Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Birthday Letters from Daddy: Noah turns 7!

Dear Noah,

And so, in the blink of an eye, you are 7.

Where did all the time go?

I must admit, I have almost forgotten how look like when you were little, but that doesn't take away the fact that the years have flown past and it seems like yesterday when you were this little bald newborn sleeping on my chest, hardly longer than my forearm.

Handsome little man. Photo credit: Ohtography

A brilliant young man is on the brink of bursting out of your lanky frame, so in this new year, I hope to give you 2 important reminders.

Firstly, be aware of your surroundings. Focusing on the task at hand is good, but neglecting the happenings around you might translate to being inconsiderate, or even become the cause of danger to yourself/others.

This also applies to being sensitive to the others' feelings. Say the right things at the right time, and always strive to encourage positive energy if you can help it. Truth sometimes hurts, and is often so obvious that it doesn't have to be spoken. You are a clever boy, you will understand in time to come.

Precious memories with 88-yr-old great-grandma.

Secondly, you don't always have to win.

Participation is about giving it your best shot. In most cases, there can only be one winner. You can only make sure you play fair and square, putting your best foot forward. That way, regardless of the result, you can hold your head high, as you have not let anyone down.

Happy Birthday Noah.

So my little 7-year-old first-born, the rapidly growing boy who's still gleaming with child-like wonder, happy birthday.


Monday, February 18, 2019

Stranger in Bangkok's Retty food tour: International at Asoke

Hungry people at our first stop, Cali's Grill.

Over the last couple of years, the scary prospect of leading a food tour popped up many times. As much as I have confidence in my own recommendations, taste is subjective, and I will be shattered if things didn't work as planned, leaving restaurants/attendees disappointed.

This was the case until the possibility to curate a food tour for Retty Thailand popped up. Retty is the most popular foodie app in Japan, with the sole purpose of creating an active foodie community and a platform to facilitate it. It plans to do the same in Thailand, albeit in small baby steps, as it has only set foot here for slightly more than a year.

Knowing I will be leading a small group of pure foodies who have an open mind to accept all kinds of food, and a bunch of trustworthy restaurant owners/groups to back me up, I summoned enough courage to lead my first ever food tour: "International in Asoke", focusing on a comfortable walking tour around Asoke BTS Station/Sukhumvit MRT Station to enjoy a variety of cuisines.

Stop 1: Cali's Grill, representing Ecuadorian and Mexican cuisine

As the tour started pretty late at 1pm, Cali's Grill, with the immense hospitality of chef/owner Mauricio Zurita, was the perfect place to start. We totally enjoyed the South-American cuisine, especially the lapingachos, which are Ecuadorian potato patties. They were a joy to eat, especially when paired with Mauricio's signature salsa. 

Lapingachos, still thinking of it today

Mauricio's signature salsa, which I think goes well with everything

Assorted Quesadillas

Stop 2: Paris Mikki, representing authentic French pastry

Without being overly-naggy on the excellence of Paris Mikki's products on my blog, I will let pictures do the talking.

Copa Cabana
My recent favourite, the St. Lucia, which is a refreshing tangy mango and passionfruit-based dessert

Stop 3: La Dotta La Grassa, representing Italian cuisine (permanently-closed)

After a brief sweet respite at Paris Mikki, we only had to cross the road to reach our next stop, the whopping new little sister of Thong Lor fresh pasta institution La Dotta. The classy yet casual pink vibe La Dotta La Grassa represented was apt in the mid-afternoon laze. 

Linguine Vongole, a favourite among the ladies

I personally preferred this manly Wagyu Mac n Cheese more

The Bomboloni bar is one of LDLG's signatures, we of course couldn't miss trying them out

Final stop: Ping's Asoke, representing Singaporean and Thai-Teochew cuisine

How can an Asoke food tour led by me not include a visit to one of my absolute favourites in the city?

This time, however, aside of my beloved fish maw soup, I specially ordered a Singapore Popiah (fresh spring roll) party platter and Singapore curry puffs (both only available through special order or catering, not in Ping's everyday menu), to fit into the theme of international cuisine.

Mouth-watering fish maw soup, my kids are growing up with this as their favourite dish in the city

Singapore Popiah platter, a foodie do-it-yourself activity

Singapore curry puff, in my opinion, the best version of it in Bangkok

Caught engrossed in foodie conversation with food writer Nianne-Lynne Hendricks

Phew, that was an epic food journey for an afternoon's work wasn't it. 

I was glad to see happy faces and full tummies at the end of the tour. I could ask for nothing more.

Photo credits: Retty Thailand

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