PEr FYI

August 19, 2018

37th Street, Ho Chi Minh City…satisfy my cravings for authenticity

Walking into 37th Street feels like wandering onto a stage set where lowered wooden tables and benches, the stone pavement, the dessert cart and even the cutlery allude to the street food which influences the menu.

The vast majority of those on the menu we try burst with excitingly vibrant flavours. I had the Pho dak biet pho – pho with rare sliced beef & well done plank and beef meat balls. It was a big bowl. Nevertheless, the bowl was soon empty. It’s deceptively crystalline, belying its lushness. The steaming, perfectly balanced broth is remarkably light and carefully flavoured.

This pho is the drug of choice. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 12, 2018

The Eagle, Cambridge…a lead hangout

It’s about 400 years old,  full of charm and a Cambridge student feel and it’s where Watson and Crick supposedly discovered the structure of DNA.

Proper food here as well as bar snacks, all the usual pub classics and it’s pretty meat-heavy. Lots of burgers – the Buttermilk fried chicken burger – Ayrshire-dry cured bacon, guacamole & chilli mayo is a winner – and sausages and chicken. Fish & chips – battered cod, crushed peas, tartare sauce, triple-cooked chips was perfectly golden, crisp, firm but flaky and succulent.

For a pub The Eagle does a decent selection of standard cocktails. Everyone cares about their pints. There are plenty of the usual lagers and bitters on offer

It seems to have already cemented itself as a lead hangout in Cambridge. Time to get glugging. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 4, 2018

Fuku+, New York…home of the $8 spicy-fried-chicken sandwich

This little fast-casual restaurant has some unexpected extras, like waiter service and Bob Dylan and  on the playlist to ramp up the energy.

The spicy chicken sandwich is chicken thighs that have been marinated in habanero purée, coated in buttermilk, dredged in a spice blend, and deep-fried into formidably crustiness, then tucked inside a—what else?—potato roll with pickles and butter. The first thing you notice is the lopsided ratio of meat to bread. The chicken spills out of the bun like an oversized bao. The sandwich has been described as “spicy,” but to chilliheads it will seem just barely so. Fuku serves KFC-style steak fries, the world’s worst type of fries, which seem to have been par-baked before being fried, thus giving them an interior texture of instant mashed potatoes. All eyes should be on the sandwich.

And for those who care about prices, that $8 is a bit more than a Shake Shack burger.

So there you go. It’s damn good! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 29, 2018

7 Village Noodle House, Penang…nothing special

In Penang, kway teow thng shops shops and stalls are stacking up like jets over Changi Airport. Every third shop or stall seems to knocking out kway teow thng.

7 Village Noodle House now find themselves in a market almost as crowded as the MRT train on a Monday morning. The kway teow thng was quite good, although not as good as the authentic stuff in Hutton Lane or Pitt Street but if you just want a fast, clean, comforting bowl of noodles, it’s a good call.

Its a good noodle place but nothing out of this world. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 21, 2018

Café du Centre, Geneva…pure joy

The place was completely packed, with tables being turned all around us. The restaurant is located two blocks off Lake Geneva’s main drag with outside seating under a huge awning and a large space inside.

Nearly all the dishes as irresistible. Noix de coquilles St Jacques roties, aux pointes d’asperges, infusion a l’essence de truffe, pommes puree – roasted scallops, fresh asparagus and black truffle sauce, mashed potatoes was carefully cooked and the combination of textures worked very well together. Even better was homard et crevettes rotis a la minute risotto aux herbes, sauce americaine – lobster and prawn risotto, shell fish sauce had rice that had thoroughly absorbed the stock, and had lovely texture. Service was fine.

Despite its name, Café du Centre demands to be liked. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 15, 2018

Hajime Tonkatsu & Ramen, Singapore…man, this pork cutlet is good

Ton Katsu or Pork Cutlet shares a semblance with schnitzels.

Here at Hajime, the premium pork loin is the star, a perfectly fried cutlet coated with crunchy Japanese bread crumbs. And what meat it is—luxurious, thick, juicy and packed with porky flavor. Dipped into the sauce, the meat is moist and delicious. his isn‘t a taste of what tonkatsu has been—it‘s a taste of what it‘s become. The stock at Hajime is very good. It is a deep, rich, intensely life-affirming thing (albeit not for the pigs that must die in its making). The ingredients are simmered long and slow in water. Think 12 hours.

Go to Hajime to experience the religious power of properly fried pork. It is the way to make a bad day good. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 14, 2018

5 Napkin Burger, Boston…I’m not in love

All I’ve been hearing are great things about 5 Napkin. The hype was that the burger is so succulent and loaded with luscious accessories that it requires five napkins to deal with the juicy runoff. It’s an irresistible notion that demands taking up the challenge and discovering what all the fuss is about. How could I not? So when I was in Boston I decided to go to one so I can say I went. The problem is I didn’t know if it’s any good or not, I just think it’s supposed to be great.

Here’s what I know: 5 Napkin makes a good burger, but not a great one. The namesake 5 Napkin Burger – all natural beef, imported gruyere, caramelized onions, rosemary – garlic aioli was OK—not great. If you’re looking for the juiciest, most flavorful hamburger around, this isn’t it. The signature hand cut fries were like the burger. OK

I didn’t dislike it but wouldn’t go out of my way to eat one again. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 7, 2018

Bain Des Paquis, Geneva…cheese heaven and a great place to people-watch

A truly authentic cheese fondue meal – the much loved Swiss staple – is best relished away from the stress and bustle of city life. Bain Des Paquis is a great place to lay-back and hang out in the sun right next to Lake Geneva. The on-site café, La Buvette des Bains serves affordable yet tasty meals – especially the cheese fondue.

The house specialty, Fondue au Cremant is made with sparkling wine similar to champagne rather than white wine, for a more delicate flavour. This is the real fondue deal.

If rich, creamy cheeses a sound like your kind of scene, grab a few friends and meet for conversation, people watch in laid-back atmosphere and some of the most spectacular sceneries you’ve ever seen. Bain Des Paquis is just for people like you. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 24, 2018

Bread in common, Perth…a food lover’s delight

Bread in Common in the quaint town of Fremantle is a restaurant and bakery that feels alive and it’s infectious. Much of that is to do with its relaxed vibe, from talkative servers who do their job with pride and skill. The eye-catching interior has dozens of vintage-style globes streaming from the warehouse ceiling or looping in red electrical cord over suspended beams. Long, wooden communal tables, all with views of the giant open kitchen.

The food is plain delicious. There are two you simply must not miss. The succulent lamb ribs, lime, mint, black garlic, sherry was a flavourful plate with melt in your mouth meat. I can eat 6 without blinking an eye. I brought home memories of the first unforgettable bites of the beef brisket, toast vinegar onions, chives, yogurt. It was such tender goodness.

I challenge you not to fall in love with this big-hearted restaurant Perth is lucky to have. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 23, 2018

Burger & Lobster, Bangkok…worth the dollars and calories.

Burgers & Lobster and what Kate Middleton is wearing are apparently HUGE IN LONDON. Burgers & Lobster is a UK mini-chain of hip restaurants that just serves three different delicacies: burgers, lobsters and lobster rolls. Duh.

The lobster rolls are big: from four to five ounces of claw and tail meat, with no other ingredients besides the mayonnaise. The whole lobsters are, besides being a good deal, also fairly delicious dipped in melted butter.

Burger & Lobster is essentially luxe fast food. It is worth the dollars and calories. Of which there are many. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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