// category

Archive for June, 2009

Let the game begin

Pretty much everything I do seems to be very impulsive to others. I guess it’s because I’m a type of person who needs to take an action straight away once I made a decision. Though the decision making process is usually the long part for me.

So. Now. I did it. Bikram Yoga a.k.a. Hot Yoga. That’s right. Not only yoga itself, I for some reason agreed to do that in hot temperature. What the hell was I thinking.

The Yoga studio is located in Bondi Junction. Oh the location. I mean, what kind of people would you see in Bondi area? Sporty, healthy, health conscious, good looking, 6 packs, fit and tight muscled bodies, surfers, etc. You get the idea, right? In other words, “people not like myself”

yoga1

During the session, most of the people in the class looked like yoga masters to me. Changing one pose to another with no difficulty. Guys with toned muscular 6 pack bodies, women with flat stomachs and tight buns.

Our perky instructor gives us the direction in her calming soft yet demanding voice.

Breath through the nose – inhale.

Feel all the bad pushed out from the body – exhale.

Slowly, stretch out your body as much as you can, go further, try your best you can…

Let everything go – try to imagine and get to the calming, peaceful place within…

















yoga-me
I’M F***ING DYING HERE.

If the instructor was trying to help me find my inner self, don’t worry about it, I know him already and he’s telling me to GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE.

After the session that seemed to be forever, my friend said “Hey you did actually better than I thought”

“Don’t. talk. to me. now.” was all I could respond.
I treated myself with yummy Kimchi hotpot with lots of pork slices. Don’t argue with me. But I must admit, it actually feels great afterwards. Yes, very tired, but all the stress seems to have melted away with my sweat. I’ll definitely go back – just very hard to find the time to attend though…

And also, I went back to my gym for the first time in like 7 months ;p Nothing too hard, just a treadmill run for about half hour – and little bit of crunch. I’m just trying to increase the amount of exercise to speed up my recovery process from my recent injury. (from amount of exercise being NONE. of course ;p)

And I’ve got to admit, again, being a regular smoker is undoubtedly what’s making these activities harder for sure. And then I reconfirmed just like I have so many times in the past that smoking contributes to nothing better. You waste your money on it, it makes harder to get rid of tiredness, the craving that you just have to satisfy every time. It’s just simply ridiculous.

Recently 7 people around me have successfully quit smoking with a little help from this prescription drug called Champix. Hearing about the drug from them, I decided to give it a go myself.

champix

Ironically I have worked on several anti-smoking campaigns in the past. During the process I’ve learnt so many facts and diseases caused by cigarette ingredients. And I wonder why it never really motivated me to stop. I guess, they usually talk about all the bad things about smoking – I’ve never really seen any campaigns focusing on what benefits you are entitled to by quitting. That’s more motivating to me, like, food tastes better, feel more energetic, skin glows better etc.

So I’ll be on Champix for the next 3 months to finally (hopefully) break my smoking habit, starting from Monday. And I’d probably go back to the Bikrum yoga soon, just to see if I could glimpse of indication that I’m getting healthier. ;p

I guess it wouldn’t hurt to celebrate all these new starts with pizzas, beer and the rest of 4 cigarettes before Monday, right?

pizza

Arthur’s Pizza
260 Oxford Street
Paddington, NSW
http://www.arthurspizza.com.au/

Bikram Hot Yoga
183 Oxford street
Bondi Junction, NSW 2022
http://www.bikrambondijunction.com.au/

boys and girls, dinner is ready!

Man, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. 3 days of me time!!! I feel like I gained so much over the 3 days – maybe I have. You didn’t hear me saying “No way, I don’t believe you” on the scales. Firmly.

I’ve read about New Shanghai Chinese restaurant in my next door neighborhood Ashfield. (Also realized that the one I’ve been to was Shanghai night next door.) Having read about it on many food blogs, I have waited for my opportunity to come across. And it finally did. I was on the phone with Frank (on his mobile) when Kim called his home phone. “Hey dudes, are you guys hungry?” was all it took. I ran down to my car, picking them up and we were on our way to New Shanghai.

It was raining outside and we arrived around 7pm on Sunday, but the place was already packed. Wow, how popular this place is. As we wanted to eat and go quickly rather than wait for a table, we decided to order takeaway instead.

new_shanghai

Kim says “woo nice buns” and I say “Oh thank you.” *shaking my ass*
As everyone recommended, Xiao long baos were quite good! Hot tasty soup filled buns are dangerously yummy especially on a cold day like this. And the pan fried pork dumplings are very tasty! How do they make them so soft, crispy on the bottom yet not soggy with soup inside?? We also had shallot pancake, and some noodle and rice dishes – as you might be able to guess, I forgot to take the pictures of them. *sigh*

And here comes another hateful Monday. No matter what waits on Monday, I simply hate Mondays. Ugh, I even hate how the word sounds. MONDAY. UGH.

