Friday, August 29, 2014

Watashiha Sakuraga daisuki desyo!

J'aime les fleurs que s'appele "sakura"! 

So continuing on from where I last left off. We drove out to Auburn to see the blossoming Cherry Blossoms, entry fee was only a measley $4. And this was my first visit to the gardens. I've only ever browsed through the instagram photos that were tagged, and some footage that was uploading to YouTube. Seeing it all in real life (In Australia) was wonderful. Even though I've been to Japan, I never got to see them blossoms. It's such a rare sight because they only bloom for a week long period. It's all about timing and the weather. 

Sydney's weather was not too kind in general, the harsh winds and pouring rain had delayed the blooms. But what we did get to see was beautiful. My high school had plum blossoms, and I learnt to tell the difference by looking at the petals and the marks on the trees. You can check out the plum blossoms photography here

The gardens are beautiful. I have one more posts regarding these gardens that you'll hopefully be able to read by Wednesday. It'll be a starking contrast to these delicate blossoms. These really do make me miss Japan!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Breakfast with some blossoms: Cafe Harvest @ BGC

Un petit déjeuner avec les fleurs: Cafe Harvest @ BGC

I assume at this point, everyone has got a rough idea of how I live out in the South West of Sydney. Despite having most of my meals in the Sydney CBD, I don't usually look for breakfast/brunch in and around the area. So for Anna's birthday I was given the instruction to meet at the Bonnyrigg Garden Centre. Which until that morning I thought was just a garden centre. It is, but it also houses a fine little cafe.

We were late, everyone else had ordered their drinks. I decided to choose what I always choose for breakfast: a pot of tea. I got myself a pot of peppermint tea which is nice because I feel like it gives my breath something fresh to hold for the rest of the day. Bien's and John's drinks came in fancy mason jars. They looked so cute, I wish tea came in a jar. But there is nothing pretty about hot flavoured water in a glass jar?

One of the catches was that the entire table had to order at the same time. So once everyone had finally decided on something it was all ordered. Since we were in a large group there was one mishap with Bien's order where it was basically not recorded. So everyone received their food and Bien had to ask the waitress did his food ever get ordered, and his disappointment when it wasn't. So since he ordered a steak sandwich it took him another 15-20minute wait on top. We had basically finished our meal when it arrived and we watched him eat it all on his lonesome.

But lets stop the pity story. I got myself a croissant with salmon and scrambled eggs. I'd like it better if there was more seasoning. I didn't finish the salad because I am not too fond of rocket anyway. I was nonetheless happy with what I had. I would definitely come back and try a big breakfast or eggs benedict. Besides the one mishap, I think its a beautiful place to have brunch if you're a local!

Cafe Harvest on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 25, 2014

YM: A day spent in the Gardens for Anna's 22nd Birthday!

YM: Une journée dans les jardins pour le 22ème anniversaire de Anna!

Eighth Youtube Monday Video! Horray, I've done it. I've done this for TWO MONTHS! I am very happy and proud of myself. Because honestly, I didn't think I would make it this far. But to be completely honest, I'm reaching the end of my list of ideas to do for videos. I think I'll end up doing lots of highlights videos. But I do need to film something proper. Anyone have any good suggestions?

But what you see in this video will be some hint as to future posts on the blog will be. Lots of pretty photos! I don't think I've gone out and taken photos in a long while since I've started this whole youtube thing.

(A part of me is tempted to do those trendy youtube videos. Who knows what you'll see next!)

Friday, August 22, 2014

It is Friday, so, time for some instagram moments

C'est vendredi, donc, le temps de quelques instants Instagram

I've decided to be much more selective with the moments I share, mostly because I had a scroll through my own profile and cringe and why I would share so much. Do we overshare now because we have the space to? Would sharing our most intimate moments okay? Well I think these are okay. You guys know the drill, I eat and I enjoy the company of very special people.

The funny part of this is the hair colour I am sporting changed! Again? Why yes, but of course. Since my roots are growing out I thought having blue hair would be much better since it can hide my terrible roots quite well. While I had my orange/pink hair however the roots were too obvious.

But I'll be going back to a natural colour in a few weeks! I've got some business to do and I don't think the blue is very appropriate. Look out, these instagram posts are quite a hint to my future posts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Macchiato - Woodfire Pizzeria : They have Pizza!

