Friday, 15 January 2016

Whale-Watching Experience in San Diego

I've seen whales performing up-close behind aquariums. In fact, I even dined with killer whales at Sea World (Dine with Shamu), where we get to take a glimpse between the interactions of the trainers and the whales while enjoying our food. But no matter how close I get, it can never be compared to the experience of watching a real whale in its natural habitat - the ocean.

I've never imagined what it would be like to be in the middle of Pacific Ocean (not literally), but we did get really far off the coast. Far enough to be worried sick if the boat ever capsized on us.

But it was a breathtaking experience.

I have to admit that I visited this attraction with high hopes and expectations, including the form of transport. I have never been on a yacht before and to be honest, I was quite thrilled. In the end, we were given a motor boat which probably fits about 6 passengers. I was actually fine with that except that I just had a cup of Starbucks coffee. Oh, and the entire trip is about 3 hours out in the sea, with no toilet. 

This was the boat of another group, ours is similar except that we had a mini shelter for the driver. 

The tour guide said that there might be chances of seeing killer whales and even dolphins. We travelled for about an hour but there was no sight of whales at all, and we only spotted a sealion sunbathing. While we were disappointed about it at the beginning, I was enjoying the bumpy boat ride. Sometimes it actually feels like I'm on a mini roller coaster! Because of the weather and the boat speed, the wind is actually very chilly, so its recommended to wear a winter hat to protect the ears. 

I was about to give up on any hopes when the tour guide suddenly point out to the ocean and told us that there were appearances of grey whales! 

From the photo, you can see that there is a stream of vapour from its blowhole, that's how we are able to notice the whales from far. The vapour stream will show for a few times before the whale dives back into the water and exposes its fin. Usually, the whale will resurface in the next few minutes or so. That's where you can observe the pattern.

Since we were viewing from a distance, I felt that it was a little pity. So far, we saw a few groups of grey whales, but there were no sight of other types. But at least we were lucky enough to spot whales! After all, it was an unique experience!

I was really looking forward to see dolphins though. The tour guide told us that dolphins are usually curious creatures which will surface near the boat to interact with humans. OMG. I think I would be extremely thrilled if it happened.

On the way back, we spotted another huge group of sea lions sunbathing. They look so adorable!!! I was really tempted to reach out and touch them but I was warned that they might bite ): 

I saw some videos on their FB page and I really envy those that were able to spot humpback whales, killer whales and even dolphins! If you're interested, you can try it out too! Once in a lifetime experience!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sarah's Pancake @ East Village (Halal)

Thanks to Miss Tam Chiak's blog post, I managed to find out about Sarah's Pancake Cafe @ East Village which is halal. Perfect, because I was out with a Muslim friend of mine. I haven't been to East Village before but Khad told me that it's a place where Malays usually hang out. I figured out so since I noticed many Malay shops and eateries in the vicinity. 

Back to Sarah's Pancake Cafe, I was already spoilt for choices when it comes to the selection of pancakes. And being a pasta lover, I actually had a temporary dilemma.

Pastas? Or pancakes? Or pasta. Hmmmm

Since this is called a Pancakes Cafe, I guess there's no reason why I should go with pasta instead. Now to the next dilemma, sweet or savoury pancakes? Am I the only one always caught in this frustrating situation?

I placed my best bet on Ala Mak! since it is the chef's pick and I was attracted to the words "coconut", "spicy" and "otah". 

Ala Mak!

The pancakes were soft and fluffy but I almost forgotten that the pancakes were supposed to be coconut and pandan flavors because I could not taste any. I suspected that the spicy tomato relish could be overpowering so I tried the pancakes itself, but they tasted like ordinary pancakes. But since the otah, poached eggs and spicy relish totalled up to be a great combination, I guess I could forgo about the missing coconut. I also added on grilled prawns for $3 to complete the dish. 


Khad chose the sweet pancakes instead. And btw, my photo-taking process is not the cause of this melting ice-cream haha. It was already melting when it was served, which is a little disappointing. 

Hazelnut Latte

The hazelnut latte is nowhere coffee to me though. It's not really about the acidity or bitterness, but the coffee taste is missing. And I couldn't even finish half cup of it.. I would prefer spending my $5+ on something else.

Unfortunately, it's a hit and miss with the pancake dishes. With a similar price range, Strictly Pancakes is still a much better pancakes cafe with higher standard, except that it is not yet halal certified!

Sarah's Pancake
430 Upper Changi Road 
Singapore 487048

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

D Good Café

My next cafe on my cafehopping list was D Good Cafe since it is well known for its pretty floral garden theme. I've heard pretty good reviews about the quality of the food too. 

When I first entered the cafe, my first impression was confusion though. After walking up the stairways, there are a few doors and also another staircase up to the next level. There were no staff directing us hence we had to walk around to figure out where was what. 

Shiu Heng was snapchatting me of practically taking photos of everything in the cafe. Haha, sorry it just can't be helped. Some of their props are really too cute, especially the puppy

There's tables at Lvl 2 and Lvl 3 and Lvl 3 offers outdoor rooftop seating. You can make your orders at the counter at Lvl 2 and everything is considered self service. (Thats why there's no service charge) There was also a garden swing on Lvl 2 but unfortunately it's difficult to snap nice photos as it is facing the window. It's not really comfortable to dine on the swings but chilling there with a cup of drink would be nice

It was a great disappointment knowing that D Good Cafe doesn't serve fries. We were trying to look for Truffle fries but there were none. And all of us were really looking forward to it. We were craving for it so much that SH went to da bao from Everything with Fries.

Attracted by the X'mas buy 2 get 1 free drinks promotion, we ordered some, but it's totally not worth it. First of all, I don't like it when drinks are served in plastic disposable cups when I am dining at a cafe/ restaurant. It's all about the feel. SH and I barely finished our drinks because it tasted quite bad. Mine was overly sour, in a bad way. 

Thankfully, the main dishes made our trip worthwhile.

Oyster & Poached Egg Pasta 

OH YESSS WITH GARLIC CREAM. Garlic + cream is like one of the best combinations ever. Usually cream pastas can be quite "gelat", but I found myself scooping up every single last strand of linguine pasta at the end. It's so creamy, flavorful and if there's anything I would like to change about this dish.. More garlic please!! 

P.S. I was so excited to dig in I forgotten to take an individual photo of my pasta!! 

Bacon Carbonara Pasta 

I don't have a verdict on this dish since I can't really recall from a mouthful. But Siyuh said it was normal to her. Looks creamy to me too! 

Oyster & Shimeji Aglio Olio 

I was deciding between aglio olio and my dish, and I'm so glad I chose the latter. First of all, in my opinion, cream pasta seems like a more worthy option if you're paying for the same price. Not a fan of mushrooms as well. While this dish has its fair share of positive points, maybe it's just not for me. But if you're into peppery flavors, you can give this a shot. Personally, I prefer aglio olio with less pepper.  

The cakes, on the other hand, fell short of quality in terms of texture and taste respectively. The Earl Grey cake was right on flavor but the cake was too dry (like it was refrigerated for too long). Fluffy cakes still taste best to me.

And for the Chocolate Mousse Cake, sweet isn't a proper word to describe it anymore. My throat hurts just by swallowing a mouthful of it. I guess my sweetness tolerance can be considered above average since I can drink bubble teas with 100% sugar level and still feel that it's not enough sometimes? Yeah, you get my point. 

This cafe is definitely worth a visit for the main courses and ambience. Coffee customization was also one of the main unique points of D good cafe, but it was a pity I gave it a miss as I had reached my caffeine limit that day. Skip the cakes if you have to. But if I'm revisiting D good cafe, I'm definitely going for their latte. It'll be a good thing if they have fries soon, I hope. 

D Good Cafe
273 Holland Ave 

Contact: 6219 9807

Sigh, it's a pity this photo didn't turn out as nice as we wanted (because it was already dark). But it was a great bonding session yet again! 

And here's a video of me busy and happily taking photos of the food. (Proudly taken by SH)

And yes, if you dine with me especially in a place I have never visited before, I'll take photos before anyone gets to eat hahahahaha. Be prepared ok ;)