Some of the fun non-food-consumption things I got to do during my family trip to Penang was visiting several cool museums. The museum that left the most impression on me among the various ones visited was the Wonderfood Museum.
Being born and raised in Singapore, my love for south east asian food (all kinds of hawker food) is undeniable. This is probably the reason why I was excited to see some of my favourite food enlarged to more than double my size!
The museum was not just a place for cool photo opportunities. It also touched on modern day issues that surround food. How we treat food in the modern day, how everything is preserved, filled with colouring, and how we deal with so much food wastage today. Considering I did a project related to food and sustainability in one of my school modules, I could fully appreciate.
|Although colour is important when it comes to food, today, with all the artificial colouring and preservatives, this set is a commentary on the type of food we consume.|
|This black and white set was to share with us how someone who is colour blind would see their food.|
The museum also had some throwback scenes of makeshift stores - which was how people used to sell food along the streets in South East Asia. There was also a display of some traditional food dishes people used to consume, and what ingredients went into them. Sadly, those food items are hardly sold anywhere today - according to a museum guide.
The Wonderfood Musuem isn't a large museum, but nevertheless provided such an intriguing experience. It definitely induces self-reflection and makes visitors reconsider modern day food practices.
Penang isn't known for its museums, in fact, our driver - who lived in Penang for all his life and is used to driving tourists around - said he did not know the Wonderfood Museum. He thought the trick-eye museum was THE Museum. It was pretty obvious that he too enjoyed this museum as he took back a brochure so that he could share this destination with other visitors to Penang.
The message behind the various sets in the Wonderfood Museum, along with the many MANY cool huge food structures definitely made it worth visiting.
Wonderfood Museum Penang
49, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
For more on my trip to Penang, check out the video below!
31 January 2017 49, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
To me, traveling and food go hand in hand. There is no way i'd travel and not enjoy local cuisine. No. Way.
Skipping out on food is like a travel sin in my opinion. I mean, its food! How could one miss out on food? Right?
Food in Korea is definitely one of those you don't want to be skipping out on. I've never classified myself to be a Korean food lover. Heck, before I went to korea, I never touched the kimchi side dish that came with korean food. That's because I have never tried KOREAN FOOD IN KOREA. I've previously mentioned my favourite food place in Jeju - seriously it's THE BEST, and SO AFFORDABLE. But, if you're not heading to Jeju, Seoul has just as impressive and affordable food options!
I would say my favourite food dish in Seoul has to be its KOREAN BBQ. I cannot even begin to emphasize how much I love barbecue, and korean bbq, where the staff cooks the food for you, takes barbecuing to a whole new level!
Here's a collation of the top 5 favourite food items I tried in Korea
1 | Mugyodong BugeokukjibA humble fish base soup store, that serves 1 thing for dinner. There is no ordering needed, just enter, sit down and food would be served. It was THE BEST dinner I had in Seoul.
2 | Yoogane DakgalbiSpicy chicken and cabbage dish. I don't really know what it is or how it's made, all i know is, it was TASTY and i'm craving it just thinking about it!
Plus, it's located in Hongdae which means it's either the perfect mid day pit stop, or the right way to fuel your body for a full day of shopping!
3 | Maple Tree House Korean BBQAwesome service, although a tad bit pricier. I'd say the BBQ in Jeju is better, but the variety in Seoul is way more impressive.
Check out the video below for the best way to eat a cabbage wrap!
4 | Korean Ginseng Chicken SoupLocated at the heart of seoul, this place serves a huge bowl of chicken soup, with sticky rice inside. A delicious meal to end a day!
5 | STREET FOOD IN DONGDAE MUN MARKETI do not need to further emphasize the importance of trying street food in Korea. It is some of the best out there. For more street food shots, check out this video below. It's a full compilation of my food adventures in Seoul, Korea! :)
4 October 2016 Seoul, South Korea
There are 2 things in life I want to try before I die. Bungee Jumping and Plantation / Vegetable Farming.
I grew up in a city. A Metropolitan City. There aren't even proper farms where I live.
Growing up, I've always wondered what it was like to be a farmer. My only experience with farming was hydroponic farming at the age of 11. Oh when I brought home that little bunch of Kang Kong (Water Spinach) I was ecstatic. I remember my grandma bursting into laughter when she saw my vegetables - I told her I farmed enough vegetables with my class for the whole family (in her defence she did question me several times as to how my school had that kind of space).
This is why whenever I get to visit a farm, any kind of plantation area, i'm always more than excited.
Visiting the O'Sulloc Green Tea Museum wasn't initially on the itinerary of things to do on the tour I was on during my time in Jeju. But, midway through the day, we were about to have lunch when the bus pulled up by the famous O'Sulloc Green Tea Museum, You have no idea how happy I was to be able to spend that short amount of time there.
The place had rows and rows of green tea plantation, and when you rub your fingers on the leaves, a faint green tea smell lingers.
If you know me you know that I FREAKING LOVE TEA. With all my heart and soul. I don't discriminate when it comes to tea. But green tea. Oh, how I adore the smell of green tea.
I love green tea cakes, I love green tea itself - hot AND cold, Green tea latte, I love green tea ice cream. Green Tea Everything. Getting to see the green tea farm and then getting to taste the products in the form of the food served at O'Sulloc Green Tea House makes for such a special experience.
I wish I had extra time to actually explore the museum, to perhaps see the manufacturing process or how green tea is dried and processed. Unfortunately, we had to rush off for lunch.
Truth be told, the green tea at O'Sulloc Café is not the best. 2 thumbs up for the green tea rolls and green tea itself, but the latte and bingsoo were pretty average. If you would compare it to say Japanese matcha, i'd choose the Japanese green tea over this.
But somehow, getting to see the green tea plantation, touching the green tea leaves and remembering the smell it left on my finger, made me appreciate the food even more, and made me less critical.
After all it's Korea, not Japan, to each its own flavour!
25 August 2016 Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
After frolicking around in this sunflower field, we were starving and in need of some good food for lunch. As we were waiting for the bus back into the city centre of Jeju, a cab pulled up and told us the bus only comes every half an hour. Considering the fact that we were starving, we hopped on to the cab and headed for what we hoped was going to be the BEST black pork BBQ in Jeju.
Upon arriving to that recommended place, we realised it was closed. It only opens at 2pm. Bummer. It was only 1 in the afternoon and we did not have sufficient time to wait till 2, as we had to catch a flight to Seoul. Sadly, we began roaming around looking for an alternative.
As we were looking left and right for a nice eating place that serves authentic Korean food, we stumbled upon this tiny shop with only 4 tiny tables - the ones where you sit on the floor cross legged - 3 of those tables were occupied by Korean businessmen. Looking at the pictures (since the entire menu was in Korean) we abided by the "if there are locals eating means its serves good local food" rule and headed in.
Everyone in the shop was having the same soup meal, and both Jerald and I were so confused as to what to get, we ended up pointing at a picture that looked similar to what everyone was having, and then added on a bowl of Kimchi Chigae.
When we pointed to the image of the soup, we got some laughter from both the owners and others eating in the shop, after a quick word translation on the phone, we realised we ordered a bowl of HANGOVER SOUP. A soup for when you're hungover. Not exactly a common dish.
Nevertheless, the food was SUPERB. This Hangover Soup has my stamp of approval. I loved that the 2 soups came with so much vegetables and ingredients in them, along with a ton of delicious side dishes.
The atmosphere is one that was homey, the food, really yummy and authentic, was prepared by 2 Korean ladies.
After the 3 tables of men left, 2 kids came out and began studying on the same tables.
I don't think we walked into and actual restaurant, but more of a tiny family business where these 2 Korean ladies could earn some money during lunch. I'm not quite sure.
Restaurant or not, this place served MY BEST MEAL in Jeju, and one of the best meals during my time in Korea. Not to mention, it was so affordable! The total bill came up to only 11, 000 won (US$11).
Writing this, I just wish I could teleport back and have those 2 delicious bowls of soup again.
Here's the shop front for any of you readers who can read Korean. I wish I could give more information because they deserve the promo, but I don't speak/read/write korean. So, do a quick search using their phone number and you'd probably get the location of this shop! It's a definite MUST VISIT.
17 August 2016
Food in Thailand is nothing short of amazing. Sitting here typing this, I'm craving a nice bowl of tom yum noodles and my mouth is salivating just thinking about it.
My trip to Bangkok was filled with 4 days of incredible food. Street food, cafés, restaurants, even the hotel breakfast and food centers in the shopping malls served pretty fantastic food.
I'm a huge fan of tom yum and an even bigger fan of green curry. But instead of only eating these popular Thai dishes, traveling with one of my best friends, Jesslyn, whom has been to Bangkok probably over 10 times, meant that I got introduced to whole other variety of food options.
