Monday, May 25, 2009

Perth..... Pleasantville

Of all the main Australian cities, the ones I've never been to are Darwin, and Perth. Perth is one of those places you assume is like in your own backyard, due to its close proximity to our shores...who the heck said it's a 4 hour flight??? It's not. A myth debunked. It's 5 hours. Yeah, in your own backyard, so you think, ah, no hurry to visit. Until of course, all the stars were aligned, and conditions became ripe to finally check out Perth.

1. Bro In Law moved there to work, and ....drum roll, has a 3 bedroom apartment right in the city.
2. Air Asia began flying there!
3. Aussie dollar now a bit lower than before.

Thank you thank you Tony Fernandes, my all time hero.

Gosh, poor little unhappening me hasn't stepped foot in OZ since 2004. How can that be! I have dollar notes that some of the younger Ozzies have never seen!!!!

Typical Malaysians that we are, arrive in a city, first place to go, Factory Outlets.... well, actually also coz we didnt want to sight see yet coz waiting for parents in law to arrive so can do together gether.

There's no running away from Thamby is there. I see her initals everywhere!

A WHIFF OF LEMONGRASS (AWOL)??? I think they sell lingerie...didn't step in la.

The Air Asia Pak Nasser Nasi Lemak had long since worn out, ....and actually, so did a grease overdose of Bacon & Eggs breakfast (bro in law brought us for breakkie upon arrival, at 7am), so while waiting for wifey and sis in law to walkie walkie around the outlets, I treated myself to a regular waffle. Nothing like a nice long black, and waffle on holiday while you watch the world go round....

You can bring the chink out of Asia, but you can't take Asia out of the chink. By dinner time, we already had a craving for something that didn't involve olive oil, salads, or pasta, and Australia does have the best Pho, if you ask me. They all say it's coz of the beef. But even the greens. Look at that super humongous Thai Basil leaf. Makes ours look positively withered.


A steaming bowl of piping hot pho, with tripe, beef and beef balls.... in cool 15C weather...(well, outside it was), sheer bliss.




One thing I LOVE doing while in these developed countries, is to walk in the supermarkets. The variety is just staggering. Hence I was quite shocked to see that there were only 3 or 4 brands of butter. You see, they're quite a healthy nation, apparently. Opting for Olive Oil spreads, margarine, (a chill runs down my spine whenever I see the word), .... UNsalted butter... So yeah, our variety of butter here trumps their's anyday, though price wise, its soooo cheap for them.

A walk along the Swan River is pleasant. Lots of joggers and cyclist, so had to be careful not to get mowed over. The skyline lights up as the sun goes down.


I guess it is rather scenic especially at night. A strange sense of calm and tranquility prevails. The mad traffic, the heat, and the hustle and bustle of KL seems a distant dream...just like how Perth now seems a distant dream as I write this. Can someone explain why the moon is bigger in western countries? Sheesh, their yolks are yellower, the moon is bigger, the veggies are greener.... no wonder people migrate.

I decided I'd make my own breakfast the next day, so bought some crumpets, (I've never seen them here. Anyone knows where to get?) bacon, an avocado, mushrooms, eggs....


For some reason, the egg yolks in western countries seem more yellow and golden. It's the feed, they say. What are our chickens fed? Why aren't their yolks golden? Anyway, it was the perfect breakfast for day 2 in Perth. Perfectly half boiled eggs, (done by ahem, yours truly).... only thing missing was brewed Long Black.


Fremantle, a quaint little port town. Famed for their fish and chips, though for some reason, we ended up having "Italian", which was average. The pizza crusts were too thick, the risotto nothing to shout about, and the garlic prawns ...well, the prawns were fresh. That's the thing, they are so abundantly blessed with fresh produce, really living up to the moniker of the Lucky Country.


The first proper sightseeing, that didn't involve the inside of a shopping mall, was the Swan Valley river cruise. Pretty good, free flow wine upstream (or was it downstream), as we sailed to winery. I had received an FB message earlier from Qwazymonkey wishing me well, and hoping I'd fall into the Swan River. I wouldn't have minded frolicking with the dolphins .....which were spotted right in front of the Burswood. Again, life is so unfair right. To us, dolphin sightings are such a rarity, there, they have blardy dolphins in the CITY!!!!! Why did the founders of this country's capital choose the Klang River (more like a drain) to start a city? Why didn't they choose the mighty Sungai Pahang, or Rejang.... at least we could have a city with a glorious waterfront. Remember children, if you're thinking of starting a new city, make it by a BIG river or sea.

