Greetings reader!

Today is a very good day for you if you’ve just randomly stumbled upon our site Four Senses- Touch Smell Taste Sound! As you’ll lose yourself in hours and hours of reading, and leave with a long list of things to try, be that restaurants, recipes, products, or stuff to hear or do. Please feel free to click on the different category tags to read all the different posts we’ve accumulated over time.

The majority of posts aren’t time sensitive, so don’t limit yourself to only reading the most recent posts, but check out the vast archive of Restaurant Reviews we’ve compiled (which we’ll keep adding to on a weekly basis).

We’ll keep adding more recipes for you to try, when we can certify that they have been tried and tested by us, and proven not to give us (or you) the runs. Haaha.

Check out our Kombucha journal where we’ve documented our steps to success, and will journal our future batches as we experiment with different flavours and ingredients. Our journal is detailed enough so you can replicate and produce a brew which will rival a store-bought beverage.   

And each time we come across some good products which we think you might also like, we’ll post these things under ‘Product Recommendations’ so you’ll have all the details if you want to check them out.

We’re also known for being eclectic in our listening tastes, which include music albums, podcasts, audio books and rando stuff from Netflix, so we’ll post recommendations as we come across some good stuff which you might like to see and hear.

And there’s just so many things to see and do in Ol’ Sydney Town, so we’ll post up monthly lists of what festivals and activities you can partake in; we have a Live Gig guide which we’ll update on a regular basis; and we’ll explore a Sydney suburb each month and we’ll document each step of the way so you can replicate our travels if you like.

So in short, if you’ve just randomly stumbled upon our site! Happy days! As you’ve just uncovered a whole entire avenue of cool stuff to read, interact with and try! So don’t be a stranger, bookmark our site and check back often as we’ll be uploading posts several times a week. We guarantee that each time you visit there will always be something new for you to Touch Smell Taste and Hear!    

June Festivals and Things to Do!

We’re on the cusp of the end of the year……. financial year that is, so here are the top things to see and do in Ol’ Sydney Town for the month of June!

Vivid Sydney- 24 May – 15 June   

Various Sydney locations

Vivid Sydney is no longer just a festival of lights, lightening up some famous Sydney landmarks. But now it’s a full-on 3 week festival of lights, music and enlightenment (ideas)! For the kids, there are naturally the pretty lights; for the party goers, there are the live music acts; and for the deeper thinkers among us, there are lectures and seminars to attend! So Vivid Sydney isn’t just a one-off shuffle around the city gazing at pretty lights, but an event which you can hit once, twice, three times! As there are so many elements to it, it’ll have you coming back for more! Most attractions are FREE, but some will have an entry fee. Lights on every night during the festival from 6pm till 11pm.

For more information and event dates/locations click HERE!

PBR Monster Energy Origin- 1 June

International Convention Centre Sydney- 14 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour

Yeehaw! Ride ’em Cowboy! If you’ve ever dreamt of watching a rodeo- cowboy attempting to stay astride a bucking bull (as realistically, where would you go to see something like that?), ponder no more, as the Cowboys are coming to town! Catch NSW and Qld’s best cowboys, ride for state pride in this one-night-only showdown!

The hooves will hit the dirt at 7.30pm, for more information and ticket details, click HERE!

Sweet Street- 27 June

Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland Street, the Rocks

Sugar fiends beware! Sweet Street is back for its 6th year! Check-out the line-up of dessert artisans who will be serving up on the night! – Anna Polyviou, Adriano Zumbo, and the creators behind Blackstar Pastry, Butter and Koi Dessert Bar! – just to name a few…….. Further details and tickets will be on-sale soon. Keep an eye out for developments on the Shangri-La web-site.

French Kids Cooking Class- Saturdays (see available dates)

Bona Vista Avenue, Maroubra          

Ok, the class title is slightly ambiguous i.e. is it a cooking class only for French kids? Or is it a kid’s class to learn how to cook French food? But it’s for the latter, if you have 6-12 year olds who would like to learn how to cook Mum & Dad a 3-course French meal, this class is perfect for your little ones! Instead of dropping them off at Saturday sport, drop them off at 9am (finishes at 11am) for their petite cooking class. Merci Madam et Monsieur. $60 per child per class, a small investment on potential future returns- if they become a Michelin acclaimed Master Chef! And once they’ve graduated from this class, your 6 year old can then take-up the wine pairing course….. Jks, Jks.

For more information and dates, click HERE!

