Random moments of random days

While walking home one day, I saw this flock of Rose-breasted cockatoos – one of the most common and widespread cockatoos. Thought they might be friendly but they didn’t let me get too close!

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Pretty view of the clouds another day

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This always happens to me when exams roll around. Some store is having a book sale and I’m compelled to buy some and read them instead of studying. Don’t worry, I’m holding off this time.

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Had to take a picture so I remember! This Moscato is delicious!

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Forgot about this frog I picked up in Eumundi Market last year ๐Ÿ™‚ Running the stick down its back mimics a croaking frog

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Remember my review of Beastie Burgers? Although their burgers didn’t impress us, their wedges sure did and we said we’d be back for them! Perfect treat before watching Iron Man 3!

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Nom nom nom

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GP: Coming to an end

Friday will be my very last session at the clinic for my GP rotation. How quickly 6 weeks have gone by!

We will having our final exams next week:

A multiple choice question exam on Wednesday and 2 oral exams on Friday. These are 13 minute stations (with an additional 5 minutes perusal) where we will have to perform a diagnostic case and a management case.

For the diagnostic case, we will have a patient come in with a presentation where we will have to take a history, talk through the physical examinations, provide our probability and differential diagnoses and lastly, provide a list of problems that should also be addressed.

For the management case, we will be giving a patient the diagnosis of their illness and will be working with the patient to manage their health. This will include assessing the patient’s knowledge, educating them on the diagnosis, coming up with short and long term management plans, taking the opportunity to discuss preventative health issues, providing resources, planning to follow up and safety netting.

Am I scared? Extremely!

There’s lots of time to study from now until then. I will definitely continue to practice cases and make sure I actually know how to manage diseases! I think the worst thing that could happen is to walk into a scenario where you have no idea what the disease is, let alone how to manage it!

And after next Friday – ONE WEEK HOLIDAY – YAY!

Note to self: Buy a stop watch for exams. Managing your allotted 13 minutes for oral exams is impossible if you have no idea how much time you have left.

Egg Bistro – A great find

The first thing we liked about finding our way to Egg Bistro: super easy to get to from our house via public transportation. Lovely, because it means we may have found a new favourite spot.

Warmly greeted by the friendly waitress as soon as we walked in, we were given the choice of either sitting in the air conditioned dining room or in the secluded and shaded courtyard. It was a lovely day, so we opted to sit outside.

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Service was prompt as we were immediately brought menus and water. Mike and I had a discount voucher – $19 for a value of $39, simply pay the difference if we order more. We were told that even though our voucher was for breakfast and brunch, we were more than welcomed to order from the lunch menu. A nice option as it was nearly lunch time and the lunch menu items were enticing as well.

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For drinks, Mike ordered a flat white ($4) and I got a Tea Drop Mint Strawberry Iced Tea ($4). Coffee was awesome and my iced tea was very light and refreshing – definitely good choices.

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Loved the fancy-design matching cutlery

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After a bit of deliberation, we both ended up choosing items off the brunch menu. Didn’t have to wait long, food came out quickly!

Mike ordered the smoked salmon on rye with cream cheese, spinach, coddled egg & caper hollandaise. Yummy hollandaise sauce, a nicely poached egg and generous amounts of smoked salmon – Michael was a pleased man.

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I got the spiced lamb sausages with quince, radicchio, cauliflower, kipfler & thyme dressing. Lots of components but loved the combination of flavours! The sweetness of the quince (my first time trying, not disappointed), the bitterness of the radicchio, the creaminess of the cauliflower, the poached egg, and of course, the lamb sausage – so yummy! Also a very generous portion, especially with the potatoes, I shared quite a bit with Mike and was still completely stuffed!

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Despite sitting outside in the back of the restaurant, we were checked on during the meal to make sure everything was good, and it was!

After eating, we stayed for a while and got some studying done! (Looking at lectures of skin conditions may be awkward in public spaces, haha). Never felt any pressure to leave, which was great and when we went to pay, our waitress even suggested next time grabbing the couches so we could spread out and be more comfortable.

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Home made soda syrups and jams for customers to buy. Mike and I plan to pick up something next time we’re back.

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Come back you say? Yes, most definitely. We didn’t have expectations when we read the mixed reviews online, but we could not fault a single thing during our visit. Great service and great food. We went on a weekday in between breakfast and lunch – perhaps that’s the trick to avoiding the long wait times we read about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What could make a really enjoyable experience even better? Our waitress (forgot to get her name :() had packed up 2 pear and buttermilk muffins for us to take away. She didn’t want them going to waste and figured we would be peckish later – so nice! And they were delicious ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Egg Bistro on Urbanspoon

GP: Flu Shots

This rotation, I have mastered the skill of giving flu vaccines. Hurray!

The very first time I tried to give a flu shot, the needle didn’t even break the skin – embarrassing!

But now, when people respond with, “Oh, you’ve done it already?” after I tell them, “All done!” I know I’m doing it right.

Important points to know about the flu vaccine:

  • Flu shots protect against certain strains of Influenza A and B by causing your body to produce antibodies that will recognize and fight against the flu should you contract it.
  • It takes 2-3 weeks for your body to produce these antibodies. If you get the flu within 3 weeks after receiving the flu shot, it’s most likely because you didn’t get the vaccine in time.
  • 100% protection is not guaranteed, so there’s still a chance the vaccine will not prevent you from getting the flu.
  • The vaccine does not contain live virus – the vaccine CAN NOT give you the flu.
  • There is a small chance of a severe allergic reaction to the flu shot – that is why everyone is asked to stick around for at least 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine to be sure.
  • Side effects of the flu vaccine include: local reaction (redness, swelling, pain, etc), headache, sweating, fevers, muscle/joint pain, fatigue, etc. These side effects are normal and should go away within 1-2 days.
  • Protection lasts around 12 months, which is why you need yearly vaccinations.
  • Children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years of age receiving the flu vaccine for the first time will need 2 shots, one month apart.
  • The flu vaccine is recommended and safe to give to women during any stage of pregnancy.
  • There are 3 main brands I’ve seen at the clinic: Fluvax (do not give to those under 5yo), Vaxigrip (Junior version for 6-35mos old), and Intanza (different delivery system – upper layer of skin rather than muscle. Causes more of a local reaction. For aged 18+)
  • The flu shot here costs around $15-20, but a person may qualify for a free shot they are: 65+ years old, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 15+ years of age, pregnant, have one of the listed medical conditions (ie. heart disease, severe asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, etc)

And remember to let your doctor know of any concerns or side effects ๐Ÿ™‚

Deer Duck Bistro – You disappoint

(Since writing this review, I have been contacted by Nicholas, the owner of Deer Duck. Please take your time to also read his comments and my reply below. Although I thought I would never want to return to Deer Duck Bistro, that is no longer the case. The simple act of taking time to read and politely acknowledge what Iโ€™ve written tells me this is someone who cares and I would be happy to visit again for a better experience!)

Mike and I purchased a Groupon Voucher ($99) for a 4-course meal (with a glass of wine) for 2 at Deer Duck Bistro.

We finally redeemed it yesterday (Friday) with high expectations. Boy, little did we know!

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Our reservations were for 7pm and we were promptly shown to our seats. Quirky seating arrangements, I loved the long sofas, but the decor looked tired.

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We were handed menus and offered our glasses of wine. Both of us chose red and were given Sacred Earth Clarendon Hills Onkaparinga Grenache 2007 – We were pretty sure we didn’t get a full serving. The wine was good, but when you can buy it for $5/bottle, I feel a little ripped off.

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This was the menu offered on Groupon when we purchased our vouchers:

deer duck bistro menu

The menu we received. There were a few changes that were a little disappointing, which I will mentioned as we go.

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First to arrive was our entree: Share platter of meats, dips, terrines & freshly baked breads.

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Our visual impression was, “Not bad!” The bread crisp was interesting, the house marinated olives were delicious, the fish (herring I think) was nicely seasoned and the pate with carmelized onions was quite tasty. But the house baked bread was dry, terrine and the other meat were both not very flavourful, and the homemade hummus was quite bland.

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Then onto our mains. Our Groupon voucher stated we were supposed to get a side of either potatoes or vegetables but it was not available to us.

It took way too long for the mains to come out – we waited nearly 45 minutes! In addition, both our dishes were already going cold when it came out. Why did it take so long for our food to be served cold?!

Mike got the Prosciutto rolled chicken ballotine, parsnip & pear puree, whipped saffron potato, chicken jus

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Flavours were okay but this is not the size of a main dish, compounded by the fact we didn’t get a side dish as well.

I got the Duck trio, baby leek, apple, fennel, fondant potato, and baby vegetables.

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Do you see any baby leek, apple, fennel or baby vegetables? None. Instead, both our dishes are adorned by a couple little pieces of carrot, asparagus and radish. Barely enough for a few mouthfuls let alone compliment a protein dish. I’ve mentioned it before in other posts, but when the same vegetables are showing up on multiple plates, it’s not for flavour, only decoration. Unfortunate, because all 3 duck meats were really delicious, although why is the duck breast plated skin down? Why?

After finishing our mains, we proceeded to wait for our cheese platter to share. We waited and waited and waited. What on earth takes so long for a dish that doesn’t even require cooking?

The menu said: Cheese plate, lavosh, house baked breads, fresh & dry fruits.

Look at the plate that finally came out…

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Old grapes, 1 strawberry sliced in half, and the same dry bread and bread crisps (not lavosh) as the entree plate. 2 slices of cheddar cheese and a wedge of brie, compared to Millawa goat blue and Pont Leveque cheese on the Groupon menu. Not the same cheeses as advertised deal, which was a disappointment because we felt these cheeses weren’t as special and possibly cheaper substitutes.

By now, we were both frustrated and unimpressed at the quality of the food. After a full day at the clinic, we were also quite tired which didn’t help.

Again, we waited and waited for dessert to come out, which was no longer a surprise.

Mike got the Lemon meringue roulade. Why on earth is there burnt crumbled meringue on the plate? We have no idea.

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I got the chocolate Chocolate tart with chocolate ice cream. The good thing about this dessert? The ice cream and berries underneath. The tart was not even close to being decadent, I probably could’ve found something tastier in the Coles bakery aisle.

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We left immediately after dessert around 9:30pm. It took us 2.5 hours to finish a “4-course meal” where only one dish required cooking. Unbelievable.

Although service was friendly and polite (dishes promptly cleared, never had to ask for water), the dishes were not true to the menu we were given, the quality of food was sub-par, and the wait times were unacceptable. We also noticed that some dining tables had a direct view of the toilet and at one point during dinner service, a less-than-impressed diner had to actually get up and close the door.

Our dinner was most definitely not worth the amount we paid. For the quality of food we received, we would never come back and pay the regular prices. Heck, even if the same Groupon deal was available again we wouldn’t consider buying it. This dinner was possibly the worst dining experience we’ve had this year, what a waste of time and money. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Deer Duck Bistro on Urbanspoon

GP: Australia is full of NOPE!

I can’t remember how, but my GP preceptor and I started talking about… spiders.

Hurray… not. Spiders scare me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But, as a doctor, it is important to be aware of them as you can have a patient walk in at any time with a spider bite.

According to my preceptor, there are 3 poisonous spiders in Australia to especially look out for:

The Redback spider. At least unlike the Black Widow, the markings are on its back and not on the belly so you can identify it easier!

The Australian Funnel web spider

The White-tailed spiderย 

Please don’t ever let me come across these personally…

More Australian NOPEs. These are all potentially fatal.

The Box Jellyfish – the most venomous marine animal known to mankind

The Blue-ringed octopus. Despite being the size of golf balls, their venom is powerful enough to kill humans – no antivenom is available.

The Cone snail – shoots poisonous harpoons at its victims… in any direction.

And we haven’t even touched on poisonous snakes and lizards yet… O_O

The good thing about these venomous creatures? So much research has been done and is being done to isolate compounds in the venom that can be used to produce medications that save lives. For example, ACE inhibitors (first line treatment for hypertension/high blood pressure) was first derived from the venom of the Brazilian pit viper.

Light and fluffy waffles at Gelรกre

Mike and I went to see the movie Oblivion with Yoni last weekend at South Bank Cineplex. The movie? Entertaining, although the storyline was not unlike many other ‘the world has been taken over’ movies.

Now on to something more important: WAFFLES

If you take your movie ticket to Gelรกre, just down the street, you get 50% off basic waffles (comes with whipped cream and syrup, other toppings extra).

It was way past lunch and we still hadn’t eaten, how could we say no? So off we went.

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Friendly staff, happy to wait while we took our time deciding! We each settled for a large waffle with a scoop of ice cream – $7.50/each, a great price.

Mike and Yoni decided on White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and I got Chocolate Overload – mmm!

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The waffle was just the way I like them – piping hot, crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. Super tasty! Some people prefer harder, denser waffles like the ones served at Max Brenner. As much as I love Max Brenner, I really do think these waffles are better. Especially because they’re freshly made on the spot!

Many reviewers on Urbanspoon found the consistency of the ice cream (thick, elastic-like) to be off-putting. Yes, I agree the consistency of the ice cream is different to what I’m used to, but it was delicious! Rich and creamy, far from lacking in flavour.

I’ve also noticed from reviews that some people are under the impression Gelare is serving gelato (“ice milk products with a low cream content”) – No, that is not the case! If you bother to read the About page of their website, Gelare explains their ice cream in detail:

  • Real flavour and no artificial ingredients
  • Features a higher cream content than almost every other ice cream on the market.
  • While other ice creams contain as much as 50% air, Gelรกre is made with no air. (Explains the “gooey” texture)
  • Gelรกre is unique because it is much creamier and thicker than Italian ice cream. It is also much heavier, creamier and more intensely flavoured than American ice cream. Gelรกre is an improved “hybrid” ice cream combining and also exceeding the best qualities from both countries.

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We all left super satisfied with full bellies – who would’ve thought it could be so filling! Would we come back? Most definitely, and soon too! ๐Ÿ™‚

PS: You can get the same 50% off deal every Tuesday – without a movie ticket!

Gelรกre on Urbanspoon

I can breathe underwater!

This past weekend, I tried something for the first time – scuba diving!

And I’m still here blogging, so that means I survived, which is always a good thing! I’m glad I tried it as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Now that I know I can breathe underwater without freaking out, I’m much more inclined to spend money in the future to get my Open Water Certification. ๐Ÿ˜€

We bought special $99 vouchers for Dive World. With the vouchers, you can either do 2 social dives if you are already certified (like Mike and Yoni) or 1 discovery dive, which is what Kee Ping and I did.

Things I enjoyed:

  • Trying out scuba diving for the first time and realizing I can do it!
  • Friendly staff
  • I got to see dolphins from the boat!

Things I did not enjoy:

  • As someone who has never even donned scuba gear going on a discovery dive, I expected to go into the ocean one-on-one with an instructor – which I have always seen with other companies, even in other countries. We were 4-to-1. An extremely uncomfortable situation to be in, especially when you have to buddy up with someone equally inexperienced. Worrying about yourself in that situation in hard enough, let alone worrying about the safety and comfort of your buddy AND being attached with 2 other inexperienced divers. What if someone had trouble? What if 2 people had trouble at once? How would the sole instructor take care of 4 people who have never gone scuba diving before? And there is precedence in Australia, someone has died before on a dive like this: Charges laid after investigation into dive death of Chinese student
  • In addition, our boat (the Cwilamanzi) had a capacity of 20 people but there were at least 22 people on board.
  • Toilet on board but no toilet paper – haven’t seen that since public toilets in Vietnam.
  • Refreshments included tea/coffee, some grapes, 1 package of Black & Gold brand assortment cookies and 1 package of Black & Gold brand gummy snakes. To share between 20+ people. For those who are not familiar, Black & Gold is a value brand, cheaper in price and similar to the Canadian “No Name” brand.
  • All the above makes me question their commitment to safety and quality. Yes, some of us on board paid a “discounted” price for this day trip. However, we felt like corners were cut elsewhere to make up for the cost.
  • Lastly, it was unfortunate that the weather conditions were not good. Heavy rain and huge swells on the way out to Tangalooma. It was calmer once we were there (the sun actually came out for a bit too!) but the current was unbelievably strong and visibility was quite poor, at best 4m.

