Archive for June, 2010

Weekend brunches and the zoo

Yesterday an old friend told me that he reads my blog and thinks that I have an interesting life. While most of the time life feels pretty mundane and all about work and sleep, I have to admit, some weekends have been pretty great.

Like last weekend when we celebrated MingSian (also known as Ah Kiam)’s birthday. One of Richard’s best friend, Ah Kiam is a really lovely guy, if only he weren’t such a social butterfly, I wish we could meet up more often and have more weekend gatherings together.

His cake was very pretty, it was a pistachio and chocolate mousse cake cake from Francois. I really like how they decorated the cake with a chocolate maccaroon.

So last weekend was pretty great but this weekend was even better. It started with catching up with Jo and HC for yumcha and shopping. Feels like ages since they have both graced this blog. HC couldn’t smile with his teeth because the poor guy is suffering from tooth ache.

Weekends are always good when they start with yummy eggtarts. Later we visited the newly opened Apple store in the city, where Calv refused to leave and couldn’t get past the ipad zone. Seriously, Apple geeks are scary. And no sign of economic recession at all because Apple products were flying out the store.

For those that complain that I never put up photos of Perth scenery, here’s the new building smack right in the city and above the underground train station, apparently my organisation is going to move there  in 2011, but I won’t be there!!  Argh.

Sunday was even better because I received the nicest present, the entire set of James Herriot books!! I love James Herriot so much, he is the epitome of the nicest vet in the world. I’ve re-read his book so many times (and still love them) that my old third hand books are falling into pieces so I was getting very sad and repatching them with scotch tape. Now I have this new set which I’m going to wrap with pretty paper and treasure forever. James Herriot and Chibi Marukochan, two things that make me very very very happy (^____^).

Sunday brunch at Millpoint Bookshop Cafe with the cute couple Jason and Wendy. Err in case you didn’t notice, that’s not Jason and Wendy, that’s Jason and Richard, haha.

Jason’s Big Breakfast, I like this cafe because it’s surrounded with books and best of all, they serve nice coffee. And they’re in the Entertainment book, so we get 25% discount (Jo and HC you guys should go, it’s so near your place).

But the nice brunch was only a prelude to the main event, we were going to the zoo! Jason’s company’s social club gives free tickets to the zoo for it’s members, so the couple very nicely invited us to come along (^___^). Ok, that’s Jason and Wendy…

Even though we’ve all been to the zoo at least a couple of times (except for the rabbit, it was his first time which also explains why he was snap happy and we have millions of animal photos) it was still really fun trying to spot the animals. One of our favourites was the meerkat, look at his michievous grin!

We wanted to hug a koala since Wendy told us about her experience of hugging a koala in Adelaide. But this koala refused to stop eating and get off the tree…

but Richard managed to hug one in the end. Very soft and cuddly right?

It was a lovely day out and something special to end the last weekend of June. Thanks a lot for inviting us Jason and Wendy!

It was back home with our new housemate Gerry, lots of bowls of bak kut teh (yums) and pork belly with pickles. Porky night as you can see. I’m thinking of really setting (and not talking about it as I have been for the past few years) a stall during the annual uni food fairs in September, any extra money earned will go into my holiday fund for Christmas. So far I’m tossing between selling laksa, chicken curry with rice and bak kut teh. To family and friends that have eaten my cooking or at least seen it on this blog, any ideas on what I should sell or what will be popular (and guarantee lots of $$$)?

Ok, it’s time to sleep and the end of the weekend for me (T___T). I won’t be able to watch the England vs Germany match tonight (the rest of the boys are at Burswood, so unfair) but this is what I’m wearing to sleep tonight, so my heart and spirit is with England all the way (sigh, to be frank, I’m very worried), so please get through England!!!!

Mid week cooking

Almost the end of June, also reaching the end of my working life with my current organisation. I’m a little sad but mostly excited and looking forward to the future.

It’s getting really cold in Perth, minimum temperature tomorrow is 3 degrees, brrrr. But it also means we can indulge in hot soups such as our tomyum noodle soup for dinner.

My  Pear Tarte Tatin which I’m quite pleased with because I made it without a recipe (^__^), possibly the easiest dessert ever. I only wish we had a scoop of vanilla icecream to go with the sweet warm tart.

Going to the zoo and Sunday brunch this weekend, can’t wait, what a treat!

Happy 端午节 Duan Wu Jie

also known as Dragon Boat Festival, and to me the gluttony daitaoha, the day we get to eat zhong zi, bak chang, rice dumplings (^___^)

I trekked a long way to get these rice dumplings, hopefully it will bring some cheer and foodie joy to my family and friends. It’s also Adrian’s birthday today, if you’re reading this, happy birthday, hope it was a great one!

More lunch bentos, hambagu with demi glace, my first attempt at demi glace, it was a very basic and simple version, will try more complex versions in future.

I like chawan mushis for winter. My mother gave me some fabulous mushrooms which just taste great in everything.

Dinner tonight was marinated lamb chops with mash and asparagus. I love tender and crunchy asparagus stalks, if only they weren’t so expensive, I would have them more often.

Banana and marmalade muffins for morning tea/afternoon tea the next day. Aren’t my 100 yen Daiso toothpick thingys cute?

Ok, time to sleep, two more days to the weekend, will it never come?

World Cup fever

Monday mornings are always difficult, even more so when it’s cold and wet outside. Also if you’re an OL on a budget who has decided to give up her daily Velvet and Lowdown coffees for affordable ‘3-in-1’ instant coffee sachets.

Ok, it could be worse. My 3-in-1s are lovely Malaysian ‘Aik Cheong’ Kopi Tarik packs and remind me of Kuching kopitiams and home. It’s going to rain continuously for the whole week but I’ve received a cute pocket umbrella over the weekend to replace my much loved but now broken polka dotted brolly.