I’m Free Walking Tour- Everyday

Town Hall Square- George Street (in-between St Andrew’s church and Town Hall)

Do you have overseas friends or family coming to visit? Or you’re a Sydney local but just want to know more about your city? I’m Free Walking Tours might be just the thing for you and your family if you’re looking for an affordable day out! Walking tours set-out twice a day, everyday rain, hail or shine  (10.30am, and again at 2.30pm) from Town Hall Square (just look for the guides wearing bright green ‘I’m Free’ t-shirts). The tour is 2.5 to 3 hours in duration and will explore all the historic sites, prominent landmarks, and point out the renowned restaurants and hidden bars along the way. The tours are FREE (or feel free to pay whatever you feel the experience was worth), and enjoy a day out in downtown Sydney!

For more info and a list of all the sites the walking tour will cover, click HERE!

Sydney Sustainable Markets- Every Saturday  

Taylor Square, Cnr Oxford and Flinders Street, Darlinghurst

If you think just because you live in the inner city, there is no way you can get your hands on fresh farmers’ market-like produce, then think again! The Farmers’ Market in Darlinghurst makes available: organic produce! Coffee! In-season fruits! Ready to eat foods! & flowers! Come find it at the Sydney Sustainable Markets from 8am – 1pm, every Saturday.

For more information, click HERE!   

Mamak- Haymarket

Long live Mamak!

This morning we were rushing around, trying to get all of our Saturday chores done before we could allow ourselves to be first in-line at Mamak Haymarket at 11:20am. But everything took longer than expected, and we only managed to arrive at Mamak at 11:40am! Noooo!

<Insert shop interior pic>

But there were no lines in sight, and we were immediately shown to seats- even allowing us to sit at a table for four when it was just the two of us. That’s a change! In the past the only way you could avoid the crowds, was to line-up even before they threw open their doors for that day’s trade.

Scanning over their relatively limited menu, we ordered the Teh Tarik (warm sweetened milk tea) – $4.50; Sambal Sotong (stir fry cuttlefish in sambal sauce) – $20.00; Nasi Goreng (mixed fried rice) – $15.00; and 2 pieces of the Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) – $4.50 per piece.

Seated beside the kitchen we were able to listen in to the pop playlist which the kitchen staff had playing for their own enjoyment (no music was playing in the rest of the store). And the wait staff and kitchen staff sounded like they were all enjoying their slow morning, laughing and joking- seemingly not concerned that trade wasn’t as bustling as it used to be. And after we had placed our orders,  only one other party of four rocked-up after us.

When the food arrived, they all came in a hurry, one after another they were placed on our table. The first to be served-up was the Warm sweeten milk tea, under the layer of froth was a very sweet and strong tasting condensed milk tea! Yum!

<Insert milk tea pic>

Next to touch down was the Sambal cuttlefish, but we waited for the rice to arrive before tucking in. The cuttlefish wasn’t as melt-in-the-mouth as we’d like it to be, but the sambal sauce was tasty. It was nose runningly spicy, but tolerable as the sauce had a sweetness to it- methinks palm seed sugar was an ingredient?

<Insert sambal cuttlefish pic>

The Nasi Goreng was ok, a little non-descript, with once frozen peas and carrots mixed in with the diced up pieces of prawn. But it served its purpose, in absorbing up the excess sambal sauces from the cuttlefish dish.   

<Insert Nasi Goreng pic>

While we had been craving Mamak’s fried chicken for a long time (our go-to-dish each time we eat here), but unfortunately it was only so so. I had the drumstick, which was jumbo sized, with a crunchy fried battered exterior, and with a tender well-cooked interior (which had been lightly marinated). However my wife’s breast piece was dry and over-cooked.

<Insert fried chicken pic>

We had planned to also order the dessert Roti at the end of our meal (deep fried roti served with ice cream), but unfortunately we were too full to try their sugary treats in the end.

Our end verdict, 3.5 Stars from 5 (2.5 from 3 for Food (the food was good, but it wasn’t amazing, nothing to write home about); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (all the staff were polite and friendly); 0 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (if you sat further away from the kitchen, there wasn’t any music to add to the stores atmosphere); and 0.5 from 1 for Value for Money (Mamak’s prices are pretty standard for the city, not a bargain while not being too steep either- $49 for two)).

We hadn’t been back to Mamak in a number of years now, as we had spent much of our allotted Malaysian dine-out budget on Papa Rich- but now that all the notable Malaysian restaurants in the city have closed down (Chintoria, Hawker, Papa Rich, and most recently Petaling St) all we have now is Mamak. It’s good for us (and seemingly good for the hired hand) that Mamak isn’t as crazy busy as it used to be, as it means we can be walk-ups and everyone can enjoy themselves over a more laid back meal. But fingers crossed that they’re turning over the tables frequent enough to pay their staff and all their overheads. Long live Mamak!

Mamak- Saturday 25 May (3.5 Stars)

https://www.facebook.com/MamakHaymarket/

PH: (02) 9211 1668

15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket

Mon-Fri 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10pm

Sat-Sun 11.30am – 2am    

Japanese Pizza Recipe

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 Pizza base (see directions below if you want to make your own)

1 Packet Tassal thin sliced smoked salmon

¼ Cup Edamame beans

3 Shiitake mushrooms

2 Teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

¼ Sheet dried nori seaweed

1 Cup Mozzarella cheese

¼ Cup Mayonnaise

1 Teaspoon Wasabi

Directions:

Step 1: Prepare topping by slicing salmon into 1 inch wide strips; defrost Edamame beans (if frozen); toast sesame seeds; crush nori seaweed sheet; and slice Shiitake mushrooms thinly.

Step 2: Prepare pizza sauce in a bowl, mixing Wasabi into Mayonnaise.

Step 3: Construct pizza, first using a tablespoon spread Wasabi Mayonnaise mixture onto the pizza base; then add topping, starting first with the strips of salmon, then the mushrooms and beans, and lastly the Mozzarella cheese. Place into pre-heated oven and cook at 180 degree c for 20  minutes until the cheese has melted and starts to brown.

Step 4: Remove from oven, sprinkle sesame seeds and crushed nori seaweed and serve.

Comments:

For those who want to make their own Pizza base from scratch, follow these directions:

2 cup plain flour; 8g dry yeast; ½ teaspoon salt; 2 Tablespoon olive oil; ¾ Cup lukewarm water

Place yeast into lukewarm water and let sit.

Add salt to 2 cups flour and then add liquids to the dry mix.

    Mix to a soft dough, before needing the dough on a floured surface.

Return dough to mixing bowl and cover with cling-wrap and allow to sit at room temperature over-night or for 24 hours for best results.

When recommencing, uncover and press air out of dough and remove and gently need for 1 minute.

Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 180 degree C.

Roll-out dough to desired size and place in oven for 5 minutes, to start the cooking process.

After 5 minutes, remove Pizza base from oven, and using a rolling pin, flatten the dough which has puff up.

Then add pizza toppings before replacing the pizza into the oven to cook fully.

What to Watch- Lego Masters

I still clearly remember saying to my wife when we stumbled on Lego Masters, “This is the most pointless show ever! There is absolutely no purpose in this!” As I was annoyed that TV was truly running out of new concepts, that they were resorting to throwing money   into a competition which was purposeless- adults playing with toys? Like what the! But not having anything else to watch that night, we just found ourselves sitting in front of the TV and watching the first episode. And after the first ep, we were utterly sucked in! Hook, line, and sinker!

For the few people who haven’t watch Channel 9’s Lego Masters (Australian- there has already been 2 seasons of the original British series), essentially it’s a competition made up of pairs of adults, creating things with Lego. Yes, the little bricks and inch tall yellow figures! With the winning pair taking home their share of $100,000! Not a bad pay-day from doing something that you love?  And calling the creations as ‘things’ is an under-statement, as the end creations have been EPIC! You have to see it for yourself to believe it! And if watching people build miniature cities/scenes isn’t compelling viewing enough, the show is hosted by comedian Hamish Blake! Which increases the entertainment value by at least three fold! 1:3 scale anyone?

The competition consisted of 8 teams of 2, from pairs of friends, husband & wife partnerships, to even a Grandson-Grandma dual! The challenges were out-of-this-world! Ranging from 6 hour builds for each team to create a level of a skyscraper, to a 28 hour build for the grand finale, which saw an entire amusement park with moving mechanized parts! And with a web-site with extra footage and information to support the show, you can totally geek right out on Lego Masters!

Lego Masters has actually been quite refreshing actually, instead of another Reality TV show with ridiculously good looking people; or with contestants being too conscious/aware of the cameras at all times; or with overly b*tchy/back-stabbing grating contestants- the Lego Masters contestants were just guys and gals who clearly lived further to the left on the nerd/geek scale! Which is absolutely cool! The show was also different because the host of the show actually added to the entertainment value of the program, not just a talking head to keep the show moving but Hamish has emphasized to many why he is one of the funniest Australian comedians at the moment (he’s no ‘Stand-up comic’, but what he is, is quick witted and adorably child-like). Which fits in perfectly with a show about adult and toys! And the last thing which stood Lego Masters out from the rest of the Reality TV shows, was the Judge; initially I was annoyed with the judge ‘Brickman’ (Ryan McNaught) because he was this middle aged man who was known by a childish title of ‘Brickman’. However in the end I found him to be an extremely fair judge, he was never cutting with his criticisms, and always tried to highlight what was good about each team’s creations! And in the end as much as the Internet has blown-up about the outcome, I personally thought the judging was fair and the best team won? And not to mention, the show employed a clever use of sound-effects which added to the whole audio-visual experience!