Macchiato - Woodfired Pizzeria: Ils ont la pizza!

How often do we genuinely love a restaurant after trying it. I have found one of my favourites! It's hilarious, I've actually never heard of this place but Lucy and I were feeling for some Italian.. I was about to recommend going to Star Bar because I couldn't think of anything walking distance at 9pm in the evening! But I had a memory resurgence because I faintly recall having walked past somewhere with a sign saying "Woodfired Pizza". 

I'm not really in the know for many restaurants so it surprises me what reviews are saying! But lets start from the top! Lucy and I walked into the restaurants, and were greeted by staff behind the counter, they told us someone would be with us shortly. Two waiters had arrived to greet us, both took us to a table with great humour and told us a few jokes to get us comfortable. We felt so incredibly welcomed! I've never received such a greeting. It was however 8:45-9pm at this point, the restaurant itself was filled, it wasn't chaotic or too loud or noisy. 

After being given the menu, we were allowed our own time to pick and choose what we wanted. We started off with choosing a pizza each (what a disaster, I couldn't decide... and we over ordered... again!) After which we had caught a glimpse at the entrees, and Lucy was very keen on having some fresh cut chips, whereas I was very tempted by something else. When we had decided on our drinks, it wasn't long before we caught some eye contact with a waitress. She came over, greeted us and complimented my hair. (It was orange at this point!) We had a brief talk about what colours I was planning on going next. And I haven't had this much chit chatter with hospitality worker since.... I don't even.  Another waitress came shortly after to help set up our table with water, cutlery, napkins and the necessities.

Our entrees arrived within 15-20minutes, we weren't really keeping track. We were in no rush, and I think thats the best time to be eating out. When you can really enjoy the atmosphere around you. Our Bruschetta arrived and a minute later the chips did. They were amazing entrees. 

The Bruschetta - ($9?) It had a crispy crust, the balsamic vinaigrette was perfection! I would actually have a larger version of it for a meal if I could. It wasn't long until we had finished the whole thing between the two of us. We kept applauding it! The tomatoes were ripe, sweet, and the doughy base was amazing. 
The Fresh Cut Chips ($8) - I loved these chips, remember a few posts back where I somewhat touched on how much of a potato snob I was. I was very happy with the ones that came in our cute little bucket. And the dish of ketchup made Lucy very happy.

After finishing our meal within 15minutes, we had it cleared off to prepare for our main meal! But just before that our fancy shmancy mocktails were being sipped on during that waiting period. We had a waitress come by at this point (Probably 9:40pm) asking whether we were okay, and talked about how she wished she could join us and eat too. It was so cute. And then it happened. Our pizzas came on these dishes. Lucy and I were in awe. We underestimated the size.

Prosciutto Pizza ($22?) - topped with grated cheese and rocket. Loved it. I love freshly woodfired pizzas, it was hot and it was crispy. Never underestimate a crispy crust. This pizza however required the utility of the knife and fork, which I really had no problem with.
My Lychee Blossom Mocktail ($8) - Was amazing! I love the rose water infusion with the freshly squeezed lemon juice and sprite? I think it was. It was tangy and it was very enjoyable. Since it wasn't too sweet it really freshen up the palette after ever slice of pizza (which I could on fit 3). Having a bite of the lychee fruit was a really perfect way to finish my meal.

Lucy and I were very self-absorbed with our conversations and it wasn't until 10:15pm when I panicked. We had a train to catch at 10:30, and it was in the 2 minutes we had called upon a waitress, got our bill, had our remaining slices put into takeaway and paid. We made our train as well. Lucy and I spent the walk to Town Hall station being completely satisfied with our experience. So it surprises me that other reviews said otherwise.

I hope this service I had on Tuesday Night stays because we'll be coming back for brunch for sure!

Macchiato on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 18, 2014

YM: I'm Multilingual, and its awesome

YM: Je suis multilingue, et c'est génial

Woop woop! Another 4 minute video. I'm kidding, I wanted the number to be rounded off so the outro part is quite long. But here is my top FIVE reasons why anyone should pick up another language. And also there's a little stat on what languages I know. I think it was cool analysing my strengths and weaknesses in other languages.

It's funny, as a retail assistant in the city I come across tourists quite frequently and I've only ever been game to speak Japanese and English. Even when there's Vietnamese customers or French customers. I'm just like "nope, not going to deal with the awkwardness today!"

