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Archive for July, 2009

You're my drug.

I had a quite bit of extra sweet intakes over the two weeks – mainly due to quitting smoking.




And the sugar overdosed happy moment was taken away and I had gone insane.


Why? I had no coffee home. My new shipment of 250 Nespresso capsules were stupidly left behind the office. Next day at work, the first thing I did was to load the boxes into my car. ;p


Ahhh….. aren’t they just beautiful?


They look like diamonds in a box to me.

Now let my self-indulgence continued.


Bondi reunion – Dinner @ Li Zai

One of the greatest things I love about Australia is people (and fooooood of course!) – and I say this after having formerly lived in two other countries for long enough to compare. Openness / friendliness of Australian people in general was something I found it to be a bit unfamiliar at first. “Why are you being nice to me, what’s your intension!” – you know, I’m from uptight hectic ‘I don’t care about other people’ part of Japan. But it didn’t take me long to realize that Australians are in fact genuinely friendly.

And what about my own kind? I mean Japanese people here in Australia. It must have been different if I were younger and here for holiday or school, but I never really expected becoming good friends with many of them in such a short time at this stage of my life. That’s why it is very hard and sad when these people decided to leave the country. And Hiromi had left for Japan awhile ago.


BUT SHE’S BACK AGAIN! (for a week though.) and that’s another great excuse to go out and have fun, right?

Li Zai – Asian Tapas restaurant is located in Bondi beach. The location is perfect, and their balcony space, in which you can over look Bondi beach right in front of you, must be awesome for summer time with chilled beers for sure. Too bad it was a bit chilly this time!

Ok, here’s the thing: I always want to know, precisely in fact, what exactly ‘Asian’ means when the adjective was added in front of “restaurant”, or “sauce”. Is it Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Malaysian, Taiwanese, Singaporean, Vietnamese, or something else? This “Asian Tapas” turned out more less Yum Cha style dishes. Hmm yeah, that’s sort of correct – though I would have never thought of that out of “Tapas”



Having had better dining experiences elsewhere for anything Asian, dishes on the menu aren’t particularly impressive + they didn’t have what we wanted to order, but food itself wasn’t bad. (But you would probably think of a few other places to eat yum cha or dumplings.) The price tag was reasonable for dining in Bondi area, plus you have an option to dine on the balcony with great view. So that was worth for our little reunion dining night.

Of course the highlight of the night was catching up with Hiromi. But I had another agenda.

I have sent out an email to food bloggers regarding a dinner and Tuna dismantle demonstration at Masuya. This reunion dinner came up after we had booked the Tuna dinner, and we unfortunately had to cancel it. But our friend Hisae was there at the dinner & show, and she was kind enough to bring us a bit of freshly dismantled blue fin tuna!


I couldn’t capture the freshness of the fish meat, but we could actually “see” how obviously fresh and superb quality tuna it was.


Of course I couldn’t just stare at it. I grabbed a piece of Oo Toro (Fattest part of Tuna) and slowly put in my mouth.


It was one of the best tasting Toro I ever had in Sydney for sure! (Updated: Apparently, the same quality Ootoro sushi is usually priced at $30 per piece… PER PIECE!! *dizziness*) The taste and texture were obviously different – it just melted away in my mouth! And both Ema and I could express how it was only by moaning – it was that good. (but I had to say, the tuna dinner cost $100 per person – it should be this good, eh?)

Fun night catching up with good friends, surely the best way to spend Saturday night.
(and, if you must know, I then came home and started making the Gyoza..)

Li Zai
80 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
(02) 9130 5166

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Charcoal me to death.

When I answer to the question – “Where do you live?” – it’s always hard to say precisely where it is. The suburb in my address is in fact Dulwich hill, but I’m nowhere near the main part of it. I think I’m much closer to Lewisham if I look at my place from CDB side, but could say it’s rather closer to Marrickville and Summer hill from opposite side.

Why am I writing this? Because my taxi driver from hell yelled at me upon arriving my place for no apparent reason – “NO THIS IS NOT DULWICH HILL!!” … yeah it is.


On my way home, I usually drive on new canterbury road, passing through Stanmore and Petersham. And I have always noticed many chicken shops/restaurants, and wondered how many actually exist in the area. I can easily list up 5 shops. Oh B.B.Q. Chicken. That’s something I would suddenly want for lunch or dinner. No cooking, just go grab one with chips, eat with my bare hands. Hmm-hmm.

Petersham Charcoal Chicken is pretty famous one for their yummy chicken, and there’d always be a long queue. This place is also known, especially by customers in the neighborhood, to be “great chicken with bad service.” Go have a read at eatability for their reviews, it’s pretty funny if you know how things go at the shop LOL I have visited this place several times in the past, and I had gotten fair service – even from the elder lady with “Thank you very much, hon.” (I’ve been told I’m lucky.)


