Om Vegetarian - $6.50 All You Can Eat @ Monday, August 22, 2016

Thursday 28th July


Dinner at Om Vegetarian, that cheap all-you-can-eat $6.50 vegetarian place, did you know there's four locations?! Oh My! They are popular! A very popular cheap eat that we've never gotten around to till now. During the day there's always a guy with a sign advertising the place.



The Menu



Small but featuring the classics.



Seating is designed for a quick eat, rather than for a three course meal. 
Basic food court style, seats direct from Ikea, with tags.


For $10 we had the combo meal which includes all the you can eat deal, with a samosa and drink (mango lassi or soda). The basic is $6.50.



Vegan Samosa - Spiced potato and peas filling stuffed in a triangular shaped pastry, fried until golden brown and crispy. Fairly average.

The mango lassi was usually sweet and once again quite watery, unlike other places. But sometimes you'll get what you paid for. 


The tray consisted of seasonal vegetable curry and lentil curry of the day served with Basmati rice with cumin and peas and freshly baked buttered naan bread from the tandoori oven.

What was it really? Lentil curry, veggie curry, rice & naan bread. I did find them a bit watered down with only a few pieces of potatoes and teaspoon or so of those green beans. In terms of flavour they were a bit on the bland side. There was something strange about the naan that was less fluffy-if can be described as so, leaning towards sour dough. 

Service was minimal though adequate, a guy went around with more naan and you can get the curry refill at the front counter if you ask. We found one serving enough though. It was too watery and bland for my tastes.

The crowd consisted of backpackers, students, Indians and a couple suits. 

Good for a quick, no frills very cheap eat, though not to my taste buds, as it was bland. I'm glad i tried it though and can tick it off the list. Jas didn't join us tonight as he said the place is too hippy, yes they did play Indian meditation music in the background.


Have you been to Om? Are you a fan of Crossways and similar places?


Om Vegetarian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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200 Years of Australian Fashion @ Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thursday 28th July



Since settlement, Australian fashion has been shaped by geographic, seasonal and cultural variants, and defined by colloquial vernacular. In every era, Australian designers have consciously defined the character of how we dress according to local terms of reference. 

From the early dressmaking establishments of Brisbane to the mid-century salons of Collins Street (hence known as the Paris End), to the contemporary studios by Bondi’s beaches, 200 Years of Australian Fashion traverses over two centuries of fashion design in Australia.

Staged across four large galleries (four different eras), the exhibition celebrates Australia’s unique voice and impact on the fashion industry internationally, showcasing the work of contemporary designers such as Dion Lee, Ellery, Romance Was Born and Toni Maticevski alongside key designs from the past 200 years, including exquisite examples of historic design.



Open 9-5pm March to July, it only took us five months to get there :P But we made it! During the last week. We were keen to go, but then we weren't, but then we were. The thing is I don't love fashion, not modern fashion anyway. My specializations in historic fashion come to a halt at the onset of WWI/the end of the Edwardian Era, the last era of elegance, till the 50s came around. But from then it went to the hippie/free love movement, disco, grunge, 90s and now contemporary favouring cut outs, neon colours and with an occasional retro comeback. 

The gallery itself is divided into different eras/rooms: 
  • Status 1805-1900    
  • Glamour 1920s – 1960s
  • Independence 1970s – 1990s 
  • Contemporary 2000s – Now  


c. 1805 Evening Dress
Made of cotton muslin soured from India, this is the earliest known surviving dress thought to be made in Australia. Empire style, with gold (gold gold?) embroidery thread it reflects the status of its wearer, the NSW governor's wife. In the newly established society of Sydney, it was important for those in positions of power to demonstrate their authority through fashionable dress.

This dress and most of the clothing are tiny. Now and then. Now because of the media's perceptions of beauty. Back then because nutritional information wasn't available and as researched and widely known as it is today. Also people didn't consume as much junk food and there was a lot of natural and organic foods, and diets in a way were healthier. 

Australia was colonized by the English, during the Victorian era, and so the first gallery is all about Status (1805-1900). What you wore said who you were to the world and more importantly society. No lady would leave the house with a hat back then! Oh how we wished it were so today.  



Hats and headpieces throughout the ages. I see Prince Phillip's hat! On the far left there's a book headpiece! The lighting wasn't great so we didn't manage to get a clear shot, but it's a thick velvet book with all those groves and textures for the side of the book. More pics here.



