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R.I.P. Gung gung

My gung gung passed away today. I want to write down my memories of him somewhere so I will never forget him. But today is not the day.

I didn’t want to write about his passing on dayre, or Facebook, because it makes me feel as if I’m just seeking attention or sympathy from people who don’t know him, or know me at all. So I chose my forgotten blog whom no one reads because this is for me.

I was prepared for this, after all, he has been suffering and ailing for so many years. He is at peace now and my parents made sure he had a comfortable last few years surrounded by his most filial and loving son and daughter in law, my ah pa and ah ma. I am sad that I won’t be able to attend his funeral and that I didn’t get to say goodbye. But I am also at peace in my heart because I know that I tried to spend time with my gung gung every time I was home, whether it was just sitting in the porch with them in the evenings, trimming his nose hair, feeding him lunch or biscuits. I treasure those last few moments with him. I think he recognised me, even though he didn’t say much. Maybe all he needed to know was that one of his grandchildren was home, and that we still care for and love him.

Even though I’m glad his suffering is over, I am still heartbroken. I didn’t realise how much I loved my gung gung until he was dying.

Thank you gung gung. I will miss you.




Last night

My father has beautiful penmanship. I’ve always admired his Chinese writing and his vast knowledge of China history and culture. When we were young, we used to love the Singaporean sitcom Under One Roof about the Tan family. The family patriarch Tan Ah Teck would end most episodes by telling a story to his kids ‘long before your time, in the southern province of China…’

My father is a little bit like that, he is always telling me stories that are linked to Chinese history such as the how the name yew char kueh came about. Do you know it’s linked to General Yue Fei, the great warrior from the Song Dynasty?

During this trip he told me a funny story about Deng Xiao Ping visiting America. image

He also taught Jo and I tai chi during this trip. It’s funny how my once fierce father is now so patient with us when teaching us the moves and how he melts like putty around his grandkids. Even when Tristan was playing with my father’s precious guitar, back in those days surely us kids would have gotten a walloping, instead he was more worried that Tristan would hurt himself and pulled his hands  away gently. I myself was ready to yell at Tristan ‘you do not bang on gung gung’s guitar!!’

Our Taichi lessons have been hilarious that half the time I wish we could video it coz we look so silly, HC my brother in law watches with a bemused expression while the rest of us, Jo and Ah Ma included battle with the very very slow moves. I love it and it goes down into my books as something I will miss dearly when I return to Perth tomorrow. My father left me his handwritten notes with the Taichi steps for me to practise at home. Somehow it won’t be quite the same.image
The view is still lovely tonight. Why didn’t I notice this the last time I was here? I will miss being high up on the 35th in our cozy little home. A couple of days ago there was heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Tristan was a little scared and I saw him shiver when a huge roar of thunder cracked, he quickly ran to his mummy and pressed his face into her lap. In a couple of seconds he was no longer scared and played on while the storm raged around us. I know it’s because he felt entirely safe, comforted and warm with his parents around him. That’s how I felt this week.

Singapore family trip

I recognise that my blog is half dead now that I’m primarily blogging from dayre. It is so much easier and instant.


This is my bedroom window view from the 35th floor. I love this flat, it’s a home away from home and I already know that we will have wonderful happy times here for years to come.

I am having a glorious short break. Exactly what I needed to recharge from a hectic work atmosphere. It will be extra crazy when I return but for now I’m not too fussed as I know I will and can handle it when it comes. For now I’m basking in the tender glow of being around my family and especially my parents. It just feels so unbelievably good and I wanted to share this on my blog that has accompanied me unfailingly over these years.

For all the tea in China

During the morning of my driving test, I performed pretty poorly during my pre test warm up. My instructor turned to me and said ‘have you had your coffee today?’ When I shook my head no, he bought me a coffee and boy, did it wake me up!

But before I was a coffee drinker, my first love was tea and I still love all sorts of tea today.


Recently HC introduced me to a new brand of tea. It’s stronger and I have a daily cuppa at night (this can’t be good for me). I also like its name, Yorkshire tea, because it reminds me of my favourite author James Herriot and his love for Yorkshire. Might be time to go back to old favourites and finding the simple pleasures in life.

After a decade…

It’s been a decade since I’ve blogged… as usual, I blame it on work, laziness …work…:(

But I just wanted to stop for a sec to say that after a decade of broken resolutions, I finally got my driver’s license today  (^___________^) so happy !!!!!

We celebrated with a sister’s night out complete with cocktail fishbowls and cheesy mexican. It was lots of fun 🙂 yippee.

Sydney Day 1: Bills, DFO and Gumshara ramen

I’m so depressed that the Sydney trip is over and even worse, the last long weekend for the year is over too! (T____T)

I had such a lovely break in Sydney, being able to catch up with dear Jaso was such a bonus and as usual, R and I (actually mostly me) had a great time shopping and pigging out. Already I’m looking forward to my next visit to Sydney.

We took the midnight flight out of Perth to Sydney so reached Sydney too early to check in. But that was ok because it meant we could head straight into Surry Hills for brunch.

We headed into Surry Hills, so far my favourite part of Sydney just for its sheer abundance of great cafes and quiet leafy streets.

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Bills was busy as usual but we managed to get a table fairly quick. The service as usual was friendly and efficient.

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My first coffee in Sydney, and I many many more in the days to come. But the first one at Bills really hit the spot, they do a lovely coffee.

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Possibly Australia’s most famous Bills scrambled eggs. ” Is it the best scrambled eggs you’ve ever had in your life??’ I eagerly asked R. He said possibly yes, but then again, he normally doesn’t order scrambled eggs for breakfast hahaha. But we agreed that the scrambled eggs were something special, the flavour was unique, texture of the eggs, soft, creamy. Yums.

