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The year 2013….

Wow is it really 2014 already? It seems only yesterday I was writing about 2012 and here I am thinking about what a year 2013 has been. I thought 2012 was the year of travels, 2013 was just the same – I didn’t think we would travel so much with Dragon but being in Hong Kong, it’s so hard not too when everything is so close!

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We started the year with a pig feast! My birthday – we went to Fook Lam Moon – a place to be seen apparently, where celebrities go wine and dine! I had one the best suckling pig thus far – it wasn’t cheap but it was definitely fantastic and satisfying! A great way to start the year that’s for sure.

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We also went to Doppio Zero in Sheung Wan for bone marrow (my favourite in Hong Kong in 2013!) and steak.

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Chinese New Year was a bit late this year I thought, in February. I love Christmas and Chinese New Year – lots of breaks! We were invited to a colleagues house and he had a spit roast – a pig! I have to say, this was also a very good PIG! I couldn’t stop eating the pork, thankfully he had TWO roast porks!

We didn’t start our travels until March where we went to Singapore to  meet my brother and sis-in-law who were holidaying there. I fell in love with Paradise Dynasty – a restaurant in Singapore that makes AWESOME xiao long baos! I think it is a lot better than Din Tai Fung.

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Ate at Blue Butcher for the most awesome steak – think this is my favourite go to steak restaurant in Hong Kong.

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In April we went back to Sydney for Dragon 1st Birthday. I really wanted her to spend her first birthday with family and it was a FANTASTIC event. It’s so good to be with family and friends for a special event!

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We hit up a lot of cafes and restaurant, one being Movida – so awesome that they are finally in Sydney!

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Loved Kepos – the falafel sandwich is one of the best I have eaten, can’t get that in Hong Kong anywhere unfortunately 😦

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We also went for a quick trip to Xiamen late April for ‘The Mother’s cricket tour – yes it was a proper tour where they actually played cricket against another team. Had some fantastic street food – stinky tofu how much I love you and lots of steamed buns!

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We went to Penang for ‘The Mother’s’ birthday in July – long weekend and hung out by the pool pretty much every day. Traveling with Dragon is definitely different. We no longer pack our days with sight seeings and events, it revolves around Dragon’s nap time – she dictates our schedules! Had a great meal at Perut Rumah for authentic nyonya food.

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We also went to Joo Hooi cafe for the best CKT I have eaten and cendol!

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Had snake soup for the first time ever – yes it has taken me that long to check out Ser Wong Fun and it did not disappoint!

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I went back to Sydney in August for a quick work trip and because it was my niece’s one month celebration! Couldn’t miss that! I was also craving Korean Fried Chicken – can you believe I have yet to find one in Hong Kong. Went to Red Pepper in Strathfield but my favourite is still NaruOne.

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Had an awesome burger at Mary’s. I have to say though, my favourite burger in Sydney is still Dan Hong’s burger which can be found at the Fish Place – shame on me for not visiting yet!

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Finally got to try the famous Devon Cafe – I can see why people are in love with this place! I love the cafe scene in Sydney.

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Ate at Fu Sing Shark Fin Restaurant and had their awesome char siu – oh how i love you!

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In November I was back in Sydney again for a whirl wind trip and it was so nice to see family and friends again – i have truly missed them! Ate well as always. Tried Three Williams which has to be one of my favourite cafes in Sydney – love the space and the food was fantastic.

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Dragon and I then went to  meet ‘The Mother’ in Helsinki after his dog sledding boys trip. I haven’t had Chinese food for 2 weeks and was DYING for some. Thanks to Dan Hong for connecting me to someone who lived in Helsinki and told me about this place, Gaijin – the pork belly was TO DIE FOR! (post to come! Sorry!)

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Went to Juuri also which was nice – I couldn’t eat a lot of the seafood dishes and the chef was very accommodating which is nice. (post to come). Loved this mushroom dish…

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We then went to Prague for 4 days – fell in love with the city! It’s so beautiful, I could definitely live there! (posts on all food to come!)

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I’ve had my fare share of fried chicken, bone marrow and steak this year! Still on the hunt for the best fried chicken in Hong Kong – they don’t have Korean Fried Chicken!!!! and you can never have enough bone marrow and steak! Here are some memorable ones

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I’ve lost count the number of times I have gone to Yat Lok for goose in 2013 – it is my favourite lunch spot! Their char siu is pretty tasty also.

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Having Dragon has made it a bit difficult to eat out all the time, as I would rather go home after work to be with her. Going to fine dining restaurants with her at this age (20 months) is so not enjoyable! She can’t sit still long enough and cause she is so active, i really don’t enjoy my meal. I eat so quickly so that she doesn’t get bored. However, in saying that, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Regardless, it has been a fantastic year, I have eaten quite a fair bit (still a lot more of yummy eats to come!), traveled quite a fair bit. I doubt we would be doing that much travel next year, Dragon is turning 2 and well…we actually have to start paying her air fares! LOL

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Thanks again for all your support, I have made so many good friends through blogging and appreciate all the friendship! See you on the other side 🙂 Wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Lots more eating, good times and laughters for 2014!

xx

Joo Hooi Cafe, Penang, Malaysia

Sorry for the lack of post this week, my laptop screen cracked! Dragon didn’t sit on it, I actually managed to crack it accidentally, and am getting it fix soon, so hopefully the blog post will be more frequent! *sigh*

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Now back to my Penang post… one cannot go to Penang and not eat Asam Laksa. I have heard wonderful things about Joo Hooi Café and ‘The Mother’ was on the hunt for the best laksa in Penang.

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Joo Hooi can be found on 475 Jalan Penang Road and you really can’t miss it. Lots of people and well, outside there are hawker stalls that sell cendol and pisang goreng (fried banana). We rocked up before midday and not everything was open yet.

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I really wanted to have some popiah unfortunately, the stall was still closed. I was on the hunt for the best CKT in Penang. Unfortunately I had to order one without the prawns or any sort of seafood as Dragon wanted some. I ordered the simplest CKT – Chinese sausage and egg and I have to say, it was magnificent! Even Dragon loved it, however, the heat really got to her and she didn’t eat as much as she had hoped.

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‘The Mother’s’ assam laksa. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of this as it had shrimp and LOAD of chilli! So had to take ‘The Mother’s’ word. The Assam laksa had thick rice vermicelli in fish broth. It was served with a spoon of delicious shrimp paste which diners get to mix themselves. ‘The Mother’ has never had Assam laksa so couldn’t really compare but he really enjoyed it.

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I was most excited about desserts – cendol! I have heard that the Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol is one of the best in Penang, so no doubt I had to try. Just be mindful that there are another stall right opposite of each other and they are both rivals! The one beside the Joo Hooi Café is definitely much better – yes I had two bowls – sssshhhh

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The cendol was good, not too sweet and even ‘The Mother’ who didn’t want any had half of it! hahahaha

I also got some grass jelly for Dragon in a bag (takeaway) which she absolutely loved.

Outside the Joo Hoi Café, there is an old man that sells pisang goreng – and my goodness – they were excellent! I was too full to have it at the time, so bought a dozen and no doubt we ate it that afternoon and it was still excellent!

Ah, I already miss the cendol and pisang goreng in Penang. We definitely ate well and can’t wait to go back again soon!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Joo Hooi Cafe

475 Penang Road

Penang, Malaysia

Opening time: 12.00pm to 5.30pm (closed on wednesday)

Perut Rumah, Penang, Malaysia

The beauty about the internet is the friends you meet through social media. A friend whom I have met through the social media, S, recommended Perut Rumah to me. She tagged a few photos on instargram to show me the food she ate and I was sold! Perut Rumah can be found in Georgetown, about 25 mins by taxi from where we were staying in Penang.

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Perut Rumah can be found on Jalan Kelawai and it serves Nyonya food. The building is an old heritage bungalow house which has been turned into a restaurant. Inside, it was cozy, and had a very old fashioned style which I didn’t expect. The whole atmosphere was unexpected but in a good way. The menu is vast, lots of delicious Nyonya food and I wanted to try everything I saw. The good thing was pretty much each dish can be served in small, medium or large! We opt for small so we can try more dishes!

I couldn’t go past the popiah which was deep fried and absolutely delicious! It was oily or sickly, it was perfect and was hard to stop at just one.

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‘The Mother’ wanted the prawns sambal which was served with cucumber. Unfortunately, both Dragon and I didn’t have this but ‘The Mother’ seemed to have enjoyed it.

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The fried chicken was excellent, the skin was crispy and chicken was full of flavour. Even Dragon had more than one chicken!

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The pork slices was a bit of disappointing. It was pretty ordinary, think I could probably whip something like this at home!

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Unfortunately we didn’t have dessert, they had six desserts on the menu, however, only two for the evening and it wasn’t the ones we wanted – mind you I can’t remember what we wanted now! But at the time, we were a little disappointed.

Service was friendly, they definitely kept Dragon entertained. Food overall I thought was good (except for the pork – probably should have picked something else!) but the fried chicken and popiah were definitely my favourites.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Perut Rumah

17 Jalan Kelawei, 10250

Georgetown, 10250, Penang

Ph: +60 4 227 9917

Spice Market at Shangri-la Rasa Sayang, Penang, Malaysia

Sorry for the lack of post last week, ‘The Mother’, Dragon and I went to Penang for a short gate away. We wanted somewhere relatively close (only 3.5 hours from Hong Kong) and somewhere we can chill and do nothing and that’s pretty much what we did. We tossed the idea of staying in a resort or have a private pool, although in Penang there weren’t many private pool villas so we stayed at a resort – The Shangrila Rasa Sayang to be exact and we stayed most of the time there.

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Traveling with Dragon is different, holidays are never the same again as it is mostly about Dragon and not us. We have to go by HER routine and not ours, but that doesn’t bother us, it just means we have a more relaxing holiday than anything else. More time by the pool, more sleep and more chill time instead of being on the go. However, I guess the most annoying thing would be the food. ‘The Mother’ and I LOVE to eat at hawker centers and on the streets, but with Dragon it is slightly different. We ate probably 50 – 60% of our meals in the hotel, as it was just ‘convenient’ but thankfully they had a really good restaurant that served authentic Malaysian food. We ventured out a few times for lunch and dinner but that was pretty much it. Shame, as I love Malaysian food and I love eating at hawker stalls!

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The Shangrila Rasa Sayang was a beautiful hotel, the pictures really doesn’t do any justice. I am missing the pool already, missing my drinks by the pool and going for a dip whenever I can!

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One of the restaurants that we ate at is called Spice Market, slightly fancy and a little more expensive than Hawker food but it was good! We had two meals there, and for breakfast, this is where they had the buffet.

Started with some popadoms and prawn crackers.

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I couldn’t go past the Hainan chicken rice – good for both Dragon and I and I have to say, it was a generous serving. The chicken was tender, and the sauce was fantastic! The chicken rice was also good, so good that Dragon ate at least ¼ – ½ of the rice!

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We also had the chicken and beef satay (3 each) which was good but I have definitely had better.

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‘The Mother’ had the chicken tikka which was served with rice. The chicken was extremely tender and the flavours were excellent.

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He also had a serving of the garlic naan which was soft and fluffy and delicious.

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On another visit for lunch, ‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the noodles, with chicken, prawns and lots of chili. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of this but ‘The Mother’ did say that it was fantastic.

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‘The Mother’ absolutely loves young coconut – it is one of his favourite drinks.

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I couldn’t go past the ais kacang – oh my! It was indeed a large serving and it was good! I admit though, I am not used to the ice cream on my ais kacang! I was told it is Penang’s style. Regardless, it was quite good and perfect for a hot day!

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We also ate at the Pinang Restaurant and Bar, which is also at the Shangrila. We had dinner one evening, after our swim. We wanted something relaxing and didn’t want to leave the resort! Dragon and I had the chicken schnitzel which was a little thin for my liking but it was tasty. The salad and chips were a wonderful complement.

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‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the prawn linguini which he enjoyed thoroughly.

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I have heard that the brunch and dinner buffet at Spice Market is excellent. Service was good, the staff knew us WELL! LOL, well the staff knew Dragon as we had breakfast every day there and lunch also.

We really enjoyed our stay at Shangrila Rasa Sayang, the staffs were great and we had a fantastic time! Will definitely come back!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Spice Market, and Pinang Bar and Restaurant

Shangrila Rasa Sayang

Batu Feringgi Beach,

Penang, 11100,

Malaysia

Ph: +60 4 888 8888