One sultry day, my boyfriend and I decided to have some cafe fare in Hoi An.
No Grab drivers would accept us on this 800m-long ride so we had to bike.
Rosie’s Cafe has no aircon so Asian mothers would be pleased.
We biked into Hoi An Old Town, and down into one of the winding lanes. We referred to Google Maps only twice: once at the start of the trip, and another mid-way when we were near the Japanese bridge.
Overall Old Town is so small, tourists should be able to find their ways easily.
We turned in at this sign for a haircut.
We went past these buildings and a barber (this picture was taken from Rosie’s Cafe, so looking outwards).
Voila! This is Rosie’s Cafe.
It was not difficult to find for us.
The interior is homely and pleasant.
My boyfriend ordered a smoothie and salmon toast.
The pictured smoothie was converted from a smoothie bowl. Very good.
I had the avocado toast. I read good reviews about it online. It was delicious!
I decided to get the Acai smoothie bowl. It comes with fruits and coconut shavings.
Ended off with an affogato. So here’s the damage for all the food we had: VND355,000, which is about USD15.62 and SGD 21.30.
SGD 21.30 for two smoothies, two brunches, and two coffees. Wow.
Of course we had to go there the second time.
This time, my boyfriend had a chocolate milkshake called Dark Paradise. I converted the avocado smoothie bowl into a smoothie.
Ordered Rosie’s breakfast. It was good, as expected.
My boyfriend had the french toast.
I lost the receipt but I took a picture of the menu here. Check out those prices! the most expensive item is the salmon toast at VND95,000. Which means no item here is above USD4.18 and SGD5.70. Truly WTF.
If I could, I’d find a hotel nearer Rosie’s Cafe to eat here more often. I never had a tummyache from any of the food. It’s truly affordable and good in Hoi An.
I spent four days in Kuala Lumpur! It was a great trip for me, so here are three food recommendations for those less acquainted with the capital of Malaysia.
1. Jinxuan Dimsum
Restoran Jin Xuan Hong Kong Damansara Jaya Sdn Bhd 59, 61 & 63, Jalan SS22 / 19 Damansara Jaya, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Mon – Sun 7 a.m – 11 p.m 603 – 7729 6866
Jinxuan Dimsum has many chains. We went to one near Atria Shopping Gallery:
Note the fried brinjal in brown sauce, and the fried salted egg scallop and prawn dish on the bottom left.
The amount we ate and more. Check out the hargau!
If I had to recommend only one dish, it would be the egg tart. My friends and I aren’t really egg tart fans, but we polished off four straight plates – about one egg tart each. The egg tart will melt in your mouth. That said everything we ate was fantastic.
Do give the fried brinjal or eggplant a try, as well as the fried salted egg scallop and prawn dish (in the first picture above).
The menu comes in English as well.
One word of warning is that the restaurant staff mainly speak Cantonese. There’s a queue system to manage the huge crowd. I don’t speak Cantonese and I had no idea what numbers they called. Keep an ear out for your number, which they’ll repeat in English if there’s no response.
The damage for eating till our stomachs hurt? MYR199, which is MYR33 and about SGD12 per person.
Fat One Steamboat 22 & 23 Jalan Pjs 8/17, Petaling Jaya 46150
Phone: +60 12-234 8823
The soup was addictive. We had the hot and spicy ma la one, and a generic hotpot broth with wolfberries. The buffet was plentiful – whatever food you imagine ought to be in a Chinese hotpot, they have it. These would be your usual fish balls, mushroom varieties, fish dumplings, etc.
They even have yong tau foo, fresh fish and seafood packed in ice, and fried foods.
Sadly, I do not have many photos. I was too hungry.
Do stay away from the luncheon meat. Being spam lovers, my friends and I took a few to fry. It was terrible. Do not recommend.
If you’re driving, don’t leave your valuables in your car! There were warning signs in the restaurant.
Recently, I went to Johor Bahru (JB) again for pre-Lunar New Year shopping, eating, and grooming.
For non-Singaporeans/Malaysians, many Singaporeans go to JB for day or weekend trips because of the exchange rate.
Before we went, my friends did some research and found a place that’s well-reviewed online called Lavender Bistro. Here’s how my trip went.
Prices (pre-GST and service charge) will be indicated!
Cozy interior design
The bistro is on the second floor of the building. We went up the stairs and were seated immediately. The staff was really attentive.
Food VS Menu
So here’s how the food measured up against the menu.
To check the price of each item against SGD, divide each price by three. For USD, divide the price by four. The actual conversion at the moment is 1 USD = 3.89 MYR.
First up, we had the baked New Zealand mussels.
