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Showing posts from March, 2014

Singapore - Muchachos for rather good Mexican (burritos and quesadillas) on Keong Saik Road

We needed to do some shopping in Chinatown (to be precise - Sia Huat for awesome kitchen stuff!) so I suggested G meet me after my yoga class and we head down to Keong Saik Road and finally try Muchachos! I have heard lots of good things about this American Style Mexican place and was craving some Mexican food, plus had earned the carbs after a class where the instructor actually admitted she was torturing us on purpose! G wasn't too enthused as he isn't such a fan of burritos due to them containing rice, but we now know that Muchachos allows you to customise it entirely so next time G will have a burrito but without rice so we can use our 1 for 1 deal on The Entertainer App.

I went for a pollo asado (Chicken) burrito - yummmmm :) What went in there? Well you can check the "making of the burrito" further down the post but I chose not to have cheese or sour cream and took the guacamole option, so my burrito contained: chicken which was spiced / marinated and grilled,…

Colombo - Colombo City Hotel rooftop bar, our new local in Colombo

We normally hang out at the hotel bar in the Hilton called Echelon after work, but it is a bit dark and very "sports bar". I googled and came across a place just around the corner from the Hilton on top of the Colombo City Hotel, they have a rooftop bar. The hotel is a little run down but don't mind that. Head into the lift and up to the 5th floor (the doors take an oddly long time to shut by themselves so press on the close button. There is an indoors and an outdoors and this is your view if you get one of the good outdoor seats.


Not bad at all! If you are wondering where it is, it is across from the Colombo World Trade Centre, next to the Dutch Hospital, the door is right next to the TGI Fridays.

We took one look at the view.... and the menu..... and decided we had found our new home :) Remember that it is usually around 100 rupees to the Sing dollar. A large Three Coins bottle is 300 rupees so 3 dollars. A pitcher like the one below was 735 rupees (just over 7$). Not…

Singapore - Cicheti is fast becoming our regular spot :) Lunch and dinner!

I was planning on just continuing updating my original post about Cicheti - the awesome Italian on Kandahar Street but it is getting too big! We go there too often :) It has become our treat when we need one during the week at lunch. All our colleagues are converted and we all jump at the opportunity if anyone even mentions pizza!

This is one visit, some pizzas were repeated from the previous post (some people went for the rocket and parmesan one), but the boys (G - my other half, and our friend from work M) went for the daily special, as they are prone to do. And this one was right up their street as it had mozzarella, smoked mozzarella (provola), onion and sliced Italian sausage.


And I ordered a variation on the Filetto, and they kindly obliged. I had the Filetto (white pizza with just cherry tomatoes and mozzarella) the previous time I went and found it a bit cheesy (they did it right, as it is meant to be done, I just don't like too much cheese) so I asked for a tomato base an…

Colombo - Curry Leaf at Hilton Colombo for Sri Lankan Food and Seafood dinner buffet

If you are in Colombo, and you want to try some local food in a pristine setting (I am a bit of a fan of the more local / run down approach personally) then Curry Leaf in the Hilton Colombo is a good (and good value) option to try a bit of everything.

I thought she would have been making either a fritter or hoppers here, but it was actually prawns. Kind of fun and theatrical to see them being made in the middle of the complex which is built a bit like a village, with different huts and stations with different food items, in the Garden of the Hilton Colombo. We went for the buffet option which is around 2500 rupees / 25$ per head for as much food as you want. I think even most of the seafood is included, there might be a couple of the items with a surcharge but I am not sure.


This is where the hoppers are made.


This is the puttu I believe, with rice and coconut, usually a breakfast dish in Sri Lanka.


Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Shopping in Phnom Penh, Markets, Street 240, the airport

Oooooh I had fun shopping in Phnom Penh, all over Phnom Penh! You may have seen my posts about our market experiences, both at the Russian Market and the Olympic Market. But we also heard about the shops on 240 Street which is becoming the boutique shop street and NGO shop area also in Phnom Penh. They have local Cambodian designers and many shoppers which are run for charity which made us very interested so we jumped into a tuktuk and wandered along the street, trying things on an buying things all the way down! We did stop for refreshments and to buy some chocolate, as you can see in my post about The Shop and the Chocolate Shop.

I mostly bought things in Daisy, Subtyl and Spicy Green Mango. I bought 4 dresses in Subtyl! Oops ;) Three were the same shape but in different colours as it fit really well which is hard to find, and they cost about 50USD each which was cheap so I couldn't resist. This turquoise striped one is one of them, I wore it the other day.


Phnom Penh, Cambodia - ARTillery for brunch

Visit 1 - February 2014

On our last day (well, last for most of us, N was staying on a bit longer) we headed over to ARTillery for brunch. We were lucky to even locate it (thanks again local SIM cards with data and Google Maps) as it is on 240 and 1/2 street! i.e. down a side street which also had some other lovely cafes, bars and restaurants that we would need to explore next time. We had chosen ARTillery because it had veggie options, did breakfast and was open before 1030 (we had a 1pm flight so we had to make sure we were gone by 11).

Once we got there we were rather glad we chose it, it looked very cute and the menu looked exciting. More Western / with some Middle Eastern influences (but mainly on the lunch menu - the breakfast was mostly Western) and I would head back to check out the lunch after reading through the pretty cool looking menu, it made me hungry right after having eaten!

N and I can be a bit same same on occasion but we outdid our selves here by ordering the exact …

Romdeng for lovely Khmer food for a good cause, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

On our last night, we heading to Romdeng (http://friends-international.org/shop/romdeng.asp). We had tried to go the night before but it was fully booked, so we headed on over on the Saturday night. It is owned by the same people that own Friends Restaurant, part of the Tree Alliance / Friends International . They have the same ethos, helping ex street kids and the underprivileged get trained and have a chance at a career. Whereas Friends is more "World Tapas", Romdeng is more traditionally Khmer / Cambodian food and it was lovely! I was reminded yet again that Cambodia is between Vietnam and Thailand, and the food reflects that location. Warning: do not proceed if scared of spiders, or at least skip the photo after the glass of rose!

Here are some of the mains we had:


And the desserts.


Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Olympic Market

You may have seen my post about the Russian Market in Phnom Penh, on the next day one of my friends wanted to buy fabric as she is super creative and makes things, and we had heard about the Olympic Market being a good place so we headed there after lunch.

You can see why it is called the Olympic market :)


There are multi levels full of clothes and fabric. And people. Lots of people.


All sorts of fabrics, like suit fabric.



Khmer Borane, good Cambodian food in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

After the Royal Palace we met with the girls who had been to the Killing Fields. There was a bit of confusion when trying to meet up, their tuktuk driver took them all around town after the first place was closed. Thank goodness for Whatsapp and local SIMs and the ability to share location on there. We ended up close to FCC (Foreign Correspondents Club) at Khmer Borane where we had some lovely local Cambodian / Khmer food.

This was J's choice, stir fried beef with noodles and veggies. Mostly beef and veggies!


This was my choice and it was lovely, really lovely. Somlor Majuu Kroeung. Lovely lovely. A kind of curry with chicken and morning glory. The dish is made of chilli, hot basil, lemongrass, galangal in a sauce of spices, tamarind, lime leaves and prahok (crushed, salted and fermented fish paste). It was really really good!


And I squealed with delight when I got a butterfly shaped plate of rice! Yay!


Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Some girls headed off to the Killing Fields on the Saturday morning of our girlie weekend in Phnom Penh but after looking it up online, I decided I didn't have the stomach for it, it would have been too upsetting for me. So DT and I chose the different option of heading over to the Royal Palace.

I am glad we did as it was gorgeous, such opulence combined with a few odd parts too :) So pretty and colourful. Keep on reading to see more..... a lot lot more.......





Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Friends The Restaurant, food for a good cause

We had wanted to head over to Romdeng after drinks at the FCC, but when we called it was fully booked, so we reserved our table for the next night, and instead headed over to their sister restaurant called Friends which was just a few hundred metres inland from FCC. They didn't have room for us, but I asked when they would, and they said in about 15min. So some of us waited whilst others headed over to the 711. This place was high on my friend BeirutiBrit 's list of places she wanted to try as she had been to the Siem Reap branch. It is run as a charity to train ex-street children in the restaurant business. So an utterly worthy cause in a country previously torn apart by war and still quite poor. What kind of food can you expect at Friends? A combo of Western and Eastern inspired tapas and some special emu main courses.... so basically you can expect just about anything!

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) for drinks

After exploring the Russian Market and shopping we were in need of some refreshments, and where better than the world-famous Foreign Correspondents Club on the river in Phnom Penh? Yeah, we couldn't think of anywhere superiour either :) Especially considering how good their happy hour deals are... 1 for 1 between 5 and 7pm. What else could a group of thirsty gals want?




Phnom Penh, Cambodia - The Shop Cafe and Bakery at 240, and their Chocolate shop

After shopping down most of 240 Street (awesome place to shop in Phnom Penh! Loads of local designer boutiques with good prices) we stopped for refreshments at The Shop Cafe and Bakery (# 39, street 240, Phnom Penh 12207, Cambodia). It looked pretty from outside and they had a table out front so we sat ourselves down and checked out the menu. We were quite inspired by the interesting drinks on order and I must say I really loved what I ordered. I don't normally order ice tea as I find it sweet and odd tasting, but they had a passionfruit ice tea and I couldn't resist. I am glad I went for it! Not sweet at all (served on the side if you want to sweeten it up), lovely and sour and full of fruity flavour. Awesome! I highly recommend it. The menu changes weekly, check out their site for what they are serving this week: http://www.theshop-cambodia.com/en/the-shop-outlets-in-pp/weekly-menu/ The drinks we had were between 2.50 and 3.00 USD.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Russian Market

After we had brunch at Sisters, we wandered down the road to the Russian Market which basically sells just about anything and everything! I was most fascinated by the people in the market, those working, those napping, those gossiping....

Here are a few (ahem... well, a few by my standards) pictures of the Russian Market in Phnom Penh.


Loads of meat on offer. A friend says it looked very fresh (and she would know) but I was a bit freaked out by all the flies!


Lots of hammocks hanging around as you might get a bit tired during your shift...



Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Sisters all day breakfast shop

Our first meal in Cambodia and we were starving and fancied breakfast as we had gotten up before 5am and were all craving comfort wake up food even though it was closer to lunch time in reality. We googled and found a place called Sisters than did all day breakfast = perfect. It is close to the Russian Market, on Street 446 at number 26B which we missed on the first pass. It really isn't a fancy place and you might not notice it from the street, you will need to keep your eyes peeled. It looked friendly so we wandered on in and rearranged the tables to suit our group of 7.


Singapore - Divine Wine Bar - Parkview Square

Some colleagues from other offices (Sydney and London/Nice this time) were visiting and wanted to go for a drink and dinner. The female colleagues loves the Divine bar beneath our office in Parkview Square (600 North Bridge Road) so we agreed to meet there, after all we just have to get in the lift and go downstairs!


The place is very posh, very pretty, very opulent! Felt a bit out of place! But it is a nice place and very quiet. It apparently gets busy on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays but we were there at 1830 on a Wednesday so we had the place to ourselves.

Updated March 2014 with new pictures with my new camera :)



Singapore - Tanuki Raw Bar - Martinis & Oysters = A Very Happy Hour on Orchard

After a long busy week, I wanted to head home and have an early quiet sober night on the Friday evening. I have recently started doing yoga with a friend from work at a place on Arab Street and I planned to head to yoga on Saturday morning and wanted to be fresh for it. So when my friends were enticing me with wine tastings at Merchants on Duxton Road, I fought hard to stay strong as I knew they were meeting around 7.30/8pm and I would be home super late again, like the week before. But when another friend from work suggested a quick Friday martini and said I would be done by 8, I couldn't resist and we jumped on a bus to Orchard to go to Tanukis and meet up with his wife. We didn't keep to the 8pm schedule but I was home by 10.30pm so not so bad after all!

So why Tanuki bar? Well my friend has made it into his Friday thing and they have $10 martinis for Happy hour. What isn't to like? And they love the $2 oysters also during happy hour.

Returned a few months later and up…

Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Lovely weekend in Phnom Penh with the girls

So I just got back from an awesome few days in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where we spent a girlie weekend. 7 girls from 7 different countries and we got on wonderfully well which was great. I will write up the individual items (restaurants, things we visited, shopping) in more detail but here is the overview of the weekend trip.

So what did we do and which tips can we provide?

We booked ahead, we went on Tigerair at horrible-o'clock, a 7am flight from Singapore on Friday morning, arriving just after 8am in Cambodia which is an hour behind. Some of the gang didn't require visas (Singapore & Malaysia), one had done an e-visa (25$ - USD, everything in this post will be USD as that is mostly what is used in Cambodia - which you can do online) and the rest of us did visas on arrival. We were given forms on the plane to fill out (visa, arrival/departure, customs) and you hand them over with your passport, a 4 by 6 passport photo and your visa form when you get to the v…

Singapore - Third & Sixth Bistrobar - Great creative funky burgers on Seah Street

Looking for a burgasm? I have a place for you! Third and Sixth has great burgers on Seah Street. Super innovative and fun. We found it via the Entertainer application which we decided we had to start using. So far it has been used only for burgers as we had Bergs for lunch the day before (besides our "trial run" on the limited application when we went to Coq and Balls)! (Note: Updated March 2014 with a new burger - check end of the post)

Check out my collage..... burger heaven. I don't want to ruin the surprise too early, but we had a happy banana food dance.... That is saying something! Equivalent to my giggles at Cicheti the other day for the pizza and salt chocolate fondant.



Sigiriya - Aliya Resort - Dinner buffet

We were half-board at the Aliya Resort in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, a newly opened resort up in the centre of Sri Lanka. This is the result of two evenings there. They have salads, soups, bread, Western food, live action stations, Sri Lankan food, fruit and loads of desserts. All super yummy! The food is of high quality.

So what did we have?

This was one of my plates. I had the grilled veggies (top left), a couple of parsley spuds (the Irish half can't say no to potatoes), a chilli herbed bread roll (YUM!), curried beans (snake beans I think), dhal and veggie fried rice.


J's plate of mostly salad.

More grilled vegetables (aubergine, courgette, randomly also carrot and cabbage but yummy and herby).


G had lamb samosas (cooked in front of you), salad stuff and I think fish.


My main course plate. Of course various sambals included grated carrot. Breadfruit curry. Rice. Awesome lovely cabbage mallum (mallum apparently means mixed and can be done with various veggies, stir fried with sp…

Sigiriya - Aliya Resort - Breakfast buffet

If you saw my previous post on Sri Lankan breakfast at the Hilton Colombo, you will know I looooove Sri Lankan breakfast and will actively drag myself out of bed for it, which is quite something for me, as those who know me will be fully aware. So when we went to the newly opened Aliya Resort up in Sigiriya, I made sure I set an alarm (it only goes to 9.30am and I would usually not be up by then on a weekend). Glad I did, even though they don't do hoppers, only string hoppers! But they are better than nothing :)

Lots of choices available and here is what myself, my other half and our friend had for breakfast. Totally different selections.

J went for fruit, cereal and bread, rather more Western than G and I :)


This was mine one day, starfruit juice with a plate full of mostly Sri Lankan breakfast items. String hoppers, dhal, roast tomato, sweet potato, chickpeas, some dark bread and sambal of course, both the chilli and the coconut sambals. YUMMY. I did really like their dhal and …