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Archive for February, 2010

Potato Mochi & Agarrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!

I’m not screaming out in frustration, but talking about Agar here. And with agar it is so much easier to make yummy jellies than gelatine, and so great especially during this hot and humid summer that I’m hating like a SOB. ;p

It all started when I had taken the macrobiotic cooking class. Agar jelly is nothing unusual thing in Asian cuisine, but I was shockingly surprised that it sets solid really quick. It’s so quick that you don’t even need to put it in the fridge!

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Crushed orange jelly again.

It may vary depending on which product to use, normally 4g of powder agar turns 500ml of liquid into jelly. I find 4g + 500ml to be really reliable measurement, but if you prefer, adding another 100ml of liquid makes the softer gelatine jelly like result. Agar poweder solution requires boiling in order to get its solidifying agent to work, so don’t be afraid to bring the liquid to boil. When it cooled down to lukewarm temperature, it starts setting. <-- I find it fascinating to see something still warm becomes solid!

So this time, I tried to make double layered agar jelly with two of my favourites – Mango & condensed milk! I wanted the jelly to have intense Mango flavour complimented by lovely sweetness of condensed milk, so I used mango nectar instead of mango juice. 500ml of mango nectar + 4g agar powder & 200ml of condensed milk + 300ml of milk + 4g agar.

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Man, it went really AWESOME together. I strongly recommend to try this combination! What else goes well with mango? Coconut milk. I put these yummy bouncy cubes into a glass filled with coconut milk. WIN!

And here’s the day after – mango & condensed milk jelly with yogurt sauce. (hmm, I wish I had something to garnish with.)

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I’m totally addicted to agar now.

… and now I realised that I was planning to write about the potato mochi first. ;p Oh well.

So. Potato mochi. Have you had this before? It’s one of well-known dishes originated in Hokkaido Japan, and it has been a popular Izakaya food. It’s exactly what the name claims – mochi made of potato. How straightforward is that.

Last time I was eating at Mizuya, they had this on their food menu and of course we ordered it. And it actually brought me back some memories of my grandma who passed away last year. She used to make the potato mochi often and serve it with mitarashi sauce (thick sweet soy sauce) as a snack. Simple, quick, no fuss recipe, but it tastes quite good.

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Slice 4 medium size potato, and cook until soft in a boiling water. Drain the water and let it vaporise. Put them into a bowl and mash as desired – I like having bit of chunkiness left. Add three table spoons of potato starch and mix well. Once combined well, the mixture becomes smoother and easier to shape – it happens quite quickly. Shape it like a log and roll up with cling wrap. Let it rest in the fridge for about half hour. Slice it as you like, and panfry until brown. To make Mitarashi sauce, heat 4 table spoons of sugar and 2 table spoons of Mirin until the sugar turns into light golden color. Add 2 table spoon of soy sauce, and heat further until thicken.

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How’s that looking? Instead of mitarashi sauce, you could bury a cube of cheese in each slice and panfry them. It tastes sort of like a hash brown, but with softer and chewier texture. Try this so-easy-to-make dish, because it really goes well with a cold beer or two! (And you can store the mixture in the freezer!)

nom nom nom.

Tacky Karaoke night at Mizuya

Oh, I can’t believe it’s been more than 2 weeks past since the last post! Geez, time is literally flying away these days. I’ve got quite alot of stuff happening, but I’ve got to say I didn’t have much of blog-worth occasions. It wouldn’t be interesting to blog about my usual places like Mamak, Chat Thai, Busshari etc, right?

So. Here it is, something new.

Do you like Karaoke? Yes? So do I!
Do you enjoy quick, fast, Izakaya style dinner with that touch panel order system at Wagaya? Yes? Excellent.

Then this place is definitely for you. A new Izakaya style restaurant Mizuya (Oh gwad, baaad bad website!) has recently opened on George street. They have two entrances- one on the Krispy Kreme side which leads to dinning only area, and the other on the Metro side which directly leads to private karaoke area. Man, this place is huge!

OK. My first impression entering from dinning side – more private, wooden cubicle style dinning area than that of Wagaya seemed good. Then I was guided into Karaoke area that we previously called and booked.

Walking through dark, violet light with LED wall lighting effect.

I couldn’t believe how TACKY IT WAS. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS PLACE. If I didn’t hear ear-hurting Karaoke singing voices from karaoke rooms in the hall way, I would have thought this was a private sex club or some sort ;p SERIOUSLY.

But the tackiness didn’t end there. The floor stuff stopped at the door 18, saying this is where my friends had already got in. (I was late due to heavy rain.) My friends’ already started eating wasn’t the only shocking thing I found. The interior.

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*faint*

Uhm… wow… that was my reaction – I didn’t quite know what else to express my surprised feeling. It was almost hurting my eyes. ;p

OK, enough about the tackiness. Beside the fact their interior is so greek dance club conversion ready, Karaoke system is great. They have JoySound system – a major Karaoke system in Japan that supports literally millions of songs and gets updated with newly released songs very quickly. No more “this place has more Chinese and Korean songs.” OHH YES. And I also noticed a familiar touch panel ordering system on the wall. Just like at Wagaya, your food order goes through with touch of a button.

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Unagi rolls

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Takana Fried Rice

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Deep fried Shrimps

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Yakisoba

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Fried Lotus root chips

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Karaage

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and my girly drink.

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And we were eating all these in a private room with tacky interior. What they have on the menu is pretty much exactly the same as Wagaya. (same management, of course.)

Now I see a box of tissue in the picture, I feel, well, rather dirty. *giggles*

So we ate and sang away.

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But I’ve got to say, apart from the tackiness, this is so Japanese – when I was in high school, I used to hit karaoke places with my friends and order food (what we call “karaoke food”) and sing. And here in Sydney, Karaoke night out usually starts with dinner somewhere and then off to a Karaoke place. Why not do that all at once? As you can see, each private room is pretty huge compared to other karaoke places in Sydney.

So, when is next Karaoke & Izakaya dinner gathering?
(and you know who I’m asking this)

Tacky Mizuya
614 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
02-9266-0866
(Booking is a must for private karaoke rooms.)