Monday, October 23, 2017

Once again, being spammed with more photos of food, but happy that Dad can finally spend his bday with his fam in HK as well, literally the first time in over 24 years. Although that unlimited champagne and brunch place they went to, I need to put on my HK to eat list as well, and Gordon Ramsay's restaurant which was on my list over 2 years ago, but this year I was only in HK for like 3 days so didn't have time to go...It's cute how my Uncle got all the October bday guys matching shirts from that basketball game he went to (I imagine those shirts ain't cheap...)

How generous that they provided us the time limit this year and the diff tasks for the prac exam (sarcasm intended).

People watching at work yday, and sort of can't believe how spoilt some kids are, or maybe just bad parenting...? This kid around 4/5(?) just screaming and crying and hitting the mum, first I've seen in public. Then parents shouting, then the parents walk away to the side and pretend it's not their kid. Then other people walk past asking if the kid was lost, both in English and Mando, but the kid speaks Canto since the parents spoke the him in Canto. Like you can't just ditch your kid and pretend it's not yours cause they're screaming and crying?

Ahh, sort of hate this slight overwhelming feeling when I try to set goals for the day but then can't finish it. In a weird way, still sort of can't believe it's exam season again, even though I've been telling everyone I need to study. Also, have scheduled all my food posts (some from ages ago lol).

Saturday, October 21, 2017

#MatchaMoment

I'm one of those people who thinks hashtags should stay on Instagram, and not be on FB or on this blog, but sometimes can't help it when I come home to this notification on my food Insta:


I finally won something!!! I was even of thinking of hash tagging something like #plsletmewin. Technically, I didn't take the photo (thanks BW + new camera for that sneaky in the moment shot), but free $50 of food! This really made my day lol. Hope he does reply and gets back to me on how to claim the voucher...I've actually been to One Tea Lounge quite a few times now, and even though their stuff is more pricey, still like the inventiveness of their stuff.

The only other thing I've won before on Insta was through regramming something, 2 years ago but that prize wasn't edible...I like how I can still keep it since it's not temporary like food, but still food related.

I can't believe my cousin who is only 2(?) already attending interviews to get into a 'good' childcare/preschool, since apparently in HK, they start learning stuff when they're 3. Really grateful for my parents to make the decision to move to Aus before I was born, so I didn't have to go through the whole studying/interviews/selection process, and glad I could still be relatively carefree compared to those HK toddlers...I guess that's why most of the HK people are quite smart though. Although I do have some 'lazy' cousins who just don't put any effort into studying, or even trying to find a part time job because they aren't even bothered to work because it's too 'hard work' when it's really they are lazy...Like if you're going to give up your education, at least find a job? Hard work is good but not when you overwork yourself. On the other hand if you don't work at all, then that's also not good either.

Friday, October 20, 2017

It took over 4 Cathay/Qantas <$600 sales to finally convince my dad to go HK by himself. My mum and I would jump at the chance, but too bad I have uni, and when mum went last time by herself during exams, we all struggled unfortunately...Even when plane tickets were $500 for Qantas, he still said no. Tbh, I'm just glad he's gone there now to just visit his parents even only for a week. Like I've seen them more than he has, so it really was his turn. It was also his turn of bringing over 40+kg of 'Australian produce.' 

At our house, going to/from the airport, you're on your own. Whoever is free will drop the person going to the airport off at the train station, and you lug almost over 40kg on the train, then change trains to the airport. Only get dropped off at the airport last time because coincidentally my uncle was here and booked a similarly timed flight back to HK.

Malibu Passion from Zest, our local patisserie

Cake wasn't really sweet surprisingly. Just got a random cake the other day. The raspberries weren't fresh though (Dandelion would definitely be disappointed with these raspberries). There's actually more cakes I want to try, since Zumbo has released another new range, but I ain't going to the city on my day off to get cake for my bro. Even for myself I wouldn't go out if my bday landed on a day off. Zumbo individual sliced cakes have shrunk in size, and pretty much all of them start from at least $9 now, so dunno if worth for a small individual slice. 

My bro is kind of like me in a way,  the stuff we want but don't need are quite expensive, yet not afraid of asking people to chip in. He must have a lot of friends, or just a lot of rich friends in general to pitch in for something that pricey...Tbh, the best gifts are priceless 😊

Literally 10 years later, Philip Pullman releases another trilogy, which apparently is a 'companion trilogy' to The Dark Materials. Completely diff characters but I'm guessing the main concept will be similar. 10 years ago, Northern Lights was my favourite book. I think I was intrigued by the title (hence one day, hopefully, I'll get the chance to see it), but quite liked the story line. Will read the new book after exams, and hopefully it'll be off the reserve list in the library.

