Friday, February 29, 2008

This morning I had a dream. I dreamt that my mum was still alive, although she was already sick then. And for some reason, she was ordering plenty of soft drinks to be bought, I think maybe for chinese new year. And I was sitting beside her, thinking to myself, what will we do when she's gone?

And then I woke up.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Breizoz French Creperies

Sherreen's birthday just so happens to be 3 days later than mine (which would make it today actually, hmm), but her celebration took place before mine actually did, so hers would come first.

Just to have something different, we had dinner at this quaint little place called Breizoz French Creperies, conveniently (because it was just 3 streets away from my apartment, and I only have to walk in a straight line) located at the corner of Gertrude and Brunswick Streets. The shop also happens to be obstruced by a big tree, so it wasn't surprising that quite a few people managed to walk past it and then disappear off into nothingness before realising that they must have gone past it, and then turning back to find it actually being (I said it before) obstructed by the said tree. And its actually on Gertrude Street, and not Brunswick Street.

If you would just look past my rambling, the small restaurant (which only has one cook and one waitress, meaning that we, being a huge group of 10 or more (not that I know all of them of course), had to wait for quite a while before all of us got served (it was also conveniently stated on the menu that people who get their crepes first should just eat without waiting for others, less it gets cold). Nevertheless, we had an excellent meal with relatively good tabletop conversations going on.

The idea was to (as stated by Sherreen, but also conveniently (again) written in the menu) start with one savoury crepe (or gallette as it was called), then get another savoury crepe if you please (from the menu, not Sherreen), while making sure you leave space for a sweet crepe as dessert.

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As you can see, there's quite a selection to choose from, the most boring of all choices appearing at the top of the menu, and getting more and more interesting until you reach the pinnacle of interestingness at the last position on the list. How can you go wrong with a brick? Or The Brick for that matter. However I contented myself with the fourth most interesting one, the one aptly named, Boudin Blanc, as it had veal sausage, which is, exactly what Boudin Blanc means.

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Its a white sausage again, which I love, and the mushrooms were good as well. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

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Quite a few people picked Banane and Chocolat (French spelling?) from this list, but I went the Apple and Chocolat route, with a scoop of homemade Vanille ice cream on top. I would have picked Mango ice cream instead, but it was spelt Mange (or something like that), and I was not really sure what that was, so I picked the only one on the list that I recognised (since Vanille has to be Vanilla, right?). Anyway here it is.

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This was very good, the coldness of the ice cream perfectly balances the warmth of the crepe with the apple inside and the chocolate sauce on it. All of us were of the opinion that sweet crepes are just better than savoury ones, and I quite agree with that. That veal sausage with mushrooms, I would have enjoyed as much (or perhaps even more) with a hotdog bun, but the apple, chocolate, and ice cream were just prefect combinations on a crepe.

Indeed, it was a very filling meal.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Bratwurst Shop

In the last 2 weeks, I've been to Victoria Market 4 times, which is 3 more times than the whole of last year!

Anyway, they have this Bratwurst Shop there which sells hotdogs, and apparently there's always a queue for it. As I was waiting for my friend at that particular day that I was there, I decided to have one, at a price of $6.90, which is quite expensive for a hot dog.

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They have different kinds of sausage for you to choose from, but as I'm always attracted to white sausages (just like I'm attracted to white milk chocolates, but I don't actually like chocolates, although I do like sausages), I asked them what it was and it was some form of pork sausage, which was perfectly fine with me. Unfortunately you can't see the sausage here, being totally obstructed by the onions it was, but it was very very good. The sausage I mean.

Love it, but quite pricey. Looking at this blog, it was only $3.90 six years ago.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sushi Ten, again...

Had the opportunity to go to Sushi Ten again (yes, I was there just last week), and it was so good that I ate 2 bowls of the thing, just to make up for the times that I will not be able to go (since it opens only at 1-4pm on weekdays, and I'm not usually around during that time).

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This is the Mixed Don, which wasn't featured the last time.

Because I was already thinking ahead my 2nd bowl, I had to decide between another Mixed Don, or a Salmon Don instead. The salmon was colder (in temperature) compared to the tuna, and by consciously biting into 2 separate pieces and trying to analyse which one I prefered, I came to the conclusion that Salmon Don was the way to go.

