Bangkok: Krau Apsorn

Hello from Bangkok, aka every Singaporean’s go to destination for food and shopping. It’s been 22 years since I’ve been here (yes I was 2 when my parents first brought me, and I haven’t returned since) and I had great expectations for all the food I was gonna eat! Early dinner at Krau Apsorn did not disappoint. Quite fitting that it was my first meal in Bangkok because I found it to be homely and comforting: it’s as though Bangkok was welcoming me back, twenty two years on.

 Crab fried rice. To be honest, not mindblowing, but it would have cost a bomb to add crab to your fried rice in Singapore so this is a steal! I was nursing a blocked nose so I really couldn’t taste the crab.. Nonetheless, this is a solid, decent plate of fried rice and it was cooked beautifully – the grains did not clump together.   TOM YUM SOUP!!! Being chickens, we obviously asked for less spicy.. And it came, just right for us. I find that Nakhon at home is too spicy for my tastebuds, so much that I can’t even enjoy my meal. This wasn’t the case. It was spicy but the spicy came at the end.. And the sourness really kicked in! best part: there were ten prawns in the soup. TEN. It also cost 150 baht (~S$6, or £3). My favourite tom yum soup by far (I’ve had about 3), full of mushrooms and prawns and so tangy & punchy! Crab omelette. Like the crab fried rice, the taste of the crab was lost in here. That aside, it is an excellent omelette – so incredibly fluffy, and it was better than my breakfast omelette at the Renaissance.

Stir fried Chinese greens with deep fried pork – never have been a fan of crispy pork skin but I demolished this! The ratio of pork to crispy skin was perfect for me and made my supposedly healthiest dish for the night into well, something sinful. NO REGRETS THOUGH.

In all, a wonderful start to the trip. If I lived in Bangkok, this would be my neighbourhood tze char joint.

Address: 169 Dinso Road, Wat Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok

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Bistrot Paul Bert

Bonsoir mes amis! I love Paris – the food is always amazing. Was in a mega grumpy state when I arrived at Gare du Nord because my train from Manchester to London was delayed because of an added stop at Rugby after 3 trains before mine got cancelled due to a maintenance fault. Was rushing to find a toilet at St Pancras as well – WHERE ARE ALL OF THEM!??? – and panicking that I wouldn’t be able to check in in time, but okay whatever, arrived at Gare du Nord safe & sound!!!

One thing to note, please don’t be late for your dinner reservation in Paris. We were 20 minutes late for ours and were greeted with disapproving looks. OOOOPS. Can’t really fault them because.. it technically was our fault. Well, Eurostar if you really wanted to pinpoint the blame.

Paul Bert does a menu prixe fixe thing where you mix and match the courses that you want to have. There are 5 choices in each category to choose from and I think the range is quite diverse and will provide for most people. The only problem was deciphering the French. Google Translate is a crappy translator because… I wanted to confirm if mulet was fish & all it gave us was ‘mule’… but after seeing diners on the other table get some white fish tartare I was SO GUTTED.

Yuwen started with the scallops in butter while I had the leek with foie gras. The scallops were fresh and chewy; the way fresh seafood should be and the butter really brought out the flavour well. The leeks were unlike anything I’ve ever tried – it is difficult to really describe them except they were marinated well and provided crucial balance to foie gras which can get really intense and gamey (in other words, gelat) after a while. Who would have thought foie gras and leek were such a good match?

For the mains, both of us naturally went straight for the l’entrecote having read SO MUCH about it online, and watching tables before us get served with the entrecote. Seems like it was a popular choice! The one that really sealed the deal was actually the frites. The wafts of freshly fried frites on other people’s tables were driving both of us nuts – one can only imagine our happiness when our steak frites arrived. FIRST THING: OMG THE SLAB OF MEAT. It was huge. SECOND THING: THE FRIES!!!!! Cutting into the beef was amazing, the cross-section looked suitably pink (medium was truly medium!!) and the beef was well seasoned and marinated, I didn’t even use the accompanying bearnaise sauce. Had it with mustard; I would say I’m a purist but then again, I guess if I’m truly a purist I wouldn’t even need mustard.. Yu Wen commented that the steak was way better than the one she had at CUT (by Wolfgang Puck, in Singapore) which was simply overpriced. The frites were on a whole new level. Lightly sprinked with salt, the frites were cooked perfectly with the taste of the potatoes coming through. I don’t know how they do their frites but everyone should take lessons from this Bistro because we couldn’t stop eating them. They were REALLY something. (Edit: Actually, France just does frites really well.)

