Thursday, August 31, 2017

23. Birthday Freebie Haul

People have become more stingy, or more like the economy has become more stingy (there's probably a proper word for that). Can't believe it's already the end of August and winter...I guess it's time to do a birthday freebie haul. I think a lot has changed over the years. 19 I actually had time to get freebies, 20 not so much, 21st was the year of parties and cake everyday so no time to actually get free food, 22nd was death another busy year (well didn't have a post on freebies apart from going to Sepia...too bad it's moving to Melbs...)

Didn't beat Tracy's 7(?) free places to eat, mainly these days I ceebs signing up to stuff since I know I wouldn't have the time to go to them...but here's my take of this year's freebies. Less food but good enough. 

Bondi Pizza (Take 6 and 7)

Something stuffed up with their emails, and I actually got 1 voucher in July and 1 in Aug, so ended up going twice. You can choose any main/pizza up to the value of $27. I make an effort every year to go get this bday freebie as it's actually worth my time, since it's more than what I earn an hour...Make sure to sign up the month before your bday!

Chicken Satay: satay sauce base, marinated grilled chicken breast, roasted capsicum, spanish onion, cucumber, coriander finished with a light drizzle of mango chutney and crushed peanuts-$25.95

Would've had liked a bit more satay flavour, but there were decent pieces of chicken. It is a thin base though so the pizza does get cold faster.

Oven baked apple crumple pizette: cinnamon apple & raisin compote, honeyed ricotta, & toasted crumble pizzette, served with vanilla ice cream-$11.95

Also decided to get this since I don't think they allowed 2 people sharing a free pizza...This dessert was surprisingly nice. The base was light and toppings not too sweet.

Chargrilled Eye Fillet Steak: tender chargrilled eye fillet, balsamic onions, roma tomatoes, cucumber, buffalo mozzarella, basil & our tasty BBQ mayo-$26.95
Chicken Wings with Honey Soy (small)-$10.95

The steak was quite tender and flavourful, and yay it's pink. Chicken wings were also free from an email they sent (used Mum's voucher but I still haven't used my one yet, and it's too late now since already end of Aug). They were very heavily marinated with thick/sticky sauce. Probably a bit too heavy on the flavours.

Boost: my once a year free boost so couldn't miss this.
Subway: did not realise Subway rebranded their logo and changed from plastic to paper bags. Obviously hardly eat from there...

Mimco: they used to have free $30 every year, but they changed it this year. Only a Silver member since bought stuff for friends to help me get in that tier for free $20, and going to lose that tier in the next few months. I did end up getting something from $70 to $10. It doesn't beat that time I got something from there from $100 to $0. I think they realised people like me something get a sale item and then use a voucher than pay minimal lel. I refuse to pay for jewellery made in China at the original price. 

Kikki K: I actually didn't get my bday voucher this year until I emailed them (a few times). Apparently someone in NZ used my email 4 times to claim the bday voucher, but obviously I complained since you only get 1 bday voucher a year. 

Rose gold (:

Conveniently the diaries just came the week I got my voucher. The day after they had free monogramming with any purchase, worth $10. So first time buying a pen at full price to get the monogramming, essentially pen+monogramming was $4. Do I really need it monogrammed? Not really. Kikki K is another store which I refuse to purchase overpriced stationary unless it's discounted, but with the yearly vouchers I've somehow accumulated some stuff...

As with the other places compared to previous years, they either don't exist or you have to purchase something during the year to get a freebie. I'm sure there's also other free bday food around, but just too ceebs signing up for other stuff.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Prof of Philosophy

Decided to go to PLUS tonight since there was Professor of Philosophy from USyd just talking about his work and Christian life. On average, it takes a person 2/3 of their career to become a Professor. That is like...25 years of study after high school....yeah, no thanks...Still need to finish an undergrad degree first...

I think what was most interesting was his way of tying both his career and Christian life. They both seem so conflicting and someone asked how does he draw the line between them-well, you don't. The way he phrased it was that they both tie in which each other, and his knowledge and faith is strong enough to question the other person back, because studying the fundamentals of nature in philosophy also links back to the Bible. Also because people change their 'scaffolding' and once you can prove someone right or wrong, then it's easier to change their way of thinking (well for most people anyway). I think I was still lost after Q&A, but it was really inspiring how he managed to build a church, faith and career all at the same time, and also he somehow got fast tracked to a Prof by moving countries. 

my worst enemy

Struggles of having weak fingers trying to open autoclaved lenses yday. Normally there's a tab to pull it, but it broke off before the bottom, and someone took the scissors from the room. I eventually got the metal cap opened, after like 10mins. 

It's ironic how we wanted more participants and we had more responses than we could physically handle. Even with less participants than what we need, there's still a stack of data to start to go through. First time having an excel sheet with a column up to 'GC.' Really hope the supervisor can get one of his interns to do all the data entry with us. Our research already takes more time compared to other people, but I guess I prefer to be kept busy rather than only trekking to uni for only an hour or 2 of class each day. The trek to uni ain't cheap either, equivalent to one serving of cake. More free time isn't that great either, you know you can start assignments later, compared to having all the subjects at the same time where I would generally start straight away. 

I got a sample of the Singaporean Breakfast tea from T2 the other day and finally made a cup (thanks Happy Apple for the recommendation). It's smells so good when you brew it. Need to get myself a box after I finish at least some of my teas in my stash...

I did it guys! I somehow survived 200mb for 10 days i.e. not use any data at all. Finally can check how late my buses are. After a year of contemplating, decided to upgrade to 3gb, still nothing compared to other people, but it's double of what I've had since I started uni. Always running out at the end of the month, but guess I went out too much during Aug and ran out way too early. I think I can actually leave my mobile data on rather than turning it on when I need it. Maybe I can actually use Google Maps with the navigation on since I have enough data, rather than in car since it's much faster to type on the phone than slowly put everything into the car GPS. I hope I don't spend more time on my phone though. I think I would still keep my mobile data off out of habit, and to make my battery last (even though my phone is not even a year old).

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sakura 🌸

Actually my first time going to Auburn Botanic Gardens for the cherry blossoms. Didn't know Sydney had these sort of places. I now see why Dandelion goes so often to just walk around and reflect. Maybe I'll make another visit in a different season... I guess it's already the end of the season, so the trees weren't as full. Also surprised at how many people there were, felt like half of Sydney was there. Would have been nicer if there was less people, but it was still nice to walk through the gardens.

Also first time trying out a lens other than my standard 18-55mm (thanks BW!). Since Insta only allows you to upload multiple images only in square form, decided to upload a few pics in landscape. It's interesting to see how a different lens gives a different perspective to the photos, but there is still so much to learn. Especially when travelling, there's no time to play with my camera. Maybe I should try to have a 'chill itinerary' one time...

tbh, using iPhone is easier

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

I now understand why people would travel to Jap for the Cherry Blossoms, because their trees are a lot bigger, and there's also more space at the park. Even in Summer that park was quite nice just to sit on the grass and chill.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I feel like this year I look forward to weekends more, maybe because it's just a good time to relax away from uni, go out and have fun. Actually enjoying all the past weekends not studying (it is a struggle to get back to studying), but can understand the whole #tgif. Weekends for the past 4 years were always Saturday for study, Sunday work/church, or work both days and study at night.

The closest I'll ever come to a Chanel (paper) bag

Although it's easy to just '#goals', and it's so easy to chase these sort of things, as a Christian, I know in the end these sort of things don't really matter. I have splurged a bit in the past, but I guess it's helped me to think how I should use my money more wisely. It also doesn't help when I'm facing all these luxury brands at work, and they give you a whole magazine about the history etc. I really need to stop watching these sorts of Youtube videos...Having a bit too much time to procrastinate isn't really a good thing....


I somehow ended up taking the whole thing home, cause I'm always up for more cake. Bday girl was too gone to even eat her own cake...Sometimes driving is a good excuse to just limit yourself to one drink. Although as much as it would be fun to 'join the party,' I'm glad I can tolerate self control and know my limits. Also glad I have a relatively stronger stomach compared to other girls....but yeah, don't bother killing my liver on cheap alcohol. 

I completely understand when my bro goes out drinking he doesn't actually drink and does the whole 'take care' thing. You really need someone for head support, back support, hand support, bin support, and someone giving water, then if you're completely wasted, someone strong enough to carry you to the car. I cannot imagine myself ever drinking that much to get to that stage...But for this sort of stuff, you really need a strong bunch of friends...First time going karaoke in a long time, so it was still good fun. I was quite surprised how my optom friends who have an oral exam on Tues still all came out. I guess this year for me is really learning how to juggle more of a 'social life' with studying.

Why couldn't Zumbo and Black Star release their new cakes 2 weeks ago? Would've made my cake choices a lot easier, not ceebs buying so many individual cakes. I love cake, but I do have my limits...

those unending ads on snapchat and insta worked 

Didn't realise the almond one has chocolate, hope it's not too sweet. It's actually pretty expensive per gram, but half price so why not give it a go. 

Onto other news, typical Tay Tay making a massive comeback after 3 years by deleting everything on social media. I'm not sure if I like her new song or her album to come, you can definitely tell it's anger at everything. Might have matched those teen angst years lol. I liked how even in previous albums, it was angry but not so much and a bit more positive...? We'll see how the album plays out when it's fully released...

If I take out all the hours for research, I can say that having a commerce timetable is pretty good. Just I would never be able to study something like that.

I legit have 30mb to last me 2 more days. Part of my unplanned social media detox since a week ago. Never leaving myself 200mb to last 10 days. Cannot turn on my mobile data at all. The most annoying thing is I can't how late my buses are. How did we all survive without internet before? 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Social Brew Cafe

food spread

First brunch since end of May, so 2.5 months no-brunch-in-Sydney streak was broken. Easily the longest I've been without brunch since I started uni (from memory). Recovery  Breakfast after a night out at Eye Ball, so decided to walk here to try out this cafe. Got here around 10am and luckily there weren't too many people since half an hour later there were lines. Sunday mornings in this area is quite cute, especially with everyone walking their dogs around.

Capp-$3.50, Watermelon juice-$8

Coffee was decently priced and had good flavour, but by the time I took photos etc in the super windy winter winds, it was obviously just warm. The watermelon juice was nice and refreshing.

Mushroom and parmesan bruschetta, black truffle oil, soft poached free range eggs and creme fraiche on white sourdough-$20


I normally don't order bruschetta because it's really just fancy toast, but when the waiter said this was one of their more popular dishes and I also saw truffle oil in the description, I knew I had to get it. It was super fragrant with the truffle oil and parmesan sprinkled on top, although you can't taste much of the truffle oil since it's not proper truffles. There were around 4/5 different types of mushrooms on a nice thick slice of toasted sourdough. Bread probably didn't need to have as much butter since there was heaps of runny yolk to soak up. Creme fraiche added some creaminess to it, but I didn't think it was really needed. I did find a tiny piece of egg shell in my dish, and so did my friend in her deli plate, but it's not fine dining/restaurant, so didn't bother letting them know.

Special of the day: pork belly burger-$20ish?

It did indeed have a super crunchy skin. This serving was pretty generous, but the chips were a miss.

Smoked salmon and avocado with micro mesclun lettuce, buttermilk dressing and avatar on grilled flat bread-$16

Finally a place generous with smoked salmon.

Wood smoked salmon Benedict, sautéed kale and wasabi hollandaise served on a brioche bun-$18.50

This reminded me exactly of a dish at The Grounds, with salmon and avo + egg served on a thick piece of brioche. 

The Brew Deli Plate: buffalo mozzarella, smooth avocado, roma tomatoes, prosciutto, mushrooms a la Greue and soft boiled egg served with olive and rosemary sourdough-$20

Social Brew Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First time going on a bus and a car hits it. You could hear the inaudible groan of everyone on the bus, cause it was almost at the end of the route, so everyone was almost home. I was about 7mins away from my stop. Luckily no one was hurt and the car sort of nudged the bus (couldn't see any massive dents on the bus) but it still sounded quite loud. Normally we would have had to get off the bus and wait for the bus after which was 10ish mins later (according to the lawyer who I recognised as a cx from work lol). I think the bus driver just got the guys details and saw the bus was in drivable condition so just kept going. That's why I try to avoid travelling in peak hours, since everyone is in a rush to work or home. The guy must have been pretty blind though, cause there was no way the car would've easily made it past the bus which was already stopped on the side and the pedestrian island in the middle of the road. Probs on his phone or something...

soz for snapchat cam

Can't believe they already released the 2018 diaries. Normally they release it in Oct/Nov. Decided to use my Kikki K bday voucher, although I'm not a massive fan of the colours this year. Diary this year was black to 'symbolise' my bleak year ahead, so wasn't going to go black again for next year (why do they repeat the black?) The colours are too bright for next year, but decided to go for the aqua, i.e. Tiffany Blue copy. I like the past ones I've had which are a pastel purple and pastel/soft blue...Maybe this will 'symbolise' a brighter year next year?

Some people are just genuinely so nice. Like one of our participants, almost every visit, buys us a hot choc to get us going for the morning. Last week she bought us these Portuguese tarts, like I don't even know you could buy them at uni, and don't even remember when was the last time I had one. Like she already volunteers her time for us, and just goes the extra effort to make our day. Need more nice and thoughtful people in the world.

My uncle and his friend flew then drove around in the US the solar eclipse. It's these life experiences I would love to have one day... Why are almost all eclipses in the US? Then there's my cousin who got her her husband to take care of her baby so she can do a mini Europe trip. Pls stop spamming with photos, doesn't help me with starting my assignments.

I don't know why but my phone has recently not been connecting to free wifi. Not sure if it's because I cleared a lot of my wifi keychain things from my computer and somehow linked to my phone...It's not fun trying make my remaining 200mb last for 10 days.

Can't believe it's the season finale for GoT already next week. Monday nights are going to be so boring, which means I should actually start studying...

Nts: never lying face first on my yoga mat ever again.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

LuMi Bar and Dining

Birthdays are really just an excuse to go out and eat. Every year I treat myself to some fine dining, because what is life if you don't enjoy the finer things in life? (Well every year I've worked...) Literally all my savings go into food. This year decided to go somewhere 'cheaper' (*cough under $200pp) since I've already gone around the world in both Europe and Asia, and have long well reached my food quota for the year. Decided to come here since the chef was on MasterChef as a celebrity chef (who lost but that doesn't really affect the quality of the restaurant since when was reality tv all that real...). This place is a fusion between Italian and Japanese (so many post-Jap feels...). Be prepared for a photo spam.

Different side of Sydney

The restaurant is actually quite quiet around this area, so it's nice to come this side of Sydney.

Cute tea set


Went for the 8 course degustation for lunch $115pp. Normally they have the 5 course menu for lunch, so you have to call them up if you want the 8 course for lunch. I think price wise it's decent since you get a few snacks, and a petit four to finish. Even though the blinds were drawn it was still quite sunny.  The main problem was dealing with moving shadows when taking photos...


Snack: snapper jelly with fish mousse and Neptune seaweed


The flavours of this jelly reminded me of miso soup rather than a fishy taste. It was really flavourful and you have the slight creaminess from the fish mousse inside.

tapioca with seaweed

So crispy and love the way they used seaweed as a seasoning. Interesting how they placed it on top of the the raw veggies.

soft cheese- not too cheesy, and yes it was soft. 

Jap steamed egg custard with shell fish oil and caviar

Loved the presentation of this in a scallop shell on top of the sea shells. The flavours were quite interesting and not too salty. I do prefer the crab steamed egg custard I had in Tokyo since it was more eggy/flavourful.

Brioche bread + breadsticks 

This is probably one of the best brioche breads I've ever had, probably even better than some French bakeries. From far away they looked like muffins. It was still nice and warm when it came on the table and super easy to pull apart. Super soft and flavourful, didn't even nee the extra butter on the side. Since it's not your normal complimentary sourdough, they do charge $4 for each additional bread, which is pretty cheap if you compare it to Asian bakeries where it's just all air inside. If only I could take one of these brioches home...Breadsticks were average, but I did notice you only get them if you have the 8 course tasting menu.

Veal, yoghurt, jerusalem artichoke

First time having raw red meat. I was too scared to have steak tartare in France just in case I got sick. I do love my steak pink inside, but having it completely raw is a new experience. It was surprisingly nice, and the flavour of it reminded me of a cross between salmon/tuna, texture wise sort of was similar to sashimi. The yoghurt added a lovely creaminess to it whilst still being light. Loved the crunch of the jerusalem artichoke, if only they were readily available in packets to buy off the shelf...


A spin on the classic minostrone soup. The scoop mini balls from different veggies and other ingredients such as cucumbers, radish, pickled radish, potatoes, carrot, pumpkins, potato, macadamia nuts, and poured in a tomato soup, but unlike the normal red tomatoes in the original dish, this one had a clear green tomato soup base. Really an interesting concept. I saw that they do chop up the core of the veggies, for example, the cucumbers have the skin on, so I guess they use the middle for other stuff.

Agnolotti, parsnip, truffle (added more truffles-$15)

without truffles 


It's almost the end of winter and I missed the beginning of my favourite season since I was overseas, which also means that the truffle season is almost over. I am a massive truffle fan, and if I could have truffle everyday, I would. So it made sense to pay the extra $15 for some shaved pieces of truffle. If you had the 5 course lunch, you could opt to add truffle in the pappardelle (below), but it was in fine strands, rather than seeing the fine grains of the truffle. I found the truffle they used here smelt good but it didn't taste as strong compared to other truffles I've had. The pasta itself had a parsnip sort of liquid cream inside which bursted with flavour. The sauce was supposed to have some truffle flavour already, but couldn't really taste that much.

Pappardelle, duck, hazelnut

I love when I see duck on the menu since it's my favourite protein. Although it is more in a ragu form, it really complemented the flavours of the pasta. It was super flavourful, probably because it was cooked in individual saucepans with a large slab of butter. The pasta was super silky and cooked al dente. Loved the crunch from the hazelnuts as well.

Lamb, celeriac, chilli kosho, carrot puree

Lamb was super soft and melt in your mouth. There was quite a bit of fat though since they used the shoulder. Loved the plating of the sheet of celeriac. The chilli kosho wasn't actually that chilli, and helped complement the spices in the lamb (slowly building my chilli tolerance). The puree was super sweet and tasted like pumpkin more than carrot, pretty sure they said it was a carrot puree. There was a rosemary (?) powder sprinkled on top as well.

Granny Smith Apple: green apple sorbet, liquorice mousse, finger lime


My favourite dish was this apple, it's unlike anything I've seen or tasted before! It's a real apple with the top cut and stalk still intact, then they core it and hollow out the apple, before putting in a mousse, sponge and green apple sorbet on top. How do they manage to make the apple hollow inside whilst keeping the skin intact? I loved how it was presented on gum leaves, and they sprayed a food scent on it, so it smelt even more like a super fresh and sweet granny smith. I love a bit of theatre in food and it delivered. The sorbet was on of the bests ones I've had and really kept true to the flavour of the granny smith without being too acidic. Couldn't really taste the liquorice mousse, but loved the burst of the sour finger lime, making this dessert really refreshing and not sweet.

cute candle (which I slightly burnt my finger and left wax all over the table for them to figure out how to clean once it dried....)

Douglas Fir ice cream, rhubarb, extra virgin olive oil

Another refreshing and light dessert to finish. This is not your normal ice cream, since it was super light and texture reminded me of foam from a foam gun. It tasted sort of like pine, well the scent of the fresh Christmas trees. The olive oil helped to cut back the sweetness of the rhubarb, which I did find was just a tad bit too sweet.

Petit four: pear and rosemary friand

For once, the petit four wasn't chocolate. Although it does seem a bit stingy giving one petit four, for the price you pay it's ok. The friend was quite buttery inside with a crisp edge. It did have pieces of pear and rosemary sprinkled on top. Again, needed to go with 8 courses to have the petit fours.

open kitchen!

the chef!

If you're after something a bit different and not too pricey, I think LuMi does a pretty good job. I would even come back here just to have the apple and brioche bread again. Too bad there's no a la carte here...

LuMi Bar & Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato