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January 31, 2013

Three from today

Wore a green dress which I probably shouldn't have bought in the first place. Everytime I put it on, I take it off again because I never feel like it "suits the occasion". I think it should be worn to some sort of garden party.

Spaghetti for lunch with "mangolaide" (mango juice and lemonade) and mentally kicking myself for not ordering the chicken parmigiana Mel got.

Went to the library. Apparently there's going to be a "speed dating with books" night on Valentine's Day (I see myself doing this when I'm 50 and still alone), which begs the question - what book would you take? I wouldn't be able to choose between The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, and Tales of the Unexpected.

// Is January actually already over? This month has gone really slow-fast - I can't remember doing much at all but it went by in a whizz anyway. One more month of freedom!

January 30, 2013

Chocolate Chantilly

Or, as it was introduced to me on Pinterest, the best chocolate mousse of your life in under 5 minutes and only 2 ingredients. I was intrigued, especially because you only need water and chocolate - no need to mess around with eggs and sugar. I did some research and found this Heston video going through the steps and how it works, and this page, which was helpful in explaining how much water in proportion to the chocolate you'll need.

The basic idea is to whip the chocolate/water mixture in a cold environment until it starts to change its consistency. I've made it a couple of times now, it's so easy! Some tips:
  • The nicer the chocolate you use, the better it will turn out. Apparently you need chocolate with a high cocoa content for this... I've been using IKEA dark chocolate (haha), which has 60% cocoa, I think.
  • At the stage where you've melted the chocolate and water together, add a pinch of salt to bring out the taste.
  • If you find dark chocolate too bitter, you can add some sugar at this point as well.
  • If you've been whisking for ages and it hasn't worked, cover the bowl and pop it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, then try again.
  • It's even better after it's set in the fridge for a while. It'll keep, and won't separate into layers or anything.
  • 100g of chocolate makes about 2 to 3 servings (it's very rich, you can only eat a bit at a time!).
Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try it! I've been doing lots of cooking and baking and such lately to pass time, so you might see some more of these posts from me.

January 27, 2013


This was last Tuesday, but better late than never, right. Wai Lam found this place via Groupon, so we got a cheap lunch deal. Momo's main pull is pastrami, which I hadn't tried before (it was on my list of things to eat in New York, but I never got around to it).

I got the New York pastrami and really liked it. Actually, looking at these pictures, I want some right now.

I was a bit jealous of Jenny's chicken burger.

The chips were also really good (my fellow chip connoisseur YY agreed).

Happy long weekend! (Although, being on holiday anyway means it's more of an annoyance because everywhere is closed.) I basically did nothing for Australia Day yesterday - now that I think about it, I don't really have a tradition for it. What did my fellow Australians get up to?

January 23, 2013


I haven't done an outfit post in a while, so here's what I wore to lunch today. Bad choice - that high waist traps a lot of heat and it was just my luck that I caught a tin-can train with no aircon (Sydneysiders know what I'm talking about). It was also the first time I've worn these loafers (from my USA haul), which means I'm now missing a bit of skin over my Achilles tendon. Ouch.

T-shirt from Ralph Lauren, watch c/o Daniel Wellington, shoes from Bass. The label on the shorts says Rest In Peace, but I don't think this brand exists anymore. Also wearing my one true love of lipsticks, MAC's Russian Red, which stays on while I'm eating (i.e. all the time).

As you might have picked up, I do a lot of complaining about the heat, so it might seem a bit odd that I'm going to The Whitsundays in two weeks! They're a group of tropical islands off Queensland; you might have heard of Hamilton Island or Whitehaven Beach. It was actually YY and Jaz's idea, I'm tagging along because I want somewhere to go. I'm getting really excited though - I'm looking forward to doing some snorkelling!

January 20, 2013

Tacos, pizza, frozen margaritas

The title sums up my Thursday evening. The original plan was just tacos with Wai Lam and Tina, but we collected more people (and the rest of the food) along the way.

El Loco has a popup place going on at the Opera House until the end of January. The space is Mexican themed and seems to be pretty cool. I say "seems to be" because it was really crowded, so I couldn't get a feel for the place.

It was full of old people business people in thank-god-it's-almost-Friday mode (being on holidays, the day of the week doesn't really matter to me right now). The sun was searing but at least the pictures turned out nicely.

The tacos turned out to be quite tiny. This is WL's seafood one, which she wasn't much impressed with. I got the beef, which I liked. Because we were still hungry and didn't want to continue standing around in the sun, Alice (who we'd bumped into on the way from the station) suggested a place for pizza and drinks.

Frankie's Pizza is a pizza joint/dive bar near Wynyard. It's at basement level and doesn't look like much from the outside. The pizza there is really good, but we had to eat it standing up because the place was packed as well. We'd moved onto frozen margaritas when Jenny and YY joined us (and had the pizza above).


Unfocused, but the only picture of the place I have. After Alice left us, we all ended up at McDonalds for dessert/further food (hands up longtime readers who saw that coming!). Hey, at least there was lots of seating there. Moral of the story: don't go anywhere nice on a Thursday night if you like to sit down.

Last Friday was the hottest Sydney day on record at 46C (115F). I just stayed at home and shuddered/laughed at the thought of people at Big Day Out (or out at all, really). I'd rather have -20C and snow over that anyday!

January 18, 2013

New things

Wai Lam and I decided we were stuck in a rut when it came to hanging out (which basically equates to dining out), because we always end up eating at the same places. I'll admit that it's doubly difficult to choose restaurants with me, because I'm a very picky eater. We decided that this summer would be the Summer of New Things, and scoured Urbanspoon for good places we haven't tried before. We now have a list that we're determined to tackle.

This is how we found ourselves at Lucetta last Saturday, an Italian restaurant in The Rocks. In the spirit of Trying New Things, I let Wai Lam order a pizza with prosciutto and potatoes on it (my standard is Margherita).

The pizza had to go on a stool because the table was too small. I can't say I really like prosciutto, though...

To burn off those carbs, we walked to Observatory Hill. I'd never actually been there before - second new experience of the day.

My tiny friend. The building is Sydney Observatory, where you can look at the stars through a telescope.

I happened to have my camera remote on me.

Our attempts at a levitation picture... obviously I'm very graceful and apparently WL can only jump so high.

We spotted the entrance to the stairs up to the Harbour Bridge nearby, and since neither of us have ever walked over it (although we've been Sydneysiders all our lives), we thought we'd do just that. Third new thing!

There are actually a couple of clusters of love locks. I like them, they should definitely become a thing on this bridge.

Okay, so we didn't end up walking over to the other side, because there was nothing over there we wanted to see. We hadn't even walked halfway before we decided to go back to The Rocks.

We ended up sharing a waffle sundae at Circular Quay. Afterwards, we felt so guilty that we walked back to Town Hall to catch the train.

If you didn't notice, the layout of the blog is a little different. I've become a bit attached to this sidebar image, so that's the same. I think the last layout was the longest one I've ever kept in all my years on the internet, but changing it yesterday reminded me how much I love playing with CSS, so further tweaks may come soon.

January 15, 2013

New York iii + Aesthetic magazine

The last of my NYC posts (see part i and part ii). Just one day's worth of pictures... you'll see why...

Day 8

I went to East Village in the morning. I quite like this area as well, it feels kind of young and student-y and has lots of small vintage shops tucked into the bottom floor of (what seem to be) residential buildings.

Had chips (okay, fries) from Pommes Frites. I chose black truffle mayonnaise, which was really nice, but the fries were a bit too much for me and I only ate about half (I think this was when I missed my friends the most, ha ha).

After some more exploring, I took the subway to Herald Square, where Macy's and a whole heap of other stores are. After shopping around, I went up the Empire State Building. I decided to skip the last line and took the stairs up the last six levels. Bad idea, I didn't think I was going to make it.

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... I see now that I might have gone just a bit overboard with all these pictures. Please click the portrait ones for a larger size, they're much better that way! The weather that day meant the sunset light was really nice, so I had trouble choosing which to post. I was going to stay until it got completely dark, but in all honesty, I got a bit bored (to be fair, I was up there for about 2 hours!). I ended my last full day by accidentally taking another express train (in my defense, it was on the local platform) and just missing out on getting into the Post Office before it closed. If any of my friends are reading this, this is why you didn't get a postcard, even though I'd addressed them and everything. Maybe I should send them through Australia Post?

Overall, I had an amazing time in New York. I'd definitely go back one day and hopefully manage to venture outside of Manhattan. I'd say it's a really good place to travel solo, even though I was terrified when I arrived and may have cried on the first night. There are lots of people around all the time, and thanks to the amazing subway system which will take you anywhere (and really neatly organised streets in most of Manhattan), you won't get lost too easily (because being lost while on your own is the worst). I was going to do put together a mini-guide to New York, but I figured that everything I did was already covered by the three posts. Feel free to shoot me any questions, though!

Speaking of a guide I did do, Issue 3 of Aesthetic Magazine is out, featuring a Sydney guide by yours truly. I'm a bit late to the party because of the time it takes to get here, but it's still available. Best follow the Aesthetic blog for more up-to-date news!

January 10, 2013

Eating and wearing

A roundup, to break the monotony of my America posts. Since I got back, I've been passing time by catching up with friends, inevitably over food, to fight off the post-trip blues (there is a Wikipedia page for it guys). I've actually got an essay due soon so I shouldn't be this bored, but the other night I found myself looking up plane tickets to London for this February (my heart is saying yes, but my head, friends and family are all saying don't-be-ridiculous).

Fried chicken on waffles (complete with maple syrup) at Jazz City Diner last week. I think I may have taken a year off my lifespan by eating this. It was nice in a weird way, but it's the chilli cheese fries I'm going to go back for.

Taking my new tote bag and t shirt out for spins.

The oreo pie slice from Pie Tin that almost killed me / Very expensive Calippo on a hot Saturday on Bondi Beach. These girls walk around on the sand selling them for twice the usual price and my lazy arse can never resist.

Improvised a surprisingly good pasta bake for myself. It was basically bechamel sauce, bacon, and pasta, baked with cheese on top.

Massive shared froyo on Sunday night / my favourite dress of 2011 which I hadn't worn in ages.

Pizza with friends last night (over the last three days, I have eaten four meals of pizza) / pink grapefruit sorbet and the giant rubber duck that's in Darling Harbour for Sydney Festival.

Mix of DSLR and phone pics. I have really neglected my poor camera lately, but I've decided I don't entirely like seeing phone pictures on my blog so I'm going to give it some more love.