Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rustic Pearl

this post is long overdue. been wanting to go here for a while now and went at the beginning of this semester.

even though many people have said it's one of their favourite cafes, tbh, I personally thought this place is overhyped. maybe it was just the chef on the day, but it isn't one of my favourite to-go cafes. food and service was good. it is a small cafe, and there aren't many seats, but we went earlier before the lunch crowds and could choose the nice seat beside the window :)

Turkish Apple Iced Tea-$7

the tea was refreshing on a warm autumn day, but I would have preferred it to be slightly sweeter fruitier. not enough apple flavour. loved the use of a metal straw. the tea I had in HK at a particular cafe with Dandelion and Connie was oh so fruity and super delicious, and that one in HK is so far one of my favourite iced teas.

Bosphorus Benedict: eggs on toast, Bay lobster, homemade hollandaise, fresh coriander and chilli-$25

loved the addition of lobster with the eggs benedict as it took it to another level even though it is slightly pricier. would have liked it if there was an extra piece...i actually can't eat chilli, but this chilli was actually quite nice as it brought some spice to the dish. the main downside was that it was super hard to cut into. we had to literally hack into the piece of toast. Turkish bread crust is generally harder than your average crust, and combined with some of the sauce and runny yolk soaking through, it was a workout cutting into the toast, whilst trying the balance that precious lobster on top and prevent it from flying across the table

sautéed mixed wild mushrooms bruschetta with herbed cheese, agresto and organic soft boiled egg-$16

the standout was definitely the agresto sauce which is similar to pesto, but more herby and complemented to mushrooms really well. mushrooms were soft and not too heavily seasoned. the crust was a tad harder to cut, but definitely not as difficult as the eggs benedict. 

I was expecting a lot more from Rustic Pearl, but unfortunately I was slightly disappointed. they offered nice food, but wasn't as amazing as others said it was.

Rustic Pearl on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 29, 2015

life indeed is short...

especially for someone around our age

as a Christian, I can find comfort knowing that there is no suffering on the other side

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Congratulatory Surprise

a rare Saturday where I don't have work.

had the Art and Craft Exhibition at church which i helped since i couldn't make anything.... people are so talented with all their made crafts and paintings! 

yay for surprise party which was a little bit more successful than last time. thanks Dandelion, Davy and other for organising! so much food-hope you finish all the leftovers Happy Apple
that detail is quite superb

icing, fondant or buttercream is always sweet and fattening, but it's only those things which helps to make cakes look so good. luckily i have a sweet tooth to tolerate it all. just can't tolerate the richness of those cakes with super thickly rich chocolate. the tad bit of the tart i tried was really lovely-nice job Dandelion and Connie!

baked goods (soz, not int focus)

congrats again Happy Apple-so proud of you! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

first mid sem for this year today, and i know i could have done better ): it all makes sense when you read it, and it feels like common sense, but got stumped when putting the words on paper.

going to be $3.5k poorer again, and it's not even due to food/travels/shopping. they increased the prices around $600 compared to last years. i mean for every $1000AU, the aussie dollar has dropped from around 950 to now getting back $750US, so around $200 drop, but that doesn't mean an increase of $600. should have bought it last year...such a poor uni student.

my mid sem break is going to be even busier than a week of uni. even though travelling to uni takes up a whole day, working the whole day means i can't even have a look at my notes...

so many group assignments this semester...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

they finally sell Disney exclusive Pandora charms outside of DisneyWorld! too bad it's only on the US website. knowing Australia, i bet i'll probably go to America before they even start selling them here, chances are they probably will limit the exclusiveness to America only. when they first launched last year in November, they were sold out in all theme parks and Downtown Disney shops everywhere. on the last day, i manage to buy one, kind of regret not buying more, but i tell myself one is enough for now (: the Disney World website has listed them sold out online since it ever launched. but now the pandora website has finally released it to the public ie. those who haven't been to DisneyWorld. the Disney collection charms are all so beautiful. if i had access to it and the money, i would love to get a whole Pandora bracelet with Disney.

the other day before going to a birthday dinner, we experienced raining glass. it was actually quite a shock. we were looking at sunnies and the lady closed the glass display door and it suddenly exploded-glass flying everywhere. the glass was scattered around me but didn't hit me apart from a tiny shard. my friend got a piece cut into her head, luckily it wasn't too deep and didn't get hit in the eyes. how does a small glass door explode? no idea. luckily i only have sliding glass doors at work on display, and we put the crap sunnies inside so we don't have to bother getting the key out and moving the glass. but it was pretty scary having glass raining everywhere...

