Saturday, September 30, 2023

Prinze Melon Coffee House @ Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market in Bangkok [Thailand]

Open air, non-air-conditioned markets can be so unbearably hot on a sunny day and it would be the same setting at Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market. Hence, imagine how our eyes lighted up when we chanced upon Prinze Melon Coffee House! 

Fully air-conditioned with additional fans, it's a rare oasis that's guaranteed to be filled with customers during peak periods. As it was already close to 3pm, we managed to secure a table to rest our legs.

To justify us taking a table, let's order some drinks from the menu! p.s. seeing that the toast was just 20 baht, I should have ordered one to try. 

Iced coffee it shall be! Honestly, I can't remember how it tasted like but since I didn't indicate in my notes, the taste should be alright. If it is terrible, I would have typed down something. 


Phetchahung Rd, พระประแดง Phra Pradaeng District, 
Samut Prakan 10130, Thailand

As above.

La Mensa Cafe @ Hanoi [Vietnam]

We had some time to spend before our dinner appointment and decided to check out this bright, pretty good-rated cafe less than 100 meters from the restaurant. Our legs definitely deserved some rest after all the walking along Hanoi Weekend Walking Streets! 

I don't know how to describe this interior design style; there's like a mix of English colonial blended with French cafe decor. Nevertheless, the environment was comfy and suitable for us to while our time for the next hour or so.

Those preferring people watching can consider this tiny balcony stretch which overlooked a busy intersection. Pray for good weather as you would get wet if it is raining heavily.

Intersection - with no traffic lights, it's amazing how vehicles and pedestrians can co-exist so perfectly. I have to admit that Vietnamese has arguably the best driving skill so far. 

This stall, Phở Gà Hàng Điếu, appeared popular! I know it's ga means chicken and pho is what most of us would know; the famous soup noodle that I have no liking for. One thing that caught my attention; the grilled meat in the same eatery! They smelt soooooo good.

Back to the cafe; we originally wanted just some drinks but the fridge contained one type of cake that I knew I die-die must try; black forest cake that cost just 49,000 dong (about S$2.75).

Iced Pandan Lotus Tea - despite the addition of the word lotus, I would say this was literally just pandan water with sugar. While refreshing, I am mindful that I would be as capable to make this myself, at a fraction of the cost, without the cream on top. 

Black Forest Cake - nothing particularly stood out and I would be better off with the classic, old school black forest cake from Han's Cafe and Cake House.


Although La Mensa Cafe had a comfortable setting, two things deterred me from revisiting. The first was the lipstick mark on one of the the glass cups, which inferred a lot on hygiene and cleanliness.

Second was the service; I am aware that 2,000 dong wasn't much, translating into just 10 Singapore cents but the counter crew just assumed I don't need the change after I paid the bill with 100,000 dong. When I enquired, which I shouldn't have to, the response was "no change".

2 Hàng Điếu, Cửa Đông, 
Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

As above.

As above.

Iced Pandan Lotus Tea - 49,000 Dong
Black Forest Cake - 49,000 Dong

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Ice Cream Truck by Kem Tươi Plo @ Hanoi Walking Streets near Ngoc Son Temple [Vietnam]

I am aware that when one is hot, one will crave for something cold, like ice blended beverage or ice cream. But in a climate that's less than 20 degree celcius, the allure of ice cream didn't seem to have died down in Hanoi

So many people were seen crowding around ice cream stalls, and ice cream trucks like the above. I did have a simple yet pricey ice cream on my first day in Vietnam's capital city and it was a disappointment. 

This one from the truck was a lot cheaper at just 15,000 dong (about 85 cents). Seeing kids and adults like savoring the ice cream, we couldn't resist and decided to join the queue! 

There were other flavors but I am a die hard vanilla ice cream fan! Maybe it's nostalgia, I can still remember loving a scoop of vanilla ice cream in my A&W root beer float! That's like the ultimate combination for a kid then. 

Here's having an ice cream cheer! The soft serve wasn't much honestly, and taste wise, not overly sweet although it lacked the creaminess. Well, guess we can't complain for just 85 cents. Saving grace was the tasty cone that had this nice, sesame flavor to it. 


Outside Ngoc Son Temple,
Hanoi Walking Streets (Weekends Only),

As above.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Newton Old Signboard 25 - Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle @ Newton Food Centre [Singapore] #newtonhawkercentre

Newton Hawker Centre is renowned for being a tourist trap although I beg to differ as there were plenty of good food worth exploring; one of which would be my
favorite oyster omelette stall which was closed when I visited yesterday. 

I was supposed to limit my starch intake for dinner but when I saw the next table having two large plates of wet looking hokkien mee; I couldn't resist but order from the same stall, Newton Old Signboard 25.

Interestingly, there were three types of hokkien mee; the traditional type like the above, another version with oysters and the last one with lala. For a true blue Singaporean, let's just go with the traditional one as the other two seemed like a weird combination. 

So much broth; guaranteed to be a slurpy meal. At minimally, S$6, this wasn't cheap although you would have to expect this kind of pricing from Newton Hawker Centre. To be fair, it was a larger plate that you can share among two persons. 

Fried so thoroughly with a hint of burnt flavor, this hokkien mee came with prawns, squids and had a higher ratio of mee hoon over yellow noodles. Funny thing was; it tasted more like fried bee hoon from tze char stalls.

The red, hot chilli sambal was potently spicy and left a burning sensation on my tongue, even though it dissipated rather quickly. If you like, you can even get a tub of sambal at just S$4.00! p.s. I don't know how big is one tub.


500 Clemenceau Avenue North, 
Newton Circus, #01-25,
Newton Food Centre, 
Singapore 229495

As above.

Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle - S$6.00

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Piggy Bank Street along P. Hàng Lược @ Hanoi in Vietnam

There are two things I enjoy collecting; one of them is Absolut Vodka and the other one is more interesting as I don't think many adults would use them nowadays. Piggy banks, and I only like those that can break, and in the shape of pigs.

Therefore, you can imagine how excited I was when the GRAB we took from the airport to Hotel Bonsella drove past a street that was filled with piggy banks! I knew I had to pay it a visit and purposely saved the location. 

So many to choose from but I had to tell myself to just get one; anything more and I would risk two things. Burdening my limited baggage and the higher likelihood of breakage should I bring back to Singapore. 

In all, I think there were about five stores that concentrated on piggy banks and they were almost exclusively, about 90%, in the shape of pigs! Colors were on the bright and gaudy side though, which I can accept.

There's only one issue. Those who had been to Vietnam would know their currency is mainly in note form and it's rare to see coins. Problem for me is that I require a piggy bank with a wider slit for me to put in our Singapore coins; thickest of which would be the S$1.00 coin.

Despite their cuteness, many had slits that were too narrow; sufficient only for a folded note or a 10-cent coin. That severely limited my selection although it's a blessing in disguise since I can only buy one. 


Jerald's Birthday 2023

It's birthday season for my family although for the grandparents generation, a good meal, rather than cakes, is preferred, given the unhealthy connotation for the latter, although it's all about moderation in my opinion! 

Two birthday boys, Jerald and my dad! The day of cake cutting was however the actual birthdate for Jerald, who is now 16. As the kids grow into adulthood, it's also a reality that I am no longer as before.

Nevertheless, life goes on and it's always nice to capture such happy moments! p.s. Jovyn's face is replaced with a smiley face as her friends managed to find quite a number of pictures in my blog, for which she was teased for. 

So, for those friends of her who chanced upon this blog post; please influence her to allow me to post her pictures in this blog as I referred to it heavily for memory recollection and archival for future references. p.s. my younger sister is missing from the photos as she stays rather far from us and can't spontaneously meet up! 

Birthday song singing time! Unlike in the past, the kids were less excited about birthdays, except for maybe the cake, and we could now make do with just one birthday song in Mandarin! 

Thought this was a nice photograph, but I had to blur Jovyn! Anyway, the photos were all posted our family whatsapp group and my sister can refer to them. 

Let's indulge in the Twelve Cupcakes's signature red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting! Not bad although I thought their cupcake version was better. 

Happy 16th birthday, Jerald!
p.s. I know I still owe you a present. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

Homescapes - Level 13,000 #homescape13000

Around three months ago, I started playing
Homescapes on my mobile phone again and once again, I was addicted and within this short span, I gained levels from 10,000 till 13,000; that's an average of about 30 levels a day! 

Frankly, I am unable to associate any relevance to level 13,000 with this board with two sub levels. Well, let's proceed to clear the five red tiles and 35 biscuits first. 

It did seem a bit long drawn and with just 25 moves, I was just wondering if Homescapes decides to do away their usual, easy to play, thousand-level. It's usually a giveaway, even for someone with not much homescapes-gaming experience.

Okay, at least there is the acronym of Homescapes for this last sub level. Guess no one would activate the candy balls individually; let's blast them out together! 

Nice woah; can you determine the 13,000 from the above board? 13 on top with the paper planes at the bottom representing three zeros! At first glance, however, I only noticed 13.

Maybe due to the backend setting for the level, I got quite a lot of candy balls and that did help me to clear the game, using all my remaining moves. 

Always happy too see a happy Austin. As the highest level now is about 13251, I guess it would be a while before I get to level 14,000. Maybe it's time to give this game a rest so that I can concentrate on my blogging, and netflix / disney plus.