Yumminess at Wagaya

After stopping in for a drink at Wagaya on Christine Q’s birthday earlier this year and enjoying the experience, Mike and I decided we had to go back and try out the food.

We finally went for lunch with Meaghan on March 22 and despite not making reservations, we were immediately shown to a cozy booth.

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My favourite part about Wagayu? A self-service, touch screen at your booth to order your food and drinks. Pictures, descriptions, and prices of each item is available and you can order at your leisure.

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We each ordered a Bento lunch box and 2 sushi dishes to share. Each lunch box ($13-14) comes with rice, miso soup, a creme croquette, ebi fry (tempura prawn), salad, soft boiled egg, agedashi tofu (silken tofu coated in cornstarch, deep fried and served in a hot broth) and Japanese pickles – a great deal!

Mike and Meaghan also shared a pitcher of Hokkaido beer. For some reason (and I do trust his pouring skills), this is what happened when Mike went to pour a glass… haha!

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Meaghan ordered the chicken katsu (breaded deep-fried cutlet) lunch box

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Mike ordered the chicken nanban (fried chicken seasoned with vinegar and tartare sauce) lunch box

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I picked the chicken karaage (marinated and lightly battered fried chicken) lunch box

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In addition, we got a spider roll and a rainbow roll to share

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And for once, I enjoyed the miso soup!

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The food? All amazing! The lunch boxes had so much food, we didn’t even need to order the other dishes. So stuffed! The service was also prompt and cheerful, unlike many reviews I saw on Urbanspoon, which was a pleasant surprise. With great decor, delicious food at decent prices, we will definitely return again soon!

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Wagaya on Urbanspoon

Meaghan is in town!

Mike’s sister, Meaghan, is visiting us in Brisbane from Canada! She arrived the morning of March 22nd and will be here until next Sunday. 🙂

Even though our GP rotation is pretty busy, we are trying to do as many things as possible – and I think we’ve been successful!

We’ve eaten… a lot. But those excursions will get their own related posts 😉

In the meantime, we’ve went up to Sunshine Coast to Noosa Heads Beach (March 23)

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And we’ve gone down to the Gold Coast to Burleigh Beach (March 29)

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Yesterday (March 30), we climbed Mt Ngungun. It was hot and sweaty so thank god for the cool misty breeze. Got to the top just as the fog was lifting, very rewarding!

The face in the tree trunk reminds me of a sloth… am I the only one? Mike thinks it looks like the “Forever Alone” guy… what do you think?

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Slowly making our way up!

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A dead tree trunk along the path

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Very misty when we first got to the summit

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But slowly started to clear up!

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Panoramic view!

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Enjoying crunchy, juicy plums at the top of Mt Ngungun

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Oh my god, so Asian lah

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These are Squiggly Gum trees. The squiggly lines are from insect larvae burrowing underneath the bark

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These reminded me of “bong mai”

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During the walk to Mt Ngungun, there is a house that sells home grown Cavendish bananas for $2.50/kg.

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Yep, we bought some. Delicious and we support the locals!

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Honour system payment 🙂

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These don’t belong anywhere

A few pictures from here and there in the past few months that don’t belong anywhere in particular! Still wanted to share them though 🙂

March 02. Homemade crispy chicken tossed with a garlic/fish sauce glaze, salad with fresh peaches and rice – yummy dinner!

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March 03. Saw Butter Baking‘s post on Peanut Butter Swirled Healthy Fudge Brownie Bites and readjusted it a little to suit what we had in our pantry. Tasted SO RICH, I couldn’t believe there was no butter/oil involved. Will definitely make them again 🙂

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During Orientation week (March 20), we reviewed our fundoscopy (looking into the eye using a special device) skills. The best way to see the optic disc (where your nerves come out at the back of your eye) is with your pupil dilated. Most people had an eye dilated with Tropicamide so we could practice on each other. We then ended up walking around squinting one eye in the sun (sensitive!) because no one brought sunglasses. Or, like me, ended up having a hard time seeing/focusing properly for a few hours! Good fun though 😛

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Lunch and study date with Mike (March 21) at The Coffee Club in Fortitude Valley. Buy a drink and get a meal for $10. Iced jasmine green tea – so refreshing!

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Chicken club sandwiches for the both of us with fries and salad

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Nom nom nom

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Went into an art/bookstore with Yoni before our last exam and walked out with this $1 mug. I am the best.

