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Beach Birthday 2012

February 13, 2012

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Gosh, how is it already halfway through February!!

I have to admit I still sometimes write 2011 in the date fields of forms… even though it’s been 2012 for… a while now. Whoops.

The beginning of the year always has a bright spot for me, my birthday is at the end of January! Every year I organise a birthday picnic at the beach. Every second year it has rained out. This was to be the second year in the cycle. Plus… add to that the coolest, wettest summer Sydney has ever experienced, and the prospect wasn’t favourable.

BUT THEN…

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NOT PERFECT… BUT IT’LL DO.

The weather was actually pretty great!! Slightly overcast but warm (the water itself was very warm), with patches of sun… and only a very brief drizzle of light rain.

I decided to make this year’s picnic at Clovelly Beach – which I’d visited before, but never swam at. Thanks to my friends Beanie & Bretto I’ve been getting into snorkelling lately – and everyone’s told me that Clovelly is such a good beach for it, since it is so sheltered and shallow. Plus there is always the chance of meeting the famous blue groper fish! (aka… the fun, socially acceptable kind of groper)

Since we can’t snorkel on an empty stomach… and since there’s not much in Clovelly’s environs for a cheapie lunch (besides the one kiosk there, which looked a little bit too fancy for my shindig) – I took the liberty of ordering everyone some food.

First up I got some boxes of banh mi thit from Hong Ha in Mascot.

Despite being Vietnamese, I can’t profess to being a pork roll expert – so I enlisted my mum and brother as my tasting panel the weekend before. Mum proclaimed the chicken to be her preferred roll, and my brother gave his tick of approval – with the caveat that he wasn’t sure whether they were worth the $5 per roll ($1-1.50 more per roll than the ones he buys in Bankstown & Cabramatta. Being a uni student, he is super srs about a cheap lunch!)

Convenience won out over economy in the end, and I ordered 28 rolls for $140 (no discount, but with a bit of cajoling the lady threw a few extra ones in for free), 2/3rds of them were pork, and 1/3rd were chicken, and the pork still managed to go first!

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Banh Mi Thit

Delish! My Banh Mi thit was pretty much awesome. The bread was of course baked on the premises that morning, and was super fresh – crispy on the outside, fluffy inside and still warm. Inside lay slatherings of pate and mayo, topped with thin slices of pork, pickled veggies, cucumber and spring onions. Is it just me or is this one of the perfect forms of food?

Clovelly Beach Birthday
Clovelly Beach Birthday
om nom nom!

For dessert – I visited Pat & Stick’s and Pepesaya’s factory in Tempe that morning to pick up a whole heap of one of my favourite foods… icecream sandwiches!

Clovelly Beach Birthday

Pat & Stick
This is what 25 icecream sandwiches… AKA MY DREAMS COME TRUE looks like

If you have a chance, you must visit the Tempe factory! Pat was there, and was super great in helping me pick out all the flavours (unfortunately, his and my favourite – Caramel Pecan – was completely sold out… noooo!), even rustling up some limited edition flavours from the back of the coolroom (like the Luke Mangan for Virgin Australia raspberry swirl flavour, which is usually only available in their airport lounge). 

(Extremely random but did you know Pat speaks fluent Mandarin?? Completely freaked my poor HK-born boyfriend out with his fluency hahaha.)

Pat was even nice enough to pack them all neatly with dry ice so the little sammiches would last until after lunch.

Once we got going they didn’t last long!
Clovelly Beach Birthday
Clovelly Beach Birthday
Chocolate lace icecream sandwich by Pat & Stick… perfection!

Last year for my birthday, my friends bought me a camera that can take photos underwater! Which means I can show you these…!

Clovelly Beach Birthday
Bretto the spearfisher being impressive as usual

Clovelly Beach Birthday
Got a bit choppy out there for a few mins!

Clovelly Beach Birthday
Female blue groper! It was so friendly! Swam right up close to you and let you pat her.

Clovelly Beach Birthday
Fishies!

Snorkelling at Clovelly was so great! The whole beach is so shallow, and the ocean floor so close, you can swim right amongst the fish. And so many fish! Completely unafraid of humans. They must know it’s a safe area. Will definitely be coming back here again.

The best surprise came afterwards though… guess what my amazing incredible friend and fellow Ace of Cakes fan, Beanie, made me??

Cheeseburger Birthday Cake!
I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGERRRR

So completely amazing! She made the whole thing herself. The bun is vanilla cake, the pattie is chocolate brownie, fondant cheese, jam sauce and peanut butter buttercream icing! So blown away.

Cheeseburger Birthday Cake!

Cheeseburger Birthday Cake!
Cheezburger Cake Cross-section

If that weren’t enough, I also received some very rad presents too! Including a UKULELE from Jason! (I am currently learning how to play it now), a Brasserie Bread baking class voucher (my friends must have been sick of me rabbiting on about bread-making hehe), a Tintin & Snowy figurine, Kate Beaton’s Hark a Vagrant book, a panda purse, camera cookie cutters, a tshirt about cats, a shopping bag with llamas on it… and THIS TOTE BAG:

Pugs not Drugs
Pugs not drugs. Completely amazing.

As a bonus for reading this far here is the Maru book making me smile like an imbecile:
Clovelly Beach Birthday

:’) friends are the best.

Clovelly Beach Birthday
Our crew all stretched out on the lawn

Clovelly Beach Birthday
Such a good day!

Hong Ha
1151 Botany Rd
Mascot NSW 2020
Ph: (02) 9667 2069

Pat and Stick’s Tempe factory
Unit 4, 3 Wood St,
Tempe, NSW 2044
Ph: (02) 9114 6377
Open Mon-Fri, 9-5pm and some weekends (call first to make sure)

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 11:29 pm

    aaaw happy birthday mel! your shots are amazing, especially the first shot, looks so surreal 😀 such a fab idea to order lots of banh mis & icecream sammies. cheezburger cake is too cool!

  2. February 14, 2012 2:06 am

    Can’t think of a better picnic lunch than pork rolls and ice cream sandwiches! And the cheeseburger cake is awesome! Happy birthday! 🙂

  3. February 14, 2012 9:26 am

    Happy belated birthday Mel! Awesome cake!

  4. February 14, 2012 11:28 am

    This looks like such a fun day! 🙂

  5. February 14, 2012 2:00 pm

    Awww, happy belated birthday! Looks like you had an awesome day, banh mi and ice-cream sandwiches? What could be better really?!

  6. February 14, 2012 4:32 pm

    Happy Birthday Mel, Love those ice-cream sandwich!! looks like you had lots of fun! have a great day!~

  7. February 14, 2012 7:41 pm

    Happy Birthday – love that cake!! Hong Ha rolls are fantastic – even the vego ones ;D

  8. February 15, 2012 10:57 am

    What a fab catering effort – so clever! And that cake – just takes the cake! Happy belated b’day!

  9. February 15, 2012 3:05 pm

    Happy birthday! Such a good idea to get pork rolls and ice cream sandwiches for everyone. I really need to try this Caramel Pecan ice cream sandwich if even Pat says it’s his favourite one!

  10. February 15, 2012 9:13 pm

    I can’t remember the last time I’ve had an ice cream sandwich. Putting it on the list for the weekend – thank you!

  11. February 18, 2012 1:28 am

    Happy Birthday! What a great picnic.

  12. Tina @ bitemeshowme permalink
    February 24, 2012 7:09 am

    What an awesome cakeeeeeeeeeee. I love itttttttttttttttt.

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