Sunday, October 26, 2014

Metal Box @ Empire Damansara

Food hunting with my foodie buddies again. Tried so many new brunches this month and I can't wait to blog all of them. Here's a short post of this new restaurant located at Empire Damansara. Not one to miss out on the latest hot spots. 

And guess what? It is brought to you by the former Red Bean Bag chef! I can already tell good food is awaiting me to try!....

 The weather was perfect that day so we picked the al fresco dining area.  

Our brunch feast :

1. Eggs Hemingway

Loving the presentation! 

When I saw croissant, poached eggs and salmon in description. I knew I had to order this.
This beautiful mess above is everything I love! 

2. Metal Box's Baked Eggs

Their signature baked eggs, only complaint was that the eggs were a little over-cooked when it's suppose to be runny.

3. Beef Ragout Pasta

As normal as it seems.

4. French Toast served with Gula Melaka 

This tofu looking french toast is just as yummy as it looks! Coated with nestum and served with raspberry coulis.
Paired with a shot of Gula Melaka. Sweetness overload!    

But I guess coming to these places to dine it is recommended to order their signatures dishes, because only then you'll feel the price is worth it. Metal Box surely didn't fail us with theirs. Will be back to try out more! Worth dropping by!

Metal Box Restaurant & Cafe 
G12, Empire Damansara, 
Damansara Perdana, 
Petaling Jaya, Selangor 

Tues-Thurs, 10am-10pm; 
Fri, 10am-11pm; 
Sat-Sun, 9am-11pm

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Japan Day 3 - Hokkaido Guide - Experiencing the cold

♥   Day 3 Itinerary     

  Noboribetsu Jigokudani  Noboribetsu Bear Park  Ninja Village   Lake Toya  Ramen Hunt

First stop we headed down south to the Noboribetsu Jigokudani, otherwise known as the "hell's valley".
Because the places we are visiting were all at higher parts of Hokkaido, mountains and stuff so it'll be a little more chilly than Sapporo. Hence the pink chicken outfit I am wearing haha.

Passing tolls.

I think there were 6 - 8 tolls for the entire journey that day, and did I mention that their tolls are pretty pricey (about RM30 average each time we passed one). But it was worth paying because the road condition in Japan tends to be good and definitely better than Malaysia. #aintcomplaining

Had our breakfast at a rest stop. I know, what ?

Because Japan rest stop are more awesome than Malaysia!! #notkidding

Just look at the wide selection of food!

From sushi to pasta to rice to anything you wanna eat! 

So here's my breakfast 
Needless to say it's damn super yummy!

Made new friends with some really cool biker gang at stop.

Tummy is happy, and off we go to start our journey of the day! 

1st stop -  Jigokudani

It was a 1.5 hour drive and we are finally here at the Jigokudani!

Otherwise known as the " hell's valley "

Jigokudani is a volcano that has been exploded 10,000 years ago, it has strong sulfurous streams venting out from the earth.

If you walk or drive further up the mountain, there's a few more volcano to discover.
Some are even hot springs where you can also buy souvenirs.

Another volcano behind us. It's called the Oyunuma.


2nd stop - Noboribetsu Bear Park

One of Noboribetsu attraction.

Sometimes I call him the pattern king.

Ticket for each adult was 2,592 yen (RM80).

Complimentary giant bear to hug 

In order to get to the park, we need to take a 10 minute cable car ride.

Nothing much to see on the way up.

Pattern king strikes again!

Along with the pattern queen 

And finally we're here! Spot the little one welcoming us? NO?

Here's a closer look!

A pair of super cute baby bears! 

Just in time to catch a bear show.

Nothing really special for the few 10 minutes or so, just a bear walking on tree trunks.

Until this happened,

Quite amused that the bear can actually swing a swing. Of course he is trained.

Here we at are the second enclosure where you can watch a bunch of bears doing nothing but waiting for us to throw food at them to eat.

It's kinda evil to say that we actually enjoyed throwing food at them to eat and they would fight each other for it.

Not sure if all bears look like this or these bears just look really sad.

Oh well, let's proceed to the most exciting part of the park.

The Human Cage.

Walking through a dungeons-like walk way and saw a row of transparent lockers with packets of nugget-looking biscuit in it.
You need to purchase it if you wanna experience feeding the bears in the human cage.

As we entered the human cage, a giant bear is already standing right in front of the tempered glass window waiting for his meal to arrive.

I gotto admit, it was pretty scaryyy.

Instruction for us on how to feed the bear, basically just insert the bear snack into this tiny little hole and the bear will be waiting for it to come out on the other side then eat it.

If you hold the biscuit at the hole for a longer time, the bear will start sniffing and growling.
If you are lucky, their saliva or mucus might get into your hand haha.

It was a super fun experience although I think it's kinda evil.
Well, at least feeding them was my hubby's fav activity there lol.

Beside bear, they do have dogs. All well-trained for shows.

And they have DUCKS too!

They have this small race track there for ducks to race.
Pick the color ribbon on the neck of which duck you think it'll win and then they'll race.

My youngest sister's duck was the winner.

After that was some village visiting twime. It is located at the other side of the bear farm.

It was a small village with less than five houses where people inside the houses sell hand-crafted souvenirs.

My mummy super poser! 

Runs in the blood I guess!

There was a bear museum too but I didn't take any pictures inside.
The museum has 3 floors where they show how bear was born and stuff. Worth dropping by.

Took this picture before leaving at the highest floor, an open roof of the bear museum. Where you can have a great view of Noboribetsu forest. Basically just all tressssssssss. LOL. But we did had a fun time at the bear park.

On our way down, passed by the Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe.

It's lunch twime! Stopped by a local restaurant to makan makan a bit before our next destination.

Here's our super local Japanese lunch,

Loving each and every dish! Super yummy! 

Tummy is happy again and ready to go! 

 Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura - The Ninja Village!

Spot the Ninja standing right in front of the Otemon Gate (entrance)?

This is a history theme park highlighting the Edo Period, one of the most attractive era in Japanese history.

Here you can "step back in time to enjoy traditional games, activities, theaters, street performances and more. The charm of ancient Japan is abundant as you mingle with the Ninja and Oiran courtesans so symbolic of the Edo Period." But we didn't manage enjoy all the activities because it was closed. Unlucky us! Well at least we got to have a picture with a NINJA!

Check out the activities you can do here at the ninja village!

Next stop was - LAKE TOYA

Hubby was tired so I took over the wheels!

It's the same like driving in Malaysia, except drivers in Japan are super polite on the road and scenery were definitely better 

When I was driving and saw this, I went "SNOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!"
We didn't expect to see snow during our time of visit because it's May and it's almost Spring.
So we got a little too excited, we even stopped at the road side to play and snap snap a bit! Perks of traveling without tour is that you can stop by anyplace at anytime you like!

And to take some artsy pictures!

Above is an example of a FAILED jump shot lol.

And here we are at LAKE TOYA (Toyako).

" Lake Toya (洞爺湖, Tōyako) is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park. In addition to the lake itself, the Toyako region features hot springs and an active volcano, Mount Usu, which last erupted in the year 2000. The area also offers many fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities. "

Made our stop at Toya Sun Palace Hotel, the spectacular scene they have took our breath away.

I think Toya Sun Palace has the best view of Lake Toya. The hotel itself is huge and they are famous for their Onsen (hot spring).
Will definitely make a one night stay here on my next visit!

Yeah my hubby was going for Beer advertisement in this picture.

Skies quickly turns dark at around 5pm and guess what? We manage to catch the sunset!
Sunset + Lake Toya = Absolutely mesmerizing!

It's souvenir shopping time ! 
They have this huge shop at Toya hotel for guest to shop for souvenirs. They even ship it for you if you need!

Just look at the varieties and cute packaging!

Can't resist to buy this Hello Kitty noodles! 

Back to Sapporo

Left Lake Toya at about 7pm and back to Sapporo for some ramen hunt!

We didn't know where to start because everything is in Japanese so we just parked our cars at one of the street and start searching. Lucky us, in less than 2 minutes we spotted this street of Ramen shops. So if you are searching for it, just look for the sign in the picture above.

Decided to have our dinner at this ramen shop. It's called the 弟子庄. Apparently it is one of the famous ramen shop in in Japan.

If you are regular in Japan, you'll know that in most of the restaurant you purchase your food through a menu machine.

Pay at the machine → Collect receipt → Wait for your food to be serve

Our order's here!

Just look at the amount of ingredients they put in one bowl!

I don't think there is any bad ramen in Japan. But this is beyond good! It's damn effing GOOD!

My hubby used to dislike Ramen until he tried this, now I can proudly say Ippudo is our second home in KL lol.

AND, that is the end of my Japan Day 3 post. I know it's a super long post and I really appreciate if you read it from the top to bottom. I spent about one week writing this post hence the delay of my Japan trip post. But I really hope you guys enjoy reading and also helps you a little on where to go if you visit Hokkaido. I had a lot of fun and hope you you do too when you visit!


Japan trip 2014 Day 1 - First night in Hokkaido, Sapporo
Japan trip 2014 Day 2 - Hokkaido, Otaru