Friday, February 27, 2015


for the past 10 days, our internet has been capped for on peak, and our new internet company finally activated today!

can't believe we reached the limit halfway through the month. our whole family had to survive without wifi internet for 10 days. didn't help that i only had 100mb of phone data to last me for the last 7 days as well.

seriously, this month in february consisted of 4 days road trip, then working for the last 3 weeks, yet we already reached our limit. i streamed a bit, but not that much. on the other hand, my brother has been home most of the month...even went to uni the other day just for the wifi and doing enrolment stuff which couldn't really wait until today when our internet activated. our house can't get cable, but that's another story for another time. been so busy that i don't even have time to write up on my travels...

don't even have time to update my laptop...

so much to catch up on. already behind in uni when uni hasn't even officially started. why do i already feel this stress D=

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Boatshed, Balmoral Beach

Happy chinese new year! nope, don't really celebrate it. had work last night, but i don't mind. i don't understand any chinese traditions...

anyways, got called to not work today. was planning to go to a bbq, but spontaneously drove to Mosman. I've been wanting to go to the Boatshed for a long time. my parents went a few weeks ago, but I had work that day so couldn't go.

basically it's kind of like the grounds, but sea-themed. heaps of crowds even on weekdays, and hard to find free parking. plenty of ticketed parking on weekdays, but not even on weekends. ended up parking up a hill, about 5 min walk because parking at these places isn't cheap.

love the view

you have to find a table first, then you go up to order and pay. there aren't a lot of tables, and each table doesn't have many seats. like you can fit around 2 more people on each table. on the bigger tables, it mainly seated 2 people each, but could have seated more. so it's a lot more spacious compared to the grounds. food is pricier here because you're paying for the view and location

mango smoothie-$8, cap-$4

wasn't a lot of mango flavour but still nice and thick. probably because mango season is ending...the coffee is nice for those who don't like their coffee to strong. love the anchor design. but i wished it was in a blue cup instead of red lol.

burger and chips-$24

this was super duper feeling, even though i had half of it (didn't even eat dinner tonight). the chips here are better than the grounds, and my mum prefers these as well. they're slightly more oily, but less brown and more golden. the potato melts more in your mouth. each table has himalayan pink salt and organic pepper! this didn't need any extra seasoning, and normally i don't add extra salt/pepper to my food, but it's such high class stuff here for a cafe, so i added a tad

veggie plate-$22

zucchini flowers!

it doesn't look filling, but it was. yay for zucchini flowers! not sure what falafels are made of, but these were a bit dry. luckily there was avo so it actually complemented it nicely (: doesn't look like a lot of falafel, but there was more than enough to dip the crackers in it. i think it's always interesting to try vegetarian stuff, since i don't have it at home, and it's good to cut back on the meat at times

open kitchen!

only saw 4 chefs working, but the food came out so quickly

burnt butter and vanilla cake-$6

takeaway is $5, but eat in is nicer. loved how it was actually quite a light cake, instead of a buttery dense cake, and not too sweet. the icing sugar wasn't that sweet either. had to have dessert even though we were super full since we did come all the way out here. apparently there other popular cake is their carrot cake, but not a big fan of that. 

mostly outdoor seating. luckily not too sunny today!

mainly the place was filled with young (but you can tell they were rich) mothers with their babies, grandparents with their grand kids, or non-working wives. almost all tables ordered bottles of wine. it's that view that you would drink to. 

what a massive house and waste of land space. houses here in mosman are pretty cool

all that land wasted for statue things. the house goes even further down, so it's quite big irl

The Boathouse on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Anita Gelato and The Potting Shed (The Grounds Take 3)

driving in the city in peak hour is the worst. buses going in and out of their bus lane to their bus stops, taxis stopping in the middle of the road, pedestrians crossing without looking. 

had to do some stuff today with mum in the city, but finally walked time to had for Anita Gelato, and first time going to Central Park. actually, we just went there for the gelato, no time to actually look around the shops. hardly ever pass this side of the city.

jumbo size: cookie man, blueberry with meringue, chestnut-$8

the cookie man flavour was recommended by that guy, and i do love it! texture wise, this gelato isn't as smooth as cow and the moon, and also not as flavourful compared to Messina. it was nice, but portion wasn't that big. the person didn't spoon it out nicely, that presentation =/

had to pick some stuff up and passed The Grounds along the way back. i've been wanting to go to the potting shed for a long time now, and i guess today was good timing since the grounds were closing up for the day, whilst the potting shed is opened until late. it's a different atmosphere, and i love the decor! menus on copper clipboard with hand tools, pottery-like cups, toilet with purposely rusting taps and looking super old. even more plants around the place compared to the normal cafe/outdoors.

