Friday, May 22, 2015

Ayer Hitam - Town of Pottery and Crafts

During our drive-in to Johor Bahru, we passed by Ayer Hitam. Located at one of the interchange along North-South Expressway (junction of route 1 and 50), the town is well known for pottery and crafts.

Take a walk down the streets of the laid back town and you can find more hidden gems within.

Cute stuff toys

If you are looking for assorted stuff toys of various sizes, this is definitely a place to consider and explore.

Ceremic pots, cups, bowls, plates, vases - something that you can find for your home.

Fruit stalls


Snacks and tibits

It was a hot afternoon and the streets were quiet during our visit. We had the luxury to browse through the stalls and it felt as if I was back to my childhood days. Ayer Hitam has retained its charm over the years and continues to be an attraction to the locals and tourists with it's nostalgic look and feel.

If you are travelling up to Kuala Lumpur, do consider stopping by and take some quiet moments to enjoy the craft works and potteries.

Ayer Hitam
Address: Jalan Besar, 86100, Ayer Hitam, Johor, Malaysia
GPS: 1.917876, 103.180066

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Media Invite: Scrapbooking Workshop with Canon Singapore

Art and Craft has always been one of my favourite hobby hence I was extremely thrilled when Canon Singapore and Claudia invited us to join the scrapbooking workshop last Sunday. Together with other parents bloggers, we gathered at BWB (Burger Vs Wings + Bar) at Orchard Central,  all set for a fun-filled afternoon.

Advancement in technology has made printing of photos so easy and convenient. Introducing Canon PIXMA MG7570, a wireless photo all-in-one printer where you can enjoy mobile printing using the Canon PIXMA/Maxify Printing Solution app. Simply download the app, connect your mobile to the printer, select your photos and start printing!

Another interesting product which was showcased at the workshop was Canon Rayo R4 - a mini projector with built-in speaker ideal for entertainment and work purposes. The slim design makes it portable and fitting into the pocket. Its plug and play feature also enables you to display content from your smart devices to a big screen. I can imagine bringing this along to chalet where the children can gather for a late night movie.

After a sumptuous lunch provided by BWB, it was time to start scrapbooking! Claudia shared with us her personal experience and tips which were really helpful especially for newbies like us.

Coloured papers. paper doilies, pre-cut shapes and envelopes are the main resources needed for scrapbooking. 

We began by making the cover page for our scrapbook. Gladys was assigned to be the Gluing Agent since she was so fascinated by the Glue Tape. 

Then she became the Cutting Inspector where she ensures each photo has been cut perfectly. Before we began sticking deco on our scrapbook, one helpful tip would be to arrange them first before sticking it down permanently.

There are no hard and fast rules to scrapbooking. All you need is to let your imagination flows.

After 2 hours of snipping and sticking, this is our final product! 

Gladys and I had a great bonding session. We love our scrapbook and I am so inspired to start scrapbooking!

Many Thanks to Canon Singapore and Claudia for the invitation. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sweet desserts with Sweet Heart (甜甜屋) @ Toa Payoh

After we explored the Dragon playground, a bowl of cooling dessert is what we needed to cool off from the heat. Situated within the food centre at Toa Payoh Lorong 5, Sweet Heart Dessert offers a range of hot and cold desserts for selection.

What I like about their version of Ice Kachang at Sweet Heart is the scoop of ice-cream on top of the shaved ice. Generous drizzle of syrup over the ice mountain powered up its sweetness level. Perfect for those who have a sweet tooth.

Stone Ice Kachang ($2.50)

Gladys saving her ice-cream to the very last. 

One of my favourite dessert which is not always available at all dessert stalls is Longan with Red Tea Jelly. This dessert was first introduced to me by Hubby many years ago and I could not explain why I fell in love with this fusion dessert above the traditional ones like Ice Kachang and Chendol.

It could be the milky sweetness from the condensed milk blending in perfectly with the longans and red tea jelly making this dessert interesting and refreshing.

Longan Red Tea Ice ($1.60)

Sweet Heart's desserts tasted sweeter as compared to the ones we normally have. The sugar content was a little over for us but pricing was reasonable ranging from $1.20 to $4.50. We will be back again to give their other novelty desserts a try.

Sweet Heart Dessert (甜甜屋)
Blk 75, #01-06, Toa Payoh Lorong 5, S310075

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Singapore's Old Playground - The Dragon

Among Singapore' Old Playground series, the Dragon is my favourite and most vivid in my memory. Situated along Toa Payoh Lor 6, it is one of the last few remaining heritage playgrounds from the 1980s.

