NIKKO COFFEE

Happy New Year (guess I’m the only one who’s late in my greetings..)

I’ve failed to post this up before 2014 ends so here I am, beginning 2015 post with it. 🙂

While planning for our winter trip to Nikkō (Part 1 and Part 2), I’ve did some research on where to eat (for lunch) near Nikkō station so that we don’t end up with repetitive menu, i.e. soba and yuba.

After an hour of research, I came across NIKKO COFFEE site and I’ve decided to include it for our trip.

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NIKKO COFFEE’s signature coffee mug served on a tin saucer. Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

NIKKO COFFEE’s Japanese signboard.Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

An English version.

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Interior of the shop. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

As the shop itself does not have built-in heaters, the shop staff placed 2 stoves in the middle of the shop to warm up the area.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The kitchen and counter. They have only 2 staff in the shop so the food items ordered may take a while for it to be served. IMG_20141214_130150

Menu with cute illustrations of Nikkō.IMG_20141214_132026

This was placed together in the cutlery basket. I thought it was sugar sachets but it turned out to be wet hand wipes. :O We were given only 1 each so I couldn’t take 1 extra back home for a friend as souvenir as she likes to draw & illustrate. IMG_20141214_131942

I ordered their signature oven-baked black curry set. Rice was covered with big chunks of pork in black curry, topped with grilled vegetables, egg and cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. *YUMMMMS* I am craving for it whenever I see this photo. IMG_20141214_131958

This is Y-chan’s order. NIKKO COFFEE signature black curry set. It’s the same curry used but served differently. 🙂

They do serve other dishes other than curry, like galette and omurice. 😀IMG_20141214_135502

MINE. Chiffon cake drizzled with caramel and topped with whipped cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Perfect match. IMG_20141214_135517

Y-chan’s favorite dessert – Cheesecake. I didn’t try it but according to Y-chan, he said it was good. 🙂

We were very very satisfied with our lunch and it ended our trip with a happy stomach. Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetBrought home a pack of NIKKO blend to drink. Love their simple coffee pack design.

If you’re planning to visit Nikkō and am looking for a place to dine in, give this shop a try! 😀

NIKKO COFFEE official site: http://nikko-coffee.com

Take a stroll in Tokyo’s old streets

Many of us would have this standard image of Tokyo to be a concrete jungle, filled with fanciful skyscrapers and tourists from all over the world right? However, in this modern & bustling city, you can still spot some old streets (or the locals here call it 下町 – shitamachi) within the 23 wards in Tokyo.

The most well-known place for shitamachi would be Asakusa (浅草).Next would be Oshiage (押上) and Yanesen (谷根千).

Shitamachi has this ‘thing’ that catches my heart. 🙂 It has the feel of the olden days of Tokyo where it’s filled with warmth & humanity unlike the busy & uncaring Shibuya/Shinjuku etc.

Few weeks back, I went to Yanesen area with my friend A because she likes shitamachi too. 😀 Yanesen (谷根千) consists of 3 areas, Yanaka (谷中), Nezu (根津) and Sendagi (千駄木). The nearest JR station is Nippori Station but you can take subways too.

We met at Nippori Station at around 11am because we wanted to try out a very famous shaved ice stall that’s featured in magazines & TV programs.  We exited from the West Exit and walked straight down the road to the stairs which is the Yuuyake dandan and turn left. I made a ‘star’ mark for easy reference. 😀

The shaved ice stall is called Himitsudou (ひみつ堂). Himitsudou use ice that’s form naturally (during winter) in the catchment area in (i think) Nikko. And the syrup they used to top it on the shaved ice are homemade with fresh seasonal fruits.

Please give this stall a visit if you’re in Tokyo! They have special menu for Autumn & Winter season too. Shall visit it again end of the year. 😀

We ordered the most popular one from the menu which is the Strawberry Milk shaved ice bowl. Shaved ice + evaporated milk + freshly made strawberry syrup. It’s just too good for this hot weather. 😀 (but it’s too milky for me because I don’t like the taste of milk)

Then we ordered another bowl – Pineapple Caramel shaved ice bowl. (If you’re planning to order this, please don’t because it’s not very very fantastic, order the green tea flavor instead.)After eating, we went to walk along the Yanaka Ginza Shopping street. Didn’t take any photos of the place because it was raining very heavily the moment we stepped out of the stall. Go visit it yourself if you’re interested! 😀

Then we walked in the rain towards the next stop marked with the pink star for our late lunch. 🙂 It’s called Kayaba Coffee and the building itself is so amazing.

(Photo credits: www.facebook.com/yanesensampo)

Lunch sets at just 900yen with salad & coffee/tea (including tax). SO CHEAP CAN! 😀

Top: Hayashi rice

Bottom: Chicken curry rice

I love their menu!!! The illustration of each of their dishes are just so so cute! 🙂 🙂

After our lunch, we continued our stroll towards Nezu area as we wanted to visit the Nezu Shrine. (Remember the manners when visiting a shrine? Bow at the side of the torii and do not walk right in the middle of the path.)

This is A. 😀 She loves to smack people’s butt. 😐

And this is me with the amazing spot within Nezu Shrine compound. 

