Malacca: The Daily Fix Cafe – A Cafe With Its Own Personality

When you think of Malacca, you think of Asam Laksa, Chendol, Penarakan food and Satay. But recently, there has been a number of cafes sprouting up as well. And one such cafe that settles on the stretch of the popular Jonker Walk is The Daily Fix cafe, hidden behind a retail shop. You will see the signboard placed prominently at the front of the shop, a sign not to be missed

That day when we were there, the weather was horrendous so when we stepped into the cool facade of the cafe, it was so welcoming. I like how the place speaks vintage yet tastefully decorated with old Penarakan charm

Ice Rose Latte RM12

Watermelon and Strawberry RM10.90

I thought the drinks were pretty good. The coffee though cold, has the strong aroma of the roast which was well balanced and smooth. And for those who would prefer non caffeine, the watermelon and strawberry juice was a refreshing drink for a very hot weather

Local Pandan Pancake RM12.90

The reason we visited the cafe, was to try their pandan pancake. The use of pandan in food is a very Asian thing. I like how the fragrance of the pandan was infused with the coconut and topped off with Malacca’s well known gula melaka to give that sweetness in a dessert

Durian Pancake RM13.90

Stuffed with thick durian cream topped with gula melaka

It would be better if they use real durian as stuffing, but that being said, the durian pancakes are still worth a try

Carrot Cake RM12

Their carrot cake is a worthy mention. It was actually pretty good. Even though it crumbles easily, the cake was light and moist and the taste of the carrot and walnut together was beautiful

The Daily Fix cafe is a good place to catch a break when you are met with unpleasant weather. It’s a cafe you will easily settle in, coupled with good desserts and drinks and also, a very clean toilet ;)

The Daily Fix Cafe

Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Food & Socialikes Connect 2015 – Togetherness in a Community

Last weekend I attended the inaugural event of Food & Socialikes Connect 2015, held at Lime House off Jiak Chuan road. It’s the first of a kind in Singapore, organized by a group of thoughtful food bloggers and instagrammers with the aim of bringing food bloggers and instagrammers together to share their love for food. The whole event was pretty long, starting at 10am and only ended officially at 4.30pm and the line-up was exciting with many speakers invited (think all the big names). The organizer was joking with all the big names here this year, they might have problems thinking of who to invite next year

After registration which started at 9.30am, boxes of sandwiches greeted us at the door, thoughtfully prepared by Lime House which was the event venue sponsor

And for the coffee addicts! Coffee from Kafve Coffee and Gentlemens Coffee serving us endless supply whole day which we really needed. Without them, we would really have issue surviving the day

The early crowd

Honestly I had my reservations of going to the event. Cos being alone and you don’t know what to expect, the fear of being awkward and just sitting at the corner by yourself was some of my passing thoughts. But I’m glad I took that leap of faith. I randomly sat beside this person who happened to be alone and the conversation goes like this –

Me: Hi, I’m xxx

Him: Hi, I’m xxx. Nice to meet you

Me: Nice to meet you. Erms, do you know anyone here?

Him: No, not really

Me: Oh great, that makes the 2 of us

And we laughed

I realised it was easy to strike up a conversation, not because you just had to find a topic to talk about but cos everyone who was there would know the food places you were talking about. It’s like person A started talking about cafe Z and everyone just joined in the conversation happily. It’s that easy. Though yes, there are some cliquish people who only talked among themselves but most of them are friendly souls who don’t mind gaining another foodie friend

Breakfast

Kafve Coffee serves current seasonal blends and also single origins. The coffee that day was deep roasted, nutty and a little chocolatey which I really like. It was like a perfect cup to kickstart the day

Hearty Jerk Chicken Sandwich

Lime House serves Carribean fare and the Jerk Chicken Sandwich is just one of them. You can taste the sweet and crunch of the onions admist the creamy marinate though not much of the jerk spice I would say. Still, it was very filling

It was a full house with 50 food bloggers / instagrammers all attentively listening

There were various topics which was touched upon like Technology & Food, Impact on Social Media on Restaurants, Rights & Plagiarisms, Lesson in Life & Blogging, Past & Present Trends of Social Media and the Future of Social Media, as well as a food photography workshop. Okay, the topics look like something we go through in lectures but in reality, these are pretty much something we can relate to

Founder of Burpple talking about how technology has played a part in today’s society

Next, a food photography workshop by Alex Ortega. He taught, we watched

 First you need enough light, second a white paper and third, a mirror. Sounds easy right, but when you try it yourself ha, it’s challenging. And besides, how often are you going to pack paper and mirror in your bag, especially for girls. Sometimes, I feel lazy bringing out my semi pro, what’s more all the other stuffs. I’m sure some of you think the same way ;) but I gotta admit, light really plays lots of difference to an object. It creates the mood and you play with the shadow to determine the texture and gradient of how the object is being shown. Enough light on the food will stand out due to its natural white balance and you don’t need much editing to it as well

So we break up for lunch and a mini mobile photography contest started

Rules of the contest

Object: Our Nasi Lemak Bento from Soon Huat

It’s not easy to shoot ok. You have to deal with too little light, too much light and not enough white balance but I think mine looks decently delicious? hahaha okay I’m so noob at this

In any case, Soon Huat specialises in Bak Kut Teh but it would be too much of a hassle to have Bak Kut Teh for lunch so here’s nasi lemak for a change. Honestly, I haven’t had nasi lemak for the longest time ever. Their nasi lemak was hmms normal but the chicken wings are worth a try. They have a deep har cheong taste to it which was delicious. Even though it looks dry and unappealing, it was actually tasty and satisfying. Never judge a book chicken wing by its cover

