Archive for December, 2011

Colourful and cheerful, with average-looking kimono-clad models scattered throughout the restaurant, Issen Yoshoku (壹銭洋食) is a very fun dining place!

Shijo Dori, Nawate-agaru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

Though the menu is big, only one item is served here!

Rumoured to be the original ‘Western food’ in Japan, Issen Yoshoku is an okonomiyaki-ish pancake filled with egg, beef, scallion, shrimp and topped with a sweet sauce.

Watch the chef in action at the grill!

Freshly made Issen Yoshoku~

This looks fake.

Wait, I think it is fake.

Here’s the real deal. I won’t say I love it, but the boys liked it so much that one order (this was just a pre-dinner snack, haha) quickly turned into two!

Me, I still prefer the old-fashioned okonomiyaki : )


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Kyoto: Matsuno

Did I mention that I LOVE UNAGI?

And I love that Japan has an abundance of unagi shops specialising in one thing: eel.

Just a few steps east of the Minamiza kabuki theater, Matsuno is a popular and reliable family-run restaurant to satisfy the ultimate unagi craving.

Minamiza-higashi 4-ken-me, Shijo-dori, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto

All 4 of us ordered the same thing: an exquisite lacquered box of warm rice topped with two beautifully grilled slices of fatty unagi sandwiching a layer of fluffy soft tamago.


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Let’s go for an expensive treat at Gion Komori (祇園 小森), a famous tea house in central Kyoto!

High prices, high quality, high expectations.

61 Motoyoshi-cho, Gion Shimbashi, Kyoto

Absolutely must try: green tea bavarois parfait and chestnut parfait

Green tea pudding parfait..

Azuki bean jam, agar jelly, green tea ice cream with brown sugar syrup.

We had this cuz of the irritating minimum one order per person policy, haha. Nothing special, the parfaits are much much nicer!

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Onaka @ Body With Soul

I’ve found a new favourite dining destination! Destination is the right word, as Onaka @ Body With Soul at Rochester Park is ulu enough to be a destination-cafe.

A supporter of the slow food movement, Onaka prepares the dishes from scratch so be prepared to wait. Worth it though, the food is deliciously healthy without sacrificing taste!

Like this place so much that trying everything on the menu is my 2012 resolution! Hahaha.

The mushroom siew mai ($14++) are plenty juicy and flavourful!

Whole button mushrooms stuffed with shitake mushrooms and brown rice, served with chilli relish and Tabasco mayonnaise.

Omega-3 Bowl ($16++), so colourful and fragrant!

Organic brown rice, 100g of seared sashimi grade pacific salmon, green peas, sweet corn, bonito flakes, nori shreds,
citrus-tamari dressing.

Caribbean organic burger ($13++) looks great, and tastes even better! Don’t miss the meat at all.

Organic brown rice and black bean patty, smoky chipotle sauce, cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes in between homemade organic multigrain bun.

Feel-good food, I love!

44 Rochester Park
6464 2007

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A big thank you to those who participated in the last spree from Paris! Glad you guys enjoyed the macarons as much as I did.

For Round 3 spree, it will be from London and I’m taking orders for both Pierre Hermé and Ladurée as I’ve been receiving emails to bring back Ladurée’s macarons as well.

Ladurée is not my favourite but since macarons are personal, to each his own : )

As for Pierre Hermé, the elusive white truffle macaron was actually available while I was in Paris but unfortunately, the staff die-die refused to put them in the same box as the other macarons since the flavour is too intense. A matter of macaron principle, I suppose. Anyway, if you want to get your hands on the incredible truffle macarons, you have to get a box of 12. An easy feat to finish them all.. Or share the love! It’s Christmas season, haha.

Other fabulous favours I tried last month in Paris include:

Americano Pamplemousse (grapefruit, campari),
Caraquillo (chocolate, coffee, aniseed ganache),
Infiniment Chocolat Porcelana (pure origin Venezuela Porcelana dark chocolate),
Mahogany (salted butter caramel, coconut, mango compote),
Marron Glacé (chestnut, my favourite!), and
Tempo (lime, pepper, raspberry), a flavour created exclusively for Galeries Lafayette.

Assorted pralines from Pierre Hermé are also available! I had a request to bring back a box and it travelled beautifully. Let me know if you want one too!


 1. $75 for a box of 12 Pierre Hermé macarons, assorted flavours depending on availability.

2. $75 for a box of 12 truffle macarons from Pierre Hermé.

3. $75 for a box of 12 Ladurée macarons, assorted flavours depending on availability.

What’s included: whatever is given upon purchase, i.e. paper bag, original box, catalogue and whatnot.

Date of arrival: 31st December 2011. I do not wish to further compromise the taste and freshness of the macarons so if you can’t collect them on 31st (or latest 1st Jan), please do not order.

Mode of collection: Mass meetup at central area, venue/time to be confirmed later.

Payment mode: POSB/DBS Internet Banking or ATM Transfer. No interbank transfer.

Deadline: All orders and payments have to be made by 27th December 2011, 6pm.

Send in your order(s) with subject “Macarons – Confirmed” to qiuyi_ong@hotmail.com using the format below:

Full Name (real name):
Contact number:
Bank/Acct no:
Quantity (Pierre Hermé and/or Ladurée):

Terms and conditions (read carefully!)
– Only paid orders will be taken.
– No cancellation of order is allowed once payment is made.
– Full refund will be given if spree is cancelled or I can’t buy the macarons for whatever reason.
– If GST is incurred, all participants will share the cost.
– For enquiries, please email me at qiuyi_ong@hotmail.com

Lastly, please do not join if you’re uncomfortable with the T&Cs. Thank you!

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Talent Cafe

With a name like Talent Cafe, the talented people have to make a trip there, haha.

We had the whole cafe to ourselves on a weekday afternoon, niceeee.

Won’t recommend the Tapas 3 ($12.90++), a trio of mushrooms sautéed in garlic and olive oil, eggplant braised in anchovies and coriander, and spiced tomato salsa, served with toasted baguette. Nothing you and I can’t make at home! We ordered this solely cuz we were so hungry, heh.

Her comfort food, seafood linguini in a rich tangy tomato sauce ($18.90++).

My predictable choice, spiced hake fish topped with a light creamy sauce ($19.90++).

Finished off with apple glynn, tart caramelised apple slices in a pool of cream sauce ($6.90++).


Talent Cafe
34 Tras Street
6536 7077

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Not too far from Nijo Castle is Kyoto’s oldest soba restaurant!

Honke Owariya (本家尾張屋) has been serving traditionally handmade soba for more than 500 years (since 1465) and according to its website, even the Japan royalty drops by when they are in Kyoto!

Well, if the humble noodle dish is good enough for the imperial family, it’s definitely a must-try for us lowly commoners!

322 Kurumayacho, Nijo-Sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Omg, the soba here is fantastic! No matter what you get, be it the cold or hot soba, it’s gonna be super fresh and plain delicious. There’s even a slip of paper to remind us to drink the water in which the soba is cooked. It’s quite bland and tasteless but I guess it should be quite nutritious?

Ten Seiro: plain buckwheat noodles, deep fried shrimp tempura, wasabi and dipping sauce on the side.

One of the signature items: sobazushi, i.e. sushi consisting of soba instead of rice, tamago and shiitake mushrooms rolled and wrapped in seaweed with dipping sauce.

I can eat this everyday!!

Even the warabi mochi is made of buckwheat flour! So so soft, yums.

Owariya was originally a confectionary shop, and it’s still one now. There’s a small corner by the main entrance where you can pick up some goodies, such as these soba boro cookies, a specialty in Kyoto!

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