Archive

Archive for the ‘Travelling’ Category

Raya House, Phuket

As you may have recalled, ‘The Mother’, Dragon and I went for a quick getaway to meet the extended family in Phuket. It was one of those holidays where we didn’t leave the resort and just ate around there. Didn’t see much to be honest, just hung by the pool, slept, ate and took Dragon to the mall where she spent a few hours in this kids area – will post about that soon. I have been to Phuket many times now and have stayed at different places, however, this time, we stayed at the most tourist-y place – Patong, which was ok, I prefer to stay in a much quieter area and the resort we stayed was definitely NOT 5 star, it was a little old, room was ok and pretty noisy at night as there are markets near the mall.

P1310230

Anyhow, it was an ok holiday, unfortunately we didn’t eat as well as I had hoped, however, a good friend recommended that I go to Raya House and I am SO glad that we did! It was potentially the BEST meal we had in Phuket! HA! Raya House can be found in Phuket Town, a century year old house which has been converted into a restaurant – there’s a lot of character – rusting ceiling fans, vintage posters, very old photographs (which are cool) and the vibe is very down to earth and ‘rustic’.

RH_inside

The menu is quite extensive, however, it is famous for its crabmeat coconut curry which is a MUST order and potentially one of the nicest curry we have had. Real chunks of crab meat pieces which are plump and generous, the curry is served with coconut milk and rice vermicelli. This was a hit amongst the diners.

RH_crab1

The salt and pepper squid was excellent, the batter was thin and not oily and the squid was tender.

RH_squid

My favourite dish would have to be the pork belly – extremely tender, extremely succulent – it was phenomenal. It had the right amount of fat to meat ratio and one of the best dish I’ve had in Phuket! Even Dragon had a couple of pieces!

RH_pork

The most disappointing would have to be the fried chicken which was topped with a mountain of fried garlic. The chicken pieces were small, and tough. I had meant to order this dish for Dragon but the chicken meat wGas so tough, Dragon couldn’t really chew it.

RH_chicken

The vegetables were also fantastic – a little on the spicy side for Dragon though.

RH_veggies

There weren’t a lot of options for dessert, however, we did manage to share grass jelly with longan topped with palm sugar – oh my my.. it was refreshing light and delicious. I probably should have ordered a serving for myself!

RH_dessert1

Meal was excellent, shame about the chicken, but the pork belly and the crab curry was definitely a hit. Definitely worth visiting when you are in Phuket!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

48 New Debuk Cross Road,

Amphur Muang Phuket

Phuket, Thailand

Ph: +66 76 218 155

Advertisements

Two Two Fried Chicken, Myeongdong, Seoul, Korea

When I was searching for places to eat in Seoul, the first thing I googled was Fried Chicken – I have missed good KFC – Korean Fried Chicken, especially those in Sydney. I have yet to find one in Hong Kong so this was priority!

Two Two Fried Chicken is located in the shopping central of Korea, Myeondong. It has over 500 outlets in Korea alone. The menu is simple – fried chicken and lots of it! The menu is in English also, so easy to read with colourful pictures! There are other dishes on offer, but we were here for one thing only – FRIED CHICKEN!

P1290920

Between the 5 of us, we ordered THREE servings of fried chicken – overkill much? But it was necessary and I can’t tell you when the last time I had KFC! Started with the original – it was excellent, crispy skin and the meat was tender. Dragon absolutely loved it – I lost count how many fried chicken she ate, she just kept asking for more.

P1290927

We also ordered half plain and half smothered in sweet and spicy sauce. The sweet and spicy sauce was a little too sweet for my liking, and believe it or not too spicy for me? Not sure what is going on with my taste buds!!!

P1290925

We also ordered a serving of the garlic fried chicken – the garlic flavour was strong, even the next day when I ate it. The skin wasn’t as crispy though but the meat was still seriously tender.

