Ipoh is a popular day trip destination from Kuala Lumpur. This Old Town that flourished through mining is a two to three hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. Ipoh White Coffee may be commercially known and widely available but it is only in the old town of Ipoh where one can take sample a favorite delicacy the local hor fun (kuey teow), taugeh (beansprouts) and Hainanese-style steamed chicken. There are a couple of restaurants to go to but a lot of locals pointed us to Onn Kee Restaurant.
Much has been written about Nomama‘s artisanal ramen that I’ve expected little else probably worth sampling on a visit to shoot for a magazine. So the Kitayama Flank Steak came as a very pleasant surprise. It took me over an hour to finish my to-shoot-list and I expected the steak to be a bit tough after an hour of sitting on its dish but no, it was very, very tender (made me wonder how much more tender it was hot off the grill). The liberal use of Miso butter lent an irresistible, exquisite taste so much so that even if I just had a bowl of ramen, I managed to finish the steak by myself. The crispy tofu slices are a nice foil to the meat, not that my taste buds quickly grew satiated to the flavor.
A Koreantown in Angeles City? We’re probably too used to the concept of Chinatown that this idea seemed like a novel concept. Driving along the stretch of Friendship Highway, we passed a strip of establishments sporting signages in Korean with no English translations. Which ones are restaurants, it’s hard to tell. But for a taste of kimchi (the best one here for miles, so says our guide-friend, Tin, from the Angeles City tourism office), we bypassed Koreantown and headed to Balibago for Yu Fu In.
The restaurant is located in a sizable structure located across the town park. We later learned that it is in fact, the largest freestanding Japanese restaurant in the Philippines with a dining area spread across three stories — the main dining area on the ground floor, a Yakiniku area complete with the requisite stove and exhaust fan on every table on the second, and an open air area on the third. It’s a strange curiosity to find kimchi in a Japanese restaurant but as we taste the food, we find there’s more to like there.
The shop is small with only four tables and save for some huge prints on the wall, it was rather nondescript, resembling the hole-in-the-wall eateries in Binondo. The two aircon units look fairly new but on several visits, they were never on. Not even the Binondo eateries were this hot. If you close your eyes for a moment and take a sniff, you can imagine being in a Chinatown restaurant instead of a Makati hole-in-the-wall.
The steady stream of Chinese patrons coming and going seems like a good indication of how good (and authentic) the food is. Diners brave the stifling heat at (Old Beijing) Peace and Happiness Dumpling House so the food must be that good, right? That will take a taste test to find out.
The facade looks so much more welcoming with the clear floor-to-ceiling glass covered this time with bamboo slats in lieu of heavy drapes. Stepping inside, the interior is light and airy. The last time Happyfoodies was here was two years ago. A lot can happen in that span, in fact, a few of the restaurants we reviewed has sadly come and gone. Happily, Aquaknox has stayed on, reinventing itself along the way.
We capped our first day in HK watching the sunset and admiring the early dusk view of the Kowloon and Central nightscape at the viewdeck of Victoria Peak. Boy, was it a chilly 19 degrees up there with the wind adding to the cold. We chanced upon Mak’s on the way out of the Galleria mall, the warm lighting looked inviting and the thought of having hot soup on a chilly night sounded like a good idea.
The noodles came one after the other. It seems overwhelming but after at least a two hour- flight, we were famished and ready to eat just about anything. It’s my first time in Macau and what better way to get started but to sample some good ole local food. “We’re heading to the Little Turtle,” said Joao, our Portuguese with Chinese lineage guide. The name was intriguing enough to make everyone want to check it out.
Going back to the Manila Ocean Park last weekend became a trip not only for your happyfoodies to rediscover the oceanarium but to fish for something else – the food offerings at the Makansutra Asian Food Village located at the Ocean Park mall.
Makan means “eat/eating” in Bahasa while Sutra means thread or line holding things together (or metaphorically, a collection of such lines or things such as in the Hindu scriptures) in Sanskrit. This is especially meaningful as Makansutra is envisioned to be a place gathering together fare from all over Southeast Asia sold hawker-style. Granted that one may not always have the opportunity to travel but at Makansutra, one can let his/her taste buds do the traveling. Will K.F. Seetoh, the Singaporean foodie who inspired this enterprise, approve? Tag along with your happyfoodies and find out.