Cabramatta Moon Festival 2014

A total immersion into Vietnamese culture was experienced at Cabramatta’s Moon Festival, which was held conveniently on the same day as Father’s Day this year on Sunday 7 September 2014.

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“The Cabramatta Moon Festival is recognised as one of Sydney’s premier and largest Asian celebrations. People from all parts of Sydney and different cultural backgrounds take part to celebrate the ancient Moon Festival tradition.

 It’s a festival for family and friends to enjoy and celebrate good health and fortune.”
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Cabramatta for me is a lifetime away.. and the fact that my family and I drove all the way there is a testament to how lively and fantastic this festival was. In fact, I felt like I was transported back to Vietnam!! – why do I not live closer?  If you don’t have a car, don’t fret because the train station is literally next to the scene.

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When we arrived, there was a little sectioned out space where dancers showed off their cool moves. There was a bit of cheering here and there and it was a good attempt by the youngsters.

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What I noticed when I got to Cabramatta was that it was very family-oriented. The animals made an appearance..

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There were a lot of rides .. every. where. Normally there would be a tiny little section, but this time it was spread out to a few areas. This was a giant carnival I wished I had when I was a kid!

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My favourite stall was the umbrella-painting. The kids there were very cute and got to paint their umbrellas and even put some sparkles on top! I loved how vibrant they were and the stands made them shine.

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Other than the rides and activities for kids, there were of course there were a billion shops selling cheap/delicious stuff. I won’t be sure about the quality, but if you were looking for quilts and food, Cabramatta would offer your needs at a discount. From shoes

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To cosmetics

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To toys

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There were just stalls and stalls and stalls and stalls… and it was the typical ‘there are too many people so I’m going to stomp on you’ vibe.

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There was also a stage for the youngsters to speak.. oh and I forgot to mention the radio station that was pumping Gangnam style on loud speaker? I thought it was Korean? Sorry..

Just like the typical Chinatown, there was the grand gate.

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It was kind of hard getting a good photo with all the people around the place, but I reckon I did well only needing the top half. Very traditional with a ginormous lantern.

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Walking inside, there were more lanterns and tents! It was so crazy and this was not even lunch or dinner time!! I was there at around 3-5pm?!

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Anyways, I had the liberty of trying a funky drink (which my mum had never ever seen and I was shocked.. but then again, I have been to Vietnam before) and it was soooooooooooooooooo delicious! Mixed jelly with ice. Get onto it. It’s just a mixture of jelly goodness, with ice and coconut milk. It’s insanely healthy (not) and insanely the best drink during the summer.

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I must say, The Walking Advertisement always attracts some free stuff of some sort and at Cabramatta’s Moon Festival, it was these tasty snacks! I would say they are the ‘chips’ of Vietnam but come in a variety of flavours- sweet and savoury.

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While we’re on the topic of food, the smell of pho was irresistible. Only $7 for a massive bowl of noodle which could’ve easily fed 2 people.. there’s definitely a bargain here. I would just like to say again, why don’t I live around Cabra??!!

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I eventually gave up and bought some takeaway food. The excuse was that it was for tomorrow’s lunch (but really I just wanted to eat it straight away as ‘afternoon tea’).

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Side note- there was an insane amount of ATMs and possibly the most I’ve seen in any suburb. There were no queues so kudos.

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As we closed off the loop, we ended up at a stage with little kids performing in a large tent. It was absolutely packed but quite entertaining.

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Well, I’m definitely coming next year ! Mai mốt gặp lại (See you soon!)

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Cabramatta Moon Festival): 4.75/5

Ambience: 4/5

Service: 4.5/5

Value: 4.75/5

Would I recommend going to Cabramatta Moon Festival? IF you love a bit of Vietnamese culture, or even experiencing another culture at your doorstep, then Cabramatta would’ve been my ‘highly commended’ place to be. I honestly cannot stress how many people were there- apparently there were approximately 90,000 in 2013! Vietnam itself is a busy place, and Cabramatta is a busy place.

