Hong Kong Dessert Cafes in Singapore


I’m no foodie expert, but I have found some eating places and styles that I enjoy in Singapore, and one of these is Hong Kong dessert cafes. There are a number of chains of these, including Lucky Dessert and Ji De Chi.

These cafes are often packed full with queues of people waiting outside for a sweet pudding fix. They sell a range of desserts including snow ice or shaved ice in many flavours, paste desserts, cold soy beancurd, ice cream dishes, cold cake and fruit desserts. There is something (sweet) to please everyone, and prices are reasonable, from around SGD3 to SGD7.

Sawdust Cake at Ji De Chi

Sawdust Cake at Ji De Chi (tastes much nicer than it sounds!)

Lucky Dessert is at Vivocity (and probably other malls too) and Ji De Chi has branches at Jurong Point, Dhoby Ghaut and Bugis.

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Malacca Food: My Favourite Eats


Malacca food can be a real treat, with many cuisines available and reasonable prices. We ate some delicious food during our trip. Some of it was street food, for example at Jonker Street Night Market, and we had some tasty pork satay at a roadside stall. Here are a few places worth remembering.

Satay celup, or "dipping satay" is a Malacca speciality

Satay celup, or “dipping satay” is a Malacca speciality

1. Riverine Coffeehouse

This always seemed to be open while we were in Malacca (other places were randomly closed on some evenings). They serve up scrumptious Nyonya Cuisine, the traditional food of the Peranakan Baba Nyonya culture. We had a large pot of Ayam Masak O’, a chicken stew, with rice. One large portion was plenty for the two of us to share.

Price: We spent total MYR 28.50 including soft drinks.

Address: No 108, Lorong Hang Jebat,75200 Malacca

Nyonya Cuisine at Riverine

2. Big Bowl The City of Ice

We stumbled across this place by accident while walking back to our hotel, and it provided welcome relief from the hot weather. More than a hundred flavours of shaved ice and snow ice dishes are served at this café. The menu (shown below) offers a plethora of choices and left us wanting to come back to sample more of these sweet delights.

Address: No 23 Lorong Bukit China, Kawasan Bandar 24, 75100 Melaka

Menu at Bowl of Ice3. Famosa Chicken Rice Ball

This is the most well known of the chicken rice ball restaurants. I hadn’t been particularly excited about trying Malacca’s signature dish as friends had told me it was just like chicken rice but in balls. So I was pleasantly surprised. The rice balls tasted different to rice cooked normally, slightly saltier, with more flavour, and the chicken was delicious.

Price: Half a roasted chicken and twenty rice balls, with two orange juices, set us back MYR 29.60.

Chicken Rice Balls4. Calanthe Art Café

We came upon this colourful restaurant while looking for somewhere to have lunch. As well as serving up tasty main courses, they specialise in Malaysia 13 States’ Coffees. We ate yummy chicken curries and tried some coffee. Each state is represented by a different type of coffee and there are many choices of how to drink it.

Address: No 11 Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Melaka

Calanthe Art Cafe interior

Eat This: Mee Goreng, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia


Mee GorengStopping for a break from our rainy walk around Georgetown, Penang, we found ourselves at Medan Selera Lapangan Kota foodcourt, on the edge of Padang, the open “field” area right next to Fort Cornwallis.

We noticed Hameed “Pata” Special Mee was serving a lot of customers so we decided to try their mee goreng, or fried noodles. And it was delicious. Well worth it if you are hungry and nearby, and only RM4 each. We washed it down with a yummy coconut shake for RM2.50 each.

Mee Sotong stall

Moni, Flores: A Brief Guide to the Kelimutu Gateway


Moni is one destination most visitors to Flores are bound to spend a night, as the departure point for visiting Kelimutu volcanic crater lakes, the most famous tourist attraction on the island. So here’s a brief guide based on my own two-night stay.

Views out to sea from MoniIn the Village

Moni is not right next to Kelimutu—it’s still a 13km journey away—but it has become the main hub for visitors, probably due to its location on the main trans-Flores road, and a large number of accommodation options and other tourist facilities have sprung up.

The village lines both sides of the main road, and has a church and a field area, which is used for the local market on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings. From the upper parts of the village you can look out to a fantastic view across the hills, all the way to the ocean.

You won’t get woken up by the call to prayer in Moni, because there is no mosque. Like the rest of Flores, Moni has a Catholic majority. Walking through the village is pleasant and the local people were friendly. I met three little girls, who took me to see the Mary statue and shrine beside the church. The local language is called Lio, which sounds very different to Indonesian, though the majority of people also speak Indonesian.

Moni churchFacilities for Visitors

Many homestays line the main road offering reasonably priced rooms for travellers. I stayed at Bintang Bungalows, which is apparently a popular option. It was full for one of the nights I was there, and this is outside the main tourist season. I paid Rp. 100,000 (after haggling from Rp. 120,000) for a room with bathroom and cold water only, and it was quite cold for showering. Moni is not a hot place though the high altitude means it gets strong sunlight in the middle of the day.

Eating cheaply is difficult in Moni, where most eateries are restaurants aimed at foreign tourists. Local people tend to cook at home rather than eating out. However, down the road I found a cheap bakso (meatball soup) place, run by an East Javanese man. I ate at Bintang Restaurant, run by Tobias, the brother-in-law of Sinta who owns Bintang Bungalows, and the portions were on the large side, which may justify the extra expense.

Transport and guides are available in Moni. Motorbikes can be hired for Rp. 100,000 or more per day, and I hired a guide, called Udin, and motorbike for a whole day for Rp. 130,000. Sinta of Bintang Bungalows has a car and a minibus (bemo) that she rents out. It is easy to organise onward transport from Moni to your next destination, because it is located on the main trans-Flores road, so buses, minibuses and public cars all pass through.

Forested Hills

What I Ate in Surabaya: Lontong Mie

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Lontong MieLontong pieces (rice cooked in a banana leaf until the individual grains become indistinguishable and it can be cut with a knife, as served with chicken satay in Solo), topped with yellow noodles, beansprouts and green leafy veg, served in a meat stock with black bean paste and chili sauce.

I tried this Surabayan dish at the Pasar Atom foodcourt. Up on the top floor of this “old style” mall, a huge variety of foods is available, including many local specialities, and it’s a good spot for people-watching.

What I Ate: Sate Ayam or Chicken Satay


Part of an occasional series about food I have eaten in South East Asia.

Sate AyamSate ayam, or chicken satay, cooked over glowing embers, giving it a slightly smokey flavour. With a generous drizzle of peanut sauce. Sitting on a bed of lontong. Lontong is rice wrapped up tightly in a banana leaf in a tube shape, and boiled until the rice grains are no longer visible, then allowed to cool, before being opened and cut into chunky slices to eat.

 

Sate ayam is usually sold in the evening here in Central Java, both at street food stalls with mats for diners to sit on, and by sellers who push their boat-shaped trolleys around the streets hawking their fare. Many sate sellers are from the island Madura, just northeast of Java, and Sate Ayam Madura is therefore well-known.