About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Reflections on the year 2013

This post was in draft mode for days. I was trying to work out what to say about my year. So many things have happened but at the same time I didn't want to bore my readers to tears!

This is the first time I am posting about my highlights for the year. I thought it appropriate since I did 2 travel trips this year and for my US trip, I really didn't finish all my NYC posts except for where I ate. Lol! Why is that so predictable of me?

So what where my highlights? Well, work kept me very busy this year and there were highs and lows during the year but it ended on a high note when I got a promotion just before the year end shut down. It will be interesting to see how 2014 turns out. There will be more responsibilities and I doubt my hours will lessen. But I have a 'wait and see' view of all things work related!

My personal highlights would be the travel I did this year. Firstly, my trip to Queenstown was such a treat! It was a combination of pamper, shopping, sight seeing, wine tasting and great food. What more can a foodie who loves pampering want? I even think I had one of the best burgers ever when I was in Queenstown! Yes, seriously!!
A view from one of the vineyards in Central Otago
The view from Trump Soho on one night's sunset (NYC)
My trip to US in June was another highlight. I decided to join Sami Lukis's ladies only group to NYC but I added a few days prior to that by starting my holiday in Washington DC. Having not been there before I was such a tourist! Loved all the things I saw and it was such a privilege to actually see the Declaration of Independence and tour the small portion of Capitol Hill we were allowed to do.
Capitol Hill
Seriously good scallops at DC Coast
But from a food perspective, I have to say my dinner at minibar was an absolute highlight and one of the best food experiences I have had. Till today, I cannot help but extol my experience at this very unique restaurant. Jose Andres is a genius in his own right! Love his passion and creativity!!
A map of the NYC subway right in Soho!
Believe it or not! These are for dogs, not for kids..only in the US of A!

Monday, 30 December 2013

The Last Ever 'Pig on a Spit' at Restaurant Atelier (Sydney)

I start this post with a sigh, a huge sigh! Sadly, a few months ago, Chef Darren Templeman announced the impending closure of his restaurant. Restaurant Atelier has been operating for just over 10 years and it was time to shut the doors and move on to other adventures.

Upon hearing this, I immediately checked their website for upcoming special events to find an opportunity to dine one more time at Restaurant Atelier. I saw the 'Pig on a Spit' lunch event for the 29th of December. As the last day of business would be December 31, and I would still be on my end of year break, I immediately decided to book some seats at this event. And I am glad my friends CW and CHW decided to join me as well. They are fans of Restaurant Atelier's excellent food and of Chef Darren Templeman's culinary skills. I can still recall my very memorable 10 course degustation meal at this restaurant back in August of this year (10 course degustation at Restaurant Atelier).

I didn't realise at that time but this lunch turned out to be a small reunion of other bloggers whom  I happen to know. Miss Piggy was there with her husband Dave and half his family. MiCasa SuCasa was there with her husband Andy and their little gorgeous baby Button. And twitters Vanity Fare1 and Prick with a Fork were there too with their respective families (note that they are people whom I know of but do not know personally). But just imagine the tweets flowing through online social media that afternoon!

The lunch kicked off with some delicious pork rillette and cornichons. We had to control our number of portions as these were addictive and we wanted to save space for the upcoming feast!

There were 2 pigs on a spit all ready for our lunch. What a sight!

And when the spread was presented, there was Couscous salad, roasted peppers, roasted carrots, roasted zucchini and squash, roasted potatoes with a touch of paprika (I think), asparagus and corn, and the star was of course the many platters of the roasted pork. By the way, did I forget to mention all this spread was for only $50 and the food was presented buffet style?!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Day 2013

I wasn't intending to blog about this year's Christmas but upon reflection I thought to myself 'why not?'. After all, my blog is in a way my diary and this year Christmas was so relaxing I had to share it.

For the past 7 to 8 years, I have been spending Christmas with EF and her family. It has become a tradition and one I am happy to have continue. This year EF's cousin PL and his wife LL were hosting so we all adjourned to their home.

Most of us had not seen each other for a year so it was just nice to chat, hang out and enjoy each other's company. It started to rain from about noon and continued right throughout the day.

Our lunch was held outdoors, just at the patio of their home. We managed to stay dry but sitting there enjoying lunch and watching the rain was quite peaceful actually. I could have sat out there for hours watching the rain and feeling the cool breeze. It was a nice change from the past few days of stifling heat.

Place cards lovingly made by NL (PL's daughter)
We started with a platter of cheese, this time I brought the Cambozola, Tete de Moine, and Reblochon. All were popular with the group but the star was the Reblochon. It was absolutely oozing with cheesy goodness! I didn't take a close up of the cheese but I am putting up a selfie taken by LL. Not something I would normally do as I dislike seeing photos of myself but it is Christmas, so once again why not!

We had more than enough food to keep us going for 3 meals. There was the traditional ham, turkey roll, bread, Pearl couscous salad, Caesar salad, garden salad and vermicelli salad.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Albee's Kitchen, Kingsford (Sydney)

The first time I heard about Albee's Kitchen was a few years ago. Their famous curry puffs (or karipap) were part of a friend's contribution to a social gathering. To my delight I found a slice of boiled egg in the filling. I was pleasantly surprised at that. It is not often you find curry puffs made with a boiled egg as part of the filling.

