Food: The Devonshire

This was actually my super duper belated birthday dinner, a friend gave me a $100 visa (thanks you!) to initially eat at The Alibi Darlinghurst but uh… I think it closed down before I had the chance. And then I was told of The Devonshire! Which I’ve not actually heard of before, but which has one hat, in Surry Hills. 🙂

The Devonshire Menu

Continue reading “Food: The Devonshire”

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My Anniversary Dinners – Prime and Jeans Chilli Chicken

We had two dinners to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. 😀 There’s a reason but you’re not interested in that, you’re interested in what we ate right?! Because food.

We went to Prime Steak Restaurant at the GPO Martin Pl for a fancy candlelit dinner and a not so fancy dinner at Jean’s Chilli Chicken at Eastwood Hotel. They are both awesome.

Prime Steak Restaurant

No one seems to know about this restaurant and yet, I think it has the best steaks in Sydney. Better than Rockpool Bar & Grill, better than both Kingsley, better than any other place I’ve been to. And the quality is oh so consistent because I’ve been there a few times in the span of about 10 years. The same ole tastiness. I feel better knowing it’s been awarded Best Steak Restaurant consecutively for a while though. Might also be because it’s really hidden away downstairs in the GPO. o_O

The steaks. They have mainly the Black Angus steaks and Wagyu. F1 Wagyu, a hybrid and the Full-Blooded Wagyu of which they say is only available in 3 restaurants in Australia, two in Sydney and one in Melbourne.

The hunbun and I shared the Grain-Fed Black Angus Scotch 300g and the Full-Blooded Wagyu Fillet 180g. The latter being double the price and a bit more… :O Yeah, they’re pretty pricey.

We also ordered a scallop entree which I thought was decent but nothing too special.

Prime Restaurant - Scallop Entre
Prime Restaurant – Scallop Entre

The Angus Scotch is so, so juicy and fatty and flavoursome. So flavoursome. And that, my friends, is the main difference between Prime and other restaurants. Not only does the quality of the meat need to be awesome, it needs to at least taste like something. Other restaurants are bland, bland and bland despite it being Wagyu or not *cough* Rockpool. Though having said that, I’d probably go for something like the Fillet or something else next time because at the size of 300g, something so completely fat and juicy was a bit too much for me near the end.

Prime Restaurant - Angus Scotch
Prime Restaurant – Angus Scotch

The Full-Blooded Wagyu? Perfect. Did I mention they were both cooked perfectly to the Medium-Rare that we ordered? Yeah.

Prime Restaurant - Full Blooded Wagyu Fillet
Prime Restaurant – Full Blooded Wagyu Fillet

The difference between the two steaks are obvious, the Wagyu was better in the “this feels awesome in my mouth”, “omg the quality” and “I want this to be the last bite”, but otherwise it wasn’t largely more yummier than the other such that it makes the Angus seem bland, it’s just… different. You need to try for yourself.

Both dishes came with sides and the many sauces which we got to choose a couple of.

Service was also great. I thought the waiter sounded like Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon, no really.

If you’re in any way interested in steak, then I advise you try Prime at least once! 🙂 They range from $55 to $125.

Prime Steak Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Jeans Chilli Chicken

Jeans Chilli Chicken

This small Korean eatery is within Eastwood Hotel/Pub. It’s weird, but I trusted the boyfriend. The main thing to order here is apparently the Chilli Chicken BBQ dishes that come with a bowl of mixed rice in seaweed, which you then use your BAAAAAAAAAARE hands to turn into riceballs. Honestly, I had no idea what was going on, but turned out well.

Know how

0. We ordered the Chilli Cheese Chicken.
1. Cut up the chicken!
2. Place cut up chicken and rice into bowl.
3. Mix and squish into a ball which result in…

.Result

4. Nom Nom.

IMG_3417

5. Make a mess because you’re a newb.

One of these is meant to serve two, but we found it’s probably suited to 3 or 4 people with maybe an extra dish.
I was worried the chicken would be more similar to teriyaki chicken for some strange reason, but it tasted like charcoal/BBQ chicken which is nom-worthy. *thumbs up* Boyfriend said their steaks and other foods aren’t very nice, so I suggest you try whatever we had! 🙂

Jeans Chilli Chicken on Urbanspoon

2012 Favourites

It’s still January, I can still post 2012 lists. So let’s seeee

Gadgets

iPad Mini

Check out my review here. Still loving it, still using it everyday, more so than my Macbook Air. I’m currently playing The Walking Dead and shit is scary and fun. Kotaku mentioned avoiding iOS for the Walking Dead, but really it’s just for the iPhone. There’s no issues playing on the iPad as far as I’m concerned! It’s apparently cheaper than other platforms too. $15.99 for 4 episodes, if you download the first episode now for free.