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The Salmon Don. Not that you can actually tell the difference from the picture. Haha. One thing I love about the stuff is that they give a reasonable chunk of avocado, which, when mixed with the reasonable (again) amount of fish (crab?/prawn?) roe, is just heavenly. Makes me actually want to buy avocado.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What would you do when a stranger on the street asks you for money?

I used to be unable to somehow say 'no' to them, feeling guilty if I do so. Most especially in Malaysia where you'll get (usually) chinese secondary (or maybe primary) schoolgirls coming up to you in a shopping complex and starting a spiel, (in mandarin usually) which I do not understand but get the gist of, about why I should buy (almost always) something from them to donate to their charity cause. I never did understand the why, as I never understood mandarin, but it was difficult for me to jump in and say "sorry, I don't understand", most especially when they had started going on their (I'm quite certain) pre-practiced speech. There was this one time when they wanted to sell a pack of pencils for RM 20 (or was it RM10). I told them, "I'll gladly donate RM5 to your cause, but I don't want your pencils" to which they replied "Cannot, must buy". Don't think I bought from them, but I think I donated during the very first time I encountered them, and then said no to all the others after that.

Anyhow, that's in Malaysia. In Melbourne though, you have people asking you for change on the streets. The story is always very similar, "Can you spare some change for me, I've a daughter at home to feed and we have no food to eat". And I, being a sucker for sob stories, remember once donating to a guy saying that, only to find that 2 hours later, at the same spot, the same guy came up to me again and asked the same thing, and I asked him "But you already asked me just now". And the moment he heard that, he ran off. But that's only some small change (not so small after you convert it to ringgit though).

The other time, in the train station, this guy came up to me and asked "Sorry, but I lost my wallet yesterday, and I need to buy a daily ticket to go home". I said I had nothing, but he said "Open your wallet and check please". And I actually did. Gave him 4 dollars in coins, had nothing left, he then proceeded to ask me for notes, saying that if I give him 10 dollars in notes, he'll give me 5 dollars back. And because he needed about 8 bucks to get a daily, he continously asked for more money, everytime saying the same thing, whereupon if I give him a larger note he'll return the change. What happened in the end was he took 16 dollars, bought his damn ticket, I asked him for my 8 dollars change, and he only gave me 3 dollars, saying "sorry that's all I have left, no more", and then he walked away. So I lost 13 dollars there.

Most will say that I was stupid, actually taking out my wallet. But my conscience dictates that you should help people in need. Even so, from that incident, I have now decided not to give anyone on the street money anymore, and have rejected a few attempts already, but always feeling guilty doing so. What if they really need the money?

Even yesterday, on the bus, this guy already sitting there, upon seeing me embark, told me to come over, and started his story: "I'm in a little bit of a situation here, you see, I've spent all my money, and I need to get home and blablabla (I zoned out at that point), and there's this shampoo I bought..." I told him that if he was asking for money, I don't have any to spare right now, sorry. The problem is this. I lied.

Of course its easy to say that being an international student I'm on a tight budget. But the thing is, if I can spend money on games, I can definitely spare some money to help someone in need, right? You could say that he was just looking to get some easy money anyway. But I say this. If he was desperate enough to resort to these kind of methods to get money, he definitely was in need of some money. You won't get a business executive who has more than enough money resorting to these tactics. Thus, was it right for me to lie to him?

My conscience is telling me, No.

What would you do?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sushi Ten

There's this Japanese place off Flinders Lane in the Port Philip Arcade that's called Sushi Ten (that's if I got it correct). Its just after a creperie. Their menu isn't that extensive, the main things being Una Don, Salmon Don, and Salmon & Tuna Don, all of which costs 12 dollars. They also have some bento boxes which are cheaper, a selection of sushi.

We didn't bother with those small things though. We being Don and I. We just hit where the money is.

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One of the better unadon's I've had in a while. However, that fried piece of salmon there just seems out of place. And it was overshadowed by what Don had. This:

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Just look at that massive pile of salmon and other stuffs.

I'd definitely want to come back to try the Salmon Don, or perhaps the Salmon & Tuna Don, however, this place only opens for lunch, and on weekdays only.

How unfortunate...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cooking is a learning experience

And rightly so it is. I remember my friend saying two years ago, "I don't know how you'd survive if you moved out of college", to which I replied, "What's so difficult? You put oil into the pan, then put whatever you want inside."

Well, that might have sounded like wishful thinking at that time, but you know what?

It is that simple. Yes it is.

Well, of course there's more to it, but if all you did were to put oil into the pan, then put whatever you want inside, and just move it around with the black thing you fry with, whatever you call it, you'd definitely come up with something edible.

Which shouldn't be a problem when you're cooking for yourself.

So, since I've been cooking a bit since moving out of college into the apartment, here's what I've cooked up. With the 'put oil into pan and whatever else you want inside' method.

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Bought minced pork and bak choy from safeway and made this. Not bad, except I cooked too much. One and one-third cups of rice is too much for one person. Note to self: Must reduce amount of rice cooked.

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Next up is indomee fried with the same vegetables and minced pork. The problem here, 2 packets of indomee is fine when you're just eating it on its own. But when you put veges and meat into it, 2 packets of indomee become like 3 plates of char kuay teow that you order in a coffeeshop in KL.

Oh and the veges were raw as well. Didn't know how to cook veges yet.

Oh well, I finished it anyway. Note to self: Don't cook 2 packets of indomee if I'm going to add veges and meat into it.

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More of the same method of cooking. This dish suffered from multiple flaws. The penne wasn't soft enough no matter how long I left it in the pot of boiling water, and the water kept on overspilling everytime I set it down onto the hotplate so I had to continously bring the pot up and set it down again. The meat was in chunks that were too thick to be cooked properly on the pan using my crude method. And for whatever reason, the table salt I have does not seem to be salty no matter how much I put.

So in the end it came out oily and not salty and slightly undercooked meat, although it was edible. Note to self: Never cook penne again.

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I took a break on this particular day, and had a breakfast for a dinner, if you know what I mean. And what can go wrong with a sandwich? Well, it was too thick. Note to self: Don't make a sandwich that's too thick, no matter how much I like stuffing it with veges. It just hurts my jaw to open so wide to bite into it.

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This might not look like much, but I actually consider it to be one of the better meals I've cooked. Firstly I deboned 2 chicken drumsticks with no hassle at all, something that surprised me a lot. Marinated it with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and pepper, and threw it into the pan with oil, moved it around for a bit, and added onions at the end. Turned out exactly the way I expected it to. The kailan (if it was kailan) was cooked well, and the mushrooms surprisingly added some good flavour to it. Note to self: Take a better picture next time.

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This was just done tonight. One of my more ambitious dishes. My mum used to stew pork with choi bou (which is the preserved radish if I got it right), and it looked very simple to make. So that's what I did. Deviating from the method mentioned, instead this time I put the pork into a pot with the radish, added a tiny bit of water, and left it there.

And so it was boiling and cooking and I was happy and all that. But after a while, I took it out and realised that the bottom was all burnt. Lol. You can see from the picture there some of the burnt bits that didn't get thrown away. And the radish tasted horrible. Not like what I was hoping for.

But it wasn't a major disaster though. Threw all the radish away, pork was still edible. Veges were cooked properly, and rice is rice. Note to self: Try this again next time, with more water in the pot. And no more radishes.

And that's it. Cooking is just like playing an RPG game. You push on and gain experience and as you level up you gain access to better items to use.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More food from KL. This time its Bak Kut Teh from one of the many BKT shops in SS14 Subang Jaya.

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In all honesty, it isn't one of the better ones out there.

Twiddle dee twiddle dum.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Finally, finally, my apartment in Melbourne is connected to the internet :) Although, I must say, the internet is overrated; sometimes I just stare at the screen and wonder what site to surf next.

Don't have time to post much today, but I do have 2 pictures from when I was back in KL.

I finally got to meet up with Jason aka Smashpop in Midvalley during my last week in KL. Went to this Penang something something restaurant in Midvalley, and frankly, the food there wasn't too good.

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This was the Nasi Lemak Penang, if I remember correctly, and smashpop wasn't too happy with it. Looking at the thing, I'd think I wouldn't have been too happy with it either. Too plain for nasi lemak in that type of restaurant.

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This was better than the nasi lemak, although not spectacular.

Haih, what to do. Sometimes in life, you get disappointed by the meals you order.