Category Archives: Chinese

Merry Christmas: Chopsuey, Singapore

Before, after and during… Ok maybe context is irrelevant……..

I spend an undisclosed amount of time trawling through #sgig, seeking out the latest must-try eating spots in the eclectic foodie scene of Singapore.


I spied a number of brunch and dinner posts featuring a new addition to the scene, Chopsuey, a new ‘East meets West’ concept restaurant established by the people behind P.S. Cafe.  For foodies unfamiliar with P.S. Cafe, there were originally three sites in Singapore, boasting to-die-for Truffle Fries, however one of their branches was transformed into Chopsuey.

Christmas Eve 2013 approached much faster than I expected it to and before in knew it I was completely behind in finding somewhere to celebrate…. Until I remembered this venue and made a last minute booking which was accommodated for efficiently!


Set in Dempsey Hill, an area of restored army barracks which is now home to many other interesting eating venues, the restaurant interior is truly unique.  High ceilings and an airy old-time bungalow accommodates for diners ranging from small to large groups with beautiful marble tables.

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End of 2013 Reboot

I have been pondering upon this post for a long while now – how to approach a ‘conversation’ after 6 months away from the world of WordPress and the blogosphere.  Upon embracing the mantra of my mother “just go for it”, I am rather excited to ‘resuscitate’ this ‘friend’.

It would only be fair for me to explain to my absence; which can be summarized succinctly in one simple yet daunting noun…UNIVERSITY. When people tell you that second year will be breezes compared to first year DOO NOOOTTT believe them!  While it seems that my entire life had become consumed by the domino effect of assessments, practicals, lectures and exams last semester and ‘hello it’s ming’ was placed on the backburner, I truly did enjoy completing the last component of second year university despite the constant whining and complaining to my patient and supportive mother!

Over my blog detox, I had time to consider my outlook on this space.  Originally I had seen this space as a rather ‘text-based’ method of sharing of my foodie journeys and life in general, and with the encroaching clouds of study the perfectionist within me was reluctant to post anything that I was not entirely satisfied with.  My epiphany came when I realized I had forgotten that what I have most enjoy about the experience of blogging is the ability to share an experience, whether it be through words or simply an uploaded Instagram image and the animated banter shared with a community of individuals I have connected with over the past year and a half.

I am hoping to return to this space with a flexibility in format of posting.  Each post does not need to be in the meticulous detail which I am usually so particular about.  Whether it be a full fledged account of my escapades with a common theme or a photolog with a few vignettes, I wish to continue sharing my experiences whether they be about food or life (food :P).

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Stress Relief: The Grace Hotel Seafood Buffet

Hello out there!  Sorry for the lack of updates- I’m still alive!!  The past few weeks have been quite hectic to say the least – second year uni has begun and my brain/body was/is still clinging on to the summer holidays for dear life! Full of lab hours and afternoon lectures, blogging time and foodie trips have been limited but I thought I would post a quick review as a break from all the scientific mumbo jumbo on nerves which have been sending me into a head spin.

The first weekend after resuming study had the family booked into ‘The Grace Hotel’s new ‘Seafood Buffet’ as a stress reliever.  What could be better than seafood to take my mind off the troubles of uni haha?! I was ‘slightly’ excited when I heard that the Brasserie would be providing my seafood loving tastebuds with an array of Sydney’s finest produce! After my fun and delicious experiences at The Grace Hotel for their ‘Flavours of…’ food festivals I felt reassured that my stomach would be in good hands!

As per usual the ‘salad station’ did not fail to impress, with a rather wide selection of cold salads, perfect for the awkward ‘it’s autumn but it feels like summer’ weather. My picks would have been the cabbage coleslaw, which was full of crunch and freshness, without being drowned out by a heavy dressing. If you’re looking for something slightly more ‘solid’ for your salads then the ‘Cous Cous with Pumpkin’ would be the way to go!
Oh and you surely won’t walk past this section of the lineage of food without picking up some mighty fine ‘King Prawns’ from a large bucket of ‘heaven’ (well in the eyes of any seafood lover). Combine the simple yet wonderfully fresh prawns with ‘Thousand Island’ sauce and I would have been quite content, but I didn’t want to miss out on the Mussels or Smoked Salmon which were both testament to Sydney’s fantastic seafood and the kitchen’s ability to bring out the best …from the best!

A tasty segue between salads and mains came in the form of a tomato seafood soup which was full of flavour and had me ready to tackle the next course!

When it came to the main course there were numerous options, even for those who want to opt for a non-seafood dish (…..no comment…….are you crazy?? Haha).
Lil’ Bro went for the ‘Roast Lamb’(which was unsurprising) and by his return for a second serving, I can safely say that he thoroughly enjoyed it!