Dessert portions were also MASSIVE. We shared the Paris Brest and the Tarte Tartin. Both were excellent. Paris Brest is a hazelnut pastry filled with hazelnut cream, in a shape of a wheel. The hazelnut cream was so light, and not overly sweet – it was addictive. The tarte tartin was also well cooked, with a slight smokiness to the apple. It was more like a stewed apple dessert rather than a tart… but not really complaining. So gooooood.

Even the table bread was wonderful – there is just something about French bread, isn’t it!? Paul Bert is a place that I would make a point to visit if I ever return to Paris. It was €36 for 3 courses, and I daresay we really did get more than our money’s worth, considering the portion sizes. Nowhere in UK/Singapore have I gotten anything this special and at such a steal. My only gripe was that coke cost me €5 😦 That was purely my fault though. Paul Bert is really special, and I like that it’s a bistro, which means it’s more intimate and personal, literally, as everyone is squished together – not much of fancypants dining, but just French classics done simply, and done well.

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Bistrot Paul Bert
18 Rue Paul Bert
75011 Paris, France‎

KELLIE’S 21ST AT NOBU

So yes, exams are coming in about a few weeks, and here I am. Honestly this is a meal I want to etch into my mind FOREVER. MINDBLOWING, JAWDROPPING, ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT FOOD with the BEST COMPANY EVER. I sound vaguely high on drugs but honestly I don’t know how to describe what a dinner it was.. way to celebrate 21st in style, Kel!!! More than anything I’m just glad that we don’t lose touch with each other even when Adele & Jem are in Oxford, Kel & Athena in Cambridge, Molly in London & me in Manc.. this is such a throwback to our JC/gps foodclub days.

SASHIMI. The thing is, you wouldn’t expect them to serve sashimi this way, having been accustomed to eating sashimi on its own. Nonetheless, they are excellently complemented with the accompanying condiments, and I think the standout among the sashimi is the yellowtail with jalapeno. I’m not sure if it counts as fusion, jalapenos always remind me of mexican tacos for some reason..

Beef Tenderloin Tataki with Ponzu and Garlic Chips. This was an explosion in the mouth of sorts. If I thought the sashimi was good, this was a whole new level man. The umami-ness (how do i make umami an adverb? is it even an abverb??) of this is just. WOAH WOAH WOAH. This is the dish that will make you sit up and take notice. It’s like when you’re nodding off and you need something to snap you awake. THIS IS THE DISH. I had no idea that this was garlic chips + ponzu that I was eating, all I knew was that if I didn’t move my chopsticks fast enough, someone was going to devour it! How does it taste like: The comfortable and divine middle ground of beef done-ness, not too cooked, seared around the edges, raw in the middle, just the perfect amount of chewy, and EXPLODING FLAVOUR!!!!!!!

Yeah so, I died here. Scallop sashimi, crab sashimi, sweet prawns, unagi, yellowtail, salmon sushis, soft shell crab roll, shrimp tempura sushi.. and this was just… wow. Words elude me. (Yes I’m sorry for most part of my meal at Nobu you will find that words elude me) The presentation was brilliant, it really took our breaths away. Everyone couldn’t stop ooh-ing and aah-ing and I suppose the biggest problem was, where to start? I dived for the scallops. The last time I had such yummy scallops was in Fukuoka. It was so sweet and juicy and I don’t really want to think of how much it costs. The crab was excellent as well, as with the sushi. I can’t stand how places always give too much rice and too little fish or put limp pieces of badly scarred fish on top of a mountain of rice, which just makes the diner sad. THIS IS DIFFERENT MY FRIEND. The fish:rice ratio here, you will be glad to know, is safe. Also, my other favourite roll in this sushi platter is the soft shell crab roll.

Speaking of sushi, watch this:

LOBSTER TEMPURA WITH CREAMY WASABI. Or known as wasabi mayo to Singaporeans! This is the dish that Jeremy couldn’t stop eating. What’s not to like about this? Lobster + light tempura batter with creamy wasabi mayo. I love wasabi and my only gripe (if I really really had to list a gripe) would be that I wish there was more wasabi kick in the mayo. Other than that, PRESENTATION WAS IMBA (running out of adjectives..) look at the lobster head!!!! and this is faultless.

Okay, I have no idea what this is, it’s not on the online menu, but it’s supposed to be scallops with TRUFFLE. At this juncture I was already very full, but my heart and head both told me I had to press on… FOR KELLIE. HAHA. But who wouldn’t want scallops!?

