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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

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Carton King 纸箱王 (Taiwan)

We had initially wanted to visit Carton King at Dakeng. However, the taxi driver who was supposed to bring us there persuaded us to go to Lavender Cottage instead and the rest, as they say, is history. 

While at Sun Moon Lake, we were looking for dinner options at around 7+ pm and realised that the popular shops were either closed or winding down for the day. We walked to a nearby shopping centre and to our surprise, Carton King was open. 

Unlike other branches where you get to see exhibits made of cardboard, this was solely a restaurant with a small shop next to it selling souvenirs. We were the only customers around at late 7+ pm.

As we weren't particularly hungry (after snacking our way through in the afternoon), we ordered one Chilli & Spicy Hot Pot 野地麻辣锅 (NT$390) to share. The set came with a choice of drink (honey tea / honey green tea / sun moon lake black tea).

There is a restaurant policy of each person spending at least NT$100. I don't get such policies but we ordered an extra portion of pork (NT$100) just to hit that minimum limit.

Everything except the burner was made of cardboard. The waitress told us not to put too many items into the pot at the same time.

While the soup base was pretty good and delivered a feisty kick, I was a little alarmed when frozen food were served to us. I mean, yes I get that the food we normally put into our steamboat was probably frozen as well, but having the food blatantly served in frozen form seems to be a first. Most of the ingredients were cheap ingredients - they tasted fine though.

The drink is served in a carton box and the waitress told us that we could bring the cardboard box back as a money bank. Great recycling initiative but I think we are past the age of having piggy banks!

Novel concept and it was an eye-opener how so many things could be made from sturdy cardboard. That said, the food was not value for money and you are really paying for the novelty.

Carton King (Yuchi branch)
2F, No. 163 Zhongshan Road
Shuishe Village


I'm a sucker for pancakes and waffles but the pancakes sold commercially are always ridiculously expensive (and I end up eating McDonald's pancakes). Since today is a public holiday, I decided to try a recipe from All Recipes. This recipe is for keeps because the pancake is fluffy and moist.

I also give credit to my mini happy call pan (which came together with my Isetan 福袋) as it gives the pancakes their (nearly) round shape.

Adapted from All Recipes 


3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) 
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking power 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray (optional) 


1. Combine milk with vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. 

3. Whisk egg and butter into milk mixture. 

4. Pour flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until the lumps are gone. 

5. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with cooking spray (I did not do so since the skillet was non-stick). 

5. Pour around 1 ladle worth of batter onto the skillet and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula and cook until browned on the other side. 

Serving size
Makes around 8 pancakes 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Streets of London

Streets of London isn't located in the most prominent of places, despite being in the food haven of Joo Chiat / Katong. Upon my mum's recommendation, we headed to Streets of London for dinner on Sunday. The restaurant seems to keep re-locating, from Bukit Merah to Marina Country Club to here- not sure if there were other locations in between. 

Foot traffic was low when we were there, but this place really deserves better. 

The restaurant is decked out in London-related memorabilia. Red hues dominate in this casual eatery.

This place is essentially a one-man show- the boss himself is the chef, the waiter and the cashier. Food will therefore take a little longer to be prepared and served.

Being the boring me, I decided to go for my all time favourite Fish and Chips ($12.80). The Fish and Chips was executed perfectly. The beer-battered fish was crisped just right, without having the bitterness of being deep fried for too long and it was not oily. The fish was also a rather sizeable portion. Usually, the salads don't really deserve a mention as they are just playing a secondary role but the sweet mint dressing in this salad was refreshing and delightful.

The rest also enjoyed the London Pride IPA Chicken ($12.80).

If you live in the East and enjoy a good meal at affordable prices (no service charge and no GST), do give this place a try. The only thing is that you must be prepared to wait for your food!

Streets of London 
Katong Point Mall
451 Joo Chiat Road
Tel No: 9754 7716 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Miyahara 宫原眼科 (Taiwan)

One day, if you chance upon a genie in a bottle and he grants you three wishes, what wishes would you make? 

I will think about the other two another time, but I think it's a pretty good deal to wish that I can eat all the ice cream available without getting fat, sick or broke (I'm kidding, or maybe not. By the way, does that constitute three wishes?). 

When we went to Taichung, one of the places on my must-go list was the immensely popular Miyahara 宫原眼科. Built in 1927 by Miyahara Takeo, a Japanese ophthalmology doctor, it was the largest ophthalmology clinic in Taichung during the Japanese occupation. As time passed, the condition of the building started to worsen and was only revived later by a pineapple cake company. 

The interior was meant to be designed like Hogwarts and it was beautiful, especially with the high ceilings. But that was it. Although they sold products like pineapple pastries, chocolate, tea etc., I didn't spend much time in the main area because the products looked expensive. 

But the one part of Miyahara that attracted long queues was the ice cream shop and we had to see for ourselves what was so great about the ice cream.

They had a wide variety of ice cream- just chocolate alone, there were 16 different chocolate flavours, with different origins and intensity. We went for the 80% Smoked Uganda Chocolate Ice Cream and it was rich without being too bitter.

There were also plenty of fruit flavours (including seasonal fruits) and tea flavoured ice cream. We tried the Grape ice cream since we never had such a flavour before and it was refreshing without being too sweet.

It does not end here. If you order a sundae, you get to choose toppings as well and get a free small scoop of ice cream. You could choose from different pineapple biscuits, traditional wedding biscuits  and shortbread etc. Basically all the fattening stuff.

I was so excited to dig into my Ice Cream Sundae (NT$160 for 2 scoops + NT$80 for the sundae) that I didn't even take a proper picture of the ice cream. Besides the fact that the ice cream was obviously quality ice cream, we also loved the almond biscuit, pineapple biscuits and sweet guava. Actually, I loved every single thing about the sundae.

After the last bit of waffle biscuit and ice cream went into our mouths, we suddenly were concerned whether we could fit into the jeans we brought along for our holiday. But really, absolutely no regrets.

Miyahara 宫原眼科
No. 20 Zhongshan Road
Central District, Taichung City 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Thus Coffee

One scorching weekday, I somehow hatched a grand plan to head to Thus Coffee in the sweltering heat. The cafe provided a cool respite, with a nice and cosy ambience to boot. 

I wasn't feeling particularly hungry and ordered the Baked Eggs & Toast ($14). This reminded me of my favourite Wild Honey breakfast- Tunisian. Like Tunisian, the tomato stew was tangy and refreshing, and was slightly spicy. It was a match in heaven with the healthy toasted multigrain bread and had pieces of chunky apple cider sausage topped off with a sous vide egg.

Although I felt tempted to order dessert here, I felt that the prices were on the high side and decided to let the money in my piggy bank stay intact. Otherwise, this was a nice afternoon spot to relax and enjoy some good food.

Thus Coffee 
4 Jalan Kuras
Singapore 577723
Tel No: 8411 7565