Thursday, January 31, 2013

5 types of people that you may find while eating out

These are just some of the people we probably come across while eating out and perhaps they can leave quite a deep impression...

1. The complaining one

I'm sure we will see at least one of those type in our life, the type who complains quite alot. From the flavour of the food, to the lighting of the room and the prices of the dish, also, every single word has to be reported to the poor waiter. Once I remembered this person screamed out for the waiter, and started complaining about how they have been waiting for a century and there were no food served.'s only been 5 minutes. Then there was the "this is not what I expected", "I don't like this", "why is it so hot in here?" etc. Like...really?

2. The smart little person

You see a person from far distance, walking in and start examining the surroundings and then sat down with a polite smile. They tell whoever came with them about the history of the restaurant, the style of the chefs, where they get ingredients from...etc. When the food comes, they explain where they were originated from, how sophisticated the taste was, and everything else you can think of. It should be wonderful to bring one of those type with you if you love studying...they can be a walking dictionary, encyclopaedia, thesaurus, GPS, whatever, you name it.

3. The "Oh-no, I-can't-eat-this-and-that"

LOL if you haven't bump into one of these, then you must be joking! We all have seen those young and beautiful ones being extra cautious with the things they eat. They carefully select their food, no any kind of junk food and fattening substances will make it to their list. They say they are on certain type of diet, or they can't stand the oily stuffs. They worry about their figure and size, when they weigh about 40kg. We sometimes admire those people, for their persistence and determinations. Although...what was the reason to eat out in the first place again?

4. The creative kid

Have you ever seen kids playing with food? They make a panda with their rice and soya sauce or they build a tower with chunks of meat and get so amused when it falls. Once they got sick of that, they started doing Origami with their tissue paper. Now the parents should really watch those kids, they probably going to grow up becoming the biggest designer...or architect...or artist...whatever it is, they got that creative side that they need to explore.

5. The hungry photographer

In the past, maybe this isn't common. But ever since technology evolved, we got all those DSLR, digital compact cameras, camcorders, smart phones etc to take awesome photos of food. You wondered "How can they manage to not eat the food straight away but take photos first?" (While hearing a strong grumbling sound from their stomach and seeing a tiny drool at the edge of their lips) Also, where do they get the flexibility to take photos at 30, 45, 90, or even 180 degree angle? Sounds quite insane? Then here comes the food bloggers, and this is where the motivations come from. WOOOOHOOOO!!

THE END, and thanks for reading.... :P

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chef's gallery

We have been to Chef's gallery a few times but it's funny we never thought of taking photos before, I blame it on the fact that their food was too irresistible so you had to eat them straight away.

Today me and my friends went to Chef's gallery again, looking to try something different. I must say Chef's gallery is one of the few restaurants in Sydney in which I want to try EVERYTHING on the menu. Every one of them looked interesting in their own way, and they never seemed to disappoint me.

I loved how creative they can get, whether it's with the food...or the menu?! The interior and its designs just simply reminded you of Ancient China, back to some dynasty that's lost in time.

It was really busy today, and you can just imagine the crowd under this heat! So we started off the meal with one drink each...

Mango Splash (mango puree, aiyu jelly and soda) $4.90

This was the one I ordered, it totally cooled me down after drinking this. The mango flavour was strong, with aiyu jelly stuck at the top of the glass with some ice. I'd recommend this to anyone in a hot summer day, it's truly refreshing.

Crab meat spring rolls $7.90

We had our eyes landed on this particular little dish, probably because it was crab meat? Or perhaps it was the look of it, somehow just challenged our interpretation of the traditional spring rolls. This small dish actually came pretty quickly, and it was absolutely crunchy! The sauce went perfect with it as the hint of chilliness soak up the tip of the spring roll. Although the portion was quite small comparatively, we wished they were longer or they came in a serving of 6! Yeah, they can get addictive...

Traditional Dan Dan noodles with pork ribs $13.90

I remember my first time trying out Dan Dan noodles, and they weren't as great as I imagined. However, I was totally delighted with Chef's gallery's one, it was amazing! Not only that this was a popular choice and Chef's gallery is famous for its handmade noodles, but the flavour was so smooth. I found the soup had the perfect thickness, and both the noodles and the pork ribs immersed with the slight peanut taste. It was a little sweet, a little spicy, but everything was so well balanced in which made it enjoyable. I have to say this was probably my favourite out of all the dishes we've ordered!

Prawn and pork Wontons in a Sichuan Spicy soup $8.90

This evoked our curiosity with the word "Sichuan spicy soup", so we've ordered it despite the fact this could kill us in such hot weather. Sadly, it turned out not as spicy as we thought (or should I say thankfully!). But I found the filling of the Wontons were very satisfying, that whole bite of it just squeezed all the broth out. Then we got some green vegetables on the side to accompany the meat, and the sips of the actual soup were great too.

Eggplant served with a tangy minced pork sauce $12.90

We honestly thought this was Tofu when it arrived, but it was actually Eggplant!! (Serious?) I remembered this was a well known Chinese dish, so I was quite excited to try it. The Eggplant was very soft (just like tofu OMG) and the sauce went well with them. I think we all liked this little dish, it's probably not really noticeable on the menu but the taste was definitely appetizing.

Marshmallow "Totoro" coated with desiccated coconut $4.90

We all knew about the cute pig buns from Chef's gallery, but many seemed to omit the poor little bunnies! So we decided to order this "Totoro" marshmallow just to be different :P turned out they were just simple marshmallows LOL. They were nice for desserts, but I guess next time we probably still stick with the pig buns.

I would honestly recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves Chinese cuisine, it wasn't just the taste but also the creativity and thoughts they put into each of the dishes. I liked the ideas they come up and how it turned out to be just like artworks, it wasn't just about the flavours but also the visual impacts. So if you live in Sydney or if you are travelling in Sydney but yet haven't been there, do give it a try!


Shop 12, Ground Level Regent Place Shopping Centre
501 George St, Sydney NSW

Phone number:
02 9267 8877

Opening time:
Mon - Sun 11am - 3pm
Mon - Sun 5pm - 10pm

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Chefs Gallery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 24, 2013

MUSE Restaurant and Cafe - Hunter Valley

Once again we were at Hunter Valley, and we decided to go to Muse as we didn't get the time to do so on our last visit. It was awarded with one chef hat from 2013 The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food guide, thus we couldn't wait to see what dishes would be served.

The restaurant was a bit different to what I imagined, but the exterior design fitted perfectly into the vineyard setting.

It was spacious inside, with approximately 65 seats. The restaurant was full of warm sunlight, and the ceiling appeared to have an interesting pattern. Our waiter handed us the menu, with tasting or course meal (two or three course) selections.

These were the complimentary breads, and I have to say I loved these more than all other ones I've tasted. Purely because they weren't as hard, and didn't come in an awkward shape that was difficult to bite on.

We ended up the following at $95.00pp, and our food adventure at Muse begins...


I didn't get the full name for this, but I do remember the taste and texture LOL. The Amuse came in a circular shape that landed at the centre of our plate, and the base was a little creamy and very sour, along with the black truffle flakes and tomato powder. We found it quite sour to our taste bud, but the combination of the layers of textures was interesting.

Blue Swimmer Crab, Apple Glazed Pork Belly, peas, New Zealand wasabi, shellfish butter.

This was Bun's first course in which I have stole a few pieces from :p We absolutely loved the Crab meats, and the addition of that layer of pork belly just mixed together so well. I wasn't sure about the wasabi bit because I didn't taste too much of it, but I wasn't a fan of wasabi anyway. I found this combination was truly unique, you get that flavour of the sea along with the sweet aroma of the pork belly, HELL YEAH!

Sashimi Yellow Fin Tuna, Watermelon, pickled ginger, coriander, cucumber.

After I've seen Bun's first dish, I kind of regret my choice. At first I was very happy with the presentation, I loved the big portion of pink colour, the decoration of green, and that swipe of black to finish it off,  and it was almost like a perfectly balanced painting on a white canvas. So I took my first mouthful of the Sashimi and the Watermelon, and I felt this cold air fill me up from inside my mouth all the way down my throat. Yes it was very refreshing, but wasn't something that could surprise us.

We then got this little dish to clear up our palate, and it was some orange sorbet with lemon cream.

Crispy skin ocean trout, tomato, ketchup, garlic, pickled eschallor, herbs.

I really liked the contrast of the orange and green colours used here, as it really reminded me of this feeling from Monet's paintings. When the waiter handed this to Bun, I had a quick taste of the crispy skin ocean trout. Yep, the skin was EXTREMELY crispy, and it was cooked to the perfect temperature. However...the only thing I realised was the skin was too salty, and the other bits and pieces don't really balance this salty flavour. Other than that, it was still a quite amusing dish.

Nulkaba chicken breast, Liver Parfait, Yolk, "faux" black truffle, creamed corn, spinach, seeds.

When we saw the word "faux" black truffle on the menu (yes, the one that was sold for about €1000 per kg back in 2009 in farmers markets), we immediately know that this was something we have to try. The outcome didn't disappoint us at all, as the whole plate was full of different flavours, textures, sizes, and colours! The yolk was unbelievable, and this softness could not be described in words. The "faux" black truffles had a dry but tasteful coat, with a mixture of fillings inside the core. The creamed corn was soft, yet the seeds were hard, so that mouthful was challenging at first, but eventually you will like the combination of flavours. The chicken breast was quite tender, although again the skin was a little too salty. I wasn't sure about the Liver Parfait though, it had this odd sensation.

"Nitro Tiramisu"

I think most of us knew that Sydney had this ice cream shop called N2 Extreme Gelato, where they used Nitrogen to create the ice creams. Now here at Muse, we saw this "Nitro Tiramisu" and wondered..."What?" We couldn't imagine what it would be like so we just ordered this for my third course. I couldn't capture the mist that was coming of it, but it looked similar to N2. I couldn't remember all the things inside this dish, all I remember was the waitress poured in a shot of coffee. I had a complicated experience with dish, and I can only say I liked half of this dish. The top half was the sweet biscuits, Tiramisu and dry chocolate pieces, and bottom half was soaked in a sharp bitterness from the coffee shot. Although it was a very intelligent idea, I was a little overwelmed...

Coconut Cloud, berries, lychee, crystallised violet.

This was something I was going to pick before I saw the "Nitro Tiramisu", something that's much simpler. Bun liked the coolness of the Coconut, and the pieces of lychee hidden inside. I found this dish was more pleasant to eat, but it lacked abit of creativity.

Petit Four: Macaroons and some Chocolate Cocopops.

I looooooooove Macaroons, although these weren't as good as Ladurée ones, they were still nice little sweet to finish off the meal. LOL Bun loved the Chocolate Cocopops thing too...

The dinner at Muse finished off beautifully with a stunning sunset, and we were glad that we chose to visit here. We loved some of the dishes and they were truly worth the time to appreciate them slowly, and we hope to come back again someday for a completely different seasonal menu. Perhaps next time it will be good to try their food at the Cafe!

1 Broke Rd, Pokolbin NSW

Phone number:
02 4998 6777

Opening time:
Cafe: 7 days 10am - 5pm
Restaurant: Wed - Sat 6.30pm - 10pm

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Muse Restaurant and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

NZ Part 4 - Christchurch and Akaroa

Our last stop of New Zealand trip was Christchurch and Akaroa, these two places gave me completely different feelings and experiences.

We probably all knew about the Earthquake in Christchurch, but can you really imagine what the post-Earthquake scenes may look like? That day I had the chance to carry my camera to capture all the areas that were affected by the Earthquake. I had to say I was pretty shocked at the damages and the construction sites, and I tried to imagine how beautiful Christchurch would have been if none of these happened. The street was almost deserted, but occasionally you can see some other people like us, walking around and taking pictures. With all the pictures burnt into my mind, I hope Christchurch will manage to rebuild the city and bring it back alive soon.

While we were there, we came across the Thai Container. It immediately caught our attention as the food was served in a caravan. The people there were very friendly, and the prices were alot cheaper than I thought. To be honest, at first we had strong doubt on the tastes of the food, but this doubt quickly vanished as we had that initial mouthful of amazing flavour.

We've ordered the following, and seriously I couldn't believe how well the sweet, sour, and spicy flavours blended with each other.

The curry was extra chilli, and it was perfect to eat along with the Jasmine rice. The heat and the aroma wrapped around each other, grabbing all your senses and tempting you to sweat like no tomorrow.

151 Bealey Ave, Christchurch, New Zealand

Phone number:
0211 394 881

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During the day, we went on a short road trip to Akaroa where we call it a "French town" due to its history. You can see the village and houses had a strong French influence, which added a bit of romance for the little town beside the harbour.


Many people recognised this Lighthouse as an icon of Akaroa, it had a bright orange roof which you can't miss even if you are far away.

We decided to walk along the harbour side and came across here to have some Fish and Chips!

We ordered some oysters to kick off lunch, I found these weren't as salty.

Ta-da! Fish and...Fries?? Awwww...I actually didn't expect this. I had such a deep impression that the chips should always be thick and come in golden colour...oh well, despite that part, the fish was excellent! The crust was perfectly cooked with the tender core, and a bit of salad would just balance out the flavours.

We also walked into L'Escargot Rouge, and I found some ginger bread and random biscuits on the shelf. Then there were people sipping coffee, eating croissant, and enjoying their afternoon sunshine.

Funny how we recognised this ice cream was the highlight of Akaroa trip. Why? It was unlike all the ice creams we ever had. We picked cookie and cream flavour, and you know how sometimes the ice cream was abit runny and melt into the cookies? Or in some cases the ice cream didn't have the right amount of sweetness? This one was like, frozen to the right temperature where it wasn't melting and yet didn't cost too much effort when using the spoon to scoop it out. The ice cream was VERY milky, and I mean it VERY milky. It was a little similar to Hokkaido milk, and somehow the sweetness perfectly complimented the cookie pieces.

I really miss the ice cream. *sniff*

67 Beach Road, Akaroa, New Zealand

Phone number:
03 3048774

Opening time:
7 days from 8am

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Zealand Part 3 - Lake Tekapo

We couldn't believe the view that was presented infront of our eyes when we got to Lake Tekapo, the colour of the lake stunned me. It was so calm, blue, clear and absolutely pure. At first I almost thought it was artificial, or something is playing tricks with my eyes, that's how unreal it seemed like. For that one amazing moment, I actually thought we were in a completely different realm, like somewhere that doesn't even belong to Earth.

We decided to take different photos at different times from the Church of the Good Shepherd, just to reinforce the beauty of it. I loved the scent of the Lavenders, as they stood still under the sunset, glowing. We then stayed up until 1am that night, and managed to capture a few shots of the night sky. Trust me, this is the clearest sky you can ever find in the Southern hemisphere, and the wait was totally worth it.

In the morning, we saw this small cafe called Run 77 and decided to give it a try. Boy that was one of the best decisions we've ever made.

So here are what we have ordered for that lazy morning by the lakeside...

One thing I noticed was, the table actually formed a picture-perfect background for the food, I absolutely loved it!! Ok so um...I was staring at the Hot Chocolate with two marshmallows and really thought of doing a smiley face with it or something. It was sweet and rich, with loads of chocolate powder (yes I love them), I really liked it and it was one of the best I ever had.

Bun ordered the breakfast plate, full of eggs, potato, sausage, tomato, bacon and bits and pieces. It was neatly placed on the plate, and felt like it would seriously boost your energy level to start the day.

Ok, this was something I totally fell in love with. It was spinach and cheese, inside that amazing pastry. After I finished this, the plate was literally covered in golden flakes, and the taste of the combination was like throwing you next to the heater in cold winter, just what you wanted.

Village Centre State Highway 8
Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand

Phone number:
64 3 680 6900

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We also found this Japanese restaurant by the lakeside...

I liked the traditional decorations inside, like those handcraft objects or the curtains.

 I've ordered the typical lunch box (Tempura Bento Box) with tempura, tofu, vegetables, sushi, sashimi and chicken. Comparing to Australia, I have to say I felt $33.00 for this was a little overpriced. Though the food was still nice, but nothing too special or surprising. The good thing about this restaurant was its location, and you can pretty much see the Church of Good Shepherd and the lake without any interruption outside the window.

State Highway 8
Lake Tekapo 7945, New Zealand

Phone number:
64 3 680 6688

Opening time:
11am - 2pm

6pm - 9pm (closed on Sunday)

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*To Be Continued*

Coming next: Christchurch and Akaroa