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!    

Product Recommendation- Pro-Live Mango Lassi

I’m sure there is a time and place to consume Lassi – the tasty thick yoghurt drink found at most Indian restaurants. Methinks it’s usually consumed as a drink to cool your burning mouth when you’re having a particularly spicy curry? But we’ve taken to drinking it whenever we’re looking for something sweet, and when we want something healthier and less guilt-ridden then with ice creams and other guilty pleasures.

Australian producers Pro-Live stock their Mango Lassies to Costco Australia, known for its bulk purchases, although a 1 Litre bottle of Lassi didn’t seem like such a bulk buy? But I’ve been told, compared to the usual volume in which Lassi is usually sold in, 1L is quite a lot of tasty drinkable yoghurt. But being us, 1L is never enough so we always get 2 bottles when we’re at Costco.

To be honest with you, the taste of Pro-Live Lassi Mango Drink reminds me much of the mango flavoured tubbed yoghurt by Nestle. So it’s a very common, pure taste, which I’m sure appeals to all tastebuds. It’s creamy and smooth (be sure to shake well before pouring), while liquid enough to quench any thirst. And it’s quite filling as well, so if you’re in a rush a 250ml glass of Lassi could easily serve as a light breakfast on the go! For $4.50 Australian dollars for a 1L bottle, it’s much more economical to buy in bulk and consume at home, than to purchase when out. The only philosophical question which is left unanswered, is….. Which came first? The tasty yoghurt drink? Or the popular American TV show which aired from 1954-73? 

If you’re interested to purchase the Pro-Live Mango Lassi drink and not a Costco member, click HERE!

Podcast Recommendations- Audible Original Podcasts

Now your Audible membership gives you more!

In the past I used to laugh when I had a think about the ‘Member benefits’ for Audible subscribers – as they used to say that you have access to the entire audiobook library at a discounted “members’ only” price and you had one free credit to spend each month on books. But in reality, who was actually purchasing a second book per month for the ‘discounted members’ rate’? Aren’t we all just waiting until the new month swings around before we use our next credit on our next audiobook? So in reality Audible membership really meant that you were basically paying $16.95 for a book a month. But not anymore!…

…as your Audible membership now gives you more!!

When thumbing through the Audible app I was surprised to see a heading “Free for Members. Audible Original Podcasts”. Not believing my eyes, I slowly scrolled through the list of titles and I was in disbelief that these podcasts (each a couple hours long) were actually FREE? FREE? But there’s nothing FREE in this world!? And I didn’t know anything about this new introduction as my wife’s email is attached to the account and she receives all the Audible email updates. Yay for her! So the first time I decided to give it a go, I made sure I selected a podcast which was upwards of 2 hours, my thought process was: “if I get charged a credit for this, at least I spent it on a longer podcast.” And hurray! It was for FREE afterall! And in the past weeks I’ve listened to the following titles:

A Grown Up Guide to Dinosaurs

Narrator: Ben Garrod; Length: 2 hrs, 50 mins; Episodes: 6.

And the scriptwriters for this pod were correct! As kids, we were fascinated by dinosaurs, but as we grew up, we kind of got over them, like how we grew out of cartoons and grew out of our toys. But there is something fascinating about digging deeper into a topic which you loved as a kid, like dinosaurs, but now seeing them in a whole new light as a fully knowing, fully aware adult. This podcast debunks some lies we’ve been fed over the years – like how the Velociraptor is probably more like a 2 foot chicken, than an 8 foot pack hunter (like it was depicted in Jurassic Park); having it explained in unequivocal terms what ultimately caused the extinction of the dinosaurs – by pinpointing the exact time and place in which it occurred, through core samples; and how birds, yes birds which we see in our backyards all the time, are more likely to be descendants of dinosaurs than say a lizard – fossils have shown that perhaps dinosaurs were feathered creatures much like birds.

If you want to learn these interesting revelations for yourself, click HERE to start listening!  

Artificial Intelligence

Narrator: Geoff White; Length: 2 hrs, 10 mins; Episodes: 6.

If you’re lazy like me and love using your Smart assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, then you’ll probably find this podcast very interesting as well! Geoff White, a Technology journalist for the BBC, takes you through the history of AI, what it means for us in terms of robots taking over our jobs, and he explores the limitations or the limitless bounds of artificial learning and creativity. Well, look on the bright side, at least we still have another 10 years of being the dominant race! Before our creation surpasses us as the most intelligent being………?

If you want to check out Artificial Intelligence – Friend or Foe? For yourself! Click HERE!

