Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sari Ratu - Jakarta

Nasi Padang
This is how they stack em up, one on top of the other. More food than you can hope to eat in a sitting, but not to worry - you only eat and pay for what meets your fancy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Street Food - Jakarta

Yard Bird and More,,,
While walking between my hotel and Merdeka Square I noted a narrow food alley that was packed with people. The next day I brought Pingles there for some lunch. An Indonesian colleague of hers told her to steer clear of the street food. "They use street water to cook in!" she'd warned. It threw me for a second, but only a second. I didn't fly all the way here to get scared off so easily.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Walnut Bakery and Cafe - Jakarta

I Went in to Get a Coffee....
I walked around for some time in downtown Jakarta in the grimy heat and strangely was craving a hot coffee. This classy-looking bakery/cafe had air conditioning to boot, so it was an easy sell for me. Plans changed once I saw this plate-full of good looking grub at a nearby table and asked for a plate for myself. This is Nasi Goreng Kampung a Malaysian dish which is sometimes known as "village fried rice."

This version had anchovies and mackerel and included a fried egg and two meatballs on a stick (sorry, don't know what those are called.) I downed this whole plate in less than 5 minutes and then sat back in my chair and people-watched out the window for an hour. Next up, some authentic Indonesian food.

Ciputra Mall

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ming Kee Live Seafood - Singapore

Crab Bee Hoon and More...
I don't make any decisions in Singapore, I am sloth-boyfriend, waiting for direction from Pingles on where to go, what to think, what to do, when to do it. This approach never fails me, especially today. Her cousin recommended this place for crab bee hoon, which is crab with rice vermicelli. You just gotta fight the crab for the bee hoon...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Harajuku Gyoza House - Tokyo

This is a well-known place in Tokyo for gyoza and I can see why. They focus on doing one thing and doing it well. Even at 11pm there was a queue to get in, but it was worth the wait.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Katsu I Chi - Tokyo

Deep Fried with a Vengeance
When you deep fry stuff, it's always better. Or so says my girlfriend. However, when you take the best ingredients and deep fry them with great care and attention you end up with something out of the ordinary.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Satou - Tokyo

Worth the Wait?
Whenever I'm traveling and see a long line of people, queued up waiting for food, I can take two different actions. If they're all tourists, I keep it moving. If they're locals, I get in line. Such was the case in Kichijoji, a neighborhood in western Tokyo. There was an epic line to navigate for the honor of buying these deep-fried meatballs with sweet onions.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ken's Sandwich - Tokyo

Katsu Sando or "Pork Cutlet Sandwich"
Something primal in me stirred when I saw a picture of this Tonkatsu sandwich. We were walking down the street in Kichijoji, a neighborhood in Tokyo known more for its shopping than its food. A gentleman was outside of Ken's Sandwich giving flyers to passersby. The flyer had just a picture of the sandwich and a bunch of Japanese - but the point was made to me, clearly. We kept shopping for a while but were destined to come back.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Andonand - Tokyo

Jetlag Antidote Donut
I was really feeling the old jetlag this morning but Pingles found me the cure - an affogatto donut from Andonand. They're owned by Mr. Donut but take it up a notch. Some kind of evil genius works here and comes up with ideas like pouring a hot espresso shot over a sugar-laden pastry.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ichiran - Tokyo

Kyushu-Style Cubicle Ramen
Fresh off our respective flights to Tokyo, we hit the ground running. First up, Pingle's favorite ramen spot in Shibuya. If this doesn't look good to you, you're crazy. It was the tastiest ramen I've had in some time. But the way you get the ramen is even crazier - something I've never seen before.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Robert et Louise - Paris

Meat & Potatoes a la Francaise
Firewood? Check. Metal cooking slab? Check. Chunks of meat? Check. It's as simple as that folks - no need to overcomplicate it. At Robert & Louise, they keep it simple. If you're coming to Paris for a short visit, I would put this place near the top of the list. Where else do they cook your meat in a wood-burning fireplace out in the open, for all to see? You can hear the sizzle, no matter where you sit and it gets you staring into the fireplace, wondering "is that one mine?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Zen Zoo - Paris

Black Pearls - Also Known as Bubbles
I've tried bubble tea a few times in NY and I usually just kinda like it. It never really knocks me off my feet. However, I keep trying, most recently yesterday at Zen Zoo. I really went all out, ordering a hot almond-flavored version. I didn't even know you could get hot bubble tea, I'd only tried cold ones. Thank goodness you can, it's been really cold lately. This is the "after" shot.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Carl Marletti - Paris

Top Notch Treats, White Glove Service
There are a lot of good things about Paris, but service isn't at the top of the list. So it was really amazing to experience the attentiveness at Carl Marletti. I felt like I'd walked into Louis Vuitton, not a patisserie. I was dealing with those drilled in the art of the customer experience - like I'd stepped out of Paris and into Tokyo.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Topoly - Paris

Man'ouché - Otherwise Known as Lebanese Pizza?
This food blogging hobby is pretty fun. I've been doing it a while now, picking places to eat that interest me or the Puffin. Readers have started to make suggestions too, which is cool because I'm introduced to food I never would've found otherwise. Topoly is a case in point. It's a Lebanese restaurant in the 6th, suggested by commenter Hamster, who convinced me to get a Man'ouché (man-ooo-shay), which appears to be their specialty.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Café des Anges - Paris

I Was Just About to Crown Them...
Sure, it's silly to gush about a Croque Madame in Paris, I realize that. It's like going to NY and taking photos of fries and getting excited. After all, it's just an open-faced ham and melted cheese sandwich with an over easy egg on top. However, a few days back I stumbled into a superb one. So absolutely terrific that I crowed about it to Pingles and told her I planned to go back as soon as possible. Today was the day. It didn't quite work out as expected though....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

L'Oisive Thé - Paris

A Better Scone than Rose Bakery?
I wasn't looking to replace my favorite scone in Paris, honest, I wasn't. Before writing this post I even went back to Rose to make sure - and I am - Rose's scone is no longer number one. This L'Oisive Thé cranberry scone is moister, tastier and has that "hard to eat because it was falling apart" tenderness.

Cul de Poule - Paris

The Only Ass Was Me...
Cul de Poule roughly translates to "Chicken's Ass" and I sure felt like one after eating here. Given all the hype and good reviews this place has received, I was really looking forward to trying it out.