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This might be my last visit to Bills for a while (we went this time because R didn’t get to go the first time), not that it isn’t great, it is, but there are just too many great cafes in Sydney to try out.

359 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW

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The last time we were in Sydney, travelling around on public transport was a bit of a hassle because we had to pre buy tickets for buses/trains depending on where you were going (couldn’t buy them straight on the buses) and it was a different system for light rail. But this time, we finally bought our Opal cards which are similar to Perth’s transperth cards where you can just load money into the cards and use them for buses/trains/ferries (still not available on light rail though).

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Shopping! R and I are cheapskates bargain hunters so we love factory outlets. To get to DFO, we took the train to the Strathfield train station then switched to a bus (525 or 526) which brought us to Underwood Road right to the entrance of DFO.

View from our hotel room window. Our hotel was located on York Street, Wynyard. It was a great location because it was so near the Wynyard train station.

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None other than Gumshara ramen for our first night dinner! R is obsessed with Gumshara ramen (he had it three nights in a row during his last visit to Sydney) and it was lucky we chose to go there for our first night because they closed down for a week after that. We had to settle for other ramen stalls which were pretty good too.

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My gumshara ramen, I love their half boiled egg, cooked to perfection. My broth was the ‘lighter’ diluted version which is preferable for those not into the original very thick pork bone broth. I enjoyed my light ramen a lot.

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R’s original thick tonkatsu broth ramen, he loved it and finished it to the last drop. Fantastic 1st day 🙂

Gumshara Ramen
Eating World Foodcourt
Shop 211 25-29
Dixon St Haymarket
NSW 2000

Brunch@ Pleased to meet you

Spring is in the air! The weather was pretty glorious all weekend, I did no work at all and we’re pretty much fully recovered. So it was a good, real weekend 🙂


I was feeling pretty chirpy on Saturday while walking to the supermarket and staring at the blue sky. There was a ‘spring’ in my step, I felt so lighthearted that I even bought some pretty daffodils to bring some cheer into the home.


Sunday was great as well. I was missing the nephew and niece a bit, Tristan has been home sick while Kaka is still in Singapore. Had to make do with a really nice brunch at the fairly new hip joint in Northbridge, Pleased to Meet You. So hip that they don’t even have a signboard to identify the restaurant save for the ’38’ sign which signals their location on 38 Roe Street Northbridge.


They only open at noon and we were a wee bit too early so whiled away our time by checking out the ongoing Perth construction. Perth’s skyline has changed a lot in recent years.


I can’t imagine living far away from the city. I don’t think I could ever be a country gal, I shudder at the thought of living even half an hour away from the city. Even to this day, I miss working in the city and the hustle and bustle that goes with it.


 Yeah the doors finally opened and we’re one of the first ones in. R is not into the whole communal seating but I tell him that this is the ‘in’ thing nowadays. I agree with him though, I do like the privacy of having individual tables but understand that it wouldn’t go well with Pleased to Meet You’s no reservations policy and their sharing, tapas style menu.


Clean, industrial and spacious feel. The waitress was just friendly enough and provided good service.


Opted for the window seat at the front of the restaurant. A brunch with a view.


The menu is on the wall and you order at the counter. I wanted to order everything because the items all sounded so good (think ‘food truck’), but with restraint (haha), I had the duck taco with corn salsa ($7). Came in a three bite portion, and was delicious. Duck was moist, tasty, sweetness of the corn, ahh, squeeze of lime, it was yums. Could easily have devoured three of these.


My other order, S&P squid banh mhi ($8.5) was lovely too. The pickles gave it the tart freshness, squid tasty and nicely spiced, the bread was just right, with perfect crustiness and soft innards. Right away, I knew I would be back. I regretted not ordering more.


R had a real main, the roast pork ramen ($17). The ramen lover can never resist ordering ramen if it’s on the menu, we were really curious to see Pleased to meet you’s intepretation of ramen. The bowl that came out was pretty impressive, I think they must have placed their eggs in a water bath, it was oozy soft boiled pretty. I find it very disappointing that Perth restaurants that serve ramen now don’t even attempt to have the traditional half boiled eggs in ramen and instead give you half a boiled egg. Just wrong.


The broth definitely had depth of flavour and obviously thought was put into this bowl of ramen up from the tender roast pork to the marinated mushrooms. While flavoursome, we found it quite different from traditional ramens in that it distinctly lacked japanese flavours that we’re so used to be it soy or miso. It was good, but R said he would probably just stick to his favourite Gumshara ramen in Sydney in the future.

Will 100% return, in fact I’m raring to return just to try all the other things on the menu.


Market in the city. I bought a bagel because I love bagels, but I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it haha.



Checking out the new designs in the city.


Mural artwork starting to appear in alleyways. Check out the interior designer at work, haha, capturing inspiration for his mood boards.


I’m back in the kitchen :):). This was bak kut teh with stir fried bittergourd with egg.


Japanese tofu with minced prawn, chicken, radish and mushrooms.


I love simple comfort chinese cooking. This is stir fried brocolli with chicken and mushrooms in egg sauce.


To balance out the ‘healthy’ items for dinner tonight, I had the very unhealthy siu yuk, roast pork. I’ve mentioned numerous times that R loves roast pork so I’m always experimenting with new ways to achieve the ultimate crispy skin. This was a new method which had many steps including marinating the skin in white vinegar for hours. Whilst a little more troublesome, I think it was worth it because this was my ‘bubbliest’ skin ever.


Another chiffon cake? Yes, this time it was an orange chiffon cake which I baked specially for Tristan and Jo since they were sick at home.

Boohoo the weekend is over, but at least it was a great one 🙂

January 2018
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