Sunday, June 19, 2016

West of KIN -- Winter 2016 Brunch Menu

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West of KIN is a restaurant located in Braybrook, VIC that offers modern fusion twisted with Asian culinary. With its classic former factory building and beautiful courtyard welcoming you once you step in the restaurant, the interior offers you modern classic touch complimented by its warm tone colour from its wooden appliance.

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In the launch of their Winter 2016 brunch/lunch, I was lucky enough to have a visit while I was down in Melbourne for 3 days. It took a bit of a journey to this restaurant if you're not a Melbournian and have to rely everything on public transport. But we made it here.
We ordered coffees to start the day, and we opted some mouth-watering dishes -- Korean rice bowl "Bibimbab", Master Stock shredded duck and egg noodles, Wonton Fries, Soft shell crab bun, an of course, for desserts we ordered Pannacotta and Chocolate Mousse. Dig in!

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Master stock shredded duck, egg noodles, house made XO sauce, spring onion, coriander, chilli, fried quail eggs
This dish is very recommended. The combination between the xo sauce and shredded duck works really well it gives a nice punch of flavour alongside the gentle texture of the egg noodle. The shredded duck is just.... beautifully cook and soft without loosing the texture of the duck itself. The aromatic of coriander and spring onion sort of giving the balance to the dish and quail eggs just being the right compliment. What's more to say? Every mouthful you scooped in, you crave more...and more... and more..

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Korean rice bowl "Bibimbab" with braised semi dried mushroom, pork, carrot and daikon, oak lettuce, 65 degree poached egg, gochujang sauce
We ordered this dish because we felt like having rice as our lunch (so Asian, I know), yet this dish did its justice. Ain't bibimbab without gochujang! The perfectly poached egg tied all the freshness of ingredients together.

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Soft shell crab bun mei, lemon cured spring onion, gochujang mayonnaise

While soft shell crab is everyone's favorite, it did not disappoint. The crisp of the soft shell crab and that spicy mayonnaise on the bun eaten with the kick of flavour from gochujang mayonnaise. The soft shell crab is not greasy at all and it served with a soft bun, I have a major love for soft shell crab and just like what I said, it did not disappoint. We also ordered the Wonton Fries because we wanted a complimentary side dish. It is basically the deep fried wonton pastry and the crunch and texture of the fries made the wonton fries a good lunch snack or side dish.

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Wonton Fries
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Panna cotta, scorched fruit, saffron syrup


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Chocolate mousse, freeze dried fruits, mint sugar

Moving on to desserts, it was the most fun part of our entire lunch. There is always a room for dessert, agree? We opted the panna cotta and chocolate mousse. When the Panna Cotta arrived to our table, we quick tested the bouncy-dancing panna-cotta on its plate and yes it was jiggling on the plate. It was vanilla-beans panna cotta with drizzle of saffron syrup that gives the sweet flavour, the cubes of slightly torched pineapple and watermelon has a caramelized crunch on the surface then the berries has the sour punch to balance out the entire sweetness. 

Not finished with the fantasy after tasting the panna cotta, we dig in to the chocolate mousse served with dried raspberry and orange and sprinkled with mint sugar. A spoonful of chocolate mousse with those elements just melts in your mouth. The texture is beautiful and the crunch of the dried fruits compliment the whole desserts.


After all, we left the restaurant with a big smile on our faces. Despite the 45 minutes journey from Melbourne CBD by public transport, the food was really worth it. I am already in Sydney while I am producing this article and I still have the clear taste of each and every dish above in my palette. If you are in Melbourne, it's recommended for you to check the restaurant out, West of Kin has a nice venue and they also serve alcohol. Hopefully I will be back soon :) Peach out -Lennyx

Special Thanks to WEST OF KIN 

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Story of Us -- VIAN AND JOLANDA

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"Your starry eyes. Your warm touch. Your loving arms. 
From today until forever, 
I will hold your hands, hold them tight. 
I will walk with you, through ups and downs. 
I will love you, with all I am and for who you are. 
Forever. 
You and I. 
'till death do us apart."
(by Lenny Novitasari, for Vian and Jolanda) 

One fine afternoon on my train ride back home, I hit Jolanda on Facebook Messenger congratulating her on her engagement. Somehow, I came up with an idea of doing a pre-wedding photo shoot for her. 
With zero experience on pre-wedding photo session, I brave myself to book this couple. I am not a close friend of her, but with all my respect, I have considered her as my older sister (since I'm the eldest in my family). I have no idea about her fiance, he does not know me either. 
That one fine afternoon, I have a desire of telling story through photographs. My only gear is my Fujifilm XA1 camera with 16-50mm STD camera. My desire lead me here. My old soul was dying to write a so called love story. I am not telling my love story here. I am telling their love story I saw through my eyes. With the help of quotes, love songs, and poetry, here I present you my first pre-wedding photos. Critics and comments are very welcome here! Cheers, Lenny x


THE      STORY     OF        US

VIAN & JOLANDA

"I was trying to find my way back into love, he came into my life and I could never imagine what it would be if it was not him."


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"He said, 'I will never leave you alone. My eyes will be your eyes. And let me be your feet to lead you to places."

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"It was nothing I expected, he opened up the box, knee down. With the tears of joy in my eyes, I said 'YES.' "

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"We changed each others' life. He completed me. She completed me."

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"She's the most beautiful girl I ever met, and knowing that I will spend the rest of my life with her is both joy and happiness."

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"Your starry eyes."

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"When I saw you, I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew." - Shakespeare


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"Let's dance under the sunlight."

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"Your loving arms."

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"Till death do us apart."

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Forever.