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11 Mar 13:32

Why Lesbians and Gay Men Don’t Share Space

by Lisa Wade, PhD

Last month’s edition of Contexts had a fascinating article by Amin Ghaziani titled Lesbian Geographies. Most of us are familiar with the idea of a “gayborhood,” a neighborhood enclave that attracts gay men. It turns out that lesbians have enclaves, too, but they’re not always the same ones.

Here’s the frequency of same-sex female couples (top) and same-sex male couples (bottom) in U.S. counties. Census data tracks same-sex couples but not individuals, so the conclusions here are based on couples.


What are the differences between where same-sex female and same-sex male couples live?

First, Same-sex female couples are more likely than their male counterparts to live in rural areas. Ghaziani thinks that “cultural cues regarding masculinity and femininity play a part.” As one interviewee told sociologist Emily Kazyak:

If you’re a flaming gay queen, they’re like, “Oh, you’re a freak, I’m scared of you.” But if you’re a really butch woman and you’re working at a factory, I think [living in the midwest is] a little easier.

If being “butch” is normative for people living in rural environments, lesbians who perform masculinity might fit in better than gay men who don’t.

Second, non-heterosexual women are about three times as likely as non-heterosexual men to be raising a child under 18. Whatever a person’s sexual orientation, parents are more likely to be looking for good schools, safe neighborhoods, and non-postage stamp-sized apartments.

Finally, there’s evidence that gay men price lesbians out. Gay men are notorious for gentrifying neighborhoods, but data shows that lesbians usually get there first. When non-heterosexual men arrive, they accelerate the gentrification, often making it less possible for non-heterosexual women to afford to stay. Thanks to the gender pay gap, times two, women living with women don’t generally make as much money as men living with men.

Or, they might leave because they don’t want to be around so many men. Ghaziani writes:

Gay men are still men, after all, and they are not exempt from the sexism that saturates our society. In reflecting on her experiences in the gay village of Manchester, England, one lesbian described gay men as “quite intimidating. They’re not very welcoming towards women.”

Cross-posted at Pacific Standard.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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10 Mar 14:16

Changing the Bad Reputation of Buses

by Lisa Wade, PhD
Fergus Noodle

No it is because there are hardly any bus lanes and so the bus is always hopelessly late.

Look closely. Which would you rather ride?

2 (1)

Transport scholars David Hensher and Corinne Mulley asked this question of residents of six cities in Australia. They included these ultra modern examples and also photographs featuring less modern trains and buses.

They found that people overwhelmingly preferred trains to buses, even though the modern bus has a dedicated lane just like the train and identical boarding and fare collection procedures.


We associate trains with romance and leisure travel or hip, urban places like Manhattan. In contrast, buses bring to mind traffic, exhaust, and being exhausted after getting off from a second job.  Members of a focus group organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, had these things to say:

I’m ashamed to tell that I am taking buses…In Europe, I wouldn’t. But here, they would think, “Did he lose his job?”

The shame factor is majorly big.

I’m just saying that when I was in L.A. and I was in the car and just looking in at the bus…the people getting on….it just seems scary…

The bus has a bad rap.

But the authors found it wasn’t that simple. People from cities with better bus service tended to feel a little better about buses. If someone had recently had a good experience on a bus — like getting a seat for the whole trip — they felt better about buses. In fact, riding buses made people like buses more. People who rode more often had a better opinion.

Basically, give people good buses, good bus routes, and good service and they will come to love buses.

So, the authors argue that cities shouldn’t let the bad reputation of buses stop them from providing and improving bus service. Often buses are a better choice than trains. Bus routes are cheaper to get started and easier to change. High frequency and dedicated lanes can make them as efficient. So, if a bus is the right thing for the city, don’t give the people what they want, show them.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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09 Mar 13:30

Chinese police detain feminist activists ahead of International Women’s Day

by Nancy Tang

Ed. note: This post was originally published on the Community site.

Brace yourself for the irony: #Beijing20 is trending on Twitter in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing (when Hillary Clinton delivered her “women’s rights are human rights” speech.) But right before International Women’s Day 2015, police across China detained vocal, young Chinese feminist activists.


Li Tingting (Li Maizi) protests against the misogynistic 2015 Chinese New Year Gala, wearing a shirt that says, “This is what a feminist looks like” in Chinese. (Photo courtesy of anonymous friend)

On the evening of March 6, 2015, leaders of the Chinese feminist community were taken into police custody or put under house arrest in at least three Chinese cities: Beijing, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou. Police detained these feminists, who are all in their 20s or early 30s, on the grounds of “creating disturbance” (寻衅滋事.) According to the accounts by friends and colleagues, police broke into their apartments without arrest warrants. In addition to detaining at least ten activists, the police confiscated their phones, laptops, and other means of communication and documentation of activism. As of Sunday evening (March 8) Beijing time, five feminists remain in detention with no contact with the outside world or access to their attorneys.

Why were they detained?

The feminists had planned to publicly rally against sexual harassment on buses in Beijing and Guangzhou for International Women’s Day. The charge under which they were detained, “creating disturbance,” has been repeatedly used by the Chinese state to detain, arrest, or harass civil rights lawyers, liberal intellectuals, and civil society/human rights activists during recent months of intensified censorship and crackdown on civil liberties.

In November 2014, since Zheng Churan (Datu) was denied exit by the Chinese customs, her friend carried a large photo of Zheng and protested on Zheng’s behalf  at the Beijing+20 CSO Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo courtesy of Zheng’s weibo)

In November 2014, since Zheng Churan (Datu) was denied exit by the Chinese customs, her friend carried a large photo of Zheng and protested on Zheng’s behalf at the Beijing+20 CSO Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo courtesy of Zheng’s weibo)

Some commentators speculate that the “Two Sessions” underway (the Chinese legislature’s annual meeting) might explain why the feminists were taken into police custody, and expect that they will be released once the legislative sessions are adjourned. If we accept such analysis, which has validity in the Chinese one-party system that prioritizes stability above all else, the absurdity is beyond comprehension. On the one hand, Chinese state media celebrates women legislators and new anti-domestic violence legislation, which are both important; on the other, the state is so afraid of young, vocal feminists that they must be detained right before International Women’s Day, so as to assure the smooth running of national legislative sessions.

Who are the feminists detained by the police?

LI Tingting (李婷婷, pseudo-name Li Maizi, 李麦子) is a Beijing-based young leader for women’s rights and LGBTQ rights advocacy. She works for Beijing Yirenping Center, “a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social justice and public health” that battles disease- and disability-related employment discrimination. Li has been the leader of campaigns to raise awareness on domestic violence, gender discrimination, and homophobia in China. The pinned post on her weibo (a popular Chinese micro-blogging site similar to Twitter) account before the detention commemorates the third anniversary of “Occupy the Men’s Room,” a provocative campaign advocating for unisex restrooms in urban China.


Wei Tingting holds a sign that says, “Because of love, zero tolerance of discrimination against AIDS patients.” (Photo courtesy of anonymous friend)

WEI Tingting (韦婷婷, nicknamed Waiting) is a Beijing-based advocate for public health, LGBTQ rights, and AIDS awareness. She works for Beijing Gender Health Education Institute (BJGHEI), an NGO focusing on the “issues of gender, sexuality and sexual health” in China. Her last post on her weibo account, dated March 5, says, “is it a good idea or not, to put oneself in a place of danger?”

ZHENG Churan (郑楚然, pseudo-name Datu or “giant rabbit”, 大兔) is a Guangzhou-based, 25-year-old feminist activist. She has publicly protested against sexual assault on college campus, employment discrimination against women, and the fact that rape of Chinese girls is considered “prostitution” rather than rape. In November 2014, Zheng was set to attend the Asia Pacific Civil Society Organization (CSO) Forum on Beijing +20 but was denied exit at the Chinese custom. (See photo) Her personal profile on her weibo account says, “The comments that make one uncomfortable are helpful tools that prompt one to leave one’s safety zone.”

