Day Tripping to Epping

These hills that greet visitors on Melbourne’s northern approaches once were dotted with sheep and rocks. Now they are blanketed with houses and huge shopping centres.

For lunch, a taste of Japanese tonkatsu at Plenty Valley.

Not fancy, just crumbed pork with udon noodles, vege and egg in a curry, heated by a cute, gimmicky blue gel tealight.

A filling lunch for $16.80 at Fukutontei.

China, lobsters and soaring prices

A roast chicken USD10, average live lobster USD50, airport taxi USD30: The huge Chinese “spend” in South-East Asia is causing a rapid inflation of prices.

Expect enormous inflationary pressure to soon weigh on the smaller economies as locals struggle to cope with rocketing property/food/transport costs.

It’ll be much worst if tourism turns away from “once cheap” Asia…

Clarification: roast chooks in SE Asia haven’t yet undergone the Ingham/Steggles “miniaturisation” program and are a decent size, and come with claws and head cooked and intact – woo hoo, a bonus locals love!

 

Fried rice with a sour pickle

The only surly woman I’ve met in Cambodia serves me: fried rice with beef balls (AKA slices of a small beef sausage) and three big, sour pickles – two on the plate and one serving it. Add the soy sauce and stir in some hot chilli seeds and it’s a delicious lunch for USD3. 🤠

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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The salad illusion looks like it’s moving (hope the curry doesn’t start ‘moving’)

Chicken tikka masala: like all food in Cambodia, this ubiquitous Indian (or originally Scottish??) curry-yoghurt dish is simple and delicious. With a crunchy salad – and all that naan bread. I scoffed the lot, hehe. US$4 lunch special, Cyclo Hotel, Phnom Penh. 


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Spicy but pricy

These guys have come a long way just to sit in a mini-mart fridge in Cambodia. So I try the “Chicken Spicy” number and it’s OK. $US3 a bit pricy tho – and the parlous US-AUD exchange rate’s hard to swallow. Wholegrain bread is a treat here. Now, for a big $US1.50 noodle soup …

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