Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Kata Beach - The Pad Thai Shop

Pad Thai has become almost a cliché dish - both as an American Thai restaurant staple, and as the only dish Americans order when in Thailand. That doesn't mean you shouldn't order it, though, because it is delicious. And it rises to a whole new level in Thailand.

Located on Patak Road, inland from the tourist beach corridor, The Pad Thai Shop is very much a local joint with a sprinkling of expats and tourists thrown into the mix.

We ordered the chicken and the prawn pad thai - both were delicious, but we particularly liked the chicken. Easily the best version of the dish I've ever had.

There were other items on the menu we wanted to try, so we came back again another day. This time the main event was noodle soup with braised chicken:

Chicken leg, foot and an egg in a rich, savory broth with wide rice noodles. Amazing.

Less amazing, but still quite pleasant to eat was the crab fried rice.

I wish we'd been able to eat here a few more times, as other items on the menu were still beckoning. Definitely a must try if you are in Kata Beach.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Kata Beach - Beaches, Russians, Ska Bar and Meat on a Stick

Arriving for the first time in Thailand I expected culture shock. Staying in Kata Beach in the Phuket tourist zone I expected tourists. I didn't expect both the culture shock and the tourist overload to be Russian.

It turns out that there are a *lot* of Russians vacationing in Kata Beach.

Despite the Slavic overload, it was a very pretty place to be. Our daily routine was to walk the length of the beach, stopping for a swim or two along the way.

On our first such excursion, we noticed a little outdoor bar built into the rocks at the south end of the beach. We stopped for a few beers, and just like that Ska Bar became officially part of our daily routine.

After our beverages at Ska, we needed something to eat and there is no better first meal in a new country than meat-on-a-stick.

This stand was set up in front of a convenience store and they were doing a brisk business.

We tried the pork, the chicken, and the "smart" chicken:

The "smart" chicken turned out to be chicken hearts. Not sure where the "smart" comes from, but they were quite tasty, as were the other skewers.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Singapore - Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak and Naan at Pak Kashmiri Delights

It was our last full day in Singapore and we had not yet had nasi lemak. This situation needed to be rectified, so we headed out to Adam Road Food Centre.

The food centre had a nice, laid back atmosphere. It was reasonably quiet apart from our destination, the Seleara Rasa stall, which had a good-sized line. It didn't initially seem that bad, but it turned out that many people in line were ordering multiple (or a dozen) meals to take away.

It took the better part of a half-hour to get food, but it was worth the wait. Sherry got a set that included a fried chicken wing, coconut rice, egg, little fried fish, cucumber and a sambal sauce.

I got the "Royal Rumble", which included pretty much one of everything - it added a fried fish and otak-otak (fish paste steamed in a banana leaf). The fried fish was nothing special, but we really enjoyed trying the otak-otak.

A little later we found ourselves in need of a little something to eat, so we headed out to Tekka Centre (yes, for the third time).

I was craving naan, and Pak Kashmiri Delights delivered:

Along with the naan, we had a little bowl of mutton curry. It was quite good, but really we just wanted it to dip our naan in. Yum.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Singapore - Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu in Albert Centre and Gardens by the Bay

After an afternoon at Gardens by the Bay (see later in this post), we were hungry and didn't want to go far. Somehow we had neglected to notice the Albert Centre Market food court even though it was only about a block from our hotel and we had walked past it a number of times.

We stopped in for a bowl of yong tau foo at Bai Nian Niang Dou Fu. It was easily the busiest stall in the building, with a long line of people waiting for bowls of their soup.

After eating, we understood why there was a line. The bowl contained one each of a number of very tasty morsels - including tofu, shrimp ball, pork ball. Each was delicious in its own right.

We liked it so much that we came back for a second bowl the morning we flew out of Singapore. The line was still very much in evidence.

Our trip was mostly about food, but we did do a little bit of sight-seeing while in Singapore. We really enjoyed our visit to Gardens by the Bay, with their giant "trees":

And huge conservatories housed in giant, temperature-controlled domes.

The cloud forest dome was fantastic, with its impressive scale and equally impressive details.

And then there is the giant baby sculpture. Yeah, I don't know quite what to make of it either...

Monday, January 15, 2018

Singapore - Tip Top Curry Puffs

We love a good meat-filled pastry, which in Singapore means curry puffs. We set out one night on a quest to get ourselves some.

Our destination was Tip Top Curry Puff, where we ordered an assortment from the friendly staff (who were quite amused with my picture taking).

First up was the chicken curry puff:

Rich curry flavor, with chicken and some hard-boiled egg. Very tasty.

Next up, the tom yum puff:

Also very good, with strong flavors of lemongrass.

Probably our favorite of the puffs was the chicken with salted egg puff:

It is hard to explain why we liked this one the best - the flavors just went together really well.

We didn't manage to try beef rendang as a dish while we were in Singapore, but at least we got to try it in puff form:

Deliciously deep and condensed down meaty flavors.

All of the puffs had the same golden, crispy pastry crust. Probably not the healthiest "dinner", but we really enjoyed it.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Singapore - Sungei Road Laksa and Roti Prata at Tekka Centre

Having a bowl of laksa while we were in Singapore was a must for us. Sungei Road Laksa was one of the more well-regarded spots and was relatively near our hotel, so we set out for a late breakfast bowl.

One of the reasons people like Sungei Road is because they still cook in the traditional method over coals. I'm not sure how the coals could have much impact on the flavor of something cooked in a metal container above them, but it was cool to watch them at work.

And the bowl of laksa was delicious. Rice noodles, fish cake slices and plump cockles floating in tasty, but not overpowering base broth. The bowl was relatively small, which didn't bother us at all, and very reasonably priced.

Sungei Road Laksa is not far from Little India, so we decided to stop back in at Tekka Centre for a bit more to eat. (You can find our first visit to Tekka Centre here).

Roti prata was another dish on our long list of food to try in Singapore, so we ordered a plain version with onions at Prata Saga Sambal Berlada.

We really enjoyed watching the guy at work making the roti - stretching and slapping out the dough until it was paper-thin and then cooking it on a flat-top grill.

They serve their roti with sambal, which I gather is not typical. They gave us some curry sauce as well - both sauces were very good.

Here is a little video I took of the roti prata being made:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Singapore - Hainanese Chicken Rice and Steamed Fish Head at Chinatown Food Centre

Having already had Kaya Toast for breakfast, and a big lunch at Tiong Bahru Market, we ended up going out a bit late for dinner at Chinatown Complex Food Centre. Because of the time, a lot of the stalls had already closed up and the pickings were a bit slim.

We ended up grabbing a very serviceable Hainanese chicken rice dish from Yi Ding Hao.

It was also quite reasonably priced and came with a generous side of vegetables.

Right next to Yi Ding Hao was as stall called Heng Kee Cantonese Cooked Food and we couldn't resist ordering their steamed fish head in bean sauce:

The fish was succulent and delicious. The sauce was good, but a bit on the sweet side for me.

We only had one fish eyeball between the two of us, so I chivalrously let Sherry have it.