Best of all, World Cup is finally here!!! I’ve been sitting in front of the tele and basking in World Cup fever all weekend.  We’re all so excited and perusing the match schedule diligently to see which matches we’ll be able to catch without falling asleep in the office the next day. I’m a bit shy to admit that I’m still supporting England despite the goalkeeper fumbling so badly during the last match. I’m sure they will do better next time, I hope.

It bugged me that I didn’t hear a peep about Australia’s match against Germany in the radio this morning. Instead they were going on about AFL matches, arrgh. Then I got into the office and checked the news. Australia thrashed 4-0 and Cahill red carded. Oops. I guess that’s why it wasn’t mentioned on the radio.

Between Masterchef and World Cup, it looks like I’m going to be a couch potato for the rest of June (^___^)Y.

But it’s not all World Cup, I’ve been cooking too.

Claypot chicken rice with a real claypot this time. It achieved the desired ‘charred’ claypot effect, but cleaning out the claypot afterwards was a bit troublesome, I might stick to the rice cooker in the future.

Tomorrow’s bento is Ayam Pongteh and rice. I like those ‘all in a pot’ dishes for lazy cooking days.

For dessert there’s orange sponge cake with orange flavoured icing, I added some fresh orange zest and extra orange paste for extra flavouring. Love orange flavoured desserts.

Ok, the Netherlands vs Denmark game is on, back to the tv for me (^___^)!!

Our Melbourne long weekend

It started with a late night flight out to Melbourne.

A stolen snapshot from the runway. Tiger Airways btw, is terrible for domestic flights. I still slept most of the way to Melbourne, I was that tired.

First morning was all about Queen Victoria market which was located right opposite our hotel.

Loved the market, it was huge, had rows and rows of butcher shops displaying their fresh meat beautifully, cheese and dairy products, pastries, fruit and veggie stalls, everything, it was a feast for the eyes and lover of fresh produce.

The rest of the morning was spent discovering city streets and hunting for our hidden Japanese restaurant Yu-u. Like entering into Aladdin’s cave, the very bare door led the way to the secret basement below which wowed us with their posh and dim interior.

The lunch bento itself wasn’t bad at all. Mingling amongst the business crowd  swirling their wine glasses, I felt like an imposter watching a show.

A very quick power nap and it was dressing up for R’s birthday dinner at Maze, Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant located in Crown Metropol. Dinner was exciting, impressive and fun.

2nd day started with exploring Chinatown and eating yummy ramen for breakfast and lunch!

Watching street performances in the city.

Melbourne is great because they have MENTAIKO onigiri!!!!!!!!!

Spot the couple exploring the Melbourne Convention center.

We finally find the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet)!

We love the free City Circle trams.

Late night dinner along Lygon Street, Melbourne’s famous Italian restaurant strip. I loved the lively atmosphere of the street and the city in general after dark. It is warm and alive, unlike the dead city of Perth after 5pm. We need extended trading hours, really.

Gorgeous tortellini tartufo at Tiamo 2, the soft tortellini was filled with fresh ricotta in a gorgeous creamy mushroom and truffle sauce, it was lovely.

A cold and rainy stroll to Melbourne Central for a late night movie.

Day 3 was luscious and tasty raw beef and beef tendon pho at Mekong along Swanston Street.

Drinking in the city sights and stopping by the Melbourne institution Pelligrini’s bar.

I wish I had space for their very rustic looking spaghetti bolognese but had to settle for coffee and a slice of tiramisu.

The trip wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to the Eureka Tower for a 360 degrees view of Melbourne.

View of Melbourne from the 88th floor.

Suddenly the sky cleared up and a rainbow appeared!

It was goodbye Melbourne but not complete without a sushi takeaway for dinner. We spotted so many sushi takeaways throughout the trip, we had to end with a box for dinner.

R bought an entire Strawberry Gateau cake for our farewell dessert! And he ate it all too (^__^). There was something really special and fun about huddling behind the Hudsons (their coffee chain store in Melbourne) cafe in the airport and eating a cake out of the box with plastic forks.

Arrival at Perth was a bit of a drama when Gerry’s car broke down and there was a spot of car pushing at 2.30am in the morning. I must say the traffic warden at the airport really enjoyed himself.

Monday was spent sleeping and sleeping with a homecooked steak and mash dinner. Melbourne was an eye opener, really fun and lovely, but being home ain’t so bad too.

Long weekends are the best

Usually a bus girl, I took the early train to the city for the first time ever. Waiting at the bus stop v.s. waiting on the train platform chill factor? both very cold! Is it me or is Perth extra cold this winter? Maybe it’s the missing layers of fat which I shall soon put on after the Melbourne weekend. In anticipation I might add :).

The charming brother at Lowdown didn’t seem surprised to see me so early in the morning, instead greeting me with a ‘how are you doing daitaoha’ and handing me my usual order with his easy smile. The only problem with changing jobs in July is that the new office will be much further away from Lowdown. It does put me closer to Velvet but I’ve been bought over by the smiles, the greetings and the warm coffee plus delectable white chocolate and banana muffins at Lowdown! There’s something really nice about getting the ‘regular’ treatment.

Mark’s in town and we’ve had dinners two nights in a row, sadly I won’t be around for the remainder of his trip but I’m sure he will have lots of fun indulging in his favourite egg tarts and catching up with the old gang, or what’s left of us that is.

Jetting out of Perth tonight!!! It’s the rabbit’s birthday tomorrow too, hooray for birthday long weekends in coffee capital. My weekend is starting early so Happy Foundation day weekend people.

June 2010