Legacy

Stepping into Legacy, the Scandinavian-inspired interior already made me excited for the food that we’re about to have. There is a communal table when you first enter at the cafe, but we were sat at one of the tables towards the back, providing just a tad more privacy.

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Skinny Flat White – $3.90

Starting things off with a skinny flat white, since you know, try new things, venture out, all that good stuff. The coffee was smooth and went down a treat.

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Lamb Super Salad – $20.00

I was pretty proud of myself for getting a salad, it’s like seriously, who have I become? A salad person? WHAT?! All joking aside, this super salad actually didn’t taste all that… salad-y (?), and by that I mean, there was a ton of flavour and textures going on, yet it was still quite mellow. There was a good amount of lamb, and the obligatory greens took the form of kale and rocket, two of my favourite leaves when prepared right, and the hazelnuts added a nice toasty touch. The sweetness of the cranberries also offset the sourness from the beetroot pachadi perfectly. Overall, there was pretty much nothing to fault, and it’s actually a salad I would order again, and that is saying a lot!

34Legacy has a short yet exciting menu, paired with some gorgeous colourful healthy smoothies, yet it doesn’t come off as overly pretentious where you would only fit in if you were decked out in gym gear, which is actually quite hard to achieve. If you’re looking for a new cafe to try in the Eastern suburbs, definitely give Legacy a shot!

How to get there:
Legacy is located on Camberwell Road, catch tram #64 and get off at stop #61, Camberwell Junction/Burke Road, and the cafe is around 7 minutes walk away.

Legacy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

JAPAN 2017 | Tokyo: Tsukiji Fish Market; Asakusa; Shinjuku

Tsukiji Fish Market

First things first, we decided to have a sushi breakfast (!!) at Sushisei, my friend said it had great reviews, and the line outside proved its popularity. The wait wasn’t all that long though, and we were seated at the sushi bar, definitely the best seat in the house imo.

I went for the Omasake set, and seriously, best sushi I have ever had. The freshness and the quality of the seafood was unbeatable, and one of the reason of why I love sushi so much is that although undeniably decadent, it’s still very light, leaving you feel satisfied, but never overly full after meal (unless you choose to have 10 plates at a sushi train restaurant of course, which I did later down in the trip).

The chef prepared the food with such precision, and was extremely friendly, he was telling us about Japanese alcohol, and after hearing that I have never tried plum wine, he even offered me some to try!

Sushisei
4-13-9 Tsukiji, Chuo 104-0045, Tokyo Prefecture
+81 3 3541-7720

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Omakase

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Chirashi

After the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time, we strolled around the market, there was plenty of fresh sashimi if you are still feeling peckish, and a large range of fresh produce for locals to purchase. Dried food also seemed quite popular, there were black beans, kelp, teeny tiny crabs (!) amongst other things. Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb1 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

Asakusa

We headed off to Asakusa next, and if you want a good bird’s eyes view of the area, including Tokyo Skytree, then definitely head up to the top floor of the information centre!Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with g3 preset

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The street that leads towards Senso-ji was filled with shops that sells snacks, drinks, crackers, and other bits and bobs, and I had a great time browsing/eating my way through it. One thing to take note is that in Japan, even street food is eaten in an orderly manner, and by that I mean once you’ve bought something, you have to eat it within the proximity of the stall, and throw away whatever rubbish you have in the bins provided.
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Senso-ji sat at the end of the main street, and it was packed full of people! My friend and I decided to try out the omikujis, and both of us got the great curse, which meant we had to tie them up to leave the bad luck behind!

We took a side street to walk back to the station, and I spotted a melonpan shop, and oh my goodness they were AMAZING!!! It’s kind of like a turned up version of a pineapple bun, where the exterior is super crispy, and the inside was soft and chewy, it may not sound that great on paper but trust me, it was amazing. I got it with cream inside but I’d advise against it, the cream kind of overpowered the subtle sweetness of the bun itself.

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Shinjuku

Just to get some shopping out of the way, we headed off to Shinjuku, and of course, we went to Zara aka my happy place. I feel like Zara in Asia is so much cheaper in comparison to Australia, and I really had to put my self-control into test in order to only pick up a few things.

After some more shopping and browsing around, we had dinner at Marumo, a restaurant that was in the food court level of the shopping centre we were in. I got the hamburger on rice, what I imagine to be Maruko’s favourite meal (man I miss that cartoon), and yup, ended the day in food coma.Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Spending Tracker

Sushisei: 2500JPY ~ 31AUD
Sweet black beans: 700JPY ~ 8.6AUD
Daifuku w/ strawberry: 300JPY ~ 3.7AUD
Omasake: 110JPY ~ 1.4AUD
Agemanju: 140JPY ~ 1.7AUD
Melonpan: 350JPY ~ 4.3AUD
Grilled scallops: 600JPY ~ 7.4AUD
Crackers: 1800JPY ~ 22AUD
Zara: 4870JPY ~ 60AUD
Uniqlo: 2145JPY ~ 26AUD
Marumo: 1480JPY ~ 18AUD

Total: 14995JPY ~ 184.1AUD

Arbory Bar and Eatery

Arbory serves up a wide range of cocktails and wine options, and a versatile menu to accompany the drinks. Overlooking the Yarra, it has a killer vibe whether in day or night. A few months ago, a group of us decided to have dinner here for a little celebration.

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Electra’s Elixir – $17.00

I always go for either a citrus-y or sweet cocktail, and this was the perfect balance of the two. I can’t remember the exact mix in this cocktail, but if you’re into fruity drinks that aren’t overly sweet, then definitely give this one a try.

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Southern Fried Chicken Burger w/ Chips – $16.00

Keeping things simple, I ordered the Southern fried chicken burger. There was nothing ‘Southern’ about this burger imho, however, it was nice and crispy, and the crinkle cut chips were fried well too.

Although the food is unremarkable at the Arbory, given its atmosphere and prime location, as well as its extensive range of cocktails, including Espresso Martini on tap (!!), I will definitely be returning.

How to get there:
Arbory Bar and Eatery is located on Flinders Walk, come out of the right exit (that I can’t remember), and it’s literally right outside Flinders St Station.

Arbory Bar and Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

JAPAN 2017 | Tokyo: Tofuro

Narita International Airport → Tokyo

After I arrived in Narita Airport, I made my way to B1, where the Skyliner was located, buying the ticket was pretty simple, I bought a one way Skyliner ticket and the three day subway pass. I also exchanged my JR Pass at the JR office, located on B1 as well. After that, I was all ready to go with my Skyliner.Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I arrived at my friend’s house at around 5pm, and she had picked an izakaya for us to have dinner, so after a quick change of clothes, we headed out to Ginza.

Dinner at Tofuro
1-10-6 Ginza | B2F Ginza 1st Bldg., Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo Prefecture
+81 3 3563 3033

Tofuro is a slightly more up-scale izakaya, with lots of private booth and different sittings, the whole place was very serene, with pops of red contrasting against dark wood. There was even a bridge over a tiny creek!

The food was quite delicious too, featuring lots of local produce around different regions of Japan, including Aomori, where my friend is from!

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Little fishes for us to snack on

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Tamagoyaki

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Fried Tofu

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Grilled Squid

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Soba Set

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It was a great way to start off my time in Japan! After dinner, we went to three (LOL only in Japan) convenience stores, and bought lots of snacks and lollies, as well as a permanent marker LOL, seriously Zebra can do no things wrong.

Spending Tracker

Drink from Family Mart: 149JPY ~ 1.8AUD
Stamp (I sent out the postcard when I was flying out from Tokyo): 70JPY ~ 0.9AUD
Skyliner + 3 days railway pass: 3500JPY ~ 43AUD
Public transport: 140JPY ~ 1.7AUD
Tofuro: 2683JPY ~ 33AUD
7/11: 803JPY ~ 10AUD
Family Mart: 216JPY ~ 2.7AUD

Total: 756JPY ~ 93.1AUD

Tim Ho Wan

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Tim Ho Wan, the Michelin-starred yum cha restaurant finally opened its doors to the public after various delays, and to say that Melbourne was excited is an understatement. The line that snaked outside restaurant meant that a wait is always expected, although it actually moves rather quickly.2

I’ve visited several times now, and can confirm that the quality is very consistent, and on par with its restaurant across the ocean. The concept at Tim Ho Wan is similar to Hong Kong Dim Sum, where you’re given a sheet of paper to mark what you wish to order, plates of food will magically start appearing in front of you after you hand the paper to one of the waiters.

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Braised Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce – $6.80

The chicken feet is a milder rendition of the classic dish. Instead of being fried and then steamed, the chicken feet were simply braised in abalone sauce, resulting in, well, a milder flavour profile.

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Spring Roll with Egg White – $6.00

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Usually I would never order spring rolls, since it is such a pedestrian dish, but because we had a pescatarian amongst us, we had to take advantage of all the vegetarian and seafood options. It was a pleasant surprise though, the filling of egg white was very fluffy, and the spring roll was crunchy, but not overly oily as they tend to be.

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Baked Bun with BBQ Pork – $7.80

The signature dish of Tim Ho Wan, literally every table had a plate (or two) of the buns, and I can definitely see why. The crunchy shell paired with the sweet BBQ pork filling, give me three of these and lunch is sorted.

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Beancurd Skin Roll with Shrimp – $6.80

I passed on these since they had carrots inside, but according to those who tried it, although pleasant, it was nothing out of the ordinary.

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Prawn Dumplings – $8.30

The prawn dumplings were perfect, the skin were translucent but not gluggy, and the filling had a nice ratio of prawn to bamboo shoots.

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Spinach Dumplings with Shrimp – $7.80

The bright green colour of the spinach dumplings made them so pleasing to look at, and they tasted just as delicious. Another surprise favourite.

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Steamed Egg Cake – $5.80

I loved the fluffiness and delicate nature of this cake, however, one of my friend did find it too eggy.

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Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp – $7.80

The vermicelli roll, although not ground breaking, was executed well, the roll itself had integrity, and the filling, well, there was a lot of prawns.

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Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumplings – $7.80

Still confused about where exactly the salad is in this dish, but the crunchiness of the dumplings were delightful. I wish the wasabi mayo had more of a kick though.

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Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver – $7.50

Another member of the four heavenly kings, the filling of pig’s liver, although unusua, was actually a bit dry.

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Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake – $5.80

Besides looking extremely pretty, these slightly acidic cakes, with the floral aroma from the osmanthus, were a light but sweet end to the meal.

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Mango Sago Pomelo – $6.00

My pick for dessert though would be the mango sago pomelo, there was nothing to fault with this classic combination of flavours, and the thickness of it all made me think that they actually used a lot of real mangoes!

1617Overall, there’s not much to fault with Tim Ho Wan in terms of the quality of the food, however, its menu is quite limited compared to other yum cha places, and the price is definitely higher. With that in mind, I’d still return, even if it were just for the baked BBQ pork buns alone, yup, they’re that good.

How to get there:
Tim Ho Wan is located in Village Centre Arcade in Chinatown, a short 10 minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Tim Ho Wan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

JAPAN 2017 | 9D9N itinerary

At the beginning of January, I went on a three weeks trip to Japan and Korea, having been to neither countries before, I was extremely excited!

Over the course of the three weeks, I took an obscene number of photos (naturally), and I thought long and hard about how I should document my experience, and I’ve finally decided to first, start off with a brief overview of my entire itinerary, and then go into details about each day in separate posts. Unlike my previous travel posts where I separated things that I did and food that I ate, they’ll be mashed up into daily posts this time round, just because, well, I think it makes more sense that way. I will also include a spending tracker after each post, and I’ll be working out a more detailed log, basically summarising what I spent my money on, and how much I think is reasonable when travelling in Japan and Korea.

