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Showing posts from October, 2014

Kung Fu Jungle Review (一个人的武林)- My first real Hong Kong Kungfu film!

First time film review for me coming up! I nearly didn't accept the invitation to the media preview of Kung Fu Jungle offered to me by the lovely people at mig.me (thanks again!). I saw "kungfu film in Mandarin subtitled in English", saw my husband would be in China and figured it just wasn't for me. I mentioned it to a friend over drinks, and he asked who was starring in it. I looked it up, said Donnie Yen, and he did a double take and just stared at me. I asked him what was up? He was like "You know Donnie Yen (Ip Man) is totally famous right?" I of course didn't. He told me to look him up and seemed shocked that I had never heard of "Hero". I felt so silly and lacking knowledge about kungfu and Hong Kong films that I immediately answered the email so I could attend, and learn! I then looked Donnie Yen up and saw he is indeed super famous, has been making films for decades and is in the follow up to the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

I then…

Singapore - How to source decent value wine in Singapore?

We had friends visiting from Bangkok recently who were on their "look and see" trip to prepare a move to Singapore next year. We cracked open some wine which was a luxury to them as they don't get much of it in Bangkok. It is very expensive over there, maybe even more than in Singapore. So they were curious as to how to source cheap wine in Singapore. First, I had to explain to them that wine in Singapore just isn't cheap, it never will be, you have to accept it. And accept that you will spend more money for less good quality wine than you would in France, Italy or Spain. That is life.

All of us expats go through the same cycle when we move here, especially those coming from France like myself and a lot of my colleagues. For us longer term expats it is actually quite fun to watch the newbies go through it, in a horrible way of course! Basically how it works is you land, you see the price of wine and you decide you will never drink anymore, or you will stick to beer.…

Colombo - Dinner at Spices Restaurant at the Hilton Colombo

Sometimes it is just easier to eat in your hotel when you are on a trip. Most of the time the restaurants are subpar but in Sri Lanka they are often quite decent. We were tired one day so we just went for dinner downstairs at Spice in the Hilton Colombo, where we were staying, with old colleagues who were also in town. We kept it easy going. Some of them had the nightly buffet (which was Middle Eastern this day) which I didn't have time to take pictures of. The rest of us went a la carte.

We started with some vegetable garlic spring rolls with a tomato dip. Not bad, like most spring rolls, fine but not mind blowing. I have only ever had one utterly amazing spring roll, though it was the size of a largish pie! It was at a place called Thai Cuisine on Koh Lanta, when we went back to look for it a couple of years later it had shut. So I will forever live with the memory of the crazy old chef who spent most of his time drinking beer and playing cards with his friends, letting his sou…

Yangon, Myanmar - Dinner and Drinks at the Savoy Hotel

Captain's Bar

We arrived around 8pm so decided on drinks and dinner in the hotel. So down we went to the Captain's Bar.



G ordered a Myanmar beer, 2.50 USD on draft isn't bad! The beer isn't amazing but it is fine.


Siem Reap, Cambodia - Cafe Central for afternoon drinks & brunch

I asked @gran_tourismo (source of most of my info for Siem Reap) about somewhere to have lunch and Lara suggested Cafe Central if we wanted something more Western for a change. I googled it and was informed they had good coffee so I was in. We ended up going once for drinks in the afternoon and for brunch also. Here is the result:



Rome, Italy - Emma Pizzeria & Cucina

When I was in Rome last summer (on honeymoon), we had friends meet us there who had also attended the wedding and had never been to Italy so decided to do so after hearing much raving about the country from us! I wanted to bring them to have the typical Roman thin crust pizza at Da Remo like we did the summer before, but it was closed for holidays. I went on Twitter and checked with the guru for Rome that is Katie Parla and she suggested we try a new place called Emma. Katie said it was a decent place for thin crust pizza in the style of Remo so I thought we should check it out.



Rome, Italy - Pizza by the slice from Forno Roscioli and Forno Campo de' Fiori

Back to Rome, I jumped ahead a bit to Siem Reap as I was super excited about some of the food I had there, but I also loved what we had in Italy so I am heading back to some pizza slices from two famous pizza slice joints in Rome, around the Campo de' Fiori, the first is actually on the Campo (Il Forno Campo de' Fiori) and another further towards Largo Torre Argentina (Forno Roscioli).


Lets start with Forno Campo de' Fiori. As you may know if you read this blog, when we go to Rome we always have to go have a drink on the Campo, it is part of our ritual. Many times I have tried to go to Forno Campo de' Fiori but it has always been closed for holidays or their day off a week. But I finally made it as was super excited. G said he wasn't hungry but he was still easily convinced when he spotted one of his favourite things - artichokes!


I went for a slice of the plain simple "rossa" which is just pizza base and tomato sauce, sometimes with a bit of origano. I…

Our Wedding Food & Wines - catered by Paul Daniel

I thought I would share with you one of the most important things to me (food - but also wine of course) on one of the most important days in my life (my wedding!) - here comes my catered food for our wedding party!

We had champagne, of course we did!


We bought Ayala which is from the Bollinger house for the cocktail and Laurent Perrier for dessert.


Some more of the wine, a Chablis for the white wine and a very local wine from my parents' area (in the town next to us!) called Domaine D'en Segur for the rose.


And the red (the main red, we also had another local back up red called Vignes de Garbasses) was a Saint-Estephe.

Singapore - Internations Expat Insider Survey 2014 - Do you agree with where Singapore places?

As you might know, I am a featured blogger on the Internations site and they contacted me with some interesting info they gathered via their Expat Insider Survey. You can find the full survey results here:  http://www.internations.org/expat-insider/2014/ and all of the graphs come from Expat Insider on Internations.

Let me share some of the Singapore rankings and tell me what you think in the comments section, whether you agree or disagree. I am thinking it through keeping in mind the most popular post on my blog about my first year as an expat in Singapore, plus my experiences over the second year which might be shaped into a new post at some point as things do change in your experience over time.

Best Destinations for expats

Singapore places 6th overall for destinations for expats. It is interesting to see how this is driven, it isn't because of leisure options or personal happiness, Singapore doesn't place in the top 20 for those areas. the 6th spot comes mostly because of…

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Blossom Training Cafe

One thing I love about Cambodia is how so many NGOs are involved in food, training up under privileged Cambodians to give them a better shot in life. I love the idea of not just throwing money at people and making them dependent, but rather providing them with their independence through learning and experience.


Blossom Training Cafe topped the Tripadvisor rankings of Siem Reap during our visit so after a late breakfast/lunch at Cafe Central, we walked over to Blossom for some cupcakes. I had seen the pictures and they looked beautiful and I was craving some chocolate so we had to!
The location is lovely and bright and airy.


And there are HUGE numbers of cupcakes that are so prettily decorated. So cute! Love love love the little toppings.




Siem Reap, Cambodia - Haven Training Restaurant

Whilst TripAdvisor isn't always reliable, we do tend to check out the top rated restaurants and check whether they have many bad reviews, and read those reviews. If they seem like spoiled brats then we give them a chance! We have a particular fondness for owners who answer the reviews! Any way, Haven was number 2 in Siem Reap when we were there so we had to give it a go. They had very little availability so we took the only slot we were given in a couple of days from the day we booked. The menu is a mix of Cambodian, Western and Fusion food and overall we enjoyed it.