Tag Archives: tourwithroy.wordpress.com

My Take On Bulletproof Coffee


One customer came into the coffee bar today and asked if we had Bulletproof Coffee. I said no of course and added that it is not good for her. Then she cockily replied,”It is a healthy drink. I’m a nutritionist, I know.” Then she walked out. I wasn’t pissed but more of concern about people’s ignorance about marketing gimmicks on products out there. 

For those who dunno what Bulletproof Coffee is, you can read all about it here at http://www.bulletproofexec.com. And then after that you can read about how Gizmodo slam it here http://gizmodo.com/bulletproof-coffee-debunking-the-hot-buttered-hype-1681321467, amongst many others links proving how it is more of a hype than anything healthy. 

For my friends from the US and Europe reading this post, traditionally in Singapore as far as the 60s or 70s, we are already putting butter into our coffees… Just that maybe during that periods, margarine was used due to the cost & availability of butter then and also we didn’t have ‘Upgraded Coffee’ or ‘Brain Octane’. Seriously, I’ve never heard of upgrading coffees in my years of understanding coffee. All I know is, coffees are best appreciated and drank on it’s own, without any other substances added to it other than water of course. Adding 2 tablespoons of butter per serving will help you burn fats… Seriously? It may work on some peeps but I know it will definitely not work on me! 

So this is my take. I lost 40 kilograms in 9 months just by eating clean and light exercises. I didn’t go to Tibet and drink some butter yak milk thingy but I did lose that weight from Jan to Sep in 2013 when I was based in Suzhou, China. This picture of me was during my peak at 180kgs.

I have since put on a little weight since I got back from China last May cos I do have a social circle here as compared to China.  But the fact remains that the rebound is not great as compared to losing weight unnaturally. So if you have weight problems and need help, ask me instead, don’t succumb yourself to marketing ploys. I was victim to many before and ended up devicing my own diet formulas. 

Writing this blog post is also a reminder to myself I have another target to meet this year. I need to start working out soon. Any gym kakis who wanna work out together? Buzz me! 

And to that nutritionist, you may know many things about nutrition but still there are many things you might not know… Especially, coffee. 

Gastronomically yours,

Big Roy

Street Food – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


You all know I’m on diet right? Writing on all these food is actually creating a crave within… so I really dunno why am I doing this to myself… haha… not a culinary masochist though but all these backlogs need to clear before another batch of food reviews coming in soon when I venture into Xiamen of Guangdong, China. I heard so much about the place as a place for foodies like me. I would love to do videos on the food but you all know, I’m not a video person and taking still pics are still what I prefer. Nevertheless, I will try to video some stuffs! 😛 Anyone been to Xiamen and tried something that is so good that you wanna tell me about? Drop me a comment here or a message on my facebook page! (www.facebook.com/eatwithroy)

Ok back to the topic. I had some street food in HCMC but I didn’t try a lot as I was too full from my other meals and couldn’t really walk too much. But I must say the street food is really good and so much cheaper than what you pay in those upmarket restaurants. With hygiene in mind, I reckon anyone should observe the vendor selling the food first on how he/she handles the food and also if the patronage is high or not. Below are some of the food I tried around Ben Thanh Market area, all within walking distance. You can read about my experience in HCMC on my other travel/life site –> (http://wp.me/p3Hprw-1J)

My favorite Banh Mi stall…
Vietnamese baguette with pate, ham, meats, cheese and condiments. VND25,000 (S$1.50) See the plate of pate on the far left? 🙂
Fillings for Banh Mi, Vietnamese use a lot of veg and garnishings… Love this baguette!
Never tried this but I reckon it’s fried carrot cake… don’t look too hygienic to me.
Loads of fruit stalls
You get pomelo peeled for you in packets like these for VND20,000 (S$1.20)
Packets of Jambu like these also for VND20,000 (S$1.20)
Roadside BBQ stall… Nice guy, speak very little English, but enough to order my works!
My works of BBQ chicken drumstick, BBQ Pork Belly, BBQ Pork Ribs, steam egg and rice. I wanted to try everything so I asked him to add for me. This cost me VND80,000, which is around S$4.80. Seriously damn awesome… So good that I was tempted to have it again the next night… but I held back… Phew!
This Muslim Viet selling ice coffee on the ‘Muslim’ street to the east of Ben Thanh Market. VNC10,000 (S$0.60)
This is the actual amount of coffee in my ice coffee from the muslim guy… You’re suppose to let the ice melt as the coffee is really strong.

Rating: 5/5.

Taste: Overall the food in Vietnam suits most palates. Pretty close to Thai food. Love it! Didn’t try the pho noodles ‘cos the stalls all didn’t look too good and the stools were too flimsy and too low for me to sit. ;P Maybe after my slimming down I’ll go back. 🙂

Portion: Slightly below average… ‘cos of the size of a Vietnamese is usually half my size. 😉

Service: Very nice vendors and they love talking to tourists… Maybe not for the clothing ones ‘cos people always bargain with them.

Ambience: N/A.

Price: Very affordable.


Location: Around Ben Thanh Market.

Com Tam CALI – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Usually I would do lots of research before my trips on the best places to eat or visit. To be honest, this HCMC trip, I didn’t do a lot of research. Hence I was actually going around without any knowledge of the cuisines I was about to try… which I kinda like! Haha!

So I was walking around the Ben Thanh Market area in search for local food when I came across this aircon place which looks like a higher class street food to me. I went in nevertheless ‘cos there were many people eating inside. The place has a mezzanine level as well but I chose to sit downstairs as my knee was still hurting very badly from my trip to Perth. I managed to get a seat on the side which I was able to take a picture of the whole restaurant. Found out later that ‘Com Tam’ actually means broken rice in Vietnamese. It is a typical meal farmers in Southern Vietnam would eat together with some pork or BBQ ribs, fried egg and vegetables. Hence Com Tam CALI is in essence, bringing simple local Vietnamese food to their customers in a more conducive ambience so that they can enjoy their dining experience in their establishments.

Inside the restaurant… You can just look at the pics on the wall and order. Most of the good stuff are featured there!
Com Tam Moc does a lot of charity to help the less fortunate… Just like Care Givers Group! (caregiversgroup.org)
My coconut… flesh is damn hard but the water is sweet and refreshing
Pumpkin soup… I spotted MSG in the soup so can miss.
Their specialty rice set with 7 side dishes… Forgot the name cos in Vietnamese… haha… Pretty ok actually but not filling… Vietnamese size… Even the eggs below is quails’!
Pho with BBQ chicken
Pho which is eaten with very little soup.
Typical Vietnamese spring rolls
Bill… With drinks for 2, around S$16.

Rating: 4.5/5. Actually a 4 but ‘cos they do charity, so a ‘0.5’ more!

Taste: It was pretty alright actually. Kinda like the ‘ngoh hiang’ thingy on the top right of the special rice set. So ordered extra. The BBQ meat is nice.

Portion: Below average.

Service: Not bad. Language barrier!

Ambience: Aircon… can’t go wrong!

Price: Around S$16… A lot more expensive than road side definitely.

RTE (Return To Eat): Maybe can slot into one of my meal slots when I’m back cos many items in the menu haven’t tried!

Location & Contacts: 235 Le Thanh Ton, District 1. Tel: (08) 3842 8922. (Same row as Lavendar Hotel, towards the left if you face the hotel.) Total 6 outlets in HCMC alone.

Emu Point Cafe – Albany, Western Australia


When you’re in Albany, this is a place to visit. Not just because of the serenity of the place, but also for what this cafe has to offer. My 3rd time here and this time I was determine to try their food ‘cos previously, we had our meals elsewhere. Truly, the food is really good and at least up to standards for me.

The cafe overlooking the beach at Emu Point
Inside the cafe
Huge Gladiator Burger. Nice and juicy. AUD23.50
Steak Sandwich, very filling. AUD16.50
Crumbled Local Fish & Chips. Nice and flaky. – AUD20.50
Soup of the day – Pumpkin Soup AUD8.50
The view when you’re having your meals outside the cafe.

Rating: 4.5/5. A tad pricey if not a full 5.

Taste: Really good. Fresh and hot. Water is free on the house in bottles.

Portion: Above average. Small eaters may wanna share.

Service: Very good. They cleared our plates once we were finished.

Ambience: Nice and cosy inside and alfresco is scenic. All very quiet and nice just to have a quiet meal.

Price: Total around AUD70+

RTE: Yeah I might. But I may check out the Whaling Wharf for brunch also if possible.

Location: Emu Point, Albany, Western Australia. You can’t miss it ‘cos nothing else at the end.

My Crazy Cafe Spree


As per what was mentioned in my other blog tourwithroy.wordpress.com, I went on a cafe spree on Tuesday, to discover the coffee culture in Singapore. All 6 cafes were highly recommended with another 2 regrettably, were closed on Tues. Hence I didn’t have the chance to visit Nylon and Strangers Reunion. Strangers Reunion was moving their premise to a bigger unit 2 doors down hence my timing couldn’t meet as I was flying back to China on Wednesday. Nevertheless, congrats to Strangers Reunion on their move to their new premise and hope I can try your coffees one day!

When I was doing the spree, I realized that I should not comment on each individual cafe experience as that will affect their business as most of them are budding businesses and young entrepreneurs. I definitely support young entrepreneurs coming out to start their own businesses, therefore the least the need now from the media are criticisms that will destroy their confidence. We all want the coffee culture in Singapore to grow right? But that said, sometimes they just need a little reminder when the popularity gets over their heads.

The taste of coffee itself varies from different places at different times. It depends on the types of bean use (even the same type of beans cultivated at different location has different taste! ), the way the beans are roasted, the type of espresso machine used, type of grinders, timing of every brew, method of frothing the milk, type of milk used, method of compacting the powder in the hoppers, etc and the list goes on. In my opinion as well as my barista coach, there is no such thing as the ‘best coffee’ in any geographical location. Coffees should be appreciated the way they are according to their roast and type and it is the responsibility of every barista to bring out the full potential of every brew.

The 6 cafes I’ve visited were (according to my visiting order):

1. Chye Seng Huat Hardware
2. Flock Cafe
3. Forty Hands
4. The Plains
5. Oriole Coffee Roasters
6. Oriole Cafe & Bar (I had my dinner appointment there since they opened till 11pm)

Below are my own opinionated observations in general and to be fair across the board, I ordered lattes at every joint:

1. Baristas – I’m not gonna comment much on this ‘cos every barista will develop their own habits while preparing the coffees. Some are professionally trained, some are trained in house. Those professionally trained will know that they are not suppose keep leftover milk but for commercial sense, I guess it can’t be helped sometimes. Other habits like the way they clean the hoppers, cleaning the steam wand, etc. So, I’m not gonna comment much on this cos the list will go on.

2. Milk Frothing – This is one of the most important issue I wanna bring up. Tolerance to heat on your palms differs from person to person. Sad to say the people who are still using a thermometer while frothing their milk are the bigger chains. That is why some coffees I drank yesterday were just warm… All hot coffees MUST be served HOT! Not warm!

3. Latte Art – I realized that there is a lot of focus on the art on top of the lattes I ordered. Definitely a plus to serve a cuppa in a presentable manner. But check out point 2 above; if you can’t even make a proper latte served at the right temperature, screw the latte art! Customers pay $4-$6 for a cup of latte, I would say maybe 5% goes to the latte art only. The rest of the percentage is for the substance of your coffee and milk and the effort to bring out full flavor of the beans!

4. Customer Service – Standing behind the coffee bar counter doesn’t mean you don’t have to smile and interact with your customers. Especially when you have a coffee bar or an island-type coffee bar where everyone can see you and what you’re doing. I remember sitting at one of the bar counter seat and waiting for someone to take my orders when there were like 4-5 staffs inside the counter. So I asked if I can place my orders (from one staff hovering in front me the whole time minding his own business), only to realize that I had to head to the other side and place my orders with the cashier (you can’t blame me, first time there and no signs saying orders have to be placed at the cashier). And I had to hang around there to wait for my latte to be brewed, and when i got it, not hot some more! After that I lost my seat at the bar counter and had to sit at some corners facing the wall. This is the problem when you get too popular, may not be the owners’ fault as most of the time is the employees not maintaining the SOP.

I guess that’s all I have to say, highlighting the main issues I’ve noticed. Anything else I’ll have to start charging haha… But some friends who asked me which one is good, I would say every joint put in lots of effort to present their coffees to their customers and making their cafes a cosy place for catching up with friends. But if I have to choose, and for someone who appreciates what goes on behind every cuppa; that is respecting the tremendous journey the coffee beans take to reach the espresso machines and making sure each brew brings out the full potential and flavor of these robust-full beans, I might have to give that credit to Oriole Coffee Roasters.

Keep up the great work guys! 😉
Big Roy

Blue Rock Cafe – Perth, Australia


Hey y’all!

Finally I found some time to update this blog as I’ve just started tourwithroy.wordpress.com. Have loads of backlogs to update hence will be juggling this blog, sleepwithroy.wordpress.com and tourwithroy.wordpress.com. So please be patient with me!

Ok Blue Rock Cafe was the first place I had my meals alone on one of the mornings and with my friends for dinner. Quite a gem really ‘cos no one would have thought a cafe at the far ends of Hay Street would serve such good food! I had my brekkie here as well as dinner. Food is really good and compliments to the hard working crew and chef! Check out the favorites which we ordered!

Inside the cafe
Inside the cafe
Me cam-whoring showing the alfresco part of the cafe.
Latte… no art but a good cuppa nevertheless. AUD$3.50
This is called the Full Breakfast. For AUD$18, I believe 2 ladies or small eaters can share this. Just love it and served hot even though the weather was cold.
Fat Yak
Came here for dinner too!
French breads which were very nice
Parmigiana Chicken with mushroom sauce. Nice and juicy!
Sirloin Steak
Chicken Breast with cheese over it. Very large piece.
Not very dry.
Steak cooked to perfection.
Bill for 3 pax

Rating: 5/5.

Taste: We finished every bit of the food. Really good and tasty!

Portion: Above average for some.

Service: Excellent! Very friendly staff and always checked back with us if we were feeling alright.

Ambience: Nice and cosy. Night time was a little chilly but for me it’s aight…

Price: See captions and last pic.

RTE: If I’m staying in the same hotel when back to Perth, I definitely would.

Location: Ground floor of Comfort Hotel Perth City, 200 Hay Street, Perth City.