Sunday, November 30, 2014

Devon by day

I do not think that I am exaggerating if I say that this cafe has been blogged and featured to death in the past year. Therefore, I think I will be forgiven if this blog post has less words than my usual posts.

When I visit a cafe for the first time, I normally order their soy chai. Devon's organic soy chai ($4.00) came served in an adorable (and heavy) teapot.  

Their coffees are also priced around the $4.00 mark.

Now, the affinity felt with Devon is largely due to their very Malaysian menu. Does help that their head chef is a Penangite and that one-half of the owners is also Malaysian.

Other than nasi lemak and roti canai, no Malaysian childhood morning is complete without a brekkie of half-boiled eggs and kaya toast. And so, when I saw the words Kaya Toast ($12.50) flashed across the menu, I had to order it to relive my childhood. Coconut jam and butter spread on crunchy warm pieces of brioche toast with two 63' eggs swimming in light soy... ahh... heaven...

I fell in love with The Little Lost Bread ($16.00), which essentially is a dessert-like French toast. In fact, it is PB&J brioche French toast served with warm banana, Nutella, jam and peanut butter ice-cream. So sinful, so unhealthy but oh so yummy!

Another dish I made sure to try was the KJI fried chicken burger ($19.00). No regrets as the chicken was super crunchy and tasty, especially combined with go juchang, peanut sauce and kimchi slaw.

The burger is also served with a side of chips and aioli.

Breakfast with the Sakumas ($24.50) is a rather filling plateful of a piece of miso grilled king salmon,  a smoked eel croquette, a perfectly done 63' egg, a fistful of radish petit salad and a dollop of Kewpie mayo (anything with Kewpie is delicious, if you ask me!). Luckily we shared this dish, as I found it rather heavy for brekkie.

Their Devonshire Street branch is now exclusively only for day operations. For night operations, they have a new place on Danks Street. Oh, and of course, with a upgraded menu. ;)

Devon Cafe on Urbanspoon

Devon Cafe
76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2043, Australia.
Tel: +61 2 9211 8777; E-mail:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My evening with James Morris-Cotteril aka James Yang 杨永聪

I can imagine many of your eyebrows are raised just having read the title of this post. Well, let me introduce you to this good-looking chap with a mesmerising smoky voice called James.

How did I get to know about James? Well, it was through last season's One Million Star (华人星光大道) where in one of the PK rounds, he was the challenger. He had Matilda Tao (陶晶莹) all over him because of his good looks!

My friends and I felt slightly out of place because his fan club members more or less conquered the entire place. Thankfully, I made a reservation beforehand. Thank you, Wings Musicafe Sri Petaling for accommodating us and for entertaining my fickle-mindedness (more like my friends could not tell me all at once - they had to tell me separately, argh!).

The stage was all set when we arrived. And I love the fact that he was punctual.

We all had the same reaction when he walked in: Why is he so thin? And gosh, he's tall!

I was wondering why the lights were not dimmer, as I was making comparisons with the pubs and all in Sydney. But then, I was quite glad that it was brightly lit, as it made photo-taking a less frustrating affair.

Of course the dude had to have some banter with his audience, no? At one point, he was even offered fried sweet potato wedges by the emcee!

I was really impressed with how composed he was in replying in Mandarin questions thrown at him. Although he has Chinese blood flowing in him (his mother is a Hong Konger), he only picked up the Chinese language when he made the decision to join the Taiwanese pop music industry two years ago. Not easy for someone who spent his formative years in extremely Mat Salleh UK.

In addition to his smoky voice, I liked that he plays the guitar, too. So simple, rustic, no-over-the-top-fancy-schmancy stuff. Okay, fine, I admit that I like any person who could play a musical instrument and sing at the same time but hey, he is good-looking, has a mesmerising voice and an attractive sense of humour to boot! Oh, not forgetting a very friendly father who is based in KL as an expert in money laundering. Er, no, he does not launder money but he  knows the... er, just buy his book...

It is such a different feeling hearing him sing live compared to a recording of his singing. How should I describe it? Hm, his voice is quite emotional and alive. I was totally drawn in (sucked in more like).

James, all the best in all you do - am sure that your creative juices will flow... no, pour for many years to come! So happy to have watched you sing live.

And my friends, in case you are still wondering why I bothered to watch his little showcase (when normally I could not care less), this is why:

He is the first, let me repeat, first artiste to have replied my message. And that was the first reply of a few. Who would not support such a down-to-earth person?

But then again, we all have our own preferences in singers so I am not going to tell you to just take my word. Why not just listen to him sing and decide for yourself?


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