Welcome to 'Thebokeeffect'. My little space of life through My Perspective. Find out more about me via the 'About' section and thanks for visiting!

Pok Pok

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.

Pok Pok
3226 SE Division Street
+(1) 503 232 1387
Opens daily: 1130am-10pm

Paymaster Lounge

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.

Paymaster Lounge
1020 NW 17th Ave

Portland, OR 97209
+(1) 503 943 2780
Opens: daily, 2pm-230am

Fun at work

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.

Pine State Biscuits

July 23rd, 2015 No Comments »


You know what’s missing here?

This. Cafes, restaurants serving good buttermilk biscuits with chicken and gravy. Or any sort of biscuit brunch option. These guys started off as a food cart or stall at farmers’ market almost a decade ago then did so well that they opened a shop and now, they own a bustling restaurant. I love stories like this.

What can you find here? Good old-style Southern buttermilk biscuits that are freshly made on-site. The menu options are all variations of biscuit sandwiches. That’s really the best. A restaurant focusing on what they do best and not trying to do everything and anything that is popular.

Popular orders are the Moneyball – biscuit and gravy with an over easy egg and I had the Reggie Deluxe – biscuit, fried chicken, bacon and cheese and of course, gravy. Stumptown coffee is served here and I love the sweet tea i.e. iced tea in local translation. Just a note, iced tea in the States means literally iced regular tea with no sweetener. There is no such thing as syrup with tea so just something to know :) I’ve ordered it numerous times, forgetting that it means something different and always land up with bad tea and then trying to sweeten it with regular sugar – not nice at all.

I think I need to bake some buttermilk biscuits soon.

Pine State Biscuits

SE Division
1100 SE Division #100
Portland OR97202
+(1) 503 236-3346
Opens: Mon-Weds, 7am-3pm, Thurs-Sun, 7am-11pm

Por Que No?

July 20th, 2015 No Comments »

Good mexican food in Singers is so hard to find. And once you’ve tried Por Que Nos.. you’ll be so spoilt. I can’t believe I didn’t visit it earlier. I guarantee, this one is going to be a regular repeat for my trips.

What do I recommend? The Guacamole and housemade chips – insane. Ceviche is a must have too and of course, the tacos – braised beef tongue and fish were my favorites.

Por Que No?

3524 N Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR 97227
(503) 467-4149
Opens: Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-9:30pm

4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97215
(503) 954-3138
Opens: Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-9:30pm

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Ava Genes

December 23rd, 2014 No Comments »


Portland has almost become a transient city for some of my colleagues. A number have moved over and moved back or to another city, and for me, it’s almost really ‘second home’. I visit it several times a year and the one thing I do look forward to, is the food. It’s mostly affordable, really darn good and best part of all, it’s tax free. Ava Genes has apparently been really popular amongst the local and strangely, none of us has ever visited! All thanks to a colleague who’s just moved over, I could trust that he has been sniffing out new and great places since he’s quite a big foodie.

The food is great. No doubt about it. We had a customized mix of trio of salads – pumpkin in brown butter, currants and pecans, beets with pickled leeks and cashews and I can’t recall what was the third. Nonetheless, all were spectacular. It is known for its pastas – all house made and the meats where you can see it coming out from that fab oven if you sit by the bar counter as we did. I’ll definitely return for the food but you know why I’ll also return? Ava Genes has one of the best services ever and I have to share this story.

As my friend said, only such a thing would happen to me. But luck had it that I sat on fresh gum that was stuck on the bar counter stool (likely from the previous inconsiderate customer..) and it stuck onto my dress. I excused myself without a word and spent some time in the restroom trying to pick out the gum. It was fresh (so gross picking it out eewl) and I managed to pull off most of it except the part that was stuck directly onto the dress and it was a rather obvious and big patch. I returned to my seat, noticed the gum on the chair and asked the waitress if she could please change my chair and explained why.

I wasn’t expecting this response but she started apologizing profusely. I said look it really isn’t your fault – the person was just being an a**. Seriously, who does things like this? :( She said, it was their fault for not checking the chair before I sat down. She then went to google how to remove gum stains and returned with a vodka soaked cloth and tried to pull it off but to no avail. After about 10 minutes of trying using multiple methods, she told me that they wanted to make this right for me. Now just to point out, I wasn’t even kicking up a fuss or blaming them and I was really impressed at the lengths she took to try to remove it. The solution? I was told to get the gum removed at whatever cost it took or they could pay me for the dress. It was just a H&M dress and I said it’s ok but she insisted and gave me her card. I explained that I was visiting from out of town and she said okay, we will sort this out before you leave.

To cut the long story short, I got it cleaned up at the dry cleaners at the hotel. The hotel staff was equally nice to call the restaurant and sort out the charges so that I didn’t even see the bill. And just like that, everything was sorted out. Impressive service and dare I say, best restaurant experience ever. I may forget the flavors of what I ate or even what I ordered, but I will never forget this service and because of that, I will return to Ava Genes over and over again. Now if only, we could take some learnings of such service and have it applied here..

Ava Genes
3377 SE Division St

+1 (503) 971-229-0571
Opens daily, 5-11pm

Afterglobe debut

January 25th, 2014 No Comments »

Travel enthusiasts, fans of reads such as Kinfolk, Cereal, Spoon, Darling.., a new travel magazine has launched here in Singapore – Afterglobe ~ Beyond Singapore and BackThe pilot issue is a solid compilation consisting of 160 quality printed matte pages. I am holding a copy in my hand as I script out this entry and the smell of freshly printed paper is amazing. This is a locally produced magazine, by Singaporeans (though conceptualized in Portland so it’s extra special to me!), for Singaporeans and everyone elsewhere and it’s truly ‘local pride’ right here.

I’m proud and honored to be part of this inaugural issue, yes! The picture above is a snapshot of my article (on page 100). Heartfelt thanks to the Afterglobe team for inviting me to be part of this fantastic initiative and writing the piece brought back many fond memories.

Me aside, when A dropped off the copies for me, I was initially excited and nervous at seeing my published article then blown away by the rest of the content of it. Afterglobe features not only local writing but also, poetry, art and illustrations, photography, short excerpts, fiction and recipes. You won’t find the usual top 5 popular travel spots but instead, the off-beaten tracks, the undiscovered cities and the hidden gems that you won’t hear about in travel books and sites. Each page is printed on quality matte paper, each photograph has a wonderful vintage feel to it and I almost want to classify it as a ‘coffee-table book’ versus just a standard magazine. Something that you would keep around where the reads won’t expire.

I passed around my copy of Afterglobe around the office and everyone was impressed at the quality and content and were asking for details on its availability for purchase. As someone mentioned, “This is such a great mag! I hope it’ll stay around.’ So please do support this local travel magazine! It will be released biannually grab a copy before it runs out. And for my friends that intend to buy a copy to support me, thanks in advance 😛


Afterglobe is available for purchase online via the Afterglobe online store at USD22 and free shipping is provided within Singapore. For international orders, a flat rate will be charged.

It can also be purchased at the following stores at SGD28

Artistry – 17 Jalan Pinang, Singapore 199149
Books Actually – No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645

Glow Deli – 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131
Peek – 36 Armenian Street, Singapore 179934
The Redundant Shop – 5 Everton Park, #01-22, Singapore 080005

Afterglobe invited me to contribute to the inaugural issue and kindly gifted me with a contributor’s copy however, all opinions are solely my own.

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