Mikkeller Around the World

We have this weird habit: everywhere we travel, we always end up visiting a Mikkeller-bar. Unplanned. It’s an odd habit, especially when we travel in Asia, as it is something available in Stockholm and all over the Nordics. However, there is something fun about “collecting” the locations. There is usually only one Mikkeller bar in a city (with the exception of Copenhagen). Mikkeller is a Danish brewery making a wide range of delicious craft beers. The founders, former math teacher Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and journalist Kristian Klarup Keller started experimenting with hops in their own kitchens, now Mikkeller is exporting their products to 50 countries all over the world. Mikkeller is internationally acclaimed as one of the most innovative and cutting edge brewers in the world. We really like the beers, even the non-alcoholic ones. Continue reading “Mikkeller Around the World”

Wineweek 113: Singapore in a Nutshell

In Finland, we have a saying – new year, new tricks. More concretely, we have today traveled from Singapore to Bangkok for the last leg of our annual trip. What started in Bangkok, will end in Bangkok. Seven full days to discover what is new in the city that have loved since the first time I set foot in it. The first round in Bangkok was just to slack off and to sleep off the jet lag, so we left all the new goodies to the coming week. I think definitely this will be the best part of our trip. I don’t like dwelling on last year, but since I took some photos, we can have a quick look back on our week in Singapore. It was filled with good food, coffee and some yummy cocktails. Continue reading “Wineweek 113: Singapore in a Nutshell”

Goodbye 2016

The last day of the year, and I am browsing pictures from 2016. I guess this is a typical post for a lazy blogger, reading old posts and thinking of which stories are worth revisiting. Looking back, it seems like a lifetime since these moments were the present: visiting Champagne, enjoying the views over Valtellina valley and all those lovely dinners in Stockholm. Life starts sprinting when you turn 30 (now I’m already 34), and there doesn’t seem to be any way to slow it down. I guess it is that you really start knowing yourself and what you like after a certain age, so better just buckle up and enjoy the ride. Continue reading “Goodbye 2016”

This Time Last Year

Today Stockholm has been covered in white. Snow has come early in record breaking amounts. The whole city is in traffic chaos. I feel lucky I made it home from work. And so I started counting again, the days that are left before we leave for Asia. It has become a yearly tradition for us to fly southeast for Christmas. Thirty five days. It isn’t that long. Continue reading “This Time Last Year”

Wineweek 101: The Start of a new countdown

Lately I have been reading this book. Its called the Hostage at the Table, recommended to me by a colleague at work. Its a bit creepy, but keeping an open mind it does provide some good insight on how to focus. I am a change manager after all and work with topics of emotional connection. Anyway, this book has some good stuff on keeping the eyes on the prize. With the darkest time of the year approaching (I mean physically, not mentally) and the trip to Barcelona behind me, I need some light at the end of the tunnel – a trip to look forward to. Yes! Our annual tour of Asia is approaching and we are all set with arrangement. Bangkok – Hua Hin and Singapore – here we come! Continue reading “Wineweek 101: The Start of a new countdown”

New Places I Like in Singapore

I plead guilty to being a creature of habit. I like new places, but I tend to be drawn to the places I know. This year, we returned to Sigapore with some ambitious wine and dine plans, but ended up hanging around our old neighborhoods, like 28 Hong Kong Street, Esquina and the New Black. We were very close to returning also to Burnt Ends, regardless of the Singaporean service. We did try out some new places as well. And I am glad we did as many of them were fantastic. Here is a few recommendation from this years tour.

Continue reading “New Places I Like in Singapore”

Wineweek 59: Towards New Adventures

Wow, it has been a great week! Today we are saying goodbye to seven days of fun in Singapore. Our journey in Asia continues as we move along to our last destination, Bangkok. When we arrived to Asia, we only had a few days in the Thai capital to recover from jet lag. Now we are returning to Bangkok for a proper look around. It will be a week of coffee, wine and street food.

Continue reading “Wineweek 59: Towards New Adventures”

Wineweek 58: Half Way Through Asia

We have come to the half-point of our tour. The journey has taken us via Bangkok, to Phu Quoc, Ho Chi Minh City and now Singapore. We will spend the following week in Asia’s capital of specialty coffee, and the best destination for wine, Singapore. For the last leg we move back to edgy Bangkok for a final week and a half. It feels like we have been on the road for a long time, however I have been wined and dined enough to not yet miss Stockholm. I am sure that a week in Bangkok will fix that (the wine scene is still very thin).

So what have we been up to? I already posted some wine tips for Ho Chi Minh City. It was much more of a wine city than I initially thought (makes sense with Vietnam’s history as a French colony).  We enjoyed a lot of street food: Pho (noodle soup), Bánh Mi (Vietnamese baguette), sticky rice and fruits. I will write a separate post about the food tour we did (Ho Chi Minh Street Eats, I can warmly recommend). We visited some of the main sites as well as tried out the wine scene. Ho Chi Minh was very buzzing, but in six days, I was ready to move on.

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Celebrating Christmas eve in Ho Chi Minh City
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Our glasses were filled with Baron-Fuente champagne. I would perhaps not buy this bubbly by the box, but it was definitely half decent.
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We dig out specialty coffee wherever we go. Workshop at Ho Chi Minh City
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Arriving to Singapore
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Lights at Orchard Road
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Cold brew at Common Man
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A labyrinth of escalators at Dhoby Ghaut
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Coctails at 28 Hong Kong Street
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Japanese beer tastes fresh in the hot weather.

Now we are in modern Singapore, where everything works like clockwork. Wine is not cheap, but its available, the specialty coffee scene is mature and the ease of transport makes it possible to do more within one day. Singapore is one of the best cities for good cocktails, so for our first night out, we popped into one of the first and best speakeasies I know, 28 Hong Kong street. It is a widely known secret, but still very hidden. There is only s small copper sign indicating of its whereabouts. The food is dripping of fat and/or deep-fried (not a dieters paradise) and the cocktails are amazing. I wrote a review on it already last spring, you can read about it here. You can expect some more cocktail action to come during the following weeks.

That was it for this wineweek. Coming week, who knows what is going to happen. A new year is approaching with new adventures. We already looked at our calendars last night planning for some tastings and other events for the spring. Have a great week wherever you are!

xx Soile

 

 

Wineweek 52: A Year of Blogging

A year has passed. Where did all that time go? I must have done something during these 52 weeks.. Looking at the statistics, we have posted 266 times, had around 7000 views (that’s of course quite small, many bogs have more in an hour) and 1000 visitors. So we must have done a lot. For my 52nd Wineweek, I thought I would mention the most popular posts of the year, as well as my personal favorites.

Continue reading “Wineweek 52: A Year of Blogging”

Coffee Bar Review: Tamper & Co, Singapore

This cafe on Rangoon Road appears to be trying to jump the bandwagon of the trend of specialty coffee bars in Singapore in general and Rangoon road in particular. It looks very much like what you would expect one of these places to loo. Pretty sleek design, nice atmosphere and cool looking logotype outside.

They call themselves Brew Bar Tamper & Co Handcrafted Coffee so imagine my surprise when they do not do any hand brewed coffees. While I do no actively dislike espresso based beverages I do in general find them more boring and when a place includes brew bar in the name I would at least expect them to do one filter coffee. This was not the case here but to be fair they seemed a bit embarrassed about it and they claimed that they were planning to start with hand brewing. I also tried to order the cold brew listed on the menu but that was sold out (not sure if it has ever been available) so in terms of the selection they did not fully impress.

The lack of appealing options made my consider whether to leave and head to Old Hen Coffee Bar next door or Jewel down the road I opted to give them a chance and ordered an iced latte. It is a fairly forgiving drink as the milk can be used to mask some failures in coffee quality. The friendly staff quickly made sure it was made, checked if we wanted any sugar in it (of course not but really appreciate them checking). In general the staff were super friendly and worked fast.

The iced latte arrive quickly and first impression was that it looked nice. Flavor-wise it was however a bit of a disappointment. It lacked interesting flavors, no real bitterness but also a bit bland. It is of course a risk when using this much milk. I would say it qualifies as ok and by far better than what you would get at a chain like Costa, Nero or Starbucks but still not good enough to be specialty coffee. I also sampled an espresso and it was nicely pulled, nice crema and while not exciting in any way it was made with fairly good skill and decent beans. They do however need to work on their coffee offering and potentially also a bit on their skills. Food is on offer here and the few things I sampled suggests that it is perhaps a much better choice.

They were very friendly so I hope they can fine tune their operations in the months to come as I would otherwise be a bit surprised if this would fly. The competition in the area is pretty sharp so if they are to make it I think they need to up their game considerably. The area is up and coming but there are not a lot of people just walking past so it is necessary to also have something that pulls in the crowd.

So how does it rate:
Coffee quality: 2
Ambiance and service: 3.5
Food: 3
Vs local competition: 2.5