Friday, 11 December 2009

Tetsuya's


When I called back in Jan 09 to make a booking, there wasn't any dates available. I was told the next available date was in mid July. That's 7 months of waiting?? Even then the weekends were all taken up! I was telling quietly to myself, this business is never going to go out of business, unless they themselves stuff it up.

This is echoed by the long list of awards they have won:-
  • 3 chef's hat from Good Food Guide 
  • Restaurant of the Year
  • Best Fine Dining, and
  • most important of all, 5th place in the world's top 50 restaurant.
We threw a few preferred dates to the floor manager and we finally got the date that we wanted, i.e. November and we were the 7th to place a booking. GFC?? what GFC?? We were quite ecstatic and at the same time very unsure if we will still be interested in it after 11 months! We sought of forgotten about it after a month and had to call a couple of times every now and then to check on our booking time.

We were getting excited all over again by the end of October and got even more excited when the floor manager gave us a call to re-confirm our booking. We obviously played it cool! We were like young kids given all kinds of lollies!

When the day arrived, we were seated at the far corner next to the window, looking out at the well maintained Japanese garden. It was a nice spot! Gave us the space and privacy, away from all the noises from other tables.

A waitress in charge of our table asked if we would like to try the degustation menu. It didn't take us too long to go for it. It's not a restaurant where you can go every once a month (at least not yet). We weren't sure how many dishes we will get or even the type of food. Some might think otherwise, we prefer that way, keep us guessing and looking forward to the next dish!

Our 13 courses for the night


 Chilled Corn Soup with Saffron & Vanilla Ice-cream


Smoked Ocean Trout & Avruga Caviar


Marinated Crystal Bay Prawns with Soy Caramel



Confit of Petuna Tasmanian Ocean Trout with Konbu, Apple, Daikon & Wasabi


Terrine of Queensland Spanner Crab with Avacado


Grilled Fillet of Barramundi with Braised Baby Fennel


Twice-cooked De-boned Spatchcock with Foie Gras & Red Wine Jus


Beef Fillet with Nameko, Shimeji & Enoki Mushroom


Comte with Lentils


Green Apple Sorbet with Sauternes Jelly


Strawberry Shortcakes


Lemon Scented Floating Island with Vanilla Bean Anglaise


Petit Four

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

DIY for the house

We are slowly getting the hang of doing things ourselves. One of our latest addition to our list of DIY is the tv shelf. We were shopping around looking for a tv shelf as the old one is bit low. After a long search around furniture shops, we decided to stick back to Ikea. At least we can mix and match the way that we want and it is also one of the cheapest around.

It took us 2 trips and a long discussion on which layout to get. Finally we settled on having one tall shelf for mags, one shelf for the tv and one small shelf on the other side for miscellaneous. When we were at the collection area, we were surprised with the number of items needed to fix up the whole 3 piece shelves. It got us worried in how were we going to fit all the boxes in the car????

Good thing about Ikea is that all the boxes are flat but still it took us a while at the loading bay to fit everything in the car. It is really like doing a box puzzle, interesting if you can solve, if not it is frustrating. Not only we had to put the back seat down, we also move forward the front passenger seat to the max! I can tell you that the going back home was like sitting in an Airasia flight. Normally its comfortable and spacious like MAS business class. =)

There were 16 boxes in total - managed to squeeze everything in!

All 16 boxes ready to be assembled

Wanted to take the whole process but the we got carried away to finish up the shelf. Only managed to take the process of the big shelf.

The frame of the shelf

Shelf with legs and glass door.

Shelf with legs, glass doors and lower drawers.

Completion of the shelf no 1.

The whole complete 3 piece shelves took us around 5hrs and the final product!

We are really pleased with the result, now it fills up the room and it also makes our small tv looks bigger!!! Even Stephen say so... looks like he does not have any reason to get a bigger one!! =P

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Housewarming

Last Sunday 3.Oct.09, we had our first housewarming party. We decided to do steamboat without much hesitant. We both are not great cooks and we don't have a barbeque. Potluck? We thought that since it's our housewarming, we don't feel right asking our friends to bring food for this occasion.

It turned out to be a good choice, some of them came later than the rest, so we ate and chat while waiting for other rest to arrive, and not cooking too much each time. There were 19 of us that day? We created a lot of "noise" which is really good to warm up our house. haha! We were busy entertaining our friends that we forgot to take photos on our own! Bugger!

We didn't realise that the day we had our housewarming was the day Chinese all over the world celebrated mooncake festival. Double celebration!! Our friends bought mooncakes and lanterns over for everyone to enjoy... It was very good... comparable to those we usually get back in KL.


Wii time after heavy lunch

Mooncake time!

Mooncake imported from Hong Kong (I think)

Group photo

When the sun was down, we lit up the lanterns at our backyard and one of us came up with the idea of walking around the neighbourhood with our lanterns. We thought "why not??!!". This is old school and gold! We did just that but to a nearby park. We would not want to cause any concerns with the locals which are not accustomed with this sort of festival.

It was good fun... raised a few eyebrows from the locals passed by, heads turned, cars stopped wondering what we were up to, we made ourselves noticed! haha!



Oh yeah, I am begining to believe that the number "3" is our lucky number. A lot of occasion/event occurred have some connection with "3":
  1. We got our first house in our 3rd year back in Australia
  2. I was wearing a shirt bearing the number 3 on my right arm while bidding for our house
  3. If we add our house settlement price, it comes back to number 3
  4. Our house number is 3
  5. Our first house warming was held on 3rd Oct 2009
  6. It took us 3 weeks to decide the type of furniture we want to buy and how to place them in our house
Bear in mind, none of these were planned! Maybe I should start buying lottery with the number 3 only. Haha!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Dragonboat 2009/10 race schedule

As soon as the daylight saving kicked in, we have been training harder, twice weekly to prepare ourselves for the upcoming races starting from early November to April. Last Saturday, I have committed myself to a number of races, as listed below. It's going to be a full on season.
  1. Nagambie                      Sunday 8th November 2009
  2. Docklands                     Sunday 6th December 2009
  3. Falls Creek                    Sat/Sun 23th/24th January 2010
  4. Yarra                             Sunday 7th February 2010
  5. Sale                               Fri/Sat 26th/27th February 2010
  6. Wodonga/Albury           Sunday 7th March 2010
  7. Docklands                     Sunday 21st March 2010
  8. Adelaide                        Thurs - Sun 22nd-25th April 2010
Hail, rain or shine... bring it on!!!

Don't laugh in classroom!!!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Tulip farm, Sky High and Cuckoo Restaurant

It was a full on day yesterday. It started with dragon boating training for the upcoming races in the morning, then in the arvo, we head off to Tesselaar Tulip Festival to meet up with our friends. Late afternoon, all of us went up to Sky High for some spectacular view of Melbourne from Mt Dandenong and finished it off with very good buffet dinner at Cuckoo Restaurant at Olinda.

Tulip Festival
The last time both Lily and myself went to Tesselaar Tulip Festival was when we were back at university. Time time around, it was different, there were more tulips and Irish festival was going on as well to bring more crowd. The whole place was buzzing. The weather was perfect! Sun was out, clear blue skies, 20 degrees temperature, can't ask for a better day.

It has been going on for a month and it was still very well maintained! Even thought the whole place was filled with people at the tulip farm on one side, Irish festival on the other, it was very neat and clean. The people were friendly, attentive and helpful. My hats off to them! Entrance fee well paid!



Sky High Mt Dandenong

We had 2 hours to spare before our dinner booked at 7pm. We headed on to a cafe in the Dandenong mountain for good coffee with spectacular view of Melbourne. It was recommended by our friend. We followed along and when we reached up in the mountain, we could not believe how beautiful the scenery was. As it was a clear day with blue skies, the view was sensational!!!

Enjoying our favourite cuppa with such a superb view and good company, the best tea break we had by far!

We could not take a good photo as the sun was setting and right in front of us. You have to be here to see it for yourself.

If you look at the photo carefully, you'll be able to spot Melbourne city.

The shot we took at Sky High

Took this from Sky High's website - day shot

Took this shot again from Sky High's website - sunset shot

Cuckoo Restaurant
We left Sky High shortly after 7pm. When we reached Cuckoo Restaurant, it was about 7.25pm and the place was almost full. There was a wedding reception and from outside, it appears to be empty but once we went in, it was so alive!

Cuckoo is the smorgasbord restaurant started in 1958. Owned by Willi, a German chef serving swedish food. As you would expect, the restaurant is filled with cuckoo clocks which all are still working. The building is designed in the Bavarian Chalet style boasting staggered gabled roofs with decorative window shutters.

The food spread was really good... lots of fresh seafood, the roasts are really good - tender and moist, plenty of grill meats and sausages, traditional Bavarian dishes, cold meat platters, really delicious made to order pancakes and tasty European delicacies.

The owner was telling us that they managed to get the largest mechanical working cuckoo clock after years of searching for it. They were searching for it all over the world and it happened to be in South Australia. Sometimes you don't have to look far to get the best of things.

There was a show towards the end of the dinner as well... which was really entertaining and funny. This is the sort of dinner that we love to go, end it with some good laugh!

Outside Cuckoo Restaurant

Cuckoo Restaurant

Very talented live band

Inside the restaurant

Inside the restaurant

World largest mechanical cuckoo clock - that is still working

Black Eye Peas E.N.D Tour

When the news came out that Black Eye Peas (BEP) was going to include Australia as part of their E.N.D tour, the public got really excited, we included. They had 2 shows in Melbourne and the first show's tickets were sold out within days. We got ours for the second day.

Last Wednesday, we finally get to enjoyed their show. We got the standing floor tickets, we got there nice and early and we were a couple of feet away from the stage! Then we realised that we weren't tall enough to get a good view, the people in front of us were blocking some of our view and when they started to dance, we would not be able to see anything. We had to move back a little and it was a good call! :D

It was very entertaining! Fergie did most of the singing and screaming... as usual, Will.I.Am played it cool, Alp.de.ap and Taboo danced the most - from one end to the other and played the role in getting the crowd on their feet.

The show lasted for 2 hours and we were dancing the whole time, haven't done it for a very long, I was running out of breath towards the end. Need to go for more concerts! We were trying to contain ourselves from screaming too much, still need to work the next day.

Somewhere in the middle of their show, each of them did a solo gig and Will.I.Am's gig was the best! He is a club DJ and his performance got the whole arena jumping non-stop and everyone was screaming for more!

The only thing I was a little disappointed - I didn't get the "wow" factor from them. They were entertaining, the songs were good, their dance was good... nothing you would not expect from BEP. Unfortunately, there was no flow between songs and their script was disorganised. For a group that has been around for 10 years, maybe I was expecting bit too much.

When we went for Justin Timberlake's, we were amazed with his whole show, from stage set up to his singing, dancing to how well organised his performance was. We also got the "wow" factor from Jacky Cheung's concert and even from Josh Groban's.

On the plus side, we did have fun and get to see BEP in person rather than through a screen!





We took a couple of videos that turned out to be alright. Check it out.

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