Posts Tagged ‘Travel’
Posted by: admin
September 13th, 2014 >> Posts
Visiting Kopi Luwak farm was part of my Kintamani tour itinerary. Curiosity had better of me. My tanner half and I decided to give it a try while we were at it. Hence, here we were at Sai Land Bali Organic. Coincidentally, Sai mean "shit" in Hokkien.
As you walk into the farm, you will find yourself flanked by herbs and spices plants, visibly tagged for educational purpose. While you may expect to see coffee plants, I couldn't seem to recall any until we had arrived at the little hut.
There sat this old lady busy frying some coffee beans while we were greeted by a younger lady, Parmi, who walked us through the process of producing Kopi Luwak. From the growing of coffee plants to attracting wild civet to feast on them, from collecting civet's shit to extracting coffee beans, from roasting coffee beans to grinding them into finer granules, all are manually done in Sai Land Bali Organic.
On left: Bali coffee, Bali cocoa, chocolate coffee and Ginseng coffee
On right: Ginger tea and lemongrass tea
Our friendly lady host offered us tester for 6 different drinks on the menu. Judging by the lack of price tag for these testers, I reckon it is their customary practice to give you a glimpse of what they sell in store, which is effective from marketing standpoint.
Peaberry Coffee (Male Coffee) Rp 20,000
Now that we tried what we could possibly grab from store, we decided to order what we couldn't. One of it was this Peaberry coffee. It was not too sharp, which was perfect for me. Whilst it wasn't too sharp on its own, it was stronger than Kopi Luwak.
Kopi Luwak (Rp 50,000)
Nothing smelly or funky that I initially expected, my brain simply couldn't wrap around when my tongue proved that Kopi Luwak was very similar to coffee I have tried, except that it was smoother in taste even in the absence of milk. I must say I enjoyed my first cup of Kopi Luwak in my life.
Once we were done with our coffee and tea tasting, we decided to grab some goodies back. Two recommended from yours sincerely are Bali cocoa powder and ginger tea, which tasted really good in thick and authentic. Hence, we bought Bali cocoa powder 200g and Bali ginger tea 100g at Rp 100,000 and Rp 50,000 respectively. However, if you try to replicate the same flavour you tasted in Sai Land Bali Organic, you have to be generous with your sugar.
Besides selling packaged beverages, Sai Land Bali Organic sells spices, body lotions, massage oils etc. Some even come in a small cute packaging too! Good for those who want to grab some local produce/souvenirs.
IN SUMMARY, my personal ranking based on following criteria are:
- Ambiance - 5 out of 5 (Nice & chilly place, and there wasn't any mosquitoes!)
- Price - 4 out of 5 (c. RM15 for Kopi Luwak, considerably cheap)
- Drinks - 4 out of 5
- Service - 5 out of 5 (Free testers, friendly lady and umbrella service in rain, not that bad huh?)
- Shopping - 3 out of 5 (Shop was quite old but products are homemade, hence slightly pricier than commercial produce)
- Verdict - An educationally fun trip, recommended for family outing.
Sai Land Bali Organic Fairground
Br. Temen Penglumbaran,
Tel: +62 85737496289 / +62 81934302602
For the first time in Asia, the 15-hour long Luxury-themed event showcased five upcoming fashion labels, a customized 12-metres long “floating runway” across an infinity pool!
30 international models, a non-stop feature of DJ acts from 5 different countries and 5,000 attendees consumed more than 18,000 glasses of champagne – definitely one of the most extravagant outdoor fashion and lifestyle events held in the world, following those in Monte Carlo and Dubai!
Here're just part per thousands from the fashion show shots! XD
Unfortunately, due to the flight schedule, we have to fly back to M'sia, so there are lot of shows i had missed T_T... well , anyhow, till i see u again, Sentosa!
Posted by: admin
August 31st, 2014 >> Posts
Bebek Bengil (also known as Dirty Duck Diner) claims itself to be "The Original Crispy Duck Since 1990". As much as you are curious to know how true is their claim, I can't testify much. There are two branches in Bali, one in Nusa Dua, another in Ubud which I personally visited (here).
