Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, October 23, 2014 | Published in


I did not have the time to come out with a new post today so I decided to share my latest piano composition with my readers.

And the title of the song? It's called Untitled.

Why Untitled? Well, that's because I could not think of a title for my song! Haha! Maybe you can help me name this song after listening to it. Do tell me what this song reminds you of.

Go ahead. Click the Play button and enjoy!

Note: This work and recording is copyrighted. All Rights Reserved. 

My Hanoi trip posts will resume next week. Meantime, Happy Friday and have a good weekend, everyone! :)

My Dinner @ Rakuzen Japanese Restaurant In Tropicana City Mall

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | Published in


A few weeks ago, my family and I went to Rakuzen at Tropicana City Mall for a family dinner.

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Knowing that this famous restaurant is always full especially during dinner time, we booked a private room in advance.

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First, we ordered the Pari Pari Kani Salada. It's actually Crab Meat and Flying Fish Roe Salad with Chef's Special Dressing priced at RM28.00 / US$8.60

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The salad was yummy! The sauce made it especially delicious. I could not get enough of it! This dish was shared amongst us, but next time I think I will order the whole plate for myself. LOL!

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I could not decide what to order (too many choices in the menu!) but in the end I settled for Yakiniku Zen, a Grilled Beef Set priced at RM36.00 / US$11.00.

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I was glad that I did not regret choosing this dish. The beef slices were tender and juicy. Love it!

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And the Chawanmushi was delicious.

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The following were what my family members ordered for themselves.

Nabeyaki Udon RM23.00 / US$7.00

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Yakizakana Zen (Grilled Fish Set)  RM28.00 / US$8.60

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I tried a little bit of this grilled saba (mackerel) and I had to say it was yummy! Don't mind ordering this for myself next time.

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Gindara Zen (Grilled Silver Cod Set) RM38.00 / US$11.60

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Did not try this cod fish but I was pretty sure it was delicious.

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We also ordered some garlic rice but I had forgotten to take a picture of it.

Lastly, Chicken Katsujyu Zen priced at RM28.00 / US$8.60

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Looks yummy right? But surprisingly my brother who ordered this said it was just OK only.

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The service here was not bad, and the environment pretty good too. I would say the food were a little pricey, but other than that, I am giving two thumbs up to Rakuzen. Can't wait to dine at this Japanese Restaurant again. Who wants to join me? : )

My Lunch @ New Day Restaurant In Hanoi

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, October 17, 2014 | Published in


My very first taste of Vietnamese food in Hanoi was at New Day Restaurant. It was Son, my guide from Hanoikids who brought me here.

Read More > My First Day In Hanoi With Hanoikids

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My guide Son

Located at 72 Ma May Street in Old Quarter, New Day Restaurant appears to be very popular with locals and tourists alike. Even though it was already past lunch time, there were still many customers around.

Under recommendation from Son, I ordered 4 rolls of Nem Ha Noi (Deep Fried Spring Rolls Hanoi Style). Dipped into the spicy sweet and sour sauce, they were delicious!

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Nem Ha Noi - 30,000 Dong (US$1.40 / RM4.65)

Son himself ordered Pho Xao Bo (Fried Instant Noodles With Beef). You can't really see the noodles as they were buried under the all those vegetables and beef!

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Pho Xao Bo - 55,000 Dong (US$2.60 / RM8.50)

I did not try the Pho Xao Bo as I was too preoccupied with the main dish that Son ordered for me. It was Bun Cha Ha Noi (Rice Noodle With Grilled Minced Pork Hanoi Style).

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Bun Cha Ha Noi - 65,000 Dong (US$3 / RM10)

I really love this dish! I think what made it really yummy was the spicy sweet and sour sauce that accompanied it.

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Dip the noodles and the minced pork into the bowl of sauce and they instantly become heavenly!

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If you think that the main dish was enough to make me full, think again! Haha! I must be really hungry because in addition to the Bun Cha, I actually ordered a bowl of Pho Bo (Beef in Rice Noodle Soup) as well!

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Pho Bo - 45,000 Dong (US$2.10 / RM6.95)

What can I say? The bowl of Pho Bo was delicious to say the least! And yes, I managed to finish all the noodles and beef to the last bit!

For drinks, I had Sour Sop Smoothie while Son had Mango Smoothie.

By the way, did you notice the prices? Not only were the food delicious, the prices were so very reasonable! On top of that, the service was pretty good too. The waitresses spoke English and were friendly.

You can choose to sit inside or outside the restaurant. Balcony sitting is also available upstairs.

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This is New Day Restaurant's name card. I like their slogan "The Best Foods - The Cheapest Price".

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Our total bill came to 255,000 Dong (US$12 / RM39.50).

