Sunday, September 17, 2017

Possum Magic

It's been a whirlwind of a week even though I only had 1 day of uni, ironically. Excluding last sem when there wasn't any lectures, this past week was probably the first time ever having just 1 day of uni during the semester. From food expos, catch ups, 'networking' events, so here's a compilation of photos from the week, because why not?

For those wondering, I ended up getting iPhone 8 in Gold. It's really the same as iPhone 7 but I can't hold an 8 Plus and X I would rather wait for the one after since I don't need all these fancy functions. Pre orders started from 5:01pm, but couldn't order it till 5:07pm. Reminded me back in 1st/2nd year of trying to get the best timetabled classes, and just waiting for the not so trusty UNSW servers to load.

view from L'Aqua, Cockle Bay Wharf

If I wasn't so lazy and decided to walk those extra steps, that damn light in the middle wouldn't be in the way.


Trivia Night

Speccies always chooses a decent location with catered food/drinks, and of course persuading people to work for them. Thank goodness for other friendly people so not too awkward to just join the table. Came last in trivia, but it was still good fun. So embarrassing taking the above photo. I slightly stood up and said just wait to the table, but because our table was at the front, the person thought I was telling them to wait so I could take a photo of the slide lol. I actually don't really care what they think, just funny how they thought I was trying to take a pic of the slides. Not many people came this year compared to last year though, at least the food this year wasn't all deep fried.

Some friends are worth trekking to the city for, even if it's just for 2 hrs. It's always nice when others make an effort to catch up esp from interstate. Who knew ordering drinks for 6 people is actually quite complicated (another post to come).

Yesterday was pretty hectic in a good way. Met up with my cousin and uncle's friend for drinks/food.

capp and mocha from Lindt Cafe

I actually haven't been here since they had some free mocha thing back in 2013...Still found the dark choc quite sweet though.


sushi train!

One of our relo's friend came to Sydney literally for a day for this sushi and to pick up stuff. More on that later....Then went back home to bring more stuff out so he could take more Aussie food back to HK.

iced chai lattes whilst looking at diamonds...


2 days after I paid, they said students could go for free, so they are 'compensating' me with a free ticket to the Xmas party...So I guess more free food?

Mercure Sydney Hotel

I am so glad I went to this networking event to just hear about all these super experienced optoms who come from all over the place. People in research, started up their own practice, people who do more business/management and not see patients, others moved from overseas,  some moved 4/5 jobs, and just their overall passion gives me motivation. Although I was a bit confused as to where I want to head in the future, but I have another year to think about it, just gonna get through this sem first...I knew the food wasn't gonna be amazing, but it was nice just chatting to people and seeing how they got to where they are. Pretty much with so many grads it's almost impossible to achieve what they did since back then they could pick the jobs they want, whereas now it's a bit flipped...It's also a tad bit more reassuring to hear they have a life outside of optom/work. Even as a Christian, it's always a struggle between life vs study vs work...and it's only going to get harder...

it's a purple and pink $2 coin! 💜

I actually forgot what the book Possum Magic is about, but I do remember reading this classic as a kid. This is indeed my fav $2 coin though. Perks of working in retail sometimes...just switch my boring $2 with something like this. Quick Google search says only Woolies supplied these limited edition Possum Magic coins. The Anzac poppies were nice, but this is another level- can't get over the prettiness and cuteness. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fine Food Australia 2017

Every two years, the Fine Food Expo is in Sydney where they showcase new food products, equipment and technology related to the food and hospitality industry. This time they are in the new ICC at Darling Harbour. It was massive, spread over 2 full floors. A lot bigger compared to Moore Park or the previous convention centre. I completely understand why they got rid of all our childhood fountains that we used to run across, and patches of grass the expand this place. I have to admit, the landscaping in the area is pretty good. It's amazing how quickly they finished building something of this capacity. Moving on...

