Category Archives: Food

How to Visit Hanoi in 2 Days? (Day 1 of 2 – PM)

Picking up mid afternoon, I’d reckon you would have probably completed some shopping around the Old Quarters and is ready for more sight-seeing!

Apart from some of the places to see in Hanoi, one must also not forget to try out the bevy of delicacies of Hanoi street foods! Yes, I must admit that you could easily explore food by yourself, but I opted for an easier (and lazier too!) way out – sign up for a Street Food Tour. Besides, I thought eating in a group would be more fun too! There were quite a few options available, but I took up my package worth USD20 from Hanoi Street Food Tours, which was located very near from my hotel. For an additional USD5, the package also bundled in a ticket to the Thang Long Water Puppet Show.

The Food Tour was quite an interesting concept where a tour guide would take the group around the Old Quarters on foot, stopping at street restaurants, road-side stalls, and even casual cafes for a sampling of Vietnamese food. Here’s a series of pictures of my food trail taken during this 3-hour street food tour, which started form about 5pm.

1.Some Pork Noodles in Sweet Soup Sauce

Mashed up together! Yummy!

2. Pho Bo (Beef Noodles – don’t leave Hanoi without trying it!)

3. Banh Cuon Thit (Meat rolls – something like chee cheong fun)

Basil is found at almost every stall we ate!

4. Assortment of Spring Rolls – tastes something like popiah but brimming with porky goodness!

5. Sugar Cane Water

6. Grilled Pork on a Stick, or as I would rather call Pork Satay…

7. Fried Banana Cake – sorry….no hands to take a pic, but this was the Vietnamese version of Pisang Goreng. 😛

8. Vietnamese Egg Coffee @ Cafe Giang

through the straight and narrow path…
Superb Egg Coffee…just the perfect way to cap off a hearty street food tour!

9. Thang Long Water Puppet Show

After the Street Food Tour ended at about 8pm, we took a short stroll towards Hoan Kiem Lake, where not far off its north tip was the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre!

Overall, I thought the show was quite interesting – something really different seeing puppets moving about on the water. Perhaps it could be made more interesting if the storyline of the show was somehow translated into English; or some translation text flashed on the wall somewhere during the show. Great place to take small kids though. 😀

10. Den Ngoc Son Bridge (at night!)

As you exit the Theatre, just cross the road towards Hoan Kiem Lake and you can get a magnificent view of Den Ngoc Son at night…

11. Dong Xuan Night Market (only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7-11pm)

From 9pm onwards, feel free to explore other parts of the Old Quarters. If you are travelling to Hanoi over on Fridays to Sundays, do check out their kilometre long night market – great place for buying more souvenirs before you go home! 😛

And whilst you are hungry, simply stop by any streetside stalls for more food! Here’s some other pics of foods I whacked in Hanoi…

can’t get enough of em yummy spring rolls!
boiled piggie ears dipped in lemon sauce
hidden springy noodles with seafood
tofu..
Vietnam apples!

 

beef noodles with sprinkling of peanut….YUMMY!!
Chicken Pho

…and THAT concludes Day ONE of sight-seeing and stomach feasting in Hanoi!

So what do you do now with ONE more day left in Hanoi? Easy, one does not come all the way to Hanoi and miss Ha Long Bay….

Stay tuned as we explore beautiful Ha Long Bay for the entire of Day 2!

 

Where have all the chickens gone?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have this weird theory that world pollution is making our chickens becoming smaller and smaller in size!…especially those that they keep serving us from those popular fast food joints like KFC, Kenny Rogers, Nandos, etc.

Don’t believe me?

Check out these photos where I sized up the average chicken bought from one of these fast food joints and compared it with an average ‘kampung’ chicken…

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Shocked?

Then, I measured the chicken from the fast food joint with a regular RM1 note…

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Gasp!!! I hear?

Seriously, folks…where have all the chickens gone?…:-P

Tappers Cafe (Bangsar South)

We were doing some weekend shopping in Bangsar South during one of the weekends when we chanced upon this restaurant called Tappers Cafe. Since the restaurant was new to us, we didn’t have much expectations when we decided to try it out.

At first glance, it looked like another ‘kopi-tiam’ wannabe, with a menu selection of classic local favourites like toasted bread, half-boiled eggs, etc. The cafe was also decorated quite nicely with photographs of old Perak tin mines. Strange though as I would have expected some photos of rubber tappers…heh.

Anyway, I also kinda liked the soft rattan chairs which gave it a very ‘easy and cosy evening’ type of feel.

In terms of food, we went for their western offerings – trying out the fish and chips as well as the hainanese chicken chop. The chicken chop, especially was really well cooked and rather tasty, considering it was an oriental-style of saucing up the chicken (with tomato-like gravy). They were also quite generous with the potatos that complemented the main dishes.

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the yummylicious hainanese chicken chop
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nicely cooked fish and chips

I couldn’t resist ordering the ‘goo leng peng’ (sirap bandung) too. Nice and refreshing! Ahhh

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just like the classic fav!

