Japan 2016: Enjoying the crisp Autumn air of Nakameguro in November

Meguro River, Nakameguro, Tokyo Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan

Since we’d already been to all the essential must-visit spots around Tokyo over the last few years (y’know, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa, and all that), we made it our priority this time around to avoid the well-trodden areas and to hit up more obscure parts of the city. Cue Nakameguro, which is pretty famous for its cherry tree-lined river and tranquil streets.

The area around the Meguro River is enchanting in Autumn, when the hidden late morning sun shrouds the quiet walkways in silver light. While Nakameguro certainly is a bit of a ghost town on weekdays, James and I quite enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere, plus it was something we probably needed at the start of our week-long finally-some-time-away-from-work vacation in Japan.

Continue reading “Japan 2016: Enjoying the crisp Autumn air of Nakameguro in November”

Brawn & Brains @ Guillemard Road, Singapore // Surprisingly busy brunch spot

Brawn and Brains, Singapore Brawn and Brains, Singapore Brawn and Brains, Singapore

Brawn & Brains – an interesting name for a cafe. Located along Guillemard Road (a few blocks from my workplace), I’d always wanted to have brunch here, and for the longest time it remained on my ever-growing list of foodie haunts to visit. It’s a bit of a walk from Mountbatten MRT, maybe 10 minutes or so. By the time we got there, it was brimming with brunch-goers. Seems like plenty of expats frequent this place, not sure if that’s because of its location or if this cafe is just really, really popular with the expat community. Continue reading “Brawn & Brains @ Guillemard Road, Singapore // Surprisingly busy brunch spot”

Curious Palette @ Prinsep Street, Singapore // A dream cafe with Instagram-worthy food

Curious Palette, Singapore Curious Palette, Singapore Curious Palette, Singapore

Curious Palette is one of those tucked-away-in-plain-sight sort of cafes, with a unique layout and a spacious interior that throws subtle Balinese vibes and contemporary Melbourne-esque hipster influences at you. That’s not to say it offers you the norm when it comes to its food options – on the contrary, the menu it presents is contemporary and unique, with dishes that arrive in a state that is wholly Instagram-worthy. Order the Berry Ricotta Hotcakes and you’ll have a panicky moment where you think to yourself “do I really want to destroy such a pretty work of art with my fork of doom?”. There’s really no need for such dramatic thoughts – take one bite of the sweet, fluffy creation and you’ll find yourself being okay with decimating the whole thing and shovelling it all in your mouth. Continue reading “Curious Palette @ Prinsep Street, Singapore // A dream cafe with Instagram-worthy food”

The Grain Store @ Flinders Lane, Melbourne // Home of Breakfast Hunters & Coffee Lovers

The Grain Store, Flinders Lane The Grain Store, Flinders Lane The Grain Store, Flinders Lane

Wednesday arrives and greets us with eye-searingly clear skies. The sun is strong and the Melburnian city streets are quiet, save for small gatherings of locals decked in business attire sitting outside hole-in-the-wall coffee shops. We find Flinders Lane without difficulty and eventually make a stop at The Grain Store, a breakfast place I’d read about on Townske the night before. We are a bit overwhelmed by what we find. Continue reading “The Grain Store @ Flinders Lane, Melbourne // Home of Breakfast Hunters & Coffee Lovers”

Lake Kawaguchiko, Corner House Restaurant & A Private Onsen Bath

Lake Kawaguchiko Kawaguchiko Kawaguchiko

Our second day at Fujikawaguchiko (yes, “Fujikawaguchiko” is the proper name for the town – try saying it five times fast) found us waking up to the quiet hush of a drizzly morning. From our guest room window, the lake before us was a shimmering grey mass at the foot of faraway misty mountains. It was almost like a dream. But we had no time to appreciate the view because 8 o’clock was rolling around and that was our allocated Breakfast Time. So we tried to look semi-presentable in our yukata outfits (essentially traditional Japanese garments that look like casual kimonos). Rakuyu gets its female guests to handpick their own personal yukata and obi (sash) upon checking into the hotel, so I picked one with a lovely cherry blossom print and matched it with a bright red obi. James was stuck with the generic pale lilac yukata that all the guys get. Continue reading “Lake Kawaguchiko, Corner House Restaurant & A Private Onsen Bath”

First Impressions of Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture

Kawaguchiko Kawaguchiko Kawaguchiko

Our final morning in Tokyo greeted us with beautiful blue skies – a good sign for our trip to Kawaguchiko. From Asakusa, we made our way to Shinjuku Station on the Ginza and Yamanote lines, and then headed over to the Keio bus station to buy our tickets. When we arrived at Kawaguchiko Station, we were surprised at how much cooler it was compared to Tokyo. A quick Google told us that it’s situated at an altitude of 800 metres, which certainly explained the cool summer breeze. Despite the almost chilly weather, we still bought ourselves some freshly made strawberry ice cream from a cute little van outside the station. Continue reading “First Impressions of Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture”

Temple Hopping in Kamakura {Engaku-ji & Meigetsu-in}

Kamakura Kamakura Kamakura

Basically, the weather in Japan during summer is annoyingly unpredictable. Prepare yourself for rain if you’re thinking of spending the day outdoors. And if the skies aren’t crying (or aren’t looking like they’re about to), it’ll most likely be stiflingly hot and humid. On the first day of July, the four of us (TJ, Luke, James and I) went on a day trip to the coastal town of Kamakura (located south of Tokyo) to experience firsthand the temperamental rainy season of Japan while going on a temple binge. The rain did put a damper on our visit, but we still managed to see two main temples (Engaku-ji 円覚寺 and Meigetsu-in 明月院), enjoy some traditional Japanese summer desserts, and have a filling lunch in town. Continue reading “Temple Hopping in Kamakura {Engaku-ji & Meigetsu-in}”

Amisfield Winery & Bistro, Queenstown NZ

Amisfield Bistro Amisfield Bistro Amisfield Bistro

Growing up, I visited Queenstown with family quite often – sometimes multiple times a year. Despite all Queenstown has to offer, from extreme sports to beautiful scenery, I was always most excited about visiting Amisfield’s Winery & Bistro for a long lunch. I have very fond memories of sitting outside under the warm spring sun, playing pétanque with family between courses of incredible food. Of course, the surroundings look fantastic in winter too and I was glad to have Angie with me this time around to savour the “Amisfield experience”. Continue reading “Amisfield Winery & Bistro, Queenstown NZ”