Wednesday, 23 November 2016

USA Itinerary (New York) Day 15 - Jean George's Nougatine, Central Park, Times Square, Luke Lobster, Lady M cakes, Stumptown Coffee

Reaching the end of our USA East Coast trip! Took me so long to get the blog posts up but I am so happy to relive the memories again through this blog.

We checked out of our apartment and headed to Nougatine at Jean George's for their set lunch. It was really good! We had 3 courses of really awesome food for 38 USD. I would definitely return to Nougatine if I find myself in New York again.

Nougatine was situated right beside Central Park so we headed into the park for a stroll after lunch. It was such a nice beautiful place. The weather was rather unforgiving that day and it was grey and bleak but we still enjoyed our stroll through the park even if it meant we were freezing half the time. Strawberry Field, Bow Bridge, Bethesda Fountain (which was not flowing because of the cold) and lots of happy people milling around. It was perhaps the only place in New York City where I did not feel compelled to hurry up and get out of the way.

We headed down Fifth Avenue and found ourselves in Times Square with the giant M&M shop and Toysrus! The Toysrus was so amazing with its huge indoor ferris wheel and a huge selection of toys. 

Times Square was still really crazy though and it got so claustrophobic so we plodded back to the Central Park area and found the Plaza Food Hall where we had wonderful lobster rolls again and clam chowder at Luke's! We also had Lady M cakes and Stumptown Coffee to wrap up the night and our trip.

It was such an awesome trip and I was so happy with all the places we went, all the food we ate, and the culture we experienced. But most of all, I was so glad I was on the trip with Zg, Stef and King, and super thankful for all the memories and laughter we shared.

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4, Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12Day 13, Day 14.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Masizzim at 313 Orchard and Club 55 MBS

Dinner with Stef for her birthday. Belated of course, we are never on time. Or rather, I am never on time and this post comes even later than the belated celebration (oops). Bad habit, I know. But hey, I firmly believe in the concept of better late than never. I can only hope my family and friends have that mindset as well!

Decided to have dinner at Masizzim in 313 Orchard before drinks at Club 55 in Marina Bay Sands. 

Ordered the Tomato Cheese Kimchi Pancake ($13) and it tasted like thin-crust pizza with kimchi! Very interesting combination to have cheese on the korean pancake and totally unlike the usual korean pancakes in traditional korean restaurants. 

This was the highlight for me - the pork stew with glass noodles! Omg the pork was so well-marinated and it was just so soft that it fell off the bone easily with a small tug. 

This was the interesting part about Masizzim that I heard about even before I visited the restaurant. You put on gloves, mix the rice, squish the rice mixed with the ingredients into small balls and stuff them into your mouth. Sounds easy but it was just way too much work for me. My balls were not packed closely enough and fell apart quickly. Eventually, I ended up eating spoonfuls because I just wanted to eat and not make rice balls. I'm a lazy bum. 

Come for the pork stew! I would highly recommend that! Anyway, I tried to make a reservation but I don't think they take reservations for weekends so we were left to queue. Thankfully we were seated quickly.

We headed to Club 55 at Marina Bay Sands after our dinner. Club 55 is located on Level 55 of MBS' Tower 2 and offers a perfect view of the CBD area on one side and Gardens by the Bay on the other. I never knew that Gardens by the Bay looked so lovely at night from the top! The night view in this part of town always amazes me. I loved it so much when I was drinking at New Asia Bar and I love it even more here at Club 55. Despite being named a club, Club 55 is not really the partying sort of club (i.e. not the Zouk type). Instead, it is very much like a lounge where you can indulge in some chocolate and cheese if you wish, or a bottle of wine (like us).

#B3-02 313 Orchard Road

Club 55
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 2 Level 55

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

USA Itinerary (New York) Day 14 - Dominique Ansel Bakery, South Street Seaport, Sarabeth, Keens Steakhouse, Avenue Q

Another cronut run at Dominique Ansel Bakery for breakfast. Aside from the delicious strawberry rhubarb cronuts, we also had croissants and steaming mugs of coffee. Managed to snag a table at the back facing the courtyard but it was way too cold to be sitting in the courtyard so everyone was just milling around the few tables at the back.

Headed down to South Street Seaport to grab some cheap tickets from the TKTS branch there. We did our research and realised that the South Street Seaport branch opened the earliest so we hurried down when it opened. The day was cold and frigid, and being near the port certainly didn't help. The queue for tickets was super long so we took turns to stand in the cold. Thankfully there were some nearby shops which we could run into when it got too cold. 

After grabbing some really awesome seats for Avenue Q, we went into Abercrombie nearby and bought a lot of shirts and casual wear. The boyfriend is a huge Abercrombie fan! We took a stroll around the port, saw some really large ships, and ran off quickly because it was just too cold.

Had lunch at Sarabeth which was quite a disappointment. They served us with dirty unwashed utensils and were totally nonchalant about it when we told them. Food was all right, not the best, but service was truly lacking.

Walked around Fifth Avenue a bit, explored the Apple Shop and strolled past the Trump Tower.

Took the bus down to Keens Steakhouse for a very delicious dinner!

We were seated in the Bull Moose Room which was so beautiful with its paneled walls and that large bull moose in the middle of the room. It is apparently in honour of Theodore Roosevelt who used to frequent the restaurant. Check out the ceiling where there is an almost infinite array of pipes which, according to research, dates back to the days when Keens Steakhouse was a pipe club. At the entrance of the restaurant, there is a glass panel mounted with the pipes of all the famous patrons of the pipe club in the good old days. 

Stef, King and Zg had a great time with the beef. According to Zg, it was truly one of the best beef he had ever tasted! I don't do beef so I had the thick cut bacon and roast chicken. The thick cut bacon was AMAZING. Keens Steakhouse is a very interesting place to dine in and I would strongly suggest you visit even if you do not take beef. I mean, I don't take beef and I still had an awesome time in the restaurant. 

Headed to New World Stages for Avenue Q. Such a funny musical! I loved it! I really wish I could watch good musicals in Singapore often but, frankly, it is too costly a hobby to indulge in regularly. 

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4, Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9Day 10Day 11Day 12, Day 13, Day 15

Sunday, 16 October 2016

USA Itinerary Day 13 - Woodsbury! And Meijin Ramen.

I am finally inching towards the end of my USA East Coast series.

Had breakfast at a local bread store around the corner before picking up our rental car from Dollar. Drove to Woodsbury where we did more crazy shopping. Brands like Kate Spade and Coach are really very much cheaper in US! I also bought a pair of Timberland boots so I finally own a pair of waterproof boots for those trips in cold rainy weather. (And because I am so slow in posting this blog post, the said pair of boots has already accompanied me on two such trips!)

The drive back was really scary though because there was no street lamp along the interstate so it was incredibly dark outside. Coupled with the blustering wind, rain, and our car windows fogging up because of the cold made me really nervous. Hugs to Zg! When we finally reached New York City, King and Stef went to return the car (thank you!) while Zg and I had Japanese ramen at Meijin ramen. Also ordered some hot sake for us to fight the cold. While the ramen was not mind blowing, I was super satisfied to have a bowl of hot soup and hot sake on such a cold rainy night.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Tuk Tuk Cha - my favourite Thai milk tea!

Been mad busy with some stuff on the personal side of the house recently so I haven't found the time and energy to blog much. In fact, I am finding it so hard just to post my ultra backdated draft posts these days. Omg need to get my act together.

Anyway so i tried Soi 55 which was so good the first time I tasted it that I convinced myself that it was worth the walk from the office to Golden Shoe for a second cup a few weeks later only to be sorely disappointed. Discovered Tuk Tuk Cha one evening at Suntec City with the boyfriend and we ordered a cup of iced thai milk tea to try. We were instantly hooked! Thick, fragrant milk tea which was not cloyingly sweet and it reminded me of the happy days in Bangkok :):) 

I was afraid it would turn out to be just like Soi 55, an amazing first encounter and a pathetic second so I decided to return another night for yet more thai milk tea. This time I chose to have the hot thai milk tea. The hot drink was certainly thicker, stronger and more fragrant than the iced version, which made it such a perfect perk-me-up. Unfortunately, I had the drink mere hours before bedtime which meant I spent a large part of my night tossing and turning. 