What you’ll see at the shop as soon as you walk in is chickens being charcoal roasted – and unlike ordinary B.B.Q. chicken you’d see elsewhere, their chickens are flatten, so to speak… Not as in tenderized by banging, it’s… flat like a cartoon character after being rolled over by a car LOL

Very flavorsome charcoal chicken is served with their chili sauce. I love the intense flavor of charcoal, and yes, definitely one of the best B.B.Q. chicken places in Sydney!

Coincidentally, Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella recently posted her go at this place with such an adorable weapon! Cleaver! Read the full story at Not Quite Nigella.

Next. Oricco Charcoal Chicken on New Canterybury road.
People here is quite opposite, very friendly and they’d greet you with a smile. This little cosy Lebanese/Mediterranean takeaway/restaurant serve great charcoal chicken too. (I have not yet tried other Lebanese food at this place. next time!)


Less intense charcoal flavor compared to Petersham Charcoal Chicken, but I find it tenderer and juicier than them. (which I like.) The chicken comes with that greek garlic yogurt.. Ahhh I can’t remember the name of it!! (like, Tzatziki…)

On my way home from this shop, I spotted 2 more not too far away. I shall try these places next time.

Do you have your favorite chicken shop to satisfy your B.B.Q. Chicken craving?

Petersham Charcoal Chicken
65 New Canterbury Rd, Petersham NSW 2049
(02) 9560 2369‎

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Oricco Charcoal Chicken
409 New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203
(02) 9568 3199

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Late night self-indulgence.

Oops I did it again.
As I sort of knew that this weekend was going to be crazy and totally suck. Yes, I had a few fun eating gatherings including a reunion with my friend, but so many other things were alerting in the back of my head for attentions. With a full of stuff to do – both fun and reluctant things – I again don’t really think the weekends are long enough! Oh and in a few hours, it’ll be another Monday. I hate Mondays so much that I get nauseous.


(oh by the way, those who drive to work, don’t you love school holidays? Traffic goes smoother than usual, no selfish mums on SUV driving annoyingly?! I LOVE IT – cuz there’re three schools on my way to work.)

As I mentioned in the last post, my cravings from a list have all checked off. Yup. I was very determined. And I’m not going to let any more bad luck or late nights at work get in my way! I knew that I was going home straight from work on Friday after work because I really needed to take care of some paper works. My quite night in needed to accompany with a nice dinner so that I wouldn’t feel sad about being home alone on Friday night. ;p

Hayashi Rice was another thing I was craving for. The early morning on Friday before going to work, thin slicked beef, mushroom, herbs, sliced onions were being sauteed in a pan with red wine. Well, I was doing this around 6am – very early for me but not early enough to complete the dish. So.. what would I do with it?

RICE COOKER! (ugh, I’m Asian, duh *rolling my eyes*)

That’s right, a rice cooker isn’t literally only for cooking rice, and you can do pretty amazing stuff with alot less effort – such as slow braised tender chicken, any soup stock, sponge cakes, steam veggies etc. I added sifted flour to the sauté as a thickening agent, then placed into my rice cooker along with salt, pepper, tomato puree and beef stock. All I need to do is to turn it on in cooking mode and let it on till I come home (in keep warm mode.) Serve over rice with chopped parsley and drizzle of heavy cream! Hayashi rice, DONE!


Saturday, I had breakfast, lunch, dinner all dined out. (will post later on) I was thinking when I should make home made Gyoza (dumplings). So it was totally impulsive, I stayed up until 3:30am making Gyoza in dimmed dining area. All by myself. Making Gyoza. On Saturday night. Yup. (Whatever you want to say, just keep it to yourself, please. Because, “I KNOW.”)

Minced pork, chopped spring onions, Shitake mushrooms,finely chopped boiled chinese cabbage, minced ginger and garlic, sesame oil, sake, tamari soy sauce. Mix all ingredients until white fat in minced pork completely combined. (Red meat becomes pink!)


Some say folding dumplings are therapeutic but I disagree. Oh tedious repetition I can’t stand it!! LOL and I made 120.


This is Japanese Gyoza rather than Chinese style dumplings (or it’s called “Utsunomiya Gyoza” – the most popular Japanese Gyoza.) Place Gyoza pieces in a pan, panfry the bottom of them. Then pour flour dissolved water into the pan and put a lid on it until all the water is vaporized. This makes the perfect crispy golden brown bottom!


