[SINGAPORE] ASANOYA BOULANGERIE

I must confess: I’m a breadaholic. My favourite home appliance is my bread machine, and preferred choice of breakfast is always flour-based.  So the pastry-maniac in me jumped for joy when I finally popped by Asanoya Bakery, and 81-year-old brand founded in Karuizawa Japan.

The place is absolutely haven for all dough-lovers out there! With the abundance of seats it could jolly well serve as a cafe. The boulangerie is ready for business as early as 8am, but their signature Karuizawa Matcha Green Tea Bread doesn’t appear till 10. If that happens, stay calm, take a seat and have their royal milk tea loaf in the meantime. Their mean selection of salads comes in petite Asian portions which are just right to go with your dough. To ogle at pastries and sweetbreads please continue to scroll…

I’m in love with these cubes, not to mention they are absolute darlings in the mouth.

Tiramisu in bread = more than I can bargain for!

                          

The royal milk tea loaf tasted like it was soaked and glazed in frothy tea, which, for a tea-lover like me, was killing two birds with a bite as I could eat and drink tea at the same time. The maple walnuts pretzel was slightly more savoury, though too crispy and hard in certain parts. I’m still looking forward to coming again, and trying every darn thing eventually!

  

Asanoya Boulangerie
15 Queen Street, #01-03, Singapore 188537
Tel: (65) 6703 8703

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

TOKYO DIARIES 東京旅日記 IV

Friends, you know who you are and this is for you.
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I’ve always read about Chiba Prefecture in Murakami’s works and although Narita isn’t my favourite Japanese tourist spot, there is so much to see and shopping to do! Whuddup – look at these fluffy kitties I found:

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Lunch was mediocre chashuu ramen and some light post-shopping dango snacks. The latter was immensely satisfying that it doubled up as part of my dinner. Will never cease to love mochis and anything the likes of it!

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After much gallivanting around town, here’s the sum total of my loot – snacks, cosmetics, beverages, and awesomeness from Fancl and Muji. Matcha chocolate Pockys will be the death of me.20140514-180456.jpg

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A gleaming handful of Sapporo at the end of long day is my pot of gold at the end of a very short rainbow.20140514-190820.jpg

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Dolce Tokyo, SG

Had the worst Matcha Latte in my entire life at Dolce Tokyo, 313 Somerset, this evening. Beautiful place, but terrible matcha latte – such a disappointment and shame to claim its affiliation to Tokyo! The drink was so diluted and watered down that the matcha powder wasn’t fully dissolved, so it tasted so much like grainy water that has been scattered match powder. The matcha gelato was not too bad though. Definitely far from the matcha lattes I’ve had in Japan. I’m officially so pampered by this lifestyle, I have to admit. Nonetheless the matcha was so unacceptable. Eurgh.

오늘 저녁에 내 인생 전체에서 최악의 녹차 라떼를 마셨다.  그렇게 끔찍한 맛. 세계를 여행에서 응 석 이야. 어떤 습관을 난 개발을 방지해야합니다. 하지만 돌체 도쿄의 끔찍 했어요.

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Sigh.

Reading a very beautiful book written by a Taiwanese travel journalist whose books I’ve come to love. I will talk more about this book when I’m in the mood to!
대만 여행 작가에 의해 쓰여진이 놀라운 책을 읽고 있어요. 그것을 읽은있을 때 나는 모든 사람에게이 책을 소개합니다. 다음에 보자!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

TOKYO DIARIES 東京旅日記 III

Momi & Toy’s Crêperie モミアンドトイズ

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ホテルに戻って行く前に、モミアンドトイズで夕食のためにクレープを食べる。私は驚いている!店舗売りバブルティー。良い!バブルティーは、香港で一般的な飲み物だったが、今では非常にまれである。 トレンドは終わった。モミアンドトイズは、日本の優れたクレープのレストランの一つです。
An early dinner at Momi & Toy’s Crêperie before heading back to the hotel for a nap. Surprised to see bubble tea being sold in Odaiba! A couple of years back it was such a common sight in Hong Kong but nowadays it’s rare to find bubble tea stalls on the streets. I guess the fad has passed.

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きんぴらチキンサラダクレープを食べた。
Had the sauteed teriyaki chicken salad crepe ^^

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多くの人が休憩のデザートを食べていた。甘いクレープも本当においしい見えた!
Loads of people were having tea-time desserts. The sweet crepes looked really yummy too!