WU Rongrong (武嵘嵘) is a feminist working for a Hangzhou-based women’s advocacy group. She has been active since 2005 and has worked on legal cases addressing violence against women in China. Her health is in bad condition; and her family has been trying, but so far has failed, to deliver medicine into police custody.

WANG Man (王曼) is a Beijing-based feminist. Her weibo handle says ,“Wang Man [dedicated to] eliminating poverty.” She has publicly spoken against gender discrimination in Chinese college admissions and has long been an advocate for women’s economic empowerment.

What will happen to these feminists? What will happen to Chinese feminist activism?

The feminists’ lawyers have been trying to locate them in the past 48 hours. The police have denied that they have detained them. According to their lawyers, these feminists might be “interrogated three times a day,” sometimes “with late-night or even all-nighter interrogations” which “are the most frightening.” Since they have been missing for more than two days now, the level of danger they face is considered “elevated” by the feminist community.

Wu Rongrong (left) and Wang Man (right) were both detained by police in Hangzhou and Beijing respectively. (Photo courtesy of anonymous friend)

Wu Rongrong (left) and Wang Man (right) were both detained by police in Hangzhou and Beijing respectively. (Photo courtesy of anonymous friend)

Many Chinese feminists have written in their personal wechat (a popular Chinese mobile text and social media) platform, “This is a day marked by humiliation and sorrow.” While it is hardly surprising that women’s rights would fall short in a country where civil liberties are at risk, this is a day that should anger feminists across the globe. Chinese women, more than 600 million in number, make up about one tenth of humanity. This is a day marked by humiliation and sorrow for all of us.

Li (left) and Wei (right) dress up in bloodstained wedding gowns to raise awareness on domestic violence in China. Their signs: “Why are you still silent about intimate  violence around you?” and “Love is not an excuse for violence”. (Source:

Li (left) and Wei (right) dress up in bloodstained wedding gowns to raise awareness on domestic violence in China. Their signs: “Why are you still silent about intimate violence around you?” and “Love is not an excuse for violence”. (Source:

How can a feminist ally inside or outside of China help?

  1. Spread the word: share the news coverage and these Feministing profiles of the Chinese activists.
  2. If you speak Mandarin Chinese and/or are based in China, please call the police bureaus. The Beijing bureaus (where Li, Wei and Wang are detained) can be reached at +86-10-82588210/82519110 (海淀, Haidian bureau) or +86-10-62275110/62210111 (太平庄, Taipingzhuang bureau)
  3. Protest and speak out against sexual harassment, since the missing feminists were planning to do so themselves on International Women’s Day, which might have led to their detention.
  4. Sign the petition “Calling for Beijing Police to Release Chinese Feminist Activists Detained before International Women’s Day” by emailing your signature to (Format: Name, Gender, Location, e.g. “Nancy Tang, She, DC”)
  5. If you have legal expertise and/or political connections within China and are interested in helping out, please contact the author by tweeting at @NancyYunTang.
10 Mar 22:59


by mugumogu

Same hat.
Hana, unfortunately you do not look good with it.

Hana:[It's ok. I do not like this.]


Maru:[I don't like this, too. But I wear everything well.]

02 Mar 14:20

Why Don’t Men Kick Each Other in the Balls?

by Lisa Wade, PhD

In Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, and mixed martial arts, there is a rule that you never hit “below the belt.” The area of biggest concern is the testicles. As the Ultimate Fighting Championship rules specify, “groin attacks of any kind” are a foul. This is probably because groin attacks might make for short fights or ones where everyone just goes around protecting their balls. In any case, the skills being tested are of a different kind. But, even aside from that, this seems like a good idea and very civilized. I do not advocate for testicle kicking, not groin attacks of any kind, for what it’s worth.

I do think it’s somewhat odd, though, that men who fight each other outside of controlled conditions—men in street fights, bar brawls, and parking lot scuffles—also usually avoid hitting below the belt. These fights aren’t about training or skill, like those between professional athletes, they’re real attempts to do some damage out of anger or defensiveness. So, why no hits to the balls?

The question was posed by a woman on Yahoo! Answers: “If you dislike each other enough to want them to get hurt,” she asked, “why not do the worst?”

The answers, admittedly unscientific, were interesting. One of the common responses involved the idea that not hitting below the belt was “an unspoken rule.” Maybe it’s the Golden Rule—do onto others as you would have them do unto you—and some men mentioned that, but others suggested that it was a rule specific to manhood. It’s a “cheap shot,” said one. A “low blow,” said another.

But why? Why do men agree not to kick each other in the balls? Why is that part of the code?

I think it’s because it serves to protect men’s egos as well as men’s balls.

What would street fights between guys look like—or professional fights for that matter—if one could go below the belt? For one, there’d be a lot more collapsing. Two, a lot more writhing in pain. Three, a lot less getting up. All in all, it would add up to less time looking powerful and more time looking pitiful. And it would send a clear message that men’s bodies are vulnerable.

Chris Tuchscherer not having been just hit in the balls:


Chris Tuchscherer having been just hit in the balls:


Not hitting below the belt, then, protects the idea that men’s bodies are fighting machines. It protects masculinity, the very idea that men are big and strong, pain- and impact-resistant, impenetrable like an edifice. So not hitting below the belt doesn’t just protect individual men from pain, it protects our ideas about masculinity.

When a man hits below the belt, he is revealing to everyone present that masculinity is a fiction. That’s why one guy said: “For ‘alpha male’ fights, nut shots are just wrong.” Alpha male fights are about figuring out which male is alpha, while preserving the idea that the alpha male is a thing that matters.

This is why men are quick to criticize other men who break the code. One of the best ways to control men is to threaten to kick them out of the man club. “If a guy kicks another guy in the balls on purpose during a fight,” one replied to the question on Yahoo, “he will forever be banished from manhood.” Another said: “Winning like this means that you cannot beat up the other guy by ‘real’ fighting.” It’s a matter of one’s own reputation: “A man who kicks another man in the balls,” said a third, “immediately loses all manliness and respect.”

So, men generally agree to pretend that the balls just aren’t there. The effect is that we tend to forget just how vulnerable men are to the right attack and continue to think of women as naturally more fragile.

I still don’t want anyone to get kicked in the balls, though, just to be clear.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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05 Mar 14:21

The Most Common Job in Every State, 1978-2014

by Lisa Wade, PhD

NPR put together a nice graphic showing the most common job in every state every two years from 1978 to 2014. It’s a fascinating ride from secretaries, farmers, and machine operators to truck drivers, truck drivers, and truck drivers. Click to enlarge.



Quoctrung Bui explains some of the trends:

  • Truck drivers came to “dominate the map” partly because the job can’t be outsources or automated (yet).
  • Much of the work of secretaries was replaced by computers.
  • Manufacturing jobs have been sent overseas (but you knew that).
  • And advances in farming technology means that we can grow more and more food with fewer and fewer people.

She also points out — with a “heh” — that the most common job in Washington D.C. is lawyer. But she didn’t mention that in 1996 it was janitors. There’s gotta be a politician joke in there, too.

Here are some of the changes I found interesting, with mostly uninformed commentary. The three boxes represent 1978, 1996, and 2014.

Methinks reality television is not telling me the truth about Alaska.


Well, we know what Nevada‘s for. Except I guess people used to go there to do stuff and now they just go there to buy stuff.333

South Dakota and North Dakota, holding strong.444New York, the only state on the list that’s top job is nursing. Take that, Florida!


You go, Delaware.222

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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03 Mar 14:59

Chart of the Day: More large companies are run by men named “John” than by women

by Maya Dusenbery

Inspired by a recent report that calculated that there are more men named John, Robert, William or James than there are women on the boards of large companies, an economist at the New York Times has applied this index to a variety of institutional contexts. 

chart of companies run by women vs. male names

Chart source: Execucomp via NYT

Turning to the CEOs of those major companies, for example, reveals an even more egregious stat: For each woman CEO, there are four men named John, Robert, William or James. In fact, the number of companies run by men named John exceeds those run by women. (Same with David.)

Of course, the index isn’t a particularly accurate gauge of gender inequality in all contexts — in institutions that are more ethnically diverse, for example, or that draw from a younger generation with more Jacobs and Tylers than Johns and Bobs. But it’s still a revealing/depressing experiment.

27 Feb 14:00

What Do Women (Seeking Men) Want?

by Lisa Wade, PhD

Flashback Friday.

Dating site OKCupid did an analysis of 500,000 inquiry messages to determine what keywords correlate most strongly with getting a reply.  It has some great lessons about dating and some counter-stereotypical news about what heterosexual women want from men.

This first graph shows that mentioning someone’s level of attractiveness decreased the likelihood of getting a response (for both men and women), though men were more likely to mention looks.  But general compliments about one’s profile increased the likelihood of getting a response (the middle line is the average number of responses, the green bars signify an increase in the number of responses, and the red bars a decrease):


A good lesson in operationalization: “pretty” is used in two ways in our culture, so when they made sure to differentiate between pretty (meaning “sort of”) and pretty (meaning “attractive”), you can see clearly the way that commenting on looks decreases the recipients’ interest:

So, in contrast to stereotypes, many women cannot be flattered into a date (though the figure above includes men and women, I’m assuming most people being called “pretty” are female).

Further, the site found that when men sent messages, female recipients preferred humility to bold self-confidence.  The words below all increased the chances of a woman responding to a man’s inquiry:

Instead of bravado and flattery, women appear to actually like men who take an interest in them.  They respond positively to phrases that indicate that a guy actually read their profile and is interested in the content of their person:

The lesson: Treat a woman (on the OK Cupid dating site) like a human being and she will respond positively.

And to answer the question, “What do women want?”  As my dear friend David Landsberg would say: “Everything!

This post originally appeared in 2009.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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26 Feb 23:00


by mugumogu

Hey you, what kind of situation is it?
Please explain it.

Hana:[When I looked out, he meddled in me.]

Hana:[Because he is annoying, I threw him.]

Hana:[However, he was persistent.]

Hana:[So I bit him still more.]

I knew it!

24 Feb 15:37

Idaho lawmaker legislating abortion thinks the stomach is connected to the vagina

by Maya Dusenbery

Just gonna leave this here:

An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

[...] Dr. Julie Madsen, a physician who said she has provided various telemedicine services in Idaho, was testifying in opposition to the bill. She said some colonoscopy patients may swallow a small device to give doctors a closer look at parts of their colon.

“Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?” Barbieri asked.

Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.

Rep. Barbieri later claimed he “was being rhetorical.” “I was trying to make the point that equalizing a colonoscopy to this particular procedure was apples and oranges….It was the response I wanted.” Whatever you say, dude.

Here’s the thing: A quote like this is just a particularly absurd illustration of the everyday reality that US lawmakers, with absolutely no expertise in medicine or public health, are regularly ignoring the scientific facts and advice of health professionals and passing laws that tell doctors how to practice medicine. Whether or not Rep. Barbieri actually thinks that the stomach is connected to the vagina, he for sure believes that he knows better than a physician whether it’s safe to provide abortions via telemedicine.

In reality, it is extremely safe, effective, and cost-effective. By increasing access to the procedure earlier in pregnancy, telemedicine results in improved health outcomes and is greatly appreciated by patients. Rep. Barbieri’s opposition to the practice is driven by his opposition to abortion in general, which he — like the rest of the anti-choice movement — wraps up in a veneer of concern for patient safety, while ignoring the consensus of the people who actually provide abortion care.

I do not blame anti-choice lawmakers from trying to impose their own beliefs about abortion on their constituencies, but pretending that they know better than health experts is an insult to the entire profession. And I think it’s long past time that the medical establishment — whether or not they provide abortions — fight back against the increasingly anti-medicine tactics of the anti-abortion movement, from politicizing health boards to mandating that doctors to lie to their patients.

23 Feb 17:19

Robots Unrivalled, A Little Bit of Japan in Sydney

Fergus Noodle

oh yeah

A taste of Japan's famous Robot Restaurant comes to Sydney. With neon light, laser beams, booming J-Pop, two giant robots and plenty of skimpily clad girl and a pole dancer, it is a sight to behold and enormous fun to boot. Open for nine shows only over three nights, the events proved extremely popular selling out within three minutes.
21 Feb 14:30

Chart of the Week: Big Pharma Spends More on Marketing than Research

by Lisa Wade, PhD

Pharmaceutical companies say that they need long patents that keep the price of their drugs high so that they can invest in research. But that’s not actually what they’re spending most of their money on. Instead, they’re spending more — sometimes twice as much — on advertising directly to doctors and consumers.

Data from the BBC, visualized by León Markovitz:

2“When do you cross the line from essential profits to profiteering?,” asked Dr Brian Druker, one of a group of physicians asking for price reductions.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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21 Feb 12:48

Li-Sun Exotic Mushroom tour in the old Mittagong railway tunnel

by Helen (Grab Your Fork)
The Mittagong railway mushroom tunnel is unlike anything you've ever seen. Cool, damp and eerily quiet, the long disused train tunnel has been used to grow mushrooms since the 1950s. The tunnel itself stretches for 650 metres, its curved archway soaring way above our heads. Since 1987 the tunnel has been home to Li-Sun Exotic Mushrooms, established by microbiologist Dr Noel Arrold. Our tour
22 Feb 14:07

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast [8]

by Susan Thye
Fergus Noodle

Have some soy paper

Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast
It’s been quite a while since I was last on the Gold Coast. I reckon the last time I was there I was about 12 and back in those days it was cheaper to road trip there than fly. I vaguely remember going to Sea World, Dream World and Movie World, and spending hours at the Timezone in Surfers Paradise but for some reason I remember very clearly receiving a deck of cards from Jupiters Casino which started my love for all card games.

Anywhos a couple of weeks ago I was flown up for a much needed weekend escape – hello chillaxing on the beach – but the primary purpose of my visit was to visit Chase Kojima’s newest restaurant, Kiyomi, which opened late last year at Jupiters on the Gold Coast. Chase’s Sokyo is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney and I was keen to see if Kiyomi measured up.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - chocolate
After checking in and spending the day eating donuts with Helen, we return to our room and find a sweet surprise- a chocolate sculpture of the fruit that the restaurant is named after. The kiyomi is a small Japanese citrus fruit that has been cross-bred from a tangerine and an orange and it is deeeelicious.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast
We take the lift to the lobby level where Kiyomi is located and find that it is already packed – apparently all tables are booked out for the month!

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast
Luckily we have a booking and as we’re led inside the restaurant I’m mesmerised by the fluorescent UV artwork by Tokyo-based Houxo Que, a Japanese street artist.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Sake
We start off with drinks, a refreshing Yuzu Collins ($18) and a Tengumai Umajun Junmai Sake ($10). I’m warned about the ice filled hole in the glass sake Tokkuri that keeps the sake cold without diluting it but still manage to knock all the ice out because I’m coordinated like that.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Sashimi Platter- bbq eel ($12), tamago ($8), tuna ($12), and salmon belly ($12)
We design our own Sashimi Platter- bbq eel ($12), tamago ($8), tuna ($12), and salmon belly ($12), my fave of the lot being the silky, smoky eel.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Scallop, yuzu honey, scorched corn and mache ($18)
We smell the Scallop, yuzu honey, scorched corn and mache ($18) before it even reaches our table, the yuzu force was strong with this dish! I love yuzu but woahhh easy there fella! I’m not the biggest fan of scallops but these were perfect specimens, plump and delicate and the addition of the charred corn was ace.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Seared Scampi ($9 each)
The Seared Scampi ($9 each) was just amazing. It just about blew me away and I fell head over heels in love with the combination of the clean flavour of the scampi, the richness of the foie gras and the tartness of the julienned green apple bringing everything home.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Aburi Salmon ($19)
Moving onto the sushi and rolls section we order the Aburi Salmon ($19), the salmon is a generous fat slice draped over the pat of rice but it had barely a kiss from the blowtorch and we all know how much I love burning. That sounded sarcastic but really, who doesn’t love a good char :D

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Queensland Roll ($23)
The Queensland Roll ($23) is certainly interesting in presentation, with soy paper instead of the usual seaweed wrapping morsels of sweet spanner crab and a creamy avocado puree squiggle on top.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Dengakuman Toothfish ($37)
I’d hoped there would be miso cod on the menu but the Dengakuman Toothfish ($37) soothes my soul with its caramelised miso glaze and smoky flavour.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Wagyu +7 oyster Blade ($37)
The Wagyu +7 oyster Blade ($37) is another hit for me and thanks to the magic of cooking on the binchotan grill, each slice is so fricken tender and juicy!