Status 1805-1900. Think 'The Paradise', 'Pride & Prejudice' & Jane Austen. Also Sherlock. Think bustles, beading, hoops, padding and corsets. All the details. Also Lady Grantham, that burnt 70s orange dress is so her. Note that that dress is actually wine/burgundy though, bad lighting sorry. 



Glamour 1920-1960s

Moving into the 1920s, post WWI we see loose waists, morals, Gatsby and the emerging flapper girl. Fast forward and we have 50s glamour, red lipstick, Marilyn Monroe, swing dresses, Hairspray! (one of our favourite musicals), curves are in! Beading, tulle, satin and feathers are in! We love those swinging dresses!

Backtracking a little, Lillian Whiteman opened her salon Le Louvre in 1922 on Collins Street in Melbourne, which she named “The Paris End” and it epitomised the luxury, elegance and opulence of fashion. The name has stuck ever since!





Independence 1970s-1990s saw bright colours, crazy designs. The hippies, disco, grunge and umm.. unique designs. Starting with the rebellious mini dress worn without stockings at the races! "Our next major moment in Australian Fashion is 1965 on Derby Day when Jean Shrimpton wore a mini dress which shocked the nation". 

In 1996 Australian fashion week starts in Sydney and Melbourne Fashion Festival launches.




Contemporary 2000s - Now. Was the final gallery. Featuring bright patterns, use of texture, sequins and things that shock to the urban jungle look with city living basics but with one feature/element accentuated, like the colours, shape and design.


Lastly we have Dion Lee's Aperture, a sculpture of light with crystals. A dress for a parade I'd think, due to the height. But how would you keep it lit up? This paired with a disco ball would be amazing!


An exhibition on '200 Years of Australian Fashion' found us at the gallery under Fed Square, from the 1850s till today. Oh how elegance has fallen! Being a fan of history I loved the earlier collections, but no so much the later.


What were your thoughts on the gallery? Which era is your favourite?


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27th July


This week's performance was a play, Julie Taymor’s 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', a play on film. But unlike National Theatre screenings this one was from NYC, and showed the audience, and the last act was a play within a play, performed by a theatre troup, 'The Mechanicals' who are all labourers. 

Set upon a stage that appeared to be tiled with well, rectangular black tiles with white outlines paired with huge white flowing sheets (fabric) and projects, along with simple props created an effective, efficient and dramatic set. A dollhouse played the part of the Duke's house, poles held by faeries in black/the chorus on the black stage created an ominous forest that moved with the characters, and lastly white flowing sheets set the ethereal scenes of the faerie queen's rooms. 


The chorus played by children, ballerinas played the faeries, subjects of the faerie queen Titania, dressed as bark trees they gather to hear Punk as mischievous narrator. Later they're held up by stage hands dressed in black, and create movements as if they were flying or hovering through the air. Punk more impressively drops into the scene through aerial wires himself. The children created the moving forest and later at the Duke's house played guests. 

It was a very good play/play on screen which we enjoyed. Sometimes screen is better than live, as there's the camera which zooms in on faces, portraying more emotion that if you sat in the back row. Also everything appears to the closer. But this overall, the concept on stage on screen is only good when designed that way, to be viewed on screen. 

Hermia has a lisp. That was annoying!



Fun Fact: Punk is portrayed by Kathryn Hunter, Mrs. Arabella Figg (Harry Potter!). 

Midsummer's a classic and one of Shakespeare's most popular works, a must see, though if you haven't read at it may be a bit confusing, with a few too many characters the first time around. 




Here's what you need to know:
- There are three groups: The Athenians (the civilians who live in Athens), The Fairies (who live in the woods), and, The Mechanicals (labourers, an ameture theatre group).
- Hence there are three intertwining plots



1. The Fairies - The king is a bit of an a** and tricks the queen into giving him something/one she didn't want to. To get to do this he puts a spell on her of some sort, the juices of a flower. She awakes to fall in love with the first thing she sees, this is Nick Bottom, who has the head of a donkey thanks to Punk.


Beautiful styling, the contrast between the king and queen.


Oberon's voice was familiar so I looked up where I might have seen him before! The short lived series of 'Selfie' Modern day Eliza Dolittle in NYC.


