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.

Six years of Thick & Thin

I knew I married the right guy when, after I rear-ended the car, he looked at the damage and laughed, before enveloping me in a big bear hug.

I knew I married the right guy when he steered the kid with the poopy diaper away from me because I muttered “I HATE POOP” out loud as said kid presented me with the smelliest arse EVAR.

I knew I married the right guy when he tried to register my interest in the iPhone 6 with my service provider without my asking for it to be done.

I knew I married the right guy when he dabao prata for me late one night, because I wanted to have some and I was no longer pregnant.

I knew I married the right guy when he brought me teh-si every single day when I was staying in the hospital with Zac.

I knew I married the right guy when he, knowing that I was torn between ordering a risotto and the oysters, decided to get the risotto so that I can have both.

I knew I married the right guy when I realised that I still like him enough to keep him, even though he didn’t get me any gifts nor flowers for our anniversary.

What a ride it has been, this past six years.

<3 Here’s to many many more years ahead! <3

40 is the new 30

Happy birthday to my love. You have been the best thing that has happened to me.
Thank you for being my rock, the one person who can make me laugh, and whom I can be all bimbo and silly with.
Thank you for being the best father our kid(s) can ever have.
Thank you for sacrificing your waistline to pig out on waffles and ice-cream with me.

In fact, let’s make a pact to have waffles and ice-cream ALL THE TIME. Shall we?

I love you. Always. xx

He’s turning 40

Ah, my old fart.

I mean, my husband.

Mr Thick is turning 40 very soon and I decided to put together a nice little celebration for him. You see, he hasn’t had much of a birthday do since two years ago, when Aidan came along. In that month of March, we were both frazzled and exhausted and I hardly had any wits about me to plan my next meal, let alone a birthday. Last year, we were in Perth with my family and our plans were scuppered, thanks to the Easter holiday which closed all businesses and the lovely Italian restaurant that I had planned to check out. We ended up at San Churro, where I managed to sneak a cake under his nose, complete with a candle.

This year, I decided to up the ante just a wee bit and planned a surprise do for him. It was meant to be a Steve Jobs-themed party and I had requested my friends to come in black tops and geek glasses. But ah well, most of our friends did not come dressed up according to the theme, which was a real shame.

Anyway, I had everything done. Props, checked. Delicious cake from Mrs Ergul, checked. Food, catered, checked. Friends to meet at a certain time before food is delivered, checked.

Yay surprise gonna work!

Until it didn’t.

The food delivery guy showed up a good half hour ahead of schedule and camped outside my door. He rang me and I said I wouldn’t be able to let him in until 430pm and he said fine, he’ll wait. Husband went into the kitchen to get a drink, saw the delivery guy waiting outside and asked why there was someone there. I lied through my teeth and muttered something about it being the neighbour’s clearly, since I hadn’t catered anything.

Phew.

And then that annoying man went into the kitchen AGAIN and the delivery guy saw him. The delivery guy promptly WAVED AT MY HUSBAND and said, “HELLO, DELIVERY!”

My confused husband then opened the door and told the dude that he had the wrong house. The delivery guy insisted that he was at the right place and husband asked to see the receipt. Of course, my name was there and Mr Thick turned to shoot me a suspicious look.

Meanwhile, I was trying to dig a hole into the floor of our flat and crawl into it.

“Is this one of your surprises again?” he asked, trying hard to contain his amusement but failing.

“GO AWAY INTO THE ROOM AND DON’T COME OUT UNTIL I SAY SO,” I commanded. He walked off, with a grin on his face.

I duly gave the delivery guy a scolding (“There is a reason I specifically said 430, right?! I told you to wait, right?! You spoil my surprise for my husband lah!”) and hauled the food in.

Five minutes later, our friends arrived at our doorstep and shouted “SURPRISE!”

You know what, someone up there is clearly trying to tell me that I should steer clear of planning parties. All my parties, so far, have “failed” in one way or another. Next time, I’m just going to buy a cake and say, “NAH. Happy birthday.”

My valentine

Valentine’s Day is pretty much a non-event for us every year and I wasn’t planning to pen anything down at all. Many years ago, we decided that it was an overpriced, commercialised phenomenon and we wanted to have nothing to do with it.

But then, as fate would have it, I was asked by my students to help them out as a guest for their radio talkshow assessment today. And the theme? Why Valentine’s Day, of course.

As I looked through the list of questions that they had prepared for me, my horror grew.

Tell us about your first valentine’s date (if you remember)
What’s the most extreme thing you did?
What’s your favourite memory/sweetest thing your husband did

NOTHING. CAME. TO. MY. MIND.

Seriously. I dug and dug around in the archives of my mind and I came up with NOTHING.

Of course, the fact that I am extremely sleep-deprived and therefore has an impaired memory (it’s been medically proven!) doesn’t help. And, err, we haven’t celebrated Valentine’s Day in, like, forever. Plus, our first Valentine’s Day was over 14 years ago.

So I sent Mr Thick an SOS text. And he was as equally clueless as I was.

Valentines Day grab Hah!

I thought I was going to ruin the students’ assessment because I would have nothing to say, seeing how I remember nothing. But, as it turns out, I did have things to share and as I was talking, it struck me that I, and we, have really changed and remained unchanged over the years.

Back when I was much younger (UH-HMM), I had these silly, fancy notions of love and romance. You know, the grand gestures – dinner, flowers, the works. But now that we are older and wiser (and really tired because the other love of our lives DOES NOT SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT), my ideas of the perfect relationship and the perfect date have changed.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what I do with my husband. We could be sitting down on the sofa and watching Glee together, or sitting down for a cup of coffee while the littlest of us all slept in the stroller, or lying in bed and talking about our day. It’s all very simple, and mundane, and boring, and nondescript.

But it doesn’t matter. Because we are doing it together.

And my idea of the perfect relationship? When two imperfect souls meet and fit perfectly well together.

I don’t know why I never realised it earlier but it struck me one night that hey, when he starts telling me about a joke or making a funny remark, I instinctively know where he is going. We can complete each other’s sentences. And we pick up each other’s slack. When one is sick, the other takes over automatically. And we are always fighting – to let the other charge his or her phone, to let the other have the last juicy bit of dinner etc.

We fight – but for each other.

And that’s what really counts, at the end of the day, even more so than beautiful flowers and lavish gifts.

Happy Valentine’s Day to the best partner I could ever ask for. <3