Tuesday, 29 January 2008

t2 teahouse @ mac centre

I remember getting so excited passing a t2 store when I was in Melbourne last year. Seeing all the colourful tea pots, tea cups, assorted tea cannisters and such a abundant range of tea leaves; I could stay in the store all day! And well, it looks like they've officially brought the t2 franchise over to Sydney and what's even better is that they've opened one up right close to home!

As you head up to the loft from the bus stop @ mac centre, you'll find t2 a few doors down from eb games and directly across from them is the t2 teahouse. For those who might not be as keen buying tea leaves for home use, this is where the teahouse becomes an excellent idea. In the comfort of big armchairs, high stools and/or communal sharing tables, you can explore and enjoy the full range on offer at t2. In addition to the loose leaf teas, they've also come up with a range of both cold and hot tea cocktails. And well, if tea is not really your thing, you've still got scones, macaroons, jam donuts, finger sandwiches, banana bread and many other delicacies to choose from.

Look at our table number in the form of a teapot.
My selection: Matcha Shake and a trio of macaroons (chocolate, pistachio and strawberry). Highly recommend the chocolate cause it tastes like a chocolate brownie and the strawberry is very, very tasty.
Photo of the counter and part of the menu.
Me and a big cheesy grin.The whole menu and a wall-full of colourful teapots. I like!
I'm really loving this place! Love the tea, the food, the staff, the decor (all save for the Chinese newspaper lining some of the walls - why oh why did someone decorate using Chinese newspapers?) Anyway, keen to come back here and try the scones; they looked so tasty (too bad someone in front of the queue had took the last three before we got to the counter). Lol...I really had to try so hard not to give them greasies!

ichibanboshi @ the galleries

I paid this old favourite of mine a visit over the weekend. Actually, it was dad who decided; according to mum whilst I was off at Myer with J, my dad had bought too many books at Kinokuniya and couldn't be bothered walking far with them (i.e. if we were to join them up at the bookstore, then J&I could help carry them back to the car). So it worked out quite conveniently that Ichibanboshi was just next door so that mum and dad could sit down whilst we walked over to join them.

In the 15min it took for us to get there, mum & dad were still stuck in the queue at the door. We watched as the staff tried to put together makeshift tables (one which was right in the middle of the walkway - and well, they must've decided against it and just made everyone wait that little bit longer). Fortunately, it was not long before our number was called (far out, they were already at number 100 and it was only just a little bit past 12!! crazy!!).

Beef Tataki. Love this!

Iced Green Tea Cappuccino. I swear I have to have this every time I come here.
I went for the Negi Miso Ramen which was piled high with vegies. I can't remember it being such a big bowl of noodles! For some reason or other, we all struggled to get to the bottom of our bowls. Mum and Dad could only eat about half the noodles.
J and his Shio Butter Corn Ramen. See that big blob of butter floating in the bowl!

My last time here would've been a fair while back. It seems to have changed a little since last time. Not sure if it's the food that has changed or that it's no longer as good; possibly that I'm just more or more picky with my food. Nonetheless, still very decent food at a very reasonable price (you certainly do get bang for your buck!)

Monday, 21 January 2008

the great bagel & coffee company @ mac centre

'Lets go the bagel place at Macquarie?' was echoed with a 'Are you sure you don't feel Viet?' (or in J's head, 'Anything but bagels') In the end, I suppose J must have changed his mind because after taking a look at the menu, he said he didn't mind giving the place a go.

Previously a rather unspecial sort of cafe, last year the spot opposite General Pants @ Mac Centre reopened as The Great Bagel & Coffee Company. It's pretty self-explanatory what's on their menu and it's made even more clear with all the options listed on one wall and should one desire not to read, you can pick from an array of pictures that are beside that list. You get your usual 'Salmon & Cream Cheese' but you also get a 'Hamburger' bagel and should you want to make your own, that's an option too.

Our bagels including a side of curly fries.

Bagels actually prove to be a good replacement for bread in that the texture of the bagel means that your sandwiches don't get awfully squashed when they're made or when held in your hands. My only word of warning would be that bagels do have holes so watch any condiments such as cream cheese and the like get squeezed through and onto your hands whilst you eat. And my gosh, one bagel sandwich can be filling!

Given the hot weather, J&I completed our day with a Fruit Flo from New Zealand Ice Cream. Yay to the buy 1 get 1 free vouchers. Look at how much icecream is sitting outside of the cone! (Better still, the icecream continues all the way through the cone!) Basically Fruit flos are frozen yoghurts blended with frozen fruit.

A mango & a berry fruit flo.
On the topic of Fruit Flos, go for the small if you've having by yourself or share the regular one (it will be more than enough!)

tgg catchup @ chocolate kkomz, eastwood

I almost can't believe how quickly the year is speeding by! Had the first catch up of 2008 with the tgg girls at Chocolate Kkomz in Eastwood (on a day that was stinking hot and we were more than relieved to take comfort in the air conditioned restaurant; with our arms up in the air to request a further air con unit be turned on cause it was that hot). Thankfully, the waitress was sweet and met our request; and really, it wasn't a big ask given Christine walks in and goes 'I'm dripping!' (I'm serious, this is literally what she said!)

There was the rather dismal conversation of us 'turning 24' this year but besides that, we enjoyed a rather scrumptious Saturday lunch with each of us picking a main each and then proceeding to dig in.

My choice: omelette rice.
Grace's choice: Kimchi rice.
Godi's choice: Bibimbab with a heart shaped egg. I take back my argument with Andy and admit that maybe this restaurant is made for couples (well if you order the bibimbab anyway).
Me & Grace.
Christine, Mich & Godi.
Christine had a rather unusual choice of lunch that consisted of icecream, cream, cereal and fruits (can't remember the name of it but it was from their dessert menu). I got home and realised that I didn't actually take a picture but I assure you, it looked good!
Have to say though, rice is heaps filling on a hot day! Anyway, thanks all for a great day out!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Japanese Pizza @ Epping Twilight Markets

There's probably a back log of about a billion food events which I haven't gotten round to blog (most of them from my trip to HK, the noteworthy been the toilet themed restaurant I went to in Mong Kok and had a most fun time laughing myself silly and talking about toilets with my dear friends - find photos on facebook!!). Anyways, thought I'd get back to blogging with some of the the foodie things I've been doing since I've gotten back; the first of these being my second trip to the Epping Twilight Markets on a Friday night.

Whilst in HK, Suze had asked if I'd be back for the first lot of markets in 2008 to which I'd replied yes. She was selling cupcakes and not just the one rack, but a whole tableful of them!! (turns out that the other cupcake store wasn't back from holidays so in addition to Suze's shortbread and biscotti, she could sell her scrumptious range of cupcakes (my favourite being the chocolate!!)

The offer on the night: Buy 4 for $10.00, get one free.

So in addition to visiting Suze and hearing about her factory which is happening this year (so happy for you Suze!), J&I thought we'd grab dinner from the markets. Unfortunately, there weren't as many stores cause it was the first markets for the year and presumably not all stall holders were back from holidays. Nonetheless, the Japanese store caught our eye with their colourful takoyaki balls and as we stepped up closer to look, the 'Japanese Pizza' sign was screaming 'Eat Me' (Good good, we could get all our food from the one place).

Japanese Pizza. Basically the whole thing sits on a really thin pancake base, topped with veggies, egg, meat, seafood, bbq sauce and mayo, garnished with a side of fish flakes....gosh, it is the yummiest thing ever!

Takoyaki balls - So yummy and so hot on the inside that both J&I were burning our tongues trying to gobble them up.
And look what I got on the night: a bagful of pressies from Suze!! (And I was the one who was meant to bring Suze a pressie - one which I've been meaning to give her for a long, long time. Argh!) Suze, promise you you'll have it the next time I manage to catch you. And thank you so much for the presents! I love each and every one of them....hahah, I hope the air freshener smells like salmon sushi)

My bag of pressies from Suze.
So if you haven't already, head off to the markets which happen on every second Friday starting at 5pm, ending 9pm. Both times it's been pretty easy to find parking and well, whilst you're there, make sure you pop by and find Suze (she's the one with all the little kids hanging around her :D)