BEST SOUL FOOD IN PHUKET: BABA SOUL IN SRI PANWA

There's food, and then there are meals. Meals that have taken time to perfect, love to churn and people to devour with. I may not be a food writer, but like an unabashed stereotypical Singaporean, I love food with a passion. Obviously. If I had even less self control than I already do now, I would be 400lbs. 

When you love food and you love making food as much as I do, you tend to seek out good food. Not necessarily expensive food, but food that you know have been made by love, with fresh, whole foods and not laden with MSG, as a lot of food in Singapore, hawker or otherwise are.

(Fun fact: I get really itchy and my eczema flares up when I eat food with MSG, so I can be a human MSG detector machine. I detest places that use MSG - if you can cook, cook. Why use an artificial cancer-causing flavouring to add flavour to your shitty food if you can't cook? Have some pride, people. Ok, rant over.) 

All that said, one of the best meals I had this year was during my short trip to Phuket a few months ago at Baba Soul. Located within the compounds of the amazing Sri Panwa resort, Baba Soul is quite the drive from the city of Phuket, or the more popular beaches like Surin and Patong and because you can literally get amazing food at any street corner, from just about any street cart in the Thai town, it can be a little bit of a bitch to travel all the way to Cape Panwa just for food.

Which is why, if you don't stay in Sri Panwa (and you should, at least once in your life), you should do sunset drinks with incredible views at Baba Nest before dinner at Baba Soul.

The restaurant serves up a selection of Southern homecooked Thai cuisine. The chefs don't hold back when they create a medley of flavours for their soups, stir frys, curries and dips, all of which you can choose the level of spiciness - from mild, to unadulterated hotness that will send you to nirvana and back. 

Don't be shy to order up a storm. Meals like these don't come too often, and even if you want to stick to things that you know, like basil chicken or tom yum soup, they'd probably be one of the most memorable versions of those dishes you've had.

And don't leave without ordering their Yam Ped Krob (pictured), which is a crispy duck salad with Thai local herbs, cashew nuts and chilli with a coconut-chilli dressing. Few words can describe how magical this salad was. Spicy, crispy, sweet and by far, unreal.

WE'RE HEADED TO SAN FRANCISCO!

I've been in LA for a few days now, and while my jet lag hasn't left me as quickly as usual (I blame it on ageing) we're headed to San Francisco tomorrow. Since I started my back-and-forth jaunts to LA, we've explored several cities in California including Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and San Diego. They've all been road trips, and this is the first time we're hopping on a plane and heading somewhere.

It's always exciting travelling to a new place, but I get particularly excited when I go to a place I relate my love for pop culture to. So many movies I watched growing up have been shot in San Francisco, including The Maltese Falcon, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Mrs Doubtfire, The Princess Diaries (pre-Hathaway baring her boobs to the world era).

Can't wait. Watch this space!

P.S.: I'm going to start uploading more videos on YouTube. Subscribe here!

INSTA UPDATES

From top, left to right: In front of the Rag & Bone store on Bleeker St in NYC; Trying on a Bettie Paige-esque dress after yoga class. New $20 shoes from DSW; Food trucks in front of the Warner Brothers office in LA. Local psychic; 21lbs of turkey before going into the oven. Bundled up going to yoga class; some new sparkles from J Crew.

I decided to make my Instagram account private recently, after Instagram went on the web. For some reason, I felt like my Instagram life was being. Going private also helps with the ridiculous spam that's been plaguing the app; I approve human 'follows' though, so hit me up at @fazabdulgaffa.

Trust me, I've got major updates that I will be announcing soon. ;o)

THE HOAGIE

The hoagie deserved a post of its own on this blog. J has been raving about them since we've started dating, and today, after almost three years of not eating red meat, he chowed down on one of these babies, and so did I. You could order the infamous Philly cheesesteak in various sizes - large [17 inches - pictured, which was wider and longer than my forearm], regular [11 inches, which J and I split], and a mini [7 inches]. It comes with cheese and beef, cooked as you order and you could choose to add mushrooms, hot peppers, sweet peppers, amongst other things.

I had it for lunch [5.5 inches], and I'm still too stuffed for dinner. How's your holidays been?