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Archive for April, 2009

Working from home dinner

Who said “Yeah right.” reading the title?
As I have worked from home quite often over the past two years, I usually get stuff done this way. A giant coffee cup, cigarette in my hand, snacks are a few steps away. Nothing to interrupt but my hunger. And no, I’m not working in my underwear. this time. ;p

With a pack of minced veal & pork, I fixed myself Tsukune Rice Burgers for dinner. (Wiki specifically says it’s chicken, but Tsukune is made of any minced meat!) Tsukune Rice Burger was introduced from Mos Burger back in early 80′s and had been a very popular rice burger variation on their menu along with other rice burgers. Unfortunately it’s already been discontinued long time ago though.

rice_burger2

rice_burger

I’ve tried making one before but there was something different… Not the inside but the rice bun. My friend told me a secret ingredient to make it crusty on the outside yet fluffy and soft. It’s potato starch! Sprinkle about a table spoonful of potato starch on the rice and mix well before shaping the rice with wet hands.

Now I’m back to work again with my big ass coffee. No it’s not a soup bowl.

giant_coffee

Sunday night in.

I find Sundays to be the saddest day of the week. My precious “ME” time ticks away and another hateful Monday will be just around the corner. Have I done something meaningful over the weekend? No. Have I enjoyed it? Yeah. Did I have enough of it? No. Have I finished Resident Evil 5?

HELL YEAH.

Quite Sunday evening was treated with a grilled salmon salad and Tom Kah Gai. I can’t believe how easily Tom Kah Gai can be prepared and still tastes great. Thai people are genius.

I’ve got some Fuji apples that were disappointingly not as sweet and ripe as I’d hoped them to be, they were sliced and tossed into a salad bowl along with other greens and sundried tomato. Light soy sauce, yummy pure wasabi by Coopers Folly that I found at Taste of Sydney, white vinegar, minced ginger all shaken with lemon infused olive oil. – try it, it’s like a Ponzu dressing with a kick of wasabi. Yum.

dinner_for_me

Alright, guys, dinner is readieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! < hollering at my imaginary flatmates>

OH – MY – GOD.

Funwari Meijin (ふんわり名人: Fluffing expert) has been out for nearly three years – a Japanese snack which increasingly became popular and had a huge shortage of stocks last year.

I’ve had it once before and was stunned in shock to discover the amazing yet indescribable texture of it. It’s basically baked rice crisps only bigger and unbelievably soft and light! It’s got to be lighter than a crumpled tissue ball! It just instantly melts in your mouth like a magic.
Only similar (but not the same though) texture I’ve ever come across is that mind-blowing lime pavlova at Tetsuya’s – which is like eating a lime flavored clouds.

pavlova

Funwari Meijin have 5 flavours: Mitarashi Dango, Cheese, Egg (custard), Black Sesames, and original Kinako (Sweeten Soy bean powder). For limited time only, they had this special package “Funwa-Rich box” containing 6 boxes of special flavours Strawberries, Milk Chocolate and Almond Milk.

funwari_meijin

Cute package! (Yup, I’m a package whore.) Fortunately I got to taste them! So how does that taste?

yas_funwari

You tell me.

Teriyaki stuffed Japanese

*sneeze*
What’s with this sudden change of season? It’s been wet and chilly, and that only makes me crave for some hot hearty food.

My beloved friend Hisae’s birthday BBQ was held over the weekend. Unfortunately the weather turned out to be a bit disappointing rainy day, but of course that didn’t stop us from enjoying another excuse to eat like there’s no tomorrow. I got up pretty early to get ready for the preparation and little something.

When we do BBQ, it won’t be some ordinary BBQ that everything tastes the same like BBQ sauce. Again with our beloved food supplier Mitsu, we had a quite alot of premium meat – Wagyu Beef that Tetsuya’s also use, Veal, Lamb, Chicken, and Hiro from Japaz also brought that mouth watering Soy Butter Scallops!

bbq_3

As soon as Mitsu started preparing the BBQ grill with charcoals, it started raining like a S.O.B. Backyard was instantly filled with grey smoke, and surrounded me like an illusional world – a place you never get full and never get fatter. Take me now. It’s not an illusion, that’s a delusion.

