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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March 3, 2018

Sari Ratu, Jakarta…simply too many dishes to choose from!

Immediately after I enter the place, sit down, a lot of dishes were served on my table a minute later.

Classic Padang style, meant putting a bunch of plates or bowls bearing different types of dishes on the table, allowing you to choose what you want. You can choose from beef, lamb, chicken, or sambal-swathed hard-boiled eggs to top your rice; Indonesia’s greatest hits: beef rendang, a spicy (an easy-to-abuse adjective around an Indonesian table), ayam gulag (special chicken in Indonesia curry) and Udang super (lobster) were my favorites. Portions are smallish (not that you can complain about much at this price) because the meat or vegetables are there as an accent, to flavor the rice. If you need something to quench the fire, order one of the Indonesian milk drinks, made with unlikely combinations like milk, grenadine-like syrup and avocado. Or grab a box of Teh Botol, a sweetened dark tea drink.

You don’t have to eat everything they put on the table. You won’t be charged for what you don’t eat. Untouched platters are taken away and served to other guests. Not everybody will think this is a sanitary way to serve food. Your dish may have visited a number of other tables before it lands on yours.

Cholesterol levels be damned. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 18, 2018

La Petite, Singapore…a laid-back neighborhood gem

La Petite is Singapore’s affordable, approachable, laid-back French restaurant.

The sauce in the escargots (6 pcs) with croissant and salad is almost as delicious as the escargots themselves.

In this age of Intagram, it might come as a surprise, then, that the most brilliant dish at La Petite is also the downright ugliest. To roll out a cliché: Looks aren’t everything. I had the Confit de canard w/gratin potato. Damn, it’s a good dish, both thrillingly new and comfortingly traditional.

La Petite doesn’t blow you away in in the same way that other spots like Les Amis do, nor does it intend to. It’s an assured, steady-handed restaurant. Tres bon, La Petite, tres, tres bon. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 17, 2018

Agua, Barcelona…seafood lover’s dream

Thanks to the city’s proximity to open waters, seafood has always been an important part of the Catalonian diet.

Situated directly along the boardwalk, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, not too far and a beautiful stroll along the sea with the W Hotel. The menu covers the Mediterranean basics with fresh, eclectic seafood being the specialty.

Let’s start with the one bad dish. The paella was very salty. Everything else was great. It’s as if the best of the Catalan market has been brought to your plate. Even my friend in the group, a notorious seafoodie, was overwhelmed. The sangria de cava was the star. Drinking it was smooth, light, refreshing and exhilarating. Back off, mojito!

Agua is a fantastic choice for Mediterranean seafood. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 10, 2018

Whiski Bar & Restaurant, Edinburgh…as Scottish as ye can get

Situated close to Edinburgh Castle, on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, Whiski Bar has a warm, relaxed atmosphere, with shabby chic décor and mood lighting creating the perfect environment to sample a ‘wee dram’.

The excellent food offering concentrates on the Scottish classics. Arguably, Scotland’s national food is haggis, neeps and tatties, which consists of sheep’s or calf’s offal with suet, oatmeal, and seasoning. Whiski Bar’s haggis stack with delicious whiski sauce is the best to try it for the first time. The Scottish Atlantic salmon, mash potato & lemon cream sauce is amazing and if you liked salmon you will love this.

A whisky bar for the true devotee. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 4, 2018

Restoran Siam House, Johor Bahru…Seriously delicious Thai food in a classy setting

‘Authentic’ is overused on Malaysia’s restaurant scene but Siam House in Johor Bahru has managed to do the word justice. The space is stylish and cosy with comfortable tables not too close to one another.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a while now since I last had a good Thai meal in JB. But all that has changed as I’ve discovered Siam House. The only one real struggle with Thai cuisine is that you always want to eat just about everything. Everything was so well-cooked and everything was packed with flavour. True to tradition the food is served spicy by default, so give the waiter a heads up if you want to tone down the chilli. It’s reasonably priced and the staff made it a welcoming place too, which always helps when choosing a new favourite restaurant!

It was great to finally find a quality Thai restaurant in JB that offers a little finesse and fine dining atmosphere for any occasion. Good food and excellent value for money – there’s more than one reason why I and you should be visiting Siam House very soon in the future. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 3, 2018

Wagamama, London…Just not worth it.

While Wagamama is a semi-intriguing name, the interest can stop there. This is clearly Japanese food tailored to a Western palate. Everyone love Japanese food, but the Japanese food here is really mediocre as far as I’m concerned.

And the Shirodashi ramen?  (slow cooked, seasoned pork belly on top of noodles on a rich chicken broth with dashi and miso. Topped with pea shoots, menma, spring onions, wakame and half a tea-stained egg) Well, that left much to be desired.

What to avoid: The poorly made Wagamama ramen (grilled chicken, seasoned pork, chikuwa, shell-on prawns and mussels on top of noodles in a rich chicken broth with dashi and miso. Topped with half a tea-stained egg, menma, spring onions, wakame and pea shoots) was objectively terrible. It was barely Japanese at all. And for a Japanese restaurant, what an achievement!

Why settle for middle of the road when there are other options? Just sayin’. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 27, 2018

Motel Mexicola, Bali…party like it’s the last day!

What’s a better way of enjoying Bali than hitting some of the hottest locations?

The cramped and crowded Motel Mexicola is popular with the locals—a very good-looking crowd. It’s quite charming in its way with a real Mexican feel, from the music through the murals to the altar . There is definitely a buzz.

It was packed with happy people and the service was friendly. So if you fancy a noisy, lively bar, give it a try. Viva Mexico! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 20, 2018

Ko Dang Talay, Bangkok…True to traditional flavors

Many people sweat in response to eating chillies; I make like I’ve just been hosed down by the Singapore fire brigade. For the sake of doubt this is a positive review. Ko Dang Talay serves good Thai food.

The menu is home to the classic favorites. Whether you’re after mellow green curry or fiery fare, it’s all avaibale at this no-nonsense restaurant. Service can be a little matter of fact, but staff are unfailingly friendly.

Ko Dang Talay stays true to traditional flavors. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 14, 2018

Brunch & Cake, Barcelona…some of Barcelona’s prettiest dishes

Barcelona may not yet specialise in the lavish, unlimited-champagne brunches so common in places like Hong Kong and Dubai, but an increasing number of restaurants are offering innovative and intriguing brunch menus. The inventive and affordable menu at Brunch & Cake came groaning with dishes so tempting I didn’t know where to start. And crucially, the food is tongue-tinglingly delicious.

Can’t stomach another eggs Benedict? Their take on egg benedict: shrimp, poached eggs, lobster hollandaise and salad on house made black bun is an altogether more exotic experience. Spoil yourself with the house made nutella pancake, sugar free cocoa sauce, choc chip cookie and grilled banana, or for a healthier option, go for banana matcha pancakes, poached pear, banana/cacao “nicecrem”, pistachio and vegan strawberry sauce (no sugars, baked)

They’re all so enticingly and beautifully presented that choosing just one can prove unexpectedly time-consuming. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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