Rollicking Good Food @Ginza Okuda, Tokyo

Date of Visit: February 23 2013

While the other runners opted for carbo-loading with pasta for their pre-race meal.  This runner threw all caution to the wind and had a full-course omakase set lunch at Ginza Okuda instead!  Why, she reckoned, there’s a rice course in Japanese kaiseki and that’s carbo-loading, ain’t it?!  Continue reading

‘Foraging’ @Aronia de Takazawa, Tokyo

Date of Visit: February 22 2013

Aronia de Takazawa or the re-branded Takagawa was voted the #1 Restaurant on Tripadvisor before I left for Tokyo. It also came #31 in S.Pellegrino Asia 5o Best Restaurant 2013.  From the reviews and blogs I have read, also famously difficult to book because it is a tiny restaurant with only 4 tables! So reservation was made 3 months ahead through emails with Takazawa’s wife, Akiko.  Continue reading

Sydney Brick Show 2013

Date of Visit: April 23 2013

Entry Fee: A$10 + A$2 processing fee. (I bought my tix at the door. It was a sold-out event over the internet)
Verdict: 2 stars out of 5
Time taken: 20 minutes

Coinciding with David Jones 48 Hours Frenzy Sale, I dropped by at David Jones, Castlecragh Street today to check out the 2013 edition of Sydney Brick Show. I could hear the children’s chatters of joy on the 7th floor from where I was on the 3rd floor – noise travels especially if there is an atrium for the escalators. Since I am an Adult Lego Fan, I had to go see. I was a wee bit disappointed because it was rather amateurish after what I accustomed to; e.g ‘The Art of Bricks’ by Nathan Sawaya and Hong Kong Lego Exhibition. The electrical choo-choo trains added a nice touch, but still… Nevertheless I think with part of the money going to charity, it was all for a good cause.

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Revisiting 4 In Hand Restaurant In My Wee-Too-Tight RL Jeans

Date of Visit: April 21 2013

GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!   I had NOT exercised since my Tokyo Marathon 2013 on February 24 (my long over-dued post is on my to-do list and will be up soon, fingers crossed). Fact is, my family and I are facing a lot of unpleasantries from our 2 evil uncles and their families. Matters had come to a head that we have  to move to Malaysia  for  judicial proceedings.

… And so with my expanding waistline in my favourite ‘now-a-wee-too-tight’ Ralph Lauren jeans, I strutted to my favourite bistro in Paddington, 4 In Hand (previous review here) for a relaxing Sunday Lunch with my mom and bro.

Being mindful and conscious of the extra bulge I am carrying, I had to make a wise decision of ‘reduction’. My mind harkens to Atkins and the Protein Power Diet which were revolutionary over 10 years ago (I lost a whole heap of weight and if the truth be known, I ate KFC for 3 months sans the crispy fried skin. LOL).

Exercise doesn’t necessarily makes you any skinnier my darlings. Have you read Karl Lagerfield’s diet book?  He lost 42 kg in 13 months in 2001 because he wanted to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane.  “But these fashions, modeled by very, very slim boys—and not men my age—required me to lose at least 40 kg. It took me exactly thirteen months.”  His diet was created especially for him by Dr. Jean-Claude Houdret, which led to a book called The Karl Lagerfeld Diet.  In the book, the doctor endorsed lean protein and plenty of sleep while never depriving Lagerfield his daily Diet Coke fix!  If you don’t know, Lagerfield never drinks water, only Diet Coke!

So, I decide to be ‘good’ and chose the Poached Chicken.

A meal is never a complete meal without a glass of wine.  Since my Camino 2012 hike across Spain, I have fallen in love with Spanish wines. Today I tried  2010 Valdesil ‘Montenovo’ Godello from Valdeorras, Spain (A$13).  This is a Galician white with flinty floral notes, minerally, clean and sharp.  It has also has a refreshing acidity of lemon thyme which is perfect for my poached chicken.


Amuse bouche today is Smoked White Fish in Citrus. A welcoming flavoursome little cup of fishy tartness which I always look forward to at 4 In Hand. It is also a perfect dunking accompaniment to the awesome sourdough bread.


Amuse bouche

Bro chose the Suckling Pig.  A beautifuly presented plate with crackles, ribs and chops including turnips that pigs like!


Suckling pig


Mashed potato, an accompaniment for the Pig

My mom chose the Lamb 4 Ways.  4 types of cuts, cooked 4 different ways and accompanied by gnocchis.  Smells divine, by the way


Lamb 4 ways

I chose the Poached Chicken in Local Greens and Leeks.   It’s a perfect autumnal dish with barley in sweet savoury broth and accompanied by charred leeks.


