Blackbird Café, Sydney

Bob, Owl and I went to Blackbird café at Cockle Bay Wharf for dinner after visiting the Aquarium. We just wanted something quick and simple so we could run along home to do ZA/ZG (which, by the way, is very frustrating). Bob ordered the Portuguese Chicken Burger ($21.90), Owl the Lamb Kofta Burger ($22.90), and I the Roasted Lamb Cutlets ($35.90).

The large burgers were tasty and I am happy to report that the thick chips were freshly cooked and, hence, were deliciously crunchy as supposed to dismally soggy. Bob tried to share her chips with me but lifting the cup from the board only served to scatter the chips on the table since it didn’t have a bottom – sharers be warned! I was rather pleased that my cutlets were very lean and that it was so generously apportioned. It started off well but eventually became a little too salty for my liking so I had to eat some of Bob’s burger after to try to neutralise the saltiness whilst Owl very kindly ate my last cutlet. The only major downside to this dish is that the cutlets were quite tough and did not fall off the bone well despite promises of it being roasted as supposed to pan-fried. Nonetheless, it sufficiently satisfied my lamb craving.

We fought our way to the counter and paid for our meal, for-going dessert as I had a box of pastries from Black Star Pastry sitting at home. Service was prompt yet bordered on the condescending as the restaurant seemed to have lifted its status a few notches since the last time I visited (2007). I suppose we were too casually dressed for a Saturday night out. All in all it was a nice experience if a little overpriced. No pictures since it rather makes me cringe, not being a fully dedicated food blogger. You’ll just have to imagine the yummy food 😉

Blackbird Café
Balcony level of Cockle Bay Wharf between the IMAX Theatre and Sydney Aquarium
02 9283 7385

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Patch 4.0.6 Update: Mana Drinks

A couple of days after I wrote my previous post, a patch came out. Not only did they buff the mana regeneration rate of holy pallies and druids such that it isn’t such a big issue anymore,  but they also made consumable mana drinks a whole lot cheaper!

4.0.6 manadrinks

Firstly, they have changed the ‘Cocoa Beans’ to ‘Imported Supplies’ which cost 1 Chef’s Award but contains 40 Cocoa Beans.

Secondly, they changed the recipe! Instead of using Fresh Water, it uses Refreshing Spring Water.

Thirdly, South Island Iced Tea got buffed and now gives 96000 mana/30sec.

4.0.6 manadrinks recipes

South Island Iced Tea is still the most expensive since the price for Tropical Sunfruit has stayed the same. However, Starfire Espresso has now overtaken Highland Spring Water as the leading drink since it technically only costs 80 copper (for the Refreshing Spring Water) and half a Chef’s Award to make a stack of 20. Or a whole Award (which you get from doing a Cooking Daily) and 1s 60c for 2 stacks. Heaps better than the ‘cheapest’ pre-patch cost of 4g 40s/stack for the Highland Spring Water!

Again, these prices are all reputation dependant but even if you were only neutral with Org (which is impossible) the water couldn’t possible cost much more than 20 copper. Even the dirt on my sandals cost more than 20c! I can’t believe how unbelievably cheap it dropped down to. The only thing is you’ll need 450 Cooking to get the recipe but here’s a hint: Thanksgiving is the perfect time to level your cooking  😉 More on that later!

So anyways, the funny thing is we don’t really need the drinks anymore but its nice to see that coffee is now the leading drink, as it should be  :p

Consumables: Mana Drinks

I was looking for the cheapest source for end-game mana replenishment (dungeons etc.). There are 2 recipes you can get from Cooking: South Island Iced Tea and Starfire Espresso. Unlike the Sauteed Gobi of pre-Cata times, there doesn’t appear to be gatherable sources to make mana drinks as both the aforementioned recipes require vendor items.

manadrinks

Vendor windows and recipe requirements. Sunfruit not included.

South Island Iced Tea^
92307 mana/30sec + gets you drunk :: 9g 28s/stack of 20*

Starfire Espresso
96000 mana/30sec + makes you sober :: 5g 12s/stack of 20*

The third option is to buy Highland Spring Water from vendors.

Highland Spring Water
96000 mana/30sec :: 4g 40s/stack of 20*

Surprisingly it would seem that the cheapest option is to obtain the springwater from a vendor. Plus you don’t get drunk/grumpy sober. Pretty expensive considering the gobi was health + mana for free (just needed to fish it up and cook).

I guess the only other option is to strike a deal with a mage to conjure you a supply of mana cakes everyday for a set price per month. Perhaps this is Blizzards way of allowing mages to generate even more monies. Ports and food. Aren’t they just a little bit greedy :p

Hopefully mana drinks won’t become such a dire issue once they buff the crap mana regeneration rate of holy pallies.

^ Tropical Sunfruit can be bought at Uldum or Twilight Highlands. I bought mine at Uldum from ‘Umi’ (co-ord: 50;38 @ the docks southwest of Ramkahen)

*Prices are reputation dependant; these are based on Org rep Exalted, Ramkahen rep Honored.

Edit: Patch came out on 08/02/2011 and changed stuff. See this post.

– ant –

Online comics

I just wanted to put up a quick post about a couple of online comics I enjoy reading.

Dark Legacy is WoW-based and I guess some of the jokes would only be funny if you played it. It’s pretty funny when it’s funny though because it tends to poke fun at some of the quirks that go on in the game.

Looking For Group is kind of a mash-up of many different rpgs but seems to be predominantly WoW-esque. It’s a running story line so the link I have is for the first page. There are 427 pages to date – I find the best thing to do is bookmark your last page read. This is also pretty funny due to my favourite character Richard. He is win.

Any comics that you guys recommend so I can bludge at work?  😛

 

– ant –

Unlocking the Orgrimmar Jewelcrafting Daily

In order to start doing the Org JC dailies, you have to first reach a skill level of 475; 25 above where you would have left off pre-Cata. This is a quick guide to get from lvl 450 to lvl 475.

First off, cut a couple of the pre-Cata epics (i.e. Cardinal Ruby, Dreadstone, Ametrine, King’s Amber, Majestic Zircon, Eye of Zul) since they still give you a skill up and are relatively cheap to purchase with Honor Points. This should turn green after about 4-5 cuts.

You now need to obtain level 81 gems either by mining or by the Auction House (AH). They are the Alicite, Amberjewel, Carnelian, Hessonite, Nightstone and Zephyrite (picture below is in order – I had to get rid of the caption because it looked crazy). You should have learnt the cuts from the JC trainer ‘Lugrah’ inside the hut at the Valley of Honor (co-ord: 72,34).

When the cuts go green (about 467) start to make Hessonite Bands (2 Hessonite + 1 Jeweler’s Setting). The Jeweler’s Settings are sold by Gorina, the NPC standing next to the JC trainer. This might go green before 475 so make a couple of Nightstone Chokers (2 Nightones + 1 Jeweler’s Setting).

Once you hit 475, the Org JC Daily should be available from Marith Lazuria (71,35) outside said hut in the Valley of Honor. You can read about the dailies in my previous post.

If you are not a Miner, remember to be smart and just make whatever is cheapest that will level you. I find that the price of gems fluctuate day by day and are usually cheaper at night because everyone is trying to undercut each other. Keep an eye on the prices and pretty soon you will get a feel of what the average price should be. A good add-on to help you keep track of this is Auctioneer.

Don’t worry too much about the price of levelling. Once you start doing your dailies you can recuperate your cost by selling Chimera’s Eyes. I did this in 3 days with a little extra to buy me my dailies gems.

Good luck 😉

Orgrimmar Jewelcrafting Dailies

The JC dailies in Org start at lvl 475 and like the Dal dailies everyday gets you a token in exchange for the much sought after Chimera’s Eye (equivalent of Dragon’s Eye) or, in accumulation, recipes to some cuts. Interestingly the stat cuts are not epic this time around. The meta-gem cuts are now a higher level and at the top of the list at lvl 525 are recipes to make epic gear. Unfortunately unlike the Cooking/Fishing dailies in Org, doing these dailies don’t give you a skill-up 😦 I guess that would make it too easy.
 
Marith Lazuria gives the dailies and is located at 71,36 in the Valley of Honor.
 
Here are the five dailies with some tips:
 
The Latest Fashion: test Stardust on 10 humanoid subjects
 
They give you 20 Stardust so you can afford to muck around if you like. You can use the Stardust on NPCs and other players so I usually go to co-ord 75,37 on the same level (a little to the right of the JC giver where the blacksmithing trainer is) and just dust all the NPCs there and all the players on my way there. Of course I start with Marith. Once you hit 10 subjects, your Stardust stash disappears.
 
Elemental Goo: collect 10 elemental goo from any Cataclysm elemental
 
Unfortunately the eles outside of Org don’t count even though they are new post-Cata. The quickest way is to port to Hjal (from the Valley of Wisdom) and kill the scalding rock elementals there. You can overlap this quest with ‘The Earth Rises’ from Anren Shadowseeker where you have to kill 10 of the aforementioned eles. Its a lvl 80 quest so if you levelled in the Hjal area you’ve probably done it already. I started out at Vash’jir though so double xp for me with this daily the first time ;p
 
p.s. you can’t port if you haven’t been there yet. Just start the quest line it will take you there and then you can port from then on. You need to go to Hjal eventually to discover the entrance to BRC anyway.
 
Nibbler! No! : cut 3 solid zephyrites (blue)
 
Ogrezonians in the Mood: cut 3 jagged jaspers (green)
 
A Present for Lila: cut 3 timeless nightstones (purple)
 
The last 3 dailies are to just cut the stone and give it to Marith. Pre-cut stones are not counted; you have to cut them again after accepting this quest. Stock up on those 3 stones when they are cheap on AH/trade. Those are the only 3 you need for the dailies.
 
Good luck 🙂
p.s. my 450-475 guide here.
 

Stop The Fires!

The Hallow’s End holiday is here at World of Warcraft and after a few failed attempts at doing the ‘Stop The Fires’ quest, here are some tips.

1. For The Horde, the quest can be done at Razor Hill, Brill and Falconwing Square. The most frequented one had always been Brill but I am here to tell you that the easiest place to do it is Falconwing Square, Silvermoon.

World of Warcraft screenshot

Check out the proximity!

This is because the proximity of the water to the buildings is very close such that only a few steps is required to put the fires out. I have managed to do this quest with only 1 other person. There are also no obstructions to distract you between tub & building.

2. Sometimes we wait around for ages for the quest to start. It’s a trigger action so to start it, just drop your quest and pick it up again (from the Matron). If that doesn’t work, it’s bugged – try FWS  :p

3. In order to speed it up, make sure you hotkey your bucket. Also, eat the Tricky Treats (drop from the Headless Horseman dungeon) to give yourselves a 30 sec speed boost. Just make sure your boost buff runs out before you eat another one otherwise you could get the ‘Out With It’ achieve but won’t be able to eat any candy for the next 15 mins which means no more buffs.

I’m rather disappointed that Blizz has discontinued their annual pumpkin carving competition. There were such amazing works of art.  😦  C’mon Blizz – pick up your game!

– ant –