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Tempura Cuttlefish ($20)
We were pleasantly full at this stage but we really had to see how their tempura game stacked up against Sokyo. The Tempura Cuttlefish ($20) is perfection with golden batter so light and crisp it could make angels weep.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna ($20),
And last but not least, Chase’s signature Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna ($20), a slice of ruby red tuna lies on a dollop of spicy mayo and a cube of sushi rice that has been fried until crisp. Smashing.

We were stuffed to the gills but there’s always room for dessert right? Our only problem was choosing which dessert to get and since we were indecisive we were brought a dessert platter. The Mango Shiso (full size $13), tastes like summer with fresh mango pieces, dollops of creamy mascarpone and sour cream, crunchy shiso meringue, toasted milk powder and mango sorbet.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Apple Jack (full size $13)
The toffee tuille in the Apple Jack (full size $13) is eye catching though immediately plasters itself to my teeth and while the Jack Daniel’s foam may not be for everyone I loved the combination of the gingerbread and honey ice cream.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Goma Street (full size $14)
I’m glad to see that Goma Street (full size $14) has made it on the menu as it’s one of my faves at Sokyo. I love cracking through the discs of dark chocolate and black sesame crumble to reach the extremely addictive caramelised white chocolate mousse and the black sesame ice cream is super intense in flavour.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast
The service at Kiyomi is top notch but I did find it disconcerting that because the restaurant wasn’t enclosed we could see directly into the casino and cringed as the doof doof music from the bar downstairs slowly increased in decibels throughout the night.

Jupiters Casino - bed
We rub our bellies and stagger off to sleep away the food coma.

Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Buffet Breakfast
And then breakfast time at Food Fantasy! I love hotel buffets!

Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Buffet Breakfast
There are pastries galore and a pancake machine which is seriously like the best invention ever.

Kiyomi @ Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Food Fantasy breakfast buffet
The line for omelettes was never ending so unfortch I skipped this and went straight for bacon and waffles :D

Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast - Pool
Then it was some quality time by the pool

Gold Coast
I like long walks on the beach…

Farewell Gold Coast! You were bloody awesome!

ChocolateSuze dined at Kiyomi as a guest of Jupiters Hotel & Casino. Return flights from Sydney, one night’s accommodation and breakfast at Food Fantasy was included.

20 Feb 03:37

The Henson, Marrickville

by squishies
Fergus Noodle

Dawg pub

F came home one day after a doggy play date and announced that we should go The Henson: it is a dog-friendly pub with pretty darn good food.

Say no more, he had me at “dog-friendly pub”!

Dog-Friendly Pub

Dog-Friendly Pub

We’re always on the lookout for dog-friendly places, so I was pretty excited about coming here (Xander looks pretty happy about it too! Haha).

It’s also a kid-friendly place, complete with a shed that’s been converted into a play house; there were actually more kids than dogs – I think Xander was the only dog there that day.

Seared Scallops ($19)

Seared Scallops ($19)

I wasn’t prepared for how big this dish turned out. The tobiko-topped seared scallops came with an avocado, miso corn, and bean sprout salad, sprinkled with toasted sesame.

There was quite a lot going on, and while F thought it was the weaker dish of the three, I really enjoyed it. This is a salad I’d definitely have again, as I liked how the dish was light yet still had some substance to it.

Mac'n'Cheese ($15)

Mac’n’Cheese ($15)

Mac’n’Cheese is one of the best comfort food for me; this one is jazzed up with cauliflower, kale, and truffle.

It came out close to being molten hot lava and despite (impatiently) waiting for it to cool (by eating other things), my first bite was still piping hot. Typical mac’n’cheese! I don’t think I’ve ever had one that wasn’t hot on the first mouthful.

It was so decadent and cheesy that it’s worth doing the open mouth breathing thing to cool it down (so classy, I know haha).

"Knuckle" Sandwich ($17)

“Knuckle” Sandwich ($17)

The “Knuckle” Sandwich consisted of wagyu brisket, fennel slaw, Swiss cheese, and smoky mayonnaise on rye with chips on the side.

It may not look like it, but there was a lot more brisket under all that slaw; the sandwich was very well balanced! There was an unexpected kick from the mayonnaise, but I managed to push through the heat and enjoy my half (of course, F didn’t think there was much heat, if at all).

As one would expect, the brisket was the star: so tender, perfectly seasoned, and succulent. The chips were pretty good too, especially when we added the salt below.



F went to get our cutlery and came back with more; available condiments include a variety of salt! He grabbed the smoked chilli salt and rosemary rooster salt.

I was already struggling through the spicy mayonnaise, so I only tried the fancy chicken salt. It went very well with the chips.

The Henson

The Henson

I loved how relaxed the atmosphere was at The Henson (even with the overly excited kids in the background) and I loved the food even more. Definitely going to make this into our regular hangout! There’s so many other dishes I’d love to try.

Just as heads up: we went on a Saturday around lunch time, so we had to do a couple of laps before finding a parking spot in a side street.

The Henson
91 Illawarra Road,
Marrickville, NSW, 2204
Ph: (02) 9569 5858

The Henson on Urbanspoon

The post The Henson, Marrickville appeared first on .

16 Feb 17:50

115-year-old woman says her secret is remaining single for most of her life

by Maya Dusenbery

Emma Morano is an Italian centenarian who, at 115, is the oldest living person in Europe. In a profile in the New York Times yesterday, she credits her longevity to eating three raw eggs a day and never remarrying after an early divorce. 

Ms. Morano has no doubts about how she made it this long: Her elixir for longevity consists of raw eggs, which she has been eating — three per day — since her teens when a doctor recommended them to counter anemia. Assuming she has been true to her word, Ms. Morano would have consumed around 100,000 eggs in her lifetime, give or take a thousand, cholesterol be damned.

She is also convinced that being single for most of her life, after an unhappy marriage that ended in 1938 following the death of an infant son, has kept her kicking. Separation was rare then, and divorce became legal in Italy only in 1970. She said she had plenty of suitors after that, but never chose another partner. “I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone,” she said.

The Times notes that “gerontologists agree that there is no one key to longevity.” But just last month, Scotland’s oldest woman, 109-year-old Jessie Gallan, revealed that her secrets have been eating porridge every morning and “staying away from men” because “they’re just more trouble than they’re worth.”

Just sayin’ — I’m sensing a pattern here.

Header image credit: Alessandro Grassani/The New York Times

19 Feb 18:00

Why Fifty Shades of Grey is important

by Katie Barnes

Ed. note: This post was originally published on the Community site.

Fifty Shades of Grey premiered over the weekend, and I went to see it. Until that moment, I boycotted everything having to do with Christian and Anna for three reasons. 1.) The relationship between the two of them seemed to be abusive, and did not accurately depict BDSM play, relationships, or sex. 2.) It originated as Twilight fanfiction, and as someone who used to write (non-Twilight) fanfiction, I was infuriated by the rash of reporting and purging of good stories from due to advertisers being upset about the presence of erotica on the website. 3.) Everyone was reading it, and I’m just not a bandwagon kid.

On Friday, however, I took the plunge, spending Valentine’s Day Eve in the movie theater, accompanied by my boo, and watching 50 Shades. The theater was a little less than half full, a disappointment from the viewpoint of the concessions worker. As a gender non-conforming person of color living in rural Ohio, I rarely expect to see people who look and/or express the way I do. North Face jackets, Bean boots, and monogrammed jewelry dominated my vision as I took my seat, reminding me that 50 Shades is definitely not a fringe movie.

And that’s what makes it interesting.

gif of Christian licking Anna's  upper leg

Most of the conversation surrounding 50 Shades discusses the ill-described BDSM, dissects the abusive relationship between Christian and Anna, and/or rips apart the writing. And while all of these critiques are certainly valid, they don’t capture the essence of what is captivating about 50 Shades. The Daily Beast describes 7 movies that did BDSM better than 50 Shades, but none of them made 95 million dollars at the box office during an opening weekend in February. Over a four-day opening weekend, 50 Shades made 94.4 million domestically, and nearly 250 million globally. That’s in addition to the sale of 100 million copies of the book.

While I maintain that the material in both the books and the movie (though less so) is dangerously problematic, the fact that 50 Shades even exists at all is worth a discussion about the power of women and women’s sexuality. Zoe Williams from the Guardian described it best when she discussed the popularity of the books: “James’s sex scenes are not incidental, they are the meat of the plot, the crux of the conflict, the key to at least one of and possibly both the central characters. It is a sex book. It is not a book with sex in it.” 50 Shades is a piece of erotica that sold 100 million copies and was consumed publicly by women. In 2011 and 2012, mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, teachers, professors, colleagues, and friends read these books…and talked about it. A few years later, women poured into theaters around the globe to see the film adaptation, which also contained some of the most graphic sex scenes I have ever personally seen in an R-rated movie, thus cementing the phenomenon created by the sexuality of women. That’s pretty revolutionary.

Existing alongside this truth, of course, is the fact that 50 Shades, both book and film, contains giant swaths of content that are horrible when it comes to the messages sent to women (e.g. stalking is sexy). And while we should use our collective internet power to problematize that, we should also focus our energy on talking about what 50 Shades represents from a consumer perspective. Year after year, we lament the dearth of media and entertainment that stars and caters to women. 50 Shades of Grey demonstrated the consumption power of women in such a strong way that to ignore it would simply be stupid. I’m hopeful that the powers that be pay attention, so that the next phenomenon driven by women isn’t rife with problematic depictions of sex and relationships.

Header image via

15 Feb 01:23

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket [14]

by Susan Thye

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Do Dee Monster Level 1 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10)
A couple of weeks ago it was wet and just absolutely freezing and it felt like the cold was seeping into my bones (yep I totally sound like an old person). I needed something spicy to warm me up so the boy and I ventured into Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe (9/37 Ultimo Rd, Haymarket) after hearing stories of a noodle soup with 7 levels of hell. Ok I’m being dramatic but the noodle soup starts off at Level l and goes up to Level 7, although technically there’s only 5 levels of spiciness because 4 and 6 are bad luck numbers.

I start with the Do Dee Monster Level 1 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) thinking it can’t be thaaat spicy. I was wrong. I thought I’d been slowly building up my chilli tolerance but as it turns out, I’m still firmly in the unable-to-handle-spicy camp. I made it about half way because the soup was fricken tasty- sweet and rich but with a hint of sourness and packed full of coriander and shallots. There’s a choice of noodles- thin rice, glass, egg, flat rice, thai instant or wheat but I stick with the recommended fresh thin rice noodles which has a very satisfying chew to it. I absolutely loved the pork, braised until ridiculously tender and there was a jumble of fish and beef balls, pork slices that kinda reminded me of the pork in a banh mi and a handful of fried wonton strips.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Dee Devil Level 2
Noods loves chilli but he pretty much started crying as soon as he dug into the Do Dee Devil Level 2 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10). He manages to finish the bowl though he paid for it later :P I kinda want to go with someone who’s attempting the Level 7 just to see if they’ll be in tears after one spoon…

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Thai Ice Milky Cordial ($3.90), Thai Ice Volcano Ovaltine ($3.90
Trust me, you WILL need beverages to help with the burning! Noods goes with luridly pink and incredibly sweet Thai Ice Milky Cordial ($3.90) and I opt for the Thai Ice Volcano Ovaltine ($3.90) which has a generous heap of powdered Ovaltine on top.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Do Dee Nursery (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10)
When we return the next day I chicken out and go for the Do Dee Nursery (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) which is absolutely perfect but feels like it’s missing something. Like chilli. Heh. There’s baskets of condiments filled with sugar and chilli powder on each table in case you want to tailor your soup to your liking but instead I spoon soup from Noods’ Level 1 into my bowl and it is perfect. I normally order the Jumbo but the Small size is perfect if you’re eating other foods. The noodles here don’t leave me with that heavy feeling you get when eating ramen but it’s also not too light that you’re hungry again after 2 hours which is tops.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Deep Fried Crispy Pork Skin ($2)
We couldn’t resist the Deep Fried Crispy Pork Skin ($2) which comes in a little plastic packet on a plate with some Thai basil and bean sprouts that I’m assuming was meant to go in our noodles. The pork skin is everything I’d hoped for, crispy, fatty and addictive but it tastes exactly like the type that I buy from Pontip, the Thai grocery 2 stores to the left of Chat Thai near Capital Theatre. If you’re going, make sure you buy the ones in a takeaway box, not the bag and the brand is Penny’s. You’re welcome.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Grilled Pork Satay Skewers ($2.50/skewer)
The Grilled Pork Satay Skewers ($2.50/skewer) is a hit with the family, the pork is nicely seasoned, tender and with caramelised edges. Is that a hint of lemongrass we taste? Whatever it is, it’s fricken tasty.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Tom Tard Seafood Platter ($35.90)
We were originally going to order a papaya salad but instead we order the Tom Tard Seafood Platter ($35.90) as it comes with the salad (actually there’s a choice of 7 salads but we go with the normal papaya salad), grilled prawns, mussels, salmon, squid, cold noodles and vegetables. The salmon is a tad on the dry side which is a shame but the papaya salad is the bomb! We chose a low level of spice and the julienned green papaya is mixed with chilli, tomatoes, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts and dried shrimp and the whole shebang is super refreshing.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Dessert Bar
We’d planned on heading elsewhere next but all night we had watched desserts fly out of the kitchen so we ended up staying put and we’re glad we did!

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Mango with Sticky Rice ($7)
Mango with Sticky Rice ($7) is always a must have whenever I see it on the menu, the mango was perfectly ripe and sweet and the sticky rice drenched in coconut milk.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Bread with Pandan Custard ($5.50)
The Bread with Pandan Custard ($5.50) looked ginormous when it arrived! The pah tong goh aka deep fried bread sticks are piping hot but sadly are a little on the dense side. We still manage to polish off the dish though I would’ve liked a bit more of that pandan custard to completely drown the bread in!

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Black Sticky Rice with Taro ($5.50)
I wasn’t too keen on the Black Sticky Rice with Taro ($5.50), I love black sticky rice but I’ve never been a huge fan of taro so I pushed this over to the rellies who promptly demolished it.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Durian with Sticky Rice ($7)
Last but not least was the Durian with Sticky Rice ($7), the durian was fragrant but ah how I wanted MORE of it! Like, reverse the ratios of the durian and rice man!

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe, Haymarket- Outside
Do Dee Paidang is a massive hit with the locals and especially all the Thai ex-pats and I can see why with awesome food at pretty affordable prices! I’ll definitely be back and will work on increasing my chilli tolerance so I can move up from Nursery!

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe
9/37 Ultimo Rd,

Trading Hours:
Mon – Sun: 11am – 1am

11 Feb 17:14

The Tart Sisters, Ashfield

Fergus Noodle


The Tart Sisters is a wholesale tart business that has been going strong for 20 years turning out delectable tarts. Originally Felicity Peel and her sister Katrina started rolling their pastries in an old fish and chips shop on Pier 1. Now Felicity runs the business in Ashfield and has incorporated cakes and cookies into the repertoire. One year ago she opened up a shop so that retail customers can buy these delicious morsels direct.
10 Feb 20:54

Saudi Arabian historian claims ban on women drivers protects them from rape

by Katie Halper

In an unintentionally viral video, a Saudi Arabian historian justified his nation’s ban against women drivers by arguing that it protects them from roadside rape.

