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# 70: Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine in Chinatown

I managed to survive in Thailand for 2 years without trying any Vietnamese food as I had a stubborn belief that only Vietnam serves the best and the most authentic Vietnamese food… Thankfully, that belief has been changed when I moved to Singapore 2 years ago… it was all because of  Yummy Viet restaurant on Smith Street!

They really serve authentic Vietnamese food here, not to mention that the chef and all the waitresses are from Vietnam too. You can’t get more Vietnamese than this!

My favorite dishes are spicy beef noodles (you can ask for non-spicy one if you can’t take spicy food like me!), spring rolls & egg cake + pork chop rice! The pork BBQ noodle is also very good! I often come here, esp. when I am sick, just for some comfort food… they really made me feel much better and miss home less I guess!

I have taken lots of friends there and they all loved this restaurant! I believe you will too… give it a try… Vietnamese food rocks :)

Yummy Viet restaurant

28 Smith Street, Chinatown

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Spicy Beef Noodles

Spring Rolls

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# 54: Hari Raya Celebration

I am always excited whenever Hari Raya comes. I guess besides the obvious reason is that you get a day off, I know that I will also get a chance to gormandize the scrumptious, appetizing and authentic Malay and Indonesian food and learn how my Malay friends celebrate their most important festival. 

I was so fortunate to be invited by a very dear Malay colleague to come to her house to experience Hari Raya. You never say no to food, esp. when it comes to authentic, tasty Malay & Indonesian food. I said yes with passion for the 2nd year :)

Even it was my 2nd time coming to her house and I kinda knew what to expect, yet I was still amazed and astonished at all the food. There were just so much food and all of them tasted really delicious.

Admittedly even after 2 years training in Thailand for spicy food, I still haven’t got graduated from this school (read: I am still not a big fan of spicy food). And unfortunately all Malay & Indonesian food are quite hot according to my standard, yet I still couldn’t resist all the dishes at my friend’s house. Her mom and her aunt are really amazing chefs! All I did was just enjoy eating and drinking lots and lots of water to help me fight against the spiciness. I even broke my rule to drink cream soda as it was just so good and was my best weapon in the fight with spiciness :)

Keputat (Malay Rice Dumpling) - Love it!

Just when we thought we were full and couldn’t take any more food, you realized that it wasn’t true at all. We always have an extra stomach for dessert (This I learned from my Korean friend in Capadoccia).

I also got a chance to try the favorite snack of Singaporean kids - Mamee (Raw instant noodles with flavor and lots of MSG!). Not healthy yet so tasty (isn’t this true to all unhealthy & sinful food?!)

I love Hari Raya… I really do… can’t wait for the next Hari Raya… I won’t have breakfast or lunch next time so that I will enjoy Hari Raya to the fullest :-)

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# 30: Riding on my own “limousine”
Well, admittedly this headline is quite misleading. Firstly, I don’t have a limousine back then in Vietnam or in Bangkok and definitely not in Singapore. Secondly, I don’t even know how to drive, full stop.
Anyway, just to be clear, the “limousine” I refer in this post is the bus from SMRT. Have you ever tried riding the bus past midnight? If not, you should as normally you will have the whole bus for yourself, if you don’t count the driver. It’s just like a limousine, except you can’t dictate the driver where to go.
In my case, I had quite an experience riding on a bus past midnight after watching a late movie @ Cathay a while ago. It was the last bus of the day so I was very fortunate to pay less than a dollar to go home (comparing to at least 10 SGD for a cab ride back home due to surcharge!). I was very happee to get on the bus  and suddenly, the driver just switched off the light on the bus and spoke some Chinese to me, and then some English. Apparently he tried to tell me that there was no more bus service now. I tried to protest since by law it was the last bus ride so he still needed to work but before having to do so, he turned on the light and continue to drive… Phew, thank God, as I couldn’t imagine how far and intensely our argument would go since the only phrase I knew in Chinese was “Ni hao” and I would say his English was somewhat equally “good” as my Chinese :)
Post that incident, it was an amazing ride since I had the whole bus for myself. It was just so quiet and peaceful! One thing I know for sure is that I will definitely try it again with a much improved Chinese language skill :-)

# 30: Riding on my own “limousine”

Well, admittedly this headline is quite misleading. Firstly, I don’t have a limousine back then in Vietnam or in Bangkok and definitely not in Singapore. Secondly, I don’t even know how to drive, full stop.

Anyway, just to be clear, the “limousine” I refer in this post is the bus from SMRT. Have you ever tried riding the bus past midnight? If not, you should as normally you will have the whole bus for yourself, if you don’t count the driver. It’s just like a limousine, except you can’t dictate the driver where to go.

In my case, I had quite an experience riding on a bus past midnight after watching a late movie @ Cathay a while ago. It was the last bus of the day so I was very fortunate to pay less than a dollar to go home (comparing to at least 10 SGD for a cab ride back home due to surcharge!). I was very happee to get on the bus and suddenly, the driver just switched off the light on the bus and spoke some Chinese to me, and then some English. Apparently he tried to tell me that there was no more bus service now. I tried to protest since by law it was the last bus ride so he still needed to work but before having to do so, he turned on the light and continue to drive… Phew, thank God, as I couldn’t imagine how far and intensely our argument would go since the only phrase I knew in Chinese was “Ni hao” and I would say his English was somewhat equally “good” as my Chinese :)

Post that incident, it was an amazing ride since I had the whole bus for myself. It was just so quiet and peaceful! One thing I know for sure is that I will definitely try it again with a much improved Chinese language skill :-)

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# 23: Celebrating Vesak Day @ The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Vesak Day or Buddha’s birthday is a public holiday in Singapore and varies from year to year depending on the lunar calendar. It wasn’t my first time experiencing Vesak Day as we also celebrated this day in Vietnam and Thailand even though it wasn’t the public holiday in Vietnam. I am always vegetarian on this day and go to the pagoda to pray as Vesak Day is considered one of the most important days in Buddhism.

This year, I decided to go to The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple to pray. It was quite crowded and very colorful. Thousands of tea candles together with flowers in different shapes and colors and the smell of incenses made you feel like being in a different place.

There were lots of people waiting for having a chance to pour water over the baby Buddha statue. I still don’t know the reason behind this to be honest, but according to Wikipedia, it is symbolic of the cleansing of a practitioners bad karma, and to reenact the events following the Buddha’s birth, when devas and spirits made heavenly offerings to him. Well, I didn’t do it this year not because I didn’t have any bad Karma but just because I wasn’t very keen on waiting in the long queue.

Plus, in my humble opinion, you can’t just clearing all your bad karma by doing this. At the end of the day, real action speaks louder than “symbolic” actions or just words. And I also believe in any religions,  besides worshiping your God(s), the most important things are doing no harm to others, being kind & considerate and help others as much as you can while the rest are just the add-on I would say.