ahh, still kind of freaking out what to do when i can't work that Thursday night even when my manager says i have to. i really do need to help with the uni event ):

mid sems coming up already. doing 3 subjects still feels like i'm doing 4. stupid group work where no one responds...still behind on notes and everything ):

last week i've actually averaged one or 2 hours of class each day, which sounds good but pretty hopeless since it takes 3-4 hours to and from uni. and since all my classes start late and i sleep in the morning, it's a whole day wasted. also, some classes were cancelled, which means learning/catching up in your own time hence not many contact hours last week.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Reuben Hills Take 2

i normally don't like to "repeat" places and love to use the hard earned money to try new places, but there are some exceptions, and so far they have been The Grounds, Devon Cafe and now Reuben Hills. it's been a while since my last experience. i actually didn't have the coffee last time, so have been wanting to come again for the coffee.

was lovely catching up with other high school friends who i probably only see about once or twice a year, since we're all busy and doing completely different things. surprisingly, the first time I went here was also with this group.

we were a group of 6, and they helped us out by combining 2 tables together, so we didn't have to sit on the communal table. food came out quickly-in less than 15mins for all our dishes.

regular capp-$4, slushie: frozen milk, coffee, pandan and chocolate-$6

i love reuben hills coffee blend, wherever they sourced it from. even though i haven't had their coffee here, other places such as KIN by us. do use their coffee beans. the coffee was a good drinking temperature and lovely aroma, but it wasn't filtered probably and at the bottom were still some grounded coffee. i tried a bit of the slushie, which is frozen milk with some coffee and flavouring. it wasn't a typical slushie flavour, but more like iced coffee without it being too sweet and the pandan was quite subtle. it's a bit small for the size, but super cute and definitely something different.

broken omelette roll w/ fried shrimp and bacon jam-$14

i have been eating out was too much these past week, so i opted for something cheaper. when it came out it looked small, but this was actually quite filling. why did i go for a burger/roll after coming back from America not too long ago? because of the bacon jam-which was on point. normally i don't like jam, and even on those rare days where i have jam on pancakes at home, i only eat the French branded jam, but i can have bacon jam all day everyday. it was sweet without being sickly sweet like maple bacon, and little bits of bacon which balanced the sweetness. there were bits and pieces of fried shrimp, rocket was fresh, and egg was seasoned (probably a tad too much salt for my liking), and their mayo was also delicious.

tried a bit of the Mezeal Cured Salmon Tostadas, the colours were so fresh and vibrant! and extra points for using edible flavours. even after one bite, i could take the spiciness from the mayo, but my spicy tolerance is probably chilli Kettle chips...so i don't think i would even be able to finish even a quarter of the dish...

mid sems already coming up next week, so I should try to stop eating out so much, but with all my lectures starting late, it feels more productive meeting up with friends over food than sleeping in...

Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Asadal and Gelato Messina

lovely having half of the high school group together for lunch today-even if it wasn't very long (:

this was from a while ago, but it was that very rare night where all 8 of us were free. don't think there will be another night until maybe end of next year, with people going on exchange...

Asadal is a mix of Japanese and Korean at Parra. it's a bit away from the main street, and had to keep walking further down the street. it's average food and price (but don't remember them..,) and very limited side dishes ):

eel and vegetarian sushi

could be fresher, but i guess this isn't a place you would go just for sushi

Korean pancake, Chicken Kaarage

the Korean pancake was on the small side unfortunately. the chicken karaage was decent.

Beef Bimbibap

veggies and Bulgogi underneath

messina! 500ml tubs: pavlova, tiramisu, italian nougat, and also lychee and coconut, blood orange, pandan and coconut-$10 each

wow, can't believe i remembered those flavours. the pavlova was definitely the sweetest (that was my pick) but i still loved the meringue bits. blood orange definitely helped to cut down on the creaminess on the other flavours. 

Asadal on Urbanspoon 

Gelato Messina Parramatta on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 14, 2015

a few days ago, i was so pumped to go to our optom cruise this year because it was Disney (and animations) themed! Disney! <3

but went to talk to our new manager today and what luck i have...turns out the other colleague is on holidays, so i will most likely have to work thursday night unless he finds someone else, which sucks so much. why can't he work thursday night and i work during the day? obviously i didn't push it too much and question him and ask why he can't work that night. i mean the following week, he goes on holidays and the other person isn't back yet, so i probably have to skip and hour or two of uni to work that thursday night.

please just give me that thursday off. now i'm never going to tell him the actual dates of my holidays in case important stuff comes up. normally i wouldn't mind missing the cruise, but i'm kind of helping out with it, and argh, it's so disappointing if i already paid and can't go.

also asked before that if i could do half day on saturday for the week before that, but nope, have to work, which mean missing out on a 21st. why can't i do a half day? i'm sure the other person can survive a few hours by themselves. hate missing out on parties

so fyi, if you guys ever plan on having a party during the middle of the day, 99% chance i won't be able to come.

so now, this makes taking time off for holidays 1000% harder. if i can't take time off for 4 hours, how am i allowed to not work for 4 weeks plus a few weeks for summer school? 90% chance he will fire me. goodbye travels...

whilst swimming today, i was thinking of my "ultimate" plan. after my 5th year, it would be the last christmas where i won't need to work since all optoms are required to work during the christmas period, so i am dreaming of going on 3 months holidays overseas then (if i find a job, or else i would probs have to use that 3 month to get a job after i graduate).

don't get me wrong, i do like my current job, it's just that the previous manager was so lenient and simple: work every saturday. now it's all over the place and can't take time off.


looking at what we have to read for our readings and dying. they just tell us that everything in the readings is tested even if not taught in lectures. so basically we have to memorise the textbook, plus over 10 papers, averaging 20pages for each paper. and this is for one course only. how to memorise everything from the lecture, let alone the readings?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cremeria De Luca-Pop Up

first time having a proper gelato burger without having to trek to Five Dock last Friday! thanks for coming out to The Strand. i've never had one of those Messina creations before where they have "ice cream bread," but i was definitely more keen for this. been eating out way too much, but i'm telling myself that once uni gets busy, i won't have the luxury of going places to eat.

gelato burger: rosewater and pistachio gelato, panna (whipped cream), nutella, brioche bun-$10.50

i decided to go all out and get everything. surprisingly it wasn't messy to eat, just the icing sugar went everywhere. luckily it wasn't the really sticky type of icing sugar. this gelato didn't melt that fast luckily. the rosewater was a nice flavour, not too overpowering or sweet. the pistachio was more on the sweeter side, and would have preferred a nuttier flavour. apparently those 2 flavours are the most popular. also tried the cinnamon flavour where you did get a good cinnamon kick, but it was also pretty sweet. haven't had nutella in ages, so decided to get it even though it was an extra $1. it's pretty cool how it freezes up when the gelato is put on top. the cream wasn't too creamy, but more on the sweet side. halfway through this burger and i was already super full, so didn't have room to try their granites. the person serving me was super nice as well, took away my rubbish-brownie points!

met up with Shirley and Tracy for round 2 of bingsu.

green tea bingsu-$15

went to the outdoor cafe between the station/shops-Strathfield Square Cafe. the ice was a lot finer in this one, so melted really quickly. would have preferred to have more green tea flavour. loved the mochi and pearl toppings. i do like my ice cream, but thought there was too much ice cream in proportion with the ice.

original belgium waffle-$3.80

the waffle is a bit on the small size, but then again everything these days is small. it's got a slightly sticky texture when you initially bit into it but would have liked more 'crunch' with it. it's not as buttery and sweet as I imagined. it was nice, but I do prefer my belgium waffles without toppings to be more buttery (despite being super unhealthy)

Cremeria de Luca on Urbanspoon

Waffle Bant on Urbanspoon

another food run

met up with Shirley and Tracy last Wednesday whom I haven't see for ages. some "cheap" eats, but good catch up time.
mamak avocado smoothie

earlier at uni, mamak were giving out free avo shakes. believe it or not, this was my first time having one, and i was expecting a super rich and creamy avocado flavour, luckily it wasn't too creamy. i love my avocado, but the thought of making it super rich and creamy makes it feel a bit to fattening. this one was a bit sweet, so you can taste a little bit of the ice cream in it. 

honey butter bread-$8.90

second time having this in a week. this one didn't taste as cinnamon. the free wifi is now limited to an hour

red bean bingsu-$18

made our way to Central Park just for this at TNS Coffee Project. can't believe they had to call the manager to give us 20% off. quite ridiculous imo. just give us the discount, it's only around $4 cheaper. feel like i', getting ripped paying $18 for ice, but it's the novelly of eating it i guess. too much candy in this one, and hard to incorporate the toppings with the ice which was quite thick

Tom n Tom's on Urbanspoon 

TNS Coffee Project on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

think i'm going to drop my gen ed for this sem, and hello summer holidays filled with more uni.

but 2nd week and i'm already falling behind.

diseases is crazy. so content heavy. 5 hours of just lectures a week filled with content and disgusting pictures. seeing videos of bugs in eyelids, and people pulling at it, skin conditions etc and this is only the first week of diseases since it started in wk 2. people were making gagging sounds in the lecture. even the lecturer says the course is hard. usually other lecturers say their course is hard, but if you put effort into it then you can do well. but nope, for diseases it's hard, and he said if you put effort into it, it's still hard D=

the other day learning about 4th and 5th dimensions, and proving some other time dimensions. is this even optom?

our main optom lecturer decided to go on strike today, and expects us to learn it ourselves. it's not one of those memorising subjects like diseases, but more of a concept/understanding one. why couldn't she just teach us for that 1 hour?

lightning was a bit cray this evening.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

MacBook and Apple Watch

wow, apple is once again amazing!

how can a laptop get even thinner than the macbook air? the new macbook is so beautifully thin and light. seeing it in different colours is weird. the battery last around 9 hours compared to normal 12 hours on an air which is a bit shorter, but the new macbook comes with retina and a lot faster. it's 12 inch as well, so another different sized thing to add to their line up. really keen on trying out the new track pad as well which can detect different forces, and just to touch a macbook...the charger port is so tiny, and there's only one, so if you wanted to connect a usb, then you'd have to get an adapter...but nowadays, there are so many choices with online storage, you don't need a usb. it's pricey at $1.8k, but you're paying for the beauty and functionality of it

the new iWatch is actually really cool (after watching the video of the functions). the straps for the higher end ones are so elegant. i think the actual watch face would be a bit chunky and big on me since i have a small wrist. quite a few functions actually require other people to have a watch as well...but i think the exercise things are quite cute-reminding you to stand up and get moving. watches start from around $500, which i think is on the higher side of watches in the "normal" range (i.e. not luxury brands)

still waiting for the non-existent iPad air 3 and iPhone 6s to see what new feature there would be.

if/when i go to the west coast of America, i really want to see their original Cupertino store in San Fran, even though they don't actually sell all their gadgets there...

i think all those who have gotten MacBooks in the past few years since we started uni, everyone has loved it and have no regrets

Monday, March 9, 2015

Wild Pear Cafe

making the most of my rare Saturday with no work since I got back from overseas, so it was a spontaneous decision to have lunch at Wild Pear Cafe, a place relatively close to home which I have been wanting to go for a long time. 

expected it was busy, especially on the weekend. we got there around 1.30pm hoping the crowds would start to die out, but nope, still had to wait for over 20min for a table. mainly tables for 2 moved the quickest. the bad thing about waiting here compared to the grounds/the boat shed is that they don't page you and there's nothing to look at/do apart from standing and waiting. we got seated at an 'extra' table, so not a nice wooden table and no view if you're sitting on the balcony, but my cousin had work so we had to get seated and eat ASAP. food took a while to come out as well, since their kitchen isn't very big for the size of the cafe. took about 20mins, but apparently the other tables before us had to wait an hour since it was that busy, and hard to get the waiters attention.

the food is pricey for a cafe, but it's dural where people have farms and mansions with 10+ bedrooms and drive fast cars. the food was delicious though!

steak panini (bottom): caramelised onion, chilli jam, aioli, baby leaves and steak house chips-$22.90

since my cousin was in a rush to eat, there wasn't any time to take proper photos. the good thing about wild pear cafe is that it feels 'healthier' than other places. the steak was very lean, and even though the chips should've been deep fried a little bit longer to be more golden, they were a lot less oily when you hold it, and less of that oil feel on your mouth. i do prefer the more oily, and twice deep fried golden chips through...

