PEr FYI

June 17, 2017

No Idea Café Gastropub, Bangkok…. pub with something special on the menu

Pubs only used to care about serving up the perfect pint, but now a good number of them are creating gourmet menus that go above and beyond your basic pub grub.

No Idea Café presents modern and inventive takes on traditional European fare. There’s the tasting board – salami, parma ham, cheese, chorizo, caper berries, olives, baguette, roasted garlic aioli which is comforting and satisfying. The twice cooked pork belly – fennel apple slaw, braised red cabbage- worked surprisingly well. Although parts of the meat was a little tough and the dish would have benefited from a little balanced cooking. The atmosphere is casual and the beer flows fast. Naturally, as a gastropub, most of No Idea’s interesting drinks are alcoholic.

This is not a trendy spot. Rather, it’s inviting and unpretentious. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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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…

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October 20, 2016

Panorama at 85F, Taipei…Beautiful views but meh food

Food sometimes isn’t enough. The best meals are about more than the ingredients on a plate. That said, Panorama is a Taipei restaurant with the best views, but not necessarily Taipei’s best restaurant with a view.

With terrific view, there’s often a terrifying price tag. Although it is a reminder of how fabulous Taipei can really be, Panorama doesn’t offer tremendous value for money.

I started with the wonderful truffle and wild mushroom cream soup. I almost feel guilty about eating such beautiful sounding food! But it was all downhill after that. The carpaccio of scallop in pomelo dressing didn’t taste as good as it sounds and the pork belly slowly braised with aged port wine and mashed potato was disapppinting and not cooked correctly. Anyone who knows me knows my love of the belly. You see, this badly cooked piece of pork belly is very similar to eating Phua Chu Kang boots, or so I can imagine… I haven’t actually eaten a boot before though.

Beautiful views but meh food, as if the chefs are convinced that with the eyes distracted, the mouth won’t notice. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 4, 2015

Dave’s Bistro Bar & Grill, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia…The world’s best sandwich?

Eating bread filled with stuff is as universal as loving Taylor Swift.  When it comes to global gastronomy, the sandwich reigns supreme. If a sandwich is doing its job, every bite should be a voyage of discovery. A world of delicious ingredients hidden by slices of bread.

The Vietnamese-French Inspired Banh Mi Sandwich – Winner of the 9th Delifrance Sandwich World Cup 2012 held in Paris is a unique blend of crispy pork belly marinated with local herbs, garnished with daikon radish, carrot, cucumber and topped with bird’s eye chili and signature Tonka vinaigrette. Served between a freshly baked baguette.

Did I like the World’s best sandwich?

This banh mi was radically different, true. Something that combines so much pork with fresh herbs all stuffed into a crispy baguette is, I have to say, a pretty magical sandwich. The crunch of bread was followed by an interplay of porky goodness. It is one heck of a mega sandwich. Eating it tired me out as if I had just completed an Olympic event.

But is this truly the best sandwich in the world?

It may be a notch below great, compared to the humble Roti John. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 12, 2015

Pots ‘n Pans, Hanoi…don’t read this on an empty stomach, unless you’re into drooling uncontrollably

Let me just begin by saying that I love this place! Customer Service is great! This restaurant is the merging of traditional Vietnamese flavors and textures in innovative new ways  and beautifully presented in portion sizes that won’t leave you popping out for a late night bowl of pho. On my visit it never got packed, or too loud, or hectic. The pace was slowed down. Which is fine, because debating what you’ll order may take time.

To start, they serve you with crispiest turmeric bread you will ever taste… with the olive oil dip and three levels of spice to add, they are so yummy! The twice cooked pork belly with beetroot puree, apple compote, pickles and Vietnamese herbs ticks all the boxes for pork belly punters like me, with large chunks of meat that is all crispy skin on the top, soft and juicy everywhere else. This, right here, is what dreams are made of. The grilled king prawns with lemongrass, lime leaf, mushroom satay pudding and Vietnamese herbs were beyond succulent; insanely flavorful, awesomely rich. I nearly licked my plate! Well, to keep it classy, I scraped it clean with my fork. And if you have not had the crispy banana spring rolls with chocolate sauce and cinnamon ice cream, get off your computer, get your keys and go… Like right now.

As you may expect, Pots n Pans isn’t cheap but just by these 3 dishes I would recommend this place and come back again. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 4, 2013

Graffiato, Washington DC…Italian food in tapas style and portion.

Italian food in tapas style and portion. The ambience is stylish yet simple which is reflective of the food.

One of the best dishes I had at Graffiato was the crispy brussel sprouts with maple, pancetta and egg (and that’s a HUGE surprise as brussels sprouts has never been my thing). The brussel sprouts were soft on the inside, but had nicely carmelized , sweet and smoky outer edges which tasted charred and slightly burnt. The pizza we ordered (what else) the Jersey Shore was visually AND tastefully appealing. Perfectly fried and crisped calamari with a wonderful cherry pepper aoli. This was a mean pizza, and I’d order it again in a heartbeat and oh, by the way, the pizza was the only regular sized dish. The roasted potato gnocchi is a solid gnocchi dish. Not the greatest, but check out the truffles. Not all were hits, though, there were some misses too. The glazed pork belly wasnt bad, but it  didn’t quite live up to expectations and the risotto was average at best.

The wait staff was very friendly, knowledgeable and completely competent.

While I don’t think Graffiato is the best of the best, I think it’s still pretty darn good and I am compelled to return. This is still the true truth as I still say it as it is…

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May 27, 2012

2nd’s, Manila…I am sure to go back for 2nds after my first visit

2nd’s is a great little restaurant which is set up like a homey living room with a laid-back vibe.

I can see why the beef rib adobo is their bestseller. The slow braised beef ribs adobo with garlic, served with steamed rice and green mango and tomato salsa is indeed my all time favourite comfort food here. Delicious. We also had the three little pigs kawali (crispy pork belly with rosemary, foie gras bites, green mango and tomato salsa with steamed rice and special liver sauce) The roasted garlic rice is also very memorable.

Great food great service what more could you ask for !!!! I am sure to go back for 2nds after my first visit. This is the true truth as i say it as it is…

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