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お台場を残したくない! 私は日本人だったら、私はそんなにおいしい料理を毎日食べてから非常に太っ育つ。どのように幸運、私は世界中からのすべてのビットをサンプリングすることができるのは非常に恵まれてね。本当に私に与えられた機会を大切に。
Couldn’t bear to leave Odaiba! If I were Japanese or living in Japan, I cannot imagine not eating awesome food everyday, and hence becoming a complete glutton. How fortunate, I’m very blessed to be able to sample a little bit of everything from all over the world. Thankful for the opportunities to experience the world and all that it has to offer for the time being ^^

お読みいただき、ありがとうございました!次回お会いしましょう!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

TOKYO DIARIES 東京旅日記

How to tell tourists apart from locals in Tokyo: spot the ones with ginormous bags of コンビニ (konbini – convenience store) buys!

観光客が日本で食品に多くを費やす。私が重い袋でお台場から帰って来ました。
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 今回は、多くのスナック、菓子、チョコレート、大福や化粧品を買った。私は家族が幸せに食べていることを望んで食べ物を買いました。

If ever I were to stay in Japan for a long period of time, snacks and various knick-knacks would consume me. My luggage came home filled with crackers, Starbucks matcha lattes, daifuku (大福), instant soba, salad dressings, Odaiba’s Shiroi Koibito, skincare and cosmetics. My family table is never empty – it’s always filled with foodstuff from whichever part of the world I return home from!

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このチーズのビスケットはとても美味しいです。私は一人で2つのパケットを終えた!
This Cheeza is insane, I finished two bags on my own. If you love cheese crackers, this is crackers infused with 53% thick, fresh cheese. So technically, it is more cheese than crackers #conundrum.

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バウムクーヘンとどら焼き食べるのが大好き! Baumkuchen は人気のドイツのケーキ​​であり、日本でも非常に人気。日本にどら焼きを購入する必要があります。
Baumkuchen, the round layered cake, is a German snack and also a very popular Japanese sweet pastry. And when in Japan, you have to get dorayaki.

20140306-015111.jpg 大福を食べること私は非常に幸せ! ^^
In Chinese, Daifuku (大福) translates to big happiness/good fortune, which is exactly how I feel when eating these gigantic mochis!

20140306-015120.jpgなぜシンガポールはスターバックスの抹茶ラテを販売していない?日本のコンビニは、スターバックスコーヒーのすべての種類を販売
In Japan, convenience stores are loaded with prepacked matcha lattes and Starbucks coffees in various assorted flavours. Would give anything for them to be imported.

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二日目、私は家族のためのより多くの食料を買いました。私はいちご大福、お台場白井恋人、せんべい、抹茶、サラダドレッシング、カフェラテとブルーベリーのお菓子を買いました。
On the second day…after we had lunch, we went wild at the mall.

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私の父は白い恋人ビスケットが大好き。
Honestly, my dad loves this biscuits more than I do!

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そしてもちろん、私は自分自身のために大福を購入しなければならなかった。
Chocolate-coated mochis with strawberries – my new love.

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私はまた、より多くのチーズビスケット、焼きチーズケーキのスライスを買った。
Day one wasn’t enough, clearly. The slice of baked cheese was sooo good!

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これらのすべての化粧品はもちろん、日本ではかなり安いです。
Stocking up because it’s way less pricey in Japan, obviously.

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私はホテルの外に出るのが面倒に感じたとき、私は旅行のためのインスタントそばを買った。ホテルのルームサービスメニューには、嫌なことができます。
TA-DA! Instant soba for days when I feel too lazy or tired to go out of the hotel, and nothing looks good from room service.

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これらは私が、ホテルからチェックアウトする前に食べたものです:カフェラテや穀物。
Before checking out: some comforting cafe latte and cereal to fill my tummy for the long night ahead.

これが私の短い東京旅行記の終わりです。次回お会いしましょう!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Costa Coffee and Travel Woes

Costa Coffee Costa Coffee

Woes of a traveller: sometimes you’re bound to crave familiar and comforting sights or foods!! Costa Coffee is one of those lighthouses I’m always happy to see in foreign lands, along with Starbucks and Boots. At the moment, they have gingerbread coffee coolers and lattes as their festive drinks, which I find none too amazing. Boo. But the classic flat white never fails to please.

Costa Costa Coffee

Costa 3 Costa Coffee

Heading to Thailand tomorrow with my crazy travel buddies: Beth, Dia, Jennabelle and Ake’s bunch of guy pals. I’m always forced to try strange foods when I’m around these girls. Besides staple ramen, look what we had at Ippudo the other day: Lotus Root Crisps and strangely-spiced corn. They make me realize what an unadventurous foodie I’ve always been!!!

