Monthly Archives: December 2010

What 2011 means to me

Following up on Carol’s post, I think I’ve grown wiser over the years when it comes to making New Year Resolutions. It’s always hard to find a balance between the dreamer and the realist, but this year, I’ve come up with a mix of both.

  1. Find a Job – I’ll admit, it’s not the lack of jobs that has kept me jobless.. it’s more of my picky nature that has left me rejecting jobs left, right and center. I will be more open to jobs and courageously take on new challenges.
  2. Managing Money – I’m the type who manages money by feel. Or more accurately, by how much I think I have, or how much I see I have left in my wallet. Savings are not a problem for me yet, but it’s time to get down to some numbers and hard math. I will start keeping track of my expenditure
  3. 20 mins of Exercise a Day – I’ve got my yoga mat, I’ve got my exercise routine… it’s time to get fit! Ever since my first vaso-vagal attack (fainting due to sudden, unexplained drop in blood pressure), it has left me quite fearful of being out by myself, for obvious reasons. It occurred thrice more since that time, and I’m determined to get fit enough so I can (according to the bf) tense my muscles prevent such fainting spells. Slowly but surely. I’m not aiming for a marathon, but I’m aiming for a little something every day.
  4. Travel – I’m young, I’m not saddled with a family or heavy responsibilities, I will travel this year! Preferably further than over the Causeway, haha.
  5. Decisiveness – is something I sorely lack. I will be quicker with my decisions and stick with them.

2011 means to me, a new lease of independence, possibly a determinant year that might form my future. I’m fearful yet excited about the possibilities, and hope to make the best of it.

Happy New Year!

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New Year resolutions

Now that we are on the cusp of the new year, it is time to make some resolutions and goals to accomplish by the end of the year and hopefully *fingers crossed* keep to it!

The trick is to set achievable goals. Things that are within your reach (so you should probably cross out ‘marrying Justin Bieber’ on your list). Another way is to make your goals general instead of specific. Sometimes you don’t know what it is you exactly want to accomplish and achieve, but you have that little bit of inspiration and impetus to put yourself out there. If so, classify it under “try something new” or “get out of my comfort zone.” This would help you pin that nagging feeling down and then you can slowly narrow down your options to maybe, ‘learning how to play the drums’ or ‘I will overcome my fear of heights by sitting a roller coaster’.

Though I have to say, for some goals like for example, saving money, it might be useful to be specific: “I will save $1000 a month.” By setting a cap to your expenditure and pinning it down to a specific number, this makes it more real and you’ll be more likely to keep to it rather than “Oh, I will save money this year lah.” That just sounds fluffy.

Another tip is not to set too many goals. You could set a thousand goals for yourself but there wouldn’t be much of a point cos you wouldn’t be able to achieve all of them. In fact, this process might actually be stressful because you’ll live life by a checklist, ticking off each task. Now where is the fun in that? Instead of constraining yourself, make room for some flexibility and set 3-5 main goals and you can always modify them as you go along. Be open to the unexpected possibilities and opportunities that come knocking on your door.

After so much rambling, it’s time to reveal my new year resolutions. Here goes!

1. Spend less, save more

This is one tough goal to achieve especially since I am constantly tempted by pretty stationery, books and clothing. But I’ve come to realize the value of money (especially since it is hard earned!) and how as I am beginning to take over the reigns of my insurance policies, phone bills and other ‘adult’ expenses and responsibilities (thankfully I’ve got no student loans. Phew!), money is quickly dissipating! So it is high time that I started budgeting my expenses more stringently and start saving for my future!

porkchop will keep your money safe!

Note to self: borrow books from libraries and secondhand bookshops or participate in book exchanges instead of buying books. And you really don’t need another sweater/cardigan. You have gazillions in your wardrobe.

2. Create a Must-Read book list and finish it

My friend Chell was just telling me of this awesome book community at GoodReads and how they have a communal goal to set a list of 12 books (the 12 books differ from person to person) they need to read by the end of the year and they would motivate one another to finish it! In addition, they will give you suggestions and book reviews to help you pick your 12 books. Pretty awesome huh. It’s nice to know that old school book clubs and the art of reading still exists in a day and age that is dominated by iPhones and the Internet.

I definitely want to be a part of something like that. I think I will need a book support group when I start my practicum and I start being a busy busy bee. I foresee that when that day comes, 12 books will actually be quite a stretch and I need all the motivation I can get to accomplish this task!

So many books, so little time!

3. Infuse creativity, don’t give in to the humdrum of life

As a teacher, I keep to a strict timetable of 7.30am morning assembly, classes throughout the day and CCA at the end of school. It is so easy to get sucked into the monotony of life’s routine. And as a result, you just feel tired, weary and jaded. I refuse to be beaten by the system! This year, I will try ways and means to be creative in the classroom and channel positive energy in my life! As Maya Angelou writes “you may trod me in the very dirt,/ But still like dust, I’ll rise.” (you can read more of her gorgeous poem here.) That’s the kind of mentality I will be embracing this coming year. Optimism FTW!

It’s a bright sunshiney day!

4. Try out something new and get out of your comfort zone!

I am an absolute comfort zone person. I traipse within the boundaries, I toe the line but I never venture out to see the greener pastures. (I have friends who committed themselves to running a half marathon!!! What am I doing with my life?!)

This year, I wanna put myself out there and experience (or at least try *cautious*) a new hobby, sport or crazy stunt. I’m leaning towards scrapbooking and papercraft right now but even so, that sounds safe and very ‘me’. Lol. The other alternatives I have are learning another instrument (drums hopefully), bungee jump, volunteer or help out at some kind of charitable organization, er… exercise… (can you just sense my dread? That’s why I made this goal general instead of specific lol.) learn how to cook or bake… yeah. That’s pretty much it for now. But like I said, goals can be adapted over time so YAY to keeping my options open!

Ok, here goes nothing…

5. Live and love with a passion

By this I mean making time for friends and family because without their love and support, I would be a very unhappy individual. And as I’ve mentioned before, I am a social creature and these people (you know who you are!) are my top priority and given that my love language is ‘spending quality time,’ no matter how busy I am, I will MAKE TIME for them. I look forward to many more occasions where we can indulge in good food, great conversations, laughter and silly nonsense.

This year I’m looking forward to flourishing friendships (and budding new ones!), to getting to know new students and changing their lives, one poem at a time and of course, building a loving and meaningful relationship with my other half (and our cats). And given that we both are starting work together next year, that would be a challenge. But hey, I love rising up to challenges. As a wise person once said “there are so many people out there who will tell you you can’t. What you’ve got to do is turn around and say ‘watch me’.”

I am lion. Hear me roar.

Basically, to sum up everything, I want 2011 to be a year of defiance. To stand up for myself more, to be who I want to be and do what I want to do! And I wish to do this with much gusto and of course, with a strong healthy dose of positivity and optimism. (Oh. And it doesn’t hurt to do so fashionably as well!)

So here’s to Quirkychic, may this new year be blog-worthy and here’s wishing everyone a Happy New Year! It is gonna be absolutely awesome!

Party to the New Year!

With such awesome shopping deals throughout our little island, it’s a difficult time to keep that wallet closed, and me being me, I certainly didn’t refrain from going slightly insane when I saw Zara & Accessorize’s awesome sales today (check out our sidebar on the right). However, in remembering my depleting bank account (since graduation I’ve begun paying for all my hp bills + zero $$ from parents + sch’s over = zero tuition income) I stepped back from that insanity and began to rationalize. Thank goodness I only stepped onto Orchard Road at 7plus, otherwise I’m pretty sure I would’ve come home with more than just ONE Accessorize hat *proud of self*.

