Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier @ Eng Hoon Street

Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier

Tiong Bahru Bakery is one of the most well-known “indie” cafés Singapore has to offer. Owned by French artisan boulanger and creative baker Gontran Cherrier (who also has a number of other shops in Paris and Tokyo under his name), this place has a very strong following. Local café-goers and even out-of-town visitors flock to it despite its odd location in the quiet, sleepy heritage neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru. Continue reading

Orange & Vanilla Madeleines

Orange & Vanilla Madeleines Orange & Vanilla Madeleines

How many of you have actually tried French madeleines? I have to admit, they taste very much like the popular South East Asian sponge cake snack “kueh bolu” (or “kuih bahulu”), probably because the ingredients used are similar. They’re even baked in little fluted moulds like madeleines are, though madeleines are distinctively shell-shaped while traditional kueh bolu look more like flowers (or super chubby starfish). Continue reading

Staying the Night in a Temple at Mount Kōya (高野山, Kōyasan) – Part Two

Koyasan Koyasan

Day two! We got up at 6am to see the monks perform their early morning prayers in the elaborately decorated main temple hall. There was a lot of non-stop chanting, bell-tolling and burning of incense involved. Halfway through the session, visitors (including us foreigners) were invited to go up to the altar to kneel and pray in the way of the Buddhist. It was a little nerve-racking, especially since most of the other people in the room knew exactly what to do, but we managed not to embarrass ourselves! Continue reading

Weekends with Angie & James | Part V: Coastal Adventure – Point Danger & Byron Bay

Last Saturday, James and I traversed the coast of South East Queensland and crossed the state border into New South Wales. We stopped for a moment at Point Danger to admire all the awesome guys and gals surfing the waves. There is a gorgeous lookout up on the hill and on clear days, you can see Surfers Paradise in the distance. Point Danger was so named by Captain James Cook in 1770 to warn other seafarers of the dangerous coral reefs off the treacherous coast. Continue reading

Thick & Fluffy Matcha Pancakes

Matcha Pancakes Matcha Pancakes

The weekend is nigh upon us and don’t we all need a great recipe to start it right? Lazy Saturdays mean you have a little more time to whip up something creative for breakfast! Green eggs and ham? Nah, try matcha pancakes with syrup! There is nothing more delightful than a green tea flavoured sweet treat! Now, if you don’t have any matcha powder on hand, fear not! You can replace the green-hued powder with cocoa powder or even some instant coffee powder for a more smoky, earthy hit. Continue reading

Staying the Night in a Temple at Mount Kōya (高野山, Kōyasan) – Part One

Koyasan Koyasan

With its ancient forests and centuries-old temples, Mount Kōya (高野山, Kōyasan) is, without a doubt, a magical place. Steeped in religious and historical traditions, the tranquil mountain has a past that stretches back over 1200 years. More than a hundred temples are scattered throughout the area, giving the secluded town of Kōya a truly sacred atmosphere. Many of these magnificent temples offer lodging to dedicated pilgrims and tourists alike, giving visitors an excellent chance to experience the simple, traditional lifestyle of Buddhist monks. This means tatami floors, wooden sliding doors, vegetarian cuisine (shōjin ryōri) and communal baths! Continue reading

Weekends with Angie & James | Part IV: Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens

As you can no doubt tell by now, James and I have been actively pushing ourselves to go somewhere new each weekend (instead of lazing around at home and blaming our lethargy on the “hectic work week”). As an incentive to get out and about, I started this Weekends with Angie & James blog series. Our journey began with a picturesque breakfast at Elephant Rock four weekends ago, followed by a lunch date in Brisbane the weekend after and lunch along the Surfers Paradise beachfront the weekend after that. Our latest adventure features the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, a green space I’d been longing to visit ever since I discovered its existence almost five years ago. Continue reading