We're in Banff, people! Ah... Finally.... We can straighten our hunched backs and uncurl our toes, stretch those arms upwards, breath in the fresh mountain air and absorb the breathtaking vista.
We love it so much, rather than spending an express couple of days, we're staying for a whopping 5 days to explore the Banff - Lake Louise area.
When we got to Banff it was already quite la
Three words: Oh My Gawd!
Calgary was a stopover for us, a means to an end, and that end is the picturesque Banff. We almost didn't stop at all, thinking we can drive all the way through to Banff and just have a large supper there. But our stomachs have their own minds, stopping for lunch we must.
Urbanspoon being our food bible, the top ranking cheap food was Holy Smoke with it
There were a few instances during the road trip in Canada when I didn't bring my good camera with me, thinking that it wasn't worth carrying to lunch or dinner or any other meal I was having at the time. This was such an instance.
DaDeO is very hip, very cool. I must admit, I thought it's going to be one of those over-rated restaurants in urbanspoon. Just because it looks cool, doesn't
Lunch-size spaghetti (with meatballs) - $8.95
My first encounter with the old spaghetti factory (OSF) was in Winnipeg at The Forks. I was charmed. The decor at the Winnipeg branch had a paris-meets-wild-wild-west feel to it, with its stained glass windows and art deco lampshades and furniture. Though they had a combination of seating arrangements, we picked one of their comfy and intimate
Fresh snow, fluffy, like a bowl of freshly shaved slushie. Makeshift hockey nets are at the ready on the solid Red River surface. Not far away, so is the Assiniboine River.
We're in Canada! And it's our first stop in a month long road trip, where I can officially stretch my legs a bit, freeze my ears off and enjoy the cold air. We are travelling from Toronto to Vancouver Islands, then
Walking up and down the small streets not far off busy Nathan Road, I was pelted with icy rain from all directions. I was not dressed for the weather, on my feet were a pair of flimsy flats that quickly absorbed the muddy water. The pair of jeans I wore was slightly longer and was dragging on said muddy water. I repeat, I was not dressed for the weather.
I was meeting an old friend in
Mount Arjuna-Welirang in the background
Did you know the word malang in bahasa indonesia means poor, wretched, unlucky? If so, why would anyone want to visit a city called Malang?
Malang is one of those undiscovered gems. It manages to retain the country feel of a small town, yet it's the second largest city in Jawa Timur (East Java). It's surrounded by at least 5 volcanoes, some o
Who are these two asian chicks talking to Peter Kuruvita?
That guy with David Chang is hilarious!
May I take a picture with you, Matt (Moran)?
... were some of the things I said that Saturday a few months ago when I went to the inaugural Margaret River Gourmet Escape.
I ate, drank, watched so many things that the only way for me to do it justice is to give you my account
Don't you find that sometimes the greasiest, most unhealthy food are the tastiest? Like skinny french fries with a slab of juicy beef patty and crispy bacon inside a pair of pillowy burger bun. Or a bowl of instant ramen with its al-dente curly golden noodles and its tear-jerking spicy broth. Or slices of spam simply dipped in egg and fried until golden brown, smeared with some ABC chilli
Did you know that chocolate sprinkles (or jimmies for americans) were first invented by the dutch? There it goes by the name of hagelslag (hail storm). It was brought to indonesia during the dutch colonial times, where it has been adorning children's breakfast sandwiches ever since. Since its introduction, in indonesia the chocolate sprinkles somehow came to be named meses. But whatever it's
After visiting a few jajanan (traditional snack) stores in Pasar Klojen, having no luck in finding serabi, I tried one last store, which looked promising with its large spread of jajanan. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, the store owner didn't have serabi either.
What he did have was a tip about a warung opposite his shop that makes fresh serabi pancakes. I've never had fresh serabi before,
A good perut ayam should have a slightly chewy texture. It should have a nice golden brown colour on the outside, yet fluffy and airy on the inside. A great perut ayam, however, should be easily unfurled, without breaking up, to look like its namesake chicken's intestines.
