$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Food in Iceland

Iceland, a country located within Artic circle, is a country famous for Aurora, glaciers, volcanoes and geysirs. Little was known about the food there, probably because of how expensive eating out was. Hence, before we left for our trip, KPO and I made a trip to NTUC and bought loads of can food and maggie mee before our trip (and this is the best decision made ever). So this will be a short post, as most of the time we were cooking in our apartment.

For a start, this is roughly the food prices in Iceland converted to SGD..

Mineral water - $6

10 eggs - $15

and craziest goes to....
Banana (small bunch) - $12 (ok I know banana is a tropical fruit, and that's probably the reason why it is so ex)
KPO says it makes more sense to have smoked salmon than banana, given the price...

Anyway, the cheapest supermarket in Iceland is Bonus (a pig logo), but if you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider buying everything in NTUC first, if your luggage space permits. It will still be cheaper than buying there.

Smoked salmon (small pack) - $14

Fish soup @ Ostabúðin fish and soup

Rated as number 3 on Trip Advisor, and cheaper than the top 2 restaurants on Trip Advisor, this is definitely a must-try. Remember to go during lunch as anything gets even more expensive during dinner.

I ordered a bowl of fish soup, while KPO ordered catch of the day. Both are fresh and really good!

Damage: $49
Rate: 4.5/5

Restaurant at Selfoss Geysir (Glima)

We decided to have lunch at this restaurant during our trip to Selfoss Geysir. I had some reservations about this restaurant initially because it looks like some 骗旅客 place, but we just go ahead simply because I was too sick of eating bread everyday during the roadtrip. We ordered a lamb steak and this was one of the best choice made. It was perfectly done (not tough at all) and was juicy and yummy.

Price: $34
Rate: 5/5 - really best lamb I have ever eaten. Nothing more that I can ask for.

Hotdog @ Reykjavik

I was quite skeptical when KPO told me that I have to try the famous hotdog at Reykjavik. Like seriously, how good can hotdog bun gets?
But I was so so wrong. The hotdog bun was really THAT good that I visited twice during my trip. The hotdog was made of pork and lamb, and it was topped with fried onion and mayonnaise/mustard sauce.

Damage: $5 per hotdog bun
Rate: 5/5

2016 Portfolio Review

Happy New Year to all!

2016 will be over soon and it has been a great year (for us and our portfolio)! This is the year it finally turn positive >.<

Since this is my first post, I shall share a bit on how it all started..

I started buying stock when I was still in university without much financial knowledge. I thought that stocks which were trading > $1 were too "expensive" and penny stocks were much cheaper. I was trading stocks in and out based on forum/analyst report and lost quite a bit of money (about -15% and I even lost sleep over those losses). My favorite example is Ezion when I purchase it at $2.12 then came the oil crisis and at its lowest, it was worth $0.21. CZM kept asking me to sell everything because I was making losses till early 2016 but I ignored her. lol.

I continued to read/research online and came across ASSI and I really like his way of investing for income. I also decided to invest in myself and paid to attend the Value Investing Mastery Course (VIMC) by BigFatPurse which gave me more confident in valuing and investing in stocks.

Once I graduated and joined the workforce (in 2015), we decided that both of us will transfer $1000 of our salary (each) into my saving account to save up for our future. CZM wanted to call it "Happiness Fund" initially (so we can use it to travel, wedding, etc.) but I rejected the idea and managed to persuade her to call it "KPO Fund". This give a better impression that the money in the fund has to be utilized carefully and it is being managed by me. I then went on to propose that the fund will be split up into 2 components (Expense Fund and Investment Fund). Literally split her happiness into 2. Hahahaha.

Our target is to have enough passive income so CZM can become a housewife (this is how I scam her to continue to work). Let's take a look at 2016 year performance:

KPO - $5,306
KPO Fund - $90

2015 Total - $3,262(about $272 per month)
2016 Total - $5,396 (about $450 per month - 65% increase!)

We are still pretty far from our end goal but we will continue to build it up!

Time-weighted returns of portfolio is 10.05% vs -0.34% (STI ETF).

Total return (XIRR) for 2016 is about 9.48%. Hopefully 2017 will be better!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Food in London

Being an Asian food lover, I wasn't expecting to have much fantastic food in London/Iceland/Paris, since Ang Moh food is just about burgers, potatoes and fries, and it kinda taste the same everywhere right?

However, I was quite surprised to find really good food over there. Below are all my recommendations (or not):

1) Duck Confit @ Borough Market

Located at some corner of the market, I highly recommend this duck confit wrap. The duck is crispy and fragrant.

Note: Borough Market is closed on Sundays, and have limited opening hours on Monday and Tuesday.

Rate: 4/5

2) Raclette Kappacasein Dairy @ Borough Market

Located at some ulu part at the end of the market. I have seen numerous videos on Facebook raving about the Raclette from this shop. Being a cheese lover, how can I possibly miss this?
Basically Raclette is a pungent bitter-salty cheese made from cow's milk. The staff will melt a bit of the raclette cheese. Once melted, the cheese was scraped off and served on top of potatoes and pickles.

Honestly, given the queue and the rave, I think this was overrated. Didn't really like the bitter after-taste and the cheese hardens quite fast, esp during winter. We were a little jelak towards the end.

Rate: 3/5

3) Four Seasons Duck @ Leicester Square

Everyone say go London must eat London Duck. So we tried that before our theatre show on the first night in London since it was within walking distance to our show later that night.

I personally thought it was just a normal duck rice, the skin wasn't particularly fragrant or crisp, but the spring onion-lookalike thing which comes with the duck rice was really nice and added a lot of plus points. It has the same taste as a typical 燒臘 place in Hong Kong and reminds me of my Hong Kong exchange days in Uni with KPO. KPO reckons it was famous because Asians living in London probably missed good Asian food.

Saving tips, if you want to try this, you should order the 雙拼 rather than alacarte because it is a lot cheaper.

Note: opens from 12pm - 11.30pm daily

Rate: 4/5 (+1 point for the spring onion)

4) English breakfast @ Museum Cafe, 83 Bermondsey St

Wanted to try an English breakfast since we are at London, so we tried this near our Airbnb place. However, we immediately regretted when it came. It was just red beans, sunny side up, sausage and plain bread for approx £7-8 (which is freaking SGD 16)! And it was just so ordinary...but we should have expected it la, so serve us right..

Rate: 2/5

5) Fish & Chips @ The White Horse (Oxford Uni)

So they say go Ang Moh country must eat fish and chips. And we tried one during our trip to Oxford Uni - The White Horse as it was recommended by our tour guide. Can't remember when this stall was opened, but remember it was super long ago and it was sandwiched between Blackwells bookstore so the stall is really small. The bookstore wanted to buy over the space which The White Horse currently occupies, but was rejected by the owner.

They only use Cod or Haddock as the fish and it was really fresh and was perfect together with homemade tar tar sauce. Probably one of the best fish and chips I have eaten (apart from the one which I tried at New Zealand).

The picture below doesn't do justice to the fish and chips - it is really good.

Note: The place is really small, so try to go at odd hours.
Opens 12pm - 9pm daily.

Rate: 4.5/5

6) The Breakfast Club (many outlets)

So we had one near our place (London Bridge) and it was so so so much better than the English breakfast we had (see #4 above). I had a pancake while KPO had scrambled eggs + smoked salmon. His was ordinary, but I thought the pancake was really good. The pancake had buttery taste and was topped with a sunny side up. Thumbs up!

Try to go early as we were seeing long queues outside the shop at around 10am already.

Rate: 4/5

That's it for food in London. Will be blogging about food in Iceland and Paris another time.