Weekend brunch at Wooloomooloo

So. If you are looking for more excitement after the whole tofu debacle, I am sorry to have to disappoint you. There will, hopefully, be NO MORE TOFU NONSENSE happening in my life. My poor heart cannot handle it.

Anyhow, this is about our sixth wedding anniversary. Also known as the anniversary where we did not exchange gifts. It’s probably not the first anniversary that we have celebrated without any gifts but then again, it’s not like we need a tangible “gift” these days. Truly, the best gift my husband can offer me is his presence at home at 7pm on weekdays. Handling two littles in the evenings after work on my own – feeding them, bathing them, putting them to bed – can be a hair-tearing affair. At any one moment, someone is crying and demanding my attention.

But that’s another story for another day.

For our anniversary, I decided that the best thing I could do for Mr Thick – and myself – is to treat us to a good lunch sans kids. That’s right, we get to order food that we want to eat and shove food only into our mouths. We don’t have to distract a crying child or scold an errant child. We would get to eat in peace and with two hands.

At that time, I was seriously craving some steak. I blame it on my pregnant girlfriend, who kept talking about her beefy needs. Most of the good steakhouses were not open on a Sunday afternoon, however, and we couldn’t do dinner because Aidan would never let anyone else but his parents put him to bed. So lunch it had to be and after some serious searching, I decided upon Wooloomooloo‘s weekend brunch.

For $68++ per person, you get to tuck into a five-course brunch. And what a fine brunch it was!

For the first course, I opted to have eggs benedict while he had the fried hen’s egg.

Anniversary lunch

The eggs benny paired with the smoked salmon was a simple dish that was done excellently. I really liked the accompanying grilled asparagus and I am not even a fan of asparagus to begin with. Mr Thick’s fried hen’s egg was not the main attraction of the dish – instead, it was the little hash brown, tomato and avocado mountain that he enjoyed most.

Anniversary lunch

After the plates were cleared, I was presented with my choice of soup/salad: lobster bisque.

Anniversary lunch

It was marvellous! There were generous chunks of lobster in the soup and it was robustly flavoured. My only peeve was that it was a tad too salty.

He, on the other hand, decided on the Wooloomooloo Tuna Nicoise salad. Which was nice but did not blow his mind. Well. He’s a meat guy, after all, and it would take a super fantastic salad to impress him.

Anniversary lunch

My choice of appetiser was a no-brainer: HELLO OYSTERS!! I haven’t had one in more than a year (pregnancy and raw foods don’t really go) and I was thrilled to have some. These were some excellent oysters too, all fresh and sea brine-y flavours exploding in my mouth.

Anniversary lunch

And because I was also eyeing the wild mushroom risotto, husband kindly ordered it for his appetiser even though he’s not usually a fan of risotto. See? No need for gifts, a simple gesture like this will do!

Anniversary lunch

Oh man. The risotto. When it arrived, he took a whiff and said, “WAH. Potent.” And it was. The cheese, oh the cheese. I love smelly cheeses and the Stilton was so amazingly pungent. We thought that it was just a fantastic dish. Thank goodness that it wasn’t a full-sized portion though – you can and will feel a bit sick of the creamy risotto midway through devouring it.

For the main course, it was a no-brainer: BEEF! I chose the Australian grass-fed filet mignon while he picked the Australian Black Angus vs. USDA Prime Sirloin.

Anniversary lunch

Unfortunately, while I had requested for my steak to be medium done, it arrived on my table pretty well-cooked. The waiter sent it back to the kitchen when I pointed out the mistake and my dish finally reached me in the correct doneness. And it was DELICIOUS.

So was his beef, apparently.

Anniversary lunch

By the time the desserts rolled around, we were stuffed. We could not finish the Wooloomooloo cheesecake and bread & butter pudding, as yummy as they were.

