Plitvice Lakes. This one was the money shot. Perfect crisp Autumn air, the leaves hadn’t turned yet. But you could feel it. We took a day tour from Split for 88Eur, the tour company said 3.5 hrs drive each way. Our driver felt compelled to make it 2.5 with pop songs from the early noughties.
Ok Melbourne Public Transport, I clearly had hazy memories. First off Kimye wannabe staring at me like ‘don’t you know who I am?! Open my train door!’ Then trying to surge on to flounce on when I had the audacity to go first after my hard work. But my favourite is Asian Gramma clipping her nails furiously oblivious to everyone’s stares. Then she shakes off the nails everywhere on the train!!!! Grossssssss. Was so scared a flying nail might fly in my open mouth.
I’m not sure why, but something about the grey rainy weather always makes me contemplative. Actually, that’s just code word for lazy. Nothing I like best than sitting on the couch, hot tea, chocolate and trashy book or movie at hand. Today though it made me think of Hong Kong as I stumbled over a photo I took at the Ferry Terminal from the Avenue of Stars. As a child, my mother was a serial shopping addict (although she denies this) and we went to HK almost yearly on shopping trips. I remember I was once only allowed to bring 2 tops and 2 bottoms! Although this was not as bad as my friend who told me her mother only allowed disposable underwear on her shopping holidays…
Anyway as a child HK was dirty, smelly and bustling. It was always brash and loud with a take it or leave it attitude. But, there was always sun. It would stream through on the streets. Now all you can see in HK is smog and grey grey skies no matter the weather. People blame China and so on. But all I know is it makes me sad. It’s not a grey from a comforting rainy day, it’s a grey like something over Hogwarts from
the dementors. Bye Sunny Days.
This is a little bit of a late post, but I’m talking about my time in New Zealand. A good friend of mine lives there and convinced me to sacrifice valuable eating time to visit him. We went to Waiheke Island and it was amaaaazing. There is a cute little town with lots of beautiful beaches. Really picture perfect. I could imagine spending a few lazy days. My friend and I met a lazy summer about 6 years ago, where went to the beach everyday, drank, camped where we wished and had not a worry in the world. So spending this beautiful summer day on the pristine beaches had a strong nostalgic feel to it. Not to mention I ate the most delicious Salted Caramel White Chocolate Gelato there. Mmmm Tus me manques. ♡
I don’t get enough of these in Japan! A good girl’s night consists of excellent cocktails, good conversation, dessert and of course girls. Although the language barrier may be good conversation, you can’t find a decent cocktail in Nagoya. Not to mention they don’t make the sturdy, dirty and naughty girls in Japan that I’m used to finding back home.
Obviously our sparkling wit, some oohing over my ring, copious men talk and shopping adventures dominate my conversation with my girlfriends.
Now the other three ingredients I mentioned?
I found this recently at Le Bon Ton in Collingwood. Apparently newly opened (it shows it) the food was southern comfort American soul food. Apparently the hip new thing in Melbourne since I last was home. Previously it was every distant kinship to anything Mexican, despite the roughly 1,200 population of ACTUAL Mexicans in Australia. Anyway service was friendly if not patchy. See below for my cocktail that says it all!!
Le Bon Ton
51 Gipps St
03 9416 4341
My stand out Girl night happened last night where I had one on one action @ Hammer and Tong. You know you’re talking too much when the waiter comes twice but you have not touched the menu. Bookings reccommended and 120% worth it. The food is too pretty to eat, but you do anyway because I’m a pig. Their small menu designed for sharing means you could probably sample the entire menu. Despite their largely uniformed hipster clientele and waiters ( who all had very similar glasses) service was efficient with a bit of forgetfulness thrown in. Our waters were ony refilled twice and cutlerywe requested never came. We forgave them because of the food. I know we shouldn’t but take a look.
How could you not?
Hammer & Tong 412 Eating House & Coffee Bar
Rear 412 Brunswick St.
Phone: 03 9041 6033
To be honest, my laptop of 3 months died last September. (Curse you Windows 8 and your offspring) I also found the android app for WordPress a bit yukky. Anyway long story short, I’m here to try again. I’m back in the city of my heart ♡ Melbourne, I daily drink copious amounts of consuming artery choking food. My body paid for it by rejecting everything thoroughly yesterday. Sad face. Pained face.
Today I had this healthy thing at Barry’s in Northcote. My tummy was a little sore so I thought this would do. The healthiest thing I’ve had so far.
Gin-cured Salmon on Freekah Salad with poached egg. Isn’t it pretty? Pretty huge and a good deal (by Melbourne standards) $17.50.
It’s true, check out my photo below to believe it. OK, So that’s not really true, but I couldn’t withhold my excitement!!! I also know I was meant to post the second part of my Shirakawa-Go trip, but this is way too exciting not to announce to everyone and anyone. It’s on par with I touched Prince Williams hand when he visited Australia. Or my cousin’s friend’s uncle knows xxx D grade celebrity.
As part of our somewhat haphazard Anniversary Celebrations, R and I went to the Iron Chef Si Chuan Restaurant in Nagoya. For those of you that don’t know what Iron Chef is – Shame on you, only the most entertaining show EVER! For those of you that do read on to be awestruck and jealous stricken. About a month into arriving in Nagoya I found out that Chen Kenichi – Iron Chef Chinese, had a restaurant in Nagoya. Some friends told me that he would actually be cooking on the 18th August, because of that we decided to book in as a special treat for the day. We didn’t really expect it to be any different than a normal outing to the restaurant but thought they might have some specials that they didn’t normally run. BOY were we surprised!!!! Here’s a little wiki on Iron Chef Chinese himself. You’ll be glad to know that -the special ingredient seemed to be SEAFOOD. Maybe not sure, but everything was quite seafood themed, it was 7-8 courses in total.
When we got there we were graciously shown to our spots, the service was friendly and nice from the get go, and the menu of that nights dinner was placed at our seats. The Restaurant is actually smaller than it seems from the outside, but you get to have a lovely view right into the kitchen through a special clear window. We sat next to a suspiciously Yakuza looking couple, the guy had massive tattoos all up and down his arm, neck everywhere. I know it’s a complete stereotype, but he did whip out an expensive VERY black looking fan to occasionally fan himself……. JUST like in the movies. They were actually a nice couple.
Halfway through our meal, Chen Kenichi popped out, he was quite gracious. Stopping at every table, asking if we enjoyed our meal. Having a chat, and assuring people without meals that a tasty treat would be coming their way! He was surprisingly jovial and friendly, I was so awestruck and starstruck that I could only mumble pigeon Japanese at him. He must surely have thought I was a special needs child. He kindly took a photo sitting next to me and later at the end of our meal, he personally brought out our dessert plate and wished us Happy Anniversary! As we left he came back and signed our menu before leaving, he has a beautiful handwriting btw! Reminded me of my Grandfather’s calligraphy. The food was amazing as well, although probably not strictly Chinese in some dishes, it definitely had Chinese influences and is probably the best Chinese food you can get in Japan (Japan having almost no authentic Chinese Cuisine outside of Yokohama). It was also great value (comparing it to back home), the ingredients were all fresh and quality stuff. Although it was by no means cheap for Japan, I was conscious that the same meal could easily cost us double this back in Australia considering the ingredients used.
Their normal menu when Iron Chef doesn’t make an appearance is cheaper, and I would definitely recommend it as a special treat for Chinese food lovers. Just don’t go expecting an orthodox recreation of your grandmother’s Si Chuan Recipe. The only gripe I have is that the Chinese Tea (Fragrant and plentiful), cost about 1,000 – 1,500Yen, you wouldn’t even pay for this at most restaurants, but they did serve quality tea at least. Like many Japanese restaurants they offer a lunch course which is great value, starting from around 3,880 Yen you can get often almost the same menu for half the price! Book ahead though as these restaurants are often booked up a few months in advance.
The MENU for the night as below –
– Amuse bouche of a light sashimi, with a delicious sesame dressing on a bed of pickled cucumbers, tomato
– Then a selection of 3 Cold Entrees, I haven’t uploaded a photo yet, but it was pickled jellyfish, seared beef and a tofu with szechuan sauce.
– Scampi, light stirfried with Uni in a Ginger Sauce
– Abalone poached and served on Seafood Consomme
– Shark Fin and Crab Soup
– Poached Japanese Sea Bass in Hot and Spicy Soup
– Handmade ‘Ban’ Noodles with a Dan Dan Sauce
– Peach Jelly Panacotta with Honeydew Ice Cream and Fresh Fruits.
My favourite was probably either the Scampi or the Noodles, the entree was just the perfect to whet our appetites! I was deliciously hungry for more after consuming it. The dessert was also amazing, I have to put up a photo of it, it was so refreshing! I think it’s safe to say, Iron Chef Chinese CUISINE REIGNS SUPREME!
Eat with Bea Rating – 4.5/5 Stars
Cost – 10,500Yen for Special Set Course and expect to pay around 850 – 1,600 Yen for a pot of Chinese Tea. Lunch Course from around 3,880Yen
Contact Details (Reservation suggested) –
, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya Takami 2-9-12 Nagoya Central Garden
Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture Nakamura Meieki 1-1-4
JR Central Towers 12th Floor, Plaza Towers