Over the weekend, I went to Fren D’s place for dinner which was yummy shabu shabu. There, she demanded why I have not been updating my blog, so here I am, updating my blog.
I guess the reason why I haven’t been writing is coz I’ve been too busy and nothing has really been pushing me to write. But the thing about writing is that for as long as I breathe, there actually is always something to write about.
Yesterday, which was a Sunday, I opened the letter box, and there was this beat-up looking paper bag but I was very excited because I saw that it was from Japan and I knew that it was the matcha and matcha sifter that I had ordered from the website http://www.hibiki-an.com. It was badly wrapped up but there was an explanation on the receipt: “We are very concerned about the environmental destruction in the world, which may also have an impact on our tea farms. We wrap our parcels as simply as possible, while still being well-protected during delivery. Thank you for your understanding.”
Well, “as simply as possible” meant no boxes, just two layers of paper bag and bubble wrap for the items, and “well-protected” resulted in my stainless steel sifter arriving with a hole in its cover. It’s a good thing it was the cover and not the bottom, otherwise some tea powder will undoubtedly leak out when I’m using it. But, considering how absolutely anal I am, I am amazingly calm about the hole. In fact, it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m just writing this down as an FYI for people who are thinking of ordering stuff from them. The tea came safe and sound in its canister which was not even scratched or dented.
So, I was very excited about drinking my tea, but I couldn’t. The proper way of making matcha involves a relatively big bowl that looks nothing like a teacup and a whisk. I’d remembered seeing the whisk somewhere before, which is why I didn’t order it from the same website which has everything. Alas! When the time came, I couldn’t remember where it was that I’d seen it. So last night, I went to Central @ Clarke Quay because there are two shops there that sell Japanese stuff: Nagomi and Akihabara. Nada. However, I did have an enjoyable dinner at Ma Maison. The service there was great and the food was not bad. I read reviews at hungrygowhere.com before going and the average reviewer paid between S$15 to S$25 pax, so why did my bill come up to S$80 for 2?? I think Sniffles and I eat too much.
Anyway, I was very disappointed that I didn’t find what I was looking for at Central so the boyfriend and I traipsed over to Meidi-Ya which is the Mecca for Japanese stuff in Singapore, or so I thought. Alas! Renovation works were going on and the household section can only be termed “pathetic”.
Then a light bulb went off in my head (this reminds me of the kind of stuff that kids write) and Takashimaya struck me. I had actually already explored this option last Friday, at the household section looking for the stuff but they didn’t have it. Yesterday, however, I suddenly remembered the specialised Japanese tea place that they have in the basement, just outside the supermarket.
So I went there today, after lunch with the boyfriend. Actually, I was in the vicinity of his office because I wanted to check out Wacha which is a stone’s throw away but they only open at 2pm!
Anyway, at 2pm, I was in front of Fukujuen Kyoto in Taka and it had everything I needed.
So far, I’ve made 3 bowls of tea: the first was Usucha which is thin and weak Matcha – the standard way, apparently, followed by two bowls of Koicha which is thick and strong. Totemo oishii!!
For those of you who do not want to go through all this trouble just to drink a bowl of proper Matcha, you can visit Tea Bone Zen Mind at 38A Seah Street. Be warned that it will set you back s$18 just for a bowl of tea and a Japanese cake which is not cake at all. The one I had was made of glutinous rice and had the taste of plum and shiso. I think this might change from season to season. In any case, if you ever do make it to Tea Bone Zen Mind, you should also try the Lychee Oolong, which is my favourite tea from there. I didn’t actually drink it there, but bought home a jar. Very nice.