Don't cringe yet, it's not actually made of intestines, it's not even made of any part on any animal. Perut
I woke up one morning with an intense craving for lodeh manisa. The only person who can make it the way I like it is our maid in indonesia, Mbak Mi. I emailed my father and asked for it to be added to the list of food I'd like to eat on my visit in a few months to Malang, East Java. My father emailed back and assured me it won't be a problem. My craving subsided, if only by a little bit,
Our backyard in indonesia used to be a feature garden, with palm trees and colourful tropical plants in bright yellows and reds. But since a few years ago, we did a very Michelle Obama thing and turn it into a vegie patch.
Though it wasn't me who did it. It was our live-in maid who planted and carefully tended to everything in the patch. The soil is enriched by pure manure, the plants
I can honestly say that this was my first time eating in an underground carpark of a Buddhist temple.
The venue consists of a stainless steel food cart on wheels where the food is prepared and a Coca-Cola sponsored fridge full of various soft drinks and cold teas. The seating consists of long wooden benches accompanied by long wooden tables lined with cream-coloured plastic tabletop
Its raw form resembles a rug, with a broad leafy pile, it's soppy, almost like a wet towel. The base, where the leafy pile is fastened, is white in colour, thick and chewy in texture. The pile is made of thin and leaf-like sheets with pimply surface, that break easily when pulled from its base, these leaves are dark brown / black in colour.
In Indonesia it goes by the na
I must admit, I was a scrawny little kid when I was young. Getting me to eat anything, be it during meal time or snack time, was a task. It's actually quite astonishing when I think about how much I love food now, so much so that I had to start my own food blog to channel it all. But, my preference will always be more with the savouries.
It was only the other day my sister said to me, "So
Nasi goreng mawut - Rp 18,000
If find it quite an interesting process researching the origins of indonesian dishes. Most of the time, the dishes will have a wikipedia entry showing extensive history of how it was created or how it was introduced to indonesia. Other times, when the dish is not very well known internationally, it will have articles in bahasa indonesia. But a small portion o
I'm not surprised that soto is one of the top contenders for the title of Indonesia's national dish. I'd probably be more surprised if it doesn't win this imaginary contest.
Soto is one of those dishes that ticked all the boxes. It's packed with enough tropical spices to make it somewhat exotic, but the flavour is mild enough to be loved by indonesians and foreigners alike. If you'r
Fried chicken, one might say, would be the dish that transcends culture, country, age and palate. I can't think of a lot of people who wouldn't be satisfied with a beautifully fried chicken (except vegetarians, of course).
This beautifully fried chicken is what this post is all about. You may or may not have read my earlier post where I extolled the virtues of ayam kampu
A warming bowl of bubur (porridge or congee), to me, is the ultimate comfort food. I associate porridge with those times when I'm sick, when my palate and my stomach couldn't handle anything more than the soft and comforting slurry of rice going down my aching throat and warming my stomach.
So even now, when I'm not sick, having a bowl of chicken porridge always comforts me, calms m
Pastel tutup, for all intents and purposes, is the indonesian version of a shepherd's pie. Like the english pie, pastel tutup is a meat pie with a potato crust topping. But that is where the similarities end. Unlike an english shepherd's pie, which can be heavy or even fatty depending on what type of meat mince used, pastel tutup's filling is light and a joy to eat.
The pie filling is
pasar are a type of snack foods, traditionally made by small home businesses (usually one-woman operations) and sold in small shops in the market. These small shops would usually have the snack loosely plastic wrapped but unsealed, but sometimes the plastic may also be sealed crudely (candles are used to burn the plastic and plastic together), and other times they can also be
Around the corner from Warung Brintik is a slightly more famous eatery. The more recent reason of this fame is due to a visit from a certain indonesian vice president during his official visit to Malang. But mostly because Depot Nguling has consistently been serving the best rawon in Malang, way before the aforementioned VP's visit.
My relatives from out of town, as close as Tegal and
Warung Brintik is very much a typical establishment that can be found all over Malang. And by that I mean a relatively small, perhaps even pokey, building, furnished with long benches and continuous tables that force patrons and strangers alike to eat side by side, a place that offers only a restricted number of specialty dishes done really well, a place where locals can go for breakfast and
The best way to describe ayam bumbu rujak is without words.
