Sunday, December 18, 2011


Thursday, 15/12/11

I went to the new IKEA in Tempe (close to airport) with a friend to buy several rather large items, we bought mini TV cabinet, wardrobe, 5 drawers tallboy, curtain rod, dining table, dining chairs, and other knick knacks. As you all know, you can do self serve to get all the items @ IKEA ... and yes we pulled stuff from the mega shelves and stack them into the 2 big trolleys, went to car park and stacked them again in the car.

After exercising our lazy muscles by lifting boxes, boxes and more boxes, we were so tired and HUNGRY at the point where I didnt want to move at all. We decided to have our dinner @ IKEA where I had the honour LOL to introduce my friend to IKEA cafe. He has never tried IKEA cafe in his life. I ordered the signature Swedish meatballs (my fave btw if I go to IKEA), chips and drinks. He was happy, we had window seats watching the stars and some view....carpark view =)

What do I like about the meatballs? It is really tasty, texture is great, good sizing, and pocket friendly hehehe.. and you cant find Swedish meatballs in any other place in Sydney unless you make your own or you buy the frozen meatballs, the lingonberry sauce and mashed potato from the IKEA foodmart.

Swedish meatballs with mashed potato, lingonberry jam and gravy for less than $10

Friday, December 2, 2011

SOKYO @ the Star

Saturday, 12/11/11

Where can I take my bestie for his birthday this year?
Arrgghh what a difficult question to answer, he has been everywhere nice, everywhere exxie, everywhere unique. I was in despo mode at the point where I had to chat with my friend in other part of the world for suggestions LOL. She suggested to try any dining places @ the Star (formerly know as Star City casino) or Claude's.

Initially I wanted to take him to Claude's or Momofoku. No success in getting table. Claude's - waiting list, Momofoku - I got frustrated by their annoying online booking system *** growwll ***.

At the end I managed to get a table @ SOKYO to celebrate his birthday. Little drama of the day, I forgot to print the address, I thought why bother, how big is the new Star? and ... I was lost in the jungle trying to find SOKYO, asked several shops and security guards & they were all clueless. The worst part was my crackberry has no signals. Finally saved by the semi hidden auto directory.

SOKYO was 1 week old when we went there and I am pretty impressed with the overall service & food quality. We were served by a great waiter (I think he's French), he was friendly and knowledgeable, designed the degustation menu for us, very attentive, keep checking with us if we were OK with the menu overall etc. Thumbs up for a newbie. I will come back for more to try other dishes.

Salmon with kim chee sauce
Beef with grape - apart from pretty looking, they are delicious, the sauce went well with the beef and not overpowering
Asparagus tempura - well fried, crunchy batter, juicy asparagus & stacked like jenga
Fish with coriander sauce - lovely sauce, fish was in smaller (and thin) cut but still juicy & firm, not too sure about the type of the fish
Foie Gras wrapped in wagyu marble with fig and plum wine soy. This is my fave!! Wagyu part was tender and moist, melt in your mouth, combining it with foie gras .. top notch !!
Greenies with spicy garlic vinaigrette, light and refreshing, very well balanced
Blue eye cod, kifler potatoes with sake sauce ... I only remember the sake sauce was a bit like mayo to me
Salmon roll with garlic chips - a little ordinary
Spicy tuna with crispy rice, rice was crunchy but not dry, tuna was fresh & firm ... and we had to order another plate
Teriyaki BBQ beef short ribs - sweet and juicy
Lemongrass ice cream with sago
Caramel something...pretty close to tiramisu with a hint of crunchiness
Chocolate  pudding
Melted choc in the middle...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Phuket & Bangkok Holiday - Part 1

August 2011

Holiday is one my favourite things to do, but the painful bits before jetting off is doing research days & nights to know where to go/ what to do etc. Lemme share my version of lonely planet to save you from researching days and nights & having panda eyes =)

P H U K E T (2 nights)
I classify Phuket as an ideal place to do massive R&R, suitable for couch potato like me - eat, sleep, shop, spa, massage etc. Phuket is not that big & it is divided into several areas: Karon, Patong (really popular amongst tourist, similar to Kuta in Bali), Surin, Phuket town. I stayed in Phuket town area during my 2 nights & I feel it was too short. Overall I reckoned I did OK, quite efficient for 2 nights trip, thanks to our tour guide Num.

  • Natural restaurant aka Thammashadd restaurant- traditional authentic Thai food, reasonable price and casual atmosphere, on 62/5 Soi Puthon, Talat Nuea, Mueang Phuket town, phone. 076-224287
  • Open Air Food Market on Talad Khaset (I hope I spell this right) - find anything from appetisers, mains, dessert, fresh fruits, anything cooked with internal organs, home made soya milk, dried fish etc.
  • Pornthip Snack Shops - massive shop, more like a mini supermarket selling all Thai snacks from chilli sauce, shrimp paste, cookies to dried fish in any forms. They also provide professional packing service if you have big shopping spree like I did, ie. I came out with 2 big boxes and 1 small box. Address: 108/1 Moo5, Chalermprakiat Rd., Tumbol Rassada, Muang District.
  • Cookie House (Chinese style cookies) - similar to Tau Sar piah, flaky pastry cookies with mung bean fillings. After 5 days old, still flaky and moist fillings. Address: Soi Soon Utis (dead end small lane), phone. 076-258050.
  • Mee Ton Pho - mini hawker centres, several food sellers located in 1 place, open air, fantastic food and suppa cheap. Address: Ong Simfai Road (roundabout), infront of Clock tower, next door to temple.
  • The Beach restaurant on Patong Beach - a little touristy and quite pricey for Thai standard but I had to do some touristy stuff sometimes. Dine on the beach whilst watching the lantern man. You will see several lantern sellers, they said by litting & fly the lantern to the sky, your wish will be granted. Trust me I didn't buy the lattern, I was too hungry to be bothered with this lantern business.
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    Deep fried bread sticks with coconut sauce or pandan sauce, crispy breadsticks and fragrant sauce
    Home made soya milk with toppings, costs me 30 Baht = AUD 1

    Pornthip snacks shop
    Pornthip entrance - grab your trolley & start piling up
    Spice/ Seasonings/ Dried Fruits?
    Bottled chilli sauce/ Dried Squids/ Dried Fishs
    If you like tau sar piah, you will like cookies house, flaky pastry with mung bean fillings, I should have bought more boxes to take home
    Mee Ton Pho Hawker Centre on Ong Simfai Road - in front of the Clock Tower
    Mee Ton Pho - satay seller, charcoal grilled satay, I cant resist ... the aroma is such a killer

    Fresh eshallots (not sure why it's on every table) and pork crackles
    Mee Ton Pho - Pad Thai, best seafood pad thai ever
    Mee Ton Pho - Oyster omellette with rice (comes with some red sauce), simple dish yet flavoursome
    Mee Ton Pho - Fried rice stick noodle, fragrant and cooked to perfection
    Mee Ton Pho - Pork satay, tender and tasty, served with cucumber pickles
    The Beach restaurant on Patong beach - serves Western and Thai food

    The Beach restaurant - shrimp paste fried rice with dried pork & shaved green mango & egg
    The Beach restaurant - Fried Fish with garlic sauce, crispy fish with vampire antidote sauce
    The Beach restaurant - Tamarind prawns, very fresh prawns with tangy, sweet & sour sauce
    The Beach restaurant - Larb Gai, minced chicken salad, light and refreshing
    The lantern seller - ready to fly the lantern to the sky
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    • Westin Siray Bay Resort - LOVE it, yes it is in the middle of nowhere but Phuket is not that big and you can go around anywhere with hired car pretty easy. The Hotel is massive and very scenic. All rooms are located on the hilly part of the hotel, they provide Tuk-Tuk to take you to your room...or you can walk & be healthy. For my case, Tuk-Tuk was my bestie during my stay.
    Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa - gorgeous view of Siray Bay from any part of the hotel
    Watersports activity
    Happy Birthday to me ... Choc cake courtesy of Westin =)

    • Jirawat Choojit (Num) - I can't handle the stress of looking for taxi, bargain, waiting etc under the heat & as my trip is really short, I need to make it super effective. Num has made my life easy during the trip. He is such a fantastic tour guide, he has never leave Phuket in his life, knows Phuket ins and outs. He can arrange airport transfer, city tour/ shopping, eating tour, massage/ spa, island tour. Phone. (+66) 089-7274863, Email.
    • Taxi in Phuket has no 'TAXI' sign - taxi is mainly private cars with driver, bargain is a must. If you are planning to go to several places within a day, you will be better off hiring a tour guide & they can drive you around. 
    Bye-bye Phuket..will come back for another visit

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    ZenQ Desserts

    I am glad someone can read my mind, I always thought Chatswood lacks Asian desserts cafe. and here you go..latest addition to Chatswood's Victoria Street stretch, ZenQ Desserts from Taiwan.
    Their menu has good variety, from Grass Jelly, Toast series, Sago/ black pearl soup, Snow ice (looks like shaved ice), Drinks, Red bean soup, Black glutinuous rice soup, or Create your Own.

    ZenQ is always busy regardless the time of the day, so be prepared to Q up for seats. Seatings area is not that big, and I think it will be hard if you go with a large group. I can see myself going back and trying different dessert, just need to wait for better weather to turn up. Happy long weekend everyone !

    Mini, Midi, Maximo Toast - sweet/ savoury..take your pick
    Grass Jelly Menu
    Sago/ Black Pearl Soup & Snow Ice Menu
    I ordered No. 2 - Grass Jelly with Taro (real fresh 1/2 mashed taro), Pearls and Jelly Cake - everything I need in a bowl, perfect for a hot summer day. Not sure when the day is coming since the weather has been terrible these past few weeks.
    My friend ordered just Red bean soup with no toppings. I tried it and I can taste a mild hint of orange peel in the soup which make it very different from other red bean soup I bought from another store. I like it.