Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cavalock and The Tokyo Station Shopping Spree

As much as I like Shinjuku station, Tokyo station comes a close second cos of the massive labyrinth of shops and eateries in the underground complex. Every time we are there catching a train transfer or just window-shopping (No I lie, one hardly ever window shops in Tokyo), we discover exclusive new shops and seasonal food items.

This last minute trip was no exception as we stumbled upon NY Perfect Cheese. Like most folks, we were first attracted by the long queue stretching out of their little station shop. Not really sure what these little ones below are called but they are delicious. Single bite-sized goodness with a sweet cheesy flavour. Unfortunately they need to be refrigerated so we made it a point to finish our box before leaving Japan. If they ever reach our island, I'm sure there'll be a long queue for them too.

So what else can you find at Tokyo station? Well, there are Lego, Tomica and Snoopy stores there and numerous other shops selling official merchandise based on various anime properties if that's your thing. There's also a whole wall showcasing bento lunches from different parts of Japan. Pretty neat. And uni or sea urchin lunch boxes, lots and lots of different uni lunch boxes.

For fans of the highest-grossing anime movie in the world, Your Name has a special pop-up store at the station too. Got a gashapon pouch from there even though I have yet to catch the movie. Let me know if you are a fan of the movie.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cavalock and The Snoopy Stopover

No, that glass of green beer isn't a leftover from St. Patrick's Day. It's matcha or green tea beer from Torigen Shinjuku, our usual yakitori joint whenever we are in Tokyo. We tend to make it our first dinner stop after landing and checking into our hotel in the evening. As for the green beer, it's pretty much boozy green tea that gives you a buzz as evident by the amount of green tea powder you'll eventually find at the bottom of your glass. Not bad but I'll stick to my trusty whisky high-ball when I'm in Japan.

Always a joy to have dinner with friends in Tokyo as we gleefully stuffed our faces silly that night. Everything from chicken skin, beef tongue to grilled corn. It was pretty rowdy that night and on our way out, I even spotted a passed out salaryman flat on his back in one of the dining rooms. Yakitori became our bookend meals when on our last night in Tokyo, the baker-at-home and I dropped by Torigen for one more late night cap after a hearty ramen dinner earlier.

The Aftermath
Now when I was a kid, me Mom would sometimes read Peanuts or Snoopy comic strips to me and I grew up with more than a few Charlie Brown and gang stationery. Now since Snoopy is a huge deal in Japan, it's no surprise that I come home after every trip with more than a handful of Snoopy merchandise. Well, I believe I just broke a personal spending record when I visited the Snoopy Museum and its souvenir shop in Roppongi.

We were actually supposed to visit the Museum in March but couldn't find the time. Anyway, for a lifelong Snoopy fan like me this was simply way too cool. Looking at all those comic strips on display certainly brought back memories of reading them decades ago.

Like I said in my earlier post, it's summer in Tokyo and the Snoopy Museum was more than ready to capitalise on rising temperature.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Cavalock and The Ginza Cronut Crescendo

It took us four years but we finally took our first bite out of the official cronut. The official croissant-doughnut love child was created by Dominique Ansel who was also voted World's Best Pastry Chef 2017. While in Tokyo last week, we dropped by Mitsukoshi departmental store in Ginza and found the calorie-laden cronuts of Dominique Ansel Bakery beckoning us in all their sinful glory.

Didn't know they had a monthly flavour thing going. So how was this month's "honey ganache and Hyuganatsu jam with lime sugar"? Delightfully sweet with a noticable citrus lime kick. Coming in at 648 yen, it ain't exactly a cheap snack but worth it for a first timer like us.

Being summer in Tokyo, the weather was crazy hot. In fact it was so hot that this was the first time I wore a pair of shorts instead of jean when outdoors. Summer in Japan is great for all the amazing cool desserts and fresh fruits but the heat can kill you.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cavalock Returns to The Land of The 4.30am Rising Sun

Yah, I know its only been less than four months since we were in Japan but we felt we needed another break from our daily chores so here we go again! This was a pretty last minute trip but we managed to snag a decent room at our old fav hotel Keio Plaza Hotel instead of our now preferred Hotel Century Southern like in March this year.

Well, there's only one way to kick off a Tokyo post and that's with our usual Haagen-Dazs update. Four months isn't that long but we found two new flavours, Aroma Coffee Vanilla and "Hinata Summer Panna Cotta" (thanks to Google Translate). The Coffee Vanilla tasted exactly like what you would expect from the name, in a good way. The Panna Cotta was citrusy with a nice cakey body.

But my award for best ice cream dessert of the trip goes to this deconstructed or reverse-engineered Azuki Bean Ice Cream with Green Tea Crumble from SQ or Singapore Airlines. I know I don't really talk much bout airline food here but yah, instead of the usual green tea ice cream with azuki bean, they did the opposite and came up with this cool dessert. It's so simple yet elegant so has anyone else come up with this?

Man, I swear no matter how many times I visit this island in summer, I can never get used to the 4.30am sunrise. Especially now when the Japanese sunset is like back home around 6.45 or 7pm then you get long days and short nights which forces you outta bed way too early. Still, time is of the essence when one is on vacation!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cavalock and The KL Express Mission

Dropped into Kuala Lumpur for a quick little gig and was out in less than 24 hours the next afternoon. Wish I had time like before to sample the local food but was only 'restricted' to mall food cos I didn't wanna miss my flight back. Spotted Church's Texas Chicken at Mid Valley mall and decided to have that for lunch as I really like their chicken back home. What surprised me was how similar to KFC. Now the Texas chicken in Singapore was more buttery and had its own distinct flavour while the one I had in KL just kinda tasted like KFC in KL. Strange and a wee bit disappointing.

Apart from that, the rest of the trip was pretty interesting. Found their popular Comics Mart at the same mall and managed to grab a couple of elusive Warhammer miniatures. I believe it's even cheaper than the official retail price. Oh, and if you are fan of Jo Malone, it's apparently cheaper there too.

Now it has been awhile since I posted anything from Meidi-Ya supermarket, well, that's probably because I haven't had time to visit the place. Fixed that yesterday and saw some new booze (sometimes I do wonder if it's all just new packaging instead) plus some rather pricy hot chocolate.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cavalock and The Raw Corn Recreation

It ain't often you get to replicate a favourite restaurant dish as quickly and easily as this but when the baker-at-home saw them Japanese corn cobs on sale at Iroha Mart, a decently-sized Japanese grocery store at Plaza Singapura, for about S$5 we knew we had to give it a shot. About a month ago, we had the best raw Japanese corn ever for almost 3x that price over at Suju Mandarin Gallery.

We bought it and prepped it at home the next morning. Had it raw like it was meant to be, just cut and serve so there was really nothing much to prep. Amazingly juicy and sweet! I had corn juice squirting all over the dining table. With a little miso on the side, just like in the restaurant.

So my Dad spent bout 3 hours every morning for 5 days staking out this little bird nest at Chinese Garden and came with over a thousand shots. Hope you guys like them.