Anniversary lunch

Anniversary lunch

What made this even more special was the wait staff’s attention to detail. I had indicated that it was our anniversary in my reservation and they did up the dessert ever so nicely for us. And the maitre’d promptly fished out a camera to take a photo of us with the cheesecake and had the photo printed and framed for us in a jiffy. You could tell that this was a very professional and well-oiled machine, although it could have been a warmer machine (they were very polite but also very brisk and non-smiling).

At the end of the meal, we were two very happy persons. It was great being able to spend time alone with each other AND have a great meal at the same time. I mean, we got to rock up to the restaurant all scrubbed up and in our Sunday best. I was actually wearing a jumpsuit! With makeup on! And carrying a – get this – CLUTCH. Awesome or what?

Anniversary lunch

And to cap off this wonderful day? We went home to a baby who had refused the bottle (and was starving) and then whisked the boys off for some grocery shopping at NTUC.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Caffeine addicts love Sydney

My name is Yann and I am addicted to caffeine.

No, not really. Oh fine, YES I AM. I’m holding down a full-time job AND mothering a tiny tyrant so I definitely need my daily caffeine fix. And because I am still nursing the kiddo, I try my best to limit my caffeine intake to just ONE a day. And that means that my ONE caffeine shot has to be supremely out of this world.

Which is why I hate, HATE it when the coffee SUCKS.

And then we went to Sydney. And I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

A cafe! Here! And here! And there! Oh, look! ANOTHER CAFE?
WHEEEEEEEEEE!

Yeah, I kinda liked Sydney.

Anyway, one of my rules when we were there was that we would explore a new cafe every day. This turned out to be a fantastic rule because it forced me to check out new sights on the days that Mr Thick had to work and I was alone with the little man. I ended up walking and walking and walking and discovering fantastic new eateries.

And because I am not only Fabulously Gorgeous but also ridiculously nice, I am sharing my list with you! Nah, much of the list came from suggestions from very nice friends so I am merely paying it forward.

Le Pain Quotidient
We stumbled upon this cafe on the day that we arrived in Sydney, all bleary-eyed and exhausted from the red-eye flight. And it totally helped to soothe any frazzled nerves that we had.

The mocha with Belgian chocolate that Mr Thick had was nice and thick, with a hint of bitterness. My butter croissant and lemon tart were okay but his leg ham and gruyere cheese omelet was yummy.

I liked the place so much so that I went back to it one afternoon to rest my weary legs after shopping at Bondi Junction.

Taste Baguette
Convenience was the keyword in leading us to this cafe. It’s situated right at the foot of our hotel and we decided to just pop in for a bite.

BEST DECISION.

The Vietnamese Style Lemongrass Chicken and Grilled Portuguese Chicken sandwiches that we had were delicious. DELICIOUS, I tell you. Every bite was full of flavour. And I loved the crusty baguettes!

And the icing on the cake? The coffee (Campos beans) was kickass. As in, it kicked my sleepy ass into GO GO GO! mode. It made me very happy.

The staff was awesome too. When I was there for lunch one day with just Aidan, they were extremely attentive and friendly, and even helped me with the napkins and water.

Le Grand Cafe
A cafe situated at the Alliance Francaise de Sydney, this little nook is never crowded nor noisy. There’s always jazzy French music playing in the background, and it’s perfect for a solo traveller. In fact, I liked the place so much so that I brought Mr Thick back for a coffee break one afternoon.

The croissant that I had was nicely buttery and flaky, and the flat white was nice enough.

Flour and Stone
This was a recommendation by the fantastic Mrs Ergul. I had snapped a photo of Hyde Park on Instagram and she immediately left a comment, suggesting that I check out Flour and Stone.

I love them foodies. They always know where to go when it comes to good food.

It. Was. Yummeh.

The spicy chicken sandwich that I had hit all the right spots while the lamington was simply heavenly. The coffee was decent but then again, I couldn’t drink it fresh because the little buddy was demanding all of my attention.

Okay, that’s enough caffeine for now. I’ve still got a couple more to go and I’ll share that with y’all soon.

Carpenter and Cook

Thanks to Rachel, I knew of Carpenter and Cook before it opened.

The concept was intriguing and especially alluring to me: a cafe and vintage shop rolled into one. Sheer, utter perfection.

And so, last week saw me heading to this lovely nook three times. The first time was on the shop’s opening day, which was packed with friends and family members of the three lady bosses. Then, the Squirt mentioned that she was keen to check it out so I hopped onto a cab and met her, as well as Miss Ene and her bff there. Last Saturday, we were off dropping stuff into the donation boxes of Praisehaven when the very astute husband asked if I wanted to go back.

I married the right man, I really did.

What I loved: the whimsical, mismatched interiors, the fact that everything you sit on/drink/eat from can be purchased, the lovingly made savoury treats and that charming trip down memory lane. What’s more, I think it’s amazing that this shop is the shared dream of three young ladies, who worked hard to turn it into reality. How many of us can say that we fulfilled our dreams?

I am not exaggerating when I say that I want to buy up everything from the shop. I love, LOVE vintage.

Love.

Maybe a typewriter for our wedding anniversary, oh wonderful, delightful, loving husband of mine?

Carpenter and Cook

Interior of Carpenter and Cook

Latte and passionfruit meringue tart from Carpenter and Cook

Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate tart from Carpenter and Cook

Lemon Cream Tart from Carpenter and Cook

And no writeup is complete these days without a photo of our little man. Oh heck, let’s make it two photos.

Aidan approves of Carpenter and Cook

Aidan at Carpenter and Cook

Mr A clearly likes Carpenter and Cook too, like his mama.

Oh and that chair that he is sitting on in the second picture? Costs a cool $1,200.

Carpenter & Cook
19 Lorong Kilat #01-06
Tel: 6463 3648

We love Loysel’s Toy

After months of inaction and lazing like pigs on weekends, we finally mustered up the energy to go explore our little red dot of a city and check out new places to hang out at.

This means that we finally got to have a cup of coffee at Loysel’s Toy!

Yes, months after everyone’s raved about it. We are a bit slow. What to do, this is what you get what you are dealing with old farts like us.

Anyway, the verdict is: we love that place! The coffee is excellent and none too pricey, the desserts are yummy, the little cafe is cosy and warm. The only problem is that it is ALWAYS full when we are there on Sunday afternoons. And because it is so COSY! and so WARM!, people tend to chill out there and not leave.

And because the caffeine fix is so brilliantly fragrant and smooth, I don’t think I can ever get myself a cup of Starbucks coffee again. Shudders.

Neither of us brought our cameras – silly cows – and so we shot with the best camera available: our iPhones.

Waiting for our coffee

Flat white at Loysel's Toy

Lemon tart at Loysel's Toy

Saturday in pictures

Our weekends have been chockfull of activities recently. There seems to be so much to do and so many new places to check out. It’s tiring but I love it because it makes me feel alive and all sparkly again. Plus – and it’s a big PLUS! – I have been taking the camera out again so this instantly adds another 5000 points to my ALIVE! meter. Dingggg!

Yesterday, we grabbed coffee at Oriole Coffee just before heading to my godmother’s birthday party. We’ve eaten there several times but never had their supposedly famous coffee because our meals were at dinnertime and I didn’t want to mess up my beauty sleep. I had a flat white and I liked it. Wasn’t to die for but hey, good coffee is hard to come by so I’ll make do with what I can get.

Garlic prawn bruschetta

My flat white

Coffee lace patterns

After the party, we went shopping! Yes, again. I know, I can’t stop. This was when I had to let the perfect pair nude pumps go because they didn’t fit my tiny feet. URGHS. Small size 34/35 feet can be such a pain sometimes. BUT. We went to Uniqlo where I grabbed some fabulous +J pieces. Seeing how the collaboration is going to end soon, I figured it was time to stock up on some of these gorgeous pieces. The bonus? They were on sale!

We got tired of shopping after a while (v old farts, we are) and headed to Brotzeit for a drink.

Weisbier with mango juice

Mini cheesy pork sausages