Toiler's tonic-$16

description, as if i can remember all that

when you sit down, they confirm with you your at the potting shed and no coffee is served here. i think many people before have given up waiting in line at the main cafe then go here, but then are disappointed that there's no coffee. they have heaps of drinks here, and since it was hot today, i decided to try a cocktail. wanted something sweet, but kind of wish it was sweeter. the ginger beer was quite subtle, and the basil gave it an interesting kick

kurobuta pork belly sliders-$15

on the pricey side, but it was yum. the kim chi was surprisingly nice with that sour flavour and a good amount of chilli, well the amount where i can handle which is slight chilli and no water needed to give the whole slider a kick. for other people, you probably won't even taste the chilli in there. the crackling was so, so crunchy, and pork was soft, but not melt in your mouth. first time having charcoal buns, but lucky no charcoal after taste.

slow cooked grain-fed angus short rib with sweet and sour glaze, spiced eggplant-$23

the beed was so soft, but would have preferred if there was less fat on it. the sauce was amazing-not your typical asian sweet and sour sauce (obviously), but it elevated the whole dish. the eggplant was too charred for our liking, and would have liked more spice. did you know i use to hate eggplant. actually, i only eat eggplant when i dine out since just plain eggplant is still kind of gross for me. i love most foods, just eggplants was one of those foods i answered to "most disgusting food" when i was younger.

the potting shed is more pricey, and portions weren't massive. the idea is to share your food, so without asking, they gave us these really cute pottery/ceramic bowls. it is a different experience with the whole bar. even in the afternoon, there were quite a few people dining there with a few drinks. i think i still prefer The Grounds Cafe.

driving around the city and surrounding place, and going past all these place i wanted to eat in surry hills/newtown, but no time/place to stop to try something from places which i have been wanting to go for a while...oh well, the thing with doing a degree which is 5 years gives you more time to try out places instead of wasting money frequently eating out, if that makes sense...

Anita Gelato on Urbanspoon

The Potting Shed on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 16, 2015

bills and The Lobby Lounge

finally met up with Shirley after a long time. so good catching up on holidays and talking about fashion over food (:

been wanting to go bills for a while since it's by Bill Granger who is a celebrity chef, but not a massive one, which does explain why the cost of stuff here is a bit pricier than your average cafe. also, my parents have been here before, so I wanted to try it...

ricotta hotcakes, banana and honeycomb butter 20.00, regular coffee: flat white and cap: $3.90

the pancakes were quite fat and filling, with bits of ricotta inside, but i guess it wasn't amazing, and wished there was more maple syrup...these were more dry/fluffy compared to your normal butter pancakes.

zucchini fritters, deep fried egg, haloumi, parsley salad, tahini yoghurt and pickles $23.50 

we chose this since we both haven't had zucchini fritters and deep fried egg before. wished there was a runny yolk inside...the fritters were nice, but again not amazing. was pretty full from that meal, probably because of all that oil in deep fried stuff and butter from the pancakes.

dessert at the Lobby Lounge!
citrus tart-$5, Anna's mess-$9.50

really get disappointed when food looks bigger in photos than irl. the Anna's mess looked really cool with those holes, but was quite small and probs a bit too much white chocolate. the inside had a mousse, but would have preferred the rose flavour to be a tad stronger. 

the citrus tart was quite nice, but had a super tough cookie base. i liked how it wasn't too sweet and balanced nicely with the lemony, grapefruit (?) mousse. yay for meringue pieces!

i think i mentioned this before, but nowadays i can't each as much as i used to ): what happened to my stomach this made me super full until dinner, where i only had a little bit to eat. getting old.

