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Singapore Special Day 1

I have a bad habit of being so Asian that I always fly budget airlines. I can't justify the extra $$$ when they can go to something more delicious than 4 more inches of legroom. In saying that, I didn't get enough time before my flight to have a decent meal leaving me hungry and ended up forking some of that precious saved $$$ towards plane food.

This is what my $7 got me. Kimchi Cup of Noodles and an Instant Egg.

I think the instant noodles was falsely advertised as spicy on their menu (clearly labeled with a chilli icon on their packaging). Nonetheless it tasted pretty nice but I was really hungry. I generally look forward to set meals on my long plane rides because I have a weird liking for plane food. It's like they manage to give you a combination of food that I wouldn't go out to buy and eat but yet it forms a perfect meal. Or maybe yet again, I'm just that hungry and I devour it like Prisoner 38279.
The egg was very plastic looking, all vacuumed sealed and shiny.
I was hesitant as it had a funky kind of smell like what eggs shouldn't smell like and an expiry date that was way too far in the future. At least this combo tied me over until we landed.
First stop after we dropped off our bags was a nearby hawkers market in Newton for a late night pick me up. After being hounded to try different hawker stalls, we settled on a nice little satay joint.
Our starter for the night was chicken wings, beef and chicken satay sticks, satay and chilli sauce. The satay sauce was the star of the dish for me. It was so good my friend wanted to drink it.
This place ended up being one of our favourites. So much so that on the night before we left, we repaid this guy a visit and manage to consume 40 satay skewers between the two of us.

From left to right: Tiger Beer, Poh Piah (Fresh Egg Vegetable Spring Roll) and Sting Ray.
The Fresh Vegetable Spring Roll was nice and light. After doing some research there's a lot of art into making it and probably should have appreciated it a lot more than stuffing my face and not savouring all the flavours. The sting ray was a must try for me. Something I don't see everyday. It melted in your mouth, except for all the bones that was annoyingly left in the fish, and that thick sauce was so hot that I needed my trusted Tiger Beer to come to my rescue.
Nothing tops off a night of eating than some dessert and what world wide chain can provide that service. Maccas. Ended the night with a Matcha (Green Tea) McFlurry. I really love tasting overseas Maccas and their varied menu.

Blair's Death Rain Buffalo Wing

Every chance I get I try to enlighten my taste buds with some high quality snacks and this my friend is a winner!
I have to declare hands down this is my all time favourite chip. It amazingly is a good balance of spiciness, saltiness and cheesiness. I even love it more than Chilli Kettles and that's saying a lot.

It's so beautiful that I'm drooling just thinking about eating them. My fiancée and I polished it off so quickly. It was suppose to be a quick taste session but next thing you know, we're both scraping the salts at the bottom of the bag. It has a spicy kick that isn't insanely hot, with a sour taste like Tabasco sauce and the familiar cheesy taste like the blue cheese sauce dip on buffalo wings.
Super high level of recommendation and the official Snacking Bear "Two Paws Up" stamp of approval. Go buy and try!

Hong Kong Wing Wah Mooncake - Lotus Seed Paste 2 Yolk

Yum. My favourite. Lotus seed paste mooncakes.
Wing Wah is a Hong Kong based restaurant chain and also food manufacturer. Their many famous products include Chinese sausages, cakes and teas. However they are most famous for their mooncakes.

There's truly nothing that beats this flavour when it comes to mooncake. So rich, sweet and oily. Huge bites are a massive mistake as it feels like your mouth is cemented closed by the paste, but the satisfaction of breaking free and savouring the paste is so worth it. You might need to overlook the fact one mooncake is half your daily intake in calories.
I personally have never bought them and most were gifts to my parents from friends for the Moon Festival. At around $40+ for 4 pieces, it's a bit on the steep end but you can easily grab bargains after the festival is over.

Cadbury Crispello Double Choc

Woohoo more new stuff from Cadbury..ummm sort of...but it looks like a different shaped Bueno.
When something is as great as the invention of Kinder Bueno... I can't blame them for trying to replicate it.

