October 10th, 2015 No Comments »
The picture doesn’t quite do justice to how good the food at Pok Pok is, it’s Thai food so legit (my Thai colleague absolutely loves this place) that we had to return the Papaya salad because it was way too hot for any of our Asian taste buds! And my group included a Korean, Filipino and a Singaporean who eats super spicy Indian food. It was that spicy.
The best way to visit? Is to go with a lot of patience – expect at least a 45 minutes wait. No reservations are allowed. But it’s all worth it. We ordered the Papaya pork pork (returned it and they kindly substituted with kang kong stir fry which was great too), Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings (MUST ORDER! I want to cook this!!!!), some insanely good sweet pork belly and fried fish. You know when they say that it’s silly to fly a thousand miles to eat Asian food, I had say it’s not. Produce is a lot fresher and better and as most are opened by Asian immigrants, you can expect to enjoy authentic Asian cuisine. After all, there’s only so much western food that one can have.. even for me.
3226 SE Division Street
+(1) 503 232 1387
Opens daily: 1130am-10pm
October 9th, 2015 No Comments »
This year has truly been a year of travel. It’s been a well balance of travels for both work and leisure. I would really like to be able to travel more for personal but I think that will come in good time. With every travel, I return fuller with experiences, horizons broaden and charged up about life.
I recalled a good friend urging me to go on solo travels. To be brave and travel the world alone. To be honest, I think that is a bit overrated. One does not need to backpack, travel to exotic (and/or dangerous) locations, to be considered solo traveling. From as far back as I can remember, I mostly travel alone. I might meet up friends at my destination for example, this April where I stayed with friends in Tokyo or in London in August, I fly alone, I navigate on myself, I plan everything without the reliance of anyone. Most friends I know travel with their partners and trust me, it is very different when you travel with someone. Traveling alone, I’m forced to be more independent, to be aware and everything is heightened. Do I think that it is a must? I don’t. I like sharing moments with people. I do enjoy me-time, where I walk around on my own, do what I want to do, eat what I want to eat but, I prefer me-time back home. Isn’t it a waste to travel and not be able to share it with others? So if you ask me, I can say, solo travel – been there done that. And perhaps in some ways, I am ‘saving up’ certain destinations to travel with friends or a special someone.
San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the whole world. It was really a last minute work trip, just a quick in an out. 1.5 days to be exact. There was so much that I wanted to experience (eat really 😛 ). I’ve been to SF several times and it never gets old. So out of the list of friends living there, I contacted a friend whom I really wanted to catch-up with. And it is true when they say that when friends really want to meet up, there will be no excuses and all effort will be taken to make it happen. Never mind that he had just hiked Yosemite or that I was flat out from a day of walking and store visits, we were both tired but it was strangely relaxing catching over dinner. It’s times like these where I truly treasure the notion of friendship. Where you don’t need much but just time to catchup.
San Francisco was one of those trips which was just not enough. I needed more days, more time. Just more of it. But when I left, I was happy. Happy because it was productive, happy because I spent time where it matters. I hope to be back sooner rather than later. There is a long list of places that I want to visit and more people to catch up with.
October 6th, 2015 No Comments »
Thanks to my burger loving colleagues, we can always count on having a good burger in Portland. I keep hearing about Paymaster’s burger – best burger ever. To be honest, for me, a good burger is a good burger. I can’t decide on ‘a best’. This one really did blow my mind for the simplicity of it.
Order the double patty. Which I didn’t of course and ordered the single. Still, it was great. Apparently, the double is even better. What is good about it? The homemade bun – ordered from a tiny unassuming bakery, it is so soft, so good. Next, the patty. Superbly juicy but not oily. Most good burgers here tend to be too greasy. If it isn’t greasy, it is dry. This one was perfect. And then it was just simple. Nothing fancy, just good old lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese. Good old American cheese. A classic burger at it’s best. I’m tellin’ ya. Portland is the place to go for good food.
1020 NW 17th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
+(1) 503 943 2780
Opens: daily, 2pm-230am
October 5th, 2015 1 Comment »
Portland in September can be surprising. Most of the time, you’ll land up having the lovely tail-end of summer where the temperature is just perfect and that spot of sun and clear blue skies. There were days where it was chilly though the sun was out and strong but no complaints because from what we are experiencing right now here in Singapore… -_- The best part? It didn’t rain! Quite rare for Portland.
We had a great mini Olympics day and I surprised myself playing badminton (we even won by 2 points!), fared terribly at basketball and golf and javelin and well, I’m not really as sporty as most think I am.. the last segment was a 3 men running relay and well, it was based on speed so I told the guys to go ahead. However, most were injured from the previous competitive efforts at football etc, and I was left to run. Okay fine. Never mind that I was not wearing my usual running shoes, or didn’t have my proper sports sunglasses and haven’t run in ages. In all good Nike spirit – Just do it. So I asked who was going to start off the relay and the two guys said I can do it. Uh really? I reminded them that it was a race of speed.. there was no way that tiny Asian me can even keep up to the big boys. I landed up running the first leg, yep, I was the only girl. Check out my game face there, it was so daunting. The whistle blew and the guys sped off and I tried so hard to keep up. I was left behind quite quickly but what was cool was that everyone was cheering for me – ‘cos I was the only girl. I didn’t give up. That was what matters. I came in dead last for my leg but my team didn’t finish last
I earned respect. People came up to say good job and I had guts to do it. The big surprise was when my team won overall, first place baby! So we each earned a pair of customized kicks. Team effort for the win, that’s what I love about sports. You never know how far you can push yourself too. Even if you don’t win, there’s a lot to gain just by trying.
September 12th, 2015 No Comments »
If you are looking for cute souvenirs, a nifty bookstore or want to pick up some cool prints, Magma is always worth a visit. There are a couple outlets but I do like the ones at Clerkenwall and Covent Garden. Would you believe me if I said that I didn’t get anything from either store? But yes, I didn’t. Bookshops are such happy places. You don’t need to buy anything to feel happy and sometimes, just browsing is suffice.
117-119 Clerkenwell Road
London, EC1R 5BY, UK
+(44) 020 7242 9503
Opens: Mon-Sat, 10am-7pm
Magma Covent Garden (flagship store)
29 Shorts Garden, Covent Garden
London, Wc2H 9AP, UK
+(44) 020 7240 7970
Opens: Mon-Sat, 11am-7pm, Sun, 12-6pm
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September 11th, 2015 No Comments »
If you are a foodie/food appreciator or whatever you prefer to call yourself, the name Heston Blumenthal or Fat Duck shouldn’t be foreign to you. While it is terribly difficult to secure a reservation at Fat Duck, Dinner by Heston is a worthy alternative.
Helmed by Ashley Palmer-Watts who is the Executive Head Chef of the Fat Duck Group, the menu created by him and Heston is unique and inspiring. I went with very high expectations of this two Michelin star restaurant and didn’t leave disappointed. In fact, it is a place that I would love to pay a visit to each time I am in London. So the day that I went with I, I was at the worst point of my flu. I was blowing into a tissue literally every 5 minutes, I sounded hoarse and till the extent that one of the staff noticed and kindly offered a hot cup of water with honey and lemon while I waited for I who was running 45 minutes late. To side track a little, the service was so warm, by that particular staff and I wished I had gotten his name, I felt better than I really was. So thank you to whoever it was..
The food is good. But I would say, the starters are better so the next visit, I might actually just order all starters. The meat fruit is an absolutely must order – a mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread. I think we had the Salmagundi or chicken oysters with a marrow bone and that was spectacular as well. The mains were good, don’t get me wrong, but I felt that the starters were more unique and portrayed more of Heston’s personality. And then there is dessert. Dessert is always a benchmark for me to determine if a place is really good and it truly lived up. The tipsy cake is another must-order. That whole simple yet heavenly combination of a soft brioche like bun cake was simply indescribable. I also hear that the brown bread ice cream and I think almost most are recommended.
Please let me be back soon!
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
66 Knightsbridge, London
SW1X LA, UK
+(44) 20 7235 2000
Opens: Mon-Sun, 12-230pm, 630-1030pm
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September 3rd, 2015 No Comments »
It’s been a month and I’m still dreaming of these eclairs. My friend said they’ve recently been featured and the popularity of it has increased. I think the eclair trend is catching on, whether it is in London or Singapore.. mark my words. Nonetheless, these pretty eclairs are baked fresh daily and are delightfully light, soft and crisp. The entire result is very delicate. Almost like a visual piece of art, it isn’t just pretty to look at but wonderful to savor. The owner is Joakim Prat who was previously the head pastry chef for Joel Robuchon in the UK so there you go! A michelin star eclair.
If you were to visit and I would advise that you do especially if you fancy your desserts like I do.. it is better to go early rather than later during the day. I went an hour just before closing and quite a few flavors were sold out. Service is polite and that’s about all that you get. Also, do note that eating in means you will be charged more and if I recall correctly, a take-away eclair averages 5 pounds. It’s worth it.
15 Harrington Road
London SW7 3ES, UK
+(44) 20 3583 4561
Opens: Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm, Sat, Sun, 10am-7pm
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