Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I always love those moments when you're desk-deep in work and while checking something, you accidentally mouse-stumble across something inspired.
Yesterday I was sub-editing a story on Japanese designers and came across a clever collab that cool firm Nendo did with Japanese patissier Tsujiguchi Hironobu.
These chocolate pencils come with a special sharpener to create those crucial shavings that people like to shower onto desserts. Although I always enjoyed how pencil shavings would fan out like those paper doll accordions, it's true that the grazed wood is not very useful and understandably tipped into the bin. The designers point out that these sweet objects reverse that idea - instead of being unwanted discards, the chocolate shavings here are the most desirable point of the pencil.
And though the set doesn't come in the rainbow spectrum that your much-coveted primary school Derwent watercolours did, they are available in different cocoa flavours.
If these goodies were placed in stationery cupboards everywhere, pencil-chewing would become a national sport.
Nendo, Japan www.nendo.jp
Tsujiguchi Hironobu, Le Chocolat de H. Tsujiguchi, Japan www.lcdh.jp
Monday, May 19, 2008
If Betty & Veronica lived in Chinatown, I think they'd hang out at Norita Cafe. Located in the Sydney's Spanish "quarter" (could a quarter be any smaller?), it seems to be a magnet for young folks wanting to sip on freshly-blitzed pineapple juices, crash out on an oversized couch and break out the board games.
There's a random array of things to play - from Tumbling Monkeys to Clue to everyone's favourite party-scene-stealer, Axis & Allies: Europe (which I misread initially as "Arts & Allies: Europe" - a heartstopping game about arts administration set in Basel and Utrecht, I imagined, until I put on my glasses). The games will set you back a few hours and a few dollars (depending on how many houses on the Monopoly board you want to rack up or drawing room game villains you want to nab).
There are also light snacks and the over-the-top desserts you'd expect in a joint that's so close to Chinatown - think green tea and black sesame ice cream scoops paired with sweetened red bean ($9). To encourage you to lounge around, there's free cake on Thursdays and other calendar-coordinated discounts.
Norita has one polarising thing about it - I won't let slip what it is. You'll easily work it out when you're there. It's a little sneaky and is the one aspect that stops me from really liking the place. That and the fact I'm still waiting for Jughead and Moose to turn up.
Norita Cafe, Level 2, 77 Liverpool St, Sydney