Thursday, June 28, 2007


So my friend Joel was googling hot pot and came across this review that I did of Shancheng HotPot King. He later came across this site and look, they stole my photo! =P it even has my Dad's fingers in the shot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Anniversary dinner @ Aria

It's been a while since we've celebrated our anniversary somewhere really nice. Astral was lovely but thanks to Sophia's Christmas gift we had a reason to finally try the 7 course tasting menu at Aria in Circular Quay.

At $150 per person we had high expectations and we were not disappointed. We were greeted warmly at the door and lead to our table, the room was dimly lit enhancing the view of the Opera house and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Once seated the staff wished us a 'Happy Anniversary!' which was a really nice touch. We giggled at all the cutlery in front of us - it sure beats the usual pair of chopsticks!

For starters we were given a complimentary celery soup and a fresh soy and linseed sourdough bread roll (if only all bread tasted this way!). The butter that accompanied the roll was absolutely delicious (light but so full of flavour) I think I finally understand what it means to pay more for a really nice butter (I feel a visit to the growers market coming up). We did have to politely decline when offered another roll so that we didn't spoil our appetite.

Pacific oyster with mignonette dressing

If you look closely you can see that the lemon has been carefully wrapped up so that the seeds don't fall into the oyster when you squeeze it - all the small details....

Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout with beetroot mousse & horseradish creme fraiche

Peking duck Consomme with dumplings, shaved abalone and mushrooms

I was so proud of Jacky when this dish came out. He isn't normally a beetroot fan but he still gave the dish a go, when we first started dating he wouldn't touch anything that was 'different'. Now he's very open to trying things to explore what he likes and dislikes with an open mind.

At this stage we had used all our cutlery and were given a new set for the next set of dishes.

Western Australian Scampi wrapped in Tunisian brick pastry and served with gremolata

Twice cooked kurobuta sweet pork belly with pear salad and a cider dressing

The scampi looked amazing and tasted like a mini lobster. The pork was succulent and the flavour lingered in your mouth after every bite.

Poached beef fillet with braised silverside, bone marrow, condiments and beef consomme

Awesome...the photo says it all.

While we waited for dessert Jacky told me how the toilets had small hand towels just like home. I had to go check it out, after all... nice toilets are a must!

Complimentary strawberry dessert topped with a sweet lemon granita

Caramelised apple with caramel millefeuille and pain d'epice ice cream

Chocolate Valrhona tart, caramelised salted peanuts, vanilla ice cream

I knew Jacky wouldn't really enjoy the apple dessert so I emailed the restaurant asking them if they could change it to a chocolate one adding a special message in chocolate. When the desserts arrived the grin on Jacky's face when he saw the chocolate tart was just priceless.

Coffee & Tea and petite fours

lemon tart, earl grey chocolate truffle, coconut macaroon with a chocolate filled centre.

This dinner was just a fabulous experience, the food was exceptional, the service was flawless and they just made us feel really special and looked after. At $150pp this 7 course tasting menu was worth every dollar!

Aria Restaurant
1 Macquarie Street
East Circular Quay
PH: 02 9252 2555

Sunday, June 24, 2007

June already...

Around now is suppose to be the calm before the storm (i.e. clerkships), after last year I was so exhausted that I said to Jacky ‘I don’t know how long I can keep doing this’. But I recovered and took into account that the second time is always easier and I wouldn’t be painting, renovating and moving into a new house this time round.

Unfortunately work hasn’t been calm and our team is going through a massive period of change. My direct manager is moving to London for an unbelievable opportunity (I’m so excited for her but quietly devastated at the same time). A promotion has been presented to me but the weird thing is I’m still deciding if I want it. I have a few tough career decisions ahead which so far has left me tossing and turning and unable to sleep at night.

Jacky’s also been working really hard with late nights and bringing work home, we often look at each other in disbelief that it’s already the end of June. We’ve both been fortunate that we have been rewarded by work which has really eased the financial pressures that come with having a mortgage.

Enough of th serious stuff, here is a few photos from the last few days (I keep leaving my camera at home!).

The Argyle
Five bars and a cobblestoned courtyard, I'm loving the Argyle at the moment. Not so much for drinks on a Friday or Saturday night (who has time to wait in line that long?!!) but during lunch when there isn't many people around this place is fabulous.
The large wooden beams and old brick walls look amazing against the modern and colourful furniture, this is enhanced by special spot lights placed around the room.

You're probably looking to pay around $20 for a lunch meal here, above is a picture of their meat platter ($40) and dips platter ($30), these are great for sharing.

The Argyle
12-18 Argyle St.
The Rocks, Sydney
PH: (02) 9247 5500

Caught up with the ex-Hudson girls at Reena's place (Mandy bought Jordi along).

Reena whipped up the most amazing masamun curry (served on a banana leaf too!).

Eat City
We celebrated Jacky's birthday with his work friends at Eat city located at the top of the City Hotel. They've done a great job with renovating the venue and have turned it into quite a fancy little place (they have wine tasting every Tuesday).

The mains are around $21 and the servings are very small but the quality is good. To be full you probably need to have at least 2 courses.

Lamb Rump with French Beans a la lyonnaise $21
Wild King Fish on a warm salad of ox heart tomato, caper, olive and lemon $21

Eat City Restaurant
Level 1, City Hotel
349 Kent Street (Cnr King)
Ph: 02 9262 5900.

Went to Aria for our anniversary dinner last night, what an experience! Hope to post up some photos this week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

9 years!

Happy Anniversary & Birthday!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A rainy morning

I woke up at 6:30am to go out this morning only to be greeted by heavy rain and strong winds. I decided that I was too scared to drive to where I wanted to go in such wet conditions, so I hopped back into bed for a rare sleep in.

A few hours later Jacky woke me up - breakfast in bed...I'm so spoilt.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On leave

Pay rises are sweet, to celebrate we went shopping!

We had thought about getting a Nintendo Wii since we played with Muz's one at Joel & Trish's engagement. We were still making up our minds when we were informed that it was double discount day for staff at Myer (through Baku I have a staff card). It was just meant to be, 20% off the console, extra wii remote, nunchuck and the Zelda game was an absolute bargain!

Jacky and his brother spent the next few nights doing this.

We've been looking at wedding bands for quite some time now, on Monday I finally picked one. It's exactly like the band pictured above, mine is in 18k white gold with 0.57 carats of diamonds in F colour. I love it! It's so beautiful and compliments my engagement ring so well. I picked it up yesterday and I can't wait till I get to wear it (8 months to go). I can't believe I'm admitting to this, but when no one is home I secretly wear it around the house....just for a little bit.

I extended my long weekend by taking some annual leave, today I went for a 1 hour full body massage at Escape day spa at Bondi (courtesy of my Kris Kringle Katina) it was just what I needed (my back kills from the Wii work out). I still have $65 remaining on my gift certificate so I think I will go for another massage in a few weeks time.

After my massage I saw that DJ's was having a shoe sale. Technically I wasn't wasting money because I still had the $50 voucher that I won at our work Christmas party. I ended up using it to help pay for a new pair of leather ballet flats.

I've also had my eye on these glass tea pots for a while (perfect for a tea party) they look particularly fabulous when you serve tea using flower tea bulbs. Not sure what I am talking about? check out this website. I bought my pot for $25 at T2 at Bondi Westfield, the flower tea bulbs were $4 for 2 and comes in different flavors. The strand sells a similar pot (with thicker glass) for $120.

Back to work tomorrow (and to the reality that applications for summer clerkships open next month), I am going to Danny Bhoy at the Opera house on Friday and I have a lot of birthdays coming up. Our 9 year anniversary is in 7 days and we've booked dinner for 2 at Aria where we are having their 7 course tasting menu - I can not wait! (can you feel my excitement radiating through the screen!?!? Thank you Sophia for such a lovely and generous Christmas present!).

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Foodie catch up

I love blogs about food. Having moved out of home a year ago (wow it's been that long?) I'm slowly refining my cooking and baking skills, I often turn to food blogs for ideas, instruction and inspiration. Last year I met up with a group of food bloggers and we've all kept in touch ever since.

I've posted about Kazbah before so I'm going to be lazy and point you to Helen's & Kate's blog sites for their reviews of this visit. Also in attendance was Rebecca of Cucina Rebecca, Kathryn of Limes and Lycopene and Anna of Morsels & Musings.

Foul Medammas - Chick Peas, Fava beans, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Boiled Egg, Shallots, Flat Bread $16.5

Breakfast Tagine - Pumpkin, Feta, Spinach, Capsicum, Caramelised Onion, Tomato, Eggs $17pp
Sweet Couscous, Mixed Nuts, Dried Fruit, Stewed Rhubarb, Cardamom Milk $15

Chermoula Omelette, Breakfast Shish Kebab, Turkish Toast $21
Strawberry and Banana Pancake, Double Cream, Maple Syrup $16

Warm Rice Pudding, Saffron Poached Pear, Hazelnuts $15

Breakfast - Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 9am - 3pm
Lunch - Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 12pm - 3pm
Dinner - Wednesday to Saturday 6pm - Late

Kazbah on Darling
379 Darling Street
Balmain, 2041
Sydney - Australia
Phone (02) 9555 7067


After 'brunch' I did a little window shopping in Town Hall, I was heading to the station when I received a call from Sarah to go her place for burgers....if it's food related I'm never one to say no.

'Tia...come Tia...Good girl Tia' - Tia was just as excited about the burgers

MmMMm... burgers

Cupcakes from Babycakes in Summer Hill

Followed by vanilla ice cream with a butterscotch sauce