Tuesday, 5 June 2012


I started my last term at college this week, and we were asked by one of our lecturers today to introduce ourselves, as many of them usually ask us to. Name, age, where from, what we hope to do in the future.  I gave my generic answer, and expressed my passion for the F&B industry and that I'd like to get involved here in Sydney.

During the day, I couldn't stop thinking of this photograph, which I reblogged not long ago on my tumblr. Everytime I see it, it speaks to me, gives me that breathless second.

I see grace and poise; it makes me want to be like them. I want to dance. I want to witness moments like this, shoot a moment like this, be able to call a work like this my own. I feel inspired; I feel hungry for growth, creativity; I feel there's so much to learn and see. And I realised the way I feel about this photo, all the things it triggers in me, I want people to feel the same about what I do, what I create too.

I want to appreciate people for who they are, what they do, what they expect; I want to listen, understand, and create something that both myself and others see parts of them in it, value it and think it is special, think it is what they want, lightens their day. I want people to start seeing more of the good and positive things in life through my work, I want them to feel good and positive about themselves when they see or experience my work, I want them to discover emotions they would've never expected, or rediscover long forgotten ones. I want my work to encourage and motivate others, in whatever way; I want them to feel some emotional attachment to it, appreciation and passion for it, and gratefulness for it, just because it takes their soul to a place where they know they want to be. And I hope to do the same for all the relationships I have in my life: I want to care, share, understand, appreciate, and motivate people to do the same.

I work hard, whatever I do. But for what? Well yes, to do what I want to do, to see what I want to see, to experience what I want to experience. It just happens that what I want to experience is what I feel about that photo; to listen to songs that make me want to cry, to attend classes of teachers so gifted and enthusiastic that they want to make you study more and harder, to be happy and thankful for what I am given and to strive for bigger and better things. So I want to do the same - give others that experience, whatever I do. And the most precious reward for that is to be thanked for it, be thought of for what I do and to inspire.

Saturday, 2 June 2012


Let's be honest: there are so many restaurant reviews out there I don't think I need to be the 185638524th person to, say, take a photo of Bodega's fish fingers, list its price and rave about how good it is. My love for Melbourne's wining and dining scene, however, is unable to stop me from sharing some of my favourite destinations with you, especially as a non-local. Feel free to cross check with your trusted food blogger.

* Pope Joan [77-79 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East]
Go for: that brunch you don't deserve every day because it is too good
Expect: travelling a fair bit out of the city to be rewarded with breakfast heaven. The dishes are so beautifully prepared and plated and are definitely well-portioned too, to make sure you'll roll out the door completely happy - think smoked salmon, parsnip croquettes, red slaw and slow cooked egg (all in one dish, that is). If you seriously can't stand eggs for breakfast they have a range of sandwiches and cakes and other sweet dishes that looked fantastic as well. To me it was probably the most impressive breakfast/brunch ever, and the girls on the floor make sure you're looked after too!

* Hanoi Hannah [180 High Street, Prahran]
Go for: Viet street food, Prahran style
Expect: authentic Vietnamese (REAL spring rolls! Grilled beef in betel leaves! Veeeeery loooovely pho!) and fun spinoffs of some favourites in a very cute, Melbourian setting - rustic and funky and cosy, without forgetting that trademark Viet painting on the wall and the chilli sauce and cutlery holder on the table. Get the coconut lychee slushie too - oh em gee so refreshing! It kinda felt like I was eating at home again, only to walk around the corner back onto Chapel Street. Jackpot.

* The Woods Of Windsor [108 Chapel Street, Windsor]
Go for: hunting lodge meets anything elegant
Expect: a venue hard to describe but suitable for anyone that's after anything good really: a casual drink, a proper sit-down dinner, something before or after the main meal... Similar to Porteno in Sydney, it's one of those venues that you know you can come in for all sorts of occasions and have an amazing time, while things are still done properly and formally. The big shelf along one wall stocks a whisky-focused bar, as well as books, taxidermies, and all sorts of other beautiful things to look at. Comes with a matching "forresty" and "autumny" menu - had drinks and dessert and actually can't wait to be back to try more.

* Cumulus Inc. [45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne]
Go for: the good stuff, all day long
Expect: the sleek, clean-cut Melbourian type of venue with bangin' food - serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've been back every time I went to Melbs so that must say a lot, doesn't it? Exciting flavours and ingredients are prepared in a very honest style of cooking, and most of the menu is to share but can be cut down into single portions - well that's pretty much my kinda style of eating. Went back last to have breakfast and just couldn't get over their bloody tasty blood sausage and smoked tomato in the English breakfast. Don't miss the canel├ęs at the little pastry and takeaway section on your way out!

* Portello Rosso [15 Warburton Lane, Melbourne]
Go for: Tapas that are, uhm, pretty crazy?
Expect: a menu the size of which you'd probably underestimate, and feeling like Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love" when she was eating up in Italy - I just felt so alive working my way through the dishes. I honestly don't remember everything we had - I'm sure you can order anything and you'll be perfectly fine. I guess you'll have fun at any tapas restaurant if the food is good, but as I've said that Eat-Pray-Love feeling hit me so hard that all I can say is just go already. The team was so so nice too I felt so bad not finishing my dinner (because I was so stuffed!).