Lentil As Anything.

I got introduced to Lentil As Anything by Miranda, a friend I met on Couchsurfing. Tucked away in Abbotsford convent in Melbourne, this is another one of those things I managed to discover when I was there last month. I loved the quiet, self-sufficient community within the convent vicinity that makes, almost anyone, feel right at home.

  

 

 

 

 

 

It was a real pity I learnt about Lentil As Anything closer to the end of stay in Melbourne. Otherwise, I would have wished to volunteer my time at Lentil’s with Miranda and her team. The food, although vegetarian, is just amazing!

There is also another Lentil As Anything outlet at St Kilda. Perfect place to chill at for a meal or to share conversations with after a swim.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Advertisements

Wednesdays at Queen Victoria Night Market.

After a whirlwind of a week long adventures in Melbourne and in Adelaide, I’m (trying) to settle into the comfort of my 4 walls at home. Barely 8 hours since I’ve been awake and I’m turning into a restless monster. I’m glad to be off for another adventure in less than 30 hours. So for now, I’ll start doing up posts of my adventures in Australia to relive the moments again.

It’s Wednesday today and if you are in Melbourne, Queen Victoria Night Market is the place to be! Running every Wednesday until 25th March 2015 (excluding Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve) from 5pm to 10pm, this market offers more than just food. From jewellery to collectors items to fabrics, QV market has it all – to offer something exciting to almost everyone.

Numerous food stalls to choose from.

 Amazing Sangarias with red/white wine for AUD 8.

photo 1Live music to soak into the atmosphere of the market.

 

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

3 mornings in Melbourne.

Flinders Street Railway Station

It’s hard to be in Melbourne and not get sucked into the cafe culture here. After all, Melbourne is synonymous to cafe.  I’m putting up at Collingwood, Inner East of Melbourne till end November so I’ve begun starting my mornings on Urbanspoon before heading out for a coffee run. So here, let me introduce 3 cafes in the area to you.

1. Proud Mary

via

Potato Hash with Smoked Salmon, AUD 19

Proud Mary is one of the more popular cafes in the hood and my friend decided to take me there for brunch after picking up from the airport. Apparently, this cafe sees queues snaking out of the door on most days. I guess we were in luck as we managed to grab a table within 5 minutes. I ordered potato hash and changed the add on to salmon instead of bacon. The portion was really filling, which was good, for a famished and jet lagged soul.

Address:

172 Oxford St, Collingwood, VIC

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm

Sat-Sun: 8am-4pm

For more information:

http://www.proudmarycoffee.com.au/

——

2. South of Johnston  

A hidden gem

Interior of South of Johnston

This rather unassuming, cosy and quaint cafe tucked along Oxford Street is a real deal. Thanks to Urbanspoon, I stumbled upon this gem and begun my weekend well with some takeaway breakfast.

Corn fritters with add on, scrambled eggs, AUD 22

Corn fritters aren’t my usual order for breakfast but I was definitely pleasantly surprised with this. Definitely going back to try out other dishes on the menu. It also has a nice courtyard to chill with some friends over coffee or just with books in the afternoon.

Address:

46 Oxford St, Collingwood, VIC 3066

Opening hours:

Every day: 7.30am-5pm

 

For more information:

http://southofjohnston.com.au/

——

3. Lemon, Middle and Orange

Full breakfast, AUD 18.90

Nothing too fancy in terms of food but service was pretty great. They took out my iced coffee from the bill for having missed out poached eggs from my sister’s full breakfast. 🙂

Address:

25 Rokeby St, Collingwood, VIC 3066

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 7.30am-3.30pm

Sat: 8am-3pm

Sun: 9am-3pm

For more information:

http://www.lemonmiddleandorange.com/

Chew on this till next time!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

 

Best of Bangkok!