Highlight: Going to all the markets was a highlight. No, stepping on everyone’s feet was a highlight. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been to Cabramatta so I didn’t know what to expect. I got excited at the $7 pho bowls because they smelt amazing! It also reminded me of the times I felt tempted to buy cheap clothes then figured out they weren’t top quality.. #goodtimes #memories.

Suggestion of improvement: A problem with most festivals is that there is no linear/circular route but Cabra’s Moon Festival was pretty amazing at that. We went in a full circle and I feel we experienced everything.. maybe except for any performances! Wished we saw some cultural dancing but I guess it depends what time you arrive, right?

Linkhttp://www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/default.asp?iDocID=10312&iNavCatId=3313&iSubCatId=3313

Angela Bee

Free Connoisseur Ice Cream – Blank Space Gallery

Free samples of the new Empire Collection of Connoisseur’s ice cream was available from Thursday September 17- Sunday September 21, 2014 at Blank Space Gallery, Surry Hills.

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“We create CONNOISSEUR for the curious and adventureous. The new Empire Collection showcases four unique flavour combinations, inspired by four historical characters who each had a connection to the very origins of ice cream. With flavours inspired by the personalities of some of the world’s most charismatic leaders combined with stunning packaging designed by Steve Cross, the story of ice cream comes to life.”

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!! When this first appeared, I was no doubt going straight to Blank Space Gallery. The fact that the name is Blank Space Gallery really tells you a lot about the space- right?

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Heading up on Albion Street from Central station, I knew that this hill we were climbing up would be the calories I would put back on when I get to Connoisseur’s exhibition. I don’t think I’ve heard of the gallery before but it doesn’t hurt checking new places out because who knows- maybe it’ll come in useful later on!

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Going on a Friday night, I expected it to be packed with people but surprisingly, there was a security guard and two girls serving ice cream when I arrived. No other customers? Well, it worked in my favour because I got to try a little scoop of each flavour- twice! #winning FYI the prelim AFL finals were on so maybe that was why..

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It was pretty neat when I arrived. The fridge was filled to the brim with Connoisseur ice cream tubs. I LOVE the new design. It’s sharp, slick and arty. Melbourne artist Steve Cross is the person behind these designs and also the four unique installations at the gallery. Watching his video here, I learnt that he started off painting murals, then graffiti, street art.. he is definitely #cuttingedge

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What I found interesting is that percentages of the packaging needed to be 80% of one colour and 20% of the other colour. The composition of the characters and compositions of the placement of colours is very specific. Imagine your artwork in every shopping mall! I loved how he mentioned that he sometimes goes to the fridge and wipes the frost off the ice cream tubs so that you can see the design #commitment

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Looking around the gallery, it is actually a pretty small space. The general vibe of the room was.. quite exotic, particularly the emperors. Let’s go through the emperors and kings and their flavours:

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1. Emperor Nero (wickedly robust coffee flavoured ice cream scattered with chocolate coated hazelnuts and lashings of hazelnut liqueur sauce)

“As an ‘ice cream’ originator, Nero ordered snow to be brought back from the highest mountains which he would mix with exotic fruit and sweet syrups.” This was devilishly chocolately and for those who are needing that coffee/sugar fix.

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2. Emperor Jing Zong ( red bean flavoured ice cream, mouth watering coconut pieces and a swirl of sweet, red bean syrup)

“The energetic leader would host extravagant parties at the Imperial Palace, which was dripping in jewels and bursting with the scent of fresh peonies. On hot nights, dessert was a unique creation of ice, buffalo milk and ‘dragons brains’.” I’m not too sure if there was a strong flavour of red bean but the coconut pieces are the secret ingredient to this delightful ice cream!

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3. King Louis XIV (French Vanilla flavoured ice cream, laced with choc flakes and a splash of Armagnac liqueur)

“During his reign, he drastically changed France from its savage mediaeval ways to more refined, exquisite and opulent living – evident from the Palace of Versailles and the extensions he made to the Louvre.” What a classy man and a classy dessert! I’m not a fan of vanilla usually but the chocolate flakes did it this time round!

