Lady boys and cabarets 

Travel

Thailand is famous for their lady boys and cabaret shows. On a recent trip to Phuket, I bought tickets to see the Simon show. It kept me on the edge of my seat. Quite literally actually…because that’s the only way that I could actually see the show. The auditorium designer obviously didn’t think this one through. The girl seated in front of me wasn’t exceptionally tall either. If anything, she was exceptionally short. 
There were a lot of parts that were boring, and if you check the time and wonder when it’ll end, then trust me, it isn’t a very good show. It was mainly lip singing and non energetic dancing. Honestly, the only good parts of the show were the comedy skits, which was quite sad. I mean, I didn’t expect them to really sing but I was expecting a good performance. A lot of the dancing lacked energy and seemed half assed. At that point, we weren’t even there for a cabaret show…it was more of a “is that seriously a guy?” show. 

I had a pretty good experience at the Tiffany show in Bangkok when I was little (maybe I was too little to have standards), but after a disappointing Tiffany show in Bangkok, and now a disappointing Simon show in Phuket, I think it’ll be a loooong time till my next cabaret in Thailand. 

R

7 tips for travelling in Malaysia

Travel

Hey guys, I’ve been MIA for a while and as some may or may not know, have been travelling! Here are my 7 tips for travelling in Malaysia! 
1. Carry your passport. I have been stopped countless times (whether I’m in a personal car or taking a taxi, and almost got arrested once for not having my passport on me!) I argued that it was at the hotel, and I could show him if he would come back but my two options were: pay the officer >.> or go sit in jail for I don’t know how long with other criminals. It’s absolutely ridiculous! And I’ve done my research. Malaysia’s jail isn’t exactly like the Swedish ones where it’s pretty much a holiday resort…

2. Download grabcab/uber. The taxis quote ridiculous prices especially if it’s raining/a tourist area. Even if they run by the meter, they still can rip you off (those meters skip like crazy!)

3. Don’t pay someone to get a taxi for you. There’s plenty on the streets. At KLCC, pavilion etc there is a “taxi service” where you pay them RM2 to call a metered taxi for you. Sounds sweet right? You’re not gonna get ripped off right? WRONG. Not only do you have to pay an extra RM2, these taxis are the most expensive! You’re better off getting ripped off by a red taxi…(the cost will be less). 

4. Don’t read food reviews online. I’ve been to many places in Asia thanks to online reviews. But I don’t know if my palate just doesn’t match up with the Malaysian foodies (I love Malaysian food/street food), but the things they recommend are just…bad. Seriously, so many times I’ve found a 4-5 star review to a restaurant and it has gravely disappointed me. So find a reliable source (not just google star review..).

5. If you’re travelling alone, you can take the express train to/from the airport. It’s RM55 p.p. So perfect for one person. If you’re travelling with anybody else, it’s cheaper to take a taxi RM80-100 to get to the city area (and it goes straight to your hotel!) 

6. Google maps/Apple maps is horrible here. It might be the confusing road names/ side streets but there have been many times I’ve tried seeking out a restaurant and have gotten completely lost. 

7. Lastly, cops can be bribed. Just remember that ūüėČ 

Well that’s about it! Good luck and safe travels. 

R

Moving hearts 

Personal

Sometimes glimpses are just enough to stir something inside of you. 

There’s a beast we try to tame inside all of us and moments like these ignite its repressed desire to be let loose. Afterall a cage was never fit for any beast, least of not, the beast that quietly resides within us. 

You’d told me before that one decision could completely change our lives. One step off the pavement could lead to a fantasy come true, all you needed to do was to make that step. With you shining the light in the crack, I felt it once again; I felt the enormous power of potential and the lurch of a moving heart. It makes you think that if only you wished it, one day you could really have it all. 

Paula 

The Weight of Gold

Personal, Travel

Writing became like the book that you regrettably returned to the shelf. You have intentions to pursue it at a later date but that day slowly pushes itself farther and farther out until quite by accident you meet your trigger and you’re quickly drawn back.

I’ve missed it sorely but now that I am done with work, I’m back on track, my personal freedom feeling like the weight of gold in my hands.