That said, for those who’re doing some last minute shopping, do look out for outfits that showcase the key style elements of end-2010 that look set to be the “in” thing for 2011. Don’t be tempted by items that are already moving out of style, move towards asymmetric cuts, ruffles, new takes on traditional dresses etc.

for list of featured items see here. All items picked from stores available in Singapore – Topshop, Zara & Forever21. Quirkychic does not guarantee the availability of these items in Singapore.

If you have trouble restraining yourself with the awesome sales all around, here are some things to contemplate BEFORE you open your wallet or swipe that card:

  1. Will I wear this more than once?
  2. Does it look really good on me? (Cue in the brutally honest best friend/boyfriend <– if he has the guts)
  3. Is its twin brother/sister already sitting in my closet?
  4. Can I afford it?

Thinking of things in the long-term truly helps. For me, it was my financial responsibilities to my rabbits as well as the fact that I SERIOUSLY NEED A NEW PHONE (my singtel plan expires tmrw *finally!*), that stopped me today. Luckily they weren’t things I continued mourning and thinking about even as I left them on the hangers at the stores.

Shop Smart! :) Take care of your $$, coz it’ll take care of your future :)

Scarving for more

I used to associate scarves with air stewardesses because they were the only people who used to don them.

Service with a smile

But increasingly, scarves are seen everywhere! And they come in a whole myriad of shapes, sizes, colours, patterns and material. For cold climates, there’s the thick wool knitted variety, and for drier climates, there’s the thin chiffon headscarf or that silk handkerchief, the lightweight cotton bandana or classy cravat.

They come in various shapes and sizes too. The square-cut scarf is great for folding that classic bandana while the loop scarf can double up as a snood.

Scarves are just so versatile and they can change an entire outfit just by virtue of how you wish to tie them. You could loop one around your waist to create a sash, don it on your head as a headscarf or just wear it the classic way: around the neck. And the latest trend? Turning your scarf into a turban.

This will give you an idea of the various ways you can tie a scarf (admittedly, some of them are a little outdated):

28 ways to wear a scarf

So here are my top 10 (classic + modern) ways of wearing a scarf:

Untitled

Other scarf suggestions

  • You can try wearing a silk scarf under the lapel of your shirt or blouse. The soft silky texture of the scarf makes it ideal to wear over a shirt or blouse and it adds that touch of femininity. Great for the office!
  • You could wear a cashmere or pashmina scarf (if it’s big enough) as a shawl to accompany your cocktail dress. It’ll keep you warm and it’s a wonderful accessory to drape around your shoulders.
  • Make a bold statement with a brightly coloured (red!) /patterned scarf (think houndstooth!), tied in a long loop knot. This would look great over plain t-shirts.
  • A printed square scarf folded in the triangular fashion would look great with a jacket or coat and keep you looking toasty and fashionable in the cold winter months.

Hope these suggestions are useful to you! So remember, if you want to spice up a boring outfit, be sure to throw on a scarf! It is the easiest way to stay effortlessly chic.

Going Grey

It’s not my hair that’s going grey, but my wardrobe, as I’m exploring the world of neutrals

I feel awkward if I don’t smile in photos, hence the second shot

I layered over two sleeveless tops – a zip through grey flutter tank from Dorothy Perkins and a tank top from New Look. I love the ruffles on these two tops and surprisingly it wasn’t too much when I paired them together. It was quite nice to go all silvery-grey today. For my makeup, I went really neutral except for the lips, on which I used a coral-pink lipstick (NYX’s LSS 597 Margarita) – I normally have these awfully dark brownish lips that always look so dull :( My hair wasn’t styled by the way, I just emerged from the shower and was in a rush to meet Caroline & Chell… I normally just let my hair air dry.

It was fun to layer in a way that wasn’t unbearable for Singapore’s hot weather, and I actually found myself feeling quite chilly whilst walking through Nex @ Serangoon. That mall uses too much air conditioning. *brrr*

Tory Burch Pre-Fall Collection 2011

Whilst browsing through Pre-Fall Collections on Style.com, Tory Burch’s collection caught my eye. Not only was the entire collection truly wearable, but I also loved the entire concept of “a little Parisian chic” that Tory Burch quoted as her inspiration for this collection. The neutral palette of ivory, bone, taupe, navy and some mint green isn’t flashy, and made the complicated patterns more wearable as the colours were more muted.

I absolutely adore the floaty material of the dresses, and find it quite intriguing how she paired striped tops with patterned clothing. Certainly, using striped tops accentuates the edges of the patterned clothing quite distinctively, it’s an interesting concept to try out. I’m also leaning towards the 3/4 sleeve length, though I generally think it’s quite an awkward length for sleeves, perhaps I’ll try out tops with either more fitted/banded/elastic cuffs, as shown above.

One thing that caught my eye was the cute mini satchel that accompanied 4 of these looks. I’ve always sworn by my trusty tote bags, but then again, it’s not like I carry around a load of stuff. I just find that it suits my style more? However, seeing that more and more designers are launching mini sized versions of their bags, added on with how adorable they look with the looks here, I’m thinking of getting a mini satchel myself

see list of products featured here

The one I’m particularly in love with from above is Dorothy PerkinsNavy Croc Mini Satchel. I have got to look for it at local stores! I’ll admit it’s quite a rip off from Proenza Schouler’s PS1, but hey for 25 GBP (est $60 SGD) I think it’s definitely worth the $$, especially since I like the textured print. Hopefully it’ll feel as good as it looks if I find it in local stores.

Kushi @ Hotel Windsor

On tuesday, my immediate family had dinner at Kushi, a Japanese restaurant at Hotel Windsor (it was previously named the Great Eastern Hotel). My dad discovered the place while watching Buffetlicious on TV and decided to check the place out. Guess what. He came back with raving reviews (quite surprising considering my dad is a fussy and I do mean FUSSY eater). The place impressed him so much that he decided to celebrate my grandma’s birthday there this year.

Quick shot in the loo

My outfit of choice? A white turtleneck top with translucent sleeves lined with lace and a pencil skirt. Both from Supre.

The restaurant is (strangely) located outside of the hotel building and when you first enter, you’ll be surprised at how small the place is! It sits a maximum of 20 people ONLY. I guess in a way, that’s a good thing because the place feels cosy and exclusive. But that also means that reservations are a must if you want to avoid disappointment.

The cool thing about Kushi is that it has 3 different menus pegged at different price ranges. There is $48++ $68++ (offers wagyu beef) and $108++ (offers specialized dishes like sea urchin topped with caviar.) And if I am not wrong, if you wish for free flow of alcohol (includes light and dark beer varieties and sake), it’s an additional charge of $35++.

My family opted for the $48++ menu and I must say, it was pretty impressive! First up? Sashimi of course.

Spoilt for choice

As you can see, they provide a pretty wide range of sashimi. I’ve eaten at lots of Buffet places and very few of em would offer shrimp and white tuna (my first time eating white tuna actually!) because it is quite expensive. But this place offers FREE FLOW of all these varieties. I have to say though that the tuna and salmon was only so-so (the salmon wasn’t fatty enough imo) and the snapper was too fishy for my liking. I’ve tasted fresher ones at the Sakuraya fish mart. But the shrimp, yellow tail, swordfish and white tuna was awesome. The shrimp was sweet and I love the chewy texture of the swordfish. The white tuna was interesting. It’s creamier in texture compared to the other types of fish. I almost mistook it for abalone. The only thing missing from this platter was squid and octopus but since I’m not a huge fan of both, I don’t really have anything to gripe about.

Moving on to the appetizers!

From left: edamame, chawanmushi, fresh oysters

Ok I can’t quite comment on edamame because they kinda taste the same at every place but I thought that the chawanmushi was yummy. It had lots of ingredients like crabmeat, mushrooms, pork and chicken bits. As for the oysters, they were a decent size and were quite fresh.

