Nov 4, 2012

Girlfriends, Good Hair, Makeup, Clothes and Food. What Is Not To Like?

It's one of those sad facts of life that girls' nights out get fewer and far between the older you get.  At first it's work pressures that make random catch ups difficult to co-ordinate, then it's significant others, then husbands and then children.  Sure, we've all got facebook and twitter to keep up with the latest but social media can never replace that indescribable feeling of sitting down and having a proper face to face, real time and in person chat with old girlfriends and new.

It was my dear friend D's hen's extravaganza yesterday.  The fun officially started at 3.30pm but I started the day a little earlier.  Bear with me as I've saturated this post with photos and chit chat and all around girly behaviour.  Seriously, there were times yesterday when I forgot that I was married, 37 and 8 months pregnant.  In my mind I was my 27 year old self.....

Dress - Isabella Oliver Maternity, denim jacket - Zara.

Firstly, with the getting of Good Hair.  I love my Korean hairdresser.  He's a genius with henna hair colouring, scalp massage and killer blow dries with curl.  How could I not bounce down George Street, taking self indulgent selflies as testament to his skill?

My relationship with foundation through the decades is basically this.  When I first started wearing makeup, it was all about coverage.  Matte coverage and lots of it.  In hindsight, I didn't need it but if you're going to be wearing makeup at 17 then by gosh, you want your look to reflect your effort.  Then I went into a less is more phase which has stuck with me for the last 10 years or so - tinted moisturizers, a dusting of powder and blemish balms.

The pendulum has swung again and the big 4-0 is really not as far as I thought it was.  With the dawning of a new decade comes the need for the dreaded C word in makeup.  Coverage.  I'm happy to report that MAC's Studio Sculpt delivers.  It lasts all day (and night) without streaking and delivers a soft matte finish.  I've been dusting Studio Fix over the top.

My tip is to use a stippling brush.  I picked up this one by Real Techniques from Priceline (I love you, Priceline Club card holder cash back coupon).  It cost $22.99 and is small enough to be used all over the face.  It's much easier to control the amount of foundation you apply using this kind of brush as opposed to the flat foundation brushes I was using.

My other awesome Priceline purchase was this Mirinesse mascara set.  It's the Instant Lash Transplant Volumising version (there is an alternate set for length issues) and cost $49.99.  It's basically a black mascara that provides a false lash effect for those of us too lazy to front up to the Shu Uemura counter the afternoon before a big night out and are also too clumsy to apply real lash inserts / implants to ourselves.  

It's so easy, it works and I would highly recommend giving this a go.  The instructions are printed clearly both on the back of the box and also inside the lid.  It's goof proof and the set lasts as long as a normal tube of mascara would, so it works out to be pretty cost effective.

All you need to do is curl your lashes if you want then apply tube 1, then tube 2 in quick succession.  Use the provided lash brush to separate your lashes and repeat if you want more.  I was very impressed with the difference this made compared to normal mascara.  I used 2 applications and slicked my usual mascara over the top (just because).  My lashes lasted all afternoon and night and were also soft rather than spidery (the big issues).  Everything was easily removed with my Shu cleansing oil.

Okay, we're finally getting to the actual hen's related activities of the day.  May I just say that any function involving an outfit change is destined to be a brilliant one?  We met for afternoon tea at a suite in the Shangri-La.  For which I wore my heavily discounted Camilla (via the DJ's ladies designer fashion floor) kaftan worn with gold ballet flats.

We ate the famed watermelon cake from Black Star in Newtown.

As well as lots of other good things.

D looked amazing (as usual) in Camilla.  She and V were such generous hostesses.  Those of us present got to know D at different points in her life and the afternoon was a perfect way for to all get to know each other and find that we all shared a common love of food, fashion, fun and laughter.

Much Moet was uncorked and sipped.

Sipping sparkling water in a champagne flute almost hit the spot for me....

whilst I took in the view from the suite.  It's a tough life I lead, isn't it?

There was a brief break for an outfit change for dinner.

Dress- Camilla, horn bangle - Mai Tai collection, watch - Cartier, cuff - Hermes.
Which for me, simply required a kaftan change and a slick of red lippy.  This is my Arabiana draw string dress from Camilla which I bought online from Oriri.

For the record, Holster jelly flats are the most comfortable sandals ever and I want more!!!!!!

Dinner was at Spice Temple - Neil Perry's subterranean, very dark and almost cave like Chinese restaurant on Bligh Street.  If my memory serves me correctly, Spice Temple opened in 2009 and paved the way for the likes of Mr Wong in the upmarket Chinese cuisine served in funky CBD surrounds movement.

This is the second time I've visited Spice Temple and I'd forgotten just how dark it is in the dining room.  The bar area that greets you after descending the stairs is well lit but you'll find yourself needing to pay very close attention to where you're going once you reach your table.  My normal camera refused to cooperate in the darkness so we're going to have to make do with these instagram shots instead.

We dined on a set menu banquet and the staff did an amazing job in serving the 20 of us attentively and promptly.  The food also surpassed my expectations, it can be hard serving such numbers at speed but the kitchen delivered.  Our meal worked out to be $75 per head including wine.  It was impressive value considering the quality and amount of food we were served.

