Sunday, April 30, 2006

Grilled Seafood off Jimbaran Beach

Grillin seafood by the seashore

There are a number of stalls selling grilled seafood into the evening at the Jimbaran Fish Market in Bali. We stopped by to check it out tonight. It turned out to be a bit touristy with the candlelit tables on the beach and the mariachi band, but nonetheless they were grilling fish on a fire and it smelled pretty decent, so we picked out a fish, some clams, and some shrimp. We probably got the tourist prices too, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been at just 103,000 Rupiah (US$11.30) for a light meal for two.

Choose your seafoodSuprisingly, the food turned out all right. They basted most of it with some mildly sweet red sauce, but I ended up liking it, especially with the very smoky aroma from the fire pervading the shrimp and the fish. Interestingly, the clams were also grilled on the fire and still turned out moist and tender. Throw in some veggies, rice, and hot sauces together with a young coconut to wash it all down, and you have a complete meal.

A grilled butterflied fish on Jimbaran BeachIf you decide to come, try to come earlier as it's obvious that they positioned these tables in the sand to capture the sunset. Sure, it was a bit touristy, but the food turned out all right, all things considered.

Balinese Pepesan Ikan

Balinese Pepesan Ikan

I wanted to blindly try something new today, and noticed something local called pepesan ikan,which I knew had to be fish-based, but I didn't know how it would be prepared. When I asked, I was told that it was "fish pate." That sounded interesting, as thoughts of Japanese monkfish liver passed through my head. When my plate finally arrived, I nearly fainted at what I saw.

Oh crap! I ordered the local equivalent of one of the dishes that I absolutely despise: otak otak! Boy, did I roll the dice on that one and crap out.

Fortunately, when I tasted it, it wasn't as bad as I would have imagined. Instead of being overwhelmingly fishy and spicy, this was much richer and heavier on the coconut flavor. In fact, this was probably the best otak-related thing that I've had, and I nearly finished the whole thing.

Nearly, that is. I definitely won't get cravings for this stuff, but I was surprised at how well I could bear this.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

TEBS Tea Cooler Carbonated

TEBS Tea Cooler Carbonated

This was a local bottle of iced tea (a bit like that Indonesian Botol Sosro stuff), but the interesting thing was that it was carbonated, which made it quite unique. And it wasn't too sweet, thus making it rather refreshing (it didn't really taste like tea though, to be honest). The funny thing is that the company apparently says that it "targets young executives who crave for something unique and nice."

Babi Guling - finally!

Selling individual portions of babi guling

After those failed attempts to get babi guling last time, we finally found this place just north of the Supernova market on Jalan Raya Kuta that sells individual portions. For 17,000 Rupiah (US$1.85), we got a plate of rice with various pig parts like crackling (yum), liver (ugh), skin (not quite as crispy as the pig on a spit in Koh Samui), as well as the basic moist meat inside, which they did up with spices that were not too unlike bebek betutu. This was further complemented with a bowl of soup on the side.

All in all, it wasn't bad, but clearly its strengths were inhibited by the fact that everything was served at room temperature today, be it the rice, pork, or soup. This has the potential to be pretty darned good, but you'll probably need a big party (and request it in advance) in order to get the real thing fresh off the spit. Well, it's good to have tried it in some form nonetheless.

Bali Again, Bakso Again

Check out the little plastic kiddie stools to squat on

Being in Bali again of course requires another bowl of my favorite local grub: bakso. We actually spotted the same lady on Kuta Beach as last time, but we figured it'd be good to try another guy instead to see if there were much of a difference.

A bowl of bakso with an extra egg too

It worked out in a good way. This guy skimped on the soup but that's also because he threw in lots of extra goodies like a meat-covered hard boiled egg (yeah, a bit like a Scotch Egg, but soggy as it was sitting in soup). His soup was still very tasty, and his hot sauce was the clincher, as it really packed a punch. He charged me 10,000 Rupiah (US$1.10), which was a bit more than the lady, but it was probably because of the optional egg. Anyway, I'm sure that there will be more of these bowls to come.

