Thursday, October 17, 2019

Cavalock and The Halloween Heavy Post

Yah, I was just here a couple weeks before with the guys but the Baker-at-Home wanted to try the Eggslut herself for breakfast so here we are back in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Wasn't crowded at all compared to when I first walked past the place last month. I still liked my bacon, egg and cheese but I think she thought it was just alright. Well, she definitely didn't like all that grilling going on so near where she was sitting cos it made her clothes smell.

Saying that Halloween is a big deal in Japan is a major understatement. Right now, there's Halloween decor everywhere you look, from the sleepy town of Hakodate to the busy streets of Tokyo. A lot of these are very beautifully done and extremely eye-catching, some rather classy and some cheekily cute. And that's just the decor, the food like snacks and gift boxes are all so damn attractive too.

The hotels we stayed were all decked out in Jack o'lanterns. Yah, that's a Christmas tree covered in little pumpkins. Every confectionery shop has Halloween themed snacks and they all look soooooo tempting. Like I said, they are really into Halloween, no doubt due to the American presence after the Second World War. Years ago, the Baker-at-Home was in Tokyo with her friends on Halloween night and she was freaked out by all the costumed revellers who came out to party in the main streets.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Cavalock and The Many Melon Memories

Melons! You don't travel all the way to Hakodate, Japan and not stuff yourself silly with the tastiest, juiciest melons every chance we could. Single slices like that can be found at every fruit stall especially at the Hakodate Morning Market Square. Compared to the Japanese melons that end up on sale in Singapore, these are pretty big. A slice like that would cost about 400 yen or around SGD$6 while an entire melon about half the size of those in Hakodate would go on sale for SGD$25 to SGD$30 in Singapore. Hmmm, I think I got the numbers right. Bottomline is the Japanese melons you find in Singapore might seem cheaper overall but the melons you buy in Japan are twice the freakin' size!

I didn't order that particular melon ice-cream below but it certainly caught my eye. I did have a regular melon ice-cream on a cone. Last chance for a Japanese melon was on my way home, I simply had to choose the melon dessert on me flight cos I figured they must have stocked up on some genuine Japanese melons before taking off. Hah!

With an aging population like Japan, there are definitely things we can learn from them. Like how they provide reading glasses at public counters. I think that's great cos for the old folks filling up forms at these counters, it's really helpful. Maybe someone here can suggest something similar.

Well, there's something that the folks at Hakodate did learn from us and they aren't shying away from it. Found this street rubbish bin with our familiar Merlion on it, and it seems like from the inscription on it, they sorta admire how clean Singapore is and they wanna emulate it.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Cavalock and The Hakodate Hospitality

Yup, another new and unique Japanese Haagen-Dazs flavour means I was back in Japan, less than two weeks after my Tokyo Turmoil Tour with the guys. And also the second time the Baker-at-Home and I are headed to Japan since July. This time, we were spent bout a week over at Hokkaido before heading to Tokyo again. Well, we originally planned to vacation in London but the looming chaos known as Brexit kinda diverted our year-end plans.

So the last time we were in Hokkaido, it was way too cold for us to do much sightseeing so we kinda made a mental note to visit the island again if we could. Our first stop was the very quiet town of Hakodate. Check out that empty street in the middle of the day! So different after having been to Tokyo, can I get used to it? I really dunno.

Isn't this charming? We can grind the complimentary coffee beans right in our room and the local coffee cookies that came with it were damn good too. Since the Baker-at-Home already grinds and filters her own coffee at home on weekends, we kinda looked forward to a bit of afternoon coffee by the comfortable bay window. Oh yah, the Creamy Vanilla Pudding was pretty rich. Thick pudding and quite strong vanilla taste.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Cavalock and The All-Guys' Tokyo Food Collages

Look, I wasn't kidding when I said us guys had around five to six square meals a day when we were in Tokyo earlier this month. There were six of us and what we ate was enough to feed ten men. And there was no one or anything to stop us from stuffing our faces.

A typical morning would begin with one of us group-messaging to see who's up for an early breakfast at 7.30am. One or two of us would agree and meet at the lobby. It's usually coffee and sandwiches nearby then an hour, there'll be another shout-out by those who didn't meet for the first breakfast for breakfast again. So between the two breakfasts and lunch we would of cos, snack along the way. And by 'snack' I mean, a supermarket takeout sashimi serving and the like. Lunch would come along and we made sure to eat and eat and eat. Tea break came and then before you know it, it's dinner time. That would be around 6pm or 7pm and end by 9pm, we would head to what's known as 'dinner round 2', like that time when we had a meaty yakiniku dinner then went for a big bowl of udon each near our hotel simply becos we 'needed the carbo'!

Best buys of this Tokyo trip, a Midori Traveler's Notebook and Lamy fountain pen. Still remember my Primary school days of learning to use the fountain pen and me inking my shirt pocket. Anyone else out there into the Midori Traveler's Notebook?

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Cavalock and That First Tokyo Conveyor Belt Experience

Believe it or not, of all the times the Baker-at-Home and I have vacationed in Japan, we have never ate at a conveyer belt sushi joint. No particular reason, we just never did I guess. I mean, we had sushi and sashimi numerous times in restaurants whenever the two of us are in Japan, just not in a merry-go-round. Well, that all changed for me when me and the guys spent a couple evenings at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Shinjuku. Actually the pix were taken during me solo trip to a conveyer belt joint also in Shinjuku a day before the guys arrived. So yah, premium sushi at prices we'll never ever see back home.

Street festival right in Shibuya! Never been in the middle of one of them before. The sights, the sounds, the energy from all that revelry, it was almost rather exhilarating. This was a pretty big affair as they had several contingents of revellers carrying the massive structures through the streets. Of cos, we had no idea what they were celebrating as we kinda stumbled into it while out shopping for sneakers and Magic: the Gathering cards. Hah! One of the perks of an all-guys vacation is definitely doing what we want, whenever we want, even if we have no idea where it's taking us.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Cavalock and The Tokyo Slut Breakfast

There is a certain kind of exhilaration and freedom when us guys are on vacation without the wives and kids. It's undeniable. Like I mentioned in me last post, us six guys finally got to go on a geeky Tokyo vacation earlier this month. We all agreed that we got to do things like spending half a day at Akihabara or eating five square meals a day (really), things that our significant others would never allow us to get away with.

So I arrived a day earlier than everyone as I got several solo errands to run in Tokyo. Our hotel's right in the heart of Shinjuku and while getting my stuff done, I saw this! A snaking long queue at the opening of Eggslut, the popular egg sandwich joint from the US. Later I told the guys bout it and we decided to head there for breakfast as soon as possible. We kept our fingers crossed ahead of the perceived long breakfast queues but on Tuesday, a day after a Japanese long holiday weekend, there was no early morning line!

I had the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Tasty and hearty, a good start to a full day of walking, eating, shopping, drinking and eating. It's right next to Shinjuku train station and pretty easy to spot. Yah, in the same building, there's also Boul' Ange deli and the ever popular Luke's Lobster, the latter opening at 10am instead of 7.30am like the other two.

Check out this crazy-ass Gacha capsule toy. I thought I have seen bizarre Gacha toys before but this one takes the cake. Apparently they are components for a poop flicking game. And no, I didn't get one.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Cavalock and Yet Another 2019 Tokyo Vacation

Yup, it's another Japanese Haagen-Daz ice-cream post and that means I was on another Japan vacation, less than three months after the last one! But this is different, very different. It's a trip that had been in the planning stage for longer than the sequel to Avatar. It's the first all-guys week-long Tokyo Turmoil Tour 2019! We all agreed that it's so different from vacationing with the wives and kids, there was pressure to follow anyone anywhere, except for one guy, the rest of us have been to Tokyo and kinda knew our way around. We ate at least five square meals a day, each spent a small fortune at video arcades, visited game shops and went for late-night suppers and drinks.

Alright, that edamame one sounds pretty weird even by my standards. Took the familiar brown sugar mochi instead. No regrets. And pumpkin flavour was yummy too. Anyway the guys are more into savoury than sweet and we didn't exactly did the dessert makan trail so all them Haagen-Daz cups were consumed alone in me cosy little room.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Cavalock and The Birthday Lunch Post

What a wonderful birthday lunch at Hashida Sushi! Was our first time at their Mohamed Sultan joint and it's one of those places that we kept saying that we oughta go but just never got to. Anyway, we were finally there and almost immediately we were pretty impressed by the lush yet minimalist decor. Always fancied them Japanese restaurants with those cool long corridors and dining rooms. Amazing omakase selection and I must say that I preferred the fresh 'traditional' sushi here than what we had at Esora (*cough* M.Star *cough*) last year. Esora was great but if I had a choice I would pay a return visit to Hashida than Esora anytime soon. And becos the sake connoisseur AKA the Baker-at-Home requested it, we also had 540ml of sake to accompany the meal.

Now here's something you don't see at your average neighbourhood FairPrice. Fusion Pringles available at Liang Court's Meidi-Ya. Sounds pretty exotic. Don't ask me how it tastes cos I don't do Pringles. I just find these Fusion flavours rather intriguing and yes, almost gimmicky. Hah!