Sunday, February 15, 2015

2014 Germany Trip - The Medieval Walls of Rothenburg

Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

The most significant architecture of Rothenburg, and the first which visitors would feast their eyes upon, is the ring of walls surrounding the town. Once protective they now serve more as a historical artifact and for photo ops. The silent fortifications were still as sturdy when I saw them up close though I could imagine them losing their sheen of impressiveness with the passage of time. 

'Rodertor' - the red gate, most likely the first entrance visitors would encounter upon arriving from the direction of the train station.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - No Signboard Seafood Restaurant (无招牌海鲜)

Location: Harborfront, Singapore

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

Yes, that is the name of the restaurant – No Signboard. Of course there is a signboard there. Anyway. We decided to celebrate our CNY meal this year in a seafood restaurant, and so No Signboard became our choice. 

The signboard says 'No Signboard". Confused yet?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Ronin Cafe (a.k.a. 17 Hong Kong Street)

Location: Clarke Quay, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Recommended: Matcha Toning (SGD5.50), The Wicked (SGD5.50)

The initial impression I received when seeking this café out in Hong Kong Street was that it was hard to find unless you remembered its number due to its lack of signage. However it was quickly obvious that it stood out among the rest of the buildings, being the one with a chic dark marble outlook among the various aging neighbors. If it wasn’t for its online popularity, I guess I would not even notice its name as Ronin Café although many start to recognize the café as “17 Hong Kong Street” instead.

The only place in the whole cafe to inform diners of the establishment's name - the cashier.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Hai Di Lao Hot Pot (海底捞火锅) @ 313 Somerset

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in 313 Somerset branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Recommended: Ramen (捞面) (SGD4), pork slices (五花猪肉片) (SGD14)

I wouldn't expect that a hot pot restaurant could garner so much support, and wouldn't even dream of finding it located in an upscale mall. Yet Hai Di Lao Hot Pot did just that - locating itself on the top levels of 313 Sommerset, one of the malls along Orchard Road and its legendary queue is testament to the support it garnered.

I only managed to enter this restaurant on my second try. A queue numbered ticket needs to be obtained upon arrival, which the waiter manning the machine will estimate from his long waiting list how long you need to wait before your turn is up. On my first visit we were told to wait for 2 hours, and it was 7 p.m. at that time, which meant we could only dine at 9. The hunger in my stomach had not such patience so we decided to return another time.

On our second visit, we were much earlier, arriving at 5 but still was told to wait for 2 hours. This time we had the patience to wait, and were treated to some pleasant surprises.

What else do you expect from Hai Di Lao Hot Pot? Hot pot of course! We asked for chicken soup and tomato soup (鸡汤番茄锅) (SGD22) as our stock.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King (豚骨王)

Location: Tanjong Pagar, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Those familiar with the Tanjong Pagar area may notice a long queue at a corner of Orchid Hotel just near the Tanjong Pagar MRT station. A closer look would reveal a wildly popular ramen restaurant called Ramen Keisuke, which had received rave reviews online. To differentiate this branch with the few others under the same owner, this was suffixed with 'Tonkotsu King'.

I was recommended to this ramen restaurant after our outing at Department of Caffeine, a session which lasted from mid afternoon to late evening. Since Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King was right near Tanjong Pagar MRT station and we were heading that way, we decided that we could try our luck getting fed here. Although it received a mixed review from my gang, I personally like the dish for its broth's superior taste.

The banner carrier

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - Department of Caffeine

Location: Duxton Road, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

I have read enough of "Top 10 cafes to visit in Singapore" that has been shared in the internet and I saw that Department of Caffeine has been on most of those list. Most probably they all copied from the same source and duplicate it as their own list of top 10, but the name itself is quite catchy. You definitely will look for a "department" of caffeine when you are looking for a cuppa joe.

Caffe Mocha (SGD5.50) - thick, good mix of espresso and chocolate, and topped with a nice latte art. What more could you ask for? The cuppa joe would get more acidic at the bottom, most probably due to the choice of coffee bean and method of roasting, so be prepared for that.

Friday, December 12, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - Medieval Crime Museum (Mittelalterliches Kriminalmuseum)

Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Full experience of my visit to Rothenburg ob der Tauber can be accessed through the list below:

More about Germany can be read through the list below:

I have visited a number of museums in Germany, but none as bizarre as Kriminalmuseum. It wasn't difficult to know that this is a museum dedicated to medieval crimes and laws, even with limited grasp of German. I wondered briefly what such a museum could show me and whether there were opportunities for my camera. After a brief internal struggle, I decided to give it a try anyway.

I remembered that the museum was heralded as one of the main attractions of Rothenburg, on par with Plönlein, in most tourist guidebooks. From the outside, the architecture was not impressive in the slightest but what in front told a different story. A large cage with wheels dominated the space outside of the entrance, and it could be observed past the gate that there was another cage in midair, held on the end of a long boom.  As if those were not enough to induce fear, beyond the entrance stood the icon of the museum, a cabinet the height of an adult and an eerily emotionless face of a lady. This was the Iron Maiden, a medieval torture device used in most brochures of the museum. Expecting some seriously frightening experience, I paid an entrance fee of €5 and entered the museum tentatively.

Cage in the air

Only need a few circling vultures to complete the picture...

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