Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Are you in Ho Chi Minh City and have no idea on where to get your nails done? Head over to Fame Nails, located at both No. 18 Pham Hong Thai, District 1, HCMC and 45, Mac Thi Buoi, District 1, HCMC. I've been frequenting this place for more than 3 years and am very happy with their variety of nail services which comes in reasonable prices. Not to mention their super friendly staffs.

From left: The very nice lady boss of Fame Nails, Kim and one of my favorite nail artist, Si Si!
18, Pham Hong Thai
45, Mac Thi Buoi

You can expect good quality products at Fame Nails as their nail polish vary from O.P.I, China Glaze, Orly and Gelish. And yes, they do offer Gelish manicure and pedicure if you would prefer a longer lasting, chip free nails. The least that you should worry about when you are at Fame Nails is about the color and nail art selections. They have tones of choices, that I always take forever to decide on what I want. 

Its actually more than what you can see in the picture
My friend, Rathi, in dilemma on which design to go with
Besides nail services, Fame Nails also offer foot massage so the husbands can get their spa treatment as well while waiting for their wives to be done with theirs. 

Looks like my husband is having a manicure session too. Did he? *wink wink* 
Naah...he only agreed for a leg massage
Unlike most of the nail saloons, Fame Nails offer a comfy massage chair so you'll get to enjoy a full back massage while getting your nails done. They have a really cozy environment with very friendly staffs, which is why I always come back to this place.

This was done a few weeks earlier
Fame Nails is open daily from 9am till 10pm. They tend to be quite busy especially during the weeknights and weekends. If you are planning to go in a group, do call them up to make an appointment. You may check them out at their facebook pages, here and here.

Happy customers :D
Please be informed that there may be other shops operating with the name Fame Nails. They only have 2 shops at the moment as stated above, so please be aware.

* photography courtesy of Yogarajan Egambaram and Fame Nails

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Indus Indian Restaurant: South & North Indian Cuisine

I'm a Malaysian Indian and Indian food definitely makes me feel like home although I don't favor it that much. I still remember my trip to India a few years back where I actually got home sick because all I had for my everyday meals were curry and masala. Now that I'm living abroad in Ho Chi Minh City, Indian food has become one of the comfort food that I can find whenever I miss mummy's cooking.

I have to admit that I'm not that good in cooking Indian food because I usually enjoy cooking fusion Malaysian dishes. But whenever we are craving for Indian food, Indus Indian Restaurant would be our number one choice. The food here tastes authentic and its very much on the cheaper side compared to a few other Indian restaurants here in HCMC. It is located at 2G Thi Sach Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and they also offer delivery with no minimum order. You can call them at +84.8.3521.0326 to place in your orders.

Egg Rava Thosai

Tandoori Chicken
Mutton Kottu Parotha
My husbands favorite would be the egg rava thosai. Not many restaurants here serve rava thosai and the combination of egg just makes it more flavorful! The tandoori chicken here is definitely the best out of the rest that I've tasted so far. Its tender, juicy, flavorful and not oily at all. My all time favorite would be the mutton kottu parotha. So far, I could only find this dish at Indus and not elsewhere. Kottu parotha is actually stir fried parotha , something similar to fried noodles but using parotha instead.

Chettinaad Chicken Curry
Chicken Curry
Plain Thosai
There were 2 different types of chicken curry on the menu. One was chicken curry and the other was chettinaad chicken curry. The flavors were similar but the chettinaad was a bit more spicier and used boneless chicken instead of chicken leg. The plain thosai was nicely cooked and crispy, not too sour but that's about it.

If you happen to be in Ho Chi Minh City and craving for Indian food. Head over to Indus Indian Restaurant for a scrumptious hearty meal!

* photography courtesy of Yogarajan Egambaram and Epicure, Manicure

Friday, July 20, 2012

Spicy aglio e olio with slow roasted tomatoes

Aglio e olio means "spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chili peppers" in Italian. Its a traditional Italian pasta dish with a minimal amount of ingredients and of course, easy to make. When I first heard about it, I assumed it would be a bland tasting dish since the only key ingredients in it was olive oil and garlic. Only after trying it that I realised I was actually wrong.

The original dish doesn't include any meat but there are a few versions out there which includes either shrimp, pepperoni, sliced ham or pancetta. My version has slow roasted tomatoes and sliced chicken sausages in it. 

Who needs sun dried tomatoes when you can slow roast them in your oven right? All you have to do is slice the baby tomatoes into half, arrange them onto the baking tray lined with either baking paper or foil paper, drizzle some olive oil, and roast them at 100°C / 212°F for 2 hours. The taste is almost similar to the store bought sun dried tomatoes and is definitely much cheaper to make them on your own.

To make this delicious pasta dish, lightly fry minced garlic, shallots and some chili flakes in a bit of olive oil until fragrant. Add in the sliced chicken sausages and continue frying for about one minute. Then add in the spaghetti and some salt to taste. Finally add in the roasted tomatoes and toss it to evenly distribute the ingredients with the pasta. If its too dry, drizzle some olive oil. Make sure to boil the spaghetti in water with enough salt for the flavor and some oil to avoid them from sticking onto each other after cooked. 

