Sunday, January 31, 2010

Standing in the Shadows of Motown

I love going to the movies. For years there was a cinema across the road from the Coalface and every Monday afternoon for a decade I used to leave work at 4pm and go and watch a documentary or foreign art house flick by myself for the cheap price of $8 (Monday was their cheap ticket day for some reason). Often there were only a few other people in the cinema. The cinema's long gone. It's an Internet cafe now. I miss it. One of the best movies I ever saw was Standing in the Shadows of Motown in 2002. I saw it with my friend F and it was brilliant. It's a doco about the Funk Brothers, who were the session musicians who played the instruments for Motown records in the 60s and 70s. It was on tv tonight. The music is fantastic and the musicians are fascinating, but it's a kind of sad story-they were underpaid, and under appreciated despite having incredible talent. I love listening to Joan Osbourne belt out "What becomes of the Broken Hearted" in this movie. It brought back a lot of memories of this time in my life. Please see this movie. It is 11/10. Actually it's a million out of 10. It has everything-great talent, passion, suffering, struggle, triumph....Watch it. You've been told.

Rainy Sunday

It is absolutely pouring with rain. Good for the Garden, bad for my hair. It's ideal Sunday weather really. I've eaten my croissants and I'm watching our Domestic Leader Martha exert calm authority on the Marthathon. I hate to introduce a sad note, but see the length of that grass? See how it needs cutting? If anyone knows where my AWOL whippersnapper law mowing guy's gone please let me know. He's ignoring my texts. I'm getting desperate.

Eating out in Hong Kong

Mr FF always loves this goose but I'm ambivalent.
This is my favourite dim sum in Happy Valley. We always walk there from the Midlevels. It's a bit of a hike (almost an hour) but worth it.

This was a superior coffee bean martini.
These deli snacks were from a fabulous place in the Midlevels whose name I can't remember.

This was the Happy Valley Dim sum place.
This is Maxim's a huge dim sum (yum cha) place. Bill Clinton eats there.

Mr FF is obsessed with what he calls broth and insists on eating it every day.
This was some duck I had at Watermark down at the pier. They do a killer Sunday brunch too with fancy things like foie gras and every kind of seafood.
This is my favourite thing to eat for lunch in Honkers- the vongole pasta at Wagu. I don't know why this photo is so spookily tiny.
I love Isola at IFC, they do excellent weekend buffets. Do not order your main meal until you've had your entree buffet- it always arrives too early.
Here is some Isola Pudding Magic.
Behold the Isola Buffet Goodness.
I love a cocktail or 3 at Acqua over on the darkside.
In Honkers I am a creature of habit and eat at the same places over and over again, usually on the island not on the Kowloon side (the Dark Side). It's quite cheap to eat out for lunch and more 'spensive for dinner. My favourites are:
Isola at IFC. I love the Sunday buffet and because it's the amah's day off (Family Day) a lot of people take their kids there for lunch- the people watching, the view and the food are all wonderful. Save room for the dessert buffet. It is superlative.
I love Wagu for pasta vongole. It's full of expats but don't let that scare you, because the food is really good. I love Wagu Lounge (run by the same people) for lunch and drinks at night on Old Bailey St.
I love Wasabi Sabi at Causeway Bay. It's an ultra modern high tech Japanese place where to get to the Ladies you have to walk along a raised mirrored catwalk style arrangement. It is very glamorous and affordable for lunch, plus you can shop it up at Sogo (excellent Japanese department store afterwards). The crazy mirrors and high tech lighting can make you feel a bit lost trying to find your table.
My favourite dim sum place is in Happy Valley but I can't remember the name! It is very old school and full of locals and is cheap and fantastic.
I like the crazy frantic atmosphere of Maxims dim sum down at the harbour (altho since they've reclaimed the land it's not on the water anymore)
I really like Craft Steak but I can't remember where it is. It might be Wyndham St. The man who runs it is German or maybe Danish and makes fantastic steaks and chowders and excellent desserts.
I love the Sunday buffet at Watermark on the pier. The view of the harbour is great and you can eat all the fancy sushi, seafood, roast meats, salads, foie gras and puddings you could ever want.
I love Nah Trang for Vietnamese food. It's the best I've ever tasted. You can't book, you'll have to line up, but it is worth it. I like the shaken beef and soft shelled crab.
For Dinner at Night:
I love Felix at the Peninsula (it's all designed by Phillipe Stark), I think Hutong is incredible with the best views of the light show and lots of crazy birdcages hanging from the ceiling, (ask for a window table), Acqua is great for cocktails and Sevva rocks for it's views, atmosphere, cocktails and superior people watching.
I really want to go back to Honkers right this minute!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Movie 9. My thoughts. Dinner. The Moon.

