Friday, March 30, 2012

Day out with the In-Laws

Papa and Mama L (initial of the family name) wanted to cook for their precious son, Mr. C. Hence, I brought the in-laws, yesterday, to Knox Shopping Mall and Aunt Shirley's Grocery at Scoresby to buy the ingredients they needed to make chicken soup with wolfberries and Solomon Slices, steamed egg with dried shrimps, brocolli and steamed pork mince with century egg.

Dinner was delicious. Home cooked food is usually tasty especially when made by loving parents. I am truly blessed to have such loving and easy-to-please-in-laws. Plus, they're cute, too! ;)

Today, we started out about 12 o'clock in the afternoon towards Carribean Market along Stud Road. Silly me. I missed the entrance totally and drove past reaching Knox Shopping Mall at Burwood Highway only to realise my doofusness and make a u-turn back.

If you go to Carribean Market on Wednesdays and Fridays, entrance is free.  On the weekends, despite the cost of AUD2.50 per person, you see more people, stalls and patrons, during the weekend. We enjoyed the walk about with rows and rows of stalls in a huge warehouse selling food like fruits and vegetables, clothing such as socks, jackets and womens apparel, natural made soaps and so many other items.

I commented to the in-laws that it was a lot like Malaysia's pasar malam as you see Asian stall holders selling stuff like shoes, socks, caps, cds/handphone/tabled covers, repairing cracked mobile phones and what not. Hard not to stereotype them when the things they sell are similar to those of the Chinese pasar malam people in Malaysia! ;p

The few whites that stand out sold items such as natural made soaps (that smelt beautiful and comes in a wide range of smells from honeysuckles to eucalyptus to goats milk, to name a few), card making papers, souvenirs, animal furs and skins. I think they should have more of these kind stalls, at least it makes the markets more unique.

However, I think Melbourne is packed with too many Asians.. especially Chinese people from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore! LOL. Yes, I know, I am one of them, too! Can't help it, the hubby loves living in Australia and I, the dutiful wife *cough cough* didn't have much say as to which country we will live in. ;P

20 cents AFL poker chips

Western Bulldogs anyone??

GO Geelong Cats!! AFL 2011 winners!

AFL themed floor mats

Easy going Mama and Papa L

After our short walk in the Carribean Market, we headed to Knox Shopping Mall. We browsed about the library (as Mama L wanted to read The Diary of Anne Frank which was unfortunately unavailable) and Lincraft (much to Mama L's happiness, she managed to find her lace material to make curtains for Malaysia home). 

Next up, we walked in Target, a mid-market department store which is comparable to the likes of Parkson in Malaysia. Then, had late lunch at Samir's, next to Kmart (a discounted chain store slightly cheaper than Target). 

The mocha was really good IMHO. The chocolaty taste stands out prominently and yet, I could taste a tinge of coffee. Just the way I like it. 

In fact, I liked it over St Ali's. LOL. And yet, you'll find St Ali's on Urbanspoon but not Samir's. I've actually added them and am waiting for the approval from the site's administrator. Samir's also has Mr. C (a pretty darn good barista) stamp of approval. You can tell if the coffee is good by the smoothness of the froth and the taste. Even if the coffee beans are good, the barista can ruin a good coffee if they do not know how to froth well, at times by burning it.

With the in-laws around, I texted Mr. C that I'd probably put on more weight if I haven't already from the J & G trip. 'Cos we'll have breakfast at home and then out for lunch. Usually, I'd just have breakfast, brunch or lunch. Not breakfast/brunch AND lunch. LOL.

Health salad sandwich much appreciated by the in-laws

My plain tasting tuna sandwich with tomatoes (sorry to say but I can do better than this)

Samir's on Urbanspoon

The best tasting mocha for this year I've tried so far

After lunch, we popped in to Kmart. I love to check out the clearance rack. It's always a thrill, even if it is a cheap one to find a nice top or bottom for less than AUD10. The skirt below was only going for AUD5 with the top selling for AUD10. I was a good girl and controlled the urge to buy despite feeling that it looked rather nice on me. 

Hmmmm.. perhaps if we went back and it was still there, I'd get it and jump with glee....

Don't you agree I look pretty sweet and prolly my age in this simple get up?

This always bring a certain ex-colleague to mind. LOL.

and this... Mr. C's brother.

And the Bieber? Miss J.

Display at Chadstone Mall

 <3 all this glamorous gowns
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Beautiful ceiling design of the mall

Also known as the fashion capital, Chadstone Mall houses lots of brands

Amused by this sign...

and the 'full capacity' IN the store.

After Knox Shopping mall, we went home to wait for Mr. C as he had given his house key to his dad and was key less. Went for a walk around the lakes near our house. Later on, we dropped by Chadstone as it closes late on Thursday nights. Close to 8pm, we went to Tom Thumbs in Matthew Flinders Hotel.

For AUD10, you get a main meal and complimentary first free drink, I don't get why it is fairly quiet where else the bistro next door is usually packed with people. Anyhow, Mama L enjoyed the Chicken and Mushroom Risotto most among the Chicken Parma, Roast Pork and Lasagne.

I reckon I can talk more on my in-laws antics that I deemed them cuteworthy but feeling a tad lazy right now. I am sorry if this sounds rather dull and nothing much exciting. Honestly, the day sounded better than the long winded story above. Just ask Mr. C. I was hopping about with joy chattering away much to his amusement.

That's all for now... hope my mum's trip here next month would be just as enjoyable. ;p
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back in action

NOTE : All posts from Friday 16th March 2012 till Wednesday 28th March 2012 are backdated posts.


Sorry for the looooong hiatus. 

Friends from Malaysia were visiting and now the in-laws. However, I realised that I should not use that as an excuse. If I was working and working required me to write, I can't be saying things like,"oooh friends are here, can't find time to do write".

Anyways, I will try my best to blog and post about the places I brought my friends to and the food we've been having but it will appear on the past weeks' dates instead.

On a different note...

Today, took the in-laws out to shop for groceries for dinner. After that, came home and was writing out a cover letter for a job application and I hate it SO much. I think it is a waste of time as everything that one needs to know and read is and SHOULD be in the resume. Why would some potential employers want super loong resumes and wordy cover letters are beyond me. 

There have been cases where Applicant #1 wrote a really good cover letter but doesn't deliver at the end of the day where else Applicant #2 doesn't get the job due to his abysmal cover letter despite better work ethics. Sad but it is reality.

Anyone can get someone to write a really good cover letter and shining resume for them. The question is, do you do that just to get the job? Do you polish up your resume by certain embellishments in the hopes to impress would be employers? For now, I can say that I've not done it and I don't plan to do it. I rather be honest about it than get a job on lies. 

Oh well, then again, these days, integrity doesn't seem to value much. But at the end of the day, it is whether one can live with our own life's choices and decisions we make.

Toodles for now...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meet up at Straits of Malacca

On Sunday, Mr. C and I met up with Nini and her fiance. It's been ages since we last met and I suggested Straits of Malacca in Glen Waverly. I went there with J & G last Thursday after our Phillip Island trip and I LOVED the food! It's pretty authentic and close to home food as in Malaysia home food!

No complains about the taste, that's for sure!

Nini ordered Yin Yong (approx AUD9) and was SUPER excited. She really loves loves loves this dish and claims that she has yet to find Yin Yong anywhere in Melbourne especially one that serves the crispy  noodles! She declares its yummy! Portion is good! And she was definitely satisfied!
Just like my first visit, I had the Nasi Pataya with Thai sauce fish fillet and spring rolls (approx AUD10). It was as good as the first time I had it. I love the tangy sweet and sour taste of the Thai Sauce offset by the simple tasting spring rolls. And the fried rice wrapped with egg had a nice burntish wok taste. Mr. C liked it and even Miss Cutesie and her fiance gave thumbs up.

Mr. C's seafood curry laksa wasn't anything fantastic worth raving. Portion was average and it tasted pretty bland, a bit like vegetarian curry. Even the colour of the laksa was a dull orange (duller than the picture). On our way to the cashier, we saw a more vibrant orange coloured, unfinished laksa left behind. Perhaps it was the chicken laksa and maybe, that one will taste better. 

Mr. C and I shared Cendol (AUD3.80) and it was slurpilicious. Forgot to take a picture though. Miss Cutesie ordered ABC and it arrived, looking good and tasted as good as it looked!

However, one bone to pick would be the looooooong queue. I think the waitresses probably needs to learn how to sort the table arrangements in order to seat customers more efficiently. Plus, the owners really need to keep the napkins etc at the back left somewhere else and utilise the spot for more tables and chairs or at least conceal the napkins and not leave it in the open. Rather sore looking.

Overall, we were pretty happy campers except Miss Cutesie's fiancé wasn't particularly fond of his own Nasi Lemak. He felt it was just so-so. All in all, it was satisfactory and we'll be back for more!
Straits of Malacca Malaysian (Glen Waverly) on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sofia at Burwood Highway

Aussie beef and onion

Finally, Miss J and G, The Snail touchdown in Melbourne two Fridays ago. They've planned and booked their tickets since last year and we've been looking forward to this trip!

From the airport, I brought them home only to realise that I locked us out of the house and my keys were IN the house sitting at the counter top. ;( First time ever and feeling like a doofus. Yet again. Sigh...

Instead of moping around, I decided to bring them to Dandenong Ranges. From the Tullamarine Airport to CBD, it takes about 20minutes to half an hour where else from CBD to our home is about the same amount of time. AND it takes about 20minutes from our place to Dandenong Ranges (btw, Dandenong Ranges and Dandenong, the suburb are TWO different places and direction!).

We headed to Pie in the Sky in Olinda as I had a generally pleasant experience the last time I was there with the Ding boys. Funny thing is the GPS took me a totally different route from the one I was familiar with. It felt like we were being taken into the dark jungle on a never ending journey. LOL.

The difference is... this time, I sampled the scones! It was only average. I really don't get  it. Some of the reviews were saying how yum the scones were. Hence, I wanted to try it. To see if it was any good or perhaps, better than Miss Marples. It felt a tad ordinary with absolutely nothing much positive to talk about. 

Despite what many feel about Miss Marples scones that look more like cakes, I'd go back there and pay a bit more 'cos it feels worth it at the end of the day. I gather it isn't really the scones that tastes superb but  more so the jam and cream. Just can't get enough of them.

And IF you're lucky, you'll get a nice waitress with sunny disposition. Otherwise, steel yourself against abrupt and borderline grouchy lady serving.

Main reason for this post wasn't really about the pies nor the scones but about Sofia's at Burwood Highway. You see, Sofia USED to be famous for their tasty pizzas and pastas with added bonus of reasonable pricing. However, in recent years, it would seem that the food doesn't taste as good as it used to. You still see a crowd made up mostly of families 'cos for the portion and price you pay, it's still pretty darn worth it!


Tagliatelle Sofia

Pizza Capricciosa

Initially, I wanted to bring J & G to Cafe Notturno or Cafe Cavallino on Lygon St in Carlton (north Melbourne CBD) but J's friend says the food there isn't great much to my surprise. Whereelse her friend recommended Sofia and say it's the place to go. 
I thought I'd go with an open mind plus, I didn't want J to regret not going there in the end.  Anyways, sadly, at the end of the night, Sofia really didn't deliver just like the last two times I went there.

The food wasn't horrible or indigestable. In fact, it looked presentable and delicious right? But it was just.... alright. Pasta was a bit bland and the pizza was too dry, lacking in tomato base. I reckon, we would have been happier if we had follow my original plan. Oh well.

Perhaps it is a different Sofia branch that J's friend was referring to. The Preston and Glen Waverly branch has closed down. One can only guess what that means. 

If you're looking for affordable pricing pizza and pasta for a big group, then this would be it. But don't expect anything spectacular tasting and you should do fine. ;)

Sofia on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 23, 2012

Smith St at Collingwood

I brought J & G to Smith St., the junction between Collingwood and Fitzroy in Melbourne this morning. 

Smith St. is known for it's factory outlets especially Nike and Adidas to fellow Malaysians. This two brands are not popular with Australians as it is not really considered a branded brand here like it is in Malaysia. I remember from high school years, my peers would come to school sporting Nike bags and shoes even in Uni Years like it's Gucci or Prada. Lol.

Besides it's factory outlets of shopping, there are lots of cafes and other eateries especially along Johnston St. which is just near Smith St. We had a wonderful breakfast (which I'll blog at another time) at Bluebird Expresso along Johnston St. that I found on Urbanspoon followed by walks thereafter.


Smith St. was really quiet today. According to the cashier guy at Nike, "people are staying in today as the weather forcast states the day to be cold and possibly rainy." It drizzled slightly when we first arrived and parked our car but despite the grey skies, it was nice and relatively rain free.

Parking was crazy pricey costing us AUD3.60, I think, for each hour we parked. Later on, I managed to find a 2P (2 hour parking) for free at the housing areas off the road where Nike is situated. See in the above picture, where there is a lane on the right side of the picture? That's the lane.


I saw this pretty heels at Tony Bianco for ONLY AUD15 and it was such a buy!! Plus, I slipped it on and ohmygosh!! It was super comfy and stable to walk in!! G, one moment the devil claimed "it looks really good on you, you should get it" to the next moment, my conscience and angel saying "nah... you better not buy it. Save your money. It's only a pair of shoes." Well, that's what I think he said.

So, despite my wanting to get it BADLY - Come on!! It's AUD15, red in colour and my legs look really long and good in it! Plus, it's comfortable and that's my #1 priority in shoes especially heels! - I didn't. I stayed true to my objective of NOT spending unnecessarily (though I think it was a necessity) with G's help. 

But I can't help thinking about it. The picture doesn't do the shoes ANY justice. Trust me, it looks better in real life. Lol. It was cheap 'cos it was on the clearance rack. Doubt it'll be there when I go there next. If it is, I am getting it. 

The unassuming looking shop

Next up, we headed to St. Kilda for a walk and a cuppa of coffee! To be continued...
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