top five gelatorias of Cinque Terre and Pisa

There are times that you would feel really guilty regarding what you’ve eaten into your belly! We all to some extent tends to be really cautious of what we eat during our daily meals, however, when we are away from home and on holiday, your cautious mind relaxes and think this is he time to indulge in foods that you cannot get back home..

…and this is the same with Italy. What they are famous for?? GELATO!!!

My 5 lists of gelato places in Cinque Terre and Pisa region. Its always so good to be back to Italy and explore different area.

IMG_2713 - Pisa gelato-2
La Bottega del Gelato, Pisa
We had a very satisfied meal on our arrival night and googled the nearest gelato place that are still opened and found this little gem across the bridge. It’s roughly about 10 mins walk from Pisa Centrale Station and it is super easy to get to, just walk down through the main road of all the shops, cross the bridge and you will see it by the little square full of locals/tourists.
I’ve got mine in a waffle cone with hazelnut and pistachio flavour gelato for 2.50E and from then onwards, I was shocked at the price that I have to pay in London!! The gelato texture in La Bottega was on the soft side but the flavour was awesome!!

Love Italy once again OVER a gelato!

IMG_2752 - gelatoria vernazza-2
Gelatoria Vernazza, Vernazza
Next up, its the famous Gelatoria Vernazza, the name says it all. Its located in Vernazza the town that I called home for the 4 days while I was there. Pretty amazingly it was only diagonally opposite my studio flat, I had to control myself every on my way back to the flat. It was super tempting….. honestly!
Once again, I had the same flavours as the last location, hazelnut and pistachio flavour, oh la la.. I thought the previous one was good. This one is even better! Not only the gelato was more dense in terms of texture so were their flavours too!

The only downside of this place is, they use an icecream scoop on me? whyyyyyy not the traditional gelato scoop?

IMG_3064 - Gelatoria Il Porticciolo-2
Gelatoria Il Porticciolo, Vernazza
After getting back into Vernazza from the afternoon hike, I said to myself I need to this gelatoria by the dock, else I would not have enough time to fit them all in. I am glad I choose to try it on the spot, because the following few days this gelatoria closes early or I wasn’t in town early enough before their shop closes. Definitely a great gelatoria, I tried Pistachio and Mango sorbet, another classic combo of mine! I can tell you not only the pistachio flavour taste so great, real smooth and not artificial taste. The mango sorbet was really greatly made, love the texture..! Definitely on my recommendation list for you.

IMG_3112 - Gelatoria Alberto - Cognilia
Gelatoria Alberto, Cognilia
This was already on our list even before we depart for our trip, their infamous signature Nutella gelato was waiting to be tried… We instantly noticed his gelato shop as we walk into the centre, you cannot miss it, at the entrance to the center of the town. We decided to try the gelato after our lunch instead… and I have to say do not missed this place, I went for nutella and coconut flavour, I wanted something lighter to balance the richest of nutella, I was right! Their nutella gelato was so rich in flavour and really smooth in texture that it was good to pair it with something light.. Definitely worth giving a try!

Forget about the calories you are taking, you’re on holiday!

IMG_3269 - Gelatoria Bar Centrale Riomaggiore-2
Bar Centrale, Riomaggioire
I really was trying to hold myself back from eating another one but as we wander around Riomaggioire, we got a little bored after our lunch by the pier, thinking shall we go back to vernazza or wander around a little more? In the end, we went to get ourselves a gelato before chilling by the benches and start people watching activities (Saw two cool oriental bikers in their motorbike!). Can’t fault much but yet I find their gelato a little lack of flavour and generally on the bland side. Texture wise was pretty smooth but melts relatively fast.

Think I have absolutely nailed it with my accommodation location!  I do think my top two choices are within Vernazza, so make sure they are on your list to visit!


two top choux places to visit in London right now

Anyone don’t do eclairs here?? Ask any of my girl friends, all of them would not decline any eclair offers? I am not talking about the chocolate eclairs in purple and gold wrapper, I am talking about the choux pastry eclair if you love both.

Before all the fancy offerings on the market, after a few round of eating supermarket eclairs. Our favourite ones is from Marks & Spencer, their cream is the best of the all with proper smooth vanilla whipped cream, though I still reckon the chocolate ganache on top is slightly too thick for my liking.

What’s next? Here comes along the recent infamous Maitre Choux taking the famous eclair scene from Paris to London; opened their little boutique in the museum district… also stepping into the competition is my favourite chocolatier Pierre Marcolini opened a shop near Baker Street with a selection of eclairs too!


I have to tell you, if you ever do make your way to Maitre Choux, make sure you go early during the busy busy busy busy (Have to emphasis this!) weekend where EVERYONE go and make a visit, by 3pm on the Saturday that I have visited. They only have about 5 flavours left on the shelf. I was like… err… where’s my favourite pistachio? Howdy, straight away I have choose a sharp raspberry cream favour and the classic vanilla flavour.

What’s the verdict? Choux pastry was good and still in perfect texture; the cream… i cannot fault much considering I kept it out of the fridge for almost half day since I was chilling in the Sky Garden. The little eclair was still in good taste, good look and went into my tummy feeling satisfied.

This definitely worth a visit, yes it is expensive but even just give it a try, each was £5 a pop but now has gone up to £5.20-£5.80 depending on the flavour that you are going to take home with you.

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In comparison to Maitre Choux, the pastry with Pierre Marcolini tends to be on the bit soft soggy side, anyone can tell me if this is due to “buying it at the end of the day” issue? but if the shop offers consistent quality goods, then it shouldn’t….  on the good note, their flavours were amazing; I particularly love their passion fruit one where the sharp zingy of the passion fruit cream cuts the rich texture or added some colour to the boring choux pastry that I was eating into.  On the other hand, the raspberry cream was more on the sweet side… filling was equally as good but I felt let down by the pastry.
The only issue was, MY fault, they were kept out of cold environment for the whole night while I was dining at Chiltern Firehouse, my apologies eclairs….

I really wonder what’s next in the London scene?

must visit coffee spots in Hong Kong


Apparently, there is a steadily increase in the number of western coffee shops around Hong Kong in comparison to the traditional canton style cafe which are decreasing. I mean its such a struggle to take preference as I love both equally and definitely does not want our canton style cafe disappearing because that’s where the fundamental Hong Kong foodie culture comes from.

Nevertheless, my take on sharing with you where I have been (in the past 6 months in HK) and let you decide whether its worth adding them onto your to visit list while visiting Hong Kong…

Cafe Deadend – 72 Po Hing Fong, Hong Kong
Located on the quiet area of Sheung Wan, this cafe is famous for quality food menu served with bread made from Po Atelier next door. What I enjoy the most is coming early around this area and enjoy a quiet breakfast sitting outside while reading your book. This place gets a little busy at lunch and afternoon so its probably wiser to come early. Beside the good hot or iced latte that I have tried, their apple tart is something that you should not be missed out on.  I made my way after my leather class one Sunday and learnt that it was SOLD OUT only around 3pm. You might have guessed what I did… I went before my class just to eat their apple tart on the following Sunday!! A perfect cafe to enjoy chill time on your weekend.

ToolssToolss – G/F, Fook Tin Building, 38 Wai Chi Street

A new comer in the end of 2014, the owner was previously a fashion editor but got tired of the fashion chasing and go for his dream of owning a coffee shop; he drew an associate of coffee with stationary (sth new hey!). Located in Shek Kip Mei amongst those industrial buildings and car garage, a different atmosphere! The shop is petite but love the wooden bar and stools also their serving cups/tray. However, I do feel the body lacks a little aroma and body. It might have improved since my visit!? Nevertheless, if you are near this neighbourhood, its worth stopping by.

Cafe hayfeverCafe Hay Fever – G/F., 62-64 Flower Market Road

This visit was unexpected, I walked by the shop while I was exploring around the flower market near MTR Prince Edward. And bump into this shop that the front half is a shop, the back half is a coffee shop. Its in a floral shop so you do see loads of greens and floral related items/books lying around in the cafe. The coffee and latte art was indeed really good, I cannot resist such a nicely made latte art on my coffee top. Nice little cafe perfect for stopping by after your weekend floral purchase.


No one will not recognised this developed chain of coffee shop/cafe that does western dinner too. I tend to avoid well known chains if I have got a choice but we was out of choice at the time for wifi and sockets. Coincidentally, we went to this shop and guessed what I found? My favourite carrot cake(!), something I misses of the London scene. Howdy, not the best carrot cake I have tasted but nevertheless, the coffee in this cafe is definitely better than some chain but not as good as other boutique barista coffee shop though. I still enjoyed my hangouts in this chain though.

cocoexpressoCoco Espresso – Stanley Street

I never get around to visit their Queens Road branch and thank god they’ve opened one on Stanley Street! Yay! Closer to my then office, so I made my way there one lunch to pick up some photos after my South Korea trip. This little gem is definitely worth a visit, the atmosphere is modern and pleasant with some tall tables at the back of the shop. There’s some by wall bar table with stool, not the most comfortable sitting ever but you do get that casual hang out feel from this boutique coffee. Make sure you visit this place early around lunch time to get a seat, otherwise the place get filled up; of course, you can always buy one to go like most…

coffeeacademic (2)Coffee Academics – 35-45 Johnston Rd, Wan Chai

On the top of the list to visit while you are in HK, my first visit was after a lunch run to airport and back into HK island just so that I can doss the remaining hours  of my day in this coffee shop before I trek home back to NT side of Hong Kong. The shop have from by window bar table to high communal wooden table; and to more cosy small tables to choose from. I personally choice would be the high communal table, love how everyone brings their laptop and work on it alone. Do we go coffee shop to find some company to prove you’re not the only solo person? howdy, I would say the service lack a little but their barista skills are top notch, love how rich and full body my flat white was.. can’t stop keep getting the top down view of them. Perfect place to work alone with a nice cup. what about noises? when you focus on doing what you’re doing, you won’t get to hear a thing!

coffteaThe Cofftea Shop – Yue On Building, 78-86 Catchick St, Kennedy Town

Knew about this place so long ago, but its so far beyond Sheung Wan for me to visit. Not until one Sunday that I get dragged my bestie to go Kennedy Town to check out the area when Kenndy Town MTR was finally operating. Cofftea is a tiny coffee shop by the corner of the neighbour, not many sitting space and expected people are mainly buy to go. This place was special in terms of the machine that they use, they were still using hand press coffee machine to extract the coffee out. I got curious and asked why or how… the barista replied and goes its all by experience! booo! Nevertheless, using the hand press and still can get a decent shot is still amazing! Howdy, the latte was great, not overly powering of the coffee taste but a smooth pleasant cup I would say. Worth to pop by if you’re in Kennedy Town!

colourbrowncoffeeColour Brown Cafe – Sai Kung

This was definitely out of expected visit in Sai Kung after my walk around and waiting for dinner hours to arrive. There I ordered my latte with a typical HK Peanut butter toast with condensed milk. Nice heart latte art hey! Sitting outdoor enjoying the breeze was something that you should do on your weekend in HK before the humid summer arrives. The atmosphere plus this glass of decent latte, I would say it was definitely a good ending to my Sunday weekend.

commongroundCommon Ground – G/F, 19 Shing Wong Road, Central

Well well…a little of a hike up heel when you want to visit this little gem on in between Sheung Wan and Central. I love this place, not too much on the foods that they provide (why would my english breakfast all chopping up and served individually?!) but for their coffee I will definitely return for it. The ambiance of this coffee shop is neat and cosy, right next to a stair case but it still offers a quiet environment for you to catch up or do your own things in the shop. They have outside stable and stair seating as well. If you walk up you will have reach Caine Road.. Imagine that steep up heel climb? The furniture, loved wooden stuff! and take a looky to their China used, quality!! The staffs were pretty laid back and appears to be from aboard that’s probably brought the whole western environment back in town. Must visit from me!

cuppingrm-2Cupping room – off Queen’s Road

Another boutique turned into a few shops (I do wonder why can’t people create new names rather than a chain?? I hate chains!!!!) Their brunch choices were amazing, equally their coffees aren’t bad considering their barista was the winner in the Barista Championship. Having said that my personal preference kicks in and found that their coffee is slightly more sour and bitter to my usual cupping. Can’t fault much of this place beside the lamps on top of the reflected table, making it super hard to get nice shot down.

elephantgroundElephant Ground – Gough Street

Lost count of how many times I have been to Elephant Ground at lunch just to get my coffee fix. Elephant Ground operates inside a clothing shop, very tiny corner with some bar sittings and outside bar sittings. One Friday lunch I literately just sat by the outdoor bar bit and enjoy my own quiet Friday to unwind for the weekend. It was very pleasant, overlooking what people do in the park below the coffee shop.Their iced and hot coffee are good, their cups were pretty big and loved the half body of the elephant legs! And what’s getting famous is their ice-cream sandwiches!!!!! I only had it twice so far, wish I get to try more when I was around… must go on weekend!


Lof10-2Lof10 – G/F, 1 U Lam Terrace, Sheung Wan

Saw a lot of IG shots of this coffee shop, they have stools on the shop font and people enjoy outdoor sitting there! Additionally, they have this raw communal table and wooden stools by the entrance makes it extra attractive to enter into this coffee shop (maybe only me!?). I was hungry after leather class and went for a flat white and pineapple roll. Really enjoyed both, love how the presentation of the roll and how it has chopped pineapple inside.  The coffee probably one of the best in town and enjoyed every sip of it. Other bloggers have said the staff stares at them a lot while they were there. I didn’t feel any of that, when you are focus on doing your own things, you will definitely not get affected by other’s sight. Please do go to Lof10 if you are up the hill already, love that quiet atmosphere….

themixingbowlhk-2The Mixing Bowl HK – 5 Shin Hing St, Central, Hong Kong

Another gem but hidden off the side road of Gough Street. Totally quiet and peaceful when you want a quiet environment to work, there’s wifi in the shop… I didn’t know this place until some IGer posted a photo, quickly I popped by at lunch for one. Can’t fault my latte, just felt the services were a bit cold (I think this is a culture of HK…)! as always loved the wooden furniture; its more of a mix before natural and modern interior design. Apparently if you want to seat outside, you will only get a paper cup! Make sure you double check before you place your order. I do recommend this place for weekday quiet time.

IMG_4512-2Brew Bros – 33 Hillier St, Sheung Wan

I bumped into this coffee shop on my way to find Nail Point in central, hidden in a side street off Queen’s Road. Tiny shop with slight dim setting (not my usual preferred style) but the counter and bar area are neat and tidy. Though, once again I have got sucked into this shop due to the wooden sign of the shop front. Placed my order and waited for my coffee by the little side table into the shop. I do occasionally like latte served in glass and on this occasion I cannot fault anymore with the latte art that I get to see, I am a real sucker for pretty latte art! Drank the latte without any sugar, a good sign to tell me that the coffee beans were rich and full body without the bitterness that I dislike on some of the cups that I taste.

Its only recent that they had their 1st year anniversary and hopefully many years to come for Brew Bros. Another worthy place to go for a cup of quality coffee.

And while I visited other places but doesn’t quite have a nice photo to share.. but still worth a visit are;
Rabbithole – Wan Chai
Fuel Coffee – IFC
St Francis Street – Wan Chai
Veygo Coffee – Sheung Wan

top ice-cream spots in Seoul, South Korea


Frankly speaking, I had a vague idea of what desserts I should have when I am in seoul and have had a list of places to visit. You know, you never get to do what you planned to do and you end up exploring different area at different time…

Go with the flow I would say and by this I mean eat as much ice creams or desserts as you see while on holiday. After all, you’re on holiday, right !?!?!

IQ84 churros
Picture above. Churros are not new in London but it appears to be a new comer in different corners of Seoul. I had another churros shop on my list but yet when I walked past this shop while strolling through Cheongdam-dong I couldn’t resist queuing up an order!
I had the original favour with the half churros on milk soft serve. And I have to say although the soft serves aren’t as dense and smooth as I would like it to be but the churros and ice cream are definitely a good combination! Why did London not have this!? Worth the try!

IMG_8837Macaroon Ice cream, Insa-dong main street

Not having enough time to hunt for the macaroon ice cream on list. I randomly walked past this stand on Insa-dong. Although I think it’s a little expensive (maybe I was broke after all the masks I have brought!) but I still went for it. This is new to me, I have never had a macaroon ice cream before beside homemade choux puff with homemade ice cream! I can assure you the texture is different but indeed worth the money you have paid. The only downside of this is probably the ice cream was too hard to bite into in comparison to the crunchy macaroon!
Other must visits includes Antique in Hongdae, Macameron, A la papa Cafe in Ehwa Woman Uni…

IMG_8806Remicone – 547-12, Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul

I have made sure I get time to visit this place! I was surprised to see how small this ice cream parlour was… Nevertheless, I went straight in when the outside temperature was 10C, I was freezing but going in to have an ice cream? (I wonder why I did that too!?)
There were loads on their menu but I choose their infamous Thunder Bomb soft serve, It’s a mint favored candy floss served on top of the soft serve. Impressive looking huh?? It served with a tray so you can pretty much take the thunder down and have a bite with the ice cream. Speechless!!!

IMG_8379Softree, Itaewon

I was so full when I walked past this softtree, there’s a branch in HK but have a mixed view and pretty expensive for its cone! Knowing I don’t have much hours left in Seoul, I couldn’t help but push that door in… Viola, ordered a soya powder covered milk cone. The softserve was soft and milky however, as much as the soya powder gave it a little special. I find it a little hard to eat as I kind of choking from those powder… I shall return for its original again. Worth a visit!


The queue was massive to the point that his neighbour stalls got annoyed and kept on telling us not to stand in front of his stall. What does Aboong sells? They sell this Bungeoppang, a fish-shaped bread filled with red bean paste topped with a soft serve and chocolate covered stick. For approx. 3500 won you get to eat this, HK sold it at a double price..  what!? Of course, I would rather eat it in Seoul.

IMG_7989Sobok – 58, Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Beside Coffee Smith, I went Sobok hunting in Hongdae area. This parlour sells healthy desserts that made by rice and gains. The ice cream was refreshing and you can taste a sense of rice on this smooth and detail decorated cup of dessert. Its so pretty, look at the flower details! The parlour was really easy to find but a little far off from Hongdae Station, I had a guy trying to talk to me in Korean but sadly to say I don’t know how to speak a word of Korean. And what’s the worse situation when at parlour? Its you dropped your dessert as you arrived at the table….I saw this happened to the girl next door, so be careful when holding this as the cup is light but the body of the dessert is heavy…

Enjoy the lovely summer and ice cream while in Seoul. I wish I am going back anytime soon!!!!!!

favourite lunch spots in Central, Hong Kong


Having been working in Hong Kong for 6 months, I thought I would share my top lunch spots around Central, Hong Kong. The infamous two foodie streets of Wellington street and Stanley street are full of top spots for breakfast to dinner; the nearby Gough Street and Gage Street makes it such a good place to explore around for your quality and affordable lunches!

Lok Heung Yuen Coffee Shop 樂香園咖啡室 蛇竇 – 中環機利文新街8-12號地下
The photo above is the infamous place for rice with scrambled eggs and cha siu. To make it even better, you order it with an iced HK milk tea. Everyday this place gets a super long queue at lunch, ideally is the place to go for one or two as this get you into the restaurant faster. Take out is not the same as eating it straight after its cooked. Not to forget to grab the Chinese version of chicken pie which is so gorgeously baked!

IMG_5593Law Fu Kee 羅富記粥麵專家 – 中環德輔道中140號地下

The famous Law Fu Kee is the place to be for the best affordable smooth congee. A classic match is to have a bowl of plain congee with some fried soy chow mien, yet I went for their beef congee with a small plate of deep fried fish balls … what a lunch!

IMG_3743Gyotaku 魚作 – 12/F, 11 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong

I never get to understand why restaurants are opened in some hidden building blocks, how could you get customers if no one sees this place!? Gyotaku is the same, I found this place on Openrice after loads of positive review of their foods quality. I went a good few times and their set menu for lunch is pretty reasonable with a main and dessert. Tea is in house. The sashimi don is my top choice but their beef stew rice is equally popular!

IMG_3110Kau Kee Beef brisket 九記牛腩 – 中環歌賦街21號地舖

How can I not mention this famous beef brisket place, said by this name, this is the famous place with a long queue waiting for its famous beef brisket noodle. I have tried both plain beef brisket and curry beef tendon brisket with noodles or flat noodle. My perfect bowl is curry beef tendon brisket with flat noodle. 咖喱牛筋腩粗麺. Done!  Don’t be surprised when you give your order and the waitresses have no responses, they are taking your order without any expressions… ah! and when you ordered an ice milk tea, they will call out their shorthand 涼茶 (Bitter tea!) and this is what makes Hong Kong culture totally different to anywhere else!

IMG_2582麥奀雲吞麵世家 – 77 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong

My favourite place for my bowl of wonton noodle… you know the traditional way to serve a bowl of wonton noodle is where the noodle goes above the wonton. When you see your bowl arrived but without any wontons, don’t panic just dig under your noodles. I had many return visits at this Wellington branch and later on my favourite combo becomes wonton noodle with beef brisket plus a plate of Chinese broccoli, less oyster sauce. Viola!

IMG_6351新景記粉麵 Sun King Kee Noodle – 已結業

Its such a dilemma, good to see Sheung wan redeveloping but yet its so sad to see good old traditional shops and restaurants closed down. Sun King Kee is a prime example that got closed down by this cycle… It still deserves a mention! I went to visit a lot at its final month of business. The good old place for a hot bowl of fishballs ho fun with a bottle of vita milk…  Hope it will reopen one day!

IMG_2602Lan Fang Yuen 蘭芳園 – 中環結志街2號

A lot of people says this place went downhill as it got famous, I think it can be a hit and miss on the days you dine in this place. The must have is their famous milk tea, I often orders mine in iced milk tea, less sugar and ice! And the next thing is their famous dried instant noodle served with pan fried chicken thigh/pork chop…. there are loads of other choices on their menu and I have had the best deep fried french kaya toast to date in this place!!! Oh and not to forget their pork chop bun are pretty famous too!

IMG_5670威記粥店 Wai Kee Congee Shop – 中環士丹利街82號

You have the luxury choice to visit Tasty in IFC for expensive congee lunch, but if you want affordable and reasonable congee and deep fried dough then this Wai Kee would not disappoint you. A bowl of plain congee and deep fried dough in rice roll comes less than 30 dollars. Additionally speaking, the only place that I managed to get 牛俐酥 (a sweet fried dough) in around Central which are made freshly everyday at their shop.

IMG_5606麵鮮醬油房 周月 Shugetsu – 中環歌賦街5號地舖

This place is located in Gough Street, the hipster street in Sheung wan. A small restaurant and again a long queue at lunch. By the window there is a noodle machine to demonstrate their freshly made ramen noodle. I decided to go for the famous Abura ramen instead of their signature plus soy sauce egg; you mix a raw egg in with the meat, bean spouts and the sauce at the base of the bowl. Some people might dislike the al dente texture of the ramen but who likes soft noodles?? A must on Gough Street.

IMG_5307橋香園雲南桂林過橋米線 – 中環威靈頓街91號地下

You might have walked past this place so many times and see this place. Its next to a shop that sells DIY items.This place is famous for rice noodles with mixture of toppings of your choice at its reasonable price; you also get to choose your spicy level for your soup base. I went for enoki mushroom, beef and bean curds, my favourite! Just a word of warning, this place is quite small so be prepared to share table with others during lunch hours after queuing.

玉葉甜品 Leaf Dessert  – 中環蘇豪伊利近街2號 2 Elgin Street, Soho, Central

This place located in the weirdest place in Soho area, at the end a steep road! Even the table and stool are sitting at an angle so when your bowl of noodle arrives, make sure its not rolling down the table. It has pretty much of basic choices of noodles with beef, wonton, trotters etc and what they are also famous for is their bowl of sweet soup and rice ball dumplings with sugar nuts mixture. The location wins more than the food, personally I think this is a good place to absorb the local culture.

IMG_2830勝香園  Sing Heung Yuen – 中環美輪街2號排檔

If you had the Kau Kee beef brisket then you will have seen this place too, its diagonally opposite it. The famous place for tomato base noodle, personal top pick is beef macaroni in tomato base with an added egg then order a toasted bun with condensed milk on side…the perfect lunch! The UPS of this place of this place is there’s no queue, how do you fight for a space? Stand next to the potential leavers and sit on their seats as soon as they have left…. and yell at the ladies for your order. The local HK culture is amazingly unique!

The list above may not hold all the top quality spots around Central Hong Kong but consist of places that I find special and worth giving a try if you’re in town. Love every single bits of Hong Kong eat out scene!