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.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

A Dinner of Mixed Cuisine

A week ago I caught with some of my friends for dinner (part of my family in Australia) and EF, who has been so great at posting comments on my blog when I was in Italy and France, thought up of a meal with different cuisine influences.

I forgot to bring my camera so the photos you see here were taken from my iPhone. Not too bad after all!

Well, we started with a plate of bruschetta (Italian influence), then moved on to Butter Chicken with rice (Indian influence) and finished up with Lemon Tart for dessert (a bit of French influence). A salad of mixed lettuce was served with the butter chicken and EF used a dressing I had bought for the family when I visited Orange in May. I was surprisingly pleased at how lovely the dressing was and how it blended so well with the butter chicken. The dressing was Caramelised White Balsamic infused with coriander, garlic and lemon. Delicious!!

Looks nice - doesn't it?
A note to AF who baked the lemon tart! Good first attempt, I thought the flavour of the tart was delicious! Can't wait to see what your next try will be.

Thanks EF for an interesting blend of cuisine. It was good catching up with you and the family. Hope I didn't gab on too much about my fantastic holiday!

The lovely dressing from Orange Farmers Market!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Reflections on the Corsica/Sardinia Tour

Wow! I can't quite believe that my holiday is over. It feels like yesterday since I landed in Cagliari all excited about the gourmet tour I was about to embark on.

Below are some pictures of some of the good breakfasts options we have been served with.

I was wondering what the group would be like and I can honestly say that it was a good group. We had common interests which made it all the much easier to bond quickly. What were the common interests? Well I can safely say they were travel, discovering the different cultures, history and great food.

Pietro and his mother Maria
We were also very lucky to have Maeve, Pietro and Liz lead us in this tour. Being the first group in this brand new tour meant we got thrown everything!! How lucky were we? Pietro's contribution was invaluable. His knowledge of Sardinia (history, culture, language and food) brought a magic factor to the group. Liz was ever so patient, kind and caring to all of us. She is a great and experience tour leader. And Maeve, well can I say about Maeve?!?! Maeve's charming personality help win over some very interesting characters and she was so dedicated in trying to give us all the best experiences possible.

Maeve with Antoine the butcher
From the group, I believe I have made some friendships that will go on even after the holidays are over. For that I am thankful. Thank you to my fellow travellers for your encouragement and support of my blog during our trip. I could not believe how you have embraced my blog and how you spread the word to your family and friends. And also the positive comments from your family and friends!

A suckling pig's ear
A Sardinian lady looking out her window
Thank you to those who had added lovely comments on some of my posts, like Annette, Maryann and Maeve. Thank you also to Maeve for mentioning my blog in the most recent newsletter that came out  a few days ago. I would also like to acknowledge the continued support from my Aussie friends at home.

Ignacio - our Sardinian bus driver singing an Italian love song!
I have received comments about how some of the posts look so professional (both while on holiday and back home). I will take it as a compliment. Maybe the saying 'practice makes perfect' is applicable. I don't mean it was perfect but I think that the daily write ups helped improve my writing skills. Maybe I was inspired by what I saw, absorbed and tasted. Maybe having someone like Pietro help explain to me in detail some of ingredients and how things were made helped me up the ante! Maybe it is a combination of all the above! Who knows!?!?!

Maggie - all relaxed while waiting for the bus
Pane carasau with grilled cheese and honey - delicious!
But one thing I will say, what a fantastic time I have had and I am looking forward to the next gourmet adventure. So Maeve, let me know when your next new adventure is and I will sign up for it!

For those of you who intend to occasionally check my blog (feel free to occasionally drop a comment!), thank you and I will strive to keep up the standards but don't be too disappointed if the standards drop just a little. I also don't believe I will be as prolific as I have been during the trip. There was just so much to write about. Maybe I need another holiday to inspire me, eh?!? :-)

Warwick and Linley - relaxing by the A Pignata pool!
Cheers to all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Reflections on my time in Paris

My trip to Paris this time is the third time I have visited this beautiful city. The first trip was about 22 years ago and my second trip was about 4 years ago. Every time I visit, there is always something that I haven't seen or experienced before. Even the familiar seems to have a different perspective for me. I am always delighted to be here.

So here are some images of my time in Paris in 2012.

Printemps and Galleries Lafayette (GL) - beautiful buildings. What a fantastic dome in GL. Loved the food hall in GL, it reminded me a little of the DJ's food halls but just a slightly different focus on the range of products. I laughed internally at the queues to get in to the Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Longchamp stores in GL. Just looking at the queues you would not be able to imagine that there is even an economic crisis in Europe.

A beautiful block of private apartments filled with green trees. Such a peaceful environment behind large doors right in the middle of busy Paris. Who would have guessed this when walking outside on the main streets?!?

At night I found some interesting things to take photos of. As I was walking down Boulevard Haussmann, I saw a group of dancers just outside GL. They were ballroom dancing on the sidewalk. There were no cameras so it could not have been for any publicity. How enchanting!

The United Colours of Benetton windows were so fascinating. The images were constantly changing. There were some images of cherries being dropped into a window of water. Fascinating! And it looked so real too!

Paris - thanks for constantly being so interesting and never boring!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A Day Out in Paris with Some Fine Ladies

I met up with Florence, Lucy and Maggie in Paris. It was nice to see them again after our goodbyes in Sartene. I had decided that we should meet at the front of Notre Dame. What I overlooked or should I say forgot was how many tourists would be flocked around Notre Dame on a Sunday morning!!!!

As I waited for the ladies, I noticed there was a long queue to enter the cathedral. There was also an American female vocal choir outside the cathedral being filmed while they were singing beautiful hymns. How apt to be sitting outside this great cathedral, in the lovely summer sun, listening to songs of worship!

When we finally found each other, I realised how unhelpful it was for me to ask them to meet me at the front. There is a lovely garden attached to the cathedral at the opposite end and this was where Florence, Lucy and Maggie were waiting for me as that was the entrance they found to Notre Dame. Me..duh! I will remember this for the next time I ever ask someone to meet me at Notre Dame....

Lucy, Maggie and I (Florence took the photo)
The only mission I had that day was to find the Berthillon Ice Cream store which is located on the little island behind the Notre Dame. Anything else they wanted to do was fine by me, as long as I got to visit Berthillon Ice Cream.

So we headed to Isle St Louis and aimed for Rue St. Louis En L'ile. As we walking down this street, we saw so many lovely shops. We kept stopping by these shops and having fun browsing and doing some shopping. So much so it became a standing joke that I would get to Berthillon eventually!

We found a store selling funky accessories with colourful stones. This store also had furniture made from the sam colourful stones or resin but on a larger scale. There were some nice boutiques selling lovely clothes, bags, scarfs, hats and so on. The number of interesting stores on this street was numerous.

We eventually stopped for lunch and I had a Croque Madame and the others had a Croque Monsieur each.

Croque Madame 
Croque Monsieur
After lunch, we scooted over to the Berthillon Ice Cream store, which had a queue by the way. I had a cherry plum ice cream, Florence had Grand Marnier and another flavour which I unfortunately cannot remember. What I do remember vividly was the delicious chocolate flavours Lucy and Maggie had in their scoops. They all agreed it was worth the short queue wait to get to the front. Now, you may wonder why I even wanted to get to this store. Well, I have read and heard from various sources that this is one of the best ice cream stores in Paris. So I am glad to have found it and tried it out. Next time I am in town and in need of some good ice cream, I know where to head to.

We then took the Open Bus hop on and off bus tour so the the young ladies (Lucy and Maggie) could see some of the highlights of the city of Paris.

Thanks Florence, Lucy and Maggie for a fun day. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and spending a great time in Paris! Cheers.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Dinners in Paris

Even though I have been travelling solo in Paris, I have been fortunate enough to catch up with some friends from the very recent Gourmet Safaris tour. So here is a snapshot of my two dinners I have had with my lovely friends. It is always nice to be able to have a meal with someone rather than having to eat on your own.

So, to those of you who had a meal with me in Paris, thank you for your company! Bear in mind that these are not Michelin starred restaurants.  They were just a couple of cafes we found along the way. Nothing fancy but they were hearty meals.

For my first dinner, two of us had Steak frites and one other had the Roast chicken with frites. We also ordered some mixed salad and beans as sides.

Thought I would take a photo of this drink - haven't' seen one of this in a while!
For the second dinner, I decided to switch to chicken and had free range roast chicken with frites, and my friend had the ribsteak with butter and garlic sauce. We even decided to have dessert and I chose the Creme brûlée and she chose Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream with whipped cream! Going all out I say!?!?!?? Boy, we were sure full after our desserts.