Best of 2015

2015 just flew past eh. It was a year of ups and downs – some ups definitely included (finally) obtaining my Masters, renovating and moving into my dream home, new friendships, celebrating some of my dearest friends’ weddings and new borns.

I also wanted to celebrate some of my best meals of 2015 because hey I love food and a good meal is always an enjoyment. So my criteria tends to be quite subjective because a great meal not only comprises good tasty food but also the service, atmosphere, company and sometimes really just an overall vibe. Without further ado, and in no particular order.

19587117680_57939a1921_zA burger by the road by Daniel Thaiger – this was in Bangkok Feb 2015 and that darn burger with the secret sauce was so juicy and delicious. Devouring on the road amidst tuktuks and stalls selling pad thai just made the experience even more fun.

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Chirashi at Man Zhe Die 3, Taipei and hotpot at Huang Jie Huo Guo, Taipei. Basically the whole trip was stuffing our faces but these meals in particularly were memorable because the food was just that darn good.

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This epic sushi meal at Midori sushi, Tokyo. Look at that picture, nuff say.

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Basically everything I tried at Luke’s Oyster Bar and Chop House was awesome. Especially those fresh as hell oysters.

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On a more local front, the crab bee hoon from Long Ji Zhi Char was so full of flavor that we just couldnt stop eating it.

Another date night, another awesome meal and this time at Pince & Pints  for the Truffle Lobster roll that blew my mind away

I was pleasantly surprised by how awesome the Chirashi Don at Koji Sushi (yet to be blogged) was, with those crispy tempura bits. Skyrocketed its way to the top of my Chirashi List.

Last but not least, all the delicious home-cooked meals at home and also by my dearest friends and family. Those of course are priceless. For 2016, I hope to be able to experiment more in the kitchen and pick up a few good recipes to add to my repertoire – stay tuned for more home cooked meals.

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Best of 2015

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – The loot

Last post on Tokyo I promise. So contrary to what people may think, shopping in Japan is pretty cheap, you just have to know where to shop. E.g. Uniqlo all the time, GU, Muji and of course all the beauty products and snacks you can stuff into your luggage.

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Now…snacks! one of cos cant do without the usual tokyo banana to pass around office and then as many different flavors of kit kat that you can get your hands on. The more unique ones I got this trip were the apple and chilli, I definitely preferred the former while the latter was well interesting. Btw skip that baked cheesecake one, over-rated and just too sweet. i love stopping at the Calbee store in Harajuku and stocking up on those addictive potato snacks especially the sweet potato ones. I discovered the honey butter sweet potato sticks (yellow box in upper right corner) and boyyyy are they good!

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Beauty stores in Japan are like a black hole, it is chocked full of products with huge signs and I get sucked in, wanting to buy everything. Ok so what I got – a ton of biore make up wipes which were going at $5 (half price!), the famous cure gel (also costs half of what it does in Singapore!), facial masks (the blue box) that is supposedly a dupe of SK2’s and several other products I heard were good (yes I am a sucker once someone said something’s good, except unless of course you are a sales person)

Protip – spend at least 5400 yen at the beauty stores to get tax rebates

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – The loot

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – Midori Sushi

We chanced upon this place purely by accident. Escaping from the rain and just the slight bit hungry, we walked into the mall next to Shibuya station and came across this loooooong queue; being typical Singaporeans we joined the queue then googled this place.

Getting all hyped up reading reviews + waiting for 1.5 hours, we went for the Chef’s special sushi set. There’s an ala-carte menu but most folks just went for the sets, less decision making, more eating time. The sets here are very reasonably priced too.

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So what came out were huge platter of sushis for the 5 of us, with lots of oohing, aahing and photo taking. Everything was great and fresh (though I guess the grass one was a tad suspect). I especially loved the scallop, tuna and ebi sushi, so sweet and delightful. Worth the wait? Yes I thought so

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – Midori Sushi

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – Around Lake Kawaguchiko

So other than the 5 lakes, there are plenty of other things to do at Kawaguchiko. There are plenty of attractions around the area, all linked up via a shuttle service; I would recommend purchasing a full day ticket so that you are free to stop along the bus route at any attraction which strikes your interest.

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One of the must sees are the lavender fields with a good view of the lake and mountains. Really picturesque! We took so many pictures of the flowers, even attempted some ‘natural geographic’ types 🙂

Oh yes and eating plenty of soft-serve ice cream along the way.

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Another stop were the ice caves surrounded by the beautiful woods. A short trek down into the caves and we came face to face with blocks of ice, pretty cool (yes pun intended).

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Then it was back to the city where we decided to go for ramen – this time round Menya Musashi at Shinjuku which was a shoyu based ramen with thick fatty melty goodness of meat.  4 chefs standing behind the counter cooking ramen in a coordinated manner with constant welcome and thank yous to customers like an orchestra of sorts.

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Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – Around Lake Kawaguchiko

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015- Ichiran Ramen and then some

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Black and white photos tend to make everything seem a bit sad right? Taking the train in Tokyo is pretty easy even though the various lines can look very daunting at first and it takes quite a while to actually find your station.

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The walk towards yasukuni shrine – this place is pretty controversial as it honors those that served in WW2. I highly recommend visiting the museum and experience how the Japanese depict their version of the war. Fascinating.

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No trip to Harajuku complete without getting our hands on freshly fried chips at the Calbee store (and buying up tons of snacks as souvenirs) and of course those crepes from angel hearts.

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Finally one of the highlight of our trip: Ichiran Ramen! Yes its a chain store but theres something about it that makes this the best ramen I have ever tried.

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Thick rich hot soup on a cold night, that really hit the spot. We went to the outlet near Harajuku and yay no queue!

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015- Ichiran Ramen and then some

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – Marushizu

So even though we were stuffed, we had to try Marushizu since we were at tsukiji. Its a tiny little restaurant, located in a tiny alley way opposite the market – my advice? GPS it.

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Marushizu is owned by this cute uncle who is pretty well-known in the Unagi circle – in fact he is the poster boy for unagi! (Literally! There is a poster for unagi in the store featuring his back – if you ask nicely he will pose for you).

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We requested for just the unagi because we couldnt stomach any more rice. The smell of the charcoal grilled eel was awesome and I kinda regretted eating so much at Tsukiji because I just want to stuff my face here!

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Careful plating by the ‘eel-master’, the unagi was awesome – meaty, sweet, with that faint charred taste adding a touch of smokiness. Highly recommended!

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – Marushizu

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – Tsukiji Market

A must visit everytime I come to Tokyo. Though I must admit I have never been to a fish auction, have not been able to wake up in time hah

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This time round, we were too hungry and in too big a group to queue for breakfast at one of the more popular stores, and it was a big mistake. We popped into a somewhat empty restaurant and while the sushi was ok, it was nowhere near as satisfying as what I have had on my previous trips. Lesson learnt = there is a queue for a reason.

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Another must-haves at Tsukiji – tamago “popsicles”, so sweet and tasty!

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We also ate our way through the streets, such as these scallops topped w seafood, grilled conch, huge raw oyster and soft serve 🙂

Tokyo Travel Diary June 2015 – Tsukiji Market