Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sanook Kitchen @ Northpoint City Shopping Mall in Yishun [Singapore]

Taking over the former premises of Thai Express at Northpoint City is this new Thai restaurant by the name of Sanook Kitchen, and since Sakon Thai wasn't very wallet friendly and Gu Thai Noodle Cafe failed to meet our expectation; our family decided to give this new entrant a try!

I read somewhere that Sanook Kitchen is under the same management of Thai Express but a check on the webpage of Minor Food Group (holding company for Thai Express) indicated that Sanook Kitchen isn't included in the list of food brands under them.

Anyway, even within reputable groups, there could be lousy brand restaurants and nothing beats trying it yourself to see if the taste is up to your expectations. So, here's what we had. 

Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables with Mushrooms - personally, i thought this simple plate of mixed vegetables was marvelously cooked and hit the right taste buds in every bite. The only problem is that the portion was insufficient for three persons although i can't complain much for S$5.90 a plate in a restaurant at a shopping centre setting. 

Green Chicken Curry - ever since my epic Thai curry experience at Raya Restaurant in Phuket, i can never resist ordering Thai curry when i see it on the menu. Likewise with the aforementioned vegetables dish, the portion wasn't generous. 

Its spiciness shot to my nose when i took a sip and while it was tasty (especially with plain, white rice); i prefer the curry to have a slightly thicker consistency. The pathetic portion of chicken was obviously frozen chicken; you can really taste the difference. And i can't help it but comment; can't the chef just put in more slices of brinjal even if they are not the usual, cute Thai brinjals?!  

Steamed Sea Bass with Chilli, Lime & Garlic - having tried a similar one at Singapore's Ah Loy Thai Restaurant, we thought we should order for the sake of comparison.

Submerged in a broth infused with sourness, spiciness and a touch of sweetness, the fish meat tasted fresh and in all; it, thankfully, didn't disappoint. For the first time, the portion was also deemed to be acceptable! 


930, Yishun Avenue 2,
#B1-01 (North Wing), 
Northpoint Shopping Centre
Singapore 768019

As above.

Order List
As above.

Stir-fried Mixed Vegetables with Mushrooms - S$5.90
Green Chicken Curry - S$7.90
Steamed Sea Bass with Chilli, Lime & Garlic - S$24.90
(Subject to GST and Service Charge)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Eyes in the Sky - From Phuket to Singapore; With a View of Singapore's Skyline

There are two commercial runways at Changi International Airport and while i don't mind the bird's eye view of Pulau Ubin and Tekong (where i spent five days of my national service); i have always preferred the other runway that crosses the Singapore Straits.

Reason being i would be able to catch the amazing skyline of Singapore's central business district! And i would always say in my head: "Singapore is just so small"! 

Even from the above picture, i can vaguely make out the skyline of Johor Bahru, which is the state capital of Johore, Malaysia; a mere 20 over kilometers up north. 

Another breathtaking sight would be the many container ships traversing the emerald-green Singapore Straits; where about 2,000 ships travel along on a daily basis.

That patch of greenery is East Coast Park; a large section of which is land reclaimed in the 1970. Do you know that East Coast park is the largest park in Singapore? 

Bedok jetty - back when i was obsessed with ghost stories, the jetty was one of the hot spots given its accessibility for the general public. For one of the haunted tales, click here

Two last pictures as we were about to land; the second one showed the massive construction for the East Coast Integrated Depot. Once completed, it can house 200 trains from 3 MRT lines and over 500 buses! 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Departure Lounge of Terminal 2 (for International Flights) of Phuket International Airport @ Thailand

It's better to be early than late when checking in to the airport and that's a philosophy i abide to in Singapore as there's so much to do at Changi International Airport.

When i am overseas, i tend to go by the same rule and that's mainly because i didn't want to miss my flight (as i did in Bali back in 2017) although being well ahead of time has its challenges too; for example, an airport with limited amenities as in the case of Bandung.

Terminal 2 of Phuket International Airport wasn't that bad, considering it is the 3rd busiest airport in Thailand even though the expansion in 2016 fails to anticipate the strong growth in passenger numbers over the past few years.

