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Sunday, May 26, 2013

TWSBI Diamond Vac700 nib swap

I read somewhere that a Pelikan M800 nib fits a TWSBI Diamond Vac700. I like vacuum filler pens; I do own two Pilot Custom 823s. I like Pelikan M800 as well; I own 3 of them. I thought it would be neat if I can have both in a pen so I gave a go for creating a chimaera. I bought a TWSBI Vac700 for 90 bucks online and a Pelikan M800 M nib for about AUD160 online. I knocked out the nibs from both the Pelikan nib assembly as well as the Vac700. I don't own a knockout block so I just hooked the assembly ring of the Pelikan nib unit/TWSBI nib unit on the edge of my desk then gently but firmly tapped using a Victorinox knife (with the knife folded)... For the TWSBI unit I used a sharpened yakitori bamboo stick to knock out the feeder. I did have a bin underneath to catch the nib just in case it came off too suddenly though this was not needed in the end.

Knocked out Pelikan and TWSBI nibs
I applied a coat of nail polish on the top surface of the butt end of the Pelikan nib; supposedly a Pelikan gold nib is a little thinner than the steel TWSBI nib (I read somewhere online but I cannot remember where) and a coat of the nail polish compensates for it. I'm not sure if that was even needed as the fit was very snag, and there was no problem in the ink flow on the chimeric pen; it writes on a wetter side though. 
 
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Aavara TS743 triple monitor stand mod

I bought a Dell U3011 to bring the monitor count to 3. The U3011 in the landscape mode while the other two Dell 24" monitors on the sides in portrait mode. And hence I needed to get a new monitor stand (as I was using a dual monitor stand at this point). I decided to stick with the Aavara brand; I have been using their dual monitor stand for some time. I got the TS743 triple monitor stand. I got this delivered from Officeworks; just placed the order online and a few days later it landed on my doorstep. 

I read somewhere that the notches on the side monitor arms restrict the (full range) movement of these arms. I also read that just by filing them away, they will move to all positions. So, I gave a go at it.

Before filing the notches away

After the notches were filed away
The notches were very easy to file off; they were very soft and I managed to file them off by using a hand tool. After the notches were filed off, the arms were attached to the stand and monitors mounted. The only problem was I was trying to make this monitor stand perform beyond the spec; the stand cannot support a 30" monitor because of the weight restriction. It sags under the weight of the 30" monitor. I am using the two 24" monitors on both sides of the central monitor to hold it up in the place. Not an ideal set up but for the price I compromise. For now. 


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Hinazushi (Ginza, Tokyo)

Caught up with a friend of mine that stretches back ~10 years in Tokyo. When we were in the US, he was often raving about this joint Hinazushi in Tokyo. Now that we were both in the city, I suggested we go there to see if his words were true. And just as he raved about it, it did not disappoint.



It costs about AUD50 and it is an all you can eat joint (for 90 minutes). You actually place the order on a piece of paper to indicate what you want and how many. You are restricted to 20 sushi per order; understandable in order to avoid possible wastage. We managed to polish 6 full plates; 120 pieces of sushi between two of us. Not a bad effort for two (almost) middle aged men. The quality of sushi was something you cannot get at this price in Australia. Was well worth the visit.


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Parlamento (North Terrace, Adelaide)

My parents had to pay a visit to their consulate for some paperwork on this Saturday. I tagged along to drop by at work to get something done. Later on, we met up in the city for a lunch. My mother chose this Parlamento joint on North Tce. I have been here twice before; 24 years ago when I came down here for attending some prelim for the uni entrance (by myself, alone). It was located on the ground floor of a Travelodge back then, and I stayed there. Being a 16 years old fresh out of country, not knowing much about Adelaide, I just stuck by this joint for dinner. It was alright for what it was back then. I was keen to try this place out not only for the nostalgic value but also by the fact that it is always full during lunch time whenever I come by trying to get a table for myself on my regular Thursday lunch session. We ordered for a main each with a couple of side dishes plus dessert.

Spaghetti Marinara
It was very good; a large serving with plenty of seafood. I was glad to see it was not like in the US where "Marinara" is plain tomato based pasta sauce (and nothing else). The picture doesn't show half the crab buried underneath all other bits of pasta. Crab was not very fresh (probably expecting a little too much) but was enough to add the flavour to the dish. I had a little problem eating crab probably because I'm not used to it. I had to pry open the shell with my hands and it made a LOT of mess (splashing sauce and what not). Very stylish wet towel (in its own small dish) was provided but it was not quite enough to clean my hands after the food. 

Semifreddo allo zabaglione
It was very good. The sweet taste did not linger sickly after each spoonful which I liked.



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Parlamento on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An-mitsu and Maccha Latte (Bunmeido, Ginza, Tokyo)

We were in Ginza, Tokyo earlier this year. Hanging out during the day, we were getting a little tired, and so we hit one of Japanese cafe operated by Bunmeido on the main street of Ginza. Bunmeido is famous for  their Kasutera, a Japanese sponge cake originally from Portugal; brought to Japan back in 16th century. I had a matcha (powdered green tea) latte and an-mitsu, a classic Japanese dessert.

An-mitsu dessert and matcha latte.
 As you can see on the picture, presentation was wonderful just as you expect from a cafe in Ginza; a very fashionable area in Tokyo. It had the matching price tag on it but hey you don't do this sort of stuff all the time...

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Hohduki (Kobe, Japan)

When I went to Japan, I caught up with a friend of mine that dates back about 30 years. He's a bit of a gourmet, and I requested for some traditional Japanese food (as I was in Japan). We met up in my hotel then headed out to the night of San-nomiya, Kobe. We went past under the JR railway line to the north and hit the restaurants and pubs sort of area. My friend picked this Hohduki restaurant, and we were not disappointed.

Katsuo (Bonito) tataki

Sashimi of 3 different kinds

Tempura

Fish (Nodoguro) cooked in broth and konbu sea kelp

Snapper chazuke (Japanese style risotto) with some pickles on the side

Yuzu sorbet as dessert
The course was really good. It was well worth 5000 yen price tag. Not sure if you can find this much food of this quality at this sort of price back home. We really did enjoy ourselves that night.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

TGI Friday's (Marion, Adelaide)

It was the Christmas time of the year, and it meant it might be a little difficult to find places open for lunch. We found ourselves with an empty fridge on a hot day with most of places closed. We heard that TGI Friday in Marion might be operating, and thus headed down that way.

I used to frequent TGI Friday's when I lived in the US; it used to be a lifesaver for us Postdocs on a shoestring budget working late in the lab then go on in search of sustenance later. But times have changed, I never expected to see one here in Adelaide of all places...

A bacon cheeseburger.
This costed me about ~16 bucks. With a bottomless fountain soda. Not too bad I guess. I remember the idea of the bottomless fountain soda so foreign all those years back (11 to be exact). It certainly had some nostalgic value for me too. But I think my taste buds got REALLY spoilt after spending years away from the US.




TGI Friday's on Urbanspoon
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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Swinging Bowl Satay (Stephens Place, Adelaide)

It's that Thursday lunch time again. I was fully intending to go back to Penang Hawker Corner in Renaissance Arcade, but... As I was walking towards the Penang joint, I went past this place. I knew of this Swinging Bowl Satay joint. My friends frequent it, but I had never eaten here. I'm a sucker for curry, and the smell coming out of this place just attracted me, and I tend to follow my nose. I walked in and got myself a plate of:
Curry chicken, a sambal egg, rice and stir fried vegies.
All this for about 13 bucks including the drink (so this plate of food was actually less than 10 bucks). The curry tasted wonderful; aromatic and as it should. Spicy enough to make me sweat around my nose but not exceedingly hot to burn. Very generous serving of rice; they pack a largish bowl first then open that up on a plate before pouring curry over. The sambal egg had that punchy smell/taste to it. The only concern I had was that I hoped they were making enough money to keep the place running because it's wonderful in both quality and quantity.

Swinging Bowl Satay on Urbanspoon
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Zucca Greek Mezze (Promenade, Glenelg, Adelaide)

On a very sunny Sunday, we went to the Rocks Restaurant but we were told that it was not open for lunch. So we looked for an alternative, and found the Zucca Greek Mezze Restaurant on the Promenade. It didn't start too well. As we were sat down, I asked for a table inside; facing the ocean, as I could see that there were some empty tables. Instead we were told there was no table available that side. Sure. We sat at a table facing the marina. No problem, as we thought that side was hired out or something. Then we noticed that other parties are shown to the other side. What the...? We wondered if they had booking; we didn't. But it was obvious that people without booking were also led there. Hmmm? Is it because we are a party of 3, instead of 2 or 4 or 5? No, we saw a party of 3 being shown inside who obviously did not have a booking. We really wondered if it's because we were not Caucasians and they were. I really hope that's not the case. But the collective thought already soured the atmosphere for us. When it came to ordering, things got worse; we requested if they could make a seafood platter for 2 into a platter for 3, as there were 3 of us, and as well as the fact that my parents have been here before and managed to get a platter of seafood and meat for 2 made from different platters. Alas, there was no such luck this time. We could see that the waitress serving us was arguing for this but no. So we ended up ordering the following dishes: 

A mezze serving of moussaska.

A mezze serving of grilled octopus.

A seafood platter for two.
The food was passable; at least there was enough for us. But I've had better seafood platters elsewhere before. And everything else really spoiled the fun. Frankly, all I was thinking during the meal was "let's get this done and over with, and get the F outta here." It's not like we were being stingy; we spent nearly 170 bucks for a lunch for three. In appreciation of all this, I gave them the exact money down to the cents. I don't think we'll come back here anytime soon. 


Zucca Greek Mezze on Urbanspoon
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Penang Hawker Corner (Renaissance Arcade, Adelaide)

It was at the beginning of the year when shops were not open, yet I had to work; couldn't make lunch to bring to work. What can I do but... Go out for a lunch? I have known that this Penang Hawker Corner existed as far back as I can remember; like all those years ago when I was an undergrad at Adelaide Uni. Yet I had never eaten here. Until now. I am a sucker for these two items:

Curry laksa and coconut juice.
Close look at that bowl of laksa.
It was very good. The noodle was not exactly my favourite; the thick Hokkien kind. But that's just my personal preference, and the rest really made it up. I especially liked the soup/broth. I was also happy with the amount served as well (ie. plenty). Coconut juice didn't hurt either; sweet and refreshing. So this was another case of "why didn't I come here before?"

Penang Hawkers Corner on Urbanspoon

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cocolat (Rundle Street, Adelaide)

After finishing a lunch with friends at Nanyang Cafe, we went searching for some dessert, and we found ourselves in this Cocolat cafe on Rundle Street. There are two sizes of dessert, and of course I ended up having the full size. Both the cake and coffee.

Jaffa, full size.
It was wonderful. Both cake and coffee. But I was bursting at the seams. Turned out I came back here quite often...

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Cocolat on Urbanspoon