The Dark Web

Narrator: Geoff White; Length: 4 hrs, 10 mins; Episodes: 10

And if you’re like me and you’ve heard all sorts of tech pods referring to the Dark Web, but you don’t really know what it really is – then take this dark path to enlightenment! Or is it a path into the murky shadows of the underworld? After the 4 hour duration of the pod, you’ll be more aware, but sometimes being more aware isn’t a good thing, as you’ll learn that the world around us is a pretty dark place after all; where people indulge in whatever they feel like, when they feel safe being behind their invisibility cloak on the web. Learn exactly what is the dark web, how to access it’s dark portals, learn what is and what isn’t going on in this shadowy enclave of the Internet, and learn a little about yourself as well – now that you know how to access the super-human ability of invisibility – how would you use your superpowers of anonymity?

To follow this spiralling staircase into the depths of the dark web, click HERE! If you dare. Moohhaha!

End comment, if you’re thinking…… I already have access to enough free podcasts, and I already have too much stuff to listen to! Therefore I don’t need Audible podcasts….. But Audible Original Podcasts are truly next level stuff! The level of research, production, and post-production is on par with a TV documentary series – leaving in its dust the regular run-of-the-mill podcasts with their meager budgets. So if you want to be entertained/educated at a level usually reserved for TV documentaries, while having the freedom to listen to them while on the train or driving to work? Try out the Audible Original Podcasts! And the great thing is that they’re one-off discrete series, so you can binge and then move on, not ever feeling overwhelmed by over-subscribing to too many podcasts!  And aside from documentary style pods, Audible Original Podcasts have live recordings of stand-up comedy, and dramatized fictional stories! So heaps and heaps of stuff to feast on!

Boque Tapavino- Haymarket

Not the most Spanish of meals, but the potatoes were good though!

Ok, we can safely say that Sydney-siders all know about Darling Square now, as almost every eatery in the precinct is packed out, with lines out the door! So your best chance to get fed on a Thurs-Sat evening or Sat-Sun lunch-time is back in the Exchange – at one of the dozen take-away style stores.

Boque Tapavino will be the 7th store we’ve tried from the Makers’ Dozen thus far – serving up Spanish tapas style small dishes to share, grilled meats in main sizes, fresh seafood also in main sizes, and burgers and hot dogs for take-away or dine-in. Standing at the counter we unknowingly ordered from the take-away menu, although we were in mind to dine-in, so we ordered a Chicken burger ($12.00), and a Chorizo burger combo ($17.00).

If you elect to dine-in, they have their own roped-off seating area, providing full table service with what seemed to be unlimited top-ups of your tap water. After a short wait our food was served to us on proper plates with proper knives and forks.

We were wondering if their burgers would be a Bocadillo (Spanish baguette) or a burger burger, and it was a burger burger. Aside from a vinegary dressing on the tomato and lettuce, and perhaps a more smokey flavoured grilled chicken (it was a bit thin though), it was pretty much a standard chicken burger – not much to write home about unfortunately.

While my wife’s chorizo burger was more like it! The meat patty was pink – not because it was under-cooked, but it was a chorizo sausage which had been minced and then re-shaped and re-cooked as a chorizo meat patty. Paired with shredded purple cabbage, her burger managed to hit closer to the mark. And the stand-out for both of us were the baked potatoes! The potatoes were baked until they had a crunchy edge on all sides, salted with large-grained rock salt, and smeared with a mayo-like sauce – they were definitely moreish! And if you elected to upsize all your burgers into a combo, you would have all 9 pieces of tasty potato all to yourself!

Our end verdict, 3.5 Stars from 5! (2 from 3 for Food (66.6% of our food hit the mark, so 2 from 3 was a fair score); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the staff were super attentive, each time my water dipped below the final third, he was back, topping up my water glass); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (the Exchange will always get full marks from me for Atmosphere, and all the diners around us were having a great time!); and 1 from 1 for Value for Money ($12.00 for a burger without sides is pretty reasonable, and to make it a combo – 9 large chunks of potato was very generous!)).

In conclusion, I’m glad actually that Boque Tapavino’s bread and meat offering were not Bocadillos, as it means that we still have reasons to go back to Encassa Rapido for their awesome baguettes!  Boque Tapavino has a very vast selection of share plates and mains which we didn’t touch on, so we’d be interested to come back and try a proper sit down meal at Boque Tapavino when we’ve eventually eaten at all dozen stores and starting to repeat meals at our favourites.