Compared to the kids' playground in Changi International Airport, the above seriously couldn't hold a candle! Well, better than not having any in the first place.

In terms of retail, it's like a (much) smaller scale version of what you seen in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport; the king's power brand can be seen almost everywhere. 

Gate 15 for our Scoot flight back to Singapore. 

Boarding should have started at about 9.55 am but i was deprived of my caffeine fix; not to also mention that we have yet to take our breakfast. However, the shop above had too long a queue and with just one person manning the counter; the waiting time wasn't expected to be short.

This was this Big Burger and Grill that looked more attractive; facade wise.

Pricing wise, i doubt i can stomach it! Burgers that cost at least S$10 and sets priced at almost S$20! Even if i am keen, my dad would have jumped if i even dare to pay for such exorbitant prices! 

Noticed a secondary level and i decided to proceed up. At this point, it would no longer be food and drinks as i only had about 10 minutes or so to board the plane and being a (somewhat) budget airline, Scoot wouldn't take kindly if i were to bring outside food in.

Queue to enter Gate 15; guess i still can afford a few more minutes.

More food options on the upper floor with a reduced queue; albeit doesn't translate into a shorter queue. I was glad Alex didn't accompany me as he would have made a beeline to Burger King! 

As taken from the upper level - see how terribly long the subway queue was! I never feel incentivize to have subway outside of NUS since we would be granted 20% direct discount for showing our staff pass. 

Map of 3rd floor - the so-called ground level of the departure area for Terminal 2 (for international flights) of Phuket International Airport; so cute, they indicated the beach too. Didn't manage to take the map for the upper level as dad was chasing me to board the plane! 


What else did i do in Phuket

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Eyes in The Sky @ Phuket in January 2018

I have always preferred window seat whenever i took the plane but as i am too cheapo nowadays; i don't pay to indicate my seat and that means it's usually a pray-hard-to-get-a-window-seat scenario.

Therefore, i was pissed to be given a seat with noticeable, black scratches on the window pane, when i travel back from Phuket to Singapore earlier this year, since i paid for it to be seated next to my dad! 

There's nothing i can do about it and the auto-focus function on my Nikon D7000 did a pretty good job in blurring out the scratches so that i can take a few photos of the land view below us.

Hey, that's quite a familiar sight! 

I excitedly pointed out to my dad and asked him to guess! We actually visited the islands on day two of my our 5-day Phuket trip as part of the James Bond Island Tour (Speedboat) by Amazing Canoeing which includes stopovers at Panak, Panyee, Hong and Naka Islands! 

Look at those speedboats travelling towards their directions. If i am not wrong, the long island closest to us in the above photo is Panak Island.

From google map, i think the two pictures above were of Koh Yao Yai; a relatively large island in between Phuket and Krabi. You may read more about it here although my gut feel tells me it appears to be boring and even the beaches didn't look half as spectacular as what you can see in the next island we flew past. 

Its iconic shape gave it away and it was actually in the news this year for the closure of a bay that had suffered extensive environmental damage due to its popularity; Phi Phi Islands, which i visited in 2011. 

The main island wasn't affected by the closure as Maya Bay, made famous by the movie, The Beach, starring Leonardo Dicarpio, is located on another island known as Ko Phi Phi Leh.


What else did i do in Phuket

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Day Four in Phuket - Onward to Similan Islands #similanislands #daytour #phuket

I actually don't think this would be a long post since a large portion of the day was spent travelling from our hotel (Swissotel Resort Phuket Patong Beach) to Phang Nga province and back to Phuket.

Sadly, sleeping in wasn't an option as we were already given prior notice to be at the hotel's lobby at 6.00 am for our day trip to Similan Islands! Yes, i was super excited as i heard the islands were stunning!

15 minutes passed and there was no sight of the shuttle.

As the timing indicated was from 6.00 am to 6.20 am, we still have about 5 minutes to go and i took to taking a few photos surrounding the resort's lobby; like the interesting, chandelier-inspired bar shelves.

The van arrived before 6.20 am!

