Thursday, August 23, 2018

Sydney: 2D1N work trip

Heading to Sydney
Unlike the previous years, I have not been travelling to Sydney till early last month. It was also a strange one (to me) because we were flown up for a meeting. So it was a short 2 day 1 night trip and managed to secure a room at the excellent Swissotel again ;)

The previous times I stayed in Swissotel I didn't see this smartphone on loan service, maybe they have just started this.

I am also happy to know that I still know how to swim. Thank goodness. Haha. Yes, I woke up at about 6 in the morning, went for a swim before breakfast on my second day yo. Yes, I managed to try different eating places this time though. So here goes.

Ipoh Town (I went to the one on York Street)

I am always on the hunt for good char kway teow and I saw that they have it on their menu so that was the main reason this shop was in my list to try. I changed my mind on ordering the CKT though because my colleague told me that they used the thin type of rice noodles. I ordered the Ipoh Hor Fun ($11) instead, it was pretty good and I won't mind going back for a fuss free lunch.

Yayoi, The Galeries
I caught up with an ex-colleague for dinner and the food below were shared. They were good! Yumm.

Nasu miso, $10.80
Yayoi Gozen which consisted of pork loin cutlet, salmon salad, salmon teriyaki and sukiyaki, $32
shima hokke shio-yaki, $19.30
We didn't have any dessert but went to have tea at another location.

Bluebird Coffee Sydney at Regent Place
They had taro latte on menu on the day of my visit and I wanted to try it despite just had a very full meal. It wasn't heavy nor sweet, so I did enjoy it.

Being extra, we also ordered 2 cakes to share and I had the bigger share. Both were good but we preferred the tiramisu as the crust for the cheesecake felt too thick at some parts.

Devon Cafe Barangaroo
This cafe is more pricey than average cafe but I had my eyes on the truffle menu!

Espresso to kickstart the day
Truffle egg sando
The staff were attentive, a bit too attentive.. haha.. they would walk over and check on me whenever I turned to look at the counter side. I was sitting with my back facing the counter. The waitstaff thought I was trying to ask if my food was ready, in actual fact, I was looking at the menu and contemplating if I wanted to grab a matcha latte takeaway. Hahaha.

I didn't have time to go out for lunch on my second day, and it didn't feel right to do so as well, especially when my colleague wanted to take the 3:30 PM flight back to Melbourne (I just booked the same time as her to make things easier). So we ended up grabbing an expensive sushi roll in the airport to tie us over to dinner.

Back to Melbourne

Side note: Hopefully the last 2 calls to tradies this week [-o<

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Perth: Hifumiya Udon and Ippudo Ramen

I pretty much eat at home when in Perth but the couple of occasions we went out, we had Japanese food. Once udon and the other ramen. Hahaha. Hence the title. First up, udon first simply because we had udon first.

Udon at Hifumiya Udon Noodle House

The concept of the shop is a bit like casual udon or soba shop in Japan where you order and pick up at the counter yourself, then add toppings as you like before you paid. The shop itself gives the vibe of school canteen like. Haha.

I initially wanted the Hifumiya Original (deep fried bean curb, slow-cooked egg, seaweed, dried bonito) but as sis also wanted to order the same, the glutton brain decided that we should try more variety so I went for Kamatama Mentai (Chilli cod roe, slow-cooked egg, butter, black pepper with original soy sauce), $8.80.

Sis had already started eating when I got my bowl because I had to wait a little. I preferred Hifumiya Original because I find my choice a little too salty for my liking. Aside from that, it was good. We also shared a kakiage $2.80. Options of hot or cold tea or water are free of charge.

Ramen at Ippudo
Hahaha... yes, Melbourne has finally have yummy ramen because we now have our very own Melbourne Ippudo outlet. There are always long queue to get into Ippudo so when I had Ippudo in Perth, I haven't been to the one in Melbourne. (This has since been remedied, I have since went to the shop with Little P last month).

We ordered 2 ramen (karaka tamago and akamaru tamago) but one very blur photo so only one ramen here. We also ordered extra serving of noodles for the kids (plain.. haha) and grilled unagi don.

3 adults and 2 kids shared one dessert of Kurogoma panna cotta (original black sesame panna cotta, berries and mint). It was delish.

Side note: Any dramas recommendations? 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Perth: Autumn leaves at Raeburn Orchard

Persimmon, not pumpkin.. haha
Please kindly overlook the fact that autumn had way finished and we are actually in the last leg of winter months. I have a pretty valid reason for the delay. I moved house (again!) and hopefully not again for a very long time. I need to stop saying I dislike moving because fate has it's wicked sense of humour. I find the more I dislike it, the more it would happen. I've moved a grand total of 5 times in the last 10 years, which means on average I moved once every 2 years. -__-
I still have tradies visiting way too frequently but hopefully this will soon pass.

Anyway, I was in luck to catch some remaining orange autumn leaves in Perth even after a day of heavy rain. Sis drove us (sis, niece, nephew and me) to Raeburn Orchard on a Sunday. They charge a fee for entrance of $4 for adults. Child enters for free. One can pay for entrance fee at the main area, where they also have fruits for sale.

We didn't linger very long but enough for many shots and the kids had a blast running around.

Side note: I need many quiet weekends to recharge...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hong Kong: Itinerary for 4 days 3 nights

Here's the recap of travel, or rather it serve as an index page for easier tracking.

Cheers to long weekends... and link to accommodation.
Ideas of things to do
Ideas of food possibilities

Day 1
Kowloon area, dinner at Social Club and night view at The Peak

Day 2
Crystal cabin cable car to Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha, followed by Tai O.

Day 3
Hiking the famous Dragon's Back. Back to Kowloon. Dinner at Mak's Noodle and tong sui at Kai Kai Dessert.

Day 4
Brunch at Tai Hing, snacks and walkabout in Central.

Side note: Wonder if I still know how to swim...

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Hong Kong: Hiking the Dragon's Back

There were only two things on my itinerary. First being Tai O and the other, a hike. I narrowed my choice of trail to Dragon's Back and Lion's Rock. Between the two, I prefer the Lion's Rock but I read that it is the more challenging one. As I don't have much faith in my stamina, this is where Dragon's Back trail comes in. I asked S if she is keen to do a hike, and which is her preference. I've not been to either so am happy with whichever one that she prefers. She chose Dragon's Back, so that was the trail we did.

Most people take a bus and start from Shek O Road, accesible either a bus or tax from Shau Kei Wan MTR and stop at the bus stop at To Tei Wan Village. I avoid taking buses if there are other options of public transport and found a blog mentioning that they start their hike from Chai Wan MTR (after a short walk to the start of the hike).

So instead of starting the usual 'trail start', we started closer to the MTR station. I think I prefer it this way though.

The description from the blog post is detailed and we definitely didn't get lost. The walk cuts through a cemetery and coincidentally our visit was really close to Qing Ming Festival (Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day). At any time that we thought that we were lost, we were promptly reassured by random passerby carrying flowers or offerings walking passed us.

I didn't take many photos here as it is a cemetery and we were there during Qing Ming Festival.

For a good part there were not many people, and we didn't start hiking really early either but definitely more people as we hit the actual trail. Once we reached the trail, not once we wondered if we walked off usual trail. It is a very popular trail and safe.

Side note: Here's to hoping all will be smooth sailing ^^

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Hong Kong: Houses on stilts and drawbridge in Tai O

Tai O is home to a community of fisher folk on Lantau Island, making it a possible detour if the intention is to visit the Tian Tan Buddha. Contrary to most who are travelling to HK, my main reason to commute to Lantau Island was actually Tai O instead of Tian Tan Buddha. Reason being I have been to Tian Tan Buddha in the past albeit not via those flashy cable car. It was in S's list of places to visit, I have no qualm of re-visiting so we made our way to Tian Tan prior to Tai O.

Whilst I didn't expect Tai O to be totally serene, secluded and quiet, I was still surprised to see the crowd at this fishing town. I wonder if it would be quieter if we were there in the morning but it was after we have visited the Big Buddha. I guess everybody else shared the similar travel plan.

The houses on stilts, drawbridge and fishing village charms are still present, regardless of the busy human traffic in this little fishing town.

Our first stop was lunch, which was a bit more miss than hit but definitely very filling. Somehow I managed to find a spot in my tummy to fit in an egg waffle / eggette, whatever you call it. Yumm... though they are at least double the price here in Melbourne so I am exercising my very best restrain to curb my cravings.

After lunch, we basically just walked around. There is option of taking a boat trip if you want to. Once you are out of the main streets, the crowd was a bit more spread out.

Maybe all the food did get to my head because I can't understand why I didn't just buy this cha guo to eat later that I did not come across again.

and shame on the blurred photograph too :(
After making a round, we made our way back to the bus station. If you try want to take a scenic route back to HK Island, you can take bus #1 to Mui Wo (about 40 mins) followed by ferry back to Central. By taking this route there is an option to see some beaches, as well as Mui Wo or Silvermine Bay.

We took the faster route of bus #11 back to Tung Chung then transferred to MTR. The queue though was snaking long! The queue moved quite fast though, and I think they organised more buses as it was a public holiday. The queue for bus #11 moved faster compared to bus #1 and it reaffirmed our decision to just head back to Tung Chung.

Yup, that was the bus queue
On a sort of unrelated note, I find the foot pedal on the bins a great idea! I saw them in Tai O hence the sort of...

Side note: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo