Monday, June 30, 2008

Hanoi - Markets

When I visit a new place, I always like to visit the markets. That is where you can see what the locals eat, and get a glimpse into their life and culture. While in Hanoi, I visit a couple of markets, and there was quite a surprise sight. You will see what I mean !

Hanoi - Old Quarters 2

Wondering around the Old Quarters is like going back in time. You can feel the history which is still living and breathing. It feels very different from a place which has been polished and sanitized for the tourists. The French colonial influence is evident in many of the buildings.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hanoi - Old Quarters

I made a trip to Hanoi in March 2007. Before the trip I had done a lot of research, but mainly on the places of interest and most importantly, the places for food. One thing I forgot to check was the weather. When we arrived, it was Winter and quite cold. We had only brought the typical tropical travel wear, so the first stop was to get a jacket.

We stayed in a boutique hotel right in the centre of the Old Quarters. Hanoi is one of the cities which seems to exist in a time warp, it hasn't seen the rapid modernization of most of the Asian cities - but that will come soon enough. SO this is the best time to visit, before it is all erased by globalization.

The most interesting part of Hanoi is the Old Quarters. This historical part of the city has a history of over 2,000 years. The streets are organized according to the different trades, so you have Silver Street, Paper Street, Silk Street and so on. Many of the old crafts are still around, but they are slowly being replaced by boutiques, back-packers inns, and cafes.

Singapore at Night

I came accross some cool night scenes in Singapore. Didn't have my SLR with me, so this was the best I could do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Canele Singapore

I was in Singapore recently for a conference, and took the opportunity to explore the culinary scene. Canele is one of the new crop of outlets where dessert is the star. This one is located in the basement of Raffles City. They also serve other courses, but you go there mainly for the confections. I tried the chocolate macaroons and hazelnet praline macaroons. They were delicous.

There were many other sweet temptations !

The Original Carwash - Kuching

Taking a break from Bali, now we are back in Kuching. This place is an interesting concept - a two-in-one carwash and cafe. You can have your car washed while having a bite to eat, or vice versa. The food is mainly Thai, you get the usual Pad Thai, salads, etc. My favoutite dish here is the Kui Teau Rad Na, fried flat rice noodles in gravy with chicken, vegies, and prawns. It is a generous portion, and the rice noodles are served in cripsed layers above the sauce. I like to eat the rice noodles on its own before tucking into the rest.

The cafe also serve other stuff like this pasta, but its best to stick with the Thai food.

The sticky rice with fresh mango was quite good.

The interior of the cafe is very nicely done.

You can watch your car being washed while having your meal.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bali - Here & There 2

Eating in Bali - Ary's Warung, Ubud

While wondering around Ubud, I chanced upon this popular cafe - Ary's Warung. I stopped for a thirst-quencher and dessert. Had a coconut ice-cream with banana cupcake.


Eating in Bali - Ibu Oka, Ubud

The most famous dish in Bali is Babi Guling - literrally roast pig, and Ibu Oka in Ubud is an institution. It is so popular, most of the time you can't find a place to sit and have to wait.

It is worth the wait ! The roast pig is really great. Marinated with spices and coconut milk in the stomach, the meat is juicy, tender and very flavourful. And the most important part - the skin, is crispy and not too oily. Eaten with rice and the accompanying chilli sauce, this is one of the best meals you could ever have. Provided you are a pork lover, of course !

This was a whole pig when we went there. This was what's left after about half an hour.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Eating in Bali - Casa Luna, Sanur

Bali is not exactly famous for it's cuisine. The last few times I visited,I had been disappointed with the food. The most famous food estblishment in Bali is Made's Warung in Kuta, which serves Western Cafe Food. This trip however we stumbled upon a little place in Sanur which is great.

The restaurant is called Casa Luna, and it serves traditional Balinese food. I had the roast duck in spices, which was really good. The meat was tender and really well seasoned by the spices. I would go back just for that !

This is the pork curry served with condiments. The skewers are seafood skewers, kind of like satays.  Tasty !

A view of the restaurant from the road.