Top End Northern Territory

A few weeks ago I had the fortune of being invited by Tourism NT to go over and explore the Top End of the Northern Territory, namely Darwin and Katherine. To be completely honest, I had not heard too much about the top end prior to this trip, but in the short span of five days I was completely blown away by the beauty and truly authentic Australian experience that this region had to offer.

SKYCITY DARWIN:

Imagine waking up in the morning, walking out to your balcony to your own private white sand beach… Welcome to SkyCity Darwin. Dive right in for a refreshing morning dip straight from your balcony, and swim to the bar and enjoy a cocktail or your drink of choice. It’s not even noon yet? Shh.. I won’t tell. 😉

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When you get bored of this pool (unlikely, but you know, just in case), feel free to stroll around to another amazing pool this hotel has to offer: the infinity pool! Enjoy some poolside antipasto or a fruit platter and watch the sun set in the horizon…

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MINDIL BEACH MARKETS

Located on the iconic strip overlooking Mindil Beach, this sunset market features over 300 stalls offering all sorts of food and drinks, as well as specialty arts and crafts. It’s also the perfect spot the enjoy the epic sunsets that Darwin is so famous for.

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LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK

Home to several stunning tropical waterfalls that cascade into crystal clear pools, monsoon rainforests, intriguing magnetic termite mounts and more, Litchfield National Park is a must when visiting the Top End. We first checked out Wangi Falls and enjoyed a beautiful picnic breakfast there, then headed to Buley Rockhole, and ended the day with a refreshing dip at Florence Falls.

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Wangi Falls

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Enjoying a breakfast picnic at Wangi Falls, courtesy of Picnic Darwin

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Wangi Falls

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Birds Eye View of Litchfield

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Buley Rockhole

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Buley Rockhole

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Florence Falls

DARWIN RIVER TAVERN

Hungry? Fear not! Plenty of good eats around Darwin. A hightlight of our trip was Darwin River Tavern. One of the most recognized taverns in the region, Darwin River serves amazing pub food in generous portion sizes.

Darwin River Tavern is also one of the stops for the epic Heli Pub Crawl by Airbourne Solutions. Yes. Heli Pub Crawl! Need I say more? Didn’t think so.

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STREETER PEARL LUGGER CRUISE

One of the best ways to experience a Darwin sunset is from a boat. Streeter is a historic pearl lugger that now runs sunset cruises everyday. You can BYO drinks and even food onboard to enjoy while you sit back for an informative and relaxing evening with some breathtaking views.

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Amazing food provided by Hotel Darwin

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NITMILUK NATIONAL PARK

Our next destination was Nitmiluk National Park, 244 km southeast of Darwin, around a series of gorges on the Katherine River and Edith Falls. We unfortunately missed out on the famous Edith Falls due to some unexpected hiccups  on the road, but we did eventually arrive in the beautiful Cicada Lodge safe and sound.

CICADA LODGE

Located inside Nitmiluk National Park, Cicada Lodge is luxury accommodation and joint venture between the Jawoyn people and Indigenous Business Australia, bringing a new element of quality service and authenticity to Katherine and Australia’s Top End. Each of the 18 rooms within the lodge features its own balcony with a view of the distinct sandstone country above the Katherine Gorges. And of course there is also a lovely outdoor pool too. It is almost a must given how hot the Top End gets!

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After some sunset poolside canepé, we enjoyed dinner at the lodge restaurant and went on a mission to do some astrophotography. Let’s just say it was a fail… Way too much clouds (and cane toads) got in the way of what would have been one of the best locations to star gaze. Oh well. Bed time it is.

KATHERINE GORGES

Well rested and ready to rock and roll at 5 a.m., we armed ourselves with torches and hiked in the dark from the lodge to Baruwei Lookout. (Really it was just a 30 minute walk.)

We made it to the lookout just in time for sunrise; and my oh my, was it a beautiful sunrise…

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Another way to explore the Katherine Gorges (a must-do!) is the Nitmiluk Gorge Cruise. We did the Nabilil Dreaming Sunset Dinner Cruise which includes the two gorge cultural cruise, three-course candle light dinner featuring fresh, local Australian produce cooked on board, and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine!

It was a truly exceptional experience listening to our tour guide talk about Dreamtime stories of the traditional owners of the land, the Jawoyn people, while watching the magnificent Nitmiluk Gorges changing color with the setting sun, from red to orange to golden to purple to star-lit… Just magical.

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Indigenous rock art

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Chef preparing our dinner onboard

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Never have I seen more bats in my life… Strangely beautiful.

 

BITTER SPRINGS

Oh sweet Bitter Springs. How I had never heard about this beautiful oasis in the Top End until now is beyond me. The Bitter Springs are fresh water thermal pools, with some of the clearest water you’ll see, set amongst palm trees and tropical woodlands inside the Elsey National Park. Words don’t do this paradise justice so just see for yourself!

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CRAZY ACRES MANGO FARM & CAFE

Calling all mango lovers! A family run, 25 acre mango farm in Berry Springs, Crazy Acres is the place you will find delicious homemade goodies (such as preserves and even soy candles) and a menu full of dishes made from the delicious Kensington Pride mangoes grown on the property!

My favorite was definitely the mango & banana smoothie bowl topped with homemade granola and greek yogurt. So refreshing and just perfect for this NT weather! Oh, and their mango cheesecake is amazing, too! _DSC8377_DSC8381_DSC8385-Edit

And this about concludes my short trip to the Top End. As I have mentioned before, my time there well and truly exceeded all expectations I had previously had and I must say the NT is very underrated as a travel destination. I enjoyed my time there and cannot wait to return and explore the rest of NT. Uluru, I’m coming for you next!

Weekend Getaway to Port Stephens

** I’ve been shooting my favourite NSW holiday experiences for #ILoveNSW. Join me and share your own NSW videos and images via #IloveNSW to enter the competition to win some amazing prizes including a Canon EOS M3 Single Lens kit! Go to visitnsw.com/ilovensw for more information.**

Only a 2.5 hour drive from Sydney, Port Stephens is the perfect weekend getaway spot for me and my partner. Our accommodation of choice this time is the beautiful Anchorage Port Stephens. Each morning we are greeted by the amazing waterfront view. And if you’re lucky like us, you can actually see dolphins swimming by early in the morning, right from the balcony of your room!

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On Day 1, we started the morning watching sunrise by the water, followed with a gorgeous breakfast spread at the hotel.

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Bellys happy, we’re off to do some fun stuff! First stop was the dolphin watch cruise. We sailed out to the bay and luckily we saw lots of dolphins – so many that I’ve lost count! It’s an absolutely delightful experience and the crew members are so knowledgeable on these Bottlenose dolphins. Apparently when dolphins sleep, they keep one side of their brains awake and continue to swim. How cool is that?

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After the cruise we grabbed some lunch at Little Nel cafe. This is my second time eating here and the food was as delicious as I had remembered. We ordered the zucchini & pea fritters and acai plate.

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Next stop was what I looked forward to the most: quad biking adventures at the sand dunes! If you’re into adrenaline rushes, this is definitely for you. Driving down the high dunes to the magnificent 360 view of nothing but sand dunes is quite the experience.

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Afterwards we drove back to Anna Bay to catch the sunset. We had some fun with the drone and took some cheesy couple photos. I really hope you’re not lactose intolerant.

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Dinner tonight was at Little Beach Boat House, feasting on fresh local produce and seafood, and some Hunter Valley wines. It’s such a beautiful venue with a great atmosphere and amazing waterfront view.

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After dinner, we drove back to the sand dunes to star gaze. It was a bit cloudy but it was dark enough to see more stars than you normally would in the city. Watching stars is one of my absolute favorite activities as it just reminds me how small and finite I am in this big beautiful universe.

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Day 2 was nice and relaxing. We slept in, had some breakfast and drove back to Anna Bay again for a camel ride by the beach! This is probably the first time I’ve been up close and personal with a camel. They have beautiful luscious lashes and the funniest facial expressions, especially when they yawn and chew!

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After some lunch by the beach at Crest, it was time to say bye to Port Stephens.

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On the way back to Sydney we did stop by Caves Beach and Catherine Hill Bay for sunset. There are so many caves on this beach but unfortunately we had limited time. I can’t wait to return to explore all the different caves properly!

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And that concludes my weekend! What an amazing way to refresh the mind and body and to prep myself for another Monday!

Till next time!

Exploring the Great Barrier Reef

Even though I have been living in Sydney for the past six years, I haven’t really been around Australia. Every time I made holiday plans, I’d choose to jump on an international flight to go somewhere far, far away: Hong Kong, San Francisco, Barcelona, Finland.. you know. Far.

I have been to Melbourne and Brisbane and.. that’s about it really. The iconic Great Barrier Reef was always some place that I had wanted to visit but never found time to – until now!

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Our first stop was Palm Cove, which is a beachside village situated right in between Cairns and Port Douglas. We stayed at The Reef House, a charming little M Gallery by Sofitel resort right by the beach. Day 1 of our little getaway was spent relaxing and unwinding at the resort, playing a game of chess, and having dinner to the magnificent view of sunset by the beach.

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Well rested and all ready for the adventures on day 2: the Great Barrier Reef!

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We took advantage of the Memorable Moment Package which included a day trip to Low Isles with Sailaway. We spent the day on Coral Cay island, sun-tanning on the white sandy beaches and snorkeling to our hearts’ content.

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You see, I’m not exactly a water person. By that I mean.. I can’t swim. There, I said it. So naturally I was a bit nervous about being in water. With the aid of a life jacket, however, and hanging onto my man’s arm the entire time for dear life, I have to admit that it was pretty fun being dragged around in the water, effortlessly feasting my eyes on the breathtaking beauty of the colorful underwater world.

Definitely worth choking on sea water and laughing because it tasted horrid and choking some more because I was laughing.

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On day 3, we ventured out to the outer Great Barrier Reef to Agincourt Reef, where we snorkeled some more (AND SAW A SEA TURTLE) and did a helicopter ride.

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I highly recommend the scenic flight, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, as it is an entirely different way to experience the magic of the reef!

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I opted out of diving for this trip as I treasure my little life and don’t want to drown at the tender age of 24. Someday though, hopefully in the near future, I’ll return and have a go at diving in this little piece of paradise. Till then, I shall keep day dreaming..

x

Queensland Roadtrip with Accor

Recently I had the opportunity to go on a luxury roadtrip in Queensland with Accor Hotels, alongside a few bloggers from all over Australia (Chloe, Clarice, and Shellie). We started off in Brisbane and slowly ate our way to Gold Coast and ended the trip in the lovely Byron Bay. Four solid days of eating (LOTS of eating), unwinding, and chillaxing with the girls – it was definitely a much needed getaway from the busy work life in Sydney. Three months later I have finally gotten around to finish editing all the photos haha.. So here is a little photo blog entry to recap all the fun times! Enjoy 🙂

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First things first – food! We were given a warm welcome by Sofitel Brisbane Central in the form of a sky picnic, French style.

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Insert heart-eyed emojis here.

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A bit of salads to balance out the cakes. Absolutely adored the chicken quinoa salad!

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How gorgeous is this set-up?

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Being a little bit greedy.

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After lunch we returned to the hotel where we were staying – The New Incholm Hotel. And naturally, of course, more food awaits. A preview of their “Girls Night In,” a new service the hotel is offering. The idea is that you get pampered with manicure, unlimited movies, cheese, champagne, ice cream, etc. It’s like a sleepover for grown women!

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After a little bit of downtime relaxing in my own suite (which has TWO floors by the way), it was time for dinner! But first – pre-dinner drinks at Socialites Bar!

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The Socialite – spiced rum, pear liqueur, ginger liqueur, fresh pear

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Rise and shine! Breakfast in bed – the best kind of breakfast 😉

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After an uber comfortable drive in our Uber Select ride (see what I did there?), we arrived in sunny Gold Coast! Upon arrival at Sofitel Broadbeach, we were greeted by these light and refreshing passionfruit mocktails.

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And then we’re off to a poolside cooking class with Chef Sam Moore, who is Chef de Cuisine of the two hat restaurant, Room81.

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Foie gras galore

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Charred marron, jerusalem artichoke espuma with jamon crumble

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Such a satisfying feed

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After lunch, the girls and I thought we’d go do some cardio to burn off all the food we’ve been eating. So we went shopping 😀 Made it back to my room just in time for this fiery sunset.

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Dinner at Room81. Amuse bouche includes this adorable little earl grey foie macaron!

