Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bodacious Bar and Bistro

For our latest mystery makan session, Jacelyn brought us to Bodacious Bar and Bistro, located at 70 Biopolis Street.

Everyone loved the modern industrial interior! There is also outdoor seating, but it was such a hot day that we all chose to sit indoors, with the comfort of aircon!

Group photo before we start. Check out the phone and camera on the table... all in "selfie" mode! Haha.

Sent this photo to my colleagues and they said "Esther is all about food"... Hahaha. Quite an accurate sentence to describe me ya? Good food makes me a very happy girl!

Coffee that Jacelyn ordered. I miss coffee so much! I have been avoiding it ever since I had braces on. I used to have ice latte for almost every cafe visit!

I was spoilt for choice but eventually settled for Duck Confit. Very sinful because there were many fatty bits which I savored. I recommend this if you visit Bodacious Bar and Bistro!

Jacelyn and Fidelis both had the pulled-pork burger. It looked very good on the menu and I almost wanted to order it!

Nadia indulged in steak!

We also had truffle fries to share. Can never resist truffle fries. I also saw prawn paste chicken on the menu! So tempting!

Piccies again! This is what happen when four bloggers hang out. Haha. So many photos whenever we are together! Actually I cut down already. Few years back I snap even more photos!

Churros for dessert.

Really like this photo! One of our better group photos :) We are all in happy colours!

The food at Bodacious was not bad but the best thing was catching up with the girls. Our next gathering would probably be at Fidelis wedding which is coming up in a few weeks!! Time really flies! 

Outfit photo outside the restaurant! Shopped with Nadia at Bugis Street awhile back and we snapped up piece after piece including this floral top! The feeling was super shiok because we are both very fast when it comes to buying clothes! Ahem, I hope bf doesn't read this. Haha.

Birthday presents from them. Love!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hong Kong: Tsim Sha Tsui, Temple Street

We traveled to Kowloon for dinner at Tsim Sha Tsui. Before this trip, I never knew that Hong Kong is actually quite a small country in terms of land space. It's amazing how I could travel from Hong Kong island to Kowloon in less than 30 minutes!

Dinner for 8 of us in a random Chinese restaurant. Quite a spread and tasty too.

Tsim Sha Tsui is quite populated. Most people who holiday in Hong Kong would choose to stay in a hotel located at either Mong Kok or Tsim Sha Tsui, as it's quite central and there are many shops around. I was hoping to pass by the famous Chungking Mansions, but didn't managed to. Before the trip, I read up on Chungking Mansions and found it quite an interesting place! It is a very old building located in a very good location in Tsim Sha Tsui, housing several hostels with very tiny and constrained rooms as accommodation for tourists on a budget. However, many of us would not want to stay in such dirty and unsafe conditions, even for one or two days.

After lunch, we walked around Tsim Sha Tsui on our own. Spotted some really cute shops!

We walked and walked and walked. Posting this photo below because in TVB dramas, we always see aunties pushing cardboard pieces on a trolley just like this one! Anyway while we were there, all the cardboard aunties we saw were aunties! Why no uncles?

A picture with sis on the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui!

Taken from an overhead bridge...

They wanted to shop in a mall because of the extremely hot weather, and we finally found one called "The One". The sun in Hong Kong is so strong that even more than a month after coming back, my arms are still tanner than the rest of my body.

Finally, aircon! Haha. We bought some drinks because we were so thirsty. I realize that some of the shops there don't provide plastic bags and when requested, we were given this kind.... No handle kind.

View from the top... If you noticed, every pedestrian crossing at a junction turn green at the same time. It's so awesome because I can get to a diagonal building quickly without having to pause in between!

After we finished enjoying the aircon, we went back to the streets for Hui Lau Shan, a famous dessert shop in Hong Kong. There were several branches around!

Mango dessert are their main highlights and I loveeeeeeee mango ice! We ordered two versions and they were quite nice, but I have eaten better ones in Singapore. A little bit disappointing because we read so many raving reviews online! Nevertheless, quite a nice treat in the middle of a warm afternoon.

We got enough of Tsim Sha Tsui and the rest suggested to visit Temple Street located at Yau Ma Tei, so we flagged a cab to go there. The cab fare was very cheap, probably because it was actually within walking distance.

The night market was not open yet so there wasn't much to shop. Managed to buy myself a pair of new sandals at only HKD50! My mum bought herself a pair of platform slippers at only around HKD30! Very cheap!

Live seafood on the ground... Lots of seafood eateries around, I was so tempted!

Mum spotted a mahjong club that is quite big. It must be intimidating to go in and play with the other seasoned players, though I am really curious how it looks like inside!

That's all for this short entry.... Will be back with more!

Hong Kong: Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong: Victoria Peak
Hong Kong: Wan Chai, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hong Kong: Wan Chai, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen

During our holiday in Hong Kong, we stayed at The Emperor (Happy Valley) Hotel.

Not a luxury hotel for sure, but I think it's not too bad! Would recommend it if you are looking for an affordable yet not too shabby accommodation in Hong Kong! Located very near Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, it is located in Happy Valley, a peaceful residential area in Hong Kong.

