Bangkok & Krabi, Thailand

7 July 2014, 01:43

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So after Japan, we flew to Bangkok, Thailand and met up with the parentals for lunch at the Hua Seng Hong branch in Central World (Floor 6 ZEN). Hello suckling piggeh!!! Food in Thailand is so ridiculously cheap, this suckling pig was enough for 4 very hungry people and only cost 1600 baht ($53) and once we’d eaten all the skin they chopped up the rest of the piggy and deep fried him so each piece was just glorious and not at all oily.

The food courts were all kinds of amazing, with the usual fast food chains mixed in with stalls selling local dishes and fresh produce. One stall had these incredible buns that were filled with molten salted egg yolk! You had to be super careful eating them, take too big a bite and you could burn your tongue, take too little a bite and the egg yolk would spurt across the table…

We ended up going back to our hotel, crashing and sleeping all afternoon and only wandered out when we started getting hungry. Like magic a whole lotta stalls had set up along the road just down the block and everything smelled AMAZING.

Foods on sticks! But it was way too hot and humid to queue for this, let alone eat.

Normally I avoid getting fruits at roadside stalls but I had a mad craving for jackfruit so a bag of jackfruits and a bag of mango was procured along with the instruction of helping ourselves to the containers holding a chilli and pepper concoction to sprinkle over the fruits.

After the fruit and a bit of random souvenir shopping we stopped and watched mesmerised at this dude cracking in eggs to make pad thai.

Resistance was futile! One freshly cooked Pad Thai with heaps of fluffy egg, fat bean sprouts and the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. No idea on prices but this and the next 2 dishes worked out to be less than $20 all up. Win.

The table next to us were scarfing down plates of Khaophat Kai aka Fried Rice so we were swayed into ordering it too. It was pretty tasty especially with a squeeze of the fresh lime.

I randomly chose the Khao Khaichiao Mu Sap and it was pure comfort food, the golden omelette held a jumble of minced pork and a bunch of chopped chillies, lime and herbs.

We wished we could’ve kept eating but we had another flight to catch…

To Krabi! From the airport we were driven to Krabi Pier and then a short speedboat trip down the coast to Rayavadee Resort.

My brother had told us we’d be getting to the resort via tractors. We didn’t know if he was joking until we saw this tractor hooked up with a trailer coming towards our boat to take us onto the beach.

You see we were here for my brother Jason and Shirley’s wedding and the place is so fricken beautiful it hurts. There were coconut trees aplenty but best of all there were pandan plants all over the resort so the whole place just smelled incredible!

Check out our 2 storey pavilion!

So pretty! That bed was seriously like sleeping on a cloud. Oh and I may have been a little too excited about the jar of freshly baked cookies that appeared each night. And super loved all the gorgeous candles which were lit at turn down service while we were out for dinner.

It was so freaking humid that this was where I was camping out at the whole time.

Or alternating submerging my body here. Randoms aren’t allowed into Rayavadee and while the beach can be packed with tourists during the day, all of them have to leave by 4pm.

There were 4 restaurants at Rayavadee and I’m not entirely sure which pic is from which restaurant but this salad with super fat scallops was delicious.

Loved the cornflake prawns!

Papaya salad because, Thailand.

The seafood platter was humongous! The epic platter had grilled rock lobster, crab, king tiger prawns, jumbo scallops, calamari and sea bream. There was also fried rice and papaya salad and all for 2700baht/$90!

But onto the big day!

Bro with groomsmen Alvin and Sean.

The beautiful Shirley being walked down the aisle by her mum.

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography] Seriously how perfect is this? The ceremony was in The Grotto, a limestone cave sculpted over thousands of years by the Andaman Sea.

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography]

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography] Welcome to the family Shirley!

Reception was held in the Umbrella Tree Court and while Jason and Shirley were getting photos taken we set up the signing table and had a beverage or two.

Suuuuunnnnsettttt over the beachhhhes ♪♫ ♪

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography] There’s just something about fairy lights that makes everything magical.

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography] SQUISH!

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography] Muahaha games time

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography] Speech! Speech!

