It’s been two weeks (well, almost) since my return home and I still find myself thinking about this fish & chips joint I discovered whilst exploring the area around my apartment. Touted as Melbourne’s healthiest fish & chips eaterie by The Age, a broadsheet newspaper similar to Singapore’s The Straits Times, Hooked is definitely one of its kind. “Healthy” fish and chips? That may sound absurd but Hooked has really proven itself to be the restaurant du jour for the health-conscious in Melbourne (i.e. Me!)
A giant mural of a naked mermaid greets you when you enter the restaurant, smiling boldly despite her state of undress. Fashion magazines and the morning’s newspapers are stacked on the main table, available for perusing as you wait for your food to be served. I have a bit of a crush on the counter girl (she’s in the first pic) – she has beautiful porcelain skin and the way she does her hair and make-up reminds me of a retro pin-up girl, like a family friendly Dita von Teese!
And the food? SO FORKING GOOD. Pick your choice of seafood (their housefish is the Blue Grenedier, which happens to be one of my faves!) and have it grilled or tempura-battered. You can then choose for your mains to be served with either a side of hand-cut chips, their special Hooked salad or an Asian-inspired baby bok choy salad with rice. Plus, you get your choice of one of their homemade sauces too!
I had some grilled calamari with brown rice and baby bok choy. I think they’re really generous with the calamari – the other fish & chips joint I used to frequent only served 4 small pieces of squid ~_~ The vegetables are steamed and lightly dressed with a medley of soy sauce and kecap manis, a thick black sweetened sauce from Indonesia. Brown rice has gotten a bad rep for being the less tasty cousin of white rice but there was nothing nasty about the rice in my meal. It was fluffy and moist, just how rice should be. I picked the pesto-based Salsa Verde, a mean green sauce I am completely addicted to. I’m convinced there’s weed in the Salsa Verde – I just kept dunking everything I had on my plate into the tiny bowl of leafy basil heaven and it was gone in minutes.
The weird orange-brown pieces on top are actually shavings of fried sweet potatoes and I must confess that I really, really hate sweet potatoes but these were really yummm! So it’s true: everything tastes better fried lol! I thought they were a really nice touch too, it’s not everyday you see fried sweet potatoes (not in Singapore anyway).
My roomie ordered the standard fish & chips with sweet chilli sauce. Another outstanding meal, the batter was crisp and enhanced the fresh flavour of the fish instead of turning it into one oily mess. The hand-cut chips were also stellar, I like that they all varied in shape but at the same time, I feel sorry for the dude who has to cut the sacks of potatoes every morning. He’s my hero.
Hooked – Healthy seafood to go.
384 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Phone: 9417 7740
My internets died on me this afternoon. Australia, I really want to like you but your shit internet providers are setting booby traps for me in our love game. Aaron suggested I take a break from the internet so I dropped all plans of drowning my modem in the bathroom sink and went out for coffee instead.
Scooping out minute amounts of brown sugar in an old jam jar to stir in my latte definitely beats pre-packaged sugar sticks.
I finally got an iPhone 4 last month yay! And I got to pick a free case thanks to Apple’s iPhone 4 Case Program. Since I’m part Chinese (thanks Grandma!) and part Malay (thanks other notable blood relatives!), it has been inscribed in my DNA to have a “can’t lose out/tak boleh kalah” attitude so I picked the most expensive and prettiest case offered >D
Writing out to-do lists on napkins is a good way to whittle time away and pretend you have your life organized. I haven’t packed at ALL. Yeah, sure everyone thinks I still have time. But I have an exam to study for, gifts to buy, an apartment to clean, a freezer to defrost, bills to p- you get the idea.
Plus, what plagues me most is not the question of what clothes to bring (I’ve half a mind to pack some undies and pyjamas so I have an excuse to buy more clothes) but MY HEELS OMG, which pairs do I keep here and which pairs will travel the world with me? …and make-up. WHAT DO I DO WITH MY MAKE-UP?! *SCREAMS*
Shoot me: A couple of months ago, I did a swap with Fiza but never had the time to take photos of the loot she sent over from Singapore. I sent her a bottle of Bio-oil (which is available in abundance here) and she sent me a tube of the Korres Mandarin Lip Butter Stick (crazily overpriced in Australia). She included some extras as well, so lovely of her! The Korres Mandarin Lip Butter Stick has a slight pink tint to it and omg the scent is so yummeh!