It was hilarious how the organizers said this friendly competition turned out pretty intense

Not kidding okay, these people go all out to take a picture. We have many serious instagrammers here #dontplayplay

After the camera had its fill, we can finally eat in peace

So we went on to talk about other topics like the impact of social media from the business perspective

Panel speakers: Miss Tamchiak, Chef Willin Low and owners of Saveur

It was interesting to note how owners think of bloggers and instagrammers. I know they are generally not very well-liked but not everyone just wants a free meal. Though it’s true when the person behind the camera don’t know what they reviewing about, they make a fool out of themselves and drive the chefs crazy. hee #whyisthrmsginmymushroomsoup

Rubbisheatrubbishgrow

Panel speakers: Danielfooddiary, Camemberu, Miss Tamchiak & The Hungry Bunny

I think Rights & Plagiarism is one topic most bloggers can relate to cos sometimes you just come across people who steal your work. When someone takes your pictures and content without asking, undeniably you feel super irritated, agitated or perhaps wronged because the amount of effort that goes behind one post is alot of work (I can totally relate to that). So next time when you want to plagiarise, think again. They might just file a DMCA notice against you (hey I learnt something new that day) Don’t steal la, be original :D

ieatishootipost

I have to admit, his talk was very cheem. It went on to light and galaxies and energy. Halfway through, I lost him =X Blame it on the nasi lemak! haha

We took a short break which sparks the next and final round of competition

Object: Cakes from thepalatteknife

I have never seen people being so serious in food photography before. This was like a whole new level. When the organizers announced for break, you see the crowd disappeared and when you walked around, you see people actually brought their own plates and props for the competition! ohmygosh, they win hands down, really

I just make do with the environment

I love the cakes! Each of the cake was simple, delicate yet tasteful with creaminess, sweetness and texture. It was a lovely afternoon treat alongside the coffee that was provided

Panel speakers: Johor Kaki, Seth Lui, Danielfooddairy and founder of Hungrygowhere

Future of social media. I think social media will still continue to play a part in our future. We are living in new age where our phone cannot be detached from our lives. There’s just too many social media out there right now, namely Facebook, Twitter, Instagram then we move on to Dayre and Snapchat and who knows what’s going to come out next. It’s so difficult to keep track these days. You know, we no longer young yes? Dealing with social media is one thing, developing a niche area is another. One of the advice given is to encourage aspiring food bloggers / instagrammers to focus on a certain area with the likes of Samantha Lee who specializes in bento art. If you know what you would like to focus on, go ahead. If not, just walk the 大众路线, everything chapalan

It was an interactive event where time is also given to the floor for Q&A and you can ask the questions that have been bugging your heart like, do you purposely do [a certain stuff] to gain viewership etc. It’s even more interesting to see how they answer  your questions, whether they were just being politically correct, being pure honest or stunned like vegetable

We adjourned to the second floor for some mingling time after the conference officially ended. FYI, Lime House is a 3-storey establishment with the restaurant at its first, a private space on its second and an empty area on its third

With more complimentary drinks provided

Strawberry Coconut Mocktail

The mocktail has both the punge of sweet coconut and citrus strawberry which was fruity and refreshing

Behind the scenes to take a shot. They really spent lots of effort to take that one shot. It’s very amazing. Everyone was just watching. You may think huh! It’s just a drink! Well, a drink may be a drink to you, but it’s an object to the eyes of a photographer, and it’s up to them to bring life to it. That’s why I’m just a food blogger and not a photographer. Ha, it’s too much work =/

I appreciate this was the first of a kind event in Singapore. It was fun to meet fellow food bloggers / instagrammers, and also insightful to know more about the community and industry. I think the organizers really done a good job with it, even though it’s only a small scale event. But as what they say, don’t look down on all the small things, cos one day you look back and realize those were all the big things. Perhaps in years to come, FSC might just be something everyone is aware of, not only in the food community

Showing you what lucky delegates get to bring home that day

And of course this event will not be possible without the following people:

Organizing Committee

@ironsage (Aries Ong)

@pinkypiggu (Nicole Poi)

@rubbisheatrubbishgrow (A. Nathanael Ho)

@sgfoodonfoot (Derrick Tan)

@stormscape (Nicholas Tan)

Sponsor

Alfero Gelato, Brand Cellar, Cold Front Co, Dancing Chef, The Entertainer, Fiji, The Fullerton Hotel, Garden Picks, Gentlemen’s Coffee, Huiji, Kafve Coffee, The Laughing Cow, Lime House, Miam Miam, Oceans of Seafood, Palette Knife, Soon Huat, Spicy Thai Thai Cafe, Sunrise Bistro & Bar, Win Win Food Singapore

So with that,

FSCsg15, it’s a wrap!

Travelogue: Peaceful Geneva and Mesmerizing Paris

We passed by Montreux, a place known for holiday resorts for the rich. The main attraction there is the Chillon Castle, a historic castle in Lake Geneva which is probably the most visited attraction of the country. It was built originally to allow the occupants to extract a toll from people and goods passing between Italy and the rest of Europe. The roadway here is wedged between the lake and the cliffs, so there was no way to get around Chillon

Château de Chillon or known as Chillon Castle

The castle by the lake which unfortunately looks like some construction is going on. BOO. It would have been pretty to be able to view the whole castle though

Lake Geneva is about 500sqm with 2/3 being owned by the Swiss and 1/3 being owned by the French

Such amazing view

Just so it would be a pity if I did not take a photo in such awesome weather

Before proceeding to visit the rest of the attractions in Geneva, we went to have lunch which I did not realise we actually paid for lunch to be arranged, and what’s appalling is.. we were having Chinese food again

Lunch

I think we had so much bad pasta when we were given sub standard Asian fare, we will find them tasty as well. This is terrible. I’m honestly sick of Asian food at this point of time. I rather we had Marche. Like hello, we are in Swiss! I’m just thankful I had rosti already

So we continued our sightseeing trip. Geneva not only is a financial city but also one of the world’s major centre for international organizations, which include Red Cross, World Trade Organization and World Health Organization. It is also the second most populous city in Switzerland and the people here speak mostly French. Even though there are many international organizations, the one we visited was United Nations cos too little time, too many places you know

United Nations

Even though the headquarters is situated in Manhattan, New York City but the office here is the second largest and still hold important presence

Flags of 193 nations.. I think

We happened to witness a demonstration going on though I’m not very sure what they were demonstrating against

A closer look at the people involved

Anyway the main point here is not the demonstration but the monument of the broken chair

The monument of the broken chair that was opposite United Nations

The broken chair was meant as a symbol to stand against land mines and cluster bombs and served as a reminder to politicians, which is pretty interesting. Are they going to build one monument for every event that happened?

A very hi-tech ticket issuing bus stop

Flower clock

A symbol of Swiss watches. You can smell the fragrance of the flowers from far far away

The decoration of the flowers change when each season changes

Super cute recycling bins

They must have really little litter for the bins to be this flat

Jet D’Eau

The city’s famous landmark, the fountain jet. I can’t tell what’s so special about it but it is supposedly one of the world’s largest fountain

The buildings around the stone jetty

Walked around the park and enjoying the stroll

Such enjoyment to just sit on the grass and people watch, just being carefree and relaxed

I guess that’s how the lifestyle like here in Swiss. And then I can’t remember what happened for the rest of the day enroute to France, cos my memory card was full and I didn’t realize and as a result I lost some photos. But I guess there should be nothing much other than.. more bad hotel dinner =/

xx

Finally moving on to France. Travelling can be quite tiring at times, especially in this scenario you are cramming 11 cities in 12 days. We stayed at the city of Dijon cos Geneva to Paris will be too long a journey. Novotel Dijon has crappy dinner but they have edible breakfast

Fried rice! Pretty surprising, though far from Asian’s standard. The best way to keep yourself full is to eat more eggs. I might have a phobia seeing ham now after eating it for 12 consecutive days =X

And then marks another few hours journey to Paris

Cos I was bored so selfie time!

Finally reached Paris and first stop was lunch at some Chinese restaurant. Yup, no prize for guessing what’s for lunch

Beautiful Paris buildings

Just thought it was quite interesting that the name of the shop is placed reflectively

Lunch was actually decent though I might be a little happier if we had French food

Sightseeing started after lunch and so we were brought to some of the well-known attractions

Like the Eiffel tower!

We were actually pretty far from the tower so we requested the guide to bring us nearer to the tower. I mean, what’s the point of seeing it from such a far distance away right. So the guide obliged and gave us 10 minutes for a quick photo stop

What did one tower say to the other? :D

TA-DA!

The tower is really a sight to behold. So majestic and pretty. It was mad crowded that day with tons of people queuing up to go up to the tower. The local guide said it might take 4-5 hours judging from the queue. And with so many tourists, there are bound to be pickpockets, and we did spot some suspicious people lurking around

Happy me with the tower

Stopped at the end of Champs-Élysées so that we could take a photo of Arc de Triomphe. Yeah how sad we did not even have time to even walk down Champs-Élysées :(

Arc de Triomphe

One of Paris’s famous monuments which honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. It would be nice if we could have the time to get closer to the Arc to see the details but I guess this is all we could afford. Time was so tight we could only tour Paris on our coach bus for the rest of the day =/

Place de la Concorde

The largest public square in Paris, where King Louis XVI was executed during the French Revolution. The name was changed to Place Louis XV then Place Louis XVI and then back to Place de la Concorde. I guess historians cannot make up their mind =X

Obelisk at the centre of square

Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramesses II. It is one of two the Egyptian government gave to the French in the 19th century. The original cap was believed to be stolen so the French government added a golden cap in 1998

The Louvre

I am sure everyone knows the Louvre

One of the world’s largest and visited museums housed in the Louvre Palace

And the Glass Pyramid

The bus happened to drive pass Pont de l’Archevêché, the famous bridge for love locks, which is probably overfilled with locks

Hôtel Les Invalids

A complex building of museums and monuments relating to military history of France. Okay, not my kind of thing

The weather was very sad that day by the way. It was just cloudy, dark and gloomy

Popped by a cafe to have a cup of hot chocolate. Cafes in Paris are really pretty. Just nice to sit and chill and watch the day goes by

So we went on a scenic river cruise around River Seine and it was ohmygoodness boring. This was the last optional tour offered by the agency and I have no idea why we decided to take it

Pont Alexandra III

We did spot Pont Alexandra III from the cruise though and the architecture was intricate

No other photos cos we were seated inside the cabin and it was too far for photos, plus it was cold and rainy, plus our coach bus has passed by most of the attractions earlier. Why did we take the cruise again? Argh, sometimes tour agencies can be very frustrating you know. This 1 hour 10 minute we spent on the cruise could have been put to better use, like seriously

Thoughts on the cruise: Just don’t take it. It’s super crowded as well

And soon enough, it was time for dinner

The tunnel where Princess Diana had her car crashed. Not an attraction, just so, you know. haha

I think everyone wanted to flip when we reached the restaurant. It was the same place we had for lunch plus gosh, Chinese food again! I might have mistakingly thought we were touring Asia

Okay there’s curry chicken but I think everyone would be much happier if we were eating French cuisine. And the guide was very smart to be avoiding our radar cos he knew he will be slapped with questions if he comes near us during dinner. So we kinda ended the day with an unhappy note but oh wells, what can you expect from tours?