Bangkok is one of those popular and very frequented destinations among travellers, that getting started with planning a trip there isn’t hard at all. Thanks to every other up and coming travel blogger of course! So, I thought I shall dedicate this post to doing the best of Bangkok to aid your planning further. After all, having too many choices can also become a problem.

via

Where to stay
Given Bangkok’s traffic situation, staying somewhere close to BTS/MRT station would definitely be convenient and helps you save time. I chose to stay in the vicinity of Sukhumvit due to the proximity of many (cheap) eateries and shops nearby. I stayed at On 8 Sukhumvit Nana Bangkok by Compass Hospitalitywhich was just next to Nana BTS. Pratunam was a mere 5 minute train ride away and Chatuchak market (Mo Chit BTS) was a 25 minute ride away. Being a mere 5m away from Nana BTS, was really convenient given the light showers that greeted us in the afternoons when I was there in early August.

More information on the train map and routes can be found here: http://www.transitbangkok.com/bts.html. Hope that helps you when selecting a hotel to stay in during your travel.

Activities 
This can be tricky depending on the agenda of your travel. Some visit Bangkok just to eat, some just to shop till they drop (literally). And others, just to visit temples and marvel at architecture.

Let me try and provide some details on all 3 for you.

Where to eat
Just like every other part of Asia, street food is the best way to discover some of the most authentic and mouthwatering eats. Since I was there just for 2 days I didn’t manage to visit the popular eateries most bloggers mentioned about. However, I rediscovered a gem by chance and it didn’t disappoint me at all; just like my first experience back in 2012.

This small eatery, Pantaree Restaurant, is just next Times Square (Asok BTS) is highly recommended. My friend and I ate like kings for under 400 Bhat (SGD 15). Although, the image below may not be the most photogenic capture, trust me, you have to have a meal here. No regrets at all.

If you are looking for other local food to try in Bangkok, do check out this post: http://www.misstamchiak.com/10-must-try-food-places-in-bangkok/

Where to shop
So everyone who arrives in Bangkok, probably hears about Chatuchak weekend market if they haven’t already. But, apart from that, there are many markets in Bangkok worth visiting. Other popular markets are Khao San market, Pratunam market and Flower market.

Here are couple of links for other options of markets, apart from Chatuchak, to stop at 😉

1. http://www.cookiesound.com/2011/10/5-markets-in-bangkok-thailand/

2. http://migrationology.com/2012/05/shopping-markets-in-bangkok/

3. http://travel.cnn.com/bangkok/shop/city-essentials/best-bangkok-night-markets-153964

These (very pretty) lights which were 100 – 150 Bhat were my favourite purchase from Chatuchak!

Where to go
Bangkok like most of Thailand is packed with temples. After a while, visiting temples become mundane and repetitive. So I definitely suggest going the more iconic ones. Combining all my temple visits from both my trips to Bangkok, my personal favourite would be Wat Arun, Temple of Dawn.

Next up, would be Grand Palace (Emerald Buddha Temple) just opposite Wat Pho. Wat Pho boasts a 46m long Buddha in a reclining position. Wat Traimit houses the world’s largest massive gold seated Buddha weighing at 5 and a half ton.

Beautiful architecture of Wat Arun

When to go
The best times to visit Bangkok are from December to February as subsequently the hot and rainy seasons kick in. If you’re looking for a getaway before the year ends, look no further, Bangkok is a great choice. Only if you can tolerate both the human and non-human traffic that is.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Penang in 48 hours.

Penang is probably one of the best weekend getaways given it is just about an hour away by plane from Singapore. With budget airline carriers always having last minute flash sales, it’s quite easy to plan an impromptu getaway.

Despite my numerous visits to Penang, Malaysia, there are a few reasons why I keep getting drawn to visiting “The Pearl of the Orient”.

1. Local food

What is a visit to Penang without enjoying char kway teow! Along Lorong Selemat, Kedai Kopi dan Ais Kacang, boasts possibly one of the best, if not, the best char kway teow in entire Penang. I hear this coffee house is famous for their ABC (Air Batu Campur i.e. Ais Kacang) as well. Not a huge fan of Ais Kacang, I gave it a miss so I could save space in my stomach to try out other local food.

