Hiap Yak Tea Shop: Opium coffee anyone?

Kuchings buttered coffee

There’s a small, non-descript coffee shop named Hiap Yak Tea Shop, tucked somewhere in the alleys of Indian Street in Kuching, Sarawak, where the hot, steaming coffee is still served with a pat of butter. Of course, it makes for a creamy, buttery, if a bit strange, brew but there’s an interesting backstory (or tale, if you prefer to think it’s part-fiction) to why in this small shop, the coffee not the bread or biscuit is buttered.

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Black Bean Coffee and Tea: Java Goodness in Kuching

Black Bean Coffee cup

Happyfoodies had a blast covering the Kuching Waterfront Music Festival in Kuching, Sarawak in the eastern part of Malaysia. In between tasks and barring rain, we had occasions to wander off into the side streets and small alleys at the waterfront area leading to the bridge and parliament building. One of finds is this small coffee shop along Ewe Hai street, Black Bean Coffee and Tea shop while waiting for the sunset to shoot.

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Blue Wonder Coffee & Bean Roastery

Original Blend french press coffee

Happyfoodies have always been Cartimar regulars long before the time when it became the go-to place for pet lovers and owners. Not really venturing far from the pet and plant supplies blocks, Blue Wonder Coffee & Bean Roastery has escaped our attention until recently. It seems like an anomaly of sorts, a warmly-lit, cool stopover place among stalls of PX and other goods, like an oasis for those who know a bit more about coffee beyond the big brand cafes.

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Sister Curry Mee : Still Spicing up the Flavors of Penang

Curry mee from the sisters at Air Itam

It took me a second visit to finally catch the Sister Curry Mee stall open at Air Itam, Penang. I wasn’t aware of their opening time before and visited late afternoon after my visit at Kek Lok Si temple. Now I wouldn’t want to leave Penang without tasting this Malaysian dish from a stall that has been serving them for at least 73 years already.

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Contessa Dolce: For a Medley of Strong Coffee and the Right Kind of Sweetness

Contessa Dulce in Cash and Carry Makati

Located right next to the Starbucks in Cash and Carry in Makati City, Contessa Dolce provides an interesting counterpoint to the coffee chain behemoth’s offerings — good, old-fashioned, freshly-milled (strong) brewed Arabic coffee and pastries that hit the sweet spot without going overboard on the sweetness.

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Marks & Spencer line of Holiday Gourmet Gifts

Marks & Spencers line of Holiday Gourmet Gifts

There’s only a few days left before Christmas. If you’re still stressing out what gifts to give to your friends or family, food treats are more or less the best options to give away. Everyone enjoys good food. Look no further for Marks & Spencer line of gift gourmets. Delectable food treats that are neatly packed and ready be placed under anyone’s Christmas tree. Recently, I had a chance to try out some of these yearly favorites and limited seasonal offers.

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Lamisaan at Holiday Inn Baguio

Highland Greens ala Nicoise

The table is set for Baguio’s bounty and the highlands flavors

The crux of international hotel chains lies in the homogeneity of its offerings – it’s good when it comes to expectations regarding service and facilities.  However, it’s less than welcome if we’re talking about food.  At a time when locavore eating is encouraged, it’s a pity that oftentimes when you eat in different branches of a certain hotel or restaurant chain, you get more of the same flavors, same dishes, same offerings.  It’s even more lamentable when we’re talking of Baguio as a branch location, as the city offers a bounty of produce as well as traditional food from the highlands.

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