There was this black miso cod that we were served. It’s one of the specialties of the restaurant with the cod being marinated up to 3 days before it’s cooked (and apparently costs up to £42 per pop when you order it a la carte !??!?). Brings back really good memories of Fukuoka with Dad last year where I first had this dish.. and yes, it was as authentic as it can get.

There was also a beef teppanyaki dish with enoki & shiitake and asparagus. No picture & no comments because I was dying… and trying to save energy for dessert.

This was the highlight dessert of that night for me. Chocolate fondant with probably the best matcha icecream I have tasted in years. I can’t rmb the last time I had matcha icecream where I thought the matcha flavour was strong enough. This one does. Strangely the matcha-chcoolate combination works though Molly commented she preferred the traditional vanilla ice cream! Also, the staff of Nobu gifted Kellie one of these chocolate bentos too so the birthday girl got one all to herself!!!

‘Banana Split’: Caramelised bananas, chocolate, digestive crumbs (not sure if they are), and vanilla ice cream. This was good, but wasn’t breathtaking, unlike the rest of the meal. I remember us sharing about 5 different desserts but I gave up taking photos. There was an apple dessert called Ivoire (???) which was pretty memorable.

By the end of the night everyone was stuffed to the brim. Kel’s dad had to ask the staff to slow the serving of the food down & to serve us in smaller portions cos we were getting owned by the huge portions. So yes, it’s not a place where you won’t be full. The service was prompt & what you’ll expect from Nobu, except for the fact they gave Alvin Kellie’s birthday cake instead of Kellie, but I guess we all make mistakes.. (even though idk how Kellie can be mistaken for a guy’s name).

As far as meals go, this is ace – eating and having this shared experience with some people whom I know will be in my life for decades to come. GO WITH PEOPLE THAT YOU ACTUALLY LIKE COS THIS IS A VERY SPECIAL EXPERIENCE. Finally because it was Kellie’s birthday dinner, I will leave you with the present we got her!

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Nobu LONDON
19 Old Park Lane
London, United Kingdom

 I’d recommend reserving one month in advance. Also, there’s another Nobu at Mayfair. On the day we ate at Nobu London, Zac Efron ate at Nobu Berkeley Street.. which brings me to my final point. Nobu is a place to be seen, or if you want to stalk superstars, this is the place to be. 

Many thanks to Kellie’s dad for treating us to Nobu. Thank you for the experience. Happy 21st Kel xxx

Adventures with Double Chin Chay: Brighton, Dorset & London

Because my old macbook died completely on me. Because I’m using a new Macbook Air. Because I was busy backing up every single file I have/had. Because SCHOOL STARTED and Equity and Trusts is incredibly difficult.. the list could go on and on, but anyway, the most important thing is: UPDATE FROM TUMMYTAY! Tummy Tay and Double Chin Chay went on an epic ~sista~ trip down south before school started, visiting Brighton & Dorset – places that we wouldn’t really go during school term just because it’s too far away (and we would rather go overseas too.) This is dedicated to Tessa who is 1x loyal fan of Tummy Tay cos she kept bugging me for updates!

The best part about both? That they were both coastside towns! So we got to see the sea, something that doesn’t happen at all here in cold and rainy Manchester.


yummy seafood on the pier! £3


cod & chips, £5.50 – this was where i first tried malt vinegar, and it is AMAZING, especially with loads of salt.


PEBBLE BEACH


Local ice cream store! I love locally made products, feel like they’re representative of a city/town’s culture. This ice cream store had really interesting flavours, particularly outstanding was Tessa’s banana icecream, and I had the cinnamon. £2.50


Rock oysters, smoked salmon, crème fraîche, caper breadcrumb salsa, £6.95 for 3


Creme Brulee with Espresso Icecream and Pistacho Shortbread


WEYMOUTH


cod and chips opposite the beach, £5 – incredibly yummy beer batter when hot, but when cold it becomes disgustingly hard 😦


ice cream along the beach, £1.5/2 each


lyme regis beach – home of the jurassic fossils


FLOODS: Monkfish wrapped in bacon, seared scallops – £17


Trio of fish, £17


Bread and Butter Pudding: £4.95

Floods has got to be one of the BEST restaurants I’ve ever dined at (even better than Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen trattoria). It’s homey and warm, well literally. Tess and I were completely drained from the 1.5hr bus ride from Lyme Regis back to Weymouth and chancing upon Floods was.. a GODSEND. We ambled in at 9.45pm and they told us their kitchen was already closed, but would make a special order for us. AND THEY WERE AMAZING. It’s actually really difficult to get fresh seafood in the UK – and biting into the scallops I was incredibly happy! The monkfish was great, who would have thought fish and bacon would go? But the combination worked. The seared scallop with balsic glaze was YUMMY. I also enjoyed the enormous platter of vegetables on the side that came with our dishes. Tessa’s trio of fish was MASSIVE. We nearly died finishing it, and yet still HAD to order a dessert because we saw someone ordering the pudding… and we just had to have it. No regrets there, except the pudding was a bit on the dry side. Nonetheless, excellent meal and.. we were full till the next morning.

One last picture of Weymouth:

Sailing site of the 2012 Olympics!

LONDON

Fifteen Trattoria, by Jamie Oliver.


Seafood Risotto, £9


Mafalde with beef and pork ragu, £10

Um honestly? It was a bit overrated. Nonetheless I will come back just for the atmosphere itself. When we went we were both too full from what we had ate that afternoon at the Malaysian fair at Trafalgar Square. The seafood risotto was well done and filled me up promptly, but I was expecting more? Perhaps it is all hype behind fifteen. However the cause for which it stands for is incredibly noble and I would still encourage people to go just to have a look at what fifteen is trying to achieve.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, £25 for 2 courses, £29 for 3 courses.
Joel Robuchon was EXTREMELY posh, and the service is very, very good. The waiters weren’t snotty whatsoever, and took the effort to explain each dish to us. (even though they just repeated what we read on the menu HAHAHA). Every table had a tuna pate (was it tuna?) with a biscuit-like toast to begin, and this was amazeballs!!!!!! Zhuoxuan, Fengshuo & Tessa all started with salmon while I chose the eggs cocotte. The eggs cocotte were good, but I felt like I was drinking a bit of foam cos of the texture. I still miss the one I had in France though! The fish with lemongrass pasta stole the show. I don’t know how to describe it except the fish was very well done and the lemongrass went well with the fish? IT’S LIKE HAVING A COMPLETELY GASTRONOMICAL EXPERIENCE MAN. IT WAS WORTH THE ££. Every cent of it! I won’t be going back anytime soon because I’ve got more restaurants to conquer BUT this set menu is a good place to start.

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English’s of Brighton
29-31 East Street
Brighton BN1 1HL

Floods
19 Custom House Quay
Weymouth
DT4 8BG

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
13-15 West Street
London WC2H 9NE, United Kingdom

Ocean Tr235ure

I really have to get a move on all the backlogs that I’ve chalked up before I went to Italy before I even start on all the Italian food which is -omg-. Yeah, no single adjective can describe how awesome the food in Italy is.. safe to say I had some pretty memorable meals in Italy. Anyway before I left for Italy I rounded up a couple of people to go to Ocean Tr235ure with, having heard so much good things about it, notably Mabel and Genia’s ravings about the duck. Anyway thanks to Max & Calvin who came down to try Ocean Treasure (not going to type ‘Tr235ure’ because it’s too much work) during their exam period!!!


Samsui Chicken: Cannot beat the one at Soup Restaurant back in Singapore. The garlic accompaniment was good, but the dish is forgettable. We had to order a chicken dish that wasn’t spicy so we ordered this. Well, the cooking is not bad but overall this dish just isn’t that amazing.


Beef with Yam: If you don’t like yam, you shouldn’t order this for sure. Surprisingly, the yam gives the beef another dimension of flavour. Like, I never thought yam could work with beef, but this dish really grew on me. At the end of the meal I thought it was worth ordering again, it was not bad!


Roasted duck, Peking style: I LOVE DUCK PANCAKES! Okay the duck here is pretty good I guess, but I’m not any duck connoisseur so I can’t really tell. The duck silvers were tender and well done. I think someone commented that we should have tried the crispy duck instead of this original style 😦 Nevertheless, the duck was good. I guess I kind of expected more from all the ravings I’ve been hearing. Still, this is good stuff.


Salt and Pepper Pork: This was a surprise! I was amazed the pork wasn’t chewy, was kind of expecting it to be. Instead of slabs of pork, they cut it into thin slices so that it isn’t too tough. The mixed vegetable medley that was stir-fried with the pork really gave this dish a visual impact, and was also what made this dish perfectly balanced. Love this!


