Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Bowl of Pho

A bowl of Pho anyone? 

Something I had craved for from watching food channels and shows like No Reservation from Anthony Bourdain, it was the first thing I looked for when I landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport,checking out possible signs or board that has the word 'pho' on it,  too bad there was no such luck, coming out from the arrival hall, I soon spotted my driver, holding a card with my name on it, I knew I had to go, I dragged myself to the vehicle and coming up next was a gruesome 3 hours plus journey cutting through Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau with mind blasting traffic, unbelievable large number of motorist, cutting in and out like nobody business, crossing junctions without looking at the traffic light and what really amazed me was nothing happen, no accident, no touching, nothing. Like needle passing through each other, flexible enough to turn and switch direction like a snake. One thing I learnt, in Vietnam, 'Red Lights' meant 'floor it' go faster... bit the red light with lightning speed. 

Vung Tau is a tourist destination, a beautiful place by the sea, with long shore lines where people can enjoy the sun and the sandy beach. At night it turns to a lively city, with neon lights around the streets, vendor selling food outside, music from the bars with young Vietnamese lady waiting by the side, hoping to get lucky tonight, and not forgetting some horny expatriates trying to get some action for the night. 

I on the other hand was worn out and hungry after all the travelling, I check in to my Hotel and I headed out looking for a meal. Pho came to mind, nothing beats a bowl of hot soup to warm the stomach and to get rid of the tiredness. It was good, refreshing and light, a slight touch of soy sauce and some chills complete the meal. Simple yet satisfying... and a promising start for the next 40 days I'm here, home away from home. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dog's Man's Best Friend and Wingman

They say 'dog is man's best friend.' 

I say ' dog is man's best friend as well as wingman.' 

Not only did he got me into meeting a young, descent and sweet veterinarian.. he managed to extinguish the anger from a grudging lady and saved my ass from getting burnt. So lesson learnt, if your brother is too busy to be your wingman, get a dog instead, preferably a puppy not too cute as you don't want him/her to get all the attention from the girl you like.  And afterwards you can start blabbering about some adventurous stories about how your dog saved your life to that girl and asked if she would be interested to see some of your pictures of you and your dog AT HOME of course. ( then... you know what's next.) 

So let's just say you already has a girl, and the weather might seem a little bit off that day and both of you started having some small quarrel and it seems like is getting into a big one pretty soon. What to do? Release the puppy! or dog whatever if he is old and still lovable into her arms, a few wiggling motion of the tear, staring at her with those innocent eyes will definitely melt her heart, presumably if your girlfriend is also a dog person.

And of course there would be time when your wife might wanna get a baby but you're not ready for that kind of commitment yet, so guess what? Get her a dog instead, keep her busy while taking care of the dog and buy you some precious time to get some parenting advice from some half dead mid age male at the local bar. 

So believe it or not... this magical creature could be your 911 call for problem with girls.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fried Nian Gao 炸年糕

I just spent  27 bucks for a freaking Hainanese chicken rice at the airport!!! and it taste no different than or may be worst than chicken rice sold outside. I was out of my freaking mind!!! Burger King no, Mcdonalds no, Starbucks no, Chicken Rice Yes?! What the fuck was I thinking... 

Well anyway, I hope everyone had a great Chap Goh Mei yesterday! Along with the public holidays, I believe everyone has a great rest during this long weekend.  For those single who went to throw mandarin oranges at the river, I hope your wish would come true, if not do continue with what you do best, keeping up the good work stalking at handsome or beautiful strangers on facebook, add them as friend and start cock talking. 

For me, I spent my Chap Goh Mei resting at home, playing with my dog and indulge myself in some good food. Fried Nian Gao came to mind, in fact I had been craving for it since the beginning of the new year, not exactly the healthiest food of all time, but for me I only get to eat that once every year, and is only during such period of time the food is at its finest and taste the best.

Neither do I fancy of abalone nor shark fin soup, but a simple food that brings back memories of the past, when Chinese New Year was fun, and despite the simple food, everyone was happy indulging and sharing. Is the food that closest to the heart, the comfort and old taste a home made delicacy could provide. For those who shared the same tradition, I believe you will feel the same.

