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.
Hello desolate space…apologies for the prolonged hiatus. As per usual university ‘nerding’ was to blame. The final semester of degree was nothing short of exhausting and stressful but I can very happily say that those days are now behind me! Following my final set of exams I indulged in a glorious period of brunching with friends before the highly anticipated arrival of my mother who I have missed dearly. A hectic week of packing ensued. ‘Why?’ You may ask.
After much thought and changes of heart I finally decided to take the leap of faith <insert that unforgettable scene in How I Met Your Mother where they leap onto the neighboring apartment roof top>
…and venture over to Singapore for one year of work.
Now that all crazy shenanigans have ended I can rekindle my love for this blog, which is in dire need of some TLC. So hello again … but from Singapore!
Over the past year my foodie appetite was stunted due to much time devoted to study thus I was determined to tick off a number of places on my ‘wish-list’ yet to be tried. Let us start with my trip to the famously instagrammed Paramount Coffee Project in Surry Hills.
My dear friend Queen P was visiting from Thailand and for the first time in three years the stars finally aligned and we were able to embark on a chat-, food- and retail-filled day. Queen P is one of those friends that exudes a confidence and energy that is truly wonderful to be in the presence of, much like Queen B(eyonce) herself and a perfect fit for the vivacious environment of PCP. Located in the previous Paramount Film Offices in Surry Hills, the high ceilings and infiltrating sunshine generated a fantastic ambience.
For the last six months I have been travelling between Sydney and Singapore, visiting my Lil’ Bro who has undergone quite a dramatic life-change; moving to Singapore (post-HSC) for National Service. Although there was initial worry for him, in terms of adapting to such change, Lil’ Bro took the challenge with a determined and positive attitude and recently graduated from his Basic Military Training.
The final challenge of this component of his service was a 24km route march from the Training Centre to the majestic location of the Floating Platform at Marina Bay, which is surrounded by the beautiful icons of the city. Following this gruelling but what Lil’ Bro describes as an emotional and breathtaking march, symbolic of their 10 week intensive training, the ‘recruits’ take part in their ‘Passing Out Parade’ (shortened to POP) where they are met by their family and friends.
This event was highly anticipated by my family, however my suspicions are that I was the most eager of all. The night before the POP, I set numerous alarms to ensure that we would be able to secure front row seats for the best photo opportunities – I was out of my bed at 4.00am. My parents and aunt were amused by my eagerness, especially when we ended up being the first to arrive at Marina Bay although I insisted that we were already arriving very late!
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.
The first half of this semester at university has definitely taken upon itself to race full speed ahead and now I find myself embarking on my 7th week back with the prospect of Easter Break acting as my ‘pacemaker’. One more week before I can truly take a semi-break as I jet off to Singapore for a quick visit before my Lil’ Bro heads into the army!
It has been a busy start to the year, to put it simply and any food spotting or life sharing has been limited to the world of Instagram. So…in a brief moment to breathe I thought I would make a quick visit to this space and share a little something which I always enjoy the most during my Singapore trip.
Although we eat out 99% of the time and I could rave about the Singaporean food scene for an infinite amount of time, it is the family gatherings composed of homecooked meals and sitting around a relative’s living room which I miss the most when I am back in Sydney.
On my past trip, which was longer than usual I was able to celebrate my twin Auntie and Uncle’s birthday. My Si Yi (Auntie No. 4) is no amateur in the kitchen, preparing ‘Peng Cai’, a Chinese New Year delicacy full of culinary delights such as abalone, with each holding a significant meaning. The birthday girl definitely deserved to be showered in affection after providing our stomachs with pure content.
Of course there was cake from our family favourite, ‘Bengawan Solo’ the makers of Nonya Kueh, what I have crowned one of the best desserts in the world…my tastebuds may be biased…
Blackforest Cake was featured as well as my newfound love, the Pandan Kaya Cake.
Until next time!