Tag Archives: food

DNG #14: Feeding time

When you’re spending so much time burning calories, your body really craves food. You get frikkin’ hungry. Whoever coined the phrase about eating a horse had probably just done a triathlon.

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My kryptonite: 4fingers fried chicken

The tough part is finding the right stuff to refuel with. By “right”, I mean food that doesn’t replace whatever you’ve burnt. And then some.

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Something I devoured after a run and sea swim

After each training session, I try to stick by  coach’s instructions on taking whey protein before the real eating begins. It helps because the mix fills you up quite a bit and you don’t end up stuffing your face too much.

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Some of the selection at the Salad Shop in Golden Shoe Carpark

A lot more options have come up near the office in recent times, thanks to the fitness wave that seems to have swept up the central business district. One of my favourite (new) joints is Project Paleo that sells “Paleo” (a.k.a. Caveman) food.

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Not sure if cavemen were so savvy with a skillet, but it tastes good enough and the produce feels fresh. Bit pricey though with prices starting at $8.

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Paleo-style Salmon

Lunches aren’t the problem. The tricky part is  finding healthy stuff to eat for dinner, when most of these healthier places have closed for the day. That’s when I fight my dinner demons…

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Top left: Chicken in "hua diao" wine. Bottom: Pig innard soup.

Many times, I’ve found myself going back to Cheng Mun Kee along Jalan Besar for its signature Pig Organ Soup and a side of chicken cooked in chinese wine. If it’s after a particularly tough session, or the night before a tough session, I’ll have the bowl of rice. The sodium content may probably be unhealthy though. Still, I figure it’s less damaging than all the other carb-heavy dishes so dominant in Asian cuisine.

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Left to right: Cream

Today was a bread day though. And I blame Bintan.

Dac Kim: Hanoi’s best Bun Cha?

There are spring rolls and there’s pho… but you really haven’t been to Hanoi / Vietnam if you haven’t had Bun Cha.

Hanoi's best Bun Cha?
Nha Hang Dac Kim Bun Cha

This was the first place we tried for Bun Cha, and frustratingly, everyone else I’ve asked subsequently points me to this same joint. It’s not that the food wasn’t good (it was GREAT!), but it did feel as if we were being charged “tourist” prices at 100,000VND per person, which is about 3 times the price at less famous roadside joints. To be fair, we did try alternatives and they were all lesser incarnations, so maybe Dac Kim knows they’ve got the market cornered. To be more specific, the lesser incarnations are likely to only come with the meat patties in broth (which still tends to be dry) and without the spring rolls.

Meat heaven
Bun Chaaaaaaarge!!!

There’s no need to stress about what to order. Just tell them how many people are eating and they haul out the corresponding motherload of meat. The meats and sauces are just FAB. BEW. LUSS. One of the staff came over to point at what goes with what, but frankly every combo – no matter how strange it may seem to a Hanoian – tastes amazing. The crispy Nem Cua Be (Crab Springrolls) go perfectly with the bowl of sauce that you flavour accordingly (depending on your heat and bad breath tolerance) with chili padi and garlic. You can then dunk chopstickfuls (did I just invent a new word?) of white noodles into that bowl of porky paradise. The broth is flavourful without being overpowering, containing slices of meat that live in harmony with mini patties of ground meat wrapped in a little green leaf. They didn’t live very long.

Lots & lots of greens.
Eat your veggies! Or maybe not…

Hygiene tip: There’s a wise saying that if you want to eat good street food, try not to see how it’s prepared. Unfortunately, I was curious enough to see what happened to the mountain of assorted greens that comes with each Bun Cha portion. Most people are unlikely to get even half-way through. Turns out that the leftovers go back into the central pile of vegetables to be dished out to the next customer. I’m already not a fan of coriander, so this moment of “enlightenment” made sure I never had raw vegetables again in Hanoi – especially when they come in generous piles.

dong dong qiang
Your friendly neighbourhood music shop

Next door is a interesting distraction while you’re chomping down with god knows how many musical instruments stuffed into a store. Meat + Music = Yumm… And don’t forget the beer (or “bia” as the Vietnamese say…)

Address:
Dac Kim Bun Cha
1 Hang Manh
Hanoi, Vietnam

 

 

Hong Kong 2012: Apps for Eating & Shopping

Stuffing your face, and taking the stuffing out of your wallet. Fortunately (or unfortunately). there are apps to help you for both.

Google Maps: This is a pain in the a$$ when you have lots of places listed on one map and need to scroll up and down. Workaround for me is to go into “Edit” mode, but then it’s easy to accidentally move location pins and the lag is just awful. Doesn’t work well at all on the iPhone and iPad. If you have access to a proper computer during your visit, I recommend moving the places you intend to visit for the day at the top of the list (left column). Still looking for a zoom-able itinerary mapping that can be stored offline (i.e. no internet connection required to access), but until I find a better solution, here’s a rudimentary map for Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau.

Google Map of places to go in HK, Shenzhen & Macau
The list on the left column keeps bouncing back to the top when you try to scroll down on your ipad/iphone

Open Rice: Just like Singapore’s Hungrygowhere, it pulls up the name, location and reviews (if any) of eateries around you. Not as many reviews in English as there are in Chinese/Cantonese. Pronounced “Hoi Fan” in Cantonese. (Available for iOS, Android and Window Phone)

Open Rice Hong Kong
A reference guide to Hong Kong eateries
Open Rice
Launch screen of Open Rice

Foursquare: The grand-daddy of location services works well in HK too, especially if you can’t find reviews in English for Open Rice. (Available for iOS – no dedicated iPad version, but iPhone version blown up works too, and Android)

FourSquare
Foursquare is still going strong

Price.com.hk: Great guide to have if you’re looking for electronics (cameras, phones, A/V, appliances, video games) and strangely, kids stuff too. It’s essentially a listing of the best prices being offered by various merchants. Of course, it’s susceptible to being used by scammers who bait and switch, e.g. you go to a store because of a product being advertised as HK$XXX but the store says it’s out of stock and offers you a “similar” product, or just say that the price isn’t updated and quote you a higher price. My suggestion is that you use your local SIM card to call up the shops before making any trips. If the stores/sellers don’t list a number or shop address, I wouldn’t waste my time. Best to use the app as a rough guide. No English version, so hopefully you know some Chinese. Otherwise, it’s fairly intuitive based on the icons/graphics used. Do we have a Singaporean version of this? If not, maybe I should quit my job and get it done. (Available for iOS, Android)

Price.com.hk
Price.com.hk
pricehk1
Price.com.hk
Price.com.hk
Note the orange “行” boxes come with warranty, whereas the ones with the blue box “水” indicate “water goods”. These are usually for export and don’t come with warranty.

Got any other apps to recommend?