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Lake Toya, Japan

Spot of Tranquility.

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Little India, Singapore

Spices, gold and splashes of colour!

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Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay

Garden City, City in a Garden.

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Bryce Canyon, USA

Thor's Hammer

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Chocolate Test, Singapore

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Charles M Schulz

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Gin Khao (One Raffles Place)

This is yet another Thai food place you can go on the weekends without having to jostle with the crowds. It is nearly always crowded on weekdays but empty on weekends (because it's located at CBD). 


As there were only two of us and the portions here are big, we ordered a Tom Yum Talay ($13.80) to share. It is the kind of tom yum I like- sufficiently sour and spicy.  Some places have such muted Tom Yum it sorely lacks the oomph factor. The spiciness in this bowl will make you break out into a sweat or two. They were very generous with the seafood.


I have come here on a number of occasions and never managed to finish my food because the portion is maybe too much for one person. We shared the Pineapple Fried Rice ($13.80). We smelt the fragrance of it even before seeing the dish served to us. Again, very generous with the seafood and the fragrance hits us each time we deliver the food into our mouths.


Gin Khao
One Raffles Place
1 Raffles Place #04-29
Tel No: 6532 2387 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Franz Josef Holiday House (New Zealand)

It would be remiss of me if I didn't continue to blog about New Zealand, a place where the scenery is simply breathtaking. 

The Franz Josef Holiday House (booked on Airbnb) was one of my favourite places to stay at during the New Zealand trip.

After our walk at the Franz Josef Glacier (which was a little underwhelming during summer), we drove to this place which could accommodate 5 of us.  

It looked pretty ordinary on the outside but never judge a book from its cover, or for this matter, a house from its exterior. 

A comfortable living room, where the owner had thoughtfully provided board games and dvds.


The kitchen was fully equipped. Toaster, oven, fridge etc. You will see a folder which the host has kindly provided on what you could do in the area.


The rooms were comfortable and extremely pleasing to the eye. Though the rooms were a tad small, they exuded a cottage feel and it was nice to be surrounded by nature.






As with some of the places we stayed at in New Zealand, the toilet was separate from the bath area.



Free and strong Wifi was available here. You would be surprised how many places in New Zealand charged for Wifi. It was also a very short drive to the town centre, where we had an enjoyable meal at Snake Bite


Smoothie House (One Raffles Place)

Smoothie House is a popular shaved ice store that originates from Taiwan. It is located next to my favourite vegetarian place in Raffles Place- Green Dot, which is very packed during lunch time. 

Smoothie House has a few branches in Singapore and One Raffles Place is your safest bet on a weekend to enjoy your dessert in complete peace because human traffic is very low on weekends. 


We ordered a Tiramisu & Red Beans Snowflake Ice with Panna Cotta ($12.90). The combination of tiramisu and red beans might strike one as being a strange one, but it turned out to be an enjoyable dessert. The soft-like-snow ice had tiramisu flavour, and there were abundant pieces of lady fingers (although they were dry, instead of the usual ones in your tiramisu which are soaked in coffee liquor) and little bits of chewy mochi. Mop that up together with the red bean and it will be the perfect way to round off a meal. I would recommend sharing the dessert because it's a rather large portion.


Smoothie House 
One Raffles Place
#03-25
Singapore 048616
Tel No: 6582 1025

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Dutch Baby Cafe

What a name. 

Dutch Baby Cafe serves Dutch Baby pancakes, which are sometimes called a German pancake or a Dutch puff. The pancake is baked in a cast iron or metal pan.


This place was cosy and was the type of place where you could have tea and chat about life.


I got the Pork Cutlet Curry Rice ($17.80). I initially considered whether to get one for myself or share. The portion of pork cutlet is just nice for one person (with too much rice though). Nothing to complain about the rather standard Japanese curry rice.

However, if you don't care about the ambience and just want some good Japanese curry rice, I highly recommend Udon Goen at Wisma Atria's food court. They serve delicious curry rice at half the price.


We also got the Mixed Berries Pancake ($13.80). Eating this gave me mixed feelings. It tasted of the kueh lapis that my mum used to bake, which didn't taste like the usual kueh lapis at all. This is different from the typical pancake, it is more chewy and buttery, with slightly crispy sides.


Wouldn't come back for the curry rice, better off at Udon Goen.

Dutch Baby Cafe 
The Paragon
290 Orchard Road
#B1-13
Tel No: 68369488 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Lola's Cafe

It's been two years since I last visited Lola's for their main menu items.

They have since taken over the shop space next to theirs and still doing a roaring business. 


I ordered the Smoked Pulled Pork Sanger ($15). I was first exposed to pulled pork in the US and never looked back since. Generous chunks of pulled pork dunked in BBQ sauce were sandwiched between the lightly buttered and fluffy brioche bread. The thinly sliced potato fries were also crispy and addictive- better than McDonald's (I think McDonald's fries are pretty legit).


I always get the Honey Parprika Crispy Wings ($10) when I come to Lola's. It's almost a crime not to get these beautifully deep fried wings. Crispy, yet not oily. With each bite oozes chicken juiciness, paired beautifully with the layer of honey glaze on the chicken. A must order.


Lola's Cafe 
5 and 7 Simon Road
Tel No: 6284 0349 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ayam Penyet President (Kallang Wave Mall)

Eating ayam penyet always makes me feel like I have to spend a week at the gym. All that deep fried chicken, coupled with more deep fried crispy bits. After collecting our race packs for a run, we decided to head to Ayam Penyet President for lunch. It was packed but we managed to get a seat for 2 very quickly. 


You place your order and pay at the counter.

I ordered an Ayam Penyet ($6.80). You had to order the rice separately. The chilli was tasty, not mind-numbingly spicy like that at Ayam Penyet Ria. The chicken had a crisp skin, topped with crispy bits (more of that please!)


We also shared a Tahu Telor ($6.50). The beancurd tower was enveloped with a crispy layer of omelette. Douse a bit of the sweet peanut sauce over the tahu and there is only one word- shiok!


While service is nearly non-existent, the speed at which the food is served was incredibly fast. If you are looking for a quick, value for money meal, you may consider Ayam Penyet President.

Ayam Penyet President
Kallang Wave Mall
#01-23
1 Stadium Place
Tel No: 6384 6356 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

132 Traditional Teochew Noodle

One weekend, we decided to track down 132 Traditional Teochew Noodle, the store that has reportedly changed its location 5 times but die-hard fans manage to find it all the same.

It took so long to wait for our meal, and the 30-40 minutes wait had better be worth it. We subsequently found out that the long waiting time was not due to the number of people queuing- it was just that it took very long for each customer to be served. 


What was the "wow" factor with this bowl of Mee Pok ($4)? Yes, it is worth it for the price given that there were fresh prawns, little fish dumplings, and springy noodles. But, no, it is really not worth the wait for half an hour as I could get something pretty close for less than half the waiting time.


132 Traditional Teochew Noodle 
59 Marine Terrace
#01-105 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Naughty Nuri's

Naughty Nuri's originated in Ubud, Bali. Too bad we missed it the last time we went to Ubud. Now they have brought Naughty Nuri's to us. 

Reservations are a must here. Once, we reached here at 8 p.m. on a Friday night and were told that they were full. On another occasion, we reached at around 12 p.m. and a couple who came at around 12.30 p.m. were told that they were full.


We ordered a St Louis Half Rack ($18.80). The ribs are marinated in balinese spices and glazed on charcoal with an "Asian BBQ sauce". Slightly spicy, the sauce was appetising - just that sauce and rice will make a great dinner. The meat was tender and fell off the bone easily. It is one of the better ribs I have tried in my recent memory.


The Nasi Goreng ($11.80) came with a generous portion of fried rice, with a mixture of healthy brown rice. The chicken satay was moist and was coated with a layer of sweet sauce that tasted like that used for the ribs. The only thing that was a let down in this dish was the prawns which were a little tasteless.


Naughty Nuri's 
Capitol Singapore
15 Stamford Road
#01-84
Tel No: 6384 7966 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Dazzling Cafe

Decked in Tiffany blue, Dazzling Cafe had long queues forming when it first opened at Capitol Piazza. Dazzling Cafe originates from Taiwan and is known for its shibuya toasts. 


This is your typical pretty cafe- little pots of flowers, whimsical decoration and random quotes on the wall.


We ordered a Black Chocolate Honey Toast ($17.90) to share which consisted of strawberries and a scoop of chocolate ice cream. I very much preferred the shibuya toast at After You in Bangkok. The shibuya toast here was decent but a little dry and not fluffy. Also, I don't know whether it was because we were sitting directly under the sun that the ice cream melted at an astounding rate such that a pool of chocolate liquid quickly formed on the toast.


It's a place where you can take pretty pictures to your heart's content, but I wouldn't come here again for its desserts.

Dazzling Cafe
Capitol Piazza
15 Stamford Road
#01-85

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Pollen

Pollen is an ideal place to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary or if you are just feeling like going to somewhere with a nice ambience. Imagine being surrounded by the smell of flora and fauna while you eat. 


Pollen offered free buggy services from Marina Bay Sands (you have to give them a call in advance to arrange for the pickup) and it is a nice gesture so that you can arrive in style at the restaurant. The restaurant is in the flower dome, so be prepared to deal with the cool temperature. Even if you do not have a shawl, the friendly waiters in the restaurant are happy to lend a shawl to you.


First up was the complimentary canapes.


I can't remember when I was first exposed to Duck fat chips ($8). Duck fat is apparently healthier than other kinds of animal fats and has a richer flavour. I could not really tell how duck fat added extra flavour but the thickly sliced and crispy fries made for a good munch.


