PEr FYI

May 12, 2018

Ping’s, Bangkok…Never go here. Ever.

No one ever makes good decisions on an empty stomach, which explains a lot why I tragically made the worst restaurant choice I can make in Bangkok. Ping’s.

Ping’s is a sad restaurant nestled in Pathumwan Princess Hotel. You won’t find anything near good authentic Chinese food, and you’ll pay full on tourist prices.

Braised fish maw with crabmeat in claypot, Baked crab with vermicelli in claypot, Fried oyster omelette on sizzling hotplate and Stir fried kale with garlic aren’t worth the money — and a couple are total rip-offs!

Head to just anywhere that’s not Ping’s. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 6, 2018

Little Creatures, Perth…a beer lover’s Perth

The next time you make it to Perth, bypass the longstanding landmarks you’ve seen in hundreds of pictures. Go to Little Creatures in Fremantle instead.

Why should you care? Because you can sample, and learn about, a beer just steps from where it’s made. Little Creatures has everything. There’s a restaurant, outdoor patio, full bar, and, most importantly, delicious beer brewed on-site.

The real star of the show though is the communal and big group atmosphere. Now here’s another Perth — a beer lover’s Perth. This is the true truth as I say it as it is

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May 5, 2018

Hujan Locale, Bali…Over-order at will, with no regrets

Here it is: The Big One. A place I felt compelled to revisit again and again.

What to have: Crispy squid with chili jam ginger flower lemongrass, Dutch Indonesian salted cod kroket with chili mayonnaise and chili sambal, Sudanese steamed and fried fish dumplings with chili peanut sauce, Chili wood roasted ayam Taliwang stuffed with prawn meat served with cassava chips, Betawi soft shell crab asinan with pickled organic vegetable’s sambal kacang and pink krupuk, “Ayam bakar padang” butterflied whole spring chicken with kandis chili turmeric and coconut served with sambal terasi taucho, Salt grilled whole fish with sambal lemo and kemangi, “Bukit Tinggi itik lado muda” duck leg simmered in green chili and served with fern tip papaya leaf and shredded coconut urap, “Bandung iga bakar kambing” lamb shoulder simmered in Javanese spice and then caramelized in sweet soy tomato and chili, “Gulai ikan salai” house tea smoked fish simmered in Batak curry with ginger flower belimbing wuluh petai and charred leeks, Northern Sumatran octopus rending with star anise fennel and chopped turmeric leaf.

Sorry, I meant everything.

If you’re ever in Bali, you should try to visit this exceptional restaurant at least once. Remember, you only live twice. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 1, 2018

El Cerdo, Kuala Lumpur…make me want to roll my eyes

Precisely five minutes into the first dish, I realised that this heavily romanticized chopping of piglet with a plate experience was a bona fide tourist trap. Me, I’m all about taste and that’s why El Cerdo just doesn’t do it for me.

The food is grotesquely overvalued. I’m brashly oversimplifying things here, but all that we’d ordered – frito de queso (cheese), toger prawns (wrapped in bacon), guiness ribs, deep fried squid, half a roasted suckling piglet and champinonless angelo were only mediocre.

El Cerdo is overpriced, underwhelming and easily wayyyyyy overrated. Plus, there are plenty of better restaurants nearby. Avoid. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 29, 2018

Udom Seafood Rama9, Bangkok…a hidden gem

There’s no shortage of great gourmet experiences in Bangkok, but some of the best foodie finds are tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s busiest streets. If you’re looking for a cosy little restaurant which offers tasty local flavors, then head over to Udom Seafood Rama9.

The grilled squids were cooked to perfection. We literally cleaned our plates and no leftovers to take home. The tom yum goong (hot and sour shrimp soup) has that spicy kick and even the humble stir fried cayote shoots with oyster sauce was extremely satisfying. The deep fried fish with garlic was amazingly good and very crispy. It’s a huge hit, even by my picky standards.

I feel like its a hidden gem so don’t tell too many people. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 28, 2018

Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant, London…the most overrated restaurant in London.

It just makes my day when I spend a ton of money on something that I didn’t even enjoy eating. (insert sarcasm here) Okay, I’m totally kidding. I actually hate that feeling and that’s why I am writing this. It’s the worst feeling in the world when you spend a ton of money on food that isn’t even that great.

The food looked good from a distance but on closer inspection turned out to be rather unappetizing. The duck in the three combination barbecued meat was the only acceptable bit. The grilled eel in honey sauce was revolting and the house special “pei-pa” beancurd was not as good as the off-the-shelf beancurd equivalents in Sainsbury’s.

Seriously though, it really is awful. I’m struggling to think of a reason why anyone would actually want to eat here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 8, 2018

Bebek Bengil, Jakarta…check your expectations at the door

Although this is an established name in Indonesia, with a heavy heart, I regret to inform that the restaurant’s most popular dishes – The original crispy duck – half duck steamed in Indonesian spices and deep fried for a crispy finish. Served with steamed rice, Balinese vegetables, or sautéed potatoes and side salad wasn’t particularly delightful. The skin though crispy is dry.

The Sate lilit – Balinese satay with goodness mix of chicken, fish and duck was a bit of hit or miss. The Sup bebek kari  is pretty lackluster.

Well, everything’s a bit middle of the road. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 7, 2018

Davio’s, Boston…well-known for their service as they are for their fare

Comfy armchairs and high-ceilinged dining room. The tables are sheathed in perfectly starched white tablecloths. The menu requires double the normal time to decide because there are so many tempting items calling out to you. This is Davio’s in Boston, Massachusetts.

The 24oz Prime Natural Aged Bone-in Ribeye was appreciably rich, flavorful, dense tasting for lack of a better word, and also noticeably tender. It was basically an explosion of beef on the tongue. Maine Lobster risotto, asparagus, fresh herbs, lobster cream ooze luxury. The rich Maine lobster with its unparalleled sweetness brings elegance to a classic. It’s a pure delight for all the senses.

The experience at most restaurants is as important as the food. If you are lucky to have Christina Chrissie serve your table, service is assured and seamless. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…davios bos5davios bos1

 

 

March 31, 2018

Paul, Singapore…disappointing and misleading menu

Restaurants from big chains to independent operators increasingly lure diners with menus declaring their “organic,” “locally-sourced,” and premium Wagyu beef status. Restaurants have the right to advertise food and beverage products to properly identify them. To misrepresent menu items is a violation of what is known as Truth in Menu laws. The issue is that you really don’t have a lot of enforcement for false advertising.

Here at Paul in Ngee Ann City, it’s less lunch and more the incarnation of every Singaporean’s fearful suspicions about misleading menu. It’s verging on deceit. The smoked salmon on top of baked potato pancake in the menu turned out to be on pale, limp hash browns. Nowadays, it gets a little challenging to define some of these terms. That’s why it’s difficult to hold restaurants accountable who don’t serve what they say they’re serving.

In the meantime, I will be vigilant about the food I order by educating myself about the foods and phraseology . This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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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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