Isn’t it crazy how gadgets and software can rule our lives? I’ve recently upgraded my photography set-up thanks to insider information from my friend Bunnee (Beautiful Amnesia). Opening up the new gear, I realised I can’t use Lightroom 3 with it anymore, so I acquired Lightroom 4 but had issues importing photos into it. After spending hours googling for solutions, I followed bad online advice and subsequently murdered my 4 year old MacBook. **CRY**!!!
But there’s a silver lining to this. The dork in me can’t exist without a computer, so I walked into the apple store the next day and walked out with a 13″ Retina display Macbook Pro. So now I’m dealing with new photography gear, new photo editing software, a new laptop (HELLOOOOO RETINA!!!) and its newer OS. I’ve lost a few hundred photos during the transition and spent several nights retrieving them from my backup. This whole episode has racked up a huge credit card bill on me and it has thrown my blogging workflow into absolute chaos!
All that said, I’m proud to announce that this post comes from the new set up. The new high pixel retina display meant that my uploaded photos need to be twice as wide before, making it quite a challenge to blog because I now have to scroll past enormous food photos in between the paragraphs I have to write. And worse yet, the photos on many websites (including my older blog posts) now look like blotchy compressed jpegs on this new screen! Oh dear… first world problems…
But enough of that. The cosy little bloggers’ group that explored Urban Garden in Carlton a few weeks ago organised another pleasant little catch-up here. I really enjoy groups of 4-6 for dinners, it’s such a nice number.
Mixed satay with condiments $14
Masak Masak has been on my food radar ever since I read Agnes’s post about its beef ribs. It’s Malaysian food that’s gone a bit upmarket in pricing, whilst retaining good authenticity with a slight modern twist, like these smoky-succulent beef and chicken satay from the charcoal grill. Mmm mmmm…
Otak-otak (fish mousse, kaffir lime leaf, wrapped in banana leaf) $9
The otak-otak also came fresh, smooth and spicy with a lifting fragrance of kaffir lime leaves. Very nice.
Lemongrass lamb belly, green papaya salad $19
This next dish called forth hints of Thai flavours, I detected a bold fragrance of red curry and enjoyed the pickled papaya that came with it. The lamb was beautifully soft and flavoursome.
Charcoal grilled beef ribs, samba oelek $19
And of course we had to try the beef ribs. They were once again very good… tasty, succulent and accompanied with a punchy-fresh chilli sauce.
Kon low mee, prawn wonton (dried egg noodles) $8
Our last dish was something I’ve not really eaten back home, but my companions tell me it tastes pretty authentic. We also had an interesting discussion about how the word ‘authentic’ seems to come across as a ‘dirty’ word these days. Either way, the noodles had a good bite to it and it came with a nice vinegary sauce.
For a modern interpretation of Asian flavours, I really enjoyed what I had at Masak Masak… and to me, it’s worth the higher price tag. And the meal ended up less than $20 each anyway, although I did walk out a little peckish. In terms of benchmarking, I prefer the fragrant, uplifting flavours here compared to Red Spice Road’s (Southeast Asian) mild and fusiony offerings.
I hope we will continue to have these cosy little blogger gatherings. They’re heartwarming catch-ups and really helps you relax after a long day at work.
Sunset over Uluru
And we’ll end with a photo from my recent trip to the Northern Territory with Fakegf and partner, taken with my new gear and processed with the new laptop and software. It’ll take awhile before I get used to this new set-up, but I’ll tell myself to have as much fun as I can learning from it!