Saturday, 30 March 2013

One Night In Paris (Part Deux)

Sorry to inundate you with more Paris photos, but well...maybe I'm not really sorry! It is impossible to go to Paris and not want to take a gazillion photos. And yes, of course gazillion is a proper number. The photo above was taken on the steps just outside the Sacre Coeur - there's a platform where you can see almost all of Paris. 
We also had escargots - it probably isn't to everyone's taste, but Shad and I loved it so we were looking forward to it all day. These ones were pretty good, served with lots of herby garlic butter and not overcooked. They came with some fancy forks and special escargot tongs, and we had to concentrate on handling the tongs to avoid a repeat of that scene in Pretty Woman. You know the one...she's in a fancy restaurant and has to use the tongs to pick up her snails and her dinner ends up flying off into a waiter's face. We were both too hungry to remember the name of the restaurant, but there are plenty of places around Montmartre serving them up if you want to have a go.
Shad and I also paid a visit to Shakespeare and Company - it's a haven for bibliophiles, and has been visited by writers including William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Henry Miller. There is an antiquarian section, as well as a lending library and some boxes outside containing a selection of curiosities you never knew you needed. 

One night is Paris simply isn't enough...

Saturday, 23 March 2013

One Night In Paris

From one city to the next... I enjoyed a rather impromptu 24 hour trip to Paris last week with Shadi. We ate a lot, of course! 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Inside Out

A bunch of random photos from Australia and Singapore. Have a look at my Flickr or Tumblr for more pictures if you need something to pass the time. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Mustafa Centre

On the way back from Australia, Manbacon and I had a quick 2-day stopover in Singapore, just to break up the journey a little. We arrived in Singapore around 9.30 at night, and met up with my delightful and insanely energetic cousin Sabrina about an hour later for a trip to Mustafa Centre. Yes, that's right, we went shopping at 11 at night! 

No, there wasn't some late-night shopping extravaganza going on. In fact, it is possible every night, thanks to the fact that Mustafa Centre is a veritable temple to consumerism that is open 24 hours a day, every day. Seriously, if you're ever in Singapore and find yourself suffering from insomnia, that's the place to go. Have a look at some of the wonderful items we found. 
Monopoly: Singapore Edition
Crazy-eyed stuffed lion
Qwerty-keyboard thongs in pink and other colourways
Hundreds of dollars worth of milky hazelnut chocolate
Handpainted floating Jesus on some kind of animal hide
'Pie Sand' - chocolaty biscuits with crystallised sugar on top
Rows of fake flowers and scented items
The golden goose! 
No, unfortunately, I did not come home with those sexy Qwerty keyboard thongs. I did come away with some lovely sari fabric on supersale, as well as a glamourous set of rhinestone jewellery. 
Eggy, crispy roti prata and ice-cold bandung
After all that shopping, recharge with a meal at one of the numerous hawker centres in the area. A restorative meal of freshly made roti prata and lurid pink bandung helped us get our breath back. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


What did I find while fossicking in the various boxes and cupboards at my parents' place? Oh, just an Olympus OM-1, that's all! It was extremely exciting, as you can imagine, and since neither my parents nor sister do anything with film anymore, I claimed it as mine. 
It came along on our daytrip to the Mornington Peninsula. The battery was dead which meant I couldn't use the light meter, so had to guess the exposures. Despite that little hiccup, it's a wonderful camera, and best of all, the shutter makes a deliciously sturdy 'ssschkt' sound when you press the button.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Seven Seeds

One of the good things about going back to Melbourne was that my sister was also in town - and she's got a driving license and knows how to use it! She drove us up to Carlton one Sunday morning for this wholesome-looking brunch you see here. 

Seven Seeds is named for the seven coffee seeds Brother Baba Budan smuggled out of Yemen in the 17th century - read more about it here. Housed in an ever-so-hip warehouse with industrial fittings, their clientale is a mix of uni students and slightly older coffeefiends, all of whom look healthy and full of beans. I felt incredibly grubby in comparison, in my stained blouse and unwashed shorts. I also lacked the necessary accessory - a bicycle helmet. 

The big thing here was obviously the coffee - Melbourne people in general are all a bit mad about their coffee, I think. There was a constant queue at the counter, and we had to wait about 10 minutes to get a table. It was all good though. 
Cold-brewed  single origin coffee
We went for the cold-brewed, single origin (Kenya Kiangi - according to the cards) coffee, which our waitress took pride in telling us involved a 12-16 hour process. All very well, as long as I didn't actually have to wait that long for my coffee.

Have you had cold-brewed coffee before? I certainly hadn't, and I think I was expecting it to just be an iced coffee. While it did come with some ice cubes in the glass, the taste was very different from other iced coffees I'd had before. It was a lot more complex - not as bitter, and slightly sour (in a good way). I think I'm a convert. Also, cold-brewed coffee makers seem to look rather fantastic and should go some way towards impressing your friends. 
Eggs Benedict topped with bacon
Salmon tartare with courgette salad and toasted sourdough
Ricotta hotcakes with bananas, strawberries and blueberries
The food was pretty yummy too, although, to be honest, not as memorable as the coffee. The bacon was sliced thickly and cooked nicely, while my salmon tartare was made with beautifully fresh sashimi-grade salmon. I loved the pairing of beetroot and salmon, it's something that I'll be trying at home. Oh, oh, my sister's ricotta hotcakes came with a tasty banana cream, which I may also try to replicate at home. 

So, good coffee, tasty food, and a nice-looking place, what's not to like? 

114 Berkeley St, Carlton
VIC 3053