Friday, January 18, 2019

Michelin One Star - The Original Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (Now Known As Hawker Chan) @ Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre [Singapore]

Many friends have warned me; don't bother with the air-conditioned outlet of Hawker Chan at Chinatown even though it hailed from the same guy given the highly acclaimed michelin star for its soy sauce chicken rice! 

I did heed their advice and decide to check out the original stall at Chinatown Complex Food Centre instead. Now, it's hard for me to come to this decision as i ALWAYS go back to Kazan Japanese Cuisine in the same hawker centre when i am in the vicinity.

However, i was in luck as there was no queue! 

Turned out i had missed the queue that's opposite the stall; damn! Thankfully, it wasn't insanely long (about 12 persons ahead of me) since it's already past the busy lunchtime and i estimated my wait to be about 10-15 minutes; which honestly wasn't that bad. 

It's good to know that the stall limits the number of packets that one can take away! I have ever encountered a person in front of me (of another hawker centre) who ordered more than 20 packets! That's really frustrating as all i wanted was one plate yet i had to endure my hunger for an extra 20 over minutes! 

Tadah - the cheapest michelin-star food in the whole world and even for a local, the S$2 a plate is rare even for our usual roast / steamed chicken rice sold in neighbourhood stalls.

The dark, savoury sauce was the appetising, braised kind that i would love to have on every single grain of my rice but that aside, it's more important to evaluate the soya sauce chicken. My teeth sank into a piece of the meat and the tenderness of it caught me by surprise! 

It wasn't oily and so delicious; i was deliberating between licking the bones clean or joining the queue to buy another half a soya sauce chicken! If quality has indeed dropped after they secured the michelin star, i really can't imagine how much better it was in the past!

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Address
335 Smith Street,
#02-126, Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre,
Singapore 050335

Location Map

As above. 

Pricing
Soya Sauce Chicken Rice - S$2.00 a plate

What Else in the Same Hawker Centre?


Thursday, January 17, 2019

D Khas Cafe - Only the BBQ Sea Bass Was Memorable @ Cenang [Langkawi, Malaysia]

A good trip planner would always ensure he / she has identified more than just a few dining establishments so that there would be more choices.

I did for my visit to Langkawi but sometimes, we just don't feel comfortable stepping in; maybe because there were just too many tourists or the so-called 4 to 5-star restaurant appeared too empty. Hence, for dinner on my third day in Langkawi, we went for D Khas Cafe; a half-filled eatery we happened to walk past.

The key reason for patronage - the charcoal grill outside with a display of seafood (fish, squids, prawns etc) on ice. Alex was drawn to it and since he is known to be picky; it's good he's making the decision!

Now, i don't have a gauge on the pricing of seafood unless it's for crab and even then, i wouldn't know how heavy a fish is or how many prawns made up a kilogram. RM 7 for a seabass would be considered cheap? Anyway, ignorant us just ordered one seabass just to play safe.

BBQ style of course even though you could choose to have it fried or steamed too! Remember, barbecuing takes time and let's proceed to order other food.

Pattaya Fried Rice - the picture on the menu, showing a serving of rice wrapped in egg, would have looked extremely appetising to egg-lover Alex and it's a no brainer he would order this.

Frankly, the rice within was bland and you need to actively mix in the eggs and chilli to hype up the flavour. Note, i have had better Nasi Pattaya in Singapore.

Pad Thai Seafood - As Langkawi is closer to Thailand than to mainland Malaysia, i assumed their pad thai would be legit. Assumption is wrong as it tasted nothing like pad thai and the colour was pale-looking like our Singapore hokkien mee! Disappointing!

Mango Stick Rice - Again, another assumption gone wrong. Glutinous rice was too hot while mango was sufficiently sweet although not at the level of sweetness compared to those we get in Bangkok.

Seabass No 1 - there's a reason why i named it no 1 and you would know shortly. After the not too impressive dishes i mentioned above, i wasn't looking forward to the seabass as i thought it might just be another half past six effort by the cafe.

Turned out the fish was incredibly fresh and it shows in the delicious, juiciness of the fish meat hidden underneath the grilled, crispy skin. And the meat goes perfectly with the accompanied chilli sauce!

Seabass No 2 - so good until we requested for a second seabass! Each fish cost us less than RM 50.00 which i thought was reasonable. Would have to ask my mom for her opinion since she visits the wet market more than i do. 

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We almost went back for BBQ fish the next day but eventually axed the idea as we didn't have sufficient time with our friend flying back to Singapore a day earlier than us.

Address
Kampung Lubok Buaya, 
07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia

Location Map

As above.

Menu (Limited)
As above.

Pricing
Pattaya Fried Rice - RM 10.00
Pad Thai Seafood - RM 13.00
Mango Stick Rice - RM 12.00
Seabass No 1 (BBQ) - RM 46.90
Seabass No 2 (BBQ) - RM 43.00


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Catching the Land Hermit Crab for Fun - Some Humans Are Simply Nature Destroyers!

 It's a fact that we humans are the biggest enemy against Mother Nature and while i am no saint when it comes to saving the environment; i draw a line when humans treat non-humans cruelly.

There's one encounter i remember clearly from my Langkawi trip. It's the last segment of our Langkawi Island Hopping tour where we were brought to Pulau Beras Basah (White Rice Island).

A crowd had gathered near one of the trees near the beach and being my usual nosy self; i stepped ahead to check it out. There's this tourist (not going to mention nationality) who was trying to coerce this hermit crab (the coenobita cavipes species) out of its shell! 

I can understand humans' curiosity and fascination towards wildlife, especially when the advantage is on the bigger, stronger humans. I would have done the same if i were younger; at this age, my concern would be the risk of being bitten! 

To be frank, i am rather impressed with the tourist as he managed to catch another crab from the wet sand. You know difficult is that?! Okay, it's not an easy task for city folks like us.

What i was more curious of was that one of his friends was burning this 1.5-liter bottle using his lighter; eventually resulting in a gaping hole. 

The crab was then forcibly squeezed into the bottle! Oh, it's an improvised prison for the poor crab although i don't see what's the purpose as i doubt the tourist can bring it home!

That's not enough; he proceeded to push the hermit crab into the bottle as well! Now, i was pissed as crabs of different species can be territorial and to put both in a small, enclosed area would result in a fight that could probably lead to death! 

However, as a tourist myself, i am ashamed to say that i didn't dare utter a single word. I was hoping there will be other who could talk some sense into the brainless tourists but no one did. 

And you know what's the best thing? The bottle was passed over to the daughter like sort of trophy! Gosh, that's like the worst kind of education ever for nature. You think they would release both crustaceans before they leave?

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Visit to Thipsamai (Pad Thai) in November 2018 - Trying Out the Icy Coconut Juice @ Bangkok [Thailand]

I cited Thipsamai as one of the main reasons for returning to Bangkok less than seven months after my last visit and frankly, i was deliberating if i should blog about it again since i already did so here.  

Well, i did try something new this time and i can't resist taking photos; hence, here it is again! I would try to keep it short and sweet this time and for my original review, do check out my posting here

Similar to my trip in April last year, i patronized Thipsamai twice and it's like still insufficient for us! You know what's my method to wean myself out of constantly craving for a dish (e.g. pad thai) in a specific eatery? I will eat until i get sick of it! 

The only one thing i can't stand at Thipsamai is the queue; on our first day, we were thankful for the heavy rain before we arrived as there were only two persons in front of us. The third day (our second visit) wasn't as lucky even though i didn't quite feel it as i spent some time taking photos of the Giant Swing while my travel mates waited in the queue!  

Despite visiting twice in April, i actually didn't know there are extra seats on the upper level. I remember seeing a staircase and thought it would lead to a storeroom or something. 

View of the ground floor from the second level. Note the Buddha statue right across; how did the operator clean the premises when there appeared to be no stairs or access? I roughly guess where the access would be. Have you spotted it?

Layout on second floor seemed to be tighter although the reduced number of allowable diners did make it seem more exclusive and less noisy than downstairs. 

There's even a television screen showcasing the restaurant, including its use of high quality charcoal made from mangroves that are more than 12 years old. Educational information that should have been propagated to a larger audience; i.e. like the customers waiting in queue.

Much had been said about the pad thai in Thipsamai in my initial post here and the Thai style fried noodles remained as delicious and as unforgettable in my recent visit. You know what's the key ingredient that sets it apart from others? Shrimp oil! 

The fresh, addictive yet expensive orange juice continued to be the favourite beverage for my travel mates but i think the sugar level was really a killer, even for a natural drink! 

Therefore, when i saw a customer on the next table drinking something from a cup and it came from the fridge as above; my intention was to give it a try! And for me to try something new without any review from others is quite rare.

Icy Coconut Juice @ 30 Baht a cup - in reality, this is ice-blended, undiluted coconut juice. Thirst quenching and not overly sweet, this was psychological 'healthier' than the orange juice! 

Done with our meal in no time! 

I am still missing the Thipsamai Pad Thai right now in Singapore and not knowing when i would be back in Bangkok means i need to satisfy my craving somewhat! Here's the pad thai set to the rescue! It doesn't cost cheap but i guess it would be worth a try. Shall update more in this blog on its taste soon! 

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For information on thipsamai (address, operating hours, pricing etc), click here


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