Monday, June 6, 2011


Didn't receive a good impression when I made the booking over the phone. I had to leave a message but no one actually called me back to confirm the booking so I had to call twice. And apparently I wasn't the first one, some reviews sites stated their tone changed when they knew you used the Scoopon deals.

Yes we bought a Scoopon deal but I thought the whole point of having the deal is to lure people to try the food and most importantly to get the people back even without a coupon deal. Well this is most definitely not the case.

First they gave us the wrong menu, apparently the Scoopon deal people received a different menu than the normal diners, didn't make us feel like a second class at all.

A complimentary tomato soup from the chef was actually a highlight, and I'm not even a big fan of tomato soup, what an irony.

When the entree came, I thought it's only for one person - not two dishes put on the same plate obviously I was wrong. I definitely not paying $14 for two small pieces of chicken or what the so-called kebab. Both of the entree were actually quite cold and the chicken looked a bit raw, Moco had the benefit of the doubt and decided not to finish it.

Unlike the entree that came really quick, the main didn't come until 45 minutes..

The duck was a bit tough and the baby goat was soft however both of the curry sauce are a bit too watery for us.

The dessert has been chosen for us, which was rose water ice cream with sweetened vermicelli. I don't like Indian dessert in general since I found it too sweet so I didn't have much expectation, and glad that I kept it that way.

Funny story, an hour after finishing the dinner I received a call from the restaurant questioning where we were since we have missed out booking. Huh? Confused what?

This is definitely one of the restaurants that Moco and I won't be coming back to, and we don't actually have a long list of restaurants that we don't like.

At the mean time I think we're gonna stick with the Indian restos that we know and be more careful when purchasing meals deals on the websites again.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Indonesian Chiken Sticky Rice aka 'lemper' - naked version

Okay now I know why my mum didn't let me eat this when I was a kid. Cause it can be sooo addictive. I think it's the coconut milk, or I think mum knew I just don't have self control.

This actually the first time I made sticky rice in my life, the fact that I don't have a proper steamer made the process of making it longer, but I think it's worth it :)

The original recipe used shallot and tamarind, but I don't have it at home so as always I did a tweak of the recipe by omitting it. But I'm sure it will taste nicer with the shallot and tamarind..

Sticky Rice Recipe:
250gr glutinous rice
250 ml coconut milk
2 bay leaves
1 tbs lemongrass
1/2 tsp salt

Sticky Rice Steps:
1. Soak glutinous rice for 2 hours - wash - dry - steam for 15 minutes - remove from heat.

2. Boil coconut milk with bay leave, lemongrass, salt and put the glutinous rice, stir until coconut milk dry - remove from heat.

3. Put the glutinous rice back to the steamer - steam until it's done (try to eat it if it's still tough then it's not ready, the sticky rice should be easily mould once it's ready)

3 candle nuts
1 tbs whole coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tbs caster sugar
3 cloves garlic

Spices Steps:
1. Fry candlenuts, whole coriander and cumin without oil

2. Put all the spices into the food processor.

1 Chicken breast (boiled and pull apart with hand or finely chop with knife if you're lazy)
1 bay leave
4 kaffir lime leaves
200 ml coconut milk

Chicken Steps:
1. Stir fry the mix spices until fragrant, pour coconut milk, all the leaves and the chicken until the coconut milk mixed thru and dry.

2. Remove from heat.

The presentation:
1. Lay out your cling wrap, and use plastic gloves if you have it.
2. Or prepare to get messy since it's quite sticky.
3. Pour half or the glutinous rice, put chicken on top, seal it with the rice again. Doesn't matter if you feel like a rectangle or round shape.
4. Eat it.

The original 'lemper' used banana leaf as its wrapper, but again I don't have it so I called it 'naked lemper'. Save time to peel the wrapper anyway..hence *danger alert*
But if you have it then by all means, use it!!

This recipe that I found was supposed to make 12 'lemper', but I only ended up with only 10. And why only five in the photo you say? Well..I've already said it's addictive so you do the math.

It's surprisingy easy to make but it just takes time (especially with my so-called steamer) but definitely a great snack to bring/ make for a house party :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Passion fruit macaron with chocolate ganache

Not exactly the Paris post that I've planned, but since macaron is from France I supposed the entry is still related, in a way. To be honest I was never a fan of macaron's taste. I found it too sweet and found a taste similarity with meringue which also not a cup of my tea but the macaron's look is a different story. I always adore its colours and shapes hence for me macaron is like the idiom 'beauty is only skin deep'.

However after I tasted Pierre Herme's macaron not only it's screaming perfection in its look but it's also tasted amazing, beautiful inside out - definitely not like the macarons that I've tasted before.

So here's my first attempt to create macarons at home. But certainly can't take full credit for this one, the process was led by my friend who did a one day course at Laduree (jealousyy..)

The recipe was based on Pierre Herme's macaron although we did tweak the recipe a bit and made a passion fruit shells in addition. However our one didn't have a strong passion fruits, will do more research where to get a proper passion fruits syrup! Or please message me if you know where to get a good (and affordable) baking stuff.

Beginner's luck :)

We actually tried to make the green tea macaron last time but didn't turn out like we wanted to so I was a bit discouraged then but the disappointment only last for two days. I've been baking more after that, i.e other experiment cakes - I will post it one day (better not saying soon since we both know it's not true).

There's definitely a certain satisfaction when the freshly baked goodies came out from the oven and it's a great feeling when you're able to share it with people that you love, and oddly I actually find piping the dough is soothing.

Ah food definitely makes me happy. Either make it, eat it or taking photos of it.


Inspired by yesterday's Royal Wedding, I decided to use my Saturday to post the London entry. Not that we had any canapes or dinner in Buckingham Palace, but at least I remembered I had such a good pack of chips before entering the Westminster Abby's tour. Slightly different but ah..brings back good memories..

So flash back two months before - hey two months is not too bad, I have entries that I was meaning to post since last year, okay make that a different story.

Anyway I remembered it was dark at night when we arrived, windy, pouring rain and we got lost when we were walking looking for our hotel dragging our heavy luggage in one hand and the other hand trying to fix the broken umbrella *sad music on*.

Once we finally got to our hotel room and emptied out load (and Pierre Hermes' macarons that we hand-carried from Paris, that looked like crumbled oreo at that point), we didn't waste any time to rest, we just needed to find a good soup and possibly some rice. Yes I need Asian food, it was cold, raining, and I was super tired so I think I deserved at least a hot bowl of soup. Luckily I had some insight from my friend who used to lived in Lodon for a good Asian restaurant, so up to Bayswater we went.

We actually almost missed the place since the sign was so small, and at that time the road was quiet so there was no line like what my friend said. I was tempted to just walk in to a random Asian restaurants (there's a row of restaurants just outside the tube, handy for my hungry eyes!) But luckily Moco found the right restaurant and behind those close doors the restaurant was indeed packed!

Well we did check some reviews before and can't agree more that we normally go to affordable Asian restaurant for the food not the service. So I think The Four Seasons is no different in Asian restaurants in Sydney in fact I think the service was not as bad as the review at all. As for the food, too be honest I think we've had better in Sydney but it's definitely good enough for my Asian food intake of the week.

pan fried peking duck dumplings for entree

dumpling soup! I'd settle with just any chicken soup but hey not complaining..

as my friend and the review said, can't go here without ordering the duck! yum..

not normally ordered greens in the restaurant since God knows I hate being ripped off, but this time is an exception..we need the greens, who knows if we're gonna eat Mc Donalds for three days in a row


The next day we head early to Convent Garden to check this Indian Cafe that Moco found from a magazine he read on the train to London. Yeh random found sounds good to me.

And it was quite impressive found actually, I love the cafe's decor and I quite like having naan bread for my brekkie..along with giant size of good coffee, ah..good coffee. Surprisingly I haven't got good coffee in Paris, crazy (different post I know)

there's no much variation on the breakfast menu, so I took time to take photos of the beautiful decor instead..

more seats in lower ground, I'd imagined it will be a good place to hang out after work to have some beers or some chai latte..

yes yes it's gross to take photos of the loo especially after the naan bread, but it just looks so neat, check the old medicine cabinet at the back..I just feel like I went back to the old colonial times..

At dinner time we met up with my friend, she's been raving for this crepes place that she claimed better than French crepes in Paris. So I was very much looking forward to prove it :)

And oh my..delicious indeed! They had so may options for savoury and sweets, we decided to have dinner and dessert there..

check out the rewards they've received!

And don't forget one in London should visit the good ol' pub to have baked beans for breakfast or fish and chips for dinner, or do both like we did..

Our time in London was brief (well it's brief in every country actually), but London has a special spot for me since I had to wander alone for two days whilst waiting for Moco for his conference. Perfect time to have alone time, at least in London public transpot was a breeze and there's no language barrier. I love spending hours in the museum, taking random photos and when it's sunny it's so beautiful just to sit down at the park, shopping at Oxford street and not to mention staring at the groceries in Mark & Spencers, d'oh dork.

Oh and I found the photo of my budget lunch, sandwich with the super awesome chips I had before I went to The Abbey (total costs around AUD$3 - can't even get lunch with that price here)

London..we'll back again for sure..although last time I visited you was probably 15 years ago..but you'll never know!

The rest of the Europe photos are coming soon...I hope. Happy Saturday :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Zealand - South Island

Lots of people gave us a funny look when we said we wanted to do a campervan road trip in NZ for our honeymoon. But I think it's exciting, we wanted to go to a place where Moco and I both haven't been before, and surprisingly (considering how close the location is) we both haven't been to South Island. And also the fact that Moco and I always wanted to try to travel with a campervan. So here's bits and pieces during our 10 days road trip. And yes I figured I should update the blog now before our first wedding anniversary and omg it's actually less than three months away, how time flies!

Here's the burger in our first night in Christchurch (when we also experienced an aftershock from the earthquake, luckily only a small and quick one)

And for comparison here's the famous ferg burger in Queenstown. oh dear. highway to heart attack, with style.

Not until someone pointed out to me, I just realized we had lots of burgers and chips on the trip! But really it was like the easiest thing that's available. You have no idea how desperate we were for Asian food and even though the instant noodle fulfiled my needs temporarily. I need something a bit more proper, i.e: rice. Lucky we found Kohan, the only Jap restaurant that still opens at Lake Tekapo after 1pm. Nothing's special with the food, and especially not with the price, but oh the view..the view is priceless. Gazing through the window with my rice = happiness.

one of my fave views at lake tekapo..

I just don't understand why most of the Asian resto closed so early there? And I thought Australian restaurants close early, pfft.

Well the food on the road always can be a hit and miss. Luckily the worst food we had was the venison stew and grilled chicken, that doesn't look like any of the descriptions. Make me miss the burgers indeed.

But that's it, that's the only food I probably I didn't finish in the trip. The rest of the food we had were divine. Must be the fresh produce that they have been using. Fresh salmon and lamb with a very reasonable prices.

beautiful pork ribs and sunday roast special at Te Anau's pub

one of the breakfasts menu in our first hotel, hotel so - good value budget hotel, but don't expect a window :)

beer battered oysters

Bonjour - a nice and cosy French cafe at Arrowtown

Even though we went in the middle of October the NZ weather was still crazily cold (other words - forgive our crazy appetites for comfort food). Snow is still common during spring and even the local said snow sometimes still come in December, right in the middle of summer. Goodness me and I thought Melbourne's weather is moody. pfft #2.'s our last night in Christchurch, our highlight of the trip. Putting aside the fact that we finally stayed in a gorgeous boutique hotel after staying in a campervan for so many nights, but I'm talking about the beautiful food that we had in their in-house restaurant! Check out Moco's lamb shank, it's just melted in your mouth!! Ah..memories..

our last burger in Christchurch from Burger King, love the wedges!

wonderful event to put Cantebury together after the 2010 earthquake. Our hearts go to the people who were affected in the recent earthquake..

lucky we've been listening to kiwi's artists on the road :)

So that's it, we finally did it. Road trip in a campervan to a place that we've never been. I remember some days can be really tricky, i.e running out of petrol in a winding road at night or experienced a thunder storm inside the van etc, but really I won't change it for a thing.

til later NZ..