Boque Tapavino- Saturday 9 November (3.5 Stars)

https://www.boque.com.au

PH: (02) 8072 8826

Makers Dozen Food Hall, the Exchange Building, 1 Little Pier Street, Haymarket

Mon-Sun 11.30am – 10pm

Green Curry Fish Congee

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

3 Baza fish fillets

150g Fish balls

1 Tin Green curry paste

500ml Fish stock

2 Cups brown rice

6 Cups water

Apparatus: Thermal cooker

Directions:

Step 1: Prepare ingredients by slicing baza fillets into large chunks and dicing fish balls into halves.

Step 2: Meanwhile, bring water and fish stock to a boil, add rice and allow cook for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Add fish, fish balls, and green curry paste to pot. Allow cook for another 10 minutes. Then cover and place pot into thermal shell. Allow cook for 4-5 hours.

Step 4: 15 minutes before consuming, remove pot from thermal shell, re-heat on stove and serve.

Netflix Recommendations- Fastest Car (Season 2)

Whoo! Fastest Car is back on Netflix for another season of drag-racing down the quarter mile! Yay!

If you’re a car nut like me, you’re literally shaking in excitement to get a second dose of fast metal screaming down a straight stretch of road! But Fastest Car is much more than just fast cars and pedal-to-the-metal for less than 15 seconds – it’s the people behind the wheel! And if you enjoyed the human side of the first season – then you’ll love season 2, as it’s even more about the backstories of the competitors, and oftentimes the car takes a back-seat to the driver.

Hey, I’m a bit of a granite when it comes to emotional stuff, nothing can get this boy teary-eyed. But I have to admit, there were a couple of times even I almost teared up from hearing the life stories of these gutsy drivers. So if you’re thinking to yourself “I don’t give a, about cars”, but if you like Reality TV, I guarantee you’ll still enjoy Fastest Car S2.

But for the car guys, there are still all the sleeper cars, there are still all the American V8 muscle cars, there are still all the inappropriate vehicles (a Toyota Hilux) with big motors dropped into them – powering down the straight like a chubby fella doing a 100m sprint; and of course there are still all the Supercars with everything to lose – lined up against these Frankenstein home-jobs.

The improvements we’ve seen from season 1 to season 2 have been: introducing rules to pre-race, thus eliminating a repeat from last season when a dude did a pre-race burn-out trying to warm up his tyres, which then cause the other cars who were patiently waiting on grid to over-heat – resulting in one heat being a fizzle-out. And the second improvement was in the championship race, they allowed each car to perform a test run, giving us a chance to properly hear each car tear off down the track! And allowing us to hear the other drivers comment on what they thought of their competitor’s start and car performance. This was good, as otherwise the actual race is over way too quickly!

The slight criticisms I have, is that the Supercars which rolled up for season 2 lacked variety. I think 4 of the 6 Supercars this year were all McLarens, which didn’t sound all that crazy compared to the high pitch whine of a V12 Lamborghini or a V8 Ferrari. And as mentioned before, the actual drag race just doesn’t have enough of a build-up to it. So after sitting through almost 40 minutes of lead-up to the race, the race is then all over within 60 seconds – so the ratio between build-up and race just don’t add-up. If they could extend the Championship format to each of the heats, i.e. allowing each car to do a test run? I think that would do the trick for Season 3 (fingers crossed that there is a Season 3). Vroom Vroom!

And the aspects which we enjoyed from Season 1 and were still present in Season 2 were, the diversity of drivers, the diversity of sleeper cars, and there was a healthy representation of female drivers! Which assists all viewers to be able to imagine themselves behind the wheel of a fast car. “See babe! It’s completely normal to be a chick driving a heavily modified sleeper car. And for this reason, why you should let me further modify our Beast……….”

Ok, if I’ve injected some gasoline into your veins, you can check out Fastest Car Season 1 and Season 2 right HERE!  

Bad Hombres- Surry Hills

Vegetables have never tasted this good!

Ok! I’ve finally reached episode 62 of the Mitchen podcast- dated 16 May 2017! Now see, this is the problem with listening to the back-issue of foodie podcasts- as many restaurants have since closed down in the intervening years. And one of the restaurants I’ve been fruitlessly hunting down to date has been ‘Ghost Boy Cantina’, and finally today we’ve caught up with one of their derivatives which is still in business! Bad Hombres!

Located on Reservoir Street in Surry Hills, we didn’t care that their restaurant only served a vegan menu (although we’ve never knowingly elected to dine at a purely vegan restaurant before), as I personally was just so eager to try Sean McManus and Toby Wilson’s Mexican Asian fusion restaurant, we didn’t care that we weren’t going to have any meat tonight!

