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Archive for December, 2010

Waking up early and then queueing for sushi is like the quintessential Tsukiji experience every foodie must go through at least once while in Tokyo! That’s what I kept reminding myself after waking up at 4am (with barely 3 hours of sleep), just to have a sushi breakfast at Tokyo’s renowned Tsukiji Fish Market.

 At this early hour, the metro train station was deserted. Compare that with the market, which was already buzzing with activity!

Destination reached! I made a beeline for Block 6 immediately since that’s where the 2 famous sushi restaurants in Tsukiji are located. Both Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa are media favourites and it’s tough deciding which one to go for. Since I’ll be back here again in less than 2 weeks’ time, Sushi Dai will have to wait till then while I went to Sushi Daiwa this time round.

While I had an amazing experience at Sushi Daiwa, truth be told, I think Sushi Dai or other less famous restaurants (I’m targeting Sushi Bun next time too!) in Tsukiji would have been equally wonderful since I don’t have the palate to notice the difference if one place were to have slightly better otoro than the other. And I think anything would taste good in Japan! Haha, that’s how biased I am =)

Waits of over an hour are legendary here but count me lucky, I only waited 15 mins for a seat in sushi heaven =) The sushi bar is very small and one thing I noticed is that no one was talking. The diners, I mean. I guess everyone was too busy savouring their moment of sushi nirvana to talk, haha.

This guy on the right is my friendly chef for the morning! We ordered the 10-piece omakase (chef’s special menu) and just let him feed us with the freshest catch of the day. Costing ¥4000 (approximately S$63), this is the most pricey (and earliest!) breakfast I’ve ever had but so so worth it. I’m a sushi convert now, thanks to Daiwa =)

Green tea and miso soup were served, then the first piece of chutoro sushi hit the counter.

Followed by sweet raw shrimp.

Creamy uni!

Ikura and tuna maki.

The friend had ika sushi while the chef substituted that with the reddest maguro for me.

Hamachi and the fattiest otoro, love! The former is unlike any I’ve tried in Singapore.

This is the best anago ever! Don’t even need to bite, the whole thing just melt in the mouth~

Soft and fluffy sweet tamago.

I wanted hotate initially for my last piece of sushi but the friend saw others having this weird looking sushi. We asked our chef and it turned out to be shirako (sperm sac of cod fish), ick! That sounds like something that appears in Fear Factor 😡 But in the spirit of adventurous eating, both of us chose that as our final piece.

“One bite, one bite!” went the chef after placing this brain-looking-sushi in front of us. I did as instructed and popped the whole thing in. Hmm, a little briny, very creamy like custard, and not something I’d like to try again, thank you very much.

After that perfect breakfast, we walked around the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.

Hectic. Mayhem. Chaos. Just awesome.

The biggest tuna I’ve ever seen!!!

The outer market is even better, great atmosphere with a few blocks of small shops crowded along narrow lanes, locals and tourists queueing up at different stalls, and friendly vendors greeting us in Japanese everytime we stopped to take a look at their produce.

So many fresh vegetables (that’s wasabi in the top middle pic!) and seafood!

I can’t wait to come back here in January.. For that special Tsukiji experience again +)

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IMO, I think it’s fair to say that Laurent Bernard Chocolatier makes the best chocolate desserts in Singapore~ If it’s your first time there, get the chocolate tart ($7.80++)! It’ll make you a regular at LBC, I promise.

I’ll start with what we didn’t like so that only good ones remain in your memory =) Our conclusion after trying the blackforest cake ($7.80++): we’ve had better ones elsewhere. This may cause some uproar among fans of LBC’s blackforest, but I actually prefer Bakerzin’s Forest Noir to this!

Now the good. Though it’s kind of sweet, I love how nutty Trianon ($7.80++) is. Especially when there’s crunchy hazelnut praline topped with rich chocolate mousse~

And a thick slice of Pure ($9.80++). Pure dark chocolate, pure decadence. Who wouldn’t like this?

Laurent Cafe & Chocolate Bar
#01-11 The Pier @ Robertson
80 Mohamed Sultan Road
6235 9007

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Sugisawa Japanese Restaurant

I’ve tried making reservations at Sugisawa Japanese Restaurant a couple of times but the waitress on the line will always say “only outdoor seating, can?”. For someone who’s not a fan of alfresco dining, that’s enough to put off a visit again and again. Until an unplanned detour brought us there for dinner one day. And yes, we had no choice but to be seated at an outdoor table since no reservation was made -__-

There’s a good range of bento sets on the menu, all priced reasonably. But I guess no one felt like having any heavy meals that day since desserts were beckoning right across the restaurant (guess where, haha)! So we just ordered sushi to share.

Both the unagi oshi sushi ($15++) and nigiri sushi set B ($18++) are decent, fresh enough but nothing worth raving about. If I’ve got to nitpick, it’s that the the ratio of rice to unagi is probably about 2:1, something I’d love to see in the reverse order instead. More unagi, less rice, please!

Sugisawa Japanese Restaurant
30 Robertson Quay 
6235 0212

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Colourful iconic Nyhavn.

Grander-than-I-imagine Københavns Rådhus.

Picturesque Hillerød.

My first snow angel, for me but not by me haha.

Evening dusk by Kronborg Castle.

Tivoli, Copenhagen’s famous amusement park.

This is my favourite pic! Amager Square along Strøget.