Sun was just rising and i can't imagine i managed to pull myself out of bed. For beach vacations, i often prefer to sleep in and even if i have signed up for tours; they don't usually start before 8.00 am. Yawnz.

Gasoline in alcohol bottles under the "hong thong" label; if not for the word, gasoline, which i recognize, i would have mistaken the liquid as liquor!

Drove past a Thai temple; known as wat. I can't find much information about this temple from google. Maybe there's something wrong with the translated name.

Rows of rubber trees! Quite a nice sight with the morning mist.

On Sarasin Bridge; aside from being a well-known bridge, it plays an important role as the land link between the mainland and Phuket island. This is quite similar to how Singapore is connected to Peninsular Malaysia via the causeway and second link.

View along the bridge.

After having my butt being stuck to the car seat for more than two hours, we finally arrived at the 'home' of Seastar Andaman (known as Seastar Happy Journey on facebook) to officially start our day tour!

I have separately blogged about my review of the day tour conducted by Seastar Andaman and you may refer to it here. For the purpose of this post, i think it's necessary to include once again what we did at Similan Islands!

And again, my dad's unforgettable almost-drowned incident!

After a decent dinner back at the 'home' of Seastar Andaman, it's time for us to hit the road back to Phuket! Not exactly something i am looking for as the sun was already setting and i don't take good photos with low light!

Thankfully only four groups of tourists in the same passenger van; the more there are, the higher the chance you would get to your hotel later, unless you are the first stop.

Setting sun; it's a pity that the trees on the side are blocking off the view! Since i don't have much patience for sunrise / sunset, being stuck in a car / shuttle with nothing to do actually motivates me to take more photos.

Back in Patong; the jams were bad and at this time, we were on the road for already 2.5 hours! I should have asked the driver to drop us off at Naughty Nuri's for dinner since he had to drive pass it.

Upon reaching our room at Swissotel Resort Phuket Patong Beach, we threw our bags onto the floor, had a change of clothes and hit the street again!

Even though Naughty Nuri's was within walking distance from our hotel (about 20 minutes), all of us were pretty shagged from the journey to Similan Islands and i thought we should give the expensive tuk tuk in Phuket (different from the ones in Bangkok) a try!

Finally had a taste of possibly the best ribs in the world; served by Naughty Nuri's Patong! To think that i didn't try it in Bali, where it originates from, when i was there a few months before Phuket. Click here for my review!

Dad was running a slight fever; hence, i ran over to a nearby pharmacy to get some Panadol tablets. Since i am already there, i might as well purchase some pills that were requested by my friends; nothing illegal by the way but drugs in Thailand are so much cheaper than what we have in Singapore.

No time to explore the street stalls as priority was for my dad to take a rest! It's never enjoyable to fall sick when one is overseas. Back to taking the tuk tuk again as it's the most convenient mode of transport in Patong.

Alex and i sneaked out again once my dad was on the bed; as it was our last night in Phuket, we ventured out to the happening Bangla Street again! Crowd was much thinner on a Monday night.

This is a frequent sight in Patong; an enhanced pickup truck publicizing muay thai shows. To draw attention, they would clap the boxing gloves and the noise would be amplified through the PA system. Can be quite an irritation! Haha. 

Last stop at Starbucks and that would be strange for friends who know me well and are aware i prefer local coffee over Western coffee! I was there for a purpose.

Starbucks cards and mug; requested by Vanessa! I usually don't mind if friends / family members ask me to buy things on their behalf, so long the items are not illegal and they must understand that i wouldn't purposely go out of my way to seek out the items!


Detailed Postings for the Day

  1. Day Trip to Similan Islands via Seastar Andaman
  2. Snorkeling Off Similan Islands No 5 & 6
  3. Similan Island No 4 
  4. Princess Bay at Similan Island No 4
  5. Snorkeling between Similan Islands No 9 and 8
  6. Similan Island No 8
  7. Sail Rock at Similan Island No 8
  8. The Incident at Similan Islands
  9. The Different Tuk Tuk in Phuket
  10. Naughty Nuri's in Phuket

What else did i do in Phuket