Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Good Stuff.

That's one weird looking gourd.
Do you like the good stuff? 

Cherry Tomatoes
By stuff I mean food, and by good, I mean organic

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Romulo Cafe, Quezon City

The other night, my family and I were going out for the afternoon and for dinner as well. We've decided where we wanted to spend the afternoon but we had some issues when it came to deciding where to eat for dinner. I, for one, strangely felt like eating Filipino food.* My parents both suggested Cafe Romulo.** Even though I'm quite the foodie, I haven't heard of the place.***

Al fresco dining area!
From the outside, the place is breathtaking, this is considering it's a restaurant. From the looks of it, it was a house before and it's been renovated to accomodate the form and features of a restaurant. There's a spacious outdoor dining area and a couple of divided dining areas indoors.****

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sometimes, Party Like a 5 Year Old.

Sometimes, my friends and I party like rockstars 5 year olds. No, we didn't do extremely stupid stuff. We just celebrated my friend's 21st with 5 year old party food! No drinks drinks, it's pure 5 year old party junk! It was so nice loosening up, and it was sort of a sem-ender.

How could you live without strawberry clouds, 
gummy worms, and marshmallows? 
Oh wait, the more appropriate question is 
how could you live without 

What would a party be without fairy bread?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Four Ate Five, Surry Hills

I've had really time-pressed few days this week, plus, hardly any sleep last night. I'm not in the best mood, I was all panicky and all over the place this morning. I feel like all I want is my mother. I sound like a freaking 5 year old now. That is a tad pathetic. But anyway, let's skip to the point- Four Ate Five!

Four Ate Five has been crowned Sydney's Best Cafe by Timeout Magazine. It's a really simple, homy, feel good cafe, nothing showy or pretentious. It's the type of place where I could stay the whole afternoon reading a book, or writing a blog post. I went with my friends, and we just chilled. Which was just fantastic compared to the usual crazy chaotic fast pace that we are in.*

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Last of Israel (but I'll be back soon!)

I miss Israel!

Amazingly beautiful mosque! I LOVED the colors. It was so very luxurious

Bar Dolci Macarons

I've just finished uploading a squillion pairs of my shoes onto eBay* and so now I'm rewarding myself by letting myself skip all over my backlog onto something I actually ate just this morning.**

Hmmm. White box.

WOW! White box contains tasty macarons!!!***

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Steak & Sprouts

You see, I've got a couple of posts up my sleeve but like everything else on my plate these days, I'm at a loss for both actions and words.

  Have I not been eating enough brain food? Beats me. 

So I'm trying to compensate by posting these gorgeous step-by-step polaroid pictures. 

Recipe for the Brussels Sprouts is based on Momofuku.
Gotta love Momofuku.

For the Brussels Sprouts
Baby, baby, baby oh, BABY BRUSSELS SPROUTS.
Step 1: Rinse your sprouts.

Step 2: Chop the stem off and halve the sprouts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane – such a sad, beautiful place.

Poppies everywhere

Charlie & Co. Burgers, Westfield Sydney

Is change good? I reckon it is. Without change, there wouldn't be any spice in life. Yes, I agree that it's nice to have something stable, but how does life move forward if we just stick to one thing? Change is the only constant.

There's been a change of pace in my life recently. Cause now it's "study period", and I suddenly find myself having time on my hands to do things that I actually like/love. I get to go out and hang with friends, chow down a meal or two, or just have a nice cuppa coffee. I've been getting the ultimate busting gym sessions. Also, the appropriate amount of sleep. It's terrific- relaxing and heck of a good time altogether. But of course, that burden of studying still remains. 6 more days until my official freedom, and 8 until my vacation.

Charlie & Co. in Westfield
On the coldest day that Sydney has experienced so far during this year, my friends and I decided to go out. We didn't have any plans in particular, we just wanted a nice fun maybe lazy afternoon.After meeting at the Apple store and marvelling at the new iPad 2*, we decided to grab lunch at Charlie & Co. I was expecting grand things since the place is owned by Justin North. Justin North is the brilliant mind behind Plan B and their cheapo $10 Wagyu Beef Burger. Love it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fairy Bread

Yes, that is actually me at a lovely picnic years ago!
When I was young, and I went to some fantastic preschool, we'd have picnics with vegemite sandwiches, sausage rolls, mini pizzas, jello, marshmallows, and fairy bread.

Some people call in freckle bread, but freckle bread? Really? That just doesn't sound sooo nice, agree? Fairy bread sounds a gagillion times better. And it's a name that's obviously suiting for kids. But don't be fooled, fairy bread is not just for kids. It's for everybody. You'd be amazed how much my friends loved it. It wasn't the way it tasted, or the colorful sprinkles, it was more of the memories that came flashing back once I took a bite. I sound a bit dramatic now. Okay.

Dinner/Breakfast at the Ramada Hotel, Israel

Of all the hotels we stayed in, we stayed the longest at the Ramada Hotel. We ate buffet breakfasts and buffet dinners and it was all very fattening. Here was a typical Ramada dinner:

Awesome baby potatoes (like no other potatoes I've tasted – as I've said, there's something magical about Israel).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Pita Party

This was probably my favorite meal of the trip because it was so authentic. For ten dollars, you got to get a pita with either falafel or chicken schnitzel in it. You also got a drink of your choice, and salad galore!

Pita with falafel. I miss falafels already :(

Pita with schnitzel. I think it's necessary to mention that the pita was really chewy and warm and fresh and that the schnitzel was perfect juicy schnitzel-ness.

Lemon Curd Tart

I'm a sucker for lemons, lemons, lemons. I'd have anything with lemon in it. By anything, I don't really mean anything, you do know that, right? Duh.

So this is what Bourke Street Bakery's one looks like!
So, the first time I visited Bourke Street Bakery, I had one of them to take home with me. Paired with vanilla ice cream and some fresh strawberries, it was oh so delectable. Aside from the Ginger Brulee Tart, I knew I HAD to learn how to make the fabulous lemon curd tart. 

Yes, I used the recipe from Bourke Street Bakery! And bear with me, the recipe is a bit long.

My lemon curd tart.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chat Thai, Haymarket

Chat Thai on Campbell Street

View from the second floor.
Got to love high ceilings!
Well, if you've read the about Thai Dara, you'd know that I'm really starting to like Thai food. They've got fresh salads mostly hit by sour notes in the form of green mangoes, and on the other hand,  they've also got savoury rich thick curries which I'd love to have on a cold winter day.* There's such a great range of food, and I'm sure you're bound to like something even if it's just dessert. Chat Thai makes awesome ones!

Fresh Spring Rolls $10
Filled with smoked fish sausage, shredded poached chicken,
cucumbers and shallots wrapped in rice paper.
Dressed with a sweet tamarind sauce.
Fresh spring rolls are one of my favorite things. I never skip them whenever I'm in a Vietnamese restaurant. And they had it on the menu, I decided that it was only fitting to give it a try. The Thai version had a flavorful cured fish that imparted great smokiness, there was tofu**, and your usual vermicelli. The rice wrapper had a bite to it! Thank God it wasn't one of those flimsy ones- those are just annoying cause everything just starts popping out after your first bite.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thai Dara: Bangkok Street Food, Gilmore

That night, there was a lot of fuss that night about where we were eating, I felt like a hearty steak while my sisters argued that they wanted Japanese food, Omakase specifically. We couldn't, in any way, reach a decision, so I told my mum that it's best if she's the one who made the choice. She said she's heard of a small Thai restaurant in Gilmore which is rather pleasant and authentic. I, for one, was never a big fan of Thai food, but since I can't think of any place in particular where I would want to dine, I agreed.*

Dad with the lemongrass iced tea.
We all started off with some Lemongrass Iced Tea. It was pleasantly and thoroughly infused with lemongrass leaving just the slightest hum of tea. It was a bit sweet for my taste though.

Pad Thai, Pad Thai, Pad Thai!
Chloe loves Pad Thai.
The Pad Thai had perfectly cooked noodles. It was really nutty and you could obviously taste the hints of tamarind that ultimately gives the dish that depth of flavor. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hello, Jericho

I'm not going to pretend that I remember every single place we visited during the tour, because I certainly didn't! In lieu of educational descriptions, I will just entertain you with lovely pictures.

