Sunday Slowdown | Blue Mountains; The Three Sisters; Scenic World

A delayed Sunday Slowdown list on a Monday night – because a few weekends ago, Sydney was blanketed with a wet, misty, cold, and hauntingly beautiful last winter fog. The Blue Mountains opened us up to a different viewpoint, one that only comes out when you brave its harsh climate.

First stop was The Three Sisters at Echo Point – at first, were hiding behind the thick clouds that surrounded the whole valley, but slowly, slowly started to peek through as the sun shone and wind blew. It was reminiscent of the Silent Hill movie, which wasn’t bad considering hey, we’re up in the mountains. Everything was a shade of blacks, greys, and whites – a monochromatic beauty that showed us a different side of the mountains.

But soon the wind blew the clouds away and the sun started to shine brightly, and the Three Sisters came out to say hello to us and show another side of its mountain beauty. We decided to go down to the first sister and look at the valley from a different angle.

We then headed to Scenic World to check out the world’s steepest passenger railway in the world, the Scenic Railway. You can also check out the other sights and sounds of the Blue Mountains from the Skyway, Cableway and Walkway!

52 degree incline with the Railway
The Three Sisters as seen from the Skyway
A pretty majestic view of Katoomba Falls from the Skyway

So take a day trip to the Mountains. It’s only a 1 1/2 hour car ride through M4 or a train ride to Leura. And you never know – the mountains might just surprise you with its other magical, haunting beauty.

Echo Point, Leura – the best vantage point for the Three Sisters, including a walkway down to the First Sister.

Scenic World – get lost in time, learn about the mountain’s mining past and see the mountains from some of the best vantage points.

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Philippine Food Week at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Pork belly lechon carving station

Did you know that last Thursday, 1st of October, was the 40th anniversary of Ali’s and Fraser’s Thrilla in Manila match which was held in, guess where, but Manila?! Well, today we toasted a Thrilla in Manila cocktail and celebrated everything Filipino at Shangri-La Hotel’s Philippine Food Week. 1 whole week of Filipino food fair at Cafe Mix in Shangri-La Sydney to celebrate all 7,000 islands of the Philippines. A few of us Sydney Filipino food bloggers do a pilgrimage to Shangri-La every year for this particular event, and this year’s is definitely bigger and better (ping Raff and Christine!).

Thrilla in Manila cocktail

Got your kare-kare cravings in tow? CHECK. Kilawin? CHECK. Lechon, BBQ, buko salad, halo-halo and leche flan? CHECK CHECK CHECK! It was a beautiful ode to Filipino feasting! And what better way to celebrate the start of this beautiful warm weather than to sip refreshing coconut water straight from the coconut itself, and feast on the delicious Filipino dishes that the chefs, who came all the way from Shangri-La Makati, Philippines, have prepared for us. Food really brings people together – and it was a beautiful scene to see different people from different backgrounds and cultures come together and enjoy the dishes from my own motherland. Let the fiesta feasting begin!

The Philippine Food Week buffet lunch is available at $55 per person from Monday to Friday, noon to 2:30pm, and from 12:30pm to 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. The buffet dinner is available all week from 6pm to 10pm for $75 per person. For bookings or enquiries regarding this event, please contact Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney on (612) 9250 6206. Book quick because this event is only here for 1 week (2 – 10 October 2015) and spaces are running out fast.
Thanks to Shangri-La Hotel Sydney & Makati (and Raff of RamenRaff) for the invitation, and the beautiful lunch, conversations and experience. Trish dined as a guest of Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.
Chef Darel Pajarito from Shangri-La Makati, Philippines
Entree section
Kilawing Talaba (Oyster Ceviche)
Tokwa’t Baboy (tofu and pork)
Embutido (pork meat loaf)
Lumpiang Sariwa (Fresh Vegetable Spring Roll)
Itlog na Maalat na may Kamatis (Salted egg with Tomato)
Chicharon – crispy fried pork skin
Ihaw-Ihaw (BBQ) pork and chicken skewers, chicken inasal, baby back ribs, lamb chops, boneless beef ribs “Tagalog” (the pork BBQ were absolutely AMAZING!)
Dinuguan – pork stew with congealed pork blood
Pancit palabok – rice noodles with shrimp sauce
Kare-Kareng Buntot ng Baka (Stewed Ox Tail in Peanut Sauce)
Biggest bowl of bagoong for the kare-kare!
Bopis (Pork Innards cooked in Vinegar and Radish)
Dila ng Baka Mechado (Slow cooked Ox Tongue in Tomato and Soy Sauce)
Pinaputok na Apahap (Baramundi Wrapped in Banana Leaf)
Pata Humba (Pork Knuckle cooked in Sweet Soy Sauce)
Inihaw na Pusit (Grilled Squid with Tomato and Onion Stuffing)
Lechon pork sisig station
The dessert station
Buko salad
Sans rival – King Oscar cake
Leche flan (creme caramel) & Biko (sweet sticky rice)
Turon – fried sweet plaintain spring rolls
The halo-halo station

 

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Sunday Slowdown | Spring in Sydney; Gourmet May’s Crispy Rolled Crepes; Chasing Dreams’ Passion cards

During the week, I saturate my days with corporate stuff (work work work! Gotta pay the bills). However on weekends I fill my senses with anything and everything that this beautiful city has to offer. On Sundays, I prepare myself mentally and emotionally for another full-on week at work, so I usually decompress and look for inspiring things that help revitalise my mind and soul. I’ve decided to create a Sunday Slowdown list of things that I love and enjoy; people, places, and events that inspire me, and everything else that I wish to share with my readers in the hopes that they will levitate your heart and soul as much as they have mine.

This is the first of my Sunday Slowdown.

Sydney is glorious in any season, but nothing more so than Spring. Think glorious sunny days, cool, fresh morning breeze, the rainbow welcome of baby flora and just the general bright and liveliness of the city as we wake up from our winter hibernation. You slowly peel away the million layers of winter that you apply before leaving your apartment; you start seeing more people in the gym and cafes for brunch; markets and events and shows start their spring/summer calendar; you start filling in your diary with endless social activities.

We are weekend brunch lovers. There’s nothing better than waking up at a decent hour on a weekend morning (think 8am), putting on your exercise gear, starting the weekend right with some endorphins, injecting your body with some good, proper coffee and beautiful breakfast grub, and then off to the markets. This weekend, we went to my favourite after-gym cafe Room 10 Espresso in Potts Point for our usual brunch (him the salt beef brisket with cabbage slaw sandwich; mine the smoked ocean trout open sandwich with soft boiled egg, fennel and rocket salad), walked to Kings Cross Markets for some window shopping / strolling, and then picked up a lovely bunch of poppies before settling back home. After a quick siesta, it was afternoon tea time. The sun was shining through my window and I couldn’t help but feel a little a lot grateful for this beautiful weekend scene.

Gourmet May’s Crispy Rolled Crepes in traditional vanilla and coconut | Gourmet May’s lavender and peppermit tea | Chasing Dreams’ Passion Cards (thanks Rhiz!) | Poppies in bloom from Kings Cross Markets

 

Gourmet May’s Crispy Rolled Crepes in vanilla and coconut – a delicious snack of crispy, flaky thin crepes in all its buttery goodness. Reminds me of the Filipino barquillos. It was perfect with the bonus lavender and peppermint tea that came along with the box. Thank you Gourmet May’s and Polkadot PR for the gorgeous crepe samples.

Chasing Dreams Passion cards – my good friend Rhiza is both an inspiration and an aspiration. A woman of Faith, these cards are for ‘doers, go-getters and dream chasers who never tire of pursuing their dreams!’. Go chase yours.

Room 10 Espresso – a small laneway cafe tucked away in Lankelly Place, Potts Point, Room 10 Espresso serves some of the best breakfast this side of town. Everything may be low key (coffee is superb, food menu is beautiful, atmosphere is relaxed) but the whole experience is quintessential Sydney brunch. Open Monday to Sundays, 10 Lankelly Place Potts Point.

Kings Cross Markets – from organic produce, scented candles, fresh blooms, to freshly cooked breakfast or lunch to fill your tummy. Go there to eat, drink (coffee or fresh smoothies), and people watch the wonderful Kings Cross crowd.

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