Sunday, 30 April 2017

Caffe Bene @ City Square Johor Bahru

People around me understood so well my obsession toward dessert. Or maybe just my crave for food in general. I developed this 'lusty' habit since I was in primary school. At that time, I was attending Chinese school. As a Muslim student being in Chinese surrounding, I was pretty much left with very few option when it came to breakfast or lunch. The only menu in the canteen that I could choose, was either desserts or bakeries. It was much sadder than it sounds like. Every day when the recess bell rang, I would make my way to the dessert corner and forced myself to buy any bread or cake, which seemed to be less bland, and pushed it down my throat. To make it easier, I would train myself to like it.

Everything is in your head, they said. And just like that, I spent most of my days up until final year of high school, eating nothing much more than desserts or breads. But hey, at least I can tell people that I've been loving desserts for more than 10 years now.

Now let's talk about the main point, shall we? Caffe Bene, a korean-style dessert corner which specialized in serving icy Bingsu and hot coffees. 

I don't really go for the mainstream, but I believe the influence of Korean culture has been around for over half a decade now. So if you're really into this K-culture and stuff, you might actually fall for this place. Just any other Japanese restaurant, Cafe Bene greets its customer with a friendly line of  'annyeonghaseyo', and bid its 'kamsahamnida' when you leave.

Cafe Bene normally comes out with a theme of promotion of each season (perhaps something Malaysians aren't so familiar). A flavor or a new creation would be displayed and sold only for that particular quarter of the year. So for summer 2017, they came out if a combination flavor of mango and Nutella. They call it 'Mangotella'.

That huge cup I'm holding on the left photo is called 'Mangotella Bingsu'. While the one that my twin's holding is called 'Mango Yogurt Bingsu'. Both of them are served pretty similar, with chunky mango cubes in double-sized cup. The only difference is they are filled with Nutella gelato and yogurt gelato respectively. Each of them cost RM 29.90.

I know some of my reader know that I'm a sucker for cheap food, but trust me, with that size of a cup, it is enough to feed 3 people. You might even have some left-over.

Eating ice cup alone can't possibly be enough, right? So, me and my cousin had these in additional - Mangotella Waffle Mangotella Smoothie.

Hot Belgium waffle, also served chunky mango cubes and Nutella drizzle, and finally topped with yogurt gelato. Plainly rich in sweetness. As for the smoothie, it's a simple drink with the combination of mango and nutella. Both of them cost RM 17.90 and RM 11.90 respectively.

Ow, before I forget, we also ordered this bread. I don't know why, but I was so in love with the taste of it. Honey bread, served with garlic cheese sauce. We had it for appetizer, but it was quite big too., enough for the two of us.

Next time when you're in City Square JB, or maybe on the way to go to Singapore, stop by and relax a little. The surrounding was pretty nice. Here are some link for you guys.

Name : Caffe Bene
Address : 3rd floor of City Square, Johor Bahru

Saturday, 22 April 2017

What Do I Think of Tianjin, China

I've been to a handful of cities in China. Some of them I've managed to record down into either my blog or personal journal. While some, they've pretty much gone to waste. Shouldn't have done that.

Just few weeks ago, I had the chance to squeeze in a trip to Beijing and Tianjin. Wasn't that long, only for a week. I went with my mom. And if you had been following my old posts, probably around two years ago, you would notice I had taken her to Guangzhou. It was a fun trip, just being alone with her made everything memorable. But hey, let's save that story for some other time. This post is all about how I remember Tianjin.

Tianjin is the fourth largest city in China, after Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. It shares the same border with Beijing at the southwest direction. This city is well-known for its European-style buildings and mansions. And if you searched the city in Google or Wikipedia, you would realize the articles mostly shared about the ancient war, and how Tianjin had become the gateway for foreign navies into the land. Hence, the culture remains till these days.

During my study in Beijing, about 5 years ago, I had plenty of friends who'd traveled to this city and came back on the next day. At that time I wasn't so keen in exploring other places, Beijing itself had made me overwhelmed. Also, financial issue was part of the reason. The feedback I got from them were either relaxing, or beautiful. Of course, I didn't understand what they meant by that. So, since I've established my own income now, I figured probably it was time to find out more about it.

If I were asked to describe Tianjin in few words, I would choose these - Calm, smooth, inexpensive, friendly, clean, vacant.


This city, was somehow, noiseless. Everywhere we went, there wasn't any car honking, people shouting, security audio playing aloud, sellers promoting. Walking down the street had literally felt like we were in another country. And it got even better near Hai River.


I wasn't really sure if it was because of the season or weather, but the traffic was insanely smooth. We stayed near the outskirt, but getting there from city center by taxi took us less than 15 minutes.


Part of common sense when traveling to large city - everything you see is expected to be pricey. But you now what, we got ourselves a satisfyingly large hotel room that cost only RMB 250 a night. And the meals, they cost us roughly RMB 30 for each person, even in the city center.


Both of us first landed in Beijing before traveling to Tianjin by train. Hence, the difference we had seen on the warmth of locals between these cities was huge. Every taxi or restaurant we got into, was greeted by huge smiles and overly hearty chats.


The cleaners here had done their jobs right. No littering on the sidewalks and perfectly clean river. Which might be caused by my last point.


Where are the people? Why did I constantly bump into elderly or older adults? Where were the kids? Or teenagers? Night life here was a complete turn off.

Don't get me wrong, though. I had a peaceful stay, but three days was too long. My suggestion for you guys out there, cut it to one day, or two utmost.

Enjoy your trip , kids!