Friday, 30 December 2011

t'was a good year

On the eve of 2012 (well okay I'm a day ahead), as I reflect on the year 2011, lots of  goals are left unaccomplished. I can use all the excuses under the sun...."had a tough year", "lots of bad luck" so on and so forth, but truth be told, none is good enough.

I received this "Goals" book from Kikki.K for Christmas and it is by far, although not materialistic,  my favourite present. I'm going to use this to keep tab of all my aspirations and goals and what I need to do in order to achieve them!

The book is divided into segments:
- Personal Development
- Family and Relationships
- Finance and Career
- Health and fitness
- "Dare to dream" i.e Go to Mars

I need to add two more - Wear the same things twice in photos (who cares) and eat less - quality will remain but definitely need to cut down on "quantity"!

No excuse will be good enough in 2012, bring it on!

What are some of your goals for 2012?

Happy New Year lovelies xo

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

joyeux Noël

A few snapshots from the Christmas weekend - eve and day.

The feast was held at my sister's pad and the menu included (as pictured above):
  • 2.5kg of prawns - all nicely peeled by yours truly
  • Turkey, ham and prosciutto platter
  • Scallops wrapped in a layer of prosciutto and glazed by ginger + shallots soy sauce
  • My sticky date and banana pudding
Please note, not the entire menu is pictured above as they were your typical salad, chicken, skewers etc - not as interesting. 

I guess the highlight for me was that the sticky date and banana pudding turned out "visually" better than I expected considering I had to improvise by using a normal eating bowl for the shape outline! The taste? Well, let's just say everyone had a clean plate =p

Normally I'd wear an old red dress on Christmas day and just throw on a really casual outfit since we're usually indoors in the comfort of family. This year, we went to mass on Christmas eve so wore something a little better  but not too dressed up.

Merry Christmas readers xo

Christmas Eve Wearing; Zara orange shirt, Zara white shorts, tan brogues and tan tote both from a Korean store ,Asos cuff and pop up shop necklace.
Christmas Day Wearing; green sportsgirl singlet, yellow satchel bag, Mimco bow necklace, random chain-store skirt bought just for Christmas day, Asos sandals

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

easy, breezy.

Armory Wharf Cafe - Newington, Sydney

Food captured above:
  1. Garlic prawns served in a ceramic pot with casa panotte
  2. Pork and pistachio terrine served w/ Heidi Gruyere (Tas), cornichons and panotte bread
  3. Chorizo, diced octopus & olives baked and served in a ceramic pot with lemon & parsley
  4. Seasonal Sharing Plate with Italian casa panotte bread - mini saffron arancini balls, Baked ricotta blended with olives & grapes, Caprese salad – tomato, basil and boconcini 
  5. Confit duck Maryland w/ star anise and blood orange sauce served with roasted sweet potato salad
  6. Pan fried (seared) john dory fillet w/ fennel, orange and walnut salad
One can only imagine the kind of joy and excitement I had when I first discovered this cafe - a gem amongst the rough edges. Located within a short distance from the Silverwater Juvenile Detention Centre, how can there possibly be a family-friendly scenic cafe- right?


Armory Wharf Cafe is not only family-friendly, it caters to the need of all demographics.

Situated next to a busy children's park and by the water (it's on the wharf - duh!), this is the perfect location for breakfast and brunch/ lunch for the family, couples, friends....or whatever floats your boat- even by yourself (and your best friend ipad or maybe a book).

Quick Rating Guide:
Food - Breakfast 7/10, lunch 5/10 >>>> it's not the best food, but it's decent and edible.
I had the duck and every time I see the words "confit duck and orange" in the same sentence, I imagine the famous orange marinated duck at Bills. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as good.
Service - 6/10 >>>> the waiting time can be ridiculous, even with a booking
Location - 8/10
Ambience - 8/10
Parking - since it's located next to a busy park, parking can take up to 30mins
Downfall - it's weather permitted, I can't imagine the place to shine on a dull rainy day
Advice - book in advance on weekends
Advantages - a funky unique eatery closer to home, you won't have to trek all that way to Surry Hills or Darlinghurst just to have a decent brunch. This is also a great venue for capturing photos ;)

Short review/post because currently experiencing writer's block, heck I don't even know if I'm making any sense. I'm too busy thinking about the Christmas menu for Sunday and salivating at the thought of pan-fried scallops mmmmmm


Wearing; Red Asos skirt with belt, Topshop bow suspenders stockings, Wedges and tote from a Korean store in Chinatown, Third Millennium silk blouse, Fendi bracelet, Pop Up Shop necklace, Fox tail faux fur key chain

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

sunday affair.

I'm not going to do a full review - I'm going to make this short and sweet considering my last post resembled an essay!!! - see I'm blabbing on already!

Had lunch with the girls on Sunday at the Gazebo Wine Gardens - Elizabeth Bay, the perfect venue for a girls' day out to celebrate our Christmas lunch and exchange KK gifts! 

I know I'm a little bias with the Winery/Gazebo family but I cannot think of a better venue than this for a girls lunch. It has the food, the decor, the right drinks - white sangria all the way! The price is spot on, although we did manage to spend $70+ (excl tips) and that might be considered a little dear for "lunch", however, I wouldn't consider our appetite "normal" - 4 starters, 4 mains and 4 desserts + 3 jugs of sangria and pimms between 4 girls??? That's a bargain! So if your appetite is a lot smaller than ours then you'll be fine! ;)

The sun came out to play for a few hours so we were all dressed for Summer. Regardless of the horrendous weather, I won't be defeated and will continue to dress as if it's 30 degrees for the next 3 months!


ps- I left the SLR at home so excuse the poor quality pictures!
(Wearing; Mustard Showpony dress, Sass & Bide purple bag, River Island booties, Asos hat and a few Tiffany & Co bracelets)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

a restaurant without a menu.

wearing; Showpony red dress, Jeffrey Campbell Zinger wedges, Louis Vuitton pochette clutch, Fendi Cuff

Just when you thought you've seen it all, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

To be honest, all the rip off Australian tourist destinations and coastal holiday homes are not really renowned for their "good food". Often, you'll find yourself paying $20 for a piece of toast and fried egg - worse than what you are capable of making at home.

However, I was wrong.

There is hope (marginally).

During our weekend away in Port Stephens, my awesome boyfriend took me to a surprise birthday dinner. As a foodie, I'd normally like to take on the role as the decision-maker when it comes to deciding where to eat. However, he kept it as a surprise and was rather excited about the entire concept of me not knowing.

Upon arrival, I was a tad surprised by the setting. Ritual Restaurant is located in a shopping plaza complex, sort of like a corner store. I looked at my boyfriend and gave him the "what the hell is this, I thought you're taking me somewhere fancy and fine dining" look (ha ha)!

At exactly 6:30pm, the hostess greeted us by the door and led us inside to the -ummm- lobby (?) amongst other diners for the night. We were then treated to Fairy Floss...wait for it, ROSEMARY AND GARLIC Fairy Floss! It was amazing. Next, we were treated to Ritual's own version of "Vegemite" on toast. What they did here was went against all odds and took on two of the most - yet conventional favourites and made it their own!

After all the formalities, we were led inside to be seated. To my surprise - the restaurant was smaller than anticipated and we were seated on a communal table amongst 2 other couples (son + mother and 2 best friends).

The first thing you'll notice upon entering would be the all "weird" wall features - "is that a giant cheese grater"??? 

Crispy Artichoke Shell to be filled with Artichoke Paste
As pictured above, the entire experience was extremely interactive allowing guests to interact and bond with one another by encourage discussions..."hmmmmm wonder what this is"?

Next, we were introduced to "tasting spoons". A plate consisted of four tasting spoons were presented to us - 2 for each couple. 

Now, as the post title suggests, we did not know what to expect, it's not the conventional "look at the menu and decide what to order" kind of restaurant. At Ritual, your taste buds decides. Based on which taste you preferred out of the two tasting spoons, the entree will reflect this taste. The same deal went on for main and dessert as well.

