Wynnum Wanders

My fave way to start a morning? 

A walk somewhere beautiful and inspiring. For me, this generally means somewhere close to the water, nature, pretty lights or exploring somewhere new. 

There’s not much I like more than walking by the water, wind in my hair, sun on my skin and beats in my ears. I get inspired, my head clears and I beat those pesky calories! Win, win. 

Today I walked around Lota, Wynnum and Manly on the Brisbane coastline. For two hours. I got blisters, irresponsible sunburn and a sore hip (how old am I?!) but I was happy as can be.

I lived here for 6 years and never even knew these ‘beaches’ existed until I came back from Canada. Crazy. I like it so much that if it was closer to Brisbane CBD I would consider living there. 

Here are some pics from my walk  

             

Curryville, Morningside, Brisbane

I’ve been meaning to try Curryville for a while now, it’s my local after all and I’ve heard good things.  

The service is great, they obviously have many return visitors as the waiter was immediately asking us for our orders, we had to send him away three times. 

To me, the best thing about Curryville is their humour. Their menus is one of the most amusing things I’ve read is a long time! Lots of opinions and funny words of wisdom. Check it out. 

We both tried chicken curries. I had the Karahi while Celia had the Balti. We both also ordered garlic naan. 

My curry had quite a bit of spice even at a mild level, I didn’t really dig it. Celia’s was nicer. It had a sweet taste to it. 

I expect garlic naans to be soft and squishy. Moist and covered in garlic. I was surprised to find there’s had a chopped dry garlic on it and had a dry texture. Maybe I’m just used to crappy food court Indian and this is the good stuff but I prefer the former. 

The curries are good size though and are served with rice. They were about $26 each. 

Honestly I probably prefer cheap franchise indian.. It may not be the ‘proper’ stuff but I enjoy it more. Poor form by me? Maybe. 

Where else is good in Morningside? 






Fat Dumpling Bar, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

I’d been recommended to visit Fat Dumpling by a few people, Friday night, upon learning it was BYO was the night. 

When we arrived they said half an hour but then seated us straight away. Service was certainly slow – they could do with an extra staff member for sure.

The hilarity began when I was opening the champagne. I took the metal and foil off, ready to pop the cork but the waiter distracted me. POP!!! The cork flew straight up to the roof and ricocheted back. Suddenly the whole place wanted to chat to us. 

We were speaking with two people on a date (the guy wasn’t too happy but the girl was chatty as can be) to start then the table next to them joined in too. They’d obviously had a few wines already and were rather jovial! 

It’s quite an intimate space, only one line of table on each side so when the dating couple with annoyed boyfriend left, the waiter ushered us into their table and pushed it over to join the rowdy tables saying ‘you can sit with your friends now.’ It was all pretty funny and we were having a great time with them but did feel rude gate crashing their party so old mate waiter could fit another in couple! 

Anyway it took forever for him to take our order. We went with the steamed pork and cabbage, steamed prawn & garlic chives, crystal cucumber salad and the salt and pepper squid (as recommended by rowdy table.) 

Very glad we took the squid recommendation, it’s the best I’ve had in a long time. Great flavour and great texture. The dumplings were delicious – soft and flavoursome. 

Fat Dumplings is cheap and BYO, it’s on Brunswick Street in the Valley so easy to get to and while the service certainly wasn’t spectacular, we did make some lovely new friends and nearly create some new ventilation in the roof with our cork! 




Kiwi Visitors

I FINALLY convinced my family to come visit me from New Zealand! And by family, I mean my brother Luke and his friend Sam. The rest are still on the roster.

Luke and Sam arrived early Friday morning and flew out Monday afternoon. A short but fun filled visit. How fun filled you ask? Here’s their itinerary…

Friday:
Fly in, home to change and eat, dropped to city
Train home, nap
Dinner party then out
Visit Fridays, Black Bird, Laruche, The Met & Cloudlands

Saturday:
Straight to Gold Coast
Movie World adventures
Home to Lauren’s to change for half an hour
Draculas Cabaret show
Out to the Casino
Drive around Surfers night life

Sunday:
Say goodbye to Lauren
Breakfast out
Harbour Town outlet shopping
Surfers Paradise tourist sightseeing & lunch
JB HI FI to buy a MacBook air
Drive back to Brisbane
Sit down for an hour
Groove Train in the city for dessert
Black Bird for drinks
South Bank for sushi and a look around

Monday:
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Mt Cootha look out
DFO outlet shopping
Airport at 3pm ready for flight back to NZ!

The boys were so tired they were falling asleep in the car! I wore them out but they saw the best of Brisbane and I hope they will be back, I had the best time playing your guide and hanging out with them.

Can you guess from the pictures which one is my brother?

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Melbourne – time flies

I decided it was time I went back to Melbourne. My dumpling cravings were ridiculous and I supposed I should catch up with my friends too!

I managed to escape the massive storm of cyclone Marcia, although I was half waiting for them to cancel my flights.

Once in Melbourne I bussed then trained to Nikita’s house who was having such a ball that she forgot to meet me! We ran into her apartment to get changed only to find there was no power so I changed and did my makeup in the dark.

The waiting cab took us to the Saxon in Richmond where Rosie and some of their other friends were waiting. I downed a few cocktails to catch up before heading to Chappelli’s where we shared a bottle of champagne and downed a chicken risotto, garlic bread and chips.

Pawn & Co was next on the cards and we stayed there until late. Or early.

Saturday I spent time with Nikita & Rosie (including a dumpling run to Hutong) then headed to Hawthorne to visit Lisa. She has a great new house and talked me into doing a new painting for her room. We made dinner and settled in to watch a movie.

Sunday we met Nikita for brunch and afterwards Lisa and I went to the city. I bought a great leather mini at Zara.

