Donuts and Dinner by Heston

promo02Happy New Year everyone! We all love food and this post is gonna be about food because the only memorable thing I did on the first day of 2016 is eat food…good food.  Given that most things were closed on New Year’s Day, my sis and I bought Kracie’s Popin’ Cookin   from a Chadstone grocer last week  and we decided to give them a go.  This was basically our breakfast for the day, we got so caught up preparing these mini donuts  to the point we forgot we were actually  hungry. The donut mix was pretty tricky only because everything on the box is completely in Japanese and we had no idea how much water was needed….we mistakenly added too much at first!  Luckily for us visual girls there  were pictures we were able to  refer to behind the packaging. In the end there wasn’t much to follow as it was just mainly mixing water with powder.

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Ta da! This is all completely edible and they smell very nice.  I always love it when my Mom and I  get to spend the holidays with my sis. She currently lives in Jakarta so we don’t see her frequently but when we do, we do as much as we can together even if it’s a little  creative activity at home.

For lunch we made Indomie kuah (Indonesian instant noodle soup), I find this stuff very filling, super tasty and honestly the best quality instant noodles I can find on the market. It’s been a while since I’ve last had one…of course this should be eaten less than in moderation.

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Finally dinner, at Dinner! Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Anyone who watches Masterchef like me would obviously know who Heston is. Ever since watching the first few seasons of Masterchef I’ve adored Heston’s guest appearances and wondered what it’d be like to dine in any of his restaurants. His first restaurant in Crown Casino, The Fat Duck, opened mid 2015 and the only way you could get in is to win a ticket. Now, Dinner By Heston replaced The Fat Duck and  no you don’t need to win a ticket for this thankfully! It only opened here in November and there’s also another one in London. I  wanted to book a table straight away but they were  booked out for  all of December and the next available one was on the night of New Year’s day.

To put it simply, dining here is  the best start to any  new year I’ve ever had.  It’s natural to have high expectations when it comes to fine dining and I’m usually harsh. But folks, this is molecular gastronomy at its finest. The restaurant entrance is a narrow hallway with dimmed lights, as you get closer to the end you’re faced with a screen that plays footage of people preparing food and you immediately think you’re at a dead end. The doors are so easy to ignore, no handles on sight they look like walls but wait a few seconds and the black doors on the side automatically open. I’d also like to randomly mention the toilets, the toilet’s entrance are so abstract and minimal. This place is clearly against  the use of door handles! Also they use vintage Molton Brown handwash products…damn it takes me back to uni when we had to study the brand’s expensive history.

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For the entree we tried the famous  ‘Meat Fruit’ which is essentially a  mandarin skin, chicken liver parfait dish served with grilled bread. You’d think it’s a sweet dish – a lot of it is savoury and is a very delicious combination of sweet, sour and savoury with the mandarin gel and bread. The chicken parfait makes the perfect spread. We also tried the ‘Roast Marrowbone’ with snails, parsley, anchovy, mace & pickled vegetables. The textures are so unique, bone marrow is very fattening but this dish is so light you don’t even notice the marrow and the snails are like softer versions of squid. It’s sooooo good.

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Waiting for the mains took a while since the dishes were brought altogether and some take longer to cook than others. The mains were cooked to perfection, all of them. We ordered the restaurant favorites: Black Angus Ribeye,  Roast Snapper in Cider and  Slow cooked Pork Belly. The marbling on that Ribeye is graded 9, meaning it is the highest form of beef in terms of flavor and tenderness. The  fine textured fat contained within the muscle is visible on the meat, hence the “marbling” effect. Yep, I learned so much about meat that night! I’ll leave it at that for now, it was a truly enjoyable experience thanks to the exceptional service from the friendliest staff and the accompaniment of my Mom and sis. If there’s an opportunity to come back here again I’d definitely try the Powdered Duck and the Tipsy Cake.

B is For Burberry and Bearbricks

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Burberry just launched a new series  of items; items you wouldn’t usually see in  a luxury fashion  store. It’s stationary! I was carefully analyzing the design of the Burberry site which then turned into a couple more minutes of browsing the online store when  I suddenly noticed their “Stationary Collection”. These pencils are a treat to myself this festive season hah. So am I going to use them? I already have. Last time I saw anything like this was when Marc Jacobs had a set of mini coloring pencils but they were sold out and are no longer in production. My favorite brands are gradually  selling more playful/childlike ideas: Moschino recently showing off their Super Mario collection, Fendi and their fur keycharms and Angry bird-like artworks, and Burberry with their soft toy bears and limited edition wooden puppets.

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How cool would it be to have more designer pencils? I’m working on my last drawing for the year – perfect time to trial the Burberry pencils and so far so good. Another factor that made me want to purchase these set of coloring pencils was that they came in really nice soft shades.

Meanwhile other festivities happening in my household is this bearbrick tabletop setup with mini candy canes, presents and a mini christmas tree. Thought I’d have a bit of fun this year by using old christmas props and marrying it with the toys I’ve acquired this year.

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Finally, like every other year, my mom and I set our  tree up. We’ve had this tree since I was a toddler and it’s still standing strong!

SIS Art & Technology exhibition

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Aside from sitting in front of my macbook  checking emails and downloading fonts all day, as an artist and designer it’s always a thrill being  asked to speak in front of an audience as part of your job. Last Monday I was honoured to be invited as  the guest speaker for the opening night of the 2015 Southern Independent Schools Arts & Technology Exhibition. Just after the  2NE1 SS15 Collection had ended, Sharon, the executive secretary of SIS, called me and requested a  speech that covered my road to year 12, as well as the success I’ve had after year 12. Reuniting with my 2012 Top Arts artwork behind me brought back memories of high school, it almost felt like yesterday but actually  it was almost 5 years ago since I graduated year 12!

The final year of high school was when I promised myself I wanted to create the best artworks I’ve ever done because I knew if I didn’t work hard I wouldn’t be able to set myself up with the career I have today. I didn’t want to leave with just an ATAR score, I wanted to leave high school with a  memory I could take with me forever, and that is exactly what my Top Arts artwork “Go Forth and Prosper” offers. I have a framed copy in my room but the original art piece was acquired by my high school, Nazareth College. Since then, the piece lead me to  an interview on a radio show, an article in the local newspaper, recognition from Goldman Sachs and has made its way into people’s homes. Here’s one of them:

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Public speaking was never really my forte because I used to be very shy and I thought I could get away with designing in my room forever, not ever finding the need  to talk to anyone. My perception  of that changed when  I started freelancing in uni. I had to go out of my way to build my circle of  online and real-life networks.  It was almost like going out on multiple dates, I had to get the clients to like me, the more they liked me the better the relationship was. Communication with clients was so important in marketing me and my work, now talking to either one  person or a group of people  has  become  very natural to me and I  love  meeting new people all the time……cue more  dates! This kind of confidence  brought me to speaking to larger crowds. The last one I did was in front of uni students talking about my Oxfam Design For Change campaign.

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Zart Art sponsored the SIS event and they gave me some unique supplies from Japan. I have no idea what this Aquash pen does but I seriously can’t wait to try it. ZIG Kurekate pens are my favorite and I mainly use them in my artworks.

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Speaking to representatives and students of 16 schools last Monday hopefully inspired them to  strive to be the best in their chosen profession.  I’m glad I could inspire the parents too! I didn’t think the parents would compliment my speech or even take a photo with me afterwards.

“And my advice to parents, stay close to your children every step of the way because you are their biggest role models. If it wasn’t for my mom and dad, I wouldn’t know  what hard work is.” 

 

A right-brainer by day and occasional blogger by night, you've landed on a place where I document life in the creative field, endless travels with friends and family and sometimes a bit of food.

My appreciation for creativity began at an early age when I made trips back to the motherland, Indonesia, I experienced the surroundings and the lifestyle that was vastly different from what I was used to. I found myself passing by villages where children made their own toys with whatever was left around them; scrap metal, bits of cloth, banana leaves, and even cigarette butts. Despite this, the children were happy and proud with anything they created.

This image struck me and forever inspired me in pursuing a design-driven lifestyle. Embracing creativity in all forms and using it to inspire and help people, much like how they inspired me. Design helps me make decisions, while art helps me take risks. Both areas reward me with opportunities to create something fun and everlasting!