a canvas for flavour – pho hoa Saigon

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This place is pretty much famous for over the last 40 years or so. Apparently most Vietnam pho restaurants out of Vietnam itself often name themselves Pho Hoa. Have you noticed if this is true? I have not, but a quick google search does show it the most in the US. Maybe named after this establishment, or is it a surname? I’m not so sure. We came by this place as a recommendation from our hotel staff, and both my partner and I think we’ve pretty much been here before on some past trip. Now straight up, I don’t think that this pho is as good as the lunch lady’s. I much prefer her richness and complexity of flavours that are a little unorthodox. The pho here is, I think, much closer to what pho is expected to be: very light, clear soup that is a balance of sweet and beefy savouriness. But what I’ve found most is that this pho is perfect as a sum of all its parts: a good dab of dark sweet sauce, some chilli, and a generous squeeze of fresh lime really completes the flavour profile and makes this a superbly enjoyable dish. I know I’m ready to dig in when the broth gets a shade or two darker than when the bowl first got to the table.

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Train ride to Chiang Mai

On an impulse my partner and I decided that on our trip up to Chiang Mai in June this year, we absolutely had to take the train from Bangkok, which I’d never done. The overnight train took about 12 hours in a rickety, air-conditioned train that, old as it seemed, was pretty much the less beaten of… 

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The Local, Bangkok

The local was one of those places that had a menu I couldn’t resist. Everything on it looked good, everything was a gem I can’t not want to eat. Most of all was the dish above, an old recipe passed down from generations. The Local is based on a simple theory of preservation: keeping close to heart many ancient Thai… 

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settling in

Moving into a home is exhausting business. You get all up in each other’s space figuring out what stuff goes where, how it gets in there, and then which angle it faces, if it doesn’t come naturally to the object in question’s shape or form. And then arrangements, oh….  Everything needs arranging. Where your pots sit. Where the… 

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travel affairs

#77

Pretty much everything on my blog is a from-memory archive of many restaurants, lots of destinations around the world and some randomness. I’ve never been able to post every single goddamn thing about my life here, don’t think I’m hardwired that way. Which is why there’s not a lot more writing on this blog, and where it is in… 

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Mikkeller, Bangkok – Gypsy brewbar

We’re in Bangkok again! After Songkran in April, this has been the longest travel draught I’ve had in awhile (almost three whole months in one place!). So we’re back in Bangkok for four sweet days of eating and shopping, and Mikkeller was one of my partner’s finds. It’s a Danish self proclaimed “gypsy” brewbar. What that means, I’m… 

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Brambrüesch mountains, Chur

Isn’t that view simply stunning? It’s as if I were looking at a 1:20000zillion scaled model piece of the mountains, all styrofoam painted green, blue and then dusted with cotton wool. It’s poofy and unreal and when the sun cuts through the thin air and fog it’s beyond amazing. It’s that cheesy feeling when DiCaprio stood over… 

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48 hours in Zurich – day 2: “Real” Zurich

I feel the old city most exemplifies and most carries the essence of Zurich. Then again, I’m often clouded by the charm that is old cities, it is the same whether I’m in the Sultanahmet in Istanbul or anywhere else in the world. You shouldn’t ever miss venturing beyond that. Though truth be told I… 

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48 hours in Zurich – day 1: The Old City

Zurich as I remember it isn’t much. The first time I’d been there was on a work trip, where time and exploration were second to business. I only glimpsed the old city and nothing more (was there more I wondered at the time). I found myself in Zurich again when my partner and I were… 

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