Top Paddock // Richmond (Revisit)

Continuing on my brunch explorations was a recent visit back to Top Paddock. To visit my old post please click here. This time I came on a weekday and to my surprise it was still as busy as ever! There was quite a big group of us so we were able to book and good thing we did otherwise I’m sure we would have had to wait a while. Service was better than the last time I came as the waiter was friendlier and overall they were more organised in regards to the time between drink orders and food orders. tt-tp-2
Top Paddock – Chorizo, pickled onion, peppers, basil, bacon, Adelaide green tomatoes, poached eggs & relish on toast // $22.00
This is literally the largest brunch meal I’ve ever seen/had. I was so full I couldn’t even finish it and I promise that rarely ever happens to me. Top Paddock is defs value for money and it was delicious too. My friend ordered this last time and just from photo comparison they don’t have as much peppers on the dish but instead more pickled onion and I tell you they were extremely generous with the pickled onion! It was all over my plate so much that it even makes up for the forgotten bacon. 3 of us ordered this dish and only one of us got bacon in our dish so that was disappointing. The things I enjoyed most about the dish was the basil ‘infused’? green tomatoes and the flavour of the relish with the peppers and onions. It’s a huge meal and it comes with two pieces of toast (which I just couldn’t finish). The only downside was that the chorizo was quite oily. 
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 Blueberry & ricotta hotcakes with berries, maple syrup, seeds & cream // $21.00
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White Mojo Speciality Coffee & Roaster //Balwyn

TTWMOJO (1) Hi guys! Brunch season seems to have caught up with me  very recently and to kick it off I thought I’d share with you my latest experience at ‘White Mojo Speciality Coffee & Roaster’ in Balwyn. This is their second store – the original being in the city. You can catch their menu here. TTWMOJO (2)
Hot Matcha Latte // $6.00 &  Regular Latte // $4.00
To start we ordered drinks. I tried their matcha latte and was recommended by our waiter to get the hot version. He even offered to make it extra hot! I love matcha lattes but I’m usually quite hesitant to order it because I’m not sure if it’ll really be ‘matcha’ and if it’s just going to be sweet flavouring. I was pleasantly surprised at how rich the matcha flavour was and how there was a bitter edge to it. $6.00 is quite expensive but it was a special occasion and I’m relieved that it was a matcha latte to my liking. I know the picture doesn’t do it much justice but it was actually a very dark green colour,
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Inefficient friendships

Just recently a friend of mine mentioned the topic of efficient friendships aren’t always healthy. It really got me thinking. He was discussing about how when you love someone you don’t care about the boundaries such as the insecurities – you’ll go out there and spend time with this person. You’ll forsake the worries about how late it is, or that you have other things to do. It’ll be a priority to talk to this person. It won’t be ‘efficient’ anymore. If it’s too efficient it becomes a calculation. To value friendship in a less efficient manner (I’m not talking about logistics here; because we do need it) is to love like Jesus does. It’s to put their needs before your own. It’s to be willing to face rejection because they’re worth the rejection.

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.TT

Maybe I’m not explaining it all too well but it really got me thinking.

Highlights in Walt Disney World

In no particular order here are some places within Disney World that have given me pleasant memories that I would recommend for you to have a look at too.DSC03711
Cinderella’s Castle // Magic Kingdom
Do I even have to explain? The iconic Walt Disney statue and Mickey Mouse says it all. It’s just a magical experience to see this sight in person and the castle is absolutely breath taking.  Walking from main street USA straight to the castle is also very nostalgic for some reason. The smells of popcorn, coffee and fairy floss is really reminiscent of childhood. DSC04201
Rapunzel’s Bathrooms // Magic Kingdom
I just love the special theming! Who would have thought to put this much effort into restrooms? #onlydisney. This area also has cool tree stumps to sit on which actually have powerpoints in them to charge your phone. At night the lanterns also light up beautifully. I believe Rapunzel would be quite proud.DSC03653
Tower of Terror // Hollywood Studios
Okay this is TERRIFYING and I can’t believe I even went on this BUT Disney do such a TERRific job at decorating the place. This twilight zone is spectacular and I really enjoy the first 30 seconds of the ride because it’s SO cool. I think it’d be great to get a backstage tour of this ride.DSC04264
Festival of Fantasy // Magic Kingdom
This classic Disney parade is awesome. It’s one of my favourite shows to watch at Disney. I love the music and the cute floats that pass with your favourite classic Disney characters. The princesses have cool floats especially Rapunzel and Flynn (Eugene who swings!). Mickey also waved to me the other day! It’s just a bit of  a fight to get a good spot but Frontierland is less crowded IMO. Continue reading

Walt Disney World Food!

Hi there! Over the past few months I’ve been trying all sorts of food around the Walt Disney World property. Here’s a post on some of the things I’ve tried and what I thought of it :) All the prices exclude tax.tt disney (17)
Location: Contemporary Resort
Dining: Contempo Cafe
Item: Spice-crusted Mahi Sandwhich (with Vegetable-style Coleslaw and Spicy Tartar Sauce on a Focaccia Roll with French Fries and Vegetable-style Coleslaw)
Price:$11.99
Thoughts: When I ordered this dish it was mainly enticed by the fact that it came with fries. Sadly majority of burgers and items on the menu don’t come with fries! You have to add it on for an additional $2.50 or so. Anyways! Mahi is a type of fish and it was extremely soft and tender. This was a really tasty fish burger with good seasoning of spices. I’d order it again.
tt disney (15)Location: Wilderness Lodge (Resort)
Dining: Whispering Canyon
Item: Slow-smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich (on a Brioche Roll, with Barbecue Sauce, and Western Slaw with sweet potato fries and homemade beans)
Price: $13.99
Thoughts: Probably one of my favourite meals at Disney. I would highly recommend this dish! (I really enjoyed other meals I’ve had at the Wilderness Lodge/Fort Wilderness too). I loved the sweet potato fries and the pulled pork flavours were spot on. The beans had a really smokey taste (probably similar to the sauce the pulled pork is marinated in). This is a value for money dish – incredibly filling and the experience at Whispering Canyon is quite fun too. The cast members poke fun at you and give you big quantities of things you ask for (e.g. ketchup).
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Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2015

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This year I had the opportunity to experience Disney World’s EPCOT’S annual ‘Food & Wine Festival’ held between September 25-November 16, 2015! Food and Wine at EPCOT is all about ‘Tasting Your Way Around The World. “Embark on a culinary adventure celebrating 20 years of culture and cuisine with the finest wine and beverage offerings at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, presented by CHASE®.”  …Which is exactly what I did do! I embarked on a culinary adventure and Epcot Food & Wine has been amazing.

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Countries featured have their own pavilions with about 3 different food options and wine options that showcase the country. Countries featured include: Africa, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China,  France, Germany, Greece, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Patagonia,  Poland, Scotland, South Korea and some speciality gourmet food stands such as Chew Lab, Farm Fresh, Wine and Cheese stations etc.

The dishes are not very big (the plates are about the size of a regular plastic fork). Below are some of the tastings I was able to try and my thoughts. Continue reading

Cultural Comparisons

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It wasn’t too long ago where I found myself boarding a plane and heading all the way to the US! Keeping it short and sweet here are a few plus things that I’ve discovered along the way about living in the states!

  1. Strange vending machines don’t just exist in Japan. I have now come across ice cream vending machines, vending machines that sell pringles ANDDD frozen meals!
  2.  I’ve learnt a crazy amount about currency/exchange rates. I never thought I’d get used to the US dollar (what with the pennies, nickels and dimes?!) And the coolest thing? There’s such thing as Disney currency. Yep! There are Disney dollars and they look like pretty cute colored dollar bills.
  3. Bottomless mugs are a big normality. Bottomless meaning that sodas at restaurants are often refillable for free!
  4. Tip and tax are different. Tip and tax/gratuity are not usually included in the bill or on price points. Tax is usually about 10% of the price however gratuity could be 10%-20%, 18% if you’re on Disney property.
  5. There’s no such thing as Maccas. It’s Mickey D’s!
  6. On the topic of wording, chips = fries, soft drink = sodas, rubbish = trash, postcode = zip code, mobile = cell and there’s plenty more to add to the list!
  7. Waffle fries are an awesome delicacy.
  8. Driving on the other side of the side/being a passenger is scary. And I’m not sure if it’s an all America-wide thing but I rarely see anyone signal. I also don’t feel like pedestrian crossings have humans as the first priority…
  9. Eggs your way are really indeed eggs your way! Overhard, overeasy, scrambled, boiled, sunny side up, soft boiled AND poached! So many options.
  10.  The date order. I’ve been so used to writing date, month, year all my life but now it’s month, date, year!

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Enduring Hardships // Reflection Part 1

A while ago I did a talk about ‘Enduring Hardships with A Christ Focus’. In my talk I shared about how we could apply this focus in our lives and what the Bible says to encourage us when we go through trials and difficult times.

I thought I’d do a post on what I shared about. Perhaps at a later time I’ll share further on other points I discussed (it was quite lengthy!) and more about what I’ve been through personally.

I share this post from a Christian perspective and although I know not everyone shares the same theology I hope that if you’re going through sufferings of your own you’ll be able to find out more about who Christ is and what it means to have His love in your life.

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Baba Sus Cafe // Glen Iris

Baba Sus Cafe has been gaining more and more popularity within the past year. Famous for it’s green tea lattes and Hong Kong egg waffles I knew I had to come by and try it!BSC TT (1)
The green tea latte isn’t actually on the menu so if you would like to give it a go you need to specially request it! It can be bitter for some so I would recommend asking for some honey on the side. BSC TT (2)
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Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine // Chinatown Melbourne

Shoya is my go to ‘special occasions’ restaurant. I love coming here for their lunch sets because firstly it’s absolutely delicious but secondly it’s the only option I can afford at Shoya :P
This was my second time coming by and this time I tried a different lunch set called ‘UME’ including dessert which was a total of $32. You can access their menu by clicking here and there are approximately 7 options.Shoya TT (1) The meal began with complimentary Japanese style pickles and the first small dish was the Japanese egg custard (1). The custard has a silken tofu type texture – extremely soft , creamy and smooth. I finished it so quickly! The pickles were also really nice – wish I could have had unlimited pickles so I could have eaten it all throughout the meal #theywerethatgood.Shoya TT (2)
I love sashimi(2) so much and the standard of preparing fish at Shoya is quite high. They have a chef preparing the sashimi in front of you (if you’re seated at the stool area). This scallop was hands down the best scallop I’ve ever had. No joke! Super soft and fresh – I honestly haven’t had the luxury of having scallop prepared for me like this before and it was so good. After we received the sashimi we started getting our other dishes out around the same time. I did want them to slow down because I knew the food was going to start getting cold but I guess since it’s a reserved lunch set/time they needed to push out the food.Shoya TT (3)
In the ‘UME’ set they offer ‘seasonal grilled fish (3)‘ as part of the set and I was so pleasantly surprised when eel came out. I was hoping and hoping and hoping it would be eel but I didn’t want to get my hopes up (last time I didn’t get eel!). It was so delicious – I love eel! The sides of mushroom was flavoursome and a nice addition to it too. Shoya TT (4)
This was the tempura (4) (soy dipping sauce) which came with prawn and some vegetables. Nothing much to say but the batter was good and crispy. Shoya TT (5)
Our table was just full of food food, glorious food!Shoya TT (6) At this point I was getting SO stuffed but everything was tasting so delicious. This came out together and it was the teriyaki beef (5), steamed rice (6) and miso soup (7). The beef was cooked perfectly – very soft and tender and the taste was strong but matched the nice subtle flavours of the mixed steam rice. Nothing out of the ordinary for the miso soup but I just love the miso flavours of any miso soup so I was happy.Shoya TT (10)Anddddd last BUT NOT LEAST, DESSERT! We’re given the option of vanilla, black sesame or green tea icecream (8). My favourite ice cream flavour has been green tea for awhile now so of course I went with the green tea option! It was delish – great way to end the meal.

I was so full by the end of the meal but it was great. I highly recommend going to Shoya for a special occasion if you’re looking for something cheaper than fine dining yet still nice. The food is delicious and you’ll definitely be full by the end of it! There are quite a lot of different lunch options so if you’re a big eater choose the UME option (I think that has the most food!). Make sure you create a reservation – this is something you can conveniently do online and they’ll email you back a confirmation notice.  The cheapest lunch set is $24.80.

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