Tag Archives: eating

The Most Disappointing Fruit Ever: Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit looks like it should taste awesome. It looks exotic and beautiful and so tantalizing that you think it must be delicious inside. And it has an awesome name.

The outside looks so good (picture taken from the public domain)

The outside looks so good (picture taken from the public domain)

But dragon fruit doesn’t really taste like anything. It’s super bland. It’s not sweet, it’s not sour, it’s not tart, it’s not refreshing–it just kind of… is.

Eating dragon fruit is like meeting a man or woman who’s really physically attractive and you’re really into it and then you have sex for the first time and he/she just lies there like a dead fish and it’s terrible. Attractive exterior, but can’t back it up with the real goods.

During my time in Bali, though, I found out that there’s more than one type of dragon fruit, and the other types are better.

Dragon fruit with red flesh (picture taken from public domain)

Dragon fruit with red flesh (picture taken from the public domain)

The dragon fruit that you normally find is red on the outside, has white flesh, and tastes like nothing. There’s also a version that looks the same on the outside, but the inside has red flesh, and this version is decently tasty. I’d still choose most other tropical fruits over the red flesh dragon fruit, but at least it’s sweet and tastes like something.

So if you ever get the chance, try the red flesh dragon fruit. It won’t blow your mind, but at least it helps justify dragon fruit’s awesome name and exterior. Be warned, though, that it will turn some of your bodily excretions red if you eat enough (similar to what beets do, so don’t freak out).

How to Do the LAX In-N-Out Layover

If you’ve got a lengthly layover at LAX, you should consider the In-N-Out layover. There’s an In-N-Out not too far from the airport, and you can sit outside and watch the planes pass by overhead as you enjoy your animal-style fries and burger.

While the In-N-Out is within walking distance of the airport (it takes about 25 minutes to walk from Terminal 3 to the In-N-Out, but it’s not a particularly well-marked walk), there’s a shuttle that makes the trip much shorter. The Parking Spot Sepulveda parking garage is right behind the In-N-Out, so if you take the Parking Spot shuttle to Sepulveda, you get dropped off right behind the In-N-Out. Heck, there’s even a marked door in the parking garage that says that it’s the way to In-N-Out.

So make your way out of the terminal and wait under one of the “Hotel & Courtesy Shuttles” signs (there should be one in front of every terminal), and wait for one of the spotted shuttles with a red sign saying “Sepulveda”. Do not go on one that has a blue sign that says “Century”. When you board, if the driver asks, tell them you did self parking.

Look for this sign

Look for this sign

Make sure the shuttle says Sepulveda

Make sure the shuttle says Sepulveda

Don't just rely on the color of the shuttle

Don’t just rely on the color of the shuttle

Cushy seating

Cushy seating

Once you’re at the In-N-Out, order whatever you want. Check out their not-so-secret menu for more options.

The fabled In-N-Out

The fabled In-N-Out

Quite busy inside, so budget your time accordingly

Quite busy inside, so budget your time accordingly

The menu

The menu

Animal style burger and fries

Animal-style burger and fries

And then go outside and enjoy the sun and plane watching. You can see some planes moving on the apron and taking off, but the real fun is the planes that are landing that fly seemingly directly overhead. There will be plenty of other airplane fanatics milling around, and I’m sure you’ll run into other points/miles enthusiasts if you’re willing to strike up a conversation.

The Singapore A380 that I took to get to LAX

The Singapore A380 that I took to get to LAX

Great plane watching right overhead

Great plane watching right overhead

After you’re done watching planes and stuffing your face, you can take the Parking Spot shuttle back to LAX. Or you can try to burn off some calories and walk (again, it’s about a 25-minute walk to Terminal 3–longer if you need to go to a different terminal).

For me, I’d want a layover of at least 2 hours to go to In-N-Out. Assuming I want to be back at LAX about 30 minutes before my flight, that leaves about 90 minutes to get to/from In-N-Out, order and wait for food, and enjoy the food and planes.

Where to Find Durian in Ubud, Bali

I’m currently in Ubud in Bali, and whenever I’m in any Southeast Asian country, I’m on the lookout for durian. I absolutely love durian, and I don’t think it smells bad–it just smells like durian to me.

After not finding much information on the internetz and following multiple false leads (probably because it’s not durian season in January), I finally found someone selling durian at Ubud Market. In the mornings (pre-9am), Ubud Market is primarily a market for locals looking for produce. During the day, it transforms into a market for tourists looking for souvenirs.

