Kaya Toast Breakfast Set
Of all the breakfasts in the world, this is the one that brings me the most enjoyment. Kaya Toast (a toasted sandwich with an egg, coconut & pandan leaf flavoured spread and wedges of butter), two soft boiled eggs and a cup of Teh O (a strong, sugary tea). It’s a morning meal that’s unique to the Malaysian peninsular.
Yummy Singapore-Style Dim Sum
While Singapore is frequently praised for its food scene, it’s not particularly famous for its Dim Sum. This doesn’t mean you can’t get it though.
As a self-confessed foodie, it may seem strange that up until earlier this year, I’d never had Dim Sum. To be honest, since I still haven’t been to a proper Dim Sum restaurant (where there is some ceremony to eating these mouth-watering bundles of joy), I still probably haven’t done this integral part of Chinese culture any justice. It was though a treat to be able to try some whilst in Singapore and has whet my appetite for my next visit to the world’s Dim Sum capital, Hong Kong.
In the basket on the left of the picture are four Shrimp (Prawn) Dumplings. These are pretty self-explanatory. On the right are two steamed Char Siew Bao dumplings. Hot, soft and sticky dough with a barbequed pork filling. Absolutely delicious! Char Siew Bao are Dim Sum staples. In fact, Dim Sum restaurants are often rated according to how good their Char Siew Bao are.
Asked by nerdfighter2000
There are certainly some places in the world where you as a vegan would struggle to find something to eat. But in this increasingly globalised world we live in, more and more places are recognising and accommodating for different dietary needs. With a spot of research before embarking on your trip, this shouldn’t present itself as a reason for not travelling. Have a look at happycow.net. It appears it’s a really good and up to date source that you can use to find vegan restaurants before you set off. I’m sure there are other websites that do a similar job.
Will you miss out and not experience as much? Certainly if my diet was restricted and I couldn’t eat anything I wanted, I’d be gutted and this would impact upon my enjoyment. But that’s me and my opinion. Only you can answer this question. Do you feel as a vegan that you miss out on things in your day to day life? If not, then I think you’ll be alright. While for me, food forms a major part of my travel experiences, we’re all different and we all take enjoyment from different things. Think about what you want from travelling, what you want to see and experience. Do those things and I’m sure your travel experiences will be unforgettable.
All the vegan stuff aside, if you’ve wanted to travel your whole life, why haven’t you? There’s no time like the present. What are you waiting for?
Singapore’s National Dish
Most countries in the world have a national dish, a meal that is ubiquitous and eaten by the many. Here in the UK, we can’t decide if our national dish is fish & chips or chicken tikka masala (this isn’t a joke by the way, this is for real). It’s definitely one of those. Elsewhere, Vietnam has Pho, Indonesia has Satay, Austria has Wiener Schnitzel and New Zealand has Pineapple Lumps. I could go on, but I shan’t (though Wikipedia has a good list if you’re interested).
In Singapore, they have two national dishes. I am still yet to try Chilli Crab, but I’ve had Chicken Rice by the plate-load. Here’s a fairly typical serving. Fluffy rice, moist, succulent chicken, pak choi and a soy sauce egg served with cucumber, chilli sauce (for dipping) and a chicken broth. Hearty and delicious.
Heading Back to Singapore
In the past few weeks, I’ve been posting lots of photos and videos from Malaysia. There may be more from here in the future. For the time being though, we head back to Singapore and it’s time for something to eat.
But what’s for dinner?
Answer: It’s the massively popular snack Roti Prata. A soft, oily bread cooked with eggs and a tub of curry sauce for dipping. Bliss!
The Good and the Ugly of Malaysian Cuisine
Malaysian cuisine is so rich and varied, it can illicit many responses. Most of the time, it’s, “God, that’s good!” There are though instances where initial excitement is rapidly replaced by a frown and then a desperate search for a place to hide the remaining contents of your bowl. Thankfully, such examples are hard to come by and most of the time, only good can come from trying something new whilst on the Malaysian peninsular. Here are two examples of things I tried whilst in Malaysia.