Although we didn’t have a reservation, the staff were so kind to make room for us on this Saturday evening. Not wanting to impede on their later evening  trade, we quickly made our selections ordering the Tortilla chips and salsas as a starter ($10.00), King mushroom Peruvian ceviche as our second small dish to share ($16.00), and The Cauliflower as our one large share plate ($26.00).

After we had our orders all squared away, we leaned back and took in the ambiance of the restaurant- it had a cool Surry Hills vibe to it, my wife compared it to the ambiance of Ze Pickle, you know that dark youthful vibe? Although it wasn’t even 6pm yet, the restaurant was still 75% at capacity and tonight’s music playlist (70s – 80s Aussie rock) reminded me of my high school days-  when one of our mates was old enough to drive, and used to pick us all up and we’d spend the day at the beach enjoying a good-old summer’s day in Sydney. *Sigh*.

Within minutes after placing our orders our Tortilla chips arrived. The chips were served in a large and deep bowl, while the 3 dips were served in a porcelain dipping line-up.

The Tortilla chips were unsalted, and the flavour came from the trio of dips. My wife’s favourite was the Salsa Verde (top), my personal favourite was the roast jalapeno guacamole (centre) due to its thick creamy avo, while the pico de gallo (bottom) was very good as well, nice and chunky and substantial! The serving of chips were so large that right to the very end, we were still munching on them.

The next to arrive was the King mushroom Peruvian ceviche. This was when we were reminded that we were at a vegan restaurant after all. But as Sean McManus mentioned on the Mitchen pod, just because a dish lacks meat, it doesn’t mean that it has to lack flavour. And oh boy, the Peruvian ceviche packed a flavour punch! I can’t remember the last time the flavour of food alone tasted this intense! The dish contained “leche de tigre”, with sweet potato, coriander, onion, corn and red chilli. Every element played their part to lend its flavours to the dish. Yeah, the ceviche was pretty sour with a healthy amount of lime juice, but I think it only primed the tastebuds for the sweetness of the sweet potato, the earthy flavours of the mushrooms, and the love-it or hate-it flavours of the cilantro. Personally, from the 3 dishes we had tonight, this was my favourite; while my wife found it a little bit too sour for her liking.

And the final dish to arrive, was the Cauliflower. The elements arrive deconstructed, so getting in with fingers you were able to construct your own tortillas, making them as jumbo or as lean as you wanted them to be.

Before constructing our first, we chose to try the cauliflower on its own, as we were so curious to see what it tasted like as it didn’t look like what you’d usually expect a cauliflower to be (it was pretty brown). But it was really tasty, the seasoning reminded me of this Chinese grilled fish dish my mum used to make, and again we were amazed in how flavoursome they were able to make veg to be! When we did construct our own tortillas we made sure each contained all of the elements i.e. cauliflower with seaweed salt, cashew cream, salsa verde, coriander and onion-  all wrapped up in the corn tortillas. And a special call-out of the texture of the corn tortillas, it had this tougher/chewy texture I hadn’t come across in tortillas or wraps before, and from a textural point of view this pleased my teeth. Haaha.

And as hard as we were trying to be in-and-out (so whoever had originally reserved the table we were hanging off weren’t impeded by our presence), there was honestly so much food that it still took us over an hour to finish our meal. And who knew you can feel this full and satisfied from vegetables alone?

Our end verdict, 4.0 Stars from 5! (2.5 from 3 for Food (everything was so tasty, and in the end to ensure that all elements did not contain any trace of meat, poultry or dairy, Sean and Toby had to think outside of the square- so big ups that they were able to make the food so tasty while we never felt like we were lacking in anything); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the staff were very kind to accommodate us as walk-ups, and our waitress was really cheery although it was a pretty busy night for them); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (a cool relaxed Surry Hills vibe was the feeling I left with); and 0.5 from 1 for Value for Money (we could have easily given it the full 1 for Value, but knowing how much the per kilo price is for mushrooms and cauliflower, it’s hard to disconnect your mind from thinking how many heads of cauliflower you can buy for $26)).

In the end, Bad Hombres was a real nice change-up for us, where we’ve been so used to eating Asian food down in South CBD/Chinatown. I’m so glad that we got out of our comfort zone and tried something new for a change, and super glad that I finally managed to try one of Toby Wilson’s creations! I’ll def be spreading the word to my vego friends… that matter….. To anyone who cares about food that there is this awesome Mexican Asian fusion place in Surry Hills serving up tasty vegan dishes! Veg has never tasted this good!

Bad Hombres- Saturday 2 November (4.0 Stars).

https://www.badhombres.com.au

PH: 0410 191 441

40 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills

Tues-Sat 5pm – 10pm

Sun-Mon Closed