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Some dry ice magic.

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Valrhona sphere, filled with raspberry, hazelnut & salted caramel goodness. So shinyyyy

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More dry ice magic.

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Smashed it. Literally!

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Gold Coast, you’re alright.

 

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I love sleep because it’s like a time machine to breakfast. Hehe. After this breakfast of champions, it’s time to bid Gold Coast farewell.

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Next stop: Byron Bay! Words cannot describe my excitement when I saw this paradise that is Elements of Byron.

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I mean, seriously? There are gigantic day beds hanging in the middle of the gigantic pool. If you need me, you know where to find me…

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Next off – more food! Hightlights were definitely the crab donuts and the smoked burrata. And the liver pate with buttery dill brioche. And just.. everything on the table.

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A little BTS. Hi Chloe and Shellie! 🙂

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Did somebody say spa?

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After a one-hour full body massage, I was feeling as light as a feather.

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Couldn’t resist going on an evening stroll by the pool…

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And I might or might not have sat here for an hour or ten…

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Some R&R (seems to be all I’ve been doing this trip) in this gorgeous bathtub inside my private villa.

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Time to go to sleep in this big fluffy bed! I have to admit, it was nearly impossible to get up at 5:30 the next day for the sunrise yoga. I blame this bed.

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Still made it in time for this epic sunrise though!

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Morning yoga to this view… Happy sighs

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After yoga it was time to feed our bellies!

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Catching up with the carb-dashians at Graze.

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Yes, yes. Give me my magic potion.

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Poached eggs, sambuca cured salmon, kale pesto & hollandaise on grilled sourdough

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Amazing breakfast spread

Annnd that’s a wrap! Special thanks again to Accor Hotels, Maddy, Chloe, Clarice and Shellie for making this trip so much fun! Definitely feeling the post-travel blues while editing these photos.

As always, thanks for reading. Till next time!

 

 

 

 

Lazy Suzie

A Malaysian-inspired restaurant and bar on Stanley Street in Darlinghurst, Lazy Suzie has only been open for a few weeks, but has already become one of my favorite eateries in town. The fact that I went twice in two weeks is pretty solid proof. What can I say, chef Zacharay Tan rarely disappoints!

To celebrate my dear friend Philsosofly‘s birthday, Isaac, Angela, Johnny, Ravi and I headed to Lazy Suzie for brunch today. We ordered everything on the menu apart from the Malaysian vegetarian curry. Everything was just downright delicious.

Good food, good company, good laughs; what more can one ask for on a Saturday morning?

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Pie Tee – Pastry cup filled with braised shitake, yam bean & freshly picked crab meat

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Lobster Thermidor Spring Roll

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Raw kingsfish with torch ginger flower, coconut, yam bean

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Kaya Toast – Brioche, coconut custard, slow cooked eggs with soy burnt butter

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Chicken Congee with crispy skin, slow egg, ginger & shallot

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Roti B.E.L.T. – Bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, sambal mayo

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Penang Char Koay Teow – Stir fired noodles with seafood

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Penang Char Koay Teow – Stir fired noodles with seafood (Premium)

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Auntie Jenny’s Roti Baby – Spiced pork mince in fried bread, fried eggs

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ABC – Shaved blue pea flower ice, burbur cha cha, taro ice cream

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The legendary ABC in the making

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I’ll take two, thanks!

 

Ho Jiak – Malaysian Street Food

For the past month or so I’ve been having these extreme cravings for CKT (char kway teow) and all things savoury with “wok air”. So when I found out about this new Malaysian joint in Strathfield, I just had to check it out.

Ho Jiak, conveniently located inside Strathfield Plaza, takes inspiration from the hawker food stalls in the streets of Penang.  I visited the joint with Yan and Koentadi on a fiery summer day (35 degrees to be exact). Not the ideal time to eat laksa and such, I know; but hey, challenge accepted!

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Michael Jackson (Soy milk with grass jelly)

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Satay Chicken Skewers

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Roti Canai with Curry Beef

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Roti Canai with Curry Beef

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Penang Fried Kway Teow

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Michael Jackson (Soy milk with grass jelly)

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Hainanese Boneless Chicken with Soup

Our favorite dish was definitely the Hainanese chicken rice. Juicy, tender strips of white chicken served with a dome of chicken oil rice. Oh, that rice – so fluffy, so fragrant, so goood. Definitely one of the best I’ve had in Sydney.

The satay chicken was another favorite – perfectly charred and very flavorful, although a bit salty. We also tried the roti canai, laksa, and CKT. The laksa was delicious but a bit too spicy for our amateur palettes; sweat beads started forming on my forehead just three bites in and the warm weather of the day definitely did not help. The CKT, whilst flavorful with a generous amount of toppings, was a bit too burnt for my liking. Too much “wok air,” if there is such a thing?

In terms of drinks, the teh tarik and Michael Jackson (soy milk with grass jelly, ’cause it’s black and white. Get it? Ha ha ha ha ha) were both delicious and definitely helped douse that fire in my mouth after eating the laksa.

Overall I really enjoyed our meal and would definitely return if I’m in the area and craving some Malaysian street food!

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay

What to do on Valentine’s Day when you don’t have a valentine? Why, pig out of course! (Literally PIG out because bacon. Get it? Hehehe I’m so funny.)

Cuckoo Callay in Newtown is conveniently having a three-week long Bacon Festival so the decision on venue for breakfast was an easy one. We arrived at 9am to avoid the wait and the place was already pretty packed. What can I say, the charm of bacon is hard to resist 😛

We ordered four things plus drinks to share between the three of us. First off we had Drizzle Sticks.

Drizzle sticks

Drizzle sticks – Crunchy Black Forest Smokehouse streaky bourbon bacon drizzled in chocolate and hazelnut

Bacon drizzled in chocolate mmm. Sounds promising. Unfortunately these didn’t live up to expectation. Bacon wasn’t really crunchy and there were bits of white solidified fat on them as well. Not to say these weren’t delicious but man these had so much potential. If only the bacon was crisped up more.

Moving on, next on the table was Don’t Go Bacon My Heart.

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Don’t Go Bacon My Heart – Beer candied bacon and popcorn chicken burger served with beer and tomato chutney, mustard aioli and slaw on brioche

The brioche buns were fluffy, slightly sweet and buttery. Chicken was crispy; only complaint is batter was a bit thick. The tomato chutney and slaw added a bit of sweetness that contrasted the salty bacon well. Overall the burger is on the sweet side which is why it is served with pickles. Add the tangy pickles in your burger and VOILA MAGIC. Easily our favorite item of the meal.

Bacon All the Rules - Black Forest Smokehouse maple bacon, bourbon bacon, bacon steak, bacon sausage and bacon-crumbed poached eggs served on sourdought

Bacon All the Rules – Black Forest Smokehouse maple bacon, bourbon bacon, bacon steak, bacon sausage and bacon-crumbed poached eggs served on sourdough

Bacon lovers, this is for you! Bacon All the Rules contains bacon in five different forms. FIVE. That’s all you need to know about this dish really. I’d say the sausage was my favorite item on the plate.

Dat yolk porn

Obligatory yolk porn shot

Last but not least, we had Ya Bacon Me Crazy for dessert, because no meal is complete without dessert; breakfast included.

Life is short; eat dessert first.

Ya Bacon Me Crazy - Buttermilk waffles with house-made bacon, caramel and cinnamon ice cream, Black Forest Smokehouse maple bacon, maple syrup and chocolate coated bourbon bacon

Ya Bacon Me Crazy – Buttermilk waffles with house-made bacon, caramel and cinnamon ice cream, Black Forest Smokehouse maple bacon, maple syrup and chocolate coated bourbon bacon

Trust me when I say this is tastier than it looks (I spent some good ten minutes staring at this photo while editing. Wiping drools off my keyboard as I type). The combination of sweet and salty and hot and cold almost never fails. A friend commented as we ate that bacon was the least sinful thing on this plate and I have to agree. Sooo worth it but.

I call this the msyan_ shot

I call this the msyan_ shot

We also ordered the Shake n’ Bacon which was the bacon milkshake. Sounds gross but it was surprisingly quite decent. Bacon flavor was quite subtle and it tasted like a malt milkshake with a hint of smokiness.

If you are what you eat, I definitely feel like a pig right now. But what’s new, right? 😛

Cuckoo Callay
Address: 324 B, Newtown Railway station, Newtown NSW 2042
Phone:(02) 9557 7006

Aqua S

Today, I finally visited Chur Burger for the first time (I know.. Please don’t judge) and now I understand iFat‘s obsession with it. That pulled pork burger was so so delicious. But that’s a post for another time because today the focus is on a newly opened ice cream parlour, Aqua S.

You’ll most likely have seen on your social media feed photos of this bright blue soft serve sitting atop a fluffy cloud. If you haven’t, you most likely live under a rock. I know for a fact that I saw maybe ten photos on my feed in one day some time last week.. That probably contributed to the reason why Aqua S blew up like crazy, from an almost empty store to having a long, long line and a 30 minute wait (on average) when we went at around 8pm.

The flavors they have at the moment are: sea salt, lemon tea, and biscotti. (You can check their Instagram page to see the current flavors as they change them every two weeks). In terms of toppings, they have fairy floss, caramel popcorn, poprock candy and toasted marshmallow. It’s available in either a cone or a cup.

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Sea salt + lemon tea soft serve with caramelized popcorn and fairy floss on a cone. Look at the fluffy fluffy cotton candy cloud!

We tried all of the flavors and I have to say my favorite would be the combination of sea salt and lemon tea. It was sweet, salty and sour all at the same time. Super refreshing and perfect for when you’re already in a semi-food-coma after some epic burgers. I’m not too convinced that either of the flavors on its own would be my thing though (would be too salty and too sour?). Biscotti, on the other hand, was very tasty on its own and I can imagine it to go well with both the other flavors.

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Lemon tea with caramelized popcorn and toasted marshmallow

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Biscotti with poprock.. in a cup with a cone LOL

Final words of advice:
1. The fairy floss is really photogenic but almost impossible to eat, and honestly it didn’t add much to the ice cream in terms of flavor or texture and is there purely for aesthetic reasons. But I ain’t complaining. Anything for the shot, right? ;P

2. A cup would be a lot less messy to eat than a cone since the soft serve melts pretty fast, so you better devour it quick or you’ll end up with ice cream soup all over your hands (or if you’re unfortunate, pants).

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They also have a new green tea flavor! LOLJOKES that’s from Chanoma which is right opposite of Aqua S 😛

Aqua S Ice Cream Parlour
Shop 27, Level 10, 501 George Street, Sydney 2000
Telephone 0406 970 070

Ssam Bar 2007 @ Momofuku Seiobo

I know Good Food Month was over ages ago and Ssam Bar 2007 was long gone with the wind, but I figured I’d better put some Sydney content on this site if I’m going to call it a Sydney food blog. So here you go.

Ssam Bar 2007 was one of the highlights of Good Food Month 2014. This special menu was a pop-up for one week only. The fact that we didn’t have to fly all the way to New York to try these signature dishes of David Chang got us a bit too excited. Eileen, Alfred and I basically went (an hour early to wait in line. Hush. It was so worth it) and ordered the whole menu and ate ourselves silly (but still somehow had room for dessert at Black by Ezard).

Anyhoozies, here’s what we ate:

