Tag Archives: birthday

Wildly oscillating to 28

As cold as winter is, there’s always one day to look forward to and that’s my birthday. Each year that means getting surprised and spoilt for a nice dinner with the girlfriend. The restaurant of choice this year was a small joint in Newtown called Oscillate Wildly, and to be honest I don’t think I’ve heard of it (then again, I don’t think I know many restaurants).

Not knowing what to expect, I didn’t even realise there was a small restaurant next to Black Star Pastry, and small it is, with only enough seats for about 20 guests. Taste-wise I could probably best describe it as Modern Australian with some Jap/Asian influence.

To get started was some pork crackling. Super crispy and airy like a chip but

Strangely enough, I really love it when there’s great bread and butter at restaurants. It’s important to be warm and crunchy on the outside and this bun sure delivered. No butter this time but something better, pork fat and what I think was some sort of pate. Delicious! We made a huge mess of the table as well. Apparently it’s only available during winter.

Last appetiser before the real meal started was a gin and tonic, in sugar cane form, it was quite fun biting into the cold fibrous cane to bring out the flavour.

First real dish was avocado, ponzu and fingerlime. This one blew my mind with its simplicity yet it just seemed to work really well. The acidity and sourness from the ponzu and fingerlime just kind of melted with the avocado.

Next up was peas, parmesan and lovage. Interesting dish with the sauce a really nice deep shade of green. There were some balls that exploded with flavour and really rounded off the peas and slight bitterness of the lovage and delicate parmesan. Really airy and subtle with the parmesan flavours being quite light.

Foie, cauliflower and maple would be the next dish. There was a nice crunch from what looks like popcorn which contrasts the smooth cauliflower puree, the shavings at the top give it a bit of resistance. Flavour-wise, lots of umami with enough maple to bring our the savoury flavours.

Next dish was basically just mushroom shitake sliced up, bits of enoki in a really dark broth. Really flavoursome and the mushrooms still retained their texture without tasting raw.

Going to something more substantial was simply fish and chips and that was really it to the dish. The fish was cooked really well but simply salted to retain the whiting’s flavour. The chips however were something spectacular, they were wafer thin strips and almost like a potato chip yet still had heaps of potato flavour.

My eyes lit up for the next dish as the waiter mentioned 9+ marbling wagyu beef. More enoki and a really nice black vinegar glaze which went really well with the perfectly cooked beef. The fat had rendered completely and just packed the meat full of flavour.

Desserts were now about to come. The first was chestnuts and vanilla ice cream. Really simple dish and I really liked how the shaved chestnuts gave bite to the dish and subdued the flavours a bit, kind of makes you savour it a bit more.

The last dessert had me a bit worried to be honest, liquorice, coconut and malt, not usually flavours I enjoy but it ended up being one of my favourites of the night. Super soft sponge cake with enough of a liquorice taste but minus the bitterness. The coconut ice cream was rather light and just finished it nicely. If it were up to me, it’d be something I could eat bowls of all day.

Kaz’s dessert was well plated which is always nice given her giant list of allergies. Beetroot, rhubarb and raspberry.

Some petit fours and a candle to finish the night, the jelly cubes were a nice way to wrap up the meal. We did get the matching wines to share and I think they’ve done a really good job to match the wine with the food. I won’t go into the detail, but I found it to be complementary both ways.

One thing that we noticed towards the end was the candle holder, felt a bit game of thrones-esque.

A very enjoyable dinner and I’d totally recommend this place. The dishes were all very well balanced, the flavours seemed to just subtly mix together and felt like they were carefully chosen but also very restrained; one way of putting it is it requires you be patient and seek out the flavours a bit.Thanks again for the lovely dinner and night out, I love how you always try to find a place that’ll surprise me. As with any other restaurant choice, it was perfect.

Older photos – part 2

Next up we have my partial attempt at Sculptures by the Sea at Bondi Beach, partial in the fact that I only got half way before having to leave to head to dinner. Definitely need to make more of an effort to go, more than once preferably as it’s one of those events that is always so much fun (photographically). So much choice of subject and in varying environment makes it a challenge to capture something different.

Would love some comments on this photo, bit of an experiment with the composition and the post (and funnily enough, not even a sculpture itself!)

Below is my take on Sculptures by the Sea 2011.

Click for the rest of Sculptures 2011
Click for the rest of Sculptures 2011

So the reason the photos from above were cut short was the need to attend Steve’s and Janet’s birthday at Hurricanes in Darling Harbour. Photos from the night below, nothing too fancy seeing as I only had my 35mm f/2 and no flash with me (I’ve been pretty lazy these days).

Click for pics of Steve and Janet's 23rd
Click for pics of Steve and Janet's 23rd

Older photos – part 1

So I have a whole bunch of photos in the backlog that I never went through and figured I should put them up before touching the photos from my Asia trip. These were from back in October of last year, quite a few months ago, this is part 1 of 2, I’ll have a couple of more galleries for November as well.

First up we have some photos from Jimmy and Winnie’s 23rd at Encasa where we delighted ourselves a raft of various Tapas and Spanish dishes. Quite liked this restaurant and the food was pretty amazing, so good I attempted at making my own. That dish was the potatas bravas, basically fried potato cubes with a spicy tomato salsa and garlic sauce/mayonnaise.

Jimmy and Winnie's 23rd Birthday Gallery
Click for Jimmy and Winnie's 23rd B'day pics

Second is some photos from out little night out at the night noodle markets. It was a fun night involving a whole variety of Asian foods from noodles to seafood, buns and even Japanese pancakes! Mix in a little wine and good company and it was a lovely evening. To top it off, we did a sugar hit at Spiedo inside Westfield Sydney, quite tasty :D.

Night Noodle Markets 2011

That’s it for now, check back soon for part 2 and hopefully some photos from my Asia trip.

Another year goes on…

and my liver takes another pounding and so does my memory. Had a killer night on Friday with plenty of holes in my memory but definitely a great time celebrating my 22nd birthday, feel so old! No longer able to be in denial and telling myself that I’m still 21. Celebrated the night with Lily Tran at the ever-so-classy venue of Sanctuary Hotel, because you know, the drinks are cheap. Here are the first lot of photos from my DIY photobooth consisting of my D700, flash and 17-35mm f/2.8 lens and a remote trigger, perfect.

Click here for the photobooth photos

Set up seemed to work okay, I think it didn’t fire a few times but in the end I was just too drunk to notice but it seems like it did its job.

2011 begins, and I’m almost there

So after this post I’ll be a couple of photos from being up-to-date, but since I stopped blogging for a while until now, quite a few things have changed, I’m finally in my final semester at Uni with another two subjects to go (seriously can’t wait til it’s over) and in addition to that, I had started full time work. Such a drastic change from being able to laze around and bludge to getting up before 7am getting ready to catch the train every day to work. Days at work vary, some insanely hectic to others where you’re not too busy. Team’s been great, everyone around is heaps friendly and always willing to help out and answer questions. I won’t mention the awesome start to the year, walking out of the Etihad Stadium with a huge smile on my face, if you weren’t there, you wouldn’t understand.

Deb’s birthday wasn’t too far away from the start and I was there to take a few snaps.

Next up was my man Mike’s 22nd birthday. For some reason this kid decided not to have a 21st birthday but instead, opts for a large 22nd! I just don’t get him sometimes, but it was a great party despite me not being able to get back in at 12 as Aurorar bar sucks and no re-entry after 12 is permitted. Cover photo is in black and white because I’m moody and all that ;).

Tang turns 22

Final set of photos to complete this post is little Yvonne’s 22nd birthday, celebrated with plenty of food.

Yvn's 22nd

So just another post and I’ll be good to go, apologies to those waiting for photos (if you want them quick pay me :P).

Last moments of 2010

So the last days of 2010 went by rather quick, first and foremost a lunch outing with the majority of the crew that did BIT or ISM starting from 2007 (God that was a long time ago) to celebrate their final days of Uni (not me though, because i’m special). It was a nice lunch courtesy of Christine, our course coordinator who’s helped us through hundreds and thousands of emails and queries. It was a a nice gathering and good to see everyone before we all parted ways.

bitism lunch

Once back from my trip and having a few days of long away rest and sleep, it was time to be out and about again, firstly, a BBQ at Lily Tran’s house to celebrate Christmas. Nothing better than spending a nice summer afternoon with friends around the BBQ with a drink or ten. No one ended up too drunk and with my fairly okay drink count, I was still quite good.

Christmas at Lily's - 2010

No summer is complete without a fishing trip of sorts, so early one morning we make the trip up to Clifton for some fishing action. There were quite a few people there already so we couldn’t get prime position, but we pushed on anyway and hoped for some luck. But as you can see from my album title, it was somewhat fail, ended up catching 2.5 fish (one of them was a tiny bream). Nice thing about getting up early is catching the sunrise and I’ve finally done some sunrise photography.

Lovely sunrise

One of the final set of photos for the year was from my younger cousin’s birthday who despite his size, is only 12.

Wilson and family

So these photos represent the final days and weeks of my 2010, but it was such a thrill being able to spend the transition into 2011 with an all night party with the number 1 DJ, Armin van Buuren. Such a great event and you really can’t top seeing Armin for 9 hours straight, still remember the climatic countdown with the drummer just hammering away, almost as though he couldn’t keep it up. Small glitch in the countdown but it was one hell of a night. Spent the next few days exploring a bit of Melbourne which was quite fun, but definitely gotta plan another trip down soon.

Well that wraps up 2010, I’m a step closer to getting this blog updated and getting the rest of the photos up.

Photos from the past few weeks

So, I’ve been a lazy ass lately and photos have been piling up without being posted, so I’ve just thrown everything into one post.

First is VSA cruise of 2010, a lot of fisheye photos in this one, suprised I managed to get this in focus.

Next up are the photos from the VSA UNSW BBQ from August.

Also, 10 years later after we had all left primary school, the time capsule we had put in the ground in the year 2000 was finally dug up. Some things had changed at school, while others largely remained the same. As our memory of what was in the capsule was quite fuzzy, we all remembered the things in there being better than they actually were. The contents were a bit disappointing.

Within the last few weeks, our friend David Huynh had the privilege of graduating, finally after years of work and thousands of dollars, he’s got the piece of paper which makes it all worth it.

Nugo also tried to redeem himself with his 22nd birthday (not many photos from this one), most of you will remember he conked out really early for his 21st and this time round, he wasn’t gonna disappoint.

Thien and Kalee also celebrated their 22nd birthdays with a Korean BBQ dinner at the Bakehouse garden in North Strathfield complimented by two games of ten-pin bowling.

And most recently, during the mid sem break, I went on a trip up north to MacMasters beach on the Central Coast. Wonderful time with decent weather, and when it did get chilly, the jacuzzi was a nice touch.