Sunday, 24 November 2013

Cairns trip 2013

Back into the swing of work again, and it's hard to remember that I've ever been on holidays! About a month ago, I went on a family trip to Cairns. It was so laid-back and fun, definitely one of those places you can keep visiting over and over again.

On the first day, we only really had half a day so went over to Green Island for some snorkelling & a ride on the semi-submersible.



A very fitting tropical lychee drink to celebrate holidays!

It was an absolutely beautiful day to go snorkelling - sunny, mild and hardly any wind.

We stayed at the Jack & Newell apartments, a nice boutique apartment, right in the city and near the marina wharf.



Four Mile beach

Alexandra lookout

It took some time getting used to all the croc signs at the beaches. Yikes!

Cape Tribulation beach

We stopped by the Daintree Icecream company during the drive to Cape Tribulation. It was well worth the stop, the ice cream was delish! They only serve a cup with the flavours of the day, so you can't choose - we got mango, wattleseed, coconut, passionfruit. The coconut was my favourite, so flavoursome and it even had shredded coconut. Wattleseed came a close second.

After devouring the ice cream, they even have a little map that tells you a bit about the orchard, and you can go for a wander around.

Banana tree

Jackfruit


Paragliding on the roadside, on the way back to Cairns from Cape Trib

Did the touristy thing and went on the Skyrail to Kuranda. Enjoyed it more than I thought I would, with the bird park. Fed the birds and got absolutely bombarded!



Cute, but man those claws hurt!

Highly recommend the crepe shop at Kuranda. The roasted pineapple and salted caramel crepes were out of this world amazing. 



Posting this makes me wish I were on holidays again! Luckily I have a month off over Christmas, so off to Hong Kong & Tokyo it is. Only 4 more weeks to go!!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

C Dine Bar - Kingston Foreshore, Sydney

C Dine Bar is a fresh new restaurant that has popped up along the Kingston Foreshore. It's an excellent spot with views of Lake Burley Griffin, and a great selection of seats inside, or outside to soak up the sunshine. I especially enjoy watching all the Saturday bike riders whiz past. 

It's been a good couple of months since my last visit to Canberra, and it's exciting to see new places like this popping up.

C Dine Bar menu

The restaurant is a cross between casual and fine dining, with friendly and attentive service during our Saturday lunch visit.

Unfortunately, one of the dishes I was super keen to try out, the crab ravioli, was unavailable - I have bookmarked this for my next visit! We amended our choices and instead opted for two entrees and a main instead. I always seem to find the entrees more appealing for some reason.

Scallops

Scallops are my 'must order' item, and these are tasty and quite substantial due to the accompanying green pea & bacon risotto, pecorino and carrot foam

Mussels

A very generous sized entree with the delicious morsels covered in pernod, cream, bacon, leek, herbs, and served with a hearty portion of crisp pomme frites

Vongole linguini

Linguini, vongole, prawns, confit cherry tomatoes, garlic, herbs, olive oil

As always, there is room for dessert. 

Dessert menu

Could not resist the cute sounding 'Cinema' dessert. 

Cinema

Waffle cone, popcorn ice cream, chocolate soil, cola puree, raspberry meringue, popping candy, coconut marshmallow

Interesting concept, but quite expensive for the portion size. Having said that, the entrees and mains were impressive and I am very keen to go back and try more of their menu. 

Also headed to the annual Nara festival, just my luck that is was on the same weekend that I was down!




C Dine Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, 15 November 2013

Despaña - Glebe, Sydney

On the search for the best tapas in Sydney, I came across Despaña, located in Glebe. Touted as one of the best, and most authentic tapas in Sydney, I pay a visit one Friday night. Located on Glebe's main road, Glebe Point Road, it's a cosy restaurant with a homely feel.

Iced tea

The designated driver opts for the refreshing and iced tea, whilst the rest of us have some of their famous sangria. Despaña's version is deliciously fruity and dangerously easy to drink.

Spiced cauliflower fritters

We start off with these crisp morsels of cauliflower spiced with hot smoked paprika, Maldon salt, parsley

Croquettes

Chorizo & manchego croquettes, with citrus aioli. These are a must order!

Mussels

With fennel, saffron & tomato broth. Nice flavours, but unfortunately the mussels were very small. The dish comes with one small piece of bread and I was left wanting more to soak up all that lovely sauce.

small paella of the day

The paella of the day was packed full of seafood, and was very good. The small size is a perfect size for one person to have as a main, or for two people to share.

Braised beef cheek

The beef cheek was served with cocoa, orange and marjoram, olive oil mash. The beef was fall apart tender, but the flavours did not quite hit the mark for me. 

Portions are on the smaller side of the scale. Overall, a great venue for tapas and I can see why it rates so highly on Urbanspoon. 

Despaña on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Tamarind Thai - Waverton, Sydney

Some days, all you feel like is the closest and most convenient meal around. The north shore options are mostly concentrated around the Crows Nest and Neutral Bay area, though there are a couple of other hidden gems around the quieter suburbs.

Tamarind Thai was one of my Waverton locals, which I've always walked past before and after work, but managed to never have ventured in.

These complimentary prawn crackers are seriously tasty and addictive. I always find myself polishing them off in a flash, even before the ordering starts.

 
Tamarind Thai specials board

Steamed marinated chicken mince with honey sauce

Crispy prawns with green mango salad

I always enjoy a green mango or papaya salad when ordering thai, as it is very appetising and helps cut through the richness of the other dishes.

Red curry with vegetables


Massamun curry

The curries are fragrant, and whilst it still has some way to go compared to my favourite thai restaurants in the city, it is a decent local version.

Fried rice

Waverton is a fabulous area to go for an after meal wander, through Ball's head and even check out the cool little community garden they have at the Coal Loader.




Tamarind Thai on Urbanspoon