My picks for the mains would be the ‘Steamed Ginger Barramundi with Chilli’ and ‘Pasta’ dish.
Normally, one would expect a steamed fish to be on the ‘no-go-zone’ of the buffet but having tried quite a few fish dishes at the Grace before, I knew that this was a must-try dish. The combination of ginger and chilli created a light yet flavoursome and appetising dish, that held no trace of ‘fishiness’; only the fresh taste of a well cooked, tender fish! Combining my two loves of chilli and fish, I was a happy seafood diner to say the least!

The Pasta is a fantastic option as a ‘break’ from seafood if need be. A few buffet experiences have led me to fear overcooked and lack lustre buffet pasta, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this dish. The creamy pesto and sundried tomato combination made for a simple yet effective ‘carb’ dish – I may have scraped the plate clean…shhh!

I had already spied the vast array of mouth watering desserts as I lined up for the salads! I loved how the desserts were ‘mini’ cakes and thus easy to serve with no messy cutting up involved!! It may have also aided in the process of trying a majority of the options.
In terms of ‘top picks’ for the desserts, I have to say that competition was steep! Each miniature serving of goodness was not too heavy (perfect if you want to sample a few options) but definitely not boring for the tastebuds! In the end I would recommend just choosing your dessert based on your favourite flavours, but my picks would have been the ‘Cheesecake’ and anything ‘Berry’!


Oh and if that’s not enough to satisfy your stomach, the cocktail menu is being developed and updated! I can’t quite remember the names of these creations but the fruitier watermelon option was perfectly refreshing, while the banana and chocolate flavoured option was definitely my kind of cocktail…..mmmm…such a great flavour combination!!

All in all, for $45 pp, The Grace Hotel’s Seafood Buffet is definitely value for money! The food is fresh and the kitchen has brought out the best from Sydney’s fine produce. Yeah yeah, I know there weren’t any oysters (a little heartbreaking) BUT for the price paid, I was perfectly content with my prawns and barramundi! For seafood lovers looking to kick their craving in a comfortable and welcoming environment, make a trip to The Grace Hotel before this introductory promotion ends!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter!!

Ming xx

The End of Chinese New Year to The Beginning of Craziness

My how the fifteen days of Chinese New Year flew by this year.  I don’t think it was because we were particularly busy celebrating everyday as a family, but perhaps because individually our lives have begun to really restructure and return to reality, leaving our holiday mindset behind.  Though I admit this is more applicable to everyone in the family but me (I’m still on summer break), with Mumma’s work schedule showing no mercy and Lil’ Bro sitting his first set of HSC assessments, our celebration of this annual event revolved around the significant days, which luckily for us fell on weekends.  Working towards each date, the 7th day, the people’s birthday and of course the 15th and final day, punctuating Chinese New Year within hectic schedules really did make it pass with all the more haste.  Nevertheless, it was of course filled with good food planned by Mumma and I.

The last weekend of Chinese New Year was a rainy and cold one.  I took this as a sign to warm the soul with the goodness of oatmeal.  I had just bought an adorably sized pot from Peter’s of Kensington and was slightly overexcited at the thought of using it.  Thus came both Saturday and Sunday breakfasts of oatmeal.


Banana whipped vanilla and cinnamon oats topped with almond butter, coconut, a drizzle of honey and sliced banana.


Banana whipped vanilla and cinnamon oats topped with vanilla bean yoghurt, sliced banana, melted peanut butter, a sprinkle of wholewheat crumble, toasted coconut and a drizzle of honey.

Simple, healthy, delicious and comforting on cold weekend mornings.

Saturday night was the eve of the final day of Chinese New Year and this had really only just occurred to us that morning.  We had not booked a restaurant, Lil’ Bro was studying in his own world and Mumma was overworked from a long week.  Once again, Golden Century takeaway came to the rescue, providing a gourmet feast in the comfort of our own home.  Our stomachs were indeed satisfied and any stress on Lil’ Bro’s part was minimised as he refuelled for more study!


On the menu for the night was my favourite Fried Fish, the taste and texture of which I think no other restaurant can replicate – wonderfully crispy while retaining the flavour and tenderness of the fish, not to mention the flavoursome and appetising sauce and spring onions which complement the dish perfectly.


Not even the hyped Roast Duck at Mr Wong’s can replace that of Golden Century.  Although it was takeaway, the duck was absolutely perfect!  As I usually claim ‘ownership’ of the Fried Fish, Lil’ Bro was taken by the duck – in fact the whole family was, so I sneakily went to forgo some of the fish in a trade.  The skin was perfectly roasted with the fat rendered off, leaving a crisp layer encasing an extremely tender and flavoured meat, which had no hint of dryness!


After trying this dish on the first day of Chinese New Year, Mumma and I knew that the Soya Sauce Chicken had to be ordered again to finish the celebration.  It amazed me as to how tender and smooth the chicken meat was, with the sauce not dominating the star of this dish.  It was quite heavenly!


We even created our own ‘Kiong Yong’ – Ginger and Chilli Condiments to add to these dishes. Being the chilli fanatic that I am, I was quite the happy eater.

Sundays in my family are usually quite laid back and what I have begun to see as the day of cooking, appropriate for the final day of Chinese New Year.

Mumma boiled her wonderful Chicken Broth with Corn, Carrots, Vermicelli Noodles and Fish Lip.  In my mind, boiling soup is a sign of comfort, home and love.  Nothing can compare to such a nutritious and organic bowl of love to chase away the prospect of the weekend ending!


Mumma proceeded to state that we could now treat ourselves after such a healthy ‘entrée’, so we created an absolutely delicious ‘Toastie’ of Sharp Cheddar and Ham with Dijon Mustard.  I can never find a toastie comparable to one made at home.  Most of the time we attempt to do so, Mumma, Lil’ Bro and I (The Toastie Musketeers) are left rather disappointed.  Such a dissapointment occurred on my Saturday lunch with Mumma, while Lil’ Bro and Papa were at their boy’s basketball!

Although the ingredients at the new Pattinsons’ Pattiserie at Westfield Bondi Junction were indeed fresh and quality, it lacked the flavour and ended up rather dry.  However, our creation was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!


wasn’t already enough food, my Auntie E who just returned from Kuala Lumpur brought with her an abundance of Chinese New Year ‘snacks’.  Who could pass up the authenticity and deliciousness of these wonderful munchables?!  For once I forgot the amount of calories and sinfulness in these yummies and gave in to the inevitable.

The perfection of the Peanut Cookies almost had us in tears.  They were melt in your mouth yet crisp, peanut butter tasting, yet slightly salty and sweet.  I was speechless.

Yes, we still managed to fit in dinner.  How could we not end the celebrations with a hearty home cooked meal?!  Our stomachs were satisfied with a simple Fried Lettuce dish, the standard and much loved Wagyu Beef and Grilled Salmon Belly and a new edition of Soya Sauce Chilli Prawns.


Grilled Salmon Belly, has become a usual suspect in our meals, with its super crispy and golden skin and melt in your mouth meat.  I think we have perfected the technique for this one!


Live Prawns from Central are a must try for any seafood lover in Sydney.  Somehow, they taste above and beyond the usual fishmarket variety and when cooked with soya sauce, chilli and a hint of garlic, something magical occurs.  I may or may not have ended up wiping the sauce up with a scoop of rice….

I must say that we ended Chinese New Year quite well this year, even though we were without our extended family.  Making an effort to cook and buy delicious meals, ensuring that we took the time to appreciate the tradition truly made this year’s ‘celebration’ more meaningful and left me very content.

On another note this is my last post before SECOND YEAR university begins tomorrow!  A decision to transfer to Medical Science has resulted in a rather hectic timetable and I didn’t think that was possible after my first year!  Please excuse me if there is a short hiatus/minimal posting.  I’ll hopefully still be instagramming (a hard habit to stop!), but bare with me as I find my feet and maintain balance and health as the craziness begins.  My goal is a find a way to keep everything in complete balance and find a way to integrate blogging into daily life.    Until next time!

Ming xx

Pattison's Patisserie Fine Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Golden Century Seafood on Urbanspoon

Restarting and Rebuilding: Mero Mero, Kensington Peking and more

This week I was rather heartbroken.  No, there is no tragic love story to share.  In my mind it is something worse!  The recovery process of my external hard drive did not fair too well in the end and I ended up losing ALL and I mean ALL my photos, which I have taken over the last four years.  Yes, it’s seems obscenely petty to be whining and dwelling on this when there are so many bigger things in life, but in a way I feel like the memories of my graduation, 18th birthday, family holidays and so forth have partially been lost.

Funnily enough when I think about it, this would not have happened say around 10 years ago.  I would have developed my photos and have had hard copies of them.  Oh how the convenience of technology has backfired on me.

Perhaps, I should take this as a sign??

It may be time for me to honestly start afresh and create new memories.  Maybe, it is a metaphorical disaster that is urging me to pursue something completely different this year.  Yes, it is rather sad that HSC English analytical techniques will forever run in my veins.  In all seriousness however, it is quite possible.  Perhaps I need to re-evaluate my goals?  Much pondering must be done now – quite appropriate really as this has coincided with a conversation I had with Mumma last night about what other options there were for me to pursue in my studies.

No matter, I hope 2013 will be a year, which I look back upon fondly and this whole shenanigans and (momentary) heartbreak will only be a miniscule fraction of the painting.

Moral of the story: NEVER EVER trust an external hard drive!!

Note to self: develop my favourite/most important photographs!

I don’t think I could have ended without a quick foodie-graph section!  I may as well start sharing some of these new memories with you all.  Here are a few of my eats of the week.
(Excuse some of the photo quality – I took a fair few of these on the go with my iPhone.)



Trips back to Sussex Street’s “Yummy Thai” for their delicious Fried Fish Set have become a weekly event!  Mumma and I went slightly crazy and ordered three different variations – Sweet Chilli, Lemongrass and Chilli and Chilli Basil.  We may have eaten all three between the two of us but it was hard to resist when fish is fried to perfection and it was in fact not overly filling!  I assume that the frying process renders off a lot of the fats etc, making the fish super crispy and light!  Our favourite still remains the Lemongrass and Chilli variant but the abundance of vegetables with the Sweet Chilli makes me quite the happy eater!


After hearing the sad fate of my photographs, I pulled myself together and headed to the city on Friday to run some errands for Mumma.  It was indeed a productive day and I treated myself to one of my favourite salads from Mero Mero located in Westfield’s Food on Five and my undisputedly favourite Soy Vanilla Latte from a hole in the wall Vietnamese joint on Clarence Street.  “Why is this Ming’s favourite salad?” you may ask.  Well, it’s “make your own salad” at Mero Mero and their ingredients are always fresh and full of flavour.  My usual combination consists of Baby Spinach, Avocado, Feta, Chilli, Pumpkin, Mushroom, Cucumber and Sundried Tomatoes topped with a Chilli Mayo Dressing.  It also helps when they provide a piece of soy and linseed on the side ;)!


I am proud to say I returned home from the city with a brand new Phillips Juicer as well – a health kick for the family!  We’ve been on the juice wagon for the last month and it really does wonders when one is feeling a bit under the weather or stressed (and Lil’ Bro is certainly feeling that with the HSC ahead!)

After picking Lil’ Bro up from his very long English tutoring session after his first week of HSC assessments, a quick, simple, enjoyable and fulfilling Friday night dinner was in order!

Drunken Chicken

Crispy Duck

 photo IMG_4334_zps4ee81564.jpg

Shanghainese Nian Gao

Four Season Beans

Siew Mai

Kensington Peking is a deceptively great restaurant, which the family head to when in search of comforting Chinese fair, without having to face the chaos of Chinatown.  Must tries are their Drunken Chicken, which is so tender and wonderfully marinated, and their Crispy Duck, which can only be described as perfectly ‘crispy’ haha.  For the vegetable lovers, the Four Season Beans are what I think to be one of the best.  So don’t let the exterior of this restaurant fool you!

Stay tuned with my next post with photos from the last weekend of Chinese New Year!

P.S. I hope the new approach I’ve tried in this and the previous post of combining a few eats/events into one is being enjoyed.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to develop a style that doesn’t make everything seem too disjointed.
Kensington Peking on Urbanspoon

Ming xx

Something New + Something Old: Dinner at Mr Wong

Starting university this year was not what I would call ‘easy’.  I expected this new adventure in life to be quite similar to school.  I would be learning new things, completing assignments and exams but there was most definitely something different about this experience – a combination of the old and known learning with the new and unknown environment and faces.

When I reflect back on this meal, I realised that Mr Wong’s seems to encapsulate this notion of bringing together the new and old and appropriately, I made the trip down the unknown city alleyways to this new and hyped joint to celebrate the end of first year uni with my family!

Merivale’s latest venture begins with the old style Chinese cuisine, which we are all rather familiar with and takes diners on a vicarious journey through a new environment and presentation of the concept of well known dishes, typical of Merivale’s ability to ‘push/blur the boundaries’ in their creations.  Gone is the typical rush of Sunday morning yum cha or dinners in China Town with the clatter and flinging of bowls, being replaced with a new and impeccable level of service and refined elegance paralleled with the energy of authentic Chinese eateries.

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A New Era: The Century Grand Opening

There is always a feeling of warmth associated with the words “I remember when you were a baby…and look how grown up you are.”  It is truly amazing how quickly time flies when we see the changes that accompany it.

My appreciation of food and love of seafood can most likely be attributed to “The Golden Century Seafood Restaurant”.  From the time I was in Mama’s belly I was already being introduced to the world of good food – apparently the parentals were dining at Golden Century Seafood Restaurant twice a week!  I guess this also explains my slight obsession with seafood…


This ultimately led to the formation of a long and close friendship with the owners of the restaurant, Linda and Eric Wong, who became the godparents to both myself and Lil’ Bro.

I was privileged enough to attend the grand opening of “The Century” at the Star Casino and witness its birth into a prosperous business.  Today marked the beginning of a new era for Golden Century, a culmination of its development, change and strong familial contributions over its long history of success.  This is reflected in the creation and future of this new venture.

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