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!    

Audiobook Review- Rich People Problems

Die old woman, die!


Ok, my opening line does seem a bit crass, but over-time the above had become the code word that my wife and I used to refer to the book ‘Rich People Problems’. E.g.


“Die old woman, die?” Uttered as a suggestion that we listen to the audiobook together over Sunday morning breakfast (which had become a bit of a tradition for us).


Or “Die old woman, die!” uttered when the story-line hit a particularly slow draggy spot- which seemed to be too often, as it took us over 6 months to   finish the book.


But while getting through a book over a long period of time may suggest how non-riveting  a novel may be- however in our opinion ‘Rich People Problems’ may actually be the best of the Crazy Rich trilogy!


The preface of the 2017 Kevin Kwan novel, the 3rd and last in the series is that the matriarch of the Young family Shang Su Yi is on her death bed. And after 4 years of estrangement after his marriage to Rachel, Nick returns back to Singapore to reconcile with his grandmother before she passes. And when he returns to Tyersall Park,  he finds that all of his extended family are there, some out of familial duty, others out of real affection for Su Yi, while others are just wanting to get into her good books and her will, so they could be “set-up for life”. Hence the novel’s title- Rich People Problems.


Previously I had shat all over the second book in the series (China Rich Girlfriend), however the formula which made the first novel ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ a global sensation, that same winning formula was back in RPP. I.e. the spotlight place back on the Young family and the story once again unfolds on the island of Singapore. What we also liked about the book, was that all the previous characters are back again! Including all the characters from the second book- at the time when we were painfully slogging through China Rich Girlfriend and wondering why seemingly inconsequential characters like Kitty Bing-Pong (her friends call her Beer-Pong) and Colette Bing were getting so much air-time. However the reasoning for this, was so that the scene was set and they could play their vital roles in the conclusion of the 3rd story. Gold hey!? And we also liked the fact that all story-lines were tied off in a neat bow by the conclusion of the book, so at the end of the trilogy you can walk away feeling at peace that all was final (while keeping your fingers crossed that there won’t be another sequel to open all the healed wounds again).


What we didn’t like about the novel, was the fact that again there wasn’t a family tree included as an appendix to better explain who’s who, and what were their relations to everyone else (considering they had all those footnotes throughout the novel, couldn’t they include a family tree as well?). Which resulted in quite a few conversations between my wife and I throughout the past 6 months, trying to explain to each other  our understanding of who was Alfred Shang and how many daughters did Su Yi actually have. And even after completing the first two books and part way through the third- then and only then did we realise that Astrid had other siblings, not only one nor two, but 3 other brothers!? What the? And the last thing which I didn’t like, was that some parts of the novel were uber cringing. I understand that the novel is satirical in nature, however some story-lines were just flogged a little bit too hard I think. Like Eddie Cheng’s carrying-ons, and the extreme shallowness of Kitty Beer-Pong. “Yeah, we get the idea, can we please move on?”


But all in all, Rich People Problems had worked to salvage our perception of the series and Kevin Kwan as a story-teller- so much so that we have already purchased his latest novel ‘Sex & Vanity’. A completely unrelated tale to the crazy rich Asians, but we hope just as fun!


To check out ‘Rich People Problems’, click HERE!


Album Review- Hamilton

A highly addictive and never tiresome listening experience!


Oh, only if I could accurately recount to you the amount of times I’ve listened to Hamilton the album over the past fortnight, I wouldn’t be surprised if the total equates to 10 times? Or even 15 times!? Working from home has definitely assisted in achieving this feat, as it’s so easy to have it playing low in the background while you work on an Excel spreadsheet. And although the album is almost 2 hours and a half in length, each listen has still felt refreshing and holey entertaining!


If you don’t have Disney Plus (I’ve heard that they’ve removed the 7 day free trial after the release of Hamilton), the next best thing is to listen to the album on Spotify- as the album pretty much contains 85% of the stage production’s content.


