Category: Travel

Cha Ca Thang Long (Vietnamese Grilled Fish) @ Old Quarter, Hanoi

Cha Ca (Vietnamese Grilled Fish) is a rare yet iconic dish in Hanoi that has been listed as one of the 1,001 dishes to eat before you die. One of the unique thing about Cha Ca is that it is usually the only food on the menu of the restaurants that serve it. So it’s either you eat it, or you don’t.
When I was in Hanoi I visited two restaurants that serve this delicacy – one of them is Cha Ca Va Long, which is said to be the inventor of this dish but also a tourist trap. The other one is located at the Old Quarter called Cha Ca Thang Long. The latter is much more affordable (1/3 of the price of Cha Ca Va Long) and serves basically the same tasting dish.

Vietnamese-Grilled-Fish
Vermicelli

A meal of Cha Ca is made of a few key ingredients: chunks of turmeric marinated white fish meat usually of snakehead fish, cold Vietnamese vermicelli noodles and a few condiments such as peanuts, chopped spring onion, parsley, fish sauce and red chillies. As you might have known by now, the idea is to mix everything into a small bowl and serve.

Cha Ca (Vietnamese Grilled Fish) is a rare yet iconic dish in Hanoi that has been listed as one of the 1,001 dishes to e...

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Bun Cha Dac Kim (Grilled Pork Noodle) @ Hang Manh, Hanoi

Hanoi is a lively city with no lack of choices when it comes to street food. There is so much more to eat besides the already well-known beef pho and spring rolls. The way the locals eat is another unique aspect to Hanoi’s street food scene. As you might have known or seen before, most of the eateries here are a simple set up of a few small tables and stools along the five foot way.

Bun-Cha-Pork

The first dish we tried upon reaching Hanoi was Bun Cha at Hang Manh street. Bun Cha is a grilled pork and noodle dish served with a platter of herbs and a bowl of savory dipping sauce. Here’s how a typical serving of Bún Chả would look like. If language is a problem, just use sign language to indicate how many servings you want. Most Vietnamese food vendors specialize in one dish only so this technique works most of the time.

Bun-Cha-Set

Anyway, here’s the entire course for Bun Cha and it consists of the grilled pork, Vietnamese vermicelli, herbs (most of them are minty, with refreshing flavors), and a sweet dipping sauce with slices of young papaya.

Hanoi is a lively city with no lack of choices when it comes to street food. There is so much more to eat besides the al...

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The KEE Resort & Spa @ Patong, Phuket

Located directly adjacent to the rowdy and happening Bangla Road, The KEE Resort & Spa is a trendy hotel at Patong that offers a clean and modern experience to couple and family travellers alike. The hotel’s design is influenced by a Sino-Portugese architecture which is unique in Thailand but familiar to us, as it bears resemblance to the early Malaccan and Penang settlements.

Standard-Pool-View-Room

The room type we got was the Deluxe Pool View. With a size of 40 sqm, it has the perfect space to accommodate two adults comfortably. Most of the amenities in the room are pretty standard and satisfies the expectations of a medium range hotel. The room’s bright and vibrant colours have a cheerful vibe that perks your mood.

Central-Lighting-Control

Next to the bed is a central digital panel that controls all the lightings in the room.

Internet-TV

But what’s really interesting to me is the smart tv which could be used to enjoy satelite tv, movies on demand, music and get connected to the Internet. A set of wireless keyboard and mouse is provided as the navigation tool so you could actually browse the web from the comfort of the bed. If you prefer your own devices the complimentary WiFi’s connection is reliable and the speed is quite fast too.

Located directly adjacent to the rowdy and happening Bangla Road, The KEE Resort & Spa is a trendy hotel at Patong that...

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Bebek Semar Warung @ Ubud, Bali

Ubud is widely regarded as the cultural centre of Bali hence it is an ideal place to shop for arts and handicrafts. This mountainous region is also famous for few other things such as rice terrace, volcano views and also Bebek Goreng Bali which is Balinese fried duck. Restaurants that serve this local delicacy could be seen everywhere and they mostly cater to tourists who come in bus loads.

Paddy-Field-View

Besides serving bebek, these restaurants also share a similar characteristics of having a paddy field view. So the overall dining experience could be summarized as ‘eating ducks next to paddy fields’. After refusing to eat at two obvious tourist traps, our tour guide finally brought us to Semar Warung – a place where he at least had personally been to before.
The first thing we noticed was the lower prices compared to the previous two that we just rejected. I wouldn’t say it’s cheap but definitely affordable. However, I am still quite certain that this is a tourist restaurant, maybe just less so.

Bebek-Goreng

Luckily the food turned out to be quite good and we liked the bebek goreng @ Rp85k. The type of duck they use here is different from those we use to roast back in Malaysia. It is much smaller in size with a darker flesh akin to mutton and less gamey in flavor. But because the duck is fried, it could taste a bit dry but it was still delicious nonetheless. The spicy bumbu that comes togehter is extremely spicy and really spruces up the dish.

Ubud is widely regarded as the cultural centre of Bali hence it is an ideal place to shop for arts and handicrafts. This...

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