Serene Tranquil Lake Bled – Day 1 3pax Family Holiday in Slovenia 15-21Sep2018

our free 1hr row boat

we parked our avis rental car at our hotel parking lots. great weather & sunshine on 15.9.2018. ^^

rooms were not ready. actually it was not checking in time yet & they asked if we like to pay €30 to get the room. we didn’t need that (unusual in my experience, usually they give it to you free when available at time of check in, though if you prebook early check in it is usual to pay).

the room came with an 1 hr free row boat so we left our luggages & hopped onto one to row to bled island, or so we thought! lol! 🙂

our exorbitant grand hotel toplice

our grand hotel toplice looked nice.

but price was exorbitant, service was extremely poor or non existent, and rooms were in poor condition, very run down, not worth 1/2 the price!

rowing to bled island

son took charge of rowing.

son was quite spent after scaling mt fuji with gf 2-3 days back. PLUS we were not in the best attire after 15hrs flight inc transit & jetlag. 🙂

bled island

bled island 

bled island looked alluring & deceptively close.

bled castle

and opposite our hotel was the bled castle up in the hill.

bled castle

the serene, tranquil lake bled

the serene, tranquil lake bled

the serene, tranquil lake bled

lake bled was serene, tranquil, mesmerising.

lake bled

son rowed past the cottage by the lake, maybe a bit past the 1/2 way mark or at most 2/3 way to bled island. took 25mins.

son didn’t relish the idea of me rowing back from bled island. so we decided just to relax & enjoyed the lake & the boat on the water. 🙂

pletna boast ferry to bled island 

we saw pletna boats ferring passengers. they came from a ferry point next to our hotel. it took the professional botman 35mins to get to bled island. he had 20 passengers of course.

son & i decided to row back together, one oar each. it was a lot faster & less than 1/2 the effort i think.

hiking trailhead

still early to check in so we decided to go hike up to ostrica the well acknowledged best veiw of bled island & sunrise. 🙂

we decided to drive to camping bled instead of walking along the scenic lakeside.

we found camping bled but was guided to a free parking area at the train station in the hill.

looking for ostrica & osojnica trail

looking for ostrica & osojnica trail

it didn’t make much sense after we parked our car & walked a short stretch to return to the trailhead we missed earlier.

so we decided to drive back, find a place to have lunch & parked our car nearer to the trailhead. this a good decision. 🙂

bled castle

a very nice morning, wonderful lake & good start to our slovenia holiday.

c.h.e.f andy

Slovenia here We Come 3pax Family Hiking Trip with Wife & Son 15-21Sep2018

lie tong still the best

wife did all the trip planning and booking of flights & hotel/airbnb. i picked the avis rental car which son would be driving & read up a bit to be in the know.

& we were all ready for our hiking adventure. the turkish airline flight to ljubljana had a 1hrs 50mins layover at istanbul airport. changi departure was and arrival at ljubljana was .


food quality at asia treasure had been deteriorating. for our recent trip to croatia in apr2018, the food at asia treasure T3 was pathetic even c/w SATS lounge opoosite.

this time our turkish airline gate at T1 was nearer to T2 so we took the shuttle to asia treasure T2 lounge.

the only consistent good dish at asia treasure is the lie tong (top photo). it was very good, very sweet & tasty.

fried carrot cake & fried rice

fried carrot cake & fried rice

fried carrot cake & fried rice passable & quite nice with the xo haebeehiam chilli.

fish fillet porridge

fish fillet congee

fish fillet (dory fish?) congee quite ok really, above average.

atas biscuits

the waiting staff at asia treasure T2 served us a large serving of atas biscuits. we kept all for the trip.

economy food

economy food

economy class food on turkish airline nothing to speak about.

actually i though for my recent crotia trip they were much tastier.

economy food

the fish was pretty ok & the zucchini quite good.

salad & side dish

salad with cheese ok, side dish passable.

turkish airline biz class stewardess in chef uniform

they had biz class stewardess in chef uniform.

a few “creative” touches, like the safety video was a lego animation etc.

istanbul airport mall

istanbul airport mall

the transit mall at istanbul was huge. the airport is sprawling & took long time to walk from one side to the other.

we did some shopping. wife bought chocolates & also 2 bottles of red wine.

we decided not to go priority lounge.

damaged luggage

damaged luggage

we found one of our nice luggage completely broken on arrival at ljubljana.

there was no queue & we could easily lodged at report at the counter next to the luggage belts.

guy was fluent in english, efficient & helpful, so filing report for insurance claim later was quite a breeze, no hassle.

quite new skoda octavia 5000km

we booked a mercedes B180 for 6days for €242. avis website said or equivalent, and i checked avis ljubljana they did not have a mercedes B180 in their car inventory.

we got the skoda octavia “equivalent” instead! lol! ^^

car was relatively new 5000km (assuming it was correct). the suspension sounded like car was falling apart though. 🙂

anyway i checked B180 length <4.4m & octavia length 4.68m so maybe octavia was good for us. 🙂

we expected to pay a lot more for excess waiver. it was €20/day for additional €120 making the 6 days rental fully covered €362..quite ok atcually c/w what we paid in croatia.

got a free garmin GPS

also the guy threw in a free garmin GPS & a second driver, and those 2 could add up to like €15/day so not too bad la…

highway pass decal

got decal highway pass (we asked to confirm). seems that some rental don’t provide that, and you may get fined €50 if you didn’t know it was required.

good roads not difficult to drive even on the wrong side

and we were on the way, to lake bled.

like several reviewers said, the roads were good & not difficult for my son to drive, albeit on the wrong side…hahaha!

our avis rental car = skoda octavia

our avis rental car = skoda octavia

we arrived at our hotel grand hotel toplice at lake bled about 10am, nice weather & great sunshine awaiting us.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Indian Dishes 7pax Lunch @ Gayatri on 6Oct2018

indian dishes galore

WT bought 7pax lunch at gayatri race course road today on 6.10.2018. ^^

don’t do indian often these days so looking forward to lunch.

S$27 fish head curry medium

fish head curry was very good.

fish was fresh, sweet, meaty. curry was flavourful.

enjoyed this fish head curry. as i shared with J though, i used to like indian fish curry a lot. these days i prefer the forture thai style fish head curry especially, and also nonya or assam fish head curry.

S$6.50 quail eggs masala

quail egg was ordinary, nothing special or distinctive with the masala.

S$22 prawn masala

likewise the prawn masala nothing special.

actually my own prawn masala & fish masala using house brand pre-made spice sachets were far better (i did an all indian dishes 10pax dinner for my friends on 19.7.2017).

S$8.50 mutton vindaloo

the mutton vindaloo was good.

mutton was tender & flavourful & curry was tasty.

S$21 chicken tandoori

tandoori chicken a dish i don’t particularly favour, though some tandoori chicken can be very flavourful & even a bit moist.

not this one, which was the usual dry & average taste.

S$6 tahu masala small

the tahu was good.

S$6 deepfried gobi (cauliflower) small

& i like the gobi, deep-fried and differently prepared from the north indian aloo gobi. still i like this.

S$4.50 garlic naan

naan was good here.

J and i were sharing that the there were not much curry gravy from the southern indian dishes to eat with the naan, like her experience in london indian restaurant bombay bustle recently…

S$131.50 for 7pax

@ killiney road kopitiam farrer road hospital

indian dishes galore

lunch for 7pax was S$131.50, quite ok.

food was good & more than sufficient & also very good variety.

not a priority but this a restaurant i would come back again sometime.

after lunch we walked over to farrer road hospital for a cuppa. WT ordered also kaya toast for PY to try.

PY is flying off back to tokyo tomorrow. WT bought a bottle of kaya for PY to bring back to japan. haneda quite strict, with sniffing canines but should be ok la…

c.h.e.f andy


Opening Hours:


Yummy Japanese Chashu over Rice on 4Oct2018

chashu over rice

made some jap chashu & pork soft bones for 6pax dinner with OPS bro & friends on 3.10.2018. 

but haha! i forgot to serve them. luckily got WM to tapao the soft bones & 1/2 the chashu back. lol! 🙂

chashu over rice

i got like 2/5 the chashu strip in the chiller so decided to slice and steam over white rice in the rice cooker (after rice cooked). added some crispy chilli. lazy to do sushi rice so not quite donburi haha! 🙂

chashu really tasty & tender, yummy yummy, very shiok la!


i used the usual method for jap chashu by

130degC for 3.5hrs.

braising sauce –

  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 shallot quartered
  • 1 stalk spring onions
  • 3cm ginger (sliced)

c.h.e.f andy