Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween!

waterhouse shanghai

three family friends of ours opened this hotel recently and offered us a good rate if we were ever in shanghai. however, as this trip was taken care of, i didn't get to stay here but did manage to swing by for a peek :) i love looking at hotels! 

their restaurant, table no. 1 is supposed to be one of shanghai's best. it serves european fusion and if you're ever in shanghai, be sure to check it out :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

back from kuching

after eating my way through the city. then again, i generally eat my way through places. isn't that awful? i can't tell you anything about the long houses and bomohs, or the orang utan sanctuary (uh i'm not really into primates, are you?) but i can tell you where to find the most delectable ko lo mee. i'd four bowls before 1pm (general lunch hour in singapore) and washed it all down with 'teh c special'. 

but before i get ahead of myself,  there are three more shanghai posts to go. in case you haven't noticed, they're scheduled to post by 9am every day. and after that, the kuching series will begin - by which time i should be in tokyo. 

actually, i don't think i'll be in tokyo, tokyo but in some far flung province for an authentic ryokan experience. no commericialised nahnsense for us - if the lao ban niang speaks any english at all, FAIL. it's a strange reverse classism where i judge the ryokan by how insular the proprietor is and with good reason! 

omakase is my new magic word. after the ryokan, it's back to tokyo for a few days but i don't foresee myself stepping out of tsukiji. such is my dedication to wholesale uni (sea urchin) and i will make an exception and eat all the otoro i can because it's just so good and so fresh and ihatemyselfforsupportingbluefinfishermen but ahh my conscience should go on a holiday too!

eating and shopping in shanghai

all the foodie friends i know told me a trip to shanghai wasn't complete without a meal at jessie's. but there were only two of us and insane as our appetites are, there was no way we would have done a meal at jessie's justice. we did, however, make our way to xin ji shi (new jessie) at xin tian di for an excellent lunch. we over-ordered, as usual, and da baoed what we couldn't finish for our driver. hehe. conscience assuaging use of food ftw! friends recommended the drunken chicken, crystal prawns, deep fried yellow fish, pickled cucumbers, granny's pork (?) and we added on soupy spring rolls, veggie with three types of egg, veggie with glutinous rice and my favourites below.

shanghainese eels. OHSOGOOD :)

red dates stuffed with glutinous rice. polished off the lot because once you pop, you can't stop.

after the incredible lunch, we ambled over to tai kang lu for some souvenir shopping. really liked the labyrinth of small, quaint stores that sold everything and anything. great atmosphere and crawling with tourists (minus) but then again, complaining about being where tourists are sounds a bit like "hello kettle, my name's pot and i just want you to know how black you are!"

Friday, October 29, 2010


japanese fusion and seven course kaiseki for sgd50. 
lovely old japanese house with two storeys for dining, reminded me of gonpachi in roponggi hills.
we were in and out in just over an hour so don't expect a leisurely, romantic meal.

but it changed my mind about dining out in shanghai. it's relatively affordable (if you don't earn in RMB...) and only exorbitantly priced in hotels. regular restaurants are decent, and fairly priced. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

one in a million, literally.

spent 11am to 5pm at the expo on saturday, when the attendance was recorded at a record-breaking one million people. it was also pouring cats and downs, so one million people = one million umbrellas threatening to poke my eyes out :( not a happy camper!

but we were very fortunate to be hosted and who else happened to be assigned to us but michelle! michelle whom i've known since primary one, traveled and roomed with in primary five, and stayed friends with through secondary school. small small world! never expected to bump into her in shanghai, at the expo, of all places! but she was posted to shanghai specially for the expo and this chance meeting was such a fun one :) she made all the arrangements and got us in without any queue (the average queue was 4h long. i kid you not!) so i am immensely grateful to her for making our visit happen. with her help, we saw the singapore pavilion (duh), taiwan, china and canada. she also recommended her wonderful masseuse and we went two days in a row for "seven star" foot massages. mhmmm. happy feet after a long rainy day :)

singapore pavilion 

singapore's proud of her water bodies

just because i'm peranakan

taiwan pavilion

alien pavilion

the palm tree topped pavilion on the right is saudi arabia - 9h queue and NO VIP ACCESS :(

heidi and michelle releasing good luck lanterns at the taiwanese pavilion

possibly my favourite part of the expo - old chinese painting brought to life with animation!

crazy queue to enter the china pavilion

well done, one child policy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

sleeping in shanghai

i think i just found my new favourite hotel. fell head over heels in love with the minimalist aesthetic and understated elegance of this little oasis in the city. it felt more like a zen japanese inn than -china-, politically incorrect as that may sound.

probably my favourite part - the chic library where i'd sit in the afternoon for some much needed downtime, nurse a pot of tea and write what felt like a million postcards :)

the hotel was ingenious in its use of materials. a little bird demystified the so hip it hurts (aahh i use this phrase too often!) set up and let me in on a few secrets. like how the parquet is veneer, so as to withstand stiletto scratches and the pond outside that's the length of the long bar is in fact only a few centimetres deep! it's all optical illusion with black tiles and clever clever lighting to make it look like an olympic sized pond when it's not. wow! i need to do this with my future house - put together a very expensive look with inexpensive material. sheer genius ;) 

having seen the hotel, now you know why i was so tempted to nua around the whole day and would've been perfectly content not stepping out into the real world. but alas, no such luxury :(t