On the Couch

on the couch 1

on the couch 2

on the couch 3

on the couch 4

Perth is a paradise for those who love to be outdoors, with its generous sunshine and clear blue sky. Since moving here, V and I try to spend the weekends out and about: taking walks along beautiful parks and beaches, driving to the suburbs, trying out new restaurants, capturing the view on our cameras. In the winter, though, when it’s windy and rainy outside (which thankfully is a rare occasion), we are content to stay holed up inside the apartment, cooking up delicious comfort foods, watching the telly, and when nothing good is on, enjoying a 30 Rock marathon. That’s how we spent the last weekend, and V snapped a few photos of me on the couch. I love being the occasional couch potato girl.

Dim Sum for Brunch at the Dragon Palace Restaurant

Dim sum, in case you’re not familiar with it, refers to a Cantonese type of food consisting of steamed and deep fried dishes prepared in small portions and served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum is also well known for the unique way it is served in restaurants, where the ready-to-eat dishes are carted around the restaurant for customers to choose their orders while seated at their tables. V and I haven’t had dim sum since we moved to Perth in January, so imagine our delight and anticipation when we were told this particular Chinese restaurant in Northbridge served delicious dim sum, so good that customers queue and come back for more despite the lousy service! That, if nothing else, sounds like any authentic mid-budget Chinese restaurant in Singapore! We immediately made plans to go try the food, and went yesterday with my cousin’s family. It was the perfect arrangement. Enjoyable dim sum meal is all about variety, and V and I ourselves wouldn’t be able to order enough.

We heard the place gets really busy over the weekend, so we arrived there before 11 am for brunch/early lunch. We got seated immediately, but soon after the place really started filling up!

me and cous at Dragon Palace

V at Dragon Palace

dim sum at Dragon Palace

I regretted not taking more pictures of the food, but in my defense, I was too busy eating! Not all of the dishes were worthy of mention here, but I would say the chicken feet (so juicy and tasty), the prawn spring rolls (filled generously with big fresh prawns), and the char siew pau (a classic must-try) deserve another visit! A friend recommended the durian pastry, and we bought some to take home, but we weren’t that impressed. Oh, I also need to mention that the service was indeed poor. Half of the staff couldn’t speak proper English nor follow up on our orders! Having lived in Singapore for 10 years without speaking Chinese, that is something I’ve gotten used to. Is that a good or a bad thing, you reckon?

Ci Lenny and Dave at Dragon Palace

the bar at Dragon Palace

flowers at the entrance

me after lunch

At the end of the day, having dim sum always gives me the warm fuzzies. I associate it with quality family time, because we didn’t have dim sum often and when we did, it was always an intimate family occasion. I should remember to have it with my sisters when I’m back in Singapore!

Stand Up Paddle Beginners’ Course

When I was in Brisbane for work last year, my friend Swathi took me to Byron Bay and we saw a tiny Asian girl standing on a surf board, only she wasn’t surfing, and she had a paddle in her hands! She looked like she was having so much fun, paddling into the sea, braving the sun and the waves. We didn’t know what she was doing at the time, but I found out later than it was this thing called Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Boarding! V and I thought we’d try it out, so we signed up for a beginners’ course and went for it this morning.

stand up paddle boards

elementalSUP

me and V, ready to learn SUP

We met up at Point Walter, along the Swan River at 7 am. It was a cool, lovely morning, and despite not being a morning person, I was quite excited. We started by paddling upstream and upwind, because our instructor Kenny told us the wind could pick up very quickly once the sea breeze started blowing in and if you started off going downwind, you might not be able to return to your starting point. It was harder than I thought, paddling upwind while standing up on the board, because your body acts like a sail and the wind keeps pushing you and your board back. On top of that, you have to maintain your balance. My balance is OK, but I do not have much power in me. Hmm, that’s actually an understatement. My strength is pathetic. I could not even lift the board and carry it around myself!

SUP boarding

SUP-ing

We practised getting onto the board, going from a sitting position to a standing position on the board, the correct paddling technique, braking, making a pivot turn, and oh, we enjoyed ourselves!

look at how big the board is!

Some of us fell from the board into the brackish water. Tee hee!

finishing the course

The guy on the background is our instructor Kenny. The girl in the green wetsuit is Annet. They ran the course together. Kenny told us he was Dutch and only moved to Australia last October. Needless to say, he was definitely enjoying the weather and the lifestyle in Perth!

Kenny

Here’s Kenny with his green lips (he puts on green lip balm)! If I didn’t hear him speak, I wouldn’t guess he was Dutch. He’s the quintessential Australian dude with his tousled blond waves, tan, and beach shorts!

V and I loved it and are thinking of signing up for the intermediate course in the next few weeks. And when my sisters come and visit, Stand Up Paddle Boarding will definitely be on the list of things we could do together. It’s one of those things that you forget is actually a sport, which is the sort of things I love because I can’t be bothered to exercise but appreciate adventure and fun outdoor activities once in a while. If you’re anything like me, you should check it out!

AL&ALICIA’s Cut Out Dress

On Chinese New Year weekend, the temperature in Perth was 40 degrees, so a nice breezy dress was called for. For strolling around and checking the festivities in Northbridge (Perth’s China Town), I wore my AL&ALICIA’s Cut Out Dress in Viola. It’s light without being too sheer, and the cut out details on the back make it a perfect playful summer dress.

in AL&ALICIA's Cut Out Dress

in the city of Perth

cut out details

an umbrella for a hot day

Crabbing

Last weekend, a friend of mine Shane invited me and V to join him and his girlfriend Lily crabbing in Mandurah. We had nothing planned for that weekend, so even thought we were fuzzy on what crabbing actually involved, we thought, why not? The drive to Mandurah took us about an hour from Perth, but we actually went about half an hour further south to the Peel-Harvey estuary. Shane then handed us each a rigid hand net and we set into the estuary and tread around the water looking for blue swimmer crabs.

thigh-deep in water, looking for crabs

V catching a crab

Look at V and his catch! And the sky! You don’t get sky that clear and blue in Singapore.

We spent 2 hours and caught about 20 crabs. You would think that’s a lot of crabs, but Shane and Lily said it was actually a slow day. The last time they went down there, they caught 30 crabs within one and a half hour! Oh well, maybe the crabs heard we were coming and swam for their lives. 

The whole experience was fascinating, if only for the fact that I’ve never really caught any of my food myself. Too bad V is allergic to crustaceans, otherwise we’d have ended the day with a delicious plate of chilli crabs!

with Shane and Lily