Monday, February 26, 2007

Dong Ba

My Dad works overseas but comes back home for 2 weeks every year for Chinese New Year. When he's here there's always 3 things that he wants to eat 1) Laksa 2) pho from Pho An 3) seafood from the fish markets.
Unfortunately Pho An always closes for 3 weeks during the CNY holidays (and we keep forgetting this!) so when we arrived at Bankstown on Sunday we had to look for an alternative. We would normally head straight to Pasteur but Mum wanted to try somewhere new. We noticed that Dong Ba looked really busy and thought that we would give it a go.

On entering the restaurant we were greeted by the enthusiastic waiter who tried to recommend dishes to try. He boasted that the spicy beef noodle soup was their speciality dish and 'very very nice' - with his big smile and excitement we were sold. It could purely be a matter of personal taste but we all thought that the spicy beef noodle soup was pretty bad. The taste of the soup reminded me of a Continental brand of Thai spicy soup that I once bought but with 10 x the MSG and a dash on washing detergent. I was also not a fan of the slices of processed chicken? pork? that was in the noodle. This was a first because I don't remember the last time that I couldn't finish a meal because I didn't like it.

The waiter would pace around our table looking really concerned that we hadn't touched our food and because we didn't want to disappoint him we just told him it was 'too spicy' (when this was clearly not the problem).

Spicy beef noodle soup $7.00 with sprouts and mixed greens

Jacky ordered the 'pork rib with rice $7.50' and said that this dish was ok. The prices here are very cheap and there are a lot of dishes to choose from. If i were to come here again I would probably stick with a rice dish.

Dong Ba
PH: 02 9708 0327

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Boyz II Men & KCI & JoJo @ Enmore

*Warning* I'm just back from the concert and on an absolute high so the next post will read like it's written by a teeny bopper.

We Went to the last Boyz II Men concert (it feels like yesterday can you believe that was '05??) so we knew exactly how good this one would be but the added bonus was that KCI & JoJo were coming out with them this time. Originally they were only doing one show and these tickets sold out in 15 minutes! (they added another 3 shows as a result).

The standing area was sealed off into sections, we paid for tickets to be at the very front of the stage. It was money well spent! (Thank you Joel for lining up).

The Support Acts

The first support act was a guy called Mike Champion (he was actually alright he had a bit of the Usher thing going on), second was some girl called Natasha (I can't say I'm a fan) and then there was some random American girl who danced around and sang in a white bra top.

At 8:00pm the lights went dim and the crowd cheered as KCI & JoJo came on stage.

I didn't get to go to their concert in high school so this was me really making up for lost time. They were absolutely fantastic!!

At one stage KCI jumped onto a security guard's shoulders and they took him in a circle through the audience. He came so close I could almost touch him!
JoJo drank from a water bottle and threw it into the audience....guess what? I caught it!! I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it, but it was very exciting when it happened. They sang for a full hour before they left the stage.

At 9:30pm the moment everyone had been waiting for........(that's the crowd behind us)

"Boyz II Men are back A-gain..."
Look how close to the stage we got - smack bang in the middle too, the crowd was also really good and it wasn't squashy like some other concerts that we've been to.

Shawn thanked us for the 15 years of support and for being the group that bought the tickets for what was originally their first show. He asked us to sing along to some of their songs and I watched as Nathan mouthed the words 'Wow' as he watched the crowd. It must be pretty amazing watching people from half way across the world sing to your songs.

They mixed up the night with some new songs from their new album and some old favourites (Bended knee, Water runs dry, Song for Mama, 4 Seasons of loneliness, I'll make love to you and End of the Road to list a few) .

It was a fabulous night and I'm really glad I went, the photos from 2005's concert is here and the photos from tonight is here if anyone is interested.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Be careful what you wish for

This time last year I had just started my new job and things were really slow. I told Jacky that I wished I had more to do because I wasn’t comfortable with doing so little. I should have kept my mouth shut because my workload has somehow quadrupled. It’s not all bad, I’ve been busy but I enjoy what I do and it’s taught me to work more efficiently so that I can do more in less time. My mid review last year went really well and they are now training me up to succession plan me into a generalist HR Advisor role (which is excellent for my career and the break that I have been working all these years for).

It’s also been great having Sarah back in the country, I run all my stupid ideas past her (and it’s a bonus she lives just around the corner). A lot has happened in the last 8 weeks but when I get home the last thing that I want to do is sit in front of the computer. My dad is still in the country for another week so I have been spending whatever free time I have with my parents catching up with old family friends.

I’m off to a concert tonight so I will leave you with some photos of a small cocktail party we threw recently. It's scary I actually dream about food in my sleep.

canapes filled with a tuna dip, feta and finished with a drop of cranberry.
Marinated chicken wings glazed with a Thai coconut dressing.

meatballs and vegetarian spring rolls (carrots & vermicelli)

Sushi platter, chicken skewers with a satay dipping sauce.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Random stuff

Small Luxuries
I'm loving the big electric wok that Sarah's family got me for house warming, I can steam all 8 mantou's at once and it fits a whole large chicken (for when you make the Chinese white chicken).


Creme Brulee @ Sarah's

If only we had stopped there.......

no at 9:30pm we (as in Sarah Rodna and I) continued to each eat a slice of butter cake with peanut butter and chocolate frosting. The recipe called for half a kilo of butter!

Making the creme brulee left Sarah with 8 egg whites so she whipped up a pavlova and we ate that too.

After consuming all that sugar we were ready to start bouncing off the walls, we washed everything down with a glass of black tea infused with a stick of cinnamon and fresh mint. We chatted the night away till 1am the next morning - good times.


Dad's Back for Chinese New Year

My Dad is back in the country for 2 weeks and the last few days has been full of eating and more eating! Yesterday we started with yum cha in the morning followed by a family dinner last night and another tonight.

I also did well in the red pockets department (and I haven't even collected from everyone yet), though this is the second last year before I have to start giving them out myself!



The 10 weeks went by super quick.

Highlights: welcome breakfast, James bond, Trivia night, lunches, filming, lawn bowls, opening the bar to shots (and being introduced to the jager bomb).

Thank you! They were beautiful!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinese New Year doesn't actually start till February 18th and continues for another 7 days after, however the celebrations have begun early in Sydney. I work every Sunday so before work I got Jacky to drop me off at Chinatown so I could catch the New Year parade.
I couldn't resist buying a few Chinese buns as I passed the bakery so my hands were too greasy for me to take photos of the parade as the floats passed. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people came out for the parade (especially with showers forecast) instead Sussex and George Street became a river of people.

I bumped into these 2 men carrying little dogs....awww, glad to see them getting into the spirit of things. (Jacky can we get a dog pleaseeee?)
My last stop before work was Belmore Park to see what goodies were on offer, there were a lot of cute decorations but VERY expensive. These Chinese Lions were $79 each.

I love fresh flowers but my Mum thinks that I should save money and buy a plant instead. I'm not sure if these good fortune trees had quite the look that I was going for. balls on a stick, dim sim on a stick, satay chicken on a stick....who knew one could gain so much pleasure from eating off a stick. *Sigh*.... this makes me miss Hong Kong but then I remember how I gained 4kgs in 3weeks the last time I was there (Jacky 10kgs) and I don't feel so bad after all.

After work I caught up with 3 old work friends for dinner at BBQ king followed by ice cream at the French Riveria. I adore these guys, they just get me in so many ways and are full of advice (and gossip) every time we meet up.