Things you've never dreamed of

May 22nd, 2013 by Rose


Hey guys, what’s happening?

It’s obviously way too late and I’m incredibly tired, but have finally finished doing stuff behind the scenes to get this thing going again. Yeah, how many times have you heard that right?

So, update: separated; living on my own; still quite into pork belly. Learning to do that thing where I try to relate to complete strangers which is all at once terrifying, exhilarating and surprising in a lot of ways.

I’m starting up a fun side project with the gorgeous Sarah from Life Glutton, so watch this space.

Also to watch: a cafe bucket list with Sara (shameless plug: buy her cakes, peeps).

That’s quite a lot of feelings in one post, so will leave you with the current theme song of my life:

January 15th, 2012 by Rose

Stuff what I’ll try and cook in 2012

  1. Chocolate and Nutella cupcakes
  2. Hainanese chicken rice
  3. Macarons (eek)
  4. Chicken briyani
  5. Laksa lemak
  6. Corn fritters
  7. Coconut and kaya sponge cake (storebought kaya, I’m not that crazy)
  8. Almond milk (not technically cooking but w/e)
  9. Rendang using my turmeric leaves
  10. Ricotta cheesecake
October 22nd, 2011 by Rose

Sydney Craft Beer Week, 22 – 29 Oct

Sydney Craft Beer Week starts today for all you beer snobs (me included) – you can go to the website to check out events and sign up for whatever catches your fancy. There’s craploads on so I’m sure you’ll find something you like. I’ll be going to the Beer Lover’s Guide to EXTREME BEER event, so do say hello if you see me (I’m the one who looks like this).

Full disclosure: I work with one of the BeermenTV guys who coordinated the Sydney Craft Beer Week, but think this is a v worthwhile event hence the writeup. Also he said he’ll buy me booze if I tell all of my three blog followers about it.

October 9th, 2011 by Rose

Dear PR people

No, I won’t write about your clients’ events/products.

I’m guessing you don’t even read my blog*, because if you did, you won’t want your clients’ names anywhere near me.


*…which makes this post kind of pointless but whatever.

October 9th, 2011 by Rose

Hey guys I’m 30

I turned 30 last month. I’ve been freaking out about turning 30 almost all of last year but it wasn’t too bad really.

Here are the good bits:

  • Spent most of my birthday week drunk or hungover or both
  • Birthday dinner at Marque (post on this coming, I swear)
  • Second birthday dinner at Flying Fajita Sistas, where I forgot to take photos
  • Bought the 15th anniversary K boxset as a present for myself
  • People giving me lots and lots of booze as gifts

The bad bits:

  • I’m 30
  • “It’s all downhill from here!” type comments
  • Confusion re wardrobe. Should I get rid of my young people clothes now?
  • Noticeably slower metabolism
  • Anxiety around mortality etc

Is this where I clean up my act and be a proper grown up?

August 28th, 2011 by Rose

Toriciya, Cammeray

Guys, I have to admit that I wasn’t at my best when I rocked up to Toriciya last Friday. On Thursday, I had a corporate trivia night where I had lots and lots of free wine. Afterwards a friend convinced me to go to La Cita for mojitos. She had one mojito and then danced with a dude. I had one mojito, watched her dance with a dude (I am now a respectable married woman after all and all the dudes there were manky) then had a another mojito. We stumbled home at 2.30am after the obligatory Maccas run. Next morning I woke up, realised I was STILL drunk AND have a sore throat, then proceeded to have a highly stressful day at work. I did have a bacon and egg sandwich in the morning, which helped some. The hangover and sore throat hit full force at around noon. Yes I know I did this to myself. I really should have been better behaved knowing that I’d be at a SAKE BAR the next day.

Still, I gave it a red hot go. This is another Daniel and Chika recommendation. Someone told me that if I go north of the bridge more than twice in a month, I’ll get my Inner West resident card revoked. But officer, I’d say, Daniel and Chika said the place is good. Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know – the burly policeman says, as he puts away his notepad – we completely understand, you found some of your top 10 eating places through them after all.

