Saturday, October 18, 2008

Girls lunch at Ambrosia

If it wasn't for the girls lunch, Berwick remains one of the suburbs considered "out of reach" on my travel radar. Whenever Cranbourne, Berwick and Hallam is mentioned what come to mind first is always "so far away-leh". It was good go out of my comfort zone and break that "false impression" as it is really not far especially with East Link. It only takes under 35 minutes or so (we got lost on the way so it took a bit longer to get there today). Unfortunately Juliana wasn't able to join us today ... well there's always next time! In fact the next girls days out would be Warrandyte Market Day in December.

The place selected for our gathering this time is Ambrosia café-bar-foodstore at Berwick. Actually this is our second choice, the fist being Eighty One. Maybe it's meant to be, Eighty One wasn't opened for lunch on Saturday, so we ended up with Ambrosia.

This nice cafe-bar-foodstore was hidden in the residential area in Berwick. It's still probably a well kept secret - but with it's delicious food, reasonable prices, professional services and open, friendly atmosphere, it probably won't be a secret for too long =)

We started with Tapas plate with a selection of Chef's choice favourite which includes:
** little chicken meat balls with tomato concasse
** Sri Lankan spicy pan roll filled with beef mince
** lemon pepper & sea salt calamari
** delicious dips & flat bread
** chorizo sausage with roasted peppers

It was yummy ... but maybe a little less than we expected in terms of quantity...

Choosing the main meal is a bit of time consuming exercise as there were too many choices, from light meals like pizzas, pastas, risotto, salad, burger, to main such as steak and salmon fillet etc. They all look mouth watering. Tania chose pizza with tandoori chicken, corn, mozzarella, with rocket & yoghurt raita. Suleka set her heart on for pizza with mince lamb and goat cheese and I picked fettuccini with scallop, prawn, mussels & fresh fish with tomato & garlic.

There seems to be endless things to talk about, after all we probably haven't met up for 4 months now?? So i guess the only way is to stay on for dessert and coffee (what a perfect excuse! hehe)

There was a wide selection of desserts. We decided on Affagato: vanilla ice cream served with Baileys liqueur & espresso coffee, Toblerone Cheesecake and sticky date pudding.

Toblerone Cheesecake, Affogato and Sticky Date Pudding

(opps sorry no photo for sticky date pudding too, the photo turned out blurr sigh*)
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and
I particularly enjoyed the most divine toblerone cheesecake and sticky date pudding ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"It Started With A Kiss" & Kuih Seri Muka"?? Huh ... what's the connection!??

It has been while since I last posted my cooking experiment. This doesn't seem fitting since one of the purpose of this blog was to share my cooking adventure. Well, I haven't been making anything interesting lately, and sometimes I am just too lazy to bring out my camera to shoot. And another reason behind is ..... yes .... it is .... well, blame it on the Taiwanese drama series!

I was hooked on the "It Started With A Kiss"ISWAK (惡作劇之吻). This is series based on Japanese Manga. Just realised that the sequel "They Kissed Again"TKA (惡作劇2吻) is out so have been hooked on and watching it online .... I think I am now becoming an addict to this romance/comedy series.

Hoping there'll be part3 but unfortunately the author Kaoru Tada has passes away and the ending of part2 "They kissed again" is also the end of the original Manga (with additional scenes in fact). Maybe they would consider using ISWAK & TKA fanatic's imaginary part 3 (恶作剧狂想) ?

Opps here I go again ... deviating from the main theme of my posting and talking about ISWAK ... where was I again? Oh yes was goign to say that I was having this craving for Nyonya Kuih last week. Found this Kuih Seri Muka recipe on Lily's Wai Sek Hong and I knew I just have to make it. The difficulty was the control of the heat in steaming, As I use electric stove at home, heat control has always been an issue - it's more difficult than gas cooking. Even after taking special care with Lily's advise to steam on very low heat to avoid "mountains and valleys" forming on the surface of the custard, I still ended up with a not-so-even surface.

Well, at least it tasted GOOD! Here is a picture of it, and for recipe please go to Lily's blog as I followed her recipe completely except I didn't have rice flour at home and replaced it with corn flour.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

David's TOP GUN adventure

When David first shared with me the exciting news about winning the prize at the CA (Computer Associates) expo for an introductory jet flight experience, I was excited and worried at the same time. Me, a worrier by nature and not being an extreme sports person, immediately think of all that could possibly go wrong with such a flight. (Well the BAC StrikeMaster, nicknamed Blunty by the Royal New Zealand Airforce, was known to have problem in the main wing structure and was retired by the RNZAF in 1994 and also gounded by the Ecuador at one stage)

Well, last Saturday finally came around and with much anticipation
we drove about 90 minutes to Ballarat airport. Surprisingly I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be, perhaps David's excitement was contagious! We even played the top gun CD in the car loudly!

The clouds cleared and the sun was shining when we arrived at
Ballarat airport Hangar 5. The StrikeMaster just landed with a passenger as we report to the office. It is much noisier and bigger than i remember it (seen it before at the airshow). What follows afterwards was a series of preparation including briefing about safety, watching a video about emergency procedures ~ yay really helpful in bringing back all my fears and worries :(
(Just kidding

Then it got exciting as David put on the flight suit, slim line parachute and fighter pilot helmet. Boy he did look like a Top Gun about to embark on a mission! While all that were happening, I kept myself busy with video recording, determined to capture every bit of this thrilling experience! Darren, the pilot was introduced to us, and everything was set to go - there was one last little step left .... signing the WAIVER! This is when you sign your life away!

Well one more important routine before boarding the Strike Master, that is ..... posing for photos!!

While the flight took off the runway and making the aerobatic maneuvers (barrel roll, Derry turns, Wing over and loops) in the sky above me, all i could hear was the noise and the tiny shape of what looked like a bird! The jet must be something like 10,000 feet above me!

20 minutes was up before I finished chatting with the next lucky person who was going for the adventure after David. Needless to say, David enjoyed the ride immensely. He was blown away by the experience and highly recommend it to anyone who are hesitating about taking this adventure.

To reward my hard work (yes very hard work of videoing and patiently going through the suspense with him LOL), we had a little feast at the Europa Cafe in Ballarat city centre. hmmm, yummy chicken and pumpkin risotto, freshly squeezed apple, pineapple and pear juice and earl grey tea (for me) settled my complaining tummy and refreshed us before head back to Melbourne.

Exhausted by the excitement and a busy week of overtime work and day light saving kicking in, I hit the sack before 10pm that night - contended of all we have accomplished that week.