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4. King Cyrus of Persia (pistachio flavoured ice cream, pistachio nuts and swirls of syrup made from cinnamon, honey and dates)

“Pioneers of ‘ice cream’ within the Persian Empire created a desert made of rosewater and vermicelli that was a cross between sorbet and rice pudding called a faludeh. It helped them cool off and relax after a hard day in the punishing Iranian heat.” With this, I really loved the nuttyness of the pistachio flavour and I have a feeling this could’ve been my favourite!

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The designs around the room were gorgeous and I would’ve come here again if I had the chance! There was no line and sampling this in an art gallery helps the art community!

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Connoisseur free ice cream): 4/5

Ambience: 3.5/5

Service: 3.5/5

Value: 4.5/5

Would I recommend going to Connoissuer’s free ice cream giveaway at Blank Space Gallery? Is that even a question? Even for those who don’t normally like ice cream (such as myself), I would definitely come back again. You won’t be walking a couple of blocks to Gelato Messina after this!

Highlight: I really liked how Connoisseur has combined this new Empire Collection with history and art – both things I’m highly interested in. Its actually quite funny because Connoisseur isn’t the cheapest ice cream brand out there and the fact that they’ve created unique flavours and aligning them with emperors and kings is quite interesting. I liked the decorations and paintings around the area – was there a chance of buying it? It was also very apparent that there was an official hashtag (and so many places don’t do this!!) and competition.

Suggestion of improvement: The artwork was really nice, but I would’ve liked it more if there was more explanation behind the emperors/kings with their respective flavours. Maybe if you had to go answer a question about the emperor/king whose ice cream flavour you wanted.., something more interactive maybe. Anyways, I’m glad I got to try them all!

Ends: Sunday September 21, 2014

Link: http://www.connoisseuricecream.com.au/#!/article/free-ice-cream

Official hashtags: #Connoisseur #EmpireCollection

Angela Bee

Vogue Fashion Night Out 2014

The most crowded Thursday late-night-shopping night of the year is by far the annual Vogue Fashion Night Out, held from 5-10pm  at Pitt Street Westfield to Martin Place on September 4, 2014.

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”A global Vogue initiative, this one-night-only shopping extravaganza is Sydney’s largest retail event, attracting more shoppers than the Boxing Day sales!”

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To be frank, I’m not too sure about the “more shoppers than Boxing Day sales” part is accurate, but it is indeed one of Sydney’s biggest shopping evenings. But how did this year’s night out compare to previous years? Let me walk you through it.

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The weather was really nice at 5pm (although I didn’t get there until 6:30pmish) and then it started to sprinkle a little.. so the first half of the evening was nice. I made my way from Wynyard, briefly stopping at Martin Place.

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There were a few things going on: a British double decker where you could enjoy some drinks and nibbles, a lovely flower display where you could take Polaroids, a tent to try on foundation, and a series of food trucks with plenty of space around to have a sit and chat.

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I must admit the lines were shorter than expected, but as always, lines are always never ending. What I really like about Martin Place was that it was less crowded and cluttered, everything there was beautifully displayed. The food trucks looked a little out of place but there was plenty of room for people to eat.

Walking on Pitt Street towards Westfield, there was obviously a bigger crowd. The big bright light bulbs on either end of Pitt Street welcomed everyone and were probably the Instagram landmark of the night.

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Ok, I just want to give a heads up that I am no superwoman and did not go into every single store to check out the sales. Below is just a select few shops I came across that were worthy of mention.

H&M made a classy appearance with their exclusive store. I can’t wait til next month when it comes to Macquarie Centre!! #northwestpride

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Sportsgirl lived up to its expectations, with drinks, photobooth, nail art station and music! It’s pretty much the same every year so you’ll know where to get the party started!

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Review took a unique approach in interpreting what life-size poster looks like. Two women dressed in really cute dresses shared high tea with shoppers! #nailedit

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– I forget which clothes shop this was in Westfield but they had the most gorgeous orange and yellow arrangement of flowers with jars and jars of candy! It was definitely my favourite!

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Sambag had a fancy ice cream cart and let me tell you there was a reaaaaallly long line for it! I guess the scoopers were quite slow and paced it out but it would’ve helped if the line was inside the store so customers could have a look at their products?