Saudi Arabia’s prohibition on women driving instituted in 1990, has been defied several times in recent years by women who have filmed themselves driving in protest. The government has responded with a crackdown, arresting women who break the law and even sending two women to a the Specialized Criminal Court in Riyadh which handles terrorism cases.

But don’t worry. There’s a good reason for this ban.

In a recent TV interview, historian Saleh Al-Saadoon claimed that the reason women are allowed to drive in Europe, America and parts of the Arab world is because women there don’t care about getting raped if their car breaks down: “They don’t care if they are raped on the roadside, but we do,” Al-Saadoon said on Saudi Rotana Khalijiyya TV.

The understandably incredulous host, who isn’t named, responds by saying, “Hold on. Who told you they don’t care about getting raped on the roadside?” To which Al-Saadoon replies, “In our case, however, the problem is of a social and religious nature.” When the host pointed out that the two other guests were shocked by the historian’s comments, he said, “They should listen to me and get used to what society thinks, if they are really so out of touch with it.”

Never fear — the women of Saudi Arabia may not be allowed to drive, but they are waited on by a gaggle of male relatives who have nothing to do but serve them: “Saudi women are driven around by their husbands, sons and brothers,”Al-Saadoon explained. “Everybody is at their service. They are like queens. A queen without a chauffeur has the honor of being driven around by her husband, brother, son and nephews. They are at the ready when she gestures with her hands.”

The host then wondered about the risk of being raped by these drivers, asking, “You are afraid that a woman might be raped by the roadside by soldiers, but you are not afraid that she might be raped by her chauffeur?”

“Of course, I am,” replied the concerned historian. And then he dropped a radical policy recommendation that could forever change the transportation system of Saudi Arabia: “There is a solution but the government officials and clerics refuse to hear of it. The solution is to bring female foreign chauffeurs to drive our wives.” No, he didn’t! He then asked the host, “Are you with me on this?”

Her response was a face palm, followed by laughter.

So, to summarize: the solution is to bring in foreign female drivers who may very well get raped on the side of the road if their car breaks down. But it’s all good, because it’s no big deal for them.

06 Feb 00:26

The Butler, Potts Point

by Lisa Manche
Fergus Noodle

Jar of peas no ty

the butler, potts point

It's been a long time since I reviewed a restaurant. A really long time. I don't find myself trying as many new places these days, and when I do, I don't take my camera with me! But there's always an exception and this was a place I was excited to try, and have been excited to tell you about all week! The Butler made me wish I still worked in Potts Point.

It has only been open for about 2 months, situated in the space where Mezzaluna sat for 20 years. It seems to have found its feet quickly and got quite busy with a mixed clientele of people on dates, girls celebrating and the after work drinks crowd. One of the best things about summer is that you can have a leisurely dinner and still get great shots all in natural light. Especially when you are seated on one of the most beautiful terraces in Sydney. Just look at that view!

the butler, potts point

I love The Butler's decor, branding and great menu design. With a French-Caribbean vibe, there are tiny pineapples growing in pots, wicker chairs galore and palms on the wallpaper. I liked that the venue feels spacious and airy even when the place is busy, and I feel like you could have very different experiences depending on whether you sit on the terrace, at the bar or in the main dining room.

the butler, potts point

I had a little tipple to start, the Colonial Cobbler with Pineapple and Blueberry infused Bulleit bourbon, Lillet, lime, bitters, sugar and fresh mint. This kind of drink is perfect for a venue like this, modernising a cocktail that dates back to the 1830's with fresh fruit and the French aperitif Lillet. It was refreshing but more-ish at the same time, which is the perfect combination!

the butler, potts point

The menu has a great mix of dishes, from bar snacks to substantial shared mains like a slow roasted lamb shoulder. My housemate ordered a couple of oysters, which come from Merimbula ($4 each) on the Sapphire coast of NSW, and couldn't stop raving about how perfect and fresh they were. They were served simply with a squeeze of lemon and a mini bottle of Tabasco, but that's all you need when the oysters are this good.

the butler, potts point

The service is also excellent, with friendly chatty waitresses who offer some great recommendations. If we were feeling braver we would have tried the Lambs Brains, but based on the high standard of food we experienced I'm sure they would be done really well. Next time for sure. This time we tried the Beef and Spiced Pork sliders with creole mayo ($6 each). I thought they were a little bit under-seasoned, but were a good little bar snack.

the butler, potts point

The main reason I wanted to try the Lyonnaise Pork sausage rolls was the rum and pineapple relish ($12), which was really great. I liked the super flaky pastry and flavoursome pork filling. This was another clever French-Caribbean-Modern Australian fusion.

the butler, potts point

This was the standout dish by far - Tabasco prawns with mango salsa and coconut quinoa ($22). We just loved how fresh, summery and perfectly balanced it was with the sweet mango and hint of heat from the Tabasco and a lovely sauce that I'm sure was enriched with lots of butter. The prawns were plump, sweet and perfectly cooked. We tried to deconstruct it all the way home so we could attempt to replicate it.

the butler, potts point

We needed some vegetables along with all of this other deliciousness so we picked the Peas with Speck and Onion ($10). I loved the way it was served in a cute little jar, and it went well with the other dishes we picked, especially the sausage rolls. There's just something about peas and pastry together that always works so well.

the butler, potts point

We almost didn't order dessert, but my food blogger dessert stomach kicked in and we decided to try the Peach Melba. This was a brand new addition to the menu that day, and maybe even the first one that had ever left the kitchen! I loved every single part of it, especially when you tasted all of the elements together and got all the different flavours and textures in one bite. The peach was poached and had a raspberry sauce spooned on top with fresh raspberries hiding inside it too. I'm not entirely sure what was in the jelly, but I spotted hundreds of little vanilla bean seeds. My favourite part was the thyme that added a great hit of flavour. I'm a pretty big dessert snob, but this won me over on so many levels!

The Butler on Urbanspoon

The Butler, 123 Victoria St Potts Point, NSW 2011

05 Feb 14:33

Sokyo, Pyrmont

by squishies
Fergus Noodle

I feel like we should go here coz everyone wanks ok about it

I’ve immensely enjoyed my meals the couple times I’ve been to Sokyo – it’s actually one of my favourite (and often recommended) restaurants.

I was in delighted disbelief when I heard they were now serving breakfast (all locally sourced of course)!

Full Continental Buffet

Full Continental Buffet

Sokyo caters for a full continental breakfast buffet, as well as having an a la carte menu.

Amongst the goodies baked in-house, there was a soba stand, fresh honey from the comb (you can see it in the top left photo!), sashimi, and cereal.



Everything looked so delicious, fresh, and were very prettily presented (which was kept that way too in spite of the waves of hungry breakfasters).

I wanted to try everything at the buffet… only I got seriously distracted by the a la carte menu.

Iced Teas and Fruit Smoothie

Iced Teas and Fruit Smoothie

But first: drinks! We started off with a double macchiato and Green Lemon Honey iced tea for F, the standard Earl Grey and a White Peach iced tea for me.

The Purple fruit smoothie (back right) consisted of blueberries, acai berries, agave, and milk; oh my goodness, it was so good! Creamy, sweet with a touch of tart, and not at all heavy.

While you can really taste the green tea in the Green Lemon Honey, I preferred the refreshingly bright taste of my White Peach with its concoction of lemon juice, blood peach, and white tea.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

The eggs benedict consisted of streaky bacon (glazed with maple and agave syrup), a poached egg, edamame, brioche, and miso hollandaise sauce.

F and I have been on the (rather lazy) hunt for the best eggs benedict and we would have to say that this tops our list. F even went to say that our hunt may possibly be over!

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict

All the components were in perfect harmony, in flavour and texture – sweet, savoury, creamy, crisp, soft – and the sauce was surprisingly light as well.

I can’t decide what I loved most about this dish: the light and tangy, slightly salty hollandaise, the candied bacon, gooey egg, or sweet brioche. Maybe the candied bacon because… well, it’s candied bacon and a fabulous one at that.

Traditional "Choushoku" Breakfast

Traditional “Choushoku” Breakfast

When we stayed at a pension in Appi, Japan last year, our breakfast were quite similar to this: grilled fish of the day (salmon), onsen 63-degree poached egg in soy sauce, miso soup, steamed Hokkaido Yumepirika rice, nori, Japanese pickles, and a side of edamame beans.

Man, this dish seriously took us back to those Appi days – the flavours were pretty much spot-on to what we had each morning and made us miss Japan so much.

I loved how the fish was presented too and was told that it was stacked skin-side up to represent the Japanese mountains. Love it!

Traditional "Choushoku" Breakfast

Traditional “Choushoku” Breakfast

We weren’t too sure how to eat the egg, so it was lucky that Alex was there to look after us.

He told us to break the egg, wrap a bit of rice and salmon in the nori, then dip it into the eggy goo. Bliss.



The pancakes were served with banana purée, Nutella, walnut crumb, and fresh fruit… oh and of course generous lashings of maple syrup.

While this was a perfectly great dish, I felt it was a bit overshadowed by all the other fantastic dishes.

Curry Udon

Curry Udon

Interestingly, F disagreed and found the curry udon to be the weakest.

I adored the heartiness of this Japanese beef curry soup with pork neck, potato, and thick noodles; another dish that sent me back to Japan. Gah, so good.



The Chef’s omelette of the day had flakes of salmon within and was accompanied by an insanely light and creamy crème fraiche.

The omelette was so fluffy and well-seasoned and I know this sounds really weird, but it was immensely satisfying to see it so neatly folded over.

The full continental buffet, an “a la carte” dish and a tea or a coffee costs $38, while just the buffet itself with tea / coffee is $28. Or if the buffet is too much for the morning, an “a la carte” dish, a tea or a coffee, plus a juice from the buffet is $22.50.

I’m not really a morning or breakfast person (I’m definitely more of an owl with late night snacking), but for Breakfast by Sokyo, I’d gladly wake up early and break my fast on these amazing dishes.

F and I were in full agreement: best breakfast, hands down, in a very, very long time. So much so, that he’s bringing his fixie boys to Sokyo on the weekend after their city mash ride!

es&t dined as a guest of Access PR and Sokyo

Level G, The Darling, The Star
80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont, NSW, 2009
Ph: (02) 9657 9161

Sokyo on Urbanspoon

The post Sokyo, Pyrmont appeared first on .

06 Feb 14:12

Boon Cafe at Jarern Chai Asian Grocer, Sydney

by Helen (Grab Your Fork)
Fergus Noodle

Go get yourself a tiffin

Let's face it. Jarern Chai is unlike any Asian grocery Sydney has seen. Plate glass windows. Subway tiles. Chic typography. It looks more like the layout of a modern Italian provedore. Say hello to the newest business venture by the folk behind Chat Thai, a chic place to pick up Thai groceries and elusive herbs, chillies and tropical fruits. Even better news. It comes with Boon Cafe, a small
05 Feb 14:11

In Which Norway Takes Us Around The Bend

by Durga
Fergus Noodle

Sounds great


The Little Daylight


I got on the plane — you always get on the plane in the end. I went to Norway thinking I could always go back to the city early if it got to be too much: the cold, the dark, the silence. I do that now, whenever I leave London: I tell myself I can go back early. Twelve years of living in the Big Smoke and it keeps getting better, or maybe I’m just getting greedier for it? For years my habit has been to always have a plane ticket waiting to take me somewhere, but lately the date of departure approaches and I don’t really want to go. London is gritty, demanding and thrilling, and the constant noise has been a backdrop to every significant thing in my life.

It’s been several days since I came to Norway now, I couldn’t really say; Scandinavian days are so short in winter. Sunset came at 3:45 p.m. today, six and a half hours after the sunrise. Then, once the sun has disappeared, the sky seems to stay blue forever. It is partially because of the cold, minus 12°C today, rendering each intake of breath sharp and the air sparkling clear. I lived here for 18 years, but I don’t really remember much about winter. Until I got here a few days ago I’d forgot how the long, slow dark feels so dense once you’re in it, like being in a submarine at the bottom of the sea. The daylight is small, in length and in intensity, like there’s a light somewhere just around the bend but it doesn’t quite stretch far enough to fill up the sky.


As cold as Norway may get in the winter, I was never cold when I lived here. I’m not cold this time either, even after a week of relatively mild frost in London that nevertheless felt like a severe and personal form of punishment. The difference is that Norway expects the cold, so people accept it and prepare for it, not like the English style of remaining in denial while shivering in thin coats in drafty rooms, wondering what’s happened to the air. In Norway, you dress like a polar explorer, with double wool down the arms and legs and insulated shoes. The trick for managing cold weather is slowly resurfacing from my subconscious, where it’s been buried all these years I’ve been away.

I don’t usually go to Norway in the winter anymore but this year I’m between houses, so I figured my mother’s place in this small Norwegian town would be a nice place to be technically homeless. I was right: it’s peaceful and plentiful here, even in the cold. Everywhere you go is a warm room with ice on the windows. There are no distractions, but somehow I’m still finding the hours slipping away. Suddenly the front door clicks open as my mother comes home from work. The town is sleepy under the snow covering the streets, the gardens and the porches. The roads are empty as people retreat to their wood-heated houses at night, red-cheeked from frost with hair static from wooly hats.


The night comes so early and I never quite get a grasp on the day before it vanishes. The novelty of the dim light distracts me from the things I need to do, as I work in the warmth looking out at the cold, where the disappearing blue light is reflected by the snow. The whole world feels quiet here. I love London more than any place I’ve ever been, I adore the rush and the noise, and I keep thinking this silence will start to bore me soon. But for now I’m just wandering around, from the table to the tea kettle to the bed and back, reveling in the little daylight. Life feels simple here, in the way it always does when you spend time in a place that’s not your home. I was born here but it never felt quite right, in ways that had nothing to do with the light or the temperature. Now that I’m a visitor it’s okay, it’s even a treat to spend a few days being someone I’m not. There’s a luxury in allowing myself to enjoy the dark and the cold, just for a little while. So I’m just going to sit here, watching the constant changes of the light, drinking in the silence with a thirst that won’t last for long, but right now it feels endless.

Jessica Furseth is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in London. You can find her twitter here and her website here. She tumbls here. She last wrote in these pages about body talk. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here. Visit our mobile site at

Photographs by the author.


"Before the Germans Came" - Andrew Bird (mp3)

"The Return of Yawny" - Andrew Bird (mp3)

06 Feb 00:31

Dora beats the odds


Dora the goat was the victim of a horrific hunting arrow attack and her rescue was made possible by the quick response of our RSPCA Inspectors who were on the scene as soon as Dora’s owner alerted them to her plight.

Dora was rushed to the RSPCA Sydney Vet Hospital by our Inspectors and taken into surgery, but there was one pressing problem. We suspected that Dora might be pregnant. So before anything could be done to save the mum, we needed to check on the kid... or as we were soon to find out... two kids. Dora was carrying twins and thankfully, they both had heartbeats.

This story’s happy ending was made possible because you give so that we can act. Without your generosity and continued support, Dora’s plight may have been quite different. Your commitment to the cause and generous support of our services means that we are able to fight for animals like Dora every day.


Please support our fight to always be there for animals in need.

02 Feb 21:44 is live! I’ve been taking your... is live! I’ve been taking your short audio recordings and combining them with my sounds and visuals to make video stories. We launched last week with two episodes, and a third episode is coming up this week. Send me your stories!