Bills on Urbanspoon

Shangri-La Lobby Lounge on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 14, 2015

this day has yet to mean something special.

actually got to work late today since i was trying to fix my alarm clock last night, but then it screwed up and didn't work this morning ):

thanks for the surprise visit yesterday Dandelion and Happy Apple! aww, so thoughtful of you guys. blessed to have friends like you. even only seeing you guys for a bit. yay for perfect timing! just got back from work and changed, then you guys arrived (before I left again).

yay choc roses

so like Happy Apple, my Opal card came yday. too bad i needed it in 30min from when i got back home to see the letter to when i had to leave, but it takes 60min to activate! damn you opal card activation. why is australia so slow in everything? it's actually around 50c more expensive for a single bus ride to the city, since it's just one bus to the city. only if i take 2 or more buses in one go it'll be cheaper. should still buy a travel ten for these single bus journeys only to the city....but just tapping off will take some getting use to...

met up with friends whom i haven't seen in maybe a year. green peppercorn again.

pad see we with beef-$12.90

it was way too salty. only reason i took a photo was because the sauce looks cool, but it made it really salty. i shared this with someone, so i only ate half, and it was still pretty salty. also had a pandan creme brûlée, since the last 2 times i was here i also ordered it's kind of normal now to order that for dessert here

the flower shop today extended it's opening hours (obviously). when i walked past my local italian restaurant, i thought it was odd that it was quite empty for 5pm. on closer inspection, i realised all the tables were reserved lol.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Madang Take 2, Devon Take 2, Pressed Juices

dinner from friday night. korean bbq at madang. second time i've been there. i think service is better at night. love how there is more variety here. food delicious as usual.

$109 worth of food (with drinks). having beer with kbbq really helps to refreshen your meal

Sydney Madang on Urbanspoon

dinner at home on saturday night-10 dishes in total. and then mum trying to plate up fruit-not too bad i guess since we never think about presentation at home.

my uncle got those chocolates from a first class lounge at the airport. the chocolates are from the Peninsula hotel, which are $30hkd each, or over $5AU since the aussie dollar haas dropped even more ): but the pinkish ones were the best, nice strawberry flavour

i've been meaning to go devon again since i got free coffee vouchers when they came to our uni middle of last year. finally had time to go today!

chai and large cap-$4 each

chai was really disappointing. only a very subtle after taste of spice, and too milky. the cap was quite nice, but both drinks were quite hot, hotter than your drinking temp coffee.

Naked Bruschetta: roasted pumpkin, pea & goat’s curd mousse, sage & konbu crunch, soybeans, pea tendrils, focaccia, 63C egg -$14.50
Little Lost Bread: brioche French toast, fresh and freeze dried strawberries, balsamic & strawberry gastrique, strawberry cheesecake ice cream, Arnott’s biscuit crumble-$16.50

hidden egg #eggporn

they were quite busy and it was a warm day, so by the time to toast came to us, the ice-cream was already melting ): prefer three williams french toast. there were more toppings here, but it wasn't crunchy enough. this one is more soft and got soggy faster. love the freeze dried raspberries, but would have preferred more flavour in the ice cream.

the naked bruschetta was definitely not your typical bruschetta but it was so delicious. the bread helped to mop up that egg yolk, and the japanese seasoning helped give flavour to the soybeans and pea tendrils. the green paste which we thought was originally avo was so yum. for people who don't like goat taste, this was combined nicely with the pea to give it a smooth texture, and was super subtle. i think we got lucky on this dish since there were stuff on it compared to people who ordered late than us...

i've missed Australian brunch! i'm actually quite out of it. did not realise until today devon opened up a new cafe, Devon on Danks

Devon Cafe on Urbanspoon

also got my watch adjusted which i complained about in a few posts back...the very first reason i didn't ask a girl to help me was in case they recognised i didn't get my watch from them at their sydney store. well luckily that guy wasn't there to break my watch but damn, i knew my suspicions were right. the girl there was like "we don't have this watch." even though they sell over 50 maybe 100 watches, girls tend to have an eye for detail, and she recognised that watch wasn't from sydney or that model sold in australia. damn, but she helped me anyway with no charge. but after a while, you do tend to recognise if you sell this model or not. like in my store which is relatively small, we still have over 600 frames and 300 sunnies, and you do know all the brands and recognise which model of particular brands we stock. plus, fake brands are very obvious and no brands/super cheap brands from other stores can be detected since the quality is very poor. even with our cheap non branded frames, they have a sturdiness/quality over cheap frames from other places. so i can tell if the frame people ask me to fix is from us or not most of the time without checking the computer. i guess only at time i would say this frame isn't from us unless it's super obvious to the customer, since we still want to provide good service, regardless of where they're from so hopefully they come to us next time...but anyways, even though the girl said that, she was still willing to adjust it so all good.

