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Archive for the ‘Eating Hoh Liao i.e. Good Food’ Category

Main Highlights:

  • Langham Place Hotel, Mongkok
  • Christmas decorations nearby the hotel

The entire bus journey from the airport to the hotel took around half an hour or slightly more and so it was almost 9 when we reached the hotel. Quickly checked in so that we can venture outside to get into the “Christmas-mood”. 🙂

The hotel’s reception area. Looked very dark.

We quickly went into our room and the room did not disappoint us, despite its rather high cost. (Okay lay, may be cheap to you, but it was not cheap to us!)

Nice bathroom. I like bathrooms with white marble finishes. And the bathtub area overlooks the bed!! That means you can watch TV while soaking in the bathtub!

Another angle of the bathroom. I was sitting on the toiletbowl. Nice glass basin and there was a separate shower stall too.

Picture of the bedroom. Looks cosy huh. Somehow I did not sleep well in the hotel, will explain why later. 🙂

Wow, there is even an ipod dock in the room!

Plasma TV and painting on the wall. We were not artistic enough to appreciate it. 🙂

View from our room. Shows how cramped Hong Kong is. Most of the buildings, especially in the city, are very close to one another.

Picture of the bathroom taken from the bedroom area. I have always liked the idea of a glass wall partitioning the bedroom and bathroom, looks very luxurious. 🙂

The hotel corridor as we walked towards the lift lobby. I don’t like the colour of the walls, I think that’s rosewood colour? Have always found that colour to be very old-fashioned and “obiang”.

Just to show you all how the lift lobby looks like. Normal lor.

Outside Langham Place Mall. Very crowded that nice since it was Xmas eve. And that picture was taken around 11 pm.

 

Fulfilled one of our main aims in going Hong Kong on our first night. –> Xu Liu Shan! It’s a mango desserts chain of stalls everywhere in Hong Kong. I already know of 2 branches in Mongkok district, perhaps there are more. Our favourite was the mango-coconut-milk. Their drinks come with pearls too, but I still prefer those in bubble tea because the Xu Liu Shan’s ones are less chewy. 😦 The mango can be sweet and can be sour too, so don’t expect every cup to be of the same standard.

That’s me recording our expenses and noting down the details. I do that every trip.

Simple and nice decorations inside Langham Place Mall. Many Hong Kong people were busy snapping pictures with the decor as their backdrop. I think there was some theme, about some animal characters which we have not seen before.

More Xmas decors… At least you don’t see such stuffs in Singapore malls.

This is the bridge that links Langham Place Mall to Langham Place Hotel’s lobby. Specially decorated for the Xmas season too.

Yay, finally could go back to the room to rest. So tired. Was at work in the morning, on plane in the afternoon, and still walking around Mongkok at near 12 midnight. Can you see Yh’s reflection? 🙂

Back in our room. The walls were of rosewood colour too. I really don’t like that colour. You can’t find that colour in my house. Haha.

Wow. Impressed. They bothered to programme the phone! Personalised message. Alright, not that personalised, but at least we were addressed politely. 🙂

P.S. Don’t know why I seem to have lost interest in blogging, probably because I have been busy with many many things and have grown increasingly attached to my brother’s dog Kaylene. Having lots of fun bullying her every night after work. 🙂 Sigh, time (I meant personal time) seems so limited.

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Main highlights:

  • Setting off to Hong Kong International Airport

As many of you might have been aware, Yh and I just got back from Hong Kong. We went for a really short trip of about 6 days, during the Christmas-NewYear period. 🙂 Just like my Tokyo trip, I am going to write a day-by-day account of our trip there, so as to preserve all the (happy or unhappy) memories we have had there.

To save on our leaves, we had aimed to set off immediately after work on X’mas Eve (half-day that day) and because the flight was at 3+ pm, I had to leave for Changi Airport directly from my workplace…

There, that’s me, having lunch  at Burger King. Stoning.