SQ's Omelette to Bali This Time

SQ's Omelette Lunch to Bali

Having made the mistake of getting that nasty nasi uduk on SQ's econ class to Bali last time (this time they called it "spicy fish"), I made sure to order the alternate this time, which was an omelette. It pretty much tasted like it looks (well, OK, maybe a little better than it looks). In any case, I sure am glad that I got that instead of the fishcake.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Angus Steak House, Singapore

The un-named fish starter in the set

This place (Ngee Ann City #04-25, 6735-6015) is different. Normally when you hear of a restaurant called Angus House, you think of a rugged American steak house, right? Wrong. While the wait staff here wears traditional maid outfits (like they do at Lawry's), this is clearly Japanese food...or at least, a Japanese rendition of Western food. While that of course means that they feature wagyu beef if you want it, but more importantly, it also means that it doesn't feature the straightforwardly flame-broiled steaks that we've all come to love. Instead, the Japanese influence is very obvious, as if the rough edges had been rounded off and polished in a very delicate manner.

The 200g hanbaga sutekiAnd normally I'd hate this kind of localization. But I have to admit that I didn't mind this place as much as I should have. In fact, the deep-fried fish starter was pretty darned good, even if I couldn't quite figure out what all that minced green stuff was underneath. The salad featured a Japanese ponzu-like dressing, while the cream of mushroom soup was likewise delicate yet still decently tasty. The main event, the hanbaga suteki ("hamburger steak") was covered in sauce (again, something I usually despise on steaks) and featured an egg sunny-side-up on it. It was about as far away from the rough (but tasty) American hamburger steak that one gets at places like the Pantry in Downtown LA (where all the workers are ex-convicts, BTW), and yet somehow I still wolfed this whole thing down quite easily. The finishing dessert was some kind of tiramisu, but that of course is delicate to begin with.

Some kind of tiramisuStrange. Normally this kind of Japanese-Western stuff would be a huge turn-off for me. Yet for some reason, I was drawn here and ate all of this very quickly. I guess that explains why I like Pepper Lunch so much (although for some reason I suspect that could be more because of the butter). Well, don't come here looking for a classic steak. If you do, you'll be sorely disappointed (and I still would not recommend this place to any of my friends). But I did see a number of other cuts (like ribeye and sirloin) on the open grill in the kitchen that I know somehow is still going to pull me back here again to try them...just to see how Japanese they really can be.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beef Stroganoff on SQ Econ Class

Beef Stroganoff on SQ Econ Class

Mochi Ice Cream On A StickThis wasn't bad. It wasn't quite the beef stroganoff that I was expecting, but it still worked. The smoked salmon, cheese and crackers, and some interesting mochi ice cream on a stick from Shanghai (once you waited long enough for this rock-hard thing to defrost) all made this meal one for other airlines aspire to.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The YongFoo Elite, Shanghai

Deep Fried Mandarin Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce

This place (200 Yongfu Road, 21-54662727) was interesting. It is supposed to be quite exclusive, entertaining celebrities and heads of state, and decorated in a very artsy-sophisticated fashion in one of the former European parts of town. It all reflected in the food too. Clearly with a bit of fusion in mind, we started with some kind of salad featuring avocado and grapefruit in a wasabi dressing but with cold marinated meats Chinese-style (eating salad - and slices of avocado - with chopsticks is quite a chore, mind you). Fortunately, it was not all like that - there were some traditional Chinese dishes like the sauteed fresh water shrimp as well as the kung pao chicken. The meal finished off with some sweet and sour fish and - interestingly enough - a single dumpling sitting in its own tiny little steamer for an individual serving. It had hairy crab roe inside, which is apparently a delicacy in this part of the world (BTW, that's roe from a hairy crab, not crab roe with hair on it), thus giving it a nice taste (although I wish we had gotten the whole crab).

Nanjiang Pork Dumplings With Hairy Crab RoeAnyway, that's all. This wasn't bad food, and it's everything you'd expect from a nice place. But honestly, I'd rather go on the street and get just a bowl of noodles for much cheaper (and much more of an emotional reaction).

Cold Noodles From A Wheeled Cart

It may not look that appetizing in the photo, but this little box of cold noodles kicked some serious ass.

Makin' Cold Noodles From A Wheeled Cart Off the Streets of ShanghaiThe hits here just don't stop! Here's another kickass meal off the streets of Shanghai, this time from a little wheeled cart tucked away in a small street just north of Nanjing East Road in the late night rain. This lady had some cold noodles not unlike the last bowl where they are naked first before being dressed in all her good sauces. But she used regular noodles here (almost like spaghetti) and a wider variety of ingredients in the mix, be it kelp, peanuts, or the extra spicy (but optional) chili sauce (this thing seriously packed some heat). And this lady's noodles were cheaper at only RMB 2 (US$0.25). Yum.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Food off the Streets of Shanghai

From left: Scallion Oil Biscuit and Chicken Egg Biscuit

Damn, that was f*ckin' awesome. I was not expecting that. On a leisurely stroll back to my hotel, I passed by some street stands near the People's Park. Many of them sold the same thing, like Chinese sausages and corn on the cob. This lady was selling ji dan bing, which is basically like a Chinese egg prata, but with scallions and other Chinese condiments (like the optional swath of chili sauce). And this just blew me bite into this total grease bomb wow-ed me and forced my eyes wide open. Yum...fresh off the grill and piping hot, it was greasy beyond hell (I had a hard time cleaning my fingers afterwards) yet tastier than you would believe (it didn't smell like anything great when you walked by). One competitor of this lady next door took it one step further by putting stir-fried bee hoon noodles inside (almost like a wrap - but a much greasier of course). I didn't try that one, but I liked the plain one so much that I went back to see what other goodies she had.

Holding up a little bowl of Liang Ban Mian in front of a street stallAnd that's when I discovered the next little treat: this little bowl of cold rice noodles called liang ban mian. They looked very boring in the window as they were just sitting there undressed, but after you order, they take the noodles, dump it in a big bowl and proceed to toss it with pickled veggies, tofu, spices, and sauces before pouring it all back into the original bowl for you to eat. This was outstanding too, with a mildly sour but definitely salty (and spicy, if you opt for the optional chili sauce) taste. All the pickles and cilantro just added extra bursts of flavor to this. And the best part about it is that it was only RMB 3, or US$0.40 (the pancake-like thing discussed above was even cheaper at RMB 2, or US$0.25). I love how some of the best food in the world is also some of the cheapest. With all this, who the heck wants to pay through the roof to get some chi-chi looking food that merely looks pretty? This stuff was awesome and definitely not something I was expecting to get in Shanghai.

Monday, April 24, 2006

SQ Econ Class "International Selection"

Fillet of Fish with Fettuccine in Tomato-creme Fraiche Sauce and Roasted Vegetables

Yay! Here was another half-decent airline meal. The so-called "International Selection" (as opposed to the "Oriental Selection") started with a "Beef Pastrami with Creamy Coleslaw Salad" whose coleslaw was actually not too bad: it was crunchy and rich. Next came the "Fillet of Fish with Fettuccine in Tomato-creme Fraiche Sauce and Roasted Vegetables." Normally I shun fish on airlines, but this was decently tender and moist with a more than bearable taste. For dessert, they included "Chocolate Truffle Cake," which was delicate enough for a guy like me (who normally doesn't eat much dessert) to clear out.

Now, I certainly won't get cravings for this, but it was another airline meal that was much better than I was expecting.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Indonesian Soups From Batam

Sop Bundut

I've gotta admit that Indonesian soups are growing on me. Here's just a quick bowl of sop buntot from Batam today, which proved to be very hearty with the added bonus of some tender meat inside. The sambal belachan chili sauce provided here was also nice and oily without being too fishy.

Soto Ayam

I had such a good bowl that I went for another one, but this time going with one of my old faves, soto ayam. It seemed like they added a bit of MSG to this, but nonetheless it was still refreshing to have. I didn't even need the squeeze of lime that I usually require.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

No Signboard Seafood - Now At The Esplanade

White Pepper Crab

Hey it looks like No Signboard opened up a shop at the Esplanade (6336-9959) - oooh...classy! Anyway, this place has always been one of the best local seafood shops around, with a decently spicy chili crab (and deep fried buns for dipping), as well as of course their signature white pepper crab. I used to like the more delicate-tasting white pepper crab better than the more commonplace (and edgier) black pepper crab. But I eventually ate so much of the white pepper crab that I got a bit tired of it, thus now preferring black pepper crab instead.

Deep Fried Butter Chicken

So I hadn't had white pepper crab in quite a long time...until tonight, that is. It was still just as good as I remembered it, but I have to admit that I still prefer black pepper crab instead. I was quite impressed with the Deep Fried Butter Chicken though...that was surprisingly tender and tasty (I suppose it's because of the butter...and it's nothing like Indian butter chicken).

Chicken Bomb Balls??

Chicken Bomb Ball

This weird looking thing had an even weirder name: "chicken bomb balls," provided by Suntec Convention Centre's catering services. I didn't actually try it (I can imagine that it's just fried minced chicken), but what a strange-looking thing.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Shiitake Negi at Aburiya

Shiitake Negi

This was nice. All this time I've been eating at Aburiya, I never bothered to try the shiitake negi. This time I gave it a shot, and it's pretty cool - it's basically minced scallions sitting inside an inverted shiitake mushroom top. When you throw it on the grill, you obviously can't flip it over, lest the scallions fall in. So what you end up getting is a nice toasty underside, and scallions that still get cooked (rather delicately, I might add) by the heat underneath. This also gets rid of some of the dragon breath effect too. This was a pleasant change.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Indonesian Bamboo Cake

Ready to throw in the brown sugar

Indonesian Bamboo CakeThis was interesting. This guy out on Smith Street sells Indonesian Bamboo Cake, which isn't really "cake" per se, but rather some kind of powdery stuff packed into these short bamboo tubes with some brown sugar in the middle, steamed on the spot, and then drowned in coconut shavings. It almost seemed like a cylindrical version of kueh tu tu, except that it was sweeter on the inside as it was basically pure sugar inside without the coconut. I'd have to say that I prefer kueh tu tu over this, as I'm not a huge fan of sweets, but I definitely like the taste of coconut. Well, this is only S$2 (US$1.20) for 4 pieces, and it's fun to watch him make these on the spot and then poke them out of the tubes with a chopstick.

Friday, April 14, 2006

More Food From Geylang

Beef Ho Fun

Geylang is a red light district of Singapore that - surprise, surprise - also has some of the best known local food in Singapore. Given the disappointment we encoutered at the hotpot place on Lorong 23, we made our way down to the "Geylang Famous Beef Kway Teow" (237 Lorong 9). It may look like sludge in the photo, but the beauty of this place's food is the heavily smoky taste in the noodles, combined with some very (albeit probably artifically) tender slices of beef. I don't like all that gravy crap on top though, so next time I'm going to order the "dry" version, which is something that I have not really been able to find in Singapore.

