Saturday, December 29, 2012

Favourite Meals + Yummy Things in 2012...

Can you guys believe that 2012 is coming to an end already? So much has happened this year and it's great to know we all survived the Mayan apocalypse. Something to tell the grandkids a couple more years down the track hey?

This past year has been an unbelievable year and I've had some pretty awesome meals, met wonderful people and overall had a pretty grand old time. 

So I thought I would wrap up 2012 with just sharing a couple of my favourite meals or dishes this past year. I really do hate playing favourites, but these are just a few of the many meals that I particularly enjoyed, whether it be just for the food, the experience, the company, it's probably a combination of all the above really!

Although my main meals weren't the highlight for me here, I still very fondly remember the rhubarb cake. Mmmhmmm!

Does much more need to be said? I don't think I eat any other gelato on Lygon Street anymore. It makes me feel like a snob, but I think I've converted a lot of my friends too…so I'm not the only one!

Comforting, delicious food and drink, in a totally unpretentious and laid back environment. Haven't visited as much as I'd like, but have always had a good time here!

Of course this has to be on my top meals list! Brad and I went to Chez Olivier for our 2nd year anniversary and although not everything hit the top note, it was a lovely meal with incredibly memorable bone marrow…mmm….and good company. I guess. Hehe.

One of the best meals I had this year, sure it was on my birthday, but I was also surrounded with amazing company, a great cause and wonderful food. How are you going to beat that? Still dreaming about this wagyu!


One of my favourite breakfast's this year, the baked eggs have me swooning and sighing still! We've also since had a lovely dinner here as well and is somewhere I would like to frequent a little more!

I know I actually blogged about this in 2011, but it's still one of my favourite Thai restaurants ever, in Bangkok, and I did get to visit it again this past year. I haven't had Yum Pla Dook Foo done better anywhere else, the food is cheap and always flavoursome. 

Really the highlight for me here, was the sundae dog. One of the best ideas ever!

The meal that nearly killed me with richness, it was over the top, it was rich, it was French, it was amazing!

I can't even label a restaurant here or anything. I love that I was able to visit Penang twice this year and really, I guess, reignite my interest in Malaysian food and what my parents are passionate about. I can't wait to blog about Penang and share with you guys what I found. One of my absolute favourite things in Penang, was this fish head curry at Din Tai Fung. I'm not normally crazy about fish head curry, but it was seriously out of this world. I don't kid!

Coming to the blog…soon (I hope)! This was especially sweet as my friend had accidentally stood me up at a dinner we had arranged, so to make it up to me, he told me to pick a place where he could buy me dinner. Merricote it was and I think I had one of the most enjoyable meals of the year here. With completely unpretentious but incredibly personable and friendly service, food that was both comforting and exciting with new flavours and a cheese trolley, this meal has been on my mind for a while!

I've of course had many other amazing meals and yummy things, but to list them all here would take much too long I fear!

A couple of other awesome things this year….

- Going on my first overseas trip with Brad!

- Trip to Canberra with the Human Brochure!

- Eat Drink Blog 2012, getting bigger and better! Love our community yo!

- Being commissioned to do some photography artwork for my friends hotel in the city

- Shooting Luxbite's Christmas goodies and summer selection!


How was your 2012? Any big plans or ambitions for 2013? 

I'm not a believer in resolutions, but I do still like having loose goals or life plan in place in general. For me, I want to keep working away at this blog and increase my wine education, the most recent trips to Canberra and Adelaide wineries have just been inspiring and I'm keen to absorb and learn more. I'm also planning on starting the job hunt and getting into something new next year hopefully…yeek! 

Happy New Year everyone! :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Hey everyone! Hope you're enjoying a day off and having a wonderful time. I can only imagine for most of you it will be filled with family, food and fun! Hopefully that big red guy has brought you lots of pressies today!

Brad and I are currently having a lovely time in Tasmania, it's my second visit and we're seeing much more of the state than previously. It's been totally laid back, but with lots of great food (I was quite surprised with the quality of eating in Launceston!) and lots of culture and learning as well!

I look forward to filling you all in on the trip a bit later on down the track, but in the meantime, we will be celebrating christmas with Brad's family where I'm sure I will be completely stuffed full, followed by a dinner on boxing day with my family when we get back to Melbourne! Oh dear!

How have you all been enjoying your holidays? How are you celebrating Christmas? 

Whatever way it is, eat well and be merry!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur

And we're back to the coverage of Brad and my trip back in June/July to Asia! We're up to country number 4, Malaysia! 

Although we spent 5 days in KL, we didn't really do much! We were lucky enough to get some vouchers through my work to stay at the G Tower Hotel, which is a very swanky 5 star hotel, minutes away from the KLCC shopping mall, which is also where the famous KL Twin Towers reside. Win!

Our time in KL was mostly split up between eating, shopping (to Brad's dismay) and seeing family, although often eating and seeing family were combined together (naturally).

We got into KL pretty late, so my dad, who was also in town on business, picked us up from our hotel at around 10pm for supper. I wish I could tell you where he took us, but we went local and got some noodles and pigs uterus. As you do. It's pretty tasty yo.

I was so pleased to be close to KLCC, as it then meant that I was close to the Little Penang Kafe in KLCC! There's a couple of outlets, but this is the one I'm most familiar with. 