Sydney rock oysters with kimchi consomme

Sydney rock oysters with kimchi consomme

Tasmanian sea urchin with tapioca, whipped tofu, scallions

Tasmanian sea urchin with tapioca, whipped tofu, scallions

Cured kingfish, edamame, horseradish

Cured kingfish, edamame, horseradish

The infamous steamed buns with pork belly, hoisin, cucumber, scallions

The infamous steamed buns with pork belly, hoisin, cucumber, scallions

Because these buns deserve more than one photo

Because these buns deserve more than one photo

Fried brussel sprouts with chillies, mint, fish sauce

Fried brussel sprouts with chillies, mint, fish sauce

Smoked prosciutto with red eye mayo, baguette

Smoked prosciutto with red eye mayo, baguette

Apple salad with bacon, lychee, peanuts

Apple salad with bacon, lychee, peanuts

Tello's chawanmushi with black truffle, snails, edamame, scallion

Tello’s chawanmushi with black truffle, snails, edamame, scallion

The trio

The trio

Pan-roasted skate with brown butter and preserved lemon

Pan-roasted skate with brown butter and preserved lemon

Spicy honeycomb tripe

Spicy honeycomb tripe

Marinated hanger steak ssam with ginger scallion, kimchi, bibb lettuce

Marinated hanger steak ssam with ginger scallion, kimchi, bibb lettuce

All tucked inside a little blanket oftuce

All tucked inside a little blanket of lettuce

Despite a few let down’s (eg. the sea urchin with whipped tofu. Personally thought it was a waste of sea urchin and not sure what the tapioca balls were doing in the dish. Very adventurous dish but not a fan. Kingfish was also quite meh), our meal was largely satisfying. It was hard to pick one favorite dish because there were so many outstanding onesl. But here are my top four:

The honeycomb tripe with slow cooked egg had to be one of my favorites. Truth be told, this was my first time eating tripe (I know. I am a disgrace to the Asian race) and my mind was blown. Let’s just say the bar for any future tripe dishes is now set very high. The pork buns were a no brainer – I mean, what could possibly go wrong with glorious melt-in-your-mouth-tender slabs of fat pork belly sandwiched between fluffy steamed buns? I also really liked the brussel sprouts. I can already hear a few people going “ew” at me; but hey even though I might be biased because I love these green morsels, these sprouts were magical! The caramelization gave them a nutty aroma, and the crispy puffed rice provided a nice textural contrast. The apple bacon lychee salad was also bomb, because bacon.

Till next time!

Momofuku Seiōbo
Address: The Star/80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Phone:(02) 9777 9000

Ho Lee Fook (Hong Kong)

I have been wanting to visit Ho Lee Fook in Hong Kong ever since it first opened earlier this year. The fact that it’s run by Jowett Yu, the guy behind Mr, Wong and Ms. G’s in Sydney, set the bar very high. I went with high expectations and fortunately I did not leave disappointed.

Hokkaido scallop, snowpeas, pickled enoki, shiso, salmon roe

Hamachi, cucumber, lemon jam, horseradish, puffed buckwheat. I loved this dish. The lemon jam made it very light and refreshing and the puffed buckwheat provided a nice textural contrast.

“Prawn toast x okonomiyaki” kewpie mayonnaise, bulldog sauce, shaved cabbage, aonori

Mom’s “mostly cabbage, a little bit of pork” dumplings, sacha soy dressing. The name was a bit deceiving as these do contain quite a lot of pork in it; delicious nonetheless though.

Taiwanese style lu rou fan, 5-grain rice, pickled daikon

Prawn lo mein with shellfish oil, grilled shallot, crispy garlic

Prawn lo mein with shellfish oil, grilled shallot, crispy garlic. Doesn’t look like much but actually so delicious. Very intense flavors from the shellfish oil and fragrant shallot and garlic.

Roast wagyu short ribs, japlapeño puree, green shallot kimchi, soy glaze. Definitely our favorite dish of the night. Meat was so flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender and THAT CRUST mmm. The japlapeño puree was surprisingly not too spicy, but I'm not complaining since I'm a spice wimp. If you can order only one thing from HLF make it this one!

Roast wagyu short ribs, japlapeño puree, green shallot kimchi, soy glaze. Definitely our favorite dish of the night. Meat was so flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender and THAT CRUST mmm. The japlapeño puree was surprisingly not too spicy, but I’m not complaining since I’m a spice wimp. If you can order only one thing from HLF make it this one!

“Breakfast 2.0” Horlicks ice cream, cornflake honeyjoy, oats, dried longan, cocoa coffee crumbs. So yummy. Can’t go wrong with Horlicks or cornflakes or a combination of both.

Matcha cake, chocolate ganache, liquid hazelnut praline, toasted milk, strawberry

Matcha cake, chocolate ganache, liquid hazelnut praline, toasted milk, strawberry. This was the more “meh” dessert. Matcha flavor quite subtle and overall not an overly exciting dish.

Final thoughts:

I have read some nasty reviews about this place and all I can say is that – basically, if you visit this place expecting traditional Chinese food, you are bound to be disappointed; but if you come with an open mind, I promise you that you will enjoy these quirky and daring dishes as much as I did.

Would I return? Ho lee fook-ing yes!

Ho Lee Fook
G/F No. 1-5 Elgin St, Central, Hong Kong
+852 2810 0860