Friday, March 30, 2018

Osaka 3 days itinerary (Day 3)


We were still very energetic on day 3 despite all 3 of us were down with cold. Having had a late night the day before, we started the day slightly later.

First stop was Shitennoji temple (Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka subway). This Buddhist temple housed a pagoda with Buddhist relics which is one of the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan.  It took 5 flights of windy and narrow stairs up to reach the top. We were kind of out of breath with Bing being carried by daddy.

On our way walking from the subway station, we were lucky enough to be blessed by the view of budding sakura flowers.

Shitenno actually refers to the four heavenly Kings 四大天王. Love walking through the corridor with these beautiful lanterns hung by pilgrims as offerings.

On our way back to the subway station, we stopped by okonomiyaki takara, a very homey bistro.

The okonomiyaki here is the traditional type and just a palm sized big.

A hot plate of yakisoba fried on the grill. With a yummy omelette. It's just as if we were invited over to have a meal at a friend's place.

Afternoon was shopping time! We headed to    Dotombori Arcade (Namba subway) which is even much more complicated that tenjinbashi shopping street (which has 400+ shops). From high end fashion to email eateries, it also boasts many specialty stores for example kitchen and cooking supply (Doguyasuji Arcade) in the adjacent area. We were not really into serious shopping but merely window shopped and just basked ourselves in the atmosphere.

Of course we have to explore Hozenji Yokocho which is the traditional alley. I love how everything looked so old school there.

Admiring a Buddhist statue that's overgrown with green mould as it's accustomed for visitors to sprinkle it with water before saying prayers.

The highlight of the day was perhaps the much anticipated yakiniku beef at Matsuzakagyu Yakiniku M. It's expensive but highly recommended! About RM150 per person. This breed of beef was touted to be have higher quality than wagyu and Kobe beef. The cattles were feed beer and given massage to create this ultimate delicacy.

We chose the rare cuts- marbled beef (a balanced combination of lean and slightly fatty parts) in the form of sirloin steaks, kyukoku and maboroshi cuts.

There's no need to marinate because the beef was just so fresh that after grilling it's ready for taste! One can dip the piece of delicacy into soy sauce/ BBQ sauce/ salt and pepper. It just melted in the mouth.


Comparing with the wagyu pieces we had, this was definitely much more superior.

The beef noodles was also heavenly. Rich beef broth that's so fresh and sweet. Even baby Bing couldn't resist to finish half a bowl on his own.

Their stone bowl rice was equally impressive with slightly crunchy rice mixed well with caramelised garlic and cripsy beef bacon.

With the awesome memory and taste of this premium beef cut, we ended day 3 in Osaka.



Thursday, March 29, 2018

Osaka 3 days itinerary (Day 2)



We had a restful night sleep and woke up only around 10am+ the next morning. The main aim was to visit Osaka castle.

Decided to have an early brunch. We just haven't had enough ramen!

Spicy ramen. The Japanese standard of spiciness is quite formidable. Really have to take my hats off for this. Have this with a slice of braised pork and Kombu, it's sure to satisfy craving for shin ramen and the like.

Dry ramen. Just like our dry noodles, this is seasoned with a punch of great flavors particularly sesame oil. Have this with raw julienned carrot and preserved radish. A taste that one can't find out of Japan.

Shredded salmon with dried seaweed pieces, scrambled egg and a very generous flood of mayonnaise! Lots of calorie but it's well worth it.

Gyoza. Pan fried to crispiness with juicy pork filling.

Osaka castle (Osakajokoen subway)

We walked through Osaka park. Even enough all the sakura trees were withered, the view was still spectacular with a hint of melancholy by the river.

The view of the surroundings of Osaka castle.

Osaka castle is no longer inhabited by the Royals. Instead it has been converted into a museum showcasing the Japanese kingdom with the stories of the great warriors such as Hideyoshi. It's full of tourists and young children running around and having fun.


Spent the afternoon at Yodobashi-Umeda (Umeda subway) which is a departmental store with a wide range of products particularly electronics and cameras.

Even for flash, there's such a comprehensive range. But the price range is not that different from Malaysia so we didn't buy in the end.

Afternoon tea was at Yodobashi The Dining on level 8. Here we found the famous okomiyaki.

The traditional okomiyaki is made of a mixture of flour with julienned cabbage, carrot and meat eg pork or seafood. Here one can order to add on yellow noodles. So you could imagine how big each portion is!

Watch our prawn okonomiyaki cooking on my YouTube channel here. Look at the generous amount of bonito flakes and sauce. Mouthwatering indeed!

We had a great stroll around Osaka Bay area later in the evening. Enjoying the neon litted walkway and entrance to the aquarium. We didn't visit the aquarium as baby Bing is still too young to enjoy the visit.

Dinner was at Tempozan marketplace but we only got there around 7pm and most of the outlets were already closing. Kind of disappointed because there were so many variety of Japanese dishes available! So we settled with a simple ramen soup with tempura.

Got onto Tempozan Ferris wheel after dinner. We boarded the transparent cubicle without extra charges. The ground was kind of semitransparent but we could tell that Bing felt kind of apprehensive in there. The whole trip took 15 minutes at 800 Yen each.

The view of the whole Osaka city was spectacular! Mount Ikoma to the east, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge to the west, Kansai International Airport to the south, and the Rokko mountains to the north. With the diameter of 100m, it's one of the world's largest Ferris wheel.

This ended our second day in Osaka. Stay tuned for day 3!









Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Instant nose job featuring Vogue Clinic



I would like to congratulate Dr Darren Teo and his team for their grand opening on 25 March! Besides the usual makan makan, there's also attractive lucky draw and treatment demonstration. We were even lucky enough to have local celebrity Zaim joining us on the day!

Vogue Clinic
Address 36-3, Jalan 30/70A, Wisma Rapid, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 KL
Phone number 018-234 2128
Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/vogueclinickl/

The whole clinic is so spacious with 2 consultation rooms and 1 facial room and 1 treatment room. Very posh and comfortable at the same time. I wish I have a workspace looking like that.

After the under eye filler demonstration, it's my turn to become the model for nose filler injection. I don't have the video for the demonstration on the opening day, but feel free to read up my previous post about my own undereye filler experience here.

Dr Teo prefers to enhance my nose with both thread lifting and filler in order to sculpt it better and for a more natural finish. He performed thread lifting for me to create a scaffold first. And this needs at least a week's interval followed by the filler injection for optimal results. Read about my thread lift experience here.

What's nose filler injection?

It is the art of perfecting one's nose bridge and volume using hyaluronic acid based filler (collagen) injection as an office procedure. 

How is it done?

After 10 minutes of numbing cream, I was ready for the procedure! The filler was injected just beneath the tip of the nose with local anesthetic which stung a little initially. After a minute or so, the whole nose was numb and the whole procedure was painless. Dr Teo guided the direction of filler using slight pressure applied to my nose.

And the whole treatment was over in just over 5 minutes!

What's the effect?
Me after thread lift and before filler injection.

Me straight after filler injection. The nose bridge will appear slightly more prominent but will become even more natural looking after a while.

After two days, my nose looks so much more natural.

An instant nose bridge creation for me who has never had a nose bridge before this! Comparing with thread lift, the filler was also able to create more volume to my nose.
 
Any side effects?

There's virtually no downtime. My nose didn't even swell. It's normal for the filler to feel kind of firm in the beginning but it begins to feel like my own skin after a few days.

I didn't have much pain and was ready to go shopping immediately after the treatment. There's a very rare side effect of air embolism which never occurs because before every injection Dr Teo would make sure that he's not injecting into a blood vessel. Because the nose has fairly complicated anatomy, it is important to get an experienced aesthetic doctor to perform the injection in order to avoid rare but serious side effects such as skin necrosis and blindness.

How long will it last?

Generally speaking a year or so. Depending on how fast the body metabolises the filler, it may need topping up every 9 to 12 months or so.

Now to the exciting part! Watch my experience of getting nose filler injections. A tiny warning for those who doesn't like seeing needles though.

There we go, an instant result for a better looking nose :) without the pain of going through a full rhinoplasty.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Threesome dinner date night out featuring The Daniello's Kuantan



Ryan and I love exploring new places to eat. And Facebook is such a great source of popular new spots in town! This time round we headed to The Daniello's for a simple birthday dinner for Ryan.

The Daniello's
Address B50, Lorong Air Putih 2 Kuantan
Phone +60 16-963 3637
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thedaniellos/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thedaniellos/

It's located just behind the KFC outlet at Air Putih. Next to a corner shoplot. It's of a mamak stall concept, albeit I would say an upgraded version. The sittings are outdoor but still under the shade. Love how the wooden tables provide a rustic feel.

The Daniello's is going strong into the fourth year now. All thanks to the dedicated owners who are a young couple. Being celebrity Chef Zam's nephew, the head chef had inherited a few secret tips. One of the principles that they hold dearly to is to make everything from scratch, using fresh ingredients. So please bear with the slightly slow service. Because slow is good!

We tried a few of their signature dishes.

Mutton burger.

Homemade patty which is so aromatic with the smell of herbs, grilled to perfection with the outside cripsy and inside still juicy. Have this with crunchy bacon, battered onion rings and salad.

A runny sunny side up egg completed the picture. Not to mention the tempting French fries drizzled with a generous portion of mayonnaise and herbs.

Chicken chop with cheese inside.

Very similar concept to cordon bleu. Nicely crumbed chicken fillet deep fried to create this irresistible crunch. In between the chicken, a yummylicious amount of mozzarella cheese created this instaworthy cheese pull and of course the taste is equally amazing!

We also loved the black pepper sauce which is homemade, full of the fragrant peppery taste without being too overpowering. The baked beans went well with the dish as well. It's so delicious that I secretly wished the chicken chop was double the size!

Chicken burritos

This was definitely a great comfort food. Tortilla bread pan fried to simulate the crunch and texture of the local roti canai. The filling was a homey blend of minced chicken, salad, homemade tomato based sauce and chilli sauce. The flavors balanced out and complemented each other.

Savor these western delicacies with two huge jugs of carrot milk and orange juice. Satisfying indeed!

Verdict 8.5/10 nothing to complain because it's cheap but simply tasty! Speaking of less than RM10 each dish. Will definitely be back.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Hydrating anti acne treatment featuring 14days Eucerin ProAcne challenge


Little did I know a dry harsh winter can also cause a breakout. Moisturising is so important because dry skin can irritate the skin. And conventional acne creams containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylate dry the skin even more. That's a vicious cycle during my recent Japan trip. And me after pregnancy and still breastfeeding has so much hormonal changes going on which makes me, unfortunately acne prone.

I'm so glad to have the opportunity to try Eucerin ProAcne 14 days challenge! Eucerin has recently developed a new range of dermocosmetic products tailored to tackle the 4 processes responsible for acne formation: 
  • hyperkeratosis (disrupted skin cell shedding), 
  • seborrhea (increased sebum production), 
  • microbial colonisation (increased bacteria proliferation)
  •  inflammation of skin


Eucerin is a popular brand. But do you know that their product is the brainchild of pharmacist Paul C. Beiersdorf and dermatologist  Paul Gerson Unna? So R&D is very much the core of every single Eucerin product. Being a physician myself, I'm all about evidence based medicine. More about the history of Eucerin here.

So what are the powerful ingredients in this ProAcne Solution A.I. Clearing Treatment?

10% Hydroxy Complex
(Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Polyhydroxy Acid)

These are effective peeling agents which reduce bacteria load, unclog pores, exfoliates thus resurfacing the skin and prevents new blemishes.

Licochalcone A 

This helps to soothe irritated skin and to reduce inflammation.

Dexpanthenol

A vitamin B5 derivative, it's a powerful humectant (binds water to the skin) which makes this acne serum so special as it doubles as a moisturiser. Most other acne treatment dehydrates the skin in the effort to control sebum.

Those who are interested to know more can read about their research here.
I love how personalised the package is. Especially for Angel :) Brought a smile to my face.

The serum is really easy to apply. After cleansing and toning the face before sleep, it's time to apply the serum. It's lightweight and not sticky at all unlike some other topical treatment.

What's more, it's also safe for use during pregnancy! The only reminder is that sun protection is particularly important as the peeling effect makes the skin more sensitive to UV and burns more easily.

Look at how horrible my breakout is and the dull complexion. Sorry if I gave anyone nightmares. 

After completing my 14 days of challenge! A picture speaks a thousand words. Both photos not edited.

This is a short YouTube video about the use of the product.

Those who are interested, check out their official website at
https://www.eucerin.my/products/proacne/ai-clearing-treatment

A Simple Birthday Celebration for Ryan featuring Printcious



Speaking of great timing, my Printcious order came on Ryan's birthday itself! He wasn't suspicious of anything because I didn't give him any hint at all.

Nice parcel packaging. Sending love for the moon and back. I like how thoughtful Printcious was. They tailor the packaging according to the occasion. Baby Bing was equally excited to receive the mail. It took about 10 days from ordering to receiving the parcel. Not an easy feat!

Tada! These are my customised T shirt printing and mouse pad proudly made in Malaysia.

I decided to purchase this cool T shirt template instead of adding our photos this time. Celebrating 11 years into our relationship, I would like to declare that "My Wife Has An Awesome Husband".

We have come a long way. From university mates studying in Melbourne to marriage and to raise this cheeky baby Bing together. Things are not easy but with each other's support, we have waded through thick and thin hand in hand.

Cheers with fruit juices. Here's to many more years to come! Ryan wore the T shirt during our evening out for a simple celebration. We headed to Daniello's for some awesome Western dishes which I will blog about later on.

The T shirt quality is great. The printing is vibrant using full color and durable sublimation printing. Made with 95% polyester and 5% spandex, the T shirt is soft and comfortable to wear for Malaysia's hot weather. L sized was slightly loose for Ryan but he liked the sleeves being wide cut because there's less restriction for his arms.

The mouse pad, on the other hand, is something that we have been wanting to get. Ryan often has to work on his laptop for long hours so he needs a good Bluetooth mouse and mouse pad. We love how the mouse pad is soft and really ensures the mouse movement is smooth and sensitive enough.

The photo featured on the mouse pad was taken recently during Chinese New Year. It's not easy to get a good photo of three! Those who have toddlers will understand what I mean. Some cheeky expression and lots of NGs!

I really enjoy customising my gifts because it creates a long lasting impression. It's unique and no one could own the same gift. I also like the expression of sheer joy and bliss when one receives the gift. Printcious has definitely made this done so effortlessly with perfect result.

Printcious official website
https://www.printcious.com/my


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Featuring The Most Wanted Coconut Shake at Taman Gelora Kuantan



This sweltering hot weather makes people crave for a good icy cold drink especially after an evening jog at Taman Gelora.

The Most Wanted Coconut Shake
Address No B6, Jalan Abdullah,Taman Gelora (Near Kolej Yayasan Pahang)
Facebook page www.facebook.com/themostwantedcoconut shaketamangelora
Opens daily 11am till 7pm

Started as a humble origin of a roadside stall, this coconut drink stall has come a long way spanning 2 generations. It has since transformed into a variety of coconut based shakes and ice blended beverages.

It's price has remained competitive.

Look at all the tempting cendol, corn syrup and Bandung syrup lining up at the counter. So tempting!

We ordered 3 of their most popular drinks.
Fresh coconut water. Very refreshing, naturally sweet and the coconut flesh is already sliced into bite size.

Air Batu Jagung. A nice variation from our usual ABC using corn syrup and lots of sweet corn instead. I'm a huge fan of corn so I really love this!

Not to forget their signature coconut shake! Fresh coconut water blended with coconut flesh and ice, topped with a wonderful scoop of vanilla icecream. Simply heavenly!

Hurry up and try their coconut shake this school holiday because they are having buy 5 free 1 promotion. Get their loyalty card as well to redeem free drinks!

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt