Friday, May 29, 2015

Week 12

this week's been another kinda crap week. almost everyday it takes me 4 hours to and from uni, with an average of 2 hours of classes each day, sometimes even just 1 hour. ie. my uni life is spent stuck in traffic. times like these i really wish my parents/i had the money so i can just live on campus. i do have stuff to study on the bus, but it's just not the right environment to study properly, so nothing goes in my head. 

doesn't help i'm working during stuvac, and also have to go uni to practice for prac exam, so another non-existent stuvac. still have new material in week 13 to learn ): 

yep, i'm screwed. but this sem the content is just twice the stuff of last semester for each subject. comparing my already condensed notes (you know how i like to squish stuff onto one page, i still do in uni), the notes are almost double for the equivalent subj from last sem. so doing 3 subjects feels like doing more than 4...

i know i always say this every sem, but i really do hope i pass. getting mid sems/prac/tute marks back, and almost all have failed. i hate feeling down on marks because my heart tells me this is all short term things but my brain tells me why can't I memorise stuff better/if only I had my friend's memory. if i can't pass mid sems, then how can i make it through finals? esp 3 hour disease finals. never had a 3 hour uni exam...

at least i came back home today with this:
finally won something!

it finally came in today, after over 2 weeks. it says it was supposed to be a signed copy but it wasn't ): oh well, this book retail for $45.00. just regramed on Insta and i finally got drawn (well I think it's a draw since it's randomly picked) and won a Zumbo competition! you have no idea how many i have entered...holidays are super packed already (and i'm not going anywhere this time), but i want to try something form this book.

finally opened these cookies, all the way from Canada!

these were surprisingly nice and maple syrupy without being too sugary or really creamy filling, and it's maple leaf shaped (:

no time to go to Vivid ): the most i've seen was on monday crossing over the Harbour bridge, the lights turned on at 6.01pm (not 6pm), so i had a glimpse of the buildings/opera house when i went over the Harbour Bridge. really want to test out different functions/night lights photography on my camera, but so screwed for finals ):

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Rasa Delights

A new place in Eastwood has popped up on the Korean side, near the building with Aldi inside. I used to go Eastwood often when I was younger when I lived around there, but now I hardly go, and so many new places to eat are being opened. The last time I went to the Aldi in Eastwood, there was nothing there except Aldi. 

We hardly ever eat out as a family, but since my brother finally got a job, he shouted dinner (also it was Mother's Day, and I shouted high tea earlier in the day-yep, this this post is quite delayed.)

There isn't a lot of variety in the Malaysian/Hong Kong fusion menu, and I can't say it's super cheap Asian food, but I guess they did open just only 2 months ago, so hopefully they'll add to it overtime. It was also a family friend's friend's new startup business (he actually has another day time job, but felt like opening a restaurant).



Laksa fish balls (4pcs-my dad was too hungry hence 3 in the pic)-$3
drinks: homemade lemonade-$3.50, teh tarik (cold)-$3

I really like their laksa since it's just the right amount of spiciness for me, which means for most of you it won't be spicy at all. the lemonade was average, and I would have liked a stronger flavour in the teh tarik. Couldn't see it being 'pulled' like you do at Mamak and other similar places. I have the exact drinking jars at home.

Laksa w/ king prawns-$14.80, spring rolls-$6.80
Loved the laksa, and there were about 5-6 massive prawns in there, was expecting less. The spring rolls weren't too oily but still had a crunch.

Also ordered the Hainan chicken w/ coconut rice-$13.80, chicken wasn't too fatty and still had good flavour. The Nasi Lamek w/ Lemongrass Pork Cutlet-$13.80 was probably the most disappointing. The pork cutlet was really small and since it was deep fried, the lemongrass flavour wasn't as prominent. Last time my parents brought home the lemongrass deep fried chicken wings, they had heaps of flavour, maybe because it was smaller. They don't use MSG here, which is a plus.

Har Mee Soup-combo of egg and rice noodles in prawn based stock, thin slice of pork, prawns, egg and kang kung (asian veggies)-$14.80

This looks like an average bowl of noodles, but the stock was so full of flavour! You can definitely taste the prawn base soup in it, and has a tiny bit of spice. This was my favourite of the night. It's also interesting to have a combination of noodles in one bowl.

Egg Waffles! $3 (takeaway only)

Definitely my new go-to place for HK style egg waffles if I ever miss authentic HK ones. There are some places in Chinatown in the city, but some of them aren't as authentic. This place is definitely fresh, crunchy shell and soft on the inside. It's about the same price as HK, and it's also a bit bigger than you average HK egg waffle. Yay for fresh egg waffles closer to home!

Rasa Delights on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Friends and Pasta

dead after 4 hours of diseases today (plus more on the bus), but nothing still going in my head ):

met up with the lovely Dandelion today! 1 hour just isn't enough.

finding there's not enough time to study (even though i watched avenger 2 yday, and pitch perfect 2 the week before). i had to watch them, since almost everyone has seen it, and i know i won't be able to focus on my studies if i keep thinking about movies to watch...also yesterday i had (full price) Cha time honeydew milk tea (30% ice, 80% sugar) w/ sago-exactly the same as my friend since i wanted to try something new. it's actually quite nice and not too sweet. i think i still prefer the chewiness from the pearl though.

finally tried the pasta at uni today! it took me till my third year of uni to try it. they used to come in square boxes, but now in cylindrical cardboard containers.

Romana: eggplant, bacon, mushroom, peas, pink sauce w/ spaghetti-$12

they make it fresh on the spot, so it was steaming hot when you eat it. even though i don't like eggplant, the taste was disguised by the sauce. pasta wasn't too creamy/cheesy and heaps filling (didn't manage to finish it). there wasn't heaps of toppings in it, but i guess it's decent for this type of standard. the pasta itself was cooked al dente, which is pretty good for uni food.

Click to add a blog post for Stellini Pasta Bar on Zomato

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Vogue Cafe

I always walk past this cafe when I go to Macquarie Centre since I normally park near this carpark close to Myer, so I've always wanted to try their drinks. From memory, it's on level 2, behind Country Road. Had lunch beforehand, so decided to get drinks for afternoon tea (and as a pick-me-up from a not so good week). After 3pm, the crowds die down, and can choose where you want to sit. Mostly people at this time also came for a coffee or smoothies.

There are heaps of super friendly staff here as well.

Peach as Bro: peach, mango and pineapple suger-rimmed frappe w/ berry, lime and mint garnish-$7 
Infamous Nutella milkshake and chocolate rimmed w/ waffle cone+sprinkles, cocoa powder, whipped cream, sour worms, macadamia, coloured popcorn and liquorice-$8


When you think about it, a typical smoothie also cost around $6/7+ at other cafes, so this place isn't too expensive for their drinks, since there is quite some detail to presentation. I had the infamous Nutella milkshake, even though I'm not a massive chocolate fan. So glad this wasn't super thick and not too milky/cream flavoured , and still had a drinkable milk-shake like consistency. You can definitely taste the Nutella in it without it being too rich. It's actually quite hard to drink and eat the toppings, so make sure you get a spoon and not waste the nuts which start to fall down after your first sip. The waffle cone is nice and crunchy, and loved the rim on it as well with the sprinkles. I'm pretty sure I was the only person who tried to attempt to eat the chocolate rim as well...Normally I don't like liquorice apart from Darrell Lea's flavoured liquorice, but the thinly sliced ones here don't have a huge liquorice flavour (or maybe the chocolate covered that liquorice taste). It was a really good drink and I'm glad I chose this one over their special for the week.

The frappe was really nice since the ice was blended in well and was definitely refreshing. Mangoes and peaches aren't in season now, but the drink didn't taste too artificial in flavour. The berries were nice in cutting down from all the sweetness.

Hopefully will be back here to try the food next time when I'm not too full.

The Vogue Cafe on Urbanspoon

overwhelmed (already)

feeling pretty crap this week. getting 2/3 mid sem results back. one was alright, the other was horribly fail (so, so bad) which means i have to do super good in the 60% finals to pass the course, which is already hard enough by itself. can't memorise all these diseases. i have so much respect for doctors-trying to learn diseases for the whole body, and differentiating them from each other. the disease course for this sem is apparently a lot easier than next sem since this one is the "outside" eye, whilst diseases inside the eye next sem all look the same, and even harder to differentiate ): my brain can't handle this, but i know i must try harder.

feeling overwhelmed as well. monday night i watched pitch perfect and i highly recommend it. loved their song choices, and so funny on different levels. tuesday finally had a night where i watched master chef, wednesday night went to Plus (our uni group at church). thursday night helped out w/ stuff at uni and stayed behind. pizza's came 1/2hr later than expected, so didn't get home until late. also had to drop into work to help out w/ something since the Manager couldn't attach an email..i guess i couldn't say no since he was like 'you live close' i.e. 'you can drop by after uni to help me' friday night had to take mum somewhere, and just so much traffic everywhere. i don't think i can live around lane cove/macquarie/eastwood/epping/carlingford/north ryde/ryde/beecroft/roselea area. whole gridlock of traffic everywhere even though i tried taking small roads. maybe on public transport it's better, but just cars everywhere, so 1.5hrs stuck in traffic...hence the overwhelmingness of not being able to study. i had to go to have drinks today at macquarie and watch a movie on monday to 'relax', but haven't been able to study at home ): thanks Dandelion for your polaroid! nature is good (:

because my brother and i need exam food...

we still have a crazy stash of junk food from New Zealand/America/HK (and even canadian snacks) from last i'm not quite sure why my mum bought so much....going to get so fat =/ 

feel like there's nt enough time to study-and i only watched half an ep of master chef this week, so I can't blame it on watching tv....

week 10 has legit been one of the fastest weeks, first week of no exams/hw/assignments due. so weird...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Passiontree Velvet-Mother's Day High Tea

It's been a while since I've been to high tea, and when I heard there was a new place near me, I thought why not do something special and different for Mother's Day this year?