My favourite tracks have been:


Disc 1:


My shot- There’s something about the beat, the instrumentals and Lin-Manuel’s flow when he spits which has me grooving every-time! Yeah! “Like my country, I’m young scrappy and hungry I’m not going to throw away my shot!”


The Schuyler sisters- a soulful poppy track which introduces the Schuyler sisters who are looking for a “mind at work, work”. And who doesn’t love a shameless New York plug! “The greatest city in the world!”


You’ll be back- Although Jonathan Groff reprises the song on 3 separate occasions, the first appearance of King George is the best! “No don’t change the subject, you’re my favourite subject”…… “When push comes to shove, I’ll kill your friends and family to remind you of my love.” That line is absolute gold! Haaha. Mr Groff! Mr Groff!


Helpless- And don’t you love it where a musical track is able to progress a story-line between a couple from initial meeting, to proposal, until eventual marriage in less than 4.09 mins? While still able to mix in a love triangle into the midst? Brilliant!


Satisfied- And how does a song enable a flash back sequence to occur? Crazy! But ‘satisfied’ has allowed just that in a 5.29 min package. And the line “you strike me as someone who has never been satisfied” was a lyrical line which kept replaying itself in my mind over and over in the past 14 days. Perhaps we’re all someone who has never been satisfied?


Yorktown (The world turned upside down) – The reprisal of the line ‘I’m not going to throw away my shot’ reappears whilst being accompanied by an aggressive sawing cello? Or was it a double bass? And Hercules Mulligan’s equally aggressive rap solo accompanied by a DJ scratching on his decks (and Break Dancers in the stage production!). So much Grrrrr and attitude in this song! Woo!


Dear Theodosia- A music box/lullaby sounding song driven by two father’s love for their child. Aww. The highlight of this song has to be how it showcases the emotions captured in both Odom Jr and Miranda’s voices. Brings a tear to a glass eye.


Disc 2:


What did I miss?- And straight back from the intermission, we’re graced by the return of the prodigal son, Daveed Diggs a.k.a Thomas Jefferson- his entrance injects an additional soulful voice to the production which then transitions into his fun and whimsical cries of “What did I miss?” No wonder the live audience starts to cheer as soon as he makes his entrance.


Cabinet battle No. 1- Only if all political cabinet meetings feel like this NYC underground Rap Battle! I’m sure more people would tune in to Question time on the ABC. “You don’t have the votes!” Boy! Reminds me of 106 & Park. *Sigh*.


Say no to this- The minor key already indicated at the ominousness of temptation. Come on Hamilton! Say NO to this! But hey, if the bedspread isn’t the only thing that’s spread on the bed…….How can you say no to that? Stay?


Washington on your side- An absolute ear-worm! “It must be nice, it must be nice to have Washington on your side” kept looping itself around and around my mind. How can they make such a boring subject (political manoeuvring) into such an interesting catchy tune! #Make politics sexy again!


It’s quiet uptown- And probably the headline track of the entire album and the musical……… ‘It’s quiet up town’. A song about personal loss and a song which gives me goosebumps each time I hear it. Good goosebumps that is.


Ok, I’ll end it here, before I proceed to list out the remaining 40 odd songs from the album! Because they’re all great! If you haven’t had the privilege to watch the stage production and you don’t have Disney Plus, no matter, as you can always just experience the musical through its music alone.


To start streaming Hamilton the album, click HERE! Enjoy!




Recipe- Chorizo, macaroni and vegetable one-pot wonder

A super easy one-pot wonder recipe, which is both tasty and hardy for the cold winter months!


Servings: 5




2 large Chorizo sausages

1 Pack macaroni pasta

1L Vegetable stock (full salt)

1 Tin crushed tomatoes

2 Zucchinis

1 Carrot

1 Brown onion

½ Cup Pearl barley

Half head of garlic

1 Cup water




Step 1: In a large pot, bring vegetable stock to a boil.


