Monday, 24 September 2012

Green with Envy Pt 1

Ok ... here are 2 things that make me green with envy ... just thought I'd share them with you.

My friend's newly renovated bathroom:

Another friend's newly purchased turntable, the Rega RP3:

I love you and I hate you both!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Dinner at the Diner, Nothing Could be Finer - a quick meal at Belle's Diner

Ok ... I remember the first time I had home made Southern Fried Chicken. An American couple moved into the house nextdoor to my neighbouhood playmate, and we sorta took their little son under our wing, despite the fact that he punched me once hard in the stomach and totally winded me. He was 7 and I was 14. Shame!

His dad had the cowboy belt buckle and the check shirt and was really fit. His mum had the blondest hair I had ever seen and a tired longsuffering look about her. I understood from my friend's mum that she didn't really cook and I don't think she was really coping with the heat ... but she made mighty fine fried chicken.

 Photo pilfered off Broadsheet

Belle's Diner on Gertrude (where Dante's used to be) makes mighty fine fried chicken. Although I would have preferred it on the bone. Still it was crunchy without being super oily, and full of flavour, served with a moutain of slaw that although fresh, needed a little pep which it found with a few generous dashes of salsa picante.

M enjoyed his 3 bean chilli, but the dish isn't really my kind of thing. He said that it took him back to Califon-aye-eh! So he was having a nostalgic trip with each mouthful. I did enjoy the corn cake on the side and the jalapenos did help to cut the tinned tomato sweetness.

The shoe string chips seasoned with Old Bay were amazingly moreish! And I could have had me 2 big bowls!!

We had our eye on the Peanut Butter Cheese Cake and the Cherry Pie that the couple next to us were ho-ing into, but sadly we couldn't really find the room. Still its an excuse to return ... and I'm thinking we will and pretty soon.

Belle's Diner also offers a Wagyu burger, ribs, pork loin and a clam chowder ... all of which I'm sure will not fail to entice and satisfy.

Besides which, the place has an amazingly convivial vibe, although the staff really have to stop asking how everything was incessantly ... I counted 4 times! But they're not averse to a little chayaking ... which is my mark of good service.

It has only just opened, but this eatery with its Hollywood lightbulb flecked sign is already pulling the crowds. So be prepared to wait. If its packed, leave your name at the door, then head across the street to The Wilde, for a vodka caramel shot to pass the time.

Its not super amazing food, but its certainly an amazing night out. So here's my tip when you go:

Sit at the bar in front of the kitchen and watch Catriona in her baseball top and cap man the pass, order a prosecco and stuff yourself silly with a plate of Southern Fried Chicken ... and don't forget to give Catriona the thumbs up when you leave!

And here's something to get you in the mood!

Belle's Diner on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Its not all hot pots and kimchi!! K-POP is ruining my life!

Ok ... Popasia SBS has worn me down!! Not only have I succumbed to the peroxide androgynous charm of a Korean boyband with their latest hit on high rotation on the old iPod, but I have forked out (rather trepidatiously) my hard-earneds on some items of clothing of dubious sizing (i.e. I won't know if they really fit until they arrive ... oh!) from!

But hey ho, I have a tax return due and possibly some germanic financial planning (Ya-vol!) to assist with my total lack of money management nous.

This is what will be in my package when it arrives:

 Prints - fashion's latest trend

The Transeasonal Hoodie!

Always room for the monochromes

And what band am I fangirling about? Big Bang!! Here's their latest hit ... "I think I'm sick"!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Wild Wild West - a weekend in Perth

Ok ... so I was stuck in the burbs in the Wild Wild West of Western Australia recently ... and this is what I thought about it:

 Oh Temasek ... inappropriate!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Cue Advance Australian Fair ... look what I have in my hot little hands

Ok ... so I didn't sweat it out all those years in actual training ... but I excel in the art of imagination, something I have formulated and stoked like a stonking great fire over too many years than I care to count ... so when I touched the real thing ... I was immediately transported to dear old blighty, head held high, arms outstretched in pride, standing on the podium draped in green and gold, and mouth wide open ready to sing those stirring words .... 'Hi C Ya Hold Tight!!" ... oh wait a minute ... hell you get the gist!

