Fancy some great tendon ? You don’t have to go all the way to Japan for it! Ginza Tendon Itsuki ; one of the best tempura place I’ve had in Singapore situated at the friendly Tanjong Pagar.
There are only 2 mains on their menu, the Specials and the Vegetarian.
Specials : 2 juicy chicken breast, 2 big prawns, with assorted vegetables. I think you know what’s in the vegetarian option.
The art of eating at this place .. #FoodieTips
You have tons of time to queue, otherwise good luck! (Go early, like 11.30am for lunch of 5.30pm for dinner. You would probably make it in time into the restaurant but they won’t take you without a full party)
You don’t need to be anywhere else, because you smell like what you eat. Oil!!! *they do provide Febreeze at the cashier counter,if it helps*
They only accept cash – so don’t go without!
PS : If you are still hungry (highly unlikely), head across the street for some Korean Bingsu (more to come about that)!
Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisine in the world, and so when I was at Jakarta for business, I look frantically for it. Enmaru, at The Altitude was full of surprises to my palate, with a great ambiance and affordable price range.
One note-worthy dish is their Foie Gras Chawanmushi (~7SGD). It’s tiny but mighty ( literally the size of a shot). The yakiniku was great, and you can’t really go wrong randomly ordering from their menu (this, I’ve learnt)!
#TravelTips : I highly recommend making reservations for window seats, so you can enjoy great food and view at the same time.
Location :Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta
Price: $$ ~SGD40/person without alcohol
Hours : 11am – 11pm (except for Friday)
Ambience : Fine dining
Rating : 4.6/5
Continuing our experience in Sabah with an amazingly easy and rewarding trip to Sandakan. (Check out Kota Kinabalu too! )
I would say it is one of the best wildlife spotting experience I have ever had, thanks to an amazing group of guides( ours called Lat!) that went above and beyond to ensure we have the most memorable trip.
First and foremost, we start our trip at the conservatory for both Orang Utan, learnt a little about Sepilok’s conservation efforts and Orang Utan’s characteristics, and move on to the Sun Bear Conservatory, which was right next door.
It was a pleasant ride the whole way with active engagement and funny facts and encounters from the guides. Onward, to the real deal.
We stayed at a lodge along the Kinabatangan river. The stay, experience and meal are all inclusive, and we went out on boats 3 times a day.
We saw tons of proboscis monkey, macaws, hornbills, wild Orang Utan (believe it or not , it is not the easiest thing to spot in the wild !) , different species of birds, crocodiles and snakes hanging above our head during our boat tours, and more. Wild boars running around the lodge area, as well as tree frogs on our door frame.
You can say the whole thing was pretty WILD, and we love it. (shame that we were a little too far from the pgymy elephants 🙁 but someday I might return! )
#TravelTips : Mosquito repellent (obviously) and binocular is a must! Pack light, and forget about snacks – you will be well fed if you are on the tour!
It was an unforgettable, easy trip that went above my expectations, so long you aren’t bothered by wildlife, mosquitoes, and none-ACed room
#TravelTips : Sandakan have this really unique Seafood Bak Kut Teh, so I’ll definitely be back for that!
My in-laws were in town for about 2 weeks. This time around, Stef and I would liked to show them the beauty of Malaysia. We have decided to do a trip to Kota Kinabalu for the islands, Sandakan for the wildlife, and Kuantan – my home sweet home for a quick stroll. #visitmalaysia
First stop: Singapore – Kota Kinabalu
It was easy to get around Kota Kinabalu, taxi was cheap – and getting to the islands are super convenient. We walk to the Jetty from our hotel ; and chose Sapi Island for day 1.
Sapi Island was beautiful. The boat ride was slightly disappointing looking at the amount of rubbish and plastic bottles along the way , but the island itself was beautiful with pristine water.
There wasn’t too many shades, and the bigger part of the island was closed off. However, the snorkeling experience was breath-taking.
Day 2 : We chose Manukan island, and the cost and time took to the island was similar ( #Traveltips : there are no set pricing for the boat rides, so prepare to negotiate slightly below ticket price if you wish )
Manukan island is slightly more touristy as there are resorts on the island with better facilities in general. The beaches are nice, and I personally preferred the private beach as it is more beautiful to snorkel in. (#Traveltips : Beware of sea urchins, they are big and everywhere)
It was easy and relaxing if you are en route to something else like climbing the mount KK or wildlife spotting.
Boat ride : RM 25 per person
Snorkel set : RM 20 per set
Conservation fee : RM 30 (you can go multiple islands with it )
#TravelTips : Haggle! Costing of boat ride dependent on your negotiation skills, but it’s not too much anyway.
