All posts filed under: Travel

Hotel Review: Dougashima Hotel Tenyu – 絶景の宿堂ヶ島ホテル天遊

Over the past few years, Japan has had growing popularity as a travel destination. They’re known for their culture, food, and sights. One element that plays a big role in the entire Japan experience would be staying in a Ryokan. A Ryokan (旅館) is a type of traditional Japanese inn that has existed since the eighth century A.D., during the Keiun period. They are difficult to find in Tokyo and other large cities because many are more expensive compared to hotels. A main criteria people usually look out for while staying in a Ryokan would be authenticity. Dougashima Hotel Tenyu is situated in a town called Nishi-Izu, under Shizuoka Prefecture. The first impression I had upon arrival was beyond words! The hotel staff were hurrying out to the car park upon seeing our vehicle enter the hotel compound (via CCTV). They welcomed us warmly and offered to valet our car while we proceeded to check-in.   We booked the Japanese Superior Room which is very spacious and big enough to comfortably fit a family of four. The room was also clean and tidy. The view from …

Food Review: Miyama Café, Saigon

Miyama had us smitten from the start. Using organic ingredients from their garden in Dalat, their desserts have less sugar and doesn’t use and artificial colouring. So all the colouring in the desserts and food is natural. This allows you to indulge in their yummy desserts without the guilt. It’s been one year and half years since the opening of this specialty dessert café, and they have constantly been revamping their menu to better suit their customers. So don’t be surprised if the desserts that we mentioned are no longer available! The café is a modern Tokyo-styled café based in the centre of the bustling city of Saigon. The glass panes that encloses their minimalist space casts plenty of natural light into the café whilst providing you with a sense of escapism from the urban city. It is a rather tough gem to find as it is not located on the same floor as the rest of the eateries. It is situated on the 3rd floor, in the corner lot of Saigon Centre, right next to Levi’s. …

Food Review: Sorae Restaurant & Lounge, Saigon

Within the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh City, lies Sorae Restaurant & Lounge on the 24th and the 25th floors of AB tower. It gives an amazing panoramic view of the city along with its modern “Japanese” inspired furniture and decor. We started off the meal with the Live Canadian Oysters (1 for 110,000 VND, 6 for 595,000 VND). The Oysters were very fresh and slurping it down with the grated chilli radish and ponzu sauce gives it a really good kick to wake your taste buds up. Next up was the Spicy Hotate Karayaki (150,000 VND). The sauce was very interesting as it was similar to spicy mayo but at the same time, the texture and the flavour were different. It is really worth a try! Suddenly the smell of truffle permeated the room, the Foie Gras Chawan Mushi Truffle An (195,000 VND) had just been served. Honestly, Chawan Mushi is not a very interesting dish, but the truffle gave it another layer of complexity and flavour. The Foie Gras had been lightly …

#BeyondNormTravels: All Aboard Saigon Princess

Docked at the Nha Rong Harbour, the Saigon Princess, although smaller in size, stands out from the rest of the cruise ships. But good things come in small packages as due to her low height, it can pass the bridge that runs across the Saigon River, allowing the Saigon Princess to go further down the river than the other ships. The Saigon Princess travels all the way down to what would be the tallest building in Saigon. From the exterior, one of her obvious features is the top deck, which enables you to get a better view as you cruise along the River. The interior is both classic and regal. When in full service, the Saigon Princess can hold up to 250 guests, 67 waiters and 11 chefs. They’re differentiated from the other businesses along the harbour as they specialise in fine dining. The meal sets comes in 5 different options – the Western, Asian Seafood, Asian, Fusion and Vegetarian. We selected one Western, one Asian Seafood and two Fusion sets, so that we had …

#BeyondNormTravels to Ipoh!

Ipoh is a former tin-mining city that is perfect for those who love food, nature and culture. Watch the video to find out what we got up to in Ipoh! 😄 If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel: Beyond Norm Blog (it’ll really help us a lot!) and turn on post notifications 🔔 so that you get notified every time we post! 😊

#BeyondNormTravels to Miri!

On 19 August 2017, we finally traveled to Miri, East Malaysia for the first time! We had an exciting time exploring and discovering a new place. Watch the vlog to find out what we got up to. 😄 If your enjoyed it, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel: Beyond Norm Blog (it’ll really help us alot!) and turn on post notifications 🔔 so that you get notified every time we post! 😊

Food Review: NorthSea Genuinely Belgium @ Ipoh, Malaysia

Located right across the street from Excelsior hotel is the nautical-themed Belgium restaurant – NorthSea Genuinely Belgium. Originally owned and operated by a Belgian gentleman, it has since been sold to the current owners. With the interior decked out with beer bottles on wooden shelvings, the place had a pretty clean 1800s pirate ship vibe. We started off with their Soup of the Day (RM15.00) which was a Homemade Mushroom Soup with Truffle. The truffle oil that they used was very strong and fragrant and I instantly fell in love with the soup. They also had nicely toasted olive bread that complemented the soup so perfectly. Moving on to starters… We had their Belgian Styled Scallops (RM29.00). The scallops had a nice sear to it, giving it an extra layer of texture. The dish was served with a herb garlic sauce which had a strong intensity that went really well with the scallops. The combination blends really well in your mouth. The Ostend Shrimp Croquettes (RM25.00) had a thin breaded layer which gives it a …