Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy SOFA

Getting my first full set of Colleen colour pencils in 36 shades when I was in Primary 1 was a big happy moment for me. And over last weekend, I chanced upon an unusual colourful sofa set that reminded me so much of that rainbow moment. Just like kids around that age, I love opening my box of colour pencils just to admire the beautiful range of colours. 

Kam Ling Hotel

Jalan Besar in Singapore seems like a most unlikely place for a quaint little boutique hotel. But there it stood, what was deemed an old Chinese shophouse building, now transformed into a hotel that Wong Kar Wai could have considered for the setting for one of his movies. 

Well restored with many of the building's iconic features intact such as the spiralling staircase at the centre of the building as well as paintwork with the natural distressed look. Combined with beautiful vintage furniture and cute posters of Shanghai ladies in qi pao , I am transported back to the early 70s. Good that it kept its very Chinese name. Kind of nice to be reminded of one's Asian roots. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bumbu Restaurant

Bumbu Restaurant in Kandahar Street is a place my friends and I go to often for their halal buffet which costs $16.80 per person. They serve Thai Indonesian cuisine in a Peranakan setting, which was pretty confusing for me the first time I stepped in.

I was expecting a totally Nonya cuisine but this is even better. A mix of the best from spicy Asia ! The Bumbu salad consisting of thinly sliced lemon grass, century eggs, cashew nuts, onions and chilli was a real appetiser. Similarly with their cold tofu and century egg. Other favourite dishes of mine include the tahu telor, the amazing fried fish with chilli, fried spring rolls and Nonya chap chye.  There are more of course but these are my personal favourites.

A real distraction for me are the Peranakan antiques all around (so much so that I forgot about taking pictures of the food). Art Noveau tiles which adorned the old houses of many Nonyas and Babas are beautifully framed and placed all around. There are also tiffin carriers lined up along the stairs, intricate Peranakan wood carvings and old nostalgic advertisements. I do feel an overwhelming feast of the senses when I lunch here.   

Bumbu Kandahar
44, Kandahar Street
Singapore 198897
Tel : 63928628

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Or Tor Kor Market (Bangkok)

Huge prawns packed and ready to go with a spicy curry sauce

Condiments for Thai cooking

BBQ chicken wings 

Thai durian cake 

I was delighted to see a toy seller in the midst of this food market

Fresh coconut juice quenches and refreshes

Semi ripe mangoes go very well with the special Thai hot sauce

Fresh food always excites me. Special ingredients that give an "X" factor to a certain dish excites me more than a branded handbag. Or Tor Kor started as an agricultural collective but has since grown into a large and clean fresh produce market. Conveniently situated close to Chatuchak market, it sells all sorts of fruits, local Thai delicacies, grilled seafood plus plenty of Thai chilli paste and condiments. 

When my friends and I got there after some intense shopping at Chatuchak, it was already close to 6pm. The market is at its liveliest in the morning and by now, things were winding down as stalls prepare to call it a day. We were looking at the plump and juicy Thai honey mangoes and how so much cheaper it was here than in Singapore. A lady selling raw mangoes then beckoned me to sample some of her produce. I bought 2 green mangoes which she helped me cut and a packet of her special sauce which contained chillies, tamarind, dry prawns, brown sugar and fish sauce. It was fun just sitting by the benches, dipping the cut mangoes into the delicious but spicy sauce. A nice coconut drink came in handy at this time as I was feeling hot from the sauce ! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Buffet lunch at Sukhothai Bangkok

The beautiful courtyard of the Sukhothai 

Platters of lobsters and Alaskan crabs 

5 different types of oysters - Crassostrea, Tasmanian Pacific, Eld inlet, Barron Point, Fine de Claire

Eld Inlet oysters from Puget Sound, Washington. 

Barron Point oysters are too harvested in Puget Sound, Washington. They are mildly salty and are plump and sweet. My favourite !

Fine De Claire are top range oysters from France 

Tasmanian Pacific oysters from Australia 

Clockwise from top-Crassostrea, Tasmanian Pacific, Eld inlet, Barron Point, Fine de Claire

Grilled crayfish, prawns and fish wrapped in banana leaf 

All the sashimi you can eat 

A gourmet selection of cheeses from around the world 

Honey pure as it gets , straight from the honey comb.

Sushi platter

Bottom left : Hoy Jor (Thai Crab sausage) and Goong Hom Par (shrimp spring roll) plus other Thai delectables

Foie gras 

A selection of chocolate truffles 

Deep Dish Pavlova

Carrot Marzipan Torte 

Summer Pudding

Jamaican cheese cake

Sticky toffee pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding

Kanom Kloay - Thai coconut pudding in banana pyramid shape and Kanom Piak Poon, rice flour custard with pandan

Macaroons in gorgeous colours and flavours
Buffets are never my cup of tea and I was actually more enthusiastic about real Thai food but it took very little persuasion for my friends to get me as soon as I asked "Will there be oysters ?"
"Yes, not just one but 5 types ! "
"Yes, count me in !"

Oysters , Alaskan crab and lobsters, grilled seafood of all sorts, roast wayu beef, lamb chops, sashimi, sushi, foie gras, Thai dishes, hand made pasta with different sauces, salads, the biggest selection of cheeses I've seen and oh so beautiful desserts !  I spent the first 10 minutes or so taking pictures while my friends were devouring seafood, right from the start. For around $120 Singapore dollars each person (advance booking is needed), the selection at Sukhothai Bangkok was indeed impressive.