This sort of reminds me of Harpa, the concert hall in Iceland

Sunset views

Really loving the new Darling Harbour. The actual exhibition was spread under the overpasses on the left on level 1 and 4. the main building has smaller function rooms but still pretty big, and the concert theatre is even further to the left. It can accommodate 3 different exhibitions at the same time. Inside the building everything is just so spacious, clean and new!

I sort of can't believe I'm sick of ice cream (for this week). So many full sized samples everything, and so many small samples that even I had to say no to having more ice cream. There actually were less food samples this year, but it was still more than enough for me, and at the point where you have to 'selectively eat.' Still over ate though...but it's only here twice a year, and probs last time I'll have the time to come, unless once I work one of my days off falls on a weekday (which is most likely).

- Charcoal activated ice cream is the new trend
- Tumeric latte is the new matcha latte
- The health food market is exploding, think yoghurt drinks, flavoured almond milk with more almonds than water (unlike the current supermarket stuff), protein bars/balls, weird but delicious dried fruit and veggies
- So many new food start ups

Some food highlights: 


gelato

So many gelato/ice cream stalls. Mainly these people are trying to sell the actual machine or for other people to rent. Like there are heaps of cakes around, but really they trying to sell the cake cabinet.


activated charcoal coconut water soft serve, cold brew soft serve

The black one sort of tasted like a muted down coconut flavour but a bit nuttier. You can definitely taste the cold brew coffee in it. I find cold brew less acidic/creamy, but a more watered yet concentrated coffee flavour. I'm no coffee connoisseur, but cold brew coffee just has a super distinct taste which you all should give it a go sometime. I was just surprised at how accurate they got this flavour in this soft serve,


I found KOI!

They were actually partnering with a new app where apparently when you order on their phone/device, you can just tap, so you don't have to wait in line at the register or something and then you receive an instant notification to let you know your order is ready...idk, I was really just eyeing the cakes the whole time the guy was demo-ing.


Matcha strawberry: Almond & pistachio jaconde with greentea matcha mousse, berry consome jelly, strawberry
Watermelon: Lychee creme diplomat, dehydrated rose, watermelon, chia seed and almond crumbs


These small bite sized mini desserts are actually a good way to try KOI stuff, since was already super full. The matcha had a decent hit of matcha, and the watermelon one was quite fragrant, just odd to put chia seed in a dessert imo.

First year they had a section dedicated to wines/drinks.


Look how cute this cup is!

Vanilla liquor from Spain, pretty strong at 43 but also tasted quite nice


46% alc.

I can do 26%, but 46% dry gin was just a bit too much, and I only had like 2 sips. The tonic water added to it made it taste more like medicine. Yeah, can't do shots. Give me fancy wines any day.


beetroot latte

I actually hate beetroot despite my love of food, now I can eat it if I have to, but beetroot in latte form is pretty good because there's a nice earthiness to the latte. Beetroot chips are quite nice as well. I think I mainly hate canned beetroot...


Byron Bay cookies x Zest Coffee Taste Test

It was actually really hard to match the cookies with the complementing espresso. Surprisingly I could taste the difference between all the cookies, but to match was too subjective.


 
edible glitter!

I don't like glitter on accessories, but when it comes to food-yes pls. Watching people make fancy chocolates is pretty cool Saw the 'ferrari' of ice cream machines work (they've used it before on MC when they went to Dinner By Heston where you pour in your anglaise, and it immediately churns and freezes so ice cream is ready straight away). This time they used it for caramel where it was ready really quickly. I only attend these shows cause then you can answer questions and win stuff. Got some smoked Urcin salt...



 
more activated charcoal coconut water ice cream with some chocolate/cookies, caramelised fig (pretty sure I had over 10 scoops by this stage)

Day 1: 13kg haul of freebies

My mum is amazing at getting freebies. I have my limits and will get stuff I know I'll like, but mum sort of gets everything (although I had to limit her since I don't want to waste food and chuck it if we're not gonna eat it back home). How do I know I'm stronger? When I can carry/lug around 13kg go food/drinks the whole days and it's ok. We did bring a tiny suitcase to be more 'professional.' The trick with this sort of stuff is you only bring those trolley things to markets/food festivals/shows but not to a business related expo. My strength is compared against the weight of the suitcase, so surprisingly 13kg wasn't too heavy. Normally I start my travels with 15kg in my big suitcase. I guess I also felt stronger after July after lugging back 50kg on public transport back home...Next goal is still carrying suitcase up multiple flights of stairs...

