Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New neighbour

This little guy was a pumpkin seed flavoured creation.
Zumbo has finally moved in next door - so good!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mini asparagus tarts

Been wanting to make this since I saw it here, so with a picnic coming up I thought I'd rustle up some mini versions to take along.  Okay so they are effectively just glorified mini-pizzas but work with me here.
Lining up my toppings - decided I'd make a mushroom variation while I was at it.
The mini asparagus tarts, lined up and ready to go!
Mushroom and rosemary variation - fresh herbs fancy-up any DIY snack.
The golden squares, paced up and ready to go.
Seeing as this recipe isn't 'cooking' as much as just straight up assembling, I at least try to put a bit of loving into how the toppings are stacked.  Ah puff pastry, you save me every time I need to bring a savoury snack.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Long day, long week,

Thank goodness for tuna salad that melts in your mouth and great friends
Didn't take me long to get back into the sushi either
My Saturdays are usually a full stop to the week just gone by, but it feels like today was more of a comma.  Fresh Japanese with an amazing friend got me closer to the finish line though.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Favourite photo

Found on a Roppongi side street
I took this photo while trolling around Roppongi and just really really like it.  I was initially taking it because there are so many photos of me as a kid with exactly the same expressions on my face - a little quiet and suspicious at first and then I would tilt my head up and just open my mouth when I saw a camera around.

But, on taking it I just loved seeing the layers of my reflection in the glass, surrounded by buildings in the background.  Without getting too deep and meaningful I think it captures what I was feeling when I was taking the photo - sort of nostalgic about how I was as a little girl and how I still sometimes feel that way, even when I'm traveling the world all grown up.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Memo: Do you lunch?

Be purposeful about building community
The women in my area at work decided to have lunch the other week.  All it took was a bit of initiative - a calendar invite (which will inevitably always forget to include people), and reservations to the Italian place downstairs.  It was straight up delightful but also reminded me that within the corporate world women typically aren't as good at men in building community amongst themselves; rather, as one girl pointed out, we tend to foster jealousy rather than support of each other.  Someone else piped up at this point and said they just wished they knew what to do to get promoted, although "guys don't seem to have this problem".

I didn't connect with all of the conversation that abounded from that, but the power of making a point to lunch definitely hit home.  We all know we're supposed to do it more often (build community over lunch, have strategic coffees, find a mentor) but I'm hazarding a guess that we don't all do that.

So this week, while we're all writing our to-do lists lets make this common knowledge a common practice and send the invite out.  Make a reservation.  Go to lunch, ladies - if not for yourself then for the girl who thinks "guys don't seem to have this problem".

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Last day

Cities that aren't your own will always bring you a number of surprises that hit you harder than the ones you're thrown back home.  I like to encourage these by taking a punt on an interesting window display, or walking down an alley for longer than what seems sensible.

This approach is rewarded every time I go to Tokyo, my last day in particular brought me to the delightful Gallery MoMo (or half of it, as it exists across two locations) which was the perfect punctuation to my last day.
Trolling Roppongi's side streets I saw this sign for 'Gallery MoMo'
It was on 2F so I thought I'd go for an explore up the stairs
Walked into this delightful little space (photos don't do the paintings justice) and the loveliest little Japanese woman welcoming me in.
I was looking at one of the paintings up close when the woman gestured me to sit down.  Apparently the tea and little snacks there were for me!  As I was drinking she gave me some postcards and (I think) told me a little about the artists.
I love it when life reminds you that the best moments are never ones you could have planned for yourself.  Good thoughts for the journey home.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Feeling like a local

When I reflect back on the travels I've been fortunate enough to go on, my favourite nights out have always been when I feel like I've gotten a taste of proper local culture and gone somewhere off the tourist track.  Last night was exactly that, when we had the pleasure of our hosts take us out to a legitimate sake bar known for it's sake varieties and private blends.  The narrow bar was down a little alley that we could never have found ourselves and, of course, the night finished with karaoke.
I'd never seen so many plates crammed onto such a small table.
We started off with a lovely light sparkling sake (which, of course, I also promptly spilled all over myself when trying to get the last out of the glass and forgetting that the box was full of the overflow).
Pouring of their very smooth 'private' in-house blend.
A special sake, turning dark from having been aged for twenty years.
You don't need to see the pictures from karaoke.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Work snacks

Google Singapore
Google Tokyo
No, I wasn't prepared for that dried fish amongst those rice crackers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lunch box

Lunch to go at le Goog Tokyo
You had me at 'edamame'.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The thoughtfulness in a hotel room

I'm always so impressed when a culture is so strongly ingrained in a place, that you cannot shake it from even the smallest details.  Having had a long day at work, the uniquely Japanese thoughtfulness which is designed into my hotel room has certainly reminded me of what a difference little details can make.

Indulge the architect-that-never-was inside of me for a moment:
Dynamic angles opening up my window.
The room is generous in unconventional angles and curved surfaces.  It's a proven fact that right angles are the most uncomfortable angle for people to live amongst (which is why modern, open-plan offices often incorporate diagonal spaces), this room alone makes a purposeful departure from these.

Best feeling ever.
Your day to day tasks are made seamless, as the design allows for you to use its spaces without inconvenience.  This is my view stepping out of the shower - the towel is automatically at my hand and the foot towel remained dry as the water drains away from the door, under the bath.

Any room can put a TV in the bathroom, but I'm talking about diagonal sinks here.
Finally, its practicality and aesthetic coexist without compromise for the other.  This is the sloping sink that continues elegantly through to the shower, on a diagonal.  This opens up the space but also has it acting as a ledge as well as housing all the bathroom ware.

I would rave to you right now about how the tea bag itself champions dynamic, unconventional angles but I feel that might be pushing it.
And then, there was tea.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Not the same person

Getting inspiration, from one cup of tea to another.
"Everyone kept telling her to be more careful this go round.  She kept telling them she wasn't the same person."

So much of my food for thought on here is a derivative from one of my own favourite reads.  This is Murakami, given my current location and thoughts it seemed fitting to re-post.

Oh, hey Tokyo

You wear my feet out because I can't stop turning your corners.
Feet and eyelids are mutually dying.  More tomorrow, night all!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Remnants of a long lunch at Doyles, perfect start to the weekend - happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Looking up at The Beresford's lanterns, we've all been there.
Wine with friends against the open night sky is just the thing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thanks, Steve

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. 

Everything else is secondary.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Unnecessarily generous omelet in the making, courtesy of C.
"When you wake up in the morning Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh.  "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.

Monday, October 3, 2011

First attempt at cinnamon rolls

I've been thinking about making cinnamon rolls ever since I read this post over at one of my favourite blogs.  And then I read this and from there I decided it was some sort of sign from the internet that I just had to bake some.

Using the same recipe I made 16 of these tasty little scrolls:
The big, happy kneaded ball of dough
Waiting for it to rise...
Tightly packed curls of deliciousness
The golden result, sprinkled with glaze
The reviews online are right - it's pretty foolproof (I strayed from the recipe in more ways than one and they still turned out amazingly).  Only other change I made was that I went easy on the glaze and just drizzled a little across the tops of them instead of spreading it all over as the recipe called.

The apartment smells of butter, there's still sugar in my camera but damn they are delicious!