PEr FYI

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 18, 2017

Som Tam, Bangkok…possibly the best fried chicken wings I’ve ever had in my life

It was named Bangkok’s best som tam restaurant by CNN Travel. That was good enough reason for me to visit.

Of course I had the healthy and low-cost somtam with dried shrimp and peanuts. Papaya salad – or som tam – is a mainstay of Thai cuisine. It was a blend of savory umami, sweet, spicy, and tart. However, like the pork shoulder BBQ and hot and spicy crispy nil fish, there were ordinarily average.

Don’t miss the fried chicken – deep fried chicken wings to be precise – which triumphs over the som tam. Absolutely loved the lightly battered wonderfully crispy and succulent wings showered with a generous heap of fried garlic. They were possibly the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life. To be sure, I devoured a second basketful.

The food may not be worthy of going out of your way to visit, but if you are in the area,  fairly fast service, a basic but cozy décor, reasonable prices and addictive deep fried chicken wings are good reasons to pop in. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 28, 2017

Thip Samai, Bangkok…decent but not world-beating

The most famous Thai dish anywhere! For all Pad Thai newbies, you’ve missed out on stir-fried noodles with egg, tofu, and loads of toppings

Superb padthai  (small prawns) – padthai with shrimp oil, fresh deep sea prawns and wrapped with egg. There was a clear lack of grease and their texture which was neither too soft nor too firm. The noodles themselves were zesty and a had bold, stocky seafood taste to them. The one wrapped with egg, there’s only goodness inside. Even if you’re feeling extravagant, don’t bother upgrading to a Padthai song-kreung. Although it’s a generous dish – padthai with shrimp oil, fresh deep sea prawns, crabmeat, sliced squid and sliced mango, it stumbles badly though. It’s awfully dry and mellow.

The predominance of Thai customers is a reliably good sign. There’s no reservations so prepare to queue. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 20, 2017

Kruvit Raft, Phuket…plentiful fresh and cheap seafood on a floating restaurant

This place is spectacular! Not once did I feel like a tourist, just a Singaporean walking on water.

Kruvit Raft is modest, unassuming, endearingly awkward; its ugliness and limitations only make it the more likeable. Built on wooden pontoons and having floating wood and net fish enclosures, it is only accessible by longtail boats off the coast of Phuket. Part of the fun is walking around and peering into the different nets to see what’s on offer.   You get to pick the exact fish, crab or lobster that you want for the meal. The plates are affordable here, so the only guilt you’ll feel after scarfing down all those prawns, crabs, fish and lobsters is over your waistline.

If you can’t get Venice organised… have your date night here. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 3, 2017

Platoo, Hua Hin… 4 of us fell ill with diarrhoea and vomiting

We’ve all been there, and none of us have enjoyed it. It starts with a shudder. A little ‘something is not right’-ness. And then, three minutes later you’re shaking and sweating, your body is revolting, literally and physically, and the cool ceramic surface of the toilet is your only friend.

Was it something in the air? Was it something in the food? Was it some unspeakable organism lurking evilly on a tabletop or skulking under a plate?

Whatever it was, it has caused 4 people in our group to report becoming violently sick with projectile vomiting and sudden diarrhea after eating at this Hua Hin restaurant.

Our group of 25 stopped at Platoo for lunch. We had ordered beforehand and by the time we arrived at the restaurant at 12.15pm, all the food was already laid out on the tables. It was no longer hot and there were some flies seen hovering around the table. By 7pm in the evening, four members of my party became seriously ill with food poisoning following the meal. They suffered “horrific” diarrhoea and vomiting throughout the night. The symptoms went away and the four recovered after receiving treatment at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok the next evening

Proving who is responsible may be difficult, but if more than one person is affected, you really have to think. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 6, 2017

PlearnWan, Hua Hin…traditional charm

A stroll in PlearnWan is an exercise in time travel, with many buildings recreating the 1950s feel. The atmosphere is casual and uncrowded.

Explore everything from liquor, inexpensive plastic-and-tin toys, snacks as well as a beauty salon, photo studio, outdoor cinema screen and a 20-room guesthouse or ‘Piman Plern Wan. Hard-to-find snacks, such as ‘tong muan sod’ (sweetened pancake) and ‘ka lor jee’ (similar to Japanese mochi), are cooked up a’la minute at one of the hawker carts lining the walkway along with typical fare such as noodles and barbecued pork over rice

It’s not all chocolate box perfection but while in Hua Hin, there’s nothing better than strolling through the unheralded but absurdly charming streets of PlearnWan. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 5, 2017

Youyen, Hua Hin…seafood with an unbeatable view

There are few more satisfying experiences than eating good food by the sea. What’s not to love about a seaside view and a cool breeze on a hot day? Absolutely nothing!

But not all beachside views are created equal, and that goes double for what’s on the menu. The food at You Yen (some Thai and some Chinese styled cooking) – Stir fried prawn with garlic, deep fried fish in fish sauce, pan fried oyster with egg, stir fried baby coconut with shrimp, baked rice in pineapple – is honest and pretty average.

The real draw is seafood at bargain prices with an unbeatable view. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 26, 2016

The Terrace Restaurant, Bangkok…Fried noodles with crab paste and black tiger shrimp. Good stuff, period.

Set in every Central mall, the cheerful, informal The Terrace is far from the capital’s best eatery, but the food is as vivid and bright-flavoured as it comes.

I’m smitten with  fresh spring roll “The Terrace”, chinese pancake wrapped with pressed pork, omelette, Chinese sausage served with sauce and pickled chilli mustard. Equally renowned is the fried noodles with crab paste and black tiger shrimp. Delicious is the only word fitting to describe the combination tangy, sour and salty flavor of crab paste. Yes, really, this is one of the most astonishing, delicious food available anywhere

Good stuff, period. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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November 12, 2016

Greyhound Cafe, Bangkok…the complicated noodle is almost incomparable

“Simple with a creative twist.” The stylish chic design Greyhound Cafe is a delicious den of Thai classics with a contemporary twist, going all-out with a truly unique menu offering.

Greyhound famous fried chicken wings – deep fried marinated mini chicken wings in fish sauce were a tad too salty for me but the Complicated Noodle…..noodle sheet + fresh lettuce leaves +minced pork sauce + chilli sauce is the absolute must-try. You need to do a bit of work but every bite is well worth your effort. You’ll enjoy a taste sensation that is a party on your palate. No kidding.

A wonderfully innovative approach to authentic Thai cuisine. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 6, 2016

White Flower Factory, Bangkok…I walked away pleasantly surprised.

I wasn’t expecting much from this innocuously named Siam Square One outpost, but I walked away pleasantly surprised.

I opted for the Thai tea crepe was reasonably pleased with the layers of paper thin crepes, each separated with a brush of light thai tea flavour. A simple, effective conversation stopper unless conservation could be construed as a series of affirmative grunts. The chocolate fudge looks and tastes great. It’s a plate which calms the senses like the orderly simplicity of a Japanese garden.The lemongrass juice was sweet and refreshing with a clean aftertaste.

Taken on its own merit, this is a fun, casual cafe you’d definitely use if you were in the area. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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