Monday, January 31, 2011


This blog is a bit overdue but I've been meaning to tell you all about the restaurant we ended up choosing for our anniversary in December. After tossing up between many hatted restaurants and pouring over their fancy degustation menus, we finally decided not to over indulge too much and settled on Sake in The Rocks, Sydney. We both love Japanese and decided that a fusion restaurant with your not-so-typical Japanese dishes would be a great way to try some new dishes that we would surely enjoy.

The service was great as soon as we walked in the door. Our waiter was really helpful in suggesting dishes and describing their qualities as well as recommending how they should be eaten. We started off by sharing our favourite sushi combination (sashimi + scallops) which was meant to be eaten with your hands using the witlof leaf as a scooping spoon - they even provided hot towels to clean our hands, which reminded me of the ones they give you when you wake up on the plane. We also shared the special pork belly skewers which melted in our mouths.

Sushi Maki - S expresss: scallops, spicy mayo, cucumber, seared salmon, witlof and sweet sauce

Kushiyaki - Pork belly: 2 skewers per serve accompanied by spicy anticucho sauce

We carefully picked our mains from the list of enticing dishes, and as were both seafood lovers, I think we definitely picked the best 2 seafood plates on offer. I loved the scallop dish I had, the miso cream sauce really soaked into the vegetables and perfectly complemented the medium cooked tender giant scallops. Law's scampi dish was they one of the softest and sweetest crustacean meat I've ever had and the green tea salt infused it with an amazing flavour, especially with a squeeze of lemon. The dishes were sufficiently filling and well worth it so we were satisfied but left wanting more.

Main - Miso-cream scallops: pan-seared scallops, baby corn, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms & yuzu miso cream

Main - Grilled scampi: grilled green tea salted scampi on daikon ribbon salad with yuzu dressing 

After all that yummy food, we were decided to share 1 dessert - which was a good idea because we'd both been eying the green apple one and neither wanted to choose another. This dish was definitely one of the best desserts I've ever had in my whole entire life. The mousse was so infused with green apple flavour that it was like a dream in your mouth! I have no idea how they got it to taste so good! Not to mention the paper thin pastry and the way it soaked up the apple vanilla syrup but still managed to stay crispy. Yummy yummy yummy, we were fighting over the last bite!

Dessert - Green-apple mille feuille: green-apple mousse with layers of crispy thin pastry & apple vanilla syrup

Overall, we were extremely happy with Sake. I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for a restaurant for a special occasion. The service and food is great and the prices are reasonable for the quality of the dishes. It's nice to eat at a restaurant that is really original in the creation of their dishes even though they are influenced by a particular cuisine. I don't think I will ever find a green apple dessert quite as perfect as this.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Food Challenge: Tomato & Basil Soup

After tasting my first tomato & basil soup from Noodles & Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I fell in love with the thickness of its flavours. I'm not really a soup person but I've been craving this dish ever since I left America and finally decided to look up recipes and make my own version of the soup. I wanted to make sure it turned out thick and chunky so that you could taste the fresh ingredients and scoop it up with pieces of toasted garlic bread. After some seasoning, it turned out just as good as I remembered and since I made so much, I had plenty to freeze to satisfy my next big craving! I think this recipe's gonna be a winner this coming winter!


  • 1 bulb of garlic - peeled, cloves separated
  • 1kg roma tomatoes - cut in half lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves - finely shredded
  • 1 brown onion - finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Garlic butter
  • Bruschetta bread or ciabatta bread
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. 
  2. Line a tray with baking paper. Place tomato (cut-side up) and garlic cloves on prepared tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Roast for 40 minutes or until tomato is tender. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool slightly. 
  4. Process tomato, garlic and the shredded basil until smooth.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  6. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until soft. 
  7. Add tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. 
  8. Add stock and tomato mixture. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally.
  9. Season with salt and pepper as required.
  10. Spread garlic butter on bread and toast. Serve with a cup of soup, garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Transom Windows

Whenever I look at pictures of houses, I'm always in love with the idea of the extra flow of natural light into a room from windows above windows or doors. I googled this word for word to find out that they are called "transom windows" and not only give more light but can also function as ventilation devices to release hot air from the hottest part of the room. My favourite transom windows are the arched ones that highlight a central doorway or a window seat. Here are some images to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about - they're so versatile and are so much prettier than normal windows and doors!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I'm getting back into accessories now because it's such a cheap and cute way to revive your existing wardrobe! I really like the stuff at Lovisa at the moment but you can also get good pieces at fashion chain stores and department stores. Websites generally have good ideas on what and how to your jewellery!

New collections at Lovisa online

Styling Tips

Friday, January 14, 2011


I've always loved L'Occitane hand cream but recently discovered their Almond Apple Velvet Concentrate face cream. I bought this in America because I liked the almond-apple scent and found it to be so much cheaper than Australia. I didn't get around to trying it till now and after 2 weeks of using it, I've noticed that my face feels alot softer and firmer all at the same time! So whether you're looking for some hand cream for your purse, face cream for your daily routine, or even some perfume or soap, I would really recommend L'Occitane. Here are some of my favourites:

Almond Apple Velvet Concentrate
This velvety and fondant-textured cream visibly beautifies the face and helps the skin to effectively protect itself against the 1st signs of aging. Immediately, skin’s texture is refined and softer to the touch, day after day, skin is firmer, smoother and effectively protected against the formation of wrinkles.