The hotel we stayed in was on the outskirts of Paris called Appart City Velizy Villacoublay. The hotel messed up the room allocations and they had the worst breakfast ever. So bad, there’s no photo =/

So it was shopping day in Paris with Galeries Lafayette being the first stop. The mall opens at 9.30am, we were there at 9.20am and this was how it looked like..

=O

This was the back of the queue by the way. There were so many people, crowded is an understatement

Galerie Lafayette is really huge. So huge you need at least one day here to finish shopping and we were only given 3.5 hours including lunch. So that marks the start of our mad rush shopping plus claiming tax refund process

I’m still glad we had time for a sit-down lunch and not those self-service lunch which I really don’t enjoy. Wanted to locate Laduree cos apparently there’s one nearby but I couldn’t find it. So in the end we settled on this random cafe that was just beside the Lafayette

Dog waiting for food. The dog was inside the cafe by the way

Fresh and good French baguette

French Onion Soup

Salmon and Potatoes

Steak and Fries

In all honesty, the food isn’t that great. It was passable and edible and I had better French food in Singapore. But I guess in view of limited time and convenience, we just had to make do with whatever we can

Cafe de L’Opera

9 Rue de Mogador, 75009 Paris 9e arrondissement, France

Bought a box of Pierre Hermé macarons from Lafayette for desserts and cos I really wanted to see if there’s any good

Verdict: Yes, it’s really better in Paris. The meringue biscuits are more consistent and the flavours are strong and hit the palate right away

Dinner was at this self service restaurant cos we were stuck in a long jam and had very little time for dinner. So we could only settle for quick and convenient food

Duck Confit with Mixed Vegetables

The duck was actually pretty decent

Salmon with Rice and Brussel Sprouts

We ended the night with a night view of the Eiffel tower. The guide brought us to this place where we can watch the light-up of the tower

Before 9pm

After 9pm

It was really mesmerizing. It was challenging to take a photo cos it was raining with strong wind and there were so many umbrellas going around. I know you must be thinking why the sky after 9pm looks even brighter than the one before. haha the main point here is the tower, not the sky ;)

Went back to the hotel after that cos we had an early flight the next morning. We had to reach the airport even earlier cos we need to do tax refund, which turned out to be a pretty simple process. First, make sure the stores filled up the forms properly for you (like all your particulars are filled up correctly), then you queue to scan at the machines for purchases made in Paris or those forms that had a barcode and move on to the counters for those that doesn’t have a barcode (like purchases made elsewhere in Europe). There is only one queue since everyone has to pass the machines to get to the counters. Make sure you have all your purchases with you cos they do random checks. After they chopped on the forms, you can move on to the bank (on the left) if you decided to claim back in cash. You have the option in claiming back in your home currency if you would like. Just take a queue number and wait for your turn to be called. For those who choose to claim back on credit card, you can just drop it in the box provided. Just make sure you drop in the correct box and you are done with tax refund. You then repack your luggage and go back up to check-in. See, pretty simple right?

Just had to take a photo of this. This would never happen in Singapore, or rather, very very low chance of occurring

We still manage to board so yay. I didn’t like the A380 though. I preferred the one I took from Singapore to Milan. The windows on the A380 are too far away from the seats which make it difficult to lean

Lunch

Pork with black bean sauce and fried rice

Food never felt this tasty. ha. I can’t wait to be back home already

Plus ice-cream too

Breakfast

Breakfast never felt this good

Home Sweet Home!

Tour is really not my kind of thing. I can’t do with bad food and the itinerary just felt too rushed and compact. True enough, it is value for money and you get to see most of the places in 12 days but it is really just touch-and-go. I guess it is just so I can go back again to the places I would really like to explore next time.

So Europe, till next time!

Read here for Travelogue: Charming Lucerne, Picturesque Interlaken and Beautiful Bern

Dazzling Cafe, That Taiwanese Honey Toast

I actually went back twice, not because the food here was so awesome but cos the first time the friend pangseh-ed us, so we went back again so she can try. The whole mall is still very new, with only a few tenants operating just yet. And Dazzling Cafe is one of them. If you are a frequent traveller to Taiwan or an avid fan of toast, you will not find Dazzling Cafe a stranger. The concept of the cafe was pretty, or rather cutesy with likes of a typical hi tea kind of setting. I am sure females will just be drawn to the welcoming interior of the cafe without even trying the food


Rose Latte (w alcohol) $8

I think the rose latte was actually pretty decent. A strong hint of rose balanced by the coffee without much taste of alocohol. But apparently there is really presence of alcohol in it cos D’s face turned red after drinking it. Hee

Dark Chocolate Mocha $8

A confusing cup of coffee with the chocolate and mocha being neither here nor there

Truffle Fries $10.90

Overlooked fries with no taste of truffle and not enough salt

Smoked Parma Ham Salad (Balsamic Vinaigrette) $12.90

A salad which took 30 minutes to arrive after our fries. And it’s just salad. The salad was okay but I actually like the parma ham though some might think it’s a little too hard for their liking