My initial mistake was looking for durian at Ubud Market in the mornings when the locals shop. I couldn’t find anyone selling durian the first time I came to the market around 7am (note that I have since found that you can occasionally find fruit vendors selling durian in the mornings, but each time I found someone they only had one durian for sale, so it wasn’t very obvious).

But at 11am, a woman sets up some fruit on the side of the road and has durian for sale. She’s there from 11am until whenever she’s done, which is usually around 6pm. She’s located at the corner of Jalan Raya Ubud and Jalan Karna, or the first road on the right if you start walking along Jalan Raya Ubud from Ubud Palace.

Looking down Jl. Karna into Ubud Market

Looking down Jl. Karna into Ubud Market (can you spot the durian?)

Not really a stand, but more some fruit on the street

Not really a stand, but more just fruit on the street

Durian! And other fruit, but really, you just need durian.

Durian! And other fruit, but really, you just need durian.

The previous day she was on this side of the street

The previous day the durian was on this side of the street

You can expect to bargain for your durian (and anything else you want to buy in the market). Today, she asked for 80,000 rupiah (about $6.50 USD), but I ended up getting a whole durian for 50,000 rupiah (about $4 USD). I later came back to the market and gave her more money just because I want to make sure that she keeps selling durian.

Looks disgusting, but tastes great

Looks disgusting, but tastes great

If you want, you can ask for the vendor to open up the durian and put the fruit into a plastic bag, or you can do it yourself later (the durian here are already cut open so you just have to pull it apart). I ask for mine to be opened on the spot because I can’t wait to start eating it and I can eat an entire durian on my own, but be warned that once it’s open it starts to smell more.

UPDATE: From asking around, there is apparently another fruit seller that occasionally has durian during the off season. She is located on Jalan Raya Nyuh Kuning. Walk west along that road from Jalan Raya Pengosekan (the road that Jalan Hanoman becomes if you keep walking south), and you should see her stand. Depending on how much durian she has on hand, prices are significantly cheaper than those in Ubud market (like 10k or 15k rupiah per durian). I have not verified this personally as it’s quite far from where I’m staying, so I’m happy to pay an extra couple of dollars for convenience.

UPDATED UPDATE: My durian lady did not have durian today, but she assured me that she would have durian tomorrow. So I guess even she isn’t a sure thing.

SEA 2014: You’re Doing It Wrong at Tong Heng (Singapore)

My time in Singapore was characterized by eating, more eating, and then eating some more, to the point of a constant malaise/euphoria from being so full of delicious food.

One place that might be on your eating list is Tong Heng, which is known for their egg tarts (Gary from View From the Wing wrote about it in his recent Singapore food recap). But if you stop at the egg tarts, you’re doing it wrong.

Inside Tong Heng

Inside Tong Heng

The best thing I ate at Tong Heng was their kaya omelet toast aka fried deliciousness with kaya smothered on top aka kaya eggy orgasm in your mouth. It’s like kaya toast, but with an omelet on it, then deep fried. They make it to order, and it’s best consumed immediately.

Secret menu at the back (not really secret, just not well known)

Secret menu at the back (not really secret, just not well known)

To provide a little context, we stopped at this place after gorging ourselves at the nearby Maxwell Food Centre where we had chicken rice, porridge, dumplings, and drinks. We really didn’t have room to eat much more than half an egg tart each, but we finished the omelet anyway because it was that frickin’ delicious (so much delicious regret afterward).

The egg tart wishes it could be as tasty as the kaya toast omelet

The egg tart wishes it could be as tasty as the kaya toast omelet

Don’t get me wrong: the egg tart was good, but there are lots of places in the world to get good egg tarts (I also don’t think this place is worth a detour just for their egg tarts). But if you like fried food and dessert, I’m sure you’ll love the kaya toast omelet as much as we did.

If you want to go, it’s within walking distance of the Chinatown MRT, and it’s a block away from the Maxwell Food Centre.

How to Stop Late Night Snacking

If you want to stop yourself from snacking late at night or mindlessly eating after dinner, try brushing your teeth earlier in the evening. This works especially well if you’re also following my other advice of only allowing yourself to brush your teeth after flossing.

By brushing your teeth earlier, you’re making it more inconvenient and therefore less rewarding to snack after dinner, which should help you cut down on your late night eating. Granted, this probably only works if you’re the kind of person who can’t go to bed if your teeth aren’t clean.

On the flip side, if you want to make yourself eat more calories, you should just leave baked goods or some good butter and a baguette out on the counter. Since it’s so easily accessible, it encourages you to eat more.