Whenever I reach a new destination, I fall in love with the place.. Copenhagen is no exception =)

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Merry merry Christmas, guys and girls!! =)

Today being a day of giving and sharing, I thought it’s apt that I launch a pilot test of this new pet project of mine. My Random ShopSpace is (hopefully) going to be a regular feature on this blog, maybe about twice per month. As regular readers may know, I travel quite often and many a time, I’m amazed that there are so so many delicious food and interesting stuff overseas that one can never find in Singapore.

And so, MRSS will be a platform for me to bring in some of these items to share with all of you! Since this is a random shop space, there’s no limit to the type of items I’ll showcase. They can range from food, accessories, food, homeware, food, clothes, yada yada. You get the idea =) Or even better, tell me what you would like from a particular country and I’ll do my best!

Coming Monday, I’ll be in Japan so let’s start off with something that’s highly popular among Singaporeans: Shiroi Koibito (白い恋人) cookies! Every year during the Isetan Hokkaido Fair, these cookies will usually be snapped up in an instant. That’s how good these cookies are! Imagine, soft creamy white or dark chocolate sandwiched between light and crispy “langue de chat” cookies~ Now it’s your chance to get your hands on them! Just in time as a great gift for friends or as a little something for the host of that new year party you are attending =)

24 Pieces of White Chocolates in a Box

 Details (boring but important, haha):

Item description: 24 pieces of White Chocolate (pic above) or 24 pieces of mixed (12 White & 12 Dark, pic below). You can order as many boxes as you want, of course.

Price: S$40 per box (24 pieces).

Payment: In full upon confirmation. Don’t worry, a full refund will be given if I’m unable to get the chocolates!

Deadline: Once I get enough orders or 26th Decemeber 2010, 11.59pm. Yes, that’s tomorrow!

Collection: 29th December 2010 (Wednesday), 12pm at City Hall MRT Station.

Ok, if you are interested, drop me an email with your orders at qiuyi_ong@hotmail.com =) I’ll reply within 24hours.

24 Pieces of White and Dark Chocolates in a Box

Speaking of which, do you know that these cookies are so popular in Hokkaido that there’s a Shiroi Koibito Park in Sapporo? I was actually there in 2007 and it was awesome, a theme park-like wonderland for the sweet toothed! Here are some of the photos I managed to dig out. Enjoy! =)

This is funny cuz I have to crop myself out of the photo! Still can see a little of my right arm, haha.

I think I wasn’t very into food that time cuz I didn’t take much photos of the chocolates. This is the cutest pic I can find, LOL.

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You cannot go to Belgium and not eat waffles. That’s like committing an unforgivable sin in the eyes of any foodie. And a much commendable act of self-control cuz I guess I can never understand how one can resist the luring smell of hot waffles in the air~

It doesn’t matter where you get the waffles (they are everywhere!), but a general rule of thumb for me is that I don’t buy them from boutique cafes as the ones from street-side vendors or Christmas market stalls are just as good and about 3 times cheaper. Save your euros for more waffles! =)

Waffle #1: Strawberry waffle!

Waffle #2: Chocolate Waffle!

Waffle #3: Banana Waffle!

Waffle #4: With an overdose of icing sugar!

Waffle #5: Cherry Waffle!

And.. Waffle #6, my favourite! No whipped cream, no icing sugar, no toppings. Plain, simple, light, crispy and ridiculously delicious, as it should be =)

After all that a-waffle-ing, I’m finally ready for a proper meal! Nope, I didn’t go to a Chinese restaurant, haha. That dim sum basket contains my lunch at Den Amand, a small and cozy bistro that’s highly recommended by other foodies online.

Sint-Amandsstraat 4

I had their specialty: a trio of fresh fish steamed and served with seasonal vegetables. This was so.. healthy! Haha, and a welcome change after days of eating junk food overseas~

I’m missing you, Brugge.

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Belgium: Beautiful Brugge

Brugge is so so beautiful, not in a heart-stopping kind of way but gorgeous in a tranquil, soothing manner. With an old inner harbor transformed into a scenic Minnewater (literally the ‘Lake of Love’), it’s exactly the type of place where romantics go for a perfect getaway.

Walking into town from the train station, it’s easy to understand why Bruges is often called ‘The Venice of Northern Europe’.

Picturesque canals seem to be everywhere!

Pretty, isn’t it? Brugge is not nicknamed a “postcard city” for nothing =)

In the heart of town, motor vehicles are mostly prohibited and the winding cobbled streets are shared by pedestrians and the occasional horse-drawn carriages.

The historic centre of Brugge has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. It’s so well-preserved that it’s almost like a movie set, the sort you would expect to see in a Disney flick, haha.

Dating from the 13th to 15th centuries, the imposing Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) contains the famous sculpture of Madonna and Child (top right) by Michelangelo.

At Brugge’s heart are two magnificent squares: Markt, the medieval marketplace; and Burg, the ancient seat of government, dominated by the City Hall.

I love visiting European cities in winter, definitely not for the cold but for the Christmas markets. Like many other cities, there’s a temporary ice rink in the Markt, surrounded by gabled stands selling hot chocolate, beignets, bratwurst etc etc.

It’s becoming a tradition for me to have a cup of glühwein (hot, spiced wine) when visiting winter markets. It does a great job at keeping my insides warm in the freezing cold weather!

Walking around made me (you guess it!) hungry. Updates on my makan finds in Brugge coming up next!

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