Ever since I’ve read about Papardelle with Chorizo, Ricotta & Lemon on Not Quite Nigella, “Chorizo and pasta” has been on my mind for awhile. And the article was perfect for me tonight because I had Chorizo and left over Lasagna sheet that’s been in freezer since Friday.

chorizo

Unfortunately I didn’t have Ricotta nor lemon – the essential ingredients that are supposed to be in the name of the dish. ;p So this was rather quickly put together with what was in my fridge. Chorizo, chopped onion, sun dried tomato, garlic, spring onion, and capsicum. Sauté them and simmer with can of tomato puree & chicken soup stock until reduced and thicken. It turned out to be quite hearty and good, and definitely nice way to use leftover lasagna sheet!

*burp*

quick update: tea break!

It seems to have become a public knowledge, the fact that I cook & eat late at night & got stash of red bean paste in my pantry.

“The only thing I can think of tonight – hot red bean soup” says Billy on Twitter.

…Now that’s the only thing I can think of too.

azuki_latte

Azuki Latte that is.
Unsweetened red bean + condensed milk + low fat milk. Low fat part is me trying, so don’t dig deep ;p Steamy hot sweetness.

Oh yes day off rocks!

Tired, frustration, late nights, bad luck – these were my keywords for the past weeks. But finally I’ve got my day off this Friday, and pushed everything aside and enjoyed my day off!

I had my early start with Physiotherapy. Fortunately my back pain from the recent injury has gotten pretty well, phew. But I developed a numbness in my left thigh which is apparently related to the back injury. More physio visits in place. *sigh*

Then I headed to Billy’s exhibition – The Red Balloon – again for lunch and met up with Billy (A Table For Two), Richard (Here Comes The Food) and Simon (The ♥ of food).

Our initial plan was to grab the Wagyu beef burger from Plan B by Becasse then eat at the gallery.

“I don’t mind any food. Burger, Katsusando or whatever” Billy replied to us on Twitter.

When did we mention the Katsu Sandwich? LOL So we picked up his *hinting* and I ordered 4 Katsu Sandwiches from Atomic Espresso cafe in Neutral bay. (thanks to Richard for picking them up on his way.) And damn my Nigella Lawson moment with the sandwiches, I forgot to take pictures!

dsc_0115
(Photo by Richard)

I also brought the best beverage to go with the Katsu Sando – Coca Cola of course. (No diet coke nor Coke Zero!) and Funwari Meijin that by the way I’m surprised myself that I managed to keep my hands off till then. Richard also brought his loquat jelly from Japan. Woohoo.

boys

Yeah, that’s right, lick it. I said LICK IT BIYAAAATCH!
Check out Richard’s post from the day @ Here comes the food and Simon’s @ the ♥ of food

Then I was off to my Ganbanyoku wrap and massage! My friend Junko runs Beauty lounge – a cosy spa salon on Harris street in Ultimo, co-operated with Cut lounge. Oh my god, this wrap has pretty much the same effect as real one, and I was sweating like hell!

ganbanyoku

Dudes and boys, you might think “man, spa & facial?” but try once and I’m sure you’d hook on it. After turning 30, washing face in the shower isn’t enough, seriously. Hmmm rejuvenation. The spa always have special of the month – ask her for the special offers of the month.

Billy’s exhibition
The Red Balloon
The Depot Gallery II, 2 Danks Street, Waterloo
16 – 27 June 11AM – 6PM
http://www.seetheredballoon.com/

Beauty Lounge
602 Harris Street, Ultimo
02 8013 6778
http://www.beauty-lounge.com.au/

Quick update: quick late dinner.

Being quite busy these days, I realized that coming home from work @ 7pm and after 9pm is such a huge difference. For 7pm, I still get a few hours to do dishes, watch TV and chill whereas after 9pm I only get to cook dinner and head to bed afterwards. It’s only a few hours difference, but I’m surprised that so much can be done in the time!

Unfortunately I had another unexpected late night and it was already 945pm by the time I got home. I was starving and wanted to have something that can be prepared quick but still hearty to satisfy my stomach.

beeeeeef

Angus beef with caramelized onion and roasted garlic soy sauce on steamed spinach.
I love this sauce, so easy to make yet taste heavenly! Roast a whole garlic with drizzle of olive oil in oven. Sauté caramelized onion (previously made and kept in my fridge) and the roasted garlic. Add white wine and soy sauce at the end. Sounds like too much work for ‘quick dinner’ but this can be done quicker than cooking pasta dish!

taro

Dessert. Taro cake from Savoy that I was going to bring for OneBiteMore‘s tupperware party. I’ve got a whole cake and am wondering where the 3/2 has gone… ;p

Alright. Another day starts. I need more sleep. Tired..
(Currently less visits to my favorite blogs happening :( so much to keep up…)

Saturday quick meals

“I’m soooory I’m sooorry, I totally overslept!”

