February 10, 2019

Abe, Manila…a bit meh

It’s fair to say Filipino cuisine is not on the map internationally. The food is a medley between Malay, Chinese, South American and Spanish. In short it’s a mixture of cuisines from any country who has invaded or attempted to colonise the islands.

For everything under one roof, Abe serves up a hearty (sometimes hefty) array of traditional Pinoy fare from biringhe to knockout knuckles – Ang Hang take on the traditional fried crispy pata to sugpo sa gata – prawn simmered in coconut milk and spices. I ate these things on your behalf. I know. I am selfless.

But I’ve had more inspiring food – character, taste – from a bag of nuts. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 22, 2018

Bicester Village, London…Who needs the sale when you can shop here year round?

First, get the pronunciation right. It’s like “blister” without the “l”.

This rural England shopping centre – more than 160 stores and precisely 46 minutes by train from London’s Marylebone station – is almost as popular among Chinese tourists as Buckingham Palace.

This is the place to find deep discounts on designer and name brands. You will find everything you need from head to toe and from kitchen to living room. It is chockful of popular brands and perennial favorites, so anyone who is a loyal fan of any particular brands will want to check ahead to scope out their choices.

You will have saved so much. Even if you go in the poorhouse, you’ve spent your money wisely. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 9, 2011

Chuan Jiang Hao Zi Steamboat Restaurant, Singapore…Hotpot? More like tongue-torching firepot.

This is a Szechuan Hot Pot place. Even though I don’t go ape crazy over heaps of chilli in my food, sometimes I have the hots for spicy food but the Mala soup is so fiery  spicy I needed a fire extinguisher by my side. Be warned: The searing spices in the oily-red broth will attach themselves to your lips and burrow deep underneath your tongue. Your whole mouth begins to buzz and grow curiously numb. You will sweat like never before. Your eyes will shine and your head will begin to grow light. You might just come away with your lips swollen like sausages, like it got hit by electric current. And the meal has barely begun.

The restaurant was loud and boisterous. The staff speak mostly Chinese so communicating is difficult if you are like me and do not speak Chinese.

Courage is measured in a man’s ability to eat the hot pot here repeatedly and vigorously. This is the true truth and I am still saying it as it is…

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