On your left, a coconut shake. Rich, creamy, thick with coconut and topped with ice cream, this drink was a real treat. People come from miles around to Klebang Original, a large roadside restaurant on the outskirts of Malacca to down a glass or two. My mouth waters just remembering this sweet, frothy glass of deliciousness.
On your right, a Malaysian staple. Everyone says a visit to the region wouldn’t be complete without trying it, so I did. In fact, this is the second time I tried it. It is also the last time, for it is disgusting. It is, of course, Durian Fruit. In the photo above, it is the yellow stuff dumped on top of a ball of syrup-covered shaved ice to form the classic Malaysian dessert Cendol. A quick search online results in a number of words used to describe the taste of this infamous sludge. Depending on the person and the particular variety, it can taste like ‘heaven’, ‘death’, ‘onions’, ‘liquid petroleum’, ‘cream’ or like ‘sour yoghurt’. To me, it tasted like rotting onions. I still ate it all though, saluting the last bite safe in the knowledge I’d never be eating it again. Urgh!
In the first part of this series looking at solo female travel, I spoke to blogger and traveller Lauren Meshkin about her solo travel experiences and whether she had any advice for potential, but concerned female travellers. Turns out there are many of you out there who want to see the world but won’t because you have no one to go with and you’re concerned about your safety. Fair enough, I suppose. You can go anywhere in the world and face a multitude of different health and safety hurdles. No where on earth can boast a crime and danger free society. But is fear alone a good enough reason for not experiencing new things, new food, new places and new people? Couldn’t you just eliminate that fear through forward planning and research?
In this second part of the series, I continue what I started in part one. My aim is to encourage you girls to book that ticket to that place you really want to go to regardless of whether you have a travel companion. To avoid giving my own advice (because what nervous woman needs a man telling them they’ll be fine), I’ve been in touch with another Lauren, this time Lauren Farmer (laurenfarmer.com), a talented blogger, photographer and social media consultant living in New York City. I asked her what she would say if faced with a nervous potential solo traveller.
The greatest advice I’d give to someone debating whether or not they would enjoy traveling alone is to simply, BUY THE TICKET. I will be the first to admit that it is a truly fulfilling experience to travel with friends and family, to strengthen your bonds back home through a moment, a challenge or a story you share while away. However, in my life, the adventures I have experienced on my own or with a fellow solo traveler I’ve met along the way have been just as meaningful and memorable as those I had a partner for.
Soursop Shake at The Baboon House, Malacca
This was the first time I tried Soursop and it won’t be the last. This punchy, zesty, tangy fruit makes a mean shake. I had this at a supremely cool cafe called The Baboon House in Malacca. The place is sumptuously decorated with lots of brickwork, wood and leafy plants. Some tables, like the one I was sat at had tiny fish swimming around in glass bowls. Young people flock here for the shakes and the burgers and to look around the attached art gallery. The place had a really cool vibe and would be somewhere I’d visit often if I lived in Malacca.
Check out Foursquare or TripAdvisor for photos and tips.
I could go on and on about this photo, but what would be the point? You’re reading this now, but I bet your eyes can’t wait to flick back to the photo. I shan’t delay you any further. This is vegetarian Laksa, probably the best Laksa I’ve ever had. You can look back at it now.
Freshly-Squozen Sugar Cane Juice
The scene in the first photo of this set doesn’t exactly scream, “lovely place to eat and drink,” but don’t be fooled. Sure, there’s the burnt out shell of a building in the background and an ever-present procession of cars and vans passing by, but this is a local market, where real life happens. The stalls running along both sides of the road were packed with tables surrounded by locals eating Nasi Goreng and Nasi Lemak, washed down with the ice-filled cups of fresh juice.
I joined them briefly for a drink to get out of the hot midday sun. The chap sitting down the foreground of the first photo was very surprised to see me. Perhaps trade had been a little slow that morning. I stuck one finger in the air and he jumped into action, sticking an entire sugar cane into a mangle. The shredded remains of the cane came out one side, while fresh juice poured out of the other.
It’s surprising just how refreshing sugar cane juice is. I think most people would expect it to be overly sweet and sticky but it isn’t. So long as it’s fresh, it’s no sweeter than cola and just as thirst quenching.