A quick glance at their menu shows the prices at Tappers to be quite reasonable, around RM 10 for a western ala carte; which was surprisingly cheap in Bangsar area! Even the typical breakfast favourites like the toasted bread and half boiled eggs is below RM 5, and relatively cheaper compared to the Old Towns and the Uncle Lims.

Definitely value for money with excellent food and decent service!

Ambience:

Service:

Food:

Price:

OVERALL:

El Cerdo, KL

Being a lover of pork, I’m partly ashamed to say that I have not heard about this restaurant before. So when I was introduced to it, my expectations were quite low but when I left, it had made enough impressions to make me wanting more.

Located in Changkat Bukit Bintang, KL, Elcerdo specializes in serving pork, pork and more porky stuff! No kidding. The starter we had consisted of 6-7 types of ham from all over the world. Whoa…But of course, any visit to Elcerdo wouldn’t be complete without trying their specialty, that is the roast suckling piglet, which costs around RM 220.

Now what sets Elcerdo’s piglet apart from others is perhaps the way it is served. Apparently, the method of hanging an drying the piglet has a real Spanish history behind it. The end result is an entire piglet which is dried so well that you can’t really feel the oily-ness or fat in it! Contradictory to normal piglets, the one in Elcerdo actually feels like it has more meat to it.You may also unknowingly think you were actually eating healthy pork! Seriously!

The other tradition of Elcerdo’s specialty is the presentation style of the piglet. To prove that the piglet has been so well-roasted, dried and tender, the waiter will teach the art of cutting the piglet by using a porcelain plate. Two other diners would be offered the opportunity perform the stunt after that. After that, in a tradition to throw away bad luck or old burdens (represented by the plate used to cut the piglet), the diners will then literally break the plate in a pail provided by the restaurant. Of course, this is done only after the diner makes a wish for LOVE or MONEY. Different wishes will require the plate to be held in a different position before it is broken. Cool stuff.

Ambience is excellent with the cottage styled decor giving all diners a relaxed and laid-back feeling…sorta like pigs, but I shall not venture there.

Service was also exceptional. Every food presented was like attending a porky convention with tutorials of what type of pork was being served and also the skills required to cut up the piglet.

Last but not least, price is fair for its location. Apart from the must-try piglet, a normal portion of meal would cost around RM 60-80/person. If you go for some light stuff like German sausages or pasta only, then it could also hover just below RM50.

Don’t take my word for it. Check out their really CUTE website at www.elcerdokl.com for more details and location map (pig-styled…)

Rating: ★★★★★

Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com

Purina Alpo 2-in1 Dogfood

We humans have been enjoying these kind of products for quite some time already…3-in-1 beverages, 13-in-1 shampoos, etc…so why not dogs?!

Although the above product has been around for a few months already, I thought it’ll be good to do some promotion and awareness for other dog lovers who may not have heard of this wonderful and innovative dog food.

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Product promo reads:

ALPO® 2 in 1 offers your dog delicious taste and texture variety anytime he wants! Each nutritious kibbles of ALPO® 2 in 1 is infused with mouth-watering meat juice. Serve dry for a delicious, crunchy meal. Or when it’s time for a change, just add room temperature water and stir to release the meat juices to create a delivious combination of a juicy sauce, coating each crunchy, nutritious kibble.

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When I first heard of this product, I really had doubts that it was just another gimmick, but it did arouse my curiousity to just try it and see. When I first tried it, I was quite disappointed that the apparent juicy meal (when mixed with water) didn’t quite work. It was almost like putting water into a pile of pebbles!

Then one day, I poured the water into bowlful of doggie chunks but forgot to bring it out to my dogs immediately. When I took the now soggy dog food out, I realised it has turned into a real juicy and appetising looking meal! Yummy!

So, now I’ve learnt to put not so much water to mix with the chunks, and allow some time for the water to absorb into the chunks to make it more juicy. Both my dogs really love it, and the best thing is that I can now swtich from dry or juicy whenever I like! Cool huh?

My high rating for this product goes out for its innovativeness, excellent quality and satisfaction of my dogs!

Go ahead, I really do recommend that you try one today too!

RRP: Below RM 25 per 3kg pack

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

3 Penang Oddities

Category: Restaurants
Cuisine: Asian
Location: Penang

Like all previous trips to Penang, I was happy indulging away in their varied and delicious spread of hawker food during my recent trip there last week. However, I was also fortunate to have tasted some other type of typical and not so typical Penang food whose locations may not be so commonly known to many, let alone Penangites.

My three selected food reviews from Penang are:

1. Hilltown Valley Restaurant
Type: Seafood
Location: Somewhere on a hill of Balik Pulau. Off the main small road leading to Balik Pulau, one would need to turn right at a particular junction. I didn’t see any signboards so this could be quite tricky. Next comes a near 80-degree slope upwards followed by a 40-degree slope. Pretty scary drive up and down. Or one could opt to leave the car at the foot hill and talk a leisurely walk up.

Breathtaking view of Penang city can be experienced from this restaurant. Pretty good seafood served. I recommend the small lobster cooked with cheese apart from the usual treasures of the ocean. Apart from the constant menace of mozies, I have no complaints. Great food, great view.

Rating: ★★★½☆

2. Restoran Hameediyah
Type: Nasi Kandar
Location: Behind Penang Street (Campbell Lane, I think)

Anyone would think that another nasi kandar review from Penang would be an overkill but there was just something about this particular one that I just had to share with all. Established in 1907 (as stated on the plaque outside their restaurant), these guys have been selling the same kid of food with the same kind of quality (as they claim) for close to a century! Long before the Kayus, Kassims, Khaleels, etc., they have been there and are strongly against opening branches all over the country.

The ambience and décor of this eatery is eye-catching, especially if you’re into antiquities or have a soft heart for the olde. For one, they still use a pulley to transport the rice and lauk from ground floor to the second floor; they still use chalk and small blackboard to count your bill; they still have a poster menu from the days of old – really old type of font; old tiles everywhere; old taps and basins and mirrors.

Foodwise is only average but the setting is simply unique and deserves a four-star rating from me.

Rating: ★★★★☆

3. Passions of Kerala
Type: Banana Leaf Curry Restaurant
Location: Taman Brown, on a half hill, near a playground or field. Road leading to restaurant is extremely tight (read single lane). One may have to reverse out the same way after the meal…

Similar to any other banana-leaf restaurant you may have tried, yet this is Penang and it is really uncommon to have this type of meal reviewed.

The curry cooked here is really tasty, and I will recommend the fried fish which has a distinct crunchy aroma to it. Only complaint is the lack and difficulty of parking. Food is truly satisfying.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Note: My apologies for lack of visuals. Proof of mouth faster than light…

Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com

Putrajaya Lakehouse Club

Category: Restaurants
Cuisine: Asian
Location: Precinct 8, Putrajaya

Specialty: Malay-styled cooking
Average Price Range: RM 10 – 15 per person; buffet about RM 30 pax available upon request

Analysis:

This place scores the highest points in terms of ambience and architecture. It is a lakehouse club after all, but the way the entire clubhouse was designed was just marvelous. It was like stepping onto a huge boat, complete with secondary decks (reserved dining restaurant for members), mast like structure where one can climb up to see the beautiful Putrajaya lakeview (not a stunt for the problematic hearted..), basement galley where they store the boats and a rowing gym. Even the railings along the main cafe and restaurant is like what you get on a boat! Looking up the ceiling, you can see that painstaking detail has been included to make it really look like a boat!…

OK ok, shall move away from the physical design and on with the food. Although this place serves the typical malay styled ala carte meals (nasi goreng paprik, kung fu koay teow, etc.), the quality of the food is quite exceptional. A colleague told me that he once tried the buffet buka puasa during the month of Ramadhan and the food (although quite a limited spread) was excellent.

That night, what I tried was their dishes –  buttered prawns (fantastic!), mutton kurma (still dreamin’ of it), mixed vege (not bad), deep-fried chicken with onion rings (quite good actually!), fried beehoon (typical, but quite spicy), steamed fish (smelled and tasted quite fishy..) and dessert (mango pudding and fruits). Overall, the food were really tasty the only thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was the poor service of refilling our drinks. Although they only had like less than 5 tables to serve that night!

Conclusion:
Great place for a nice romantic or family meal on a “boat” and the night could be completed with the optional stroll along the deck like edges of the boat. The lakeside view of Putrajaya is sure to take your breath away too. This place would have gotten my full 5 stars if not for the poor service given. But with great cookin’ and view to boot, the place is truly highly recommended.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Fish & Co.

Category: Restaurants
Cuisine: Seafood
Location: Sunway Pyramid (though they also have other branches around)

Specialty: Seafood (western-style) and pasta (with seafood, of course)
Average Price Range: RM 15 – 30 per person (excluding tax)

Analysis:
(Be forewarned that since I eat almost everything in sight, I might be the worst food critic in town. Heh.)

Tried their supposedly award winning Seafood Platter, which came with generous portions of tiger prawns, mussels, deep fried calamari, fish fillet, chips and raisin yellow rice. Though the prawn was a little bland in taste, overall, the quality of the food served was excellent. The texture of the calamari was just right, not tough and rubbery as I’ve tasted before. The mussels was just so succulent and juicy. The sweet raisin rice also went quite well with the other stuff, the fish especially. And I particularly liked the way the food came…get this, it was served in a huge wok/pan. Very unique indeed. The meal I ate also came with the soup of the day (it was Clam Chowder day) and their signature drink (tried the Kola Fizz and some Passion Fruity thingy) The soup was slightly diluted for me, but the much of the taste was retained, so no complaints. Drinks were not too fantastic, just average.

In terms of ambience, they had most of the decor right: shark here, fishing pole there, lifeboat on the wall, etc. One could choose to sit outside or inside. Both has its own appeal and the lighting gave sufficient light for an enjoyable and romantic meal.

Service in particular was not quite up to mark though. Firstly, they forgot to serve the main course with the three fishy dip sauces. Though they did try to make it up with some minties after I paid the bill, I think. And then they didn’t have anyone opening the main door as the customer left. Minor grouches I guess but I believe there should always be room for improvement.

Conclusion:
If you love western-styled seafood, Fish & Co. is definitely a place worth checkin’ out.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)