Showing posts from January, 2014

Samuels at Thirroul NSW

The restaurant is placed strategically in the northern Illawarra suburb of Thirroul, from which I did catch many a city commuter train in the wee hours of dawn.  There is also a bus stop right in front of Samuels, which has been patronised by both visitors and locals alike.  The beaches are further up the main road, Lawrence Hargrave, and in this hamlet of Thirroul, is a self contained village, sited on a narrow strip of land between the Tasman Sea and the Illawarra escarpment.  Catching up with someone now based in Canberra, I and always wanted to try this place, offering special value particularly on Wednesday and  Thursday evenings ( like a two course package for Aud 45), but also a pleasure to visit on an early Sunday afternoon.  Open only for dinner from Tuesdays to Fridays, it is open from 12 noon till evening on weekends.

It was a rather quiet and calm setting, when Kristin and I caught up on career, choices and casual matters.  Staff were responsive, friendly and made us comf…

Addisons Seafood Grill & Bar, Shellharbour NSW

It was a sunny arvo, but one that was blessed with light breezes. The nearby Shellharbour Beach had already filled up with visitors and day trippers - yes, it was already mid-summer, when carefreeness, timelessness and a sense of abandon reigned, infused and nurtured a festive and holiday season. Many people in board shorts and singlets or T shirts had walked past this restaurant, about half way down the main road leading to the marina, beach and harbour. Addy's was not difficult to find but there was almost no vehicle parking space left.   We found a back lot, an assigned parking area that was behind the restaurant and from which we strolled through grass and  past a knobbed and dried up tree.

We were given a choice of seating - and I really loved the window bay table.  Passers-by were casually walking outside and stopping to look at a pasted up notice of a missing tabby.  I was thrilled when Scott mentioned about the practice of putting a red in the fridge around twenty minute…

The Lunar Year of the Wood Horse

The galloping horse is full of energy, purpose and dynamics.  How long can a horse persistently run depends on its destination, what it longs for at journey's destination and also what underlies its stride. Is it solid preparation, sufficient resources to last a long day or inherent character and training that differentiates success from lacklustre results.  Reliability, patience and quiet strength can make or break, as aggressive hankering can cause the opposite outcomes.  The horse symbolises chi energy, but what kind of chi is this, supportive, rebellious or difficult to tame?  Can the horse show tendencies of impulsive behaviour at times?

The Lunar New Year for 2014 commences on 31 January and has thirteen months, stretching its reign till the 18th day of February 2015.  It is said to be a lunar year with an abundance of fire, implying all the risks and related opportunities.  Fire is the fixed element of the Horse, but in the scheme of the Lunar calendar, this time around, i…

Mezes Espresso Bar & Restaurant - Brighton Le-Sands, Sydney

Licensed, with an espresso bar, open from 7am till late, Mezes is one of the main stays in Brighton Le Sands. It offers a varied menu, influenced by Greek and Mediterranean traditions and inspirations, but also having a modern Australian core. Andy introduced me to this place, initially with breakfasts but then later with dinner.  Guests can sit facing the normally placid Botany Bay but also the varying levels of traffic on the main road to Sydney Airport and the CBD. The most recent time I was there was on a Tuesday evening and I was delighted to find the place almost full.

The ambiance is subdued and mostly comfortable.  The variety of New Zealand wines is noted but also the friendliness of the staff. Haha, we are almost seated at the same table every time I go there.  I acknowledge regulars at breakky time and so I reckon there is a connection between some residents and this restaurant.  The Mezes is part of the Bayside Plaza which adjoins the Novotel.  I can rely on a wonderfully…

Hai Au Lang Nuong Restaurant- Canley Vale, Western Sydney Region

Combine the best of south-east Asian herbs, condiments and spices, like lemongrass, ginger and vinegar.  Utilise Aussie grown meat.  Be inspired by the tradition of barbecuing, skewering and grilling.  Hark back to the traditional use of charcoal, with its unique flavoured outcomes.  Position yourself in a so-called ethnic suburb, recreate a culinary experience back from the motherland and have efficient and fast working staff run the place. You may then realise a place like the Hai Au Lang Nuong.

Two of us tried this out on a Saturday evening in summer. We had previously noticed the buzz and acknowledged the aromatic food when passing by a few months earlier, the restaurant being strategically positioned at a corner of Canley Vale Road a block away form the railway station.   When we stepped into its food hall, people were busily gathered, intent on or already consuming their dishes. It is a casual place where you can be asked to share tables with strangers or have small round table…