It’s been a busy summer month, in a blink, it’s already the end of August! Just before we approach the end of summer, I must write and let you all know about this Luke’s Lobster Summer Pop-up Shack in Omotesando area of Tokyo!
Originated from New York City, Luke’s Lobster is now it’s spread across the whole of United States, and opened its first International shack in Tokyo a few years back. If you have been to it’s first location in Omotesando, you would know how crazy the line is. It doesn’t matter at what hours you go, there’s always people lining up for it.
Last time round when I was in Tokyo, I was surprised when I discovered the Summer Pop-up Shack of the brand, and the best part of it, there’s no line! It’s a bit different to the original location, it’s a small corner store where you can sit down and eat (the other one is at an outdoor location for take away only). As it’s a bit hidden, it seems like not many people (even locals!) knows about it.
The last restaurant entry for the Milan series – save the best for the last!
I’m sure a lot of the people who travel to Milan have been to the Milan Cathedral, maybe you have taken some photos at the piazza, or even took a tour up onto the building, but I bet you may not know about this restaurant with an absolutely stunning view of the Cathedral!
The restaurant’s name is called the Obica, and is a casual Italian restaurant concept based on best Mozzarellas! Yummmm!! The Obica is a chain with many outlets thru-out Italy, as well as Internationally in UK, USA, and Japan. The outlet which I’ve visited is on the top floor of the la Rinascente department store, and gives you a great view of the Cathedral!
What food or foods would you think about when you think of Italy? Would it be cheese? Or prosciutto? How about pizza and pasta? Perhaps Prosecco or Limecello for the alcohol lovers? How could we forget about TRUFFLES!!!!
Alright, I’ll be honest, I did not think about truffles when I was in Italy… I always thought truffle was the delicacy of France, but not until my local friend in Italy showed me to this cute little local restaurant near Centrale Station in Milan – Osteria dei Vecchi Sapori. It is about a 15 minutes walk from the station, or alternatively, you could catch the metro to Isola station, and the restaurant is 7 minutes away.
We’ve got a reservation at 6pm for an early dinner, and waited for about 5 minutes for the table to get ready. When I walked inside the restaurant, I was quite surprised, as the restaurant was already almost full at this time. I was told that it is very difficult to have seats for walk-in, so better make a reservation before you go.
My friend and I sat down, and the waiter who served us was extremely friendly and knowledgable about the menu. We told him that we want to have some truffle dishes, and he suggested us to try both the black and white truffle so we could compare the taste. At the end, we ordered Beef Tartar with Black Truffle (€12), Fresh Noodles with White Truffle (€18), and the Milano famous dish Veal Marrowbone with Polenta(€14).
The Beef Tartar arrived first as an entree, and oh my, I was so surprised when the dish arrived with the huge amount of fresh truffle on top of the minced beef! We were advised to mix the minced beef with the raw egg yolk and truffles and eat together. I’ve also tried a piece of the truffle by itself, the texture was somewhat like raw mushroom, except with a extremely strong smell of gas/petroleum. The meat tasted fresh and tender, and together with the egg yolk and truffle, it was very delicious. The portion was so big that it didn’t felt like an entree at all!
When I was in Italy, I’ve picked up this new habit – Italian Aperitivo!
As talked about in my last posts, the concept of the Italian Aperitivo is one where you meet up with your friends and social over a glass of drinks and some snacks. It is a simple idea, yet a great way to relax and to meet people. It is very similar to Happy Hour I’d say, just more elegant.
Talking about elegant, how can we miss the famous Palazzo Parigi Hotel and Spa in Milan? According to the hotel’s website, it is “re-constructed on the former site of the historical Palazzo Cramer from the 1600, the Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa is set in the heart of Milan, in the fashionable Brera District. Facing a private park and surrounded by residences, banks and offices, it is close to the glittering shopping district Via della Spiga, art galleries, bars and night spots. Designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, featuring a classic style of the ’30 with a private garden and fountain, the new palace hotel embodies the very best of Milanese style with subtle French influences.”
Have you ever imagined how dinning in an Igloo would feel like? You can now try out this special experience at Coppa Club in London.
The Coppa Club has installed eight igloo-style PVC party-domes along the Thames, with the stunning view over the Thames, with the Tower Bridge as your background. Each dome is fully heated, and is equipped with sheep skin blankets to enrich that festive cosy feeling. Three of the igloos will have large circular tables which can seat groups of up to eight, while the other igloos are kitted out as cosy riverside lounges.
For those who have been to the Vatican City, you would know that this place is usually crowded the whole year round… To take a good picture, you usually have to wait and wait and wait, or keep changing angles to find a less crowded spot, or, just be be super lucky…
But, if you a person like me who doesn’t really like to fight the crowd, then this place I’m going to tell you about may just be the perfect spot for you!
Before I talk about this place, I just want to show you a few snap shot at Piazza di San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square!)
Ok, now, this place I want to tell you about is a best kept secret, and not many people know about it, so I would highly recommend you to go before this place is flooded by people. This roof top bar is hidden in a small hotel called the “Residenza Paola VI”, and it is basically right next to the Piazza. It overlooks the St. Peter’s Church in Vatican city, and is the perfect place for you to visit after a long day of sight seeing in the Vatican. The bar is furnished in classic old Italian style, and the staffs there are very nice and helpful, which makes this bar a very cozy place.
If I were to ask you, what are the places that ones must visit in Sydney, I’m sure everyone will answer The Opera House, Bondi Beach, Darling Harbour, Fish Market etc. Well, let me add one more to your list – “The Grounds of Alexandria”. And if you are a coffee lover like me, then there is absolutely no reason why you would miss it!
For the Sydney-siders, “The Grounds of Alexandria” is no news to them. It is a “super cafe” located in the inner west city fringe suburb of Alexandria Melbourne. It is not just an ordinary cafe, but one that you could spend a whole day exploring on a Saturday!
“The Grounds” is made up of coffee roaster, café, bakery, bar, restaurant, outdoor garden, weekend market, florist and a mini farm all within this acre of land in Sydney. It is pack all week long, and especially on the weekend, because of the amazing weekend market they have.
The florist was my favourite section out of the whole complex!
One of my absolute must do thing when I visit a country/city is to taste the local delicacy of that place. I believe the joy of food brings people closer to each other, and it lets you bond with the locals, to learn and submerge in their lifestyle and culture.
“Food is more than survival!”
Due to my job nature, I have been going to Japan on a monthly basis, and most of the time, you travel alone during a business trip, which sometimes makes it hard to eat different type of food. I find myself ended up eating sushi, ramen or ended up in cafes most of the time when I’m in Japan. Last month when I was in Tokyo, I was lucky that an old friend of mine were also in the city at that time, so we’ve decided we are going to pig it out!
Yakiniku – literally means grilled meat in Japanese, is a very popular food choice for Japanese people. It is not an “everyday” type of meal, but usually when you have some sort of celebration, or when you want to have a relaxed time with friends over a meal with a beer, then Yakiniku would be the pick.
La bonne cuisine est la base du veritable bonheur – Good food is the foundatio of genuine happiness!
From the same group as the award winning French restaurant Brasserie FLO, Cafe Flo offers a more relaxed and affordable dining experiences in one of the hippest area of Beijing -San Li Tun.
Recently opened in July 2016, Cafe Flo on the third floor of Taikooli (Sanlitun) had already attracted many journalist and blogger to write about it. This is the third branch of this restaurant, and is a low-key copy of the popular high-end French restaurant Maison Flo (formerly known as Brasserie Flo).
The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining experience. During the summer season, strong cooling fans are available at the outdoor area, and you could easily spent your whole afternoon under the sun here.
There are quite a lot of choices of food and beverages in their menu, covering entrees, main course, desserts, and all types of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Their platter for sharing looks extremely delicious, too bad I was by myself and could not try them out.
A typical lunch (excluding alcoholic drinks) would be around USD$30/person, which is quite reasonable. The presentation may be simple, but the taste is outstanding!
Doesn’t time pass by very fast? We are already half way into 2016!! (And I have achieved nothing from my new year’s resolution list so far lol)
So, back to the topic “Brisbane Power House” – it is Queensland’s home for contemporary culture, often have performances, exhibitions, band gigs etc here! The reason it’s called the Power House is because, well, simply because it’s a power station of the 1920s reborn as an art centre on the Brisbane River.
“There is a big blue sky waiting just behind the clouds”
I remembered when I was still a high school student over 10 years ago, we had a school trip here to see a Japanese Taiko Show here for our Japanese class, and that was the only memory I had of this place. I didn’t really like the place then, because it was kind of in a ghetto area. However, this year in March when I went back to Brisbane, because I had to surprise my parents who’s doing Tai Chi in a park nearby, I had a chance to re-visit this place, and I absolutely fell in love with it!!
The architecture itself just look stunning! The old brick exterior with the very modern industrial interior matches very well, and the location is right by the river, a perfect hang out spot for a lazy Sunday afternoon!