Monday, August 30, 2010

Byron Bay - happy memories always!

I love Byron Bay. I only have fond memories of the place, and it all started in:


I had always planned to go to Brazil for my honeymoon, but when my job at the time would not allow me to take any unpaid leave (I had to beg for 3 days, and was told I was lucky to even be awarded those 3 days off after my wedding - unpaid leave was not awarded unless under 'special circumstances' - call me crazy, but I thought getting married fell under that category). Anyways...since we only had 3 days, we decided to go to Byron Bay. It was my first time there, and although it was the Hinterland (ie. the rainforest/mountainous region) and not Byron Bay was a perfect place to relax:



One year later my little sister was visiting from London, and hoping for some beach & sunshine. We decided to go to Byron Bay, unfortunately there was a lot of rain, but we did manage to soak a few rays of sunshine, and had a ball.

At my favourite beach in Byron Bay - Watego's - it is the same beach we return to every year

At my favourite Japanese restaurant in Byron - Kinoko
wearing: Topshop maxi dress & Rosa Cha bikini

PS. IndiaFrancis (aka Demanding Anon), it was during this trip that I went to Bangalow (that you recommended I visit), love that cute little town! (It was where I found the dress I wore in this post.)


In the middle of the year, hubby & I decided to return to Byron Bay to escape the cold winter and celebrate my birthday. We stayed in a cute place overlooking the river, and it was absolutely beautiful & relaxing:

The best gelati in town...I have it everytime I come to Byron Bay, and this last trip, had it 4 times!


We returned to Byron Bay when hubby needed to take a break from his studies last year. Sadly, we forgot our camera!


Some things have changed since I first came to Byron Bay: upgraded cameras, gained a lot of weight (boo hoo!), but most importantly: added a new member to our family!

Wearing: hat I purchased at a chemist/pharmacy in Byron Bay
Tiffany & Co aviator sunglasses
Dress: purchased in Phuket, Thailand 3 years ago
Bikini: Jets by Jessika Allen (purchased at Byron Bay 2 years ago)

We only ate out for dinner once, at Cyprus Tree, a Cypriate restaurant we have dined at twice before. It is a lovely place...I was quite sad to find that my favourite Italian restaurant, Pasquale, had closed down since last year.

Pasta with meatballs, fetta & tomato

Klefthico - slow roasted goat with potatoes

Haloumi - yum!


Chargrilled calamari

One thing remains the same: Byron Bay is the 'go-to' place for sun, fun and relaxation...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sydney Day 4 - Raise the Red Lantern

After watching several cooking shows with Luke Nguyen cooking in the streets/boats/unusual locations in Vietnam, I have been dying to dine at his restaurant 'Red Lantern'. It is just a stone's throw away from my sister's place, so it was the perfect place to catch up with a friend for lunch:

Compliments from the chef...

Goi cuon - prawn rice paper rolls at Red Lantern

Muc Ruong Moi - lightly battered chilli salted squid

Goi Du Du - green papaya, tiger prawns & Berkshire pork salad

Goi vit - roast duck & banana blossom salad with pickled vegetables & Vietnamese herbs

Panfried tofu with lemongrass, in tomato, chilli & black pepper sauce - as my friend 'A' dubbed it...tofu a la Parmagiana

Bo Luc Lac - cubed pastured fed black Angus sirloin tossed in a flaming wok with garlic, sesame & black pepper

Chim Cut - twice cooked quail stuffed with Kurubota pork served with salad of fennel in citrus & soy dressing

Love my friend's satchel!

Spotted this cute doggy as we walked from 'Red Lantern' to our 'dessert' location...

Although my friend was stopped for photos at least 3 times within that one block (and not just by schoolgirls)...My sister, hubby & I chuckled a little each time, or when the schoolgirls yelled out from across the street: "We love you 'A'"!

Three guesses as to where I suggested we go for dessert...Yep, Bourke Street Bakery. How I love that it is so close to my sister's place (and Red Lantern)! I had the chocolate tart (pictured in the window) and yet another chocolate & rasberry mousse tart...My sister is coming to visit me this Friday, wonder if I should ask her to bring me some tarts?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sydney Day 3 - Sweets & Asian Treats

Warning: This post may be overladen with food pictures.
Viewing this post may induce hunger.

I finally got the chance to visit Adriano Zumbo's patisserie, as I have been dying to try his macarons and incredible creations...We started with an almond croissant (which was devoured before I got the chance to photograph it), and the berry brioche above. We decided to save the other treats for dessert later on the day. After picking up a boxful of goodies, we headed back into town for lunch at Mamak's, for some Malaysian food:

Goat curry


Sambal prawns

Spicy chicken

For dinner, after all that rich food, and knowing we had some special desserts coming our way, we decided to eat something light, so we ordered takeaway from Monkey Magic (wish I could have gone there for dinner, but trying to keep to lil J's sleep schedule, we decided to stay in - so if you cannot get to the mountain, bring it to you, I say):



Passionfruit curd tart

I'll get back to you Barry (yes, that was the name of the dessert) - chocolate yogo creme brulee, chocolate gel, chocolate cereal crunchy, chocolate sable breton, chocolate caramel mousse and chocolate piaquette

Macarons: vanilla, orange & chocolate, pear & vanilla

The Shabalicious - caramel crunch, caramel sponge, caramel cheesecake, caramel chew and caramel cream cheese mousse. It is soft, sweet, crunchy, spongy, rich and toffee like – all in one. It is like a cheesecake, hold the cheese and add the caramel.

Roses are red, mandies are orange (name of the dessert) - rose & mandarin macaron, rose creme brulee, mandarin curd and mandarin creme legere - this was my favourite dessert we bought at Adriano Zumbo's!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sydney Day 2 - The Winery

Staying in Sydney at my sister's place with lil J in tow meant that this visit was different from my previous visits to this city. Instead of shopping at designer stores, I mainly frequented baby stores, and instead of seeing some sights, I explored my sister's neighbourhood...It was a lovely way to experience Sydney. On day 2, we caught up with some friends at her 'local' called 'The Winery', a pub/bar/lounge/restaurant which I absolutely adored! The decor was incredible, the service beautiful (great Brazilian waiter with a gorgeous smile), fabulous food & lychee sangria:



Now this is some beautiful fish & chips! (served with mushy peas & tartare)

Kingfish carpaccio with chilli, lime & ginger

Crispy peppered squid with mint & coriander

Angel hair pasta with Alaskan crab, bisque, tomato, snow peas & crispy shallots

This bird was huge!

Love the cute arquitecture in Surry Hills

And in this neighbourhood is my favourite bakery: Bourke Street Bakery. This time I tried their chocolate & rasberry mousse tarte: DEE-LIGHT-FUL!!!

Caught up with more friends at another pub

Of course I had to take away some tarts, another choc & rasberry mousse tart, some ginger crème brulée tarts and a lemon curd tart. Greedy? Who, me?