Sunday, January 15, 2012

BlackStar Coffee for Breakfast

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BlackStar Coffee for Breakfast

I'm a bit behind with my posts because I've just come back from Shanghai (literally, midnight last night). I'll start with this one. My friend Trinh and I caught up over an amazing day at the Gold Coast on what I believe may have been the hottest day in Queensland this Summer. The weather was absolutely perfect for the beach.

We kicked things off with breakfast in West End. As a West End local, I let Trinh decide where we should go. She directed me through these up/down hilly lanes and finally we emerged opposite BlackStar.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sydney in January - Lunch at Guylian Cafe

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Lunch at Guylian Cafe
91 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney

After Kat and I conquered the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, we were in desperate need of sustenance (those jumpsuits you are made to wear are no good for looking sexy but excellent for making you sweat buckets). On top of that, there was the pressure of having to get back to our hotel in time for the airport shuttle bus.

We whizzed through The Rocks and spotted Guylian Cafe. A local Sydney friend of mine actually recommended it for dessert the night before and we didn't have a chance to go then so I stopped to have a look. Much to my surprise, there were actually savory food options that sounded healthy! We decided to stopover here.

Sydney in January - Breakfast at The Falconer

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Breakfast at The Falconer

I woke up at 5am on Sunday and started researching breakfast places. Actually I started looking the night before but was too drunk to get any results so in the morning, I really got cracking.

I'm the kind of person who tries to tell myself that I can be spontaneous and that it doesn't really matter where we go and that we'll just walk along and pop into wherever looks good. Sure I could do that but there's always this background remorse afterwards that I'm missing out on something better because I'm not a local and I don't know WTF I'm doing.

Sydney in January - Dinner at Mamak

Dinner at Mamak

January 7th marked my first spontaneous interstate trip of the year. Kat and I decided to go to Sydney for the weekend. At first it was for not real reason other than accommodation being on sale but later on we booked ourselves a Sydney Harbour Bridge climb and suddenly our trip seemed more purposeful.

We were to arrive late on Saturday and I worked out that we'd have a total of 3 meals in Sydney, airport snacking not included. Being budget-conscious, we steered clear of the fine dining joints but instead wanted well-reputed cheap eats.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tartufo for Pre-NYE Dinner

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I was completely undecided about my NYE plans for aaaages. As a spur of the moment decision, I booked a hotel in Brisbane for the night BEFORE so that I knew I'd be doing 'something' around then but wasn't actually committing to new year eve in Brisbane.

Along with a hotel stay comes a restaurant meal. The hard part about securing a booking for this night was that most restaurants were on holidays. I finally found Tartufo and e-mailed a booking request, expecting them to say 'sorry we are shut from blah to blah'. Instead, I actually got a booking. Horrah!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lunch at Sail Restaurant, Hamilton Island

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Sail Restaurant
Resort Centre, Catseye Beach, Hamilton Island

On our way to the water sports area, we passed Sail Restaurant a number of times. I thought it looked really inviting with the open dining area overlooking the beach. We ended up eating there twice, both times for lunch. Once was just because we were after somewhere nice to eat and the other time was on our last day, when we really needed to kill time before our flight.

We sat out on the deck and enjoyed the ocean breeze. At Sail, you order and pay first at the counter and drinks are ordered separately from the bar.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas on Hamilton Island - Dinner at Manta Ray Cafe

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Christmas Dinner at Manta Ray Cafe
Front Street, Marina, Hamilton Island

It's getting harder and harder for my family to organize group excursions because of my work and dad's post office hours. We try to take advantage of public holidays as much as possible. Queensland has a severe lack of consecutive public holidays in the second half of the year so we decided to do something over Christmas. This is annoying because the price on everything (flights and accommodation) is insanely jacked up and what you get in return is an overpopulation of holiday-goers and tourists. Oh well, what can you do?

View from our hotel room

We took the plunge and booked a few nights at the Reef View Hotel. There were concerns about the weather (grandpa insisted he heard something about a cyclone) but luckily for us, the weather was stunning on every single day we were there. For an island/beach-based holiday, good weather is essential.