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Showing posts from September, 2013

Days in Penang Past

I still recall cycling to school along Green Lane, when it was much more leafy and with much less vehicular traffic. Ishak the son of a naval officer and I paddled side by side along the rather straight two laned road past benign large trees, the Convent School, large government owned bungalows and the Thai Temple. We arrived at an educational institution that was established in 1816. The solidly built school had long facades of white paint, a rather distinguished hall based on British traditions and a field with neatly kept lawns. Most impressive to me was the rather sizeable sports pavilion that was sited not far from the house of the Head Master. I can still recall clearly the covered sheds where we parked our bicycles. The Library building had a more modern architecture than the rest of the school complex. Friday afternoons were the best days of such non-chalant and halycon school times. Shortly after noon a few classmates and I would gather at a house near a roundabout near a …

Ryos Japanese, Crows Nest - Sydney

Ramen comes in various forms and feel from different parts of Japan - Ryo's offer a distinct Tokyo taste in stock soup and texture of thin noodles. Although favourite soups come laden with rich brews in pork and chicken, Ryo's does also provide a distinctive blend of both fish and pork stock ( or tonkotsu-gyokai). The intensity of the soups at Ryo's seem to appear lighter, but that does not detract from a rewarding taste. One tends to compare ramen experiences with those of the home country, in the nearby Korean peninsular and in various joints, upmarket or not, scattered in homes and hubs in various immigrant portions of Western cities. Not only is the quality of the soup important, but I reckon the cut and taste of well chosen pork or chicken cuts do affect the overall sensation. When one consumes ramen, one must acknowledge the origins of this dish, essentially street food, echoing of working class struggles, the charm and expertise of individuals who labour over the a…

Jamie's Italian - Sydney CBD

We were fortunate to have Andy attend to us. Andy engaged us right form the beginning with a fun sense of welcome, coupled with initiative, knowledge and a natural countenance.  He sensed that we needed efficiency, like lunchtime was sandwiched between some urgent dictates -  and he dived into getting us going, with a rather thoughtful list of possible drinks, finally winding up with an encouraging
nurturing for us to try dessert.  Andy organised us like a good mate and reliable confidante, quashing any stuffiness with impeccable delivery and relaxing mood. Fresh pepper was ground in front of us with a relish that made this an inherent part of the food experience - and he knew when to leave us to our own devices. Jamie's did have background noise but it was relatively okay and we did not overly mind this.  Tables filled up quickly and the staff quietly went about their business. The ambiance was not overly dark but customers settled into a sort of cocooned shade inside. We could …