P1290928

Overall, I still prefer the normal fried chicken – like any other places the normal fried chicken is always the best. Service minimal but fried chicken was good!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Two Two Fried Chicken

6-4 Namsadong 2(i)-Ga

Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Ph: +86 2 2275 2297

Myeongdong Gyoza, Seoul, South Korea

It’s definitely been a while since my last post – apologies for being MIA! It’s been a hectic couple of weeks – my family are in town, work was a tad crazy and we went to Korea for a week. Loved Seoul – the food, the shopping – am definitely keen to go back again sometimes soon.

P1290906

Dragon also turned 2 last week and we had a birthday party for her, so trying to organise that and everything else, the blog got a little neglected. Hopefully things will get back to normal and there will be more posts to come, especially about Seoul and the food there.

Dragon and I went to Seoul with my family, unfortunately, ‘The Mother’ couldn’t go due to work commitments. We were there for 5 days and believe me that was not long enough! Stayed at the Fraser Place near City Hall and it was extremely home-y. We didn’t want to leave, there was a pool and kids area which was perfect for Dragon and I! We went swimming almost every morning and we loved it!

We had dinner one evening at Myeongdong Gyoza – now Myeongdong is one HUGE place! Lots of shopping and lots of food – absolutely loved the alleys! We spent a good 2 days in Myeongdong and I feel we didn’t cover everything! lol Now, Myeongdong Gyoza has been around for about 40 years, the restaurant is quite big, 2 floors and quite spacious. The menu is short and simple – dumplings and noodles and that’s it. They are quite famous for their kalguksu noodles which is their knife-cut handmade noodles.

P1290912

The steamed dumplings are excellent! Filled with pork, mushroom, stir-fried zucchini and mungbean spouts. The dumplings are HUGE, meaty, and scrumptiously good! The skin deliciously soft and thin that if not picked up in the right way may tear! It was so good that  I demolished about 8 on my own!

P1290916

We also got a serving of the Kalguksu – which is similar to that of Chinese dumpling soup. The noodles were thin and soup had a wonderful pork broth, which was extremely flavourful! Dragon absolutely loved the noodles. The noodles were also served with dumplings and shredded vegetables.

P1290917

I forgot to take a picture of the bibim guksu – which is noodles served cold and incredibly spicy! The sauce is sweet and sour and has a wonderful aromatic sesame oil. It was so spicy that my brother started to sweat! It was a little too spicy for my liking but perfect for hot humid summer.

It was cheap and cheerful dinner – I was extremely satisfied with the dumplings. My family came here twice – they really enjoyed the dumplings and the noodles. Food came relatively quickly, service was surprisingly ok.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Myeongdong Gyoza

25-2, 2-ga Myoung-dong, Chung-gu

Seoul, South Korea

Ph: +82 2 776 5348

Cafe Ekberg, Helsinki, Finland

Café Ekberg has been around since 1852. They serve buffet breakfasts and daily lunch specials, however, we were here for a quick stop during our shopping expedition as Dragon was asleep and I needed to sit down (she was sleeping on the hip seat and I have been walking with her ‘attached’ to me like a koala for at least 4 hours!)

IMG_8005

Café Ekberg is a very popular café and not only does it serve breakfast and lunch, it also serves great pastries and cakes. It is famous for the napoleon which we ordered and I have to say, I can understand why. Pastry flaky and the cream filling were not super rich. Perfect with a cup of tea!

IMG_8003

I also couldn’t go past the ginger bread – it wasn’t too sweet and didn’t have a strong ginger taste which Dragon also loved!

IMG_8002

Service was friendly and polite. The place was busy no matter what time it was but the pastries are definitely worth going for.

Next door to the café is a patisserie in which you can buy more cakes and bread to take home. We bought a couple of bread for Dragon to eat and no doubt she demolished them!

IMG_7999

On the first few nights we were in Helsinki, Dragon and I were still very jet lag. ‘The Mother’ has been in Europe a week earlier so he was ok and has adjusted. Unfortunately for him, Dragon and I ended up sleeping rather early, mid-afternoon early, 4.30pm on the first day and then 5.30pm on the second day. He was so looking forward to going out for dinner with us, however, we were so tired that an earth quake couldn’t wake us up!

On one of the nights, he went to get Hesburger – Finland’s version of McDonalds – he bought me a chicken burger and chicken nuggets for Dragon. I have to say, it was pretty decent and I preferred this over Mc Donalds.

