Saturday, November 30, 2013

Coco Cubano and The Chocolate Room

today was such a good day.

mum got new glasses, and the manager chose branded frames, and all these expensive lenses. there are so many lenses, but she picked the best (and most expensive ones). rrp, the multifocal glasses cost $889, but she gave a good discount, and after claiming the health fund, there was still a largish gap (compared to going to Asian optometrists with small stores where they have cheaper frames/lenses and not as good quality but no gap) to pay. but still, the gap was less than the actual frames, and the glasses looked so much better than her old ones (which were so, so ugly).

decided to look for new sunnies today. agh, i don't know what to choose! should i choose the cheaper ray ban with polarised lenses, or should i go with the more fashionable (but more expensive) burberry sunnies? the problem is that i have a small face, so the extravagant sunnies don't fit me ): and tbh, big sunnies on small faces don't look good. the shine finish cost $40 more than the matte finish for the ray bans. they're actually not cheap either, but $100 cheaper than the burberry. i love the burberry! except they have a super thin frame with a "cloth" material around it with their signature pattern. they look a bit better on me, but they're not polarised, and i wouldn't go to the beach with them, since it'd get damaged more easily. the cloth thing on the side damages technically the ray bans are more practical for chucking around (i.e. i won't be super sad if sand touches it etc..). put both on hold, i'll think about it again tmr...

finally got my name badge today! 

yay, saw tess today (: tonight was so fun, just chatting (: so glad i made the trek to parra. it took me about 15mins to get into a carpark, since i wanted to find the cinema one, but i kept missing the hidden entrance street from this other street. and thanks guys for walking to my car. defs would have gotten lost. and then when i came out, the car in front of me turned right, but i turned left since it said church st, and i know i needed to get onto, but once i turned, i knew i was on the other end of church st, so did a massive loop to u-turn and go back to the correct direction on church st. also, there was rbt on the other side of the road on windsor rd, outside baulko library, and then those undercover police cars catching speeding cars...

first time going to Coco Cubano, even though unsw has one. the logo reminds me of Thomas Sabo
lemon lime mint iced tea, banana mango iced granita large-$7, citrus berry iced granita, and an iced bounty couverture choc

Dandelion and i had the banana mango. i thought it would be really sweet, but i was surprised since it was a tad bland, probs because they needed to use heaps of ice. tried a bit of Happy Apple's citrus berry. again, wasn't sweet, but a really interesting combo of flavours. Better's bounty did taste like the chocolate, but obviously a much icier version.

Calamari with chilli salt and roasted garlic sauce-$12.90

not chilli at all. quite nice, and i loved the garlic sauce.

mini quesadillas-$11.90, garlic mushrooms-$9.90

the quesadillas were quite delicious, and not spicy. they used large mushrooms instead of button mushrooms like Encasa. definitely not as garlicky as Encasa, and was a bit disappointed, but then again, Encasa is known to produce top notch Spanish food (in sydney) for a decent price. i guess these ones today felt healthier without so much butter/garlic.

beef nachos-$15.90, oven baked eggs-$13.90

nachos were alright. felt like some breakfast food so got some baked eggs. their bread isn't bad, it's just that their baked eggs were smaller. then again, tapas are smaller, and their prices for their baked eggs are cheaper than other places. the chorizo here tasted fattier, and didn't have enough spice, but it was pretty nice overall. like their smashed avo is about $11, whilst the grounds is around $17.

group w/ food! interesting decor around the cafe.

we were going to go san churros for dessert, but i'm so glad we didn't. crossed the road to go to The Chocolate Cafe. always walk past the one in the city, but it always seems empty-ish. the parra one was pretty packed when we went (then again, it's not as big). this place was surprisingly really good, good selection of desserts and not as expensive as other chocolate places!

thanks again Better for the shout (:

it looks camouflaged

warm dark choc pudding w/ cream-$6.50

so nice and warm. even though it was dark choc, it was quite rich (but not overly sweet), so this was good to share. didn't fully ooze out, but the presentation of the fudgy chocolatey stuff made it look so good, and it was yum

tiramisu icecream-$6

we were all mind blown by this dish, but i think Dandelion was the most in awe, haha. we thought it was tiramisu with ice cream, since on the picture, it had a slice of tiramisu. then we thought it wasn't really worth it having another piece of cake which wasn't that big in terms of serving size. then when the waiter came over, he explained it was tiramisu ice cream shaped in a slice of a cake! and this was soo good. you have the novelty of it and the taste (: not sure if gelatissimo tiramisu is better or this.