pressed juices-$9 each

walked around and then stumbled on this pressed juice shop in MLC. i've seen heaps of these on instagram, but since this company is based in melbourne, it's hard to get access to here. plus, their shops in std are all in the city or eastern suburbs. i wasn't planning to buy any, but my mum ended up trying about a quarter of the flavours there (they have so many), so we got some in the end. these aren'y actually too expensive, i bought a bottle or pressed juice in nyc at an organic supermarket and it was $12. these juices are all raw and you can definitely taste the individual ingredients. feel so healthy after, but it comes at a cost

at this rate, it'll take forever to post about america. so, so busy, not actually complaining, i really don't mind work (unless you get difficult customers with questions hard to answer)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Road Trip-Coffs Harbour

finally have time since last week to get this up and back at my desk. been working and going out at night since i got back.

last sunday was super stressful, finishing an assignment in between work and before i left on a road trip (which also meant missing out on the tennis)

managed to finish the assignment, but pretty sure i didn't do it right... ): goodbye much needed distinction. they also marked quite harshly for group presentations even though it's a gen ed. what was even worst was that i had to get up at 4.30am the next day to drive down to hurstville to lend my car to someone's mum so we could use their 7 seater (didn't even use my car in the end), so i couldn't stay up doing my assignment. also didn't want to bring my laptop with me, also didn't want to waste my mobile data doing the assignment. no wifi at a caravan park.

supposed to take 6 hours from where i live, but i had to leave the earliest to go south first. then over an hour picking up other people, then left around 8am, got there at around 6pm, so 10 hours, since we shopped and ate at newcastle and port maquarie as pit stops. newcastle was a waste of time since it's 1/2 drive detour away from the highway.

here are a few highlights from the week. most of the week was raining except for one sunny day.

pulled pork burger at newcastle. kind of dry but heaps of meat

microwaved then pan fried pizza from costco to give it crunch, pan fried garlic bread

to save money, people bought heaps of frozen stuff from costco. i had a car refrigerator and someone else also bought an esky to use to put some frozen stuff. arrived at the caravan park and turns out no oven. luckily they had a microwave oven, but still improvised with the pans. ended up not finishing a lot of food...well i did most of the washing, so have to commend the people thinking of how to cook oven food without an oven. mainly ate microwaved stuff for the week lol

i guess it's a different experience compared to renting a house. haven't been to a caravan park in a while since we haven't been camping for quite a few years now. the place was actually 1/2 hour drive from the main coffs harbour cbd, so it was quite peaceful there. 

wallabies everywhere

walking out to the beck from where we stayed

patterns (:

the beach outside our place was actually quite gross, as in the water wasn't clear

went trampolining and did some gymnastics there since they had some equipment. the place wasn't quite as big as penrith/baulko, but first time going to a trampoline place.

camel riding!

(don't judge if i look like i'm 10)

selfie with mario the youngest (10yrs) and tallest camel there

typical tourist shot

sapphire beach-the one sunny day

waves weren't that great so boogie boarding didn't really work. the locals there are really nice, letting us know there were rips and asked if we lost a phone. also went exploring at the rocks.

didn't take heaps of photos, just enjoyed the company and chilling or the week.

grilled barramundi and chips-$15
going back to port macquarie. i think this price is decent for a tourist destination.

i volunteered to drive the whole week. on the way there drove for 3 hours straight, same as on the way back. split the journey into 3 legs, and i did the most. i guess since i'm on my fulls it's faster to get to your destination faster. and the other car only had green p's but all of them didn't mind driving over 100 to keep pace with my car lol. if i didn't drive and since i'm short, i would be stuck in the back seat for the whole week-so driving is fantastic!

pho at cabra-$11

dinner after the trip since most people live near here but i haven't had pho at cabra before. too bad all the good places were close,d and this place didn't really have other viet food apart from noodles. will one day go back for a cabra food run in the daytime

thankful for a safe trip there and back and just spending time there with friends.