Sammy picked me up after I had devoured some more dumplings. I met her beautiful Chow puppy, Hugo and we settled in at Beachside in St a Kilda for some ciders. My very good friend Adam, his lovely fiancée Sally and Mum Fiona met us and we laughed the afternoon away.

So much so that I nearly missed my flight! Yet again I was running through the airport to make my flight. Finally got on the plane and they shit the doors only for a siren to go off. The plane was grounded for 1.5 hours and after all those coders I was busting for the bathroom!

I sat next to a hilarious guy from Brisbane, we chatted the whole time. He actually made me cry with laughter 7 times ( I was super tired) and I managed to make him cry once. Fair effort I thought!

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Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar, South Brisbane

A bar where they throw rose petals at you and overly garnish your drinks? Hell yeah!

Starting with cocktails, I stole Ka Lei’s drink (a freshly squeezed Apple juice with Bison vodka) so she ordered a bramble. The bar tenders were really interactive and knowledgable. In particular, Aisher was whipping some amazing concoctions!

We ordered the eggplant fingers with satay sauce and the chicken pakoras with aioli. They were both average.

What was amazing however, was the gin & tonic swordfish ceviche served on scallop shells! Best ceviche I’ve had in quite some time.

We went on to play a game with the bar tenders. They had to try recreate the taste of Spice Box – a spicy, sweet, rye rum which they’d never even tasted. There were all sorts of random ingredients being retrieved from hiding places!

The bar reminds me of the layout of bars in Canada. People actually sitting at the bar and engaging with patrons and staff. A nautical theme, dimly lit with a great range of alcohol.

Lots of fun and banter, I’d definitely go back.

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Hamilton Island, Day One

This is my 6th trip back to the Whitsundays – I adore Hamilton Island!

This area of the world is just breathtaking – flying in is gorgeous.

My two tour guides, Liz & Shara met me at the airport with our golf buggy to start exploring. They’re friends of my cousin, Melissa who was at work.

After a quick change (into a bikini of course) we went for a spin around the island. And by spin, I mean crawl – the golf buggy really doesn’t go that fast.

We stopped for a cocktail at One Tree Hill lookout then headed to the beach to chill int he sun and swim before picking up Melissa a few hours later.

We had dinner at my fave place, Coca Chu. Delicious food!! My fave is the lobster wrapped in betel leaf.

I love being back on the island, it’s such a relaxing place. It was meant to storm the entire time but now the forecast isn’t looking too bad!

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Harajuku Gyoza on a Wednesday

Wednesday. I would never have driven if I had predicted how the evening would fold out!

I love Harajuku Gyoza. It’s loud. It’s Japanesy. People are excited. The dumplings rock. So do the sides. And the beer. It’s easy to find in Fortitude Valley. Happy days.

My fave part of the restaurant though is the yelling when people order their sake. It is absolutely hilarious and soooo much fun.

Lisa, Beck and I headed there on one of our semi-regular catch ups. We ordered all the dumplings… like everything on the menu and some! I also had the cucumber & miso salad and we shared the eggplant and pork belly – I can’t fault anything!

I asked for a Kirin beer – Lisa thought I had ordered a cider and was appalled to find she had ordered a beer. All the more for me though! We decided she would drive my car home and I would drink her beer. Win, win.

The guys across from us ordered sake and we fell into complete hysterics at the faces they made – one guy in particular was horrified. So we decided to order some. It’s way too fun not to join in! A guy from the horrified face table joined us and accused us of not drinking all our sake. He quickly took great offence to us enquiring whether he was a Kiwi. While we were bickering his friend sent us over 3 more sake shots for his amusement. I was pretty much done by that stage but with some encouragement we all picked up our glasses and threw them back. Our ‘lovely’ friend departed but not before commenting that we were all ‘beautiful ladies as long as we kept our mouths shut’ which had us dissolve into absolute fits of laughter.

Great night!

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Happy Holidays

I’m running a bit behind with updates for my holidays!

I had the absolute best time in New Zealand for Christmas and New Years.

I spent the first five days at home in Feilding with my family and the cows. Christmas was a quiet affair until the evening when the neighbours joined and we got rowdy. Boxing Day we headed to the annual Palmerston North races which quickly escalated to a group of friends and I heading out for the night.

We rented an amazing house in Pauanui on the Coromandel Coast, where we have spent many holidays, for the next week. While Daniel (brother) flew out to Fiji to party it up on Beachcomber Island, my best mate Kim, my brother Luke’s mate Ben, myself, Luke and my parents headed north. We were met there by my Dad’s brother and his family and our family friends, the Davies and their family, including my beautiful Goddaughter. 16 of us in total!

When we are in Pauanui, life really revolves around only a few things: naps, champagne, the beach and food. Probably four of my favourite things!

The house was on a private airstrip with a hangar underneath and a balcony built for taking it all in. We watched the planes and helicopters flying all day long. The beach was only a few minutes walk away as was the tiny shopping centre.

We attempted fishing with no luck, not even a bite BUT! I did do the big walk up Mt Pauanui successfully on the morning of New Year’s Eve! It was tough towards the end but well worth the views.

I had such a good time that I actually balled my eyes out when I left. It’s pretty unusual for me to get upset when I fly out but I just didn’t want to leave. Lucky I got back and had a party that night and started work the day after so I had little time to dwell on anything!

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Hamilton Island – booked!

I couldn’t decide what to do for Australia Day this year but after a quick chat to my cousin, Melissa who lives on Hamilton Island, my mind was made up.

I’ve been to Hamilton Island every year for the past 6 except for last year so it’s well time I got back.

This time I plan to do all of the hikes/ walks I can and get in some snorkelling and fishing.

Can’t wait!

Any suggestions for things to do or places to eat on Hamilton Island?

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