Showing posts from January, 2011

Illawarra Beaches - Bellambi Point


A Malaysian Food Trail

A refreshingly cold drink on the hottest January day in about twenty years. This concoction, called the three flavours, is an ice shaving mix drowned in milk, black jelly strips and green coloured crunchy bits made from mung beans (cendol). Cendol is ubiquitous on the street food stalls in South-east Asia from Vietnam to Indonesia. A dessert that also serves as a quick teatime snack, it is a necessary tool of defence to cool down the palate, body and temperament, especially when temperatures soar above 30 degrees Celsius. It is also highly effective when taken with curries and deep fried foods. The concoction has to be stirred thoroughly before preferred through a large sized straw, to allow the bits and pieces to be slurped through, accompanying the drink portion. We had our share of cendol this time at Albee's along the main strip of Beamish Street in Campsie, south-west of Sydney CBD.

Joyce's Mum, Rosie, had just returned from Penang, Malaysia and we reckoned we should check…

I Was Just Standing There

The sky above the horizon was changing colours - mild purple, relaxing pink and topped up by an on-coming grey. That evening,the Tasman Sea was benign and reflected the colours of the sunset.  It was past 8pm, and what transfixed us, along the North Gong Beach, was not a late summer evening's ambiance, but the fast changing eclipse of the full moon.

Smoky wisps of shadow gradually engulfed the largest lamp in our Earth's night sky -and just as fast as it came, the eclipse left in a huff, with the whole process taking just about 30 minutes. The event did not bother the wave and board surfers along the beach. Some diners in covered buildings were oblivious to this, what Nature can surprisingly throw up, but most pronounced and evident when it happens in that window of change called either sunset or sunrise.  Different cultures ascribe various and varying meanings to such eclipses, but to me it was just beautiful -and my group was just awe-struck.

At twenty six degrees Celsius, i…

My Big Day Out

Hugo's occupies a strategic corner of the Manly ferry wharf in Sydney's northern beaches.
Incoming ferry passengers disembarking from Circular Quay in Sydney CBD pass by its verandahs, lined with dark wooden tables, fresh aromatic pizzas and bay views.  On the evening I was there with mates, a rather hot sticky Sunday had turned into passing showers after a blow-up of ocean breezes and the coming in of clouds.  Hugo's was chock-a-block, granted that this was a holiday weekend for New Year's and we could see other lines of people outside queuing to catch the boats back to the city centre.  There was no room at the inn, so to speak, and my group had to take dinner at the wood fired pizza outlet across the road.  We had kangaroo, vegetarian and prawn laden pizzas, amongst other flavours, and I also could not help tasting the potato and bacon version meant for youngsters Ash and Cait.
For me, Hugo's was the final stop on a busy adventure out, that started with passing by …

On the Trail of My Favourite Dishes

My utmost culinary sensation would be blue cod grilled fresh from the catch, with bites dunked in a wake-up condiment, eaten with the ocean breeze blowing in my face, surrounded by mates enjoying the flow of the day and following to where the wave of unplanned holidays take us.

For Breakfast:  Nothing beats like a simple feitan chok, or broth flavoured by slices of the so-called thousand year old egg (often duck eggs cured with vinegar and preservatives). This has been the meal opener for many in southern China, and is available at Hong Kong styled yumcha restaurants around the world.

For a Pick Me Up: Pineapple salad, usually inspired by Thai cuisine, can be done in various degrees of hotness and sour tastes.  My preferred version comes from the Straits Chinese, with lots of complementing mint leaves, traces of finely chopped hard boiled egg and with onion slices to contrast with the sharpness of the fruit.

Snacks: On hot humid days in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong,  it i…

Sydney's Wonder of Wonders - 1 January 2011


Anticipation at Sydney Harbour, 31 December 2010