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If I ever make another visit to Hanoi, I will definitely eat here again!

My Visit To Ngoc Son Temple @ Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | Published in


On our second day in Hanoi, my friend and I visited the Ngoc Son Temple also known as Temple Of The Jade Mountain.

Located at a small island (called Jade Islet) in the middle of the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake, Den Ngoc Son (Ngoc Son Temple) is dedicated to 13th century military national hero Tran Hung Dao, Taoist scholar Van Xuong and Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu.

After spending the early part of the morning strolling around the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, we finally reached the red lacquered wooden arched bridge known as The Huc or The Rising Sun.

I am not sure why they called it the Rising Sun Bridge. Perhaps you can watch the sunrise from this bridge? Anyway, this landmark bridge leads to the Ngoc Son Temple.

Ok this is funny, but I am going to blog about this temple in reverse order. What I mean to say is that we were so eager to get onto that bridge that we missed the actual entrance which comprises three gates. We only realised about the gates when we exit the temple.

So I will blog about the gates towards the end of this post. Which is just as well because I found the gates more interesting than the temple itself. LOL!

This is my entrance ticket to the temple. Entrance fee was 20,000 Dong (US$0.95 / RM3.10)

The ticket counter was situated right before the bridge, after passing the three main gates. Somehow, we went straight to the ticket counter without passing by the three gates. LOL!

I waited for the right moment when there were fewer people on the bridge before quickly taking a snapshot!

Took this picture of the buildings across the lake while standing on the bridge. Do you recognise that building that looks like a ship? That building which housed Hanoi Soul Cafe where I had a drink with Son, my tour guide from Hanoikids a day earlier? Read about it HERE.

At the end of the bridge is an entrance gate with a circular window at the top. This is the Moon Gazing Pavilion. There's a dragon-horse on the right and a tortoise carrying a book and a sword on the left. These are all Taoist symbols although I don't really know their meanings.

This is the main temple building. We did not enter the temple as I thought it would just be like any other temples in Hanoi. But I had since regretted my decision because I learnt later that there's a room inside the temple that contains the preserved body of a giant tortoise which was said to be at least 500 years old!

Could that be the same divine tortoise which was reported to have snatched back the magic sword from Emperor Le Thai To in the 15th century? You can read up a little bit of this legendary story from my previous post HERE.

Oh well, if I were to re-visit Hanoi, I will definitely visit this temple again just to have a look at that preserved giant tortoise!

The above photo shows the scenery of Hoan Kiem Lake from this temple. Isn't it beautiful?

Flags fluttering in the wind.

We did not linger very long in the temple compounds.

If not mistaken, I think this is the reverse side of the Moon Gazing Pavilion as we exited the temple compound.

OK, now let me show you the three main gates that precede the red bridge. As mentioned earlier, we missed these gates, so after we left the temple and crossed the red bridge, we came upon the third gate.

A statue perching above the gate.

More carved statues.

There's a white scroll at the centre of the gate. Not sure what was written there though. Below the scroll is an image of a bat. I do know that bat symbolises happiness in Chinese.

I think there is a large stone on top of the gate that represents an ink pot, but I did not take a picture of it as I did not know the significance of it at that time. What is the ink pot for? I will explain that in a minute after we pass the second gate.

Here's the view of the second gate as we walked away from the temple.

On the right is a carp gazing at the moon's reflection.

On the left side is a couple of storks on a pine tree.

On the opposite side of the second gate (which is actually the front part since we were exiting), is 3D images of a Tiger and a Dragon.

A close shot of the Tiger that appears to be jumping out of the wall.

And the beautiful carving of the Dragon in the clouds.

I particularly like this 3D image of the Tiger!

Before reaching the first gate,  we saw a tall structure with an altar beside it.

The tall structure appeared to be on top of a mountain of rocks.

This tall stone structure is the Thap But or Pen Tower. It's about ten metres high with a tip that resembles a writing brush.  I am not very sure what it signifies, but it probably indicates that the temple is dedicated to literature and poetry.

Now remember the ink pot on top of the third gate I mentioned earlier? It seems that on a certain date in the lunar calendar, the shadow of this Pen Tower will fall on that ink pot! How fascinating!

This is the first gate as seen from the front. We should have entered using this gate as the starting point. But we didn't and so I'm showing you the three gates in reverse order. Haha!

If you scroll back up to the photo of my entrance ticket, you will notice that this first gate is featured on the ticket.

The big red-colored Chinese character on the right means Happiness and the left means Prosperity. And I guess that's what the Vietnamese people and all of us want, don't we? Lots of happiness and prosperity!

For first time visitors to Hanoi, I highly recommend a visit to Ngoc Son Temple not only to learn about the history and culture of Hanoi city but to be blessed by the good vibes as you pass the three gates!