Shrimp paste not to my taste

Imagine: footy socks – Collingwood footy socks – worn by a teenager, unwashed for an entire, wet season, placed in a blender with week-old “fish kill” from Australia’s Murray-Darling rivers … nah, that doesn’t go close to describing the smell of this stuff. And I tasted it. I swear, when I opened the bottle, the bread jumped out of my hand and leapt over the 6th-floor balcony…

Rice to the Rescue (aka Fresh is Best)

Rice to the Rescue: Russian tourists in Asia tend to buy up in supermarket and prepare/eat in their room. OK, let’s see: This canned Danish pork luncheon (US$6.70) is a tube of salty sorrow but add freshly steamed rice (US40c-80c), chilli sauce,  leftover ginger sauce – and a squirt of Japanese mayo – and the result is alright. Verdict: No. It’s cheaper, tastier and healthier to buy fresh at a local eatery. But hey, if you don’t give it a go, you’ll never know …


Asia Noir: The Black Bar

Shall I venture into the Heart of Darkness … where 3 jaded hookahs of differing exotic flavors sit at the bar, waiting for a hosepipe and a light.

Giggle Gas: bring your rubber refills into the bar and they fill ’em up for a fee. No excuse to not have a good time here. Me, I stick to the hard stuff: “Another Saigon Special beer, thanks barkeep.” That’s how I roll 😎

Beef with a sizzling sauce

Chewy beef and tender noodles are merely supporting cast; the star is the sauce, lightly laced with chilli spice and fortified with Cambodia’s renowned hot Kampot pepper. $US6.25 small (I’ve been overeating) at Phnom Penh’s TiNAT Restaurant (a “premium economy” eatery)

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