Sunday, October 04, 2015

Cavalock and The Dinosaur Porn Excavation

If anyone wants to know how dinosaur porn looks like, look no further than our local NTUC FairPrice. Yes, it's exactly how I imagined it would be.

And if you want to know how premium Japanese beer tastes like, then head to Meidi-Ya for this. I have not seen Asahi Premium sold anywhere else so I guess this could be an exclusive thingy.

They called themselves a Japanese-inspired desserts cafe and are just a short walk from my apartment. There are already more than a few write-ups about Karafuru Desserts since I was there early last month. Not that crowded back then but I suppose things could have changed after that publicity. Even though we had a couple desserts, I'm betting that everything in there tastes as pretty as they look. Now at $16 for the larger parfait, I thought it was a better deal than the smaller $6 or $7 eclairs. The ume soda drink was in fact the fav. Mixing the Perrier with the ume shiso leaf gave the drink a cool fuzzy choya flavor with a little minty kick to it.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Cavalock and The Izakaya Replication

From my feeble attempts to pen a buncha stories, geeky gaming events and eating out, it sure was a crazy busy birthday month. One of the highlights was the baker-at-home hosting a Japanese dinner for her girlfriends at our tiny little apartment. Most of the food were purchased from Meidi-Ya with desserts from Dulcet & Studio, all at Liang Court. The rest were delivered by Zairyo or prepared by the baker-at-home.

It was an opportunity to finally whip out the cool Japanese table mats we bought at Tsukiji Market in Tokyo months ago as well as using the (almost) 100-year-old European shot glasses and whiskey glasses from the old family home. Nice to at last put the lot of them to good use. The idea was to make it like a night out at a isakaya or Japanese bar.

Now the above is my attempt to recreate one of my favourite dishes, the Nogizaka specialty that I had at a Tokyo izakaya in August. The ingredients were more or less all there. Not exactly a bad recreation IMHO.

I like to think that everyone had a great time cos I did enjoy playing host (and dishwasher). A totally entertaining night of good food and great friends.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Cavalock and The Not So Meatless Monday Post

Wait, what? Did someone say Meatless Monday? Well, it sure ain't me cos this Tokyo post is gonna be as meaty as can be. We pretty much stumbled unto On-Yasai Shabu Shabu in Shinjuku on our first night here. Up the stairs we climbed as it's kinda stashed away and actually a lot bigger on the inside than on the outside. Nicely packed on the both nights we were there. Yah, we returned several nights later with friends. It took us awhile to remember that they have a branch here in Singapore too.

Go with the recommended Tou-nyu Dashi (organic soy milk) broth, it's the white one in the above pix. It's tastes great, subtle and not overpowering. There's an all-you-eat menu but we went for the sets. What else can I say about Japanese beef that hasn't really been said? My suggestion is stuff yourself silly with them whenever you are here. You often hear folks hyping bout the sushi and sashimi here but don't forget the other meats.

And now this. Japanese menus and menu boards, they are everywhere and I just can't get enough of them. So much to learn.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Cavalock and The Return of The Obligatory Food College

I had to do this. Did it for my last couple of overseas trips so here we go again, it's the obligatory Tokyo food college for the second time this year! Geez, I lost count of the amount of amazing food I had. I have already attributed 10 posts (not counting this!) so far to this latest trip and I do ask myself if folks out there are tired of reading them. Then I also wonder how many people actually do read this blog. Heh, to the few who do drop by, thanks again for putting up with my ramblings. You know who you are. <^;^>

And now this. Spent a wonderful afternoon reliving my childhood at the Sesame Street 45th Anniversary exhibition at Nihonbashi Takashimaya. A truly mesmerising collection of puppets, props and memories. Which leads me once again to asking, "why can't we ever have anything like this here?".

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Cavalock and The Coffee Jelly Enthrallment

Coffee Jelly!!! A simple yet highly addictive dessert that I just can't get enough of whenever I'm done with a heavy Japanese meal. It's usually a toss-up between this or some matcha concoction. Coffee jelly is exactly what it is. A popular Japanese dessert created back during the Taisho period in the 1910s, it's a glob of jello made from sweetened coffee and served with cream or condensed milk.

While in Tokyo, it was my second choice for best takeaway dessert after the city's amazing Haagen-Dazs selection. We even bought a box from Gateau Festa Harada while getting our usual bread snack fix there. Comes with little creamer packs too and with the DIY part, it's really convenient to enjoy it anytime back home.

Another dessert snack I had was the popular cheese tart by Bake. It's a Sapporo brand of cheese tarts and they have a shop not far from our hotel in Shinjuku. It's apparently baked from three different cheeses and they taste so light and fluffy! To savour the cheese tart at its finest, you must eat it while it's still hot and fresh out of the oven.

And now this. You know you got a serious hard-on for Lego when you spend almost S$50 on an official Lego iPhone 6 Plus case in Tokyo, even though you don't even own an iPhone 6 Plus.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Cavalock and The People-Watching Patisserie

Ever since our first visit to Tokyo a decade ago, its amazing selection of desserts have been tempting and luring us back like some mythological Siren. We used to frequent supermarket basements or "depachika" during those early trips but have since kinda "upgraded" to more specialised dessert joints like the famous patisserie Hidemi Sugino at Kyobashi.

Some of the best French pastry you'll ever find in Tokyo is right here. It's like if you only have time to visit one French pastry cafe here, this is it! But first you gotta find it as it's nicely tucked in a rather narrow and quiet street. Once you step in, you'll be greeted by a dazzling myriad of gorgeous delicate cakes. I won't pretend to possess the culinary vocabulary needed to praise every single one of them except to say that you can't possibility go wrong with whichever one you choose. Our bill for 3 cakes, coffee and tea was almost S$39.

But believe it or not, the highlight of my first visit here (baker-at-home has already been there once) was observing the other patrons. As it was the National Day long weekend, I wasn't that surprised to spot another Singaporean couple a few tables away. But what was interesting was how young they were. They appeared to be in their late teens, early twenties tops. Hey, I'm all for spending daddy's and mommy's money (heh) but when you start that young by flying your dates to cities around the world, you sure are setting the relationship bar real high. <^:^>

Then there were these two young attractive Japanese ladies seated at separate tables across the room. We believe they were food critics or writers. They were served a parade of Hidemi Sugino's masterpieces one after another. We counted four each and still going on strong after we left! The way they each gingerly dissect every piece then sniff and carefully examine them up close, followed by a flurry of note-taking. All before taking that first bite. It's like an episode of CSI: Food Forensic Detectives. More importantly, I don't think they snapped a single shot of their pastries!

And now this. Fake olive trees for sale in Tokyo. I swear if I can find them here I would grab a pot, dunno why but I'm simply fascinated with them. Maybe cos they remind me of my trip to Tuscany.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cavalock and The Tokyo All-Booze Edition

One thing I can never get enough of in Tokyo is booze. I hardly drink in Singapore but when I'm there, every dinner (and the occasional lunch) is accompanied by a satisfying cool mug of Japanese beer or like this recent trip, glasses of glorious highball cocktails. The wide selection of local beer is incredible and cheap too if you are comparing with what we have to pay back home. Like when in a restaurant, you look at their drinks menu and every single thing on it looks so cheap!

Of cos you know this is a real drinking country when you see the above whisky being sold in giant two-litre plastic bottles. Yah, the kind we are used to see filled with cooking oil instead at NTUC. Not in Japan, them plastic bottles are made for good ol' whisky!

So yah, I had a little more whisky this time and I even bought the above bottle of Hibiki 17 at quite a ridiculous price simply because it comes in a special edition design bottle. Well, now we are thinking of a special occasion or reason to start chugging it. Oh wait, you don't chug whisky, do you? I'm still new at this. <^;^>

Well, most of the above pix I took about 4 months ago where I kept going "hmmm ... which should I buy back to the hotel room?". The ones below are from this latest booze run.

And now this. Spotted at the famous Tsukiji Market, the one and only Death Sauce!! (with double exclamation points)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cavalock and The Japanese Breakfast Cereal Movement

I'm gonna make a crazy predication and say that this is gonna be the next food craze to hit our shores, Japanese breakfast cereals. They look mostly like regular American breakfast cereals but are sold in packs instead of boxes and there are no toys in them. The three brands I noticed on the shelves were Calbee, Nissin and Kellogg's, and they come in various fruits, grains and nuts combinations.

Friends have asked us to purchase a couple of packs for them during our Tokyo trip and off we went scouring the city for them. Well, they were actually pretty easy to find as most pharmacies and toiletry or grocery stores sell them. They are apparently moving out pretty fast so I guess they are popular there too. Breakfast cereals haven't been my thing for awhile now but the baker-in-the-house tried some. She thought it was not bad and definitely "cheaper than a box of Post cereal" back home.

Each pack in Japan is about S$4 to S$6 depending on the size. They are actually on sale here in Singapore but at an insanely high price of S$10 each or more. But you won't find them in your regular NTUC FairPrice or Cold Storage (yet?). I have spotted them at our local Meidi-Ya and Takashimaya event hall below. Looking at how quick they are selling, it looks like folks here do have an appetite for them.

And now this. I may have went a little overboard with my Star Wars shopping spree four months ago in Tokyo. So for this trip, I think I exhibited a wee bit more self-control. Just a couple of cool folders and ... hmmm ... er...  an entire Star Wars helmet display collection.