under the coconut tree

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Duck Frenzy

KL and I are finally back in London after a long 6-month stint in Hong Kong, and not before making a detour back home for Chinese New Year. Apart from the tiring commute in a short 2-weeks span (covering Singapore - Kuala Lumpur - Kuantan - Taiping - Ipoh and back to Singapore), it was nice to be home for the festivities. After all it has been 7 years since we last celebrated CNY with the family.

Anyway, one of the first stop over when got back to London was to make our way to Four Seasons restaurant for its juicy roast duck. We've decided to try the new outlet in Chinatown, but sadly it can't compare to its flagship restaurant in Bayswater. Looks like we'll be making a trip to Bayswater soon! That said, this new restaurant had a more refined and higher end feel and the waiters were far more friendly and less harrassed than those in Baywater.

Note: This post is specially for my big bro. I'm hoping it'll be a major lure to get him to visit London again soon?? Hehehhe....

Since I'm on a roll, thought I'd add on to the post ......

If you are ever in Hong Kong, you have to try out Peking Garden Restaurant in Tsim Tsa Tsui. It's a restaurant that serves delicious Peking duck served with the pancakes, Hoi Sin sauce, cucumber and spring roll. It's by far, one of the nicest dish I have had in HK. But, I have to say didn't care much for the other dishes that we had. Bad choices, maybe?

Alritey, enough on food .... time to get some work done.

Friday, January 04, 2008

On our recent trip to China, we were heavily contemplating between a trip to Guilin or to a nearby town, Yangshuo. After much reading & research over the internet, we decided to opt for the later. It's apparently a smaller town, less hectic and touristy. I definitely needed that after living smacked in the hustling and bustling of HK for so many months.

We stayed in this quaint little hotel, Yangshuo Riverside Retreat. It was a cosy and comfortable place with clean and spacious room. The staff was very friendly and speaks really good English. Oh...the restaurant serves pretty good food too. We had some local rice noodles, banana fritters (and among others) which was just excellent!

Do bear in mind though, the hotel is relatively far from the town centre. It was either a cab each time you head out or the ferry which was about 15-20 minutes away. That said, the walk to the ferry was very pleasant - you walk through vegetable patches and fruit trees with limestone hills as the backdrop. Nice!KL and I always enjoyed heading out to the local market. This time though, I gave it a miss while KL ventured in. Having heard that dog meat was widely sold - I just lost interest totally and was contented waiting at the entrance.

Dog meat anyone?
All the vegetables sold here were humongous. It was 2-3 times bigger than what we were used to in UK or Malaysia.

We rented bicycles to head out to Lima, a nearby picturesque village. Honestly, I wouldn't reccommend it for the faint hearted. It was pretty scary with the many cars, motorcycles on the narrow roads (lots of contruction when we were there) and highly polluted streets. I sighed with relief when we got to the village in one piece. Thankfully, the scenery made up for the stress involved in getting there. =)
Sugar cane plantations in abundance.The following day we took a river cruise up the Li River from Xingping.
On of the stopovers, where snacks were sold and rides-on-a-cow was readily available for a fee.
The night markets in Yangshuo.