I personally like the closeness to nature. Surrounded with green paddy field, I must say Bebek Bengil provides better dining atmosphere than Made's Warung. While waiting for my food to arrive, I took my own sweet time strolling and admiring the well kept garden.
Hatten Rose by glass (Rp 41,000)
If you take a closer look at the menu, you will notice that Bebek Bengil serves more than just Indonesian food. Personally, I am the type of traveller that indulges pretty much everything local. Hence a glass of Hatten Rose was perfect for this beautiful evening.
Bebek Bengil (Rp 92,000)
Sharing the same name as the restaurant, it was a dish not to be missed. I was a little apprehensive at first. However, as you tear the duck apart, you will be overwhelmed with a sense of excitement at what it has got to offer. There was almost nothing I had to complain, be it the crispy duck skin, juicy shred of duck meat, well-marinated combo, or the condiments that served alongside. If only the skin wasn't that furry and duck wasn't that skinny clad...
Nasi Campur Bebek (Rp 74,000)
If you are afraid to go Bebek all the way, you can order this Balinese Nasi Campur with Crispy Duck, which allows a sneak peak into their Bebek Bengil at a lower price tag. I had nothing to complain about this main and it would be a super tough choice if I were to choose between this or Bebek Bengil as both offered equal appeal. In case you find yourself potentially landed in the same situation, get a partner or two to share.
IN SUMMARY, my personal dining ranking based on following criteria are:
- Ambiance - 4 out of 5 (if they can get rid of those mosquitoes, I would give them a full 5)
- Price - 4 out of 5 (c. RM40 per pax for such perfect mains and alcohol, no complain!)
- Food - 5 out of 5 (Perfecto!)
- Verdict - Will I visit again, given a chance? You bet I am!
Bebek Bengil – Ubud
Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal, Ubud, Bali 80571 Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 975489 / 977675
Fax: +62 361 975489
Gion is perhaps my favourite place in Kyoto and I would only like to complain that there’s too much to see. there are not just a lot of places to visit but also a whole lot of places to eat at! other than my Jouvencelle, I visited the famous Kinana which were reviewed by many Korean bloggers. I have a friend whom had passed me their card and tell me that I must go there when I go back to Kyoto.
it’s some health ice cream I heard.
so how to get there?
first, get to Hanami-koji! literally mean place to see flowers. I guess it’s a metaphor for a place to see Geishas hahaha.
okay now when you walk in, you should walk for a while and turn right into the next small street. it’s on that row. just keep walking around until you find it.
I kind of got lost since I went there looking at a map. oh well.
here’s how the alley look like! Kinana look pretty normal and it doesn’t stand out (at all!) so you should learn how to read Japanese. I am not kidding hahaha. it’s written “(something)(something)???” simple yes? just remember the double hiragana at the end.
*something something because I can’t read Kanji T_T.
Kinana had an array of desserts but I went right after some filling lunch at Izuju so I opted for something lighter. it looked like Kinana was known for their parfaits as well but oh well, there’s always a next time (and the parfait costs double! pfft.)
so how did it taste? I’d say, it tastes HEAVENLY. definitely a one of a kind ice cream shop as they have flavours barely sold anywhere else. I couldn’t remember any of the names of the ice cream by now but I had black sesame (my favourite of Japanese ice cream!) with some honey flavoured one. it was so light and fragrant I could have 2 more portions all by myself. it’s that type of ice cream which is soooo good you’d HATE to share.
we also ordered a bowl of Honey shaved ice. the beautiful honey paste resting on top of the finely shaved ice sure look desirable but if I was given another chance, I’d order the green tea. I like honey. but I didn’t like this one as much. the red bean and plain ice cream was good though.
oh hello =D.
although Kinana only has 6 flavours to choose from, it’s already a lot. the 6 flavours are Matcha (green tea), Kurogoma (black sesame), Azuki red beans, plain, Kuromitsu (black honey, says google translate), Yomogi (mugwort). there is another set where you can choose 3 ice creams and if you’re going with a friend I’d recommend to ORDER ALL THE FLAVOURS!!! =3. those mochi was good but the ice cream was amazing.
