Tuesday, April 29, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Shopping for tea and coffee accesories

Lupicia Fresh Tea
14-16 Artemis Lane QV
Melbourne, 3000

Opens 7 days

I love tea and cannot resist popping into tea shops whenever I came across one. There are lots of shops selling tea and tea wares in Melbourne or in Brisbane. But this is the one and only shop that got me excited and spending till I see red. Hoohoo.

Lupicia Tea@Melbourne QV

Lupicia Interior
The shop sells tea leaves and tea accesories.

Lupicia tea
After spending a long time smelling, I finally bought white peach oolong, Dongding oolong (a premium grade type) and cherry black tea.

Princess thought it fun to sniff here and there too. She said to me,'must buy this ah,' after we had a sniff at the white peach oolong. Ouch, it's a premium premium tea and most expensive among the three.

I have always love oolong and the one I bought has this very nice caramel-ly smell. Smoky, dark and sweet, very special.

Princess and I love love cherries, so I got the cherry black tea to make iced tea on warm days.

Lupicia Handy Cooler
This handy cooler (A$40) comes in handy when making cold ice tea. There were only 4 left in the shop, you know how women cannot resist when 'limited' rings in the ear. You can find a similar product from Bodum which is initially what I intend to get.

So now I got tea-leaves, I must get a tea-pot too. Those at Lupicia too expensive.

I came across a stall selling tea and coffee plus accesories in Queen Victoria Market. Bought a VeV espresso stovetop maker (A$37) but Big King is not keen on the plain look so I brought back and exchanged for a teapot (A$31). The lady was kind enough to refund the difference.

Zero teapot
This teapot has a matt texturise surface, a nice change from the smooth porcelain you see everywhere. It makes 2 cups. The lid is clip-on and removable for easy cleaning.

Zero teapot1
The mesh strainer does not go all the way to the bottom. So I actually prefer Beehouse but they didn't stock anything under 4 cup capacity. Bummer.

After leaving the tea and coffee stall, turn round a corner and I saw a cafe offering a range of stovetop espresso maker. I have my eyes on the Dama, very cute with see-through lid so no guessing when your coffee is done and not risk burning your face when you lift the lid to see how the coffee's going. But the cafe people recommended a stainless steel version I think called 'Kona'. In the end, the cheaper Dama won for A$23.95, the Kona was A$71.

Bialetti Dama
I would suggest buying the stovetop espresso maker from Lygon as the shops there have a wider range at much better price. I saw the Kona for A$69 in Lygon.

Didn't do my research properly before leaving for Melbourne, I should have bought Brikka. Bummer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

[Shopping] Ipod Nano

I know this is an old toy. But better late than never. Haha.


Bought online from the official Apple website with personal inscription. Thought I'd grab this before they disappear altogether. In case you're wondering why, red colour is limited edition.

[Snacks] Kit Kat Limited Edition

I thought the Melbourne posts are over and done with but then saw the photos of things I bought. Thought I'd do some posts on them too.

Japan Ltd Ed Kit Kat

Purchased from Chinese supermarket on Russell St near A1 Roast Meat shop. They stock an impressive range of Japanese goodies.

Tried the cookies the milk. Nothing spectacular, can't beat Hershey's cookies and cream. Haven't try the green tea version yet.

They are not cheap, like, A$2.xx each.

Friday, April 25, 2008

[Brisbane] Shiok!

Shop 3/218 Padstow Rd
Eight Mile Plains
Queensland 4113


Lo Shu Fan in claypot
Lo shu fan (rice noodles) in claypot

Java Mee
Java mee


'Nuff said.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

[Gold Coast] Raj Palace

Raj Palace (Indian Food)
Marina Mirage

Gold Coast

We have been wanting to try Indian food here. Upon recommendation from Big King's colleague, we thought we'd stop by here for lunch before heading for Sea World which is just down the road within spitting distance.

Raj Palace@Marina Mirage
At 11.40am, the restaurant had just opened and there was just one table occupied in the al-fresco dining area.

We opt to sit inside beside the window, no brainer, it was windy outside.

Raj Palace interior
Eeeee, plastic plants crawling all over and around the place. Tacky. Furnitures dated, old, looks a bit ....dirty. But the glasses and utensils and crockeries were sparkling clean, good.

Raj Palace set lunch
Set lunch A$19.90 (lamb curry)

Raj Palace mixed grill
Mixed grill A$24.90 (chicken curry)

The chicken tandoori was flavoursome and juicy. Princess loved the yogurt marinated grilled chicken. Lamb tikka was dry and over-season, all you could taste was the spice not the lamb >_<. Fisk tikka was extremely dry and chewy, oi, fell asleep, did ya chef? Oh well, at least it was not burnt.

Biggest surprise was the chickpea curry, very good, creamy and spicy. Even Princess said nice but spit out cos too spicy for her.

Chicken and lamb curry lacked ommph and somewhat also lacking in taste.

Naan bread is soft and fluffy, none of the hard and super chewy supermarket variety. Nicely charred too.

Mango & strawberry kulfi
Mango and strawberry kulfi

The kulfi (ice-cream) was included in the set. There should be coffee and tea too but they didn't serve it to us. We didn't know and didn't think to ask, *tsk*.

All in all, a pleasant experience. Thanks to Big King's colleague for the good recommendation.

Broadbeach waters
Main beach at Marina Mirage.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Princess turned three

Chloe's 3rd b'day 2008
I made a cookies and cream cheesecake but....Princess still prefers coffee cheesecake.

We got her a teddy bear called Grace from David Jones and a toy piano she's been eyeing for so long.

Went to Rosalie last saturday to look see the olive tasting session. The website should have stated at the bottom of the olive oil tasting notice :- 'Don't buy after tasting at your own peril'. As unpleasant looks were thrown my way as I approached the last stall without any bottle in my hand.

I was going to get the GWYDIR, I love the peppery notes. I thought I would make my choice after doing a round. But after some unpleasantries and people behind the table avoiding my glances. I lost interest altogether.

Went across the road to Gelateria Cremona but they were not open until 1pm! So went off to Trang for some lunch and return at around 1310, the owners were just setting up shop.

I stood before the counter undecided for quite some time as the flavours offered were uninteresting and generic. Went for pomegranate and strawberry sorbet in the end. They were very good, it's like tasting real fruit. They also came quite expensive at A$5.20 for just 2 tiny scoops.

Not in a hurry to return to the area.

Monday, April 21, 2008

[Gold Coast] Sea World

My internet quota finished and modem reverted to dial-up speed hence the lack of posts.

It was Princess' third birthday on 29th March (2008).

To celebrate, we decided to visit Sea World. Princess loves its advert on tv.


Seaworld Entry Charges

Seaworld 1

Chloe@Seaworld 1

Chloe@Seaworld 2

[Gadget Toy] Sunbeam Mixmaster

My friend SY mentioned she would like to have a look at my mixer.

Here it is, my pretty 'lil red'.

Sunbeam mixmaster

Bought at Myer for A$269 after discounts.

I love kitchen gadgets with retro looks. A sunbeam cafe series toaster also sits proudly on the bench.

But if you have the dosh and serious about baking, I would suggest getting a KA (though SY would disagree cos hers broke down in less than 6 mths).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Trang @ West End

Trang (Chinese & Vietnamese Food)
Rialto Theatre Bldg

Shop 2
59 Hardgrave Rd
West End
QLD 4101
Phone (07) 3255 1610

Trang@West End
On the same stretch of shops with Kim Thanh and Quan Thanh.

Dim Sim
'Small eat' dim sim

Minced pork in wantan pastry. Similar to siew mai from Yum Cha but taste wise is worlds apart (in very very soft voice *not recomended*)

Grilled Pork Rice
Grilled pork rice

This was so so and forgetable. Quan Thanh version is better, smokier and more tender.

Herbal Duck Noodle Soup
Herbal Duck Noodle

Dang dang dang dang...........very very tasty duck noodle, so tasty I wanna eat the bowl too XD. I have cravings for it every now and then.

The food from Chinese menu is good too. We had fried kuey tiau and chicken pho before (no pics). The kuey tiau taste of home (Brunei not house home)*sob*sob*.

Lescure Butter

Lescure Butter
Lescure butter and bread from Gold Coast bakery (not Polish bakery)

Can't find Buerre Echire anywhere here in Brissie. Lescure is easily seen in most delis, got the salted version. It's good.

I have finally found bread which I like best from a Polish bakery from Jan Powerhouse Market. I like the sourdough rye, very springy and stay soft up to 3 days (well, a big loaf lasted 3 days in my household XD) and no sour taste ! Hurrah!

You should taste the sourdough from other said 'famous' bakeries, they are well, sour and become HARD the very next day......*scratch head*......weird. The said bakery has a shopfront in Gold Coast. Too far for me to travel....

I like eating my food in simple crockeries, the plainer the better. Right now I like pure white from Corelle and Villeroy & Boch cutleries. Used Maxwell & Williams before, it was not OK with me.

