PEr FYI

June 24, 2017

Korean Country Food, Seoul…Comfortable no frills atmosphere and large portions

This restaurant in Myeongdong is a good option when you want to eat authentic Korean food. The interior is simple but comfortable – the no-frills Korean atmosphere seems to exude authenticity. The service is curt and fast.

Boneless Jjimdak (boneless deep stir chicken with special medium sweet soy sauce). It was basically a stew of slowly cooked chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots, green onions, cabbage, all swimming in a delicately balanced rich soy and oyster sauce that was sweetened with rice syrup and brown sugar. Sweet.  Spicy.  Rich.  And HUGE! The three of us could not even finish a plate.

Prepare to leave stuffed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 11, 2017

Nam Heong Vintage, Kuala Lumpur…chicken hor fun is amongst the league of legends

As Asians, we’re constantly searching for the newest and hottest restaurants with innovative cuisines and are adorned with the latest, most stylish decor. Yes, being up to date on the restaurant scene is fun – and a Singapore necessity- but at times we forget about the historical gems.

Nam Heong Vintage’s unique and retro feel will transport you back in history and keep you wanting to stop time to cherish their delicious eats.

Order this: The egg tarts make a good start. The filling is delicate and sweet. The shell is crispy, flaky and buttery. The Nam Heong chicken hor fun aka kai see hor fun consisting of super smooth flat rice noodles (kuey teow) and shredded tender poached chicken. The awesomeness lies in the incredibly flavoursome soup with that vivid layer of orange oil that comes from boiling the prawn heads. I downed the bowl in record time; slurping up every strand of the noodles and drinking up every drop of soup.

Don’t order this: signature chicken rice with steamed chicken. Nam Heong used to be famous for its chicken rice, but sadly it’s a dish which should finally be laid to rest here.

You would not want to miss the chicken hor fun, though. It’s way up there amongst the league of legends. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

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June 10, 2017

Gllfarm Eel Restaurant, Paju, Seoul…you have to eat here

Eel is referred to as the one of Korea’s healthiest foods. If you are daring and want to opt for eel, Paju is is a hedonistic eel paradise.

The scene here is serene with a Zen detachment. Everything is good… most of it is exceptional. The seductively grilled eel will be one of the plumpest and softest fish dishes to touch your lips, and is drenched in one of the tastiest and most addictive sauces you’ll ever want to lick clean off your plate. (Don’t though, that would be vile.)

I have always loved Japanese unagi, but Korean eel? That’s right, my friend, someone should have told me about this decades ago…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 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

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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May 1, 2017

Camp Greaves, Seoul…reel to real

The chance to spot movie locations is a favourite game the world over. But even better than spotting recognisable places on the screen is spotting recognisable film locations in real life.

Home to one of the major hit 2016 South Korean television series – Descendants of the Sun – Camp Greaves,  the former US military camp near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, north of Seoul, is one of the best movie sites in the city. Here you get to visit Song Joong-ki’s waiting room, try on soldiers’ uniform, make military dog tags, get a photo taken in front of a green screen photo booth.

Though I am not familiar with this K-drama, judging by the high octave excitement of the folks in my group, this has been a reel to real experience for them. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 14, 2017

Yongsusan, Seoul…wholeheartedly traditional

CNN Travel’s 10 best Korean restaurants in Seoul, rated “Good standard” on MICHELIN Guide 2017.  Yongsusan is a restaurant which even Korean food traditionalists would struggle to call anything but authentic.

The wholeheartedly traditional sole set menu include dishes such as napa wraps with stir-fried pork, tofu cake, assorted pan-fried delicacies, casserole in a hot pot, meat and vegetable brochette and so on. The bulgogi too is reliably on the point and compelling.

This is the place to come for home-style Korean cooking. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 25, 2017

Chuan Tin Garden Restaurant, Muar…past its prime

Though I’m often excited about new restaurant openings, sometimes old is gold. Chuan Tin Garden Restaurant is a classic throwback restaurant still around after all these years.

Though the restaurant may be well past its prime, it’s legendary teochew style fried oyster omelette is still going strong. Not to be confused with oyster omelette, or orh-luak, the fried oyster omelette is fried until golden crisp and small oysters are scattered on it.  There’s a lot to love about this not-so-humble oyster dish.

Other than that, nowadays all are welcome here for distinctly average Chinese food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 11, 2017

Korea Samgyetang, Seoul…not entirely satisfying

There is much more to Korean food than BBQ beef short ribs and kimchi.Samgyetang is the ultimate Korean comfort food. A whole chicken is stuffed with ginseng, sweet sticky rice, mung beans, sweet potato, green onion, garlic, and other goodies in chicken broth with Korean ginseng. A warm bowl of Samgyetang is especially comforting in cold weather, and it warms your heart up instantly.

Named Designated a “Best Korean Restaurant” by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and labeled as the 1st Samgyetang restaurant in Seoul, alas, the chicken itself was a little bland, and the flavours in the broth was not as intense as it should be. For a truly delicious Samgyetang, head to Tosokchon. And their rotisserie chicken has made its way onto my “I would rather go hungry than eat this food again” list.

In short, as a restaurant experience it was more interesting than satisfying. Not that I really mind. Hell, it’s only dinner. It’s not like it’s the end of the world. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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