NEROTECA is not the one that could fit into my search in a perfect cafe. But this is the 2nd Italian that came into my cafe blog after il Pacioccone di Chianti in Kawasaki. Probably it was the feeling we get from Italian that resembles something we seek in cafe of warmth. I am not sure we will visit the place as frequent as we did in Kawasaki, but my wife did say that she would like to come again.

We ordered a antipasto which was a plate of different arrangement of fresh vegetables. It was just simple, nice and comfortable. The seafood pasta was also well served, just like the white chocolate mousse.

To be fair, I was not surprised by the authenticity of the food. I think we seek more in terms of great & fine food. But we spent four hours in this nice little Italian place in the heart of the hectic city. That, is something that should be shared:)

And one more thing to share with all - my wife wondered why is the surroundings seem so different and nearly ugly comparing to the nice building where NEROTECA sited. I understand her concern. And I also really sad for the city planning if there is really any. But maybe the city is just too young. We have more to learn and more to strive for. And I sincerely hope the nice dining experience could help us to build a better culture.


sculpting in time | 雕刻时光

Expecting, to see something special here in Beijing - we went to one of the sculpting in time cafe near the Drum Tower. I was interested in this cafe because of the owner's story of sculpting the cafe culture there. And I knew I had made the right choice once stepping inside the small entrance lounge.

We took the seat on the 2nd floor, on the wooden deck under the old tree. It was a nice afternoon, and it was fresh. Not only did the cafe tell me something new about the city, it tell me more about myself, about what I am seeking.


Booday | 蘑菇

Booday, the last selection of cafe to be visited during our trip to Taipei. Located nearby MRT Zhongshan, the cafe is on the 2nd floor of a nice looking shop house. There is a concept store featuring goods designed by Booday on the 1st floor, where you will be welcomed by the well designed holistic concept. And the 3rd floor seems like their design studio.

It was a hot day, but it was cozy inside the store & the cafe (a bit cold after we sat there for 30 minutes though). I found a lots of similarities in details to those unique cafe in Japan but Taiwanese has their way to create a fusion, which I felt their own culture embedded in the environment. Again, just like the tote cafe we visited days before, I saw the warmth of a true cafe lifestyle. The main actor is not the cafe, but the people within.

We had a cheese cake, a fresh orange juice and a plate of handmade bread with mushroom. It was just simple & nice, like what a cafe should be.

Leaving Booday means no more cafe in Taiwan, at least for another few years to come. Anyway we were very lucky to have all the satisfying visits within one week. Money spent (because it is more expensive comparing to the local specialties), but it was worth it to learn about the cafe culture. Hopefully, all these cafe will still be there the next time we visit:)


Somebody Cafe〡貳拾陸巷

Refreshing. Calm. Joy. Creative. Visionary. Dream...
Each every little detail in this room helps to create the strong character. It is not just somebody's cafe, it is really about something. It brings out the artist in me.

Walking along the streets in Ximending yesterday, we realized that the area was occupied by a lot of Japanese shops. Besides the Red Theater where there were special indoor workshops, we did not feel like walking anymore. That was when I remembered the reason we were there was because of Somebody Cafe. So straight we went into the alley looking for a cafe which I knew nothing about, just the feeling that it must be a very special one. And I was right.

Not only a drink, but a dream inside. This cafe is doing a lot for the people. This cafe has what it takes to be a Taiwanese cafe. There were a lot of aspects which were taken from western cafe, but you will also find the essence of local artistic approaches. It was nice.


九份阿妹茶酒館 (A-mei Teahouse)

If the definition takes into considerations such as time consumed and a few cultural differences, this is no doubt an eastern cafe which will soon mushrooms throughout the world with the rise of China. Anyway, I am glad that Jiufen has a place like such where we can spent hours in the breeze of time.

Usually I will go for other choices in term of a nice cafe, but the magical charms of the old street made the decision for me. Accompanied by a pot of nice Chinese tea and a plate of local delicacies, we talked for hours.

Time stopped, like the old street of Jiufen.

Windsor Coffee Shop 涵館咖啡

Totally an unexpected encounter, but definitely a nice one. We were invited for a cup of coffee, at least that what was we heard at first. It was after we went to our room of Winsor B&B, which was literally a house full of nice surprises. It was located in the residential area, just a few walk away from the coffee shop.

At the coffee shop, we were each served a cup of coffee and a pudding with sweet red beans on top, and a waffle too. It was all free as a service for house guests. It was very nice. Nothing very special but it was lovely like an oasis in the dessert (although we have not really been to a real one).

Warmly touched in Jiufen, Taiwan. Afternoon, Sept 22.


tote cafe 步調

It was always about life & culture, and still it is. Tote cafe has a very nice ambient, with a touch of living. Customer seems more like a resident who understand the culture, and they live here. It is not merely about the food or price, like what a usual Malaysian will take in all the considerations. It is no more "jiak pa buei" (meaning, have you eaten?). It is more about the story to be told, a story about life.

The brownies came with the herb tea ordered by my wife was a good one. My wife was surfing while I just kept on enjoying the food, drinks, and the compact but comfortable surroundings. There was nothing else but this simple happiness.

Chocoholic 巧克哈客

It was not an easy choice especially when you are visiting a gourmet town with all the local specialties that should not be missed. But I was firmed on this and we finally took the venture to our first cafe experience in Taipei, located at YongKang street.

The surroundings were hard to imagine after we stepped into the small room, which was totally different and unexpected. It was a lovely place with all the detailed chocoholical approach. It is no doubt a nice creation and an add-on to the gourmet or architecture map.

Being overloaded with food from YongKang street, we just ordered the famous classic hot chocolate and a iced natural chocolate. We thought we can make a comparison but it turned out that we made a mistake. The hot chocolate was nice, but after we paid the bill and leaving the cafe, my wife saw the nice chocolate dessert in the showcase, when she suddenly realized that that was what we should have ordered even though we was full. Too bad, too late. The lesson was learned - to plan in advance the order of gourmet visits.


Jonker Dessert 88

Although this is not the kind of cafe that I am seeking, Jonker88 has the DNA of the Malaysian culture. The cendol is good. The mee is good. The place has the historical essence and it sure will trigger the nostalgic feelings buried deep inside the heart of Malaysian, while also serves as a museum for foreign visitors (as claimed on the official HP). However it lacks the quality of comfortableness, unless you believe that it is the uniqueness and we should not change it.

Anyway, it worths the visit:)



Being disappointed by most of the cafe experiences I had around KL/PJ, the search for quality cafe went beyond to the historical town of the straights - Malacca. Before we started the journey, actually an idea came to me that good cafe could possibly resides in remote areas where the owners are more concern about the overall quality than just money, money, money like those in cities. But now I think I was too naive about it because you just cannot trust a Malaysian too easily. Too bad. Too shame.

Anyway, the visit to Nadeje was a good one. There are a lot of blogging about it but to be fair and honest, I think they do a great job in promoting cafe gastronomy in Malaysia. Nothing much, we tried only their famous Mille crepe. Although Mille crepe is originally from French, it seems that the introduction of it by the Japanese owner of Nadeje created a perception that it is from Japan. Maybe it was me who is wrong about the story, but I sincerely hope proper education comes with the food itself. I understand that sometimes we just need to enjoy it without knowing much, but I believe it is education that we Malaysian need the most now.

Other than the nice Mille crepe, you can find they serve usual menu like the usual Japanese restaurant in Malaysia. There is also nothing special about the beverages. The ice coffee I had is simply coffee with ice. The taste was bad comparing to what the experience offered by the crepe.

As for the holistic approach that I seek from cafe, I think it is just an ok for cafe like Nadeje. The reason that I am so harsh about it is because I believe the owner has the ability to provide a better experience. And I hope they will do better and better in the coming future.