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography] Cake cuttin’

[Photo from Aiden Dockery Photography] And then it was time for the after party! Back to the Grotto to drink and dance the night away! So many drinks. So much dancing. :D

Everyone was a bit worse for wear the next day but I wasn’t going to miss breakfast. Breakfast buffets are the best!

Fresh juices, fruits, breads, cereals and yoghurt.

My favourite station, the baked goods with amazing banana bread, danishes, croissants, muffins AND DONUTS!

And some items off the alacarte menu- french toast, waffles and er congee for Noods.

We nicked some bread to feed the colourful koi. Noods is trying to make them work for their food…

I felt bad that we didn’t really do any activities like kayaking, snorkelling, cooking classes or even rock climbing in Krabi as I was still recovering from my cold.

So with 15mins to spare before our boat left, Noods and I walked down Railay beach where we’d heard there was a shrine of some sort nearby at Phranang Cave.

The whole area was packed with both locals and tourists crowding around…

Penises. Insert immature giggle. Turns out the wooden phalluses are not fertility symbols but are symbols to appease the spirit of the princess Phranang who died nearby and thank her for a safe journey.

And with that, we depart Rayavadee and fly to Malaysia for our last leg of the trip!

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Paper Plane Cafe, Parramatta

29 June 2014, 16:15

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I admit, I have been sitting on this post for a couple of weeks now. Partly because I didn’t want my secret cafe to be so inundated that I wouldn’t get a seat but also because I wanted to try so many things off their menu which meant multiple visits to Paper Plane Cafe (5/2 Horwood Pl, Parramatta). Open since Feb, the cafe is located opposite the Roxy in the old Ma’Leisia Cafe cafe and isn’t affiliated with the Bondi Paper Planes.

The serve of French Toast ($8), is pretty generous, the 3 slices are fluffy and light and topped with a tangy rhubarb compote, a dollop of creamy french vanilla custard, crushed pistachios and lightly sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar. I may have ordered a side of bacon ($2) because it’s bacon week :P

The Jalapeño Popper Burger ($12) is amazing. The beef patty is flavourful and has the perfect charred edges to super juicy innards ratio. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the schmear of cream cheese but somehow it went well with the spicy jalapeños stuffed inside with the tomato and lettuce on Brasserie Bread’s brioche bun. The side of ‘bad boys’ turns out to be mega fat, golden potato chips that are ridiculously tasty.

The BIG Brekkie ($16.95) is massive and could probably feed 2 people. Or one hungry Noods. There were fat rashers of bacon and sunny side up eggs on sourdough toast x 2, a whole mountain of sautéed mushrooms, spicy chorizo, grilled tomatoes, hash brown and a pile of rocket in case you needed some greens.

I was having a mad craving for scrambled eggs that day so ordered the Truffled Eggs ($11). The pile of fluffy scrambled eggs were perfect and creamy with just a dash of truffle oil. I loved the juicy mushrooms but had to nick some of Noods’ bacon because well, I don’t feel right eating eggs without any bacon for brekkie… They go hand in hand ya know?

The Paper Plane Burger ($12.90) was a must order the second we spotted it on the menu because it had bacon AND peanut butter! It was a pretty damn tasty burger, I would say it’s very close to my fave burger ever! Our burger came with cheese although the menu didn’t say it had any but I was grateful because I’m of the ‘every burger should have cheese’ faction. It was super juicy, bordering on that uhoh gonna explode ledge but the brioche buns held up their end of the deal and we finished it without burger juices going everywhere.

The Reuben ($14.50) was sadly not my fave of the bunch. The silverside beef was unfortunately not tender and biting into the sandwich resulted in the whole piece escaping from its breadlike hug as I tried to gnaw off a piece. It was a shame because I loved everything else about that sandwich from the crusty rye bread and sliced pickles, to the swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing. Ah wells.

Drinks come in the standard hipster glasses and swirly paper straws. I must be the only one in the world that hates those paper straws because I take forever in drinking and my straw starts melting… But ANYWAYS the freshly squeezed Orange Juice ($5) ticks all my vitamin needs and while the milkshakes take a while to arrive the double espresso and strawberry ($6) are pretty delicious.

The staff are still in their early learning stages so timing can be a bit wonky so don’t go there if you’re in a rush but I’m glad there’s a new addition to the hood that is serving tops food and open for weekends too (kitchen closes 2pm)!

Paper Plane Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Rising Sun Workshop, Newtown

23 June 2014, 00:33

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Rising Sun Workshop (36 Lennox Street, Newtown) is a communal garage for motorcycle enthusiasts but has recently became known for the ramen bar that is pumping out pretty awesome eats. It’s just around the corner from Mary’s with street parking nearby or if you’re not so lucky, there’s a Wilson car park right next door that looks super dodgy but is $3/hr.

I first read about the ramen over here and here but it wasn’t until I saw on Instagram that if you mention the Rising Sun Workshop’s secret sentence that weekend: “someone throw me a bone here!” that you get an additional topping of roast bone marrow so I made the trek over quick smart! And this, people, is an example of how awesome social media is! Just don’t get me started on people who use ridiculous hashtags. Tch.

We mosey over to an empty table and the ever so cheeky Daniel Cesarano, (ex Single Origin Roasters) comes over to take our drinks order and explain the ramen offerings. I choose Green Tea ($4) and the Green Justice Juice ($4.50) with cucumber, apple, kale, ginger (and I think spinach?) for the boy. I’m not sure why Noods keeps ordering green juices but hey whatever floats his boat. The juice is from Joostice in Newtown, a not for profit juice shop supporting public interest journalism which is pretty tops.

Our first ramen is The Darkness ($20) with a broth made from pork tonkotsu, soy and smoked ham hocks. It is rich but thankfully we’re not left with a heavy oh-god-kill-me feeling. I did feel there was a tad too much soy in the broth but that’s because I have a soy allergy so I’m super hyper sensitive and aware of anything with soy in it. The gooey egg has me in raptures but I’m head over heels in love with the springy noodles with the perfect bite to them.

The Light ($20)- chicken, bonito and 3x salt broth is super comforting. I preferred this over The Darkness because I’m still getting over a cold thanks to my weak immune system and the flavours of the broth felt clean somehow, like it was nourishing my soul with tasty nutrients.

Close up of the roast bone marrow with crispy togarashii panko (chilli pepper and breadcrumbs)! At first I dug out globules of the marrow with the teaspoon, relishing the quivering richness in all its glory but then I mixed the rest in with the ramen which totally amped up all the flavours, bringing up a hit of salt that was missing previously.

Both bowls also had thick slabs of melt in the mouth pork belly, satisfying fat mushrooms, crisp sheets of seaweed and shallots that Chef Nick Smith (ex Single Origin Roasters) placed ever so carefully with each order. It was so calming watching him work!

But ah dessert! How can one resist? The baked goods are made in house and I may have ordered the dessert before the ramen arrived because I was worried they would’ve disappeared by the time we’d finished eating our ramen :P

Whenever I see donuts I have to get them. Donuts are my weakness bro! Especially Lemon Curd Donuts ($5)! The ridiculously fluffy donut has a very generous amount of sweet lemon curd stuffed inside and each bite took my breath away. Seriously guys, you gotta save room for this donut or take some home with you! I say some because one donut is never enough!

And I managed to score the last fat slice of the Dark Chocolate Cake with Salted Buttercream ($6.50) which was all kinds of amazing. The cake itself was super moist (oh man my fave adjective) with such a tender crumb that I would probably have been fine without the icing but hey it’s me and we all know I have the worlds sweetest tooth (or should that be teeth..) so woot look at all dem layers of fluffy icing! Prepare yourself for a mad sugar coma!

Seating. I loved the chillaxed vibe at Rising Sun Workshop but the fun police aka Marrickville Council didn’t extend the lease for their hybrid workshop/cafe so you’ve got until September to try out their ramen and baked goods! Let’s hope the Rising Sun Workshop finds new digs soon so we can get our ramen fix 24/7!

Rising Sun Workshop on Urbanspoon

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