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Welcome to TeaThymes! is a food and travel blog based in Sydney, Australia. From here you'll get to see some restaurant reviews, food and travel product reviews and the occasional recipes -all matters of food and drink!


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Maidreamin - Maid Cafe Japan


Another year, another holiday yet again to Japan.

This time it was for two weeks, travelling around Tokyo,  Kyoto and Osaka to try and explore new places to sight see.

One of my to-do's this time was to go into a Maid Cafe and see what the fuss is all about. We went to one of the stores in Akiba (Akihabara) one night during our walks around the famed Electric Town full of anime/manga city and used the lift to go up into the Maid world of 'Maidreamin' which is a common franchise of the Maid Cafes in Japan as well as being tourist-friendly. The idea of it all is to be entertained by these girls dressed in maid cosplay outfits as they do little games with you and treat you differently than what a usual cafe server would.

The girls know only a bit of English but get by to explain a few chants and phrases when we order from our Maid 'Minami', she encourages us to say "Moe, Moe, Cute!" once we have made our decision to go for a couple of cold drinks and ice-cream parfaits with our furry animal headbands that come with the package. So, here we are, a cute Aussie couple wearing bunny and bear ears whilst sipping iced lemon teas and watching the other maids float around to entertain the tourists that were amongst us.

A group of european tourists were celebrating a mothers' birthday and the maid 'Amomo' made sure that it was extra special with all the Maids gathered round for a Happy Birthday song and personally drawn some cat faces onto their egg omelette with tomato sauce at the table. Little quirks like that, along with a small disco ball and down lights for a stage "performance show" is also on offer if you buy the right package deal! The two parfaits did take a while - it could easily at least have been 45 minutes - for it to arrive. When they did, it was greeted with another saying of "Nyan, Nyan!" from our maids and that we should put our hands together to make heart shapes before eating. Memories definitely were made with the experience and at the end we got to have two photos with our maids that looked after us very well. I know Minami did her best, along with the other girls who greeted us the same during our visit.

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Haven Coffee, NSW

Haven Joyous Coffeeis a hips cafe which specialises in the egglette/hong kong style egg waffles and specialty tea and coffees within the city urban space on Chalmers Street close to Central Station and Surry Hills.

It's a great weekender visit to just take a perch outside on the benches to enjoy the sunny days or step inside to hear the piano being played by passer-bys that are dabbling on the keys, which a sign is up to say that if you play a song for all to hear you'll get a free coffee in return. I was happy to hear some really delightful songs during our brunch - Phantom of the Opera, Disney.. this girl could play and sing harmoniously and did a medley of the two before winning a hot cuppa.

The egg waffles are of limited supply and come with exotic asian flavours and cheeky namesakes ie: "Sexy Me" - of the few listed the kim-cheese being an unusual mixture of savoury and sweet using parmesan cheese and kimchi along with vanilla ice cream.

Coffees are served with neat presentation of flat wooden boards and a ride of currants to go with their specialty coffees. Our friend orders the mocha, and it is covered with a netted pattern of dripping chocolate all over.

Haven Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Max Joy Co., NSW


Last night we went to Eastwood for a Korean dinner at the Jonga-Jip Korean BBQ Restaurant which I haven't been for many years to relive the delicious K-BBQ memories. After that, we then took the time to walk around Eastwood in search for a "something sweet" for the night.

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Terminal 21, Bangkok

@ Terminal 21 Shopping Mall
Bangkok Thailand

Last month my recent travels have taken me to the lovely Bangkok, Thailand city. For a short while, we stayed for a week around the Sukhumvit Road which is a lively long boulevard of street life 24-7. In the day time, it is all about being a business city hub with plenty of road traffic and train lines to commute to and in the evening comes out the thai night life of good food, great shops and a bustling city vibe.

We would visit Terminal 21 quite often because it was attached to the train lines MRT Sukhumvit and the BTS line Asok so both ways are easy to travel to and fro to the large complex. The shopping mall is huge - with nine floors and a cinema up top, the place also has a theme of looking like an airport with each floor decked out as if you are travelling to a new destination every time you step up or down an escalator. 

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Koi Dessert Bar, NSW


Koi's Dessert Bar is owned by ex-Masterchef contestant Reynold Poernomo which many may be familiar with the name and the famed television show. The place is hidden a little bit, away from the busy bustle of the Railway Square/George Street bustle of the city and a quiet walk along Kensington Street which is slowly becoming a good looking hotspot for food and drink - keep your eyes out for neighbours Spice Alley and Kensington Social whilst you stroll to Koi. 

Here's a short and sweet review of the first time we visited recently.

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Supercows Ice Cream, NSW

Lately I have been fascinated with the thai style ice cream roll. Have you ever seen the circulated social media videos where its from overseas and you get to watch people create unusual, amazing hawker treats that are hard to go by? I recall seeing a turkish guy pulling caramel expertly in one and also there was another of a guy injecting coloured gelatine into clear jelly to create a amazing floral 3-D effect. 

Then one day I watched the thai street vender create the cold stone thai ice cream in a media video. It was just a couple of minutes of a zoomed in shoot of a cold plate with liquid and sweet ingredients that was being quickly smooched altogether and frozen in the process to create a personalised iced cream mixture that was then 'rolled up' when it hardened and served in a cup. I tell you, I was so fascinated and went for DAYS thinking about it and trying to find out whether this trend has hit Sydney yet. 

Eventually in Thai Town along Pitt Street I did find one! How excited I was. It's just a small vendor that is outside the 3 Mama's Thai Restaurant on Pitt that serves street side the quick and novelty thai style cold stone ice cream rolls under the name of Supercows Ice Cream.

With cups at $7-8 you get to either choose to pick your own flavour and ingredient toppings or just simply make it easy and go for a pre-flavoured ice cream from their short menu of sweets. It had a few interesting flavours, including the Dragon which its main ingredient was the exotic dragon fruit.

We went for a big Volcano which was consisting of chocolate flavouring,  cream and milk, banana and milo with a dollop of cream on top to finish for that "Volcano" namesake.

The ingredients are arranged and sorted into a cup then transferred onto a cold, cold stone-plate. It's a rather flat and icy plate that is at a constant refrigeration and used with utensils that chop, smash and scrape the liquid mixture onto the plate thinly and wait for the seconds to past when the mix is hardened enough for the vendor to begin rolling it!

Then you are given these bunch of iced rolls in a big cup to go ahead of nibble on. I was excited again to try it out. It was nice at first, really icy cool and quite creamy. I was worried at first that maybe the consistency could have gotten too icy or watery but it seemed fine. The Volcano was quite a chocolatey-banana flavoured mix and went by very quickly with two spoons shared between me and Ms. Helpful.

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Trip: Tokyo [Part II] 2015

Part II

From the bustling Tokyo city and then to a smaller city town, we took the local subway route to one of the popular streets that have multiple small restaurants that offer monja on their menus.

"Monjayaki" or loosely termed as "Monja" is similar to Okonomiyaki where it is a Japanese savoury pancake with more of a dough-like consistency that all gets cooked in front of you on the hot plate.

We watch as the benito flakes do a little ditty dance whilst the ingredients cook over the plate. Eventually the pancake-like mixture thickens up and you grip the utensils given to give them abit of a stir up.

Back over in Shibuya-ward, we ventured down the street from our Godzilla hotel to find some sushi and sashimi. We walked into a sushi place that seemed decent. The fish was fresh, and the staff were friendly and spoke a little bit of broken English and it seemed like a mixture of Japanese and foreigners would pass-by into that shop. We ordered a tempura set and some sashimi to nibble on before we were going to the Japanese cat cafe Calico!

Being crazy cat fans and sorely missing our feline who sadly passed away a year ago, we were in need of some cuddles from Japanese cool cats. The cat cafe is hidden away on a fifth floor from a main street going through a building that has different businesses on each floor. The cat cafe staff advised us that some cats flagged with a red handkerchief couldn't be hand fed treats due to dietary requirements. But otherwise, we can pat and treat them to purchasable snacks whilst interacting with them.

Most of them are friendly and timid and whenever you kneel down to pay attention to them it is often greeted with a soft meow or purr. There was plenty of cats to mix with - fluffy tailed, short haired and fat and small!

There is also this lovely (and so very busy!) cross section thats famous in photographs of Shibuya which I've pictured. The cross walk can be overlooked from the many angles of shopping malls on each corner, specifically for us we made sure to go back and try the L'Occitane Cafe because when we walked by the first time, we thought it was unusual for a body/fragrance store to also run a food and beverage cafe.

They had a really light, cool menu for summer to match the humid weather at the time. For lunch, we had mock-tail mojitos and lemon iced tea with a set menu deal with salads and toasted breads. It was quite a nice cute lofty-beach themed place that overlooked the busy city area.

Taking the Shinkensen fast rail train to do a short break into Kyoto was an interesting trip. Firstly, our bad, we mistimed ourselves and had booked reserved seats only to miss out on our train. So, we hopped onto the next one but it was fully booked. We went up and down on that train to try and find a seat but ended up leaving our bags in a storage and sitting the hours on the carriage floors. My poor brother was so stressed by this! Because I was paranoid about our bags being kept away from where we stood. In the end, a very lovely train supervisor helped him maneuver the bags when we arrived in Kyoto.

Our hotel in Kyoto was a favourite because of its location and the facilities were stunning. Minimalistic in style, the trendy Sakura Terrace Gallery is a newly renovated hotel that had two wings of hotel rooms and an atrium lobby with complimentary refreshments stocked daily in the lobby and also what I really enjoyed, a snack bar and such an affordable dinner evening we had enjoyed.

The staff had great English language skills as well which was a plus. Most of the clientele seemed to look like westerners to begin with. The restaurant offers a "welcome drink" upon arrival and the dishes were so affordable when converted to Australian dollar and the qaulity of the food - sublime. The sashimi we had, the best sashimi flesh we have come across unlike even in Sydney!

The next day we travelled to Inari, Kyoto. This is famous for the Inari temple which we climbed. The weather was hot and humid but it didn't stop the Japanese from wearing their kimono and yukatas. Lots of ladies in their traditional wear and a umbrella to shade the sunlight. In summer, we had noticed, a lot of ladies wore it out during our nights travelling by train and I found it was because there were several summer festivals that they attend.

Wish we had had more time within Kyoto to have had traveled a little further in.

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