Restaurant Amuse is one of those restaurants we have always intended to visit at some point, ever since we received an Entertainment book in 2008. We finally got around to booking, which has to be two months in advance. I was dubious having been to a couple of big reputation restaurants in Perth that were seriously underwhelming (see my Coco’s review for an example). So I approached this with open-minded trepidation, and I was pleasantly surprised. The trepidation increased when we were greeted with a minimalist setting with little or no romantic ambience. Though all of these feelings were removed once the food began to arrive. (more…)

Recently I had to travel to Atyrau, Kazakhstan for work. I wasn’t really keen on doing so, especially since my darling couldn’t accompany me. The trip was arranged in a rush to coincide with everyone’s schedules. So tickets were booked on a Thursday and I flew out on the Friday. The trip there was long Perth – Singapore – Istanbul (14 hour layover) – Astana – Atyrau. I left home at 330pm Perth time Friday and arrived at my hotel at 5pm Perth time Sunday.

At Astana I had to get a visa on arrival. The form was confusing, most people didn’t speak English and I was unsure about the whole process. Fortunately I encountered an English gentleman (who was in international import export auditor) who confirmed I was doing the right thing. The immigration agent looked very ill, like she was going to collapse at any moment. Maybe that increased the speed of my processing? So after being processed through immigration I had a 4 hour wait for my Atyrau flight. Finally arrived in Atyrau airport, which is very small. Waited an age for my bags and then was taken to my hotel, or what I thought was my hotel.

The Chagala chain has two hotels in the Asia side of Atyrau, the old and the new, from the outside you would be hard pressed to discern the difference. So I had to call the taxi back to then get to the new Chagala. I found out on my return home that the area both hotels are is not very safe! Fortunately I chose to wait for the taxi to come. I finally checked in to my home for the next two weeks. Very basic and relatively old. It was at least somewhere to sleep and it did have wifi so I could FaceTime with my darling, so all was not too bad. After showering and changing I headed down to get some food at 6pm, only to find the restaurant only opened after 7pm. So back to the room and fell straight asleep. The trip home was much better, 26 hours door to door.

I didn’t get much chance to explore or take photo’s with my camera. Though I did take some pictures with my phone. Though I did travel from Asia to Europe every day. If you travel to Atyrau be sure to use taxis as even the most skilful drivers would find it a challenge driving here. The climate is fairly mild in Autumn, though there is a hint of the biting cold that is to come in winter.

It is an interesting place that I would like to learn more about, though I am not sure if I would have ever gone there by choice.

A filling station

A filling station

The Asia Side of the River

The Asia Side of the River

Part of the New Chagala Atyrau

Part of the New Chagala Atyrau

A meat lovers paradise

A meat lovers paradise

Caucasus mountains from the plane

Caucasus mountains from the plane

The airport

The airport

The city skyline

The city skyline

View from the bridge

View from the bridge

The Europe Side of the River

The Europe Side of the River

A hotel on the Asia side

A hotel on the Asia side

To celebrate my darling’s birthday we decided not to go out, so I said I would do a degustation menu. Here are the results, including homemade bread rolls and lemon sorbet between courses. Everything turned out better than expected. Total cost was around $40 instead of $125 per person to go out:).

Table  Setting and Menu

Table Setting and Menu

1st Course Cajun Blackened Prawn Cups

1st Course Cajun Blackened Prawn Cups

2nd Course Pea and Chive Soup


2nd Course Pea and Chive Soup


3rd Course Broccoli with Anchovy Butter

3rd Course Broccoli with Anchovy Butter

4th Course Stuffed Mushroom

4th Course Stuffed Mushroom

5th Course Maple Glazed Salmon on Pea Puree

5th Course Maple Glazed Salmon on Pea Puree

6th Course Crumbed Chicken (Stuffed with Tomatoes, Chives and Cream Cheese) with Asparagus

6th Course Crumbed Chicken (Stuffed with Tomatoes, Chives and Cream Cheese) with Asparagus

Dessert - Strawberry Cheesecake (Almond Meal base)

Dessert – Strawberry Cheesecake (Almond Meal base)

