Mr Earl

Hollla to all Aussies and especially Melburnians! As I grew more interest into tea during my stay in Melbourne, I believe there are some other people who do too. Sometimes it’s not easy to choose tea for ourselves. Chances are, we don’t know where to buy or we are not quite sure which tea to buy besides those on the supermarket’s shelves. You can feel me, can’t you?

Few months ago, I was contacted by Emily through email when she also introduced Mr. Earl, a new Australian’s tea business. I decided to have a look on their site and captivated by the premium vibe of the brand. Mr. Earl offers a unique tea shopping method by sending monthly tea box subscription. Every single month, you will get a box full of surprise since you don’t know what’s inside! The subscription box offered in three different pricing of 1 month/ 3 month / 6 months ( $ 20 / $ 45 / $ 78 ). Mr. Earl team will carefully select, arrange and deliver three different teas from various premium tea vendors to our doorstep month by month. We may get something that we wouldn’t buy ourselves or never tried before and here we got the chance to  savor it.

Gladly I could receive their very first January tea box, filled with three golden pouches contained around 50 grams of teas including product information card. The card is a guidance of what and how to enjoy the tea right. The January box went classic, simple yet sophisticated with the royal No. 7 French Earl Grey by Deitea, aromatic Fresh Mint from Informal Tea Co and Premium Matcha from Kenko Tea. I’m excited to ascertain more tea brands such as Deitea and Informal Tea Co while Kenko Tea is a brand that I’ve been familiar with.

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Mr. Earl also provides a tea community where tea lovers can stay updated from blog posts, rate and make reviews for teas they have tasted. This is a wonderful thirst quencher for any tea drunkard in Australia-wide who always challenged to try out new different teas but agitated by large quantity tea packs in the market.  

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The royal No.7 French Earl Grey from Deitea

Deitea’s No. 7 French Earl Grey is a beautiful blend inside-out. It does look so pretty, smell good (a little bit too fragrant I reckon) and taste pleasantly fruity. 

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The aromatic Fresh Mint from Informal Tea Co

 

Fresh Mint is green tea blended with herbals such as peppermint, spearmint, rosemary and lavender. I had this tea iced with some sugar drops.

“Because life is too awesome for average tea” Well said, Mister.

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Hurricanes Grill – Bondi Beach

Experiencing the unfamous pork and lamb ribs at Hurricanes Grill seems to be one of the top list when you visiting Sydney and surrounds. The restaurant joints are located at several points in Sydney but my review would be talking about the Bondi Beach branch. I must say it was a totally beautiful day, for the super bright blue sky, fresh air and warm sunshine. A perfect beachy weather to grab a really really good food with my family.

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Outdoor area

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We arrived a little bit earlier before the buzzing lunch time. Lucky us!

The restaurant was quite silent at the moment we came in, a friendly waitress greeted and directed us to the table. It didn’t take us long to decide what to order, the fact is we knew already what we want, a full rack of pork ribs with chunky french fries, another full rack of lamb ribs with baked potato and a bowl of Caesar salad.

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large-sized knife, you will know why you need such a size like this once the foods are served!

We got our orders pretty fast and offered to wear a bib (yes I’m talking about that baby’s eating attribute) around our neck before started digging. Well, I must say you really need one since you may be smeared by the overflow BBQ sauce all over your mouth and possibly on your clothes too. I bet you will end up using your hands instead of the cutleries, those meaty bitty ribs are just too finger-lickin’-good!

Caesar Salad

The salad came in a big bowl full of goodness. Caesar Salad is pretty basic and Hurricanes do it right of fresh crisp veggies, yummy crispy bacon, croutons and really good dressing. A not-so-salad-person like my dad could even say he loves it!

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Full Rack Lamb

I was surprised by how big the size is but I couldn’t really stop eating once started. Rich and generous BBQ sauce smeared all over the ribs was so shiny, smoky-caramelized smell from the grilling are calling you to dig in quickly. Everyone just gave up using the cutlery and start pulling by hands! Tats, my favorite scene!

