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  1. Dinner in Old Montreal

    August 11, 2012 by yuming

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    The kangaroo was told that Old Montreal is worth a visit if one only had an evening in Montreal. There are restaurants by the water and all sorts of strange touristy vehicles one could rent — we saw a horse carriage (very Central Park-ish), open-air type trucks that could pack in quite a few seats, and four-person tandem bikes. No kidding!

    We chose to walk and took in some lovely sights…

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    We watched the sun set over the water…

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    The restaurants were packed in Old Montreal and we chose this one because it had seats. We had enormous bowls of mussels and chips while sitting quietly in our jet lagged state — mumbling ever so often about this or that. ‘Tis a comfy marriage when you can eat in silence and not feel like you’ve lost the romance. Sometimes you just want to munch on food in peace.


  2. Montreal: Just walking around

    August 10, 2012 by yuming

    I didn’t really have any solid plans and just headed towards Avenue du Parc, an interesting neighbourhood according to the guide book in my hotel room. I knew that St Catherine was a swish shopping belt in downtown Montreal but wanted to look for something a little different. I also thought taking the train could make my trip more interesting…

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    The subway was uncomplicated and easy to use…

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    But I just couldn’t figure out where Avenue du Parc was and got a bit lost. I really expected to see sights like these, but I was clearly in the wrong part of this supposedly lovely neighbourhood.

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    I finally got directions from a kind local, a teenage girl who was texting on her phone and waiting for a friend, and I was on way to Avenue du Parc…

    Don’t you think the town houses look like those in Boston?

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    I walked and walked and walked until I came to a crossing that looked like it was a sloping big road which I couldn’t see what was on the other side. I gave up and sought some shade from the boiling heat in an old shopping mall and stumbled upon a drugstore, Uniprix. Yes, I bought some beauty products…Well, at least I got something out of this fruitless wander…

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    I took the train back to St Catherine and drifted in and out of the shops. By 5pm, I couldn’t bear the jet lag and decided to call it a day and walked back to my hotel.


  3. Montreal: Lunching on my own

    August 9, 2012 by yuming

    As I mentioned here, I’m pretty fobby when I dine out by myself overseas — I just want Asian nosh. The kangaroo always craves pizza when he is tired and stressed which is not my favourite to be honest. I might do a salad if I’m feeling healthy, but saddled with jet lag, I just wanted familiar flavours and was happy to find a Japanese sushi joint…

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    Note to self: when in a city not particularly known for its diversity (I know Canada is diverse, but Montreal is not Toronto, I’m afraid), don’t go Asian. Seriously. When do I ever learn?

    The sushi was well…kind of what it looks like in the photo. What was hilarious were the huge chunks of hard raw cabbage…

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    But this refreshing celery apple lemon juice from Liquid Nutrition completely rounded off my lunch with a good dose of vitamins. I try to look for a juice bar when I travel because hotel and airport food is just not the best and if I can squeeze in something pure and healthy, I know I would feel better physically.

    Btw, happy birthday Singapore! Today is our national day…


  4. Montreal: Hello, again!

    August 8, 2012 by yuming

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    After San Francisco, we jetted to Montreal for two days. I only really had one full day for sight-seeing and was keen to reacquaint myself with Montreal. I visited the city 10 years ago but I couldn’t recognize anything. I was there for just over 24 hours at the time so all I could recall was a haze of bus rides and climbing Mount Royal with a heavy backpack.

    I was terribly jet-lagged in Montreal because I bounced from NYC to the west coast which was three hours behind NYC, so going back to the east coast just made my body even more confused.

    I knew that catching some sun rays would make me feel better so I wandered out of my hotel to walk around the city. People were loving the scorching sun and were lunching outside on benches and sitting al fresco in cafes since this Canadian city probably doesn’t get hot very often. Me? I wanted to get into the shade but I powered on…


  5. SF Chronicles: The Rotunda

    August 6, 2012 by yuming

    I’ve come to the end of my short stay in SF and I had an amazing time. I saw an old friend, did some yoga, ran twice, and did a wee spot of shopping.

    Before heading to lunch at The Rotunda, I had a bit of a poke around Neiman Marcus — it only sells luxury brands so it was purely window shopping for me.

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    The ornate stained glass ceiling at the restaurant which was on the top floor was impressive and reminded me of Italy.

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    By this time, I had injested way too much rich food on my trip so I chose a shrimp salad with green goddess dressing which was absolutely fresh and just enough to satisfy my hunger pangs.

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    My companion had the lobster risotto with black bean sauce that was sweet and savoury — I thought it was interesting that a restaurant like this would venture into something so Chinese in a fusion dish. It was tasty nonetheless and reminded me of Cantonese chok.

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    Sorry for the awkward angle (One of the peeps on my Instagram — handle: luiyuming if you are interested to follow me — exclaimed it looked like a pig’s organ of some form — goodness! It sure doesn’t look like that in person) but I had to take a photo of the strawberry butter that came with the bread. I thought it would be like sweet jam mixed in butter but it really wasn’t at all like that — more like a hint of strawberry flavour infused in the butter and made the bread roll quite a special thing to munch on.

    The next morning we left SF early in the morning to catch our flight to Montreal…


  6. SF Chronicles: Curviest road in the world

    August 3, 2012 by yuming

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    We stayed with friends who are a couple so I was taken out to lunch and the curviest road in the world. There were so many tourists and we had to dodge a few people to get the photo above. It was pretty interesting how some cars actually take this route and they had to slow to a crawl to get through. I suspect they were tourists as well because I doubt any local would put up with that kind of speed.

