Friday, 30 November 2012

This is going to be an emo post that I have to get out of my system

Its difficult, I know. Life.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, things find a way to fall apart people find a way to disappoint you. Love finds a way to break your heart and nothing seems to be good enough.

In times like this, stand up, smile, be strong, pray for better days. Believe the best is yet to come. Appreciate the good things. Life has a way of finding what's good for you. Have some faith & put a smile upon your face! 

Now to put that into practice...

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tommy's Beer Cafe - Potts Point, Sydney

In an attempt to try some of the new places, we look to the Entertainment book to provide some new restaurants to try. Tommy's Beer Cafe, a European beer cafe with the standard eastern European fare - think hearty options such as schnitzel, and even a one metre long sausage!

Tommy's Beer Cafe
Pork knuckle with sauerkraut, horseradish, mustard, pickled selection and continental bread

pork knuckle
Hunter schnitzel - crumbed chicken breast, mashed potatoes, creamy herbed mushroom sauce and salad

This certainly hit the spot on a cold wintery night, with the voucher making it a really good deal, plus they had a beer happy hour - $5 premium Czech beers between 5-7pm. 

Tommy's Beer Cafe (Potts Point) on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 24 November 2012

New Zealand trip & Elephant Hill - Hawkes Bay

My recent holiday to NZ was a bit of a whirlwind trip - flew into Auckland, drove down to Napier and back, stopping along the way at Taupo and Rotorua. 

Lake Taupo panaroma - trying out the new iphone 5 function!

Lunch on Ken's birthday, along with his parents, was at Elephant Hill, a lovely restaurant and winery in Hawkes Bay

Elephant Hill

The restaurant overlooks a water feature and the vineyards

Complimentary house baked bread with olive oil and whipped butter

It was a weekday lunch so, other than a handful of other tables, we pretty much had the whole restaurant to ourselves!

Prawn & portabello open ravioli, pancetta & picada sauce

Was debating what an open ravioli would look like, but it worked well as you could see all the ingredients. The juicy prawns worked well paired with the salty pancetta.

Akaroa salmon, roasted beetroot, Persian feta rocket and mustard hollandaise

Tried a little bit of this dish and really enjoyed the sweet roasted beetroot

Juniper crusted venison, short loin, butternut mousse, cauliflower couscous

This was my dish - the confit duck, smoked mushroom creme, local baby vegetables

The smoked mushroom was very interesting, it had a dehydrated texture and was intensely smoky in flavour. 

Fancy salad :)

After lunch we went on our way to find 'The longest name place', but before that we stopped at this little fruit shop with the aim of picking up some strawberries

The shop had a cute little resident beagle, who was eager for a pat

But I think the ultimate goal was to try to score some food hehe

Before we went to lunch, we detoured to Bluff Hill lookout

Giving the panorama feature another workout :P

Lake Taupo

Driving around the north island of New Zealand is not unlike any long distance drive in Australia, though it is much more lush, green and mountainous.

We were never short of scenic lookouts to stop at, and this one was a bit of a surprise - we found a waterfall!

Waipunga falls

On the way to the longest name place, we chanced upon a sheep herding session right next to our car - definitely a memorable moment!

The longest name place... I won't even attempt to pronounce it! 

Napier aquarium

Beach literally across the road from Ken's parents place. I use the term beach loosely as the 'sand' is just tiny black pebbles that probably wouldn't be the most comfortable to sit on. It sure is pretty and photogenic though!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Wing Lei Chinese Restaurant- Wynn, Macau

Lunch one day in Macau is in the Wynn complex, more specifically at Wing Lei, the two Michelin star, luxurious Chinese Restaurant.

We went quite early on a weekday lunch, and only just managed to get a table without a booking. Even though it didn't seem overly busy, we saw people being turned away, without a booking, as we were leaving.

Scallop and vegetable dumplings

Har gow prawn dumplings

Char siu or BBQ pork rice noodle rolls

Deep fried glutinous dumplings with goose liver

Siu mai

These were my favourite - baked abalone with roasted chicken

Dessert - fried taro cake

Checkered red bean and coconut jelly

Wing lei, unlike the typical yum cha joint, has an extensive list of teas on their menu

The prices are comparable to what yum cha would cost in Australia, though obviously by local standards, it is quite expensive. I enjoyed the more unique dishes, but I think some of the fun and charm of yum cha, is sitting in a bustling and vibrant restaurant surrounded by carts.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sculpture by the Sea 2012 - Bondi, Sydney

Sculpture by the sea is held annually, showcasing sculptures from artists all around the world. The sculptures are dotted along the coastline from Bondi to Tamarama in October and it's an event I always look forward to every year.