Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mount Buller

After visiting Dinner Plain last year, there was no doubt that a trip to the snow was going to be on this year's travel list. This time, the family and I decided to go for the ever popular Mount Buller, an iconic destination for local and overseas travellers alike.



The drive to Mount Buller was quite pleasant, except for the one hour it took us to crawl out of the CBD. We drove through several towns like Yarra Glen and Mansfield, many of which I would like to explore on its own when I have more time. We stopped by Yea for a toilet break and bought a sticky lemon and passionfruit cake from a little bakery. (Always need more rations when you're heading into the cold!)

We arrived just as the sun started to set, and it was one of the most surreal surroundings I had ever experienced. Watercolour skies, mountain peaks, and a sea of clouds. I was expecting it to be beautiful, but not this beautiful. We parked our car in the overnight car park and took a four wheel drive taxi to our apartment. I remember putting down all our luggage, quickly changing into warmer clothing and shouting "GO GO GO!" for fear of missing the rest of the sunset.

After a night of charades and blackjack (who knew $9.20 worth of coins used as betting chips could be so much fun?), hubby and I woke up early to catch the sunrise. We knew there wasn't going to be any snowfall during our stay, but we were still happy to see the snow pumps doing their best. The man-made snow ended up being quite slippery though.



Despite the lack of snow, the ski runs were still bursting with people so we decided to go for a hike instead. We chose the Summit Nature Walk, which brought us to the highest point of Mount Buller. We had a lot of fun fooling around in the snow, snapping photographs and crossing runs. It did take a bit of effort and we started getting really warm. It wasn't long into the hike that I had to remove my jacket, scarf and beanie.

The view from the top was amazing. You know that feeling of insignificance when you gaze upon a large expanse of mountains, or just the humbling grandeur of nature in general? Yeah, that's the feeling I constantly chase.



I loved that feeling of being on top of the world.



We were really tired from the hike and had a nap, but we knew we couldn't miss the opportunity to witness another amazing sunset. From far, the mountains and clouds looked like islands and ocean waves. As we got closer, I really felt like I could reach out for the clouds, and grab them like cotton wool.

To be honest, at the start, we were all dampened by the fact that we weren't going to be able to experience natural snowfall, but the scenery more than made up for it. With the great snow forecast this week, I can imagine that it will be even more mesmerising. I hope that someday I will be able to experience Mount Buller in all its beauty.

Friday, June 26, 2015

South Society, Mount Waverley: Part II

After my last visit to South Society, I knew I had to come back for their dinner menu. Last week, I finally got the chance to do so after working a 12-hour shift. Nothing better than filling my tummy with yummy food after such a long day at work!

The dishes on their dinner menu are designed to be shared, and there are plenty of choices. They recommend ordering two to three grazing plates and one main plate to share between two, which is exactly what we did.



It's hard to say no to soft shell crab. It was seasoned with five spice and served with nam jim coriander and bean shoot salad. I have to say that it was one of the best soft shell crabs I have had in a while. The crab came intact, and it was ever so light, juicy and crispy. The spicy salad on the side gave it a nice kick as well. We were left wanting for more.

Next up, we had seared scallops with pea and bacon crumbs. What a perfect combo! The scallops were tender, and the pea puree was very refreshing. The bacon crumbs added a distinct texture to the dish. Each mouthful was a delight! Hubby also gave it a nod of approval.



For our main, we had the chargrilled spatchcock with corn puree and salsa fresca. Great flavours, although I did find the meat a little dry.



We couldn't resist ordering a side of chips. Generously seasoned with rosemary salt, these chunky chips with skin still on were oh-so-tasty but also very filling. I'm hoping that they will soon offer up a sweet potato option!

It's one of those restaurants with great service, great menu and great ambience. I was probably really, really hungry that night, but I remember wanting to order every single thing on the menu. (Still hope to one day, over staggered visits!). The only downside is that it's almost always full and very noisy. You'll have to shout and lean in if you want to chat with your dining mates!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Perth



Yes, Perth again. I just can't get enough of this laid-back, sunny city. I've been to Perth once a year for the past three years, and I can't help but hope that this trend will continue. After all, I haven't visited any other regions apart from the city centre and Rottnest Island, so there's still so much to explore.

This trip was so, so short that we were really only there for about a day an a half. Since I was alone, I decided to spend my time somewhere iconic but not too far away. There was none other than Kings Park. Viewing the city from different angles, sitting on the grass soaking in the sun, finding a bench in a hidden corner to read, it was a beautiful way to spend most of my afternoon. Now I'm just waiting to go back..

Day 1

  • Cocoa & Rose, Perth CBD
  • Hay Street Mall
  • Kings Park 
  • Jaws Sushi, Perth CBD
  • Jean Pierre Sancho, Perth CBD
  • Poppo Korean & Japanese, Perth CBD


  • Day 2

  • Miss Maud Swedish Hotel, Perth CBD
  • Drip House, Perth CBD
  • Harvest Espresso, Victoria Park 
  • Claisebrook Cove, East Perth
  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Harvest Espresso, Victoria Park

    While in Perth, we had the chance to catch up with two good friends and even meet their new adorable puppy. They even spoilt us with a meal at Harvest Espresso, Victoria Park, a café with a strong focus on food. Their menu changes with the season, so we were lucky enough the catch the last days of the autumn menu.




    My dish was roasted cauliflower with almond nasturtiums crumble, whipped goats cheese cream, slow-cooked eggs and crispy kataifi (shredded fillo pastry). It was one of the most unique yet delicious combinations that I have come across in my humble brunching experience. I haven't had any form of goats cheese since I was put off it a few years ago, but this was such a light version of it while still retaining its essence. As even the different flavours weren't interesting enough, the dish was also amped up by its different textures, from crunchy, to silky, to creamy.



    Hubby ordered the waffles with jasmine cream, bergamot gel, maple syrup, bananas and strawberries. It looked so good!


    My friends ordered the grilled squid and smoked cod, two options that I had also been considering. I had a mouthful of each, and they were delicious.

    Apparently, this café is also famous for their matcha latte. The taste of the green tea was so powerful! I love it when people don't skimp on green tea powder.

    We felt very lucky to have been able to brunch at this lovely café. We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table inside, but it was more than worth it. I'm definitely coming back whenever I get to Perth again (which hopefully will be sometime soon!).

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    Monday, June 22, 2015

    Poppo Korean & Japanese, Perth

    Hubby and I recently made an unexpected trip to Perth for just under two days. He had a conference to attend and I, well, I tagged along for the ride! The only night we were there, we had dinner at Poppo Korean & Japanese. I had had a massive lunch alone at Jaws Sushi so I was still pretty full, so we were looking for a light and homely meal.



    I wasn't up for ordering a main, so I got this tofu tempura entrée instead. My wish was fulfilled, as the batter was really light and crispy. In addition to tofu, there were also other vegetables like sweet potato to mix things up a bit. The sauce wasn't too heavy on the taste buds either, which was a plus.



    Our other entrée was fried chicken, and once again, it was done beautifully. They were cut in convenient bite-sized pieces and had an incredibly crunchy coating. It wasn't oily or over-seasoned, which meant that while it was delicious, it didn't taste too sinful.



    Finally, we ordered haemultang (seafood stew) which came with rice and some side dishes. I thought that it was a little small but it was packed with so much goodness. It was one of those rare times where you could really taste the essence of the seafood in the soup, so hearty and tasty! The seafood included fish, prawn, mussel and squid. And more tofu. (Yay for me!)

    All in all, it was a lovely meal, and even though I was stuffed from lunch, I still really enjoyed it. It would happily keep returning whenever I need a Korean food fix, but alas, I shall have to hunt for an alternative in Melbourne!

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