Extras: Some fruit masks from The Face Shop and hand cream! Haven’t tried the hand cream yet because I’m trying to finish the one I have from L’Occitane.
MOAR NAIL POLISHES! I love the pale lilac shade, Fiza! It’s going to be perfect for Spring! And the dark grape-ish glitter shade is beautiful!
Everything she sent came in this striped nautical pouch, ++ brownie points for effort! Thank you so much for everything, Fiza! I loved everything you sent, including the skincare samples (didn’t take a photo because I forgot to bring them out with me!) I’ll be seeing you soon <33
I'm on a blogging roll yeahhh! It feels good to be writing for myself rather than for school and I love that I now have the time to take photographs again. I'm thinking of doing a giveaway soon and it *might* have something to do with Twitter so this would be the perfect time to follow @ilyana for more updates. If you don’t have a Twitter account, it’s about time you get one, honey because you don’t know what you’re missing: Rumour has it that I’m pretty funny on Twitter ;p
I’m going to update my About and Links section of the site within the next couple of days too, I have new blog friends and I can’t wait to share their blog links with you guys. Take care guys! <3
Things have slowed down quite a bit since my last update so I’m taking a well deserved breather before I start going full throttle again. Mid terms are over and everything’s been smooth sailing so far. I recently discovered vanilla soy milk and it’s the only thing that’s keeping me away from dishing out AUD$4.00 for a cup of bubble tea. Spring has finally decided to move out of the shadows of winter, she’s about a month late but ah spring is quickly becoming my favourite season- the wind has mellowed down to a slight breeze, the trees are slowly regaining their greenery and oh the warmth of the sun!
I’m slowly breaking out my spring wardrobe, which is honestly my summer clothes being remixed for Spring – I’m a poor student now guys, can’t afford no McQueen ._. It actually feels foreign to me now since I’ve been wearing a blazer/trench everyday for the last 3-4 months. It’s nice not to feel icky when wearing a blazer after 10 minutes as opposed to when I was in Singapore but you cannot imagine how liberating it is to be able to wear just 1-2 layers of clothing without running the risk of freezing your bits.
Yumi and I headed to the Docklands last weekend for the Finders Keepers art and design market! The Finders Keepers markets offer a collective of stalls run by emerging designers and artist. Typically only held in Sydney and Brisbane, last weekend marked Melbourne’s first Finders Keepers event yay!
The Docklands is somewhat detached from the city in terms of its architecture and layout. You have clusters of futuristic buildings built near the water and evenly spaced out with large planes of wooden planks. It reminds me a bit of Singapore’s HarbourFront/VivoCity area except on a much larger scale.
The enigmatic Yumi with her kitty holga! No photos of me sry, as much as I’d like you to believe I look effortless everyday – I don’t.
The market’s held in a huge warehouse named Shed 4, I had weird visions of Warhol’s Factory the whole time I was there except no one was tripping on amphetamine.
Frankie was one of their major sponsors so naturally, there was a couple of tables dedicated to Frankie magazines and merchandise.
Scratch greeting cards, I thought it was an interesting concept. Greeting cards are usually passive but these cards only reveal their saccharine messages when you’ve scratched off the silver coating with a coin.
SQUEE! Animal rings! This stall was easily one of my favourites from the market. Look at those bunny rings! I usually go for antiqued gold when it comes to jewelry but that matte black finishing some of the rings had were stellar. Yumi bought a bunny one for herself and she sneakily surprised me with a ring from the same store before we left.
Trying on some cocktail rings at another stall. Such (expensive) beauties. My nail colour’s CHANEL Le Vernis in Particuliere. It’s an offbeat a brownish shroomy grey, it’s not a colour I would normally pick but CHANEL has somehow made mud look elegant, folks.
I really, really wanted this beautiful light green/blue ring (the silver ring’s mine) but it was $125 urgh. That’s 5 times over my allotted budget for rings. It’s sterling silver and the stone’s Aquamarine which prolly explains the price tag.
Kitschy cute hand-printed stationery!
My Finders Keepers loot! You can see subtlety isn’t for me when it comes to my rings lol. Scored this carved rose cameo ring for cheap.
This ring is a mystery to me, it looks like some sort of gilded, textured metal coated with a thin layer of acrylic. It fascinates me somehow, gold often has that effect on me.
