The Zaru Soba in Japan You MUST Eat!

When you travel to a place like Japan, the one thing you really need to dedicate yourself to is…

THEIR FOOD.

No questions about it.

The Japanese cuisine is world renowned for good reason; it has it’s own unique and original flavour, yet every chef does it differently – and when you dine Japanese-style, they believe that the meal should also be a feast for the eyes.

Singapore might be an awesome foodie hub – but I’d say that our food isn’t served too prettily. You’d hardly expect our hawker uncle to put a parsley or whatsoever on your plate of char kuey tiao to make it look more presentable.

Mark and I had LOADS of incredibly good food while in Japan. We even ate when we weren’t hungry, simply because we weren’t there for a long time… And the food was too good to pass up! 😍

Actually gained 3kg within the 9 days we were there. 😩

However the one place I couldn’t get out of my head was this little unassuming hut in the middle of nowhere where we had the most amazing Zaru Soba.

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

Zaru Soba is actually chilled noodles made from buckwheat flour. You dip the noodles into a sauce and slurp it right up from there!
Note that when eating noodles in Japan, it’s polite to slurp your noodles as loudly as possible to show the chef that you’re enjoying your meal! ✌🏻

Truth be told, I was always more inclined to Cha Soba – which is noodles made from green tea flour.

However this place?
Made me sway my opinion effortlessly.

Plus, cold noodles are traditionally a summer dish. It was freezing then, but I had no complaints whatsoever… Because it was SO GOOD!!!

Mark is simply amazing at finding such off-the-books places when we travel – much thanks to our good friend, Google. 😁

So he entered the coordinates into the car’s GPS and stopped right here where we trekked through a bit of snow to the restaurant!

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

Once we entered the restaurant, there was a receiving area and right inside where customers sit is abundantly ornamented with traditional Japanese interiors.

That large mask gave me the creeps a little bit… but everything else was simply lovely and cosy!

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

And we got to enjoy our meal next to this gorgeous winter view! ❤️

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

The place is not very touristy – so their menu is entirely in Japanese. And handwritten too! 😯

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

First to arrive at your table are a couple of small condiments – and very important… The sauces!

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

Later on you will receive a kettle of hot water, which is actually the water that was used to boil your buckwheat noodles.

After you’re done with your noodles, pour the hot water into the remaining dipping sauce… And drink it up!

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

It might not look like much… but it was delicious! Plus it was a great way to calm your tummy after all the cold-noodle-slurping.

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

As you can tell – I was thoroughly pleased with my meal! ☺️ *burp*

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan

Mark was probably even more pleased… because he bought a packets of the owner’s ready-made noodles and sauce.

After some reading, we found that this humble restaurant holds quite a bit of history! The chef makes the buckwheat noodles himself, and the restaurant has been passed down from generation to generation (if I got it right, 19 generations to be exact)! The owner (also the chef) moved to his location back in 1972.

Okay, to be entirely honest – don’t even know if I got it right… because everything about them is in Japanese and my Japanese is hardly decent. 😔

But the important thing to me was, the entire dining experience was AMAZING. The service was warm & polite (like most Japanese people), the food was absolutely delightful, the restaurant’s ambience was scintillating and the view was simply gorgeous.

We were there in winter, and I wish we could be there during the other seasons too!

そば処,三百坊, zaru soba restaurant, yamagata, japan
There I am looking deliriously happy

If you’re ever in Japan, do check them out! You’re definitely going to need a car though!

Restaurant Name: 三百坊 300 Bou | www.300bou.net

Address: 453-2 Tsuchizaka, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata-ken 990-2405, Japan (Google Map here!)

Have a slurp-tastic time, peeps! 🍜

XOXO, Gera. 

Product Review: Crystal Tomato

Hello there, beautifuls! 😍

Many of you might already know The Crystal Tomato – it’s heavily marketed to be a miracle beauty product somewhat… By promising some really awesome benefits for your precious skin. 😌

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Image Source
  • Natural Sunscreen
    Absolute dream to have when you’re living in tropical Singapore with the unforgiving Sun. Whenever I head out during lunch hour, I can almost hear my skin cells crying in pain.
  • Brighten, Lighten and Whiten Complexion 
    Okay, one of my major wants in a beauty product.
  • Reduces Dark Acne Scars, Freckles, Dark Underarms and Age Spots
  • Antioxidant Effect and Anti-Inflammatory 

I read so many great reviews online about the product on how it practically changed their lives… So I figured, “Okay, must try.”

Even though it’s bloody costly – at about S$170-$190 for a month’s supply! 💸😱

Now Crystal Tomato isn’t readily available – it’s not one of those things you can just head down to a generic drug store and pop into your basket. No, this one needs you to head down to a specific list of authorised sellers.

And I even bought a 3-month supply – because that’s apparently how long it would take for the skin to rejuvenate and really show results!

I puked blood and went to pluck some grass to eat for dinner when I saw my credit card bill that month.

So anyway, yes I know you just want to know, “DID IT WORK??”

😬 We’re getting there.

First month – skin actually got darker! I figured it was part of the purging process?

Second month – skin was clearing up a tad… and the tone went back to my usual colour.

Third month – “Huh? Got difference meh?” was what a friend of mine said. I purposely wanted to meet her because she’s always the one friend who loves to comment on any changes aesthetic-wise.

If I lose weight, she will comment. If I gain weight, she will imply it’s time to cut back. If my skin looks bad, she’ll ask if I’m on my period. If my skin looks radiant, she will ask for my secret or if I’m pregnant.

Yes, THAT kind of friend.

And when I met her, I was almost expecting a, “WOW!! YOUR SKIN!!!” And then a background of fresh sakura leaves will fall around me as I radiate and giggle in delight. 😌 #mecrazy

But when she didn’t say anything for a couple of hours, I just had to ask her if she noticed anything different about my skin. And her reply was, as above, “Huh? Got difference meh?”

😩 😩 😩

To be honest, I didn’t notice any significant change myself and was almost envious of those girls who apparently experienced a whole galaxy of change!

Albeit there were some little benefits here and there – like how it’s an oral sunscreen. And I have 4 cats, so there are mornings when I wake up with a new scratch somewhere. I noticed they healed faster when I took Crystal Tomato. ✌🏻

However all this doesn’t warrant me parking aside about S$200 for it!!! 🙅🏻

Must say I was massively disappointed… I’ve tried other beauty supplements that were worlds cheaper and gave better and more obvious results.

So not topping up my stash of Crystal Tomatoes. My bank account won’t stand for it – my skin won’t vouch for it.

XOXO, G. 

As You Grow Up; Remember They’re Growing Old…


It’s simply amazing how just watching my grandparents enjoy a hearty meal, makes me feel so happy & warm inside.

I spent a considerable amount of my childhood with them – and somehow it never registered that as I grew up, they were growing older.

Greying hair became white; brown bright eyes turned a murky-blue with cataract. 😢

The first time Mark brought me to that seafood eatery at a kampong, I just thought my grandparents would love it. The nostalgia of the surroundings – so much like the old Singapore. Wild dogs, houses on stilts, children running around barefoot (sometimes just fully naked as the day they were born)… And the salty smell of the ocean. 😌

It’s such a simple thing, really.

But it seemed to have meant the world to them. And it meant the world to me as well.

Just watching them smile and laugh in amusement as they observed the kampong surroundings; digging into the feast heartily; and then sharing their countless stories about their lives back when Singapore still had kampongs.

Ah, what a lovely Saturday. ❤ Should do this more often.

Go spend time with everyone in your life – and cherish those times, don’t be stingy with your minutes. Life is made of these meaningful and invaluable moments. Because people don’t last forever; so build memories that do.

Pampering my grandparents & cousin with some yummy seafood 🐟🦐🦀

A post shared by Geraldine Sim (@gera.shen) on

XOXO, G. 

It’s a Brand New Type of Christmas

Even though I live in an Southeast Asian country, much of my country’s culture is very much globalised.

Singapore, my home, is very much practically a rojak of cultures actually.

So since I was little, I loved Christmas because of all the gifts I got! However I also really hated the occasion… I’m not exaggerating that I actually hated Christmas. Because out front, I was paraded in front of church people who didn’t even know me; because the woman they call my mother wanted face. And behind closed doors, she was hysterical and mental about how she had to go through such jolly seasons alone without a husband. And then she gets all nuts about finances because she has to buy gifts. Couple of years she told me she had absolutely no money to buy me anything; but she was pretty generous with her church people and the children of the man she was seeing then.

It’s really one of the many things that still make me irk at the thought of Christmas.

Albeit I loved sitting by the Christmas tree at my cousin’s house – hoping that I’d unwrap something nice! ☺️

Other than that? Really didn’t like the occasion. I often wept in despair on Christmas Eve, because it just meant I had a new batch of shit with the woman they call my mother.

However lately as I’ve spread my own wings and left the toxic nest, I have gradually come to enjoy Christmas!

Still don’t care very much that it is supposedly Jesus’ birthday… but I love how it presents the opportunity for people to show love for one another. ❤️

There are friends who I love very much but aren’t able to meet them due to busy schedules… Christmas is the perfect time! And we can do gift exchanges as well. And then we spend time together just talking about how life has been lately…

It’s a whole other sort of warmth.

And I love it very much!! ☺️

Okay – clearly I still have issues with the woman they call my mother. It’s intensively deeply rooted… You cannot just wipe away 24 years of pain, distrust and abuse in a few years. You simply cannot. To expect that I’d go back there is just beyond stupidity, retardation and insanity.

