Tag Archives: Nom Nom Nom

Things To Do In Singapore : Off The Beaten Trail

Here are a couple of things besides shopping I think might be interesting to do in Singapore. Recommendations are from someone who just returned after working six years overseas and enjoys a walks and good local food.

East Coast Lagoon Food Centre
It’s an open air eating area serving local fair with lots of different choices to choose from. Satay is pretty tasty and so are the barbequed chicken wings. Best time to go s on a weekday evening followed by a walk by the beach after dinner. The beach isn’t the most picturesque but it’s nice to people watch or stroll to Bedok Jetty and hang out as enthusiasts fish over the railings. Weekends are a crazy affair as traffic crawls in and out of the area. The jetty is a nice place to be when the sun sets too. I like sitting and watching strollers pass by with a book in hand.
1220 East Coast Parkway

Changi Village Food Centre
Nasi Lemak is legendary here and having not been to this areas in years I’m amazed at how it’s flourished with so many eateries. The best Nasi Lemak with the fluffy coconut rice is found a short walk into the older food centre past a row of shops selling fishing stuff, beach knick-knacks and a cake shop. Roasted chestnuts are a nice treat too. After grabbing a bite take a walk to the waterside to catch a glimpse of the waters off Changi Village. On Saturday nights there is an open-air market of some stalls selling a variety of souvenirs, plants, fashion wear and odds & ends. Lady boys have mostly disappeared or possibly drifted further way from the lights and crowds.
2 Changi Village Road

Macritchie Reservoir Park
I love taking walks here and my favorite path is the one that goes partly through the jungle then skims around the edge of the reservoir. You can catch sights off birds, monkeys, squirrels, lizards, eagles, turtles and lots and lots of fish. The waterside walkway has benches scattered frequently and sitting there watching nature in the mornings is a calming experience. There aren’t any places selling food or drinks in the area so bring along a water bottle. There are many different routes that can take you walking for 30 minutes to a few hours so lots to see and a great way to exercise for those who want to go the extra mile(s).
off Lornie Road

Geylang Serai Market
I like visiting this market on Saturday mornings when it’s crowded as the atmosphere is the buzziest. The upper-floor has an amazing range of Malay food stalls and I still haven’t finished sampling everything that looks colorful & good to eat. If you do have patience joining the long queues is a sure-fire guarantee for yummilicious food. Clothing and accessory stalls make up the other part of the upper floor with more of such stores found across the road at Joo Chiat Complex. Ground level stalls at Geylang Serai sell fresh food and they do stock some things that aren’t as common in Chinese markets. You’ll see mostly Malay faces with probably only about 25% of the clientele of other races.
15 Geylang Serai

If shoppings not the only thing you’re interested in then check out this link by Time as well. Singapore: 10 Things to Do in 24 Hours

Things To Do In Taipei

Here’s a post for several friends who asked me what’s good to do in Taipei after my many visits there.

Ximending is amazing food and hip shopping district. Try the bittergourd juice located at the end of Han Zhong St. My favourite bites to grad are the duck noodles, carrot cake and noodle soups located along the eateries scattered at the end of Han Zhong St. Try walking along the streets one the edge of the Ximending shopping area to look for local desserts places to try the fragrant and delicious peanut soup. There are streets after streets of small fashion outlets and I highly recommend wandering around and exploring. Don’t be afraid to walk down into basements or up to stores on the upper floors as you never know what you’ll discover. Quite a bit of their lines come from Japan so the workmanship is good and styles very current. I still keep finding gems I’ve missed on each trip back. And if you have a shoe weakness like I do you’ll love the range of shoes styles and many shops are really inexpensive or have shoe specials that could make controlling your shoe-craze-demon hard.. Take the MRT to Ximending.

Ximending Duck Noodle Ximending Dessert

Huaxi Night Market located next to Longshan Temple is a nice place to end up for a late dinner for local Taiwanese nom noms. Check out the fried oyster omlette found at the very end of the long street of stalls. There’s a dessert shop a short distance from the entrance way on the left (ground-floor of shophouse hidden behind a rice dumping stall) which has been open for many years and sells Taiwan style ice-kachang. The rice dumplings from the stall in-front of it are really tasty and filling too. Take the MRT to Longshan Temple.

Huaxi Night Market
Longshan Night Market Longshan Night Market width=

XinDian District is where you will discover locals painting by the riverside as well as taking leisurely walks and enjoying water activities. There is a little street that is full of life as well filled with local tastes, artistes, fruits & vegetable stalls, carnival stalls and Taiwanese knick-knack stores. I recommend taking a walk along the riverside walkway and even renting a paddle boat to cruise up and down the gently flowing river. You’ll also see the beautiful Bitan Suspension Bridge used only by pedestrians. Take the MRT to Xindian.

Xindian District

Danshui is the seaside district in Northern Taipei. This area has streets lined with boardwalk games, quaint little shops and lots of local eats. Gotta try the almond flavour drink as well as the dumplings, fried quails eggs, potato sliced up on a stick thing. If you like them Japanese clogs, this is the place to get them. There’s a shop where you can choose the kind of wood & the kind of string patter you want for your clogs which then custom fit so its comfy for you to walk around in. Off-the-shelves ones are usually too loose. Take the MRT to Danshui.

Danshui District Danshui District

Jade & Flower Weekend Market are two markets located next to each other under a highway at Jianguo South Road. Near one end of the Jade market (the end which isn’t next to the flower market) you’ll see a stall selling beautiful handcrafted glass jewelry. The Flower Market displays an amazing range of flowers, plants and related knick-knacks. After the Flower Market there is also a small Artist Market which sometimes has interesting finds. Take the MRT to Zhongxiao Fuxing or Zhongxia Xinsheng and walk or hop in a cab from the MRT stations.

Jade Market Taipei Flower Market Taipei

Flower Market Taipei Flower Market Taipei

Eslite Mall is an upmarket-style shopping center with a 24 hour book shop with an amazing selection of books as well really trendy shops. Look out for a corner on the upper floors retailing a ginger tonic that is good for health, snazzy electronics and homeware. Take the MRT to Taipei City.

Have a great time in Taipei and let me know how you liked these places.

Taipei Fooders Paradise 2010

This is a long overdue post all about the different foods I tasted in Taipei during my New Year trip in 2010. There are such diverse tastes available and this is just in Taipei. The tastes differ up north and down south.

My trip started off weirdly as I was moved between hotels as there was a water problem at the original hotel I was due to stay in. Word of advice for those looking to book Just Sleep Hotel; their other branch at LinShen isn’t located in the most desirable area so best to stick with the Ximending branch. After getting checked in, Ben brought me to this place selling vegetarian food. I never knew vegetarian food could be that varied in taste and I’m glad to have sampled so many dishes.

Taipei Food :: Vegetarian

Taipei Food :: Vegetarian

I then decided it would be difficult if I insisted on eating only vegetarian food so for the rest of the trip I ate meat. It was really to also be able to truly experience Taipei and also be able to spend quality time with friends. Food brings people together and you get a better sense of a city through tasting it’s food.

The first meat dish I had with Alan was at this quaint little duck place in Ximending area. We stumbled upon it was we were walking around the many lanes and figured it must be a good place to eat given the number of locals streaming into the place. It was quite interesting to savour the texture of delicious Taipei style duck meat.

Duck At Ximending

Duck At Ximending

The first nightmarket Ben brought me to was the one beside LongShan Temple which is not as touristy as the Shilin one. All I can say is the variety of food at LongShan nightmarket is enough to bring you back several nights just so you can try to go through all that’s available. The double-boiled soups, the pig’s intestines stuffed with fragrant rice, the fried omlettes with huge oysters, the desserts piled high with sweet and savoury beans, the pancakes, the list just goes on and on.

Longshan Night Market :: intestines with rice

Longshan Night Market :: intestines with rice

Longshan Nightmarket :: lady cooking up an oyster omlette

Longshan Nightmarket :: lady cooking up an oyster omlette

Chinese omlette with hugs oysters

Chinese omlette with hugs oysters

Longshan Nightmarket :: double boiled soups

Longshan Nightmarket :: double boiled soups

Longshan Nightmarket :: double boiled soups

Longshan Nightmarket :: double boiled soups

Longshan Nightmarket :: ice dessert

Longshan Nightmarket :: ice dessert

The next day Ben brought me to the Confucious Temple and the BaoAnn Temple located near the Yuanshan MRT station. For lunch we headed to the street opposite the two temples which are well known for the food stalls in the evening. Some were open during lunch so we had their soupy noodles, braised tofu and stir fried vegetable staple.

Taipei Food :: noodle, tofu & vegetables

Taipei Food :: noodle, tofu & vegetables

Alan was craving dessert one afternoon so his DJ friend Alan Lung introduced us to this famous stall in the Ximending area famous for its traditional desserts.

Famous corn on ice and peanut soup dessert in Ximending

Famous corn on ice and peanut soup dessert in Ximending

One of the nights I met Ben near his workplace and he brought me window shopping at the Mitsukoshi shopping centres there. We ended up having a quick bite at this popular local eatery selling wonderfully tasty dumplings and taipei savoury soup with bits of noddles inside.

Dumpings in Zhongshan area

Dumpings in Zhongshan area

The next day was Ben’s off day so he spent the day bringing me to malls frequented by the local Taiwanese rather than those popular with tourists. First order of the day after we managed to get ourselves out of the hotel was lunch at a eatery that is a throw-back to Taipei of the 80s renown for it’s pork chop dishes.

Pork chop rice eatery near Taipei Railway Station

Pork chop rice eatery near Taipei Railway Station

After all the local places I decided we should pamper ourselves a little so we settled for tea at this quaint little Japanese cafe at some new high-end shopping mall near Taipei 101. We had designer cakes along with designer teas which were quite delicate and prim-and-proper.

Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki

Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki

Designer Cakes

Designer Cakes

Classy High Tea

Classy High Tea

The evening saw us visiting the Jade market which was beside the Flower Market which are only open on the weekends. We couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner and settled on this beef noodle place nearby which seemed to have good newspaper reviews. It seems the soups have been boiled for 8 hours before they’re served so we got adventurous and gave it a go. It was a little bland at first but the 8 hours of boiling come out in the lingering after-taste of the soup. Ben doesn’t think that just one dish is ever enough so he ordered us some mixed braised items.

Beef Soup Noodles

Beef Soup Noodles

Mixed braised items

Mixed braised items

I took Ben shopping the last night at this boutique Alan and I chanced upon which stocked the most amazing fashion from Japan at wonderfully affordable prices. Ben has an eye for quality and unique pieces of clothing and even he was impressed. To round off my tour of Taipei tastes we had Taiwanese oden and rice dumplings. It was customary to add some stock to what remained of the oden sauce and drink it up like a soup.

Taiwanese oden and rice dumpling

Taiwanese oden and rice dumpling

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Baking & Cooking

I realised I tend to put the same things on the table and my cooking patterns were somewhat the same.

Seems I’m in a comfort-zone of cooking.

Today I decided to step outside my comfort-zone.

Baked a cranberry bread cake

Waterchestnut+mushroom+wonton

This was an interesting and very fun thing to do. The food that resulted tasted pretty OK. I even gave a neighbour one of my cranberry bread cakes.

Think I’ll repeat it and next time maybe I’ll ask people to come over and experiments I embark on.

———–
Updated – just cooked my first bowl of dahl 🙂

craving to eat meat

so the body does crave for meat … or is it the mind that’s craving?

had dinner with bryan yesterday. coz I had such a sucky day… i wanted to eat something nice…. comfort food to make me feel better.

We kept thinking about places we could eat at and had trouble choosing a place … there are really only so many places that serve vegetarian food.

my mind was grumbling about the lack of food choice and there was an urge or small desire to want something with meat … but i just reminded myself … i’m turning vegetarian for myself & my dad

gonna do a search online for places we can eat … there has to be more choices i believe