Sunday, April 29, 2007

ANZAC Day Bake off

When I was in primary school there was nothing I loved more than a bake sale. I taught myself how to make chocolate crackles, honey joys and toffees from an early age so that I could contribute something, but I always admired the Mum's who made cupcakes, slices and ANZAC cookies.
I'm part of the social committee at work and we're always after new ways (besides throwing drinks) to get people to interact with each other and to raise money for charity while we are at it. We decided that a ANZAC cookie bake off would be a perfect way to raise money for Legacy.
Setting up: We had 10 entrants, I also ordered lamingtons, sausage rolls and pastries for the bake off morning tea. You can't see the balloons in the photos but they took forever to blow up! It's time to invest in a pump.

A table was set up for the 3 judges...

This wasn't a big thing so we were suprised at how many people showed up, I was also really happy with the number of people that entered the actual bake off.

The winning cookie

I was too slow to grab an actual cookie (plus there were too many to pick from) so I ended up finishing the left over cookie from the judges table and 100% agree with their decision. The texture, flavour and look was just right!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Chinese Noodle Restaurant + Eminence

I don’t think many people know this but around 14 years ago this restaurant use to be located at Kings Cross. Back then there weren’t as many Asian noodle houses around so we would go out of our way to eat their food. I don’t think that business was too good and the original owner sold the business to his friend who brought the restaurant out to the city.

Back in the day this little restaurant was a 2 person show; the owner would do all the cooking and spend every spare moment making hand made noodles by the window. His wife stood outside taking orders, clearing dishes and collecting money.

Fast forward 14 years the reputation of this place has exploded – SMH, Good Food Guide, you name it! The owner no longer works in the kitchen (you can see him standing at the door in the photo above). Instead he now employs 5 people in the kitchen and a further 4 on the floor (all in the same tiny space).

I’d have to say that the quality of food isn't as good as it use to be, but when the lines outside is a few metres long that is to be expected.

Pan fried dumplings with pork & chives $8.50

Xingjing fried hand made noodles with Lamb (my favourite dish here) $8.50, Jellyfish salad

This place is a great place for a cheap eat with dishes no more than $10. Be warned that the restaurant is squashy (you may even find yourself sharing a table with strangers) however, this is only a small price to pay for great food.

Chinese Noodle Restaurant
Shop TG7, Prince Centre
8 Quay Street Haymarket
Ph: 02 9281 9051

After dinner Jacky and I rushed off to Town Hall to watch Eminence - A night in Fantasia. Eminence is basically a full orchestra that attempts to change people's perceptions of symphonic music by playing music from popular anime (i.e. Japanese Cartoons) and video games. This is also an attempt to encourage young people to move away from their computers and watch music being played live.

To be honest I was a bit skeptical at first, I've never been to a concert like this and I was worried that I would get really bored. Jacky on the other hand was extremely excited especially when he found out that music from his beloved World of War Craft was to be performed.

In all the years that I have lived in Sydney I've never been inside the Town Hall, upon entering I was astounded by it's beauty. We sat right in the middle and had a great view of the performers.

Composers and guest musicians from Japan was also introduced to the audience throughout the night. Their speeches were very cute!

I thought that the concert was wonderful and enjoyed every moment. I have a new found appreciation for all the talented musicians and their instruments and secretly wish that I knew how to play something too. My favourite piece of the night had to be Super Mario brothers, it brought back so many memories!

I just wanted to say a big thank you to Bonnie and Friends for the free tickets, it was very generous of you all especially for such a small favour - Thank you!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ripples Cafe

Viv thought it'd be a nice idea to catch up after work for dinner, it was also a chance to show her friend Emily (who's over from HK) around Sydney. So after work on Friday a few of us caught the train to Milson's point for dinner at Ripples Cafe.

Trish, Emily, Emily, Viv, Jee


Garlic bread with a tomato fondue $8.5
natural oysters with ponzu dressing $3.2 ea

The garlic bread was really different, as opposed to having crushed garlic throughout the bread caramelised whole garlic pieces was baked into the top leaving a rather sweet taste. We all agreed that the tomato fondue was nice but we would have preferred a good butter instead.

szechuan tuna and soba noodle salad $29

pan seared john dory on crushed kipflers, saffron pernod sauce $29
pan seared kingfish, sweet pea risotto cake, lemon butter sauce $29
The mains were lovely, the sauces complimented the dishes well and the crispy texture of the sweet pea risotto cake deserves an extra thumbs up. The portions were a decent size so side dishes were not necessary.
Chris's famous chocolate and honeycomb cheesecake, fairy floss $12
coconut, lime and lemongrass creme brulee 12

The fairy floss on the cheese cake was a great idea, the white stringy fluffy texture reminded us of dragon bearded candy. I was a little disappointed with the brulee, the texture was perfect but the lemongrass flavour was really strong and overpowered the dessert. Having said that if you are a fan of lemongrass then this the perfect dessert for you.
We did come here expecting a fabulous view, however in the dark there isn't much to see. We definitely recommend this place for a lunch, the day time view of the water would be amazing!

After dinner we said goodbye to Trish & Jee and the three of us walked to the wharf to catch the ferry back to Circular Quay. We stopped outside Luna Park and Viv thought that it'd be a good idea to try a few jumping shots, 4 attempts later (and absolutely laughing our heads off) Viv finally turned to me and said "You're not very good at this are you =P". It felt so good to act like an absolute idiot, we're never too old to have a bit of fun.

Viv & Emily showing me how it's done.

We waited for over 45 minutes and to our disappointment the ferry never showed! We ended up catching the Train back to Circular Quay and stopped for a few drinks at Opera Bar. At 11:00-11:30? I was ready to call it a night and said goodbye to the girls as they headed over to Darling Harbour.

Ripples Café
Olympic Drive
Milsons Point NSW 2061
p: 02 9929 7722

Friday, April 20, 2007

Something to entertain you

There’s a weirdo who keeps leaving nasty comments on my blog. It’s really quite entertaining so I thought that I would share it with you all. The funniest thing to this, is that this person comments as different people to appear as though they have heaps of support. They tend to hide behind (Anon, Pete from Perth and Anon2) I know it’s the same person because the ip address from the different comments is all the same. I can also see that this person spends an awful lot of time on my blog visiting different posts and looking through my albums and webshots. They spent over 1 hour here just in these last 2 days, a little strange for someone who dislikes what I write so much.

It all began when I wrote a post about my mother handing down some jewellery for my wedding; that post can be found here:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Special":

Wow you must be so rich and successful. So very rich and successful. I bow down to how good you are at being good. Honestly you are the most excellent person in the whole wide world.
You are so very obviously high class. Wow the ability to fine dine everywhere!!!
Such a modest person as well!! Not in any way concieted or obsessed with ones own image. Truely a well balanced individual.
We should establish a cult of pickles perks to workship your greatness!

Posted by Anonymous to PiCkLeS PeRks at Thu Mar 29, 12:33:00 PM EST

Maybe they can start my cult when they learn to spell conceited, truly and worship. I was actually quite curious as to how someone comes to the conclusion that one is trying to show off because they enjoy posting about food and is part of a food blogging community??

Sarah got a bit annoyed and posted this as a response:
Sarah said...
anon...I am generally not inclined to put people down, but F*** you are pathetic.

If a mother handing down a pretty bracelet demeans u in any way, than u truly are a low class freak who sadly has nothing to look forward to in life.

Ur contempt (clearly evident in your choice of words) shows with little doubt jealousy about a life very far from ur own disadvantaged one.

If you don't understand the idea of what it is to "blog" and tell of ur experiences, etc, then clearly stay away from this technology that you know so little about.

