South Indian Food @Narayana Tea Stall, Seremban 2

What are the dishes that come across your mind when I mentioned about Indian Cuisine. “Banana Leaf Rice, Roti Canai, Indian Rojak & Curries”. If you’ve visited an Indian Restaurant before, you will be aware that the list does not stop there.

 

Indian cuisine can be divided into two mainstreams, North Indian and South Indian cuisine.

If you are in the vicinity of Seremban 2, you have to make a visit to Narayana Tea Stall serving South Indian Food.

Located at Uptown Avenue, Narayana Tea Stall start operating since September 2016 to serve the Malaysians a hearty Indian fare.

A retro concept restaurant with warm lighting, wall canvas prints, black leather seats, black and white floor tiles, creates a vibrant atmosphere. A nice place to gather family & friends.

Here, at the drinks counter, we watches Bakhi – the staff prepares drinks and his pulling (tarik) process to make a glass of nice teh tarik.

Their Tea or commonly known as Teh by the locals is the best seller.

Both husband and wife, the owner of Narayana Tea Stall.

…..together with their buddy Jasonraj and the experienced Chef Kicha. They are the important people to make great of this restaurant.

When asked, what is your best dish? “There’s no one ‘best dish’, because all our dishes are good”, laughed Sobana Krishnan – the lady boss who’s looking poise in her beautiful saree.

She also assured that food quality is their main concern here.

You can’t go without curry in an Indian cuisine. Spices are like the heart of Indian cooking. Spices are freshly ground. Spices that are commonly used are cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel, mustard, clove star anise, cinnamon. Both fresh and dried chili are used in varying degrees for different curries.

Paneer 65

Paneer is a homemade Indian cheese. Its a delicious snack prepared by deep-frying spicy paste coated paneer cubes.

Onion Pakoda

Onion pakoda are deep fried snack that are made with chickpea flour, salt, light spices and onion (the main ingredient). It was light and crunchy. This can be an addictive snack/starter while waiting for your main food to arrive.

Chicken Pakoda

Similar recipe used as onion pakoda but the main ingredients is replaced with chicken slices.

Pepper Mushroom

A simple stir fry button mushrooms with black pepper.

Vegetarian Chicken

This is a vegetarian dish. Chicken is made of soy base.

Boneless Pepper Fish

Mysore Mutton

I usually do not like mutton, because of it has a very strong and distinctive flavor. However at Narayana Tea Stall, it did not stop me from trying. The ‘strong’ aftertaste was pretty mild and acceptable for me.

Chili Gobi

Gobi stands for cauliflower. This is a dish of cauliflower cooked with chili. Chilli Gobi is a tasty, lip-smacking dish which is loved by both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

Ginger Chicken, was cooked with onions, capsicums, julienne ginger.

Claypot Vege Fish Curry

I love the curry. The spices did not overpower the taste of curry. Best to be eaten with rice. Few slabs of vege fish which look just like the ikan tenggiri.

Claypot Prawn Masala

All dishes are freshly cook. Its gravy is slightly creamier compared to the curry. Best eaten with rice.

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is one of the local favorite’s dish. Fluffy coconut rice served with condiments like egg, cucumber, peanuts and sambal (the most important sides).

Basic Set Vege Meal

……serves with rice, 3 type of vege dishes, vege curry,morru, rassam, papadam. The varieties of side dishes were good. Furthermore this look so neat and presentable.

If you need your protein, then you may add on choices of meat (chicken, mutton) or seafood.

Paper Dhosa

Dhosa or Thosai, is a type of pancake made from a fermented batter. Dhose is a typical part of the South Indian diet and popular all over the Indian subcontinent. Paper Dhosa is thinner sheet & crispier

compared to the ordinary dhosa. This is served with sambar (dhal curry), chutney (a semisolid paste made up of coconut, dal (lentils), green chilli and mint or coriander),

Dhosa Masala and paper dhosa uses the same batter. It is made in the usual way by soaking rice and lentils overnight in water and then grinding it to a batter. However dhosa masala is stuffed with potatoes.


Dhosa Rava, is different from the above dhosa in terms on the flour. Dhosa Rava is made from Sooji rava flour.

Vada, which look alike doughnut is a savory snack from India. It is served with sambar (dhal) for dipping.

Complete your meal with this Kesari for a sweet ending.

Narayana Tea Stall also featured at Tripadvisor.

In case you are worry about your wallet, here I attached the menu showing that you can dine in a classy restaurant with a pocket friendly price.

Narayana Tea Stall couldn’t be better without a good teamwork!

Would love to come back to try out their Nasi Briyani which was sold out that day. The Nasi Briyani is available daily.


Narayana Tea Stall

No.201, S2B14
Seremban 2, Uptown Avenue

Tel : 066030831

Operation Hours: 9:00AM – 10:30PM

*solely based on writer's own opinion*
*cash term, pork free*
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Lunch @Namoo Grey Korean Cafe, Seremban

Its has been raining non stop for 2 days 2 nights. On such cold weather, I would love to have a bowl of spicy and hot soup or food to keep me warm and cozy.

When my Uni mate, Ssu Ee was in town for work, I brought her to this newest franchised cafe in Seremban. Namoo Grey is a Korean cafe located at Seremban Gateway, not far from the Seremban toll.

A modern concept kind of Korean cafe. NAMOO, which means ‘tree’ in Korean, was founded on a deep-rooted that good food should be fresh, natural and timeless. 

The Korean fever will never end. At Namoo Grey, they have an extensive menu, from rice to noodles, burgers, pastas, korean pancakes, cakes and Bingsoo. Besides that, Namoo Grey is also a halal cafe. Therefore to my muslim readers, here’s the place for you to savor some halal Korean food.

Simple yet cozy environment with some Korean songs played in background.

My friend had Kimchi Jigae (Beef) – RM18.90

The Kimchi Jigae comes with a bowl of rice and some condiments or we called it banchan in Korean.

Rice burgers, probably one of their specialty. But I wasn’t in the mood of eating that. So I end up ordering Tuna Kimchi Ramyeon – RM18.90. It also comes with 3 side dishes of sausages, coleslaw & kimchi.

The noodles were cooked al-dente. Kimchi soup has the ohhmmpp of spiciness but wasn’t quite satisfied with the amount of tuna meat in it. Would prefer to add a lil more to enhance the soup flavor.

A meal wouldn’t be complete without a dessert.

We chose The King’s Bing Soo – RM18.90 (image of me pouring the condensed milk into the bowl of shaved ice dessert) Bingsoo is a Korean shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings such as chopped fruit, condensed milk, fruit syrup, and Azuki beans. The snack is highly popular in Korea.

 It was nice. The ice were quite smooth. The shaved ice topped with kiwi, strawberries, azuki beans, crunchy peanuts, tteok (Korean rice cakes made with glutinous rice flour) and a scoop of ice cream, which is ideal for sharing and best to be eaten during a hot day.

I would love to pay another visit to try out other food from their menu. 🙂

Namoo Grey Korean Cafe

3-L1 Seremban Gateway

Jalan Labu, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

Business Hour :-
Mon to Thu (10:30am-11:00pm)
Fri to Sun ( 10:30am – 12:00am)

*solely based on writer's own opinion*

Meals @Ninja Kitchen Seremban

When I mentioned Ninja Joe, everyone would probably remember their signature pork burgers. It was then the first fast food outlet which serves delicious pork burgers.

Tell me, who doesn’t like pork burgers.

I remember how tedious it was when my mom has to prepare pork patties from scratch to make a delicious pork burger.

A short conversation with Pat, the person who manages the outlet.

Ninja Joe was created by Serembanian.

Why did you renamed Ninja Joe to Ninja Kitchen whereby the KL outlets are still remained as Ninja Joe?

After operating for a period of time, I noticed that the elderly people here are not too fond of burgers. I decided to make some changes to the menu which caters for patrons of all ages, young to old. Hence, I came up with the idea to add some Asian and local food to my menu. Therefore, that’s how I renamed the Seremban outlet to Ninja Kitchen.

Ninja Kitchen located at Matrix Court, Jalan Lobak. (same row as Tarot Cafe)

cosy environment here.


Pat was explaining the new addition. In Malaysia, we can’t live without Nasi Lemak. Do you agree? Hainanese Chops & Nasi Lemak are the local favorites.

Udonburi (udon), of Japanese style.

Donburi (rice) of Japanese style.

Together with my makan kakis, we started off with a glass of Coconut Shake (RM8.90), is one of their best seller drink. I was told that they uses all the natural ingredients from Coconut (without adding water) to blend a glass of refreshing coconut shake.

Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM12.90)

Its difficult to get a nice hainanese chicken chop these days. Ninja Kitchen did it well. Big slab of battered chicken which was well marinated. Goes well with the sauce they prepared.

If you are a fan of pork, perhaps you can go for Grilled Pork Chop (RM12.90). Having the same sauce as hainanese chicken chop but its replaced with pork. Pieces of pork were grilled to perfection. Meat remain tender and juicy. I was told that the meat was of pig’s shoulder. That gives a nice texture when you bite it.

Nasi Lemak Chili Chicken (RM9.90)

Looking at the vibrant colors, it sure gain some attractions. Rice was aromatic, fluffy and ‘lemak’. When I said lemak, it means it has rich santan taste. Rice and sambal plays an important role in a plate of nasi lemak. It comes with a piece of chili chicken, bull’s eye egg, sambal, peanuts & anchovies, cucumber, acar (seasonal). I also like their sambal, which cooks with anchovies and onions. Its not too spicy nor watery. Just nice for my liking.

Again, if you are a fan of pork, you can opt for Nasi Lemak Pork Chop (RM10.90). Voila…this is something I rarely find outside. Slab of boneless pork as sides in a plate of nasi lemak! Although its fried, but the meat still remain tender.

Cajun is one of their new burger. Delicious pork patty, caramelized onions, green bell pepper, tomato, lettuce and dressing, sandwiched between crispy burger buns.

Pokemon is another new burger. This was created due to the pokemon fever. Pork patty is wrapped in a fried omelet.

Battle between Cajun and Pokemon. I’ll go for Cajun. Hehe…I like the lil spicy after taste.

Wanna have some light snacks? Perhaps a Komba Bao (RM9.90). Comes with 3 tasty braised pork belly with shredded lettuce, sandwiched in a fried mantau bun.