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Mum saved these chocolates from Christmas to bring to Vietnam to give to Mike and I when we met up in Vietnam. Worth it. These are so tasty! And crunchy!

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Beastie Burgers were not too Beastie

March 05, 2013

Two days before our Medicine in Society exam, we joined Nuangi for a long-awaited lunch date. We wanted to meet up in South Bank, and after a quick browse on Urbanspoon, it was decided that we’d try Beastie Burgers.

There was a nice variety of burgers on the menu and being pretty hungry, we were excited to receive our food. In addition to burgers, we also each ordered a side of either handcut chips with aioli and aged balsamic or onion rings with aioli.

Nuangi ordered the “Spice Route” without the bun – flame grilled beef burger with roast sweet potato, haloumi, chili jam, tomato relish & hommus.

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Yoni and I both ordered the “Cicciolina” – flamed grilled beef burger, roast eggplant, capsicum, haloumi, rocket & pesto. You can see why the burger is not “beastie.” It is simply a humongous bun with a normal sized patty, in this case, overcooked and dried out patty. The burger is also not constructed well, with everything haphazardly thrown onto the bun and smeared with a limited amount of sauce. The burger was simply “ok” and unfortunately not memorable in either taste or looks.

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After ordering, Mike was told they didn’t have any avocado (a shame, because it was the start of lunch service) so he had to change his original choice of the American in Noosa to the Swiss Miss – flamed grilled beef burger, lettuce, gherkin, gruyere cheese, tomato relish & homemade mayo.

The boys and their burgers

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Picture with Nuangi!

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The burgers were not impressive in any way, but their potato wedges were absolutely fantastic – best wedges I’ve ever had – for real. I will definitely visit again just to have these! The balsamic vinegar and aioli sauce were great flavours and worked very nice with the hot and super crispy wedges.

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With such few customers at the time we ordered, it took a disproportionate amount of time for our food to come out. Not only did it take long, our food also came out too staggered. We all started eating at different times and Michael was done his burger by the time his onion rings finally came out. With that being said, the server voluntarily took the onion rings off our bill, even though we didn’t voice any complaints. Much appreciated.

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A good time with good company but would we come back again? Maybe, but definitely not for the burgers – for the potato wedges! And perhaps next time we’ll try the milkshakes so many reviewers rave about as well. 🙂

Beastie Burgers on Urbanspoon

GP: A New Rotation

Two weeks into my second rotation – General Practice

Michael and I are happy to be at the same place this time, yay! It’s a huge clinic with over 15 doctors and a plethora of other staff members. Due to the huge size of the clinic we are really looking forward to seeing a vast variety of patients, diseases, and procedures. Everyone has been extremely kind and welcoming, I’m sure this will be a very valuable rotation 🙂

I’ve already seen so much, but still a lot of studying to do – won’t be long before my preceptor makes me run my own show! He goes by the teaching motto, “See one, do one, teach one.”

Happy Easter everyone!

A few videos from Vietnam :)

Play them in HD and I hope you enjoy!

Albino snakes: Supposedly a rarity and coveted in Vietnam. A relative of mine came across a snake right before she gave birth to a lot of 8 – 3 of which were albino. Very neat!

Stone fish = ugly, poisonous and not that tasty! Oh, and there’s a shark…

Mantis shrimp: Creepiest looking shrimp – note the half dead one on its back 😛 Quite expensive as well, around 1 million VND (approx $50 CAD) for 1 kilo

Buying fresh, live squid. We were at Phu Quoc Island night market, picking out fresh seafood to be cooked on the spot for our dinner. The vendor taught us a neat trick to tell if our squid was live/fresh – spontaneous movement of markings on the squid!

Sao Beach at Phu Quoc Island. Beautiful crystal clear waters… loved it 🙂 I hope it doesn’t develop too fast, like the rest of Vietnam, and retain its beauty for a long time to come.

Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs are one of the only 3 breeds that that has a ridge of hair that runs along its back in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat. Of course we had to stop at a place selling them to see!

A few shots of sunrise at Long Hai Beach, Vietnam – at Tropicana Beach Resort. March 15, 2013

Our One Week Vacation in Vietnam

Hey everyone!

I’m so terribly sorry for not blogging during vacation! It turned out a lot busier than I expected, would get in late and get up early – no time to blog 😦

I have sorted my pictures and arranged them into a Facebook photo album – along with dates and descriptions. Please take a look! 😀

Click here: SANDRA’S VACATION IN VIETNAM PHOTO ALBUM

It took me hours to upload because Facebook is such a pain and I kept getting errors while uploading – but it’s finally done! I had a really good time and saw many little things I wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t traveling with my mom this time, so thanks mommy!