Next up, we have yakitori…

I can’t quite tell which is which but I made it a point to try a stick of each (or when I’m too full, I take at least a bite just to get a taste.) There was pork belly, unagi, quail egg wrapped in bacon, bacon and cheese (my mom like this one alot), chicken wings, chicken skin and a whole lot more! And that’s just the yakitori section. There’s also shabu shabu, tempura, 3 types of salads, cold tofu and all of these…

From left: squid rings, ribeye steak, saba fish, pork and egg hotplate, softshell crab and garlic rice

Out of the six dishes, the ribeye steak was probably the most memorable. It was cooked to perfection (medium rare, just the way I like it!) using Japanese salt so it was super tasty and juicy. Also, they gave a generous amount of softshell crab (around 3 small crabs?) a serving and the saba fish was quite a large piece so be sure not to over order. What my mum and I usually do is that we order one serving and we share, just to get a taste. If we like it, we order more.

I know you must be thinking, why order garlic rice? It’s a buffet! While I know the golden rule of buffets is to avoid carbs, I couldn’t resist trying the garlic rice. That’s my absolute must-have when I eat teppanyaki and I also feel that a bowl of garlic rice determines whether a restaurant is good or not. The garlic rice was passable, not as yummy as Sakae Teppanyaki but that’s probably psychological on my part because it wasn’t prepared in front of me (somehow seeing food prepared before my eyes makes it all the more appealing). Hmm… squid rings and the hotplate dish was rather forgettable.

Yup so that’s about it. I felt SO FULL (and guilty) after. I thought that it was a really good buffet. Excellent spread, great service (they change plates oh so regularly! And when my mom started coughing, a waitress automatically poured her a glass of warm water. Such a thoughtful gesture! Absolutely love the meticulous and personal service)… the only thing missing? DESSERT. I am a dessert freak and I think the meal would be so much more complete if there was a small scoop of ice cream (yes, I’m easily contented) or a lime sorbet just to clean the palette. Other than that, everything was lovely.

happy, full and sleepy

Kushi Dining Bar is located at Hotel Windsor, 401 Macpherson Road, Singapore 368125. Operating hours: 11.30am-2.30pm and 6.00pm-9.30pm. Call 62856525 for booking.

Hokkaido Day 6 [Part 1]: I ate a Squirmy Live Squid

We now travelled to Hakodate, where there was a famous seafood market that sold most of the fresh seafood that was to be imported to various parts of Hokkaido. For the first time in my life, I really felt like I was in a BBC Documentary as I saw all these sea creatures wriggling around and swimming in their tanks. Much better than Sentosa’s Underwater World haha!

It was pretty weird seeing these squid swimming backwards. How do they navigate exactly? Don’t they sometimes bump into something at the back? They seemed quite inefficient in their swimming style, upon hitting the end of the tank they would sink hopelessly downwards despite their efforts to flap their “wings”, and it was quite difficult for them to rise up and swim again once they had sunk down.

As crabs were in season, we saw loads of them at the market, with the largest priced at 70 000 yen.

We were pretty awed at how nonchalantly the young fisherman was weighing and carrying the crabs as he separated them into the various tanks. Unlike in Singapore, crabs here weren’t tied up or restricted (which if you think about it, is pretty mean. Imagine spending your day in a straitjacket. It’s frustrating and unbearable), but the crabs didn’t seem like the type to bite, claw or struggle much.

Since the crabs seemed so tame, I bravely put my finger in the water just above the crabs to provide you all with something so you can imagine how large these crabs really were

The ones on the left were the largest crabs in the market, the ones on the right were the smallest crabs, which are about 4x bigger than our Sri Lankan crabs? haha. Unlike our crabs however, the meat of these crabs is extremely sweet and best eaten plain (in my opinion). The Japanese also love cooking them in a miso/shoyu soup hotpot to accentuate and complement the sweet taste.