Ever since then, I was aware of this Malaysian restaurant but did not have an opportunity to check it out until now. The original restaurant is located in Campsie but a few months ago, they expanded their business with a new outlet in Kingsford.

Our Malaysian lunch turned out to be a feast! Their menu is very extensive and it can be quite overwhelming reading through all the list of available dishes. We made a concerted effort to order dishes not easily available at other Malaysian restaurants. That turned out to be a good strategy!!

Here goes!

Curry puffs
Photo from my take away serving
Pandan chicken

Kuching Style clay pot noodles
Favourite dish!
Salted fish with bean sprout

Butter cereal chicken

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Parlour Burger (Sydney CBD)

Sean Connolly of Morrison Bar and Oyster has opened a brand new burger joint called Parlour Burger. It is located right next door to the Morrison Bar and Oyster Room.

Not only has ramen joints been opening like hot cakes, so it seems burger joints have been too.

To launch its opening on the 25th of November they had a free burger day. 500 free burgers for lunch and 500 for dinner. Apparently there were long queues on opening day to get the freebies.

I spontaneously decided to check it out for a Friday lunch and went down there with some of my work colleagues. It was literally standing room only and as there were 5 of us and we couldn't get a table large enough for all of us, we decided to get take away instead.

After some considerable time waiting for them to get our orders right, we eventually received all that we had ordered and quickly returned to our office for a chow down.

What did we have?

Black Widow burger with a charcoal bun, ground beef and extra hot sauce.

The Original Morrison burger with chipotle mayo.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Dinner at Via Napoli Pizzeria ( Lane Cove, Sydney)

What a night to pick for dining out!! It was wet, cold and windy but my friends and I still met up.
It was bucketing!
I had been itching to check out Via Napoli for a while now. Even since I heard about their metre long pizzas! On top of that after seeing thesuzchef's IG photos of their pizza earlier this year, I was salivating. And to add more salt to the wound, the recent Time Out magazine's special on pizzas voted Via Napoli as the number pizza place in Sydney.

That was it! I had to go check it out!!!! The blah weather was an absolute dampener but not enough to deter me.

I couldn't believe how popular the place was. Packed to the rafters! So much so we were relegated to the back of the building. An annex that was only accessible outdoors. Out came the umbrellas!

Our meal consisted of shared plates of:

Prosciutto E Bufala - Prosciutto Parma with Buffalo Mozzarella. I had been eyeballing this dish since I perused their menu a few days ago and it was delicious. The mozzarella was so fresh and had a great texture and the prosciutto was full of flavour. I have yet to find a local prosciutto that can match to those I had in Italy but this one was pretty good!

Grilled prawns with rocket salad. This was one of the specials of the day and the prawns were beautifully cooked. They were succulent and had a lovely smoky taste from the grill. More please!!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic 2013

This time last year my friend CW was telling me about the Christmas picnic she got invited to. It was by invitation only for Sydney food bloggers. She had decided not to attend as she had other commitments but I immediately felt very left out. I thought to myself 'why wasn't I invited? Am I not considered a food blogger? Is my blog so insignificant?' After all, at that point in time, my blog was a year and a half old. Big mental sigh at that point in time! But I got over it as I knew it would take a while for any blog to have any form of attention.

I really don't know what makes a blog more popular than another. I suppose there has to be a point of difference for readers to visit regularly. But over time, my blog has started to pick up more readers and it literally has a life of it's own these days. All I do is contribute to it. :)

Okay, enough postulating I think! So this year when I got contacted by chocolatesuze through twitter as she could not find any way to email me (information not on my blog) I was very thrilled! Suddenly I felt included and part of a community of people I had yet to meet!

The designated day started by being cloudy then sunny then stormy and windy. Seriously, one minute I thought yay the picnic is on and another minute I thought it cannot be on when the rain was bucketing down Parra way with thunder and lightning to boot!!

Twitter was my main mode of comm that morning. There were tweets between jeroxie, the adventures of miss piggy, myself and grab your fork. Finally Helen of grab your fork tweeted the picnic was on irregardless!!

Traffic was heavy driving into the city but I eventually got to Centennial Park and was only 20 minutes late. Not bad for all that happened that morning!

The organising committee of Helen and Suze bought tents so the food could be protected. They even bought larger tents for us adults in case the rain returned. How sweet and thoughtful of them. I cannot believe their commitment and can only thank them for being who they are.

The weather turned out beautifully, there was sun shining down on us and a slight breeze throughout the afternoon. There was so much food brought by everyone who attended. I could not possibly eat everything so I picked a few and was very happy with my selection.

I couldn't get my hands on ramen raff's macarons! Darn it! Missed out on love swah's cupcakes which looked so pretty! And I saw a picture in Instagram of a dessert served that day which I didn't even see in person! Darn, darn, darn! :)