Thursday, 24 October 2013

Antoinette

Photo spam! Missing you trucks!!

Just before I left for London, I caught up with Shona at Antoinette, a place I've been wanting to visit for the longest! Yes this post is about a month late, but I still remember how amazing this little tea salon was, and of course the great 2h spent there haha :) Looking at these photos now is completely making me salivate - I haven't had such good food in London! :X I'm definitely going back to Antoinette when I'm back in Singapore next summer!

The plush interior of the tiny Parisian style tea salon

Jasmine Tea
Frankly not worth the money... The waiter kept coming over to my table to ask if I wanted to order anything while I was waiting for Shona though (annoying max!) so I decided to just order a drink...

Savoury pancakes with bacon and creamy mushroom sauce 
Nothing short of fantastic! The pancakes were smooth, thick and fluffy - everything a pancake should be! I do however think the service staff were particularly zzz, my dish came first and after quite a bit of waiting we decided to ask if Shona's food was ready. And I still remember the waiter going "yes it's coming soon, please start on your dish first" LOL MAX.

Sweet French pancakes with a generous scoop of caramel ice cream (argh, I'm drooling!)

 
Antoinette
What's a visit to this cafe without trying their signature cake! Can't ever go wrong with this rich and indulgent chocolate cake but hmm, I'm still wondering what that metallic looking blob is! It tasted vaguely fruity and very sweet I remember haha!
  
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Antoinette
Mandarin Gallery #02-33/34
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While waiting for Shona I made my first trip up Emerald Hill - believe it or not... I have no idea why I have never visited this place despite its frequent mention in Singapore history/SS textbooks haha. I'm definitely loving the intricately designed (and frequently very colourful!) colonial houses, but what makes this place even more amazing is how it's nestled between the modern high rise buildings of Singapore's shopping district. It'd be a dream to have a colonial-styled house next time! (Relatedly, I really don't like the new house architecture fad with all the metal/sharp edges/flat surfaces!)

Till the next! I'm super procrastinating my coursework which is due in 2 weeks time... But in a week I'm scooting off to Oslo!!!! Too excited. Plus, a trip to Iceland has just been booked as well. Northern lights, faultlines, volcanoes, glaciers here I come!!! *geog geek alert*

x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Je t'aime, Paris! (part 1)

Hello folks. I have not updated in ages, but I'm back in London now and settling in really well so all's good! I've been travelling like crazy as well, first to Paris almost just after touching down in London, and then a week later to a little city beside Stuttgart, Germany. Life is good! :) I love travelling, the wandering around is both aimless and purposeful, and you get to immerse yourself in new cultures and new people, plus of course try some amazing food (esp in Paris!!!)

So, here's a little post about my trip to Paris just a couple of weeks back. Get ready for a picture spam as well - I loving my new DSLR camera heh! It is probably quite an understatement to say I love Paris - both the glamour and grime, and of course the food. YUM.

One of the things you MUST do everytime you visit a major European city is definitely to go for one of these Sandeman's New Europe Tours. They are free, and AMAZING. I've been to the tour in Prague as well, and both times the tour leader was really knowledgable, funny and engaging. MUST GO! (You are expected to tip them of course, but with the great quality of the tour, I won't hesitate!)

 The ticket to Sandeman Tours

So halfway through the tour, just after we went around the Louvre, we stopped for a quick break along this rather busy road lined with shops and cafes. Imagine my delight when I saw Eric Kayser!! Don't salivate too much, but omg don't the tarts look delicious?! I wish I had time to go back for more! Yum!


 Boulangerie Eric Kayser
16 Rue des Petits Carreaux, 75002 Paris, France ‎ 

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Of course, when in Paris, a visit to the Louvre is quite the essential. While the art exhibits are housed in a magnificent and grandiose building like many others in Europe (sorry, not an architecture aficonado), I thought the glass pyramids at the courtyard were, while rather out of place, quite a breath of fresh air. Of course, they also made rather good photo taking spots.



After a bit of a queue, we finally got into the museum. Psst, EU students get in for free at most (if not all) Paris attractions - just bring your student visa! Like most other tourists, we made quite a beeline for the star painting for the Louvre - the Mona Lisa. Well, like most other tourists too, I cannot quite understand why this painting is so famous. I'm not a particular fan of art, especially if its before the impressionist era, so this was just another 'tourist-checklist' for me. Truth be told, the art-insensitive me did not enjoy the Louvre. On the contrary though, Musee d'Orsay was fantastic. I could spend an entire day in there with its extensive impressionist and post-impressionist art galleries! More about that another time.



 The next day, we headed to another one of Paris' most-visited landmarks - le Tour de Eiffel. The Eiffel tower certainly exceeded my expectations, and with its meticulously designed metal frame, has definitely earned a spot on my list of "most amazing landmarks to have ever seen". We decided to climb up to the 2nd storey for a panaromic view of Paris. 2nd storey, however, is a massive understatement!!! The climb felt like it took 30min to complete, and it brings you to a pretty high vantage point (more than 10 storeys I reckon...) where we enjoyed quite an impressive birds eye view of Paris. Our initial plan was to go all the way to the top of the tower, but after seeing the snaking queue, we decided to head down instead.


 Mandatory Jump Shots! 


We then headed to a restaurant located pretty near the Eiffel Tower for lunch. Unsurprisingly, french food just cannot go wrong! I ordered fowl which was light but flavorful, and the cod in mashed potato was so creamy and mega delicious! French desserts are the best as well. Of special mention has to be the chocolate lava cake with the most amazing pistachio sauce ever. I ordered one of my favourite desserts, creme brulee and it was definitely more than passable too! Heh I really enjoy cracking the caramelised layer of creme brulee hahaha!





Le P'tit Trouquet
28 Rue de l'Exposition, 75007 Paris, France

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Also on our to-visit list was the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, which looked even more splendid in that day's perfect sunny weather!


Loving the bokeh from my new prime lens (with a Canon 100D)

Dinner was at le Zephyr, a restaurant just a 10min walk away from where we stayed in Belleville. It is best to stay away from the city centre in Paris - food is so much cheaper, and as good! A main at le Zephyr would set you back only around EUR10, which is something you definitely can't get at the city center!


Free flow of freshly baked baguettes! Yum!

Duck Confit
Definitely one of my favourite french dishes! This did not disappoint, and I especially loved the garlic infused chips! They were fried to crispy perfection, and with the garlic, I could eat this all day!!! Highly recommended!

Lava Cake with Ice Cream
 The lava cake was nothing spectacular, and I was disappointed at how it wasn't oozing out liquid chocolately goodness when I cut it into half! ): The ice cream had a rather dinstictive taste to it though, and was largely enjoyable. But at only 5EUR, I'm not complaining!

Le Zephyr
1 Rue du Jourdain  75020 Paris, France


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Till the next! Totally regretted writing this at 11pm!! I'm so hungry now argh! ):

Sunday, 8 September 2013

A for Arbite

A For Arbite
28 Aliwal Street

Just the other day we decided to head over to A for Arbite for one of my last few Singapore lunches ): I especially loved the cheery primary coloured interior of the restaurant, and it surely felt like quite a fitting place to have an obligatory catch-up session with my favourite friend before I leave for London again.

On to the food, the UOB 1-for-1 set lunch at A for Arbite was definitely a deal! For 30++ in total, we got ourselves each a mushroom soup, a potato salad, a main of our choice and a drink. Yum! The mushroom soup was particularly memorable, with the earthiness of mushrooms brought out by the generous use of fragrant garlic. My main course (breaded chicken) while not particularly to-die-for, was quite delectable and I especially enjoyed the cheese and tomato melted over the breaded (aka fried and super unhealthy) chicken. I wish had space for some dessert though! Meals should never end on a savoury note!

And here begins a photo collage of the cheerful restaurant interior, our food, the rather gorgeous architecture around Arab Street, and ending off with that' day's coincidentally (rather) primary coloured OOTD! #motivationtodresswell I think the photos I got from that afternoon were particularly good hehe #selfpraise (especially since I am just beginning to see the wonders of Photoshop hehe!)

Enjoy :)

 


Ooh I kind of like the idea of photo-blogging hehe - it's quite tumblr-esque!
Update again!
xx

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Bangkok Food Guide part 2

The BKK Food Guide continues in this post. I just spent the past 5 days in Malaysia so I had tons of time to edit photos and the such, so expect more photo posts from me these few days! I like photo-blogging. It's a much better way to "upload" and "show" your photos rather than uploading photos on facebook (which is usually reserved for photos of people unless your photos are mega pro)

Anyway, back to the topic, I think one of the must-eats when you head to BKK is definitely food court food! Platinum Fashion Mall is probably one of the most famous food courts in BKK. The most famed dish is apparently the beef balls though, but I heard it was spicy so I didn't want to take the risk haha. Another good thing is that this food court opens mega early at about 9-10am, which is earlier than all the other shopping malls' opening hours, so we headed there for breakfast...

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Platinum Fashion Mall Food Court
on the top floor

 
 Fried eggs that were supremely oily but super SLURPSSS amazing because of the soft yolk 8D

 Definite must try!! Mango sticky rice which was super yums because the mango was really sweet! 

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  Food Republic at Siam Center


 
 There's this yong tau foo-style mixed rice stall which is pretty interesting! You pick the veg and meat and then they will stir fry it for you!

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Mr Jone's Orphanage
Siam Center, 2nd Floor

There was a massively long queue in front of this cake cafe, and since I had lots of time to waste I decided to queue and enter to see what the commotion was all about. 

 Super mega pretty cake display! No wonder there are so many people...