The ring Yumi surprised me with, any guesses what it is? I think the antlers give it away ;p
FORK YEAH A MOOSE RING! This is so kick-ass I don’t even. Thank you so much, Yumi <3333 Btw I still owe you a slice of cake, Brunetti's soon? Let me know xx
You can find out more about Finders Keepers here. Remember they have markets in Sydney and Brisbane too so if you’re based in those areas or flying over for a holiday, check to see if a market’s happening in your vicinity ;D
My trip to the Melbourne Museum in April, it’s absurd how overdue these photos are. Anyway, I’M BACK! FOR REAL THIS TIME. Exams are over, essays have been submitted and my kidneys no longer feel pressured from the crazy amounts of coffee I’ve consumed the past month. It’s all good, guys – for the next two months I mean. A new semester begins in late July but let’s not dwell on depressing thoughts lol. I’m still starved of sleep so I’m going to cut this entry short, expect a beauty entry soon! Take care everyone xx
A rare photo of me as proof that I’m still alive, though just barely. LK bought the top for me at H&M when he was in Hong Kong last year and it’s something I always keep reaching for in the closet when I feel like I need to wear something vivid as a contrast to this bleak weather we’ve been submitted to. I’ve just completed 2 essay assignments so I’ve got a bit of free time to write a quick entry before I let my study routine feast on my soul again. I actually meant to post this earlier this week but if you follow me on twitter, all my entries were wiped out due to a database glitch. It’s fixed now – thank you LK! <33
I feel really awful for neglecting this baby and I think everyone's just sick of me missing out on their entries (I'm sorry guys!) but I guess you can say my priorities are different now. Life is a lot harder when your family isn't with you NOT because you're left to fend for yourself- being independent I can deal with but because there's noone to help you with the forking LAUNDRY. Laundry has got to be the common enemy for all students living away from home, god I could go on forever about laundry but WHO WANTS TO TALK ABOUT SOILED CLOTHES WHEN WE CAN TALK ABOUT CHANEL Y/Y??
The local Chanel boutique had a exhibition called “Les Secrets De La Veste” which is French for “Yep we know you’d never be able to afford our jackets but hey that’s not gonna stop us from pulling out our iconic jackets, display them in store for you to touch and look at, and then you can go home crying to your spouses, blaming your lack of Chanel in the closet on their miserable paychecks and ultimately, you end up with a messy divorce”. Chanel ruins lives because you always want something you can’t have and they know it.
Like this blazer/jacket for example. Oh my god it’s beautiful. Price tag? $8,000 and guess what, they don’t make them anymore so stab me in the heart why doncha.
The woman in charge of the exhibition noticed we (we = my roommate and I) were early and gave us our own private tour which was really nice (now if only she handed over the Chanel flats she had on, it would have made my day). She talked about the whole process of making the tweed for the jackets, the individually weighed buttons which usually feature distinct icons of Paris that Coco Chanel was inspired by and the embroidery/beading that’s outsourced to a Parisian embroidering company that has worked with Coco for many years.
We got out of Chanel, feeling slightly suicidal and hungry so somehow we ended up having desserts at Brunetti’s. Eating chocolate is the best way to heal a severe fashion heartache, that’s just the way it is.
I had the Tre Gusti (it means three flavours in Italian according to Google Translate) which is a triple white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate mousse that’s topped with some squiggly fudge thing and a dainty sugar flower I massacred the minute it was served.
Roomie got this giant vanilla tart topped with a massive chunk of flakey chocolate. The name of the dessert escapes me but it might be “mostro di cioccolato cosa vulcano” which is what Google Translate thinks is Italian for “monster volcano chocolate thing”. I actually like the malay version Google came up with – “rakasa coklat gunung berapi hal” which if directly translated into English means fiery chocolate mountain monster with issues HAHAHAHAHA Don’t take my word for it tho, my malay isn’t as good as my grandmother’s.
Speaking of fiery volcanoes, my dad was in quite a fix last week because my mom’s flight back home was via Frankfurt and it was cancelled due to the volcanic ash in the air. He wasn’t actually worried about my mother being in a foreign country all by herself but letting a woman loose in New York is not exactly a good idea especially when her credit card is linked to your joint account LOL. Anyway, my mom got home safely last week (can’t say the same for the credit card bill though) and she got me a tube of the Chanel Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle and more MAC stuff yay! Sadly, I’m not going to receive them until late May so no swatches or images til then guys!
