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Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Feast 2009

How was everyone’s christmas? Big family feast, christmas in vacation spot, or working?
I was pretty busy and not prepared at all, especially after coming back to Sydney on the christmas eve. My fridge was (well, still is.) pretty much empty and all I had was a bottle of milk that I brought on my way back from the airport.

Last year, me and my bestest friends in Sydney managed to book a table at Tetsuya’s on the christmas eve, and it was such a fantastic place to enjoy our christmas dinner. And this year? One of the reasons I came back on the 24th instead of spending christmas in Japan was to have a christmas dinner at Golden Century seafood restaurant in Chinatown and party with my Japanese gang! Came to think of it, it’s my first time having a christmas dinner at Chinese restaurant. Feels a bit odd to be honest.

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Highlight of the night was this big chunky fresh abalone. (Market price) How fresh? It was ALIVE. It then gets sliced thinly, and our waiter dipped the slices in a boiling hot soup. Just like shabu shabu. OH MY GOD, it tasted AWESOME. Look at Hisae going “woo” in the picture LOL
All abalone slices were quickly gone, and lettuce that came with the abalone were tossed into the leftover soup. Damn, the soup tastes like heaven. And for some reason, we became addicted to this cold cut cucumber with garlic sauce. ($6)

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San Choy Bow ($9 per 2) and live coral trout. (Market price) Oh man, the coral trout was so tender and went really well with the ginger & shallot sauce!

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Live pipi in XO sauce. (market price) And after the fantastic seafood dinner, we went down to Passionflower for our sugar fix.

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Thanks again for being such great friends throughout the year, guys.

So that was a christmas dinner on the 24th. Following day on the christmas, we also had a food filled christmas get-togehter.

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Oh my god, look how beautiful these sushi rolls are!! No wonder, these were made by Kaori – a sushi roll chef at Busshari! Mayuri’s Karaage and ‘italian sushi roll’ with cream cheese, cucumber, semi-dried tomato and balsamic vinegar sushi rice, and Lily’s Thai prawn salad.

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And now we are talking. Fresh wagyu beef tataki with shisho leaves! My favourite! We were planning on doing BBQ as well, but with unfortunate rainy weather, wagyu beef were cooked in a pan. But that didn’t disappoint me at all, all the fat layer and tender wagyu beef. Hmmmm.

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Hisae the santa girl and I found a red box sitting on the kitchen counter. We initially thought it was a traditional fruit cake or something, but it tuned out to be a muffin looking bread – as big as our heads! “monster muffin, monster muffin” we chanted, and decided to kill it ;p

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There’re many other unpictured food everywhere on the table. Just like other eating gatherings we had in the past, our stomaches were stuffed with all these goodness and booze. I know everyone must be using “but this was a special occasion.” as an excuse.

Hope you guys had a great christmas this year!

Golden Century Seafood Restaurant
393 Sussex Street, Haymarket NSW 2000
02 9212 3901


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Quick visit to Neo Tokyo.

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Oh hai, how are you? I am very much exhausted. My blog didn’t have any post in the past two weeks, and here’s why.

I don’t think I remember much about last Friday as I was frantically trying to do everything I needed to do before flying out of Sydney. Those who don’t know, I flew down to Tokyo and stayed there only for 3 days. When my trip begins hectic and crazily like this I always forget something really important – and this time, my DSLR. Fail.

It’s been 15 years since the last time I actually lived there and my last visit to Tokyo was 6 years ago right before relocating myself in Sydney. Things have changed quite alot, and I’ve got to say I was a bit lost in the time in between..

What didn’t change much was of course food. I mean, how generally good it is and how late you can eat out. Day before my flight back to Sydney, I met up with my old friends from Boston – the first reunion after 8 years! These guys are ones that shared our greatest and worst time together in Boston – even after 8 years none of them changed and we just rolled down on our memory lane all the way. It was already 4:30am when we finally left the place.

I truly loved that there’re many places we could head to eat. We ended up hitting Kabuki-cho for late night Ramen fix at Kamukura. At 5:30am. Win. (Oh btw, Kamukura’s ramen soup was SO awesome!)

Me and my friend also went down to Tatsukichi in Shinjuku for Kushiage. This place has 40 something kinds of kushiage (all 170 Yen/each), and the Kushiage chef keeps frying until you say stop. When we asked him how many kushiage most people eat, and he told us that’s about 20-25. And how many I ate?