The Corelle crockeries are non-scratchable, non-breakable and chip resistant. Perfect for clumsy people like me and Princess. Best of all, it won't retain smell or stain. You know how carrot stain....nightmare to remove....and how dried shiitake smell.........

I had these beautiful white mugs from Cashmere by Maxwell & Williams, they cracked underneath the handle within TWO weeks, darn, they were not cheap......(have been utmost careful with them *scratch head*). Got meself two chocolate drops New Wave mug from DFO at 50% off, bargain.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blue Lotus Dessert Lounge

Blue Lotus
Retail 16
The Village Centre
Cnr Musk Ave & Carraway St Kelvin Grove
QLD 4059

After lunch at Hanaichi, we went in search of desserts.
Blue Lotus
And no it is not a dessert lounge, it's just an ice-cream parlour.

Don't be fooled by the website's fancy pictures of ice-cream desserts.

'We just sell ice-cream in scoops here,' replied the staff when we enquire about a menu.

Blue Lotus Ice-cream
Black sesame and apple and rose ice-cream

Hmm, er, ar.........

Let's just say, they will not miss our business, we are not big ice-cream eaters anyway.

Hanaichi Sushi Bar & Dining

Hanaichi Sushi
Shop G 316
Level 3 Wintergarden
Brisbane 4000

Hanaichi 4
Love the crisp white wall

Hanaichi menu 1
Starting at A$2.90. it's a real steal.

Hanaichi menu 2
We had deep fried spicy chicken (no pic), it was so so, forgetable.

Hanaichi sushi
The salmon and yellow tail sushi is especially good. No toro or uni as we visited the weekend just after new year (1/1/2008). No imports from Japan *sob* and no sesame creme brulee, more *sobs*.

Hanaichi 2
Check out the humongous abalone in the tank. You can have it as sashimi or sushi at seasonal price.

Hanaichi 1
The chefs (all Japanese) use Global knives. I use Global (santoku and 10cm peeling knives) at home too. To be honest, I don't think they're that good. The blades are no doubt super sharp but the handles are just not ergonomic enough. It'll be better if they're rounded like Shun.

Hanaichi 3
The wall is adorned with many awards.

Which I think well deserved.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Top Noodle Japanese Style Noodle Bar

Visited Market Sq Branch again.

Udon Kakiage@Top Noodle
Udon Kakiage

Udon noodle soup with prawn and vegetable tempura.

I love kakiage and recently found frozen version at Go Go Mart in Gold Coast (6 for A$6.50). Go Go Mart like Top Noodle is part of Sushi Train Group. It's opposite Harbour Town along Gold Coast Hwy.

Tonkatsu don@Top Noodle
Katsu don (available in chicken or pork)

Katsudon is so so only, the skin separated from the meat, orz....

Went to check out Zac Posen for Target range today.

Erm...Honestly do not know what to make of it......

The designs are not really 'everyday wearable'.

The only ladies snapping them off the racks were heavily made-up with bright red lipsticks, super tanned skin and bee hive hair.

Oh, not to mention the super bling jewellery adorned. There were clones like this dotted around the displays, I swear.

The designs are a bit 'auntie' to me if I must say......Not my style, though I am an 'auntie' hohoho.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dreamy Donut

Krispy Kreme is coming to Brisbane! Yay!

But we are not missing good donuts here in Queensland.

I am one die-hard fan of KK's original glazed but overall I give my vote to Dreamy Donut.

Why? Cos they use Lindt chocolate for all its chocolate topped donuts! Yummo!

Dreamu Donut
Half dozen carry box

Assorted half dozen
Assorted half dozen A$13.XX

You get 2 glazed, 2 topped and 2 filled.

My favourite is raspberry filled donut topped with white chocolate, Princess' fav is white chocolate topped donut and Big King is boring, he always go for the original glazed.

I got mine from Westfield Garden City just outside David Jones on lower ground floor.

Malaya Corner @ Market Square, Sunnybank

Opened in February 2008, Malaya Corner is still located in the same site before it was burnt down last year.

Malaya Corner
We came for tea after touch down in Brisbane. It's good to be home, air is so much fresher.

Chicken laksa@Malaya Corner
Chicken laksa

Peanut toast @Malaya Corner
Peanut toast

Took them bloody 45 minutes to serve us the pre-cooked laksa and cook them stupid toast. Lots of complaints around.

The staff said, 'You have to wait.' What an attitude!

Haven't been back since.

Will be back, I believe in giving second chance.