Showing posts from December, 2009

Trivial But True

About Me

I am not keen on the same kind of retail outlets in most Australian shopping centres (we need variety and uniqueness!); individuals not communciating when they can - and should; global warming;  racists who dare not speak their mind but operate behind our backs; baggy jeans; people asking how are you but do not really want to know; the FOX News channel; sex tourists;  people without compassion; politicians who benefit themselves more than the voters who put them in the first place; vehicle drivers who belch exhaust and think they are cool; sludge snow; haughty persons; working too hard for nothing; hairy backs; loud mouthed women and men with attitude; cheap perfume (you can smell it!); individuals who take credit for things they did not do; double standards; plastic Christmas trees; people who stab you in the back (okay, not literally, and actually much worse); people who take you for granted; being singled out for extra security checks just for being an East Asian male, whe…

Straits Chinese Curry


My Wine List for the Holidays


Thank You For The Music

The start of the Millennium is but a distant memory. The commencement of 2009 is more recent, but as we approach the second decade of the 21st century, here are some of the individuals who have energised me in such positive ways on my life’s journey this past year, mentioned in no particular order:

Mum – Madam Foo Gaik Hwa

Mr Dylan Smith

Uncle Jimmy Foo and Aunty Winnie

First Cousins Mu Lan and Susan Chan

Second Cousin Roy Lim

The Campbell Family of Woonoona, NSW

Mdm Roma and Mr Peter Karak

Niece Adelyn Yong

Aunty Foo Gaik Keow

Ms Lim Bee Keok

Mr Yap Boo Ann

Ms Lillian Ong

Mrs Janice Tinham

Mrs Charmaine Wan and her daughters Ashleigh and Caitlin

Mr Lim Yew Ting and family

Mrs Rosanne Humble

Ms Tan Mui Na

Mr Pete Cusack

Uncle Hong Beng and family

Mr Richard Bennison

Mr Robert Sim

Ms Joyce Cheam

Mr David Mason

Mr Dane and Mr Nathan

Mrs Nicky Bishop

Mr Andrew Mulligan

and more

Easy Sydney Sunday - 20 December 2009

Start with brunch at Spice I Am, a modest Thai cafe providing food with a kick at the corner of Wentworth Avenue and Elizabeth Street in Sydney CBD. Here is a lime flavoured twist with grounded peanuts over the Hong Kong egg noodles served with char siew pork cuts and garnished with fresh herbs.  It may be best complimented by a cool iced longan-flavoured drink.

Chill out and hot up at Swiss Bakerz in Darlinghurst - brioche and latte, with posters of Swiss inspiration and a friendly face at the front.

Eel (unagi) dinner serving at On Ramen in Sydney's Chinatown, a narrowly spaced ramen bar with but with flexible combinations in meal choices

Slurping hot Japanese noodles to wind up or start the last Sunday evening before Christmas.

Home On The Range: Prawn Soup Noodles in Balgownie

Allow tender pork neck cuts to rest before slicing them into thins or bite-sized pieces.

The prawn stock and chilli paste simmer with the pork bites.

Boiled thin rice vermicelli with garnishings like hard boiled eggs. According to preference and taste, crunchy stuff like fishcake slices and light fresh vegetables like bean sprouts can also be added.

The finished product, bon apettit

Return to Wollongong

The Beach House Restaurant is located at a scenic corner of North Beach in Wollongong.  Its first storey venue offers panaromic views of the surf and the ever present container ships on the far horizon of the Tasman Sea. The service that we had was efficient friendly, despite it being the last Thursday before Christmas Eve.  As we sat down, our attention were captivated by the sight of the green and tall Norfolk pines trees that line up on the beach only across the road. I thought of both Cronulla and Manly Beaches not too far up north.

For entrees, we both had pig cheeks with scallops.  Pig cheeks, you may wonder.  They turned out to be more tender and well done when served.  I could not help thinking of fish cheeks, a delicacy treasured in Chinese cuisine and proffered to the most honoured guest at a dining table. A good start to lunch, especially with the consistent stunning views of white caps of the ocean surf forming dramatically and increasing under emerging ocean winds.  Summe…

Forever Summer

Shellharbour Beach Dec 12, 2009

Motif on the walkway

Charlotte slice, Green Poppy Cafe, Addison Road, Shellharbour

Sitting on the edge of the bay, watching the tide come in

What Really Matters

It is not how much you bring home in pay or reward, but how you spend it to not just take care of yourself, but how you utilise it to make a difference for the individuals for whom you care about.

We cross paths with various scenarios, attitudes and vibes. How we choose to respond and react to them reflects our strengths, insecurities and inner soul. In the end it does not matter the swipes of discomfort, hurtful words some blurt out without much thought or the temporary joys of insincere praise, for what is of value shall grow within our hearts and nurture our being without such distractions.

Material things provide the illusion of possession and temporal soothing.  We come to our individual existence without such acquisitions, but as we live out life's journey, we partake, accumulate and dispense more important things than the latest electronic gadget or an abode bigger than what we need. Real wealth goes beyond the material and is truly shown in what we do when facing challenge…

Good Morning Sunshine

Frangipanis in Balgownie, December 2009

Display at Flower Haven, Wollongong

                                              Summer lilies along Crown Street, Wollongong

A Touch of Asian, Wollongong

Return To the Shire

The chocolate fondue is now served in a smaller container, but the slices of strawberry, banana and marshmellows remain.  The place is still a favourite of group meals, whether for work colleagues, birthday parties, families or teenagers in search of tasty pizza.  The front counter led into a packed hive of activity, passing on baked stuff, pasta concoctions and bowls of salad with fetta cheese or cooked chicken bits.
At the back, near the boys' room, I saw Indian guys carry in the heavy stiff of supplies and ingredients, even late in the evening.

What is this successful formula that encourages turnover in sales and sustains the return of repeat customers? Is it the location, the quick service or the generous amounts of food for a 30 dollar package?  I have always wanted to get those gelato containers sold from a fridge near the entrance. Personally, I like the pastas, with a light sauce, variety of flavours and servings more than any one can handle.  Parking is limited off the st…

Light and Easy

Ever since I was introduced to tea-infused cuisine in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year (refer to my posting "Catching Up, Three and More"), I have been eagerly looking forward to lighter, less oily and still tasty meals served with a kick to the palate. I recall the long beans and chicken servings, with the light aromatic infusion of oolong tea, with the refreshing feeling leaving the Purple Cane Restaurant in the heart of Kualla Lumpur's Chinatown.

It has not been easy to do so in Australia, with the summery barbeque stuff on the grill, the southern Chinese courses that can leave a certain thirst in the middle of the night and the bacon and egg blends of breakfasts at cafes here.

Then I remembered the unique Chinese and Korean dishes prepared at Towon along a quiet side of Victoria Avenue in Chatswood, north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.   I had a recent opportunity to partake some dishes there, which offered a change from the stereotypes of udon, sizzling beef plates and…

Festival Fridge


Festive Baubles