PEr FYI

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

February 12, 2017

Putu Bambu Juriah, Ayer Hitam, Johor…the putu bambu goes down easy

The first thing you need to know about is that putu bamboo is a traditional Malay delicacy…rice flour filled with gula Melaka (palm sugar), steamed in hollow bamboo casings (word bambu is a Malay word of bamboo) to form a cylindrical shape. It is served with grated coconut.

Eaten hot, the mouth-watering putu bamboo at juriah will satisfy those mid-day munchies, with its soft, fluffy and cottony texture and appealing aroma and sweetness. It is undoubtedly the neatest thing to eat in Ayer Hitam, the border town famous for ceramic crafts between Batu Pahat and Kluang district in Johor.

By the time you’ve munched on Juriah’s putu bamboo, you’ll be entranced. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

bambu-air-hitam

January 14, 2017

Tai Cheong Bakery, Singapore…very difficult to limit yourself to just one

This beautiful delicacy has no equal in the world. Only the Hong Kong or Portuguese egg tarts can inspire such passion.

Egg tarts are found on every street corner of Hong Kong and Macau. The ones at Tai Cheong Bakery is reputed to be the best in the country. In Singapore, this flavoursome egg-enriched shortcrust pastry provides textural contrast with the wonderfully smooth, creamy custard. It’s a very eggy treat.

The tarts are at their addictive best when they’ve cooled down slightly but are still warm. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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tai-cheong-sin1

December 4, 2016

Seven Oaks, Johor Bahru…JB’s most out-there place to while away an afternoon

The humble Johor Bahru cafe is rarely just that anymore. At just a few months old, Seven Oaks is already proving to be JB’s most stylish cafe. Nothing in JB can yet match the beyond library-themed chic interior drugged with palace opulence facade.

JB’s not a city that’s short of a good bakery or cake shop, but separating the outstanding from the ordinary can take a fair bit of munching. I’ve kindly gone and done that for you. The ground floor at Seven Oaks is a bakery with scrumptious looking cakes and pastries that cry: eat me! Their salted egg lava croissant is of course their fame and fortune. The upper levels serves as a cafe.

Sure, these expensive go-tos might set you back a bit, but they’re worth every cent. It is worth the visit for the décor alone. This is JB’s most out-there place to while away an afternoon. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 5, 2016

Lai Lai Dow Jang, Taipei…Small eats, and a lot of them, are the big thing here

Venture into Lai Lai Dow Jang and first-timers like me will undoubtedly be intimidated. Here you will find a huge variety of street foods, snacks that are both sweet and savory. Expect to stare at foods you’ve NEVER seen before and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

I played it safe and opted for freshly made hot soymilk, you tiao along with an egg pancake.Those with no language skills like me, simply stand in front of the stall, point to what you want and use your digits to say how many.

Here you can overcome your fear and try as many new Taiwanese foods as possible. I’m not saying you will like every dish. But I can guarantee that you will have some surprises and you might crave for some snacks when you’re back home. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 4, 2016

Shilin Market, Taipei…bring an appetite

Taiwanese night markets are a not-to-be-missed experience. Flying the flag for night markets is Shilin – perhaps the most famous and biggest Taiwanese night market.

Crowded and squeezy, the maze of alleyways is filled with clusters of hundreds of small stalls and street vendors selling a variety of local delicacies. Try everything  from skewered cuttlefish to fresh fruit to Taiwanese sausages to two of the market’s most iconic dishes: pan-fried buns and slabs of fried chicken cutlets. To decide what to eat, wander around and let your eyes and nose make the selection for you. This vibrant and colourful market blends street food with local souvenirs, designers, textiles, homeware and jewellery for a well-rounded market experience.

If you’re food-obsessed but don’t have the disposable income for Taipei’s best restaurants, Shilin is your saviour. Entry is free. The food, of course, is not. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

shilin taipei

August 27, 2016

Jiu Fen Old Street, Taipei…winning combination of crazy good food vendors and a bustling stretch of shopping

Jiufen is a great mini-trip out of Taipei, less than an hour away. With gorgeous views of the ocean, quaint streets and beautiful tea houses, Jiufen thrives as a trousit spot for a taste of Taiwan culture and history. When it first formed, there were only nine families, so the city would always request “nine portions” when shipments came in, hence the name.

Jiu Fen Old Street is series of narrow alleys which feature stand after stand of local snacks and handmade souvenirs. Be prepared to shove past throngs of tourists crammed into the narrow alleys. The offer samples of ginger tea which brings with it a host of powerful health benefits. Another popular food item is the mochi – glutinous rice balls which are as soft as marshmallows.

Don’t worry, there alleys are all covered by awning should the heavens open. It’s worth planning an adventure to Jiufen as well as an obligatory stroll down Old Street. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

jiu fen taipei3

June 19, 2016

Sing Thang Yeng, Bangkok…totally gaga on these aroi mak mak crunchy Thai snacks

“Aroi mak mak”. That’s delicious in Thai. Thailand does not need any introduction when it comes to its food and snacks. It is loved by many of us.

I am a kid in a candy (or Thai snacks) store when I’m here!! It’s a tiny place in MBK. But the crammed racks heavy with imported Thai crackers, cookies, and other goods reveal just the beginning of its epic selection of Thai snacks and sweets. You would be familiar with the flavors here:  coconut, taro, savory/sweet/salt/tart dried fruit, the fragile and luscious texture of the coconut cakes.

My personal favourites are the pork floss egg rolls and the rice cracker with pork floss. Dry, subtly sweet and satisfyingly crunchy. You get that crispy oomph!

Go totally gaga on these aroi mak mak crunchy Thai snacks. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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