And we took a #selfie 😀

As we had some time before meeting Y-chan for dinner at Ikebukuro, we chill out at MOS burger at Sendagi (walking distance from Nezu Shrine) and had some snacks + some talks. 🙂

Then we ended our long long day by having some awesome gyuutan (beef tongue) set meals at Rikyuu (利久 – http://www.rikyu-gyutan.co.jp/). All 3 of us ordered the same meal which was the half & half, consisting of gyuutan & choice of beef stew or curry, salad and clear oxtail soup.

Looking at this just makes me drools…… (._.)

Oh man, Singapore should have more restaurants selling gyuutan because IT’S JUST that AWESOME. *slurppppps* If you haven’t had gyuutan before, please take the first step and try it. 😀

If you’re visiting Japan, there are 2 chain restaurants I know of selling gyuutan set meals. Other than Rikyuu, there’s Negishi (ねぎし). I have tried both but I personally prefer Rikyuu because Negishi tends to serve overcooked gyuutan and the gyuutan is much thinner than Rikyuu. 🙂

It’s been a while since I last wrote such a long post. Hope you enjoyed it and will consider taking a stroll in the shitamachi when visiting Japan. 😀

 

Lazy Sunday

Hello 😀 I’m back to writing again! I felt like I’ve been missing from this space for a quite a while. Am I? (._.) *scratches head*

Recently, Y-chan and I are addicted to this Japanese drama – 相棒. It’s on aired since 2000 and onto their 12th season this Oct. My friend gave me this link to watch (if you’re interested ;] ). Another drama that caught our attention was SPEC (although it’s rebroadcast-ed) . 🙂 Also another cops related drama.

There’s so many interesting dramas this autumn! 😀 So glue-d to the TV!!

As October is ending soon, I decided to bring up the topic which we postponed – Wedding Preparations. 

So we headed out to the cafe near our apartment yesterday to have brunch and discuss on some to-do list when November comes. It’s a cafe with gallery and it’s mostly frequent by residents nearby. We thought it would be crowded because the last time we visited, there’s groups of aunties having their coffee/tea session. But no, it’s empty and we’re the only customers at that time *lucky*. 😀

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There’s terrace tables where owners can bring their pet along while having a cup of drink and enjoying the cool autumn breeze at the same time. 🙂

As we ordered the cafe’s set lunches, it comes with a drink and dessert. Yesterday’s dessert was Banana Chiffon Cake. It’s so light and fluffy yet I can taste the richness of the banana. Image

Heavy whipped cream to make it complete. *shiok-ness*

I told Y-chan that this cafe will be the place to hold all our wedding preparation discussions in future. *grins*Image

And so, we re-opened this wedding file given to us in April to guide us on our wedding preparations.

Nagoya Morning

Hello everyone! I’m back to write about the must-eat post when you’re in Nagoya. 😀

You might ask me what is Nagoya Morning? It’s a term used to describe Breakfast. However, it’s somehow a little different from the normal breakfast.

So normally, you’ll walk into a coffee store or cafe and order a set of breakfast together with a cup of coffee (or tea or something you’d like to drink) right? In Nagoya, most coffee store or cafe will have ‘morning service’ (モーニングサービス).

This ‘Morning Service’ means that you get to have a slice (in this case, it’s half a slice) of bread spread with margarine and a boiled egg for FREE when you order a cup of coffee (or drink irregardless of the cost).

In addition to it, I topped up 100yen for a serving of azuki (red beans) to make an Ogura Toast (小倉トースト). 😀

To be honest, I think it tasted normal. I guess it’s the FREE breakfast that’s attractive. The coffee store that I’ve went to is Komeda’s Coffee (コメダ珈琲), however if you visit other coffee stores or cafes, you might get something like this.

As I know that half a slice of bread and boiled egg is not enough for me, I ordered a dessert to finish off my breakfast. 😀

The Shiro Noir (シロノワール). I ordered a mini one though. 🙂

Hot danish bread topped with vanilla soft serve and syrup. *SLURPPPS*

Y-chan and I left the coffee store with a happy stomach. 😀

Komeda’s Coffee: http://www.komeda.co.jp/

A list of cafes that serve Nagoya Morning: http://nagoya.xtone.jp/gourmet/morning_nagoya_list.html

SHOZO COFFEE STORE

Helloo! Today I’m going to share with you this pop-up coffee store in Omotesando, Tokyo.

SHOZO COFFEE STORE is located near Omotesando station, inside this shared common space called 246 COMMON.

I first hear of this coffee store while browsing through my instagram feed. 😛 Then I went online to check out this coffee store as it looked super good on instagram.

SHOZO COFFEE was first opened in Tochigi Pref., Nasu-Shiobara city in the year 1988. All of the coffee stores are located within Nasu-Shiobara city except this particular pop-up store in Tokyo so I decided to give it a visit.

They have a range of goods such as coffee beans (in 100g and 200g), scones, madeleines and muffins.

I ordered a cup of iced café au lait as I was craving for something cold. I like it a lot as the aroma and acidity was just right for me and I bought a bag of grounded beans home. 😀

If you’re around Omotesando or Harajuku, do drop by this coffee store to have a cup before it’s gone.

SHOZO official site: http://www.shozo.co.jp/

246 COMMON site: http://246common.jp/