22 Jan 02:51

Lamington Pavlova

by Lisa Manche
Fergus Noodle

hell yes

lamington pavlova

Australia Day is one of my favourite occasions to bake for. It's a great chance to get creative and have fun with some Aussie-inspired desserts. And we get a day off work too! In past years I’ve made Lamington Doughnuts and Pavlova Ice Cream, and this year I decided to combine these two classics into one epic dessert: the Lamington Pavlova. A messy but delicious hybrid that equals patriotic perfection! Yes it tastes as good as it looks. And yes, I had seconds. Actually, we all did ;)

lamington pavlova

I’ll tell you a little secret. I wasn’t a huge fan of either of these two desserts until I tried making them myself. Soggy pavlovas and cheap supermarket lamingtons are not good things! But imagine two layers of chocolate meringue, with whipped vanilla cream, an insane amount of fresh summer berries, chopped Bounty bars, coconut chips and a rich choc-coconut fudge sauce drizzled all over the top to serve. I loved the combination of different flavours and textures, and the way the rich sauce brought it all together.

lamington pavlova

I think it combines the main elements of the lamington and the pavlova perfectly. I think it's a beautiful and impressive looking dessert to bring out at your Australia Day celebration this weekend. It found it a little bit messy to cut up and serve, but it tasted amazing. You could also make this as an Eton mess if you prefer the messy vibe.

Hope you all have a wonderful long weekend, and that the weather holds out for some long, lazy celebrations. If you're having a party big or small, there's heaps of food and styling ideas over here on my Pinterest board to inspire you!


Lamington Pavlova
Serves 6

Chocolate Pavlova (from Love Swah)
  • 4 egg whites (room temp)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
Chocolate Coconut Fudge Sauce
  • 185ml coconut cream
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 55g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To decorate

  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 1 punnet blueberries
  • 1 punnet raspberries
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Bounty (or other chocolate coconut bars), chopped
  • Coconut chips

To make the pavlova, preheat oven to 150°C and line two baking trays with non-stick paper. Using an electric mixer, beat egg-whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, beating well until the mixture is glossy and the sugar has dissolved. Add the cornflour, vinegar and cocoa powder and fold through. Spoon mixture into 2 18-20cm circles. Using a palette knife, shape into a circle with high sides. Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 120°C and cook for 45 minutes. Then turn the oven off and allow the meringues to completely cool in the oven (at least an hour - I left mine overnight).

To make the chocolate coconut fudge sauce, place ingredients into a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal or wooden spoon until chocolate is almost melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to stir until chocolate melts. Serve warm or transfer to a clean airtight jar or container. Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. Serve room temperature or warm.

Just before serving... whip the cream with an electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Place one meringue layer onto a serving plate. Top with half the whipped cream, and a layer of mixed berries and pomegranate. Top with second meringue layer, the remainder of the cream and berries and pomegranate. Arrange chopped bounty pieces on top and sprinkle with coconut chips. Drizzle generously with chocolate coconut sauce and serve immediately.
17 Jan 14:49

Brewristas, Glebe [25]

by Susan Thye
Fergus Noodle

I wanna drink an ultimate nutella frappe

FOOOODS! So one fine day a bunch of us kicked off the new year by meeting for brunch at newly opened Brewristas (73 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe).

We spy Kevin, part owner of Brewristas tending to his cold drip towers, syphons and pour over station and know we’re in for a caffeinated treat.

We order 3 bottles of Brewrista’s hand crafted cold drip coffees- Cold Brew ($9), Brewmonade ($10) and Brewtea ($10). I’m not an expert of coffee by any means, I know what I like and don’t like so Raff has been slowly teaching me the different methods and importance of the beans sourced. I liked the Cold Brew which tasted clean and sweet, the Brewmonade (cold drip with home lemonade) was refreshing but I found a tad on the sweet side. I loved the Brewtea the most (cold drip coffee with cold drip tea), although I’m not sure if it’s because Malaysians always drink Cham, a combo of coffee and tea so I thought this tasted familiar. Anywhos check out Raff’s post here for more detailed descriptions on the coffee :P

Brewristas, Glebe- Vietnamese Ca Phe Sua Da ($5)
On another visit with Toan, I couldn’t resist the Vietnamese Ca Phe Sua Da ($5), iced coffee served over condensed milk and it’s bloody good, as is anything with condensed milk.

Kevin’s Balls ($10) are filled with roasted pork belly, tofu, spicy kimchi, sweet potato and encrusted with shin ramyun. I was worried it’d be too much novelty and no taste but was pleasantly surprised with how (dare I say this..) MOREISH the balls were! The noodles provided the glorious crunch factor and housed the juicy pork belly within. I didn’t really taste much sweet potato which was a shame because I heart sweet potato but it was probably used more as a binder for all the ingredients in the ball than for flavour.

We order the Grilled Eggplant Stack ($14) with grilled zucchini, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, thai pesto, sweet potato puree and bocconcini with additional Chorizo ($3) because hey, CHORIZO EQUALS HAPPINESS! The eggplant was totally the star of this dish though (I REFUSE TO SAY HERO), each slice was fat and juicy with a nice smokiness to it. I loved the itty bitty bocconcini scattered around but would’ve loved more mainly because cheese is awesome.

Porky Pig’s Hotteok ($15) is a honey jam pancake sandwiched with crispy bacon, a poached egg, spicy guacamole, rocket and a mango & habanero mayo. The honey jam pancake is more of a muffin stuffed with honey jam, I know some people aren’t quite on the sweet and savoury combo bandwagon but as for me I’m firmly in that wagon and happily driving away.

Innards shot of the pancake! It kinda reminded me of this fried lotus paste bun desserts I used to eat growing up, I’m attempting to access my memory with the name but am failing and google isn’t helping for once (edit: Heong Peng!). The dish doesn’t really need the mango & habanero mayo once the gooey egg yolk is pierced and smothers everything in sight with its golden river of happiness. It does get a bit rich but hey you’re worth it.

Coconut Poached Chicken Salad ($16) with spinach, fennel, coriander, watercress, topped with fried shallots, drizzled with a pomegranate infused lemon dressing. Truth be told we ordered this salad out of a feeling of guilt because we all knew that our nutrient intake could always use a boost and for a salad this was pretty tasty especially with the juicy pops of pomegranate seeds. My tastebuds were super confused with the tender strips of coconut chicken because I’m so used to the flavour of coconut + chicken to be in a laksa!

Ultimate Nutella Frappe ($7) is made with heaps of Nutella, vanilla ice cream, a double espresso shot and ice, all blended together. I was buzzing from all the caffeine I’d already consumed so opted for the frappe minus the espresso shot because I’m weak haha and ohhh boy is this drink rich! Definitely one for the nutella lovers!

Brewristas, Glebe- Tiramisu Pot Plant ($10)
Of course what’s a meal without dessert? The Tiramisu Pot Plant ($10) is cute as a button and equally delicious. Layers of ladyfingers are soaked in Brewrista’s espresso with sweet mascarpone mousse and topped with chocolate biscuit crumbs for the ‘dirt’.

A lot of the cafes in Glebe close quite early but Brewristas is open from 1pm to 10pm on weekdays, from 10am to midnight on Saturday and from 10am to 9pm on Sunday. I’ll definitely be back for my next caffeine hit!

Brewristas on Urbanspoon

73 Glebe Point Rd,

Trading Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8am – 2pm, 6pm – 10pm
Thurs: 8am – 2pm, 6pm – 12am
Sat: 9am – 12am
Sun: 9am – 9pm

24 Jan 17:23

Cremeria De Luca, Five Dock

Fergus Noodle

I want to eat the things

A bewitching and gorgeous store that sells house made gelato and other Sicilian delights, Cremeria De Luca is the creation of the De Luca family, originally from Sicily. Three generations of De Lucas have made gelato and today Sicilians and non Sicilians flock there for a refreshing morning granita, gelato filled brioche or an osso bucco ragu filled arancini cooked to order.
30 Jan 21:17

by tian
from: Johann S.
date: Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 11:21 PM
subject: Tattoo translate

Hi .   just found your website and was very amused by some of them. And now im hoping you could help me. My tattoo was meant to say sin but a chinese man told me it means something like evil spirit in jail. Now im almost to afraid to ask.

犯 = to violate / to offend / to assault / criminal / crime / to make a mistake / recurrence (of mistake or sth bad)