Thursday, November 19, 2015

Blaq Piq // Sydney Pandan Pancakes ƪ(‾(••)‾”)ʃ

So yesterday I had completed my exams and of course to celebrate I had so many meals planned ahead to catch-up with some good friends of mine before the Christmas working hours begin!

Today, was a 33 degree day, I went to a cafe in the city of Sydney, called Blaq Piq, with my dear childhood friend Stephy. This place recently turned one month old and is all the rave due to its' famous and colourful Pandan pancakes! We decided to order a few things to share because we were quite hungry!

First dish we ordered was their Almond Milk Chia Pudding ($12) with yogurt, apricot puree, fresh fruits, berries, topped off with organic maple syrup. It was super refreshing and light to have, especially under this heat wave! It wasn't sickly sweet at all so we managed to finish this off with no problem!

Following the pudding, we got their Twice Cooked Pork Belly with pumpkin puree, 63 degree eggs, pickled vegetables, rocket and cherry tomatoes (GF, $17). This dish was also on the lighter side but portion wise I wish they would have had more vege mix, but taste wise was quite nice. 

 AND YES! We had to try their insta-famous pandan pancakes!! I mean look at how colourful it looks! 

The Pandan Buttermilk Pancakes ($16) was topped with fresh fruits and berries, nata de coco, pecan crumbles, coconut ice-cream and salted coconut sugar syrup. It was quite filling and fresh too! The colours definitely made it more appealing and the pancakes tasted great when you have it with the icecream, fruits and pecans. 

Overall, first experience at Blaq Piq has been a positive one and I definitely do like how everything is freshly made. I will definitely come back again to try other savory dishes and hopefully the portions will be a little bit bigger and filling. Shall visit again soon as it's only about under a 5 minute walk from Museum Station and I do highly recommend the Chia Pudding, it was delicious!

Blaq Piq
11-15 Alberta St, Sydney, 2000
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri; 7am-4pm, Sat: 8am-2pm, Sun: CLOSED
Ph: (02) 9283 8852
After brunch we bought some cake before heading off to Steph's place for a swim to keep cool in this amazing weather! I shall hopefully get some filming done sometime this week as I do want to do a Xmas/New Years giveaway for you guys this year. So makes sure you stay tuned to that by FOLLOWING me on my blog, instagram and youtube!!! 
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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Kyoto Arrival // Yasaka Shrine & Okonomiyaki Dinner (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

 Once we finally got off the train from Hakone to Kyoto, we did some food souvenir shopping at the station as they have a huge range of products to choose from. Kyoto is famous for their green tea/matcha and tofu!

 As you can see there is a whole section dedicated to just matcha items! I, of course, picked up quite a few matcha foods such as their matcha pudding! 

 Hello Kyoto Tower, we meet again!! Anyways we took a bus to our apartment but only to find out there was an issue but was solved swiftly with the help from the friendly locals! Honestly the nicest people ever and only about 0.01% of people are rude, but very rare!

Once we finished settling into our place, Steph and I decided to head to Gion, so we took a bus which took us to the very end of Shijo Dori. 

At the end of the road is where Yasaka Shrine and since I haven't seen it before we decided to take a tour~

It seems to be quite a popular shrine with all the tourist and local visiting. I love visiting shrines because it's just so beautiful! 

 Once we entered we saw a small food stand to the side which was selling something crab related so we decided to check it out. 

It was super meaty crab sticks!! Freshly boiled then grilled, topped with sauce! We instantly lined up since we were a bit peckish!

The crab stick was sooooo good and cost about 500yen. May seem a bit pricey to some, but to me I thought it was reasonable and I was willing to pay. 

 The sun was slowly setting and I decided to take this amazing shot! It's so beautiful! Anyways here are more photo's from the shrine itself! 
The shrine was small but beautiful! Every corner you turn you will be able to take amazing shots! After a nice time taking photo's and enjoying the view we headed down onto the streets! 

 We also picked up some matcha ice-cream. Simple but delicious! 

Then we headed into the traditional street of Gion. Here you will find many traditional tea houses where maiko's and geisha's will appear~

After our visit on Gion Street, we crossed the Kamo River and went into a narrow alley way just parallel to the river to find dinner.

I saw a maiko bustling by as she hurried off to her next destination~

 Steph and I decided to have some Okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza) at a place called Yasubee. 

 It's a small but cosy restaurant and surprisingly super popular place for tourist to eat at.  

We ordered a seafood and pork belly okonomiyaki and it was really delicious and filling. Steph and I decided to pair our meal with a drink so I got a refreshing peach sake cider and Steph just got plain old Calpis. 

After a long day of travelling and exploring it was time to head home and a good night rest as the next day we were off for a full day adventure!
Today I didn't get much studying done since I went out to yumcha with my mum and relative who was visiting from Hong Kong to attend my cousin's wedding. My cousin had his ceremony with friends yesterday but will be having the family banquet this coming weekend. Before then I have one last test on the Wednesday before I can fully enjoy the holidays!!! 
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hakone // Seneki Annex Yamagasou Ryokan (^O^)*

After a long journey to get to ryokan in Hakone which is called Senkei Annex Yamagaso. We booked a villa ryokan so we could get our own private onsen (hot spring bath) as Steph has tattoo's which are taboo for people to have when entering a public onsen. 

As soon as we arrived dinner was served swiftly! Steph and I were super hungry so we completely stopped talking and was just enjoying the food!

We started off we the cold dishes which were super refreshing! The sashimi was super delicious too! Cannot get enough of it! 

Then our main started coming out one by one, the first being our beef nabe (hot pot). The nabe was incredibly delicious due to all all the flavors from the meat and mushrooms. 

Their fish was quite nice but if you do no enjoy the fishy smell or taste you could probably give this a miss. 

As soon as I saw this dish, I instantly knew what it was. It is the grilled miso eggplant, which is one of my favorite Japanese dishes to eat! So I quickly ate this but it was a tad on the saltier side. 

The vegetable tempura was a nice touch to our banquet-like dinner~! 
We definitely enjoyed the rest of the night in the private onsen and had a really good nights rest. 

The following morning we woke up around 8am for breakfast~! Once again it was served in our room like a mini-banquet. It was a very traditional breakfast with dishes and white rice. 

 Once we finished our breakfast, we decided to go out for a morning walk and buy some souvenirs before leaving Hakone to go to Kyoto. 

 Right outside our ryokan was this beautiful river flowing~ It was absolutely breathe taking! We had a nice walk towards the city of Hakone where there were various shops standing. We also saw a bridge so I had to take a photo of that too!

I bought some black dango-like sweets as you could find them only in Hakone, before heading back to our ryokan to check-out.

Once we checked-out of our ryokan it was time to head to Kyoto via. the bullet train (shinkansen). Our stay at Seneki Annex Yamagaso was nice but if I was to compare with my last ryokan stay at Kawaguchi-ko with Konansou, I do prefer staying at their ryokan more. Reason being is the meals are more catered towards a westernized taste but keeping the traditional elements. In addition the room doesn't have any grassy smell compared to the villa ryokan in Seneki, I think it's due to the fact that it is a private villa?  

We were super excited to head to Kyoto as that is where most of the traditional sightseeing locations are at. We bought some bento (lunch box meals) for our train ride to Kyoto.

Today I had work so I didn't get any studying done but hopefully early tomorrow morning I can get some stuff done before I head out with my mum for lunch and shopping in the afternoon.
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