ANYWAY! If you haven't already, subscribe to my youtube channel!

ALSO! We have a winner for the Menulog Giveaway! Charlotte! I've emailed you, please reply back to get your prize! Horray!

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Emma Approved Episode 70 Reaction!

Mon Emma Approuvé Episode 70 réaction!

It is no surprised to realise that I'm definitely more of an "online" type of person, and it all pieces together rather well: I'm introverted, I have no particular strong taste in music, I've been blogging for the past 6 years, I now make youtube videos. That isn't all surprising! So I do indulge myself into a lot of web culture as opposed to IRL dramas! And right now I am downright loving the Emma Approved Webseries produced by Bernie Su & Hank Green! With such a great cast and writers, what isn't there to love?

Oh what about the fact its an adaptation of my favourite Austen book. Some may argue its popularity and say Pride and Prejudice is, but the love story in Emma is by far the most relatable to me. I love Elizabeth Bennett, but Emma Woodhouse's character development interests me much more! So when I heard the announcement over a year ago that it'd be adapted! I was ready. I've watched it within 24hours of episode releases! And I know the window is large but hey! I'm an Aussie girl, those episodes release at 3am in the morning (2am now cause of Daylight Saving!)

So with only up to 72 episodes of being completely based off the books, we are reaching the end. I wish I recored myself for Ep 64 - Boxx Hill because I was bawling like a toddler!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Charcoal Chicken in Granville: Hawa

«Charcoal Chicken» à Granville: Hawa

Don't be alarmed. I am talking about Hawa! It seems the letter H had its light burnt out a while ago. I don't know how many Sydney - Siders are up to date in the gossip of the Charcoal Chicken World! Over the years it's been obvious to name the store many would name to be no.1. But I'd like to propose an alternative, I am definitely not the first to do so but we are definitely the minority. The rumour has it that "Hawa" down the road from El Jannahs is the new "IT" Charcoal Chicken. It is further away from the station but there are many things I've discovered from my recent visit. 

The first pro is: More dining space, Hawa has large rooms attached. It also has a little cafe stall where you can also grab some ice cream. (I didn't get to try this because I was here for the chicken!) I went with Ruby and Anna after our France Meeting. It was around 6:30-7 that we arrived, so it was still rather quiet. Service was super quick, and everything arrived roughly at the same time. 

Ruby decided to get her own separate meal of quarter chicken with a meal (Chips & Drink), whereas Anna and I decided on sharing a whole chicken. The serving is just as generous at El Jannah. You get all the pickled goodies, and big slather of garlic paste/sauce/cream? Chips are evenly well seasoned. Together I think we each spent around $15 each. It wasn't too expensive and it was definitely worth it. Here's a breakdown of each item. 

Chicken - Damn! The chicken is definitely not dry at all, it was juicy and though the photos may make the chicken look charred, they didn't taste like I was biting into charcoal at all. These were definitely 100% edible in my books! The chicken itself looked engorged like the ones you can grab at costco, so definitely not puny!
Garlic Paste/Sauce/Cream - Why many find themselves at Charcoal Joints is just to grab some garlic goodness. These were definitely garlicy, I definitely felt like I could ward off an army of vampires with my breath. I know some people don't like that, but I like having the strong garlic with my chicken. 
Pita Bread - these are cut up into quarters and they are complementary! Perfect to insert as many strips of chicken and chips and garlic paste to make myself a little pocket. It was still messy but it was so good to evenly have all the flavour and textures.
Chips - Classic! They were hot, steaming, crispy and well seasoned. I didn't feel the need to smother them in the garlic to make them better or anything. They were great on their own. 

As you can see I cleaned up my plate rather well. I was well satisfied, we sat there for quite a while before having to head off on a train home. Where all we could think about was how damn full we were. 

I would definitely come back, I think I may not even be visiting the competitor anymore, unless someone can prove to me the chicken isn't dry anymore! Service is a little bit iffy, I think its hit and miss. We had some great people come up to us to ask if we were okay and if the food was good, where as another was very rushed and didn't seem very customer oriented. But I don't think I'm very fussed about service at a Charcoal Chicken Joint! Pay a visit, make a judgement for yourself!

Hawa Charcoal Chicken on Urbanspoon