The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

This week

February 23rd, 2012  |  Published in Restaurants  |  15 Comments

Milk bottle

What a strange week it’s been. It started off really great, I had a lovely birthday (birthdays are kinda rigged to be fun and awesome – even in that mopey film Sixteen Candles, she got that priceless kiss in the end) and that was a handy excuse to have a good dinner. My first great meal as a 31-year-old was the Lombardy regional dinner at Vini in Surry Hills. I’m still remembering the ravioli with potato mascarpone butter and the truly kick-ass panettone sandwiches with poached peaches and home-made mascarpone.

I was also lucky enough to given some wonderful presents – these are some of the semi-food-related ones: a lovely milk bottle/vase-in-disguise from my friend Beth; a bouquet of herbs from my friend Lisa’s garden (the flowering chives are especially nice to look at) and a mini frypan from Daiso (my friend Sophie cutely said it was so I could make my own cafe-style eggs).

So that was all upside and then the downside came yesterday. I was made redundant from the magazine where I’ve worked for the last five years. I went home and made some green tea and felt really fine about it. It’s funny how all the things that count against you – that somehow can “downgrade” any of your lifetime achievements – at a family gathering or school reunion actually are handy when this thing happens. I don’t have kids and I don’t have a mortgage, so it’s a lot easier for me than other people. I have a good supply of genmaicha and two teapots (plus another for back-up) and a stovetop that can handle marathon brewing, so I feel pretty fortified. Plus I’ve got a bottle of slightly stronger stuff (yuzu liqueur) tucked away, just in case. So that’s been the last week. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.



  1. My jaw is on the ground. I know they say when one door closes another opens but whoa, as someone working in the news side of the publishing industry, I keep thanking my lucky stars each and every day I have a job but I know, like you, it could be gone any day now. Good luck.

  2. Daniel says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you were made redundant. But I reckon that you are so talented that I don’t think you’ll be spending much time unemployed.

    And I’m also sure that there will be a new adventure for you around the corner.

  3. I love what you said about the things that can usually ‘downgrade’ you at a reunion… LTL, You’re amazing, you ARE a massive part of IO.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about you being made redundant. I hope it turns itself into an opportunity for something new.

    You sound very stoic about it all. There must be some English in you somewhere!

  5. Happy (belated?) Birthday! Are you a fellow Pisces? Mine is this weekend and oh how I wish i’d have thought of going to Vini…

    I’m sorry to have read of your redundancy as well, I wish you all the best in what ever you get to do next. I love how soothing Genmai cha can be at times like these.

  6. Sorry to hear but you sound resilient and OK about it. Can’t wait to hear about your next ventures as I’m sure it’ll be in the bigger and better category 🙂

  7. So sorry to hear about that. Get that yuzu out and watch some trashy tv – I find that helps 😉 good luck with everything!

  8. Miss Maree says:

    So sorry to hear about your redandacy LTL. You are a talented & witty woman so you will find your way to something even better! Hopefully I get to hear you on FBI more and read more about your food discoveries.
    Happy B-Day for last week and walk tall girl!

    Maree Gabrielle

  9. tori says:

    Oh my word. So horrific to have the rug pulled out from under you like that. You are one of the best writers I know. Crossing fingers that there are some golden opportunities around the next corner.

  10. leetranlam says:

    Thank you ALL for your amazing kindness and supportive/cheering words. It does mean a hell of a lot. Thank you for your generosity!

  11. Kate says:

    Echo the thought about jaw being on the ground! You’re literally the person I try to channel when thinking about my very ordinary blog copy and how to make it better. Flawed. But so admire your brilliance and know fabulous things are around the corner. Hang in there. Drink tea! Make Daiso eggs! Deep breaths! Your adventure might be just beginning xxx

  12. Just mirroring a lot of the earlier sentiments by saying I’m sorry to hear about you being made redundant but I absolutely believe you’ll discover something bigger and better one day 🙂

    I know you’ll make your own luck!

  13. Bec Hem says:

    You will be sorely missed at Inside Out, i’m sure! All the very best for what’s to come!

    And Happy Birthday!

  14. Y says:

    ..AND I missed your birthday..!? Happy Birthday. Sorry to have been slow to catch up on news. And by the way, I know it’s not great news, but I think it’ll work out for the best in the long term. These things generally do, especially when it concerns someone with an abundance of talent like yourself.

  15. leetranlam says:

    Thank you for all the kindness, cheer and lovely support! All this encouragement is truly very heartening. It’s easy to feel a little lost when things like this happen but these supportive words really are a beacon!

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

All the good pictures on this blog are by photography ace (and patient boyfriend), Will Reichelt, (all the dodgy ones can be credited to me)!

The lovely banner is by friend and ultra-talented illustrator Grace Lee.

This site redesign was made possible by the next-level generosity and expertise of Daniel Boud, whose code-tinkering ways are only outranked by his seriously inspired way with a camera.

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This is a blog I do for pure fun and zero influence – there's no sponsorship, sneaky advertorial or advertising. I pay for all the food mentioned, 'cos it seems the ethical thing to do.


This is a blog about eating and drinking in Sydney, Australia (with the odd cross-border or off-topic detour). BYO appetite.

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