pan fried gnocchi: chorizo, king prawns, parmesan, cherry tomatoes, basil and tomato sumo-$24.90

when you compared the price of this dish to a restaurant, it's about the same price. this dish was by far everyone's favourite. heaps of sauce under there which we dipped the chips into. the gnocchi was fluffily and parmesan cheese was nicely shaved to give it more flavour. prawns were fresh as well (:

smoked salmon stack: avocado, ricotta, capers, cucumber, aioli, and rocket on wood fired bread-$21.90

a simple but nicely balanced dish. the smoked salmon wasn't too overpowering, and loved the creaminess with the ricotta and super fresh avo.


quite small for the price. unfortunately they forgot the order for this and it wasn't filtered properly. they don't do their pear sundaes anymore since they have a new dessert menu which is $12 for a plate. also, pears are in winter, so there was only one pear dessert i think. didn't get desserts, although the persian fairy floss looked amazing. they also do high tea, mainly consisted of small portions of cakes from their dessert menu. it looked nice, but it was filled with a lot of cake, so would probably be a bit too heavy and sweet.

Wildpear Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 6, 2015

KIN by us.

last friday was technically my last day of holidays since i had work on the weekend before uni started, so i decided to make the most out of it by going out to eat (:

finally contestants from a cooking show has opened a cafe in sydney. i've been watching master chef and mkr continuously, 7th year this year, and no one has opened a cafe in sydney after they left the show. uel and shanelle from last year's mkr opened up their cafe in macquarie. it's a short walk from macquarie centre, and since they're youth workers, it's opened mon-sat 7am-3pm.

we got there a bit after 2pm, and they said they weren't taking anymore people since they have no food left. after some pleading to get in since i know i won't have time to come here when uni starts, we got seated, but were told we could only get toast and coffee, which is what we ordered initially. the person said that food runs out at around 1pm, and it's best to get there at 11am.

fully open kitchen


too excited and didn't realise this photo was out of focus until i got home...

after we ordered the toast, a person then came to tell us they still had enough to make one more congee and salmon, so we ordered them even though they're the more expensive dishes. we then wanted to cancel the added egg on the toast since those dishes have egg, but uel said they alread made it but would take it off the bill. in the end it wasn't taken off since he forgot to tell the person getting the bill for us. normally i would complain, but since it was their third day of opening and they let us in when they weren't taking anymore people, and managed to still make the last meals of the day for us, i didn't want to cause trouble over a $2 egg.

toast: homemade coconut jam-$7, onsen egg-$2, capp-$3.50, mocha w/melted choc-$5.50

the most expensive piece of toast i've had so far, but this coconut jam was so good. the last time i had this was when devon cafe visited out uni last year with their pandan magic muffins topped with a bit of coconut jam. this toast was slathered in it-could eat this jam every morning. added the egg since i wanted to try more things as they only allowed us to get toast. the coffees were a little bit on the runny side, but not too strong. mocha wasn't sweet which was nice. do not understand how the waitresses balance the coffee, since they're on wooden board on one side, which isn't light and can easily spill since it's not centred when you pick it up...

miso yummy: miso salmon, sesame spinach, onset eggs, sourdough-$17
this dish reminded me a bit of devon's salmon dish. the salmon was a bit on the small side but was cooked perfectly. would have preferred more miso flavour. loved the runny eggs on the bread.


quite pricey for congee. in HK, you can get a super large portion of authentic congee for $15HK ($2.50AUD). you can tell the difference with this since their chicken broth used was so rich and full of flavour. tasted better than MSG without actually having MSG (i hope). the quail egg inside was quite big. the congee itself was a bit more watery than what we normally have, but i guess it's their style. loved how they fried off to finish with their chinese doughnut. it's a lot more doughy inside, compared to HK version of super brown and more hollow inside. heaps of people ordered the congee.  in hatted restaurants, congee cost over $30, so everyone does their own take of congee, with an added price...

lunch for 2 (:

super cute and good idea for the sugar. just poor it out instead of using your spoon. my mum wanted to buy one haha

loved this cafe, staff was super friendly and food was delicious. i got a photo with uel and shannelle, but the person taking it didn't focus it...

spent the morning finding $20 gift vouchers from T2 (:

KIN By Us on Urbanspoon