One these options include Sabx2 Wanton Noodles and Rice with Pork. Wanton (meat dumpling) noodles is a common dish in Singapore, but the soup and the way it is prepared in Thailand, is slightly different. Well I wouldn't know if it is prepared the same way, but it tasted really good! After having tried tens maybe even hundreds of bowls of wanton noodles I was still slightly impressed with the one served at this humble street side shop. The pork that came with the rice was tender and really juicy!
It's apparently one of the most famous stalls in Bangkok, and judging by the number of people wanting to eat there, EVEN AS IT IS POURING RAIN OUTSIDE, I'd say it is probably pretty well loved among tourists (or maybe just Singaporeans/Malaysians considering how many of them were there).
Ask for an extra bowl of soup if you'd like, sometimes it comes free!
Sabx2 Wanton NoodlesAnother place that has received a ton of hype from the south east asian café obsessed generation is the After You Dessert Café. I'd say I am pretty clueless neither do I buy into the whole fad when it comes to new cafés opening, new hyped up food items, etc. Whenever I think Thailand, I think street food, and never really ventured to try anything other than that. Since both of my friends said After You Café is pretty famous (and i've seen it on Instagram) we gave it a try.
4/32-33 Soi Petchburi 19 | Pratunam, Bangkok, Thailand
The queue took over half an hour, which turned out to be a plus as it gave us time to digest our dinner before stuffing more dessert down our stomaches.
We got a panna cotta, and the famous honey butter toast. The toast was pretty good, and the panna cotta was alright too. I'd go back BUT, I doubt i'd ever queue over an hour for it. Judging by the queue when we were there, i'd say that would probably be the average waiting time during peak hours! Head over there in the afternoons or late mornings and it'll probably be empty!
As you probably can tell, street food is more my thing. I don't know if many share my love for grabbing things along the road side, or even SITTING along the road side and eating, but in my opinion, doing what the locals do is a better way to experience a country's culture. If the locals eat by the roadsides, do the same!
Street food was incredible in Bangkok. During our time there, we had so many meals along the streets and each one of them was satisfying. Some people have lamented about the hygiene and cleanliness of street food, I wouldn't say these worries are unfounded, so bring the necessary medications JUST IN CASE! I must say though, this should never deter you from trying street side food, because a lot of the times, the dishes you get along the streets taste so much better than things you get in cafés and restaurants, and they are much cheaper too!
The tom yam, fried egg, prata crepes and definitely things I could eat again and again every single time I go to Bangkok!
There is one exception however, which was the Pork Noodles from Nuer Koo Noodle Soup in Siam Paragon. The broth is so tasty, i've never had anything just as amazing (apart from Pho along the streets of Vietnam - that one is hard to beat!) I love soup, and I could drink about 5 bowls of that pork broth in one seating. If they'd let me, I would totally do it!
Nuer Koo Noodle Soup | Siam ParagonWriting this post has me craving some thai food, AND THAT BOWL OF PORK NOODLES!
991 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
The time I had in Thailand was way too short for me to try everything I wanted to, nevertheless, I did have a ton of fun eating and of course shopping. Time to save up for another short getaway back just to get more of all that awesome thai food!
22 October 2015 Bangkok, Thailand
In my last post, I talked about the 5 things visitors should do when they are in Hanoi, Vietnam. However, we all know that traveling isn't about just doing things and going to attractions in a foreign place, right? One of my favourite things to do when I'm abroad is eat their local food. FOOD.
FOOD is one of my secret passions. There must have been countless of times when I said I absolutely loved a city just because of the food. When food in a country/city is good, half the battle is won!
South East Asian countries are always known for their incredible cuisine and Vietnam is no exception. Plus, I can't write about what to do in Hanoi and leave out it's awesome food, so here is part 2 of my Hanoi Travel Guide featuring, interesting Sights and great FOOD!
E A T
BY THE STREETS | BUN BO NAM BO
Walking along the streets of Hanoi you'll see a lot of street food shops, people selling food items and fruits out of a basket, and a multitude of Pho shops.
NOTE: PHO IS BEST EATEN BY THE STREETS.
Street stalls are not to be missed when in Vietnam. In fact, they probably serve the most flavourful dishes. Even though the restaurants in Hanoi serve pretty good food, I was so glad I tried their street food from both the night markets and the regular street side stalls. Jerald and I shared a large bowl of Pho from a random street side stall, and it is the best bowl of noodle's i've ever tasted in my life! The soup was clear, light, and incredibly flavourful. The portions were great, the noodles were the right texture, I was more than surprised.