waffle wonder-$12.50

i wanted some dessert waffles, since the waffles i had w/ ice cream the other day were those home-machine types, not the more cafe style types. these waffles weren't that big (considering the price is was ok), but it was beautifully presented with vanilla ice cream sandwiched between the waffles. well personally, i've never had waffles stacked like this before. the waffles were chewier than other waffles and was sweeter than i would've liked. i think the waffle shouldn't be as sweet, so you can focus on the chocolate flavour (since we are in the chocolate room). this choc sauce was a bit sweeter than that choc sauce with the pudding. the vanilla ice cream was by far the sweetest thing here. the chocolate is rich, but not sugar-sweet. the vanilla ice cream was just caster and icing sugar like sweet.

i definitely have a big sweet tolerance. tonight's dessert were sweet, but i've had even sweeter things before...sorry for taking pictures of photos of food together. it saves space on my phone, so instead of taking 3 individual photos, i just take one photo of all 3 foods. once i post the photos, i usually delete the individual ones off my phone. yay for food and friends (:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Grill'd Take 2

saw on fb yday that there were free grill'd burgers. why did i not know about this for the other stores? this Westfield parra store is their 73rd store nationwide. decided to chat with the person at the front. oh, and the service was pretty good. they also directed people to which tables, so like if you came alone you wouldn't take up a 3 seater table etc.

anyways, i had plans to wake up early and arrive well before 11am. you know, it's quite a trek to parra for me. ended up sleeping in and left before 11. i figured it would be cheaper for my mum and i to drive. driving to parra isn't hard, it's just a straight road. finding parking is annoying. the carpark has like two lanes merging to one and i think it's very chaotic compared to towers. even hornsby westfield is better.
outside the cinemas

line moved pretty quickly. waited a bit under half an hour, and once we ordered, it took only about 5 mins for the food to come. they had heaps of seats, i think more than chatswood. they have benches which kind of extends outside the store which weren't there on tues when i went parra. the menu was obviously really limited, and most of the burgers had the same fillings/sauce and just different meat inside. last time i went to grill'd was when i had a buy one get one free burger. we got the baa baa lamb and almighty last time, and both of these were on the short menu as well...if i didn't have them before, i would have chosen them since they have the most stuff inside and i guess more worth it. 

out of focus photo...but only photo with the stick.

we sat outside, and you'd think it'll have good lighting, but the fairy lights about made it a tad weird...

crispy bacon and cheese (beef) with panini, and "simon says" (chicken) with traditional bread

as i said before, both had very similar fillings. this meat, especially the beef was noticeably thinner than the first time i had grill'd. i'm pretty sure it's because these burgers are free they flattened it about about 2/3 of the original size, and it'll be easier to cook faster and serve people as well. but it was till delicious and so filling. (i didn't even have breakfast, and was still full until around 7.30ish for dinner). the beef one today was definitely at last 1/2 the size of the meat from the burger on monday. 

also almost forgot to get my 3 free wicked wings from kfc today. took them home for my bro. it's way too fattening for me =/ 

got whatsapped (and then emailed) into training today. yay free wrapping paper! i should get more, haha. 

i was planning/planned to have these appointments etc, but time doesn't permit =/

when it gets to above 30 degrees, i can't think properly. all i think about is i'm going to suffocate in the heat ):

apples once a year sale is tomorrow. too bad i'm out all day ): the thing i want is about $50, but even if discounted, i think i'll still be able to buy it from hk/america for a cheaper rrp. don't judge, but i think i finally figured why apple has the once a year sale. it coincides with their thanksgiving holiday, and it's just before the christmas season. i just hope exams don't clash...and i'll be able to experience america's thanksgiving sales. if you think boxing day sales are cheap, and hk sales are super cheap, well apparently in american sales, they are unbelievably cheap. (even without some public holiday, branded american stuff is still super cheap).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

woke up at 11.30 today, twas such a bad idea. then appointments and appointments. i'm such a proble child. all these "issues" which can lead to bigger problems...also went acupuncture today, argh more needles.

still have at least 3 appointments to go to, 2 which i have yet to book. not looking forward to getting stuff cut out/more anaesthetics. i thought the only time i would get anaesthetics would be for more teeth...btw, i only got 2 wisdom teeth taken out last time, i hope the other 2 stay put...

had a bbq at plus (uni group at church) today. ate so much =/ but i made sure to not eat brekkie/snacks and only a small lunch. btw, no matter how i cook the meat from Parlour Burger, the middle still stays pink =/ played taboo, but lost count of how many cards people got. some people are so good at it! didn't play jungle speed, but it sounds interesting. played this games where you sit in chairs and try to throw the ball around the room to your respective goals. it was quite fun until a guy chucked the ball at a light, and we have these new fluorescent lights installed just recently, but the lid thing came off =/ so then we stopped after. bbqs are so fattening =/ also, i should stop getting baked eggs and opt for poached. the worse/fattening things are deep fried, fried, baked, then poached/steaming things are the healthiest.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Circa Espresso and Hunger Games 2

i first heard/read about circa in the good cafe guide last year in yr12, but i hardly go parra, so never had the time to go. it's faster to go to the city for me than go to parra by bus, since the traffic is always horrible going to parra, whilst city traffic is bad during peak times, at least there are bus lanes. the newspapers weren't lying, the kitchen is literally 2mx2m, but yet manages to produce food with only 2 chefs (unlike the grounds where their kitchen is massive, and they have at least 10 chefs not including bakers etc).

finally made it to circa today. as expected, waited a bit for a table but it was alright. wow, the cafe is narrower in real life, compared to photos.
i understand why this cafe has three cups in the good cafe guide. it's not as bitter as people make it out to be. maybe because i got a capp. however, i prefer the grounds with their teal coloured cups-it's so pretty!
lunch (: Baked eggs: baked free-range eggs with sujuk, Danish fetta, diced tomatoes & with a hint of chilli & sourdough toast-$17
i could actually stand the spiciness of the sausage. i have a thing with baked eggs, but this time i wasn't sure if i should get the ottoman eggs, then again, i'm not a big fan of eggplant. i used to hate. parts of the egg was slightly cooked, but i guess it's expected with such a small kitchen. the sourdough crust was a tad chewier than my liking and could've been a bit more crunchier. i wanted to share the french toast with someone since i didn't want to trek to parra again just for french toast, but so glad i didn't. didn't have breakfast since i was so full from yday, and this lunch w/ two eggs was so filling for me that for dinner i had mainly vegetables. tried Better's polenta chips-first time. it's kind of weird, it's not fluffy like potatoes, but kind of mushy yet still light. i don't love it nor do i hate it.

Circa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

we got the student tues-thurs 2-5pm tickets, so the movie was $9. i got ripped off yday, the 2nd separate ticket i bought form student monday didn't get me any points. should've checked the receipt and ran back to show the guy that it says "zero points earned" even though he scanned my card in order to get there $8 offer...i only made sure to check if the session times were right (like last time i went to change a seat and the person changed to a completely different day).

i think today is my 3rd time watching consecutive movies (once before in aus, once in hk). hunger games were so good! definitely stayed true to the book. just check, and it had a running time of 146mins, thor 2 is 112, so today i think i got more value for money. but hunger games were all a good length since it covered everything form the synopsis on wiki (i read the books back in yr11, so couldn't remember much). i used to not like katniss/peta actors, but know i think they're pretty cute. also love the costumes, quite elaborate just like in book. i hate parts of movies when there is a sudden loud bang. like if i watch a scary movie, i don't get scared, i just jump when there is a loud/unexpected bang, then i get over it pretty quickly. i think it's one of the movies where it keeps getting better. kind of want to re watch it, but i NEVER re-watch movies in the cinema. also haven't bought a full priced ticket in years. can't wait for the 3rd movie (:

ahh, my throat is starting to hurt, probably from all the chilli i've been consuming. and dinner out tar night as know, eating so much out is quite taxing on the body =/ yeah, so much for trying to be fit this summer. should start swimming again now that dancing is over. i still have at least 2 more dinners.

picked up my dance dvd today. quite like the editing and the angle at hillsong. wow, the dance principal's daughter is in so many dances as expected, and she won the junior performance of the year award. i think she'll win one of every type of award, but can't win after a certain stage since it's not fair to the other student, although she is pretty good. a friend a bit older than me always used to win awards every year, but after a certain stage, it was time to give other people a chance to win (she's still is super good). but i should've watched dancing with the star tonight since it was grand finals. i don't follow it anymore, but i really liked rhiannon, and she's so pretty (: too bad consentino won. no offence or anything, but it seems like all the hosts are either getting fatter or not as good looking. the host on beauty and the geek is probably the most decent over the bachelor, dancing w/ the stars etc.

i started using my wallet i bought last year since with uni over (inb4 supplementary exam), i'd chuck my branded stuff around less. but it now has a stupid pen mark. now i hate click pens. can't get the pen mark off =/

trying to organise paintball is so frustrating, especially with the times they open. don't want to waste my parents money since i borrowed their card to pay... and these days, most people's priorities are work>going out. i have yet to experience the dating>friends (i know some =/) or work>dating. again, i know people who have. they've moved cities and countries and thus are in a "long distance" relationship with the person back home. wow, i know at least 3 people under this category. tbh, does long distance even work..? then there's the your own family>work>friends/going out for adults...just some thoughts...

