Tuesday, August 13, 2013

19. Birthday Free Food Haul (Elisa's Guide to Free Birthday Food)

19. i can't believe it's been a year already! today's date somewhat has a pattern (: i don't like the number 19. it's prime and ugly, 17 sounds and looks better, but 19 is =/ doesn't feel like it's my birthday. from primary to high school, i used to be like, guess what!? it's my birthday in two weeks! and then remind people. now i think i'm at the stage where i'm like meh, not as excited as i used to be/don't want people to know how old i am. i bet my face can still pass as a 14yo.

it's mostly because i didn't have a party that it felt like it was my birthday. it kind of feels good not organising any parties, although i would love one, i don't have the moneys. i have to pay for some of my 21st if i have one. then again, i would rather not have any parties and save it all for my wedding. yes, i'd rather go all out on my wedding than have a few parties here and there.

before uni, there wasn't a lot of chances to go to the city, but since uni started, i go city everyday. i figured this year is the year to go after free food, since next year uni will be super busy (more on this later). such nice sunny weather today (: i've always loved august (totes no bias here lol) since it starts to get warm, not a lot of rain, and not too hot (:

Lowenbrau Keller

first time having a proper German meal. originally we were only going to share a free meal, but that seemed to cheap, so we got two plates. everyone ordered a massive pork knuckle (signature dish), but the crumbed skin of the pork knuckle would make my face even worse...lol.

this place is a must to go on your birthday! just make sure you book. the restaurant is massive inside. you can choose any single plate on the menu.

top: lunch special of haus-made sausage, mash potato, some special onion with some sauce-$14.50. bottom: Original Zwiebelrostbraten, Char-Grilled 300g Sirloin Steak with Cheese Spätzle, Apple Onion Confit & Red Wine Glaze

being asian, i tried to maximise my free meal, so i got the steak. it's $35 (on the website it says $38). i asked for medium, but the sides were a bit chewy. the apple things on top was quite interesting, so was the floury things. it reminded me of gnocchi, but more flavourless, so you needed to have some sauce with it. this flour was a bit dense-ish, but it was nice in its own way. i didn't actually hear the proper name for the lunch special, but for 14.50, that wasn't too bad. the sausage was sooo good! meaty, not overly flavoured, didn't feel like there was a skin on it, big, no fattening/oily feeling. no wonder why during aroma festival, hordes of people lined up to get a super duper long hot dog for $10. the mash here was pretty nice, onions had this sourness to it, and the sauce was good. i've had a lot of sausages from various butchers before (still have yet to go snag and stand), but this one is one of the best!

coffee was 3.50 and was decent (i had a chai for 3.50 at uni earlier, and it hardly had any spices and the cinnamon was just spooned on top of the milk-disappointed). btw, hot water here cost $1.50 (also at uni in that cafe i went to, hot water was 1.00. ridiculous).

walked past the Masterchef pop-up restaurant. literally pop up as it was a tent/marquee. probs heaps fancy inside. kinda like our exam centres, where it's actually nice inside. the place around the site smelt of fertiliser/sewage, i walked past at around 4-ish, and today is the opening night, so no idea how they would get rid of the smell on time. their bar wasn't opened yet, so couldn't see what the bar menu was ): no time to trek to the rocks again.

walked to darling harbour since free shuttle bus ended at 3.30. i guess that makes sense since if i was a paying customer, i would be so angry at those free shuttle buses causing even more congestion during school zone/peak hour. anyways, we were super full, so a good half hour walk was pretty good.

San Churros

person was nice and said she didn't have to check ID. she didn't even look at my voucher properly. i made two emails, so got two vouchers, so i could have gone the day before/after my bday.

churros for two: 6 churros w/ dark and milk chocolate dipping sauce-$15
dark was soo much better than milk. looking at other tables, most people finished more of their dark than milk. the dark choc had a more intense/not as sweet flavour, and a richer smell.

was looking forward to this since i've never had them before. tbh, they weren't that great. the centre of the churro was still a bit doughy, yet at the same time, the whole churro itself didn't have enough dough and was skinny. it didn't have the lightness of what a churro should be. maybe it's because it was free so they didn't cook it properly...MOVIE WORLD CHURROS ARE THE BEST! no jokes.

Baskin Robbins

 now this was a "waste of stomach space". you see. by now i'm quite full and full of sugar, but i signed up to the club. i've never seen a non-asian run baskin robbins before (if you do, please tell me). that asian lady didn't even care about customers. what if we were paying customers? would you still continue to look at your phone and ignore people who want to be served? sooooo stingy these people, even more than towers. when i tried the red velvet, the man only gave me a tiny bit ie a speck of rice. how do i frikken taste it? all i tasted was plastic. then i showed my voucher and id to the woman. she fully stared at the voucher and my licence, sructinising every single detail up close. literally. she put the paper close to her eyes, then scratched her head (which is super unhygenic, esp when you're serving food WITHOUT gloves). i felt like she memorised everything on my licence. after about a full 5min, she says "you can only choose the flavours was the spoon" ie the crap flavours. i didn't want anything chocolate/caramel after the churros. 

Candy Stripes.

i got candy stripes which was orange and white choc mousse. sooo flavourless. it was served in the smallest, cheapest soft serve cone, even maccas cones are better. the scoop of ice cream was the smallest scoop of ice cream ever! seriously, not worth your time going to the Harbourside one. such stingy people. and they were the only people who didn't say "Happy birthday". every other place said it at least once. their attitude is horrible. never ever going to this one again. no idea what this is worth, i think it's worthless because even for kids cones, they don't serve ice cream in it, only soft serve ice cream. i didn't bother to argue with them to get a waffle cone, after the first contact i made with them for the tasting, i just wanted to leave baskin robbins.

Boost

my all time favourite place to go! i love boost. just join their vibe club. boost has really good members discounts time to time, and you really do feel good after drinking it!
Skinny Dip-$6.40 (or 6.90, there was only a sign of this flavour, but no actual price). it had apple juice, strawberry sorbet, yogurt, raspberry, banana, and probably heaps of other stuff.

the guy was so nice, he's like "don't worry, you'll definitely get an original". the one in harbourside opened recently, and so far, they're the only store to still other 3 sizes, other places only have medium and original. he was also very generous with the sorbet, i counted 4 scoops. normally i think it's 2/3. so refreshing and a ncie way to finish all that food. (i actually didn't finish the boost, splitted it with my mum). not enough time to see if i could get a free boost at other stores, but i don't think i can since their card is electronic.

Nando's

never have a bought Nando's full price. what's good about this is that you can get a member club without purchasing anything (unlike sumo salad). got takeaway since it was getting late/i needed to go dance. they let you have a "birthday meal"-how generous of them! you can choose any regular item, any side and and drink. too much choice!

lemon and herb half chicken, peri peri chips and tropical juice-$17.45

i think this chicken wasn't as freshly grilled compared to my last experience. they probably half cooked it, then grilled it more to make it warm when someone ordered it, since we only waited 5min, and last time at towers it was a 10-15min wait (according to my mum). i guess it makes sense since you need to serve heaps of people quickly in the city. chicken was quite burnt on the other side. the peri peri chips actually weren't spicy (maybe they didn't put enough spice in it).

Subway

got this the day before since i knew i would be too full today.
6-inch steak and cheese sub ($7.20) and coke (no idea how much bottled coke costs these days).

the unsw doens't participate in these deals/offers, so i had to walk outside. this wasn't toasted/warm enough and i think this 6-inch was more like 5 inch. oh wells, free lunch, can't complain. also, my bro came home with a $5 meatball subway w/ drink. it was supposed to be 6-inches, but the guy misheard, and gave him a footlong but he let my bro still pay $5.

birthday cake from zest patisserie-tiramisu.

this was a mousse and sponge cake, with super cute chocolate coffee mousse cups on top. it's not made on site, it's made in the other franchise in rozelle, but they deliver cakes to cherrybrook at around 6am in the morning. i've had over 10 cakes from here, so i've basically tried everything i've wanted. this tiramisu cake was good, except it wasn't as nice as the other cake there. i think the sponge may have been soaked in too much liquer, and i don't think our fridge is cold enough since the mousse isn't firm enough. this was a medium sized cake (didn't need a big one unlike pervious years), and i couldn't fit all 19 candles without all the candle conjoining together, BUT I LOVE MY CANDLES, so we lit 13, then blew them, then lit 6, then blew them. #firstworldproblems.

all in all, over $80 worth of free food. probably will do some place again next year, but other places are a no-go. i had at least 2 other places to go to, but not enough time.

my present of food has been satisfied. didn't have a proper birthday dinner since i was sooo full. what i really want for my birthday is one of those "money can't buy" things. ...

thank you Dandelion for the cake. it was good, and it survived in one piece after i walked around for the whole day!  as always, it's the thought that counts (:

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