Mentaiko Spaghetti in Cream Sauce $18.90

A very normal tasting plate of pasta

Spicy Seafood Tom Yum Tomato Spaghetti (Singapore Exclusive) $22.90

We actually like the tom yum spaghetti. The taste of tom yum was evident, and balanced by the tangy tomato sauce but it would have been better if they could add more spice to it to elevate the taste more

Matcha w Azuki Honey Beans Toast $19.90

Probably the reason why we are here. And it’s really not bad. There are 3 levels you can choose your toast to be: Soft, Normal or Crispy and we ordered crispy for this. I like how the matcha icecream was thick enough and paired it with the buttered honey toast was just like best combination ever. The azuki beans were soft, chewy and sweet though you may only find a lucky few hidden

Strawberry Honey Lover Toast $18.90

We went for the Strawberry Honey Lover Toast cos it was the first to be featured on their toast menu. This toast is a little different cos it’s one whole cube of thick toast rather than the 4 generation Matcha toast. We went normal for the crispiness of the toast, but generally I think crispy suits the toast more but wells, personal preference. The strawberry icecream was pretty shiok but I thought it was sweet enough without even the need to add the honey. We agreed the 4 generations toast was nicer just cos there was more ‘surprise’ to it than just one whole block of cube

Chocolate Waffle w Baileys Icecream $12.90 (additional $2.50 for icecream)

Just cos it was so tempting, we ordered a waffle to share and we were so full after that. This is the result of being too tamchiak. You can choose the crispiness level for the waffle as well and we went for crispy. I mean it’s weird if your waffles are soft right. The chocolate waffles taste chocolatey and pretty decent though I am sure you can find better waffles elsewhere too

The first time we patronised we waited so long for the food to come, we were so agonized over it. So we learnt a lesson to know what to order beforehand and placed our orders once we were seated. And hey, it really worked. The food came in 15 minutes! I think the food here is generally not worth trying. Just come here for the toast and tea and you will be happy enough

Dazzling Cafe

11 Stamford Road, Capitol Building

Saint Andrew’s Cathedral Capitol Building, S(178884)

Travelogue: Charming Lucerne, Picturesque Interlaken and Beautiful Bern

Good morning Switzerland!

I can live with this view everyday :)

Breakfast was… can you guess?

an assortment of bread and ham (again). But the bread here was really good! It was soft and decently good and all of us happily just eat the bread with the variety of spread provided

They even had hot water which was rare cos we didn’t see that in the hotels we stayed in Italy

It was a really cold and wet day in Lucerne, which was quite sad to take photos cos half the time we were shivering in the cold, the other half the time we were sheltering ourselves from the rain. We went to see the Lion monument after breakfast which was a highlight in Lucerne or so I think

Lion monument

A sculpture to commentate the Swiss soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation during the French Revolution. It was a very sad statue with an arrow in the lion’s stomach. Just look at the lion in pain

And then we were ‘released’ for shopping to get watches, chocolates or some souvenirs

So we decided to settle at a cafe to get warmth since there is only so much you can buy

After which, it was a trip up to Mt Titlis day, another optional tour offered by agency. Mt Titlis is the highest mountain in the portion of the Uri Alps which is about 3,000m high and about 45 minutes drive from the town but our driver drove so fast we arrived in 20 minutes

The whole day in Lucerne was just like this

To get to the top, we had to take 3 cable cars plus weather the cold at the same time and this is what we got on the way up

White, foggy and misty. Cannot see anything, at all

It was raining yet when we start to ascend, it began to snow, and everyone was just excited. Lunch was arranged (on additional expenses) before touring the alps, and food was fantastic. I can say so cos under such weather when you get such warm and decent Asian food is the best thing you can ask for

Not kidding, they can really cook

Food for 4 pax, and the food can be refilled. So good!

And so we began to roam around, but in all honesty the whole place was pretty small. There’s not much attractions such that you need a few hours there unless you are going to ski or something

The best view we can get to the alps outside

Walked the glacier cove, cliff walk and just froze ourselves to death in the snow

The cove was covered in ice and has these mini ice sculpture with very wet floor. Half the time you are hoping you don’t slip and fall and kill yourself. That being said, it wasn’t very big. I think you probably complete the walk in 10 minutes

Cliff walk! Well basically you climbed all the way to the top and walked across this suspension bridge so that you can feel like you are on top of the world with the alps and snow beneath you. But it was so glaring you had a hard time focusing you thought you are going to be blind soon, plus it’s snowing, plus you are climbing steps covered in snow plus the handrails are dripping wet. How awesome..

Cold is an understatement. The temperature that day was in the negative. I know you can’t tell it’s snowing but it is

Thoughts on Mt Titlis: I think the weather that day I went wasn’t ideal. Unless you are going there to play snow sport which will probably be much more fun, I don’t think it’s worth it to just go there for the view. It would be more enjoyable if you have activities in mind but that being said, mine is a tour = limited time for everything, which is why I feel like the agency shouldn’t even offer this in the first place

We went back down to the town of Lucerne after awhile, which we visited a few more attractions. I was very glad to be down in civilisation, less cold you know

The water tower, an iconic attraction of Lucerne and the chapel bridge

There’s supposedly painting inside the bridge but the bridge was burnt in 1993 so there are only 30 paintings left and restored, of the original 147 that existed before the fire

Such a charming place, so easy to fall in love with

Yes, I’m taking a photo of you

Needle Dam, another attraction, which is basically a dam restricting water using needle wood

We wanted to try Wirtshaus Galliker but the kitchen only opened at 6pm and we were time constrained so we had to give it a miss. We walked randomly and decided to try this place instead

Wirtshaus Taube

A very cozy place with free wifi, no less

Red wine

We asked the waitress to recommend and she really recommended something awesome

Swiss Rosti!

