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Monday, February 19, 2024

OUMI Modern Japanese Kappo @ CapitaSpring

In yet another blink of an eye, Lady M and I were celebrating out 6th year wedding anniversary. Here' s a fun fact! The traditional gift for six years of marriage is actually iron - a symbol of hardiness and strength. Marriage is a huge topic to be covered for another day, but for starters, don't belittle celebrating the little milestones of your marriage! So for this year, I decided on OUMI - a modern Japanese Kappo restaurant with a western twist. Located at 51st level of CapitaSpring, it is probably (if not) the highest omakase restaurant in Singapore. We later noticed that we came to Artemis two years ago, also located within CapitaSpring.
For starters, we had the Kabocha Uni Tofu (S$30), a perfect rendition of pumpkin, homemade tofu, and a generous portion of uni. The staff was meticulous in describing the ingredients and steps involved into preparing this dish. We had doubts on combining soy, pumpkin, and a strong tasting seafood, but this was a perfect, melt-in-the-mouth combination.
Besides the tofu, my favourite was the Foie Gras Monaka (S$15), crispy wafer filled with a heck load of goodness - a culinary masterpiece boasted a luxurious foie gras ganache, complemented by the briny pop of salmon roe and delicate seasonal flowers. It's a whole explosion of flavours and it looks like art. I mean, would you just look at this.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

TOP 5 Cafes in Jeju You ABSOLUTELY Cannot Miss Out!

 When it comes to Jeju, most people think of a few things - hiking Mount Hallasan, strolling along the scenic coasts, and cafe-hopping. Jeju has got cafes planted in almost every corner. And being an island well-known for its volcanic terrains, most cafes boast breathtaking views, be it the seas or the mountains.

Before our trip, we did our researched and bookmarked a heck lot. But to be honest, there are simply too many which we couldn’t possibly cover all, especially when we have a 5 year-old who constantly complained we are taking too many photos.

Without any particular order, here are the top 5 we been to.

1. BOMNAL
Address: 25 Aewol-ro 1-gil, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea

BOMNAL is nestled in a bustling street where there are lots of cafes. This cafe is seriously insta-worthy with photo opportunities at every turn. Given its popularity among tourists, be sure to grab your slots to secure the best views! Best place IMO is definitely close to sunset, where you can see the sun hides itself in front of you.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The BEST 7D6N Jeju Itinerary (Perfect for family with children!)

When it comes to our annual holiday, we put in a heck load of thought. The first being - can our little Emmanuel (1.5 y.o at point of writing) follow us? Probably next year. So where to? We shortlisted a few places with our budget - Sydney, Melbourne.. But having been to Western Australia last year, we thought why not go somewhere in Asia? Japan? Korea? We did plan on going to Seoul, but ended up with Jeju. A whole week of Jeju. When I did my research, there are a lot of people doing 4D3N or even less. But we know we wanted a slow and relaxing one, so we opted for 7D6N. And to be awfully honest, it was still kinda rushed, as Jeju has lots to offer.
Trip Summary

With children, we love to do road trips (as with Perth), if not you'll be carrying them around. Trust me. This trip ain't any different. Once we rested at Jeju city for a day, we will embark on a 5-day road trip, covering an entire ring of Jeju - East Jeju, Seogwipo (South Jeju), and West Jeju, before returning to the city. Since we are bringing our 5 y.o daughter, Olivia, we have slot in lots of activities for children, and not to miss out many insta-worthy cafe and scenic spots. Initially we thought of station ourselves in a location and travel to-and-fro daily, but found the travelling time a bit 

Do Koreans speak English?

Most don't. But  don't worry, due to the influx of travelers, most places have pictures, and English (and Mandarin) signs. There are lots of Chinese residing and working there as well. If all else fails, there's always Google translate. And uh, hand signs.
The Weather

We went during autumn in late October, where temperature is around 13C to 20C. The sun shines pretty harshly in the afternoons, so there are many times we just forgo our jackets and just put on a sweater. On hot days, you could even wear sleeveless. Thank God it's not as sweaty as Singapore. But do take note that it starts to get chilly when the sun goes down. Skies go entirely dark by 7pm as the weather transits to winter. Here's their weather across the year for your reference:


Our Packing List

I wouldn't go as extensive as I did for Perth. Pack according to the weather. Food can be found every where and is affordable. An average meal is approximately $10/pax. If you would like to cook or something to-go, there are a  heck load of supermarts and convenience stores. Unlike Perth, where a meal for 3 easily cost up $80, I didn't have to bring my trusty rice cooker. Again, being in an Asian country, rice can be easily found. Yay!

Before the Trip

International Driving Permit (IDP - IMPORTANT if you're driving in Korea)
Unlike many countries that your local driving license can be used, you need to apply for a IDP. For Singapore license, you can apply to convert at this link. It costs just $20. There are two options:

1. Walk-in at their locations (please check their website) and collect on the spot (approximately 1 hour).

2.  Apply online and have it delivered to your house (additional $5.50 courier fees apply). PLEASE NOTE THIS WILL TAKE APPROX 2 WEEKS TO ARRIVE. So if you're in a hurry, please go with the first option.

Download these APPS
1. KAKAO T - mainly for cab/private hire services. It works like GRAB or UBER and you can select cash payment (= pay direct to driver via card). Downside is that you might need to search in Korean if the place is not that well-known, but you can simply copy the Korean address via Google and paste it in the app.

2. NAVER - especially useful for driving and saving key places. It works like Google Maps, but has a heck load of local reviews (if you can't read Korean, see the ratings), and way more accurate than Google as locals will update Naver. We learnt this the hard way.

3. Google Translate - duh. Best function is it's real-time translate via camera - simply point and aim, and the text will be automatically translated to your preferred language.

Friday, November 10, 2023

Tanglin Cookhouse - Local Fare at a British Colonial Setting

We are always on a hunt to bring our children to somewhere new, so recently I was scrolling my phone when an IG-story of another nearby cafe popped by. It was screaming kids activities, such as face-painting and balloon sculpturing. So with the intention of going there, we headed to Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ), but found out that the activities have already ended. We took a nearby scroll to see what's around that area when we spotted Tanglin Cookhouse. It wasn't exactly crowded when we reached there at lunchtime, so we had the privilege to choose our seats. And thank God for that, because within 30 minutes, the restaurant is really packed. Guessed everyone slept in on a Sunday morning.

The interior of Tanglin Cookhouse was small but beautiful, it has a nice British colonial style touch to some Peranakan furnishing. Menu-wise, it has a pretty extensive selection of all-day breakfast paired with Asian-inspired dishes, pastas, soups and many others. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Top 20 SG Restaurants - Luxe Chinese Dining at Mott 32, Marina Bay Sands

I always had to crack my head when it comes to choosing a restaurant for my wife's birthday. Surely we been to a few great ones, but now she has switched her preference to either Chinese or Japanese (perhaps due to age), the selection has been cut by half. We saw posts of our friends visiting KOMA - the restaurant with the Tori gates and a freaking huge and strange-looking bell. But to be honest, we are not into that vibe, so I did a search on nice Chinese restaurants around that area. And Mott 32 at Marina Bay Sands came into the picture.

That day, we had some shopping and a VR experience just at Art Science Museum before heading to Mott 32 at our reserved timing. Few days prior, they actually called to ask if we would like to reserve the Peking Duck (S$128), BBQ Iberico Pork (or better known as char siew, S$52) or the Crispy Roasted Pork Belly (siew yok, S$30) as it comes in limited quantity daily. So heads up, if you would like to dine there.
Upon stepping into Mott 32, it is as if you are transported to China, with lanterns and Chinese-inspired furnishings and decors. There's a nice bar area where you could drink the night away. The ambience is dark, with some dim lighting, so we had a table beside the windows. Although most of the windows were closed for some reason, we opened ours to let some mall lighting shine in, because reading the menu in the dark would spoil our eyes. The downside? Lots of curious eyes looking at us.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Brunch at Baker and Cook, Dempsey

Despite located in the heart of Singapore, Dempsey is a chore to go especially if you don't own a car. In fact, we haven't been to Dempsey more than twice since we had our car since November 2022. So there was on public holiday, Lady M and I were racking our heads where to bring the children to. Probably somewhere outdoors since they had their fair share of shopping malls already during the weekends. And Dempsey came to mind.
Baker and Cook has a heck lot of outlets spread across Singapore, but the Dempsey outlet is probably one of the newer ones with a play area set amidst the greenery of Dempsey's Loewen area. We arrived there during noon time, the sun was blazing hot with the occasional cool breeze. Kids were running and playing ball at the play area, but I was complaining because I sweat real easy. Aside from their indoor seating, there's alfresco dining under their tents and fairy lights. I can already imagine myself coming back in the evening for a beer.

Thank God that the children were still asleep so Lady M and I could enjoy some couple time.
To be honest, the menu isn't crazy extensive with just a few selection under each category but it has the standard brunch affair such as the usual eggs and pancakes. However, it has a wide pizza and burger selection, thanks to the tie-up with Plank Sourdough Pizza and Mo & Jo. Lady M got their Big Breakfast with Sourdough (S$28) with the usual sauteed mushrooms, truffle potatoes, salad, sourdough and eggs of your choice - and (me) being a scrambled egg lover - this wasn't a difficult choice.