It feels like forever ago but the sweet taste of every spice
and herb lingers on my taste buds when I think about Bali. Not only is
southeast asia one of my favourite places in the world, it is where I grew up
so returning to the familiar smells and bustling streets always brings back childhood
memories. Prior to this trip, my only other memory of Bali was when we visited Nusa
dua for a long weekend to celebrate my cousins marriage. I never truly saw the
vast landscapes this island has to offer.
It was D’s first ever visit to southeast asia so I wanted
him to soak every bit of it in and we all know that food is the way to every
man’s heart, and he fell in love. Most people always caution you about the “Bali
belly”, mainly due to the still unsophisticated irrigation systems. We made
sure we were extra cautious, avoiding fresh salads and brushing our teeths with
bottled water. But one thing we were not going to do is let this stop us from
trying the real local delicacies. While there are many dishes that make up a
local’s diet, these three in our opinions are the must haves if you want to
discover the real side of Bali (outside of the many tourist traps crowded by
So one of my major 2019 aims was to understand my body and health a bit more. I have enrolled in a free Uni course around how food is your medicine and also taken an intolerance test to understand my specific needs. I already new that I was intolerant to dairy after my vegan detox where my skin cleared and my stomach stopped feeling so bloated and uneasy. But cutting out dairy didn’t stop the pains completely and with two of my close friends finding out about Candida and yeast overgrowth, I was interested to learn more. Not only did my test results show an intolerance to yeast and dairy, it turns out that I am intolerant to Soya, egg yolk , pepper (wtf), walnuts and rasberries. The idea behind intolerance tests is to cut out the food items for 4 to 6 weeks and reintroduce them into your diet one at a time to see which item/ingredient is causing you discomfort, as not all of them do.
There are many other side effects people encounter from yeast and that could be dry/flaky skin, itching and irritation and thrush! My biggest heart break was thinking that I couldn’t have rice or bread, my two favourite carbs and comfort food. But thank god for all the alternatives that exist in this world.
Winter is here, and so is the cold crip air and annoying silky rain. My friends know that I am largely affected by the weather, like my hair, the rain makes my mood go frizzy and dull and I begin to trade in my long summer nights out and about with movie nights in with a meal and glass of wine. However, with Christmas nearby my social calendar has started to fill up again.
I do not have a single evening free from Wednesday to Sundays for the rest of the year – this is giving me somewhat anxiety especially since I also only have three weeks left until I travel back home to Singapore and have my lovely (also very judgemental) father greet me with the usual “have you put on weight mel” phrase. I swear he does this even when I’ve lost weight (parents hey).
Anyway, over the weekend the girls and I went for a bottomless brunch at the sipping room. It was our little treat to IJ who hosted us in New York City and is now living back in London and what better way to have a post New York celebration than to booze away with some fried chicken and waffle?
After this alcohol, sugar – in fact just calories in general, filled summer that I have had I decided to give my body a cleanse. Not only am I attempting #SoberSeptember, I am going Vegan for 10 days too (for the first time everrrr). Why? My skin was so bad by the end of summer and I was always feeling bloated. I’ve been trying to cut down dairy anyway as I’ve noticed a direct correlation to my bloaty feeling and I am sure gluten is instigator too.
We all know my love for southeast asia and it’s cuisine. After all, it is what I grew up with and even after moving to England I have managed to find some great, authentic eats like Roti King to kill my ever so often craving for home. It probably is for the best that I don’t have a hawker center with chicken rice for $3 outside my house, it would be a problem. A lot of the favourites aren’t the healthiest, however, once in awhile everyone deserves to indulge on a cheat meal – and you might as well make it count.
So since summer 2017 is over and all that, it’s been really grey and wet, all my body craves is sugar and I don’t want chocolate or lemon drizzle, I want something a little more exotic. Just so that my tastebud’s can at least continue to experience some kind of sunshine.
So I decided to try a recipe of one of my Dad’s favourite malaysian dessert – Kueh Dadar. Simply put it is a pancake made out of coconut milk and pandan filled with extra sweet coconut. So yes, in case you haven’t already noticed, you need to like coconut to like this little treat from the corner of Southeast Asia. Kueh (or also Kuih in Indonesia) is a malay word for Cake and most malay treats use the term followed by another word, in this case dadar, which means omelette or pancake. Continue reading “Coconut Crazy – Pandan Pancake recipe”
Now we all know I am a big fan of boozy brunches and I have decided to live by the motto of going to brunch (boozy brunch ahem) at least once a month. There are so many options that have been popping up recently so it would be rude not to try them…. all. At the same time, I still need to restrict myself as I am cutting down my alcohol intake in hopes to get closer to my body goals.
In this post I’ll sum up a few of the great boozy brunch options in London right now that you should put in your diary and then I’ll do a series of “Boozy Brunch with Mel” where I’ll rate everything in terms of price, quality and taste of food, healthy food options, service and how great the drink options are along with the refill rate.
Every boozy brunch adventure ends with a story to tell, whether it is a story you regret or one that you cannot stop laughing about, or one you simply can’t remember or forget.
So why is bottomless brunch really that great? Well first of all it combines two of the most amazing things – food and alcohol. Then it also brings out the competitive side of things – how many glasses can you drink in 2 hours? And if you want to take it to the next level – how much time can you get extended to your bottomless limit? Continue reading “Bottomless Brunchin in London”
The UK has always had a bit of a negative stereotype when it comes to food. They only like big breakfasts, fish and chips, and the occasional roast dinner. So it’s time to dispel that notion because according to the Evening Standard, London is a haven for foodies. In fact, they even went as far to say it’s the “most diverse and exciting food capital of the world.”
I am not trying to be the self proclaiming gluten intolerant girl that wants the whole world to know she is a vegan or doesn’t eat gluten – because I am neither of those things. I am just a girl trying to figure out why my tummy is constantly bloated or rumbling (possibly last night’s pizza) and finding the best nutritions to tone this body up!
Everywhere you go in most developed countries, you see how children these days have no interest in playing outside and would rather immerse themselves in the virtual world. I grew up in Singapore in an old british army camp with beautiful bungalow houses and almost endless fields of green. We would have cobra snakes in our gardens (no lie) and bull frogs in our pond, competing on the loudest croak to impress the lady frogs. I would spend my free time outside with my neighbours in the longkangs (large drains) looking for guppy fish to catch or explore the “haunted” house a few streets behind us.
I can’t imagine a better childhood and I feel sorry for the children of this generation who will never have the same, real adventures because they are too busy on their iPads.