After char kway teow, chendol in Penang is probably the next item you have to try! This famous roadside stall is a stone’s throw from Lebuh Campbell, along Lebuh Keng Kwee. Under the sweltering heat, having a ice-cold chendol, before continuing your rest of exploration around Georgetown is definitely a good idea.

Hokkien Char

Lorong Baru is one of the many streets in Penang that morphs into a “food galore” with plenty of push carts selling local food when dusk sets.

With Penang’s food scene buzzing round the clock, for sure you will never get hungry no matter how late into the night it is.

2. Georgetown

Georgetown, capital of Penang, was listed by UNESCO in 2008 as a World Heritage Site. True to this accreditation, today, you would see many shophouses still well-preserved and it’s colonial roots intact.

Colourful shophouses along Lebuh Campbell

Big Expressions Gallery, Lorong Macalister

Street art and quaint cafes littered along entire Georgetown area bring back many fond memories, even for tourists visiting Penang.

Mugshot Cafe

As the cafe culture scene in Georgetown is also growing, spending a lazy afternoon over books and coffee would be just perfect as well.

3. Religious Sites/Historical Buildings 

Apart from Penang Hill and Khoo Kongsi, which are probably the more visited places of interest in Penang, there are a whole load of places to head to as well.

Wat Chaiyamangalaram, a Thai-style Buddhist Temple is known for a 33m long reclining Buddha, one of the longest in the world.

 Queen Victoria Clock Tower at sunset

Kapitan Keling Mosque

photo11Masjid Terapung, Floating Mosque of Tanjung Bungah 

Travel through the history of how cameras have evolved since 20th century in The Camera Museum. Sure to blow you away if you are a fan of photography.

4. Batu Ferringhi 

via

Perfect for watersports and sunbathing, Batu Ferringhi is a very popular haunt for visitors to flock to when in Penang. Also, it’s night market is a huge draw to both locals and tourists.

5. Nightlife

via

China House is one of the top places for nightlife in Penang at the moment as it caters to anyone and everyone. Be it a simple dinner over cakes, to just chilling with a book in the Library, to chilling with some drinks in the Courtyard, to some music and jazz in the Canteen; you really have it all in China House!

 All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

 

Travels for the year 2013!

2013 saw me travelling quite a fair bit. Bali, Melbourne, Sydney, Cambodia  Penang, Yogyakarta and then concluding the year with Sri Lanka. My highlight, of course, will be overcoming my inhibitions and attempting my first solo travel to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Although, it was a short 4D3N, the trip taught me a lot on solo travelling.

IMG_0328

Sunset at Seminyak beach, Bali

IMG_0598

Post lunch smiles, Bali

IMG_0812

Kuta Beach, Bali

Bali, May 2013: A 3-night getaway with a couple of friends. Beach, sunset and laughter over cocktails. Got ourselves inked only for it to last not more than an hour. Also, my slippers that almost sailed away in the waters while at Tanah Lot. Oh, the fun times.

IMG-20130618-WA014

Mt Buller Ski Resort, Melbourne

Melbourne, June 2013: A week of adventures with the sister. Tried out skiing for the first time. Amidst all the crashings and butt-aches was a memorable stay at Mt Buller. Watched 3 movies over the span of a week I was there. Felt like a local rather than a tourist. No surprises there, given my frequency in visiting Australia. Myriad of asian cuisine range conquered: Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese. Survived -10 degrees for 30 minutes in Chill On Bar. Relived bits of our childhood watching Circus Oz.

IMAG2248

Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb: Check!

IMAG2250

Skydiving: CHECK!!

Sydney, August 2013: Sole purpose of this last minute travel was to conquer the Harbour Bridge Climb. Ended up, I conquered one of my biggest fears as well – tandem skydiving! At times, I still cannot digest the fact I went through with this decision. Plus given the fact I was alone, I must be quite brave I think. After all that adrenaline rush, spent the next 2 days in Manly just chilling. Manly is such a perfect beach town, you can just wake up, stumble into a coffee house and laze the day away, without feeling any tinge of guilt. Most spontaneous travel decision ever. And also, by far, my most favourite trip to Sydney.

