Tag Archives: food

The Radiance of Hoi An

It might be apt that the city to capture your heart in Vietnam is in its center. My first visits to the S-shaped nation were to its opposite poles, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. While there was definitely more than the pho that kept me warm inside in the bigger metros, it was hands down Hoi An that swept me off my feet. Continue reading The Radiance of Hoi An

Prowlin’ and Chowin’ in Chiang Mai

Zabb-e-lee cooking class

It was a strange feeling — heading to Thailand and knowing that I didn’t come here to saunter at the beach, nor to hit the flea market. Instead, I was making a beeline for something far away from the waves and the skyline — onto the mountainous state of Chiang Mai.

If Bangkok is the kingdom’s Fashionista, and Phuket, its Party Animal, the Chiang Mai would be the Flower Child. With a laid-back cool, it bids you to take things slow. Ever so gently, you find that you’ve turned from the bucket-bearing all-night-reveler, to that morning person who gets up to bike along the rice fields. Continue reading Prowlin’ and Chowin’ in Chiang Mai

Taiwan Day 2: An Ode to Kindred Spirits

Love is all we need.

Nothing beats good, lasting friendships, especially when things don’t go as planned…

The day's grand itinerary was supposed to be kicked off by a visit to the Yangmingshan National Park, where we expected to be deluged by pretty pink cherry blossoms. The mountain, however, had other plans and instead we said hello to strong winds and frosty rain. We didn't stand a chance in our laughable winter attire. We ended up riding the loop shuttle around the mountain, wherein we found out that Yangmingshan drivers can possibly drive blindfolded, as ours calmly put the pedal to the medal in zero visibility on the mountain's winding roads.
The day’s grand itinerary was supposed to be kicked off by a visit to the Yangmingshan National Park, where we expected to be deluged by pretty pink cherry blossoms. The mountain, however, had other plans and instead, we said hello to strong winds and the chilly rain. We didn’t stand a chance in our laughable winter attire. Here we are in our best I’m-trying-not-to-look-like-an-icicle smiles, in the lone sakura spot that we managed to find. We ended up riding the loop shuttle bus around the mountain, wherein we found out that driving blindfolded is probably one of the many talents of the drivers in Yangmingshan, as ours calmly put the pedal to the medal in zero visibility on the mountain’s winding roads.
Continue reading Taiwan Day 2: An Ode to Kindred Spirits

Day 4: The Good, the Bad, and the Forbidden

Early morn:

The Good: Finally indulging our itch to shop after being in China for several days already. Shortly after we arrive from Xian, Phoebe and I freshen up and dart for Qianmen Shopping Street, south of Tiananmen Square.

When Phoebe and I laid eyes on the long row of shops lining the boulevard, we knew we've arrived. The main street holds the posh shops alongside the kitsch; take a random turn into the perpendicular alleys, and you'll be greeted by stalls with cheaper bargains and a whole lot of interesting stands for snacks.
Continue reading Day 4: The Good, the Bad, and the Forbidden

Day 1 in Melbourne: No Plans? No Problem!

Flinders St Station -- Melbourne's favorite meeting place

Fresh off a chill-out weekend in Perth, I found the busy, bustling streets of Melbourne a bit disorienting at first. Quick-footed yuppies stirred the city off to a start, while tourists and a whole lot of tennis buffs looked forward to another nail-biting day of the Australian Open.

Our well-laid out itinerary for Melbourne Day 1? Verbatim, it was this: “see the city”. Okay, sounds like a plan to me! Continue reading Day 1 in Melbourne: No Plans? No Problem!

Bootcamp for the Culinarily-Challenged: Round Two!

Challenge #2 was to cook a cream-based pasta dish. What originally started as pesto sauce came out to be what I’ll call Pasta with Turkey and Cream Cheese Sauce. =P I have a feeling that the best (or at least, most enjoyable) recipes are the ones that aren’t planned. I had a lot of mishaps this time (i.e. the bowl falling into the pan, me pouring A LOT of basil instead of just a dash), but those things just made round 2 a lot of fun. =P And oh, I also made a blueberry pie for my sweet tooth (again, instant, but hey, I’m baking!)

Bootcamp for the Culinarily-Challenged: One Down!

There have been some instances when I was able to whip up something miraculous out of the blue — none of those feats involve the kitchen, however. During team offsites, I’d rather be in charge of drinks instead of food, lest I want my friends to die from starvation (or worse, from food poisoning! Eep!).

This year, I resolved to take matters into my own hands, and I’ll be forcing myself to cook at least one decent dish per month (except for Feb, I have to cook 2 since I skipped January =P). And you know what? It was actually possible! I was able to come up with fusilli topped with some random ingredients (tomatoes, tuna, mushroom and cheese) without screwing anything up. I also wanted to try out a friend’s tip about baking (our oven’s busted but he told me that a turbo broiler does more or less the same thing), so I put a box of instant brownie mix to the test and, booyah, yummy dessert. =) The folks at home finished off their meals without collapsing, so I think it’s fair enough to say that round one has been officially conquered.

Yep, I know it’s still a longshot from warranting the respect of anyone culinarily-able, but at least I’m making baby steps.I am just so psyched right now. Whoopee! =)