The winery tour was pleasant enough. There was a Riesling that tasted like kerosene, literally. (the winery lady said so in her briefing). It was meant to taste so.


Dinner with Family Friend's of the inlaws. Guess what cuisine? MALAYSIAN!!! And, guess what starter? SATAY!!! (bear in mind that my inlaws hail from Kajang). The restaurant Ria, is in the hip and trendy suburb of Leederville. Run by an Italian Fler with a Malaysian wife. Food was rather good actually. An array of different rice, briyani, pilau, etc....lots of curries, ah, I felt I was in Bijan with the aircond full blast, and a heater on.....

The Witch's Cauldron, (I'm sure yall figured out it wasn't the Itch's Cauldron), a restaurant in the happening suburb of Subiaco. This was another night, when cousin from Singapore, who happened to be in Perth, brought me out for dinner.

The cray fish mornay was good. I still prefer lobsters done chinese style, in superior stock or with ginger and spring onions, as I find the sauces drown out the lobster taste. You might as well be eating artificial crabsticks, drowned in all that cheese.

Gargantuan portion of lamb shank. Must have been from a ram, or very large sheep. I watched as my cousin struggled to even make a dent in that chunk of meat.

Hmmm, was this butterfish, or fish with butter? I really cant recall. The bane of old age. Anyway, nephew's gf had this. Looked rather good. Again, fresh & readily available produce = no excuse for bad food.


Actually wife and I shared the crayfish mornay, so had a salad to go along with it. Very good greens they have.

Hungry Jacks.....THEY GOT PORK BACON!!!! YUMMMMMMY!!!!!

The Margaret River trip seems to be a MUST DO on the itinerary for all first timers in Perth, so we dutifully did the same. It's a long drive, over 3 hours. If you thought Perth was quiet, well, Margaret River town itself has deafening silence after 5pm. Nothing except the Coles supermarket is open, and that closes at 7pm. But along the way, there are quaint little shops, selling candy, olive oils, etc etc. Of course, there were the wineries as well.

The wooden hut is the chalet we stayed in, which was in the Island Brook winery. Because everything was shut for dinner, including DOME, except this Asian eatery. It was packed, obviously, as there weren't many other places one could go to. I was treated to the sight of a rather large Aussie woman sitting on the potty as I opened the toilet door, that wasn't locked properly.

On day two, as we headed back to Perth (actually I reckon one night in Margaret River is not sufficient, coz you really need more daylight hours to do the fun things, before the whole place goes comatose), we stopped by at an Olive Oil Soap Factory, quite nice, lovely scents wafting even in the carpark, .....and the most delicious olives!!!!

Then came the chocolate factory, ..... its like Disneyland for chocolate lovers. But actually, if you convert the cost, its comparable with Valrhona. (the dark couverture choc droplets that you see in the collage).

Of course there was the Margaret River dairy company, with their cheeses. Some labels are actually available at local supermarkets here in KL, but are EXORBITANTLY priced. The double cream brie, for example, is AUD8.99. I think its close to RM30 here.

Also there is a place, south of Margaret River, off the town of Augusta, at Cape Leeuwin, where the Indian and Southern oceans meet. Alas, we didn't have time to drive there, so as I looked out into the sea at the seaside town of Busselton, (famous for its 2km jetty), I just took a random pic of the sea, and randomly imagined it to be the meeting place of the two oceans.


I have been to the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic, in Capetown, South Africa. I wonder how does one ocean distinguish itself from another. Do they have postcodes, for fishmail?

Anyway, like all holidays, it was over in the blink of an eye. Skype and video chats made it easier to communicate with the kiddos, and lessening the guilt of having left them for a week.

Actually, I reckon Perth is a great short getaway, especially if with a group of gila wine drinking friends. And one non drinker, of course, we need someone to drive. Car rentals are cheap, good fresh produce, great weather, (at least when we were there).... come, let's GO!

Special thanks to Bro In Law and GF for hosting and putting up with us.


