Friday, December 20, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Poulét @ Raffles City Shopping Centre

Location: City Hall, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Raffles City Shopping Centre's outlet. Experience may differ from those in another branch.

Getting affordable French cuisine in Singapore could be a challenge sometimes, with most of the high end fine dining claiming the honors to host such fine cuisine. The opening of Poulét by the same group operating Thai Express allowed middle income diners like me to try something French without the need to fork out a stack of greens or a significant deduction from your credit account.

Poulét is French for chicken, and as if to further emphasize this, their signature dish is one Poulét Roti, a dish offering you a choice of half or whole chicken. Of course, the queue in front of the restaurant during dining hours lend some testament to their reputation, so off we went for some French food.

If you can't relate the word Poulet with France, surely the half-chopped Eiffel Tower will remind you of the nation...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnamese: Lăng Chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh (Lăng Chủ is Vietnamese for 'Mausoleum', tịch for President)

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:


More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong


A landmark is the beacon which tourists invariably flock towards upon visiting a location. Without such prominent markers of a location, a nation or city would lose its identity in the mind of tourists. In the South-East Asian countries, such landmarks are numerous, ranging from the historic Angkor Wat and Ayutthaya to the modern Marina Bay Sands and Petronas Twin Towers.

Visitors to Hanoi would be hard pressed not to seek out Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum regardless of their ideology. This is where the body of the nation's founder, President Ho Chi Minh, lies embalmed. And this is also the landmark of Hanoi, one which immediately reminds people of the city despite its relative youth in the millennial city.

A squad of honor guards on the front of the mausoleum.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - Brunch @ DOME, Plaza Singapura

Location: Dhoby Ghaut, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

I am not unfamiliar with DOME cafe, having tried it in Malaysia a few times. Lingering memory of good food and fragrant coffee offered by the cafe originating from Western Australia left me with longing. And on a few fine mornings, I just had to quench my insatiable thirst for its coffee by visiting the branch tucked in the middle of Plaza Singapura. After all, it did promote its coffee as "World's Finest Coffee".

Once in DOME Cafe, it is essential not to miss out on your coffee. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Vietnamese Dong

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:


More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong


When I first held my stacks of 100,000 Vietnamese Dong bills, I thought to myself, "I am a millionaire". I have 30 pieces of the notes (that's 3 million VND). For a short moment I started imagining myself as a rich man before my high spirited fantasy was broken by the realization that those 3 million VND was equivalent to only RM480, a far cry from a millionaire status. Oh well, at least I get to still validly claim that "I am a millionaire" even though it is not in RM.

My first experience of handling VND is one of confusion. The numerical is at such a high amount that it lulled me into a false sense of overspending. When I lowered my sense of alarm at overspending, a conversion at the end of the day would show that I did overspend on certain indulgences. Some food items were more expensive than back home, much as the souvenirs did. 


VND10,000, with offshore platform on the reverse. The note is yellowish green in color (image from Banknote Museum).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Dương Hoa Kem Caramen

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:


More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong


Look up for must-try food in Hanoi, and one would not get any explicit recommendation to try kem caramen. It would hardly exist in any of those list, or at least I couldn't see one which it did. Personally though, I would say that one should at least make an effort to try the one in Dương Hoa, for you would not be disappointed at all.

For this successful food hunt, there is my friend and his trusty guidebook to thank for. Chuah Chin Yee, this post is dedicated to you! :)


Kem Caramen (VND6,000, about RM1.00) is really a tasty dessert that one should not miss. Bombard your senses with the fragrance of caramel and relish the silky smooth texture of the custard.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyền

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:


More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong


It is surprising how we compare foreign food experience with what is familiar back home. Similarity can, more often than not, allow us to resonate with a dish which we may not know how to pronounce yet remember the taste as good as if we have tasted it daily. Such is the case for bánh cuốn. And we tasted the best yet in Bánh Cuốn Gia Truyền.

And in case you wonder how to read it, bánh cuốn, is pronounced close to "baan guan".

Bánh cuốn preparation in progress...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - O' Coffee Club @ Raffles City

Location: City Hall, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This piece was written base on the dining experience in Raffles City Shopping Center's outlet. Experience may differ from those in another branch.

This opinion will be an affront to most people - Starbucks and Coffee Bean are highly overrated. For fans whose taste buds are attuned to their offers, they may depend their preferences, a point which I would not contest upon. I praise their loyalty to the brand and applause their choice. However for one who hold no loyalty to any particular brand and who is on the lookout for novel beverage offerings, O' Coffee Club seemed to be a particularly good choice to me. Which is why I am dedicating this post to one of their outlet, the one located on Level 3 of Raffles City Shopping Center.

O' Coffee Club of Raffles City enjoyed a corner of the shopping center next to Swiss Cafe.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Singapore Food Blog - PODI (Pure. Offbeat. Delicious. Infusions.) @ Raffles City

Location: City Hall, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Pure. Offbeat. Delicious. Infusions. Not sure why these were chosen to form the acronym of the recently opened business in the basement fountain area of Raffles City Shopping Center, but there it was. Gone was the previous establishment occupying the spot, Out of the Pan, a cafe known for its crepes. And out it did. I was rather intrigued as to what The Bakery Depot, the parent company behind the popular Cedele chain of bakeries and cafes, would want to offer with PODI. My experience with Cedele was very positive, and being a frequent patron of its cafes, I decided to give this new establishment a try. To intrigue me more, very little information was available of this restaurant online, leaving a few blog posts and my own imagination to predict what I would get out of this.


PODI's location is rather strategic. The fountain area is one of those popular areas in Raffles City Shopping Center frequented by patrons and shoppers. To be able to dine beside the dancing waters under lighting styled after streetlights would be priceless.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

2013 Hanoi Trip - One Pillar Pagoda (Chùa Một Cột)

Location: Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnamese: Chùa Một Cột (Chùa is Vietnamese for 'Pagoda')

Full experience of my visit to Hanoi can be accessed through the list below:


More about Hanoi can be read through the list below:
Vietnamese Dong


The Old Quarters of Hanoi, with all the backpacker hostels congregated along the claustrophobic streets, held our baggage, but it was the area to its west which captured our attention. Leaving the quarters, the cab steered from the narrow streets into wider boulevards, revealing the iconic cubic architecture of Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum. We had arrived in Ba Đình area, where most of Hanoi's famous attractions and must-sees were located.

The area is unavoidable to most travelers as within it held a few locales which resonated with most visitors, local and foreign alike. One of those which reflected the long history of Vietnam as well as representing a structure as true to its medieval architecture as possible, would be the One Pillar Pagoda, locally known as Chùa Một Cột, but historically called Diên Hựu tự (延祐寺) or Liên Hoa Đài (蓮花臺). And in an area where nearly every entrance demanded a fee, this was one of those which required none.

One Pillar Pagoda against the mid morning sun.

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