5 Reasons Why Food Tastes Better With Company

A few years ago, I didn’t mind eating alone. I was comfortable walking into a restaurant by myself, sitting down with my laptop that I used for uni, munching on my Zen Hen and sweet potato chips, while happily sipping my iced tea.

During the last year of my university degree, I promised myself that I would focus on lifting my grades up and making sure I graduate by the end of the year. I preferred studying by myself, in my own time, and at my own pace. So whenever I got hungry, I went and grabbed something to eat while working. It never bothered me even if I was the only person flying solo in a nice, upbeat restaurant. Not that it bothers me now, but until I met my boyfriend, I didn’t know what I was missing out on. I will spare you the cheesy story until next time, but to cut it short, let’s just say I haven’t had a meal by myself ever since (not by choice anyway).

 

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#1 THE CONVERSATIONS
What’s the biggest thing missing when eating alone? Human interaction. Having family dinners at home where you all sit together and share a meal promotes bonding through conversations. This is where good news and bad news are shared. Mum gets to tell a funny story from work, dad gets to crack seriously lame jokes, and brothers… well, they get to stay quiet because nothing can top dad’s jokes (love you, dad). 🙂

When you go out to meet up with friends to catch up over coffee/tea/dinner, you give them a chance to update you about their lives. As you grow older, you’ll realise how rare these chances will come because everyone will have their own busy lives to live. When your friend goes through a heart-break, I’m sure she would prefer to cry while having some Black Sesame Parfait than over the phone, am I right?

Most importantly, it is a good way to make friends (and maybe find love). On the day that I met Brendan, I had planned to go work on an assignment that required me to observe a café. After class, he offered to keep me company so I didn’t have to go alone, and surprisingly, I agreed. I enjoyed our conversation and made a friend in the process. Now we are in a happy, food-loving relationship.

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#2 THE RELAXATION
Living in a busy city such as Brisbane, I see many people in a rush on an everyday basis. For people like such, instant and on-the-go meals are very helpful. I, myself, am guilty of eating my breakfast in the bus back in uni. Two-minute noodles and microwave meals are the life-savers when it comes to quick dinner solutions.

But when everything around you is so fast-paced, taking the time to step back, slow down and savour the food with family or friends, can be relaxing. Do you have any idea how hard it is to chow down a Bulgogi Burger while talking about your new blog? *wink wink*.

#3 THE DISCOVERIES
When I used to eat alone, I was comfortable, because I kept on going back to the same places all the time. I had no motivation to try out new restaurants because (1) I was too scared to face judgements, (2) some places have very unique ways of ordering system, and (3) if I didn’t know how to order, I wouldn’t have anyone to be clueless with.

Having someone to eat with, you have another person to push you to try new things and discover more places. You know how the saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one’? I believe that two dishes are better than one! When you go to a restaurant and you end up torn between two choices, you have another person who might want to order the other one and you both get to try two dishes at once. #winning

Everyone has different food experiences and when you dine with more people, you get the chance to discover more on what food they have tried, liked and disliked. Say your friend enjoys oysters so she orders it. You, on the other hand, haven’t tried it, so your friend offers you one to try. After trying out your first oyster and liked it, you realised that you have unlocked a new food experience and that you will never be the same person you were before you tried the oyster. Mind. Blown. (No, seriously, that’s how I feel every time I try a new dish)

#4 THE CONSTANT LEARNING
When it comes to food, the learning never stops. I don’t know about you, but Brendan and I have a lot of discussions about how to pronounce complicated food names from the menu before ordering. We end up bickering until one of us pulls out a phone and starts googling. At the end of the day, we get to enjoy the food and learn something new at the same time.

Another way I constantly learn is at the dining table. Everyone loves the dishes mom cooks – I love them, my friends love them – so I make sure to ask how she cooked them and try to remember. Have you ever been to a Filipino party? Yup, it is not a Filipino party unless there’s a long table filled with food; usually with lechon aka roasted pig on a spit. It’s tradition. Everyone brings dishes to share, and I cannot emphasise enough how many times I hear people ask who cooked which and start talking about food recipes. We are all about food.

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#5 THE FUN
Need I say more? We, humans, are wired to socialise and develop interpersonal relationships. When you have your family and friends to share your meals with, you create moments together, and these moments are priceless. So however much your food costed you, you know you’re getting a damn good bargain!
So, what are you waiting for? Go send a text to your friends and invite them for a catch up! Or let your parents know you’re joining them for dinner tonight! Whichever one you choose, remember to have fun and eat well. xoxo

Kate goes to Night Noodle Markets

The Night Noodle Markets is the highlight of the Good Food Month festival that happens every year. The Cultural Forecourt in Southbank is transformed into an Asian-inspired, street-food style, night market with up to 20 participating food and drink stalls, with live entertainment and Instagram-worthy light installations with the Wheel of Brisbane in the background. The Night Noodle Markets 2016 started on the 20th of July and will continue until the end of the month so yes, there’s still time. Starting from 5pm til late on weekdays, and 4pm til late on weekends, you have no excuse not to go.  And you know what the best thing is? It’s free entry!

