1. Gelato: Anytime of the day

    I was introduced to Azzura gelato for the first time last weekend thanks to my friend, Sonya, who invited me to tag along for a tasting session as well as to get to know the brand better. We met Marco, an entrepreneur and also a gelato making expert with more than 10 years of experience in this industry. Just when we thought Azzura is another Italian brand, we were pleasantly surprise to know it is actually a 100% Australian brand with it’s birthplace in Perth. Every single ingredients used are sourced locally and they ship only the freshest gelato to our shore every fortnight.   

    We were introduced to a few of their best sellers such as bubblegum, peach, buttered peanut, blossom nougat and also a “world premiere” of their new flavor – the mocha chip cookie. What makes Azzura gelato stands out among the rest is how smooth and creamy their products are. Also, they are not overly sweet that you have to reach for a glass of water immediately after the first spoonful. My favorite from the tasting session was probably the peach gelato which comes in the shape of a peach and a ferrero rocher in the middle as the “seed” of the fruit. Very creative and absolutely delicious.

    Apart from the gelato, the outlet also sells artisan coffees and teas. What better way to keep the kids and adults happy with gelato and coffee. The space is bright and airy - a great after lunch chill out place for the family and friends alike. 

    Do swing by if you’re in the east!   

    Azzura Gelato Bar

    Katong V, 30 East Coast Road #01-01

    Singapore

     
  2. Wine and Chocolate

    We will talk about that in a bit

    But first, I want to thank Jules (or some of you might know her as JustJules) for this beautiful postcard she sent me recently for her postcard exchange project. Just like everyone in this community, Jules is one of the many that inspires with her dreamy yet minimalistic photos – clean, simple and the ability to channel the mood right. Something I am still learning to master. I am always thankful for the friendship from fellow photographers here in Tumblr as I have known most of you for quite some time now. The projects and the photos from everyone that I follow are nothing but inspiring and it makes my feed looks really good. I know Instagram is taking the world by storm, but somehow, I felt that it’s rather “cold” compared to Tumblr. Here, when someone sent fan mail or message, we answer them publicly or at least privately. In Instagram, you complimented or commented on a photo, the “famous” photographer will never reply or at least say a word of “thank you”. Not all are like that, but most of them are. Sad but true.

    Tumblr still matters to me most and it’s the place I want to hang out all the time.

    Moving on to a lighter note, it’s Sunday today meaning another food post! I bought this Monggo chocolate from Yogyakarta, Indonesia and it’s my all-time favorite. Indonesia has some pretty good local chocolate and these dark chocolate (58% and 69%, both shown in pic) are smooth and hands down a must-buy. Goes well with red wine too!

    Have a great weekend!    

     
  3. High Tea, Your Majesty?

    I am not a big fan of buffet and I try to avoid it as much as I can. To me, eating buffet is self-torturing where you “force” yourself to eat as much as you can to make up with the amount of money you pay. And often time, a buffet meal (lunch or dinner) don’t come cheap here in Singapore. A decent fare in a hotel would cost up to SGD70 per person. If you want a more decadent spread with oysters, caviar and wine, be prepared to fork out at least SGD150 easily.

    Recently a few of my colleagues have been raving about the high tea in Shangri-La Hotel for its quality of food at a decent price. I told my foodie friends and they seem to hear a lot of good things about it as well. A few phone calls later, 8 of us made our way to the very beautiful Shangri-La hotel this afternoon. The high tea is set at SGD45++ per person and there are 2 seating available – 11:30am to 2:30pm or 3:00pm to 6:00pm. We chose the first seating as we thought we could finish by 2pm and still have half a day to walk and burn all the calories.  

    I won’t go in details on each and every item available but I can assure that it is one of the most affordable high teas around in Singapore for the spread they offer. From sashimi to sushi, cold cuts to various salads, selection of dim sum to DIY “Singapore Laksa” – all were fresh and only the best ingredients were used. If you’re a bread person, then you’ll be amazed by the selection of sandwiches available. Each of them arranged beautifully on a 3 tiered platter where it looked too good to eat. The cheese section was pretty amazing too with Gouda, guyere, blue cheese among others and a few soft cheeses (which I forgot its name) to go with a selection of crackers, nuts and dried fruits. 

    A part of the dining room was dedicated to only desserts and if you can’t control yourself, you would probably die of food coma sooner than you thought. Chocolate cake and pudding, chocolate fondue with various dips, macarons and tarts, ice-creams and cheese cakes and not forgetting bread pudding and scones – all made fresh from the kitchen and replenish from time to time.

    I have been eating a lot in Indonesia the past week so I control paced myself not to over-eat today. Two rounds of appetizer / mains and two rounds of desserts followed by a great catch up session with everyone. 

    The Rose Veranda

    Mezzanine Floor, Tower Wing

    Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

    +65 6213 4486

     
  4. Laundry Day

    Was in Surabaya, Indonesia the past whole week for work and just got home this afternoon. Very tired but before I get to rest, I need to wash this huge pile of clothes as I will be on the road again next week. 

    Travelling for holiday is fun, but for work - hmm, not really. 