This afternoon my girlfriends and I went to see if the movie 9 lived up to the hype. We'd seen most of the cast being interviewed on Oprah last week and were ready to see them in action on the big screen.
I wore this really nice silver top that I'd bought with my sister in Hong Kong from Club Monaco in August 2009.
There were some good bits in the movie:
Everyone had nice hair.
The clothes were good.
Nice scenery of Italy at times.
Sophia Loren looked good.
Judi Dench was wonderful.
Penelope Cruz's body inspires exercise.
Kate Hudson's dance scene.
As the credits rolled they showed some interesting behind the scenes footage with all the actors without makeup etc.
There were some bad bits:
the plot was boring
I didn't care about what happened to Guido so couldn't invest emotionally in his conflicts
It was too long.
Daniel Day Lewis irritated me.
I give it 3 stars.
Then we went to dinner and had really inexpensive tasty Thai Food. This was Pad Thai and was excellent.

The moon looks spooky and moody tonight. I don't know why. If this was 1950 I could sell this to a newspaper and tell them that I'd seen an Alien Spaceship.

Honkers and Me: A Love Story

I arrived in Hong Kong for the 1st time on Christmas Day 2007 with Mr FF. It was love at 1st sight. My sister lives there with her husband and I love visiting them. This is the fabulous view from my sister's flat. I'd love to live there-the food is fab, the taxis are cheap, the MTR is efficient, the airport train rocks, the people are lovely and the shopping is the Best. I've been back many times and always have 11/10 fun.
Honkers truly is a shopping mecca. You can go high end or ultra cheap. I always buy too much and then panic about how I'm going to get it all home.
I love the mix between super high tech and tradition.
Honkers can be really crowded and polluted but there are lots of secluded peaceful places too, like Deep Water Bay on the way to Stanley. I've had some of the best moments of my life in Honkers-this is the Magic of the Place.
I love the escalator that leads up from Central. I even love that crazy clicking noise it makes. Needless to say the People watching is Superior. Back in the olden days people were carried up by their servants-can you believe it?
This is the view from the Peak. Sometimes we walk up there for breakfast from the Midlevels. When it's not polluted and too hot Honkers is beautiful.
I love Wanchai, it's where my sister lived before she bought her apartment in the Midlevels. It has the best atmosphere and quirky shops like this one (No one wants a Sad or Miserable Cake).
I found the most beautiful wallpaper of my life in Honkers. It's de Gournay and was $8000 Australian dollars per roll. Per roll people. I'm shocked too. But how divine are those birds and flowers?
I haven't been to Honkers since my birthday in August 2009 and miss it. A lot. I'm going to do a post about where I like to eat in Honkers soon.

Gourmet Traveller

I subscribe to Gourmet Traveller and February's edition is here. I love to cook and travel so really enjoy the Old GT. My favourite section is where people write in and ask for the recipes of food they've eaten in fancy pants restaurants and have loved. I don't often cook exact recipes from GT but use it as a source of inspiration. The only downside to the Glory that is GT is that often the recipes contain hard to source expensive ingredients (which is why I use it for inspiration and don't follow the recipes verbatim). There is a particularly attractive peach and rosemary tart tatin on page 99 that I might have a whirl at recreating.

Hooray for Feather Prints

I've told you before how much I love clothes by Castle Starr. You can get it from my friends at That's where I got this little number that I wore to the Coalface yesterday.
I love the thick exposed zip thing and the feather print. Plus it's silk. The only downside is no pockets. Sometimes you can't have everything. This though is good- it reminds me of the necessity of compromise.
I tied my grey Pucci scarf to my Bally bag but you can hardly see it in this photo. I love that scarf, I wish I could figure out different way to wear it. My perspex bangle is Carolina Hererra (remember Mr FF found it in Scotsdale Arizona where the golf courses and shopping are superior?) and my polish is Revlon Love that Red. If you're interested.
Friday is Play Clothes Day at the Coalface. These tights are by Wolford. I always thought they were overpriced until I bought some. Now I am 100% on the bandwagon.
I went to dinner last night and ate the most delicious things but forgot to take my camera so I've got nothing to show you food wise.
This afternoon I am going to see the movie 9 with my girlfriends. I'm looking forward to it, especially seeing Sophia Loren. Actually I'm dying to see what the whole cast looks like!
Off topic, someone asked me about where I like to eat lunch in Hong Kong. I'll do a post on this over the weekend. I go to Honkers often to see my sister and I have tonnes of good suggestions.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Beach: Let's Relive the Dream People

I want, with every cell and fibre of my being, to be back right here, at the beach.
Is that too much to ask?