Left - cabbage and radish, right - cucumbers with smashed garlic and ginger.
We began with a zesty series of cold entrees.  The cucumber is often eaten as a palate cleanser throughout the rest of the meal.  I found the flavours just right.  The cabbage wasn't too acidic and had a wonderful crunch to them.

White cut chicken salad with salted chilli and cucumber.
The third cold entree was a chicken salad.  Probably my favourite dish of the three.  I'm not usually a fan of cold Chinese dishes but this trio won me over.

Crisp chow mein "American Style"
Oh how I love crispy noodles.  The Spice Temple version is assembled at the table.  A bed of crispy fried egg noodles is brought to the table and a rich meat sauce is poured over the top by the waiter before the combination is crunched down to be combined.  It was heaven and I almost filled up on this dish alone.

Fried squid with whole five spice and dark chilli paste.
The heady smell of five spice wafted through the air around the tables of diners around us and I was curious as to what the dish could be.  As luck would have it, the source was part of our meal.  The fried squid with five spice fired up all my senses.  Surprisingly, the squid was not as spicy as one would have expected from the ingredients used.  Instead, the squares of squid were smoky bites of fried seafood heaven and were great even without the chilli paste.

I didn't have time to photograph the next dish (the conversation at the table was a critical juncture) but it was steamed flathead served Jiangxi style (pickled mustard green and turnip with chilli).  It was a bolder, spicier way of serving steamed fish than the usual ginger and shallots of many Chinese households and again, I was won over by the contrast to what I was more familiar with.

Chairman Mao's red braised pork.
I'm a recent convert to the more indulgent cuts of pork and the obsession continued last night at Spice Temple.  Tender cubes of pork sat contentedly in a thick and heady red sauce which just begged to be eaten with bowls and bowls of steamed rice.

Stir fried Wagyu brisket with baby eggplant and chilli.
The stir fried Wagyu was another stand out dish for me.  The beef was tender and the eggplants cooked to that slightly mushy softness that soaks up flavours so well.  I'm plotting a return visit to Spice Temple in the near future and I think this dish may win Mr SSG over.  The meat dishes were accompanied by a side dish of stir fried Asian greens in garlic.

Lychee granita with dried strawberry and hazelnut praline.
A pretty spectacular dessert finished an already amazing meal.  I'm usually underwhelmed by granita based desserts but the combination of lychee with hazelnuts and strawberries had me changing my view pretty quickly.  It sounds strange but it just worked so well.  It was both a refreshing end to an amazing meal and a dessert that I would order on its own merit.

There were little touches that made dining at Spice Temple such a delight. Ample amounts of rice were served to the table for each set of main dishes.  The team also went out of their way to assist diners with food allergies.  To be on the safe side for one guest, they catered her meal from the menu at Rockpool upstairs.  It was cooked in that restaurant's kitchen before being delivered downstairs to our table.  It was a gesture that was deeply appreciated.

Okay then, another epic post done and dusted!  Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Spice Temple on Urbanspoon


  1. You look FABULOUS! I still can't believe you are 8 months pregnant!

    Aren't Holster flats THE BEST? I'm thinking of breaking my ban for another pair. But if I pay for them with loose change collected from around the house it's practically the same as coffee money, no?

    K xx

  2. Firstly - you look beautiful. Just stunning. 8 months preggers and like a supermodel.
    Secondly - Spice Temple is great - I went to the Melbourne one this year and I loved it.
    Loved this post too x

  3. I agree.. it's hard to catch up with the girls these days.
    Your friend and you looked amazing.. Love those dresses and looks like I need the RT brushes!!

  4. Love the kaftan and flats!

    Can u recommend your Korean hairdresser?

  5. You look gorgeous! Loving all the Camilla dresses and need to find an online stockist.

  6. I am quite sure that DJs online stocks them. :) and their own website has an online shop.

  7. you've tempt me to get my hands on a the Mirinesse mascara set!

  8. Thanks ... that is going to be very damaging to my wallet!

  9. I should have stopped when I was ahead, with your beautiful caftan and the new mascara idea.

    Now I'm STARVING. Good thing I live in San Francisco where food is to be found:). You do look gorgeous, at least in the glimpses.

  10. I'm loving all these Camilla dresses...I've become a fan recently and i've bought two of her pieces in the past week...seeing your post is making me want to purchase a round neck kaftan...

    ps. This is going to sound awfully stalkerish but judging by your previous posts i think we live in the same area but i live on the other side of the water...

    Mrs A

  11. Hello, neighbour!!!

    SSG xxx

  12. Thank you, Lisa. :-)

    SSG xxx

  13. Jen,
    You won't look back!

    SSG xxx

  14. Thanks, N!!!!

    SSG xxx

  15. Ling
    I'm really happy with the RT brush. I already have too many other brushes so no more for me.
    SSG xxx

  16. Hello Carly
    Thank you.
    Perhaps we should do Spice Temple Melbourne when I next visit.
    SSG xxx

  17. Sian
    I'm sending positive vibes to all your loose change around the house so that there will be enough for more Holsters!!
    SSG xxx

  18. You look gorgeous! Love the red lippy too - what is it??


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I'm having trouble importing comments from Blogger right now so using Disqus or sending a tweet would be your best bet. X


Related Posts with Thumbnails