Huge 8-flavor ice cream from Otaru, Hokkaido

Otaru Ice Cream

This is the biggest ice cream cone I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating! Hokkaido is the dairy capital of Japan and they produce extraordinarily creamy milk. There are many ice cream parlors in Otaru and this is our second or third one of the day. My better half told me about this ridiculously luxurious creation and we went searching for it.

Otaru Ice Cream Parlor

It’s located at a really obscure heated inner pathway so it took us a while to find it. I had to ask a couple of restaurants before I saw the signs.

Japan Ice Cream

The 8-flavor ice cream is their best-seller and costs 580 JPY (about RM 23).

How To Hold

They even have instructions on how to hold it. smirk This is probably so little children (and the young-at-heart) won’t attempt to hold the bottom of a cone (like how you’ll hold a regular ice cream) coz the top is way too heavy. You have to wrap your fingers around the base of the cone so it won’t topple over from sheer inertia.

8 Flavor Ice Cream

The 8 flavors are (from bottom) matcha green tea, Yubari King melon, lavender, strawberry, milk, chocolate, grape, and Ramune. Ramune is a popular drink in Japan. I like the refreshing Yubari melon and grape too, they work very well with the sweeter chocolate and milk (one of the best flavors). The cone itself is quite salty, something unique that we noticed in Japan. All the ice cream cones in Hokkaido are slightly salty, which balances the mildly sweet ice cream well.

Ice Cream

The best part is that Japanese soft serve ice cream isn’t shockingly sweet, it’s just mildly appealing. It was winter when we were in Otaru and the snow covered paths didn’t make it conducive towards eating ice cream. However, despite the fact that we were actually quite cold and the weather was around -11 Celsius, the 8-flavor ice cream was really good! :)

Eating Yubari King in Hokkaido, Japan (The World’s Most Expensive Fruit)

Yubari King

Yubari King melons are dubbed the most expensive fruit in the world. One of them sold for 2,000,000 yen (which is about RM 80,000)! They come from a town called Yubari (thus the name) in Hokkaido, Japan. The melons are grown in greenhouses and given “hats” to prevent sunburn. smirk

Yubari King Melon

We’ve heard so much about these fruits that when we saw them in Sapporo, we immediately jumped on the chance to check them out. You can get them by the slice for 300 JPY (about RM 13) or 800 JPY (around RM 35) for a few chunks. This is a very small and thin slice but it was one of the sweetest fruits that has ever passed my lips!

Eating Yubari King

The juicy orange colored Yubari King melon is so sweet that it surprised me! It was the sweetest fruit I’ve ever tasted, no exaggeration. It’s hard to describe just how sweet it actually is, but it’s not the sugary kind of sweet that puts you off, but a mild, yet intense fruity sweetness that’s very satisfying.

Yubari Melon

Yubari (the town that grows Yubari King Melons) is located close to Sapporo so you can’t actually get such good quality for such low prices elsewhere. There are several grades of melons too – these eating ones are relatively reasonable priced from 4,000 JPY to 10,000 JPY (or about RM 300 average) per melon.

Yubari King Melon Japan

However, the ones for gifts are priced from 22,000 JPY (about RM 900) onwards since the highest grades are completely free from blemishes. It’s customary to give 2 of them at once too! I’m glad we got a chance to try out these melons, I would highly recommend eating a Yubari King melon if you’re in Hokkaido.

Sapporo Central Wholesale Market and Curb Market: Seafood Donburi, Horsehair Crab, Fresh Sea Urchin, Grilled Hokke Fish

Hokkaido Central Wholesale Market

We decided to have lunch at the famous Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in Hokkaido. The market is known for fresh and local seafood and there are a lot of stalls which serve the crabs, seafood and fish they sell on top of rice (called kaisendon). It’s less commercialized than the Nijo Market and the Curb Market beside the wholesale market is open to the public. It’s the best place in Sapporo to eat sashimi on rice!