If you have bought a bag of apples and don’t know what to do with it, why not make an apple cake!
Here is a version we love, and hoping you would too. It’s super easy.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius 10 minutes in advance. Lightly oiled the cake pan with oil.
Beat the margarine, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time and mix well.
Sift the flour and baking powder, and add to the mix.
Place about one third of the mixture into the tin (#cookingtips : smooth the surface with the back of a wet spoon!)
Toss the apple slices in lemon juice – and place it compactly on top of the cake mixture. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly ; layer by layer as you create that thick layer of apple.
Spread the remaining of the mixture, making sure you cover the apples completely. Smooth the top and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 90 minutes or until well risen and golden. Toss the cake around and leave it out to cool. Serve with vanilla ice-cream!
75g margarine (softened)
75g fine sugar (with a little extra for sprinkling if you want! )
120g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs beaten
~1/2 kg apples – peeled, cored and sliced
Cinnamon powder (sprinkle as much as you like on the apples!)
For our annual company trip, #hootcamp, and this year it was at the wonderful Rawa Island, 30 minutes boat ride off Messing. I have been to plenty of islands in Malaysia, and this is definitely one of my favorite.
Let’s not talk about the journey to get there, as whatever that might be, pleasant or not ; it’s totally worth it once you’re there!
The island itself is small, with only two resorts ; one family friendly, the other party-animal friendly. We stayed at the family friendly one of course ( it looks much nicer and the food was amazing – check below for a variety )
The water was pristine, slides are super fun, and you can get amazing thai massages there ( it’s a must do!). There are peacocks everywhere and a resident beagle that is super adorable and friendly at parties. Plenty of hammocks and beach chairs by the beach as well.
You can hike around the island in less than 30 minutes, but be prepared to go up hill quite a bit to see the full view of some island in the vicinity.
The favorite part of my trip was simply the snorkeling experiences. I can literally sit down on the ground, wear my goggles, and see fishes swimming around me. That’s how clear and how healthy the corals are. I did about 2 hours of snorkeling sessions too and spotted tons of amazing clams, sea cucumbers, corals, and fishes. My only regret was that I did not bring an underwater camera to show what I mean.
The theme of the party was #pinktropics ; so the photos are amazing (all without any filter).Sunset was beautiful from the deck tucked along the hiking trail too. It was a great place to bond, simple and not overly luxurious – which makes it suitable for a quick getaway.
All and all, it was only a short trip from Singapore, and definitely a place I would revisit!
My husband Stefan is super picky and have an insatiable appetite for pizza – so it’s been pretty difficult to find something he really likes. The bread is too thick, too soggy, combination of ingredients are not what I like, and the list goes on.
Being a do-er and getting back into baking, I made a point to make him pizza from scratch! #success
There are a million recipes on how to make your pizza, but here is mine absorbed from what’s out there that will take you 20-25 mins to make in total. #sharingiscaring
1. Put the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast and salt well.
2. Make a well in the middle, and pour in 100ml luke warm water (to activate the yeast) and olive oil. Bring it together until you have a soft moist dough.
3. Place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for 3-5 mins until smooth. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for at least 20 mins to let it rise properly (not needed if you want to make thin crust).
#cookingtips : you can keep this in the freezer and use it anytime!
Prepare the dough
1. Heat oven to 220-240C at least 10 minutes in advance.
2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into whatever shape that fits your oven (mine was a rectangle of sort). The dough needs to be very thin as it will rise in the oven.
3. Place the rolled dough on a sheet of baking paper and place it in the oven.
#cookingtips: Place the rolled dough in the oven for 2-3 minutes before adding the toppings. This will avoid soggy wet dough when you add the sauce, unless you like that style!
Magic time : Toppings!
1. Smooth tomato paste over the pizza. Shake some mixed herbs on the paste. Drizzle some olive oil on top.
2. Scatter with mushrooms, ham, tomatoes, and cheese (in that order) as evenly as you possibly can.
3. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp.
INGREDIENTS : This recipe is for 1 pizza, good for 2-3 people
150g flour (depends if you want it chewy-normal flour, or crispy-bread flour)
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp olive oil
Toppings (Be creative : go for whatever you want! )
5-8 white button mushrooms
4-5 slices of ham
150g tomato paste
5-7 Cherry tomatoes
Cheeses for pizza : mozarella, parmesan and mixed (as much as you want!)
Mixed herbs, or whichever you prefer
Well for the love of eating, it’s fairly natural that I equally love cooking and sometimes healthy food to balance the sin out. I’m sharing my love for seafood, as well as ‘compulsory’ vegetables into my diet.
