When in Bali: NOOK @ Jalan Ulamas, Seminyak – Rustic Cafe Overlooking Breathtaking Rice Paddy Fields

Any avid cafe hopper worth his or her salt will tell you Bali is the destination for your coffee and brunch fix in Southeast Asia. And having embarked on my first trip ever last month, I can see why!

Tucked away from the bustling Seminyak area, NOOK offers visitors a much needed slice of tranquility, with its laid back vibes, whitewashed interior, and sprawling views of a neighbouring rice paddy field and nary a high rise building in sight (a rare sight for a Singaporean).

nook-smashed-avocado-on-crusty-bread

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7 Japan Goodies You Can Get Your Hands On Without Flying Out Of Singapore

Each time I travel to Japan, I make it a point to check off a few more items off my foodie list, as well as bring back my favourite snacks to last me till my next trip.

Thanks to globalisation, though, here are some foods, desserts and snacks we can now enjoy without having to fly out from Singapore (or rely on the goodwill of friends and family to buy for us)!

Shibuya-Crossing

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When in Shizuoka: Discovering Izu Peninsula 伊豆半島

I hadn’t planned on writing about my weekend trip to Izu Peninsula 伊豆半島, but it left such an impression on me that I decided to share my experience!

Located south of Mt Fuji, Izu  is renowned for its breathtaking coastlines and hot springs, surrounded by mountainous terrain that stretches for miles on end. While often overlooked by foreigners in favour of Hakone and the like, it’s rather popular among locals as a weekend destination, thanks to its abundance of hot spring resorts.

Tsumekizaki

After spending the first leg of my trip navigating Tokyo’s dense neighbourhoods and complex subway systems, the serenity of Izu was a welcome change, albeit only for a couple of days.

It’s relatively accessible via train from Tokyo, although getting around will take considerably longer, especially if you’re thinking about visiting the coastal attractions.

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When in Tokyo: Luke’s Lobster @ Harajuku/Omotesando – Get a Taste of Maine in Harajuku

Towards the tail end of my Tokyo trip, I was craving for Western food badly enough that I decided to brave the queue at Luke’s Lobster, a seafood franchise located a stone’s throw away from Takeshita Dori in Harajuku.

Contrary to my initial belief, Luke’s Lobster did not originate in Japan; it was brought over from New York some time around 2015. The idea came about when founder Luke Holden and his father set out to make their idea of a perfect lobster roll: chock full of fresh, chunky lobster claws, minus the diluted coleslaw and mayonnaise mix that seemed to plague most restaurants in New York.

lukes-lobster-3

As luck would have it, the queue had pretty much dissipated when I joined, although it swelled to about 20 people by the time I reached the front counter. Good timing, or maybe I’m just incredibly lucky when it comes to queueing for food overseas (why the same luck doesn’t apply to my favourite stalls at Amoy during lunchtime is a mystery).

Check out my other Harajuku food recommendations! 

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When in Tokyo: Eating Your Way Around Harajuku 原宿

While Harajuku 原宿 is widely considered as one of the ultimate places for teenaged fashionistas to visit, especially on the weekend, the hipster haven is also host to a variety of foodie gems. Whether it’s a sugary treat or a  belly busting bowl of ramen, here’s a rough guide of what to check out if you’re feeling anything between peckish to ravenous:

harajuku-takeshita-street

Catch up on the rest of my Tokyo trip here!

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When in Tokyo: Ryu Sushi 竜寿司 @ Tsukiji Fish Market 築地市場 – Have Sushi Here if You Want to Skip the Line at Sushi Dai 寿司大 and Daiwa Sushi 大和寿司

Mention the words “seafood” and “Japan”, and Tsukiji Fish Market 築地市場 comes to mind. Indeed, the world’s biggest wholesale fish and seafood market is host to a gamut of fresh catches, and more importantly – sushi restaurants.

There are a couple of options when it comes to having sushi at this time honoured market. Sushi Dai 寿司大 and Daiwa Sushi 大和寿司  are two massively popular choices, thanks to the dozens of recommendations on TripAdvisor. But if you don’t want to burn the better part of your day queueing for three to four hours minimum, you can also check out Ryu Sushi 竜寿司 – or Ryuzushi as it’s known among the locals.

ryu-sushi-counter

Read my other Tokyo posts:

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