5 unique cafés to visit in Asia

totoro

Audrey Magazine (by Alyssa Park):

Cafés are popping up all over America, and they are quickly becoming part of a global culture as well. For instance, all across Asia you can find amazing cafés with different types of aesthetics such as rustic, modern, traditional and even themed. If you are traveling through Asia, then these five destinations are a must.

1. Hoho Myoll Café : (Seoul, South Korea)

hoho myoll 1

hoho myoll 2

hoho 4

Korea is known to have some of the most beautiful cafés in the world. With a bit of a rustic aesthetic, Hoho Myoll Café is an enchanting little café tucked away in the heart of Seoul.

2. Wangye Teahouse : (Zigong, China)

wangye 1

wangye 2

Inside of what was once a 100-year-old temple lies a very famous Sichuan Teahouse in Zigong, China. Next to the Fuxi River, visitors not only enjoy a traditional cup of tea, they can also become engrossed in a rich cultural history.

3. Shirohige’s Creampuff Shop: (Tokyo, Japan)

hiro 1

hiro 2

hiro 3

Shirohige’s Creampuff Shop is one of many of Japan’s themed cafés. Not only are the creampuffs Totoro-shaped, the café itself is extremely sophisticated while maintaining a youthful charm.

4.Up Café: (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

up 3up 1

up 2

Up Café is a mandatory destination in Saigon mostly for it’s novelty. With all of the furniture and windows hanging upside down from the ceilings, you can’t help but feel like you are in another dimension.

5. Audrey Café & Bistro: ( Bangkok, Thailand)

audrey 1

audrey 3

Audrey Café & Bistro is one of the most popular destinations in Bangkok, Thailand because of its beauty. With decor that only reflects elegance and class, your experience here will be nothing short of luxurious.

Tokujin Yoshioka’s Kou-an Glass Tea House reinterprets the traditional Japanese tea ceremony

Unlike Japan’s other expensive melons, you can use this cast-iron one to brew tea

MP 1

RocketNews 24:

 

You may have heard horror stories about melons in Japan costing 10,000 yen (US $99), but they’re really more the exception than the rule. For their personal use, most people usually choose much cheaper varieties, and the premium stuff only gets purchased as a gift to be given on special occasions.

The price those 10,000-yen melons command has as much to do with their airbrushed centerfold-like unblemished looks as it does their flavor. Sometimes, it feels like a waste to cut them open to get to the edible parts inside, almost as though you’re destroying a piece of art that just happens to look like fruit.

Maybe that’s why someone made just that, with this melon-shaped tea pot.

The cast-iron pot measures 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) in diameter, with a height of 10 centimeters. Removing the lid and taking a peek inside reveals not succulent fruit, but a stainless steel tea strainer for brewing 370 millilitres (12.5 oz.) of tea.

 

MP 2

 

Traditional Japanese glazing techniques produce a hue just like a ripe melon.

 

MP 3

 

The unique teapot can be ordered here through the Museum of Modern Art’s online MoMA store. At 10,800 yen ($106), it isn’t any cheaper than Japan’s gift-grade produce, but unlike its organic counterparts, you can continue using the melon teapot for years to come without fear of a stomach ache.

Link

27 Reasons Singapore Is The Most Delicious Place On Earth

 

Bottom line: Go to Singapore, eat the things.

1. Chili Crab

Chili Crab

WHAT IT IS: A whole crab is cooked in a sweet, spicy, tomato-y sauce, often finished with coddled eggs for added texture. It’s super messy, but any reputable restaurant will bring a bowl of warm water with a lemon slice along with your chili crab, because napkins alone won’t be enough to clean your hands afterward.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: The meat gets really tender and takes on the sweet chili/tomato flavor completely. Fried mantou (a slightly sweet, white bread) is usually served alongside the dish to mop up every last bit of sauce.

2. 100Plus

100Plus

WHAT IT IS: Basically a soda marketed as a sports drink. I would say it’s like a cross between Gatorade and Sprite, but that wouldn’t do justice to its bizarrely addictive deliciousness.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: It’s sweet, it’s fizzy, and it’s tangy. Beyond that, you need to taste it for yourself to really understand the appeal.

3. Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice

WHAT IT IS: Chicken is poached with ginger and pandan leaves, then the rice is toasted in oil and cooked in the super-flavorful poaching liquid.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: Despite its unassuming name and beige-ness, chicken rice is magical. The ginger flavor is undeniable in the always-moist chicken, and the oily rice has a really meaty flavor.

4. Char Siew Bao

Char Siew Bao

WHAT IT IS: A Cantonese pork bun that’s available at hawker centers — open-air food courts that are everywhere in Singapore — and dim sum restaurants. Subtley sweet, fluffy bread is filled with pulled roast pork in a sweet barbecue sauce, then steamed.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: The bun is impossibly soft, the pork is perfectly tender, and the meat-to-sauce ratio is completely perfect.

5. Ais Kacang (Ice Kacang)

Ais Kacang (Ice Kacang)

WHAT IT IS: A typical hawker dessert, ais kacang is a Singaporean sno-cone. A layer of of sweet red beans sits beneath a mound of shaved ice, with colorful sugar syrup and condensed or evaporated milk poured over top. Other toppings vary, but popular ones are sweet canned corn, mango, basil seeds, soursop (a tangy tropical fruit), or aloe vera jelly.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: Ais kacang is super-sweet, but it’s a refreshing way to end a meal. And trust me, the sweet red beans have an unusually excellent flavor that brings the whole thing together.

6. White Rabbits

White Rabbits

WHAT THEY ARE: Essentially a vanilla flavored Tootsie Roll, the Chinese candies are wrapped in a thin layer of edible sticky-rice paper.

WHY THEY’RE DELICIOUS: The candy itself tastes like sweet milk, though not too sweet to eat a whole handful at once. What really sets these apart, though, is the rice paper that melts in your mouth as you chew.

7. Curry Puffs

WHAT THEY ARE: The country’s most popular street food, curry puffs are to Singapore what hot dogs and jumbo pretzels are to New York City. The traditional curry puff is a chicken and potato mixture coated in a mild, tumeric-based curry paste, wrapped in a thick, savory pastry crust, then baked or fried. The most popular vendor is the Old Change Kee snack chain, but the snacks are served at countless food stalls and restaurants.

WHY THEY’RE DELICIOUS: Similar to an Indian samosa, the sturdy crust is nice and savory, but plain enough not to distract from the strongly spiced chicken/potato filling. Also, they’re small enough that you can eat lots of them (always a plus).

 

8. Sambal Stingray

Sambal Stingray

WHAT IT IS: Sambal stingray is prepared by smothering a stingray wing with spicy-sweet sambal chili paste, wrapping it in a banana leaf, and grilling it. It’s served right on the leaf, and is easy to pull apart with chopsticks or a fork.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: Never eaten stingray before? It’s similar to skate wing (though stingrays are bigger), with super tender, almost sweet flesh that comes in a large, flat filet. The sauce is spicy-sweet, and the fish also takes on some flavor from the grill and the banana leaf.

 

9. Tiger Beer

Tiger Beer

WHAT IT IS: A golden lager, brewed in Singapore and sold everywhere on the island.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: Make no mistake, Tiger is a simple, mass-produced lager. Still, it’s balanced and refreshing in tropical weather. The lager is now widely available in the US. But only in Singapore can you go on the Tiger Brewery Tour, which ends with 45 minutes of all-you-can drink Tiger beer, for just S$16 (US$12.75).

10. Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

WHAT IT IS: Cubed beef braised in a sauce of ground aromatics (i.e. lemongrass, garlic, shallots), chilies, spices, tamarind, kaffir lime, and coconut milk for hours, so that almost all of the liquid evaporates.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: As the sauce dries out, the beef absorbs the flavors, gets extremely tender, and begins to caramelize, resulting in falling-apart beef coated in super-concentrated sauce.

