odds and ends

I don't know about you, but September's always an exciting time of year for me. On top of graduation season and the beginning of spring, there always seems to be an abundance of birthdays around this time. For that reason alone I've definitely been a busy bee, and a broke one at that! Anyway, in honour of my extra day of delaying going back to uni (hurrah for the long weekend) here's a roundup of photos from my daily life, or just things I've been eating recently if I'm being totally honest. Most of these things probably won't be new to you if you follow me on Instagram, but oh well...


Just some casual shots around the city while I was running errands. Even though I tend to pass places like the Strand Arcade all the time, living in such a gorgeous city never really gets old. I definitely take it for granted sometimes!


My family's Father's Day lunch. I've always found it bizarre that Australia has Father's Day in a completely different month to the rest of the world, but moving on... What you see here is basically a Lao dish where you make your own lettuce wraps with meat, vegetables and rice noodles. However, we also have oysters there because why the heck not. On the right are some Thai donuts and pandan custard, which were sooo good! I've probably taken ten years off my life just from consuming all those calories though, haha.


It just wouldn't be a post of mine if I didn't indulge my sweet tooth, right? I made vanilla and strawberry panna cotta, which I actually posted a recipe for awhile back. The classic flavour combination just makes it one of those things that everyone loves. Plus if you make it during the day, it'll be ready in time for dessert!


Central Park's currently hosting a cool exhibition called 'Game On' as a part of Art and About, which I really enjoyed. Basically, they've installed a bunch of vintage video games and ping pong tables that are free to use, and it's so much fun. I think it's only there for another week, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already!


I finally tried out Vapiano's at a friend's graduation dinner, and it was pretty good! At first I thought it was strange that the pasta wasn't tossed through, but the trapped heat underneath meant that it was piping hot when it got to my table. Also some waffles I had for breakfast, because why not. They were good enough to eat on their own, but you can never go wrong with some squeezed lemon and sugar on top.
Posted by : Mani

sakura in bloom

Well, hello there stranger! It feels like a whole season has passed since I last blogged, which probably isn't much of a stretch since it's officially spring in Australia tomorrow. I really don't have any excuse besides the fact that my life has been pretty boring, and therefore pretty un-blogworthy lately. However, over the weekend I did visit Auburn Botanical Gardens for its annual cherry blossom festival. Entry was free for those wearing a kimono or yukata, but I opted out since I had to go by public transport. Maybe next time...


As the Japanese saying goes, the cherry blossoms are like life itself – short but beautiful. In fact, they're usually only in full bloom for a few days, so sadly most of the flowers were past their prime when I visited! Nevertheless the rest of the gardens are still quite enjoyable, just like a slice of Japan nestled in the Sydney suburbs.

They even have animal enclosures in the gardens complete with kangaroos and wallabies, but naturally I only took pictures of the peacocks. Anyway, here's to the changing of the seasons! While I'll usually say that I prefer winter, I'm so ready for longer days and weather that doesn't make me want to rug up like an eskimo. Yessss.
Posted by : Mani

gallery tea lounge

For someone who's such a self-proclaimed sweet tooth, I've only been to a handful of high teas in my lifetime. While my list of places to check off reaches the floor, it just seems like there's never an occasion special enough for high tea because it's just so... extravagant. So naturally, it was pretty special when I visited the Gallery Tea Lounge at the Sheraton a few weeks ago for a friend's 21st! Throw in the buffet aspect of it, and oh my glob. To say that I was in sugary, cream-filled heaven would be an understatement...

There’s the option of a teapot for each person included in the price ($49 per head), but you can also get hot chocolate or coffee if you’re so inclined. True to form, I got plain old English breakfast tea, although they also had Earl Grey and green tea options.


There’s just no good way of photographing buffet food, but those cakes were SO good. Pistachio mousse, flourless orange cake and blueberry cheesecake, not to mention a nice selection of savouries. Did I mention there was a waffle station with various toppings and ice cream?! I definitely need one in my future home now.


My only regrets? Not taking a box of goodies home with me. To really get your money's worth you'd probably have to eat way more than I did, even I though I was practically rolling out the door when two hours were up. In fact, I was feeling the after effects of all that sugar for the rest of the day and well into the next morning, if that’s any indication of how much I ate... Anyone else out there a fan of high tea? Tell me about the best one you've been to!
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Posted by : Mani