Monday, August 11, 2014

Rocking It at Besar Island, Johor

" A day at the beach restores the soul- Anonymous "

And I couldn't agree more. Those blue sky, soft sand, crashing sound of  waves and crystal clear water that stretch endlessly into the horizon never fail to take any woes and stress away. Hence, over the recent (ok maybe not-so-recent-after-all) Labour day weekend, me and my girlfriends decided to escape from the concrete jungle and take a short 3 days 2 nights break over at Besar Island (aka Pulau Besar, formerly known as Pulau Babi Besar).

I'll never grow tired of this type of view

Besar Island is an island off the east coast of Johor and together with Rawa and Sibu Island is a very popular island getaway destination especially for us Johoreans and Singaporeans. The island is accessible by boat and it takes about 30 minutes to reach there from Mersing jetty. It's really easy and convenient to drive to Mersing, as it is only a 2 hours plus drive from Johor Bahru and there are adequate signboards along the way. However, a word of caution though, from Kota Tinggi onwards, there is no petrol station or shops until you actually reach Mersing town, so you might want to consider relieving yourself first as it is a one hour plus drive along that stretch.

There are only 3 private resorts on Besar Island, so that explains why the island is still so well-preserved and serene. Besar Island was also one of the film location for 'Expedition Robinson', a Swedish reality tv show that is similar to Survivor for a number of years back in the early 2000 era. We stayed at Aseania Beach Resort, which has very pretty and rustic wooden 'kampung' style chalets. Each chalet can easily fit up to 4-5 person if you ask me but Aseania only allow 2 (maximum 3) person in a room. 
Our cosy room! Spacious, comfy and clean :)
Before hitting the beach, we decided to hang out at the pool in front of our room first because the pool looks way too inviting
Pool time ♥
My girls

Besar Island is not exactly a very big island despite it's name (but the size is not the reason of how it got it's name anyways). None the less, it surely is gorgeous and very less crowded which makes it an ideal place to just relax and enjoy some good time with the sun, sea, sand and friends. Aseania do not have diving (aiks!) but they do have snorkeling for those who are interested. Otherwise, you can be like us, spending most of our time simply lazing by the beach, swimming, soaking up the beautiful surrounding and doing what we girls do best (#selfies and #wefies). *wink*
Love makes the world a better place
Jump for joy, jump for freedom, jump for friendship 
Good friends are like stars, you don't always see them but you know they are always there
My lovely babes- crazy, funny and hot ♥
My utmost fav spot on the beach is this hammock as I swing to the sound of the gentle crashing waves while having the majestic sun, gorgeous blue sea and powdery white sand as my view
No better way to relax
Swings that brings back sweet childhood memories 
One of my fav past time by the beach is having a good read. I love any good book that inspires and I'm glad S introduced this book to me. It's truly a very captivating and inspiring true story of a girl who survives her kidnapper and tormentor after being held captive for 3096 days. It raised my goosebumps reading about her experience and how she managed to come out of it bravely is amazing
Of course, anywhere on the beach is a good place to read, doesn't matter whether you want to be hiding under the shade or while sunbathing/ basking
Learning some basic yoga from my yoga guru
And some play time with our hairs. HL, our hair guru taught us how to self braid this ♥
3 lattes and 1 milkshake
Beach selfie
The perfect escapade from the hustle and bustle of the city
Hues of blue that will chase any Monday blues away
Wefie time :)
We found this super large gigantic hammock while exploring the island a little. I suppose this is for their coconuts but since it was empty, we made it ours hehe
Sunset by beautiful Besar Island

Of course, aside from the views, Aseania also provided us with daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals are buffet styles and I had to say, their food are actually quite good and satisfying especially the barbecued stuff on bbq night and their watermelons. I don't know if it's because we are dehydrated by all the sun bathing and swimming that we find their watermelons extra juicy but I honestly think all their watermelons are super sweet and fresh. It's like our favourite dessert at the end of every meals and although I don't usually eat that much watermelons, I could eat few platefuls of them each time because they tasted so good. 
Breakfast are usually a mix of American and local delights- french toast, croissants, sunny-side-ups, omelette and nasi lemak or mee goreng
Typical lunch
The barbecue masters on barbecue night
There's quite a selection of barbecued stuffs; from barbecued chicken to fish to lamb to squids to prawns and satays.Yummy
I guessed it was our lucky night as Aseania had a live band jazzing up some good old pop songs for us that night. Such a lovely way to spend the evening with good music under the stars
The classic platform deck of Aseania. A pretty nice place to sunbathe or watch the sea too
We certainly love our stay at Aseania. A cosy, friendly and charming place :)
Their restaurant area
My milkshake rommie waving hi from across the chalet
Great trip with the girls

Our boat left the island at 1pm so we decided to have lunch at Mersing town instead. The locals recommended us to this restaurant call the Mersing Seafood Restaurant for lunch where I think almost everyone from the island drop off for lunch too. Restaurant was packed and food took almost an hour to come. Fortunately we had a heavy breakfast hence able to withstand the wait.
The lady boss recommended us their signature fried squid with salted egg yolk and when the dish came, we were all surprised. I mean, we never expected them to stuff the entire yolk into the body of the squid this way. A unique way of preparing the squid and definitely a love for all salted egg yolk lovers. If you look past the amount of cholesterol in it, it's actually a very delicious squid dish. Just remember to run extra 10 km on your treadmill the next day :p
Drunken prawn- aromatic and sweet. Simply good
Chili crabs. Ok, to be honest, I love my crabs huge, like at least medium size. I don't like small crabs and the crabs here are all small ones, like the really small ones. Hence, I find them not satisfying

Mersing Seafood Restaurant,
56, Jalan Ismail,
86800 Mersing

Seriously, I have known these girls for more than a decade now and we had been to many places but this was our first island trip together. I definitely had a good time with these girls as we rocked Besar Island with our antics. Besar Island too did not disappoint, with their stunning unspoiled beach and surrounding nature. It certainly makes a good place to rest and rejuvenate the soul. It's a little expensive on the island but surely worth it. Now I can't wait to explore the rest of our islands off Johor coast. Till then, Besar Island, we love you. ♥ :)

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy 6 Years Old!

This year, me and HT decided to celebrate our 6 years of being together across the causeway. Staying so close to Singapore, it is very common for us to cross borders anytime we felt like it and that was one of those day. And being food enthusiasts, we decided to go check out some of their recommended restaurants just to see if they are really as good as what all the hype is about.

And being a weekday, it is so much more lovable to drive into Singapore, after the morning peak hour of course.

HT suprised me the usual way with a bouquet of my favourite flower first thing in the morning :)
Hoping all our days will be as bright and cheerful as sunflowers

We had recently heard pretty much about Prive at Keppel Bay, so we decided to spend our afternoon there. After all, Keppel Bay island is currently one of Singapore's favourite romantic spot and enjoying our meal with views of gorgeous yachts berthing sounds like a very inviting idea, no?

Prive is situated right by the marina and they have both indoor and outdoor seating. We prefer the natural breeze with direct view of the beautiful marina, thus we opted to be seated outside. However,  to be honest, it was mid afternoon by the time we were at Prive, hence there was not much of any breeze but thank God for the abundant fans and shelter that kept us cool from the scorching sun. 

I was really happy when I saw that they have all day breakfast on their brunch/lunch menu. Even though it was way past breakfast time, it is never too late for breakfast *wink*. I'm pretty much a fan of egg benedicts everywhere, so I went for none other than their egg benedict. Their eggs are absolutely beautifully poached with a runny yolk and a perfectly harden white melted over well toasted muffin served with ham, sweet juicy bacon and hollandaise sauce. HT decided to go for the ultimate Prive's brekkie that came also with two perfectly poached eggs (you can choose your eggs to be cook any style), homemade toast, maple roasted bacon, frankfurter, potato rosti, sauteed mushroom and roast tomato
We ended our meal at Prive with a try of their tiramisu which has a very strong coffee taste. I guess coffee lovers might appreciate the deep strong aroma of coffee more than a non coffee drinker like me. Otherwise, the texture is really soft and smooth

Meal with a pleasant view of the marina
Cut-out dresss by the marina #ootd
View of the marina from our table
Gorgeous view of the berth yachts against an equally gorgeous blue sky

Overall, Prive cafe is an unpretentious place with a pretty sight to boost. We do love our food at Prive and no doubt, they are delicious but prices are not cheap. I mean seriously, many restaurants and cafes out there does a pretty neat job of poached eggs as well but what I really love is the fact that their all day brekkies are all very much less greasy, and thus tasted healthier. But aside from that, perhaps it's being a little too overrated? Ah well, I guess I'll only find out for sure after trying their other mains the next time.

Prive Cafe,
2 Keppel Bay Vista,
GF Marina at Keppel Bay,
Tel : +65 6776 0777

So after lunch and a little strolling around the marina, we decided to escape the scorching heat by heading for some desserts. Being a fan of green tea, we decided to go in search for some green tea desserts, something almost impossibly available in Johor Bahru. Yes, we do have green tea ice cream here but that's about it. Maybe someone should start opening a green tea cafe instead of coffee places one after another back in JB.

Anyways, after some googling, we found the Tsujiri tea house which specializes in green tea everything; from their o-macchas to various green teas selection to green tea chocolate, cappucino, latte, ice blended, soft ice cream, sundae, parfaits, shaved ice, cakes and sweets. Are you green with envy too now? haha! You'll be surprised at how simple Tsujiri is. Their shop at 100AM is nothing fancy and fairly small but don't be fool by their appearance for their green tea desserts are heaven for all green tea lovers especially.

Ever since my discovery of how well maccha ice cream goes with red bean in Japan almost 5 years ago, I have fell deeply in love with them ever since. So, I try looking for a recreation of this combo wherever I can and I'm glad to see Tsujiri has them too. My shiratama parfait came with o maccha soft ice cream, glutinous rice flour balls and generous red beans. The ice cream is soft and smooth and together with the red bean and glutinous rice flour balls that balance out the strong green tea taste, the combo is simply yummy. They are just the right amount of sweetness and leaves a aromatic aftertaste
HT decided to try the o maccha cappucino, one of the few hot selection available. The slightly bitter and sweet taste of macha covers up the strong smell of coffee and together, they are a pretty unique and delectable drink
Me with my green tea goodness. Totally ♥

100, Tras Street,                                                                                                                                                           #01-14 100AM,
Singapore 079027
Tel : +65 6543 6110
Opening hours : 10AM- 10PM

Now that we had stuffed ourselves with both mains and desserts, it was time for some activities to at least burnt off some of those calories gained before we continue stocking up on calories, no? So since we had some time to spare, we went cycling at the East Coast Park, one of my favourite activity place in Singapore. Seriously, I'm never one who can really cycle, in fact I was kinda phobic of cycling until 2 years back when I started cycling all on my own again at the East Coast Park. 

The park is situated by the beach and having the sea breeze gently caressing against you as you cycle/ jog/ roller blade is a very relaxing and enjoyable feeling. If you are interested to stay overnight, they also have campsites and chalets with bbq facilities for rent. (You can read about my previous East Coast Park post here)
Romantic dual bike cycling hahaha

After a romantic evening burning off calories and chilling by the East Coast Park, it was finally time for dinner to wrap up the day.

Mos Burger has always been one of my fav burger place and since it had been a while since I last had Mos (Malaysia still doesn't has a single Mos!!!), we decided to keep it easy at dinner with Mos. With so many up and coming fancy burgers these days, a good old uncomplicated yet tasty rice burger is all we need at times.
My all time fav from Mos is their yakiniku (beef) rice burger. They also had the all new sake (salmon) rice burger so we tried that too. Simple, satisfying burger dinner :)
Burger time!

Although it was just a short day trip to Singapore, but most importantly we got to spend time together enjoying a fulfiling and fun day checking out new places and also satisfied some old cravings. From the delicious egg benedicts at Prive to the gorgeous marina view by Keppel Bay to sweet yummy green tea desserts at Tsujiri to romantic cycling by the beach at East Coast Park to good ol' Mos, everything was love. ♥♥♥
A rocket delivery bear. Guess what it is delivering? *wink*
Ta-da! A pair of Oakley sunglass! Totally cool. Perfect for my adventurous and outdoor nature ♥
Lastly, happy 6 years old to my love! Thank you for everything ♥

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