Thursday, July 24, 2014

RIP Dear Aunt Sharon


Today is a sad day and yet sort of a happy day.

Mr. C and I grieve the lost of a gentle and giving lady. Coming to Melbourne, we have had the privilege to be better acquainted with Aunty Sharon (my paternal grandaunt). We would catch up every once in awhile over Yum Cha (known as Dim Sum in Malaysia). 

When I first read the news of Aunty Sharon's passing last Thursday via a text message, I didn't know that it would affect me this much. My mind would wander at work, at home or wherever and tears would threatened. I would tense and hold it in and wait for the teary moment to pass.

Despite this melancholy, we are happy she is at a better place - free from the pain and suffering caused by cancer. And this is what I find comforting in being a Christian. Knowing that she is no longer suffering and is in Heaven with Uncle James and Jesus consoles the grieving heart. 

And one day, we will meet again.

Mr. C and I took leave from work, picked up two grandaunts and headed to Springvale Botanical Gardens for the funeral service in the morning. It was simple, short and to the point. The cemetery grounds were beautiful and felt more like a garden, living up to its namesake.

After lunch, we celebrated the life of Aunty Sharon at Edge Church in Doncaster East. From her children's eulogy, it confirms Aunty Sharon's gentle nature and unwillingness to be a burden. I gather it must be hard for them to not have detected the cancer earlier, them being doctors and all. Many just assumed she was tired from all the excitement and boisterous energy of her grandchildren.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Happy Wok again!

This is the fourth week in a row we've been going to The Happy Wok. By now, we more or less know what are our favourite dishes or rather what we deemed The Happy Wok's yummy dishes!

You can read about our first visit HERE.

Second visit - 3rd July 2014  
We had Chai Tow Kuey (white style), Beef Hor Fun and Cheng Tng

We really like the fried wok flavoured Char Tow Kuey both the white style and black one. What's the difference? Well, the black one has dark caramel thick sauce making it sweeter. If you get the white style, you can opt to have more tau geh (hokkien for beansprout) for AUD2 extra. It's a bit pricey but that's the price you pay for eating out.

The four times we had this, the four times it was good and yummy!



As for the Beef Hor Fun (Cantonese for flat rice noodles), a customer recommended it the first time we were there. Hence, this second trip, we decided to give it a try. Mr. C liked it but I wasn't a big fan. I felt the beef had an odd taste to it but I liked the taste of the gravy.


For dessert, we decided to try the Cheng Tng (Hokkien translated as cooling soup). It reminds me of Malaysia's Leng Chi Kang but definitely tastes way different. As we've never had Cheng Tng before, we had nothing to compare it with but the sole experience of the taste. It tasted fresh and cooling but strange, maybe the atapchi aka pine-seed was too overpowering not exactly to my liking. Mr. C liked it well enough to finish it.


Third visit - 11th July 2014
This visit, Mr. C just had to order his Char Tow Kuey (white style). As usual, it was tasty, yummy and satisfying although portion is a bit petite for Aussie portion. 





I decided to be adventurous and try the Singapore Mee Hoon. It was alright but not what I expected. I thought Singapore Mee Hoon is a bit like Mee Siam- orangey in colour, slightly tangy sour and definitely on the drier side. 



Everytime after meal, it's always a challenge to sway Mr. C to allow room for dessert. Sometimes I fail and sometimes I succeed. This time, I managed to persuade Mr. C to order dessert and we had the Sago Malacca for a change. It was nice but would have been better slightly less sweet.


Fourth visit - 17th July 2014
No surprises that Mr. C opt to order Char Tow Kuey again but this time in black style. Love, love, love the dark caramel sweet flavour balanced against savoury. Couldn't stop myself from pinching a few pieces off Mr. C's plate.

For entree, we ordered Chwee Kueh. I've tried this when I was in Singapore in September 2011. I remember it being oily but definitely tasty in a good way. I liked the simple presentation of the ones at The Happy Wok. It didn't taste bad but it also did not endear itself to me. I would have liked a bit more liao (Hokkien for filling) on the top.



Somehow, it always seem that I am the scapegoat to have to try the other offerings on the menu. This trip, I gave the Char Koay Teow (CKT, hokkien for fried flat rice noodles) a go. As Malaysians, we really value our CKT. To be considered a success, it has to have the fried wok taste (Wok Mei in Cantonese) and pork lard (Ju Yao Za in Cantonese). 

This is my first time having a Singapore version. Hence, I am not sure if this is how it is meant to be - a bit on the wet side. Taste wise, I enjoyed it but it felt more like normal stir fried noodles than my Malaysian version CKT.



