Hello from Sydney!
(and a belated Merry Christmas)
The night I completed 3 weeks of hard but fulfilling work with a truly fantastic group of giving and fun-filled individuals, I hopped onto a plane heading for Christmas in the land down-under. More specifically, this would be Christmas in Sydney for the first time in 15 years. A relaxing break like this could not have come at a better time!
The most unique part about Christmas in Sydney is the oxymoron of summer and beaches with the iconic white winter Christmas imagery we all know so well. This was really drawn to my attention when someone recently asked me whether it was odd to see ‘tank-top wearing Santas’ in Australia, to which I replied with a “Strangely, I think I may be used to it”. So, when organising our mandatory catch up with wifey @mighteee, I of course suggested that we embrace this Sydney ‘uniqueness’ and make our way to Bondi Beach.
If one didn’t know any better and happened to scroll through my instagram, they would most likely make the inference that I spent 10 days in Sydney eating and doing nothing else. They wouldn’t be entirely correct but in no way would I say they were completely wrong either. With the days I spent waiting for ‘pending’ or ‘processing’ paperwork, I was determined to meet up with as many of my friends as possible; a corollary of this being the copious amount of coffees and brunches which came into existence. There really is no better way to catch up with someone than over a relaxing brunch. Additionally, many of my foodie friends were enthusiastically recommending all of the ‘must-try’ hot-spots and dishes which I had better add onto my list before I left. Without further ado, the food ‘log’ shall be revealed…. *inhale*
From the build up to Christmas, to the interlude between Christmas and New Year and to the ushering in of the New Year, food and family festivities are without a doubt abundant. With Lil’ Bro flying in and out of Singapore, I enjoyed my first mother-daughter Christmas before my entire family was reunited in its full form to call in 2015.
I thought I would round up some of my festive season highlights before 2015 really takes off!
The latest addition to my family was the star of Christmas Day 2014 and we spent most of our lunch fawning over ‘baby-talk and -giggles’. I decided to undertake the role of dessert provider and spent the week prior to Christmas looking for ‘Eton Mess’ components. My original plan to make my own meringue was short-lived due to my baking essentials being left in Sydney and I was unable to find any pre-made crispy gems on my scavenger hunt. Luckily, Mum saved the day by deciding that we should ‘redesign’ the ‘Eton Mess’ with honeycomb crunch and cream cheese ice cream to substitute the meringue and usual mascarpone/cream component – it is just a ‘mess’ of deliciousness after all!
A final post on Sydney brunch for 2014…
It took me a significant amount of persuasion in order to convince my Dad to leave his study for a final Sydney brunch together. After my first dining experience at Rushcutters for a friend’s 21st, the birthday girl herself (Hey Pip!) had me determined to revisit the cafe/restaurant/market place for brunch.
I must admit that I am susceptible to the luring decor and ambience of any dining location. The high warehouse like ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass panels created a spacious and almost al-fresco atmosphere.
The best things always seem to be discovered at the end of a journey. As the saying goes; ‘save the best for last’ and Cook & Archies is certainly no exception to this.
During my last week in Sydney, I brought mother to this gem in Surry Hills on a break from packing for my adventure. Originally, I had a post-exam brunch date lined up at the venue but alas, a bout of food-poisoning had my dining partner out of action.
After a few disappointing coffees on returning to Sydney, mother loved her cup and I could not agree more. Their roast has definitely made it onto #mingsfavourites (:P)!
As per usual, mother and I avoided ‘meal-commitment’ and shared a mix of savoury and sweet dishes.
I have always loved these dining outings with my family, especially now when I the time I spend with Mama and Lil’ Bro is rather limited. It provides an opportunity to explore and experience new things together as well as share our stories, thoughts and amateur food critiques ;)! The photo below only reinforces to me the joys that my family brings me every day.
To say that Singapore’s cafe scene has grown over the past few years would still be an understatement.
At present, there is no shortage of cafes to choose from when Western dishes or hearty breakfast fare is being craved; a far cry from a time where I remember McDonald’s being the only place we would visit to appease Lil’ Bro’s desire for ‘non-hawker’ food. Singapore has what appears to be an infinite list of cafes making their mark across the island city in unique locations, however there are certainly a few which have stood out.
An animation to whet the appetite….
Five and Dime Eatery is another one of the consistently trending cafe/restaurants, which I had been meaning to try since its existence first surfaced on Instagram. Unlike the typical brunch/lunch fare, Five and Dime adds a Japanese nuance to its menu.
The end of semester arrived after what felt like an endless three weeks of study and exams.
Third year has definitely provided its challenges and pressure is most definitely mounting – as my Pharmacology lecturer expresses, “You guys are on the market next year”. So, between study, more study and planning for 2015 (it seems early but as usual application deadlines and New Years will arrive with little warning!!), there has been little time for anything else!
Completing my final paper on the painfully timetabled final Saturday morning of exam period, I met one of my oldest food ‘partners-in-crime’, M for brunch on this chilly Monday. Being my third visit to the increasingly famous Devon Cafe (Mama and I have have enjoyed both their brunch and lunch), I was eager to introduce M to this brunch haven. We agreed that after a hectic semester, the feeling of being able to simply “chill” over winter break (excuse the pun) was more than welcome in a widespread embrace!
My insta-surveying had me eyeing the “Ultimate Toastie” special BUT to my the disappointment of my increasingly large winter appetite, I was told that this highly photographed dish is only served on Friday to Sunday! No matter, this momentary sadness was salvaged by the prospect of trying the “Eggs Blini”; Buckwheat blini, cured king salmon, salmon caviar, broccolini, sauce Mikado and poached eggs. Usually, ‘Benedict-type’ eggs are sometimes rather heavy, but thisdish was quite the opposite. Eggs were poached to oozing perfection, blini was fluffy and slightly sweet and was complemented perfectly by a tangy sauce and delicious cured salmon. Never having seen this on a cafe menu before, I thought it was rather unique and definitely something I would recommend for poached egg enthusiasts and those looking for a dish that is not the ‘run-of-the-mill’ brunch option.