Wednesday, April 26, 2006


House hunting can be quite a stressful task especially when it’s your own. Everyone seems to have an opinion on where you should live, what you should get, how much to spend, city or suburbs, how much to pay for strata fees and because I’m Chinese there’s the ‘Feng Shui’ to consider.

Buying in Sydney is expensive! Even if you could afford a city apartment Strata fees will start at $1000 a quarter increasing every year. For the last few months we thought that we would buy in the City around Pyrmont. We’re young and we want convenience and to be close to work. But now it looks more likely that we’ll stay in the suburbs and we're probably looking to buy a 2-3 bedroom townhouse, a yard with grass, a cupboard that doesn’t double as a laundry and our own backyard where we can have a BBQ.

I think that I may have fallen for a place but our loan won’t be finalised till 2.5 weeks time (when my probation ends). Despite reports that the Housing market is still sluggish we know and can see that the market is very active! Chances are, the place we like will be sold by the time that we’re ready to offer.

On Wednesday Jacky had mapped out about 8 open for inspections that we would check out over the weekend. When Saturday came around 4 places had already been snapped up. I guess if it’s meant to be it will be, and if not then there is somewhere out there waiting for us to find it.

Monday, April 24, 2006


I wasn’t too sure whether I should post the pictures of Sugaroom because the photos really don’t do the restaurant and food any justice (I used my camera phone because I didn’t want to keep flashing people when it was pitch black around us). Nevertheless you can be the judge if you choose to go yourself.

I’ve been meaning try Sugaroom since last year when one of my managers suggested it, but for some reason every time I booked a table something would happen and I would have to cancel (this happened 6 times!!). Well on Friday I finally made it there and for me it was worth the wait.

Sugaroom is found just at the end of Harris St at Pyrmont right across the water, the area is quiet and the water views relaxing. We got there at 7pm and the sky was already dark, I don’t remember there being any lights besides the candles and gas heaters that give off a warm glow; the ambience was great! We chose to sit outside under the heater with a nice bottle of wine, but as the night got cooler this turned out to be a pretty bad idea (we suggest sitting inside unless you plan to wear a warm overcoat).
There is quite a good selection of entrees to choose from but we decided to just order 'Bread for the table'. I had just expected plain bread rolls but was pleasantly surprised with the mixture of olive bread, sourdough and soy and linseed that came out.

Prior to coming here we all had a look at the Menu online and had pretty much decided on our mains. However when we got there the waiter whipped out a black board with the specials for the day, the specials were actually more expensive ($28 as opposed to $23)but sounded so so delicious! We each chose a special.

Roasted duck cooked medium rare with gnocchi and cherry jus $28
Pan Fried barramumdi with green beans on a bed of mashed Cannelloni bean $28
(My descriptions sound a bit dodgey because I can't remember how they described it)

The steak =P $28

The sides: Mixed salad ($7) and hand cut potato chips with dipping sauce ($7)

Caramelised apple tarte tatin with vanilla bean ice cream $12
Baked rhubarb tart with a toffee crisp and ice cream $12
'Chocolate assiette' - A selection of chocolate desserts $12
The photo below amuses me because the waiter wanted to take the photo from that side so that we could get in the water views, we can all see it was well worth the effort.

Caroline and Jill I'm really really going to miss you when you guys move overseas, our catch up dinners is definitely something I always look forward to and I hope that one day you will come back. The wider world awaits you and I know that there are bigger and more exciting things in the pipelines. Here is to growing up....

Sugaroom restaurant bar lounge
Shop 2
1 Harris Street
PH: (02) 9571 5055

Saturday, April 22, 2006


As often as I eat out I'm not very good when it comes to picking the Chinese restaurants. Usually my parents will decide and do the ordering; I’m just happy to eat. The best thing is that they can always read the specials on the walls and pick dishes that don’t appear on the English version of the menu. I was very excited when my God Sister Barbara called me out for dinner at Zilver. I had heard about the place but wasn't too sure where it was.
The restaurant is located in the building opposite the Capital Theatre building (Harry's hotdog's side). Once you are there I'm sure that you'll recognise it, many of you will have been there for yum cha before Zilver took over (remember the $15 all you can eat yum cha? or the $30 all you can eat steamboat?).

I was shocked at the changes, they did a great job with the renovations. The place looked really classy and modern with the décor separating it from your usual Chinese restaurant. We spoke to the waiters in cantonese so they were quite good at recommending their 'special dishes'.

As with all Chinese restaurants you get things to nibble on before your meal, but instead of your usual peanuts and pickled carrot here you get sweet peanuts, salty peanuts and a dish of marinated cucumber.

