Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - DJH Jugendherberge (Youth Hostel) + Roßmühle

Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

German: Jugendherberge is German for Youth Hostel
               Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk, or shortened as DJH, is German for German Youth Hostel 
                 Association
               Mühle is German for mill (as in the windmill)

This was another off the beaten path find, located in an area far from the more populous and tourist filled streets. A walk around the perimeter of the town and along the wall brought me to quieter patches of Rothenburg, including one where a peculiar building was located.

From the sign at the front, I learnt that this was a youth hostel with a simple abbreviation of DJH, simplifying a long German word into 3 letters. Its outlook though reminded me of stone cottages from childhood bedtime stories, in which resided wizards and witches. The building of moderate height (5 stories I guessed) had rounded slits of windows built upon an angular roof face, casting an eerie likeness of a multi-eyed behemoth.

Multi eyed monster

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - Plönlein

Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

I can find landmarks easily shot from various angles, but this is really the one spot where everyone takes the same shot, and with good reason. Visitors to Rothenburg, whether they come on purpose or are on their way blazing through the Romantic Route, would proudly tick their checklist of places to photograph in Germany with a selfie on this spot. This is Plönlein, and it is one of the most ubiquitous picture of the Romantic Route and one of the most shown image of Germany.

Plönlein, although translated as "little square" from German, actually derived its roots from the Latin word "planum" which holds the meaning of "flat square". I personally find the former to be more agreeable than the latter for there is nothing flat about the triangular plot of corner. The intersection is made famous because of the view it affords to anyone standing at the intersection will get an unobstructed view of two towers. 

Plönlein

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - The Asian Kitchen's Lu Gang Xiao Zhen 鹿港小镇

Location: Bugis, Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Bugis+ branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

The Asian Kitchen's name is rather peculiar as its name English and Mandarin name does not match each other. Its Mandarin name is 鹿港小镇 (Lu Gang Xiao Zhen), potentially named after a small township in Taiwan though the reason why is beyond my guess. Apart from a peculiar name, I do find its dishes memorable, worthy of a recommendation from me.

I usually patronize the branch in Bugis+, personally because the restaurant is located on the highest floor of the mall and has a high ceiling. Despite its relative lack of deco the high ceiling and ample distance between tables gave a spacious feel to the place.

Herbal Crispy Duck (药材烧鸭) (small - SGD12.70) is one of our favorite dish in The Asian Kitchen . Its crispy skin and succulent flesh soaked up the sauce it bathed in, bringing forth the flavor with every bite and chew.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - Café Gavroche

Location: Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

I have no knowledge of this cafe tucked in Tras Street if not for my friend's recommendation, who in turn heard of it from his friend. He did warn me that the food was exorbitant relative to its meal but patrons usually visited for its ambiance that was famed for trying to duplicate the Parisian atmosphere.

Cafe Gavroche was its name, but it wasn't easy for us to locate it in our fist visit. Instead of a large signage declaring its name to everyone, the cafe was satisfied with a small one that was easily missed. For those returning patrons however, its front would be hard to miss - potted plants flanked its entrance which could easily convinced that you were about to enter another world 14 hours away.

The sign of the cafe is not easily located, but once you recognized the front of the cafe with its potted plants then locating it along Tras Street would be a breeze. The bar is right across the street from this cafe and opens in the evening.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - Bakerzin @ Orchard Paragon

Location: Orchard, Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Orchard Paragon branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Every once in a while I would walk past a Bakerzin cafe, its colorful confectioneries attracting my interest now and then but rarely did I stop for a break there. That was until once when I spied this one in Orchard Paragon and thought that I could get a break there, what with the cafes overflowing nearly everywhere on a busy weekend packed full of shoppers.

My impression of Bakerzin as a confectionery store and coffee serving cafe was challenged when I flipped through their menu and saw that they offered several main dishes as well. They served drinks, both caffeine laced and caffeine free, delivering enough to suit diners with different taste.

Bakerzin's menu is like a recipe book. Each section of the menu start off with an introduction of some ingredient highlights , some of which pointed to their nutritious values in the dishes in subsequent pages.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

PAssionArts Festival 2014 Works Of Wonder (W.O.W.!)

Location: Orchard, Singapore

I did not notice the length of time which has past since the last entry, and it seemed that I have a lot of entries to make up for. Although my backlog is long, off the top of my mind was one experience I had in Ngee Ann City not long ago.

Orchard Road may be famous for its glitzy rows of malls, beckoning and seducing with brands of all types. Locals who used to haunt the place would know of another side of the famed Singaporean row: the street performers and an occasional event set in the square in front of Ngee Ann City. The latter could be a celebration of something or promotions of certain products (sometimes it was neither). I usually just walk past them with barely a glance, preferring the air-conditioned indoors, but I was unusually attracted an event some time ago - the PAssionArts Festival 2014.

The reason behind my unusual fascination was the display of various artworks fabricated from unconventional materials. A wall of painted umbrellas and a dragon of CDs were two of the array of items which gathered the most followers but the rest of them were no least impressive by themselves. It was the PAssionArts Festival of 2014, and it was drawing the attention from all walks of life.

The Lady and the Horse

Monday, July 28, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - Chili's Grill and Bar @ Clarke Quay

Location: Clarke Quay, Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in The Central branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

I had enjoyed my experience in Chili's in the few opportunities which arose. Their food is delicious and addictive, prodding me to revisit whenever possible. With my last visit to the branch in Clarke Quay, I decided that its food deserves to be immortalized in my blog with a post. I am not one for high decibel ambient but my wife and I both enjoyed its food so much so that we braved the noisy environment just to get to their dishes.

The restaurant chain originated from the US, its first operation occurred in 1975 in Texas, serving American food and Tex-Mex cuisine. Interestingly, certain food referred to as Mexican food in USA is, much to the chagrin of the originals, not Mexican, Rather this is a regional cuisine of the American Southwest, blending food products available in United States with the culinary creations influenced by Mexicans, originally invented by the Mexican-Americans who missed their food but could not get the ingredients in the States. The term Tex-Mex lent its name to such a blend, differentiating them from the originals. So bear in mind that despite being served Spanish named Fajitas, you are in fact dining American dishes, not Mexican.

Its name as 'Chili's' may not resonate with what we have in mind, with fire-invoking spicy chillies in the dishes. One of the iconic Tex-Mex cuisine is chili con carne, which is known usually just as 'chili', hence lending the restaurant its name. Too bad this is not served in the local branches of the same restaurant.

Chili's

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