I absolutely loved the Norwegian Salmon ($55). The poached salmon has a consistency different from the other salmon dishes that I have had so far. It is neither chewy like raw salmon nor solid like cooked salmon. Instead, it is in between such that it is smooth and melts in your mouth with each bite.

I am not a fan of gnocchi because it feels like empty carbs to me. However, the inclusion of truffle in gnocchi was novel and I could not give it a miss.


To round off the meal, we had a Salted JAAL ($20), a dessert that sought to combine sweet, salty, sour and bitter together and was executed well.

The dark chocolate cake was surrounded by orange slices and roasted macadamia nuts, with a sprinkle of salt on the cake. Pair this with the coffee ice cream which was nestled on a bed of crushed crunchy cocoa beans. Dessert heaven.


We had some complimentary sweet treats consisting of marshmallows and chocolate macarons. I am not a fan of macarons because they tend to be too sweet but the chocolate macarons here were just fine.


Pollen
#01-09 Flower Dome
Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive
Tel No: 6604 9988 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mikuni

Few hours after leaving Mikuni, I was still mumbling to myself, "What a good meal... what a good meal..." With the blessings of an Amex card, we enjoyed 50% off the total bill. 


It was fully packed on a Friday evening and if you booked early, you could decide whether to sit at the counters or at the "proper" sitting areas. Their ventilation is pretty powerful, I didn't smell like smoke after the meal even though I sat at the teppanyaki counter for the entire meal.


First, we had some complimentary thinly-sliced crackers with sprinkles of seaweed. It had gone a little soft though.


What is a Japanese meal without some Salmon ($20)? These thick slabs of salmon were fresh and creamy.


I was having an internal debate whether to order the Hokkaido Sweet Corn ($15). It is a little insane to pay so much for corn but I decided I had to get it since it says "Hokkaido". Hokkaido has fantastic fresh produce and I simply couldn't resist being the fool who pays $15 for corn. I haven't reached the stage of fishing out $100 for a Hokkaido musk melon though. The sweet, buttered corns were huge and lightly buttered, making each bite a delight. There was also some salt at the side- I didn't know that corn went well with salt!


We ordered some Hokkaido Scallops ($32). Chunks of plump scallops were swimming in butter sauce.


We also had the Kurobuta Pork Rib ($40). The portions were far too much for 2 to share. I don't often describe pork as tender because it often isn't. But here, the pork was tender, and had a thin layer of fat which didn't feel all that sinful at all. Simple flavours but delicious all the same.


The lobster ($48) covered in lots of roe and melted cheese was juicy and sweet. I would have preferred it with less cheese though because the cheese became a little gelat after a while.


We ordered the King Crab Fried Rice ($18). Aside from the fact that the rice was on the salty side, this fried rice was definitely worth ordering. There was so much crab meat in this that you would get some crab meat with every mouth of rice. The rice grains were also distinct without being too dry.


To round off the meal, we got the Ice Mochi Assortment ($28). The mochi flavours were vanilla, green tea and an unidentified flavour. There was nothing special about the dessert and this was the only dish I wished I hadn't ordered.


Overall, a memorable meal.

Mikuni
Level 3
Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road
Tel No: 6431 6156

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Travelling C.O.W (Chef on Wheels)

Food trucks are not common in Singapore- there used to be initiatives to get such schemes going but somehow these just didn't work out. 

When I think about food trucks, I think of the movie Chef- I loved the movie, it was a complete feast for the eyes.  

Here we have The Travelling C.O.W which is both a food truck and has recently got a shop space as well. 


The cafe was empty on a Sunday night and we were the only ones there. Fuss free - that's how they keep meals affordable!


You order your meal at the counter and the food will be delivered to you. Remember to clear your plates after that!


We ordered a Seafood Laksa Pasta ($12). It's always interesting to have a fusion between pasta and Singaporean dishes- so far, I have had Tom Yum Seafood Pasta at 49 Seats, Chilli crab Spaghettini at Halia and now laksa! Next up, bak kut teh pasta?

The laksa paste was done right- neither too dilute (like a soup base) nor too thick. For the price of $12, they did not stinge on the seafood.


We also ordered a Chicken Tsukane Burger ($12) and topped up $2 for truffle fries (I can never get enough of truffle fries!). I often judge the lettuce that restaurants / cafes serve and here, the lettuce were bright green and crunchy, with no signs of black edges. That's what every self-respecting cafe / restaurant should seek to achieve!

The thick and juicy chicken patty was sandwiched between two lightly buttered buns, coupled with a beautiful sunny side up. Pity though, the egg was fried for a little too long and had a bitter base due to the slight char.


The food here is decent and with the Entertainer app, we each paid around $6 for our food.

The Travelling C.O.W (Chef on Wheels)
CT Hub 1
2 Kallang Avenue
#02-16