2. The Athenians - Hermia loves Lysander, but is engaged to Demetrius. Her friend, Helena loves Demetrius, but D loves L. The faerie king Oberon tells Puck to put a spell on Demetrius to make him fall in love with Helena. But Punk accidentally puts it on Lysander! So now everyone loves Helena, and no one loves Hermia. A sexy pillow fight in 50s lingerie follows. It's also fan service, in this adaptation.

No I couldn't find a picture of them fully clothed.


3. The Mechanicals - They decided to practice in the woods, so there'd be no competing theatre troupes sneaking around. Nick Bottom gets his head turned into a donkey head. He sings, awakening Titania who falls for him. All the characters really carried their own weight here with everyone having a unique role, no merges. We loved Snout, with his preacher like lines. 

Nick Bottom (Max) is a New Yawk working stiff who’s gotta be at least part Italian. Francisco Flute (Zachary Infante) is a young Latino whose heavily-accented English is played for charm, Snout (Jacob Ming-Trent) is a burly African-American who breaks into Baptist-preacher cadences in his big moment, and Peter Quince (Joe Grifasi) has kind of a Woody Allen vibe going for him. Snug (Brendan Averett) and Starveling (William Youmans) are distinguished by other traits (which I guess tells you they’re white): the former is a gentle giant, as simple as he is huge, while the latter is played as sitcom-style gay. [Is it still okay to laugh at that? He’s very funny.] - Max 


Have you seen or read 'A Midsummer's Night Dream'? 
What is your favourite work from The Bard?


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Groupon Adventures - Hibachi Japanese Grill @ Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday 26th July



Through Groupon we bought the '$79 for a Seven-Course Japanese Banquet with Sake for Two People at Hibachi Japanese Grill, CBD (Up to $137 Value)' though there is no way this meal this normally almost $70 per person! A lot of dinning deals seem inflated over there.


Instead of seven courses it should be called seven dishes, composing of entrees, a main and dessert.


I don't recall the place being so yellow on the night...



Traditional-ish setting, with spaces for feet. Yay!



We started with miso soup, with fresh tofu, wakame and spring onions.



California sushi roll with prawn, avocado, cucumber and tobiko



Octopus balls topped with Katsuobushi



Vegetable gyoza with ponzu raiyu sauce



Tempura: 1 prawn and vegetables with mirin soy sauce



Teppan Tofu - Main



Green tea ice cream & black sesame ice cream


There were options for gyoza (pork/veg) and Buta kimchi (grilled pork belly toasted with kimchi sauce) instead of tofu, but I don't eat pork. Hence am not one to be invited to dumplings night. :P 

Everything was good, the octopus balls and sushi stood out being pipping hot and fresh and fun served with ginger on the side.

Atmosphere was ideal, quiet being a Tuesday Night there were only a couple other tables. Easy listening piano played in the background, including some music box and love songs.

Service was minimal though adequate, as we're fans of Japanese food we knew what everything was, but would have liked the waitress to tell us anyway, which each dish was as she served them. She was very quiet. 

I would have liked to add a serving of edamame and chicken karrage as I felt that it was a series of entree with a tofu main and wasn't enough for dinner. We were both full though as we had late lunches, though for the size and full price we wouldn't recommend it.

We paid $33.50 per person or $67.15 together, for what we ate + 200ml sake.


Tip - Japanese is cheaper during lunch, look for bentos. The cheapest ones are $10 at Wagayu, though out in Carneige (by the station) is our all time favourite, Shyun. It's always cheap and has atmosphere, bookings required. 

P.S. There's another Japanese place on the opposite side of the road towards Bourke St, the name also starts with H. I got lost. 


Hibachi Japanese Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Back to the City @ Monday, August 15, 2016

Tuesday 26th July


First week back to school, though I've actually finished. Hoping to potentially upgrade to a double degree next year. In the afternoon I had my hair done, a blow wave, it's so big... I do like getting my hair done, but later on it feels like straw?


Oh before I forget to mention, right before we went away we were offered tickets for ice skating! But with my lack of balance we should have seen Disney on Ice instead! This was a gift bag my friend bought.



To mark the start of semester and create awareness TopShop had a 20% off store wide (probs doesn't include sale items) for students as well as snacks. We got there at 6.50, before the event and the line was around the corner! But we were in within 5-10 minutes, and there were donuts on arrival. Donuts are so much better than drinks, though there was vodka with something as well. 


Did you know there's a Doughnut Time van (more like booth that looks like a van) inside TopShop? Tonight the first 250 received a donut, entry was via student ID. This is the only time when having student ID is like being VIP :P 

Through unidays you can get some pretty good discounts. Though my card is mainly used for cheaper tickets for the performing arts. Salted Caramel Donut, well to me it was more like a hot jam donut but denser with a very generous filling, which jas said there was too much of. The filling was sweet and salty, but with a touch too much salt. I would have said this was a dulce de leche donut. It was very nice and added a bang (and sugar high for him, as for me, it's in my blood) to end of the evening. At $6 I would get it as a treat sometimes, though always to share, as to me the size is too much for one. 

We left around 7.15pm and the line was still around the corner. 


This week's food adventure was a venture up King St, known for its strip clubs (germs!!) and Lisa Brows (Lisa does Brows, she's great!), hence we have never ventured into this part of town before. 

Wednesday

A walk around the east end, discovering lunch offers, cheap eats and taking shortcuts through alleyways. Stopped by aqua s, ordered both flavours of the fortnight: matcha and shortbread.


The matcha was too bitter for me! Much more than rice workshop, which we discovered years ago (link). The shortbread was familiar with a hint of that artificial flavour taste. Fascinating I'd have to that again.

You can get flavour of the fortnight with sea salt (original) but not two fortnight flavours I discovered. The machine doesn't work that way.

Careers workshops, perfect timing as I have an interview tomorrow!


Off to the theatre, a movie theatre. A stink bomb arrived late and sat beside me! NOOOO! Someone hasn't had their weekly shower and farted throughout the five acts!! The intermission was omitted too! If I had known it could be torrented I would have done so and watched it from the safety of my room, alone. I'm starting to understand why the guy next door was a recluse for 12yrs! People suck. 

Thursday


An exhibition on '200 Years of Australian Fashion' found us at the gallery under Fed Square today, from the 1850s till today. Oh how elegance has fallen! Being a fan of history I loved the earlier collections.

Next we were off to buy rush tickets, aka tix at six. 20 Tickets are sold, to 10 people. The first 10. One English lady got there at 3.30pm! The target market is obviously not full time works, but rather those who make less: stay-at-home-moms, students, old people, part-time workers. Arriving at 5.10 we were 8th in the line! Got lucky there, as there were soon around 30 in line, and not everyone got tickets. 


Dinner at Om Vegetarian, that cheap all-you-can-eat $6.50 vegetarian place, did you know there's four locations?! 



Tonight's show was 'Funny Girl' set in the days of 1920s high-class vaudeville glitz and glamour it was pretty, funny and very entertaining.  


The set design was an orchestra in the center, with an arch of those big white Hollywood stairs and the front, the stage most of time. Add curtains, lower the signs and a chandelier and you have yourself a set!


The showgirls and gentleman we always love with their big musical numbers, though that is the biggest underwear I've seen since granny panties! But oh that star headpiece... you shall be mine!


‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ was the hit of the night, and still playing in our minds. 



Next door was the opening night of MIFF and anyone who was someone was there. Except us, I've worked all the art festivals except this one. There was a blue carpet and very long lines along with celebs, like Geoffrey Rush aka Barbarossa! 

Comfort or pretty? We saw Ashley, stunning in a red lace dress sweeping the ground. She was freezing, but looked great. Meanwhile we wore our winter coats and got stuff done today. To look like that you've have spent the afternoon getting ready and need to drive to the event then directly home. No walks in the moonlight, escalators or public transport. 

Saturday

- The photographer has yet to send us the pics... - 

Pancakes the size of a pizza are the latest thing from the Pancake Parlour, serves 4-8 though we said four as the one we picked had four small scoops of ice cream on it. While I see it as a novelty, as we only go here for the BOGOF short stack offer ($12, 6pp), jas says it would work. As people are social creatures they tend to go out in groups, and could split a $30 pizza pancake and pay $7.50 each. I still don't see it as good value though. We could do froyo for that price. 

And so we did across the street at YOMG. $5 waffle cone, watch as I get all 8 flavours and not have the cone topple over. Go slow and get right under is the key. But we failed a bit this time, almost. Serves 2, at $2.50pp, as it's way too much for one.

Catching Up



We found our next victim to be recreated into a book box!



That feeling when you love it, but it fits nothing. Let's use it as inspiration to create something we do love! Leather on a mesh-ish hat! Just need to find a base.


Marble weighs a ton!! Though doesn't always have to, these are $2 cork boards from Kmart.


Collins St, Paris End sometimes has some lovely displays!


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