All posts tagged: cafe

夏 in Kyoto: Hotel Anteroom and Cafe Hunting

Kyoto is charming because it’s both a place for traditional Japanese crafts, as well as trend-setting designs. I’ve visited Kyoto a couple times now, but every time I find myself discovering new cafes, traditional woodhouse machiya’s (町屋), and beautiful hideouts. This trip, I chose to not visit as many historical sites in Kyoto, mainly because I wanted to explore more of Kyoto’s growing cafe and creative scene where young Japanese artists are trying to blend modern touches with traditional craftsmanship in various fields. Japan Handmade is an example of this–you’ll see some of their creative aesthetics in the pictures of Kaikado Cafe below. FUN FACT: This time around, my dates coincided with the annual summer festival in Kyoto, the Gion Matsuri. While I didn’t participate in any festival events, a lot of restaurants I visited had special menus and tea sets for the matsuri. If you’re interested in watching the iconic float processions in honor of the festival for your visit, here’s a more comprehensive guide. There’s a 夏 in Kyoto Part II coming soon, which will …

A Curated Food Guide to Tianzifang 田子坊

Tianzifang 田子坊 is Shanghai’s charming equivalent of New York’s Chelsea Market+Highline. Once a 市集 (traditional Chinese marketplace), Tianzifang was remodeled in 1998 to become an artsy retail complex. From small trinkets to independent art galleries, there’s no shortage of things to see and eat. The area’s biggest charm? The lines of clothes drying in random corners of the streets, reminding you that older Shanghainese locals still live in the traditional lane houses. Tianzifang is known to be very touristy but since making my official move this January I’ve discovered so many more unique storefronts. Like most places in Shanghai, Tianzifang is full of little alleyways that are incredibly fun to get lost in. As this area is always on my list of recommendations for visiting friends that only have a weekend layover in Shanghai, I’ve been wanting to consolidate a short list of food options in the area. The below is by no means a comprehensive list of things to eat in Tianzifang but these are a selection of my favorites that all have distinct shop styles of …

Brunch in Style at Blackbird

Brunch is T H E trendy thing in Shanghai right now, and there is no place more chic than Blackbird. A cafe+bar serving fun Italian dishes, Blackbird is an Instagram heaven. The cafe exudes a really charming vibe, and I especially liked the floor to ceiling windows and sleek interior design. Good coffee was a plus, so I found myself spending the afternoon there working without being disturbed. I didn’t get to try out the extensive drink list, but I saw lots of hipster cocktails I can’t wait to go back for. By the way, happy Chinese New Year dear readers! May this (lunar) new year be full of delicious foods and auspicious adventures. This is the big holiday season in Shanghai so bundle up and brace the crowds. Located on Wulumuqi Road, Blackbird has a gorgeous view and some really tasty bites. I recommend the Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms for those who want a filling but healthy main. OH! But I saw all the tables around me ordering Thick Cut Fries so I suspect I missed out on a customer favorite. Other favorites include the Black Truffle …

Tasty Vegetarian Lunch at Brown Rice Cafe

Finding a healthy vegetarian cafe in Tokyo is always exciting. For a city with so many different types of cuisines, it is surprising that vegetarian/vegan cafes are few and far between. While Japanese cuisine boasts tempura, tonkatsu, and deliciously fried things you can eat, its use of seasonal vegetables is always underrated. So if you’re in the Omotesando area and want a vegetable-ful lunch set, I highly recommend Brown Rice Cafe. Popular with the office ladies, Brown Rice Cafe has a simple menu: vegetarian curry, steamed assortment of vegetables, and the Daily Special. Since it’s the cafe branch of Neal’s Yard and Remedies, you can pop over next door for some organic skin care shopping after your meal! Highly recommend getting the Daily Special–it’s a great mix of seasonal vegetables and getting a sample of different Japanese seasonings. You’ll walk out feeling energized for some shopping afterwards. Harajuku is the more colorful fashion hub nearby if you’re not feeling like Omotesando’s up-scale name brands. I cannot believe the year is ending already! I’m in Singapore this holiday season, but I’ll be posting an year end review …

