Thursday, April 30, 2009


Just finished watching the season finale of LIFE.

What a great show and Damian Lewis (Charlie Crews) is the coolest face on TV!

There had better be a third season!

Or else I would be very sad and disappointed indeed :-(

'One plus one equals one.'


[Melbourne 2009] Hutong Dumpling Bar

Hutong Dumpling Bar
14-16 Market Lane
Melbourne (CBD)
Opp Flower Drum

Visited 7 Mar 2009 for dinner.

We went without a reservation and waited for about an hour to get seated.

Xiao Long@Hutong
Xiao Long - decent

Chili Chick wings@Hutong
Chilli chicken wings - chicken wings fried to death but taste wise think...until... you taste the real Mc-Coy at Dainty Sichuan.

Pork ribs@Hutong
Ribs in Peking sauce - average

Radish pastry@Hutong
Radish pastry蘿蔔絲酥餅 - wth?? Not at all what I expected. I ate half a piece and gave up.

Total damage AUD62.90.

The xiao long was worth the wait. The mains were forgetable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Dessert House Eatery; Laurent Patisserie

Dessert House Eatery
313 Swanston St
Melbourne (CBD)

Visited on 7 Mar 2009 for lunch.

Woke up too late for breakfast. Arrived DHE at 11.10am. What? Not yet opened? Ah well, we walked to Melbourne Central to kill time.

Went into Sportsgirl and came out with some stuff :p.

Time to treat the tummy.

Lemongrass chicken chop@DHE
Lemongrass chicken chop rice and iced lemon tea (not pictured) AUD10.80

It was as good as I remembered :-)

After lunch, went across the road to QV.

Saw Hanaichi is opening soon (might already do so) and occupied a rather big space.


Then back to Melboune Central for more shopping.

Before we know it, it's time for tea.

Made our way to Laurent Patisserie on 306 Little Collins St.

Laurent Patisserie@Melbourne
While waiting to be served, saw a girl quickly stole a snap of the cake cabinet when the staff wasn't looking.

When I tried to snap, I was stopped by a staff. They relented when I said I will include Princess in it.

Laurent Patisserie Canotier
Le Canotier

Laurent Patisserie Pistachio Creme Brulee
Pistachio and raspberry creme brulee

Now I took the cake pics with my phone. Lest the staff came to hassle again.

Cakes/dessert tasted good albeit being mass-produced.

Total bill AUD12.45.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Wonton House

Wonton House
181 Russell St
Melbourne (CBD)

Visited 6 Mar 2009 (dinner).

I'm gonna disappoint Bryan for a bit here, as I am starting posts on Melboune trip! Anyhow, watch this space.

Wonton House@Melbourne

Wonton House Int@Melbourne

Wonton noodle@Wonton House
Wonton noodle soup AUD8.50

It was their signature dish.

Porridge@Wonton House
Jellyfish, century egg and chicken congee AUD9.00

The congee came missing jellyfish :-(

Beancurd claypot@Wonton House
Braised beancurd, fish and roast meat in claypot AUD18.50



Sunday, April 26, 2009

[Brisbane] Jackpot Noodles

Jackpot Noodles
96 Albert Street (Corner Mary)
City, 4000

Jackpot noodle House

Jackpot on Mary St
An air-conditioned, self-service place fit out with plastic chairs and laminate tables.

The place is bright and clean with prices starting as low as AUD5.50, it attracts different crowds from backpackers to students to lone diner to family.

Pork chop rice@Jackpot
Pork chop in peking chop served with rice

Seafood noodles@Jackpot
Stir fry seafood and vegetables with noodles

Portion is generous and for canteen style fares, they tasted ain't half bad either.

Yesterday was market day, as usual I went home with jumbo eggs (2 doz), strawberry chocolates from Noosa Chocolates, Greek yogurt, salad leaves and fruits.

Stopped by Chouquette to pick up eclair, almond croissant and chocolate gateau.

Today (Sunday) is supposed to be a relaxing day, for Big King at least. But he brought us to city for some shopping. Yay.

Bought 2 pairs of shoes for Princess a pink flats with sequin flowers and a pair of pink rainboots with heart and strawberry motifs at Myer. The second pair at 50% off.

I got a Something by Natalie Wood tiger tee from DJ. The cover-the-bum tee. I'd been eyeing it for a while now and since my size is the last piece...I grabbed it though it was not on sale :-(. Perfect pairing with my tights or tight jeans and my biker jacket over it in winter. Ooooh, so cool. I need another long tee........and I'm thinking a leopard print one this time.........

After all the excitement from shopping, we were famished. We decided to go yum cha at Manor. Very yummy and satisfying dim sum lunch, save for the cheong fun (rice roll) that never came :-(.

Strange the place was not as busy as usual. Not yet payday I suppose.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

[Brunei 2009 CNY] Family outing at Takara Japanese Restaurant

Takara is the oldest Japanese Restaurant in Brunei. Correct me if I am wrong.

It's located at the back of Centrepoint Gadong.

Bento set BND15

Chicken katsudon@Takara
Chicken katsudon BND??

Er...hmm....the potato salad was quite tasty, even the niece said yum.

My favourite food from Takara is the Ebi (prawn) Tempura. But I didn't order as Princess and Big King don't take prawns and I am not sure about others.....

I mean I know they take prawns but I don't know if they mind.........

It was a treat from sis-in-law so I don't dare to go overboard with the orders =.=

SIL had also ordered noodle soup and salmon teriyaki rice for the in-laws; salmon teriyaki rice and california roll for niece and agedashi tofu with rice for herself. I think there were one or two other orders which I can't remember.

We finished with green tea ice-cream with adzuki.

Yeah, so I have finished the Brunei/HK CNY trip.

Also been to the new dim sum place at Yong Siong Hai. But forgot to take any pics, we were too busy catching up with PV and hubby. That was a very enjoyable brunch because of the company. Then I learnt from Nie that the food was actually so so =.=. Hoho I was too busy chatting to notice :p

[Brunei 2009 CNY] Afternoon Tea at Country Patch Cafe. Friendship

Afternoon tea spent with some good friends.

Country Patch Qlap
Left: Afternoon tea set BND15.XX? for 2 pax including coffee or tea
Right: Nasi lemak and chicken pie

Afternoon tea set was quite good value. You get dainty finger food on three tiers. Perfect for the ladies though it may not be enough for the chaps.

Nasi lemak good as usual. That was my only nasi lemak fix. Chicken pie was ordered for Big King to try which I stole a small bite.

A very enjoyable afternoon spent hearing funny stories from San and work complaints from Y (which I don't mind).


So your friends expect you to be a good listener when they complain about any and everything. Is it a smart thing to keep mum and just nod your head? If you do just that, will they take you for granted and treat you like a doormat?

So when it comes to your turn, you know, unhappy, do a bit of complaints. Is it too much to ask that your friends to do the same in return? Listen to you and be supportive or at least keep neutral?

So you have been there for them when things are down and ugly. When it happened to you and the so-called friends just seem uninterested in your matter and before you could continue, quickly jump to other people's defences and quickly put you down. Worse when they call you bad and difficult, why trying to complain about this and that.

You know that is when the heart suddenly went cold and you realise all of a sudden that people think the world revolves around them and you are nothing but akin to a speck of dust in their world.



I want to thank in advance to the new doormat and wish him/her best of luck.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

[Brunei 2009 CNY] KB Fried Kway Teow

Fried kway teow (broad rice noodles) is probably on top of most people's homesick item list.

I am just OK, not die die must eat kind. All because I can whip up a decent plate of char kway teow.

KB fried Kway Teow@Quarry
KB fried kway teow BND2.50

Like Penang fried kway teow, we also have the tacky locality named fried kway teow.

KB (short for Kuala Belait, a district in Brunei) fried kway teow, Seria (a town in Brunei) fried kway teow, Tutong (another district in Brunei) fried kway teow.

The plate of kway teow in the picture above was taken at an signless hole in the wall place near the famous Quarry kolomee.

As you can see in the pic, the noodles were fried in dark soya sauce with beansprouts, egg and chicken topped with mince and scallions.

I wonder what gimmicks does seria fried kway teow has?

[Brunei 2009 CNY] Afternoon tea at Sing U Me

Sing U Me at Kg Mata-mata is a favourite local tea time haunt.

Sing You Me
On the table, we had cakoi kahwin (crullers with butter and coconut jam), steamed yam cake with sambal, glutinous rice (lo mai kai), fried radish cake and curry puff.

I especially enjoyed the curry puff here. The addition of egg made the puff very moreish.

[Brunei 2009 CNY] Lucky Restaurant . A local favourite

This restaurant has been around as long as I can remember.

American chicken chop@Lucky
American chicken chop rice BND8

One of two firm favourites from Lucky. The other one is baked pork chop rice.

Seafood noodles@Lucky
Seafood fried noodles BND6

Nothing to shout home about. An MSG laden concoction.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

[Brunei 2009 CNY] Cheez Box. Charmy Ice

Family outing.

We either go Excapade or Cheez Box. They are bro's top eating out choices.

I have written about this place before.

Cheez Box Gadong
Bro had chicken teriyaki rice.

Sis shared spaghetti bolognaise with Princess.

Mum had yam and seafood claypot noodle, I had a small bowl share.

Big King had baked chicken chop rice (not picture).

Food was quite tasty especially when you have loved ones for company.

Pity sassy sis wasn't there :-(

After dinner, we cross the road to Charmy Snowice.

Charmy Ice Gadong
We had chocolate (bro), mango (me) and two milk (sis and Princess) flavours.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel

I just realised I haven't share any photos of Marco Polo HK.

We had a superior room with partial harbour view.

Weather was cool and fine when we were there. The fog was not so bad. At least I can see the buildings on HK island.

We went out in short sleeve during the day while everyone around us were in heavy winter coats, boots, scarves and some even parade in minks!!!

The temperature was around 24 to 26 degree celsius, way past the definition of 'cold'.

We looked out of place everywhere we went but its equally amusing to us the local dress code.

Pier at Victoria Harbour
Cruise pier

Deluxe rm@Marco Polo HK
Super tiny superior room

Pardon the mess. We were in such a hurry to go out as soon as we put down the luggage that I forgot to take a 'clean' picture.

Our room package came with free breakfast and a rollaway bed.

The hotel is quite dated with a key lock door (in a five star hotel!)!

I kept hearing squeaky old pipe sound but other than that it was quiet. Though faint sound can be heard from neighbours. But it was not a big problem.

The hotel is adjacent to Lane Crawford and there was Watson, 7-11, Häagen-Dazs, McD just around the corner near Star Ferry pier.

And then there was Harbour City where you can shop/eat til you drop.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

[Life in General] Life and death

A beloved uncle passed away on Monday 06 April 2009 around 7am.

I was unusually weak that morning and when I got the news I suddenly became very ill and was bedridden till yesterday. I guess I was too upset.

I haven't been this ill since I moved away from 'THAT' house.

A mere few months, easily became the WORST days/months of my entire life.

Worse than when I had family crisis (our shop got burnt down, insurance lapsed and my dad became unemployed and a drunk and our household become a bickering battlefield T_T). Yeah, I though the worst was over when I went to uni but little did I know.......

During all those tough times, my uncle was the only one who offered help to us by giving my dad a job though menial and a small pay. The thing is, he didn't need any help in the first place at all. I feel indebted to him all my life.

I hope he is truly well and happy in the other world. Finally free from all the pain and illness and sufferings. God bless him.

Today, I am still sick though able to walk around now.

But compared to life in 'THAT' house where I was sick like ALL the time; 2 days of small illness, better 1 day then a week of more serious illness.

Sometimes the illness has not to do with all the raging viruses and bacteria; mental and psyche played a vital part.

I remembered Big King went to work and I was left all alone in 'THAT' house with little Princess (so little she can't even walk yet). Need to catch the 'perfect timing' to do laundry, which, must be after other's precious wash and enough time to finish and hanging before Princess wakes up. Once she does, my hands are tied.

When Princess wakes up I have to tend to her needs. One day I started cooking her porridge at 10.30 and finish only at 11.30. Got told off followed by loud clanging in the kitchen. Thereafter, I can only start cooking when the kitchen is free which is after 1.30pm and Princess can only have her lunch at 2.30pm! All the while I had to carry her on one hand while standing and stirring the porridge.

After lunch, Princess had a little nap. I will start browsing the net trying to relax and ease the mind. But with a pair of hawk eyes hovering around, I started to feel stress. Made worse, when stay at home mum is expected to work like one of the maid. Worser still (possible?), when, I don't have any help (and been refused help) with a baby.

Princess waked up and it all starts all over again, change diaper, make formula, look after Princess and clean the room. Big King came home from work and I went to the kitchen to help.

The big stress came when Big King is late from coming home or told me he wanted to go golfing after work. I would stay with Princess upstairs in the room, scared to go down and meet with a stony face. All the while having to endure shoutings (probably to the maid) and loud clangings from the kitchen. Sometimes I weeped silently while looking out of the window, staring at....I don't know.....the distance. Wishing for Big King to appear.

When you show face intermittenly, like going for formula/water/snacks for Princess. There will be well-rehearsed hurtful speeches spoken/shouted/screamed 'just in time', not always at me, sometimes at third party, when I am at the bottom of the stairs, continued right on till I disappear into the room.

When Big King finally came home and I breathe a sigh of relief. Went down to check the kitchen and reheat Princess food if the coast is clear. After that ate/pretend to eat dinner with extra care and silence with Princess on my laps. I never know what I swallowed.

The next day, it all happened all over again. Of course with different courses and actions from the almighty.

I was so stress that at nights I couldn't sleep. I was also very stress having to endure the 'mental games' played on me. So much so that I was constantly sick. Maybe the worst has got to be putting up a normal act in front of Big King.

But one day, a big blow happened.......

But of course, one would do anything for the child. Princess is the only reason I got through the nightmares. But thinking back I felt I was stupid. But can't really help it when you were not thinking straight with all the lack of sleep and stress and illnesses. Chinese has a saying, 'you have the heart but not the energy'.

There was one time I thought I would go crazy but I looked at Princess and kept chanting,'I must endure, I must endure, I must endure............I must not let myself go...........'

I am happy all is over now, or is it?

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Australian Dairy Company

Day 4

Australia Dairy Company
47 Parkes St
(MRT stop: Jordan)

Brekkie set@OZ Dairy HK
Breakfast set HKD24

Set includes scrambled egg/omelette, toast, macaroni with roast pork and a hot drink.

Steam milk@Oz Dairy HK
Steam egg white and milk 燉奶 HKD18

Smooth and sweet, this is a MUST EAT.

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Wu Kong Shanghai Restaurant

Day 3

Wu Kong Shanghai Restaurant
27-33 Nathan Rd (basement)
Tsim Sa Tsui
(MRT stop: Tsim Sa Tsui)

Wu Kong HK
Its actually located on Peking Rd just off Nathan Rd. You will see it immediately (on yourright) as you exit the MRT.

Sweet&Sour fish@Wu Kong HK
Sweet and sour fish 松子桂花魚

Fish was cooked to perfection and tasted above average but not fantastic (you know like fireworks in the head). 好吃但不夠細緻且刀功不怎麼樣.

Fried rice@Wu Kong HK
Egg white and dried scallop fried rice

Well executed fried rice with subtle seasoning and full of wok hei (breath of wok). My type of food.

Xiao Long@Wu Kong HK
Xiao Long Bao 小籠飽

Highlight of the dinner. Skin was thin yet resilient and pass the chopstick test. Broth inside was sweet and flavourful and pork mince was beautifully er melts in the mouth while still retaining some bite to it.

I've eaten my fair share of xiao long around the globe including the world famous 'Din Tai Fung' in Taipei. I must say Wu Kong's version is top on my taste list.

Friday, April 03, 2009

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Star Ferry and Tai Cheong Egg Tarts

Day 3

After yum cha at Superstar, we took the star ferry to Hong Kong Island.

Star Ferry
On star ferry

Overhead Bridge to IFC
Covered walkway to IFC (taken from overhead bridge)

The ferry ride took 10 to 15 minutes and only cost HKD2 with Octopus card (travel card which is valid on MRT, buses and ferry)

We walked around IFC for a little while. Another mall with branded shops much like Harbour City.

Lost my interest and decided to proceed to Causeway Bay by MRT. Oh god, the MRT station was HUGE!! It took us 20 minutes to walk from Hong Kong station which is underneath IFC to Central station.

When we came out of Causeway Bay station, I got the first shock since arriving in HK. So many people!! The streets were packed and walking on the street felt like a slow queue.

After doing some exchanges at Giordano Concept (no, of course I didn't shop there!! The fashion is like for people 'on other side of the world' or funeral attendee, bleh). Big King was in the queue for a good 40 minutes!!!

We went into the shop still bright and came out into the dark!! And by this time, the streets were even more packed!! Oh my god, I felt like I coudn't breathe and develop a bad headache straight away.

Headache aside, the radar is still out for good food. Made our way to Jardine St to look for Tai Cheong, a Hong Kong institution for egg tarts. Its right at the end of the street.

Tai Cheong HK
Tiny shopfront

Tai Cheong Egg Tart
Egg tart

Helluva good egg tart. Wobbly custard with buttery biscuit base. Best eaten hot but it was still so very goood the next day.

This will be on my Hong Kong MUST EAT list.

Gobbled up the tart and cross the road to Sogo. Was so disappointed with the cramp display style. How to shop like that??!? There were even plastic cover over some racks of clothings. Huh? Duh. The place is in need of a serious refurbishment. It reminded me of Milimewah in Brunei.

Friend Ni had recommended I try Mochi Cream at Sogo basement. Which, I didn't manage to find. Gave up looking for it. There's just too many people in that cramp space. I had to leave the place or else I will drop to the ground.

Next stop is dinner at Wu Kong (Tsim Sa Tsui branch).

[Hong Kong 2009 CNY] Superstar Seafood Restaurant Yum Cha

Day 3

Superstar Seafood Restaurant
Harbour City

After doing a round in Mongkok in the morning, we were due to meet up with D for Yum Cha at Superstar at afternoon tea time.

So sorry we were late, the travelling time took longer than expected.

Superstar HK Yum Cha
Top: Siew mai (pork and prawn dumplings) and har gow (prawn dumplings)
Bottom: Fried radish cakes (yum!) and cuttlefish cakes

The siew mai and har gow were especially good. The har gow skin was resilient yet thin (Q and soft at the same time) and the size was jumbo. The prawns were very fresh. A very well executed traditional yum cha staples.

Superstar HK Yum Cha1
Top: Pan fried glutinous rice dumpling in egg (so so)
Bottom: Marshmallow rabbit and deep fried fish balls.
Middle insert: Molten custard bun

The highlight of this yum cha meal was unexpectedly the marshmallow rabbit. It was even covered in dessicated coconut which the whole family hate (yuck!). But one bite, you'll be hooked. The texture was very good, springy and soft and the coconut was fresh. Princess ate 1.5 though she hates marshmallow. I had 1 :-).

The fried fish balls were average, the balls were not bouncy enough.

I was so looking forward to eat the molten custard bun but what a letdown it was! The custard filling was nice and hot but there was raw flour taste with gritty texture :-(

The selection of dim sum was disappointingly small. They didn't even have crispy skin roast pork belly >_<. All items except the fish balls were quite salty.

Friend D had initially suggested another restaurant at One Peking (Road) but advice from other friends was to try Superstar. -__-'' should have just gone with D's choice.

Arghh, what do I know, sekali the One Peking was more of a letdown. Nevermind, there's always next time.

I can't help to be choosy and picky as I've had better yum cha outside Hong Kong. If they can't even compare with the one near my neighbourhood, I'd rather not waste my time.

Time is gold in Hong Kong if you've ever travelled there, you'll know what I mean. Too little time too many things to do and eat.