I was shockingly happy to see Ema’s Chirimen Jako salad. Chirimen Jako is, I believe, a baby sardine. It’s been deep fried and sprinkled on wild rockets and sun dried tomato. It’s very yummy and I want to go buy Chirimen Jako now.

bbq_1

We had much much more food but you probably can guess why they are not pictured. Obviously someone was too busy roaming from food to food. I was pleasantly gobbling down on a hard-to-come-across Japanese Satuma Potato.

bbq_2

How many cakes does it take to satisfy us? Apparently the number is at least 3. The special cake order from Azuma was really great and worth pre-ordering, it’s not like ordinary birthday cakes that taste nothing but sugar. I brought two other cakes as well – simply because I wanted to have both. ;p

cakes
(I obviously can’t spell Gateau…)

Lastly, I gave her a birthday poster that I drew for her. Initially the poster was in an A1 frame, but I stupidly broke the glass panel on my way in. Who would’ve thought that to happen after me frantically looking for A1 size frame in stock EVERYWHERE in Sydney all day.

poster

Happy Birthday Hisae!
I welcome any other eating occasions.

More pictures @ Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yas_sydney/sets/72157617125345246/

Come taste my balls

I can’t believe it, we only have another day left until Easter break is over. I’ve still got alot to eat, zombies to kill (left 4 dead) and world to save (Resident Evil 5) Oh and tedious housework. *shrugs*
Have you guys all been enjoying your Easter break so far?

“What’s up with that?” – Some noticed my status on Facebook and sent me messages. I’ll tell you what was up. D.I.Y. Takoyaki for dinner that was!

It’s been known quite well already, but Takoyaki is a Japanese dumpling ball with diced octopus originated in Osaka. Takoyaki is as popular as Okonomiyaki, and these have been also recognised as a must-have street food at local festivals.

yomise

Although we sort of decided to do this with such a short notice, its preparation was nearly perfect. We managed to get essential ingredients all ready with such a quick and efficient act. Katsuo Dashi (Bonito soup stock), Takoyaki flour (Mixture of flour + potato starch), eggs, diced octopus, green onions, red pickled ginger, Aonori, Katsuobushi (Bonito flakes), Sakura Ebi (Dried shrimps), Tenkasu (Tempura scraps). The things you do for food I say. Today, we even had a takoyaki plate ready to make perfectly shaped Takoyaki balls.

takoyaki_1

It’s quite hard to make them into perfectly rounded shape at first. It took me a few round to get the hang of it – it’s all about timing. But oh my god, this was so much fun! And here is how it turned out.

takoyaki_2

Looks pretty professional isn’t it?? It was so good – soft yet a bit crusty on the outside but creamy on the inside. And what makes it complete is the Otafuku sauce and Japanese Mayo. These are THE MUST HAVE and not to be substituted with anything else! (if you don’t have these two, don’t even bother making ones, seriously!)
I believe, though I’ve lost count, we made nearly 100 balls… That’s alot of balls to taste.

I don’t know if it was because of Easter, but I had a hard time finding place to buy some dessert for us. I stumbled into World Square and got a whole Taro Gateau. No, there wasn’t even one slice of it! And something got my attention as well… This tiny pancake thingy – pancake puff with Mochi-like thing (it wasn’t mochi) and custard cream.

dessert

*burp*

Bigger pictures at Flickr

Happy easter

easter

I’m gone chocolate hunting.
If you saw kids crying for missing chocolates, I have nothing to do with it.

Sunday stay-in evening with Laksa.

Oh I had so much going on over the weekend, mainly catching up with my neglected friends. Brunch, lunch, dinner, coffee, beers etc. So I planned to relax and be lazy for the night before returning to work on Monday.

When we dine out alot, we tend to forget what we have in the fridge – especially those who live alone like myself. I always have all these “Oh shit, I forgot to use this!” ingredients stuffed deep in the fridge. I had a bag of bean sprouts, lemon glass, basil, chicken – all best to be used NOW. I was going to supermarket to do my grocery anyway, and I added “rice noodle” to my shopping list and decided to make a Chicken Laksa with these.

OK, let me say this up front:
I don’t know how to make a Laksa from scratch!

I’ve had it many times, I know how it tastes like, but never really made one myself! I could have googled beforehand and found a proper recipe, but my primary mission was to “use leftover ingredients” – I couldn’t be bothered to aim for authenticity or perfection. ;p So there, my version of Laksa was cooked and ready to be served.

laksa

Looking pretty good for a food that all ingredients and recipe had been “guessed”, eh?? I’ve got to admit, I was actually thinking of Pho while I intended to make a Laksa. I don’t think Laksa has basil in it…?

Laksa is ready, DVD popped in, a glass of beer is set, and I sat on my sofa with chopsticks.
done1
done2
done3
done4
done3
done4
done5

… oh …









… my …









GWAD.
done6

And pleasure continues. Oh yeah, oh yes.

kk2

(yes, I’m single, and you have a problem with that?)

Deep fry my heart baby.

Man, I’m stressed. Annoying things happened all at once as previously noted while I was very busy all week. And I just simply want to know WHY, OH WHY, dinner and drinking occasions must come along while I’m too busy to keep promises?! I’m really sorry for those I had to cancel at the last minute.

So Friday night and this weekend will be totally reserved to catch up with friends. Oh and playing Resident Evil 5. I’ve got to save the world from Uroborous, you know.

First up is Kushiage dinner at SakuraTei – located right opposite side of Kabuki Shoroku. (owned by the same owner.)

Kushiage is a deep-fried food on skewer – not with Tenpura batter but Japanese breadcrumbs. (Panko) Kushiage can be found on the menu at pretty much any Izakaya restaurants in Japan, but you should hit the Kushiage restaurants if you are craving for one – You’d be either sitting at the counter table where chefs deep-fry your food on the spot as you order, or at regular table with built-in fryer and deep-fry by yourself.

kushiage2

Unfortunately there’s no Kushiage specialized restaurant in Sydney *, but some Japanese friends of mine told me that Sakura Tei started serving Kushiage at dinner time. (They previously had Kushiage set menu for lunch only.) They invited me last week to come check out the place, but I unfortunately had to cancel due to a tight deadline for work. But not this time, I was determined to pay a visit!

* updated
in-built fryer that I mentioned is just explaining how it is in Japan. SakuraTei does NOT have it unfortunately! Sorry for the confusion!
kushiage

They’ve certainly got the basic must-on-the-menu items. I was hopping to see more, but well how much can you expect oversea? We ordered some Yakitori items and side dishes as well. I totally forgot to take a picture of, but Tebasaki (Chicken wings) was yummmmmmmmm. Do you know what that is in the last picture? That’s a Koi-shaped ceramic that you put your skewers in. Cute.

Freshly deep-fried food. how can you possible go wrong? Crispy breadcrumbs making crunchy noise as we bite, dipping tonkatsu sauce smeared around my mouth. Nom nom nom nom. Kushiage items are priced between $1.50 – $3.50 per skewer, and that’s a very reasonable price. We ordered pretty much everything on Kushiage & Yakitori menu, and only costed us $135 including drinks. Although we didn’t go for it, you can also ask them to keep bringing kushiage until you tell them to stop. That just sounds like Heaven to me. Hallelujah. (Not all you can eat for fixed price and reservation required.)

As we finished everything on our table, Mayuri was first one to say she’s gotten full with deep fried food. Oh, me?

full

Oh I’ve seen this before… It’s Deja vu.

And. I know you are just playing my heart, but how can I say no to you darling.

kk

Even if it cost me 198 calories, 12g of fat, 10g of sugar and 22g carbohydrates for every satisfaction I get from you…

Ok. I’m full now.


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Update: Oogui competition in Bondi Junction

As previously posted, there was an Oogui competition at Ichibanboshi in Bondi Junction.

My friend mentioned that there’s a youtube clip of the program, and we were on TV for a few seconds. Can you spot me in the crowds?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkEw8SS5bqI