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24 Mar, 2013

Lao Intre, Thailand

Posted by: Wen Ching In: Thai Food|Travel

On our second day of the trip, we woke up to a bright, cheerful weather in Phuket Island. We embarked on our scooter and drove up to the north west area of Phuket to Chalong, to visit one of the most important Buddhist temples in Phuket, which was the Wat Chalong.

Wat Chalong, Phuket
It was a short drive from Rawai and we arrived at the Buddhist monastery. The temple was beautiful. It was opened from 7am to 5pm daily and tourists were allowed to visit the temple and ascend the stairs for a better view of Wat Chalong.

Wat Chalong, Phuket
The photo was taken from the top of the temple. The area was peaceful and serene.

Wat Chalong, Phuket
From the leaflet, I read that the temple was dedicated to two highly respected monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang, who with their knowledge of herbal medicine, helped the injured of a tin miners rebellion in 1876.

Wat Chalong, Phuket
A closer shot of the temple with the elephant statues.

Coconut Vendor, Wat Chalong, Phuket
Surrounding the temples were a couple of souvenir shops and drink stalls. One of these stalls were selling coconuts at 30 Baht each. As we were dehydrated during the visit, we bought one each and quenched our thirst with the juice. After finishing the drink, I requested the vendor to open the coconut for me to eat the flesh of the coconut, very delicious indeed! After quenching our thirst it was time to satisfy our growling stomachs. Back on our scooter, we made our way back to Rawai for a late lunch.

Lao Intre, Phuket
We came across this restaurant which looked welcoming to both locals and tourists.

Lao Intre, Phuket
The eatery wasn’t the most glamorous place around but nevertheless very airy, comfortable and pleasant.

Grilled Fish with Salt, Lao Intre
We ordered a couple of dishes and rice to complement them. Priced at 80 Baht, the Grilled Fish with Salt was delicious. With only salt as its seasoning, I can taste the freshness of the fish.

Massaman Pork Curry, Lao Intre
Similarly priced at 80 Baht, the Massaman Pork Curry was something that I enjoyed a lot. Although not spicy, the Thai curry dish was fragrant with coconut milk and peanuts. The pork was nice and tender while the potatoes soaked up the mouth-watering curry broth.

Seafood with Broccoli, Lao Intre
The Seafood with Broccoli, which was priced at 70 Baht, was simple, healthy and delicious. Extra points was credited for the freshness of the prawns and squid.

Patong Night Life, Phuket
Lunch was reasonably priced and delicious. When it was close to evening, we took a cab to Patong and enjoyed the night life there, which was vibrant and an eye-opening experience.

Restaurant Information
Rawai, Phuket.
Tel: 088-4428852

14 Mar, 2013

Food Mama Thai Restaurant, Thailand

Posted by: Wen Ching In: Thai Food|Travel

Despite growing up in South East Asia, it wasn’t until recently that I made my very first trip to Thailand, and that was to visit the well-known Phuket Island.

Phu NaNa Boutique Hotel, Rawai, Phuket
I made my booking through TripAdvisor, as usual, and I booked Phu Nana Boutique Hotel for a 2 night stay in Phuket. The hotel was located in Rawai, and the journey from the airport took around an hour. The hotel was located in a quiet neighbourhood, it was a family-run business, very small but it has everything that we needed, clean and very pleasant.

Phu NaNa Boutique Hotel, Rawai, Phuket
We were very impressed with our rooms as well, clean and comfortable. The proprietors were very nice and friendly, helpful and always smiling.

Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Phuket
After getting directions from the locals, we rented a scooter and went sight seeing around the southern part of the island. We drove to Nai Harn Beach, which took us around 10 to 15 minutes. The beach was packed with tourists, many were sunbathing on the beach, a very popular place among the Caucasians.

Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Phuket
The view was beautiful, blue horizons and peaceful sea view with silky soft sand beneath us. It was a great place to unwind and relax.

Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Phuket
As we strolled along the beach, we came across a stream flowing towards the sea, there were children playing in the area.

Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Phuket
As the evening drew closer, more people packed and left the beach.

Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Phuket
We stayed in Nai Harn and watched the sunset.

Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Phuket
Since there were a couple of restaurants located in that area, we decided to have our dinner there.

Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Phuket
The view was serene and tranquil.

Interior, Food Mama Thai Restaurant
When it was dinnertime, we chose Food Mama, a restaurant located on the beach. The restaurant were covered by a number of big umbrellas and dimly lit, creating a peaceful and calm ambiance.

Food Mama Thai Restaurant
Please pardon for my carelessness of forgetting to note down the name and price of the drink. The drink was good and I liked the presentation, with an orchid as a decoration.

Som Tam, Food Mama Thai Restaurant
We were served with Som Tam first. The Spicy Green Papaya Salad consisted of green papaya, beans, chilli, tomatoes and peanuts. I liked the spicy and sourness of the dish, which increased my appetite for the main courses.

Steamed Fish with Soy Sauce, Food Mama Thai Restaurant
For our mains, we had a Steamed Fish with Soy Sauce. The portion was huge and the fish was fresh. However, we thought that the fish can be made more flavourful, it was slightly bland to our liking.

Tom Yum Soup, Food Mama Thai Restaurant
Dinner in Thailand will not be completed without a bowl of Tom Yum Soup. The spicy soup was nicely fragrant with strong sense of coconut milk and lemongrass. We enjoyed the soup a lot, very delicious when eaten with rice.

Fruit Platter, Food Mama Thai Restaurant
We ended our dinner with a plate of complimentary fruit platter consisting of watermelon, pineapple and banana.

Service was very good. The waiter was extremely friendly, although his command of language was limited, he did his best to assist us with our needs. Food was good and the environment was peaceful and relaxing. Please stay tuned for more travel and adventures in Phuket in the next post!

Restaurant Information
Nai Harn Beach
Rawai, Phuket
Thailand.

10 Mar, 2013

Kura Japanese Restaurant (蔵)

Posted by: Wen Ching In: Japanese Food

Not too long ago, I visited Kura Japanese Restaurant with my parents to celebrate my belated birthday.

Entrance, Kura Japanese Restaurant
Kura is a fine dining Japanese restaurant located in One World Hotel, the hotel connected to One Utama Shopping Mall.

Interior, Kura Japanese Restaurant
Kura, Rakuzen, Zen, Hokkaido Ichiba, Sushi Zanmai and Pasta Zanmai are all under the same management of Super Dining, offering different range of Japanese food. Kura, being the most exquisite and expensive outlet, brought our expectations up.

Sushi Counter, Kura Japanese Restaurant
Since we went for lunch that day, some sections of the restaurant were not open yet. The restaurant was quiet and pleasant. We were seated near the window, overlooking the highway leading to One Utama.

Fresh Sea Urchin, Kura Japanese Restaurant
We started our lunch with one of my favourite sashimi, fresh sea urchin (生ウニ). Priced at RM80 for half tray, it was very delicious, very fresh and it gave us a melt-in-your-mouth sensation. I loved it!

Live Ark Shell and Ootoro, Kura Japanese Restaurant
Next up was also one of my favourites. On the far left was the Live Ark Shell (活赤貝) priced at RM40. We were quite delighted to find this item on the menu as it was quite rare to be found in Malaysia. On the right was the Fatty Tuna Belly (本まぐろ大トロ) priced at RM75. Both sashimi were delicious, we enjoyed the starters a lot!

Anago Oshizushi, Kura Japanese Restaurant
We ordered a Boiled See Eel Pressed Sushi (穴子押し寿司) to share. Priced at RM28, the Anago Oshizushi was nicely presented and tasted fresh and tasty.

Hokke Shioyaki, Kura Japanese Restaurant
Priced at RM38, the Grilled Atka Mackerel (ほっけ塩焼き) was mediocre. The Hokke Shioyaki was not too fresh and we were hoping that it could be served hotter. Nonetheless, the grilled fish would be a nice accompaniment for beer or Sake.

Braised Cod Fish, Kura Japanese Restaurant
The Braised Cod Fish (ぎんだら煮付) was a dish that I really enjoyed. Priced at RM32, the cod fish was healthily braised with tofu and mushroom, it was simple and delicious.

Asari Sakamushi, Kura Japanese Restaurant
We also shared a bowl of Asari Sakamushi (あさり酒蒸し) for RM20. This was my first time trying this soup. The short-neck clam were steamed with Japanese Sake and served hot. The clear soup had a slight tinge of Sake taste, which was quite nice.

Curry Rice, Kura Japanese Restaurant
For our mains, my father had his all-time favourite, Curry Rice (カレライス). He was very satisfied with his order.

Nama Yuba Don, Kura Japanese Restaurant
My mother tried the Nama Yuba Don (生湯葉丼) for RM10. Served with Miso Soup, this rice dish was topped with Tofu Skin with Special Sauce garnished with Wasabi. I tried a bit as well, albeit a little plain, it was delectable in its own way.

Sansai Nameko Udon, Kura Japanese Restaurant
Last but not least was my bowl of Sansai Nameko Udon (山菜なめこうどん). Priced at RM22, this has been one of my favourite orders since I was young. The bowl of hot udon was served with Sansai (Japanese wild vegetables) and Nameko Mushrooms. It is always a heart warming dish to me and I will order it again!

It was our first visit to Kura and we were very pleased to discover a good and authentic Japanese restaurant in One World Hotel. The restaurant surely satisfied our high expectations. As the name of the restaurant suggests, the place was a treasure and we will visit again in the future! For more information, please visit their website here.

Restaurant Information
One World Hotel
First Avenue
Bandar Utama City Center
47800 Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7726 9660

25 Feb, 2013

Bandos Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

Posted by: Wen Ching In: Travel|Western Food

Not too long ago I had an opportunity to go to Maldives for a short trip. I went to the island of Bandos and stayed in Bandos Island Resort & Spa, which I thought was an excellent resort for a city escape.

Bandos Island Resort & Spa, Maldives
Upon arrival into Maldives I was excited to see the island from above, the sea colour was something I’ve never seen in my life before, it was painted with different shades of turquoise blue which was impressive and mesmerizing.

Bandos Island Resort & Spa, Maldives
Maldives consists of 1,192 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls and located in the North of the Equator in the Indian Ocean. The climate of the country ranges between 24 °C and 33 °C throughout the year, similar to Malaysia.

Bandos Island Resort & Spa, Maldives
Upon arrival at Ibrahim Nasir Airport, I took the boat to the resort. The journey took around half an hour and we arrived at Bandos Island Resort.

Standard Villa, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
I checked into my room and it was nice and decent, albeit slightly old.

Sundowners Bar, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Shortly after checking in, I walked around the resort, checking the island out.

View from Beach, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
The photo above was taken from the beach of the resort.

Beach, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
While my friends went for snorkelling in the sea, I strolled around the island on my own, taking photos of the island.

Beach, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Bandos Resort was landscaped on an island which was 178,900 square meters big, it was a nice walk along the beach and the view was breath-taking.

Coconut Trees, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Maldives was blessed with beautiful blue sky and abundant sunshine with plentiful of coconut trees along the beach.

Jacuzzi Beach Villa, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Along the walk I saw the Jacuzzi Beach Villas, which has an open-air bathroom with Jacuzzi in each room.

Beach, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
The water villas were even more impressive than any other chalets. I definitely hope to stay in one of these in the future!

Sundowners Bar, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
When my friends finished snorkelling, we decided to grab a bite in the Sundowners Bar, which was located along the beach.

Sundowners Bar, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
The bar is open daily from 7.30am until midnight. The environment was nice and shady, which allows one to sit back and relax while enjoying the scenic view of the sea.

Pizza Au Fruit De Mare, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
We had a Pizza Au Fruit De Mare to share. Priced at USD17, the pizza was topped with fresh prawns, fish, mussels, onions, chopped chilli, cheery tomato and cheese, it was fresh and delicious!

Chicken Kathi Roll, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
I also had a Chicken Kathi Roll for USD13. The roll was filled with chicken tikka, lettuce and cucumber and served with French fries. The roll was delicious, very freshly made and the fries were crunchy and good as well. Overall the food was good at the bar but their service can be improved.

Colourful Bird, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
While dining in Sundowners, we saw this colourful bird feeding on a packet of sugar.

Beach, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
After the late afternoon snack, I went to the beach to capture more photos before the sun set.

Sunset, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Sunset in Maldives was beautiful.

Sunset, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
The photo speaks for itself.

Gallery Restaurant, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Dinner at night was at the Gallery Restaurant. Gallery was the main restaurant of the resort, which was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Bread Selection, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Buffet dinner at the Gallery was very elaborate, ranging from starters, bread, various main courses to fruits and desserts.

Fried Noodles, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
The friendly chef tossing and frying noodles.

Fruits Selection, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
The fresh fruits were something I enjoyed the most, the fruits were sweet and it was cut fresh when requested. The buffet was good overall, and I enjoyed my dinner in the Gallery.

Beach, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
The next morning, I woke up by a call from Jefrey. We went to the beach and had breakfast at the Sundowners Bar.

Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Jefrey had the Omelette cooked with tomato, onion, chilli, ham and cheese for USD7. The dish was served with sausage, grilled tomato and fries. It was quite good, a filling and satisfied breakfast for him.

Bandos Island Resort & Spa
I had the Peprika Cheese Toast. Thin slices of bread were toasted with mozzarella cheese, onion and egg and served with fries. Although nothing extraordinary, the cheese toast was nice and decent.

Souvenir Shop, Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Before leaving the island, we visited the souvenir shop. It was a wonderful experience for me in Maldives and I am looking forward to visit the island again! For more information about the resort, please visit their website here.

Resort Information
Bandos Island Resort & Spa
North Malé Atoll
Republic of Maldives
Tel: +960 664 0088

12 Feb, 2013

Ayam Penyet Ria

Posted by: Wen Ching In: Indonesian Food

Being a fan of Indonesian food, I was happy to discover this restaurant through a Singaporean colleague of mine, Preet.

Ayam Penyet Ria, Singapore
Located on Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza was a mall with a number of hidden good eateries, and Ayam Penyet Ria was one of them.

Interior, Ayam Penyet Ria
We were there on a weekend for a late lunch. The restaurant operates from 11am to 10pm daily.

Ayam Penyet with Rice, Ayam Penyet Ria
I ordered a plate of Ayam Penyet with rice for $7. Ayam Penyet literally means smashed chicken. The reason to hammer the chicken and smashing it lightly was to ensure that the meat will become looser and fluffier. I was happy to find that chicken was served with Tempeh (soybeans in cake form), Taufu Goreng (fried tofu), Kangkung (water spinach) and Belacan (spicy shrimp paste). The chicken was nicely fried and delicious, but the best thing which I liked about their Ayam Penyet was the spiciness of the sambal, which gave the dish an extra kick!

Lele Penyet with Rice, Ayam Penyet Ria
Jefrey ordered the Lele Penyet with rice which was priced at $8.50. The portion of the fish was quite big, and I tried a bit of the catfish, which I thought was quite good.

Overall it was a pleasant dining experience, the food was good and reasonably priced as well. I will definitely return for more when I’m craving for ayam penyet in the future. For more information, feel free to check out their website.

Restaurant Information
304 Orchard Road
Lucky Plaza
#01-45 & #04-25
Singapore 238863
Tel: +65 6235 6390

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