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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

To do *

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed 
by the things that you didn't do 
than by the ones you did do. 
So throw off the bowlines. 
Sail away from the safe harbour. 
Catch the trade winds in your sails. 

Explore. Dream. Discover."

- Mark Twain

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Bar *

"Setting The Bar high,
it provides a meaningful purpose to work towards.
Not in the least for status, money, power or the like.
But rather, giving talent to reason.
I know the path is not going to be easy.
Yet I know it is going to be worth it."

From the remarks of Sir Owen Dixon on his swearing in as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia:

The Bar has traditionally been, over the centuries, one of the four original learned professions. It occupied that position in tradition because it formed part of the use and the services of the Crown in the administration of justice. But because it is the duty of the barrister to stand between the subject and the Crown, and between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, it is necessary that, while the Bar occupies an essential part in the administration of justice, the barrister should be completely independent and work entirely as an individual, drawing on his own resources of learning, ability and intelligence, and owing allegiance to none.

The work of solicitors in the administration of justice has the greatest possible importance, but their allegiance is perhaps more to their clients who have a more permanent or at all events a longer relation with them than the transitory relations between client and counsel when the full enthusiasm and force of the advocate are attached to the individual for a short space of time. I would like to say that from long experience on the Bench and a not much shorter experience at the Bar there is no more important contribution to the doing of justice than the elucidation of the facts and the ascertainment of what a case is really about, which is done before it comes to counsel's hands. Counsel, who brings his learning, ability, character and firmness of mind to the conduct of causes and maintains the very very high tradition of honour and independence of English advocacy, in my opinion makes a greater contribution to justice than the judge himself.

I think it is hardly useful to refer to the past except to explain the present. But my work at the Bar covered a period when I was younger and when perhaps according to the ordinary nature of man he derived greater pleasure and excitement from his activities. The activities at the Bar are greater than those on the Bench, and the responsibilities are no less.

21 April 1952 85 Commonwealth Law Reports XI-XII

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Regretfully none *

"Far from being suppressed, 
career regrets should hold a privileged place in one's emotional repertoire.
Being a powerful catalyst for change, 
it is a helpful emotion and can even be an inspiring one."
- Daniel Gulati, Harvard Business Review

You only live once?
False. You live everyday.
But you only die once.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Persuasion *

"What does persuasion mean- 
a firm belief, 
or the action of persuading someone to think something else?"
- Jane Austen

Imagine a time of accident, adventure, 
the making of new fortunes & alliances.
A woman of no importance manoeuvres in restricted circumstances,
but can she win in a regenerated society?

Magical peaches *

In Taoist teachings, the Queen Mother of the West had a magical peach tree that bears fruit every three thousand years. It was said that immortality shall be granted to those who eat them. 

To celebrate our family friend's 90th birthday, all guests were invited to share in this tradition. Rather than eating peaches, it has become customary to eat peach-shaped buns as a symbol of longevity. 

longevity peach buns
(steamed peach-shaped buns filled with lotus paste)

pink custard mochi & sesame cookies

Sky Phoenix
Shop 6001, Sydney Westfield
188 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9223 8822

Laduree *

Endless lines surround this petite green island, 
whether it be at the front ordering sweet delicacies to take home 
or waiting at the back to be seated for high tea. 

The Marie-Antoinette
delicious china teas mixed with essential oils of subtle citrus fruit, rose and jasmine flowers flavour, scattered with small pieces of dried fruits & honey

Les Macaroons
rose, pistachio, black currant violet, coffee
(signature sweets all the way from Paris 
which are actually frozen during their shipment to Sydney!)

R & I extremely content after our indulgent afternoon

Mum was pleasantly surprised to find these waiting for her when she arrived home!