Clockwise from left: cold soy bean milk, yu tiao, and Taiwan noodle

Around the corner from this place is Yong He Eating House, a 24 hour Taiwanese breakfast place like the similarly-named one in Taipei (I presume that these guys are not related, but I could be wrong). They feature all the usual things, ranging from soybean milk to yu tiao, both of which were better than I was expecting, especially considering how far we were from Taipei. They also had a "Taiwanese noodle," which is actually the oyster noodle that is so popular in Taiwan. This version here was definitely a far cry from Taiwan (mushy noodles and - ugh - a sweet chili sauce), but was still better than I was expecting.

House of Steamboat, Geylang Lorong 23

House of Steamboat in Geylang

Strange. I had heard about some decently authentic hotpot on Geylang Lorong 23 started by some mainland Chinese lady from Sichuan, so we came down here to check it out. But I think I must have been mistaken as this could not have been it, based upon what we ate. It looked bad from the start; the ingredients were laid out in a huge locker, and not necessarily of the best quality nor variety. The meat that they gave us was sliced way too thick too.

Spices for the Hot PotWe also told them to give us an extra spicy bowl of the broth, but it turned out to be rather tasteless. We thereby asked them to add more spices to it, and after giving us an entire rice bowl full of red spices, it still didn't do the trick. The only saving grace was that the clear broth turned out to be pretty tasty after I cooked all the meat, clams, cabbage, etc. in it, but otherwise this was a total disappointment. At least it was only S$10/head (US$5.70). I highly suspect that this was not the spot that I had heard about (the husband and wife team here didn't seem mainland Chinese either). My preference is clearly still for the "whispering man" instead.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

WGS Street Food of India at Vansh

The Chaat Station

The absence of Mr. Bourdain at this year's World Gourmet Summit made the program rather unappealing to me (then again, I only went for his personality last year, as I don't really like French food). So I nearly threw away the World Gourmet Summit brochure this year until I noticed something right at the end under Partner Restaurants: "Street Food of India," otherwise known as the "Tastes of Regional Indian Chaats and Kebabs" at Vansh (Singapore Indoor Stadium #01-04, 6345-4466). Wow - chaat and kebabs?? Really? Those are my two favorite Indian dishes! It didn't take much convincing for me to make that call to sign up. Tonight, the meal finally came.

Making Keema Mutter

It pretty much turned out just as I had expected. They had a few stalls outside with plenty of varieties of food available, which is exactly why I came. The first station was full of chaat, the second station had some deep fried goodies, the third station had kebabs, the troughs in the middle featured the usual curries and rice, while the last station had dessert.

Clockwise from upper left: Dahi Papadi Chaat, Aloo Tava Chaat, and Pao Bhaji

We were told that two types of chaat that were pretty special: the dahi papadi chaat (or as they put it, "Indian nachos"), as well as the aloo tava chaat. Both were fine; the former was covered with the usual yogurt and spices, while the latter featured crispy potatoes. One more new one for me was the chowpatty bhel, which was apparently from Mumbai and kinda like a salad (including mango) topped with puffed rice. They of course had pani puri, although they were very small and not particularly spicy. The pao bhaji was good with soft buttery buns, even if the bhaji was more mushy than others I've had. They did have a similar bun-accompanied dish called keema mutter that I'd never tried before though, using ground mutton rather than the vegetarian bhaji. That wasn't bad, and it made it even more like Sloppy Joes.

Keema MutterMoving on, the pakora station had all sorts of deep fried goodies like potatoes and chicken, and wasn't bad, although I didn't dwell here too long, so as not to fill my stomach too quickly. The kebabs at the next station were definitely very smoky and nice, and I particularly liked the mushrooms, which were also decently spicy. I pretty much skipped all the curries in the troughs, although the dal was good enough for me to go back for twice (I still miss Bukhara's ghee-ridden dal though). This all ended with a mango kulfi with falooda, which was kinda like a skinny pointy ice-cream popsicle with glass noodles or something on top. It was fine, but not neccessarily one of my faves.

Anyway, at the WGS package price of S$65 (US$38) per person (excluding drinks and taxes too, mind you), this definitely wasn't cheap, and could have bought many, many, many meals at Raj, where the food is admittedly better too. But this was still a fun evening, complete with an Indian band as well as the opportunity to watch the food being made in the carts and being able to try so many different things. And while the cylindrically-rolled papadums provided at the beginning of the meal made it clear that these guys were trying hard to be modern and upscale (this place's sister restaurant is the Rang Mahal at the Pan Pacific Hotel), one of the accompanying red chutneys had a great spicy kick to it. I liked the food enough that I might come back, although Raj is definitely much, much cheaper.

Blue Mountain Coffee...huh?

Blue Mountain Coffee

I stopped at The Coffee Connoisseur today for a quick breather, and noticed all the varieties of coffee types on their menu, most of which were about S$6 (US$3.50). But there was one at the top priced at S$10 (US$5.90) called Blue Mountain, which is allegedly some of the best in the world. Now, I'm not a coffee drinker, but if this stuff commanded this much of a premium, I had to give it a try to see what all the fuss was about.

I was so disappointed. I was expecting some very rich or exotic taste, and instead I got the opposite. This was so bland and weak ("delicate" would be a nice euphemism) that it could have been any kind of coffee that had been heavily watered down for all I knew. Like I said, I'm not a coffee drinker, so I'm not exactly any authority on this, but this was so boring that I simply stopped drinking the rest of it. Oh least I can say that I tried it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

More from Casa Roma

Parma Ham and Mushroom Pizza

The proprietor at Casa Roma asked if I wanted Parma ham on my pizza instead of regular ham tonight, and unfortunately I made the mistake of agreeing to it. I should have known better than that. In contrast to that incredibly tasty pizza I had last time here, this one was rather bland and tasteless, so much to the point that I felt slightly sick afterwards. And yes, the center of the pizza was still a bit soggy today.

Melanzane ParmigianaAt least the linguine al granchio was very respectable (albeit still not as good as Cantina's). The proprietor offered his melanzane parmigiana eggplant too, which was pretty good, if rather expensive at S$16.90 (US$9.95) for just a few slices of veggies.

Hue Restobar, Amara Singapore

Some salad and rice paper rolls

These guys on the first floor of the Amara Hotel (6879-2555) like to point out that the restaurant's name is pronounced "Hway" in Vietnamese. I'd been here a few times for just drinks, but this is the first time we'd tried the food for lunch.

It started off well, with some fresh salads and rice paper rolls, as well as a very tasty lemongrass chicken and these little interesting ceramic cups with some sort of mashed rice paste in it or something. But it took a downward turn after that. The pho was one of the most bland that I'd ever had, and the fish-like things on the sugar canes were disappointingly soggy. Oh well. Maybe some of the starter snacks would make a good companion to drinks on another occasion.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Silk Road Restaurant

Makin' Dumplings

I had eaten here (Amara Singapore Level 2, 6879-2555) a few years ago, and remembered it being decently good. So I was happy when we came here tonight as the taste of the little starter dishes was still just as I remembered them (and was even surprised by the Sichuan spiciness of the little pickled vegetables). The Shark's Fin Soup as well as the smoked duck also reinforced my opinion.

Sichuan Hot & Sour Shark's Fin Soup plus starters like Sliced Pork in Garlic Sauce, Chilled Mushroom with Chili Oil, and Braised BeancurdOddly enough though, the mainland Chinese colleagues that I dined with this evening told me that this was not very authentic and still wasn't spicy enough. I started to see why when the dishes started to go downhill, most notably with the string beans, which were soggy and lacking the greasy crispy taste that I love. Some pieces of cod dipped in batter seemed a bit out of place too - almost reminding me of some strange fish & chips that I had the other day. I guess this also explains the inconsistency at their sister "express" version at Millenia Walk. I'd still prefer to fill up on my Sichuan food at Chuan instead.

Kweichow MoutaiWell, one thing that made the meal interesting tonight though was the S$150 (US$88) bottle of Chinese moutai alcohol that we got. Not only did the bottle look like it was a little bottle of propane for use in a portable grill, but the contents burned on the way down your throat too (this one was 55% alcohol by volume). The taste nonetheless was still like most Chinese "white wine," although this one didn't taste quite as much like Jolly Ranchers as some others that I've had.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bi Won Korean Restaurant

LA Kalbi

We randomly walked by this place (9 Duxton Hill, 6225-1141) tonight, originally intending to go to Xin Tao Yuan, but diverting here instead. I went straight for the "LA Kalbi," especially since I was excited that they offered a green onion "salad" which I hadn't seen around here too often. Unfortunately, I got my hopes up into thinking of the heavy-sesame-oil-tasting companion stuff at the Corner Place in LA...instead, this really was a salad with some sweet dressing on it. The kalbi itself was also rather sweet and soggy (albeit decently tasty in its own right).

So by and large, I probably won't come back. The food wasn't that bad (and I liked their kimchee), but it was just too overarchingly sweet for my taste.

Cinnabun Tree, Amara Singapore

Mushroom Madness

These guys moved into the old Subway location at the Amara (#01-06, 6220-1179), and judging by the name (and the outside of the place from a distance), it looks like a knockoff of that Cinnabon chain in the US. I'm not a huge fan of breakfast nor sweets, so I never bothered to even venture here. But today I noticed some sandwiches on the menu as I walked by, so I figured that I'd give it a shot.

I didn't care too much for it. The mushroom sandwich here was overloaded with lettuce, and the mushrooms could hardly even be tasted (no doubt the herbs in the bread had a lot to do with it as the herbs were overwhelming, which is also one of the reasons why I dislike focaccia). If I really wanted to be more nickpicky, these guys didn't plan their furniture out very well, as the chairs are so big (they are wooden patio chairs) that there is hardly any room to get in and sit down without moving the table first). I didn't care too much for the room temperature Perrier either. My preference is still for Kaffe Krema instead.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Bangkok Airways Meal Going Home

Pork Noodle

This pork noodle plate was a forgettable meal, and a bit of a letdown after that good meal on the way into Koh Samui. The other choice was lasagna, which I would have ordered, had I not misheard the flight attendant into thinking that it was laksa. I'm told the lasagna was pretty good. Oh well. I was pretty full from that last meal at the airport anyway.

Leo BeerI got to try this Leo beer though, which is another local Thai brew. I was surprised that it was nearly as good as Singha, and definitely light years beyond that nasty Chang stuff.

Anyway, I must say that Bangkok Airways is impressively good for such a little airline. They are friendly and clean with half decent meals, complete with little touches like towelettes and a counter at the gate providing courtesy cups of juice. The ride was certainly not an unpleasant one.

Eating Across From Koh Samui Airport

Fried Rice and Tom Yum Gai

This was a true local meal. This little shack across the dirt road at the Koh Samui airport had flies abound and no menu. The place clearly had its share of regular patrons (taxi drivers?) that didn't even have to say a word, as the lady already knew what they wanted. We actually spotted the proprietor scrambling out on a moped after taking our orders to go to the market for some ingredients, so we knew the food was fresh.

It was one of the best meals of the trip. The tom yum soup was bursting with flavor and the fried rice cleaned it all up, with a thin but nice green curry for an extra twist. And all of this was only 100 Baht (US$2.50), including the beer. Who the heck would want to eat at that lame snack bar at the airport given the bang for the buck provided here? What a spectacular way to finish off the trip.

The Barbequed Corn Lady on Chaweng

The Barbequed Corn Lady on Chaweng

You've gotta love beachside vendors with portable grills that bring cheap food straight to you. This lady was quite popular with her corn, although she overdid mine with a bit too much salt. 40 Baht (US$1) also seemed a bit high, all things considered, but at least she included a toothpick on the side for you - how thoughtful.