side note, i think i know who the other person was with clashing 21st's on last sat. also, everyone now seems to be going to the grounds. i think i'll revisit the grounds again once they've finished their extension, and they better have brûlées there...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Parlour Burger, Thor 2, Anderson's of Denmark Ice Cream, Kinn Thai, Max Brenner

wow, massive day today. long post (sorry)

so ever since exams ended, for breakfast i either have a piece of fruit or no breakfast at all since i would wake up at around morning tea time, then just decide to wait for lunch. 

it was sunny this morning, then started to sprinkle when we just got on the bus, then it fully poured when we were on the m2 around macquarie, and then fully sunny again when we got off.

parlour burger is a new burger joint by sean connolly, he has a few restaurants, but like the new trends these days, his burger place opened today. it's on george st near the rocks. we got there a bit before 12, and there was already a line (if you remember my snap chat...). when we got there, heaps of people started pushing in, since they were all work mates, and then people said it was 500 burgers for 12-2, then another 500 for 5-7. the line moved pretty quickly, since the burgers were all pre made and wrapped in foil.

sean connolly posing for a photographer with nicely plated burgers. 

ok, so this is where the story really begins. so we rounded the corner and started to step onto the red carpet, by low and behold, a guy comes out and says they've already reached the 500 limit in only 22mins! the people in front of us moved up to their friends, some other people in front os us left, but obviously the guy remembered who were the last ones in line, and said we couldn't get them, since the person in front was already #501, and then if he let us, it wouldn't be fair to the few people behind us who also didn't listen that there were no free burgers left. so we pleaded with the guy, saying that we came from far away (unlike the business workers there), and people pushed in. then he said again it wasn't fair to the people behind us, but if the crowd behind us were ok with us getting free burgers, then he would let us. so to the random strangers who said to let us have free burgers-thanks! the people behind us just bought the burgers for $10 on a plate and nicely plated. so glad i didn't wear any branded stuff, and that my mum and i didn't look too "posh". tbh, if there were asians/curry people behind us, they would've have said "it's not fair". everyone around us did not think there would be 500 people in front, but i guess with groups of ten people pushing in, it's quite easy to get to 500...last time with the pies, ~750 were gone in half an hour. this time 500 in 22mins. you do the maths.

after the pie and gourmet burgers "disappointment", next time i will listen to my mum and start lining up at least half an hour earlier for "gourmet" free food, even if i have to wait awkwardly for half an hour. also, between 9-3, buses from home are on the hour and are slow, so we took the 11am and got there a bit before 12, if we left at 10, it would have been too early (and i wasn't even awake then...). 

when we got inside, the only choices for free burgers were chicken and beef. we got one of each.

But, when we opened it, we realised both were beef, so they put the wrong label on. i guess we were still content since we had to plead for free $10 burgers. the chicken had quinoa, but we didn't get to try it...

the original morrison burger with chipotle mayo

when we were in the cinemas, i started to eat mine. when i watch something, i don't look at what i eat. like at home when i'm watching tv and eating lamb cutlets/steak, i don't look at what colour it is after the initial bite. only when my mum notices some blood in the meat, then i stop eating it and re-cook it. i really don't mind rare meat. when we received the burgers, it was just warm. so when i was eating it, my mum noticed that the burger's patty was quite pink, and for mince meat, it's not good to be pink. then i looked at the bun, and noticed it wasn't toasted/fried/baked like how the other people's buns were. if you compare these buns to chur burgers, or even the one we had at The Grounds last week, this bun is very white. it hasn't even been toasted. can't complain, since they already pre made these, and i think they quickly warm it up/toast/fry them as they started giving away free burgers and just before it reaches people. so when the guy gave us free burgers, he probably went inside and got the burgers on the side which weren't properly cooked in the middle yet. so i only ate a bit of it, however, the meat is quite lean, and the sauce has a nice spicy kick to it.

large pearl milk tea-$3 with a cute carry handle

used the group on, hence why it's $3. first time having share tea, and with these type of chains, i always try their pearl milk tea. it's not that great. the best thing about it is that this one is the less sweet, but it doesn't have enough tea flavour and not milky enough, hanse was slightly watery. decided to share it with my mum.