 

11. Kaya Toast

Kaya Toast

WHAT IT IS: A popular breakfast staple in Singapore, it’s just white toast spread with kaya, a sweet coconut egg jam (essentially super thick custard made with coconut milk and pandan leaves).

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: The creamy spread is almost too sweet for breakfast, in the best possible way. The pandan and coconut flavors add some intrigue without being overwhelming.

 

12. Kopi Ice (Sweet Iced Coffee)

WHAT IT IS: Putting the Frappucino to shame, iced coffee at hawker stalls or traditional coffee shops in Singapore is brewed strong in a metal pot with a long spout, then mixed with sweetened condensed milk, poured over ice, and served in a small drawstring bag with a straw (pictured above).

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: Between the strong brew and the super sweet milk, it’s like drinking a thin milkshake with a serious caffeine kick.

13. Singaporean Hokkien Mee

Singaporean Hokkien Mee

WHAT IT IS: A mixture of vermicelli (rice) and yellow (egg) noodles are cooked in shellfish stock with squid and prawns, then wok-fried in lard with scrambled eggs and fish sauce.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: The slippery, fishy-noodle has a strong pork fat flavor that’s hard to forget. To make things even better, it’s served with sambal chili sauce (for spice) and fresh lime that brightens things up.

 

14. Char Kway Teow

Char Kway Teow

WHAT IT IS: A stir-fried noodle dish that puts Pad Thai to shame. Thick, chewy flat rice noodles are stir fried in pork fat with shrimp (or sometimes other meat), Chinese chives, bean sprouts, and egg, then coated in a thick, dark sweet soy sauce.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: Like many great things, it is unbelievably high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. But in a great way: the chewy noodles and crunchy bean sprouts play well off each other, and chives make the dish seem lighter than it actually is.

 

15. Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng

WHAT IT IS: Literally translating to “fried rice,” it’s just that. But Singapore does it best: Day-old rice is stir fried with shallots, garlic, ginger, red chilies, and various vegetables or proteins, then coated in a sweet soy sauce and (this is the most important part) topped with a fried sunny side up egg, runny on top and golden brown on the bottom.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: The egg is perfectly fried every time, and there are so many flavors that it’s always satisfying, no matter what kind of mood you’re in.

 

16. Nyonya Kueh Lapis

Nyonya Kueh Lapis

WHAT IT IS: These small, colorful “cakes” are made a mixture of glutinous rice flour and tapioca starch, and flavored with coconut milk, sugar, and pandan.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: So unnaturally neon, so strangely gummy, and so good. It’s a sweet, rich dessert with a thick, gelatinous texture.

 

17. Fried Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway)

Fried Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway)

WHAT IT IS: Completely unrelated to the sweet, cream-cheese frosted spice cake that shares its name, Singaporean carrot cake is a savory dish, and it’s actually made with daikon radish, not carrot — in Chinese, the word for “carrot” is the same as the word for “daikon,” thus the name. Steamed daikon radish cake (a chewy starch made of rice flour, shredded daikon, and water) is cut up and stir fried with egg, preserved radish, and other seasonings.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: It’s just a little bit funky, and essentially a perfectly greasy, salty omelet.

 

18. Chinese New Year Pineapple Tarts

WHAT THEY ARE: In the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, mountains of red-lidded plastic cookie jars appear in markets throughout Singapore. They’re filled with various Chinese confectionary, the best of which is the “pineapple tart,” a ball of sweet, very dense pineapple filling baked into a buttery pastry shell.

WHY THEY’RE DELICIOUS: The shape varies — sometimes the cookies are balls, other times they are more like actual tarts, with pastry on the bottom and a dollop of filling on top — but the sticky pineapple filling and crumbly pastry are consistently excellent. Extra point for how extravagantly dense they are.

 

19. Popiah

Popiah

WHAT IT IS: A thin, rolled wheat crepe, filled with a cooked mixture of seasoned carrots, chinese turnips, and dried shirimp, plus sweet Chinese sausage, sliced egg, lettuce, peanuts, and bean sprouts.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: It’s got an intense savory flavor, but the huge variety of textures in every bite is what makes popiah truly excellent.

