One of the Best FOOD Trips Ever in FUKUOKA

I’ve actually been to Fukuoka before a couple years ago, but during that time we joined a tour group that brought us to these horrendous restaurants.  I didn’t write much, but there are a couple of photos you can see at Fukuoka, Aso, and Sea Hell in Beppu.  During that trip, we focused more on the southern parts of Fukuoka.  As such, this time we focused more on the northern side of Fukuoka.

Anyway, the tour guide trip we were on brought us to these ridiculously atrocious restaurants.  In fact, some of these restaurants were overcharging, with the help of the tour guide, who managed to convince us to HAVE to try this Kinki fish for USD 250 that turned out to be undercooked, with lots of bones, and not delicious at all.

That trip, I had an incredibly poor impression of the food in Fukuoka.

THIS time, since we planned and managed the trip ourselves, the food experience was the opposite of what I had compared to my first trip in Fukuoka, in that we had extraordinary food experiences, from sitting near the seaside BBQing raw oysters to eating traditional and sumptuous traditional Japanese traditional cuisine.  I dare say this was one of THE best food experiences I’ve ever had, and I’m about to share with you some of the restaurants we went to.  What a difference planning a trip by yourselves and joining a tour group makes.  I’ve always been AGAINST joining tour groups, as you can manage your time however you want if you’re going by yourself and you can plan the restaurants YOU want to go to rather than being brought to tourist restaurants where the tour agency probably gets a cut or commission from bringing us there.

For things to do, you can read about my blog post Shrines and Limestones, Fukuoka and North.

Continue reading One of the Best FOOD Trips Ever in FUKUOKA

Food in Madrid, with the Oldest Restaurant in the World

In my previous post on Too Much Art and Walking in Madrid, I mentioned that since I felt that post was running a bit too long from my over display of photographs from museum art, I decided to separate the food portion of Madrid into a separate post, so here it is.  You can expect a shorter post.

But yes, just like most food in Spain, you can expect food in Madrid to be “saltier” than what you may be accustomed to.  For your information, just because a restaurant is packed may not necessarily mean it is fantastic – it may just mean that the décor and theme of the restaurant was intriguing, but you’ll see what I mean in a bit.

I also separately covered DiverXo in xoxo DiverXO – A Restaurant Review, for those looking to find out more about the three star Michelin restaurant. Continue reading Food in Madrid, with the Oldest Restaurant in the World

Too Much Art and Walking in Madrid

As the title already has implied, this post will contain a lot of pictures from some of the most prominent museums in Madrid, including the Prado Museum, Reina Sofia, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and National Archaeological Museum.

Despite having visited Barcelona two times already prior to this trip, I haven’t had the chance to visit Madrid until this recent trip.  After visiting Madrid, you could definitely feel a certain difference between Barcelona and Madrid.

For one, there is way more people in Madrid.  The metros and subways are crammed.  Then there’s the feeling that it feels more “Spanish” in Madrid, which I don’t know how to explain but it just is, possibly with the colors and the whole vibe.  Then, perhaps being influenced by the crammed situation in the metro, there appears to be more people who are more poor as compared to Barcelona.  Anyway, Madrid feels more busy.

While I will be posting about the different restaurants I had in Madrid, I specifically created a separate post for the three star Michelin restaurant we had on the first day, DiverXo.  (Also, I decided to make a separate blog post about Madrid’s food considering the amount of text and images in this blog already, which you can find in Food in Madrid, with the Oldest Restaurant in the World)
Continue reading Too Much Art and Walking in Madrid

Lisbon, That Mysterious Girl in Class

At first I hated her.  Her dimples were lopsided on one cheek to another, she had a capricious mood where she would shed quiet tears from time to time and then be happy again, she was an inch taller than me, and her eyes were grey.

But the more you become familiar with her, the more you start to find her romantic and magical.

Her imperfections make her seem raw and wanting to be loved, a vulnerability.  She’s mysterious, and wants somebody to explore her, somebody who loves her more and more because that somebody finds her edges and imperfections so… perfect.

And the more you spend time with her, the more she opens up to you.  She uncovers what you always loved – food, restaurants, energy, atmosphere, gorgeous skies, nightlife, districts, exotic languages, and her elegant body.

Her name was Lisbon, or Lisboa for what her friends called her.  She offered everything, from lust to everlasting. Continue reading Lisbon, That Mysterious Girl in Class

An “Importoant” Place called Porto

My final stop for my recent Europe trip was in Porto, a somewhat heavenly location in Portugal.  Located about a little more than 3 hours north of Lisbon, Porto was evidently colder and coincidentally greyer during the weekend I was there.  That said, one of my favorite areas of the entire trip was Bairro da Ribeiro and Cais da Ribeira.  Bars and restaurants line adjacent with one another, all of them overlooking the magnificent Douro River that looks as if it’s been sleeping for a thousand years.  I remember just sitting at Cafe do Cais and lazily observing the sunset, and thinking to myself what a surreal and delightful place this Porto was.

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The Matadors in Seville

When you think of the culture of Spain, one might imagine passion, royalty, and excitement.  Seville embodies these traits perfectly, and its passionate heat was felt throughout my time there; it was hot enough to wear t-shirts during the day whereas in Barcelona it was already cold.

Seville

Seville is notable for its bullfighting events and its flamenco dancing.  I was unable to witness either of them, although I did watch some flamenco dancing that was on the streets.

In a way, Seville reminded me of Nice (you can read my blog about Cote d’Azur here), where everything was spacious, a tram ran through the city center, it was the whole vibe and atmosphere that was very similar… I guess both cities being part of the Southern part of their respective countries lends itself to create such an atmosphere.

Continue reading The Matadors in Seville

xoxo DiverXO – A Restaurant Review

“Welcome to DiverXO!  Be prepared to be delighted, entertained, and inspired by what our chefs have prepared for you today!”

I could imagine the pigs saying something along those lines when entering the restaurant.

DiverXOYes, these flying pigs right here

The fine dining experience doesn’t even begin at the restaurant… it actually begins at their website.  I mean take a look if you haven’t already… https://diverxo.com/ … it’s devilish, it’s daring, and they got a video of bizarre actors being uncontrollably excited by the food, yes that’s why I had to come to this restaurant.

Apparently the founder says that the restaurant doesn’t even make money before, in fact it was losing a bit of money.  I think that’s changed now, because the prices are standardised at 250€, whereas before there was an option for much less.  Mind you, for pairing option, that’s an additional 150€… and they still can’t break even?  I’m sure they do.  But they do put a lot into the aesthetics and high quality ingredients.

I have to say, the restaurant décor is truly inspiring.  The details are impeccable, and everything has direction and momentum, it’s like there’s action going on everywhere, even when there really is no action.  Like this photo below… Continue reading xoxo DiverXO – A Restaurant Review

A Sleepy Little Town Called Faro, Sorry!

Close your eyes and imagine what a sleepy little town would look like.  Give yourself ten seconds, then open your eyes.

OK, got a clear picture in your head?  I’m sure when you were thinking about the sleepy little town, it’d probably looked something like this:

Faro Marina

A gradient sky, a gentle and calm atmosphere, where people are a few and the ripples glide through the water like a kid riding on a slide.

This is Faro, the capital of Southern Portugal’s Algarve region.  I first heard about this place when an ex colleague of mine had parents who lived there, and that he would occasionally go back to visit his family.  I had never been to Portugal before, but Faro’s proximity to the seaside captivated me.  For those who have been following my blog posts, you know that I have an affinity towards coastal cities. Continue reading A Sleepy Little Town Called Faro, Sorry!

A Small Town Called Girona

We have had more than enough time to cover all the major tourist spots in Barcelona, so we decided why not visit some of the nearby towns in Barcelona to get a sense of a different experience?

The first and most obvious choice was Valencia, but not only have I already been there, we only had one day and we had to be back in Barcelona by the evening, so it was too far for a one day trip.  There’s of course Figueres, where it is most famous for having Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, a large museum designed by Dalí himself, but we wanted to visit a town rather than just a museum; we’ve seen way too many museums by this time (even though I personally really like Dalí a lot).  There was also Sitges, famous for its seafront promenade, but again I have already been there and there wasn’t much to do anyway besides enjoying the bright happy promenade.

So, we settled on Girona.  It was a small town located a little more than 30 minutes of train ride from Barcelona Sants, plus it’s most notable for being one of the filming locations for the hit TV show Game Of Thrones, where they filmed Braavos, Oldtown, and King’s Landing for Season 6 (source: barcelonayellow.com) Continue reading A Small Town Called Girona

Web Summit 2019 – To Go Or Not To Go

With the appellation as “The Largest Tech Conference in the World,” it was no surprise that Web Summit would be an eye opener for me.  This post will talk about the overview of the event, my opinion of whether you should go and whether it’s worth going, and other misc. details such as transportation, food, and its night events.

In 2019, Web Summit was attended by slightly over 70,000 attendees.  The event, as in recent years, has been held in Feira Internacional de Lisboa, a massive exhibition with five gigantic halls, and alongside it is the grand Altice Arena, hosting some of the most prominent speakers over the 4 day event.  Some of the more attention grabbing names this year included Edward Snowden (who didn’t appear in person for obvious reasons), Jaden Smith, Ronaldinho, Tony Blair, Guo Ping – rotating chairman of Huawei, Brad Smith – president of Microsoft, and a whole lot more. Continue reading Web Summit 2019 – To Go Or Not To Go