thor was good! so many unexpected things/surprises. don't know which one i like better...ahh cliffhangers...i really like the actor since he used to be from home and away (used to be obsessed, like how i used to love bec cartwright and kate ritchie). loki's personality is so funny. live the extra addition of captain america. i forgot loki could change appearances... i bought a telstra ticket online for $10, then i went to the online booking and skipped the massive queue to buy a student monday card $8 w/ my discounted gift card. you see, splitting up purchases is good. i get to skip that 30+ people line w/ only two people at the counter =D

started to rain when we walked out. it wasn't heavy rain, but it was heavy wind, so my small and light (and weak) umbrella broke ): ). ran to darling harbour. used the group on voucher for ice cream at Anderson's of Denmark.

waffle with danish nougat $9, added an extra scoop of raspberry sorbet for $2, sunday basket: passionfruit, boysenberry, baileys and almond w/ a bit of cream and chocolate-$9.50

the voucher was for $20, so we maximised it (: no wonder why my cousin said messina is not expensive. at the star, 3 sccops is $7.5, here 2 regular (bigger sized) scoops is $7.50. 
the flavours are quite clear, and actually not that sweet. the waffles and the waffle basket were actually much sweeter. so glad i only asked for a little bit of maple syrup and icing sugar. that's why i don't like adding toppings to ice cream/froyo, it ruins/takes away the main flavour of the ice cream. this ice cream wasn't too creamy, so you don't feel too guilty about eating 5 scoops between 2 people. whilst we were eating, it started to pour again. when we went out, it was raining with heavy wind ): it wasn't too cold since i still felt warm after ice cream in a shirt and shorts.

went back and home then out again for 2 hours of dance. for troupe next year, the u14s girls are joining the opens, and there were so many people. argh, my memory is so bad after not using it for dance for over 2 weeks...also, our principal managed to get a past contestant from sytycd australia (unfortunately not America), but still, we've never had someone from tv/kind of known person before. his dances have so many parts and quite different. 

went to Kinn Thai in castle towers with my monday night dance class. this place was originally called Red Spoon, but apparently they changed the name about 1.5 years ago. it's still pretty nice. service was pretty good, like they came and served you rice. i was the only one taking pictures of food =/ don't ask me what the dishes were, i didn't order. pad thai was alright, but i accidentally got some chilli flakes and it was so hot! the chilli jam soft shell cram was soooo good. the wagyu beef salad also had chilli flakes and seeds which i didn't see, so that was quite hot. i had a bit of the curry which was quite nice. all the other dishes had chilli, but it actually wasn't that chilli. i think my chilli tolerance has increased guys! i can have almost everything that other people ordered, it's just my accidental dipping some pad thai into chilli flakes...but the chilliness subsided after a while, and i didn't have to drink heaps of water (: castle towers/the hills area is not cheap for food. a pad thai here is $17, whilst in the city you can get it for $6 discounted, or ~$8, same size, about the same taste. so for dinner, it was $19 a person, which isn't too bad since it's castle hill. (like coffee at towers is about $5)

haven't been to towers in ages! apparently they're having a $20m carpark upgrade. in level 2 cinema car park, they have those lights like in westfield to tell you if a car has parked or not. it's a bit dodgy since i past at least 4 cars whose lights were still green...went to park on level 1. i was thinking, why is it so full on a monday night? turns out they blocked level 3 carpark since they were starting to install the lights. also, the castle hills train station, wow, they cleared all the trees, flowers, water feature etc, it's such a big empty piece of land. by the time i graduate, they probs still wouldn't have finished.

people wanted to go max brenner next door, and i didn't really want to since i've already had heaps of sweet stuff today, but what could i do..? watch people eat..?

dark hot choc-$5.50

last time i had two free milk hot chocs, and they were so sweet. i was solo glad this dark choc was actually dark and was hardly sweet. quite good with nicely frothed milk, and it's actually my first time using the hug mug. basically the two hours of dance and the walk from the rocks side of George st to town hall was kinda pointless with all the food i full as you would expect. i didn't even have time to reheat the burger i got from lunch...

it was good to talk with dance people, since when you go to dance, there's never really a chance to talk. i never knew some people were already graduating this year/next home at 10.30...
s you would expect. i didn't even have time to reheat the burger i got from lunch...i have been telling myself to save money, but i guess with some social stuff you have to spend a bit. but it's pretty good since we got two tickets for $18, and half price ice cream/milk tea and burgers supposedly worth $20 total, and even though it's not cooked properly, at least i got to try the flavours.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

1st 21st

i've had to turn down some 21st during this year and hsc/yr12, so today i finally went to a 21st party. 

he hired a community centre, but the main attraction was the jumping castle! it wasn't a tiny one like those at o-week, but it was quite big and had goals either end, so people played soccer/rugby/threw the ball everywhere. once his uni friends got off, us church friends finally went on since it was slightly less violent. forgot how tiring jumping can didn't have any walls, so if people slipped/leaned on the sides, the walls would fall down....

