Valentine's Day 2019

Celebrated our 9th Valentine's Day, first February 14th as husband and wife, in our own home sweet home! 


Valentine's Day 2018

8th Valentine's Day.

First (and only) Valentine's Day as husband and wife-to-be. Looking forward to the next and many more Valentine's Day together. ♥


5 Facts You Might Not Know About Flowers

No plans for the weekend? Why not take two hours to learn something new? How about creating your own hand-tied bouquet or table arrangement in a jar with A Better Florist.

A Better Florist is a Singapore-based florist, dedicated in offering the freshest possible flowers at affordable prices with free island wide delivery.

I attended their hand-tired bouquets with their signature burlap wrap workshop earlier this month. You can look out for their upcoming workshops on their pages. Each session is $50, considerably reasonable.

Like any other workshops, it started with an informal get-to-know-you chat. Followed by, an introduction of the flowers and tools that we would be working with and how we should prepare the flowers for the arrangement. Then, demonstration of the basic flower arrangement techniques and we were given some hands-on time. All of us walked away with our bouquet at the end of the session. The end.

No, I am not going to write all that in details accompanied with a series of photos. That’s for you to join and find out in the workshop!

Instead, here are 5 interesting facts you might not know about flowers that I learnt from the workshop.
  1. Keep the flowers away from household appliances
    It’s nice to add some colors to the TV console or work desk. However, appliances such as televisions and computers give off heat, even when turned off, that can dehydrate the flowers! 
  2. Panadol is not a flower food
    Myth busted! To a certain extent, throwing Panadol into the vases still helps as it kills the bacteria in the water. 
  3. It’s not always cheaper to DIY
    For experienced florists, yes for sure it is cheaper, as they go to the wholesale market knowing what they want. For newbies, you might not buy enough flowers to fill up the gaps in your bouquets. Food for thought. But, of course, practice makes perfect. 
  4. Cut the ends of the stems everyday
    Flowers wilt when there is not enough water. Cutting the end of the stems each day help the flowers to soak up as much water as possible. Cut the stems at an angle if you want your flowers to bloom faster. 
  5. Wash the vase everyday
    Changing the water in the vase everyday is not enough. The cleanliness of the vase is just as important to ensure the flowers last. 

Information you might be interested in:

A Better Florist
11 Keng Cheow Street, #01-02
Riverside Piazza, Singapore 059608
Nearest MRT Station: Clarke Quay (Exit B)
Where to Book:

All expressed opinions are mine, as always.

Kaiseki in Kyoto: Kikunoi Roan 菊乃井 露庵

Kaiseki is labelled as a must-try culinary experience on various websites while I was researching for our trip to Kyoto. 

Kaiseki is not omakase. So what is kaiseki? It is a Japanese multi-course haute cuisine. The courses in kaiseki are dependent on the seasonal produce, meticulously curated and plated. There are some standard courses in the kaiseki often in a prescribed order that the chef decides. 

Omakase, on the other hand, translated literally, means 'I'll leave it up to you'. In this case, customers trust the chef to take them on a culinary journey with surprises. The chef will make adjustment on the courses according to the diner's palate. 

That was a brief summary of what I found out about kaiseki. Of course, the best way to find out more is to try it!

Kikunoi Roan is a two Michelin star restaurant in Kyoto serving kaiseki founded by owner-chef Yoshiharu Murata.

Lunch ¥4,000 ¥7,000 ¥10,000
Dinner ¥13,000 ¥16,000 ¥20,000 ¥25,000
(excluding 8% taxes and 10% service charges)

There are many restaurants and ryokans serving kaiseki in Kyoto. I chose Kikunoi Roan simply because of the good reviews and the affordable lunch option. We ended up with dinner because lunch was fully booked. Morale of the story: Reservation is strongly advisable! Do note that the restaurant don't take online reservation so ask your hotel concierge for help.

Aperitif and Amuse 
Sake with a fragrance of iris leaf 

Aperitif and Amuse 
Chinese yam Jelly, Shiso flower, light soy sauce gel with Wasabi

Hassun (Appetizers) 
Marinated Aburame (greenling fish) in rice vinegar, Wrapped sea eel in Kanpyo (dried gourd shavings), Edamame, salted Tai (red sea bream fish) roe cake, Japanese taro, Chimake-Sushi, ginger 

Tai (red sea bream fish), Shimaazi (yellow jack), Udo and carrot, Wasabi

Bonito fish with Ponzu gel

Guiji (tilefish), thin omelet, Cha-soba (Japanese green tea noodles), Tsuyu-soup (dried bonito fish stock, light soy sauce, Mirin) with fresh green tea

Ayu fish, Tade-zu (water pepper vinegar) 

Small eggplant

Wasabi and orange sorbet 

Dressed with Tofu and Tai milt, broad bean, shellfish, Fuki, Myouga

Hot Pot 
Beef Fried fish, Hana-Sansho (Japanese pepper flower), egg sauce, bamboo shoot, Warabi, wheat gluten, tofu 

Rice with grilled Tai, cabbage soup, Japanese pickles

Champagne sorbet, pineapple, aloe

Strawberry, strawberry sauce, milk ice cream 

The full meal took about 2.5 hours and I was already full by the fifth or sixth course. The dinner also unlocked our 'most expensive meal' badge. Nonetheless, a very worthwhile experience. 

Information you might be interested in:

Kikunoi Roan
118 Saito-cho, Shijo-sagaru, Kiyamachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku,
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 600-8012

Day 14: En route to Queenstown

2.00PM: After our feast at the Bluff Oyster Festival, we continued to our next destination – Stirling Point, southern-most of New Zealand while the northern-most of New Zealand is Cape Reinga.

4.30PM: En route to Queenstown

It was a beautiful drive to Queenstown. Every turn was a surprise! The weather was so gorgeous and scenery so beautiful that these photos don't do justice.

Lake Wakatipu 

7.30PM: The day ended off with a pot of quick and easy New Zealand instant noodles. 

Information you might be interested in:

Stirling Point
46° 36' 53" S, 168° 21' 21" E 
39 Ward Parade,
Bluff 9814, New Zealand