Thursday, September 27, 2012

Habitat Coffee

Convenience is everything. I tend to visit places that are near to places that I frequent regularly, or is on the way to somewhere that I am heading to anyway. Habitat Coffee is uber near the Sis's shop, so I dropped by for brunch one morning some time back.

 Hazelnut latte at Habitat Coffee

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Five & Dime Eatery

I was anticipating the brunch at Five & Dime Eatery, another place that has seen a surge in visitors after it opened. After two missed chances to visit the eatery (thrice's the charm?), I finally managed to get myself down there to see what was the hype about.
Five & Dime Eatery

Monday, September 24, 2012

Club Street Social

It's one of the latest (okay, not that latest by the time I get around to posting this) hippest place to be. I've heard good reviews about the place so I decided to drop by for lunch one day.

Club Street Social

Friday, September 14, 2012

Purple Sweet Potato Mont Blanc (紅いも モンブラン)

Friendship; it is something we all need. We invariably form relationships with people all the time. There are different stages to the sort of relationships people have with one another - be it a mere acquaintance or a close friend. I find that friendships last because two persons take the effort and time to stay in contact, update each other about their daily lives and just generally be there. It is often easy to gradually find that you might be drifting away from your friends - be it lesser time spent together or moving on with different schools/jobs.

I am thankful and humbled that I have two friends from my childhood days that I still consider my best friends. Our friendship have weathered through the years, and even though we were not (and are still not) the sort to meet up weekly, we have managed to stay in touch all these years. They have seen me throughout so much - my formative years as a crybaby kid, dorky adolescent, self-conscious young adult, to whom I am today.    We all stay relatively near each other, but as we were in different schools, and when two of us were studying abroad, we were not the sort that meet up daily, weekly, or monthly. We try to meet up whenever we could once every few months, and now that we have all graduated, it does make it easier to meet up more regularly.

2012 has been a great year. I got to travel with both of these friends - I traveled to Vietnam in January with one, and to Seoul recently in July with the other. It was quite an experience to just spend time with them 24/7. I feel that a vacation makes you learn so much more about someone whom you seem to have known all your life (and thought you know everything about them).

You might be wondering what my rambling about friendship is all about. It just happened that on my vacation recently, I happened to mention to my pal that I love sweet potatoes, especially the purple variety. It was just in passing, yet I was touched that she actually remembered this small fact. When we came back from our holiday, she actually gifted me with two boxes of sweet potatoes (one box of yellow and one box of purple). Awwww.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic (and thankful of course). And also, a little apprehensive. It's 10kg worth in total. Oh my god. How was I going to finish everything?

One thing for sure, I knew I was going to save some to make desserts. The first thing I planned to make was purple sweet potato mont blanc. I've been wanting to make it ever since I saw Evan's version here.

Purple Sweet Potato Mont Blanc (紅いも モンブラン)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taiwan 2012: 永康街 Taipei Yong Kang Street

I've decided to just split up my travel photos according to themes. Instead of going by a day to day itinerary, I'll be posting my travel vacation photos in posts according to say, food, sightseeing, locations, etc. I'll *try my best to post the details of the food places I visited so if you guys want to visit, you can just grab the address to go.

Today, I'll be posting photos of 永康街 Yong Kang Street in Taipei, Taiwan. It really is an interesting place to visit. I was researching online for the best beef noodles in Taipei before my trip, and a lot of the online reviews pointed to a certain shop at Yong Kang Street, simply named as Yong Kang Beef Noodles. And alongside the reviews, I managed to discover that the area is packed with loads of small little cafes. With that in mind, I was determined to pay Yong Kang Street a visit.

I was so taken with the place on my first visit that I actually revisisted the place again on my last day in Taipei. Specifically, just to have another awesome bowl of the yummy beef noodles.

永康牛肉麵 Yong Kang Beef Noodles 

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Taiwan 2012: 九份 and 十分

Here are some more photos of my Taiwan trip in April. My cousin and I met up with another two friends in Taipei, and rented a cab (the driver is like a tourguide!) to bring us around 九份 (Jiufen) and 十分 (Shifen).

The two locations were situated quite near each other, and the two popular tourist spots were actually pretty charming and old schooled villages. I liked how the places managed to retain their nostalgic charms, yet is pretty cynic enough to know that slowly but surely, tourism is going to change these spots in the years to come.

It is advisable to head to Jiufen early as it really was no laughing matter when the hordes of tourists start swarming in soon after us. There are tons of food to eat there at 九份老街, the most popular being the 芋圓 - taro balls (sweet), 魚丸 - fish balls (savoury), 花生捲冰淇淋 - akin to ice cream popiah, 阿蘭宇粿 - similar but not quite like glutinous dumplings - wrapped with sweet or savoury fillings.

I'll let the photos (with captions) do the talking henceforth...

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