Some pictures from the trip – when the sun finally came out for a bit!

Yoni getting ready to step in

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Tangalooma Wrecks

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Moreton Island

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Hi Kee Ping!

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Mike and Yoni returning from their second dive

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Back on the boat

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Max Brenner, double rainbow and pretty skies

Our last treat out with Meaghan in Brisbane – Max Brenner (one of my favourite places) for dessert after our amazing dinner at Next Door Kitchen & Bar!

A very happy girl with her Toffee Choc-Nut Waffle – little pots of melted chocolate can bring such joy into people’s lives!

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Mike and I shared the Spectacular Choc-Fudge Brownie Sundae (with additional caramel sauce, haha). I don’t know how people finish this on their own – sugar coma!

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Silly face!

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Walked out of my house the other day and groaned aloud because it was raining and because it was so early in the morning. On the way to the train station, the rain stopped and this is what I saw – double rainbow all the way across the skyyyy!

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Some days, I make it out of the clinic and home before the sun goes down. When that happens, I get the chance to see pretty colours and bats flying across the sky.

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Other days, I have to walk home alone in the dark ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And by the time I get home, my brain and body are too tired to do anything but eat and sleep.

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Byron Bay over Easter weekend

We rented a car and drove down to Byron Bay for the day over Easter Weekend.

The weather was a little gloomy but luckily it rained everywhere else but on us! ๐Ÿ˜€

Made it safe and sound. We were worried it would be very crowded over the weekend but no such thing! Happily walking along the beach. It was also low tide so you could go really far out and the water would still just be lapping at your ankles.

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Raining over there! Crossed our fingers and hoped it wouldn’t come our way.

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Heading towards a look out point

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Someone left their necklace behind…

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The ocean wasn’t too cold with gentle lobbing waves. Watching all the surfers really makes me want to try someday soon! So many surfers, they make it look so easy…

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Looking out

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Woo hoo, the rain didn’t make it here! Believe it or not, the sun came out on our side shortly after this photo was taken. Lucky indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

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We also drove up to Cape Byron Lighthouse but didn’t take any pictures! Hunger called and we were more focused on getting food in our bellies ๐Ÿ™‚

Good day trip! It was also pretty cheap to rent a car, so perhaps we will go on more adventures in the future!

Next Door Kitchen & Bar – Our best meal so far this year

We had an important mission on Friday (April 05) – to pick a random restaurant in South Bank and have some delicious food.

This might sound easy, but there are tons of restaurants to choose from and so many sound good! The second restaurant we stopped at, Next Door Kitchen & Bar had a menu that invited us in immediately. All tapas styled dishes that sounded amazing and the best part: no lining up on a Friday night.

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The restaurant was quite busy, but the staff joined 2 small tables together and we were seated almost immediately.

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Cocktails on the menu were quite appealing but we opted for wine instead. Mike and Meaghan shared a bottle of Dalrymple Pinot Noir and I got a glass of Kiss Chasey Rose.

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It’s not often when you look at a menu and think, “You can order whatever you want, I would be happy to eat it.” But that was the case!

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Because the dishes are meant to be shared, the restaurant recommends 2-3 plates per person. We decided on 7 plates to share, as we also had full intentions to finish the night off at Max Brenner for dessert – needed to save some room!

FRESH BAGUETTE, PEPE SAYA BUTTER & HOUSE MADE SARDINE BUTTER ($9.50) Baguette was nice and crispy on the outside, chewy and dense on the inside – just the way I like it. It was my first time trying sardine butter so I was a little apprehensive, but it was quite tasty!

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GOLDEN FRIED POLENTA CHIPS, SALSA VERDE, SOUR CREAM, PICKLED EGGPLANT ($14.50) The polenta chips were fried beautifully! 6 sticks, a perfect portion to share between 3 people. I especially liked the pickled egglant, yum!

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PEA ARANCINI, GOATS CURD AIOLI, CORIANDER OIL ($14.50) Arancini (fried rice balls coated in breadcrumbs) is something I’d never had until last year. I’ve only had it a few times since and it was delicious this time as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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GARLIC PRAWNS, GREEN ONION PILAF, GREEN BUTTER & SNAIL BEIGNET ($16.50) Succulent prawns on a delicious bed of rice. The snail beignet was not strongly flavoured but very nice with the crisp crust.

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CURED OCEAN TROUT, PICKLED BEETROOT, KATAIFI CRISP, DILL MAYONNAISE ($16.50) I normally don’t like cured fish, but the trout was delicious and worked nicely with the beetroot. The kataifi crisp (made from shredded phyllo dough) tasted like a delicious vat of crispy butter. I’m glad it was shared between 3 people! ๐Ÿ˜›

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SEARED QUAIL, TRUFFLED WHITE BEANS, RAISIN & PINE NUT VINAIGRETTE ($22.50) The most tender quail I’ve ever had! It’s a hard decision but probably my favourite dish of the night! ๐Ÿ˜€

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TRUFFLE PARMESAN FRIES ($8.50) We couldn’t resist! Such a generous portion of delicious, crispy fries – you could smell the parmesan from across the restaurant and the aioli just made them even better. Nom nom nom!

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Service was extremely attentive throughout the night. Mike and Meaghan had their wine glasses continuously topped up. Plates were promptly cleared off the table and we never had to wait long between dishes. The only thing we would change: To serve the fries first rather than last so we can enjoy them alongside the other courses.

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Thank you Meaghan for treating us to a wonderful dinner! We will definitely be back and be recommending this restaurant to our friends ๐Ÿ™‚

Next Door Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Harajuku Gyoza – A long time coming

Michael is a huge fan of dumplings – so am I.

We’ve also passed by Harajuku Gyoza many many times – each time itching to go in but holding off. We finally went on April 04 during Meaghan’s visit.

Super friendly service with shouts of ‘Irasshaimase!โ€™ (welcome) as soon as you walk in the door. Great decor as well, I really liked the plates and the lights.

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The menu is simple but offered a variety of dumplings averaging $8 for 5 pieces.

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We ended up ordering edamame (boiled young soybeans), chicken karaage (marinated and lightly battered fried chicken) and 5 gyoza (dumpling) dishes, all grilled with pork, duck, chicken, vegetable, and Moreton Bay bug filling.

Food verdict? VERY AVERAGE, nothing special.

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Edamame was great, although it’s hard to get that wrong.

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The chicken karaage had too much batter and skin for my tastes – I’ve had much better.

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The dumplings were not very flavourful. If I didn’t know what we had ordered, it would’ve been hard to tell the difference between the pork, duck and chicken gyozas. The vegetable dumpling had interesting (edamame in the filling) texture, although not great flavour. This was also my first time tasting Moreton Bay bugs – it was tasty but I wouldn’t be able to say if it was cooked well or not ๐Ÿ™‚ I also wish the gyoza wrappers were more chewy and crispy.

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Even though the food was a little lacking, it was clear everyone (including us) were enjoying themselves. The restaurant was soon filled to capacity and buzzing with conversation. Every time a sake shot was served (from a huge bottle), the staff would yell out leaving customers laughing and a little self conscious ๐Ÿ˜›

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For dessert, we shared an apple gyoza with icecream and a peanut butter & white chocolate gyoza with icecream. Each came with 3 pieces of deep fried dumplings and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious. You simply cannot go wrong with those flavour combinations… deep fried. I was so excited to eat it, I forgot to take pictures ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

A really enjoyable evening but we probably won’t come back unless it’s with a large group of friends for the atmosphere. We will try out other gyoza restaurants before coming back to Harajuku solely for the dumplings.

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Harajuku Gyoza on Urbanspoon

GP: Way of Teaching

I’m happy to say I have a great preceptor at the clinic where I’m doing my GP Rotation. A teacher with lots of patience who provides many opportunities for learning and always answers my questions, no matter how many I ask.

He also goes by the motto of, “See one. Do one. Teach one.”

That means, for any procedure he feels comfortable allowing a 3rd year med student to perform, I am expected to watch him do it once, during which he talks me through the entire process, giving pointers where appropriate. The next case that comes in, I’m expected to be able to do it myself. Talk about my heart beating faster!

The next Implanon (contraceptive implant just under the skin) removal, punch biospy (sampling a suspicious skin lesion), sebaceous cyst popping (pretty excited for this one), etc – I get to do!

It is amazing how much medicine you don’t learn from textbooks but from a teacher and experience!

Finally trying out Gunshop Cafe

We’ve heard from numerous friends that Gunshop Cafe is a wonderful place, especially for breakfast and we’ve been meaning to try it out for 2 years now.

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Coincidentally during Meaghan’s stay, there was a 50% off flash deal for Gunshop Cafe! Unfortunately, we couldn’t do breakfast or lunch because of our clinic schedules but anticipated a good dinner.

We were booked for 6:15pm on April 02. The restaurant was still quite empty when we arrived so we were given our choice of seats. We initially sat outdoors towards the back of the restaurant but the lighting was quite dim so we ended up changing our minds and moving inside.

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The restaurant is small but warm and inviting. Although the decor is minimal, it works well and makes bold statements. I especially liked the fan outdoors and how the ceiling lights cast dancing shadows upon the entire restaurant.

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It took us a while to make up our minds on what to order because everything on the menu looked really good.

We settled on drinks first, which was my first disappointment. It was a hot day so I asked for my tea to be iced rather than served hot – never been a problem at other restaurants in the past. Unfortunately, I ended up with lukewarm and extremely diluted tea.

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We started off with the $50 shared plate. I can’t remember all the items, but this plate included: goat cheese stuffed green olives, sorpressa, black pudding, marinated lamb cutlets with romesco sauce, Western Australian sardines. All shared plates also came with olive oil, dukkah, evoo+balsamic, charred sourdough.

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Overall, the plate was really good. Lamb was cooked perfectly and the romesco was delicious. The black pudding was heavily spiced and extremely tasty. The added pickles and mustard were good accompaniments. There were way too many olives as they are really salty and you can only have so many. Meaghan and I aren’t fans of sardines but Mike really enjoyed them.

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But the sourdough wasn’t charred, only lightly toasted which was unfortunate because the added flavour would’ve been really nice. The other disappointment – as we were almost finished the dish, we realized the dukkah and evoo+balsamic was never brought out. A big no no for us – always serve what you say!

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We then moved onto our mains.

Meaghan had the confit duck leg with du puy lentils, potato fondant, roast tamarillo and heirloom carrots. Duck was WAY TOO salty and extremely tough and dried out – unexpected for meat that was supposed to be cooked long and slow in its own fat. Unfortunately, she ended up leaving a lot of it behind.

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Mike had the homemade gnocchi with tomato fondue, evoo, prawns and basil. He enjoyed it, although not very memorable.

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Lastly, I had the wild mushroom risotto with poached duck egg, truffle oil and cress. Oh my goodness, my dish was unbelievably bland. There was absolutely no salt in my dish and we joked that the salt that was supposed to go into my dish must’ve been put into Meaghan’s. Risotto was overdone and the taste of vinegar overpowered my poached egg ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Please use less vinegar! When asked how our meals were, I did let the staff know that there was absolutely no salt in my dish, although it went went unacknowledged. I didn’t send back my food because I hate doing that – makes me feel like a total snob but this dish would’ve been justified. Instead, I just added some salt and ate what I could, was already filling up from the shared plate anyway!

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The other thing I didn’t like, which I’ve mentioned before about other restaurants – random salads. Don’t get me wrong, watercress is one of my favourite greens, but when it happens to be placed on all 3 dishes, I think it’s there for decoration and not for flavour. It also makes the dishes look less appealing.

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Dinner started on a high and ended on a low for us, which is too bad. Thankfully we weren’t paying full price because that definitely wouldn’t have been worth it. However, we aren’t giving up on the Gunshop Cafe just yet. The service and ambiance were great, so we will definitely give it another chance – breakfast next time though!

Gunshop Cafe on Urbanspoon

GP: “I can tell when my BP is high”

The last patient I saw the other day was, according to my preceptor, a “heart sink” patient. The kind of patient you see on your list that makes you sigh and hang your head in frustration.

This man had uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure – BP) simply because he is extremely non-compliant with his medication. He’s visited the clinic numerous times in the past but doesn’t agree on the importance of his medication, despite detailed explanations each time.

He came in with his wife, who said he still hasn’t been taking his medication and when we asked him why, he said, “Because I only take it when I feel my blood pressure is high.”

We asked, “Do you feel that your blood pressure is high at the moment?”

He responded, “No, because when my blood pressure is high, I can feel it in my ears.”

So we measured his BP, it was 190/80 – which was high, and we told him that. And for the umpteenth time, he was told about the importance of maintaining good BP and that he was at risk of having another stroke – apparently he’s had 3 already, one which took 3 years to recover. He’s also on Warfarin (blood thinning agent) so if he were to have a hemorrhagic stroke (burst blood vessel in the brain), it would be a big one that could potentially kill him or cause major complications.

He laughed and said, “I’ve already had 3, I will just have a big one then!”

His wife chirped in, “If you don’t control your BP, you might die tomorrow! You can’t leave me, I need you!” He replied with another laugh.

Needless to say, the consult ended up a waste of time because the patient refused to take the doctor’s advice. On the way out he apologized with a smile and said, “I’m sorry for my… indifference regarding my treatment.”

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of GP for me – knowing that your patients know their behaviours (smoking, not taking medications, etc) are putting them at risk of serious illness but despite your continued efforts, they simply don’t want to change.

Oh awesome richness at Capri Cafe Bar

Another 50% flash deal, this time for an amazing dinner at Capri Cafe/Bar – Mediterranean styled dining at Fortitude Valley’s Emporium.

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We had reservations for 6pm and were immediately shown to our table. Very happy with the tentative and friendly service!

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We ordered some drinks and after a lot more pondering, finally decided on food.

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We got three entrees/sides to share:

1) Oven baked chips and aioli – don’t really know why we ordered this. Chips were really plain and could not taste the garlic in the aioli. An unnecessary addition to such good food!

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2) Arancini – Home made beetroot and walnut risotto cakes served with a fetta and rocket salad. A really good sized portion and quite delicious! The salad was nicely dressed which was a pleasant surprise because I’ve had many undressed “decorative” salads in the past at other restaurants.

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3) Scallop canneloni – Pan fried sea scallops with cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs, salsa verde and Grana Padano cheese. Generous serving of scallops and super fragrant tomatoes – yummy!

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Onto our mains!

I got the Prawn risotto – Local garlic prawns with roasted pumpkin and fresh basil in a creamy risotto. Don’t be fooled by the size of the plate, it’s a deep dish, could barely finish my serving! Huge, super fresh, well marinated prawns – I was very surprised at how many prawns I received, at least 6! Risotto was creamy and delicious with the roasted pumpkin – mmm!

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Meaghan chose the Pumpkin Gnocchi – Roasted pumpkin in a creamy sun dried tomato pesto sauce with fresh
spinach and Grana Padano cheese. I tasted some – it was amazing! The only thing that would’ve made this dish more awesome is filling in the gnocchi ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Mike got the Sand Crab & Scallop Risotto – Fresh Australian sand crab and sea scallop meat in a seafood bisque risotto topped with fresh rocket and Grana Padano cheese. Nicely flavoured with generous amounts of seafood – he was definitely pleased with his food!

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Service was great throughout the night, thank you to the wonderful staff at Capri Cafe/Bar for a delicious night out! With 5 drinks and 50% off all our food, our bill for 3 people came to $95 – a steal! Would definitely recommend giving this place a try!

Capri Cafe Bar on Urbanspoon