PS ... just in case you were wondering, the sister of a girl I work with is on the Water Polo team ... and she came in for a show and tell!

Everyone's home and loving it! Lunch at Mina-no-ie

Ok ... first up I don't get Épatant! Who buys this shit? Maybe my friend P, but even he draws a bespoke line in the sand. Its good for an eye roll and a side-eye laugh, so have a cursory glance at the school lab displays and then sit down at Collingwood's newest eatery Mina-no-ie for a spot of lunch.

But be prepared to rub shoulders with Melbourne's peacocks and since its borderline Fitzroy, with an assorted array of candy coloured, chino clad beards with their impossibly good-haired girlfriends and ironic pendants.

The layout is great, coffee good, and this Miso soup (a cross between traditional Miso and a sweet minestrone) is amazing. M found it a tad on the sweet side, but I loved it. AND I don't usually do soup!!

And its served with 2 delicious pieces of Onigiri. The perfect lunch.

Mina-no-ie on Urbanspoon

Temasek - I failed Phonetics!

Ok ... just in case you were wondering ...

Please click here.

Once I have figured out how to transcibe it phonetically I will add it to my blog name.

Blowing off the Tumbleweeds - A new Playground discovered in Canberra

Ok ... Its Spring (well in name only if recent weather is anything to go by) so time to put the house in order!! Sorry Gina, but I have been too busy drinking and smoking to get a skerrick of work done. Still I managed to cut back on a coffee a day, so I'm well on my way to putting a down payment on a house ... erm ... in downtown Dimbelenge!

Anyhoo, the lack of posts has more to do with the stresses and obligations of work severely depleting my shrinking resources of energy and time, than me not having been or done anything of note in recent times, although I am on the downhill slide to complete hermitdom status.

I was in Perth for work and spent time with the fam; had an amazing meal over at the Newie's; slugged back one of the best mojitos I have ever had at Besito's; had a really yummy modern take on Miso soup over at Mina-no-ie; experienced dissappointment at new hot brunch spot Common Galaxia; held an actual olympic medal in my hands; discovered a cheapish but delicious bottle of french champagne; had Fried Green Tomatoes for the first time ... i.e. I've been busy!

So lets blow off the Tumbleweeds and start with Canberra!!

If ever Canberra gets a Thousands page or Broadsheet expands its environs to include our Capital city, Playground would definitely get a look in.

Situated in the "heart" of the city in Garema Place, it has the requisite mismatched diy decor quirks that all sophisticated drinking holes mandate, including its own in house art installation in the form of projected birds against a mural of a branching tree.

If I had to be perfectly honest, there is a sense of throwing everything and the kitchen sink in the interior design stakes, but give them a break, the town is relatively new at this sort of thing.

One thing they don't have to be in anyways shy of is their food and drink. Deadset, it was probably the best Espresso martini I have ever had!! It had just the right balance, and the fact that they used proper coffee really shone through. Be careful, you'd be knocking these back pretty quickly.

Unfortunately I didn't take note of the descriptions on the menu, or the names of the dishes, so I'm going to have to wing it.

We had 2 tasting plates in all. One was amazing lamb grilled in Eggplant. This was buttery ... divinely so. The lamb was soft and deftly flavoured and a good fit with the nutty chargrilled taste of the eggplant.

We also had a sort of crumbed pig's cheek croquette. Surprisingly light, and definitely moreish.

To round off our afternoon culinary delight, the chef whipped up a round of Lychee martinis ... amazeballs!! (which is a proper word now by the way!)

So if ever you're stuck in Canberra and looking for a night or afternoon out ... check out the Playground.

PS. And if you're still in the mood for supper after all that, head over to Dickson (Canberra's chinatown) and have a laksa at Dickson Asian Noodle House ... pretty darn good!

(Thank you D and J for being the perfect hosts!)

Playground Martini and Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon
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