Monday, 7 March 2016

Cho Cho San, Potts Point

Dinner out on a Tuesday night sans kid is one of the luxuries living near my folks affords us. And dinner at Cho Cho San is definitely the way to spend a luxurious Tuesday night out.

Damn this place is good. The food, the vibe, the service, the wine...full credit to Miss S for the booking, I'll be leaving all future double date night selections to her.

These unassuming little sticks of miso eggplant were the perfect start to whet our appetites. It's lucky I have an aversion to grease so refuse to deep fry anything in my kitchen, or else my deep love for good fried food would be a real issue.

Cho Cho San - Miso Eggplant on a Stick

And you know how I feel about all things dumpling related. These gyoza were so good I was almost compelled to declare them the best EVER. That's a big call.

Cho Cho San - Steamed Pork and Chilli Gyoza

Of course the raw fish rocked. It wouldn't be Japanese if the sashimi wasn't top notch.

Cho Cho San - Tuna, Avocado, Pickled Eggplant
Cho Cho San - Petuna Ocean Trout, Black Pepper, Wasabi

But we gotta pause on these fish collars. Yep, teriyaki fish collars. I didn't even know that fish had collars. Or that they could taste so good. Smokey, charred, salty. It's pretty clever really. Use a (presumably) super cheap and boney bit of the fish that probably usually gets thrown away or into stock once the filleting has been done, and make a signature dish out of them. I wish I was that clever.

Cho Cho San - Teriyaki Fish Collars
Cho Cho San - Teriyaki Fish Collars

Did I mention my love of fried food? Hellooooo chicken karaage.

Cho Cho San - Chicken Karaage

Actually, apart from my grease phobia, my real saving grace is loving veggies as much as I love fried chicken. Thank gawd for balance. And these red miso green beans.

Cho Cho San - Green Beans, Red Miso

The one dish that was a little bit "interesting" was Japanese Bolognese - but what do you expect if you order something called Japanese Bolognese? Super tasty udon, in a spicy cream sauce. Enjoyable, but weird. In a good weird way.

Cho Cho San - Japanese Bolognese

Despite being on a semi no sugar kick, I succumbed to a bite of each dessert. 'Cos I'm also a sucker for pavlova. So just to recap, that would be a love of fried food, dumplings, vegetables and pavlova. I should probably just say food. I really, really, love food.

Cho Cho San - Green Tea Soft Serve
Cho Cho San - Japanese Pavlova

Most delicious Tuesday double date night ever.

Cho Cho San Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


It cracks me up when I see rants about the "good old days" when kids weren't brought up to be soft, self entitled, technology addicted brats (that seems to be the general gist of it anyway). Of course a big snipping match inevitably kicks off between parents of yesterday and parents of today, between some of the self entitled youth themselves and the old ranters about who's to blame, blah blah blah. Can't we all just agree that times have changed and sure, it's nice to think about the past with fondness, but the future is also bright? 

That's the way you have to look at things, surely. Nostalgia is fine, but if you actually wish your life was the way it was in the past - then frankly, you better start doing things differently. Lately I've been nostalgic about my backpacking days, but do I wish I was on the road with a toddler and husband in tow, burning through our life savings, getting drunk every night and sleeping in $2 accommodation? Hell no. (Well, maybe just one night out of the month. If the $2 accommodation was upgraded to a hotel with a separate suite that Wolfie could sleep in without us bothering him. And a babysitter.) 

I complained to the CG that I regretted not blogging while travelling, since my memory is shot to crap and I can barely remember the things I did, places I went or people I met. Thankfully he seems to have a much better memory than I (suspicious really, how he can't remember what to buy at the shops on the odd occasion he gets sent alone, but can remember a road we stayed on for one night in 2009), and there's the wonder of digital photography to help so I might just start retro-blogging my travels for when I'm old(er) and grey(er) to look back on. Add that project to the list.

In the meantime, I'll just look forward to my staycations with the girls...

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Summer in Jervis Bay

I love holidays. And I REALLY love holidays that someone else organises (thank you M & E!)

Especially when they involve a beach house moments from the sand, crystal clear water, chilled out towns with awesome potato scallops drenched in chicken salt, and lots and lots of bubbles.

Plus good company of course! It was so good to have Miss O join us on extended holidays from London, and Mr M literally migrate over the day before we left for Jervis Bay over new years. 

One of the things I miss about London is our crew...our friends were our family and we always had people to do things with or call at a moments notice. We always have people to see here, but it feels like Sydney is just more organised and you have to make plans so far in advance - but that could be to do with the whole kid factor more than anything.

On another note - when does a getaway become a holiday? I'm thinking it's gotta be around the 3 night mark. 

The CG went sandcastle mental, and Wolfie loved roaring like a destroyer and stomping all over his glorious creations. 

New Years Eve was celebrated perfectly with a seafood and BBQ feast, fireworks on the beach, babies to bed, and drinking games (how I wish I had footage of the spoons carnage to share).

The whole week was pure bliss. If only we could do it again every month.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Handmade in Melbourne


Yeah, I know it's February already. But I couldn't really not mention a pretty cool festive season full of food, family and friends.

Plus Melbourne! Because how good is Christmas when you don't have to lift a finger, and someone else makes you double choc pav and peels all the prawns for you?! So good.

Make that two Christmas meals. And a round of Bad Santa. SO good.

Wolfie was in heaven, surrounded by most of his biggest fans / servants and being able to run wild bossing poor doggy to get "up!" followed swiftly with "bed!"

I never really fully appreciated the whole gift giving thing to the extend that the CG's family does - but this year I started to understand a little more. It was pretty cool seeing how excited and genuinely grateful Wolfie got with every present he received. All clothes and shoes he attempted to put on straight away, all toys were examined and played with. And he got to open them over four different days - not bad eh?

The kid got so much stuff we didn't even end up buying him anything except bubbles and beach toys. Probably our last cheap Christmas as far as he's concerned, so I'll bank it while I can.

So I kind of knew this anyway, but I don't think I fully appreciated just how talented my cousin is - I was so impressed with her handmade cards, I ordered one for every 2016 event I could think of! Check out Handmade if you're after something personalised - you won't be disappointed.

Anyway, on to Christmas this year, which will be just a little more work for me. Apparently we're going to be receiving the CG's family en masse! Hopefully we can win them around to the idea of a hot Christmas with prawns...

Monday, 8 February 2016

Chinese New Year and a dose of nostalgia

Happy Chinese New Year! It's officially the year of the monkey, which really should mean fun and fooling around - which luckily I do plenty of every day with the Wolf. 

But for some reason today I was hit, out of the blue, with a healthy dose of homesickness...for London. I had a vision of a little bakery in St Pancras station and I was suddenly transported back there so vividly, I could feel the air and hear the sounds as if it was just that morning I had been walking by (briskly, of course). 

It's strange how you can be happy and thankful but still miss a different life. 

One of the upsides of being back in Oz though is being able to celebrate with the family - and see Wolfie enjoy the celebrations. Even if he does rudely rip open his red packets and pull the money out while telling mummy to buy more grapes.

Next year he might not be quite so quick to hand his fortunes over.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

90 years and 4 generations

People always tell you that you'll never have time to yourself when you become a parent, but truth be told now we have Wolfie, I actually have a lot more time. 

Pre-Wolfie, I was rarely home before 10pm (aaah, the life of a DINK in London). Post-Wolfie, I'm often on the couch by 8:30pm after the whirlwind of the dinner, bath time, bedtime routine - I'm just too exhausted to do anything useful in my me time. 

Heaven knows how my grandma coped with 5 kids.

A couple of months ago we jetted over to Malaysia to celebrate my grandma's 90th and introduce her to Wolfie.

And despite Wolfie being so sick he didn't eat for three days on our arrival (now THAT was a time when I had no time to myself), we still managed to get some serious shopping and eating under our (ever expanding) belts.

I loved looking over and seeing her staring at Wolfie as he pottered about the place with a huge smile on her face. Great grandkid #7, and still so much joy.

Surrounded by her 5 kids and their spouses, 5 out of 7 grandkids and their spouses, and 4 out of 8 great grandkids visiting from 4 different countries, it was a pretty damn good show. Four generations of food lovers, all in one place.

Now if only great grandkid #1 would just irresponsibly throw his uni studies to the side and conceive a baby we might have a 5th generation in play for her 91st...