Tofu in Salted Egg Yolk: This was the star of the day. Don’t judge a dish by its looks man. This dish is just mindblowing. And it’s so simple! Just salted egg yolk and tofu. We drenched our rice in the salted egg yolk and it was so, so, so good. It’s not even that salty, that’s the best part. It was very light!! I could actually just eat plain rice with this dish. Omg okay getting really hungry thinking about it right now:(

For the 7 of us, it was a really good meal I think. I was pretty satisfied after that, but big eaters like Calvin Chia wasn’t 😦 Ocean Treasure is definitely pricier than most of the other Chinese restaurants here in Manchester and it’s easy to see why – the decor is way more posh than any other Chinese restaurant. It was a tad difficult to find, not being inside the AMC building itself but rather at the side entrance where the casino was. I was dress in a tank and havaianas and I felt a bit underdressed.. but it was 26 degrees that day! For 7 of us it cost way less than £15 per person, I can’t remember how much exactly. Service was prompt and efficient, with the wait staff being fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Before I left the manager d00d gave me a name card and suggested reservations in the future. I think I’d definitely be back here. I like the ambience and the food is really, not bad 🙂

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Ocean Tr235ure
Great Northern
2 Watson Street
Manchester, M3 4LP

Summertime in Manchester!

THE END OF EXAMS!!!!!! I know this space has been dead for a long while, but not to worry, Tummytay has gone out after exams to eat at a few places just for my few readers. You guys can live vicariously through me. Anyway as a treat of sorts (and because I took some more photos from dinner that day that were beautiful, though not as great as Renjie’s, but still quite pretty) I’m posting up some pictures of Manchester bathing in the sunlight. The past few days have been amazing. Hot, sunny weather that went up to 25 degrees!

But honestly this is the good stuff you’ve been waiting for:


Spring Onion & Seafood Pancake
It was not so much of seafood than octopus/squid in the pancake. I like korean pancakes very much! Fried till crisp, and it goes well with the soy sauce accompanyment. It possibly beats Seoul Kimchi’s pancake because I had soggy pancakes at Seoul Kimchi before. Hmm I would prefer it if there were more spring onions however. Generally it was a good dish to start the meal! 3.5/5 😀


Teriyaki Chicken
Huiming had this for her main course and I got to try a bit of it. Underneath the chicken there was some chinese cabbage that was fried in the teriyaki sauce that the chicken was done in, and on first bite it was a dish that took me by surprise. For a plain simple dish it was really quite tasty and welldone. I really, really liked it. Subsequently though, it got really salty and you get pretty sick of the taste. The accompanying side salad is a simple lettuce salad with a sesame dressing that you’d normally associate with Japanese/Korean cuisine, and was pretty good as side salads went. Funny though my impression of teriyaki is a sticky sweet sauce. Hmmmmmm.. but whatever it is, this was not bad! 3/5! (£8.50)


Hot-plate Pork Ribs
I didn’t try this but Melvin was having a very hard time eating the pork off the ribs. His exact words, “I’m never ordering this again!”. I think we got this because Baekdu mixed our orders up. He wanted grilled beef slices I think. Ohwell.. no comment on this.


Kimchi Pork on Rice
This was my dish! I was craving some kimchi when I ordered this and I think if I enjoyed chilli more I would have loved it more. Also it was possibly bad timing because it was extremely hot that day and I happened to order well… a spicy dish. I would say the kimchi was well done, and the pork slices were tender. The dish was served extremely hot in a stone bowl which I appreciate! Can’t stand places which serve you lukewarm food. After eating a bit I found it relatively spicy, so it’s really not for those who don’t eat chilli or light chilli eaters! This dish was not bad, I wouldn’t mind ordering it again. But I think there’s a reason why kimchi is served cold… Heh. 3/5! (£7.50)

Overall I find Baekdu a bit expensive for the food that they serve, but the portions are BIG. I suppose we didn’t order the correct dishes though because Davidson raved about the hot pot that Baekdu had. Not to worry, tummytay and friends will be back next academic year (actually, just when it gets colder) to eat the hot pot! The service was prompt, but they get quite busy around dinner time! It’s not as big inside as it looks. It can sit about 20 – 30 people comfortably. Guess we’ll be back sometime in Fall!

After dinner we went for a walk…. to the movie theatre. On the way I took some pretty pictures (again!!!). And then we celebrated the end of exams by watching X-Men: First Class, which I liked quite a bit. MORE FOOD REVIEWS TO COME SOON~~~~


Clubbing paradise plz


The Manchester Triangle & The Manchester Eye
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Baekdu
77 Shudehill
Manchester
M4 4