In the last few months, life shifted gears and the hours in my day became a slow, standardised routine. Not the disciplined kind, but the boring kind; the kind frankly not worth writing about.

But several weeks of sleep later, I find myself in awe under the busy lights of Shanghai, taking a stand against their infamously icy temperatures amidst warm Christmas cheer. Armed with a furry coat, tall boots and most importantly gloves, the city I so eagerly wanted to take on is really starting to feel like home.

Paula

 

Cuckoo Callay: Food Review

Food

Located: Newtown Railway station, 324A King St, Newtown NSW 

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Friday (6am – 4pm)
Saturday (8am – 4pm)
Sunday (8am – 3pm)

 

Newtown is definitely a¬†foodie hub¬†that I want to explore more of so I dropped by one afternoon for a quick meal at¬†Cuckoo Callay.¬†This cafe is tucked¬†right outside Newtown Station and you feel so at-home once you set foot inside. The waitress was so lovely and helped give this cafe much of its pleasant character. Classic¬†white walls and sleek awnings frame¬†the exterior but when you look closer,¬†there are¬†definite drops¬†of retro, as you’ll see with their lighting, flooring and tables/chairs.

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Capuccino $4

When this was brought out, it looked like another level of coffee; it looked so incredibly silky and milky. I don’t think this photo does any¬†justice because I crown this¬†as the most beautiful coffee I’ve ever seen. Their coffees use¬†a house blend called ‘Alchemy’ which is produced locally in Marrickville.

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Chamellia Organic Matcha Green Tea Latte $4.5

This looked really kawaii. I appreciate the Hello Kitty and its organic origins, but it just tasted like warm milk. The green tea flavour was too subtle to notice.

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The Sideways Shuffle $24

This¬†dish reminds me of summer. It’s light, refreshing, colourful and dotted with little blobs of lemon jelly and flowers. The egg actually toppled off when they served it, so when you get your Sideways Shuffle, it will look taller and grander than shown. I’m actually really into eggs when they’re cooked this way; 63 degrees, in wobbly form and encased in slippery egg white. The blue swimmer crab cake was also really¬†delicious¬†with the avocado, corn and salsa bits. A very satisfying and tasty dish.

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We Found Mary’s Lamb $23

As its name suggests, this was not a great ending for the lamb. This dish¬†was on the drier side with tough¬†meat despite being cooked for 8 hours. The ingredients didn’t seem to blend as well as¬†I¬†imagined it would¬†when I¬†had¬†read it on the menu; the¬†ingredients just¬†felt¬†separate from each other. Despite there being Israeli couscous, spicy chermoula marinated eggplant, minted yoghurt¬†and pistachios, there was no magical umami blend. It sounded fancy on paper but it was nothing special.

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M.A.C CosmeChips $14

Another case of, “I got this¬†because it looked good on Instagram.” I don’t even like Mac n Cheese but I hoped that eating pretty food would mean a satisfying meal. When I had my first bite, I almost¬†felt happy-tears. It is truly¬†the perfect combination of flavours and ingredients; there is nothing not to love about this dish. Cheesy and creamy textures with flavoursome bacon bites and¬†really good chips. This is a must-try.

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Cuckoo Callay is a gem with great vibes and a fairly extensive menu. Gluten-free options and a kids menu are available plus believe it or not, a pets menu. There are various cocktails, beers and wines too for those anytime drinkers. 

One thing I love about this cafe is their commitment to ethical trading practices and their local sources. It definitely does its part for the community, enforcing a positive change in the way we consume and source food. I think a lot of people will appreciate their free-range eggs, award-winning pork, Jersey cow milk (my favourite!) and freshly handpicked vegetables.

Really wanted to try some cakes and desserts afterwards, but for 2 people, the 3 dishes we ordered were more than enough.

Recommended: M.A.C CosmeChips, The Sideways Shuffle

xoxo Paula

Waku ghin

Food, Travel

Being a big fan of tetsuya’s, I just had to visit waku ghin whilst in Singapore. The website doesn’t state any prices, so I had to do some Google research to fit this trip into my travel budget. I initially assumed the dinner would be around $450 p.p. This would be a $900 dinner…but I thought why not?

Waku ghin is located in marina bay sands; an architectural masterpiece, and home to many luxury brands. The atmosphere is definitely “upper class”. Unlike the relaxed atmosphere of tetsuya’s Sydney. We were running a bit late, and upon arrival we were seated to the right of the teppanyaki grill next to 2 other couples. We were quickly brought to speed on the past 20minutes (the courses typically come out at the same time for all the guests).

The food:


The tuna was fresh and seared to perfection. A great start to our dinner.

Waku ghin’s signature: marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and oscientra caviar. Eaten with a mother of pearl spoon. A.K.A the culprit for the price of the dinner. This dish definitely earned its place as waku ghin’s signature. Every mouthful of urchin was rich and just melts in your mouth. Coupled with the botan shrimp’s soft crunchy texture and generous heap of caviar, you will be transported to a gastronomical dreamland.

I don’t remember this dish much but can you blame me? I was still revelling from the Uni..

Taking me out of my uni trance was this lump of salt that had been sitting on the table for a while now…I thought it was covering something, sort of curing it but no. It was just a huge lump of salt.

The chef used the salt to cook these beautiful Alaskan king crab legs. Being Asian, I’m a BIG fan of seafood. Especially crab. But I was quite disappointed in this dish. Don’t get me wrong, the crab meat was soft, juicy, and generous but it was accompanied with lemon and lime scented extra virgin olive oil. It had hints of citrus, but I’m someone that loves strong flavours that pack a punch. Doesn’t help that our previous trip was to Thailand either…

Moving on..

Pur√©e of potato, quail egg, French winter truffle. Watching 3 chefs simultaneously work together to create this dish was amazing. The amount of work needed to go into this one dish was mind boggling. As always, waku ghin was extremely generous with the truffles. The potato was light and creamy, with a strong truffle flavour. On first bite, it reminded me of a dish that I’ve had before in tetsuya’s Sydney but couldn’t quite wrap my head around which dish until it hit me: truffle butter. Tetsuya’s famous truffle butter. The last time I was at tetsuya’s I ate this butter by the spoonful (no shame), and even bought a jar to take home. I absolutely loved this creamy, truffle dish. It might even be tied with the sea urchin for first place.


Braised Canadian lobster with French tarragon. I could’ve eaten a whole pot of this! Umami without being too heavy, a punch of flavours served with some bread to dip (I could’ve drank it tbh).


Japanese Ohmi wagyu. Not as good as wakkoqu melt-in-your-mouth Kobe beef but a strong second place. Let us take a moment and relish the marbling on this amazing piece of meat. Cut like butter, and was perfect with wasabi and garlic chips (my new fav steak accompaniment after Japan).

We were next given a choice of ochazuke or somen. What did we choose?

Answer: both. We were planning to order one each and share but being the generous people that they are, they let us all have one each. The table was ecstatic. This was probably the best chazuke I’ve had to date.


For dessert, we were moved to another area of the restaurant to enjoy the amazing night view mbs has to offer. First up: tetsuya’s take on blueberry cheesecake. Icy, creamy, delicious. But it lacked the biscuit base that is iconic to a cheesecake and was replaced with a crunchy sugar tuile…I prefer the biscuit base..#basicbitch

Next: Tetsuya’s chocolate cake. Incredibly indulgent, layered with vanilla, chocolate, and macadamia. One word: perfection. This dish never fails to impress with its combination of flavours and textures.

3rd time having this cake and I still can’t make a pretty cut…

Petit fours. I love tetsuya’s petit fours because they’re always such a surprise. These were almost too cute to eat!

At the end of our degustation course, we were gifted macarons from patisserie platine (owned by Tetsuya). I think it was to promote the patisserie and it is definitely a place I will visit the next time I’m in Singapore. These were probably one of the best macarons I’ve had (might even be better than Zumbo’s).

The bill came, and instead of the $450p.p. we were expecting, it ended up being $550p.p. That definitely broke our Singapore budget…but it was a nice experience. Would I go again? Probably not. It is definitely a dining experience I would recommend though. The service is first class, and the food is amazing but it still won’t justify the $550 price tag for me. Not to mention my mum would flip if she found out I had a $550p.p. meal. But it is worth to go and try the sea urchin for the first time.

xoxo Robyn