Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Lox, Stock & Barrel

Rare trip out to this side of Sydney for the Bondi Beach Markets, so decided to make the most of the trip with a stop at a cafe. I remember Dandelion coming here for some lattes, and so decided to try stuff here. Came here around lunch time around on a weekend but didn't have to wait for a table. The music here can get a bit loud at times. 

food spread

Mushroom latte: blend of chaga & lion's mane, lucuma, macadamia, espresso, almond & cashew milk (sugar free, dairy free)-$6.50
Large flat white-$4.50

The mushroom latte is definitely an acquired taste, more so than tumeric imo. It sort of tastes like coke without the sugar or fizz but with milk. It has some nutty flavour in it but doesn't really taste like mushrooms. Sort of like how truffle is a type of mushroom but has its own flavour. The coffee has a good hit of flavour to it.

Smoked lox w/ onion, caper, rocket and cream cheese-$15

It's not a cheap or amazing bagel, but wanted to try the smoked lox, which is just smoked salmon. It wasn't very smoky, but it's a decent bagel with cream cheese, capers and rocket. Does remind me of bagels from NYC...

Fattoush: raw vegetable and herb salad, spices, nuts, za'atar, dressing: lemon, olive oil, tahini-$18

Most of the time I try not to order salads outside home since technically I can make them myself, but I just don't have time to chop and prep everything. Chose this since it has za'atar. It's a really filling salad, and also loved the crunchiness from the croutons. It does have slight acidity from the lemon which helps keep it fresh.

Lox, Stock & Barrel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Juan Bowl & Tea

This place feels like a cafe which would open during weekdays, but it's actually opened more weeknights than lunches. Would recommend to make a booking since there's not heaps of seating, but for walk in there are bar seating. They are quite 'high tech' in terms of using payment systems connected to iPads, and also they show their daily specials on photos on their iPads which I think is quite smart, since specials change and they can save ink since they don't need to reprint menus every day. The menu is super simple, with only 5 items available, 1 of them weren't available on the night but they had a special, so still a choice of 5 for mains, and one entree special, and 2 desserts. They suggest teas to pair with each dish as well. 

food spread

Tonkatsu-rice with onion, 2hrs slow-cooked bungalow sweet pork tonkatsu, free range scrambled eggs, house apple mustard mayo, roasted tomatoes, red cabbage, miso sesame sauce-$23


It's not cheap for a tonkatsu with rice, opted for the normal koshihikari rice with this. The pork isn't super thick, but it is still a decent area. It could have been a tad bit more crispy/light in terms of the batter, but the pork was moist. Liked how there were two dipping sauces as well. I normally don't like scrambled eggs, but I like the smoothness from Jap style scrambled eggs since they're not really creamy/milky.

Matching tea-organic lemon myrtle: native Australian from QLD rainforest, tangy and sharp, sweetened to taste, provides a refreshing and zesty palette cleanser, great health tonic-$8

It's not cheap for tea, but when tea is in the restaurants' name and they suggest pairing teas, well then I couldn't resist not trying. It did give a nice subtle tang and slight zest to help lighten up the pork, mainly cause deep fried food is generally oily and relatively heavy. It's a nice light tea, but I like teas more flavourful. The only other time I've had a matching tea was in some tea region in Taiwan, where it's an actual tea house with like 50 tea options.

Wagyu: rice with garlic butter sauce, 2hrs slow-cooked wagyu roasted beef, free range onsen egg, crispy lotus root, beetroot miso, wasabi, snow pea sprouts, onion sauce-$24 (extra $1 for 12 grain rice)

no yolk porn from the onsen egg ):

12 grain rice

Beef was thinly slices and also quite tender. It wasn't super flavourful in terms of the meat itself. Was disappointed that it looked like an onsen egg, but the yolk was overcooked from the normal leaky yolk. The lotus root could've been crispier as well. The 12 grain rice is sort of like brown rice and tasted quite healthy, but wasn't really garlicy. The waitress warned us that the onion sauce is quite salty and just pour it depending on our taste, but I didn't actually find it that salty when you mix it with the rice, although it could be more oniony. It's an expensive dish for beef and rice, but it's good quality and nicely plated. 

