[SYDNEY] AUSTRALIA’S BEST-LOVED GELATO

I’ve finally tried Messina, voted the best gelato in Australia by the Good Food Guide!

Our double-scoop picks:
Salted Caramel and White Chocolate: salted caramel gelato with white chocolate chip, and
Tiramisu: egg, marsala and mascarpone gelato with lady finger biscuits soaked in espresso coffee
True to form, the combination tastes much better than it looks i.e. heavenly and as sinful as salted caramel may sound, its worth every damn calorie I will need to burn after scarfing this gelato cup down!20140719-203421-74061765.jpg

This one’s located at The Star, a short walk to and from Darling Harbour, Sydney CBD, Chinatown etc.
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I’m tempted to try everything on display but there’s not enough room  in my tummy after a seafood platter, sashimi and sushi from Sydney Fish Market. This must be a third-world problem – going to a foreign land, only to encounter so much good food in so little time. And then we complain of not having gastronomical variety in our own country. What a sin. I mean, look at these temptations!!20140719-203418-74058151.jpg

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Check out these GREAT FLAVOURS (taken from GelatoMessina, but watch ’em allergic hazards):
ALLERGY CHECKLIST 

– (G) Contains Gluten, (N) Contains Nuts, (E) Contains Egg, (A) Contains Alcohol

Apple Pie (G)(E) – real apple gelato with our own house made apple pie throughout
Banana Split (N) –
 caramel and banana gelato with chopped peanuts and whipped cream
Bounty
 – coconut milk gelato with desiccated coconut and choc chip
Caramelised White Chocolate 
Choc Mint – real fresh mint gelato with chocolate chip
Milk Chocolate with Choc Peanut Fudge (N)
Chocolate Fondant (N) – a rich decadent dark chocolate (contains traces of nuts)
Chocolate Chip – light cocoa gelato with chocolate chips
Coconut & Lychee – coconut milk gelato with lychee fruit
Coffee – made with real espresso coffee (seriously)
Dulce De Leche – an Argentinean caramel made by reducing milk until it becomes a sweet jam.
Gianduia Bianca (N) – white chocolate & hazelnut gelato with hazelnut praline
Gianduia (N) – chocolate & hazelnut
Hazelnut (N) – made with fresh roasted hazelnuts from Cortemilia in Italy
Italian Nougat (N)(E) (A-traces) – honey based gelato with roasted nuts, egg whites and Italian nougat
Pear & Rhubarb – fresh pear gelato with our own poached spiced rhubarb
Pistachio (N) – made with freshly ground roasted pistachios from Bronte in Italy
Poached Figs in Marsala (A)(E) – baby figs poached in Marsala (a fortified Italian cooking wine)
Salted Caramel and White Chocolate – salted caramel gelato with white chocolate chip (our biggest seller!)
Tiramisu (G)(A)(E) – egg, marsala and mascarpone gelato with lady finger biscuits soaked in espresso coffee.
Vanilla (E) – made from fresh Jersey Milk
Pannacotta with Fig Jam and Amaretti Biscuit (G)(N)(E)(A-traces) – pannacotta gelato base.
Yoghurt & Berry – yoghurt gelato with poached raspberry and blueberry coulee
Yoghurt & Caramel – yoghurt gelato with dulce de leche

Sorbets (all dairy free)

Salted Coconut and Mango Salsa
Blood Orange
Chocolate Sorbet
Lemon
Lychee Martini
Mango
Pandan & Coconut – 
Pandan is a green asian leaf used in asian cooking.
Passionfruit
Raspberry
Strawberry

See what I mean? We had such a hard time choosing.

Messina at The Star
80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[MELBOURNE] oo2. Caffe e Torta

Upon touchdown I had managed to catch a good nights’ sleep (albeit, due to time difference, it was 3am Melbourne time when I finally crashed), and even woke up for hotel breakfast early next morning. Late afternoon, I ventured into the CBD area with hopes of locating Hardware Societe which was further out past Collins Street, but to no avail! Darn Google Maps pointed me in the wrong direction; for some crazy reason, even my GPS is screwed up. But I’m glad that happened, because I stumbled upon Caffe e Torta on Little Collins, and had the most juicy and scrumptious hot apple strudel with ice cream I’ve ever had! The only other worthy contender being the Cafè Braun in Mondsee, Salzburg.

The whole ambience at Caffe e Torta was reminiscent of Italian sidewalk cafes, hence the Italian-inspired name. The baristas and waitresses were all amazingly chirpy, just as how all Australians appear to be. Didn’t get my order of flat white because I was intending to sleep some more when I got back to my hotel, regrettably, but I would regret more if I stayed up all evening from the overdose of caffeine.

As I got ready to fly home yesterday, I felt tremendously blessed and so spoilt for choices. Whilst others cafè-hop in their own countries, I get to explore quaint cafes in every city I travel to. And I get to experience cultures or practices deviant to and unlike my own. It’s scary because this nomadic lifestyle is the kind I love and could stick to forever, because seeing the world puts things back home in simultaneously greater and finer perspectives. I want to shake hands with all parts of the world everyday, forever.