I ordered the red velvet cake, aka one of my favourite cakes of all time! MEGA unfortuantely though, the cake didn't taste any where as nice as it looked ): It had a rather bland sweetness to it, and didn't taste like anything at all. Which is unfortunate since before then I have never tasted a bad red velvet cake before. I talked to a few other people who have entered this cafe before and they all felt underwhelmed, so my guess is either this cafe is overrated all we all suay try the wrong stuff ):
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 9th Cafe
Siam Paragon basement

We ate here for 2 dinners in a row haha - the food is really good and reasonably priced for a sit-down restaurant! 
  Hor Fun with Braised Pork - YUM.

 Spinach Fettucine with Chicken - slightly overpriced but decent

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Random Dessert Places
Because I can't finish the meal on a salty note!! 

Fro-Yo anytime~~ This one's from Buddhi Belly at Siam Discovery. We chose an Orange+Chocolate concoction which tasted alright but I still think Chocolate and Fro-yo don't match!!

A&W Waffle! We were so excited about this since you can't find this in SG anymore!

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So this concludes the end of my BKK food adventure - I think I spent more money on food there than on anything else, surprisingly! Yes I barely shopped -.-" On second thoughts I really want to go back to BKK I think, both for the food and to give shopping a second chance HAHA I can't believe I went there and came back almost empty handed ):

Hehe till the next! x

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Nice Summer

This is the starting sentence of my mega-overdue travelogue for my end of Year 1 trip to Nice, France. After a horribly long winter in London, it is of no surprise that we all decided to head down South to the coast of France for some sun. The 4 day long trip was relaxing, and rather enjoyable even though there is arguably not much to do in Nice.

So our 4 days was split between spent travelling around Nice, and taking day trips out to Eze, Monaco, Cannes and St Paul! I don't think we saw anything spectacular per se, but each day trip was enjoyable in its own little way I guess, with us discovering little pockets of joy and swoon-worthy things.

Day 1: Nice
Yep, Nice (pun - you saw that coming) beaches, and the sea is such and amazing shade of blue! I immediately regretted not bringing my swim wear ): The day was mostly spent wandering around the city center and lying on the pebbly beach.

Day 1: The rather gorgeous man-made waterfall at Le Chateau on the eastern side of Nice.
Le Chateau de Nice is a little little hill which we can ascend to reach a couple of viewing points. There's a fair/bazaar at the top and a cute little playground but nothing much of interest other than phototaking at the viewing points that offered a rather picturesque view of the Mediterranean!

Day 2: Duck Confit at a French Restaurant
I LOVE. One of the best I've ever eaten! The duck was sooo aromoatic due to the garlic *drools* I love french food!

Days 2: Eze - the uninspiring and anticlimatic village that greeted us after a tiring climb.
This was an interesting day. We took a bus to Monaco, and decided to stop halfway to visit Eze, a fortified medieval village perched atop a hill. A HILL. Well, it took us about 1.5-2h to climb up a rocky and sometimes non existant path, and I was dressed in slippers and a fishtail skirt. Go shu. However, adventuregirl93 must admit that she really enjoyed the "hike" - I love climbing, scrambling past rocks and walking through the forests!!


Day 2: Monaco
We continued onto Monaco, and lo and behold it just had to start pouring. Half of us didn't have umbrellas so we just stood around and whiled time away. We went into the famed Casino Royale where I was entertained for about 1hour by people playing blackjack and roulette HAHA. I wish the poker rooms were free entry as well! ): Anyway it is strangely fascinating to see people play at the casino, and also to watch the experienced dealer work the cards. 

 Day 3: Cannes
 Again, another strangely underwhelming place. We visited the site where the Cannes Festival was held just the week before, and it looked literally like an old Singapore community club. *lame max* Good thing is that unlike most of Nice beaches, the Cannes beaches actually are sandy, so to get our London-fied bodies tanned we went!

Day 4: The Little Fascinating Village of St Pauls
St Pauls is probably the most interesting place we visited on this trip. This village is full of art galleries by French (and some Italian as well I think?) artists - really cool! There are even art deco and pop art styles on display (and sale) alongside the more classical styles of painting. I would recommend a trip to this place! Of course, being filled with mostly galleries and souvenir shops, St Pauls is very much a tourist village. Nevertheless, fascinating!

Us pulling epic faces :P
 Don't judge, what's a trip without some obligatory self shots?

Attempt to be artistic x Shu is a macro lover

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So that briefly sums up my 4 day post exam trip to Nice in France. Well, I am a pretty laidback kind of person, so "boring" and slack trips like this don't really irk me. But if you're one who likes trips saturated with sights and information and landmarks, I wouldn't recommend more than 2-3 days at Nice. Also, I REALLY WANTED TO CLIMB THE BAOU DE ST JEANNETE. GROWL. But transportation was a bitch and no one really wanted to climb it with me. So oh well. Maybe I will get the chance to climb again! :)

Till the next! Hardworking Shu is back at blogging to chronicle her life in the past year. xx