Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Dining & Co

I was in the area so decided to visit this cafe sitting amongst local shops. Holidays=more food adventures.

Tasmanian salmon fillet: confit salmon with crispy skin and black rice, fennel, Swiss chard, pink grapefruit, walnuts, feta, finger lime, wasabi caviar, rice crisp and beetroot foam-$22

yay foam

rice crisps

There were so many elements here that it was hard to get it into on mouthful. The salmon was cooked well, but I didn't get a crispy skin like it said on the menu. The kaffir lime was a fun addition since it's sort of a citrusy flavour, and along with the grapefruit segments help to lighten up the salmon which is filled with natural fats. The salad was a bit overly dressed, but still liked the creaminess from the cheese and crunch from the nuts. The black rice underneath was a decent serving and made the dish really filling. The rice crisps gave another textural crunch, but it didn't do much to the dish, it was pretty though. The beetroot foam was also pretty, but I couldn't taste any beetroot...

regular capp-$3.80

On the pricier side for a coffee, but anywhere north of the harbour bridge you'd expect over $3.50 unlike in city. This coffee was pretty disappointing. Screwed up on the latte art so they just chuck some chocolate powder on top. One strip doesn't make it artistic. I heard that to make coffee, production costs around 30-50c. Most places/cafes which do coffee art (almost all these days, even if it's just a simple flower), will make sure they get it right on the first time, so else chuck and re pour the milk. The coffee here was quite hot in temp as well, and more towards the watery side which was again disappointing. Not enough coffee flavour.

menus, because I couldn't find any online

The Dining and Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Turn 😔

I was originally gonna post this on fb/insta, maybe later. Here will do for now.

In the end, I was too weak to flip tables...

The past few days, I didn't realise I could feel so low (or cry so much). As much as I love food, haven't been able to eat more than a meal a day for the past week...

I'm still angry, pissed and annoyed that a 6 minute worksheet that was only 1/27th component of one subject determined my life. That worksheet didn't demonstrate my competency. The system is rigged and unjust. They can do whatever they choose. For once, my wam went up, but it's really the final grade that matters. In a way, should have not passed third year to get enrolled into an automatic Masters, but too late now. I guess I'm not the only one, since almost half of every cohort have tripped up at least once. To be so close and then so far, it really is heart wrenching.

Another example is people who didn't attend lectures, ultimately affected other people in the end. Although I wasn't affected by this, it's just not fair for everyone. Ultimately, the 8-10 of us will have to go through the death year. Third year was supposed to be the killer, but not anymore. Then again, they are changing the course, so it probs might be easier, just like how in first year after they changed lecturers for optics, everyone passed.

In my heart, I know that God has a greater plan for me, as hard as it is to get over all these emotions. It will get better with time. I'm thankful for those who I can talk to, and can really empathise with me (still praying for the 0.01% chance of hope).

'Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour'

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Grand Lotus

My mum has been here before previously on a Saturday, and she said the yum cha here was really fresh and good quality. We came back again on a weekday which is a bit more quiet, and there's less variety. Service was really friendly, and it's a nice yum cha place tucked at Rouse Hill Town Centre. 

har gao-prawns had a really good texture 'bouncy' when you translate it from Chinese (no English equivalent)

More meat than noodles -~$20

We ordered about 10 dim sums plus a plate of stir fried noodles which was around $100 for 3 people. Definitely over ate, but it's not cheap compared to your average yum cha. However, the quality is pretty good despite the lack of variety. On Saturdays most things are made to order, so steaming hot. Today only about half the things were made to order. Apparently almost all their dim sums are made on premises rather than ordered externally and then just steam or fry it at the restaurant. Good portion prices for the price you pay. Even the siu mai had 2/3 bit of prawns in them, and at least bigger than other places by 1/3. There's hardly anymore good yum cha places in Sydney these days, so always on the look out for new yum cha to try, and bring relatives from overseas to. Even in HK, a lot of yum cha places order their stock from China (and people don't like eating fake beef/prawns), so most yum cha places aren't that great or use fresh ingredients, unless you go Tim Ho Wan or those other Michelin star restaurants.

Grand Lotus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, December 4, 2016


We made budget plus other KPIs at work, so work FINALLY shouted dinner for the team, and could choose a restaurant. Someone suggested to go here, and I haven't been here before and it's close to home. The venue looked really pretty, even at night, so I guess that's why they also cater for weddings/events here.


Strawberry and cranberry mocktail-$13

Garlic bread was baked well with a good crunch and slathered in butter. Not healthy but still tasted nice.

Balmain Bugs with fettuccine-$48

It was a relatively big portion, was only expecting 1 not 2. It was cooked well, juicy and moist. I guess it could have been more fresh, but this place isn't near the sea, so it's expected. I'm not a big fan of tomato sauce based pasta, but luckily this one wasn't too acidic. Pasta was cooked al dente, but there was some liquid at the bottom with slightly mixed water and soup which was a bit odd. It was hard digging the pasta out between the lobster shells. The other dishes on the table was a lamb shank which also had a good portion, sirloin steak but was quite small, risotto was decently sized, and a seafood platter which was grilled so apparently it was a bit overcooked. The platter wasn't that big either for $48, you get 4 scallops, some prawns, and a bit of fish.


So glad I chose the tiramisu (posting this a few months later, and now the tiramisu is $16). Presentation just a tad tacky with the chocolate sauce drizzle, but the tiramisu is one of the best I've had. Not too much chocolate/sweetness, but can taste the mascarpone cream, bit of alcohol and coffee flavour. You could also see real vanilla specks in the ice-cream. The chocolate cigar was just filled with chocolate, and made the dish a bit too sweet.

Apparently this restaurant is owned by an Indian family, but cooking modern Italian food. I wouldn't mind coming back to try the pastas/risottos/pizzas. My colleagues had the grilled seafood plate, which was apparently overcooked and rubbery (so wouldn't recommend), but apparently the steaks were cooked perfectly.
Biviano's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Bourke St Bakery

Rhubarb danish-$4

Decided on this since I saw them take it out fresh from the oven. Lovely flaky, buttery pastry balanced with a nice sourness from the rhubarb. If only they gave even more rhubarb...

Bourke Street Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Max Joy Co.

Hojicha and Eastwood Granny Smith, 2 scoops: $6.95


A cute little ice cream joint in Eastwood. The most popular flavour here is Hoijicha (roasted green tea), so of course I had to get that. It's not as roasted compared to ice cream I've had in HK, but for Australian standards, it's got a nice roasted green tea flavour. I love my teas really strong, so would have liked more flavour in it, whereas most ice cream in Aus is on the sweeter side. The granny smith flavour is really juicy in green apple flavour and really refreshing, but definitely a bit too sweet. 

Also tried a bit of the black sesame which was alright like other blacks sesame flavours. Taro was average, snickers tasted like it sounds, black sticky rice had quite a bit of texture in it. I wouldn't mind coming back here to have the hojicha again. Price wise it's average as well. I think 1 scoop was $4.95 (from memory).


The Max Joy Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Despite the busy-ness in all our lives, we managed to find a mutual time to watch the new Harry Potter film with the whole fam. I've always watched all the Harry Potter movies with my fam, so why not continue the tradition with this new era.

No spoilers here. I think the movie was alright, but was expecting more from it. Probably because I thought the Harry Potter series were really good, even though I didn't read the books until after the movies come out. This one didn't really have a major storyline, so not sure how they are gonna make four other movies. It was nice to see some magic though, and loved how it's set in NYC. Going out to the movies ain't cheap, but I managed to get 2 free tickets for the parents, and my bro and I got $10 cinebuzz student prices tickets #winning A full price adult ticket starts from $21...

Some of my shopping, yay Christmas! Pretty much been shopping in store/online for one too many days...

I missed out last year, so made sure I got one this year. It's so cute and pretty!

Non fattening advent calendar

why is there nothing for Christmas Day??

Super lovely evening with half of the G8s. Dandelion's puns were on a roll, and stalker shots so on point 👌 Had a full vegetarian dinner last night, and it was super delicious! (Again, post of that to come...hopefully before the end of the year lel). We need to do more hide and seek at train stations 😂