Matcha tiramisu-$12

the top is so flat


I've had a similar dessert in HK, where it was also a matcha tiramisu or some matcha cake inside a wooden box. There was a nice hit of matcha, but not the really bitter type. I think cause they premade it quite early on so it was quite soggy/wet inside. There wasn't much sponge, and a bit too much cream. Some of the liquid from the cream/marscapone/alchool just seeped out over time, and you end up with a watery puddle at the bottom. The dessert was nice, but I've had better tiramisus before.


Juan Bowl & Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My uncle was here for a few days in Sydney, just to collect expensive stuff, but luckily I don't really have to go out too much, and at dinner the other night I was able to leave early since there were enough cars for me to drive off. Red Eye has started, and it's interesting since haven't seen these sort of cases before. 

Sakura soft serve-$4.90

It's definitely not cheap for a soft serve from Oh Matcha (previously Chanoma). It's pretty how they sprinkled it with matcha powder and some gold bits. This tasted like red bean to me. It's got a slightly thicker and grainier texture, and not super creamy/milky. I don't know what Sakura actually tastes like, but I'm not a big fan of red bean flavoured stuff, so wasn't a big fan of this flavour soft serve, They have 2 new flavours coming out next week which I hope to try. Will also try the some miso flavoured ice cream Happy Apple mentioned if I'm ever in Parra (I think you said it was in Parra, haha).

Had the Egg salted egg chips last time, now salted egg fish skin from sg to hk to syd

Apparently this stuff sells out at 9am everyday in SG, so even if you had the money (not cheap, around $20-30 a pack), you won't be able to get it if you're too slow.

Johnny's Pizza Java flavour: chicken, snow peas, broccoli, cashews, mozzarella cheese, satay base sauce-$28 (family)

Didn't get the massive 25inch one since not a whole bunch of relos came over. I love the sweetness of this satay, which the tiniest bit of spiciness in it. There's not much oil coming out from the pizza since  you can tell from the cardboard box, and the dough is so soft. Treats like these are a one off since it's so unhealthy and not cheap, but worth buying for when people come over to try.

I also got my first preference for overseas preceptorship! Pretty sure it's cause I'm in the 2nd group with less people/competition, if I was in the May group, my marks wouldn't be high enough. Going back to a place I've been before, and as mentioned, the only other country I've re-visited except for HK is Japan. Re-visiting my fav city in the world would make sense, just didn't realise it'll be just 4 years later. Hoping I know the other people I'm going with.

So much travel from May till end of the year. I love travelling, and yes it's not cheap, but yay for experience. I'm joking to myself that the the majority of travel this year will cover my travels for the next 10yrs of my life lol.

MasterChef my fav tv show has started, and for the first time ever I missed the premiere except for the last 10min. Probs gonna be another yr I'll miss the majority of it since 2012 cause studying for HSC. Previous years always had sem 1 exams, but I was very yolo and still watched all the eps. This yr I'm just not in Sydney all the time so gonna be hard to watch, and no time since reports to do, and no time to catch up online. Also more shows coming back out on Netflix. Although it sounds like I'm complaining, I guess there's always stuff to do after work next year like catch up on tv shows and movies lol.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Motto Motto

Another new restaurant opening in Macquarie Centre. You go to the counter, order and pay for the food then you find a seat.
food spread

Wagyu beef rice bowl: tender MB6-9 wagyu beef strips, w/ fresh veg in rich yakiniku sauce-$15.90

It's not cheap for a bowl of rice. The beef could have been more tender, since it didn't really taste like wagyu. Obviously it wasn't a super high grade, but I just expected more flavour from it, rather than relying from the flavour of the sauce. There wasn't a lot of veg for the amount of rice they gave. The sauce had a nice sweetness to it.