That was the cue from my friend to push back our brunch. That’s cool, I oversleep all the time on weekend, no rush. But I was already awake at 8am and my hungry stomach couldn’t wait any longer. What could be quick and filling breakfast to make? Oh yes, hotcakes! As previously posted, I’m pretty good at making one.

hotcake2

The key to make golden brown Japanese style fluffy hotcake is to add melted butter and spoonful of Mayo! (I know, but you wouldn’t taste the mayo at all after baking.) And cook it over very low heat.

nespresso1

And the very first run of my new LOVER the Nespresso. I used to have an ordinary espresso machine (which eventually got broken…) but I think Nespresso actually does better job creating great crema!

hotcake1

Anyone up for my Japanese style hotcake for breakfast? Oh sorry, I’m not wearing my pants yet am I? ;p

My friends were frantically looking for a particular baby shower gift and they sounded like they had gone a long quest for it. “Arggh, I’m like visiting every shop in the town!!” So the lunch was off, and I instead went out for overdue shopping and hair cut. It has gotten really chilly in Sydney all of a sudden, and I wanted an electric blanket. But. I ended up buying a gas heater instead – which was 8 times more expensive than the electric blanket. Oh well, me with impulsive purchase. But it’s well worth spending! Thank god, my place is equipped with a gas socket for heating. Finally warm cosy night in has been secured.

After my haircut, I called up my friend Hisae and headed to Ton Ton during her lunch break. Ton Ton is owned and operated by Azuma – offering reasonably priced eat-in and takeaway meals @ Chifley plaza and Regent. (Apparently Tetsuya from Tetsuya’s quite frequently shows up for quick lunch there. Haha)

We ordered Ankake Yakisoba (Stir fried noodle with Ankake sauce) and Mapo don (Mapo tofu on rice) I particularly liked the Ankake Yakisoba! I’ve had Chinese versions somewhere else before, which were all good and tasty, but for my Japanese tongue this is by far the best I had in Sydney. Japanese loooove Ankake! And the portion of the dishes are quite generous! Oh yeah I call that satisfactory!

ankake

mapo_don

For Mapo don, it tasted good but I think I’d prefer Chinese Mapo on the rice. I’d say it was a bit too sweet for my liking.

It was my first time visiting Ton Ton for meal and there’re many other dishes on the menu. I’m sure another trip down here for quick lunch – or even takeaway during weekdays.

Ton Ton Regent
Ground Floor
501 George Street
Sydney 2000
(In Lumiere building on George st.)

way overdue birthday dinner. Duh, finally!

Oh my god. Finally.

Bookings can be such a pain, and you wouldn’t want to mess with restaurants by rebooking and then canceling, especially head counts are larger than ‘casual dinning’. And my gang are pretty busy this time of the year, and quite alot of them weren’t unfortunately able to attend my birthday dinner this year. So I decided to just do another ordinary dinning out get-together at my favourite Japanese restaurant Busshari. Just like last year, but smaller party.

busshari_1

busshari_2

busshari_3

Everything is my favourite, these are all great and yummy! If I were living in Japan right now, I wouldn’t be overly excited about it, but oh my Japanese sweet potato tempura – I was reminded that I love & missed them so much.

We’d usually get plates of desserts, but not this time. We had to save some room for a specially ordered birthday cake from Azuma. Again!

cake_1

….. hmm?! *gasp*

cake_2

OH MY GWAD, THAT’S ME ISN’T IT?!

Mayuri was sweet enough to spend her time to make this out of my usual doodle! Thank you very much!

And. I’ve got my birthday present that I’m VERY VERY excited about!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

nespresso

Oh you Nespresso. Now this has become my shrine. I’ll worship it. and get extra buzzed than ever before.

My beloved friend and yummy food with a few beers and Yuzu Shochu (You’ve just got to try this). That’s all I needed to be reminded that I have pretty good life.

friends

Thank you, Mayuri, Mitsu, Hisae, Maya, Ema, Chiho and Lily!
and everyone else who unfortunately couldn’t make it to the dinner – thank you for your birthday wishes!

Busshari
119 Macleay St, Potts Point 2011
02 9357 4555


View Larger Map

Long weekend isn't long enough.

Previously mentioned & planned, my long weekend has spent to catch up with friends – mainly to make up for what I had to neglect over the past 5 weeks. But I didn’t know “I’ll make it up to you!” costs me a lunch for each one of my friends. ;p I’m going to post what I was up to over the weekend later on.

Anyways.

Late night on Sunday, I heard my neighbor upstairs came home with friends – most likely drunk. They came out to their balcony. They must have been smoking or something.

“.. hahahahahahahaha. Hey, I smell something good.”
“Oh yeah, I can smell that too! Is someone cooking this late or what?”
“No way, what kind of crazy person would that be!” (laughter)




















whatsyourpoint1
This kind. What’s your problem.

I was still awake at 3:30am and just couldn’t go to sleep with my hungry stomach. Earlier that night, my neighbourhood friends Jose and Kim came over for dinner and we played Call of Duty till midnight. (Just don’t question if this is what people over 30 should be doing on Sunday night.) With left over Chicken cream stew from dinner and frozen pie sheet, I made a chicken pot pie. At 3:30am.

pie1

pie2

Ahhhhh I love pies.

Sometimes living alone is difficult – especially when you are cooking. It can be harder to cook for one person than for more. What do I do with the unused pie sheet left over….?

roll1
roll2

Don’t ask why I always have cans of sweet red beans. Just don’t. Open it up, spread it over the pie sheet then roll it up. Easy to make, no fuss, no fail sweet red bean roll it is.

Tell me this isn’t why I’m alone and dateless on Sunday night. ;p

Healthy alternative = Nabe.

“Have you eaten your dinner already? Come on down for nabe.”
You know I’ll be there. And I did.

I had never really thought that Nabe is a quite healthy food that fills you up good. Whole alot of chinese cabbages, tofu, Enoki & Shimeji mushrooms, Negi (Spring onions), Shabu Shabu Mochi (thin sliced Mochi) and hmm hmm pork slices! All of these were bubbling in a pool of golden true dashi (Bonito soup stock – the core of Japanese flavour!) that’s been prepared with bonito flakes – not from instant bonito dashi mix. Not to be forgotten, we also had a plateful of Ox tongue with Negi Shio (Minced spring onions, salt and sesame oil) condiment.

nabe

After the warming healthy dinner, I had a HUGE bowl of vanilla and Caramel and Honey macadamia ice cream. Even with chocolate sauce. I guess that’ll break even eh. ;p

Relationship between Japanese and Katsu are deep and real, yo!

I was a bit disappointed and frustrated last Friday. My way-too-long postponed birthday dinner had to be cancelled due to the urgent work that must have been done. (well actually the dinner was still on – just went on without myself.) It has gotten to the point that my friends become annoyed and probably rolling their eyes by now as it’s been rescheduled 4 times already. Now for the last time, it’s been set on the next Thursday – just crossing my fingers so this can finally happen. So to redeem my friends trust and make it up for my neglected social life, my long week end is filled up with whole bunch of coffee/lunch/dinner catch ups. Hooorrraaay.

I’ve got to admit that I must have lost my authenticity and credibility as a true Japanese over the years living outside of the country, but my likings and tendency in food preferences and choices are still in my blood.

When I say “Japanese food” I often refer to “every day Japanese food” that Japanese people would eat for lunch or dinner daily basis – definitely not Sushi for sure. And Katsu (Deep fried Pork with Panko) must be one of many Japanese homely dishes.

カツサンド (Katsu Sando: Deep fried Pork cutlet sandwich) is definitely a well-known popular lunch dish in Japan, and I had been dying to eat this for quite some time. Check out these images on Google, many restaurants and cafes in Japan have their signature Katsu Sandwiches.

AND. Now. Oh My God. My prayer has been answered.

Katsu Sandwich is available in Sydney – Neutral Bay to be exact. Atomic Expresso – a sister cafe of Japaz owned by my chef friend Hiro – offers Japanese Katsu sandwich for eat-in and takeaway!! You know I just had to drive up North and grab one for myself (well, 3 to be exact.)

katsu_sandwich

Generous sized thick Katsu with Tonkatsu sauce and mustard. Hmmmmmmmmmm! And yup, the bread is Japanese style as well – so soft and thick! (unfortunately the bread went a bit soggy in a takeaway container by the time I finished all my errands. I’d recommend to do eat-in.) It’s cripsy on the outside with panko and tender and juicy on the inside, and it goes really well with the sauce just as it should!

This Japanese Katsu Sandwich is only available from Thursday to Saturday, and you have to call ahead and reserve yours – only 20 servings available a day for eat-in and takeaway.

I totally forgot how much it was… (see, this is another reason why I can’t be a food blogger…) Me and my friends had a lunch and my bill was $52 for 3 takeaway katsu sandwiches + salmon cream pasta + latte. I’ll confirm on the price later on, but I guess it’s something around $12..?
(updated: it’s $15. Might sounds expensive, but the size is generous and would fill you up good!)

I highly recommend this Katsu Sandwich to satisfy your hungry stomach at lunch :)

Atomic Espresso
148 Wycombe Road
Neutral Bay NSW 2089
(02) 9953 0666
(Don’t forget to call ahead for the Katsu Sandwich!)


View Larger Map