Sunday, February 03, 2008

This blog is brought to you by... a monkey...?


I've been blogging for sometime now and it never occurred to me until recently that I have never formally introduced myself. You know the fundamentals- who I am, where I'm from and that I have a penchant for anything sugary. But that's really about it.

The web can be a good buffer between you and the real world and as much as I would like to remain an enigma, that dark horse, mysteriously blogging from her unassuming little corner of the world, I thought that it would be nice to actually introduce myself properly and break the ice.


I'm a Jennifer, but it's usually Jen or Jenni that i'll answer to. You might even find that I will respond to "hey you" or "oi!", I'm really not that fussy. 

Sydney Harbour Bridge at dusk

I was born in Manila Philippines, but now am a naturalised Aussie, since I was 6 years old. I call Sydney home, although right now I am living in London, United Kingdom. As that Peter Allen song suggests, I still do call Australia home and no matter where I am, I always wish I was back home in Sydney. The land of (seeming) eternal sunshine and BBQ's, where thongs are worn on your feet not on your derriere and the public holiday is a sacred institution, as much as beer and sport.

London is my home for the time being, but Australia is always going to be a great place to live and if you are ever here in Sydney for a visit, make sure you give me a holler. Here are a few recommendations on where to visit, foodwise.

Fine Dining- Tetsuya's, Aria's, Becasse and Astral to name a number of world class dining places.
Quintessential Sydney- Harry's Pies for a late night bite, North Bondi Italian for the signature Sydney view, Sydney Fish Market to sample the finest seafood Sydney has to offer or Doyles at Watson's Bay for that stunning view of the harbour.
Thai- Chat Thai in Haymarket, Spice I Am in Surry Hills, Sailor's Thai at The Rocks.
Bakeries/Pastries- Bourke St Bakery in Surry Hills, Adriano Zumbo and Victoire in Balmain, Brasserie Bread in Botany Bay, Epi d'Or in Kirribilli and La Gerbe d'Or in Paddington's Five Ways.
Chinatown- check out everything it has to offer and cross over George St and venture into what's is now affectionately coined as Thainatown.
Red Light District Bites- Hernandez Cafe for the coffee and the bohemian atmosphere, Burgerfuel for gourmet burgers and live it up with the young, hip and happening at Favela, The Lincoln and Dean's Cafe. Juju's for some late night karaoke and immersion into Japanese culture. There's also Guzman Y Gomez, which isn't your regular Taco Bell. Venture down Darlinghurst Rd and you will stumble across gems like sushi happy hour at Zushi and a barrage of tiny cafes, all good. 
Breakfast- Fifi Foveaux and Bill's in Surry Hills, an early morning bite and a walk afterwards from Bronte Beach, Campos Coffee at Newtown, Brasserie Bread if you are in the area, Sonoma Bakery in Glebe.

Just to name some off the top of my head.


Most of you think I look like a chimpanzee and I don't blame you. My profile picture looks a lot like a chimp. But it's not what you think. I am not hiding behind this furry face because I think I look like a hideous beast and couldn't bear showing my face in in public.

Frankly, I didn't know if this blog was going to be any good, so it was easier to go ahead with blogging and risk shame, failure and my ego knowing I had this monkey façade to hide behind. The web can be a mean place, and there are a lot of crazy people out there that pick on you for no reason. I thought having a monkey front this blog would deter people people from being too unkind.

And besides if you catch yourself abusing an innocent monkey you might want to think twice about what kind of person you really are. Look at him, how could you ever be cruel to that face? How?

Now that the food blogging scene has proved less intimidating as I thought it would be, It's high time for me to finally emerge from my cover. And it doesn't seem so bad to be out in the open. But, I do still prefer to keep my monkey frontage, just because he's a little easier on the eyes. Just look at him there, looking so jet-settingly cool in his swanky London hotel room.


Hmm, that's a good question. I kind of fell into this blogging this unassumingly. I decided to start a blog without knowing anything about it and a year and a bit later, here I am still baking. I guess, I always wanted to write and never had an outlet, I always loved taking photographs although never had a chance to showcase them, and always wanted to cook but never had the courage. I guess this blog just became the perfect conduit to house all those passions. And I guess, it was the perfect way to indulge all of these hobbies anonymously, until I could safely come out, so to speak.

And besides all that, all evidence suggests that I am Asian and female, which are two very strong factors that basically predetermine that I must blog about food. Funny that, I never thought of myself as fitting into a stereotype but there it is, a female Asian food blogger- the perfect demographic for the discourse of food online.

I am completely self-taught, with absolutely no formal training. And I say it often and I'll say it again- that sometimes my amateur-dom does show. I don't have a fancy camera, or a fancy lighting kit, my "studio" is my bedroom, which houses a makeshift area in which I take all my food photos, amongst all my clothes, shoes and dirty laundry- tres chic!