Its really a lazy person's dish as it requires very little ingredients and skills to make it. This would definitely be a perfect dinner on a lazy worknite!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nasi lemak

Steamed coconut rice, sweet and spicy anchovy sambal sauce, fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, fried or boiled egg, and some sliced cucumbers. These are the basics for a plate of Nasi Lemak, Malaysian's national dish. 'Fatty Rice' is what it literally means and the fat is referred to the coconut milk cooked with the rice making it rich, fragrant and yummy. This dish is also usually served with beef / chicken rendang and stir-fried kangkung (water spinach).

The basic ingredients to prepare a good anchovy sambal sauce are ikan bilis (anchovies), shallots, onions, garlic, ginger, dried chili paste, belacan (shrimp paste), lemongrass, tomatoes and some salt and sugar to balance up the flavor. The key to cooking the perfect tasting sambal is to fry the chili paste in generous amount of oil until the oil separates from the paste and turn to a slightly darker color.

On the other hand, cooking the coconut rice is actually really simple. For 2 cups of rice, add 1 ½ cups of water and 1 ½ cups of coconut milk. Also add in some sliced ginger for the aroma and some salt to taste. Yes, its that easy.

Cooked this for dinner a few days back and the husband loved it. In fact he declared this, the best Nasi Lemak he had ever tasted, even better than his mum's! I also served this for brunch when my friends from Malaysia was over and it was a hit. Will definitely make this dish again when more friends and family are over!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Quiche is a savory open-faced pastry crust dish with a filling of savory custard with cheese, meat or vegetables. I learnt about its existence when I took up a short baking course back in Malaysia. Loved how it tasted and so I decided to make it for dinner a few days back.

It was my first time making it on my own and this time I tried another recipe for the pastry crust which turned out just the way I wanted it to be. This recipe calls for 1 cold egg instead of using cold water. The dough was much easier to handle compared to how it was when I made my first pie.

Most recipes requires blind baking so I did a lot of reading on it and came to a conclusion that it is not necessary to blind bake unless your tart / pie filling requires light baking like a meringue pie or no baking at all. For quiche, the trick is to bake it at 220°C / 425°F for the first 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 160°C / 325°C and bake it for another 35 minutes. Another way is to cover up the top with foil paper to prevent browning and bake it at 205°C / 400°F for 30-40 minutes and another 10-15 minutes without the foil paper. How to know if your quiche is done? The filling should appear only slightly jiggly and not be totally firm and set. 

Its really not that hard to make your own quiche, pie or tart. If I can make, so can you!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Good food and entertainment, Teppanyaki style

How often do you get both good food and entertainment in one place? Vicki's Teppanyaki & BBQ is the place to be if you fancy live cooking experience. Not only do they serve mouth watering dishes, but the chefs here also have a very good sense of humor and never fail to entertain their customers while whipping up dishes at the same time. 

This restaurant is a perfect place if you would like to entertain your guests, clients or even have a small party as they offer a private dining experience. Their menu varies from chicken to lobster, all cooked on the iron griddle with special skills. It was my second time here and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time.  
salted fish fried rice
squid cooked in sambal belacan
Chicken cooked in special sambal sauce
lamb cooked in spicy sauce
mixed vegetable with mushroom and tofu
our very funny chef who made us laugh with his tricks
Muslims can also enjoy this experience as this restaurant is certified halal. Vicki's Teppanyaki & BBQ is currently having a lunch promotion where diners would get 50% off their bill when you dine-in at their restaurant from 11am-3pm daily. (not applicable for drinks). 

Below are videos of some of the tricks shown to us during our dining experience at Vicki's Teppanyaki & BBQ.

the salt and pepper trick

tossing the eggs

the art of frying egg

the funny chef posing for me 

Tempted to try? Their restaurant is located at Le Anh Xuan St. 42., Ben Thanh Ward, Dist. 1, HCMC. Go ahead and experience it for yourself!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Alone and abroad

part of Ho Chi Minh City, taken a year ago
I'm used to the husband being away for work, meetings and offshore trips. But being away from loved ones in a foreign country can drive me nuts especially when I am alone with no friends. At one point, I used to refuse going out anywhere on my own as I was not used to the country. But after almost a year living here, I have slowly gained the courage to move around on my own.

I somehow managed to make a few friends so I usually try to hang out with them whenever they are free. I've also learnt to watch movies and have meals alone at cafes/restaurants which is kinda weird for me as I'm a person who hates to hang out alone unless it involves shopping. Speaking about shopping, the malls here are not as extravagant as the ones back in Malaysia so I can't really spend much time walking around window shopping in a mall for more than half an hour. It can be pretty boring here if you are on your own.

spent almost half a day playing with this cutie, my friend's daughter
It has been a month since we've moved into our new place at Sherwood Residence and I would say that I now enjoy staying in much more often than I had used to. It's also much easier to stay alone while Ram is away since I can now hang out with his friend's wife and kids. It's a luxury serviced apartment but the environment is more like a 5-star hotel to me -- daily housekeeping services, room service, swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room, complimentary high tea and the list goes on. The pictures below are taken from my Instagram but I've yet to snap more proper pictures using my Canon G12.

part of our new place
the awesome pool
I'll definitely have a post on Sherwood Residence soon so you guys can experience my leisure life via pictures!