PEr FYI

September 30, 2017

The Coconut Club, Singapore…terrible waste of time and money

As you may make out of the title of this post, The Coconut Club isn´t good – or rather a terrible waste of money and everybody´s time. They’ve put effort into the décor. Obviously you know it’s going to be nose-bleedingly expensive. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be good.

A plate of nasi lemak with coconut rice, chicken leg, ikan bilis, peanuts, cucumber, fried egg and sambal set me back SGD12.80. And this was before adding on the otak-otak which was another SGD10.50. Sorely lacking were the things that make nasi lemak great: the flavour and fragrance. This is a restaurant predicated on one idea: that a single really expensive ingredient – specially brought in from Malaysia – will make your life better.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it won’t. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

coconut club sin

June 27, 2015

Storia Café, Johor Baru…The otak-otak (otah) here satisfy both the expert and the greedy.

Johor Baru happens to the birthplace of two of Asia’s undisputed cultural treasures: otak otak and the author of this blog.

Otah (or otak-otak in Malay) is essentially mashed fish and spices, which is steamed then flame grilled in banana leaves to attain that smokey yet moist aroma. The otah (or otak)  name is almost weird – “brains” in Malay language. It can be eaten on its own – straight down the hatch, with rice (particularly nasi lemak) or noodles (especially mee rebus) or slathered onto bread for a savoury lunch or breakfast. Simply thinking about it is often all it takes to get my mouth watering.

These soft, savoury but not too chewy fish cakes at Storia Café are very addictive. Yes, 3 is never enough! The spice is mild and I can taste the freshness of the fish. It meets all the criteria except that it’s not too generous in portion.

The otak-otak here satisfy both the expert and the greedy. This is the true truth as  say it as it is…

storia cafe, jb

March 20, 2011

Sea Terrace, Melaka…unfailingly fresh seafood Portuguese style

I’m not Portuguese. I don’t live in Melaka. But I dine here quite a bit.

This Portuguese-style seafood place at the Portuguese settlement opens only at night and tends to fill up pretty fast, so it’s best to go early.Most of the dining takes place by the waterfront with a view of the sometimes trecherous surf with closely packed tables. Service always seem rushed.  There is a whole row of shops selling the same stuff (read: expect lots of touting the moment you step out of your car) but this is the best of the lot.

While the cooking here can be uneven and the quality of the food mixed, the seafood is unfailingly fresh. I love the otak-otak in Portuguese sauce and sambal prawns but the supposedly most famous dish here is the BBQ fish. Dessert, well- I usually can’t handle it after dinner otherwise I’ll have to open my pants but I ask for fresh coconut juice.

The prices have been the main draw in previous times but have risen sharply over the last couple of years. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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