We had a city tour around Hong Kong Island with our tour guide! First, we went to a dim sum restaurant in Wan Chai for breakfast. Was very excited to taste how dim sum taste in Hong Kong, especially since most people immediately think of Hong Kong upon the mention of dim sum!

The restaurant was filled with elderly. Not sure why, but there were hardly any young people in sight!

I was all ready to start sharing about how each of the dimsum dish fare, then I realize I don't remember how this one taste at all. Haha. It was not bad I guess! Hahaha.

The typical siew mai which is a must-order for every dimsum meal~ I liked the version in Hong Kong because it contained a right mix of prawn and minced meat, which gave it a very springy and nice texture to bite into.

The congee!!! Everyone around the table loved it so much! Although it looks very white and plain, it was actually very tasty and probably one of the better dishes we had there.

Thumbs up for the carrot cake in Hong Kong! The texture was nicer (Singapore's version is too floury in my opinion), plus there were white carrot cubes to crunch on!

Chee Cheong Fun in Hong Kong came like this. Finally, one type of dimsum which I prefer Singapore's version. The skin in Hong Kong is thicker and not so smooth. Also, it tasted very similar to our steamed Soon Kueh.

The rest of the dimsum came in one big dimsum basket! Hargao, Crystal dumplings, and BBQ pork buns. The pork buns were really good. Just.... awesome.

After a good breakfast, while exiting the restaurant, we saw a tank in the restaurant and it had this really huge fish inside!! Is it really for the diners?!

Afterwards, we went to visit the Golden Bauhinia Square, tourist spot with a famous sculpture symbolizing Hong Kong's return to China. Our tour guide spoke in Cantonese, so I didn't really manage to catch the detailed history behind it!

First proper family photo in Hong Kong!

Near the sculpture was a pretty waterfront promenade! I was very absorbed into the beauty of it all~

Hong Kong is very much surrounded by waters, just like Singapore. But, sometimes water in Singapore is a bit green. The waters I see in Hong Kong are all blue!

OOTD photo by the waters, with my dad taking photo for my mum in the background! Haha. It looks like I am wearing a white top and a separate skirt but it is actually a one-piece from Earthdoll!

Just as we were about to leave, we saw a helicopter taking off from the helipad! It was kinda loud and scary but also quite exciting! Have never seen a helicopter flying right in front of me!

Next on the itinerary was "Aberdeen Fishing Village", which was actually a boat ride charged at HKD60 per person.

Before we arrive, we were told by our guide that the Aberdeen Fishing Village used to be occupied by fishermen during the older days when it was still one of the important fishing ports in Hong Kong. However, due to fisheries development elsewhere and the increase in operating costs, the fishing community has decreased rapidly. Now, it is mainly a tourist attraction and many of the occupants earn through the sightseeing boats like the ones we sat on.

I really do not know how to describe this place. On first look, it is very old. But actually, surrounding the village were many modern high-rise buildings. Even expensive yachts, which were a big contrast to the fishing sampans parked just beside!

There is also a boat restaurant selling fresh seafood.

At the end of the ride, before we reached land, the aunty who was moving our boat stopped the motor and collected payment for us before moving again to alight us on land. It kinda amused me because it seemed like they were afraid we would run off without paying!

Then, it was the most dreaded stop on our itinerary. "Jewellery Factory"..... We all know stops like this are common in guided tours, and what it all means. I didn't feel comfortable entering a big hall with so many salespeople trying to persude visitors into buying good luck necklaces and all that. I feel very pressurized to get something! The manager was really nice and good at her sales talk though... No wonder she is the manager.

Next stop was something I kinda looked forward to... Repulse Bay! Hong Kong really has a lot of pretty bays. Just see this pic! Although it is an artificial beach, but it still looks so good!

Beside the beach is a temple with a 10 meter tall statue of Goddess of Mercy.

And this Bridge of Longevity! Walk the bridge to have a long life, but don't walk back via the same route or it would not work! Haha, there's an alternate path after reaching the other end to go back. On the other end, is"Yue Xia Lao Ren" and for good luck on love, I 'pulled' one of the red strings. Hehe. Yeap, I am the kind that will go three rounds around the Fountain of Wealth at Suntec. Haha.

Repulse Bay is actually very quiet and not many people around. There were some street huskers selling umbrellas at only HKD10 each!!! It's extremely cheap right?! Where can you find such cheap umbrellas in Singapore? But the thing is....... we didn't buy any. So wasted! It was only after we left then I realize it's so cheap!

Anyway, our guide told us, the names of places in Hong Kong are very literal, no special meanings one. For example, direct translation of Repulse Bay in Chinese (淺水灣) is shallow bay. And it was named that way because the bay is really shallow. Haha.

Last stop at Hong Kong Island, the outlet store selling souvenirs, with a free delivery service to hotel so that we don't have to carry so many bags of food around!

And guess what? After so many stops around Hong Kong, it wasn't even lunch time yet. I really feel that time passes slower in Hong Kong!

Hong Kong: Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong: Victoria Peak

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