Or what you called the real Chapelbridge roschti. I felt so happy eating this. The potato were fried so perfectly the burnts were not only fragrant but also delicious. The combination with the egg, bacon and cheese was just perfect

Pork with ham and cheese and fries, Cordon Bleu style

I asked the waitress if this was good, and she said absolutely. So I gave this a try

The pork was fresh without any porky taste. Filled with ham and cheese, you can taste the different layers of the flavours, it was a well executed dish

Caramel pudding with hazelnut

I couldn’t resist dessert. I was quite surprised my pudding came in such form. I was expecting a solid pudding. Still, I enjoyed the dessert was not too sweet and the addition of the nuts provided a surprise element to it which was a delight

Very glad I had this meal in Swiss which is probably one of the best meals for the whole trip =/

Wirtshaus Taube

Burgerstrasse 3, 6003 Luzern, Switzerland

Roamed around a little after dinner while waiting for time to pass. Love the buildings here for they all have their unique identities

The people here really have work-life balance. By 630pm, I see most retail shops are closed. It’s like a dead town already

But still, Lucerne is really a charming little town and filled with friendly people. It is such a easy place to fall in love with

Caught the reflection of the light on the alps on our way back

Good night Lucerne and goodbye!

xx

Rise and shine, in Switzerland day 2. I skipped the breakfast part cos it’s the exact same breakfast, with more drama cos we have to finish our breakfast so fast before the ah tiongs finish our share as well. So stressful seriously. Today is a planned trip to Piz Gloria, a famed alps that was filmed for some James Bond movie

Before ascending to the top, I was happy the weather was pleasant and filled with sunshine

We had to take a few cable cars up, there were so many I can’t remember how many we took and they played the Bonds song when the cable car started moving. Talk about being in theme. But the view on top was breathtaking!

I do wonder what are these houses for though and who lived there

And soon enough, after a few cable cars, we finally reached the top

Just white,

pretty

and priceless

The viewing gallery isn’t particularly huge but it’s big enough to view the alps in the area. The temperature that day was 0 degrees, though I know it doesn’t seem much like it. And what entertains us was this couple who was taking their wedding shoot on the viewing gallery, shivering and jumping at the same time. lol

The James Bond cut out which was awkwardly placed in the middle of nowhere

There was a mini Bonds exhibition on the lower gallery which was a good option to hide from the cold and the howling wind so off we went. The gallery was basically everything Bonds related, or at least related to the movie that was filmed there. Very small, and nothing much

All for picture sake ;)

So I went back up and found people skiing. Looks so fun, though I don’t know how and we wonder where they go after that cos looking at the never ending snow, you can’t seem to find the end point

And we needed to pass time while waiting for lunch to be ready at the upper gallery, so what better way to order a cup of hot chocolate and use their free wifi

You would have thought you had come to a mini Bonds theme park, from the hardware to the wifi. The wifi was named 007 by the way

cannot.make.it

I was very glad lunch was over in a jiffy. So we left the place but as we were on our way down, we stopped by the lower platforms which you get another view of the alps, and it was spectacular

It was a transparent glass I was standing on so you get to feel like you have the world at your feet, and yes I have no fear of heights :D

For the kid in you, you get to play with the snow

And I conclude Piz Gloria wins Mt Titlis, period

We popped by Interlaken, a very small town with a population of about 5,000 people. It’s so small there’s nothing much to explore and we were allocated so much free time there, oh gosh. The town has only one main street, which was lined with many watch shops. I mean, how many watches can you buy? Plus it isn’t exactly cheap in Swiss, just that they have newer models

The train was probably one of the attractions (but just look at the background)

Blooming flowers everywhere

Really pretty and captivating

Saw some lonely horse carriages along the way

and very interesting shop models

The perfect spot for ootd

This hotel was really beautiful, decorated with flowers and all. You feel like you can hold a fairytale wedding here, like seriously

Just so I bought so much chocolates for everybody, I decided I should get something for myself. These Swiss truffle chocolate are pretty good. I like how it isn’t overly sweet but you can still taste the deep chocolate flavour in your mouth

Paragliding is a very popular sport there but in such weather, I might freeze to death

And so as day ends, the weather got even colder. I was just happy when the tour guide collected us earlier and we could go back and rest

xx

Hotel for the night was at Allegro, which was the best hotel of the trip. It was a decently big local 4 star hotel with 4 restaurants located in the hotel. I was regretting that we didn’t have dinner on our own expense there. It would definitely, for sure, be good

Just had to take a photo at the lawn area. Even though the photo looks fine, I was shivering in here cos it was so bloody cold that morning

Breakfast was really sumptuous. I don’t think we could have anything better than this

There’s smoked salmon!

And a variety of yoghurt with toppings you can add on yourself

It’s the only hotel, that the egg does not taste weird and the tomatoes were awesome

My strawberry yoghurt with fresh strawberries, hazelnut and walnut!

I was very satisfied. ha

And then we explored the city of Bern, which is also the capital of Switzerland. How Bern became the capital of Switzerland was cos the founder decided to name the city the first animal that was hunted and they got the Bear, hence we got Bern

Dancing bear on the wire

No, it’s not real, just if you are wondering

We went to the Bear park which is a main attraction hoping that we are lucky to see some bears, since well it is quite a symbolic icon of the country. But nope we didn’t. Either the bears were still sleeping or the weather is too cold for them to come out

The bear’s home with no bears

So I got this image from Google just so, you know how a bear looks like (credits to bern.com)

It actually looks quite cute. The tour group was lightheartedly joking that we used our imagination. So we started saying ‘there there! the bear is drinking orange juice, can’t you see?’ -___-

No bears, but super gorgeous view overlooking River Aare on the Nydeck bridge. I feel like I can live here already

Such awesome view

Nydeggkirche or Nydegg Church

The tallest Cathedral in Swiss and also the second oldest church in Bern that replaced Nydegg Castle, which happened to be situated at Old Bern area

So we were given time to roam around the old city of Bern that was founded in the 12th century, which is now a UNESCO heritage site

The special clock tower that will have music coming out 4 minutes before the minute hand strikes 12

The Parliament building on Bundesplatz, which is the government plaza

Crossing the roads can be challenging cos the train doesn’t really stop for you

Exploring the old city of Bern which has its own charm and beauty

and fair share of goodies :D

Read here for Travelogue: Cultural Florence, Mediaval Pisa and Metropolitan Milan

Paddy Hills, An Instagram-Worthy Cafe

This place has been flooding my instragram feed lately so the friend and I decided to check it out. Located between Haw Par Villa and Pasir Pajang, this cafe isn’t the most accessible but well, people travel for food right? We were fortunate that the place wasn’t that crowded when we went in the late morning but the crowd grew by lunch time. I like how the place is tastefully decorated. The interior, somehow, reminds me of Kith

Latte $5.50

Mocha $6.50

I think the drinks are pretty normal but they had placed a lot of effort in the presentation

And the famous hotcakes

Berry Ricotta Hotcake $19

Blueberry sugar, Berries, Pine Nuts, Mascarpone & Maple Syrup

It was a beautiful plate of hotcakes that felt like food for spring

The hotcakes were not your usual pancakes but taste rather cake-like. The sides were crisp and sweet which makes it pretty addictive but the dough very much felt like eating a sponge cake. The toppings were generous, sweet and complement the ‘cake’ perfectly. But this is definitely too much for one pax

Small Breakfast $12

We decided to get the Small Breakfast instead of Big Breakfast which comes with additional bacon steak, avocado & caprese. I am very glad with our decision. The Small Breakfast might look small, but it is filling enough since we were ordering dishes to share

2 Slices of Toasted Bread, Truffle Potato Mash, Mushrooms & Sous Vide Egg

The toast were nice and crisp and the mushrooms were nicely done with earthy flavours. The mash has hint of truffle and there is a mix of texture and balance when you eat it with the sous vide egg

Truffle Fries $15 (only available from 11.30am)

Shaved Smoked Cheddar, Sage & Garlic Aioli

When the fries came, we were like uh-oh. The colour was dark, which shows it was overcooked. The taste of truffle was spread evenly but I thought it was a very normal plate of truffle fries

Do not miss the wall outside the cafe for all your ootds

Food seems pretty decent and service was okay. I read that some have met with slow service but I was glad it did not happen to us. It would be nice to try their lunch menu one day, if I happen to be in the area cos right now, this place is just a little too inaccessible for me

Paddy Hills

38 S Buona Vista Rd, S(118164)

Travelogue: Cultural Florence, Mediaval Pisa and Metropolitan Milan

So after a disappointing Macs dinner, we await what surprise will breakfast bring. I must say, breakfast that day was probably one of the better ones we had from all the days so far. It was actually quite a spread. Hotel for the night was at Novotel Firenze Nord, which looks decently big

The cereals are actually pretty good

Look, hard boiled eggs! I didn’t know hard boiled eggs are such luxury until I tried their scrambled eggs and I wanna cry

And bacons!

If you realised, my portion of scramble eggs get smaller and smaller. The thing is Italian scramble egg tastes super weird. I have no idea what they add or what they didn’t add, but we must be so accustomed to our version of scramble eggs that theirs, in comparison is a whole different level

Travel to the city after breakfast to start our sightseeing where we met our local guide, who was a football fanatic and also a super enthusiastic guide. She was going to catch a football match right after our tour ended. I guess it’s good to have a guide to be so hyper if not the tour would be very boring

Santa Croce

A minor basilica of the Roman Catholic church and the burial place of some of the most famous Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli

Statue of some very famous poet which was just outside the church

Then we made our way towards the main square with a stop at Santa Maria del Fiore

Buildings of Florence

Santa Maria del Fiore

Honestly we were in awe when we saw this, for it was huge but the guide said this was the back of the church so we walked to the front to see how it looked like

Paintings everywhere

Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is the 4th largest church in the world, which took over 600 years to complete. The details of the church is really exquisite and the use of green and red marble added some colours to the church though I start to get dizzy after staring at the photos for too long. Even though it looks really big when we walked the perimeter, the guide said the interior of the church is actually really small. We didn’t get to go inside cos they were having a mass

Gates of Paradise

Which has ten panels depicting scenes from the Old Testament

You know you are really in Italy when you see the flags everywhere

Palazzo Vecchio

which was also pretty crowded that day

The famous David statue, by Michaelangelo. But this is the replica, the original statue is being kept in the museum right now. According to the guide, it was quite a feat for Michaelangelo to carve out this statue that showcases the minute details of the human body at a young age

Ponte Vecchio, above the Arno river

Known as old bridge, it is one of the still functioning and existing bridge that houses tenants. In the past, it used to be occupied by butchers but now home to jeweller, watch and art dealers

So nice to just read newspaper along the river though I don’t know how they are able to concentrate with so much noise above

Lunch was free and easy (yayy) so I brought the parents to try this famous panini shop that is supposedly one of the better ones in Florence. The place is quite easy to navigate and you can spot a line coming out from the shop. I was so excited to try already!

Don’t understand a single word at all but the servers were very friendly. They asked what you like and if you look lost, they asked ‘you trust me?’ And then they just start doing their own thing. Okay, yes just give me your best panini

Slicing the flat bread

With all the delicious ingredients

And all the red wine

Pruschetta

Cos Italians drink wine anytime of the day, so we got one of their red and omg, so good!! No idea which one but they just pour and I said okay. Haha

And beef mixed with pruschetta

The panini was really delicious. The pork was sliced thinly but you can taste the amazing flavours in that one thin slice of meat. And the sauce and ingredients they put in was generous. All this for €7!

The queue when we were done

Give it a try if you are in the area! It’s filling and good for value :) For those who are looking for a sit-down kind of meal, they have a restaurant opposite this panini shop as well

All’Antico Vinaio

Via de’ Neri 65/R50122 FlorenceItaly

Florence was kind of scary. I was followed at some point in time until the dad called me to the other side of the road to let them pass. Gosh, but, I think I would still come back Florence one day. It looks like a promising city to be explored

Left Florence and proceeded on to Pisa, a small town which is famous for the leaning tower of Pisa! The guide was saying there will probably be lesser tourists once the tower collapsed. I thought Florence was scary, Pisa was worse! The whole group of us was waking though this alley to get to the attraction and there was this group of people about 8 of them waiting at the alley, ranging from 10 to 20 odd years old. The tour guide was telling all of us to keep our bags near cos they are all pickpockets. We were like &@!?&@?! So we walked and one of the small kid suddenly just jumped and scare us and we just quicken our pace. Ohmygosh, why so scary.. We have to be suspicious of everyone around us. At that point, I really miss Singapore. Haha the safety of Singapore streets, is something I’m really grateful for so I decided, okay Pisa, I’m not coming back here.

 We finally reached the baptistry, and spot the leaning tower in the distance

The leaning tower is really a sight to behold

With the tower in the background

My next gelato :) Rum and raisins and Hazelnut!

Yeah, I’m totally on a one-gelato-one-day mission

Our hotel, NH Brescia, was located at an ulu location, surrounded by lots of negro so I think everyone was too scared to venture out of the hotel even though the hotel dinner was really horrible

It’s so bad, I ate biscuits for dinner. It’s strange, how the bread basket offered in all places I’ve eaten is always cold and hard. I’m not sure if it’s the norm there or I just didn’t meet a place that offers warm bread. Either way, I never had a plate of good pasta in Italy, believe it or not. I honestly can’t believe I had even better pasta in Singapore

I think this leg of the tour instilled quite a lot of fear (lol). It started in the morning and lasted all the way till night. Too much of an adventure, isn’t it? ;)

xx

Breakfast was an assortment bread and ham again, what’s new? I’m so sick of the food I missed my international breakfast :( but the croissants here are really good! So I happily ate 3 to keep myself full. It was a wet day and we spent half the morning at Milan which has nothing much unless you really want to do some serious shopping here

Bread and pastries and croissants

Look at the pathetic sausages. They really allocate one to each person, like seriously?

Good croissants, strange eggs and pathetic sausage

The Duomo, or otherwise Milan Gothic Cathedral

Which looks quite gothic but I guess it’s beautiful in its own way

Galleria Victtoria Emmanuel

One of the world’s oldest shopping centre, named after King Emmanuel II which houses a lot of Italian brands

It’s interesting cos the structure is mainly made of glass and iron

I would actually recommend to venture out of Galleria Victtoria Emmanuel to Via Montenapoleone or Corso Vittorio Emanuele for shopping. The brands at Victoria Emmanuel, are actually quite limited

Well, it is said if you turn 3 times standing on the bull, good luck will follow. No, I didn’t do it

City Hall

The statue of Leonardo Da Vinci

I’m sure you know who he is

La Scala Opera house

One of the most established opera house in the world. It looks simple from outside but supposedly very grand inside but nope, we didn’t get to go in

Ending my last gelato with vanilla and chocolate which they made in the shape of a flower. How innovative!

Milan is a financial hub of Italy and other than museums and more museums, the above are mainly the main attractions so it gets pretty boring. It didn’t help it was raining and gloomy and such a downer to take pictures in such weather. I particularly didn’t like to take pictures when the weather is so disappointing so which concludes my Italy leg on a sad note. That being said, I’m glad to say bye to bad pasta and pickpockets and nope, thinking back, I don’t think I will miss Italy at all

xx

Spent the afternoon just traveling to Lucerne and it takes about 5 hours so more sleeptime on the bus it shall be!

Arriving at a pitstop for toilet break and look at how low the clouds are hovering. They look like they are within reach, okay maybe not

First thing we saw, Marche! Ha, such welcoming sight

The scenery just gets prettier as we proceed our way to the hotel. It’s like the perfect postcard landscape. We were blessed with good weather when we reached our hotel, which we got a good view of the lake and the awesome scenery. Honestly when you travel from Italy to Switzerland, the latter just feels like heaven

We stayed at Postillon, which is the only photo I took of all the hotels I’ve stayed cos it looks pretty enough for me take a picture of it

I can live with this view everyday

And just stoning..

Dinner was like one of the better hotel-arranged food. Even though there’s pasta again (we wanna faint), but somehow the pasta here is cooked more al dante than the one in Italy, such irony

Better food = better start to the next leg!

Pretty scenery and more edible food than usual, I am falling in love with Switzerland already <3

Read here for Travelogue: Pretty Venice, Baroque Bologna and Ancient Rome