PEr FYI

September 17, 2017

Dragon Hill Spa, Seoul…get naked with the locals

Sauna culture is common around the world — including the Japanese onsen and Turkish hammam — but the South Korean variety, a jjimjilbang, is an entire industry unto itself. These 24-hour spas are everywhere in Seoul – like starbucks.

You pay a flat fee for entrance and given a jjimjilbang uniform and a bracelet with your locker keys. But calling the jjimjilbang a bathhouse hardly begins to describe its attractions. Sure, you can take a bath and a sauna. You can sit in a steam room or in or around large, sex-segregated baths filled with extremely hot water. There are professional body scrubbers and masseurs. You can lie on a heated floor (a feature of traditional houses). You can also eat, sleep, date, watch television, read, play computer games.

For all kinds of good, clean fun. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

dragon hill sel1

dragon hill sel2

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September 16, 2017

Fa So La Tax free Akihabara, Tokyo…top stop to shop for Japanese specialties

Few globetrotters set off for an overseas trip without a shopping list either for themselves or usually for friends, family and work colleagues.

Tokyo Banana is probably the most common snack most people will buy back from Japan. Choose either the banana caramel or strawberry cake. Royce, Kit Kats, Matcha cookies, the lot. Let’s not forget Calbee Jaga Pokkuru, the combination of french fries and potato chips, but much much better!

But where to buy?

Many frequent flyers to Tokyo will agree with me that Fa So La Tax free Akihabara remains one of the favourite airport shops when it comes to sheer availability of all the Japanese specialties under one roof. Moreover, with the short expiry dates on those Tokyo Bananas, it’s best to grab them last minute at the airport on the way out of the country.

stop by if you didn’t have a chance to stop by the electronics area, Akihabara in Tokyo or if you’re looking for TOKYO BANANA! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

akihabara tyo

September 10, 2017

All Day Fresh Kitchen, Seoul… exceptional panoramas but food fairly forgettable

The view from All Day Fresh Kitchen is mesmerising. That’s if you get a window table, of course; diners within the restaurant’s interior will see little but open sky.

As for the menu, it’s  competent rather than exciting. I had the Han-U Sirloin Steak – sirloin steak, eggplant, baby carrot, garlic, sunchoke, shitake mushroom. I thought the food fairly forgettable; more safe than interesting

However, one caveat is that with terrific view, this place doesn’t offer tremendous value for money. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

all day fresh kitchen sel1

September 9, 2017

Atlantic Fish Co, Boston…(not) the best in Boston

When it comes to lobsters, Boston leads the way. Now for the hard part.  Who has the best lobster in Boston?

A Boston staple, Atlantic Fish Company is an upscale seafood centric restaurant that focuses on traditional preparations.

No prizes for guessing the main attraction – it’s all about the lobster. I enjoyed the lobster, corn on the cob, potatoes 1/4 lbs and have never felt happier. A well-matched accompaniment is the award winning new England clam chowder cup. Overall, this was a good find. It’s still better than most seafood restaurants I’ve tried in the USA but I don’t think it’s the best in Boston.

The way I see it as a layman, a steamed or boiled lobster is not some fine art of cooking.  Even my seven-year-old niece can cook you up a great steamed lobster.  All you are doing is dropping the poor bastard(s) in a pot of water for about ten minutes and that is it.

Unless it is some crazy lobster pie dish, then it doesn’t really matter where you get it if you just want it steamed or boiled. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

atlantic fish bos4

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atlantic fish bos3

September 3, 2017

ATV Tour, Phuket…escape the boring 9-5

Filed under: Activities, ATV, Flying fox, Thailand, Tour, Travel — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 5:06 pm

Visiting a Thai massage barely sounds like the place to grab a quick adrenaline fix – but there are still plenty of knuckle-shredding activities to indulge in within Phuket.

August is the rainy season in Phuket and the ATV was a muddy ride for sure! They provide crocs sandals and I definitely recommend using them. They provided ponchos to wear over your clothes when it started raining , but expect to be sweaty under than poncho. A couple of colleagues purposely wore old clothes  that they were willing to throw away.

With the flying fox, you can let out your inner baboon and go through the 100m Adventure bridge comprising various obstacles. Clamber up two flights of steps and whizz along 110m zipwires.

The crew were friendly and informative.  Everyone in our group felt so safe, even those who were not huge adrenaline junkies.

A great way to escape the boring 9-5. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

atv phuket

September 2, 2017

Machida Shoten, Singapore…this ramen is a joke

No one ever makes good decisions on an empty stomach, which explains why a lot about my dinner here. If Machida Shoten has something actually worth eating, I’d honestly like to know what it is. I’m sorry to report that the ramen here was absolutely dreadful.

The soup was exceptionally bland, it might as well have been boiled water. The soft, limp noodles, forgettable egg and a light scattering of spring onions did little to cheer me up. You’d have to be a very drunk clubber to even consider eating this bowl of meh. I didn’t want to waste my money by refusing to eat it. In retrospect, I wish I had.

Nevertheless, I hope this restaurant stays open long enough to be featured on the next series of Gordon’s Kitchen Nightmares. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

awful ramen machinda shoten sin

September 1, 2017

Bund’s secret, Shanghai…DO NOT GO IN THERE

Some restaurants get it wrong, others are for outrageous pricing, some have disastrous experiences and then there’s the ones that, well, just don’t serve very good food. This one is all of the above.

We ordered braised pork with sweet soy sauce, sautéed Australian scallop with wild mushroom and braised tofu with hairy crab meat. All impressive sounding names on the menu. I can’t report any of the flavours at all: there was nothing for me to swallow during this worst restaurant meal.

DO NOT GO IN THERE. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

bund's secret sha1

August 27, 2017

Walrus & Carpenter Oyster Bar, Boston…damn delicious lobster roll

In Singapore, people treat lobsters like celebrities, and Boston has no shortage of them.

Named after the Lewis Carroll poem, The Walrus and the Carpenter Oyster Bar in Quincy Market Food Colonnade at Fanueil Hall Marketplace specializes in oysters, lobsters and other delicious seafood dishes. So, yes, these very public eating places, I’m all for them. I love the public — and can spend up to two or three occasions a month in close proximity to them without panic, vomiting or assault

The heart and soul of the menu and the reason to come eat here (or take out) is the pure and simple and elegantly delicious lobster roll. Order a lobster roll with a cup of chowder and the split top bun will arrive stuffed with chunks of impeccably cooked lobster meat which is ample, firm, tender and sweet, spot-on seasoning, and a meat-to-bun ratio that works. The winning key here is that the sandwich taste like lobster and not mayo. The creamy and comforting clam chowder also shines.

The downside? This teeny lobster roll is just enough to make you wish you had more. Just don’t try to share it…in fact, perhaps order two just for yourself.

This is the kind of lobster roll dreams are made of. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

walrus & carpentar bos2

walrus & carpenter bos1

August 26, 2017

Muthu’s Curry, Singapore…tikka chance on this restaurant

Some like it hot, some are born to be mild, but everyone loves a decent curry.

I wouldn’t say that their menu is any better than any other top end Indian restaurant. And the likelihood is that there are fancier, more haute cuisine Indian restaurants in town. If you like the traditional dishes you can find them all here.

The biryani rice – fragrant basmati rice cooked with cashew nuts – was tasty and the squid sambal – prepared in a based of chilli and tomatoes, delicious. Just thinking of the wildly luxurious butter chicken – bbq chicken pieces in rich gravy topped with a dash of cream and home churned butter gets me salivating. The serious good dish is the simple but glorious calamari rings. You end up with a well-spiced, rich-tasting plateful of breaded calamari rings fried and served with a dash of paprika. Do not miss it.

I am addicted to the butter chicken, even though I suspect it is clogging my arteries as we speak. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

muthu sin5

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…

kruvit raft phuket

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