IMAG0365

Ice ball making in process, Penang.

IMAG0434

Roadside chendol, Penang

IMAG0445

Street vendor selling banana pancakes, Penang

IMAG0533

Dim sum buffet for breakfast, Penang

Penang, October 2013: Nothing but a 3 day galore of food, food and more food. And I mean, GALORE. I’m sure my pictures are a testament to it.

IMG_2360

Borobudur, Yogyakarta

IMG_2372

Borobudur, Yogyakarta

 IMG_2464

Borobudur, Yogyakarta

IMG_2695

The stranger who literally saved my life, Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta, November 2013: Highlight #1: My first (real) solo travel. Highlight #2: Catching sunrise at Borobudur which costed me nearly SGD 100. Was definitely worth it though. I won’t forget how I was almost stranded on Parangtritis Beach, 5 hours before my flight. The stranger (pictured above) showed me what kindness truly is and brought me back home for a nominal amount.

SAMSUNG CSC

Background of Sigiriya Rock from Hotel Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

SAMSUNG CSC

Scenic boat ride, Sri Lanka

SAMSUNG CSC

Footsteps in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

SAMSUNG CSC

Chaaya Blu Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

SAMSUNG CSC

The Golden Temple of Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, December 2013: 10 days, 10 pax, clocked 1800km on the road. Truckloads of memories. Nothing beats the euphoria of scaling Sigiriya Rock (Lion’s Rock) despite the bad weather condition as we started our ascend. Waking up in Kandy at 6am to a full moon amidst the mist. Watching sunset at Galle. Will be doing up a full post on Sri Lanka very soon.

—–

Amidst all my travelling, I juggled a new job that has taught me so many things I love and hate about the real world. Obviously more hate, than love. But anyways.

Also, I decided to give accounting a shot and enrolled myself in ACCA. Have completed 3 papers till date.

Got myself a basic rock climbing certification.

Did a couple of runs. Conquered my first 10km at Sundown.

2013 has been by far the toughest year to get by. I’m glad I’m still surviving and standing strong. I recall that fateful span of 3 days in July where I lost 2 very dear people. There are days I just wanna crumble and disappear out of this world. The void is so indescribable that I have quit writing. But, there are other days I wanna live to make you’ll proud. Those days help me get by.

20130909-145956.jpg

I will live to make you proud.

I’m planning to march in to 2014 without any expectations whatsoever. I’m gonna quit wishing for things to happen and take things as they come along.

Keep writing your goals for the year ahead and, if necessary, re-write them as you go along. After all, we have got another year to get it right. Have a blessed year ahead folks!

Till we meet again,

Manly’s 5 cafes.

I miss nearly everything about Manly. I’m so glad I spent spent 2 nights in Manly doing absolutely nothing, before concluding my Sydney adventure last month. My days were spent literally waking up into a coffee house. Then, whiling away the rest of the day away, either by strolling into Coles and people surfer-boy watching or cycling up all the way to foot of North Head. (My next post is gonna be on this!)

1. Barefoot coffee traders (EXCELLENT COFFEE!)

2013-08-12 13.04.49

2013-08-12 13.00.27

2013-08-12 17.06.40

Their belgian hot chocolate is to die for! I’m not even joking. If I was dying and I could choose my last drink, I’ll choose this hands down. The chocolate is so rich and blended to perfection, that even now as I’m typing this, I can feel this drink down my throat. Okay, I shall stop here. Just go and try coffee from here, whenever you are in Manly, Sydney. If you ever are. You can take my word on this.

Rating: 5/5

Address:

18 Whistler St

NSW 2095

Sydney, Australia

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 6.30am-5.30pm

Sat-Sun: 7.30am-5.30pm

For more information:  http://www.au.timeout.com/sydney/restaurants/venues/4661/barefoot-coffee-traders

———-

2. Three beans

2013-08-11 15.39.05

2013-08-11 15.12.06

2013-08-11 15.13.08

2013-08-11 15.37.24

2013-08-11 15.20.19

The one thing you’ll love about Manly is that it’s such a small town you can hardly miss a cafe that is worth checking out. Just basing on the crowd, I stumbled into three beans. And of course, I surely wasn’t disappointed. Definitely decent food and, needless to say, iced chocolate was a bomb.

Rating: 3/5

Address:

2A darley road

NSW 2095

Sydney, Australia

For more information: http://www.threebeans.com.au/

———-

3. Belgrave Cartel 

2013-08-13 08.24.57

2013-08-13 08.27.45

2013-08-13 08.34.45-1

Rita’s baked bacon and egg

2013-08-13 08.56.35

You get a very cozy and indie feel when you step in Belgrave Cartel. It’s quite a different cafe as you don’t have staples like, eggs benedict for instance, which is a refreshing change. Instead, you have interesting twists to your first meal of the day. I loved my egg which was wrapped in baked bacon. Toast came along with avocado and pesto. Definitely a cafe you should try!

Rating: 4/5

Address:

6 Belgrave St

NSW 2095

Sydney, Australia

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 6.00am-3.00pm

Sat-Sun: 7.00am-3.00pm

———-

4. Moo Gourmet Burgers

2013-08-11 20.05.51

2013-08-11 19.38.17

2013-08-11 19.45.31

MOOteaser – maltesers, chocolate syrup & malt

2013-08-11 19.47.50

Mini Cheese Burger

Not only is Moo Gourmet a cute, little burger joint in Manly but also easily one of the top 5 in town. Just look at how cute straw is?! And also, from the menu I’m sure you can tell, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There have THAT many variations for a burger. I’m not huge on burgers, but I liked Moo Gourmet.

Rating: 3.5/5

Address:

Level 2 & 3

33 South Steyne

NSW 2095

Sydney, Australia

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 6.30am-5.30pm

Sat-Sun: 7.30am-5.30pm

For more information: https://www.moogourmetburgers.com.au/

———-

5. BenBry Burgers

2013-08-12 17.20.50

2013-08-12 17.17.02

2013-08-12 17.14.55

2013-08-12 17.18.19

2013-08-12 18.23.10

Decided to try BenBry burgers for my last dinner in Manly. It’s apparently better than Moo Gourmet, according to online reviews. However, I disagree. I didn’t really enjoy BenBry, as my chicken burger was rather oily. It didn’t quite fancy my tastebuds, I must say.

Rating: 2.5/5

Address:

5 Sydney Road

NSW 2095

Sydney, Australia

Opening hours:

Daily: 11.00am till late

———-

Can you take me back to Manly, please?

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Le Monde, Surry Hills, Sydney.

Located just minutes walk from Central Station, Le Monde serves a good variety of both breakfast and main course food. Also, another plus for brekkie food lovers, all day breakfast is served. Considering I went there for breakfast 2 days in a row, Le Monde definitely lives up to Urbanspoon’s 95% votes.

2013-08-09 11.10.47

2013-08-09 11.15.14

2013-08-09 11.14.42

image (1) copy

2013-08-09 11.21.13

Eggs Benedict with poached egg, smoked salmon and hollandaise on a English muffin

Small portion but hollandaise sauce is awesome and salmon is fresh.

image (1)

Prawn Fritters with red cabbage, carrot, onion, corn, asparagus/chorizo, roquette, smoked red pepper feta salad & poached egg

Slightly oily as prawn fritters are deep fried but tasty nevertheless.

image

Potato Rosti with schulz smokehouse bacon, sautéed spinach, feta, poached egg, pistachio and hollandaise sauce

Served all day which is good for people looking for something heavier to start the day with. Hollandaise sauce could have been poured more generously. Nonetheless, pistachio nuts added a different twist to the rosti.

image copy

Chocolate milkshake and orange juice

2013-08-09 11.32.25

Rating: 4.5/5

Address:

83 Foveaux St

Surry Hills, NSW 2010

How to get there:

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 7.38.13 PM

Opening hours:

Mondays to Fridays: 6.30am to 4pm

Saturday: 7.30am to 2pm

For more information:

http://www.lemondecafe.com.au/home.html

Thanks to Urbanspoon, I discovered this hidden gem along Foveaux St.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Cafe-hopping bandwagon!