Hmmmmmm. Nicely done!!
Two bottle of beers with a platefull of Gyoza were sinfully consumed at 3:30am. No wonder I’ve gained more weight.

How was your weekend? I hope you had a great one filled with yummies – cuz it’s just past midnight. (UGH MONDAY!!!)

Pizza Mario

Food cravings for the last week were:
B.B.Q. Chicken (checked), Japanese Hayashi Rice (checked), Beef Burger (checked), Home made dumplings (this weekend!) and Pizza (checked).

It’s been a quite while since the last time (and for the first time) I had visited Pizza Mario. They used to be in East Sydney where one of my favorite restaurants – Universal – is currently located. Ever since they relocated in St. Margarets complex on Bourke street, I didn’t get a chance to revisit up until last week. So a sudden phone call from my friends was an excellent excuse.

Some say “They used to be better.” or “The size of pizza has gotten smaller.” while others say “Still one of the best.” I honestly didn’t really remember how they were before – only remember that I loved their Gorgonzola Pizza with raddicchio.

Today’s hungry stomachs – Mayuri, Mitsu, Hisae, Ema, Nobu and of course myself. Their new location, I must say, was warm feeling to it than what it was before. Maybe because of the firewood decoration on the wall?


Mozzarella cheese, tomatos and basil salada, calamari, and Margherita con ruchetta e crudo.


Patate pizza, Gorgonzola pizza (Hmm-hmm this is my favourite again.)

Everyone seemed to have gotten full pretty quick. Was I the only one thinking “I could eat the salad, calamari and gorgonzola all by myself” ? ;p Slices of pizzas, a few bottles of Peroni and good bunch of friends – that was all I needed before another hateful Monday.

… well.
… and maybe a few tunes to sing our hearts out. ;p


Pizza Mario
Shop 9 Ivy
417 – 421 Bourke Street
Surry Hills, NSW

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Crispy Chicken fillet with ass crumbled chips.

Ugh!! Why did you have to leave a bag of Chicken & Honey Soy chips on the sofa!! *yelling at my imaginary flatmate*


I was going all crazy – waiting for my cancer screening result. I was irritable, stressed, nervous, cranky, upset – and now my chips had gotten all crumbled?!

What would make me less upset? You got that right. Food.

Chicken fillets were tossed into a ziplock bag with soy sauce, chopped spring onions, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, caramelized balsamic vinegar and honey. Then furiously massaged to marinate. Take that!! Then dipped quickly into egg york, toss into a bag of crumbled chips.



Ohhh yes. I can feel the cholesterol coursing through my vain….

Do you have any recipes that are substituted with unusual ingredients? (I’ve got a few – like how to make yummy custard cream from vanilla icecream and pancake mix.)

Shanghai Night-ing. Again!

First of all, I’d like to send big thanks to increasing number (I’m really surprised!) of readers for frequently visiting my blog. And I’d like to apologize for not concentrating much on my posts and commenting at fellow bloggers’. It’s been quite stressful these days dealing with health concern, car problem, late nights at work, my beloved Mac’s death (logic board dead…), I’m very overwhelmed and under alot of stress. I think I’m slowly handling and solving these, and hope to fully get back on my feet very soon.

Also I’d like to thank everyone for their support, warm messages and phone calls to cheer me up. I can’t thank enough for how much it meant to me and helped alot to get through this rough time.


While anxiously waiting for my cancer screening exam date, I decided to re-visit Shanghai Night for some dumpling fix. My Japanese gang live mostly in Bondi area, now I’m slowly persuading them to come over to my area with yummy food. Oh, the last time I was there with Hisae and Maya, we sat on the table near back of the restaurant along with other customers. “Yas??” – I heard someone called me. As I wasn’t wearing my contact lens, it took me a few seconds to realize that it was Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella! What a pleasant surprise!


This time with Mayuri, Mitsu, Hisae, Maya and myself. 5 hungry stomachs were more than ready to gobble up their yummy xiao long baos!


Hot steamy Xiao Long Baos, steamed and fried dumplings – quickly disappeared from plates.


And some greens and Hisae ordered 京醤肉絲 (shredded pork with peking pancake) – I didn’t see this on the menu, but they can certainly make one for you. And we got a free pancake dessert filled with red bean paste – because poor Maya had cut her upper lip with broken spoon they’d unknowingly provided. But no hard feeling, mistakes happen.

After our dumpling dinner, we all headed back to my place for desserts and video games. Yup, definitely not something people over 30 would do on Saturday night. We know. We really do.

Shanghai Night
275 Liverpool Rd
Ashfield NSW 2131, Australia
(02) 9798 8437

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Disaster striking again.

After attempting installing MacOS 10.5.7 update, everything started falling apart. Now my beloved iMac is constantly locking up, unable to boot etc. Even after reinstalling, reformatting hard disk, nothing seems to have solved.

With frequent late nights at work, pile of things to do before dues, car trouble over the weekend, cancer screening, I can’t even have time to investigate what’s wrong nor bring it into Apple support…

I’ll be blogging less for the next few weeks or so. Fellow bloggers, I might not be commenting as often as I used to be, but I’m visiting and reading :) I seriously had enough of everything, and I’m planning to take care of all that annoy the hell out of me in the next two weeks. I’m completely fed up with everything!

Simple taste

Since I had no food in my fridge, I headed down to Ashfield Shopping mall for grocery shopping after work. Walking through aisles pushing a shopping cart, I realized it’s already past 9pm. I was hungry but didn’t have energy to cook. But, as usual, I hardly ever go for fast food – unless there’s absolutely nothing else available. So I picked up some ingredients that I can cook quickly while I do other stuff at the same time.


Very very simple, nothing special about them. But the pure simplicity of each ingredient tasted really good. I guess that’s what I really need right now. The simple life! (of course without Paris and Nicole please.)

You may or may not have noticed, but this is my first post with my new camera! I’m impressed, camera does matter! I’m still cluelessly overwhelmed with all these settings and buttons, but luckily I know many photography enthusiastic friends. Free camera lesson? I’ll feed you something yummy.

Stuffed Friday.

Ughhh. It’s been very hectic and I barely have the time to blog. So many things to catch up – again!

Friday was pretty hectic in fact. I had to stop by my clinic for follow-up on my injury etc. They are located in CBD and you’d think it’s convenient if you work in the city. But getting into CBD by car in the morning and try to be on time for my appointment is such a hard thing to do! I have to park my car in the world tower underground parking, then walk up to Dymocks building. That easily takes up to 30 mins during the morning rush hour. *sigh*

Last Friday I had a lunch @ Sushi Suma on Cleveland street with Circul8-ers. (Oh we missed Jan :( ) This was my second time visiting, and now I know that they are popular for their value – SOO MUCH FOOD! Lunch combinations are priced at $15-16, you get to choose either Sushi or Sashimi + one of 6 mains (Teriyaki chicken or fish/Udon/pork or chicken Katsu/tempura/Eel/Yakiniku) + miso soup and agedashi Tofu.


After work, I was frantically running down to Swissotel to meet up with Billy (A table for two), Helen (Grab your fork), Simon (The ♥ of food) and Mr. and Mrs. PigFlyin’ for Fondue dinner. Actually, Billy mentioned something along with “steamboat” and I was wondering what the hell was happening at JPB restaurant. Well, yeah, if you put that in Asian way, Fondue is a steamboat alright ;p


Unfortunately I couldn’t leave work on time, and cheese fondue was pretty much gone by the time I got there. Well, how stupid of me expecting anything left – look at the people at the table! ;p

JPB restaurant offers all you can eat fondue dinner for $49 – unlimited beef, pork, veal and kangaroo meat, calamari, salmon, cod, prawn as well as salad. oh and many many sauces for your food. (I’ve got to say, these sauces weren’t even enough – you’d get bored with unseasoned meats and seafood after a few round, I’m afraid.)

After the dinner, we were pretty much wandering around in search of dessert to finish off. Surprisingly on Friday night, there wasn’t many choices left for desserts. Everywhere we went, “CLOSED”. … REALLY?

We ended up at Ten Ren Tea on George street – apparently they are open until 12:30AM. And I remembered reading about the place on Betty’s blog. Oh yeah, that’s right, red bean crushed ice!


Simon and Billy were apparently feeling hungry after walking around, and ordered crispy fried chicken, tea flavoured beef noodle, and what they call Taiwanese meat balls – as well as their iced teas and green tea ice cream. I’d rather call it “full meal” than dessert.
My craving for red beans were satisfied with sweet red bean crushed ice on chilly Friday night with brain freeze. Unfortunately for Helen’s peanuts & QQ crushed ice with green tea ice cream, they were out of QQ and it was substituted with red beans. (and of course we went on and on about it for like 5 mins.)

It was great meeting up with them, and it was a great start of the weekend – which I’m trying to post pretty soon. And after the next few posts, it’ll be the end of crappy blog pictures (well… hopefully) “how so?” you might ask.


My very first DSLR has arrived! Canon Kiss X3 (500D in Europe/Oceania) Very excited & I’ve scored the brand new lens kit for under AUD$1000. Woohoo.

421 Cleveland St,
Surry Hills NSW 2010

JPB Restaurant
Swissotel, Level 8,
68 Market Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Ten Ren Tea Sydney
696 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000