Monday, November 24, 2014

Takayama Diary Pt 1 - Jul 2014

As part of our honeymoon, we headed down to Japan - specifically to Takayama in the Gifu Prefecture. It was our first time staying in a ryoken in Japan and having watched countless episodes of Japanhour, we were damm excited to get that full ryoken experience.

Our ryoken was located in a mountain deep into the prefecture, in fact we took an awfully long time to get there : Nagoya airport -> train to central nagoya -> train to Takayama -> 2.5 bus ride! Thankfully the scenery along the way was gorgeous, sprawling mountains and waterfalls, a welcome sight from the past few months of busy wedding planning.

Snacks on the train. I love the convenience stores in Japan, even the humble egg sandwich taste so good, what is in that soft fluffy white bread! Train rides in Japan are the best! Clean, comfortable, quiet and great food. 

We experienced the wonderful (and honestly disconcerting) Japanese hospitality the moment we got off the bus. 100m away from our hotel, the staff came out, bowed to us and ran over to get our luggage. This was a traditional ryoken so nobody could speak english and we basically communicated using sign language over the next few days; so thankful they were incredibly patient and polite. 

View of the hot spring in our ryoken. Gorgeous. Too bad we came during summer but the weather was still cool enough for a quick dip. 

Our traditional tatami room. I love the thick beds, we were hopelessly ignorant and didn't know what the many other small rooms were for haha 

Of cos, the best thing about staying in ryokens, other than the bathing facilities would be the food! Breakfast and dinner are provided here and those meals were the highlight of our stay, scratch that, highlight of our entire trip. 

So Takayama is known for its beef (hida beef) and our dinner options were various ways of cooking beef - tepanyaki, sukiyaki, grilled etc 

The start of our 10 course meal. I love how exquisite everything looked.  
Prepared with so much love! 

 The ridiculously beautiful hida beef. 

Grilling mah beef. Bitting into the meat was like hearing a thousand angels singing, I got goosebumps from how delicious it was, the fatty beef just melting away into your tastebuds. 
So damm good. Best beef I have ever eaten hands down. Sure I took a 20 hour trip to get there but damm was it worth it. 

Tiny clams in my miso soup that amused me

Breakfast the next morning. Doesn't matter how full I am. Just gonna keep eating because everything tasted so good.

Fresh produce, from the farms of takayama. 
Yes, I was darn lucky to be experiencing this. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tamashii Robataya

Popped by for lunch after hearing so many great things about the lunch sets here and Im glad I wasn't disappointed.

Set lunches below - comes with salad, sashimi, mushrooms and dessert. Super value for money. 
Nuff said, of cos we went with the grilled beef.

Salad and sashimi were a welcomed healthy start to the meal (pics look like crap cos the lighting was really dim) 

Onto the star of the meal. The grilled beef was soft and tender and super delicious. Such a big piece too! 

With the creamy buttery mushroom dish

And oh yes we couldn't resist ordering the decadent truffle chawamushi, super fragrant though I dont think the truffle added any more flavour to the egg. 

Great meal but I would stick with the beef. Friend got the pork which was very tough urgh.

Do make reservations, place can get pretty packed

#02-01, 12 North Canal Road
6222 0316

Friday, November 14, 2014


Finally utilising our FAR card privileges at some place other than Mikuni 
Walked past Prego a thousand times but never actually dined here before; it kinda looks like one of those cheesy family-style Italian restaurants no?  Albeit slightly more classy

Started dinner with a cheese platter,  this was the small platter ($16) comprising 5 (!) kinds of cheese, dried fruits and crackers. Especially liked the small round cheese that had a really fragrant smoky flavour. Super worth it for so much cheese!

Crab meat linguine

Asparagus and pea risotto with slow poached egg

Definitely preferred the former. The linguine had great flavour and the crab meat was sweet and fresh. The pea flavour in the risotto was way too strong, overpowering everything else.

Portions here are huge! We could barely finish half of each dish.

80 Bras Basah Road
1F Fairmont Hotel
Singapore 189560

Monday, November 10, 2014

Omakase Burger

This has been on my to-try list forever, finally dragging my ass down to Turf City to sink my fangs into the much talked about Omakase burger.

First impression : woah these are some pretty expensive burgers, granted the use of quality beef and buns but hey, this place still resembles a fast food joint. You can't help but expect similar pricing.

We both got the cheeseburger with a side of sweet potato and truffle fries. 
Darn were the burgers good, and oh so juicy. In fact, these were probably the juiciest burgers i have ever eaten.  And I love the sweet potato fries, super addictive mmm.

innards of the burger. what a beauty.

So overall, I love the burgers though for its size, the price was a bit hard to swallow.
That said, everyone should at least try this once.

200 Turf Club Road
#01-05 Grand StandSingapore 287994

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Gyoza Ya

Mannnn the gyozas here were good

First up some other items. A disturbing looking egg plant with miso paste. Was ok but I prefer the version where the miso paste is baked with the egg plant.

Now for the star of the show.We got the prawn and the pork dumplings, both were great with crispy skin and soft juicy fillings with the pork being the better of both. Yummmm

Garlic fried rice was pretty decent too, nicely fried and fragrant without being too oily.

Cheap and good food in town yeah! Will definitely come back

260 Orchard Road, 
B1-02A Robinsons Orchard, 
Singapore 238855

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Clan Restaurant

Celebrated my hen's night at The Clan Restaurant; we wanted to have a nice classy dinner just myself and the bridesmaids before departing for a night of clubbing and general debauchery which I promptly forgot about the next morning.

So the restaurant looked pretty classy so it was surprising how reasonably priced set dinners are. $70++ gives you 6 courses, of which each course (except the chef's starter) gives you a variety of 4-5 items which you can choose from. Talk about variety man

So this was the chef starter comprising a crab meat salad, a soup and something I can't quite remember (told you the entire night was but a blur) but all I know was that everything tasted nice and 3 dishes for the chef's starter!

Next the cold dish course of which I chose the oysters 3 ways

oyster + raw egg in a shot glass, oyster on ice and marinated in a yuzu tasting broth
I was apprehensive of shooting down a raw egg + oyster but it tasted pretty good

Next up, the side dish which I chose tempura soft shell crab w citrus sauce

The tempura was nice and crispy and went well with the sauce. Love the presentation!

Now the soup dish - I had mushroom soup with truffle paste.

Great texture and taste. no complains. By now we were getting full and still there was the main course

Most of the ladies chose the prime beef cooked on hot lava stone. 

Yes I did regret not getting this dish, look how gorgeous the meat looked

I opted for the pork ribs w pumpkin puree which was nicely done 

No pics of the dessert, I had a cheesecake - desserts were probably the weakest part of the meal. All the ones we had were average at best.

Service was lovely and attentive; and when they heard it was my hen's night, I got presented with a slice of carrot cake with this hilarious message. Kudos to the Clan Restaurant.

Not to be outdone, my girlfriends presented me with the most filthy cupcakes ever. Win

18/20 Bukit Pasoh Road
Singapore 089832

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Operation Dagger

Another trip down the rabbit hole, this time round to an underground bar so hipster it doesnt have a sign. Yes just its operating hours written on a wall, an arrow and a weird logo.


So mysterious right? One cant help but feel kinda excited walking down. 

Well, I certainly didnt expect this.  Some 3000 light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, guaranteed to make every trypophobian uneasy. 

The rest of the decor kinda resembled a lab/apothecary. At least a slick, muji styled version.

We got cool flame grilled lemon meringue things with our cocktails

I got the SNOW - drink with hints of yuzu complete with yogurt balls within a while chocolate cup. 
I like the sweet elements of this drink but it was at room temperature which I wasnt a big fan of. Make my cocktails chilled pls.
Oh thats a bar snack - puffed wild rice (no fries or wings mind you)

A more refreshing drink with hints of sesame and ginger, complete with a cucumber to munch on.

Us, looking down into the bar. 

Very cool place, too hip for its own good maybe. 

B1-01 Ann Siang Hill
Singapore 069791