Category: Overseas

Ladurée – Their Macarons Make The World Go Round

By , January 3, 2013

[Tokyo, Japan] The favourite past-time of Japanese ladies seem to be sitting down at a cafe, savouring a pretty tiny piece of cake after a tough day of shopping. One of the cakes places to be caught in is definitely Ladurée in Tokyo, which are available at Ginza Mitsukoshi and Shinjuku Lumine. Having pastries and tea here is ‘tai tai’ life at its best.

Think about it: Luxurious European furniture, macarons of every colours, cakes that are just too pretty to eat, packaging boxes that comes in pink, violet and beidge, with the touch of ribbons and their signature pastel green paper box. This is the place to be seen. And perhaps having silent conversations of handbags and flowers.

Yes. I also felt awkward to be the only guy in the entire store.

For fans in Singapore, if you still have not heard, Ladurée is coming to town. What’s the fuss you may wonder? They ARE the inventor of the double-decker macarons (one ‘O’ please), known to be one of the best macaron makers, and still sell more than 15,000 of them every day.

From Singapore’s hearty love for macarons sold anywhere from Antoinette, Au Chocolat, Obolo, TWG, Canelé, Jean-Philippe Darcis, and Jewels Artisan, you know we have a slight obsession with the dainty brightly coloured sweet things.

The Parisian luxury patisserie chain is reported to be located in town, close to its sister company PAUL Bakery at Orchard. Let me make a guess, Paragon? (Read: PAUL Bakery)

Full Post Ladurée – Their Macarons Make The World Go Round

Ladurée
Ginza Mitsukoshi 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8212, Japan
Tel : +81 (0)3 3563 2120
Shinjuku Lumine 2, 1F, 3-38-2 Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Tel : +81 (0)3 6380 5981

Other Tokyo Entries
Café & Meal Muji (Ginza, Tokyo)
Tsukiji Honten (Shibuya, Japan)
Menya Musashi (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Mutekiya Ramen (Ikebukuro, Tokyo)
Tsukiji Fish Market (Tsukiji, Tokyo)

Bangkok’s Platinum Fashion Mall – 5 Best Stalls At This Shopping & Food Paradise

By , December 28, 2012

[Bangkok, Thailand] Fellow shopaholics listen up. You cannot go to Bangkok without a visit to The Platinum Fashion Mall, a six-storey fashion, clothes, accessories, bags retail and wholesale mall. Food lovers can also proceed to Level 6 to try its very popular food court where you can try the best of Thai food at a single place, at a very affordable price. Plus it’s air-conditioned.

The Food Centre is located at L6 on its 2nd Mall, and can get very crowded during peak hours. There are 28 stalls, selling cheap Thai food with some selling Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese offerings. While half of the group is probably filled with tourists, the locals (probably staff here) also dine here. Food price is cheap cheap. Compared to its counterpart over at Mahboonkrong MBK, it feels more convenient and cleaner as you make your purchases with a pre-paid card compared to paper coupons. (Read about: MBK Foodcourt)

Stewed Beef with Noodle Claypot (Stall P1)
My favourite stall at the entire foodcourt, the stewed beef combination soup (60 Baht, SGD$2.40, USD$1.95) comes with different ingredients of sliced beef, intestine, tendon and meatballs served in a claypot. The soup, part spicy and part herbal, is extremely flavoursome and goes well with fragrant Thai rice. The beef tendons and intestines are stewed so soft that they almost melt in your mouth.

Fried Oyster Omelette (Stall P11)
The stall called “Shell to Fry, Thai Fried Noodle”, which has the longest queue during lunchtime, sells familiar Thai street fare such as Pad Tahi with Prawn (75 Baht, SGD$3.00 USD$2.45,), Thai Fried Glass Noodle (50 Baht, SGD$2.00, USD$1.60) and Hoy Tod Fried Oyster (75 Baht). The Fried Oyster Omelette is crazy good, very crispy on its edge, fried with fresh oysters, served on top on crunchy beansprouts. Do add some sweet sauce on its side for extra oomph. I did wish it was a tad less oily.