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    Before taking a stroll to the curviest road in the world, we had some humble Thai food for lunch at Thai Thai Noodle at California Street. One of my favrouritest food is tom yum anything and Thai is the most ubiquitous Asian food anywhere in the world. I chose tom yum seafood soup with thin rice noodles and it totally hit the spot. I’m so Asian at heart and would always gravitate to some Asian food at least once in any given city I’m travelling in.

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    And fresh coconut juice was such a treat. I’m actually not really a fan of bottled or packaged coconut juice (though I have it sometimes when I want something more than water) because they do taste a bit strange compared to the real thing.


  7. SF Chronicles: Source

    August 2, 2012 by yuming

    After yoga, I thought it was quite fitting we went to Source, a vegetarian/vegan joint, that had the most amazing homey healthy nosh ever. I was in paradise. If I could eat like this everyday, I would be so happy. My companions felt that they wanted to be healthy (although they are not veggie peeps) after doing something healthy. I totally agree with this concept because it’s such a waste to bombard your body with toxic stuff after putting in so much effort to be otherwise. I remember I used to go for long runs in Singapore and then “treat” myself to MacDonald’s…LOL!

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    Anyway, it was vegan “fast food”, considering that our order arrived barely 10 minutes after we paid up (it was a go to the counter, pay for your food, then they bring it to you system).

    Don’t you think the avocado fan is just gorgeous? I wonder how they did that! We had fresh salads with quinoa and kale and beans and they were so delicious as well.

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    Okay, onto the not super healthy stuff — vegan mac ‘n’ cheese. I thought that since it wasn’t real cheese, it wasn’t as bad. It was delicious and savoury while the breaded crust made the whole thing even yummier. The mushroom pizza was phenomenal because it was so mushroomy with slivers of basil.

    The variety of veggie restaurants in SF is just impressive and I’ll try a new one the next time I’m in SF.


  8. SF Chronicles: Yoga in a cathedral

    August 1, 2012 by yuming

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    Although I had effectively three days in SF, I think I got up to doing quite a bit. One of the things I did was to join a dear friend at a Hatha yoga session at Grace Cathedral.

    She said, “It’s a very alternative church. They once let some Buddhist monks come in for a visit and I think their priest is gay.”

    There was Indian chanting and Alanis Morisette’s brother, Wade, played acoustic guitar as an accompaniment to the chanting. It was bizarre but very relaxing. I literally fell asleep at the end of the session when they had us lie down on the stone floor to breathe and meditate.

    It was definitely a different kind of experience.


  9. SF Chronicles: Fisherman’s Wharf

    July 28, 2012 by yuming

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    The one benefit of jet lag is that you wake up very early (3am, anyone?) so by the time life is stirring in whatever city you are in, you are raring to go. That was me in SF three weeks ago. I took my bright-eyed bushy tailed self down to Fisherman’s Wharf at 630am. It was very chilly which encouraged me to run even harder.

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    There were other peeps just like me — jogging in the slight drizzle and wind and feeling quite happy doing so.

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    At the same time, I was absolutely starving so I was on the lookout for some breakfast. I passed by these goofy lobster-shaped bread at a bakery…

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    Then I spotted….an organic cafe open at 730am!!!

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    I sucked on this green juice in three seconds flat. I had already been in the US for a few days now and was just dining out in cafes and restaurants with not a lot of green type food.

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    And then I proceeded to inhale this delicious breakfast burrito. The Mexicans got it just right with their scrambled egg wraps with spicy salsa — I always find bread a bit too heavy for me so wraps are a lighter alternative.

    Though you wouldn’t catch me doing this in Europe — the time difference is the other way around. You wake up late and before you know it, the day has whooshed past and everyone has gone to sleep while you are wide awake and gagging for something interesting to do.


  10. Sambal soba

    July 27, 2012 by yuming

    Hi my dears, I’m sorry I’ve been missing from this beloved space. I would say I genuinely felt overwhelmed and it has been crazy busy since my arrival in the US. This article which a friend posted on Facebook made me re-think what it means to be “crazy busy”.

    This morning, as I was re-tracing my steps for the past three weeks, I don’t have overly much to show for it. I’ve attended all my classes every Saturday and tried to keep up with my other blog. I think I’ve spent a lot of time on planes and socializing. However, that doesn’t reflect it was a meaningless waste of time. I like my friends and spending time with them is a luxury because they don’t live in Tokyo.

    I have loads of photos and precious moments to share so hang tight, will ya?

    This would be my last post about the Japan side of my life for a little while…

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    As an expat in the kitchen, I borrow my favourite bits from various cuisines and mash them together. Sometimes they turn out alright but sometimes a real flop. Today’s picture exudes a bit of nostalgia for me because I used up the last of my mum’s homemade sambal chilli paste which amazingly lasted a little over two months. I only had a small tub of it and I always make sure I use it for time when I crave a spicy kick. I think I could only get another batch early next year on my way back to Tokyo from Sydney. I would be in Singapore in Sept for a few days but it would be on my way to Europe so I can’t possibly lug around sambal chilli in my luggage. But it’s best to keep this a rare condiment because this is what makes it so special too…

    It was a busy day (I need to do something about this!) but I wanted something a bit more hefty than a salad so I whipped up my very own mutt-like stir-fried noodles. I boiled up some pure buckwheat soba noodles (none of that mixed stuff in my pantry!) and tossed it together with garlic, napa cabbage, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, onion, tomato, egg, and a big dollop of sambal chilli — a touch of Chinese, Japanese, and Singaporean. Oh my, it was so tasty and savoury…

    Do you cook like that as well — making it up as you go?