Sapporo Curb Market Donburi

There are several huge restaurants at the Sapporo Curb Market and I was intrigued by the beautiful bowls of fresh seafood there. You can have a luxurious bowl of rice topped with fresh raw uni (sea urchin) for JPY 4,500 (about RM 180) or a bowl of rice with a bit of everything for JPY 2,980. The prices might sound a little steep but these are super fresh premium local seafood.

Sapporo Donburi

However, my better half wanted to go to a locally owned restaurant instead and thus we popped into a hole-in-the-wall where the locals went to. The stuff they all serve are pretty much the same – it’s basically variants of different types of seafood on rice, since this is a restaurant attached to a fish market. You can also upgrade your miso soup to crab miso soup for JPY 500 (about RM 20).

Horsehair Crab Miso Soup

I did that for mine and this is what it looks like. The restaurant put both snow crab and horsehair crab (also known as Hokkaido Hairy Crab) into the soup for a 500 yen supplement, which is a good price. It has one leg from a snow crab and one body from a horsehair crab.

Seafood Donburi

I ordered the seafood donburi. You can choose as many types of seafood as you want and it’s calculated accordingly. I went with 5 toppings + sea urchin for JPY 2,800 (about RM 110). I chose horsehair crab (ケガニ/kegani), humpback shrimp (peony ebi), surf clam (hokkigai), squid (ika), scallop (hotate), and sea urchin (uni) in the middle. OMG! This is without a doubt the best donburi I ever had!

Hokkaido Horsehair Crab

The horsehair crab (far right) is a local species and the only cooked item in this bowl. The humpback shrimp is raw and extremely sweet! It’s called peony ebi in Japanese and it’s the largest shrimp in Hokkaido. I loved the crunchy surf clam and the soft scallop too. The squid was the most interesting thing – I was puzzled at first coz it didn’t look like any squid I’ve ever seen.

Uni Sashimi Donburi

This brown/orange stuff at 7 pm is actually part of the squid’s head! It’s superbly creamy (like foie gras from the sea) and has a wonderful mouth feel. Very sweet too. It’s hard to find squid like this unless you order ikizukuri (live sashimi) coz the squid head (brains?) is one of the most sought after items. I loved it! The uni was also perfect, freshest I’ve ever had. You have to eat the uni in Hokkaido, it’s a completely different species called ezo bafun uni (short-spined sea urchin).

Hokke Fish

Hokke (ほっけ) is what the Japanese call Okhotsk atka mackerel – it’s caught off the waters of Hokkaido so it’s super fresh and local. My dear wanted something hot so she had this for JPY 850 (about RM 40). It’s grilled and served whole with rice. The hokke fish is charred on the skin since it’s cooked yakitori style – they call it yaki hokke (焼きホッケ) in Sapporo. You’re supposed to pick at the meat and the awesome thing is that there are no pinbones inside.

Grilled Hokke

You can also eat the skin but it’s slightly chewy and crispy. The caramelized flesh is really delicious though – the semi burnt smoky taste permeates the whole fish and it’s quite substantial in size. This is served with miso soup and a bowl of rice and there’s nothing quite like eating such a locally caught fish inside a warm family owned restaurant attached to a fish market in the cold, snowy winter.

Sapporo Donburi Restaurant

The seafood bowls here are the best in Sapporo. The price is also relatively cheap – the grade of uni we get locally will never be served here, it’s not even fit for their dumpster (to be perfectly blunt). The sea urchin they sell get slashed to half price at 12 pm! That’s how much they put a premium on quality and freshness. You can’t get it any fresher than from the fish wholesale market so if you’re in Hokkaido, pay a visit to Sapporo Central Wholesale Market and Curb Market and enjoy the delicious raw seafood donburi! :)

My Partner’s Birthday: Hakuto Jelly, Japanese Snacks and Valrhona Feuilletine Cake!

Happy Birthday

My better half just celebrated her birthday yesterday on the 13th of April. I got her a huge box of presents and we had sushi and birthday cake before going out shopping for Japanese snacks. She told me she wanted to get Japan imports for her birthday and we spent a few hundred dollars on that alone. However, I also packed her a gift using back the box she gave me on my birthday (which I originally gave to her).

Birthday Yee Ling

Happy birthday dear!

Birthday Card

I found a hilarious birthday card that goes “Old Already Lor“. smirk

Typo

It was from Typo in KLCC. I always get her serious cards so I thought I’ll go the funny route this time.

Liquid Soap

I also got her liquid hand soap since she has been using the same one for over a year.

Bath Body Works

I got two different ones from Bath & Body Works.

Handmade Soap

There was a booth outside selling fancy handmade soap and I thought they smelled really nice. The promoter told me you can also hang the soap-on-a-rope in a car so it acts like an air freshener so I got one sliced like a mango for her. She likes things like these.

Hakuto Jelly Shop

I also went to Isetan to get Hakuto jelly (白桃ゼリー). This is a dessert they make with hakuto peaches from Okayama and the mineral rich spring water there. We’ve seen this before but my better half didn’t want to get it coz it was quite expensive. Hakuto jelly is costly due to the price of the peaches which are used to make it.

Hakuto Peach Jelly

The smallest box of two goes for RM 85 while a box of 4 goes for RM 170. You can also get a 3 piece box for RM 127.50.

Sakura Mochi

I also managed to get sakura mocha. Haha! We ate this exact same thing in Hokkaido and it was very good. The ones here are imported from Japan and made using sakura cherry blossom flowers and leaves too but my dear didn’t like them as much. She much preferred the ones we had in Sapporo.

Shopping Basket

Oh, I got so many things that I took the shopping basket from Isetan to my car. I didn’t even realize I inadvertently took it out until I almost got to my car. Oops!

Birthday Present

I got home and packed all the birthday gifts into the box – the mason jar she likes, a jar of Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate spread, matcha chooclates etc.

Birthday Gift

The box!

Birthday Candles

I had gotten a row of candles that goes “Happy Birthday” for RM 13 too. I thought it’ll go well with the cake.

Bisque Cake

The cake is from Bisque. I had ordered it a week before and this one is called The Michelangelo. The base price is RM 218 but you can customize it as you wish and the final bill will be sent to you. I added a lot of fondant writing.

Valrhona Birthday Cake

The cake is really good! It’s made with feuilletine, Valrhona Jivara chocolate and hazelnut paste as the base so there’s a crunchy textural element. The top is vanilla bean cake with chocolate pearls and there’s also Valrhona Dulcey blonde mousse mixed into the layers. I like how they put gold leaf together with the chocolate pearls.

Feuilletine Cake

It tastes like Ferrero Rocher as the base, with the same texture sensation. The fluffy and light vanilla bean cake is a nice pairing since the base is really sweet. The blonde chocolate mousse makes it very rich and easy to eat. It’s one of the nicest birthday cakes I’ve had and we all enjoyed it, including the kids. I even had some for supper.

Hakuto Jelly

She unwrapped the presents (the Shimizu Hakuto Jelly was wrapped really nicely) and we headed out to Okashi World with the kids to buy Japanese snacks. They have a promotion where you can buy up to RM 200 on your birthday and get 50% discount so we took advantage of that. I ended up spending RM 380+ there but it was worth it coz she really liked the Japanese imports and the kids loved the candy too.

Japanese Snacks

It was a great birthday that we spent together with the kids at home. Happy birthday dear! I look forward to making more great memories with you. Love you always! <3

Horlicks NutriQuest Malaysia Game Review

Windmill

I have been navigating through floating platforms, jumping on evil robots and trying to avoid deadly lasers for the past few weeks. Yup, it’s the Horlicks NutriQuest Malaysia game for iOS and Android! I’ve been fiddling with it when I have a bit of free time on my smartphone and have progressed quite far in the game. Here’s my review (with a few tips and tricks to help you breeze through it if you’re having a bit of trouble).

Kill Metaloid

The starting levels in the City are quite easy. The virtual camera pans through the entire level from the end to the start and zooms into your character the first time you drop in so you can see the layout. There are actually TV screens at the start of some levels (see picture above) and they show you how to learn new mechanics e.g. jumping higher or picking up boxes.

Arrows

There are also convenient arrows which shows you the proper way to go. However, it’s right to ignore these levels sometimes as there are secret areas you’ll need to go to in order to collect all the coins and stars.

Secrets

Here’s one example. You can only access this secret area (which is inside a building) if you double back and ignore the directional arrows.

Lasers

There are plenty of “save points” like the arrow above – make sure to use them frequently as you might fall into a laser grid or bump into one of Mr. Greedy’s robot henchmen! You’ll be able to start again here with all in-level progress saved if you fail. There’s a protective bubble in the first 2-3 seconds after you respawn so make the most of it. It makes you invulnerable for a while so you can get through the difficult bits that foiled your attempts last time.

Stars

The Horlicks Stars are the most important things in the levels (aside from coins and bags of coins). You need them as a measure of success and if you don’t get enough, you can’t progress to the next level e.g. Jungle. Make sure to grab all the coins you see too, especially the big bags!

Big Money

You’ll see how many coins and Horlicks Stars you collected at the end of each level. There are usually 3 stars per level.

Metaloids

The later levels will be more difficult as there are Metaloids which can kill you. The trick is to jump on them to kill them first.

Boosters

Be sure to periodically upgrade your character. You can upgrade three (3) boosters – Tall, Strong, and Sharp. I suggest using Tall first for your first run-through and Sharp last as it only affects the VR Levels (more on that later).

Upgrades

You can also upgrade your pickups. Health is very important, and Magnet can be useful if you have trouble with side scrolling platform games as it helps you pick up coins and stars.

NutriCoin Code

There is a screen for inputing the Horlicks NutriCoin codes you get from Horlicks packs too! Horlicks Nutricoins can be used to redeem Horlicks Nutriquest prizes such as character keychain, baseball cap and watch. You can redeem them through the Horlicks website here.

Characters

There is also a character change screen so you can pick the hero that you like from the 4 available. This is just an aesthetic choice but it’s nice for Horlicks to represent minors and female characters.

Levels

The progress screen shows how far along you are – there are 10 levels to a map and 4 maps in total (City, Jungle, Factory, 4th Dimension) for 40+ levels!

Box

You can also pick up boxes in later levels.

Throw Box

These boxes can be thrown at Metaloids to kill them.

VR Terminal

Another important thing to watch out is for the VR Terminals. This allows you to enter into a bonus level where you get to pick up coins and stars! The Sharp attribute would be important here as it allows you to stay longer in the level.

VR

Some are quite hard to finish so I suggest you do as much as you can first, then go back and upgrade Sharp and try again for more time.

Booster

Watch out for boosters in-game which temporarily gives you powers to be Taller, Stronger or Sharper!

Keys

There are some places which requires keys to pass and it would be shown with a padlock.

Padlock

Just grab the key and it’ll open. Enjoy the game! Hope you had as much fun as I did in your quest to be Taller, Stronger and Sharper. You can download it for iOS or Android.

Maggi Ketam Claypot @ Chilli’s Crab Seafood

Maggi Ketam

Maggi Ketam?!? For real, Restoran Chilli’s Crab Seafood has this unusual dish and it’s not cheap. Maggi is one of the most popular instant noodles around and this place has paired it with a whole mud crab to produce a deluxe variant of Maggi Ketam (Crab Maggi Noodles) in a claypot!

Restoran Chillis Crab Seafood

This is located at Sunway Giza and I’ve seen the poster announcing their “extraordinary and must-try Maggi Ketam” a couple of times. I went there alone last week and had their Maggi Ketam in a claypot. My better half didn’t like the idea of Maggi instant noodles with crab so I embarked upon this culinary adventure myself.

Maggi Ketam Claypot (RM 38.80)

Maggi Crab Noodles

This is one (1) whole mud crab in the region of 500 grams cooked together with 2 packets of Maggi instant noodles in a claypot. You can opt for either Curry flavor or Tom Yam flavor – it really depends on which flavor of Maggi instant noodles you like. I went for the Curry version. I was told that it might be a little too big for a single person but I regularly eat 2-3 packets of Maggi anyway so I thought I could handle it.

Maggi Ketam Claypot

I was right. It was just the right size for a big eater like myself. The novelty of this dish is the pairing of the proletariat Maggi noodles with a luxurious ingredient like crab. The Maggi instant noodles were cooked well and the broth was super thick! I suspect they put it a lot more than just 2 packets of soup powder.

Crab Noodles

The claypot Maggi Crab Noodles also had a whole mud crab inside. You’re given a crab cracker so you can get at the meat. I think the thick soup was perfect since it added flavor to the crab. There’s also a smattering of vegetables and whole chillis inside to spice up the dish so beware if you can’t take spicy food. I think it was pretty decent, but there are cheaper crab noodle places out there.

Crab Claw

This place is very popular though – I saw two Chinese girls sharing a Maggi Ketam Claypot when I was there and that was around 3 pm in the afternoon. I went again over the weekend with my dear and the place was quite packed.

Crab Kam Heong Bee Hoon (RM 38.80)

Crab Bee Hoon

Chilli’s Crab Seafood Restaurant also serves their signature crab with bee hoon. There are 3 such dishes – Crab Singapore Bee Hoon, Crab Kam Heong Bee Hoon and Crab Hokkien Bee Hoon. They’re all cooked in similar styles with one (1) whole crab per dish. My dear went for the Crab Kam Heong Bihun and it’s spicy dry fried rice vermicelli with a whole crab. The rice vermicelli is great and the crab is awesome.

Crab Hokkien Bihun (RM 38.80)

Crab Bihun

This is the other crab-in-a-noodle-dish option. The Hokkien style fried rice vermicelli is slightly wet and the crab essence goes into the gravy, which makes it taste much better than the dry fried options. The prices are standard since the crab size is standard (500 grams per plate) – I just wanted to try all their crab noodle dishes. Haha!

Crab Dinner

I thought the best dish at Chilli’s Crab Seafood is their Maggi Crab Noodles. The Maggi Ketam is like a guilty pleasure, something to indulge in once in a while. I know some people might think it’s not “worth it” and to them I say, do you know how little rice vermicelli costs? It’s the same thing. The prices here are admittedly higher at Mee Ketam KL (review coming up soon) but they only use mud crabs instead of flower crabs for more meat. The meal came up to RM 86.50 for the two of us the time I went with my better half, which is less than the price we usually pay for dinner anyway.

Horlicks NutriQuest Roadshow @ Orange Concourse, Sunway Pyramid

Horlicks NutriQuest Game

I was at the Horlicks NutriQuest event over the weekend. It took up one of the concourses of Sunway Pyramid and the Horlicks NutriQuest roadshow is open to the public. However, on the event day, media and bloggers were invited to join the exclusive campaign launch session. The roadshow was meant to introduce a new game for iOS and Android which is incorporated with the story elements of being Tall, Strong and Sharp in the mobile game play. The story elements are coincidentally also what Horlicks is all about. Horlicks wants to engage kids of all ages through fun adventures available online and on ground by being Tall, Strong and Sharp!

Horlicks MidValley

Dr Greedy is the key character in the game. He is an evil scientist and the mastermind of the robbery in the Horlicks Factory because he does not want our kids to benefit from the nutrition provided by Horlicks. I also met him in person over the weekend. Haha. He (and his Metaloids) destroyed all Horlicks caches to prevent kids from growing Tall, Strong and Sharp. You’re one of the adventurers that steps up to stop him. This was reflected in the booths too – in addition to the one which had demos of the game running, there were three (3) activity booths.

Horlicks Tall

Tall is a Horlicks NutriQuest booth set up according to your height. Thus, this goes up if you’re higher and down if you’re lower. It’s all about giving a fair chance to kids, so it’s set to your relative height. You’re supposed to catch the Horlicks star. Are you tall enough to defeat Dr Greedy?

Horlicks Strong

Strong is where they set up a Bop Bag. This is a HUGE plastic Dr Greedy which has been bottom stabilized so it never topples over. You try and punch it as hard as you can to earn a stamp on your card. This is meant for kids but I tried punching the Bop Bag as hard as I could. It actually went over but didn’t topple, just as it was designed to do. Nifty.

Horlicks Sharp

Sharp is where they had a wild west rogue’s gallery of Dr Greedy and his henchmen. You’re armed with a semi-automatic Nerf gun full of foam darts. Your aim is to take out the entire board with just one bullet each. It was quite a challenge since Nerf guns don’t always shoot straight. I had fun at this booth, as did most older kids.

Nerf Gun

Stacy Wallace, the General Manager of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Malaysia launched the Horlicks NutriQuest Campaign and the mobile game app with the media after that. We also had lunch at Delicious courtesy of GSK. I have two kids and there was one (1) watch in the media kit so I asked her if it was possible to get another one. Thanks to her, I managed to get another one so the kids won’t fight. :)

Horlicks NutriQuest

Plus, she’s a mom too so she knows how it’s like having two kids. You either don’t give it to them at all (since you only have one) or you get another one and she was kind enough to procure another watch for me. What’s this watch, you say? Well, it’s an item from Horlicks which you can redeem too!

Horlicks Fun

Each Horlicks pack will have Horlicks NutriCoins inside within the duration of this campaign and the Horlicks NutriCoins can be redeemed for both in-game levels *and* exclusive prizes through online redemption.

Horlicks Event

I’ll showcase more about the Horlicks NutriQuest interactive adventure game in a separate post. Horlicks also offers 23 vital nutrients which are essential for growth and children development and I though it’s a great idea for the NutriCoins to be redeemable for awesome merchandise like watches in addition to in-game levels such as to unlock exclusive levels in the 4th Dimension world.

Dr Greedy

No, I’m not acting cool. I’m defeating Dr Greedy in-game and IRL at the same time! The game is very we-well-polished and fun, go download it for either iOS or Android now!

My before and after photos!

Before After

I’m sure a lot of people are curious to see photos like these. There has to be a reason why these Before and After photos are popular in all aesthetics related field. Here’s mine!

Warning: Some photos might be a little graphic since they show my insides in great detail.

Now, with that slightly clickbait sounding introduction (smirk) let me introduce you to some of the photos Imperial Dental Bangsar has been kind enough to share with me. These are taken by a professional photographer (they have one in-house) that takes snaps of you before procedures. I have had photos taken several times during the course of my Invisalign treatment (and once when I had a saliva duct infection).

Teeth

This is a shot of my front teeth.

Upper Jaw

Here’s one of the upper jaw…

Lower Jaw

…and a photo of my lower jaw.

The leftmost/upper pictures are all Before and the rightmost/lower ones are the After shots…or should I say “During”? I’m still in the midst of my Invisalign treatment – in fact, my awesome orthodontist Dr Salima made new Invisalign molds coz one of my lower left back teeth isn’t coming out as fast. There’s still a long journey ahead but you can see the positive changes already. There’s an inward growing teeth which has been removed in the picture above so everything looks nicer.

Before

My teeth are also a lot straighter now, even though it’s barely halfway through my treatment. I also realized I’ve grown A LOT fatter over the past year. T_T

Haha! I’ll post up more of these photos again soon!

BTW, I get a lot of comments asking about the cost of the procedure, and I’m not qualified to answer that since it differs for each individual. Try surfing over to Imperial Dental Bangsar and message them on Facebook for a proper quote if you’re interested. Cheers!

Driving with Shell V-Power Racing!

Racing

The first time I experienced Shell V-Power Racing was earlier this year. I liked how it works for me, so I did a bit of reading up. To my surprise, I found out that it’s the first performance fuel in Malaysia, which has been around for 10 years! Can’t believe that it’s been around for a decade and I only got to know about in it 2016!

Station

Anyway, I tested it out recently and was pleasantly surprised, which was when I started using Shell V-Power Racing. I’ve been using it for 2 weeks since and it’s been very beneficial to me, as someone who drives a lot every day, a road warrior if you will (though not the Mad Max kind). You can really feel the performance when accelerating from a dead stop.

V-Power Racing

Shell V-Power Racing is formulated by 120 scientists and specialists around the world dedicated to the research and development of fuel. When you start accelerating from traffic lights (for example), you can really feel the fuel unlock a lot more power from the engine and better yet, it’s now Euro 4M compliant, so the emission standards are better for modern Euro 4-compliant cars too.

Shell develops the fuel by leveraging its Technical Partnership with Ferrari. Shell V-Power Racing contains a unique double action formulation, which is designed to unlock the potential of your car and actively clean your engine, in addition to reducing friction to produce more power. Awesome stuff!

Shell V-Power Racing uses the same Friction Modification Technology (FMT) used in Shell V-Power race fuel by Ferrari Formula 1 cars. It’s designed to reduce friction by introducing a surface coating component, which protects critical engine parts. I really like how Shell V-Power Racing cleans my engine while I’m driving and I’m sure that will have a lot of benefits down the road.

Shell V-Power Racing also helps unlock valuable energy by enabling a more efficient energy transfer from the fuel to the wheels. The way Shell V-Power Racing removes existing deposits can also enhance the responsiveness of your engine and with regular usage, Shell V-Power Racing can even help maintain a new car’s performance and in some cases, even recapture an engine’s performance!

Interesting fact: Shell V-Power race fuel supplied to Scuderia Ferrari’s Formula 1 team contains at least 99% of the same types of compounds normally found in the Shell V-Power Racing road fuel we get in Shell stations in Malaysia!

It’s nice to finally have a performance fuel, which not only actively cleans your engine, but is also formulated to reduce friction in critical engine areas and deliver high performance. These benefits are designed to give you an edge throughout the day, whether you are making short or long trips.

Shell Euro4M

Shell V-Power Racing is now available in over 45 stations around Malaysia. Drive into your nearest Shell station now or check out the list of stations where Shell V-Power Racing is available.

Travelling to Japan this year? Where to eat and where to go.

Japan is one of the liveliest yet most spiritual countries in the world. With a vibrant mix of high-rise filled cities, imperial palaces, spiritual temples, pop culture and sushi, there is a large mix of things to do, suitable for everyone. When travelling, it is important to stay safe and remain on guard. When travelling around Europe it is imperative that visitors carry around a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Outside of the EU in countries like Japan, it is advised to take out comprehensive medical insurance before travelling, as EHIC’s are not valid. If you’re travelling to Japan this year, we have a guide of where to eat and where to go while you’re there, so you can plan for a trip of a lifetime.

Where to go

Tokyo – Japan’s bustling capital known for its neon skyscrapers and anime shops should be the first stop on any visit to Japan. Visiting the Tokyo Imperial Palace will be a visit to remember with its large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls. Guided tours are offered of the palace grounds, although no buildings are entered and the Imperial Palace East Gardens are open to the public throughout the year except on Mondays, Fridays and on special occasions. Exploring the world’s most populous metropolis for its seemingly unlimited choice of nightlife, restaurants, shopping and entertainment is a must. There are also many shrines to visit in order to experience some of Japan’s spiritual culture in Tokyo such as the Yasukuni Shrine which is dedicated to the deities of Japan’s war dead. If you’re looking for the seasonal, infamous cherry blossom, then one of the many gardens around Tokyo should provide you with its beauty – as long as you’ve chosen the right time of year. Koishikawa Korakuen has some of the most beautiful cherry blossom on show during the spring, and this landscape garden is located next to the Tokyo Dome.

Kyoto offers a more cultural side to Japan, away from the bustling metropolis of Tokyo. Featuring Shinto shrines, traditional wooden houses and thousands of classical Buddhist temples such as Sanjusangen-do, home to the 1001 Kannon statues, Kyoto is one of the most peaceful parts of Japan. If you’re looking for a side of nature, Arashiyama is a district on the outskirts of Kyoto, and features an abundance of monkeys, as well as a bamboo forest.

No trip to Japan is complete without a trip to Mount Fuji and Hakone National Park. The majestic, active volcano has been a dominant figure in Japanese art across the ages. There are often many tours that can take you up to Mt. Fuji’s 5th station for breathtaking views above the clouds as well as a cruise on Lake Ashi and a ride on the Komagatake Ropeway.

Where to eat

One of the most remarkable things about Japan is that people think it is rude to eat on the streets, so you’re highly unlikely to find many street stalls for you to sample Japanese cuisine like you would in countries like Thailand. In addition to this, many restaurants are very one dish focused, so if you’re looking for a lot of variety in one place, then you’re going to need to look quite closely – you don’t want to end up in a restaurant serving just about the only dish that you don’t like, and only different variations of that dish.

If you’re visiting Tokyo as a part of your trip to Japan, then there’s a vast range of dishes to try. As you probably already know, sushi is the national dish and is served everywhere from casual pubs to gourmet restaurants. Tokyo is a culinary leader in Japan and you can find more or less every cuisine you could want here. Ramen Street, located inside Tokyo’s train station, is often considered to serve the best tsukemen and ramen in the city and is both a local and tourist favourite. One of the best rated restaurants is considered to be Rokurinsha Tokyo and is relatively budget-friendly.

If sushi is what you’re looking for in Tokyo, then a visit to the fish market early in the morning is a must. As well as being an exciting (all be it quite foul-smelling) experience, there’s no better place to get really fresh sushi. Prices vary depending on which restaurant you visit at the fish market and it is recommended to get there early to catch the best of the action – usually by about 5am. However, if you want to catch the tuna action, start lining up at 2.30am. The sushi restaurants at the fish market might not be fine-dining, or the best in Tokyo, but as a whole experience it is very worth the visit.

If you’re interested in fine dining whilst in Tokyo, then the Kozue at Park Hyatt Hotel is easily one of the best, with an incredible view above the city that can feature Mount Fuji on a clear day, and a sophisticated ambiance. This restaurant is good for entertaining or business, or simply for an upmarket meal, with its extensive sake/cocktail menu and traditional Japanese food.

Kyoto is also full of culinary gems, hidden away from the capital. If you’re after an authentic dining experience then Kyoto is one of the places that you should be looking for. Chihana is a restaurant that has become a prime destination for Japanese foodies, specialising in Kaiseki – a Japanese haute cuisine, using only the finest ingredients and utensils to prepare its delicious menu. There’s also a chance to experience a traditional Japanese tearoom, in the heart of the Geisha district. Kagizen tearoom stands out because of its incredible mochi and delicate wagashi – traditional Japanese sweets, usually served with tea which is prepared from traditional recipes. The tearoom is a favourite due to its delicious pastries and tea as well as the tranquil atmosphere that it offers.

There is possibly one exception to the eating on the streets rule, although you might still attract some unwanted attention if you do. Nishiki market in Kyoto is a 400 year old iconic market, with easily some of the best traditional food you can find. Stalls sell everything from grilled squid to omelettes, sugar fruit, rice balls and much more. The attention to detail and presentation of food, as much as the food itself, is what has given Japan its reputation as one of the best culinary cultures in the world.

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