Tag Archives: drinks

Two weeks in!

Feels like I’ve made some real progress in settling down here, the majority of the admin hurdles are out of the way and it’s a waiting game for some. My Barclays app has unlocked however because I don’t have a card yet, I can’t really pay anyone.

I’ve set up a limited liability company in anticipation for contract work that hasn’t happened yet. I still find the fact that I’m a director of a company rather amusing, not to mention the things you can do as a company made my laugh. For example, I’m allowed to gift myself something of up to £50 value each with a total of £300 a year, tax free! Other things like the company being able to buy your own used  equipment off you as an expense to reduce your tax! Totally awesome! Not to mention you can basically pay yourself up to £45k pounds at 9.5% tax :O.

Anyway, been out and a bit and already onto the music scene. Above and Beyond played a gig at the O2 and I decided to go last minute, £45 a ticket, but the show opened at 7.30 and only went til 11, supported by Luttrel and Gabriel and Dresden!

Barely made it in for Luttrel because the line to get in was super slow moving, also bizzare that there was no cloakroom and the service at the bar was super shitty and slow. Venue-wise it’s quite similar to Qudos. I’ll add another post with some videos.

Also found it weird that the crowd wasn’t full of 18 year old Asian LGs but more like an average of over 30 and white.

Also went to check out Kolsch play live at fabric, a pretty well-known name in London clubbing, but apparently has lost its charm after closing and re-opening. Pretty cool place, feels a little bit underground but not exactly grungy. Kolsch has been in Sydney previously but I gave it a miss, definitely glad I made this one. Being able to ride a bicycle to the venue was also super cool.

Club was super packed packed and it’s kinda cool that it has a mezzanine that overlooks the main dancefloor.

In more music/festival related stuff, I booked flights and tickets for Transmission in Prague, one of the events on my bucket. Despite it coming to Melbourne and having made fomo over it, I decided it’s best to check out the real one.

After A&B though, I did make the mistake of ordering a kebab, which is not the same as it is back home, it’s more like a weird open sandwich but there’s no BBQ sauce! Have only found out later that I need to order a wrap.

Went to check out a World Press competition photo exhibit which was rather small but quite impactful. The nature photos were great, especially one about pandas and what China is doing to preserve them.

Some of the war-torn and impoverished photos hit pretty hard, there’s one in particular about a man who was stoned and then hung from a crane that was absolutely brutal. Amazing the time and effort (as well as chance) to make these photos happen.

Had a taste of what Sydney life was like with the visit of Bec who’s doing a mini round-the-world trip. Great to see a friendly face and have a few beers and some amazing pie! Chance pick from google and it was delicious! The gravy that went with the mash was divine. It’s a pub called The Windmill in Mayfair.

Good news – found a place to live, it’s right next to old street station so it’s super well connected and flexible lease agreement, no ridiculous notion of 6 months rent in advanced! Room is a good size and it has a living room. There are so many places here that turn the living room into an extra bedroom, leaving a tiny kitchen as a communal area, just couldn’t live like that.

Can’t wait to get out of my Airbnb! Especially when this couple decided it’d be appropriate to bring a screaming toddler along.

Job wise I had a last minute interview with a bus and transport company called Arriva for a Product Owner role, not something I was initially planning to go for, but why not? Would be pretty convenient as it’s a 25 minute walk down the road to my new place and should be an easy 10 minute ride on a bike.

While walking around I also stumbled upon Hamleys, a huge and crazy toy store! Filled with enthusiastic staff demonstrating and playing with the toys, it’s quite a spectacle!

Really cute displays out the front windows too.

Hanna’s found work at a hip bar in a somewhat questionable area, we were pleasantly surprised when we got there that it was a pretty decent establishment. A few beers and Gin and Tonics were had. I had a Nikka Coffey Gin which was pretty damn good.

A few drinks in with everyone laughing at me for holding the glass like a goblet we dreamt of innovative ways to consume G&Ts from such glasses. Scotty invented the Swan challenge whereby you hold it like a goblet but flip your grip and try to drink from the glass.

Went on a shopping trip Bicester village which was over an hour away to check out some outlets! £17 pound train ride here and I walked away with just a Superdry jacket and a pair of Chinos from Ted Baker. It’s a high end market with mostly designer brands, their target market is clearly the rich Asians. I’m not being racist, but they give Asians a 10% discount if you have a passport or UnionPay/Bank of China card.

I missed most of the Bonfire Night fireworks as they occurred on the same night as A&B but Victoria Park set up some fireworks on the Sunday, which is actually the proper date, November the 5th. Yes, the same date referenced in V for Vendetta from which the story about the treason is based on the real bonfire night, also called Guy Fawkes night.

Armin Only and Cafe Del Mar announced!

Two very exciting announcements out today for Sydney today which has got me pretty stoked. The first? World’s number 1 DJ Armin van Buuren has announced his Armin Only world tour for his artist album ‘Intense’. The second? World famous beach front bar in Ibiza known for its chill out music and amazing sunsets.

Continue reading Armin Only and Cafe Del Mar announced!

misschu – Bondi Beach

Being summer, it’s hard to stray far from the beaches and not many are better than Bondi beach, the nice thing about Bondi is a large variety of shopping and restaurants, I decided to visit a nice little Vietnamese joint called misschu – queen of rice paper rolls.

It’s got a somewhat rustic feel inside and out which gives a nice casual atmosphere. There’s an outdoor seated area which is reminiscent of the street stores of Vietnam and in the winter time, blankets are provided to keep you warm! How awesome is that?!

Well the food? The food here does stay pretty traditional with a few variations on your true Vietnamese dishes, to start we had a few rice paper rolls, the first was the Tiger Prawn & Green mango and the second was the Roast Duck & Banana Flower.

Both rolls are filled with the traditional herbs; spear mint, thai basil, Vietnamese mint, purple perilla, etc. The result is an explosion of flavour in your mouth when combined with the hoisin/peanut sauce and fish sauce. Light and refreshing in flavour, great for a summery entree.

The mains we decided upon were the Vietnamese crepe/pancake – Banh Xeo with both pork and prawns and also the barbeque chicken.

For those that don’t know, the Banh Xeo is a yellow savoury crepe filled with prawns and pork as well as bean sprouts (or similar variations) fried in a skillet and folded in half. Here are misschu you’re presented with the banh xeo, a variety of herbs and lettuce, rice paper and fish sauce.

To eat it, you wet the rice paper in the warm water provided, add your lettuce and herbs and the banh xeo, wrap it up and dip. Taste wise it’s delicious and tastes very homely, the crepe has a nice crunch and there’s a decent amount of filling to keep you satisfied.

The barbeque chicken is pretty well cooked with a nice charcoal flavour, it’s served on a bed of lettuce and complimented with some cucumber and picked carrots and radish as well as some fish sauce. Flavours are mild but it makes for a refreshing dish.

Drinks wise we enticed ourselves to some cocktails, one was a lychee and mint crush with vodka while the other was a pineapple and mint crush with white rum. Lychee was the better pick with as it seemed to mesh better with the mint infused.

Other quirks of the restaurant? They provide delivery on scooters, so if you’re rather local to one of them, you can have the food delivered to your door (you can even order online!). The kitchen is open so you can see the chefs at work, a rather rare sight for a restaurant that serves Vietnamese cuisine to do so. Staff there are knowledgeable and friendly and made the experience enjoyable.

Overall the food is tasty, the flavours are well combined and the dishes remain faithful to their origins, the restaurant has a nice atmosphere to catch up with friends. The food is a little pricey for what I’m used to, the meal cost us close to $80 with the cocktails, taking the drinks away it’s still $50, you can find similar food in Cabramatta for about half the price.

Verdict: Tasty food that sticks to its origins and good atmosphere
Cost: Pricey for what it is (i.e. comparing to the west), $80 was spent for all of the above.
More info: http://www.misschu.com.au/
Location: 178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Map:

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2011 Asia trip – Day 1

The first day has come and gone and I’m sitting in a hotel room in Hong Kong as I write this. Not much to write about, nor are there many photos of the action from today as we haven’t really done much.

Departing Sydney at 9.30 in the morning, we had an 8 hour flight to Singapore with Singapore Airlines which was comprised of eating plane food and soaking up alcoholic drinks when possible, quite nice to be able to unwind with a Singapore Sling or a Alspiritzer on a long flight. We stopped for about 3 hours in Singapore (Changi airport) and just checked out the place. Quite a nice airport with a few things to do to kill time while you’re there. There was a butterfly sanctuary where you could go in and experience tropical weather and see butterflies flying around freely.

Flying towards Hong Kong was a short rinse and repeat of the flight to Singapore, eating plane food and more booze, good fun. By the time we landed, it was quite late so it was just a case of checking into our hotel in Mong Kok and roaming the streets for a bit of food before resting up for the next day’s action.

Will try to blog a bit more on this trip unlike my last trip to Japan where the blog posts were delayed by about 3 months :P.

My Graduation

Last week would be one of the last times I’d ever be back at Uni and it was for my graduation. After a strenuous 4 and a half years of study, it was time to claim my prize and take home that precious piece of paper that would certify me as a bachelor.

Ceremony was an early 10am start meaning to register and collect my gown, I’d have to be at uni before 9am, something I hadn’t done in a long time. Certainly don’t miss the terrible traffic driving up.

Waiting for my gown

Once inside, I was already feeling hungry and the graduation ceremony was to be a big one, the entire auditorium was full and the number of people graduating overfilled the front rows into a section of the audience. There’s a sense of nervous-ness as you stand there waiting for your name to be called out for you to collect your testamur, as for me, I was a little unique in getting a Bachelor of Information Systems (as opposed to a Bachelor of Science I would initially sought out to achieve. Quite lucky to have graduated with a couple of people I knew, I had feared it was to be a lonely graduation as I was a bit of a lagger. Congrats also to Winnie Tran, Suching Wong and Sumeet Kukar.

Collecting the testamur

After the ceremony, it was the obligatory rounds of photos across the various landmarks of the university. First is one with the family.

Family photo

Then the library lawn (with the UNSW library in the background)

Library lawn stargate

Then the lookout above the quad, as well as the obligatory flying cape photo.

I can fly!

And at last, the main walkway, or in this case, being on top of the globe!

On top of the world!

To top it off, you’ve gotta have some drinks to end the day, and this would be my chance to check out this white house place they built while I was no longer at uni during the day time.

Punch at the white house

Thanks to Jimmy Lam for the photos, you can see the rest of the album below, there’s also a few photos of my cousin who handed in his thesis, marking the completion of the work required for his PhD, so congrats to him!

Click here for the rest of the photos

To end the day would be some dinner and more drinks 🙂 and generally a good time 😀

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.

Day 7 – Kyoto

So in the morning we decided to explore around the local area of Kyoto, first thing to visit were the Nishiki markets which were just up the road from where we were staying (Teramachi). It was primarily a food market with a large variety of fresh and packaged foods. Gavin and I headed off with our new friends Lilly and Isabella and because Ed and Tang were too slow, they were left behind.

Road we stayed on, through here were markets
Various market offerings

There was an interesting looking octopus dish that we decided to try out, bout 300 yen for one. It was octopus with quail egg inside the head, no idea how they get it inside there because there didn’t seem to be any cuts in the head or anything.

Red octopus with quail egg inside

Continue reading Day 7 – Kyoto

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.