Fried Chicken – 2pcs (RM8.90) has crispy flavorful skin (like the ayam goreng berempah), while the meat was juicy and tender.

Fried Chicken vs. Komba Bao? Arghhh…tough choice. I’m liking both of them!

Generally at Ninja Kitchen, the food prices are affordable. Nevertheless, apart from burgers Ninja Kitchen received very good response on their Hainanese Chicken Chop & Nasi Lemak.

Ninja Kitchen’s tagline; “In this place, we share everything from food to love.”

Ninja Kitchen Seremban

No. 20 Matrix Court at Lobak
Seremban, Negeri Sembilan
Operation Hours: 11am-10pm  (closed on Tuesdays)
*solely based on writer's own opinion*
*non-halal*
*cash term*

Zhing Kitchen @Centrio, Seremban 2

Longing for some authentic Taiwan cuisine? Or miss some Taiwan cuisine after your trip from Taiwan?

At Zhing Kitchen, would be the destination to solve your cravings.

Located at Centrio Seremban 2, a family style restaurant is operated by Taiwanese, a young & capable woman.

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This is the interior, simple setup with some nicely painted wall mural.

This is the best or most grabbed spot.

However I don’t quite like the open kitchen concept. Its nice to watch some live cooking, but since its an air conditioned room, the cooking smoke tend to be trapped in the room. Perhaps they should install a better exhaust or ventilation fan.

Passion Fruit Drink – RM4.90
It has nice passion fruit taste.

Smelly Tofu – RM6.90

This dish is something I like most! The smelly tofu (臭豆腐), tasted similar to what I had before in Taiwan last time. I was so happy that I could get it here.

Smelly tofu (fermented tofu) is a popular street snack in Taiwan. It is served deep-fried (drizzled with sauce and topped with sour pickled vegetables).

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(photo from Zhing Kitchen)

Mentai Tuna Rice – RM10.90

Tuna & Corn rice with mentai mayo sauce. Served with side dish of half braised egg and some pickled vegetables. Both my son and my niece, they love this rice.

Oden Noodle – RM10.90

Oden is a Japanese winter dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth.

The serving was quite big. Soup flavor was very light. You can choose to order a soup version or a dry version of noodle.

Fried Oyster & Egg – RM9.90

This is another recommended dish. The signature Taiwanese style oyster egg, with special sweet chili bean sauce. Fluffy egg with lotsa vegetables and ‘visible’ numbers of oysters in it.

Zhing Duck Noodle – RM10.90

This was delicious too. I opted for noodle instead of rice. Dry version noodle served with nanjing duck meat, fried egg and some condiments. Duck meat texture was just nice and not fat. However, I would prefer if they have thinner cuts.

14963184_1689014371414032_8067535493131355386_nAt Zhing Kitchen, breakfast is served as early as 8.30am till 11.30am. Ideal for working people to grab and go.

One day, I decided to order their breakfast for ‘take away’. A set of sandwich (can’t remember the name) that comes together with baked beans which cost less than RM10. What’s in the sandwich? I got vege, chicken patty and egg. It was yummy!

Verdict : Overall, the food was good. But please bear the waiting time. hahaha…. Waited for 1/2 hour for the food to be served one by one. There was only 1 table of guests ahead us.

Zhing Kitchen

No. 136, Jalan S2B21,

Pusat Dagangan Seremban 2,

70300, Seremban.

Contact No.:  +6 014 9829 991

Operation Hours : TUE – SUN : 8:30 AM – 11PM (closed on Monday)

*solely based on writer's own opinion*
*pork free*
*cash term*

T4 Bubble Milk Tea @Uptown Avenue, Seremban

As of today, many of us are quite familiar with Bubble Milk Tea (珍珠奶茶). But how many of us actually understand the preparations. Today I’m going to provide you with some basic information about bubble milk tea.

T4 Bubble Milk Tea with tagline “Tea for U, Taiwan for U” is a franchised brand originate from Taichung, Taiwan. Having Taichung as their main and first outlet, T4 has now expanded to Malaysia.

In Peninsular Malaysia, Seremban is the first outlet. Located at Seremban 2 most hype area, Uptown Avenue. Parking is not really an issue here.

The simple setup and spacious room yet cosy environment to provide a comfortable area for dine in customers.

Bubble Tea is popular among the youngsters. But at T4, it is a suitable place for family members of all ages.

pro_img_11What makes T4 different from others? T4 uses “Jadeite Royal Tea”, the best reputation supreme tea in the market of beverage.

What do you use to sweeten the drink? Cube sugar that is extracted 100% from the sugarcanes.

Sai Kit, the friendly and outgoing outlet manager gave a brief talk about T4, the ingredients and also the preparations of the drink. He was also very patient to answer our queries.

The selections of freshly brewed tea. At T4, drinks flavors are prepared using syrup instead of powder form.

These are the ‘pearls’ before they are put to boil. They are made from tapioca and it turn into powder form when you crushed it. From the photo, you could see there are 2 different sizes of ‘pearls’. The normal size and the mini pearls.
The boiling duration for these pearls has to be 2 hours (optimal), in order to achieve the chewy texture. Otherwise it will be tough and rubbery if its undercooked. During the boiling process, no sugar were added, only water. Sai Kit also ensured that the freshness of the pearls are only up to 3 hours.

All the ingredients are brought in from Taiwan and its safe to consume. Sai Kit emphasized that all ingredients are prepared daily in order to maintain the freshness.

He also ensured that all staffs are well trained.

The one page menu shows the list of drinks that are served here. Price starts from RM4 onward. You can request for toppings add on, and also adjust the sugar level & ice level according to your taste bud. Besides that, some of the drinks can be served hot too.

My ideal choice would be 50% sugar level and standard or 80% ice. 🙂

The list of toppings are pearl (the common order), aloe, coconut jelly, coffee jelly, pudding, grass jelly, fig jelly, red bean, agar pearls. No idea which topping goes well or suitable for your drink? Fret not…the friendly staffs here would be happy to assist you.

Each cup of drink is manually prepared and well shaken, then a machine to seal the top of the cup with plastic cellophane.

  1. Passion Fruit Royal Tea
  2. Elegant Royal Rose Tea
  3. Jadeite Royal Tea
  4. Osmanthus Royal Tea
  5. Apple Royal Tea
  6. Honey Peach Royal Tea

The above list of tea series are thirst quencher, ideal during a hot day. Osmanthus Royal Tea was quite memorable. Its a basic tea without any flavoring. Hence, it also delivers a very fragrant tea flavor. My favorite pick from the above list, would be Elegant Royal Rose Tea. It has a unique flavor combination of tea & rose. Natural rose petals were added to enhance the taste. Feels so feminine.

  1. Taro Milk TeaI love this drink! Milk tea + Taro (Yam)
  2. Grass Jelly Honey TeaA refreshing drink. Grass jelly was smooth and literally slip down your throat as you drink it.
  3. Panda Milk TeaMilk tea (using Early Grey tea as tea base) with pearls and agar pearl. Gives you 2 different kind of chewing texture while you drink.
  4. Cream Crown Winter Melon (refer to the following photo)
  5. Oreo Potted Milk Shakesmooth ice that’s made of whipped cream & milk were layered with oreo on every alternate layers. It gives you a balance mixture of both milk & oreo crunch as you sip through the large straw.
  6. Passion Fruit Smoothieusing the real passion fruit, it is blended with ice till real smooth. Real passion fruit pulp were also included into the drink, to give you a crunchy and fruity feeling.

Cream Crown Winter Melon or any of the Cream Crown series, this is the method to drink it. Using the mini plastic cutter, make a slit on the cover, then you sip through the gap. Why do you drink it this way? To proportionate both creamer (the top layer) & winter melon tea (the bottom layer), would taste nicer this way. Quite special, I felt.

**iced drink may cause the tapioca balls (black pearls) to harden. Therefore its best to consume within one hour.

It was a wonderful journey with varies bubble tea here.

T4 Seremban

No. 301, S2/B13 Uptown Avenue
Seremban.

Tel : 06-601 8671
Operation Hours:
12:00PM – 11:00PM

Thank you T4 for these joyful drinks.

Lunch @Zang Toi Cafe, Freeport A’Famosa Outlet

A visit to Zang Toi Cafe at Freeport A’Famosa Outlet, sometime ago…

Zang Toi Cafe may not be something new to KL folks. Although I’ve been hearing about the affordable price set lunch and how good about the banana chocolate cake,but this was my first time trying it here. HAHAHA….. 😀 😀 *paiseh*

 

Zang Toi Cafe is the ULTIMATE culinary experience with menu carefully curated by the designer himself.

Styled after Zang Toi’s Upper East Side’s apartment, the cafe is crafted into a chic and and elegant outlet, and to exudes the very essence of the Zang Toi brand. It is collision between fashion and food world.

menuSet lunch are priced at RM18.90+ onward. Inclusive of a drink, main course and a dessert. Which I felt pretty reasonable.

Set lunch comes with a small glass of thirst quencher drink, Zang Toi’s Tea Punch. It was very refreshing and nice. It tasted citrus and minty. Wishing for a bigger glass. :-p

WEST 57TH NASI LEMAK CHICKEN

Nasi Lemak served with condiments. Rice and sambal were quite nice. However the fried chicken was quite dry. Probably over-frying.

WEST 57TH NASI LEMAK RENDANG CHICKEN

That piece of rendang chicken was kinda small, I felt. But the taste of it was alright.

ORIGINAL HAINANESE CHICKEN CHOP

I personally like the Hainanese Chicken Chop. Deep fried chicken (not boneless) with sauce served with coleslaw and generous amount of crinkle fries.

Jumbo Sausage with Cheese and Mayo (ala-carte)RM15
Served on NYC Soft Toasted Bun
Iced Cappuccino (ala-carte) RM8.50
For dessert, we were served with BANANA CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH ICE CREAM. This is also their signature dessert. Loving their banana chocolate cake very much. Its so rich, chocolaty and moist. Banana+Chocolate lover would love this cake.
On the other hand, another set lunch was served with LIME TEA CAKE, which turn out to be a disappointing one. It was dry and crumbly.
Click HERE for the menu.
Apart from Zang Toi Cafe, you can shop and dine at Freeport A’Famosa Outlet. However the dining choices are quite limited. There’s Papparich, Merry Brown & KFC.
The outlet is set in an open air mall featuring a lake, fountains, carousel and windmill with architecture loosely themed on Malacca’s Dutch heritage.
Adults with children can go on a free merry go round (carousel) ride here.
Selfie with Jet while waiting for grandma who’s doing shopping here.
Comparing Freeport with Mitsui, I preferred Mitsui Outlet lar.
Pros:-
Nice colorful buildings
Got water fountain & free carousel ride
Cons:-
Aircond only available when you step into shops
Brand selections are quite limited.
Freeport A’Famosa Outlet
Jalan Kemus
Simpang Empat
78000 Alor Gajah

