Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Holiday Splurge

Here are my little spending spree during my 3 weeks holiday, nothing glam, just some mini snacks collection. I bought several Japanese snacks when I was in Hong Kong (some of them did not have a chance to be photographed...sorry readers, they were demolished before they get a chance to do a little publicity stunt). The good thing about Japanese snacks (majority of them) is they are individually wrapped - really practical, I can rotate everyday without having headaches about 'this will go off before I finish the whole box'. I have been bringing them to work almost everyday that my boss suspects I run a mini Japanese snacks store after I came back from my holiday. Anyway, here they little snacks store.

Left - Caplico, chocolate snacks in a cone, it is like eating mini ice cream cone without the ice cream
Right - Midi Pocky, shorter and thicker than normal Pocky

Green Tea galores - it is really hard to nominate which is the best. I love green tea and I love Japanese snacks ... combination of both really ruin my judgement. Might be a little biased, but they all really great. Green tea biscuits in different varieties, rice crispies/ Pocky stick/ biscuit block/ biscuit roll. Low level of sweetness and light.

Left - Bourbon black sesame biscuits, it is like a jumbo thin coin with thin layer of black sesame cream. Packed individually, very handy to bring to work. Again...this is light.
Right - I haven't had a chance to try them.

Left - Meiji Mushroom chocolates, mushroom shape honey caffe latte chocolate
Right - Meiji chocolate button, errr it is pretty similar as honey caffe latte ones

Some touristy stuff that I bought...key rings. Chip & Dale, Panda Bling, and another Panda
Seriously, how many key rings do I need? .....
Mickey Mouse oven mitts from Disneyland, too cute to be left un-adopted. This will encourage me to do more baking (I hope). It's a good start to have a proper baking props ...  =)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm Back .... from Holiday =)

Hello everyone,

It's been a while since I last updated my blog, I was having a blogging detox moment due to the departure of my PC (RIP my PC, you have been great in helping me). It went kaput one day, just black and nothing else. The worst nightmare is I probably lost majority of my photos ... which haven't been transferred to my portable hard drive. Not sure if anything can be salvaged at this stage, I have to wait till my geek friend come back from holiday. Praying hard for miracle right now.

Let's talk about happy events now =)
This year I had a chance to do a 3 weeks holiday covering 4 places (Kota Kinabalu, Hong Kong, Maldives and Singapore). It was quite tiring but holiday is always one happy occasion for me. The tiring bit was the packing/ unpacking, kinda blame myself for that lol, quite a few hotel hopping happened. Had great food most of the time, meeting my friends...a bit of shopping, sightseeing and seeing a new part of the world that I have never seen before. I came back feeling fresh & rejuvenated.

Kota Kinabalu (Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia)
My first time here, I was here for a wedding + a bit of sightseeing (in total about 5 days). Weather is hot, humid + sticky, I was like a walking dehydrated sweatbox, drinking water all the time. The food compensated the weather though ... absolutely fantastic food (and pocket friendly). I had great coverage, from fresh seafood, noodles, curry rice, coconut juice, fried banana, coconut jam, etc. I reckon the best highlight was when I visited local eateries in the suburb. I went crazy ... bought almost everything that I can think of. The not so good part was ...Grrr I got ripped off a few times by cabbie (eventhough by our standard is cheap, my friend still laughed at me getting ripped off big time). Like ... let's say I paid cabbie MYR 20-30 ..and my friend said it should only cost 1/2. Oh well, never mind just treat it as supporting Malaysian economy.

Kota Kinabalu - Shangrila Rasa Ria resort

Lido foodcourt in local suburb - from chicken wings, chicken satay, oyster omelette, dumplings, local vegetables, noodle soup, and other goodies ... I love this foodcourt !! Btw, these are for 2 people =)

Black Pepper crab from Seramban seafood restaurant
Deep fried durian from D'King

Fresh coconut juice ... not as sweet as Thai coconut but fresh is always best

Deep fried banana with cheese + Deep fried banana with cheese and chocolate - crispy on the outside with melty cheese and melted dark chocolate to go with the sweet banana ... omg these are evil combination but I love them. Coconut juice works well to wash the greasiness !! 

Fish sauce seafood mee-hoon - it doesn't have the physical appeal, however they smell great (wok tossed smell), simple dish yet flavoursome.

Turmeric rice with papadums, vegetables, prawns, chicken and chicken giblets. I bought it from Indian stall in foodcourt. It was quite fascinating, self serve & they charge you according to how many varieties you have. Interesting stall, everyone seems to know everyone.

Roti prata with curry sauce ...fluffy and fresh roti, with light curry sauce.

Hong Kong
Still the same old same old ... packed, busy, noisy but cute, and great food. I was in HK for about 10 days. Did a bit of Disneyland, outlet shopping, eat local food, and doing a couple touristy stuff like visiting the Peak, went to Ocean Park (errr was a big nightmare), visited Bird market & Flower market in Mongkok etc.

Hong Kong view from the Peak

Freshly baked egg tarts from the legendary Kam Fung café in Wanchai

My first time here too...OMG...when we landed, we were like villagers duo, standing speechless for a few moment. It is too pretty, was surreal, pretty much like what you see in postcard/ magazine shots - yes they are real and exist in this world. It is such an experience, crystal clear water, white sandy beach, and very picturesque. I had a great time in doing some water activities (I usually don't do this kinda thing lol), relaxing, sun soaking (stocking up in vitamin D) and enjoying the view. Pity food was quite average during our entire stay in Maafushivaru. I would loveeee to go back again.

Maafushivaru Kuoni - breathtaking view

Crystal clear water ...
The usual regimes, eat and more eating...bakuteh, carrot cake and kaya toast (coconut jam).

Have a great night everyone, ...will post a bit more soon.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Monday, 29/04/13

Me not having a great Monday ... =(
Had a busy day at work today, didn't even have time to have breakfast/ snacking/ arvo tea, so not me today. The highlight of the day was ... I got trapped in a lift by myself, lucky it was for 5 mins but the scariest bit was when the lift slide for quite a moment, literally slide 1/2 floor down, and shake at the same time. Thanks for the pumped adrenalin but I don't need it today. Damn you lift, wat a day !! Anyway...I can confirm I have been diagnosed with vitamin H(oliday) deficiency ~ I haven't had my vitamin H for the past 9.5 months, arrrrghhh so hard to function.  My vitamin H can only be taken in exactly 18 days time.  I miss the smell of airport, waking up at 4am to go to airport, the stress of having overweight luggage, eating like crazy, a bit of hotel hopping .... I am counting and counting ... cant wait !!! I am posting some of my old holiday porns to cheer myself up.
Conrad Bali ~ love your swimming pool always !! Taking a nap in the gazebo right in front of the beach + a little walk around the beach
JeevaKlui hotel ~ Lombok island ~ very clear water, uninterrupted view ... quiet and away from crowds
Kiama little blowhole ... breathtaking view
Bali ...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jones The Grocer

We coincidentally discovered Jones the Grocer in Westfield before our dinner. Then we realized, it was their week 1, they just opened its door that week (or even on the night). We didnt waste any time, we headed straight back to Jones the Grocer right after dinner to try their desserts.
Jones took 'Becasse' old spot in Westfield. They revamped the area, open kitchen, simple and modern decos, sophisticated, relax atmosphere. The entire area is spacious ~ divided into mini grocery store, bakery in the front (btw their pastries, tarts and cakes look Awww-mazing), cafe & restaurant. We ordered 3 desserts, teas and coffee. Desserts were simple (back to basic style), nothing crowded (presentation wise), generous portion and everything tasted fresh. I was pleased with their leaf tea too, nothing else but peppermint for me; very fragrant and strong. Service was considerably smooth on that night, no hiccups and we had a friendly and bubbly waitress. It is indeed one great place for winding down or catching up with friends (even business meeting). I went back on week 2 to have their desserts + tea with, pretty self explanatory I guess ** wink wink ** and we will be back to try their mains.

Jones the Grocer
Shop 5018, Level 5 Westfield
Cnr Market & Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: 61 2 8072 7755

Desserts selection
Tea menu - great variety, from east to west they have them all
Glazed lemon tart w blackberries and cream fraiche ~ was my friend's choice of dessert. I only tried a spoonful, custard is tangy with smooth balance between sweet and sour, and complement the buttery base.
Other friend's dessert ~ Citrus pannacotta with strawberries, basil and candied almonds - light and refreshing. Probably the lightest amongst the 3 desserts that we ordered. This silky smooth pannacotta went well with the crunchy candied almonds. I can munch on the candied almonds easily. For sharing? ...hhmm maybe not, I want  the whole thing for myself.
Here's my dessert choice ~ Young coconut rice pudding with mango and crunchy almond - it is an excellent dessert, taste is just perfect - mango + almond really make a big difference, no more plain rice pudding. You get the crunchiness from toasted almond and mango sweetness.  This dessert is a little on the heavy side (and generous portion) and I struggled to finish it off after my big dinner. Definitely an excellent choice for sharing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Bathers Pavillion

Most people will say 'Bondi' as their favourite beach in Sydney. I found Bondi is a tad too crowded & way too touristy for me. I beg to differ =) and I vote for Balmoral as my favourite beach in Sydney. It is just simply stunning and offer more characters; great neighbourhood feeling, clean, way less touristy, and if you are dog lover plenty of cute and well groomed doggies around to admire. If you are lucky you can pet/ play with them too (with the seal of approval of the owner of course). Food around Balmoral in general is really good, or I should say it is actually above average. The only drawback about Balmoral is expensive parking around the main stretch, $6 per hour.  I can easily spend 3-4 hours there and I usually take bus/ park a little further from the main stretch. There are several great options to have breakfast in Balmoral but somehow I always go back to Bathers Pavilion. Located right in front of the beach, white older building with little kiosk on the side, selling cold drinks, coffees & quick bites for grab. You will not miss this building, it is massive and always packed regardless the hour and be prepared to queue for table ... have a great weekend everyone!!

The Bathers Pavilion
4 The Esplanade
Ph. 9969 5050
Breakfast Menu
Corned beef, spinach and corn hash plus 2 poached eggs - probably not looking so pretty but they are delicious - Corn hash (which I think is way better than the usual hash brown ~ potato) was golden brown and crunchy. The corned beef was excellent, it just melt in your mouth ... and the hollandaise sauce adds extra oommphhh when you have everything together plus the runny egg yolks. ....this breakfast just has no flaws.

And .... after the corned beef for myself, we were drooling like hell looking at next door table having their pancakes, so here we go ... waved to the waitress, and we ordered pancakes to share. Best decision indeed.
Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup - warm and fluffy pancake with maple syrup, I should have ordered a scoop of ice cream, will be perfecto.
Weekend parking $6 per hour ... booooo...