I inherited an old SLR film camera from my dad when I was 17 and basically taught myself how to use it. So it slightly amuses me when people email and ask for photography tips because I feel so inadequate. Currently I am using a Canon EOS 300D SLR digital camera. Because I am a cheapskate, I only have the lens that came with the camera which is an EF18-55mm 3.5-5.6f Canon Zoom lens. It does the job for now, but I am planning to buy a 50mm 1.4f USM Canon lens, which will give me better bokeh and in general, prettier pictures.


I got stitches in my head when I was 4 after an accident in the bathroom.
I used to be terrified of swimming in large bodies of water.
I get adverse reactions to insect bites and eating melons.
Ignorant and stupid people along with dictators and terrorists aggravate me.
I've never won a running race but beat a bunch of boys at Tekken on Playstation (Score:20-8). Nintendo Wii is my next frontier.
Am tone deaf, but very skilled at the triangle, tambourine and egg shaker.
Prefer to drive a manual (stick) than automatic.
I have a dog named Jack who is a constant source of laughter. He loves cockroaches and ladies perfume.

Jack- wonder dog

I don't know how long this zeal for blogging will go on for, but right now that desire is still raging. I will only continue to do it as long as I am loving it. So if my gusto for it will ever start to wane, then I will probably have to retire or take a short hiatus and get my bearings back.

Anyway there it is, a little snapshot of who this blogger is...


argylerabbit said...

I have to say, I love your blog, keep the posts coming!

I'm an Aussie ex-pat who might be coming back home soon, so I'm bookmarking this post for yummy places to go to Sydney.

Anonymous said...

If I ever find myself in Sydney for some wonderful reason, I will be sure to keep those places in my mind. My mom is actually from Indonesia and we used to back and visit when the political environment was less lethal... Don't sell yourself short on your pictures, they turn out really great! Keep up the blogging, you have a niche with it.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Nice to finally meet you. I have often wondered if that money face had any resemblance to the real person - thankfully the real you is gorgeous. Love your pics and your style so keep it coming.

Kez said...

I love your photos! That was the thing that first caught my eye with your blog - that and the fact I love food :)

Thanks for the intro!

Gretchen Noelle said...

How nice to "meet" you! I love your blog and it is nice to put a face with a name! Your writing is great, and your pictures, beautiful.

Cass said...

Thought I would come out of lurkdom and say hi seeing that you put yourself out there. I love you blog and am also a Sydney girl.

Mari said...

A very nice introduction indeed!

Barbara said...

Funny I have always imagined you as blonde and blue eyed and around mid thirties. It's always nice to see the face behind the blog. I think you take great photos too.

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

Jen in a true work of art. Artistic; creative; skillful fingers; inspiring way with words and a beautiful face to boot. The little height makes it perfect. A petite package with punch!

thanks for keeping this wonderful blog up despite your busy and hectic life away from the computer. Your photography and talent never fails to inspire me in many many ways. I pop by occasionally when I think of Sydney and my Australian home.

Alya said...

Finally, a face to put to those masterpeice concoctions that you make.

I am absolutely in awe of what you do, since I love to cook myself. Often, I dont dare to try your recipes because I'm afraid of tarnishing the image i have of those pictures!

Keep on doing what you're doing because really, we always come back for more!

Anonymous said...

Great smile!!!
I've been reading you for ages... you're my gourmet-super-hero! :D

Great source of inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Happy to learn more about you!
I love your blog, photos and recipes.
Good luck and don't stop!
P.S: I like the pic of the monkey!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog..You must try Chilli Cha Cha
Shop 462 / 40- 50 Campbell St
It is gorgeous, very spicy - and ridiculously cheap.
It's almost - but not quite -knocked Spice I Am off my favourites list.

SIG said...

Hi Jen, it's lovely to meet you. I think your blog is gorgeous and the photographs are so well-taken. I've only visited a couple times but have been inspired most times. I think you are fantastic. Doubt I can do photography like that. And you have such great taste which I really appreciate. Keep up the good work and all the best on your move to London. :)

thepassionatecook said...

hi jen,
have been following your blog for a while now and am thrilled you are now in london! will think of restaurant and other foodie tips, and of course, if you're so inclined, it would be lovely to meet you some day!

welcome, you'll discover soon that you won't stay hungry (though i can't guarantee you won't find it expensive...)

Anonymous said...

i love food blogs but i love yours better. so keep on posting.

Anonymous said...

Hello Asian female food blogger! I too am an Asian female food blogger ;-) Fancy that!

Ashlei Charleston said...

I love your blog! I'm glad that it's doing well and I love the monkey!

Kendall said...

Just stumbled across your blog and enjoyed reading it from the get go, hope you enthusiasm for the blogging & photography doesn't wane (is that you you spell it??) I'm just recently back form 5 years in London and loved it hope your enjoying your time there. Keep the blogs coming!!