Friday, May 30, 2008

[Brisbane] West End Market @ Davies Park

I adore markets.

But I don't venture anywhere else after my first visit to Powerhouse Market. Yeah, it's that good.

But things got a bit restless when it's three more weeks to the next market.

Big King's colleague recommended West End Market.

I was pretty excited with promise of bountiful cheap stuff.

West End Market
West End Market is held at Davies Park in, well, West End. Things look rosy. Beautiful huge park.

Hats@West End Mkt
Lots and lots of hats but....none too interesting enough.

There were stalls selling everything from second hand clothings to old records to handmade jewelleries to incense. Oh, it's also a flea market as well as a produce market.

Haircut@West End Mkt
Haircut in a 'bird cage'. Cute. Tomas is nowhere to be seen though.

Things get interesting when you go past the 'birdcage'.

It's cooked food section *yay* (MY territory) and growers' stalls selling seasonal apples, pears, vegetables and seafood and artisan bread.

By now the crowd also gets interesting. Lotsa 'spiritually elevated' people er....floating....around. Most......barefooted with dreadlocks and hippy colourful clothing looking half-stoned. My jaw's on my chest when I saw small groups (lots of them in smallish group but they all greeted each other) of these 'beings' floated by.


Curry Puff@West End Mkt
Ah, curry puffs. Where have you been all this time? Like a long lost friend, I cried with joy and 'hug' them when I 'met' me long lost 'mate', curry puffs.

They're yummy! Regretted only gotten a couple, there were other goodies beckoning! Must make a trip specially for these babies soon.

Monsteros@West End Mkt
Saw this funny looking thing. Is it a veg or fruit. Hello...hello.....Stall owner missing....

Langos@West End Mkt
There was a long line for Langos, a Hungarian fried bread topped with sour cream and your choice of ketchup, chilli sauce or barbeque sauce and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Hmmm, dough is very good but totally spoilt with the toppings. If only the sauces were homemade and better cheese was used. They're not cheap, A$5, a gorgeous French Flan with top notch ingredients was only A$7 and twice the size. You see why I love Powerhouse more.

West End Market is touted to be the cheapest market around with upmarket produce/goodies and totally blown-away shopping experience.
Well, its er.......not for me. Except for the excellent curry puffs.

I'll definitely be back!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

[Baking] Spanish (or is it Mexican?) Wedding Cookies

Spanish wedding cookies
Baked by Rabbit

I got the recipe (sorry, lost) from the internet. It was OK OK but Princess loved them.

Spanish wedding cookies1
Bought at Powerhouse Market

Sample of this was thrust in my face as I was walking by.

Why not.

I gave a piece to Princess and she exclaimed rather loudly, 'Wah, cin ho chia ah (delicious!).'

I quickly grab another one and tasted. Not bad (I am not mad over cookies you see), at least way better than whose I baked.

Seeing Princess liked them so much I bought a box (6 for A$4). She asked for them everyday until the fourth one, she's had enough.

I devoured the rest, yay.

[Brisbane] Fisheman's Basket by Red Rooster

Fisherman's Basket by Red Rooster
Fisherman's Basket A$8.XX

Bought this when I was craving for prawn and squid.

I waited about 3 minutes as mine was cooked to order.

One bite on the fish, pleasantly surprised. It's moist and soft (not mushy). Prawns and squid were also cooked to perfection.

Princess and me fought over the prawn cutlets. Haha, she won, of course.

Not a bad deal at all.

Monday, May 26, 2008

[Brisbane] Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon from Powerhouse Market.

500g for A$10. Bought frozen.

Sound like a great buy but taste like wax and very dry and sinewy.

What you get is actually leftover trimmings. Even those sold in supermarket taste better.

It doesn't pay to be a cheapskate ALL the time.

Well, one lesson learned.

[Princess] Future Queen of............

Chloe @ Kmart
Shopping (Queen)

We were shopping for a winter jacket. I asked her to try this pink jacket on and take a picture.

We were standing next to a rack of accesories.

After I put on the coat for her and getting the camera ready.

She suddenly grab a bag and a hairband from the rack and said, 'Nah, put this on me also. Sui bah, sui bah.'

Wow, way to go girl. So little already know how to accesorise and moreover, the colour matched too.

Made up Chloe
Beauty (Queen)

Hey, don't go all pukey. She's a cutey pie (*brainwashing*).

Made up Chloe 1
I don't know how she knows the stuff is supposed to be used on the face. I have never put on make-up in front of her, haven't done it for years in fact.

I couldn't stop laughing when I caught her secretly diam-diam playing in the bedroom while I surf the net in the living room.