A few things to note before I start, I went during the middle of Winter, I was on my own most of the time, and I wasn’t really on a budget, but I didn’t splurge either. There will be some additional posts that address tips when travelling around these two countries, best way to get around Japan, and things like that and how much money I actually spent (yes I was super OCD and recorded everything down).

Okay enough rambling, here’s my itinerary for the nine days I spent in Japan!

Day 1: arrive in Tokyo; having dinner with a friend in Tofuro, Ginza

Day 2: Tokyo: Tsukiji Market; Asakusa; Shinjuku

Day 3: Tokyo: University of Tokyo; catch the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Yokohama;
Yohohama: Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum; catch the Shinkansen from Yokohama to Osaka

Day 4 part 1: Osaka: Osaka Castle; Kuromon Ichiba Market

Day 4 part 2: Osaka: Owl Cafe; Dotonbori

Day 5: Osaka: Universal Studios Japan

Day 6: Catch the Shinkansen from Osaka to Kyoto;
Kyoto: Kinkakuji; Kiyomizu-dera

Day 7: Get from Kyoto to Naoshima (took a few trains and ferries, hence ‘get’ instead of catch the Shinkansen, if only);
Naoshima: Bennesse Art Site Naoshima

Day 8: Kyoto: Fushimi Inari Taisha; Arashiyama; Nishiki Market; Kichi Kichi Omurice; catch the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo

Day 9: Tokyo: Shibuya; Shinjuku; Harajuku; spend the night in Narita Airport (yay)

Hakata Gensuke

Having just gotten back to Melbourne after a trip to Japan and Korea (don’t worry, blog posts about that will be coming up), I thought it would be fitting to review a ramen restaurant, and not just any restaurant at that, Hakata Gensuke is often said to make the best bowl of ramen in Melbourne, having tried their classic pork ramen on various occasions, this time, we decided to visit its newest addition, specialising in chicken ramen.

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Black Tori Ramen – $13.00

The black tori ramen gets it colour from the black sesame paste added to the soup, as well as copious amount of special fried garlic, resulting in a very intense soup. Although the soup itself was on par to its pork counterpart, the chicken cha-shu just doesn’t have the same oomph as pork, I mean, it wasn’t dry by any means, however, it definitely wasn’t melt in your mouth either.

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Signature Tori Ramen w/ Soy-Marinated Egg – $12.00 + $2.00

Of course I also had to try their signature tori ramen. It still surprises me that the soup can be so full of collagen given that it’s made of chicken, the thickness is more obvious in this photo without the dramatic colour of the previous one. The egg was extremely flavoursome, the noodle was cooked perfectly, again, my only complaint is the chicken slices themselves.

I will pick pork over chicken ramen anyday personally, although if you are looking for something different, do come and try the chicken ramen at Hakata Gensuke for yourself.

How to get there:
Hakata Gensuke is located in an alleyway in QV, right across the road from Melbourne Central.

Hakata Gensuke Ramen Professionals Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BULLET JOURNAL | 2017 goals

I started  bullet journaling in July, so I’ve been at it for 6 months, I’m still making changes here and there to make the system work better for me. I will be doing an in-depth post about the setup I use, and changes I’ve made, but today, I thought I would share with you my goals for 2017, given that there are only three days left in 2016.

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No, I don’t have the world’s prettiest handwriting, so let’s not focus on that.

Basically, I have 7 big categories that I want to work on to make 2017 a good year: accountability, sustainability, organisation, learning, experiences, hobbies, and cooking – yes this is sort under hobbies but no it deserves its own category. And under each of those categories, I listed things that I want to get done, or habits that I want to start forming.

Goal setting is something that helps me stay motivated, because once you know what you want to achieve, and when it’s something more tangible with action steps, it makes it much easier to accomplish, rather than having something general, such as “I want to be a better person” – what does that even mean?

What about you? What are you rituals at the beginning of each year? What do you want to get done in 2017? How was 2016 for you? As bad as it was for seemingly everyone else in the world?

 

all i want for Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Regardless of whether you’re religious or not, Christmas is a time where families and friends gather together and enjoy some great food, something that I am always down for. This year, I had three Christmas meals lined up.1Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Firstly, I had a Secret Santa night with my friends from law school, we made roast chicken, roast vegetables, and some crispy skin salmon for my Pescetarian friend (we all stole some haha). I was on dessert duty, and I made a salted caramel apple pie from a recipe I saw on Sally’s Baking Addiction, it was my first time making a proper pie, and I gave lattice a go too, although not the neatest pie around, it was still delicious.

Next up, I spend Christmas Eve with my high school friends, we realised that it was the third year that we had celebrated Christmas together, and that seems all sorts of crazy. We had Korean BBQ, but unfortunately, given the nature of KBBQ – i.e. cooking meat the whole time, I didn’t manage to snap any photos. For any KBBQ fanatics out there, doing it at home is super easy! We have a stovetop BBQ pan, and there’s a Korean grocery store close by that sells a variety of marinated meats, making everything a breeze!

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I spent Christmas day with my mum. She had to pick someone up from the airport, which meant I cooked everything myself – which I’m pretty darn proud about tbh. I made roasted pork loin, roasted carrots and pumpkin, green bean casserole, also a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, mashed potato, and for desserts, I made some of my mum’s favourite cookies, cinnamon roll cookies, a recipe from the Domestic Geek. There were so much food though, which meant we never made it to the cookies, but they do make for a pleasant afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee, so I ain’t complaining. It was my first time roasting pork loin, and only half the crackles turned out well, better luck next time haha.

The highlight of the meal was actually the gravy, it was my first time making gravy from scratch using the drippings from the roast, and it was so so so black and full of flavour and delicious and omg I can’t even.Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Oh yeh, I also dyed my hair purple, originally I was going for a purple ombre, but it kind of turned out more of a reverse ombre if anything? I do like it, although it’s weird having dark coloured hair again.

The holiday season has just begun, I’m going to Japan and Korea at the start of January, which I am both excited and nervous about. However, that does mean that I am going to spend the remainder of this year writing up an essay for my intensive, since it’s due while I’m overseas, and I really don’t want to be writing it on my trip.

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas, whether you spent it with friends, or family, or just chilling by yourself, it’s definitely nice to finally have some time off! Hopefully I can get a more reflective post up in the next week or so, 2016 has been such a weird year, and for better or worse, it’s almost over!

Queensberry Pourhouse

Queensberry Pourhouse is pretty inconspicuous, hiding in the corner of Queensberry and Bouverie Street, I must’ve walked past it a bunch of times on the way to class. Earlier this year, I finally visited it when catching up with a friend.

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Flat White – $4.50

The coffee was pretty standard, although I think their specialty is the batch brew, but I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough on the day.

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Lamb Pie w/ Coffee Gravy and Tomato Sauce

Can’t seem to find this on the menu anymore, but from memory, it was a pretty delicious pie. The filling was quite flavoursome, and the pastry was buttery without being overly flakey. I was pretty iffy about the coffee gravy, but the light bitterness actually complimented the pie quite well.

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Mushroom Toastie – $12.50

My friend got the mushroom toastie, which had two types of mushrooms and two types of cheese, field and enoki mushrooms, and provolone and grana padano. She said the sandwich was quite mild, but with a good earthy flavour from the mushrooms. She did find the pickle a bit random though, and didn’t think it went with the toastie itself.

Although nothing out of the ordinary, given Queensberry Pourhouse’ proximity to uni, and its casual atmosphere, I can see myself returning from time to time.

How to get here:
Catch any tram from Flinders St Station, Federation Square side, and get off at stop #4 Queensberry St/Swanston St, the cafe is three minutes walk away.

Queensberry Pourhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato