To be fair, 2008 hasn’t been an agreeable year for me. It was a year full of distress, anguish and disappointments. Had to jump through heaps of unnecessary hoops. Had to overcome quite a few traumatizing events for both me and le garçon.
Let’s recap some of the ups and downs on my blog in 2008:
- I met & talk to Rove Mcmanus. Never felt so dumbfounded ever in my life. Ever.
- I became vegetarian for 4 months. (mess with the idea of being vegan for awhile too.) Lost 5kg and kept it off throughout the rest of the year.
- Cashmere Mafia came and left. Picked up Lipstick Jungle & Gossip Girl and never looked back.
- Sold some junk @ Camberwell Market and then proceed to spend it all on lunch afterwards.
- Officially started one of our many afternoon affairs to come.
- Wrote the bitch a letter that I should have written long time ago.
- Tried this makeup remover, swear by it and will never change to another,
- Did my eye laser surgery and Belle broke her leg around the same time. It was a very miserable time for us.
- Rat infestation anyone?
- Became obsessive with Shaiya.
- Read the most awesome book. You should read it too.
- Burnt my leg and permanently scarred my leg.
- Burnt my body with this stupid cream.
- A bird flew into my window and killed itself.
- Flew a plane.
- Saw Zoe Foster at her book signing.
- Tried BB cream and loved it.
- Compiled a beauty list.
- Started the worst restaurant in Melbourne list.
Overall, it has been a long, stalling year. Despite everything, I am happy tough times are over. I learnt a lot during difficult times and is grateful for the experiences/things I have in life.
Places to go:
BerkelouW Books – A very cozy bookshop complete with a cafe (2nd level). They sell a very impressive line of book, including 2nd hands (they buy books as well) & a rare antiquarian books/collections section.
I saw some framed up fairy book selling for over $1000 because it was from the 1800s. Crazy huh? I also saw a very old and battered rare bible collection. I wonder if there were hundreds of year old as well.
Via Alley – If quirky is your thing you must visit Via Alley. They sell the limited edition of Blackbird fly.
My picks: 2009 SHIFT Calendar, Wish Come True figurines (the pill looking one) & the cake jeweleries (direct from Japan, I’ve been told).
Kinokuniya @ The Galleries – A heaven for bookworm like me. I also got my international magazine fix and picked up a few Chinese books/recipes. They sell very good stationary and accessories for laptop. There are things for everyone, plenty of manga, art books, Chinese novels, Japanese craft, etc if there are your cup of tea.
Places you should check out:
- Oxford St (Glenmore Rd intersection & Woollahra) for Aussie designer shopping heaven. I finally got to visit the Willow shop, Ksubi had a sale for nothing over $50, Benefit brow bar, Zimmerman, Josh Goot, Collete Dinningan, Akira, Fleurwood, A2B etc.
- The Strand Arcade
- Castlereagh & Elizabeth Streets,
- Regent Place (keep an eye to this place; wait for it to fully open all their stores),
- Fringe Market @ Fringe Bar, Paddington (every Saturday) for the vintage lovers.
- No.1 Martin Place.
- DFS Galleria (near The Rocks) – Designer Heaven.
Places I did not like: Market City (cheap), Paddy Market (scares me), Chinatown (boring!), Star City (overpriced, tiny, boring), Chatswood (limited parking spot), Darling Harbour – Harbourside (Atypical).
Places I want to visit next time:
- Lindt Cafe
- Hightea @ The Tea Room, QVB
- Dine at Tetsuya’s, The Boathouse, Aria & The Deck
- Watch a symphony @ Opera House
- Sashimi @ Fish Market
- Breakfast @ Bills
- Sit on a ferry
- Visit Sydney Aquarium
- Learn Surfing @ Manly
- Iceberg Club @ Bondi
- Do the Bondi to Bronte walk
- Bike tour @ Manly
- Visit Palm Beach
While it was hard to dine/eat alone at restaurants especially during dinner time; nevertheless, I treated myself to some of the best joints I found in town.
My hotel was pretty close to this sushi bar. It was so convenient and filling. I revisited this place at least 4-5 times during my 3 week stay. I always do sushi take away and they always give 10% off for take away. How awesome?
2) Pepper Lunch
Their concept was to cook your own but do not be fooled by the idea because all you really do is stir the food in the sizzling pot. Simple as. They also serve salad for only $2 in a relatively big bowl.
The red velvet cupcake on the left was definitely my favorite. The banana cupcake, molten choc & strawberry swirl che were worth mentioning as well because they were all so fresh and tasty! The maxi cupcakes scared the hell out of me though. I think the maxi cupcake is fit for one massive breakup. *wink*
This cafe was originated from Taiwan. They sell the most salivating cake slices in just the right portion. Perfect for dessert! I told you I was treating myself right in Sydney. (Ps, stress induced cravings!) From left to right: Chocolate napoleon, Mango moouse & Italian tiramisu.
They were having 50% off beverage with every sliced cake purchase. Perfect for hot summery weather. Their mango smoothie tasted really refreshing with chunks of mango bits in it.
5) Kobe Jones
I know we have one in Melbourne too but I never got the chance to try it out. After all, we don’t regard Docklands (Melbourne) as a place to go to for dinner. King Street Wharf (Sydney) on the other hand is such a beautiful and lively place. Something docklands should considering picking up.
Overall, it was a good dining experience, the vibe was good, very busy too because we were there on a weekend before Christmas. The service was friendly and prompt. The only drawback was perhaps the bill arrived even before we asked for it.
Le garçon and me are planning to go check out their Alaskan crab and their 2 person meal sometime soon.
6) Sushi Choo
Located at the Ivy, this restaurant was a little overpriced. However, that does not mean the food were bad though. The sushi were fresh, has a good sake list and the atmosphere were very romantic.
We had the snapper white soy (recommended), sashimi pizza (highly recommended), scallop ume (yum!), gold single lotus nigiri ikura (OMG!), sashimi kimchi (delicious!) and many plates of fresh sushi.
Lychee Rose Martini will top the meal up to a perfect evening.
Overall, I highly recommend all the food here.
You can read more about Sushi Choo here.
7) QV Bar Cafe
They were very generous with the banana, ice cream and whipped cream. While it wasn’t anything fancy or special; I thoroughly enjoyed the environment and they do whip up a pretty mean cup of hot chocolate too.
8) Hugo’s Manly
On the weekend, a good friend drove me over Sydney Harbour Bridge and we went to Manly. It was such a beautiful place. Manly reminded me of Queensland heaps. Voted as the best pizza restaurant in Australia 2008, how can I not check it out right? (Thanks Kat for the tip off!)
The list of pizza made it so difficult to choose just one. I am so going back to try the Aubergine pizza, Mushroom pizza and the Ham pizza.
This garlic pizza bread with sea salt, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil & buffalo mozzarella entree blew my mind away. I loved it. In fact, I am craving for some right now. Perfect crust and the flavor literally exploded in my mouth.
The waitress told us this pizza won quite a few awards. I know pork belly sounds fattening and impossible to be a topping on top of a pizza but I assure you, I could not taste no pork belly that I envisioned it to be instead very thinly sliced roast meat that is so savoury and delicious!
This one was rather average. Perhaps I am not a big fan of meatballs and there were a tad too much tomatoes to my liking. Parmesan was yummy though.
Hugo’s Manly also have quite an impressive list of seafood for starter and main. I saw a few seafood platters/dishes that looked very inviting will definitely check it out the next time I go.
Here are some other joints I recommend:
Starbar – Really cheap augus rump. Bar food.
Pretzel World – American dog! Swiss Cheese Pretze & European Garlic Pretzel; sinful yet yummy!
Spuds N Crepes – OMG, French crepe was so creamy and delicous. I LOVE THIS !!!!
Hunter Connection Food Court – Near Martin Place, this food court sell super cheap food. 3 rice paper roll for $3. There’s this Korean shop that sells very good Bi Bim Bap as well. Crazy cheap food in this food court.
P/S: I wanted to check out Breakfast at Bills but the queue was super long and I had not table booking. Ricotta hotcakes I’ll be back!
I won’t be cooking up a storm for Christmas this year. Strangely though, I felt a little weird for not cooking turkey, ham and the lot. Without my immediate family around for the 5th time in a row; I guess I will have to get use to celebrating festive seasons without family members around.
In times like these, we should totally take the opportunity and take a short holiday break or hit the spa. Only problem is Ryan & family is coming tomorrow to visit Melbourne. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to be tour guide during Christmas.
For the time being:
Love from family & friends, checked.
If I am not back by tomorrow, Merry Christmas and stay safe people.
Few weeks ago, Wally Lamb released a new book call “The Hour I First Believe”. I am so stoked about it and cannot put it down since I first got it. His latest novel is somewhat connected with his previous masterpiece “I Know This Much Is True” which makes the novel even more interesting. I can’t wait to saviour and finish it at the same time.
Also, I passed the Google GAP exam. What a huge relief!
Had my brows tinted from Benefit, Paddington yesterday.
Have trouble locating a pet shop in Sydney. Why is everything online these days?
Fell in love with the red velvet cupcakes from The Cupcake Bakeries.
Experienced the worst rainfall since I first stepped into Ozland.
Foxtel Classic is the bomb.
Suffered brain hemorrhage from infomation overload.
Watched Big Bang Theory and liked it.
Had lunch in a park. First.time.ever.
Ate about 35029846 bottles of milk custards.
Innocently walked into a bookshop and came out horrified. 3 words. The.Bookshop.Darlinghurst.
Stumbled upon the Fringe Market and literally refused to leave.
Love, love love, Via Alley.
Cakes overload from 85c.
Pepper Lunch, Pepper Lunch, Pepper Lunch !!
And I have yet to visit the Fish Market & Opera House. Typical of me I know.
Greetings from a swanky internet cafe no less,
While I am slaving my brain cells and life away from 9 to 5 weekdays; I am still doing the tourisy thing no less. I worked out to have roughly 7 days off to juggle in between preparing for exams, assignments, presentations, touring and meeting up with friends.
I am having a blast here. Sushi is cheap as.
They have Pepper Lunch here!!!