We also saw stores selling salmon (right) and each storefront had very colourful banners (left). Some even had cartoon-esque drawings of the seafood they specialised in. Generally, each store specialised in selling about 1-3 different types of seafood. We saw squid, salmon, crabs, scallops, abalone and sea urchins.

One or two of the stores we visited also gave us free dried scallops! Initially our family thought that these were merely sweets shaped to look like scallops (since the Japanese are the ultimate kings of making something look like something else), but imagine our surprise when we bit into these and discovered that they were real scallops! Very yummy and I’ve never tasted any other dried scallop fresher than this. Beware of scallop breath though!

Since our tour guide had strongly recommended it, and seeing that my family had been longtime fans of the show Japan Hour, we decided to take the plunge and try out some live squid. Words won’t suffice here, so I’ll just let the videos share my experience with you

Disclaimer: If you are easily disgusted, please refrain from watching.

I wouldn’t say my conscience wasn’t pricked, but you know what? I don’t regret it. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’ll never forget, and because I steeled myself and went for it, I left with no lingering doubts or unhappiness that this was an experience I didn’t miss out on. Besides, I’ve had more than enough verbal blasting from my friend Rachel. This is how our conversation went:

  • Me: Oh hey in Hokkaido I ate live squid. I have the video! You wanna see?
  • Rachel: YOU WHAT? OMG! OMG! YOU EVIL! YOU MONSTER! You’re HORRIBLEE! You’re a HORRIBLE PERSON!
  • Me: Ok ok sorry I didn’t realise you’ll be that squeamish. I won’t show you the video
  • Rachel: NO! I want to see! SHOW ME!

Hahaha. So well, you might not want to ever participate in it, but now the event is in the past and if you’re curious, it’s here for your viewing pleasure :) Unlike what we get in Singapore, the flesh of the squid was very clear and translucent. Surprisingly, it tasted crispy (especially the legs) and extremely firm.

I have to say though, that it was slightly freaky how the little suckers on each leg sucked on our teeth and gums, but it didn’t cling very hard and there was no damage done (to us). The legs were the only active part of the squid wriggling around as we ate, due to the fact that the squid’s muscles are almost exclusively concentrated at that part of its body. They served the squid with soya sauce and a ball of ground ginger. As brave as we were being that day, none of us had the guts to try the body of the squid (the orange mushy part you see) so I can’t describe how that tasted like.

Tokyo’s Ginza Street up on the next post!

Florals & Denim

Being on a holiday means I have loads of time to prep before an outing, so yesterday I decided to do yet another Anna Sui-inspired outfit, but instead of my previous crochet + floral look, I decided to go for denim + prints, though I didn’t go all the way as I don’t yet have a full denim piece, as seen on those on the Spring 2011 runway.

Cotton On Tanktop, Delias Skirt and Denim Shrug from Double Index

I love this floral skirt from Delias and usually wear it high waisted, and having a nude coloured tank top is always great to pair with patterned stuff. I used to steer away from anything plain coloured or clothing lacking detail, but now I’m learning how to match them with my heavily patterned pieces for some balance.

As my friends were slightly late, I sat down at my favourite coffee place Spinelli’s and tried out their Gingerbread Spin, [$6.60] an ice blended coffee with gingerbread cookies ground up and added to the mix. It wasn’t too bad but I felt that it didn’t have enough of a gingerbread kick, so I was slightly disappointed. Their Original Spin still remains my top favourite.

Spinelli’s @ Nex is fast becoming my favourite coffee place to hang out, as it’s so close to my place and has comfortable seats in a spacious area. Though I’d admit that I dislike the insane number of ceiling lights they have above the place (which is part of the design of Nex Mall, WHY???) because they’re quite glaring and hypnotic, particularly when they change colours… it’s still a great place to chill and chat with friends, or just to read a book, which I did for all of 5 minutes til my friends arrived :)

My friend Huilin had returned from her solo grad trip to Tokyo (she’s so brave!) and we exchanged stories and souvenirs from our trips to Japan. I passed her and Kaelyn the yummylicious Hokkaido Lover Chocolates and she gave Kaelyn and I each 2 cute sachets of tea

