Spoke to many people - men and women, all said the same thing. Yes it's dangerous.
A girl is always at the disadvantage right?
Someone should invent instant sex change. A click of a button, poof, I am a man. Then poof again, I'm back to being woman. With this invention, not only will a default man no longer require a woman to do laundry, cook dishes, sew some clothes; the default woman will have amazing strength and perseverance with a click of a button.
Needless to say, solo travels will not be judged.
Wow just imagine, every human being born into this world has this identity they can swap among from. A child you, teenage you, man you, woman you, senior you. Today I wish to be female Claris, tomorrow I can be a child, attend school, play in the park and worry about nothing. The next day, I can choose to be a macho man and pick up babes in the bar.
Sounds exciting isn't it? Ok enough extreme imagination.
But yesterday my meal experience at Pho Street wasn't the most pleasant one I had.
Being in the sales and marketing role, I know about ala carte and bundle pricing. And as much as possible, one shouldn't reveal the ultimate price (likely cost price) of a product item here.
So I feel compelled to write this out, especially to the team managing the pricing in Pho Street.
There is this promotion for weekdays (Monday - Thursday). It goes SGD 9.90 (oh yes, fine print, GST is chargeable). Comes with a bowl of pho with roast meat, fried spring rolls and a Vietnamese coffee.
So the ala carte price for Vietnamese Coffee is SGD 2.00. I didn't want to have coffee for dinner, for I want my sleep. So I asked if I could swap it for another drink. The immediate reply was yes, for a dollar more.
Nothing fancy caught my eye. I've recently cut down a lot on sugary drinks (would prefer to cater them for desserts), so I opt for a Dasani bottled water. The water ala carte price is SGD 1.80.
So if you think rationally and logically, I wouldn't need to 'top up' at all right? I mean if I want to put things into context here, Pho Street technically owes me 20 cents here. However, the inflexibility of the staff just raise my probing skills to a max.
They insisted that I couldn't changed for a Dasani. Next, they claimed that Dasani was out of stock. Thirdly, they said I could change for a Dasani - but on the condition that I top up 1 dollar more. I wasn't even asking my 20 cents back, and now they want a dollar more from me.
Doesn't make sense right?
Heck, it's not that I mind paying a dollar more. I will not flinch if an eatery charges me 50 cents for a glass of water - warm or iced. But the above pricing strategy just doesn't make logical sense.
By doing this, Pho Street has just told everyone that their Vietnamese Coffee has been marked up by at least 10 times its original cost price.
Not very wise pricing strategy here. I believe people will avoid buying the overpriced Vietnamese coffee from you guys.
So when I had a ridiculous experience with price, I become judgmental. Human's nature. I usually don't critic food when it is on a quick dining nature. The pho wasn't exceptional. I could easily find a random peddler along HCM street and said peddler will win with a landslide.
In Vietnam, street hawkers gave an abundance of vegetables to place in your soup. Not forgetting condiments like limes, chili etc. However the said abundance of vegetables and limes were not present in Pho Street.
Next, the spring rolls. I could tell with one bite that these spring rolls had been fried more than once. Its skin was thick, soggy with oil, and the oil aftertaste was really strong. So that explains the 'being fried more than once' analysis.
I didn't finish my pho, left 1 and 3/4 spring rolls untouched, and nope, I didn't touch the coffee either. The couple beside me must be wondering what's wrong with me cos I noticed the lady kept looking at me.
Anyway, should you wish to patronise Pho Street next time, please don't hold up your expectations too high. You need to manage them.
I've been coughing for coming 2 months. Since 30 July, when I was back from Bangkok. I saw the doctor twice - early August and late August, before my trip to Hong Kong in 6 September.
The whole month of August was nursing my dry cough. But to no avail. There are so many things I have to avoid. The western doctors said, no sour, spicy, chocolate, citrus, vinegar, tomatoes, alcohol etc.
I seek help from a Chinese doctor after I got back from my HK trip. She added these few items to the banned list - coffee / tea, radish, chicken, eggs, fruits.
It is like asking me to be a nun or something. These 2 months of cough shit has made me lost some weight too. I'm 47-ish! OMG. Like a finally after 7 years!
Last Saturday I decided to visit the Doctor which I had a phobia from since young - Nam Seng @ Beauty World. He was the one whom found out I had a cyst / tumour when I was 7. I remember heading straight to the hospital after seeing him. So it's not a good memory - see?
And I don't like the queues at Nam Seng. Waited for a bloody long time to be seen. But Dr Koh is super chop chop. I guess its the medication dispensing that has a slower process. He said I have allergy rhinitis and an infection. And sleeping in silk and feathers will only prevent me from healing completely. Tell me about it, I have a dog too - but of course we don't sleep together in the same room.
He gave me 6 types of drugs! My hand shook after consuming them. Dr Koh said if my condition hasn't improved within 3 days, I had to go back to get my bloodwork and xray done. He suspected it may be mycoplasma bacteria.
My subconsciousness tells me that my condition has indeed improved. So I shall just ignore the fact that I need any bloodwork or xray done. For now.
This is one of my favourite food in the Hakka cuisine!
客家菜板, also known as Hakka Cai Ban. It goes really well with sweet dark soya sauce!
Our family top 2 favourites; 蒜味菜板， 韭菜菜板
My personal favourite is the below! 韭菜菜板!
I had 7 today - breakfast and lunch. And trust me, if I am not on a diet, I can finish at least 15. Haha.
The difference in 韭菜 and 蒜味 should be chives versus chinese leek. I think. Everything else is the same, the bits of tofu, dried shrimps, garlic etc.
Dad got it from Kulai. I didn't ask him for exact address, but I believe this is the one - Kelapa Sawit, Malaysia. And I believe this is the place - http://blog.yam.com/jingxuan/article/50794095 he got his supply of 菜板 whenever he goes into Kulai.
Radio DJ Personality - 100.3 DJ: 黄文鸿, said to be my long distance relative (something along the line), mentioned on his facebook too about 客家菜板. So I believe I have gotten the place right.
So how is he a long distance relative? My grandpa couldn't explain in coherent Mandarin, and neither could I understand Hakka. So till date I have no idea how is the radio DJ related to me. But well, long distance yeah. And oh yeah, I was supposed to have the surname Huang - yeah, Claris Huang. But I also till date have no 100% idea why it was changed to Liew.
The gist of the story was we were all illegal immigrants, thus no one follow my grandpa's actual Chinese surname - Huang.
I love hakka food! And what they said about Hakka women? All are beauties. I totally concur. Haha!
Good food eaten, wine drunk, long hidden shopping instinct dug up, friendships forged stronger, relationships deepened, laughter shed, amused evilly, & my initial theory prevails (ok that is very evil and mean of me, but whatever).
But I still love Hong Kong for whatever it is. The people, the food, the atmosphere, the security, the shopping (I bought many Japan and Korean labels), and the hospitality I get from my HK friends.
We seldom eat fish at home. Not only because my culinary skills in the area of seafood is very private limited, but they are slightly more expensive than meat, so we only have seafood once in a blue moon. But well they are packed with good nutrients! *shrugs*
So last Sunday was that blue moon. I made salmon.
Baked Salmon with Garlic & Mayonnaise, served with sauteed asparagus, cherry tomatoes and baked potato.
Here's my recipe.
Serves 2 pax.
200 grams of salmon steak x 2
Russet potatoes x 2
2 cloves of garlic
Handful of cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of japanese mayonnaise
1/2 tsp of olive oil
1. Pre heat oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
2. Wash and scrub the skin of the potato with a brush. Poke potato all over with fork. This is to allow it to breathe in the oven. Other recipes said if you don't do this, the potato will 'explode' inside your oven.
3. Apply olive oil all over the potato skin.
4. Rub salt and pepper all over the skin.
5. Place on baking dish and into the 2nd level of the oven.
6. Set timer to 45 minutes.
7. Wash the salmon, and pat dry with kitchen towel.
8. Rub salt and pepper all over the fish
9. Apply olive oil on the salmon skin (if you are using cod fish, there is no need for this)
10. Place salmon on the baking dish, skin side down.
11. Chop / blend garlic, add mayonnaise, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper.
12. Spread blended garlic mayonnaise on the flesh side.
13. Oven timer goes off, place salmon into the oven at 4th level (lowest)
14. Set timer for another 15 minutes.
15. Meanwhile, heat saucepan to medium / high heat. Drizzle olive oil.
16. Stir fry asparagus and garlic.
17. Shake occasionally.
18. Cook for 10 minutes.
19. Throw in cherry tomatoes, shake occasionally.
20. Cook for another 3 minutes, or until skin of tomatoes have wrinkled.
Quite yummy. I thought I went a little overboard with the salt in my sauce. Must take note of that. If not, everything was perfect. The fish is well cooked, and my potatoes too.