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Where do I begin....your post is hilarious lah. I love the last're deep? hahahaha....i see the asian in you never left (got soya sauce in your egg). I love the picture of the city's reflection in the waters. Gorgeous baby. Looks like a nice idyllic trip. Mebe we should organise a drinking trip there. I'm game. It can be an FBBFC trip...we need to spread the word abroad.

thule a.k.a leo said...

Woo hoo... Perth!! My friend lives there and has asked me numerous times to visit her...
I'm armed with Lonely Planet Australia, and next time I go there... I will know where to go

J2Kfm said...

took me forever to finish this article, but wicked lah. :)
hahaha .... a pleasant read, and i've always envisioned Perth as a dead town of sorts.

but calming one nonetheless. since Aust Dollar dropped so much, should probably take this oppor to go over.

UnkaLeong said...

Farnee lar you. The 1.2 boiled eggs are done to perfection. According to my uncle who used to run a chinese take away in Brisbane..Prawns used in his eatery is from Taiping! Hahahaha!

Bangsar-bAbE said...

"I watched as my cousin struggled to even make a dent in that chunk of meat"...I love how you put it! =P make me want to eat waffles now!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

aiyoh..wat is this..seems like theres more asian food than western!

JENCOOKS said...

Yup agree, just read this over the 4hrs plane ride from Spore lah! KL 5hrs. I pored over the pancake twice and ask why u eating mayonnaise YouTiao in Perth...dreaming me. Nice nite pics u have.

Breadpitt said...

lol at awol...gosh,it make me so wanna travel...gonna earn more;-p

HairyBerry said...

we must have been eating pho at the same time! :D and yes, your basil leaves are sooo much bigger than mine. it's the air la.

cool post, dude! i was supposed to book tickets to perth this november. got an offer for only S$260!!!! return summore! but since family dun wanna go, had to give it a miss la. argghhh!!!

i'm game for perth! when? :D

fatboybakes said...

hairy berry, why family dowan to go? its soo idyllic....
yeah, lets plan for next year la. cool months please. i dont fancy ozzie heat.

breadpitt, you still young ma. but yeah, i think travelling is one of life's best experiences.

jencooks, hahah, you mean the waffle ah? ya hor, it looks like a chinese cruller. oh, yala, maybe i always hear singaporeans saying its just 4 hours away.

nipples, yup, asian food is great there!

fatboybakes said...

bangsar babe, i tell you, the waffle was nice and airy. aiya, still donno how to get that texture la...

unka, what 1.2 done mean 0.5 ah? REALLLLY, prawns from taiping? but cant be wat, they got sooo much fresh seafood there.

j2kfm, hahah, actually, i usually try not to waffle on, but i was trying to fit 6 days into one post, and i cant be bothered to do multi yalor, long essay hor. thanks for perservering thru. eh, buddy, you better go to oz quick, the dollar seems to be rising....

thule, bring your wife and baby when she's a bit older la. it's quite a good place to bring kids, i reckon.

thamby, gosh, i didnt realise you used the word idyllic too. sarky abt the pics.

Tummythoz said...

Besides d grand Rejang? Shoo off dolphins, we'll have crocodiles!

ToyGirl said...

Yes!!! Lets make Perth our 1st official FBBFC trip abroad!!

Ciki said...

tts why i like you. you're so deep.

btw, speaking of oceans, what did one ocean say to the other?

nothing. they just waved.

PureGlutton said...

Great post...hilarious! Was chuckling away as i read it, hehe! So nostalgic... was there in early Dec. Oh yes, i loved traipsing the s'mart isles there too - so many things to ogle and discover, LOL!
Eh... i scrolled & scrolled - how come no pic of the big-lady-on-potty geh??

fatboybakes said...

pureglutton, hilarious meh? haha, thanks, you too kind. i thought it sounded mellow! i think i'd have been bashed up if i attempted to take pic of the big lady on potty. anyway, i am going for therapy to erase the image from my mind.

ciki, oooh, we should do a whole comic strip with just ocean pics hor. YOOOOHOOOO qwazy monkey, where are youuuu? can have a broken hearted ocean...and another comforting it, "there there, there are plenty of fish in the sea"...

toygirl, hahahah, .... i am speechless.

tummythoz, lagi terror hor... but aiyo, knowing msians, the whole blardy waterfront will be developed, and polluted. and probably reclaim some extra land some more. crocs also will croak.

