Category Archives: Travels

Bhutan

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Sleeping giants with their gentle slopes

Snow-capped tops through the clouds they poke

Dusty sun rays shine brightly down

Green pine rustle without any sound

Glacier streams of purest blue

Rapids rush, then gently cruise

A bell chimes faintly in the distance

Deep breath in, heart slows, mind clearance

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A child’s giggle breaks the silence

Heart pure, fearless, innocence

The Druk of tan and weathered skin

Faint smile, big heart, welcoming

Dzongs and Buddha, bumpy roads between

Deities and demons, mystical beings

Bhutan the land of the Thunder Dragon

A place to see, a place to return

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I have been missing, yes. That’s because I spent a couple weeks away from Melbourne: 10 days in Bhutan and 5 in Singapore.

The trip to Bhutan was organised by Fakebooo’s cousin: Cousin Trouble. She usually throws an annual Booo-cousins-getaway and when I heard that the destination for 2014 was going to be Bhutan, I asked if The Angmoh and I could tag along, and they said yes.

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The trip to Bhutan was surreal. The vast landlocked country has a considerably small population and Western influences are kept to a minimal. The population is almost entirely Buddhist and this is reflected in the people, from their devout piousness to the open-hearted welcoming generosities. Stepping foot onto the land of Bhutan immersed me in a cloud of tranquillity: it was quiet, the mountain air was fresh, I was at peace.

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Our trip covered highlights from Eastern and Central Bhutan. Temples or “Dzongs” are maintained from centuries past and are still in use for religious and government affairs. As we travelled in a mini-bus from town to town, we crossed bumpy winding roads, chilly elevated passes, breathtaking forestry and local furry habitants.

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Our meals were kept simple. Breakfasts consisted of toast with spreads, eggs and fruit. Lunch and dinner were usually a buffet. The carbs were either white or red rice, noodles or roast potatoes. There was always a good selection of vegetable dishes, although they were a repetitive rotation of cabbage, mustard green, green beans with cauliflower and carrot and radish. There was a small variety of meat dishes, either a beef, chicken, pork or fish. While I was the last in the group to tire of the food, (I loved how fresh the vegetables were!), it was the seasoning, or rather too much of it, that got to me in the end. There was a lot of ‘butter-fried’ going on, then drowned in soy or oyster sauce.

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We had 2 unusual meals in Bhutan. One was Bhutanese pizza in the town of Bumthang, where we had to pre-order 3 hours in advance. The lady boss was the sole staff of the pizzeria and boy did she scramble to serve all 7 pizzas from her small humble stove. The Bhutanese take on pizza can be described to be cheese pizza with toppings, after all, they do love their cheese. Our final dinner steered us completely away from the usual offerings. The hotel that we were at was owned by a Malaysian and hence a Malaysian menu was available. That night, we happily feasted on bak kut teh, soup mee sua and nasi lemak.

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This post on Bhutan is just a brief summary as Fakebooo will post a detailed one, with remarkable photos, in the near future. Nevertheless, the trip was nothing but extraordinary and memorable. I thank Cousin Trouble for kindly organising it and allowing The Angmoh and myself to tag along.

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Filed under Bhutan, Pizza, Tours, Travels, Wanderlust

A weekend in Sydney

Once a year, I dedicate a weekend to Sydney. One weekend of pure gluttony, where getting full is not an option and optimising every last bit of space in that second stomach is very much mandatory. Last year Fakebooo and I flew up for a weekend of pastries, cakes and brilliant Argentinian food and you can read all about it here. This year my itinerary was pretty much the same, except this time round, The Angmoh came along as my dining companion.

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His only request food-wise was to have yumcha. That’s how we found ourselves in The Eight Restaurant, gorging on prawn dumplings, steamed pork ribs and glutinous rice as soon our plane landed. The restaurant was quiet when we rocked up close to 11am, with trolleys piled high with steaming bamboo baskets. By the time we left though, it was packed and rowdy, the way every reputable yumcha restaurant ought to be. The food was pretty good: slippery fresh prawns housed in silky translucent skins, smooth beef balls with the delicate crunch of water chestnut and velvety soy curd in a gingery syrup.