Was trying to take a shot as if I was swallowing the Jetstar plane. Yah, I know, not a convincing shot. Haha.

A picture to show you that once you pass the immigration gates, Terminal 3 is actually within walking distance from Terminal 1. So near yet seems so far.

Waiting to board the plane. Damn bored then.

Wow, so many people boarding together with us. (Not cheap to fly on Xmas eve leh, even though it’s Jetstar…) Anyway, you see the water coolers? I thought we were not supposed to bring water on board the plane. I saw many people refilling their water bottles still. (Jetstar does not provide free water, you will have to purchase mineral water if you are thirsty.)

Me reading my “book” on the plane since there is no in-flight entertainment on Jetstar. Haha. Budget lah, can’t expect too much. We had photocopied some pages of the book so that I didn’t have to carry the entire book there.

Inside the lousy Jetstar plane. They don’t do much cleaning up of the interiors. Leather (or pvc) seats looked very worn, the wall (near the area where we leave our handbags under the seats in-front) had coffee stains (YUCKS!), the tray (for us to have our meals or do some writing) was dirty, blah blah blah. I remembered that during my previous Jetstar experience (to Taiwan), my tray (i.e. the stowed tray in front of me) had mucus (i.e. nose-shit) deliberately left on it. (I know it’s deliberate because the inconsiderate and disgusting idiot actually CIRCLED the mucus and wrote, “This is pi sai (i.e. nose-shit)”. Did he/she think he/she was being humourous?)

Sunrise or sunset? Is the latter.

Finally reached Hong Kong International Airport. Looked very empty on Christmas eve night.

Very “budget”-looking Christmas decorations in the airport.

Why were we eating at Ajisen when there is Ajisen in Singapore too!? No choice, we didn’t have many choices as we had only 20 mins to eat before boarding our shuttle bus to the hotel. I was actually anxious waiting for my ramen to be served. Did not even have time to take pictures of our food and quickly dug in. Anyway it was a rushed but satisfying dinner. My ramen was good! (Perhaps too hungry to think otherwise…)

That’s the way to the Airport Express platform (the train stops at only a few stations in the entire Hong Kong).

Yay, we were at the bus terminal in the airport, about to board the shuttle bus. It is not very cheap but at least it drives people to the hotel’s doorstep and there is someone to help you load your luggage onto the bus, as well as unload your luggage when you reach your hotel. Definitely costs more than the Airport Express trains but less than Japan’s Airport Limousine service. hehe.

Inside the cosy Airport shuttle bus. Btw, we stayed at Langham Place Hotel at Mongkok and we booked this shuttle bus service directly through the hotel. The charges were about the same if you were to book directly from the shuttle bus counter. The shuttle bus company is called Parklane Limousine and it travels to various hotels in Hong Kong.

Just a short introductory post on our day 1 in Hong Kong (2009 trip). Not much time to take many pictures since we reached Hong Kong at around 8 pm. Next post, I will be flashing pictures of Langham Place Hotel at Mongkok. I kept specifying Mongkok because there is another Langham Place Hotel elsewhere in Hong Kong, if I am not wrong. 🙂

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(Last day of Tokyo trip 2009)

Our flight back to Singapore was around 6 pm, so we had some time in Tokyo city to have lunch and probably walk around a little before heading off to Narita Airport on the Airport Limousine bus. Since our hotel is in Shinjuku, we spent the whole morning and afternoon walking around in the area.

This is going to be a short post. Will be using the following pictures to share with you our boring day 9.

A picture of Takashimaya Times Square Building. Modern-looking.

Looking for lunch in the vicinity. Read somewhere that this Chinese restaurant selling gyoza (jiao3 zi3) is good.

Was more interested in eating ramen that day so we entered this small restaurant.

The interior. Very cramped and every patron sits side by side.