Apple TV

This was for mom to watch things from her iPad on the TV. So, so useful. Completely worth buying if you would like to stream things from your iPhone, iPad or Macbooks or even PC now that iTunes 11 has that ability. At a priceo f around $110, it’s not too bad an investment 🙂 It’s also very small and cute.

My PlayStation Vita didn’t make this list because… well, it’s collecting dust. And you know what? When something obvious like the Walking Dead doesn’t end up on the Vita but every other platform, it really does say something about it. Now I need to figure out if I can let it go and sell… :[

Entertainment

I really liked The Avengers. I can’t seem to remember anything else. There was the Dark Knight Rises, but it didn’t leave that big an impression for me.

Call of Duty Black Ops II Zombies was a disappointment, but I’m now addicted to the Multiplayer mode instead. Huzzah!

Beauty


left to right

Avene Thermal Spring Water

Just in time for 2012. This thing… is a lifesaver. Got sunburnt near the end of the year, somehow found out about this and voila, relief. Not just a sunburn btw, sunburn-turned-horribly-inflamed-eczema. Eczema people, use that sunscreen like no tomorrow and make sure you thoroughly apply it to all areas. I failed to cover all areas.

Now this spring water can be used as I did, for relief of eczema or sunburns but it also has other uses like a hydrating face mist or toner. In any case, I really like it. Refreshing and cooling.

Bastiste Dry shampoo

Super lazy, tired and cbfed washing your hair? Get this. I feel sorry for the me who didn’t know about this earlier. It really works! As to the turning your hair grey or white, that’s okay, you just have to massage it through and it’ll go away.

I got the tropical flavour and that was way too sweet and vanilla, this new FRESH is nice. It’s … well, fresh and not that fragrant at all.

Bioderma Makeup Remover

Discovered this from the millions of bloggers that love it. Hardly use this, but when I do, it works, feels great and doesn’t irritate for my sensitive skin. Thumbs up.

Revlon Kissable Lip Stain in Honey

I never really did review these did I ho ho ho. I now have Honey, Darling, Precious and Rendevous. All of which I bought from ebay! I’ve never used any beauty product so religiously since I never really wear any other make up. But I wear Honey almost every day. Easy, smooth and awesome lasting power. Tick, tick and tick.

Expected review: Ippudo Sydney

Ippudo Sydney
Ippudo Sydney at Westfield Level 5

Famous global ramen place that I had previously not heard of, Ippudo Sydney, landed in Westfield’s food court last week.

I’m a loyal Ichiban Boshi customer and often go for their $13 ramen or cold noodles. I wouldn’t call their ramen authentic, but it’s certainly very tasty in its own way.

Gumshara I’ve only been twice. And it’s authentic ramen alright. I sort of like that place too, sort of because I was really impressed with it first go, but not so much second. So 50/50? It’s also at a ridiculous price of $14.

And then Ippudo, at an average $17 per bowl. Big double u tee eff.

Ippudo Sydney ramen
Shiromaru Motoaji and Akamaru Shinaji

So here it is, the picture on top is the Shiromaru Motoaji, their most simplistic and classic version with no added extra for $15. The soup. The soup was awesome. The noodles were too soft. And the two pieces of pork were shit. At $15, all three should have been awesome, not one. But alas, the soup, so tasty that I went back for more next day, but take away because its two bucks cheaper. I can live with $13, but not $15 with shit pork. So I’m paying purely for the soup. What has the world come to.
Also, I asked for hard noodles, which I found better but not by a lot. And they gave me one piece of rough and hard pork for takeaway too. I assume if you pay $4 extra for pork belly that the pork might actually be good. But hey, $4.

The second picture that most of my friends ordered is the Akamaru Shinaji ($18 with an egg), I had a taste and found it to be more salty so didn’t like for me.

If you’re wondering about size, they’re pretty small bowls. But it will fill you up or otherwise you should be satisfied because any more and you may get sick of that super flavoursome soup. A bit at a time.

Ippudo Sydney
Pork Buns and fresh garlic

Pork buns were nice at $4 each. I wouldn’t mind having another one, but no takeaway at this point, so guess I won’t be having that in forever.