Bun Bo Nam Bo is another street side shop we went to. It is named after one of Hanoi's famous street food. This stall was one of my favourite food places in Hanoi! Affordable, simple, and delicious. Plus, they have proper tables and chairs. If crouching down and eating is not your cup of tea, and you rather have a decent sitting height whilst eating, this shop is perfect!
One thing to note though, their menu is in the form of a large canvas sheet on the wall, and the shop owners don't speak english. But that can be easily fixed with some pointing and hand signals.
Food to try: Bun Bo Nam Bo, Gio.
CAFÉS | KAFE BOX
Hanoi has so many different cafes, from those along the streets, to fancier ones in the shopping centres, or some only accessible through dingy alley ways. Even though the café culture is permeating the local food scene, what I love about the cafés in Hanoi, is that they maintain their own local flair. The have the same short tables and chairs for street side dining, and food served in a box like how street food would typically be served.
Food to try: Zucchini Fritters and any of their snack boxes
DINING WITH A VIEW | CITY VIEW CAFÉ
If you don't have a strong stomach, or aren't as adventurous when it comes to asian food/street side dining, another way to enjoy Hanoi, is to see it from above. Hanoi has several cafés located on the 4th or 5th floors of different buildings allowing tourist to dine with a great view of the city, and escape the chaotic noise and traffic on the ground.
The only I enjoyed the most was City View Café, located near the centre facing one of hanoi's busiest streets and overseeing the beautiful Hanoi Lake.
However, food isn't as fantastic and cheap as compared to those you get by the streets. Still, it is very much affordable, and for the view, I would say its worth it to have a meal in these cafés!
S E E
COLOURFUL STREETS | Day vs. Night
The colorful buildings, the flags, the umbrellas of makeshift street food stalls, all add to the atmosphere of Hanoi. This is especially true when you're in the Old Town area of Hanoi.
What I loved about the streets of Hanoi is how different they look in the day and night. At night, when all the sign boards are lighted up in various colours, it gives off a slight party atmosphere. But, in the day, it takes you right back to a typical old town/asian style village - rustic, authentic, and just slightly chaotic.
Also, remember to occasionally look up, for you'd see what they call the Hanoi Spaghetti - tons of electrical wires being knotted up near a lamp post resembling spaghetti!
HANOI TRAFFIC | Motorcycles/Trishaws/Cars/People All On the Road
When you stop at a crossroad, or just walking along the Old Town in Hanoi, you get to experience how insane the traffic is. With the crazy number of motorcycles, its almost impossible to cross the road. I remember breaking out in a little cold sweat because of the blazing horns and chaotic traffic.
The traffic doesn't stop, there aren't many traffic lights, apparently, one should just walk at a constant pace whilst crossing the road, and somehow, motorcyclist and cars will just manoeuvre around you.
The vietnamese are extremely used to the insane traffic. We saw women crossing the roads in heels while vehicles were zooming by them on both sides, as well as people in hats carrying baskets of food walking along side the cars and motorbikes with no fear!
STREET ART | 4KM MOSAIC WALL
Near the Oldest Bridge in Hanoi - Long Bien (a sight in itself), is a long stretch of road covered in mosaic tiles. It was donated to Hanoi by a woman who fell in love with the city. It stretches 4 kilometeres long, adding colour to the streets of Hanoi.
Since the traffic in Hanoi is pretty insane, it makes getting right to the Mosaic Wall a great challenge. Furthermore, the sidewalks were quite narrow, which meant that it was almost impossible to photograph the wall. But, this is still a sight to catch. Look out for it when you're entering into the city by car. You'd definitely pass by a stretch of the mosaic art wall!
Honestly though, there is so much to see in Hanoi itself. The sights and sounds are unlike any other. The streets are filled with motorcycles, everything is vibrant, exciting, and just constantly moving. Despite the hustle and bustle, when you get to a quiet part of the city, you get a deep sense of serenity and you can really appreciate the architecture, the rustic charm, and old vibes Hanoi brings.
Not to mention, food everywhere is great. I've been craving a bowl of street side Pho ever since I left. Food in Singapore is good, but the Pho here can never compare to the $2-3 dollar massive bowls I got from the streets of Hanoi!
If you want to find out what else I got up to in Hanoi and what I wore watch the 2 videos below!