Note : I don’t really have set measurement of things, because I don’t want to be restricted by taste. Go as you pleased with the salt, pepper, thickness and consistency of your choice!
Prepare your favorite vegetables, in my case – the below ( tomatoes, carrots, paprika, celery, and coriander ).
*Coriander is for garnishing, and I love the flavor a lot – but you may ignore it if you ain’t a fan.
2. Firstly, put a tiny spoon of olive oil on heated pan – and sauteed all the vegetables until soft (about 5-10 mins, depends if you like it crunchy or soft). Add salt (or garlic salt) for taste, and set aside.
3. Boil 1 litre of water, and add a cube of chicken/ beef stock, or any base you like (ideally make from scratch, so you know whats in it!). Stir well, and leave on low fire.
4. Add in the sauteed vegetables, as well as any meat ( I used ready peeled crab meat to give it a rich seafood taste, but you can use chicken or shrimp, anything at all!) and cook it on low fire for 20 – 30 minutes.
Serve it in a big bowl with your choice of garnishing!
Quick itinerary view : 3 days 2 nights out of Perth Perth – Fremantle – Margaret River – Mandurah – Penguin Island – Airport
I personally am a beach bum, so our day trips to wrap up our vacation was without a doubt the easiest to plan. We drove from Perth towards Margaret River, passing through Fremantle market, and back to Mandurah the day after for ease of going back to the airport. We took our own pace, enjoying one beach after another, strolling through vineyards, and do practically nothing at all (the best kind of vacation).
On the way from Perth, we drove through Fremantle to the famous Fremantle market. Parking was easy to find around the Fremantle prison, and the market was very accessible. There are quite a number of eateries within the market, and we tried a number of them – good’ol Australian breakfast, Spanish, Korean, German, Turkish, and more.
On the shopping side, it was not as interesting as I’d imagine it to be (most of the items can be found anywhere around South East Asia at a cheaper price). Other than that, we enjoyed the food and fruits, strolling around and soaking in the busy market atmosphere, and head on to Margaret River.
The drive towards our hotel was great. It was scenic, and we could easily stop and look at the amazing coastline, and was extremely happy to arrive at our villa for the night. The beach is right outside our villa, and so secluded there’s almost no one at all except for some surfers in a distance.
We wander around and found a gem! An amazing Thai restaurant called Chang Thai, fully ran by Thai staff, homey and delicious !
Next day, we drove to some caves and a beach, and immerse ourselves in some fun before spending a night in Mandurah at Hamelin Bay. Apparently you are able to see Stingrays coming close to the beach, but can’t attest to that.
#TravelTips : Caution, drive slowly or cautiously!! We saw a kangaroo crossed the road and wow it was HUGE!
For our final day, we drove over to Penguin Island to visit the wonderful penguins and sea lion. The boat trip was really pleasant, superbly calm that you can opt to walk across to the island ( yes, I meant WALK! ) if you want to.
After seeing the penguins on the island, we got on the glass-bottomed boat to see the sea lions. Getting in touch with nature in close proximity was nice, it was superbly hot, and we manage to get through the whole boat tour in time for lunch and to the airport.
Perth, I’ll be back someday! =)
Check it out : http://penguinisland.com.au/
Cost of boat tour : $38.50 / adult ; $29.50 / child
Remember when I said I have sand in my hair for the whole week? Here’s why!
There are quite a number of sand dunes along our drive from lunch at Lobster Shack. It was definitely a great experience for us, even my parents enjoyed it! If you are sensible, it’s quite a safe sport for anyone (unless falling into soft sand hurts for you).
It’s quite a sight, but the climb to the peak for a 10 -15 seconds slide down and lugging a slightly heavy board all the way up the hill is quite a task for someone who’s not as fit (I’m that someone).
#FunTips : Rub the wax on the board vigorously for a smooth surf. You need it!
#Traveltips 1 : The location is not super accurate on Google maps, so if you are lost, stop by at the entrance to the town – there will be a big signboard with a map that shows you where it is! (that’s how we did it)
#Traveltips 2 : You don’t have to rent the surfboard earlier in town. You can rent it from the guy at the entrance – same price, less hassle.
#Traveltips 3 : Please make sure you do not have anything in your pockets, jewelries, or anything you can easily loose. No way you can get in the sand like Uncle Scrooge with his mountain of coins.
Location : Via Kendall Road, Lancelin WA 6044, Australia
Fee : AUD 10 per board for 2 hours ( more than enough time)