183 Jln Imbi, KL, Malaysia : Restoran Win Heng Seng

Ok it's called 'Restoran' but it's really a kopitiam. My last visit here was probably about 5 years or so ago and my impression then was that it was rather dark and dingy.

However, our impressions changed since it seems to have cleaned up a lot with 'fresh' paint and the ambience was generally brighter and seemed, dare i say it, cleaner.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia : Restoran Sun Ming

click on thumbnails to enlarge

Generally, when people talk about roast meat in KL, Restoran Oversea is typically used as the benchmark, especially when it comes to char siew...

...which made Restoran Sun Ming such a revelation. Although they are known for their roast duck (thick cuts, meaty, juicy, moist), we found the char siew to be perfect as well. Just the right amount of fatty-ness, nicely black (not burnt) and moderately caramalised, so one gets to enjoy the taste of the meat more than other more overly sweet executions.

Ippudo Ramen, 333A Orchard Road #04-02/03/04 Mandarin Gallery

Ramen in Singapore is now in abundance and its prices are as if in Tokyo so there is no room for mediocre ramen. Ippudo Ramen is famous in Japan and for good reason too. The way they set up the menu is with a basic bowl or ramen in tonkatsu broth but flavoured four or five different ways.Then one adds the tamago or kakuni or chashu as toppings. The nicest in our opinion is the Akamaru Kasaneaji which comes with a dallop of concentrated miso in a ball and garlic flavoured oil.

Seventeen Restaurant & Bar, 17 Notting Hill Gate London W11 3JQ UK

This Chinese restaurant has a very British interface in that it integrates a pub into its operation. However do not let that put you off for it serves up very good chinise cuisine.

The pork rib is tasty, tender and comes off the bone with ease.

Another recommendation is the Kung pao chicken though its presentation is fusion, its taste is authentic.Even the Kailan is done right, crunchy and tasty unlike the british norm of over cooked.

Gunther's. 36 Purvis Street Singapore 188613

Is it French or is it Italian? Maybe its just Belgian? Its supposed to be modern french but mostly fusion. However Gunther's is serious, seriously good. Alex here is the restaurant manager and pitches the day's ingredients with gutso.

Burger Bench & Bar, Cineleisure Orchard, Singapore

update - B3 has closed down

If you are hankering for a good burger try this one, the Burger Bench & Bar (B-cubed?) at the Orchard Cineleisure ground floor. The burgers are hand made and from fresh beef not the factory stuff in the fast food outlets. And fast it is not especially if you order an extra patty. Thats because they are cooking the patties one by one (well it seems like its that long).

Tenkaippin Ramen : Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Tenkaippin Ramen is located just around the Shinjuku station. It is a different kind of Ramen as it has a gravy-like consistency to its broth as it is collagen based. Its not for the novices who are used to the normal miso soup ramen. Its tasty and there is a gritty texture to the soup as it is made from chicken bone(ground up?). Nice flavour and noodles is al dente.

Unfortunately locating the branch in Shinjuku had even the locals baffled so good luck (as are many joints in super-packed Tokyo city) 

Ryo Zan Izakaya, 2589 Pacific Coast Hwy, California CA90505

Staying authentic in the US is the hard thing to do as many traditional Asian foods become Americanized to stay alive in the US. However this little Japanese gem maintains true to the Japanese style in decor, service and food of course. Izakaya is Japanese tid-bit dining with drinks.

The barbecued skewered yaki meats are what one would expect in Japan but some are larger as is the American norm. 

Campinile Restaurant, 624 South La Brea, LA, CA90036

Update. This restaurant has closed down. 

Campinile means bell tower in Italian, ordinary but as Italian it sounds sexy just like their cars (Quattroporte is 4-door, who would name their car 4-door? But it sounds great) 

This Italian Restaurant is a bit fusion to cater for the trendy and it attracts the artiste crowd, actors like Forrest Whittaker and singers like Gwen Stefani. But thats LA for you. The mains like the duck

Cha-Cha Moon, 15 Ganton Street, London, UK

For the travel weary and those sick of the sub-prime UK cuisine, here is a local-food respite. The name is a little odd at first but then again its actually a HK owned joint.

However the food is a fair replica of the South-east asian dishes from HK, Malaysia and Singapore. After a week of UK food you'd swear this is the best stuff you have tasted in a long while. Its good but not that good but like I said its a huge relief from the mostly bland UK food.

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