Make your own homemade Bubble Tea!

I must confess that my first real taste of Bubble Tea was only just this year. And it wasn't even here in Sydney, it was in Japan. I'm not quite sure what EasyWay or Chatime Bubble Tea tastes like - I'm still to try them - but I only know that the milky, sweet bubble tea I tasted in Japan was pure bliss on a hot, sunny day. A bliss that was made even better with the addition of chewy, sticky, jet black tapioca pearls.

My first taste of pearls, however was 4 years ago in Mango Milk Tea. Not such a good combination, if you ask me, and it put me off them for a long long time. Up until now.

An Asian Foodie Fest in the Sydney CBD: Pepper Lunch & Chanoma

This probably sounds a little crazy but every time I go somewhere new to eat, I get a little tingly feeling that spreads around my body, and this is followed by a strong urge to emit a little squeal of delight. My heartbeat quickens a little and I go all jumpy and buzzy, a knee-jerk reaction triggered by food.

Toco Fresh, Concord

Nothing is more exciting than going out to different places on various eating adventures, so unfortunately we seldom find ourselves eating locally unless its for takeaway or gelato.

Major Bay Road is home to a number of eateries that are great for eating any meal, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner - Italian restaurants, a steak house and grill, lots of cafes, Thai restaurants and the essential suburb charcoal chicken shop. But rarely do we get the chance to eat in at many of these local eateries. I'm not quite sure why - perhaps it's the attractive draw of venturing out to new and untouched suburbs that are home to a plethora of restaurants that are cheaper, faster and serve food that is just as good. There is something so exciting about taking a family trip out and going for a drive, all in the name of good food.

Sydney Dumpling King, Burwood

Are you someone who love lingering over long lunches, or more the person who opts for a quick, fast meal when it comes to lunchtime? I guess it depends on your day's agenda and current circumstances, but I love doing both. Whether its going out for a family dinner of pizza and pasta, or a quick bowl of Pho for Sunday lunch, weekends are always the highlight of my food week because they're the times when I get to go out and eat something other than a homemade sandwich for lunch. Not that sandwiches are bad, but when you have them 5 days a week they do tend to get a little bit boring.

Whatever tickles your fancy, I find that a number of cuisines either fit into one lunching category or the other. Asian fare, such as Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Malaysian, always makes for a fast, cheap lunch fix, whereas more of the European or Western cuisines - Italian, Greek and modern Australian - will tend to drag out and make for a longer, more expensive and filling lunch. I'm not quite sure whether its the cooking methods of each cuisine and the ingredients they use, or the kind of lifestyle each is associated with, but more often than not it will be the bowl or noodles or rice dish that will take less time to cook and eat than a bowl of pasta or steak and chips. Asian is by far my favourite.

A taste of home at Bills in Yokohama, Japan

After two weeks of travelling around Japan we tourists were in dire need or a red meat fix. Not quite used to the Japanese diet of rice, fish, chicken and seafood every day - with little fresh fruit or vegetables - our iron levels had slowly decreased throughout the trip to leave us slow, tired and lethargic. When we read that Bill Granger, a local Aussie chef, had set up a restaurant in Yokohama in Japan, we made a unanimous decision to eat there and get a taste of home. The restaurant is nestled inside one of two side by side red brick warehouse buildings in the harbour city of Yokohama, about a 40 minute train ride from Tokyo near the sea. We approached the airy, beach-themed restaurant at 11am for brunch, and were told by the hostess that there weren't any tables free until 1pm. Not to worry - there were lots to do in Yokohama (including the famous Cup Noodle Museum!), so we put our names down to return later on for lunch.

Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Buildings

At his Yokohama restaurant, Bill has brought the modern Australian beach eatery to the streets of Japan. The décor, not dissimilar to the sort you would find at a coastal beachfront café, reminded us of sunny Australia and the relaxed, chilled atmosphere that it is ubiquitous for.

Mint Pho & Cuisine, Burwood

Along the main strip of Burwood Road you're likely to find a number of Chinese eateries and shops. A LOT of Chinese shops, in fact - particularly on the southern end of the station (not the Westfield end). It's not hard to find your ubiquitous Asian convenience/grocery store, butchery, restaurant or BBQ meats shop on Burwood Road, which is what draws a large number of the Chinese community to its streets every day. We often visit for a lunch of cheap BBQ Pork and Soy Sauce Chicken with rice at one of the BBQ meat eateries, or to buy some Asian bread from one of the many bakeries along the street.

But what if you felt like something other than Chinese? True, there are lots of good, cheap Chinese eateries scattered along Burwood Road, but a newcomer to the Burwood eating strip is Mint, a Vietnamese joint made modern by its funky, contemporary and slightly less cheap décor. It would be quite easy to miss this small, unpretentious restaurant nestled in among the  plethora of Chinese eateries just up from the ANZ Bank, but upon hearing of it from a foodie friend of mine I was determined to give it a try one lazy Saturday lunchtime. This end of Burwood Road is much quieter than the section of it in and around Burwood Westfield - far more peaceful and much easier to get a parking spot.