The thick, tender, juicy and very well-seasoned meat served along with baked potato and chives-sour cream. Sour cream was in a solid-butter form and it melted down beautifully when spread over the hot baked potato. Potato was perfectly smooth and chives-sour cream enhanced the flavor.

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hurricanes-grill-3Half AU$31.90  or  Full AU$42.90

Full Rack Pork Ribs

Pork ribs sized even bigger than the lamb and served with chunky crispy french fries. The pork meat was also tender and juicy but there was porky smell that not very pleasant for me. I don’t know if it’s just me since my brother seemed loving it so much.

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No one can resist

Half AU$ 34.90  or  Full AU$ 44.90

Overall I prefer the lamb ribs than the pork one and loving chunky french fries more than baked potato. Meat and fries are just never go wrong! We were fully satiated by the foods, happy with the attentive yet friendly service and ready to have another adventure on the beach. Keep reading and scrolling down to have a glimpse of it!

Hurricane's Grill on Urbanspoon

During the visit, one of the waiter told us about the ongoing event alongside of Bondi beach walk “Sculpture by The Sea”. Therefore we decided to sneak out after having lunch. In this post, I also want to share some of my favorite sculptures among the amazing masterpieces of great artists from all around the globe. Hope you enjoy!

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The “entrance” and information centre. They sold the catalogue for $10 each.

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Moon Buddha by Vince Vozzo

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A Shared Weight by Elyssa Sykes-Smith

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The beautiful Coral Collective by coral. Sculpture no. 13

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Bubble no.5 by Qian Sihua. Sculpture no. 19

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There’s many a Slip by Ken Unsworth

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Diminish and Ascend by David Mc Cracken. Sculpture no. 46

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The sculptures were placed on the sides of this pathway.

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Concealed Craft by Kirsten Lewis. Sculpture no. 2


Meatball & Wine Bar | Degraves Espresso Bar | Nama Nama

One stop quick lunch for three days in a row last week! I had tea classes with other tea enthusiasts for three days in a pretty tight schedules therefore twas like a rushing one hour lunch each day. But lucky us! Even we dropped by randomly, I could say all of them were yummo!

MEATBALL & WINE BAR

The first stop on the first day was Meatball & Wine Bar at Swan Lane. Well, I’m not very familiar of this region of Flinders-Flinders Ln-Swan Ln-etc..etc.. and we ran out of time so we just quickly bumped in here! Since it was like 12.30 pm, the cafe was fully packed by guests and guess what, we had to wait to get a table for six. Well to be honest, we only waited for about 2 minutes. Lol.

Everyone ordered meatballs with different combo and mine was Beef Angus balls and creamy polenta in creamy white sauce. I regretted at the end by combining 2 creamy stuffs in one plate! I should have ordered another sauce like Red tomato or the Green pesto one…

meatball-wine-bar-degraves-espresso-bar-nama-namaMy order was great! As a meat lover, I am easily addicted to anything meaty and those meatballs were awesomely juicy! Creamy polenta also nice but it mixed up with the creamy white sauce, so too bad I could barely recognize the sauce. Everyone was satisfied and agreed the meatballs were nice. Twas a great quick lunch, yummy foods in a nice place! I hope to revisit without hurry next time… The only con was the small portion. Ishhh I’m still hangreeehhh :p

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AU$ 18,00

Meatball & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

DEGRAVES ESPRESSO BAR

The second day we splitted to smaller groups for another lunch express. My group of two walked down along Flinders street and ended up at Degraves Espresso Bar. Ohmagawd! We didn’t have much time and I was worried seeing the crowds but going to another place would take longer time. So we just sat down and quickly ordered the same menu, Risotto! As our prediction, it took a long time to get our order came out and we started to become impatient. Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock….

meatball-wine-bar-degraves-espresso-bar-nama-nama-2 Then right after we raised our hands,,,,,,intended to ask for our risotto, two bowls coming out from the kitchen and we got the signal that they belong to us. Fiuhhh. Eating Risotto in rushing style is not recommended or delightful at all. It was challenging to keep eating in frequent speed in the war of time and heat. Holy Moly, the Risotto was scrumptious, the texture was good and the richness of creamy risotto went very well with melted blue cheese. The overall texture was also a nice combination of crisp olives, tender sliced mushrooms, soft pumpkin in creamy sauce and cheese.

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AU$ – 18,00

Degraves Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

NAMA NAMA

Our third day lunch back to bigger group of five! We decided heading to a noodle soup bar at Smith street. We were luckier this time to be arrived at 12 and still not too many people coming there. FYI, in no time after we arrived, the cafe quickly packed by crowds! We felt like a winner watching the waiting list’s guests waiting…

meatball-wine-bar-degraves-espresso-bar-nama-nama-4 Again, all of us went  for the same menu and this time, Udon noodle soup was the star! Some chose beef and the rest went for pork including me. Nama Nama is a cute and playful noodle cafe in modern-Japanese ambient and lucky we were seated in a small room so there were only the five of us inside a small interestingly-decorated room. Nama Nama is also serving coffee that is supplied by Market Lane Coffee but since we all are tea people, we ordered three pots of sencha by LUPICIA instead.

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Udon was served in a tall white bowl which is beautiful-looking but to be honest, I am not very fond of this shape. The bowl makes it pretty hard to scoop the soup, in addition the spoon is also pretty small so we really need to do more effort in order to sip the broth.

Well, but how’s the udon? It was nice, the savory broth seasoned fit to my liking and smelled so good as well. The thick pork slices were succulent and quail egg perfectly half boiled. Again, everyone was happy with the lunch express.

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AU$ – 15,00

Nama Nama on Urbanspoon

Out of the three lunchies, I chose Meatballs from Meatball & Wine Bar as the winner for food experience and Nama Nama for the winning ambient.


Angus Beef Cheese and Bacon Pie from Four’N Twenty

Statistic has recorded that Australia sells 50.000 pies per hour! Let me repeat, yes it is 50.000 pies in one hour. OH MY GOSH.

That was my first reaction after reading the statistic. Meat pie is very popular in Australia and it is said the pie production has grown into that spectacular number between the years of 1948 to 1998 (data from Four’N Twenty Wiki page). Australian loves having meat pie for brekkie or just snacking or other alternative is as a perfect companion while watching footy.

Since my first visit in Australia as a tourist then actually live here as a student, I also have cultivated a meat pie addiction. Those days when I used to help my cousin in his bakery last year, the only product I consistently grabbed to eat was pie. I tried steak and mushroom one day, chunky beef on the next day, then tried the feta&spinach on the other day and so on. Phew. Basically I do love pastries especially the savory ones but I must say none as good as those pies here in OZ.

What a fortunate fate for me to be here and I could enjoy the yummy pie anywhere even from the frozen ones. Four’N Twenty Meat Pie is so popular in Victoria and can be found in any market in this state. Sometimes, even the bakery’s pie is too dry and the filling is just not very tasty (even they said it’s freshly made) but the pie from Four’N Twenty is divine. Meat pie is one of my best partner and the Angus Beef Cheese and Bacon Pie from Four’N Twenty is my current favorite.

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This actually one of my favorite flavor since I love almost everything cheesy and meaty. The producer of Four’N Twenty is very thougthful with the super generous cheese filling that really has spoiled my tummy. The most awaited moment of eating this kind of pie is when I cut down the pie, taaa-daaaaa, an overflowing stream of melting cheese and beef bacon in gravy sauce seem like seducing me. It is indeed very flavorful and no wonder in some particular condition, I could finish 2 pies in a row! Fat, yes.

Apart from the heavenly cheesy filling, it’s easy to prepare this pie too (of course, that is the point of buying frozen product though). Actually I reckon it is nicer to heat the pie by oven but sometimes if I’m too lazy (which happens almost all the time), I will just use the microwave instead. Since every microwave works in different fashion, you may need to have a trial and error first until you get the best one. Mine is 2.30 minutes for thawed pie and 3.30 minutes for the frozen pie.

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