Sure, I could get cheaper hawker food elsewhere, but Little Penang Kafe has always given me consistently good and authentic food in a comfortable environment. 

My dad, who's incredibly picky about his fried kuay tow, loves the FKT at Little Penang Kafe. Excuse the picture, started tucking in and then realised I forgot to take a photo! 

On the menu they say to give a 20 minute wait time, but when we ordered it, it came out super quickly! But still piping hot, with wok breath and the most important thing…cockles. COCKLES. This is why I don't eat FKT back in Melbourne, as I don't think I know of anywhere that would include cockles. They're always (or should always be) thrown in towards the end and only lightly seared, so that they're still juicy and potentially a bit bloody. They give a salty, taste of the ocean juiciness to the noodles, which I just adore. 

I almost always get pie tee as well, it's one of my favourite Nyona nibbles. It's also almost never seen outside of Malaysia, as it actually takes a lot of work to make the shells, which are light and crisp and don't go overly soggy even with filling inside. Make sure to top with a bit of chilli before popping it down the hatch!

My last must have from Little Penang Kafe? The cendol. It is probably one of the most authentic and tastiest cendol's you will get in KL within the city, in a sit down restaurant. It essentially consists of shaved ice, pandan noodles (those green wiggly looking things), coconut milk, palm sugar and toppings, typically red bean, which is all I like with it usually. Don't be put off by the green, it's incredibly refreshing.

If you do want the best cendol in town though, you'll need someone who has a car and knows how to get around, cause you'll want to pop out to SS2, Section 17 in Petaling Jaya. Sold from a truck on the side of the road under a big tree, it's very popular with the locals as it's super tasty, always cold and stupidly cheap. I think a regular serve was like 3 ringitt and the large size (which is suitably larger) is 30 cents more. Really? 

If you want more help finding the location, check out this blog. :)

Dad took us out another night to get claypot rice from a street stall. Love this stuff. Incredibly comforting, I adore the salty chinese sausage (or lap cheong) in particular. We drank beer, as dad said it was best not to trust the water when it's actually a moving stall…fine by me really…!

We tried milo roti at a place called 'The Teh Tarik' place in the new Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya. And as odd as the concept sounds, it was totally tasty, a bit of savoury, bit of oil, bit of...milo. Yum! I actually really liked the concept of the place, it's a slightly cool and trendy kopitiam essentially, but keeping the menu fairly simple with just roti's, teas and coffee for the most part. 

When we went to go spend an evening with my family, my dad naturally had to stop and pick up the king of the fruits…or just…durians. 

No, it's not my favourite fruit, I actually don't eat it at all as I just can't stand the smell, but I was still ordered to help pack it as dad bought it. The smell didn't leave my fingers and the ring I was wearing at the time for days!

Brad had his first taste of durian this trip, what better way to try it than with the stinkiest ones from Malaysia? He is now one of the only people I know who won't say he loves it or hates it and is actually on the fence about the whole thing. My boyfriend is a strange person. He definitely was not anticipating the rather aggressive burping that ensued after though. Readers, should you choose to try this fruit, you have been warned!

Just a casual home meal for 10 people. Yup.


We also tried some award winning beer my dad had brought back from Japan on his most recent visit there. Good stuff.

At our hotel in the G Tower, on level 28, The Club is located, where breakfast is served (smart casual dress code, even for breakfast!), there is also the Bridge Bar, which is accessible only to members of The Club and hotel guests. It's a swanky little space, with a great view, suspended between the two towers, 28 levels above ground. Some of the floor is totally see through, so you look down…and…it's a bit scary. More drinks!

In between all the eating we did manage to squeeze in a little bit of culture, and took ourselves off to the Islamic Art Museum. 

It's an absolutely gorgeous building, filled with history and plenty of beautiful artefacts to look at. There are mini models of the significant mosques around the world, along with the history and it's importance, information about the history of Islam in different parts of the world and lots and lots of Koran's. 

Check out this tiny tiny tiny one! Who thought you could even write that small? 

I also popped by to KL more recently with my family in October and discovered the joys of Pasembur style rojak, which is a lot more savoury, hotter and more filling than the fruit rojak I am generally more used to. Instead of fruit, you get fried dough fritters, bean curds, potatoes, boiled eggs, crunchy prawn fritters, cuttlefish and cucumber in a thick spicy peanut sauce. Best place for it? 

SS15 in Subang Jaya, where even at 2pm there were 20 minute queues. A regular we met in the line said on the weekend the lines go much longer! In Malaysia, if you see a queue for a hawker stall or stand, join it. JOIN IT. Don't even ask what it's for. You know it'll be good. 

Be sure to check out the other stalls next to the rojak one if you ever visit, the nasi lemak with fried chicken was one of the best as well! 

My dad's friend also took us out to eat shark snout, someway away from Petaling Jaya. To me, it was like eating beef tendon that tasted like shark fin soup….

Kuala Lumpur is a great little spot to get a feel for Malaysian food and culture in, but still have lots of creature comforts. I absolutely adore shopping in KL. However after 5 days in KL our next stop was Penang...the food mecca of Malaysia...

199 Jalan Tun Razak  50400 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Little Penang Kafe
Suria Klcc Jalan Ampang, Parkson Suria KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lot 2F-25, Level 2, Paradigm Mall
No.1, Jalan Kelana SS7/26A
Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jay

Jalan Lembah Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur  50480, Malaysia