Full Post Tokyo’s Bangkok’s Platinum Fashion Mall – 5 Best Stalls At This Shopping & Food Paradise

Platinum Fashion Mall Food Court
6th Floor (at Platinum Mall 2), 222 (Pratunum) Petchaburi Road, Ratchathevee, Bangkok, Thailand, Tel: +66 (0) 2121 8000
Opening Hours: 9am – 8pm

Other Bangkok Entries
MBK Foodcourt (Bangkok)
Greyhound Café (Bangkok)

Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market – What To Do, How To Go, What To Eat

By , December 14, 2012

[Tokyo, Japan] Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場), the world’s most famous fish market, is the must-go for first time visitors to Tokyo Japan. This popular wholesale market is where you will experience the real-life seafood auction with some of the biggest and freshest fishes you have ever seen in your life.

What To Do
If you are willing to wake up early enough to take an expensive taxi ride over, go for the tuna auction. However, the total number of visitors a day is restricted to only 120.

Foreigners who wish to view the auction have to apply at the Osakana Fukyu Center (Fish Information Center) at the Kachidoki Gate, starting from 5:00am on a first-come, first-serve basis. A first group of 60 visitors will be admitted to the auction between 5:25 and 5:50am, while a second group of 60 visitors will be admitted between 5:50 and 6:15am. I hear of visitors going at 4am.

If you do not mind skipping the auction, Tsukiji Market stays open until 1pm, though the real action does not exactly happen beyond 8am, and many shops close after 10am.

The next best time to visit is probably 9am because the wholesale market inside Tsukiji is off-limits to visitors until after 9 am.

How To Go
Many tourists may make the mistake of stopping at Tsukiji Station itself. The nearest station to Tsukiji Market is actually Tsukijishijo Station, reachable by the Toei Subway Oedo Line (The Magenta coloured line). If you would take the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line to the Tsukiji Station, it would be about a 10 minutes walk.

You can take the Oedo Subway Line directly from Shinjuku Station to Tsukiji Shijo Station. The one way trip will take about 20 minutes and cost 260 yen (SGD$4, USD$3.32).

What To Eat
A sashimi and sushi breakfast is a MUST at Tsukiji. Imagine how fresh the fish would be since this is THE market where all the best sashimi comes from. Tsukiji’s most popular sashimi restaurants can be found in inner alleys of Building 6, reached by walking in from the main entrance. You can also ask directions from the friendly security guards around, or follow tourists armed with the Lonely Planet.

Although they are many sushi joints at Tsukiji, two shops attract the longest queue – Sushi Dai (寿司大) and Daiwa Sushi (大和寿司). Many chose to walk in random shops during their visits, without the queue, and their standards won’t be too far off.

Sushi Dai is the easily most popular joint in the whole of Tsukiji, with queues snaking at the side of the shop, and can take from 2 to 3 hours for your wait. Starting operations at 5am, the set of 10 pieces and 1 roll will set you back by 3900 yen (SGD$61, USD$50).

For something very similar in quality and a much shorter queue, move to a shops away at Daiwa Sushi, which is actually run by the son of the owner of Sushi Dai. It is said that the father and son team fish together and compete to see who can catch and make the best sushi in Tsukiji.

Full Post Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market – What To Do, How To Go, What To Eat

Daiwa Sushi (大和寿司)
Tsukiji Market Part 6 Building, 5-2-1 #6 (5-10 min walk from Tsukiji Shijo Station). Tel: +-3 3547-6807
Opening Hours: 5:00am-1:00pm (Closed Sun, some Wed)

Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場)
5-2-1 Tsukiji (Tsukijishijo Station, Toei Oedo Subway), Tel: +81 03-3542-1111
Opening Hours: Outer Market 5:00am-1:00pm, Wholesale Market 9:00am-1:00pm, Tuna Auction 5:00am-6:15am. Closed Sundays, holidays, and the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month

Other Tokyo Entries
Tsukiji Honten (Shibuya, Tokyo)
Menya Musashi (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Mutekiya Ramen (Ikebukuro, Tokyo)
Sugamo Konaya (Roppongi, Tokyo)
Café & Meal Muji (Ginza, Tokyo)

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