Look at that standard deviation

Sort of cry inside, yet the supervisor likes the error bars...It goes into the negatives 😒 Tracy, can you feel my pain? Haha. Drawbacks of having a small sample size, and limited time...oh well, at least we tried.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sculptures by the Sea 2017

First time today at Sculptures by the Sea-didn't even realise it's the 21st year of Sculptures. Every year it's always before exams period, and ends before the week exams starts. Decided to go on the first day of their official in the morning because 1. Avoid crowds and people in my photos 2. Exams are coming, so better to go early then later...right? Actually, there were quite a few locals walking in the morning, and quite a few primary school kids later as well. Apparently it was already considered not crowded, so it might feel like Asia on the weekend...

There were over 100 sculptures featured, I don't think we saw them all, but definitely the majority. They were still installing some sculptures and moving some stuff around in the morning. It takes around 2 hours to see everything if you're like me and like to take photos/not rush it. Just decided to post selected ones here.

Bondi




it's a burger! also strangely has glitter on it

'High Tide'

looks pretty cool from diff angles




 
this was one of my favs, just something about the shapes the wires make



weird melting faces

apparently this was the winner this year, well the circle loop thing at the back

There were people standing in front so didn't take a photo of it. The circle looks less interesting than the one in the foreground here.

'Y Not'

some massive rock, still thinking of how they transported it here

mini sculptures

Majority of the sculptures cost at least a few thousand dollars. Like I'm pretty sure the labour hours to make it plus the materials doesn't cost a few thousand, so you're pretty much paying for the originality of the artwork. I can appreciate how some of them would look really nice if you had a massive home with a wide expanse and blank white walls to feature a sculpture. Most homes aren't even that big, so if you put a sculpture inside, it would make the house even smaller. I guess maybe some hotels would purchase them to make their lobbies fancier.

$59 500

How does this cost as much as a fancy car?? Anything over $50k I would already consider as a 'luxury' car. It's just some metal cut and arranged in a weird shape. It's not even moving and the colours aren't even nice. Someone pls explain why this costs $60k...


accurately represents optom: 1. living life on the edge 2. falling drowning into the ocean




The sculptures weren't mind blowing (maybe I've seen a bit too much art already in Europe at the beginning of this year lol), but they were pretty cool and can respect the creativities of the artists. Super lovely weather as well since you get that nice coastal breeze on the short coastal walk. Would recommend if you guys have time to go have a look. I have to admit, it does feel pretty good to take a break from studying/stressing from research.

Night Noodle Markets 2017

Updated post-scroll down to round 2 for more food!

Yay, October is Good Food Month (and also noo because exams are looming). Let's be honest, I really come to the Night Noodle Markets for the desserts. I don't think I've ever had noodles before at the NNM. Recap of Night Noodle Market 2016 shows I ate pretty similar stuff haha. This year they totally got rid of the 'Sugar Rush' or 'Let's Do Desserts'. Last year they had way too many boring chocolate dishes, and I think they got rid of it this year because it's probably the only thing which is worth your money, $20ish for a dessert plus wine at a restaurant, compared to market food which is $15+ for a smaller portion of fried rice in a cardboard box. Once again, they are cash free again this year. There were heaps of people on the first night, then I realise it was still school holidays last week.

Round 1

Hyde Park Palms

They tried to make a more Cali feel with the theme of Hyde Park Palms. Pretty sure they put in new palm trees, since my bus stop is outside Hyde Park, and only noticed the palm trees just a few days before NNM started. I finally have a CitiBank card so could enter the 'VIP' section. This year you can pre book tables as well, but ceebs.

Always come to Messina because they create different desserts every time


Menu






Kamikaze Katsu Sandwich-$12

Not going to lie, was a bit disappointed half of it was melting cause it just doesn't look that great and I was most excited to try this one out. It still tasted really good though, loved this concept of combining dessert with Jap food. The gelato could have had more lime in it, but the soft red velvet cake wasn't too sweet, and there was still a slight crunch from the panko crumbs. Loved the yuzu sauce to give it some acidity and again not make it really sweet. Normally I don't like fried ice cream apart from the Thai ones, since the Chinese ones are all floury/doughy, and really the flour is soaked in oil. I think if the gelato was harder you could actually eat it like a sandwich, but ended up eating it deconstructed. They actually replied about the melted gelato. I guess that's why they hire HRs and PRs for all this social media stuff. Obviously I didn't get this replaced, but I do wonder if I showed my post will they offer me a free one...(doubt it though, but if I had time wouldn't mind trying lol).




O-no-giri




inside

Ahh, this is so cute! The only onigiri I can remember having this year was in Japan at a 7/11 (didn't even have time to have a nicer onigiri at other places), so does this gelato version count as one? The white choc did make the whole thing quite sweet, and it too a while to go past the hard-ish mousse to get to the green tea. The green tea could have been more bitter (maybe I'm just too sued to super intense matcha ice cream these days), and the pistachio could be a bit stronger flavour.



This year at the CitiBank dining area, you can order stuff and they would fetch it for you from around 5 different places, so you don't have to wait in line. 








Black Star Pastry: The Mango Cake-Fresh blueberries and crystallised lavender aboard slithers of sweet mango on a layer of coconut mousse, a bed of sago pudding on a foundation of gingerbread sponge-$9.50

The cake was slightly 'leaking' when it arrived, and didn't hold it's shape after another 5 or so min. The cake wasn't really sweet, but I did find it was lacking a punch of mango flavour. There was hardly any blueberry on the top, actually pretty much hardly anything on top compared to other slices...The coconut mousse could have had more coconut, and the sago is softer than normal. Gingerbread sponge again could have more spices/flavours in it. I still prefer the OG strawberry and watermelon cake. I think the textures are a bit different in this one, but it's not amazing. Maybe a bit better than the Jap Forest Cake.  

Hoy pinoy: chicken skewers in traditional soy glaze, 2 for $13

Another price inflation noted, all thanks to this food blog (jks). But it has increased $1 from last year. It's obviously not cheap, but no market food is cheap. It tasted alright, wouldn't say it's amazing, but luckily it wasn't overly marinated.


Round 2
got here a bit later on a Tuesday night, still just as many people

 


Puffle: Korean marinated Bulgogi Beef Philly Cheesesteak style stuffed inside our signature cheese Puffle topped with Japanese mayo and shallots-$16

I was actually pleasantly surprised since this met my expectations, even though the line was almost 30min. Normally a lot of these things the markets are a bit gimmicky, and probs not worth the money but still worth the experience (or photo). I think this tasted really good with the crunch from the waffle, and cheesy flavour inside. There was a decent amount of beef and other toppings as well, drizzled with that super yum Jap mayo, and slightly refreshed by the shallots. It's a nice sort of comfort food and wasn't too messy to eat.


Indu: Smoked Goat Dosa-Smoked goat’s leg dosa, zucchini ribon raita, pomegranate, chilli and bacon jam-$15

Interesting flavour combination, where I could actually appreciate the chilli. Loved the salty yet sweet flavour from the bacon jam, but needed more refreshing elements in it. Hardly ever have Indian food so I can't really compare it to others.

Din Tai Fung: Giant Dumpling-$12

it's so cute!

They had this earlier this year for a limited time at the restaurant, but I didn't manage to have time to try it. They have it here at the markets so I thought why not give it a go. It's really a novelty thing, but it's so cute with the straw to drink the soup. It's also the hardest thing to eat and you just sort of have to deconstruct it with a fork. It tasted like a normal xiao long bao, but I think because the proper ones are mouthful bites, the flavour is more prominent compared to this big version.

other things from Din Tai Fung

 
One Tea Lounge: ube x matcha soft serve w/ green tea ice cream-$8

The ube/yam/taro flavour was quite nice and went with the matcha. I would have preferred the matcha to be more bitter so the sweetness of the ube would come out more, but most people probably like a sweeter than bitter matcha. Couldn't really taste the the flavour in the cone though.

behind the scenes shot

I Think I’m Turning Sesame-Black sesame gelato, condensed milk coffee jelly, miso crunch, banana miso bread, vanilla cream and coffee powder-$12

Back again for more Messina. I think from memory, this is the first time they did a black sesame flavour, and it was quite a good hit. The coffee jelly bits were interesting, sort of like a panna cotta but not as creamy. The miso crunch could be more miso-y, and although the band bread was there, also felt like it lacked the miso flavour. Personally didn't think the cream was necessarily since once the ice cream sort of melted at the bottom, it mixed in with the cream. 




lights

night


the only lanterns

They had less stuff put up this year, like last year they had the cranes, other years, more lanterns or other Asian inspired deco, but I guess importing palm trees plus big fancy lights weren't cheap. Hope to be back before it ends next week to try some other stuff from the markets since those ice creams were surprisingly filling.