11 years ago yesterday we shared our vows. Our love continues to grow as we grow together. We have had some amazing experiences in the 13 years we have been together, and been many places. On our special day we have often done something extra special, like our 5th Anniversary in Paris. Last night we had a wonderful dinner together at the Red Cabbage, South Perth. This was a tasting menu or degustation as some call it, whatever you call it, every dish was delicious. This will go alongside the many treasured memories we have shared and many more to come…

 

The Full Monty

The Full Monty

Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche

Scallops Bonito and Apple

Scallops Bonito and Apple

South West marron, salmon pastrami, wasabi and soy

South West marron, salmon pastrami, wasabi and soy

Garden

Garden

Trout, cauliflower and hazelnut

Trout, cauliflower and hazelnut

Pumpkin White Chocolate Cashel Blue and Cheddar

Pumpkin White Chocolate Cashel Blue and Cheddar

Chocolate Coffee and Wattle Seed

Chocolate Coffee and Wattle Seed

Burnt Honey Parfait and Mango

Burnt Honey Parfait and Mango

This is a day in my life, the photo’s aren’t great, taken with my “much despised” blackberry (Hey it’s a work phone I don’t pay for it!)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/photo-challenge-day-in-the-life/

This week the weekly photo challenge has us detailing our daily life. So I have documented my daily routine, I know, ho-hum. I have always disliked the routine of every day working life, that is why outside of work, nothing is routine about our lives, but we do have to eat and pay the bills.

345am – Wake up
350am – Check emails and posts on my Macbook
400am –  15 min run, 15 min cycle.
430am – prepare lunch and eat breakfast
450am – shower, shave and not the other s just yet
500am – make my morning coffee
505am – head to work (my darling takes me :))
530amish – get to work
540am – check work emails and start work
1130am – have my lunch
1200pm – Skype with my darling
345-400pm – my darling picks me up.

Tomorrow do it all again, sigh…bummer they are raising the retirement age to 70 so I guess I have to do this for another 23 years eek…

The start of my day

The start of my day

 

For one of my assignments to get my photojournalism qualification I did a story on a local character, Darren McCubbin from Sale. The weekly writing challenges prompts us to describe a character who is in our life. Though I no longer live in Sale and I wrote the article on him in 1995, he is the one person I would say is a character I could describe with clarity. So here goes.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/weekly-writing-challenge-characters/

At the time of writing the article Darren had won the world title for town crying, a great achievement to say he hails from a city of only 15000 people. After speaking to Darren it is clear that the stage and town crying was something he was born to. Darren has a commanding presence even though he is not overly big in stature.

A portly frame would suggest a very rotund person but Darren is not beefy at all, he is just portly. Though height wise he stands below six foot he has the presence of a person of stature. Vivid blue eyes with an impish sparkle provide a great insight into a colourful and fun person. A genuine smile conveys a desire to make others smile.

In full town crier regalia Darren is in his element. A bright blue outfit complete with frilly shirt, white stockings and buckled shoes is topped by the incessantly ringing bell. Don’t get too close when he is in full cry, your ear drums will think they have been at a Metallica concert.

Darren was the Mayor of Wellington Shire, where the city of Sale is, and is now a councillor and putting his powerful voice and presence to good use.

English: Darren McCubbin

English: Darren McCubbin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The prompt for today asks us to explain our blog title.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/daily-prompt-all-about-me/

My blog title is quite simple. In season 4 of American Idol, the first time we had watched it, I had a look at the Fox chat board. I created a screen name based on my favourite rock start, Edge from U2, and how I was feeling at the time, on the edge of a ledge. On the boards I got hooked into a limerick writing thread that started on St Patrick’s day. From that I got invited to an irreverent website americanidolconspiracy. This site basically took the piss out of everything and everyone, especially the rabid Constantine Mouralis fans. It was fun and I still have a few friends from those days that I have never met.

So I have kept that screen name for most things now. The ramblings part is just how I see my work, ramblings, random ideas and stories that come to mind either from prompts like this or from things I want to say.

My name is Andrew though I do go by Drew, and some people do call me Edge, but I prefer not because I am not worthy of the same name as Mr Evans.

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