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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

El Celler de Can Roca *

"R you ready?
Evoking the family name with three legs,
each represents one of the three Roca brothers.
It displays the warmth of the Catalan family dynamic 
all-pervasive through and through."

World's Best Restaurant rankings were unveiled a few hours ago with El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain, taking the coveted title for 2013. What constitutes "best" is left to the judgment of 900 trusted and well-travelled gourmets. Providing an annual snapshot of their culinary opinions and experiences, these international restaurant industry experts vote on the best places to eat around the globe. Though it can never be definitive, it is widely accepted as a credible indicator of palatable tastes.

This milestone is equivalent to the Oscars for movie buffs, or MTV Awards for music fanatics, in the culinary world. For me, I am still patiently awaiting the day when Osteria Francescana takes the crown. In the meantime, chef Massimo Bottura continues to be my inspiration...

Joan Roca as head chef - Jordi Roca as pastry chef
Josep Roca the sommelier

Of mind, logic and tradition *

From the archives, a random note I had written four years ago. Apart from realising how old I am (it has finally dawned on me- I am in my "mid-twenties"), it was fascinating to see my perspective of life at the age of 21.


"Theoretical underpinnings of great minds.
Irrespective of age, intelligence, race or gender
Everyone has something to offer...

A collaboration of writings
by great minds
is the starting point.
To search for knowledge and eventually you shall find

one’s strengths (and weaknesses) can be dictated by standards
a product of social norms,
or in the alternative,
created by the wisdom of past experiences.

Whether it be by
the logic of reasoning,
the fuel of motivation,
or the innocence of tradition."

- 5 August 2009

Just a minute *

As we grow up,
we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down...
probably will.
You will have your heart broken
probably more than once
and it's harder every time.
You'll break hearts too,
so remember how it felt when yours was broken.
You'll fight with your best friend.
You'll blame a new love for things an old one did.
You'll cry because time is passing too fast
and you'll eventually lose someone you love.
So take too many pictures,
laugh too much,
and love like you have never been hurt
because every sixty seconds you spend upset
is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.
Don’t be afraid that your life will end, 
be afraid that it will never begin.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Say cheese *

K & I finally discovered a cheesecake (almost) comparable to the infamous baked ricotta cake from Pasticceria Papa. The extra olive oil twist, to what would otherwise be an ordinary lemon sorbet, was quite extraordinary. Small fluffy balls of cheesecake encompassed by a moat of lemon curd. A mix of chocolate and original biscuit crumbs finished off the portrait.

torta al mascarpone
mascarpone cheesecake served with lemon curd, 
biscuits crumb and olive oil lemon sorbet

and something more cheesier is our identical smiles!

GPO Cheese and Wine Room
1 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 9229 7701

Friday, April 26, 2013

Grey areas in life *

dear friend, 
many thanks for bringing some colour in my life.
as you know, 
reasons in life are not always black and white.
a kindred mind 
is hard to find 
and even harder to keep...

"Wishing you a rainbow amongst all this grey 
and hope we may cross paths again one day!"

Reinhart & Rogoff *

On debt, growth and the austerity. The latest academic kerfuffle in the world centres on the research, credentials and integrity of two Harvard professors, Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. They have been furiously attacked for the publication of their academic paper entitled "Growth in a Time of Debt" in May 2010. You may be thinking, but why? Joining the myriad of debates arising in the industrialised world about the best way to recover from the Great Recession, a simple spreadsheet coding error caused a major stir.

As humans, we all make errors. Some more serious than others. Our attention should not be diverted from the fact that the efforts of Reinhart & Rogoff (and numerous other academics who cannot be acknowledged for present purposes due to space limitations) contribute to social science research. Rather than criticise them for errors, we should understand and be grateful for their contribution. 

Everyone will learn from mistakes. And this is another example of one we can all learn from. The irony is, our society appears to be experiencing a Great Recession in terms of tolerance for human error and respect for another's view, whether it be correct or not.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

P S *

P. ancakes
S. callops

closing remark commonly used
but what does this acronym actually stand for?
Derived from the Latin expression post scriptum,
to mean 'written after'
often added hastily and incidentally to the main work.
For me, it embodies a shortcut to food!

pancakes stack with maple syrup & whipped cream

seared scallops, grilled king prawns, tomato salsa on wasabi mash

Cafe Bello
100 Burwood Road
Burwood NSW 2134
+ 61 2 9745 1545

Sistine Chapel ceiling *

At the commission of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo c.1508-1512 painted this extraordinary masterpiece which represents the cornerstone of High Renaissance Art. It cloaks the mystique & secrecy of Papal Conclaves.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bambini *

It is simple to fall in love... with the glamours of life
to wine, dine & indulge in all things fine.
But why is so difficult to find someone - 
that one person, who you can share all these experiences with.
And savour little luxuries, together.
Maybe it's just me, or
maybe they are just around the corner and
I will encounter them soon, hopefully...

Ceretto 'Bernardina' Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC
Piedmont, ITA

Bambini Trust
185 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
+ 61 9262 7200

Maenam *

Newest lao/thai eatery joining the ranks - amongst the myriad
of eateries to call Strathfield home.
Note of distinction is definitely the fried ice cream, 
with a peculiar twist to what one generally expects.
= I heart!

fried ice cream
(dense vanilla bean ice cream wrapped in a wafer-thin layer of crispy sponge cake, drizzled with chocolate sauce)

Maenam Lao & Thai
31 The Boulevarde
Strathfield NSW 2135
+ 61 2 9746 5882

Fantastical floral *

Zimmermann's collection of fantastical floral dresses brings new meaning to the term flower power.

Frozen yoghurt *

Given the recent craze of frozen yoghurt stores to sweep sweet SydneyI feel obliged to write 'something' about this phenomenon. A half-hearted approach is never my intention when it comes to posting about food. But there really isn't much to comment, other than the fact it is a healthier alternative to ice-cream- a creamy cold dessert perfect for the chilly onset of Winter. 

Mind you, it costs a fortune for what it is. K & I paid almost $10 for this tiny cup from Yoghurt World! (My preference is still the mini green tea from Noggi, and Moochi comes a close second).

taro, green tea, mixed berries & original frozen yoghurt
topped with granola and passionfruit jus

Yoghurt World
Level 5, Sydney Westfield
188 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Where is jumbo? *

Sometimes bigger is better,
unless of course, 
it isn't available ~

(Ps. thanks J for letting me steal your pic!)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

woac *

fashionable art is a
work of artistic craftsmanship
worthy of intellectual property rights.

Circles of family life *

Seated around our round table, 
the lazy-susan displays the magic conjured by my parents. 

The story goes: 
they immerse themselves in the kitchen, 
then two hours later emerge with 
a feast to share with the family. 

It still amazes me to this day how in love my parents are - 
with food, and moreso, with each other. 

Aside: As a matter of interest, how many circles can you identify in this photo?

steamed ocean trout, boneless chicken with shallots & ginger, chicken & shiitake mushrooms in oyster sauce, luffa gourd & beef, king prawns, 
braised fire duck with coriander

Music, to forget or remember *

"Music is a mysterious thing.
Sometimes it makes people remember
things they do not expect. Many
thoughts, feelings, memories... things
almost forgotten... Regardless of 
whether the listener desires to
remember or not."

- Citan Uzuki

GPO Cheese & Wine Room *

"the best news for fromage fanatics
since the invention of the cow"
- smh 06'

Escape to the dungeons underneath Martin Place,
where you are held captive for top-secret knowledge about this city.
Guilty until proven innocent,
that is, for the select few who have discovered the treasure
of superb food & wine, in the depths of the usual so-so.
As punishment for your crimes, be served:
blue cheese fondue and two glasses of Ciao Vino Sangiovese IGT, Tuscany, Italy 09'

the fragrant & creamy blue fondue
this blue fondue brings together two timeless cheeses,
the delicate yet full flavour of Italian Gorgonzola Dolce
and the creaminess of French Secret de Scey

GPO Cheese and Wine Room
1 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 9229 7701

Mosaic on a plate *

Wildly exuberant mosaic plated before my eyes,
for pixels of decorative art forming a garden 
of surrounds where my light lunch lies.

Call me crazy, but isn't this colourful sight
too delicate to disturb?

turkey, camembert, alfalfa and cranberry sauce on toasted think-cut brown bread

Cafe Marco
144 Burwood Road
Burwood NSW 2134
+61 2 9747 6035

Affogato Aficionado *

I am a firm believer in giving food a second chance, or three shots as the case may be. Some places will make you come back again and again, whether it be for the food, ambience, service, price or simply the memories of delightful dining experiences in the past. Other places will just be the same story over, and over again. Oliveto is our local Italian, albeit quasi-fine dining with an arguably unjustified price tag for what is on offer. Nevertheless, we were pleasantly surprised to find they have revamped some elements of their menu. So I present to you, the new and improved Affogato. May I add, I would come back again just to enjoy this dolci, perfect on a Winter's night!

Three shots: Vanilla bean gelato, espresso and nutty amaretto.
plus paper-thin crisp almond biscotti

Oliveto Ristorante & Bar
Brays Bay Park Reserve
443 Concord Road
Rhodes NSW 2138
+61 2 8765 0006

The Westin - Mad Hatter's Tea Party *

"The Mad Hatter is having afternoon tea.
We welcome you to share in his glee.
A curious menu, under our clock chime
From noon to 6 daily, so do be on time."

One of the most memorable parts of Alice's adventure in wonderland. Perhaps the expression "Mad as a Hatter" stems from the tendency of professional Hatters in the 18th and 19th centuries who develop dementia from exposure to mercury during the production of felt. These unfortunate workers were perceived at the time as insane. And if you're wondering what the 10/6 on the Mad Hatter's Hat means, it is thought to be a price tag for ten shillings sixpence. If only high tea cost the same amount in modern times!

To celebrate my mother's birthday, we indulged in her favourite past time - scones! Of course, the lovely surrounds in The Westin and slightly mad theme made our tea party that much more memorable.

Happy birthday mum!

chocolate mudcake and blueberry macaroon

Freshly baked scones, homemade strawberry/raspberry conserves & cream

The Westin
No. 1 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 8223 1111

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lady strikes confusion *

The No.111 Rule of a Lady:
"A wise girl kisses, but doesn't love.
Listens, but doesn't believe.
And leaves, before she is left."
- Marilyn Monroe

The best feeling in the world is knowing that you actually 
mean something 
to someone.

Everyone says love hurts but that is untrue.
Loneliness hurts.
Rejection hurts.
Losing someone hurts.
Envy hurts.
Everyone gets these things confused with love.

But in reality,
is the only thing in this world
that covers up all the pain and
makes someone feel whole again.

Nothing in the room *

The Paradox of our Age

We have bigger houses but smaller families.
More conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees, but less sense.
More knowledge, but less judgment.
More experts, but more problems.
More medicines, but less healthiness.
We've been all the way to the moon and back
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.
We built more computers to hold more information 
to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.
We have become long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods but slow digestion.
Tall man but short character.
Steep profits but shallow relationships.

It's a time when there is much in the window
but nothing in the room.


May I ask one question Dalai Lama:

Breakfast at Tiffany's, no more *

Welcome to the age of un-innocence.

No one has breakfast at Tiffany's and
no one has Affairs to Remember.
Instead we have breakfast at 0600 and
see guys we try to forget as quickly as possible.
Self protection and closing the case are paramount.
Cupid has flown the Co-op (bookshop).

How the hell did we get into this mess.

There are thousands,
maybe tens of thousands 
of women like this in the city.
We all known them and we agree they are great.
They travel, they pay taxes.
They spend $1,100 on a pair of Manolos -
yet they're alone.
It's like the Riddle of the Sphinx.

Some day your prince will come.
Mine took a wrong turn, got lost
and is too stubborn to ask for directions...

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Rehearsal of the Ballet Onstage *

I am a place with immense substance and story,
where everyone can achieve their glory.
A masquerade shall be my term,
where you can be anyone
from Athena, Bottura, Jobs, Condezz
to Denning LJ before we adjourn.

life is a Stage *

The Rehearsal of the Ballet Onstage
Edgar Degas (1834-1917)