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We walked out lugging our backpacks and hiked across town towards Woolloomooloo, for the one and only and my Sydney-must-have Flour and Stone. Here I indulged in a rich chocolate tart while The Angmoh nibbled on some fruit toast. Deciding against the panna cotta lamington to save space for dinner, we headed towards our hotel for an afternoon siesta.

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alfajores

At 5pm, we were the first in line for Porteno. Having inadequate figures for a table booking, we decided to be kiasu and started camping an hour before the doors opened. Was the wait worth it? Hell yeah! Porteno panders to every carnivore’s wet dream where meats are grilled to perfection. Served in generous portions by cute waiters in leather aprons, every dish a sight for sore hungry eyes. My absolute favourite item, ironically, is a vegetable one. The grilled peppers are an absolute delight. Their skins blistered from high heat slip off to reveal soft flesh, succulent and sweet. Desserts here are excellent too, and I split an alfajores with The Angmoh. This was an amazing dish with crumbly buttery shortbread sandwiching a sticky caramel-like dulce de leche, all smothered in chocolate and then topped with an incredible brown butter ice cream. I was in dessert heaven.

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IMG_9417The next morning, we squeezed ourselves into a tiny café. Room 10 is a hole-in-the-wall which we’d chanced upon during our brief stroll in Kings’ Cross. We were counting the number of strip joints where a turn led us onto an unassuming laneway which had a handful of cafes and bistros. The morning crowd built quickly and we were lucky to get a table right away. The coffees were served hot and leant towards bitter. While The Angmoh enjoyed a slab of homemade banana bread with Pepe Saya butter, I worked off my morning gym session with a protein-heavy sandwich of smoked ham, triple cheese and smashed egg. Both dishes ticked all our breakfast boxes.

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Next on our agenda was another of my Sydney must-haves: Blackstar Pastry’s strawberry, watermelon cake with rose-scented cream. This has to be one of my all-time favourite cakes. Feminine in description and appearance, this cake is pure heaven with just the right amount of sweetness and perfect combination of floral and fruity flavours. It’s not only this cake that excels at Blackstar. The pastries too, are sensational. The Angmoh, after sampling the sausage roll, declared it to be “the best sausage roll of his life”. The flaky pastry is loaded with butter and filling was packed with flavour and spice, and even retained a resilient chewy texture. We took a couple of these bad boys back to Melbourne and The Angmoh’s dad proclaimed the very same.

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To kill time before dinner, I catched up on my zzz’s while The Angmoh enjoyed “Locke”. These odd arty-farty movies aren’t quite my thing but our final meal totally is. Gumshara Ramen sits in a foodcourt in Chinatown. The broth here is one of the best I’ve come across, with depth and stickiness achieved from boiling pork bones till kingdom come. The noodles and egg are cooked without any fault, retaining bite and wobble respectively. I enjoyed mine with a hit of black garlic and less salt. Needless to say, it went down a treat.

Sadly this concludes our weekend in Sydney. I’m already anticipating another foodie trip that will challenge the waistline and loosen the belt. Please hit me up for any mouth-watering delectable recommendations!

The Eight
9-13 Hay Street,
Haymarket
NSW 2000
+61 2 9282 9988
The Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Porteno
358 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills
NSW 2010
+61 2 8399 1440
Porteño on Urbanspoon

Room 10
10 Llankelly Place
Potts Point
NSW 2011
Room 10 on Urbanspoon

Black Star Pastry
277 Australia Street
Newtown
NSW 2042
+61 2 9557 8656
Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

Gumshara Ramen
211/25-29 Dixon Street
Hawmarket
NSW 2000
Gumshara Ramen on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Argentinian, Brunch, Chinese, Coffee, Japanese, Noodles, Pastries, Ramen, Sweets, Sydney, Travels, Yum Cha

A Day Trip to the Yarra Valley

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I dragged The Angmoh out to the Yarra Valley one Saturday morning for a day trip. I had an ulterior motive of course and you’d think it involves plenty of vineyard-hopping and wine-glugging. Not quite.

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Magics

Since The Angmoh was going to do all the driving, I let him sleep in that morning and finally kicked him out of bed at 0915. Our first stop, coffee.

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(Left) Orange poppy seed cake
(Right) Fruit toast $5

The Maling Room is located in an old post office and despite the worn façade and old-fashioned interior, the coffee is anything but. The house-blend Symmetry beans are one of its favourites due to its deep dark tones that carry a strong punch, perfect for sleepy mornings. I had a single origin Kenya Karimikui AA which carried apricot and fruit notes. With the intentions of having lunch in the valley, we decided to have something light. The fruit toast, possibly Noisette’s, is delightful as expected while the orange cake was a bit of a letdown. It was tooth-achingly sweet and hard from prolonged refrigeration.

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Having broken our fast, we headed into the valley towards The Angmoh’s requested destination, Yering Farm. His sole purpose of stopping here was to load up on apple juice. The juice is made on-site and this elixir is sweet with mild tang, crisp and a perfect thirst-quencher. We’ve previously made away with 12 litres and these are appropriately sealed and keep really well.

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We then headed towards Giant Steps for a spot of lunch. No, it’s not a steep mountain to climb. Rather it’s a collection of wines from single vineyards of the Yarra Valley. It houses a famous restaurant which makes a popular stopover. We took a gamble and rocked up without a reservation, and although there was a sign at the front stating that they were fully booked until 2.30pm (we were there at 1.30), we managed to get a comfy couch to recline in. Yay! This also meant we had to balance our plates on our laps, but hey, that’s no biggie. I indulged in a delicious easy-drinking pink moscato, delighting at how the colour matched my leggings.

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I’ve heard many a good thing about the pizzas at Giant Steps, so we split one carby pie amongst us two and also shared a dish of braised beef cheeks. The pizza was well-made with a thin base topped with quality ingredients. The generous use of San Marzano tomatoes aka the god of all tomatoes was well-appreciated but that made the pizza slightly wet, causing the toppings to slide off as soon as a slice was picked up.

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(Left) Spicy pork sausage, buffalo Mozzarella, San Marzano tomato and chilli $24
(Right) Px Sherry braised ox cheek with potato and cauliflower croquettes $22

The beef cheeks were excellent. Lovingly slow-cooked into a tender unctuous mess and hit up with the rich syrupy marinade from the Pedro Ximenez, it made one plate-lickingly good dish. The cauliflower croquettes provided a textural constrast with their crunchy exteriors, giving a twist from the common creamy puree.

Though I evaded temptation for a greater good, Giant Steps has one heck of an alluring bread and sweets shelf. The Portuguese egg tarts and rich chocolate tarts looked devine but I did need to save some tummy space and calories for what was to come next. We capped off lunch with a stroll through the main shopping street of Healesville, where this wall-art caught my eye.

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Our final stop was the very reason for our day-trip into the Yarra Valley. The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie was hosting a hot chocolate festival over the month of August. Approximately 8-10 new hot chocolate flavours were made available each weekend. I missed out on earlier flavours such as Turkish Rose or Gingerbread but managed to try the Aztec Chilli hot chocolate while The Angmoh went for the Jaffa. These came as tall serves of warm frothed milk, speckled with the chosen flavour and a shot of molten chocolate to be stirred in. A miniature whisk is even provided to smooth it all out.

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(Top) Aztec chilli hot chocolate
(Bottom) Jaffa hot chocolate

We couldn’t depart the chocolaterie without purchasing some chocolate. I was like a kid in a candy store… wait, I really was in a candy store! Anyway, I made do with chocolate chips for baking, some native-flavoured chocolate bars and a huge stash of choc-coated liquorice for The Angmoh.

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Our drive out to the Yarra Valley was a delicious and fruitful one. We swayed off the typical wine-laden itinerary and still had a delightful time.

The Maling Room
206 Canterbury Road
Canterbury
Vic 3126
+61 3 9836 988
The Maling Room on Urbanspoon

Yering Farm
St Huberts Road
Yering
Vic 3770
+61 3 9739 0461

Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander
336 Maroondah Highway
Healesville
Vic 3777
+61 3 5962 6111
Innocent Bystander Winery on Urbanspoon

Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery
35 Old Healesville Road
Yarra Glen
Vic 3775
+61 3 9730 2777
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Brunch, Canterbury, Chocolate, Coffee, Healesville, Pizza, Sweets, Travels, Yarra Valley

Tasmania: Amelia Espresso, Smolt, Machine Laundry Cafe, Garagistes, Bruny Island

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Over Easter long weekend, The Angmoh and I crossed the Bass Straight over to beautiful hilly Tasmania. Our initial plans of landing early in Launceston and touring the Tamar Valley were ruined by Jetstar’s 2 hour delay. As soon as we hit Launceston, we quickly fuelled up (as Melbournians would) with a good hit of caffeine.

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(Left) Piccolo latte
(Right) Magic

Amelia’s Espresso is a small café in the Launceston that offers coffees from Ritual beans and small array of sweets. It seems that magics (or barista lattes) are no longer just a Melbourne commodity. The Angmoh was extremely pleased when his magic was served, it was very well-made. And so was my piccolo latte.

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Raspberry Chocolate French Toast – French toast sandwich with raspberry jam and chocolate. Served with Meander Valley double cream $15

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Dove Lake

After making a pit stop for groceries, we hit the high road for Cradle Mountain but not before stopping at Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm for scones and raspberry chocolate French toast. That evening, we did a leisurely stroll around the tranquil Dove Lake. The next morning, we attempted the Cradle Mountain Summit walk. Three hours of fog, rain, gale winds and hail later, we tucked tails and made a beeline for the car. We will definitely put this back on our future travel plans, and preferably in summer.

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Pancetta, broccolini, cavalo nero, chilli, reggiano, mozzarella $23.90

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White fish linguini, chilli, garlic, parsley

The drive into Hobart took up the rest of the afternoon. Dinner that night was at Smolt, a newish upcoming Italian restaurant in the popular Salamanca Square. To be honest, we were initially going to settle for pizza at Cargo but were informed that there would be a 70 minute wait for food. The waitress actually suggested that we check out other restaurants around the square, including Smolt. After we put our names down on the waiting list, the maitre’d encouraged us to have drinks across the lane at a tapas joint. I love that restauranteurs in Tasmania have such respect and amicability towards competing peers.

Smolt has a somewhat marine theme: from aqua-green tiles on the communal table, to a fishtank wall at the very entrance. I was in the mood for seafood pasta that night and the kitchen kindly agreeing to substitute shellfish with white fish. The broth was lovely and seafoody, with strong hints of garlic and white wine. The Angmoh’s pizza had a crisp thin base topped with quality ingredients of pancetta, mozzarella and cavalo nero. He devoured the entire thing deftly.

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Our 3rd day in Tasmania had us on a coffee hunt around Hobart. Pilgrim was closed for the holidays so we marched back to Salamanca Square for brunch at Machine Laundry Café. The name says it all, part laundromat, part café, it was pumping that Saturday morning. I had the biggest serve of mocha that morning, with the coffee served in a bowl. My breakfast wrap of scrambled eggs in roti was a delicious combination. The drizzle of chilli syrup reminded me of poh piah. The Angmoh built his own breakfast and had poached eggs, mushrooms, smashed avocado and smoked salmon. Each side was of a generous serve and The Angmoh proclaimed defeat about three-quarters into the dish.

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(Left) Ice espresso coffee $6
(Right) Maximum mocha $5

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Poached eggs with sourdough $10
Add mushrooms $3.50, avocado salsa $3.50, smoked salmon $4

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Machine packed roti bread filed with herbed scrambled eggs, served with chilli jam $15

We quickly perused the stalls along Salamanca market, where I bought the famed Tasmania scallop pie. I didn’t really enjoy it with its odd curried flavour. In my mistake, I ate it four hours later, where it had gone cold and gluggy. However for $7, it does contain a fair amount of whole scallops; mine had 6.

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(Left) Mona ferry terminal
(Right) Wall art aboard the Roma

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That afternoon, we checked out Mona. We took the 1.15pm ferry and arrived just in time for The Cloaca Professional’s “evacuation” exhibit. I thought that everyone on the ferry would be making a mad dash to view said exhibit at 2pm, but I was the only poo-obsessed one. After waiting in a room of swirling vessels and pipes and breathing in pungent cheesy air, we watched The Cloaca do what it had to do before exploring the rest of the museum. 2 hours later, we returned to watch it feast on a meal of salad and meatball sub. We were told that it gets beer on good days and that vindaloo results in a potent aftermath.

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House made bread with smoked butter

Dinner was a much anticipated affair that night. Garagistes now takes bookings in a two week window and we secured a seat at 6.30pm. It is simple, minimalistic and dark, with just a handful of long communal tables and plenty of kitchen action. Dinner is a 5 course degustation for $90, with the choice of paired sake. Three of the courses have 2 options to choose from, including main and dessert. Garagistes, even without your reservations, you are worth queuing for. Every dish was stunning and a gourmet delight. My favourites that night have to be the dumpling with shiitake in chicken soup and the beef. The former is the epitome of umami, with chicken skins, and pickled and fresh shiitake giving pow and punch to flavours, only to be softly rounded up with a delicate cloud of ricotta dumpling. I’m not normally one to combine fruit with meat or sauce with steak but the main course of Wagyu bavette had both and boy did they work well. The beef had a crust of berries, some powdered and some dehydrated for maximum flavour concentration. The jus of native pepper and mustard seeds is possibly the only Diane sauce I’ll ever approve of. Dinner at Garagistes is a memorable one and could be worth moving to Tassie for.

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hay roasted celeriac, smoked eel, curry leaf, egg yolk, saltbush

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poached southern calamari, green tomato bouillon, house ferments + chickweed

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fresh cheese dumpling, field mushroom, chicken skin, aged cheese rind + vin jaune broth

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heirloom tomatoes, smoked angasi oyster “salep dondurma”, pickled kombu

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wagyu bavette “steak dianne”

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poached quince, preserved lemon + boyd hill honey cream, smoked almond

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fragrant packham pear, fried egg mousse, black garlic caramel, ginger cake

Our final day concluded with a day trip to Bruny Island. We made a mistake of not researching opening hours of popular breakfast haunts and only found out at the very last minute that most cafes do not operate on Sundays or were closed for Easter. A trip back to Machine Laundry Café had us with takeaway coffees and the most endowed muffin I’ve ever come across. It was also one of the best muffins with a nice moist texture, the lack of overpowering sweetness and a crisp dome of deliciousness.

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Blackberry, ricotta and almond muffin

Once on the island, we visited Cape Bruny and took in the stunning views of the ocean. Culinary delights included lunch at Bruny Island Cheese, where I fell in love with the O.D.O, and bought 2 tubs home to crumble into salads or melt across pizzas. The Angmoh sampled a monster of an oyster at Get Shucked, while I slurped down a petite version.

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Kettering Ferry Terminal

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View from Cape Bruny

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And so, with our wanderlust satiated and bellies appeased, we headed back to Melbourne, albeit after yet another Jetstar delay.

 

Amelia Espresso
56 George Street
Launceston Tas 7250
+61 4 38 448 199
Amelia Espresso on Urbanspoon

Christmas Hill Raspberry Farm
9 Christmas Hills Road
Elizabeth Town
Tas 7304
+61 3 6362 2186
Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm on Urbanspoon

Smolt
2 Salamanca Square
Battery Point
Tas 7004
+61 3 6224 2554
Smolt on Urbanspoon

Machine Laundry Café
12 Salamanca Square
Battery Point
Tas 7004
+61 3 6224 9922
Machine Laundry Cafe on Urbanspoon

Garagistes
103 Murray Street
Hobart
Tas 7000
+61 3 6231 0558
Garagistes on Urbanspoon

Bruny Island Cheese Company
1807 Bruny Island Main Road
Great Bay
Tas 7150
+61 3 6260 6353
Bruny Island Cheese Co. on Urbanspoon

Get Shucked
1650 Bruny Island Main Road
Great Bay
Tas 7150
+61 4 28 606 250
Get Shucked on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Brunch, Coffee, Degustation, Fine Dining, Italian, Modern, Sweets, Tasmania, Travels

Travels: Singapore, Part II

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Having been with the BF, I returned to Singapore in February 2014 with the fake boyfriend, Fakebooo. A work conference was to be held in our little country island and we thought we would use it as an excuse to return home and spend time with family.

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This trip had me spending many lunches with Fakebooo’s family, who knows the hot spots for specific local dishes. I’m rather “bodoh” about these things and always happily settle for random hawker or even kopitiam choices.

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Fakebooo usually satisfies hankerings of fish head curry at Samy’s, which unfortunately was closed on the day we visited. We settled for Muthu’s instead, which has a more upmarket set up. Cushioned seats, air-conditioning, clean squeaky floors, the works. We shared fish head curry, masala chicken curry and baby squid. Rice comes with stewed cabbage and eggplant. As I hardly ever eat such food, it was quite a novel experience for me. Fakebooo, on the other hand, prefers the atmosphere and general overall eating experience at Samy’s.

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Another meal that we had was Kay Lee’s roast meats. The stall is famous for charred fatty char siew, which is glazed in a sugar syrup and subjected to high heat to acquire carboned, sweet unctuous pork. This was delicious cancer in every possible way and while the Cantonese in me had me shaking my head in disapproval, my stomach and tastebuds lapped up every blackened tasty morsel in glee. The roast duck was really good, with tender meat and a really crisp skin, bursting with flavour from the underlying duck fat.

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Fake-family final lunch was nasi padang at Pasir Panjang. Once again, this is something I seldom eat so I gobbled everything up without any pre-formed judgement: curried vegetables, fried chicken, fried egg all smothered in assam sauce and chilli.

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Other eats during this trip include dinner with bestie Cheeps at Din Tai Fung. This is a franchise which originated from Taiwan and it specializes in dumplings. I feel that Din Tai Fung serves up the best xiao long bao and that Melbourne’s Hu Tong can’t hold a candle up to this. The dumpling skins are delicately thin and house little parcels of juicy pork mince and broth. The pork filing is well-seasoned and far from sweet, which is a common feature in most dumpling I’ve come across in Melbourne. The hand-pulled noodles, or la mian, in Din Tai Fung are also of excellent quality. The noodles have minimal variance in width and have the perfect bite to them. My noodles came with minced pork and shiitake mushrooms. Drowned in chilli and chin kiang vinegar, it was a perfect meal.

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One memorable delicious dinner took place towards the last couple days of my trip. My parents, brother, sis-in-law, bub and myself got together at Taman Jurong Food Centre. The complex is one of the few remaining multi-story buildings that incorporate wet market and hawker centre simultaneously. We ordered from multiple hawkers: there was prawn curry, sambal stingray, rojak with dried cuttlefish, a platter of mixed ngoh hiang and claypot tofu. My little niece, in all her glorious 12 months, devoured slivers of non-sambaled stingray with gutso.

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Trips home are usually once a year and short. There’s so much food to cram in, but too little calories, stomach-space and time to spare. My next visit back home will likely by next year and in the mean time, I’ll have to get by with home-cooked food and meals at Malaysian joints.

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Filed under Hawkerfood, Noodles, Singapore, Singaporean, Travels, Wanderlust

Travels: Singapore, Part I

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The Angmoh and I travelled to India and Singapore in October 2013. It was our first overseas trip together and he was keen to check out the country from which his girlfriend was. Of course, meeting the Singlish-slurring family members was inevitable. On the good side, there was new food to try, with an almost inexhaustible variety to choose from.

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The first night in Singapore was a brief stopover before moving onto India, but packed a hell of a punch nonetheless. The Angmoh met 9 family members and sampled over fifteen types of local fare. My relatives went all out to welcome the foreigner. My brother and sister-in-law took us to Bedok Central for a classic carbilicious Singaporean breakfast of soon kueh, chwee kueh, chee cheong fun, fish ball noodles and soup kambing. This of course needed washing down with kopi and soy bean milk. Dinner was a heavy affair of meeting the extended family who had gone all over the island to get takeaway from various eateries. There was mee siam, rojak, roast chicken, tau kwa bao, poh piah, chilli crab, achar, satay, char kway teow and or luak (oyster omelette).

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We returned to Singapore 15 days later for more eating adventures. The Angmoh fully intended to play the part of tourist, so my parents took him to Chinatown. He had char siew and roast duck rice for breakfast and sampled bak kwa from the famous Lim Chee Guan. We cut through the CBD towards Marina and stopped for tea at Suntec City. Over here I fulfilled cravings of kueh tutu, a steamed fluffy cake filled with dessicated coconut or peanut.

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Our trip included a stay at Marina Bay Sands (MBS), famous for the casino in which requires locals to pay a $200 entry fee each time (but is free for foreingers) and of course, the infinity pool. Before checking in, we had chicken rice at Katong Shopping Centre. This place serves the best chicken rice in Singapore, in my honest opinion. The chicken (both steamed and roasted) is tender and flavourful, and the tasty chicken-fat cooked rice is perfect for drizzling dark soy and chilli all over. Soup and pickled vegetables (or achah) is complimentary.

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The Angmoh, a lover of tea and scones, insisted to stop for just that at TWG. While he lathered on clotted cream tea-infused jam onto his warm fruit scones, I nibbled delicately on macarons. This is one place where drinks are pricier than the food and tea is particularly steep (pun intended). However, the price is justified by the quality of the brew.

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After soaking up the views from the pool, we headed to The Black Swan for dinner with the girlfriend’s girlfriends. The Angmoh and I both had the burger, which I admit, is a far cry from any of the burgers mentioned in my burger posts. Dessert was a sinful chocalatey affair.

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The next day, I introduced The Angmoh to yong tau foo. Most stalls would have a good variety of leafy greens, fish-stuffed vegetables and deep fried delights to choose from. They are eaten with noodles in a soy bean-based stock and can make a healthy meal, if you do not pick any of the deep fried items. Over-ordering can commonly occur because each item looks so small but before you know it, the carbs and soup will kick in and fill you up. The Angmoh and I had about 6 items each and we were full. We walked off lunch at Gardens By The Bay, joined by Mum. Gardens By The Bay is an beautiful picturesque man-made park. The grounds are extensive and includes 2 oppositely-themed glasshouses, alienish urban trees, ethic-themed mini-gardens and plenty of greenery. My favourite was the Flower dome, a glasshouse which mimicked the arid deserts of South America and the Mediterranean, with bloated baobaps and pebble-like succulents.

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During our last couple days in Singapore, we went “prawning”, checked out the night scene at Clarke Quay and did the Henderson Tree Top Walk with Dad. The Angmoh tried durian, which he “does not mind but will not order”. Brother had him try a famous rojak in Toa Payoh. I was pretty “meh” about it. I suppose the long queue stems from the generous amount of heh ko (fermented prawn paste) and bunga kantang (ginger blossom) in the salad.

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On our very last day, I made a dash to Tiong Bahru Bakery to try the reknowned Kouign Amann. It was sweet, flaky, delicious and everything a good pastry should be… until Lune Croissanterie. (I’m now extremely spoilt and will rather queue at 7.30am on a weekend morning for one of Kate’s precious goods.)

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This concludes the first half of our Singapore/India holiday. Stay tuned for more travel and eating adventures!

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Filed under Burgers, Hawkerfood, Pastries, Singapore, Travels, Wanderlust