Today, we brought our girl to explore the Dragon playground. Instead of rubber mats, she was within the sandy pit. At first, she appeared uneasy upon stepping on the unfamiliar ground, feeling a little scared climbing up the narrow metal ladder to the top of the Dragon's head. Soon she found the trill scaling down from the Dragon's back.

Scaling the Dragon's back with Daddy.

Perfect photography spot with the Dragon's head.

Another unique feature of Singapore's Old Playground is the mosaic tiles where their colours did not fade over the test of time. 

Sitting on top of the Dragon's head and only to realise there are the Dragon's teeth!

The slides are narrower and you can tell with Daddy attempting to fit in. 

After a few climbs up the ladder, our girl no longer finds it daunting and she was having fun moving up and sliding down.

The presence of Daddy definitely gave her a lot of support and confidence. It was precious Daddy and Daughter time at the playground.

It was a pity the swings no longer stands but our girl don't mind sinking her hands and feet into the sand for as long as she can.

If you are looking for the Dragon Playground with the sand pit, do check out the one standing at Toa Payoh Lor 6.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

La Gourmet (乜都撈) Desserts at Taman Pelangi

Ever since we got hook up to the dessert selection at U Dessert, we have been looking out for other dessert shops in Johor Bahru. I chanced upon La Gourmet's website and was intrigued by two of its legendary desserts in the house - Mango Ice Mountain (RM48.90) and La Gourmet Loh (RM58.90). Do not underestimate them - apart from being the hot favourites,  they are HUGE and you definitely need to gather your kakis (family and friends) to dig this all down!

Since we were short of 'manpower', we can only settle for the other desserts on the menu. If any of our friends are game enough to try them, remember to tag ('jio') us along. ^_^

Durian + Mango (榴芒) - RM14.90

What happens when Durian and Mango meet? They become 'gangster' (榴芒 vs 流氓).  Creative names always leave an impression.

Although I am the only one in the family resisting Durian, the mango chunks are fresh and it was not overly sweet. A refreshing dessert even in the rainy weather.

Mango Pomelo Sago (RM11.90)

If you like a bit of bitterness within the sweetness, Mango Pomelo Sago may be the right pick for you. Slight bitter taste from the pomelo, sweet and sour from the mango left a flavourable aftertaste on our palates.

We will be back to try out the other desserts on their menu on our next visit.

La Gourmet (乜都)
Address: No 11, Jalan Kuning 2, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.478529, 103.766530

Monday, May 11, 2015

Taman Munsyi Ibrahim Night Market

We have been to bigger and smaller pasar malams (night markets) and it is amazing how we continued to be intrigued by the variety of food, affordable pricing and culture which remains as one of the attraction to the locals and tourists.

Braving through the rainy weather, we arrived at Taman Munsyi Ibrahim night market. The night market here is of a smaller scale stretching only part of Jalan Besar (ending at S Bee Hotel). 

It opens every Saturday evening and attracting mainly local residents. 

For us, it was our opportunity to packet some delicacies along the way. Deep fried mushrooms and squid has become one of our favourite pick at the night market. 

Spotted familiar faces once again. Our favourite carrot cake stall from KSL Pasar Malam. The good thing is the queue here is much shorter.

Grabbing our soya milk (rm1.30 for 1 cup or rm1.50 for 1 packet). Cheap and tasty!

Despite the cooling weather, we cannot miss buying back a packet of Chendol. We were so used to having the dessert in a bowl in Singapore and the children find it amazing to see how it was nicely packed and ready for consumption. 

Even though the walk through the night market was short, looking out for the food selling at the mobile stalls always bring us excitement and fond memories.

Taman Munsyi Ibrahim Night Market
Address: Jalan Besar, Taman Munsyi Ibrahim, 81200, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.514286, 103.688280
(Opens every Saturday, 5pm onwards)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Media Invite - Oyster & Salmon Special Menu at Kinsa Sushi HillV2

We were invited to Kinsa Sushi at HillV2 to try out their Oyster & Salmon special menu which will be launching in the month of May till June in celebration of Mother's day and Father's day.

Kinsa Sushi began its journey with it's first restaurant in Jubilee Square - Ang Mo Kio (closed). Now, it has embarked on another venture into the west at Hillview Rise.

Introducing the first 'levitating' (no track) sushi belt in Singapore at Kinsa Sushi - A modern food presentation

Kinsa Sushi believes in serving high quality cuisine to their customers at an affordable price. 3 to 4 times weekly shipment of high quality seafood into the restaurant ensures the freshness and premium quality of their dishes at any time of the day. 

In celebration of Mother's Day (May) and Father's Day (June), Kinsa sushi will be launching an Oyster and Salmon Special Menu Promotion from 10 May to 30 June 2015! If you are a big fan of Salmon or Oyster, this will be a golden opportunity to indulge in the goodness of these ingredients in various forms of preparation!

Image source: Kinsa Sushi

Let's take a look at the 'appetizers'.

The Oyster is juicy and fresh. One slurp into the mouth tasted completely heavenly and I did not feel it was overly fishy, thanks to the ponzu sauce.

Oyster with Ponzu Sauce ($7.90) - 1 piece

This is one of my favourite! Topped with salmon roe, which tasted lightly salted. The individual eggs popped in the mouth instantly. A layer of Japanese yam separates the roe and raw salmon meat. Combined with a bit of wasabi, slices of salmon tasted extremely pleasing and exciting to our palates.

Salmon and Roe with Japanese Yam ($6.90) - 1 glass

Next on - the Hotpots! 

General serving of fresh oysters, filled with vegetables within the pot. The broth is clear, refreshing and not too salty.

Oyxter and Vegetable Hotpot ($24.90) - Kaki Nabe

I love the sweetness and tenderness of the salmon meat. Have always been a big fan of Salmon Kamaage and was delighted to see the fins in the pot as I feel that portion of the meat is the juiciest. The salmon broth is thicker and taste creamier than the oyster broth but both are great to go with rice!

Salmon and Vegetable Hotpot ($16.90) - Ishikari Nabe

After having some soup, let's take a look at the grilled items.

Denver and Gladys had their eyes set on the grilled salmon fish when it was served. Simple as it may look but the salmon fillet is tasty and within minutes it was all gone.

Salmon with Butter ($11.90)

Cheesy and juicy oysters within the aluminium foil. Squeeze some lemon on top and it was another hearty dish that brought a smile on our faces. 

Grilled Oyster with Cheese ($12.90) - 2 pieces

We were ecstatic when the sushi was served. Salmon with salmon roe sushi and oyster sushi are creamy, rich in texture and definitely worth the price. It's exquisite display and freshness of the ingredients left us yearning for more!

Salmon with Ikura Sushi ($13.90) - 2 pieces and Oyster Sushi ($15.90) - 2 pieces

Finally, we have the deep fried selection on the table. Not my preferred method of food preparation as it masked off the natural goodness and freshness of the ingredients. Nevertheless, it's nice to enjoy the tempura, lightly dipped with a thin coat of batter which is not too oily.

Deep Fried Oyster with Shiso Leaf ($13.90) - 3 pieces

Deep Fried Salmon ($9.90) - 5 pieces

Kinsa Sushi will be serving the above Salmon and Oyster set meal at a promotion price for a limited period!

Oyster Set (for 2 person) - $69.90
Salmon Set (for 2 person) - $59.90
*All prices will be subjected to 10% service tax and 7% GST

Our food tasting session is not complete without sampling Kinsa Sushi's signature dish - Wagyudon 

Wagyudon ($24.80)

Do not underestimate this little bowl of rice topped with pan fried wagyu beef, poached egg and sprinkle of spring onions. Shannon Wong (co-owner of Kinsa Sushi) shared with us that they use A4 grade wagyu from Kagoshima Japan, Just look at its perfect cut and marbling on the beef, this is a must order if you are dining at Kinsa Sushi. Break the egg, give it good stir to mix all the ingredients together and you will be able to taste the tenderness and sweetness all within the bowl.

Sesame Mochi ($4) 

We ended our meal with a dessert. Unlike the other mochi, the mochi balls are less chewy and firmer. Thick black sesame filling yet not overly sweet. One of the better mochi balls that I have tasted to date. 

A sip of green tea from the teapot

Kinsa Sushi offers premium quality Japanese food at an affordable price. Do not miss the promotional items at Kinsa Sushi from May - June and also the variety of existing selections on its menu. 

Kinsa Sushi
Address: 4 Hillview Rise, #02-02, Singapore 667979
Telephone: +65 67107278


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