Headed for a quick pit stop before an optom event on the 3rd day of the expo. They are the stingiest on this day since they generally have to make stuff last on the 4th day, but then give everything out on the 4th day since a lot of companies don't want to pack it or take it back interstate.


KOI but with more variety


Citrus jar: Passionfruit curd with bergamot jelly, almond crumbs, swiss meringue, seasonal citrus and yuzu marshmallow

Not gonna lie, I was already full to begin with, but want to slowly make my way through Koi's cake collection. Got something light and this passionfruit dessert was perfect. Also edible purple flower!



Couldn't resist having a coconut ice cream. It's not as nice as the other coconut ice cream in supermarkets since the flavour wasn't as strong, guess it wasn't too sweet which is also a plus.

Mum brought home another 13kg suitcase, Dad brought home veggies from neighbouring expo stands


haul 2, too much food to even bother with a flat lay


Yep, groceries done for the month...


fav!

Loving earth chocolate ain't cheap, from memory the normal flavours are $8 for a larger packet, and one time I bought something which was flavoured and about 1/4 of the above size for $6. They are so good and smooth though, nice darkness through them. Still find it ironic how we haven't finished our Europe and Jap chocolate though...Yay for the coconut yogurt since I was way too full the other day to even sample it, but Mum brought home a decent sized tub back.

Really enjoyed seeing new products to come or are already out on the market. It sort of doesn't help that I'm at home with all this food...now what to try first...Definitely over ate this week, but that's the whole point of me exercising so I can try more food, as counterintuitive as it sounds haha.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

iPhone 8 and X

I have waited 5 years for the iPhone 8 and the time has finally come! For those who don't know, 8 is my favourite number (and not for reasons like the Chinese who think it's lucky). When my trusty iPhone 5 died suddenly last year, I was like nooo, died one year too soon since I wanted to use it for almost 5 years until the iPhone 8 was released, so ended up getting the iPhone 7 straight away on the 27th Sept, so I haven't even have my current phone for even a year. I may have unintentionally watched the majority of the Keynote today...

The plan was always to get the 8 so I could give mum my 7 since her 4s wifi died over a year ago, but still surprised her 4s is still alive. Another 4 figure spending this year. I feel like I don't spend a lot, but my 2 'spontaneous' purchases this year were both 4 figures so gg...Hence no more holidays this year...

So first thoughts. Funny how a few people asked me today. Yes, Apple fan girl here.
- iPhone 8 is not much different compared to 7, pretty much same camera and display, apart from added Tru Tone, plus obviously a new chip.
- Do I need wireless charging? Well going to have to purchase the additional Air Power once it comes out next year, but I think I'll still stick to wires.
- Augmented reality games seem cool, although I'm probs too busy studying to play that sort of stuff
- 8 is 0.2mm thicker and 10g heavier than 7. Would I be able to feel the difference? Maybe
- The colours have gone back to the iPhone 5s initial colours: silver, gold, space grey, and they got rid of rose gold, black and jet black.
- They brought back the back glass like in 4s, the thing with cases is that you don't really touch the back, but hey, glass looks pretty.
- If there was a time to change the numbering, then obviously it's for the 10th anniversary, hence the iPhone X (ten). I'm so glad they skipped 9 though, cause iPhone 7s, or 8s or 9 just doesn't cut it for the 10th year of iPhones tbh.
- X is so expensive.
- 8 is actually cheaper than 7 release price since both are $1079 base model, but 7 started at 32gb and 8 now at 64gb. I've been running on 1gb memory space for the past few months, but I have a feeling once I get 64gb I'll still run out quite quickly cause everything like photos takes up more space. Gone are the days of $800 entry price for iPhone 5...
- I wonder if anyone actually made it inside the Keynote with an Android phone, or do they have to show their badge + their iPhone as another 'pass' to enter?
- 8 Plus is out of the question since it's way too big for me to hold, and I'm pretty sure won't fit into my current bag compartments. That was always a problem when I first moved from tiny 5 to 7 but it was surprisingly easy to adjust to the 7 size.

So dilemmas:
- Do I want to spend an extra $500+ for the iPhone X? It's obviously going to have even more improvements next year since first time adding facial recognition. I still think it's a bit odd for it to recognise your face. I am fine with Touch ID. Like I've only had it for less than a year since iPhone 5 didn't have Touch ID and I'm loving it. Only reason I never put a passcode on my 5 was because I was too lazy to type it in every time. Sometimes when your finger is wet or you just put on hand cream the touch ID isn't as sensitive so I can see how Face ID would be useful, but apart from that I think Touch ID is still pretty cool.
- The portrait mode in iPhone X is a pretty sleek feature, but I don't normally take photos of people, so again, not sure if worth the extra price. I actually don't like using filters because it seems a bit fake sometimes, but since portrait mode is all inbuilt and does contouring stuff. Seems pretty cool, but would I use it daily for the price you pay?
- Animoji is pretty cute, but would the other person need an X for it to work?
- X is also a bit heavier and bigger than 8...
- Do I really need a massive screen with super high resolution and HDR display? I'm pretty sure I don't even use my 7 to its full capacity.
- The gold in 8 seems to have a pink undertone rather than yellow which I find too gold in the current iPhones. I'm a silver person, but I got rose gold in 7 since I know my mum likes pink. Now I'm not sure what colour to get since the silver seems too basic, but the gold has a nice warm colour to it.
- I think after thinking for a day, I'm leaning towards 8 at this stage because I don't really need top of the range as I won't use all it's functions, and I like the number 8. Have less than 48hrs to decide if I want to pre order 8 or wait longer for X...

I am still glad I am holding off a West Coast trip despite really wanting to visit the other side of America. The Apple Park looks amazing, and I'll defs make that a pit stop during a road trip if/when I make another trip to the US. It's like an Apple themed theme Park! Almost as good as DisneyWorld in Florida (also poor Florida...). That architecture is amazing, even just watching videos of it. It just gives of a really happy and peaceful vibe. Pretty cool how it's also fully solar powered.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Meet Mica

New cafes are still popping up in Sydney. It's pretty much impossible to visit all these places even as a uni student where you technically have more time for brunch compared to a full time worker since all these places close in the afternoon. I like how this cafe does a modernised take of some Jap food and flavours.

food spread


Matcha french lava toast: matcha lava toast with matcha milk foam, strawberry dust & seasonal fruit-$18

 
look at that matcha lava-ness

this is what I came for

condensed milk syrup-mid drip

I've had a fair bit of french toasts and tend to not order it as much when I go to cafes, unless they're different like this one. First time having french toast with matcha sauce inside. I don't think there's a nice way to cut into it, but I just loved how the sauce oozed out. There was also a good hit of matcha, and if you like your matcha strong, then there's not much need to add the sauce. I originally thought it was a white choc sauce, but it's a bit more viscous/stringy. Personally I don't think it needed it but it really depends on how sweet you like things. The actual toast was more on the bready side, but it was thick enough to mop up the sauce.


