Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Queen of Denmark II - A night with John Grant

Ok ... Last night amidst a sea of dark, shadowy heads in a crowded room, John Grant touched my heart with his songs and his deep sonorous voice.

It was my first gig for 2014 and what an amazing night.

I've blogged about John Grant before and since then he's released his second album Pale Green Ghosts with a slightly more electronic bent and perhaps a stronger or more obvious LGBT agenda. The man doesn't seem to have much luck in love.

Standing slightly awkwardly dressed in black shirt and jeans, rather non-descript bordering on daggy, eyes shut for the most part, hands drooping by his sides or clutching the mike stand, John let rip with that voice and the band surged forward with him, egging the crowd on to whoops and hollers of grateful applause.

And when he sang "Where dreams go to die", I swear my heart stopped beating and for a few seconds I found it hard to breath. Amazing.

How do I love thee Rosie ... let me binarise the ways

Ok ... what a brain-melting, blood-boiling, fat-roasting, essence-draining week this has been with sweltering temperatures and attitudes to match.

Through it all, the latest addition to the Temasek household, and frankly, a slightly offbeat and creepy replacement for a pet, has dilligently persevered in completing the tasks she was built and designed for, without complaint and as efficiently as if it were a cool ambient 25 degrees outside, rather than the oven roasting 40s it has been for about 5 days in a row (that's degrees centigrade to any overseas readers who may stumble upon this post).

So everyone, I'd like you to meet Rosie ... our newest and bestest friend:

Before you roll your eyes (what ... too late?) and say something like "who the fuck watches informecials in the first place but worse off, actually purchases the product? Its not normal!" or something to that effect ... let me tell you that Rosie was a bit of a joke present in the first place but has turned out to be an absolute godsend.

We're never likely to win any kind of housekeeping award, and Rosie isn't likely to win any awards for her suction prowess, but its easy enough to set her going on a regular basis, and then "finish off the corners" as it were ever so often. Our house has never been this consistently clean before.

We love you Rosie! Never leave!

PS - I can't believe I posted about housecleaning!! Can we just blame the mini Melbourne heatwave for this?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A couple of finds in Perth - Rice cakes and burnt garlic

Ok on the verge of a summer heatwave and worn out by my daily lumosity routines, all I have energy left to do is a couple of "dot points".

We recently spent a week in Perth with part of the fam, chilling, drinking, eating and generally having a bit of a relax and unwind.

We managed to scour some of the local Asian shops and found begrudgingly that the variety on offer far surpassed any of the more general Asian providores in some of Melbourne's better known ethnic enclaves.

One such place called Farmer Jacks in Girrawheen is the bizz!!! A virtual Morian mine of every conceivable FDA approved Asian ingredient on offer, (and I suspect a few of the "wink wink nudge nudge" variety behind the counter), including at least 2 shelves of Burmese fare, a rare sight down south.

But our 2 best finds were the instant Ketupat packets and tub size amounts of Balachaung.

Firstly, the Ketupat packets. How do I best describe what a Ketupat is? They are simply boiled rice cakes traditionally wrapped in palm leaf. Most south-east Asians have particularly fond memories of ketupat, especially when served as an accompaniment to Satay (this is essential in my books) or as an ingredient in Lontong - a sort of Malay vegetable Stew.

Nona's Ketupat Mini consists of individual packets of suitably portioned raw rice. You basically cook these packets in boiling water for about 40mins (no instant wonder this is) and the rice swells within the confines of the plastic casing to form the perfect-ish rice cake. Simply cut the plastic wrapping off and hey presto!

The other great find was these reasonably large tubs of Balachaung. They need to be of a decent size because I promise you Balachaung will not last long in your pantry.

Balachaung is best described as a Dried Shrimp and Garlic condiment that you can add to your curries or stir fries or to just plain old boiled rice for that matter. You can even have a Balachaung sandwich!! TDF!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

'Ello Cobber! - Lunch at Cobb Lane

Ok I did say I was resolved to post a bit more often ... at the moment I have the luxury of time as I'm still technically on holidays. I'm curbing the urge to log on to check emails ... I think I deserve a bit of me time! Lets see how long I can keep this up. Anyways, onwards and upwards!

Melbourne finally came through with the goods and the weather was glorious today. So in between running a few errands, we took advantage of our midweek freedom and made our way down to Yazzers to check out Matt Forbes recently minted bakery cum Cafe on Anderson Street, Yarraville called Cobb Lane.

If you haven't sampled the village delights of Yarraville, I suggest you plan a day out soon. You might very well find yourself picking up a few of the local Real estate catalogues along the way ... but be warned ... village life does not come cheap.

We started lunch off with our requisite 2 strong flat whites and worked our way through the rather perfunctory menu.

I have to confess that after seeing the paltry sandwich fillings on offer, I didn't have much hope of being completely blown away by my choice of the British breakfast. I think M was a little underwhelmed himself, but decided to give the eggplant and beetroot sanger a go.

M's sandwhich looked pretty much like any bog standard salad roll. There seemed to be precious little eggplant and an inordinate amount of bleeding beetroot. It looked a little like povo food to me ... and M wasn't entirely enamoured by the combination of flavours. (Oh and Alfalfa Sprouts??!! Really? In this day and age?)

However, my British breakfast was a revelation, and could easily count as one of the better "big" breakfasts on offer in this brunch obsessive town. This was heartattack on a plate - black pudding, scotch egg, rashers of what I believe is called "green" bacon (looking more like thin slices of pork belly), homemade HP sauce (sort of apple relishy) and Welsh Rarebit, which was more like a cheesy fritatta than the melted goo I'm more accustomed to.

The flavours were spot on, especially the bacon which had a great bitey texture and wasn't too salty or porky for that matter. The black pudding was the business, again not too salty, but it was rich. In fact in the midday heat, this breakfast behemoth was proving to be a bit of an endurance test for me.

Having said that, there was nothing left on the plate that went back to the kitchen. And rather foolishly we decided on a sweet each to finish off the meal. Kind of a big mistake. It all looked so delicious in the display cabinet and we could have easily eaten our way through every single one but commonsense prevailed in part.

We had the Salted Caramel and Cardammom biscuit, looking like a steroid pumped oreo cookie. This would have been heaven if we weren't already full to bursting. It felt like the biscuit was a little burnt, but I'm sure if we just went in there for coffee and had the biscuit on its own, we would have found it rich and unctuos with a deep dark chocolatey flavour.

Our second sweet was the Rhubarb, white chocolate and Szechuan Macarron. I was piqued by the inclusion of the unexpected addition of Szechuan pepper in the mix, but although the tart itself was pretty yummy in its own right, we didn't really get the Szechuan flavour at all, perhaps just a slight savoury hint. But it was in that sense a bit of a let down.

I will definitely be back for the British Breakfast and I have my eye on that Ginger and Toffee ball. I don't think its going to be a regular stop for us, but every now and then its nice to have a bit of Pomm in the mouth.

Cobb Lane on Urbanspoon


Ok ... first food post of the year!! Excitement! I don't think I can even remember how to do this but lets just put it down on paper shall we ... you can skim read through the verbal excess.

Let me just say I have found the perfect chicken sandwich ... something that I am constantly looking for when in the mood for a snack that is light but substantial. And where better than in our almost back yard.

Situated at the tail end of what we like to call Little India on Barkly Street, West Footscray, POD (what does it all mean?) is located in part of the retail space housing Post Industrial Design, a lovely place for some hip and cool browsing. Our friendly waitress (is this kosher?) said that Mary the owner of PID always envisaged a cafe space at some stage when she opened the shop ... et voila, as they say. Factoid # 1 - Mary's partner designed the fittings ... heavily influenced by steampunk by the looks of things.

The menu follows the standard format of most brunch places in Melbourne but its lean and devoid of any culinary excess with some interesting choices and combinations. Coffee is by Niccolo, a Melbourne roaster I'm not familiar with. Wonderfully smooth, more of a Leo, rather than a punch the back of your throat Scorpio.

Surprisingly M opted for the same dish that I did, which was the rather stoicly named Sandwhich ($9). Perfect name for what turned out to be a perfect meld of Poached chicken, Spinach, Pecorino Cheese and Truffle Oil Mayo served in simply sliced Sourdough bread. (Common Galaxia please take note!) This was delicious.

We can't wait to go back and check out the breakfast and indeed the other lunch offerings, and really anywhere there is Badu on the soundtrack and a rockabilly sense of sartorial style is fine by me.

I've said it before, but WeFo is the place to be for you and me and everybody!!

Pod @ Post Industrial Design on Urbanspoon


Ok ... so I need your help. I want to try and engage more this year so if you are even the tiniest bit interested in this blog can you be my little New Year spark and follow my twitter and instagram pages ... pretty please!

@Temasek68 on Twitter - 
Temasek68 on Instagram -

And of course there is my Youtube page (Temasekdan) which you can subscribe to, although this is admittedly a bit of an acquired taste ...


Ok ... Melbourne whats up with the weather ... I know us Melbournians love to bitch about the inclemency of the elements ... but surely this is taking the piss.

We just got back from 6 wondrous days of a Perth summer in all its moderate glory ...

Blue skies ...

Blue Water ...

  Green brush ...

And the cutest western denizens of them all ...

Now I'm sat here in a jumper with the electric blankets turned on ...


Tuesday, 7 January 2014


Ok ... this post is about Futility ...

These are the cherries on our Cherry tree. In the 7 or so years we have had this tree, we have eaten the sum total of 3 ripe cherries ... the rest have been thrown to the wind and the birds ... like crumbs from a Grimms fairy tale ... never to find their way home.



Ok ... well its a new year and lets start it off with a bang ... alright maybe a fizzle ... and a tentative promise to try and keep this site as active as life will allow.

Here's a couple of my New Year's Blogolutions ...

(i) Post more often (i.e. get out more often)
(ii) Review last year's European trip

Hope you stick with me as I try to revamp things bit by bit. But lets start off from a low point and build upwards. My next extremely short post will be about Futility ...
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