Friday, May 23, 2008

[Fashion] Trade Secrets

I mentioned a little about my fashion taste before. Generally, I like anything casual but 'well-made'.

I don't believe in spending a fortune on brands to look good. You can be stylo even in cheapy clothes but not head to toe, mind you. It depends on how you wear them.

For eg, a cheap $5 grey tee (cheap) with jeans (always difficult to determine the price-range) plus a LV or Gucci or Chanel bag (expensive, or you could opt for mid-range) plus some accesories (cheap, again difficult to tell the price). Trust me, you will look a million dollar.

To be honest, I am mostly in jeans and t-shirt, sandals and my favourite Longchamp bag (my designer bags are left forgotten at the corner of wardrobe).

Trade Secret is one such place I find my well-made casual pieces at rock bottom price. It is Australia's answer to US' TJ Maxx or UK's TK Maxx. There is new stock everyday. So I will go once a week or a fortnight, on a weekday, to go check check.

Sometimes I like to wear skirt too but it can be quite 'inappropriate' at times with naughty naughty Princess in tow.

Trade Secret
Marcs Tulip dress (A$30 @ Trade Secret)

I love Marcs casual wear (not Marcs by Marc Jacob but an Australian brand) but I don't like the price very much. When Trade Secret have shipments in from Marcs, I go crazy (well, in the changing room). The tulip dress is retailing at A$170. Crazy crazy prices at Trade Secret. What am I waiting for? Buy, buy, buy.......

Just Add Sugar@Trade Secret
Long cardi knit by Just Add Sugar (A$39.95 @ Trade Secret)

I suppose this is a staple piece in ALL Jap and Korean girls' wardrobe. I have been eyeing this style for the longest time. I tried one on at Universal but at A$89.95, it's expensive for me. Imagine my joy when I saw this hanging at Trade Secret. I do the 'does my bum look big in this' test in the changing room. No (I have massive bum, I tell ya). Great relief. Down from A$69.95, not exactly greatly discounted. Still....Buy, buy, buy.....

I am looking for a light jacket, I saw this Wish mock leather jacket for A$79.95. Hmmm, still thinking...........
Trade Secret 2
Sorry, bad quality photo, taken with Nokis E65 under dim lightings.

This jacket looks cool but I am unsure about the buttons (A$34.95). Bi, you think this a good buy?
Trade Secret 1

My favourite from Universal, I like the graphic on this long tee. And no, my big bum doesn't show. But at A$89.95, way above my budget for a single tee. Back on the racks, sigh.......
God, elephant legs showing. Back to jeans *sob*....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

[Brisbane] Chouquette

Millefuille by Chouquette

One of the better ones I have tasted in Brisbane. Not present is the garish yellow custard mix you find in most bakeries. Relief.

Puff pastry is flaky and still crispy (bought in morning and ate in evening).

Macarons by Chouquette

Macarons are our default buy from Chouquette. They will always have chocolate plus one other seasonal flavour. This time they had apple flavour. I can't really tell the flavour if not told beforehand.

I have also tried cherries and pineapple flavours. The filling for the pineapple macarons is similar to the pineapple paste I made for my pineapple tarts. Strong, tart and not too sweet. I like.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Winter knits and other fashion feeds

Winter knits
Taken from Instyle magazine, April 2008 issue

For sis' reference.

Layering wear
Taken from Instyle magazine, April 2008 issue

These are the sort of styles I like, smooth silky fabrics. Ideal for summer and team it with roll neck or long sleeve tee and tights for winter. Great all year round practical and comfortable pieces.

checkered jacket
Taken from Shop til you drop magazine, May 2008 issue

Bi, what do think of this jacket? I am thinking, to team it with vintage grey straight leg jeans. Will it look funny?

How to wear tights?

Sis asked me this question.

She said everyone is wearing it in Brunei.

Brunei?? The summer all year round Brunei??

Those fashionistas blindly follow trend by all costs.

How to wear tights
This is the Fiorelli ad campaign in most fashion mags.

I feel this is a good representation of how to wear them for everyday look.

I think you could safely pull off the styles on the left minus the boots in even tropical Brunei.

And oh, fringe and long straight smooth hair is in. Yeah, I am sporting it at the moment. Totally my style. Only because I have fine, dead straight hair, haha. I never thought it would become 'fashionable' any time.

But hey, I'm loving it.

Does marrying a much older man makes you more mature than you really are?

Katie Holmes
Taken from Instyle magazine, April 2008 issue

I cannot relate the above lady to Joey in Dawson's Creek anymore.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

[Brisbane] Kaiten Sushi - Sushi Train

Sushi Train
Shop 9
Market Sq Shopping Centre (& various locations)
Qld 4109

It's in a location handy for my toro fix.
Salmon toro sushi by Sushi Train
Salmon toro (belly) sushi

Quite good value at only A$2.xx per plate. Also had tuna toro, unagi and karaage.