the speeches were the best! ahh, so funny, getting to know their funny/dodgy/drunk moments. laughed so hard for over 20mins (: he has so many friends! the hall was packed, over 200 people. the photo booth was so fun (: i think almost every 21st has a photobooth of some kind, so it was nice to have one here as well. food was alright, can't expect too much with these big parties. for dessert, there was some melted chocolate and fruits/marshmallows to dip in. i didn't eat much. so full from yday! 

so much fun

homemade cake

the theme was black and blue. i just wore a tank/long top from dance. i should have worn this other top...but then again, i'll save the nicer tops for parties for those who are closer. seriously, you have to strategise all the nice clothes you wear. i'm not saying that repeating dresses is bad, but most of the time, i recognise who/what dresses they repeat, and if i've seen someone else wear it before, and then i know it's a "mainstream" dress/top. i still have quite a few dresses to yet wear...but for one dress, i can wear it to parties/wedding/dinners, all which have different groups of people, before i start repeating that dress. so if you strategise what/where you where a dress, you can wear it at least 4 times. the again, once people takes photos and upload it, people will see that dress, but i'm talking about people seeing you irl, haha.

the thing is, if i have a 21st, it would be pretty empty since i have no friends, ok i do have some friends but not a lot ): also, i don't think i do stupid/funny stuff, so there's nothing interesting to say on my 21st. maybe i'll just be boring and have a simple dinner, but then again, i love parties/birthdays...apparently there were clashing receptions and another 21st tonight, yet heaps of people still made it to this party.

you know, it's usually the closest of friends who help set up/make food/stack chair/clean up etc. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Grounds of Alexandria

so happy today (: this is going to be a long post. for those of you who have seen photos, it's an explanation here (:

first time driving on the harbour bridge and to the city today! it's not as hard as i thought, i just thought going into the right lanes would be annoying, but i guess after going to the city everyday on the bus, you observe the other lanes/where they go. buses are easy, they have a bus lane. 

went again with my uncle, cousin and mum to the grounds of alexandria. i thought it would be one of those over rated places, but it's not! it is so worth the drive and your time to go. parking is pretty bad, even though the street is really long, a lot of street parking are taken by workers since that place is very industrial. there's is close to none public transport there as well, no train stations etc. also, you have to wait over 20mins for a table, even though it's actually quite big inside. they have those beeping/pagers things to tell you when a table is available. think about it, we went on a working/non school holiday friday, but it was packed inside and out. according to my cousin, it's always that busy, but there's plenty of things to keep you occupied.

everything is real here. like the vines stuff have real grapes, and real flowers all around the place.

tables outside for people to have take away/wait to get a table inside. it's so nice and relaxing. there was lemonade, charcoal bbq stuff, coffee and some cakes/tarts outside but some weren't covered and flies were on them...

kids area.

kevin bacon and bradley the sheep. if you didn't know, they were kidnapped just a few weeks ago, but then they were found in victoria.

bought lemonade and took a photo behind the stand. i'm not actually that tall, hehe.

rose lemonade-$5
this was so good! we bought one to share. nice hint of rose, and freshly squeezed lemonade which wasn't too sweet or sour.

on the market days, they have ice cream, florist, petting zoos and more. apparently they have yoga and coffee making classes.

take away side. some stuff you can't get from the restaurant side but only from the take away section, and you have to go outside to eat the takeaway stuff. it's much cheaper than dine in, and more varieties in sandwiches etc.

can't see from this angle, but their kitchen is massive! on the right of this photo is their baking section.

the food/drinks had extravagant names, and i don't remember the prices (too much to remember...) but i'll do my best (: btw, food here isn't cheap, but you come here for the experience and atmosphere. service is pretty good. once you have waited over 20mins to get a table, the food doesn't take too long to come out. and once you get a table, you sit for a while (: that's why the tables are so slow moving...however, people still came to have lunch at around 2.30ish, where it's slightly less busy.

apple, pear and mint juice, grounds chocolate milkshake, and two banana smoothies with around 5 other ingredients.

i like how the juice was very clear in terms of flavour, and not too sweet, chocolate was a bit on the sweet side, but no as sweet as mainstream chocolate syrup. it wasn't as thick as other people have said it to be, but maybe that's cause i only had a sip. the banana smoothies had some nuts in it, love the texture. maybe i should add nuts to my smoothies as well (: i really love these drinking jars. apparently they sell heaps of them in hk for super cheap, need someone to get me some...

typical overhead shot. on the left and going clockwise, duck and pear salad, prawn linguine, smashed avocado, the grounds burger, and also added an extra side of chips w/ chilli mayo.

more pear would have been nice in the salad. i like the duck, it's a good change from the typical flavoured asian duck. salad was a tad on the oily side, but it had heaps of barley which was an interesting and healthy addition. the prawn linguine is new on the menu. it had chilli in it, but i could tolerate it! it does give it a nice kick. the pasta was on the oily side for me. the smashed avo had a thick slice of cheese which i found slightly odd, and served on bread (forgot what type), but it's not crunchy like you would expect, it's slightly chewy. the pesto was spot on, a big hit in terms of flavour. the grounds burger's (some type of beef) bread and patty was sooo soft. it kind of reminded me of high class big mac. the chips were soooo good as well!! the chilli mayo with the chips was also very nice, gave it a nice kick (:


i love this photo! i already drove all the way out here, and even though i was really full, i had to try their coffee. decided to share with mum. i love this photo! feels so natural and that slight out of focus background stuff. i really love their teal colour! their coffee was spot on. so smooth and delicious (: for those who don't really like bitter coffee, this coffee is good for you. it's not too bitter, but the coffee flavour is still there.

from the top: pear, lemon meringue, strawberry and cream, blueberry cheesecake, pecan and salted caramel, blueberry macarons.

favourite is probably the lemon meringue and strawberry. the pear was a bit plain (but super easy to cut and share), cheesecake isn't too dense nor sweet, the pecan one wasn't very heavy on the salted caramel-i thought it would be super sweet but luckily it wasn't. the macarons has real sweet blueberries sandwiched/placed neatly between the shells, but after a car ride home, they didn't really survive. tasted like blueberries since it had real blueberries.

we had to wait an extra 10ish minutes since by the time we were going, they were all sold out. so out tart was literally fresh, since you could see the guy put the meringue on and blow torch it. also, we ordered these at our table, but asked them to take away for us. so buy the time they packed took down the order and packed it, all the brûlées were gone! so sad. that person recommended it us, and even though my cousin has been here a million times, she hasn't tried it either. next time i go, i will defs try it. will make sure to buy it before rather than later.

all the food, drinks and dessert cost $155. yes, it's not cheap for people like me. but hey, it's my uncles' shout. according to him, it's only $30ish pp and not expensive. i really don't know what's not expensive for him...but the grounds is so good! definitely recommend you all to go in this break. so, so thankful that today didn't rain, or else the atmosphere and walking around the grounds wouldn't have been as amazing. only started to rain when we left the city, and so glad it didn't hail. btw, going out of the city is slightly more annoying. my face has exploded since i've been eating out these past few days...

my mum surprised me with a gift today.she asked my uncle to help me buy a branded handbag when he was in america, and they full planned it behind my back, and managed to get the bag with it's massive box into the house without me noticing. the other day i said i never received a graduation yr 12 present unlike other people, but i really didn't mind since my parents have already given me so much, but my mum kept her mouth shut since she had already bought a handbag for me and was waiting for my uncle to come over from hk to take it here. wow, i think this is the 2nd biggest surprise gift for me.

and i passed physics! i only attempted 1/5 questions properly, and guess most of the paper, but i still manage to pass somehow. but i'm actually most worried by optics...but as people have said and i'm telling myself, i should enjoy life and worry less.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chefs Gallery Take 2

i don't normally, actually almost never, diss apple, but the mavericks update took forever. so glad i didn't update during finals. the download itself took way over an hour, and the installation about an hour. then all these apps needed to be updated or else i can't use them, like pages and iPhoto etc. there were at least 10 extra updates after the OS X upgrade. also, it feels like browsing on safari is slower now... ): or maybe because my head still hurts. oh, my heart hurts, not really, but that boney part near your chest...

need to get used to some other additional stuff on the trackpad. it now has auto correct, so that's a plus, and searching up words with a simple tap. tabs in finder are so much more convenient. i still have yet to explore.

sorry guys, i can't afford to watch full price movies...need to save up every dollar...will explain in a future post...but i managed to see most of you (:

so met up with some physics people today, and although i've already been to chef's gallery, someone wanted to go, and personally, i can't think of any places, cafes in particular, in the city that i want to go to which aren't over $25 a dish for lunch. people came late, so my friend and i ended up sitting in there for about half an hour without ordering. luckily it was lunch, or else they would've kicked us out at dinner/not let you come in...saw this aunty from church and this other aunty i haven't seen in years. it's weird to say how the aunty i haven't seen in years looks younger now...

