FOOD is fashion . FASHION is food . a VICTIM of fashionable food*

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

To SH, with Love*

After spending the past few weeks catching up with friends and family, the time has come to say farewell- for now. Thank you to everyone for taking time out of your busy schedules to catch up and help me with my move to SH! Especially all the well wishes, travel advice, scary stories, hilarious blonde moments, and restaurant recommendations. Please let me know if you come Asia so we can meet up to go on eating adventures together!

Finally, I am unsure whether I will be able to access my blog in SH at all.
In the meantime, please keep safe and remember:

"Stay true to yourself. 
Indulge in gastrol√Ętrie
Fashion a sense of style. 
And everything else ~ 
will simply make you Smile!*"

Love Always,


"An informal style of Japanese izakaya dining,
with emphasis on joinery and comfort illuminated by subtle lighting.
Whether it be from the kitchen, sushi counter or robata grill,
dishes are designed to be shared and served steadily through the evening."

I have been intending to try Toko with M for a while, so tonight was a nice opportunity to catch up on the latest happenings and drama in our lives. After remaining undecided on what to select, we opted for the nine course Tasting Menu. While the portions were relatively small, it was just the perfect amount to leave our appetites room to indulge in the desserts

Sake No Miso Tarutaru
Salmon Tartare, Wasabi Miso Dressing
(Sesame Crisps were light and crispy, while the salmon tartare was smooth and refreshing.)

Crispy Tempura Squid, Soy Chilli Broth
(Thoroughly enjoyed the bite-sized pieces!)

Seared Beef, Pickled Onions, Mizuna, Garlic Chips

Daily Section of Sashimi
Fresh Salmon and Tuna Sashimi

Toko Signature Nigiri
Chef's Selection of Scallop and Beef Nigiri
(Interesting concept to wrap the scallop nigiri with a thin slice of winter melon.)

Robata Grilled Scallop, Sweet Pickled Apple, Jalapeno Garlic
(Extremely flavoursome morsels.)

Zucchini, Wafu Sauce, Sesame

Marinated Lamb Cutlets, Chilli Miso, Pickled Eggplant
(Lamb was succulent and tender, although the pickled eggplant was a bit too sour.)

Chef's Selection of Desserts
Chocolate Fondant, Chocolate Ice Cream, Pear Sorbet and Fresh Fruit
(Pear sorbet was quite refreshing, but the chocolate ice cream was not rich enough. Simply adored the chocolate fondant, which encased a warm liquid centre of hazelnut praline!)

~ ~ ~
490 Crown Street, Surry Hills
(02) 9357 6100
~ ~ ~

Dark Chocolate Lovers Heaven*

"In the beginning, the Lord created chocolate
and he saw that it was good.
Then he separated the light from the dark
and it was better!"

Studies have shown that dark chocolate may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. It embodies the highest percentage of cocoa solids and is packed with natural antioxidants. I have this theory that chocolate makes one happier by boosting the metabolism for weight loss and slows down the aging process. It may not be true, but I do I dare take the chance? Finally, I must admit that it has crossed my mind to give up on chocolate, but then again, I am no quitter!

Arriving home after a day of running last minute errands in preparation for SH, I discover a box on my bed from V (Thank you!!!). When I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised to find it filled with an assortment of my favourite dark chocolates!*

Dark Chocolate Heaven
Bon Bon Almonds Dark 60% Slow Roasted
Bon Bon Coffee Beans Dark Slow Roasted
Haigh's Dark Chocolate Rocky Road
Haigh's Dark Chocolate Speckles
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Noir
Ferrero Rocher

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mancini's Ristoronte Italiano*

"Eric Mancini, founder since 1992, was born in Naples.
He strives to bring an authentic, homemade style cooking
fresh pizza bases and sauces made daily on premises."

Once upon a time in Naples, a pizza was born: circa 1830. Alexandre Dumas noted that historically pizza was food for the humble people. For much of the 20th Century, many Chinese believed that pizza was an evolution of Chinese green onion pancake, brought back to Italy by Marco Polo. Can you believe that the price of an entire pizza in 1905 was 5 cents?! Since many couldn't afford the cost of a whole pizza pie, they could instead say how much they could pay, and were served a slice for that amount.

My local italian is one of my favourite ristoronte italiano, see earlier ravings on Mancini's. Food is reasonably priced, staff are always friendly and there is an extensive menu for a casual dining experience.

Rocket Salad
Rocket, Roasted Pumpkin, Pinenuts, Shaved Parmesan with Balsamic dressing
(Great starter of fresh greens with a strong parmesan aroma.)

Spicy Peri Peri Woodfired Pizza
Chicken Breast Fillet with Herbs & Spices, Roasted Capsicum, Bocconcini, Caramelised Onions with Peri Peri Sauce & Aioli
(My favourite pizza freshly baked in a traditional woodfire oven located on the premises. Sometimes too many choices of pizza variations may appear daunting. Luckily our staff recommended the Spicy Peri Peri for tonight. Spices were quite mild so it wasn't too hot, and as usual, the pizza was perfect!)

Fettuccini Sunset
Sundried Tomatoes, Garlic & Pine Nuts in a Pink Creamy Sauce
(I adore Mancini's signature pink creamy sauce, which is not too creamy nor overwhelming on the palette. In other words, you can eat more!)

Homemade Tiramisu
(Layers of soft sponge cake are drenched in Kahlua and complements perfectly with the light Mascarpone. Just how mother would make it- if she was Italian!)

~ ~ ~
21 Burwood Road, Belfield
(02) 9742 5945
~ ~ ~

Sunday, August 21, 2011

V's SH Farewell Mini Cupcakes*

My bestfriend since Year 6. We have experienced all stages of life together for over a decade. Thank you for always being there for me in the best and worst of times over the years. Although I will be in Shanghai, I know we will always keep in touch and continue our friendship for many more decades to come.

Because of you ~

I Love to Smile *

Family SH Farewell Dinner*

My whole family gathered together for dinner before I leave for Shanghai. As per usual, parents were bustling in the kitchen cooking up a storm while the rest of us prepared our appetites- ready for a feast!*

Chicken and Mushroom

Chilli Black Bean Mussels

Mar Por Tofu

Soya King Prawns

Dragon-Style Black Bean Eel

Steamed Murray Cod with Ginger and Shallots
(Freshly fished by our cousins from Walgett!)

Braised Duck and Lotus Root

Early Mornings*

Insomnia has some benefits after all. Strolling around the house aimlessly after waking up at 5am, I managed to do two loads of laundry and make breakfast for dad. Plated just in time for him to return from his 7am daily morning jog!

Atlantic Smoked Salmon Wrap
Smoked Salmon, Onions, Sweet Chilli and Cheddar Cheese melted on Lebanese Bread

Pizza Caffe - UQ Union*

"University of Queensland
Apart from being one of the leading educational institutions in Brisbane,
it is also home to delicious woodfired pizza!"

Enjoy the A - Z of authentic Italian Pizza with an unique array of ingredients. What's more, there are indicators for Vegans and level of hotness for the more weary. While enjoying a slice of gourmet pizza under the sun, diners may be intrigued by the quirky pizza names on the surrounding billboards. My top pick is Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow- dedicating every day throughout the four seasons to food!

Half n' Half Pizza
If you cannot decide between your two favourite toppings, opt for both!

Roasted Chicken, Baby Spinach, Ricotta and Grilled Capsicum

Marinated Mushrooms, Parsley, Parmigiano and Garlic

Mimi's Shanghainese Cooking*

"Food Philosophy
Eat to the heart's content,
Drink to quench thirst,
and most importantly...
Cook to share the love."

My itinerary during my week in Brisbane was simple: "Eat and drink by day, and cook by night!" A big thank you to Mimi (Q's mom) who was a great mentor in tutoring us the basics of Shanghainese cooking, as well as teaching us other simple asian dishes. 

Dduk bokki
Korean Chilli Rice Cake, Onions and Fish Cake

Baked Shallot Buns

Won Tons
Fresh De-shelled Prawns, Pork Mince and Mixed Chinese Vegetables

Chives and Scrambled Eggs

Almond Cookies

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing
(Q's sister recently started cooking and made chocolate cupcakes. She even decorated each one so beautifully with illustrations too!)

MOS Burger*

"To stand tall and firm like a Mountain
To have a heart that is broad and deep as the Ocean
To have passion like the Sun that never burns out.
Making people happy through food!"

Being a successful Japanese chain with thousands of stores across Asia, Brisbane is home to the first MOS Burger store opened its doors in Australia on April 2011. Technically it is fast food, yet good service and their food being freshly made to order will mean a slight delay to receive your order. Regardless, the wait is definitely worthwhile!

My first encounter with MOS Burger was in Tokyo last year, where I instantly fell in love with the Chicken Teriyaki Burger. With intentions of sampling the entire menu eventually, I succeeded in trying a few more items from the menu during several visits at their Brisbane store with Q.

Okonomiyaki Rice Burger

Beef Yakiniku Rice Burger

Wagyu Burger

MOS Spicy Cheeseburger

~ ~ ~
MOS Burger
Shop 34, Sunnybank Plaza
Mains Road, Sunnybank, Brisbane
(07) 3345 4567
~ ~ ~