All posts filed under: Travel

Hawker Chan (SG): Is the Cheapest One Michelin Star Worth the Wait?

Singapore’s food scene has perhaps been best known for its abundance of delicious cheap eats. A chicken rice at many hawker centres could cost as little as SGD2.5 (just over USD2 or less than HKD15). Despite its almost inconceivably cheap prices and simplicity of food, Hawker Chan has even earned itself a Michelin star. With the inevitable hype around what may be the cheapest Michelin star ‘restaurant’, I wasn’t surprised to hear all the mixed reviews: “don’t bother, it’s so overhyped” versus “it’s the best chicken rice!!!” I had to check it out for myself. There are two different outlets Hawker Chan was initially just a stall in the Chinatown Complex Food Centre – go up to the second floor and when you’ve located the long queue, you’ve probably found Hawker Chan. Since earning its Michelin star, they opened another outlet across the street. It’s a little more pricy, due to the improved seating arrangement and environment. We decided to go old-school and visit the original stall. 35 min wait on a Monday morning We expected …

Xiao Ya Tou (SG): Pimped-up Local Fusion 

I had been a tourist in Singapore countless times before moving here. The unbelievably cheap yet delicious chicken rice, char kway teow and laksa noodles at hawker centres would keep me satisfied time after time. These classic local dishes served in a super casual (borderline dirty) setting is really a key part of Singapore’s charm. But when it comes to local food outside of hawker centres – a proper restaurant where you can go to in better-than-flip-flops clothing – Xiao Ya Tou comes to mind first. Its ‘pimped up’ dishes provides an interesting twist to the classic Singaporean cuisine, without losing local flavours and maintaining good execution. The cute artsy hipster setting also makes it an appropriate spot to catch up with a group of friends, or go for a casual date. Small dishes to start with… We ordered a couple of small dishes to start. I loved the Brussel Sprouts (SGD14) – not only because I’m partial to brussel sprouts in general, but also because it was cooked with generous dollops of minced chicken which made …

Bolivia – My Unexpected Favourite in South America

Travelling around South America for a month, we encountered all types of travellers. Some were only visiting Peru, others had been in the continent for 6 months. But the one most frequently asked question was: What has been your favourite so far? As much as Machu Picchu of Peru will impress almost anyone, and there’s no doubt Lima has now become my favourite food city in the world, I never hesitated to answer this question: my personal number one was easily La Paz, Bolivia. Here are some of my highlights from La Paz and Bolivia in general: 1. The Death Road Over the course of the month, we went from coastal towns like Valparaiso (Chile) at close to 0m above sea level, to hot springs in Bolivia which reached as high as 4800m above sea level. Moving across the continent through these altitudes was one of the coolest experiences, but not as cool as travelling from an altitude of 4600m to 1200m within 3-4 hours, via 56km of downhill mountain biking on The Death Road in La …

Nosh (SG): Beautiful Remote Brunch Spot Near Buono Vista

Hipster-ish brunch cafes are pleasantly abundant in Singapore, but Nosh offers something slightly less hipster, more classic. The fact that its location is more remote means that it’s usually not jam packed on weekends; you definitely won’t need a queuing ticket to get a table (like we did at Atlas Coffeehouse). The Greenhouse part of Nosh is an outdoor area, surrounded by greenery. It’s beautifully peaceful, no wonder the first time I attempted to brunch here on a Sunday afternoon, it was closed for a wedding. With such a setting, I would’ve been skeptical about their food, but after hearing multiple positive experiences, I had to try it for myself. House-cured Salmon with Scrambled Eggs The house-cured salmon with scrambled eggs didn’t look too inventive at first. But we were impressed with the execution of the unexpectedly creamy eggs. The smoked salmon was also delicious, especially when mixed in with the mentaiko sauce. Shakshuka with goat cheese and eggplant fritters *must order* But the shakshuka was definitely a winner. It might even be the best ones I’ve …

8 Things I Love Most in Bangkok

Bangkok is the one city in the world I would not hesitate re-visiting over and over again. My four-year old passport has accumulated 10 sets of Thai immigration stamps, yet I’d happily give up more pages to absorb the chaos, ascend the buildings and devour the dishes here. Embarrassingly, I only made my way to check off The Grand Palace on my last visit. But that’s the thing; Bangkok is not about the sites to see. The charm of the city can only be felt by living in it. And here are 8 ways I lived the city that made me fall in love with it. 1. Rooftop Bar with Wine & Cheese at Scarlett There are countless rooftop bars dotted all around the city. While Above Eleven and Octave seemed to be the typical recommendations, Scarlett stood out to me more because of its laid back rustic vibe, which also felt a little less commercial. It was, as expected, more quiet than your usual rooftop bar at 6pm, yet turned out to be the perfect spot to enjoy …

The House on Sathorn (BK): A Turkish-Asian Tasting Journey

Bangkok and Lima are no doubt my favourite cities to experience food in general, but especially “fine dining”. If you read my feature on The Maker’s The Hit List, or Fine Dining Redefined in Hong Kong, you’ll know that this concept often makes me cringe. But a number of restaurants on the World’s 50 Best or Asia’s 50 Best lists stray far away from the white tablecloths stereotype of fine dining, and focus on creating an experience of a meal. For example, the experience at World’s #5 Central in Lima taught me everything I wanted to know about unique Peruvian ingredients at different altitudes. Asia’s #36 The Dining Room of The House on Sathorn in Bangkok brought me a similarly impressive experience, teaching me much more than just Turkish cuisine, but also how to get creative. The Dining Room of The House on Sathorn As soon as I got off my Uber to check in at W Bangkok, this beautiful house next door had my full attention as I eagerly turned to a friend, to ask “what …

Provisions (SG): New Restaurant for Fun Skewers and ‘KFC’

I can’t complain about being flooded with Insta-worthy brunch and coffee choices since moving to Singapore, especially after discovering ATLAS Coffeehouse, Pacamara and The Botanist. But these cute coffee shops sometimes crowd out my search for enticing and fun dinner spots, until I came across Provisions. This new casual Asian fusion restaurant/bar on Dempsey Hill serves skewers, claypot rice and cocktails. Despite the high chairs and tables, it still sounded like the perfect laid back spot for a group of friends to wind down on a weekday. Plus, their 2-for-1 house wine happy hour deal lasted through to 10pm! “KFC” Korean Fried Cauliflower (SGD10) *must order* A photo of that caramelised glaze generously smothering what you would otherwise not have suspected was cauliflower, was the first reason I wanted to try Provisions. I quickly decided that it was also my favourite dish of the night. I’ve had “KFC” at a couple of other restaurants back in Hong Kong, but this rendition was probably the best. The edges were super crispy-crunchy and each piece of cauliflower was generously smothered in the addictively sweet …