     
  5. Last One Standing

     
  6. Calm Down and Sip Green Tea

    So many things happened the past few weeks that I don’t even have time to sit down, process and digest them one by one. It all happened 3 weekends back when I was pretty nervous sitting for my IELTS English exam on a Saturday morning. The date was 8 March and that very morning, I also read about the shocking news on the disappearance of MH370 just over an hour after taking off from KL enroute to Beijing. This news came as a mystery (even until today) to all of us and it just saddens me every time I read the updates on various portals and what the victim and their families have to endure. We pray for a glimpse of hope and good news but every day, as more and more updates were revealed, the more it confuses everyone. As a Malaysian myself, I know that our government has no capability in handling this crisis. It’s a fact. But I also know that they are trying their very best to solve this mystery and seeking assistance from experts all over the world to give us some guidance and where to start. What’s important now is to find the plane (or if the theory is right, the plane ended its journey in the Southern Indian ocean, then the black box) and a closure to this case. We just need an answer and what actually happened that unfortunate morning. That’s all.

    Moving on to a more personal update - I have been pretty busy with work as we are in the midst of relocating to a much smaller office and eventually the company will cease its operation in the next coming months. The news came to us since late last year that the management has decided to end our operations here in Singapore due to various reasons. The morale in the company and everyone in the team immediately hit rock bottom.  Everyone was sad and pretty stressed out on what the future hold for us as we were given a few months to look for opportunities before being made redundant.  And because of that, I have been under tremendous stress thinking about my future here in Singapore. Let me tell you, this has got to be the most stressful period in my life.

    However, things changed when I had a casual talk with my big boss one afternoon mid of January. He asked what my future plan is and I told him that there are no plans as yet. I asked if it is possible to transfer me to our other office and being a great boss that he is, was more than happy to ask around. Weeks passed and hundreds of correspondence emails later, I was offered a position in one of our offices. I can finally sigh in relief after I signed the job offer letter early this month.

    And with that, it’s official that I will be leaving Singapore for good and new adventures await down under. Moving to the “Sunshine State” by end of May. 

    I’m sad to leave Singapore so prematurely but excited in the prospect of moving to a new country, meeting new people and taking up a new role.  

    It felt like 2014 had just started.  

     
  7. Puis-je vous inviter? 

    I hope I can still flirt in french. 

    But, let’s discuss that some other day. 

    I am bringing you today to this quaint little French eatery located at the museum district in Armenian Street. We started off with a cheese platter (like a true French fare) – which consist of a selection of the usual favorites. Mains included a perfectly executed Côte de Boeuf and Coq au Vin. I apologize that no photos from the two mains as it was too dark since we were seated by the alleyway and the only lighting we have on the table was a tea light candle. Trés romantique, non?

    Good food, great service and overall run by a team of very knowledgeable staffs. Highly recommended for a great night out with your other half or just chill-out-catch-up session with your friends. 

    Le Bistrot Du Sommelier

    53, Armenian Street, Singapore

     
  8. The Art of Falling Asleep

    It finally rained and what better way to stay at home and sleep..

     
  9. A Journey Through The Woods

    Jaan has been my all-time favorite restaurant in Singapore simply because the food is great, the ambience is relaxing and the service is impeccable. And it’s simple as that.

    The restaurant is helmed by Julien Royer, a relatively young chef that has catapulted the restaurant into a new level since taking over from Andre Chiang (another great chef) back in 2010.  I was lucky enough to be back yesterday to feast on his Autumn / Winter menu that features seasonal ingredients sourced from all over the world. Clean flavors and the combination of different color ingredients make every dish a piece of art and very photogenic.  

    We had the 5 course lunch but chef Julien was kind enough to let us try some of his other signature creations that by the time we finished the meal with artisanal tea, we were so full that we have to skip dinner after that. The entire autumn / winter food “journey” took 2.5 hours with perfectly paced dish without the feeling of too rush or slow. The photos above were some of the highlights which consist of amuse-bouche (top row, left), followed by froie gras, a beetroot collection, rainbow trout, venison loin and our petite fours. I still have a few to share and might just leave it to the next post.  For the full menu description, see here.

    It is always a fun experience dining at Jaan and speaking with chef Julien when he make his rounds around the dining area exchanging pleasantries with his guests from time to time. Not forgetting the quirky and friendly staffs that make this place an unforgettable dining experience here in Singapore. 

    Jaan

    Level 70, Swissotel The Stamford

     
  10. Weekend Adventure

    Be right back. 

     
  11. Not your typical chocolate cake

    This rootbeer cake from Wimbly Lu Chocolates is probably the reason that keeps me going back again and again after all this while. The base is just simple chocolate cake but the “magic” ingredient that makes it all so special and unique is the rootbeer syrup and a light drizzle of chocolate sauce. Served together with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, every bite is nothing but heaven in your mouth.

    A perfect end to any meal, any time of the day…  

     
  12. Hot & Cold

    Free drinks on the house, as a lifesaver. 

     
  13. 17 1.8

    a new prime and a rare gpoy. 

    hi everyone! 

    p/s: that’s my friend, Dave in the background looking at his Hasselblad 503cw. haha..  

     
  14. Red-tailed

     
  15. Ready for rainy days

    Desperately hoping for rain here in Singapore. It looks like autumn everywhere (with dried leaves and everything in the shade of brown) but let me assure you, it felt like an oven here. hot and humid. 

    p/s: ignore the callous on my right toe. it’s distracting, i know.