2014 in Review: Eating, Traveling, and New Year Resolutions

Goodbye 2014! 2014 was the year I finished my year abroad in London, traveled to Greece and Italy, spent a summer in Tokyo interning for a NGO, and started my last year of University back in Baltimore. I’ve pursued so many of my passions in 2014, it’s surreal this whirlwind of a year is coming to an end. Throughout everything, starting eatprayjade (and buying my coveted camera!) has been a concrete reminder of places I’ve loved, food I enjoyed, and why it’s worth pursuing all your passions–even if it’s the desire to start a food blog! I’ve always believed in the cliche ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ so here’s my 2014 in review through a collage of photographs. Top Moments of my 2014: 1. Turning 21 in London My birthday brunch at Duck and Waffle with girlfriends that made my year in London incredible! Girls that love to brunch are always the best ones right? Check out my fabulous fellow blogger Lilybelle and her blog post on our brunch here.  2. British Afternoon Tea with a Twist Celebrating Talia’s birthday with afternoon tea at Bake-a-Boo …

Alice’s Tea Cup: “it’s always tea-time”

Alice’s Tea Cup is not too far from the magical world Alice stepped into. With a wide selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and mixed teas, this cosy tearoom is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. My brief stop in New York–before visiting my family for Thanksgiving Break–consisted of a satisfying brunch at Friedman’s, a great spot for homemade comfort food, followed by high tea at Alice’s Tea Cup. I met up with one of my classmates from university who is in the process of finishing her dissertation. Now, when I say classmate, I mean more of an older sister I look up to. In the year and a half I was gone in London, she got married to a wonderful guy and gave birth to the most precious baby girl. I was ecstatic to meet her family so where better to have a reunion than over high tea? I loved all the Alice in Wonderland-themed tea sets at Alice’s Tea Cup. Between The Nibble “a lil bit hungry?”, The Mad Hatter “hungry?”, and The Jabberwocky “famished?”, we ended up getting …

Carma’s Cafe: sesame noodles, paninis, and more

Carma’s Cafe is a magical little hideout in Baltimore. The cafe’s menu is constantly updated with seasonal specials but nothing beats their staples: the best sesame noodles around, Pink Dalmatian cookies (cranberry white chocolate chip magicalness), and an array of freshly grilled paninis. On gloomy days, there’s nothing more comforting than an order of Carma’s grilled cheese with tomato soup. On days when all your stomach craves is savory carbs, Carma’s TCB (turkey cranberry brie panini) with a side order of sesame noodles is on point My friend Marc, whose palate matches his deeply fabulous style, recently introduced me to the Xander–a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with granny smith apples, light cream cheese, and honey drizzled over. I don’t know how I went so long without trying it! Carma’s Cafe is also famous for its Icelandic Yogurt (with berry compote!) and baked cookies. If you’re really lucky, you’ll manage to catch a fresh batch of Carma’s blueberry muffins in the morning! Plus, since it’s located right next to University campus, you’ll always find students grabbing coffees to go, or studying outside the cafe when the weather is nice–a perfect people watching spot. It’s crazy how Baltimore’s …

The Beauty of Artifact Coffee

Coffee shops are best on Sunday afternoons when you need a space to relax in before the beginning of another week. Artifact Coffee, a spinoff of Baltimore’s widely acclaimed Woodberry Kitchen, is a lovely place to do just that. I visited Artifact Coffee for a late lunch with my friend Sarika and absolutely loved the hipster decorations. With a spacious interior, Artifact Coffee offers freshly baked goods, an interesting mix of coffee drinks (lavender latte anyone?), and a great all day menu. Plus, if you don’t want to sit, they also have island bar tables you can stand and chat at–a reminder of my favorite coffee bars in Italy.

Brunching with Gorgeous Blooms at Nicolai Bergmann’s NOMU Cafe

Claude Monet was famous for referring to flowers as the raison d’être for many of his masterpieces. As he once said, “I must have flowers, always, and always.” Stepping into Nicolai Bergmann‘s store in Aoyama would convince anyone that is true. I don’t have much experience with flower arrangements but it’s easy to be awed by Nicolai Bergmann’s signature flower boxes and contemporary floral arrangements. A short walk from Omotesando Station, NOMU Cafe is a popular weekend brunch and afternoon tea spot located right in Nicolai Bergmann’s flagship store. Not only do you get to peruse gorgeous arrangements before your meal (check out his signature flower box if you’re looking for a nice gift), you’ll also get to dine amidst all the vibrant blooms! Alternatively, outdoor seating is also available in the flower-pavilion if you want to soak in the Tokyo sun on a good day. Mizuha and I met up again to go have a light brunch this Sunday–having explored Kagurazaka last weekend, we opted for the Scandinavian-style NOMU Cafe in order to explore the Aoyama area afterwards. Walking into Nicolai Bergmann, we instantly fell in love …