Pork belly Jap roll: slow-cooked pork belly, crispy green salad, onion, tomato, pickled cucumber and mild mustard w/ authentic Japanese sauce-$14.90

Again, not cheap for a roll. Not sure what makes this Japanese since it just tasted like a brioche roll. Ended up eating this in layers since it was slightly falling apart when it came. Pork wasn't dry and good amount of flavouring. Thought basic salad leaves and veggies didn't make it taste Japanese at all, and neither did the 'Jap' sauce, which I'm not sure what they used as their sauce since it didn't taste very Japanese...

This place is a different addition to the shopping centre, but it really didn't amaze me.

Motto Motto Japanese Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Duo Duo Ice Cream

Made the trek to Redfern/Surry Hills where the Duo Duo Ice Cream truck was parked at a carwash after seeing it being featured on Dandelion's blog multiple times. First time Uber sharing to get here, which was quite interesting. Normally I don't like the Chinese style fried ice cream since I find it's too floury/battery and ice cream all melted inside, but I do like Thai style with it's think filo pastry and solid ice cream inside.

Pandan coconut deep fried ice cream: freshly made pandan and coconut ice cream, topped with a salted coconut sauce and toasted coconut flakes-$9




I took one too many photos since it was melting by the time I cut into it, but if I didn't, the ice cream probs would still be solid. The batter is nice and thin, and deep fried really well to give it a nice crunch. The pandan flavour could be stronger, since compared to Messina, it's not as strong. It was still a nice flavour and not overly sweet. Loved the salted coconut sauce on top to cut back the sweetness. If you're in the area, since they do move around Sydney, it's pretty good for a deep fried ice cream made from a food truck (actually, it was more a trailed since you couldn't drive it and it needed to be towed).

Duo Duo Ice Cream Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Korean Wedding

First time going to a relatively traditional Korean wedding. It's interesting to see how different people/cultures do weddings, and just seeing how things are run. It was quite a cute wedding, but mainly in Korean, with some spoken English and some English translation on the screen. They chose some songs with English and Korean lyrics to sing. The sermon was quite short and also in Korean. The songs their friends sang sounded nice and cute but didn't understand. Still the First time going to an outdoor reception as well. Random thoughts in no particular order:

- Apparently according to my optom partner, it's very traditional to not have any bridesmaids/groomsmen, and both the groom and bride walk up the aisle, unlike the 'normal' way of groom meets bride at the alter/front.
- The invite didn't mention anything about gifts or money. Pretty much the invites I've or parents received for the last 10 yrs say don't gift us anything, but if you want gift money. I guess in Western culture people gift presents, and Chinese you normally give money in a red packet. Korean you just put money in envelopes, and they provide it for you at the front.
- Very traditional wedding if parents also wear traditional clothing.
- They also hired traditional stuff like clothes and props with the kneeling on mat thing, like the Korean version of a Chinese ceremony?
- Another Korean thing, they all speak Korean to each other even though their English is relatively good.
- It seems like taking a polaroid and sticking it into their guest book is becoming quite popular.
- Me being unnecessarily observant, I find Korean people in general are very rich. Fancy cars and designer handbags.


Maybe I leave to early before the cake actually gets served, or maybe for the receptions I've been to, no one knows how to serve it, cause Asians don't really serve cake(?) Idk. I guess maybe Western places divide up the cakes for you, but I've never been to a Western reception so idk about that. I'll update you guys if I ever go to a Western reception and they serve the wedding cake. I feel like it's mainly there as a centrepiece, but how can you not eat it?? That's what I find absurd when you pay 3 figures for a cake and not eat it...My 21st cake was 3 figures, and also had another cake which the venue gifted, so I ended up having my cake leftovers for dessert for the rest of the week, but for a wedding cake, I don't feel like I would be able to eat the whole thing for a week since it's meant to be shared with others, and I love sharing cake with other people.

Outdoor reception is so cute

I like how they didn't allocate names to tables, more of a communal thing. I guess for a buffet style food, you don't need to be at the same spot since it's not served in courses.

yay for Korean food (don't judge how much I eat when hungry)

There's something just nice about homemade Korean food. It's flavourful yet less oily compared to restaurant Korean food. I actually prefer home style Korean food, on the rare occasions I get to try someone's mother or grandmother's cooking.

Ty to BW for taking me along. It's definitely interesting attending weddings from other cultures. To all friends who read this, please invite me to your wedding, hehe.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

Thoughts on the movie down below. May contain spoilers.

Started the day trekking to the hospital to find out there were no patients. Since bus was in an hour back home cause #hillslyf hourly buses between 9-3, decided to finally try the new cake at Black Star Pastry.

The Dragon Cake: Scales of finely sliced dragon fruit on a delicate sponge. Pineapple vanilla cream with pomegranate jelly ripples on a biscuit crumb base-$9

I like their packaging, it's taller than the width, also in a way try to prevent it for moving too much




It was a nice cake but not amazing and on the pricier side. The dragon fruit flavour wasn't as prominent, maybe cause it was too thinly sliced or not ripe enough or had gelatine on top. I liked the sweetness from the pineapples and the acidity from the pomegranate jelly. The sponge was light and the base wasn't too hard or butter. Got that in the morning so they were still cutting it from their massive cake which was like 80ish cmx 80cm. The cake didn't stick fully to the cake board so did move a bit when I got home.

Showground road has finally been upgraded/finished. The completion date was early 2018, and since I didn't go gym last week, I think they finished it end of April. Imo, early 2018 is Q1 (so Jan-March), so I think they were behind schedule, esp with all the rain etc, but now it's 2 lanes each way, plus one side has extra stop/parking lane. Don't know why for a section there's like bricks with plants though...maybe could've made a 3rd lane...I still remember when it was one way each way...The north wet is rapidly expanding, I so feel like even with the extra lane, there's still gonna be traffic. Reminds me of the M2 upgrade, traffic was ok for about a week, then it became a car park again during peak hour with the new additional lanes.

Father daughter movie time

Did you know, now when you book online, you can change seats or movie session times? That use to be impossible since once they get your money it's non exchangeable. I think they're doing it so more people will still come to the movies, since there's so many online options nowadays. Like I bet they always had the technology, just was holding it from customers.

I thought the movie had a pretty simple story line (until the ending), and loved the intensity/action. I don't read up on movies or the comics, so I did find it a bit anticlimactic that the villain won, it just seemed to easy for him. Usually the good guys win, but I guess that's why there's a part 2. Also loved the CGI. The credits had like heaps of people listed under special effects, and I feel like these movies are worth watching in the cinema, since the screen is bigger to see all those stuff. To me, it wasn't a sad movie, and I guess cause I expect most of the characters to somehow come back to life. Sort of like GoT where almost all the main characters die. 

I liked how Thor, Dr Strange, Iron Man was in it, since I think they're a bit more witty/cheeky/funny, and I like their powers more. I also like the real life actors, and the other movies/shows they play in. Funny how they combined Guardians of the Galaxy as well. Good sense of humour throughout. I think they still did a good job at investing into the feels of different characters, even though there were so many characters, but it wasn't hard to follow. I haven't seen Black Panther yet, so was confused as to what he's doing/hiding from the world, but it looks like it's got really good ratings, so watch that when I have time. Also haven't watched Thor: Ragnarok, and probably other ones as well...

I always feel guilty watching a movie when it's not holidays, but I really like Avengers, and wanted to watch it before I come across spoilers irl or on social media.  Castle Towers have changed heaps, didn't even realise they got rid of the yum cha place which the Putt Putt/bowling/games arcade overtook the medical centre and yum cha. All the restaurants in the Piazza are changing. I guess goodbye to Mad Mex, the thai place, GPK the pizza place, Baskin Robbins, Max Brenner and other restaurants...

This is here instead of the Coffee Club

Don't have to trek to the other side of Sydney to try this. I'm not a nutella fan, hence never made the trek down since I know these desserts would be overly sweet.

I'm already keeping a lookout on when it's opening for free burritos lol. 99% sure I'll be on placement or uni.