lunch set of pork and prawn wonton noodles w/ chicken soup, with dim sim/dessert of the day and wonton crackers $14.90

last time i added a drink for $1, but not this time (every dollar counts, haha, and didn't even feel like one). this dish wasn't bad, but isn't the best wontons i've ever had. they only gave me 4 ): however, the flavours were very distinct, and not overly seasoned like in the carlo/eastwood asian places where the soup is filled with msg, you immediately go thirsty. this soup was clear and kind of drinkable (i never drink soup bases, esp in cup noodles/instant noodles since it's filled with sodium/fat).

kind of impulse bought a top today, but for around $10 it was alright. and i love chiffon material. also, i've said this before, but i much prefer the guy over the lady at happy lab. like today i had $18ish of stuff, but the person didn't stamp it. the guy last time stamped it even though i was a bit off $20 for two stamps. why didn't the guy do the arvo shift today? he usually does the arvo shifts...

i changed my phone case after almost a year, my other clear/white one is currently yellowish with lipstick, and pen marks and just really dirty. but i really like my old one, since the case covered all the buttons, so when i changed the volume/lock my phone etc, i can do so whilst my hands are dirty since i'm just touching the plastic. it also has more grip, since it doesn't slide around on my table, whereas the case i have now, you can move it more without a lot of friction. the old case was over 10 times my current case, so with all these things, the higher the price the better the quality. i want an authentic leather iPhone case, but for $40...i would rather save up for something else...

watched some of the bachelor final episode today. awkward...personally, i don't think anna's pretty, but she's a lawyer, and who doesn't want someone smart to be their wife and have money. beauty and the geek tonight was pretty hilarious as well, even my brother found it funny. 

btw, instagram is a really good place to get smoothie recipes/healthy food ideas, i personally think they're more reliably than recipes on websites. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


i really should stop worrying. it's not good for your health if you worry to much, knowing from experience...but my head still hurts from thinking. i think when i go out, i put on a facade, but deep down i'm still worrying and can't enjoy things. but what's done is done. my path has already been planned, so i should enjoy life. i guess the only positive thing is that if i ever repeat a year, i get 3 more months of holidays/travelling time before you get stuck into the whole full-time adult life with no discounts etc. slept in way too much today. usually i would start filing stuff the day after exams finish, but i don't feel like i can atm...

went out to dinner with my cousin, uncle and mum. my cousin always thinks she knows best, since she has been everywhere, so when i suggested mamak, she immediately turned down my suggestion since she thinks it's "too plain". it's because she's only ever eats out/doesn't cook at home, so her palate has become over seasoned.

anways, went to a spanish restaurant in haymatket, and according to urbanspoon, it's reviews were decent. i have to say, the service was so good! we chatted for about 15mins before actually ordering anything, and they explained how you had to wait at least 45min for the paella. they also changed our dishes and gave an extra dish for shells when we had the paella. they also kept changing our serviettes/keep on giving us new ones. like they saw my tissue was dirty from peeling prawns and they changed it pretty quickly. i don't think i've ever had authentic spanish food in sydney before, and this place is pretty decent and not too expensive with nice service (: my only comment is that they had dim lighting, but luckily the iPhone still can take decentish photos in super dim ambient lighting without flash. also spanish food is good since it's not spicy, and it's actually not over seasoned, like compared to korean food/chinese places with heaps of msg etc.

Vieiras en Azafrán - Scallops in the shell with saffron, shallot and cream sauce   13
i thought it would be super creamy and rich, but luckily it wasn't and the scallops were nice and soft 

Champiñones al Ajillo - Sizzling garlic mushrooms   9.5
good balance of garlic. didn't have the garlicky after taste, but could still taste the garlic 

Catalana Spinach · Pine nuts · Onion · Garlic · White Wine · Cream -14.5
Chorizo a la Sidra - Spanish sausage poached in apple cider 11
the pasta was alright, not super creamy, but could have been more flavourful with the garlic and pine nuts. the chorizo wasn't spicy at all, and the cider was quite interesting in it.

Paella Valenciana
Saffron rice with chicken and seafood 25.00pp
this was a minimum order for 2 people, so the above was $50, but it was massive! rice was good, and the seafood was cooked nicely, but the prawns were cooked in their shells so it was hard to peel them without getting my hands dirty. my uncle/cousin eat out almost everyday, so the can unreel a prawn with a knife and fork. everything was quite "natural" and distinct/clear in terms of flavours.

it's a spanish red wine, and apparently they cook/stew it with some fruit. it has a little bit of fizziness, and it's supposed to "hit you" after a while. we ended up having 2 jugs, so i had about 4/5 drinks, but i still felt fine. this was expensive though, around 30 a jug. 

definitely a good spanish place with super good service. jamies was around $20ish for lunch, but this was around $30ish pp since we had drinks. uncle shouted again (: