Sunday, November 25, 2012

Breakfast buffet at Asia Paradise Hotel - Nha Trang, Vietnam

Bun bo hue - noodle soup with beef shank and congealed pork blood
On our last day in Nha Trang we decided to splurge a bit and went on a breakfast buffet. The word 'splurge' here was compared to amount we spent the previous day on breakfast. The cost per person for the buffet breakfast was 95000VND (around USD5). So for US standard it wasn't too pricey at all especially when the buffet was actually at a 3 star hotel.

The Asia Paradise Hotel was just a few doors down from our hotel so we passed by a few times before and noticed the big banner advertising their buffet breakfast. When we walked in there was a front desk area just next to the staircase. We paid for the price and went upstairs. The dining area was pretty big with long tables of varieties of food. My first choice was some sort of noodle soup that looked yummy. Garnished with some  ground chilli and a squirt of lime juice and you're good to go. The noodle soup came with chopped green onion, shredded cabbage and mint leaves. I realized later on the noodle soup was called bun bo hue.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Never Again Dealing with Hong Kong Airlines

For our trip to Asia this time we needed airfare from Hong Kong to Hanoi and looking at the options available we chose Hong Kong Airlines. Boy was that a big mistake. From the beginning nothing seemed to work right with them. From the online reservation to the reservation itself.

Only after we made the reservation I started looking into them and found out lots of complaints. The most was about them changing their flights. By then we paid for the reservation already and could only kept our fingers crossed. But luck wasn't on our side. By end of August we received email notification of changing reservation dates for our itinerary. Apparently they cancelled our flight on October 1 and changed it to October 2. That was like a nightmare came true.

Our itinerary was pretty tight since the whole Asia trip was only for two weeks but included three countries. We couldn't afford to push our itinerary back one day. Beside what would stop them from changing yet another date once this one went through.

Hubby called and spoke to the representative about cancelling our reservation and refund process. We were told we could get our full refund if the airlines changed our itinerary. BUT we won't get our refund until six weeks later. Meanwhile if we're cancelling this airfare meant we needed to find a different way to get to Hanoi. And all these was just less than a month before our departure. Oh..stress

We contemplated for a day and two and decided to cancel the reservation. We made sure all the paperwork were done properly and as thorough as possible to ensure we receive our full refund. Meanwhile we also needed to change our Singapore Airlines itinerary to accommodate different ways to Hanoi. That costed almost another USD100.

Finally one morning about a week after we came back from our trip I saw a credit to our credit card account. I almost jumped up in joy. It did take about six weeks for the whole refund process. It was a lesson learnt not to deal with Hong Kong Airlines again if I have other options.

Golden Sea Hotel - Nha Trang, Vietnam

Got a reservation at this hotel through Agoda.We also made a request for airport transport knowing from experience that it saved time and also possibility of being scammed. Even though our plane arrived a bit late our ride was still there when we got out. What a relief.

We were ushered to a sedan waiting in the empty parking lot. The drive from airport to Nha Trang town was  scenic and at times a bit winding. After about twenty minutes drive we finally arrived at the hotel. There was only a girl in ao dai (Vietnamese traditional clothes) working behind the front desk. We told her about our reservation and gave her our passports. She took a key and brought us to our room herself just leaving the front desk area unattended.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wang's Kitchen - Milpitas

We noticed this restaurant about three months ago. Happened to be in the area but just finished our lunch so we decided that we should give this restaurant a try later. Finally we got that chance this weekend. We did take out and enjoy it with some friends.

We got there around 12:30 and the restaurant wasn't busy at all. We looked at the menu and decided on five dishes. Paid for them and came back about twenty minutes later to collect them.
chilli chicken (dry) at Wang's Kitchen

Chilli chicken (dry). Out of five dishes we ordered, both me and hubby agreed that chilli chicken was the best. It was pieces of boneless fried chicken with light batter. Those pieces than got covered up with finely chopped garlic, onion and chilli. Fragrant and indeed spicy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Newday Restaurant - Hanoi, Vietnam

This restaurant was recommended to us by staffs at our hotel, Sunshine Suites Hotel. It was just a few doors down from the hotel. When we walked in the few tables there were almost all occupied. We were seated and given the menu. There were quite a few items on the menu that we were familiar with like pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup) but hey we didn't go all the way to Hanoi to eat pho. So we started with dish which we know was the local specialty like bun cha hanoi (meat patties served on rice noodle with sauce). And then I settled with some braised chicken. For drinks hubby got lime juice and I got passion juice

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tsui Wah Restaurant - Hong Kong

This is one of the chain restaurant in Hong Kong. The one we tried was just outside Temple Street Market.

We got a table on the second floor. It's not really a second floor but more like a loft (if there's a loft in restaurant) since it's not a full second floor. When we were checking out the menu I noticed the ceiling were all covered in mirror. Hm..interesting for a motel..but a restaurant ? ha..ha..

Friday, November 2, 2012

潤記 (Yun Kee ?) - Hong Kong

Store front (pic from

This shop was just one of the typical cha chaan teng (tea restaurant) in Hong Kong. No English name and no menu or maybe there was just we couldn't understand. We would not have walked in had I not heard about a noodle place in Northpoint which served worth try wonton noodle soup.

So that morning on our second day in Hong Kong we left our hotel earlier and did a stop at Northpoint to look for it. Took the exit to Java Road and we were on the surface street. Walked to the right for less than 2 minutes and we saw Ibis Northpoint. That's our clue. The short article only mentioned that it was two doors down from Ibis Northpoint. There were only two businesses that matched this description. We picked one and went in. The lady owner only looked at us. We decided to just pick a table ourselves. Then the owner came to take our order. Hubby said wonton noodle to her (just some of few Cantonese phrases he knew).
Store name - in case anyone wants to stop by

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chuen Cheung Kui 泉章居 - Hong Kong

Outside of restaurant - no English name (Pic from )

We stumbled upon this restaurant while looking at It wasn't easy to find Hakka cuisine in SF Bay Area so having this opportunity we decided to give it a try.

When we got there we were not sure whether it was the right place. There wasn't any English name of that restaurant. Thanks to one of the picture on Openrice that matched the outside of the restaurant convinced us that it was the right one.

The restaurant was pretty big and surprisingly still busy at around 2:30 pm. People just sitting having meals and chit chatting, enjoying their Saturday afternoon. Kinda contrast with everything outside where people rushed through each other and intersection.