil. The slice of roasted pork char sui on the surface is, although tender, not deeply tender enough. The noodles are firm and slurpable.

Time is precious. I’m getting old. I might be dead soon. The food is good but is not worth the wait. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 7, 2017

Restoran Sun Huat Kee, Kuala Lumpur…pork ball noodle is good but not gold standard

Inexpensive and reassuringly tasty, pork ball noodle stand tall as a personal favourite.

Sun Huat Kee is a well-ventilated kopitiam which has an array of food stalls: Steven’s fried kuey teow, curry mee, wantan mee and of course, pork ball noodle (or chu yoke fun).  A bowl of kway teow (flat rice noodles) drizzled with lard and dark soy sauce, topped with a generous heap of fried mince pork and slices of BBQ sausages or siew cheong. Though called pork balls, these are rectangular and flat-shaped pork balls instead of round ones. The round bodied broth is robustly savoury and slightly sweet and though delicious, doesn’t match up to the one in a different kopitiam a few doors away.

Not gold standard. 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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