Poached chicken


Poached chicken

Chips to share…


Wedges with mayo, sorrel

We HAD to skip dessert since we were naughty.  We each had a slice of Guylian chocolate mud cake (A$45) for brekkie this morning.   I never fancy Guylian’s seashells and seahorses shaped chocolates. They are too milky sweet for my taste.  However, their chocolate mud cake was a true surprise! I stumbled upon them by accident last Christmas when I was down near the Opera House and was looking at their shop to buy a Christmas cake.  One bite and we all declare it the best chocolate mud cake in Sydney!


Guylian Chocolate Mud Cake with a chocolate flower coated with gold leave on top


A sliver of the very dense mud cake

So, we all ordered a Piccolo instead.  This comes with a complimentary petit fours of melt-in-your-mouth homemade chocolate sandwiched with lemon jam.




Complimentary Petit Fours

As the saying goes, live a little and tomorrow is another day!  Next time, I will order the 12 hours slow cooked lamb shoulder with carrots and pea salad ($89 for 2) which was so popular.

Ume meets Koala @Ume Restaurant, Surry Hills, Sydney

Date of Visit: April 20 2013

With only a couple of weeks in Sydney before I take off to Kuala Lumpur again, I suggested to a buddy of mine to meet up for dinner at Ume Restaurant in Surry Hills. I was curious to experience a Japanese-Australiana fusion cooking by an Aussie gaijin. How would the taste differ from the Japanese cooking I had the joy of eating in Japan a couple of months prior?  Continue reading

Leonardo’s Marvellous Inventions Exhibition

Date of Visit: January 5 2010.

Following my post yesterday on Sultans of Science exhibition in Kuala Lumpur (here),  and the current new TV series ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’, I recalled an exhibition on all of Leonardo Da Vinci’s marvellous inventions and works, at Hong Kong Science Museum a few years back. The exhibition had all the replicas of models, books and paintings by Leonardo.  It was a very popular exhibition because the museum was very crowded with people from all ages.  Eventhough there were many ‘No Touch!’ signs, but people still touched the exhibits!  Urgh!

Here are some of the photos.


FLIGHT: Flapping wings, Air screw which the precursor for the helicopter

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REVIEW: Sultans of Science: Islamic Science Rediscovered @Petrosains, The Discovery Centre

Date of Visit: March 25 2013 (runs until June 15 2013)
Entry Fee: RM$20
Time taken: 1 hour

“You’ll be amazed at how many notable discoveries and inventions currently attributed to Western scientists were, in fact first made by Muslim scholars.”

Petrosains Discovery Center is a small discovery museum on the 4th floor of Suria Mall KLCC, this mall is under the famous Petronas Twin Towers. Currently on show is the ‘The Sultans of Science: Islamic Science Rediscovered’ exhibition, a global touring exhibition celebrating the contributions of Muslim scholars in science, mathematics and technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World (700-1700 CE).

There are more than sixty exhibits providing visitors of all ages with a hands-on, interactive and state-of-the-art family-friendly experience with different zones dedicated to Engineering, Medicine, Astronomy, Mathematics, Geography and Agriculture.  The aim is to highlight the many ways in which Muslim Civilisation helped lay the foundations for the European Renaissance and has had a profound impact on the modern world.


Petrosains Discovery Centre on Level 4 of Suria Shopping Mall KLCC

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A Typical Sydney-sider’s Breakfast…

Hi All! Geez, I have taken a R-E-A-L-L-Y L-O-N-G lunch, have I?! What was to be attending a meeting for a few days, kept me in Malaysia for nearly a month!

So, what was the first thing I did went I touched down in Sydney? Get myself a cuppa Joe of course!

Needlessly said, Sydney has a fantastic cafe scene. All the cafes here make terrific coffees. It’s a no-brainer that Starbucks couldn’t gain a foot-hold here and 5 years ago had to start closing 3-in-4 shops (61 out of the 84) that they opened back in 2000. Sydney-siders are coffee connoisuers and milk with a dash of cafeine just don’t make the cut.

Today only a few Starbucks remain and the younger clientele often go there for frappes. I only visit Starbucks when I am overseas, their milk with a dash of java is not my kinda thing, but when there’s no choice, what can I do?

Anyway, what I miss most when I am away is my breakfast. A typical breakfast for me is a flat white and depending on how flush I feel with my calories… Continue reading