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Archive for January, 2009

Melt me away with Boon.

I have to admit that I have a thing for collections/selections of tiny beautiful things – whatever they might be. I’ve collected colored pencils, PANTONE markers, I love small millions of flavors of Japanese “POCKEY” and Kitkat and my list goes on. I’m Japanese, and that’s in my blood, like Karaoke. And you know how I reacted when I got my pretty cupcakes from Cupcakes on Pitt and Gateau on the go. (and I’m not even a big fan of cupcakes to begin with.)

I guess it started when I had first visited Chocolatier Pierre Marcolini and Meiji Chocolate Cafe in Japan. I must have looked like a girl in a jewelry shop fascinated by diamonds. Chocolate can be pure beauty. *faints*

Some of my foodie friends have told me about this relatively new chocolate shop/boutique in Darlinghurst – Boon. To get a bit of idea I googled it and found their website, and it won me over on the spot. To speak from my professional side (Good old designer and art director era…), I ALWAYS LOVE IT and PRAISE FOR IT when any small business do their visual branding right. Their logo, packages, tones, tonality, etc I think they look fantastic for the shop!

shop

So today I finally made it to the shop for the first time with my good excuse – my meeting was cancelled. I called up my friend Lily and asked her to come along.

*GASP* My god, they are beautiful!

That was my first reaction straight after stepped into the shop. (Vocalized, actually ;p ) As two of us enchantedly paralyzed and sighing before the pretty chocolate full of showcase, a friendly shop staff greeted and told us they have a upstair lounge. Of course we had to see that!

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Upstairs is a small yet cosy relaxing lounge decorated with the same nice branding tone. Menu was chocolate full – Tasting plate chocolates, Hot chocolate, chocolate frappes, as well as crisp belgian waffles with belgian chocolate sauce. We ordered the waffle and Coconut summer frappe and Passionfruit frappe (both with white chocolate I remember?)

You know I had to drizzle all of the chocolate sauce.
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I tasted Lily’s Coconut White Chocolate one and she did mine. We like each other’s better, so we swapped.
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We wanted to take pictures of yummy chocolates in the showcase, but unfortunately we were politely asked not to. (Just to be clear, staffs in the shop are all very friendly and polite.) I bought two boxes of their chocolates – very hard to pick which ones I should get. One box for myself, and another one for our friends that we were going to meet up for dinner afterwards.

Well I guess it’s okay to take pictures of these pretty chocolates home so you would want to go check out this place, right? My favourite ones are balsamic vinegar one (on the far right) and surprisingly the Chili one! (in another box)

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box

I completely forgot to try the chocolate with shredded coconuts around it – recommended by my friend. So there, I have another excuse to go back.

Boon
251 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
(Toward St. Vincent Hospital.)
http://www.boonchocolates.com.au/

LOVE EM!

I’ve got a package from home which was full of Japanese products that I like.
Oscar winning dramatic faint reserved for these two among other stuff.

Instant cup soup “Soup de Okoge” (鍋巴湯 Chinese Sizzling Rice Soup!)
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I know, it’s an instant product that I hardly ever eat, but this is YUMMY!

and I’m restocking my steam eye mask stash. Now with lavender scented one!

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iPhone/iPod Touch Apps Available now!

Oh my god, I’ve been crazy busy at a moment with multiple projects happening at the same time. It seems that this hectic work schedule is happening around this time of the year every time. I feel like I’m totally missing out the great summer time!

One of the projects that I’m involved is iPhone application development. Let me blog about some of the apps that are already done and available through iTunes App store. I’m very excited to see the actual final products are on iTunes store!

There’re two types of small apps – TrueFlirt is an iPhone application that allows users to send interactive flirt apps. Another type is a collection of small fun apps.

True Flirt (Unfortunately this is available only in the US.)
TrueFlirt

And these small apps are currently available through iTunes App store.
apps
(will open iTunes)

and here’s some youtube videos of these apps that I built. More should be available later on through iTunes app store.

Nookie Cookie

Romantic Magnetic Poetry

Spin The Bottle

MC Icee

PixelFish

Build a Cake

One problem at a time.

Around mid November, I had a quick dinner in Bondi Junction with my friend. I drove down there, picked up my friend, and parked my car on the street – a valid parking ticket clearly displayed on the dashboard.

And. When we came out from the restaurant I found a penalty notice on the windshield – “Parked without valid parking ticket.”

WTF?

I had enough time left for the paid ticket and the ticket was visible from the outside. I know it rained a bit and it was dark while we were eating. I’d admit my mistakes when they are obviously at my fault. But this just didn’t simply make any sense to me.

So. The only logical thing to do is to COMPLAIN! I ain’t going to pay anything for someone else’s negligence. It’s not the money that matters but my PRINCIPLES.

Most fines for road offenses and penalties can be paid on State Debt Recovery Office’s website. They accept credit card, Bpay, cheques etc – They are ready to take your money alright. I assumed that penalty reviews could be claimed online. Wrong! You actually need to download a PDF,print it out, fill your details, and send it to their office along with supporting evidences. If they have a system to keep track of all offense records, couldn’t they invest more and allow us to lodge these claims? of course not.. ;p My claim form had been humbly (ha!) written and sent along with my valid parking ticket.

Anyways. It took them for nearly two months to respond to my claim.
Verdict: I WON.

penalty_waived
The letter says,

… We examined the offence and found the penalty notice was legally issued. However we considered the issues you raise and conclude that a caution should apply in this instance.
You do not need to pay the penalty.
Please make every effort to follow the road rules because similar leniency may not be given in the future…

EXCUSE ME? I’d like to know exactly what part was legal in this instance. Obviously the letter seems to be a template letter, but in my case this means “Be careful, parking rangers would do shitty job again and you might get fined.”

It’s not really convincing, but hey, at least I won. :p

And I don’t think I need to tell that I was fined by a police officer a week ago for (unknowingly) driving vehicle with expired registration label… (I forgot to remove the old one upon renewing!! Grrrrrr!!!)

***** p.s. *****
I’m extremely busy until the end of the month at least. I’m most unlikely to update my blog often…

New restaurant – Monkey Magic without monkeys.

First of all, my mobile disaster is yet to be solved – my replacement has not been dispatched yet. Sorry for those trying to get in touch in the past 3 days. Plus, I’m working both day and night until the end of the month, and I’m in that social-life-neglecting mode again. Bear with me.

ANYWAYS.

I’ve seen something new established on Crown Street. When I passed by Bills on Crown st, there was a new venue right in front of it. “Oh that must be a new bar or something” I thought. It turned out, this newly established Japanese fusion restaurant was owned and managed by a friend from our circle! And of course we HAD TO go check it out and give them our congrats.

Monkey Magic is a new Japanese fusion restaurant, one of the chefs is formerly from Tetsuya’s. Their current menu seems to be developing – not many things on it yet – but we were told that more new dishes are on the way.

Our usual hungry gang were seriously starving when we arrived. And I have to use that as an excuse not taking much picture of this place and food. Darn!

Shichimi (seven chilies) White bait chips and soft shell crab maki.
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Teriyaki Chicken Maki.
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Grilled Tuna on short udon noodle with miso & yuzu sauce
(It was very gooooooooood!)
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Melting tender Pork Belly on pumpkin purée
(Recommended!!)
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We also had a few other dishes like Quail Karaage, Agedashi Tofu, more sushi rolls and a big bowl of complimentary sashimi! Thanks! Unlike other sushi serving Japanese restaurants, these Sushi rolls are served with balsamic vinegar reduction – which tasted surprisingly good. But of course you can ask for soy sauce to go with them instead.

They also have a full bar – offering a wide range of cocktails as well as wines and beers. The waiting staffs are very attentive and friendly, the interior and atmosphere of the restaurant are quite good as well.

One thing we all thought was… It was a bit disappointing to see the pricy figures on the menu. Each sushi roll comes in small 6 pcs – tasty but expensive for the size you get for what you pay. This also applies to non-sushi dishes as well. (like $24 for Tuna dish and more for others.)

For “eating occasion” (as in “let’s stuff ourselves with yummy food), I’d probably hit Busshari for their excellent taste, values and bigger selection of food, but I’ll highly recommend this place for drinks with small bites. Think of Toko (not the one in Paddington) but with great waiting staff and less noise and drunken snobs – I thought that’s what Monkey Magic is.

Monkey Magic
406 Crown Street, Surry Hills.
(just across the street from Bills.)
9358 4444

Information on Eatability
(Their website is under construction.)

Quite note: I can't be reached via phone for the next 72 hrs.

This is the 4th time I lost my phones!!
I’m getting a replacement iPhone in 3 days and my current number will be available again upon activating the new one.

High hurdle to jump over.

Buy 1 Get 1 Free, purchase two coffees and get brownies, book a table for 4 and get a champagne etc. You know all these deals and coupons.

It was around 6 month ago when Krespy Kreme had suddenly started sending me their newsletters. I don’t even remember if I subscribed or not. They occasionally send newsletters on their new products, new campaigns which makes me go “Woooo”.

And a few days ago, I’ve got another.

krespykreme

It’ll take a Hawaiian shirt and keyword to get a free doughnut. I see they don’t like giving away – You’ve got to be working at a Tiki bar if you got that free one.

Yummy elasticity.

Testing out how to make a perfect coffee jelly.

coffee_jelly

With Bailey cream sauce.

squeaky clean.

OH MY GOD. Since the Christmas eve, my days have been full of food and booze. No wonder my new year started with an awful heartburn. (But surprisingly no hangover.)

I undoubtedly admit that I had really bad diet and irregular sleep pattern during this festive season. As a result, my face broke out with ZITS – those ones that are painful and wouldn’t go away soon! Yeah they are just pimples but I usually don’t have them at all – you know I have a flawless skin *gaisha laugh*

Face wash that I do every day – more than once. So in order to get rid of these zits as quick as possible, washing face throughly is something I’ve been already doing. Take enough vitamins, healthy diet and enough sleep – yeah I guess I’m going to have to work on these.

And. I remembered something my mother showed me when she was visiting Sydney last month.
It’s a Washing net.
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Well, it’s a washing cloth specially sold for making incredibly fine fluffy soap form from your daily facial cleanser. Your product would instruct to take small amount and make form first rather than apply directly. Apparently cleansing agents work better when lathered well (unless made to be used as is, of course), and that’ll also prevent soap from clogging in pore and being left on skin. So this washing net thing works pretty well.

A few drops or rubs on solid soap would make this much form!

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If you know me well, you know I want it. Like, right now.
But I came to think of it, it’s just a washing cloth. Though the washing net is usually finer mesh, but it’s pretty much like a body wash cloth. And I dug into my bath room cabinet and found another body wash cloth thingy. Just untie the washing cloth and cut it with a scissor.

Ta-da.
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I tested it with my daily cleansing gel. (This product is GREAT.)
cleanser

And here’s how it lathers up usually with my hands.
before
Not much form after 30 seconds rub. (well it’s actually a soapless cleanser anyway.)

and here’s with my hand made washing cloth.
after
What a difference!!

With that fluffy soap form, my face was washed and treated with toner and moisturizer – hoping my zits to disappear soon!

Happy New Year!

Hope you had a great NYE, and happy new year!

New Year Greetings