Monday, August 14, 2017

Sydney - To Eat 12Aug2017 (Black Swan Pastry, Hurricane's Grill)

Sydney - To Stay
Sydney - To Do
Sydney - To Eat

Sydney - To Eat
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Black Star Pastry
Recommended by Vernetta
Black star pastry is located within the premises of Kinokuniya within The galleries beside Hilton Sydney hotel.
*Instagram worthy only. The Cake is not at all worth the steep asking price of 8AUD.
Rose syrup and petals, with pistachio for the toppings, layered with a fresh watermelon layer in between. These turned out to be more song and dance that ‘justified’ the high asking price. A pleasant cake but too small a portion.*
As far as bakeries, cakes and sweets goes, the one that stands out at tops is Mr Holmes Bake House located in SFO and their must have Cruffin (whose flavor changes daily!). So so cake that's not worth.

Hurricane's Grill
(Chain found in multiple locations)
Recommended by Calvin Chew as his top ribs joint.
Click here for ABBA Locations of Hurricane's Grill located around Sydney
We literally quoted what their bibs were saying. We were there just for their ribs. Proceeded for a hearty lunch before exploring the world famous Bondi Beach in Sydney.
Ordered On:
Combo ribs. Choice of 2 ribs with a side. Baked Potato

*We went for the most popular orders namely the pork and beef ribs.The beef ribs are by far  the best Beef ribs had thus far. Superior to even Grill House’s beef ribs (located in Johannesburg). The ribs here at Hurricane’s grill are really meaty, fall off bone tender and that sauce is phenomenal. Smokey, sweet and not overly sourish. A great mix and we almost wanted an additional Serving of sauce. That’s quality Aussie beef product for you.

The pork ribs, although fall off the bone but the meat are a little chewy. They are probably at par with Castells and loose by way of meatiness and flavor to Cafe De Klos, both of which are located in Amsterdam. Rusticanna in Munich still reigns supreme of the pork ribs battle.

Give the baked potato a miss. Its probably the variety of potatoes that they have. It tastes watery and not that flavorful. Stick to their fries.*
Fed 2 at AUD52 total
Their bibs could not state our sentiment any more clearly. Am here for the ribs and the stand out is the BEEF RIBS! A must have. Will try their lamb ribs the next time around!

Sydney - To Do 12AUg2017(Bondi Beach)

Sydney - To Stay
Sydney - To Do
Sydney - To Eat
Sydney - To Do
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Bondi Beach
Getting there
A round trip costs about 7AUD and takes about 40min journey each way.
To take the public transport system, one has to purchase a non-refundable Opal card in pre determined values  of 10/20. These cards maybe bought at any 7-11 store. The cards themselves maybe topped up.
Long story short, on a nice weathered day and you’re looking for some surf time or to chill and walk along the beach this is a great place to come to.
The beach is clean with public restrooms and several wash facilities readily available. Further more there are a number of good eateries along the beach which are perfect. 
For great beef ribs one could try Hurricane’s grill and for the best hot chocolate so far, give San Churro’s hot cold order a try, both of which are located along the coast. 
Click here for ABBA location of Bondi Beach

Monday, August 7, 2017

Singapore Deals - Le Gate (Aritificail fibre glass wall)

Singapore - Home and Living

Invisible grill and aesthetic wall solutions
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Le Gate
Le Gate offers invisible grill solutions as well as artificial fiber glass walls. Many of my fellow neighbors have engaged their services for the invisible grill but we went for the latter. 
Price wise, compared to other artificial wall panels, where Le Gate lacked in variety, they made up for in price. The wall stone collection was a to-clear series which was charged at about 16SGD per unit square, much cheaper that the other panels offered around the market at that time. As seen, 800SGD for the wall.
Panels can be customized to any of their predetermined colors and are made to measure after a site visit. Panels are mounted on the walls and are weather proof. The system allows for drilling through the aestheticfront to the wall behind, thus supporting heavier attachments. Note that the facade does not bear the load.
 Mounting of hydroponics system through the fiber glass facade
Depending on your design choice, the hand painting and detailing are fairly decent. The panels provide the aesthetic appeal you desire without going through the costly labor and construction with usual raw materials.
Detailing and seal around the outdoor sink
Warranty after completion is for one year, and the color still holds after a year at point of posting this review. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

SFO - To Eat 03Aug2017 (Mama's On Washington square)

San Francisco - To Stay
San Francisco - To Do

San Francisco - To Eat
SFO - To Eat
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Mama's On Washington square
 open 8am-3pm and CLOSED MONDAY

Finally am getting a chance to try this all time favorite breakfast joint that opens up at 8am. Often you gotta be there an hour before to get in fast. 

Mama's is a completely, long time running family breakfast dining bistro. Front of house was run by the brother-in-law and the son of the late Mama's runs the operations.
Be there either a half hour before doors open to be the first batch in, or arriving at 10mins to opening would result in about an 40min wait (we went on a weekday). Pretty much from our observations arriving at about 930am would have resulted in the same wait time as when we arrived at 750am. Pretty much if you wanna get in for breakfast, arrive early!
Lines often form and from Mama's staff say they often loose about 25% of their customers due to the long wait. Wait times can be 2hrs or more. 
Son on Mama's highlighting the must haves and all time favorites.
Ordered On:
Monte Cristo
(Ham Cheese sandwich with raspberry sauce)
 *One of the must have, but according to Mama's regular, today's batch honestly lacked luster and wasn't really hitting the spot. However, the Raspberry sauce that goes with the ham and cheese toast is amazing!*
Corn Beef Hash (another popular staple)
 *The eggs Benedict portion is a given pass. The corn beef hash is one of the better ones had. Another popular place that's known for Corn Beef hash is at Taylor Street Coffee shop, yet to be reviewd*
Chocolate French Toast
 *A good french toast. Bread is nice and thick and with sweet fresh fruit.*
Crab Cakes Eggs Bennedict
*The crab cakes got a little over powered by the eggs Benedict. Its nice but the crab flavors aren't the main star.*
Buttermilk fluffy old style pancakes
*By far the best pan cakes had! Realllllllyyy fluffffyyy with a hint of crust on the outside. Super light, fresh and that amazing morning pancake smell come wafting in. A must order!*Northern Italian Omelet
 *Pretty good mushroom and cheese stuffed omelet. A decent order with the albeit slightly too salty ham on the side.*
Total fed 6 at 21USD Each (excluding tip)
Portion wise, unlike many American diners, each one having a main with drinks works out to a hearty breakfast! Its not too much and their portions are decent. With the overall pricing, was found to more value for money over Sear's Fine Foods. Mama's definitely beats sear's pan cakes. 
Overall some dishes were really home runs and some in good standing. Fresh and really homely. Personally the standout here was the pan cakes. Further more its a short walk to the Pier39 and 45 so a great way to start out the day before hitting San Francisco attractions.

Vote for overall dining experience and breakfast still goes to the Cliff House.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Moscow - To Do 3Aug2017 ABBA Contribution Dora (Raddison Cruise)

Moscow - To Stay
Moscow - To Do
Moscow - To Eat

Moscow - To Do
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Raddison Cruise
(ABBA Contribution Dora)

Journey time Raddison cruise
2 piers available with 2 different routes. Dont go to wrong pier!
1) gorky park pier (express route)
- express crusie 90 min
2) hotel ukraina (opposite raddison hotel, 15 min uber ride from crew hotel)
- 2.5 hrs journey. Just nice if u want a meal n drink n dessert on cruise. Not too expensive too.
You can view the schedule @ below link n book it. If you want to cancel, you can get full refund if you cancel within 1 hr before departure. 
I went for day cruise & night cruise, both 2.5 hrs journey. They've got 1 which is a different slightly more ex, but got live band & all. However there are only 2 timings. I cant remember but its the royal version. Think is either 4pm & 8pm which was fully book and i dint get to try.
I went is the dept from hotel ukraina 2.5 hrs. But royal one which i pointed out above is abit more costly but got entertainment on board and seat is slightly different. However, the tickets sold out quite quickly cause there's only 2 timing available everyday so i din get to try.

Food is available on board but at your own cost. 