Costa Coffee

Costa 5

TIME TO GET PACKING! Truth be told, I’ve started throwing bikinis and swimwear into my bag 3 days ago. I’ve NEVER packed so religiously early for work purposes. KOH SAMUI HERE I COME!!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Hoshino Coffee

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Post-workout dinner in which the matcha souffle we were looking so forward to turned out not so fantastic whilst the main dishes were amazing. Whenever I’m back in Singapore, enochlophobia kicks in. Peak hour dining, rush hour traffic, a Friday night out – tell me how I can avoid the crowds please! Thankfully my usual working hours are big-time screwed, so I get to watch movies at non-peak periods and chill at cafès while everybody else is at work. Home sweet home, everybody.

Sushi Lovin’

Ravenous from a gruelling session of Muay Thai, we feasted heartily on a meal of sushi and soft-shell crab salads! Am so in love with Muay Thai now too, except on days when I get nasty bruises, like on my elbows!! Would love to kick some real asses when I get more proficient. Robert, our instructor, gives Beth and I great advice for self-defense. In fact, Muay Thai is really a useful craft that all girls ought to consider picking up.

Itacho Sushi

itacho sushi

itacho chawanmushi

itachosushi yummy veggies

eggs!

itachosushi feast

Cheers to more food-scapades!
xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Travel-diary: Nagoya Unagi Rice ひつまぶし (Japan)

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Finally tasted the most famous Hitsumabushi (Unagi Rice) in Nagoya!
The 4300YEN platter that we ordered for 2 came with these set of instructions, a four-step guide to eating the reknowned Japanese dish.
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I must say, this is the best eel-rice I have ever tasted!! I loooove unagi rice!
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So following the etiquette guide, the best possible way to enjoy this Eel Rice Bowl was to portion our unagi rice into quadrants. Each section is eaten separately, in different and unique methods.

Step One: Eat it on its own.
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Step Two: Add the seasoning – seaweed, wasabi and green onions
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Step Three: Add the seaweed, wasabi and green onions. Top it off by pouring Dashi-broth (green tea) on top of the rice.
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Step Four: Pick your favourite method and eat it all over again!
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To be honest, I couldn’t decide! I wanted to eat a second full bowl of hitsumabushi on my own.
The broth method really cleansed my palate of any oil, and when eaten along with the juicy, slightly fatty Unagi, it felt like heaven on earth.

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So amazing, I’d definitely come back again for more!! Was told that it’s really crowded during lunch and dinner. People actually queue up for up to an hour. We slipped in during a lull period, thankfully. The walk/journey to Unagi Horaiken was totally worth the trip.
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Unagi Horaiken
Nagoya Matsuzakaya South Wing 10th Floor,
3-16-1 Sakae,
Naka-ku, Nagoya

♛ Scarlet Carousel | Prologue IV

{Prologue} Eiji Saito’s

1999
Fukushima

Sunshine boy! 

Back home in Fukushima, the old lady with the limp at the convenience store welcomed her favourite elementary school boy with a daily tube of chocolate mint candies. Before her passing, Eiji crossed the street twice a day just to say hello and accepted her gifts with great appreciation. Despite being only 6, his ready smile and charming boyish disposition won hearts whereever he went. 

Sunshine Eiji!

Ever since mother-and-child fleed Japan, days thereafter had been colourless, stormy and dreary. Witness Protection Programme, or so the state of law claimed, for the Saito’s continued existence in Japan threatened all their relatives and friends. South Korea however provided little salvation, for they found neither peace nor stability. Eiji could never recover his prior glow of happiness.

Until, following years of misery, he chanced upon one true reason for belonging.

“You would stay with me?” He had sputtered, all bloodied lips and swollen cheeks from being at the receiving end of his drunken boss’s anger.

She had gently wrapped an unworn gym teeshirt around his split knuckles and applied pressure to the deep cut. “Yes.” He had turned away with disbelief. Why would a total stranger show him such kindness?

“If I didn’t, you would do nothing about these, right?” She wet her fingers and gently dabbed at his bruised undereye. It felt cool, comforting. 

“No. There would be questions. I could be arrested for underaged employment if I went to the hospital. My boss would be even more furious.”

“Then I will stay here with you.” Her gentle voice seemed to reach a deeper part of him, re-ignited a spark of warmth and happiness. That night, they went from unacquainted schoolmates to fast friends as they talked of the uncertainties that plagued their lives. She hadn’t lied about wanting to stay.

Eiji Saito was subsequently nothing without Reina Yamaguchi.

✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫

Scarlet Carousel
Searching for the centre of the universe, the centrifugal force that holds everything together.
Each spinning out of control, yet inevitably riveted.
Is this a journey with an end, or does the weight of the world settle in places where the spinning never stops.
Where then will the spiral lead them?

To be continued…

✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫ ✫

xoxo
Viktoria Jean