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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Moon Lantern Festival (Elder Park, Adelaide)

I missed it last year so I wanted to go see it to see if it's any different from the one in Auckland.

Well. What can I say. Queue for the food was way too long and it was pretty cold. Lanterns were sadly not as good as the ones from Auckland. There were plenty of advertisement/sponsor logos on the lanterns; pretty off putting, really. Yay capitalism for making this event happen. Pep talks by the Premier and SA Governor were necessary I suppose. Nothing much to see, and so I left quickly. Thank goodness there was a dinner waiting for me at home.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Red Ochre Grill (War Memorial Dr., North Adelaide)

Our family went out for the "Taste of Adelaide" promotion thing yet again; this time the target was the Red Ochre Grill on War Memorial Drive. It was pissing down out there on the day, very bad day for going out. Turned out it was real bad in the restaurant too...

Yes, the food was wonderful. However... We were sat on the table next to the glass door on the terrace. On a good weather day it would have been magnificent especially for lunch, looking out to the view of Lake Torrens. However... There must have been a some sort of leak from the heavy rain. The waiting staff kept looking at the ceiling. I was wondering why they were doing that. Then... I saw my cutlery was wet. Huh? Then I noticed there was a puddle of water on my bread plate (when a roll was served on it). The waitress did not notice it so I had to ask for another plate and a roll. Not a good start. Apparently it turned out my sister had the same problem, plus her seat was wet. And so was the table. We should have either left the place, or at least asked to be seated on a different table... Too late now.
Red Ochre on Urbanspoon
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Archer Hotel (O'Connell St., North Adelaide)

Heard it's got the best schnitzel around the area; but it wasn't on the lunch menu. Instead had a burger. It was a bit too salty for my taste though. Still. Can't beat the price; 10 bucks.

Archer Hotel on Urbanspoon
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Saltram Winery (Barossa)

The department I'm working for treated us for a Christmas lunch Barossa winery tour extravaganza. We went out to Hentley Farm for tasting first (I thought "The Beast" was the best tasting and ended up buying one) then head over to Saltram for tasting followed by lunch. We were a bit hurried for tasting as we were running late... Anyway.

I had fresh prawn rolls as an entree. They tasted alright, but were not wrapped tight,
and fell apart as soon as I bit into one. Not impressed.

Fresh salad to be shared. Mustard seed dressing was good.

I had a sirloin steak as the main. This was actually good; tender and nicely cooked.

Then the disaster. One of my skewer was dropped and a replacement was brought out.
But frankly, this was nothing to write home about. I hear the other dessert was a dog's breakfast.
I would've paid extra to have the three cakes on display instead as my dessert.

After the lunch we all headed back to Adelaide. I fell asleep as soon as I got on board thanks to all the wine I had during the day. It was a very enjoyable outing, and all congrats should go to the organizers of the event.

Saltram on Urbanspoon
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Monday, December 06, 2010

The Wine Underground (Pirie St., Adelaide)

The family went out to this joint The Wine Underground on Pirie Street. I had a glass of shiraz to go with this lot.

Tasting size pate. Pretty good start.

I had an entree of three oysters with three different seasonings. Interesting...

Coorong Angus fillet, potato gallette, braised ox-tail, cep veloute

Finished all off with a souffle.

We got discount from Entertainment Book. We enjoyed the meal so much we would've paid the full price though.

Wine Underground on Urbanspoon
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Maximilian's Restaurant and Cellar Door (Verdun, Adelaide Hills)

The family went out for a lunch at Maximilian's Restaurant and Cellar Door in Verdun in the Adelaide Hills for my sister's birthday. I've heard it's good, and the place met all the expectations.

Kas' Spätzle
I had this as the entree. Thought it was like a fancy mac and cheese...

Duckling Montmorency
Then this dish as the main. This was wonderful. Very filling. Duck was very moist and tender.

Three home-made ice cream; strawberry, vanilla beans and mango

Ice cream was very good.

So we all enjoyed our meal. We enjoyed it so much we booked for the Christmas as soon as we got home. The only problem/drawback I saw was the fact that you have to drive all the way out to Verdun...

Maximilians Vineyard on Urbanspoon
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Monday, November 08, 2010

Bartons Restaurant (O'Connell St., North Adelaide)

A bunch of us from the lab decided to pay a visit to the Bartons Restaurant up the street. Also operated by Caledonian Hotel, but more upmarket. Used the Split the Bill voucher.


I had a T-Bone steak. But... Probably should've gone for the eye fillet instead. It looked fancier and perhaps more tender as well. Neighbouring lawn is always greener, I suppose.
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Friday, November 05, 2010

The British Hotel (Finniss St., North Adelaide)

We kept vouchers for "Split the Bill" promotion from the Advertiser. As it was getting close to the end of the promotion, bunch of us from the lab decided to drop by the British for a lunch. It's just down the road from our lab.

I had a scotch fillet. I could tell it would take some time before food comes out so ordered a bowl of wedges as well; the right thing to do as it did take some time. As to the steak... I've had a better one before, but after all, it was half-priced. If not then I would have to think twice before getting one.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Woodstock Estate (McLaren Vale)

Some time ago we went down to McLaren Vale to go to this Woodstock Estate. It's a winery with the usual restaurant. When we got there, there was a 3-piece jazz band playing. Nice cozy atmosphere. Very pleasant.

Saw some animals...

Dips for starters. Already very filling.

Sausages and potatoes as an entree. More fillings before the main course.