I also have a whole bunch of short video clips I’d like to share, which I will upload at another time. Unfortunately, I’m going straight into my next rotation (General Practice) so will probably not have time to write individual blogs about my experiences. Should that be the case, I hope this album records it well enough!

I hope you enjoy 🙂

Rotation 1 complete!

Today I completed my first exam, and thus my first rotation of Year 3 – hurray!

Our Medicine in Society – Geriatric Medicine exam was 1.5 hours with 40 multiple choice questions worth 80 marks, and 1 short answer radiology question worth 20 marks.

The exam was overall fair and representative of what I learned this rotation in geriatric wards. With that being said there were still a number of tricky questions, so hopefully I did well!

Now that that’s over, do I have vacation?

Why yes indeed!

I’m off until March 18, which will be our first week into Rotation 2 – General Practice.

Mike and I are actually at the international airport right now, 3 hours after exam! Heading to Vietnam until next Sunday and stopping over in Singapore tonight. My mom is currently in Vietnam, so we are meeting up with her to visit some family and do some quality relaxing on the beach! 🙂

Plans tonight in Singapore: Chocolate Buffet on the top level of the famous Marina Bay Sands! Mmm, is your mouth watering? Because mine is! We plan to try all 57 chocolate varieties they serve, wish us luck! And of course, we definitely have to check out Gardens by the Bay and photograph the supertree groves! So excited!

We are also flying with Singapore Airlines, so looking forward to a nice and relaxing flight, especially after the exam!

Plan to blog whenever I can during vacation, come back and visit!

Have a lovely day everyone! 😀

50% off @ The Greek Club

We had the opportunity to dine at The Greek Club – Odyssey Taverna + Bar for 50% off – thanks to Urbanspoon’s Weekly Flash Specials! I received the promo email because I’m an Urbanspoon member, but these deals are open for everyone! 🙂

Our dinner reservation was for March 04 at 5:30pm. We were initially a little confused when we arrived because it was completely empty but turned out we were just the first guests to arrive. The Greek Club has a nice outdoor seating area with a view of the kitchen and out to the park. Since it was a rainy evening, we opted to sit indoors and check out the restaurant ambiance.

Our server, Vincent, was friendly and prompt with his service. He advised us which options were not available that night as he gave us the menus, which we appreciated. He also confirmed that our 50% off special was applicable to any food item on the menu (drinks are regular priced), which was great because we were expecting to only be able to choose from a selected number of choices.

We started off with a glass of Greek wine each. Rose for me and a red for Mike. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the brands we chose and they don’t have their drinks list online.

Without much hesitation, we decided on the Greek Delight platter for two (reg price $35/person). Delightful indeed, it included a selection of: grilled haloumi cheese, calamari, dolmades, chicken souvlakia, lamb cutlets, spanakopita, pita bread & dips, and Greek salad. Vincent explained that the pita bread and dips would come out first, followed by the salad and everything else on a large platter.

Warm, thick, chewy pita bread – delicious! Loved that I could taste the fact that it was heated over a charcoal grill. The homemade three dips were (left to right) eggplant, taramosalata (made with fish roe) and tzatziki sauce (yogurt & cucumber) – all of which were tasty!

By now there were other patrons in the restaurant and 2 more servers looking after the diners. We noticed that the servers would check up on us from afar to see how far along we were with the pita bread and dips to alert the cook to start on our platter.

We were not disappointed. The platter was piping hot when it came out. And huge, there was so much food!

  • The lamb cutlet was cooked beautifully – so nice and tender.
  • I always love grilled Haloumi, but I especially loved the fact that this was not intensely salty like I’ve had at other restaurants.

  • The calamari (I think was actually baby squid) was the best I’ve had in Brisbane, really! The batter was nice and crisp (not overly greasy or salty) and the squid soft and tender. Yum!
  • Chicken souvlakia was well seasoned and perfectly grilled – so moist!

  • Dolmades – warm, very flavourful filling!
  • The salad was very fresh but underdressed for my tastes. However, the feta cheese was nicely seasoned and the kalamata olives were delicious!

As much as we tried, we couldn’t finish the platter AND have any sort of room for dessert. So we decided to have some of platter packed to take home in order to try some of their desserts.