From all reports, Lego sales has sky-rocketed, even I who haven’t thought about Lego in over 25 years has had bricks and little yellow men on the mind. And where adult colouring books was the fad in 2014-15, I’m sure building Lego creations to de-stress after work will be the latest fad for 2019-20!

I think it’s near impossible to watch the show now, without already knowing who won the series (as it’s all over the internet and Ch 9); but if you’re still interested to watch the epic constructions emerge from nothing (mere bricks), and if you’re like me and you like watching Reality TV to psycho-analyse people, please by all means click HERE! It’s a fun 12 episodes, guaranteed to bring-out your inner child!

Ippudo- Sydney CBD

Never a slow moment at Ippudo Sydney!

Thinking that we’d avoid the crowds at Sydney Westfield’s Ippudo, we rocked up at 2.30pm to find that there was still a line-up to dine in! What the?

But it was a fast moving line, so by the time we had decided what we wanted to order (studying their online menu on the phone) it was our turn to be seated. When we headed into the dining area, we were a little taken aback by the seating arrangements- it was like going away with a bunch of friends- needing to share a bedroom with another couple? But on this occasion, we had to share a kidney shaped table with a party of 4. When taking our seats, I was tempted to ask the table “Hey? What are we all having?” But obviously I just internalised this, as I’m not that charismatic! Hehehe.

We ordered from the Ramen section of the menu; my wife ordered the Shiromaru Motoaji- Tonkutsu broth with thin noodles, and pork loin chashu ($16 +$2 for an extra boiled egg); I had the Tori Shoyu- Clear chicken broth, with medium wavy noodles and seasoned chicken breast chashu ($16 +$2 for an extra boiled egg); and a Grape Soda with tapioca to share ($7).

Taking in the store’s ambiance, it’s all pretty chic, with a wavy bamboo ceiling and black tiled floors. And in addition to the large share tables, there’s solo study-nook dining tables, and some comfy couch seating against the walls. Just to try another style of seating alone, I’m tempted to come back here! Also there were other segments of the menu we’d like to try at a future visit (sushi, rice bowls, and bao).

And soon our Grape soda arrived – not only was the soda grape-flavoured, but so were the tapioca pearls! It tasted a bit too bubble-gummy at first, but you get use to the flavour after a while.

And after the initial group of 4 left our table, our ramens arrived!

The bowls were modern (like a blossoming trumpet flower); my noodles were nice and thick, wavy like the ceiling; the toppings were all fresh (bamboo, shallots and seaweed); the chicken was thick-sliced and cooked just right; while the broth was a little salty, but nothing a bit of complementary water and grape juice couldn’t dilute. And the star of my dish was the $2 boiled egg! I think the egg was poached in a flavoured broth, so the entire egg right down to the yoke was flavourful! Yum!

My wife’s ramen was the thinner noodle but chewier than mine; instead of chicken she had thin slices of pork, but more substantial than your run-of-the-mill ramen pork slices; and her toppings included slithers of sliced black fungus which added texture. The highlight for her was the pork as it was meaty, without the usual rim of fat.

And when we were part way through our noodles (after 3pm by now), another party of 4 took up the vacated seats on our table and started to peruse the menu. After they made their orders I was tempted to ask them “Hey, do you want to split the bill 6 ways?” But seeing that they each ordered drinks, we would probably lose out on this divisible……So I kept my noodle-ly mouth shut.

In the end, the food was good, can’t fault it at all! But it was the unique seating arrangement which stood out for me.

End verdict, 4.5 Stars from 5! (3 from 3 for Food (Not the best ramen we’ve ever had (in Ramen Vs Ramen- Yasaka Ramen is still No. 1 in our books) but as stand-alone dishes, we couldn’t fault it); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (we had an entire team of waitresses serve us, who were all polite and efficient); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (sharing a table was actually novel, rather than a knock on the experience); and 0.5 from 1 for Value for Money ($43 for 2 is a little steep, but after our meal last week at Mr. Wong’s $43 seems like a bargain in comparison)).

And when we left at almost half past 3, the restaurant was still at 75% capacity and with the early dinner crowd only minutes away, it does look like Sydney’s branch of Ippudo never has a slow moment! We will be back, to try the other segments of their menu, and their other seating arrangements!  

Ippudo- Saturday 18 May (4.5 Stars)

http://ippudo.com.au/

PH: (02) 8078 7020

Shop 5021, Level 5 Sydney Westfield’s, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney

Mon-Wed 11am – 10pm

Thurs-Sat 11am – 11pm

Sun 11am – 9pm