Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spoiltbytes' fresh new start


While I was in Turkey, I met this girl called Lynette. And I was just sharing with her about my blog and how it started. When I got back, I thought it's been a while since I did anything to the layout of this blog. I decided to change my header and give it a new look. Something more of my current look of design that I exploring into. I'm starting to appreciate hand writing my types, looking at people's handwriting. Well I just want to note this change so in future if I ever read back my blog posts (I do it quite often to laugh at my english #selfentertainment) I'll know why I change my design.

Have a nice mid week! And there's an important wedding to attend this week! Hope to get some awesome snaps to share it here!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How I shoot my Instagram photos

It's been quite awhile since I lay things out for my instagram which I always do. I love the process of it. Since I just got back from my Turkey Trip, I got some really awesome Turkish delights, a local told me that the shop I purchased it from supposedly started Turkish delights in Turkey. Who knows?


My Turkish delights came in a box, so I put about 5 pieces onto my white plate.


Added a little flora touch to the photo, too many white elements and most of them are all flat. So putting my flower in a glass bottle gives it a little more depth.


And some more flowers with my trusty table cloth from ikea, it comes in a set of 3. And how to enjoy Turkish delights without tea. I used a pretty elegant teacup set from whatever I can find in the kitchen.


Lastly, the book I have been reading lately. Bought this book in Turkey after I finish reading the book, Marching Powder which I bought for Turkey but it was too exciting to put it down, I finished it in a few days.  So I had nothing to read. While we were walking along the streets, I passed by a bookstore... I thought this girl's story is quite interesting and decided to get it.


And this is the overall photo that I took for my post. 

Happy Saturday!

[Explore] Sirince, Turkey


Sirince is our first stop, and I finally get to snap a photo like that above! I been seeing so much photos of Sirince that I have to snap this myself!


This place is super touristy however it is a little quaint town if you want to explore Ephesus. It's quite tough to drive in, they won't allow tour buses to come in so they would have to walk in. If you drive, they have a public carpark in the middle of the town to park for 5TL.

From Selçuk town (8 km away from Şirince), you can take minibuses to the village, which cost 3 TL. Minibuses run at least once an hour.

I must order the Turkish ice-cream!


The nuts topping on it made me go nuts about it.


The shops sells mostly souvenirs, we didn't get any since we were at the start of the trip. Don't want to lug it everywhere with us.


And we found this sweet little shop that is featured on lonely planet.


The place is very small and it is easy to walk around the village, you probably need about half a day to cover almost everything. It is quite hilly in this town, most of the places you will need to climb up some steps. I would recommend not to wear heels.


Some of the stuff that they were selling, totally random.

 

We went to the church to have a look.


There's nothing much inside.


Just some pillars and stuff.


But the view from the church is nice.






And do remember to bargain if you want to purchase anything.


We basically just walked around the whole place. At night this is like a dead town. 



And we walked out into the end of the town. Good for taking photos!


And back to the hotel. If you are looking for food, I recommend you to eat at the Mercann Restaurant. I've tried another restaurant, not as good as this and I think it's the top few on TripAdvisor and its not fantastic.

Happy exploring!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

[Review] Mercann Restaurant, Sirince


Recommended by the hotel reception, when we were asking them where is a good place to have lunch. They gave us this namecard, and we went to hunt for it.


We found the place after we saw the banner.


We climbed a flight of stairs to reach the restaurant.


The place is an outdoor setting, they only have a shelter over the tables. I love the colours of the turquoise chairs.


The first thing I looked at the menu was the desserts. As this is our first meal in Turkey, nothing of those looked familiar at all. We look quite a long time to study the whole menu.


So wikipedia mentioned that Turkish people drink Ayran, so I had to order it.


After studying for quite awhile, we end up asking the shop owner to recommend. He said the Meat Roasting is good.


And we order stuffed mushroom for starters.


They have another outdoor area downstairs and there's a baby in a hammock.


First off, they served us bread...


With some strange sauce/spice, which taste quite nice. Maybe tomato? I really can't tell and I forgot the name for it. But it's really nice!


Then my drink! Ayran - 80% Yogurt with 20% water and a little salt. It taste really strange at the start, feels too thick for me.


This lady came up to the corner and started to take out pieces of meat to cook them. Initially I thought that corner was some fire place to warm up, I didn't know it was a cooking area.


These stuffed mushroom are amazing as they looked.


This is the best meat roasting dish I ever tasted the whole of my Turkey trip! Am glad we came here, and this dish just makes me dream of it even after 15 days... It's really good.


They come in a little pot to heat it up and we just have to mix it with the rice.


In like 10mins, it's gone!


I couldn't handle their Ayran, so I ordered another drink, which is also very popular in Turkey. Its pomegranate.


We aren't very satisfied with the first dish because it was sooooo gooood, so we thought maybe we order another dish it would also be as amazing! Well the lamb chops are ok, but the meat roasting is YUMS!


Le husband finished the lamb chops.


We had this baklava after our food, it taste super sweet like sugar overload, after 2 mouths I couldn't handle it.


We really enjoyed our meal there. If you ever go there, just order the meat roasting and forget the rest!


---


Mercann Restaurant
16. Sokak Nr. 15 | Selçuk, Sirince, Turkey

Saturday, October 18, 2014

[Review] Ristorante da Mustafa, Uchisar, Turkey


Once when we reach Cappadocia, we were thinking where should we go get our lunch fix at about 4pm? It's neither here or there, so we were tracking down TripAdvisor on what's good to eat, well we were staying where the no. 1 was at, and it was on the high side for the pocket. We thought we walk a little bit more into town to check out what's there. So we went on looking for the no.2 which is Ristorante da Mustafa.