you can also buy a tub of ice cream BUT you can only eat it inside. like, standing. because you’re not supposed to eat on the streets of Hanami-koji. and they’d not allow you to bring it out. so I guess that’s for when the place is really packed or you’re on a tighter budget =X.
remember those writings on the cloth because they are your only clue! there are no pictures or anything outside so..
here’s the website : http://www.kyo-kinana.com
pricing : expensive but affordable. around 700yen to over 1000yen per person. the tubs were 360yen. not cheap but if you’re in Japan already, don’t skimp!
there are a lot to eat in Osaka, and I wouldn’t lie about it. but other than the normal Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki which could easily be found worldwide, let me introduce you to Kushi-katsu, a stick of almost anything deep fried. and it is not easy to find anywhere outside of Japan.
Kushikatsu can be found in many places in Japan but the famous (with chain restaurants!) one is kushikatsu Daruma. it is easy to spot. just look for an angry looking cartoon character outside the store!
can you see it?
this one’s the Namba chain (there are a few chains there too!) see the angry man now? hehehe.
and the one at Dotonbori’s main street! look at how angry he looks! I have no idea why he’s angry though @@. frying those kushikatsu and managing such a huge business must’ve drove him nuts haha.
I’m not sure about the other restaurants. but because Namba is FILLED with tourists and locals, they opened a huge restaurant and had it delivered to their customers with these cute “trains” and everything in the shop was pretty darn hi-tech!
I know it does not look very appetizing here. but the Camembert cheese tastes the best! to me.
I liked their beef and chicken too! and the chicken internal organ stuff =X. it goes very well with salt and chilli flakes!
check out the modern-ness of this awesome restaurant! and we order everything through the screen too! this way they don’t need many employees on the floor! and they can deliver much more efficiently!
my stop was Shin-Osaka hehehehe.
and here’s the interior of the restaurant!
okay back to the Sinsekai outlet.
today’s special menu! (?)
look at the amount of people here. we had to queue for it.
very sweet cabbage, spices and the kushikatsu sauce!
NOTE : YOU CAN ONLY DIP YOUR KUSHIKATSU ONCE in the sauce. no re-dipping!
now now, don’t it look good? it might be pretty pricey but it really did fill me up! don’t look down on them! I am not the biggest fan of fried food but when it comes to JAPANESE fried food? I’m in. it would not be something I’d like to eat daily but it’s really delicious! I’d grade it an 8/10. the dipping sauce wasn’t really my type but it’s good overall and I understand why I’d have to queue for this every time. because it’s really worth to queue for! well if your queue is over 30minutes maybe not.
I took an 8 hour night bus down to Kyushu from Osaka and got off at Hakata Station, Fukuoka. it was a little bit rural but everything there was so much more peaceful and the people seemed much more nicer and patient. for this post, I’d be writing about one of the most popular place to visit in Fukuoka, Dazaifu.
but first, here’s my tour guide of the day, Megumi! aka my best friend.
but the tour guide and I were so busy talking that we missed our station and passed another 3 stations until we noticed. T_T. and trains in Fukuoka come pretty slowly so we wasted a lot of time T_T. well at least we took loads of pictures! hehehe.
you will know you’re taking the right train if you see the cutest train in your life. ahahaha. ain’t it cute?!
even the insides are!