Step 2: Meanwhile, prepare vegetables- dice onion into large wedges; slice carrot into 1cm rounds; slice zucchini into 2 inch fingers; and dice garlic into small pieces.


Step 3: When vegetable stock begins to boil, add onions and carrot to the pot and allow cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add crushed tomatoes and fill the tin with water and add it to the mixture- let cook for another 5 minutes.


Step 4: Meanwhile, prepare Chorizo sausage, by slicing it into large pieces before further slicing each piece into halves.


Step 5: Add zucchini and pearl barley to the pot and allow cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add Chorizo and garlic to the pot, followed by the macaroni pasta. Set a timer for 12 minutes with heat turned down to medium. Stir regularly to avoid the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.


Step 6: After 12 minutes, the pasta has absorbed up most of the vegetable stock. Take pot off the heat and serve mixture among 4 bowls (saving one in the freezer for a mid-week lunch). Enjoy!

Disney Plus Recommendations- Premier firsts

Bringing the cinema and theatre experience to your home!


Since Covid19 has pretty much shut-down all cinemas and theatres across the world, it has been a welcomed gift from Disney to receive the premiere releases of Artemis Fowl and Hamilton direct to our TVs. But did they live up to the hype?


Artemis Fowl (2020)


Based on the 2001 science- fiction novel of the same name, the Disney motion picture was mostly disappointing- due to its stray away from the novel’s main plot-line. Sure, a motion picture based on a novel doesn’t need to be exactly like the book it attempts to bring to life, however introducing and removing key components from the foundation of the story-line- which made the book both intriguing and suspenseful…….. Yeah, removing those elements is a recipe for disaster! However giving us the cinema premiere experience at home, and having that feeling of exclusivity that we had access to something that not everyone else had? Yes, that did help in softening the feeling that the film was a total bomb! Perhaps those who haven’t read the books before and do not have a level of expectation, might enjoy the film more due to having an open mind.


Hamilton (2020)


On the other hand, we sat down to watch the premiere of Hamilton on our small screen without any pre-conceived notions, and frankly I had no idea what the plot might be (and to tell you the truth after the film I was still uncertain if Alexander Hamilton was a fictional character, and if in fact he was real- was he really a man of colour?). But Hamilton a Broadway production  has reminded us of all that is good about live theatre, and we can’t wait to see another live show as soon as social distancing is a thing of the past. I’ve just got so much admiration for music theatre performers, the ability to have one take to nail all of their lines, the acting and the singing!? And to sustain that level of concentration and energy for a 2.5 hour show! Not to mention I’m just so blown away that anyone could remember all the lyrics for so many songs! Especially when some songs were heavy   lyrical raps. Bravo, bravo Lin-Manuel Miranda! And you’ll be glad to know, after an hour on Wikipedia, I’ve now answered my own query….. Ok, Hamilton was a real founding father (white) of America….. What can I say, we’re Australian and we don’t learn about American history at school.


For the best seats in the house, just activate your Disney Plus app and tap to watch Hamilton! Or Artemis Fowl if you’re so inclined. A 50/50 hit rate, we can live with that. Just as long as Disney Plus continues to release original content and/or exclusive to DP content- we’ll still remain subscribers of Plus!

Netflix recommendations- Cars, Cars, Cars and more Cars!

Movies for the Rev-heads!


Recently I’ve found myself in a deep Netflix rabbit hole, after showing an interest in seeing what type of car movies Netflix had in their movie library. And 3 weeks on and a dozen movies down…… Here is a list of car films I’ve seen thus far:


Drive (2019)


Starting off with the most obscure, ‘Drive’ is Bollywood’s attempt at a Fast and Furious style action thriller! But unfortunately they were unable to take the better halves of their two respective cultures in this mash-up- only in succeeding in delivering a totally confusing heist flick, with unnecessary twists and turns which only left me baffled and confused. *Crossed-eyed*.