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Swarovski had the best dressed man and women. Let me call them golden mermaids handing out chocolate.. heaven in a nutshell!

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.. whoops, lets segment to a bit of stuff happening on the stage…

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Vogue did an amazing job with the bright pink globes that look like Christmas decorations. I must admit, I actually kinda love it but the line was horrendously too long for a photo opportunity! It was starting to sprinkle too..

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Mimco was being a bit fun with these gaming machines!

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Very unexpectingly popular but I can see the novelty in them. I also got a bar of chocolate wondering around the store! #winning

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Secrets Shhh is a jewelry shop and the lovely harp mesmerised us inside. How beautiful. I’m wondering how they got it in the store! #sillyme

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Looking around this year, I must say that there weren’t as many people as previous years. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the timing, but nevertheless I always have a brilliant time coming here and checking out all the sales. It’s sales bonanza but I still wouldn’t say it would’ve been busier than a Boxing Day sale…

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (VFNO14): 4/5

Ambience: 3.5/5

Service: 3.5/5

Value: 3.5/5

Would I recommend going to Vogue Fashion Night Out? Love to shop? Love a sale? This is the event for you! Shopping is not just about looking for clothes, it’s about the whole experience- from the time you step into the store, to the moment you leave.

Highlight: I liked how some of the stores thought outside of the box. I remember last year I was absolutely sick of cake cake cake, lollies, lollies, chocolate, chocolate, sugar, sugar. Sometimes simple is best and even doing nail art is fun. I must say, savory/real food does help. I also liked how stores like H&M studio was designed so that it could still run if it was raining. Vogue was the same as well!

Suggestion of improvement: Sometimes its great getting lost and stumbling upon treasures you would never normally find! What I would’ve liked more is probably signs directing us to where shops are, or even a program telling us what time and where fashion shows were. It’s always a question and everyone wants to get involved!

Official hashtag: #VFNO

Link: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno

Angela Bee

 

Gourmet Tasting Platter for Two – Le Pain Quotidien, The Rocks

$25 for a sharing platter for two at newly opened Le Pain Quotidien through Groupon is a cheese and bread filled deal.

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“Alain Coumont learned about bread  as a small child, standing on a chair every Sunday watching his grandmother  bake bread. As a young chef in Brussels, Alain could not find the right bread  for his restaurant.
Passionate about quality, he  returned to his roots and opened a small bakery where he could knead flour,  salt and water into the rustic loaves of his childhood.
He called his bakery “Le Pain Quotidien“.

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With all groupons, deals, coupons, etc I have a habit of calling and booking before I buy the deal. I’ve had a situation where I have organised a time with a friend, bought the voucher, and it turns out the time we wanted to go was not available because the day had exceeded the ‘voucher limit’.

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Anyways, I called and booked, bought the voucher and when my friend showed up it was not in the system. Thankfully I called from my phone so I had a record of who I talked with but keep that in mind!

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We got a table anyway and our red wines came straight away.

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This restaurant is pretty interesting. It has several small rooms whereas the one at Sydney Westfield is a pretty wide space. I overheard that you had to book for the rooms but it would be be quite cute and vintage to dine in the old cells of Sydney Town.

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I’m not sure if this black dog could be the iconic thing here but here it is!

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The space we sat in was pretty nice and cosy. The brick walls was a charm.

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Then our gourmet tasting platter came out. Cold meats included salami, prosciutto, pate, salmon and it was weaves through the shredded cheddar, brie and blue vein cheese. It was delicious, nothing spectacular, not bad, could be fresher. I guess I used to work in a deli so it was quite average.

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The bruschetta was on a crispy baguette and the lamb slider was more like a mini lamb sandwich with mustard. It was all topped with a few leaves and a couple of very sun dried tomatoes although I’m sure that the voucher came with pumpkin and beetroot salad? I was missing my greens!

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The bread basket was huge! I don’t know how people can eat so much bread in a sitting so this was generous! The bread was fresh but not morning-fresh but the walnut bread was my favourite. Just an FYI that Le Lain Quotidien means the bread expert! I was still satisfied because who expects anyone to make fresh bread at night?

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The outside street view is the MCA so it’s close to Circular Quay. #lovesydney

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Rating Review: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Gourmet Tasting Platter for Two at Le Pain Quotidien): =)

Ambience: =)

Service: =D

Value: =)

Would I recommend buying an antipasto platter to a friend? If you love your cheese, bread and wine, this is a good one for it! A block of cheese at Aldi is $5.99 so this deal is pretty sweet!

Highlight: looking through the little rooms at the restaurant! It got us excited  and I’m glad there wasn’t anyone inside. The ambience  and feel of the place is great and chatting over food is the best.

Suggestion of improvement: it would be fabulous if they had a better booking system so there isn’t a mix it. It was quite embarrassing asking for our table again! Also, we were missing our pumpkin and beetroot salad and I didn’t notice until we saw the menu. I don’t think I would normally pay full price of $35 for the two but it was pretty good for what we paid and that included the much needed wine!

Ends: October 19, 2014

Link: here

Angela Bee

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$5 for $10, or $10 for $20 to spend at Movenpick – Bondi

Pay half price for ice cream, waffles, pancakes, shakes, sundaes, desserts at Movenpick Bondi thanks to Groupon- winter days can get much sweeter, even in the cold!

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“Since creating its ice-cream concoctions in the kitchens of Swiss restaurants more than 60 years ago, Mövenpick Ice Cream has crossed oceans and expanded across the globe to deliver frozen treats to those with a sweet tooth. The ice-cream is still made in Switzerland using local cream, and contains no artificial flavourings or colours. ”

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This whole purchase was totally accidental. I remember flicking rough my emails in the morning and thinking that I would never go to Bondi any time soon but expect the unexpected! Yes. We chose Movenpick over Ben and Jerry’s, New Zealand Natural and others at Bondi. #datview

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What attracted me to the shop itself was the beautiful display of ice cream at the shop front. The flavours are exactly the same at the back so the front is neatly displayed with barely any scoop holes.

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The simplicity of red-ish pink and white made the store look nice and clean.

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The posters on the wall make ice cream seem so refreshing!

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It took so long browsing through the menu. The vouchers available were $5 for $10 worth, or $10 for $20 worth.

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This is what we bought:
Caramel and hazelnut waffles: $12.95. The waffles were very soft and didn’t have that crunch you would expect to have at Max Brenner’s. The ice cream combination was delightful and the waffles came out larger than what was expected from the photos of the menu.

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Deluxe Tasting Menu was a selection of 6 chosen flavours: $12.95. If you’re a sorbet person, mango was divine with little pieces inside and grape and orange gave a lovely citrus aftertaste. Chocolate and coconut gave a little separation from the normally hectic chocolate. Caramelita and Rum n Raisin were the standards. Pannacotta was a little creamy and my favourite was the maple and walnut flavour. All delicious and you can never go wrong! Don’t forget to taste test before you pick your choices!

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I had $4 leftover so I grabbed a much needed large cappuccino with a swirl of chocolate. So much sweetness and not bad coffee either! I was also looking at he Iced Shakes and there were some epic drinks with ice cream in them.

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The lady who served us was very patient and oh so friendly. She gave us knives, forks , spoons  and napkins and even some water at the end just in case!

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If I lived in Bondi I would love an (everyday) treat here…as long as I work it off later!!! #whatexcercise #imissblogilates

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Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Movenpick ice cream): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =D

Value: =D

Would I recommend Movenpick to a friend? It was my grandma’s last weekend in Sydney and my dad was willing to spend anything for the best ice cream for someone who must eat ice cream before going to bed. If you love ice cream and you’re in Bondi, definitely come here! Super cheap and half the price you would normally pay in Ben and Jerry’s, for example.

Highlight: Sampling all the ice creams! We were there for one reason: ice cream. I love trying a bit of everything. The waffle was pretty good too and but softer than most other dessert bars. Everything was beautifully presented and staff were amazing.

