Monday, March 28, 2016

Sydney Guide - 16 To-Do-List in the City

1. Photoshoot with Sydney Opera House

This is the mandatory touristy spot that needs no introduction. The iconic building proves that you have visited Sydney! Oh and don't forget the Harbour Bridge too!

2. Picnic at Hyde Park

The park is located in the middle of the city. Although it might not be as famous as Hyde Park in London which is one of the largest park in the world, it surely is a good spot for picnic. I always envy how people could sit on the grass in other countries! As the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. And apparently they are cleaner too.

3. Say your prayers at St. Mary Cathedral (opposite Hyde Park)

It was a rather surreal moment of spiritual enlightenment. For non-believers, do check out the architecture and interior which were as magnificent as those you see in movies.

4. Seafood feast at Sydney Fish Market

Treat yourself to the freshest sashimi and other fisherman's catch. I absolutely love the oysters there which were the best I ever had so far! Be aware of the annoying seagulls thieves - read more here

5. Take a day tour to Hunter Valley

There are many tour deals available online. We bought ours at AUD49 per person for 5 wineries from Scoopon. Our deal was inclusive of transport and wine tasting (some deals were inclusive of lunch but ours weren't). Take your mind off the hustle bustle of the city as you enjoy the amazing views and fresh mountain air.

6. Place a bet at The Star Casino

And dine at Sokyo, a premium Japanese fine dining restaurant while you are there. Prices are slightly on the up side, but the quality and taste are definitely worth every dollar spent. I have never had tempura that could impress me until I tried the one at Sokyo!

7. Take a stroll at Bondi Beach

It wasn't the best season for the beach when we were there, but still, we had to check it off our list. Spotted some surfers despite the temperature. There were also some pretty cool graffiti along the beach.

8. Shop at The Rocks Market

This weekend market offers a variety of cultural souvenirs (like Kangaroo scrotum *shrieked in horror*) as well as daily items for your shopping list. We spotted kangaroo burgers on the menu too. As you are there, do drop by The Tea Cosy for some delicious scones.

9. Pack some Cronuts and Strawberry Watermelon Cake at Newtown

An interesting town with wall graffiti, hipsters cafes and locals dressed in bizarre fashion. They say you need to try that cake at Black Star Pastry when you are at Newtown, but personally I find it rather overrated. I prefer the cronuts from Brewtown Cafe.

10. Take an educational visit to Taronga Zoo

I never thought I would enjoy zoo that much. We managed to see about 90% of the animals by following the guide on the map. The zoo is located at an island, about 20 minutes away by ferry ride from the Circular Quay.

11. Have a date with Raphael at Art gallery of NSW

Entrance is FOC! Appreciate their great contemporary artworks and Renaissance masterpieces.

12. Taste a cuppa great coffee at The Grounds of Alexandria

Although I would say almost every cafe in Sydney serves good coffee. Be patient and wait for your turn especially during peak brunch hour. Don't forget to take a selfie with their celebrity swine, Kevin Bacons (what a name!).

13. Sip a cup of hot chocolate at Lindt Café or Max Brenner

The perfect chill out place on a cold weather. The waffle balls have been an all-time favorite!

14. Treat yourself to a good Italian meal at Jamie's Italian

Be sure to make a booking. We had to wait for our turn even with reservation. And no, Jamie won't be there to cook for you personally. LOL

15. Have a gelato at Anita or Messina

They say Messina serves the world's best gelato but we think that Anita is equally good.

16. Watch the weekly fireworks at Darling Harbour

Every Saturday at 9pm, all paid for by the restaurants at Darling Harbour. We were there on time to catch the beautiful fireworks on our final night. What a way to wrap up our awesome vacation.

Of course, this isn't a comprehensive list as it merely covers the city. If you are up for longer drives, you should take a road trip to the popular places like the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Watson's Bay. Plan your trip wisely and enjoy the best attractions of the urbane city.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

[ADV] ck2 - a scent for #the2ofus

You appreciate my whimsical ideology of life

While I take pride in your plans of world conquest

You make fun of my obsession in astrology forecasts

While I disregard your skepticism in worshippers’ faith

You find joy in the simplest pleasure of life

While I dream of my topsy turvy glamorous show

# Strangely we connect #

For you, I will climb the mountain and sail the sea

Getting lost with you away from the concrete garden

Sometimes it feels like just you and I against the world

As you take my hand and embark on the adventures

With you I find thrill of life

| Bold | Diverse | Free | #the2ofus

Introducing ck2 – a dual-faceted unisex perfume that celebrates every connection despite their differences.

It balances two opposing forces: the strike of spicy electric freshness and the warmth of magnetic woods (an epitome of me and you ^^)

The urban woody fresh fragrance consists of 3 main components:

top:     wasabi, mandarin, violet leaf absolute
mid:    wet cobblestones, orris concrete, rose absolute
dry:     sandalwood, vetiver, incense

We love how the scent is cool and natural with a hint of complexity. As the components merge, together they create an exuberant, intimate and contrasted connection.

As we tested it outdoor, the solar heat complemented the fragrance and multiplied the electric freshness.

ck2 is packaged in a clear container with the concept of minimalism.

Complex on the inside, yet simple on the outside.

Being a gender-free fragrance, the 2-part design unites the male and female element.

Like the connection of 2 people, the sleek rounded bulb of glass and the solid square cap create 2 pieces perfectly in-sync and connected to each other. Truly designed for #the2ofus

eau de toilette spray                                     100ml                         RM289
eau de toilette spray                                     50ml                           RM219
deodorant stick                                             2.6oz/75g                  RM89

ck2’s launch will be happening at Mid Valley Centre Court from 21st – 27th March 2016. Remember to drop by to be the first few to get your hands on ck2 fragrance! Be ready for the fabulous deals and exclusive experiences! 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sydney Fish Market - Fresh Oysters, Tiger Prawns, Sashimi and more

A past due vacation post from my Sydney trip during June last year. It was winter when we visited. Already summer now that I'm ready to update on that vacation. LOL. 

If I were to recommend one top place to visit in Sydney, it would be none other than SFM - Sydney Fish Market!

You can’t just visit Sydney without having seafood!

Someone told me that other than Japan, you would probably find the freshest seafood in Sydney. I guess that statement was right.

The best time to visit SFM is early morning when the seafood is at their best state and when the fish market isn’t that crowded. Past noon, you would find yourselves swoon amidst the loud chattering of China tourists.

We couldn’t bring ourselves to wake up that early during vacation. So it was 30 minutes before noon as we arrived. Quickly picked whatever we wanted and found ourselves a seat.

Oyster bar!!! Extra exclamation marks for its awesome freshness!

No joke, the oysters are not the paliah cheap oysters that taste like mud. These are the real live oysters that give you mouthgasm!

There were 2 types at the oyster bar:

Pacific Oyster – the usual greyish type priced at AUD17.99 per dozen.

Sydney Rock Oyster – slightly yellowish and smaller type priced at AUD19.99 per dozen.

We enjoyed both types of oysters but personally I prefer Sydney Rock Oyster as I found it sweeter. I guess that explains the pricing? After conversion it was less than RM5 per oyster!

Usually I wouldn’t take more than 3 on my own as it would disgust me. But with this kind of quality, I wouldn’t mind having half a dozen for myself!

Mud crab which seems to be marketed mostly to China tourists. I suppose ang moh are not fans of mud crab.

No idea why we didn’t order the Medium Cooked Tiger Prawns even though I had been told before that the prawns were amazing. It wasn’t until the next few days when we ordered this prawns somewhere and realized that it was from SFM.

So yea, if you ever visit SFM, remember to order the prawns! So fresh and juicy and keeps you wanting for more.

Instead of getting the prawns at SFM, we bought the scampi instead because they looked so vibrant and lively like they would dance in your mouth.

It was to be eaten raw. I remember it being very fresh and juicy. The taste didn’t disappoint!

We bought most of our sashimi from Peter’s. Didn’t really order the cooked food because we were there on a mission to only taste the freshest!

Uni!!! (Sea urchin)

Actually this sea urchin was alright only, not quite memorable. I’m not sure which stall we got it from. I remember Han saying the uni wasn’t available at the stall he wanted so he got it from another stall.

Before the trip, I had read a few blogs warning others on the sea gulls at SFM. Janice suggested that we sat outside so we could enjoy the view while savouring our catch of the day. We had truly enjoyed the view and the cool breeze. For like 5 seconds before the sea gulls started to target us as their prey!

Or to be more precise, they were teaming up to target our sashimi! M*therf*** scumbag seagulls I swear they are even more annoying than they appeared in Finding Nemo! And they are such experienced thieves! We were almost robbed of our precious sashimi T_______T

It had been one hell of stressful 20 minutes which involved us screaming and trying to whack that one seagull with our umbrella to no avail.

It was a cold gloomy noon. And the seagulls absolutely did not help to brighten up our day. We switched inside with our half-eaten-almost-stolen lunch only to start questioning ourselves whether we were in China or Aussie. Saying that Sydney Fish Market being infested by China tourists is clearly an understatement.

It was mission impossible to get ourselves a table.

Some fruits and vegetables at the back of the market.

It was still raining when we were done. Waited a while for the rain to ease before walking to the train station.

How to get to Sydney Fish Market:

Sydney Light Rail from Central Station, The Star, Haymarket or Darling Harbour to the Fish Market stop which is located across the road from the market.

Bus Service 501: This City/West Ryde/Ryde bus service departs from Central Station every 30 mins. Embark at Miller street, opposite Jone Street which is 5-mins stroll away from SFM.
We took a bus from Central Station that day and took the light rail back.

Sydney Fish Market
Address: Bank St & Pyrmont Bridge Road,
Sydney NSW 2009, Australia.
Tel: +61 2 9004 1100
Opening Hour: Daily 7am – 4pm