We ordered this Japanese egg which was SUPERB. Really very nice. It was cooked (or maybe half-cooked?) and was very soft, though it looked firm. Think it was immersed in some sauce for long, so it was very tasty too. Yummy. Can never find such stuff in Singapore.

Spicy ramen. Good.

Miso ramen. Also fantastic.

Like I’ve always said, almost everything served in Japan’s restaurants tastes very good.

Happened to come across some rally or protest by a political party in Japan. Notice the vans and flags? Don’t know why it was very low-key and did not draw much attention. So peaceful.

Last shot..

My lunch or dinner at Narita Airport’s Japanese restaurant. Salmon or saba with miso sauce. Surprisingly very nice though the fish was not very fresh. This gave us the inspiration to cook our fish with miso sauce (out of miso paste) from then on. Hee hee.

Remember to shop at Narita Airport! There are many shops before and beyond the departure gate! Lots to buy too, especially Japanese snacks to share with your friends. (They are slightly cheaper in the airport (in the shops beyond the departure gate) than in the city’s supermarkets or shops.) Do save some yen for all those. Okay, byebye!

— The End of Tokyo Tour 2009 —

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Main Highlights:

  • Eating tonkatsu at Shinjuku
  • Shopping at Shinjuku
  • More of Tenya at Ikebukuro before going back

As it was our second last day in Tokyo already, we had to do some last minute shopping at Shinjuku. (Okay, more of me doing the shopping rather than Yh… Hehe) We had planned to have our brunch at a Tonkatsu restaurant located near Shinjuku Isetan Men’s Building, facing a carpark. I don’t know the name of the restaurant but there is a huge signboard above saying “TONKATSU” in hiragana. Walking from our hotel to that area was a nightmare as our hotel (i.e. Tokyo Keio Plaza Hotel) was at the Western part of Shinjuku and Isetan Shinjuku was at the Eastern part. I think we walked for about 30 minutes before finally reaching the small restaurant.

The restaurant was located in a quaint corner of Shinjuku, very traditional looking and really small.

Phew… Finally reaching the tonkatsu restaurant.

(Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese dish; it’s actually breaded deep-fried pork cutlet)

That’s me staring into blank air after the long-distance walking from our hotel. Was very tired and hungry. “Where’s our food?!”

Sampling the appetizer. Strange taste. Should be radish.

Yay! Our orders finally came! Mine was ebi (i.e. prawn) fry set and his was the typical tonkatsu set. Each set was around SGD $30. The portions seemed rather small but the food looked so home-cooked-like. Could not wait to dig in then, but had to take a picture first. 😦

Lady-like me (*puke*) acting demure while savouring the prawn at first instant. OMG. I felt like I was in heaven. The best ebi fry I have ever tasted in my life. The outer layer was damn crispy and the prawn meat was also tasty. You know, some ebi fry in Jap restaurants are crispy but somehow the inside, i.e. the prawn meat is tasteless.

And hey, another pleasant surprise was the miso soup which looked quite gross at first glance. Again, it was the best miso soup I have ever tasted in my life. Sounds exaggerating but that was really my thought. Besides the typical tofu, mushroom and seaweed found in most miso soups, they added in bacon! Thanks to them, Yh and I now cook miso soup with bacon added in for the extra BOOMZzz.

Another shot at the exterior of the restaurant.

Not sure if this helps you in finding your way to the restaurant, but this picture was taken while standing at one of the entrances/exits of Isetan Shinjuku Men’s. On the right is the carpark building, on the left is the side of the street where the restaurant is sited on.

With a full stomach, I could then summon all my energy into shopping! I bought a few more bags (*happy*!) from Burberry Blue Label and Agnes B as well as 2 blouses. Did not take pictures of them or I could show you all.

Not practising favouritism by saying the following just because my mum and aunt work for Isetan, but the Isetan Shinjuku Building is the nicest building in Shinjuku area, in my opinion. It has this historical and yet clean-cut look, and somehow makes tourists feel like posing next to the building.

One of the many entrances of the departmental store.

The plaque on the wall proudly announcing to everyone that this is ISETAN and a short write-up is below it, presumably on the history of the store.

Behind me is a larger view of the Isetan Shinjuku departmental store.

Another picture similar to above, but without my face in it, for the benefit of those who can’t stand looking at me.

Across the road was Marui departmental store. It’s another departmental store selling fewer brands and I don’t really like that place, probably as it was much smaller too. They have Rebecca Taylor there though. It’s a girly brand with a range of nice wallets and bags, at rather affordable prices. Affordable meaning SGD$200 or so. It’s something like Samantha Vega (the cheaper sister-brand of Samantha Thavasa), but I think it’s slightly cheaper than Samantha Vega. 🙂

There was a popular gelato store at the entrance of marui. Such a long queue!

We did not spend much time at Marui and proceeded to Takashimaya Times Square. We were there to look for the insect catcher at the Tokyu Hands branch there but somehow we could not find it there.

Another insect catcher device sold at Tokyu Hands Takashimaya Times Square. We did not want this because the stick was too short. It would be easy for the lizard, cockroach, insect etc. to climb up the stick to reach our hands within seconds. Better to buy a longer stick to maximize the distance between us and our target.

Aroma-therapeutic candle holder in the form of Anpan Man! That’s Anpan Man btw, for those youngsters (like me) who have no recollection of such a character. My hubby was the one who could remember his exact name. 🙂

Two of us taking a break (very tired leh!) at one of the benches in a secluded corner of Takashimaya Times Square.

The 2 pictures below were taken in RanKing RanQueen, a very interesting store in Japan. One of my favourite must-visit store in Japan besides Tokyu Hands. Almost everything in the store is ranked in terms of their popularity and you get to buy the items, of course. They have drinks, snacks, stockings, eyeliner, mascara, etc. Why can’t such stores open in Singapore too? One reason I can think of is, many Singaporeans tend not to buy things based on popularity, but based on price, so it could be hard for such stores to appeal to the mass market here.

Popular drinks’ ranking, categorized according to their types. (Mineral water, milk tea, oolong tea, etc.)

Another picture of drinks and food inside.

At night, we made our way to Ikebukuro, specially to buy the insect catcher! To see it you will have to see one of my previous Tokyo Day’s posts. We again went to dine at Tenya @ Sunshine City, the restaurant selling different kinds of tempura.

Do look out for the “seasonal” menus there. Certain items are served during limited time periods only.

“Wah… I have cold udon (yummy!) and my tempura rice bowl to eat… How to finish?”

The yummy sauce which goes well with the tempura.

Ugly me. The focus of this photo should not be me, but the Indian lady whose back is facing us.. She made us feel so ashamed then. Her Japanese was superb! Initially we saw a group of Indians making a commotion outside the Tenya restaurant, speaking Tamil, as if they were discussing whether to enter the restaurant and it looked like they were struggling to understand the Japanese menu. Then after they sat down at their table, the woman started conversing with the waitress in Japanese! I heard her “sumimasen” (i.e. “excuse me”) and then go on to ask questions about the menu, ALL IN FLUENT JAPANESE! Haha.. I would think with our ability to read Chinese words, it should be easier for us to learn Jap language; but this Indian proved us wrong. We ought not to have belittled them earlier on. Hahaha. Anyway, I realise that most Indians pick up different languages very quickly and easily.

That was the end of my day 8 in Tokyo and I was to leave for Singapore on day 9. So sad right. Hate that feeling of going home each time I go on a trip, like going back to reality. Yh and I usually suffer from post-trips-depression for about a few weeks, like what we are undergoing now after being back from Hong Kong. Hee hee.

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Main highlight:

  • Odaiba Aqua City

We left the boring Decks Tokyo Beach and walked to the shopping mall next door, Aqua City. While walking, we continued enjoying the scenery of the Rainbow Bridge. It was a rather long walk.

A closer look at the bridge. Looked quite ordinary but it was considered a “touristy” sight…

Finally, when we reached Aqua City, we were awed by the size of the shopping mall and spent our time shopping like mad instead of taking pictures. They have Agnes B, Comme Ca Ism, Le Sportsac, Coach, some Jap brands that we’ve never seen before, etc.

They have a Naruto Museum there. Naruta fans should have known about this.

That’s me staring at the signboard above. I was wondering what kind of Naruto place that was. There was a boy squatting at the corner, eating his Baskin Robbins ice-cream. So nice meh?

There was also a Disney Store there too. You can buy your Disneyland tickets from there if you wish to. The photo below roughly shows the dress sense of young school girls during summer season. Basically they are very casual and laid-back during summer, but during spring time, they actually bother to doll up and look really different (much better) than summertime. 🙂 Whenever we go Japan during summer, we won’t feel so out of place in terms of dress sense; but whenever we go during spring, the disparity is there. Haha.

Inside Disney Store.

That’s me looking excited playing with the Pooh puppet. See, he looks happy too posing next to me in the picture.

Wanted to buy him home but my cold-blooded husband said strictly NO MORE STUFF TOYS! There, the pooh was begging him to take him home, by tugging at his sleeves. “Please master, bring me home…”

That’s cheeky Pluto looking down from the shelf above.

See the dalmatians from “101 Dalmatians”? I actually find real dalmations very ugly because they usually have very skinny legs and look like they have kind of skin disease with black spots all over their white fur, but Disney managed to make the dalmatians look so adorable and much more lovable. 🙂

Many more decorations in the store below. Yh was busy taking pictures everywhere and anyhow to occupy his time in the store.

Wanted to share this cute merchandise I saw in the store. Earphones in the shape of Disney characters. Although I found them very cute (especially the Pooh one, since I love Pooh), somehow I felt they were not very well-made. The plastic material alsomade the item look very cheapskate. Not worth the price. Can’t remember the price already.

Only took pictures of the Pooh one ‘cos I love him the most among all the characters. 🙂

Fancy a Casio Baby-G watch with Disney designs? About SGD $330. Not cheap ok.

We then left Disney Store and ventured into other interesting shops in Aqua City instead. There was this particular store which was super attention-seeking and rather ostentatious imo. Yh was very grossed out in the store as majority of the items (all kinds of household things, girly stuffs, stationery, etc.) were pinkish. I would say about 80% of the items were of SHOCKING pink shade and there were some rather nice but overly priced BLING BLING hair accessories in shades of pink and the usual clear diamante colour. I remembered the price for a usual hair band to tie ponytails was about SGD $50. Crazy. They were similar to those you find at Chomel, in case you are still wondering what kind of hair accessories I was talking about. Anyway, photography not allowed in the store, so no pictures were taken. The store seemed to be opened by a particular Japanese female artiste. I don’t know her name (maybe ‘cos I am swagoo) but she could be someone popular there, based on the row of posters of her flaunted all over the shopfront. It’s either opened by her or she was the spokesperson lah. Anyway, I thought she was a porn actress as her dress reminded me of those costumes bought in sex shops.

There was also a store there to cater for all tourists in Japan. Basically it sells many items which could only be bought in Japan. Note: Don’t expect everything there to be Made in Japan. Many items were Made in China but sold only in Japan. They sell high tech items, Japanese bottled drinks, hairdryers, facial-related appliances, etc. The item below attracted my attention and I contemplated buying it but later changed my mind as it was too expensive for a 1 GB thumbdrive.

A Hello Kitty thumbdrive! Our local Hello Kitty stores don’t sell this.

Soon it was dinner time. Of course we settled it in Aqua City as they have one whole level of restaurants on the 5th, 6th or 7th floor. (Sorry can’t remember the level but you will know after taking their information brochure.) We chose a restaurant selling … OMU RICE. What’s Omu Rice? It’s actually Omelette-Rice, and is a well-liked home-cooked dish by the Japanese. The simpler versions consist of just butter/tomato-fried rice wrapped within  a thin layer of omelette. The more complex versions will consist of additional items to eat with your omu rice, such as a hamburg steak, fish, prawns, special gravy, etc.

This was the restaurant we went into. My friend told me there was a branch in Garden Walk Outlet too, but somehow I had missed it there. Hee hee.

Pomme-no-ki

Picture taken during dinner time. There was a queue outside. Almost every restaurant there had a queue during dinner time.

The Japanese are fond of putting up colourful and detailed window displays of food to tempt potential patrons.

A closer look at one of the main courses. Looks exquisite right? Of course the real thing is not so neat and pretty lah, but the chefs do put in effort to “decorate” your food before it is being served to you. Japanese care a lot about food presentation.

We got a counter seat inside and were presented with this nice window display in front of us. Alright, perhaps not really that nice or scenie, but being a kaypoh person, I enjoyed watching people walk up and down, observing what they were wearing and looking out for good-looking people. 🙂

That’s me, waiting for the waiter to take orders from us. Did you notice the bottle of milk tea next to me? That’s my favourite drink – Kirin Milk Tea. The one shown above is the thicker and more expensive version of milk tea by Kirin. They do have a cheaper one, it’s very nice too!!!

Felt very calm staring out of the window then, though inside was bustling with activity – people chatting and eating while the waiters were busy shuffling around.

The view from where Yh was seated. It was drizzling when we entered the restaurant and it soon turned into a heavy downpour. No more people-watching already. Occasionally we still saw some brave souls running towards the nearby Yurikamome Station – Daiba.

(As mentioned earlier, Decks Tokyo Beach is nearer to Odaiba Kaihin Kōen while Aqua City is nearer to Daiba Station.)

How the interior of the restaurant looked like. It was quite a small but packed place.

Couldn’t wait to dig in still must pose with the food. 😦 I chose one with half-half cream sauce and brown sauce. VERY TASTY.

Mine… Yum yum.. I don’t know of any nice omu-rice places in Singapore as of yet. The ones I have tasted in Japan were never disappointing.

Yh’s… He chose one with hamburg steak. Nice too, though most hamburg steaks tasted the same to us.

Okay, gotta go. It’s weekend today and I gotta go make full use of my weekend! Will blog soon after I have edited the photos okay… 🙂

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Yh brought me to eat my favourite minced pork noodles on Saturday. Many would have heard of the famous Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles. As the name suggests, it used to be at Hill Street, but later on moved to Marina Square, and finally now to somewhere near Lavender (at Crawford Lane) 🙂 What I like about their pork noodles is that they add cuttlefish and it remains very crispy/crunchy even after being immersed in the vinegar and other sauces. The pork liver is also cooked very well, and is not those type that is cooked till it becomes hard to chew.

It is now inside this small and dirty-looking coffeeshop. There is usually a long queue, and it’s self-service. Note: Photo was taken at ard 11.30 am.

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles stall is the most crowded among all the stalls in the coffeeshop. Next to it is some Western Food stall which is also quite popular, but still loses out in terms of popularity of course. 🙂 There are very few tables, so it can be quite hard to find seats during the lunch hours.

What I wanted to share with all of you is this. Every stall has their own helper to clear plates belonging to them… This Tai Hwa Pork Noodles stall hired the uncle in the photo below..

This uncle was damn disgusting!!!! I caught him using a pair of chopsticks from the container I circled, to pick up something amongst the “rubbish” in the blue plastic sieve, to be thrown into the black garbage bag just next to it. He then dumped the chopsticks back into the container!!!!!! The chopsticks in that container seem to be for the stall’s patrons to use one lor!!!! At first I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and thought maybe he was using the chopsticks to pick up some uncooked food or ingredients, and not garbage… Before I left, I specially went to see what the contents in the blue sieve were. They were actually leftover meepok, minced pork, veg, etc. The uncle pours everyone’s leftover food into the pail to segregate the food waste from the liquid waste. ALAMAK! And the chopsticks in the container were not used chopsticks by patrons; I know because I saw him carrying the bowls, chopsticks, spoons etc. into some washing area… *puke*

We then went Bugis shopping, as I wanted to buy some shoes from Pazzion. Nearby Bugis is this popular desserts eatery, known as Ah Chew Desserts. Their popular desserts include sesame paste, peanut paste and mango sago with pomelo. We went there at 1.15 pm and turned out they only open at 1.30 pm on Saturdays! There was nothing else for us to along that street, so we ended up waiting outside the shop. Haha.

The very Chinese looking signboard.

The whole street is all about FOOD, FOOD and more FOOD.

Had nothing better to do then but to scrutinise their menu, to see what to order later. Hee hee. They were trying to make the whole place very Chinese looking, see the rosewood tables and chairs, with the roses carvings.

Anyway, I just realised we did not take any photos of our food! Too excited and quickly dug into the food when they arrived. Haha!

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Main highlights:

  • Ueno Atre
  • Ueno Ameyoko Arcade

Ueno is a place which brings back fond memories. Years ago, my husband and I decided to go to this small zoo in Tokyo – Ueno Zoo, as I had never seen pandas before then. After seeing the one and only panda there (her name is Ling Ling btw), I realised I really like pandas! Somehow lazy-looking things appeal to me. Haha. Recently, I got to hear that Ling Ling has passed away, thus causing the zoo to become an unpopular attraction since then. Well, if you like deer, maybe the zoo will appeal to you still. 

Anyway, this year that we were in Japan, we had not known of Ling Ling’s death and had no time to go to the zoo as well. We would always try to go new places every trip and I decided to bring Yh to Ameyoko Arcade. I went there about 8 years ago during my first Tokyo trip with my aunt and impression that the place gave me was that it was more like a Japanese pasar malam. I remember there were many stalls selling local food (mainly raw food, like seafood, Japanese seaweed, eels, etc) and shops selling sports shoes, stockings etc.

I will explain more alongside the photos…

My lousy breakfast from Takase bought the night before at Ikebukuro. I think it was an anpan. Nothing wow about it.

At Ueno Station. We were at this particular portion of the station that seemed very run-down. See the walls and the low “ceiling” behind me. A little lost then on how to walk towards Ueno Atre.

Yh took a picture of Ueno Station. Every JR Station looks something like that. Many staircases leading to the various platforms (e.g. platforms for Yamanote Line, Hibiya Line, Keiyo Line, etc.) Do take note of the signboards above you before climbing the stairs. You wouldn’t want to climb all the way up, then notice the platform is for a different line from what you intended to take. That is why I say, lots of walking to do in Tokyo.

We walked towards a more modern-looking area of the Ueno Station, and were nearing our destination –> Ueno Atre.

From this angle, you walk straight, and you will be exiting out of the station, towards Ameyoko Arcade direction. On the left will be many restaurants clustered together, and on the right will be Ueno Atre…

More on Ueno Atre.. Initially I had thought that there would be lots of shopping awaiting me, but I was disappointed. I had expected like hundreds of shops there, but turned out there were about 50 shops or less. However, they have a small branch of Afternoon Tea there (for those who like the simple and yet girly country-style kind of items. There are many branches of Afternoon Tea in Tokyo. I remembered there was one located inside the dept store just outside Shinagawa Station too). There is also Peach John, Samatha Thavasa (the more expensive range, and not Samantha Vega), some clothes shops, bags shop, a store like Matsumoto selling ettusais, manicure stuffs, etc. Basically, it would be a mini mall serving commuters on-the-go.

It was about 11+ when we reached Ueno Atre, and we were feeling hungry as the Takase breafast could not satisfy our stomachs. We went around hunting for restaurants and food in Atre but noticed there were not many appealing choices. In the end, we realised had to walk out and walk towards the restaurants section instead, which is on the left side of my photo above. (The restaurants section is located on the opposite side of Atre.)

Anticipating a good lunch up there. It’s bright up there due to the large, tall windows bringing in lots of sunshine.

The grand and arty decor behind me in the picture suggested there was an art gallery inside the building as well. I cannot confirm this as I only focussed on searching for restaurants. Haha.

We entered a restaurant with a nice window display of various food items, mainly hamburg steaks and spaghetti variations. After going in, *jialat*… There was no English menu and there were no pictures for us to point at as well. Fortunately my katakana is not too bad and I could read the menu. I even remembered that Yh and I got into a small tiff due to the ordering of food. Can’t remember the exact contents but we were quarrelling in a hush-hush kind of manner. Wouldn’t want to attract the attention of every Japanese patron in the restaurant.

The food came and we had stopped arguing by then. Glad we ordered really delicious food. I ordered Napolitan Spaghetti which was okay (actually delicious but how wrong can Japanese Napolitan Spaghetti go) and he ordered some hamburg steak with onions and and brown sauce.

Special mention must be made for the above. It was really very nice! I think hamburg steak tastes roughtly the same everywhere, but this particular one was well marinated and the sauce was really well-apt. The baked potato was also good, and what I liked was that the set came with a sunny-side-up. I always love food that comes with a sunny-side-up. It will always make the entire set seem more complete. Haha. Another plus point was, the onions must have been cooked for long, as they were very soft and all we could taste was the sweetness of the onions matched with the tasty brwn sauce.

Oops, just realised I sounded like I was the one savouring the set.. No no no. I merely took a small bite. Okay, probably a medium-sized bite. Haha.

Btw, this was the restaurant we went into. It says “Grill 1930”. Really almost 80 years of history?

The lunch menu. For those interested parties. As you can see, the menu was really short and simple. Not many items for you to choose from. When you see short restaurant menus, there are usually only 2 possibilities. Either the restaurant is lousy and can’t be bothered to come up with more variations, or every food item on the menu is fantastic, hence the restaurant does not need to come up with more variations to attract people. I would think the second possibility was more likely for this restaurant. We had tried 2 items and both were great. 🙂

Finally done with lunch! More photo-taking to be done downstairs. Our first time seeing Hard Rock Cafe in Tokyo. For Hard Rock lovers, do take note there’s a branch at Ueno.

Hahaha. I looked more like a mannequin than them. They looked so funky and havoc, and could pose far better than me.

We did not spend much time shopping in Ueno Atre, so we proceeded to Ameyoko Arcade. It was hot outside! I had had to take out my jacket. Must have gotten many freckles due to the UV rays. Damn!

Along the way, we saw really cute and interesting displays outside some restaurant. Haha.

“Please feed me some soba…”

“Mmmmm.. Piping hot ramen. Smells nice”

Finally, at Ameyoko Arcade. Upon reaching there, we felt like leaving asap. Hahaha. The place seemed quite boring, there was a lot of walking to be done, and the weather was not very pleasant. <<<I need the air-con!!!!!>>>

Posing just to prove that we had been there.

Paper boxes everywhere. Seemed more like a pasar malam. But a neater and cleaner one, with more walking space for people to walk leisurely.

Another last pose at the place.

We probably finished Ameyoko Arcade in less than half an hour. Could not be bothered to walk the entire stretch as we were damn tired. Initially we were contemplating buying a mini cabin luggage from there because they were rather cheap (around 10,000 yen) and nice.. But the thought of lugging it with us everywhere (we were going to Odaiba next) in case we could not find a locker… Hmm.. Not advisable. 🙂

We left Ueno at about 12 – 1+ and quickly headed towards Odaiba!!!! Stay tuned. 🙂

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