20. Mamee Monster Noodle Snacks

WHAT THEY ARE: Ramen noodles that have been baked into a salty, crispy brick, and they’re meant to be eaten as is (so, truly instant ramen). The noodle snacks are available in a variety of flavors — chicken is the best, but barbecue is pretty stellar, too.

WHY THEY’RE DELICIOUS: What they absolutely lack in nutritional value, they make up for in addictive umami-ness.

21. Milo

Milo

WHAT IT IS: A sweet cocoa powder made from malted barley and touted as a sports drink, milo is mixed with milk (sometimes sweetened condensed milk) and served either hot or cold.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: One sip and any delusions you have of it being a “sports drink” will disappear; It’s like Southeast Asian Swiss-Miss, but so much better.

22. Curry Laksa

Curry Laksa

WHAT IT IS: A spicy noodle soup. The broth is made by frying a curry paste (common ingredients are shallots, garlic, ginger, red chiles, coriander, tumeric, and dried shrimp), then adding chicken stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, sugar, and lots of fish sauce. It’s served with rice noodles, shrimp, and hard boiled egg.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: The combination of intense broth with soft noodles will make your tastebuds weep. Mostly tears of joy, but also a few tears of extreme spiciness.

 

23. Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak

WHAT IT IS: Traditionally a breakfast dish, long grain rice is cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in a pandan leaf, then served with cucumber slices, roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and fried anchovies in sambal (spicy chili) sauce.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: All the different textures work perfectly together, and the whole dish is subtly brought together by the flavors of pandan and coconut, with the fried anchovies adding a kick of salt.

 

24. Seasons Ice Lemon Tea

WHAT IT IS: Seasons iced tea (made by the Singaporean F&N company) comes in a variety of flavors, some with milk and some without, but their iced lemon tea is the best.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: It’s really strong, really sweet, and really perfect in 90 degree weather. Seriously, Arizona iced tea has nothing on Singapore’s version.

25. Min Jiang Kueh (Peanut Pancakes)

Min Jiang Kueh (Peanut Pancakes)

WHAT IT IS: Dense, griddled pancakes folded over a sweet, gritty ground peanut mixture.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: Extra-chewy pancake + extra-sugary peanut butter = everything good.

 

26. Mutton Satay

Mutton Satay

WHAT IT IS: A dish of skewered meat that’s been marinated in a sweet, salty, tumeric glaze, then grilled over an open flame. Chicken and beef versions are also popular, but mutton — the meat of a mature sheep (as opposed to lamb, which is typically from a sheep one year or younger) — is best.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: The super flavorful, slightly gamey meat gets charred and caramelized over the fire, but stays really tender. It pairs perfectly with the soy-peanut dipping sauce it’s often served with.

 

27. Roti Prata

And lastly, the Food To End All Foods: Roti Prata

WHAT IT IS: A flatbread made of buttery (actually, it’s usually margarine) yeasted dough folded over itself many times, creating perfectly greasy, airy layers when pan fried in a generous amount of oil.

WHY IT’S DELICIOUS: Possibly the most addicting food on the planet, It’s often served with a curry dipping sauce, or stuffed with eggs or onions. Even plain, the ‘chewy on the inside, flaky on the outside’ texture in unparalleled.

 Check out this link:
Link

23 Food Things Only Chinese-American Kids Would Understand

Huffington Post:

The Chinese culture in the United States has a very unique food scene, and if you’re a kid who has grown up in a Chinese household, you know that things were kind of different for you growing up. Most families incorporate American traditions with longstanding Chinese ones to create a very interesting hybrid of customs.

However, there are some strong Chinese traditions that withstand. If you grew up in the U.S. with Chinese parents, you know that going out to banquet dinners is an experience only a seasoned Chinese-American could understand. And you know that you really just can’t be a picky eater if you want to gain any respect from your elders. For goodness sake, there are chicken feet on the table.