Ragged mountain ranges of smoked eel tapioca chips with goat and tomato jam roulades,
goats cheese and greenery of chervil; tomato and cocoa sauce river sprinkled with dehydrated
tomato soil, clear tomato gel, choko, potato and savoury tomato jam stack that is topped with
slices of smoked eel.
Duo of wasabi tempura kingfish and mandarin tempura all on anchovy and wakame sand
topped with a beer coral; scattered are discs of pickled heirloom radish and pickled fennel,
on top of the fennel is squid ink coated kingfish loin and oysters preserved two-ways with
crispy lotus root. The dish is finished with honey smoked and cured rings of kingfish
holding smoked herring roe, salmon pearls and wasabi flying fish caviar on a bed of ginger
and yuzu sauce.
to clean your palette before the mains ; Strawberry Scent + Celery Seed Rice Crackers
Roulade of Macleay Valley Rabbit (Kempsey NSW) and salted Nagamie Cumquat, blow
torched with cumquat and whisky marmalade, cumquat and whisky sauce as the sun over
the sage tzatziki plains, scattered barley and Sebago rösti.
The warm dark soil is represented by organic lentils and mushroom paté. The large tree is
represented by beetroot marinated salt bush lamb backstrap on a beetroot and fetta dip
with foliage of rocket potato crisps and spinach leaves. The smaller tree is a dehydrated
beetroot crumbed, mushroom paté filled, saltbush lamb cutlet with leaves of spinach and
golden beetroot chips. The trees are decked with pickled heirloom beetroot orchids.
Red wine and balsamic liqueur lollipop, balsamic fig eucalypt meringue pie, millefeuille
with balsamic crème fraiche centre and dehydrated fig leaves, fig leaf marshmallow rolled
in fig leaf sherbet and balsamic tile, and then the cone filled with balsamic ice-cream, fig
jam and fig leaf nitro balls.

They say a picture paints a thousand words....I'd say, get yourself there and experience this one crazy unique ride for yourself! No pictures nor words can amount to the quirkiness of Ritual.

I leave you with the final surprise; yes! HA HA! It IS what it looks like...don't get too excited, it's tobacco free...just fruity air ;)

Monday, 14 November 2011

sunshine and lollipops.

Okay, so I've referenced my birthday in a few of my previous posts: All Aboard

Finally, last Saturday, on a glorious sunny day, I had my birthday boat trip with some of my favourite people.

Here, are a few snapshots from the day - the highlight was obviously the amazing cake created by Thu McKay from Cakes 2 Cupcakes!!! I was curious one day and upon my curiosity (stalking) on facebook, I came across a fan page for Cakes 2 Cupcakes. Now, as mentioned in all previous posts, I am dead set a savoury lover, nonetheless, I was intrigued by the amazing cupcakes creations. I've seen friends and others post photos of baking adventures and whatnot, however, I've never seen such a creative AND innovative take on cupcakes before! I sent Thu a picture of some red wedges and asked her whether it'll be possible to have these instead of the heels she'd normally create as they are "more me" and voila, she delivered the goods :)

I'd highly recommend anyone who is thinking of ordering a cake for their next big event (engagement, birthdays, christening, weddings etc) to contact Cakes 2 Cupcakes or at least check out her fan page on facebook! She is not only creative, she craves challenges so will cater to any personal requests!!!

a giant strawberry cupcake surrounded by  yummy red velvet mini cupcakes
The personalised red wedges!!!

each mini cupcakes featured either a Chanel bag, a dress or shoes...all very me ;)

with some beautiful friends on a beautiful day out in Sydney x
we had BBQ onboard and all!
wearing; Asos orange kimono/cape/kaftan thing with Mink Pink black slip worn as a dress, gold chains, Adidas watch and Marais USA Gladiator from Solestruck
with my special man, thanks for everything!!! x
ps- This is only part 1...I celebrate throughout November ;) Check out next post for part 2 xo


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