IMG_8007

Jet lag is never fun, she got up at 2am the first day we were there. It took her about 4 – 5 days to go back to normal. Rule of thumb I hear, one day for each hour, which is about right.

So unfortunately we didn’t go out for dinner very often in Helsinki as we ate a lot of Pizza, and left over pasta! HA!

GA’s rating Café Ekberg: 7.5 / 10

Address: Bulevardi 9, 00120 Helsinki

Tel: +358 9 6811 860

Ravintola Juuri, Helsinki, Finland

Ravintola Juuri was on my must go to eat place in Helsinki. It specializes in ‘Sapas’ which are tapas. I was very excited to try their tapas, unfortunately we were there for lunch and there weren’t a lot of tapas on offer. It was Christmas and they had the special Christmas menu which consists of 3 tapas, a main and dessert.

P1270189

There were a LOT of seafood on the menu, and since I am on a seafood band, the chef kindly made me a vegetarian one! We started with some bread – Dragon loves rye! I didn’t think she would be she couldn’t stop eating it.

P1270192

‘The Mother’ started with Cured artic char root vegetable rosti and horseradish, escabeshe of herring with lingoberry mayonnaise and smoked fish pancake with sour cream and roe. I didn’t have any of this, when asked ‘which is your favourite’ his respond was ‘they were all nice’. I probably would have loved the cured artic char root vegetable with horseradish – I am such a sucker of horseradish.

P1270195

I had the (left to right) 10 hour turnip with Swiss cheese and linen seed, broad bean patty a la lindstrom and pea crème and smoked egg cheese from raw milk, sea buckthorn and carrot. I really enjoyed the broad bean patty but I absolutely LOVED the smoked egg cheese from raw milk – it loved the cheese and the carrot a wonderful complement. Could have definitely eaten more of it!

P1270193

For mains, ‘The Mother’ opt for Braised perch roll with smoked perch oven porridge and carrot butter sauce. It looked too pretty to eat. ‘The Mother’ thought the combination was interesting but he definitely enjoyed it. The carrot butter sauce was sweet but not over powering.

P1270198

The Chef made me the mushroom fondant and opera sandwich on brioche a la Juuri, dark cep and onion course – OH MY! This was sensational, a highlight for me. Onion-bechamel-ish sauce oozed out gently and the brioche – my my… delicious!

P1270200

For dessert, ‘The Mother’ had spiced waffle with cinnamon apple whipped porridge and ice cream. I really wanted this but unfortunately this had traces of nuts.

P1270202

I had the blueberry sorbet, blueberry puree and sour cream whey and this was delicious and light. Even Dragon loved the blueberry sorbet and blueberry – pretty sure she had more than I!

P1270204

I am SO glad that I got the vegetarian option. Most of the dishes I tried are on the menu so I was very happy about that. The mushroom fondant was definitely my favourite followed by the smoked egg cheese. Definitely glad I came.

Service was excellent, they were very accommodating with my allergies and did not bat an eye with Dragon running around! I have to say, going to a fine dining restaurant with Dragon is definitely a challenge. I didn’t enjoy the atmosphere as much as I was constantly running after Dragon or telling her to sit down, but the food was definitely fantastic! Definitely worth going if you are in Helsinki!

GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10

Korkeavuorenkatu 27, 00130 Helsinki

Ph: +358 9 635732

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!

export

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.

flm_pork

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

dz_beef

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.

p1200534

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

tbb_steak

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!

dsc_4357

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

mv_pork1

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

ks1_falafel

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!

p1200925

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.

img_55151

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

p1230355

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!

swf_soup

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.

p1240096

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!

ma_cheese1

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.

dc_toastie

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

p1250209

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.

p1260237

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!)

P1270252

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…

P1270200

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!)

P1270052

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

export1

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.

yl_duck

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

12

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

Helsinki – Ristorante il Siciliano

It seems so long ago that we were in Finland, Helsinki. ‘The Mother’ was going dog sledding with his friends in Sweden and thought we would use the opportunity to visit Europe. There are so many places I have yet to go in Europe, and we picked Finland as it was a direct flight from Hong Kong (easy for Dragon) and it was close to where ‘The Mother’ was dog sledding. We were there for almost a week in total, we were there for 4 days, then Prague for 4 days and then another 3 days in Helsinki before heading back to Hong Kong.

P1260463

The weather was COLD! I had my ski jacket on and Dragon was geared up from head to toe! She has never ever worn SO MANY clothing in her entire life but it was necessary. Especially since she couldn’t say if she was cold or not – but eventually she was able to ‘tell us’ that she was cold. She loves the cold weather though but we were still prepared and brought her lots of clothes.

IMG_7966

We didn’t do  much in Helsinki especially since it was winter and it was dark by 3.30 – 4pm! Perfect for Dragon and I for the first couple of days as we were jet lagged and we were in bed by 4pm on the first day. Poor ‘The Mother’ – he really wanted to go out to eat but we were just too tired. Sadly, we were up at 2am! It wasn’t fun jet lag believe me.

On our first day, we caught a tour bus that took us around Helsinki – saw the Cathedral

P1260442

I loved the Temppeliaukio Church – made out of rocks!

P1260490

We walked around the Design Museum and much more. It is quite a beautiful city and we stayed in a service apartment which was awesome – not that we did any cooking but the extra space really made a difference, especially when you have a child!

Now food wise, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I read there were a lot of seafood in Helsinki and ‘The Mother’ was afraid that I couldn’t eat anything as I am still on a seafood band. However, surprisingly the options were pretty good. We even managed to eat Italian on our first day!

P1260362

Our first meal in Helsinki was at Ristorante Il Siciliano which was conveniently located near tram stops and not too far from the esplanade. I was starving, and cold and wanted some comfort food. Italian was the perfect choice! Food was relatively cheap I thought, especially the lunch special which ‘The Mother’ had – crab linguini – i didn’t have any of this but he demolished this!

P1260371

Dragon loves chicken, I ordered the chicken parmigianna. It was a little sad looking, not enough cheese or sauce for my liking. Surprisingly the chicken was tender and Dragon who doesn’t usually like chicken breast ate at least half of this. Not to mention the wedges!

P1260373

The pizza’s and pasta’s looked though – seems like that’s their speciality. Service was polite and friendly I thought. The lunch specials came out a lot quicker than the a la carte – so if you are in a hurry, go for the lunch specials.

The next day before we started sightseeing, we stumbled across this cute little cafe. Stupid me forgot the name, thought I had a picture of it but with juggling Dragon and a camera, I totally forgot! You just have to trust me that it was pretty decent. It was near the tram line opposite H&M on the main shopping drag of Helsinki!

‘The Mother’ ordered the muesli with yogurt drizzled with strawberry compote. With it came boiled egg, cold meat, tomatoes and sour dough bread.  He loved the muesli and yogurt – said it was fresh and excellent. For someone that doesn’t usually eat breakfast, he demolished this!

P1260437

Dragon and I shared the yogurt with fruits, croissant, cheese, tomato and toast. She loved the mango yogurt with fresh mangoes. The croissant she didn’t enjoy as much which was a surprise – more for me I guess. I think ‘The Mother’s’ breakfast was infinitely better. Both breakfast set came with juice and tea or coffee. From memory it was about 11 pounds?

P1260436

Service was a tad slow, no table service but the food was good. We sat here for a while as Dragon decided to have a nap – shame she napped after she ate as it would have been nice to eat in peace! ha!

Below are a few snap shots of Helsinki.

IMG_7990

IMG_7991

P1260386

P1260465

P1260511

P1260522

I Have to say, Helsini is a beautiful city! ‘The Mother’ even asked if I would live there! HA! I’m just settling in nicely in Hong Kong – not sure if I am ready to move yet, but maybe… down the track. Not sure how I would cope with sun set at 4pm though – it was rather depressing! Besides that, it was lovely, I love the open space and the parks and the cafes! More on Helsinki food coming up 🙂

GA’s rating: 7 / 10

Ristorante il Siciliano

Aleksanterinkatu 9,

Helsinki, Finland (Vironniemi)