Thursday, September 14, 2017

Taiwan 8D7N Free & Easy Tour - Sinkansen (新干线火车餐厅)

Taiwan is a beautiful country. Apart from exploring its stunning scenery, we also checked out their themed restaurants (主题餐厅). We are really thankful that our guide brought us to Sinkansen (新干线火车餐厅) for lunch last November. As I was drafting my super delayed post, I found out that it has stopped operations since April 2017. It was a pity as we really enjoyed our meal which tasted like home and its surrounding greenery and quiet serenity.

Let's take a look around at Sinkansen.

Cute banner at the entrance

Sinkansen started when the owner's father who is a big fan and lover for trains bought 4 discarded train cabins back. Many laughed and teased at his acts back then. With much determination and hard work, the family transformed the train cabins into a restaurant and homestay. After more than a decade, it is sad to see this unique restaurant going into history.

A resting area where the seats and tables are taken from the train.

The children had fun pumping water (not something that you can find in Singapore)

Outside view of the restaurant and homestay. 

Interior view of the train restaurant. 

We embarked on a journey to Taiwan and felt like we are taking on another ride into Sinkasen's history. 

Sinkansen's Menu

We ordered set meals which comes with dessert and drink.

Our set meal was served in traditional tingkat containers and each layer looks surprisingly appetizing. Base layer was rice, followed by a tray of mixed vegetables and sausage with egg, a container of meat(varies depending on meal choice) and also a container of soup.

Take a closer look at the mixed vegetables and you can tell its fresh and I already feel like home. :)

Gladys picked the fish set and it looks delicious too

My chicken set meal. 

Our dessert of the day. Forgot to ask what this is but it is sweet and refreshing.

Each set meal is about TWD320-340 inclusive of one dessert and drink which is about SGD15. Serving was good and we were very full after our meal. 

Will truly miss this place and hope that there will be opportunities to see it back in operation once more. 

新干线火车餐厅 - CLOSED 
(Stop operations since April 2017)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Cozy Japanese Dining @ Barashi Tei (Middle Road)

[Media Invite]

Barashi Tei - is a traditional Japanese restaurant located along Middle Road. What I was surprised and delighted to learn is it opens till quite late through the night and if you are thinking of grabbing a good meal in town, this would definitely be one to consider.

My children and myself are big supporters of Japanese cuisine, particularly salmon sashimi. It isn't easy to find a restaurant serving affordable and quality Japanese food and I would say Barashi Tei offers that option.  

Denver & Gladys sipping their hot tea while waiting for the food to be served. One thing I like about bringing the children to dine at Japanese restaurant is we usually do not go for cold fizzy drinks as hot green tea still taste way better and it aids in digestion.

We tried 2 maki and personally I prefer the Unagi Salmon Mentai Maki as it has my favourite juicy slices of Salmon. You need to stuff one piece of maki and let the entire fragrance and aroma fill your palate.
Unagi Salmon Mentai Maki (Eel, Salmon, Egg, Cucumber) : $14.80

If you like a bit of spice in your maki, this might be your pick. Paired with crispy tempura prawn and broiled salmon, it gives the maki a fuller taste and flavour.

Spicy Salmon Maki (Crispy Tempura Prawn, Broiled Salmon with Special Spicy Sauce) : $14.80

Chawanmushi is a must order in our meals as children love steam egg. Barashi Tei offers pretty good Chawanmushi which is soft and smooth. Though it is a simple dish but takes a lot of skill to master to ensure the entire cup is nicely steamed and it is not too watery or overly firm. Giving a thumbs up for the additional touch of Salmon Roe on our chawanmushi. Original flavour tasted just as good.

Ikura Chawanmushi (Chawanmushi with Salmon Roe) : $6.80

Chawanmushi : $4.80

We seldom go for fried food but a little change is nice. Tebasaki Gyoza is acutally chicken wing dumplings with fillings within. Nice finger food appetizer to share.

Tebasaki Gyoza (Pan-fried Chicken Wing Dumplings) : $12.80

Deep fried softshell crab is another fantastic popular starter as children like the crispy crust. The batter is not too thick and I like that it is crunchy and not too hard when bite.

Deep Fried Softshell Crab : $12.80

This is the first time we tried Goose Liver and definitely a lovely surprise for us. Hubby said its very sweet (probably due to the teriyaki sauce) and taste a little bit like luncheon meat. This is definitely higher grade than our usual luncheon meat! The texture is much more refine and its so soft and tangy that I would not have guess it was liver. Worth a try if you have not tasted it before.

Foie Gras Sushi (Goose Liver Sushi) : $15.80 (for 2 pieces)

I can never resist thick slices of salmon which melts in my mouth and this is definitely one of my favourite dish as well. 

Aburi Sake Sushi (Broiled Salmon Sushi) : $9.80 (for 2 pieces)

Our family shared the hotpot and I like the soup broth being sweet and flavourful. Dip the thin slices of beef into the egg mixture or simply pour some into the hot. Every ingredient is fresh and tasty. A comfort food to warm our tummies and hearts.

Sukiyaki Set (Beef & Vegetables Hotpot) : $22.80

Pot filled with slices of beef, mushroom, toufu and other assorted vegetables. 

Barashi Tei is best known for their Chirashi and how can we give it a miss!? I was told that their tamago is home-made and that adds on to the extra sweetness to each bite. Generous serving of thick sashimi slices of salmon, tuna, mekajiki and mackerel on top of the rice, top with salmon roe and tamago slices is awesomely heavenly! Sashimi is fresh and every bite is chewy and flavourful! Despite filling full, we finished off every grain of the sushi rice in the Chirashi Don! Denver and myself love the vinegar rice so much that we could not help taking turns to scoop every grain up till its emptied.

Chirashi Don (Fresh Sashimi over Sushi Rice) : $26.80

The interior of the restaurant is kept down to earth, homely and cozy. A nice place for families and friends to gather for meals on weekends and maybe even for a drink.

Barashi Tei is within walking distance from Rochor MRT and Dhoby Ghaut MRT. If you like to have a good and value-for-money Japanese cuisine, you may wish to pop by and give it a go.

Barashi Tei
Address: 266 Middle Road, Elias Building, Singapore 188991
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarashiTei/

* Disclosure:Our family was invited to the food tasting session at Barashi Tei. All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Family Fun Shoot Out with Canon EOS M10

Last Saturday, we had an awesome family shoot out with the friendly folks of Canon and met up with other family bloggers! On top of that, each family also has a pokemon friend to tag along! What a surprise! We are happy to have Pikachu as our family buddy and we love our bright yellow friend's sunshine smile as it cheers our day instantly!

Family bloggers met up at South Beach Avenue and it has been ages since our last visit. So much has changed and there are actually many photogenic spots surrounding the conserved buildings with a history dating back to old Beach Road Camp days. Today, these buildings have been redeveloped to become the latest lifestyle destination with various F&B and retail concepts.

While exploring the area, we have to find the designated spot and complete each task by taking a photo based on the requirements. All photos are taken with Canon EOS M10.

#1 : Jump shot with the Waves 
Doesn't sound too hard as we are a BIG FAN of JUMP SHOTS! Unfortunately, Gladys injured her knee on the escalator a few days ago, Denver just completed his 2.4km run in the morning, hubby got a big blister on his foot and I have a bad knee which makes non of us really 'fit' for jumping. (*Wait! We still have Pikachu!) Still the kiddos lifted themselves multiple times in the air just for me to capture their best moments with Pika of course!

Jump shots are fun and Canon EOS M10 did a great job at capturing a clear image. Switch to multiple shots and our models simply do their leaps. Even novice like myself can capture jump shots easily with the camera. Plus its not heavy to carry around.

Hello Pikachu!

#2 : Miniature shot
I probably spent the most amount of time figuring out how to take miniature photos as I was clueless on how to create the effect. Thankfully, Denver gave me some ideas and we were able to somewhat make our cute Pikachu appears a lot smaller visually. A bit of bokeh effect seems to work pretty well here too.

#3 : Different angles
We explored the surrounding conserved buildings, trying to see it from a different perspective and angle. Interestingly, each of us has a preferred favourite spot. I like the row of windows as it is a nice resting area for the tired ones.

One of my favourite photos : A blend of historical and city landscape.

 Hubby love the stairways and I like the mosaic tiles on it. 

I set to auto mode on Canon EOS M10 and I like how easy it is to snap quick and sharp pictures. We were always on the move and carrying it around is not really a burden at all.

#4 : OOTD shot
My favourite photo of the day. I love the way how the children got into their most natural position quickly. Their pose tells it all and poor Pikachu has to be in the center of their little 'squabble'! Be gentle on my ears please!

#5 : Family photo shot
Oh! I forgot to mention! It is so easy to take family photo with Canon EOS M10. With the 3 inch tilt-type LCD monitor, taking selfie or wefie is not a hassle anymore. Even Gladys can handle the camera and take this shot gorgeously. This means next time I do not need to hold on to the camera anymore and I can stand at the back (so that my face does not look as big and round!)

Another unique family shot - but where are the adults? Hubby and I joined hands to form the heart with our kiddos in the center. :) Guess who is holding the camera?

#6 : Unique shot with 天天
I didn't know that 天天向上 Art Exhibition is going on in Raffles City and was totally clueless on where to find this figurine! Thanks to fellow bloggers who gave the directions and we managed to locate it.

A little awkward thinking how to pose uniquely with Tian Tian with the crowd around but our kiddos and hubby got into position quickly too. At one point, I thought it was a basketball/netball match - fighting for Pikachu. Then, I realized how tall our boy is standing side by side with his Daddy! Of course he is still shorter compared to Daddy but it was also this moment that I see how much our kids have grown. Taller, stronger and wiser...

Luckily we are not dressed in green.. else will we look like 'Statue of Liberty'?!

It was an awesome day out and we had loads of fun going on a parent-children photo outing. Special thanks to Canon, we had a healthy lunch at Real Food - serving vegetarian food, free from artificial preservatives, trans-fat and processed ingredients.

Love this photo too! But why am I not inside this photo!?? Took it too quickly at the traffic light junction before it turns green.

The photo experience with Canon EOS M10 is very positive as well and I like the feel and grip of the camera. Quality of the photos turn out well and it is pretty user-friendly for beginners like myself. Its probably time to consider getting a new camera for better quality pictures for our future family trips. August is my birthday month, maybe this would be my upcoming birthday present? ^_^


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