Caffe e Torta Shopfront

Caffe e Torta Interior 3

Caffe e Torta Interior 4

Caffe e Torta Interior 2

Caffe e Torta Interior 5

Caffe e Torta Interior

Caffe e Torta Stairs

Caffe e Torta Hot Apple Strudel

Caffe e Torta Menu

Caffe e Torta Exterior

314 Little Collins St,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
+61 434 595 885

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Photo-diary: Island Life, Maldives

The beauty of Maldives never fails to take my breath away
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Honestly would love to stay on this island and work for peanuts,
if it means that I get to see this every day of my life.
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Also, Kurumba Maldives is a crazy good place for getaways! It has 2 outdoor freshwater pools, 3 tennis courts, a yoga pavillion, spa and a fitness centre. Snorkeling was insanely fun, because you don’t even need to be a good swimmer – the crystal clear water in the lagoon sort of buoys you up naturally.
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Kurumba Island
Vihamanafushi
08340, Maldives

Travel-diary: Naviglio grande Milano

Traveling is indeed a discovery of the self –
I’ve learnt that shopping is no fun when there’s so much sightseeing and exploration to do!
While everyone else was at Serravalle (designer outlet), I took to exploring on my own.
Armed with a fedora, and a city map and my batman suit, I was determined to find the famous Navigli in Milan!

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But alas, I got lost a couple of times, during which I slipped into the nearest cafe, ordered up a shot and asked for directions. I just love Italian coffee.

This is Robert, who introduced himself as Robin and called me Batgirl.
He seemed amazed I was on foot, and proceeded to point me in the right walking direction.
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And thus I ordered the drink that I came to fall in love with: Caffe Shakerato!
This beau is a combination of fresh espresso with sugar and loads of ice, made to froth by vigorous bartender skills.
Was it just me or there was a tinge of Moscato in it?
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After more than an hour’s walk across 3 train stations, Porta Ticinese was right in front of me!
The tremendous satisfaction of getting exactly where you wanted to go is amazing.
This, is Naviglio grande Milano!
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The Naviglio Grande was a canal dug to quicken city development projects via transportation of engineering essentials for the architecture that were to be built over the 12th/13th Century. In 1386, construction of the Duomo di Milano began, riding on the networks of water transportation.
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Breathtaking, isn’t it?
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Entered the Chiesa di San Cristoforo sul Naviglio,
as well as every other Basilica encountered at Navigli.
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The view from the other side of the Basilica
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And then I was hungry! Most shops along the route were evening pubs. Managed to find a bakery/pizzeria selling piping hot foccacia
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Mine came with olives, turkey ham, lettuce, parmesan and Emmental cheese~
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That revved me up for more walking.
There were actually passers-by who tried chatting me up, asking me where I was from yada yada, and these seemed to happen a lot in those narrow alleys that I had to cross.
One has got to man-up when exploring alone, to pretend that you know the place like the back of your hand.
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These European two-seaters! Do people purchase these cars for the sole purpose of man-and-dog?
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Before I knew it, I was done with my lunch and had walked the entire north and south Navigli.
It was a lot like Venice, definitely less tourist-infested, and less of the pomp and grandeur that the canals in Venice came with. And also, summer meant that mosquitoes were breeding to their hearts’ content.

At the end of the Navigli trail, I thought hey, I’m definitely getting better at memorizing streets and navigating with maps 🙂

Brisbane, King George Square

Someday I’d wish to be a true backpacker in Brisbane;
just my haversack & laptop for a couple of weeks.
Too many amazing streets to stroll along, colors and sights to see,
vintage buildings to admire, and entertaining buskers to applaud.
Liberal-minded people to talk to and be impressed by.
Talents abound and magic to be discovered.

Pictorial Walk-through…of BRISBANE!!
Because I literally went everywhere on foot.

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Queer little creature encountered on the pavement of Queen Street Mall.
Anyone knows what it is? Pelican?  photo DSCN1647.jpg

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Albert Lane. Loads of teenagers and the younger set in this district. photo DSCN1651.jpg

Look what I found!
A little piece of home in a foreign land!
Am always fascinated by foodcourts that offer ‘Singaporean Cuisine’  photo DSCN1654.jpg

I have to check books out in every single country. It’s a no-go action. photo DSCN1655.jpg

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viktoriajean

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For many reasons, I’m so thankful this came out blurred.
Firstly I was out gallivanting alone right after a much-needed sleep.
This bunch of men came up to ask for a photo, as if they’ve never seen Asians in their land.
So they took this shot with my camera as well as this person’s phone.
I was so afraid they were gonna run away with my digicam.
Still, strange yet funny. photo DSCN1692.jpg

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This building is too pretty I had to post twice,
in 2 different light settings. photo DSCN1709.jpg

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Coffee and dance;
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Raunchy extreme circus with some porn and nudity, which a LOT of people were queueing up for photo DSCN1717.jpg

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Quaint shopping mall which I happened to stumble upon along Queen Street. photo DSCN1726.jpg

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A Colonel’s suit, probably one that has sailed the seven seas. photo DSCN1729.jpg

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AMAZING BUSKERS!! I met a magician that day which amazed the hell out of me.
This band, PLUDO, were just as entertaining.
Will be uploading videos of them soon! They have their own CDs and gigs,
but they’re doing street busking to garner more popularity. photo DSCN1742.jpg

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My take-home drystores and snacks.
I was up till late writing that night at Pullman Brisbane King George Street,
and barely slept although the hotel bed was, as always, incredibly comfortable. photo DSCN1746.jpg

Brisbane was incredible. I’ll be back soon enough.
Just landed Taipei…
And next up, Copenhagen!!!
I’m quite tired to be very frank, but the adrenaline sets in whenever I touch down on somewhere new.
Where’s the sense of adventure if you’re out there and not exploring??