WHAT I HAD
Unfortunately, I was not successful in taking a decent photo of some of the goods because I went on a Sunday night and it was packed that I ended up in a spot with very bad lighting. Nonetheless, feel free to click on their names to check out their websites.

Okonomi Pork (Pork Belly) from Okonomi House
$10
For those who don’t know yet, Okonomiyaki is a popular savoury pancake/pizza containing some cabbage and batter, plus selected toppings. This was an automatic first stop for me because my boyfriend is obsessed with their okonomiyaki. Although I feel like the servings were a bit smaller than usual, it’s still enough to fill us up so we say thumbs up!

Pad Thai from Nest Restaurant Brisbane
$12
After checking it out online, they usually sell their Pad Thai for $19 so I’m pretty pleased with this one price wise. They were fairly generous with their serving too with equal amounts of noodles, chicken, prawn, tofu, greens, crispy shallot, and peanuts. A part of me expected it will be 99% noodles and 1% everything else. I’m glad I was wrong. It was actually a bit too saucy which my boyfriend didn’t particularly like. I, on the other hand, like my noodles saucy so I didn’t mind.

Octodog from Harajuku Gyoza
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$8 per stick
I believe this is the most overpriced one I bought. You won’t feel the price unless you have to buy 4 like I did because one stick was not enough for me and the 3 other people I was with. The taste is pretty much the same as a normal corndog. It’s the presentation that makes the difference. It’s also one of the stalls with the fastest queue so I thought, why not. If you want to try make this at home, here’s a Tastemade link: How to make octodog .

Raindrop Cake (Original) from Harajuku Gyoza
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$8
The first time I tried their raindrop cake, I actually told myself that once is enough and that it’s too pricey knowing the small list of ingredients needed to make it. But I couldn’t help but buy another one that night because let’s face it, it’s too cute not to! Not gonna lie, I had some wallet regrets after. I still enjoyed it the second time around, though.

Inihaw Na Manok (Grilled Chicken Skewers) from Hoy Pinoy BBQ
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$12 for 2 sticks
Of course! How can I forget to buy a signature dish from my home country? The moment I walked into the venue, it was the first thing I looked for and to my dismay, I saw an overwhelming line of people waiting to get their hands on these savoury goods. And it’s not just your normal queue, the line goes around posts. I gave up and decided to head to the exit and catch some Pokémon. Guess what I saw? A smaller stall from Hoy Pinoy with significantly less people. Unfortunately, they only have chicken BBQ on the menu but I was really desperate so I went for it! Needless to say, I walked away nostalgic and happy.

Ferrero Reveal from N2 Extreme Gelato
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$9
My favourite of them all. The grand finale for the night’s foodventure. I agree that it is quite pricey for the tiny cup that I got, but man oh man, I still think about it at work three days later. I love Ferrero Rocher – it is possibly my favourite one – and this is literally Ferrero Rocher in ice cream form. The nutella gelato, rice bubbles, roasted hazelnuts, rice bubble chocolate top shell and the chocolate syringe altogether was the definition of true love.

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 ! QUICK TIPS !
If I managed to convince you to check out this event, here are a few tips that I would like to share.
Continue reading “Kate goes to Night Noodle Markets”

Kate’s Food Bucket List #1

After weeks of procrastination and a slight fear of judgement, here I am finally typing my very first blog post (Yay me! 😄). I’ve always been so interested in the idea of blogging and sharing, and I’d be lying if I said I’ve never had a Tumblr account or a first attempt with WordPress. The only problem I had was that, I felt that there was nothing interesting about my life to share. That was until I decided to create a separate Instagram account for the numerous food photos I’ve been keeping in my phone. After few weeks of food-eating and photo-taking, I realised this was something I can share – my love for food. Anyway, enough with the intro, it’s food time!

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend most of your time deciding on what to eat and where. It’s such a struggle all the time not because there’s nothing to choose from, but because there’s too much to choose from. So I decided to make a bucket list of Brisbane restaurants/café’s I’ve been meaning to go to and food I’ve been meaning to try. Oh and of course, I’ll be sharing my feedback on this blog too! Continue reading “Kate’s Food Bucket List #1”