Scallops steamed with shallots, ginger and soy (the scallops were huge)
Free range chicken with dipping salt

Pumpkin stuffed with a mixture of seafood in a satay sauce and baked

I really liked it here and will be bringing my parents here for sure.

Level 1, 477 Pitt Street,
Haymarket, Sydney
PH: (o2) 9211 2232

Friday, April 21, 2006

Living in a hole

Some times I really do wonder if I have been living in a hole, I say this because Jacky came home one day and said:
Jacky: "Did you know that there is a food court under Woolies in Town Hall??".
Me: "Oh you mean the Galleries Victoria one?"
Jacky: "No, No I mean directly under Woolworths"
Me: "You mean the one near the IGA and there's a Michel's?"
Jacky: "No under Woolies!"
Me: "There's no stairs to go down, how can there be??"
Jacky: "It's there! I'll show you"

I just wouldn't believe him, I mean I've lived in the City all my life went to Syd Uni and worked next to Woolies in Town Hall for over 5 years! How could I not know if there was a food court there?!!? So this week Jacky took me there for lunch to prove it.
To get there you enter Woolworths on George St, walk straight towards the other end of the store till you see this exit sign and walk through.

When you exit you will come out at a Japanese/Korean supermarket and in front of you, you will see stairs with a big arrow that says "Food Court".

Once you go down you will see a food court full of Asian dishes to choose from, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai you name it! What shocked me the most was that this food court was packed! Every other Asian person in Sydney was here, this reiterated the fact that I MUST have been living in a hole all these years!

Jacky had something Japanese (was really nice) whilst I settled for the beef noodle soup. Prices here are all at the $8 mark, though there seems to be $5 specials from 3pm to 5pm.

Angii I can't believe that I bumped into you here, of all places! see you at Dinner on Thursday.

Feeling Lucky

I stumbled on a ‘One Night only’ Mollini sale last night and managed to buy 2 pairs of shoes that I have been eyeing for forever for less than half the price! For those who might know what I am talking about, one pair is the Jimmy Choo knock offs by Mollini usually $179 which I got for $75! Yes $75!) The price went back up today and you just can’t wipe the smile off my face.

Funny enough, instead of discouraging me Jacky convinced me to buy a second pair I liked and then paid for them both (anniversary present 7 years and 10 months – thank you!). I do feel slightly guilty that I have managed to buy 4 pairs of heels in 3 days but looking at how pretty they are just makes me so happy (chances are, I’ll pack the new ones back in the box and wear my old ones because they are too nice to wear…stupid I know).

Went to Zilver last night with my God sister & Fiance – nice place! Will write about it later if I get the chance. Tonight Sugaroom I have high expectations lets hope that I’m not disappointed.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thanh Binh

Sunday 16/04/2006
It gets pretty expensive when you eat out all the time, worst when it's a public holiday. Places are either closed or there is a surcharge; solution - Cabramatta!

All the Thanh Binh's (King St Newtown, John St Cabramatta and Arthur St Cabramatta) up until recently was owned by the same person. But now she only looks after the one in Newtown so you may notice more changes to each of these restaurants in the near future.

I always go to the Arthur Street store, it’s been newly renovated and I’ve had good experiences with the food here. I can’t say that I am a big fan of their Pho or vermicelli salads but this place offers a wide selection (with their menu comprising of a mixture of Vietnamese and Chinese food). You are bound to find something that will make you come back for more (for me it’s their rice paper rolls – I can’t explain why but they just do it better than other places!). Below are a few more of my favourites.

Beef Cubes with tomato rice $10, Rice paper rolls with prawn and pork $8
Below is a picture of the rolls that you make yourself. You dip the hard rice paper sheets in the bowl of hot water (just enough to make it soft), you then add the filling i.e. salad, cucumber, pickled carrots, chilli, vermicelli and in my case sugar cane prawn. Roll it all up, dip into sauce and eat! It's absolutely delicious! and healthy too. I would have taken a picture of the finished roll but mine all looked pretty I was too busy eating.

Roll it yourself rice paper rolls with sugar cane prawn $14
Thanks for a fab day Jenny + Twins (you guys are possibly triplets!).

Thanh Binh
33 Arthur St Cabramatta
PH:(02) 9724 9633

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Not such a good idea...

I'm not sure if this Em-ilates thing is going to work. Today Myer had a shoe sale (buy 1 pair get 2nd pair 50% off) despite the discount I came back $160 poorer. I think I'm just going to join the gym.

In Our Prayers

Sarah just letting you know that we are thinking of you. Stay safe!


Em xxo

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Tasman's Oyster Bar & Steakhouse

Tonight about 30 of us ventured out to Tasman's Oyster Bar & Steakhouse located on the corner of William and Crown Street in East Sydney to celebrate Billy, Felix and Vi's Birthday. The place is modern and the diners looked dressed to impress (though it was a Saturday night and a long weekend). Inside, the brown wooden finish makes the room extremely stylish yet comfortable; the early signs looked positive and I was ready for a very nice meal.

Since we had such a large group we all went with the 2 course set menu for $48.00 per person. The entrees (1 dish between 4 people) would be shared amongst the group and each person could select a main from the menu. There was plenty of food and before the mains came out I was already quite full.

Oysters natural & kilpatrick
Devil's Calamari - Chilli salted Baby Calamari with a marinated cucumber salad

Garlic Prawns
Smithton Gnocchi - Home made potato Gnocchi, with fresh tomato sauce, tasmanian cheeses and pesto, nested in a cheese basket

Mussels cooked in their own juices, splashed with white wine, diced tomato and herbs
Mixed Green Leaf Salad-Mesclun salad mix with tomatoes, cucumber and a red wine viaigrette

Tasmanian Alantic Salmon Fillet grilled on Cannelloni bean topped with confit of fennel, artichoke and sundried tomato

Ocean Perch cooked in Boags beer batter with hand cut house chips, lemon and tartare sauce
Pork ribs basted in sauce and cooked to perfection on the char grill, served with chips or King Island double cream mash
Overall I really liked this restaurant, we did have a few issues with the waitress getting the orders wrong, forgetting to bring our wine and forgetting to give us bread rolls after 10 reminders. I guess she was new, and with us being such a big group I felt a little sorry for her. Jacky on the other hand wasn't 'wowed' by the food and felt that the gap between entrees and mains took wayyy too long.
I think this would be a great place to have dinner with a smaller group of friends. Although we didn't use it tonight there is also a 25% discount off the bill if you have an entertainment card. Jacky will need some convincing but I'm keen to come again.

A Big Happy Birthday to Billy, Felix & Vi!

Tasman's Oyster Bar & Steakhouse
118 Crown St
East Sydney
PH: 02 9368 0002
JY I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your cocktail party but make sure that you post some pics up!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Max Brenner

Thursday Night

Usually you would find us at the Max Brenner on Oxford St, but for a change (and more room) we headed off to Double Bay to celebrate Roula's Birthday. For those of you not familiar with Max Brenner it is a café dedicated to chocolate (desserts, drinks, cakes, waffles…you name it!) For chocolate lovers discovering this place can also be your worst nightmare because on your first visit you simply can’t decide what to pick!

Chocolate Dome with strawberries, Ice cream and melted chocolate
Chocolate Lick (warm melted chocolate with long lick stick)

Warm Belgium waffles served with melted choclate $4.50
Warm chocolate souffle with a melted chocolate heart $8 + extras (ice cream & Strawberries) $4

Chocolate Pizza with melted marshmallows and bananas $12.50
Warm chocolate fondue for two with fresh fruits, banana bread & marshmallows $15.50

Remember that sometimes less is more! So to avoid going home feeling really sick try share a few desserts amongst friends as opposed to eating a few desserts all by yourself! I tell you this from experience =P

P.S. Sorry Joel that I couldn't make it to your B'day drinks hope you had a good one!

Max Brenner

15 Knox Street
Double Bay NSW
Tel: (02) 9328 2555
Mon- Thur: 10:00am – 11:00pm
Fri & Sat: 10;00am - 12:00 Midnight
Sun: 9:00am – 11:00pm

Thursday, April 13, 2006

La Bora Pizzeria

You got to love Easter! it's that time of the year where you can stuff your face with chocolate for every minute of the day and it's ok because everyone else is doing it too. Back at my old job I wasn't so bad, I use to send out eggs to my clients but now I'm on the client side and we have people send us chocolates all day long. This is 2 of 4 Easter baskets that arrived at work today!

By lunch time I was already feeling pretty full and sick , so to be honest I couldn't give you an accurate account of what the food was like at this restaurant. At 1pm a few of us went to La Bora for a nice Italian lunch in the city (La Bora is one street up from Bar333 when heading from Circular Quay to Town Hall).

Spaghetti Marinara $21.90
Gnocchi with fresh prawns and pesto in a cream sauce $18.90

(I can't remember what these dishes were and their website is currently down so I can't check. I will update when it's back up again). Dee is family friends with the owners of this place so we were given the special treatment, I also had quite a few glasses of wine so to me everything seemed to judge this one yourself.

Happy Birthday Dee!!

La Bora Pizzeria
9a Barrack Street
PH: (02)92335296