For those of you who never had the chance to try it, Fried Nian Gao is a chinese delicacy made from left over 'nian gao 年糕’. Nian Gao was used as one of the offering items for ancestor during Chinese New Year, as the 15 days of celebration ended, the hardened 'Nian Gao' was removed and sliced into thin pieces, stack between yam or sweet potato slices, and coated with flour and goes into a deep fried mode. The result is a crispy and golden looking fried nian gao, with sweet and stickiness inside.

Do go easy on it,  as it is not the healthiest food on earth, but then again if is only once every year, let us not refrain ourself indulging the comfort food of home~ Wishing everyone the best this new year! Have your fair share of fried nian gao! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Experience at Daorae Malacca

May be is a trend, or people are genuinely more accepting foods from different culture nowadays as I see restaurants from different nationality and culture mushroom around the places. In Malacca, among those I saw the most was Korean Restaurants. It has been a trend in the past, for restaurants trying to conquer the food scene in Malacca, but not many survive throughout the years, it has always been the same reason as most Malaccans are more attached to comfort foods that are close to home, and paying more than RM5 for a bowl of noodles were deemed as ridiculous not to mentioned a Korean Ramen at RM 18 in a freaking Korean Restaurant. 

However things have change, ever since the tourism business in the state picks up after gaining recognition as a world heritage site. Businessmen are more daring in venturing into the small state of Malacca for one reason, the influx of tourist. Growing of commercial complexes, shop houses, new roads, new condos, hotels... I'm starting to doubt it was the Malacca that I once knew, and whether all this fast changing and growing is just another bubble waiting to burst. 

Anyway let's get back to food, so here I was passing by the shop that has been sitting on that corner for almost a year and never once I step food in it. Is not a big deal, in fact there are tonnes of shops that I had never once ventured in. But for this CNY I decided to do a little different, to try things out a bit, to experience the 'Samgyupsal' that appears so frequently in Korean shows, and the joyful face of those celebrity after tasting Samgyupsal seems a little too fake to me, and there I have to prove I'm right.

I walked right in at Daorae the corner shop at Jalan Melaka Raya and was greeted 'Anyeonghaseyo..' by Bangladeshi, Burmese and Pakistani waiter, it was a scene of surprise as it was common to spot foreign labor working in restaurants, coffee shops as well as hawker center.

I ordered Bulgogi as well as Samgyupsal, the two distinct and must try barbecue meat and also a side dish of kimchi ramen. Soon my table was fulled with dishes accompanied the barbeque, things like the lettuce wrap, kimchi, sweet potato, yam, chili, spring beans etc...

The barbeque was great, the best thing about it is that you don't need to get your hands dirty, the waiter will come over and do the flipping for you, and cutting it into small pieces.While all you need to worry about was what side dish you would like to add in your lettuce wrap. The meat was great, with its original flavor still intact, especially the samgyupsal was mostly original without much seasoning.  While the bulgogi was grilled for a short while and is then added with spring onions and quick stir fried before it was plated. 

Not forgetting to mention the kimchi ramen, well for RM 18 and basically with nothing inside other than the noodles and broth, I would say is not worth the try, better of to get it in the supermarket and make it on your own at home, it cost much less and you could always customize with your own ingredients and suit your own taste.

Apart from the food, I do enjoy the view outside the window, as the shop was located right at the corner and is two storey above, you get a pretty descent view of Melaka Raya, as well as the Shopping Malls nearby, especially when night falls and all the lights are up. Sitting near the window and looking at the busy street in between of Dataran Pahlawan and Mahkota Parade, something for u to enjoy while u are chewing that lettuce wrap.

Food wise, is definitely a good choice to op for if you're looking for a change. Price wise, is definitely a place to think twice if your pocket is tight or even if it is lose, something you wouldn't wish to eat daily. Vibe, depends... as in normal days, Malacca is usually quiet but is also better that way so you could enjoy your meal without the annoying noise from some drunk ass tourist or the crying baby sitting across of you. A place close by to the malls and other tourist attractions in Malacca, or if you're looking for a meal before the movie starts. It is also a good place to hangout with friends and have a descent meal.