August 19, 2018

37th Street, Ho Chi Minh City…satisfy my cravings for authenticity

Walking into 37th Street feels like wandering onto a stage set where lowered wooden tables and benches, the stone pavement, the dessert cart and even the cutlery allude to the street food which influences the menu.

The vast majority of those on the menu we try burst with excitingly vibrant flavours. I had the Pho dak biet pho – pho with rare sliced beef & well done plank and beef meat balls. It was a big bowl. Nevertheless, the bowl was soon empty. It’s deceptively crystalline, belying its lushness. The steaming, perfectly balanced broth is remarkably light and carefully flavoured.

This pho is the drug of choice. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 29, 2017

Minetta Tavern Restaurant and Bar, New York City…The black label burger renders other burgers meaningless

This place opened in the 30’s so it’s wonderful to see the vintage décor of the old saloon-era interior intact. Being a full house, I sat at the refinished oak bar in the front of the room, elbow to elbow with other diners. The vibe is buzzy, exclusive, and properly chaotic.

The food rocks as much as the scene. The US$33 Black Label Burger – selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pomme frites is without question a mind-blowing rivetingly intense experience. Named the best burger in America by CNBC, a continent full of burger connoisseurs, The Daily Meal,  calls it “the stuff of legend.”  The beef is a blend of four different cuts—short rib, skirt, brisket and rib-eye. It’s like eating a dry-aged steak in burger format. The bun was airy but not spongy. There is a chewiness and lushness in the same bite. Each bite of this burger was lingered over and savored. Even the fries were perfectly seasoned, and nicely crisped. It held to the quality of the burger.

This is now my must-go place in NYC, but frequent Minetta too often and I’ll be broke and really fat. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…


January 30, 2017

6 Round, Pangyo, Seoul…the argument-ending KBBQ

KBBQ = a roll-your-shirtsleeves eating ritual in which diners grill different cuts of meat themselves over a tabletop grill, to be enjoyed with complimentary sides

In true Korean style, 6 Rounds offer their table top BBQ to allow you to cook your own meat, you can have everything from beef ribs to pork belly marinated in their house sauce, and scorched to your liking. The marinated beef, a Korean barbeque classic, marinated into an unmistakable tenderness, is much-lauded here.

Happy eating, people. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…



December 10, 2016

New Ubin Seafood, Singapore…steak is a melt-in-the-mouth delight.

This restaurant is bang on the money. It is a Zi Char place. It is not a steakhouse. No indeed. But the steak is so unashamedly good.

The main event is the US Black Angus ribeye steak served together with sea salt flakes and fried rice caramelized with beef drippings. What’s the steak like? Simply perfect. Affordably priced. A melt-in-the-mouth delight. Its intense, juicy twang – offset by a small pile of caramelized onions and Idaho potato wedges – is an education in how good beef can be.

Another lip-smaking items on the menu is the orh chien oyster omelettes with fresh live oysters. The fish roe – deep fried with petai and sambal, served with chinchalok is also chest-thumpingly good. Only item NOT to order is the utterly disgusting salted egg squid.

All in, this is a purist’s encounter with beef, and it is as uncomplicated as it is excellent. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…



April 17, 2016

Wangbijib, Seoul…Oh sweet, heavenly MEAT!

There’s a restaurant with tabletop grills in every plaza, mall and food court in Seoul, cannibalizing another one’s business two doors down or across the street. Still, I love Korean BBQ and can’t complain about having so many restaurants to choose from.

Let’s talk food.

Now, let’s just pause for a moment to talk about this meat. Meat, though some may tell you otherwise, is not created equally. There are good cuts, bad cuts, good flavor, and bad flavor. Wangbijib invests in good quality meat and seasons them spectacularly. They’ve also got the meat selection, chargrill king short beef rib, thinly sliced marble beef kalbi and pork rib.  The thin cuts of beef were amazing. The hanwoo weren’t marinated and I relied heavily on the sauce to add flavour.

Warning: Make sure you bring a change of clothes to wear if you plan to go other places after eating here or at least some back-up perfume/cologne because you will smell like what you eat afterwards!!

The portion sizes here are generous, so come hungry. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 9, 2016

Hanwoori, Seoul…as good as a K-pop hit

What you see is what you get with Korean food. It’s more flavourful than Japanese cuisine and it’s punchy, lively, honest cooking — a bit like the people.

The Hanwoori Korean restaurant in Seoul is known specifically for its variety of specialty meat dishes. The beef comes from respectable cows, the marinade sweet. Wrapped in a cool lettuce leaf, garlanded with spring onion and slathered in gochujang (fermented chilli and bean paste), it’s a mouthful that has it all – cool, hot, crisp, crunch, chew. Bliss.

