27 November 2012

Wara Wara wasabi bomb

I thought this restaurant was Korean with a Japanese influence but it seems they advertise it the other way around…

I love the fit out of this place. You walk upstairs to find a big, open space with a huge screen playing Asian pop music. There are booths all down one side with funky artwork behind them. The rest of the space are your usual wooden chairs and tables that are popular in Asian restaurants.

Thought this was funny - no I didn't dare try it!
My friend and I popped in after work at a whim, I had seen the place and wanted to visit for a while. She ordered the seafood stir fry noodles and I ordered the tempura prawn udon noodle soup, with a side of Gyoza of course!

The gyoza was delicious! I would definitely go back just for that alone. I love my gyoza and this one definitely withstood the quality and taste test!

Due to a minor communication misunderstanding, I ended up with the vegetable udon instead of the prawn. However when I explained this to them they were very sweet and apologetic getting me the prawn udon in no time. The soup was yummy, your standard udon noodle soup.

My friend’s meal was huge! The sauce was a light soy and garlic and there was calamari, fish and other seafood throughout it. The only thing that she disliked was the pippi like shell fish, but each to their own and she ate everything but!

Cute place to check out just for the atmosphere.

Warawara Izakaya on Urbanspoon

22 November 2012

'Think of the eels!' - An Auckland wedding

God Daughter Cadence

I just spent a week in NZ to be a bridesmaid for my family friend Alescha and her new hubby Mark. Alescha’s family and my family have been friends for years – we go waay back! My parents are Alescha’s God Parents and I am the God Mother of Alescha and Mark’s daughter Cadence.

Unfortunately as I live in Oz and they were all in Auckland I didn’t get to do all the usual bridesmaidy things and even more unfortunately I missed out on the male strippers at the Hens night!

I was pretty damn nervous about the dress and shoes! I had seen the shoes online and had my Mum pick them up as they were in NZ. Had my fingers crossed I was still a size 7! But I was more nervous about the dress.. if it was too small I was screwed. There were no other sizes available. All I knew was that they were long and black.

Luckily, the dress was gorgeous and if anything a tiny bit too big! The shoes were a little too small. Ironic really, I thought it was going to be the other way around.

The rain held off for the ceremony (thank goodness) and we were able to have it outside.
I held my God Daughters hand down the aisle and was fighting back tears as bloody Keith (Alescha’s Dad and a close friend) started tearing up, the emotional bastard. Of course that made Alescha tear up and next thing you know we are all trying to make each other laugh so we weren’t balling by the time we reached the crowd! We were trying to distract each other by saying ‘think of the eels as they were a decent amount under the bridge we were walking over.

During the ceremony I was at an angle to Keith (Father of the bride), he was in my direct line of vision. He kept tearing up and since I kept looking at him so did I. My Mum said I looked slightly crazy coz I each time I looked at Keith I would roll my eyes up into the back of my head so I wouldn’t cry! Ain’t no way I was gonna ruin my make up by crying though lol.

After the gorgeous ceremony we headed in for photos and then jumped in golf buggy’s to travel over the estate. Simon, the best man and gentleman that he is had arranged alcohol and snacks for the trip. I was on the ‘Bang Bus’ - I have no idea what this means, although I do have my suspicions as it was from the Bachelors night….

Anyway my Dad was the MC, and although I am bias and I was half cut he did a great job and was pretty funny. The reception again was gorgeous. Alescha and Mark sat on thrones which was a cool touch.

The wedding dance was awesome! The couple had had dance lessons and broke it down on the d-floor before being joined by everyone. I was trying to teach everyone rock and roll ‘side together, side together, back-step.’

Stupidly I decided that it was a fantastic idea to take my too small shoes off and ‘shuffle’ on the d-floor with my bros and the wedding party. Next thing you know I’m being carried off by the best man as I cut my foot on glass and due to the large amount of alcohol in my system, bled everywhere. Haha amusing end to the night!

All in all, so honoured to be part of Alescha and Mark’s wedding. A gorgeous day!

13 November 2012

Himalayan Cafe - New Farm

Great food, fantastic atmosphere and BYO goodness.

The first thing that hits you when you arrive at the Himalayan Cafe is the atmosphere, it has dark-ish interior lighting, some incense is burning by the shrine and the music transports you away.
It is very relaxed and the venue is full of happy voices - it looked to be very popular and luckily we had booked in advance, (we being Wes) I don't think we would have got a table otherwise.

We ordered steamed meat dumplings (of course) to start with. They are a much thicker pastry to gyoza but yummy all the same especially when coupled with the satay-like sauce. We had another starter. almost like the same taste as a samosa, I can't remember the name and I can't find the menu online to check it. Would recommend both however.
Wes's main meal

By Wes's lack of conversation during dinner I can but assume his lamb main was good. He talked my ear off the rest of the time so I took this as a good sign! Men can be so easy to read at times.

I tried the Himalayan noodles with prawns as my main - figured I would go for something I couldn't get elsewhere as I was also considering the pesto chicken. The meals are massive and very reasonably priced. The prawns were delicious, and the noodles soft with a great flavour  I'd have it again for sure.

Entree I can't remember name of!
The toilets are an interesting experience. Not that there is anything wrong with them, they're just interesting. First of all I couldn't distinguish between the Himalayan man and woman and wasn't sure which door to go through. A little awkward but I figured it out. Then there is the lighting.. There is no 'normal' lighting.. I spent an indefinite amount of time searching for the light switch but it seems they are persistent in having you use the restrooms while they are bathed in a deep red light. Or glow rather. Worth a look even if you aren't busting! Haha

Anyway it's a great place to check out - be sure to make a reservation and bring a good bottle of wine for the BYO!

My main - Himalayan noodles

Himalayan Cafe on Urbanspoon

10 November 2012

Next holidays I want to do:

While I still have a few coming up there are sooo many more I want to do!

  • Back to America, NY, Vegas, LA
  • THIS contiki around the east coast of America – I love contiki.
  • Visit my friend Sheldon and her husband in the UK (a place I don’t love but a dear friend I miss enough to travel to somewhere I dislike to be with)
  • While I’m in the UK it would be rude of me not to go back to Italy. I want to travel more around the coast and especially visit Cinque Terre. Mostly I just want to eat and people watch. Just be there.
  • South America – Riioooooooooo!! Would love love love to check out Carnivale. Must admit I am a little hesitant due to the amount of murders during this time but would be incredible to see all that colour and music!
  • Swim with whale sharks ANYWHERE – I don’t care if I have to go to Perth or Japan, these animals are so graceful and majestic I just wana be with them.
  • Speaking of Japan – that place is funky as hell. I can’t wait to go back there. Back to Tokyo to visit my mate Seiji and then Kyoto to visit Toshi and then Okinawa, an island where the people live until they are really old.
  • Singapore, good food, decent shopping cool buildings
  • Dubai – this place looks cray. 
  • Phillipines, some gorgeous beach where I can chill. Oh and that place you can swim in the Jelly Fish lake! Palau. 
  • Bora Bora. I MUST stay in one of those over water bungalows so I can look at the fishy’s all night!!!!!! 
  • Mexico – especially Belize. It just looks breath taking.
  • Maldives. See above. Beautiful.
  • South Island of NZ - Ironically I have travelled the world and yet not my own country properly.
  • Anywhere my family is. Hopefully on a cruise somewhere… Bahamas again anyone? 

 Must stop writing and start working out how I can earn more money and have more time off. This sh!t is expensive!!

7 November 2012

Sushi Kotobuki - LOVE this place!


When I worked for the Lions I regularly visited this place as it is just around the corner from the Gabba in East Brisbane. Now I don’t get there so often but love it when I do!

These pics reallllly don't do the food justice, I had take-away tonight and it was incredible as always. We went for Lion King, edamame, prawn uramake and gyoza.

Sushi Kotobuki is one of those restaurants that when you look at it from the outside you don’t think much of it. Most people don’t even know that it is there. Hidden in a little block on a corner, it doesn’t have any real presence from the outside. Inside it just looks like any tiny sushi place. However, if you saw how many people go there you would be able to tell straight away you had stumbled upon something awesome.

They have just completed a renovation to accommodate more people and jazz up the interior. It looks good but they are still in need of more space for tables due to their popularity. The line is still huge and we had to order take away as there were no tables.

My regular order is edamame and a Lion King roll or James special. The James special isn’t on the actual menu, someone just created it and it caught on but if you ask for it they will know what it is. Both of them and I’m full for under $10! Did I mention how cheap this place is? Best sushi in Brisbane and they’re so cheap. Can’t beat it!

They also have your usual range of Japanese curries and soups etc that are equally delicious but with sushi so cheap and delicious I tend to stick with that.

The staff are lovely, they always recognise you and ask how you are. Japanese hospitality at its best.

Go there, you will not be disappointed.

Kotobuki on Urbanspoon

6 November 2012

Holiday Planning - Oops!

Why one shouldn't leave booking until the last minute... Or perhaps why you should!

So in my last blog I was saying how I'd been lazy and hadn't booked anything for my Thailand trip. Being New Years and a very popular destination I knew I should have, yet it still didn't motivate me.

So yesterday I finally got my A into G and booked my accommodation. A nice little resort in Koh Samui, (yup I went for Koh Samui and the ferry to Koh Phagnan for the Full Moon Party) right on the beach and very central to everything. Sweet. Done. Yewwww!!

So I called Gemma and was like 'Yo Bro put some money on my account.'
While we were talking she was asking me when I was flying home, she still wasn't sure about her leave with work so her plans are up in the air. Still didn't think to check my flights.

Then my other girlfriend from work calls me, her and her travel buddy were browsing accom and wanted to know where I had booked and what my plans were. Still didn't think to check flights back.

Then my cousin called. She had decided not to join us but to head to Phuket instead as that suited her plans better. She was asking me what my plans were and where I was flying out from. She mentioned that if she came to Samui it was hard to get off the island, that there were hardly any flights left and they were all expensive. I must have had other things on my mind as I STILL didn't think to check flights!

So a few hours later I'm mucking around on my laptop.. Lalalala... And I think 'oh I know what I'll do, I'll look at flights home from Thailand.'

My first idea was to google flights 'Samui to Phuket or Bangkok' I could fly out from either an was heading towards whatever was cheaper. As I mentioned before, Google is actually my best friend.

So I find a site similar to webjet and put in my details.. All the flights are $400+ and have a stopover? They should be 1hr direct and under $100.. Then I head to trusty old Bangkok Airline, who I am flying there with. In 7 days, they have one flight. A day earlier than I had planned. Not ideal. But the only option for me to get off the island really unless I want to take a 7hour bus trip. I don't.

Called Gemma, who was asleep. Oops. Sorry bro. She didn't make much sense and couldn't understand me so gave up on trying to establish whether she wanted to jump on the flight too and told her to have a lovely sleep.

So I book the flight off the island just for me and start looking for flights home from Phuket (only flight was to there) to Brisbane. There's a few but they all have fairly decent stopovers and I'm lazy when it comes to stuff like that. Eventually though I found one leaving a few hours after I arrived, it flies to Perth first (perfect if Gem comes) with a quick stop and straight back to Bris. To be honest, I mainly took it coz it was with Virgin Australia and I wanted the air points. Plus it was a flexible flight so can change as I please. And it was cheaper than the others. Yay win-win.

Moral of the story, if you're traveling at peak times, book early. Unless you want an excuse for work to not come back on time, in which case this is perfect...

Boss 'You're back on the 5th January right?'
You 'Umm'
Boss *Severe expression directed at you*
You 'Well actually..'
Boss 'Yes..'
You 'There were no flights back on time..'
Boss 'Oh really?'
You 'Yes so unfortunately you see, I can't come back until February'
Boss 'I see..'
You 'I'm sorry, it's not my fault, I couldn't get a flight back, I really tried.'
Boss 'You're right, are you okay?'
You 'I suppose I will be' *Moahahaha sneaky smile*

Ps. Still haven't booked from the 2nd - 5th sh!t!! Haha better get on that!

4 November 2012

Holiday Planning - Krunk for NY in the land of Thai

I love planning holidays. For me it’s part of the fun of it. Finding out where we can go, where is best to eat, stay, drink, play. Google is my best friend.

I actually haven’t booked anything this time but flights to Koh Samui on the 28th December and well, that’s it haha. No accom, no flight home, no tours, no ferry to the full moon. Essentially I have been lazy and no one else wants to make any decisions so it has been left to me.

The reason that we decided to head to Koh Samui was so that we could go to the Full Moon party at Koh Phagnan. We decided not to stay on the island itself as they were all 5 night minimum stays and there isn’t a lot to do on the island. So we would catch a ferry over before the party and then one back in the morning, after a nice nap on the beach. However NOW, I don’t know if that was the right decision.. I’ve read a bit about the beach being really crappy and not suitable to go bare foot on let alone nap.. so being rather intoxicated, exhausted and likely in need of a bed somewhere around 5am and with ferry’s not starting until 8am… we face my dilemma. 

Do I just book accom on the island for the three nights and spend the time there and a few nights in Koh Samui? Or do we stick with the original plan and stay at Koh Samui and brave the elements to wait for the ferry? Or, do we try and book a cheap place to stay for the night on NY in Koh Phagnan, along with Koh Samui and just foot the bill so we have somewhere to stay that night? So many decisions!

I also have two girlfriends meeting us in Koh Samui and my cousin maybe meeting us in Koh Samui too. Oh and Gemma's friend maybe too. I'd love for us to all be together but trying to coordinate that many people coming and leaving at the different times can be challenging.

So the plan so far is fly to Samui from NZ, meet Gemma and stay there for 5nights. Depending if Gemma stays in Thailand past the 2nd Jan we may head to Koh Tao. Either way I think I will head to the island of Koh Tao from the 2nd as I have other friends that are also staying there from the 2nd – 5th. Perfect.

I just got so excited - I saw that you can go swimming with Whale Sharks there!!! Except I think we are there in the wrong season :( I have wanted to do that for so long. It is supposed to be a really good dive spot but due to blood pressure medication I'm not allowed to dive any more. Unfair. Hopefully the snorkelling is just as good! I will find my Nemo :)

My good friends Kim & Sonja are in Thailand at the moment, I love following their blog, they’re giving me heaps of ideas of where to go. Not to mention making me crave Pad Thai and want to wear fluoro while drinking out of buckets!

As long as I don't get sick, I will be happy. Thai belly is not my favourite. I managed to avoid it last time then got hit ten times worse when I visited Vietnam. Fingers crossed my tummy comes through strong for me again lol.

Either way, no matter what I book, watch out Thailand, we’re coming!!!