About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Casual Sunday Lunch - Malaysian Style

It's another Sunday lunch at my friend CW's. This time she hosted to it to welcome an college mate who has migrated to Australia with his wife and young family. On top of that CW took the opportunity to bake a cake in celebration of another friend KY's birthday which occured a few days ago.

I always look forward to having a meal at CW's. Firstly, it is always a happy and relaxed vibe when I visit and this is a genuinely nice family to hang around with. Her two girls are great to chat with and have fun with. I also look forward to the great food that consistently appears. Why would I decline an invite to a meal at CW's?

So the lunch theme this time is Malaysian. We had curry laksa (Penang style) and wonton noodles (dry style) which was served with home made barbeque pork (Char Siew) and home made roast pork (Siu Yoke). Auntie (CW's mum) made the barbeque pork and roast pork. I couldn't stop nibbling at the roast pork, it was so tender and the skin was so crunchy!

BBQ Pork and Roast Pork

Wonton Noodles

You would have noted that I mentioned that the curry laksa was a Penang style dish. Well, I did not know until yesterday that there was a variation of the curry laksa dish in the first place. You learn something knew almost every day, I tell you. Well, what is the Penang style? It turns out the laksa is served with a prawn and bean sambal (relish) which I must say did go very well with the laksa.

Prawn and bean sambal

The laksa gravy was quite spicy, it had a kick but I loved it! I did sweat a little as I was eating the dish but that is what makes a good laksa. Auntie made the wonton noodles for the kids as there is way too much spice in the laksa for them to eat it.

Curry Laksa with all the toppings

Curry Laksa without the toppings

There were lots of conversation througout the meal and we decided to take a breather before we moved on to desserts.

Dessert was konyaku jelly, KY's birthday cake of chocolate and espresso cake, salted caramel ice cream, black sesame ice cream, strawberry sorbet and last but not least my mango pudding. CHW (CW's hubby) also served us some nice cups of coffee from their Nespresso machine. The cake was delicious, it was moist and had a lovely texture and I had it with the salted caramel ice cream (home made courtesy of CW) and the combination really worked!


Mango pudding

Chocolate and espresso cake
The cake served with salted caramel ice cream

I can say with certainty we were all full from another feast courtesy of the Wan family.

Friday, 28 October 2011


Leura is a very popular town in the Blue Mountains and I took the opportunity to enjoy a few hours browsing the stores and enjoying the lovely weather.

When I am in Leura, there are a few stores that I frequent. I really like the villagey feel in Leura (is there such a word as villagey?). It seems to have many regulars/locals frequenting the shops. I have not been here for two years and one obvious difference is that Woolworths is now in town. That was a surprise. I guess it would be convenient for the locals and tourists to shop for groceries while in Leura. As a matter of fact, I took the opportunity to get some groceries while I was there.

The stores I like to browse at are Ophelia's Emporium (great array of accessories, handbags, personal items). There is the Cat's Meow which is a home decoration store with home ware interspersed among all the house deco.

There is a quaint Christmas themed store which sells all things Christmas. It has been there since goodness knows when. It is always nice to come back here and see the familiar stores. The Josophan Cafe is now Madeleine's Cafe. Josophan Fine Chocolates has moved across the road to the Leura Mall and is now a dedicated chocolate shop.

I had an early lunch at the Leura Gourmet Cafe & Deli. I like visiting this store for its really nice range of jams, chutneys, relishes, olive oils, dukkah etc. Need I go on? When I do come here, I make the effort to purchase their triple berry jam. Delicious! They make for very good Christmas presents. For lunch I had the pasta of the day which turned out to be penne with smoked salmon, capers and red onion served in a cream sauce. The food at the cafe is the standard cafe fare but it is the view from the cafe which attracts patrons. It has floor to ceiling glass windows which looks down to the valley. Beautiful and what a lovely and relaxing sight!

 There is also the very fine stationery store 'Elisabeth Rosa'. I really like this store for all it's beautiful and sometimes expensive stationery. Some of them are just too pretty to be used.

The Leura Whisk is a fine kitchen ware store. It is a very popular store and has so many of the current designs for all things kitchen. So tempting!

Last but not least, there is the famous Candy Store. Who has entered this store and managed to resist not buying a single thing?

It was nice to be back here. Did I leave without spending some money? What do you think?

For those of you who do not know where Leura is, it is located in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney in Australia.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Pilu at Freshwater

The weather was wonderful. After many cloudy or rainy days recently, it was warm, sunny and breezy at Freshwater. I don't believe I have been at this beach before and it was good to finally visit this area.

A group of us were here to lunch at Pilu in celebration of our good friend's CW's special birthday occasion.

The waters were beautifully blue, the waves were aplenty and the weather reminded me that summer is just around the corner.

Pilu is located in a beach like cottage at the edge of Freshwater beach. The views from the restaurant were amazing. We had a long table at the beach side end of the restaurant and it was nice to look out and see the waves. I had not been to Pilu before so I was interested to find out how the cuisine would fare.

The food was surprisingly delicious, the plating was good and the waiters were very attentive. All in all it was a very pleasant experience.

It was nice to see CW be the centre of attention in this lunch party. She is a dear friend whose friendship I treasure. She is genuinely a nice person and I am glad to have her in my circle of family and friends.

As there were 11 of us, we had the group menu to choose from.

We started with two plates of crisp bread served with ricotta cheese, truffle and honey. That combination was surprisingly nice. The saltiness of the truffle combined with the sweetness of the honey sat well with the blandness of the ricotta cheese.

We all had an entree (i.e. Primi); I choose Saffron spaghettini with spanner crab, crispy guanciale and pangrattato. Guanciale is unsmoked Italian bacon. The dish was really delicious. I really liked the al dente texture of the spaghettini and the combination of the bacon worked so well. Others had the de-boned quail wrapped in pancetta filled with chicken liver , fennel and tarragon (good verdict); and salt baked King salmon with potatoes, baby leeks and beetroot (good verdict too).

Saffron spaghettini with spanner crab

Quail wrapped in pancetta

Salt baked salmon

For the main (Secondi) I had the suckling pig. The suckling pig had to be preordered as we were a group booking. Half the table ordered the suckling pig. I liked the plating, it looked interesting. Overall, I enjoyed the dish, most especially the pork crackling. Others had the beef sirloin with cavolo nero and bottarga butter; slow cooked lamb with cous cous, olive and almond salad and pan juices. Generally, there were positive comments.

Suckling pig

Beef sirloin with cavolo nero

Slow cooked lamb

We were planning on having desserts but the surprise birthday cake of almond and amaretto torte was just the dessert we needed. CW was suitably surprised about the cake and I am happy that the torte was well received by all. They served the torte with poached pears. The cake was beautifully decorated.

The birthday cake in slices

Some of the coffee was presented in a very unusual looking cup. I just had to take a picture.

What a lovely, long and pleasant afternoon. It was very relaxing, fun and thoroughly enjoyable. Happy birthday CW, many blessings for the coming year.


Pilu at Freshwater
Website: http://www.piluatfreshwater.com.au/

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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Afternoon Tea - Caitlin's 6th birthday

When my friend CW invited me over for afternoon tea to celebrate her little girl's birthday, I took it literally as tea rather than a spread of food. I forgot that back in Malaysia, high tea meant a buffet of food.

I decided to bring the Raspberry Nougat I had bought from Dolcetti. The array of food on display at CW's reminded me of how food is one of the constant in everyone's life. We celebrate good times over a meal with family and friends. When we meet up with a friend or friends it is typically in conjunction with a meal or over a cup of coffee or tea.

Feta and prawn mini pizzas

Three cheese pastries

Fried wontons

When we celebrate Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter, when has it not been without feasting on food (be it home cooked or in a restaurant)?

So here we are again, a group of friends and family, having a wonderful afternoon together eating, chatting and laughing. Just the thought of it brings a smile to my face!

The spread included feta and prawn mini pizzas, three cheese pastries, fried wontons, fried noodles, chicken curry, stir fried mixed vegetables, prawn crackers, saffron rice. We also had Angku Kuih (red tortoise cakes) courtesy of CW's Mum. Aunty, you are a great cook!

Saffron rice

Chicken curry

Mixed vegetables

Fried noodles

Angku kueh

We ended the meal with cupcakes (birthday cake), fruit platter, konyaku jelly and of course the nougat!

Fruit platter and jelly

Raspberry nougat

What a splendid afternoon and a nice way for Caitlin to celebrate her 6th birthday (the little princess)!

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Sunday, 9 October 2011

Melbourne - An Overview

This trip to Melbourne has been eventful in a few ways. There was lots of eating, catching up with my nephew and an old school mate. In addition, I found the time to visit the Melbourne Museum and I found the King Tut exhibition fascinating. I think I learnt a thing or two on that day.

The only downside to this trip was the rather miserable weather. It was wet, cold and miserable on most days. It only started to clear up on the day I was departing. Sigh!

I enjoyed browsing the QV Markets and once again realise how lucky the Melbourne locals are to have a bountiful market located so centrally in the CBD. The range of delicatessen food and the cheese (need I say more about the cheese?!?)...the seafood and meat range was extensive and the prices are in many ways so much more competitive than in Sydney.

Walking through the lane ways (which Melbourne is so famous for) makes me appreciate the cafe scene so much more. It reminds me so much of the European cities with their lanes littered with cages (especially Paris).

There is always something interesting happening on Bourke Street Mall. This group of 4 men (of differing ages) fascinated the crowd with their stillness.

I love walking through the Royal Arcade and the Block. You can see Koko Black, the famous Hopetoun Tea Rooms and Haigh Chocolates. The cakes look so tempting in the window display in the Hopetoun Tea Rooms. Mental note to myself to have high tea there one fine day!

So another trip to Melbourne has come and gone. So many more places to dine and visit when I get down there next.

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