A thin crispy shell filled with creamy chocolate, all covered in Cadbury Milk chocolate. 
As always I'm a massive fan of the individually wrapped concept as this saves me the hassle of trying to seal it up. Though I think their idea was that it allows for easier sharing. Umm sharing and chocolate just does not go together in the same sentence. 
For me the chocolate was not very sweet. I love the crunchy layers. The texture is familiar and is usually nicer than just a mound of dense chocolate. 
I doubt I'll be adding this to the basket again. Dang it Cadbury.. you got me again with the word 'New' tagged in the top corner of your packaging. 

Manju's Vegetable Samosas

Another week and another product is released and you know what... I seem to get less and less excited. Not only is the only reception to these products quite negative, but the fact they keep releasing similar packaging is bugging me.  
On a positive note, my favourite this week won. Yea Manju has a bit of attitude but she has the right if she's making these samosas. 
Hands down the best frozen samosas I've had. I love the spice level as well. This isn't for the non chilli lovers as it gives a nice kick. I can imagine it being shunned for being too hot but people need to man up.

The pastry isn't as crispy as I would like but the combination inside, though familiar, just has the right amount of everything. If it's this good as a vegetarian dish, imagine it with meat inside!
Definitely worth popping down to your local Woolies and grabbing a box. I know I know.. how good can a samosa be.. well apparently THIS good. I think I found my new leading contender. Grab a box and judge for yourself. 

Marinated Pig Uteri

After reading an article stating the most scariest foods to try in Sydney... I decided to make it my goal to try most of them. I'm not sure am I game enough to do the dishes with bugs in them.
I'm greeted by a very enthusiastic lady who then forces me to buy a minimum $5 purchase which ended up turning into $6 worth due to the weight. They sat in the plastic container looking like dismembered tentacles. It's then passed to the butcher who slices it up to what you see here. Ask for the chilli sauce if it's not offered.

To be fair, I have grown up with this in my childhood diet. Not a daily intake but I have eaten it here and there, not knowing what it was. Now that I'm looking at it and feeling less naive, I do feel a bit weird in the stomach just looking at it.

The texture is the key here. It has a crispy resilience and then a crunch as you break through. I love this description as it sums up how I feel:
"There's a pleasure of the teeth piercing the—whatever it is—and feeling the texture in your teeth. When you eat something like this, you have to really . . . enjoy even the sound that it makes inside of your mouth."
The food is listed as extremely scary to eat but if you blank out what you're actually eating.. it ain't so bad. Why not add it to your bucket lists of things to try before you die....

Chilli Buldog @ Buldog

Wow a hotdog store in Strathfield. This I got to try...
What's a buldog? My guess is its a hotdog with bulgogi (Korean dish that usually consists of grilled marinated beef).

The store has been open for around 2 months now and despite not having lots of people sitting and eating in, they do get quite a few random take away orders. The shop use to be a little Korean place that my fiancee and I loved but I guess we didn't frequent it enough.
Since there isn't much room in the restaurant it stores all it's drinks still in boxes near the entrance. This really brings down it's decor. The service speed is reasonably ok but at least they are friendly.

I got myself the Chilli Buldog. A beef sausage, smothered in melted cheese, topped with bulgogi, salad, gravy, chilli mayo and mustard. The mustard was the icing on the cake so to speak. It definitely gave it the flavour. The bulgogi was a great addition, but who can say no to more meat. The chilli levels were quite low, which was surprising for a Korean place. Slightly toasted bread but nothing to write home about.

Overall for $7, it wasn't too bad and for a tenner you could make it a meal with chips and a drink. I'd be curious enough to revisit and test something else on the menu. 

Zinger Pie

So despite reading multiple bad reviews I thought my taste buds needs to experience the Zinger Pie.
 At $3.95 a pie, I'm not really expecting to be ultra gourmet as these reviewers seem to expect. It's KFC not a pastry shop.

I like the slightly burnt pastry as this added that toasty taste but definitely not pastry that crumbled and melted like butter in your mouth. It awas quite soggy and very simple.
The pie itself was a decent size, and actually looked like the one that was advertised unlike Maccas with their very tiny Big Mac representative.
The spicy from the Zinger fillet bits inside was a decent spice level. The inside of the pie just reminded me of gravy and thinly sliced up Zinger fillets.  
Don't really rate it as a must eat, but at least try it once before they abandon it from their menu. 

Oh Henry!

Time to grab another snack from my American bag of goodies. Oh Henry oh henry... how will you be?
Oh Henry! first introduced in 1920 is a candy bar that has peanuts, caramel and fudge coated by chocolate.

I like the legend of how the candy got its name. Apparently originally named after a boy who frequented the company and flirted with the girls who made the candy.

So like most American Chocolate it tastes really cheap, I felt like there wasn't enough peanuts and for some reason all the candy bars I've requested are super chewy and sticky because of the caramel.
In 1923, an employee of Williamson announced that he was going to make the Oh Henry! bar a national best seller. After being denied any funds for an advertising campaign he decided to just make car bumper stickers saying "Oh Henry!". People became curious as to what an Oh Henry! was, and sales for the bar rose quickly.

Personally, another candy bar I'm happy to have tried but definitely not making a return on my shopping list.

Here's a cheesy commercial for the snack....I notice that a lot of the Oh Henry commercials love to imply Oh Henry! addicts carry around empty packaging with them...

Hickory Hollow Smoked Sauce Chilli & Garlic

This week was the battle of the condiments and yet again my preferred choice prevailed. Welcome to the winner circle Hickory Hollow.
The sauce rated very high with the judges and passed the taste testing with flying colours averaging very close to 100% approval rating. 

It's a combination of chilli, garlic, paw paw, vinegar and lime juice. I personally had my doubts on the chilli aspect of it because it had such a high approval rating and I immediately assumed the hotness factor has been compromised to cater for the major market. 

The sauce itself is very runny and not thick like sweet chilli sauce as I thought it would have been. The spice was actually very decent, like an overdose of tabasco sauce, it had a nice kick. I love how there were chunky bits of chilli in the sauce and it added a bit more bite to it. The taste overall was fresh and spicy and compliments all my meaty dishes.

My fiancée was definitely fan and thinks this is the clear favourite of all the Recipe to Riches releases... I'm still loving the Croqs. Can't wait until next week!

Chosen Fish Crackers

I picked up the packet as seafood crackers always seem delightful. Despite the packaging, I thought let's not judge a book by its cover and gave it a go.
This is made in the Philippines. Upon opening I'm hit in the face with a strong fishy smell.. at least they got the scent right.
The cracker itself isn't very crunchy but a bit chewy which was odd because it wasn't expected. Also if they didn't add my whole weekly intake of salt into one packet, it would have been more enjoyable to eat. The aftertaste left my mouth very dry and even halfway through eating, I felt like I needed water to wash it down.
I love the serving suggestions on the packet: "It's also good in bread or rice", which I don't think I would have ever considered eating it in that format.

Don't think I'll be giving it a second chance even if its on sale....

KitKat Passionfruit

First up, a massive thanks goes out to my fiancee's sister for me this on her recent trip abroad.
I love the fact there's more Kit Kat flavours out there and its such a shame I can't easier get my paws on them. This one was very interesting to me. Despite not having any English on the packaging (which is such a pet hate of mine nowadays) my "extensive" Japanese studies in high school allowed me to translate to Passionfruit Kit Kat.
Wow it had such a nice passionfruit flavour, not too sour blended in with the sweetness of the chocolate. It was almost the right balance without being too rich. I'm starting to appreciate fruit chocolate combinations now. Only have one bar left.... definitely need to savour it.

Red Pepper at the Club

So what is with Koreans making better chicken than the Colonel. 

My fiancee has been raving about this joint since she last tried it and I finally get to see what the fuss is all about. The restaurant is set in a sports club/bar venue surrounded by caged soccer fields and tennis courts. I had my doubts about the location but I'm always comforted when you walk in and majority of diners are Korean. 
The first dish was Gangjung which is described as a Korean rice and peanut cookie that is sweet and crispy, a flavour profile that is then apparently applied to their fried chicken. It's a combination of sweet and salty and just plain messy and sticky to eat. They never seem to supply enough serviettes to compliment messy foods. It comes with fried rice cake sticks on the side which isn't as pleasant as their normal rice cake drenched in chilli sauce.
Our second choice for the night was just fried chicken with a side order of mustard sauce. I love the mustard sauce as it reminded me of Maccas. The crunch is fantastic, it felt bad for you but I just couldn't stop eating. I love how neither choices left my chicken dry, or overly soaked in oil. 

I didn't even bother ordering any rice to eat this with. Just paired it up with an ice cold beer, great company and it was perfect. They even have Bulmers by the bottle for only $7. Shame that the choices on tap were very limited.

