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Food Travel

The Food in Phuket (Part 2)

Nicky’s Handlebar

Pretty close to where we were staying there was a restaurant called Nicky’s Handlebar.  As you can probably guess, it was a biker type bar.  It was decorated with a ton of Harley Davidson paraphernalia.

This was my favorite item in the place:

Anyhow, the atmosphere was great.  It had the right look.  It was even playing classic rock songs and the TVs were playing sports and some Harley convention show.

The food is where the authenticity failed to deliver though.  Half of the menu was European food and half was Thai.  I figured I’d try the burger.  I’ve sort of been in search of a great burger since I left the US, along with my search for a great pizza.

I’m not sure what my wife ordered, but it looks good and tasted good too.

This is the burger I got.  It wasn’t quite up to par.  First off, they served it with the bun put together, with the veggies inside already, but with the meat pattie sitting off to the side.  So, I had to take the whole damn thing apart and put it back together.  Presentation is only important if it doesn’t create hassle for the customer.  Also, the meat looks a little pale to really be beef so I wonder if it was mixed with pork.  The taste was decent, but not great.

The search continues.

The following morning we dropped by there again, because it was convenient, and we had the Thai omelets.  They were actually pretty good.  The filling was mostly ground pork and it had a sweet taste to it.

The above image is a glass of sweet tea that I ordered.  The orchid along the rim was a nice touch and it tasted good.

Overall, Nicky’s Handlebar is a 7/10.  The atmosphere is nice, most of the food we ate is nice, and the drinks are nice.  I would just recommend sticking with the Thai menu though.

Street Vendor Crepes

We found this guy along the road that fronts the beach.  In the top right of the shot you can see the ocean.

He was selling crepes for 30 baht.  Some might have been a little less or more.  I don’t recall.

This was a great snack to munch on while walking down the road … looking for dinner!

Mama Mia’s

I can’t really say much for this place.  We totally weren’t impressed.  We both decided to try local dishes and got yellow curry.  I had the chicken and my wife had the shrimp.  The overall taste was bland.  If bland were a real ingredient, I would say they used too much.  Isn’t curry supposed to be spicy?  Plus, the food had no texture to speak of and you couldn’t taste anything except the bland curry.

The only thing good about this place is that the beer was cheap:

San Mig Light is a popular beer both in Thailand and in the Philippines.  I think in Thailand it’s #3 and in the Philippines, where it originated, it’s #1.

Pizzaria Fresca

This is another restaurant that was on the road fronting the beach.

This place was great!

This is the dish my wife ordered.  It’s a traditional pasta from Italy called Putanesca (Whore’s Pasta).  The story behind it is that Putanesca was a cheap dish prepared in Italy by prostitutes.  It was served to ‘clients’ after the deed.  Now that’s customer service!  Over time, the dish became a national favorite and is now served in many restaurants.

Ham, mushroom and green pepper.  It cost about 13 SGD I think and was the best pizza I’ve had since leaving the US.  It still doesn’t hold a candle to New York City pizza, or even to fast food pizzas like Papa John’s, but it beats out anything I’ve had in Singapore so far.  I think the cheese was a bit off though, or maybe something in the sauce?  My stomach was going nuts later that night.

Goodies!

The last two items aren’t anything special or specific to Thailand.  They’re just things that we really enjoyed eating.

We found an Au Bon Pain at the mall in Phuket.  Imagine that!  I’ve only ever seen one and that was in New York City.  I got a poppyseed bagel with Philadelphia Cream Cheese and my wife went nuts over it.  Apparently she’d never had a bagel before.  It’s interesting how we keep introducing each other to new foods.

Muay Thai, not just a boxing event!  I’d never had one before and decided to try it for the first time while sitting at the bar at the Simon Cabaret while waiting for the show to start.

Dunkin’ Donuts!  Until a week or so before we left on our vacation to Thailand, Singapore didn’t have a Dunkin’ Donuts.  So, we really enjoyed this chance to buy and eat a few.  We bought some a few hours before our flight to take back to Singapore with us.  The only Dunkin’ Donuts in Singapore is located in the downtown area and I have a feeling it’d be a lot more expensive.

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Travel

3 Days in Kuala Lumpur: Part 10: Heading Home

Before we knew it, our short 3 day trip in Kuala Lumpur was coming to an end.

On the morning of the third day we were there, we got up at 9 am to make sure we wouldn’t be late.  We really had no idea how to get back to the airport.  On the way to Kuala Lumpur, the buses were in an obvious location, right along with the taxis and stuff, but it’s not as much of a “no-brainer” when going back to the airport.

The first thing we had to do though was… eat of course!  Since it was a day for traveling we didn’t want to risk eating something that might mess up our stomachs, so we went to McDonald’s.  My wife had the sausage biscuit again, which seemed fitting.  That’s what she had on the first morning, when we were at the Budget Terminal at Changi International in Singapore, waiting on our flight.

After eating, we went back to the hotel and checked with the lady at the front desk for directions.  We specifically wanted to know how to get on one of those cheap buses again.  Why pay more when you don’t have to?  She told us that the best way to get there would be to go back to the Pasar Seni train station and ride to K.L. Central.  She said there were buses there that would take us back to the airport for 8 ringgit each, which is what we paid the last time heading into the city.

That seemed simple enough, and it didn’t take us long to get to K.L. Central.  The place was bigger than we expected though so we had to stop for directions again.  Unfortunately, the guy behind the counter told us it would be “better for you to take fast train to airport.”  Of course… that’s what we didn’t want to do.  The fast train he was talking about is fast, but it’s also 35 ringgits per person.  I couldn’t see spending that much more just to shave 30 minutes or so off our trip.  We wound up getting the right directions from a guy working at a sales stand.  All we had to do was go downstairs.

When we got downstairs the bus we wanted was right in front of us.  It was yellow, just like the one we had taken from the airport, and just like the one we had taken from the airport it was indeed only 8 ringgit.  It was called Star Shuttle (see the ticket stub on the left, which was from our trip into the city on the 1st).  We double checked with the guy selling tickets to make sure it was going to the airport and then paid and got on board.  We got on the bus at about 11:30 am, and about 20 minutes later the bus pulled off from the curb and got on its way to the airport.  I dozed off for part of the trip again.  My wife was kind enough to let me know I was knocked out and had my mouth hanging open for quite a while.  Oops!

We left Kuala Lumpur early because we weren’t sure of the way back to the airport, so when we did get there, we got there early.  Really early in fact.  We had two hours to kill before we could even check in, so we went to the McDonald’s there and got some coffee.  I tried to log into the free wireless but either it was acting up or my phone was, because I kept getting a “no reply from gateway” error.  Thinking about it now, it had to be my phone if I got the same error in two different places.  Since we couldn’t get the internet to work, we found a bench to sit on.  My wife pulled out a book, and I fell back asleep for about an hour.

When the time came, we checked in, got our boarding passes and then went through the immigration and security checkpoints.  While in line we realized that we hadn’t taken the time to stop for Dunkin Donuts.  There aren’t any Dunkin Donuts stores in Singapore.  I have no idea why, because the donut stores that are in Singapore aren’t very good.  We were both kinda sad about the whole thing, because we love their donuts.  Fortunately for us, there’s a Dunkin Donuts just past the immigration checkpoint.

We had just enough ringgits left for four donuts, so we chowed down!

The rest of our trip home was fairly uneventful.  The gate was a bit crowded and the flight left a bit late, but we were back in Singapore by 5:45 pm.