Level 3, Sydney Westfield
100 Market Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9231 0491

La Rosa *

To ease into Friday night drinks we wandered upstairs into our first destination. The Strand Arcade welcomed us with its resounding sense of grandeur, Victorian tradition and golden glows. La Rosa features a purpose designed interior profiling new modernity as well as being an ecclesiastic Italianate space. Nino Zoccali has strategically positioned Pendolino on the opposite end of the floor, so now there is a catch 22: delicious italian v delicious italian?

egger ramer DOC - pinot bianco / alto adige
(lovely & floral with hints of pear on the nose, whilst the palate is broad with a balanced round character & nice acidity)
silvio grasso DOC - barbera d'alba / piemonte
(hints of cinnamon with abundant fruit perfume on the nose. The palate is somewhat savoury & juicy at the same time with a nice long dry finish)

salsicce montenuovo calabrese
100% finely ground cured pork sausage 
made with sangiovese red wine, capsicum puree & calabrian spices

great accompaniments from every angle:
calabrese had a great firm bite with layers of flavours to explore,
while the pickled vegetables & olives gave a sour contrast to the savoury & spice

celebrating Christmas in November!

La Rosa
Shop 133, Level 2 The Strand Arcade
193 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9223 1674

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mr Dduckbocki Miss Kkochi *

Enter the heart of K-Town in Sydney, or better known as Strathfield. Amongst the sea of spiciness is a tiny gem which you will find is literally a 'hole-in-the-wall'. The usual Korean street food snacks are arranged in a small window display including deep-fried hot dogs, an array of kimbap, japchae, skewers and so forth.

chilli rice stick
(rice noodles skewered then basted in a sweet spicy chili paste.
pan-fried to yield a crispy exterior & hot chewy interior)

honey sweet potatoes
(candied cubes have wonderfully sticky glaze, while
sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds gives nice nuttiness)

Mr Dduckbocki Miss Kkochi
10A The Boulevarde
Strathfield NSW 2135

Friday, November 2, 2012

Egged again *

So proud of my little brother who is not so little anymore.
Taller than me and well on his way to becoming a better chef than me too.
Being the doting older sister, I would usually cook him lunch on the weekends. 
Yet it seems I may need to retire prematurely and let him take over the kitchen!

soft boiled egg on a bed of baby spinach, chilli jam relish, 
sliced avocado & wholemeal toast

Sweet Potatoes *

A distant relative of the potato. 
Its flesh colour varies from shades of orange, golden yellow, white, purple & red.
Large, starchy, sweet-tasting and all-in-all a nutrition packed root vegetable.

Popular for the health conscious and dieters, 
alongside other 'superfoods' such as chicken breast, broccoli & bananas.
Easy to bake, in a little as 35 minutes, 
and ready to eat straight from the oven!

purple & orange sweet potatoes

Jacob's Creek *

When asked whether I prefer Red or White, my answer is usually "both!"

In terms of Reds, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz are on the top of my list due to pronounced black fruit notes of cherry and plum. For New World regions such as Australia, cabernet is often blended with shiraz to balance the harsh tannins in youthful wines. 

A light drink before boarding my flight back to SYD.

Jacob's Creek Shiraz Cabernet Vintage 2010

Crystal Seafood Restaurant *

Time for Yum Cha!

Casual family lunch where everyone can be seated around small round tables for boisterous conversation. Be prepared to be pushed and shoved during the weekends as many line up (in no particular order) with kids in tow. Trolleys are stacked high with bamboo steamers and demanding Asian ladies will be yelling at you from all directions in Chinese, even if you are obviously not Asian! Whenever a trolley approaches the table, it will surely grab your attention due to the myriad of choices on show. Amongst the steamed healthy options are deep fried snacks, roast meats and asian desserts.

steamed meatballs
(finely ground beef & coriander served on top of bean-curd skin. 
soft & chewy with a slight 'bounce' in each bite. 
drenched in worcestershire sauce)

phoenix claws
(chicken feet that is deep fried, boiled, marinated 
then steamed in a chilli & black bean sauce. 
Fluffy texture while also moist & tender.)

steamed chive & shrimp dumplings
(wrapped in thin translucent rice-flour skin)

pork & peanut dumplings
(minced pork, mushrooms, water chestnut, celery, chopped parsley & peanuts. 
skin is usually a bit thicker than other steamed dumplings.)

deep fried taro dumplings
(mashed taro stuffed with diced shiitake mushrooms, pork mince 
and deep-fried in crispy batter)

egg tarts + taro & turnip cakes
(turnip cake is made from mashed daikon radish, dried shrimp & pork sausage, 
which can be substituted for taro as desired.
And to finish off, flaky puff pastries with egg custard filling)

Crystal Seafood Restaurant
14 Churchill Avenue
Strathfield NSW 2135
+61 2 9763 7738

A Journey *

what is a journey. besides being a rhetorical question.

"A journey is not a trip. 

Not a vacation.
It's a process. 
A discovery.
It's a process of self-discovery.
A journey brings us face to face with ourselves.
A journey shows us not only the world, 

but how we fit in it. 
Does the person create the journey 
or does the journey create the person? 
The journey is life itself."

Where will life take you?

- Louis Vuitton

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hudsons Coffee *

Quick lunch before returning to Sydney.
Gourmet sandwiches on offer included the classic Turkey, Reuben & Ploughman. 
Coffee was surprisingly decent!

reuben sandwich
shaved silverside, dryslaw, lettuce, swiss cheese on toasted dark rye
(solid effort to make this classic)

Hudsons Coffee
Canberra Airport ACT 2609
+61 2 6262 8953

Up in the Air *

To keep occupied during the flight, one must sometimes resort to extreme measures. Since I didn't feel like eating, the next best thing was to visually eat by taking food photos!

sydney biscuit company breakfast box + black coffee

carrot & ginger muffin

mints & muesli bite
(mini mints were tres cute!)

mini water + pecorino cheese & green olive bites

spotted. a flying kangaroo!

Black by City Espresso *

"Featuring a 'light box' designed by architects from Building Studio.
With a slick fitout, smooth black finishes & timber cladding,
this project is a great example of clever design.
Not to mention an ergonomic layout that generates fantastic coffee!"

Spiro was headhunted by Qantas to run this new concept store, who in turn sought the services of Gina Di Brita from Numero Uno. Being a professional barista slash coffee coffee consultant, Gina designed an intense espresso blend providing strength for commuters to endure their upcoming flights.

My first pitt stop for the day before embarking on a short business trip to Canberra. I was pleasantly surprised to find a new cafe at the Qantas domestic terminal, which was almost like a lounge before the lounge!

soy latte + roast pumpkin, feta & spinach savoury muffin
(enjoyed the strong caffeine hit.
savoury muffin was superb & reminded me of a frittata)

cappuccino + espresso macaroon
(mum described the macaroon as a very hard biscuit, so enough said.
looks good but not very fresh)

Qantas Domestic Terminal
Sydney Airport
241 O'Riordan Street
Mascot NSW 2020
0407 911 546

Monday, October 29, 2012

Botanic Garden Restaurant *

"An enchanting picturesque venue
offering open-air dining in exquisite natural surrounds. 
Its original 19th Century facade is paired with
sleek modern interiors, wide wisteria-draped verandahs 
and spectacular leafy harbour views."

Ideal setting for a special work function since the restaurant offered an understated elegance in lush surrounds. Guess I didn't mind working on a Sunday for once! Taking a leisurely stroll in the Royal Botanic Garden was a quaint way to end a busy weekend. The menu displayed a fresh interpretation on modern Australian cuisine, matched with professional friendly service. Being the designated driver I did not drink at the Halloween party last night, so I welcomed this opportunity to enjoy a few glasses of wine!

sourdough bread, evo & dukkah
(dukkah is an Egyptian mix of nuts, seeds, herbs & spices blended finely. addictive and kept me guessing as to what was in the recipe!)

baby spinach, beetroot & goats cheese salad
(literally three ingredients tossed together.
could be enhanced by a walnut dressing or lemon juice & olive oil)

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yealands Estate
(exuberant fruity profile of gooseberries, green pear & asparagus)

duck confit
white bean & toulouse sausage cassoulet
(standard duck. white beans seemed from the can, sausage were diced & quite bland)

roast lamb rump
caponata, lemon cous cous, basil & olives

chocolate marquise
pistachio anglaise

orange & cardamom brulee
(pretty presentation reflecting the sunshine on a plate)

espresso panna cotta
frangelico syrup


blue cheese, grapes, lavosh and chutney
(chutney of cooked raisins complemented the blue cheese well)

Michelton 'blackwood park' botrytis Reisling
(spectacular when paired with my cheese platter)

Botanic Garden Restaurant
Mrs Macquarie Road
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 9241 2419