Hong Kong - To Eat 01Aug2017 ( Ho Lee Fook, Yam Cha)

Hong Kong - To Stay
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Ho Lee Fook
Click here for ABBA location of Ho Lee Fook 1-5 Elgin St, Central, Hong Kong
Located a lane down from PMQ (Trendy indie shops featuring local Hong Kong artists), among the many trendy eats lay this tongue in cheek, funky Chinese fusion joint that’s family run. Ho Lee Fook chefs are from Taiwan and have cooked in Australia for past 10years.
Ordered On:
Korobuto pork char-siu, a mix of mix of lean and fatty cut. 198HKD

*Pricey and not so wow. Yeah they do say it comes with lean and fatty cut but honestly we can't see the difference in fat content. The premium price asked is probably because its Korobuto pork. Give this a skip.*
Shima Aji, Tokyo negi, roast green shallot oil, pickled jalapenos HKD168

*Wow speak about portion control. Pricey but the concepts work very nicely together. A light heat with the refreshing shallots. The fish is similar to yellow tail shashimi.*
Egg fried rice, sugar snap peas, corn, furikake 118HKD 

(recommended by waiter)
*A really good and strong fried rice dish. The sweet corn and furikake worked beautifully! The rice's got the Wok Heh flavor. Worth the order.*
Lamb dan dan noodles, seasame paste, crispy panko, spiced herb HKD138
(recommended by waiter)
 *Its like spaghetti in a cream like sauce with flavors of sesame oil and cumin. Very interesting and was pretty good as well*
 Jack’s salt and pepper grouper with silken tofu and lemon 188HKD

*Veryyyyy nice. The batter gives a super crispy exterior around the silky soft tofu and grouper. By far the best salt and better fry had to date. Though there's some chili, its not at all spicy.*
Fried cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, maple bacon chilli jam 98HKD

(recommended by waiter)

*Some felt this was the star. Interesting concepts and the crunch of the brussel sprouts work very well with the cauliflower to give some texture. The chilli jam is more of a sweetish slightly spicy chutney really.*

 Grilled calamri, pickled green chilli salsa, Vietnamese mint 128HKD
*Okay only and doesn't really justify the asking price.
A grilled squid with simple combination of toppings really.*

Fed 5
Overall verdict, nice photo ops and its not really a place for everyday eats due its price point. It more of a trendy date night/celebratory meal place to enjoy. Ho Lee Fook serves up unique takes on traditional often traditional eats. Phone bookings are recommended and the place was packed an hour after doors open with largely the expatriate community.
Came recommended by others for something different from the usual Dim Sum. Located a stone's throw away from Sheung Wan E5 exit, Yam Cha is located on the 2nd floor over looking Des Voux Rd Central. 
Ordered On:
Lunch Set for 4ppl at HKD818
Starter Selection

Shrimp Rolls
*Pretty normal*Peppered Eggplant
1000yr duck egg and silken tofu
 *Very simple and an idea of something that can be done at home with sesame seed sauce and sesame oil. Refreshing and pretty okay. The name sounds more impressive than the dish actually.*
Dim Sum and Double Boiled Soup

*Dim Sum fairly standard but the double boiled soup in coconut was a lovely twist. Light hints of coconut flavors cooked into the chicken soup. Fantastic!*Sweet and Sour Pork
*A good standard sweet and sour pork which maybe a little heavy on the corn starch. What was really nice was the sweet fresh pineapple served along side.*Sticky Honey Balsamic Wing
*One of the highlight dishes which won everyone's hearts. Something like sweet Korean fried chicken and again the fresh pineapple is a huge welcomed addition.*
 Squid Ink Egg white seafood fried rice

*A unique take on fried rice and the squid ink flavor really shown through. Interesting good*
Add On
A la Carte:
Hot Custard Molten Buns
Instagram recreate fail
*Okay bun, but its more custard than salt egg custard bun. The best so far still going to Fu Shing Shark Fin Restaurant.*Green Tea Custard Molten Buns*Don't even bother ordering. The custard is very watery and not at all worth.*Baked Pineapple Puff

*Very Instagram worthy, but the size in incredibly small. Its very similar to the square pineapple tarts sold in Taiwan.*
 Lobster, Shrimp and Egg white Cup
*A lobster like bisque that served to
Minced Duck Lettuce Rice
*An okay only dish. Their sauce is a little too salty.*
Paid 266HKD Each Fed5

Another unique eating joint that came recommended by others. I suppose the lunch meal set is probably the most worth while and with additional taxes set you back at about 220HKD. 

Yam Cha serves unique eats with some stand outs and beautiful presentation. The two girls preferred this over Ho Lee Fook reviewed above and vice versa for the guys. Different ambiance and eats so there's no direct comparison. Probably for more budget friendly and unique take on Dim Sumwould be over at Dim Dim Sum at about 100HKD per head. However the selection here is more unique and not solely focusing on Dim Sum Dishes.