I think they called their ramen modern, authentic but modern. I’m not sure what’s so modern about it, maybe the cabbage? That weird cabbage.

And so, despite all the negativity that seems to be sprouting all over this post, I’m addicted to the soup. And what’s more? I think I’ll say goodbye to Gumshara because I prefer Ippudo as the authentic ramen place. I still love you Ichiban Boshi, you’re different.

Ippudo Sydney
Shiromaru Motoaji takeaway

And correct me if I’m wrong, but Motoaji means the taste before (classic)?? Pretty neat.

Ippudo on Urbanspoon

Review: Weleda Skin Food

Weleda Skin Food

Best hand cream for super dry hands, hands down. I first came across it on feelunique where quite a few celebrities endorsed it as one of their must-haves or favorites.
It says at the back

It’s for dry and rough skin such as hands, feet and allows.

I didn’t buy this for me but for my mom, who has super duper dry hands. Sand-paper hands that would crack and bleed regularly. Not exaggerating at all. We tried all sorts of creams including the loccitane, Crabtree, Clarins, all other drugstore brands. Everything. Nothing worked. If anything, the best product out of all those was Vaseline. But even then, they were all short term effects.

This Weleda cream? Is amazing. She’s been using it for about a month now and her hands have transformed from crazy dry to normal. I asked her today about it and she only uses it at night. Wtf? Although I tell her it would be better to use it at least twice a day, she didn’t listen. But the result is apparent. I’m so impressed, I never thought anything would work for her.

Best of all, it’s not crazily priced, I think I got it for around $13 from iHerb.com, and now that there’s another 15% off at feelunique (code TREAT15), I may have to go and buy another one, which was requested earlier today from mom. Glad she likes it. 😉

Really liking the Weleda brand, I’m still using their Almond Soothing Facial Cream! And I’ll probably switch to Skin Food for my hands during winter too.

 

My big iPad Mini Review

My last two posts have largely been about the iPad Mini, the good and the bad, so of course it makes sense to conclude this trilogy right!

So I caved in as soon as I played with it at the Apple Store. Reading about it online initially made me think I didn’t want one because of the crazy price and what it might be lacking. Wrong. I love my iPad Mini.

Hardware

iPad Mini and iPad 2

At 7.9″ it means it’s wider than your average 7″ Nexus or Kindle and is literally a scaled down version of the bigger iPad 2. When I first played with the Nexus 7, I felt a bit claustrophobic and I can see why now. That extra width means a lot more to me due to the various different apps that I use. It’s perfect.

The weight, to everyone’s delight, is mega light being the lightest 7+” tablet in the market. I can comfortably hold the iPad with one hand around the edges on one side with no issues.

And the screen, oh, the screen, everyone talks about the screen. It’s not Retina display, oh no. And it really is oh-no if you’re used to it. I thought I would be affected because of the iPhone 4S retina screen but nope, after several days now and hours staring at it, I’m pretty okay with my screen at the price I paid. Any more however and I would be complaining for a retina version.

The battery, as per usual, is Apple-standard. Advertised at 10 hours usage, it’s been tested to last up to 12. A few days worth of usage before charging for me!

I chose the Apple REDelicious Smart Cover. It serves its purpose to protect the screen but I find it doesn’t snap quite as accurately as the bigger version and thought it didn’t sit correctly on my screen when I saw it stick up in the middle, but turns out all you need to do is make sure you snap and slide to the right. [UPDATE] Oh, I see it now, it really does not snap to the screen very well when it’s sideways in my bag. It’s practically coming off. That really is no good 😦

4G LTE? Not rich enough to spend an extra $40 per month for 1GB of data, nope. I will tether my iPad to my iPhone which works perfectly okay, besides it killing my iPhone battery and also my data. I found I can download most of it at home anyway before heading out so that saves me a load, like SMH.

Did I mention it looking really pretty? Its design is really a hybrid iPhone 5 + latest iPod Touch, rather than the iPad and it looks fantastic – the black one. In summary, it feels and looks great.

Apps and choosing the right size – important

I looked at my iPhone and my mom’s iPad 2 data usage and thought a 16GB version would be more than enough to last a year before upgrading (also because the 32GB is a stupid $110 extra). An iPhone will typically be used to store your camera photos and videos, music and your apps. The first three would most likely take up most of your space and why most people opt for a 32GB version, because they like to go snappity snap with a phone camera. For an iPad, I thought my usage wouldn’t include snappity snap so of course the 16GB was perfect, right? Wrong. They really shouldn’t have been classed together like that. What you do on your iPhone isn’t the same as on your iPad. Let’s have a look at why, after a few days only, that I only have 9GB left on my new iPad Mini.

I bought Wine Simplified after seeing it on Gizmodo because I am a complete newb with wine and it looked like an informative, fun and interesting interactive read. $11. 380MB

Reading manga woo!

I’m an avid manga reader so I bought Manga Storm for $4.50. This allows me to stream or download manga to read on the go from various sites including the popular mangafox and mangareader. The iPad Mini was made for this, I’m certain of it. It’s a thousand times better than reading it on my laptop or PC. That extra width I mentioned? Looks bloody great on it and is super easy to use. Love it. I downloaded around 90 chapters of Billy Bat and that was 400MB already. You can see how this could easily take up loads of space.

iTunes U! Free university courses! Yay, if that’s your thing. I subscribed to Stanford’s iOS App Development course, downloaded the notes and ONE lecture video. 800MB. That’s 700MB per lecture so if I’m ready to download the entire course, that will cost me the rest of my 9GB I’m afraid.

I also like playing games so I downloaded Bejeweled and some Zombie game. A few hundred MBs. That’s only 2 games. Two.

Then there’s Apple’s NewsStand. Provided I’m cheap for magazines so only found SMH and Emporium Myer as free subscriptions, that’s probably a few MBs too. Mind you, they look greaaaaat.

So there you have it. I haven’t even added my music yet. And maybe some movies to watch on the go when I travel? Some books? :[ Now it just means I actually have to be aware of my data and delete when necessary, something I don’t have to bother with on my 32GB iPhone. I hadn’t realised I could do so much more with a portable iPad and I only just started. I thought I would be ‘trying’ to look for things to do but now I have too much to do.

iOS6

Yes, I still hate Apple Maps. It still sucks and it still gives me crap directions compared to Google Maps. I hate it and pray that Google quickly release their own version soon.   Other than that, I don’t really notice it being too different from iOS5. I do however appreciate that we can FINALLY download and update apps from the App Store without leaving the damn App Store.

Tips and Tricks

The thing with Apple products, and this is inclusive of iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, is that you’ll always find new tips and tricks and be wowed. I’ll write a new post around what I know but here’s a trick that I didn’t know about and has apparently been there forever for iPads.

Swipe both your thumbs from inwards to out and the keyboard splits in half! So as to allow for ease of typing. HUH. But. It was pretty amazeballs to me.

A new advertised feature for the iPad Mini is when your iPad recognizes that you’re ‘resting your thumb on the screen rather than using it’ trick. This was much needed because the iPad Mini has a surprisingly thin bezel on the sides which means you will end up placing your thumb on the screen sometimes. I end up avoiding it but I find it works in some apps and not some other apps, like Manga Storm.

Overall

I’m loving my expensive new toy. I find myself going for it instead of my MacBook Air at home sometimes which is pretty crazy, and love using it on my train trips. I never wanted an iPad, mainly because of the size and weight. This, this is good. If you’re deciding on choosing a tablet, I say check them out in store! Because this time round, it’s largely to do with how good it feels in your hands.

UPDATE

Apple’s 14 day return policy! I am going to swap it for a 32GB version, if they’re in stock.

Further Update

I successfully swapped my 16GB with a 32GB and already, I only have 15.3GB left. Ta daaaaaaaaaaaa.

Review: Bobbi Brown Corrector (and Concealer)

Ah super dry under eye and super dark eye circles… my faaaaavourite~ /sarcasm

Finding a hydrating concealer is pretty wtf for me and it’s also the most important makeup item that I need – thanks to panda eyes. I’ve been to a few counters to try their concealers or brighteners to find they’re mostly shit at covering, do nothing and/or way too dry and cakey on me. Dior, YSL’s Touche something, none of them.

Bobbi Brown Corrector (Light Bisque) and Creamy Concealer (Ivory, Pale Yellow)

Bobbi Brown’s corrector ($46) and concealer though… it’s not holy grail, but more holy shit-it-works. I love the corrector and it’s the only thing I use nowadays, you can see I’ve used a lot more of that than the concealer.

The corrector, which is peach or pink based is meant to neutralize the purples and blues and while the concealer, which is yellow-based is meant to conceal. I find the corrector is creamier than the concealer, or because I am so dry, putting on two layers immediately has the flakey effect. Either way, I don’t need it to completely cover my dark circles, I just need it to reduce a lot of it and it does exactly that. I can still see some dryness sometimes, but it’s very minimal compared to everything else. The downside to this is I find it doesn’t really last the whole day.

Here’s my ninja sample I took this morning – right eye wearing Bobbi Brown. Gotta say the iPhone is making it look better than irl though… ho ho ho, but you get the gist.

20121019-152551.jpg
Left eye – Nothing vs Right eye – Bobbi Brown Corrector

I like to put it on using the Bobbi Brown concealer brush and then patting it in with my ring finger after I’ve moisturised my eyes (still using that emu oil eye cream, oh yeah!) and then a bit of Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder and I’m good to go. If you don’t have super dry eyes like me, applying the concealer as well will probably be even better but alas I don’t need it unless I really look like I’ve been punched in the eye.

As another comparison, Bareminerals recently released their own correcting concealer and ‘stroke of light’ eye brightener. I used to be a Bareminerals fan so immediately went to try it out, I mean, it’s half the price. But to my disappointment, it was dry and dry. The more brands I try, the more I like my Bobbi Brown, but I can’t stop trying either… I want that HG concealer goddamnit and I’ve now discovered this Ellis Faas concealer that everyone seems to love as well… well then…hmm

This and lip color, and I have the Revlon Kissable! that I will review later, are the only things I tend to wear these days when I can be bothered. I look alive and awake and don’t have people from work telling me to wake up. Ha!

What’s your fave concealer? 🙂

Review: Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Cream

Yo! Totally following up my super decisive post about whether to get the Weleda or Neal’s Yard moisturiser.

This cream is for sensitive dry skin (me). My purpose was to replace whatever I was using as day cream since it wasn’t moisturising enough and I wanted something inexpensive. This is my first Weleda product, the green and organic company.

I got this from feelUnique during the sale for $18ish, it’s now $20.32AUD.

Verdict

Very moisturising for my dry skin! I like it. It keeps me moisturised for the whole day which most other creams fail to do. It’s also quite a thick and sticky cream in comparison but I don’t mind it. In terms of smell, think… oh, I dunno, almond cream? @_@ Nothing strong, only really notice it when you apply and then it’s gone.

So far, I don’t really know how much I’ve used, it’s a pretty small tube and if I use it up quickly then that doesn’t make it inexpensive at all! My MD Formulations creme of 50ml takes half a year for me, which I use at night.

The other thing I’m not too sure about is whether it’s making my bumps a bit more red in the morning (but which strangely subsides later in the day). It doesn’t introduce any other crazy blemishes though, so that’s alright! I also don’t expect it to be anything other than a moisturiser – i.e. fixing my blemishes or random dry patches. I’ll leave that for my other face products.

I’m keeping this on my list as day cream, but am still very interested in trying the Neal’s Yard versions so will probably try that when this runs out. :]

Review: Iron Chef at Cabramatta

IROOOOOOOOOOON CHEF. Used to frequent this restaurant some years ago until the last two times went downhill and then never again until just recently! It’s apparently good again. And that’s the thing with Chinese restaurants, it’s bloody inconsistent.

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with le dinner despite some screw ups. Here goes!

We ordered 2 small abalones and 3 scallops. Only the 2 abalones came and we were told later that the scallops were sold out. That’s okay, let’s order 3 more abalones! Which turned out to be nomnom+

Crispy skin suckling pig with bbq pork, roast duck, soya sauce chicken, jelly fish and duck beak platter – Medium sized

This comes in three sizes, S/M/L. A Small would have been sufficient but we had no idea. Either way it was nomonomnom. That really weird looking thing at the bottom is actually duck beak (I THINK?!) and as unappealing as it is, it was soft and tasty – no really, try it.

Crab. And unfortunately I can’t tell you what exactly it is, I only know what it’s called in Chinese o_O

XO Scallops. Typical dish and the scallops were just right, not overly cooked or too raw 🙂

Also ordered another vegie dish.

It just so happened that we went during their SiChuan festival so the restaurant was very, very lively and busy. We even got to see some Mask Changing act, which I’m afraid you’ll need to youtube to know what I’m on about.

So, the dinner was quite satisfying and none of the dishes were bad, according to our high standard Asian tastes. And we were distracted long enough with the entertainment to not bother being pissed off about delayed or canceled dishes oh ho ho ho ho.

p.s Sorry man, my photos are all blurry. I’m only given about 2 seconds to take each shot with my iPhone 4S (NOT A 5!?) and yeah, this happens.

Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon