Saturday, July 5, 2014

Outdoor Patio / Deck Ideas

These are all the ideas I would simply love to incorporate in to my future home. Unfortunately, to make the below come true, it is going to burn a gaping hole in my pocket. Hence, I foresee it will be a work in progress spreading out over 10 years! Lol.

Hmmmm... so, what would be a must have at my outdoor entertainment area??

#1 A deck / patio where I can invite friends and family over for a BBQ session (it's a pretty big thing in Aussie that families do a 'barbie' even on a casual week night dinner).

#2 Nice long table with ample seating to fit the many guests.

#3 A lovely garden that just oozes with peace and tranquility and beautiful plants with colourful flowers (oh yeah, a pear and orange tree, too!).

#4 Definitely a pond teeming with gold fish.

#6 A swing / egg shelled chair for lounging and reading books.

#7 Now that I think about it, I would like to have a round table to enjoy drinking Chinese tea the proper way with some Chinese looking chairs, the antique wooden sort with ivory etchings.

#8 Not forgetting a herb garden filled with basil, coriander, chives, tomatoes which are the main ingredients we usually use.

#9 Quirky Melburnian (yes, that's how you spell the word!) hanging lights.

#10 Fan for hot summer days and good lighting for nights. Blinds to keep out the gusty wind on Korean BBQ and steamboat nights.

Enjoy the endless possibilities. Extracted the pictures just by Google. Reckon they are mainly American  type of houses.

Friday, July 4, 2014

La Roche in St Kilda


The Sunday we brought our two friends to Brighton Bathing Boxes, Ackland Street in St Kilda was our meeting point. Mr. C and I arrived before hand where else the two ladies were inconveniently delayed by tram works. We were famished and settled on La Roche as we reminisce the last time we had chicken parma there.

To date, it's the biggest parma we have had served and it is extremely delish! Oh yeah, Aussies love to shorten words and tend to end with 'o' or 'ie'. In this case, delish meaning delicious.

I was swayed to try the nachos after having a glance of the proud portion sitting on a patron's table as we walked past into the cosy atmosphere.

And you know what?

No regrets. 

The Nachos were simply finger licking good! Definitely too huge a portion to be consumed by one person. Good to share with 2-4 people as an entree. It was simply oozing with calories - chips topped with cheese and beef accompanied by dips - sour cream, guacamole and tomato salsa!

Nachos with beef $16.50

Chicken Parmagiana $26.50 (On Special $15)

Not sure if the picture does the Chicken Parma justice. The plate IS huge! And the parma literally covers 85% of the plate on top of a bed of fries! Oh glorious parma! Chicken schnitzel topped with napoli sauce and mozarella cheese.

Yum, yum, yum!

Unfortunately, we went on a non-special timing, hence, we paid full price at $26.50. If you go on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays (after 6pm), it will only cost you $15 which is pretty decent for the taste and portion. It's actually very generous!

So, if you are ever in St Kilda, definitely head to La Roche and have their parma and nachos!! You won't
regret it!

If you do, tell yourself to stop whinging and be grateful you have money to buy food. ;p

  La Roche on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Colourful Brighton Beach House

One of Melbourne's popular icon or must visit place would definitely be the Brighton Bath House aka Brighton Beach House aka Brighton Boat House. 

After a quick research, the right description would be BRIGHTON BATHING BOXES!

Many couples (mainly Malaysians that I know of) choose this place for one of their pre-wedding shoot location as it is picturesque and quirky - 82 colourful, vibrant bathing houses all lined up in a row by the beach.

Mr. C and I brought our two friends there two Saturdays ago. One year ago, we met this two adventurous ladies. One of them was my ex-KPMG colleague's sister-in-law. What makes them special or unique? Well, these gutsy ladies resigned from their steady jobs as lawyers in Malaysia to make their way into unexplored territory in Australia via work travel visa!

I mean, coming from Malaysia and coupled with Asian background, taking a gap year and/or resigning a job without securing another is a no no. What more to mention, resigning a stable job to go off to uncharted waters for a year of fun and a sea full of uncertainties. 

But they did it and with their parents blessings! Well, sort of and lots of trepidation. One girl's mother wasn't too keen but she just had to seize this opportunity!

The bathing houses are located just beside St Kilda Beach. Not exactly side by side, however, about 5-10 minutes driving distance along the Boulevard.

Location extracted from HERE just for you.

"Dendy Street Beach, Brighton is the home of the Brighton bathing boxes, a popular Bayside icon and cultural asset. It is approximately 13 km south of the City of Melbourne and is accessible by road, rail, bus and sea.

The nearest road intersection is Dendy Street and the Esplanade, Brighton (Melway Greater Melbourne map reference 67 C12/76 C1). Bayside City Council provide a user pay car park."

Pardon the gloomy looking pictures but it was a cloudy day and the skies threatened to cry! We were fortunate except for the strong gusts of wind...

And just like that, a year flew past. This was the end of their awesome journey in Aussie. As I type this, they have already gone home to Malaysia for good, back to all that is familiar and yet, not so anymore.

I really wish them all the very best readjusting back to 'reality' and my fervent wish for them is that the experience wasn't just all fun and games but that they brought home important, life changing experiences that helps them in their next journey in life. Who knows? Be a change in the Malaysian community. All it takes is a spark to spread the fire.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Office prank


My fellow colleague, J from Engineering Department was away on holidays for two weeks. In the past few months, this Malaysian uncle in his 50's have been getting very cheeky with me. He says that I am the office punching bag which is a good thing because it means people like me. 

Say what??!

Hahahahahahaha.... I never knew being a punching bag is a compliment. 

With him being away, I had this awesome brainy idea to prank him - actually his desk. Sort of a way to show how much he is missed in office.

You see, I've received this office email prank in the past where the monitor, keyboard, pen, pencils, mouse were all foil wrapped! There were other crazier ideas such as toilet papering the whole work station and so on. 

I googled some pictures for you to have an idea what was racing in my mind. And the last picture you see would be what I did in the end which is probably a good thing because I wasn't too sure how sporting my colleague would be.

What others did...

What I did...

I was supposed to come in to office earlier but I overslept. How typical of me. And so, plan B was put in motion mid morning when Uncle J goes for his morning tea time with the other senior colleagues.

You would think the other guys (4 Malaysians and 2 Chinese from Estimating and Engineering Department) in my office would be siao (crazy) and join in the fun right? But nope. Straight as sticks, party poopers, that's what they are.

Chinese colleague even commented what a waste making me feel bad that I stopped after foil wrapping four items - spectacles, mouse, calculator and a pen. Gee... I had my mind set on wrapping the monitor and keyboard, too.

Anyways, it was all in the name of fun and J had a good laugh. And I was under the impression that anything worst then that might not have been so well received.


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Happy Wok in Bayswater

So, a new eatery has opened fairly nearby to where we live and it's Asian cuisine! 


Best part, it's Singaporean Food to boot! 

Ok. I must admit I assumed that Singaporean food is pretty much the same as Malaysian food. 

Well, guess what? It's not.

Yesterday after work, Mr. C and I went to The Happy Wok at Bayswater (less than 10minutes drive from Knox Mall now known as Westfield Knox Shopping Centre) for dinner and it was yum for our first visit! Patronising this shop definitely educates me on what Singaporean cuisine is all about.

Singapore Hokkien Prawn Mee

I was first introduced to this dish in 2008 when I was seconded to Johor to work whilst attached with KPMG Malaysia. I loved it then and I love it now. The best I've had so far is at Malaya Inn in Doncaster and this comes as a close second! :) 

In fact, this is yummier than some I've had in Singapore. 

Mr. C is now a fan of this dish that is made up of yellow noodle with vermicelli stir fried prolly with some prawn stock adorn with calamari rings and prawns. You know what makes this dish more awesome? The sambal chilli condiment that accompanies it- adds a kick to the dish and perfect for a brrrrrrr winter night.

Hae Mee is Hokkien dialect translated to mean Prawn Noodle 

Mr. C tried the Hae Mee and wasn't disappointed. It does look a bit different to the ones we were used to as it looked clearer and tastes more cheng (soothing or rather clear soup). The Hae Mee in Malaysia tend to be thicker brothed, murkier and a brighter shade of orange. This dish is a bit different yet tasty. I really enjoyed the melt in the mouth texture of the pork belly that was succulently juicy!

Black Rice Pudding $3.90

To finish off the night, I persuaded the hubby to let me try the Black Rice Pudding otherwise known to the Malaysian community as Orr Chu Bee (Hokkien dialect for Black Rice). I was immensely satisfied with this dessert. Sweet but not too sweet. And the coconut milk complimented the dish so well with its slightly salted flavour. I will definitely be back to have this again!

All in all, this was a pretty satisfactory meal. How can we not come back again for more? The Happy Wok, don't be surprise to see us grace your presence some time soon!

Besides that, the owners and/or people serving us are superbly welcoming and friendly.

I am sure being a new eatery they have room for improvement. So, feel free to add any constructive comments that can be edifying to assist The Happy Wok in lifting the bar higher in the quality of the food served.

The Happy Wok on Urbanspoon