I need more than a pair of hands to count the number of people I know who would cringe at the slight mention of tomatoes, as with many other acquired produce like brinjal, lady’s fingers and olives. I can forgive all of these, but everyone should give tomatoes a chance.
In fact, the benefits of consuming tomatoes are infinite.
We have all heard of certain old wives’ tales, like how tomatoes boost a garden’s fertility. Well, this doesn’t really bother me actually, because I am so much more concerned about how the little red fruit (yes, it is a fruit. Remember how our primary school teachers would tell us that anything that has seeds are fruits?) is one nutrient-dense super food.
Red, plump, juicy and sweet. These are just about the right adjectives to use, and tomatoes are best eaten raw. For starters, if eating raw tomatoes is harder than chewing sand, try drizzling some honey over them. Or chuck them in your sandwich so that your meat patty can distract you. There are many easy ways to eat tomatoes, and if you can just get over the fact that it is but a garnish, you will come to love its taste. If you need to know, I grew up thinking if I want to eat the fries on my plate of Western food, I had to eat that damn red slice too. And it made me cringe so bad.
But it is a completely different story now. To earn your acceptance further? It is your answer to clear, pimple-free skin – the au naturel way. Here, we discuss the five health benefits of eating tomatoes.
We have stayed at several hotels in Singapore, and InterContinental Singapore is one of our favourite experiences. Where do we even begin? From the Peranakan-themed façade and minimalist luxury, down to the lush pillow menu, a stay with InterContinental Singapore is akin to that of spending time outside of home that you can still call home.
And how does this work?
Well, quite simply because the rooms are all designed to emulate a home, where there are no frills, where you feel pampered by the amenities, where no signs of commercialisation can intimidate you. We spent a night at the Shophouse Suite, and it was one staycation that left a deep impression on us (and can’t wait to return).
Right now, InterContinental Singapore is offering a weekend staycation package (S$255++/night) – for its deluxe rooms – that is specially designed for locals. Below, we will share more about what you can look forward to.
When we learnt that we were headed to Osaka, we asked ourselves, “what must we eat?”
Because Osaka is affectionately known as the Kitchen of Japan, and the Osakans worship their washoku (Japanese cuisine) – the ones who prepare dedicate their lives to perfecting the dishes they lay out on the table; the ones who savour spend their time learning and understanding every history and style of the different kinds of washoku. It is almost like a religion for Japanese (and quite possibly people from all over the world) to live and breathe the art of washoku.
So when we say ‘eat’, it is in every way an artistic indulgence, one that has us completely enveloped in the soul of Japanese expressions. The chefs pay so much attention to every step of the preparation and presentation, and there are always rich histories behind every style of dining; ingredients used are very much based on seasons, and the style of cooking has their own stories to tell too.
All that intrigue to speak about, but for now, we will begin with kappo – the definition of Osaka’s culinary glory. Like how Kyoto has its kaiseki, Osaka takes pride in their cutting and cooking, hence making up the word ‘kappo’. But do not be intimidated by the language if you do not understand, because if any, it is really a very affectionate way of dining.
Kyoto is not the top-of-the-mind city to visit when people talk about a holiday to Japan. Is it because people do not understand how beautiful that city is, or do people not prefer the less cosmopolitan part of Japan? The ancient capital of Japan is one with so much hidden charm, so much to discover, so much to experience and take home; everywhere seemed to speak of some sort of mojo.
Maybe it takes a little more understanding about Kyoto, maybe it takes more postcards to entice you and to show you what an adventure the city can offer. For starters, here is our take on 10 things that will make you fall in love with Kyoto:
We cannot quite put a finger to Wan Chai when we first set foot in that neighbourhood. It is bustling like many other areas in Hong Kong, but for the lack of a better description – Wan Chai is quite distinctly Hong Kong. Forget about how people discount Wan Chai for its red light district (because it is really just one lane that you can easily miss), because there is so much more to look out for.
We love Wan Chai for its little gems and unexpected finds – comfort Hong Kong cuisine in humble settings, locals peddling their wares and arts, executives loosening their ties to unwind over a good lunch… and all these make up Hotel Indigo.
A relatively new baby in the local hotel scene, Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island is everything Wan Chai is. It reflects snippets of its characteristic neighbourhood, and this is precisely what Hotel Indigo wants to create, so that guests feel blended in to the local culture, and locals resonate with the comforting familiarity.
Sushi in Kyoto is not quite what we know sushi as. The stark difference is one that you must experience to remember Kyoto. Very unlike the regular sushi in the market that is commonly known by the world, the traditional Kyoto sushi has a rich history and is a culinary fixture that had us developing a new level of appreciation for the Inarizushi (inari sushi).
We found the legendary Izuju – one of the oldest traditional Kyoto sushi restaurant in the heart of Gion, just across the Yasaka Shrine. It is known to serve the best Kyoto style sushi in Kyoto, if not Japan.
Stepping in was like going back to the old Kyoto, with an intriguing interior and displays, every bit speaking of a certain history from their younger days. Even the paper talisman from the Atago Shrine has a story to tell.
Paris is always a good idea. There is something magical about the City of Love; an irresistible charm, an inexplicable beauty. Every turn is a surprise, and every corner is picturesque. Taking a trip to Paris is akin to picking up an international best-selling novel – with every chapter, you get sucked in even more, and you never want to put the book down; you only want to read on. It is like a never-ending quest to reach the ends of the city, and the only wish is for time to stand still so that you can be lost in this awe-inspiring spot on the globe.
Exploring Paris was an exhilarating experience for us, and apart from the language barrier that had us stuck in several situations and left us to communicate via sign languages, our week at Paris was nothing short of fulfilling. For first timers to the city, here are some of the things that you can do and see when you have 48 hours in Paris.
A lovely weekday afternoon, a quiet day to unwind and relax, a trip to W39 Bistro and Bakery in West Coast. We’ve heard a fair bit about this neighbourhood gem in the West, and a recent trip made us understand why it is well-loved for many reasons.