Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Brunch at Merchant's Lane

Recently met up for brunch with Neh, Xhawu, and Bob at Merchant's Lane, KL. People have been talking about this place for quite a bit and we figured it's about time to check it out. Convince me that it's insta-worthy and I'll be there hahahaha Fresh didn't join though because reasons, boo, whatever #theonethatgotaway lol photo spam taime! 

Merchant's Lane
150 Jalan Petaling
59000 Kuala Lumpur

It won't be an easy place to find for a first-timer. The signboard is literally just that small, discreet, traditional signage above the small entrance doors leading upstairs. Basically, just make sure that the ATC (Advance Tertiary College) building is in front of you, and these teal doors will be directly on the right of it, on the corner of a separate building that seems to have been there forever. If you're driving you might want to squint a little to look out for it. If you're driving, once you can see the signboard for Kiat Leong Stationery & Trading, start looking for parking because you found it. Hope this helps lolol good luck!

Neh and I got there earlier and so began the photo-frenzy!  

We arrived just a little before 12.30pm, and already the place was filling up. Mind, Merchant's Lane opens daily from 12.00pm till 8.00pm, so it must have gotten pretty known for people to come in so early during operations. But hor! We were incredibly lucky to have arrived that time, about half hour later the crowd really poured in until there was actually a waiting line on the stairs. Yay for us! Upon arrival we were given a choice of indoor / outdoor seats, I had to insist on the indoor. Air cond bruh. Luckily a table next to the stairs just cleared up. Service was friendly. 

To order, sendiri grab a menu displayed in wooden frames from the teal display area. You can take it with you to the seats to slowly strategize the meal. Help yourself to some plain water there as well. Once decided, sendiri order at the counter and put the menu back okay jangan bawak balik. 

My brunch - Rose Honey Milk + "Eat Die Me"

Eat Die Me - RM26 for chicken / beef, RM27 for lamb.
Mushrooms, tomatoes, creamed corn, multigrain bread, crispy hash, sausages (chicken / beef / lamb) and eggs (scrambled / poached / sunny side up). Basically, a big breakfast hahaha I chose the beef sausages and loved it, real deal sausages packed with meat meat meat. I liked the crispy hash too. Sadly, the poached eggs were a little overdone and the others were forgettable. No joke, really eat die me I was super full by the time I was done.

Rose Honey Milk - RM12
I do really like it, especially when it came in a charming little old school porcelain cup. But I feel that it isn't worth the price. The warm milk had a sweet hint of honey, which tasted exactly like how I used to do it at home with the microwave as a kid. This one has delicate rose petals on top though, which makes it much more photo-worthy and lends a fragrant touch, but still, RM12. Maybe it has other subtle qualities and/or flavor depth that my unrefined palate can't detect, who knows lol don't take me so seriously!

Neh's brunch - Jasmine Black Coffee + Hongkie Beef Stew

Apparently the Hongkie Beef Stew (RM19) has been slow-cooked for 12 hours in cantonese style for maximum satisfaction. I love it, the beef so deliciously tender and the bed of mash, mmm, who can resist creamy, smooth, mashed potatoes. Really good comfort food, perfect on rainy days hehe I'd totally go back for it again. Neh said the Jasmine Black Coffee (RM11) is good too, infused with the fragrance of jasmine tea leaves. Comes with complimentary tea leaf fortune telling once you're done. Kidding duh hahahaha

Crazy eyes tell no lies 

After we were almost done, Xhawu and Bob finally arrived hahaha the line of waiting customers by the stairs must have had their hopes high when Neh and I were almost done mana tau still got people join us and the cycle of deciding, ordering, waiting, eating, drinking, starts again lolol Bob also had the "Eat Die Me" while Xhawu decided to try the Itadakimasu Pancake (RM20). It was...interesting, a really light, crunchy, dish. She said there wasn't enough heavy-duty meat in there to make it a real satisfying meal though.  

While they were having their meals, Neh and I went to check out the outdoor area. 

When Xhawu and Bob were almost done with their meal and the stairs people had their hopes high again, until we decided to order dessert hahahaha eff their lives #sorrynotsorry no pictures but we had the orange poppy seed cake. Visually it looks simple and plain, but I like it, fresh and light. Perfect ending to the meal. High chance that I'll come back here again, for the atmosphere and amazing lighting for photos, mostly hahaha! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

JSP'12: Miyagi - Sixth Day

Let's get back on track with the #throwbackjapan posts again, hey ho let's go! This is when more exciting things start to happen whoohoo because we were going to Sendai, Miyagi Perfecture!

Beautiful weather.

But first, checking out of the hotel early in the morning, we got on our respective group busses and headed towards Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Perfecture. We were going to Tsukuba Science City to check out the Tsukuba Space Center, homebase of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Basically where legit research and aerospace development happens, and also where Arashi's Sakurai Sho shot a tv commercial hehehe #priorities 

Epic throwback huh.

This would be the final activity with all participants together 
before we'll be officially split into three groups - Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwate. 

Look at 'em glorious clouds, the crisp air really helps make a photograph look so good.

This is where the opening shot of the tvc happened! *tears of joy

After all the initial oooh-aaah snap-snap-snap moments we were ushered to a conference room to be officially welcomed by the authorities from JAXA. They shared some video presentations as well as briefs on the range of research and development, and facilities at the well, facility hahaha I can't remember much (duh, three years) but according to the official website, basically it ranges from:
  • Development and operation of satellites
  • Analysis of acquired observation data.
  • Space environment utilization using the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” ISS
  • Provides astronaut training
  • Promoting manned space activities.
  • Development of launch vehicles and other space transportation system

After that, we were given the opportunity to explore the Space Dome Exhibition Hall.

We also went to the souvenir shop and they were selling vacuum-packed food prepared and packaged for spacemen! Couldn't resist the novelty, of course I bought some hahaha space takoyaki, space rice etc to gave to friends as souvenir. Never did saw how it turns out when the package is opened. 

Anyway that's it for Tsukuba Space Center (JAXA), indulge me in another shot as I took a final moment to soak up the remnants of Sakurai Sho's presence hahahah creepy much.

Back on the road split in groups as the wheels on the bus go round and round.

Bento lunch on the bus.

It didn't occer to me back then but lately, I realize that I do enjoy taking busses for long journeys in Japan. The views are often spectacular, and the many rest areas along the way have so much to see, eat, and taste. It's a definite must-experience if you're ever visiting Japan. Anyway the journey to Sendai, Miyagi took a while and, a little out-of-character, but I didn't fall asleep right away after lunch hahaha my weakness is moving vehicles but I stayed strong to let my eyes soak up the sights. As the sights whirl by, it started to look a little unusual.

What were those white stuff??




Clearly that was my first experience with snow. Life-changing moment, nu kidding. I got suuuuuper excited! Luckily the bus driver decided to stop by an upcoming rest area for a quick break and all the Southeast Asians started going a little cray cray for the snow while the ang mohs just chilled like literally lolol seriously though, snow. Like, pieces of frozen water. Piece of ice. Pieces of ice from the sky. Pieces of ice falling softly from the sky. Pieces of ice falling from the sky on everything. Mind blown. Nature, you rock. We were so lucky to catch snow in March! 

We just stood under the falling snow and took a lot of photographs, even next to toilet there was a piece of land that looks so picturesque covered with snow. Snow makes everything look so storybook-ish. Gosh, I don't think I'll ever forget how I felt in those moments. So incredibly touched by the realization that I was blessed with such an opportunity. Thank you, heavens above, thank you. I loved it.

Arrived later and checked-in to Ark Hotel, Sendai.

Again, a room each. This is a little larger than the previous hotel.

Freshened up and got ready for a reception dinner downstairs with important people! 

Representatives from the local government and universities warmly received us.

We enjoyed a nice dinner accompanied by performances by local talents.

Needed a walk after a day of sitting on the bus and stuffing our faces at the end of the way.

Went out in a small group to explore what's nearby on foot.

Even construction site can be made cute. Unf, Japan!

Crazy kids couldn't resist getting ice cream on a snowy winter night. Siao.

Went back to rest soon after and managed to catch Sakurai Sho on newscaster duties.

Must have been a Monday since News Zero aired that night. 

That's all for the sixth day! Can't wait to share all the other days and get it all done and over with!