The Italian Job (2003)


While on the other hand, Hollywood has the heist flick recipe nailed right down! The winning formula being a rag-tag team of experts, led by a suave operator, a pretty female antagonist, and mix in some mirth! Then throw in some cute souped-up Mini Coopers and you have a truly entertaining heist film! This was probably my favourite from this list!


Baby Driver (2017)


Previously I’ve already raved on about Edgar Wright’s film and its music soundtrack in previous posts, however I enjoyed this film in a whole new light- when I watched it with ‘Audio description!!!. In the past I’ve mentioned that I’m completely blind? Yes? And I had watched Baby Driver in cinema when it was first released, I had closely studied the plot summary on Wikipedia, and I’ve listened to multiple pods and interviews where they’ve broken down the film scene by scene. However having all the visuals described to me in real-time, for the first time I was able to truly enjoy the film as I actually knew what was going on in each and every scene!                       . The actual story-line is simple and perhaps the acting isn’t great, but it’s all about the music and how the visuals interact perfectly with the audio!


Lady Driver (2020)


I finished this entire film without making the connection between its title and its potential word-play with Edgar Wright’s film. I’m not sure if Lady Driver ever made it onto the big-screens of the cinema, or had it been directly released to Netflix- as it does scream-out being a ‘Tele-movie’! But Lady Driver is a feel-good-film, great for the family, and the acting was surprisingly good I thought. Check-out this teenage dirt track racer getting her tyres dirty with the boys!


Rush (2013)


Now this was a movie I was really looking forward to, and it didn’t disappoint! A real-life re-telling of the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, which spanned the 70s. Even if you’re not a racing/F1 fan, I think you’ll still enjoy this film- as it’s the story-line which drives this film.


The Fast and the Furious (2001)


Can you believe it? The Fast and the Furious is almost 19 years old! The original, and the best! Where it was all about the cars and the street racing culture! Love it! Love it! And again, I was able to enjoy the film at a whole other level, due to Netflix uploading the Universal Pictures version of the films with Audio description as an option!  *Claps hands*. You have to listen to the prim and proper narration guy, describing what the scantily clad bikini babes get up-to. Haaha.


2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)


Minus Dom, but you get Roman…. You know what they say, sequels never live-up to the lofty heights of the originals? Yeah, this is definitely the case for 2F2F, but if you’re a die-hard F&F fan, this fact doesn’t stop you from watching it again and again!


The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)


I think the masterminds behind the F&F franchise are still kicking themselves for creating Tokyo Drift, as it completely throws the saga and storyline out of sequence! Where does this fit in? How does he die and then appear in later films? And the acting….. But since I was in such a Japanese fan-boy mood when I watched it, I lapped up each and every moment of Tokyo Drift!


Fast and Furious (2009)


Perhaps this is the best film from all of the F&F series? Just because it hits the right balance between feeling modern, having Dom and Brian back together again, there are enough car-porn moments, while the franchise hadn’t turned itself completely into a Hollywood heist movie franchise just yet. And the introduction of Tej! My favourite character! Luda!


Fast 5 (2011)


Throw in Hobbs into the mix, and the franchise got a bit too main-stream for my liking. The men are bigger now, so are the cars, and the scenes are even harder to believe now! Like what’s with the dragging of the massive safe through the streets of Rio all about? And the main gripe for me, was the fact that there weren’t enough hot cars! More car-porn please!


Fast and furious 6 (2013)


The introduction of the alt-team, the European mirror image of the Yanks. Once again, the men got bigger (now with 3), the cars got more exotic (more Euro cars, which I don’t mind), and the explosions got definitely bigger as well! The latter films are all starting to blur into one another for me, but yeah…… I just have to say, how long was that aeroplane runway in the final action sequence?! It literally felt like the plane was running at full throttle for 3 minutes trying to take off, and after all that time they still never run out of tarmac? I found that a bit unbelievable….. Along with all the other unbelievable parts in the film….