Oh and here’s one more thing she got for me:
OMFG MIU MIU (sorry about the cellphone photo – my dad shot this for me lol)
CAN I GO HOME NOW PLEASE?
YAY it’s the easter holidays! I get a week off from school so that gives me a bit of time to do a lil’ blogging. I’ve been lazing around in the apartment the past couple of days and I must say I’ve almost forgotten how good it feels to do nothing and stay in bed all day. It is ABSOLUTELY GRATIFYING. My only teeny tiny complaint is that I have this fear of losing track of time and not being able to finish my holiday assignments before the week is up! I guess this is where a proper timetable might come in handy but knowing my inane ability to rebel against any form of scheduling….I think I’m better off without one.
I owe you guys a beauty entry so I thought I’d start this entry with a couple of items I got before my move to Melbourne.
I went to a clothing/household sale with my cousins on a whim and didn’t expect to buy anything until I saw a tiny booth tucked away in a corner, invisible to the untrained eyes of many women who were just there to stock up on diapers and skillets (if you are a married woman with 2 kids to feed, nothing is more logical than hoarding more pots and pans even if you have 10 skillets in the cupboard already – I know this because my mother is the same, bless her heart.) I saw these Givenchy gems on sale for $15 knocked down from their I-would-never-be-able-to-afford-this-since-I’m-jobless price of $40.
Aren’t they pretty to look at? L to R: Precious Sari glittering eyeshadow in Maharani Silver and Maharani Gold. They’re from last year’s Givenchy Maharani collection and I originally intended to get only one but I couldn’t decide between the two so me being the sensible, thrifty girl that I so am, I got both in the end 8D Can’t say much about what they’re like when worn because I’ve not used them at all. School cuts my usual half hour long beauty routines into a slapstick 5 min comedy, sad but true.
I’ve been wanting to show you this for the longest time!! My friend Furry (fabulous owner of Earlgreyparty.com) went to Taiwan for a brief holiday and she helped me get another Jill Stuart eye jelly and a lipgloss to add to my mini collection. I am going to collect all of the eye jellies eventually, words just cannot express how much I love them. They have an amazing sparkly finish and they don’t budge even without a primer. What you see here is the Eye Jelly in Midnight Shine, a cool deep navy blue.
Jill Stuart Jelly Gloss in Dusk Rose, another beauty this one. Such pretty packaging no no? Dusk Rose is a dolly pink with a ton of gold shimmer, it actually reminds me of NARS Angelika except in gloss form lol and maybe a wee bit peachier.
I did a little exploring around area yesterday so imma be awesome and share with you some of my fave shots ;D Think of it as a visual apology for the weeks I’ve been away from my blogging duties lol.
The sky couldn’t have been more perfect.
Shit, it’s my dream letter box.
YES I HAVE A HIGH FASHION SHOE OUTLET STORE NEAR MY PLACE /o/ I love that blue van lol.
Thrift store + cafe.
Flowers in my neighbour’s garden.
I have this sudden desire to get a tube of Rouge Coco lipstick from CHANEL. It probably costs more than I can afford right now but god, I have never wanted a lipstick so bad (where have I heard this line before?) I don’t actually know why I *need* it but I’m pretty sure it’s got nothing to do with the multiple ads of French beauty Vanessa Paradis that have taken over every tram stop in the city. Yep, nah uh nothing to do with it.
My mom’s flying off to NYC this friday for a work/holiday thing with her colleagues and she’s asked me to send her a list of things I want. I’m tempted to bombard her email with a lengthy list of MAC stuff I want (like I don’t have enough already, geez but but but have you seen the new Art Supplies collection?! HOLY SHIZ I WANT EVERYTHING!) I think I’ll list out 20 items I want and in the same email, type “Mom you can either get me the 20 items above available in various locations around the city or you can choose to end your misery by buying me a CHANEL 2.55, love you!” I wonder if she’d be amused.
p.s I just noticed my readership has increased slightly since I last blogged omg, thank you so much for subscribing + reading everyone! Come say hi in the comments, I would love to read your blogs too! It’s funny how my readership only increases when I disappear rofl, maybe I should start planning more disappearing acts (I’M KIDDING.)