Passiontree Velvet is  at Macquarie Centre, located in the Fresh Food Market side (near Coles). 
colourful displays filled with macarons, tarts, eclairs and cake!


Tt's actually my first time having high tea inside a shopping centre. It's a different feeling compared to the "traditional" high tea places like the QVB Tea Room, or inside hotels with a view. There aren't massive rushes of people walking around here so it is a nice place to relax and have a cup of tea, but you do have the occasional curious browser looking at your high tea stand. There is also natural lighting coming in as well.

some of the menu

Harney and Sons Tea: Paris (front) and Yellow and Blue (behind)

I had the Paris tea which is a black tea with vanilla and some fruit flavours. It was quite a generous serving of tea leaves and the tea smelt really nice, but couldn't really taste the sweetness in it. It's similar to the Earl Grey Harney and Sons tea that I tried before. The Yellow and Blue herbal tea is mainly a chamomile tea, but there is also some lavender fragrance which makes it really nice. The staff are super friendly and happy to refill your tea. Some places only refill your tea once since they don't want you to think their tea is bland after the second refill...

Mother's Day Duchess Full High Tea for 2-$90

The Duchess Full High Tea consists of come cakes, scones, finger sandwiches and a drink which is normally around $35pp. The Mother's Day high tea included some macarons as well as 2 gifts for Mum to take home, so it was definitely value for money, since one macaron is $3 (tbh, the macarons was the turning point for me to decide to book a high tea here rather than having a Mother's Day brunch somewhere else). I love high tea since you can try a selection of everything without having to purchase the bigger sizes and end up eating too much sugar. Even though I prefer things not too sweet, I secretly have a sweet tooth.

I realised the stand is slightly different, since the metal goes around the plates rather than through it. The plates aren't fancy Royal Albert China, but sometimes simple white and wooden boards for tea pots also work. Starting from the bottom tier...

Finger Sandwiches: ham, egg, tuna and cucumber, and smoked salmon biscuit in the middle

I like how they used white, wholemeal and multigrain bread. Normally it's white and wholemeal. There are also a lot more variety in sandwiches here, to probably compensate for the lack of pastries compared to a high tea place which makes their own savouries inside their kitchen there. Sandwiches are easier to serve in a shopping centre. It's also pretty cool how it's a three tiered sandwich, but since it's small, it's not messy and easy to pick up and eat.


The macarons which were gifted as part of the high tea are blueberry, vanilla, lemon and jasmine flavoured.

The Rocks Eclair: chocolate ganache, pistachio sponge, caramelised pistachio and choc cookie chunk

that dark choc ganache...

I actually emailed them beforehand and asked if eclairs will be featured on the high tea, and they said it wasn't, so I was prepared to purchase a separate eclair on top of the high tea...So I was presently excited when I saw an eclair when they brought the high tea out! (I think they replaced it with another mousse cake) The choux pastry was light, and the chocolate was dark enough so not that sweet. Couldn't really taste the pistachio in the sponge, but I loved how it gave it some colour, and the addition of the cookie crunch gave it some texture some all that ganache

lemon meringue tart

I also love my meringues, but this one is more dense and not as airy compared to other meringues which I prefer. It's not too sweet while the lemon filling inside was more on the sweet side still had some acidity. 

salted caramel tart

Both my mum and I was wondering where did the salt go? There was a good amount of cocoa, but the salt was very subtle...maybe it was because of all those sweet things which masked the saltiness....

berry white chocolate mousse

Loved the white chocolate in this since it wasn't overpowering in the sweetness/creaminess from your typical white chocolate. A few years ago when my mum watched an episode of Masterchef and learnt what white choc is actually, she used to love white choc then didn't luckily the white choc wasn't too sweet.'t berry compote gave it some acidity, and loved the berry sponge at the bottom. Oh, and of course, loved the addition of a mini macaron.

Scones were a tad on the small side, and a tiny bit crumbly (hopefully it was just this batch). At least they weren't rock hard like the scones at the high tea at Westfield Chatswood which weren't fresh (according to my mum). These were soft and warm to serve. The whipped cream is more on the dense/creamy side, the jam wasn't too artificially flavoured luckily (I actually don't really like jam apart from one French supermarket jam).

Really enjoyed the high tea despite being in the middle of a supermarket. All the staff were really friendly and helpful, and definitely got value for money. Hopefully be back to try their coffee and other cakes :)

Their colour obviously isn't as nice as the Tiffany Blue (patent) colour, it's a slightly darker shade, but still love the coloured boxes. Some take home goodies:

20 assorted chocolates ($40), and a Harley and Son's Handbag Tea (normally $7). We were super full, and decided to take home the macarons for dessert.

The vanilla macaron had more of a cream filling, the blueberry had a little compote in it, jasmine one could be more stronger in flavour, and the lemon was actually quite sour rather than the 'artificial' lemon flavour. Chocolates generally have a very smooth texture.

Happy Mother's Day! Thanks for everything that you do for me <3 

Passiontree Velvet on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Facing Fear

i was kind of feeling bogged down with uni/work/other stuff, and was planning to skip church today, but so glad i went. there sermon was about fear, and it was a really good reminder to not have fear. whether it be a fear of failure (which is probably highest on my list), to fear of not getting married, fear of not having a stable life, and other deeper these times, we have the love of God and we can know and rely on his love for us to over come the fear put into us. as a child of God, we are no longer a slave of fear.

this is easier said than done (obviously), but i have to consciously remember to not be afraid of failure, and that everything is already set out in God's plan (although this doesn't mean to slack off and not study...still feeling screwed yet unmotivated to study environmental optom-it is such a dry subject learning about how sitting straight is actually bad for you etc etc)

anyways, made budget today at work, so the manager told me i could get a coffee. 4pm is too late for coffee, so i got a coconut dark hot choc from Oliver Brown. it was a good amount of coconut. the other week i had a mint dark hot choc, and the mint was in more of a sweet mint than 'refreshing' mint...

everyone is going to Japan. a constant stream of my relatives. first my uncle (who travels constantly, and his home in HK is more like a hotel), then my cousin and his gf, another uncle, another cousin, another aunt/uncle, and they are planning another family trip to Japan later this year. they have had at least 2 massive family trips, and it just looks so fun with so many relatives. even my grandparents went which means things were done at a leisurely pace, but it's so rare to travel with grandparents...too bad i have uni ): actually, my main reason for going to Tokyo is that Dominique Ansel (the inventor of the cronut) is opening a 3 story bakery there, which is amazing, and is a first of its kind. last week he opened another store in NYC where 'time is an ingredient' and when you order stuff, they assemble/make it in less than 2 minutes. i really like him as a chef since you can actually see him working at the bakery every single day and his creations are always the first of its kind. compared to like Zumbo which he has expanded, but i've never seen him in the kitchen. in hindsight, i don't think I would have had time to go to both of Dominique's bakeries if he opened it last year, but  hopefully in the future when I go America again i can try the other bakery with a super cool concept.

i think we kind of all new that kate would have a girl, and she is going to be one very spoilt princess. still don't understand how kate can wear a dress and heels, and leave the hospital 10 hours after giving birth. 100% sure the doctors would be waiting back at her home/palace.

Friday, May 1, 2015

enrolment today was....anti-climatic.

for once, the servers were smooth and didn't crash. maybe it's because they did finally upgrade their servers. or maybe because only half the people could enrol, mainly those who did a summer course had extra units could enrol first, and luckily not everyone did summer school. picking all my classes and the last page says we couldn't enrol in 2 subjects. we have to pass these current subjects to enrol for next semester, so once again, they have to manually enrol us in. that person is going to be spammed with 50+ enrolment emails just for today and more on Monday...this happened last time-optom enrolment fails strike 2. hopefully i still get my first preference...

didn't have the motivation to study tonight...not good...

oh, the test we did the other day, the lecturer was bothered to make 4 copies of the test, so you couldn't look at the person next to you, or look down at the row in front. wow, so bothered. questions all had different wording/orders...another lecturer made 3 copies with diff questions, so couldn't 'see'  the people next to you since the lec room is small. hopefully the final one next week where we are in a bigger lec theatre, we all get the same paper.

i was just looking at stuff, and wow, if i wanted everything to be ideal, the next celebration is going to cost me a trip overseas...

still need to save $3.5k for another instrument. spent so much time last week rather than studying, thinking if i should get the cheaper or more expensive option. the more expensive ones are twice the price of the cheaper ones. most optoms rarely use that instrument nowadays, and they all bought the cheaper one...last minute i changed to the more expensive option, so really do hope it's worth the investment. never know where we end up going after we graduate...