Up 2 U Chinese Restaurant | Belconnen

Up 2 U Chinese Restaurant | Belconnen

Growing up in a Chinese household, you tend you get fed some weird and wonderful things - cubed pig's blood, pig ears and sea cucumber to name a few. Thankfully for me, hot pot (while not being that weird) was also one of those things. 

We were lucky enough to have a electric hot pot at home (which isn't unlike an electric frypan really) - it was a garish green colour on the outside and would be placed in the middle of the dinner table, with an assortment of meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles sitting around it just waiting to be cooked. I remember the worst thing being how long it took for the broth to heat back up after you'd dropped some pork or seafood in (mum and dad said the water had to boil again before it was good to eat), but it was always worth the wait!

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Grill & Sizzle Fusion | Dickson

Audaciously calling itself 'Canberra's New Taste Sensation', Grill & Sizzle Fusion occupies a space on Dickson's Woolley Street that Jimmy's Place once held. 

As you walk inside, the space is quite open but elements of the decor give off the feel of a nightclub, such as the black vinyl seats that are at some tables, and the sparkly gold ones at others (like ours... forgot to take a photo though!). There also seemed to be strobe/disco lights mounted on the walls.... maybe some late night karaoke goes down there too?

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A coffee @ Ampersand | Paddington, Sydney

A coffee @ Ampersand | Paddington, Sydney

the Ampersand Cafe sits along a busy stretch of Oxford Street in Paddington, opposite the Victoria Barracks. it's a 'cafe bookstore' - which means a multi-story library towards the back of the cafe boasting 30,000 second-hand books, an invitation to lounge around or chat at the communal tables while you sip on a coffee, and a range of $1 books for sale (which one young passerby astutely noticed and managed to convince his mum to buy him four books about dragons). 

it's a popular venue among the locals, without any sign of being pretentious. the decor has retained much of its vintage charm, the menu is full of old favourites, and the staff are warm and inviting. perfect for a rainy day!

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Up to Gilbraltar Peak | Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, ACT

Up to Gilbraltar Peak | Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, ACT

26 years living in Canberra and i'm ashamed to say that i've only been out to Tidbinbilla once (well - now, twice!). as Canberrans, we're lucky to have so much wildlife and bushland surrounding the city, and for me it's definitely been the case of somewhere like Tidbinbilla being so close and accessible that means you never quite get around to getting out there.

and so with a couple of long weekends upon us, what better time to go for a bit of a bushwalk and get away from racing around town. it was a crisp ANZAC day that we started our walk from Dalsetta, through the Eliza Saddle and finally up to Gibraltar Peak for a couple of pastrami sandwiches. according to wikipedia, Gibraltar Peak is the 45th highest 'mountain' in the ACT with its lofty elevation of 1,038m, so not really worthy of peak bagging (which is something else i just discovered on wikipedia, although it sounds like it belongs more on urban dictionary...).

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street art in adelaide

street art in adelaide

when you hear the word 'adelaide', what springs to mind?

  1. churches?  yep.
  2. barossa / <insert wine region>?  obviously.
  3. AB's?  distinctly. (what's an AB, you ask? best to call it a 'late night snack' of kebab/yiros meat on a bed of hot chips, drizzled with garlic, tomato and chilli sauces. in other words, heaven and hell on a plate. if you're still intrigued, click here for a tantalising pic)
  4. festivals?  you bet. there were no fewer than five festivals happening over the course of the March long weekend. i managed to get to one of them, meaning i'll have to come back another four times to see the others (someone at SA Tourism was earning their bonus when they conjured that one up. well played.)
  5. ....street art?  huh?
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enlighten festival 2014 | canberra

enlighten festival 2014 | canberra

i only had a chance to get down to canberra's annual enlighten festival on a weeknight this year, thereby missing the weekend performances and 'extras' (such as fiers a cheval & the fire garden). however, the day i did manage to get there was the same day Sydney was throwing up some crazy weather (i think this photo says it all) so the skies here had a bit of action about them as well!

while i spent a big part of the night (unsuccessfully) trying to capture the lightning that was striking every 10 seconds or so - it didn't detract from how awesome the projections looked on canberra's most iconic buildings.

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