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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 28, 2015

Geylang Claypot Rice

When I clicked on Geylang Claypot Rice's website, I was a little stunned (yes, perhaps stunned like vegetable- inside joke only for Singaporeans) when I heard some chinese orchestra music playing in the background. For a cze char place, the website was surprisingly sleek. 

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was a little hesitant as to whether the shop was open because the shop was empty at noon. Customers started streaming in from 1 p.m. onwards. I didn't know that you could call to make your reservation for claypot rice and was told by the server that if you didn't do so, you will just have to wait around half an hour for your food to arrive.

While waiting for our claypot rice to arrive, we started munching on the crunchy Stir-fried French Beans with Shrimps ($8).  It was no surprise that the other customers sitting at other tables ordered this too because it was the only vegetable dish on the menu.

After a half an hour wait, we proceeded to tuck into the Claypot Rice for two ($14). Using charcoal to cook the rice, the portion for two was enough for 3 to share. Stuffed with ingredients such as chicken, chinese sausages, salted fish, the fragrance hit us the moment the lid of the claypot was lifted. The aunty then offered to help us drizzle the dark soy sauce on the rice.  I always think that the best part of Claypot Rice is the bottom with those crispy pieces of hard rice. Miraculously, while these pieces were not charred, they still contained the smoky taste. 

For a cheap and good eating option at Geylang, I will say this place serves this purpose pretty well. Just remember to call before ordering your claypot rice, otherwise you might have to wait quite a while, particularly during their peak period!

Geylang Claypot Rice 
639 Geylang Road
Singapore 389570
Tel No: 6744 4574 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk (Sydney)

If there is anywhere you should not miss in Sydney, I would say it is the top-rated Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk

You don't have to be a surfer to enjoy Bondi Beach. If you enjoy looking at spectacular ocean views, in different shades of blue, this is a perfect place to have a leisurely walk. 

Bondi (pronounced as bon-dye) is an Aboriginal word meaning water breaking over rocks or noise of water breaking over rocks.

From Bondi to Coogee, it is about a 6 km walk. However, there are certain points during this walk where you can exit and catch public transport if you are feeling tired. Stalls selling ice cream are also a hit when the sun is scorching.

No steep slopes (some steps though) or tough terrain. You just need to have a reasonable level of fitness to get through the walk. The views will be worth it.

Interesting rock formations and flora and fauna along the way. The vast ocean that makes all other things look so insignificant.

Remember to apply sunblock, especially in summer when it can get blazing hot! Of course, bring along your swimwear if you intend to have a dip in the water! 

Rakuichi Japanese Restaurant (Oasia Hotel)

I was searching for a Japanese restaurant that was good enough for a treat yet not too expensive. I walked into Rakuichi with high expectations and was glad that their food met expectations. 

At lunchtime on a Saturday, the place was rather empty except for three tables. The lady next to me was having a leisurely lunch while reading a book. Strangely enough, they were playing what sounded like old cantopop songs.

I got myself a Set C ($38).

I was bowled over by the thick slabs of sashimi. Fresh and a light bounce to every bite.

I know this may seem like a portion for 2 to share, but I tend to have a good appetite so this was good!

I started off with the exceptional Aburi Sushi. Each piece of fish melted effortlessly in my mouth and the light smoky taste together with the different sauces made this a winner. The tempura was lightly deep fried and was not greasy.

To balance the otherwise heavy (but very delicious) meal, there were some edamame, corn, mini fish and prawns (anyone know what these are called?). This is the first time I am trying the deep fried prawns and fish and they were pretty addictive! Compared to the other dishes, the skewers were less impressive and pretty ordinary.

We ended the meal off with a scoop of sesame ice cream. I am not usually fascinated with sesame ice cream but this was light, not too sweet, and had a strong sesame flavour. 

Considering the amount and quality of food here, I definitely recommend this place if you are looking for value-for-money Japanese food for less than $50. 

Rakuichi Japanese Restaurant
Oasia Hotel
8 Sinaran Drive
Tel No: 6 659 6683 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

49 Seats (Orchard Central)

The first time I visited the branch at Kreta Ayer, it was full and didn't accept any walk-ins. The second time I visited that branch again, I realised it was not opened for lunch. Finally, when I visited the branch at Orchard Central, we managed to get a seat! 

We went ahead with the popular Tom Yum Seafood Pasta ($14.90).  There was once I ran out of ingredients and all I had was Tom Yum paste, linguine and prawns and I must say, the combination of these ingredients is really a match in heaven.

Creamy and mildly spicy, this Tom Yum Seafood Pasta came with fresh prawns, clams and a mussel. My only gripe was that I found the sauce a little too salty. Bite into the chilli seeds and that might make you scramble for water.

It was packed at 8 pm on a Friday night but the turnover of customers was fast.

49 Seats
Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
Singapore 238896 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Seoul Yummy

Seoul had so much great food that we decided to have some Korean food since we were walking aimlessly around in Marina Square. It was spacious and we were surrounded by K-pop related pictures, videos and music the moment we stepped in. 

The banchan were unfortunately a far cry from those that we had in Seoul. Miserable in quantity and didn't taste fantastic either- look at the miserly and pathetic looking vegetables. The ikan bilis were also too salty.

I had the Special One Combo ($15.90). This combo came with a choice of your main (kimchi ramyon, korean fishcake udon, korean jajang rice or seoulyummy bibimbab) and side (fish pancake, fried pork dumplings, fried kimchi dumplings, fried prawns, fried assorted mushrooms or fried wings and drumlets).

I opted for the fried prawns where they surprisingly gave more pieces than I had expected. It was deep fried to a golden crisp and accompanied by a sweet mayonnaise like dip.

As for the mains, I went with the Kimchi Ramyon. While it was definitely spicy, it was not overwhelmingly so. The ingredients were a little sparse and I wish they had given more mushrooms to give the soup a more robust flavour.

This is what I would call the Pastamania of Korean food- affordable, fast and average. Service was pleasant and friendly.

Seoul Yummy
6 Raffles Boulevard
Tel No: 6337 3730 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Wangbijib Restaurant (Seoul)

When I was young, I used to play a computer game where I would barbecue meat and try not to char it. It was a game that I could play, day in day out. I probably enjoyed playing the game because in my era, a lot of my friends enjoyed Seoul Garden and playing the game was probably a substitute for not eating it often. 

Wangbijib is like a well-oiled korean BBQ factory where everything is done efficiently. Their staff can also speak many languages. 

Although we were looking forward to a BBQ experience, we didn't do the barbecuing by ourselves in the end (not necessarily a bad thing) because the set we wanted was grilled before it was served.

I could eat all these Korean appetisers forever. The Grilled Pork (13,000 won per person) was sweet, well marinated and juicy. I am not sure whether it was because it tastes so good because I'm in Seoul, or whether, well because it's really that good! It also comes with rice, noodles and a soup and we were so full by the end of the meal.

Despite the rushed affair here, service was surprisingly decent. For that amount of food we are eating, I would pay this amount any time.

When we left the restaurant at around 7 p.m., there was already a long queue. Do yourself a favour by going earlier so that you can use the time to shop / sight see instead of being in the queue!

Wangbijib Restaurant
26 Meyonedong 8ga-gil
Jung-gu, Seoul

Mad About Sucre

I have not read a single bad review on Mad About Sucre and decided to head down to check what the hype was about. 

The moment you step in, you feel the passion and pride that the owners have in their cakes. Eric will take the time to explain to you the characteristics of each cake and how you are supposed to eat them to enjoy them. 

There was a corner displaying the owner's creations. Intricate, classy and elegant - the unifying theme behind the crafting of these cakes. No premixes used, only organic flour and unprocessed raw sugar.

We started off with the Coco Citron ($10.80). Before sinking our forks into the Coco Citron, Eric told us that this was not meant to be the overly sour kind of lemon tart. For those who like your lemon tart sour, this isn't for you. There was a seamless blend between the coconut mousse and the smooth and light lemon curd. What was really interesting and brought this dessert to one level up was the use of the crystal drops (sugar)- not only were these visually appealing, they provided a nice crunch to the otherwise smooth dessert.

As a fan of dark chocolate, there was no way I was going to give the San Domingue ($12.80) a miss. The presentation of this dessert was an art on its own. A chocolate jewel box with rum in it, coupled with a chocolate ball consisting of 70% dark chocolate mousse and plantain, sitting on a brittany base. This was simply rich and decadent.

The desserts here are not something that I will splurge on on a regular basis. Yet, if you want to splurge on art camouflaged as desserts, this is a good choice.

Mad About Sucre 
27 Teo Hong Road
Singapore 088334
Tel No: 6221 3969