Alice and the Dragon Bar & Bistro

Alice and the Dragon Bar & Bistro open since April 2016. Located at the popular spot in Seremban 2, at Uptown Avenue. – a new western concept pub with a bar downstairs for a quiet drink and dinner. A sports bar upstairs with pool & 5 TV’s.

a drink at the lounge

one can enjoy a drink at the lounge.

Tall chairs seating area onlooking the main road.

A simple setup which gives me the ‘retro’ kind of atmosphere. On certain occasion, there would be live band performance here. Do check out their Facebook page for latest updates.

draught beer, bottled beer, jugs and tower beer are all served here.

I like the plaque saying “Keep Calm & Drink Beer”.

We were served with main course, burger and snack.

At Alice and the Dragon Bar & Bistro, its not just a variety of beers, but also food. The young and talented Chef William specializes in Western Food. So, it is not just a bar but also a place to eat good comfort food. Chef William also emphasized that no coloring ingredients were use in his cooking or dressing.

Chicken Chop – RM20.90

Grilled whole chicken thigh served with mashed potato and blanched vegetables.

Grilled Salmon – RM36.90

A thick slab of grilled salmon served with mashed potato and blanched vegetables.

Fish & Chip – RM20.90

Fried battered fish served with crinkled cut fries and some refreshing fruits salad.

They uses Dory fish for the Fish & Chip.

Jumbo Sausage Burger – RM18.90

Jumbo sausage burger drizzled with light mayonnaise sauce, served with crinkled cut fries and fruits salad.

Lamb Chop – RM30.90

Lamb was grill to perfection, served with mashed potato and blanched vegetables.

Grilled Sausages – RM11.90

Grilled sausage with a hint of black pepper would be a great beer pairing snack.

I would like to thank Alice and the Dragon Bar & Bistro for extending the invite.

Lastly, “Keep Calm & Drink Beer ehh”.

Alice and the Dragon Bar & Bistro

346 Jalan S2 B8, Seremban 2, 70300 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

Business Hours :

Tue-Fri:
5:00 pm – 1:00 am
Sat-Sun:
6:00 pm – 2:30 am

Visit Hokkaido – Day 2

A kid free trip can be hassle free. Hence, it also made both mummies missing their beloved child badly. Everyday, without fail a video call back home just to see their face and hear their voice. Tell me bout the separation anxiety! 😀

Day 2 of the Hokkaido trip will going to cover Otaru.

the daily sight as we walk from Tmark City Hotel to Susukino station.

It was before 9am. Many shops were still closed. So, we decided to pick a random cafe at Susukino station to get a quick breakfast. Need my caffeine fix. LOL! A thick toast & a cuppa drink(tea/coffee) which cost ¥918/person.

The Japanese are so well-discipline when getting in and off the train. Unlike the Malaysians who often rush to get into the train before people inside got the chance to get down. Probably because of our poor timing/ unpunctual public transport made us don’t want to miss any ride.

Susukino is our nearest connecting station from Tmark City Hotel. So, from Susukino we took the subway to Sapporo. Cost ¥200

At Sapporo station, we were unsure where to buy the train ticket to Otaru. To our relief, we asked from the information counter.  Although there’s a language barrier, but giving hand directions will help too.

Hence we took the local train with reserved seat for total cost of ¥1160/way. Traveling time from Sapporo to Otaru took about 40 minutes. Very clean and comfortable ride.

This line go along the sea shore line between Zenibako station and Asari station. A beautiful view that you may not want to miss.

Yes. We’ve reached Otaru.

Weather was all good when we arrived. A lil breeze too.

This is the bus schedule & fare. In case if you want to return Sapporo by bus.

This is Otaru station. Where the buses and trains meet here 🙂

Otaru is like a small town, I felt. You can download or printout the map of Otaru from HERE. Alternatively you can also get a colorful map from the information counter as you arrived at the station.

We decided to make our 1st stop at Sansaku Market, which is just opposite to Otaru Station (direction – 10pm clockwise).
This market is quite small. Not only they have seafood shops but also small restaurants serving fresh seafood. The seafood are what you sees below.

After a stroll at these fresh seafood market, both Ashley & I said “I want to eat now. Here!” 😀 We randomly chose one which we sees it has more crowd.

Sat on the tatami section and read the menu.

This a free snack. Guess what? It looks ugly but its quite yummy and can be addictive. Its dried squid with its ink!

Assorted sashimi platter. Consists of prawn, salmon, scallops, mackerel, squids and crab meat. The sashimi was really fresh and delicious.

A bowl of rice topped with vibrant colors of sea urchin (uni), popping salmon roe, salmon slices, crab meat was something unforgettable. It was my first time eating raw sea urchin. Not quite used to that taste.

This serving cost ¥2000, comes together with a bowl of scallop soup.

A satisfying meal that cost ¥3000. Dirt cheap!

