Uncommonly good

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If spending Saturday night browsing dinner plates online with my bestie is a sign of a homewares obsession, then I plead guilty. Send in the troops, it’s time for an intervention. Just give me a minute to hide the boxes of crockery surreptitiously tucked into the corners of the garage behind the poor neglected bicycle and suitcase of winter clothes.  

My friend and I, unsurprisingly, have different tastes in plate patterns were but we happily examined each other’s choices in detail. We debated over critical matters such as how much one should spend on daily use serveware and whether 23cm was a large enough diameter for a dinner plate. If you’ve made it this far without crying from boredom or seeking something more interesting like watching grass grow, then you too may share our penchant for all things kitchen.  I personally blame my problem on food blogging and the food prop madness that goes with it all. I’m sure there’s a perfectly acceptable explanation for yours too.

if gazing longingly at homewares is indeed your idea of a good time, have a peek at the many good things over at UncommonGoods. They are a company that focuses on ethically made goods from artists and small manufacturers, and prides themselves on treating their employees with respect. 

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Photo credit: http://www.uncommongoods.com

Also, they have lots of cool stuff. These Owl Mugs from here are so darn cute I wanna eat them up. Know a couple who have it all? Try the very funky customisable wedding gifts. After you’ve bought all your gifts, you just might accidentally stumble into this bit and pick out a little something for yourself like the ‘i eight sum pi dish’ that is pictured. Then, you’ll have no excuse not to make this pie, or this one. A business that operates ethically AND has a sense of humour. How scrumptious!

(For my Aussie readers, yes they do ship to us.)

Happy New Year dear ones!

*This post is sponsored by www.uncommongoods.com however opinions are my own.

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Where I like to eat

With age comes wisdom, independence and a reduced tolerance for all things annoying. Also, a slower metabolism and a reduced ability to go out for big greasy meals without feeling like a garbage dump for the next few hours. More and more, I am favouring restaurant meals that leave me feeling light and nourished, not clogged up and overly full.

Asian food, especially Vietnamese fare is often a winner. I’m slightly obsessed with the quirky ambiance of the tiny corner establishment Madame Nhu. Their fresh tasting pho leaves me feeling positively angelic, that is until I find my legs taking me up the road to have the best gelato I’ve ever tasted at Gelato Rivareno. Other fabulous pics in the area are Xage, Yullis and Miss Chu, which serves a knockout frozen crushie besides the flavoursome food. If you go to Yullis, you really must leave room for dessert. Further into the city lights is Home Thai, which offers cheap, fast and no-nonsense Thai street-food.

If you don’t want to find that elusive empty parking spot in the city, Saigon Bowl offers good, authentic suburban Vietnamese fare.  I won’t order the dumplings anywhere except New Shanghai, where you can watch them being made and really taste the quality ingredients in the fillings. I have daydreams about their prawn wontons that are served in a divine peanut and sesame sauce.

Bamiyan, also suburban, offers Afghani cuisine, which feels a bit like a lighter version of Indian cuisine. As a bonus, you will probably be able to park right outside, a real luxury in Sydney.

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Being an Italophile, I seek my fix at La Disfida, also a suburban gem. Again, order dessert here or I will have to seriously reconsider our friendship. Sven Viking Pizza has been a pleasant surprise. I had no idea the Vikings made pizza but gosh they do it well! My most recent mouth-watering discovery is Soffrito, where they make handmade pastas that melt in the mouth. I dined here with two friends and each of our meals were flawless.

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of indulgence however and the Chicken Institute will sort you out for all of your fried chicken needs. You’ve ruined the diet anyway so you may as well follow up by gorging on some Turkish ice cream at Hakiki.

For some more dining recommendations, have a peek at Stay.com’s new travel app.

This post was sponsored by the super clever people at Stay.com but all opinions and recommendations are my own.

 

 

Click the Month: December 2013

Look where we are!! If someone had told me this time last year that we would get to this time this year so soon, I’d think that someone was crazier than a box of monkeys.  I can hardly wait to wave goodbye to 2013 and what sweeter ending is there than one with chocolate?

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This month, I was invited to an unforgettable chocolate feast at Four Friends Coffee, Chocolate and Tea in Crows Nest, Sydney.  There we were greeted by Katze, a warm an inspiring woman with an incredible story.

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Four friends was born of Katze’s debilitating auto-immune disease, which sunk her into a despair that she eventually dug her way out of.  With her smooth, decedent chocolate treats, fragrant teas and coffee, she set out to bring those around her small portions of happiness and a place to be revitalised.

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We were presented with an almost too pretty to eat tasting plate and we chatted to Katze on the plush purple sofas as we made our way through macarons, handmade chocolaty creations and what was probably the best lava cake I have ever dived into.

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The delicate teas we chose out of the forty flavours on offer balanced out the sweetness nicely.

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Four friends is a little island of happiness to which I will be returning; perhaps with friends or even a good book. You can find them at 5/29 Holstermann St. Crows Nest (for heavens sake, do find them, you won’t regret it!) and reach them on 0415 068 881.

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I wish you all a revitalising New Years Eve and a 2014 that makes 2013 look really, really lame.  Thank you for all your support and encouragement during this, my first year of bloggery and I can’t wait to see you all on the other side!

Disclosure: I was a guest of Katze and the staff at Four Friends, but all the opinions expressed are my own.