We were hunting high and low for this place, until we decided to ask one of the random shops we passed by to find out where is this place. Thankfully, the guy told us: AH MUSTAFA, MY FRIEND! You just go that way and turn left all the way near the castle! And we found this treasure!

It's a little unpretentious shop chuck at the side, near the castle. Our first thoughts were "WA THIS ONE LOOKS LOCAL!"


We were the only ones there, obviously... who eats lunch at 4pm? Here's the inside of restaurant and there's outdoor sitting too.


A couple of tables, with turkish carpets hanging on the walls and on the floors. Really gives me an authentic Turkish restaurant feel.


Here's Chef Mustafa's humble kitchen where he prepares everything. He basically one man show everything! He takes orders, he cooks and he entertains.


While walking along the streets of Cappadocia, you probably would see some vintage shops selling some metal lamps, tea cups, clock, anything metal. Well here's some in the shop.

We took about 10-15mins deciding on what to eat... In the end we only decided on 2 starter, one is the Gözleme and the other is the soup that TripAdvsior customers were raving about... The Lentil soup. We got Chef Mustafa to recommend the mains for us, initially he was a little confuse by what we are trying to do. In the end, he said let him settle and he will decide for us. He speaks English, we don't have to speak in slow-mo English to try to bring our message across if you get-what-I-mean.



While waiting for the food to come...


Ordered freshly squeeze orange juice, I was stalking Chef Mustafa from the room while he was preparing my drink. Thing about Turkey orange juice is that it's really fresh and they use sometimes more than 5 oranges to fill up your cup!


Warm and toasty bread! This is one of the tastiest bread we eaten since we came to Turkey. We didn't dare to eat to much in case we can't finish our mains.



This is by far the best Lentil soup I tasted in my life! Thanks so much to TripAdvisor for sharing this treasure! The soup taste like home cooking at its best! So simple and flavorful!


And the pepper really makes the soup even more awesome!


And we had this cheese Gözleme which we didn't dare to eat much as we are not too sure what to expect from Chef Mustafa.


While we are having our starters, he is back at his kitchen cooking our mains.


Our first one was a meatball dish, which tasted really juicy! The meat is not dry at all compared to the really bad ones we had in Ephesus, I had to secretly feed it to the cats just so we don't waste the meat. But this meatball is really good. And Chef Mustafa's tomatoes are really sweet and yummy unlike the ones in Singapore which is really sour.


And the chicken is really nice too, not too dry. Just nice!


After the meal we had tea. His cup size is a little bigger than the normal size tea if you notice.


While we are sipping our tea, Chef Mustafa came to us and gave us this Turkish delight to go with our tea. Earlier on our trip, one of our tour guide told us that it is very rude in Turkey to reject people's offer when they want to give you something to eat or offer you tea/coffee. So we gladly took it :) Our meal adds up 59 TL.

Meal #2
Because the first meal is really amazing, we were went back on our third night there to have dinner, at about 8pm.


This time we wanted to try another starter. So we got menemen.


And the amazing Lentil soup again!


I had chicken breast, it was ok. I preferred the meatballs and the chicken meat from day one. But it's still quite a big portion to finish.


My husband had the lamb chops. Chef Mustafa's cooking style is very natural. His meat is very fresh and unlike Singapore, we often marinate our meats. His cooking doesn't require marinating of the meat over time, is using what the local like to say "natural" salt, pepper and grilled it. Some might not be used to it, with all our mixed marinating techniques in Singapore, this probably might be "too plain".

Meal #3

We had a day to ourselves, and we thought we can go over to the Castle to have a look, but on our way there... Chef Mustafa invited us to come over and have a cup of Italian coffee with him. We sat down and talked to him for about 2 hours plus talking about Singapore lifestyle, and Pottery Kebab and how alot of the restaurants "fake" the process. He mentioned that he has the best pottery Kebab in Uchisar, he will cook the 1kg worth of meat in the pottery for 4 hours slowly and serve, which is why you need to make reservations. While the rest puts it in microwave for 10mins and then take it out.. pretending that they already brew it for so long. So we made a booking to come back 4 hours later, as it needs min. 2 pax to eat and he needs 4 hours to prepare.  

After that he suddenly asked us if we have been to Love Valley? My husband and I were like.. we kinda flew passed it on the hotair balloon but have not gone into it personally. And Chef Mustafa stood up, told his friend to mend his shop and he ask us to follow him to his car. The next thing we know, he drove us all the way to Love Valley to take a few snaps!



He became our Love Valley tour guide... 




Thanks to him, I manage to capture the shots, which normal group tour doesn't give you the luxury to do so with so many people walking around in front of your view =.=


After walking around for a couple of minutes, we got back to the car thinking that we are going back.


He drove all the way up to let us take the top view of the Love Valley before he dropped us back.

And when dinner time comes...


This time round we had mushroom soup, fresh mushroom which he bought from the market earlier in the day. This is sooooo good. For me this is the next best thing after Lentil Soup. For my husband its the other way round. He really love it.


Our greens...


And rice.

I didn't get to try this dish, it was a dish for this a friend we met on the hotair balloon, we invited her to join us for dinner. She didn't want to eat meat so Chef Mustafa cooked up an eggplant dish for her. I'm not sure if this is in the menu, but those that don't eat meat you can have this dish with the soup. I think its about 25 TL.




HERE IT COMES!





The meat and the sauces is so heavenly! It melts in my mouth!!! Def going to miss this when I head back to Singapore.


We had some baklava to sweeten our taste before we end the night.


Had some apple tea, Chef Mustafa came down to sit with us to chat again. We ended up leaving the place about 10plus. It was nice getting to know a local through their food!


Thanks for the amazing meals and the drive to Love Valley!