I chose Baklava…

And Mike chose Poura (phyllo pastry filled with almonds and honey) and a side of icecream (only $0.50 extra! Haha).

Although the desserts were good, I did not think they were great. I have had the pleasure of eating lots of delicious Baklava in the past, and this one just didn’t measure up.

By dessert, we agreed that plating and presentation at this restaurant was not that great – but overall, the food most definitely was.

Two glasses of wine, the Greek Delight platter for 2, and 2 desserts cost us a total of $55. 🙂 Considering the platter is normally $35/person, what an awesome deal!

A really great evening with amazing food (we left so stuffed that our lungs couldn’t fully expand when we breathed) and wonderful service. The menu is also quite reasonably priced and I would definitely recommend coming back with friends. Apparently, they also have live entertainment during the weekends, so we’ll have to come back then! 🙂

         

Odyssey Cafe & Bar on Urbanspoon

MIS: Coming to an End

After an amazing 6 weeks at Prince Charles Hospital learning so much about Geriatric Medicine, my Medicine in Society rotation is coming to an end.

You would not believe how worried and anxious I was to begin working in the hospital this year. The thought of constantly feeling stupid and not knowing enough was enough to get my heart racing. Luckily I was proven wrong. Every staff member I have met at The Prince Charles Hospital has been welcoming and kind. Not only have they taught me so much, but they trusted me and provided innumerable opportunities to apply and broaden my knowledge and skills – I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Here’s a review of what happened:

I spent my first 2 weeks in the Fractured Neck of Femur  (#NOF) Service (01/21 to 02/01). All patients in this ward had broken their hip and required surgery and rehabilitation.

Then I moved on to the Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM) Unit for 2 weeks (02/04 to 02/15). These patients can have any sort of health problem, and were in GEM for further rehabilitation or waiting for home services to be set up before going home.

Fifth week I spent in the Cognitive Assessment and Management (CAM) Unit (02/18 to 02/22). This ward is more long-term and all patients have some kind of dementia. CAM was an especially unique and enjoyable experience. I got to know all the patients on a personal level and it was admiring to see how the staff take care and handle patients when they are being difficult.

During my last week (02/18 to 02/22), I spent a few days with the Geriatric Referral and Liason Service (GRLS) and some days back in the CAM Unit. The GRLS team takes referrals from all different wards of the hospital to see if patients would be appropriate for transfer to the GEM unit or elsewhere. GRLS was especially beneficial because I was able to learn how referrals work and got to become more familiar with other wards in the hospital.

We now have this week off to study for our exam on Thursday! And also have to finish up our health projects. For mine, I’ve created a medical information brochure for the Fractured NOF Service. I’ve received patient/family feedback and it’s now in the final stages of editing before being submitted to the forms committee.

Overall, I’ve extremely enjoyed my Geriatric Medicine rotation. I have had so many encounters with patients, their families, and health professionals that have taught me more than any textbook could. Thank you TPCH for a wonderful experience! 🙂

Photo #366: THE END

February 28, 2013

Thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in my Photo-A-Day project which began on February 29, 2012 and finishes today. I’m so glad to have taken this opportunity to document a moment a day for the last year 🙂

There were moments of creativity and inspiration and there were also moments of desperation and laziness. There were days when I forgot to take pictures, other days where someone took the picture for me, and even some days where I lost pictures. My first Photo-A-Day project and I certainly hope it won’t be my last!

I leave you with my last picture. My favourite photo that I took in the last year – orchids at The Singapore Botanic Gardens – Photo #96. A mosaic composed of all 366 photos I took this past year! I hope you like it 🙂

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Photo #365: Lovelies of 2D

February 27, 2013

The end of my Medicine in Society rotation is drawing near and I find myself back in the Fractured NOF Service to complete my project in creating a medical info brochure for the ward. Took a few staff pictures to include in the brochure, silly faces!

Photo #364: Swarm of Flies

February 26, 2013

Came home today to see a swarm of flies on one side of the driveway. Immediately thought, “Oh no, something died.” Sure enough, this poor skink 😦 I’ve only ever seen them twice in nature, once in my backyard 2 years ago and this one.

Photo #363: Filters

February 25, 2013

I didn’t take a photo today 😦 So here’s my first attempt playing with photo apps on my iPhone. I know many people hate the “Instagram look” but I think filters can make pictures look good – don’t you?