Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I had a really lovely lunch today. It was at Capital M and Oh. My. God. Those were THE BEST deserts I have EVER tasted. I wish you guys could get over here and come and have some with me. The souffle... oh wow. The cups we had our coffees in... the decor... seriously wow and Hell Yes! Funnily enough before we knew that we were moving to Beijing and waaaaaaay before the restaurant even opened, MrC and I saw a write-up in the SMH about this restaurant and said to each other "We WILL be going there". 2.5 years later... YUMMO!

The menu was this:
Fluffy Feta Fritters on green olive paste with a warm salad of red tomatoes, green tomatoes and black olives
A saute of wild Yunnan Mushrooms served piled onto crispy polenta
Grilled Halibut with fresh asparagus, little potatoes, sauteed mushrooms & a fennel cream sauce
Chicken Saltimbocca with sage, Prosciutto and Risotto Milanese (I had the chicken)

Desserts to Share
M's Grand Dessert

Including one glass of house wine

The Authors were:
Alice Pung, who read from and discussed her memoire Unpolished Gem and Alexis Wright, who read from and discussed her novel, Carpentaria.

Both were very different styles and both books appeal to me, so now I have to figure out how I can lay my hands on some copies. Perhaps my curiosity will just have to wait until we come home in May for a quick visit.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chun jie kuai le!

So having just bitched about how I'm feeling about being here, now comes that part of the year that is just magic - Spring Festival.

The girls and I were just at a friends' place watching fireworks, eating and enjoying everyone's company. It was quite lovely to feel a part of the Australian community again, which I have been missing out on due to my err.. lack of drinking and err... not eating soft cheeses... those who are with me on this, are with me on this. I made stuffed bread (anyone remember that?) and some biscotti and when I brought the bread out, I seemed to flabbergast people who couldn't believe I'd actually made it myself. Quite satisfying, really. And the biscotti is such a wonderfully simple recipe, yet again, astounded people that it was home made. But I digress.

My friend has to have one of the best views in our locality that I think I've seen. So we were in prime possie for the fireworks, which at this time of night (9pmish) are really only just an entree for the big bangs at midnight. Needless to say, the guys took their crackers and their beers and set a few off, for us all to behold, what a hoot!

And it's just brilliant. Just about every street corner has crackers going off and as far as the eye can see, there's more, off in the distance. Reflections off glass buildings and windows are almost prettier than the real thing. So I don't think I'll be getting much sleep tonight. I'll either be awake with the random bangs, or glued to my window. But what the hell, huh? I mean, this is Chinese New Year in Beijing and I'm really priviledged to be here for it, it's one of those snapshots of my life I certainly will cherish.

Just wish the bloke was here right now to snuggle up to at the window...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Really, I'm fine, thanks for asking...

I don't know if can do another winter up here. It is just awful. Long and very, very cold.
I miss my bloke.
I am really lonely and I miss my friends.
I miss really good food and company.
I would really, really like some bright, warm, sunny days. I know that'll make me feel better.
And some sleep would be nice too please. Uninterrupted. Just one night. Please.
Some certainty would also go a really long way.
As would some Passiona. God, give me Passiona.
...or some Terry's Chocolate Orange.
...or some Blackcurrant Pastilles.
...or a plane ticket home.