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Category: Food

Local Delights In Malacca

Take advantage of long weekends and head to the famous UNESCO World Heritage city of Melaka. Famed for its rich Portuguese and Dutch heritage from years gone by, this city…

Take advantage of long weekends and head to the famous UNESCO World Heritage city of Melaka. Famed for its rich Portuguese and Dutch heritage from years gone by, this city is flocked by hundreds of tourists on a daily basis. But if you look hard enough, you’d find great local gems away from the tourists’ hotspots.

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Being in a town where food literally dominates the scene, I dived into a controlled gastronomic fare. My mantra: Eat only to satisfy the palate and never enough to satisfy the tummy. And that was how I kept to moderation! A must try is the durian cendol on Jonker Street, a creamy dessert of shaved ice, green stringy jelly, beans, corn, dollops of the durian flesh and a hearty drizzle of thick palm sugar. Look for Jonker 88, you won’t miss it as there is a perpetual line of customers waiting to be seated.

For mains, try the Nyonya Laksa and Popiah at Poh Piah Lwee located at the intersection between Jonker Street and Tun Cheng Lock. The small shop often goes unnoticed as tourists bypass it to get to the buzz at Jonker. The laksa soup is velvety with a mild piquant taste stirring my appetite for another bowl – but I resisted. The popiah, a local veggie spring roll oozed with flavour. Unlike other boring veggie rolls, this kept me hungering for more. At the end of the meal, I finally found the secret ingredient tucked among the healthy greens, tiny pieces of fried lard! (Not so healthy anymore…)

 

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The next day I discovered another hidden gem called Baba Charlie, a haven for homemade Nyonya kuih. Located at No.72, Lorong Pantai Tengkera 2C (about 2 minutes’ drive from Jonker along Jalan Tun Cheng Lock), the house exterior actually looked like a mega-sized kitchen with trays, pots, woks and kitchen utensils decked all over. I started to doubt if I got the right place, but as soon as I stepped into the house, my doubts melted away. A colourful patchwork of delectable kuih’s filled the table. A fickle mind and a growling stomach did not help with the selection. Everything looked good and the kuih’s came in different sizes, colours and filling. A tip, ask if you are unsure. Other customers are more than willing to help you choose the best buys.

Kuih

For lunch, I fortuitously stumbled on the Hajjah Mona Assam Pedas Restaurant located at No. 6, Taman Kota Laksamana (just a few streets away from Jonker). It was actually the smell that wooed me in. If you are up to a hot and spicy meal, don’t miss out on this. This Malay restaurant serves up the best assam pedas; fish bathed in red hot assam pedas gravy served with hot steamy white rice.

Finally to seal the night with something sweet, try Putu Piring, light fluffy cake dough filled with palm sugar bits that melt in your mouth. There is a warning that if you start, you cannot stop! Find the tiny stall located along Jalan Tenkera at No.252 (next to the Sports Toto shop). It only opens in the evening from about 7pm till late.

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Bunny Chow In Durban

The odd sense of familiarity strikes again. Driving into downtown Durban was a traffic chaos where traffic lights are disregarded and pedestrians rule the streets. Heaps of people fill the…

The odd sense of familiarity strikes again. Driving into downtown Durban was a traffic chaos where traffic lights are disregarded and pedestrians rule the streets. Heaps of people fill the sidewalks and run-down shops line the roads. We whiz our way through the busy streets dodging the odd pedestrian who seem to be ignoring his own business and fearless of cars.

This scenario played itself all over the CBD and as we ventured further out, the quite harbour provided much needed solace. We spent 3 nights close to the harbour away from madness in hope to enjoy Durban and what it has to offer.

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A visit to UShaka Marine World’s Wet and Wild was on our list. Time to shake some adrenaline off and hang our hair loose on their water slides. We splashed down high slides, spiraled into water pools, tubed around lazy rivers and got ourselves a wicked tan!

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Durban also has the highest population of Indians in South Africa. There were many shops selling spices and Indian munchies. A famous Indian-African must-eat is ‘bunny chow’, a half loaf of bun cored in the middle and filled with chicken, beef or mutton curry with a side serve of salad. ‘Bunnies’ are found almost on every street corner. We dived into our bunnies with delight as our taste buds recognized the tasty curries.

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10 Tips When Visiting Budapest

Here’s 10 tips if you have plans to travel to Budapest. By far, it’s probably one of the best European cities we’ve been to. Judging from the size of the…

Here’s 10 tips if you have plans to travel to Budapest. By far, it’s probably one of the best European cities we’ve been to.

  1. Judging from the size of the map, Budapest can look like a large city. If you like to walk, traveling by foot is the best option as you get to see more. It is possible to walk from the Buda side to the Pest side in 30 minutes.
  2. However, if you would like to take the metro (there are 3 metro lines, and the 4th one is being build), a rough guide is that – should you take more than 5 times a day, it’s best to get the one day pass. But what we did was to get a set of 10 tickets. Tickets are transferable. So, when we felt we were dead tired, we took a metro. Much more cost effective and you definitely see more on foot.
  3. Go for the free Budapest Walk Tour. It’ll give you a great orientation of the city plus the guides provide useful tips to “survive” in Budapest. Also, get some tips on how to choose the perfect accommodation in Budapest because it is quite a big area to explore and you want to get the most of your moolah spent.
  4. And mentioning about free tour, if you have more days in the city, take the Communism Walk and the Jewish Quarter Walk Tour.
  5. If you’re unsure with hot baths to go (as they are a few to choose from), take note that Szechenyi Baths has a younger clientele than the Gellert Baths. Rudas bath (Turkish) has only a same-sex pool. However, on Saturdays, it’s open for unisex.
  6. There is a cave church when you cross Szabadsag bridge (from Pest to Buda). It’s really worth the visit.
  7. Take a walk up to Castle Hill in Buda side. The best view of the entire city up there. The climb isn’t that tough, takes approximately 10-15 minutes from the base of the hill.
  8. Goulash soup is a tourist trap! An average Hungarian never drinks Goulash soup. Go for their authentic food. Ask the folks of Budapest Walk Tour for tips.
  9. Budapest is beautiful at night! Photographers especially must make a trip after dark to take those spectacular shots! Heroes Square is worth the mention though.
  10. And lastly, never take a taxi! Taxi men rip you off big time!
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Food In Munich

There’s somewhat a laid-back attitude with the people here in Munich. Beer halls, taverns, restaurants, cafes and streets are always filled with masses. A popular tradition in Munich is of…

There’s somewhat a laid-back attitude with the people here in Munich. Beer halls, taverns, restaurants, cafes and streets are always filled with masses. A popular tradition in Munich is of course beer drinking, we opted to taste a different Bavarian speciality instead – the food of course!

What we most readily associate Germany (food wise) with is of course the sausage. They call it wursts here. Sausages are usually served on a bed of sauerkraut, which is essentially boiled and pickled cabbage. Sausages here are amazing – the texture, taste and how its properly served. And despite not being entirely a meat lover – I’m dazzled by the sheer passion for meat of all sizes, cuts and taste as I walk through the local food market.

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We dived into a typical Bavarian platter at a famous beer hall. This time is of pork knuckle, sausages (again), pan-fried duck, dumpling and sauerkraut. Hearty, fatty, warm and delicious – needless to say we walked back to our hostel in absolute satisfaction.

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Travel Tips In Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a fantastic city for tourism, rich in history with castles and museums dotted all over the city. However, for budget travelers, it can be an expensive city, with…

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a fantastic city for tourism, rich in history with castles and museums dotted all over the city. However, for budget travelers, it can be an expensive city, with entry fees to all those places adding up quickly. So after 7 days of exploring the city by foot, here are some recommendations:

Affordable accommodation

  • Caledonian Backpackers on Queensferry Street – The building is just off Princes Street where the buzz happens. Free (and great) breakfast from 6am – 12noon. Free wifi and internet access. Super cheap bar. Mini beanbag cinema with an endless list of movies. Hot showers, comfy beds, generally clean. And the wall murals are great for pics.
  • Budget Backpackers on Grassmarket – There are over 700 pubs just along Grassmarket if you’re into pub crawling. Grassmarket used to be a trading place and a place for execution way back. Creeps for those whose imagination goes wild! The facilities are a lot newer, room prices are cheaper however everything else is on a paid-to-go basis. Breakfast is at 2 pounds, internet access 1 pound for ½ hour, baggage storage 1 pound per locker…

Food, Glorious Food

  • Maggie Dickson on Grassmarket – they serve really good chilli con carne, great for a hearty hot lunch. They offer discounts for students at 7.95 pounds for 2 mains.
  • The Last Drop on Grassmarket apparently serves mouth watering haggis (haag-geese) but the line was always too long for the wait, so we skipped it. Try it If you’re around and let us know if it’s really that good. Haggis is the traditional dish of Scotland, it is hot peppered minced meat served with a gazillion other spices. Usually served with Neeps and Tatties (mashed potatoes and turnips).
  • Rose Street is a street filled with pubs and restaurants. Go there if you have exhausted all places for food. From Mexican to Japanese to (obviously) Scottish food!

Things to do

  • Free walk tour by SandemansThe New Europe tours are designed for any kind of travelers for a first-hand introduction of specific cities in Europe. It is fun, engaging and educational – best of all it’s free. It’s quite impossible to download the entire history of a city but this tour dissects years of history into sizeable bits for all. Tour guides work on a tips only basis, which means we get to rate our tour guide and tip what we think he/she deserves.
  • National Museum of Scotland is a great place for knowledge thirsty folks. There are 5 floors to explore and you should visit the remains of the first cloned sheep, “Dolly” stuffed and encased in a glass box on a rotating plate. Admission is free.
  • Edinburgh Castle – The castle at Edinburgh perches on volcanic rock and dominates the city skyline. During the medieval period the castle at Edinburgh became the chief royal castle. State records and crown jewels were housed there. The room leading into the crown jewels is very impressive (take particular notice on the ‘Stone of Destiny’) and do a google search to find out its amazing ‘adventure’. Tip: Book online!
  • Climbing Arthur’s Seat or surrounding hills. The view from the large volcanic hill in the center of Edinburgh is a wonder on its own. Situated inside Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat takes approximately 1 hour to climb. Since it way icy and slippery we opted to climb other surrounding hills, but if you’re in Edinburgh in summer, spring or autumn – make sure you climb it!

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The over rated places…

  • Tours to Loch Ness is way over rated, whilst the scenery there is beautiful, you literally spend 6-7 hours on the bus to and from Edinburgh. Loch Ness, (Loch in Scotland means Lake) is a pristine and quiet expanse of water with the famous legend of “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster surrounding it.
  • John Knox House – Unimpressive and very much over-rated. John Knox only stayed in the house for a period of time and only a percentage of what tourists see are authentic fittings from the original structure. Admission fee is 3.50 pounds.

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White Christmas At Huddersfield

BBC reports that in 4 years, this is the first time it has snowed just before Christmas making it a white Christmas this year in Hudderfield, England. All that chime…

BBC reports that in 4 years, this is the first time it has snowed just before Christmas making it a white Christmas this year in Hudderfield, England. All that chime about global warming, I can be sure it’s not only global warming but it’s a prayer answered! We woke up to a white cold wintery day with the sun shining every so brightly on the coat of white fluff. After wishing Terence a Blessed Christmas, I scrambled down to find Aunty Kim sitting on her leather chair sipping tea.

We had come all the way from London to spend Christmas with Aunty Kim, Uncle Philip and Antony at their home in Huddersfield, approximately 4 hours from London. Their home is set in the countryside overlooking rolling hills and acres of green pastures. A cozy fireplace welcomes us in the living room with a typical Christmas tree with a shining star set on top of it. The home is decorated very Victorian like with pretty floral designed carpets, bell shaped lamps and leather chairs with big arm rests.

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Since arriving, it has been a bliss – feeling all homey and warm and a serve of the ever tasty curry fish and chips. Terence has been raving and craving over the battered fried fish and the delicious thick and hot curry sauce. I must say – I was not disappointed at his rave, it was mouthwatering to say the least.

We made some hot toasts and suited up for a walk in the woods since the sun was out. We trudged pass small streams, walked on ridges and came up to a reservoir which was practically frozen from the cold. We made snowballs, tossed and swung them at each other and smashed them into the frozen waters to make pretty smashing designs. Met a couple of neighbours along the way, played with their dogs and carried on. We slipped and slide on the melting snow and finally crashed on the white fluff to make silly snow angles. Laughed, snickered and took loads of pictures to remember our walk in the woods on Christmas morning.

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And in keeping to tradition, Christmas and all its festivities would not be complete without a turkey, Aunty Kim roasted turkey with sausage stuffing and made ‘pigs in blankets’ and stuffed tomatoes and mushrooms with the rest of the stuffing. We had a table laden with a huge bird, roasted veggies and potatoes. We had so much to eat, yet that wasn’t the end. We had flaming Christmas pudding and apple pie for desserts which left us dizzy not from the brandy but from the plateful of food we had. Thankfully dinner had nothing on the menu. We fasted the next 15 hours before our next meal!

Thank you Jesus for a amazing Christmas treat, above all for giving us life and life abundantly…!

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