For someone who is usually so quiet she sure has fire! I’m glad Sarah is my maid of honour, I can count on her to keep vendors in shape if they ever step out of line.
Then yesterday Anon returned posing as 'Pete from Perth', he left this comment in support of Anon (which was really them self to begin with).

Pete from Perth has left a new comment on your post "Special":
(Claps to anonymous) I agree with you 100% dude! Clearly she's in love with herself. I feel sorry for the bastard who marries her. He must be filthy rich to accomodate her lifestyle. Fucking poor bastard. Sarah...STFU. You place yourself open to comments when you create blogs. If you dont want any comments at all then don't post. Or is it only the nasty ones you don't like? You like to have praises so you can love yourself more?

Ouch! that wasn't very nice and seriously no pity needed. You know the best thing though? No matter what this person thinks, at the end of the day it's my blog and I can delete comments as I choose...whatcha gonna do?
They also left this comment on Di's birthday post:

Pete from Perth has left a new comment on your post "Di's 22nd @ Harbour Kitchen & Bar":
Your blogs are very childish and WTF with all the pictures of food man? Havent you eaten food before or something? GROW UP and put naked pictures in.
So this guy is a weirdo and a perve.....gross!
Today Anonymous visited again this time posing as Anonymous2, they left this message in support of themselves.

Anonymous 2 has left a new comment on your post "Special":
Way to go Anonymous! You've got everything covered there. Cheers!Sarah, everyone has an opinion, so don't get angry just because its not a nice one. Just don't post blogs if you want any comments at all.

My first thought when I saw this was 'this person is so sad!' They clearly have no life if they spend lunch times reading a blog they dislike and leaving comments as anonymous (or hiding behind bogus names). Really my blog isn't all that interesting, even I can think of better things to do!

On that note I'm off to dinner & drinks with Viv and the girls, have a great weekend.

Roula & Georges 25th

What: Roula & George's 25th
Where: Zenobia's Leichhardt
When: Saturday 14 April 2007, 7:30pm - 12:00am

It’s so easy to stick to old habits and dine at the same places rather than try something new, the girls and I are at Leichhardt quite often but you’ll always find us at the same two places. When Roula told us that her birthday dinner was at Zenobia’s I was really looking forward to trying somewhere new.

The restaurant is separated into 2 distinct areas, the inside section is cosy and decorated with bright cushions, swords and lanterns. As we had over 40 people our group sat in the outside area at the back. By pure chance the table behind us was a big group who went to KMH (our brother school) so it was a chance for a few people to catch up with old friends and old formal dates.

Due to the size of our group we went with the $40 banquet, there are times when banquet menus are not really worth the money, but this clearly isn't the case here. It wasn't so much that the servings were big, there was just a lot of it.

hummus and babaghanoush, vine leaves, fried eggplant
(the eggplant was fabulous I'm craving for it as I type)

Tabouli, mixed salad, spicy sausage with chilli and garlic
there's a name for the second salad (I highly recommend it) but I didn't catch what Anderee called it

During the meal music suddenly burst from the speakers and out came a belly dancer, I've seen many belly dancers but never a male! It was really interesting to watch. A few people from our table got pulled up to dance, I didn't want to go up so I would avoid all eye contact every time he came past.
Pastry with a mince meat filling, potatoes, falafel

We were soon entertained by another female belly dancer

Chicken & Lamb skewers, dessert was a plate of Turkish delight and baklava

Overall I really enjoyed my night here, I thought the food was excellent and there was plenty to go around. Andree and Roula knew people who worked there so our table was well looked after.

There was also another reason we were all asked to dinner, Roula & Andree wanted to announce that they are expecting a baby. Roula told us she wore a belt to hide her bulge...oh pleaseeee! there isn't an ounce of 'bulge' on you!

Everyone is super excited (there were a few bets on when this was going to happen) . Big congratulations to you both!

102 Norton Street
Ph: 02 9560 4131