Tokyo Marathon 2013 ‘Not-So-Good’ Training Update

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‘Winter Fantasy Land’ in Harbour City, HongKong. Taken in November 2012

I definitely feel like the rabbit in time warp!

With less than 3 weeks to the Tokyo Marathon 2013 and still nursing my fractured metatarsal, I am taking a break in my aqua running to go to Kuala Lumpur for a week of meetings. Since it’s my grandma’s 97th birthday the week after next and Lunar New Year on Feb 10, a transit in Hong Kong is in order before I head off to Tokyo for my ’42km Tokyo Fun Run’.

Suffice to say, my training is NOT enough and my metatarsal fracture is taking its own sweet time to heal. I met with my Pod a couple of days ago. He was totally against me running, but since I’m deadset, he told me to stop if there is any pain because he doesn’t want to put screws in my foot! (Nice one, doc! You really scared me now…)

No matter what, I will toe off at the Start Line and make it to the Finish. Whatever happens in between… well, I will look out for race marshals in grey jackets if I feel discomfort and want to surrender in the middle of the race. They will put me in the race bus to transfer me to the Finish at Tokyo Big Sight! Yay! Problem solved!

My late lunch at the Malaysia Airlines Golden Club Lounge, Sydney Airport: Vegetable herbal broth soup. Waaaayy…too sweet, but the ingredients were healthy (bak choy, carrots, celery, coriander and dates with rice vermicelli)

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Sepia

Date of Visit: August 11, 2012

Another memorable meal in 2012 was at Sepia. It is ranked #3 in the Gourmet Traveller Guide and also received 3 Hats from SMH Good Food Guide.

If not for the take-home degustation menu of the day (with postcards and the restaurant’s calling card as momento), I would be left puzzling at the pictures without a clue to what deliciousness I had. I must also say that dining at Sepia is the closest to molecular gastronomy experience in Australia! The following are my iPhone gastronomic journal (and I must say iPhone takes some good pictures!)

ONE

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Seared swordfish belly, kelp, mayonnaise, shiso vinegar jelly, ginger oil

TWO

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Butter poached Port Lincoln squid, barley, miso cured egg yolk, lemon sorrel

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Check out the posh knife work!

THREE

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Wild yabbies, water chestnuts, jamon butter, apple and fennel, elk

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I got a substitute dish- scallop with nori, avo and Japanese ginger jelly (the little translucent ball on the bottom left)

FOUR

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Seared Empador, nori salt, roasted bonito and garlic consomme daikon radish, Hijiki, salad burnet

FIVE

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Glazed and smoked freshwater eel, watercress, parsley and oyster dashi, tapioca, licorice, nasturtium

SIX

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Milked lamb goat’s cheese

SEVEN

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Saikyo miso braised pork belly, Corella pear, pickled artichokes, spanner crab and crackling, rosemary flowers

EIGHT

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Seared Wagyu beef, nameko mushroom, garlic flowering chives, roasted red onion juice and wasabi, shallot, potato and kombu crumb, citrus soy

NINE

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Fondue of ‘Old Telegraph Road’ brie, sushi rice, malt, Tasmanian winter truffle

TEN

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Reduced milk sorbet, cucmuber and apple jelly, pickled cucumber granita, mint oil (Before)

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Reduced milk sorbet, cucmuber and apple jelly, pickled cucumber granita, mint oil (After)

ELEVEN

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Rhubarb, vanilla custard, almond cake, juniper and lemon, honey ice cream

FINALE

This is the “plat de résistance” and the reason I chose to eat at Sepia – the famous ‘Winter Chocolate Forest’!

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“Winter chocolate forest” – Soft chocolate, praline and chestnut, lavender cream, blackberry sorbet, blood orange jellies, green tea, licorice, chocolate twigs

Sepia on Urbanspoon

Biota Dining

Date of Visit: August 5, 2012

Biota Dining has to be one of my most memorable meal of 2012. Thanks to my FB page, where I had posted some pictures and notes, I still have the sweet memories to share in my blog.

In the days of yore, before the petrol price rocketed sky-high, my family would often go for long country drives. Nevertheless, last August, when my mom got her hot new European SUV, so we decided to take the car out for a spin. I had read the rave reviews on Biota Dinning, so booked a table online.

The drive from Sydney to Bowral took around 2 hours.

We got a bit of a ‘fright’ when mom pulled up into the parking lot in front of a motel and asked, ‘Are we dining in a motel?’. I hoped not, but hopped off the car to check the situation (I was a bit worried, because I have had made a few bad dining recommendations before). To my relief, 2 country-gentlemen came out from another walkway and said to me, ‘This is the best restaurant in Bowral!”. Phew! What a relief!

We were the first to arrive at 12 noon. A lot of reviewers referred the decor as ‘Scandi-chic’, but I thought ‘Bondi-chic’ – well, never mind, both tastes rely heavily on natural wood, white washes, striped cushions in a somewhat large bare-minimalist room. I think the ‘naked’ light-bulbs for lightning looked fun though.

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Main dining room

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The kitchen ‘theatre’

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The ‘Bar’ with a huge branch and tin bucket for cooling wines – pretty rustic

Quirky touches everywhere… on the wall

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Quirky chicks

…on the table…

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Egg shell resting on hay – deco only – do not eat!

Righto! To the food…Amuse Bouche and the customary bread and butter…

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Amuse Bouche: Salmon jerky impaled by thin rod in Himalayan salt

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Whole meal damper – butter served on stone, nice touch

ONE

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Pulled beef with beet root

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Picturesque Scallop with celeriac purée, zucchini and peas

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Duck egg on smoked puffed rice (a must-try)

TWO

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Lamb rump

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Pork neck painted in ash! So this is what the New York foodies are raving about ‘food with ash’!

Our Wine

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New wine discovery from Canberra – it has a good hint of pepper!

THREE

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Chocolate (Before)

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Chocolate (After)

Tea with Petit Fours

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Tea with Petit Fours

Just checking out the rest of the place..

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Informal dining area where they serve tapas and lighter plates

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Chill-out lounge with fire place (view 1)

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Chill-out lounge with fire place (view 2)

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Outdoor terrace with a real stove to make pizza (for summer)

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More outdoor sitting

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The garden with the famous resident geese

On the way home, we detoured to the tourist drive to check out the view of Bowral… Biota Dining was simply awesome and we will definitely be back!

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View of Bowral

Biota Dining on Urbanspoon