When I visited Australia last year I fell in love with the local cafe culture that was very prominent especially in Sydney compared with Goldcoast. In recent times, I’ve to say the cafe culture in Singapore has become increasingly popular. It’s like the latest buzz of the town, to check out new cafes to chill on lazy weekday afternoons or awesome brunch places perfect for the weekend when you wake up way past 10am.

Here are a few of my favourites!

1. Prive @ Keppel Bay 

A place I fell instantly in love with due to it’s perfect view while I dined. What more can you ask for when you have yachts before you.

Prive’s Ultimate Brekkie, SGD 20

Milkshakes – Chocolate Crunch (far left) and Malted Maltesers, SGD 11-12

Rich Chocolate Cake, SGD 8

Prive is a perfect place to dine both in the day and night depending on which atmosphere you are up for. I’ve been there for brunch twice and once for dinner. I personally prefer the brunch atmosphere which is usually packed with families over to kick start the day with a hearty breakfast as opposed to the dinner atmosphere which is a much cosier affair. Maybe, I’m biased cause I prefer brunch food over dinner, hands down!

No. 2 Keppel Bay Vista, Singapore 098382

T:  +65 6776 0777

http://theprivegroup.com.sg/prive/

2. House, Barracks and Camp

One of the best brunches I’ve ever had. Period.

Barracks Freeform Eggs, SGD 21

Barracks is also known for it’s truffle fries (SGD 11) and true enough I wasn’t disappointed. I need to make a trip to Barracks again soon!

8D Dempsey Road

Singapore 249672

T: +65 6475 7787

http://www.dempseyhouse.com/

3. Toby’s Estate Cafe

Toby’s Breakfast Set, SGD 16+

Hot Chocolate, SGD 5+

Toby’s estate is one of those cafes which is known more for their coffee rather than the food. Nonetheless, the food wasn’t that disappointing. Getting to this place might be a slight hassle, especially if you’re not driving, but trust me, it’s worth it.

8 Rodyk St #01-03/04

Singapore 238216

T: +65 6636 7629

http://www.tobysestate.com.sg/

4. Wild honey @ Scotts Square

English breakfast, SGD 22

Wild honey is famous for being one of those places that has all-day breakfast, 7 days a week. They operate at 2 outlets in the heart of Singapore which is especially convenient. I’ve been to Wild honey (Scotts Square) twice and preferred the English breakfast to their Canadian, which was pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.

6 Scott’s Road, #03-01

Scott’s Square

Singapore 228209

T: +65 6636 1816

http://www.wildhoney.com.sg

5. Hatched @ Holland Village

Philly, SGD 15

Hatched recently opened it’s 2nd outlet in Holland Village which is definitely more accessible than their other outlet at Evan’s lodge.  And being a fan of eggs, I had to check this place out! Plus, it has all-day breakfast! That’s double awesome!

267 Holland Ave
Singapore 278989

T: +65 6463 0012

http://www.hatched.sg/

Be sure to check these places out if you’re in the Sunny island and are looking for new food haunts. Hope these places impress you as much as they impressed me. Also, feel free to drop me a comment if you’ve any recommendations for the foodie in me!

Please note all images belong to Solosingaporean except for those which have been linked directly to it’s source. Please give credit where it’s due. Merci!

Tea in the gardens.

1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden
(enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore 259569

Perfect location to spend a Sunday. Sipping tea and enjoying pretty-looking desserts amidst luscious greenery.

Follow me on Instagram (@subathrad)!