It’s a dinner as good as a K-pop hit. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 7, 2015

KGB (Killer Gourmet Burger), Kuala Lumpur…Fantastically flavorful burgers

A good burger is a thing of beauty.

If you haven’t yet heard about Killer Gourmet Burger, it’s a chic, but comfortable, high-brow burger concept. The distinction lies in the food. Waste no time with fries nor onion rings. You came here to eat meat: freshly ground grass-fed beef formed into patties, then sandwiched into brioche-like buns branded with the letters “KGB”. They are supremely delicious, each juicy, messy bite.

“How on earth are you going to eat that?” I ask in amazement looking at the enormous burgers as they towered in front of Dave and I. To be honest it was so good I didn’t care who saw me with sauce dripping down my face. Truffle’d swiss mushroom with caramalized onions consisted of grilled beef, Swiss brown mushrooms, Swiss cheese, truffle infused and herbed ranch dressing was perfect. Every bite was just right. Bash, which was topped not only with beef bacon relish & caramelized onions but also provolone cheese & maple cornflakes, exploded with crunchiness and savors

Go to KGB …go there soon. It was just that good. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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December 30, 2011

XO46 Bistro Filipino, Manila…I’ll be back!

I had a truly great, satisfying, and well-prepared meal. I have to give them a perfect score for everything, even the warm, friendly and accommodating service. I love the feel of this place…earth tones give the place an inviting, charming, warm and homey feel – perfect for a relaxed meal.

The extensive menu offers you the best of traditional Filipino dishes. Since this is a Filipino restaurant ,  chef did well in serving puto instead of bread.  Puto – for those who don’t know – is one of the Philippines’ many varieties of Rice Bread.

Bangus Salpicao (fish) was not bad.  Sugpo sa aligue was fabulously savoury – baked prawns in a special sauce with crab fat that melts in your mouth.  Kare kareng crispy tadyang was served with the sauce separate from the meat which is crispy beef belly laid out in slices on a platter. salabat sa tanglad (ginger drink) really hit the spot: it was refreshing and a real treat, especially for a ginger lover like me! What a great way to cool down.

To borrow from Arnie…I’ll be back! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

August 13, 2010

Md. Salleh Restoran, Johor Baru, Malaysia…best roti prata in Southern Malaysia

Let’s get this straight: Md. Salleh’s Roti Prata (Prata is derived from a North Indian word Paratha which is a pancake type or a flat type of bread) is fluffy, crispy, has a lovely texture and definitely delicious.

What goes nicely with the roti is the tender and flavourful beef rendang. You definitely have to try the beef rendang here. It was just great. The beef was lovely and tender and the great coconut taste was delicious. There was a bit of a bite to the curry and the spice rating was somewhere between mild and medium. It hits the spot.

Simply wonderful, authentic Malaysian food. Check it out when you are in Taman Pelangi, Johor Baru. This is a MUST stop. This is definitely the true truth because I always say it as it is…

March 31, 2010

Plachutta, Vienna…this is heaven on earth

Filed under: Austria, Food & Beverage, restaurant, Travel — Tags: , , , , , , — PEr @ 11:55 am

“For the best in Viennese cooking.” Plachutta sure wasn’t kidding when they coined their slogan.

“Boiled Buttock” dosn’t quite sound like the holy grail of gastronomy, but don’t miss the chance to dine here. Plachutta specialises in the boiled beef dishes that the Viennese love so much. Few restaurants have built such a fetish around one dish as Plachutta has done with Tafelspitz, offering 10 variations of the boiled beef dish. The differences between the versions are the cut of beef available.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is very cosy and the service is excellent. I first enjoyed the soup, with vegetables and dumplings. Then I spread some crisply toasted rye bread thinly with bone marrow before tucking into my main course. I got a copper pot with a delicious beef soup with a generous chunk of beef cooked in the broth.  Hash brown potatoes, chives, and an appealing mixture of horseradish and chopped apples accompanied the dish. The tafelspitz is incredibly tender, flavourful and mouth-watering.  Not sophisticated but perfect cooking.

If you are tempted to ask what’s so special about a cut of beef boiled in broth for hours, you’re definitely missing the point. In order to understand the Tafelspitz, you must experience it the real (that means Plachutta) way!

I have been to Vienna around six times but now I really wonder where I’ve been. Not having tasted tafelspitz at Plachutta means I’ve never really been to Vienna. This time, I have finally arrived!! It was that good. This is the true truth and I always say it as it is.

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