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“that’s the highest number of the day.” - the chef told us as he fried our dessert kushiage (Deep fried Chocolate gateau!) And my friend says “Yeah most people don’t need a second skewer holder.” REALLY? When I reached 20 something, my stomach was still in after-entree state. No wonder I felt like I was the fattest person in Tokyo. They have a ranking board on the wall, and 10th being 68, and 1st 127. Considering that I had my pre-dinner meal, I thought I could be on on it next time.

What else I had during my short stay? Katsu at Wakoh (twice) and Maisen, Ramen, Soba, hainan chicken (sadly, fail), various convenience store bento, Japanese snacks, 12 out of million kinds of different coffee-in-a-can etc.

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Freshly deep fried Katsu Bento from Wakoh just around the corner. 720Yen! Dangerous.

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28cm whole cake. Two of us eat half each. yup.

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And my very first pasmo. Yay, it makes me feel more Japanese! Super convenient that you can even use it for shopping pretty much EVERYWHERE.

After 15 years, I finally started missing Tokyo.

Shinjuku Tatsukichi
Shinjuku 3-chome 34-16
Ikeda Plaza Building
03-3341-9322


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DoutonBori Kamukura (Kabukicho store)
Chinjuku Kabukicho 1-chome 14-1
03-3209-3790


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Oroshi Tofu Steak

There’re certain things that remind me that I’m Japanese, and of course I’m talking about food. We get to enjoy various cuisines in Sydney so easily, and that often gets all mixed up – both in good and bad ways. The ingredients I used for this dish was full of YOUKOSO HARAKIRI KONICHIWA JAPAN all the way. Shiso leave, Freshly squeezed Yuzu, and Ponzu sauce. I always recognise these as authentic Japanese ingredients.

Daikon Oroshi Tofu Steak that is. (Daikon Oroshi = Grated white raddish)

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Blend firm tofu, Hanpen, egg white, potato starch in a food processor. Hanpen gives the tofu mixture more of meat like texture. (You can omit this if not available.) Add mirin, dashi, soy sauce, caramelised chopped onion and combine well. Shape as you like and pan-fry over low heat until browned. Garnished with sliced lettuce, daikon oroshi and sliced green onion on a shisho leave. Drizzle wasabi infused oil a bit.

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Now pour home made Ponzu sauce over it. oh yes.
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Squeezed Yuzu juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar. That’s it! Press down the dikon oroshi and dig in!

Well it’s not really a meat steak but tofu burger, only thicker. The texture is quite dense and similar to hamburger as you could probably see what I’m trying to say below.

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We are having quite hot nights these days. This is a pretty healthy alternative to hamburger steak on a hot dinner time – less cholesterol, refreshing & fragrant flavour with Yuzu. *burp*

The half naked chef.

Oh man… I can’t handle heat very well. Though I do enjoy all the great activities and events that happen in Sydney during summer, I’m already missing chilly weather. I think I prefer snuggling up to my heater with a blanket. As frequently tweeted, any evenings over 20C, you know I’m half naked home. Oh wait, I’m still snuggling up with a blanket, not to the heater but my air-con.

I admit, it’s still so much better than the day that reached 43C. But it’s still 27C at 8:30pm, and the chirps of cicadas are making me crazy. What would you want for dinner in the evening like this? – I wonder in my shorts being a half-naked chef home. Move over, Jamie Oliver.

Hope you are not bored with it, but yes it’s another dinner with soba noodle because it’s going to be a “fantastic pucker.” And of course I would want some twist with it.

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Ordinary soba cooked and chilled with running water. Garnished with grated Daikon (white radish), chopped parsley and shiso leaves.
And that’s still ordinary. Do I want to eat with a soba dipping sauce as usual?

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Thanks to my friend Mayuri, she taught me something yummy with soba. Tomato juice! Instead of water, dilute soba dipping sauce base with tomato juice. As the one I used was a bit sweeter than I expected, I also added a bit of balsamic vinegar for extra acidity.

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I was just going to dip the noodle into the glass, but I guess this looks much better for pictures?

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For dessert, cubed mango pieces with lychee sorbet and coconut milk – idea from Lychee & coconut gelato from Messina. (Though my favourites there are blood orange & chocolate sorbet.) Oh man, the time has come y’all, mangos are now more less $1 each!

Hmm I wonder what else I could do with soba during this summer. Any suggestions? or who’s up for half-naked soba dinner? I am.