I just HAD to take a picture. hahaha. there are sakura on the lights too!
my very humble friend. someone please tell her that she’s pretty! hehe.
and finally, DAZAIFU!
here’s some of Dazaifu’s famous treats
and the shrine here. I think coming here during autumn would be much more beautiful but oh well..
upon exit, we bought this rice cake wrapped with seaweed. YUMMM.
they’d give you a small cup of rice and you can test all the mentaiko’s!!!! my favourite shop zomg. super delicious mentaiko they have. and in different spice level. ahhhh.
they also have mentaiko spread in tubes. yum. but I prefer the raw ones.
no matter how touristy this place may seem, Megumi told me that she never failed to come here at least once a year.
look at the background in the shop! the gardens they have here are just so… breath taking. and while having a meal? how cool is that.
this is like some Japanese national favourite character. you can see him EVERYWHERE. forgot his name haha. friend said its name is ANPANMAN!
just another restaurant. another pretty restaurant. I love Japan T_T.
do not eat this. I mean, do not get the one with the Mentaiko mayo. it isn’t just very disgusting, it’s more expensive! certified disgusting by a Japanese too.
Senbei’s (something like roasted rice crackers? roasted everything actually. into cracker form.) very popular around here. a must eat in Fukuoka!
and I met my love. =3.
love these red bridges too! so Japanesey =3.
and the trees!!! so very pretty.
I was so happy I just ran around doing silly things. and this was one of it. “oh look at my pink hair!”
so some kids wrote their wishes and it amounted to this. madness.
I shall be holy after rinsing my hands with these holy water of the holy shrine~ I see some people dabbing their lips with these holy water too!
AJISAI! the amazingly beautiful flower of the summer. =3.
and it comes in an array of colours. don’t it look magical?
hello cow. =D.
an adorable old couple! ^^.
if you come to Dazaifu, Umegaemochi is a must!
one for 120yen! ^^.
the famous shrine.
oh, did you know, that Fukuoka is like.. the Mentaiko land? the mentaiko here are known to be spicy and ridiculously delicious =P.
look at all these mentaiko goods! I have a pair of hello kitty in mentaiko costume socks too hehehehe.
and MORE mentaiko goods. crazy much?
totally out of my earlier mentaiko topic but TRY THIS CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM! it’s an ice cream I MUST eat every time I come to Japan. just toooooooo good.
okay that’s all!
Posted by: admin
August 10th, 2014 >> Posts
Pura Luhur Uluwatu overlooking Indian Ocean
Pura Luhur Uluwatu is one of the 7 sea temples around the Balinese coastal, along with Pura Tanah Lot. It is also one of nine directional temples meant to protect Bali from evil spirits. Ulu means head, Watu means stone. Therefore, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is a temple set on top of 80-metre small peninsula rock cliff protruding above Indian Ocean.
Crashing waves and gushing wind
Uluwatu is a famous place for surfing enthusiasts. It is not hard to see why. Standing at the stairways to the temple, I can feel the ferocity. Despite so, deep in my heart, I felt a sense of tranquility. I wished I had more time here.
On one hand, I wished to stay longer. On another hand, I was disturbed by the sight of monkeys. Although these monkeys are believed to guard the temple from bad influence, they are known to be mischievous.
Worse, a fierce monkey
That being said, not all monkeys are as scary as this. Along our way up to Pura Luhur Uluwatu, we walked past a few seemingly innocent ones and a rather careful one.
Free hair blow at Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Total damage: Rp20,000 entrance fee per pax
IN SUMMARY, my personal pura ranking (from highly recommended to least recommended) based on following criteria are:
- Interesting Elements (discovery)
- Pura Tirta Empul
- Pura Luhur Uluwatu
- Pura Tanah Lot
- Postcard Element (scenery)
- Pura Luhur Uluwatu
- Pura Tanah Lot
- Pura Tirta Empul
- Zen Element (level of soul searching)
- Pura Luhur Uluwatu
- Pura Tanah Lot
- Pura Tirta Empul
- Shopping Element
- Pura Tanah Lot
- Pura Tirta Empul
- Pura Luhur Uluwatu (not sighted)
- Value For Money
- Pura Luhur Uluwatu
- Pura Tirta Empul
- Pura Tanah Lot
after reading about this amazing cafe on kyotofoodie where he said is his favourite cafe, I told myself that I HAVE to come here one day despite how expensive it looks. Jouvencelle, which I believe means young (girl) is a cafe located at Gion, it isn’t located at the brightest place but because it is next to Yakasa Jinja, it makes it a little bit more easier to find.
