Izakaya Tripping

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Here is another post about a food place in Japan where I didn’t have the chance to get to know how I could spell the name of it, not with its Japanese characters. Maybe soon, I will just have to show these blog posts to a Japanese so he or she could spell it out for me and I would then update this post with a name that I could write and pronounce. :))

It was almost evening and itinerary for the day was already completed. Before heading back to the hotel, we noticed this place which looks like a bar and has a big menu colorfully displayed outside showing mouth watering Japanese finger foods/snacks, if that’s a better way to call it. We had to go up a narrow staircase before we could see the reception to the izakaya. We noticed that they have private sections to quietly spend time with your friends or family and it is very cozy and dimly lit and private.

So we went inside one of those clusters where I thought you have kneel down like those that you usually see on movies when actually the table and sofa are just lowered down from the floor level and your feet would still have to go as usual, like how would you typically sit down on restos, except that you’re lowered down, lol.

And so the tiny bites!!! Do note that this was already post dinner snacking haha.

And some beers to go with all these! It is a place where people can head down post work hours to grab some drinks and chat with friends. I enjoyed the time here and all of the food are delish, I’m not sure though if it might be because anything Jap cuisine is something that I love. :)) I can’t wait to go back here! 🙂

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Floresta Nature Doughnuts

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As we were temple hopping in Osaka and while the winds were blowing cold and brushing heavily on our face, we decided to take a break for a while and find a cozy place to sit down and sip a coffee. Luckily, on the way, we found a small doughnut place which looks like a typical bakery from the outside and it is called Floresta Nature Doughnuts. As to why there is “nature” in the shop name, I don’t get it and didn’t bother asking, lol.

Inside is a quaint looking shop and oh my god, the smell of doughnuts while being baked from the oven!

Sitting down, one would notice that the place is really more of a neighborhood doughnut shop where students or local workers would just drop by and take away a piece or two of doughnut. When weather is cold, I tend to double up my daily intake of coffee, from the usual 3-4 cups.. hmm.. ok, I know, it’s too much caffeine intake, lol. Their brewed coffee is quite nice, not too acidic nor bitter.

As usual, I love how they arrange your meal in such a way that you would want to orderly eat it because it is arranged too pretty for you to mess it up. The dough nut is not too sweet which I really like as I hate those that makes your teeth ache even in just one bite. Would definitely come back again for some coffee should I be travelling back in Osaka. 🙂

Oh, I just noticed how cute their door handles are when we started walking outside:

Hummingbird Bakery, Nottinghill

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London trip would not be complete without trying out the bakeries, patisserie and cafes that build up the streets and alleyways of this royal city. This has been one of my goal in that trip as I am fascinated reading and following baking and cook books from famous British chefs and bakers as well as those baking shows out there in different food channels. And of course, some movies would also depict of London as having plenty of bakeries where different breads abound. I have been seeing this baking book called “The Hummingbird Bakery” for quite a whille and from the photos in that book, the cakes and cupcakes all look heavenly. So I decided I would not leave the city without getting my hands on their famous cupcake and savouring them.

Luckily, on one of our trip to Nottinghill (“it’s amazing how you can speak right through my heart….” remember that?) lol… The Hummingbird Bakery is sandwiched between thrift shops and I was excited to have seen it. Right away, we decided to go in and buy some.

Above: The famous bookstore in the movie 

The scene was already mouthwatering and so I had waited no time to buy and try it. I got a Red Velvet and Carrot Cake Cupcake. I must say that the former stood out for me and I must also say, that so far, this has been the best Red Velvet that I have ever tried. The cream is milky and not too sweet, the cupcake itself is also moist and full. Something that I would really buy should I get a chance to come back again.

Higashiyama District Dinner

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Lost in translation… everything is in Japanese so pardon that I don’t know the English name of this food place, well if there is actually one that exists, so I just opted to take a photo of the place. Of course, even the menu is in Japanese – so it was an ordeal of choosing which one looks nice and pointing it out to the order taker. 🙂

After we hiked up to Kiyomizu-dera temple in Higashiyama where shops and food place are lining up the strip and as it was dinner time, we opted to find a place where we could heat up ourselves as it was really cold and even drizzling. We wanted a quiet place sans the hustle and bustle and lucky that we stumbled upon this resto which looks like a plain house from the outside.

The inside looks homey and it was tranquil….

We sat all the way at the back

They are serving homestyle Japanese cuisine and the first thing that popped in my head was…… noodles!!!

And of course, meal wouldn’t be complete without a cup of coffee especially in that cold weather.

One of my observations during this food trip in Japan is that their food would not taste of MSG, compared to when you buy ramen or any noodles from restos outside of Japan. I don’t know if it’s just me but I find their food natural and not too salty. Also, I always always love how the Japanese prepare their meal in a way that it was orderly, a bento everytime and I am fascinated by that serving style. I would not mind going back to this resto once I decided to plan a trip back to Kyoto – which I am hoping to be soon. 🙂

Salt Tapas & Bar

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Comfort food.. you would know they hold true when you are eating and savouring it and it somehow soothes a rather gloomy feeling. We went at a place in City Hall, Singapore to unwind ourselves up, and it seems to be a cosy chill out place with dim lights and alfresco style dining. Most tables would have glasses of wine and a bottle and people intimately chattering the night away. We wanted to eat something really good and at the first glance on the menu, dishes seem to be Spanish – mostly European. The menu listed Paella so this caught our attention and we immediately decided to try this resto. We opted for the seats inside which is just beside the alfresco and night was really cool and soothing.

We were so hungry so we ordered few dishes which sounded so delicious just by reading at the menu descriptions.

Paella of Prawns, Mussels, Chorizo and Chicken

Moroccan Spiced Baby Chicken, Celeriac Puree and Spinach

Sumac Spiced Veal and Pork Meatballs, Fontina Mash

 

A bucket of ciders and beers

An “almost aftermath” of us enjoying our dishes!

I would say that I loved the food especially the baby chicken which was really succulent. We kept on savouring it together with the spinach and celeriac sauce. I would say that among all the dishes that we ordered, this has to be my most favourite. I find the Paella just average but still good. It could be that, I had tried some other Paellas that are way better. I find that the ingredients were not really infused into the rice so it was like having separate taste of each component rather than them blending all together. Usually, when you eat just the rice, you would already know what are the inclusions – if there are shrimps, chorizos etc even if you do not include them in your spoonful, just the rice. As for the veal and pork meatballs, I find the mash good, a combination of Fontina cheese, potato and tomato sauce, the meatball is also good but something that you can taste  in other restos. Overall, I love the food. I would have to rate the dining experience as 3.8 of 5, number one being the ambiance and next is the food. The price is pretty exy but of course, this is Singapore and I am also paying for both food quality and place. Still, I will come back here again for sure and try out the other dishes! 🙂

(Photos were taken using Iphone, bear with me if they’re not so vivid.)

Drips Bakery Cafe

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As we were walking in Tiong Bahru, also in search of yet another coffee place, we chanced upon this cafe called Drips Bakery Cafe.

The shop is cozy and clean even with its plain decorations and selections of tables and chairs. Going inside, you would see either bunch of friends chattering and passing time or couples privately talking over their cups of coffee and desserts.

As displayed on their window glass outside, Drips specialize in tarts and you could select from among the array of selections they have to offer. Not only that, they sell tea cakes, cream brulees and souffles and cakes.

Their mouth-watering display of sweets and breads!

Their brewing corner…mmmmm.. smells so good and inviting!

Passing by the cafe, you will be invited to come in by these fancy and attractive display of sweets and pastries!

To go and in a hurry? They also have these packed goodies for you to choose from.

So seeing all these goodies, I personally can’t wait to try them. So we had chosen the seats all the way to the back of the cafe. It is a really cozy and serene place to just sit down and I actually had curled myself up in the sofa with our orders.

A coffeeholic’s usual shot of her caffeine fix in any cafes she’s into. =))

I know they specialize in tarts, but for some reason this afternoon, all of us were craving for something chocolatey.

Dark chocolate truffle and the one which has banana slices awaiting inside.

Being a person that is really not into something so sweet, I do like these cakes especially they are predominantly comprised of dark chocolate. Also, that variation which incorporates the banana slices inside is quite nice and suits my palate. There are much more selections that I can’t wait to try next time and given the dessert-and-coffee experience during this stay, I can say that I can come back and try their other offerings.

Overall, I will rate this as 3 out of 5. Best factor being the ambiance and next, of course, are the dark chocolate cakes we had tried during the stay. Still, I think, cakes like these could also be in some other cafes and might taste the same. But yeah, I can give a different rating when I try some of their other selections. 🙂 Nonetheless, it had been a nice afternoon at Drips.

Drips Bakery Cafe: 82 Tiong Poh Road, #01-05, Singapore, 160082