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Chloe and I spent a couple of days in Madrid, essentially eating our way through the city: tapas, paella, churros con chocolate, sangria, manchego… mmm! Madrid also happens to have 3 world-class art museums all on one street (hola Picasso, hola Goya, hola Velasquez!) and beautiful gardens where one can basque in the sol and the calor. Viva Espana!

I’ll take a crappuccino please.  No no, actually make that a caffe laxte. And an iced crappe for the gentleman.

No scratch that. I’ll order the civet poop coffee.

taking a whiff

For real. I drank the civet poop coffee.

I’ll repeat: I drank coffee made from the beans that wild cat pooped.

Don’t judge. It was a damn good cup of coffee! The official beverage is called kopi luwak. You might have already heard of it if you watched The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  It is the rarest, most expensive cup of coffee in the world.

Essentially a civet eats a coffee cherry, the coffee cherry spends a day and a half in the civet’s digestive track, and then the civet defecates a string of coffee beans. Some poor farmer then sorts through the poop (can you imagine that Monday morning back at work??), cleans the coffee beans, dries them in the sun, and then gives them a light roast.

At a whopping $27 SGD, this particular cup of kopi luwak was amazing.  It’s served black, and is actually the least bitter cup of black coffee I’ve ever tasted. I bet with a little cream and a hot, buttery croissant… yummm

***

You can find Kopi Luwak in Singapore at:

Blue Mountain Cafe.
313 Orchard Road,
#03-23/24
313 @ Somerset, Singapore

While in Malaysia last week, I decided to try Ipoh White Coffee.

I know what you’re probably thinking as you look at the picture, and I will tell you that I too was  surprised (and slightly bummed) that the coffee was not actually white.

According to my source of knowledge for all things in the world everywhere (wikipedia), “white coffee” is a literal translation from its Chinese name, 怡保白咖啡. I have NO idea what that means.

Essentially the beans are roasted with palm-oil margarine (don’t tell Green Peace) and the resulting coffee is mixed with condensed milk.

Verdict: Way too sweet for my taste buds, although the kaya toast I ate with it was dee-licious!

Thanks, mom!

My only special request from home...

Besides you, my lovely family and friends, I’m really looking forward to being reunited with my bean grinder and French press. And of course George The Plant.

Yes, I’m the yuppie girl with the bean grinder. And yoga mat. Stop judging…

Accompanied by blogger friend Flora, I finally ate at the popular Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung – famous for its xiaolongbao (small steamed soup dumplings). While the dumplings were indeed delicious–especially the pork dumplings and red bean dumplings–the highlight of the menu was dessert: the double-boiled papaya and snow fungus soup with rock sugar.

Clearly such an item merits a try, right? Well, apart from the fact that I blurted aloud that it looked like a venereal disease in a pot (more inappropriate jokes followed), we still ate it and survived to tell the tale. In fact, it was rather bland and anti-climactic but the dumplings and appetizers were wonderful enough that I plan on returning here soon.

Pictures: (1) Shrimp & Pork steamed dumplings and Pork steamed dumplings, (2) seaweed peanuts, drunken chicken and hot & sour soup; (3) the infamous dessert.


 
Clockwise from top left: (1) Street lamp, (2) Galleries, (3) with M in front of the Opera, (4) blanquette de veau, (5) Hotel de Ville, (6) cafe au lait, chocolate and croissants, (7) bonbons, (8) with C at Le Pain Quotidien, (9) Notre Dame.

Somebody let me into a kitchen today. Obviously they had never heard about my butter chicken fiasco (a year ago, to the date). Nor about the time I called my mother screaming while I gutted a chicken (poor George). Nope, if they knew, they never would have given me this sweet hat.

We did the group cooking class/bonding experience at Coriander Leaf, which happens to be one of my favorite restaurants in Singapore. Fortunately no one asked me to use an open flame. I did however roll a mean rice paper spring roll (aka Vietnamese burrito).

Crystal and I decided to make a video to share our underwhelming culinary prowess with the world (aka Mom and Dad). We also wanted to share Assad’s creative vision, as he felt it was “misunderstood.” [A’s peanut sauce not pictured]

We may not be excellent chefs, but it turns out we can mash peanuts and fold a damn good spring roll. I expect the food network to call any day now.

Did you hear the joke about the monk who walked up to the Durian stall?

No? Me neither. But it sounds like the start of a good joke.

In the meantime, I’ll take a durian and a tattoo please.

A lot of local drinks are…well…they’re interesting.

That’s my culturally sensitive way of saying that I think they’re gross.

I don’t know, there’s just something about the combination of jiggle and jello and soy and milk and green tea and sugar that doesn’t exactly inspire my taste buds to water.

So when Crystal decided we had to try “Jelly Drink,” I knew that our Ang-Mo reactions needed to be captured on film:

Advice: If you’re a woman and you’re planning on going to Little India on a Sunday night…don’t. It’s a meat market, and if you’re not prepared to be undressed by the eyes of hundreds of Bangladeshi and Indian construction workers, stick to Chinatown.

[images via YinYang]

Anyways, this is to say that my lil’ bro is visiting me for a few weeks so this weekend I took him to my favorite Indian/Bengali joint: Mustard.

And as always, it was so good, and sooo worth it!

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