To be honest, I doubt I can even manage in this lifetime.

And right now, I’m okay with that.

I just enjoyed my Christmas with friends who love me, and a new family I’m building. And albeit presents haven’t been as great as before… LOL. I’m actually a lot happier than I was before.

All those material things won’t make me happy. At least not for long.

New Year is coming around the corner and I think I’ve grown a tad in 2016! 😃

Hope everyone had a super jolly Christmas!! 🎄

Sorry, I’ve Been Soooo Busy…

I’ve really been neglecting my blog… And pretty much many other aspects of my life, actually. 😔

Don’t worry, guys. I’m very much alive!!! Albeit dying more quickly than planned…

Things at work have gotten a tad insane…

crazy snow white disney

I’m at my very first agency job. I was super excited to get started on a new experience and I have absolutely no regrets!

I’ve been told that an agency job can practically take over your life – and they’re right. I already work long hours… And when I’m out of the office, my brain is constantly trying to brew something for the projects I have on hand.

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It’s actually quite crazy of me. I actually hardly have anytime for anything other than work and Mark. Honestly if Mark and I weren’t cohabiting, I might not see him at all. 😐

Work can get chaotic – but I’m not complaining. 😃

And I’ve come to realise that it’s because of a combination of two things.

  1. My colleagues are an amazing bunch
  2. The sense of achievement I get when a project is well done is better than anything I’ve had before!

Colleagues; the people you work with, are crazy important. You cannot expect to work well in an environment, when you cannot find people to work well with!

And I like to think I’ve achieved quite a bit through my working years… But the sense of accomplishment when a project is done well when you’re in an agency… The best.

It’s not easy; it’s hardly ever easy.
But nothing worthwhile ever came easy.

Otherwise why would it then be worthwhile?

Alright, going to end here for now. 😘

XOXO, G.

So My Work Laptop Got Stolen

It was the most horrible feeling.

When it sunk in my head, I was just screaming inside. 😱

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It really wasn’t the laptop itself – it was the invaluable data and work inside it. I had spent endless painful hours on a number of projects and it killed me knowing that I lost it all.

Especially for one particular project – I literally worked through an entire month; weekends included.

And no, I didn’t do any backup. 😞 Because I was just so busy and kept on going & going…
Stupid of me. Shame on me.

And it was absolutely insane!!!

I wanted to kill the thief SO BADLY!!

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And at the same time, I went all, “I always return valuables that I find!!! Why does this happen to me??” *breaks into hysterical cries*

But then a close friend of mine said the truest words, “Your mistake is thinking that everyone is as kind and nice as you are.”

Honestly don’t think he thought of that himself luh… Swear I read it in a book somewhere. Lol.

The aftermath of the theft just led to a lot of mess for me…

I knew I had to clean up a lot of mess with work – I had deadlines to meet. It’s not my clients’ problems that I lost my laptop; they still want their deliverables.

I was already utterly exhausted and worn out… but because of this incident, I had to go through all of it again; but at a faster speed, because time was already lost.

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Immediately after informing the building management, I headed down to the police station to make a report.

And this was what went down… It’s a good thing she burst out in laughter and went on about how adorable I am… but I genuinely couldn’t stand seeing my statement having those errors… 😅

But after all the craziness settled; I realised just how blessed I am.

#1 An old friend works around the area; he came down to meet me and really helped to distract me and calm me down with his jokes. 😂

#2 When I posted what happened on Facebook, I received messages and calls from friends who tried to cheer me up. 😍 Super precious! You guys have no idea how much that meant to me.

#3 My boss wasn’t angry with me; he was just worried about how I’m going to manage the workload, and immediately requested for more time from the clients for me. ☺️

#4 I cried at the police station, but realised that my problem was absolutely trivial compared to others’… And that sort of calmed me down significantly. Like, honestly… What do I really have to panic about? I just have to put in more hours, sweat & tears, dig into my memory a little bit…

Other people had huge problems that made mine seem like I was complaining that someone stole my lollipop.

And anyway, this went down at my police station visit.

#5 When I got back to the office, my partner J pulled out Hokkaido cheesecake for me! 😋 I was told he specially went out to get it for me, to cheer me up.

#6 And when I got home late, Mark whipped up his awesome pasta! Really, he makes good pasta. 👍🏻🍝  And he even threw in my favourite crab sticks! He stayed up to sit with me in the kitchen at 12:15AM on a work night. ❤️

Through all this, I realised that like J said, I always overreact. 😑

And as much as I always say I’m used to being alone – I cannot deny that having some love from others (especially in such a harrowing situation), was quite literally a lifesaver.

Everyone made it so easy for me. And for that, I’m endlessly grateful. 😚

Maybe being a tad reliant on people for care & love isn’t as scary as I think it is.

I lost my laptop about 2 weeks ago – and since then, no news. I’ve already accepted that I won’t ever be getting it back… but it’s okay. I managed to work through it all – my memory served me quite well. 😬✌🏻 And it’s through such times that I open my eyes to the genuine care people express.

And I believe in karma! And for all I know… maybe that person desperately needed a quick buck for a life or death situation.

So I don’t choose to be angry, devastated or vengeful over this. You’d think that through something like this, I’d lose faith in humanity.

But, no. If anything at all, it made me believe in it even more.

So in a way, I’d like to thank God for letting this happen…
Albeit when it happened I was all, “Why, God?! Why, why, why?? Is it because I didn’t go church for the past lifetime??” 😂

I choose to keep this as memory to the awesome people I have around me; my background isn’t very pretty, but I think the picture painted in front is absolutely beautiful ☺️ And I wouldn’t trade this canvas for anything else in the world.

XOXO. G. 

Broke up with a friend; couldn’t be happier!

Hello, world!
How have you been lately?

So just a couple of weeks ago, I actually broke a friendship

If you asked me some years ago about how I felt about this – I’d probably be all, “Omg, this is horrible! We need to make up!”

But right now? I honestly never felt BETTER!!! 😌😌😌

happy to lose a friend

You might think that I’m a horrible person… And sometimes I won’t disagree with you. 😂
But for this particular friendship… Losing this friend was really more of a gain in my life!

In this post, I’m not going to reveal names or anything related to real identities. Heck, I won’t even mention the gender. 😉 You just enjoy the story, yea?

So Ex-F (actually stands for ex-‘friend’; but ‘F’ can be so many things! So you let your imagination go there; ex-friend, ex-f**ker, ex-fiend, ex-figglybooboo…) was someone who I got to see quite often and was honestly one of the most self-loving self-obsessed people I knew.

In a nutshell, Ex-F is the sort that will go, “If you cannot accept me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

Yeaaaa 😒 

Ex-F’s worst was something like, “YOU STUPID, UGLY BITCH! I don’t care what you say!!! I WANT IT MY WAYYY!!!” 

While the best was something like, “I’m in a good mood today. You can bring me to this restaurant. Don’t I look wonderful??”

*PUKESSS*

Ex-F often self-proclaimed him/herself on a daily basis as high-class (quite an oxymoron, if you have to proclaim it for yourself…)good GREAT-looking and talented.

It was unbelievably annoying.

bitch please little mermaid

While I admire self-confidence; I don’t appreciate self-delusion or unfounded arrogance.

Since we’re no longer friends; I don’t see the point of maintaining any loyalty. The truth is… Ex-F is one of the weirdest-looking people I’ve set my eyes on! Ex-F has this look that is really neither here nor there… but that’s just my own opinion; and some people do like a unique look.

However Ex-F the most unclassy personality as well.

Ex-F actually flaunted that he/she had a fling with a married person. Wtf?!

And Ex-F even went on and on about how the fling’s spouse couldn’t even compare… Wa lao, seriously. 😒 I was actually super turned off back then. Cheating, no matter how right it feels, shouldn’t be something you show off like a prize in your trophy cabinet.

shoot yourself in the head and put it on youtube

It was awfully tiring being Ex-F’s friend… His/her typical dialogue goes like this…

Ex-F: Omg, look at that woman! How UGLYYYY!!!! I pity her husband…

Ex-F: Look at that fat bitch. Ugh. I’m not going to attend the party if she is there! I don’t party with lame people.

Ex-F: Did you see my latest Facebook profile picture? Why didn’t you ‘like’ it? 

All of this, I attributed to severely low self-esteem that caused the need to put others down to feel better about one’s self.

And all of that was just so tiring to maintain. 😩

tired bored sleepy

Sincere apologies – but at this age… I don’t give a royal rat’s ass about entertaining such idiots anymore.

And Ex-F even tried to get other people to ‘hate on me’; but it just made me happy:

  1. Ex-F is indeed a horribly toxic person to have in your life
  2. Those people are like Ex-F; so lesser people to give a shit about

People like that don’t realise…

Friendships don’t exist to only validate their existence and perceived values; friendships are a two-way traffic and are not meant for one-sided worship. That, will be idolisingNOT friendship.

And friendships are often reflections of what really matters to you as a person deep down. How your friends are; what they say, how they act and what they do – are clear indications of what you like to have in your life.

Don’t be shy about kicking out toxic people in your life; because life is too short to eat shitty food and hang around with shitty people. If you have so much time to entertain such wankers, go discover a cure for cancer or something.

So really be careful of who you choose to surround yourself with; because you gradually become like them. 😌 Don’t waste your precious time entertaining such people, when you could be loving those who are worth it.

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XOXO, G.