At Otaru, there are four Otaru Stroller’s tourist buses, which connect Otaru Station with all of the tourist’s spots. The buses run every 30 minutes around the city center and once per hour in the less central areas. The fare on both tourist and regular buses is a flat 220 yen per ride or 750 yen for a one-day pass that is valid for one day usage.

We bought the one day pass. ¥750

The interior of stroller’s bus looking quite unique.

The bus made its first stop at Otaru Canal

Otaru (小樽) is a small harbor city, located northwest of Sapporo. Its beautifully preserved canal area and interesting herring mansions make Otaru a pleasant day trip from Sapporo.

So, this is the popular stretch of canal. Actually its not very long. Otaru Canal, 1140m in length and 40m in width, was completed in 1923 after nine years of construction work. Otaru Canal (小樽運河, Otaru Unga) was a central part of the city’s busy port in the first half of the 20th century. Large vessels were unloaded by smaller ships, which then transported the goods to warehouses along the canal.

This place will gives you a totally different kind of atmosphere during the day & night, also during winter (snow) time. At night, this path will be lit up by gas lamp. Sounds romantic.

My travel buddy & I

traditional rickshaws for hire, with a certain fee. Not quite sure bout the price and coverage area.

Opposite Otaru Canal is Otaru Denuki Allay. Where you can find restaurants here too.

After the canal, we walked to Sakaimachi Street (境町通り, Sakaimachi Dōri) is an attractive, preserved merchant street in central Otaru, a short walk from the canal area. Many of the buildings along Sakaimachi Street have since been converted into restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, boutiques and museums.

*sigh, it was a wet, rainy afternoon*

We stopped by for the 7 layers ice cream, which I’ve seen people blogged about. Its located next to Museum of Venetian Art.

Choice of ice creams with price tag on it.

We ordered rainbow ice cream of course! Cost ¥550

From top layer onwards; grape, strawberry, green tea, melon, vanilla, chocolate, lavender.

worth for instagram worth for the taste ×

Each color, each layer are made of different flavors. I wouldn’t say that its super nice, because not every layer tasted good, but its definitely looking attractive. The texture of the ice cream is quite normal, I felt. I personally like the melon flavor most.

There are total 6 LeTao stores in Otaru. Each store is of different specialty. Apparently Otaru is LeTao head store.

LeTAO PATHOS is their largest store. On the first floor is a confectionery with popular products, including Double Fromage, a place where you can eat crepes and other sweets and purchase leather items by Somes Saddle.
On the second floor is a cafe where you can enjoy original cakes only from PATHOS as well as plates of pasta.

We came to Rokkatei & Kitakaro to shop for some confectionery. I personally preferred Kitakaro. They have varieties of biscuits, baum, and their popular cream puffs. Besides that, they also offered samples. At least you can try before you decide to buy more or less.

Baum sample by Kitakaro.

cream puffs by Kitakaro.

If you are a fan of Totoro, there’s a small shop here at Otaru, next to the Music Box Museum.

Otaru Music Box Museum

A museum that contains exhibits about the development of music boxes, a collection of several notable music boxes, as well as an extensive store that carries many different types. Outside of the music box museum, the steam clock was a gift from Vancouver to Otaru. Powered entirely by steam, the clock plays a chime every 15 minutes, and features the main steam whistle on the hour.

a large shop with a wide variety of music boxes on sale.

FotoJet Collage3Spoil with choice!!

FotoJet Collage1Every designs comes with different music.

Alternatively, you can also opt to customize your own by selecting your choice of music from the list of music displayed here-with an additional fee. However the choice of figurine model was quite limited.

Varieties of Fortune Cat. (these are not music box)

After spending at least an hour here, I couldn’t make up my mind. Hence, the price ain’t cheap, I end up empty handed. LOL! LOL! I didn’t buy any. 😀 😀

After a tiring day, we decided to take a break at LeTAO Cheese CakeLab, which is very near to Music Box Museum.

It was already late noon. Many popular items were already sold out by then.

Cheese made soft served ice cream was really good. Texture was smooth and tasted like having cheesecake in a form of ice cream.

Cost ¥390

We also ordered 2 different slices of cakes.  Total ¥730.

Left (Double Fromage Roll) Right (Double Fromage). Both having similar taste, but I personally preferred ‘Double Fromage’ as you can really taste its richness of flavor. The upper layer is creamy smooth no-bake cheesecake, and the lower layer is rich, tasty baked cheesecake. The cake texture is very light and the cheese taste is not overpowering too.

We wanted to try the nice tempura place at Otaru-Denuki (as recommended by people). Unfortunately the restaurant was closed on that day. It was already 7pm. Therefore we made our way back to Sapporo by bus (Cost ¥610) from Otaru Station. Then, from Sapporo we took the Subway back to Susukino (Cost ¥200).

By then we were already so tired with all the walking and traveling. Therefore we settled our dinner at a small ramen shop located near to Tmark City Hotel.

Choice of food/ramen is quite limited. With the help of one local diner, he suggested which to choose and also helped us to place order because the owner don’t seem to know a single word of English.

A bowl of Miso Ramen Cost ¥800

We opt for thin noodle. Noodle texture was crunchy. Serving was big, comes with rich flavorful miso+pork broth, pork slices. This bowl of ramen was such a comfort meal after a tiring day + cold weather. I reckon, this was one of the best ramen I ever had.

Total spending for Day 2 – ¥7443/person

**Otaru is a nice place to visit. Its peaceful and relaxing place. A trip to Otaru can be done in a day. Best is to depart early from your location in order to arrive Otaru early, so that you could spend more time at Otaru. Please take note that most of the shops closes at 6pm. Even the Otaru Stroller’s last ride is before 7pm.

Visit Hokkaido – Day 1

Hi Everyone. I just got back from Hokkaido, Japan. A place, where I’ve been aiming to go since last time. I traveled together with my friend, Ashley on free & easy basis. Not too difficult as I thought. Most importantly to book a hotel as early as you could and have plans on where to go when you are there. Most of the time we rely on Google Maps as we navigate. Having a portable pocket wifi on hand made our life much easier. We booked one from Travel Recommends, which offers you an affordable rate.

On July 2015, we booked our air ticket via Air Asia  which costed about RM1200 for to & fro inclusive luggage weight of 20kg.

We took the night flight at 11.15PM and arrived New Chitose Airport at local time 8.20AM (Japan’s time is 1  hour ahead of Malaysia time). The flight duration was nearly 9 hours. Very long hours hoh.

As we reach, I’m already seeing a wet day. I got the feeling, I brought the rain over 😀 😀 During the entire trip, it rain almost every day. *sigh*

After done with custom clearance and all, as soon as you step out of the arrival hall you’ll be able to see a doraemon sculpture.

airportUpon arrival, if you decided to go to Sapporo via Airport Bus, please follow the above arrow(direction) and go one floor down at 1F to purchase the bus ticket and wait for the bus there.

Click HERE for Airport Map

In this case, since it was still early, we decided to have our first meal at the airport. Heard people shared about some good ramen at the airport. So, we wanna check it out.

Hokkaido Ramen Dojo is located on the 3rd of New Chitose Airport’s domestic terminal building.

The Ramen Dojo houses 10 of the best ramen establishments from all over Hokkaido, each with their own signature style.

Due to the long hours flight and lack of sleep, Ashley & I were like a blur sotong. We thought Ramen Dojo is the ramen restaurant. So we joined the queue without knowing that there are several ramen choices until we were in the front of the queue. The long queue that we joined in was Ebisoba Ichigen, at the entrance of Ramen Dojo.

Ebisoba Ichigen has the most crowd. Be it local or tourist.

the menu has English translation in it.

2 big bowls of ramen for both of us. Cost: ¥890 (with extra egg)

The portion was big and the noodle was crunchy. Loving the egg and pork slices. Ebisoba Ichigen is popular for its rich shrimp soup base. No doubt the shrimp soup base was so rich in flavor. However I find it abit tad salty for my liking.

Cheese Tart after meal is considered as dessert. HAHA! We locate Kinotoya at Domestic Terminal Building 2F.

One could easily got hooked by the aroma of these freshly baked tarts. Priced at ¥183 each, these tarts are undeniable good! From its pastry to its overflowing creamy & cheesy filling.

The airport itself has so many things to shop. We’re not gonna explore on Day 1. Will leave it for Day 6. (stay tune)

Done with ramen and cheese tart, so now we are on our way to our hotel at Tmark City Hotel Sapporo. One could reach there by train (JR Rail) or bus.

We decided to travel by bus. The journey took around 1 hour.

Via Hokkaido Chuo Bus to Sapporo. Cost: ¥1,030

CHUO BUS Timetable

Since it was our 1st day here, we weren’t quite familiar with the place + the rain & big luggage, We have no idea where the bus stop us. So, we decided to hail a cab to bring us directly to our hotel

Cost: ¥780

The check-in process was quite fast. Hotel staffs were quite friendly and helpful too. However the so-called “Double Room” doesn’t look so double with a small queen size bed. Room size of 16 m², movements are quite constraint. But that doesn’t hold back our stay here. Because the room was clean and amenities were quite complete. We are gonna stay here for 5 nights. Cost: ¥51,120

This room is fitted with a flat-screen TV and a fridge. One channel in Chinese while the rest were in Japanese.

The en suite bathroom comes with a bathtub.

Vending machines for your convenience. Of hot and cold drinks, chocolates, noodles, bread, cigarettes even ice cream!

After getting some rest, we walked to the Sapporo TV Tower which took us around 19 minutes by foot. In between, we stopped over at MOS Burger for our super late lunch. Cost: ¥390 (ala-carte burger)

TV Tower rateAdult Cost: ¥720

It is 60 seconds by elevator from the third floor to the observation deck, 90.38 metres above ground.
The entirety of Sapporo city unfolds beneath your eyes, set to a background of the magnificent Ishikari countryside,
the far afield Japan Sea, and Odori Park, where flowers bloom in the four seasons.
Command a panoramic view of the YOSAKOI Soran Festival, Sapporo Snow Festival, and White Illumination.

Below are some photos taken from the observation deck.

view of Odori Park. We skipped Odori Park as it was raining.

What I observed here, roads and buildings look so organized. Viewing from such high height, made me feels like looking at mini 3D model structure. 😀

Verdict: Feel abit not worth to visit during the day. For night view would be better I suppose.

From Sapporo TV Tower, we walked to Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade about 11 minutes by foot.

The Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade, close to the Susukino train station, is amongst the largest and most historic malls in Sapporo, with more than 200 individual stores and a great and varied choice of eateries (think conveyer belt sushi). The unique take of this mall is that you will find old and traditional merchants selling kimonos, tea or incense side by side with modern stores specializing in computers and software or state-of -the-art electronics and digital cameras – all of which lends it a bazaar-like quality. Many items for sale here are even cheaper than in the 100 yen shops. Check out the Donki’s Store for strange merchandise. Plenty of games centres and coffee shops.

We did not spend much time here because we were getting tired of walking. LOL!! So tired till we decided to pack our dinner back to our hotel.

garaku curryWe packed our dinner from Garaku Curry. Feeling lucky that one of the staff actually understand ‘take-away’ in English. 😀 The restaurant is located at 1st floor. You may not miss out due to the big font of its name. The restaurant is quite small but can be crowded during dinner time. A nutritious soup made by adding 21 spices to a slow-stewed base of pork stock, chicken and vegetables is served with choice rice. Both the large-cut vegetables and the tender meat are delicious. Choose your level of spiciness upon ordering. I took up the challenge and ordered ‘hot’. It was very spicy but ‘shiok’ too! Waiting time around 20 minutes. Cost: around ¥1100

As we walk back to our hotel, I spotted Hello Kitty construction barrier! So cute and nice! Throughout the trip, I spotted 3 different designs at different locations. So much effort in just construction barriers. I guess the Japanese takes everything seriously.

Everyday, we’ll walk pass Susukino be it morning or night. Because Susukino is the nearest subway station from our hotel. Susukino is the heart of Sapporo’s night life. Bars, Nightclubs, Restaurants, Cafes, and live houses mingle with a variety of Hostess clubs, Cabaret clubs, Go-go bars, and other red-light establishments.

We notices the big difference between day and night. Susukino comes to life at about 6pm and carries on well into the wee hours of the morning.

Our packed dinner from Garaku Curry.  This place was recommended by a blogger I read. I would suggest you to do a reservation. We packed our dinner at around 6+pm, and the restaurant was already filled up with diners. And some waiting to be seated. Nevertheless, It was very delicious. The soup was so flavorful and spicy. So yum to go with rice. You will be ask to choose your spiciness level for the soup/gravy. Don’t under estimate the spiciness. I was greedy and chose the higher level….I end up having sore throat the following day. HAHAHA!

There goes the Day 1. We knocked out pretty early that night. So tired la…No more night owls. 😀

Total spending on day 1 ≅ Cost: ¥4703

Eat at 18 @Melaka

view from our hotel room (906 Riverside Hotel)

view from our hotel room (906 Riverside Hotel)

On our recent short trip to Melaka, we stayed at 906 Riverside Hotel. We got the Family Room which comes with 2 bedrooms, a small living hall & a balcony onlooking Melaka river. With an affordable price of RM200+, we were satisfied with the room & location. Our hotel is pretty nearby Jonker Street (can walk also).

On the following morning, I decided to bring my family to cafe for a breakfast. You know…there are plenty of cafes near Jonker street, the rustic kind of cafes which you hardly find in the city. I texted my blogger friend, Constance Ann who’s a Melaka based person. She suggested me to go “Eat at 18”. Initially I thought she asked me to go eat at “18”..Eat at 18 is the name of the particular cafe lar!

Eat at 18 occupying the ground floor of an intermediate 2-storey shop. You wouldn’t believe that there’s a boutique hotel on first floor.

If you drive, there No Parking here. Park elsewhere and walk over.

“We served comfort and simple food. Fresh baked organic breads, cookies and desserts. All natural ingredients.” claimed by Eat at 18.

This place is very instagram friendly. You can shoot beautiful photos at different angles. But quite space constraint and limited seats.

*In this case, I trained my kid to pose for photos* 😀

Eat at 18 serves Lavazza Coffee. Macchiato at RM7.90.

Cappuccino – RM8.90

Flat White – RM8.90

Portobello Mushroom Soup (topped with fresh cream & comes with bread crisp) RM12.90
It was a yummy soup I felt. Its not too creamy. Its rich whereby you can taste the tiny bits of mushrooms.

There wasn’t much choice of breakfast here.

Therefore we go for Eat 18 Breakfast Platter (serves 2 pax)RM33.90

From menu it says; consists of beef bacons, scramble eggs, seared tomatoes, saute mushroom, hash potatoes, toasts.

Very hearty breakfast platter. Since we do not take beef, the staff changed the beef bacons to grilled chicken. Instead of just seared tomatoes, they gave salad too. Everything was nicely done, in terms of taste and presentation.

Verdict : If coffee art is your main concern, sorry to disappoint you here. Food variation quite limited. But I like the food I ordered and also the bread. However for coffee, I find it abit tad too foamy for my liking.

Eat at 18

18, Jalan Hang Lekiu

75200 Malacca

Melaka, Malaysia

Tel:+60 281 4679

Operating Hours: Monday 8:30AM – 6:00PM | Wednesday – Sunday 8:30AM – 6:00PM |(Closed on Tuesday)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eatat18

**cash term, imposed 10% service charge
**pork free
*solely based on writer's own opinion*