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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

Saturday, April 27, 2013


As the saying goes, there's always space in a girl's stomach for some desserts. Canele is one of the places that is always crowded. The macarons are always a pretty sight, but maracons are not my kind of thing- my dessert preference is kind of like me- mostly bitter or sour, unless you catch me on a good day. 

I always enjoy reading interesting descriptions of desserts- here's the description for the Le Citron (Lemon Tart) ($6.07): Zesty baked lemon curd, gently laid on a bed of almond perfumed crumble. The lemon curd possesses the power to wake anyone up- sour and yet somewhat neutralised by the sweetness. A layer of jelly-like glaze also added some texture to the dessert. I would have preferred a different tart to curd ratio though- there simply isn't enough tart!

And the description for the Le Chocolat Croustillant (Crispy Chocolate Cake) ($7.48) goes: A whimsical chocolate indulgence, using luscious Vanini chocolate mousse layered between a crispy chocolate praline & opulent Gianduja cream, surrounded by a wall of divine dark chocolate glaze & crushed hazelnuts.

I have a secret liking for chocolate cakes with a crispy base- Four Leaves sells this at a very affordable price- Coco Exotic. Salt is always a secret weapon in every pastry chef's armoury. Slightly bitter and slightly sweet, the salt always manages to give a slight kick to the cake. Given how much I like the crispy base, need I say anything more else about the crispy chocolate praline?

Desserts are not bad. Service was average- waitress didn't care that we didn't have water, but that's fine.

Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road
Tel No: 6334 7377 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mariners' Corner

Mariners' Corner is the sister outlet of Vines which used to be at Novena Ville before it closed down. It is a Western-style Hainanese eatery and has been around since 1984. 

The interior of the restaurant was interesting, just like its sister restaurant. The furnishing here feels like you're on a ship and the music playing is a medley of evergreen favourites.

During weekend lunch, our set meal included salad, soup, main course, coffee/tea and a cake. There was free-flow of salad which you could get from the salad bar. This is definitely the worst salad I have ever tried. The croutons were soft and cold and the variety of ingredients all looked like they came straight out of cans.

The fish chowder wasn't much better than the salad.

The garlic bread saved the day a little because it was toasted and crispy, together with some buttery goodness spread on the bread.

I ordered Breaded Fish & Chips ($14.80 for set). Their main course is always pretty decent. A rather large portion of fish, complete with lots of chips.

I can't remember the name of the cake but it doesn't taste as bad as it looks. Honestly, the cake looks utterly unappetising. But the cake itself is not too sweet with a sweet and sour raspberry sauce to accompany it.

Salad bar and soup was a disaster. But this place is pretty value for money, considering that the main course is pretty decent, and if you want to soak yourself in a old-feel kind of ambience. Service was very friendly as well.

Mariners' Corner Restaurant
Maritime House
120 Cantonment Road
Tel: 6 224 9928 


I think about Boston every day. Every single day.

It's a very charming and endearing city. Some may like bustling New York, or the glitzy Los Angeles, but I love Boston for its very special quaint little ways. This is a city I remember fondly for many things. Amongst other things, I remember how the occasional freak wind (which turned out not to be that occasional) broke three umbrellas of mine in a couple of months. I gave up using umbrellas from then on.

Where I stayed, I never worried about my safety- police patrol cars spun around my neighbourhood all day long. The only things that appeared to threaten the peace of the neighbourhood was 1) when the fire trucks pulled up next block a couple of times, probably for the forgetful old lady who didn't switch off the stove and 2) when news channels tell you that a possible hurricane's going to hit Boston.

Winter is incredibly long and the skies often open to offload their stockpile of accumulated snow. Because of Boston, I no longer have illusions of white powdery snow. When the snow melts, it often leaves puddles of black ice for the unwary pedestrian, making people on crutches a common sight during winter. At the same time, winter gave me the opportunity of receiving random acts of kindness, one of which was where a complete stranger on the road offered a hand to me so that I could leap over a few feet of snow.

When the gruelling winter finally ends, blue skies grace the city with its presence once again. It's indeed worthy of celebration because it reminds us that something else exists besides the bitter cold. It's a time when the pathetic-looking tree branches start to fill up with life, vigour and beautiful flowers again. Encased in a thin layer of snow, these buds often manage to emerge strong and bloom beautifully. Walking along the neighbourhoods, I often marvel at the blooming pink magnolias and the other flowers planted along the roadside. The colours of white, grey and black have finally given way to a new palette of colours.

Patriot's day, which is also when the Boston Marathon is held, is a very significant event in Boston. A couple of years ago, I woke up with much anticipation because I wanted to witness the runners conquer the Boston Marathon. The skies were blue, a change from the usual grey skies. The television at home was switched on so that we could track the event. People with balconies held day-long parties while watching the race at the same time. Although it was still slightly chilly in April, people lined the sidewalks to support these runners.

So, why did tragedy land on this beautiful city? 

Nothing of this sort should ever happen anywhere. Definitely not in Boston. And worst of all, definitely not on an occasion where the people who worked hard for their goals came together, to be supported by their beloved family and friends and strangers.

As life in Boston regains normalcy, this episode will definitely cast a shadow on Bostonians. But it is very heartwarming to see how the folks of Beantown helped one another in this time of misfortune. My thoughts go out to them.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cafe Mosaic

I had taken a long hiatus from this buffet eating business because eating at buffets makes me waste half my life away- it's one of the most time-consuming activities ever! One day, gluttony triumphed and we went to Carlton Hotel to try the buffet at Cafe Mosaic. It was $45++ for lunch. 

I only ate the prawns from the seafood section. While they weren't exceptionally fresh, they were passable. 

The sushi station was pretty standard.

Here's something I didn't expect to see at a buffet. How often do you see Soft Shell Crabs? I love deep fried soft shell crabs! A pity though, one thing that Cafe Mosaic doesn't do very well, is to keep their food warm. Same applies for the Chinese food section. The first time I took the soft shell crab, it was bordering on being room temperature. A fresh batch of deep fried soft shell crab came shortly after. 

For the Rojak section, they provided a toaster by the side which most buffets don't provide. So it's actually possible to make a plate of cripsy fritters! I also liked the fact that the jambu was very sweet! 

The Laksa was pretty good- fragrant and thick gravy with prawns and fishcake. 

I tried the Chocolate Brownie which was intense and full of chocolately goodness.

The cakes here were so insanely beautiful that it would take a person with a cruel heart, like me, to take the first stab at the cakes.

This Orange Mousse Cake was sour and sweet at the same time. It was like eating a whole packet of Starburst!

The Black Forest Cake was definitely the star of the show. Stuffed with dark chocolate, big pieces of cherries within the cake, layers of spongy cake with a hint of alcohol. This had to be the best Black Forest Cake I have ever eaten.

Food here is slightly above average and the planning of the space was clearly well thought out since I never had to join a queue. Service was exceptional as well, with friendly service staff clearing the plates and refilling your cups without having to request them to do so. Nice experience overall.

Cafe Mosaic 
Carlton Hotel
76 Bras Basah Road