Lastly, I knight this my favourite dessert of all desserts at The Happy Wok - Black Rice Pudding! The salted thin coconut milk drizzled over the pudding balanced with the sweetness of the black rice. Aaaahhh... perfection.



Ok. So, I know some people will say The Happy Wok serves authentic Singaporean food and there will be haters who will dispute. As I am a Malaysian and not a Singaporean coupled with the fact that I haven't had enough Singaporean food to compare with, I can only give my honest opinion based on the taste of the food.

If you definitely want an enjoyable meal with no disappointments, I would definitely recommend the Char Tow Kuey, Singapore Hokkien Mee and finish the night with Black Rice Pudding for dessert.

As for some negative feedback on Urbanspoon about the service, I have to disagree. All four times that I've been there, the people who waited on us were friendly and welcoming. Just like how I blogged on my first visit. I can understand if they were busy serving many customers at the same time, they would not be as attentive. But I somehow can't imagine them being rude. 

Well, this is just my humble opinion. I would suggest you go with an open mind and just enjoy the food for what it is and form your own opinion.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

American BBQ at Third Wave in Prahran

Sometime in June, Greg from Third Wave left a comment in my Hammer & Tong 416  post with an invitation for dinner at Third Wave in their Prahran brunch. 

Firstly, I didn't see the comment till much later. Secondly, to my embarrassment, this wasn't the first attempt to touch base with me. Thirdly, seriously? Inviting me, an unknown, next-door-girl for a complimentary meal? Mr. C and I simply couldn't pass up this wonderful opportunity, seeing how we are always on the hunt for yummeh ribs in Melbourne. Even Greg's description of Third Wave's American BBQ menu made it impossible to say 'No' to!

We found ourselves in Third Wave today after a lovely date out in beautiful, hipster, cultured Melbourne city (which I'll blogged about another day)!

Staff was friendly and attentive. They explained the menu well and gave us time to mull over.

As we read the menu, we felt the pull to try our taste buds on the many dishes listed. However, we didn't want to be greedy over ordering - as you  know how some Asians can be when the word "free" is involved - hence, we decided on half rack of smoked pork ribs, smoked salmon, sauteed mushrooms with coleslaw and the best for last, pecan pie for dessert!



 
Mr. C gave the house wine a go and savoured every sip whilst I had my usual - lemon lime bitters. Refreshing and tangy is just right to offset a night of feasting.



Once we placed our orders, we sat back and soaked in our surroundings. It was fairly early in the evening around 6pm explaining the empty seats. Naturally as the evening wore on, seats were filled. The simple, neutral and light interior gave a brunch cafe feel which is what the shop is in the day time. Browsing through the comments on Urbanspoon, the brunch spread is well received. Definitely interested to sample what they have to offer for brunch - baked eggs are my favourite!






The smoked salmon ($23 for medium) was the first to arrive. Brined for 8 hours in salt, sugar and spice, Greg had mentioned, that the salmon is marinated, dried out and smoked with Apple wood. Mr. C and I delighted in the simplicity of the fish; the perfect texture and the smoky flavour. Although the homemade dill that accompanied the salmon complimented the taste, I preferred the salmon on its own. Yes, it was that good!


The next main we had was the pork ribs ($29 half rack). Ok. This is how serious Third Wave is with their ribs. The pork ribs are smoked with Maple wood for 5-6 hours, and is tender and juicy, falling off the bone as any good ribs should. It comes with two different BBQ sauces - Spicy BBQ and Apple Bourbon. I, for one couldn't decide which I preferred that I had both with my ribs making it absolutely yum!


For sides, we had Glazed Mushrooms ($10 for medium). The fried butter mushrooms were glazed with soy and topped with spring onions and roasted sesame seeds. Every mouthful was just wonderful! The juicy mushroom flavour infused with soy taste just made me crave bite after bite for another mushroom. Loved it so much so that Mr. C had to restrain me from licking the soy off the bowl!

The other side we had was the Crispy Coleslaw ($8 for medium) which Mr. C, a vege lover enjoyed.


And lastly, what better way to end the night than sharing a delectable dessert in the form of Pecan Pie. My first, too! It was served warm, sweet and delicious, as stated in the menu! 

I am not a big nut fan but the yum biscuit base more than made up for the crunchy walnuts especially with the spill of the espresso cream topped with vanilla ice cream!

 
Although I would say my first preference for yummiest ribs to be the ones served at Hurricanes in Sydney, all in all, our experience at Third Wave was pleasant to our memories and tummies. Mr. C and I thoroughly enjoyed the humble tastes offered at Third Wave.

We will be back for more, that's for sure!

Now, wouldn't it be lovely to be invited for their brunch?! ;p  *Hopeful and cheeky me*

Third Wave on Urbanspoon

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.