Directions : basically, just get into Yasaka Jinja (or Yasaka Shrine) and head right and look for an exit on the right side. upon exit, walk straight and you’ll see Jouvencelle.
Jouvencelle is located on the second floor to this pottery/porcelain shop. see that green cloth? that’s the entrance to Jouvencelle.
I was pretty surprised by how small the cafe was. it was very clean-cut and hotel-like. and it became full in a bit! I went there on a weekday!
oh hello. =D. we ordered the famous Gion greentea fondue which is kind of the only one of its kind. there was a summer set which was served with jelly-looking mochi’s and chewy jelly noodles but it was more expensive T_T. we wanted quantity since we hadn’t ate anything and it was 3pm. so we ordered another bowl of green tea shaved ice to cool us down from the heat of the summer.
the Gion green tea fondue set and Matcha shaved ice.1,300yen (1,404yen with tax!). there was a hot guy beside me whom had this (but the summer edition) ALL BY HIMSELF. he came alone. Japanese people seemed like people whom are not afraid of loneliness/being seen dining alone. very different from people in Korea.
PS: there’s also another version sold on the Sakura season where the dip is Sakura fondue! dying to try it but Sakura season = exams for me T_T.
the green tea fondue was much more concentrated than expected and all the fondue dips were amazing. I especially liked the see-through mochi which I believe is warabi mochi while my friend preferred the dango dip. but one thing though, even eating this amongst 2 people, we find this a little sickening at the last few bites because of how concentrated the dip was. it was yummy nevertheless, it was just that we had to keep downing cups of water.
Uji Matcha shaved ice, 840yen.
the matcha shaved ice on the other hand, was the best shaved ice I’ve ever had. I said it, it’s literally the best. and my friend agrees. the green tea chocolate(? or just pure green tea and milk. I don’t know.) melts in your mouth like fine Belgian chocolate and the shaved ice was so yummy though the ice wasn’t super fine. there’s something about the combination which drove us crazy over it.
there was green pea paste in the middle of it too! pretty funky.
we didn’t want to leave the cafe. it was surprising how comfortable and delectable everything in that cafe was. the view of old Gion was great and the friendly staffs made everyone feel comfortable.
and if you are going to visit, remember to check out their gold toilet. almost everything in that toilet was gold. I shall call it the Kinkaku-ji toilet. you know why. =D.
came here with my Malaysian friend, Jia Yii whom had always haunted cheap food with me but we also share the same soft-spot for everything green tea. we splurged around a hundred ringgit just on green tea products that day ahhahaha.
itadakimasu! Imma devour you all!!!
my failed shot but do you see how thick those green tea fondue are?!
at the end of your meal dessert, they will bring you hot milk for you to mix with your left over fondue for you to create green-tea latte. I think we ate too much of the fondue leaving the milk to be pretty.. bland. or just milky. it was nice though!
all in all, I’d give it 5 stars for service, taste and appearance!
the cafe sells a variety of cakes and other desserts which looked really amazing so if you come in a group, then you can try more! well I can’t wait for my next visit so I can try different desserts! but I will order that shaved ice again if it’s available!
here’s the shop’s website : http://www.jouvencelle.jp
operating hours : 10am – 6pm
I came here TWICE and it was closed pfft. once because it was a public holiday and once because I came here at 630pm. so come here early! Japanese shops close early if they are sold out too. which sucks T_T. I took almost an hour to go to some famous soba shop. it was 30minutes before it was going to close but because they were sold out they closed 30minutes earlier. bummer. ALWAYS GO EARLY!
what’s coming to Osaka without visiting Dotonbori? since where I was living was pretty near, Dotonbori’s now my favourite spot despite the crazy amount of tourists and sky-high food prices. but I am sure those of you on budget are smart enough to dodge the tourist traps and hunt down for the cheaper ones.
the famous street of Dotonbori. with the huge crab. there’s two huge crabs by the way. this one’s just more central and and attractive. there’s also a humungous REAL crab inside which is the hugest king crab I’ve ever seen in my life. just pop inside and take a picture. I had a picture with it but my face was awful so..
and how can you miss the OKONOMIYAKI!!! I am a fan for Hiroshima’s Okonomiyaki but these are good as well. instead of having layers of vege and noodles this has.. everything mixed in it. errr.. and quite gingery. so for people who hates ginger I think you should skip this haha. I waited in line for an hour for this though. I don’t know which is good so I picked one with a long line of Japanese people hahaha.
I read some blogs stating that this costs 500yen but when I went it was raised to 700yen. T_T. bloody tourist traps. but it’s so yummy I can’t say no to it on a cold winter’s night.
the number 1 takoyaki store apparently. really, it’s really good. I tried it on my summer trip and I hated myself for not having it in the first place.
the busy busy street at night.
I bought takoyaki on my first trip from another famous store famous for it’s.. variety of flavours which was good as well.
still looks yummy alright but they could give a little more of those bonito flakes.
an Okonomiyaki store with queue so long it said we need to wait for 3 hours so I quit waiting =S.
famous Osakan icon. my Japanese friend just said “don’t ask who he is, just go take a picture with him”
we then head over for some delicious KUSHIKATSU! where you should only dip it into the sauce ONCE. because it’s going to be disgusting for the next guest if you keep dipping your disgusting saliva innit.
my favourite was the camembert cheese! so yummy U_U. love beef and chicken as well ahhhhhhhhhhh.
not to mention those chicken intestines. I went to their huge store so it came AUTOMATICALLY. which was super fascinating for a country pumpkin like myself hahahaha.
here’s a video on how fascinating it was! you have your own little station and all. I will blog on this restaurant someday later!
I forgot to take a picture of the entrance to the restaurant the last trip but don’t worry because I got you covered this trip! the shop’s name is “kushikatsu daruma” if my weak Japanese doesn’t do me wrong. very famous chain store and you can see it all around Osaka.
so for my summer Osaka trip, I took more pictures in Dotonbori and guess what? none of these pictures are edited! =D. other for the watermark of course. and that’s the beautiful stream by Dotonbori.
facing the stream’s this running Glico man. famous famous glico man.
walk up and there’s Ebisu Bashi-suji. a true shopping haven. the perfume sold at Kokumin’s really cheap too! like 2-3 times cheaper than our duty free in Langkawi. not that it’s famous for perfume.
Dotonbori during the day. less crowded because it’s wayyyy too hot.
this ramen shop with a dragon above. I’m a fan of bubzbeauty though I didn’t watch every single one of her video. she makes me feel better about myself and put a smile on my face =3. and ever since I watched her Osaka trip video I’ve been calling this place the bubz ramen shop because she came here before. I recognized how you can sit outside and all. hahaha.
it was too expensive for a poor student like me to afford the deadly puffer fish/Fugu. so what I did was I picked the cheapest take-out box they sold (it was around 800yen) and ate it at home. =D. it tasted pretty funky and it’s definitely the type of sashimi I’d go for if I have more money T______T. I hope my mom win the lottery or something. hahaha.
Posted by: Jamie Liew
August 1st, 2014 >> Posts
I thought I should not tell anyone so that Hankyu can be filled as always and I can have Keihan all to myself. to a tourist, what is 50yen for the extra hassle (which isn’t. but ONE minute longer)? but since I was on budget and I travel to Kyoto pretty frequent, getting to know about this method is like saving me enough to buy myself a bowl of Gyudon with 4 trips down to Kyoto from Osaka.
the typical way to travel to Kawaramachi Station (at Gion Shijo) is by taking Hankyu’s train from Umeda Station. it costs 640yen from Namba. first Midosuji line, then Hankyu line.
the OTHER way is to interchange at Yodoyabashi station to Keihan line for Gion Shijo (also from Namba, of course). this method costs 590yen. and it takes the same amount of time. well, one minute difference. so first, Midosuji line, then Keihan line.
unless you are living in Umeda, I think taking Keihan is the cheapest normally. =). I lived near Namba =D.