Then came the main event, the roast. By this time I was already full...
Meanwhile we did share a bottle of Shiraz. It was decanted and aerated. It went quite well with all the red meat I had. Very nice but I was struggling to stay up thanks to the glass of wine I had. Very much enjoyed altogether.

Woodstock Winery & Coterie on Urbanspoon
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Garmin Oregon 550

While getting the upgrade of the cycling computer, I thought... "Hey, maybe I could also upgrade my other GPS device..."

I own a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx.
I bought it when I was leaving the US; about 4 years ago. I've been happy with it, but it was showing its age.

So I just went ahead and bought a new unit; a Garmin Oregon 550. I've put a 16 GB microSD in this unit for what seems to be an infinite storage space (cf. 1 GB on the 60CSx). It can take multiple sets of maps (say US and Australia) which is nice. The high resolution screen is nice, but as some other people on the web says, it's not as bright as the 60CSx. It's still readable, but it would have been nicer to have a bit brighter screen. I guess you can't have everything...

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Crud Road Racer Mudguard Set (Mr. Crud)

After purchasing the Defy Advanced, I needed a pair of fenders for commuting. Originally I thought I could find something similar to what I attach to my MTB; a rear carrier that is attached on the seatpost that can catch splashes, as well as a detachable floating fender on the fork. It turned out there is no such front fender for road bikes (too little clearance). As to the rear carrier... I really wanted to get one (so that I can get a pannier bag instead of strapping a bum bag on my lower back) but I just could not see how I could attach one on my road bike as it seems to have this oblong shaped seatpost. So. I went ahead and bought just a pair of regular fenders to protect myself from being splashed with all sorts of crap (including horse dropping).

I got this Crud Road Racer Mudguard set from Mr. Crud. I don't know this field well but I thought it would be good enough; seem to cover the wheels fully. It appeared easy to attach to the bike (and it was). It was not blazing obvious on the either. However I found it was difficult to adjust the fenders not to rub the wheels. I'm using a pair of 25c Ultra Gator Duraskin tyres. I thought I got it right. For a while. Then one evening riding home from work, the rear fender somehow managed to get tangled up with the back wheel and destroyed itself. The noise did give me a scare; I thought it was my wheel that went, rather than the fender. Luckily (or not so lucky, depending on the point of view), it was just the fender. I ordered a new set in from CRC (the first one was bought from Wiggle but by the time I ordered the second set, they weren't sending it down under; maybe because the version 2 of this product was coming out) and attached it again. The back wheel is now rub free, but the front one remains recalcitrant. I'll see how long this set will last.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Giant Defy Advanced 2

I've started to commute on the bike a couple times a week. I've been on the 2002 Jamis Dakar Sport I bought all these years ago (latter half of 2001). It's a nice full-suspension mountain bike. But... It's pretty heavy. I've been managing about 20 km/h average over 18 km commute each way, but it's pretty heavy going. So I decided to buy myself a road bike. I looked around, and narrowed down to two candidates; Scott Speedster S20 and Giant Defy Alliance 0. Then... I saw that Defy Advanced 2 was on the sale at an LBS; 500 bucks off from RRP. And so I went ahead and bought one.

I guess there will be no excuse not to commute on a bike regularly. Maybe not when it's raining but.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Garmin Edge 705

I finally got my bike fixed; two front cogs and brake cables needed to be replaced. My helmet and gloves went AWOL while transiting across the Tasman; not impressed at all. I bought a cheapass helmet that will have to do the moment. I still need to get a pair of gloves. Then I thought I would put a new battery in my speedo and saw this:

My first reaction was "What the F...?" It's dead as a dodo. Whatever the reason, it's a goner. So I decided to splash a bit and get a GPS based speedo, and got this:

Yeah, a Garmin Edge 705. It's nice. I took it out for a ride, and I liked it. It's easy to see, nice to have mapping capability, nice to have a HRM and so on. My geekness was satisfied when I plotted the course on Google Earth. I guess there is no excuse for me not to get out there now except for the muscle pain. Now if I can grow a pair of buns of steel...

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Chili oil that looks hot but not but a little bit hot

Apparently this "chili oil that looks hot but not but a little bit hot" ("karasoude karakunai sukoshi karai ra-yu" in Japanese) is the latest culinary craze in Japan. Obviously it's not available here (yet?), but people have made up their own concoctions and put the recipes on the web. I've decided to give one of them a go.

Peel and chop up 3 whole heads of garlic then deep fry in 100 ml of oil. I used peanut oil. After garlic is fried, separate garlic and oil by draining. Keep both.

Deep fry green bits of spring onion and some ginger in 200 ml oil to transfer the flavour. Remove the carcass of vegies then deep fry finely chopped onion in the same oil until the onion bits become crispy. The recipe called for dusting of flour on the onions but I didn't bother.

Meanwhile... Mix a couple of handfuls of hand-crushed sliced almonds, a handful of sesame seeds, two tablespoons (minimum, you can increase to your taste) of chili powder, a tablespoon of brown sugar, a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of miso bean paste in a bowl.

When the onion is nicely fried, put the oil used in frying the garlic back in the pot, heat up the entire mixture to 180 degrees C then pour the whole mixture to the bowl of stuff prepared above. After the whole thing cools down, add the fried garlic and about 50 ml of sesame oil then mix. Put plastic wrap over the bowl and let it sit overnight before bottling. Keep it in the fridge.

I must say it came out pretty alright. Next time I'll add a bit more salt/miso paste as it needed a bit more salt. Apparently it's important to have everything crisp (meaning water content should be removed) in order to keep the crispness of the components.

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