Suggestion of Improvement: Can you please stop tempting me to go all the way to Bondi again? The voucher says it’s only valid in three locations – two in Melbourne and one in Sydney. Just be careful.

Ends: September 22, 2014

Link: https://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/movenpick-ice-cream-1/718541539

Angela Bee

$8 Burger and Milkshake – The Burger Mill Parramatta

Gourmet burger and old-fashioned burger for $8 at The Burger Mill brings the classic vintage days back to Parramatta.

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The Burger Mill is located in the heart of Parramatta’s CBD and adjacent to the station. Drawing inspiration from the American diners of the 1950’s, this restaurant has a funky and retro vibe with checkered floors and the classic combination of burgers and milkshakes.”

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(Sourced: News Limited)

If you walk from the train station towards the lower food court of Westfield, then up the escalators and then outside, head towards Church Street and you’ll find The Burger Mill on the corner. If you’ve passed the Town Hall, then you’ve missed it. It’s quite noticeable and next to a bakery.

Outside there are some simple yellow chairs and tables to just set the mood for when you go inside.

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I actually love the wooden scene and the random strings of vines hanging from the ceilings. It’s quite unique.

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Oh. My. Gosh. I love the yellow topped chairs here! I wished the waiters dressed retro-style too!

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(Sourced: News Limited)

The blackboard has written up the menu of delicious burgers but there’s also a paper version if you’re short-sighted.

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But your eyes will be attracted to this lovely piece of art work on the wall: a tree with burgers hanging off!!  Don’t we wish this all existed? #burgertree

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First up was the Chicken Schnitzel Burger with avocado, cheese, cucumber, baby spinach and house made aioli with a generous serving of chips.

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The brioche bun was tall, fluffy, slightly toasted and actually pretty sweet. It’s normally hardly noticeable but this looked quite yellow! The condiments were an excellent mix but the chicken schnitzel was slightly dry. Ps: look how tall this burger looks! Giant!

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Next up was Aussie Burger with cheese, caramelised onion, pineapple, beetroot, tomato, lettuce and home made mayo.

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I loved the freshness of the salad and the beef patty was pretty standard. I wouldn’t say that it was dam fantastic but I guess average? What did a burger taste like in the 1950s?

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The hot chips were the good ol zigzag ones. Ah McCain you’ve done it again! Ah yes! Crinkle cut is the word and they were lightly salted and crunchy! #hotchipsobssessed

Milkshakes are such a treat! I must admit, I don’t really drink them these days but once in a while it won’t be too bad for your health.. right? I’m not really dairy person so I didn’t finish mine but it was a good punch of sweetness in there.

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Although there are already burger joints such as Grilld (two in Parramatta might I add!) and Coco Cubano, this one is definitely a treat! And I also heard that the owner, Leanne Beck owns Infinity Bakery in Woolloomooloo (close to Cancer Council where I intern!) and Sweet Street Bakery next doors! #winner

Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product ($8 Burger and Milkshake at The Burger Mill Parramatta): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =)

Would I recommend $8 Burger and Milkshake to a friend? Yes! Burgers and chips are normally $10 and a milkshake for $7. The same restaurants have existed in Parramatta for a very long time so its nice to have something new.

Would I donate the money saved to a charity? I’m not too sure if I would normally pay $7 for a milkshake unless its from The Vogue Café.  $12 would’ve been a solid deal so $4 towards a charity.

Highlight: The kinda-sweet brioche! I miss France and I miss brioche! So good! and the crinkle cut chips bring me back to childhood days.

Suggestion of improvement: Maybe is the patties were juicier but next time I’m gunning for the Moroccan Lamb Burger!

Ends: October 19, 2014

Link: http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/the-burger-mill/718248866

Angela Bee

$7 Arepa, fruit juice, coffee – La Latina Chatswood

I’m shamelessly going to promote two of the best countries in the world- Columbia and Venezuela… this time not for their nature, but their food in Chatswood. $7 for an arepa and fruit smoothie.

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La Latina aims to present authentic South American flavours, with a menu of Venezuela and Colombian favourites including arepas and empanadas and sides including cassava chips and fried plantain. Wherever possible, La Latina uses local and organic ingredients, for maximum flavour and authenticity. Gluten-free options are available.