The Coalface:Let's Live the Dream People.

So on my 1st trip to Honkers in Dec 2007 my sister took me to this really good shoppe in Wanchai called Simple. I bought this frock.
It's made of crazy textured broderie anglais and has blue lining. Needless to say I love it.
I return to Simple every time I'm in Hong Kong. The ladies in Simple (who it must be said are are whippet thin ) always shake their heads sadly and say "You too fat! Nothing in Your Big Size!" but sometimes you luck out and find something that fits.
I'm channelling a Fatter Older Wrinkled version of Jean Shrimpton at the Melbourne Cup in the 1960s: no hosiery, no hat, a mini dress, no sleeves, a real tan. Live on the edge I say.
I'm off to make a bacon and pea risotto because the Universe is doing Hardcore Non Speaks with Dr Atkins and directing me to eat Carbs. I know. I'm shocked too.
Adios Amigos.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

8 days to Source 56 Followers. I think that's 7 a Day.

The Blog's 2 month birthday is 4 February 2010. Dinner's been booked for a bunch of loyal Blog Followers. A cake has been ordered. Glamorous Outfits are being Sourced. 2 candles have been set aside. I feel we need 300 Followers before then. Who's in? Surely we can run up some numbers a la the Kennedy Presidential Campaign circa 1959 by then?You're either With Me, or You're Not. This is no time for Fence Sitting. Pick a Side, and let's Move Forward. Your Blog Needs You.

What I am Wearing

Today I wore this dress that Mr FF bought me in 2005.
It reminded him of Julia Roberts's frock in the polo scene in Pretty Woman. I haven't worn it for ages but have fallen in love with it again.
I love the full skirt.

Movie Review. Musings on Friendship.

Yesterday I saw a Killer Satire called In the Loop. It is 11/10 funny and written by clever people who know how to Produce Laughs. It's about politicians and diplomats in the USA and the UK who may or may not want to invade a country and all the back room action that results in the policies, news flashes and the fallout of their decisions. The guy who plays the British Prime Minister's Director of Communication is Brilliant. I'm prepared to sever ties with anyone who doesn't like this movie. Run don't walk.
Meanwhile, I've been thinking a lot about the Nature of Friendship lately. I have fantastic friends without whom my life would be empty. One of my newest friends is K (you know, the one I looked at the Birkin at Hermes with). She is wise, screamingly funny (even in emails- no easy task), insightful, empathetic and has what can only be described as Superior Parenting Skills. This is some of what has made her such a great new friend. Cherish your Friends People. They don't grow on trees, and like gardens, need nurturing. You've Been Told.

The Universe is giving me Conflicting Instructions about What to Cook

Tonight the Universe directed me to make a Thai Beef Salad Arrangement full of healthy salad vegetables and one of those clever dressings with freshly squeezed lime juice, palm sugar, chili, ginger, salt and sesame oil. But then something Weird happened:
The Universe, out of Nowhere Directed Me to Bake a Cheesecake with a gingernut biscuit base.
I was as shocked as you are. Luckily I always carry cheesecake ingredients in the fridge and pantry for moments such as these. Here's my cheesecake in the freezer with the frozen baby peas- I'm trying to hastily cool it for consumption.
I'm not going to lie to You. It was Delicious. But here's my Quandary- Am I to eat healthily or to consume high fat desserts? The Universe is sending what can only be described as Mixed Messages (channeling the Ghosts of Boyfriends Past No Doubt).
To the reader who asked about my exercise regime: I am extremely active and very busy. I'm not one to lie about the traps doing nothing for hours on end. I have a lot of energy. At the moment I don't do "official exercise" but I move a lot. Cooking and gardening are very energetic. Embrace same I say. Have you ever looked in a gardening magazine at a picture of a Serious Gardener? They are all Svelte. There's a reason for this: There is no way you can eat and garden at the same time.
Once it's not so hot I'll get back into walking home from work. I love walking and I do not believe that it causes wrinkles in the way that say running does.