Success!

A long time ago, my husband and I were watching TV and having a conversation at the same time. In one of those breaks, I told him that I wanted to lose weight as per doctor’s advise. He was very encouraging (in fact we both did it together) and told me that if I got down to that weight, he’d get me a bottle of champagne to celebrate.

Guess what, he just did!

Celebrating an achievement with a bottle of champagne.

Celebrating an achievement with a bottle of champagne.

Thanks, yobo! Congratulations to both of us — and thank you for keeping your word.
It wasn’t easy dieting my way down to 55kgs for the past year (and to continue to do so/to maintain) but I, no, we, made it. We’ve achieved our goal… and so, let’s enjoy this milestone and start thinking about he next goal.

Grocery store finds: Patak’s curry paste

In one of our grocery trips, my husband got excited when he saw this familiar name: Patak.

patak's indaloo madras curry paste

Patak’s is a household name in England and was a mainstay in the cupboards of most English families. My husband was happily surprised to find it here and so we tried it at home. It’s the bomb!

Found it at One-and-One Grocery Store, in front of Hope International School in Phnom Penh.

A jar of Patak’s costs $5.20. We got the Madras and Vindaloo pastes variety.

Weekend treats!

How are you these days?
We are on the cool-side of the weather here in Phnom Penh these days which is lovely, considering the heat in the past few months.
Hope all is well with you.

As mentioned in my previous post, my husband and I have embarked on a semi-paleo diet that began two months or so ago. From then on, we both lost 10% of our body body weights from this diet. And so, we’ve decided to treat ourselves for the weekend.

We began with a cheese sandwich for breakfast. Getting acquainted with my husband’s favourite fares, like this cheese sandwich with Branston pickle, is exciting.

Branston pickle relish - sweet and tangy, like an Indian chutney. Definitely livens up the cheese sandwich!

Branston pickle relish – sweet and tangy, like an Indian chutney. Definitely livens up the cheese sandwich!

Crusty bread, freshly-baked from Comme à la Maison, smeared with butter, cheese wedges, and a dollop of Branston pickle relish. To those who don’t know, Branston pickle is a sweet and tangy jarred condiment made from a variety of tiny-diced vegetables. It is the English’s answer to an Indian chutney. It serves as a brilliant support to the sharp taste of the aged edam cheese and for sure, to any other dishes. We found this jarred gem of a condiment (and even the Irish butter) in Phnom Penh’s Thai Huot Grocery, Tuol Kork branch.

And for supper, we had this delicious bacon pizza! Homemade, of course. When it comes to making pizzas at home, my husband takes the cake!

YouTube Preview Image

That’s my husband adding his special touch on the smoked bacon pizza – toasting the cheese.
The crust is wonderfully soft and light. I don’t know what’s his secret to a soft and light crust, something that I should find out if I were to make pizza myself. I also love the burnt taste of cheese.

Mmmmmmmmm. I can still smell and taste it!

Where was I?

Gone for a very long time.

A lot of things happened between my last post and this – a job, a house, quit job, crappy Internet service, back to old apartment, a part-time job, among many others. Now that things are settled, I can only hope I can blog from time to time, if not regularly.

Been reading up on healthy living lately.
It’s high time I switch to a healthier lifestyle after trying different things which aren’t healthy when I was younger. I’m feeling poorly most of the time even though I’ve done nothing heavy and laborious so I started looking into other food or other ways of eating. My husband joined in and we did some light research.

These veggies are basically what's in my food these days.

These veggies are basically what’s in my food these days. Image via Google.

As a result, we’ve embarked on a diet that still allows us to eat meat (my husband is a meat-lover). That means we are staying away from sugary, high-carbs, and fatty foods. Incorporating animal protein and good, healthy fats (ghee is our new bestfriend) and vegetables (no grains and other carbo-sources) into our daily meals is a challenge but we are doing good. Nearly a month now since we started our new diet, the general feeling of tiredness has gone away! I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long! In fact, I have more energy than before and my weight has dropped.

The challenge is also about being resourceful. Not all the veggies recommended in the diet regimen are available in the markets and shops here in Phnom Penh. The trick, I learned, is to just work with whatever is available at home and, with a little help from the Internet (yes, Manong Google, I’m talking about you), I can come up with a better, balanced meal for me and my husband.

We have a long way to go, for sure. It will take time, yes, but I think we’re on the right track.

Food Trip Friday 104: Okoy-okoy!

This plateful of okoys I saw by the road made me drool. I love okoy.

Shrimp fritters. Okoy in our dialect.

Shrimp fritters. Okoy in our dialect.

My aunt, may she rest in peace, makes the best okoys in the whole wide world. Shrimps mixed in shredded wintermelon or cassava, flour, eggs and seasoning and fried perfectly crispy. Yes, they’re oily but – the hey – dipped in vinegar with chilli, it’s finger-licking good!

This Khmer-version of okoy is a staple street-food – and cheap, too – is mixed with flour and eggs only but still very tasty. I also love the salt-pepper-lime-combo dipping. They’re best eaten while hot and only with fingers! Now I am craving for some. I want to reach that pair of thong on the yellow plastic basket and get me some shrimp fritters.

Food Trip Friday 103: Nom banchok, Vietnamese version

Howdy, friends.

Bringing myself back into the FTF groove again. This week, I’m posting this photo of nom banchok, Vietnamese version. I didn’t exactly understand why this noodle soup is named as such when I asked my officemate who brought it. As it was the first Vietnamese nom banchok I had seen, I wasted no time in tasting.

Very tasty nom banchok.

Very tasty nom banchok.

This is actually different from the Khmer nom banchok that I’m used to where the rice noodles are gloriously slathered with a mild Khmer green curry sauce. Instead, this is a clear soup with very nice textures from the beef prahat (meatball), fish fillets and vegetables – sprouted beans, shredded banana heart (puso ng saging), morning glory stems (kangkong), lovely thai basil and fiery Khmer chillies for that spicy oomph! There is a strong fish sauce (patis) and preserved shrimps (kapik) which might offend the nostrils and taste buds of our foreign friends, but not me.

I don’t normally see this dish sold around, compared to its cousin the Khmer nom banchok. However it is a very filling breakfast fare that can tide you over till lunchtime. It has noodles (made from rice) and meat (protein) and a host of vegetables to keep your tummy happy.

Food Trip Friday 102: Sesame Noodle Bar’s Cold Noodles


A hungry stomach has led me and my constant partner to many gustatory adventures, Manay of PinayWifeSpeaks, to discover this recently opened noodle shop. It is called the Sesame Noodle Bar and they offer a simple menu of noodles and side dishes inspired by Japanese, Chinese and American cuisines.

On one very hot Wednesday afternoon in March, Manay and I found Sesame Noodle Bar south of the Russian Market. On our first time at the noodle bar, I ordered this set lunch:

food trip friday sesame noodle bar cold noodles gyoza and tahini dressing

The noodle dish topped with caramelized pork was superb! What’s more, this set dish cost only $4.75.

The noodles is served ice-cold – which was a pleasant treat to quench the summer heat- and topped with a healthy pile of fresh veggies and a side of tahini dressing. More than anything, it felt more like eating a salad with noodles, and I say that in a positive way. The gyoza, or dumplings, was hand-rolled and pan-fried perfectly. Of course, not to be outdone, I also had a refreshing mint-passion fruit shake. All in all it was light but very filling meal.

Of course, I won’t stop at the food. The place is worth mentioning!  The lighting is also unique – check out the light bulbs when you go there – and the the decors are interesting; the posters and figurines are all so kawaii. The atmosphere is very nice and friendly, and their menu is a cute DIY. One would think they’re straight off the pages of Pinterest or Etsy. You don’t believe me? Just look at some of the photos I took. Please click the photos for a larger view  :)

Sesame Noodle Bar
Address: #9 Street 460, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phone:+855 89 750 212

Food Trip Friday 101: Fresh garden salad with lemon-mustard vinaigrette

This is the longest I have been away from blogging so far. Although not totally off the grid, I just stopped updating for various reasons. Life sometimes throws a curve ball at you every now and then that you never anticipate. It’s a major adjustment for everyone concerned but I just had to roll!

So anyway, now that I’m back in the mainstream I am slowly creeping into the blogging vine. My comeback post is here… my favourite garden salad with the mustard dressing from Nature and Sea Restaurant:

garden salad lemon-mustard vinaigrette

Nature and Sea’s Garden Salad. Julienned cabbage and carrots, sliced beets, tomatoes, and cucumber laid on a bed of lettuce. Colourful and delicious.

The serving was huge (good for two, actually) and served with a crusty French baguette on the side. The veggies were so colourful. They were fresh and crispy and dressed with a tangy lemon-mustard vinaigrette and served with a crusty French baguette on the side. My only complaint is that the vinaigrette is too thick/dense which is so unlike the consistency of other vinaigrettes I know. Other than that, it was oozing with flavour. It had a pleasant bit of sweetness to it, perhaps, sugar was added to temper the acidity of the lemon juice. Two thumbs up.

Food Trip Friday 100: Italian-style fish and chips

After several months of absence, I’m back again here at FTF. And guess what, it’s my 100th post, an auspicious number if I may say so.

So here’s my entry:

italian style fish in olive oil

Nature and Sea Restaurant’s Italian-style fish and chips. Fresh and delicious.

Nature and Sea Restaurant sits on the rooftop of a corner-building in the lively Golden Street, aka, St. 278, just across Wat Langka in Phnom Penh. It’s a nice little restaurant, with a view of the wat and the Independence Monument. It is a health-food shop of sorts and all the dishes are prepared using the freshest and pesticide-free ingredients.

In my opinion, they have the best fish-n-chips in town in variety of styles –  Australian, Italian, French, Baltic, and English (of course), just to name a few. A set meal of fish-n-chips will set you back at $6.50 but it includes a serving of fresh garden salad (I prefer the mustard dressing every time) and French fries. I also ordered a glass of mango and passionate fruit shake, a very refreshing and healthy drink to complete my meal, for only $1.75. Oh, and if you still have room for it, don’t forget to order crepes for dessert. Highly-recommended.