Rebecca Saw said...

LOL. so their sheep is larger too thr?
Olive Oil spreads, margarine, .... UNsalted butter..NO!! nightmare!

agree w awol..since HWSNBN is goin abroad (as in over the straits of Jhr) we muz cross oceans instead. lol

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

OHHHH 1st FBBFC overseas trip?? Eat like the man himself and experience how the man inspires himself to churn awesome tasting cakes??

sounds like a winner..of course, can improve your english too!

Ciki said...

what did one fish say to another when he swam into a wall?


Unknown said...

I have only 'visited' both the Perth Domestic and Perth International airport. Did not step out at all. lol...

It would be nice to go there on a FBBFC trip. :-p

Crumpets, we do see them sometimes in the supermarkets here, but it's just too expensive to eat them. LOL...

We can get eggs with very yellow/orange yolks here too, but we gotta pay more for those.

qwazymonkey said...

Kampungku, how I miss thee! Guys, bila mau pergi lagi? Gua mau ikut. I can be designated driver. LOL

*gasp* is that a ferris wheel by the swan? Such an eyesore!

qwazymonkey said...

I tot I saw a waffles from Gelare. I did, I did saw a waffles from Gelare!

The Duo Dishes said...

Australia is a must see on our list! Such great food there. And it's not too far from you. Nice!

jamesbluntknife said...

come to melbourne!

better food, drinks, and a much more handsome host, of course ;)

*host cannot guarantee the state of your liver after said trip to melbourne...

Ciki said...

Btw, excellent pix and collages. Must hv takn a while to get post sortd. Luv d holiday mood. Sigh.. I wanna go on vac..

FBB said...

ciki, where got excellent? we pale in comparison to the queen.

james, a much more handsome host than who??? hahha. i shall take you up on your offer, as we will be there in sept.

duodishes, when u make that long journey, make sure you come by to our neck of the woods as well.

saw a waffles? qwazymonkey, gramma boy gramma. but you're right, they were from gelare. its worrying when you can recognize the origins of a half eaten waffles....

keropokman, haha, aiyo, why were you on transit there? where were you going?
how much are the crumpets in sing? actually, they CANT be THAT hard to make. must try making.

gfad said...

Hey, excellent post! Now we know what to look out for. And to make sure our toilet cubicle is properly locked.

Our eggs are really golden too. And our moon big. And our sun hot. You wanna migrate here too? :D

What happens when you throw a green rock into the Red Sea?
It gets wet.
You mean even Perth has it's own (Perth) Eye?? Gad.. these ferris wheels flers go everywhere, don't they?? There's in UAE too.. *roll eyes*

We will definitely do the river walk. Our skyline is pretty impressive too, but not as lit up at night. Pity.

How far Swan Valley is from Perth? The river cruise looks good.

What happens when you throw a red rock into the Black Sea?
It sinks to the bottom.

FBB said...

ciki, haha, cute.

nipples, actually i think the general std of english there is nothing to shout about.... hahaha! its like here la, actually the locally spoken pasar malay is nothing compared with the textbook malay....

FBB said...

aiya, gfad we were both commenting at the same time.

roll eyes at the rock jokes. swan valley IS perth i think...there's a 7 hour cruise, and a 3½ hour one. remember to BOOK ONLINE, coz there's usually discounts for that. 25% off actually. i'm happy that your eggs are golden, and your moon big. dun really care for the sun hot though. and isnt there a lot of sand where you are? doesnt it just get into every orifice?

Rarebeet said...

Sigh...swoon... You're making me miss Perth. Ask me 10 years ago and I would've said good riddance! Its not a place for teenagers, zzzzzz. But after being back in KL for so long, its lovely to escape to the peace and quiet that is perth hor? Thank goodness for Air Asia! Woohoooooo.

Unknown said...

lol. why on transit in perth? it was a cheapo flight on qantas which makes you transit everywhere.

Singapore -> Sydney (transit) -> Brisbane -> Gold Coast -> Brisbane -> Melbourne -> Perth (transit) -> Singapore

Life for Beginners said...

Ah me, ah my --- couldn't agree with AWOL more, where do we start with how much there is to love about this post? Be it the wit or the food, or simply the sheer brilliance of what two oceans would say to each other when they meet... Someone should come up with a manual for a witty comment to one of your posts! ;)

Strangely for me, my best memory of Australia was some kick-ass Lebanese Meatlover's pizza.... but I guess that was Melbourne... :)

qwazymonkey said...

Aiya, u should know my granma's dead by now.

Anyway, there was a time I eat, sleep, dream gelare! Who can resist the smell of freshly baked waffles in the air!?! Really wonder how I used to be much more skinny.

jamesbluntknife said...

september? great! i look forward to showing you around melbourne. i'm sure the guys that came with me to malaysia will be up for coming along too.

and did i see nipples?

fatboybakes said...

james, yup, looking forward to catching up then. nipples? you mean nipple joe? havent you met him before?

actually qwazymonkey, those waffles were excellent, with a piping hot cup of brewed coffee. and very cheap too, ....if you're earning aussie $. they certainly have it good, those ozzies.

kenny mah, actually the lebanese doner kebabs with sour cream and tabouli are the best i've ever had, in sydney...
you are toooooo lavish in your praise.

keropokman, hahaha, that must have been yonks ago la right? still got such thing? propellor plane ah?

paps, you're paprika from perth? ooh, always figured you for the london sorta girl. i am thinking of sending my kids there to study. dull and no distractions. the perfect place for students. better yet, put the girl in a strict catholic convent. in perth. that repression should last a life time hor.....

Unknown said...

just last year or was it year before.

you know lah, they give you super low fares, and the condition is that it's not direct flights.

never took those kind of offers ever again. LOL...

thule a.k.a leo said...

I have to plan early... since I don't know how long my friend is going to live there... the last time I chatted with her, she told me that she's planning to move back to Malaysia... alamak!
If I'm late, there go my free Perth accommodation and transport... hahaha!
P.S: I will ask my in-law to take care of my daughter while my wife and I plan our rendezvous there!!!

Anonymous said...

I wanna go back to Perth! A few years ago I couldn't wait to get out of Perth after growing up there. Enjoyed a few years in Japan, but now that we have a baby, I think I'm ready to head home because there's nothing like having the support and familiarity of family and friends..

I haven't seen crumpets outside of Australia, but then it's not like I've travelled all over the world.

I enjoy reading your blog, by the way :)

Sugar Bean said...

Haha, laughed when I read about the AWOL. Lots of great food in Australia. Haven't been to Perth before, looks like a nice city.

Life for Beginners said...

Oooh, doner kebabs! I love those... our version of mamak food back when I was studying in Germany.

And how can I be too lavish? Not lavish enuff as it is. You know how I adore the way you have with words. (Of course, my better half feels the same... but more with how you place your tiles on the Lexulous board... and er, I think it's your turn again LOL)

Wilson Ng said...

Amazing photographs... I never step foot on Perth before, maybe now I might change my mind... :)

fatboybakes said...

hi wilson, thanks for your kind words. yeah, it was my first time in perth too...pleasantly surprised la.

LFB, i'm speechless and blushing.

sugar bean, glad u laffed. yup, australia is a very blessed country, great fresh produce, lots of natural resources. its so underpopulated, they should carve out some parcels of land for people wanting to start new countries.

jeanniebayb, congratulations on the new family. yeah, i imagine it would be quite an idyllic place to raise kids. (if one can live without domestic help...haha. like i definitely cant)..

thule, wah, you sure your wife seh tuck leave the baby ah? usually with the first kid, its quite hard to leave them and go off on holiday. err, we did la, of course, went to HK for wedding when baby was 5 months...

keropokman, i guess if you're on holiday, okay wat, if can save a few bucks here and there...even on long transit flights.

Anonymous said...

i've seen frozen crumpets at cold storage!

fatboybakes said...

anonymous, i must try to make. yeah, i think i've seen them frozen, at ridiculous prices.

Pete said...

Absolutely love your blog on Perth. I used to live there for 10 years before coming back to S'pore. As for your question on why egg yolks seemed yellower in Western countries - I read somewhere it's because their chicken is corn-fed.

fatboybakes said...

thanks pete for your kind words.
thankfully, we are getting more golden yolks these days...all those omega eggs,and low cholesterol eggs...

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