Cafe Hop- Craftsmen Speciality Coffee

If there’s one thing I should remember about this place, it’s the waffles and coffee.


Matsuya all day, everyday


Besides walking through dark alleys at 3am, countless 24hour marts, Calpis soda and ridiculously good convenience store food, one of the few things I particularly miss from Japan is Matsuya.
Matsuya is the best thing ever especially for people like Nii and I, mainly because we’re such devil may cry anti social gaijins, we would rather not talk to anyone other than each other even when it comes to ordering food. That’s right, Matsuya doesn’t require up front counter customers-employee interaction, thank Gad. You pick a beef bowl you want at the kiosk, collect your gyu-don ticket, get seated and they serve you your food. No questions asked, just eat and get the fuck out. It’s all about efficiency over here. Oh and have a cup of water too because they’re polite like that.


It doesn’t help at all that their variety for beef bowls is huge and I barely managed to sample all of them within the 10 days I was in Japan. I had to get Nii to order different sets just for the sake of trying. You see, it turned into an obsession then some gyu-don pokedex OCD after the third time eating it within 2 days. I would insert some beef pun here but I’m currently short of it.


Matsuya is also so affordable. Either that, or I’m just really low maintenance scum. But I can totally live with that.

Why you may ask? Because I only brought a pathetic 100k yen over (roughly SGD$1000) due to last minute financial constraints and I WAS REALLY BROKE, OKAY, IT SUCKED. But seriously though, Matsuya was my choice. I woke up specifically to eat a different beef bowl everyday and most times, I’d be salivating over having my next one the supper before.


Another reason why Matsuya is the bomb.

Because Japanese rice is life. I don’t care if you come up and tell me that it’s just normal rice with vinegar, sugar and more water. No matter how hard I try, I’ll never get my rice nearly as fluffy or as chewy as I get it at Matsuya, and… and… oh my gad I’m starting to tear up. In essence, Matsuya rice is probably the only rice that I’d eat as a proper staple and it makes me emotional.


And do you know what goes great with the rice? Their sauces, which is practically free flow if you know how to ask for another bottle in Japanese, but why put yourself through all that trouble when you can simply steal it from another table like a fucken gaijin, right? #touristperks #imahorribleperson

But seriously though, Nii knows that I’m crazy over their sour plum sauce. Absolutely crazy. He’s convinced that I only ate the large sized bowls because I was after the rice underneath, which was completely true. All the better to drizzle sour-salty sauce over, y’know.

I even tried looking for it at this 24hour everything-mart, Don Quijote. I failed, which explains why I was 10x more depressed when I got back to Singapore. I can’t eat Tori Q rice anymore it’s not the same. *curls up into a ball and sobs*


And lastly why Matsuya or just Japan in general is awesome, they have 150yen beer. That’s roughly about SGD$1.80? The price may vary depending on the exchange rate, but guysssssssss two bucks for a beer????!!?!!??!?!?! Priorities man, and this is wayyyy up there on my list.

Well, writing this post is making me hungry and sad. Mostly sad because whatever I eat now will never hold a light beside Matsuya, a Japanese fast food chain.

I am ruined.


Masterchef: Cafe Kitchen Edition


First, look at this Rilakkuma espresso cup. I’m better than you.

Teehee, just kidding. But seriously, look at it.


A while ago (last week, actually.), my cafe bosses went outstation, leaving us (chef and I) on a budget/limited petty cash.
We decided that to save on petty cash, we had to try getting rid of all the food in the fridge/freezer we didn’t serve anymore.

By well, eating everything.

So began an epic attempt to salt and pepper anything and everything that was about to expire. Normally we fried or toasted them over the toaster. If all else failed, we boiled the hell out of it.


The week started out with this week old blueberry teacake that couldn’t be served anymore because… go figure. Nonetheless, food was food so I scraped the mold off the side and microwaved the pastry. Because if radiation can kill humans, it could kill most of the bacteria on my bread, right?

One good thing would be that it still tasted good. Another would be that I am now convinced I have a stomach of steel, since I didn’t find myself running to the toilet that day.

That was lunch settled.


For dinner, chef found chicken stock in the kitchen and boiled it with an assortment of vegetables we had no idea we had in the fridge.

We had:
– Leftover corn from when I was vegan
– Carrots from I don’t know how long ago.
– Leafy veg from when boss cooked dinner once
– Frozen mixed vegetable mix
– A half opened can of mini sausages. How long has it been like that in the fridge? It didn’t really matter. We were gonna boil the hell out of it anyway.

Along the way, we found dumpling filling in the fridge, wrapped a few dumplings and threw it into the soup.

The dumplings were originally meant to be boiled in plain water but chef and I had this brilliant idea of boiling it into mushroom soup.

We used the wrong saucepan and the milk ended up burning, making everything in it taste um, toasty.

Did we eat it?
With much effort.

Did we think we could cook?
Evidently not.

Moving on, we went on to eat everything in our little stew for three days, constantly reserving the stock, adding water and throwing whatever we could find into it.

Inevitably, we grew increasingly tired of dodgy cabbage stew and moved on to try different methods of burning cooking stuff.


I swear this is going to sound like I came from the stone age but BEHOLD.


Boss was nice enough to buy cheese tofu for us before she left so we pan fried it with much ease.

Vegetable wise, we found half a bittergourd in the fridge so we stir fried it with eggs, seasoning with salt and pepper (because we don’t exactly know how to use anything else).

Chef must have thought highly of me because he tasked me with stir frying the veg not knowing that before this, the closest I’d been to actually cooking something was microwaving instant noodles.

Yes, I microwave my instant noodles instead of using the stove method because I’m that lazy and useless. I didn’t even know you could boil water over a stove to cook noodles that way till I was 18.

You can’t say anything I haven’t already told myself.

So after all that has been said to justify my next sentence, of course I got the stir fry wrong. I didn’t cook the bittergourd enough before putting the egg in so the gourd became extremely bitter.

So can Cherie cook?
Gold star for trying.

Good thing Chef managed to save it by adding water into the pan and simmering it down to continue cooking the veg. A whole lot of salt and pepper later, the dish didn’t taste half bad.

Then came what I could do best.

Microwaving. Honest to God, I swear I’m so useless sometimes.

We also found some mutton curry and canned salmon flakes so I tossed them into a bowl and microwaved it for a minute while I poked around for wraps. Wraps, because I have no idea how to cook rice over a stove.
I come from a family where most of my food is reheated or even made in a microwave okay, you don’t know me, you don’t know my life. D:

I toasted Chef’s herb and spice wraps real good, mainly because the wraps were 3 days past expiration date. But as my chef says, it’s okay. It just means you can’t serve it. #logic

But everything came together in the end and we actually ate a full meal.

But that was only for one meal. We still had to think of what we could make for the rest of the days, so here it is.


Really, mini, pancake stacks. It actually looks pretty presentable untill you zoom out and realize how very pathetic it looks from afar but nonetheless, cute.
These came from when we had to test pancake batter. Nutella sauce was from when we were changing nutella bottles, while the bananas were the really ripe and brown ones we found in the fridge that we browned with a blowtorch so we could trick ourselves into thinking it was okay to eat it.


Here’s a picture of the 1UP mushroom we found at the bottom of our bag of shitake mushrooms. It went into this:


Heh heh… not too bad ourselves, right? On the last day, chef brought salmon fillets while I thawed some beef sausages to boil and fry. We stir fried potatoes with mushrooms and scambled eggs that was mixed with reserved egg whites as well, before putting everything together.

And wow, did it look legit.

It was actually the best meal we put together during the week, not that the rest sucked, just that it was probably the only one where we didn’t get out meats out of a can.


During the week while I was working myself to skin and bones, I was actively practising my coffee pouring and I think I’m getting there!

Not to mention, I had tons of coffee while working. Really took advantage of the fact that coffee is an appetite supressant.

I’d like to write more, but I kind of ran out of things to say. Not to mention, I am writing this while I’m at the cafe so…

I’ll write again soon!

How to Smoothie in Desperate Times

With my Daniel Fast/Cleanse going on, it’s almost impossible for me not to post anything about it at all.

Basically thanks to my change in diet, I can’t have anything on my cafe’s menu except for black coffee, not that I’m complaining. It’s just that thanks to that I’m almost always perpetually hungry. #horriblelifedecisions

I’m really happy I’m allowed peanut butter though!


Comfort Food I Can’t Afford

I’ve been so stressed at work that I’m so sad to report that one of the only reliefs in my life is looking at well taken pictures on my Tumblr and Instagram. For Instagram it’s worst because I follow a doughnut place from Melbourne and salivate over whatever my other friends are eating. At least I have my other branch friends to suffer half an hour lunch breaks with me )’:

If you feel hungry after this post, I’m not even sorry.