3 Temasek Boulevard Suntec City Tower 3
It's like a small shop in the middle of the pathway, facing a winter wear shop. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

USA Itinerary (New York) Day 12 - Chelsea Market, High Line Park, Bryant Park

Our Delta flight from Orlando back to New York was delayed. We were not informed till the very last minute, there was little word of apology or any form of communication, and everyone was just sitting around waiting for things to happen. But we got to New York safely and that was all that matters. Stef and King were running late for their Book of Mormon musical so we headed separately after checking into our Airbnb apartment. Our second airbnb apartment was in Upper East Side and was a pretty quaint little place.

Zg and I headed to Chelsea Market for our late lunch/early dinner. I really really liked the place and it was so much fun to just walk around, stop and grab some yummy food, and just soak up the vibe. It reminded me a lot of Pasarbella in Turf City.

We had Lobster Roll at Lobster Place. It was good but I'm going back for another lobster roll at Luke's instead of Lobster Place any day. 

We also had Mokbar Classic Ramen at Mok Bar which served korean ramen. Added a poached egg and it was loveeee. So good. Not as spicy as the ones I had in Korea or Singapore, but it was still really delicious. Maybe I just really missed Asian food at this point in time.

We also had tacos at the No. 1 Tacos and it was SO GOOD. When Zg was queuing for the taco, this friendly guy behind told him that this taco was really the best in New York. Well, we haven't eaten any other taco in New York and cannot be sure whether his claim was true, but it was truly delicious!

It started to rain as we tried to explore High Line Park which made the walk really difficult. Also, it was getting late and the place became really quiet and dark after awhile so we left pretty quickly. What a bummer though, it looked like such a nice interesting place to be.

We took the train to Fifth Avenue for a stroll through Bryant Park and to check out the Rockefeller at night with a row of cherry blossoms. I didn't notice the cherry blossoms the first time I was at Rockefeller on Day 1 of our trip and it was a surprise to see them in full bloom the second time I came around. Just goes to show that sometimes we miss out on the most beautiful things without meaning to. 

We had a lot of fun in Bryant Park. The rain had just stopped and the ground was wet with puddles of rainwater and we were trying to hop around the puddles. We failed and eventually decided to just stomp around and kick water everywhere. There was nobody else in this quiet park, the night was cold, our breaths were warm, and we laughed and giggled into the night. I still remember that night now with so much fondness. 

We wanted to head to a rooftop bar for a drink but we were lazy, and it started to rain again, so we hopped onto a bus and went back to the apartment. 

Friday, 2 September 2016

Chew Kee Soya Sauce Chicken, Chinatown

So this is Amanda's and my favourite lunch spot whenever we cannot decide where to go for lunch. Inevitably, one of us would suggest soya sauce chicken, the other would agree, we would hurry out of the building to catch a bus down, I would search my Notes for the buses that take us there, we reach in a jiffy, shuffle over and try to get the impatient aunties to get us a seat.

When we are in our normal frame of mind, we each order a plate of soya sauce chicken noodle and a dumpling soup.

When we are upset about life and want to stab something, we decide that getting fat is the best way to make ourselves feel better and we will order a half chicken and a dumpling soup. Truth be told, I will never be able to finish my half of the half chicken (i.e. I cannot finish 1/4 chicken). So Amanda has to finish like 3/4 of the half chicken while I do the remaining 1/4. Math ttm.

This soya sauce chicken noodle never fail to make me feel happier. I like the springy noodles with the soya sauce. The chicken is very soft and totally soaks up the sauce. I heard there is another store along the same row. Totally got to check it out soon during the next lunch with Amanda!

8 Upper Cross Street (it is in a corner of the shop house)