What’s special about Chinese New Year?


Happy 2015 Chinese New Year!

It’s been 2 months since the new year of 2015 have started but I’m so excited to celebrate the new year all over again. This time, over the time frame of 2 weeks too! This celebration reminds me of the time when I was back in my home town celebrating with my family and loved ones. The main purpose of this celebration is to bring family together to welcome the new year as a family. No matter how far each family member is in all over the world, everyone would take all forms of transport to reunite together. Usually all trains and planes are booked out during this period.

I remember on Chinese New Year’s eve, we would all help prepare the dishes for the dinner. Every dish and its ingredients had a meaning of its own.

A steamed fish would definitely be present at every table and it would be called 年年有余(Nian Nian You Yu) which means “Ever year has leftovers”. It means every year’s blessing will be overflowing! Yu is very similar to another Chinese word 鱼  which means fish.

The fish would be steamed in order to keep its natural fresh flavour, with shallots, ginger, soy sauce and ounce of hot oil poured on top to enhance the aroma. I can imagine the smell of the dish as I type this down. Hmmm.

For the Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia, We also have a dish called ‘ yee sang (Cantonese)’ which  is a type of salad that is tossed during Chinese New Year. Tossed with family, friends and colleagues, it signifies abundance and prosperity. Usually, it contains fish, a variation of vegetables and different sauces which is then mixed well using chopsticks.The belief is that the higher you toss the Yee Sang, the better your future will be. Just like the video in below.

(Turn your volume down before playing this video)

Have you already tossed Yee Sang this year? If you would like to know the recipe of making Yee Sang, please click here.

Red pockets in Chinese is called 红包 (Hong Bao) is when married couples give out their blessings in form of money placed in a red envelope. This time is the best time to increase our pocket money and we respond by saying a blessing when we receive our red pocket such as:

恭喜发财 (Gong Xi Fa Cai) means ‘Bless you with financial providence’.

身体健康 (Shen Ti Jian Kang) means ‘Bless you with health and prosperity’.

万事如意 (Wan Shi Ru Yi) means ‘Bless you with a million favours’.

Better start learning these phrases if you want your pocket money this year!

Huge Birthday Freebies List in Sydney



Ali Baba Free birthday kebab (collect card instore first – need to buy a kebab to get a card)
Baskin Robbins Free scoop of ice cream valid up to around a week after your birthday
Boost Juice Free Boost Juice for Vibe club members (Valid from 2 days before thru 2 days after bday) (collect card instore first)
Chatime Free drink on birthday, membership card costs 50c
Cheesecake Shop $5 off any cake (Join more than 4 weeks before your birthday or must wait till next year)
Cold Rock Free kids sized ice cream with 1 mix-in on birthday
Gloria Jeans Free drink on birthday (collect card instore first)
Hard Rock Cafe Free birthday dessert with an entrée purchase (valid for birthday month)
Ikea Free Princess Cake for IKEA Family members (valid for one month)
Jamaica Blue Free slice of cake for birthday month (collect card instore first)
Muffin Break Free Muffin in the month of your birthday (need to pick up card at store)
Nando’s Free regular meal during your Bday month – redeem email which arrives on 1st (collect card in store or download the app) – Must have made transaction within previous 6 months (from 01/10/14)
Noodle Box $10 loaded onto card no min spend
Outback Jacks 3 Free Meals – When you sign up, 6 months from your birthday, and birthday
Oporto Members are entitled to a complimentary single fillet Bondi Burger Value Meal. Emailed on day of birthday, valid for 30 days after. Collect card instore or via app. Currently only in WA
Passionflower Free birthday dessert (collect card instore) – not available in Sydney Capitol Square, was told they use Rewardle instead of the membership card on the site. Not sure about other branches.
Salsas Free burrito from 2 days before to 2 days after birthday (need to pick up card at store)
San Churro Free churros for two from 1 day before to 1 day after birthday
Subway Free 6-inch sub and 600mL drink/water valid during week of birthday
Sumo Salad Free salad (Valid for 7 days from birthday)
Urban Burger BOGOF on birthday
Vapiano Free meal (pasta/pizza/salad/antipasti) valid for one week from your birthday


AMF Bowling One free game of bowling. Valid for one month from your birthday
ASOS 10% off promo code for the month of your birthday
Bonds $10 eGift Card to use in-store or online
Co-op Bookshop Coupon code for $5 off your next purchase. Either in-store or online
Crossroads $10/$15? birthday voucher no min spend
Dymocks $5 worth of points redeemable in birthday month
Huggies Free 8×12 (20x30cm) photo on your child’s birthday
Intencity Free $10 worth of ticket redemption games
Jeanswest $10 birthday voucher no min spend – Full Priced Items Only
Katies $20 birthday voucher no min spend
kikki.K Free $10 gift voucher, no min. spend, need to register
Mimco $30 Gift Voucher when you sign up to MIMcollective(valid for 1 month)
MSC Cruises Free Birthday Cruise (when accompanying a full fare paying passenger)
Myer $10 voucher for silver members, $20 voucher for gold members
Priceline $5 voucher. Print voucher to redeem in-store
Rockmans 20% off all purchases
Saba $25 birthday voucher no min spend
Sportscraft $20 birthday voucher no min spend
Spotlight 10% off on birthday
Witchery $20 Gift Voucher (valid for 1 month)
New South Wales