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The little joint itself is on the way to Chatswood Chase on 82 Archer Street at the big intersection.

Ok, let’s face it. I miss Latina and South America so when I saw this on Groupon deal my jaw dropped. Where else would I get a papa relleno, plantains, yuca and empanada? No one else understands my words!!

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The salsa music was in the background, the counter front of Colombian goodies. My Colombian family would be so proud of me right now.

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I looked in the freezer section and they have yuca croquettes, rellenos de queso, ice blocks… Mmm! Yuca is a type of potato and rellenos de queso is cheese filled balls of potato and rice goodness.

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Also loving the simplicity of chairs and seating.

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Check out the bottled caps too and the salsa- yum! I miss little bottles of salsa at a dining table as a staple.

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I love the pictures on the menu. I’m sorry this blog is about my past travel experiences but this one time I had a 12 hour wait in Venezuela and it’s not be best country to travel in because it’s pretty communist so the advice the police gave to me was: stay at the bus station where there were lots of people and protection. I sold arepas for a ridiculous 50 cents or something with this family and it was so much fun! Each person gets either beef, pork, chicken or whatever and put as much salsa and salad on top. It’s wonderful!

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Here was their full menu and yeah, not as cheap as Venezuela!! I chose the shredded beef arepa but there was also chicken avocado on the menu which is not really what you’d see normally…

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This experience was a little different of course but similar indeed. I think i waited for around 20 minutes? The lady there was by herself for the first ten but I guess it does take some time and there were a few customers. She made four at once in the hot plate.

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In typical Venezuelan fashion, the arepa came out wrapped in aluminium foil and also in a paper bag because I asked for it to be taken away.

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You could tell that the arepa was slow cooked and had this nice crunch on the tops and bottoms. Arepas are made from maise, which is a corn, and the shredded beef was not dry and you could see the stringy cheese melted in between.

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They are quite dense and extremely filling.

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For the drinks, it was so hard to choose between soursop, lulo and feijoa. I remember having soursop and lulo in Colombia because I remember going to this huge supermarket with Cec, my Colombian host mum, and raiding their produce section tot try everything I’d never seen before.

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I opted for feijoa this time round, which was slightly sour but still delicious. From memory lulo is very sweet and the lady working there said they actually import the fruits from Colombia.

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Because I went on a Tuesday (and this also applies on Wednesdays), i received a free small Colombian coffee. Surprisingly this tasted absolutely amazing. Great coffee and totally unexpected!

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I used to work in Chatswood and had no idea this place existed! There are so many asian eateries but I’m wanting to come back for the tamales and empanadas!!

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Review Rating : =D  =)  =|  =(

Product ($7 Arepa, fruit juice and coffee): =D

Ambience: =)

Service: =|

Value: =D

Would I recommend the $7 deal with arepa, fruit juice and coffee to a friend? Yes yes yes! If you want to try food from Colombia and Venezuela, there aren’t many places that do so! There’s a place called ‘Boca’ near Messina but thats all I can think of. Do you guys know any?

Would I donate the money saved to my charity? I really can’t believe how much and how full I was after this meal. This is definitely my moneys worth. If you can’t make your way north of South America, I’ll give you $7 to try it.

Highlight: the hot arepa with its delicious fillings. Ok, I must admit, maise isn’t for everyone but when its cooked so that there is that crunch, it doesn’t matter. As you eat your way down you will probably notice that it gets a little soggy at the bottom as you do with burritos, etc. Have a go and see how it goes!

Suggestion of improvement: the wait was slightly long although there was only one person cooking and serving. I felt bad because I saw two other people wait for a long time and a family needing to rush off but didn’t have their coffees served. Once someone came I got a coffee straight away but the drink and arepa took some time. Maybe a little ‘could you please come back in 15 minutes’ or ‘it will be a 15-20 minute wait if thats ok’ would’ve been nice.

Ends: October 13, 2014

La Latina Website: http://https//www.facebook.com/LaLatina2012

Groupon: http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/la-latina/718215944

Angela Bee

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