Furious 7 (2015)


It was inevitable that eventually terrorists would be cast as the enemies to Toretto and his famiglia- for that reason of being too cliché Furious 7 will go down as my least likeable of the F&F films. But I did love the ‘in memory’ ending, celebrating Paul Walker’s life. R.I.P Paul- at least he passed doing what he was passionate about. In the 7th instalment the cars are definitely getting hotter and more exotic, so too are the female leads (you should hear the audio description for the bikini beach scene….. Sun kissed complexion hey?).


Wheelman (2017)


And finally there’s Wheelman, a B-grade “action/thriller”- if Fast and the Furious is on one end of the spectrum with unbelievable action sequences and a multi-million dollar budget, then Wheelman must be on the opposite end of the spectrum with wholly believable chase sequences and I’d imagine a very modest budget.  I’d estimate that nearly 85% of the film we the viewer are taken on a back-seat ride with the Wheelman whilst he conducts his business on his iPhone- and where F&F is too unrealistic? Wheelman is a bit too real, right down to the dumb-ass criminals. The only thing this film has going for it, is the sweet exhaust note from the BMW E46 getaway car, and the rawness from the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS engine.


So if you’re into cars as much as I am? Check-out all these vehicular films for the first time, or for the 101st time! I watched all of them while doing my afternoon spin-bike sessions, cycling has never been this emotive, with the sounds of revving, roaring engines coming right at cha. Especially when they drop the NOS, me on my bike? I’m GONE!


Netflix recommendations- Japanese dating shows

Comparing and contrasting the two extremes of Japanese reality dating shows……………


Since realising the ability to watch foreign Netflix content using Siri to read the English subtitles, I’ve gone a bit cray cray in trying out any non-English content on the Australian Netflix library. And since I’d been watching Terrace House, of course the Netflix app has recommended  other similar Japanese content for my viewing pleasure. So after completing two different Japanese reality dating shows, here is a compare and contrast of the two:


Ainori Love Wagon Asian Journey (Season 1)


The first program which I completed was Ainori (travel together) Love Wagon, which is a revival of a classic Japanese dating show from the 90s-00s, now resurrected by Netflix for a global audience. The premise is that 7 young people are brought together on an international trip, touring multiple countries on a Pink tour bus (the Love wagon). The 7 individuals are made up of 4 men and 3 women, and what they all have in common is that they’re usually a bit hopeless in the love department. You know, all friend groups have that one friend who is chronically single, or hops in and out of short-term loveless relationships? Yeah, got that friend in mind? Now bring all of those individuals together, and force them to travel together on a pink bus, on a scant travel budget, and throw in the pressures of trying to find ‘the One’ from your fellow travel companions? And there you have Ainori Love Wagon!


In season 1 they travel through Vietnam, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore- a local guide takes them to all the usual tourist hotspots, and to some destinations off the beaten track- usually designed to educate them on the state in which the local people subsist (inevitably reminding them how privilege they are, being Japanese  and growing-up/living in a developed country).


If to this point, Ainori sounds a bit boring to you? Well, it is at times, but wait until the drama starts! When potential romance develops, and a participant needs to take the plunge and formally declare their feelings! If the feelings are reciprocated, the rules are that they’ll have to kiss to ‘seal’ the deal. Then both of them immediately leave the tour and go home to Japan together (oh yeah, I didn’t mention how after confessing their feelings, they hand over an airline ticket to return home together). While if the feelings are not reciprocated, the airline ticket is handed back  and the rejected individual returns home alone. So that is the interesting thing about Ainori, it’s pretty much ‘all’ or ‘nothing’! And the surprising thing is they never quite test the waters first before taking the plunge, half of the time the won who is told that they have been the target of one’s affections, they are genuinely surprised as they hadn’t seen it coming and inevitably those scenarios end in tearful rejections. And more often than not, they take the all or nothing plunge only after a short period of time, one girl professed her feelings to a guy 4 days after they first met!


And if you’re thinking, well that’s a bit boring and sad then- if slowly one by one the travellers dwindle down in size, as they all drop-off like flies? No, no! Those quirky Japanese producers have thought of that as well, as soon as one person leaves (or a couple if there is a match), new travellers immediately join their tour! Thus making things very very interesting, as they stir up the existing dynamics of the group. Moohaaha!


By in large, all of the travellers are well behaved, they rarely fight over the same person, they’re polite to one another, but there is one traveller who stirs things up when she has a bit too much to drink. So keep an eye out for her. *Winks*. So if it wasn’t for her, the entire series is pretty tamed, a show which families back home in  Japan could all sit down and watch together! I think it has a PG  rating. But on the other hand……




On the other hand we have Rea(L)ove, and if the brackets and the capital L confuses you, the show is called ‘Real Love’. Well, if Ainori is a program which you can sit down with Mum to watch? Real Love is a show which you definitely don’t want to watch with mum!


The preface is that 12 girls and 12 guys are brought to Okinawa Island for an intensive 3 day date-fest! But even before the show commences a guy and 3 girls have already dropped out, leaving the gender balance badly skewed. But they didn’t drop out because the prospect of an all expenses paid trip on a resort island wasn’t appealing. Or the prospect of meeting ‘the One’ was too frightening. But it was the fact that each participant on the show, they all have a ‘dark secret’, a secret so shocking which has previously spoiled previous attempts at love. Yes, secrets so alarming, that once it’s out there, potential partners would usually go running the other way! And those who dropped out, probably realised that disclosing their dark secret on global television wasn’t the wises thing to do, thus pulled out at the last minute. And did they make the right choice?


So from the get go I must warn you that Real Love pushes the envelope. It’s not so much the  goings on between participants, nor the depravity of  people’s secrets- but more so due to the things which one Host says. The maile Host, Atsushi Tamura- a comedian comes  off as being misogynistic, demeaning, and basically makes jokes at the expense of others. So if hearing that already turns you off the show? Then steer clear of it! By the way, Real Love has a MA15+ rating. However if things like that don’t offend you, then yeah, Real Love can be quite a bingeable show.


The guys and girls are brought together, they introduce themselves and their ‘Vanilla’ side of their lives, and over the next 3 days they undergo group dates, one-on-one dates, trying to work out if there could be love? And at a chime’s notice at any part of the day or night, a participant is randomly chosen to disclose their dark secret to the group. And it could be at a moment when they’re in front of everyone else! Or it could occur when their one-on-one, on a romantic date. Without spoiling the show for you, the secrets could range from being in debt or being a divorcee, to having a criminal past or having a some-what embarrassing fetish.  So yeah, it’s embarrassing to admit, but it is quite entertaining and they love to stick a reveal right at the end of an episode, so you’re sucked in to keep watching the next episode to find out what the deep dark secret is. And I don’t think we were too shocked by any of the secrets, but did the 4 individuals who pulled out, did they make the right choice? Probably yes? It’ll be hard to face  a boss the next day, or to find future romance, once that dark secret is out there for the world to re-watch over and over on demand!


And at the end of the 3 days, each person is given an opportunity to confess their love for someone, now that they know what they’re getting themselves into. And if the feelings are reciprocated, then the couple can develop that relationship at the conclusion of the show (and in some cases, two or more individuals professed their feelings to the same person, and said person just has to choose). What I liked about it, was right at the end they catch-up with the couples, so you’ll find out if they’re still together after several months.


So yeah, that’s my compare and contrast of Japanese reality dating shows. One which is appropriate for the entire family to watch! the other….. You’ll just have to watch it under your covers. Haaha.


To start watching Ainori Love Wagon, click HERE


For Real Love, click HERE!