The service at Lavender Bistro was top notch. We did not need to ask for additional plates!
Baked New Zealand Mussels: MYR26.42
The soups were great. I don’t usually have soups, but this was really worth it. If you love truffles and mushroom soups, the bisque is for you.
If there were one thing my friends and I raved about, it would be the baguette they served with the soup. It’s soft in the middle, crispy outside, and absolutely fragrant.
Chicken Chowder: MYR12.26
Truffle Mushroom Bisque: MYR15
Main courses: Plates of pasta
The pasta was the main attraction. Overall, the pasta tasted well-made. This was especially obvious with the pappardelle. The seafood tasted fresh.
I had the squid ink pasta. If you’re looking for a serious mouthful of black squid ink, you might be disappointed – it’s just black colored pasta in what tastes like vongole broth.
For me, I’m fine with either, but would have definitely liked to eat squid ink!
Squid Ink Seafood Linguine: MYR33.96
Spicy Aglio Olio Water Scampi: MYR46.23
The seafood spaghetti is seafood marinara (tomato-based pasta).
Seafood Spaghetti: MYR29.25
The duck pasta was a great dish. It tasted sophisticated, like something you could get at a French cafe. For SGD11 or USD8, it’s a real steal!
Pappardelle with Duck Stroganoff: MYR33
During my meal, I also indulged in two different drinks.
These two drinks cost about SGD10 in total. In Singapore, you wouldn’t even get a wine at that price!
Cafe Mocha: MYR10.38
White wine: MYR17.92
Ending it off with sweets
The best thing is that the bakery is just downstairs. You can get some breads or sweets from the floor below and enjoy them at the bistro upstairs.
The bakery has really pretty cakes going for a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a beautiful budget birthday cake that tastes good, this may be a good place to visit.
I had a honey egg roll cake. I do not have a sweet tooth but I thought the cake had a really appealing taste for a Singaporean. It’s not too sweet or oily. I would have bought the roll cake home if this bakery were my last stop!
10/10 would visit this cafe again!
For MYR366.30 (about USD94 or SGD124), we had:
1 shared appetizer
5 main courses
This was good quality food for less than USD20 or SGD25 per person.
Address: 68, Jalan Serampang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Hours: 10am – 10pm Phone: +60 7-335 9966
We left JB only at about 10pm, all feeling great.
Feeling like a million bucks after a day trip to JB.
Can’t believe I had a nightmare about sending clients a copy riddled with errors. Plus I haven’t been feeling well yesterday and today so here’s some light-hearted stuff.
The first time I met NamChin‘s parents was in the summer of 2012. After my school trip ended, we met up in Seoul and left for Daejeon where his family stayed.
Road to Daejeon
Daejeon is South Korea ‘s fifth-largest metropolis. I think it is like Yishun. It’s not as glitzy but it has everything you might need at arm’s length. And it’s easy to find spaces without a lot of people.
I really enjoyed this trip because it was the first time I got to see my boyfriend’s house and where he lived! Yay!
NamChin and I took the KTX from Seoul to Daejeon. It takes around one hour.
I was very amused when we were in Korea and NamChin knew where we were all the time because everything was foreign to me. That’s him dragging the luggage from behind on the right.
Finally, we reached Daejeon. I was really excited to see where he stayed. His family has since moved to another area of Daejeon which is why we feel more comfortable posting these pics.
We reached the residential area after a short ride.
There are even cameras to make sure people recycle their trash correctly.
You can see that the houses were densely packed. One morning, I woke up to a loud shrill female voice. It was the neighbor. I wasn’t surprised though because in Singapore, I can hear my neighbors too. But I was still groggy from sleep.
Me: Hmm, I don’t think I have an Indian neighbour…
Me: Oh, I’m in Korea!
I reflected on it and thought that actually, Korean and Indian might sound a little similar. They have rolled Rs and when spoken really fast, can sound like a rapidly rolling marble of various sounds.
On the first day of meeting the NamChin’s parents, we went to eat fish porridge together.
We had a pretty idyllic stay. My boyfriend’s family stayed on the first floor of an apartment block. The windows were flooded with sunlight every morning and the lace curtains offered some privacy.
Even though Omma has a full-time job, the menu changed everyday and we ate so much food.
Apparently, Koreans like to joke that the “ggalggari” is the highest tech Korean military gear. I have to agree. Very comfortable.
Visited NamChin’s primary school!
I was really interested to see NamChin’s primary school so we went there. But there wasn’t a fence and people can easily walk in, which freaked me out a little because it’s a primary school! The name of the school is St. Mary Elementary School.
Apparently, when night falls, people can walk into schools to use the facilities such as the fields. I think that’s a good practice.
Oh, and apparently Song Joong Ki came from this primary school. Yes, the one from Descendants of the Sun. Technically he is my boyfriend’s sunbae (lol). And sauce confirmed.
I had the best fish porridge ever in Daejeon, Korea.
원골 식당 (Wongol shikdang/restaurant) 254-1 Cheonnae-ri, Jewon-myeon, Geumsan, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
The first time I drank makgeolli
The first time I had makgeolli was during my first meal with NamChin’s parents. I really wasn’t expecting to drink. Moreover, alcohol at lunch time seems a bit extreme. And I was quite young back then so I wasn’t expecting to be drinking at all.
“Is this milk?” I asked before taking a swig. It was slightly sweet, addictive, and then the alcohol hit me.
“WTF,” I thought. “It’s only the first meal together and I’m drinking already.” And it was about 4pm when it was still bright.
Thankfully, the alcohol wasn’t too strong so nothing crazy happened.
Soon, the dishes were ready.
I wasn’t expecting much because it was a week into Korea and I was getting sick of Korean food. But this was really, really, tasty stuff. The fish was fresh.
The porridge was thick and flavorful, which went well with the fried fish.
After the good meal, we had a walk before heading back. The restaurant is surrounded by nature and it was lovely. Before you see more pics here’s the address again because it is THAT GOOD.
원골 식당 (Wongol shikdang/restaurant) 254-1 Cheonnae-ri, Jewon-myeon, Geumsan, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
It was spring going summer, so the weather was good and cool. I walked a little in the stream as well.
Omma made me this flower ring from flowers by the stream, which she used to do to entertain herself when she was younger.
Little did I know Korean chicken would become so popular, thanks to You Who Came From The Stars.
Some sushi in Korea too.
Besides the food, I had a great time in Daejeon. Walked around a lot but it was a pity I did not take any more pictures.
Now I’m much more used to Korean food, but after this trip, I rushed like crazy to my favorite zichar (煮炒) place to have some Singaporean-Chinese food. Shovelled Hong Kong style steamed pomfret with rice and sambal kangkong.
Daejeon is famous for being home to the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), one of Korea’s top universities.
I’ve never been to KAIST to take a look, but I’ve been to Hanbat National University instead. It’s really scenic and quiet there.
Say department Store
1-16 Munhwa 1(il)-dong, Jung-gu, Daejeon, South Korea
This is my favorite mall. It’s similar to North Point and Golden Village in Yishun. Why I love it:
Has budaejjigae (army stew). It’s a delicious pot of instant ramyeon, spam, sausage, egg, baked beans, and kimchi. The first time I had budaejjigae was there.
Has a really comfy movie theater
Has Smoothie King
Sung Sim Dang
Phone, +82 42-220-4153 · Address. 중구 은행동 145번지; Daejeon 301-839.
This deserves a category of its own.
Best bread and pastries in Korea! It’s conveniently located next to Old Downtown, or Eunhangdong. It’s the most awesome shopping street – not commercialized like MyeongDong. You could get nails done for really cheap!
Whenever I go to Korea the ice cream is a must have.
This brings back good memories of walking around the street on a lovely day eating street food with my boyfriend. And this was already five years ago! I’ll always cherish those innocent and carefree moments where everything felt new and fresh.
One weekend evening when the NamChin (who is “NamChin“?) was not around, I decided to treat myself to a massage.
Elements Wellnessis located at Centrepoint Orchard, a floor above Dal.Komm Coffee. I usually do their basic massage at a package of SGD60 an hour. Their massage service is really good and private, so I would recommend that.
Koyamaki Onsen Therapy
This treatment was a little special as I added on the Koyamaki Onsen Therapy. It is basically a good soak in the bath before the massage.
Made of Koyamaki wood, the bath is visually beautiful and apparently comes with a host of effects. For instance, the natural oil in the wood has antibacterial and antifungal properties. The wood feels quite oily when you touch it, so I guess it’s real?
Moreover, the water is “ionized” and there are “microbubbles”. That supposedly gives health benefits like detoxification and anti-aging. I have no idea how that would work scientifically.
One thing is for sure – the heat relaxes my muscles, making the massage later more effective. And the tension relief is very real!
If you wanna check them out, I’d recommend looking attheir promotions pagefirst to see if you want to try any of their services out at a discount.
Dinner with friends
Recently I had dinner with a couple-friend. NamChin and I could really do with more homecooked Korean food and we had a wonderful night.
Fresh flowers, scented candles, and homecooked food. What else could I possibly ask for?