Here are the 23 food things that only Chinese-American kids would understand:

1. Baos make the best snack ever.

Char Siu Bao

Specifically baos (steamed buns with meat or vegetable filling) packed with char siu (Chinese roasted barbecue pork).

2. Or you could just snack on some char siu all on its own.

Char Siu

In fact, you could probably eat a whole carton if nobody stops you…

3. The best sweet indulgence is an egg tart.

egg custard tarts

You may know them as “dan tats.” Whatever you call them, these pastries filled with egg custard are baked to a creamy perfection.

4. Dim sum never ever ends.

dim sum

The fun doesn’t stop at this Chinese lunch until your family has grabbed every steamer basket full of every kind of dumplings ever.

5. You’ve had your tenth cup of tea already.

Chinese Tea

And don’t forget: You always pour it for everyone else at the table before you pour it for yourself.

6. Knowing how to use chopsticks is essential to earn family approval.

I can use chopsticks myself at age 18 months.

From the moment you are able to talk, you should also know how to use chopsticks perfectly. No excuses.

7. You can’t stop staring at the crazy fish tanks in the restaurant.

P2190227

Yes, the lobster and eel you are eating right now were just in those tanks an hour ago…

8. You always have to sit at the kid’s table at the restaurant.

All ClearOne kids at dinner

Don’t worry, you’ll have more fun there… and you’ll get more food!

10. When you grow up, you know to bring your own Tsing Tao beer to dinner.

Tsingtao

It’s BYOB at these restaurants.

10. It is very important to learn how to navigate the Lazy Susan.

IMG_0599

Once the waiter brings the plate to the Lazy Susan, all hands are on deck. If you aren’t fast, you may have to wait a long time before that food hits your plate.

11. You always put red rice vinegar in your cream corn soup.

soup

If you don’t, you’re just doing it all wrong.

12. This is the best taco in the whole world.

Peking Duck

Forget about Mexican tacos. You know that juicy Peking duck wrapped in a fluffy bun “taco shell” and doused with duck sauce is way better.

13. You get nervous when the whole fish arrives…

FISH!@#*&!#$

Because someone is going to eat the eye.

14. If you’re a vegetarian, this bean curd roll is your best friend.

Bean Curd Roll

You gobble these up like your life depended on it. After all — aside from rice — there’s not much else you can eat on the menu.

15. Someone always feels the need to order the sweet and sour pork…

108225033

And you then feel the need to roll your eyes (even though you’ll definitely take a bite).

16. Bok choy is always an acceptable replacement for any green vegetable.

garlic ginger bok choy

Have fun with your Brussels sprouts and kale, we’ll take this delicious cabbage over those any day.

17. Orange slices make the best palate cleanser.

China Star in West View

There’s nothing more refreshing than a few fresh slices after a big dinner.

18. If someone in your family just gave birth, she may have been told to eat pig’s feet soup.

Pig's Feet

The Chinese believe pig’s feet soup warms the body from the inside out and that the iron and calcium from the pig’s feet mixed with the vinegar helps to purify a new mother’s blood.

19. White rice serves as the main starch for most of your meals.

rice

This is eaten instead of pasta, bread or any other carb. Always.

20. Oyster sauce can be used on anything.

Oyster sauce, Premium Brand (Lee Kum Kee)

You definitely know the simple pleasure of eating white rice and oyster sauce.

21. Your grandmother knows how to make the best jook.

meaty congee

No food ever goes to waste. In fact, your grandma used the Thanksgiving turkey to make the most delicious congee or jook (rice porridge).

22. If it’s September, you’re eating mooncakes.

Mooncake

These red-bean cakes are imprinted with the Chinese symbols for “longevity” and “harmony.”

23. When someone thinks Chinese food is the same thing as takeout, you just shake your head.

takeout

They have a lot of learning to do. General Tso’s chicken and beef and broccoli are NOT real Chinese dishes, thank you very much.

Check out this link:

23 Food Things Only Chinese-American Kids Would Understand