Sunday, September 28, 2008

Strathfield Spring Fair

Went to the Strathfield Spring Fair with GF. This is what's on hand:

"This year’s Fair will include 100 stalls including food from around the world, jewellery, clothes and gifts to name a few, free amusement rides, free pony rides, an animal farm, a Kidz Zone tent and roving entertainers. Centre stage will feature Channel Nine's most lovable Bear Humphrey B Bear as well as a range of live entertainment including performances from FABBA an ABBA style tribute band, Rick Allison a talented juggler, Horns Plus Big Band, the Leaping Loonies, ventriloquist Michael Fox, there will also be performances from various other live acts including local performers."

Spent a couple of hours going through the stalls. We found this stall selling discount items. GF got a 16CD case for only $3. Me, I bought two 512MB JNC SSF-F10mp3 players at $8 each. Pretty good value for that price - FM radio, FM radio recording, direct mp3 encoding, voice recording, dual 3.5mm earphone jacks, external SD memory card support, upgradeable firmware, etc. The stall was also selling mobile phones from Sagem, Philips, Siemens and Nokia for only $5 each. Didn't get those anymore.

After the stalls, we rested by watching the shows on stage. Caught Rick Allison and his partner doing his juggling/comedy routines. Listened to the Horns Plus Big Band while having chorizo roll and garlic prawns. Yum!

Dinner with family at Newtown Cocina.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lamb Cutlets with Mint Gremolata


  • 4 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon rind (white pith removed), cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 French-trimmed lamb cutlets
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

To make the gremolata, finely chop the mint, parsley, garlic and lemon strips, then combine well.

Heat a chargrill pan or barbeque plate to very hot. Lightly brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cook the cutlets over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Remove the cutlets and cover to keep warm.

Trim the ends from the carrots and zucchini and peel the vegetables lengthways into ribbons. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan, add the vegetables and toss over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until sautéed but tender.

Divide the cutlets among the service plates, sprinkle the cutlets with the gremolata and drizzle with the lemon juice. Serve with the vegetable ribbons.

Chargrilled Jumbo Prawns


  • 8 large raw king prawns (800g)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • mixed lettuce leaves, to serve
Remove the heads from the prawns, and using a sharp knife, cut through the centre of the prawns lengthways to form two halves, leaving the tails and shells intact.

Place the olive oil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, sweet chili sauce and lime juice in a large bowl, and mix together well. Add the prawns, toss to coat, and marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat a barbecue or chargrill plate until hot. Drain the prawns and cook cut-side down first, brushing with the marinade, for 1-2 minutes each side, or until cooked. Divide the lettuce among four serving plates, place the prawns on top. Season and serve.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Half a Ratatouille, a Hotdog, and Small Fried Rice

After playing an hour of badminton at Olympic Park, GF and I rushed to Burwood to attend a free viewing of Ratatouille as part of the Burwood Spring Celebration. It started around 7pm, so we caught only about half of the movie. We each had a hotdog for dinner. Still feeling a bit hungry after the movie, we went to Canton Noodle House, where I ordered a small fried rice, and GF had a bubble drink.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Albert and the Real Girl at Hurricane Grill

Quite a busy day today. Started off the morning playing an hour's worth of badminton. Went to the airport to pick up Dad. Then to Don Heng King Crab Century at Wests Ashfield Leagues for dimsum. Finished off pretty quick because I had to be at Hurstville for the showing of Lars and the Real Girl with GF.

A touching story about a lonely, introverted young man (Ryan Gosling) having difficulties interacting with other people. One day, he orders a sex doll from the Internet and treats Bianca as if she's for real. Not knowing how to handles his delusion, his brother Gus and sister-in-law gets the whole town to play along. As days go by, Lars gets to interact with more and more people as he has to drive Bianca to the hospital, to the church, etc. Later on, Bianca falls ill and eventually passes away. In the last scene of the movie, we see Lars standing over Bianca's grave. His officemate Margo (who has a long-time crush on him) comes over to offer her condolences. Lars asks if she wants to take a walk with him, and off they go. Four stars from me.

Back at Mortlake, I accompanied GF to Mass, then off to Hurricane Grill at Harbourside to celebrate her birthday. So full!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Night Dooleys

After our Friday night badminton, GF and I drove by London Road to look at this cheap house for sale. No wonder it's a bargain - right beside the property is a distribution substation. Bah!

Anyway, since we're already in the area, we had dinner at Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club. The bistro is a really nice place to hang around in - live entertainment, bright lighting, not too noisy, comfortable seats. Took about an hour before we got our food though.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dinner with GY

Apparently, I have a high school classmate who's been in Sydney for four years now. Through the wonders of Facebook, we got in contact and arranged to meet up in Darling Harbour for dinner.

Tonight is the last of Darling Harbour's Feast and Fireworks, so we (I and GF, he and Linda) were treated to a long, magnificent fireworks show while having a nice dinner at Narita.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Moon Festival in the Chinese Garden

In celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival (a.k.a. Mooncake Festival), the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour is staging a lights and sound show telling the story of how Chang'e ended up on the moon and became the Moon Goddess. Tickets cost $10 for adults with children under 12 free.

GF and I met up after work and got to the Chinese Garden around 6:30pm, which gives us half an hour before the show commences. The Garden is not as big as I imagined. Some rock formations, a few trees and shrubs, a big pond, a few pavilions and connecting walkways. We found a nice vantage point, but come showtime, people starting sitting just about anywhere they want, so our view was a bit compromised. Prior to the show, there was a lion dance performance, with the lions meandering through the audience.

The voiceover was a bit blurred, but based on the actions of the costumed actors, this is how I understood the story. There's the emperor, his wife and his daughter Chang'e. At that time, there were nine suns in the sky, which is not an ideal situation. Along came Houyi the archer, who shot down the suns, obviously leaving one. Out of gratitude, the emperor gave him Chang'e as his wife. The emperor also gave Houyi a pill that gives eternal life. One day, while frolicking in the gardens, Chang'e found the pill hidden in the rocks. Curious, she ate the pill. It made her lighter than air, and she floated up into the heavens, where she eventually settled on the moon. As a finale, the audience is treated to a big white floating balloon representing the moon and fires and pyrotechnics lighting up the sky. After the show, everyone was given a small mooncake to sample.

Dinner is seafood combination chow mien and pork ribs Pekinese style and rice at Super Bowl.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Canon Photo5 Competition

Was browsing Gizmodo (Australia) and noticed this article about an open registration to Canon's Photo5 competition. First time I heard of this photography competition. Apparently, it only started last year.

Once you register, Canon will send you a box with 5 mystery items. Take a picture of each of the five items in the most creative way possible, and upload them to the competition website. Up for grabs are $50,000 worth of EOS products. Competition is open to both amateurs and professionals.

Gentlemen, start your cameras!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Swatch Twin Phone (Blue Moon)

I'm such a sucker for things Swatch. I'm already sold on the watches. When I found out that they also made a line of telephones in the 1980's, I just gotta have one. And so I did.

The phone itself is shaped like a bean. You pick up the phone from its base and you'll see a 10-digit LCD display, then the numeric keypad. The interesting thing is, if you pick up the base, it becomes a second handset. So you can actually have three parties on the same conversation. Apart from that, you also get:

  • call duration timer
  • one-touch mute, redial, and flash functions
  • 3 direct-dial keys
  • 10 speed-dial memory keys