Porridge: classic oatmeal porridge with yuzu, banana custard, seasonal fruit, coconut foam & roasted almonds-$14.5

This is actually a pretty big bowl of porridge, so if you're looking for something filling then order this. Loved the presentation with the strawberry dust, but was hoping for more yuzu flavour and coconut flavour in the foam. Once you eat the top layer, the porridge near the bottom is a bit flavourless, so would've liked more flavour throughout the bowl.

lite sammies bento-$14.5 
smoked salmon, mustard dill cream, pickled fennel & mixed greens
avocado, grilled zucchini, roasted pepper, spinach, pesto
japanese egg roll & lettuce

You don't often see bento boxes at cafes, but I guess this is a modernised cafe so why not? They come with 3 cute sandwiches, each with a different filling and sort of Jap flavours. Loved the crispy lotus root chips.


capp-$3.50

I also came for the cute latte art-can't resist cute food. The milk was frothed well and coffee flavour wasn't too bitter or weak. Also tried the organic chai tea ($5) and loved the intensity of the spices in it. I feel like sometimes you can taste the different between organic and non organic tea since it's normally has a stronger taste.

inside

Seating inside isn't too cramped. It's a nice cafe to meet new people at Meet Mica.

Meet Mica Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, September 10, 2017

First weekend since beginning of this sem working both days, I think I made a pb of selling the most 2nd pairs yday lel. Also first weekend in 6 weeks which I haven't been out. It sort of feels weird not going out, and trying to force yourself to study but ceebs. It's also weird to potentially only have 1 day of uni for the next 2 weeks. Could actually take a break and fly somewhere if I had the money...I still think holidays are essential to really just get away from it all, have fun and de stress. Should start to revise previous year's content though, something I've been telling myself at the beginning of the year but ended up having too much fun...

I still think voting is a waste of money, ink and paper. I feel like the majority of the times I vote, the party always loses...And even with the winning parties both on a local council or parliament scale, I don't see any improvements tbh. Maybe infrastructure since all these new train lines, light rail, widening roads, but ever so slowly...

I read an article the other day how Sydney is sort of trying to be like Manhattan NYC with the whole living in the city plus offices and tourist stuff rather than just being offices and tourist sights. There are actually heaps of old offices being renovated, and literally just leaving the steel structure then making it into fancy apartments. These buildings get fully renovated within a year or so, you can definitely tell the difference in speed when they are all funded by developers/investors/people with a load of cash....but I really like the idea of how we're trying to sort of be like NYC (actually try to be like the rest of the world, so almost all major cities I've been in, living in the city is not uncommon, whereas there aren't many residential buildings in our CBD atm).

I am almost done going through HK pics on Insta and can finally go back to Sydney food. Ever since I 'broke' my no brunch streak, I'm just yolo and eating out because next year won't have as much time for brunch. Too bad most cafes don't open at night... and all the dinner places I want to go to are all wayyy too expensive for the average uni student...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Frozen Custard

PSA: not worth the money

It was on sale last week for $4 at Woolies and this week at Coles, normally $8. It does not taste like frozen custard at all. The best frozen custard is from Shake Shack back when I had it in NYC, but didn't have the stomach space when I went to Shake Shack in London to have it again or the time in Tokyo or stopover in Dubai, so missing a proper frozen custard. I think Gojima has frozen custard, but I had it in their drink, so if I go there again will see if their frozen custards are up to scratch.

This one just tastes like a less creamy version of vanilla ice cream, with less vanilla flavour and a more custardy sweet flavour, plus colour is a bit more yellow. It's a bit softer but not as smooth or silky and looks northing like the picture, and tastes more like a harder ice cream. You can pay $4 and get a 2L tub of normal ice cream.

Also, Connoisseur ice cream RRP have increased in price. I think it's half price somewhere for $5, it used to be half price for $4, so it's increased by $2. I know it's still heaps cheaper than having ice cream outside...

Although I don't know much about inflation, I think I'm pretty good with dessert inflation. For example, Zumbo individual V8 cakes initially were $9.50 then $10, now they're $11 or 2 for $20. The large V8 cake I got for my one of my 21st cakes was $75, now they sell for $80. I'll still probs ending up trying some new V8 flavours since they're limited edition, but would actually go broke if I got one of each flavour (well I think I've tried 2 of them, but buying 6 others still ain't cheap).

The bad thing about not going to uni is missing out on freebies like at VFNO and they have edible balloons at The Galeries. I guess the whole #fomo feels have subsided a bit (hence only a mental list of places to eat lol). But so much for originality. We all know Dominique Ansel came up with food + helium balloon. The one at the Galeries isn't as cool since the food is tied on the outside of the string and food not inside the balloon, and I'm sure the edible balloon is just all sugar. At least people like Reynold credit other people...Also, Dominique Ansel released a 'passport' for pastries and you get a stamp for every place you've tried. Why couldn't he release it 3 years ago? I guess it makes for an excuse to re-visit countries again and have more cronuts. I'm glad I've still held off a West Coast trip since he's opening a restaurant later this year. At least some cafes nowadays have changed their 'cronuts' into diff names, since if you didn't know, he trademarked the name Cronut when he first invented it.

I completely understand why parents end up buying a big car for their kids. Initially it's like why do you even need a big car if you drive by yourself? Big cars are really a matter of safety, despite the petrol costs probably 2-3x more than a small car. Most likely won't use the 4WD or SUV functions when you're driving around, but it'll protect you from other careless people on the road. Like the other day my dad for driving the small car and he was stopped at an intersection, but someone just bumped into him. No one was hurt and I don't think there was a lot of impact, but because it was the small car and material/quality these days have decreased, the bumper was broken. Our current small car material does feel 'cheaper' than our old small car. Like even the interiors when you put stuff in the boot it's sort of roughened a lot. If cars didn't depreciate the day you purchase it, I think I would invest in a bigger car, or even just a car with a longer boot...

FB and insta updates have changed their replies to a more convo like setting. On the FB app, things appear more emoji/cartoon like...interesting though. I bet next week all these apps will have more updates ready for iOS 11.

The struggles of assignments when you start and have no idea how you reach the word limit, but then towards the end you somehow have way too much and don't know where to cut down.

Just realised yday that I can comment on blogs, maybe my Blogger isn't as stuffed as I thought it was...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Honey Creme

Looks like the soft serve game in Sydney is still going strong. I thought I had a voucher for a buy one get one free, but turns out it's only at the Perth store. Why would they make the 'flagship' store in Perth? I knew the name of this place sounded familiar, and sure enough after digging through photos on my phone, I've had their ice cream before, just overseas. 

Vanilla soft serve with honey comb-$6.90
Comb with honey-$6.50


So glad we shared this, because I would be disappointed if I had this myself. I've had a lot of soft serves in the past, well mostly this year in different countries, and ranging in price, but I felt this wins for the most disappointing soft serve to date (from cheap 30c to almost up to $20, but not quite as extravagant as the $100+ they have in the US/UK...) It's just vanilla soft serve, nothing special in terms of flavour or texture, with a piece of honey comb or some honey comb sauce. The honey comb itself was the sort of chewy type and quite sweet. I prefer the refined slightly bitter crunchiness that restaurants have...I think I also prefer Maccas soft serve compared to this in terms of value for money, and that's saying a lot from a person who loves desserts/ice cream. I think I was just expecting more, but it turned out to be just ok.


Changing menus on the screen doesn't help. They put their flavours and price list on a small piece of paper, probably to not let everyone know how overpriced their stuff is.

Honey Creme in HK (2016). How times have changed, and so has picture quality from an iPhone 5...

at least it looks cool

Google says the place has closed down. No wonder why when I walked in that general area in July I didn't see an ice cream place. If it closed down in HK, I have a feeling it won't last long in Sydney. It tasted decent in HK, maybe because it was cheaper there as well, so for the price you pay it was alright. Just Syd is a different story. Probably share one between a group to see for yourself.

Tl;dr: not worth the money or your stomach space.

Honey Creme Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato