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The year 2013….

Wow is it really 2014 already? It seems only yesterday I was writing about 2012 and here I am thinking about what a year 2013 has been. I thought 2012 was the year of travels, 2013 was just the same – I didn’t think we would travel so much with Dragon but being in Hong Kong, it’s so hard not too when everything is so close!

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We started the year with a pig feast! My birthday – we went to Fook Lam Moon – a place to be seen apparently, where celebrities go wine and dine! I had one the best suckling pig thus far – it wasn’t cheap but it was definitely fantastic and satisfying! A great way to start the year that’s for sure.

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We also went to Doppio Zero in Sheung Wan for bone marrow (my favourite in Hong Kong in 2013!) and steak.

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Chinese New Year was a bit late this year I thought, in February. I love Christmas and Chinese New Year – lots of breaks! We were invited to a colleagues house and he had a spit roast – a pig! I have to say, this was also a very good PIG! I couldn’t stop eating the pork, thankfully he had TWO roast porks!

We didn’t start our travels until March where we went to Singapore to  meet my brother and sis-in-law who were holidaying there. I fell in love with Paradise Dynasty – a restaurant in Singapore that makes AWESOME xiao long baos! I think it is a lot better than Din Tai Fung.

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Ate at Blue Butcher for the most awesome steak – think this is my favourite go to steak restaurant in Hong Kong.

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In April we went back to Sydney for Dragon 1st Birthday. I really wanted her to spend her first birthday with family and it was a FANTASTIC event. It’s so good to be with family and friends for a special event!

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We hit up a lot of cafes and restaurant, one being Movida – so awesome that they are finally in Sydney!

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Loved Kepos – the falafel sandwich is one of the best I have eaten, can’t get that in Hong Kong anywhere unfortunately 😦

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We also went for a quick trip to Xiamen late April for ‘The Mother’s cricket tour – yes it was a proper tour where they actually played cricket against another team. Had some fantastic street food – stinky tofu how much I love you and lots of steamed buns!

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We went to Penang for ‘The Mother’s’ birthday in July – long weekend and hung out by the pool pretty much every day. Traveling with Dragon is definitely different. We no longer pack our days with sight seeings and events, it revolves around Dragon’s nap time – she dictates our schedules! Had a great meal at Perut Rumah for authentic nyonya food.

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We also went to Joo Hooi cafe for the best CKT I have eaten and cendol!

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Had snake soup for the first time ever – yes it has taken me that long to check out Ser Wong Fun and it did not disappoint!

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I went back to Sydney in August for a quick work trip and because it was my niece’s one month celebration! Couldn’t miss that! I was also craving Korean Fried Chicken – can you believe I have yet to find one in Hong Kong. Went to Red Pepper in Strathfield but my favourite is still NaruOne.

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Had an awesome burger at Mary’s. I have to say though, my favourite burger in Sydney is still Dan Hong’s burger which can be found at the Fish Place – shame on me for not visiting yet!

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Finally got to try the famous Devon Cafe – I can see why people are in love with this place! I love the cafe scene in Sydney.

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Ate at Fu Sing Shark Fin Restaurant and had their awesome char siu – oh how i love you!

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In November I was back in Sydney again for a whirl wind trip and it was so nice to see family and friends again – i have truly missed them! Ate well as always. Tried Three Williams which has to be one of my favourite cafes in Sydney – love the space and the food was fantastic.

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Dragon and I then went to  meet ‘The Mother’ in Helsinki after his dog sledding boys trip. I haven’t had Chinese food for 2 weeks and was DYING for some. Thanks to Dan Hong for connecting me to someone who lived in Helsinki and told me about this place, Gaijin – the pork belly was TO DIE FOR! (post to come! Sorry!)

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Went to Juuri also which was nice – I couldn’t eat a lot of the seafood dishes and the chef was very accommodating which is nice. (post to come). Loved this mushroom dish…

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We then went to Prague for 4 days – fell in love with the city! It’s so beautiful, I could definitely live there! (posts on all food to come!)

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I’ve had my fare share of fried chicken, bone marrow and steak this year! Still on the hunt for the best fried chicken in Hong Kong – they don’t have Korean Fried Chicken!!!! and you can never have enough bone marrow and steak! Here are some memorable ones

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I’ve lost count the number of times I have gone to Yat Lok for goose in 2013 – it is my favourite lunch spot! Their char siu is pretty tasty also.

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Having Dragon has made it a bit difficult to eat out all the time, as I would rather go home after work to be with her. Going to fine dining restaurants with her at this age (20 months) is so not enjoyable! She can’t sit still long enough and cause she is so active, i really don’t enjoy my meal. I eat so quickly so that she doesn’t get bored. However, in saying that, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Regardless, it has been a fantastic year, I have eaten quite a fair bit (still a lot more of yummy eats to come!), traveled quite a fair bit. I doubt we would be doing that much travel next year, Dragon is turning 2 and well…we actually have to start paying her air fares! LOL

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Thanks again for all your support, I have made so many good friends through blogging and appreciate all the friendship! See you on the other side 🙂 Wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Lots more eating, good times and laughters for 2014!

xx

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Goodbye 2011, what a year it has been!

What a year it has been! 2010 was a fantastic year, lots of travel and lots of food! Although ‘The Mother’ and I didn’t travel as much in 2011, it was indeed ONE HELL of a year and am certainly looking forward to 2012. Where did this year go huh?

Trying to pick my top 10 dishes for 2011 was hard! So much good food and where do I start? In no particular order:

1. Suckling pig and Chocolate ice cream at Cutler and Co

Melbourne trip with the family – each course was better than the next. The highlight would have to be roast suckling pig, boudin noir, plum and kohlrabi – it was so frigging awesome that I had a mini foodgarsm!

The Chocolate ice cream sandwich, vanilla parfait and salted caramel – EPIC!

2. My ultimate meal – WHOLE SUCKLING PIG at Four in hand

oh my – went with 18 pork lovers and it was undoubtedly the BEST suckling pig I have eaten! The crispy skin, the succulent pork meat! It was just divine! Not to mention Colin’s colcannon – the best in Sydney! The food in overall in Four in Hand is excellent!

3. Best tiramisu at Italians and Sons

When I worked in Canberra for a bit, I managed to try a couple of restaurants, one being Italians and Sons and the tiramisu here is to die for! Photos are a little horrid, it was dark but you have to trust me that it was incredible!

4. TOYS collective event

I have been to a few in 2011 and the best would have to be number 7: old dogs, new tricks. Pig’s trotter stuffed with veal sweetbreads, chicken mousse, shiitake and ginger, garlic chive, pickled onions, beer mustard was divine and Tastes like Chicken, New Zealand milk-fed lamb, smoked eggplant, flatbread cooked in its own ash was TO DIE FOR!

And  chocolate, orange, and some form of German Cake. Three words – OH MY GOD! EPIC!

5. Suckling pig at Manor, Hong Kong

On my recent visit to Hong Kong I finally went to Manor and really enjoyed the suckling pig at Manor, amongst other things. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try a lot of other restaurants due to work commitments but there will always be a next time!

6.  Crispy scaled snapper at Gastro Park

I have been fortunate enough to come here twice. I haven’t written about the second time yet, but during my first visit, I had the crispy scaled snapper, smoked potato puree, calamari crackling, ink sauce – OMG! The crispy snapper, and that calamari crackling! YUM!

The second visit, we ordered the liquid butternut gnocchi and oh my – the flavours that burst in my mouth was incredible! Wanted to eat the whole thing on my own.

7. Meal at Nosawa onzen

It was a simple meal but just the whole experience is unforgetable. Not to mention the horse sashimi – different but I really did enjoy it!

8. The legendary petite fours at Restaurant Arras

The whole meal was excellent but it was the legendary petite fours that took my breath away. Wanted one of each!

9. The spicy chicken at Ayam betutu khas gilimanuk

Very ghetto, very Balinese, the spicy chicken was just incredible. The whole trip was amazing, 7 days and I tried to eat everything in the whole week!

10. Pork jowl and the famous Snow Ball at Quay restaurant

The view from Quay is outstanding, it makes the whole dining experience wonderful. The pork jowl I had was just awesome, and the most talked about nectarine snow ball – even better!

There’s a lot of pork dishes that made the list! Apologies, you all know my love for pork, so it had to be in my list. There are also some old favourites, Porteno, Bodega, Ms G’s that we keep going back too. Not to mention Four in Hand Bar – the fish and chips – one of the best in Sydney I have to say!

It’s been a big year, and 2012 will be an even bigger year – there will be a new addition to the GA family, and not to mention travels and new adventures in the coming year! It will be a HUGE YEAR and am certainly looking forward to it.

Thank you all for your support, in the mean time, I do hope you all have a FANTASTIC NEW YEARS EVE and here is to 2012 – to family, good friends, health and more food! 🙂

Categories: Thoughts Tags: , ,

Hong Kong here we come

‘The Mother’ and I are off to Hong Kong for a wedding and to see our family and friends. Oh how I have missed you! So looking forward to catching up with you all.

At the airport, ‘The Mother’s’ luggage was less than 10kgs!! More shopping for me right?

Looking forward to eating all the delicious goodness in Hong Kong before going to Japan for more wonderful meals and a couple days of snow boarding.

Stay safe, and eat well!

Categories: Hong Kong, Thoughts Tags: ,

Wonderful and memorable meals of 2010

It was so hard to pick the top 10 meals in 2010. I was going to do a separate one for Hong Kong, Sydney and travels but I would bore all of you with all my top tens! So I have decided to combine it all, and instead of just doing a top 10 of 2010, thought I would just list the wonderful and memorable meals I’ve had in 2010. In no particular order, my wonderful meals of 2010 are as follows:

1. Porteno, Surry Hills, Sydney: wood fire suckling pig and pavlova

This place really requires no introduction. It’s the most popular restaurant in Sydney for the past couple of months and believe it or not, I have been here more than half a dozen times since it opened. Very meaty, not for Vegetarians. Also must try: beef inside skirt, wood fire lamb (if you like lamb) and pavlova.

2. Lotus, Potts Point, Sydney: the CHEESE BURGER

You have all heard me rave about the cheese burger and if you still haven’t been, you are truly missing out! It is the tastiest, the messiest, the BEST burger in town! Also must try: yellow fin tuna with sweet wasabi, soy and ginger dressing.

3. Café Ish, Surry Hills, Sydney: soft shell crab omelette

I can’t remember the number of times I have gone to visit Josh. I have to admit though, I haven’t had dinner here for a while now, the last time was when he had all you can eat ribs (that’s right, all you can eat ribs) on Wednesday night for $35pp. I think the ribs are still on the dinner menu but the all you can eat is only available in winter. The breakfast or lunch or brunch, is just fantastic. No one does soft shell crab omelette as good as Josh! Also must try: wattle macca-cino.

4. Universal, Darlinghurst, Sydney: Gay time goes nuts

I didn’t order this dessert when I went to Universal but I definitely came back for it when I caught up with a friend for coffee after dinner. This dessert is simply outstanding – all the chocolate-y, the salty goodness all in one!

5. Bodega, Surry Hills, Sydney: White sausages with poached eggs and steamed pork belly

One of my favourite restaurants in Sydney – the food here is totally and utterly amazing! I have not had a single bad meal here. Also must try: the fish fingers and banana split.

6. Ms G’s, Potts Point, Sydney: Deep fried chicken with Kimchi mayonnaise and mulloway fillet steamed with white soy and ginger, salad of fennel, radish and herbs

The newest restaurant by the Merivale family – opened right before Christmas and the New Year. Asian tapas style restaurant, it’s not the deep fried chicken that will make you come back for more. The simplicity, the flavours, and the ambience is what makes this place the hippest restaurant / bar in town. Also must try: The cute mini banh mi, Vietnamese steak tartare, prawn crackers, “Stoner’s Delight” banana ice cream, chocolate, rice bubbles, pretzel, peanut brittle and marshmallow.

7. Tim’s Kitchen, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong: Crab claw and goose

Came here twice, once for my birthday and another whilst MG was visiting. The crab claw is just magnificent – meaty, tender, and served on a block of moist winter melon. I still dream about that crab claw. The goose I absolutely love, I remember MG and I fighting for every last piece!

8. Zuma, Central, Hong Kong: epic brunch!

All you can eat sashimi, tuna, scallops, fried chicken and unlimited alcohol – what more can you ask for? Went twice, unfortunately the second time was not as good as the first! The first time was definitely epic!

9. Riverview Hotel, Balmain, Sydney: pork belly and bread and butter pudding

This was a great find thanks to A. Had a wonderful meal, loved the zucchini flowers with scallops, prawns, served with rocket and crab aioli. The pork belly was tender and succulent, and the crackling, divine! Don’t get me started on the bread and butter pudding! It’s stupendous!

10. Bo-Lo’Gne, Central, Hong Kong: pork cutlet sandwich and creamiest egg sandwich

I usually get the pork cutlet sandwich here, and it is one of the meanest and bestest sandwich ever. Tender, succulent pork, on one of the most buttery bread I have ever had – the bread just melted in your mouth good! I finally tried the egg sandwich and my lord – it rocked my world! Oh how I missed thee.

11. Sha Tin 18, Sha Tin, Hong Kong: peking duck

Peking duck served three ways – that’s right you heard me right! First: just the skin, cut thinly and dipped in sugar – my goodness, it was like duck-fat candy! Second: just the meat carved from the breast supposedly eaten with raw garlic. And lastly the combination of both – skin and meat, incredibly juicy and incredibly succulent! One of the best Peking duck I have eaten.

12. Galle Fort Hotel, Sri Lanka: curries

I am not usually a huge fan of curries, but had the most wonderful and different types of curries whilst I was in Sri Lanka and of course India. I also discovered my new appreciation of panna cotta at the Galle Fort Hotel, where they made the creamiest and most delicious coffee panna cotta!

13. Xi’an, China: dumplings and more dumplings

I love eating on the streets of Xian. This store in particular, they had different kinds of bao’s ranging from sweet, savoury, and spicy. The four days that we were there, he made my breakfast every morning, as well as snacks! One evening, we had dinner whilst watching the Tang Dynasty performance – we had all you can eat Jiaozi (dumplings) and I don’t think I have ever eaten that many dumplings until that trip. I believe we all had 30 or so dumplings each – to say I was full was an understatement!

14. Indonesia: avocado shakes, martabak manis, putu, and sate

No one does avocado shakes, martabak manis, putu and sate like Indonesia – no matter where you go. My four must eats when I am there. Oh how I miss thee!

15. Joel Rubochon, Central, Hong Kong: spit roasted baby pork

Loved the spit roasted baby pork – skin was crispy thin, and meat deliciously scrumptious. Scallops carpaccio was fantastic! The dessert was just to die for! It was a wonderful meal with a wonderful friend, MG!

There was one calorific meal that I can’t not mention – Half baked, Stoner degustation. WOW! I think it took me a good two weeks to burn off all the calories consumed that evening. The most lethal would have to be luther burger by Dan Hong – my goodness… mouth watering! The cheese, bacon, sauerkraut spring rolls with butterscotch mayo – who would have thought that the combination would work? The fried chicken wings were awesome and lastly, instant noodles with bong water – CLEVER! Very much to looking forward to the next event.

I’ve had some wonderful meals in 2010, not to mention I am fatter and have stretched my stomach. I have grown to appreciate food, learn more about food and most importantly enjoy food! My love for food has grown so much, just like the increase of my cholesterol level! I have met some wonderful friends through eating, and look forward to 2011 to eating more delicious goodness with you all!

What’s your best meal of 2010?

Categories: Sydney, Thoughts Tags: , ,

2010 – Where did it go?

Can’t believe that today is the last day of 2010 – where did it go? It seems like yesterday that I was still wishing everyone Happy New Year!

This year has been a blast – I would have to say that it was probably the best year of my life! I spent a fabulous year in Hong Kong – and I still miss it dearly and looking forward to going back soon! I have met some wonderful friends (again in Hong Kong), you know who you are, who will be long life friends forever and have travelled quite a fair bit! Ah… Hong Kong – how I have missed you!

However, it is also good to be back in Sydney seeing family and friends. Back in our own apartment and eating my way around Sydney.

So many wonderful things have happened in 2010 and to pick the highlights are extremely hard. However, below are by far the most memorable for me. So to sum it up, my highlights of 2010 (not so much food related as that will come shortly also!):

  • Living in Hong Kong – do I need to say anymore? Awesome awesome AWESOME! Will never forget you my friends and Hong Kong! We will be back!

  • My first Indian wedding – thanks to both R & C for inviting me and my first trip to India ever!

‘The Mother’ and I then went back to Mumbai which we both loved.

  • Sri Lanka – beautiful country, we stayed in Galle which was just absolutely magnificent! Would definitely go back again.

  • Juizhaigou National Park – one of the most beautiful places I have seen and been in China.

  • Last but not least, most importantly – my baby bro getting married!

I am looking forward to 2011. It will definitely be better than 2010. There will be a few changes in life which I will be pursuing, new eating places and of course more travelling!

The weather has been so perfect in Sydney, not a clould in the sky, and here is where I spent my last day of 2010.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year and all the best in 2011!

S’s tea party

A dear friend of mine, S, is getting married shortly. She didn’t really want a big hen’s night, so her bridesmaids, A1 and A2 thought it would be nice to organize a tea party for her. A few of her closest friends, drinking tea or champagne over sweets and savoury food discussing things like friendship, marriage, babies and basically life.

I have known S for a while now, we met at indoor soccer, and she knew ‘The Mother’ before I met her – it’s all that six degrees of separation thing.

That morning, I went to Adriano Zumbo, it has been a while since my last visit, and by a while I mean a good two years or so. The queues have been insanely long that I really haven’t even tried to go there until that morning. A uni friend of mine, C, wanted to buy some macaroons so we met in the city at 9 am and got to Balmain by 9.15am. Yes, we were eager beavers!

Thankfully the line weren’t that long, we only had to wait 10 minutes before it was our turn. I felt like a child in a candy store, all the pastries, the desserts, the sweets – I was in candy heaven!

I got some croissants, a plain croissant and a chocolate croissant. My dad had the plain croissant and he thought it was deliciously rich, and beautiful. ‘The Mother’ had the chocolate croissant and he absolutely loved it too, then again, he loves chocolate croissant. I lost count on how many chocolate croissants he ate whilst we were in Paris!

I said to C that I was only going to be 3 desserts, I ended up with 6 different delicious and wonderful desserts and 12 macaroons! It wasn’t all for me of course, half for the family and I, and the other half for the lovely tea party that afternoon.

Now the tea party, it was hosted at A1’s house and it’s a beautiful house. Five of S’s closest friends were there and we were all looking forward to the wonderful delights that we were about to consume.

A1 is a fantastic chef, I have asked her many times to enter masterchef, however, she is expecting shortly and I don’t think she wants to be parted with her newborn. A1 made these delicious vanilla cupcakes, sprinkled with rainbow hundreds and thousands, they were moist and wonderful. I will have to get the recipe from her one day!

There were also egg tarts and coconut tarts, think they were bought from a bakery in Cabramatta. The egg tart glistened and called out to me, I had to have one. Had too! It was fresh, the pastry was crunchy and melted in my mouth, the egg tart itself wobbled, it was creamy and good!

More desserts which consisted of caramel slice, pineapple cheese cake and a mini banoffee pie.

Here are the yummy desserts I bought at Adriano Zumbo. The round chocolate tart was deliciously sweet but yet bitter. The malt teaser (top left) which was malt dacquoise, almond pralie feullitine, malt bavarois, vanilla cremeux, chocolate sabayon mouse was sweet – a little too sweet for my liking but S managed to cut the malt teaser into six tiny pieces! Unfortunately I didn’t have any of the ed on the rocks (top right), I was just overloaded with sugar and couldn’t eat anymore!

The macaroons, now there were just too hard to share between the six of us. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what was what, but here are the flaovours: Mango and Tonka Bean with Black Pepper, Blueberry Lavender, Beetroot and Raspberry, Coffee Brule, Oatmeal and Ylang Ylang, Mango and Tonka Bean with Black Pepper, Pear, Fennel and Pistacchio, Olive with Bergamot Hard Candy Pitt. I didn’t have any, not a huge fan of macaroons; however it was funny how the girls tried to decipher what was what!

Last but not least, A1’s famous sausage rolls. She made them herself using the Bourke Street Bakery recipe and they were as good as the originals! I couldn’t but eat at least four of these, they were that good!

We talked. We laughed. We gossiped. We discussed. It was one of the best girlie afternoons I have had in a long time.

I used my brother’s camera, which is the nikon d90 and I am in love… I NEED to get a new camera! NEED! WANT! LOVE!

Adriano Zumbo

296 Darling Street

Balmain, 2041

Ph: +61 2 9810 7318

I am in denial…..

There is really no easy way to say this, I am STILL IN DENIAL about our move back to Sydney! It was this time last year, when Hubby told me that we were moving to Hong Kong, and again in August one year later, he told me that we are moving back to Sydney. Hubby got promoted and as much as I am happy to see him move up the corporate ladder, I am a little gutted about leaving this place. There are many reasons why I love this place, some of you may think otherwise, but I love this place for the following reasons: fantastic food, great shopping, fantastic transport system, and relatively close for traveling overseas. Not only that but I have made some amazing friends, caught up with old friends and got to spend with some of my relatives whom I never see if I was in Sydney.

The past ten months has been AMAZING, I have traveled eight times, not including the two work trips back to Sydney, so making a total of ten overseas trips in the past ten months! I have been very fortunate to travel that many times and am going to miss that!

I have also met some wonderful friends, whom I will miss dearly but will catch up very soon again. I loved catching up with old friends whom I haven’t seen since they left Sydney – I am certainly going to miss you guys and also, my relatives, it has been great catching up with every single one of you.

As much as I am gutted to leave Hong Kong, I am also looking forward to coming back to Sydney. I have missed some of my girlfriends and my male friends; you know who you are, and our Sunday brunches. I have missed running, riding, and roller blading outdoors and playing football with the football gang. I have missed baking, so there will be a lot more of that, and most importantly, I have missed my wonderful parents and my adorable brother and sister-in-law.

Our kitchen and oven… how i missed thee…..

and the space.. space.. SPACE.. (please note, the furniture is not ours, previous owners, although I wouldn’t mind their couch!)

To my friends and family in Hong Kong, I will be back, you can’t get rid of me that easily! We will see you all in January as we are back in Hong Kong for a wedding.

To my friends and family in Sydney, I have missed you tremendously, we are coming back and can’t wait to catch up with every single one of you.

WE WILL be back in Hong Kong for a longer period of time, so this is not goodbye.

So instead of eating my way around Hong Kong, I will be eating my way around Sydney. There will be a lot more baking now that I have an oven. I certainly cannot wait!

xx

Categories: Sydney, Thoughts Tags: ,