Wasabi Mayo by Sushi Train
Wasabi mayo

Karaage is good with the wasabi mayo. Sure to get extra kick.

To be honest, I only went to taste the wasabi mayo unique to Sushi Train. Heee. And I think it's worth the trip.

The bill came up to A$20.00. Not too bad but still I prefer Hanaichi.

Today is Mother's Day, no special celebration for me. Went to city to buy Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser. I've been eyeing it for a few years now. Restock my trusted Aesop camellia nut facial cream, a winter saviour to my dry face.

And then we went to Hanaichi. I had prawn tempura udon. Udon is very slippery, a far cry from those packets in supermarket chiller.

The purpose of this visit to to eat uni (sea urchin roe). So sweet and creamy. Yum. Also have my must eat, salmon toro. Didn't order the tuna toro as the tuna sashimi didn't look too good.

For dessert we had, black sesame creme brulee with black sesame ice-cream, came with a quarter of dorayaki (red bean pancake) and green tea cake roll with green tea ice-cream.

Happy :))))

Friday, May 09, 2008

[Brisbane] Top Noodles @ Market Sq

Top noodles, I have written so many times about it before. No need for more intro.

I constantly have cravings for prawn tempura. Preferably, the Japanese long sweet prawns encased in the thinnest and lightest batter.

I have no idea where to find well-executed ones in Brisbane.

Tempura Don@Top Noodle
Ten don

Ten don comprised of prawn and vegetable tempura. There were 2 prawns, yay but a bit chewy. Most probably because they were previously frozen. I think the price was A$11.xx.

Gyoza@Top Noodle

Gyoza was on special for only A$2.90. Ordered a portion for Princess, she loves dumplings of all sorts. These were quite good, very juicy. Excellent value.

Sad to announce it's no longer my favourite place for lunch, it has been replaced by Shin Yuan pork chop house also in Market Sq. If I have no idea where to go for lunch, or if my tummy grumble and I happen to be in Market Sq. I will always walk towards Shin Yuan unconciously. Unless of course Big King is there to stop me. Haha.

Chicken chop, pork chop bring them on. Big King is not the only pork chop face in the house. Shhhhhh, secrets.......

[Brisbane] Snack time! Stroopwafels and Shiraz Chocolate Drops

Dutch stroopwafels

Princess and my absolute favourite after meal nibble. We like it slightly soft and chewy.

If I got time, I left a wafel on top of a mug of hot tea. Flip over until desired softness. If I ain't got time, I blast it in microwave for 8 secs.

Super yum!!

Princess face lits up everytime I bring it out of the pantry.

I get mine from Mt Gravatt Deli or Rock on Melbourne. I recently saw it at Penisi Cuisine and the price is definitely cheaper.

I love love love Penisi Cuisine, it's like a treasure cove for me. I bought Fraus Italian drinking thick chocolate, you know the type you can only drink with a spoon. They're delicious. It beats paying 3 times over if you order in the shop.

Speaking of deli, the most well-stocked I have ever seen so far is Plenty Deli in Eight Miles Plain. True to its name, floor to ceiling, corner to corner, brimming with goodies. Big chiller cabinet brimming with cheese and olives and antipastos. My god. Its my heaven, I wish I live in it.

Shiraz Chocolate Drops

I saw this at Vintage Cellar while shopping for bubbly.

Thy're just muscat grapes soaked in shiraz, dried and coat in dark chocolate. It's soft and chewy and not too sweet. Grown-up taste.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

[Brisbane] Yum Cha at Hong Kong Cuisine

Hong Kong Cuisine
162 Beaudesert Rd
Queensland 4105

It's time for a yum cha post.

'Why start with little known Hong Kong Cuisine?' You may ask.

Well, no particular reason, but as always I will save the best for later. You get the picture.

HK Cuisine Moorooka
Shopfront in 'Little Africa', Moorooka

Before you wonder what is a Chinese restaurant doing in 'Little Africa', you should know there is at least one Chinese restaurant (proper one not takeaway) in every suburb or our neighbourhood.

HK Cuisine interior
HK Cuisine interior

Thick garish red carpet, fish tank (but this time it's for pets not dish), tacky chairs with Chinese New Year greetings *weird*.

The air-cond was just switched-on when we enter. We sat through a 'sticky' dim sum meal.

Worst first-time dining scenario.

HK Cuisine Dim Sum
The usual dim sum fare, all freshly steamed, fried, baked. Nothing outstanding.

We were there because of their ad in the local free newspapers. They claimed they do dim sum wholesale to restaurants around the city.

I feel sorry for the patrons of those restaurants they 'wholesale' to.

Okay, moving on, Landmark was the first restaurant we chose to have our first dim sum meal in Brisbane.

Reason? There's always lots of people cluster around the entrance waiting to be seated. When there's queue, restaurant will give out numbers to control the queue. So no 'I cut queue so what, I am thick skin enough, who dare to stop me' scenarios can happen like back home.

Yes, it has happened to me in Lucky or Phongmun lots of time. In these old-school places, only the 'sharpest eyes' and the 'fastest sprint' win.

Landmark Dim Sum
Mediocre fare but I can understand why it is popular. With a location like Sunnybank Plaza with ample parking, it has its advantages.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

[Brisbane] Le Bon Choix

Le Bon Choix
French Boulangerie Patisserie
379 Queen St
Brisbane City

Le Bon Choix on Queen St
Unassuming entrance

Le Bon Choix literally means 'the best choice'. Hmmm, I am not sure after my visit.........

Le Bon Choix Cakes
Plenty of cakes in the chiller cabinet.

I am really spoit for choice. Totally at loss what to get.

Le Bon Choix bread and tarts
Also on offer are bread, quiches, sandwiches, tarts and Danish pastries which should serve the lunch crowd well.

Le Bon Choix Knick Knacks
Biscuits, truffles, madeleines on display.

Le Royale by Le Bon Choix
La Rivale

"It comprises a chocolate brownie base and an outer layer of jaconde (almond sponge). This is filled with gianduja and praline mousse, with a centre of baked cheesecake, and topped with balls of chocolate." CM, 4/9/07

I read about the above in Courier Mail, my head and heart sang 'die, die, must try'.

It didn't leave too much impression to be honest. The whole thing was okay until you eat it with the blackcurrant tasting jam/spread on top of the cake, weird combination, the taste did not go well together.

I also wished better quality chocolate was used. Hey, for the price of A$7.50 for a tiny cake (about 2/3 the size of Chouquette gateau), it's only fair that one should expect the best quality.

Opera by Le Bon Choix

Nice presentation, taste wise, didn't leave much impression too.

You could tell by now Rabbit's heart had sank and eating the remaining of the cake with a poker face in silence.

Tragedy! For I ooh and aah everytime I devour a certain patisserie's creations. Time after time.

Macarons by Le Bon Choix
Macarons, assorted flavours (A$1.50@)

The heart sank further when I tasted the macarons.....

I believe in giving second chances, but I make up lots of excuses in my head whenever the idea of visiting again struck.

Chloe at Le Bon Choix
Princess asked me to snap her when I was trying to snap the al-fresco ares.

Friday, May 02, 2008

[Brisbane] Yahoo Seafood Restaurant

Yahoo Seafood Restaurant
Chinese & Malaysian Cuisine
Shop 2 Pacific Centre
223 Calam Rd
Sunnybank Hills 4109

Open 6 days (lunch & dinner), closed on Monday

Yahoo@Pacific Centre

Yahoo interior

After an action packed day on Princess' birthday (29 Mar), I was too knackered to cook dinner. Excuse, excuse to escape cooking, mehhh.

We went to check out Yahoo's offerings for dinner.

Guinness Ribs
Guinness Stout Pork Ribs (A$15.90)

Taste very much like pai kut ong (spare rib in honey sayce) that we are used to, except with deeper flavour; evidence of the guinness stout used, just a very slight hint.


Prawn Paste Chicken
Prawn Paste Chicken (A$12.90)

Not on the menu. I love fried chicken and Yahoo's version is one of my favourite. Prawn paste is mild so no after 'effects' (stinking breath).


Golden Tofu
Golden Tofu (A$10.90)

My all time favourite at a local Brunei Restaurant. Yahoo's version is dry, hard and with strong fishy smell. I could tell this was previously frozen from the pokey airholes inside the tofu.

No no. Will not reorder.

Yahoo Menu
Lunch time special menu

Fish noodle soup
Fish Noodle Soup (A$10.90)

Fish is very tender and the stock fragrant and spiked with rice wine. Tender pieces of yam cubes in the soup further enchance the overall dish.

Marmite Chicken
Marmite Chicken Rice (A$11.90)

A very strong flavour dish. Chicken covered in sweet sticky salty sauce. I like!

Sweet n Sour Pork
Sweet & Sour Pork Rice (A$9.90)

Big King was on this quest of discovering the ultimate sweet & sour pork in Brisbane. So far, the offerings has been mediocre. A very take-away version this is with thick batter and bland meat. Not on reorder list.
A restaurant with high C/P value. We have return many many times.