I do guarantee, though, that I remember the food really well. Here's what I had for breakfast the day we went to Jericho: scrambled eggs, baked cheesy potatoes, and more eggs baked in tomato sauce

And my bread plate. YUM. This is why I got fat.

And my cheese plate, with gorgeous peaches.

Chocolate Mousse

How do you get rid of your stress? I either go to the gym and run like a mad man or cook something totally sinful and appropriate. I'll admit I did both, but THIS came first. The whole idea of making a chocolate mousse came from watching Masterchef Australia. Yes, Masterchef!* One of the contestants cooked a dessert comprising a pannacotta and a chocolate mousse. The judges deemed the chocolate mousse was fabulous, and it was "sex on a plate". How appropriate.  My cousin and I were like OOOhhhh, mousse! And almost simultaneously, we decided to make mousse the next day.

After a drink too many [Why do I keep talking about drinks? I totally didn't have drinks!:)] We started making the chocolate mousse. It was easy easier than pie. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Breakfast, Masada, and Lunch

One of the things I've learned from life is that you gotta be a trooper. I think that the time in my life when this was really drilled into my head was when I visited Chloe in Sydney and she made me walk to the gym (in 17 degree weather) and exercise, and then made me walk elsewhere (at the speed of 8 km per hour) for a long, long, long, long time. My knees were screaming and so was I! Being friends with Chloe has really made me a stronger person, literally! Kidding. (Or only half-kidding).

Anyway, I managed to put all my endurance/trooper powers to good use during the Holy Land trip, because it required walking and climbing and waking up really early. (but don't take this the wrong way, because it was BEYOND WORTH IT – especially the breakfast).

So here's what I had for breakfast on the first day I was in Israel. Here we have eggs baked in cheese and tomato sauce, and cheesecake thing (yes, they had that at breakfast).

And here we have the most awesome omelet. I don't know if I only found it awesome because the line for it was so long or because it was really awesome. I'm guessing both factors contribute to its awesomeness! It had onions and cheese in it and was wonderfully fried. For such a normal thing (omelet), it really was good. That's what I meant when I said there was magic in Israel, because there really was. The bread was also TO DIE FOR. In fact, the bread was the best part of the breakfasts there. They had a whole selection of whole grain bread (and also white ones) and a couple of huge jars full of jam, nutella, honey... I was in heaven.

Finally, Proper Breakfast

Okay, GUESS!
This is my first proper breakfast after a hangover what felt like the longest week. It's been a one of meeting deadlines, handing in papers and projects, and presentations. I haven't gotten more sleep than 4-5 hours in a day as well, oh, and on the last day, I just had 2 hours of shuteye. I was practically a zombie yesterday.*

Today I woke up to a beautiful morning. The annoying screech of my alarm was nowhere to be heard, it was just peaceful with the occasional noise of a few cars humming by every now and then. I sat in bed for a while just reading, and reading. After a while, I got hungry, and decided to make myself a nice breakfast.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Falling in Love with Israel

It was love at first sight. 

It's pretty amazing how quickly things changed across the border from Egypt to Israel. It was like there was suddenly magic in the air!* It was just like finding my one true love – all it took was one stunning, heartbreaking smile, through which the light of a million and one suns shone!** Israel was so beautiful. It is almost my new favorite country.***

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Climb Up and Down Mount Sinai, and the Ensuing Breakfast

An integral part of our trip was the Mount Sinai climb. In the Bible, Mount Sinai's the place where Moses "met" God and received the Ten Commandments. The mountain we climbed may not have been the actual Mount Sinai (some theories suggest somewhere in Saudi Arabia, as opposed to the "Mount Sinai" we climbed in Egypt) but it was nonetheless a very AWESOME experience. (Egypt is so beautiful! Read about my pyramid experience here)

This is the view from the top. I think it is one of the moments I will remember for the rest of my life. It was just amazing to be trotting up a mountain on a camel and seeing the most beautiful sunrise. I mentally tape-recorded it!

And then we had to get off the camels and start walking up, because the steps became really steep. Bye, camels!

A man. On the mountain. Bow.

The PYRAMIDS in Person, and KFC (Egyptian Version)

I'm guessing that visiting the Pyramids is on everyone's bucket list! I henceforth invite all of you to live vicariously through my photos. Hoho.

One of the three pyramids and the Sphinx

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