Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kanin Club Fail!

I found the newly opened Ooma Rice Bar to be such a hit, while on the contrary, I can't say the same about Kanin Club, which I tried when Auntie Celita was here many months back.

We brought Auntie Celit to Kanin Club at the
UP Technohub.
Timmy and Ady ordered Aligue Rice which I didn't touch.
I prefer prawns with Aligue Sauce (our favorite Bangkok staple) which my
mom and dad buy from the Chatuchak Food Market.
We also ordered Crispy Dinuguan, but it failed miserably versus my
The Crispy Dinuguan of Siklab should be the peg. You can read my post
on that here.
Ady also ordered Pork Binagoongan which I didn't like.
The only thing that I think was passable was the crispy calamari.
I remember not being too impressed with the lumpia, but preferring it
over the other food.
Oh, I guess we ordered laing but it was also not memorable.

So I guess the title is self-explanatory. I think Kanin Club gives Filipino food a totally ordinary name. If you have visitors from abroad you're better off bringing them to Abe or Siklab, or even Ninak, which is more Asian - but then the restaurant's name is Kanin spelled backwards. just saying.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Singapore and Vietnam Eats and Supermarket Finds

The travelling schedule for work has resumed once again. Last week was a blur between Singapore and Ho Chi Minh. I actually spent most of the weekend hibernating and catching up on sleep.

I arrived on Singapore around 6pm on Tuesday, with tightly packed days following it, so I immediately rushed to Anchorpoint and Orchard Road to get my errands done.
I love Singapore efficiency so much, I even arrived before Anson for our
late dinner. He brought me to Choo Choo Chicken, a sort of newly
opened Korean Fried Chicken place I think Sofia will enjoy.

During my shopping sprint, I discovered the Magazine Freebie wonderland in Kinokuniya, which you can read about here.
I had to wake up extra early to have time to enjoy reading my
magazines over breakfast so I could ditch them.
Sadly, Singapore was so hazy when I was there.
Good thing for this trip, I was able to schedule a catch-up lunch with Dung,
a good friend from my old job, and he took me to this newly opened
Vietnamese place near the office, which deserves a separate blog post.
My Singapore office staple, is always a Ben & Jerry's fix. If only to average
all the B&J's I had to pay for when I was working there since it's now FOC.
For such a short trip, I still managed to buy loads! Good thing Tim is my savior. He not only lets me choose where I want to drag him to eat, he carries my "excess shopping" too, to be stored in his home and to be brought home on another trip when I decide to check-in luggage.
We had dinner at the popular Tenkaichi, which is a Teppanyaki Grill
that is award winning and has Wagyu (SG$65++ from SG$99 on weekdays).  
Good thing, I arrived late and our Filipina server told us we wouldn't be able to maximize the buffet since the last call was at 9:30pm, so we recommended we order ala carte.
This is the wagyu that is included in the buffet. Grade 3, Japanese or Australian
beef. Barely marbled. If you eat Wagyu beef in Japan, this won't make the cut.
To make the buffet worth it, each person must eat atleast 4 plates. 
The best dish we ordered was the mushroom dish sizzling in butter.
This was really good for SG$12.50.
I wouldn't recommend Tenkaichi for their Yakiniku buffet, but it's not too
bad if you're looking for a place to eat in Marina Square.
Just stick to the mushrooms and the tempura, and don't expect ambiance.
My Singapore haul inlcudes Mamee Monster (Noodle Snack that you put
flavoring in, crush and eat), yummy Hazelnut flavored Lipton Milk Tea,
and the plum salt used for fruit like Guava, Pineapple or Watermelon.

The next day, I had to rush to catch my flight to Ho Chi Minh City, because we had scheduled meetings in the office for that afternoon. Thankfully, the flight arrived on time, so after meeting my boss at the hotel, there was enough time for us to have lunch before needing to head to the office.

Our first stop was Cuc Gach Quan, one of my favorite places for local food.
You can read my post on that here.
When in Vietnam... have coffee like the locals do.
Our meetings ran late (the market was closed na)  so we settled
for a good dinner instead. Bo Tung Xeo, recommended by
Anson was walking distance from the hotel and was really good.

When we got back to the hotel, i asked them to book a mani
and pedi for me at My Spa, a favorite from 4 years ago.
You can read about that here.

Finally, it was Friday, TGIF literally, and i had time to wrap up loose ends and work in peace until our flight back, but since you really can't go to Ho Chi Minh without having some of the best pizza in the world, I made a reservation for an early lunch before we had to go to the airport.

If you can't order much from Pizzaa4Ps because you're just 1 or 2, these are the musts!
Truffle Camembert to start. Ask for 2 truffle, no herbed.
It's 10x better.
Prociutto Margherita Buratta Pizza. You can order half half,
but why do that when this is the best.
On Supermarket finds, Sof loves the dried jackfruit.
I discovered instant Pho but I need to try it, and
my favorite coffee blend is Blue Mountain which you buy
from Saigon Square 1 or Ben Thanh Market.
Tomorrow, I am off to Bangkok, so hopefully more good food for my tummy and more grocery finds to challenge myself to bring home. At least I've just been energized with a hot stone massage.  just saying...

Choo Choo Chicken
Orchard Cineleisure #03-06, 
8 Grange Road,
Singapore 239695 (Somerset MRT)

Uncle Ho Tuckshop
100 Pasir Panjang Road #01-04
Singapore 118518 

Tenkaichi (highly NOT recommended)
Marina Square Shopping Mall #03-129,
6 Raffles Bloulevard, 
Singapore 039594

Cuc Gach Quan
10 Đặng Tất, Tân Định, 
Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
+84 8 3848 0144 (reservations recommended)

Bo Tung Xeo
31 Ly Tu Trong 
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Pizza 4Ps
8/15, Lê Thánh Tôn, 
District 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
+84 120 789 4444 (reservations recommended)

The hunt for my favorite Thai Desserts at a local market in Bangkok

I'm going back to Bangkok for work so I'll get to eat my favorite local desserts again. The problem though, is finding the street vendor that sells them. It's a bit like looking for a needle in the haystack. 

Sof and I both love tako! It's some sort of Thai coconut pudding.

Good thing, the last time I went to Bangkok, the person I met with from the local office showed me where the nearby food market is, so hopefully this time, I know where to get my fix.

There's a local food market around 10 minutes by foot from our office.
I've never seen Macopa that big and that red. When we were kids,
they used to have this in a tree in my Great Grandmother's house.

My friend was so nice, he not only took me on a market tour. He made me try all the local desserts too!
Crispy pancakes with cream and palm sugar shavings (I think). 
Anyway, this looks more interesting than it tastes.
Instant sugar rush!
We didn't find any tako sellers, but this coconut pudding (without the corn)
comes close.
The seller gave me a free sample so I felt that we had to buy.
Just be conscious it looks different once it's packed,
because it gets removed from the plate it was cooked in.
We also went to the Authentic Thai Iced Tea Stall.
Tastes the same as the Milk Tea Uncles on the street
if you ask me.
There are also seats for the locals to eat because food here costs a fraction
of the food in the nearby mall.
Our last stop was this dessert stall, and when I asked my friend what it was,
he just looked at me and said all the desserts are made from powder.
It's coconut cream on top, and very sweet at the bottom.
The chewy stuff is the one made from powder.
This one is similar to Sapin-Sapin, a local filipino sticky rice dessert.
One of my favorite buys on one of my recent trips was the DIY Tako Mix.
Yummy and Easy to make too!
So when I went back to buy more, I saw that they have mixes for other
Thai Desserts too.
Now I understand what my friend meant when he said they're all made
out of powder. Hahaha.

Looking forward to eating more Thai Desserts and hoarding the mix to make them at home. just saying.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Magazine Freebie Heaven at Kinokuniya Singapore

We all know I am a sucker for a freebie, hahaha! And one of my favorite things to buy abroad are magazines with nice free stuff, sometimes even limited edition branded collaborations!

I used to just buy my magazines at the airport or any magazine stand, until I discovered Kinokuniya's special magazine section.

I know the Japanese are famous for the eMooks with really nice premiums, but unfortunately they don't come cheap, so I haven't really bought any.

Kinokuniya in Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya) has a magazine counter where they feature all the exclusive offers you can only get from their store. Just check out the posters to see what is available.

Samples are available on the shelf itself (in fact, this is what I saw first).

Actual freebies can be seen on shelf but only as a sample. They will give you exactly the same thing at the cashier once you pay for your magazine.

Here is a closer look of what the had available. The best part being that the magazines are selling for the same price (not like in Greece where you partly lay for the premium) as what you would find elsewhere, so it really is an exclusive deal.

So ofcourse, I couldn't resist. I came into the store to buy some pens, I came out with more magazines and freebies than I was willing to carry.

In fairness to me, I only buy magazines I like reading, unless the freebie is worth so much more than the price of the magazine. Hahahaha!

Here is my loot!

I had to wake up extra early the next day so I could enjoy reading my magazine over breakfast before I headed to work (so I wouldn't have to carry it home).

Nothing beats starting the day with a good breakfast and dreaming if what jewels I'd like to own.

This is @coleysjustsaying reporting live from Changi Airport, while waiting to board. just saying.