Rose 4 Reines Velvet Hand Cream
This cream, enriched in Shea Butter and vitamin E, repairs, nourished and protects hands from daily aggressions. The hands are moisturized and delicately perfumed with the fresh and slightly fruity fragrance of the Grasse rose, the Bulgarian rose, the Moroccan rose, and the Turkish rose.

Cherry Blossom Eau de Toilette
A fresh and floral fragrance that celebrates the beauty of the cherry blossoms during the first days of spring.

Monday, January 10, 2011

7 Ways To Wear a Scarf

Even though it's summer right now and the thought of wearing a scarf makes me sweat, I thought this video would be useful to hang onto once the weather cools down. I recently cleaned out my wardrobe and realised how many scarves I had so I think I will definitely be needing some new and creative ways to wear them this winter..

Thursday, January 6, 2011

December Food Adventures

After my Christmas banquet post I thought I'd only have a few December food photos to post but after looking through my phone and camera, I realised that December definitely takes the cake for lots of catch up and special event dinners! This month is full of old and newly discovered favourites! Enjoy...

I've learnt to love Tempura Udon this year - the crunchy tempura in hot soup is so yummy!
Asakaze - Rouse Hill Town Centre Food Court

A family favourite - $10 T-bone steak + the best chips and salad ever!
Cooks Hill Hotel - Cabramatta West

Deciding to try something new on the menu - Chorizos
Cooks Hills Hotel - Cabramatta West

Fish & Chips - 3 plates between 4 people and we still couldn't finish it!
Cooks Hill Hotel - Cabramatta West

Our favourite dish at our favourite local Thai restaurant - Yellow Curry
Pimarn Thai - Castle Hill

Tried the beef salad - full of flavour!
Pimarn Thai - Castle Hill

Nasi Lemak - "Arguably Malaysia's national dish"
Mamak - Chinatown

Roti Telur Bawang - Egg + onion omelette
Mamak - Chinatown

Roti Canai - The original roti - my favourite!
Mamak - Chinatown

Satay skewers - chicken + beef - I could drink this sauce!
Mamak - Chinatown

Roti Tisu - paper thin, extra crispy & served tall with icecream - SO GOOD!
 Mamak - Chinatown

Sashimi Platter - the best scallops ever!
Wagaya - Chinatown

Smoked salmon canapes for Stephen's Christmas party
Festive colours!

Sammy's yummy berry cheesecake!

Big Moo - the best burgers have to have egg + beetroot!
Moo Burgers - Coogee

Law's family Christmas Dinner
Ham, Turkey, Lamb Curry, Steamed Fish, Prawns and Veges!

Viet style Christmas lunch - beef rice paper rolls with shrimp paste dip

BBQ Christmas lunch @ Stephen's

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dessert Challenge: Tiramisu

I love eating classic desserts once in awhile and even though I don't really have a sweet tooth, it's always nice to indulge in something that you know will always hit the spot. I've decided to try to perfect my own little version of some classic desserts that I always look for on the menu but have never been game to try making at home. First on the list: Tiramisu!

Tiramisu is one of the most popular and well known Italian desserts and actually means "pick-me-up". I looked up a bunch of recipes and came up with a final recipe that I wanted to use. Some recipes added some extra thickened cream but I just stuck with the traditional bare essentials of eggs, sugar and mascarpone for my mixture. The recipe was very simple and didn't take long at all, because you only need to prepare and refrigerate, not bake. I was very happy it turned out well on my first try but next time, I will make sure to soak the sponge fingers as quickly as possible to avoid sogginess. Here is a photo of the finished product and a copy of the recipe I used! Can't wait for my next opportunity to make this as I'm sure it will be a crowd pleaser!

  • 3 eggs - seperated
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 cup hot strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 16 sponge fingers
  • Shaved chocolate

  1. Beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and white (may take up to 10 minutes).
  2. Add the mascarpone and beat until combined and smooth (try not to use mascarpone straight from the fridge as it may be harder to beat out the lumps).
  3. Make the coffee and add the Kahlua.
  4. Quickly dip sponge fingers into coffee mixture and set aside (the sponge fingers can become soggy very easily so try to dip them swiftly and lay then on a paper towel to soak up excess coffee).
  5. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture.
  6. Spread a layer of mascarpone mixture in a tray, sprinkle shaved chocolate and line 8 sponge fingers on top. Repeat.
  7. Finish off with a thicker layer of mascarpone mixture and sprinkle generously with shaved chocolate.
  8. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

First post for the new year and the new decade! I can't believe how fast 2010 went by, it feels like just yesterday that I was in Michigan, freezing my ass off, getting ready to start my semester abroad. This past year has been full of change, adventure and growth. I experienced challenges that have made me stronger and more independent than ever. I have learnt to take advantage of opportunities, push the boundaries and step out of my comfort zone to make dreams a reality.

What better way to kick start 2011 than to spend a gorgeous new years eve in the city to ring in the new year with Sydney's famous fireworks! I spent time with my family in Darling Harbour for the 9pm fireworks before heading across town to my friend's house in Vaucluse to watch the midnight fireworks from the amazing harbour bridge views in his back yard. It was a perfect warm summer's night and being with family and friends on the harbour made me love being back in Sydney for this new year's eve. I hope you all had a wonderful night as well and all the best for the new year to come! Here's a video of Sydney's famous fireworks this year and some photos from the night, enjoy!