But with copious amount of photos.
Ayam bumbu rujak
A mere mortal might describe it as a dish with ayam kampung taking centre stage, supported by a thick bumbu rujak, an orange-red sauce that is redolent with bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal and chillies. All the good stuff.
Ayam kampung is a figh
At jalan pasar besar, the pecinan (english: china town) in Malang, you don't have to look too hard for restaurants and all sorts of shops owned by the same family for generations. It's particularly encouraging to see, considering the rapid rate of commercialisation in Indonesia. It's also comforting for someone who is deeply homesick to come back to after a number of years away.
Homemade noodles & wontons, freshly made every day
The first restaurant I went to when I visited Malang, East Java after a long 5 years away was Depot Mie Gajah Mada. And there's a good reason for it.
This small noodle shop on the crazy busy street of Pasar Besar cannot be missed, partially thanks to the number of bright blue window frames on its shopfront, and the othe
I like the variety that the Sheraton Surabaya had for their complimentary breakfast. They had plump donuts with jam fillings.
Sushi and yoghurt. But they also had hot food like mee goreng, nasi goreng, bacon, hash brown, etc.
My favourites were the croissants and the indonesian snacks like lemper.
Staying at the Sheraton is always pleasant, I like the fact that S
The pictures on this post are somewhat saturated and one is a bit blurry, I took them with the camera on a nokia phone, and it's not the smart kind. Yes, you can laugh at me for having a nokia phone. I'm giving you permission to pretend that these photos have gone through instagram's "lord kelvin" filter.
Speaking of old technology, this place Eat & Eat are decorated in the
Kodok goreng tepung - Rp 19,000
Disclaimer: these are not fried chicken drumsticks.
But they do taste like fried chicken. I swear.
They are actually fried kermit. Ribbit ribbit!
And they're the specialty of this place Swikee Gris.
Swikee - Rp 30,000
Swikee Gris also serves frog legs in in the soup form.
Swikee tito - Rp 17,500
Bakwan kasar - Rp 4,000 each
Bakwan halus - Rp 4,000 each
Surabaya in the eastern part of Java island is a metropolitan and typically densely populated. It is also the only city with an international airport in the vicinity of Malang. By vicinity, I mean about 2-3 hours drive away.
Whenever I go back to Malang to visit my relatives, I would inevitably have to go through Surabaya
Happy soda (or soda gembira) is one of those drinks that is pure happiness.
It's a drink that invokes childhood memories, of learning how to swim in long hot summers, of barbecued buttered sweet corn, of any indonesian food loaded with super spicy chillies.
What could be a more perfect drink that embodies childhood happiness than this fluro pink fizzy drink. 100% sugar, 100
Have you ever been in a situation where a recipe calls for egg yolks only? You end up with the egg whites and can't bear to throw them away.
I was in such situation at least once or twice a year. But the last time I had too many egg-whites, I said, that is it, no more, I am going to use these egg whites one way or another.
Sure, I was tempted to use them in a face mask, or maybe even
You cannot have profiteroles without the pâte à choux.
In this post I'm going to show you how to make this choux pastry. As you can see, I went a bit crazy with my baking. I made lots of them, different sizes, big and small.
I will also show you how to make an easy dark chocolate ganache. And of course, how to put them all together to make the most delicious profiteroles.
My sisters got me hooked on profiteroles. They got baking-mad one day and baked lots of profiteroles.
You know, those little cream puffs with custardy cream in them.
They got me so excited that I couldn't wait to try and bake some too. I tried a few recipes I found on the web, from the trusted Joyofbaking.com to the Australian recipe site taste.com.au to other blogs on the web.
I was expecting a slapdash food from a place like Took Be Gi.
The inside of the restaurant is quite small. Its entrance is tucked away around the corner of Hay St, at Pier St.
For a reasonably priced korean food, they dished out a reasonable variety of banchan. I loved them all, the sweet lotus root with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, the cool beansprouts, the salty
Ramen, one of my favourite things to eat of all time. A decent bowl of ramen is also one of the hardest things to find in Perth.
It boggles my mind how I managed to never visit Nao. I remember that it used to have a very sporadic opening hours. For whatever reason that I did what I did, I am deeply remorseful about it. The cause of my regret is that Nao served the best bowl of ramen
I remember a time when there was practically one korean restaurant in Perth and when looking for a korean grocery store was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If I had a hankering for great kimchi, bad luck, there's no chance in hell of finding it.
Luckily, there's been a gradual increase of korean population. With it comes the restaurants, the shops and of course the kim
Mie goreng - Rp 65,000
I’m a person who’s pretty particular about where I stay
during a holiday. Before I book, I have to know the star ratings, I pore over every picture of the rooms, I read patron reviews. But, once I'm convinced that a hotel is great value, I'd stay with them on every visit.
Vegetable soup - Rp 35,000
The Novotel Nusa Dua Hotel is one of those ho
I like picture menus, it's like the trailer to a movie, the blurb to a book. You can decide from the photos if the food is to your liking before committing to a restaurant.
The trouble with picture menus is the food served is almost always not presented as beautifully and the portions not as big as depicted in the picture menu.
But we knew that, so we always take it with a gr
The trouble with living somewhere other than where you grew up is that you'd go through periods where you'd miss a certain type of food so intensely that you cannot think of anything else but.
In this occasion, it was the humble pangsit mie bakso.
Pangsit = wonton
Mie = noodle
Bakso = meatball
I can still vividly remember the taste of my favourite bowl of pangsit mie
Tari Kecak, or simply Kecak, is a Balinese dance performance without any accompanying music.
We went straight to Jambe Budaya from Tanah Lot and arrived an hour before the performance was due to start. This was really early in any standard, but even more so in Indonesian standard.
Jambe Budaya is one of the smaller, lesser known places in Bali where Kecak is performed nightly.
I enjoyed our visit to Pura Tanah Lot immensely. It is a bit of a drive from where we were staying in Nusa Dua, but it's worth going just to see how the Balinese go about their day to day life with all the tourists (including us) around them.
The Balinese are a spiritual bunch. There's not a day that gone past without a prayer or two. This is quite apparent during our visit to the P
I've been to some pretty amazing places serving some pretty amazing food, all from the recommendations found in the blogosphere. That is not to say I haven't been to awful ones because I trusted a high urbanspoon rating, or maybe because a particular place is related strongly to a certain foodie keyword in google.
When I searched for "sup ikan bali" in google, the restaurant Warung
Tender chicken thigh, covered lovingly with delicious salty egg sauce. How tender? Very tender. Super. Extremely.
We had this at Ayam Tulang Lunak Malioboro (english: soft bone chicken Malioboro).
This place was introduced to us by our driver, because I ran out of ideas of where to eat that morning. And he didn't led us astray. In fact, he delivered us to one of the best
Naughty Nuri's infamous spare ribs. Are they really what they're all cracked up to be?
We went to find out, since it was in the same street as the Blanco museum, where we've just been to.
The warung is rustic, with its tin roof.
Its pet dog sitting sweetly at the front.
And its chalkboard menu.
You may have already noticed from the pictures that there were
Batik-making is one of the few art activities you can see in Ubud.
After we had breakfast at Ibu Oka in Ubud, we went to have a look at a few of the art places around the area.
Ubud has been the centre of Bali's art scene for centuries. When you drive around Ubud and its neighbouring areas, you'll see many many specialty shops making all kinds of art, from stone-carving, wood-carving,
Babi guling (english: suckling pig) is such an iconic Balinese dish. You cannot leave Bali without trying them. And the mother of all babi guling is none other than Ibu Oka's.
Ibu Oka got some serious street cred. Anthony Bourdain recommended it when he visited Bali as part of his food review TV series No Reservations. Rick Stein raved about it in his Far Eastern Odyssey series. Ibu
Have you read my short post on Menega Cafe last year? If you haven't, go on, go ahead, click the link, read about it. It won't take long. I'll wait.
Dum dum dum....
There it is, as you can see, Menega is one of my favourite places to go to in Bali since my wedding organiser introduced it to me last year. And since this is my second post on this place, I won't rave about the