Darwin Blog

The House of Pearls
Friday, 4 May, 2007, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Darwin


Looking for beautiful pearl jewellery without the big price tag?  Lucy can help you and she has just opened another shopfront in Knuckey Street.  Love the furniture that the jewellery is displayed on and it too, is also for sale.  Lucy also has a stall at the Parap markets.

I have a few pieces that I have bought from her over the years and I think they are of exceptional quality.  Lucy also re-threads pieces, if you have any pearl jewellery that falls apart and for a modest fee.

She has so many different designs, pearl sizes, designs and price range, that I am sure there would be something for anybody.  There are a few tacky pieces, but look beyond those on the tables when you walk in the store and look at the great stuff in the cabinets.  The prices aren’t too bad, but if you want to pick up a good bargain – wait till Lucy has one of her great sales.


Garam Masala
Friday, 4 May, 2007, 2:23 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Darwin, Dining


If you have lived in Darwin as long as I have, you would know that there haven’t been many good Indian restaurants.

Garam Masala is a little gem.  Ricky who owns this restaurant used to have Kozy Cafe on Mitchell Street and made the most divine desserts – the Chocolate Creme Brulee and the pannacotta were my favourites.

This is his latest venture and Kozy is no more.  The food at Garam Marsala is supberb and although I have only been for lunch (my husband can’t stomach anything too spicy) the $20 per person menu is excellent.

Located at the Darwin Central Hotel, it is the site of the former Waterhole Restaurant – one of our favourite dining places prior to having a child.  The Waterhole had excellent food, including desserts but lacked any ambience.

I am pleased to say that Ricky has worked on that ambience and it is a vibrant and colourful space to dine in.  Oh by the way, Ricky still makes excellent desserts and I totally recommend that you save room for one at the end of your meal.

Don’t waste your time or money eating Indian anywhere else in this town.

UPDATE:  It is was with disappointment that in July a friend and I went to Garam Marsala to find it had closed down.  I noticed the other day whilst having lunch at Monsoons that Ricki has opened up in the Mitchell Centre – yah.  Not sure what it is like – will go and try the food and report back.

Cafe 21
Friday, 4 May, 2007, 2:12 pm
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Darwin, Dining


My dad loves this cafe.  We often meet here for lunch and although it isn’t one of my favourite places to eat, it is still quite good.  Price wise it is okay, but in all honesty – each time we have eaten her I have never been disappointed.  Their sandwiches are excellent, fresh and full of fillings but a little on the expensive side. 

The service you can’t fault and most days, Kathryn is manning the till and having the face to face contact with the customers.  One thing I admire is how she gets to know the regulars. 

I love their turkey and cranberry tarts with salad.  They have an extensive menu and I have tried a number of items and they have all been good.  They also make what I consider the best milkshakes in town.

On the school holidays, my husband and son came in and we went to Cafe 21 for a bite to eat as we were meeting dad and the little one want sausages and chips.  The staff were so accommodating and catered for what he wanted and to boot, the chips were curly!  What a novelty for a child – he was stoked!   

Cafe 21 does a lot of catering for Government and Council and the one thing I think they can improve on is their sausage rolls – they are just simply too big and too heavy – they need to adjust the recipe of the filling.  The sausage rolls repeat on you during the day – not good.

Tai Chi – New Beginnings
Friday, 4 May, 2007, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Observations

So a new world order starts from me as of 5.15pm this afternoon, whereby I started with a massage after work.  I have previously recommended Eva in a previous post – look under Best Kept Secrets – Darwin.

Part of this new world order, is that I signed up with a couple of girlfriends to undertake an eight week course in Tai Chi which will be conducted through the Buddhist facility at Leayner on Saturday mornings at 8am.

The gentleman that took the call was a gentle soul and advised to wear loose clothing and not have a big breakfast – no fear of that as I tend to eat breakfast late on the weekends.

I am not sure if these gentle, spiritual people have any idea when the four of us turn up, what they are in for.  I know I will have to be very disciplined and not break into laughter or the whole momentum will be lost.

I will provide an update on our first Tai Chi morning later next week.

Saying Thank You!
Friday, 4 May, 2007, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Mind Your Manners Miranda

Sometimes I think as a Gen X that I must be a little old fashioned.  But, by the same token what has happened to the humble please and thank you?

Today, I completed a chapter in my life by finishing up in a job I have held for sometime.  I choose to apply for another position, as I thought it was time for a change and to be quite honest, I just felt that my employer did not appreciate me and the energy and enthusiasm I had invested.  I am a hard worker and have a good worth ethic and in the time I have been in the job, I think I have achieved some amazing feats that some others just weren’t able to conquer.

You would think that one’s boss might pop in and say thank you, maybe a phone call if they were time challenged or at absolute worst, an email before you closed the door at the end of the day.  After three weeks of minimal interaction between us, I get a phone call this morning asking me to finalise a job that the boss has sat on for two weeks and if possible, today before I leave.  Yes, the boss knew my last day was today.

Once I completed the job and advised of the outcome in writing via an email – there was deafening silence.

What is the problem with saying thank you?  I didn’t want fanfare.  I didn’t want morning tea, flowers or a gift.  Just a simple thank you for the effort and commitment I had provided to the organisation.

I will still see this manager from time to time, as the new position I am going to is co-located in the same building – I’ll be civil to them, I have no respect for them and I will not forget.  Because as everyone knows, sometimes the tables turn and one day that boss will be expecting me to assist them with a task and I will hold the upper hand – and I hope I will be in the position to decide whether I will or won’t assist and in what capacity.

This brings me to the generational issue.  There is so much discussion these days about Gen Y and Gen X.  I am over it!!!  Gen Y just need to grow up and stop thinking they are so special.  I think businesses are so worried about Gen Ys and catering for them, that they are forgetting about Generation Xers that have worked very hard since their mid-teens, yes many of us had jobs since we were 15, went to uni and held down one or two jobs to pay our way through and yes, we started at the bottom of companies and learnt as much as we could to work our way up the corporate ladder.  Some of us even worked for nothing, to get a foot in the door of organisations we wanted to work with.

Something to take note of – not all Gen Xers are ambitious.  We want to be paid according to our skills and experience. We want interesting and challenging jobs. There are many of us without university degrees, but we are by no means stupid.  We are often training up all those who hold numerous pieces of paper, but have no idea of the practical applications of all the theory they have learnt.

We are financially okay and make decisions that impact on our lifestyle and families and sometimes we are willing to take a huge risk in order for our lives to be better.  Gen Xers get on with job, do not like being taken advantage of and particularly by fellow Gen Xers, we like to be appreciated and normally it is by a simple thank you!

Treat people how you would like to be treated, share your successes and failures, remember to say please and thank you – how hard can it be and believe me, it makes such a difference to a person’s day and their impression of you.