Wednesday 29 July 2015

An audience with the King....... of Fruits

For those of us in Singapore; around this time of year, a familiar smell lingers around the air. You're almost certainly going to smell it before you see it, even from metres away. Soon you come to recognise it; as you round the corner, sitting amongst all the other fruits you'll spot the Durian. Hailed as the King of Fruits its hugely recognisable with its armour of spikes, smelly reputation and a yellowish custard banana like flesh that lies within its many chambers. 

It's hard to tell whether the Durian is loved or loathed, for as many that say they love the fruit to bits, there is seemingly an equal number that wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot (or more) pole. 

However, word has spread..... Apparently this season is the best season yet due to more favourable weather conditions or due to more rain in the neighbouring countries where the Durian is imported from. Facebook and Instagram accounts are also singing the praises of the Durian this season; so really, it had to be done. We just had to try it for ourselves. 

After dinner one night; Durian was the dessert of choice. I can just imagine most of you cringing now, probably thinking Cake or Panna Cotta is a better choice. We opted to buy a Durian at "227 Katong Durian" out on East Coast Road. We heard somewhere that they're renowned for getting in darn good quality Durian and the owner knew what he was doing when selecting your pungent medieval weapon of a fruit for consumption. We were 100 metres away from the stand but could already smell it. Yup; the force was strong this season, and it was attracting many enthusiast. There was already a queue alongside the stall.

However, it didn't take long. Minutes later the owner had chosen out a Mao Shan Wang Durian for us, he skilfully hacked into it with his trusty knife, weighed it, charged us $34, and it was ready to eat at our roadside table. We weren't going to risk taking it home as it certainly doesn't fit into the "best" air freshener category. 

Sitting at the table; I pryed open the Durian, making sure not to cut my hands in the process. This fruit; beyond the smell, can be harzardous stuff. And behold; with a sudden strong whiff of Durian as the shell was opened, the wonderfully bright yellow fruit was revealed. The colour was amazing, bright, intense and kindly "sickly". We dug right into it pulling out a seed each. I love how there is a small membrane like coating around each piece. It gives a very nice texture and crispiness as you bite into it. Within is the super rich and creamy custard like flesh. As you bite, it is almost like eating mozzarella on a pizza since it can stretch into thin strands. The Durian was sweet and very decadent. The texture was amazingly smooth and we loved how it had that weird aroma. It reminded us of "strong paint".  

There was a total of 5 chambers so we racked up an impressive pile of seeds! 

After a pretty big dessert of Durian, we must say that we agree with the majority that this year's Durian season is spot on. Whether it's at a bus stop or even in our condo complex, the smell of Durian lingers in the air as fans buy up big and indulge. 

If you're a fan; get out there and try it out if you haven't already done so. Never tried? Now is an excellent time to try. Not a fan at all? Sorry; you'll have to endure the season for a few more weeks. 

What are your experiences with Durian? Yea or Nay? :)

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Looking for great Mexican food in Seminyak?

It's always great to find a place that serves great food and in Bali, you're very spoilt for choice. Imagine though if you found a place with great music and a lot of fun thrown into the mix. That place is Motel Mexicola!

Just a little further on out of the main shopping stretch is Motel Mexicola. It isn't an accommodation place despite it's name, but a Mexican themed restaurant. Once you arrive you'll see that the theme is delivered very creatively with crazy murals, colours and decorations. It's almost like a club as it has music pumping and people with huge smiles having a good time.

At Mexicola it's all about sharing. The menu looks huge but don't be thrown off by that. It's really simple as you start off with smaller sharing plates first and then move through onto Mains. The menu is already laid out in this manner; just order from left to right. Once you come to choose your Mains, feel free to share as these are pretty big. 

The drinks are also great too. The main attraction is of course the Margaritas that are a must have. They come in single serves or a jug which is great for larger groups. We also tried the Mojitos and the Coco Colado which came in a coconut. 

The Mexican food at Mexicola is very tasty; a few squeezes of lime really brings out the flavours even more.

To start we had some Guacamole to get the taste buds going. So good when you can taste how fresh the ingredients are and the corn chips are extra crunchy. 

The slow roasted Pork Tostaditas; De Cochinitas, were up next. They're a helping of Pork on small corn chips topped off with pickles. It's like finger food so it's bite sized and one bite was it; all gone! These were great, Pork was still so juicy. 

With the taste of the Tostaditas still lingering in our mouth, we moved onto the Empanadas. These are like small pastries and you can have fillings of your choice. We decided on a vegetarian one filled with melted cheeses, mushrooms, corn and peppers. 

Eat these as soon as they come out as it is fantastic when still hot and the cheese oozing.

Now it wouldn't be right if we didn't try any Tacos. Seafood was the choice for this round so we opted for the tempura prawn and grilled fish. The Tacos were nice and soft and a squeeze of lime on the seafood was perfect. The grilled fish stood out the most though; wonderfully juicy and best eaten when it's served and hot. The tomato salsa gave it a bit of a vinegar edge too, this was perfect. The tempura prawn had a pineapple salsa giving the taco the sour/sweet treatment.

Tempura Prawn Taco

Grilled Fish Taco
With these appetite inducing morsels the main was the next to come; the breaded chicken, which is stuffed with rajas poblanas to give it a good spicy kick and topped with a coriander salsa. It also comes with a small side dish of chipotle mash and extra tacos for some DIY wrap fun :)

Really enjoyed the rajas poblanas stuffed inside the chicken. It gave enough heat to the dish but had the coriander salsa to bring it back down again before you had to call the fire brigade. 

Apart from the food though; Mexicola has a great atmosphere. They have some good tunes that their DJ pumps out across the restaurant. You always know if it is a crowd favourite as people at most tables will start to bob their heads up and down or waving their hands in the air. 

The staff are also easy going as well; dancing and singing as the deliver meals but never compromising the service. They're really fun and will start clapping and dancing to get the customers into it. They got so many revved up that they all started dancing on the stage! Really fun and all the kids at Mexicola enjoyed the experience immensely; Mexicola is for all ages.

Motel Mexicola is a place we'd come back to again and again. Fresh tasty food, good variety, well made drinks and a fantastically fun atmosphere. You really feel like you're on holiday here with the whole restaurant getting into the groove and festivities. The decor is also top notch; a great courtyard flanked on both sides with bars. Incredible staff as well; friendly and always smiling. They make the place what it is. Already missing the place just by doing this post!

So next time you're in Bali; Seminyak, check out Motel Mexicola and tell us what you think. You can even make a booking via their website which is really handy. 

Oh; and don't forget to try the Magaritas! 

Do you like Mexican food? What's your fave dish?

Motel Mexicola is located at:
Jl. Kayujati No. 9 X, Petitenget
Bali 80361
Phone:+62 (0361) 736 688

Friday 10 July 2015

Wanderlust Hotel - Little India

If you're stuck for another staycation idea, why not try Wanderlust, located on Dickson Street, Little India.

Wanderlust is a 29-room boutique accommodation where each floor has a different theme, designed by different Singapore design agencies.

The Lobby Level has an Industrial Glam theme, designed by Asylum.

Here are some of the rooms Wanderlust has to offer:

Eccentricity by :phunk Studio. There are10 Rooms are ‘capsule-like’ and playfully rendered in different hues. 

Is it just Black and White by DP Architects. Walk across the black corridor and enter into the contrasting white rooms to discover Origami and Pop-Art works.

Whimsical - Featuring 9 loft rooms with five varying themes, ‘Bling’ , ‘ASCII’, ‘Space’, ‘Tree’ and ‘Typewriter’.

For those that just want to relax by a pool, the Wanderlust has a Jacuzzi that is accessible from the second floor.

Located on the ground level of Wanderlust is Cocotte. They serve unpretentious, rustic French cuisine in a casual and comfortable setting. Encouraging social interaction and communal dining, dishes at Cocotte come in sharing portions so guests can enjoy a unique dining experience and sample a variety of scrumptious creations by the chefs. Cocotte is also open to the public.

Wanderlust is located at:
2 Dickson Road
Singapore 209494
Tel: +65 6396 3322
Fax: +65 6298 2211

Thursday 9 July 2015

THE TRANS Resort Bali

We decided to run away from Singapore recently, but deciding on a destination was a difficult one. In the end we settled on Bali for the restaurants and cafes, and it's roughly a two-hour flight from Singapore.

Situated in the lively and stylish area of Seminyak, formerly THE TRANS Resort Bali provides luxury accommodation for those with or without children.

Our check-in experience was very smooth. Once all the formalities have been completed at reception, they took us up to our rooms and showed us our room and explained how to contact them should the need arise. We stayed in the third wing, but do not worry, all rooms face the main pool

The entrance to The Trans Resort Bali

The Lobby featuring two paintings by a famous local artist.

Comfy chairs in the Lobby for you to sit back and relax.

The resort has two pools where both adults and children can have fun! The Beach Pool has white sand, and is specially designed for children. There are lifeguards on duty, should the need arise. And there are soft loungers for the adults to relax on.

The Main Pool looking towards the magnificent waterfall.

We stayed in a Premiere Room, which has a spacious balcony with a daybed and a jacuzzi (not pictured). The room is also spacious and has a comfortable king-size bed and fluffy pillows.

What I love about the most this Resort is that there are two basins. One each! No fighting over who is going to use the bathroom first in the morning or the evenings.

The other thing I like about this resort is all the extra special touches they have. The embroidery on the towels and bath robes and all the amenities . . .

. . . I mean check this out! Shaving kit with real shaving cream, a hair brush plus your usual nail kit, shower cap, cotton kit and toothbrushes.

The resort also offers all-day dining either by the pool or in the main restaurant (situated near the pool).

View from Poolside Dining

The Main Resstaurant

There are a lot of shopping, cafes and restaurants within walking distance from the Resort.

THE TRANS Resort Bali is located at:
Jl. Sunset Road
Phone:+62 (0361) 898 1234

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