OK, OK, we’ll go straight to the food. Read the rest of this entry »

August 21st, 2011 by Rose

Restaurant 16, Neutral Bay

I get asked this about a million times in the last four months: “How’s married life?”

I mean, I get it. It’s a nice way to start a conversation when you haven’t seen me since I got married. Nothing’s changed due to the fact that the SO and I have lived together for about four years before we got married, but like, if they’re asking me what married life is like they’re expecting something a bit more interesting than “bugger all’s changed”, right?

“Fine, except we’re way overdue for an affair.”

“Fine, but we can only have sex in the missionary position with the lights off now.”

“Fine, I really like washing his socks.”

I’m not sure how to make this train of thought pull nicely into Station Segue Into Food Review so I’m not even going to try.

On Friday, The SO and I had dinner with Daniel and Chika, who you may remember as the people who introduced us to Bodega. Thank god for Daniel and Chika. I’m a pretty typical Sydneysider in that I don’t often venture out of my suburb, so I don’t have much of an idea of what the food scene is like north of the bridge. Restaurant 16 is owned by Daniel and Chika’s friends – the chef worked at Buon Ricordo for years before parting ways to do his own thing. The chef is also Japanese, and the food has all the punchy Italian flavours put together in a more subtle way, if that makes sense. It probably doesn’t but I just had a glass of wine so whatever. You can also have sake/plum wine with your meal! Awesome, y/y? The restaurant itself is a cosy little place perfect for a first date – the noise level doesn’t get higher than “comfortable” and service is super friendly.

Seeing that Daniel and Chika knew the owners and have been there a few times, they ordered dishes they’ve tried in the past that aren’t on the specials board. It pays to have friends with connections.

Complimentary bruschetta. How do you pronounce these things? Brus-ketta? Brushetta?

As far as I can tell (Daniel and Chika spoke Japanese to the owners), we got to be guinea pigs and try out this special entree that’s not on their current menu or specials. The dish is sardines coated in herbed crunchy breadcrumbs with a touch of orange zest. I love sardines, and this dish was absolutely stellar. The crunchy breadcrumbs complements the creamy sardines perfectly. The SO can’t eat anything too fishy so he gave me half of his portion. I love being married.

Calzone filled with three cheeses and salami, topped with fresh tomato and basil sauce. The calzone pastry is a bit more flaky than what I expected but not in a bad way.

Oh my god, my heart just stopped when I saw this photo again. Linguine with sea urchin, garlic, tomato and bottarga. Wikipedia tells me bottarga is cured fish roe. Lesbianhamapedia tells me bottarga is fucking delicious.

Hands down my favourite dish of the night. Prawn and artichoke linguine topped with breadcrumbs. Just stop what you’re doing right now and rush to Restaurant 16 for this. You’ll probably kiss my feet for this recommendation. You’re welcome.

Impressed? You bloody well should be. Zuppa de pesce – fish stew with cod, mussels, octopus, scampi and calamari. The scampi as sweet as your nervous first kiss with the first person you like-like in the back seat of your mum’s car.

After all the delicious seafood, this was a little bit of a letdown. Spatchcock stuffed with egg, mushrooms and bacon. It’s not that it wasn’t tasty, it was just a bit overcooked and a bit bland compared to everything else we had that night. If I had this as the first dish of the night I’d probably rate it a bit higher.

Dessert time! Daniel had the orange tart. I liked it, but it tasted a bit too eggy for me.

Chika and I had the panna cotta with berry sauce. This was a bit of an unfortunate one because it was grainy. It really is a shame because it tasted fantastic aside from the texture.

I totally ate the whole thing though. That’s how I roll.

Earlier that Friday, a friend at work asked me to let him know if Restaurant 16 is any good. I told him I’d score Restaurant 16 using the probability of getting in your date’s pants, on a scale of 0 – 100%. Don’t ever tell me I don’t give people what they need.

My score: 90%. take your date elsewhere for dessert, and bring an extra toothbrush.

Be prepared to shell out a bit of cash, though to be perfectly fair the four of us ordered a LOT of food, plus a bottle of wine, four glasses of Prosecco and a glass of dessert wine. Damage at the end of the night was $80 per person.

Restaurant 16
236 Military Rd, Neutral Bay
02 9909 0160 (bookings recommended – it was pretty quiet when we went there but the place is small)

August 10th, 2011 by Rose

I need a stiff drink

WTF, world? Stop it.

In the spirit of keeping calm and carrying on, here are some food I’ve had the pleasure of putting in my belly recently.

Smoked salmon with avocado, rocket, goat’s cheese and homemade pan brioche from Pizza Birra. I don’t think they have this on their winter menu at the moment. The brioche was genius – absolutely perfect with the goat’s cheese.

Pizza Birra
332 Darling St., Balmain

Beignets from Sucre. If you’re unfortunate enough to follow me on Twitter, you’d know that I am completely obsessed with these babies. I have no idea how “authentic” these are, but I do know that they’re amazing. Sucre makes these to order so they’ll always arrive at your table piping hot.

Ohhhh yes. I just had a moment. Hold me and tell me you love me.

The beignets also delicious when dipped in Sucre’s dark hot chocolate. It’s that crazy thick European style hot chocolate that congeals into an unappetising mass if you don’t drink them fast enough. Now, I really like them, and I like the fact that they have sugar-free hot chocolate so you feel slightly less guilty about drinking a cup of melted chocolate, but I always feel really bloated after having one of these. Although at $8 a cup you would expect that you won’t have to eat anything else for the rest of the day.

…Except beignets. There’s always room for beignets.

325 Darling St., Balmain

Other things that made me happy recently:

  • Adorable polar bear post it notes from BusinessClass (will take a photo of this later)
  • Husband always remembering to turn on the electric blanket on my side of the bed if I’m in bed late
  • Baguette vending machine
  • Rotate Your Owl
  • Seeing Sneaky Sound System live
  • Masterchef recaps, and the following email spam between me and a friend at work to discuss said recaps

Life could be a hell of a lot worse.

October 31st, 2010 by Rose

MoVida Aqui, Melbourne

I squandered the afternoon watching Mame on the Nine Go! channel. These are five things that would have been a better use of my time:

1. Look for split ends in my hair

2. Watch Franz Ferdinand clips on YouTube and wonder how Alex Kapranos fit in those pants

3. Make origami cranes out of credit card bills

4. Update long-forgotten blog

5. Throw origami cranes at passing neighbourhood children

I’ve got a backlog of entries that I need to go through, but let’s start with a familiar thumb:

Read the rest of this entry »

August 2nd, 2010 by Rose

Bastille Week 11 Course Degustation @ Restaurant Balzac, Randwick

Or, I Really Shouldn’t Have Worn a Dress with a Belt

What up? At the moment I’m sitting in front of the computer wearing bright pink penguin pajamas, having taken the day off because I’m coughing my lungs up every 5 minutes. It’s a great time to get stuff done though. So far today I have: answered some work emails (and was told off by my boss for being out of bed already), eaten muesli with yoghurt, read through several pages of I Am Maru, faffed about on Facebook, Twittered and went through my usual early morning anxiety. Now, I write.

Last month my good friends May and Cam organised a day out with a bunch of us, starting with mini golf in Narrabeen (I failed spectacularly), then degustation at Restaurant Balzac in Randwick. I’ve always wanted to try out Restaurant Balzac, and our timing was good – they had a special 11 course degustation menu that week to celebrate Bastille Day. It was priced at $110 and $180 with matching wines. I made a big show of umming and aahing about whether to get matching wines or not, but I really didn’t need any encouragement as I’m only one drink away from being an alcoholic. Read the rest of this entry »