I continue to be absolutely amazed and intrigued by how innovative the Japanese are when it comes to packaging. They certainly take pride in how the present their products, and it even translates to personal style as they take pride in how they present themselves to people as well. That I think, is one thing we should learn from. Presenting yourself to others well shows pride in your self, as well as respect to other people because you make the effort to look good! The best part is, when you know or feel that you look good, you feel great and more confident as well :)

Food Review: Men-ichi Ramen Restaurant

Since the bf was booking in to work late, we decided to meet up for lunch at Nex Mall @ Serangoon. I’d only had one bowl of soba during my entire trip in Hokkaido, so I wasn’t adverse to trying out this new Japanese ramen place in the Japanese Restaurant enclave located at Nex, on the same level that has Ding Tai Feng.

I generally liked the decor of the place, with the red tables and black furniture, but my boyfriend was pretty much freaked by the endless rows of fa cai mao lining the walls (he was the one sitting facing them haha). He commented that it was a pretty weird name for a restaurant, Men-ichi, as if they were saying Men are Good/Best (ichi)… I laughed and then looked at the Japanese characters – directly translated it actually means mian (noodle) best (ichi), so perhaps they should’ve named the restaurant Best Noodle or Best Ramen (though it might sound too similar to Best Denki). Or maybe their boss is a very patriarchal man who has fun with wordplay, I wouldn’t know!

Compared to other ramen shops I’ve been to, such as Ippudo and Ajisen, Men-ichi had quite a large variety of soups for you to choose from. There was tonkotsu, shoyu, miso, spicy and even tomato! As neither of us are ardent fans of tomatoes like Caroline is (that girl merrily consumes all our tomatoes on a regular basis when we eat out), we refrained from choosing that option. Instead, I went for tonkotsu char siew ramen, whilst the boyfriend went for a shoyu ramen set that included fried rice and gyoza.

(left) the menu showing what i picked, (right) the actual item

I thought it was pretty clever of them to use the same background for both the menu and the tables they had, it definitely contributed towards making their served items look more similar to the menu! The seaweed was the normal cheap seaweed you buy that comes in long packets (4 each), not the traditional Japanese seaweed. The tonkotsu soup was definitely very good, upon tasting it both the bf and I were definitely pleased. According to the Men-ichi website, they boil the tonkotsu soup over 14 hours, and it truly shows results! Very unlike the processed tasting soup some ramen places have. However, halfway through my meal I began to feel slightly unhealthy, as one can tell that they use a lot of lard in making the soup. The char siew and egg were perfectly done, though I’d note that the char siew was more fatty than I’ve had at other places, which some people prefer. Overall, extremely delicious and I would definitely order it again!

As he was starving, my bf opted for the set, which looked deceptively small, but was extremely filling. His bowl of ramen was slightly smaller than mine, and saltier, but less savoury as it was shoyu (soy sauce) flavour. Both of us loved the fried rice, which had eggs, some meat and a nice kick to it. I didn’t try the gyoza but he said it was pretty good so I’ll trust him on that! His ramen didn’t come with the aji tamago (watery egg / half boiled egg you see in my ramen) so he added it on for $1 (a full egg, not half).

In total we paid about $38 inclusive of GST. Ramen on its own costs anywhere from $12 upwards, and sets are more expensive.

Men-ichi in a nutshell:

  1. Food: Great! We loved it as it was very yummy and good quantity for our $$. We would definitely eat there again. 4.5/5
  2. Ambiance: It’s not too noisy, the seats are comfortable, the only detracting factor would be the endless rows of fa cai mao staring at you while you eat. 7/10
  3. Cost: Moderately expensive, but the food was good. 7/10
  4. Service: The staff were attentive, they were competently bilingual, polite and even asked whether the food was to our satisfaction. Simple things like that made us happy. 9/10
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