I might be biased but I just love chicken... and to find a place that makes it great is such a gem. Will definitely be back next time with the fiancee to chow down the hot and spicy option.

Ay Kitchen Spicy Thailand Peanuts

So my parents dropped off a bag of peanuts given to them and I'm more than grateful to accept...
I like peanuts, well nuts of all sorts *insert eye rolling at all the dirty minded people*. The fact that it's suppose to spicy only made it more appealing. 
Umm hello? Where's the spice? I think someone left it out of the cooking process. I was definitely expecting it to be more pungent since it was a Thai product. Instead the packet of peanuts was overpowered by the taste of kaffir lime leaves. So much so that I spent a good 10-15 minutes slowly picking out all the pieces. The peanuts were coated in garlic, salt and sugar, and it wasn't too sweet and salty. It did give it a nice crunch. 

Great to eat while watching TV.. you could easily polish a bag off without knowing despite the slightly unpleasant citrus leaves.

Sara Jade Chilli Con Carne

This weeks Recipe to Riches winner is chilli lover  Sara Jade....
It was a close call between the con carne and the beef vindaloo but I'm very happy this product won. Was rooting for her to not make mistakes as this was obviously my preferred favourite.

First off I love her packaging and was utterly surprised they came up with something this great. It looks really professional and something that would definitely catch my eye at the supermarket.

What you receive in the box for your $6 investment is a small tub of chilli con carne and a packet of corn chips.

To be honest, the chips weren't that great and definitely did not need to be packaged in with this. It was cold, not much flavour and worse of all, it was all broken in the packaging before I had a chance to eat it. 

A bigger tub of con carne would have been nicer. The con carne itself had lots of flavour and the fiancee and I devoured it, every last drop. Not as spicy as they claim but if you happen to scoop up those chilli pieces, it did have a nice mild kick. 
Overall another nice product from the show. Still loving the croqs over this though.....

Kellogg's Krave

Ok, yet again limited edition on packaging has proven to work and I'm weak and succumbed to the purchase. 
This reminds me of Hello Panda turned into a cereal. The outer shell is slightly different but essentially the idea. How is cereal getting more sugary and worse. 
Delicious chocolate hazelnut centre that is just the right amount per piece without being too sickening or too stingy. I personally found this cereal with milk to be quite unpleasant and opted to eat it as a dry snack out of the box which was fantastic.
Don't know how long this will last, but can be found at Woolies for only $2 a box. I'm not sure will it survive the testing/"Limited Edition" phase.

Uncle Ming's Dumplings

What we have here is Sydney becoming more like Melbourne. We're loving our little themed bars with simple food menus, drinks and music from the past blasting into the room. Preferably a live band but we understand that it can't be an every night thing....
Despite the heavily influenced Asian theme running through this place.. it's not that tacky... nor was anyone working there Asian... well maybe the chefs. 

The decore is really cool and just a nice relaxing place to hang and chat..well maybe scream a bit over the loud music. 

From the time we came in the service here was impeccable. The friendly bouncer at the front was polite and treated everyone with respect. Despite many people at the bar the service is quick and polite. Lots of people were just standing around because there's not enough seats to cater. When we arrived, they noticed we wanted to sit down and one of the waitresses did almost everything she could to build us a little seating section in the corner. Now that's service.
This place specialises in two things... Asian beer and dumplings. They have a decent  range of Asian beers but their dumpling selection is quite poor. With such a small selection you would hope the taste compensated. They tasted like they steamed some frozen dumplings that was store bought and charged me $7.50 for 5 pieces. What a profit margin... 
The food came out in the typical yum cha style steamers with large writing on the side of what meat it contained. The food was at least warm/hot and to be honest.. we were starving and just devoured it willy-nilly and washed it down with our China exported beer. I actually wanted the Laos beer but it's not always available. 
The highlight of my night was definitely their Chef Special Teapots. Basically a fancy yet simple way of serving a cocktail. Makes it easy to share and ends up working out cheaper than buying separate drinks all night. At $39 a pot.. we settled for the Bruce Lee “Uncle Ming’s secret recipe” : A mix of sloe gin, vodka, peach & ginger beer. I enjoyed it.. it was easy and light to drink and the novelty aspect was a nice touch.
I'm happy to start embracing these types of environments.. especially on Friday nights.. a nice change to my rather dull routine....