Löwenbräu Keller Free main course (with at least one full priced patron, a la carte valid on day of birthday; set menus and share platter menus – can redeem within 1 week either side of birthday – Booking Required). For a la carte, valid for: Haus-Made Sausages, Salads, Schnitzel, Haus Specialties, Make-A-Wish Donation Meals and Mains
Kingsleys/Steersons Steakhouses Free CAAB Rib-Eye Steak 350g valued at $46.50(Need to have spent a certain amount ($312.50) at steakhouses before birthday)
Gallagher Hotels Free $25 meal voucher for pub meal at one of eight locations: Sydney CBD (near Town Hall), Balmain, North Sydney, Enfield, Moore Park, Leichhardt, CBD (King St), CBD (The Rocks)
Twisted Frozen Yoghurt Free small frozen yoghurt with topping or regular smoothie or shake valid 7 days either side of your birthday (collect card instore)
Bondi Pizza Free main meal up to $27 value valid for one month
Shingle Inn Free patty cake and coffee/tea in birthday month
Pony Dining Free meal on birthday(Minimum spend of $100 per table with a minimum 2 people dining)
Bay 88 Free birthday dinner(accompanied by a friend who purchases a dinner)
Fish at the Rocks Free birthday meal (must dine with at least 3 other guests)
William Blue Dining Complimentary birthday meal with at least 1 paying guest
Waterfront Grill Free birthday meal (Valid for 7 days prior and after birthday, must register prior to the month of birthday)
Plate Restaurant Free main meal 7 days prior and after your birthday (must register prior to the month of birthday)
Ribs and Rumps $30 gift voucher redeemable in birthday month (must join Frequent Diners Club)
Red Lantern on Riley Complimentary main meal with minimum two people; complimentary tasting menu with minimum four people ($85 max); bonus wine bottle with minimum six people; from 1 week before your birthday to 4 weeks after
The Ranch A free drink each for you and your guests
Padstow Bowling Club Free birthday cake when you celebrate your birthday with 5 or more friends
St Marys RSL Buy 1 meal get 1 free on birthday
Deck 23 Free birthday meal when you dine with 3 or more guests
Barbuto Restaurant Dine free in your birthday month, Minimum Two people must dine
The Ritzy Gritz Free birthday dinner
Au Lac Restaurant Eat for free on your birthday (Runs only in Nov and Dec, minimum table spend of $150, only one birthday offer per table)
O-sushi Free birthday meal
Central Coast Leagues Club Free buffet in month of birthday (membership costs $4.40 per year)
White Bull Hotel Free cocktail on birthday upon joining the HERD
Coco Cubano $20 credit to spend on anything on the menu (Valid for 7 days prior and 7 days after birthday, need to pick up loyalty card from any store the month before)
MUMU Grill free meal on your birthday (need to register)
Mamak Village (UNSW) free Roti Bom on your birthday
 Whats better than having free foods and discounts??? In Australia, you will receive many discount offer during your birthday.  As long as you sign up as member, you will receive all these privileges.
Since my birthday was in March , I actually tried to redeem some of these free foods and drinks, such as boots juice, chatime drink, bondi pizza free 1 main course and Alibaba kebab 🙂
I would encourage you all to take advantages and spoil yourselves during your birthday month, Just keep calm and enjoy your freebies in Australia.

Foodilicious – Rose watermelon Cake

For those who are a pastry person, I believe you all would know about this beautiful cake. My jaw drops when this cake comes to my mind. I’ve never had watermelon in my cake before, but since I had it once in a korean cafe in Eastwood pishonpatisserie , I was addicted to it!!! When you look at the layers of this cake, you will try to imagine how the texture is going to be. There are layers of cream and watermelon and there are strawberries and rose petals as the top coat. What a brilliant combination with the scent of romance and refreshing taste of the rose petal and watermelon. Alright, I have been talking too much, let the picture speak for itself now 🙂

I love the cakes in Eastwood and not only the taste, but also the design of the cake packaging. Don’t you think it just reminds you of how pure and lovely your first love is? For me, it does! Especially with the pink wrapped paper and the scent of rose.


and here’s the one from BlackStar Pastry  which is the popular place to get this cake for sydney siders.

IMG-20150201-WA0051 IMG-20150201-WA0052

This one was handmade by my friend.


If you are interested to bake it yourselves, please check the tutorial link below and bring some to our AIPE student services staffs xD Joking.


Happy Baking ^^